Such Confidence – Dalen Keys

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Listen to the Words that bring us life and freedom.

Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3: 4-5 (NIV)

I’m ashamed of myself. A fifty-something-year-old should not be doing this . . . driving to work head-bobbing to a Taylor Swift song.

For goodness sake, I’m a grandfather. I shouldn’t be tapping the steering wheel to “We are never ever getting back together.” It’s just not right . . . but I can’t help myself.

I had a discovery one day on the way to work while I head-bobbed while listening to “Twenty-Two.” One of the lyrics stuck me: “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.”  I can vaguely remember those days back in my twenties. I think Taylor got the lyric right, but I don’t think it’s necessarily limited to our twenties, at least for me. It made me think about my walk with Christ.

I know Jesus died for my sins to give me freedom and I know I am redeemed by his blood. That makes me happy, but too often I’m confused about what I should do with my life. I make brilliant plans and I toil and fret to achieve those goals . . . but to what purpose? Even wise Solomon was confused, and probably lonely, when he said, “When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”

Paul put it best when reminded us our confidence is through Christ. Nothing we do or achieve has any meaning without Him. It’s through Him we are competent. It is through Him, we are made perfect.

Because I have times of doubt that come when I drift away from the heart of God, I can relate. When I turn my eyes toward Jesus, diligently read His word, and seek His will in prayer, I feel the strength mentioned in the Psalms: “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”

I’m convinced that we should be happy and free in Christ, and even though we might feel confused and lonely at times, there is strength in the Lord Jesus.

The next time you find yourself lacking confidence, do a little head-bobbing to the Word of God. Therein lies the confidence you need.

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and digitalart.

Dalen Keys began writing in 2008 and since that time he has published four children’s picture books, two middle grade Christian fiction novels and numerous articles and devotions. He has a B.S. in chemistry from the University of North Alabama and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Rice University. To support his writing habit, he is a R&D Planning Manager with DuPont in Wilmington, DE. He lives in Landenberg, PA with his wife, Mitzie. They have three children, and two grandchildren. Dalen can be contacted at dkeystone@comcast.net.

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The Power of the Blood – Andrea Merrell

imageAnd he said to them, “This is my blood, poured out for many, sealing the covenant between God and his people.” Mark 14: 24-25 NLT

I raised the small communion cup to my lips and paused—in shock. Floating in the red liquid—symbolic of the blood of Jesus—was a dead fly.

My initial response was revulsion, but on the heels of that thought came another. Had I not just prayed and acknowledged the power in the blood of my Lord? Tears came to my eyes as I realized this was clearly a practical example to remind me of the blood covenant I have as a believer. Being a covenant partner with God means everything I have is His, and everything He has is mine. His promises are true. I can call on Him at any time and He will liberally supply.

The priceless, precious, shed blood of our risen savior. Because of it we are saved, healed, and redeemed. The blood washes us, covers us, and protects us. It delivers us from the bondage and oppression of the enemy.

As I continued to stare at the floating insect, bits and pieces of old hymns flashed through my mind: It was the only blood that could ever set us free … wonder working power in the blood … the blood will never lose its power … love grew where the blood fell … and on and on. The tears continued to fall and my heart overflowed with the truth being revealed to me in that moment: the enemy cannot stand against the blood.

Sometimes God uses the tiniest thing to teach us the greatest lesson. This is one that will stay with me forever. In the same way Jesus told stories, used simple illustrations, and even bent down to write in the dirt, He still uses the trappings of our everyday life to teach, to comfort, and to guide.

I don’t think I will ever take the elements of communion again without remembering that little fly and the words of Jesus: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

The next time you take communion, don’t take it lightly. Remember the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for you and receive all the benefits waiting for you as a child of God.

Photo courtesy of Andrea Merrell.

Andrea Merrell is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the beautiful upstate of South Carolina. She is Associate Editor for www.ChristianDevotions.us and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies and online at CBN.com, PEN Points, The Write Life. and The Write Conversation. She is currently working on a book about prodigals. Visit her website at www.andreamerrell.com.

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