Love one another as Jesus has loved us.

Imagine living in a country where every nation surrounding you would welcome your demise. Where even the neighbors of your neighbors plot your destruction. That’s the heritage of the Jewish state of Israel

Israel continually walks a tenuous line between peace and war with her neighbors. Where terrorism is a reality of life. Where armed militia patrol the streets. Where Israel’s enemies govern sections of the country. 

Why would Papa place Israel, His beloved, in the midst of enemy territory?  

So that Papa’s glory— steadfast love is showcased for mankind’s edification and salvation. Even from ancient times this has been the heartfelt cry of Jacob— Israel. 

Do not hold us guilty for the sins of our ancestors! Let Your compassion quickly meet our needs, for we are on the brink of despair.

Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the glory of Your name. Save us and forgive our sins for the honor of Your name.

Why should pagan nations be allowed to scoff, asking, “Where is their God?”

Show us Your vengeance against the nations, for they have spilled the blood of Your servants. Listen to the moaning of the prisoners. Demonstrate Your great power by saving those condemned to die.

O Lord, pay back our neighbors seven times for the scorn they have hurled at You.

Then we Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, will thank You forever and ever. Praising Your greatness from generation to generation. Psalm 79:8-13

Even before this psalm of Asaph was written, Papa had set in motion at Mount Sinai the initial phase of His answer.

The Lord instructed Moses: “Come up here to Me, and bring along Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and seventy of Israel’s elders. All of you must worship from a distance. Only Moses is allowed to come near to the Lord. The others must not come near, and none of the other people are allowed to climb up the mountain with him.”

Then Moses went down to the people and repeated all the instructions and regulations the Lord had given him.

All the people answered with one voice, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.”

Then Moses carefully wrote down all the Lord’s instructions. Early the next morning Moses got up and built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He also set up twelve pillars, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent some of the young Israelite men to present burnt offerings and to sacrifice bulls as peace offerings to the Lord. Moses drained half the blood from these animals into basins. The other half he splattered against the altar.

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it aloud to the people.

Again they all responded, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded. We will obey.”

Then Moses took the blood from the basins and splattered it over the people.

Declaring, “Look, this blood confirms the covenant the Lord has made with you in giving you these instructions.”

Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and the seventy elders of Israel climbed up the mountain. There they saw the God of Israel. Under His feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself. And though these nobles of Israel gazed upon God, He did not destroy them. In fact, they ate a covenant meal, eating and drinking in His presence!

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone on which I have inscribed the instructions and commands so you can teach the people.” 

So Moses and his assistant Joshua set out, and Moses climbed up the mountain of God. Exodus 24:1-11

Papa sovereignly chose to redeem Israel by making them His people. In His desire to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His purpose, intervened and guaranteed it with an oath. So that by two unchangeable things, His promise and His oath, in which it is impossible for God to lie. Hebrews 6:17-18

This redemption is closely linked to Papa’s covenant loyalty or steadfast love. Israel is Papa’s unique possession, and He dwells among them. Israel has been redeemed to be Papa’s servants.

Of all the nations in the ancient world, Papa entered a covenant relationship with only Israel. This unique belief system has sustained the Jewish people during times of captivity and despair. 

At the end of this age, Israelites will once again endure hardship and captivity as the antichrist’s reign of terror rages. But thankfully Papa’s faithfulness to the covenant made at Mount Sinai, He will once again provide an escape. Beause He saw, and it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one and was amazed that there was not one to intercede.

Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, and His righteousness upheld Him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate and a helmet of salvation on His head. He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped Himself with zeal as a cloak.

According to their deeds, so will He repay. wrath to His adversaries, retribution to His enemies. To the coastlands He will deal retribution.

So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun. For He will come like a rushing stream which the wind of the Lord drives.

A Redeemer will come to Zion and to those in Jacob who turn from wrongdoing, Isaiah 59:15-20

Yes, at long last Jesus will lead the Israelites into eternity’s promise land, never again to wander in the wilderness of unbelief and rebellion.

As a disciple of Christ, you are continually at war with the enemy of your soul— satan. One of his military tactics in this war is to destroy your Christian testimony. To negate or make it a mere whimper by polluting your heart with sin or apathy. 

You must keep Papa’s precepts before you. Meditate on them. Set them safely in your heart. For those who discover them, they are life. They bring wholeness and healing to their bodies.

Above all else, watch over your heart. Diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life.

Do away with any talk that twists and distorts the truth. Have nothing to do with any verbal trickery.

Keep your head up, your eyes straight ahead and your focus fixed on what is in front of you. Take care you don’t stray from the straight path— the way of truth, and you will safely reach the end of your road. Do not veer off course to the right or the left. Step away from evil and leave it behind. Proverbs 4:21-27

Unfortunately, many Christian hearts are more like black holes than well guarded fortresses. Whatever tickles their fancy, whether righteous or unrighteous, is allowed entrance. 

So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind. When we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace— a new life in a new land!

That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus. When we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life— no longer captive to sin’s demands! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way. Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you. God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.

That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time— remember, you’ve been raised from the dead— into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God. Romans 6:3-13

Being conformed to the image of Christ isn’t automatic. It requires time, commitment, study and sacrifice. Something not accomplished by simply sitting in a chair on Sunday morning.

Want to do more than keep a seat warm? Then there must be a metamorphic change of your character. 


What hardens a heart?


The refusal to acknowledge you don’t have all the answers ultimately will lead to catastrophe because pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly of spirit with the humble than to divide plunder with the proud. Proverbs 16:18-19

The proud have an elitist attitude. Since they have all the answers, anyone who disagrees with them is misinformed or uneducated. This condescending attitude makes it impossible for them to learn from others, even Papa Himself. 

It’s humility that allows Papa’s wisdom to penetrate deeply into your spirit, encouraging you to place your trust in the Eternal. Rely on Him completely. Never depend upon your own ideas and inventions. Give Him the credit for everything you accomplish, and He will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead.

Don’t think you can decide on your own what is right and what is wrong. Respect the Eternal. Turn and run from evil.

If you depend on Him, your body and mind will be free from the strain of a sinful life, will experience healing and health and will be strengthened at their core. Proverbs 3:5-8


Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7

Only by looking at the big picture— eternity, can you objectively assess your current circumstances. It’s this objectivity in the midst of chaos that permits Papa’s peace to saturate your soul.

But for many peace is elusive because their daily companion is stress— the brain’s response to unpleasant or uncontrollable events. The human body can’t cope with stress for extended periods of time without negative consequences.

But if you relinquish control and trust Papa and His wisdom, you’ll learn to live in the moment, not the past or the future. Disruptions are simply opportunities to display your confidence in Papa’s faithfulness.

Papa’s omnipotency and covenant promises assures His chosen that everything, good or bad, has His approval. This truth will guard your heart as it did the apostle Paul who claimed with confidence.

I have learned to be content and self-sufficient through Christ. Satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy regardless of my circumstances. I know how to get along and live humbly in difficult times, and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of facing life. Whether well-fed or going hungry. Whether having an abundance or being in need. 

I can do all things which He has called me to do, through Him who strengthens and empowers me to fulfill His purpose. I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace. Philippians 4:10-13


All are benefactors of Papa’s mercy. Through Christ, Papa compassionately extends forgiveness of sin. Affording all the opportunity to escape His judgment of eternal damnation— even though we deserve it. 

Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace and always be thankful. Colossians 3:12-15

If the evils of starvation, human trafficking and wars are rampant, it’s because of the absence of mercy. As a disciple of Christ you are to extend mercy even when it…

Disrupts your personal agenda.

May adversely affect your reputation. 

Is anonymous.

Includes those outside your circle of influence, regardless of ethnic, cultural or religious backgrounds. 

The result?

A Church non-believers can trust because they can say.

I was hungry, and you fed me.

I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.

I was homeless, and you gave me a room.

I was shivering, and you gave me clothes.

I was sick, and you stopped to visit.

I was in prison, and you came to me.

At one time, all disciples of Christ were outsiders. Stranded in the wilderness of unforgiveness and doomed to eternal damnation. 

But thankfully, like the apostle Paul, they had a Damascus experience. A close  encounter with Jesus that forever changed the trajectory of their lives. 

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. 

So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:4-8

Papa alone is the architect of this covenant relationship. He alone defines its perimeters.

A blood sacrifice is required.

Atonement by means of animal sacrifice  dominated Papa’s covenant with mankind in the Old Testament. Annually on the Day of Atonement, the most solemn and holy day of the Jewish calendar,  the High Priest offered an atoning sacrifice for the ritual impurity of the tabernacle, the temple sanctuary, its priesthood and the Israelite people. 

It was necessary for the earthly copies of the heavenly things to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves required far better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one. He entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the very presence of God on our behalf. Nor did He enter into the heavenly sanctuary to offer Himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.  Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer over and over since the foundation of the world. But now, once for all at the consummation of the ages, He has appeared and been publicly manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 

Just as it is appointed and destined for all men to die once and after this comes certain judgment. So Christ, having been offered once and once for all to bear as a burden the sins of many, will appear a second time when He returns to earth. Not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who are eagerly and confidently waiting for Him. Hebrews 9:23-29

Jesus is now the atoning sacrifice of Papa’s covenant with mankind. Only Christ’s blood fulfills Papa’s temporal and eternal holiness requirements. It alone has been offered in the Holy of Holies, Papa’s heavenly sanctuary.  

Forgiveness of sin is the cornerstone of Papa’s relationship with mankind.

Forgiveness of sin highlights Papa’s mercy. It is He who devised a fail proof plan to establish and maintain relationship with His children.  

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. 

So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:4-12

Papa’s forgiveness of sin absolves the sinner from the guilt and thus the penalty of sin. For God has not destined us, His chosen, to face His wrath but to be the heirs of salvation through our Lord Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King who died for us. So regardless of whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

Therefore, since we have been justified— acquitted of sin, declared blameless before God by faith. Let us grasp the fact that we have peace with God and the joy of reconciliation with Him through our Lord Jesus Christ— the Messiah— the Anointed. 

Through Him we also have access by faith into this remarkable state of grace in which we firmly and safely and securely stand. Let us rejoice in our hope and the confident assurance of experiencing and enjoying the glory of our great God, the manifestation of His excellence and power. Romans 5:1-2

Repent! Repent! Repent!

Papa’s forgiveness is not indiscriminate. He will not and cannot acquit the guilty. Unless you repent, that is, change your inner self— your old way of thinking, live changed lives and become like children— trusting, humble and forgiving, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

Repentance isn’t a popular message today because it requires you to acknowledge sin. Something many prefer to ignore or conceal. Not realizing that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey. You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.  Romans 6:16

Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands. You have dirtied them in sin. Cleanse your heart because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other.

Since the beginning, our loving Creator has been pursuing us, drawing us closer to Him. He invites us to move closer to Him so we can be fully His.

Now is the time to lament, to grieve and to cry. Dissolve your laughter into sobbing and exchange your joy for depression. Lay yourself bare, facedown to the ground in humility before the Lord. And He will lift your head so you can stand tall. James 4:8-10

When repentance is an integral part of your spiritual DNA. A lifestyle dependent on Papa’s truth and wisdom thrives.The removal of unrighteous paradigms and behaviors becomes an ongoing process.  Obedience and faithfulness replace self-reliance and pride as you become increasingly more dependent upon the Holy Spirit and His guidance.

Convinced that without Papa’s grace and mercy you would be consumed by the fires of hell here on earth and in eternity. Your pursuit of an intimate and authentic relationship with Papa becomes an unquenchable thirst. One the powers of darkness can’t extinguish.

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