ROMANS 6:14: “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” NLT

OBSERVATION: Are you struggling to live the Christian life? Is your life marked by victory or do you find yourself continually struggling with the same sin? Are you soaring in His grace or merely struggling in your diminishing strength?

Are you a sandpiper or a pelican?

I love the beach! This is the place where I can truly unplug and be refreshed. The sound of the waves coming into the shore. The smell of the ocean air. And, the wonderful display of God’s creation in both the sea and the air. It is a place to be refreshed and also a place to learn some important lessons.

The sandpiper is a peculiar bird. They spend most of their time running around on the shore, poking their beaks into the sand looking for something to eat. When they fly it seems like it takes so much effort on their part. A group of sandpipers is an enjoyable and somewhat comical view while relaxing at the beach. They run frantically around in different directions. There does not seem to be a rhyme or reason to their activity, except to find some food. They do not fly in formation, and they never seem to relax.

On the other hand, the pelican is quite different. You rarely see a pelican walking around. They are either perched, floating on the water, or majestically soaring in the sky. They are the antithesis of the sandpiper. Pelicans are somewhat awkward on both takeoff and landing. They seem to know that they were meant to effortlessly soar, riding the air currents that God has supplied. Struggling to take off gracefully, once airborne, they sail majestically in the sky for great lengths of time, without even a flap of their wings. It is a wonderful sight to see a flock of pelicans, soaring through the sky, in beautiful formation!

As believers, we can live our Christian life like a sandpiper or like a pelican. We can either struggle to live life in our strength, or we can discover the wonderful joy of soaring by the power of His grace. Paul makes a clear distinction in Romans chapter six.

  • “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” (Romans 6:14)

When we lived apart from Christ we were like sandpipers. We were aimlessly running, frantically trying to find strength and purpose for living. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ we were set free from the limitations of our sinful nature. Our sinful nature did not magically disappear. However, it was rendered ineffective in controlling our lives. We were set free under the freedom of God’s grace. Like the pelican, we were set free to soar in the provision of God’s grace.

This does not mean that there is no effort involved. Like the pelican, we still need to take the first step in obedience. We look awkward at times as we try to take off in the power of His grace. Yet, when we take that first step of faith, as we engage our lives in obedience to God’s Word, we are met with the overwhelming wind of His amazing and empowering grace. From the first awkward flaps of our wings we are caught up in the current of His love and we find ourselves soaring above the limitations of our old sinful nature and we are set free!

I love the little sandpiper. However, I want to live my life like the majestic pelican. I want to soar in God’s grace. I want to be lifted in the power of His love. I want to walk and live in the Spirit as I live under the freedom of God’s grace. I can continue to run around aimlessly, poking through life, in my own strength, only to be disappointed time and time again. Or…I can soar!

Lord, this morning – LET ME SOAR!

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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