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

Jesus Lives

His Faithfulness

My compassions never fail; they are new every morning. You can begin each day confidently, knowing that My vast reservoir of blessings is full—to the brim. This knowledge helps you wait for Me, entrusting your long-unanswered prayers into My care and keeping. I assure you that not one of your prayers has slipped past Me, unnoticed. I want you to drink deeply from My fountain of limitless Love and unfailing compassion. As you wait in My Presence, these divine nutrients are freely available. You may drink without cost from the spring of the water of Life.

Although many of your prayers remain unanswered, you can trust in My great faithfulness: I keep all My promises in My perfect way and timing. Among other things, I have promised to give you Peace that displaces the trouble and fear in your heart. 

If you become weary of waiting for answers to your prayers, remember that I also wait: so that I may be gracious to you and have mercy on you. I wait till you are ready to receive the things I have lovingly prepared for you. Blessed are all those who wait for Me—expectantly, longingly, trustingly.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
~ Lamentations 3:22–24 

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.”
~ Revelation 21:6

Jesus Lives

Heavenly

Lift up your eyes to Me, and see Me shining brightly on your future. Your body—especially when it is weak and weary—can exert a strong downward pull on your thinking. This is very natural, but you are not limited to natural abilities. When your thoughts are on a downhill path, you need to access supernatural resources. Ask Me to help you think My thoughts. Refuse to entertain a gloomy view of the future. Reject such imagery as unreal, because that is what it is. Any future-view that does not include Me is simply false! I am the most important ingredient in the mix of your life. The more of Me you include, the better your outlook will be.

Do not be overly focused on the condition of your body, since it is temporary. Instead, rejoice that your inner being—the eternal part of you—is being renewed day by day. You can even glean some good from the progressive wasting away of your outer self. As your natural strengths and abilities wane, you become more aware of your need to rely on Me. This can create a relaxed intimacy between us as you include Me in more and more of your moments. Not only does this increase your Joy in the present, it also prepares you for an eternal future face to Face with Me. This is the true view of your future, and it is glorious! So, fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
~ Psalm 121:1–2 [NKJV]

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
~ 2 Corinthians 10:5

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 
~ 2 Corinthians 4:16–18

Jesus Lives

His Presence

I am nearer than you dare believe, closer than the air you breathe. Usually, you’re not conscious of being enveloped in air because it is invisible and constantly available to you. Similarly, My unseen Presence is a constant in your life, but you often fail to recognize Me. This leaves you vulnerable to loneliness. If you could always recognize My Presence, you would never feel lonely again.

I deeply desire for you to experience My nearness—and the peaceful contentment it brings—more consistently. There is a close connection between feeling lonely and being unaware of My Presence. This is an age-old problem: When the patriarch Jacob was in a barren place—far from his family—he was quite conscious of his isolation. However, I poured out My Presence upon him in the form of a glorious dream. When Jacob awoke, he responded, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

Awareness of My abiding Presence will protect you from loneliness. Not only am I constantly with you, but I am also within you: in the inner recesses of your heart and mind. My knowledge of you is picture-perfect, and it is framed in unconditional Love.

Let feelings of loneliness remind you of your need to seek My Face. Come to Me with your ever-so-human emptiness, and My divine Presence will fill you with Life to the full!

In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.
~ Psalm 41:12 

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 
~ Genesis 28:16

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
~ Psalm 139:1–2 

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” 
~ John 10:10

Jesus Lives

I am the perfect Savior—100 percent God and 100 percent man. I came to earth in a physical body so I could bear all the punishment for your sins. Because you are Mine, you are indeed holy in My sight, without blemish and free from accusation. I know you sometimes feel blemished and accused, but this is not your true identity. Now that you’re My redeemed follower, a good word to describe you is “blameless.” Since I paid the penalty through death for all your sins, you are utterly free from blame. There is no condemnation for those who are united with Me through faith!

Although you are forever free from accusation, you have a persistent adversary. Satan is a relentless accuser of Christians; he accuses them day and night. His demonic underlings, who seek to deceive and destroy My followers, rely heavily on this tactic. These evil spirits attack your mind with a mixture of lies and truth. To counteract their attacks, try writing down the accusing thoughts so you can pick out the distortions and outright lies. Once you have done this, the most effective response is straightforward: Reject the lies and distortions; repent of any actual sin. Remember, though, that the bottom line is not what you do but what I have already done—redeemed you fully so you can live with Me eternally. When the Son makes you free, you are free indeed!

But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
~ Colossians 1:22

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
~ Romans 8:1 [NASB]

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”
~ Revelation 12:10

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
~ John 8:36 [NKJV]

Jesus Lives

Abiding in Him

You live by the Spirit: He is the very source of your eternal life. When you were dead in trespasses and sins, it was impossible for you to receive Me as Savior. The Holy Spirit had to make you alive before you could respond to Me. So you do quite literally live by the Spirit.

I want you to go forward along your life-path in step with the Spirit. He will not help you go backward, so beware of seeking refuge in the past. You need to keep moving forward and also to walk in the direction I choose. Moreover, it’s vital to pace yourself according to My timing: neither dashing ahead nor lagging behind. The Spirit will help you in all these matters, as you live in reliance on Him. You can engage His help any time, any place—simply by asking. If you find yourself anxiously rushing, pray, “Slow me down, Holy Spirit.” If you’re uncertain about your direction, ask Him to show you the way. When you don’t know how to pray as you should, cry out, “Help me, Holy Spirit!” He will intercede for you with groanings too deep for words.

The more you seek My Spirit’s help and yield to His loving guidance, the better your life will be. As you keep in step with the Spirit, you find yourself walking close to Me.

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
~ Galatians 5:25 

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world.
~ Ephesians 2:1–2 [NKJV]

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
~ Psalm 25:4–5 

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
~ Romans 8:26 NASB