Welcome! "May God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. All praise to God, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ."
Are You Happy?
I receive letters from those who have worked hard all their lives, and when asked if they are happy, they reluctantly say "no." They seem to think that I am happier in prison. They say, "You are freer than many I know outside." They are speaking of those bound in sin with emotional pain, living defeated lives.
For me, happiness doesn't come from the location we live, what we do, or from our possessions. These things do not define who we are. True happiness is a gift from God. It is birthed in our hearts when we receive forgiveness for sin and the gift of righteousness through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Forgiveness brings happiness...
Many of us have failed miserably. I took lives which cannot be replaced, and I hurt many others. So what can we do about guilt? King David was guilty of serious sin -- adultery, deceit, and murder -- yet he acknowledged his guilt, confessed his sins to God, experienced God's forgiveness, and he found joy.
Welcome to abounding love, which is an outreach from prison, where I teach a weekly class. Recently, I've been led to open the class with 2 Chronicles 16:9, which states:
"The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."
When you read the above verse in context (vs. 7-10), you'll see that the prophet Hanani rebuked King Asa of Judah for depending on Syria's army, instead of trusting in God, as the King had done in earlier battles. No matter what battle you are going through today, you must learn that the eyes of the LORD are upon you for deliverance from your dependencies.
There are an array of programs and people to help us deal with our problems, but none of these are sufficient without God's help. We must put our trust in God. Many people in recovery don't want to hear about God. King Asa threw Hanani in prison, and put him in stocks. Either we humbly acknowledge our failures when someone points out a problem, or we become angry. If we do the latter, our efforts in recovery will ultimately fail.
It is such a privilege to share this month's view with so many around the world. "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers."1
Bitter, Foolish, and Ignorant...
Like myself, you may recall a time when you were bitter, foolish, and ignorant. When we are bitter inside, we do many foolish and ignorant things. Listen to the Psalmist sing unto the Lord:
"Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside.
I was so foolish and ignorant --
I must have seemed like a senseless
animal to You.
What a joy to share another monthly view with you whom God loves. One of my favorite verses is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
My life began to change in 1975, when I overheard a visitor quote John 3:16 to another prisoner. I believe this word from God will change your life, too. Here is what the Lord showed to me:
Word of God: “God so loved the world…”
Blood of Jesus: “…that He gave His Son…”
Faith in the Blood: “…that whosoever believes in Him [Jesus]…”
Everlasting Life: “…should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Holy Spirit reveals God’s love, sparks faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus, and He gives us everlasting life.
“God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 
Word of God…
The bible is God’s love story, “…God so loved the world…” He loves you with an everlasting love. This is real love, unlike the love of the world that many of us were chasing for too long.
Our purpose at aboundinglove.org is to proclaim God’s love and forgiveness to the world.
“He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1
“And I will forgive their wickedness and I will never again remember their sin.” 2
Getting Off Life’s Treadmill…
We are loved and forgiven by God, declared righteous in God’s eyes by virtue of belonging to Christ. That is, if you are a believer in the finished work of Christ.
Faith in Christ takes us off the performance treadmill, relieving us of the need to measure up to the standards of God and others. Some of you have spent your life trying to measure up. You may hear the guilt of failing to fulfill the unrealistic ideals of your parents, teachers or bosses. The resulting anger and pain from the hurt and frustration may be driving you insane or left you addicted to drugs, sex, food or other vices.
But God accepts you just the way you are. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect. He knows you can’t do it alone. For this reason, He provides the grace or ability and direction we need to build a new life.
Welcome! This month’s view takes a look at a deceptive teaching which promotes forgiving ourselves, which has crept into the church from secular counseling. Christians say they believe God has forgiven them, yet they struggle with forgiving themselves. This has become their main focus and creates a problem in Biblical counseling.
Forgiving myself has always been an impossibility for me. Those looking for answers often ask me how I forgive myself after committing such a horrible crime. In my pride, I would like to say, “I have forgiven myself,” but that would be a lie. This is a part of my “good fight of faith.” 1
The truth is that our sin is greater than our ability to forgive. Only faith in God’s grace and forgiveness, provided 2,000 years ago at the cross, is sufficient. Our forgiveness is never enough to provide the peace we seek.
God knew that we would never be able to forgive ourselves in our struggle with guilt and shame. This is the reason He provided forgiveness through “…the Lamb [Jesus Christ] slain from the foundation of the world.” 2 He knew for us to experience forgiveness, that He would have to provide a sacrifice in our place for sin. Because of God’s mercy, Jesus Christ took upon Himself the penalty for our sin, so that we could be forgiven and God’s justice satisfied. “For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” 3
Happy New Year! Oh how I pray that each of us will surrender to God’s grace throughout the year to receive the blessing that flows from His throne to our hearts. Being made right in God’s sight through Christ, we have peace with Him! Why?
“Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” 1
A Precious Praise Response…
What a blessing it was to receive this letter from Jillian in New York, who wrote,”
Happy Thanksgiving! Do you want to be happy this Thanksgiving while celebrating with family and friends? If so, start thanking God for your Salvation in Christ, specifically for your victory through faith over everything that causes stress and anxiety.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1
A Response from Montana…
My heart goes out to Christopher, who sent me a JOY Christmas card, expressing his battle in life, writing:
Welcome! It’s amazing to hear from so many being blessed from around the world. Most are rejoicing because of the testimony, but many are hurt by others and by their own making. The Epistle of James says:
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you… Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” 1
A New York Response…
You may be able to identify with Logan, who wrote from the state of New York, saying,
Happy Independence Day! I pray that you are experiencing the freedom found through faith in Jesus Christ over mental, emotional and physical distress upon your life. That you are walking in righteousness, peace, joy and health, because of your daily focus on God’s love and grace. The apostle Paul wrote:
“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you.” 1
It’s amazing how those from around the world contact this ministry, such as Blagica from Macedonia, who wrote: