This covers our Scripture Sheets and just random Scriptures we think will be an encouragement to you.

Defeating Our Resistance to God’s Thoughts

Bible Study

Slightly over four thousand years ago, God issued an unreasonable demand to a man named Abraham. “Offer your son Isaac as a sacrifice,” God ordered (Genesis 22:2).

Abraham didn’t question God’s motives, he didn’t argue with the Lord and he didn’t outright reject God’s edict. Instead, he immediately prepared to destroy the son he thoroughly loved (Genesis 22:3).

Nothing in Abraham offered any resistance to God’s unreasonable command. He flowed smoothly along with God’s thoughts. His body, mind and spirit willingly yielded to what God had in mind. “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead…” Hebrews 11:19.  Abraham thought like God thought. His mind offered zero resistance to God’s will and God’s ways.

But it wasn’t always like this. …

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Destruction Will Come to an End!

Destruction has been around a long time.

Three thousand years ago an ancient chronicler recorded these words about his world:  “In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil.  One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another,” 2 Chronicles 15:5-6.

About 2,000 years ago Jesus predicted, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven,” Luke 21:10-11.  Is there no end to destruction?  Is the world doomed to suffer forever?

Good news!  Approximately 2,800 years ago a Hebrew prophet named Isaiah promised, “Destruction will come to an end,” Isaiah 16:4.

Why Destruction Exists

Many people blame God for the cataclysms that devastate the earth and annihilate life.  They reason that if there is a Creator why did he make destruction?  Why doesn’t he stop it?  They fail to recognize that perhaps God didn’t create everything.

Destruction didn’t originate in divine creativity.  It sprang out of the rebellion of angels and humans in whom he placed free will.

The original earth knew nothing of decay, death, natural disasters or of hatred between humans.  These devastating forces came about when Adam and Eve rejected the divine laws that bring peace.

As long as angels and humans loved the Lord and respected his commands, his presence shielded them from the possibility of ruin.  On the other hand, rebellion against God removed Adam and Eve from God’s protective presence and made them liable to calamities.  It’s not far-fetched to call simple humanity creators of desolation.

Jesus’ prediction of famines, earthquakes, pestilences, wars and revolutions doesn’t bring these horrible events to pass.   He understood the inevitable consequences of  mankind’s ever-increasing sinfulness.  “There will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again,” Matthew 24:21.       Had humanity never sinned against the Lord, destruction simply wouldn’t exist.

God Uses What He Doesn’t Create

            Although God didn’t create destruction, he uses it for mankind’s welfare.

First, God uses the havoc caused by mankind’s sinfulness in his people’s favor.   Love for God doesn’t remove us from the effect of destruction.  Natural disasters and warfare ruin church buildings as well as grocery stores and government offices.  Crime and violence injure and kill people who love Jesus and those who don’t.  What then is the advantage of serving God?

Consider Jesus.  All his enemies gleefully rejoiced over his torture, persecution and death.  Notice how Heavenly Father used Jesus’ crushing in his favor:

  • Provided an eternally glorified body for him.
  • Raised him from the dead.
  • Enthroned him at Heavenly Father’s right hand.
  • Appointed him eternal Ruler of the universe

Jesus’ experience serves as an example of Heavenly Father’s infinite desire to use everything in our favor.  “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,” Romans 8:28.

Secondly, God uses tragedies caused by mankind’s sinfulness in favor of people who have not yet accepted him as Savior.  Rest assured, dear friends, God longs to draw every human into salvation.   “God our Savior…wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth,” 1 Timothy 2:3-4.  However, humanity’s calloused hearts persistently reject the God who provides every breath for them.  This stubborn refusal brings about misfortune which tenderizes people’s hearts toward the Lord.  Motivated by adversity, they call on him for salvation.  “God’s kindness leads you to salvation,” Romans 2:4 declares.  “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance,” 2 Peter 3:9. “Our Lord’s patience means repentance,” 2 Peter 3:15. So our patient God uses the destruction he does not cause to amplify his voice that pleads for mankind’s repentance and love!

The End of Destruction

Good news—we are approaching the end of destruction!  However, we must remember Jesus’ words, “When you hear of wars and revolutions…these things must happen first, but the end will not come right away,” Luke 21:9.        God’s people will see rough times just like his people of the past endured many tragedies.  The end of destruction is on the way but has not arrived.

But listen to this.  “In keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness,” 2 Peter 3:13.  Until that day arrives God’s Spirit will personally escort us through all the fearful times that precede Jesus’ return.

Jesus told us how to respond to the storms and stresses that afflict the world at the end of this age:  “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near,” Luke 21:28.  “Stand up”— don’t cringe in fear.  “Lift up your heads”—don’t hang your head in despair.

“In keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness,” 2 Peter 3:13.  Creation’s deliverance from destruction approaches fast! “Let not your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me,” John 13:1.

From the archives of Rev. James Fields

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Profiting From the Path of Most Resistance

Profiting From the Path of Most Resistance

 Excerpt from Profiting From the Path of Most Resistance

When You Don’t Like Paths of Most Resistance God, what’s wrong with you?  Why don’t you heal me? Those angry questions in 1968 revealed my total distaste for the path of most resistance.  I can’t lose my driver’s license and still pastor a church.  What’s going to happen to me? …

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Drawing Near the God Who Desires Us

Why We Exist

Genesis chapter one records God’s creative acts that brought about the universe and the planet earth. The universe exists because he desired human companions with whom his Spirit could commune.  God created us with the intention of fellowshipping with us and using us as partners in bringing about God’s wonderful plan for the universe.

Sometime in the distant past God created beings’ scripture calls angels.  But he wanted companions capable of living comfortably on planet earth.  He planned on using the humans, not angels, to multiply and fill the earth with lots and lots of people.  God desires human fellowship and yearns to use humans in bringing about the divine will for the material universe.

The Barrier Between God and Humans

Regrettably, the first two humans failed to obey their heavenly Maker and became guilty of what the Bible calls sin. This sin built a barrier between humans and God and made humans susceptible to performing more acts of rebellion against God.

Nevertheless, God’s desire for human fellowship never waned.  So, “the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them,” Genesis 3:21.  Adam and Eve died spiritually so God offered the first animal sacrifice in their behalf and used the skin of the animal to clothe them.  The blood of his sacrifice served to provide a way for God and humans to commune despite mankind’s sin.  But animal’s blood could not sufficiently change the inner nature of human beings.

Heavenly Father Destroys the Barrier Between Humans and Himself

Heavenly Father, Christ and Holy Spirit devised an ingenious way to destroy the barrier between a sinless God and his sinful creatures.  God’s infinite love compelled him to remove the barrier that stood between him and the sinful human race.

This ingenious plan required the second person of the Trinity to become a genuine human, live as a human on earth and shed his blood for cleansing humans of sin.  Consequently, the infinite person Christ became a two-cell human in Mary.  He developed like any normal human; went through childhood and young adulthood and eventually shed his blood on the cross for the forgiveness of every human sin.  Jesus became the sacrifice that destroyed the barrier between heavenly Father and human beings!

It’s impossible to measure how much heavenly Father loves us and the price he was willing to pay for our fellowship.  But he did it!  Jesus’ blood destroys the barrier between us and God!

Draw Near the God Who Desires You

Heavenly Father, Christ Jesus and Holy Spirit made us for their fellowship.  Fellowshipping with us prepares us for doing God’s will in creation.  The Creator wishes to use us as his partners in bringing about His divine will for all things.  However, we must draw near the Lord who desires us so his presence can equip us to carry out his will and pleasure.

The first step to draw near the Lord is called the new birth.  This new birth occurs when God’s Spirit moves into our dead human spirit.  The enlivened human spirit is capable of knowing God, fellowshipping with God and loving God.  So, the first step toward drawing near the Lord our Maker is the new birth.  Accepting Jesus as Savior brings about this new birth.

BIble  After experiencing the new birth, the human spirit is alive and like every other living thing needs nourishment.  However, the human spirit doesn’t eat physical food.  It survives and thrives by fellowshipping with the Spirit of God.  The Spirit of God fills the human spirit with energy, vitality, love for God and love for his Word, the Bible.  Basically, when God’s Spirit moves into the human spirit we begin sharing our Creator’s ambitions, desires and goals.

God hungers for our fellowship and when his Spirit dwells in us, we hunger for Him.  We want to know the Lord and draw near Him!  Look at the apostle Paul in Acts chapter nine.  This murderous hater of Jesus and Jesus’ people was transformed by the Holy Spirit and wanted to know Jesus, to be close to Jesus and obey Jesus.  It is the same with every human.  When Jesus’ Spirit dwells in us we share his desire for fellowshipping with heavenly Father.  We yearn to draw near the Lord!

Draw Near the Lord by Spending Communion Time with Him

Communion with God involves praise of him, worship of him, adoration of him and thanksgiving to him.   It’s not merely asking for things.  Communion expresses our love for God as we feel his love for us.  Remember, we desire God because he first desired us.  He created Adam and Eve for fellowship and that’s why he made you!

Heavenly Father, Christ Jesus and Holy Spirit yearn to draw you nearer and nearer themselves!  So, we must spend private time with the Lord.  During this time, we praise, adore and magnify our God.  We bow at his feet in worship and thank him for his infinite goodness to us.  This time in God’s presence permits his Spirit to interact with our human spirits and this interaction equips the human spirit to magnify and worship the Lord in ways that lie beyond our limited abilities.

Set aside time for being alone with the Lord.  You have time for communing with the Lord, but you must set it aside for that specific purpose.  Regard communing with God as top priority in your daily routine.

When I was a young and very busy pastor the Lord spoke to me one day, “You’re not praying!”  He woke me up and I decided that I would set aside one hour a day to be alone with the Lord.  I chose 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.  Most days this plan worked fine and allowed me to interact with the Spirit of God in ways that were brand new to me.  God wants us, dear friends, but we must choose to spend private time with him.  Therefore, I set aside this hour a day five days a week for just being with the Lord.  Through the years this amount of time enlarged and allowed the Lord and me to spend more and more fellowship time together.  He’s waiting for you to do the same thing!  The Lord yearns for private fellowship time with you!  You are his dear child whom he purchased with the blood of Jesus.  Please, satisfy the Lord’s desire for you by drawing near him through spending private fellowship time with him.

Archives of James Fields






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Discovering the Language of Intimacy with God

“Jesus, I love you, praise you, adore you, and appreciate you!  I can’t thank you enough for forgiving my sins and sending your spirit into my life.”  These words of love for Jesus often flowed from my lips during my late teenage years.  Tears trickled down my cheeks as I attempted to express gratitude for the love God lavished upon me.

But I faced an unexplainable, invisible barrier when trying to tell God what I thought of him.  To break through this barrier, I imagined myself standing in heaven with innumerable angels praising God.  “I…heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.  In a loud voice they sang, ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.’”  I memorized verses from Psalms and Revelation which increased my praise vocabulary tremendously, but something was missing.

The dictionary and thesaurus provided me with more synonyms to words like “magnificent,” “wonderful,” and “astonishing.”  I made a list of praise words and read them aloud during my private times with God.  Still, satisfactory praise for God eluded me.  Equipped with praise verses from the Bible and praise words from the dictionary, I did my best to tell God how highly I thought of Him.  But I could only tell Him what I thought.  I found it extremely difficult to tell him how I felt.

I needed a language to move me beyond the limits of my intellect.

A Very Important Discovery

In the second chapter of Acts, the apostles and other believers met together on the day of Pentecost.  “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”  “We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

I observed that these people spoke languages they had never learned.  They stepped out of their limited vocabulary as “the Holy Spirit enabled them.”  I wondered, “What were they speaking?”  Then I noticed verse 11, “We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”  They were praising God!  The speaking in tongues unshackled these believers from languages they had learned.  The Holy Spirit swept them along in the vocabulary He provided.

I was on the brink of discovering something that was new to me, but the tenth chapter of Acts completed the breakthrough.

The Apostle Peter introduced a house full of Gentiles to the salvation that comes through Jesus.  These folks unhesitatingly surrendered themselves to Jesus.  During Peter’s sermon, these baby Christians spontaneously erupted into tongues like the believers in Acts 2.  But the words recorded in Acts 10:46 sprang off the page, took hold of my thoughts, and introduced me to the language of intimacy with God.

“For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.”  I realized that these folks had never memorized praise verses.  Dictionaries and thesauruses hadn’t been invented.  But the Holy Spirit spoke words of praise for God through their human spirits. They spoke in tongues and praised.

 I’ll add this language of love to the praise verses and praise words I memorize,” I decided.  From out of my spirit welled up expressions of thankfulness that I felt but could not utter.  I switched from English to the praise language the Holy Spirit gave me; then I changed back to English and quoted praise verses.  My mind could not understand the praise words the Holy Spirit enabled me to speak, but my spirit felt fully satisfied.

Using the Holy Spirit’s unlimited vocabulary, my human spirit expressed my love for Jesus in ways that felt good to both him and me.

Intimacy with Jesus accelerated and my dedication to him deepened.

Experiencing the Language of Intimacy with God

All Christians can enjoy the language of intimacy with God.  The Holy Spirit yearns to speak praises for Heavenly Father and Jesus through every believer on earth.  We can’t imagine the joy that floods God as his earthly children give themselves to the Holy Spirit’s measurelessness.

Let’s add the language of intimacy with God to our praise verses, our praise songs, and our praise words.

Scriptures referred to: Revelation 5:11-12; Acts 2: 4, 11 & 10:34-46

Be greatly encouraged!

From the archives of Rev. James Fields





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Introducing Yourself to Yourself

Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this he breathed his last,” Luke 23:46.  “Into your hands I commit my spirit”?  What’s a human spirit?  Why did Jesus’ body die after he surrendered his spirit to Heavenly Father?

Lots of people equate the human soul with the human spirit.  They never consider that these two aren’t the same.  Consequently, they don’t really know themselves—they’ve never introduced themselves to themselves; they’ve never met their human spirit.

This confusing of soul and spirit deprives us of intimate communion with God’s Spirit.  The human soul, the human mind, and the human body cannot interact with God’s Spirit.  Jesus plainly declared, “God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit,” John 4:24.

When God formed the human body it remained lifeless until the Lord “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” Genesis 2:7.  At that moment God’s Spirit placed a human spirit in the human body.  The human spirit completed the human being and the man became a living soul.

We are three-part creatures: a human spirit housed in a human body which has a soul or mind.  Notice how the apostle Paul described us as spirit, soul and body.  “May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23.  When someone asked Jesus to choose the most important commandment in the law of Moses, he responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” Matthew 22:37.  Many years before Jesus and Paul lived, Moses referred to the Lord as “the God of the spirits of all mankind,” Numbers 16:22.

As long as the human spirit resides in the body, the body lives.  Only the human spirit vitalizes the physical body.  James pointed out, “The body without the spirit is dead,” James 2:26.  Consequently, when Jesus’ human spirit left his body, his physical person ceased functioning.  His body died, but his spirit continued living.

If we want to know what our spirit is like, let’s look at God who is spirit.  He created us in his image and likeness; our human spirits mirror him.

God has shape.  He is not a formless, universal force.  He has hands, eyes, ears and hair.  He wears a robe, sits on the throne and rides a chariot.  He thinks, feels and speaks.  God is a person, not merely an influence, a mist or a fog.

Since God is spirit, he is undetectable to the human senses.  Therefore, we depend entirely on the Bible to describe him.  Undetectable does not mean unreal.

In fact, everything physical and material is less real than the invisible God.  The things we touch, smell, see, hear and taste are in the process of decaying and eventually disappear.  On the other hand, spiritual realities remain forever.  “For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal,” 2 Corinthians 4:18.

Your spirit is real.  Like God, the human spirit has shape and form. Your spirit possesses five senses.   Therefore, when Jesus’ human spirit stepped out of his mangled, mutilated body, his spirit continued seeing, feeling and thinking.  His spirit actively lived while his body laid in the grave.  So it is with all of us.  When the body ceases living, our spirit goes to be with the Lord until it is reunited with the resurrected body.

Our relationship with Jesus is spiritual, not soulish or intellectual.  The Spirit of the resurrected Jesus does not live in our minds, but resides in our spirits.   Relationship with God only takes place when his Spirit moves into our spirits.  Jesus referred to the union of God’s Spirit with the human spirit as the new birth. He stated, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to spirit,” John 3:1-8.  The soul, the mind and the body are not born again.

Communion describes an interactive relationship between God’s Spirit and the human spirit which excites us about being with him.  Communion is God-centered; prayer requests are self-centered.  If we never move beyond making requests of God, we become bored with and disappointed in our private time with him.  Prayer becomes routine and uninteresting.  Therefore, the pages of this book are designed to help us leave the religious activity most people call prayer as we begin sharing our spirits with the Spirit of God who dwells in us.

Be greatly encouraged!

From the archives of Rev. James Fields

If you would like to learn more you can order his book Leaving Prayer, Entering Communion by clicking here

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Psalm 138

We have made it a daily habit to read a chapter of Proverbs each day and several chapters of Psalms because they are so full of wisdom and encouragement.  Psalm 138 is especially encouraging and so we thought we would just post it here for your encouragement for today!  “The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him,” Psalm 32:10.

1 I will praise You with my whole heart;
  Before the gods I will sing praises to You.
I will worship toward Your holy temple,
  And praise Your name
  For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
  For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
  And made me bold with strength in my soul.

4 All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord,
  When they hear the words of Your mouth.
Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
  For great is the glory of the Lord.
Though the Lord is on high,
  Yet He regards the lowly;
  But the proud He knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
  You will stretch out Your hand
  Against the wrath of my enemies,
  And Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
  Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
  Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

We pray as you read this chapter that you will gain strength for your day and the days we are facing.  We encourage you to keep focused on God’s Holy Word and not the chaos of the world because Jesus has overcome the world and won so will we!


Comfort and Encouragement Ministries

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Be the Light

Let Your Light Shine

Guest writer: Jordin Williams

A light can be used for so many things.

In the beginning of time/creation, we see that God created light!  He created light to separate darkness.  once there was light, he created life and all living things.  Things need light to live.  Things need light to grown.

We don’t only NEED light, we need to BE THE LIGHT!

What does light do?

  • Light exposes things.
  • Light heals things.
  • Light reveals things.
  • Light brightens.
  • Light directs.
  • Light warms.
  • Light produces.
  • Light gives energy.
  • Light generates.

If light possess all of these attributes, and we live in a world that is full of darkness, then we are bringing each of these attributes with us when we step in.

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


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Still Learning

The past few years have been very different years for all of us but one of the good things that has come from it is a relationship that has grown deeper with a Christian colleague of mine.  She is twenty-two years younger than I am, but her walk with God is deep and consistent.  One of my prayers this year has been that God will make “old things new”.  As I have aged, I began to think there was nothing new that I could learn from my Bible reading.  I was wrong!  I learned something new from my friend about Isaiah 40:31: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” 

Look at the sequence of that scripture: Wait on the Lord and strength will be renewed. Not maybe, not if the weather is good, not if everything is going my way.  Our strength is renewed as we wait on the Lord, as we listen to him, as we learn of him.  That first part of the scripture has been providing hope for me for the past 50 years, but I did not always appreciate the promise.  As you all know, I am an impatient persona and stay too busy for my own good.  The sequence of the next part of the verse has a new meaning to me.  As a new, young Christian, I was soaring like an Eagle.  Everything was new, fresh and wonderful.  I was learning spiritual things.  The next part of my life I was running and not growing weary.  School and church were keeping me busy.  I sometime wonder how I survived.  God was faithful with everything that was going on in my life.  As I have matured physically and spiritually, is it now time to walk?  My challenge for now is making decisions about my retirement. What to do?  How can I be useful if I am not working at school?  Am I still in a running phase or is it time to walk?  I don’t know, but I am waiting on the Lord for direction.  I have promises that I will be okay.  I know he is holding my hand.

And speaking of hand holding.  That is another new inspiration to me.  I am reading “Low and Gentle” and one of the stories the author tells is of a dad walking into the shallow end of a pool with his three-year old son.  The son thinks he is holding on tot he dad’s hand ever so tightly in anticipation of the uncertainty of the deeper water.  Actually, it is the father that is holding on to the son.  He is not going to let go.  I often thought that through my life I was holding on to God, but he, our heavenly Father, is holding on to me and he will NEVER let go!

Guest writer JoElla Skaggs


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Lord, I Believe; Help My Unbelief

For most of my life I took my health for granted. As a child and on into my young adult life I was mostly healthy, skinny, due to a high metabolism and a somewhat active life. I ate what I wanted, exercised if or when and how I wanted, but really never very disciplined. The same went for my spiritual life. I was saved as a child and then baptized with the Holy Spirit as a teenager when I truly understood Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Yet, I wasn’t very self-disciplined in my walk with Jesus Christ.

My health fell apart in my late twenties, because of a poor self-image due to childhood trauma, lack of personal responsibility for my eating habits, exercise and spiritual well-being.

I believed more about what I said about myself than what my Heavenly Father said about me. I lived a very self-centered and sinful life for several years. I’m not talking about the sin I acknowledged as a teenager and became saved from because my Heavenly Father worked in my heart and showed me the truth of Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (NKJV) I’m talking about the kind of willful sinning a non-mature or weak Christian will fall into because their everyday life is not centered in/on Christ Jesus.

I do believe I was saved from an eternal life separated from God, however, the Holy Spirit at work in me tried to save me from myself and gently steer me away from the sin I was committing that would ultimately lead to my eternal separation from my Heavenly Father.

He spoke to my spirit on two occasions and said, “If you continue in this sin, I will have to withdraw my eternal life from you.” The third time he said, “I cannot work in you because you have not heeded my warnings. I will be here when you decide to return to and follow closely your Savior, Christ Jesus.”

Please understand that my Heavenly Father treated me with so much love during this time of my life despite the repercussions I faced due to my decision to walk away from my faith. I wouldn’t even come to understand just how much he deeply loved me and watched over me and my family for many years to come.

Open BibleI say this to encourage you to believe the Bible, God’s Holy Word, our heavenly Father’s love letter to us when it says, “The Lord your God is a merciful and compassionate God; He will not fail you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them,” Deuteronomy 4:31 AMP.

In fact, earlier in Deuteronomy 4:23 (AMP) he says, “So be on your guard and watch yourselves, so that you do not forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He has made with you.”

However, even if you do forget or walk away from your covenant with the Lord if “you will seek the Lord your God, …you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and tribulation and all these things come on you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice,” Deuteronomy 4:29-30. He never stops waiting for us to return to him and will welcome those who do seek him diligently with open arms like the prodigal child (Luke 15:11-24).

I believed I deserved nothing good in my life because I had not earned it or because I had not followed the Bible to the letter. I thought of God as a Judge not my Heavenly Father.

I am so thankful that is not how grace and mercy from my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ works! I did ask for God’s forgiveness, and he graciously and compassionately gave it and gives it each time I repent. As my daily walk with my Heavenly Father has ebbed and flowed, my trust and faith in him has grown. I believe he uses our unbelief, our misgivings, our trials in this life to mature us or grow our faith and trust in him if we allow him.

My Heavenly Father, because I do think of him as my Father not my Judge, brought me and my family to a place where I could understand just how much he truly loves me. Coming to understand just how much he loves me despite everything was so transforming.

Have I been perfect? By no means!! Yet, he has never left me. He has been there to pick me up and place me back on the pathway with him when I have stumbled or just plain wandered off the trail. He has stayed right beside me when I struggled with my doubts in him and my insecurities.

I love the list that went around at one point and is probably still out there, of all the imperfect people in the Bible that God used to further his kingdom. It helped me see that despite all my imperfections he can and will use me for the goodness of his eternal kingdom. “I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you [and me] will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return],” Philippians 1:6 AMP.

This is my prayer for you: “that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God,” Philippians 1:9-11 NIV.

May my Heavenly Father pour out all his love and forgiveness and blessings upon you as you come to understand just how much he loves you!!

Bonita Burleson

Comfort and Encouragement Ministries, secretary

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