Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Faith Comes by Hearing...

"So then faith comes by hearing..."  (Romans 10:17a, NKJV)  

Did you catch that?  Faith comes by hearing...  What are you hearing?  What are you listening to...?  Who are you listening to...?  

Our faith comes by hearing it.  Of course, it greatly depends on the object or the person that we are hearing and listening to at any given moment of any given day.  

Are you listening to the television news anchor reporting all of the bad events of the day?  Are you hearing all of the bad weather reports on the radio?  Are you listening to patients in the hospital speaking about all their illnesses, diseases, sicknesses, ailments, and infirmities?  

What are you hearing?  What are you listening to...?  

The rest of that particular scripture references says, "...hearing by the word of God."  (Romans 10:17b, NKJV)  

Are you hearing the word of God?  Are you listening to the word of God?  Better yet, are you listening to God?  Are you hearing God?  

Our true faith comes by hearing God---His still, small voice speaking to us---by hearing what He thinks and says---by hearing His word.  

Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.  

Monday, October 19, 2015

Leaving the Past Behind

Please first read Genesis 19:14-26.

"But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."  (Genesis 19:26, NKJV)

Lot received word from some men that the Lord was going to destroy the city.  He was told to take all of his family and get out of the the region immediately.

They all obeyed the orders they received from the Lord.  He destroyed the cities where they had left earlier.  Everyone and everything was destroyed there.

Then, Lot's wife looked back behind and she became a pillar of salt.  She was destroyed for looking back.

Lot's wife looked back and was destroyed for doing so.

What can we learn from this part of scripture?

For one, we need to obey the Lord because He has our best interest at heart.  Also, it does not do us any good to look back behind us.  If anything, it can have tragic consequences for us and our loved ones.

There are also plenty of other lessons to learn from that particular passage.

However, in the Apostle Paul's letter to the church at Philippi, he talks about forgetting those things behind.

"Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 3:13-14, NKJV)  

Like Paul, he encouraged the believers there to press toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call in Jesus Christ.  He did not want them stay stuck in the past but to forget everything behind them.

In the same way, God does not want His children to be stuck in the past.  He desires all of them to forget everything behind them and move forward into the future.  He wants them to move further into their God-given purpose and plan.  Be who He has created them and called them to be for His perfect will.  Then, and only then, will God truly be honored and glorified in and through them.

Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

By His Stripes'....

"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed."  (Isaiah 53:5, NKJV – bold emphasis added mine)

Jesus was wounded for all of our sins.  He was bruised for all of our transgressions.  Everything was laid upon Him for us.  By His stripes’ we are healed!

God knew ahead of time exactly what He was doing for us.  He made all of the provision for us.  Nothing was left out. 

Yet, there are many believers within the body of Jesus Christ who are taking everything on themselves.  Perhaps, it is lack of knowledge (See Hosea 4:6).  Maybe, they feel guilty.  There may be those who actually believe they need to take some of the blame. 

Whatever the reasons, we need to let them all go into the sea of forgetfulness where God has left them (See Psalm 103:12).  We also need to believe and receive everything that Jesus died to give us (See Mark 11:22-24; John 10:10b).  First, we must know what all that entails in this life though.

When Jesus was crucified on that cross for us over 2000 years ago, He died for more than just our own personal sins---past, present, and future.  He took everything on Himself including death, disease, illness, sickness, ailments, infirmities, and whatever else (See Isaiah 53; Psalm 103:1-5; 1 Peter 2:24).  He bore all the pain and suffering for us.  He became the curse for us.  He destroyed the works of the devil for us.  He put the devil under His feet. 

Because of what He has already done for us, we do not have to receive any of what the world and/or the devil tries to throw our way.  Everything has been taken care of for us.  We are redeemed from the curse.  The devil is under our feet.  We already have the victory!  We just walk in it by faith in Jesus (See 2 Corinthians 5:7).

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:  “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.  (1 Peter 2:21-24, NKJV - bold emphasis added mine)

Jesus said, "It is finished." (See John 19:30, NIV)  He really meant it.  Will you choose to truly believe it?  Will you receive everything Jesus died to give you including His divine healing and health for you?

Copyright 2015.  Dawn Freeman.  All rights reserved.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Jesus in the Wilderness

Unfortunately, there are many people within the body of Christ today that do not fully understand their true identity in Christ.  Therefore, they wander around their so-called wildernesses for many years without experiencing the promises from God. 

The Church of Entrepreneurs recently had a podcast where I briefly spoke about the children of Israel’s wilderness experience and then shared more fully the wilderness experience of Jesus Christ.  Follow along in your Bible as I used various scripture references in this message.

Jesus in the Wilderness

If you would like a copy of the transcript of this particular message, please email me at dawn@dawnfreeman.org.  Thanks!

Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Believers' True Identity in Christ

Our spiritual identity is one of the most important aspects in our Christian walk.  Yet, still today, there are many people even within the body of Christ who do not truly know their spiritual identity.  It is foundational to being, doing, and having everything Jesus died to give us in this world.  

Listen to a recent podcast from The Church of Entrepreneurs where I spoke on "The Believers' True Identity in Christ."  Get out your Bible and follow along as I point out many scripture references.

The Believers' True Identity in Christ

If you would like a copy of the transcript of this particular message, please email me at dawn@dawnfreeman.org.  Thanks!

Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

None by Comparison

There is a tendency to compare ourselves with others in today's society. Whether it's done intentionally or not, it's difficult not to do so at times. The world tries to pressure us by putting all kinds of images and stereotypes out there. They try to tell us you have to look a certain way, act a particular way, do this, do that, or whatever else.

As difficult as it may be at times, there is a better way. It's God's way. He doesn't want us to compare ourselves with others.

He made us all unique and special. We all have different spiritual gifts. First of all, we each have a general purpose but we were also created with individual specific purposes. (See 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 27-30)

In the Apostle Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus, he talked about being made alive in Christ. He mentioned our individuality and overall purpose.

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)

Paul wrote another letter to the churches in Galatia and encouraged them to do good. He wanted to make sure that they weren't deceived when helping each other though.

"Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else..." (Galatians 6:4, NIV)

In a letter to the church at Corinth, Paul defends his ministry. He spoke about his letters being “weighty and forceful.” (2 Corinthians 10:10)

He wanted the people to know that he was the same whether through his writing or in person. Also, Paul was not like others.

"We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise." (2 Corinthians 10:12, NIV)

Within the body of Christ, sometimes there is a tendency for us to compare ourselves with others who have similar spiritual gifts, ministries, or the like. However, this part of the Apostle Paul's letter to the church at Corinth serves as a great reminder for us not to do so.

He continues, "We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:13-14, NIV)

We need to remember that we have a certain sphere of service God has specifically assigned to us individually. Therefore, we need to keep our focus on our particular sphere and not anyone else’s area.

And when we do work, we need to do it wholeheartedly as well as do it unto the Lord and not people. (See Colossians 3:23-24)

In addition, the Apostle Paul talks about the sphere of activity within his ministry. It can also be applied to our own sphere of activity in our ministries and work for the Lord.

"Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. (2 Corinthians 10:15-16, NIV)

We do not need to go beyond our assigned territory and limits God has given us. Of course, we can hope that our regions will greatly be expanded as our faith increases just like the Apostle Paul. He goes on to talk about boasting in the Lord.

But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (2 Corinthians 10:17-18, NIV)

Knowing that it is the Lord who commends us and no one else will help us work much harder for Him and rest much easier in Him. We do not need to compare ourselves, our journeys, our paths, or ministries to anyone else or anything of theirs. There is none by comparison.

We can trust God with our ministries, our purposes, our callings, our assignments, and anything else He has for us. For God who has called each of us is faithful, and He will complete that which He has started in us individually. (See 1 Corinthians 1:9; Philippians 2:12-13)

Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"Lord, What About Him?"

Jesus finished having an important conversation with His disciple, Simon Peter.  During this particular conversation with Peter, He asked him if he loved Him.  Not once, but three times.  Peter told Jesus that he loved Him.  Then, Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep.  At the very end of their conversation, Jesus said, "Follow Me!" (See John 21:15-19 - paraphrased and emphasis added mine)

Let's pick up now with verse 20.

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”)

When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” (v 21)

Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”  Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.  (John 21:20-25, NIV)

Let's go back up to verse 21.

When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

Peter asked Jesus an important question that day.  One that requires a little more attention on our part at this time.  "Lord, what about him?" 

How often do we ask Jesus that same question?  "Lord, what about him?"  Or..."Lord, what about her?"  "Do you seeing what he is doing?"  Do you see what she is doing?"  "Do you seeing what he is not doing?"  Do you see what she is not doing?" 

Did you notice Jesus' first response to Peter though?  “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 

In this particular instance, Peter is very much like many of us within the body of Christ.  He seemed to care more about the other disciple's response or lack of response to Jesus.  He was too concerned about the other man's response and not his own response to the Son of God.  In part, he was comparing himself to the other disciple.  He was too busy thinking about the other person's business and not taking care of his Father's business.

It is much more important to concentrate and focus on what Jesus is telling us than being concerned about what others are doing or not doing for Jesus.  We need to pay more attention to Jesus and His instructions to us.  We also need to pay less attention to whether others are listening to Him and obeying Him.

We have all been given a specific calling, assignment, and task in God's purpose and plan.  We are all accountable to Him and only Him.  Therefore, we need to do our own part and not concern ourselves with everyone else.  We need to be about our Father's business.  Allow God to take care of all the other disciples of Jesus Christ.  He is very capable.

When we stand before God on judgment day, He will not ask us what others did for Him.  He will only ask us about our part.  He will only ask us whether we were obedient and faithful to what He had called us and equipped us to do for Him.  Let's decide today to only be about our Father's business, and let Him take care of everyone else's business.

Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.