Friends,

I have completed my 31 Day Devotional and Bible Study book called, “To Walk With Christ”, and as of today, it is available for purchase. It costs .99 cents and can be downloaded to your computer. When you click on the link below, you can read a description of it. Also, if you click on my illustration there you can read several pages of the content.

May the Lord use it to add to the furtherance of the knowledge of Him and His holy ways.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009Z6DC32

For those who do not have a Kindle Reader, you can download it to your computer by going to this link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=sv_kinh_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

Sincerely,

with love,

Rachel

 

Then Tell God He’s Lied

October 30, 2012

Friends,
If some “Christian” says he just cannot quit sinning, be it sins of adultery, or pornography, or jealousy, or hatred, or fits of rage, or disdain, or insensitivity, or gossip, or gluttony, or neglect of God’s Word or one’s parents, spouse, or children, or any other sin, we should probably give such a person this suggestion: “Why don’t you then look up to God and tell Him that He is a liar?”

Likely the sinning person will gasp and say that he would never do such a thing. However, what he needs to understand is that his life is already communicating to God and to the world that the Most High God –the One who paid sin’s debt by coming to earth to die on a cross… the One who broke sin’s power… the One who extends to us the exceedingly precious gift of His own Spirit to indwell us and give us all we need for life and godliness… the One whose Word repeatedly informs us that He has set us free from sin… is not telling us the truth.

Rom. 6:18 tells us that we have been set free from sin. Rev. 1:5 tells us that Jesus freed us from our sins by His blood. Col. 1:13 tells us that Christ has rescued us from the dominion (authority and control) of the dark kingdom. 1 John 3:4-10 tells us that those who live in Christ and He in them absolutely do not continue to sin.

This “Saved to Sin Safely” false teaching has got to go! It is sending masses to Hell and it is certainly the antithesis of what the Word of God teaches! It is a teaching that calls God a liar and it creates followers whose lives state the same.

So, how about it, you OSAS people? Since you don’t believe you can live free of sin’s control over you, why don’t you just look up to God and tell Him that His Word has lied.

Either that, or quit your sinning.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
Last night we went to a city-wide prayer meeting which was hosted by The Arlington Pastors Network and held in one of UTA’s stadiums. It was a time to corporately worship the Lord, repent of individual and national sin, and to pray that God will relent from the judgement He has obviously pronounced and begun against our wicked nation.

The songs were worshipful. The many prayers –prayers of repentance, of acknowledgement of sin, of honor to God, and for His mercy– led by different city and church leaders were well stated. However, I kept feeling there was something missing.

During our church’s morning service a few hours before, our pastor had given a good message on this same subject as he dissected 2 Chron. 7:14 with excellent commentary. He reminded us that God does want to forgive us and heal our land, but that we must do something to enact that. And of course what we must do is to repent. This verse reveals what that is –that repentance is about humbling ourselves before God, seeking His face (the knowledge of Him and His will and ways), and turning from our wicked ways.

So what did I feel was missing at the city-wide meeting? First of all, people were missing. There were maybe 1,200 people there, but the place probably could seat at least 5,000. So in a large city like Arlington with numerous churches, where were the Christians hanging out last night so as to be kept from showing up to pray for our nation’s dire need?

Well, a football game was going on at the same time. Hmmm… –Can anyone say, “Idolatry”? And it was kind of cold. Hmmm… –Can anyone say, “Complacent”? And to get out of the house was an effort and an inconvenience of course. Hmmm… –Can anyone say, “Self-centered and lazy”?

Foolish, foolish nation we are. We’re not going to be able to indulge in any of those things when we’re crying in distress and fear and misery, enduring God’s judgement because we refused to heed His many merciful warnings.

So, what else was missing at the meeting last night? Well, what do we observe from God’s Word when someone is deeply and genuinely repentant or is in true intercession? We see desperation. We see weeping, sobbing, wailing, grief… This should be present whether we are repenting concerning our own sin and punishment, or whether we are calling out to God on behalf of another. (Amos 6:6 // Luke 18:13 // James 4:7-10 // etc.)

Isa. 22:12 tells us that God calls us to weep, wail, put on sackcloth, and tear out our hair. Joel 1:8-15 tells us to do similar as we call a sacred assembly and vigil at which we are to fast, mourn, wear sackcloth, and cry out to the Lord together in His house. Ps. 51:17 and Isa. 8:13 & 66:2 inform us that God responds favorably to the one whose heart is broken, humble, and contrite, and who trembles at His Word and Presence. Moreover, we know that God promises to relent from bringing disaster if people would, in contrition, turn from their rebellion against Him. (Jer. 18:7-10 & 26:13 // Jonah 3:10)

Therefore, may the church prove its repentance on behalf of our nation. May the “Christians” themselves stop funding porn, stop paying Hollywood for its trashy movies, stop wasting countless hours surfing through internet chatter and perversities, stop spending exorbitant amounts of money on themselves, stop meditating on vindictive and illicit thoughts, and stop ignoring God’s warnings, commands, and Word.

And may each person stop with the grandiose view of themselves and quit behaving as if they’re too dignified to fall on their faces before the Holy God we’ve sinned against. May we humble ourselves enough to weep and sob before His merciful throne and desperately petition Him to spare the people, the souls, even the nation, and to, by His Spirit, help us all turn completely away from our depravity –to Him– so that we may from now on love, uphold, and live out righteousness.

Then God will answer our prayers. Then God will forgive, heal our land, and bring us blessing instead of destruction.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

The Power Of Forgiveness

October 28, 2012

Friends,
A touching and sobering movie came out this year which was released last month on DVD. It’s called “October Baby” and my husband and I just watched it last night. I recommend that everyone see it, for it well portrays the power of forgiveness. Whether a person has greatly wronged others or been greatly wronged, whether he has needed to forgive or be forgiven, this movie certainly gives hope to those who may have never believed they could forgive, or that they could be forgiven –either by God or another. Yet what freedom forgiveness brings! Oh, that we all would experience it. Oh, that we all would receive it, as well as give it out.

Probably my favorite scene was the one where the birth mother received the note, “I forgive you.” She hesitated as if she would once again harden her heart toward dealing with the shame, guilt, anger, and callousness she’d carried for years, but then she didn’t. Instead, she read the three words again, and letting their power soak in, she broke.

Oh, that those so far away from the merciful God –He who is ready to forgive and pardon and wipe the slate clean– would break before Him and fall into His compassionate arms. We’ve all had need of this, and this is why we call Him our Father and Savior.

Here is the best link I could find that partially captures my favorite scene:

Here is a link that shows some featured statements in the movie:

http://pinterest.com/octoberbabyfilm/october-baby-inspiration/

I sure wish there were more movies like this we could watch. –Movies that motivate us to uphold life and goodness and righteousness. And to let forgiveness heal the captives –even us.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
The ability to learn is a wonderful privilege God has given us, and He expects us to utilize this ability so that we might become people who delight Him –delight Him by being useful in furthering His beautiful Kingdom and by growing in purity and love so that we can come in closer and closer to His heart and holy presence. God desires this for whosoever will; but it begins by our willingness and desire to learn, specifically to learn about Him and His teachings.

Prov. 21:11 informs us that if we are wise we will accept instruction and learn from it. But are we seeing this across our land? Certainly not too often. Instead, we see people making a pretense of being instructed in being righteous, honorable, wise, compassionate, discerning, sensitive toward others, self-controlled, etc., yet rarely do they seem to know how to apply, or even remember, the lessons. Not only this, but they seem to regard the instructions as non-applicable to their own lives, but only to be upheld by those they think should uphold them. Then by running around trying to yank specks out of others’ lives, they avoid dealing with the planks in their own. (Matt. 7:7:3-5)

If only people would take to heart the lessons of wisdom they are privileged to receive in a land where it’s available! Some day we may not have such privilege. Or some day the minds of the complacent may have become so cluttered with the world and with defilements, that their ability to learn what is right and good will be withheld from them. Some day, for those who continually “stray from the path of understanding” (Prov. 21:16), their land may become inhabited only by the dead. (Same verse) –Those who are dead spiritually, who have no understanding, and who have lost their ability to gain it. (Rom. 1:21,22 // John 8:43,47)

May each of us make every effort to turn this tide of ignorance, take advantage of the blessed ability to learn, seek out God’s instructions, take the wisdom to heart, put it to practice, and grow in the knowledge of God and His ways. Otherwise even the amount of understanding that may presently exist will be taken away. (Matt. 13:12)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Fear God & Hell

October 26, 2012

Friends,
Making oneself an enemy of the Lord –not a smart thing. For God, the One who is all-loving (1 John 4:16) and completely just (Dt. 32:4) does repay. (v. 43) He does watch, He does hear, and He will judge, punish, and condemn those who, by remaining wicked, worldly, and unrepentant, (Matt. 13:49,50 // James 4:4) show Him contempt. (Rom. 2:4,8 // Heb. 10:26-31) He will banish to Hell those who on earth refused to turn from their sins and submit to Him as King and Ruler. (Ps. 2:1-12 // Luke 13:3)

Hell is most definitely an everlasting condemnation and punishment in a fiery lake of darkness and burning sulfur. (Matt. 25:41.46 // Gal. 1:9 // 2 Thes. 1:9 // Rev. 21:8) It is, as Jesus warned on numerous occasions, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt. 22:13 & 24:51 & 25:30 & etc.) It is a place which has been reserved for all who refused to believe that they needed to be saved from the wrath of God which the whole world, by its choice to join the mutiny, has been under. (John 3:18,36 // 2 Thes. 1:8)

God certainly is to be greatly feared! (Luke 12:4,5) Only the arrogant fool cannot see his need to fear! (Ps. 36:1,2)

But alas, the fool, in his “deliberate forgetfulness” (see 2 Peter 3:5) and suppression of the Truth (Rom. 1:18), continues with his careless scoffing –not merely through his words, but also through his unrighteous thoughts and deeds. He continues to disobey God’s holy laws, and by piling up his mountain of enmity against the Lord (Matt. 23:32,33 // Phil. 3:18,19), he prepares himself for the slaughter of God’s fury. (same verses // Gal. 6:7,8 // Eph. 5:6 // 2 Peter 3:3-7 // Rev. 19:15,16 & 20:15)

How awful it will be on that Day! –That Day when men’s secrets are exposed (Rom. 2:16 // Heb. 4:13), when their fruitless works are burned up (1 Cor. 3:12-15), and when they will be revealed as defilers of God’s temple! (v. 16,17) What a terrible Day it will certainly be for multitudes –even those who smugly believed they, through some prayer or belief system, were immune from God’s holy, just, and everlasting fury toward sin and all who continued to cause it. (Dt. 29:19,20 // Matt. 13:41,42)

May everyone, therefore, take warning, quit their arrogant and careless blasphemies (see Acts 12:23 & 13:10,11), and fall in agonized contrition at the feet of the angry, but still merciful Judge! (Ps. 7:11-13 // Luke 13:6-9)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Lessons From Physical Pain

October 25, 2012

Friends,
As I was lifting someone up in prayer and praise to God a couple of days ago (which for me means praying and battling spiritually by using my body as well as my voice –which specifically means anything like singing, weeping, bowing, dancing, stomping, clapping, raising hands, etc), I rejoiced to realize that my left arm, which has been handicapped for a year, was lifted up (in praise to the Lord) almost as high as my right arm! Yeahhhh!!! I could hardly believe it! Just a few days before, I’d been contemplating, as I carried into the house bags of groceries, how I still was having to use only my right arm to do so. “But,” I thought, “at least the Lord has, throughout this trial, allowed me the use of it to type! I never did lose that ability!” And I was grateful, thanking Him again but also praying for healing.

My arm has been healing –but slowly. Last time I was downtown (witnessing), it was next to impossible to hand out tracts and at the same time hold up my Bible, not to mention that every exertion of my arm made the whole left side of my body cramp up for a day with intense pain. And a month ago at church I still couldn’t raise both my hands with everyone else to worship God. I had to keep raising only one arm, and I remember my husband kind of laughing at me and saying, “Poor thing!” I just laughed too, but I did wonder if I’d ever again be able to lift both hands in worship to God. “Well, in Heaven I will,” I consoled myself –which is my consolation in all things frustrating here on earth.

But this week… well, I’m rejoicing to see that God is, in His timing, healing my arm which began freezing up about 12 months ago. I am so thankful! And I’m so thankful that I’m not in the excruciating pain I was in last winter! Quitting the therapy last March eased the suffering of those miserable winter months –for I couldn’t sleep well, I couldn’t sit for longer than about ten minutes at a time, and I had to be almost continually rubbing out muscle knots with my right arm –which was exhausting and of course made everyone around me uncomfortable. Moreover, people kept warning me that if I quit the chiropractor’s therapy, or else didn’t get surgery, I’d likely not get back the use of my arm; but the Lord assured me that I should quit and that “His grace was sufficient…” (see 2 Cor. 12:9) whatever my arm’s future.

Strange, but I used to believe that soul pain was a worse trauma than physical pain. However, last winter I had to rethink that because I realized that in physical pain, a person can’t escape the agony. (I tried prescription pain pills –like twice– but they didn’t help, and besides, I couldn’t function well mentally under their influence, so I refused to take more.) So, by rethinking pain, I’ve concluded that in soul pain, we can somewhat, and at least briefly, escape it, for we can busy ourselves helping others in their need, we can praise God and quote verses, we can watch an exciting, fast-paced movie, we can go hiking or boating or swimming or horseback riding or skiing or shopping or out to eat with friends, or we can maybe even leave the troubling environment completely, etc., but whatever the case and especially if focused on others’ needs, we can, for a while, forget our soul pain to some degree.

I believe I’ve had deep empathy toward those in all kinds of misery, but maybe I needed to learn that suffering in the body can be just as awful as suffering in the soul. True, it’s not in itself as dangerous to one’s eternity, but the discouragement, agony, fear, anger, or confusion it can bring, could make it become so.

Either way, it’s certainly good for anyone to learn lessons about becoming more sensitive toward others. This way, when people are acting crabby or mean or negligent or unfriendly, we can remain cheerful and kind ourselves, remembering that maybe the person is enduring something we don’t know about –like pain.

So, though I’ve likely just tapped the surface of the things I’m to learn from a (comparatively) brief time of “paralysis” and (seemingly to me) unbearable physical pain, one thing I remain confident of: All things do work together for the good of those who love and serve God. (Rom. 8:28)

Therefore, I thank the Lord, for He has been good to me. Yes, very good to me –always compassionate and merciful even as He instructs me in difficult lessons. “Who is a Teacher like Him?” (Job 36:22)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel