Forgiven

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36, ESV

New American Standard Bible 
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:29

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,  that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3;14-16, Berean Study Bible

The man driving the semi truck in front of us was sharing the good news, that he was “FORGIVEN”! The fish symbol Ichthys used by Christians throughout the world containing this one huge word says it all: If you have believed on Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, and that He shed His blood to pay for the sins of every person, and received Him as your personal Savior and LORD, then you also are FORGIVEN–FREED. You don’t have to pay for your sins!

How can it be that simple? Don’t ask me. Just be glad that I’m not God. I am sure I would have made it much more complicated to be free and get to Heaven to live forever in Paradise with God!

But the LORD is good, and His mercy endures forever (Psalm 129:4). He created mankind, then, when man betrayed God and bowed to the devil, He sent Jesus to die and give His life to buy mankind back, forever (Galatians 3:13) .

The Gift of true Life is yours. Choose Christ today, and live! (John 10:10)

Dead or Alive?

Proverbs 18:21 (NASB), says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

The LORD has been helping me be more aware than ever of what I’m saying, and the power of it. So many things I’ve said wrongly most of my life have come to my attention, and He is helping me correct them.

I have a question: Why do we say, “deadlines” instead of “lifelines”? I have become aware that, even as Christians, we have spoken this. The other day, it occurred to me when I read that word about a Believer having to meet a “deadline” to get a book finished, that we should exchange that word for “lifeline”–which is exactly what a book truly born of the LORD is–a lifeline to the abundant life of Christ (John 10:10)!

On this same subject, especially as a teacher of elementary-age kids for the past 30 years or so; Why do kids play “hangman” instead of “build-a-man?” With a few minutes of free time one day at the end of class, one student asked if they could play that game. I told them that was negative, but they could play “build-a man” (which is really what they are doing anyway; drawing blanks for someone to guess the word, and putting part of a “person” on the board every time the guesser got a letter right.

“...1speaking the truth in love, [g]we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,” says Ephesians 4:15. Love is the key word here, and the LORD is helping me with that too. I can see so many ways I have not walked in Love in the past–including through wrong words.

But we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us, praise the LORD. As Gloria Copeland says, (quoted recently by Sarah Pearsons), we just “keep on walking,” and allowing the LORD to speak words of life to us–and through us.

The Christmas Surprise

James 5:16 : Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (ESV)

I had planned a very quiet Christmas, with just my Beloved and myself, sleeping in, exchanging gifts, and having time to rest and do other things I wanted to do today.

But the enemy had other plans. He loves to try to steal our joy and interrupt our peace. Clayton and I were dreaming deeply last night when there was a loud pounding on our door. My darling daughter had stopped by to tell me my dear mom, a widow less than two years ago, who’d suffered many afflictions, was once again in the hospital. Somehow we’d been unable to hear the phone.

Mom had fallen and fractured her hip and pelvis, even though a caretaker was with her 24/7. Bless her heart! The ambulance had rushed her on Christmas Eve to the hospital, and there she lay. So I was up at different times during the night checking on her.

However, God is never taken by surprise! What the enemy means for evil, the LORD Who knows all things always works for good for us who love Him and are the called according to His Plan.

This morning, I rose and made her some delicious peanut butter balls that she likes, determined to go bring her some cheer on this Christmas Day.  As the LORD often does, I figured He might have other things in mind too, and I knew there were hurting people everywhere at the hospital. So I took a Christian magazine, some Jesus’ Christmas Tree bookmarks (JCT bookmark_TKTaylor ), and an invitation to our church New Year’s Eve service. I asked Him to show me whom to sow them to.

Mom let me pray for her but was hurting too much to read the magazine and even had me take her treats back home till later. I spent some time helping her, then felt led to visit the ICU floor, where my Dad had died less than two years before, and where I’d spent a long month with Mom before that.

As I entered the ICU waiting room, there was one man there, asleep. I quietly left the materials, then went to the bathroom across the hall. The LORD impressed me to ask the man if he needed prayer. He woke and said, ‘Sure!” I told him my husband and I were lay ministers and he said he was a local pastor too, and was there for his mom. He gave me details of her afflictions and he and I prayed together.  I told him at the end that I expect a good report, even if I don’t know about it till Heaven!

Then I handed him theinvitation to our church’s NYE service, which is the 29th this year. Perhaps he and his family will come. Anyway, I know this was the LORD–and it was His surprise gift to me. Later that day, I received some delightful and very thoughtful gifts from my Beloved husband. However, the gift of the LORD directing me to be a vessel through whom the LORD ministered to my dear mom and the pastor and his family was the very best gift of all!

Ask the LORD how you can receive more of the priceless gift of being a vessel through whom He works to bless others this Season that we celebrate the living Christ!

For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”