Wednesday, May 6, 2020

No Condemnation

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:1, NKJV)

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus... Depending on the version of the Bible, that's basically all that verse says. And, some people just stop there with that part of the scripture verse whether they have read another version. However, when we look at the NKJV, there is a lot more to that scripture verse. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who don't walk according to the flesh [which is the old, sinful nature] but according to the spirit [which is the new, born-again nature]. There are people within the body of Christ who unfortunately still walk according to their old, carnal, fleshly ways. Partly due to spiritual immaturity. Partly due to lack of spiritual knowledge (See Hosea 4:6a). Basically, due to not daily renewing the mind on God's word though (See Romans 12:2).

Make sure to read this entire scripture verse in a good translation, so you will really know and understand what the author means and wants the reader to see with their spiritual eyes of faith.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus [new spiritual identity] who do not walk [live] according to the flesh [the old, carnal nature] but according to the spirit [the new nature].

For all of those who are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation. The Holy Spirit never brings condemnation but only conviction---conviction of the righteousness which comes through faith in Jesus. The Son of God traded His righteousness for all people’s original unrighteousness on the cross. He became the propitiation for all people’s sins in the world. The conviction of righteousness means that all believers in Jesus Christ spiritually know, understand, and discern that they need to do better, because they now know better by the spirit of God.

Copyright 2020 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Faith vs. Fear

We have been in the midst of a health-related crisis which has affected thousands of people, many relationships, numerous lives, hundreds of businesses, and the economy in this country.  We have been in isolation, doing social distancing, and basically in quarantine for over a month now.  Many people wear masks when going out to run personal errands and going to medical appointments.

We as God's children don't have to fear catching the global virus, because of Jesus' sacrifice and atonement on the cross.  He was punished for all sin once and for all time (See Isaiah 53:4-5).  We are protected from all sickness, disease, illness by the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore, we already have divine health in this life. 
The world wants people to be afraid, because they live in the physical and the natural.  That includes the five senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and feeling.  There is nothing and no one chasing after any person in this world, but there are people who are afraid and run for cover like they are fearful of getting the virus.  

"Fear of man will prove to be a snare..."  (Proverbs 29:25a, NIV)

"The wicked flee when no one pursues... " (Proverbs 28:1a, NKJV)

God wants us to put our complete faith in Him.  The kingdom of God is supernatural.  We walk by faith and not by sight (See 2 Corinthians 5:7).  We live by the Spirit of God within us.  We are in this world but not of this world (See Romans 12:2).  

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."  (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV)

God tell us hundreds of times in His word, "Do not fear... Do not be afraid..."  (See Deuteronomy 31:6, 8)  We can believe Him and trust Him.  He is trustworthy and faithful.

"...but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe."  (Proverbs 29:25b, NIV)

"...But the righteous are bold as a lion." (Proverbs 28:1b, NKJV)

However, we use wisdom and walk in love towards other people which includes those who are weak in faith (See Romans 14; James 1:5).  Therefore, we wear masks when we are out and about in order to love ourselves and others in the world (See Matthew 22:37-40; Luke 6:31).  We keep our distance from others.  We isolate ourselves from other people.

But, ultimately we believe and know that God is our protector (See Psalm 91).

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe." (Proverbs 18:10, NKJV)

Copyright 2020 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Life Giver

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (John 10:10a, NIV)

This reference from scripture is so true. I have personally witnessed it. In fact, a few years ago, I spoke to a man who shared with me his thoughts to hurt himself or someone else.

I have to admit now that I really did not know what to say or what to do with the information that the man decided to share with me. However, I know that the Holy Spirit helped me to minister to him. The Holy Spirit led me into what to say to this man. I began actively listening to him. I started asking him questions as he spoke to me about cutting himself. He proceeded to talk about buying some alcohol and drugs to dull the pain. I asked him the reason for wanting to do it. By asking him questions, I think that it gave him something to think about as well.

My Father placed me in this man’s life that day to speak to him about God, Jesus, and life. He gave me the opportunity to tell this man that God loved him. It was an opportunity to plant good and positive seeds into this man’s life. It was an opportunity to tell him that God created him for a reason and a purpose.

“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b, NIV)

Copyright 2020 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Looking Back

What are you looking back at now?  What is holding you back?  What is hindering you?  What is distracting you?

Whatever it is that is "catching your eye" at the moment, release it.  Please let it go!  Lay it down at the feet of Jesus!

So many times in life, we are like Lot's wife.  "But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt." (Genesis 19:26, NIV)  She turned into a pillar of salt, because she did not obey God.  He had previously told her and her family not to look back.  God had told all of them to keep going...keep moving forward.  She was the only one who looked back.  She was the one who disobeyed God.  As a result, she disintegrated into a pillar of salt. 

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV)

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philppians 3:13-14, NIV)

Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62, NIV)

Do not allow anything to hinder or distract you from doing God's work and reaching your destiny.

Copyright 2020 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Believing God

What do you believe God for which will come to pass in your life?  I believe Him for His purpose and plan to be accomplished in my life personally and professionally (See Jeremiah 29:11-13).

Unfortunately, I am still waiting on the physical manifestations in this natural world.  I am doing what I know to do for now.  Over the course of this time, I have been taking little steps here and there in different areas of my life.  As joint heirs with God and co-heirs with Jesus, I am reminded that we have to do our part (See Romans 8:17).  His good, perfect, pleasing will does not happen automatically (See Romans 12:2).  It certainly does not happen overnight.  I can definitely testify to it now.

It has been more than three years, since I ventured out of my home state on this part of my faith journey.  It was definitely a huge leap of faith on my part.  I had never lived in another state by myself away from my immediate family before.  Way back in the latter part of 2009, I believed God for the physical manifestations of His perfect will.  I had been seeking Him for some time (See Matthew 6:33).  He had put it on my mind and heart to relocate to North Carolina from Tennessee.  I knew that part of His purpose and plan was located in the state of North Carolina.  In order to fulfill it, I went in search of my Promise Land.

My Father had spoken to me about it beforehand.  He told me that “everything would be provided” for me.  I did not expect to have so many obstacles or problems along the way to my Promise Land.  Looking back now, I should have expected it though.  Anytime that we really want to do our Father’s will, the devil will try to hinder or prevent us from doing it.  However, my Father has been faithful.  He has showed up and showed out many times for me.  I have experienced much more of His provision and blessing during these times.  My eyes have been more opened to Him and His work in my life.  I have learned to depend on Him even more during this part of my journey.

It has not turned out exactly the way I had expected or hoped at that time.  Nevertheless, I am still here in North Carolina.  I still believe my Father is taking me closer every day to my Promise Land.  It is just taking longer than I thought it would take initially.  I know even more now that His timing is not always our timing.  What is it?  God’s one day is like a thousand days?  Whatever the rule of time, I am still standing on His word and believing for His promises to come to pass in my life.  In the meantime, He is molding me and making me more into the person that He created me to be for Him, His purpose, and His plan for me (See Jeremiah 29:11-13).

Before this part of my faith journey, I believed that I was a strong person.  Now, I am even stronger.  Knowing what I know now, I cannot say that I would do it all again the same way.  However, I know that I am a better person for having gone through the testing period with all of its trials (See James 1:2-4).

Copyright 2020 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Fruit of the Spirit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control...” (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV)

Are you full of fruit?  That is, the fruit of the Spirit.

The first fruit is love. According to our Father’s word, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NIV)

Joy is the second fruit of the Spirit. Unlike happiness, joy is always there. Even when our temporary circumstances are not ideal, we are joyful. The joy of the Lord is our strength. (See Nehemiah 8:10)

Peace is considered the third fruit. There is a stillness, calmness, or serenity with us. "The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever." (Isaiah 32:17, NIV)

Next on the list is forbearance or patience which is the total opposite of impatience. “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:25, HCSB) We learn patience by waiting for what we are hoping for and expecting in our temporary situations and individual lives.

Kindness comes in fifth in our line-up. It can be defined as compassion, consideration, thoughtful, or just plain nice. “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love.  To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.” (Hosea 11:4, NIV)

Goodness falls in at number six in the list. Badness is the opposite of this one. We cannot be good without the Lord’s help. “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13, NIV)

The seventh fruit is faithfulness.  Faithfulness can be defined as loyal, dependable, devoted, or constant to the utmost degree.  “For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:5, NIV)

Gentleness is the eighth fruit-bearing sign.  Hardness or harshness is just a couple of words that are opposites of this one.  "Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near."  (Philippians 4:5, NIV)

Self-control rounds up at number nine in the list of fruit. This one is usually thought of as self-discipline, self-restraint, or willpower. “…Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:5b, NIV)

By their fruit you will recognize them...  (See Matthew 7:16, 20)

Copyright 2020 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Eternal Weight of Glory

Naomi lost her husband and both of her two sons in just over a decade.  She blamed God and became bitter as a result of her natural circumstances.  Consequently, she chose to change her name to Mara which means "bitter." (Read Ruth 1)

There are people even today who are much like Naomi.  They blame God and become bitter as a result of their unfortunate circumstances.

However, it is never the right way to think nor look at such natural circumstances.  God is never the cause of terrible tragedies nor awful situations.

God allows those times to mold us, make us, conform us, and transform us more into the image of His only Son, Jesus, for our good and His greater purpose though.  Therefore, choose to draw closer to God.  Rely on Him to strengthen, encourage, and help you become who He has truly created you to be for His purpose and overall plan.  (Read Jeremiah 29:11-13; Romans 8:28-30; 2 Corinthians 3:18; James 4:8)

We can choose to become bitter or better through natural circumstances.  Never both though. (See Ruth 1:20-22)

When you are a believer in Jesus Christ, it is never about our physical circumstances.  What is His purpose in those circumstances?  It is about what is He doing in and through you.  (Read Romans 8:28-30; 2 Corinthians 3:18, 4:16-18)

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NKJV)

Copyright 2020 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.