Monday, June 30, 2014


Who can resist warm, summer days? May God bless you with opportunities to bask in His seasonal goodness, even as the swaying trees do while lifting their arms heavenward to their Creator.



One day a hummingbird flew into my porch window screen. Its needle-like beak stuck into the mesh and it began to flutter its wings frantically. Fortunately, before I had a chance to push the beak out, the bird freed itself and flew away.

To that tiny bird, the screen must have seemed like a heavy chain holding it in its unrelenting grip. Perhaps we can relate to the hummer’s experience—caught in a chain of circumstances that holds us bound.

St. Paul and his ministry partner, Silas, once were physically bound in chains. The book of Acts relates how they were dragged to the marketplace in Philippi, arrested, beaten with rods, and thrown into the worst part of prison—all because God used them to free a slave girl from the demons within her. Once in prison, Paul and Silas’ legs were chained to wooden blocks.

In spite of their pain and extreme discomfort, the two men prayed and sang praises to God. A sudden earthquake and loosening of the prisoners’ chains resulted in a miraculous chain of events. All the men suddenly became free. The jailer, fearing the prisoners had escaped, wanted to commit suicide until reassured by Paul that none had left. The jailer took Paul and Silas home and washed their wounds. Astounded and desperate, he asked how to be saved from his sin. Paul led him and his household to a saving faith in God and their immediate baptisms.

What a story! We may not experience what Paul and Silas went through, but many of us are in chains of another kind. Bad habits and addictions are chains that can keep us from moving forward with peace of mind and body. Past memories easily can bind our thoughts with anger or feelings of low self-worth. Chronic illness and pain can prevent us from fulfilling our dreams. Sin itself keeps us in bondage.

But God offers us freedom as surely as He did Paul and Silas—and the jailer.  “Happy is he … whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who … executes justice for the oppressed. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.” (Psalm 146:5-7 in part)

If we’re to be released from our bondage, however, we must desire our freedom. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

Lord, like the helpless hummingbird, we want freedom of body, soul, and spirit. We embrace Your words from John 8:36:“If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” In Jesus’ name, amen.

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