Happy New Year! It takes 20/20 vision to be happy! The wisest man ever, other than Jesus Christ, King Solomon wrote: “Where there is no vision [redemptive revelation of God], the people perish: but he that keepeth the law [walks in love], happy is he.” 1
“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” 2
A Judge Responds…
“Having read your testimony, I wanted to write to you. It feels a bit strange to address, in person, someone who is a living (though notorious) historical figure. At age 61, I’m old enough to remember your crimes, which horrified me than and still do today. Even given the many factors which caused you to act the way that you did, your actions are still very difficult to understand.
“I am a lifelong Christian. In 1975, the year I came to faith, I moved away from my home and family to prepare for a career as a pastor. However, instead of enrolling in seminary, the Lord opened doors and I went to law school instead. I worked as an attorney in private practice, and am now a state court judge.
“My main purpose in visiting your website was to attempt to determine whether your testimony rang true. Not that I can judge that – only the Lord can – but I wanted to satisfy my curiosity. I am satisfied that your profession of faith is genuine. Praise the Lord for the faithful testimonies of His people.
“Also, I want you encourage you to continue doing what you are doing. I’m sure there are many broken men inside the prison, so please view these men as your primary mission field, because when you think about it, very few people have the opportunity to minister on a consistent basis to prison inmates. In my position, I am able to, but I feel a burden for those who are paying an earthly penalty for their crimes, but may face an infinitely worse penalty on Judgement Day. As you have learned, there is no way to be happy in life, nor is life worth living, apart from the Lord. God bless, Gregory, Missouri.”
Apart from the Lord…
Maybe you are apart form the Lord beginning this new year, without the power to keep your new year’s resolutions. All of us have concerns that only the power and guidance of God can resolve. And to obtain that power, you must “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” 3
At 74, I still have problems daily with humility. I try to handle things myself, but I’ve learned as I live moment by moment in God’s presence, He guides me through life’s difficulties, allowing Him to work things out for my best interest. But before I turned my will and life over to the care of God, I was powerless, “…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” 4
God’s Good Pleasure…
My pride was the deadly sin that kept me from God. But it was His good pleasure to give me eternal life when He revealed His salvation to me. I heard Rev. Divito say, “…the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 5 He continued by telling me how God loved me so much that he gave His Son, Jesus, to take my place and judgement for sin at the cross, and how God raised Him from the dead to give me eternal life. It was nearly-to-good-to-be-true news!
From childhood, I was told about God’s love, but it never registered that it was the solution to all my problems. I was to busy with my own thoughts and pleasures., that eventually led to my destruction. Solomon was right, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” 6
Thank God; the Holy Spirit brought me to life and quickened me with 20/20 vision. Like the apostle Paul said, “…it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.” 7 Jesus said, “…for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” 8
God’s Deep Secrets…
When the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to show me God’s deep secrets, I saw that Heaven was a free gift; not earned or deserved. That I was a sinner, who couldn’t save myself. That He loved me regardless of my sin, and He didn’t want to punish me, so He sent Jesus to take my place on the cross for sin, punishment and death, only to raise Him up by His power to eternal life. Although, it would take a spark of faith and my repentance or a change of mind. That is, turning from sin to God in faith, that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life just as He said. 9
Daily, my faith increases as I spend time with my heavenly Father in prayer and meditation, much of it listening to Family Radio. I don’t, but if you have her, say: “Alexa, play Family Radio,” or you can go to familyradio.org to locate the station nearest you. It’s time to cut off the world and turn to God in your life to understand God’s deep secrets. Like Gregory wrote: “…there is no way to be happy in life, nor is life worth living, apart from the Lord!”
What a blessing it is to receive your letters of encouragement, which help me to be an encouragement in return. If you care to write me, I’d like to know that you are getting something from these efforts, especially eternal life.
“And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” 10
A Prayer for You…
Jesus, I confess that You are my Lord and Savior. I believe in my heart that God raised You from the dead. By faith in Your word, I receive salvation now. Thank You for saving me! Father, I recognize my need for Your power to live a new life. Please fill me to overflowing with Your power right now. Thank You for baptizing me! Holy Spirit, You are so welcome in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Scripture References (NKJV):
1) Pro. 29:18, KJV
2) 1 Jn. 4:9
3) James 4:10
4) Phil. 2:13
5) Rom. 6:23
6) Pro. 14:12
7) 1 Cor. 2:10, NLT
8) Lk. 12:32
9) Jn. 14:6
10) Col. 1:27b, NLT