Category Archives: Wholeness/Christ

A Letter From God: Ephesians 1 (as a personal letter to the weary)

Many years ago, I wrote something like this for a young lady who suffered from low self confidence and emotional abuse. I lost the copy I made for myself over the years so this is a new letter, a new direction but I hope that it will bless many.

(Scripture is from the New Living Translation – )

The Promise:

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” Dear ones, I have blessed each of you with gifts far greater than man can imagine. For my gifts are heavenly, not of worldly things that decay and rust. Do you fear these gifts? Do you doubt them? Do not, for my Love is far greater than any love the world can offer. And by these gifts, we are united, we are joined together in a desire of Love, pure love, unconditional love that the world can not separate or destroy.

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” I know you are not perfect, I know that you are subject to many snares of the world, but from the first light of Creation, I have loved you. In my eyes you are made holy, in my spirit you are blameless and pure, because of his Love. Do not fear my wrath, dear one, for it is with Love I discipline you, not anger. It is with Love I hold you close and dry your tears when things go badly for you. And when you are alone and afraid, I am close. I am closer than you can imagine, I am within your very trouble.

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This was what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” I made you mine, I decided at the very beginning that we are to be together. We are family and family never forsakes each other. With great joy, I adopted you as mine. With a pleasure that can not be measured, I desired you. This was what I wanted to do, from the very beginning of time itself! We are together, we are one! I am the one who created the world, do you think I would let anything I created separate us? Have no fear of that! What I joined together can not be pulled apart. That is the power of my joy that we are family, you and I, we are one!

“So we praise God for the glorious Grace he has poured out on us who belong to his Son.” Yes it is grace, glorious grace, that I have given. I have poured out like sweet wine, filling your marriage cup, I have poured blessings like holy oil anointing you as a blessing, making you sacred to me. I have poured out my Spirit that you might be full of peace and promise. I have poured out living water, that you might be made clean as new fallen snow. I have poured out the Communion Cup that Forgiveness and Mercy are forever, only Love can live within where I have poured out blessings.

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. You were once slaves to your emotions, doubts and fear. You were once in bondage to the desires of sin. But I have set you free! I have given you new life! I, and only I, have paid the price, I am the one who gives you new hope, and new life! Come to me, welcome me into your heart, dear one. See what my love can do for you. No price was to great for me to purchase your freedom from sin, fear and doubt. Come accept my blessings, my Love. For my kindness is ever-enduring, everlasting, without end!

“He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” Like a gentle rain, I have showered kindness upon you, so that you, like the lilies of the field, may blossom in majesty. But I also showered you with a new Wisdom, My wisdom, such as I showered Solomon. I gave you understanding that even the prophets of old did not have. You only have to accept it, receive it in the fullness I intend for you. That you place in your heart the purity of Love I offer, the grace in abundance that only my love is capable of offering. As a rainbow bends invisible light into many colors, my love shows the splendor of wisdom and understanding that was invisible to the seers of old. You, my child, can grasp what was inconceivable to the wisest of them. This is my gift to you.

God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure.” Through Jesus I revealed my goal, the desire to find your heart, your desire, and make it mine. And I did it because I find great joy in having your love, as much as I love you. Do not be in despair, I have not forsaken you, or ever forgotten you. It was always my plan to include you, to accept you and to love you. Through Jesus I have proven my love for you, my great pleasure in your life, a life that we shall enjoy together.

“And this was the plan; At the right time he would bring everything together under the authority of Christ – everything in heaven and on earth.” Yes! It is the right time! Everything is set in motion. All my desires are fulfilled through the Love I gave under my Son Jesus. Under him, I gave all authority of Heaven and of earth. No longer are the ways of the world to direct your life, but the ways of Heaven shall guide you. That is the plan! You, I, Jesus. Heaven and earth as one Kingdom, one another as lovers, you and I.

Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.” Yes! It is still the plan, that everything is according to my will, that we are united, that you have an inheritance that was not yours before. It was and always will be the plan. You, dear one, have the honor of being an heir of Salvation. You are no longer left alone, outside, rejected. You were never rejected but it was at the right time, this time that you are to be included in the inheritance, so that you may be made glad, made whole, made perfected in grace. I chose you, I wanted you to be included and set apart to show the wondrous love I have for you. No longer on the outside looking in, but in the company of angels, co-heirs with Jesus, adopted by grace.

“God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you.” Once the Jews were my only people, excluding all others because they were blind to truth. But, dear one, that is no longer the case. You have heard the Good News, the News of Salvation, the inclusion made possible by the Cross of Jesus, and no longer are you excluded, you are included, and set high by the Good News. My love was so that you would be able to accept me, to know the Truth of Grace, and be welcomed as equals in Christ Jesus. Do not think you are set apart from others any more for you are included in Grace and trust in the Living Christ. You are set apart only to bring others to Me, just as Peter and Paul and the others of my chosen were set apart to bring you to the knowledge of my Salvation. So great is my love that I sent others to seek you out, to bring you to me so that you may be included with them as mine.

“AND WHEN YOU BELIEVED IN CHRIST, HE IDENTIFIED YOU AS HIS OWN by giving you the HOLY SPIRIT, whom he promised long ago.” Dear one, you are mine, you are chosen to be blessed and I have given you the Holy Spirit, my Spirit. I breathed new life into your soul, eternal life. Just as I breathed life into the form of man at the time of creation, I create in you new life, eternal life by the breath of the Holy Spirit. I have called you and identified you as my Child, my beloved child. As I promised the prophets and the Jews, you are made mine. It has been fulfilled what was told of old. And by my Holy Spirit, it is made true and forever. I have put my mark, the mark of the Cross upon you soul. This mark can not be removed by anyone, for it is the Mark of Your Salvation, you inclusion into the Family of God.

The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” The Holy Spirit is my guarantee that it is made so. My word fulfilled, my Son as the purchase price, the Spirit as the witness that it has been done. I kept my word, my promise to you, that the day has come that you are no longer slaves to the world but free to be my love. So, dear one, praise me, offer me glory in thanksgiving. But more importantly, love me! Love me as I love you, with your whole heart, your complete mind and in all of your spirit. But never forget that I love you, I have always loved you and now that you believe, return love for love. It has been made true, it has been fulfilled, it has been guaranteed and it has been sealed for all eternity. We are one! You are loved, you have been restored as was my plan from before time itself.

The Response of the Disciple;

“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.”

This is the call of Paul not only to the Gentile Christians of Ephesus, but to all Christians today. And in like manner, I get on my knees and pray for you that you might have strength, encouragement and grace beyond your understanding. I pray that God give you his unlimited resources, his empowerment to do mighty works in his name. There is no limit to his Grace, no restrictions to his gifts. Be bold to use them, to glorify God, to edify his mercy.

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

This is the desire of my soul, that you take root in God’s love, his perfect love. And that you place complete trust, faith and Hope in Christ Jesus. You have been given the promise, it was sealed by the Holy Spirit, so take control of fear, doubt and misgivings and rely solely on God. Let Christ Jesus make his home in your heart, casting out all others.

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.”

It seems to be an impossible task to grasp the might of God’s Love, But even with our limitations, we can see beyond the ways and limitations of the world and see wonders beyond our dreams. We can see miracles, we can see healing, restoration, reconciliations, grace abundantly. There is no limit to God, we can know that even if we can not fully understand it. And lastly,

“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

Yes a fullness that only comes from God. Impossible to know God’s grace in its completeness, yet even as we grow in Christ, we see more and more. We never stop growing in Love, Mercy, Compassion, healing of our own spirits as we pray for others. May we all be made complete, may we always grow in grace. May you, dear ones, see exactly how important you are to God. And may we all go to our knees in thanksgiving and Praise to God for what he has done, to include us, as unworthy as we are, and to lift us up as his own children, sealed, marked and guaranteed his wondrous Grace and Salvation.

In the Name of the Most High God, Blessing to you who read this.


Listen)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us [1] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known [2] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee [3] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, [4] to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 3:14-19 (Listen

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us [1] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known [2] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee [3] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, [4] to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 3:14-19 (Listen)

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family [5] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 1:5 Or before him in love, having predestined us
[2] 1:9 Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . .
[3] 1:14 Or down payment
[4] 1:14 Or until God redeems his possession
[5] 3:15 Or fatherhood; the Greek word patria is closely related to the word for Father in verse 14


Listen

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us [1] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known [2] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee [3] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, [4] to the praise of his glory. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 1:5 Or before him in love, having predestined us
[2] 1:9 Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . .
[3] 1:14 Or down payment
[4] 1:14 Or until God redeems his possession


Listen

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family [1] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 3:15 Or fatherhood; the Greek word patria is closely related to the word for Father in verse 14

The Joy of the Cross

“…As he is the Beginning,
he was first to be born from the dead,
so that he should be first in every way;
because God wanted all perfection
to be found in him
and all things to be reconciled through him and for him,
everything in heaven and everything on earth,
when he made peace
by his death on the cross.”

(Jerusalem Bible

For so many years we have been taught the dead and suffering of Christ as a bitter and hard sacrifice for our sins. But I have come to a new understanding, that it was not the suffering that we should be lamenting but the Joy of the Atonement. Christ came for one purpose, to be a joyful offering to The Father for our reconciliation. Every thing about his life reflects that he joyfully, willingly and deliberately went to the cross for this singular purpose; that we be reconciled and be made one with God.

From the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary, “Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favor. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son…. He will be great and will be called the Son of God.” () to every action of Christ, every miracle he preformed. All that Jesus did was to share the Joy of God for the people. And we know that it was God’s plan from the beginning of time that man be reconciled with Him. Jesus came for that one purpose. clearly states the divine purpose. And in is revealed,”Before the world was made, He chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in HIS PURPOSE,” (Jerusalem Bible). says it “Was for his kind purpose TO MAKE US US PRAISE THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE.” , “God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill His own great pleasure.”

Why would God cause Jesus to suffer? Because to Jesus as God it was not suffering but JOY. As a mother suffers bringing a life into the world, Jesus, suffered bringing us into eternal life. As a mother is joyful in this suffering because she understands that the suffering is in bringing life, so did Christ willingly and joyfully go to the Cross. This is how we should see the crucifixion, as a mother giving birth. Not as death, but birth pains. We speak of being born again, but without the pain of the Cross where is the New Birth? Jesus said at the Last Supper, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His People – an agreement confirmed with MY BLOOD, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.” ( NLT.) Remember this is why Christ came to us, to pure out his life that we may have eternal life. Look also on the cross as opening of a door shut before under the Old Covenant. Look how the Jews offered Atonement Offering without receiving Grace. See how they carried the guilt and shame with their constant sacrifices and still the Atonement was temporal. While the Sacrifice of Jesus is eternal. The moment he said, “It is finished”, the New Covenant was completed, and the New Birth was started for man.

As this New Covenant is eternal, the reconciliation is everlasting and complete, Jesus willingly went to the Cross, He joyfully went. This is why God,the Son of God was born. He told Judas, “Do what you MUST do.” He did not say, do what you want to do, but what must be done. He said, “The son of man must die, and in three days rise again.” Christ is God, He did not have to do anything, He did not have to suffer. So why did He? It was for His great pleasure, His Joy that He should die in the form of Man that we might be born again into eternal life. The JOY of the LORD, was not that Jesus was born, but that by His Sacrifice, we are born again.

And this brings me to the Eucharist, the Great Thanksgiving, offered up for the Atonement, not to offer up a new sacrifice but to rejoice in the one of the Cross of Jesus. So that when we partake of the Elements of Communion, we take part in the Same Sacrifice of Jesus, becoming as He desired in the Garden One with Him as He is One in God the Father. That in partaking of the Eucharist, we are made whole with the New Covenant, the same covenant of the Cross. The Joy of the Cross is that we are reborn in Christ, united by the Holy Spirit, one with God. There is no sorrow, their is only Joy in the rebirth.

(NLT) tells us why this must be. “Stop complaining about what I said. For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and in the last day,I will raise them up. It is written in the Scriptures, ‘They will be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to me. (Not that anyone has ever seen the Father; only I, who was sent from God,have seen Him.)
I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. Yes, I am the Bread of Life! Your ancestors eat manna in the Wilderness, but they died. Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. I am the living bread, which came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever, and this bread, which I offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”

Where then is the sorrow? Here is the Joy, that by the New Covenant, given in the Sacrifice of the Cross, is the New Life. And by the Eucharist, we share in the New Covenant that is permanent and everlasting. It is not a new sacrifice, it is the same sacrifice,the continuing offering of the Cross, the Joy of our Salvation. The reason Jesus came from the Father, not as a sorrowful suffering, but the pain of New Birth for us, that we may never suffer the Loss of Heaven! Do not linger at the Cross, the Crucifix as a symbol of pain and death, but as the Sign of our Rebirth in Christ, to be one with the Father. Take Communion, not as a simple memorial of death, but as the continuing Covenant of Peace and Grace as New Creations in Christ. There is not longer death, because we are now reborn into Eternal Life for this was God’s Great Pleasure, that we be one with Him.

There is no sorrow in the offering, it was an offering to bring Eternal and Perfect Joy. Weep no more, there are no tears, no more spiritual sorrows,no more guilt, only Joy, for Christ Joyfully died that we might have New Life in Him. Look upon the Crucifix with thanksgiving and great joy, by it we are born into Salvation and Grace. Without it there would still be shame, guilt and no true repentance and still death without grace. By the Cross, Jesus grants us God’s Great Pleasure, and we are a New People, New Life and New Hope.

Be with Eternal Joy with the Cross of Salvation, the offering of God for perfect Atonement. Christ willingly and joyfully offered Himself for our Rebirth in the Eternal life. Live in His Perfect Peace.


Listen

18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (ESV)


Listen

31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, (ESV)


Listen

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us [1] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known [2] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee [3] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, [4] to the praise of his glory. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 1:5 Or before him in love, having predestined us
[2] 1:9 Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . .
[3] 1:14 Or down payment
[4] 1:14 Or until God redeems his possession


Listen

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love (ESV)


Listen

he predestined us [1] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 1:5 Or before him in love, having predestined us


Listen

making known [1] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 1:9 Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . .


Listen

20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. [1] (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 22:20 Some manuscripts omit, in whole or in part, verses 19b-20 (which is given . . . in my blood)


Listen

43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (ESV)

Ezekiel 18:24-28 and Matthew 21:28-32; What do they say to us?

But if a upright man renounces his integrity,commits sin, copies the wicked man and practices every kind of filth,is he to live? All the integrity he has practices shall be forgotten from then on; but this is because he himself has broken faith and committed sin, and for this he shall die. But you object, “What the Lord does is unjust”. Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of it, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin and becomes law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die. 8 Jerusalem Bible

‘But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, “son out and work in the vineyard today.” The son answered, “No,I won’t go,” but later he changed his mind and went anyway. The the father told the other son,”You go,”and he said,”Yes, sir, I will.” But he didn’t go.
Which of the two sons obeyed his father?’
They replied, ‘The first.’
Then Jesus explained his meaning: ‘I tell you the truth, tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you did not believe him while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.’
New Living Translation

With the example of the two sons, Jesus explains Ezekiel in a way that we should grasp clearly, If we turn from sin, and repent, not to return to sin then we are saved, we are to see the Kingdom of God. But if we say,”Yes Lord,” but do not repent but continue to sin, we will not see the Kingdom of God but will indeed die in our sins. Do not cry that the Lord is unjust, for he is true Justice, merciful as He is, His justice is Divine. Refusing to believe and repent, to renounce our sins and to live upright, (holy) lives is to not work the vineyards. For how can we work the vineyards of Faithfulness if we reject His Word by continuing to live with sin as our companion. Why mock those who continually repent of sins and say, “We are saved, we do not need to repent.” when you have not repented at all and continue to sin? It is better to confess,repent and seek reconciliation daily than to mock the Lord with you continued sin. For surely you shall die with your sins binding you. John the Baptist had one message; “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Yet the priest and leaders of the “church’did not repent,only the tax collectors (such as Matthew) and the Prostitutes ( as with Mary Magdalene) became the beloved of God and followers of upright living.

Who then shall be saved? the repentant,those who after having said no to the Lord, return to the vineyard and work,having repented. For the vineyard is ripe and ready but the workers are few, many have said yes to the Lord but do not work. Which son are you? In your heart, do you trully repent and go into the vineyard? Or you the proud son who says yes an does noting? Are you the one who cries,”Unfair!” or are you the one who cries, “Have mercy on me.” Do you eat of the fruit of the Spirit or do you stand by and starve from the Grace of the Holy Spirit? Salvation come to those who serve the Lord and obey His every commandment. But to say, “I do not need to obey, for the Lord is merciful and forgives me even as I sin,” makes mockery of His Love. Is your life one of repentance? Or is it one of pride and vanity? Are you a reconciled tax collector or a unrepentant “priest” who thinks himself holier than thou? Do you see the glory of God in those who have repented or are you blind to your own self righteousness? Examine yourselves carefully,and seek after God, Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand, He is here among us.


Listen

24 But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die. (ESV)


Listen

28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him. (ESV)

Resurrection Sunday 2014

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them,’Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’ And when He said this He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy spirit. If you forgive sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.'”

In the Resurrection come great Glory and Power of God. Jesus is giving to the disciples, His power, His grace and His forgiveness. And in that we come to the fullness that what God has forgiven, we are instructed to forgive. He has breathed His Holy Spirit into us that we are enabled to use the gifts as Jesus used them. Nothing is held back.

As This time, the passion of Christ is to commemorate the forgiveness of sin, let us also forgive. As it is the time we remember the gift of the sacrifice of Love, let us love. Not for a day, but for eternity. As He has shown His glory to us, let us show His glory to others. As Jesus was sent by the Father, let us go out and be a blessing to all.

Prayer for this Day: Glory to God, Christ has risen! Glory to the Heavens above, let us rise up and greet Him who comes in the Name of the Father and by His spirit, heals and forgives. Amen and amen!


Listen

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” (ESV)

Lenten Devotion 2014: Holy Saturday

“Like a sapling he grew up in front of us. like a root in arid ground.
Without beauty, without majesty (we saw him), no looks to attract our eyes;
a thing despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering,
a man to make people screen their faces; he was despised and we took no account of him.

And yet ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried.
But we, we thought of him as someone punished. struck by God, and brought low.
Yet he was pierced though for our faults, crushed for our sins.
On him lies the punishment that brings us peace, and through his wounds we are healed.”

He laid in the tomb, He walked into the Pit of Hell and He rescued us from death and all the saints before Him. And yet they did not know Him. Do we really know Jesus? Are we not seeing Him for the greatness He has done? Let us learn to hear and to see what others did not. Let us see God in Christ Jesus. Let us see Christ in each other.

Prayer for today: Grant us eternal Peace, and Mercy for what our sins have done. Amen


Listen

For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected [1] by men;
a man of sorrows, [2] and acquainted with [3] grief; [4]
and as one from whom men hide their faces [5]
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 53:3 Or forsaken
[2] 53:3 Or pains; also verse 4
[3] 53:3 Or and knowing
[4] 53:3 Or sickness; also verse 4
[5] 53:3 Or as one who hides his face from us

Lenten Devotion 2014: Good Friday

“It was now about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the land until the ninth hour. The veil of the Temple was torn right down the middle, and when Jesus cried in a loud voice, He said,’Father into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ with these words he breathed His last.” : 44-46

This is what we celebrate, the final sacrifice. In Jesus, all sacrifices are complete. As a man He took all sin, all transgressions and bore them into death. And even onto the very last breath, He committed all this to the Father. He took presented them to God and took the death that was due mankind and died for our sake.

I have believed at the moment of this death, Jesus was separated from the Father because God can not contain sin, so it was Jesus, wholly man who bore our sins. And as man, Jesus turned His spirit over to the Father to take all punishment for our sins. In doing this we are free from condemnation. While we were still sinners, He took our sins, suffered our fate and defeated Satan at his own game. That is why this day is such an important day to remember.

Prayer for Today: Lord Jesus, you gave everything that we may obtain grace and purity. You became nothing so we could have everything holy and pure. Blessed is the Name of Jesus! Blessed are You who are our rescuer and salvation! Amen!


Listen

23:1 Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. 12 And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.

13 Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16 I will therefore punish and release him.” [1]

18 But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” 23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.

26 And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. 27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” [2] And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, [3] “This is the King of the Jews.”

39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, [4] saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

44 It was now about the sixth hour, [5] and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, [6] 45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” 48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.

50 Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. [7] 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments.

On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 23:16 Here, or after verse 19, some manuscripts add verse 17: Now he was obliged to release one man to them at the festival
[2] 23:34 Some manuscripts omit the sentence And Jesus . . . what they do
[3] 23:38 Some manuscripts add in letters of Greek and Latin and Hebrew
[4] 23:39 Or blasphemed him
[5] 23:44 That is, noon
[6] 23:44 That is, 3 p.m.
[7] 23:54 Greek was dawning

Lenten Devotion 2014: Maudy Thursday

“I say to you as a sensible people: judge for yourselves what I am saying. The blessing cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. the fact that there is only one loaf means that, though there are many of us, we form a single body because we share in this single loaf.”

“Now taking as they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and when he has said the blessing, he broke it and gave it to His disciples, ‘Take and eat,’ He said, ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he has returned thanks he gave it to them, ‘Drink all of you from this,’ he said, ‘for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many for the forgiveness of sin.”

In the words of Thomas a’Kepus, “For it is Your [Christ’s] work, not the power of man, Your sacred instructions, not his invention. No man is able of himself to comprehend and understand these things which surpass even the keen vision of angels. How, then, shall I, an unworthy sinner who am but dust and ashes, be able to fathom and understand so great a mystery?”

I AM NOT ABLE TO UNDERSTAND but I still believe, I believe in the fullness of Christ as it was presented to the disciples. And that when we partake of the sacrament, we are joined in Christ, with Christ and for Christ. That we are held up to God the Father in Union with Christ as a single body,one Faith one People of God. It is no coincidence that Jesus used the Passover to introduce this sacrament to us, He is presenting Himself as the lamb of Israel and by His blood on our Doorpost to our souls, we are spared eternal death but are guarded by the Holy spirit, in that we are receivers of the Promise of God for eternity.

Prayer for Today: Let the celebration begin! Christ has given Himself for us. In His blood we are sealed in the New Covenant! Rejoice, oh my people, rejoice and Praise to the Father who grants us eternal Peace! Amen


Listen

15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (ESV)


Listen

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the [1] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 26:28 Some manuscripts insert new

Lenten Devotion 2014: April 16

“Finally, brothers, we urge you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus to make more and more progress in the kind of life that you are meant to live: the life that Gods wants, as you learnt from us, and you are already living it. You have not forgotten the instructions we gave you on the authority of the Lord Jesus.”

Now that you have left the wilderness, the wilds of the world and its sinful desires, and you are being taught the ways of the Lord, though your church, pastors and teachers; you are being lead onto the Word and the Way. You are being guided on the path of Right living, godly living. Do not let the false wisdom of the world and the flesh.

Let sound teaching reach your hearts and test every thing as to it source. Is it of men or of the Son of Man, Jesus? Continue to live as Jesus lived and walk the path of His Light.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, Let me make true progress on Your Light, more and more purity in loving in your Word. Do mot let me walk away from Your instructions. Amen


Listen)

4:1 Finally, then, brothers, [1] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.

1 Thessalonians 4:2 (Listen

4:1 Finally, then, brothers, [1] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.

1 Thessalonians 4:2 (Listen)

For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 4:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 10, 13

Lenten Devotion 2014: April15

“Whoever believes in me, believes not n me but in the one who sent me, and who ever sees me sees the one the one who sent me. I, the light, have come into the world so that whoever believes in me need not stay in the dark anymore. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfullyit is not I who will condemn him, since I did not come to condemn the world, but to save the world; he who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already: The word itself I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.”

The Gospel of John is loaded! It is not meant for the Sunday Morning Christian. It is meant for the Everyday Christian. These verses speak directly to the point. Keep His Word faithfully! Failure to do so will be your judgment. The key words, the word itself will be the judge. How you lived according to the word. So in the new Path of God, are you going to continue to pass your gaze at the world or are you going to keep your eyes straight on the Word?

If you believe with all your heart, your focus will be only on Jesus and His choices. You will see with His eyes, hear with His ears. Bless as He blessed and remember that He only forgave, never condemned.

Prayer for Today: I believe, Lord, I believe. Show me open my eyes, my ears to see and hear every word in my heart. Amen


Listen

44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. (ESV)

Lenten Devotion 2014: April 14

Jesus replied to them:
“Now the hour has come
for the Son of Man to be glorified.
unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,’
it remains only a single grain;
but if it dies,
it yields a rich harvest.
Anyone who loves his life loses it;
anyone who hates his life in the world
will keep it for eternal life.
If a man serves me, My Father will honour him.
Now my soul is troubled.
What shall I say:
Father, save me from this hour?
But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour.
Father, glorify Your Name!”
A voice came from Heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

So much to say in these few words, so much to understand. The Disciples could not understand that Jesus was speaking of His own death. But it also speaks of us, we are to die to the world so that we can begin a new life with eternal consequences. We are to be of service to God as He was. Only in this way can God honor us. Jesus said no love greater than to give up your life for another, but He gave up not only His Life but His relationship with the Father in taking in all our sins. And in knowing what was to come and being obedient to the Father for our sake, He was glorified and once again He will be glorified in the Days of Judgement. God has given Jesus the Glory that is His alone. God says, “I will Glorify Jesus!”

Prayer for Today: All Glory is Yours, Lord Jesus, all glory in Heaven and on Earth, Blessed are you who so loved that death is conquered. amen.


Listen

23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” (ESV)