Freedom in Spiritual Poverty - First15 - November 25
The biblical concept of being poor in spirit is foundational to every aspect of the Christian life. Foundational to salvation is a heart-level acknowledgment of our need for a Savior. Foundational to experiencing God’s love is acknowledging our great need of love. Foundational to heavenly peace and joy is an acknowledgment that this world truly offers us neither. If we want all that God in his grace offers, we must pursue a lifestyle of being poor in spirit. May you experience more of the depth of God’s love this week as you discover God’s heart to minister to those desperate for him.
Scripture:“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” 1 Peter 2:16
There is abundant freedom from sin available to those who in humility and acknowledgement of their brokenness look to God for help. God’s heart is for freedom. He came, died, and rose again that we might no longer be entangled to the burdens of this world but be set free to experience the fullness of heaven on earth.
Isaiah 61:1 foretold of Jesus’ purposes on the earth in saying, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Through the powerful sacrifice of Jesus in living and dying for us, we have been set free.
But the Bible is clear that walking in the freedom made available by the blood of Jesus only happens as we continually yield our lives to him on a daily basis. Romans 6:7 and 11 say, “For one who has died has been set free from sin. . . . So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” 1 Peter 2:16 says, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” And Galatians 5:13 says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” We experience continual freedom as we submit our lives to the purposes, presence, and plans of our heavenly Father.
There is freedom for you and me today if we will choose to live poor in spirit. Jesus set us free, not that we would continue to live for ourselves and the world, but that we would experience the abundant life that comes through humility and submission to our loving God. The Godhead continually models submission and humility. They continually serve one another in an irreconcilable paradox of being three and one. And God is calling us to follow his model.
Where are you struggling with the bonds of sin today? Where does the world seem to have a hold on you? Submit your life to the capable hands of your loving heavenly Father and ask him to reveal to you the path to freedom. Look for any parts of your life in which you are still living for yourself and the things of the world. There is no freedom available to us in the pursuits of the world. The abundant life found in God is in direct opposition to the ways and cares of the earth. Choose today to pursue the life God has laid before you, find your enjoyment in his loving nearness, and receive the freedom that comes from abiding in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
1. Meditate on the connection between humility and freedom. Reflect on the opposition between the things of the world and abundant life in God.
“For one who has died has been set free from sin. . . . So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:7,11
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” 1 Peter 2:16
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13
2. Where are you not experiencing the freedom available to you in Christ? In what ways are you living for yourself and the world?
3. Take time to rest in the presence of God and ask him for his path to freedom for you. Submit the entirety of your life to him and listen for his voice. Ask him to reveal his love and grace to you that you might live empowered by his presence.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Isaiah 61:1
“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:18 (NIV)
May the words of Romans 8:1-4 fill you with faith to seek the total freedom from sin available to you in God. May your day today be marked by victory over the enemy and his schemes. And may your life be filled with the peace and joy that comes from experiencing freedom from the burdens and cares of sin:
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Extended Reading: Romans 6
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