Page 159 was another beautiful day with a sunny sky and pleasant temperatures. It actually started out rather cool for a summer morning, so after doing my morning walk-through I spent much of the morning working on my next devotional book project. Some of the daily topics I wrote pages for today in the “Living Free” theme were living free from captivity, living free to be generous, and living free by God’s pardon and proclamation. As I thought about how God helps us to live with freedom in the presence of our enemies, through gazing into His perfect law, God’s pardon and proclamation really stood out to me today.
As a child of God who has had our sins washed away by the blood of Jesus, we are able to live free because of the full pardon that God has issued. This is more than just an overlooking of our transgressions against God. God’s pardon means that our slate is wiped clean. Our records are expunged of any wrongdoing and God views us through the holiness of His Son. But this isn’t a secret pardon that is known only by God and the individual. No, God proclaims our pardon and makes known to the world that all who would come to Him will find forgiveness and hope. Satan himself can surround us in a spiritual battle yet we are still able to live free because God has proclaimed our pardon. The accusations of our enemies have no barbs with which to stick with us because God has made it known, even to our enemies, that He is leading the captives free.
As the outside temperature warmed up, I took a break from my writing to go out and enjoy the sunshine as I took care of some work on the church property. With school out for the summer, now is the time to spray some weed killer in a variety of areas while I don’t have to worry about children getting into the sprayed areas. This provides a longer term solution to what otherwise becomes a regular task of keeping the weeds and grass from causing an unsightly appearance in a variety of areas. When I went out to mix up the spray, one of the deacons was working at patching some sidewalk areas where the concrete had broken up from the winter freeze and thaw cycles. God has indeed blessed me with a few servants in the church who are willing to do what they can when they notice things that need done and I am very thankful for them.
After roaming the property and using up all of the spray mix that I had, it was time to call it a day and head home. At home, I warmed up a late lunch and then spent some time relaxing as I went through another day’s photos from our recent vacation. The main thing I do as I go through these photos is straighten them so the line of the horizon runs level. I work hard to try and take photos with the camera held level to the horizon, but I still find I am often paying attention to the subject of the photo and not to the positioning of it. Sometimes we all need a regular time when we can realign our life to the straight edge of God’s Word. Often it is our preoccupation with our daily tasks that keeps us from paying complete attention to the alignment that we ought to be living in. Reestablishing a proper standard on a regular basis will keep us from straying too far from the line we ought to measure ourselves against — the standard of Jesus.
Today’s photo is one I took this morning as I was in my office writing. The trees and underbrush have leafed out so fully that I rarely see the wildlife outside my window during this time of year. While they didn’t stay out in the open long, today I had a pair of cardinals stop by for a visit. It is always nice to see them even when I know they continue to be present because I hear their songs throughout the day.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Being free isn’t always the same as living free. God not only wants us to be free, He wants us to live free.
- God has not kept our pardon a secret. He proclaims to us, and to our enemies, that we have been set free and raised up with a clean record in His sight.
- It is not our place, in fact it is quite wrong, to keep a person in bondage whom God has proclaimed to be free.
- It is important to consider the welfare of others as we go about our daily tasks.
- Good servants of the Lord serve because it is their nature, not because they have to.
- It is easy to get off center even just a little as we live life. God’s perfect law exists to give us a standard to return to when we find our self not fully aligned with God’s will.
- Even if you can’t be seen, you ought to praise God in a way that others know of His presence.