December 2013

Merry Christmas! May this be your best Christmas ever. It will be my 45th one in prison but I’m praising God with the host of heaven, shouting, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” 1

What Pleases God?

Many of us have lived our lives being a man pleaser. I know I was one. This is the way I received my acceptance and identity, but it was never enough to satisfy my deepest need.

So naturally, when I asked Christ into my heart, I tried hard to please God with good works. But I found out that I could never do enough to please God religiously, no matter how much I prayed, read His word or went to church.

Finally, the LORD showed me that only Jesus, His Son, could please God for us through His sacrifice on the cross for our sin. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.2

Faith Pleases God…

We make it so complicated, but it really is simple to please God. We try hard, but the LORD wants us to simply trust in His finished works at the cross.

Jesus made it possible for us to please God. According to Scripture, we can only please God by faith in Christ.

…without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.3

When we trust and rely on God’s provision for salvation, He rewards us with the gift of righteousness, true forgiveness, peace, love and acceptance, security, identity in Christ, and so much more. Jesus put it this way.

"…seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.4

Faith In Gods Love…

Lacking the love of an earthly father often causes us to doubt God’s love. This wasn’t the case with me, but I grew up not knowing the love of God. I went to church from birth to adulthood, and I sung loudly, “Jesus loves me this I know”, but I’ve found that it takes the anointing of the Holy Spirit to know and believe God’s love. 5

We all need a supernatural revelation of God’s love, which is the antidote for all sickness whether spiritually, mentally, emotionally or physically. That is, God’s love counteracts all the effects of sin, as the remedy or cure. Listen to the apostle John, declaring;

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 sin.6

There is absolutely nothing you can do to make God love you more than He already does. However, you can ask the Lord to increase your faith in His love. Simply say, “Lord increase my faith in Your love for me.”7

Consent to be loved…

It’s easy to question God’s love for us, but He has promised through His Son’s sacrifice to love you unconditionally throughout all eternity. Unlike an earthly father who might promise one thing and do another, God has blessed, loved and accepted you as His child and will never reverse His divine flow of love towards you.

God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” 8

It’s time for you to consent to be loved. Have a change of mind, and give God permission to love you. Say: “God, my Heavenly Father, I give you permission to love me with Your unchanging love.”

Long ago the LORD said to Israel; ‘I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.’”9

Today, the Lord is drawing you to Himself because Jesus said, “And when I am lifted up from earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” 10 He was lifted upon the cross for your sin so you could be drawn to His loving side. You be loved!

A Prayer for you…

Heavenly Father, I pray that from Your glorious, unlimited resources You will empower me with inner strength through Your Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in my heart as I trust him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep me strong. And may I have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May I experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then I will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God’s love. Thank you, in Jesus Name, Amen. 11

Scripture References (NLT):

1 Luke 2:13,14
2 2 Cor. 5:21
3 Heb. 11:6 NKJ
4 Matt. 6:33 NKJ
5 1 John 2:20, 27; 4:7-19
6 1 John 4:9,10
7 Luke 17:5
8 Num. 23:19
9 Jer 31:3
10 John 12:32
11 Eph 3:16-19

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