The War Inside

Each of us experience turmoil.

We have to make personal choices and decisions, there’s conflict in a family or with our neighbor, co-worker stuff, church stuff, and friendship stuff. On top of that we are all impacted by global strife in ways we realize and ways we may not.

In this week’s video study we focus in on James 4:1-5 and talk about the nitty gritty of wars raging in and how we push those wars to the outside because they are so uncomfortable. Christ declares us righteous and holy in Him through all of it!

Find the archived link here on the I Love My Shepherd YouTube channel:

I look forward to hearing from you in the comments section here or on YouTube.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:21-25a


Questions from this week’s study:
Where do you see the war inside of you come out?
What hope does knowing you live as both sinner and saint offer?
What useful questions can you ask yourself or others in this struggle?
What kinds of things do you want and covet?
What things do you see people quarreling about? Is it about Jesus or just stuff?

 

Notes:

simul justus et peccator – whatdoesthismean.org

simul justus et peccator – ligonier.org

Love Your Life Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze

The Rescue of Ransom

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Day 2 – The rescue of ransom

Two years ago we came out of one of the most difficult times in our lives. We had a season like no other of fighting the good fight, standing strong, and letting God hold us up when we had nothing left.

One day, during the struggle, we were driving from somewhere to something. What it was, I can’t even remember, and it hardly matters. What I remember was my husband blaring the radio to some song.

My nerves were on edge and I asked him to turn it down.

“So, it’s kind of loud.”

His response: “Yep.”

“No, I mean, it’s really loud.” I lean up to turn it down. Insert death glare from my husband here. I leaned back. Now, he’s singing along.

I lose it. “Dave, seriously, can’t we turn it down. This is ridiculous. You’re not even listening to me. It’s TOO LOUD!”

My husband, who asks for so very little, you have to understand. He rarely has an opinion about anything less than what is eternally significant. He looked at me and his eyes turned a little sad. “Can’t you hear it? Listen.”And so I did. I listened.

You hold my head up.
You remind me who I am.
You hold my head up.
I’m alive in You again.
I’m made new.
(Made New, Lincoln Brewster)*

What I didn’t understand, that became crystal clear in a moment, was that my husband needed to know that God called him loved and that God called him ransomed, that God called him new. I had spent so much of my time concerned with my own needs, particularly in our struggle and suffering. I was raging against God, yelling at Him in the dark of night, and offering my tears as a living sacrifice of prayer. My husband, however, was clinging to what He knew, what He had read in the Word, what He had been instructed in since he was a tow-headed toddler on chubby legs.

This song in that moment reminded him of the Biblical truths stored deep in His heart – he was God’s. He was held by God. He was made new in God. Maybe most importantly during that time for him was this message, though…God lifts our heads, God lifts our shame.

We hear this Truth in Isaiah 35:8-10 –

And a highway shall be there,
    and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
    It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
    even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.[a]
No lion shall be there,
    nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
    but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
    and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain gladness and joy,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

We walk a road, even in trouble and difficulty, that is not shaming. We walk a road paved by the Savior of the world, who has gone before us. We will not be attacked by ravenous beasts, although sometimes it feels like it. This is the road for the redeemed. The devil, he tries, but he may not have us. Jesus keeps us on the path, walking sure and strong, heads held high. Though we may feel like tucking our tails, hiding away beneath a rock, Christ is the one holding our faces high. His intercession for us reminds us Whose we are. We belong to the Most High God. We are Holy, because He is Holy. We have been ransomed – brought out – of whatever has tried to overcome us.

Everlasting joy is on our heads, not guilt, not struggle, not shame.

Psalm 47:5-7 –

God has gone up with a shout,
the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!

Look also a couple chapters later at Psalm 49:7-8, as well as 49:15.

Truly no man can ransom another,
or give to God the price of his life,
for the ransom of their life is costly
and can never suffice…
But God will ransom my soul from the
power of Sheol
(death/hell),
for he will receive me.

He is King. Only He can save. Only He is enough. No person, no man, no ruler, no idea can rescue us, can bring us out and lift our heads as He can.

Only He determines our value and He calls us worth ransoming.

Thank you, Lord! Hold your heads up, girls! You have been brought out. You have been ransomed.

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Exploration:

What other Scriptures come to mind when you think of God paving the way, or God’s work on a road/path?

What are some examples of things that trap people in shame and keep them from seeing their value in Christ Jesus?

 

*Made New by Lincoln Brewster Official Lyric Video

*Photo overlay made with the instaquote app. Photos tagged by ilovemyshepherd.com are always sharable!

What Christians have

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I was listening to the radio the other day and I heard about two seconds of the speaker before I clicked over to another station. But who knew that two seconds could be just as impactful as two hours.

The sentence that I heard was this,

“No one is righteous. Not one. That’s the bad news, but do I have good news for you!”

Later, after listening to my tunes in the van and running people to violin lessons and grabbing sour cream from Aldi and, and, and…when I finally sat down, I heard that speaker in my ear. He was a low key speaker. He wasn’t blasting a message loud and proud against the airways. I felt like I was in a coffee shop with him. I felt like he was a friend who had something interesting to tell me.

And he’s right.

We have good news!

And people need good news these days.

Terrorism and genocide, human trafficking, domestic violence, child abuse of all kinds.

We live in a world where people walk into schools and malls and don’t just point guns but shoot them. Hundreds of people are killed.

One person is killed. That’s enough.

It hurts to turn on the news. It hurts to read an article. It hurts to scroll through my Facebook feed.

We have good news.

How about we tell them?

How about we share it, not yelling from the street corners, well maybe, sometimes, but mostly like we’re in a coffee shop. With people we know. People we have relationships with. People that are hurting. People that are tired of watching life implode on the screen before them.

“Did you see that piece about the refugee crisis?”

Yes. I have good news…

“Did you hear about the bombing in France?”

Yes. I have good news…

“Oh my goodness! The floods look terrible!”

Yep. I have good news…

It sounds too easy, right? It sounds pat. But is it?

God, sent His son, His only son, to die in our place, to not only redeem our souls, to tend to them, to hold them safely in His hand, but also to restore them. To restore me and all things around me. To raise us up, to give us more than shifting sand and bloody wars and hungry children and desperate mothers.

He restores. He redeems. He makes new. He reaches in. He lifts up.

I’ve got good news.

I need it like ships need a harbor and like crops need rain and like snowflakes need cold. You need it, my friend. You need it too.

He is something different. Jesus.

He is good news.

 

 

*image used from the pexels image gallery – Thank you pexels!