Tag Archives: free will

Exodus 23, John 2, Job 41, 2 Corinthians 11

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you to do.” John 2:5 (NCV)

God gave me freedom and He gave me free will. Because His desire is for love and relationship, He opened His hands, wrote my name on His palm, and relinquished control over my life. I can choose to live according to my own plan, following self, aligning myself with sin; or I can choose to be showered by His love, enveloped in His grace.

Because of the New Covenant made real by the sacrifice of Christ, I no longer have to follow the long lists of “you musts…” recorded in Exodus. I am no longer bound by Mosaic Law.

There were so many things that were supposed to be done or not supposed to be done; I can’t even keep them all straight. I acknowledge that it is completely impossible to live by the letter of the law. Even the priests, who were the only ones who knew the whole of the law, were hard pressed to be obedient to every dotted ‘i’ and every crossed ‘t’.

However, His sacrifice of death to life means I no longer need to fear the enemy, a leviathan of evil. My past sin is forever forgiven at the cross and buried in the tomb never to rise again. Though I may be tempted, His Spirit which dwells within me gives me the strength to stand separated from sin. Though I may fall into sin, rather than condemnation, I receive mercy and absolution; and I receive liberation once more.

I am given liberty to make my own choices. And, as a believer in Christ, I choose to honor God’s will and obey His Word. I make a choice to do my best to “do whatever He tells me to.”

My hope is in Him, the Only True Living God who is above all. There is no one greater in all of the universe and no one who sees the big picture, the whole picture of His Kingdom Come more than the Creator.

He is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is to be praised forever. 2 Corinthians 11:31b (NCV)

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Job, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

2 Chronicles 33,34; Acts 23:16-35

This year I seem to be seeing a basic recurring theme of the mysterious balance of God’s sovereignty (or control of the happenings in the world in general and my life in particular) and the individual’s role in carrying out the purposes of God; how our actions affect not just our lives but the lives of those around us; how God often uses ordinary people to accomplish things, yet sometimes he just shows up with some supernatural force.

In our Old Testament reading the up/down cycle continues. “He/they did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord” is followed by hard times and captivity, then “he/they did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” followed by peace and prosperity.  We have it in multiple combinations (Manneseh starts out on the evil path then repents, Amon is evil from birth to death, Josiah is on the good path from start to finish). While the people seem to reap consequences of their actions, both good and bad, when we step back we see that God had a plan all along. Each part of the cycle had a part to play in the grand scheme of things.

In our New Testament reading yesterday we learned that God intended for Paul to go to Rome. Today we see that plan starting to unfold. But people still had a part to play. Paul’s nephew happened to be in the right place at the right time to learn of the plot to kill Paul, but he also had to be brave enough to get to Paul, pass on the message, tell the commander, etc. The centurion had to obey Paul’s request, the commander had to listen to this boy/young man, the commander had to take quick action. Everything had to be done in quick succession. People had their part to play, but we can see the orchestration if we take a step back and observe the big picture.

I know that when I am facing a trial I need to make sure I take a step back and realize that God is in control. My job is to do my part. I may not know until many days, months, years, decades later how the various events of my life played a part in a grand plan, but I can be confident that ultimately God is in control. Any my God is the God who saves.

10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. 12 In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God. (2 Chronicles 33:10-13)

27 This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, but I came with my troops and rescued him, for I had learned that he is a Roman citizen. (Acts 23:27)

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