Forgiveness – Part 1

I was driving the other day and watched as 2 cars stopped in the middle of traffic to pick up a lost box turtle and walk it 50 yards to the nearest pond while dozens of cars were backed up behind them. Now the turtle was not in any clear and present danger, yet yielded such a provactive response and outpouring of love.

On the flip side, every week I watch hundreds of us walk by and drive by lost human beings, who are suffering and we do not lead them to water or even bring the water to them to drink.

I thank the Lord that He shined a light on this for me. It is indicative of how “hurt” we are as a society. We have all been hurt, people have stabbed us in the back, cheated us, lied to us, physically, emotionally and mentally abused us and we are DONE with people!

This is the symptom, but I submit to you that Unforgiveness is the disease. If you’ve been hurt you MUST forgive. Carrying around a root of bitterness is like you drinking poison and hoping it hurts the other person. It doesn’t it’s only hurting you! Jesus modeled forgiveness many times and told us this is the path to righteousness.

Jesus always took it to another level though and actually told Peter in Matthew 18:21-22, I’m not telling you to forgive once, I’m telling you to forgive an unlimited amount of times and even for the same offense! Blessings to the One who comes in the name of the Lord!

I do not think it could be much more clear than Matthew 6:14-15, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

I pray for a softening of our hearts and a Spirit of forgiveness to fall on us so that WE may be free. Unforgiveness is keeping us prisoners not the violater! Give it to Jesus. Be set free!! This is my prayer for YOU this week!

Be Blessed and Be Free!

A. Freeman

Which Thief Are You?

One of the biggest blessings derived from reading scripture regularly is how God can take the “same ole story”, that I’ve heard “a thousand times”, and instantly allow me to see something I’ve never seen before. I truly feel my spirit leap with joy as fresh revelation drops.

Well, today I want to contemplate the scene at Calvary on crucifixion day. Specifically, let’s focus on the thieves. These guys have never really stood out to me until today, but I now believe they were very symbolic for the fate of ALL humanity! The Gospel of Luke reveals the imagery that dreadful and beautiful day:

“Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.

One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:32-33, 39-43‬ ‭NLT

I believe the whole of humanity is adequately represented right here at Calvary. The entire history and future of mankind is embodied in this one moment in time. Here you have Christ, the savior, the Messiah, spun between the men that represented all of those He was sent to save. The men were both sinners, just like you and me, yet they represented two distinct camps that every human being in the world happens to belong:

There is the thief (sinner) on His left, that is sentenced to death for his sins, that refuses to believe that Jesus is who He’s says He is, the redeemer, the SON OF GOD.   Then there is the thief (sinner) on His right, that is sentenced to death for his sins, and acknowledges his guilt before the Lord, acknowledges Jesus sinless nature and acknowledges in his heart Jesus’ sacrifice and His Lordship. By simply believing in the name of Jesus his eternal death sentence is anulled and that very day he walked with Jesus in paradise. Oh Blessings to the One who Comes in the Name of the Lord, Christ Jesus!

Friends, these three men weren’t there by happenstance! They didn’t just happen to be on His right and left with Jesus spanning the sea of sin between them! They didn’t just happen to have this commentary, for the whole world to see, in the last minutes of Jesus’ life! This was the sword of the Spirit cutting between bone and marrow, asking the question to all mankind, “Which thief represents your heart?” “Are you the sinner that believes in the name of Jesus as Lord and Savior of the world or the sinner the mocks the name of Jesus?” “Where do you stand today, friend?”

Rest assured my friends, just as the day of judgment came for the thieves and the unblemished Lamb of God, our day of judgement will come when we say, “Jesus, do you remember me?” The day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Today he’s asking you to believe in Him as Lord of your life and for you to step down from the throne and let Him take His rightful place on the throne of your heart. If you are prepared to make that decision then you too brother and sisters will have eternal communion with our Lord. Thank you Holy Spirit!

Be Blessed and Be Free!

A. Freeman

 

Has God Changed?

What has happened in 4000 years?

There was a time when the greatest warriors in the world, a race of giants, the sons of Amak, feared the Israelite people. Not because the Israelites were bigger or stronger, but simply because the God that manifested himself before them terrified the giants!!! These giants were the most feared people on earth yet they recognized and feared Gods power.

What has happened today that Gods people are ridiculed and mocked? Is it because we do not exhibit Gods power? Is it because God will not manifest himself through a Luke warm church? Maybe it’s because of what we, the Church, believe about ourselves. Do we believe the power of God is still available to us? Do we have the faith to pray for healing for others, to believe for victory in our lives? Do we believe that God is everything He says He is and when we pray in agreement with His will and in the name of Jesus Christ, that our prayers are answered?

I promise you the power of our Majestic, Powerful, Creator, Healer, Provider Lord has not changed. The only thing that has changed is the fervency of the heart of the believer. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you! (Matthew 6:33)

Jesus’s church should be feared and respected because of the power of the Lord Almighty. However, until we exhibit the Fear of the Lord and total devotion to a Holy Spirit led life we will not achieve what the ancient Israelites achieved. Holy Spirit power is still available and He manifests himself daily, but we must come to the foot of the cross and be cleansed to receive.

Leave the world behind, step down from the throne of your heart and allow Jesus to to take His rightful place. Then the power of Abba will be glorified!!!

Be Blessed and Be Free!!

A. Freeman

 

The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God is near. It is not very far, the Kingdom of God is here, amongst us all, the called.

The Kingdom of God is a family. A group of believers, The Kingdom of God is all of those that have listened and been receivers.

The Kingdom of God is me, the Kingdom of God is you, the Kingdom of God are brothers and sisters that have heard the Word and grew.

The Kingdom of God is the Church, the body of Christ Jesus. Put your faith in Him my child all you have to do is receive Him.

The Kingdom of God is here and now, not in some distant land. The Kingdom of God has arrived, our Fathers glorious plan.

Arise the King of the Kingdom, take your seat at the right hand, and continue to pray for your Kingdom, a brotherhood of man.

Look upon your Christian soldiers, please see us and our hearts, walking in the light and sharing your Word, amongst a world that is apart.

Jesus, King, pray for your Kingdom, we need your intercession, give us strength King of Kings, so we can accomplish this precious mission.

We are your church, the Kingdom of God is hand, smile upon us now, this fellowship of man.

We are your church, you have our hearts, see us King of Kings, we will never ever part.

For what King loves his Kingdom enough to die, to sacrifice his life so that his Kingdom may thrive?

Only you precious Messiah, only you have loved enough, to sacrifice yourself, to bring us righteousness.

You are the King, and we are the Kingdom, let your will be done, now and forever!

Let all the Kingdom arise and let all of our enemies be scattered, for the King is on the throne, and his flock is being gathered.

The Kingdom of God is here, so let us walk in truth, the day of Christ is upon us and we must spread the news. Amen!

Be Blessed and Be Free!

The Struggle to Preserve Death is Real!

We recently had Tropical Storm Hermine come through Florida and impact our coastal cities. We received some winds, heavy rains and flooding. Lots and lots of water standing everywhere.

In the aftermath, our ditches on our property got full of rainwater and subsequently full of tadpoles and mosquito fish. Now mosquito fish are pretty valuable because they feed on mosquito larvae and that’s a good thing to help keep the mosquito population down. After the storm waters start to recede the minnows will eventually die in the dried up ditches.

So I decided to go out and scoop the mosquito fish out of the ditch and put them in our ponds so they could have an abundance of water, abundance of mosquito larvae and of course avoid a certain death.  Well, much to my chagrin, these little boogers were not that easy to catch. Every time I would try to scoop them, they would race to the other end of the ditch, then through the storm sewer.

Meanwhile as I am working I am seeing the water levels going down. It suddenly occurred to me with great sadness, “If they only recognized I’m trying to help them. If they only realized I am trying to save them from certain death. If they only had eyes to see that on the other side of their surrender is a large pond, with abundant sources of life giving resources!” If they only realized, but they were fighting and struggling to preserve a certain death.

I don’t know about you, but I could relate to those fish. I fought and struggled to preserve my certain spiritual death for many years. I didn’t recognize the large pond of living water that was available to me on the other side of surrender. Sometimes when it feels like we are fighting for our lives, we are actually fighting to preserve death. The solution is surrendering to Jesus. He is the net that can capture us and set us free. These are Jesus words:

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Once again here is Jesus himself talking:

“Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”
‭‭John‬ ‭7:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What are you waiting for? The sunlight of the Spirit awaits you. Life more abundantly. Freedom from death. It’s a choice, it’s your choice to receive your blessing.

Be Blessed and Be Free!

A. Freeman

Satan’s favorite charge…HYPOCRISY!

imageThere are so many believers and non believers that don’t really understand what happened on the cross and subsequently the principle of grace. These people use Christianity as a weapon. When a believer misses the mark and acts out in his/her humanism, the attacker questions the level of that persons “Christian commitment”. Using comments like “real Christian you are” or “wow, you’re a great example of Jesus, aren’t you?” Doesn’t this just look and smell like an attack from the enemy?

I believe this is one of the best works of Satan. Using Christianity against itself to beat a Christian down. A form of persecution and mockery. The enemy loves to set the expectation of the “perfect Christian”, but guess what no one has ever lived the perfect Christian life. It’s a lie from the master of lies, Satan.

Here’s the truth: Paul says, “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:22-24‬

Paul goes to great length in Romans 7:14-25 to simply explain, we sin because we are sinners. We sin because the sin is within us, it’s our nature. It is our inheritance. It the humanness within us that makes us sin.

So don’t ever believe the lie of “you’re not good enough” or “you’re a hypocrite” or “you’re not a good enough Christian” as a weapon against your relationship with Christ. To me it is a form of blasphemy and is pure evil. It completely insults Jesus Christ, His ministry, and what was accomplished on the cross and the tomb. It is a mocking spirit, and a lie and the best defense is knowing that you are who Christ says you are. You are a precious child of God, who is deeply loved, flaws and all. Holy Spirit will continue to counsel, coach and shape us until the day of Christ Jesus. In Jesus name.

Brokenness is a Victory!

imageOh the pain this fallen world can grant us. Death, failure, fear, broken relationships are all part of this world we live in today. There is no escaping the horrible things that we must walk through in this life. A friend of mine recently lost a child and the pain was unbearable. He was so broken, so angry with God, it was debilitating to the point of not being able to function. However, is this tipping point not a blessing?

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In our weakness He is strong. It’s not until we come to the end of ourselves, to the end of our strength that His power can be perfected. When I am weak then only am I strong in Christ Jesus! The presence of self confidence, that “I’ve got this” attitude, in  a mans life means the departure of heavenly strength. I see people all the time that think they have it all figured out, that they are good decision makers, that insist on continuing to do things “their way” and continue to get crushed.

REJOICE THOUGH!! Self will and self determination is the mechanism God uses to bring us to the end of our own resources! Oh happy day!! It is when we are most broken, I mean really really at the end of ourselves, we are at the threshold of a new world of discovery and adventure in the will and purpose of God.

So rejoice, God has not abandoned you in your time of need! All of His dealings with you and me are designed with one sovereign objective, to bring us to the end of our resources!

First, acknowledge that you are broken and can’t run your life under your own power. Next, surrender your life to God and ask Him to take control of everything! Every part of your life not just the areas you are willing to let Him have. Rebuke the enemy and the spirit of self will and self confidence, asking God to fill you with His Holy Spirit in its place.

I pray that in this time of suffering you will find the Truth!

Be Blessed and Be Free!

A. Freeman

Swerve, Stop or Pray?

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There was a piece of debris tumbling down I75 on my way home from Lake Oconee, Georgia. Here I am in a Suburban towing a 26′ 8500 lb yellowfin center console boat, and this whatever, is coming right at my center bumper to drivers side front tire. Every driver has experienced this moment…instinct #1 is to swerve hard to avoid the obstacle. The problem with instinct one when going at high speed the swerve could be a deadly mistake. Instinct #2 is to slam on the brakes. On the surface that seems like an ok option but you’ve got people behind you and so much momentum, chances are this will turn out ugly. The least instinctual option is stay the course and slow down and wait for things to develop. Well, that’s what I did and wouldn’t you know the plastic pot that was skipping along the road missed us altogether.

There really is a spiritual lesson here. How many times does God give us a purpose, direction or a calling, however, you want to phrase it, and we are cruising along with a heavy load, maybe even a lot of people and inertia behind us and an obstacle comes barreling towards us? Our first instinct is to quickly swerve and change course or slam on brakes and quit, but think of all of the collisions that can occur when we follow our first instinct. Is it not a better strategy to cautiously slow down and rest in the cover of Gods promise, to always be working things out for good for those who follow him?

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Just like that plastic pot, chances are the obstacle will skip right on by and God will have used the obstacle to build our faith. Alternatively, we may receive clear guidance and confirmation that we do indeed need to stop and recalibrate because we took a wrong turn.

Be blessed and Be Free!

A. Freeman

Me Against the World!

I’m not by nature a happy, go lucky, chipper person. As a matter of fact, people that have that disposition have really rubbed a nerve with me for my entire life. It’s not that they have done anything to me, I just couldn’t stand their big smile, chipper laugh and seemingly optimistic attitude about everything. It made me wanna smack them! Whoops did I say that out loud? (Laughter)

In hindsight, I realize that I lived life with a scowl on my face most of the time and people were not only not attracted to me, but actually repelled like water on oil. My natural man is actually a bitter, nasty guy that doesn’t look at the world as a fun place but a battleground of wills…my will versus your will.

It has occurred to me that what repulsed me so badly about these happy, go lucky types, that just seemed so darn chipper about everything, was I wanted something they had. I wanted that peace, contentment, gentleness, warmth and internal glow. Shoot, I would have settled for a smile on my face.

If someone were to ask me what I enjoy most after giving my life to Christ, I would say the sweetest fruit is how I have changed inside. It is a calm, quiet, serenity that is impossible to explain, it can only be experienced. People now see me as that annoyingly content guy with the obnoxious little smile that says, everything is alright, no matter what, I am right where I am supposed to be and life is good.

I pray you find this serenity of the Spirit. It is the fruit of life and the juice is so sweet. If you want what God has for you, accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and ask him to fill you with the Fruit of the Spirit, joy, peace, contentment so that you can pass it on to others that are in pain like I was for years. To God be the Glory.

Guard Your Treasure!

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I saw an osprey in her nest today perched high above the water. I also saw a crow dive bombing her, picking, agitating her. That’s not unlike a crow, they pick, cheat and steal not too dissimilar from another dark force in this world.

What was most puzzling though was the response of the Osprey. This is a predator bird, much bigger, much stronger, sharper talons and beak. It could destroy this crow physically, but it didn’t. The osprey’s response was to open its wings and protect its golden eggs. She knew that if she were to allow this enemy to get her off her treasure, then the crow would of had an advantage because it would have exposed her eggs.

Do you get the picture?

When the enemy is coming against us picking, lying, cheating and stealing, trying to draw us off of our treasure, do we take the bait or do we spread our wings and guard the treasure of our heart. God has planted treasure in the heart of each believer. His power, the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.

I submit to you this is a perfect example of what Jesus teaches us in the parable of the seed and the farmer in Matthew 13. The family of Christ must not allow ourselves to be drawn off of our nest. We must not allow the enemy to draw us into conflict. We must not be argumentative. We must guard the treasure of our heart, the Word of God.

“Holy Spirit help me to guard the words that you have taught me. Counsel me on how not to be drawn off my nest.”

Be Blessed and Be Free.

A.Freeman