Isaiah 49:9 Come Out And Be Free

Stepping out

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.

Isaiah 44:22 Redeemed…Now Return

Misty mountains

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. Isaiah 44:22 

When a person purchases something, he expects to get it. The object purchased is expected to become his property and he is allowed to have it and do with it as he pleases.

Loans are often received with some object put up as collateral to ensure that the person will pay back the loan. As soon as he has made the last payment, the object that was put up for collateral is expected to be returned to him. It becomes his property again, because the full payment was made.

God is telling the people of Israel that He has paid the price for their sins and wiped them out. He had purchased their lives and now belonged to Him. Since they belonged to Him, they were to return to Him.

At the moment Jesus died upon the cross, He had paid the price for sin for every person, for all time. He bought back the people for God’s use.

Every person who has chosen to follow Jesus, has realized that he was redeemed, bought back. However, some have chosen to walk away from God in order to live in sin. They turned their backs on the redemption that Jesus had provided. Some of these fool themselves into thinking that they are following God, because they go to church, but in reality are living in sin, following the world and the devil.

God is telling these people to return to Him. Regardless of what sin a person does, God is right there willing to forgive and forget and move on. He wants every person for Himself. Because of what Jesus did, God owns the rights to every person.

If at some point in your life you have chosen to accept what Jesus did for you, you are redeemed. You were bought back at a price, the price of life. God owns you now.

Do not allow yourself to go back to the old life of sin and death. Don’t choose to give yourself back to the devil and reject the redemption Jesus has purchased for you.

If you have slipped back into a old sinful past way of living, turn around, reject sin and return to God. God is waiting for you with open arms, because you belong to Him, He has purchased your life.

I pray today that you will know the forgiveness Jesus offers; that you will know you are redeemed by God; that you will know you belong to God; and that you will live your life for God.

Fruit Of The Spirit: Self-Control

Self control word

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

Today I will be looking at the last fruit of the Spirit–self-control. Thank you, if you have been following this little bible study on the fruit of the Spirit. If you have not been following and just joined, you can find the other studies here: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness.

This final fruit of the Spirit is the culmination of all of the rest. Without the rest of the fruits, one cannot have this last one. It is one that many people do not really want to talk about or think that they already have it, though most people struggle in this area. Self-control is being able to control one’s own thoughts and actions. It is taking responsibility for yourself.

Self-control is often looked at in the areas of exercising and dieting. Very few people exercise good self-control in these areas and will admit it. However, self-control needs to be exercised in many other areas of life.

Hole in wall

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28

Solomon points out the value of self-control, or rather the destruction of the lack of self-control. In his time cities had a wall surrounding the city to protect it from the enemy. If there was a hole in the wall, their protection was gone. The wall was then worthless and the city could be overrun.

In the same way, a person who does not have self-control in his life has a hole broken through. Not having self-control allows the enemy to enter into your life. It gives the devil a foothold into your life, causing you to breakdown and choose to sin, rather than flee the sin.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19

One are that many people lack self-control in is with their speaking and listening. Many are slow to listen and very quick to get angry. They are quick to strike back with words, cursing someone, when something does not go their way, rather than trying to understand and listen.

Angry person

In order to follow what James is telling us to do, we must have self-control. You have to make a choice to listen. You have to make a choice to be slow to speak and not become angry so quickly. This takes practice over time, because it goes against the human nature.

Immediately many people will rise up now and say that they cannot do this. It is in their nature to sin, that they have no self-control. This is true, if they are relying upon their own strength and abilities. Man does not have any self-control in himself. However, it does not have to stay that way.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:11-12

Titus tells us that God’s grace teaches us to say ‘No’ to sin and to live a godly, upright life that is self-controlled. We have the perfect teacher–God’s Holy Spirit.

Blocking hand

However, just like children in school, we often do not want to learn. Some will say that they cannot do it, it is not in their nature or some other excuse. This is true if you say that, but it does not have to remain true. You can change.

Remember that in Christ you are a new creation, a new person. You have the ability to say ‘No’ to sin and run away from all temptation. However, to do this, you must be in control of yourself. You have to conscientiously choose to not sin or walk into sin.

In your own strength and power this is difficult, even impossible to do. You cannot live a self-controlled, sinless life without God’s help and power.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Another version says that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. God is there to give you all the strength you need to do what needs to be done. This is not just physically doing things, but also strength to do the not doing things, to turn away from sin.

Pushing a bolder

In yourself, you cannot stay away from sin, but in Christ you have that ability. There is no reason for you to continue in sin. Christ has made you a new creation. All you have to do is live as the new creation, live as Jesus lived. Every time temptation pops its head up to cause you to sin, turn to God for strength and a way out of that temptation. Refuse to sin. Allow His Holy Spirit to guide you in the right path.

But all of this is a choice you have to make. It does not come automatically. It is not built into you. You have to be self-controlled. The great news is that with God’s Holy Spirit you can have that self-control to make the right choices every time.

Two choices

Give your life over to God and allow Him to be in control. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and help you live a godly life here on this earth. As you are filled with His Holy Spirit, you will have to bear some fruit.

God does not want you to fail, so He has given you everything you need to be successful in walking a holy, righteous, sinless life. You must now make the choice to accept it and live in it.

As you are filled with His Holy Spirit, you will show His love, which will lead to joy bringing about peace, which leads to forbearance/patience, bringing on kindness and goodness, which will make you faithful and gentle. Once all of these fruits are in place, you will have self-control to keep in them and in God’s will.

Be the man or woman God has called you to be in Christ Jesus. Do not conform to the ways of this world any longer and remain in sin.

This finishes looking at the fruit of the Spirit. Next week I will bring this study to a finish with an overview of all that we have studied and what it means to you as a believer. Please feel free to comment and/or share this post with anyone you think that could use it.

Isaiah 16:3 Make Up Your Mind

Split path with snow

“Make up your mind,” Moab says. “Render a decision. Make your shadow like night–at high noon. Hide the fugitives, do not betray the refugees.” Isaiah 16:3

Making a choice on which path to take is a common everyday thing for every person. Every day choices have to be made. While most are easy with little major consequences, there are some that are more difficult, having greater consequences upon the choice made.

Having a major choice to make is often a difficult thing for many people to make. Fear of making the wrong decision causes many to freeze and not make a choice. Fear of what could go wrong with a choice will cause others to stay where they are.

In his prophecy against Moab, Isaiah quotes Moab as telling the people to make up their mind. It appears (from the previous verses) to be they were talking to the women who were fluttering about like birds on what to do.

The statement, ‘make up your mind’, is something that every person can be asked or should ask themselves to do. This can include believers. Many believers make up their mind…to a point, but not fully. They waiver in their choices and decisions.

While every believer has made a choice to believe in Jesus and follow Him, not every believer has made the choice to die to self and sin. They go back and forth with dabbling in sin, often under the excuse that they cannot give it up and are sinful.

Yes, there are times they slip into sin, but often sin is a choice that was consciously made. It was done while disregarding the Holy Spirit tugging at the heart to make the right choice.

Every believer must make a choice as to whether he will serve God or man, whether he will strive to live a holy life before God or live in sin, whether he will die to the old self or live the old life.

Each day you are also presented with choices to make. The greatest choice to make is whether you will serve God with all of your life or you will serve self and man.

This choice is one that only you can make and it has to be made every day, often every minute. Do not allow yourself to waiver, but make up your mind as to whom you will serve today.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will give your whole life to serving God; that you will make choices to always honor God; and that your mind will be made up that you will love God with all of your heart.