Posted by: judyhitson | November 25, 2022

Glorious Freedom

Glorious Freedom
by Judy Hitson

Romans 8:21 NLT the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

Are you looking forward to this day of glorious freedom?

I sure am! What a day of rejoicing it will be. As the song says by Mercy Me, “I Can Only Imagine.”

For now, we seem to be living in a day like in the book of Judges when everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes. When I read the succeeding verses to our key verse, Romans 8:22-23 NLT, it was alarming to me. We need to realize and understand the groaning of creation as well as our groaning  as believers. Look toward the future with me and know the best is yet to be as children of God.

Yes, we live in troubling times, experiencing the high rate of inflation, increasing crime, open borders, a divided nation and I am sure you can think of other examples to add to this list.

As Christians, let us look forward to the Lord’s appearing and occupy until He comes. We have so much to look forward to. Think about it. There is a great harvest of souls for us to win for Christ. We need not fear what man can do to us. Our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. God is conforming us to the image of His Son. In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray, Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Our hope is to be in the Lord to walk free from fear and filled with faith as we partner with Him to advance His Kingdom on earth.

Praise God for the Holy Spirit in us giving us a foretaste of future glory. We long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. As followers of Christ, let us persevere in our trials and tribulations and follow in His steps. Remember Jesus’ words of John 16:33 NKJV These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Prayer: Father in heaven, bless us to think of the things above, not the things of earth, that we may be about Your business. In Jesus name and by Your Spirit. Amen.

Posted by: Administrator | November 9, 2022

Freedom within Safe Boundaries

Freedom within Safe Boundaries
by Brenda D. Flowers

Lord, you are my portion and my cup of blessing; you hold my future. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; … (Psalm 16: 5-6a, CSB)

I recall when I was a child how my mother would let my sister and me play freely in the back of our apartment building in Cincinnati, Ohio as long as we stayed in the designated area which she considered safe. She watched us from a distance; but if we wandered out of the predetermined play area, she would come to us to stop our play for a time out. If we were disrespectful to her,  we no longer had the freedom to play outside at all that day.

Most caring parents or teachers realize the value of setting and enforcing boundaries for their children or students.

When I taught school, I often had recess duty, being responsible to watch several classes of young students as they played freely. I was very thankful for the fence around the playground to protect the students from going too close to the busy road nearby. The fence helped keep the children safe.

Children’s understanding of the reason for house, school or playground rules is essential for maturation to occur. Children show maturity by learning to respect boundaries.

Some children learn the benefits of staying within safe boundaries more quickly than others and earn greater freedom as a result. Others disrespectfully challenge boundaries and suffer consequences or great loss of freedom.

Our Heavenly Father knows our need for guidance and boundaries. He loves us so much He has given us moral rules to follow and safe places to dwell. When people ignore or disobey His Word, their freedoms are limited or sometimes totally removed. God disciplines out of love.

God wants people to see the freedom we gain as we trust Him and the safe places He provides for us. He wants us to mature as His sons and daughters, developing His character.

I see so many people in our culture who are challenging God’s clear boundaries. I pray they realize the error of their ways and will turn in repentance to the safe place God has prepared for them, a place guarded by Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

Freedom does not exist when anarchy exists. Safe boundaries are for our good.

I am thankful God has prepared a safe place for us to dwell. We can trust Him.

Our Heavenly Father rewards His faithful children with greater freedom and responsibility. One day, we will reign with Jesus in His glorious Kingdom.

 Praise the Lord!

Posted by: judyhitson | October 20, 2022

Freedom from Rejection

Freedom from Rejection
by Judy Hitson

Ephesians 1:6 NKJV to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Are there times when you read the Bible that a verse seems to pop off the page with personal impact to your heart?

That’s what happened to me on a day I was struggling with rejection. This Bible verse brought me revelation and understanding after years of fearing death because of past sins.

How wonderful is God’s grace when we realize that His love and mercy is available for us. God gives us what we don’t deserve when we believe and receive His Word. That is His amazing grace.

“How could such a good girl be so bad?” These words repeatedly tormented my mind through the years until I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.

Thinking about this as I write, the words of a Christian song come to mind, “I am forgiven because You were forsaken.” When I researched this, I discovered these lyrics best describe being accepted in the Beloved. You may be familiar with “You Are My King (Amazing Love)” Here is the first stanza:

I’m forgiven because You were  forsaken
I’m accepted, You were condemned
And I’m alive and well, Your Spirit lives within me
Because You died and rose again

Wow! In times like this the Holy Spirit stuns me with revelation and understanding for what I know in my heart but am unable to verbalize. Yes, the full lyrics to this song say it best. I learned this song was written by Billy James Foote and recorded by several Christian artists. The most current I’ve been hearing on Christian radio, I believe is sung by the Newsboys.  

It was a miracle when acceptance overcame rejection in my life. I received new found freedom in Christ. The pain of rejection could have kept me in a state of guilt and shame. Praise God for setting me free by His Spirit. He revealed my need to rely on Him, not myself or others for acceptance.

Prayer: Thank You Father in heaven for grace and mercy in times of need. Thank You for Your acceptance in the Beloved. Thank You for mercy when we confess and forsake our sins. Thank You for the freedom from rejection. In Your name Jesus and by Your Spirit. Amen.

Posted by: Administrator | October 6, 2022

Freedom in the Harvest

Freedom in the Harvest
Trusting the Lord of the Harvest
by Brenda D. Flowers

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.”  (John 4:34, NKJV) 

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 10:36-38, NRSV) 

It’s harvest time!

A local harvest festival, a farmer’s market full of harvested crops, or the September viewing of the harvest moon may have marked the beginning of this special season for you. 

I love the cooler fall temperatures after a sweltering summer. It is invigorating to spend time outside, enjoying God’s colorful displays.

Recently on a lovely cool day, I was reading my Bible outside. Touched by a gentle breeze, I  thought about how grateful I was for the change in seasons and how much I loved harvest time. This led me to reading scriptures mentioning harvest, starting in the book of Ruth. 

   Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you!” And they answered him, “The LORD bless you!” Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, “It is the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ …Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. (Ruth 2:4-7a, 8, NKJV)

Reading the book of Ruth, one discovers how God provides for, protects and loves Ruth and Naomi, her mother-in-law. Ruth made a choice to leave her old life in Moab to trust in the one true God. She was faithful. The lovingkindness of Boaz to Ruth is a picture of God’s lovingkindness to humanity. Boaz was their kinsman redeemer and Jesus is Redeemer to all who trust Him. As we trust Jesus with our whole heart, leaving our old ways, we realize He has provided a field for us, His Kingdom, where we can glean daily. Jesus shared the gospel of the Kingdom. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, …(Matthew 6: 33-34a, NKJV)

Prayer: 
Lord of the Harvest, Thank You for Your great love, sending Jesus to redeem us and to provide us free access to Your Kingdom. May we grow in our understanding as we leave our old mindsets to embrace Your Truth. We do pray as Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6: 10, KJV) We join in prayer trusting You to send out laborers into Your harvest.

“Here am I! Send me.” (Isaiah 6: 8b, NKJV)

Posted by: judyhitson | September 17, 2022

Freedom of the Heart

Freedom of the Heart
by Judy Hitson

1 Samuel 16:7 ERV But the LORD said to Samuel, “Eliab is tall and handsome, but don’t judge by things like that. God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the outside, but the LORD looks at the heart. Eliab is not the right man.”

How can our hearts be free?

We humans look on the outside as we read in our key verse today but the Lord looks on the heart of people.

There are two profound insights I discovered in my walk with the Lord that you may be familiar with. These verses deserve our attention as we consider freedom of our hearts.

The first Scripture passage I’m referring to is Jer. 17:9-10 NKJV
 “The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
 Who can know it?
 I, the LORD, search the heart,
 I test the mind,
 Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

The second Scripture passage is Ezekiel 36:26-28 NLT
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
“And you will live in Israel, the land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be my people, and I will be your God.

The Lord began to set my heart free when He revealed the contrast of my old heart and new heart long after I was born again. Learning to walk in the Spirit and to walk in His love takes time. For many years I  considered my heart as described in Jer. 17:9. Recalling a time I coordinated a small group of women,  I shared this verse as the state of our hearts. One of the women said, “But Judy, you have a new heart now. She shared Ezek. 36:26 and my heart about leaped out of my chest. This fresh revelation and understanding set me free from the bondage of believing I still walked with a deceitful, wicked heart. Praise God for humbling me to learn and grow in the Spirit. When we are with Him, we will be like Him but until then we continue to mature in Christ. 

Prayer: Father in heaven, help us surrender all to You for Christ’s sake by Your Spirit and mature in the freedom of our hearts. Amen.

Posted by: Administrator | September 3, 2022

Freedom to Labor and Rest

Freedom to Labor and Rest
by Brenda D. Flowers

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Col. 3:23-24, NKJV)

On the first Monday in September, Americans celebrate a national holiday, Labor Day. It is a day originally set aside to correct injustices in the work places and to honor workers and their achievements, giving workers a day to rest and spend time with their families. Many Americans, especially young ones, may not realize why this holiday was instituted. 

To explain the history of Labor Day, I recommend watching this short engaging YouTube video, “Labor Day”, with the children in your lives. (See PBS Learning Media/Labor Day/PBS.Kids -You Tube.) I found this lively video by searching the question, “How Do I Explain Labor Day to My Child?” 

As Christian parents, grandparents, and teachers, it is good to help the next generation to know history based upon truth. I try to consider the sources and then check the stated “facts” with other sources, comparing facts provided from research of primary sources and from a sound Biblical world view. 

Ask the Lord to help you know truth regarding your country’s history and biblical history. 

In an on-line article, updated a year ago, entitled “ Labor Day 2021” (www.history.com),  the author described the suffering of many Americans in the late 1800’s, “People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.” Many people protested their harsh working conditions. This was one reason Labor Day was established.

When I was a child, I thought of Labor Day as a day to get ready for school. My school in Cincinnati, Ohio, began the day after Labor Day. Sometimes my family did something fun together, but I don’t remember ever discussing why we had this holiday. It was the end of summer fun to me. 

Dr. Benjamin P. Dean, Ph.D. wrote an interesting article entitled, “Labor Day: A Christian Perspective” (www.ciu.edu). His summary statement is worth remembering and sharing, “Celebrating Labor Day invites us to remember that it is God who makes possible the creative and productive work we do in all fields of human endeavor. We can respect the sacredness of God’s own work of creation as well as the value and dignity God has infused within all labor for His glory and the building of His Kingdom.” 

This Labor Day, I want to meditate on how Jesus paid the price to right the injustices of the world. He knows our sufferings and intercedes for us. We have been given freedom in His Life. 

We can find our true rest in Him. 

I am thankful that God is helping me to see it is He who instituted the pattern of work and rest. When He created man (and woman) in His image, God gave us value and purpose. He gives us creative and important work to bring His Kingdom to earth and joy knowing He gives us the power to do it, by His indwelling Spirit. 

God has provided the Way to freedom as we enter into purposeful work and rest. May we honor Him by working out of His rest, giving Him the glory in all that we do.

ABBA, I pray that we will wake up to the injustices that are still present in our fallen world. May we live our lives in ways, each unique, that please You, following Jesus and being a part of His Story. 

You teach us how to balance work, rest and play. May we show others the patterns You instituted that bring fullness of life and joy. In Your Son’s name, Jesus, we pray. Amen 

Posted by: judyhitson | August 19, 2022

Freedom to Overcome

Freedom to Overcome
by Judy Hitson

Rev.12:11 YLT and they did overcome him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life — unto death;

Whom did they overcome?

We read in Rev.12:9 NASB And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world…

We can overcome Satan through Christ who set us free, John 8:36. We are not alone to fend for ourselves when we are in Christ and Christ is in us by His Spirit. The Lord wants us to walk in peace through trials and tribulations and  overcome the world with Him, John 16:33.

God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, and of love and of a sound mind, 2 Tim. 1:7.

Have you been born of God?

The Bible tells us in 1 John 5:4-6 NKJV For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ….

There are two kingdoms.

Col.1:13-14 NLT For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

When I was born again, it was a dramatic experience for me, like coming from death to life. I was blind but now I could see. The Holy Spirit gave me life. My spiritual eyes were open. I began reading the Bible; it came alive to me. The Lord was speaking to me in personal ways. He brought women in my life who invited me to a weekly prayer group and to Bible studies. My life changed from worldly interests to become a woman of the Word, delivered from fear and filled with faith in Christ.

There were difficulties to overcome in relationships with my family and church family as I went from practicing religion to grow in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God.

Those early years in Christ were awkward for me to talk with others. Instead of speaking truth in love, I spoke truth in anger. I fell prey to the tactics of the enemy which turned people away rather than lead them to Christ.

Praise God for deliverance and inner healing ministries where I found help to be delivered from religious spirits and be healed from the inside out to overcome old sin patterns. There are many facets to this new life in Christ and lessons to learn to overcome the enemies of the flesh, the world and the devil. Maturing in Christ is a process with freedom in the Spirit to overcome each enemy.

Prayer: Thank You Father in heaven for freedom in Christ, for His shed blood and for the help of Your Spirit to overcome enemies of the flesh, world and devil. Lord grant me ears to hear and a heart to heed what the Spirit says to the churches to overcome in Revelation 2-3. Amen.

Posted by: Administrator | August 5, 2022

Freedom to Groan in Release

Freedom to Groan in Release
Allowing Holy Spirit To Intercede
by Brenda D. Flowers

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8: 26-27, NKJV)

Children of God, we have victorious freedom as we allow Holy Spirit to intercede through us.

Recently, I have realized more and more the power in the release of the sound of His groan. When I am overwhelmed by sadness, Holy Spirit truly comforts as I trust Him in this release. I find a place to be alone and let the sound of His groan go forth.

We can trust that God truly intercedes and helps us in our times of need.

As I was preparing this blog post, I was guided to watch a beautiful testimony of Joni Eareckson Tada. She shared how God helped her by showing her that Holy Spirit intercedes for her.

 Joni has impacted me by her testimonies and her obedient life in service to the Lord for more than forty years. It touched me that I was led to the YouTube video in which she was talking about Romans 8.

As a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down after a diving accident at the age of seventeen, Joni chose to believe the promises of God for her. Joni testifies that God gives her His victorious power to live here on earth as a bold witness. She releases her cares to the Lord and He helps her every day.

 I am very thankful to be in the body of Christ with people, like Joni, who love the Lord and are not afraid to testify of their sincere faith.

When overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, it’s okay to admit to God we feel helpless.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9a, NKJV)

Prayer: Lord God, thank You for the beautiful promise of Your intercession for us, Your children. May we understand fully the freedom we have to come to You in our times of need, knowing You will help us. Your sound of intercession provides release. You give us the strength to do Your will, living victoriously. May we boldly testify of Your help in our lives and may we honor You: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Posted by: judyhitson | July 29, 2022

Freedom in the Spirit

Freedom in the Spirit
by Judy Hitson

2 Cor. 3:17 NLT For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Do you know the Lord?

Have you received the Holy Spirit?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you may recall times you tasted freedom in the Spirit. Praise God, His Spirit gives life, John 6:63; 2 Cor. 3:6.

Let us heed the Lord’s instructions to walk and live in the Spirit and not lust after the flesh, Gal. 5:16, 25.

It is only possible to walk in the Spirit and to walk in love by the Holy Spirit. For where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

A thought keeps coming to mind that I believe is from the Lord. That is “free will.”
It is vital to use our God given free will to make right choices. We all can relate to times in life we made a wrong choice. We can probably relate to times we made a good choice but discovered it was not the best choice. Let’s face it, in order to have freedom in the Spirit, we must choose by an act of our will to go God’s way, not our way. We cannot live our own selfish way or the world’s way and expect to have God’s freedom in the Spirit in our lives.  

As the Good Shepherd, Jesus tells us who are His sheep, that we hear His voice, He knows us and we follow Him, John 10:27.

How can we hear His voice?
By His Spirit in us.
John 16:13 NKJV However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

We see in the latter verses how the Lord speaks to us as our Good Shepherd and how the Holy Spirit speaks to us. It is a profound blessing to learn to hear God’s voice. The next blessing for us to grasp is for the Spirit to speak through us, Matt. 10:20  NLT For it is not you who will be speaking –it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Pause and take time for reflection. Pray Ps. 139: 23-24 ERV
God, examine me and know my mind,
Test me and know all my worries,
Make sure that I am not going the wrong way,
Lead me on the path that has always been right.

Posted by: Administrator | July 16, 2022

Stand for Freedom

Stand for Freedom
Teach the Truth
by Brenda D. Flowers

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, … (Psalms 33:12a,  NIV)

     On the 4th of July, many Americans including me celebrated our country’s independence and great heritage. As I reflected on the reasons for our celebration, I read the Declaration of Independence. It was on July 4th, 1776, that the Continental Congress had formally adopted this Declaration. As I read over the words of this historical document, I realized how the ones who were willing to sign this document declared their trust in God and His Providence. Notice these important words near the beginning and end of the document:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness….

…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

     I wonder how many people living in America realize the great sacrifices paid by men, women and children in our history. Thankfully there were Christians who stood for freedom.

     Many of our country’s leaders over our history were passionate about their stand for freedom because they knew personally the freedom Christ brought to them. They wanted to live in a place where they could be free to worship the one true God without tyrannical rule stripping them of that right.

    Christians in America’s history were well aware of their battle with unseen evil forces. Yet, they were willing to stand for truth in the face of evil, trusting God’s protection.

    When I was a child, I was taught about our Christian heritage in public school. I am concerned that this is not the case today.

     How many American children or young adults today have read the original historical documents related to the founding of our country or have studied  primary sources documenting the faith of many of our leaders?

     The Lord gives us, as Christian parents and grandparents, a great responsibility to teach our children truth.

      A good resource is wallbuilders.com. This site is dedicated to “presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built.” It is important for Christian Americans to help the next generation realize how many of our leaders truly knew where our freedoms originated.

Prayer: Lord, help us Christians to be bold in our faith to help the next generation know how our freedoms originated. May we stand for freedom and teach the Truth. Amen

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