A devotional thought from 2010
“. . . to release the oppressed.” Luke 4:18d (NIV)
Who are the oppressed? Webster’s New World Dictionary defines the verb oppress as “1) to weigh heavily on the mind, spirits, etc. of burden, 2) to keep down by cruel or unjust use of authority; tyrannize over”
Again we see oppression in two different lights.
We have witnessed political oppression when we heard of a nation taking over a smaller, weaker country. We read in history about the religious oppression of the Jewish people in Europe in the days prior to and during World War II. In the late summer of 1990, we heard of a Middle East nation overtaking a smaller one in that region. Our government leaders weighed the options of bearing arms against the aggressor country.
Later, we heard of government in the same part of the world that took away the rights of women, taking away their jobs and allowing them out of their homes only if they were covered from head to foot. I was saddened by what we saw.
Sin, if allowed to run rampant in our lives can oppress God’s people. But Jesus came to show us we can strive to live better lives by staying close to Him. God tells us to take His yoke upon us. (Matthew 11:2930)
The enemy uses the memory of our transgressions to keep us down. He comes into our lives and whispers, “Do you remember. . . .” Satan brings to our attention what shames us. We can’t be vulnerable to the adversary, if we turn our sins over to Jesus when we realize what we have done. All it takes is to say “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”
Friday, April 8, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
“-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:28 (NIV)
A servant-one who serves. Our system of government in the United States provides for regular elections so the people can choose leaders to serve our cities, our states and our nation.
Our military members serve our nation. As a child, I remember hearing the phrase, “He’s in the service.” Everyone knew what it meant. In the 21st Century, we still take the time to thank a veteran ‘for service to our nation.’
Whenever people eat in a restaurant, they watch and evaluate that place of business by how attentive the server is. The diner gauges the quality of the establishment by ‘its service.’
God gave us His Son Jesus to serve us, to show us how to live for the Father. The Son taught us how to love one another, how to renew our mind away from the world’s way of thinking.
Jesus came to earth in order for us to be cleansed of our sins, made perfect in His eyes in order for us to spend eternity with Him in His home. But, Jesus Christ had to pay a terrible price for this.
God’s Son, the only perfect person to walk this earth, took all the sins man would ever commit as His own. He took upon Himself the most unspeakable deeds, those done in the dark of night upon His heart and soul, in order for us, weak and puny as we are, to have a home in Heaven.
Monday, April 4, 2011
“Then we will not turn away from you; revive us
and we will call on you name. Restore us O God
Almighty, make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.”
Psalm 80:18-19 (NIV)]
How many times do we hear of someone who asks Jesus to take care of our needs and then makes a huge commitment to do something that her or she thinks He wants done? Most of the time, the person soon forgets the situation and the promise.
The scripture above tells us all we have to do is stay with Him. The psalmist pleads with the Lord to restore the people to the place where His face will shine upon them. When God grants this plea from us, we become His anew.
We face many trials in our lives. But when we stay close to God and ask His protection, we come out stronger people. The trials of which I speak can take the guise of unemployment, large debt, illness of a family member, or our own health issues.
God didn’t promise us an easy life just because we follow Him. He promised to be there with us as we go through the rough parts.
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