#7 Gust of Freedom

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Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

– Matthew 11:29-30

It seems counter-intuitive to think that a windy day may be the best kind for a runner. Though fighting against strong gusts slows the runner down, making her push harder for less result, it’s not disappointment that she feels. Instead, the runner is exhilarated, cooled by breezy blasts that make the punishment of running into a task that’s enjoyable.

A life lived according to scripture sometimes feel the same. Weighed down by laws, demands, rules, and morals, the “word of God” could seem stifling, like the words of a tyrant that are outdated, out of touch, and unwelcome.

When lived out legalistically, scripture can indeed be all that, like a hot blast in an already burning heat. But when one comprehends the meaning of grace, running that life becomes the opposite experience, like that of a runner basking in a cool breeze blowing in her face. This, she notes in breathless wonder, is freedom. And that unfettered, brisk, refreshing existence lies in wait for us, too.

Pray | Ask to understand with your heart, if not also with your head, the freedom that grace can bring

Read | Meditate on these verses this week: James 2:8-11 / Romans 6:11-14 / Hebrews 10:1-4 / Galatians 2:15-16 / James 2:12-13

Act | Think of the moral rules you live and/or judge others by and contemplating how grace meets us when we’re unable to live by those same rules

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#4 Fiery Passion

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Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

– Hebrews 12:28-29

I have a burning desire for herThere’s a real spark between usHe’s so hot.  Words related to heat seem to perfectly describe the passion of relationships. What other concept can better relate the way two people feel when they are on fire for each other?  Imagine a love so intense that everything seems to burn up in their flames for one another.

As good as these feelings are, they’re mainly superficial, dealing with the laws of attraction and chemistry.  But what if there was intense fire in a relationship that was more than skin deep, that seared our very souls?

When we respond to grace, opening the doors for relationship, we find that God doesn’t walk in meekly.  He arrives in full force, a fire so hot that it burns us to a crisp – it eats away our pains, ills, sin, and guilt.  It carbonizes our old selves, and out of those ashes rises someone reinvented, someone sublime.  From the heat of this perfect love, we discover this – we’ve become someone more lovely than we ever thought we could be.

Pray | Ask God to “burn you up” with a desire for him, or if you don’t feel a need for such passion, instead ask God to show you what it is he wants out of your relationship with him

Read | Meditate on these verses this week: 1 Peter 1:3-9 / Job 23:10 / Ezekiel 18:31 / 2 Corinthians 5:17 / Zechariah 13:9

Act | Develop a list of those things in you that you would like to change and spend time reflecting both on why you haven’t changed and how you might approach changes in these areas