Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Freedom


Abundantly Free
A devotional written by Paula Moldenhauer


"Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth."

Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are abundantly free. Free from our imperfections. Free from our guilt. Free from the constant demand to “live up” to unrealistic standards.

Let me paint a picture of freedom. Many years ago when I was a young mother, my kids and I had a really bad day. I was unkind. Mean even. And then I felt awful! Shocked by the pain in their precious eyes, I gave myself a timeout—only it wasn’t a healthy one.

Instead of confessing to the Lord my shortcomings and accepting His forgiveness, I wallowed in self-loathing. I hated the way I acted and felt I didn’t deserve His grace. I couldn’t forgive myself. In the more distant past, I would have wallowed in guilt for days. But praise be to God for His marvelous grace, He’d begun breaking that cycle within me. I was growing in my ability to understand that since Christ took my sins upon Himself, and I was covered by His righteousness, I could live a life without condemnation, even during my failings (Romans 8:1).

The happy ending of that hard day is that I cried out to the Lord to help me, and He did. My emotions calmed. I went to my children and asked their forgiveness. Then an amazing thing happened. My oldest son, then about ten-years-old, ministered to me. I don’t remember what scriptures he spoke that day, I only know they were led by the Holy Spirit, and they offered God’s heart of forgiveness.

Soon all four children and I piled up together. We forgave each other, ordered a pizza, and watched a movie.

It was over. Just like that.

And that is freedom.

Relationship. Forgiveness. Moving on.

If you ever are tempted to punish yourself when you blow it, please consider this: Christ died so we could have forgiveness. He took our punishment upon Himself. He doesn’t want us to penalize ourselves. Scripture says He didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save it (John 3:17). He took our life of failings upon the cross and replaced it with the perfect and complete freedom to enjoy His grace.

As I’m learning to rest in the grace of Jesus, there’s a beautiful side effect. God is changing me into His image. I’m still not perfect, of course, but as I accept the gift of the cross—freedom from the judgment and punishment of my misdeeds—some of the old junk I struggled with is simply dropping away.

Won’t you join me, my precious friend in Christ, in accepting the abundant freedom of His grace?

My Prayer: Jesus, thank You for the deliverance and salvation that comes through Your blood. Your gift of forgiveness, the remission of our shortcomings and trespasses, is an example of the generosity of Your gracious favor. Empower us to walk in the freedom of Your grace. 


*Note: My prayer is a paraphrase of Ephesians 1:7 in the Amplified Version.
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Author Bio:

Author, speaker, and mom of four, Paula Moldenhauer encourages others to live free to flourish. She shares this message when speaking at women’s events, and it permeates her written work. 

Paula has published over 300 times in non-fiction markets and has a devotional book series, Soul Scents. Her first published novella, You’re a Charmer Mr. Grinch, was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards, and she now has six published works of fiction. Her most recent release is included in A Bouquet of Brides

Paula and her husband, Jerry, are adjusting to a sometimes-empty nest in Colorado. Today’s devotion was adapted from her devotional book, Soul Scents: Bloom.

Watch your calendar because you can download Soul Scents: Bloom for free to your Kindle on July 24 and 25! Or sign up for Paula’s newsletter at www.paulamoldenhauer.com for updates on these free days and to get a weekly Flourishing Moments devotional.

For daily Flourishing Moments "Like" Paula’s author/speaker page on Facebook. Here's the link, 
https://www.facebook.com/PaulaMoldenhauerAuthor/.
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2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful and encouraging post! I had a hard time getting past this: "He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making." God took such great delight in making plans for us - a truth that makes my heart sing for joy!

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  2. I love your passion for Jesus, sweet Becky. He delights in YOU and the plans and provisions. I just feel His joy when I think of you!

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