Question: Is Christ enough?


“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service.” (1 Timothy 1:12)

One of the most confusing things for me is that when a person needs salvation, we point them to Christ, but that same person can later develop struggles beyond our comprehension and the church suggests many secular treatment methods. The church refers people to A.A, the church quickly justifies mind-altering medication, children are on more medication than ever, we are anxious, we are depressed, we are stressed and the like…

Paul lived in some of the most extreme circumstances and he knew where his help rested. He understood that if he were to prosper in ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ had to be enough. Not just enough for his Salvation, not just enough for struggles, not just enough for justification, to sanctify, to redeem… But enough in all areas.

He can:

Do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine… (Ephesians 3:20)

Make all grace abound to you… (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Supply all your needs… (Philippians 4:19)

“but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him.” (1 John 2:5)

The word perfected here has the meaning of completeness, accomplishment, made perfect, working through the entire process. Our job is to trust in God and His Work and watch Him at work around us and reckon that He is enough.

Homework: think about a time or situation where God showed up in an amazing way in your life. Write about and share with someone else. He is enough.

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: Leviticus 11-13| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Nothing can separate you from God’s love, absolutely nothing. God is enough for time, God is enough for eternity. God is enough!” – Hannah Whitall Smith

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, Psalm 33:18






The Place N.T.


“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” — John 14:2-3 (NKJV)

The last time I was with you, I was talking about meeting God at a place where He directs you. Abram starts off with being told to leave his country and eventually his story gets filled up with places where he met with Elohim and the worship of Him that took place at each of those locations. If we look further down the timeline, we see that the time between the nation of Israel settling in Egypt and it’s exodus from there makes no mention of how they worshiped the God of Abraham. However, the perceived space between the Old Testament and the New is filled up with worship gone awry. You can find Malachi rebuking the Kingdom of Judah for its abuse of worship in his prophetic book, and if you look up the Maccabean Revolt you’ll read about how “Zealots Gone Wild” fought for their right to worship.

But then, in the midst of all the chaos, there is Jesus Christ.

For about 3.5 years, Jesus goes from place to place, on foot, to meet with people. The Father’s only Son performs miracles for the many, and only the few can seem to notice that He dares do this on The Sabbath, the Jewish day to worship YHVH, the great I AM…and He is standing right front of them, where if the eyes of their hearts were only opened, they could worship freely in His presence. But like I’ve said before, worship has changed over the centuries and in this time period, Rome has got its statues all over the place. It’s a struggle to keep the Jewish worship in line and all the new rules from the Talmud aren’t helping any, so who else is there but EGO EIMI (I AM) to bring order back into His House.

Enter the Upper Room. God’s only Son is having the Passover Seder with a bunch of guys who have followed Him from place to place and now they are all gathered at this place to hear what The Savior has to say. “Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, where are You going?'” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward” (John 13:36). Now those guys must be thinking, “What? I don’t get it” but Jesus will say unto them, “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” Jesus then tells them that He is going to place that He will prepare for those guys when they there. Pretty cool promise, but what’s the take away?

Jehovah-Jireh (“the LORD will provide”)

Ya see, for Abraham and the Disciples, a call was going to have to be answered by them and that call was going to take them through some pretty tough extremes, but in both cases, comfort was going to be provided at the end of the task ahead. For Abraham, a ram was provided to take Isaac’s place as a burnt offering, for the Disciples, there will be a place for them in the LORD’s house and the constant in it all is an only son, the only Son. I think that if these men remained at the places they were in life; their worship of a God unseen would have been a going through the motions kinda worship. Having no intestinal fortitude, therefore bringing God no glory. Might as well go worship a statue…. hmmm….

So, to answer the question from my last Freedom Fighter as to why did I venture outta my comfort zone and go against the grain of going to my usual places to be to get with God? Well, to be honest about the whole thing, I needed comfort and I found that by with being with people I haven’t gotten to know yet brought a change of step in my walk with the LORD. As with Abraham and the Disciples, my faith needed a bit of stretching and tweaking because my worship of El Elyon became mechanical. I kinda feel that if I did what was familiar to me the end results would have brought me compliance. My walk on the beach at Harvey Cedars, NJ was one where the sand was deep, the wind was at my face and the distance for it to end was waaayyyy out there.

But the whole experience of worshiping with men I just met, at a place I have never been to, listening to sermons that stretched my knowledge of El Elyon and praying in a different setting brought me back to what I feel was the right heart to worship El Elyon with again. I don’t doubt that God can meet us right where we are and minister to us but every so often, when we’re called, ya just gotta leave the country you’re in, go to the mountain He’ll show, enter into The Upper Room and come back to heart of worship. 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: Leviticus 5-7| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Did you ever stop to think that God is going to be as pleased to have you with Him in Heaven as you are to be there?” — A.W. Tozer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, Psalm 33:18


Hunger for Righteousness: Born from Death to Self

Men’s Fellowship Night is THIS Thursday, February 8 at 6:15PM. Call us at 800.453.7942 for tickets!


When in the Holy Spirit the soul becomes kin to the Apostles, the Prophets, and all the Saints and Righteous Ones, then she is irresistibly drawn to that world, and cannot remain, but is bothered, and thirsts, and cannot cease from prayer, and although the body becomes exhausted and wants to lie down on a bed, even while lying in bed the soul longs for the Lord and the Kingdom of the Saints.
~St. Silouan the Athonite

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
~ from Romans 6

Oh beloved, it is true.

Each of us has a moral compass. As C.S. Lewis has said, this is one of the best arguments for a Supreme Being. The problem for us, though, is not that we have a moral compass. The problem is our inability to get the settings right on the dial, and for us to follow said compass when we do.

There is, though, truly a way. It is driven by our hunger.

Some of what makes us hungry is what we eat. If we keep stuffing ourselves full of the junk from the world, we know that we will crave it more and more. This we understand. For each of us has come under the sway of a habit or issue that doesn’t help us, but we get stuck in the rut of doing the things we don’t want to do, over and over (Read the end of Romans 7 for Paul’s lament on this).

And still, Jesus, The King of The Universe said it this way: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

So, how can we get hungry for the things that will truly satisfy?

There is a part of us that will never be satisfied with anything. It is immature. It is temporary. It is fallen, and can never be redeemed. Paul called this part of us our old man, or the flesh. And NO, he was not saying that our physical bodies were evil. He was talking about that part of us that takes its cues from the body, to the exclusion of every other voice within us.

And, even though it is the most temporary part of us, it does have (sometimes and often) the loudest voice. It will wail and demand our attention. But, as each of us formerly lost boys at the Colony know, listening to our flesh will never (not ever) give us what we want.

Can we see it?

The passage above gives us some very important insights into what happened to us when we trusted Christ and followed Him. He says that we were actually baptized (immersed, drawn down into an overwhelming flood) in Christ Jesus. And this same Jesus, in His death on the cross, drew us even further down under into His very death. This is profound. It is not a theological nicety. It really is the core of how we develop a new appetite for good.

Because, if we keep reading the passage above, we find that while the death He died drew us down in His death, it also launched us up into a whole new Life altogether. The dead part of us stayed dead, but the alive part of us is alive in a whole new, and eternal sense. This life joins us into the very family of G_d, and makes us teammates with the apostles, and prophets, and great believers across the ages.

When we understand this, we see that we are no longer part of some temporary, tiny little life, where we are trying to just get a few thrills and kudos before we kick the bucket. We have no need for bucket lists. We have no need to listen to the tiny little, lying voice within us.

We find, instead, that we have been joined to a very large, and very ancient family. We find that our activities can matter, forever, if we will let them. We learn that the believing and joyful obedience of other in the past have worked together to save our lives.  And then we see it…. Our lives can do exactly the same thing. We are eternal beings who can make an eternal difference in the lives of others. When we see this, we truly begin to have deep motivation and even ravenous hunger to do the right thing.

So, are you struggling with trying to do the right thing? This fool of a writer does, and too often. Maybe it is time for both of us to remember what happened to us in our conversion, and how truly big the family we are a part of really is. Knowing we are different, and knowing we can make a difference truly changes what we are hungry for!

Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

The Daily Bible Reading: Exodus 25-27| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: It is impossible to draw near to God without sorrows, without which human righteousness cannot remain unchanged… If you desire virtue, than give yourself to every affliction, for afflictions produce humility. If someone abides in virtue without afflictions, the door of pride is opened to him.
~St. Isaac the Syrian

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, Psalm 33:18



…I Knew I Forgot Somethin’!


“Because My people have forgotten Me, they have burned incense to worthless idols. And they have caused themselves to stumble in their ways, From the ancient paths, to walk in pathways and not on a highway…” — Jeremiah 18:15 (NKJV)

You’d think I would have this morning routine stuff down solid, but I have those days where I just get complacent, jump in my truck, and drive off. I’ll get to the first traffic light which is about three quarters of a mile away and then it hits me, “I forgot my glasses again, idiot.” I’ll drive up to the nearest U-turn and head back home, get in the driveway, walk into the house, pick up my eyeglasses and head back out the door. Sometimes my wife will take a parting shot at me, sometimes she won’t, but all in all it isn’t too unusual for me to forget that which I need to be able to see things clearly. And for the record, I don’t really need my glasses to drive…yet.

The funny thing about forgetfulness is that it is a common occurrence and if we apply it to our spiritual condition we could be headed for a world of hurt, especially with the things of God. That’s why we fall into sin so easily. We’ll forget just how wicked sin can be and forget how much it cost Jesus Christ to save us from it. We forget that through what Jesus did for us on the cross, God the Father forgives us, so we’ll be hesitated to forgive others when we’re wronged. We’ll forget that when Jesus Christ rose from the grave death was conquered and a future in heaven, through Him, is assured. We’ll lose hope, get depressed, and walk around without any joy. We’ll open up a foothold and then be promptly reminded that there is a Devil.

This is why it is a good thing to keep a Bible around, if necessary, in every room of your house and in extreme situations, your vehicle, lunch box, back pocket (dare I say seared into your brain?) You can read the Book of Deuteronomy and see Moses warning the Israelites not to forget who brought them out of slavery. David has got a few Psalms that have “to bring to remembrance” in their titles (Psalms 38 and 70). The Apostle Paul told the church in Rome, “Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God” (Romans 15:15). Forgetfulness also had Paul send a young Pastoral prospect to the church in Corinth, “For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:17).

And then we have the guy who always forgot his place and would stick his proverbial foot in his mouth, Peter, penning stuff like, “add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For, if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins” (2 Peter 1:5b-9). Then, if you go into the third chapter of 2 Peter, you’ll get the sense of urgency as Peter conveys that you should remember the full counsel of God so that you, “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Once a month, those of us who claim Christ as Lord and Savior are called to partake in The Lord’s Supper. Most tables that the elements are placed on has “Do this in remembrance of Me” inscribed on them, and as much truth as there is there, the first thing we told to do is to examine ourselves. It’s your last chance to get to that U-turn, to go back and ask Him who is most worthy, and ask for forgiveness before you eat and drink unworthy. If you choose to ignore this simple heeding, you may find yourself not walking circumspectly, but as a fool like me, who gets complacent, forgets his glasses, and just drives off.

If we don’t have those moments of remembrance, so we can see clearly the dangers of this fallen world, we may find ourselves more lost than the ones who already know their lost…and are content with it.  So much so, that they’ll enjoy your company, take you further than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay and cost you more than you can afford. 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: Genesis 19-21| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do. We cannot save ourselves nor sanctify ourselves, God does that; but God will not give us good habits, He will not give us character us character, He will not make us walk aright. We have to do that ourselves…” — Oswald Chambers

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24



Do You Hear What I Hear?


Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,

Psalm 107:2

I was recently involved in a massive snow removal task at Keswick which became overwhelming as time went on. Many hours of digging out of an insurmountable blowing snow fall seemed like an uphill battle. On day two we seemed to be getting ahead of the endeavor, and I saw a coworker cleaning off his car so I stopped to give him a hand. We decided it would be a good idea to clean off other staff member’s cars who may find it challenging as well. I glanced over at my buddy and saw a shaking of the head and maybe even a tear in his eye. He shared with me the joy he had to “get to” serve others. You see, he remembers a time when he was cleaning the minimum snow off his car to be able to go buy drugs because of how dope sick he was. He said he remembers throwing up as he only had one mission in mind, get high. He then dropped his shovel, hands in the air, and looked up and praised God for his freedom. #GRATEFUL

Our walk through the sanctification process after receiving Christ can be dictated by a view of our circumstances. The different attitudes between optimism and pessimism that we exhibit usually have an impact on our growth. Psalm 107 has become an addict’s creed to a lot of us as we can see a pattern that is very familiar to our past lives. The ups and downs of an unstable walk that can be reversed by simply being grateful.

It’s more than beating an addiction, its being in a place where everything you hear and see is viewed through the eyes of “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” It’s a matter of seeing and hearing opportunity to live out a God ordained precept or to share the hope of salvation with someone who doesn’t know Jesus. To be able to clean snow off of another person’s car, because you can. The Psalmist goes on to record,

Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,

​​Bound in affliction and irons—

​​Because they rebelled against the words of God,

​​And despised the counsel of the Most High,

​​Therefore He brought down their heart with labor;

​​They fell down, and there was none to help.

​​Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,

​​And He saved them out of their distresses.

​​He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,

​​And broke their chains in pieces.

​​Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,

​​And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

For He has broken the gates of bronze,

​​And cut the bars of iron in two.

So, I’m wondering, “Do you hear what I hear”?

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

The Daily Bible Reading: Job 32-34| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Sanctification makes us holy and destroys the breed of sin, the love of sin and carnality. It makes us pure and whiter than snow. Bless His holy name!” – William J. Seymour

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. — Psalm 16:9





Decorations New


The holiday’s are now behind us, the pressure is off, and we can finally get back to normal life. No more agonizing over who will get presents and who won’t, which parties you’ll attend or skip, or if you should tell your house guest to stop leaving the hallway light on. Sure, it was stressful and it would be natural to just ‘do you’ and hit the ground running into 2018, but before you get too far, it would be wise to seize the opportunities God has given us while there’s still a remnant of Christmas cheer in the air. With the untold promises of 2018, people are especially in tune with all that’s broken in their lives. Just days ago, millions gathered to sing praises to the Lord (Psa 22:3), Christ was being exalted on secular radio stations, and unbelievers were busy giving glory to God by taking their eyes off themselves and focusing on others. With this new year, many of us declared, “enough is enough” and made bold resolutions to make the much needed changes in our lives. This nationwide call to introspection flooding our country can be a great opportunity to grow in Christ. While the rest of the world is reflecting, Christians should be preparing to busy themselves with the Lord’s work. The early days of a new year are unique, people’s defenses are down, their usual pride is weakened, and the usual defense mechanisms are low. They think they need a new diet, relationship, or updated wardrobe, but we are keenly aware of their need for Christ. In other words, ‘tis the season to share the Gospel.

I brought in the holidays with my future in-laws (who I hardly know.) They are sweet people and made me feel very welcomed. After a day or two (and lots of new names and faces) I realized that something unique was happening. Bitten by the new beginning bug, the topic of all of our conversations steered towards life and faith. As I perceived this recurring pattern, I recognized this as a prompting from God. I had planned my trip as a leisurely vacation, but God had other plans (Prov 16:19). As these divine opportunities manifested, I was focused, encouraged and compelled not to miss them. Time and time again I would be asked during organic conversation, “So Troy, what do you do?” I responded by sharing about the urban ministry I am a part of at New Hope Philly in Southwest Philadelphia, which led to more questions, and eventually, the opportunities to share Christ.

On Christmas Eve, I was involved in yet another discussion on faith. Uncle Jay, a Buddhist who was contemplating his own faith and resolutions, opened the dialogue by saying (in a deep Sri Lankan accent,) “I respect Jesus for the man and teacher he was, but…” He would go on to share his convictions on the power of self-will and indicted Christian liberty for being restrictive and stuffy. He thought I was weak for subjecting my life to Christ and His commandments. From six in the evening until midnight, the family discussed their respective worldviews. We spoke in depth specifically on Christ’s deity and whether He was justified to make such audacious demands on His followers. We amicably parted ways, and he thanked me for such “riveting dialogue.” The next day I slept through most of the morning and still woke up exhausted. Virtue had left me (Luke 8:46) and on the day I was supposed to be celebrating the birth of Jesus, I found myself dry and weary. As I reflected on the night before, I was discouraged. I was saddened that none of the nonbelievers who heard the Gospel gave their lives to Jesus. I felt rejected and insecure, and on more than one occasion, I was laughed at for my faith. I was certain God intended this trip for the works of His kingdom but didn’t understand why I was so ineffective. I turned to coffee and my Bible.

That afternoon I poured through the Scripture and soon sensed God’s Spirit ministering to me. My loving Father helped me see the situation from His perspective. I realized I wasn’t delighting in God’s sovereignty over my interactions. In the Apostle Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians he writes, “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you because our gospel came to you not only in word but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1 Thes 1:4-5a). God reminded me that if my encounters didn’t produce evidence of power, the Holy Spirit, and full conviction, it did not mean I did something wrong. At that moment the pressure was lifted, and my peace was restored.

My burden and concern for people’s relationships with God alone testified to His power at work within me. Christian witnessing and discipleship are never meant to produce discouragement or condemnation. We are not required to do God’s work in our strength nor are we responsible for the outcome of our efforts. We are only ever directed to step outside of ourselves and lay down the results of our encounters with Jesus. He has been faithful to everything ever committed to His care and will continuously lead us back to recognizing this as long as we acknowledge His worthiness to handle all entrusted to His capable hands.

More so than any other time of the year, people around us are open to looking within themselves; you possess the answers to their questions. This will require you to get outside of yourself and remember how Jesus hung naked disregarding the shame of the cross (Heb 12:2) so you could embrace a life you could have never earned or deserved. For the record, this is never easy, and it is a common temptation to withdraw, deflect, or altogether avoid the opportunities God has for us in these types of settings. Don’t do it! No matter how strained, or tired, or sick or wicked, resolve in yourself to walk through every door your Heavenly Father wills to open. Witness to the uncle Jays in your life. Don’t shy away from telling a Christian what the word of God says about their lives. In 2018, let’s encourage others to walk in the manner worthy of their calling (Eph 1:4). Most of all, remember that some plant and some water, but only God can bring the increase (1 Cor 3:6-7). God is able, and a difficult situation may need just one more sprinkle before a miracle can manifest.

Written by Troy Fink:  Troy is a colony graduate and serves on staff at New Hope Philly His email is His son Troy Jr. is his best bud and together they love to eat sushi and train martial arts.

The Daily Bible Reading: Job 21-29| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “God forbid that I should travel with anybody a quarter of an hour without speaking of Christ to them.” – George Whitefield

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. — Psalm 16:9


Shadow Puppets


“For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect” — Hebrews 10:1

I was always fascinated by shadows, I remember as a kid taking the lamp shade off of the lamp to give a bright light to create a bigger more intrusive cast. Another thing that intrigued me was when I was shown how to make shadow puppets by forming my hands to create images resembling rabbits, ducks, and other comical things.

The Bible talks about the law being a shadow of the things to come, something to follow until the true Image of the good things are here. The biggest hurdle Israel had to clear was moving from the ceremonial to the true and living God. The task of convincing them to move from sacrifice to the Sacrificed.

I would imagine the challenges of convincing someone that a Man born of a woman that lived among them is the One they need to move to. In Matthew 13:55-57 it’s recorded of Jesus’ peers saying, “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?  And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” So they were offended at Him.

The prophesy of Isaiah 9:6 starts with “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given”, The Child is the shadow, the Son is the Sacred. The Child speaks of an earthy being but the Son of an eternal One. Moving from the “Shadow to the Sacred” is the most important thing we do. Just like the Israelites, we can sometime become fixed on the shadow and miss the Sacred.

It would appear that the enemy has done a good job making shadow puppets out of the original Image cast by the Light, which the true meaning of Christmas was meant to be. We can be easily drawn away from the original image of the Baby that should lead us to become fixed on the Son. But now it seems we follow Puppets to resemble jolly man with a white beard in a red suit, or the tradition of over spending to purchase things to keep the “meaning of the season”.

Now I’m not trying to put a damper on the things that we do to celebrate, but just a reminder to move from the “Shadow to the Sacred.” To be able to represent the things that the true Image of Christ the Son which was given. I may glance at a Santa, but my eyes must be fixed on Jesus. I need to walk past the “Shadow Puppets” that the world tries to create with only a brief grin but smile on the Image of the Son.

Although we may even find this jolly man in some of our places of worship, let’s just hope and pray that the unsaved know that we have put our trust on the true Image.

Have a Blessed “Christ”mas season.

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

The Daily Bible Reading: Song of Solomon 5-6| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here


Daily Quote: “You can never truly enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the Father’s face and tell him you have received his Christmas gift.” – John R. Rice

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Romans 12:12


The Violent Obedience of Freedom


The purpose of the cross is to completely decimate your loyalty to the most seductive/powerful of all idols—the idol of self. ~David Tripp

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a Man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at His coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under His feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that He is excepted who put all things in subjection under Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to Him who put all things in subjection under Him, that God may be all in all.
~ Paul, The Least of The Apostles, Describing the game plan, in 1 Corinthians 15

Oh beloved, it is true.

When He saved us, He set us free. And, if we don’t get this early on, we can miss years of the joy of being a friend of G_d. We became a new creation in Him. This changed everything.

However, while the position of being free is real, the experience of it can be another thing altogether. There is, clinging to our spiritual frame, still a part of us that will never be redeemed. Mostly, it is because it is not nearly real enough to survive the cleansing fire of His Presence. It is, like anything fallen, a downgrade from what was meant to be.

The flesh.

And the worst thing about things that are incomplete, is that they beg to be validated and made more than they really are. So, the flesh will scream that it is still in control. And, since it is so close to the control centers of our body, it often can get its way.

However, the problem is that the promised pleasure and release of the flesh is a lie. So, with every allowance, we find ourselves more bound to a system that is broken and inhibiting, rather than freeing. Said more simply: Our rebellion does not set us free, it brings us into bondage.

Can we see it?

Jesus is the model for our true freedom. Jesus lived in such a way as to absolutely negate that aspect of His humanity that would disqualify Him from His mission to save us all. He lived a life of intentional, and even violent obedience to His Father. He followed through with a plan They had made before the foundations of the earth. He was obedient to the point of a torrentially difficult death on the Cross.

However, in submitting to what was right and true and noble and just and pure and lovely, This same Jesus attained a freedom and power over even death itself. He took the very keys to death and hell, and holds them now in His forever-living hands.

We are the fruit the follows the FirstFruit. He is The Way. And so, our obedience in our free surrender to Him needs to have the same vigorous intentionality. There needs to be an understanding with us that we too need to die, to gain the freedom He has for us. And without this ongoing surrender, there will not be freedom, there will only come the bondage of the flesh.

So, do you feel like you are struggling to be free? Perhaps the struggle is simpler than you think. Maybe it is simply time to – again – surrender to the One who models the path you require. This fool of a writer continues to learn this lesson, and maybe tonight is your night to learn it too.

Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 119| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here


Daily Quote: You see, then, that the grace in the gospel is not mere persuasion and entreaty, but a powerful work of the Spirit entering into the soul and changing it, and altering the inclination of the will heavenward. We must have great notions of the work of grace. The Scripture has great words of it. It is an alternation, a change, a new man, a new creation, a new birth. ~Richard Sibbes, from Glorious Freedom

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence. Psalm 140:13




Obedience to Blessing

Image result for abraham and isaac

“The promises of God trump the problems of life.”~ Inrig

Most of the greatest struggles I have faced have come later in life, and some of those struggles have been a direct result of having chosen to follow God’s path and not my desires, nor the appeal of cultural trends. But looking back I can honestly testify to the glory of our God, that He has always and faithfully provided for our every need.

Abraham learned this when God told him to sacrifice is heir and only son… the son of God’s promise through which he would become the father of nations, and by which all the world would be blessed. When Abraham acted in obedience to God’s Word, God intervened and provided a ‘substitute’ for the sacrifice, blessing Abraham with the son of the promise once again. The key to God’s blessing him is found in God’s response to Abraham’s obedience, “”Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”” (Genesis 22:12)

Releasing our grip on what we love the most in this life, into the hands of our Gracious God, is the act of faith He is looking for in order to release the blessings of Heaven into our lives. For as the writer of Hebrews testifies, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

It was here at Mount Moriah that Abraham came to know God as “Jehovah-Jireh” or “The Lord will provide”.

You can know Him in like manner; just answer one question, “What are you holding onto that you love more than our gracious and loving God?” Is it your family, reputation, career, dreams, will, yourself, a relationship, a vocation, riches, property…? There are many things we can idolize and even be addicted too; maybe God is calling to you today to let it go, placing it into His hands…? When you do, just like Abraham, your obedience will open up the gates to all of the promises of our faithful Heavenly Father.

Choose wisely….

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future….And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

(Jeremiah 29:11; Philippians 4:19)

Praying 4 U

Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.

The Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 6-10| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here


Daily Quote: “You express love by obedience.” – Jack Hyles

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High. Psalm 92:1

Faces of Alabaster


“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” — Exodus 20:4-6 (NKJV)

Sometimes watching or reading the news today makes my eyes bleed. I get to thinking that it might be better if I stab myself in the eye with a broken plastic fork than it is to watch a world that is going madder and madder by the minute. It also might do me good to not be able to hear either because words have turned ugly, their definitions are changing faster than the speed of light it seems, and to listen to it shatters my eardrums. All in all, it is becoming a struggle to be in the world BUT it is giving me every reason not to be of it. Guess Jesus and those guys from the 1st century church had some solid advice after all.

The saddest thing to me in all the chaos that is ensuing is the issue of taking down of statues and the erasing of history. First of all, there is stuff in our Bibles that give us insight when hearts are focused in on statues. The Golden Calf was turned into many glasses of Kool-Aid, Nebuchadnezzar’s statue got showed up by three Jewish boys in a fiery furnace and Jesus brought a new meaning to temples built by the hands of men. So, all in all, focusing in on the object is like…well Isaiah puts it like this:

“A person uses part of a tree for fuel and part of it for making an idol. With one part, he builds a fire to warm himself and bake bread; with the other part, he makes a god and worships it. With some of the wood he makes a fire; he roasts meat, eats it, and is satisfied. He warms himself and says, “How nice and warm! What a beautiful fire!” The rest of the wood he makes into an idol, and then he bows down and worships it. He prays to it and says, “You are my god—save me!” Such people are too stupid to know what they are doing. They close their eyes and their minds to the truth.” (Isaiah 44:15-18 GNT)

And the second and biggest thing of all is (and this is if you understand that we must take in the full counsel of Scripture) we weren’t supposed to carve images of anything anyway. But did we listen? NO!!! What we were supposed to do was to raise up an Ebenezer or build altars to El Elyon out of stones of remembrance, but faces of people that are flawed weren’t up to consideration…ever. But for some crazed reason statues have been erected, over the centuries, to “honor” moments or people in history

Granted, there are events and people in history that need to be remembered and I guess the statue helps, but we shouldn’t let it be allowed to tell one side of the history behind it. Like a coin, there are three sides to consider. Heads can be your side, tails can be their side and that thin edge around the outside where the truth is. This is why we have God’s Word in book form. We can turn back the pages of our Bibles and find many reasons why we are flawed people who have done stupid things and needed help from The Most-High God.

Former Presidential candidate, Herman Cain, has recently come out and said, “Tell you what: Why don’t you erase from history every reference to a person who had a serious character flaw? Do that and you’ll have very short history books. You’ll be able to get through a semester in a day or two. There will be almost nothing you would be able to teach.” I gotta agree with him. After all, we are not gonna get any further ahead if we don’t understand what needs to be left behind. Wander in the wilderness for 40 years, you’ll figure it out.

So, what are we gonna do with the faces of alabaster? Well if taking them down helps in the healing process then so be it, but that shouldn’t be the mighty pencil eraser to written history. That Golden Calf deserved what it got from Moses, but I’m not too sure if turning it into Kool Aid was a nice thing to do but those who made and danced around it NEVER did something that dumb again. King Nebbie eventually became a dog and ate grass, Rome tore down Herod’s Temple, and Jesus Christ isn’t on the Cross anymore. Why do I know these things? Pure and simple…you can try real hard but you can’t erase history, especially Kingdom history. If this works in God’s economy why can’t it work in our own? 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: Hosea 1-7| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here


Daily Quote: “An idol of the mind is as offensive to God as an idol of the hand.” — A.W. Tozer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16-7