Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fireworks Firecrackers Freedom and the Fourth

It's loud, explosive and exciting!  That's the 4th of July celebrations in the USA.  It's full of excitement, bright colors and loud sounds. Most of the celebrants begin prior to July 4th.  So the loudness starts days ahead of the actual celebrations.  What does your pet do with the sounds of July 4th?  Ours finds places to hide, she shakes, and she pants.  Her stress is very visible and we're unable to quell that stress.

There are a lot of people like our dog.  Fearful of the goodness of God, they attempt to keep him under control.  God's mercy is feared and people hide from it.  They are afraid of what they think is on the other side of that mercy and grace:  lawlessness.  How do I know this?  Because that was me.  I was afraid that with Christian freedom for which Christ died, I would have sin running my life without restraint!  "If God forgives all in Jesus, where is the restraint?"  So, for a time I cowered under the law and felt safe.

I could no longer fight God's mercy and forgiveness.  Scripture had become clear and the Holy Spirit showed me the truth.  I was afraid of what I was reading.  It went beyond my safe, little, soteriological system.  Limited atonement had fallen to the wayside.  The love of God came crashing in without restraint.  Sacraments were no longer symbols, but full blown reality.  The gospel was free and clear, no longer chained to a flower.  God is not controllable no matter how hard we try.  And that is a blessing!

Are you hiding from God behind a systematic shield?  Let the Holy Spirit show you our Father's mercy and love poured out for your sake, on a cross, there with Jesus.  Then real freedom can ring!
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