The Only Way to God – How to Be Saved

GOD LOVES YOU – AND DESIRES TO BE A HEAVENLY FATHER TO YOU 

Hearing You – Empowering You – Blessing You – Protecting You – Loving You – Talking With You – Leading You into An Abundant Life!

So open your ears to hear the Gospel – which means GOOD NEWS! 

ONLY BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST…

ARE YOU ABLE TO BE RECONCILED TO GOD… 

AND HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND JESUS THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO COMES TO DWELL WITHIN YOUR OWN SOUL.

  SIN SEPARATES US FROM GOD.

JESUS CHRIST’S BLOOD RECONCILES US TO GOD…

THIS IS WHY JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD. 

JESUS- LIVED AND DIED – AS A SPOTLESS LAMB – WITHOUT SIN.

 WORTHY IS THE LAMB WHO WAS SLAIN.

 

IMPORTANT TO NOTE:

It was the “sacrifice”, in the Old Testament, that had to be “pure and spotless”… NOT THE PERSON having their sin atoned for.  This is because the BLOOD washed away SIN for that person. A divine exchange took place. God was satisfied, and the person forgiven, because of the blood shed.

This reveals how Christ, the Lamb of God, would wash man’s sin away when He went to the Cross.

The GOOD NEWS is that Christ came to save sinners… not to condemn them… but to FREE them from SIN and DEATH.

John 3:17  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 

You need not become perfect to come to God. You need realize you are sinFULL and that it is in coming TO CHRIST that sin can LEAVE your life.

THIS IS GRACE.

 ANOTHER IMPORTANT REVELATION of the BLOOD OF CHRIST:

In modern day, we run something known as “a paternity test” to determine “the father” of a child…for the blood, comes from the Father…and runs through that child’s veins whom he has fathered.

This modern day “revelation” can help us to actually understand why the blood of one man could save the world.

Jesus was the one man in history who was “VIRGIN born” and Christ himself testifies that His Father was GOD.

Jesus is a pretty high authority, wouldn’t you say? And He testifies of himself as the literal SON, of God, throughout his life.

However God is an even higher authority, and He himself declared:

“This IS my beloved SON, in whom I am well pleased.”

Jesus’s Blood is of GOD…HIS FATHER… It is therefore ROYAL BLOOD…the blood OF GOD.

Therefore ONLY – HIS – POWERFUL PURE SPOTLESS BLOOD – THAT OF GOD’S ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON –

COULD hold the power to save the world from the wrath of God. No “man”but God’s SON could die TO SAVE,

so that we might partake of the love and grace of God, and be free from the law of sin and death.

God loved you enough to send His Son to take your place… to become sin for you and I…

that you and I could become The Righteousness of God IN CHRIST.

Jesus – The Way To God

 LET’S LOOK AT SCRIPTURE:

 

“If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another,

and THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN” (1st John1:7).

Praying DOES NOT cleanse from sin.

Joining a church DOES NOT cleanse from sin.

Living a good life DOES NOT cleanse from sin.

Being baptized in water DOES NOT cleanse from sin.

Partaking of the sacraments DOES NOT cleanse from sin.

Committing your life to God DOES NOT cleanse from sin.

We cannot leave His SON, Jesus, out of it!

THE BLOOD OF JESUS — HIS BLOOD ALONE — CLEANSES FROM SIN!

“For THE WAGES OF SIN is death; but the GIFT OF GOD IS eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Sin pays singular wages: DEATH! Christ died for our sins “according to the Scriptures” (1st Corinthians 15:3).

It took the DEATH OF JESUS, and the shedding of HIS BLOOD,

to pay sin’s debt, and bring REDEMPTION FROM SIN.

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead,

and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us,

and WASHED US FROM OUR SINS IN HIS OWN BLOOD” (Revelation 1:5).

We read in 1st Peter 1:18,19:

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; BUT WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

And again in 1st John 1:7 we read:

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

The only way to have your sins forgiven, and your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, is by the precious blood of Christ Jesus.

How do you receive God’s gift of eternal life?

Realize that you are a guilty of being a sinner and are under the condemnation of God’s Law (Romans 3:19).  You and I deserve to be punished for our sins.  We are guilty and without excuse.

Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

And Romans 6:23 says, “the wages of sin = death”…

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive your sins,

Who will wash them away with His precious blood.

That’s it.  It is one’s faith in the Savior, because of the redeeming power of Christ’s literal blood, that saves a person.  No self-righteous works are required to be saved.  In fact, adding anything to faith alone in Christ is no faith at all.  Either we trust Christ 100%, or we don’t trust Him at all.  Trusting anything other than Jesus means that you aren’t solely relying upon His work of redemption to save you.

Please don’t misunderstand me, you may have all sorts of questions, doubts, worries and fears, and that’s ok, just so long as you place what faith you DO have in the Savior.  Even if you only have as much faith as a small seed, that’s ok, just so long as it’s enough faith for you to believe on Jesus Christ to save your soul from sin and Hell (Romans 10:13).  God does not require a degree of faith to be saved; no, rather, He just requires faith.  Optimism is not faith.  Saying you believe is not faith.  Hoping for the best is not faith.  Saving Faith is when you come as a sinner in need of a Savior, and you actively place your trust upon Jesus Christ to forgive and save you,

because of the blood that He shed for you.

Romans 3:23-28

23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

27Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

28Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

 

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for IT IS THE BLOOD THAT MAKETH AN ATONEMENT FOR THE SOUL.” —Leviticus 17:11

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but BY HIS OWN BLOOD he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” —Hebrews 9:12

It’s The Blood Of Jesus!

IF YOU DIDN’T SEE THIS YET, please view it… Believers, especially you!

 

IF YOU ARE READY TO RECEIVE THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

JUST ASK JESUS TO BE YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR…

AND LET HIM TAKE THE RULE OVER YOUR DAILY LIFE. HE IS GOD.

I WILL WALK YOU THROUGH A SIMPLE PRAYER THAT GOD WILL INDEED RESPOND TO.

 

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Pray this prayer out loud in faith, believing in what you speak, as talking to God. The Spirit of God and Christ, the Holy Spirit, will come to live WITHIN YOU and your new life will begin. Your old life will pass away, as it is, for you will become a new creation in Christ Jesus.  The LORD will transform you by the renewing of your mind, with the Word of God, as you choose to obey your LORD and Savior.

THE LORD WILL INDEED TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE…

AND WHEN YOU DIE, YOU WILL GO TO HEAVEN, IF YOU ABIDE IN CHRIST.

Father God,

I know that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life or earn it by my works.

My sin has separated me from you, and only Jesus Christ’s blood can reconcile me to you.

Yet, Father, I repent of all my sin and I choose to turn away from sin, and desire to be free of sin’s consequences.  

I believe your son Jesus Christ died, shedding his blood, washing away all the guilt and condemnation and penalty for my sin…for ALL my sin… and that he rose from the grave to make me a new creation, and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. 

Please Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins and save me.

I am now placing my trust in you alone for my salvation.

I accept your free gift of eternal life.   

I will live my life for you, and make you my Lord, giving you the rule over my life.

Enable us to be in close relationship and give me your wisdom for making my life’s decisions.

Fill me, also, with The Holy Spirit…that He may empower me to live like Christ, and to communicate with you, God, and to equip me to share my faith with others.

And, yes, I look forward to talking with you, and listening to you speak to me from Your Word.  I know you will be closer than a best friend or a brother.

I will confess you, Jesus, before everyone I know, so that they, too, may come to know you.

I believe NOW I am free to be who you have created me to be!

Thank you that now I am saved, and that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will abide in me and with me forever and ever, even after I die.   

Yes, that eternal life is mine! Fellowship with you God, my Father, and with Jesus Christ, my brother!  And Heaven awaits!

And now I can call myself a Believer!  A Christian!

I’m so thankful!

I love you so much, Lord!  Thank you for saving me!

YOU are the greatest gift I have ever received.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

A Sinners Prayer – written by Beth Smith

 

 

You can do all this right there, where you are, alone. Father God will hear your prayer and SAVE YOU. Eternal Life will be yours – which IS fellowship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

See John 17:3.

 

Pass this along to your friends…especially those unsaved and seeking answers… wanting to know The Truth..including those of other faiths.  Jesus says, “I AM the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No man comes to the Father but by ME.”   So let them realize how God views things, by sharing Christ with them through this article.

Be sure also to check out the Archived Articles Tab for additional articles written by Beth Smith, which are there to aid you as you grow in grace and in the knowledge of your God and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

The Gift that Keeps On Giving

Jesus The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I was pondering today, the fact that Jesus is the Greatest Gift that can be given to anyone. And He offers himself to all mankind. He will give Himself to any person, from any culture, from any nation, who is open to receiving Him as Their Gift. A gift that is free, which only has to be “received”.  Yet a gift that will change a person’s life totally and completely.

I have received Jesus as My Gift, and He has neither been a gift that I tossed aside, nor one that I did not regard as valuable, once I received Him.

In fact, to most of us “Receiver Believers”, He is our most cherished gift ! One we would never give back, or give away, ever!!!  Am I right?

Yet do we stop to ponder the gifts that are ours within the Gift of Jesus?

 …and the fact that He IS The GIFT that KEEPS ON GIVING ?

I have been thinking on the gifts I enjoy, daily, because of Jesus being my Savior, and the Lord of my Life… my Received Gift.

It’s like opening a present, to find another present…opening that one, to find yet another present…opening that one, to find still another, all throughout my life.  Amazing! Thrilling! Oh friends, you simply must ponder this…

Here is but just a glimpse of my list, that I have rejoiced in. Perhaps you can add to it, many more gifts, but this will at least get you pondering about what I mean:

  • His Love
  • His Presence
  • His Wisdom
  • His Comfort
  • His Provision
  • His Listening Ear
  • His Forgiveness
  • His World’s Beauty to Behold
  • His Acceptance
  • His Family
  • His Salvation
  • His Healing
  • His Life – Eternal Life
  • His Discipline
  • His Guidance
  • His Peace
  • His Judgments
  • His Protection
  • His Word of Truth
  • Hope for Tomorrow
  • A Eternal Kingdom to Dwell in, not dependent upon my Nation’s Destiny
  • Multiplication of What I Give To Him
  • Eternal Rewards
  • Relatives that died that I’ll see again some day because They Believed in Jesus and await me in heaven
  • Knowing God looks after my children and grandchildren when they are grown and go off on their own
  • Knowing He is in control when things are out of our control
  • Security in an insecure world
  • Knowing I belong to Him and He belongs to Me
  • His Promises

I know this list could go on and on, for Christ is simply the gift that keeps on giving…

So…Don’t know what to offer someone on your Gift List? Offer them Jesus!

I’m quite serious!!!

Share HIM… give HIM to them… so that they may receive THE GREATEST GIFT in life: CHRIST JESUS!

Yes, a gift must be received, to have it be a blessing. So pray daily that God will prepare the hearts of those “you’ll approach” before you offer them The Gift, of Him. Our prayers going up, that the Spirit may draw them, and your forethought as to how you can present people with This Valuable Gift, will make them more likely “To Receive Jesus” too. Share with them the gifts that are within Jesus, and open their eyes, so they can “imagine” what’s awaiting them within their Own Gift of Him!

Oh that Eyes would SEE, and Ears would HEAR, even amidst all the commercialized hoopla, or depressing news evil brings to this world, the fact that CHRIST, IS INDEED, WITH US… alive and well…giving us everlasting gifts, valuable gifts, gifts that money can’t buy!

HE GAVE HIMSELF… TO BRING YOU ALL THESE GIFTS…THAT ARE FOUND…WITHIN HIM.

He comes again, triumphant, as our King…to Give us a Home Eternal !

ARE YOU REJOICING? (Smile)  I SURELY AM!

I HAVE the gift that keeps on giving TO ME! 🙂

His name is Jesus.

And I VALUE HIM…enough to give Him myself, in appreciation.

Do you know what? No one can take THIS GIFT away from me.  Hallelujah!!!

I shall Hold Unto Him, and Not Cast Him Aside… for I truly like this Gift that KEEPS ON GIVING to me.

A recommended scripture to read after reading this article is: I JOHN 5:11-15

NOTE: Please check out the Archived Articles tab for many other articles written to aid you in your Christian Walk. Also, check out http://www.handmaidenmusic.com , a music ministry website which features full-track listening of over 149 songs, with availability to view lyrics as you listen.

Life Eternal – What a Gift!!

christ born to dieVirgin Born, Jesus IS The Christ, the Son of the Living God, ….came TO die…that God might forgive us our sin, not counting our trespasses against us. Christ gives us life’s most perfect gift through himself! Eternal Life! Reconciliation with the true God and knowledge of who He is, Himself!

“And this IS life eternal: that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast SENT.” John 17:3

that is: in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. II Cor 5:19

Familiarize yourself with the above two verses! For they sum up the Good News:

TO KNOW GOD AND CHRIST is each Believer’s greatest GIFT and is LIFE ETERNAL!

Become a Believer! or should I say, Receiver… (smile)

And then you, are “entrusted” to share Christ and this message of reconciliation with others! No other “qualification” necessary to share!… but to have “received Christ yourself!”  Your “calling” is now known!

I pray you had a Merry CHRISTmas and I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

ENJOY your Life Eternal, TODAY! And let Your Light SHINE! (smile)

This ABILITY Surpasses Any CAPABILITY

Recently the Lord revealed to my heart that the greatest ability that I have, that far surpasses any capability I might exhibit, is the ABILITY TO REPENT.  I have pondered that insight for a number of days now, and feel to write about what was shown me, believing  this article will truly change many lives. Perhaps “your” life!

Think about it with me….Read past the picture below and and I will “show you something”…to help you understand..

First, let me define what REPENT really means. To repent is to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin, enough so, that a person chooses to turn away from it, and turn toward God, and receive forgiveness through the blood of Jesus, resulting in fruit keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8-10 states that true repentance involves “fruit” or evidence to the fact. Hebrews 9:22 states that without the shedding of blood there is no remission (forgiveness).The good news is that Jesus DID shed his blood, and made atonement for ALL sin, so that we are always and forever ABLE to repent.

This ability to repent far exceeds any capability of ours, for sooner or later, each one of us sins or fails or has something they need to turn away from, knowing it does not please a Holy God. Our capability to lead a righteous life is indeed in Christ, but within our own sin nature is also the capability to do evil. Therefore, the greatest ability we have is to repent.  As with a computer, we simply press “delete” or “backspace” upon our error, erasing our error, so that we can once again enjoy advancing forward. So too, with repentance, our own sin is erased, and glorious fellowship is restored or given with our Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

So then, whether we do repent is up to each one of us, and “when” we repent. We have totally free will in this matter. Yet God is always pursuing us, revealing to us, and desiring for us all to come to repentance.

Do we realize how glorious is this Ability? It is ALWAYS AVAILABLE to us. (That is, if we, ourselves, do not harden our hearts so many times that our desire to access our ability to repent is diminished or non-existent. )

etch-main

When my two sons were grade school age they had an Etch-A-Sketch. Have you ever had one of them yourself? Well, as I sat with them both, one of them was drawing something I was teaching them how to draw, and goofed up, getting totally exasperated with himself. So, I, in encouragement, grabbed hold of the Etch-A-Sketch and animatedly declared:  “Let’s get rid of all that!” It’s a good thing, with this, your mistakes can just be erased, so you can start afresh! “ (I showed him how to shake it up, and as he did it, we watched the silver wash away all of what he drew.)  “See, you can start all over!”  As I said these words aloud, instant revelation came to me from the Holy Spirit, and out my mouth it came: “An Etch-A-Sketch actually represents a picture of GRACE and FORGIVENESS OF SINS, sons… and the silver stuff is as the BLOOD OF CHRIST.  The display screen is as Our Life.  If our life displays or reveals an error, gross sin, mistaken path, misled alliance, failure, broken promise, abusive action, selfish tendency, etc…we need only to repent to activate the BLOOD which then ERASES all that was done outside of the will of God. We need not remain miserable and exasperated, ashamed or fretful.”

In fact, even as an Etch-A-Sketch erases a picture, so too, is grace greater than sin! When one of you hands that Etch-A-Sketch to the next person, there is no evidence of what had been written there.  It is dissolved. Invisible. Gone! So too, sin is gone!… forever erased in the sight of God. He remembers it no more.

Jesus wipes the slate clean! Then God sees the slate clean! How awesome is that!

Now, you might say, “hmm…well, sometimes, with an Etch-A-Sketch there is some residue of what was there”…and yes, this is true…. So too, you may need to go to the Lord, and receive GRACE, a few more times, to cleanse your own conscience, so that it is erased forever.  Sometimes it is a process, at our end, as the water of The Word washes away residue, as our own faith in the atonement is built up.. i.e. we embrace our own forgiveness of sin. An evidence is that we become God-conscious rather than sin-conscious when the work is complete. Sometimes, the remembrance of “what was” may be upon people around us, who then may continually remind us of our sin, to our chagrin. And sometimes a temporal consequence is resultant, even though an eternal consequence is absolved. But to REPENT is all about what is between you and God, and GOD HIMSELF SEES IT NO MORE.  So every single “present moment” can be a “new beginning” of walking with the Lord in perfect peace. Inner strength to walk midst others’ judgments and to embrace a consequence of our sin, and to go on cleansed and whole, is granted us as part of this grace of repentance. It is given to us, in the person of the Holy Spirit, who is with us, assuring us of our secure salvation, and letting us know whenever repentance needs to be done to clear our consciences.

The point in this simple illustration of the Etch-A-Sketch is to reveal that to REPENT is a great ABILITY that we have as Believers.  Actually, to repent is available to all. For Jesus calls Sinners to repentance. This is why He came! A person just needs to know that it is Jesus’ blood that can cleanse and grant reconciliation to God, causing a rebirth….a pure blank slate now to be written upon. However, in true repentance, this new Believer will choose to now let God use those controls, creating a masterpiece out of their shaken life.

My son discovered, that it became easier for him to draw, and he became better and better at the Etch-A-Sketch, for he was no longer intimidated by the thought of making a mistake.  He knew it could easily erase, and he could start again. This is also true of how grace and repentance work in a believers life.  The longer a person walks in Christ, the easier it is for them to be FREE of sin… and actually the need to repent and wipe the slate clean, becomes less frequent as a person becomes “perfected” in such great grace.

Luke 24:46-48 says “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

So what about good works? Or a focus on “capability”? Well, it is simply fulfilling the Lord’s command of Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit keeping with repentance”. Our “fruit” must come forth in keeping with our repentance. This is how we show God we rejoice in our forgiveness, and reveal we are His. You lied? then the fruit would be to resolve to tell the truth. You fornicated? then the fruit would be to resolve not to have sex outside of the marriage covenant. You stole? Steal no more. You grumbled and complained? Then change your attitude! You fought with someone? Say you’re sorry, forgive them, and look together for your solution in Christ.

When one truly realizes the greatest ability we have is to REPENT, and he or she exercises that ability immediately when the need arises, then this ability to WALK IN OUR GRACE gives us CAPABILITY to walk in the righteousness of Christ.  (i.e. we know we can shake that Etch-A-Sketch each step we take that is not in Christ…so our path can be righted…and fellowship restored.)

Another reason why our greatest ABILITY is to repent? … Because our sin is NEVER too much, or mistake EVER too big, for the blood not to erase, when appropriated. Christ’s capability gives us this ability.

NEVER will God not forgive true repentance. He loves the sinner and wipes away the sin.  It is a lie of Satan that God hates sinners. What He hates is Sin, and how it keeps us from Him.

Repentance is always available to anyone who will believe in GOD’S CAPABILITY to provide that forgiveness.  Yes, again I say you must be or become a “Believer in Christ” to be forgiven. It is an ability only available IN CHRIST.  It is only His Blood that cleanses away the sin.

There is one other thing that can mislead too.  Let me warn you of that. Okay?  The Word of God says, in II Corinthians 7:10, that “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”  Worldly sorrow lacks “repentance” and brings death. Repentance is more than just an sorrowful emotion, or a “getting caught” and wanting to avoid “a consequence”. Godly sorrow is a grief that is for God’s sake, and produces a remorse of the soul which then reverses itself and restores to life…it leads to salvation through Jesus, and a transformed life.

Let’s go back to the Etch-A-Sketch picture of grace… We had to “Let it Be Shaken.” As was true of the choice to shake that “Etch-A-Sketch” to erase what was written upon it… So too, a sin revealed requires the choice to take action on our part.  It is an act of our own free will to DO the action of repenting after coming to recognize that which needs to be repented of or erased. To refuse to do that “repenting” (as with the Etch-A-Sketch being shaken to have the silver erase the slate)… it means mistake upon mistake is built up more and more, causing us greater and greater exasperation and unhappiness in our own lives.  Yet also, here again… we see the greatest ability we, human beings in all the world, have been given! We can even erase “all that buildup!”  Once we see and recognize our sin before God… this ability remains there to access! This ability surpasses understanding! Oh, what grace! Repenting can erase it all!

But WAIT!…WARNING!!! Our free will is involved here!  If we choose not to appropriate our ability to repent once sin is revealed, it can indeed eventually become too late to have our slate wiped clean. We can go to hell and suffer permanent consequence for sin, and not just earth’s temporary consequences. For the individual Believer, when the choice is made to continually harden their heart, after knowing the joy of being In Christ, scripture warns them, in Hebrews 6:4-12 and in Hebrews 10:26-39 that this condition of hardening the heart causes them to not avail themselves of this, their greatest ability: to repent. Those believers who sin against the Holy Spirit, who is faithful to convict of sin, will instead repeatedly choose not to respond and they will indeed lose their salvation. The Amplified Version of 10:29 states that when Christ’s blood is considered common and unhallowed, that the Holy Spirit is profaned, insulted, and outraged! He has imparted the grace TO REPENT and the blood was given to cleanse! But even believers can walk away from grace. Grace requires the action to stay IN CHRIST and resting faith in what He has done by repenting when convicted by the Spirit of sin. Rest easy, if you have a conscience active right now at all, you are not “there”. No fear need be… just simply repent now. (Don’t necessarily believe this?…then continue on, and read the three verses from Revelation, near the end of this article, and you will hear what Christ Himself says about the danger some of you are in.)

It is only a “Believer”, or one who is repenting to  “become a Believer” , that exercises this GREATEST ABILITY known to man: the ability TO REPENT, and it leads to their SALVATION, in this life and in the life to come.

To repent is easy… and it may be done continually…as a lifestyle…with joy.  The Lord delivers us from our sins as we continually bring them before him in godly sorrow over them.  We experience the pain of seeing our need, but then the great joy in having sin removed.  You need not become sin-conscious or look for sin.  The Holy Spirit will do the work of revealing sin to your conscience, and the written Word of God will expose unknown or hidden sin. A prophet may speak, a sermon may be heard, an authority figure rebuke…God uses many ways to reveal things for us to repent of. Let peace be your guide. Is some sin revealed? You “respond” in repentance. Quickly receive the blood wiping it away! Rejoicing then, simply follow Christ, in that area, believing the slate is clean. There is no need for penance, which means an act of self-abasement, mortification, or devotion performed to show sorrow or repentance for sin. The blood is sufficient to wipe your slate clean. Repentance is of the heart.  Always with Jesus, He says to the repentant one, “Neither do I condemn you… Go and sin no more.”   And worthy to note: Following true repentance, the Holy Spirit may direct you, to do some restitution toward someone you may have sinned against, that reconciliation be made to them. Repentance is toward God, and Restitution is toward one another…. a natural, chosen response to a changed heart, for within it the Love of God now flows freely.

It will bring GREAT JOY, if we understand that This ABILITY to Repent Surpasses any Capability.  We cease being “self-righteous” (ignoring our need to repent), or “heathen” (ignoring our need for God’s plan of forgiveness), or “hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (ignoring the grace that is set before us). We, instead, realize the incredible ABILITY Christ purchased at the Cross by spilling his blood…the ABILITY to repent and go forward forgiven and cleansed.  Healing and deliverance, all a part of our atonement from sin, comes from our continually accessing our ABILITY to repent, due to what Christ did.

With all the talk of grace, out there in the world… I exhort, and speak the truth: GRACE still needs AN ACTION  and RESPONSE on our part: TO REPENT and TO RECEIVE. Christ’s work is finished. And salvation from sin is not of OUR Works. We must simply choose to access this GREAT ABILITY that He has offered and paid for.

In closing, I am led, by the Spirit of God, to give you, from the Word of God, an increased desire to exercise your greatest ability: TO REPENT.  I will leave you three verses from Revelation that have the instruction from Our Lord Christ Jesus TO REPENT in them. Listen carefully. Please. 

Revelation 2:5

“Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent, and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you, and remove your lamp stand from its place.”

Revelation 3:3

“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.  But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know what time I will come to you.”

Revelation 3:19

“Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.”

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Written by Elizabeth Norland, June 28, 2013

Music Website:  http://www.handmaidenmusic.com

Other Blog Articles may be found under “Archived Articles” menu tab

Future Publishing Website: www.publishingforchrist.com

Feeling like The Black Sheep? Allow Jesus to Lift You Up!

The Black Sheep — Many of us are familiar with this modern phrase which “labels” those who have “wandered away” from God, family, or society, following after evil rather than good, and going their own way.  But Jesus doesn’t  “label you” …  He loves you and you are precious to Him. Yet, He does sees that you, perhaps, have “gone astray” and “are lost” and may be in “deep trouble” from not staying near Him. Therefore, He will seek you out. Until He finds you. He desires your return into His Arms.

Full of love and compassion toward you, He desires to find you, that you will let Him in, so He may get you out of whatever mess you discover your sin has gotten you into. Believe me, our choices to sin have “consequences”… some long-lasting or devastating ..and the longer a person remains “as a sheep who has gone astray”,  the more entanglements that can bind or ultimately destroy you. You may not even realize you are “caught” or “snared” right now, but you are, if you are not walking with Jesus.

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I have GOOD NEWS for YOU, even if you see yourself as the Black Sheep.

Jesus wants to lift you up out of the consequences of your sin, and carry you upon his shoulders, leading you out as your Good Shepherd, as much as He wants to save you as your Savior. God is able to LIFT YOU UP and OUT of any thicket or deep pit into which you have fallen, if You will LET HIM find you. Amazing revelation of the Lord’s heart toward you is found in Luke 15, which we will look at in a moment.

Some wandering sheep HIDE, or run further away, for they are afraid to BE FOUND.  They are afraid of punishment, of judgment, of ridicule, of rejection. I am convinced that you fear repenting because you are ashamed. You are not sure how you will be received back into the fold.   You “feel” as an outsider…unaccepted. Yet you must let the sweet conviction of conscience lead you into Jesus’ forgiving and loving arms, and not allow Satan’s heavy condemnation upon those in iniquity to keep you running away from The One who desires to and CAN help you! The Lord Jesus desires you, and desires your company. You must decide to trust His love, not rely on Your given fear. You DO have a choice. Jesus will not take away your free will…but you are never really “free” until you know and follow Jesus, whose will you were “created” TO follow.

Let’s look at how our scriptural passage, Luke 15:2-7 begins, so you may “know” your Jesus, a little better. We tend to trust only those we know, right?

This passage begins by people who came to hear Jesus, then murmuring among themselves concerning Jesus, saying, “This man receives sinners, and eats with them!!”  They thought this pretty horrible, as they were considered “righteous” themselves, and Jesus was now going to be instructing them as they gathered. “Where were Jesus’s high standards?” they thought within themselves. I assure you, Jesus does have high standards, and his standard of love and patience with people is high too. Yes, having been a black sheep myself, righteous people, though meaning well, can be judgmental toward one they have labeled as “a black sheep”. Maturity eventually brings them around to understanding that it is “sin” that was judged by God at the cross, placed on Jesus, and that the sinner is to receive the freedom purchased. And until one does, they will BE a sinner, and can’t lift themselves up. Jesus condemns the sin in us, while fully loving each one of his creation.

So… this is how Jesus, the GOOD Shepherd, responded to these righteous people…

He spoke these words from his mouth:

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, does not leave the 99 in the wilderness, and GO AFTER the one which is lost, UNTIL He find it?  And when he HAS found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing!” 

(Now,take time to look at the above picture and meditate on this truth… He doesn’t yell at the sheep, kick it, make it follow behind the flock in shame, kill it for it deserves it, etc.  He lifts HIS sheep, He smiles, He enjoys it’s company, the sheep rides upon Him in its weakened state (probably needing some mending, which the Shepherd will do.). He is excited and happy! He has HIS sheep! Yes, he owns you, but praise God he does! As the sheep, you are now safe and secure. You need not worry of it any longer being in the enemy’s hands!)

And when he comes home, he calls together HIS friends and neighbors saying unto them, “REJOICE WITH ME! – For I have found my sheep which WAS LOST.”

(Now, all those acquainted with Christ will also share in the rejoicing! For they see the Lord’s happiness of your return!)

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner THAT REPENTS, more than over 99 JUST PERSONS which need no repentance.”

Imagine that, you return, and all of heaven will be full of great joy! 

What is delaying you? Who is delaying your return? I declare to you, that you are free to return. You don’t have to be perfect to be picked up.  Just repentant. It is just your heart’s desire crying out in surrender, “Jesus!”  – for he is “seeking” to “save you” even with this blog article.  it says in this passage that He will “GO AFTER” the one who is lost, “UNTIL” He find it.  I’m sure you “know” in your heart, if he is going after you.  You sense Him drawing you near. He knows his sheep, and those who will be his sheep.

—————–My testimony – I was once The Black Sheep ————————————

Jesus sought me out too. So I know what I share herein is very true of the Lord…and what he has spoken of throughout all of Luke 15. I have been a wandering lost sheep, and a prodigal son, and I can tell you this, I never ever desire to depart from the Lord or his flock (believers in Christ) ever again!! It is the most miserable life one can live: knowing you are “a sheep” but not “with” the Shepherd or walking along with His Flock! You can’t enjoy “the World” for Jesus is seeking after you; and you can’t enjoy “Believers” for you are not one in Spirit with them. So you are just plain miserable!  I went away from the Lord Jesus as a teenager. Though I had made Jesus my Savior as a young girl and followed his ways for years, it was in “my head and not in my heart”…”from law not from the spirit”…and so as an older teen I wanted my own way, and certainly desired no one dictating to me what I should or should not do! …My rebellion landed me in with a wild bunch… almost too eager to include me, “the pastor’s daughter” in their riotous living. Satan’s lies led me astray, thinking I was “missing out on something” out there “in the world”. I had immoral relationships trying to find love, and unchristian friendships to share in my rebellion, and I did all the worldly things that God hates… called “sin”.  Now cleansed and forgiven, I will not elaborate for those things remain shameful to me… nor do I blame others, for I was even “a leader” in that  lifestyle, using this attribute of my character for the “wrong side”…advancing the kingdom of darkness more than the kingdom of God, in those days.

AND THEN, the thicket I found myself entangled in was indeed very ominous: …I, a 17 year old pastor’s daughter, discovered myself unwed and pregnant, ostracized by man, unable to fulfill my plans for college, and not having a clue what to do.   I discovered myself as “lost” in so many ways. Was I saved? Was I loved? How could I ever amount to anything! How could I have been so foolish as to go away from God? I saw my true condition was that I “was” lost and and I was “astray”. I had no relationship to God, so how could I call upon Him to help me?… and how could I possibly cope with all my consequences? I lost a four year college scholarship, I was in a loveless relationship with a man who wasn’t a believer and so I knew I had no desire to marry him…  I had caused chaos in my household as my sin caused my pastor father to feel he needed to resign the church… and then my 4 other siblings were angry with me for we had lived in the same area over 10 years and they’d have to leave friends and school.  I had a baby on the way that I would felt so immature and scared to raise. I was indeed “the black sheep”! …suddenly despised by the “righteous ones” in my small town…for I caused so much scandal and pain by my sin.  But believers loved me still too…weird, how it is… but I now understand ..for they only wanted me to be sorry for my sin…enough to repent.  They saw my folly before I did. They saw the deceitfulness of Satan’s lies upon my life. They saw how my sin, sinned against others. I had been in “a web of deceit”… 

And yet, Jesus himself lovingly reached down, lifted me up, and set me in with the flock… once again loved and accepted.  I had to repent first. And repent I did.  And then Jesus began to work inside of me and God began to put the pieces of my shattered life back together. He used his people (believers) to help me get my life back on track. Upon returning to Him, I knew I WANTED to do things HIS way, and not my own way. I knew I would now CHOSE God’s plans over mine.  The church would not accept my father’s resignation…but reached out to me in Christian love.  In fact, I discovered my true friends WERE the ones with Christ in them, not my worldly friends… They abandoned me as I came to Jesus. Family stayed loving and true, as I sought the Lord, and God blessed me with a wonderful son, who is loved dearly to this day and is now 35! I left the sin behind…and clung to Jesus. God put all my black sheep’s life behind me, and even took the stain of my sin away, making me clean and pure through Jesus’ blood, which purchased me from the Kingdom of Darkness. Oh, it is indeed more joyful and blessed to be Lifted Up by Jesus! So now, 35 years later, I bear testimony that when I returned way back then…and let Jesus “carry me upon His shoulders”, joy-peace-righteousness (the kingdom of God within) returned as part of my daily life.  

I, will, however, also bear testimony that my sin’s consequence carried on to my son’s struggles, causing him pains of rejection, questioning his belonging,  and battling of low self-esteem, for our sin never affects only ourselves.  Regrets do not go away, but they are forgiven. You may be free, and forgiven, but you may not be able to free someone else of the pain your sin had upon them. This is why “NOW” is the time to return.  Not even a month, or a year later.  You could marry the wrong person, go into the wrong line of work and miss God’s plan for you…or you could die and go to hell.  The rapture could take place or a nuclear strike upon your land. The risk to wait, to come upon Jesus’s shoulders, is a huge risk! I am feeling within, today especially, an urgency for this message to be written. Maybe it is Just For YOU.

Jesus is a Good Shepherd, and He gives his life for His Sheep…and they Hear His Voice…and He takes full responsibility for “leading”. We only need to follow. And sometimes He carries us. And his rod and staff,  they comfort us, for he wards off the enemy or brings us back closer with them.

SO, to close…. I believe this is for SOMEONE whom will hear the Lord’s voice today saying, “It is you I seek out”…. “Will you allow me to lift you up?”  “Will you return and repent, That I am able to heal you and put the pieces of your life back together?”

“HEAVEN WILL REJOICE AT YOUR RETURN.  AND SO WILL I “

Read Luke 15…the whole chapter… to know the Lord’s heart toward you.   I myself desire you to RETURN to, or COME to, Jesus..  He awaits you with open arms, loving heart, and anticipated relationship!

How do you return?  Just cry out to Jesus in repentance using your own words of surrender… or if you prefer, pray this prayer: “Father, please… forgive me all my sin and wandering away from your will and purpose…and deliver me Lord, from going my own way, and not caring about your will for my life. I accept you, Jesus Christ, as my Savior, and receive now your blood to wash away all of my sin. Untangle me from my sinful ways and any people or circumstances that cause me to sin, that I may enjoy being close with you, and joyful !! Put me on the right path, leading somewhere: toward peace, joy, and righteousness!  Let me know your perfect will for my life, filling me with the knowledge of you, Jesus, and you, God my Father, through your Word.  Begin “fulfilling me” in my day-to-day activities, for you are my creator, and know my purpose. Please undo all the damage that Satan has caused by my living my life my own way and sinning against you.  Keep me mindful of what is right and pleasing in your sight, as your laws are written upon my heart over the days ahead.  Lead me now.  Lift me up, and carry me.  Mend me, for I was indeed lost, and now need rescuing, and healing, and “loving on” by someone I can trust. Thank you Jesus, that your love has “found me” today.  I receive your love as the air I breathe. I believe I am a new creation, given your own divine nature, so I can do all you desire me to do. Breathe life into me, as I now come to you Jesus. Fill me too, with your Holy Spirit, that He will teach and instruct me in righteousness, and remind me day by day what you have to say. I will believe and receive now your forgiveness and love, your counsel and wisdom, your acceptance and joy!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

HE LOVES YOU, dear ONE…Let Him Lift you up and Carry you Out!

Written by Elizabeth Norland, May 24, 2013.  Additional articles by Elizabeth are under “Archived Articles” in this blog’s menu above. Enjoy them, for they are full of spiritual encouragement and comfort. Her music website is http://www.handmaidenmusic.com.

If you are not the black sheep, please share this blog on your facebook or social media using the share link below, for you never know whom Jesus is seeking to find….to lift up… and you will have a part in bringing them to Jesus. You will not lose your reward. It may not be someone in your circle of friends, but someone in their circle of friends as this is passed on by them. The internet is a big fishing net for harvest. Amen?! (smile) And…please pray for someone you know, by name, to be found….and Lifted Up!