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My God is…setting us free Acts 13:38-39

Acts 13:38-39 – Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; by this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.

Jesus Frees Us – 

Jesus Frees Us - Concordia Seward Nebraska

Jesus Frees Us – Concordia Seward Nebraska

I attended Concordia University in Seward Nebraska, and on that campus is a sculpture named “Jesus Frees us” (In the winter it was also sometimes called “Jesus Freezes”). The sculpture shows a man (or every man) breaking free from a cross like shape. I love this sculpture, if not for its design alone, but for the message it gives to my heart.

Breaking Free

If you’re anything like me, you may have found yourself at different times in your life dealing with different sins. For different stages in my life I faced different struggles. Insecurity, identity crisis, complacency, lust, greed, gluttony and oh how this sad list could go on. Just as I think I start to have a handle on a sin, a new one was there to take its place.

I’m not that bad, I don’t have a problem with sin.

I think most of us have known someone who doesn’t believe they’re sinful. They feel like they don’t do anything ‘that bad” and they don’t need saving. For me that’s almost always a huge roadblock for further discussion, because if we don’t agree that we all do things that we shouldn’t do, that aren’t in our best interest, God’s best interest or our neighbors best interest, we’re sinners. Even those who don’t believe in God when asked if they’ve ever done anything wrong will (I think) say, “Yes” or maybe “Not very often”. When we compare ourselves to the laws of the land, it is hard for someone to say they’ve never missed the mark. Even in our self-serving society, we know that we’re expected to be kind to others, or at least not rude. But we have all at one time or another fallen short. We sin. Unfortunately for us sin leads to death.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

In our sinful world, without Christ there is only one outcome. Death. Death is the end for those who do not put their faith in Jesus Christ. That’s all they have to look forward to and they have no hope of anything better, in fact as unbelievers it can get much worse for them after death. But God gives us a free gift. He has saved us, by His own death on the cross from the sins that should condemn us. Instead of death, God has given us the gift of eternal life with Him.

By this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins

All those sins; I have been freed from all those sins. I no longer have to be contained and constrained by my short comings. I don’t have to live in the burden of guilt and the fatigue of being found out for who I really am. With the freedom God gives us, not only through eternal life, but by His conquering power here on earth, I no longer have to be a slave to my sins. As I keep my focus on Christ, I can be transformed into one who is continually improving and growing in my faith. As my faith grows, God willing I will make fewer sins and regrets.

By this Jesus we are free!

 
 

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My God is…patient 2 Peter 3:8-9

2 Peter 3:8-9 – But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and Salvationa thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness

Clearly the Lord and I do not understand time in the same way. This verse even says so. It says, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” This concept is so big for my mind to even fathom. What I do know, is that my Lord doesn’t always do things on my time. I can sometimes find that frustrating. I may want a burden of mine (or a loved one) lifted, but I want it to happen now. It hardly ever happens right when I ask for it. Sometimes it happens quickly other times it’s hard for me to even recognize the answer to my prayers, no matter when they’re answered.

God isn’t being slow, as you and I think of slowness. 

God isn’t dragging His heals, He’s waiting for perfect timing. Timing that has our best interest at heart. His timing may not be what we think is perfect timing, but He has the perspective of actually understanding eternity. For Him, it’s all about Eternity. If waiting helps you or someone else come to faith, deepen their faith or acknowledge the Lord, than God will likely wait. He is patient, waiting for the perfect moment that will help draw us closer to Him.

Definition of PATIENT

1: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
2: manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
3: not hasty or impetuous
4: steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
5a : able or willing to bear —used with of
 b : susceptibleadmitting <patient of one interpretation>
Manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
Forbearance: a refraining from the enforcement of something (as a debt, right, or obligation) that is due. I had to look that up three times for it to stick in my memory. God is all about forbearance, isn’t He. Everything He has done was to help us escape the punishment we deserved. My mom seemed to understand that about our God. When my sister and I were in college, and my mom was sure we were making some stupid decisions, she would pray that we would not have the full consequences of our sins. She was asking the Lord for patience, forbearance and grace. That is what Jesus on the cross is all about, as well. Jesus died on the cross so we could benefit from God’s forbearance for us. He took on the enforcement of our punishment.
Bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
With this definition of patience, I feel like Jesus could be the synonym for patience. Our Lord Jesus took on our sins, took the full punishment, even unto death. He went through so many pains and trials, and didn’t complain, but calmly took it upon Himself so you and I might be freed from our sins.
Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Everything God does is with the intent of drawing us closer to Him. He wants everyone to come to repentance and to have faith in Him so that they will not perish but have eternal life that only comes through Jesus Christ. He is patient with you. As you learn and grow in Him, He knows you’re going to stumble and fall, but He stays by your side so that when you reach out, He’s right there to catch you. Oh how it pains Him when we ignore Him, or deny Him or sin against Him, but He is patient with us as we grow through His Holy Spirit and learn to cling to Him each day.
He wants a relationship with you
Sin stands between us and the Lord. It makes us want to deny Him, pull away from Him and ignore Him all together. But God, who loves you and I more than we can ever imagine, doesn’t want that for us. He wants us to live eternally with Him, and that’s why, even though we fail over and over again, He is patient. He loves you too much not to be.
 
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Posted by on March 18, 2013 in 2 Peter, My God is Patient

 

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