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June 2019

fathersdayHappy Father’s Day! I thank God for my father, who is now in heaven waiting for me. But many of you didn’t know an earthly father, causing you to have doubt in a heavenly Father. Regardless, God loves you and wants you to come home. Jesus said,

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.” 1

Struggling in Unbelief…

I’ve been in touch with Jamie from Oregon, who is looking for answers.

“I’ve read and seen that you’ve become a Christian. I’ve struggled with religion or Christianity and started questioning everything after I ended up doing three years in juvenile prison for something I had no part in. The only answer I’ve ever gotten was that I just had to have faith. I want to have faith, but it’s just really hard. People tell me that the things that are worth it are never easy.

“I grew up in Texas and Oklahoma, so I was wondering if you would mind sharing with me what helped you to believe and become a minister. I feel I can relate to you in a way. I’ve studied some religion, but have always had questions that haven’t been answered. I’ve even been pushed away over it, being kicked out of church. I think you could help me understand things from a different perspective.

I had a pretty messed up childhood. When I was fourteen, I was arrested and charged with murder along with my mom and her boyfriend at the time. We were all convicted, and I was lucky enough to get recertified as a juvenile and go through the juvenile system as I referred to earlier. I got out when I was eighteen, and I’ve always questioned how and why that would be part of God’s plan. I hope you can give me some insight. I love your website. Your friend, Jamie, OR.

Struggling with Faith…

On June 1, 1975, I was water baptized after receiving Christ ten days earlier by being born again. Finally, after years of struggling at twenty-nine years old, I stepped out in faith, being drawn by the Holy Spirit to commit my life to Jesus. I will always remember that day forty-four years ago when the Lord changed my life.

It’s only normal for Jamie to question having faith, after going through such a traumatic childhood. But soon, she’ll be testifying like myself of all the events surrounding her salvation. I can hear her now, “For years, I struggled with faith, questioning everything, but suddenly the Holy Spirit revealed God’s love, grace and plan for my live. I asked Him into my heart, trusting and receiving His precious blood and resurrected life. My life has never been the same!”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” 2

For me, I can identify with the children of Israel, who struggled with humility for years in the wilderness. Moses wrote, “Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell. Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good.” 3

Like the children of Israel, my pride, rebellion and disobedience kept me from God’s best, but through correction, He revealed His goodness, humbling me to His word. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 4

Struggling with God’s Love…

Jamie isn’t alone in her struggles. God is teaching, correcting and preparing us for a good work, especially those who haven’t known the love of an earthly father. You may be questioning, “How could anyone love me, especially God?”

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.” 5

My heart cries out for everyone to receive Jesus as their personal Savior! Heaven is a free gift, which isn’t earned or deserved. We’re all born sinners and can’t save ourselves. God is just, and He must punish sin, but in Christ, He placed all punishment upon Himself. “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them… 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.” 6 Won’t you receive Jesus today?

A Prayer for You…

Jesus, thank You for forgiving my sins and saving me from eternal separation from God. By faith, I accept Your work and death on the cross as sufficient payment for my sins. I accept Your complete victory over sin and death – making me holy and acceptable in God’s sight. Thank You for providing the way for me to have a personal relationship with my heavenly Father and eternal life. Thank You for hearing my prayer and sending Your Holy Spirit to heal me in areas where I have been wounded and my emotions have been damaged. Thank You for giving me strength and wisdom to walk in the center of Your will now and forevermore. In Your holy and precious name I pray, Lord Jesus, Amen.

Scripture References (NLT):

1) Jn. 14:1,2a
2) Jn. 3:3
3) Deut. 8:2-5
4) 2 Tim. 3:16-17
5) Rom. 5:8-9
6) 2 Cor. 5:19a,21