The Kimberly Joy Blog

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Tag: Salvation

A Flame of Fire: The Power of Words

WHY IS THE HUMAN TONGUE COMPARED TO A FLAME OF FIRE?
Words have power! Did you know that? As a matter of fact, in the third chapter of James, the writer compares the tongue to a flame of fire. Now, why would he compare that tiny organ, which God so carefully placed inside your mouth to assist with eating and speaking, to fire?

It’s safe to assume we all know what fire is. So, what does fire do? For one, a fire can provide light. Now, we are living in the 21st century where we use light bulbs to see. But, what if the power goes out for whatever reason? You use your cell phone, you say? But, what if your phone dies and you have no way of charging it because there’s no power? You use a flashlight? Yeah, but what if you don’t have any batteries for the flashlight? What do you do then? You can use a match or a lighter and light some candles, and the little flames that appear will provide you with the light you need.

Besides providing light, a fire can also provide heat for keeping you warm and for cooking your food. However, if something goes wrong with that fire, those same flames that were giving you light and heat can get out of control and cause considerable damage, even destruction. People have lost homes, businesses, cars, valuable items, and, unfortunately, loved ones, due to an out of control fire.

James 3:6 (New Living Translation) says:

“And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body…..”

Although very small, the human tongue is capable of doing some serious damage, even total destruction. Why?! Words have POWER!

WHAT IS POWER?
When an individual has power, he or she has the ability to make things happen or to get something done. A person with power has authority or even control over an individual or a group of people. Power can also refer to having might or strength. Therefore, God designed words to have power! How do I know? Let’s go back to the beginning. In Genesis chapter one, the sun, moon, stars, sky, ocean, grass, trees, flowers, and animals were all formed by God. HOW??? God simply spoke WORDS. Genesis 1:3 (King James Version) says:

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

Then verse 11 says:

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”

In other words, it HAPPENED…..it happened just as God said it would.

Verses 26 and 27 say:

“26 And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”

As the verses state, we are created in God’s image and likeness. Thus, the words we speak are also designed to carry authority or weight. Consider the first man Adam. According to Genesis 2:19, God gave Adam authority to name all the animals. Although God created them, He allowed Adam to determine what each animal would be called. Whatever Adam named each animal, God approved it. So, just like Adam, our words have power. Therefore, God teaches us in His Word to be mindful of what we speak. Ephesians 4:29 (New International Version) says:

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

HOW DOES GOD WANT US TO SPEAK?
God doesn’t want His children speaking words which are corrupt or unhealthy to those who hear them. Rather, He wants us using words that will help someone. For example, a few weeks ago, a well-known pastor received a lot of backlash during the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. Because he has a very large ministry, he was accused of not coming to the aid of flood victims as quickly as he should have. Even after he opened the doors of his church, many people still attacked him.

He was accused of being selfish, money hungry and a false prophet. He was basically called everything but a child of God——even a demon!

Honestly, the things people said about this particular man disturbed me. I wasn’t so much bothered by non-believers, but by those who profess to be believers in Christ. Why? Instead of just using their words to uplift and pray for this man and for the flood victims, they spent valuable time using their words to try to tear him down, especially on social media.

Whether a person is right or wrong, God still holds us responsible for what we say. So, I encourage you to be mindful of your words. Recognize that the words you speak carry much power or weight. Do you want God to hear you using your words for evil or for good?

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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A New Life

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “You Are FREE!!!” Part 4)

HOW CAN YOU HAVE A NEW LIFE IN GOD?
God wants you to KNOW who you are in Him. He wants you to BE true to the person He has created you to be, and He wants you to LOVE yourself wholeheartedly. And that CAN happen if you have an intimate relationship with Him. II Corinthians 5:17-18 (New Living Translation) say:

“17…..Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ…..”

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they brought sin into the world which caused a rift between God and man. Fortunately, Jesus came to this earth as a man and sacrificed His life on the cross on our behalf. So, now when we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, He reunites us with God the Father. As we grow in our relationship with God, He shows us who we really are in Him.

WHO ARE WE?

As believers in Christ, we are people who are now free! For one, we are now free from sin. Romans 6:23 (King James Version) says:

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

According to the verse, when we accept God’s gift, sin no longer has control over us. Therefore, once we leave this life, we won’t suffer eternally. Instead, we will reign with God forever. Ultimately, as believers, that is what we should look forward to. So, it’s very important we stay focused.

As children of God, we have also been set free from sickness and disease. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, He took on the sin of all humanity. As He took on our sin, He also took on everything attached to it, including sickness and disease. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus’s crucifixion. Isaiah 53:4 (New International Version) says:

“4 Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering….”

This verse is not just referring to mental, emotional, and spiritual pain and suffering, but PHYSICAL! Verse 5 then says:

5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”

So, again, not only are we set free or healed spiritually, but we are healed physically.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T BELIEVE?
We must believe we are free, healed, and made whole. When we don’t believe God’s Word, we suffer from fear, worry, and stress. Worrying and being afraid can really take a toll on a person’s mental and physical health. Fear can stifle you. You’re less willing to take risks and to move when God says move or speak when God says speak, because you’re more worried about the outcome. You may say to yourself:

“Ah no, I’m not going to do that!”

“Something will go wrong!”

“The people won’t like me!”

Any of those statements sound familiar? How about the last statement?

“THE PEOPLE WON’T LIKE ME!”

What have you been reluctant to do because you’ve been afraid of what others will think or say? Well, no need to fret any further! I have good news for you! God has also set you free from the opinions of others!

Sometimes we make choices, and some of us even live our lives based on what other people think, including family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and society, in general.

There’s nothing wrong with receiving advice or getting ideas from others. That’s why we need each other. However, it becomes a problem when you can never seem to think for yourself. It is definitely a problem when you’re not being true to the person God has created YOU to be. You’re too busy trying to look like someone else, act like someone else, or worse………BE someone else!

My personal motto is “KNOW YOURSELF. BE YOURSELF. LOVE YOURSELF.” Why do I make that declaration? Several years ago, God began speaking two words to me: “BE YOURSELF!” Initially, I didn’t understand why God was saying this to me because I thought I was being myself. However, as time went on, I got a clearer understanding. Although I was living my life, I wasn’t living it with full confidence and joy. In my mind, I was always comparing myself to someone else. I still didn’t think I was good enough. This negative thinking caused me to be very sensitive and get offended more easily. Therefore, God had to begin teaching me how to embrace the woman He has created me to be and to not worry if others approve or not.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUTH AND OPINION?
It doesn’t matter what others think or say about you. Honestly, there will be some people who just won’t like you no matter what you do or say. You can try moving Heaven and Earth to please them, but they still won’t be satisfied! We waste valuable time making decisions based on other people’s opinions. An opinion is not the truth, facts or the Word of God. The dictionary defines an opinion as “a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.” It is simply what someone THINKS.

(“In My Honest Opinion”)

You can receive sound advice from an individual, especially if he or she is an expert in a particular area or field. However, don’t allow his or her advice to replace the mind God has given you, and definitely don’t allow that person’s advice to replace the voice of God. For example, in I Samuel 16, God instructed Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king. Needless to say, Samuel had his own idea or OPINION of how a king should look. Therefore, God had to correct Samuel’s thinking. In I Samuel 16:7 (NIV) God said to Samuel:

“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Ultimately, when it’s all said and done, what matters is what GOD knows and says. God says you have been set free, you are His child and He loves you with an everlasting love!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of this article.

For daily inspiration, please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Be Set FREE!!!

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “You Are FREE!!!” Part 3)

HOW CAN YOU BE SET FREE?
God wants you to KNOW who you are in Him. He wants you to BE true to the person He has created you to be, and He wants you to LOVE yourself wholeheartedly. However, before any of that can happen, you have to be set free from your sins and made new. I John 1:9 (King James Version) says:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Once you are cleansed, II Corinthians 5:17 says you become a new person. Inwardly you are not the same. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, whether you were a liar, a cheater, an adulterer, a fornicator, a thief, or even a murderer! Once you confess your sins and receive Jesus into your heart, He forgives you, and God now sees you as His child.

Although you may have to suffer some consequences for your past sins, while doing so, you can still develop a strong relationship with the Lord and allow Him to get the glory out of your life. For example, if you committed murder before you got saved, you will still have to pay for that crime. After all, someone lost his or her life at your hands. Nevertheless, while serving your sentence, you can be a beacon of light to others, especially other prisoners. Consider the apostle Paul in the Bible. Before he surrendered to Jesus, he was responsible for the deaths of some who had professed the name of Jesus Christ. Despite all that, God was still willing to forgive, save, and use him. And God did just that. Paul was set free and, as a result, many souls were saved!

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT HEALING?
If you have already accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are free. You are now free from sin, and as I discussed in my previous article, “Child of God, You Are FREE!!!”, you are also free from sickness and disease. In fact, as a child of God, you don’t have to settle for being sick. You don’t have to view the doctor’s report or even how you feel in your body as the final outcome. Whose report will you believe? God’s report or man’s report? I hope your answer is God’s report!

Throughout the Bible, God lets us know that healing is ours.

Psalms 103:2-3 (KJV), “2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;”

Jeremiah 17:14 (KJV), “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou art my praise.”

I Peter 2:24 (New Living Translation), “He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.”

That’s the Word of God! We only need to believe what GOD says!

I’m reminded of my uncle and his wife. Several years ago, they each were dealing with life-threatening illnesses. First, my aunt flat-lined three times. In other words, her heart stopped beating. Then later my uncle wound up in a coma on life support. Nonetheless, despite their conditions and what the doctors were saying, their daughters never gave up! They prayed and prayed and prayed some more! They even had a conference call line so friends and family from all over could come together and pray for their healing. I was even blessed to be a part of that prayer line. As a result of their constant prayers and never-ending faith, their parents are both alive and well today!!!


(Uncle James and Aunt Polly enjoying life!)

WHAT DO MEDICAL EXPERTS SAY ABOUT HEALING?
Medical experts say there is a correlation between positive thinking (faith) and healing. According to author Donald Cole of the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto, Canada, “Across a wide range of clinical conditions, from lower back pain to heart surgery, patients who felt they would do well in recovery did. Patients who were scared or pessimistic (who lacked faith) about their recovery did not recover as quickly as the optimists or as well,” (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117317&page=1). If people in the secular arena understand that a person must BELIEVE in order to be healed, then we as children of God should definitely have faith. We should serve as prime examples of what it means to have faith.

If we were to be honest, unfortunately, sometimes we as believers walk in fear, instead of in faith. Although we claim to believe God, we yet worry and stress. However, faith and fear can’t co-exist. I can’t say I have faith in God, but still live in terror. I can’t pray to God about a particular situation and then, after I say “AMEN!”, continue worrying about the very thing I had just prayed about. Prayer and worry can’t co-exist. I either believe God or I don’t! Personally speaking, I’ve discovered that the prayers which tend to get answered more quickly are the ones I don’t ponder over once I’ve prayed. I don’t think about those particular issues anymore. I give it to God and move on!

Did you know that fear, worry, and stress can make you ill? I wouldn’t be surprised if many of our illnesses are directly related to our thoughts, emotions and words. For instance, you may notice you have a sore throat. Instead of praying against that soreness and declaring your healing, you say, “Uh oh! I hear the flu is going around! I must have the flu!” Consequently, you wind up with the flu. Now, it could have gone the other way. However, you chose to believe the worst instead of the best.

As believers, God doesn’t want us entertaining such thoughts. He wants us to know we are saved, healed and delivered! So, I encourage you to change the way you think and speak, and move forward in God. Live your life knowing you are free in Christ Jesus!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of this article.

For daily inspiration, please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Child of God, You Are FREE!!!

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “You Are FREE!!!” Part 2)

CHILD OF GOD, YOU ARE FREE
Knowing who you and I are in God, being who we are with no apologies, and loving who we are wholeheartedly involves recognizing that we were set free the moment we accepted Jesus into our hearts! As I discussed in the previous article, “You Are FREE!!!”, God recently reminded me that every child of God is free!

When we lack knowledge and understanding of this truth, it makes it easier for Satan to fool us into thinking we are still under his control. He’s able to convince us that we are still messed up. Thus, we worry that we’ll never get beyond our past. We continue to believe the negative things people have said and may still say about us. Essentially, we still feel bound!

WHAT DOES GOD SAY?
When we believe such lies over God’s Truth, we are more inclined to surrender to the devil’s suggestions. Therefore, we need the Bible, which is the Word of God or God’s Voice. The scriptures tell us who we are in Him. What does GOD say?

Romans 8:37 (King James Version) says:

“…We are more than conquerors…”

Philippians 4:13 (New King James Version) says:

“[We] can do all things through Christ…”

Why?

“…[He] strengthens [us].”

John 8:36 (New International Version) assures us that:

“…If [Jesus] sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Indeed means “without any question, truly, undeniably”. So, once we surrender to Jesus, He sets us free from sin and everything attached to it. It’s settled…..a done deal! We can move forward in Him and not look back.

Consider ex-convicts. Although many are released from prison once they serve their time, some eventually return. Why? Mentally they are still in prison! In other words, they still view themselves as criminals and convicts. They have difficulty seeing themselves as people who are now free to live as productive citizens in society. So, does this mean they can’t learn? Absolutely not! They CAN learn! They can develop new mindsets with the right guidance, education, and tools. Basically, their minds have to be changed!

HOW ARE SOME BELIEVERS STILL HELD CAPTIVE?
As believers in Christ, I believe much of our “captivity” is mental! It’s only in the mind! We often give Satan more credit than he deserves. What do I mean? The devil plays mind games. When we’re not sure about who we really are in Christ, we fall for his lies. John 8:44 (New Living Translation) says:

“[Satan] has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Satan and his demons are liars. They’re incapable of telling the truth. For instance, in Genesis 3, the serpent, who was Satan in disguise, deceived Adam and Eve into disobeying God. In Genesis 3:1 (NLT), the serpent approached Eve and said:

“Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

The serpent asked Eve this particular question to plant a seed of doubt in her mind. Then he said in verses 4-5:

“4 You won’t die…..5 God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

Despite the fact that the serpent told a blatant lie, Eve was still convinced and ate the fruit, along with her husband Adam, who was also present. They may not have expired that day, but they did eventually lose their lives, although they were originally created to live forever. The only reason the serpent was able to deceive Adam and Eve is because they doubted God. They doubted what they had been told and what had already been placed inside of them.

As believers, we are deceived or Satan is able to play mind games with us when we doubt what God has told us OR when we don’t know what God has said—–when we don’t know His Word. Consider Jesus! After fasting in the wilderness for forty days and nights, Jesus was presented with temptations from Satan himself (Matthew 4:1-11). In other words, the devil was trying to play with His MIND. However, because Jesus knew who He was—–a man free from sin—–He didn’t yield to the devil’s suggestions. Nor did he run away and hide. Instead, He stood on God’s Word with undeniable confidence! Matthew 4:8-11 (NLT) say:

“8 Next the devil took [Jesus] to the peak of a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

9 ‘I will give it all to you,’ the devil said, ‘if you will kneel down and worship me.’

10 Jesus then said, ‘Get out of here, Satan! For the Scriptures say, You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’

11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.”

Satan left Jesus alone because he realized he couldn’t play with His MIND.

WHAT IS THE KEY TO A BELIEVER BEING HEALED?

It’s so important that we as believers know we are free! Not only has Jesus set us free from sin, but He has set us free from sickness and disease. There are stories in the Bible, particularly the ones involving Jesus and the apostles, about people who were healed. Those stories weren’t included to serve as fairy tales, but to let us know that we can and should experience the same. Truth be told, we should all be healed!

IMAGINE……….

What if we were never sick?

What if the illnesses and diseases, which tried to attack our bodies, left as quickly as they came by us just speaking a word of healing?

What if we saw healings and miracles in every church all around the globe?

What if the hospitals were virtually empty and the pharmaceutical companies went out of business all because of our faith?

I want to see that! How about you?

I believe there will be an increase in healings and miracles as we grow in our faith recognizing that we are free. Furthermore, Jesus said it’s going to happen. In John 14:12 (NLT), He said:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works…”

The key word in the above verse is BELIEVE! You have to believe. I have to believe. We have to believe that Jesus has set us free and live like people who are free from sin, sickness, and disease. We are now free to be what God has called each of us to be as He orders our footsteps and gets the glory out of our lives.

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

To subscribe to The Kimberly Joy Blog and receive new articles by email, please leave your email address in the box marked SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL provided at the end of this article.

You Are FREE!!!

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “You Are FREE!!!”)

YOU ARE FREE!!!
To those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, God says, “You are FREE!!!” I remember the day those three words resonated with me. I had decided to go to the church, while no one else was present, in order to spend some time alone with God in the sanctuary. There’s nothing like being alone in God’s presence!

On this particular day as I walked around the sanctuary singing a worship song to the Lord, I heard Him say,”You are FREE!” Even though He had uttered those words in my ear before, this particular afternoon was different. This time I really took notice of what He said and asked myself, “What does it MEAN to be FREE?”

DOES ONE HAVE TO DIE IN ORDER TO BE FREE?
Oftentimes, when a person dies, I hear people express how that individual is now free. They’re now free from their suffering and pain! So, does that mean one has to die in order to be FREE? No, absolutely not! In fact, we as believers in Christ have to pray against the spirit of suicide! That lying demon does its best to convince anyone it can that DEATH is the answer!

“All your troubles will be over!”

“Nobody cares about you anyway!”

“Nobody will miss you, not even your own family!”

But those are LIES! Death is not the answer! JESUS is the answer!

I know life can be hard. We all go through difficult situations from time to time. Nevertheless, how you handle those situations is what makes the difference. You handle those difficulties by RESTING in God. He has the answer to every question and the solution to every problem!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FREE IN JESUS?
When I consider what it means to be FREE in Jesus, I think about a well-loved child. I specify “well-loved” because, unfortunately, we hear stories in the news, throughout our neighborhoods, and even among our own family members of children who aren’t loved and cared for as they ought to be. However, a WELL-LOVED child doesn’t have a care in the world because Mommy and Daddy have everything under control. The child can play joyfully during the day and sleep peacefully at night FREE from worries and concerns.

When I was young, I attended Landmark Christian School, which is now closed. One day at school during my second grade year, the entire student body saw a play. This particular play changed my life! I decided that very day to confess my sins and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior! Although some might think I was too young to be a sinner or too young to even know what I was doing, I disagree! I was NOT too young! On that particular day, I KNEW Jesus was tugging on my heart. I KNEW I needed Him. I understood that because of the first man’s and woman’s disobedience to God, I was born into sin, just like everyone else. Needless to say, once I prayed the prayer of salvation that day, Jesus set me FREE! What did He set me free from? He set me free from sin and eternal damnation!

So, if I was saved long ago and if you have already been saved, then why is God declaring to us now that we are free? God wants you and me to have a clear understanding of this truth and to live our lives daily KNOWING He has already set us free.

FROM WHAT HAS GOD SET US FREE?
God has set us free from:
1. Sin
2. Sickness and disease
3. Fear, worry, stress
4. Other people’s opinions

In this article, I want to focus on being set free from sin. Romans 6:14 (New International Version) says:

“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”

Notice what the verse says. Sin is NO LONGER your master. Yes, once upon a time sin controlled you. However, once you gave your life to Jesus, you switched gods. As the verse also points out, we are under God’s grace, and He enables us to live right. NO, we can’t do it on our own power. Fortunately, we can if we look to Jesus.

Hebrews 12:1 says that we are to lay aside every weight (hindrance), and the sin that easily entangles us. But HOW??? How do we do that? How do we avoid the hindrances? How do we avoid the sin?

Verse 2 of Hebrews 12 tells us to look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. We have to keep our eyes fixated on Jesus. We have to stay before God in prayer and allow Him to speak to us. We have to study His Word and learn His principles and expectations. Furthermore, as God gives us revelation and shows us how HE wants us to live, we must obey Him, even if it’s different from what we’ve been accustomed to.

WHY MIGHT A BELIEVER FALL BACK INTO SIN?
I believe we as believers sometimes fall back in to sin, not because we’re under its control, but because it’s a habit! It’s familiar! It’s our comfort zone! Therefore, in order to avoid those hindrances and sins, we have to learn a new way of living by changing the way we think and forming new habits. Romans 6:12 (NIV) says:

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”

As a believer, you have a choice to yield to sin or not. Neither sin, the world, nor Satan control you! Just because you’re tempted doesn’t mean you’re now under Satan’s control. It just means you’re being tempted. So, when you find yourself being tempted, follow the example of Jesus that He demonstrated while living as a man here on earth. In Matthew 4:1-11, each time Jesus was tempted, He used the scriptures to inform Satan of who he was—–a man free from sin and one who served only God! Once Satan realized He wasn’t able to persuade Jesus, he left Him alone.

From my own personal experience, I find Christianity to be a process. We learn and grow as we go. Growth occurs EACH moment we spend time with God. Simply believing in God, going to church, or reciting Bible verses, doesn’t produce spiritual growth. Rather, it takes sincerely pursuing a relationship with God.

I encourage you to walk in the freedom you were granted once you accepted Jesus into your heart. Understand that you’re not the same person anymore. So, don’t let anything or anyone convince you otherwise, including the person you see staring back at you in the mirror.

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-based church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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A Man of Honor: Apostle Ron Banks

A MAN OF HONOR: APOSTLE RON BANKS

In honor of Father’s Day (June 18), I am pleased to recognize Apostle Ron Banks. Apostle Banks has not only been my pastor for the past twenty years, but he became my second father the day he married my mother on June 25, 1994. Initially when he became a member of our family, I wasn’t very receptive, and not because of anything he did wrong.

Let me explain……

For several years, it had just been the three of us: Mom, my brother BJ and me. Prior to that, our dad was married to our mother. So, seeing Mom get remarried and share her life with a different man was not an easy adjustment for me.

Nevertheless, Apostle (as I like to call him) demonstrated nothing but patience and understanding. When I was cold and distant, he remained the same—-kind and loving. He didn’t stoop to my young, immature level. Instead, he took the high road and allowed me time to come around. I now love and appreciate him for that. Apostle is a good example for anyone who plans to marry someone with children. Demonstrating love and patience is vital.

TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO
Apostle was born the third of seven children, to Lorin and Bertha Banks in Avonmore, Pennsylvania, where he also grew up. If you’re not familiar with Avonmore, it’s a small town outside of Pittsburgh. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the army.

Although Apostle was raised in church, he acknowledges that he ran from Christianity and the call of God on his life for over twenty years. During that period in his life, he spent a lot of time in the streets and became addicted to alcohol and drugs. Fortunately, he had a praying mother who NEVER gave up on him.

Proverbs 22:6 says:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

In the early 1990s, Apostle surrendered his life to the Lord when he began attending Power of Deliverance Church in Middletown, Ohio, where several of our family members also attended. Once Apostle gave His life back to Jesus, he began growing by leaps and bounds. I know this to be true because I saw it with my own eyes. He said GOODBYE to the streets, the alcohol and the drugs! He was now driven to learn all he could about God and to be used for His glory. He was in every Sunday school class, every church service, and every Bible study. He became an armor bearer for the pastor, a minister, and a member of the deliverance team. He was a willing worker, even if it meant cleaning the toilets, laying down carpet or driving the church van. It was evident that he had a passion for God and people. Apostle’s heart had truly been changed, and he was now dedicated to doing the work of the Lord.

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Honoring Apostle Ron Banks)

POWER AND FAITH MINISTRIES
With unwavering faith and passion, Apostle and my mother established Power and Faith Ministries in 1997. Apostle had then, and still has now, a burning desire to follow the example of Jesus, including healing the sick and casting out demons. Through Power and Faith Ministries, many individuals have been saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, delivered, and healed from cancer and other diseases. Apostle has openly declared that Power and Faith Ministries is a “cancer-free zone”. As a matter of fact, an individual doesn’t have to be in a church service or even in the city, to receive healing. God has anointed and assigned Apostle to bless those who are in need of healing and deliverance with prayer cloths that he personally anoints with oil and prays over.

I have personally mailed and delivered in person some of these prayer cloths. The testimonies are astounding! For example, two of my former high school students were healed after they each received a prayer cloth. One was healed from cancer, while the other was healed from near-blindness. Today, I follow both of them on Facebook and am happy to say that they are STILL doing well!

As a team, Apostle and my mother “address concerns, tackle problems, build character, bring management back to those who have been mismanaged and, through God’s guidance, perform whatever tasks necessary to positively affect people, as they touch and change the world, one family at a time.”

A GREAT FATHER
God has and continues to do so much through Apostle, not because he’s superman or perfect, but because he’s a willing vessel who has a heart for people. It’s that same heart that makes him a great father. A great father prays for and with His children, leads them, provides for them, protects them, teaches them, gives them sound advice, listens to them, and, most importantly, loves them. Apostle encompasses all those attributes, which is what also makes him a great pastor.

If and when any of his spiritual children walk away from the ministry or from God, like the father in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), Apostle welcomes them back with open arms. I have witnessed Apostle offer unconditional love, even when the love wasn’t always returned.

Apostle often testifies about how God never gave up on Him, even when he was out in the streets doing anything and everything he felt he was big and bad enough to do. Despite all that, God honored his mother’s prayers and kept His hands on him. Parents, it’s important that you continue to pray for your children, no matter the circumstances!

STOP RUNNING AND SURRENDER TO GOD
When Apostle finally made the decision to stop running and surrender to God, without hesitation God welcomed him home. And God is ready to do the same for you! Aren’t you tired of running? Aren’t you tired of fighting? Then I encourage you to stop and surrender to God.

Once Apostle accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit, it was the beginning of a brand new and better life for him. You, too, can experience the same! Romans 10:9 says:

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

If you’re ready to experience a brand new life like Apostle Ron Banks, all you have to do is pray the following prayer:

“Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!”

I NOW WELCOME YOU TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!

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JESUS IS ALIVE!!!!!

JESUS IS ALIVE
Jesus is alive! Contrary to what some people believe, Jesus lives! Yes, He was beaten! He was nailed to the cross! He was pierced in His side! He wore a crown of thorns on His head! He died on that cross! His body was placed in a tomb!

BUT, three days later, He was resurrected! The tomb was found empty!

And He now lives forevermore!!!

I am saved today because of Jesus! Therefore, I never get tired of hearing the story of His crucifixion and resurrection. In fact, we, as believers, should remember and meditate on the story more than just once a year on Easter Sunday, because it serves as a reminder of His love for us.

HE SUFFERED FOR US

Have you ever considered what Jesus truly went through for us? Have you thought about the pain He endured so that we could be set free from our sins? Can you fathom the agony He suffered so that we won’t have to experience hell and eternal damnation? Can you?

What Jesus endured, no human being would have been able to go through that! As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us that Jesus was tortured before He even got to the cross. He was spit on! He was punched in His face repeatedly! Moreover, He was scourged or flogged! I use those particular words in place of words, like beaten or whipped, because the brutality they inflicted upon Jesus surpasses anything we could ever comprehend.

What is scourging/flogging? Just before Jesus was taken to the cross, they removed His clothes and scourged him. In scourging, a soldier used a whip which was made of leather straps that were embedded with metal and glass fragments with small metal balls sewn into the end of each strap. Each time this particular whip hit Jesus on His bare back, it tore His skin off, exposing muscle, maybe even His very bones.

We can only imagine the amount of blood He lost, as a result! And this happened BEFORE He was even crucified. Bible scholars say that the average person would have, more than likely, been dead from just the scourging.

So, again, NO ONE could have done for mankind what Jesus did! In fact, how many people would have been willing to die for ALL humanity, to take on the sins of the WORLD? I know from history that individuals have sacrificed their lives for their family, for their race, for their religion, for their country, but not for ALL mankind.

THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE
Jesus is the ONLY one who has made the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed His life for those who knew Him and had spent time with Him, like His disciples, and for those who didn’t yet know Him, like you and me. He sacrificed His life on that cross for those who loved Him and for those who hated Him. Can you imagine giving up your life for people you KNOW hate your guts? Think about it! I can’t imagine doing that! That’s why I’m not Jesus.

Jesus paid the price because He LOVES us! In fact, Jesus demonstrated nothing but love during the whole ordeal. He showed love when one of His own disciples Judas Iscariot betrayed him right into the hands of His enemies for thirty pieces of silver.

Have you ever been betrayed by someone close to you? How did you respond? In Jesus’ case, He didn’t fight back and had no intentions of fighting back. Luke 22:49-51 (NLT) say:

49 When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!”
50 And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear.
51 But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And He touched the man’s ear and healed him.

That’s how Jesus reacted, and He willingly went with them.

As Jesus was being interrogated and ridiculed, He remained calm. He didn’t retaliate. He didn’t even use His words to curse them. When Isaiah prophesied about Jesus’ crucifixion, he said in Isaiah 53:7 (NLT):

“He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, He did not open His mouth.”

During the ridicule, the beatings, and the crucifixion, Jesus never complained. He never spewed words of hate.

FATHER FORGIVE THEM

Furthermore, as Jesus was hanging on the cross, according to Luke 23:34 (KJV), He said to God the Father:

“Father forgive them; for they know not what they do…”

Can you believe it? In the midst of all the evil being done to Him, He asked God to forgive them! Jesus was pleading with God on behalf of His enemies, on behalf of the ones who had zero respect for Him, on behalf of the ones who despised Him. He was pleading with God to neither be angry with them, nor hold their actions against them. Talk about LOVE!

There’s a song that the worship leaders at our church sing sometimes. It says:

“Jesus went to Calvary
to save a wretch,
like you and me;
that’s love, that’s love.

They hung Him high,
they stretched Him wide.
He hung His head, for me He died;
that’s love, that’s love.

That’s not how the story ends,
three days later He rose again;
that’s love, that’s love.”

That final verse of the song is the most important piece of this whole story. Jesus rose again! Jesus lives! He’s alive! Because Jesus rose again, those of us who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior, now have new lives. I Corinthians 15:20-22 (NLT) say:

“20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man (Adam), now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man (Jesus).
22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.”

For those of us who have repented of our sins and believed and confessed that Jesus is Lord, we are new. Therefore, when we leave this earth, we will gain everlasting life.

Now, for those who are not yet saved, you can receive Jesus right now! All you have to do is pray this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!

I now welcome you to the family of God!

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Easter: A Joyous Occasion

A JOYOUS OCCASION
Our family has always viewed Easter as a joyous occasion. Each year, for as long as I can remember, I would get a brand new dress, shoes and purse. My brother BJ would get a brand new suit, tie and shoes. My mom, who has always been a very classy and well-dressed woman, would get a brand new outfit, as well.

The church I grew up in was Mt. Olive Holy Temple in Lincoln Heights, a suburb of Cincinnati. Most of us members were related to each other. In fact, my great uncle was the pastor, the late Bishop Timothy Smith. We had such a good time praising God in that little church. Every Easter, we would put on a special program. Each child in the Sunshine Band would recite his or her Easter speech and the adult choir would sing and maybe perform a skit. Even my dad, who was not a regular church goer, would write a skit for my brother and me to perform. The BEST part, however, was when each child received an Easter basket. Those are some fond memories I will always cherish.

Although my brother and I enjoyed dressing up and getting our Easter baskets, our mother made sure we knew WHY we were celebrating Easter—–because of JESUS—–our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer.

I Corinthians 15:3-4 say:

“3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures…”

THE DAY I ACCEPTED JESUS INTO MY HEART
I get emotional whenever I think about the day I accepted Jesus into my heart. I was young, only in the second grade.

I was going to Landmark Christian School (which is now closed) in Glendale, Ohio. Even though I had been in church from the time I was born and had even been baptized, I hadn’t accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

I remember the day I got saved, as if it were yesterday. Some older students from another school came to Landmark to perform a play for us. I don’t know if they were high school or college students. I just knew that they were much older.

The play they presented took place on an airplane. Some of the passengers were Christians and some were not. During the flight, those who were Christians witnessed to those who weren’t. Some believed and received Jesus, while the others rejected Him. I especially remember in the play a little girl and her mother. After they both heard about Jesus, the girl accepted Him into her heart, but the mother refused.

Later in the play, the airplane started having problems. I don’t remember if there were mechanical problems or if there was a storm. I just knew at the time that the situation didn’t look good. Everyone on the plane started panicking, and eventually, the plane crashed, killing everyone. At the end of the play, those same passengers were either sent to Heaven or Hell. The little girl in the play went to Heaven, and her mother went to Hell.

Once the play was over, there was an altar call for any of us who wanted to give our lives to Jesus. Immediately, kids began going up to the altar. Some were even crying. I didn’t move right away, not because I didn’t want to, but because, at that age, I had a tendency to be shy. However, I could feel Jesus pulling on my heart. So, I eventually made my way to the altar, knelt down and just cried. Then my second grade teacher Mrs. Pope knelt down beside me, put her arm around me and prayed with me.

It was such a beautiful moment that I will NEVER forget! I knew then that Mrs. Pope loved me because she was crying right along with me. Like Mrs. Pope, that’s the kind of heart we, as christians, should have. We should want to see everyone saved.

Some who may hear that story may accuse the school of trying to scare us into salvation. However, that wasn’t my experience. I don’t believe they were trying to scare us to death! Rather, they wanted us to understand why we need Jesus.

As James 4:14 tells us, tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Every day, people from all walks of life are dying. Fortunately, we, who know Jesus and are saved, don’t have to fear death. We are promised eternal life.

One of the first verses I learned as a child was John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

THE LOVE OF JESUS
When I saw the play, I didn’t just learn that a person will either go to Heaven or Hell when he or she dies, but I learned about the love of Jesus. In fact, it was His love that pulled me to the altar. I felt His love as I knelt down to pray. I felt His love through Mrs. Pope as she prayed with me. I felt His love when I got home that afternoon and told Mom my good news. I have felt His love throughout my life, even during the difficult moments. Moreover, I feel His love now.

I enjoy reading the stories about Jesus in the Bible because of the LOVE He constantly demonstrated—–His love for God the Father and His love for people. When we read about Jesus, we see that everything He did was out of love. It reminds me of the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery in John 8:1-11.

Early one morning Jesus was in the Temple teaching when the scribes and Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught committing adultery.

These religious leaders questioned if Jesus was going to follow the law of Moses by stoning her to death (Leviticus 20:10).
Needless to say, they weren’t concerned about keeping the law of Moses. They were attempting to trick Jesus into saying something they could use against Him.

So, how did Jesus respond? At first, He ignored them. Then He announced that anyone who had not sinned could throw the first stone. Instead of throwing stones, each of those religious leaders left one by one. When Jesus asked the woman if anyone had condemned her, she said no. Jesus then said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

THAT is who Jesus is! He’s LOVE. Yes, the woman had sinned. Nevertheless, Jesus gave her another chance. Jesus gave ME another chance. In fact, He has given me more chances than I can count. And He’s ready to give YOU a chance.

YOU CAN ACCEPT JESUS NOW
If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. Romans 10:9 says:

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

All you have to do is pray this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!

I now welcome you to the family of God!

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: Jesus Is Love”)

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Life Has Its Rewards When We Draw Nigh to God

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: Rewards of Drawing Nigh to God”)

Life has its rewards when we draw nigh to God. So, it is in our best interests to surrender to the Creator, the one in control. After all, He has EVERYTHING we need! Unfortunately, as human beings, sometimes we forget that and behave as if we can do everything on our own. However, we cannot! Contrary to what some people believe, we can’t do anything without God because, again, He is our Creator. Acts 17:28 says:

“…In Him [God] we live, and move, and have our being…”

We breathe because of God. Our hearts beat because of God. We wake up every morning because of God. Therefore, we need God!

So many rewards are gained from drawing nigh to God. For one, we gain salvation and eternal life. Initially, we come close to God by accepting His Son Jesus as Lord and Savior. Jesus says in John 14:6:

“…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.”

Now, you may ask, “Why do I have to go through Jesus to get to God?” The answer is very simple. God set it up that way! According to Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, life became difficult for them. Their rebellion brought sin and death into the world. God had created them to live forever, to never experience pain, illness or death. Nevertheless, their decision changed all that. They would eventually grow old, weak and die. Moreover, EVERY person coming after them (including you and me) would experience the same thing.

Adam and Eve’s rebellion also caused a rift in their relationship with God. They became spiritually dead and were no longer connected to God. Therefore, because of the sin, death, and disconnection, God sent His Son Jesus to earth to serve as a Mediator. What is a mediator, you ask? A mediator is “a person who intervenes between two individuals who are not in agreement.” Sin causes us NOT to be in agreement with God. However, when we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives, He acts as our Mediator and reconciles us back to God. In other words, Jesus reunites us with God. 1 Timothy 2:5 says:

“For there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.”

Once we are reunited with God, God no longer sees us as sinners, but as His righteous children who will one day live with Him forever. II Corinthians 5:21 says:

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”

Another reward we gain when we draw nigh to God is peace. Romans 5:1 says:

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.”

How would you define peace? Some definitions include “freedom from disturbance; quiet; tranquility, calm, restfulness.” In the biblical sense, peace means “to be complete” or “to be sound.” II Timothy 1:7 says:

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

When we are made right with God through Jesus, we are complete. As our pastor Apostle Banks always says, “Nothing missing, nothing broken!” Everything we need is in God. So, we don’t have to fear anything or anyone. We don’t have to fear what will happen tomorrow because God is our Father, and He is ALWAYS with us.

I’ll give you an example:

About three months ago, I was heading home around 6:30 in the evening. As I was driving, my car started acting strangely and eventually just shut completely off! EVERYTHING shut off! I couldn’t even get the key out of the ignition! Naturally, because I was feeling helpless and scared, I could feel myself tearing up.

A couple of minutes later, a few people stopped to try to help me, but they couldn’t. Then a few minutes after that, an older gentleman stopped to help. Fortunately, the man turned out to be a mechanic. Within twenty minutes, he had my car running well enough for me to get home. Not only did he turn out to be a mechanic, but he also happens to live near me. So, he offered to follow me home just in case I had any more problems. Once we got my car home, he then offered to repair my car, and two days later I was back in business!

Through that particular experience, God reassured me that He has my back! No matter what situation I am in, I don’t have to fear. I only need to have faith in God because He makes my life complete. In other words, God gives me PEACE! In fact, even as my car was shutting down right before my very eyes, God was whispering in my ear, “Trust Me!”

In addition, when we draw nigh to God we receive healing. We can be healed physically, emotionally, and mentally. However, I want to focus on physical healing. I find that sometimes as believers we don’t believe that we can be healed in our bodies. But, we CAN be healed if we just ask God and believe Him. Throughout the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), we read about how Jesus healed so many people. As believers, we are to follow His example. We can receive healing for ourselves and for others. In Matthew 10:1, Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them power to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. When we as believers draw nigh to God, He gives us the same power!

In our church Power and Faith Ministries, many people have been healed from cancer and other diseases. In fact, a gentleman in our church was healed from a brain tumor approximately ten years ago. The doctors had done everything they could do, and told his wife to call the family in to say their final goodbyes. However, she wasn’t willing to give up that easily. So, we continued to pray and stand on the Word of God. As a result, her husband was healed and he is STILL walking in his healing today!!!

While I was an English teacher at Dater High School, I witnessed God heal two of my students. One was healed from cancer and the other from near-blindness. When they each first told me about their illnesses, I called on other prayer warriors to join me in praying for their healing. I even went to see my student who had cancer, while he was in the hospital. Soon after we prayed, God healed both of them. I now communicate with them from time to time via social media, and I am happy to say that they are STILL doing well!

As believers in Christ Jesus, when we draw nigh to God, He shows us that we don’t have to accept what the doctors say or what our bodies tell us. We can receive total healing if we just believe!

So many other rewards can be attained when we draw nigh to God. Personally speaking, as I draw closer to God I receive more and more from Him, not just material blessings, but spiritual blessings. I hear His voice more clearly and He continues to use me for His glory. And, at the end of the day, that is what is most important. So, I encourage YOU to keep drawing nigh to God and trust that, as Psalms 84:11 states, there is no good thing He will withhold from you!

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You Are FREE!!!

“You are FREE!” God spoke to me as I walked around the empty sanctuary worshipping Him. Although He had uttered those words in my ear many times before, this particular afternoon was different. This time I really took notice of what He was saying and asked myself, “What does it mean to be FREE?”

Oftentimes in the wake of a person’s death, I hear people express how that individual is now FREE, especially if he or she suffered mentally, emotionally or physically while on earth. So, does that mean that one has to die in order to be FREE? No, absolutely not! We all can be FREE in Christ Jesus!

When I consider what it means to be FREE in Jesus, I think of a well-loved child. I specify “well-loved” because, unfortunately, some children aren’t loved and cared for as they ought to be. However, a well-loved child doesn’t have a care in the world because Mommy and Daddy have everything under control. The child can play joyfully during the day and sleep peacefully at night. He or she is FREE with no worries or concerns.

While attending Landmark Christian School as a second grader, I was set FREE the moment I confessed my sins and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior! What did He set me FREE from? Sin and eternal death or damnation! So if I was saved long ago, what is God speaking of when He now declares, “You are FREE”?

From my own personal experience, I find that Christianity is a process. We learn and grow as we go. Growth occurs each moment we spend time with God in prayer, praise, worship and learning His Word. Simply being a church-goer, reciting a few memorized scriptures, or claiming to “believe in God” doesn’t produce spiritual growth. Rather, it takes sincerely pursuing a relationship with God.

As I grow in my relationship with the Lord, in the words of Pastor Marvin Sapp, I become “stronger, wiser, better!” So things, like fear, that had me bound before, no longer have control over me. In fact, I’m realizing that much of my “captivity” was mental! Yes, mental! It was only in my mind! Why do I make that statement? Let’s look at Jesus! After fasting in the wilderness for 40 days and nights, Jesus was presented with temptations from Satan himself (Matthew 4:1-11). In other words, the devil was trying to play with His MIND. However, because Jesus knew who He was—–a FREE man—–He didn’t yield to the devil’s suggestions. Moreover, nor did he cower and hide. Instead, He stood on God’s Word with undeniable confidence! Consequently, after three attempts, Satan left Jesus alone because he realized he couldn’t change His MIND.

When God repeatedly states, “You are FREE,” He wants me to live my life day to day with a clear understanding of this truth. I live what I understand and BELIEVE. If I BELIEVE that Jesus has set me FREE, then I am indeed FREE (John 8:36). Since I know that I’m FREE, then I also know that sin, fear, worry, stress, sickness and anything else that is contrary to what God says, no longer have power over me (Romans 6:14). I belong to GOD! If imperfect people are capable of lovingly caring for their children, then there must be no doubt in my mind that the PERFECT GOD cares for me (Matthew 7:11)! Therefore, I don’t have to worry or be afraid because I can rest peacefully in my Father’s arms! I AM FREE!!!!!

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If you would like, you can give your life to Jesus TODAY, and then YOU will also experience the TRUE FREEDOM in Him I celebrate!!! Just pray the following prayer of salvation. Then I encourage you to find a good Bible-based church, so you can grow in your relationship with Him.

PRAYER OF SALVATION

Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, was buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!

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