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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#761. Finding Freedom (1/3/23)


Today, we have a devotional reflection from Lucy Oyelade.


When I started this blog series, it wasn’t supposed to be more than one. But I tend to waffle on once I get typing, so it became three! My thinking was along the lines of how half-term holidays can provide an opportunity for freedom from the usual routine, and an opportunity for rest and a reset, and maybe we can use that in our relationship with God. That didn’t quite work out for us in terms of the holidays (it rarely does!) and it didn’t work out with the theme of these blogs because I got a bit waylaid, but I trust God is putting on this page what He wants you to read. Funnily enough, I think He wants me to read it, too.


I recently went to see a musical called ‘Allegiance’, which depicts the story of a Japanese family who were interned in a relocation camp in the USA after the events of Pearl Harbour. The freedom that they knew was gone overnight due to a government policy fuelled by fear and racism. What I found most striking was that one of the actors on the stage (George Takei, of Star Trek fame) had first-hand experience of these events. As the war generation are getting older and fewer, it’s easier to believe that this type of event is confined to the past. Watching him at 85, reliving the trauma night after night because of his conviction that the story must be told, made me acutely aware of God’s infinite capacity for forgiveness. As you watch a snapshot of the scale of human cruelty, it brings God’s love into sharp focus. Whatever you have done, He has already forgiven you. Which can be hard to accept. I went to the Bible and read this:

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:18-19)

Micah perfectly captures what Christ’s sacrifice on the cross has done for us, even though his death and resurrection hadn’t happened at the time of writing. Your sins are GONE – so far gone that they are lost in the ocean, or have been trodden into the mud. We often say “forgive but don’t forget” – thank you God that this is not how you work! He isn’t angry with you, He holds no grudges, and He has shown us the ultimate mercy by sending Jesus to take our punishment for sin.


Actively seek God, actively ask for His forgiveness, and then actively see the value that will be added to your life now that you don’t have to worry anymore. Our provider reigns on the eternal throne, and we have eternal forgiveness – make a start, by seeking Him, and experience the freedom of Christ.


 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. NOTICES

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


2. ICEBREAKER

What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week?

3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER

During this series, we will be using the 'Prayers of Many' course by Mike Betts.

I encourage you to buy a copy of the book from: https://prayersofmany.org/book#buybook

If you need assistance in buying a book please send an email to the church office and we will happily purchase you a copy.


Please download the course handbook from:







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