I know a place…

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

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I know a place, a wonderful place
Where accused and condemned
Find mercy and grace

Where the wrongs we have done
And the wrongs done to us

Were nailed there with Him
There at the cross

At the cross,
At the cross

He died for our sin

At the cross,
At the cross

He gave us life again

Here is a youtube of Brian Doerksen singing this praise song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5rmIckeEgQ

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This is a praise song from the early days of my walk with the Lord and my fellow Christ followers.  It’s come back to me again lately, which is why I share it with you this week.

I pray that you will find a new wonder and revelation in the words of this song as the Holy Spirit is wooing us nearer to God through Jesus Christ, deeper into this unique relationship with the Creator of the entire universe who loves us so much we can hardly fathom an ‘nth of it  this side of Heaven!

happy nerd

On another note:  I’ve been listening to Jamie Galloway’s revelation in his “Eyes To See” conference at Sojourn Church in Carrollton, TX.  One thing he talks about is our redeemed imaginations we posses as new creations in Christ.  I find it very interesting, seeing as how I have always had a vivid, creative imagination!  I’m looking forward to digging deeper into all the gifts I have now that Christ lives in me and I am seated with Him in Heavenly places as I’m also a resident of earth.  Quite the instigator for my “sanctified” musings!

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Come muse along with me fellow bloggers;                                                      there’s many more depths of the Lord to delve into!

Sing to the Lord a new song!

 Psalm 96:1-4 Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.  Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among the peoples.

Psalm 33: 2-3 Praise the lord with the harp; make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.  Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy.

Also Psalm 96:1, 98:1, 144:9, 149:1, Isaiah 42:10 tells everything that lives to sing to the Lord a new song!

This week I’ve been thinking about how scientific researchers are proving the Bible is true.  The following hymn I sang in the Presbyterian church I used to attend came to mind last evening.  The Holy Spirit brings the words to mind often when I’m thinking about all God’s hand has made and how the earth and the stars, the song in our hearts, everything on earth and in the heavens makes a sound; even blood sings a song!

Earth And All Stars Lyrics:

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Earth and all stars, Loud rushing planets 
Sing to the Lord a new song! 

Hail, wind, and rain, Loud blowing snowstorm 

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Pixabay Pexels.com

Sing to the Lord a new song!

God has done marvelous things. 
I too sing praises with a new song!

 

Trumpet and pipes! Loud clashing cymbals!                                                      Sing to the Lord a new song!

grayscale photography of man playing cello
Lee Phillips on Pexels.com

Harp, lute, and lyre! Loud humming cellos!             

Sing to the Lord a new song!

Engines and steel! Loud pounding hammers 
Sing to the Lord a new song! 
Limestone and beams, Loud building workers 
Sing to the Lord a new song!

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 Andrii Nikolaienko on Pexels.com

Classrooms and labs,                  Loud boiling test tubes 
Sing to the Lord a new song! 
Athlete and band,                                  Loud cheering people 
Sing to the Lord a new song!

 

Knowledge and truth, Loud sounding wisdom 
Sing to the Lord a new song! 
Daughter and son,                       Loud praying members 
Sing to the Lord a new song!

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My dear readers, I invite you to join with all creation singing a new song to the Lord through whatever is around you; whatever is inside you.  Give thanks and testify of the things God has done and your heart will easily sing along with all creation!

Earth And All Stars Lyrics From
http://www.digitalsongsandhymns.com/songs/6906
Songbook: Evangelical Lutheran Worship 2006
Page: 731
Song key: Ab
Language: English
Authors:  Herbert Frederick Brokering
David N. Johnson
Copyright:  Augsburg Fortress
License:  OneLicense

Fear or Faith?

I was listening to WorshipU//Jonathan and Melissa Helser Worship Set on YouTube last evening as I wound down to sleep.  Having been working on a blog page about not fearing, my spirit was gleaning from their spontaneous worship.  Here’s what I wrote down:

Father, You turn my fears into faith; You’re turning my fears into faith!

I have the same spirit in me that pulled You (Jesus) up from the grave!

Resurrection’s in my veins!IMG_20180715_205352892 (2)

I sing back to You the song You first sang over me-

I won’t be afraid; Fear, you cannot take my song away!

Resurrection’s in my veins; He is on the inside turning it all to faith!

As another new CCM(contemporary Christian music) song states; Fear, he is a liar.

I’ve also been listening to the mentoring CD I got from Sid Roth’s ministry.  He talks about learning a new language; Heavenly language & speaking Truth as opposed to earthly language that speaks death, evil, lies, gossip and slander.  Have I ever mentioned the fact that in Hebrew there are no curse words?  So a Hebrew speaker has to use another language to curse!

In John 10:10 Jesus said:  10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

People blame God for a LOT of things when they should be blaming the devil and the depravity of human nature.  If anything is evil, destructive, deadly or illegal, it’s from the thief (satan).   James 1:17 tells us:  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

This is why the Bible talks about not being afraid 366 times.  This is why Smith Wigglesworth never read anything but the Bible and that constantly throughout the day, every day.  He immersed himself in the language of God contained there in and that was the basis for his strong healing and miracle ministry.  We need to learn to talk the language of Faith as Abraham did, as Noah did before him, as the disciples who walked with Jesus did after the Holy Spirit came upon them with power.  When we realize what it means to have Jesus inside us as Believers; the same power that raised Him from the grave residing in us, we need to exercise the authority and power from within to live the victorious life of faith.  Too many souls are being lost to the evil one instead of being redeemed, healed and whole in Jesus’ mighty name.

My dear readers, won’t you join me as I learn to talk the talk and walk the walk of faith in God’s promises, leaving fear, gossip, slander and deadly talk behind?  It is possible as an act of our will coupled with relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. 

Come on up to the mountain of the Lord and we shall tabernacle with Him there!

Come on up to the mountain of the Lord with me!
Photo by Billel Moula on Pexels.com

 

 

Visit those in prison?

The Bible tells us several things about those in prison: we are to visit them, pray for them, remember them as if we were in chains with them.  Many of our “heroes” in the Bible were in prison at times so I’d like to share with you one way I minister to those in prison.

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Photo by Donald Tong on Pexels.com

Years ago, I heard about Crossroads Bible Institute from Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship updates on Christian radio.  Crossroads is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It had a small beginning:

Over thirty years ago, Tom de Vries started Crossroad Bible Institute (now Crossroads Prison Ministries) along with his family members and his circle of friends at church. Tom was a real estate agent turned car salesman who had a passion for prison ministry.

As Tom began visiting the prisoners in his local jail, he realized they needed more than just accepting Christ, they needed to be discipled.  He began regular visits to mentor the prisoners he worked with, but was frustrated that he’d get there to work with his students and they’d be gone; transferred and hard to keep track of.  Tom and his brother got together and found a way to mail the lessons to the prisoners, recruited local churches to send the lessons, correct the lessons and add an encouraging letter to send back with them.  (info from https://cpministries.org/about-us/our-story/) I encourage you to check out the website and watch the video/read the whole story .

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Crossroads answered my question of how I could minister in prison as Jesus tells us to do. About 6 years ago, I inquired and filled out the application to be an Instructor.  I watched the video and filled out the booklet they sent me for the training, and shortly after that, I got my first  student’s lesson in the mail. I started with Tier 1 students, getting a different prisoner’s lesson in the mail each Friday.  I corrected the lesson, then wrote an encouraging letter on the stationary Crossroads included in the packet, then mailed the lesson to the student.  It was nice to be able to accumulate a list of Scriptures I could use for the Tier 1 lessons and I met many students that way, always letting them know I’ll be eager to see them in Heaven.  After a couple years, Crossroads had developed Manga Messiah course for the prisoner’s children.  I was an Instructor for those lessons for a couple years as well as the Tier 1.  It was fun to be able to add stickers to the lessons!  I next added a Tier 2 student.  These students stay with you for the whole tier, which gives you the opportunity to get to know the student well and observe their progress as your relationship grows.  Refreshing to see prisoners growing in wisdom and godliness and coming into God’s destiny for them!

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What’s the training?  a video with a workbook; they send you all your lesson answer pages with dividers to go into a 3-ring binder as well as your first student report sheets.  They have an excellent support system.  Your information is never shared with a student other than your first name and your address is never on anything that goes to the student.

What’s the time commitment?  I spend 1-2 hours a week on a lesson and the encouragement letter.

What’s the cost?  $.71 for a 2 ounce stamp,  $.72 for a lesson with the quarterly Journal.

Recently, Lisa Blystra became President & CEO and several changes are happening.  The organization changed from Crossroads Bible Institute to Crossroads Prison Ministries to describe the program better.  The curriculum is being re-vamped and expanded after working with the students to find out what they thought.  In January, funds came in to pay postage for the lessons.  The students say: “Something as small as a stamp seems BIG to me”.  Many students dropped out or didn’t start Crossroads lessons because it is difficult to get stamps and difficult to find the money for them.

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Did you know Crossroads is quickly expanding?  They now have extensions in:

  • Canada

  • Guatemala

  • Dominican Republic

  • Colombia

  • Ecuador

  • Nicaragua

  • Peru

  • United Kingdom

  • Benin

  • Ghana

  • Sierra Leone

  • South Africa

  • Tanzania

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  • Pakistan

  • Kenya

  • India

  • Malaysia

  • Philippines

  • Thailand

  • Singapore

  • Australia

  • New Zealand

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I encourage you to visit http://www.cpministries.org  for more information.  It’s a wonderful ministry to be part of!  (sorry, I haven’t figured out “hyper-link” yet; right-click on the address and it will give you option to go to the site)

 

Predestination

Predestination is a loaded word for many.  It’s the excuse I’ve heard for people not coming to Jesus, “I guess I’m just not predestined .”  I have taken the time to find all the Scriptures I could that use the word as well as the loaded words ‘few’ and ‘many’, so let’s muse this out.

Dictionary Definition:

pre·des·tine
prēˈdestin/
verb
past tense: predestined; past participle: predestined
  1. (of God) destine (someone) for a particular fate or purpose.
    “Calvinists believed that every person was predestined by God to go to heaven or to hell”
    • determine (an outcome or course of events) in advance by divine will or fate.
      “she was certain that fate was with her and everything was predestined”
      synonyms: preordained, ordained, predetermined, destined, fated

      “I find it hard to believe that our lives are predestined”
 Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Ephesians 1:5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will…11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
Matthew 20:16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
free gift1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

The Father, Son and Spirit planned a way of escape from the wrath to come before we ever were in need; Jesus IS the lamb slain from the foundations of the world!  The trio made the way for this free gift of salvation to be available through Christ’s blood.  God made each one of us with the seed of hunger for ultimate salvation to only be accomplished by the Son’s crucifixion and resurrection.  His obedience in place of our disobedience.

Matthew 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.                                                                          Isaiah 53:11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous  Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.

So why don’t all accept His blood; His free gift of salvation?

Penchant for evil, lack of hearing:

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes.”
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

Why not allPride/ lack of humility:

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
Matthew 20:16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”   Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Why not all? Offense taken:

John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

Why not all? Fear:

John 12:42Walk in the Light ] Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue;  John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…

So where does this leave things?

John 17:2 (Father, glorify Your Son) as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.
Acts 3:29 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Acts 13:48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
Acts 17:12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.

These passages still say not all will be saved.  Romans 10:14  How will they believe if they have not heard?  As the first disciples and apostles spread the word, many were added to the church when they heard the testimony of the Believers, when they saw signs and wonders that only God could do.  Yes, it is a free gift, but we do not have to accept a free gift; we can choose to reject it.

Romans 5:15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to manyRomans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Well, not all died in Adam’s offense and disobedience; look at Enoch, Noah and his family and many more who were held in ‘Abraham’s Bosom’ until Christ made the way to Heaven open. So, by the same token not all will be made righteous-look at the people in Noah’s day-by Jesus Christ.  Yes, He died for all, but not all will accept that gift from Him.

So walk in the Spirit, work while there is still time and do your part to draw others into salvation. Remember, no one comes to Jesus without being drawn by the Spirit.  We have an obligation to pray for this to happen in many other souls on earth, to speak out and share the gospel as the Spirit gives opportunity.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God
Hebrews 9:28 …so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

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 Revelation 1:7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

The Greatest Commandment

What it says about God

In Exodus 19, Israel was at Mount Sinai.  God spoke to Moses with cloud and thunder and lightnings.  The people were in awe and fear and cleansed their bodies and clothing because God would come down on the mountain in three days.  No one including animals were to approach the base of the mountain, other than Moses and Aaron.  In chapter 20, Moses received the “Ten Commandments” from God Almighty:

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20:1 And God spoke all these words, saying:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

You shall have no other gods before Me.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

13 You shall not murder.

14 You shall not commit adultery.

15 You shall not steal.

16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

What do these verses say about who God is?  God is holy. His mighty hand through awesome, terrifying signs and wonders, released the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians; the house of their bondage.  God is Father, Lord, jealous, worthy of honor and obedience, wants to give his children rest, provides a father and mother that should be honored (the first commandment with a promise), He’s provider, justice, very concerned about His children’s welfare. Oh, and He is love!

Isaiah 45:22  “Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other

Leviticus 19:18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

This was the Law in the Old covenant.  What happened to it in God’s New Covenant?  Let’s see what Jesus had to say, first to the Lawyer:

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36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

person holding pencil writing on a paper  To the Scribes:

Mark 12:29 Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

pexels-photo-433267.jpegSo, the whole underlying theme of the original 10 Commandments was:  Love the Lord God with everything you are and all that you have, then love your neighbor as you love yourself.  That takes care of the vertical and horizontal planes we live in.  But, Jesus did not leave it at that; He took it further by going to the heart attitude:

Adultery in the Heart

Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Love Your Enemies

Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

James, the Lord Jesus’ brother, adds to Jesus’ aim at the root of our unlovingness:

James 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

The Apostle Paul sums up the whole law in these two passages:

Romans 13:9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill the Law that we could not.  The Law was a teacher or task master, showing us that we cannot completely obey it by our human will. Christ solved this problem by paying the price we could not pay. Because of this, the Law is no longer written on stone tablets, but it is written on our hearts.  This is why we can sense what is against the Law of love because there will be a check in our Spirit if Jesus Christ is Lord of our life.  But you may ask: “How do I forgive my parents?”  Unforgiveness is not helping you and it’s keeping them from repentance and salvation. Honor them as the ones who gave you life and leave their punishment to the Lord God; He promises to not let them go unpunished.  How do I forgive the one who’s hurt me or my family?  The same way.  You can forgive them; it doesn’t mean you have to make them your best friend or excuse their sin.  It means you are forgiving them as God in Christ forgave you; if you do not forgive their sins, He can’t forgive you of your sins. (see Matthew 6:12 & Mark 11:25-26)

People who have been taken up to Heaven tell how overwhelming God’s love is there.  God IS Love incarnate!  Do you know that He doesn’t do anything for you that’s not good? John 10:9-10 The thief (satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I  (Jesus) have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly. 

Our Heavenly Father, God in Heaven, IS LOVE!  It is not in His nature or ability to lie, kill, steal or destroy; He is not a man that He would lie.  Satan, the father of lies, cannot do anything BUT lie, kill, steal and destroy.  There is no love lost between satan and his demons; they don’t even like each other!  Who would you rather believe… that voice inside your head that says,”I could NEVER forgive him (or her) for what he’s done to me”… or the God who loved you enough to send His Son to die for us all, even the one who’s hurt us?  Steep yourself in the love of God, that abounds toward us in Christ Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. Leave the devil to wallow in the mire with his cohorts.

Shalom to you, my dear readers; complete peace and wholeness in your life and being in Christ Jesus, Amen

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Stop Cuddling The Pain of Your Past

I appreciate my fellow blogger’s words in the post link below (please click on it).  I will add some of my own thoughts as well.

via Stop Cuddling The Pain of Your Past

Yes, much has happened and left pain and scars in our life up to this point.  These things make us what we are today – But Christ!

Christ Jesus came to live, suffer, die and rise again to the right hand of the Father, ever interceding for us.  Jesus did not come to condemn us and leave us in our sins, He came to save us from all of that, to give us not just life, but Zoe life, abundance!  If we’re living in our past and nursing our wounds, we have no room for this Zoe life.  It also means we’re holding a weapon against the one who hurt us – which many times is our self! Lindsay Roberts says unforgiveness is like drinking poison and sitting back to wait for the other person to die!

Stand firm in the truth of God’s Word:

John 3: 14- 17 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

God does not condemn, but He DOES convict!  The world condemns us, but conviction brings us to see our wrongs so we can see the light of God through Jesus Christ that removes them.  Jesus paid the ultimate price we could not; taking our condemnation on that cross, never more to be held against those who accept His sacrifice. So, when the devil tries to remind you of your past, remind him of his future!

Don’t let the enemy of your soul have any more ground that belongs to you; stop cuddling the pain of your past, in Jesus’ mighty, powerful name!

Philippians 3:12-14 …I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Chris Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

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