By Andrea Hine
Forever Free in Unending Grace
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard… – Colossians 1:21-23 ESV
When we come to know Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will undoubtedly have times when we are taken back into our pasts by our enemy who wants to keep us in bondage. There are so many things that have held me captive in my lifetime. To be truthful, there are times when I am not clearheaded and cautious as God has instructed me to be in His Word (1 Peter 5:8).
There is only one way to escape these thoughts and that is to keep our eyes completely focused on the One who created us and knows our weaknesses. 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us that His grace is enough for us and that His power is made perfect in weaknesses. He knows our every thought and desire… there is no pretending with God. He knows our pains, fears, doubts and disappointments.
When we have an up close and personal relationship with Him, we will be freed from the chains that keep us bound. He sets us free to be all He created us to be. He pursues us, knowing that we are running away from the one thing that can’t be found in this world – perfect love. He waits for us in our imperfect lives to go to Him. We repent of our sins and we are forgiven.
When we look to Him, He takes us below the surface and shows us what is really going on in our hearts. He shows us what we are actually struggling with. He sets our hearts free from all the things that keep us from knowing His love. We are no longer afraid because His love removes all fear. We are secure in His arms as He holds us and protects us. He provides all that we need.
But this doesn’t mean we won’t have trials and temptations. We must resist the enemy and He will flee. Trials are meant for our growth because without them, we would be deceived into thinking we don’t need Him. When we have struggles in this life, we learn more about Him and we also learn to love others with His love. He shapes and molds us into His beautiful creations, even though the world/enemy has broken us. We feel stronger knowing He is with us, giving us the courage to face any challenge or battle we may find ourselves in. We can know that He will never leave us and those chains that bound us before… are truly gone.
He never promises us in His Word that taking up our cross and following Him will be easy. In fact, He says that in this world, we will have trials and sorrows. But He has overcome the world so we don’t need to be afraid (John 16:33). We need to abide in His Word and keep our minds clear and focused on Him, not ourselves. When we focus on ourselves, our enemy inevitably will start putting those chains back on us IF WE LET HIM!!!
Heavenly Father, You are our Freedom and we lift You up and praise Your Name. You are all we need and once we realize this, the chains just fall to our feet. You are so patient with us and You adopt us into Your family when we finally give up our lives and follow You. We thank You for loving us and for extending Your grace to us over and over again. Teach us to do the same for others. We pray in Christ’s Name, Amen.
Devotional forwarded to you by:
UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT
NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord
University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC