December 2016

snow forestMerry Christmas! My prayer is that you will have renewed hope this Christmas, no matter what situation, hope personally, for family, career and for our country. Ultimately, our hope is in God’s plan and purpose for each of us. If I can have hope in prison, you can have hope too!

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.” 1

 

Christmas Hope…

What a blessing it is to hear from someone who has been blessed by the testimony, such as Kaitlin’s letter.

“I recently came across you aboundinglove.org site in hopes of finding a new and happy path for my life. I have been surrounded by religion my whole life. But I have gone back and forth trying to find the true meaning and purpose behind it all.

I guess I should tell you a little about myself before going into questions and my back story. I am 18 about to turn 19. My father passed away when I was 10, and it made me lose sight on religion, and its purpose. It got me to the point of questioning the meaning of religion and why things happen.

I came across the site by random. I frequently search religious sites, but your site was speaking to me. If you don’t mind, could you tell me how you got to the point of accepting Jesus into your heart? Because I am willing now with your help and guidance to get to that point also in my life.

I just really wand reassurance and guidance and even happiness in my lie that will lead me down a good and pure path. And I really with every part of me believe this is what my focus in life was meant for. I hope you are having an amazing and wonderful day. Kaitlin, S.C.”

In response to Kaitlin, I suggested she contact the local Calvary Chapel congregation. This way she’ll receive hands-on guidance in receiving Christ and discipleship. I hope to hear of her growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 2

Christmas Peace…

For many, Christmas promises time off from work and school to spend with family and friends, football games, food and drinks. Also for Christians, we celebrate the birth of our Savior and King, as recorded in Luke chapter 2, verse 11. The angels said to the shepherds,

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

This promise still rings true today. These three titles [Savior, Christ and Lord] together summarize the saving work of Jesus. He is our Savior, ready to protect, heal, preserve, rescue, make whole, liberate and deliver you from any situation. And if you are not saved, He is Christ, the “Anointed One”, ready to anoint you through faith in God’s grace for ministry. Jesus is Lord, sitting on the throne, ruling with the Father, and we reign with them. 3 His name is above every name. 4

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 5

For several years, I tried to escape my restlessness and lack of peace through the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and other equally inadequate means to find the rest only our Creator can give. Have you considered that God alone is your source for ultimate enjoyment, contentment and fulfillment of your destiny in life? We were created with the purpose “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

Christmas Joy…

The secret to living a joyful life is resting in God’s redemption through Jesus Christ. His blood paid the penalty for our sin at the cross, making us right with God. As a result, we’re able to experience righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” 6

It’s difficult to experience true joy with family and friends during Christmas without focusing on Jesus, and His finished work at Calvary. If this idea is foreign to you, maybe you need to consider receiving Christ’s payment for sin and be born again of the Spirit, so His peace and joy can flood your heart with His love. Your life will never be the same.

I share often how His love came into my heart back in 1975, baptizing me in the Spirit. For the past 40+ years, I’ve experienced God’s love, forgiveness and freedom from past failures, knowing that God’s “…perfect love expels all fear”, 6 which is why I share His love with you. As you experience His love, you’ll be on your way to a fear-free life.

Christmas Love…

Our goal is to be anchored in God’s love. Remember, our spirit is made perfect in love when we are born again, but our soul [mind, will and emotions] is always growing to really know and believe more perfectly that God loves us, especially you!

“All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” 7

As our thoughts line up with God’s love story in the Holy Bible, His divine love flows forth from our hearts to experience the joy of Jesus as royal priests.

“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.” 8

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sin. 9

A Prayer for You…

Father, I pray that my roots go down deep into the soil of Your marvelous love. Thank You for the power of the Holy Spirit to understand, as all Your people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Your love really is. Holy Spirit, help me to experience the love of Christ, though it is so great I will never fully understand it. Fill me, not only in Spirit, but in my thoughts, my choices and my emotions with the fullness of love, life and power that comes from You. I choose daily to follow Your Son, Jesus, wholeheartedly and to walk in love, pursuing the love-life with all my heart, In Jesus Name, Amen.

Scripture References (NLT):

  1. 2 Thess. 2:16,17
  2. 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18
  3. Rom. 5:17-21
  4. Phil. 2:9-11
  5. Lk. 2:14 NKJV
  6. Rom. 14:16
  7. 1 Jn. 4:15-18
  8. 1 Jn. 4:10
  9. 1 Pet. 4:8

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