Sunday, January 30, 2011

Don’t Go to Hell

Don’t Go to Hell

One of the most common things that people say when they are angry or want to insult someone is “go to hell”.  A friend of mine uses expressions like “That was funny as hell.” As we will see in this week’s blog... there is nothing funny about hell. Jesus paid a terrible price to give us a free pass out of hell. Why would anyone turn down such a free gift?

What if There is a Hell?

By Richard (Dick) Innes, Acts International


Not a popular topic by any stretch of the imagination. And these days it isn’t a popular or politically correct topic to preach, write or talk about as if it were a reality. For many, hell is a place they hope doesn’t exist and if it does, they don’t expect to go there. For others, hell is a figment of the imagination from outdated folklore, or a place to curse people to whom you don’t like. Many believe that death ends all.

Think of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina that caused the city of New Orleans to be hopelessly flooded so that thousands were stranded and many lost their lives. How unthinkable it would have been had the city known about the impending disaster and not warned the people to evacuate the city. How tragic it was for those who could have left but failed to heed the repeated warning. How much greater the tragedy not to let people know about the warning that God’s Word has clearly given for all to flee from the wrath of hell to come.

C.S. Lewis wrote:

“There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than Hell … but it has the full support of Scripture and specifically of Jesus’ very own words.” In fact, Jesus talked more about hell than he did about heaven. He said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”1

The Bible describes hell as a place of utter darkness … also as a lake of fire that burns day and night forever.

Whether this is literal or figurative I do not know. What we do know is that Jesus described hell as a place of eternal torment. It is a place that was prepared for the devil and his fallen angels/demons—a place to where those who have never received forgiveness for their sins will be banned forever.

It’s not that God sends us to hell but that we send ourselves there when we don’t heed God’s warning and receive his forgiveness for all our sins and his gift of eternal life.

Eugene P. Harder shared how, In his book entitled To Hell and Back, Cardiologist Maurice Rawlings recounts the startling near-death experience of a patient taking a cardio stress test on a treadmill.

“The patient became breathless and began to sweat profusely. The monitor showed a dangerous rapid heartbeat. This was followed by a long pause in the beat and then by a flat line. Charlie’s heart had stopped, his eyes rolled up in his head and he fell.

“One of the nurses breathed ‘the kiss of life into Charlie’s lungs.’ Another nurse started the IV but the heart would not beat properly. A temporary pacemaker was needed. Whenever Dr. Rawlings stopped pushing Charlie’s chest to adjust the pacemaker, his heart would stop. Charlie’s eyes would roll up and he would turn blue.

“This time when Charlie’s heart re-started he was screaming the words, ‘I’m in hell! I’m in hell!’ Hallucinations, Dr. Rawlings thought. Most victims scream, ‘take your big hands off me, you’re breaking my ribs.’

“But Charlie was saying the opposite: ‘Don’t stop! Don’t stop. Every time you let go I’m back in hell!’

“When conscious, Charlie begged the Doctor to pray for him. Dr. Rawlings said, ‘I felt downright insulted. In fact, I told him to shut up. I said I was a doctor, not a minister and not a psychiatrist. The nurses looked at me as if to say, “Do something!’”

“So I composed this make-believe prayer to keep Charlie off my back. ‘Jesus Christ is the Son of God, keep me out of hell. If I live, I’m on the hook. I’m yours. Say it Charlie!’

“Charlie said the prayer and then a very strange thing happened that changed both the Doctor’s and Charlie’s lives. Dr. Rawlings said, ‘A religious conversion experience took place. I had never witnessed one before. Charlie was no longer the wild-eyed, screaming, combative lunatic who had been fighting me for his life. He was relaxed and calm and cooperative.”

“‘It frightened me. I was shaken by the events. Not only had that make-believe prayer saved Charlie McKaig, but it got me too. It was a conviction that to this day I cannot explain. Since then, Charlie has outlived three permanent pacemakers. It’s difficult to believe that my simple prayer opened the road to both Charlie’s and my own salvation.’

“Dr. Rawlings [not a crackpot by any means] was a specialist in cardiovascular diseases at the Diagnostic Center and area hospitals of Chattanooga. He served in both the Army and the Navy and became chief of cardiology at the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. He was the personal physician at the Pentagon for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which included Generals Marshall, Bradley, Patton, and Dwight Eisenhower. In civilian life Dr. Rawlings was appointed to the National Teaching Faculty of the American Heart Association, specializing in teaching methods for the retrieval of patients from sudden death.”2

A study of near-death cases by Dr. Rawlings was also reported in Omni magazine. “It is no longer unusual to hear about people who have almost died who speak of seeing a bright light, lush green meadows, rows of smiling relatives and experiencing a deep sense of peace. However, Dr. Rawlings obtained additional information from his patients by interviewing them immediately following resuscitation while they were very much in touch with their experience.

“Dr. Rawlings says that nearly fifty percent of the 300 people that he has interviewed have reported lakes of fire, devil-like figures and other sights reflecting the darkness of hell. Rawlings says that these people later change their story because they don’t want to admit where they’ve been, not even to their families. ‘Just listening to these patients has changed my whole life,' claims Dr. Rawlings. ’there is a life after death, and if I don’t know where I’m going, it’s not safe to die.’3

Of one thing we can be certain and that is that death happens to us all as nobody gets out of this place alive.

Life can be dreadfully uncertain. A friend’s husband was on his motorbike when a dog ran out at him. Trying to dodge the dog he fell from his bike and was killed. Last month another friend’s 49-year-old wife died of cancer. Last week a long-term friend of my wife’s died suddenly of a heart attack. Two months ago my oldest sister died. I wrote today to another friend whose husband died suddenly in his sleep. He was in his early to mid-40s.

How foolish it is to make all sorts of preparation for this life but none for the next. Time and again God has warned us in his word that there is a heaven for all who have accepted God’s forgiveness and a hell for all who haven’t. As Jesus said, “This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”4 And, “If anyone’s name was not found written in [God’s] book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”5

As God warned ancient Israel, his word also applies to us today: “Prepare to meet your God.”6 God’s Word also reminds us that, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”7Also, God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”8

It’s not God’s will that anyone should go to hell—whatever and wherever it may be. We know that heaven is where God is so we can be certain that hell is where God—the author of all love and life—isn’t. He has given his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins so we can be freely forgiven and delivered from hell. So whatever you do don’t neglect God’s warning regarding the terrible doom of hell for all who have never accepted Jesus as their Savior, and God’s forgiveness and gift of eternal life.

Accepting Jesus as your Savior and God’s forgiveness is God’s “passport into heaven.” Whatever you do don’t leave earth without it. And don’t leave it until it is too late to “apply for it.” You can receive your “passport for heaven” today by accepting God’s invitation to come to him by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

For assistance to do this click here.

1. Matthew 10:28, (NIV). 2. Eugene P. Harder, "Positive Praying for People in Danger Pastor," Sermon, April 20, 1996. New Hope Community Church, 3. Aaron Burgess. “Winning the Lost," Sermon,, 4. Matthew 13:49-50, (NIV). 5. Revelation 20:15, (NIV). 6. Amos 4:12, (NIV). 7. Hebrews 9:27, (NKJV). 8. 2 Peter 3:9, (NKJV).

“To Hell and Back”

by Dr. Maurice Rawlings

This is a very compelling video by a medical doctor (not a minister or a theologian) that covers examples of medical crises in which individuals experienced hell and lived to tell about it.  It runs just under 1½ hours.  Enjoy it.

Receiving Forgiveness

by JesusLover Judy

Father, You are my source of love, forgiveness and acceptance. All other sources have left me emotionally wounded and confused. I built my walls of self-protection, turned my back on You and the spring of living water; I dug my own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. I repent of my transgressions. In the name of Jesus, I ask You to cleanse me and take away my guilt. Jesus, I drink from the living water; I believe on You, and out of my innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. Amen.

For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and they have hewn for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns which cannot hold water.
Jeremiah 2:13 [AMP]

37Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!
38He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.
39But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).
John 7:37-39 [AMP]

2Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin!
7Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean [ceremonially]; wash me, and I shall [in reality] be whiter than snow.
Psalm 51:2, 7 [AMP]

Father, in the name of Jesus, I am blessed. I am happy because You gave me a fresh start; my slate’s wiped clean. I count myself blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied)—You are holding nothing against me and You’re not holding anything back from me. When I confessed my sin, my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared. In the Name of Jesus I thank You!

1BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, to be envied) is he who has forgiveness of his transgression continually exercised upon him, whose sin is covered.
2Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3When I kept silence [before I confessed], my bones wasted away through my groaning all the day long.
4For day and night Your hand [of displeasure] was heavy upon me; my moisture was turned into the drought of summer. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
5I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told]--then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
6For this [forgiveness] let everyone who is godly pray--pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely when the great waters [of trial] overflow, they shall not reach [the spirit in] him.
Psalm 32:1-6 [AMP]

7Blessed and happy and to be envied are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered up and completely buried.
8Blessed and happy and to be envied is the person of whose sin the Lord will take no account nor reckon it against him.
Romans 4:7-8 [AMP]

Powerhouse Podcasts

Below are two of our Seven Minutes of Wisdom podcasts on the subject of heaven and hell.  If you would like to give them a listen, use the audio controls below:

Listen to our Podcast “Heaven and Hell”:

Listen to our Podcast “Hell and Heaven”:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

With God, Nothing is Impossible

Audrey Dubois of Hope For All in Jesus Prison Ministry sent a testimony to Judypie that demonstrates the theme of this week’s blog.  Dru Black, a former teacher at the jail ministry, had an experience that exemplifies the power of our God in protecting our lives:
This week’s blog features articles by Jolan, Judypie, and Adrian Rogers.

All is Well

by JesusLover Judy

Jesus said: If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your heart, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you (John 15:7). What a wonderful promise. If your thoughts, actions and habits are controlled by the Word of God, you will know that in spite of circumstances all is well.

Each and every day take time to pray Scriptural prayers, meditate and read your Bible. You can have complete assurance and boldness before God if you keep His commandments and habitually practice what is pleasing to Him.

Believe in and rely on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He has commanded us (1 John 3:20-24). Regardless of circumstances you can rest assured – all is well.

Father, I acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.

Empowered by Your Spirit, I purpose to keep Your decrees and commands, which You have given me, so that it may go well with me and my children after me, and that I may live long in the land the Lord my God gives me for all time. To the glory of God the Father, I acknowledge that Jesus is Lord of my home, ministry and the work place. Jesus is Lord of my life!


Know, recognize, and understand therefore this day and turn your [mind and] heart to it that the Lord is God in the heavens above and upon the earth beneath; there is no other.
Therefore you shall keep His statutes and His commandments, which I command you this day, that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God gives you forever.
Deuteronomy 4:39-40 [AMP]

Oh, that they had such a [mind and] heart in them always [reverently] to fear Me and keep all My commandments, that it might go well with them and with their children forever!
Deuteronomy 5:29 [AMP]

He Took on the Status of a Slave
1-4If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

5-8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

9-11Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

Rejoicing Together

12-13What I'm getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you've done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I'm separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.

14-16Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I'll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You'll be living proof that I didn't go to all this work for nothing.

Philippians 2:1-16 [MESSAGE]

With God, There is No Such Thing as Can’t

by Jolan

The other day I was in the car with a friend of mine. We were talking about God and different aspects of our faith.

Not thinking, I blurted out, “If Primo ever cheated on me, I think I could forgive him but I don’t think I could be with him.”

She said, “Well my daddy used to tell me that when you make a blanket statement like that then it’s like you are testing God.”

Testing God?

Well this statement has stayed with me since last Saturday and I felt it important to share with you what I got out of this.

We have to take each situation as God gives it to us. We accept it and deal with it while leaning on our Father for help and understanding.

Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written also, You shall not tempt, test thoroughly, or try exceedingly the Lord your God.
Matthew 4:7 [AMP]

She also said, that when we say things like that it gives the devil way too much room to mess with our lives. I have really thought about this and have taken it to heart. Why should I say that I can not do something? It is like saying God cannot do something and we all know that is not true. God can do all things. As His child I have to be careful about the statements I make.

I don’t want Satan to have any hold over me. I don’t want to give him an opportunity to hurt me. It is like giving the enemy ammunition. Satan wants to hurt us. He loves it when we give Him reasons to sin or to dismiss Gods laws. When we are angry, it is hard to forgive but if we do not forgive others then God will not forgive us. When bad things happen it is easy to question God but when we worry and don’t trust in God but in mere humans then we are falling into sin, because we are showing lack of faith in God. Remember how the Satan tempted Eve…

NOW THE serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?
Genesis 3:1 [AMP]


Really did God really say you shouldn’t lie? A little white lie won’t hurt.

Porn – nahhhh, its not sinning if you don’t do anything.

Forgiveness? Why forgive when they hurt me…It’s just too hard. They don’t deserve it.

Sex before marriage, that’s not a sin, its not cheating if you aren’t married.

What lies are you listening to? How does the devil twist your thoughts to fit the crime. How does he justify your sin to you? Remember the devil is the Father of lies, he is slick and his number one goal is to hurt you and deceive you.

Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on the Lord shall be compassed about with mercy and with loving-kindness.
Psalm 32:10 [AMP]

By [the help of] God I will praise His word; on God I lean, rely, and confidently put my trust; I will not fear. What can man, who is flesh, do to me?
Psalm 56:4 [AMP]

I cannot predict how I will behave to future events but I now think, well my Father would never give me anything I could not handle.

For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
1 Corinthians 10:13 [AMP]

But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

The Bible is my comfort.

When I read Gods letters to me, I always learn something new. And if you read carefully enough God makes many promises, promises that if you follow, will prove true time and time again.

Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
James 1:3 [AMP]

For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.
James 1:12 [AMP]

God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations,
1 Peter 1:6 [AMP]

So be truly glad!* There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.

So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.
1 Peter 1:7 [AMP]

These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

There is no part of the Bible that says life will always be great. Unfortunately life can be very trying and at times lonely and sad. But we are promised paradise. A paradise in heaven with our Father. With Jesus. I cannot even explain how wonderful it will be but there is no sadness or pain, only happiness. Think of your happiest moment. . .that will be nothing compared to the joy you will feel in heaven.

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.
Revelation 21:4 [AMP]

So when God sends trials and tribulations my way I will see them through with His help. I know that I can handle anything God brings me and in the future I’ll trust my Father. He would never lead me astray and if I obey His word, then there is no such thing, as I can’t.


by JesusLover Judy

Father, I thank you for the Holy Spirit Who brings all things to my remembrance.

As far as I am concerned, Father-God, You turn to good what is meant for evil.

You brought me into the position that I currently hold so that others may benefit from the blessings You pour through my life.

I rest in You knowing that in all things You are working for my good because I love You, and You called me according to Your purposes.

I will trust in You, Lord, at all times for Your ways are perfect.

In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

As for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are this day.
Genesis 50:20 [AMP]

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
Romans 8:28 [AMP]

Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
Psalm 62:8 [AMP]

“In the glory of His Presence...I see the beauty of His ways”

Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your goodness. In the name of Jesus I cast the whole of my care—all anxieties, worries and concerns—upon You. I know that You love me and care for me, and those for whom I am praying.

Today I make all my requests known to You with thanksgiving. I know You hear me, and I believe Your best answers are on the way from the moment I ask. Amen.

  Thank God! He deserves your thanks. His love never quits.

   Thank the God of all gods,

      His love never quits.

   Thank the Lord of all lords.

      His love never quits.
Psalm 136:1 [MESSAGE]

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7 [MESSAGE]

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
1 Peter 5:7 [AMP]

Trust the LORD in everything.


by Adrian Rogers

Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful.
Colossians 3:15 [CEV]

In Florida where I was raised, we had a lot of hurricanes. Even as a child I learned that in the center of the worst hurricane, there’s a calm called the “eye” of the storm.

When the storm passes over, there is a calm like a millpond on a summer evening. Friend, in your storm today there is a center that is calm.

It’s the heart of God.

He is there. He is the great I AM in the midst of your storm. As someone has well said, “God gives peace that the world can't take away.” It is supernatural peace.

Do you have the peace of God in your heart?

Claim the promises of Psalm 29:11, Isaiah 26:3, and Romans 5:1 today.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Oooh! I’m gonna TELL !!!

Tattle Tales

The predisposition to Tell or Tattle Tale on other people seems an indigenous part of human nature.

Nobody goes to school to learn how to tell tales on others. It comes naturally... and at a young age!

How often do you hear this coming from a group of young children:  “Oooh!  I’m TELLING!”

Comedians like Eddie Murphy have made millions mimicking that very behavior that seems to form the foundation of our human psyche.

And yet, this type of behavior goes contrary to the perfect will of God.

Or, to put it bluntly, it is sin.

Or, to just get plain real with it... GOD HATES THIS (see Proverbs 6:16-19) !

One of the reasons that God hates type of behavior is that it can kill you.

A man's [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
Proverbs 18:20-21 [AMP]

Years ago, when somebody pulled a gun on me after I had mouthed off... I realized that I needed to listen more, speak less, and pray always.

Not very long ago , I was working with a group of people, a couple of who considered themselves very devout Christians.

One of these individuals had a number of outward expressions of his religious faith.  His style of clothing... his grooming... all he believed to be taken from the Bible and presumably would make him closer to God.  Apparently he did not seem to want to get closer to other people... but that is another story.

The other individual expressed very conservative beliefs.  No socializing.  No fraternizing.  Just keep your nose down and do your job. 

Both of these individuals worked with a group of drunken, cursing, blaspheming, fornicating heathens... yet their judgmental wrath seemed reserved for yours truly.  Granted, I believe that the true motivation for their attacks was a classic case of cronyism with a religious frosting (yum, religious frosting!). 

The reality, however, is that I have seen more such attacks from people who profess a strong Christian background than from those who say they worship the devil or some other religion. One Christian brother spent so much time trying to find something about my work to criticize that he was four days behind in his own work.  And the person who strove to shield me from his attacks happened to be perhaps the biggest heathen in the organization.  Weird.

In another situation, a manager who allowed employees to decorate their workspaces with profane, vile and pornographic materials wanted to fire me for having my Bible on my desk.  And he, I was told, was a stalwart member of his congregation.


Some of you can begin to understand why the Lord directed me to write the book, Please Don’t Feed the Atheists. Not that I am so concerned about Christians picking on me.  But what does concern me is the atheists’ reaction to behavior that goes in the extreme opposite direction of Jesus’s greatest commandment:

I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].
John 13:34-35 [AMP]

Getting back to the topic of doing things that God is pleased with and not doing things that God hates; the scriptures  make it clear that there are behaviors that please the Lord.  For example:

But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
Hebrews 11:6 [AMP]

So, faith (which, according to Galatians 5:6 [AMP], is activated and energized and expressed and works by way of love) is something that pleases God.  So then, if there are things that please God, then conversely, there are things that God hates.  Specifically:

These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren.
Proverbs 6:16-19 [AMP]

Proverbs 6:16-19 delineates seven things that God hates. You can listen to a full study of these things by downloading our free album, The Things That God Hates. But our specific focus is on the parts highlighted in red above:
  • A proud look
  • A lying tongue
  • A false witness who breathes lies
  • He who sows discord among his brothers in Christ
Let’s be honest... cutting others down is an act of pride.  

If you are threatened by how good Sally Ann looks in her new dress, you might say words to tear her down in the eyes of the other ladies in your fellowship.

The proud look overestimates our own value while underestimating the value of others.

It is what causes people to say, “How can you call yourself a Christian... the way that you (fill in the blank).”

The concept of a Christian being a forgiven sinner who is living on a constant supply of God’s mercy is often rejected (except, naturally, during those times when we need to apply that concept to our personal lives
The lying tongue and false witness who breathes lies come from the same Hebrew word, “sheqer” which is:

an untruth; by implication a sham.  It is deceitful, false, and a vain thing that has no justification or cause. 
Sowing discord, strife, or contentions between people is what drama is all about.  Not just real-life drama, but also fictional drama.  A movie or television program that does not have conflict will not have viewers.

Think about it.  You don’t watch a procedural to see police officers sitting around the station house eating doughnuts and drinking coffee, do you?  No... you watch to see a bad guy do some heinous thing and then have the detectives find that guy, beat him (or her) down, and then incarcerate them.

Hey... you think that is what God will do to those who cause this level of drama in the lives of their Christian brothers and sisters?  Stand them before His judgement seat and... hmm...

Thoraf Gilbrant and his team wrote the following about this sort of person:
This sort of person not only damages human relationships, but thereby reveals his hatred of God and His covenant, especially of the basic covenantal obligation to love one’s neighbor (Leviticus 19:18, 33f) that underlies more than half of the basic commandments (cf. Deuteronomy 5:16-21). Those who seek to destroy others are therefore not only condemned by those whose lives they attack, but by God himself (v.16), Who hates their way of life (vv. 17ff) and the attitudes that underlie it (v. 14).
After describing the arrogance that leads them to use any means, even violence, Solomon warns that the real problem is not behavior (damaging as that is), but the attitude of the heart. Their hatred grows out of self-centered arrogance that sees others as tools to be used or discarded, and cannot bear to see happiness or love in those whom it despises. A heart that seeks the misery of others will do anything at all to accomplish its ends, as those poems show.
Granted, all seven of those things that God hates (as indicated above) overlap to a degree... considering that they are the fruit of a person who is not walking in love but, rather, hates his brother (and also God).  Still, our primary emphasis this week is on taming our tongues.

Judge Mental

When I recounted those earlier experiences of mine, you might have wondered to yourself, “Now what exactly did Brotha DC do?”

Well, I did avoid the temptation to retaliate.  A little.  But when the pressure persisted... I eventually caved.  :-(

However, I did make the effort to remain  in a position of forgiveness towards those who had hurt me.

And, of course, when I got to the point where I was ready to cuss someone out... we went to 1 John 1:9 and repented, turning around from that path and continuing to walk along the path architected for us by Christ.

But why do people judge others... even to the point of making up lies?  Perhaps it could be if one doesn’t express their faith in the exact same way that they do.

I recall being attacked by a Christian who didn’t believe in handing out tracts... he felt that soul winning should be strictly personal, not printed.  Well, I respected his belief... but it was difficult convincing him I did not want to argue about it. Our time would be better spent winning souls and not arguing.

Another colleague wanted to argue with me that we should use the Hebrew name Yeshua to refer to our Lord and not the English derivation of Jesus.  Again, not something I want to waste time fighting over.  From my perspective, if you call upon Him sincerely, regardless of what language you speak... you shall be saved.
In the situation where I received the proud look... the lying tongue... false witness about my job performance and personal ethics... and the end result was discord that resulted in my losing an awesome job.  Granted, the most awesome job I have is loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, strength and mind.  And NOBODY can get me fired from God’s employ.  God don’t listen to your gossip.  He knows all anyway... not just the conjecture but the intricate details.  Still... I found it rather confusing when those who should have been brothers in Christ came across as my enemies.

Of course, God has his hand in every situation.  And, when opportunities came to throw my misbehaving colleagues under the bus, I followed the instructions of the Holy Spirit to keep my mouth shut (well, maybe I didn’t keep it 100% shut) and to pray for those who persecuted me, in accordance with Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:28.  And, yes, I did repent when my lips failed to stay completely sealed.

But that incident is also a reminder for all of us to keep in mind what our religion is truly about.  Is it about spending a requisite amount of time with our butts touching a church pew?  Is it about dressing a certain way?  Is it about pronouncing your words while dipping your diphthongs?  Is it about fasting a certain number of meals, or reading a certain number of chapters of the Bible or not watching movies or not chewing gum or not dancing or...

What is religion truly about?

If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless (futile, barren). External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.
James 1:26-27 [AMP]

True religion is the practice of doing those things that Jesus did: visiting, helping and caring for those who are afflicted and in need.  AND, to stay away from the filth of this world (ref. those things that God hates).  AND, to bridle your tongue!


I was thinking about an incident that happened to me many ears ago. I was a teenager, attending university. In the town where I matriculated, there were liquor stores on just about every corner. And those stores sold more than just beer, wine and distilled spirits. They sold milk, snacks, and newspapers. It was a common thing for people to go in and out of those establishments for anything from a pack of cigarettes to a pack of chewing gum.

I was confronted by a young lady at the church I was attending at the time. She accused me of being a backslider... or worse. She saw me go into the, gasp, liquor store!


She also saw me exit that same store. And she admitted that I was not carrying any bottles, cans or containers... just a copy of that day’s newspaper.

When she realized that she had not caught me in some type of sin, she walked away sorrowful...

What that young lady forgot... and what most of us often seem to forget... is that what we perceive is not always what we are seeing.

AND, even more importantly, whether it is or whether it ain’t someone sinning... our obligation is to make prayers and supplications with intercession for them... not to spread gossip to tear down their character.

Quite often, what people see or hear is filtered by what some social researchers call paradigms.  For example:

An employee may be deep in thought about an innovation that could make the company billions.  But, all the boss sees is somebody sleeping or daydreaming at their desk.  Women in the church may see a young hussy trying to steal their husbands while in reality a young woman brought herself a new outfit trying to raise her downcast or depressed spirit... not for the purpose of catching anyone's eye.

A prime example of this is the typical automobile accident. Two cars collide... and two drivers tell differing (and, often, diametrically opposed) versions of what happened.  As Philadelphian TV personality Wally Kennedy used to say, you ask fifty people what happened and you will get fifty answers. However... those vehicles did not back up and crash into each other fifty times in fifty different ways. The danger, then, is taking one’s incomplete picture and making it into an absolute truth (when, in fact, it is not).

The Pharisees accused Jesus and His disciples of being unlawful for doing something (in their opinion) on the wrong day of the week.  Check this out:

AT THAT particular time Jesus went through the fields of standing grain on the Sabbath; and His disciples were hungry, and they began to pick off the spikes of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, See there! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful and not permitted on the Sabbath. He said to them, Have you not even read what David did when he was hungry, and those who accompanied him-- How he went into the house of God and ate the loaves of the showbread--which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for the men who accompanied him, but for the priests only? Or have you never read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple violate the sanctity of the Sabbath [breaking it] and yet are guiltless? But I tell you, Something greater and more exalted and more majestic than the temple is here! And if you had only known what this saying means, I desire mercy [readiness to help, to spare, to forgive] rather than sacrifice and sacrificial victims, you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord [even] of the Sabbath.

Matthew 12:1-8 [AMP]

God does not want us being Judge Mental... 50% judge and 50% mental.  And if someone is judging you, check this final scripture out from the Apostle Paul:

Let not him who eats look down on or despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains criticize and pass judgment on him who eats; for God has accepted and welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on and censure another's household servant? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he shall stand and be upheld, for the Master (the Lord) is mighty to support him and make him stand. One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike [sacred]. Let everyone be fully convinced (satisfied) in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. None of us lives to himself [but to the Lord], and none of us dies to himself [but to the Lord, for] If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord. For Christ died and lived again for this very purpose, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God [acknowledge Him to His honor and to His praise]. And so each of us shall give an account of himself [give an answer in reference to judgment] to God. Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.
Romans 14:3-13 [AMP]

This Weeks Homework

  1. Let us watch our mouths... 
  2. Let us exercise the process of watching our mouths... 
  3. And, as God reveals things that you may of done that He hates... or things you failed to do that would please Him... REPENT!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


What does the word Grace mean to you?

No, we are not talking about not those words your mumble with your head bowed before eating lunch...

No, we are not referring to how one might describe the graceful moves of a ballerina...

Grace, in the spiritual context, refers to unmerited favor. The dictionary definition contains the following definitions under the subheading of “Theology:”

a. the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
b. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.
c. a virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces.
d. Also called state of grace. the condition of being in God's favor or one of the elect.

Grace is when you receive something good even though you actually deserve something bad. Because of our sins, we deserve eternity in hell.  Yet, because of God’s love and His great grace, we are offered eternal life through Christ.  And even though we fail to live like Jesus lived, He offers us His Holy Spirit to indwell us and provide loving correction so that we may change our behavior.

Grace is the topic of this week’s blog.  You will read the teachings of Pastor Jake, Judypie, Pastor Francis, and Annie Lobert.

May these articles be a blessing of grace upon your life for the upcoming week!

Grace and the Law

by James C. Sanford

For some time now I have been wondering why so many have been making a fuss about the Federal Court ruling concerning the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools and other government buildings while at the same time teaching that believers are no longer under the Law but under the grace of God through His Son Jesus. They go to great lengths to scripturally prove that the Law, meaning the Ten Commandments, has been “done away with. ”If this is so, why flaunt the Commandments on the lawns of homes, church buildings and along the highways and byways in expressing their outrage against this ruling?? I fear that today’s leaders of the church have led many into a state of confusion by not understanding and properly explaining what law the believer is no longer under.

Yes, the scripture clearly states that the believer is under grace and not under the Law (Romans 6:14), but what does this mean? What Law is the believer no longer under? Is it the Ten Commandments? And---What is the role of grace?

The Bible speaks of two “laws;” The Law of God, which is called the Ten Commandments or two tablets of the Testimony, and is also known as the Moral Law, the Law of Love and the Decalogue.

And then there is The Law of Moses, also known as the Book of the Law, the Book of the Covenant, the Ceremonial Law, and the Mosaic Law. This Law contains over 640 ordinances written by the hand of Moses.

These two laws are quite often referred to in the New Testament. God had a unique role for each of the two Laws to serve. But carnal reasoning of the differences between these two Laws has led many amuck---particularly in interpreting New Testament references to the Law.

The writers of the Scripture most often use the singular word “law” to refer to either the Ten Commandments, or to the Law of Moses. Keeping every verse of Scripture in its context and following the nature of its use is the only way to determine which Law the writer is speaking of. If we don’t have a clear understanding of their different purposes, it is easy to miss the context of the writings and arrive at a misguided conclusion.

The role of the Moral Law

The Law which contains the Ten Commandments is the only way sin is defined in the Bible. Thus its purpose is to govern the moral conduct of God’s children.

The Apostle Paul writes,

----I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.
Romans 7:7

The same could be said of any one of the Ten Commandments of the Law. Without the Moral Law there would be no knowledge of sin, but the Law was given that sin might be revealed; sin is transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4).

We read in the letter to the Church at Rome,

“for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”
Romans 5:13 [NASU]

It is clear that in the above Scriptures the Apostle is speaking of the Law containing the Ten Commandments. Men were sinning ignorantly until the Moral Law was given thus they were not judge based up the Moral Law; but the Apostles continues,

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Romans 5:14 [NASU]

Because of the curse (Genesis 2:15-17), known as the Law of Sin and of Death (Romans 8:2) given to Adam in the Garden, men were dying because of sin even thou they had not committed the same sin as Adam.

Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:19 [NASU]

The law, as important as it is, can only identify sin. But the law, though it reveals that all men are sinners, does nothing to rectify the situation; it does not remove the curse of death nor does it pay the death penalty for man’s transgressions. Thus the law is powerless in regard to the salvation of man.

The biggest problems of the Jews were they had lost sight of what their father Abraham had---righteousness by faith. They were seeking righteousness or justification by the works of the Law; they had become legalist. The Law could not impart life but in the revealing of sin, because of the weakness of flesh (Romans 8:3-4), it became a minister of condemnation and death. Many today have fallen into the same trap; they have become legalist performing worthless ritualistic acts and other dead works. Others have gone to the other extreme vainly trying to use grace for their covering while continuing to willfully sin; a horrific mistake.

The role of grace

Here is the answer to the question, “what does it mean that we are under grace and not under the Law. “Those who have faith in Christ Jesus are under the grace of God’s forgiveness and are no longer under the curse of the Law; the curse being death (Romans 3:19-26). Therefore where the Law has no saving power, grace has the power of salvation through faith (Ephesians 2:8). God sent His Son “to take away sins” (1st John 3:5). He paid the penalty on man’s behalf. According to the Scriptures, the LORD laid on Him (Christ) the iniquity of us all and made His soul an offering for sin (Isaiah 53:6,10). Grace does something else that the law can not. According to the Scripture, the Savior’s mission was to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The Bible makes it clear that Jesus does more for man than just pay the penalty for sin, by His grace He sets the believer free from the dominion or control of sin (Romans 6:14). Through the gift of the Holy Spirit the believer is led and empowered to walk in the ways of righteousness (Romans 8:5-17).

The Spirit of Grace speaks by the hand of the Apostle Paul as he writes:

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Romans 8:1-2 [NASU]

Then grace appeared in the person of Jesus to free man from the curse, the Law of Sin and of Death, and to transfer him from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light and eternal life. Thus grace delivers men’s souls from the PENALTY of the Law containing the Ten Commandments, BUT NOT FROM THE LAW ITSELF. True believers keep the Law, now written upon their hearts (Hebrews 8:8-12), out of faith and love toward their Savior, not according to the letter written on stone or paper.

Is the Law still in effect then?

The Apostle answers that question:

Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
Romans 3:31 [NASU]

It is a Biblical fact that by and through faith the Law containing the Ten Commandments is established by the believer; it is still in effect, it is not done away with.

Jesus, speaking of the Ten Commandments and the Prophets says:

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:17-19 [NASU]

I did not come to abolish but to fulfill

Through love and faith our Lord was obedient to the Moral Law from birth to the cross.

Jesus also said,

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
John 14:15 [NASU]

The role of the Ceremonial Law or the Law of Moses:

Many of the misguided think The Ten Commandment Law was nailed to the cross with Christ. They base their understanding on the following Scripture.

------having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Colossians 2:13 [NKJV]

The Law containing the Ten Commandments were written by the finger of God on tablets of stone; a sign of their durability. The ceremonial Law was written by Moses on a scroll, a sign of their being temporary, for Christ is their substance.

The ceremonial Law; which is the law of circumcision and all the rituals that were performed in the tabernacle services—the killing of the lamb, the sprinkling of the blood, the Passover Feast, the keeping of the Passover Sabbath and other festivals and etc. These were all types and fore-shadows of Christ and serve as a “tutor” to lead the worshiper to Him (Galatians 3:23-29). By love and faith through His sacrificial death He completed every one of the Mosaic Ceremonial Laws. Thus the Ceremonial Law is no longer in effect because their prophetic practices were fulfilled in Christ.

Summary concerning sin:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life
Romans 6:1-4 [NASU]

Summary concerning grace:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
Titus 2:11-14 [NASU]

Love, Mercy, Grace and Faith

by James C. Sanford

There is a great principle that is found throughout the Holy Bible concerning God’s love, mercy, grace and faith. The Apostle Paul states it very clearly in Ephesians 2:1-9. In the first three verses he states the dreadful condition of man’s soul and that the wrath of God was his destiny.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
Ephesians 2:4 [NASU]

It is a beautiful expression, “God is ‘rich’ in mercy;” overflowing or abundant, more than sufficient. Thus mercy is the riches or the wealth of God rendered in abundance to someone who is miserable, needy and hopeless, someone who is without claim to favorable treatment.

Mercy is closely related to compassion in the Holy Scripture; their differences are barely definable. The Greek word from which compassion is derived means literally “from the bowels,” denoting the deep innermost being, an intensely emotional reaction to someone or something in a hopeless condition. Mercy, therefore, is both feeling compassion and acting upon it. Thus mercy can be though of as compassion in action.

The most important fact about mercy in the Bible is that God is the fountain of mercy. There are, to be sure, references to human displays of mercy in the Bible but God was the source. If man desires mercy from man he must go to God and ask Him to supply it.

God’s infinite love is the groundwork of man’s salvation; in reference to man that love assumes the form of mercy, and that mercy provides the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is God’s love that motivated Him to be “rich in mercy” and moved Him to the greatest act of compassion ever shown man.

Even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)
Ephesians 2:5 [NASU]

The hopeless is the sinner who is without hope, born into Adam, bound to eternal death under the Law of sin and of death. When Adam sinned against God he became separated from the life of his soul, God’s Spirit of life, and became one with his flesh; thus he became “sin in the flesh.” Every child of the flesh of Adam is born “sin in the flesh” and he sins because he is born a sinner. And like Adam, does not have the Spirit of Life in him; thus he is spiritual dead.

In Christ is the Law of the Spirit of Life (Romans 8:1-2) and by the grace of God we are made alive with our resurrected Lord through a spiritual rebirth. So from God’s love and mercy comes grace.

And by grace God has exalted the believer.

and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:6-7 [NASU]

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 [NASU]

The grace of God the Father has been placed on every man’s plate through the sacrificial death of His Son on the cross of Calvary; He died “to take away the sins of the world.” But the message of the Gospel is that to partake of this wonderful grace, the gift of eternal life that is on every man’s plate, one must believe (John 3:16), he must have a lasting faith (Matthew 24:13) and put total trust in the work of Christ for the salvation of his soul.

But where does one get such a faith, a faith that leads to the Divine attribute of faithfulness? “Faith comes by hearing,” but how does one hear? “And hearing by the word of Christ;” (Romans 10:17 NASU). So it is the word of God being preached by the anointed preacher (Romans 10:14-15) that quickens the ear of the spiritually dead and causes the dead to hear. And hearing the word of God the formerly dead turns away from his sins (repents) and receives the gift of faith. Thus the faith that God’s grace works through is a gift from God and not of works or anything that man conjures up, thus he cannot boast.

Therefore we have the great principle of God’s love resulting in mercy, and from mercy the gift of faith, and grace working through the gift of faith in Christ Jesus, resulting in redemption.
Ephesians 2:4-10

We leave the reader with this though: Salvation is not by the works of the Law or works of faith, but by faith through God’s grace. Unless we repent and receive His gift of faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). We are justified by faith and we must live by faith (Romans 1:17) and by faith we faithfully walk in the works that God has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10), but it is the grace of God that flows from His fountain of love and mercy that saves our soul, working through His gift of faith.

A Prayer for Grace

by James C. Sanford

Father I come before your throne of grace in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus. First I want thank you again for your grace that you have poured out upon us through your Son that all who believe may be saved.

It was once said to me by one of my friends on MySpace that “truth without mercy is hope out of reach.” She also stated that, “truth and mercy together is grace.” My request then Father is that you supply mercy with your truth that you have taught us that our hope may be strong in you and your grace may be in abundance toward us. Thus Father I come asking for grace in the time of need.

I do not come to you asking you for these favors as if you are my personal servant, but I come as your servant knowing that you are my Lord, Master, Teacher, King and Father---the source of all our needs. You and you alone can fulfill all our hopes, our dreams and aspirations. You are the source of all that we are and can ever hope to be.

By your love and mercy you have called us as your children. We were a people of unclean lips and polluted minds. You have cleansed us by your blood; you have purified and made us righteous as you are righteous. You have taught us your word---your word is truth---and you have given us a ministry of reconciliation; now I humbly request that you strengthen us Lord to do your will.

Give us health, make us strong in body and spirit, supply us with all we need and give us directions that we might walk in the light of divine faith and not as blind men stumbling in the dark. Continue to fill us with your Holy Spirit that we might have power to perform mighty miracles, to set the captives free from the grasp of the evil on, to heal the sick and cause the blind to see, and yes—even raise the dead in you name that you might be glorified in the earth. Make us to be the church of your word, “a pillow and support of truth.” May we, by your power and authority, bring forth your kingdom in all the earth that it may be as it is in heaven.

I love you my Lord with all my heart and I ask that you continue to pour out your love into my heart that I will love my fellowman as you have loved me. I thank you Father for hearing me and I praise and honor you. I look forward, with a great hope in you, for the manifestation of this request. And I summit this prayer on behalf of all who say amen.


Filled With Grace

by JesusLover Judy

Father, thank You for giving me Your grace to overcome the temptation to judge others. Jesus, You said, “Don’t judge other people, or you will be judged. You will be judged in the same way that you judge others.”

Father, I do not want to be judged harshly.  Help me to remember that I can’t know what’s inside of a person unless that person tells me.

I pray that I will be humble, gentle, and patient, accepting others in love. I ask for wisdom that I may avoid reacting to what others say or do.

Please give me words filled with grace, and help me respond in a manner that will help others become stronger.

In the Name of Jesus.


"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
Matthew 7:1-5 [MESSAGE]

For what person perceives (knows and understands) what passes through a man's thoughts except the man's own spirit within him? Just so no one discerns (comes to know and comprehend) the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11 [AMP]

1 I THEREFORE, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God's service,
2 Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another.

29Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.
Ephesians 4:1-2, 29 [AMP]

My desire Lord is for people to see You in me... May I reflect your love and grace and mercy... May I be more like You Lord everyday with a heart of compassion... You are the reason I live and breathe...

Do We Really Believe We Are Forgiven?

by Annie Lobert

Grace. What does it mean for you? Does it mean that you can walk on a thin tightrope, above a deep canyon and not fall? Does it mean that you need to learn to balance books on your head as you walk across a school classroom? Or does it mean that you are one heck of a dancer, and you can sashay yourself professionally across the floor, for everyone’s eyes to see? Do you also picture in your mind a swan peacefully swimming across a calm lake in the most serene setting? Well, this is what I thought “grace” meant.

So when I first became a devoted Christian, I kept reading in the bible about grace. I had no real clue what it actually meant to be honest with you! I could not understand why God would be “graceful” to me… I mean come on, was he going to make it so I physically “carried” myself well? Like a ballerina??? LOL J

Honestly, as a brand new Christian, did you? Does anyone outside of “church” REALLY know what this means? You have to remember that the only church I experienced was Sunday school from a denomination that didn't exactly explain the gospel to it’s full extent… I was told that if I was good, and I didn't break any of the rules, that God would be good to me, and that if I was bad, God would be mad and punish me.

I asked other Christians questions about the word “grace.” In so many words, they told me it was unmerited favor. Well, what is that suppose to mean, really? They all tried to explain it to me as best as they could. But guess what—a lot of them could not put it into words of what it actually meant to them. You want to know why? Because I believe that they themselves had no idea of what real grace looked like in their own lives.

Well, me being the investigative reporter that I am, I just felt so compelled to look it up!

Check out Webster’s meaning on grace, and I will note that it is the FIRST meaning of grace:


a: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b : a virtue coming from God c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace

Then check out the THIRD meaning of grace (does third listing of what it means make it not as important? )Note that the letter “c” is what we are taught in secular schooling:


a : a charming or attractive trait or characteristic b : a pleasing appearance or effect : CHARM all the grace of youth -- John Buchan> c : ease and suppleness of movement or bearing

No wonder why I was confused! Here I was taught that you are “graceful” by having good looks while you carry yourself well, I wanted to KNOW the true meaning… so I searched, I studied the scriptures, I read commentaries, and I dug in to find the truth. If the first listed meaning of ”grace” in Webster’s Dictionary was true, I WANTED IT!!!

I wanted it so bad I prayed for it, I asked God to show me His grace, I wanted it manifested in my life so I could partake in what was promised to me from the very beginning of my birth… the very kingdom of God. Then God showed me something that literally blew my mind.

Mary Magdalene was forgiven, and immediately she became a follower of Christ. And not just the ordinary type… she became SOLD OUT. She went EVERYWHERE Jesus went. When others left… she chose to stay.

You want to know why? ? ? I believe she did this because she understood God’s GRACE from being pardoned from SO much!Here she is, facing judgment with stones, about to die for adultery and BAM! Radical Jesus comes along and sets her free EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS A PUBLIC NOTORIOUS SINNER!

She knew she had been forgiven much… and she was so very thankful for it! She was there to anoint Jesus with oil,she stood by him at the crucifixion, (despite the other diciples vamping the scene) she was at the burial… and because of her sincere dedication and LOVE for what Jesus had done for her… I believe Jesus chose to appear to her first when He was resurrected. Jesus told her to “go and tell” that He was alive! Mary became the first missionary to tell of the resurrection! How cool is that?

HOW much more would Jesus appear to you if you really understood His awesome grace? ? ?

Then you have the story of the prodigal son that Jesus told…

Tell me something, when the prodigal son came home, did the father throw the book of the law at his head and punish him? Did He tell him that he couldn't come on his property until he straightened up his act? NO! HE RAN TOWARDS HIM FROM AFAR OFF TO EMBRACE HIM!!! He gave him a robe, shoes, and the family ring. Then the father was so overjoyed that HE THREW HIM A PARTY!!! What incredible grace was given to this man!!! It made me think of myself and how God ran to me in my need. God didn't question where I was, or what I had been doing, He was so happy that I finally called His name and came home!I didn't have to take a sponge bath or a shower; he embraced me right where I was EVEN in my dirtiest state!!!

The grace of God appeared for the salvation of ALL.
Titus 2:11

I didn't know this when I first became a Christian… so I let other people tell me what grace was. This had me living in defeat. Oh, how I wanted to know that grace! We all have our own personal experiences when we first get saved… and unfortunately some of us never grow out of a certain “baby” stage. In this “baby Christian” stage, we tend to think that we all have to be perfect ALL of the time, and because of that we worry that we are not “good enough” or that we might not “measure up” to some extreme standard that a church or organization has set. This is dangerous… because we will then unknowingly start to impose our beliefs on others that now THEY have to be perfect like us, or do ministry a certain way like we do. What kind of love and grace is that? This causes hurt feelings, mistrust, judgment, which leads to offense! THIS IS A TRAP from the devil!!! It puts you into a type of “spiritual bondage” having to always worry what people think, and you start to be afraid to really be yourself! Is that freedom? ? ?

16 For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.
17 For while the Law was given through Moses, grace (unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:16-17 [AMP]

People, that is NOT grace, it’s called LEGALISM… and God is not pleased with this!!! Jesus didn't die for us to be under the law—He died for us to be free of the death that the law brings so we would become alive in Him and accept the grace that He has given us! It is free, underserved favor!!! It also says in the quoted meaning of Webster’s that its “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification” What does “regeneration” mean? It means spiritual renewal or revival!!! What does that mean to us? That we can receive GRACE daily for the renewing of our minds… NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES WE MESS UP!!!

I did not have this knowledge in the beginning of my Christian life,so many days I felt condemned, and I walked around continually in fear of making mistakes. It was messing with my peace, my study time, the way that I treated people. Well, I had had enough so I did it… . I chose to actually believe what was written about grace in the bible!!! That’s right, I believed in the God’s grace despite the fact I knew that would make a mistake sometimes. I believed I would be forgiven even if I didn't always make the right choices. But the most important part was when I chose to believe I was forgiven and granted grace, even when I didn't feel like it inside!!!

When I stepped out in faith and CHOSE to do it, It transformed my walk with God and my ministry… literally. I could love and accept myself, and because of that, I could truly love others without judging them!

So you want to know how to break free of the bondage? Believe in what Jesus taught! Remember the story of the prodigal son! Don’t forget Mary Magdalene, (a prostitute, caught in adultery) Peter, ( a liar, denied Jesus) Paul (a murderer, killed Christians for a living) and their stories. What were the most significant parts of their lives that that stood out ? They ALL knew that they were sinners and needed God’s grace to get them through everyday! They were not perfect, yet God still chose to use them, in fact so much they shape a huge part of the New Testament!

Face it, we are NOT perfect and ALL of us are works in progress. So if you are living in defeat from perfectionism, legalism, condemnation, judgment of yourself OR others, remember that God forgives you, and as long as you are submitted to Him, trust that God is giving you the grace to walk in freedom! EVERY single day that you are alive! I Don’t know what I would do without Jesus' continued GRACE in my life, because the peace and liberation that I feel now I cannot even put a price on it! I love Jesus so much for that!!!

He knows every stupid thing you are going to do, BUT also every great thing you are destined to accomplish for Him!

I challenge you to look at your life and ask yourself “Am I truly walking in freedom and victory everyday? ” If you're not, chances are you Don’t know how to receive Jesus’ free gift of grace! Do God and yourself a favor… make a change and accept this free gift DAILY. Then watch how Jesus will radically change your life and take you to a whole new level of revelation and power in Him!

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.
Acts 20:24

Now that’s what I’m talking about… the gospel of grace!!! AMEN!

Treasure in Earthen Vessels

by Pastor Francis Ng

...Take Mark...he is profitable...for the ministry.
2 Timothy 4:11

When John Mark decided to take time off to visit his family, it didn’t sit too well with Paul.

Later when Barnabas wanted to take John Mark on their next missions trip, Paul exploded!

The contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas (see Acts 15:38-40).

But the story doesn’t end there. Later, an older and wiser Paul who had learned to add grace to his grit, writes:

10 For Demas has deserted me for love of this present world and has gone to Thessalonica; Crescens [has gone] to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.
11Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very helpful to me for the ministry.
2 Timothy 4:10-11

There are three important lessons here for you:

  1. Always be willing to give someone a second chance. After all, that’s what God does for you. Now, in extending grace you can get hurt and disappointed. However, if you’re going to be Christ-like it’s a risk you must take.
  2. Don’t measure everybody else by your standards and goals. The truth is, they may not be called to do what you’re called to do. Or they may have been called to do it in a different way. Don’t make your personal preferences a precondition for loving, accepting and working with someone.
  3. When you look for the best in others, you usually find it. The Bible says, “...We have this treasure in earthen vessels...” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

So every time you meet the treasure, you’ll bump into the earthen vessel. Don’t allow that to devalue the treasure, or your responsibility to look for it. Motivated people will rise to meet your expectations.

Pastor Ng Francis