Welcome! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. If not in person, maybe over the phone or social media. You may be able to identify with many prisoners who had nobody to call. They’ve burned all their bridges. In 2015, let’s trust God for a better New Year for us all.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” 1
A Future and a Hope…
Things may seem pretty hopeless starting off the new year. You may find yourself lacking vision for the future. I’m asked often, “Charles, how do you do it after all these years? It can’t be easy.”
I’m thankful that my life in Christ reflects an answer for hopelessness! Although life may seem complicated at this moment, the answer is fairly simple. We’ve made life complicated trying to figure it out. As a result, mankind has come up with a multitude of formulas for a successful life.
After six years of searching for answers in prison, I began to wake up. It was like I had been asleep or even blind for all my life, feeling my way around in the dark. I didn’t understand what was happening at first, but eventually I was awakened to God’s love. It just took a while for it to sink in – 29 years.
Responding to God’s Love…
This website covers my search for an answer to life. I didn’t realize it was God’s love until the Holy Spirit revealed it to me in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” 2
Sinner or not, responding to God’s love means giving Him your time. One way is to spend more time on Christian websites. The average session for a person on our site is four minutes. This takes into consideration that 28% leave the site almost immediately. Let’s pray for these numbers to improve as you spend more time here. You will need to give your time to experience God’s love.
See, there is something you can give to God. If not your life, start by giving your time. I started by attending church in 1975, which was my way of responding to God (we had very little Christian television in those days and no internet). After hearing about God’s love and grace, I responded through faith by offering Him my life. He regenerated me, and the rest is history – now 40 years later.
Experiencing God’s Love…
When I was growing up, I heard about God’s love, but I never experienced it. Without a doubt, my parents loved me unconditionally, but I never felt it. I thought love was only a feeling, which was experienced through infatuation or erotic love. I had no clue that real love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which I first experienced when I was born-again.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” 3
When a Christian walks by the Spirit and manifests His fruit, he needs to external law to produce the attitudes and behavior that please God. The love of God casts out all fear, which is the root cause of many of our fleshly behaviors.
In 2015, I’m praying that you’ll experience God’s love in a new and living way through faith in His grace. Your family and friends will surely notice the new you, “…because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” 4
Resting In God’s Love…
When you rest in God’s love, there is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Trials and tribulations will come, but you are no longer overcome with anxiety, because His love abounds. Listen to the words of Jesus,
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” 5
In the new creation, you’re crucified, buried, resurrected and seated in heaven, As a result, you’re sealed by the Holy Spirit and hidden with Christ in God to reign with Him forever. It’s the Father’s love and acceptance that causes you to reign. It was His plan all along to give you a glorious future and hope.
Jesus came to provide you rest and peace through His victory at the cross. Just as God rested after six days of creation, you can rest as a new creation in Christ. He has provided everything you will ever need to succeed in the Christian life through the Spirit of grace in you. Won’t you respond to God’s love today?
A Prayer for You...
Jesus, I turn from trusting in myself and my own works for salvation. I confess that You are my Lord. I believe in my heart that God raised You from the dead, and I receive Your gift of salvation right now by faith. Thank you for revealing Your love and grace to me! Father, I recognize my need for Your power to understand Your Word and to live this new life. I desire to receive Your revelation knowledge. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. By faith, I receive it right now. Thank you for baptizing me. Holy spirit, You are welcome in my life! Amen.
Scripture References (NLT):
1 Jere. 29:11
2 Rom. 5:8
3 Gal. 5:22,23
4 Rom. 5:5
5 John 16:33 NKJV