Jesus Lives

HOPE

I give you hope—hope that the best part of your life is not behind you. Rather, it stretches out before you gloriously: into an eternity of experiences that will get better and better and better. For now, though, you inhabit a world of death, sorrow, crying, and pain. Let the hope of heaven empower you to live well in this broken world that is passing away. In heaven I will wipe away every tear from your eyes—permanently! 

If this world were all there is, it would be tragic beyond description. When the day of the Lord comes, I will destroy the entire universe as you know it. And I will replace it with a new universe where My followers will live forever in ceaseless ecstasy. Let this hope give you courage to keep holding your head up high as you endure suffering and sorrow.

The best part of your life lies ahead—stored up for you in heaven, awaiting your arrival. This is true for all Christians, both young and old. As you grow older and deal with infirmities, you may feel as if your life is closing in on you. Physically, your limitations do increase with age and illness. However, your spiritual life can open up ever wider as your soul grows strong in the nourishing Light of My Presence. When you “graduate” to heaven, your soul-Joy will instantly expand—exponentially! Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God. 

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. 
~ Revelation 21:4 [NKJV]

Alas for that day! For the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. 
~ Joel 1:15 

When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
~  Luke 14:15

Jesus Lives

I take great delight in you, I rejoice over you with singing. Sometimes you feel unworthy of this amazing Love. No one could ever be good enough or work hard enough to deserve My Love, but I have chosen to relate to you mercifully. My death on the cross completely satisfied justice, opening the way for Me to show you mercy. As your resurrected Savior, I am free to bestow eternal Life and Love on all who believe in Me. I beautify the humble with salvation, and I unashamedly take pleasure in My people.

I love you passionately, but I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed by the force of My Love. Be assured that I restrain Myself from “crushing” anyone with My mighty ardor. I know precisely what each of My children can handle. However, it is possible to increase your capax Dei: your capacity for Me. One of the best ways is to delight yourself in Me—taking pleasure in Me above all else. Ask My Spirit to help you in this endeavor. Your growing enjoyment of Me will strengthen you spiritually, empowering you to receive ever greater portions of My Love.

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
~ Zephaniah 3:17 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 
~ John 3:16

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.
~ Psalm 149:4 [NKJV]

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.
~ Psalm 37:4 [NASB]

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BROKENNESS

I am the high and exalted One Whose name is Holy. Yet I choose to dwell with people who are contrite and lowly of spirit. I know how prone to pride My people are, so I provide a variety of circumstances to humble them. You don’t need to look for ways to become more humble. If you try with all your might to be lowly of spirit, you are more likely to become proud—or even ridiculous. Instead, you need to be on the lookout for what I am doing in your life and yield yourself to My ways. Your focus should not be on how humble you are but on how you can please Me in the present moment.

Being contrite repentant for your sins is another matter altogether. You do need to examine yourself and become aware of your sins, so you can confess them to Me and enjoy the freedom of forgiveness. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see what is truly sinful, while protecting you from the trap of false guilt. As you face your flaws, open your heart to My loving Presence. I am near to those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Moreover, I revive the spirit of the lowly and the heart of the contrite. So this way of humility and repentance is actually a path of intimacy with Me leading to bountiful Joy. As you walk trustingly along this path with Me, My unfailing Love surrounds you.

For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
~ Isaiah 57:15 [NASB]

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
~ 1 Peter 5:6

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
~ Psalm 34:18 [NKJV]

Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. 
~ Psalm 32:10

Jesus Lives

Your relationship with Me is saturated in grace. Therefore, nothing you do or don’t do can separate you from My Presence. When you are keenly aware of having failed Me, feelings of guilt and fear will conspire to convince you that you have lost My Love. Your sense of unworthiness will tempt you to punish yourself for your sins. But remember: I have clothed you with garments of salvation—arrayed you in My own righteousness. Your salvation is all about Me and what I have done to rescue you. Let me help you feel more secure in My Love.

At times of deep regret, you need to grasp onto grace for dear life. It is utterly impossible for Me to stop loving you. Your relationship with Me is so saturated in grace that the two are forever inseparable. Consider the following: Meat that has been marinated cannot become unmarinated. The longer it soaks, the deeper the marinade penetrates, flavoring and tenderizing the meat. You have been soaking in grace ever since you trusted Me as Savior. The longer you “marinate,” the more fully My grace permeates our relationship. It is impossible for you to become un-graced!

I want you to rest in the perfection of your salvation. My glorious grace makes you holy and blameless in My sight. So, nothing you do or fail to do could ever separate you from My Love.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 
~ Ephesians 2:8–9 [NKJV]

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness. 
~ Isaiah 61:10

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
~ Ephesians 1:4–6 

Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
~ Romans 8:39

Jesus Lives

Worry

The ultimate protection against sinking during life’s storms is developing your friendship with Me. You waste a lot of time, however, worrying about storms you can see forming along the horizon of your life. In the past many of the storms you had anticipated veered off in another direction, never reaching you. Although some of them did actually hit, usually they had lost much of their power by the time they got to you. I urge you to switch your focus from difficulties that may come your way to My Presence, which is always with you.

You will never find security by trying to anticipate all the storms that may reach you someday. Remember that I control the atmosphere of your life. Trust Me by relaxing and releasing your concerns into My capable care. It saddens Me to see you obsessing about possible problems rather than bringing these matters to Me. When you find yourself anxiously scanning the horizon of your life, use that as a reminder to seek My Face. You will not find Me off in the distance. I am here beside you, nearer than you dare believe.

Instead of wasting time worrying, devote that time to building close friendship with Me. Talk with Me about everything that concerns you—your pleasures as well as your problems. I am interested in everything that matters to you because I am your perpetual Lover. Remember that I am holding you by your right hand. I guide you with My own counsel, based on eternal wisdom; so there’s no need to worry about the future. When the time comes, I will personally take you into Glory. For now just live near Me. My friendship is your best refuge in the storms of life.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 
~ 1 Chronicles 16:11 

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” 
~ Jeremiah 31:3 

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. . . . But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. 
~ Psalm 73:23–24, 28

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Transformation

You are a child of God, and you are Mine forever. Someday you will see Me as I am, face to Face in Glory. You have been a member of My royal family since the moment you trusted Me as Savior. I am training you in the ways of My kingdom: to be made new in the attitude of your mind; to put on the new self, created to be like Me. Although your new self is being conformed to My image, this process does not erase the essence of who you are. On the contrary, the more you become like Me, the more you develop into the unique person I designed you to be.

Since you are part of My royal family, you’re a fellow heir with Me, sharing My inheritance. However, you must share My suffering if you are to share My Glory. You don’t need to search for ways to suffer. Living in this broken world provides ample opportunity to experience pain of many kinds. When adversity comes your way, search for Me in the midst of your struggles. Ask Me to help you suffer well, in a manner worthy of royalty. Everything you endure can help you become more like Me. Remember the ultimate goal: You will see My Face in righteousness, and be satisfied!

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
~ 1 John 3:2 [NKJV]

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, . . . to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
~ Ephesians 4:22–24

And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.
~ Romans 8:17 [AMP]

As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.
~ Psalm 17:15 [NKJV]

Jesus Lives

Wisdom

Real, eternal wisdom is all about knowing Me. There is not only wisdom but also great pleasure to be found in heart-knowledge of Me. This pleasure far surpasses anything the world has to offer. Moreover, those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens. So you will be wonderfully rewarded for your wise practice of enjoying My Presence—an incredible privilege in itself. The perceptive ones in My kingdom are those who have true understanding of Me that is grounded in My Word. The more you absorb Scripture—allowing it to penetrate your heart, mind, and spirit—the better you can know Me. All those who know Me as Savior will shine in heaven forever. Let this sparkling promise fill you with bright hope.

Another awesome privilege I offer you is to lead many to righteousness. Your life and your words can influence others for righteousness in various ways: If anyone among you wanders from the truth, I can use you to help that straying one turn from the error of his way. Also, as you seek to live near Me, enjoying My Presence, your light shines before men—helping them find Me. Influencing others for righteousness increases your ability to shine like the stars for ever and ever. Thus, living close to Me not only blesses you now but also enlarges your capacity to reflect My Glory through all eternity!

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
~ Daniel 12:3 

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
~ Psalm 119:105

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
~ James 5:19–20 [NKJV]

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
~ Matthew 5:16

Jesus Lives

Resting in Him

Come to Me just as you are. Let Me enfold you in My compassionate embrace. I know the depth and breadth of your weariness. I see you from the inside out, as well as from the outside in. Nothing about you escapes My attention—or My tender concern. I offer you rest, My child, but in order to receive it you must stop for a time and simply wait with Me. When you are physically tired, your mind easily succumbs to anxious thoughts. Then, although your body needs rest, the anxiety drives you harder than ever. This is hurtful and counterproductive.

Discipline yourself to stop whatever you are doing, and take time to fix your thoughts on Me. I provide rest not only for your mind and body but also for your soul. However, your body and soul cannot rest until your mind settles down. Take quiet, slow breaths while you focus your attention on Me. It can be helpful to say a simple prayer such as: “Jesus, fill me with Your Peace.” Since My Peace surpasses all understanding, your mind will eventually relax in My Presence. You can unburden yourself by making your requests known to Me. This transfers your burdens to My strong shoulders. Remember to bring Me your requests with thanksgiving, for I delight in responding to thankful prayers. Moreover, your grateful attitude will bless you immeasurably—opening wide your heart to receive more and more of Me.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” 
~ Matthew 11:28–29 

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.
~ Hebrews 3:1

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:6–7 [NKJV]

Jesus Lives

Freedom in Him

I approach you with tenderness, because you are precious to Me and I know how fragile you are. I draw you with gentle cords, with bands of Love. These Love-cords keep you connected to Me; they also help you discern the way you should go. Though My bands of Love are unbreakable, they do not curtail your freedom. These highly elastic bands allow you to go your own way for a while. However, even if they are stretched out for a long time—as you seek to live independently of Me—they retain their drawing power. Eventually, when you grow weary of worldly ways, the cords draw you gently back to Me. No matter how far you have roamed, I welcome you with unfailing Love.

I stoop down both to nourish you and to liberate you: take the yoke from your neck. The yoke is a symbol of slavery, and you have been a slave to sin. My death on the cross for your sins provided a way to free you from this slavery. I have broken the bands of your yoke and replaced them with bands of Love. Now you can walk upright—with your head held high—rejoicing in Me, your Savior. When the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!

“I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them.”

~ Hosea 11:4 [NKJV]

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

~ Psalm 143:8

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

~ John 8:34–36 

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright.” 

~ Leviticus 26:13 [NKJV]

Jesus Lives

Do not fear, for I—your God—am with you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Let these words enfold you like a warm blanket, sheltering you from the coldness of fear and dismay. When trouble seems to be stalking you, grip My hand tightly and stay in communication with Me. You can trust and not be afraid, for I am your Strength and Song. My powerful Presence is with you at all times; you face nothing alone. Moreover, I have promised to strengthen you and help you. Awareness of these truths can fill you with Joy and Peace.

My righteous right hand holds you up in both good times and bad. When things are flowing smoothly in your life, you may be unaware of My sustaining Presence. Should I cease to support you, though, you would quickly fall. When you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death—keenly aware of your neediness—you gratefully cling to My strong hand. My right hand sustains you during these times of affliction, enabling you to keep putting one foot in front of the other. As you endure your trials in trusting dependence on Me, I bless you in the midst of hardship. I even stoop down to make you great: I reach down—into the valley of affliction—and lift you up into sacred pleasures shared with Me.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 
~ Isaiah 41:10 

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.Isaiah 
~ 12:2 [NASB]

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
~ Psalm 23:4 [NASB]

You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. 
~ Psalm 18:35