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              Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD  (Psalm 33:12a)

                          I

I want to say a few words today as we celebrate in America the birth of our nation.  We have been a people who have been blessed by our God and he has shed his grace upon us.  I am  fortunate to live in a nation that was founded by men and women of extreme courage and dedication.  I am grateful for all those who are in service to America and who risk their lives  so that we may live and worship in freedom .  We can never truly thank them enough.  I pray God’s blessings and favor upon them all.

With all that said, as we watch as darkness and evil fill this earth, the question still  remains “Are you truly set free?“.   The bondage of sin can cause havoc and destruction in your life no matter where you live and how much money and power you  have.  Each day I watch with sadness as people choose to live their life in the chains of the enemy who has blinded them to the fact that they are perishing as they walk the path of death. They are not free.  They are deceived! Without Christ, there is no freedom for your life.  You can have all you think is good but you will never be truly happy because your hope to be victorious in this world comes only in being surrendered to Christ!  He is the one who sets the prisoners free so that we no longer have to be held captive in the trap of sin.  Christ is our power over the darkness and our hope when we come to the end of ourselves and have nowhere else to turn.  There is always a way for God to help you.  You can never fall too far that his grace cannot lift you.

What does it serve you to live in a worldly freedom when you come to the end of your life?  It is only when your life is in Christ that you can have peace no matter what you face.  He has conquered all of your enemies and death no longer has any power over you.   Money, fame and even earthly freedom can never give you that!

I want to include a few quotes from our Founding Fathers that show the heart of those who once led this country with truth.  Read them over and ponder how far we have come from this once ideal.

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?  That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”  Thomas Jefferson, Signer and Principal Author of the Declaration of Independence; Third President of the United States.

Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? – that it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation?  Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”   John Quincy Adams: Statesman; Diplomat; Sixth President of the United States.

“One of the beautiful boast of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is part of the Common Law…there never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations… I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society.” Joseph Story: U.S. Supreme Court Justice; “Father of American Jurisprudence,” Placed on the Court by President James Madison.

” We are a Christian people…not because the law demands it, not to gain exclusive benefits or to avoid legal disabilities, but from choice and education; and in a land thus universally Christian, what is to be expected, what desired, but that we shall pay due regard to Christianity?” Senate Judiciary Committee Report, January 19, 1853

Who is fighting for those ideals now?  Too many people are being deceived by the enemy. My friends, our freedom has been bought at a price of the blood of Jesus Christ.  All that we have and the future with hope that we aspire to has been given to us by Him.  You can make a choice today to have real freedom that releases you from the bonds of every pain, addiction and trouble that the earth sends your way.  This world is passing away.  Only those things that stand the test of fire shall live on.  Only that which we surrender to Christ can we keep.  Be blessed this day.  You no longer have to be sold out to the enemy and live as a puppet of his schemes.  You have a choice.  Choose to live in the freedom of Christ.  No one can take you from his hands or rob you of the destiny he planned for you.  That is a freedom you can celebrate!

                                                     

Dear Father,  I lift up to you those who are struggling to be free.  I pray for those who are suffering in trials of every kind and who need to know that you can meet them in any situation and that you have the power to take them to victory no matter how impossible their situation seems.  Give them your peace this day, dear Jesus.  Let them understand that your love is enough and that you will never fail them.

I pray also for those are in restricted nations where to be a Christian is a death sentence.  I pray for you to touch those who are persecuted, tortured and imprisoned for their faith.  I pray that you will reach them with a joy that surpasses their understanding.  May they know that you are with them to the end. 

Lord Jesus, show those who come to this site what real freedom in you can mean.  Amen

 

                         I the LORD do not change (Malachi 3:1)

God’s faithfulness is the same today, tomorrow and forever. As he has helped others, so also will he do now for us.  His love has no bounds and his mercies are new every day. Though the times change and we change, God is with us in every single aspect of our lives.  Although the battle rages on in this dark world, the foundation of Christ who died to give us life will always remain.  He is true to his word.  The troubles of this world have no power to destroy a believer.  To think otherwise is to believe a lie.

I took the picture above in my backyard.  It always is amazing to me how the leaves of the trees  change into beautiful colors right before they fall down.  The Mastermind of this phenomenon is God.  He ordained the different seasons and has a purpose for each part of the cycle.  While I always wish the leaves would keep their vibrant colors and stay on the trees, that is not his plan.  He has a purpose for all things in creation for it was by his hand that all things came to be.  Nothing evolved on its own.  There is one God who is the Creator of all.

Yet during times of stress and change, it is difficult to remember that God has authority over everything. Each day brings a different problem and sometimes it is hard to keep the faith through our tears. Where is my God when it seems like my struggles are getting worse and the pain is unbearable?   As we watch  the darkness of evil growing and filling this world,  can we truly trust that the plan of Christ for us is going to succeed?  Evil is being called good and wrong is being called right.  It is as if the world is turned inside out.  If God’s love is unchanging, why does he allow this all to happen?

The bible tells us that God created man in his own image and saw that it was good.  He provide us with everything we would ever need and yet mankind still fell into sin.  We rebelled against a holy God.  That should have been the end of us at that point.  But we are told that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  God’s love did not change despite our sin.   He still made a way to bring us back to him.  Although sin and wickedness came into the world and corrupted everything,  God’s plan of redemption  never changed.

We are still living in a perishing world.  You only need to turn on the news to see that most people are on the wide path of destruction.  This is not heaven. All things are not going to be perfect until Christ returns to make all things new.  We must suffer for a while to prove ourselves as sons and daughters.  It is not easy to watch loved ones suffer and die.  It is heartbreaking to watch as families are being torn apart as hearts grow cold.  The enemy has unleashed his final fury as he knows his time is short.  Persecution against Christians is on the rise.  And God’s ways are being perverted everywhere to suit the desires of the lost.  We are living in the last days.

My dear friends, I write this message to touch those who are going through fierce storms in their lives.  You are not forgotten.  God has not forsaken you.  You are being made ready for a royal position that will never end.  God is with you in this battle even though it seems like you are alone.  His legions of angels are acting on his command to guard you throughout your struggle.  The Apostle Paul tells us: “Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand!” (Ephesians 6:13)  Know the God you serve so that you can trust him no matter what happens.

Take time to read your bible every single day.  Let God’s truth be your armor that keeps you trusting in him despite your problems.  God has not changed.  His love for you will endure forever.  He will not fail you. Your hope is secure because you belong to him.  Nothing in all of creation will ever be able to stop his love for you or his plan for your life.

In the spring, when the leaves return and the flowers unfold in all their beauty, I will be reminded that God’s promises never fail.

Dear Lord,  my heart breaks as I hear of the struggles of your people.  I pray that they will understand that although the battles of this world are leaving them wounded and weary, you have already declared them a victor.  Nothing is going to touch their lives apart from your will and purpose.  You will give them your peace in the midst of their struggle.  I pray for all to come to know that even though we are living in a fallen world, your plan is still unfolding and we have a reason to be hopeful.  The price has been paid and because Christ lives, we can face tomorrow.  You hold our future and there is nothing that you cannot do for those who love you.  Lord, help them to know without a doubt that this is true.  Amen

                                            It all comes down to where you put your trust

 

 The promises of God are real and he has a way to work all things in your life for good.  He knows what it takes to rescue you from the pain and the struggles of this earth and how to make you stronger for having endured them.  He can do all things for he is the Creator of all that is on this earth and the heavens.  Nothing is impossible for the Lord.   With knowledge that God ‘s love is enough, why do we still worry and fret when trouble comes upon us?

Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 6:25-27,  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”  

You are so valuable to God that he gave his only Son to suffer and die for you that you may have everlasting life!  There is nothing that he will allow to destroy those who belong to him, so to give in to worry and doubt is sin.

The truth in this verse is that when you worry, you are making your problems bigger than your God.  You are saying in effect that God is not strong enough or loving enough to help you through your trial.  When you give in to worry and fear, you are falling for the lies of the enemy who wants to destroy you.  He knows that God is more than enough to bring you to victory but he wants you to forget that.  We serve a risen Savior who came to this earth to bring us hope and to give us a future despite what we may have to endure.  He knew our problems and weaknesses long before we were born and he made a way to overcome all of them.  He has a perfect plan and a purpose for your life.  Even though you may have fallen short and rebelled against him, he can always lift you from your past and restore you to wholeness. 

All that it takes is for you to allow Christ to reign in your life.  You must make him first over all that you have.  In order for him to help you through the bondages that have kept you prisoner for so long, you need to trust him completely.  You must never take your eyes off Christ and put them on your problems. Only then will you fall.   Jesus is always bigger and stronger than anything the world throws at you.   You cannot be defeated for he has destroyed the power of the enemy.  Even death no longer holds fear for those who are in Christ for we will not perish but be made whole to live in heaven with God.  There is nothing that man can do to you that will crush you for you are protected by the right hand of  the King!

When you find yourself worrying and getting anxious about things that are going on in your life, seek Christ out in his word.  Let him fill you with peace as you read of his faithful promises to you.  Giving in to fear indicates a lack of faith.  You must trust that the One who gave you life will be able to sustain you no matter what happens!  Jesus died to release you from the prison of fear and worry.  Don’t go back into bondage when Jesus paid your bail in full.  His blood at Calvary covered your iniquities and made you righteous before God.  That is the power you need to cling to and to use when you are weak and weary.  Take the yoke of Christ for he will lift your burden and give you the strength you need to continue. 

 There is always hope when your trust is in Christ.  He is the Lifter of your head and the Restorer of things taken from you.  He can mend your heartache and bring your family together.  He has the power to provide for your financial needs no matter how impossible it seems.  He can heal your sickness and break the chains of your addictions.  Most importantly, he can give you the force to conquer any battle you must fight.  He knows your name.  He has numbered your days. His promise is to never leave you or fail to give you all that you need.  Give him your worry and anxious thoughts and let him bring you to a place of peace.   No matter where you are in your life, Jesus has a way to reach you!

 

Dear Lord,  I pray that you will touch all those who read this message and give them peace in the trouble they are experiencing in their lives.  Help them to know that you are with them and that you are bigger than their problem.  Give them the strength to walk in faith and not lose sight of the victory that you have given us.  Amen

devil tempting                                                     Fear is a lie from hell

One of the greatest weapons that the enemy uses against us is doubt.  The devil himself knows the truth that believers are victors and mighty warriors in the army of God.  He knows that God has a plan for us that cannot be stopped by anything or anyone.   That means not by our weaknesses, not by our rebellion, not by our past and certainly not by the enemy whose power was overcome by the cross of Jesus Christ!

The strength to walk in victory  comes with a realization that God’s power will always be enough.  If you can understand that his plan was made long before we were created and he foreknew the struggles that we would face, then you can trust that he can rescue you whatever your situation.  Our Savior knew of the plans that the enemy had to destroy us and he knew how to take us through to victory.  A painful trial or circumstance in our life has no power except that which you give it.   If God already had knowledge of what you would have to endure and gave his power to overcome all things, why would you ever allow your problem to make you anxious?  When you give in to fear, you are giving in to the lies from a defeated enemy!

You have to know who your God is.  You must seek for an understanding of his love that covers everything.  There is no bondage that can stand against the cross.  Jesus finished the work of salvation and he is alive and  intercedes for us every day.  Christ will always be sovereign over all that comes against us.  Everything in all of creation must submit to him!  Anything that he allows in your life is for a purpose and must conform to the plan that he has for your life.  Remember that God made us into his image from the dust.  He knows where you are and he knows your pain.  He created the 70 million trillion stars and calls them out by name each night.  There is no place you can go that can make him forget you.  The hairs of your head are numbered by him and he saw the length of your days on this earth before one of them came to be.  There is nothing in your life that is impossible for him.

feeling aloneIt is not always easy to trust when you are in a battle with the spiritual forces of evil that fill this earth.  The days are dismal and filled with more problems.  Financial difficulties are hitting everyone.  Who can think about the future when it is hard enough to get through a day?  Yet that position is right where you need to be.  Christ will see you through all things but he will take you through one day at a time, sometimes minute to minute.  You won’t be able to see  where he is taking you so you must trust him with all of your heart.  Jesus did not die to lose you now!  Beloved, you will never be destroyed by this lost and crumbling world for you will be taken above it by the Spirit of  Christ who lives in you.  You aren’t standing on the perishing earth, you are standing on the Promise which is Jesus Christ!

My friends, I want you to understand one very important truth.  It does not matter where you are, what problems you have or how low you have fallen.  If your hope is in the cross of Jesus, you will come through every battle as a conqueror.  The victory has already been won.  Never let the enemy or your painful situation convince you that God’s power is not enough.  It is more than enough.  The enemy of your soul knows this.  You need to know it also.  If you ever believe anything, believe this:  JESUS WILL NEVER FAIL YOU!

Dear Lord, I know the times are hard and people are struggling with the problems that this dark world brings.  I pray that you will open their eyes and affirm in their heart the truth that your power and love will take them through all things no matter how impossible it may seem.  Jesus, help them to know that you are the light which has conquered the darkness.  Let them know that whatever illness, bondage, marriage problem, financial issue or heartache they have, you always have a way to give them your peace.  You alone paid the price for our victory.  Jesus, I thank you for being all that we need.  Amen

Marianne Bernard

Marianne Bernard

I seek first the kingdom of Christ because everything else in this world is perishing. All that I have is from God who is always faithful. I have worked hard all my life and will continue as long as God lends me breath. The mistakes and bad judgments I made in my life all stemmed from me trying to work things out by myself. I have learned the hard way that the victory over all of my problems and the answers to all of my desires lie solely in my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is now my desire to share the words that God gives me to encourage and give hope to others who need the strength that only faith in Christ can give.

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