Monthly Archives: February 2017

Life’s end?

Driving home the other day, I was talking with God – eyes open…I promise.  I was just trying to spend some time praising Him for all I could see and it made me think about what Heaven may be like when that’s what we get to do for all eternity…praise Him.  When I think about Heaven, my mind takes an “earthly” turn and I get overwhelmed.  What will it be like to pass from this life to the next?  What is eternity – how can we even begin to comprehend never-ending?  Through that thought process I felt a gentle tug at my heart – a calming peace.  I have come to know that calming moment as when the Holy Spirit reminds me that He has this.  I’m not to worry about things that I can’t possibly grasp, but to turn to my faith and know that God has this.  What’s my job then?  My job.  My blessing.  My life is to sing praises to my redeemer.  My job is to spend my days worshiping Him with all that I think and do.  Praising Him for the blessings, praying to Him through the struggles and trusting in Him for the answers.

So, the question I started with – what is life’s end?  It occurred to me that, even  though I may experience an earthly death, my life does not end.  I am living with an eternal perspective.  The Bible is clear that when we close our eyes on this side of Heaven, our next conscious thought will be in Heaven.  There is no end for the believer.  In reality, there is no end for any of us – believer or not.  Life will continue in one place or another.  For those that have trusted Christ as their savior and put their faith in His finished work, that life continues in Heaven – praising and worshiping Him forever more.  For those that reject this free gift of salvation, and choose to place their faith in this world, that life will continue forever more in torment and separation from the one that created us.

So, today, when I think about life that doesn’t end, it gives reason that I should live as though it doesn’t end.  Too many times, I get caught up thinking about how hard I should work now, before I run out of time.  That is true in one sense.  My job here – bring God glory through worship, praise and telling others about Him.  Tell them verbally, show them through my actions and life, etc.  When I die, I won’t be able to impact anyone else still on this earth, other than through the testimony I leave behind.  But my focus has to be on more than just what can I get done while I’m here, but continually allowing God to change me to be the person that I’ll be forever, even after “the end.”  I want to begin today, letting God have all of me, to change me to the person that praises Him everyday, all day in all that I do.  I want to live life as though it doesn’t end, and go ahead and get started living with the same focus as I’ll have in Heaven.  I know that I can’t have the mind or clarity that God will give us when He “connects all the dots” and we understand completely, but I can use all that He blesses me with in this life, no matter how hard the blessing is, to praise Him and bring Him glory.

Don’t short yourself while you are still on this earth.  The blessing in Heaven is going to be sweeter than anything we can imagine, but we can get started living for it today!

Lord, I thank you for an eternal perspective.  I wish I had submitted to it earlier in my life.  Praising you every day of my life brings no greater joy and peace.  I thank you that you have never left me and I thank you for the sweet fellowship you pour out on me.  I don’t deserve the love you show me, but I am thankful for it.  I pray today, that my life will be lived as though I am already there.  Help me to radiate the love you pour out to all those around me and help me be your hands and feet in this world.  I pray for your courage and humbleness as I seek ways to serve you and tell others about you.  In your name I pray – Amen.

Thunder of God

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thes. 4:16)

I was startled out of bed this morning to the loudest clap of thunder I can ever recall hearing – ever!  It was amazing.   The entire house shook and it rolled on for what felt like minutes.  My wife sat straight up and after it had stopped said, “I thought the world just ended.”  I carried on the rest of this morning, in a normal routine of running around, getting things ready for the day, but I can’t get my mind off that statement.  “I thought the world just ended.”

The Bible makes is so perfectly clear that it could happen at any moment.  Matthew 24:24 says “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect (ESV).”  Matthew 24:36 – “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only (ESV).”  We are not guaranteed even one second.  So many are waiting – on what, I don’t know.  Waiting to get in a better frame of mind, waiting to fix themselves first, waiting because it just doesn’t feel right now.  Friend, if you are reading this today, it’s a gift. A blessing that God has given you.  Perhaps its the last time your heart will be stirred to think about eternity.  This morning could have been it.  It could have been the triumphant return of Jesus Christ and all those that have rejected or waited could have seen their moment slip away.  No one understands enough, is clean enough, is right enough, or will ever be perfectly ready to accept the gift of salvation, found only in Jesus Christ.  Part of faith in Him is faith that He can work with whatever I give Him.  Don’t wait.  If you feel uncertain, or are questioning, take that step of faith and call out to God.  Accept Jesus Christ as your savior today, and know for sure that when that split second moment happens,  you will be ready.

How can I be saved – Click here

What about those of us that have trusted Christ.  How would you have felt if this morning was it?  Today could have been the day when He called us home and in the twinkling of an eye we are standing before the judgment seat of Christ giving an account of what we did with Him.  Perhaps while I share my thoughts, it could happen.  How many of us really believe that though?  How many of us live our lives as if it WILL happen today?  I know I certainly do not.  I am the first to admit that I become extremely complacent so quickly.  God tells us to live each day for him to the fullest.  To give him our all, in every aspect of our life, and to always be prepared for His return.

What does that look like?  Do we live carelessly without worry for tomorrow?  Do we become impulsive and live without any plans for the future?  I don’t think so.  I think what God expects from us is to live our life in light of that second coming.  I watched a movie several years ago where the lead actor was killed toward the end and he never saw it coming.  When he died he had a small smile on his face.  I am a comments junky, and reading comments about that scene, one person remarked how great it would be to be in a moment of happy bliss when our time was up.  I think that relates to how God wants us to live our life.  To be ready.  Wouldn’t it be great to go to heaven when He returns in the midst of witnessing about His glory? Better yet, having just shared the gospel message and leading a brother or sister to Christ.  God is asking us to give Him our all, everything we are.  To live a life that brings Him glory.  Make plans, but in those plans, think of how God can use you.  Purpose to read God’s word and hide it in your heart so you can think about it when the book is not open in front of you.  Be intentional in how you live around others and look for every opportunity to share the love of Christ with a friend or stranger.  We can live a life of expectancy concerning His return by never missing a moment to live a life that brings Him glory.

What are you doing today to prepare for that moment when He returns?

Father, I think you for your blessings of each new day.  I long for the day when you return.  I pray for those that may not know you, that you would use me to reach them and share the gospel with them.  I pray for the strength and purpose to live each day thinking about that return and how I can use what you give me to reach others with your gospel message.  Give me a heart that longs for your return, yet strives to make the most of every moment you wait.  In all things, let me proclaim your glory.  In Christ I pray – Amen.

Thank you Jesus

In 2016, a teenager from North Carolina wanted to do something to express his love for Jesus.  He got a yard sign and put three simple words on it: Thank you Jesus.  That was it.  He put it in his front yard and went about his normal teenage life.  It wasn’t long before his neighbors saw the sign and asked for one for their yards as well.  Soon the requests were in the thousands.  Today, over 20,000 yard signs have been made and distributed.  The signs are sold with the profits being used to fund grants for churches and non-profits in the local area.  What makes this story so special?  This teenager simply wanted to show his gratitude, publicly, for Christ.  He wasn’t looking to make a living.  He was simply being sincere and intentional about his faith and wanted to share that.  Reminds me of a verse.  “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19)

Looking through the list of ideas and actions that define a lukewarm christian, I came to this statement: Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act.  They assume such action is for “extreme” Christians, not average ones.  They call “radical” what Jesus expected of all His followers.

Reading the news story about the thank you signs painted it as a viral movement that was out of the ordinary.  That is what our Christian walk looks like more often than not – ordinary.  I came across another article that asked several “Christians” about myths they have heard used to describe a Christian.  One statement said, “There are also people who say they’re Christians but don’t do anything about it.  They give people the impression that Christians are just like anyone else, that there’s nothing special about being a Christian.  Wow.  What a statement.  To summarize that statement – I’ve been given the greatest gift, that I didn’t earn that has set me apart from the lost world, and guarantees me a life with Jesus Christ standing right beside me, or more appropriately, holding me up and an eternity in Heaven, but I’m really no different from anyone else.  I’m not special?  Nothing can be further from the truth.  That statement is exactly why we have a society now that considers any life lived out for Christ to be radical and not the norm.

It’s confession time…again.  I have lived a life, and still struggle with this today, where I was just an ordinary Christian.  I haven’t done anything impacting for Christ.  All too often, I have praised God for great people who do great things, but missed the point, that I, too, am called to do great things for  Christ.  What is a great thing for Christ?  Is it leading a massive revival of thousands?  Is it organizing a food drive that feeds hundreds?  Sure, those things are great and far-reaching, but so is walking across the street to my neighbor’s house and telling him about Jesus.  In today’s world that can be just as radical as starting a massive revival.  Perhaps too much emphasis has been placed on not “boasting” or holding ourselves higher than others.  We feel like we are to be meek and out of the spotlight.  That’s true to an extent.  It’s God’s glory.  That’s the goal.  But how can I bring glory to God if I am not about His work?

The Bible is full of stories of seemingly “nobodies” doing amazing things for God.  Moses was a shepherd, Daniel – a captive slave, Peter and John – fishermen.  We too can be just a great in God’s eyes if we give 100% in one area – faith.  When I think about this lukewarm statement, I keep coming back to faith.  We don’t have the faith that God seeks from us.  We are content to simply believe and enjoy the benefit of knowing one day we’ll be with Jesus.  We don’t step out in faith to do what God has laid on our heart from the moment we trusted Him as our savior.

Think about the last part of the statement above – we call radical what Jesus expects from all of His followers.  Jesus has no prerequisites for radical faith other than that – faith.

Lord, today, I humbly acknowledge I have lived a life that is far too “ordinary” and not anything that resembles radical.  You have gifted me with the holy spirit and have simply asked that I step out in complete faith and allow you to use me.  Forgive me for failing you so greatly in this area.  May today be the day that I embrace my faith in you and yield my life to you completely.  I pray that you’ll use me just as you created me to be used.  In your name I pray – Amen.

To learn more about the “Thank you Jesus Signs”, click here.

Insanity

Insanity.  No, I’m not talking about the crazy workout video series that I, proudly, made it through day 4 without dying.  I’m talking about real-world insanity.  Most of us know the definition – doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.  For a Christian, a better definition may include doing whatever we want without worry because we know the end result.  This type of insane thinking is dangerous and could be a false assurance.  It’s what came to mind when I read the next statement in the profile of the lukewarm.

Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved FROM their sin; they only want to be saved from the penalty of their sin.  There is more to it, and I’ll get to that later.  This first part of the statement is so powerful and so true.  Life is like this.  We don’t really mind bending the rules, cutting corners, even cheating.  What we mind is the consequences if we are caught. For the majority of us, we don’t let the “possibilities” deter us.  Take driving for example.  There are posted speed limits.  There are laws that require drivers to obey the posted speed limits.  Yet, we get in our cars everyday and drive “around” that limit.  Maybe 5 or 10 miles an hour over.  We don’t want a ticket, but we aren’t really that concerned with avoiding the behavior that would rightly earn a ticket.

Christianity, when it is first discovered, usually at the end of the Romans Road, really deals with life and death.  We present the gospel message, often focusing a great deal on the eternal reward.  Is that a dis-service to the new believer?  Maybe it is.  Maybe we should share the good news and place more emphasis on “this side of eternity” benefits.  Whether its presented as a “get out of hell” message, or someone is just interested enough to focus on “getting in”, it’s a real problem that needs to be examined.  The Bible clearly shows that Christ demands we give up our old life when we take on the gift of a new life in Him.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  In Romans, Paul asks the question, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means!  How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? (Romans 6:1-2).  So the question begs – should we be concerned if our only goal is to avoid the penalty of our sin, but not the sin itself?

They don’t genuinely hate sin and aren’t truly sorry for it; they’re merely sorry because God is going to punish them.  Have you ever had someone do something wrong, and when you called them out on it, they gave you a very sub-par apology that lacked any real empathy or substance?  They were merely apologizing because they had been caught.  They weren’t really sorry for what they did, and they had no plans to not do it again, to you or someone else.  That kind of apology doesn’t really sit well, does it?  Neither does our half-heart repentance to God.  I believe they’re many people walking around in life today who feel that they are “good to go” with God because they prayed the “sinners prayer” one day.  Jesus gives a stark warning about this in Matthew when he told His disciples that “not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…” (Matt. 7:21).  Jesus wasn’t calling us to a works salvation, but to genuinely repenting of our sin and trusting only in His perfect sacrifice for the atonement of our sin.  If we believe that simply saying the words, without believing them, is all that it takes, we are in for a rude awakening.  God isn’t looking for a half in, half out christian.  His demand is simple, trust in the one He sent – Jesus Christ.  He doesn’t offer the option to trust in parts of Him, or in a few of things He did, but to trust in Him.  This is a complete trust.

This statement about the lukewarm lifestyle should be a huge warning sign.  Are you sinning, without regard, without remorse, without a second thought?  Is your assurance based on a prayer you spoke one day when you felt guilty about your sin, but you never gave it another thought?  That’s a dangerous place to be.  When you give your life to Christ, and truly repent, you should be truly sorry for all that you did to hold Christ on that cross.  When Christ is in you, you will hate the very sin He forgives and you will feel unworthy of the eternal reward He earned when He gave His life for you.

Now, before anyone goes off questioning their salvation, it’s important to distinguish between being lukewarm and having a lukewarm moment in life.  I have found myself stuck in a vicious cycle of repeated sin, even after I trusted Christ as my savior.  The cycle lasted so long that I became oblivious to the sin, I was giving into it without any fight.  I was leading a life very much reflective of this statement.  But I hated the sin.  I still hate the sin.  I cringe when I realize I have given into temptation, said or done something that was an obvious offense to God.  We are not perfect and won’t be until we are in the presence of our savior.  That very fact is why we must trust, 100% in His finished work on the cross.

Where are you at today?  How does sin affect your life?  Do you believe and treasure this new life in Christ, or are you more content in the chains of sin?

Father, thank you for the perfect gift of your son, Jesus Christ.  Thank you for accepting His payment for my sin.  Thank you for making me aware of my sin nature, and thank you for how you have given me a heart that hates my sin.  I am not worthy of your eternal reward, and my life is far from anything that reflects your glory.  I pray that you will continue to change me and that each day I will flee from sinful behavior and find perfect comfort in the new life you gave me when I trusted you as my savior.  In your name I pray – Amen.

Lay down my life – am I ready?

I have read several posts from fellow firefighters over the last couple months about “laying down my life” and “being willing to give it all” for the sake of someone else.  This is a popular theme among first responders.  While it’s not in the fine print, it’s an underlying thought that we all know is there.  The more I read these memes and posts, the more God has laid a burden on my heart to share the truth that should be paramount in that decision to “lay it all down”.  Are we ready?  I’m not asking if we are ready to give our life as in, “will I consciously choose my brother, sister’s or patient’s well-being over mine?”  Honestly, no one knows that answer until it is asked of them.  But the question I am asking is – Are you ready for what happens after you make that choice?

There are no guarantees in life.  There is no way to know where we are on God’s timetable.  As an ordinary human being the Bible paints an urgent picture to be “right with God”.  To make a decision, while we still can, for Jesus Christ.  James 4:13-15 paints a solid picture about the brevity of life and the need to live on purpose.  Now listen, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to this city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say,”If it is the Lords’ will, we will live and do this or that.”  It doesn’t get much clearer than that.  We don’t know.  Life is short.  It really is.  While we can’t live just for today or tomorrow, we certainly can’t put off decisions and actions thinking there will be time later.

My post, today, is directed at those that I serve with in first responder world.  It’s open for anyone and everyone, but those men and women are on my heart today.  I challenge you this – are you ready for what happens after you so bravely lay down your life?  Have you made a decision to trust Jesus with your eternal life?  If you haven’t made the choice, or if you have no idea what I’m talking about, I challenge you today to read on.

We are not perfect.  God is.  We do not measure up to His standard – which is perfection.  We can’t be with Him because we are imperfect sinners.  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10).  This is hard to digest, because we can’t imagine in our mind that laying down are life wouldn’t be enough.  Can’t we become righteous for paying the ultimate sacrifice?  According to God’s word, we can’t save enough people, we can’t give enough, we can’t do anything enough to become acceptable to God.

Where did sin come from?  Why was I born this way?  Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.  We are descendants of the first created being – Adam.  He sinned, and His perfection ended.  From that moment it was in his DNA and passed on to each generation.  The result of that sin is simple – death.  Adam and Eve were created to live forever, but God wants us to choose Him, so he gave them a choice.  Their choice had an outcome.  They chose to disobey God’s direction, and live for themselves, and their outcome was life that ultimately ends in death.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23).  Don’t miss the last part.  God didn’t create us to kill us.  He created us to be with Him.  That was the original design and it was perfect.  God doesn’t throw away His design, so He made a way.  That gift was His way that we can be together when our time here is up.

God shows us His never-ending mercy and love by giving the ultimate gift – Jesus Christ.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Christ came to this world for one purpose: to save us.  As a first responder, maybe you can relate in some way to that.  Maybe that is exactly why you chose to serve – to save.

God demonstrated his love by giving us Jesus who would live the life we couldn’t and die the death we deserved to satisfy the penalty that is rightly ours.  To show that his payment was sufficient, God raised Jesus up, giving him victory over death.  He put one requirement out there to get this free gift – believe.  That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)  God requires that we put our trust in what Christ did as the payment necessary for our sin.  In accepting that He is the payment, we also must believe that God accepted that payment on our behalf.

Worried about your past?  Don’t be. This gift has no prerequisites.  There is nothing we can do other than believe.  For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13).  It’s out there for everyone.  We just have to accept it.

Remember, we don’t know when God will call our name and our life will be over – here.  We, as first responders, have signed up to help others at all costs, even death.  While you may, so bravely, hold that commitment in your heart, I beg you to do it with the assurance that you have trusted Christ as your savior.

Our end-purpose is to let them go

Last night it happened.  The evening wasn’t anything out the ordinary.  Running behind as far as dinner goes, skipping from one activity to the next without any real plan or schedule.  Eventually it was time for showers.  Like every other shower time, it was endless trips to get the towel, the bathrobe, the clothes, then another trip for an extra toy or two.  I waited just outside the bathroom for the familiar, “Daddy, I’m ready for you to wash my hair.”  When that call came, I trudged into the bathroom, made her promise not to splash me, helped her get some shampoo on her tiny hands and went to work.  That’s when it happened.  “I’ve got it Daddy. I can do it.”  And she did.  She smiled and asked me to shut the door on my way out.

I’m in a season of lasts in my life.  She is my last child, the baby.  She is the last child of mine that I’ll rock to sleep.  The last one I will teach to ride her bike.  The last one I’ll help with bath time.  The last 5 years have been a whirlwind like nothing I have ever experienced.  In the past 5 years, my oldest has graduated and is standing on his own.  My middle child has gone from a cute 7-year-old chasing the soccer ball to a middle school athlete, racing to adulthood.  My baby has gone from needing me for everything in life to a stage of “I can do it on my own.”

Thinking about how fast things are moving, my first thought was to be nostalgic and wish it would slow down and let me enjoy it more.  The next thought was, I’m running out of time to do what God called me to do.  My children are gifts.  But these gifts have strings attached.  See, they’re not really mine.  God did not give me these wonderful kids so I could have them and call them my own and keep them forever.  He gave them to me because he trusted my wife and I to raise them – to pour what he blessed us with into them, and to show them how to trust the Lord.  His whole purpose for us as parents is to use us to prepare these gifts to be strong, independent lovers of Christ who will go out into the world and tell others about Him.  There are side perks to this mission.  We are blessed with the memories and a bond that it as strong as the bond between Heavenly father and son.  We get a lifetime of joy, happiness, sadness, tears, worry, stress, etc.  Most parents (if not all) wouldn’t trade any of those emotions because they are part of that bond and love.  But ultimately we have one purpose – to eventually let them go.

I love being a dad.  There is nothing better in this world.  I thank God everyday – even those days when they try my every last patience.  I am blessed to be a dad.  But in that blessing is the greatest responsibility I know.  As much as I want to hold on to every precious second I can, I know I have to prepare them to go.  I have to use every moment to teach them, love them and build their confidence so they will be prepared to go.   I am called to live a life of love for Christ.  That calling is never more real to me than when I look into the eyes of my kids.  I want them to see Christ in me and all that I do.  I want them to never question where this love, I have, comes from – Jesus Christ.  I want to honor God for blessing me as a father, by fulfilling my purpose – guiding His creation back to Him.

Father, thank you for the blessing of being a dad.  I sometimes question why you chose me when I can’t seem to get anything right, but I trust in your confidence in me and strive to live each day more and more for you, so they may see how important you are to my life.  I pray for your patience and understanding when they don’t walk straight paths, and I pray for your love and comfort when they are scared and unsure.  Most of all I pray for the understanding and reminder that they are gifts – for a season, and that the ultimate purpose is make them ready to “let go”.  In your name I pray, Amen.

The weight of broken chains

I have struggled with sin and uncertainty, more than I would like to admit.  It can be debilitating and the stress of habitual sin cycles bleeds over into nearly every part of life. This new year has been the start of a refocusing in my life and I have spent so much time thinking about the impact my life, here and now, has on eternity.  It started with a small retreat topic of lukewarm vs. obsessed and has grown from there.  I praise God every day for this “wake up” call and for this new perspective.  I can see growth again, when before, I was stagnant.  But in that growth I am learning that it’s not just a change of mind and everything is good again.  It is a process and a heavy one at that.

I don’t believe I can look at life through the eternal perspective and not come across the sin patterns that have plagued me and kept me chained to a short-sighted view.  It has hurt, when I think of how my thoughts, attitudes and actions have often been in direct opposition to what Jesus expects and deserves from me.  Through this process I keep coming back to the idea of being chained to my sinful self.  I know and fully believe that my chains have been cast off through the death, burial and resurrection of  Christ.  I am free from the penalty of my sinful flesh.  I am no longer bound to this fallen world with no hope for an eternity with my savior.  Praise God.  But, just because Christ broke my chains, that doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes feel the weight of what they represent.  I still live in this world – this fallen world. I am still surrounded by sin and sometimes get burdened and twisted up in the broken chains of who I used to be.  It’s during these times of weakness and failure that I feel the weight and the darkness starts to creep in.  It’s during these times that the devil lashes out, trying to capitalize on my doubts and my weakness.  It’s during these times that I remember and call upon the one that has set me free.

In Romans, chapter 7, Paul talks about the real struggle of living in this fallen world.  He describes trying to do what is right, only to end up doing what is wrong.  In his account, he helps us to understand the very principle I described.  Though we are new creatures in Christ, we are still living in our sinful bodies.  We are still dealing with the chains as they lay around us.  But we are not hopeless.  What a blessing it is to know that I am not forgotten and I am not alone in this struggle.  “What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?  Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” Romans 7:24-25 (NIV).  This passage is a powerful reminder of what I am to do when the weight of the chains creeps up on me – give it to God.  Too easy of a response?  Absolutely not.  Christ pleads with us all to recognize that we have no power, on our own, over sin.  We just can’t do it without Him.  The best part of this is that He wants to do it for us and through us.  Just as Paul fell to his face crying out, recognizing that he is nothing without Christ, that is what my response needs to be.  In the past several weeks I have found the most comfort and contentment when I lift my hands and tell God that I am nothing without Him.  Christ’s love for me is greater than I could ever imagine.  He loves me far too much to just set me free from the sin debt that separates me from Him and then leave me under the weight of the broken chains.

Are your broken chains still weighing heavy on you this day?  Give it to God, the one that has the strength to carry the weight we never could.

Lord, I thank you this day for your grace and mercy on me.  I praise you for the gift of eternal life through  your son Jesus Christ.  I thank you for breaking my chains and setting me free.  I praise you for not letting that be the end of the story.  Forgive me for how I have allowed doubt and darkness to creep into my life.  Thank you for reminding me that you are here to carry the weight and to help me grow to a greater dependence and love for you.  I pray that I will be obediently humble in my focus on you and that through you I will find the strength to face the challenges of living in a fallen world.  May all that I do be for the glory of you.  In Christ’s name I pray – Amen.