Happy Birthday, America!
Bring out the red, white and blue EVERYTHING--flags, cakes, T-shirts, jewelry, decorations, and little-kid decorated wagons! We Americans love the Fourth, love America, and love to party, so there's red, white and blue EVERYWHERE!
But hold on...
I just saw some PEOPLE who are red, white and blue--they're Christians and they don't feel like partying--unless it might be a pity party! (Ever have one of them? They're fun when you want to feel really sorry for yourself!) Will each of you happy people grab one of the harried people and bring them to the Well today? They're in chains so don't move too quickly--and if YOU are one of the chained ones, shuffle along! There is help and freedom for you today in Jesus Christ!
A Christian who sees RED!
Ever been there? Anger will turn a lovely Christian into a hateful, bitter, unforgiving ghost of the real thing. Anger will steal your love, joy, peace and Christian witness. Now, admit it--we all get angry at one time or another. Life and people are full of problems, and when they spill over onto us, we see red, rightly so! It's how we deal with the anger and what we do with it that matters, and Jesus can help us--if we will let Him!
There's help for the angry Christian! Take your anger to the Lord. Appropriate the blood of Jesus Christ first to your own heart (1 John 1:9) and when you REALLY do, you will be set free to forgive and to love the person who has wronged you. You will never know real freedom until you do, for in reality, unforgiveness will hurt you far more than the person with whom you are angry! It's not worth it--let it go! Get the wrinkles out of that robe of righteousness (look closely for it's trimmed in RED)--and enjoy a love-filled, sin-cleansed holiday!
A Christian who turns WHITE!
Ever been there? Fear will turn a committed Christian into a fearful, fretful, wound-up, wired-up mass of white-hot nerves and knuckles! Fear will destroy every ounce of peace Jesus gives you--if you let it. Now, admit it--we've all been fearful at some time in our lives. Life's complicated situations and uncertainties--health, job, church, family, relational concerns--can cause us to pale in their presence, until we sometimes literally turn white with fear! Don't let fear and anxiety drain the very life out of your radiant Christianity--Jesus can help you--if you will let Him!
There's help for the fearful Christian! Take your fear to the Lord. Appropriate His righteousness, for in it is pure peace, the peace of God which passes all understanding (Philippians 4:6,7). Let God's Word fill your mind until fear HAS to flee in HIS blessed presence. When you TRULY appropriate HIS peace, you will be set free to trust Him. New strength and purpose will fill your heart, and Satan will flee. He cannot stand to be in the presence of a righteous God. And, while you're at it, why not put on the breastplate of His righteousness (wear it UNDER your robe, of course!) It's sparking white and, in HIS strength, you will wear it well! Try it on--and enjoy a fear-free, white-robed holiday!
A Christian who feels BLUE!
Ever been there? Everyone around you is enjoying life; you pretend and wear your mask well, but deep inside is a sadness, a heaviness that won't go away. The joy you once knew is gone--your blue, burdened-down spirit and your sad, sorrow-filled soul have turned you into a depressed Christian, and you are no witness to anyone! Matter of fact, the devil is gleeful, for another one has bit the dust, is lying in the dust, and is covered with dust--the dust of despair, disillusion, disappointment, discouragement, and any other negative "d" word you can recall!
There's help for the depressed Christian! We've all had deep times of sadness and discouragement--we're human, remember? It's what we DO with these feelings that matter...and do I have an idea for you! Take your depression to the Lord. Appropriate His strength and know even His acceptance of you "just as you are." He knows the problems that have brought you down, and HE is there to pick you up, dust you off, and put on you the robe of righteousness--trimmed in BLUE, representing His faithfulness. You can trust Him to bring you out of the doldrums into the joy of His presence once again. No sorrow lasts forever. Joy truly does come in the morning (Psalm 30:5), no matter how long the night. Receive His joy; trust Him to work out whatever has got you feeling blue-- for He is LORD, high and lifted up. HE will take your sorrows and carry them for you--if you will let Him. Try it--and enjoy a joy-filled, junk-free holiday!
You may be red, white or blue--you may be red, white AND blue! (Depends on which day I ask, I know!) Maybe you're "none of the above" and living a victorious life. Well, then find someone who's a red, white or blue Christian and let the Lord use you to lift up that person this week! It's no fun to watch the world around you in celebration and happiness, while you, in YOUR damaged red, white and blue shuffle along, chained by the enemy himself, unable to set yourself free. Well, it's INDEPENDENCE DAY for you--Jesus Christ is waiting to set you free! Give it all to JESUS....and get ready to let freedom ring, let the flag wave and let your spirit soar--for "if the Son, therefore, shall make you free, you shall be free indeed!" (John 8:36). Appropriate everything the Lord has for you this week. Hope you have a REAL red, white and blue freedom party to celebrate His goodness....and, by the way, if chocolate is involved, please invite ME....grin....
...and that's just a red, white and blue thought or two--from my heart to yours!
His Healing Words
"For the kingdom of God is..righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17 (KJV)."
"Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1 KJV)."
"Lord, I'm one of those "red, white and blue Christians" and I bring it to you today. I'm tired of the bondage and want to be free. Take it all and set me free THIS day. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
Copyright 2004 by Peggie C. Bohanon, Springfield, Mo. Used by permission.
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