His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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The Answers to All Problems

Many people feel alone, overwhelmed with life, worried about stuff, depressed, and they are looking for answers. I believe the answer to all of our questions and worries is an intimate relationship with the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

I know it’s a lot to say that Jesus is the answer to ALL questions. But what makes this true is the relationship between our physical lives, and our spiritual lives. Our spirit/soul lives in another dimension; or you could think about it that way. Look at the spiritual as an umbrella, protecting the physical, mental, and emotional parts of our selves. What happens with our spiritual self affects the rest of who we are.

Or look it this way: your spirit/soul is like a vine planted in the ground. Your physical, mental and emotional branches are connected to the vine of your spirit. When your spirit has its roots deep in the truth of Jesus, then your branches draw up strength through your spiritual connection with His Spirit, living within you.

In this way, everything that is you is connected to Jesus. And this is why Jesus and the truth of His Spirit living within you is the answer to all your concerns and problems. You will find the peace that goes beyond our understanding, the peace that comes from that other dimension, when the roots of your soul are deeply entwined with the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ.


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Pulled Back From the Cliff, Again

The stress of work…

it grabbed a hold of my mind;

it dragged me to the edge of the cliff.

Such agony, teetering there on the edge,

looking down into the black pit,

the stale air rising up from below,

making it hard to breathe.

Every morning as I got out of bed,

my mind would run to work,

and drag me back to the edge of that pit.

My chest would tighten,

my blood pressure rising,

all day long.

And then God took my hand,

and He pulled me back

and into His arms, again.

And God reminded me of what He’d taught me before:

don’t try to control my day;

don’t be a victim of the day;

just Experience each day, with God,

and Trust God with control of my day.

Now I stand with the Spirit of Jesus,

holding His hand,

watching the day go by.

And that cliff is no longer in sight.

And I’m so grateful.


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Do you want to see God?

Friends say my oldest son looks like me. I don’t see it. Both of my sons look unique to me. And that person I see in the mirror looks unique to – he doesn’t look like me, but rather some older guy.

Anyway, this morning I was thinking about how those of us who believe in Jesus, in certain ways we look like our Father God. Of course it’s not our physical features that make us look like God, but rather how we interact with other people. It’s our love and compassion, our patience and understanding, our humility and peacefulness – these are the gifted traits we inherit from God that help us look like Him.

The part that rattles my mind is that other people can actually see God in me, when I let His gifted traits shine out. I’m still trying to get a grasp on that one.

Do you want to see God? Try looking in the mirror.


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Finding Peace in the Face of Terror

(Beware – Jesus Christ inside. If you are uncomfortable with Christianity… well, I’ve warned you.)

 

Does the terror in the world frighten you? Though others share your fears, do you feel alone in your fear? Does it feel like you are standing alone against the fear that darkens your mood? Does it feel like we are fighting the same enemy, but each of us is alone in our private battle?

I think these questions make sense, for since fear is an internal and individual emotion, we cannot band together to combat our private fear.

Look, I’m no preacher. I’m just a regular afraid person, maybe a lot like you. But I’m not alone in my battle against my fears. Yet, because of what’s going on in the world, I’m concerned for everyone who feels the knot in their stomach pull tighter with each terrorist attack. I wish I could help people deal with the terror. Yet, as I said above, you are alone in your battle. I can’t join you there.

But someone can. Yes, this is where Jesus enters in.

No matter what you see on the surface of Christianity, the truth is that Christianity is all about a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus. He’s alive, as Spirit. His body died, but his soul lives. And he wants to live with you.

A relationship with Jesus gives you a real sense that you are never alone. Jesus can be with you, helping you battle your fears. And he can help you understand why the world seems to be falling apart. There are answers that make sense, once you see them.

Jesus can also show you how to escape your world, and enter his world, the inner-mind where his Spirit and your soul live. And that’s where you can find a peace that confounds the terror of the outer world.

Do you want to find a way to fight against the terrorists and their efforts to infect the world with an epidemic of fear? If so, look for Jesus in your inner-mind.

If Christianity is new to you, there are lots of great churches and Christians who can help you. But no matter what path you follow, what’s most important is your personal time with Jesus. Go to a quiet place, empty your mind of the distractions of the world, (this is the hardest part for me), and look inside your inner-mind. With practice, you may start to feel Jesus there. And together, the two of you can win the battle against your fear.

 

 

(Originally posted on Dec. 5, 2015)


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It is Finished

The pain is constant. Searing. It feels like I’m on an ocean, and the waves of pain are crashing over me. When I lift up on my legs to breathe, the waves crash into my feet, up my legs and into my core. And then, when my legs give out and my full weight again falls on my arms, the waves crash into my chest and back, and my dislocated shoulders, and my arms and hands. And my skinless back rubs against the harsh wood of the cross. There is no escape.

Yet what feels worse than the pain is this feeling of being alone. Surrounded by this growing crowd, yet I don’t feel His presence. My Father is gone. I’ve never known this before, this emptiness, this parched, vast void of emptiness. It’s crushing my soul. The pain of the whip and the cross becomes numb next to this feeling of being so alone. Yes, I still feel the pain. It’s still there, sharp and mean. But its intensity is being overpowered by the agony of this aloneness, the agony of my Father no longer here with me. Oh, my humanness is shattered by the pain of the torture they whipped and pounded into me. But my spirit is collapsing under the weight of this emptiness.

“Father, why have you forsaken me?”

Yet I know why. It’s the sin. The sin of the world is upon me.

The pain is fading now, it’s becoming softer. It’s starting to feel more like a dream than real. And the light is fading; the sky darkens. The end must be near.

There, opening up before me, is a dark, lightless pit. Empty. Alone. This devouring emptiness is spewing from there… the very pit of hell. The presence of my Father is nowhere. Over there, toward the city gate, I see people and earth and sky. I see God’s creation. But this pit before me – there is nothing. No Father, no creation, just void. Hell; absolute emptiness, gaping wide, reaching for me. So dark, and hungry. It ravages me. It consumes me. It’s pulling on me, adding its dead weight to my dying arms. It’s rising up to grab me and pull me down, gripping me in its ravenous maw. With my death it will have me. It will swallow me. That inky, thick, black fog of dread and evil; it’s flowing over me. I’m drowning in the smothering dread of hell. I cannot breathe!

The pain is gone. The nails are gone. The cross is gone. I’m falling… into hell. All light and life are gone.

“It is finished.”
(An excerpt from a book I’m writing. Copyright 2015, CJ Penn)


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I am With You Always

Do you feel close to me, the Spirit of Jesus Christ living within you? Do you feel my presence? Have you grown to rely on me to be with you, always there when you need me? Do you feel the peace of our shared life together, our shared love together? Do you hunger and thirst for my presence, and do you feel a sting of panic if you don’t immediately sense me when you look my way?

One more question, a request really: imagine how you would feel if you looked for me and I was no longer there. Imagine what your life would be like without me.

If you feel a sense of utter, overpowering despair, then you have a small taste of how I felt when I died for you on that cross. For when I took the burden of the sins of humanity, my Father God and I were separated, no longer together, no longer one. His presence was gone. And I fell off that cross and into the black, empty void of despair… into hell.

But do not despair, for I will never leave you. I will always be with you.

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)


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The Last Guilty Man

I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, am the last guilty man. For I became guilty of the sins of all humanity. I carried the burden of all sins through the streets of old Jerusalem and up that hill, where I paid the final penalty… the death sentence for my guilt.

Guilt died with me. There is no more guilt. It was my guilt that set you free of your guilt. I am the last guilty man. This is the truth.

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

 

 

(Originally posted on Dec. 4, 2015)