Held Prisoner

Our God is a God of second, third, and fourth chances. 

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Are you feeling this way recently; all caged in and limited?  I think we all are feeling like a prisoner.  This is what the Law can impart, not just from a pandemic in our world.  We were created to fly, to explore, and be free; not to be bound. 

Is the Old Testament Law bad? No, not in itself.  The Law leads us to the promise.  Promise of what?  Promise of eternal life.

“Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God?  Absolutely not!  For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.”  (Galatians 3: 21)

What is this actually saying?  The Law of God (The Mosaic Covenant), the Ten Commandments, itself cannot save.  It serves to reveal sin, which separates God from man.  The law shows us the need for our Savior, for our Salvation, that the promise gives.  

We find that “The scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.”  (Galatians 3: 22)  

So why was the law given?  “To lead us to Christ that we might be justified (just as if I never sinned) by faith.”  (Galatians 3: 24)  

Since faith came, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.  

Now We Are Sons Who Are Free

The faith we have as a believer is in Jesus Christ.  “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”  (Galatians 3: 26)  

  • The law was given to lead us to Jesus.  
  • Religion keeps us bound in roles and regulations.
  • Relationship keeps us free by faith in Jesus Christ.  

Paul asks the Galatians this question?  “Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law or by believing what you heard?  (Galatians 3: 2)  

  • Holy Spirit received is by faith in Jesus Christ, not by religion or in the law.  

Paul rebukes the Galatians saying, “After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”  (Galatians 3: 3)  

Our human effort, our flesh. our deeds, or our good works,  cannot produce living a life in the Holy Spirit.  

  • We observe the law.
  • We receive the promise.  

God had always intended His children to receive, not just observe.  Even to this day, He’s still wanting His children to be heirs of the promise–by receiving Jesus, and receiving the Holy Spirit in power!  

If “Those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless because the law brings wrath.”  (Romans 4: 14-15)  

(Shared from Galatians 3, Modified)  

Held Prisoners By Idolatry

Jeremiah still talking to Babylon and its impending judgment and destruction.  He’s telling the people of Israel and Judah to flee from Babylon for it’s about to be destroyed.  Even in their sin, “Israel and Judah have not been forsaken by their God, the Lord Almighty, though their land is full of guilt before the Holy One of Israel.”  (Jeremiah 51: 5)  

He says, “The wall of Babylon will fall.  Come out of her, my people.  Run for your lives!  Run from the fierce anger of the Lord.”  (Jeremiah 51: 44-45)  

  • Our God is a God of second, third, and fourth chances. 
  • Turn away and make it right while there is still time.  

God Repays For Wrong

“For the Lord is a God of retribution; He will repay in full.”  (Jeremiah 51: 56)

  • If you’ve been wronged, God brings retribution.  

So what’s Retribution?  It is punishment inflicted. 

Babylon To Sink

As Jeremiah had written on a scroll all the disasters that would come upon Babylon, he sends Seraiah, one of the king’s scribe’s, to read these words aloud. He tells him, “When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw in into the Euphrates.  Then say, “So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring upon her.  And her people will fall.”  (Jeremiah 51: 64)  

Jerusalem is taken into captivity by the Babylonians.  They “Set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem.  Every important building they burned down.”  (Jeremiah 51: 13)  

It was a sad day indeed.  If only they would have heeded the prophet’s warnings.  If only they would have listened.

Don’t live your life saying, “If only…”  Now is the time to make the changes needed!  

(Shared from Jeremiah 51-52, Modified)

Hands Trained For War

Let this be your proclamation.  “Praise be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.  He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.”  (Psalm 144: 1-2)  

Rewards Are Coming

“Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.”  (Psalm 144: 15)  

Yes, once we were prisoners, now set free and blessed, truly blessed!  A blessed people whose God is the Lord.  

Is He your Lord?  If not, make Him not only Savior but Lord!  

(Shared from Psalm 144, Modified)

 

 

 


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About the Author

Mary Beth Pecora, a faithful wife, mother, grandmother, friend, worshiper and servant leader, who loves life and loves people. More importantly, she passionately loves God and the fullness of who He is! For twenty-three years she has served in leadership positions within the ministry of Aglow International. Currently, she serves at The Secret Place--A Psalm 91 Ministry. It's a place for individual folks to come, be exhorted and prayed for, while being ushered to ministry stations within the room. She delights in encouraging folks of all ages within various walks of life. Her love of writing is now her passion; which led her to publish two books, "Restoration Explosion In The New Year," and "Navigating The Mysteries Of God." Above all that’s been accomplished and concluded, the BEST thing to her is knowing her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is her everything—her very best friend. Visit: Mybelovedsvoice.com