The Road to Freedom 2

Friday

David Conour

Psalm 40

Sometimes, life hits especially hard. You get knocked flat on your back, and it feels like everytime you try to get back up, your feet get swept out from under you. It can be a bad test, a breakup, losing someone close to you, or any number of other struggles. There are even times where it’s some combination of all of these things. What’s important to remember is that through all of this God is on your side. Just as David was lifted up by God when he cried out to Him, so too will God support you when you are at your lowest.

Father God, help me. Give me your strength. Lead me out of this darkness and into your light. Help me to see beyond my current struggles, and to know that you are by my side. Let me see that your great love will lift me out of the current situation I’m facing. Amen

The Road to Freedom 1

Thursday

Charlie Warren

John 13:7 CEB

Change is a hard thing to deal with. Sometimes change is welcome, but more often than not it is unexpected, unwanted, and the outcome unknowable. We are subjected to a lot of change in college, and we often find ourselves trying to piece together and mold these changes to fit how our lives used to be; to mitigate the change as best we can. What we forget is that God doesn’t change the circumstances in our lives just so we can try to go back to the way we used to be living. The change we experience is a catalyst for growth and new opportunity that God is pointing us towards. You don’t walk down a path looking backwards, you walk looking ahead at what’s next. So although we may not understand the changes in our lives and how they fit into God’s plan for us, we must be able to see them not as hindrances to the way we used to live, but as the foundation for God’s path for us moving forward.

God too often we look back at the life we used to have, and rebuff anything that caused us to lose it. Help us remember to keep our eyes forward, and to recognize that the changes in our life are doors to new opportunities, and that Your plan will always succeed.

Fate or Consequences 4

Tuesday

Logan Henderson

Jeremiah 40:1-6

So, in case you didn’t pick it up from the five times the writer points it out, Nebuzaradan is, in fact, the captain of the guard. But that’s not really the point of this devo. The point is that Jeremiah is set free because He followed God’s Path. That’s what this whole sermon series has been about, so I want to be even clearer. Jeremiah was set free from worldly oppressors, from actual people. We can also have freedom from people, but God doesn’t stop there for us. As we follow His plan, talk to Him through prayer, and learn about Him through worship and discipleship, we are set free from a lot of sins or poisonous thoughts that keep us chained and unable to accomplish the path God has laid for us. In other words, God sees you for who you are (including all your mistakes) and still fights to set you free from those things because He hopes better things for you. He wants you to fulfill your purpose in life, because He designed you and what you’re here for. So, as this week keeps going, I’m sure there are past events, or sins, or relationships in your life that you feel chained to, or that you believe you’ll never escape. Remember that Jesus is the God who sets captives free. Rejoice in that!!!

Lord, I give you my life. All of the parts I’m not proud of and the sins I give into and the relationships I wish were better. Would you redeem them for your Kingdom’s sake, however you want to? I want to do what you put me here to do, so please guide me on that path Father. Thank you that I’m even able to speak to you now, and that I have access to talk to you without having to go to a building or say a certain prayer. Thank you for calling me to a relationship, not merely to practice religion. Open my eyes to see you in the world around me, and to help those who need to see you today God. Amen (or Let it be so)

 

Fate or Consequences 3

Monday

Ruth Hallstead

Romans 6:1-14

14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”

One of the things that non-Christians are often confused by and Christians struggle with is freedom of choice (and sometimes apparent lack of freedom). The idea that there are all these “rules” that come with being a Christian can seem daunting, silly, or even restrictive. For me, this passage is one of many that helps explain away all that trepidation. The old life is gone. I no longer have to fear or live a life out of control. The key for me is reframing it from a “have to” to a “get to”. Now, I get to live in love. While that may sometimes mean making an unpopular or otherwise very difficult choice, it’s a privilege. It is a great joy of mine that I get to live differently because of what Jesus died for me and because of the love and grace poured out for me. Does that make difficult choices easy? Not always. But it often makes them easier. Not only that, when I get to make a choice to love, to live as Jesus wants me to live, it’s a reminder of the freedom I’ve been given in this new life.

Lord, thank you for choices. Even when they’re hard. Even when they make me go against the status quo. Thank you for allowing me to say goodbye to sin and hello to a new life in You full of “get to’s” and free from “have to’s”. Help me to remember the privilege you’ve given me when I feel stuck or lost. Guide me in turning to You first. Allow me to offer myself to you as an instrument of righteousness. In Your name, Amen

Fate or Consequences 2

Friday

Hannah Alford

“…God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being…” Acts 17:24-28

As college students we are faced with choices big and small on a daily basis. One thing you might be starting to learn is how responsible of your own actions you’re becoming. When something goes great, “I did that and I’m really proud of myself” and when something goes not so great, “I really screwed up this time.” Our actions are defining who we are and who we want to be as a person, so, what kind of person are you showing the world? Actions do not exist without consequences, and although that word seems scary it’s just the result of an action. God will always be with us, waiting for us to make the decision to want to grow closer to him, and maybe you’re not ready to make that decision yet. But have trust in God because as long as you are bringing your own heart after him you will see that many of your actions have a positive consequence on you and the community around you!

Hey God!

Allow my actions to be a representation of my relationship with you. Continue to draw me closer to you in this time of change in my life and support me in my endeavors. Allow me to make a positive impact on those around me and guide me to live like you.

Amen

Fate or Consequences 1

Thursday

John Austin Higginbotham

“As indeed He says in Hosea, “those who were not my people I will call ‘My People’, and she who was not beloved I will call ‘Beloved’. And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people’, there they shall be called children of the living God.”  Romans 9:25-26

In college, it can be difficult to know who you are in God. Plenty of people around you have ideas of who you are and what you should be. Whether it’s parents or friends, many have expectations of you that you are asked to fulfill. In a busy and loud atmosphere, with many people vying for your attention and your “identity”, it can seem hard to find what your true purpose and identity is. Zedekiah, in our recent series believed that he owed his identity and himself to those around him and was torn between his subjects and his Babylonian masters. This wasn’t helped by the fact that he was 21 years old and a newly-made king. Jeremiah however, noted that we should look to God, not the world around us for purpose. For in God alone we find peace, comfort, and ultimately an identity. As Romans reminds us, even when we think we are known by our hometowns, our majors, or any of the other labels given to us by others, God alone knows us from the inside out. And in Him alone we find out reason for being.

Oh Lord, we invite you into our hearts. When everyone else is telling us who we are, let us remember that you truly have our best interest at heart always. That you have dreams and aspirations for us that are bigger and grander than we could ever imagine. And that with you Lord, we have a true and unwavering purpose. Lord open our eyes to your will. In your name we pray, amen.