Thursday, November 25, 2010

Freer of the Captives

My roommate and I came home one day with this same concept stirring in our minds and in our hearts: Jesus being the “freer of the captives” and clinging to this freedom. In a matter of minutes the idea was almost fully completed and we had a new song to worship with. Without Christ and without his will to save us, we are imprisoned. Since Jesus came as the “light of the world”, death and darkness are no longer what our eyes see if we rest in his sacrifice alone. We were captives, but now we are hopeful and free by the blood and resurrection of Christ.

We cry: oh Lord, we're helpless without you
We cry: Savior, our eyes cannot see you
You said: come out, to those in the darkness
You said: be free, to all the imprisoned

Jesus, freer of the captives
All our hope is in
Jesus, freer of the captives
All our hope is in you

Our sin had bound us to the enemy
Our hearts were chained in slavery
You lead forth the prisoners with singing
We cling to this freedom you're bringing

“Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the LORD. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” Psalm 68:4-6

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When Christ, who is your LIFE

“Since, then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4

So this passage of scripture has been stirring my heart lately, constantly trying to remind me of the significance and seriousness of Christ. Now I know that there is a ton of meat in these four verses (my friend Zech was telling me he had to write a 12-page paper on them for his hermeneutics class), but the phrase that sticks out to me today that I can do nothing but write about is “when Christ, who is your life”…

I was reminded of this idea a couple of weeks ago at Northpoint Church in ATL. The theme for a four week sermon series that started that week was “God’s plan for your life.” My first initial reaction was that I’ve already heard this before. I know that God has a plan and a future for everyone. I grew up with this concept with the primary reference Jeremiah 29:11. Little did I know that the pastor would take a different approach to this idea that would draw me in from the word of God. Aside: (I love how His word is living, breathing, and active. It changes, molds, and shapes us). The pastor’s main point was the idea that if Christ isn’t just a means to our life, rather that Christ IS our life, then God’s plan for our lives is Christ. I found myself convicted in that moment that I could not say “Christ is my life”. In so many instances, I set my thoughts, ideas, actions, and desires on everything BUT Christ.

How different would my life be if I let this truth of God be embedded it into my heart, mind, and soul? If I came to this conclusion: that there is nothing more important for me than to SET my life on all that Christ is. He is worthy of my soul’s surrender. To be practical, this all is way easier said than done, but isn’t that what sanctification is all about? My prayer for you and I is that we would “put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek of Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” Colossians 3:5-11