Monday, August 2, 2021

Are You Living Out Loud?

 By Andrea Merrell

 

So don’t hide your light! Let it shine brightly before others,

so that your commendable works will shine as light upon them,

and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

 

Years ago, when I said something about praying for our neighbor’s salvation, my grandfather assured me it was none of our business whether the man was a Christian or not. We needed to “tend to our own beeswax.”

 

My grandfather was a very private person. He read the Bible every day and went to church, but he never felt comfortable talking about the Lord. He even gave his tithes and offerings in cash so no one would know. It saddened me that he had so much love to give others but kept it to himself. Unfortunately, this was how he was raised.

 

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying we should boast about what we do to be admired by others. In fact, Jesus warns us about that in Matthew 6:1. But He also doesn’t expect us to be “closet Christians.”

 

Living out loud simply means loving, being generous, and telling others about the Lord whenever we have the opportunity. It’s allowing people to see the joy of the Lord that gives us strength and the peace that passes understanding. It’s praying for and encouraging those in need, lending a helping hand. It’s being passionate about our faith. Shining our light in a dark world.

 

Are you living out loud?


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Jolee G.)

 

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Are you shining your light in a dark world and living out loud? via @AndreaMerrell(Click to tweet.)

 

 

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Monday, July 26, 2021

Case Closed

 By Andrea Merrell

 

So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One. For the law of the Spirit of life flowing through the anointing of Jesus has liberated us from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 TPT

 

The evidence had been submitted. Final arguments made. The people in the courtroom sat with bated breath awaiting the judge’s decision.

 

Suddenly, the gavel sounded and the judge declared, “Insufficient evidence. Case dismissed!”

 

Sometimes we feel as if our life is being played out in a courtroom as the Enemy hurls accusations against us. Look at what you did. You’ve blown it this time. No forgiveness for you. Guilt weighs heavy on us as we throw ourself on the mercy of the court.

 

But the one true Judge—our Father, Creator, and the Lover of our soul—has already declared us not guilty. The blood of Jesus has set us free from condemnation, and He declares, So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One.

 

The next time you’re tempted to listen to those false accusations, tell the Enemy—and yourself—“I’m free!”

 

Case closed.

 

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Siri Anamwong.)

 

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The blood of Jesus has set us free from condemnation. Case closed! via @AndreaMerrell(Click to tweet.)

 

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Monday, July 19, 2021

Take a Load Off

 By Andrea Merrell

 

Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].         1 Peter 5:7 AMP

 

When someone tells us to “take a load off,” it’s another way of saying, “have a seat and rest a while.”

 

God gives us the same invitation as we lug around our heavy burdens, worrying about and trying to figure out how to fix every situation. He invites us to come to Him. Then He further invites us to cast our cares on Him—our anxieties, worries, and concerns—once and for all.

 

What a relief to know we are not responsible—or expected—to fix all our problems. We don’t have to worry about them, carry them around day and night, or try to figure everything out.

 

If life is getting you down, it’s time to take a mental and emotional break. Give God your problems. He can handle them. Don’t be hesitant or afraid to take a load off.

 

Rest in Him. He is faithful.

 

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net ad iosphere.)


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If life is getting you down, it’s time to take a mental and emotional break. Give God your problems. He can handle them. Don’t be hesitant or afraid to take a load off. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)

 

 

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Monday, July 12, 2021

Joy in the Midst of Adversity

 By Andrea Merrell

 

But in everything and in every way we show that we truly are God’s servants. We have always been patient, though we have had a lot of trouble, suffering, and hard times.

 2 Corinthians 6:4 CEV

 

 

The Scripture reached out and grabbed me by the throat during my morning devotion. Well, at least it felt that way. It certainly stopped my petty complaining in its tracks.


 

In 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul talks about being patient—and even happy—in the midst of adversity. He says, “We have been beaten, put in jail, and hurt in riots. We have worked hard and gone without sleep or food" (6:5).

 

I’ve been through some pretty rough times in my life, but I’ve never been beaten. Never put in jail. Never hurt in a riot. I’ve worked hard, but I’ve never gone without sleep or food. In fact, my experiences pale in comparison.

 

My sweet, twenty-six-year-old friend has a multitude of physical issues. She’s endured two strokes, a feeding tube, various surgeries, and numerous hospital visits. She’s still unable to keep food down. Her life literally hangs in the balance. She can’t function normally as most of us can, yet she finds joy and praises her Lord, sharing His love with everyone she can.

 

Paul goes on to say, “We are always happy, even in times of suffering” (v. 19). He chose joy. My friend chooses joy each and every day. No matter how difficult their circumstances, I am greatly inspired by both.

 

The next time your circumstances threaten to overwhelm you and take you under, remember Paul. Remember my friend. Look around you and see others who are dealing with much more serious issues. Then praise God. Be thankful. And most of all, choose joy in the midst of adversity. It will give you strength and carry you through those hard times.

 

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When circumstances threaten to overwhelm you and take you under, you can choose joy in the midst of adversity. via @AndreaMerrell (Click to tweet.)


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)

 

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Monday, July 5, 2021

Your Personal Independence Day

 By Andrea Merrell

 

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

John 8:36 NLT

 

Freedom. A word we cherish as proud Americans.

 

Each year we gather with friends and family on July 4th to celebrate our country’s birthday. We participate in picnics, shoot fireworks, and wave the American flag. This federal holiday commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, and we never want to take it for granted. It represents freedom. 

 

For those of us who accept and follow Christ, we have our own individual Independence Day. The Bible says when He sets us free, we are truly free. But free from what?

·       Death, hell, and the grave.

·       The bondage of sin.

·       Eternal damnation.

·       Guilt and condemnation.

·       The lies and manipulation of the Enemy.

 

Many of us have been set free from addictions, bad habits, depression, abuse, illness and disease, and _______ (you fill in the blank). But we’ve also been set free to experience love, joy, and peace. To forgive and be forgiven. To experience healing and deliverance. To walk in love and in the Spirit. To be the person God created us to be. And to fulfill our God-given destiny.

 

Freedom always comes with a price, but for the child of God, Jesus has paid that price.

 

At last we have freedom, for Christ has set us free! We must always cherish this truth and firmly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past. Galatians 5:1 TPT

 

Don’t wait for July Fourth to celebrate independence. Remember with praise and thanksgiving what God has done for you. Then celebrate your own personal Independence Day.

 

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Keerati.)


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July Fourth has passed, but don’t forget to celebrate your own personal Independence Day as a child of God. via @AndreaMerrell(Click to tweet.)

 

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