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L is for Loyalty

…be submissive… be pleasing and give satisfaction in every way. [be careful] not to talk back or contradict…to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior (Titus 2:9-10 AMP).

He Came to Set the Captives FreePaul wrote the above verse to Titus concerning the appropriate attitude and service of slaves…Christian slaves.

Many of us shrug off verses that apply to slaves. What could such passages have to do with those of us who are free? Some may say that these verses apply to the workplace, which in a sense they can and should be implemented there. But is it possible that God has a much deeper meaning for them—one that applies to ALL of us?

Peter said, “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them” (2 Peter 2:19).  Paul’s discourse in Romans chapter 6 reminds us that we are all either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. We are slaves to Satan or slaves to Jesus Christ.

If we’re still denying that we are slaves, read more.

Next Week:

U is for Understanding. Prepare by reading and thinking about Psalm 32.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Got Help?

Soul Detox

Part 29

Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love. (Psalm 44:26)

Sydney Painting“Need help?” I asked my four-year-old granddaughter as she maneuvered her scissors around the happy face she had just drawn.

“No, thanks. I can do it myself.” She scrunched her face and stuck her tongue out of the corner of her mouth just like her mother used to do.

Aw yes, those assertive years of independence and self-confidence have emerged. Not that independence and self-confidence are bad things to acquire in our youth…unless of course, we develop them into arrogance and pride, which we all have done to some degree. Read More

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Following our Appetites

Soul detox

Part 27

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way… (Isaiah 53:6a)

??????????Sheep are notorious for getting lost. They follow their appetites to greener pastures but have no sense of direction to find their way back home.

If I followed my appetite, it would lead me straight to the local bakery. This past weekend proved that I’d have trouble finding my way back home too. I over indulged…big time…not just one day, but the entire weekend. And today, I’m paying the price—borderline migraine. Pardon me, while I go take something to ward it off. This “hangover” is nothing new. I know my system can only handle so much sugar before it punishes me for the overload. Nevertheless when it comes to sweets, I’m as dumb as a sheep.

But wait! I’m not alone in this flock. Read More

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Captive or Free?

Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)? But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed.  And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action). (Romans 6:16-18 AMP)

July 4th marks the day of independence for Americans. We celebrate it with pride. And so we should…many good men and women have died for our freedom to pursue life and happiness.

Freedom seems to be the desire of every human soul. But is it possible? Were we created to be free?

Face it, liberties only seem to free us from one form of bondage to enable us to chain ourselves to another form.

According to the Bible, we are slaves to whomever or to whatever masters us. We become servants to other people, our spouses, our parents, our children, our employers, obliged to do their bidding. If not people, food, drugs, alcohol, materialism, video games, the internet, or some other substance becomes our master.

What a pathetic lot we humans are!

Not only do we submit to physical slavery, we yield ourselves to spiritual lords as well. We either succumb to the laws of sin and thereby become slaves to it, or we surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ and thereby become the servants of righteousness. See Romans 6:18.

God created humans to worship, praise, and serve Him. But we resist His control and subject ourselves to other forms of control…other masters…masters that set us in chains, weighing us down with shackles so cumbersome we sink instead of soar. And our souls continue to cry out for freedom.

Thus, we find our only hope for freedom comes from submission to Christ. He came to set the captives free from physical and spiritual bondage. He did it by submitting Himself totally to the Father’s will. By His example, we understand how to live free from the bondage of sin and dependent on God the Father.

Yeah, it sounds like an oxymoron to say He frees us to make us slaves to righteousness. But since we are prone to slavery, isn’t it better to succumb to God? In doing so, our souls are set free.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks