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January 2023

crossnailsforgivenHappy New Year! I see 2023 as being the most productive year ever proclaiming God’s love, peace and joy to the world through Christ. You can be part of the ministry by sharing the site with others.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, accordingly to the power that works in us.” 1

A Pastor’s Response…

Pastor Brian wrote: “It just occurred to me that you have probably reached more people with the Gospel than most pastors in church buildings! I’m really proud of you.

“Hope all is well my new friend and brother in Christ. Your web page is amazing! The testimonies and responses you provide glorify Jesus.

“Do you ever get tired of talking about the past? It’s amazing though – even then God had a great plan for you and your life. I’m more of a living for today and tomorrow person. Can’t do anything about the past anyway, even though Satan keeps bringing it up.

“One thing I don’t think most people understand about repentance and forgiveness: When we repent, Jesus doesn’t just cover our past sins. He removes them. In his eyes, they never happened. That’s why it’s called being born again. Praise God!

“I watched several of the late Norman Ezell’s music videos, which were very inspiring. You can introduce us in heaven one day.

“Thank you for permission to print things from your web pages. Kenny says he was encouraged by your story.

“There are a lot of naysayers, critics and haters in the world my friend, but keep your eyes on Jesus. I’m sure He is proud of you. Love you brother, Brian, OH.”

God’s Love Abounds…

Pastor Brian is right! Once we turn from sin to God and experience His love, we are born of the Spirit – 100% forgiven. Jesus “…loved us and washed us from our Sins in His own blood.” 2 The Lord said, “…their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 3 He “…cast all our sins behind His back,” 4 and “…into the depth of the sea.” 5 “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” 6

“God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” 7

Though all of us have inherited sin due to the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden, 8 the magnitude of my sins forgiven made me rejoice even more, empowering me to be more transparent. It shows there is no limit to God’s mercy. The apostle Paul wrote: “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.” 9

God’s Peace Abounds…

I often ask those who reject Christ’s payment for sin what they do with their guilt and shame? I find some no longer have a working conscience, and medicate their pain with alcohol, sex and drugs. I was one of those until the Holy Spirit came knocking on the door of my heart. Because I had been hardened for so long, it took a while until the Lord began to open my heart in early ’75. Maybe you can identify with my condition at the time?

My heart would still be in torment over the sins of my past if it were not for the blood of Jesus providing righteousness and peace. Today, as “…a new creation [a new species of being], old things have passed away…all things have become new.” 10 11 I’ve put off the old man, 12 and “…put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” 13 (See Mending the Body of Christ chart). As a result, I am at peace, empowered to forgive others as I have been forgiven. “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.” 14

God’s Joy Abounds…

Many ask how I’ve been able to do 53 years in prison without getting bitter. It’s simply the power of God’s love and peace that gives me the joy of the Lord, who is my strength. 15 The Holy Spirit living in me comforts, guides and teaches me patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control – all fruits of the Holy Spirit. 16 Otherwise, like the psalmist David declared, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” 17

Today, I understand that the things of the world can’t provide true joy. One can have everything and go everywhere, which is not wrong, but still not find joy. The heart will come up empty without the love of God providing peace and joy through the Holy Spirit. He is the answer to true love and acceptance that we have always desired, “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” 18

A Prayer for You…

Heavenly Father, I thank You for making this the best New Year of my life. I confess with my mouth the Lord Jesus, and I believe in my heart that You raised Jesus from the dead. I receive Your free gift of eternal life. I thank You that when You died for me, Your blood cleansed me from all unrighteousness and the sins of my entire life; past, present and future. In all my trials, I give You thanks, knowing that giving thanks for Your love and grace notifies the devil of his defeat at the cross. I commit my life to You 100% from this day forward. In the name of Jesus, Amen!

Scripture References (NKJV):

1) Eph. 3:20
2) Rev. 1:5
3) Heb. 8:12
4) Isa. 38:17
5) Mal. 7:19
6) Psa. 103:12
7) Rom. 5:8
8) Rom. 5:12
9) 1 Tim. 1:15,16 NLT
10) 2 Cor. 5:17
11) Col. 3:8-17
12) Eph. 4:20-24
13) Eph. 4:32
14) Rom. 5:1, NLT
15) Neh. 8:10
16) Gal. 5:22,23
17) Psa. 27:13
18) Rom. 14:17