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The Voice Of Truth  

We all hear three voices in our head. Our own flesh talks to us, our enemy talks to us - in our own voice, and God talks to us in His still quiet voice. The only way we can know the difference and choose who to listen to and believe is to read the Bible, the inerrant Word of God once and for all delivered to us that we might be saved and have good lives. When we know what God says, and what He teaches us about our enemy, the devil, and our own fleshly nature, we can identify which one we are hearing. Then the choice is ours who we listen to. If we listen to the lies of the devil telling us all is hopeless and no one loves us (among many other things), our lives will be sad, bleak and lonely. If we listen to our flesh telling us we need more things and to do whatever it takes to be "successful" and popular, we will wallow in sin and waste our precious years of life in empty misery. If we listen to the truth of God, we will be strong, wise and happy, and saved eternally, knowing we are truly loved with an everlasting love and that His plans for us are to give us hope and a future!

This song addresses this in such a powerful way and is so important in my life. God used this song once at an utterly unbearable time in my life to show me I was needing to identify what I was listening to and believing on a subject. Once He got my attention it was easy to tell who I was listening to - the enemy of my soul who only steals, kills and destroys. I chose to believe the truth God tells us in His Word on this subject and the burden lifted IMMEDIATELY and never returned. Disciplining our thought life is SO IMPORTANT! But it only works if you read the Bible so it is living in you for the Holy Spirit to bring to your remembrance as Jesus said He would. I hope you take a moment and watch this and really pay attention to the words - it could change your life!


Lyrics to The Voice Of Truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out His hand

But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy, you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"

Chorus:
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out my name
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them lookin' down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.

Today I'm giving you the last element I made for the clusters I gave you recently. I am so pleased with how these marbles turned out! They recolor well, just mask off the clear areas. Another tip would be when you add your shadows, you need to "create layers" and then mask off the area under the marble itself. If you don't, the shadow will show through the transparent areas and ruin your beautiful marble. If you don't know how to do this, look under my label cloud in the right column for my tutorial on "More Realistic Shadows". It will walk you through it in a very easy to follow way with lots of screen shots. The solid marbles don't require this extra care. I'd love to hear from you and see what you are doing with my designs!

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
Link expired. Available in my PayPal store. E-mail me if you don't find it. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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Slow Fade by Casting Crowns  

We are warned that our enemy, the devil, is roaming about seeking who he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8 As Christians, he rarely presents us bluntly with the "big" temptations...go rob a bank, commit adultery/fornication with this person, etc. He knows that would be quickly identified as a sinful temptation and we would resist.

He's been doing the same job since before man was created. He doesn't need to sleep. He's had LOTS of time to perfect his approach to us. He comes to us with little temptations and asks us...is this really "wrong"? He is trying to break down the black and white of sin and holiness and lead us to believing black things are gray instead and not a problem. He is breaking down our resistance to sin gradually so that we go deeper and deeper into sin without noticing until it's too late. It's boiling the frog slowly.

This is why it is crucial for us to guard where we go, what we see, what we read, what we hear, what we say with the utmost care. The goal is not to see how close we can get to sinning without actually getting punished for it by God. As a Christian we have repented of all sin and chosen to live holy lives emulating our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our goal is to progressively become more Christ like. We have been bought with a price and are servants of the Most High God and no longer have the right to choose to disobey and shame Him by dirtying our robes made white from sin by Jesus' precious blood.

This subtle approach by the enemy has lured many Christians into places they never dreamed they'd be in. The price is not just paid in this world and it's not just paid by those of us that fall in this way, but by all those who love us. The carnage can be devastating, I know. I was one of those who fell many years ago. I live daily with the price my precious children still pay and will the rest of their lives. Their father pays a price too.

I share this to admonish you to be careful and take heed if you think you stand, lest you fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12 But I also share to encourage you that as long as there is life, there is a way back to salvation. Don't believe yet one more lie of the enemy, that you've gone too far and can't come back/aren't worthy to come back to right standing with God. What you have done did not surprise Him. He knew you'd do this from before you were born and still He loves you and waits with His arms open wide for your broken and contrite spirit to cry out and repent to Him. Remember the story of the prodigal son??? We learn it never thinking of ourselves, but that son was a member of that family just as we were Christians when we fell. He repented and returned and was embraced with all the blessings of restoration as a child in the family and so you will be too! There may well still be earthly consequences of our fall, but can be restored as though nothing ever happened in our relationship with our Father God. And you will find you love Him even more for this! He who is forgiven much, loves much!

Here is an absolutely outstanding video about this - PLEASE WATCH! You won't be sorry! I usually avoid videos with the band in them because I want the focus on the message and not the band, but this one is unbeatable!

Lyrics to Slow Fade by Casting Crowns:

Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

Today's freebie is another element from the clusters I gave you recently. These are not only cute, but you can add text to them to date or add a name to your LO. Tomorrow is the last element I made for the clusters...the marbles! They turned out great! I'd love to hear from you and see what you do with my gifts.

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
Link expired. Available in my PayPal store. E-mail me if you don't find it. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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DoesAnybodyHearHer by CastingCrowns  

This is a very, very good and important video of another of my favorite songs - Does Anybody Hear Her by Casting Crowns. They have disabled embedding so I can't give it to you here, but if you click the name it will take you right to it. It's four minutes well spent. I do pray you go see it. It really matters and is SO well done...just four minutes...

This is another element from the clusters I gave you recently. It's easily recolored. The rest of the elements are coming, so don't miss a day! Anything you've missed is in the archives in the left column - help yourself!

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
Download here. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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If We Are The Body  

So you've repented of your sins and taken Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You are saved - you are a Christian! What now? Spend the rest of your life here on earth sitting in a church building each week, stand up, sit down, maybe sing, pray? Is that what He saved you for? If you read the instruction manual (the Bible), you'll quickly see that we are His warriors, we are His ambassadors to the lost world, we are the body of Christ and His servants to do His will. What is His will? That none should be lost! He gave us the great commission just before He ascended to the Father in heaven. Matthew 28:19 He told us to go and preach the gospel (good news) everywhere making disciples! He told us to heal the sick, cleans the lepers, set the captives free and raise the dead. Sounds a lot busier than being a bench warmer in a church building!

The Baptist church did a great a great job with this video of a song I love about this topic. Just want to say that I'm not Baptist and not advocating it. Anyone who obeys the Word of God is my brother and sister. I do not support denominations any more than the Bible does.

Lyrics to If We Are The Body

It's crowded in worship today
As she slips in
Trying to fade into the faces
The girls' teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know
Farther than they know

CHORUS
But if we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
There is a way

A traveler is far away from home
He sheds his coat
And quietly sinks into the back row
The weight of their judgmental glances tells him that his chances
Are better out on the road

CHORUS
But if we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way

Jesus paid much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the Body of Christ

Chorus (2x)
If we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way

Jesus is the way

These are the flowers and the little Bubblegum Butterfly that are in the two clusters I gave you yesterday and the day before. I'll give you the rest of the elements I made for the clusters in the next few days, so come back!

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
Download here. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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Praise You In This Storm  

This song means so much to my daughters and I. God gave us this song to help us through the death of my youngest daughter's lifelong best friend at just 22 from cancer. She was precious to all of us and it's hard yet to believe she's gone. There is such power in the truth of these words, such strength and comfort for the hard times which come to us all sooner or later. I do pray you watch and read the lyrics carefully. Once words are in us, if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, He draws them to your memory, just like Jesus said He would, right when we need them!

Lyrics to "Praise You In This Storm"

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Dot candy is such a happy memory from my childhood. I don't know why. You always got paper in your mouth and it didn't taste very good, it just looked so special and festive and beautiful, it makes me smile! This preview is blurry, but the product you get is 300dpi and sharp as a tack!
If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of this post and God bless your use of it!
Download here. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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Set Me Free  

Please take just 4 minutes to watch this fantastic video! It's a very personal favorite of mine as I have walked this with my Savior and it was one of the most astounding things He's done in my life and I will never forget or stop praising Him for it. It makes me love Him passionately. This is Casting Crowns "Set Me Free".

Lyrics to Set Me Free

It hasn't always been this way
I remember brighter days
Before the dark ones came
Stole my mind
Wrapped my soul in chains

Now I live among the dead
Fighting voices in my head
Hoping someone hears me crying in the night
And carries me away

Set me free of the chains holding me
Is anybody out there hearing me?
Set me free

Morning breaks another day
Finds me crying in the rain
All alone with my demons I am
Who is this man that comes my way?
The dark ones shriek
They scream His name
Is this the One they say will set the captives free?
Jesus, rescue me

As the God man passes by
He looks straight through my eyes
And darkness cannot hide

Do you want to be free?
Lift your chains
I hold the key
All power on Heav'n and Earth belong to me

You are free
You are free
You are free

Because I knew not everyone would want Mickey, I made two variations of this cluster. Yesterday I gave you the one without Mickey and today with. They are large for versitility. In the next few days I'll give you the elements in the clusters that I haven't already given you. Check the archives in the left column for those you've missed. I'd love hear from you and to see what you make with my goodies.
If you download, please leave me a comment at the bottom of this post as I have disabled 4shared comments. This helps me to know what you like for the future. God bless you!
Link expired. Available in my PayPal store. E-mail me if you don't find it. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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Who Am I by Casting Crowns  

Today I'm sharing another beautiful video. This time it's Casting Crowns singing "Who Am I". The lyrics are on the video so I won't repeat them here.

Our lives tend to be like a pendulum. We swing from one extreme to the other and miss the correct and healthy place of balance in the middle. This subject of who I am is one such subject. When America was first founded for the freedom to worship the God of the Bible in any way one wanted, the doctrine about who we are was quite stoic. They took the truth of God's word that tells us we are miserable sinners and no better than worms and that God was a stern God to be the whole truth. As a result, they expected suffering and a grim life full of varying degrees of self-loathing and fear.

In my lifetime America moved into the knowledge that God is love, and this is true also. Doctrine swung so far to this side that it left the truth of the unsaved individual's condition being exactly what we just described above. This has lead to tremendous watering down of the truth of God's word, eliminating the black and white delineations between sin and righteous living and has taught people that everyone is God's child and going to heaven. This no more true than the first extreme, only this one costs people their souls. Many who think they are saved are not according to God's word. Multitudes also believe that if they are simply a nice person and don't go around killing others, they will get to heaven. Also a lie that has eternal consequences.

Then the pentecostal and charismatic movements took the question of who am I to another place. They noticed the verses that tell us that after we become Christians, we are children of God, which is truth, "King's Kids", "Royal", etc. They came up with all manner of prideful, self-righteous, arrogant, boastful terms lauding our redeemed relationship to the God of creation. People still today pridefully boast to others that they are this royalty, use rich crowns and royal purple in their homes to flaunt this and even on business cards. They are puffing themselves up and taking all the focus off the God who has saved them - putting all the glory on themselves. If they would read more of God's word they'd see that pride is an ugly sin He condemns and humility is venerated by our God and King. He teaches repeatedly to take the less honorable seat and then if your host moves you up higher, you are honored and not shamed when you have seated yourself in too high a seat of honor and he comes and moves you down for another to take your place.

The truth lies in a balance of all three of these. Yes, God is a stern and harsh God demanding obedience and His wrath is on those who do not obey for all eternity, so we do well to reverently fear Him. Yes, before we come to Him for salvation, we are indeed filthy sinners, worms and we are correct to hate ourselves. But it is also true that He is love! That once we have come to Him and repented of our sins and taken Jesus as our Savior, and obeyed Him in being immersed in water baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are no longer that person! He tells us we are a NEW CREATION and the old things have passed away! He removes our sin from us and remembers it no more, hallelujah! We are no longer filthy sinners! As we are washed white as snow and set in the high places with Him, we fall in love with Him. We are indeed adopted as children of the Most High God! But not so that we can then immerse ourselves in the sin of pride and self-centeredness! He tells us to model our lives after Jesus Christ, the Son of God. You will not find a single passage where Jesus ever was prideful or boastful. He stated the truth, which was indeed something to be proud of, but He was always humble. We are to do the same.

This song puts the answer of "Who Am I" right on the mark! Do watch it - it's only a couple of minutes and it's lyrics are so powerful and the presentation is beautiful! God bless you all!

Today I have made you a cluster. I made it 12" so you could use it alone on a page if you want, or resize it for other applications. In the next few days I'm going to give you a variation of this one and the elements in the clusters that I haven't already given you. Check the archives in the left column for those you have missed and enjoy! (The marbles came out fabulous!!! Yeah!)

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
Link expired. Available in my PayPal store. E-mail me if you don't find it. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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RaffiaBow_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

Today I've made a Raffia Bow for you. A paper bow. Ever think about our temporary paper is? How fragile? Our lives are also fragile and just a "vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away". We do well to keep that in mind, realizing life in this world is temporary and eternity looms before us. Since this life is so short and eternity has no end, shouldn't we be spending most of our thought and energy preparing for that eternity? Wouldn't we be foolish to be living our lives consumed with today's issues that will soon pass away and not making sure that our eternity will be a pleasant one?

If you would like to know how to do this, I'd be honored to share with you in e-mail. Also God's plan of salvation for us is included in many of these posts and in every freebie download. God bless you and guide you.

13"Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."

14Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

15Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."

16But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

17Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:13-17

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
Link expired. Available now in my PayPal store. E-mail me if you don't find it. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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MilkWeedPods_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

I've posted two other new freebies today as I'm celebrating how many people have come to my blog and hopefully taken away something of their Creator and Savior, so I hope you don't mind that I'm re-listing this one I gave you in the fall. I thought I'd show you what I did with them as an idea for you. It's a fantasy composition in four variations. If you missed the pods, the link is at the bottom.
If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
Link expired. Available now in my PayPal store. E-mail me if you don't find it. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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LynettesPhotoArt_NylonBowWhRainbow  

"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow." James 1:17

I'm celebrating over 17,500 visitors and 33,000 page views from more than 91 countries since I started in mid September, just 4 months! Praise God! I'd like to thank everyone who has visited my blog and ESPECIALLY everyone who has taken a moment to comment, very, very few, but they you my day and encourage me to continue. Still no one has shared what they've used my gifts to make, but I'm still hoping you will.

Check out the product reviews I have posted in the right column at the bottom. They show what's still active in the archives and what I have scheduled to give you next. If you click on them the picture gets huge so you can really see. So keep coming, and drop me a line below each post, please! I pray for every one of you - have a great day!

I just realized that I never posted one of the Nylon Bows! And I think it's one of the most beautiful! So let's remedy that right here and now! This indeed is the LAST of the 29 Nylon Bows - for real this time! If you've missed any, they are in the archives in the left column. I fixed the link for the Dark Blue Rainbow bow, so go get it!


If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
The entire set is in the store for $3.99 here. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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FringeCloth_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

Thank you Ajila for taking a moment to let me know there was a problem with the Dark Blue Rainbow Nylon Bow download, and all your faithful comments throughout this entire collection! You have been a big encouragement to me! My apologies to everyone who was inconvenienced! I'm putting a new link on that post and you can here to download it too.

"Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you," declares the LORD. 2 Kings 22:18-20

In those days, true repentance and seeking God included outwards signs. One of the things they did was to rend or tear their clothing. They might also put dirt on their heads or on their faces in mourning over their sins. They would bow themselves to the earth, even lay face down on it to display their sincere contrition, acknowledging their position before the Almighty God of the Universe and worshiping Him. They would weep and fast (not eat or drink) to show the depth of their need for God to hear and answer there pleas.

We do not live under the old covenant today, but under the new covenant Christ purchased with His own blood for our redemption. But repentance and seeking God are still absolute daily essentials. He told us not to do "religious" behaviors for the purpose of being seen by men, but we would do well to meditate on the examples of old and reflect on the level of devotion and humility they displayed.

It is good for our souls when we humble ourselves before our God. It is good for us to bow, kneel, even prostrate ourselves before our God in worship, not only because He is worthy and deserves it, but it changes us spiritually if we do it from our hearts.

Let's examine ourselves when we repent or seek our Father. How deep is our love for Him? How deep is our need for Him? How sincere are we? How all encompassing is our devotion to Him? The fact is that a deep, mature, intimate walk with our Savior will lead us most naturally to our knees before our God, and it is the most wonderful place on earth!

There is a song that expresses this rapture well -
No Higher Calling
Down at Your feet oh Lord, is the most high place
In Your presence Lord, I seek Your face, I seek Your face.
There is no higher calling, no greater honor
Than to bow and kneel before Your throne.
I'm amazed at Your mercy, embraced by Your glory
Oh Lord, I live to worship You!
by Maranatha Music
I was unable to get you a recording, sorry. It's truly beautiful and a favorite of mine as it comes from my heart.

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
Download here. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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NylonBowHotPnkRain_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

"The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit." Ecclesiastes 7:8

Since today's freebie Nylon Bow is the last of the set of 29, I'm sure that all of you who have been patiently collecting them these many months agree with this scripture!!! Any you have missed are in the archives in the left column, so go get em! I would love to see anything any of you have made using my goodies!
If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
The entire set is in the store for $3.99 here. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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NylonBowHotPnk_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

13"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.

14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

18Therefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

With such great news, we aught to be the happiest people on earth! Let's shed those depressed, oppressed expressions that we so often wear and focus on the great gift of salvation in Jesus Christ! When we do this, the light of Christ can shine through us to those yet in darkness. When they see this, they want what we have and may come and see what's different about us and be saved! Let's resolve to stop hiding the light Christ gave us for the purpose of drawing others to Him and start focusing on our great treasure in Him and then our lights will truly shine before man! Today's freebie is one that just screams "Party Time"!!

If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of this post and God bless your use of it!
The entire set is in the store for $3.99 here. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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NylonBowDkBlRain_by_LynettesPhotoArt  

After I gave my life to Christ, I spent years in a fellowship that did not believe that any of the marvelous provisions of power, instruction and intimacy that Jesus told us would come when He went to the Father after His resurrection, and that they would stay "forever" for those of us who love and follow Him, still happen today. After 23 years, God Himself invaded our lives in undeniable ways showing my daughters and I that He was indeed still fulfilling all He said He would...forever.

I said all that as a groundwork for what I want to discuss. Since 1998 when all this happened and I received the Holy Spirit baptism, I was of course no longer welcomed where I had been and have fellowshipped in a very different area of Christianity. I have met wonderful people. And I have met the greatest heretics and kooks imaginable that bring great shame on His name and alienate the lost and the saved alike with their heresies.

I never met people like that before, when I was in the part of Christianity that believe all the "special stuff" has ended. The reason is easy. When you don't believe you can literally "hear" God speak to you, or that He can and will impart divine revelation understand directly into your mind, when you base everything you believe only on God's Word, the Bible, you stay grounded in truth. Just sadly, not all the truth. Missing the wonderful good news that everything in that Bible is still true and we can have so much more of a relationship with God here in this life.

But when you know that God can and does "speak" audibly to individuals at times, that He surely does impart divine revelation to individuals at times, that there are no limits to what He can do if and when He wishes, you open yourself to error big time.

God teaches us balance. He commands us to consume His written word, telling us that not one bit of it will ever change - no matter how "advanced" or "modern" man thinks he gets. He also commands us to be filled with His Spirit, live by His Spirit and be led by His Spirit. Then He commands us to TEST THE SPIRITS to be sure who we are listening to, His Spirit, the evil one's spirit, our own sinful flesh? These are three COMMANDS, not suggestions open to our choosing to do or not do. They are commands because that is the only way we can protect ourselves from going off into heresy. Mark 13:31

On the one had we have the group I came from which excels in knowing God's Word, but refuses the Holy Spirit's full work in their lives which deprives them of the power to fully succeed in what the Word commands and robs them of the fantastic level of intimacy, teaching and comfort that God arranged for us to have after Jesus ascended to Him.

On the other hand we have the "Spirit filled group" who has been blessed with special personal experiences with God, but lazily ignores Bible study to any depth that would arm them to know when they are being led astray. They just want to party down with the delicious Holy Spirit. The result is that they are easily lead into heresy and don't notice when the Holy Spirit's manifestations in their lives are being replaced with false prophits showing great signs and wonders (who we were warned will deceive the elect if it is possible), as they slip into heresy. Matthew 24:24

Both these conditions are entirely unnecessary. Just do what He tells us in the Word:

  • He commands us to consume His written word so we will know the truth from lies.
  • He commands us to be filled with His Spirit, live by His Spirit and be led by His Spirit.
  • He commands us to TEST THE SPIRITS to be sure who we are listening to, His Spirit, the evil one's spirit, our own sinful flesh?
How do we test them? One way is to always check what you believe God is telling you with His printed word. He will NEVER contradict Himself. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 Don't take a random scripture all by itself - you must use scriptures in context and in harmony with the overall principles and messages of the Word in it's entirety.

Don't forget...it's "Spirit and truth"...a balance! John 4:23

Let's not shame God and alienate the lost so they never come to salvation in Christ by our spouting bazaar things "God told me". Be vigilent! It is no small thing to say, "Thus says the Lord God Almight...". There will be a day of accounting!

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My husband was flipping the channels recently and witnessed the most shocking and sad commentary on the reprobate condition of our dear country yet. He flipped past the sick and filthy Jerry Springer show. People were using filthy language discussing an evil behavior. They didn't beep out one filthy or curse word. They said "satan" and they didn't beep it out. But when a woman started praying for the person in Jesus' name, THEY BLEEPED "JESUS" AS IF IT WERE A CURSE WORD!!! Actually worse than a curse word as they didn't beep out any of them.

It brought to mind the scriptures telling us how He was and would be hated by this world and His name a byword. Who would have thought that in America, the only nation in the history of this world that was founded for the purpose of freedom to worship Almighty God as you wish, this could be. This nation that God has protected and prospered beyond all others. And to show our gratitude, today, America cannot kick Him out fast enough. God help us if they succeed. America may well discover what life is like without the favor of God. He has surely demonstrated the verse that He is slow to anger, but judgment will surely come if we do not all repent from our hearts and return to Him as our God. As wonderful as the love of God is, the wrath of God is a terrible thing. And His wrath is just.

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HELEN - Thank you for your question about Jesus Christ being fully human and fully God while here on earth. Here is an excellent link giving the scriptural support for this truth as it was used in a radio debate http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=86127. Hope this helps and God bless you! Questions are always welcomed and I'll do my best to help.

GEORGIA - Thank you so much for your comments yesterday about the "ixthus" or "icthus post I made recently! It was fascinating reading what you shared and I'm happy to meet you and honored you visit my blog. You asked how I knew this - I started studying about all things pertaining to Christianity and our God when I gave Him my life in 1978 and haven't stopped learning since because I want to be pleasing to Him in all things. The more I learn about Him, the more I love Him! Anyone who wishes to verify what I shared can just do a Google search and...voila...there is the information! God bless you and write me any time. My e-mail is in the "about me".

Now for today's thoughts - I know you've read this passage umteenmillion times, but just once more please as I am going somewhere important with it.

1 Corinthians 13 1-3
"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. "

This is a list of many profound things we can do, but God is telling us that they are worthless, even as a clanging cymbal, without love. It doesn't even profit us to give our life if we aren't doing it in love. Now this is the analogy I wanted to share...

You can buy someone gifts you can't afford, provide them food and shelter, speak highly of them to others, even do things for them, but if you spend your time with them treating them rudely, insulting and bullying them, falsely accusing them and drowning them out when they try to speak, it was all for nothing. If every request for a little help is met with loud aggravated sighs, it doesn't matter what words you say afterward to try to patch things up, you've made it clear to them how you truly feel and they will try their best to never ask you for help with anything again.

Just as God was telling us that the good behaviors He listed were worthless without love, so are all the nice things you might do for another, if you also repeatedly treat them as I've described. That speaks louder than any gift. Your treatment of them is the message that stays with them, slowly killing them inside and eroding the relationship. Bragging on them to others is they height of hypocrisy when your treatment of them to their face says the opposite.

God tells us that out of the abundance of our hearts we speak. Luke 6:45 Your words and treatment of this person show them what you truly think of them and that is far more powerful than any gift you give them, and it speaks death and hopelessness for the relationship.

It's worth doing a personal inventory and checking how you are treating others. Surely as those who wear the name of Christ, we don't have the right to treat others badly, surely not our "loved ones" at home. We are bought with a price and are no longer our own. Jesus commands us to model our attitudes and behaviors after His and to obey all He teaches us in the Bible. It's not an option. We bring shame on Him when we act this way, especially in front of others. You may well even cost someone their soul when they know you profess to be a Christian and are acting badly. They may stumble and fall away from Him or never come to Him at all because of your example. A horrifying possibility. And don't be fooled that the little ears in your home are not being damaged by this too. Deep far reaching wounds.

This is an applique I had added to a crazy quilt I made my youngest daughter. When they were little, I did a lot of artwork with the Precious Moments designs. I think they are still "precious"!

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This is part two of of two of an update from our missionaries in Rameswaram, India called Body of Christ Ministries that is going to really bless you. I'm dividing it because it's long. I do hope you take the time to read - it could change your life and your walk with your Savior. This is Body of Christ Ministries and we have personally known and supported them for many years. I quote a woman who has recently been there working with this ministry:

Joshua
Joshua has been given a new name. Previously recognized for his involvement with a radical terrorist group, he is now recognized as a Jesus follower—and a completely different man. He first encountered God in prison—and there, behind bars, he made a promise, “Lord, if I am released,” he prayed, “I will live for you and you only.” Though that prayer was three years before his actual liberation, he remembers God continually speaking words of comfort over him in prison. Previously a violent murderer, Joshua has melted into the role of a comforter himself—and his peaceful presence and story of change has drawn countless lives to the truth.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Joshua first started ministering with Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu, India. After discipleship training with Pastor Moses Paulose, he left with his family and limited financial support (around $20 a month) to start a church in a very difficult jungle area of Tamil Nadu.

The region Joshua ministers in is primarily dangerous because of the masses of wild animals. Joshua and his family travel from one area to the next to share the gospel on a bicycle—his wife sits on the back, and his two sons crowd close in the front near the handlebars. Several times, they have almost lost their lives in close proximity of wild elephants. Joshua even remembers one time his bike’s breaks failed and he nearly collided with an elephant—it’s giant tail whipping him in the side of the face, leaving him feeling like he was, “being beaten with a giant bamboo stick,” he recollects. Without proper transportation, such conditions are a continual risk—a risk that he and his family willingly take for the sake of sharing the joy of Jesus Christ with surrounding villages. And their work is fruitful—within a year and a half of being in that area, their church (which gathers in an old shed) has grown from twenty members to 150 members. Like Shanmugam’s church, many miraculous healings are constantly taking place.

Wild animals are not the only trials Joshua’s family has faced since beginning their ministry work. There have also been many attacks against the health of both his wife and son. When his wife found out she had blood cancer, she simply stated, “I’ve seen how God comforted and took care of you in your life Joshua; God definitely will take care of me, too.” With that, they prayed fervently for one month and she was completely healed of her cancer.

Perhaps more frightening was the day Joshua and his wife found out about a septal defect in their youngest son’s heart that could soon lead to severe shortness of breath and complete inability to move his limbs efficiently if left untreated. When they noticed his constant fatigue and occasional bleeding from the mouth, they took him to the nearest hospital who recommended a costly operation. With only $3 to his name, Joshua was rendered completely helpless in the situation. They took their son home and put their trust fully in the Lord’s healing power, praying and fasting for their son’s healing for twenty days. On the twentieth day of prayer, their son (who had already lost nearly all mobility in his hands and legs) was propped outside, watching some neighbor boys playing a soccer game in the street in front of their house. While Joshua and his wife were inside praying, they were interrupted by their son walking into the room by himself, stabilized only by a plastic chair. He is now fully healed of his heart defect and able to move about freely.

By faith alone, Joshua continues to move forward. His hard work for the Kingdom has produced several church congregations in the jungle area of Tamil Nadu. One, in a primarily Hindu area, grew to forty new believers in just one month. In that village, there was an elderly man with an extreme mental illness who had been roaming the area naked for over fourteen years. Entirely ashamed, his family tied him by his hands and feet to an iron rod inside their home—leaving him struggling there day and night. After Joshua’s family prayed with him twice, the old man was fully healed of his mental illness and immediately baptized. He is now one of the believers in the new church in that village.

With several small church plants started, Joshua’s vision is to have one large, simple church building in a centralized location for all of the surrounding villages—one that he and the existing church members would build themselves. With only $20 a month for his family and the church work, he is putting his trust entirely in God yet again. With such trust, the future seems undaunting. When Joshua recalls God’s protection, care, and moving power in his ministry and family life, he simply states, “I know that if I do my work faithfully to God, he will take care of my needs. I’ve already seen it!”

The unshakable trust displayed in Shanmugam and Joshua’s stories challenges and compels me. Trust in the midst of beautiful simplicity—holding no possession higher than God himself. Shanmugam and Joshua have depths of hunger for things not of this world, but of the Kingdom.

Please remember Shanmugam and Joshua in your prayers. I was reminded this morning through one author’s writing to be, “as wide open towards people and their needs as you are
towards God. Windows open outward as well as upward. Windows especially open where people need most!” The most important need in Shanmugam and Joshua’s lives is the continued filling of the Holy Spirit to do the work set before them. There is, of course, a list of immediate physical needs as well—roof repairs, improved transportation, proper facilities. I encourage you to consider praying on how you might be involved in opening windows towards these needs. I love Paul’s reminder of what happens when we freely give to those in need:

“God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the scriptures say, ‘They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.’ For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of God’s holy people will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!” -2 Corinthians 9:8-15

As we consciously give freely to those in need, we are—in a way—engaging in simplicity. Living simply, so that others may simply live. Our hearts of giving are grown along with an increased life of simplicity. The grace of giving was designed by God to multiply his blessings…the greatest blessing of all being increased encounters with Him.

That ends the update. If you wish to be part of this great work of God in a Hindu nation, click here and contribute what you are able. I do hope you support them with your prayers as a minimum.

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HELEN - Excellent question yesterday and thank you so much for asking! I'd love to e-mail you, but I don't have your address, so write me at lynette@lynettesphotoart.com. Have a good day!

I'm going to share an update from our missionaries in Rameswaram, India called Body of Christ Ministries that is going to really bless you. It's long, so I'm going to divide it into two posts, today and tomorrow. I do hope you take the time to read - it could change your life and your walk with your Savior. This is Body of Christ Ministries and we have personally known and supported them for many years. I quote a woman who has recently been there working with this ministry:

I am living in a world where simplicity seems to be daily redefined. As my personal exposure to poverty increases, simplicity’s definition is whittled away at—continually transforming into a new perspective of what it means to have little—or nothing—in terms of worldly possessions.

Recently, I encountered two men (and their families) who live a simple Kingdom life—simple in its barest form. Having no true possessions, they, like the Levites mentioned in Deuteronomy 10, keep “the Lord himself as their special possession.” Their stories have revolutionized my thoughts on Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

There seems to be a direct correlation with the limitation of possessions and increased, keen awareness and hunger for the Living God. A certain liberation comes with the release of belongings—a liberation that leaves a new sensitivity for encountering God. I was struck as I read the story of Jacob wrestling with God this morning in Genesis 32. Just before his encounter, “Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them. After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions. This left Jacob all alone…” God showed up when Jacob was completely alone. Not only away from the presence of people and family—away from all his possessions. All his stuff. Everything that represented his power and success. Everything he had accumulated to build a name for himself. God wasn’t interested in meeting with Jacob’s possessions; He was interested in meeting with Jacob.

Shanmugam and Joshua—two men I was recently introduced to—are men that have little to nothing. Nothing but the transforming presence of God working amidst their daily lives. They are men that have met with God—encountered Him in their humblest of states, leaving them—and their life purposes— forever changed. Though their stories could fill endless pages, for the sake of brevity, I will attempt to capture only the highlights.

Shanmugam and Joshua have a lot in common. They both have experienced transformation in the highest sense. Shanmugam used to be a violent gang leader, known by locals as “Tobacco Man” for the fifty packs of tobacco he chewed daily. Joshua is an ex-terrorist. After taking the lives of many, he spent several years in prison. Both men had encounters with Jesus—and both men are entirely changed.

Shanmugam
Shanmugam’s story begins with the prayers of his mother-in-law, Elisabeth. I had the pleasure of meeting her at his home last week. Under five feet tall and dressed in a sun-bleached sari, she embodied this simplicity I keep speaking of—but she clothed herself with limitless love, wisdom and an evident gentleness and grace.

After decades of Elisabeth’s faithful prayers, Shanmugam finally surrendered his life to Jesus. A few weeks after his baptism, he ran into one of his previous gang members who had also become a believer. His friend rejoiced over seeing his transformation, telling him that every other member of their previous gang was in prison or dead.

With an obviously roughened face and a physically intimidating build, everything about Shanmugam’s presence speaks toughness—yet his heart is incredibly soft and his spirit is malleable. He has only been following Jesus for three years, but already he is pastoring a church of several hundred believers—150 of which he has baptized. God has used Shanmugam powerfully in his community—he has seen God physically heal many people through his prayers, and a thirty-year old man was even raised from the dead (stories that are not uncommon amongst believers in India).

Previously a bus driver and shopkeeper, skilled at swindling—Shanmugam is now serving the Lord in full-time ministry with little to claim as his own. His family of four lives in a hovel of a home. Only ten feet by twelve feet, with a thatched grass roof, it has been impossible to keep water from flooding their limited floor space during the present rainy season. Last week I stood with Shanmugan in his home—lit only with dim candlelight due to their absence of electricity. Ankle deep in water, I gazed around the miniscule space—clothing hanging from the thatched walls to keep from being soaked. There was no room for a bed. Shanmugam and his family literally sleep in the water. As he and his wife prayed aloud, there was no hint of insecurity. Their voices rang with a deep security and trust in their great provider—God himself. With thankfulness that night, they fed us a dinner of mutton—food that was beyond their ability to afford. I sat there with a full belly, being treated like a queen by a family that didn’t even have a dry floor to sleep on.

Before I left Shanmugam’s village, we met in their local church for a pastor’s meeting. The church—and the exterior church kitchen—were also completely flooded. As women prepared rice over an open fire with smiling faces, they were shoveling buckets of muddied water from the kitchen floor. Just before the service was over, Shanmugam, his wife, and their church body stood on stage and sang a worship song in Tamil. With a handful of drums, two tambourines, and strong voices raised, they sang with the deepest sincerity and thankfulness. I’ve rarely heard such beautiful singing. Songs praising their Creator--the One whom everything belongs to and everything comes from. Their most “special possession”.

That ends today's half of the update. If you wish to be part of this great work of God in a Hindu nation, click here and contribute what you are able. I do hope you support them with your prayers as a minimum.

I will continue this tomorrow.

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The Greek word for fish is "ixthus" or "icthus." The five Greek letters in the word form an acrostic. The first letter represents the word "Jesus". The second letter represents the word "Christ", the next two, "God's Son", and the final letter represents the word "Savior". This adds up to “Jesus Christ is God’s Son, the Savior.”
During the early days of Christianity, Christians were often put to death for practicing their faith, so they worshiped in secret places. The sign of the fish was a secret sign Christians used to identify each other and meeting places. Sometimes you see the sign of the fish with the Greek letters inside it.

Another interesting Christian symbol was created from the same word...the Maltese Cross. The Greek letters ΙΧΘΥΣ were written one on top the other resulting in an eight-spoked wheel. Then they joined the ends of every other spoke forming the cross.
You have told me that the reviews are helpful to be sure you have gotten everything, so I've made up the rest of what I've given you and things scheduled to give you in the coming days - a BIG preview! If you click the image either here or in the right column under "Collection Reviews", they will display very large so you can really see the detail and the names so you know what to look for in the archives in the left column.






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I heard something last night that truly blessed me and I've been meditating on it. I hope it blesses you too.

The text was Romans 5:10
"For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. "

He was addressing the all too common problem of Christians not being secure in their salvation. Constantly fearing one is not truly saved even though one has done all the Word commands and is living in obedience and love to the best of their ability.

He emphasized that even when we were living completely lost lives, not even trying to obey and serve God, actually being His enemies, He gave His only begotten Son's life to reconcile us to Himself. Think about that. We weren't even trying!

Then he addressed the rest of the passage...where it is talking about us after we have accepted His gift of reconciliation, being saved by Jesus' sacrifice and now we are trying to live in obedience to His Word.

He powerfully pointed out that it is a surety that we are now saved by Christ's life, because that was the whole purpose of it all. That when we were His enemies He gave His life to reconcile us to Himself and so, once we have responded, are loving Him and are trying to walk in the light with Him, how could He not save us? Why would He do that? That would defeat His entire plan!

He loved us and gave Himself for us while we were vile sinners. He loves us now that we have submitted our lives to Him in true repentance for our sins and love and obey Him as best we can. He did all this to save us. He wants us saved. If He did all that for us when we didn't even want Him, why would He turn us away now that we love and seek Him with all our hearts?

If we have truly repented and taken Him as our Savior and are following Him with all our hearts in love and obedience, it is time to truly BELIEVE what He says and rest in the surety that we are safe in His loving arms. He did all the work at the cross. Ours is only to believe, love and obey. His grace is sufficient for all our misses and failures. All we need do is repent when the Spirit convicts us, resolve to try harder, and then snuggle deep into His loving arms and let Him refresh us. He does not want to crush us. He wants to nurture our growth and our relationship with Him, for our own good.

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"I will set before my eyes no vile thing. " Psalm 101:3

Whatever we choose to look at, God sees too. Everywhere we go on the internet, God sees too. Every movie, every music video, every video game, every magazine, everything we look on, God sees too and knows.

Let's strive to follow Jesus and live the holy, righteous life He has told us to. It's not about seeing how close we can get to sin without actually getting "charged" for it. It's like Joseph, he literally ran from sin and so should we.

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." Philippians 4:7-9

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I'd like to recommend a website that I find such a blessing in studying God's Word. http://www.biblegateway.com/ It's free. It's fast and easy to use! It has I think 50 different translations on it. It has easy plans to help you read through the Bible in a year. It is also mobile and friendly to small screens like your IPhone, Blackberry etc. It has Topical Bibles. You can read the Bible normally or look up passages very quickly in your choice of translation. You can even read more than one translation in parallel, which I find fabulously helpful! You can put a small form on your website for your visitors to be able to look up verses. I am soooo grateful for this website - God bless them!!!

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Something very important to ponder a bit today. The world is full of those who "say" they are Christians, but live contrary to His commands as He has given us in the Bible.

21"He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."

23Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

24"He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. " John 14:21-24

  • Can we truly belong to Him if we do not obey Him?
  • Do we have the right to wear His name, "Christian", if we willfully disobey Him as a lifestyle?
  • If He is truly our Lord and Master, we must obey Him.
  • If we wish to be His, we must love Him.
  • If we love Him, He says the natural evidence of that love is that we obey His Word.
  • The evidence of not obeying Him in our lives shows that we in fact do not love Him, therefore we do not belong to Him, we have not made Him true Lord and Master in our lives or we'd be obying Him, and as such, He is not our Savior, and since there is no other name by which we must be saved, we are lost and bound for hell no matter how loudly we proclaim we are Christians, how often we attend services or how we try to fool ourselves into believing the fraud we are living is the Christian life.

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

But the GREAT NEWS is that there is no reason to stay that way! Every moment we are still breathing in this world we have the opportunity to truly repent of our sins, ask God to forgive us, take Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son as our Lord and Savior and be saved! We can be immersed in water baptism as He commands and from this decision forward, live in obedience to His Word, which in truth, is only designed to give us the happiest of lives while on earth - not to deprive us of anything.

What if you don't love Him yet? Ahhhh...once you are truly convicted of your sins by the Holy Spirit of God, you realize your truly lost condition and that you actually deserve the awful fate that awaits you in eternity. As you are genuinely sorry for your sins and plead with all your heart for forgiveness, it starts. When you have prayed through and realize that He has indeed been faithful and forgiven you and adopted you, a former sinner, as a Child of the Most High God, that your sins are gone forever as if you had never committed them, that you no longer must suffer eternity in hell with no hope of escape, but rather will spend eternity in heaven with your dear Savior in glory forever, you start falling in love with Him, the one who has done all this for you-the one who has given His very life for you! The deeper you realize your former condition and read the Bible and learn all God has done for you, how He has loved you since before He created you, you fall deeper in love with Him. Your entire walk from the moment of salvation on, as you pray and study His Word, reveals more of Him to you and you keep falling in love with Him. Don't worry about this. He will take care of it if you simply obey and seek Him with all your heart. Then when you read that you must love Him more than anything or anyone or you are not worthy to follow Him, you will smile a soft quiet smile deep inside, the smile of a lover fully secure and satisfied with their lover and His love for them. It's all so awesome!!!!
Matthew 10:37

Why on earth would anyone choose to be a bench warmer instead of getting to know their own personal Savior intimately and being blessed with His love and presence all the days of their lives? Methinks it's a very poor choice indeed. One with dire consequences.

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Another great work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians today is the Fruit of the Spirit. How many times have we read over that like it was a title? It means what it says...these fruits of godly character that are listed in Galatians 5:22 are just what it says...fruit...of...the...Spirit!!! It is not we ourselves that have the ability to produce these things in our lives. It is ours to obey the Word of God from our hearts and do our best to live these ways, but this fruit is actually brought about by the Holy Spirit of God! If we do not have Him actively working in our lives and if we are not cooperating with Him, we will find it impossible to truly have these fruits fully in our lives.

I spent 23 years as an absolutely sold out to Jesus Christian, doing all I could to obey and serve Him and yet, every time I'd read this list of the fruit of the Spirit, I was so convicted. I'd emotionally flog myself for my failing and try even harder. No matter what I did, I could not attain it. Not through prayer, repenting, fasting, nothing. This failure deeply affected me - for the worse.

Then I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and He opened my eyes to see that these are fruits He produces in our lives when we cooperate with Him!!! It was such a, "No duh!" moment!!! And now I'm perfect and have all the fruits prominently displayed in my life!!!

LOL!!!!!! Yeah, right! Just kidding. We are ALL works in progress, but at least now I'm making progress!!!! "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit!!" Zechariah 4:6 This Christian walk is not a destination as such, it's a journey! As long as we wear flesh, we are all at different stages of His work in us. It won't be till we shed this flesh to be with Him forever that we will have reached our glorious destination! Hallelujah!!!!! Praise You Lord! Bring forth fruit to Your glory!

16"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,

20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,

21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

26Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another." Galatians 5:16-26

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