W.D.J.W.

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“For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God Forever and ever.” — Micah 4:5 (NKJV)

There was a report that was put by the European Society of Cardiology a few years back that has claimed that daily walking would trigger an anti-aging process and help repair old DNA. I am not exactly sure how true that is, because I claim to walk anywhere from 7-10 miles a day on the grounds of where I work and by the end of the day my knees are pleading for mercy. The report also says that walking is better than sitting. Apparently sitting for more than 8 hours a day is associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Once again, I am not too sure how true that is, but I ain’t no doctor so what do I know? Anyway…

I’m sure you’ve looked at todays title and have wondered what I am trying to convey to you. Well, we have the famous W.W.J.D (what would Jesus do) but mine is simple, why did Jesus walk? Now, just to get the smarty pants outta me, I will go to say that it wasn’t like Jesus could hail a cab as if He was in N.Y.C. On the contrary, walking was the everyday way to get around back in those early B.C/A.D. days. Yeah, of course they had the horse and chariot/wagon but that’s a topic for another time. Besides, when we look at Scripture, the only time Jesus didn’t walk into or to a place was during the Triumphal Entry and that was on a donkey per Scripture being fulfilled. Anyway…

 

If we were to do a study into what is said about walking in Scripture, you could find an endless trail of possibilities on the benefits of walking with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. But I think the most intimate walk with Jesus comes to us in Luke’s Gospel, chapter 24:13-35.  “And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32). That road was the one going from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Now if we were to do the math, the average time to walk a mile is about 15 minutes, multiply that by the distance from Jerusalem to Emmaus, which was about 7 miles and we get there in under an hour in a half. Just enough time to take a crash course on an Old Testament survey.

We can also find a very daring walk that was taken. In Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 14:22-33, he says “And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid’” (Matthew 14:26-27). Even though we see this as a test of Peter’s faith, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water,” we really need to see this as a prime reason we all need to look to Jesus when the storms of life rage upon us. Even if we take that step of faith and begin to walk towards Jesus our focus needs to remain there but isn’t reassuring that if we do start to sink into the turbulent waters the hand of Jesus is at the ready.

So, why did Jesus walk? For me, the answer is quite simple, it is to let us know that He is willing to come to us and bring us His comfort and compassion…and maybe we ought to follow the example. So many Pastors, Elders, and church Deacons will say to their congregations, “If you need prayer, come up front” and that’s fine. We are called to present ourselves on the altar and it needs to be done from time to time, however, how many of us who have been given the title of pastor, elder, or deacon have said to our congregations, “We will be walking the aisles, if you need prayer, please reach out and grab one of us?” This may be a radical idea but I kinda thought we served a radical Savior who wanted us to know that the One who is called Elohim, The Creator, is there to reach out and save us from the mess we got ourselves into. It is in this that we will find that walking has its benefits. 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: Malachi| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Those who walk with God, always reach their destinations.” — Henry Ford

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; Colossians 4:2

A Place Called Freedom

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“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

— 2nd Corinthians 3:17

There are times I get lost in thought and my wife will ask, “where are you?” The question is not a location inquiry, but a mental one. We all can get lost in thought but the question is, where do you reside?

If someone were to ask you “were do you live” would you think to answer with a mental description rather than a physical place? Instead of giving them your address give them your positional circumstances. We all visit different types of emotions as we go through life, but where do you live? How would you describe the majority of your thought life?

In the 2nd letter to the Corinthian church, Paul seems to be trying to move people from the life of bondage to a life of freedom by liberating them through the truth of the New Covenant. “For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory” (2nd Corinthians 3:9). There are not many of us living by the law, but we are also not residing in freedom. Freedom comes with the acknowledgement and understanding that we are free in Christ, saved by Grace. For me to legitimately put this into practice it helps to think of it as my residence. “Where do you live,” bondage or freedom? There’s a place called Freedom and like the song lyrics say, referring to Christ, “And where you are, I am free. Holiness is Christ in me. Lord I need You, oh I need You, every hour I need You, my one defense, my Righteousness, oh God, how I need You.”

I think what we believe to be true will determine our outlook on life. The fact that we have the Holy Spirit of God in us that helps us interpret the scriptures should help us to live in freedom. This place called freedom is the location of the absence of bondage, it frees us from the things that hold us back and keep us content. Paul writes to the Galatian church in chapter 5, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” The deception can be if we abuse freedom it turns into bondage, with freedom comes responsibility. For you were called to freedom, brothers. Paul warns us also in Galatians 5, “Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

The directions to get to the freedom destination is through faith and viewing life’s challenges through God’s promises, listen to James chapter 1. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. “Lacking in nothing” is another description for freedom.

If you’re living in defeat put a “For Sale” sign up and move to the neighborhood where Freedom is found, on Jesus Street. 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: Ecclesiastes 1-2| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “To secure one’s freedom the Christian must experience God’s light which is God’s truth.” –  Watchman Nee

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:20-21v

 

What Is And What Should Never Be

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“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” — Matthew 7:14

“And if your friends jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge…” still echoes in my head when I find myself looking around and wanting to join in the so-called ‘fun.’ Truth of the matter, there are things that happen and then there are things that should have never happened. In the midst of all this mayhem is God’s sovereignty.

Making decisions in our everyday life can be a burdensome task, but it does seem that some decisions have become easier. I can remember a time where making the right choice was more than just not doing what I really wanted to do but watching everyone else do it and seemingly getting away with it. When I first entered the work force as a full time employee, I worked for a construction company. My boss, Mr. Harvey (not you Tim) was the first person in and the last to leave, he also watched like a hawk to make sure we were working. I had friends that worked at places where there was little to no supervision and sat around all day doing nothing. Today I credit my work ethic to Mr. Harvey and am thankful for the way he demanded proper productivity.

Unfortunately, my spiritual life is not that easy. These symbolic gates are the reference points I use on a daily bases, I can relate to the Psalmist in Psalm 73,

“But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;

​​My steps had nearly slipped.

For I was envious of the boastful,

​​When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

This picture of getting my eyes off the path that leads through this narrow gate is what I can get caught up in and then the battle is on. I’ve learned from experience that when I choose the wide gate, things that should never be, happen. So the old song lyrics serve as foresight into future events. The gate I choose to walk through will determine “What is and what should never be.”

There might not be the pull to enter the gate the world uses today, but if we’re not careful, the distaste for those who walk according to the flesh can cause us to become bitter and angry and may even cause us to have hatred towards the people instead of towards their sin. In that case, we technically are walking alongside them through that wide gate.

Let’s do what the Psalmist did,

When I thought how to understand this,

​​It was too painful for me—

Until I went into the sanctuary of God;

​​Then I understood their end.

​But it is good for me to draw near to God;

​​I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,

​​That I may declare all Your works.” 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: Proverbs 23-24| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “The essence of temptation is the invitation to live independently of God.” – Neil T. Anderson

 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

 

 

 

 

 

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

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“Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.” – Romans 11:22

“We bend over backwards for you”, I can still hear my Dad saying as he looked down on an ungrateful and discontent child. We weren’t rich, but I had more than most kids growing up. But it was never enough. Now that I’m old(er), I can look back and see how I abused my parents.

Truth be told, I still find myself with an attitude of “What have you done for me lately” towards God. It’s usually in those times when I’m not getting my way or I’m looking around at what everyone else has or to see those who are taking advantage of God’s people and “seem” to be getting away with it.

The statement in Chapter 11 of Romans warns us to be careful to “continue in His goodness.” I take that as being thankful and content in the place God has me. I don’t have to like it but compared to most I’m blessed, and He’ll deal with the injustice in His time.

The picture I see drawn in this very difficult chapter in the Bible is to keep verses 33 – 36 as the key verse of the chapter.

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen

This is when we decide to get on the Bus and enjoy the ride, the best part of a bus trip is the old slogan “leave the driving to us.” The difference is that God is driving and is inviting us to climb aboard, only thing is follow Jude’s instructions in verses 20,21 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

So the answer to my question “What have You done for me lately” is “more than I deserve.” 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: Psalm 37; Proverbs 7

Daily Quote: “”No matter what our circumstance, we can find a reason to be thankful.”  – David Jeremiah

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