This is it … the final day of February. Ya’ll winter is almost over and spring time is just ahead. Today I encourage you to take a look back over this month of life you have just lived. Review it, relive it, remember it. If you don’t it will all just become a blur and slip into the abyss of the past. But I want you to embrace all the living you were able to do this month. All the joy, all the happiness, all the beauty. Be intentional with the handling of a month of life just lived. You can’t go back and change anything now, but you can highlight the heck out of everything that was good and right so that February 2018 can be remembered as a month that you lived. Another month of life has come and gone and may I remind you, these months are of limited supply. How many more February’s will you get to experience? How many more times will the daffodils begin peeking out of the ground after a long winter for you to see? How many more will you get? Maybe 40, maybe 30, maybe 20 or 10. I don’t know, but I know this … this month has been precious, now give it the proper ending to celebrate it’s beauty.
In today’s devotional, we’re talking about shackles. Shackles are chains of bondage. Is there something holding you back, keeping you from living in full freedom? What’s keeping you from your true potential? This is your shackle. It is your prison where you are stuck living a smaller life than you were ever created for. Shackles look different for each of us. For some it is an addiction or bad habit. A weakness. Or perhaps your shackle is worry, a setback or failure that has you behind bars, a doubt or fear that serves as your prison restraining you in a place where you are stuck.
As a child of God you have been saved for all of eternity, but here’s what most of us miss … salvation isn’t just for the moment you stand before God to be judged and are welcomed into an eternity in heaven. I mean, that’s awesome. Kinda blows my mind thinking about when my moment in time comes. But remember this, salvation is for right now too. As a child of God and follower of Jesus, you have been saved right now. This very moment salvation is yours. What are you being saved from? Your shackles. Saved from living on Earth stuck in bondage. Your chains have been broken and you have been set free. This is what Jesus did for you.
Scripture shares stories of God breaking chains. Spiritual chains and literal chains behind the bars of a prison. And this is what he wants to do for you today too.
In Acts 12: 6-7 it says “The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.”
Can’t you hear God saying to you this morning, “Quick, get up!” Get up from the mess you’ve been wallowing in. Get up from where you fell down. Get up from where you’ve been laying low and hiding out. Get up from where you have been stuck. Quick get up. And just as when Peter got up and the chains fell off his wrists, so will yours. You don’t have to live one more day in those shackles. Not when the price has already been paid for your freedom.
Don’t you know Jesus is a chain breaker, a prison shaker, a freedom seeker and redemption giver?
Rise up, your shackles are no more. Jesus has broken every chain. I declare victory over everything that has held you back. Just because it held you back yesterday doesn’t mean it has to hold you back today. Quick, get up … and after you get up, those chains will fall. But first, you gotta get up. Pick yourself up and claim your victory. Jesus destroys every stronghold. His power working in your life can break them all.
Today is the day. The day you get up. The day you break free. The day you decide staying stuck is no longer an option. The day you understand salvation isn’t just for after you die, but it’s for right now while you live so that you can live freely and fully. May you see your shackles broken today and may you step into the BIG Life Jesus came to give you.