The American prisoners have been released from captivity in Iran. For this we praise God and offer gratitude for His grace and power. We also continue to pray for the one soul that has not yet been freed and ask God to sustain his family in their waiting. A Bible verse comes to mind as I think of this prisoner’s beloved: I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; I will wait for him.’ Lamentations 3:24
For several days three thoughts have been circling in my mind about the good news of the freedom of these Americans. I share them with you to encourage your faith and inspire worship and thankfulness in your own heart.
+ Once upon a time I, too, was held in captivity by my sin. God so wanted to have a relationship with me that He exchanged the death of His Son for my freedom. I did not earn or deserve such a gift from God. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
+ The Iran/American prisoner exchange was unjust at its core. The guiltless were ransomed for the guilty. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. 1 Peter 3:18
+ It would be unfathomable to think that one of the prisoners whose release had been arranged would have chosen to remain in captivity. How must it grieve God when one of those He sent His Son to die for rejects their freedom in Christ? Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
I earnestly pray that the former American captives will truly live to the fullest in their new found freedom. Likewise, I pray that you and I can do the same…that the Jesus Prisoner Exchange will not be in vain in our own lives. I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed from death to life. John 5:24
It is for your freedom that Jesus died. Go then and live freely in the Good News of the Gospel.
OPP(opportunity for action): Mothers, Grandmothers and all others of faith influence: As we close out January 2016 let us purpose to help our children live in the presence of God (12 Things I Desire for our Children #1). Find ways to bring God into the moment in your home. I encourage you to establish a daily habit of doing a devotion with your child. It will serve to secure their faith conscience and remind them of God’s love for them. Heaven knows they will need these things as God’s presence is diminished in the world around them. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on on him in truth. Psalm 145:18