Friends,
I’ve written here before at my blog about Mr. and Mrs. B and how I have witnessed to them often down through the years while they have continued to state, matter-of-factly, that they are going to Hell. Their resistance toward the Lord has been distressing for me, especially lately when Mrs. B, who is 87 years old, is on hospice with a brain tumor. (Mr. B is 84 years old and had colon cancer 4 years ago, but got through it.)

A bit over a year ago I noticed that Mrs. B’s health, in particular, was really beginning to fail and I began asking more and more people to pray for them, especially for their salvation. I increased my attempts to remind the Bs of the Gospel, but their hearts wouldn’t budge. However, miracles still happen. Yes, the Lord worked a miracle a week ago Saturday. What happened was this:

I visited the Bs Saturday evening, April 8th, at their home. Early in the conversation, Mrs. B had said to me, “Don’t even start,” when I asked her about what else is important at Easter besides eggs. (They have chickens and sell eggs and she had been telling me how annoyed she was at Mr. B for buying more chickens to produce more eggs.)

So we went on to talk about other things and when I got up to leave after being there about an hour, Mr. B said about his wife, “She thinks I’m going to Hell and so she doesn’t want to get saved because she says why should she go to Heaven if I’m going to Hell?” I responded that Hell is not going to be a place of fellowship with anyone. I reminded them that it is going to be a place full of loneliness, pain, and regret, a place where there is no blue sky, no gentle breeze, no flowers, and no laughter; and that an existence there will last forever. It will be the absence of God, I said, and a place full of demons. Why, I asked, would anyone choose to go to a place like that when they could go to Heaven where everything will be good and peaceful and pain-free?

As I described Hell, Mr. B was nodding in somber agreement, so, seeing belief in his face, I asked him if he was saved. He said, “Not yet, but I’m planning to.” This statement was coming from a man who had for over 15 years, along with his wife, told me that they weren’t sure if there really was a Hell and if there was, then so be it –they’d be going there and there was nothing that would change that!

Of courses upon hearing Mr. B’s words “Not yet, but I’m planning to”, I immediately took the opportunity to say, “Well, you could pray right now to be saved,” and I added that I would pray with him if he wanted. “Do you want to?” I asked. Amazingly, Mr. B nodded that he did. I was so shocked, I started crying, which I think shocked them. But I took Mr. B’s hand and prayed, while he repeated each phrase after me, asking the Lord to forgive him of his sins, cleanse him, save him, and allow him into Heaven forever. Still crying, I tried to persuade Mrs. B again, and though I noticed both she and her husband looked misty-eyed, Mrs. B still refused the Lord. I hugged her and said I would pray for her about it and that I loved them both very much.

As I drove away from their house I started crying again, so filled I was with relief and hope and joy, and I just kept thanking and thanking the Lord. And certainly, I do expect another miracle soon –that of Mrs. B’s repentance and turn to the Lord.

There is still more to this story. I sent out an email to those who may have been praying for the Bs, telling pretty much what I wrote above. Many wrote back of their feelings of excitement, thankfulness, hope, and faith. Here is one woman’s texts that especially edified me:

Absolutely! Praying!!! Will text soon, just wanted you to know about Isabella getting saved and how the B’s story helped in that!!

She is 10! She came to Church with us last weekend [April 9th] and we got to talk about communion. We had communion at Church. I baptized her in 2014. After she read the letter about the Bs I asked her when she was saved and prayed to ask for forgiveness. She did not remember! She remembered the baptism. So I asked her if she would like to pray. We held hands and I led her to ask Jesus to forgive her sins and cleanse her and make her His very own! We said thank you Abba!!!! I explained how she is God’s now and turns away from sins, always asking for His help. It was beautiful!!! Thank you Rachel for your faithful service to our Lord!

This text reminded me of how God multiplies good from our efforts, all the time. Sometimes He even lets us hear about it.

God did a miracle that first Easter by raising Jesus from the dead. But, transforming a person –who, by an act of their will, cooperates with God and steps from death to new life –well, that is another true miracle as well. Wonderfully, during this year’s Easter season, I got to have a role, however large or small, in these two miracles of salvation.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
This year, as usual, two different people gave me a couple hundred 2017 pocket calendars to pass out while witnessing. Yesterday I gave these out, used four different signs, and conversed with numerous individuals concerning the Lord, His ways, and His Word. May the Lord shine brightly His Truth, His Light, and His mercy on all those who took a step closer to Him.

Though I very rarely encounter an atheist, or even an agnostic (though maybe they are the ones who pretend I don’t exist as they walk past me), the very last guy I crossed paths with, and this as I was walking back to my car, was presumably of such persuasion. For when I spoke to him, pointing to the Bible I was holding, he shook his head, saying, “Nawwww.” I then asked him what his religion is, and in broken English he said he had none. I reminded him about DNA and that there most certainly must be a Creator. –And that He sees everything and that we are accountable to Him. This communication all happened within the space of about a minute. As our paths separated and I pointed up to the sky, saying, “The Creator”, the man seemed suddenly convicted as he acknowledged with a sincere, “Ohhhh, yeah!” that he understood my warning to him and was taking it to heart. I pointed again at my Bible and waved good-bye, then called back, “Happy New Year!” He smiled and responded with the same.

This type of very short conversation would usually strike me as insignificant / unsuccessful. But when that thought came to me as I went on to my car, I thought, “No, I can pray that it is not insignificant. I can pray that the Lord uses it and brings that man to the Truth and Salvation.” And I have indeed prayed this many times.

The point is this: Just one minute of something we say, can, by the help of God’s Holy Spirit, “turn the lightbulb on” for someone. I mean, it appeared that one minute the guy was an agnostic and that the next minute he was acknowledging that there is a Creator, that the Creator could see him and knew all about him, that the Creator was going to hold everyone, including him, accountable for all actions, words, and thoughts, and that he had better look into the Word of God for himself. Of course I’m not sure all the guy’s thought processes, but I should, and do, have faith that something supernatural took place in that one minute. –And that mixed with the power of prayer, that man did have an encounter, however small, with the Creator, who is Jesus. –That that man “saw” a glimpse of Truth and realized he has to make a choice concerning that Truth. I do pray he will go forward and not choose to forget or reject Him.

A few sentences. A couple expressions. A smile. A word. A gift. “Five small barley loaves and two small fish.” (John 6:9) Anything we can give out to someone –if the Lord is in it, it can make an eternal difference.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Disbelieving God’s Prophecies

September 23, 2016

Friends,
It is commonly taught in evangelicalism that there are multitudes of prophecies in the Old Testament that were fulfilled, literally, in the person of Jesus Christ during His first advent. Just one of these is Micah 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are little among the clans of Judah, from you shall go forth for Me one who will be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from the days of eternity.” We can see in Luke 2:1-20 that God orchestrated the literal fulfillment of part of this prophecy by having Caesar Augustus order a census, thus motivating Joseph and Mary to travel to Bethlehem in time for Jesus, God in the flesh, to be born there. But was (or is) Jesus ruler in Israel? True, He is their rightful and over-seeing Ruler, but because God does not usurp anyone’s free will, and because Israel has not yet chosen Jesus as their Messiah-King, the manifestation of the prophecy in its totality is yet future.

A similar prophecy concerning Jesus was made way back in Genesis 49:10 that One who will come from the tribe of Judah will rule the nations. Jesus, by being a descendent of Judah (Heb. 7:14) and by being born in Bethlehem in Judea, fulfilled the first part of this prophecy literally just as He will fulfill the second part of it literally about ruling the nations in the age to come. (Ps. ch. 2 // Isa. 9:6,7 & 45:20-25 // Zech. 14:9,16-19 // Mt. 19:28 // Heb. 1:8-13 & 2:5-9 // Rev. 11:15) That the Son of God was born a Jew is crucial in order to fulfill God’s prophecies, as is the fact that He came from the lineage of David and Judah and Jacob. (Dt. 18:17-19 w/ Acts 3:20-23 // Mt. 1:1 // Rom. 1:3 // Rev. 5:5) Yes, Jesus will rule from the throne of David (and David’s throne was neither in Heaven nor in the hearts of believers but in the literal physical city of Jerusalem) and His rule will extend across the whole earth, lasting forever. (Luke 1:32,33 // Isa. 11:10-12 // Dan. 2:44,45 & 7:13,14,27 // Rev. 11:15 & 12:5 & 15:4 & 21:1-5,26,27)

Anyone who claims to believe the literal fulfillment of the prophecies of Christ’s first advent while denying the literal fulfillment of the prophecies concerning His second advent should realize they are disbelieving what God has stated in His Word. No one can slice out portions of Scripture, throw out the LORD’s statements or invent new meanings, and then legitimately insist they are believers of God’s Word. Instead, choosing to believe just some of Scripture, they, as is typical of those who follow cults (or who follow the views of the average Westerner), remain unbelievers.

There are over 60 distinct, major, separate prophecies that Christ fulfilled during His first advent, and He fulfilled them literally. Zech. 9:9 prophesied that Jerusalem’s King/Savior would come to them riding on a donkey and we can read in Mt. 21:1-11 that this was fulfilled literally. Ps. 22:16 and Zech. 12:10 were prophecies that the Messiah would have His hands and feet pierced, and Isa. 53:5 prophesied, “He was pierced for our transgressions.” Jesus died for the sins of the world by crucifixion, a literal fulfillment. Zech. 11:12,13 is a prophecy about the thirty pieces of silver (betrayal money) thrown in the temple to the potter; Ps. 22:18 is a prophecy that lots would be cast for Jesus’ clothing; Ps. 69:21 is a prophecy that He would be given gall and vinegar for His thirst, and Isa. 53:7-9 prophesies that, though He was completely innocent, the Messiah would, without defending Himself, die for the transgression of the people and have a grave amid the wicked and the rich. We can read the literal fulfillment of all these prophecies in Mt. ch. 27.

When we consider these things, it is certainly strange that there are teachers who, while adhering to Replacement Theology (R.T.), deny the literal fulfillment of multitudes of Scripture’s prophecies that have yet to come to pass, and deny even those which have already come to pass in modern times such as the rebirth of the nation of Israel. As the prophecy in Ezek. 37:19-22 says, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph… the Israelite tribes… and join it to Judah’s stick… and they will become one in My hand. …I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or divided into two kingdoms.” God Himself, through people and events, has fulfilled this prophecy concerning the physical descendants of Jacob and has done so in the physical land of Israel as He promised. The rest of Ezekiel chapter 37 then prophesies that this Jewish nation will be cleansed of their sinful backsliding, that David will rule over them forever, that God’s dwelling place will be with them forever, and that they will live in the land forever. Passages such as Luke 1:32,33,67-75 and Rom. 11:25-29 and Heb. 8:8-12 confirm this, but, R.T. adherents disbelieve, and through their confusion they make most of God’s Word out to be nonsense.

Regardless of their unbelief, all of God’s prophecies will come to pass. The “twelve tribes of Israel” (Ezek. 47:13) will have the land divided for them as their inheritance (same verse), because, God says, He swore to Israel’s forefathers to give it to them. (v. 14) In chapters 47 and 48 God gives specific instruction about the borders allotted to each tribe, showing this is to be understood as literal physical boundaries. Moreover, chapters 40-46 describe, in detail, the new temple that will be functioning in the time of the 1,000 year reign of Jesus (who Himself says, “I am the Root and the Offspring of David…” –Rev. 22:16), and He will reign over the whole earth, His capital being the present city of Jerusalem. (Isa. 2:1-5 & chapters 11 & 12 & 59:15-66:21 // Jer. 31:1-14 // Zech. chapters 8 & 14 // Rev. 20:1-6)

In Rom. 8:19-23 it is clear that it is not only humans who groan while waiting for Jesus to reverse the Curse and bring renewal to the earth, but creation itself. (See also Gen. 3:17-19 and Isa. 25:6-10 and 2 Pe. 3:2-13) Acts 3:17-26 tells us that Jesus “must remain in Heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets.” This restoration to an Eden-like earth will begin in Jerusalem, spread throughout Israel, and on to the nations that honor the Lord. (Ps. ch. 72 w/ Zech. 14:16-19 // Isa. 27:6 & 35:1,2 & 51:1-5 & 65:16-25 // Joel 3:16-21 // Amos 9:11-15) The person who “dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth” (Isa. 65:20) and whoever “fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.” (Same verse) Animals will no longer be carnivorous (v. 25 & 11:6,7), vipers will no longer be poisonous (11:8), nations will not war against one another (2:4), and Satan, the Deceiver, will be bound in the Abyss for a thousand years. (Rev. 20:1-3) But, R.T. adherents disbelieve these prophecies.

After the Millennium, Satan will be released for a short time (Rev. 20:3,7) and will go out to deceive the nations again, gathering them for battle against God’s beloved people and city. (v. 8,9) But fire from heaven will devour them and Satan will be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur to be tormented forever. (v. 9,10) After this comes the Great White Throne Judgement of all the dead –the dead which had not been found worthy of the first resurrection (Luke 20:35,36 // 1 Cor. 15:22,23 // 1 Thes. 4:13-18 // Rev. 20:4-6)– at which time earth and sky flee from the presence of the Judge (Rev. 20:11-15) who commands the present heavens and earth to be burned up. (2 Pe. 3:6-13) Death, Hades, and all the wicked are thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14,15) and because “the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (21:1) and “the old order of things had passed away” (v. 4), then upon the arrival of the new heaven and the new earth (v. 1), death and sadness and pain are thereby gone forever. (v. 4)

Jesus, having reigned until putting all authorities and enemies under His feet (1 Cor. 15:24,25) –the last enemy to be destroyed being death (v. 26)– then hands over His Kingdom to God the Father (v. 24) and is made subject to Him (v. 28) so that God may be all in all. (Same verse) That will be the finality of the ages (v. 24) and God will come down to dwell with man on the Eternal New Earth. (Rev. 21:1-5) Yes, God’s dwelling remains Jerusalem, but, having come down from Heaven to the New Earth, Jerusalem is now a brand-new, enormously-enlarged, and forever-purified city (v. 2,3,16), one without a temple building (v. 22), but one into which the nations and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor. (v. 24,26) The New Jerusalem will be approximately 1,400 miles wide, long, and high –a cube (v.16) and anyone who works iniquity will not be allowed entrance. (v. 27) There will be no night there since Jesus is its light (v. 23,25 & 22:5), there will no longer be any curse (22:3), the river of the water of Life and the Tree that heals the nations will be along the main street of the city, and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there (v. 1-3) –there in Jerusalem, the Holy City (21:10), on a mountain great and high (same verse), “the wife of the Lamb.” (v. 9) But, R.T. adherents, in disbelieving these prophecies, allegorize or spiritualize them all so that they can continue in their unbelief.

However, just because there are many spiritual aspects to the Kingdom of God, this does not negate the physical aspects, most which will manifest in the Millennium and on afterward into Eternity. Those of us who are united with Christ have His divine power for everything we need for walking in God’s will for our present earthly life. (2 Pe. 1:3,4) This does not mean, though, that our bodies will not get sick, or grow old, or die, for this existing earth and its inhabitants are still under the Curse. But, in the next age –the 1,000 year earthly reign of Christ when Satan is bound for that time– God will have lifted much, though not yet all, of the Curse for those born during that age (Isa. 11:6-10 & 65:16-25) while those who have been already risen to immortality will be reigning with Christ (Rev. 20:6) over the nations (2:26,27 & 3:21) –in charge of many things (Mt. 25:21-23 // 2 Tim. 2:12), including whole cities. (Luke 19:17-19) These saints will not marry or have children, but will be like the angels. (20:34-36)

Sadly, because of the influence of R.T., most churches do not teach these Truths, even though Jesus taught His disciples often about the Kingdom of God, including telling them to pray that it would come to earth. (Mt. 6:10) During the 40 days between His resurrection and accession to Heaven, He taught them still more about the Kingdom of God. (Acts 1:1-3) So, contrary to what many R.T. adherents teach, it was a completely appropriate question when the disciples asked Him, “Lord, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (v. 6) They would not have asked about their Messiah restoring to Israel a kingdom if Jesus had not been teaching about such a thing. He had been teaching about it, but He had not indicated when it would come to pass. Hence their question. Jesus answered that the timing was not theirs to know (v. 7) but that they should focus on the Good News getting out to the world, and He encouraged them that they would soon receive power from the Holy Spirit to do that task. (v. 8 ) Jesus then ascended to Heaven as they looked on (v.9), and two angels, suddenly standing beside them (v. 10), informed them that Jesus would “come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.” (v. 11) Yes, every one living will see Jesus returning in the sky (Mt. 24:30,31 // Rev. 1:7) and when His feet stand on the Mount of Olives it will split in half forming a huge valley. (Zech. 14:4) This will happen literally, physically, as God’s Word makes clear by including phrases about locations such as “east of Jerusalem” (same verse) and that the valley “will extend to Azel.” (v. 5)

Quite significant, then, was what Jesus told His disciples when He said, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Mt. 19:28) Should we understand that this promise/prophecy will come to pass literally? Absolutely, we should and we must. For God will bring all His words to pass and they will center around the physical land of Israel, the land that is God’s own inheritance (Joel 3:2), among the nation that is His special possession. (Same verse // Ps. 135:4)

Disbelieving what God’s Word prophesies/says concerning Christ’s first advent is to remain an unbeliever. Disbelieving what God’s Word prophesies/says concerning Christ’s second advent is to remain an unbeliever. “And without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6) Let no one be deceived: Faith that pleases God is to believe what His Word states. It is to believe the Truth and to reject falsehoods, and this is essential for salvation. (3:12-19 // 1 Tim. 4:1,16)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
I too mourn the loss of the lives of the five policemen gunned down by a sniper in Dallas five days ago. The place that it happened –next to El Centro College– is directly across the street from the block I usually evangelize at. I walk past the college almost every time I’m down there, standing at different corners, for a few minutes each, with my signs and talking to those near the bus and train stops who approach me to comment or discuss God’s Word. It’s an easy mission field as most people I encounter do believe in Jesus (even if they aren’t following Him) and they seem curious enough or convicted enough to stop and talk, or at least take a tract.

So, of course when I heard about the shootings, I immediately wondered if anyone I knew had gotten hurt. (I’ve walked those streets evangelizing for over 20 years so I often encounter people who I’ve exhorted numerous times, some who have turned from sin, some who haven’t, but most who I have grown to really love.) Realizing, though, that it happened during a protest, and that it was aimed at white law-enforcement officers, I was pretty sure I didn’t know any of them, as I rarely see white officers down there. (After viewing their photos, I didn’t recognize any.) Still, it is extremely sad, and I grieve deeply for the families. It is tragic that these men, in bravely coming to the aid of their fellowman, had to have their lives cut short by someone on the side of evil.

I also grieve for those others who, though they did not die, were injured in this shooting. (I’m again reminded of grieving alongside a close friend of mine who is the mother of a former officer who remains paralyzed from the waist down because of being shot during a drug bust in Dallas in 2007.)

I was glad to hear that Obama, Bush, and other officials came to honor the fallen officers at a memorial service today in Dallas, and through their speeches, to encourage and exhort our nation. I’m sure that those leading our country are truly trying to make it a safer, better place, and we appreciate their efforts to do so. However, there is only one Person who can solve the crises we, the U.S., as well as the whole world, have and face today. His name is Jesus. Yes, only Christ Jesus will bring in true and lasting justice and peace.

No other will. No other can.

Let us, therefore, put our trust in Him.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
We thank the Lord with the rest of those who cared and who prayed for the Abedini family that Saeed would be set free from his Iranian prison cell. The Lord does honor faith and answer prayer, and we who say we trust God are responsible to keep trusting Him steadily while He works in His own timing, sometimes delaying for reasons we usually are not privileged to know.

Please read:

http://aclj.org/persecuted-church/breaking-american-pastor-saeed-abedini-and-other-americans-have-just-been-freed

This morning my mom said that in her morning Bible-reading, she was blessed especially by James 1:2,3 which she then read to me over the phone. It says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” –Pure joy? –In encountering many trials? Yes. And why? –Because it is God’s way of testing our faith and developing in and for us that valuable asset of perseverance. For perseverance brings about maturity, wisdom, holiness, peace, healing, and all good things. (v. 4 // Heb. 12:1-13) Yes, our faith, once proven genuine, will result in our salvation, honor, and rulership alongside Christ Jesus. (1 Pe. 1:6-9 // Rev. 2:26 & 3:21)

Let’s believe in and thank the Lord for promises of His such as, “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.” (Isa. 49:23)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
The spirit of another wonderful saint left this earth today at 1:57 p.m. My parents had just been there with her at her mission apartment home from 12:30-1:30 today and I had gone there with them yesterday to also say goodbye to her, as we’d heard she was failing fast. Both yesterday and today “Aunt” Vivian was not cognizant, but just a few days before she had been able to eat dinner at a friend’s apartment down the hall. All year “Aunt” Vivian has had the pain of cancer (which could not be treated), but nonetheless, she has been her jolly self, making people laugh and also caring for the plants throughout the building and planting flowers around the grounds.

“Aunt” Vivian was a Bible translator in the Philippines at the same time my parents were translating there too. She was always smiling and always cheerful, and even tonight when I emailed a childhood friend about her passing, my friend responded that she too remembers “Aunt” Vivian that way, and said it seemed that “Aunt” Vivian did not even know how to frown! I always thought “Aunt” Vivian looked very much like my mom’s mom who was always cheerful and smiley too, as well as incredibly nice, as was “Aunt” Vivian.

“Aunt” Vivian made it to 92 years old and her life was full of service to the Lord. As a single woman she translated the New Testament (and some of the Old, I believe) and brought the Gospel to a large and very responsive indigenous people group. My dad kept saying this weekend that many from that group will likely be helping to welcome her into Heaven and thanking her for her huge part in the blessed eternity they have been experiencing.

At 75 years of age, “Aunt” Vivian married for the first time. She married a widower who had also been in the mission, though in a different country, and when he got senile and sick, they moved to the mission center here and she cared for him with great patience, joy, and love until his death. Our family has felt very blessed to have her live nearby.

Well, definitely, we are sad about another very beloved saint passing away from our midst, but we are also all very much at peace, knowing her spirit is with the Lord. Yesterday I watched my dad bend over and hug her frail little body, and with misty eyes, he said, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” He was quoting Ps. 116:15. Today my mom quoted Ps. 23 to her, and another woman sang hymns to her. Truly “Aunt” Vivian’s friends have surrounded her all year with help, care, meals, and companionship so that she could finish her earthly days in her own home and among her mission family.

Death is not a pretty or easy thing. However, for those of us who know the Lord, walk with the Lord, and serve the Lord, death does usher us into the presence of our Savior and King –that Place where there is the absence of all that is painful or bad –forever after.

“Aunt” Vivian transitioned to that wonderful Place today.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

P.S. Some photos:

On 3/21/14, my dad, my sister, and I visited “Aunt” Vivian at her apartment.

1. “Aunt” Vivian

2. She loved orchids

3. “Aunt” Vivian & me

4. “Aunt” Vivian & my sister

5. Her flower bed

6. Her flowers

7. Her flowers

8. Her flowers

On 5/18/14 my dad, my husband, and I visited “Aunt” Vivian outside her apartment as she was gardening.

1. “Aunt” Vivian & my dad

2. Her potted flowers

3. Her gorgeous flowers

4. Her fern and flowers

5. My husband by “Aunt” Vivian’s flowers in the wall

Friends,
Yesterday while witnessing at the bus stops, my signs and tracts proclaimed that by meditating on Jesus, who is the Word of God, and by applying His words, we are delivered from the dark realm. People are eager and grateful to hear this message of hope, for it is The Truth and The Good News.

One young man who I’d talked with some months ago, asked me to pray for him to get delivered. I told him that I would pray for him, and I did, but I first told him that it is by our own choice to truly believe and apply the message (the one I was proclaiming) that we step out of bondage, are delivered, and walk in freedom from addictions and other sins. He looked so hopefully at me and listened so thoughtfully. I reminded him of the weapons we have as we walk the path of freedom –those of praise to God (which demons hate and flee from), of quoting the Scriptures (which Jesus Himself did against Satan when tempted in the desert), of taking our thoughts captive to obey Christ (2 Cor. 10:5), of petitioning prayer, of staying far away from places and people who cause temptations, and of nourishing our spirits with the powerful Word of God which, in soaking into our spirit (and mind and heart) –convicting us and motivating us to repent– purifies us (Eph. 5:26), thus making us spiritually wise, clean, and strong.

“So,” I said. “As Gal. 5:16 says, ‘If we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the desires of the sinful nature.’ It’s the sinful nature people are indulging in which is causing most of the wretchedness in the world, is it not? But if we walk in the Spirit, we are abiding in freedom. It begins with each one of us. So let it begin with you and with me. We can be skilled Olympians at it –at walking in the Spirit. And how do we do this? We make the choice to meditate on God’s Word daily, understanding that we must have this Food for our spirit just as we understand we must have physical food for our body. Then we apply the Lord’s words, putting them into practice. We do this every day, every minute. This is how we walk delivered and free.”

Something like that is what I said to this listener. And it’s similar to what I said to many listeners yesterday at the bus stops. It’s the message of hope, of faith, and of freedom. It’s the Great News and the proclamation that everyone needs to hear, understand, and grab hold of.

May all God’s servants believe it whole-heartedly themselves so that they will proclaim it everywhere possible.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel