Run Amok

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Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. –– Romans 6:12

Run amok was a phrase I remember hearing when things were chaotic. It was often referenced to a situation that was out of control. A parent that feels defeated because their children are misbehaving or even worse, a public protest or demonstration that turns into a riot. It seems to me that children misbehaving is within the parent’s control, a riot on the other hand can get out of control. If we allow sin to reign it will “Run Amok”

“Do not let”, a phrase that indicates responsibility. “Can’t vs Won’t”, a term that tries to remove responsibility. On the heels of celebrating the victory won by our Savior Jesus Christ, it’s important for me to remember what that victory is. It’s easy for me to take a seat on the sidelines and cheer my Savior on as he defeats death and the grave, but the scriptures tell us that if we belong to Christ we are in the game with Him. There’s a truth that is found as we see our position in Christ that invites us to also die,

This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.. (2nd Timothy 2:11)

I believe there are many times we as Christians do not understand the exchange that takes place when we are saved.

There is a concept that leads us from can’t to wont, “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:11. To allow sin to have its way in our lives is not what we are supposed to be doing. “Do not let”, tells me I can’t sit back and say “I can’t.” We don’t want to confuse this with self will power, but the understanding that we can be overcomers because of what Jesus did.

I can usually tell the difference as to whether I’m doing it in my own strength or relying on the power of Christ in me. If I find myself defensive or entitled it’s always fueled by the flesh, if I’m aware of the spiritual battle that is taking place and I relinquish my rights and allow the Holy Spirit to have control over my emotions. Sinful behavior is the same thing, I can either say “I can’t” and continue in it or I won’t and make a choice to walk in victory.

I think we can all agree that this world has “Run Amok”, and we as believers know the only true peace comes from God. Let’s rejoice today and live out our lives as a testimony to the victory we have in Christ. Amen!

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob Russomano is married to Terri, and serves with her as full time staff members. He is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.

The Daily Bible Reading: Judges 13-15| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “This day, my God, I hate sin not because it damns me, but because it has done Thee wrong. To have grieved my God is the worst grief to me.” – Charles Spurgeon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.
Psalm 71:14

 

 

 

 

Precious

A man with his head bowed and holding a holy bible in prayer

To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. — 2nd Peter 1:1b

I often reference the scriptures by identifying the author and audience. Who is writing and to whom is he writing to? Sometimes it’s a personal note to a specific individual or group, it can be a prayer to God, we see a lot of warnings and admonishments, and then we see some that are intended for us, personally. I’d like to take a moment and recognize the treasure of what Peter calls “Precious Faith.”

Now, we know that, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” But there are certain times where the words on the page become amplified. When I see, “To those who have obtained like precious faith,” it  is something that I should be able to utilize to dissolve an ailment like rejection or loneliness, to know that if I’m a believer in Jesus that I have been given a “Precious” gift that unites you and I together.

In the quietness of personal devotion time, may the reminder of this truth unite us as we face a world that seems to be all about division.

With the emphasis on the word “precious,” we move from good to great, held in honor, esteemed, especially dear, as of a great price are some of the definitions of this emphasis. This gift of faith that unites us is something to be valued. Peter instructs us “that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”.

This “Precious Faith” should be what identifies us as believers, Peter bases his two epistles on trusting in the faith we’ve been given. He says in his first letter, ”Tthat the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ”.

When we treasure the gift that has been given us, there is a manifestation that takes place that reveals the glory of God. So, as we walk our walk, even if there’s not another believer around we are still united through the “Precious Faith” that sustains us until we are “Home”, safe and sound. Amen!

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob Russomano is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.

The Daily Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 13-15| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Daily living by faith on Christ is what makes the difference between the sickly and the healthy Christian, between the defeated and the victorious saint.” – A. W. Pink

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. Romans 14:6

 

 

I’m Not Superman

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“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” – Genesis 3:5 (NKJV) 

I have those days where I say to myself, “When I get into heaven I’m gonna find Adam and kick him the tail and ask him how could he let it happen!!” Of course, what I am referring to is letting Eve have that little debate in The Garden with The Serpent. We all know she lost, but in actuality did she really stand a chance? The chapter does start with “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made” (Genesis 3:1a). So that would pretty much do it, but I do pause to scratch my head for a moment and wonder “Does Satan think we were just “beasts of the field?” Adam was created from dirt. Hmmm…

Anyway, what I can say is he doesn’t have a healthy viewpoint of us, that’s for sure. At one moment, he tells us we can be like God, but he himself has already placed a claim on that position. In the Book of Isaiah, we hear him say, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Now that doesn’t sound like we’re getting joint custody anytime soon, but what it has lead us to believe is that we’re gonna evolve into a godhood state. After all, if he could do it why can’t we and we do play it out every day as a people. We either force or persuade our wills upon others as if they have no will of their own and expect them to just fall into line because we said so. Yeah Right!!

It’s like we’ve tapped into some cosmic consciousness and our thoughts are higher than of those who are around us…and maybe even YHVH, Himself. I kinda thought this was a funny statement made by W.L. Wilmhurst, “The evolution of man into superman was always the purpose of the ancient mysteries [that is, the secret power trips, the occultisms]. Man who has sprung from the earth and developed through the lower kingdoms of nature to his present rational state has yet to complete his evolution by becoming a god-like being and unifying his conscious with omniscient.” My guess this dude hasn’t seen the 21st century and its stuff like this that says to me “Does Satan think we’re just ‘beasts of the field?’ Adam was created from dirt. Hmmm…”

And even in that statement there is no room for everyone. SOMEBODY has got to be a lesser than, but in this present prideful society that we are living in those somebodies are getting to be fewer and fewer. They are being replaced by a people whose mindset says they should actually think themselves higher then they ought to but even in this thought pattern we all can’t be sharing the Most High’s throne. So, we’ve reverted to condescending speech and we hurl insults towards each other as if we are actually able to put SOMEBODY, ANY BODY in their place to assure our seat above all others. Sad, but true. Once again, I pause for a moment to scratch my head and wonder, “Does Satan think we’re just ‘beasts of the field?’ Adam was created from dirt. Hmmm…”

Here’s where I am going with this rant today… “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). You may not behave like it, but if you are thinking as this present society finds acceptable ,then you’ve played right into your adversary’s hands. You don’t have to be breaking the basic 10 to be doing the wrong thing. Wiping your brow and saying to yourself “Thank God I’m a Christian” may not too advisable if you don’t understand this basic principle, “God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:17).

If I were to go thinking that the deception in The Garden went unnoticed by The Creator, then I just might have a leg to stand on when I go to kick Adam in the tail… but that is the big lie. There isn’t anything that goes unnoticed and there isn’t anything too big for my God to handle. It, more than likely, was already in the mix that Jesus Christ was coming to save all of us as soon as that crafty old Serpent thought to himself, “They ain’t no better than the beasts of the field. Adam was made from dirt.”

Our problem in this is the wearing of Superman’s cape. We may look good in it, it may be comfortable, but it isn’t Jesus Christ. Besides, The Creator isn’t looking for what you created for yourself when you stand before the Bema Seat, He’s looking for Jesus. The One who pulls you out of the dirt and sets you along the narrow road. So don’t take yourself too seriously, like you, I’m not Superman either. Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Proverbs 22| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “They who follow a merely human Savior follow no Savior at all, but an ideal only, and one furthermore that can do no more than mock their weakness and sins.” — Aiden Wilson Tozer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.” Revelation 11:17

 

 

God’s Presentation

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“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” (Romans 6:13)

I learned a few things in my short time here in the world, some profound, other general information, and some are just useless facts. One of those things, though I don’t know what category it falls in, is to dress according to the place, situation, occasion, and the like. If I’m in a court room, I must present myself in regards to the court. Job interviews alone require various attire on their own. Sports, parties, work, beach, even going to Church has a… I’m going to leave that alone. A costume for every event is a presentation.

The presentation or the representation of our members are extremely important for ourselves, the gospel, and moreover to glorify Our Lord and Savior Jesus of Christ. The way we present our members demonstrates the impact Christ has had on our life. It gives a lost world hope, a struggling believer a purpose, the name of Jesus magnified.

In my luxurious career in sin, you never had to question my level of depravity. It was obvious and I represented well, how much more should we present these new members to for the kingdom. The New Living translation states it like this, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10) We are God’s presentation, masterpiece, artwork; represent.

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 63-65| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: The clothes we wear are what people see. Only God can look on the heart. The outward signs are important. They reveal something of what is inside. If charity is there, it will become visible outwardly, but if you have no charitable feelings, you can still obey the command. Put it on as simply and consciously as you put on a coat. You choose it; you pick it up; you put it on. This is what you want to wear.”

– Elisabeth Elliot

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” 1 Peter 1:8

 

The Abundant Christian Life Part 1

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“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”- Jesus

What is the abundant Christian life? I was asked this very controversial question and I extended it to my Christian community. And, just like I thought, there was an array of different perception; all helpful. Here is the overview!

It looks like a life of gratitude that leads to obedience. Faith and trust in God is the most peaceful and secure place a person can be. The abundant Christian life looks peaceful, joyful, and full of self control. It looks like everything makes sense because behind every action, in the abundant Christian life, is the very Spirit of God and that is made very clear through a believer’s actions.

All of Him, none of me. Pressing into Him regardless of circumstances or situations that may be telling me otherwise. It’s the understanding and knowing the victory has already been won and my responsibility is to ground myself in my new identity, which He has freely given to us, and then my actions and behaviors will follow.

If there is a “look” it can be simply described as obedience and is observable regardless of external circumstances. The abundant Christian life is a life that walks by faith and not by sight. It is a life in constant pursuit of the giver of gifts, NOT the gifts that may come from the giver. Living out of our identity in Christ.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalms 91:14-16 ESV

The abundant life is lining up with God’s perception, not the accumulation of good circumstances, accomplishment, or tangible possessions. It looks like things unachievable through my own strength, but working it out everyday through the power of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Freedom from addiction is being forgiven of addiction. The abundant Christian life doesn’t necessarily have a “look” rather it is truth, abiding, and growing within.

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 36; Proverbs 6

Daily Quote: “The Christian life is not merely knowing or hearing, but doing the will of Christ.” – Frederick W. Robertson

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18