From The Editor . . . by Marcia Greenwood
If you are one of many who still believe that you have to work to "earn" this love, mercy, forgiveness and grace then please read the rest of this sentence - these gifts are FREELY given to us by God our Father through Jesus Christ. If the church (the body of Christ) would stop being so "religious" then we would be able to rest in the grace, favor and love of God. Jesus did not come to earth to "start a religion." He came to establish the Kingdom of God; a new way of living, under the New Covenant. This is God's will on earth as it is in heaven. If you truly desire to be "religious" then go help the widows and orphans on this earth. This is the Bible definition of true religion!
Too many people continue to say that grace is "unmerited pardon." Of course, we don't earn it—we don't have to, we couldn't if we tried - it is a free gift! Grace is ours - JUST by being a child of God. If you were to give me a gift and I took it but then ran to get my purse to get the money to pay you for it, you would think of me as being "a bit strange," among many other things. It is not being humble when you try to earn anything from God. Don't allow the devil to steal the good things that God has freely given you any longer. Read the New Testament, God never tells us we have to earn anything. We just have to believe and receive. We deserve whatever God freely gives us!
You see, all of us the very moment we asked Jesus to be our Saviour and King, we have been forgiven, and been washed clean by the blood of Jesus. Our sins forgiven and forgotten - no strings attached - no laws to fulfill - just pure love streaming from the Father to us and then us back to the Father.
Oh, Amazing Grace, how sweet thou art! TGM
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Window On The Word
Psalm 103:1-5 tells us NOT to forget our benefits. Why, because to know our benefits of being a child of God to a Christian is so important! Too many Christians have not forgotten the benefits - they don't even know what they are to begin with! The verse begins with us praising God. This is very important, it is stated twice! Then the benefits follow: Forgiveness of ALL of our sins; Healing of ALL of our diseases; We are crowned with love and tender mercies; Our mouth is satisfied with good things; And He restores our youth like the eagles.
You see, believers are blessed, very blessed, extremely blessed - but far too many Christians are not partaking of these blessings - either because of ignorance or by choice! Too many choose to believe the lies of the devil or religious tradition over the very Word - the truth spoken by God and freely given to us.
Genesis 1, How soon have we forgotten that when God created this world - He said that everything He created was good! He put man (Adam and Eve) in a plush garden filled with everything they needed to have a wonderful life.
God even told them how to stay content and blessed. He said "Do not eat of the tree of good and evil." "For if you do, you shall surely die." You may ask, "Well why then did He even put the tree there." God did it because of love - He gave us a choice to return His love freely. We could choose Him or another way. Deuteronomy 30:19 records God as saying "I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing - choose LIFE." (Emphasis is mine).
Christians have God in them and everywhere they go - God goes. Do we even stop to think of this? God even gave His people, the Israelites, ten commandments to follow that would keep them apart and sanctify them from the rest of the world. By obeying these commands they would be protected from the punishment of sin. They would be blessed going in and going out - that pretty much covers all of the time! But that wasn't good enough for the people. Sin and the lust of the flesh got the better of them and they broke the commandments. So God sent His Son into this world and He lived a sin free life and qualified to take our punishment for sin for us. He went to the cross and took our sins, sickness, punishment and lack with Him. Isaiah 53:4-5, We don't have to bear it. When we sin, we don't have to live with the punishment we deserve that sinning brings with it. We just need to turn immediately to God, repent (change our ways) ask for forgiveness and God will forgive and forget our sin as if it never happened - all because of what Jesus did for us on the cross! This is being sanctified and set apart from the rest of the world. The world has to live with the punishment of sin - condemnation - until they make Jesus their Saviour and Lord and allow Him to carry the punishment at the cross. Jesus came to give His life, He came to heal, restore, to make whole, to bring joy and prosperity to us. He said that He was sanctified and we must be also. He said He was about His Fathers business (at 12 years old). He came to do the will of the Father.
We must also do this. We must show the world that there IS a difference - a very real difference from knowing Jesus and not knowing Jesus. The only way we can effectively do this is by living a sanctified life - hungry for God and living in Him and He in us. We don't hide from the world - we ‘live' in the blessing of God - as a candle shinning bright for the entire world to see. We effectively preach the gospel by our examples - through Jesus living in us. Believers must be hungry, day after day after day for more of Jesus - the living Word. Hungry for more of the knowledge of what pleases the Father and living a holy and sanctified life. We must expose the devil for the liar he is and stop him from deceiving those who are lost. Jesus said He destroyed the works of the devil. Sure the devil operates in his kingdom of darkness, but the light of Jesus Christ exposes the darkness and knocks it out.
2 Corinthians 10:2 - The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds.
Believers can become free from the oppression and works of the devil - IF they know who they are in Christ Jesus and use the weapons they have been given. Then they can live in victory and keep the devil under their feet. Does this make believers immune from troubles? No, we live in this world and there will be troubles. But God says, "Fear NOT, for I have overcome the world." Believers can rise out of their troubles unscathed and victorious!
John 14:12 says that those who have faith in Me will do what I have been doing and even greater things.
Thank God we don't have to defeat the devil and go to the cross. Jesus already did that for us. We need to live in Him and be filled with the Holy Spirit and preach, teach, cast our demons and heal the sick - all in the name of Jesus! Mark 16:15 says that those that believe will have signs and wonders following them and 1 Kings 8:56 says that NOT ONE Word of God's has ever failed.
Jeremiah 1:12 He watches over His Word to perform (accomplish, bring forth, fulfill) it.
When we speak God's Word with authority in Jesus' name back to Him, He hears and follows through with what the Word says it will do. The name of Jesus is extremely powerful. Every name has to bow to the name of Jesus. What power we have in using His name! We pray to God in Jesus' name and He hears us and when we pray, Jesus acknowledges and gives us what we ask for. Mark 11:24 says that when we pray, we should believe we have what we asked for.
In John 17 :16-17 Jesus is talking to the Father about us, the believers. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. Choose to live a sanctified life! TGM
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