Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, July 4, 2016
In honor of Independence Day in the United States, we are focusing upon our independence from sin.
“And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy,” (Ezra 6:14-16).
Following their release from Babylonian captivity, God’s people longed to rebuild the temple. It was had been destroyed during Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest. Just as in Moses’ day, the children of Israel longed to be set free to offer sacrifices to God. Over the years many letters were sent out between various kings and governors. Eventually the building of God’s temple took place uninterrupted. The Lord showed His people favor with King Darius.
“Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place. Moreover I made a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expences be given unto these men, that they be not hindered. And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail: That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.
“Also I have made a decree, that whosoever shall alter this word, let timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this. And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.” (Ezra 6:7-12).
Your Independence To Worship
When the Lord frees us from the bondage of sin, it is not merely for the sake of making us free. The liberty of God is freedom to worship.
God’s declaration of independence from sin is, “I have delivered you to worship me with your lives. You are free to live with the power of the Holy Ghost motivating you to live all I have commanded. You are free to make disciple makers. I have shown you favor in order that you and those to whom you witness might be saved eternally.”
When the Lord gives us victory over sin, self, and Satan, it should not be treated lightly. The Lord delivered us to bring glory and honor to His name. If we are still in bondage to sin, seek His deliverance and begin life anew with Him. You are hereby independent from the rule of Satan and free to live eternally with God.