Happy Springtime! In these troublesome days, it’s not enough to believe in God only. 1 We must be born of the Spirit, trusting in the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ for comfort, peace and everlasting life. As recorded in John 14:1, Jesus cried out,
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”
A Welcomed Email…
Rob wrote from Los Angeles saying, “I appreciate your openness and honesty.”
“I’ve read a lot on your website and the one thing that always stops and makes me think is ‘forgiveness.’ Especially for myself. A search for answers, how can I really forgive myself?
“I’m now more than nine years sober and embrace A.A., but the past still haunts me. I’m my toughest critic and maybe it’s that voice in my head that keeps me beating myself over and over. I make living amends daily and try to be the best person I can be. Not bring any more harm to an already suffering world.
“I know your forgiveness is rooted in faith. Is that where true healing comes from? Or at least was it for you? I’m just struggling more than I have been in a long time – just losing focus and letting the past identify me and wanted to reach out and see if you might have any suggestions?
“I just finished reading your December ’21 Monthly View. I’m praying for Reese; I really enjoyed his story. I hope this is just the beginning of a new life for him – he is young and he has so much ahead of him. When I went to treatment, we talked about the past a lot. One of my counselors told me to try and think of it like a ‘book’ on a shelf behind you. We don’t want to forget about the past, but we don’t want to focus on it either like a book – we can take it off the shelf, reference it, and put it back. Rob, CA.”
Jesus – The Way…
To answer Rob’s question, true forgiveness and healing is through faith in Jesus alone. Then, instead of living in the past, we’re to focus on our future hope. Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” 2
There is absolutely no hope of a mansion in heaven without faith in Jesus’ blood and resurrection, which is the righteous requirement for salvation. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” 3 “For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” 4 Clearly, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” 5
“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” 6
Jesus – The Truth…
Rob is in a battle against the lies of the enemy. He wrote: “…maybe it’s that voice in my head that keeps beating me up over and over.” He’s his “toughest critic,” yet Jesus came with grace and truth to set him apart by the Word of Truth. 7 The need is to focus on Jesus, turning from guilt and shame through repentance. When Rob prayed for Reese’s new life; joy and hope came alive, sparking faith to receive answers and forgiveness for his past. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 8
Rather than submitting to lying voices, we’re to “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” 9 We’re fighting against unseen evil rulers, dark powers and evil spirits, who show up in our minds. “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” 10
Simply put, Jesus is the Truth. He’s or Righteousness and Peace through Faith; hence, our Salvation by the Spirit of grace. The Word of God has overcome the world, the flesh and the devil.
Jesus – The Life…
In the late 60s, I yielded to these dark-evil spirits in a drug-induced world. “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” 11 Jesus put it this way, “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.” 12 Paul proclaimed, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and [a]conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption [b]through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” 13
This is glorious Good News! Jesus is the Life, the God kind of life (Gk. “Zoe”), used 34 times by John in his gospel. Jesus paid the price for our sin, declared us righteous and empowered us to overcome guilt and shame. He arose from the dead, brought us out of darkness and gave us an abundant, eternal life. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” 14 I may have life in prison, but I’m “…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.” 15
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):
- Jm. 2:19
- John 14:2,3
- Eph. 1:7
- Heb. 9:22b, NLT
- Acts 4:12, NLT
- John 14:6
- John 1:14-17; 8:32, 17:17
- John 8:32
- Eph. 6:10-11, NLT
- Eph. 6:10-18, NLT
- 2 Cor. 4:4, NLT
- John 10:10
- Col. 1:13-14
- John 3:16, NLT
- Tit. 2:13-14