Thursday, May 30, 2019

Established in His Righteousness—Therefore, Unashamed and Unafraid

Barbwire Chief Editor Dave Jolly issued a stunning indictment against the Body of Christ in the United States.

The state of the Christian church in America today is nothing like it was when I was young and the change is not a good one.

When I was young, many Christians boldly stood up for Jesus Christ and their faith in Him. They weren’t embarrassed to pray over the meal when eating in a restaurant or in front of other people. They weren’t afraid to stand up against the social recognition of sins and perverse lifestyles.

Sadly, over the past 50 years, millions of American Christians began to compromise with the decaying secular world. Rather than continue to stand up for their faith, they didn’t want offended anyone and they wanted to be inclusive.

Christians are ashamed to call themselves Christians, or to declare that Christ Jesus is their Savior. They are afraid to be slammed, shamed, defamed, and defeated in the public square.

Granted, these are welcome criticisms to point out.

I am interested in finding out why this is happening. One can suggest that many of this class of Christian really are not Christians. They are professors, not possessors of faith. If that is the case, then they need to hear the Good News in its fullest.

But I submit to you that there are indeed many in this “Ashamed and Afraid” class that do believe in Jesus, in that they know that Jesus died on the Cross for all their sins and rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures.

So, what’s the problem, then? How does this get remedied?

The Gift of Righteousness

I can attest that I believed on Christ Jesus when I was 13 years old – June 11, 1994. Yes, indeed, I can point to a day and a time when I said “I believe in Jesus,. I believed that He died for my sins.)

It wasn’t until at least 20 years later that I understood the fullness of what it means to “be saved.”

Salvation is about righteousness, it’s about being established in Jesus’ own righteousness. Indeed, there can be no eternal life until we understand that all our sins are eternally forgiven—sins past, present, and future.

The Apostle Peter preached to Cornelius and his household:
“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him … To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:34, 43)

Remission, the sending away of all sins—that is Gospel.

And there’s more! Paul the Apostle clearly articulated the Gospel message thus.
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39)

Forgiveness of sins, justification from all things – there you have it. And how? Through Jesus!

“He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:11)

Now what does righteousness have to do with dismissing shame and fear?

After Isaiah 53, the prophecy of our suffering Messiah, we find the glorious Blessings outlined in Isaiah 54, in seventeen stirring, remarkable verses!

Here are a few:

“4Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.” (Isaiah 54:4)

Why “fear not”? The prophet declares:

“In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.” (Isaiah 54:14)

Whose righteousness, though? Our own? Not at all!

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17)

It’s HIS Righteousness, God’s own righteousness that secures every blessing.

Does this sound farfetched? Even heretical?

Rear your Bible:

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Because of Jesus, we are not just righteous, we are made the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We are invited, exhorted to receive—and keep receiving—this gift of righteousness and the abundance of grace, of unmerited favor from Him (Romans 5:17). God our Father looks at us, and He sees His own Son, because we are in Him!

“Herein is our love made perfect [lit. love perfected among us], that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)

When we are established in His righteousness, we have nothing to fear, since His covenant of protection watches over us (Hebrews 8:10-12). And let’s face it, people are fearful because they feel condemned, they are wary of any wrongdoing attached to them, whether rightly or not.

Consider Isaiah 54:4 once again:

“Fear not”

Why fear not?

1.       thou shalt not be ashamed:
2.       neither be thou confounded;
3.       thou shalt not be put to shame:
4.       thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth;
5.       [thou] shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.”

All the shame, all the reproach is taken away from us forever, because of Jesus! We need to preach fully that all our sins are forgiven, that any and all shame is removed forever from us.

Even when we sin, fall, fail, screw up—His righteousness is never taken away from us. It’s an eternal gift which we receive and keep receiving.

Why are Christians ashamed? Why are they afraid? They don’t know their righteous standing before God in Christ. We have been made the righteousness of God in Him—but many Christians just don’t know it—yet. Let’s change that! Once we know the grand and glorious gifts, the standing, the grace we have in Christ, we can then say with Paul:

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)

When we are established in His righteousness, Christians will no longer live in fear and shame, the way that our loving Father intended us to live!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

God is Actively Loving Us, So Stop Fighting Him!

This is one of the hardest revelations for me.

We are so busy trying to work for God, we are so busying trying to love God.

And yet ... what can we offer Him?

What do we really have of ourselves?

We are so busy trying to serve Him (like the elder son in the Luke 15 parable of the Loving Father), that we frustrate His grace!

Do we really think we can offer anything to anyone if we are trying to do, when we don't realize that Jesus has done everything, and that he wants His life to flow in us?

Let's take another look at the three parables in Luke 15.

The parable of the Good Shepherd:

"And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." (Luke 15:3-7)

WOW! This is something else.

Most shepherds would let the one sheep go, just as long as they have the other 99 sheep secured.

But Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is not like that. He does not want one to be lost. Besides. He is such a good shepherd, that even the 99 held back are in good hands and perfect security! That's what a great shepherd He is!

But He doesn't just find us -- He throws a big party for us. And it was our own fault that we got lost!

Think about David's admission!

" Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." (Psalm 23:4-5)

Notice that the fourth verse begins with "Yea, though I walk through the valley ..." It was our fault. We went into that dark place, but He is with us. In fact, in those dark times, especially when they are our own fault, we look to Him and call upon Him directly.

Then, notice that party that He throws for us!

"Thou preparest a table before me ..."

Not only that, but those who had oppressed us .. they have to watch us celebrate, too!

"In the presence of mine enemies." 


In the midst of this, we have to ask ourselves: "How did the sheep repent",since Jesus there is such joy over one sins who repents.

The sheep repented when he consented .. to be carried. The shepherd picked him up and restored him before all the other sheep. That is repentance, that you let the Loving Shepherd love you.

Think about the Parable of the Diligent Woman:

"Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." (Luke 15:8-10)

What did the coin do to be considered  a "repenting coin"?

The coin was picked up, and the coin rested and allowed the woman to rejoice!

Will you just let Him love you and rejoice over you?

And how about the Parable of the Loving Father? (Luke 15: 11-32)

This Father was searching for his son, even after he had demanded his inheritance, basically telling the father to drop dead.

The prodigal had wasted--threw it away!--his inheritance on empty pursuits and wild living. He had been reduced to feeding pigs--PIGS! That's as low as it gets for a Jewish audience.

He stunk, he was poor, he had nothing, and in spite of all of this, this prodigal went back to his father to take advantage of his kindness. Any law-abiding Jew would have dragged such a dishonorable son before the high priest and have him stoned (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

But this son knew the heart of his father -- and this father lavished all the more love on his son! The son was restored fully. The son received a great inheritance. The father threw a big party for his son, too!

(For the record, those people who despise grace or fear that it will corrupt people -- does anyone really think that the son would go back to the pigs? Go back to the pits?! NOT ME!)

True repentance is not just coming to Him, not just coming home, but letting the Lord lavish His love on you!

SO STOP FIGHTING HIM! Even the prodigal knew enough to let his father love him. He could not get through his rehearsed speech!

Stop begging, bartering, fighting with your Daddy God. Let Him Love You!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

People Think Sin is Better Than Jesus: What Is Their Problem?

More and more every day, it's making more sense to me.

The goodness of God really does indeed lead us to repentence (Romans 2:4).

Where do people get this idea from, that sin is better? That sinning is better?

Where do people get this nutty, foolish idea that perversions on every level is better than the good that God gives us?

"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." (Psalm 16:11)

We have so many people, who preach that we must lay down the law on everyone. If we don't make people afraid of God, then they won't come to Him.

They forget that He is actually coming to us, seeking us out! The three parables in Luke 15 outline how much He rejoices when He finds us! It's not us finding Him! He was not lost -- we were.

Think also about how God's unmerited favor teaches us about godliness! (Titus 2:11-14).

Jesus loves me--this I know--and this love transforms me!


Sin sucks. Sin is boring. Being in bondage to fleshly lusts is not fun, but rather it is quite painful.

If people do not find something better, they will settle for what they have.

Where can one find anything better than what Jesus is, and what He is doing for us?

"67Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:67-69)

Where else can we find life? Where else is the life better? Nothing better than JESUS!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Let Him Love You

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37)

Jesus so longed to care for His people Israel, and yet they refused His love.

Even today, sadly, Christians still think that God is someone whom they must serve, especially if they want to be loved, to be cared for.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Jesus, the great King who came down to minister to us all, announced Himself:

"For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)

Notice that Jesus came to minister.

We in turn minister to others--when we allow Him to serve us:

"We love because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19, NIV)

We need to repent of this mindset, that we must do something for God to love us.

That is crazy!

Paul wrote:

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

We were sinners, and yet God loved us enough to send His Son for us!

We didn't love God, we didn't care about God, and yet He loved us.

John the Beloved writes:

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:10)

Love begins with God, and it was manifested to us in that He Sent His Beloved Son to die for us -- and that through Jesus we would live! (1 John 4:9)

Consider further what we see in the Luke 15 parables.

The sheep repented, in that he consented to be carried,

The coin repented, in that it consented to be found.

The son repented, passing from death to life, in that he consented to be loved.

That's all you need to know!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Jesus is Savior Every Day, Not Just the Day You First Believed

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:20-21)

Jesus did not just save from death, hell, and the grave.

Jesus is in the saving business all the time!

He remains our Savior, every day!

This revelation is lost on so many people. They know that Jesus saved them from eternal damnation, but then they think that they are on their own in this life going forward.

It is all too common to hear Christians say "I know that I am going to heaven when I die. But it's getting through the day to day that terrifies me."

Huh? That makes absolutely no sense!

Paul the Apostle wrote very clearly: "I live because of Jesus!"

John the Beloved records Jesus' comforting words to His disciples before He died on the Cross:

"Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also." (John 14:19)

Because He lives, we live!

How can we live if we think that this life is all on us, all dependent on us?

Did Jesus not promise us eternal life?

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

It's everlasting life! It's a life that cannot be taken away!

Consider the powerful comfort which Paul the Apostle wrote to the Romans:

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

Nothing can separate us from our loving Father, because we have the spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15), the spirit of Sonship, as we have Christ in us (Colossians 1:27), and God now sees us oin His Son!

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

Jesus, the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) is Savior. That's His Name!

Let Him be Your Savior today, not just on the first day that you first believed on Him!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

His Love Is Active, Unending Even When We Are Struggling

I was thinking about this in church last night -- this revelation came to me while I was worshipping my Father and His Beloved Son, reflecting on the good, the great, the best that He has been doing for me for the last ten years.

(This just goes to show that there is so much that we learn, that we receive when we go to church, so don't neglect to go!)

For years, I lived with a sense of intense frustration. I believed for the longest time that I had to free my mind, my thoughts, my emotions from fear, anger resentment, etc, so that God could work in me, so that He could guide me, lead me, communicate with me, etc.

A sense of dark, unremitting frustration clouded my life.

I kept trying to get out of a sense of fear, outrage, frustration. I used to think that God's blessings, God's favor in my life depended on how I was feeling, whether I was angry, afraid, fearful, whatever else.

I was still struggling with this for years afterwards. It's unreal the kind of crap I had put myself through.

I didn't understand how sinful the sin in our flesh remains. We can't get out of it just by wishing it away. And we don't have to.

God is still loving us, He is actively working in and through us regardless of how we feel. We may still lose our temper, we may still feel feelings of fear, regret, hate, upset.

But He still loves us!

"38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

I never realized how intimate, how available Christ Jesus us in every aspect of life.

I used to think that I had to set up my mind a certain way so that I knew that He could work in, through, and with me.


I would get so wound up and frustrated when trying to teach a class. I would have bad or unhealthful sentiments, and I just struggled within and without to break free of these perversities. It made teaching hard classes even harder. What an internal war I was going through within my flesh.

Now I realize how much my Daddy God has been loving me, since the beginning!

I feel so much comfort, so much rest to know that He has been working behind the scenes on my behalf, and I am oh, so happy!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

1 John 1:9 is Not for Believers: More Proof

"I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake." (1 John 2:12)

John the Beloved could not have made it clearer. 

"I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven."

And yet there are many Christians who believe that they must confess their sins in order to be forgiven because of 1 John 1:9--

"9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

Many people have read this, and they believe that they must confess to be forgiven.

And yet, the Hebrew concept of sin never settled for the individual acts of sin.

The Hebrew mindset, and thus the Biblical mindset, recognized that sin is much deeper than what we do.

It's all about who we are in Adam, the federal head of the human race, by whom sin entered the world:

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;" (Romans 5:12)

But then:

"15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." (Romans 5:15)

Furthermore, confession of sins in the Old and New Testament is "I am a sinner", not just "I did this sin. I did that sin. etc."

Consider David the Great King:

"2Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin." (Psalm 51:2)

and then

"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalm 51:5)

Sin is about more than what people do -- it's about our status in Adam; it's about who we were, dead in trespasses.

Consider this account in the Gospels:

"And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins." (Matthew 3:6)

And also:

"People went out to him from all of Jerusalem and the countryside of Judea. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River." (Mark 1:5)

All these individuals who confessed their sins were later baptized in water. The idea that every person meeting with John the Baptist had confessed ALL their sins is just unthinkable. That is not what happened. They all would have been standing there the whole time, and NO ONE would have been baptized.

Besides, many believers were Baptized in the Holy Spirit, and not by confessing their sins, but believing that their sins were forgiven:

"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." (Acts 10:44)

1 John 1:9 is for non-believers, for those who need to be invited to join us in Christ:

"3That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3)

John is writing to those who do not believe, so that their sins may be forgiven.

If one looks at the second chapter, John begins:

"1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:1-2)

Notice that the chapter addresses "my dear children." He is addressing believers.

Notice also that he does not tell the dear children to confess their sins. He reminds them that they have an advocate with the Father in Christ Jesus.

Moreover, John writes to them as a whole "I write to you because your sins have been forgiven."

It does not qualify that only the sins that you had committed in the past have been forgiven.

We have forgiveness of sins -- all sins, every sin!

They are all forgiven. Therefore, there is no need for confession in order to be forgiven!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Jesus Our Big Brother

"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (Proverbs 18:24)

For a long time, I saw seeking God's help as just "Something that I would" as a matter of form, but then it was up to me to take care of everything.

That's not true at all.

God is very much active in our lives. He wants to work in us, through us, and definitely around us and among our situations.

He is alive, active in our times, in our places.

I really did not believe that. For a long time, I still saw Jesus, my Daddy God, as figments of my imagination, or as comfort measures to make me "Feel better", and nothing more.

He's alive, though, and well-aware of what we are going through. He doesn't look away from our troubles, but implores us to come to Him!

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

We have this boldness because of His righteousness!

First, the righteous are as bold as lion. (Proverbs 28:1)

We have been established in His righteousness (Isaiah 54:14)

In fact, because of Jesus' Finished Work, we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Paul later writes:

"9For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious." (2 Corinthians 3:9-11)

The ministry of righteousness provides greater glory than the ministry of condemnation (the Old Covenant, the Law of Moses). This glory gives us greater boldness:

"Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:" (2 Corinthians 3:12)

Plainness is the same word for boldness, parrhesia.

God's gift of righteousness gives us full confidence, full boldness to come to Him, to know that all our sins are paid for, that if we come to Him, we know that He hears us!

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us" (1 John 5:14)

Jesus is closer than a brother, and sticks with us when times are tough, when we have no answers, or despair of the outcomes.

He is at work, and He wants to work for me:

"But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." (John 5:17)

Monday, May 6, 2019

“True Love Is” Helping People Come Out, Come Home

In the United States, there is growing awareness within churches as well as in the general public that homosexuality, transgenderism, and related paraphilias must be confronted fully. All the talk about seeking “religious liberty” as a point of compromise is not working. But in the church, there are few real ministries to help individuals, especially Christians, who struggle with same-sex desires. It’s scary enough to be honest with oneself about sexual feelings, intimacy, and identity. How does one “come out” to others, in the hopes of getting not just support, but truth to be set free?

Many churches seem to vacillate among extremes: condemn the behavior; compromise by allowing individuals to identify as “gay”, but instruct the to refrain from same-sex sexual contact; celebrate the entire corrupt LGBT rainbow and highlight such behaviors as normal, even exceptional.
Churches in America are not focusing on what causes these unwanted desires, either. In too many cases, there is no guidance from pastors and parishioners in properly dealing with this contentious issue. The implications of this lack are great, since church attendance is in sharp decline, much of it due to a falling away from the truth on core issues, including marriage and sexuality. Worse yet, compromise and condemnation are both culprits in this matter. What is to be done?

One key ministry which deals effectively with these problems came from Life Site News. They reported the incredibly moving and very personal confession of a young Christian and motivational speaker, Jason Lim, aka Jason Yolt. He travels the world testifying to thousands, telling people that they can—they should strive to—live their lives to the fullest. After all, If You Only Live Twice is the title of his best-selling book.

His spirit to engage others sprang out of his near-death experience while traveling in Cambodia five years ago. That near-tragedy forced him to confront his secret shame, too, which he admits openly: “I like … men.” This was a long-lasting struggle, his same-sex desires, compounded by what possible outcomes would result from coming out to his parents. Thankfully, Jason’s parents responded in a gracious manner. Jason relates: “When I came out to [my parents], they told me that even though they don’t approve of it [acting on my same-sex desires], they loved me because I was their son.”
That is the Gospel response: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” In the Body of Christ, one should say “Love the saint, hate the sin.” All our sins have been forgiven, and the sin in the flesh has been condemned. Christians still sin, but we break free when we understand that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1-3).

This is the blessings of the Gospel which transforms Christians from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18) Sadly, Paul’s revelation, including his exhortation to the Corinthian Church has not settled in the hearts of many believers:

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

We were sinners. Because of Jesus, we become saints, a new identity which causes us to abstain from sin and live godly livesHowever, even though we as Christians will still fail, but we remain Christians still. God’s love make us sons, but a lack of revelation will lead us to lusting. John the Beloved writes:

“If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16)

If we do not allow “The Love of the Father” into ourselves, we will continue to settle for conditional lusts. From his parents Jason Yolt received unconditional love, a love which included not condoning same-sex behaviors. This love helped him break free. This message is the heart of the Gospel.
Jason’s testimony is not an isolated victory, but is connected to a larger ministry“True Love Is”, which focuses on God’s true love, which helps to break free from same-sex desires. This ministry is accomplishing what same churches in the United States have failed to do: preaching God’s love without permitting sin.

The Gospel is about God’s grace, about God’s undeserved love, favor in our lives. We were still sinners, lost in our fallen state when God the Father sent His Son to die for us (Romans 5:8). Yet for too many Christians, they believe that following our first step into salvation, we are on our own to live upright lives in order to remain accepted by our loving Father. But David writes: “Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” (Psalm 32:2) The main point is that the Lord does not impute sin, even when man sins; otherwise, there would be no reason to call anyone “blessed.”

There is no better example of God’s transformative, true love than the Parable of the Loving Father (Luke 15: 11-24). His prodigal son squandered everything, shortly after telling his father basically to drop dead by requesting his inheritance right away. When the destitute prodigal returns home, His father lavishes so much love on him, re-establishing his son’s status, which helps him break away from that old life. God’s unconditional love helps people break free of conditional pleasures, including sexual perversion. The “True Love Is” Movement rejects homosexuality and transgenderism as innate identities, but enhances our true selves as children of our Loving Father.
To help those caught in LGBT bondage, it’s time to announce: Come out, so that you can come home to God’s unconditional love, for that is where True Love Is!

The Cure for Addictions: The Father's Love for Us

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine." (Songs 1:2)

What is it that people are seeking, what are they craving when they drown their pain, their sorrows, their hurts in addictions?

Whether it is sex, drugs, alcohol, music, pursuits for praise and admiration, or demand for knowledge and power, it's all about trying to get something else:


But what is the love that satisfies? The love that meets every need?

Consider what John the Beloved wrote to his fellow believers:

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15)

The love of the Father --- that all-encompassing, unconditional love is essential to every one of us. It is amazing, shocking how so few of us understand this, even in the Body of Christ.

All other kinds of love are not good enough:

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (1 John 2:16-17)

What the world offers -- is not good enough. It does not last. It does not satisfy. It does not fulfill.

The love of Father--that satisfies, He fulfills us!

Paul prayed as much and more to the Ephesian church:

"That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 3:16-19)

Conside then, what the beloved says to her Lover: "Your love is better than wine."

Whatever thing in this world you are attached, addicted to, know that His love is better, and keep receiving His love no matter what!

How do we break free of additions? We need to know the love of the Father, and we need to allow the Love of the Father into our lives! The more that we know how much He loves us, how much He has done--and is committed to continue doing--for us, the more that we are set free!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

When Life Is Not Fair, Depend on God's Favor, Not Man's Fervor

"But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon ... Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him." (Genesis 40: 14-15, 23)

Joseph, the beloved, favored son of Jacob, whom God ordained to save many lives as the second-in-command with Pharoah later on in life, had endured untold privations in life.

1. His brothers betrayed him, selling him into slavery.

2. As the prized servant in Potiphar's house, his lecherous wife lied about him, claiming that he had attempted to rape her, when it was actually the other way around. Joseph ended up in prison, when he could have been executed -- most likely that did not happen, since Potiphar likely knew that his wife was lying.

3. There in a prison, Joseph helped not one but two prisoners to interpret their dreams, and yet for all that, the restored butler forgot about Joseph.

I read this interesting commentary about the above passage:

From Barnes' Notes on the Bible:

"I have not done aught." Joseph pleads innocence, and claims liberation, not as an unmerited favor, but as a right. "The pit." The pit without water seems to have been the primitive place of confinement for culprits.

Joseph wanted to claim by right his innocence and rely on his own pleading to get out of jail. "This is wrong. This is not fair! I should not be here!"

Yet at this point, God did not manuever to get Joseph out of the prison ... yet.

As beloved children of our father, we are called, invited, exhorted to grow in grace, in His "unmerited favor." Even when things are not fair, we need to keep depending on God's grace, not man's favor or fervor, including our own. We will find favor in the eyes of men because of God, not because of our efforts. It's as simple as that.

Following this even, we witness one more aspect of Joseph's training, growing in grace!

Indeed, the butler may have inadvertently forgotten Joseph and his plight, but we've read the book, and we know that God needed the time to elapse so that Joseph would be perfectly positioned.

Notice also that Joseph learned even more to depend on God's favor, enough that when he stood before Pharoah, he never pleaded his case or his cause, but simply interpreted the dream, and then said:

"Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years." (Genesis 41:33-34)

Joseph did not say "Pick me! Pick me!" He had gotten to the place of understanding how great is God's plan for all of us, and it's not just for ourselves!

Of course, Pharoah followed God's promptings, even if he did not believe in Him:

"And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou." (Genesis 41:38-40)

Notice that this heathen ruler could not help but see "Can we find such a one as this -- a man in whom the Spirit of God is?" Joseph's natural privations allowed for supernatural glory, that even the unbelieving ... would believe on Him!

We don't need man's fervor. Let's trust in God's favor, let's rest in the truth that He is very much working behind the scenes in our lives, even when we are victims of injustice, when we see our attempts fail to help ourselves out.

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity." (2 Peter 3:18)

Saturday, May 4, 2019

You and I Start at the FINISHED Line

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:" (Ephesians 1:3)

Notice that we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings. "Spiritual" speaks of the source of the blessings, not the nature of the blessings.

We start with everything taken care of in our lives.


Because Jesus finished the work at the Cross:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:3-6)

Notice that all things happened because of Christ Jesus.

He declared "It is Finished!" at the Cross (John 19:30).

We start our lives not just at the Finish Line, since we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37).

We start our new lives in Christ at the FINISHED Line!