Saturday, April 29, 2017 Released for God’s Purpose

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Kings 6-7, Luke 20:27-47

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting where we left off yesterday at the transition on page 403 (chapter 28) and concluding on the bottom of page 405, with the end of the chapter.

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  Acts 12:1-24.

If you were put into jail and shackled by your wrists and placed between two armed guards, do you think you would ever have a chance of escaping?  Unless of course you’re someone like MacGyver, or maybe Jane Doe from Blindspot, you would never expect to be able to get out of such a jam.  You could pretty much count on your “goose being cooked.”

Well, in our reading today Peter was in that exact circumstance.  He was under extreme guard, awaiting trial before Herod, with the expectation that he would be convicted by the court and subsequently executed.  Peter was in a prison cell, shackled, and guarded by a guard at either side of him.  Now THAT is heavy guard!

But God had a plan for Peter and it did not include remaining in prison.  In fact, we can look back to the words of Jesus to hear what He had in mind for Peter.  Matthew 16:18 “18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”  Not the gates of Hades, nor the prison cell of Herod could hold Peter, because God chose for him a different purpose.

Sometimes, our lives make us feel as if we’re shackled.  We feel restricted by our responsibilities or because of our own weakness. When that happens, we can become frustrated.  Sometimes we even wonder if God has a plan for us at all.

But as we look to Jesus, we see that He freed us from the shackles of our lives.  He has released us from the sin and darkness and doubt of our lives, so that we are freed for His purposes.  God has a plan for us.  That’s why He sent Jesus to release us from the shackles of sin.  He freed us so that we are not held hostage by this sinful world, but are instead released to do His will!

Herod’s soldiers and his prison could not hold Peter, because God had greater things in mind for him.  The prison of our own sinfulness and the world in which we live cannot hold us back from doing God’s will and being a part of God’s plan.  We are released for God’s purpose, so we can help to spread the good news of salvation to a world that is still in the prison of sin and the devil.

Pray that God will give us the words to share with others. Pray that He gives us compassion to show His love to everyone we meet in our daily lives.  God will release us to do His will and to share the Gospel.  Once He does, it’s up to us to share His love and salvation message with others.  Peter couldn’t be held back by prison and shackles.  Let us remember that we are already unfettered to share Jesus and that He will give us the Holy Spirit to give us the words to say.

Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for releasing me from the shackles of my own sins, so that I might be free to be used for Your purposes.  Bless my words and actions so that they will help others to know of Your love for them.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

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