FREEDOM!

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Christ has risen! He has conquered death by death! The veil separating us from God’s presence has been torn from top to bottom! Jesus lives to intercede for us! He is our only mediator!

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:16-18)

This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. (Ephesians 3: 11, 12)

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

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No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Amazing love!

(from Amazing Love by Charles Wesley)

Save

Who Can Separate Us?

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If God is on our side, then tell me: whom should we fear? 

If He did not spare His own Son, but handed Him over on our account, then don’t you think that He will graciously give us all things with Him? 

Can anyone be so bold as to level a charge against God’s chosen? Especially since God’s “not guilty” verdict is already declared. 

Who has the authority to condemn? Jesus the Anointed who died, but more importantly, conquered death when He was raised to sit at the right hand of God where He pleads on our behalf. 

So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God’s Anointed? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing.  As the psalm says,

On Your behalf, our lives are endangered constantly;
    we are like sheep awaiting slaughter.

 
But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us. 

For I have every confidence that nothing—not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, 
height, depth, nor any created thing—can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.

(Romans 8: 31-38)

Brooding

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This is another quick painting from an evening of worship art. I call it “Brooding.”

Sometimes we are not privy to what God is doing. Sometimes the seed deep in the earth, or the new life in the egg stirs when we are unaware of its existance.  One translation of the creation story talks about the Spirit of God brooding over the chaos that He was to  transform by His Word.

It can feel like a very long time between the darkness of the Day of Crucifixion until the light of the Day of Resurrection. This is the time of perseverance. This is the time of clinging by faith to the promises of God.

This is the time when we strain our ears in the silence for the sound of the Spirit taking a breath before he begins to blow  life into that which appears dormant.

The hours, days, years, decades between promise and fulfillment is the time, when in agony of disappointment in our own sense of timing, and stretched beyond what we ever thought we could endure, that we choose to walk by faith and not by sight.

This is the hour we stand, and stand some more and, when we have weakened, rise to stand again and sing, “I trust in Your faithful Love.”

How long, O Eternal One?

How long will You forget me? Forever?
How long will You look the other way?
How long must I agonize,
grieving Your absence in my heart every day?
How long will You let my enemies win

Turn back; respond to me, O Eternal, my True God!
Put the spark of life in my eyes, or I’m dead.
My enemies will boast they have beaten me;
my foes will celebrate that I have stumbled.

But I trust in Your faithful love;
my heart leaps at the thought of imminent deliverance by You.
I will sing to the Eternal,
for He is always generous with me.

(Psalm 13 The Voice)

Christ Came Juggling

I love this poem by Eugene Warren in The Risk of Birth edited by Luci Shaw

Christ Came Juggling

Christ came juggling from the tomb,

flipping and bouncing death’s stone pages,

tossing those narrow letters high

against the roots of dawn spread in cloud.

This Jesus, clown, came dancing

in the dust of Judea, each slapping step

a new blossom spiked with joy.

Hey! Listen — that chuckle in the dark,

that clean blast of laughter behind –

Christ comes juggling our tombs,

tossing them high and higher yet,

until they hit the sun and break open

and we fall out, dancing and juggling

our griefs like sizzling balls of light.