If you had a friend and the Lord was giving you a chance to tell them how much you love them..what would you say? Below is a letter to you my friend.
Last month the Lord had me praying for the Youth Group as they were getting ready to go to Acquire the Fire youth event in Portland. He had me praying for them that the Lord would touch them and that they would never be the same again. I was praying that things that had been hindering them from walking with the Lord would be removed, and that He would heal them and show them how much He loved them. I was praying that this would be a fork in the road for their lives, and that they could look back as if to a Memorial setup to the Lord where He met them and changed their lives forever.
Since I drive for the Youth Group on Sunday evenings, my Pastor asked me if I would come to Portland with them to drive the big white 15 passenger Ford van while him and another Youth Leader drove the 15 passenger Chevy van. I said sure and went on praying for the Lord to meet the youth and change their lives. Well, the Spirit of the Lord allowed me to witness the lives of youth’s all over the auditorium being changed as Lord dealt with all kinds of addictions, abuse, loneliness, self hatred, etc. As I worshiped the Lord and witnessed His work with the Youth I found myself weeping and being turned inside out as the Spirit of the Lord worked on the things in my heart that had been keeping me back from Him.
I literally felt like I could not weep any more at times, and I felt His love pour over me as He let me know that there was nothing in my past that could keep me from Him if I would just let it go. I had to let go of all the past mistakes I had made with my wife, children, church, friends, and job. He just would not let me go from the fact that I could not go on with Him and accomplish what He had for my life if I would not let go of all my past failures. There was nothing I could do about them, there was nothing that was ever going to change them. They were past and I had to leave them there…washed away by the Blood of His Son Jesus.
The Lord gave me the following scripture to memorize and mediate on each day, and I want to share it with you. 2 Corinthians 5 verses 17 through 21.
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away; Behold all things have become new,
18 Now all things are of God who has reconciled us unto Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the Ministry of Reconciliation.
19 That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the Word of Reconciliation.
20 Now then we are Ambassadors for Christ as if God were pleading through us; we implore you in Christ’s behalf; be reconciled unto God.
21 For He has made Him who new no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
As I memorized and meditated on this passage of scripture, the Lord led me through it piece by piece and started putting my life back together with His precious Word. I feel like the Lord would have me share it with you, and if you will allow Him, He will go through your life with you and put it back together for His Glory right there in the midst of it all.
“If any man be in Christ”…this was the first place I was challenged because of all the things I felt condemned over in my life. All I heard in my mind was well if you were a good Christian then you would never have done this or that, and I just could not get away from the feelings of worthlessness. So the Lord asked me how any man could know if he was in Christ!
He took me to Romans chapter 9 and verses 8 through 13 where it says:
8. But what saith it, the word is nigh unto thee, even in thy mouth and in thine heart,that is the Word of Faith which we preach
9: That if thou shalt believe with thine heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead, and confess with thine mouth that Jesus is Lord, thou shalt be saved.
10. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11. For the scriptures says that whoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed.
12. For there is no difference between Jew or Greek;For the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.
13. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
I had called upon His name years ago and right there in the midst of the Lord dealing with my heart the Lord said; “I have never left you Joseph, even when you turned away from me”. I said in my Word, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. You are born again, you are in Christ my beloved Son, and I love you with the same love I have for Him.
My Word says, that I so loved the World (that includes you) that I gave my only begotten Son that whoever believes on Him should not perish but have Everlasting life! It is nothing I could earn…..I have to accept His love for me, and the fact that I am in Christ.
“I am a new creation”….not going to be some day. It is not something I am trying to earn on my own merit. There is nothing I could ever do to earn this free gift. I have lived so much of my life trying to earn peoples acceptance that I thought I had to earn His, and that was the farthest thing from the truth. He so loved me even when I was in my worst condition. But He did not leave me in that condition….He changed me by His Holy Spirit…in a moment of time. As I believed in my heart and confessed with my mouth Jesus as my Lord, I passed from death into Everlasting life in His Son Jesus. I am beloved by Him….in Christ….I am a new creation…one He has planned to live with Him forever. He has a an Everlasting Plan for my life, and I get to live that out right where I am at day by day, and learn of His Love and Provision for me.
“Old things have passed away”…..Here was where the next fight was.
When I had accepted Jesus as my Lord some thirty years ago, the very first thing that came to my mind was how could I ever expect that the Lord would forgive someone who had lived such a rotten life as mine. Now, some thirty years later it was not about how I had lived before I asked Jesus into my heart, but how I had lived and made mistakes since then. So all the accusations about my life before I had asked Jesus into my life were being conceded, but I was being railed on by the what had happened in my life since I became a child of God in Christ.
So the Lord had me stop and go over the phrase “old things have passed away, Behold (look and see) all things have become new”! He just kept saying to me “old things have passed away”….all “old things have passed away”. That means from the last breath you took and exhaled….it has passed away! You can not take it back….it is gone! It has passed away. Leave it there. I have forgiven you! Live in my love for you right now….look and see…all things have become new Joseph. I said, “Lord I do not see all things new right now Lord”…it is okay He said..like Abraham call those things that be not as though they were! You see this is an Everlasting Life that I have called you into. If you will believe me and call those things that be not as though they were then you will see the fulfilling of my promises in your life. But hang in there…do not despair…it will come to pass! I see them as done already, because I have seen your future son…just believe me and do not despair.
“Now all things are of God who has reconciled us unto Himself through Jesus Christ”……
All things are of God….all things in my life from here on out are in His hands, for His purpose, His divine will, and He will bring to pass His exceeding great and precious promises in my life.
The Lord had me look up the word “reconciled” and here is what I found. To bring two parties together that were enemies,at odds/variance with one another, to be returned to favor and fellowship with one another. He has put away all the hand writings and ordinances, and charges that were against me, and brought me back into friendship and fellowship with Him. He has done this…He has reached out to me, and brought me back to Himself….
“He has committed unto me the Ministry of Reconciliation”……
That is that He was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself…not imputing their trespasses unto them!
He is not standing over me or anyone in the world with a stick ready to punish and inflict grievous wounds in our lives. He is the one holding out a hand of peace, love, and healing….He told me Joseph….accept my love for you and share it with those around you. Tell and show them how much I love them and long to be their friend in fellowship and harmony, in relationship with them. That is the ministry or service that He expects from me. To love others as He has and continues to loves me. To allow Him to love others through me!
“For He made Him to be sin for us”………
He is not waiting for me to get it together. He made Him…Jesus…to be sin for us. Now that justice is satisfied He can take any man (mankind) who accepts this free gift and “make him the righteousness of God…in Him…in Christ”….we are now new creations. Made in the image and likeness of His Son…..
If you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior and you have allowed your past mistakes to keep you back from all that God has for you then repent. Turn to him in faith right now and say “Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus, and according to 1 John 1:9 “If I confess my sins unto you, you are faithful and just to forgive me my sins, and cleanse me from all unrighteousness”. So right now I confess to you those things that have been standing between you and me, and I thank you that I am forgiven. I will meditate upon the words of this message and go forward in victory with you.
If you have never accepted the invitation from my Father God to become His child, then I ask you right now to turn in your heart from all your past life of sin and mistakes and pray the following prayer. “Heavenly Father I come to You admitting that I am a sinner. Right now, I choose to turn away from sin, and I ask you to cleanse me of all unrighteousness. I believe that Your Son, Jesus, died on the cross to take away my sins. I also believe that He rose again from the dead so that I might be forgiven of my sins and made righteous through faith in Him. I call upon the name of Jesus Christ to be the Savior and Lord of my life. Jesus, I choose to follow you and ask You to fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit. I declare that right now I am a child of God. I am free from sin and full of the righteousness of God. I am saved in Jesus’ name. Amen.
If I never meet you in this life here upon the earth then I will see you in the Eternal Life after. God bless and keep you till then!
Your brother in Christ……Joseph