9/11 I think we forgot… (Images pictured are not mine–public domain) Do you remember what it felt like to watch and listen in horror as the images kept flashing across the screen? I think we forgot… Do you remember when … Continue reading
Here you are sitting at the table, talking to your teenage son about his future goals and it hits you, the realization that you can’t protect him anymore. It’s naive to think you ever were truly protecting him but in … Continue reading
We are enjoying our Reformation and Renaissance study, in the Nordy home, and we found this great quote I thought I would share. “And it ought to be more carefully considered that all men promiscuously do homage to God, but … Continue reading
Have you ever given yourself a death sentence or felt as though someone else has?
Has there ever been a time when you have done something, been ashamed, committed a wrong, and thrown yourself into your own prison?
Have you committed yourself or someone else to this death sentence?
Whether you have wronged someone or been wronged yourself, one of you might have, unknowingly been committed to a death sentence. You or someone else have done something that has caused such great pain that your lives will never be the same.
For the one who caused the pain, they feel forever sentenced to their wrong doing. It is as though anything they did before or will do, that might have been “good”, will be forever erased because they will constantly be known by their stripes. They will always be seen behind the prison bars and sentenced to a life of “death” to who they once were and forever chained and known by their “sins”. They daily encounter remarks or actions that are like lashes, continually beating them down, reminding them that they will never make an escape from the cell that they are in.
For the one who received the pain, they forever sentence themselves to the other person’s wrong doing. They put themselves behind the bars of their own fear, hurt, insecurity, and self doubt. They refuse to free themselves from pain that has placed them there. They hold so tight to the sentence that has been given to them that they can not see a way out. They feel so alone, weak, and hurt that they become enveloped by the cell that has been placed around them.
Before we begin to drag ourselves, or lead others, to the execution chamber, we need to know, or be reminded, that someone has already paid the sentence. Our “death” has been taken care of and our freedom has been paid for in full. No matter how far you have fallen, how greatly you have been wronged, how deeply you have hurt, Jesus Christ has gone to the execution chamber in your place and your sentence has been wiped from your records.
Jesus Christ died on the cross in order to pay the costly price for those hefty wrongs we have committed. He has shown us grace, love, and mercy by dying for us. Once we have accepted that, knowing it is nothing we have done but it is everything He has done, our sentence has been wiped clean.
So if He has taken our death sentence why are we still held up in that prison cell? The bars have been opened and we are still sitting in the cold, empty cell, alone in our imprisonment. The guards are gone and yet we refuse to leave, move, or accept our freedom. Why? We are our worst enemies. We are our prisons. We are our Wardens.
Stop looking down! Look up! Jesus is there, waiting to free us. Take His hand and escape from that prison cell. You have been set free! You no longer have a death sentence, you now have pure and beautiful freedom that only Christ can give.
Enjoy the warmth of the Son, you have been set free!
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. —Psalm 4:8
“Now I know the greatest security of all: God Himself. I can “lie down in peace, and sleep” (Ps. 4:8), knowing that He is my shelter from the stinging storms of life. Enveloped in the warmth of His love, I’m snug as a bug in a rug.”- Our Daily Bread
Advent: the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.
Yesterday we began Day 1 of Advent. We were given a beautiful advent book called Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. The book begins with the stump of Jesus’ family, the Jesse family tree. As we begin to see a sprig of hope grow from this tangled mess of a family, our anticipation grows awaiting the birth of our Savior.
“Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot- yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root…In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.” Isaiah 11:1,10
I would encourage you to begin this journey with us as advent continues. Along with this beautiful book, Ann provides free downloads or purchases of the ornaments that correspond with the book at http://www.incourage.me or http://www.annvoskamp.com.