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Oct29ThuLetter 40 October 29, 2020 by Majors Brenda & David Allen
Captured at a townhouse complex, on either side of the entrance, no explanation is needed for these signs seen in the picture below. I almost feel like it says, “Keep out! No trick-or-treaters allowed!” At least the pumpkin is smiling.
Once again, we are faced with a challenge Covid19 has sent our way. It’s not often, during the year, that something free is given. Who would want to miss out on free candy and chocolate? Not many children, and ….not many parents! (I have enjoyed, many a treat, from that which my children received, over the years!)
When anything is free, we are most often told to respond with, “Nothing is free.” We say, ‘It’s probably a scam’ - say ‘No’ or read the small print! Treats on Hallowe’en truly are free! So is the HALLELU DRIVE-THRU we will do at our church on Saturday in the parking lot. There will be three 20-minute ‘shows’. Families will engage from the inside their cars, with the use of FM radio, and a large outdoor screen. Good news and good treats will be shared!
Free. The Christian faith is all about ‘free’. We don’t have to “dress up” to receive something. We don’t need to do anything to make God pleased with us. We don’t need to behave in certain ways so that God will receive us, and we don’t gain access to God by any rituals or routines which mark us as acceptable. We don’t need to pray with certain words, or act in certain terms. Paul wrote, “God, after all, did not spare his own son, Jesus; he gave him up for us all! How then will he not, with him, FREELY give all things to us?” (Romans 8:32). With simplicity, we are invited to believe, in Jesus. We receive this free gift, of salvation, and live our lives as a “Hallelu!” back to God, in response.
By believing in Jesus the Spirit of Jesus enters our lives. “Now we have received…the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are FREELY given to us by God” (2 Corinthians 2:12). It takes the faith of a mustard seed (very tiny) to receive what Jesus freely offers. Once we receive we begin to fully understand!
When the Bible speaks of the first followers of Jesus, it says, “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “ As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ FREELY you have received; FREELY give.” (Matthew 10:5-8). Those first disciple were told that with their freedom they should, “Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons.” (Matthew 10:7-8 The Message). These are bold offerings of freedom. We have “Freely received.” Today may we “Freely give!” in ways that perhaps we never have considered.
There are no signs of “Keep out” when it comes to Jesus. If you hear his voice today, receive what he freely offers.
424: I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say
1. I heard the voice of Jesus say:
“Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon My breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place,
And He has made me glad.
2. I heard the voice of Jesus say:
“Behold, I FREELY give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink and live.”
I came to Jesus and I drank
Of that life giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.
3. I heard the voice of Jesus say:
“I am this dark world's light;
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
And all Thy day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus and I found
In Him my star, my sun;
And in that light of life I'll walk
Till travelling days are done.
God of freedom, you said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Thank you, that in Jesus, we find freedom to live life with fullness of meaning. Your freedom transforms lives, families, and neighbourhoods. Help us to understand all that our freedom in you means. In these complicated days, make us a courageous and intentional people who offer your freedom to others. May we freely give a prayer for healing, a tangible gift of support, an encouraging word of life. May our lives bring someone out from the darkness - out of death into life! Set us free to freely live for you. AMEN
With care and in prayer,