June 2009

The purpose of the monthly view is to share how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. He shows His great love for us by having sent Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from His eternal wrath.1

Links For New Visitors

Shadow Steal Interview
Miracle of Forgiveness
Love is All You Need

Ten Times Higher
Prison Reform
Video about my Prison Yard

As you view my photo, be reminded that “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline…For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was His plan from before the beginning of time – to show us His grace through Christ Jesus.”2

Childhood Memories

As a child, before I learned the ABC’s, I learned the chorus, “The B-I-B-L-E, that’s the book for me. I stand upon the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E.” In Vacation Bible School, I memorized John 3:16, the 23rd Psalm, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Apostle’s Creed. During my teenage years, spiritual things slipped away. My summer job, water skiing and the opposite sex became more important.

I had learned a few Scriptures and many old hymns, but I was just being religious. I never had a personal relationship with God, which I needed to sustain me through my college years. I went to church a few times with my girlfriends in college, but it was only because of tradition, not out of my love for God. I lacked a knowledge of the truth, so I was easy prey for the temptations of life.

Without Jesus as an anchor in my life, I was vulnerable. I chose to believe a lie, got involved in an ungodly lifestyle, and committed the crimes that brought me to prison. Eventually, I fell on my knees before God. I heard John 3:16, trusted that it was true and committed my life to Christ in 1975. Since that time, I’ve studied God’s word to build my faith because “faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”3

New Believer’s Bible

Recently, I suggested a New Living Translation (NLT) to a correspondent. He responded by telling me the two Bible versions he owned and asked if he really needed a new Bible. I asked him if he understood those Bibles? The Word of God is spiritually discerned, but an easy to understand Bible can allow the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s word more clearly and in new ways.

The majority of Scriptures read on this website are from the NLT Bible. It is believed that the NLT – which combines the latest biblical scholarship with a clear, dynamic writing style – will communicate God’s word powerfully to all who read it. Joy, peace, and security are God’s gift for all Christians. Let the New Believer’s Bible New Testament help you immediately enjoy the many benefits of being a member of God’s family. It can be obtained with helpful study notes from Harvest Tools.

An Approved Worker

Your salvation is based solely on the finished work of Jesus Christ, but your eternal reward is based upon the works you do as a Christian. You are exhorted to “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive His approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”4

The Scriptures liken believers to two kinds of vessels or utensils in the household of God, saying: “In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”5 If your works were judged today, would you be lacking?

If your answer is “yes;” God’s word will purify you for greater use. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.”6 If you are used to do the works of Christ, you may one day hear: “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”7

Paul’s Final Words

These are his words from the New Living Translation: “I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when He appears to set up His Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the price awaits me – the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of His return. And the prize is not just for me, but for all who eagerly look forward to His appearing.”8

A Prayer For You ...

Heavenly Father, we seek to be used by you for the advancing of Your Kingdom on earth. You know our beginning and our end. You know us inwardly. Please use us in the way You desire to spread the Good News of Your Son Jesus with sound biblical teaching and a righteous life. Let our lives be a testimony of the power of Christ to transform those who are lost. Protect us from evil, bless us with our daily needs and let the love you have given us be shared with all we meet. It is Your love we seek to share so Jesus, the Light of the world, may be seen in even the most dark places. Thank You, Father, for Your love, which delivers us in time of need. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Scripture References:

1 Rom. 5:5,8,9
2 2 Tim. 1:7,9
3 Rom. 10:17
4 2 Tim. 2:15, 16
5 2 Tim. 2:20
6 2 Tim. 3:16
7 Matt. 25:21
8 2 Tim. 4:1-8

Acknowledgement: A special thanks to Sherry for transcribing this months view!

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