Day 40: The End of the Beginning

“It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence:
Love others as you love yourself.
That’s an act of true freedom.”

~ Galatians 5:13-14 (The Message)

God has called us to a higher standard as Christians. 
When we have given our lives to Christ, we are a new Creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Yes, we are still human.
Yes, we make mistakes. 
But He has put His Spirit in us. 
His Spirit is in us to lead us. 
If we quiet ourselves to listen,
to hear His gentle voice, 
to acknowledge,
and obey. 

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
~ 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)

There is so much freedom in Christ.
Let me say that again.
There is SO MUCH FREEDOM in Christ!
The Lord is asking us to lay down our pride,
to lay down our selfish desires,
our need to be seen,
to be heard, 
He is asking us to lay down our control,
Our clenched hands,
our jealous hearts,
our conceited ways,
our sex addictions,
our overindulging,
our judgement of others,
our wildly loose tongues.

He is asking us to lay it all down.

To lay it all down at the cross.

At His feet.

To come together as a church who is ready to lose everything to gain His Kingdom.

Jesus said;

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?”
~ Matthew 16:24-26 (The Message)

The Lord needs to be front and centre.
Leading us.
And as we search Him,
As we lay down our lives and as we hand things over to Him,
He will direct us. 
His Spirit is in us, leading us,
we need only to be still to listen.
Let us show the world that we are different.
That there is freedom in Christ.
We are no longer slaves to our desires and we can walk in that freedom.
That the world may know Christ in us and through us,
through our unity as one, 
loving each other with a deep love that goes beyond the surface,
taking off our masks 
and letting our true selves shine
because we are all unique,
and we are all an important + special piece to the body of Christ,
and together, we can be unstoppable.
The Lord has set us apart. 
This church,
these people,
we were made for this time,
right here,
right now.

Let’s not let our selfishness, 
our greed, 
our fear,
come between what God is doing and what He wants to do here.

“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard – things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good – crucified.
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. 
Each of us is an original.”

~ Galatians 5:22-26 (The Message)

Let’s walk in His Spirit,
not just here and there,
but in each and every moment of our lives.
Let the Holy Spirit speak louder than our flesh. 
And let us be united as we walk His path together,
building His Kingdom in His name.

This is the end of the beginning,
the time for elementary things is over.
Let’s go and live this out together,
one Father,
one Spirit,
one Son,
one body,
one church.

Lay it all down.

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