May It Never Be!

Re: Verse reading–Romans 6 (day five)

Freedom is a funny thing. Every year for the past 25 years of youth ministry, I watch a new group of High School graduates enter a new chapter of life. One of the most significant dynamics that marks this new chapter is Freedom. In fact, I tell our graduates, “you will never have more freedom than you do during this new season of life.” As they move into the work force or university life they finally get “to do what I want to do”. Their response to this newfound independence is very telling about their view of Freedom. Paul writes in chapter 6 of Romans His answer to the same issue as it relates to newfound freedom in Christ. Question: “Do I get to do what I want to do, now that I am saved and forgiven?” His response, “May it never be!” In other words, “NO!!” I like what C JoyBell C. says, “Freedom is not the absence of commitment, and to be committed to something or to someone does not mean the loss of freedom”.

The Gift of God

Re: Verse reading–Ephesians 2:1-10 (day one)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it the gift of God.”  (v 8)  44 years ago, I sat in a living room of an home in Amarillo, Texas.  I had been invited by a friend to attend a Bible study for High School students.  I had no expectations of a spiritual encounter.  I was not conscious of any preparation in my heart for the new birth that I was about to experience.  As I listened that night, a young man spoke of a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” and I felt convicted of my need for a savior.  By faith, that night, I prayed for Christ to come into my heart.  Over the next weeks and years, I experienced new power operating in my life, the very presence of Christ.  I was “made alive”.  He forgve my sin. He gave me a gift, unearned and impossible to repay.