Freedom From The Promiscuous Woman – Part II

Freedom From The Promiscuous Woman – Part II
Written by Felicia McKnight
7/27/2016

Proverbs 2:16 NLT
“Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman.”

Where things become challenging for most of us is the turning away from sin. When sin becomes a stronghold it is difficult to break free from it in the power of our own flesh. At the point of salvation the Holy Spirit dwelled within you. God’s word says in 1 John 4:4 NLT:

“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”

While it may be difficult to break free God has already declared your victory over sin. The Holy Spirit that dwells inside of you is greater than the worldly ways. To break free you have to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and sometimes the prayers of others.

“We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We use the weapons God has given us to fight off sin. Find out what God’s word says about your sin. Meditate on it daily and allow it to take root in your mind and soul. Allow the word to destroy the lies the enemy has placed in your mind to justify sinful ways. Sometimes deliverance from sin is immediate. You pray and all of a sudden you don’t want to do those things anymore. Then there are times deliverance from sin may not always be immediate. It’s a process. But little by little you will be set free.

The process is a lot like taking medicine when healing from an illness. You may not feel the change over night, but if you keep taking your medicine by meditating and praying eventually the change will come. Every time the thought and desires arise use the word to speak the truth over your life.

There may be times it is difficult to change on your own. You may be dealing with things you don’t want anyone to know about. Perhaps you feel ashamed or embarrassed for your actions. You know your struggle and you want to change but the stronghold is so heavy it seems impossible. What do you do in this situation?

You need to pull it the additional weapon of a prayer partner. Pray and find a non judgmental prayer partner that you can confide in and one who will pray you through. Ask God to show you who that person is. Often times we are so weak that this individual has a clear perspective that can help you see the truths and pray you through.

“Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” ‭‭James‬ ‭5:14-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s also important to remember that once God forgives you that you need to forgive yourself. Once you are forgiven…..you are forgiven and who the son sets free is free indeed. Be blessed and be encouraged!

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Romans‬ ‭8:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Previous Post:
Freedom From The Promiscuous Woman – Part I

Prayer
Heavenly Father, Thank you for Jesus death on the cross. Thank you that he accomplished victory over sin in our life. Thank you for the Holy Spirit that dwells within in us. Farther, we come declaring victory over every area of our life. We thank you that we are forgiven and we are set free. In Jesus Name. Amen

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Freedom From The Promiscuous Woman – Part I

Freedom From The Promiscuous Woman – Part I
Written by Felicia McKnight
7/20/2016

Proverbs 2:16-19 NLT
16 Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman,
from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman.
17 She has abandoned her husband
and ignores the covenant she made before God.
18 Entering her house leads to death;
it is the road to the grave.
19 The man who visits her is doomed.
He will never reach the paths of life.

Throughout the Bible God typically uses the analogy of a prostitute or promiscuous woman to describe sin and the continuous comfort of living in it. One definition of a prostitute is to put to unworthy use. To God sin is unworthy. It lacks excellence in God’s kingdom and is not of His character. Sin is like a prostitute because it can look good and feel good. Sin can be enticing and lure us away from righteous living.

Here the scripture defines sin as the “immoral woman”. It’s not conforming with God’s word. Because sin “feels good” it’s easy to get caught up and continue doing the same thing that is not pleasing to God. Sin can be captivating and seductive. We all sin in some respect, however, we each have or have had that one sin that is a constant struggle to become delivered from. It becomes a stronghold. In some cases we can become so easily entangled in sin that our relationship with God becomes more distant causing a spiritual death. We continuously make up excuses to justify the sin rather than acknowledging God’s word to break free from it.

“And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” James‬ ‭1:13-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Sin and the struggle in it is real, but God has given us hope and the tools to break free.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (2) We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Our hope in freedom from sin is Jesus death on the cross. He died so that we would have victory over sin and we tap into this victory through the free gift of salvation.

“ sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:56-57‬ ‭NLT‬‬

1) Receive the gift of salvation.

“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

2) Have a desire to change.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

3) Seek God for forgiveness.

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

4) Turn from sinful ways.

“repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.” Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭3:19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What if you’re saved, you’ve asked God forgiveness, yet you still find it difficult to turn from your particular sin? I will answer that next week. Until then, be blessed and be encouraged.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus death on the cross that paved the way for us to be forgiven for our sins. Lord, we ask for your forgiveness today from anything we have said or done that has not lined up with your word. Create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. Give us to discernment to know what those sins are and the wisdom and strength to turn and repent from them completely. In Jesus Name. Amen

The Book of Revelation – Part I

The Book of Revelation – Part I
Written by Felicia McKnight
6/8/16

Revelation‬ ‭22:7‬ ‭NKJV
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
‭‭‬‬
I recently completed a phenomenal, 30 week, in depth study of the Book of Revelation. I must admit this is not a book that I would have been able to read and understand on my own. With all of the dragons, and beasts, and creatures with multiple limbs and eyes it can be quite confusing. It is a difficult book to understand, but I am grateful for the gifted teacher and amazing notes I had to make this study clearer and meaningful. I was once hesitant to read the book of Revelation, because there is a myth that Revelation is scary, however I did not find this book scary at all for those who are Christians. For those who do not believe in God and who do not call on Jesus as their Lord and Savior there is reason to be of great concern. I found Revelation to be a book of God’s unconditional, merciful love for mankind simply because of the multiple chances of repentance He gives to unbelievers.

“This is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to his servant John, who faithfully reported everything he saw. This is his report of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (‭‭Revelation‬ ‭1:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

The book of Revelation is an unveiling to John. It is the unveiling of Jesus Christ in heaven. It is an unveiling of a series of events that must take place for Jesus to reclaim His kingdom. The book of Revelation promises that Jesus will return. Those of us who are in Christ will be able to spend eternity with Him. Those who are not will be separated from Jesus forever. A lot of evil and destruction will take place between now and Christ’s return, but in the end the children of God will be victorious over all!

One of the most intriguing parts of Revelation to me was Jesus’ seven letters to the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3. To each church He gave a word of encouragement, correction, direction, and discipline. It’s amazing that God will still do the same for us today. He knows the things we are doing well. God will remind us at times that we are on the right path in some areas of our life. In the area we are not He will send warning and other times discipline. As I read about each church I was blown away that the activity that took place in biblical days (95 A.D.) is still taking place today (2016).

“The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” (Psalms‬ ‭103:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

The book of Revelation is also a story of God’s mercy and judgement. Throughout the entire book God gives warning of the sin taking place. He then gives everyone the opportunity to repent. As I read through Revelation I wish I would have kept score of how many times God gave additional chances for people to repent. As I read I think of all the unsaved souls in the world. I wonder how many times does God have to display wrath for someone to eventually turn to Him? In our own personal lives, why does it take us so long for us to turn from sin? God is such a loving God. He gives us chance after chance to repent. He does things to get our attention. Some of us get it the first time. Then there are some of us who have to hit rock bottom and suffer consequences for us to turn from evil and cling to what is good. God uses the consequences of sin to lead us to a place of repentance.

I am going to press pause here and resume next week with a part II. Until then here are a few things to ponder on.

Will you confess and turn away from that habit or attitude that rejects God and His word? God gives multiple chances for repentance, but eventually a judgment day will come. Eventually it will be too late to get right. Those who chose to love a worldly life and follow the enemy will have a final destination, hell. Those of us who repent and choose Jesus will have a wonderful, rewarding, place in Heaven with Jesus for eternity!

Until we meet again, be blessed and be encouraged!

Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you for your unconditional love towards us. Lord, some days we know we don’t deserved your goodness and the repeated chances that you give us. Thank you for the grace that covers us daily. Thank you for sending your one and only son, Jesus Christ on the cross to die for our sins. Thank you that His death made a way for us to wipe our slate clean from the sin that so easily entangles us. Lord, we lift up all those who do not have a personal relationship with you. We pray they will come to know you as their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and experience the free grace of forgiveness. For those of us who know you, give us the wisdom and strength to repent and turn away from any sins that are not pleasing to you. Help us to cling to you and love you more than we love the world. In Jesus Name. Amen

AMBER ALERT: Come Back, Wandering Children!

Amber Alert

AMBER ALERT: Come Back, Wandering Children!

Written by Felicia McKnight

7/8/15

Then GOD told me, “Fickle Israel was a good sight better than flighty Judah. Go and preach this message. Face north toward Israel and say: “‘Turn back, fickle Israel. I’m not just hanging back to punish you. I’m committed in love to you. My anger doesn’t seethe nonstop. Just admit your guilt. Admit your God-defiance. Admit to your promiscuous life with casual partners, pulling strangers into the sex-and-religion groves While turning a deaf ear to me.’” GOD ’s Decree. “Come back, wandering children!” GOD ’s Decree. “I, yes I, am your true husband. I’ll pick you out one by one— This one from the city, these two from the country— and bring you to Zion. I’ll give you good shepherd-rulers who rule my way, who rule you with intelligence and wisdom. “‘Turn back, fickle Israel. I’m not just hanging back to punish you. I’m committed in love to you. My anger doesn’t seethe nonstop. Just admit your guilt. Admit your God-defiance. Admit to your promiscuous life with casual partners, pulling strangers into the sex-and-religion groves While turning a deaf ear to me.’” GOD ’s Decree. “Come back, wandering children!” GOD ’s Decree. “I, yes I, am your true husband. I’ll pick you out one by one— This one from the city, these two from the country— and bring you to Zion. I’ll give you good shepherd-rulers who rule my way, who rule you with intelligence and wisdom. (Jeremiah 3:12-15 MSG)

***BREAKING NEWS***

  • Smash and grab robbery….
  • Home invasion….
  • Road rage shooting….
  • Murder suicide….
  • Prostitution sting bust…..
  • Doctor arrested for child porn….
  • Bruce turns into Katelyn….
  • Gay Marriage legal in all 50 states…..
  • ISIS terrorist threat….
  • Mass killing in a black church….

These seem to be the frequent headlines that have popped up on my phone and e-mail inbox in the past few weeks. Many have left me sad, angry, or astonished! Most things I don’t understand why. There are some days I want to disconnect from all news outlets and just sneak over to the Internet for weather and traffic updates.   Each day the news is a reminder the world is becoming a darker place with evil lurking all around. It saddens me and hurts my heart to see the craziness each day. As I read today’s scripture passage I was blown away. When I read it I see today’s news headlines as a modern day wayward Israel. As I was praying God reminded me that people are beginning to conform to the patterns of the world. Society has fallen off from Biblical principles and living however we so choose. Evil is lurking all around and things are getting worse rather than better. My heart aches for our nation and people as a whole. I am more saddened by those that don’t know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My message today is one of hope and restoration as I pray for many to know CHRIST and for those who have backslidden to return to Him.

Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not remain angry forever. (Jeremiah 3:12 NKJV)

The beauty of this passage is that God is committed to love us. He is merciful. His anger is for a moment. This passage was before Christ yet we are reminded in John 3:16 why Christ was needed. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV). God’s desire is for each of us to turn from evil ways and wrong doings. He wants us to turn from a life that is not pleasing to Him according to His word. He wants us to return to Him and repent. It doesn’t matter what sin we are living in. God is ready to receive each one of us just as we are. His blood that was shed on the cross cleansed all of our sins and unrighteousness. We just need to accept Christ and recommit our lives to Him, a loving, merciful savior.

“Return, you backsliding children, And I will heal your backslidings.” “Indeed we do come to You, For You are the LORD our God. (Jeremiah 3:22 NKJV)

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, (Acts 3:19 NKJV)

The Bad News….

“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NIV)

The Good News….

“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11 NIV)

The good news is that when you come to Christ and repent all your sins become your “were”. No matter what your struggles are surrendering to Christ means that He washes you clean. He sanctifies you. At the cross He justified your sins.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:8-12 NIV)

An Amber Alert is a mass notification system that alerts the community about missing children and to assist in the search for and safe return for them. God has issued an Amber Alert for His children today.

GOD ’s Decree. “Come back, wandering children!”

God gave His son so that we as a people can be redeemed! He is praying for this nation “come back wandering Children.” Will you return to Christ today?

And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:21 NKJV)

Be blessed and encouraged!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us unconditionally. Thank you for your mercy and your grace. Lord, we pray for all those souls who are lost and don’t know you as their Lord and savior Jesus Christ. We pray that they will surrender their lives and allow you to be their Lord and Master. We pray for those that once knew you but have gone astray. We pray for their safe return back to your loving arms. May they all know your unconditional love. May they all know that regardless of what they’ve done is the past that nothing can separate them from your love. May we all be aware of any wrongdoing that are not pleasing to you. Help us to come to a place of repentance and surrendering all to you. Have mercy on us, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out our transgressions. Cleanse us with hyssop, and we will be clean; wash us, and We will be whiter than snow. Create in us a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within us. Restore to us the joy of your salvation and grant us a willing spirit, to sustain us. (Psalm 51:1, 7, 10, 12 NIV). In Jesus Name. Amen

Click here for Salvation Prayer

He’ll Meet You Where You Are

He’ll Meet You Where You Are
By Felicia McKnight

Luke19:1-10 NIV
In Luke 19:1-10 we have the story of Zaccheus, the Chief Tax Collector. In modern day times he is what we refer to as the IRS (no offense to any of our wonderful Government employees). Zaccheus was known for being a selfish, money lover. He was judged by his character and actions, and he was not liked by anyone.

“He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.” (Luke 19:3-4)

Jesus just so happen to be in the town of Jericho (verse 1) and Zaccheus wanted to see Jesus preach. Scripture tells us that he was short. I can testify for the short people today that if you are in crowds and anywhere but in the front of the crowd, then you are unable to see what is going on. If anyone has ever been with me in this situation they know I am notorious for aggressively bombarding my way to the front as I am determined this short lady will see. I’ve just never been bold enough to climb up a tree. *wink* I am sure this was the case for Zaccheus. He was so determined to see Jesus that he climbed up a sycamore-fig tree. Scripture doesn’t tell us what led Zaccheus, the evil one, to become so desperate to see Jesus.

There comes a time in all of our lives where we are living in sin and living outside of the will of God. Living out of the will of God is an unfulfilling place. Even as a saved individual who has had seasons of going astray outside of God’s will is not the ideal place to be. It can become a place of confusion, turmoil, and discontentment. Look at the prodigal son in Luke 15. This parable teaches us of someone who got outside of God’s will. It took for the Prodigal son to hit rock bottom before He realized everything He needed was in his Father’s house and everything he needed to satisfy him and sustain Him God had, but He just needed to return to God. I encourage you to go back and read my previous Feevotional about the Prodigal Son, “A Return to Destiny”. Perhaps Zaccheus was beginning to have that feeling of un-fulfillment and discontentment so his curiosity led him to see what this Jesus man was all about.

“When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”” (Luke 19:5-7)

Zaccheus received a life changing surprise during his time of desperation. Jesus noticed Zaccheus and told him he needed to stay at his house. Scripture doesn’t tell us what happened at Zaccheus’s house. We don’t know what conversation they had. All we know is after Jesus visit with Zaccheus he became a transformed man. The people were extremely judgmental of Jesus decision to talk to Zaccheus . How often have we found ourselves to be judgmental towards others? We don’t talk to them, we stare at them, and sometimes we don’t even think they belong inside of the church because of their lifestyle, their sin, the way they dress, the way they look, their past. The reality is we ALL belong in the church. It’s a place that is supposed to save sinners, so how does a sinner get saved if they can’t even come to church because they are judged?

Fortunately Jesus knows how judgmental Christians can be. We are all sinners saved by grace. When Jesus wanted to witness to Zaccheus he extended grace by dealing with him in private instead of in front of the judgmental church folk. This is an important lesson for us all to know. No matter who we are, what bad thing we have done, what sin we are living in right now, God loves us and will meet us exactly where we are at. If you are a criminal, an ex-con, a liar, a thief, a fornicator, an adulterer, a drug dealer, a drug user, an angry person, a depressed person, a woman who had an abortion, an alcoholic, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, whoever you are or whatever you have done or currently done….IT DOES NOT MATTER TO GOD! He sent His son on the cross to die for all of our sins. He desires all of us to accept Christ as our Lord and savior. Regardless of what category you fit in God will meet you where you are to win you over into the kingdom. He is not a judgmental God, but a loving God. He loves you so much that He will meet you where you are, but He won’t leave you where you are. Clearly this is what He did with Zaccheus . He met Zaccheus where He was but He didn’t leave him in the state he was in. Obviously whatever happened behind the scenes worked!

But Zaccheus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” (Luke 19:8)

Zaccheus turned from His evil ways to God’s righteous ways. Are you in a place in life right now where you feel like things surely have to be better than the lifestyles and behaviors that you may currently be a part of that do not line up with the word of God? Have you seen people in your situation try Jesus and life changed for the better? Do you have that curiosity to see what this Jesus lifestyle is all about? If you are currently a Christian that has gone astray and you are reading this right now God has met you where you are. Seek Him just as Zaccheus did. Just as Jesus told Zaccheus he needed to go to his house today God is saying I need to come to your house and fellowship with you. If you haven’t been to church in a while get up and go to Bible Study tonight or service this Sunday. Open your bible and read it. Talk to him in prayer. He desires to fellowship with you.

“Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:9-10)

To those that don’t know Christ and you are reading this right now, God has met you where you are. He desires you to be a part of his glorious kingdom. Will you receive him today? God desires all of us to live in a place of fellowship with him and to walk righteously with him. Whatever lifestyle or behaviors you are in right now don’t worry about what other judgmental individuals say. Don’t let the words bother you or hinder you. God has the next steps of your life all lined up if you would receive him. The negative, judgmental, words of others are irrelevant. The crowd was upset when Jesus fellowshipped with Zaccheus , but that didn’t hinder Jesus from saving his soul. Regardless of where you are at and what you are doing just know that GOD LOVES YOU NO MATTER WHAT! I ask again, will you receive Him today? Be blessed and encouraged!

Feevotional: A Return To Destiny: https://feevotional.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/a-return-to-destiny/

Prayer
Heavenly Father, today I lift up all those who don’t know you as their Lord and savior. I also lift up those individuals who know you but have gone back to their old lifestyle and old ways of doing things. I pray today that you would meet them where they are and draw them back to your loving arms and into your kingdom. I pray they will all know you as I have grown to know you. I pray they all will know that life is better and sweeter when we do things your way. In Jesus Name. Amen

If you want to Receive Christ today pray the following prayer or one similar with a sincere heart:
Dear Lord Jesus,
I know I have sinned against you and stand in judgment. I need your forgiveness, I need Jesus. I know Jesus can be my Savior. I repent and turn from sin today. I turn back to You and right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved. I put my trust and hope in Jesus Christ and accept the free gift of salvation you have provided in Him. Transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself. Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

If you just prayed this prayer with sincerity, then you are now saved and are born again. CONGRATULATIONS and welcome to the Kingdom of God!!!!

For more information on your new decision visit: https://feevotional.wordpress.com/salvation-prayer/

A Special Gift – To: YOU – From: God

A Special Gift – To: YOU – From: God
Written by Felicia McKnight

John 3:16 Amplified
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

Well, 2014 seems to be moving right along. It is now February also known as the love month. This means I see the word “Valentine” plastered everywhere along with red and pink hearts and Xs and O’s symbolic for affection. Everyday my e-mail inbox has been filled with e-mails saying “Gifts to Get Him or Her” or “Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas.” As I scrolled through each e-mail I had a light bulb moment that during this time we tend to express our love towards those special people in our lives by purchasing special gifts.

Our scripture today reminds us that God loved us so much that He gave a special gift for each one of us. It is one gift that all can benefit from. We didn’t have to hint around to God what love gift we desire of Him. Before God formed the foundation of this world He knew there was a special gift He would have to give each one of us to demonstrate His love for us. That gift is the death of His only son Jesus Christ on the cross. For those of us who are Christians (we believe in Jesus Christ and have received Him as our Lord and Savior), this special gift saved us from the pits of hell, death, and separation from God. This gift didn’t just accomplish saving us from death, but it is a gift that keeps on giving. This is not an annual gift. Matter of fact time is not a factor with this gift. It never runs out or gets old or tarnishes. It is a gift that promises us eternal life with our Heavenly Father. This gift is not just for me and it is not just for you. It is not for us to keep tucked away in the safe or a jewelry box. It is a gift that God desires to share with all who will believe in Him. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)

With some gifts you may get in an argument with your spouse or significant other and decide not to gift them anything at all on Valentine’s Day. This gift from God is so special that it doesn’t matter how we’ve acted or what we’ve done. It doesn’t matter if we messed up. God loves us so much that He will not take this gift from us. It is ours for eternity. “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Psalm 103:8 NIV)

This gift I can’t give you, but I can share it. This special gift is from God, to YOU! Do you receive it?

Love Letter From God
Dear [Insert Your Name here]:
Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I knew you and before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5) I chose you to be Holy and blameless in my sight. (Ephesians 1:4) I created you to be in my image and my likeness. (Genesis 1:26) You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) I knew that one day you would mess up and I know you will never be perfect (Romans 3:23), but I love you anyway. While you were yet still a sinner (Romans 5:8) I came up with a plan to redeem you. I loved you and valued you so much that I gave up my precious and only son by way of death to free you of sin. I love you enough that I want you to myself for eternity and I have paved the way for you to have eternal life by way of the cross. (John 3:16) No matter what you did in your past I still love you. I accept you. Even if you messed up last night or before you read this I still love you. I forgive you. I am patient with you and my love will always remain. (Psalm 145:8). If you would have me as your eternal love, then believe in me. Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that I am your Lord and that I was raised from the dead. If you believe, then my forgiveness and my Lordship is yours for eternity. (Romans 10:9-10) I love you my child. Yes, I am talking to you reading this right now. I love you and there is nothing or no one that can change that. (Romans 8:38-39)
Love,
God

O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Part 3

Revelation 22:16 NIV
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Part 3
Morning Star is the name given to the planet Venus or some say Mercury when it appears in the East just before sunrise. In Matthew 2:2 we see another morning star appear, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” This star is Jesus Christ’s star which lead those to Him at the time of his birth. A star can be defined as a point of light in the night sky. Jesus came to be the light in our darkness. This season can be a season of darkness for many people who have lost loved ones who are no longer here to celebrate, some may have lost jobs with no money to spend, some may have experienced broken families through divorce and failed relationships, some may still be single and longing for a mate, some may be dealing with caring for sick family members, some may be dealing with troubled children or family members. In all circumstances and many more there are people feeling darkness right now during this advent season. The next few lines of our Christmas carol say:

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here
And drive away the shades of night
And pierce the clouds and bring us light

This advent season we are once again reminded of the hope that Jesus Christ brings. You may be feeling in a dark place but light is always present. When God created the earth He pushed out darkness. “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:2-3) God pushed darkness out of the earth and He desires to push it out of your life through Jesus Christ. As we read in Matthew 2 at Jesus birth people begin following him by way of the light, the morning star. As they followed Jesus, they worshiped him. I know some of you may not feel like it right now, but I invite you to pause and let’s take a praise and worship break….

Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, my soul
(Psalm 103)

If you are in a place of darkness, then I want to encourage you today to keep your eyes focused on the morning star, the light, the hope that we have in Jesus. Whatever circumstances you are facing remember there is a promise of hope in the Bible for it. Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” God Immanuel is with you and will not leave you where you are. Be blessed and be encouraged! Happy Advent!

Prayer
Heavenly Father, we thank you for this Advent season as we reflect on all that was done by you through your son Jesus Christ. We thank you for being our bright morning star, our light when life seems dark. Today I lift up every reader feeling a disconnect from you, every reader feeling like all hope is lost, and every reader going through a dark season or has gone through a dark season this year. Thank you for reminding us today that you are our light. Touch each heart and mind to place their focus on you and not their circumstances and send hope where it seems distant or lost. In Jesus name. Amen
~Written by Felicia McKnight~

O Come, O Come Emmanuel Series Previous Articles
O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Part 1
O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Part 2

Song
O Come, O Come Emmanuel by Whitney Houston – (click here)

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