Happy Valentines! The ministry logo is the cross inside my heart, reaching out to the world. Like our bold-pumping heart provides physical life, our inner-most heart produces spiritual life through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. No matter what…
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 1
God’s Love Abounds…
I believe God’s love drew you to this site, believing that His “…love covers all sin.” 2
Tabitha wrote, “It’s amazing to see someone go through what you have and grow into the brave Christian that you are today. I’ve fought my own demons. I was an alcoholic, who suffered from depression. I got off track, hanging out with the wrong crowd, and making the wrong choices. I felt I had to punish, even harm myself, because I knew I was doing wrong. I wasn’t religious, and I felt hopeless. I didn’t think anyone could love me.
“Hearing how God turned your life around gave me such hope. It inspired me to see someone saying that forgiveness is possible for anyone who believes in Jesus. That it’s never too late; hope exists for all. So, I asked God to forgive my sins and mistreatment of myself. I know God loves and accepts me!
“I just wanted to write and say ‘thank you.’ Your message on your website for the world to benefit from has taught me so much and helped me along the way to becoming a better person and Christian. Your story has helped so many realize that they too can be forgiven and beloved. You helped me to see my life for more than I thought it could be. Sincerely, Tabitha, IL.”
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” 3
Righteousness & Peace…
Tabitha said, “I know that God loves and accepts me!” Once we receive Christ’s demonstration of love through his blood at the cross, we experience peace with God. Simply, He took the punishment we deserved for our sin and gave us His righteousness. Oh, what a joy!
Faith in His blood and righteousness gave me the ability to overcome the crimes of the old man, who died on the cross with Christ. “For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” 4
“Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” 5
Joyfully Looking Forward…
I know my life is so underserved even in prison after that old man caused so much pain and destruction. I agree with those who say I should have been put to death a long time ago. I realize the privilege to stand confidently in Christ, sharing the Good News of salvation. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…” 6
My life is not problem-free. I battle fear and condemnation like most do. There are enemies on the left and right of me spiritually and in person. But through my trials, I have grown to be the person I am today, with great hope for the future. “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.” 7
“And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” 8
For decades, I’ve hoped to be released from prison, knowing that God has given me an expiration date on this old earth. I’ve been disappointed many times, but above all, I realize my glorious hope. Besides, the Lord has placed the Holy Spirit in my heart to share His abounding love around the world, carrying out His plan and purpose for my life.
Sadly, most don’t see themselves as sinners in need of salvation, according to the book of Romans:
“Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too” (1:28-32, NLT).
These verses describe my old man and may speak to your heart as well? Most importantly, realize “…the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” 9
“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” 10
A Prayer for You…
Father, thank You for forgiving my sins and saving me from eternal separation from You. By faith in Jesus, I accept His finished work and death on the cross as sufficient payment for my sins. I rejoice that His resurrection from the dead shows His complete victory over sin, death, the grave and the devil – making me holy and acceptable in Your sight. Thank You for providing the way for me to have a relationship with You and for eternal life. Thank You for hearing my prayer and for sending the Holy Spirit to regenerate my dead spirit, thereby making me a new creation – the righteousness of God in Christ. Thank You for the strength and wisdom to walk in the center of Your will now and forevermore. In the precious name of Jesus, I pray, Amen!
Scripture References (NLT):
1) Rom 5:8, NKJV
2) Pro. 10:12, NKJV
3) Rom. 5:1
4) Rom. 6:4
5) Rom. 5:2
6) Rom. 1:16, NKJV
7) Rom. 5:3
8) Rom. 5:4
9) Rom. 6:23
10) Rom. 5:5