Friday, March 1, 2013

March 2, 2013

"People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Mark 10:13-15
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on his name:"  John 1:12
There are a number of ways to move from Slave to Child. The more you are around people who live as children in a healthy community of faith the easier the shift will be! Here are four things that can help:
LISTEN TO HIM – Get in the Word

Slaves listen to their masters because they have to. They are expected to obey their masters but how can they obey if they don't hear.
A child must listen to his father as well. But he hears out of love and respect because he is a child.
To come out of slavery, grab the Word of God! Read it! Obey it! Know it! Memorize it!
The Word of God has power to free you from the need to achieve in order to earn His favor. His Word has power to deliver you from being a people-pleaser and change you to a God pleaser. The Word can set you free from legalism and from the tyranny of addiction.

LIVE FOR HIM – Get in His will

A slave works hard under the tyranny of his master and against his own will or desires. But a child lives to please his father! Many sons want to be like their father and often end up doing what he does. A child finds pleasure in pleasing his dad.

LIVE IN HIM – Get on His way

"Solomon, the wisest son who ever learned once said, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5-6

LOVE BEING WITH HIM – Go on a walk with Him

A slave isn't expected to enjoy being around his master. A child does. A child of God spends nearly every waking moment at his father's side. A child loves to be able to walk with his father and enjoy his presence.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
In his short story “Capital of the World”, Ernest Hemingway tells about a Spanish father who wanted to be reconciled with his runaway son. The despairing father missed his son so much that he placed an advertisement in the local newspaper. The advertisement read simply, “Paco, meet me at the Hotel Montana at noon on Tuesday. All is forgiven! Love, Papa.” But Paco is a very common name in Spain—and when the father went to the hotel the next day, there were eight hundred young men named Paco waiting for their forgiving fathers!
 No one wants to be a slave. Everyone wants to be a child

Are you a slave or are you a child?

March 1, 2013

“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!"  Luke 15:13-17
You probably recognize this portion of Scripture as being taken from the Parable of the Prodigal Son and it shows how one can shift from being a son to being a slave.
Here are some of the modern forms of slavery:
Achievement - being a slave to performance.
It is actually more apparent in the case of the old brother in this parable but it is rampant in our culture. While there is nothing wrong with achievement, living to achieve is a problem. When you are driven by the need to out perform everyone else in order to prove yourself it is not a healthy way to live.
As seen in the older brother, having an inordinate need to perform and achieve usually is driven by unrealistic goals and results in frequent frustration.
Affirmation - being a slave to popularity.

Both sons seemed to care more about what others thought of them than the approval of the father.

The approval and validation of others is a powerful influence in life. It is important to everyone but seems to be an obsession for some who define their self-worth based upon what others think of them.

Do you care about the Father's opinion or are you a slave to the need for man's approval?

Adherence - being a slave to legalism..

In the two sons you see both extremes in regard to rules. The older son kept them all with a critical heart and the younger brother rebelled with a careless heart. As a result, neither them enjoyed the love of their father.

Legalism supposes that keeping rules can result in holiness. The law-breaker believes that casting off rules will result in happiness.

Each is a slave to misconception.

Addiction - being a slave to appetites.

When you think of addiction you most likely think about abuse of chemical substances. More often than not, that is the case.

Certain personality types lend themselves to addiction, but those drawn into addiction are drawn by a need to feel good and escape from emotional, physical or psychological pain. They begin using the pain-killers but soon abuse them. In an attempt to escape momentarily from pain they become a slave to a great source of pain - addiction.

Addiction is perhaps the most harmful form of selfishness - unless you become addicted to Jesus.

I am glad slavery in America was abolished 150 years ago. I look forward to a day when slavery of the soul is abolished.

For you, that day could be today.