#35 Free Indeed

Today, African Americans, along with our allies, celebrate the newly legislated Juneteenth Holiday in America. Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom that began in Texas and is now celebrated across the United States. The historical legacy of Juneteenth began when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Lincoln on January 1, 1963, which freed slaves in Confederate states. Although Confederate states received the news that slaves were then free, Texas did not abide by the new legislation until they were forced on June 19, 1865. As I participated in several Juneteenth events over the weekend, I reflected on the fact that as Christians, we do not always live according to the freedom we have in Christ.

Juneteenth Flag
State Capitol, Olympia Washington

The Word of God is the good news that every believer is set free in Christ, and every sinner can be set free. We are no longer slaves to Satan and sin. We are no longer bound by the rules and laws of an evil slave master: We are emancipated. If this is true, why then do many Christians live as though they have not received the good news? Why do many Christians live and behave bound in thinking, bound to a specific geographical area, bound to poverty, or bound in sickness? Jesus is the enforcer of God’s Word. We have all been set free. If we believe in the truth of His Word, and accept and trust His authority, power, and promises, we can live a life of abundance, prosperity, health, and freedom.

For the former slaves in Texas, a path had already been created for their deliverance but an enforcer was needed. The Union soldiers came to share the good news and enforce the fact that the slaves were free indeed. Likewise, God surely created a pathway and an enforcer for the deliverance of mankind. He has shared the good news that every person can truly be free. God desires us to be free from sin, guilt, worry, condemnation, sickness, poverty, and all manner of dis-ease (3 John 1:2). Hear and accept the proclamation of God –for whom the Son sets free, is free indeed (John 8:36).

I pray that you will study the good news and accept the proclamation of freedom in Christ.

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Highlights from Today’s Post:

  • God has created a path for freedom in Christ and emancipation from our old slave master, Satan
  • Jesus is the enforcer of God’s emancipation proclamation, and whom the Son sets free, is free indeed (John 8:36)
  • The good news promises freedom from guilt, sin, and all manner of dis-ease (3 John 1:2)

#34 Name-droppers Shall Not Pass

Have you ever had the opportunity to be around a name-dropper? You know, an individual that likes to drop the names of famous, influential, or wealthy people. There are several reasons people name-drop, but oftentimes it is to make others believe there is a connection or relationship between themselves and the famous, influential, or wealthy person. Truth is, the latter usually has no knowledge of this relationship. So why then do people name drop? There must be an intrinsic or extrinsic reward; otherwise, why bother. Benefits may include the receipt of special treatment, favors, or reverence from others. It could also be an attempt to establish one’s credibility by claiming affiliation with a certain individual or group. What is so significant about name-dropping, and what does it have to do with purpose, kingdom assignments, or a relationship with God? I’m glad you asked.

Many people believe that just by dropping God’s name they get a pass into heaven, they establish creditability as being affiliated with God, or that they will receive or are due favor or special treatment. Some are misled into believing that simply dropping God’s name makes them part of His kingdom family, that God is pleased with them, or that He co-signs for them. Those who profess to believe and unbelievers alike fall into the deceptive illusion of name-dropping.  A deceptive illusion is something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality. It is this false reality that is so dangerous for anyone who has determined that heaven will be their eternal retirement destination.

I recall watching various music award shows over the years and noted how winners would pay homage to God for allowing them to achieve such an honor. The recipient would thank God and exclaim the improbability of receiving the award if it had not been for God’s help.  Never mind the fact that the award-winning lyrics were laced with profanities, sexual innuendo, and boasts of violent acts. You tell me; does that sound like God? Did God lend the songwriter breath and health every day while creating their music? Yes; however, an act of love and care is not to be confused with approval, acceptance, and relationship. Jesus clearly lets us know that if we are not going to do what He asks, why bother calling His name. Luke 6: 45-46 states:

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaketh. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Now, I would classify these types of artists as non-believers or as new believers who have no knowledge of the expectations of God. However, those who profess to know God and to be on His payroll are not exempt from the deceptive illusion of name-dropping. If you grew up or have been around evangelical or Pentecostal churches, you have heard Psalms 105:15, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” Albeit far from context, I often heard this phrase from believers -mostly preachers and prophets- as a roundabout way of saying they are tight with God and He will revenge anyone that harms His anointed one. This type of name-dropping was often used to manipulate or intimidate, and it is definitely not a message approved by God. What God expects is obedience and relationship: Obedience to His will, not ours, and a committed, not one-sided relationship. Ultimately if we don’t live a life of obedience to Him, it will benefit us nothing to drop His name. Matthew 7:14-23 states:

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, and neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits, ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Believers nor unbelievers are exempt from the deceptive illusion of name-dropping. It is important to assess our beliefs, daily living, our works, and our motives in what and who we claim God has co-signed. Unbelievers should first accept God, study His Word to know what is expected of every believer, and learn how to please God. For if our actions do not bear good fruit, we will ultimately be disowned and rejected by Jesus.

Thanks for visiting. If you missed the latest post, click here.

To purchase my bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, click on the links below:

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/journey-to-purpose-l-elizabeth-stewart/1130473472

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Purpose-L-Elizabeth-Stewart/dp/1545656908

Highlights from Today’s Post:

  • Name dropping is a deceptive illusion that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality
  • Dropping God’s name to establish credibility, to receive favors or reverence, to intimidate or manipulate, to misrepresent a relationship with God, or to misrepresent approval and acceptance by God will ultimately profit nothing
  • Not everyone that claims to work in Jesus’ name, or that calls Jesus Lord will enter into heaven
  • We should examine our daily living, our works, and beliefs and motives to ensure obedience to the Father’s will and that we are known by Him

#28 Releasing Guilt

A couple of weeks ago I published a YouTube video about guilt. If you would like to see that video click here. Guilt is simply judging ourselves wrong or giving ourselves a guilty verdict over and over again. For the righteous, it’s when we perseverate over sin, wrong decisions, or inappropriate actions towards others or even ourselves. In essence, it is not forgiving ourselves. Continue reading

#25 Synchronize for Purpose

Announcements:  Reminder: My bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon (print and e-format), Xulon Press. I’ve provided the links at the end of the page.

Blog content:

In this age of technology, we have many tools at our disposal that interface to make our lives easier. We have become quite dependent on these tools. We have mobile calendars to remind us of important dates and appointments; mobile personal and business development plans to help us maintain focus and monitor and accomplish goals; fitness tools that help us keep track of our physical activity, sleep patterns, and water intake; and all types of cameras that interface with our computers to help us save important snapshots in time. As wonderful as these tools are, none of the tools or applications will work properly if they do not occasionally undergo synchronization. There are times we receive notifications that we must synchronize devices in order for the devices and applications to continue to work properly. These systems are so sophisticated they will even tell us how long the synchronization will take. Continue reading

#24 Watch God Provide!

Announcements:  Reminder: My bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon (print and e-format), Xulon Press. To purchase click on the links below or click on the Resources tab where I’ve provided direct links to purchase the bible study. Thanks for your support.

Watch God Provide! What an exclamatory statement. While I know exclamatory statements convey a multitude of emotions like anger, frustration, or warning, my goal is to invoke excitement about the dedicated exploration of your purpose and/or steadfast productivity related to kingdom purpose. I intend for this statement to cause you to exhale and invigorate you at the same time. When we are obedient to the call and instructions of God related to purpose and destiny, we can be ascertained that God will provide. Not only will God provide resources and connections related to purpose and destiny, but He will also bring you to resources, wealth, and good health too. Continue reading

#23 Illogical Instructions Part 4: Provision where there is lack

Announcements:  Reminder: My bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon (print and e-format), Xulon Press, and other Christian bookstores. If you missed the E-launch feel free to watch the previously recorded Facebook Live sessions.

This is the final installment of our four-part series on “illogical instructions”. We learned the role trust plays in our relationship with God. If you missed Part 3, click the link at the end of this post. It bears repeating that trusting God means that we submit to God’s plan by laying aside conventional wisdom, knowledge, experiences, and even past works of God to realize that God is doing a new thing, moving in a different way in our lives, or preparing us for a breakthrough. God will give us an illogical instruction that is outside of our knowledge, wisdom, ability, or experience. We have seen how God builds our trust in Him through illogical instructions while in the midst of a battle, a move of God, or healing. God uses illogical instruction to aid in our Christian development, specifically, to build our faith and trust in Him. We have come to learn that our breakthrough is dependent on our obedience to an illogical instruction. We continue our review of instances where God gives an illogical instruction, discover areas of increased trust, and note how God uses circumstance and our obedience to an illogical instruction to bring about delivering power and provision of God.

Continue reading

#022 Illogical Instructions Part 3: Receiving Healing

Announcements:  Reminder: My bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon (print and e-format), Xulon Press, and other Christian bookstores. If you missed the E-launch feel free to watch the previously recorded Facebook Live sessions.

This is the third installment of our four-part series on “illogical instructions”. We have come to understand the role trust plays in our relationship with God. If you missed Part 2, click the link at the end of this post. The important part that bears repeating is that trusting God means that we submit to God’s plan by laying aside conventional wisdom, knowledge, experiences, and even past works of God to realize that God is doing a new thing, moving in a different way in our lives, or preparing us for a miracle. Sometimes, God will give us an illogical instruction that is outside of our knowledge, ability, wisdom, or experience. So far, we have seen how God builds our trust in Him through illogical instructions while in the midst of a battle and a move of God.

Continue reading

#21 Illogical Instructions Part 2: Noah – A move of God

Announcements:  Reminder: My bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon (print and e-format), Xulon Press, and other Christian bookstores. If you missed the E-launch feel free to watch the previously recorded Facebook Live sessions.

This is the second in our four-part series on “illogical instructions”. Last week, we talked about the role that trust plays in our relationship with God. If you missed that post, click the link at the end of this post. The important part that bears repeating is that trusting God means that we submit to God’s plan by laying aside conventional wisdom, knowledge, experiences, and even past works of God to realize that God is doing a new thing or moving in a different way in our lives. Sometimes, God will give us an illogical instruction that is outside of our knowledge, wisdom, ability, or experience. Recall that God builds our trust in Him by giving us an illogical instruction while in the midst of a trying situation like sickness, lack, a move of God, or a battle. Since illogical instructions are a part of our Christian development, we need to understand when, why, and to what end God gives us illogical instructions. A thoughtful understanding of illogical instructions will help us accept the illogical instructions we receive while on our journey to or while fulfilling purpose. We will continue our review of instances where God gives an illogical instruction, discover areas of increased trust, and note how God uses circumstance and our obedience to an illogical instruction to bring about a move of God and fulfill His purpose and plan.

Continue reading

#20 Illogical Instructions Part 1: God will fight my battles

Announcements:  Reminder: My bible study, “Journey to Purpose”, is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon (print and e-format), Xulon Press, and other Christian bookstores. If you missed the E-launch feel free to watch the previously recorded Facebook Live sessions.

An important criterion for any lasting relationship is trust –trust in the word and character of a significant other. Without trust, doubt and suspicion can creep into relationships and manifests in questioning a partners motives or displaying apprehensiveness in responding to requests. The thing about trust is that it requires you to have faith in the motives, words, and character of a significant other. Trust demands that you respond favorably even when you don’t have all the information you would like. In our relationship with God, exercising trust means that sometimes we will be asked to lay aside conventional wisdom, knowledge,  experiences, and even past works of God to realize that God is doing a new thing or moving in a different way in our lives.

Continue reading

#018 Registering for the Facebook Live E-Launch Party

Hello Everyone,

Get ready for the Facebook Live Journey to Purpose E-launch. I am hopeful that you will join in and support by participating in the E-launch of my book, Journey to Purpose. I expect us to have lively conversations, be blessed by the journey and testimony of others, and grow in our understanding and service related to our purpose in the kingdom. Thank you in advance for your support. I pray that you will be encouraged to begin or continue your pursuit of kingdom purpose as we engage in this five-week study.

E-Launch Party starts Saturday, July 20, 7:00 am (PST)

To register for the E-launch, go to my website at https://lelizabethstewart.wordpress.com/, click on the ‘Contact’ tab, fill in your name and email, and then type, “J2P registration” in the comment box. For those of you who register and participate in the E-launch, I want to make sure that you have the content of the book for discussions, so I will forward a PDF of the book. Your copy will not contain the teacher’s guide and handouts section.

Due to the time difference, the Facebook Live discussion will occur on Saturday mornings starting July 20 at 7:00 am (PST), which is 9:00 am (CST) and 10:00 am (EST). Please verify your time zone so you do not miss the discussion. Remember, I will communicate pertinent information through email, so make sure you register. Tell all your friends and family and let’s engage in this study together. To start the fun, the first person to purchase their book and email me a receipt will win a prize. Winner and prize will be announced at our first session on July 20. To forward your receipt, click on the Contact tab at the web address above and in the comments box include the date, time, and location of your purchase (i.e., Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Xulon Press) and I will respond with the email address to upload your receipt.

Please don’t forget to share on all your social media sites. The more participants we have, the more we can learn from one another.

Thank you in advance for your support and God bless.