Eugene Peterson writes in his introduction to Galatians, “[Paul’s letter] also gives direction in the nature of God’s gift of freedom – most necessary guidance, for freedom is a delicate and subtle gift, easily perverted and often squandered.” Don’t I know that to be true as I’ve experienced these last 16 months! I’ve seen freedom become an active force in areas of life that have completely taken me by surprise; and I’ve seen freedom slip through my fingers without my even noticing until I can feel the chains settling in again.
Please humor me as I share a short blurb from my study of Galatians chapter 1 before I attempt to tell this next part of the story. The Bible passage says, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…”
Life was unbelievably good. I knew I was loved, I was sharing the good news of God’s love with others, and I saw friends begin their own journey to freedom as they heard my story.
I spent just about every morning, coffee in hand, on BibleGateway.com and StudyLight.org reading and studying God’s word. It was absolutely fabulous learning about so many different aspects of God, His love, and His plans and provisions for His children. In December I was studying the book of Hebrews and was intrigued by the idea of Jesus submitting to His Father when He was here on earth as a man.
Last Saturday I was asked to give a short talk to a group of women at our church. We made Christmas cards, had some tea, and listened to a few thoughts from yours truly. Since I had no time to post to my blog, I thought you may enjoy these few thoughts before I carry on with the story there. Since we were making Christmas cards, my thoughts were drawn to ways that God “greets” us...
Good afternoon, Ladies. It is a pleasure for me to speak to you for a few minutes about our incredible God and His very distinctive “greeting” to us.
Sending Christmas greetings to friends and family is a long standing tradition. The words are simple: “Merry Christmas,” “I remember you,” “You mean a lot to me,” “I have so many fond memories of the time we spent together,” “God bless you,” and yet these simple words communicate our heart to people.
It seems to me that God does something very similar for us in His word. He communicates His heart toward us and draws our minds back to remember Him, to remember circumstances He walked through with us, and to remember that we mean more than we’ll ever know to Him.
After choosing to submit to God’s authority in my life and the wave of love that followed, one of the best changes for me came in a new found freedom to share the good news of the gospel with people. I accepted Jesus as my Savior 30 years ago, and have consistently struggled with seizing up and not having a clue what to say when it came to telling others about new life in Him. That was the big motivator to take the Navigator’s Bible study when it was offered at our church. I wanted to speak about the good news of God’s grace and salvation found in Jesus, but I didn’t know where to begin.
Well, Navigator’s is really clear. After memorizing about 25 Bible verses related to salvation and God reaching out to people, it all gets put together in a single illustration called “The Bridge to Life.”