Today’s Readings:  click here  –  

Psalm 139:13-18; Genesis 33:1-17; Galatians 4:21-5:1                                              (to open the scripture links – hover over, right click, open hyperlink)

Opening with a passage from Psalm 139 today, captures some eloquent imagery of God’s astounding and unconditional love for us.  The fact that he knows our inner most being since before we were conceived in our mother’s womb… that right there fills my heart to overflowing measures.  My vision here, I see God saying ‘So here, now this is my child, they will call her Kris, whom I love dearly and have great plans for.’  (From the Late Greek name Χριστόφορος (Christophoros) meaning “bearing CHRIST”, derived from Χριστός (Christos) combined with φέρω (phero) meaning “to bear, to carry”. Early Christians used it as a metaphorical name, expressing that they carried Christ in their hearts).   Picturing and knowing this to be true, how can I not live my life according to His plans for me?  I think back of all my early years wandering and stumbling without knowing the love of my King and Savior, and think, ‘Dang, I sure did waste a whole lot of time… ‘. But God, in His all knowing and infamous ways, knew when I would embrace a life of love and freedom in His care.  He took care of me all those earlier years, I know it.  I look back and I see his mighty and powerful hand that saved me more times than I can count, and for this I give praise and thanks to my KING because I was created on PURPOSE for a PURPOSE.

The book of Genesis, is the first book of the bible, and rightly so. It lays the groundwork of  fundamental truths about God, His people, our ancestors, and history all in itself.  Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption and eternal life in heaven.  Here, we learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God’s chosen people.  Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis . Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains and depicts the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus and all the others to follow.  

Studying the beginning of chapter 33 today, Jacob has just left a miraculous encounter with God, which left him with a new name and a limp (Genesis 32).   When finally faced with meeting his estranged brother Esau, he is exceedingly surprised. Not sure what to expect, Esau runs to Jacob to hug and kiss him. They weep together. After meeting Jacob’s family, Esau tries to refuse Jacob’s enormous gift. Jacob insists, saying that seeing Esau’s face is as seeing the face of God. The bible isn’t really clear why, but  Jacob, refuses to travel back to Seir and instead journeys to Shechem.  This later sets up a tragic instance of assault and revenge, involving Jacob’s daughter, Dinah. (Bibleref.com)

Our study in Galatians today, expounds on the second of Paul’s exhortations to the Galatian believers.   Paul uses the story of Hagar and Sarah from Isaiah, in  Galatians v21-23, intently illustrates its meaning in v24-27, and in  V28-29 he applies it with exquisite clarity.  Then Paul ends with the exhortation –  V30-5:1

 (AMP)  ‘So then, believers, we [who are born again—reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose] are not children of a slave woman [the natural], but of the free woman [the supernatural].   It was for this freedom that Christ set us free [completely liberating us]; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery [which you once removed].’

What a beautiful thing… the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. Our bond ransom paid in full. A love so amazing, we will never fully comprehend, but as long as our hearts belong to Christ, we have a purpose and a plan. Choose Jesus today, and everyday. Be  clothed in compassion and purpose and live free with eyes and heart wide open.

Enjoy a few songs – let them speak to your heart this day.

‘Far Too Wonderful (Psalm 13) by Shane & Shane

‘In the Beginning’ by Joel Payne

‘There Was Jesus’ by Zach Williams & Dolly Parton

Prayer:   Lord God, thank you for creating me, loving me, and guiding me.  Thank you for your Son Jesus whose death on the cross paid the ransom for my sins and to live in love and freedom.  My heart is filled with love and kindness because I know my future and plan for me. Thank you for a life with my Savior by my side.  Jesus Christ – I am who I am because of you.   AMEN!

Kris