March 26, 2017

When a person says YES to the relationship with Jesus and chooses to follow it up with a willingness to be fully committed to it, there is the benefit of freedom which finds expression in a variety of ways. But that is not where the benefits end.

Have you given thought lately to the power of who you know and who knows you in terms of the value of those relationships? To be living from a place where your life pleases the Sovereign Creator and Source of everything is a tremendous advantage. To be in such a relationship where you can come with confidence and boldness to God is incredibly important. We read in Hebrews 4:14-16, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. {15} For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. {16} Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

When you begin to understand the value of God’s favour in your life due to the result of your desire to do that which pleases Him, you realize you are positioned in a really good place. God can bring resources, people and circumstances into your life which no amount of talent, effort, or wishful thinking can accomplish. This does not mean we can simply drift along thinking God will do it for us. That is a spirit of entitlement and does not please Him, thus potentially reducing or eliminating His favour.

We are to be our best, not just for ourselves, but as an example for others to follow so they will want to say YES to the relationship with Jesus. The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Live your life in such a way you are not only the beneficiary of all that is involved in saying YES to Jesus, but others will want what you have and follow your example.

March 25, 2017

What do you want? What do you really want? What are you passionate about? What are you committed to achieving? To what degree are you willing to persist towards its fulfilment? How will you respond when others seek to hinder or stop you? When it appears there is no way to where it is you want to go, do you still believe in your dream, or do you give up?

There was a man who lived on the outskirts of Jericho. He sought to stay alive as a beggar. He had no support mechanism to help and he was blind. In the days when Bartimaeus lived there was no social network in place. So for Bartimaeus there was not a lot of hope for a better life for people in his situation.

It is likely, he had heard stories of a man named Jesus who was travelling around the countryside teaching and healing people. I believe Bartimaeus thought, if Jesus ever comes my way, I am going to ask for His help and I will get it.

The time line of Jesus’ life was winding down as He moved through Jericho towards Jerusalem where He would be crucified. What is important to realize is, thoughts are things. Thoughts are energy which is being transmitted at specific frequencies and received by other brains. It was no accident Jesus was on the road just outside Jericho that day. There was a request to be answered and a need to be met.

Matthew recorded the words of Jesus which He had spoken previously in which He said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. {8} For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

The day arrived! Jesus was coming past Bartimaeus’ location and there was a large crowd and much commotion and noise. Bartimaeus was not going to miss his opportunity. He shouted, likely as loud as he possibly could, in hope Jesus would hear him. Those around Bartimaeus rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more. Do you think the One who recognized a woman’s touch to the hem of His clothes in the middle of large jostling crowd was going to miss the voice and call of a person whose thoughts had drawn Him to that place? Mark 10:49 tells us,”Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ So they called to the blind man, ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.’”

Bartimaeus was sitting on the ground, he could not even be seen by the visible eye, but He was not missed by Jesus. Then came the question, “What do you want me to do for you?” This was a personal question, “for you.” When you say Yes to the relationship with Jesus you enter into a personal relationship and His focus in on you.

In that moment, faith was expressed and freedom was experienced. Mark records what happened. Mark 10:52, “‘Go,’ said Jesus, ‘your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.”

What do you want? Are you willing to say YES to the relationship with Jesus and in so doing connect with the One who has both the love and power to help you find the answer to your question?

March 24, 2017

Reflecting back on yesterday, I was encouraged by a thought at the end of a very challenging day regarding the power of saying YES to Jesus. I have been sharing about the result of this process explaining the outcome as freedom. The day began with encouraging words from several sources which all were similar in nature and outcome. Basically the thought embraced the idea you may be facing a situation which looks like it will never turn out, but God already knows and has put pieces in place in the past to turn this into blessing. You need to believe there is freedom in this situation.

Not long after, a situation happened which saw the frames of my eye glasses looking significantly different than they are supposed to. This meant a couple hour drive to get the frames fixed. As part of the journey I picked my mom up and she did some errands and grocery shopping. When we returned to her house to unload the groceries I discovered I was missing my wallet. A thorough search of the inside of the car, the trunk, the grocery bags revealed nothing. I had not been outside of the car since the grocery store. A return to the store was not helpful.

In the process I had said a short but specific prayer. “Lord, you know where the wallet is, keep it safe.” When checking the car again, there it lay tucked safely between the side of the car and the driver’s seat towards the back of the seat. It looked like it had been carefully placed there. Knowing the depth of the pocket the wallet was in I have no idea how it got out. I cannot fathom how it could have “fallen” into that resting place. I was thankful and grateful it had been kept safe.

My trip home found me immediately behind two transport trucks who each thought they should control the same location on this planet. At the last second they managed to avoid what would have been the outcome if they had succeeded in their plan. I was free to continue my journey home.

When I arrived home I discovered my wife had received a phone call declaring what could be perceived by many as an end to a dream she has been pursuing for many years. I am thankful and grateful for those who rallied encouragement and support through the situations which arose. Also for the freedom that came as a result of the strength that came from having said YES to a relationship with Jesus, who provided initial preparation, in the moment support and hindsight insight.

I wait with anticipation to see how God will bless and resurrect her dream in an even greater way than we could have imagined. There is truly much to be gained in saying YES to the relationship with Jesus.

March 23, 2017

Have you ever experienced or witnessed any of the following traits being expressed either towards yourself or someone else? While this list is not comprehensive, it is specific: animosity, sadness, discord, impatience, cruelty, meanness, disloyalty, harshness, self-indulgence. In that moment, how did it make you feel? Did you happen to sense a loss of freedom for either the recipient, the perpetrator, or maybe both parties in the exchange which took place?

Freedom as an expression of life goes far beyond the ability to vote or the option of expressing an opinion. Freedom goes to the heart of every aspect of life. The degree to which people identify and relate to the previously mentioned traits will indicate their lack of true freedom in their life. The tragedy for many people is this has become the norm in their life and they are not even aware there are more beneficial options open to them.

In the process of saying YES to the relationship with Jesus and following though with TLC (trust, love and commitment), the door is swung open to new levels of freedom. The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Notice the defining difference between the two lists. There is powerful transformational energy released by the Holy Spirit into the lives of individuals who choose to say YES to the relationship with Jesus. I certainly would rather experience the freedom expressed in the second list identified as the fruit of the Spirit, how about you? When a person is willing to learn and implement the components of trust, love and commitment into any relationship increased freedom will result. May this be true in your life in increasing measure.

March 22, 2017

It would be good to consider the power of your willingness to say YES to the relationship with Jesus and the resulting freedom you receive in relation to the initial desire God has to say YES to the relationship with you. The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:3-6, “How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son” (The Message Bible).

It would be good to also consider, your YES to the relationship with Jesus places you firmly in the place of His desire and will for your life. The Apostle Peter reminds us in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” The Greek word used in the New Testament for repentance is “metanoia,” which means to have a “change of mind.” So if someone repents, their mind has been changed. The result, their desire has changed, their actions are changing and their relationship with God has changed. God’s desire for us in relationship is for transformational change to take place resulting in true freedom.

As well, it would be good to consider the outcome of understanding the heart and will of God for us in relationship with Him. The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 5:14-15, “My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours” (The Message Bible).

My hope for you is you would be willing to discover for yourself the reality of God’s love and passionate desire to say YES to the relationship with you and for you to have the same response in return to Him.

In so doing you will have acknowledged evidence, activated process and achieved the results of freedom finding purpose and fulfilment in your life.