Devotion - June 19

Psalms 91-95 / Proverbs 19 / John 8:33-36

It seems fitting on Juneteenth to share reflections from Dr. Tony Evans (Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas). Today in particular, I am humbled and ashamed at the injustice against enslaved persons in our history -- grateful for all that the witness of the Black church in America reveals to us about the depth and breadth of gospel endurance -- and praying together in hope for justice and reconciliation in Jesus' name. This excerpt is from one of Dr. Evans' sermons.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:36

"In January 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was declared. This legal document said that all slaves were now free. But in Texas, someone kept it a secret. They didn't tell us that we were free. So for a couple of years after the Emancipation Proclamation, we were still in bondage.

We were acting like slaves because no one had told us we were free. In fact, we were so glad that someone finally told us, we made that date a holiday and African Americans celebrate Juneteenth every year. Thank God, someone told us! If no one had ever shared the good news, then we would have stayed in slavery much longer.

Jesus Christ, on Calvary two thousand years ago, signed your Emancipation Proclamation. He declared that you are free but Satan is trying to keep it a secret from you. He's trying to keep you from coming into the realization that you don't have to stay tied down.

You don't have to say "Yes sir" to his control of your life any longer. You can now put down that plow and move "North". You can now take the freedom that has been offered to you and act on it. You can collect your forty acres and a mule and start plowing your own land now. You can start living through the freedom that you have because you have now been made free in Christ. That's who you are but you must live like it."

Prayer from "Stronger Together, Weaker Apart":

Lord, your helmet of salvation protects me from giving up. It's so easy to hear the news or watch talk shows or listen to podcasts and feel as if there is no solution to that which divides us as people. It is impossible to miss the divisions in my workplace and even my own home. But Lord, I take courage in knowing that the same sacrifice which was sufficient to purchase my salvation is enough to win this battle against the enemy. Remind me of the power of the helmet of salvation when I become weary and want to throw in the towel. Remind me of the victory that is secured by You, in Your name and for Your great glory. In Christ's name and by His authority, I pray this.
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