Happy Independence Day! I thank God for the subscribers, for those who have responded, and for those I’ve been privileged to minister with over the years, both those in and out of prison. My explanation to all:
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” 1
An Uplifting Response…
Jimmy from Tennessee wrote: “I truly hold the ultimate admiration and respect for you.”
“I knew very little about you until I read a biography of Charles Manson. Please forgive, for I realize you do not want to be primarily known for that part of your life, nor should you be. I’ve made plenty of mistakes myself, so I would never intentionally judge anyone.
“I am in a difficult phase spiritually right now Maybe I’ll talk about that later. Your life vividly shows how God works in mysterious ways. If you did not experience all you did during those Manson years, you may never have come to know Jesus. I truly believe there are some individuals so dear to God that He allows them to experience deep, desperate times, knowing that is the only way He can bring them to Him.
“And you are one of those people. He saw something so special and precious in you that He knew He had to draw you to Him in any way possible. You have positively touched more lives in this manner than you likely ever would have if you didn’t experience what you did. Of course, in no way am I discounting the lives of those who died. Again, God works in mysterious ways.
“I look forward to reading your book. My sincere hope is that someday you will be released from prison. In the meantime, I sincerely wish you the absolute best. Once I finish your book, I will write you again. If you will, please pray for me. Your prayers have much power and meaning. God bless you. Yours faithfully, Jimmy, TN.”
Freedom in Christ…
The Fourth of July not only brings to mind our freedom as a nation but also our freedom in Christ. I was led to create a chart several years ago on this revelation called The Great Exchange. It shows plainly how our sins were placed on the cross with Christ, and in exchange, HE gave us His righteousness. He took our death and gave His life, our cursed life for blessings, our bruises for healing, our poverty for abundance, our rejection for acceptance and overall freedom. [My entire Illumination Bible Chart booklet is available to print in color].
“You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.” 2
I hope those in ministry with me over the past 45 will testify to the value of these charts. I created them to better understand what the Lord was showing to me, and to explain it to others. I pray they are still useful to reveal the finished works of Jesus in my latter years of ministry. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” 3
Freedom for Myself…
Christ has definitely set me free. Though I remain in prison, the past does not define me. My whole identity is in God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness, plus “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” 4 My life is similar to a monk, living in a cell with the regimented lifestyle of a prison. It certainly has its ups and downs, but all in all, the Lord has so graciously provided for me over the years. I owe it all to His joy and strength working through my life.
Jimmy mentioned his hope that someday I’d be released from prison. I have many friends who feel the same, but to be realistic, there are politics involved, plus there is a large opposition, which is understandable because of the magnitude of the crimes. But as a man of God, I’m simply “…looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” 5
Freedom for You…
My brochure Christianity for Dummies is a simple explanation about your freedom through the gift of righteousness in Christ, plus there is a complete book on your freedom through righteousness called Christianity for Fools. This is a study book to build yourself up in faith and righteousness. The apostle Paul exhorts us to “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” 6
Of course, it is not my purpose to shame you, since Jesus bore all our shame on the cross. Righteousness is the ability to stand in the presence of God without any sense of guilt, shame, fear or inferiority. My purpose is to wake you up [with the help of the Holy Spirit] to the gift of righteousness and to help you walk in everything Jesus died and rose to provide. I believe the Holy Spirit will help your heart to absorb the full implication of Jesus’ finished works on the cross. My desire is to declare the glory and wonder of Jesus, and His gift of righteousness around the world. With your help, “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 7
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 (NKJV):
1) Gal. 5:1
2) Col. 2:13
3) Eph. 2:10, NLT
4) Phil. 4:11b
5) Titus 2:13,14
6) 1 Cor. 15:34
7) Heb. 12:1c,2