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Posts Tagged ‘promise of Christ’

We are God’s children set free from the bondage of slavery and delivered to a kingdom of restored hope and promise.

(This is an excerpt from the book I am currently writing. May these words encourage your heart. Blessings, Tammy)

A perpetual champion of the underdog, I regularly root for the outcast because I’ve always consider myself a bit of a David—a next-to-nothing-unknown standing in the shadow of a man who caused grown men to tremble.  A man without regard for others and even less for God.

Do you relate? Your giant may have a different name or even a label, but he is no more immune to the Father’s power and justice than the Goliath of scripture.

A Giant in the Land

You may recall the story. Goliath of Gath was the Philistine’s war hero. Arrogant and puffed up with pride, he and the other troops taunted Saul’s army for forty days and nights boasting of their strength. Stories of Goliath’s conquests were certain to have spread among the Israelite camp and God’s mighty men quaked at the sight of this giant of a man who stood nearly ten feet tall.

But, David, a pubescent boy and the least of his family, gathered his courage along with five stones and embedded a rock into Goliath’s skull. The great enemy? Conquered. The threats of the previous days? Eliminated. David’s future? Full of promise.

In the same way, I lived with a giant of my own—a 6’4”, red-haired stepfather with a protruding nose, handlebar mustache, and bulldog tattoo on his upper right shoulder. Invited into immediate fatherhood following a month’s long engagement and subsequent wedding, Doug inherited a toddler and preschooler in need of a daddy. With a penchant for randomly shouting Marine jargon, his voice boomed loud on the average day and rose several decibels when drunkenness or rage coursed through his veins like a prairie wildfire scorching everything in its path.

Like a Philistine warrior, he’d swagger through the door of our trailer house spewing curse words and condemnation. “Where are those little brats? I never wanted to be their father.” And my brother and I would squat in the furthest corner of my tiny bedroom hoping the blustering would stop with the traditional after-work six-pack.

If the ranting continued, we knew. The approaching evening would be one of continued slurs and violent combat—husband pitted against diminutive wife. Her face and body bearing evidence to the events of the night before.

Giants like Goliath and Daddy Doug have a lot in common. They raise their fists to heaven, defying God and abusing his people. Empowered by the fear of those around them, they mock the weak, defenseless or powerless; mercilessly punishing anyone foolish enough to challenge them.

The Mighty Warrior doesn’t stand idly by—cooly observing calamity and chaos directed at His children without intervening.No, He was and is your Defender and mine. Click To Tweet

Friend, the Mighty Warrior doesn’t stand idly by—cooly observing calamity and chaos directed at His children without intervening. No, He was and is your Defender and mine. The giant in your land and mine may have invaded in an attempt to overthrow hope.  Plunder peace. Steal innocence. But he is no match for the one who defends His children. Just as Goliath continued his rampage unhampered for a time, your giant and mine will one day stand before the true King—his threats nothing more than blustery words evaporating in the wind.

Just as Goliath continued his rampage unhampered day after day, your giant and mine will one day stand before the true King—his threats nothing more than blustery words evaporating in the wind.. Click To Tweet

Giants cast imposing shadows and only those who’ve lived within the darkness of that shadow understand the way it stretches far and wide, nearly engulfing the landscape of a child’s spirit. Much like Saul’s men, a little one learns her position. She recognizes her own powerlessness and at the rattling of the giant’s saber, remains on the sidelines—aware that venturing beyond the boundaries not only invites danger into the midst, but guarantees she’ll be its target.

And, while witnessing turmoil from the edges of the crowd causes her knees to knock, bearing the brunt of Goliath’s hate and fury invites brutality. Reprisal. Retaliation. So the child remains in the relative safety of anonymity, praying her nonresponse will assure tacit favor. Hoping she’ll discover safety in compliance, avoidance, or aquiesence.

The reaction of the child is expected and even justified. After all, she relies on others for survival. They are the faces in the crowd that should raise up in battle against the giant—fighting on behalf of those who depend upon them for safety and protection. The parents, church leaders, and teachers. The neighbors, friends, and family members.

You may not have realized it, but there is a champion who stepped in on your behalf to wage a war for you. A rescuer who overthrew the neighborhood bully and claimed you for his own. . Click To Tweet

You may not have realized it, but there is a champion who stepped in on your behalf to wage a war for you. A rescuer who overthrew the neighborhood bully and claimed you for his own. The one who envisioned himself the great conqueror fell in defeat—his plans crumpled at the foot of the cross. Every abusive word, foul gesture, and spirit crushing blow cast aside.

When you and I lived in the land of giants, we believed we were surrounded. Unable to vanquish the enemy. But, in the power of the heavenly Champion we are more than overcomers. We are God’s children set free from the bondage of slavery and delivered to a kingdom of restored hope and promise.

We are God’s children set free from the bondage of slavery and delivered to a kingdom of restored hope and promise.. Click To Tweet

Whether you are at battle with a giant from the past or a hidden enemy like depression or chronic illness, you can trust that the battle has already been won. The foe is vanquished. Victory is certain.

This is the promise of Christ,  In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following:

#Tea and Word Tuesday and…

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heavens gate photo: heavens gate heavensgate.jpg

With a turn of the page another month is gone and a new one takes its place.  Time continues moving ahead and I wonder, “Do I live with the end in mind?”  I’m not sure.  When I woke up this morning, I didn’t embrace the sunlight with thoughts of praise or thank God for a warm bed and restful sleep.  Instead, concerns of  the here and now pricked at the tender places in my heart.

Will my boy make it through this rough spot?  Am I guiding, helping, doing enough? 

Will this new diet help Heather’s stomach aches? 

Can we squeeze in enough tutoring to really change my little one’s struggles with dyslexia? 

Is my mother going to be alright when she moves?  How long will her dwindling savings last?

My right eye began its nervous twitching and I hadn’t even put my feet on the floor (which, unsurprisingly, needs to be vacuumed in the worst way!)

Live with the end in mind.  That was the phrase posted on a marquis outside the little church on the corner.

Am I living my life with the end in mind?  Do I live to glorify Him?  Yes–when I turn the day’s worries over to the One who is over all things.  Yes–if I give my wonderful but messy family life to the Father who tends to each need in ways only He can.  So….in this moment…and for today I am deliberately choosing to live with the end in mind.

There is more than the concern that greets me in the morning.  There is more than a sink full of dishes or bills waiting to be paid.  There is more in Christ–more joy, peace, love, and strength.  Today, I want more of that.  I’m going to live with the end in mind.

Verses for Reflection

Watch for this: The time is coming’—God’s Decree—‘when I will keep the promise I made to the families of Israel and Judah. When that time comes, I will make a fresh and true shoot sprout from the David-Tree. He will run this country honestly and fairly. He will set things right. That’s when Judah will be secure and Jerusalem live in safety. The motto for the city will be, “God Has Set Things Right for Us.”  (Jeremiah 33:14-16 MSG)

 

 

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babies,children,Christ,Christianity,Christians,Christmas,halos,holy,iCLIPART,illustrations,Jesus,Madonnas,Mary,mothers,religions,religious,saviors,vintages,Virgin MaryIt’s the anticipation I love.  The waiting…planning….preparing.

The Little Ones are wrapping handmade gifts with wrinkled tissue paper and a stapler.  Mom, I need some help.  The Big Guys trample up the stairs.  Where are the cookies?  You’ve eaten them already, I reply.  But the fudge is on the countertop.  My favorite Christmas CD plays in the background and I wish more days were spent like this–slowing down long enough to savor life’s small pleasures.

My thoughts jump to the anticipation of the first Christmas.  For months, the young mother had ignored the barbs and stares of others.  She’s pregnant.  Have nothing to do with that woman.  Her swelling stomach reminded her that God’s promise would soon be fulfilled.  He will save his people.  And finally, bent over in pain, she knelt in the dim light of a stable.

There were no gilded packages…just rags wrapped ’round the babe.  There were no sparkling lights…but she held the Light of the world in her arms.  And as she gazed at Him, the woman knew He was the Gift the world had been waiting to receive.

Thousands of years later, we still celebrate that day–and we continue to anticipate.  The Promise he introduced long ago in the stable will one day be made complete.  He will save.  He will restore.  He will bring peace…hope….renewal–Christmas fulfilled.

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