Dear Ones,
I am writing early and hope you wake to a heart that is prepared to enjoy the day. As I have written of freedom my question for you this week is: How free are you? What things keep you from living in freedom?
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  It seems like each day in scripture and my devotional readings, it is all about freedom as we focus on the Lord and not on self. Today I read from Romans 8:6-8 (Message), “Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open into a spacious free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self, ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what He is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.”

  Over and over again in scripture we find that to live freely and well, we need to think more of God and less of self. Paul goes on to say that we need to welcome the Holy Spirit and as He takes up residence in our hearts, we become alive and free from our dead-end lives of self. As we do this, life becomes adventurous and exciting, as we never know how He will lead us. We are also free from worry about what others think and trying to live up to their expectations, as our desire is now to please the Lord first. Instead of trying to please those around us, we trust the Holy Spirit to direct our lives and to tell us what answers to give.

  We have a friend who is full of the Spirit and prays daily that the Lord will use her. Her life is spent helping others in so many ways, often by checking on them, praying for them, and encouraging them. The Lord wants to use each of us and as I read this morning from Isaiah, He desires that we be open to the Spirit. When we do this, we can trust that He will fill our mouths with His words. As it says in Isaiah 50:4, “The Almighty Lord will teach me what to say, so I know how to encourage weary people. Morning by morning He will wake me to listen like a student.” Let us be free and open to listen to the Spirit that He can use us to bless others and bring glory to the Lord.
  Challenge for today: Start the day with asking the Lord to show you what things block you from living freely and give them over to Him.
  Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy