to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. Isaiah 49:9
Being free is something that most people desire. They want to be free to do what they want and be who they want to be.
The world is also using the phrase ‘come out’ to be what they want to be openly. People are often told to come out and be who they think or feel that they are, regardless of what others may think or feel.
In doing this type of action, the world is promoting sinful activity and setting themselves into more bondage, rather than freedom. They are bound up in sin and are not really free to live.
God calls to the Israelites to come out of their captivity and those in darkness to be free. They are called to live for God.
Over the centuries, God has not changed His call to people. He is still calling people to come out and be set free. He calls people to come out of the world and be separate from the world and its ways.
Living by the world’s standards appears to be freedom, but in reality is bondage to sin and death. The result in living ‘free’ according to the world’s ways, will be eternal death and separation from God.
Believers are to be different, set apart. Every believer is called to live a holy life just like Jesus did. They are to come out of the bondage to the ways of sin and be set free to really live life and gain eternal life with God.
Every believer, every person has this choice to make. One has to choose whether he will be bond up in sin or set free to live.
Each day you walk on this earth, you will also have to choose how you will live. You can remain in bondage and darkness or you can choose to step out and be free.
Stepping out and living for God will result in true freedom and live. You will be able to see the reality of the life of sin and the reality of what God has for you. Because of the light of Jesus in your life, you will be able to see how you are to live. You will also be able to share that light with the rest of the world.
So, come out and be free today from sin.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will choose to follow God rather than this world; that you will come out of your sin to live for God; that God will set you free from the bondage to sin and this world.
Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:25-26
The majority of the world is against Christians. They do not believe in God and do not want anything to do with Jesus. There are some who are violently against believers and will get physical in their opposition. The rest just oppose believers in words. Either way they act, they are opponents to those who follow Jesus.
All of these people have been taken captive by the traps of the devil. They are living as the devil desires, doing his will to oppose Jesus.
Many believers are willing to take a stand against those who oppose Christ. The problem is that there have been many who have done so in a way that is not the way Jesus would respond to opponents. They have harshly condemned the opponents, struck them, physically destroyed their property and more.
Jesus rarely used violence. The only time He used a little violence was in the temple against those who were religious, and then it was not against them physically, but against their stuff. Jesus had spoken with kind words almost every time. He worked to draw people to Him, not push them away.
Paul told Timothy to speak gently with his opponents. He is to show love and care to them. Jesus had stated that believers are to love their enemies.
Speaking gently is to speak kind words as one points out where a person may be wrong. It is pointing a person to Jesus and His words. It is showing love, compassion, mercy and grace to a person. The goal is to get them to become a follower of Jesus, not beat them down.
You will have people who will be an opponent to you. Some may be just verbally violent, while others may be physically violent. Jesus had both types against Him. How you speak and react to them will show how much of a follower of Jesus you are.
Give them a chance to change and choose to follow Jesus. Do not just condemn them and give up on them. Jesus did not speak harshly with you and did not give up on you.
I pray today that you will know the gentleness of Jesus; that you will show God’s love to all people; that God will give you the words to speak to your opponents; and that many will come to Jesus through your message.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8
Deception is something that is very common in this world. A person cannot go anywhere or listen to anything without hearing some deception.
Advertisements abound stating that one needs to have a given item, that if one does not have it, he is missing out on something. Nearly one-hundred percent of those items a person can live without and still have a great life. People are being deceived.
The world thinks that they know what is best for a person and so they come up with philosophies that will make that happen. Sin can be made to look good and God’s word, many times, has been made to look bad. Often the bible is looked at as an outdated piece of material that should not be followed or believed in.
Believers are made out to be haters because they speak out against sinful lifestyles and beliefs. They are made out to be cruel when they speak out saying that there is only one way to God.
Some of this deception has crept into the church. Believers have been taken captive into believing the ways of this world. There are believers and entire churches that have been deceived into believing and preaching that certain sins are acceptable to God. That a person can live in sin and still be a believer in Jesus. That a person can believe in Jesus, while believing in other false gods, such as Allah or Buddha. These are false and hollow philosophies of this world.
Every believer needs to get his philosophy in this life from God and His word. He has to keep his spiritual eyes on God, so that he is not deceived into believing the lies of this world.
Keep yourself in God’s word and open to hearing His Holy Spirit guide you. As you focus on God and His word, you will not be taken captive into believing the false teachings of this world. You will be able to see through the lies and deception of this world.
Rely upon the teachings of God in His word for your world-view and philosophy. God’s word is true and not hollow. It is what is best for you and the rest of this world.
I pray today that you will know God’s word for your life; that you will hear God’s Spirit speaking and guiding you; that God will open your eyes to the deceptions of this world; and that you will rely on God’s word for guidance in how to live.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8
Every person who has accepted the work that Jesus did for them is a believer. They are planted firmly in Jesus and His work. It is not something that they did themselves, but are as a result of the work of God.
Now Paul gives a warning for these believers to not be deceived by worldly philosophy.
Being deceived is being tricked into believing or doing something that you know is wrong. Deception is rarely very clear. It is usually something that can appear to be good. Often it is just a slight change of a word or two, or the meaning of those few words.
There are many non-believers who love to state that God loves every person right where they are and how they are. While it is true that God loves every person, He does not always love where they are. God never loves a sinful act being done by any person.
In churches, there are many traditions that are taught as though they are rules of God. During the 1970s, the church was often against a believer ever stepping into a movie theater. The theater was a place of the devil. This was even enforced when great Christian movies were being played at the theater. This was a vain philosophy in the church. To a point it sounded good, but was empty and done by human tradition.
Rules are made all the time. Often in the name of God. Yet, in the Bible there is no direct mention of any rule stating those things. God laid down many principles on how to live for Him.
As a believer in Jesus, you must be careful on what your philosophy in life is. You must be careful what rules you follow and enforce. The world will try to deceive you into thinking that sinful things are good. Their words and arguments will sound good and strong. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit and following Christ, you will know when things are off. You will not be led astray.
Stay focused on God’s Word and in prayer. Be led by the Holy Spirit. Do not be mislead by the world, either in or outside the church.
I pray today that you will know the truth of God; that God will open your eyes to deception around you; that you will depend upon Christ alone; and that you will not be deceived in any way.