Oh, To Love Him More

In Luke 7:47 we read,

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”


This verse tells us that the more one is forgiven by Christ, the more one loves Him. If you have little revelation of your forgiven sins, then you love Him to that proportion. Contrarily, if you have great awareness, you will love greatly.

From Luke 7:47, we conclude…

more forgiveness grants more love.

Regardless of how sinful a life we lived before salvation and what we struggle with today, revelation by the Holy Spirit of the gravity of our sins will suffice to increase our love for Him. As always, we are seeking God’s perspective more than our own (James 2:10).

To receive more forgiveness we must open up, like the sinful woman did, and become aware of our sins offering them to the Forgiver with thanksgiving.

If we resist, are we like Simon, the Pharisee, who stood back rejecting and judging the sinful woman while stewing in condescension and suspicion of God’s grace in Christ, offering to Him no hospitality at all?

In other words, if we don’t love Him as much as we would like, that means that like Simon, we do not “see” our sins and how much we have been forgiven. If we could see more, then we would love Him more.

Remember keeping this in context that while praying and receiving revelation, you are not your sin (Rom. 7:17, 20). You remain the new nature and fully cleansed by His blood (2 Cor. 5:17, John 15:3, 13:10). Remember His sin payment for you is final and eternal, thus nothing can void it but your unbelief in it (Col. 1:21-23). Do not receive any condemnation (Rom. 8:1) as you are already clean by your faith in His work.

However, do acknowledge and openly grieve your sins, trespasses, and iniquities* (Matt. 5:4, James 4:9). Mourn over them. Feel the emotional impact of the gravity of them and the eternal judgment they deserve(d). But be mindful though not to wallow in them (1 Thes. 4:13, 2 Cor. 7:10) for they are not yours to bear. Let them take you to the blessed Cross (!) where they receive(d) their due judgment, and remain there, now and forever (Heb. 9:26).

As you hand them over, thank Jesus Christ for the Sacrifice becoming every one of your sins (2 Cor. 5:21) and bearing them fully on the cross enabling you to partake in the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). Feel the mighty weight of them on and in His body and spirit. Feel the horrid, deadly separation from His Father that He endured.

Feel His body throbbing from the lashes, the thorns plunging into His brow, the overwhelming, electrifying pain generated by the spikes piercing His medial nerves, His body weight pulling on them, and the jolting increase radiating from His lower extremities in every breath He pulled.

In Love He did this for YOU, Beloved.

Start if you like by making a list of every sin you can remember. Let the Holy Spirit lead you in this ongoing awareness of His cosmic rescue of your helpless soul. Start with sinful attitudes and actions as a child then work your way up to present day. (Yes, you may need a hefty notebook, like I did. Afterwards, in tears of relief I dropped them, page by page, in to the fire watching them burn.)


Remember… this is an exercise to open your eyes to “see” and appreciate more of what Christ paid (past tense) for you so that you may love Him more.

For all the brave souls out there who want to love Him more, below a prayer is offered with requests that will grant your desire. This exercise is excellent for small groups with a James 5:16 focus. Powerful fellowship!


In accordance with Your Word in Luke 7:47, so that I may love you more, please, I want to see the truth of Your work for me.

~Reveal my sin- past, present and future.

~Reveal the depravity that I once lived in.

~Reveal the sin I wrestle with today (which is not me, Rom. 7:17, 20).

~Reveal the sin principle that lives within me (which is not meRom. 7:17, 20).

~Reveal the secret motives of my heart without You.

~Reveal how I have hurt and wounded others.

~Reveal how I have dishonored and resisted You.

~Reveal clearly my helplessness without You (Matt. 9:36).

~Reveal clearly my hopelessness without You (Eph. 2:12).

~Reveal clearly my uselessness without You (Jer. 13:10, 1 Cor. 15:4).

~Reveal clearly my worthlessness without You (Matt. 15:30).


Allowing the Spirit to lead you in revealing the weight and gravity of your sin as a whole, and those specific sins you were not aware of, will increase your love for Him (Luke 7:47). As a living sacrifice offer them up individually to Him (Rom. 12:1), Your faithful and merciful High Priest (Heb. 2:17).


Luke 7:47 “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

James 4:9 Be miserable and grieve and weep [over your sin]

1 Thessalonians 4:13 do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope

2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

Romans 7:17 So now [if that is the case, then] it is no longer I who do it [the disobedient thing which I despise], but the sin [nature] which lives in me.

Romans 7:20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want to do, I am no longer the one doing it [that is, it is not me that acts], but the sin [nature] which lives in me.

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have given you

John 13:10 Jesus said to him, “Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, and is clean already.

Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.

Colossians 1:21-23  And although you were at one time estranged and alienated and hostile-minded [toward Him], participating in evil things, 22 yet Christ has now reconciled you [to God] in His physical body through death, in order to present you before the Father holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 [and He will do this] if you continue in the faith, well-grounded and steadfast, and not shifting away from the [confident] hope [that is a result] of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which [gospel] I, Paul, was made a minister.

Hebrews 9:26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Matthew 23:14-15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

2 Peter 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Ephesians 2:12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

Jeremiah 13:10
These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt—completely useless!

1 Corinthians 15:4
And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

Matthew 25:30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Hebrews 2:17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

*Sin-anything not done in faith (Rom. 14:23), lawlessness (1 Jn 3:4), evil deeds, attitudes, independence from God, unbelief (Jn. 1:29).

Trespass– sins committed against others, boundary breaking.

Iniquity– repeated sins that become habits, strongholds, lifestyles that are passed down though the generations.

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The Finality of the Cross

finish-flags“E finito!”  “Esta terminado!”  “C’est fini!”

“It is finished,” means just that.  It is finished.

But… what exactly is finished?

All the work for the payment for all sin is fully and totally complete (John 19:30)!

The wages (payment) of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).

Because the wages of sin is death, either you will pay for your sin, which will take all eternity, or you can let Christ pay it in full for you, which He did at Calvary.

In fact, His perfect and eternal sin payment is so complete that when Christ returns, He will have nothing to do with the sin issue (!), but only to bring believers salvation (Heb. 9:28).

How do we know for sure that the work for sin is finished?

Firstly, and most importantly, because Christ said so at Calvary (John 19:30). That is more than enough evidence.

crossSecondly, because John the Baptist declared it announcing Christ’s ministry in John 1:29, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

John the Baptist announced (1) WHO Christ was and (2) WHAT He came to do.

Christ was the (1) Lamb of God who came to (2) take away sin.

When Christ said, “It is finished” at Calvary He was referring back to John the Baptist’s announcement of the work He came to complete.

The Lamb of God… takes away sin…that’s what He does because He’s the only One Who can. ONLY the Lamb of God can remove it and that was His purpose to glorify God.

Question- Are you resting in the finality of the cross?

Sadly, in Bible-believing churches, I often hear unBiblical rumors (lies) about saints.

  • “We’ll never stop sinning until we get to heaven.” See below Rom 6:6-7
  • “It’s no use, sin is too big a struggle.” See below Rom. 6:18
  • “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” See below Col. 1:21-23a
  • “We’re all sinners.” See below Phil. 1:5
  • “I’m so unworthy.” See below 1 John 3:1


Oh, how the father of lies delights in these choice morsels!

When we read Scripture through the eyes of the old nature, then we read it with blind folds on. With our spiritual eyes covered, we cannot receive and accept grace and truth (John 1:14) about ourselves from God.

As a result, we allow our behavior to define us instead of God’s truth.

We read blind to what He’s done for us.

We read blind to who we are.

We read blind to truth, trapped in sin, and stuck in the muck of unbelief.

What a waste of a read. What a waste of time. What a waste of a life.

If you struggle with sinful behavior, apply James 5:16. Get help. Get healing. But don’t call yourself or anyone in the body of Christ a sinner. Christ did not die to leave us sinners. He died and rose again to make us His saints (2 Cor. 5:21). And so we are (1 John 3:1, 1 John 4:17)!

It’s easy to get confused about the issue of behavior. Bottom line- Our behavior does not determine our identity. Read that again. Only our birth determines our identity. And if we are born anew into the kingdom of light, our identity is in Christ alone. The more we identify with and internalize that truth, the more our behavior will follow.


Think of your identity as the horse and your behavior as the cart. The powerful horse leads and pulls while the powerless cart follows effortlessly behind.

Don’t get your cart before your horse.

Walking in Truth is God’s Will for Us

When we mistakenly try to walk with Christ believing we are still the unregenerate nature or applying verses out of context, we walk in unbelief, mock the Sacrifice, and sadly, fail to appropriate our inheritance. On the other hand, when we read His Word and commune with Him as the new nature, we walk in agreement with Him in what He has done for us. The closer we walk as the new nature with Him, the more we are like Him (1 John 4:17).


The ~unbelievable~ truth is that Christ has completed His work and taken away our sin forever (Rom. 6:22). In our supernatural salvation, He downloaded His very DNA into us. He handed us His eternal victory as the new nature thus making us worthy to be called His very own (2 Cor. 5:21).

Live as if it is finished..because it is! (John 19:30)

John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

1 John 3:1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

1 John 4:17  in this world, we are just like him.

John 10:35  the Scripture cannot be broken (altered)

Romans 6:22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life

Hebrews 11:16 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Hebrews 9:28 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.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–

Philemon 1:5 because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints,

Romans 6:18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness

Colossians 1:21:23a Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.

Romans 6:6-7 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

2 Peter 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

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The Wagon of Salvation

Once upon a time there was a young man. His back soaked with perspiration, he trudged along carrying a heavy load. Many years ago he took it over his shoulder and has carried it ever since. 

heavy-loadOne day as he walked along the dusty road, a horse pulling a wagon passed by him. The wagon was filled with people. The friendly coachman stopped and asked the young man if he wanted a ride. He obliged.

Gladly he boarded the wagon and found a seat beside a cheerful woman holding in her lap her three-year old grandson. The coachman signaled the horse and they continued on their way.

As the wagon randomly bumped and shook over rocky patches, the young man drew a deep breath of relief as he peered down to find his feet blistered and legs shaky.

The grandson watched him carefully. The boy smiled at the young man and giggled. The boy pointed to the load still on the young man’s back.

“Why you hold it?” the young boy asked in his outdoor voice, drawing the attention of the other riders.

“Oh, this? It’s mine,” the young man replied as a flush of shame rose to his face and another bead of sweat ran. He readjusted his calloused hands holding the load tightly.

“That’s quite a load you’ve got there,” the woman with kind eyes gestured. “I think he’s wondering why you don’t put it down.”  

Reflective Questions-

What burden are you carrying?

How heavy is it?

How long have you carried it?

Do you wish to release it?

What would happen to you if you released it?

Where would it go?

Who would tend to it for you?

Is there Someone who could do a better job with it?

Salvation is like a wagon. Believers ride in the wagon on our way home to heaven. Every burden we lay down remains in the wagon. We are just not carrying that heavy burden anymore. Laying it down makes room for God’s will in that place (Matt. 11:28-30).

The wagon of salvation is for burdens.

You may lay your burden down.

He’s got it.

It’s His wagon.

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Psalm 55:22  Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

1 Peter 5:7  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you

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We Become What We Behold

Psalm 115:8 tells us that we become what we behold, “And those who make idols are just like them, as are those who trust in them.”

Behold means “to see or observe.”

Eyes are a gateway to the mind, heart and soul.

When we behold something, our hearts are influenced for good or for evil. “Beholding” somethingbehold or someone enables it to penetrate our souls where it can affect our heart and our character. Whatever we regularly expose ourselves to and focus on influences us because it tends to take up residence inside of us. When something lives inside of us, it fuses with the soul and manifests outwardly.

Visible or invisible, for good or for evil, whatever we internalize, we can absorb and eventually resemble. 

Idols damage, fragment and bind the soul (Ps. 106:36)

The LORD heals, repairs and frees the soul (Ps.23:1-3).

A personal example, the LORD has healed my soul in many areas from betraying myself to idols as a child. One area stemmed from many years of simultaneously being punished at home and bullied at school. During this time, subconsciously I grew to behold the enemy internalization that I was worthless. And as a result of that beholding of myself, I unknowingly allowed people to treat me poorly.

Our souls fracture when we turn against ourselves and believe something from an enemy source.

However, after years of seeking and internalizing truth, God has gradually set me free. Today I know and behold that I am infinitely valuable because of the unbelievable price Christ paid to rescue me. And as a result of that beholding of myself, I do not allow people to treat me disrespectfully anymore.



The more of our souls we submit to the LORD, the more areas over time experience healing and freedom. The smoke and mirrors dissipate as we learn to behold ourselves as He does, in His image.

Thankfully, He imposes no limitations on our submissiveness to Him, receiving from Him or intimacy with Him. We can come (Matt. 11:28) to Him as closely as we like and receive everything we need.

The LORD desires to fill us to the full (Eph. 3:19) with His wholeness and holiness.

~This is why the Scripture tells us to keep our eyes focused on the LORD (Heb. 12:1-2).

~This is how Peter walked on water (!) when His eyes focused on Christ (Matt. 14:29).

~This is how all who focused on the lifted serpent were saved from poisoning (Num. 21:8).

Our focus is everything! Not an occasional focus, but 24/7/365 focus.

Reflective Questions-

What or who are you resembling?

What is your focal point?

What do you want as your focal point?

What distracts you from your focal point?

Have you asked the LORD for wisdom with distractions?

What weakness of yours needs acknowledgment, protection and healing?

Let Him show you if distractions stem from an unmet need. Or lack of self-control. Or something else.

Let Him embrace you as you learn His graceful lesson, and a better way.

Let Him lead you triumphantly (2 Cor. 2:14) in honing your 24/7/365 focus.

We become what we behold (Ps. 115:8).

Psalm 115:8 And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.

Psalm 106:36 And served their idols, Which became a [dreadful] snare to them.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.

Matthew 14:29Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation].

Ephesians 3:19 and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Numbers 21:8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

Psalm 23:1-3

The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.

He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.

He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.

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Strength in Weakness

The Butterfly

I am fragile. I am slow. I float from flower to flower. The currents carry me along and the sun heats my wings so I can fly. I follow the fragrances that capture my senses. My beauty lies in the strength of my Creator who gives me life.

Strength in weakness? How can I be strong in weakness? That’s nonsense. 

Weakness can be defined as flawed, lacking, inadequate.

With people we tend to hide our weaknesses and display our strengths, don’t we? However, counterintuitively, acknowledging and accepting our weaknesses (Ps. 51:6) allows God to meet us there in His power.

Why do we hide our weaknesses?

butterflyHow does that benefit us?

Does it feel like a form of protection from people?

Unlike them, God sees every weakness we have ever concealed and loves each one. Why? Because weaknesses are a part of what makes us who we are. They are part of our lives. They are part of our stories. They are a part of our hearts. And He is all about the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).

Did you ever imagine that you could be walking more in agreement with God if you acknowledged and surrendered your weaknesses to Him? If you do, your relationship with Him will definitely feel closer and more trusting.

As unpopular as it may be, helping someone to become stronger in self is in direct contradiction to the Word of God. Faith teaches us that we are to come to a place where we acknowledge and embrace our inability to live out God’s directives (Rom. 7). Weakness is intended to drive us to the point where we learn to live out of God’s strength, not our own.

At Pentecost, God sent the Holy Spirit to empower the disciples (Acts 1:8). This is still our directive today to receive that power and live in it. The problem is that we can’t…when flesh stubbornly sits in the way.

What does weakness mean to you? What is the Holy Spirit’s role in your life?

Are you too strong or too weak? There are two ends to the bell curve of fallen flesh, the codependent/independent and the codependent/dependent.

The codependent/independent sees himself as extremely capable and strong, and relies only on himself. He says, “Hello! Ask me anything. I have all the answers.” He needs no one.

The codependent/dependent sees himself as weak and incapable, and relies only on others to get through life. He says, “I can’t do it.” Like an infant, he lives continually in learned helplessness.

Neither of these types does any good for the kingdom of God. Relying only on oneself is just as imbalanced a life as one relying only on others. What each of these codependents needs is to move closer to the center of the bell curve where he will find interdependence; that is, relying on himself some of the time and relying on others some of the time.

Interdependence is illustrated beautifully within God’s intended design in the body of Christ as the members each use their gifts in turn helping one another and filling in the gaps all around. We are interdependent one on another as a whole.

Codependent/dependents often have an easier time learning to rely on God than the codependent/independents because they know well that they are weak. Contrarily, codependent/independents often live barricaded from weakness until God extends His merciful hand leading them to a place of brokenness.

So God says the way up is down. His economy operates in contrast to the world system.

What are we to do with His seemingly oxymoronic ways?

  • The religious, boasting, murdering zealot, Paul, experienced brokenness on the Damascus road.
  • At Peniel Jacob was broken.
  • God first spoke to Moses as he walked in brokenness at his lowest point in the desert after losing his power and kingly lifestyle.
  • Peter fell broken when they took Christ prisoner.
  • David encountered brokenness after his sin entanglement with Bathsheba and Uriah.
  • God exalted Joseph only after he was broken.

These faith heroes, and many others, were used mightily by God. But only after they experienced brokenness.can't

Is it time for you to give up “trying to live the Christian life?”

When we reach an out-of-control place in our lives, God desires for us to give up on living the Christian life and trying to fix ourselves. That “giving up” is called brokenness.

Brokenness means reduced to fragments; fragmented; ruptured; torn; fractured; not functioning properly; out of working order; changing direction abruptly; fragmentary or incomplete; infringed or violated.

Brokenness is a requisite for being used in God’s kingdom. Why? Because God has no interest in the flesh.

Have you experienced brokenness? If you have, believe it or not, that’s good news. You might be on your way down the Damascus Road of spiritual transformation. In brokenness, our human strength is left behind for a new and supernatural strength, the strength of God Himself. Spirit strength is born through broken flesh.
Can you say from your heart, “I am weak and inadequate, and I am still loved by God”?
Through accepting our inadequacy and brokenness, God’s strength manifests in us.

Do not fear the valley of brokenness. The LORD will carry you through it. And out of the valley you will emerge with a supernatural spirit to overcome.

butterfly 2

Brokenness is the spiritual crucifixion of the flesh.

Brokenness opens the cage door to flying on wings as eagles.

Brokenness is a fractured pot with God’s light beaming brightly through the cracks.

Brokenness is a fragile butterfly resting in the strength of the breeze.

Brokenness is exchanging your very life and desires for Christ’s.

Brokenness brings freedom.

Brokenness is Godliness.

Brokenness brings strength in weakness.


Please help me to trust you enough to bring as a living sacrifice all of my weaknesses so that you may work mightily through them bringing glory to yourself and to Your kingdom.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.


1 Samuel 16:7 the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. 

1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;

James 4:10 Humble yourselves [with an attitude of repentance and insignificance] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up, He will give you purpose].

John 19:30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and [voluntarily] gave up His spirit.

Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard this, He said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need of a physician, but [only] those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners [who recognize their sin and humbly seek forgiveness].”

Zechariah 4:6 Then he said to me, “This [continuous supply of oil] is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel [prince of Judah], saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of whom the oil is a symbol],’ says the Lord of hosts.

Psalm 103:14 For He knows our [mortal] frame; He remembers that we are [merely] dust.

Romans 7:24-25a Wretched and miserable man that I am! Who will [rescue me and] set me free from this body of death [this corrupt, mortal existence]? 25 Thanks be to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Matthew 5:3-4 “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit[those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].

“Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted].

John 6:63a It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing

Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for[My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. 10 So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].

Philippians 2:13 For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.

Isaiah 53:10 Yet the Lord was willing To crush Him, causing Him to suffer;

James 4:6 But He gives us more and more grace [through the power of the Holy Spirit to defy sin and live an obedient life that reflects both our faith and our gratitude for our salvation]. Therefore, it says, “God is opposed to the proud and haughty, but[continually] gives [the gift of] grace to the humble [who turn away from self-righteousness].”

Ephesians 3:16 May He grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self, [indwelling your innermost being and personality],

John 12:24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

Isaiah 53 Who has believed [confidently trusted in, relied on, and adhered to] our message [of salvation]?

And to whom [if not us] has the arm and infinite power of the Lord been revealed?

For He [the Servant of God] grew up before Him like a tender shoot (plant),
And like a root out of dry ground;
He has no stately form or majestic splendor
That we would look at Him,
Nor [handsome] appearance that we would [a]be attracted to Him.

He was despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and pain and acquainted with grief;
And like One from whom men hide their faces
He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or esteem Him.

But [in fact] He has borne our griefs,
And He has carried our sorrows and pains;
Yet we [ignorantly] assumed that He was stricken,
Struck down by God and degraded and humiliated [by Him].

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing];
The punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him,
And by His stripes (wounds) we are healed.

All of us like sheep have gone astray,
We have turned, each one, to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the wickedness of us all [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]
To fall on Him [instead of us].

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth [to complain or defend Himself];
Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before her shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.

After oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation [His contemporaries], who [among them] concerned himself with the fact
That He was cut off from the land of the living [by His death]
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke [of death] was due?

His grave was assigned with the wicked,
But He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

Yet the Lord was willing
To crush Him, causing Him to suffer;
If He would give Himself as a guilt offering [an atonement for sin],
He shall see His [spiritual] offspring,
He shall prolong His days,
And the will (good pleasure) of the Lord shall succeed and prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He shall see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge [of what He has accomplished] the Righteous One,
My Servant, shall justify the many [making them righteous—upright before God, in right standing with Him],
For He shall bear [the responsibility for] their sins.
Therefore, I will divide and give Him a portion with the great [kings and rulers],
And He shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
Because He [willingly] poured out His life to death,
And was counted among the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore and took away the sin of many,
And interceded [with the Father] for the transgressors.

Excerpts taken from Ending the War with Myself, Loving Myself as God Does by Micky Land (Amazon).

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His Wonders

His Wonders, a chapter from My Journey Through the Cross p. 272-276:



Have you ever experienced such darkness and despair that you pleaded with the LORD to take you home?? I have. And guess what? I’m still here.

Instead of an express ticket to glory, He gave me a mind-blowing show of wonders (Ps. 81:7) and thereafter, His daily presence (John 6:69).

He answered my desperate cry with unforgettable supernatural grace and generosity. We both knew only that would suffice for my stay here (Matt. 6:8).

Ours is the God of Wonders!

God gives us what we need (Phil. 3:10) when we believe that He exists and rewards our seeking Him (Heb. 11:6), especially with the whole heart (Jer. 29:13).

The wider your receptor, the more of Him you can receive (Ps. 81:10).

Sometimes believers make the mistake of limiting the way they hear from the LORD (Matt. 13:16).

“Only from the Scriptures,” they say sternly. Indeed, the Scriptures are an excellent way to hear from the LORD. But did we forget that ALL THINGS were created by Him, and ALL THINGS are held together by Him (Col. 1:16-17)?

Meditate on that, and allow your lens to widen.

Because our God is supernatural by nature, it seems silly (to me, anyway) to limit Him strictly to natural answers to prayer.

Do you have a need? Are you limiting the way God will speak to you?

He is the same today, yesterday and forever (Js. 1:17, Heb. 13:8).

“Open up” to His wonders (Dan. 4:3). Cast your unbelief behind you (Matt.16:23).


He is real. His wonders are real (Eph. 3:19).

If you have eyes to see (Matt. 13:16) and a childlike heart to believe (Matt. 18:3), you can experience Him just like I did, and still do. In times of blind despair or crippling desperation, when the wonders of creation aren’t enough, He just might surprise you (Jer. 31:34).

Hallelujah to the God of wonders!


Psalm 81:7 In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud

Psalm 71:17 O God, You have taught me from my youth, And I still declare Your wondrous deeds.

Psalm 72:18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders.

Daniel 4:3 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.

Mark 13:26 At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

Psalm 104:3 He makes the clouds his chariot

Daniel 7:13 In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son
of man, coming with the clouds of heaven

Revelation 1:7 Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see … Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven.

Psalm 96:3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

Psalm 40:5 Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.

Joshua 3:5 Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”

Psalm 118:23 This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.

Colossians 1:16-17 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Psalm 81:10 I am the Lord your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. 

Matthew 6:8b for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

Philippians 3:10 Amp. And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection

Ephesians 3:19 Amp. and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].

John 6:69 Amp. We have believed and confidently trusted, and [even more] we have come to know [by personal observation and experience] that You are the Holy One of God [the Christ, the Son of the living God].”

Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.

Matthew 18:3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jeremiah 31:34 Amp. for they will all know Me [through personal experience],

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Truth Wins

Have you noticed the politically correct slogan, “Love wins”…?

Oops. Supporters of that half truth forgot to do their homework. The expression is only partially true due to misapplication.

What is love?

Love is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29, John 15:13). Love accomplished His appointed work the moment He took His last breath (John 19:30).

Love won. Past tense.

Looking back at Calvary, we see that Love already won (John 15:13, 1 John 4:8) in and through the crucifixion. It is finished (John 19:30).

All that’s left to win now… is Truth (John 14:6, Matt. 5:18). Scripture tells us that in the end, truth wins!

Matthew 5:18 states, “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

God had the first word and, no doubt, will have the last.

Instead of a half-baked slogan, the Biblical version declares,

“Truth wins (Matt. 5:18).”


truth-008John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

1 John 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:16b And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Matthew 5:18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

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The Power of Thought

Proverbs 23:7 says, As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Our thoughts are important. They define us. They direct us.

~As a child when I had blood drawn, I required lying down so that I wouldn’t faint.

“I need that blood. They are taking important blood that my body needs,” my little mind figured. “I will be weak without it until my body makes more.”

Little did I know that I fainted then simply because of my thoughts, not because of the blood loss. I fainted because I thought “fainting” thoughts.

As an adult, I no longer faint when having blood drawn because my thoughts have changed. I know that my body makes plenty of blood and can spare as many vials as the lab may need.

“They’re taking extra blood that my body doesn’t need,” I tell myself. Now, while having blood drawn, I think non-fainting thoughts so I don’t faint.

My focus and thoughts guide my actions. I think the way I want to go.

~My husband, Thom, races dirt bikes (motorcycles) in the woods for fun. He knows that his focus determines his direction. He knows that if he mistakenly focuses on the trees lining the trail, he will crash into one of them. Instead, he chooses to focus only on the trail ahead of him so that he will stay safely on it.

His focus and thoughts guide his actions. He thinks the way he wants to go.

We, as Christians, must focus on and think true thoughts. When we call ourselves sinners, we are not agreeing with God about who we are or what He has done for us. This is not only rude, it is ignorant, disgraceful and blasphemous to Him. Christ did not die to leave us sinners! He died so that we could be like Him in the new nature He has given us (2 Cor. 5:17).

When we decide to agree with God and call ourselves the new nature as He does, then we slowly begin to act like the new nature. Over time, the repetition of telling ourselves the truth will act as the tiny rudder that turns the whole ship around. During the process of learning who He has made us, we give ourselves grace, truth and time as first our identity, then our character gradually transforms.

So, what does this look like in real life? In my case, self talk sounds like this, “If I am the new nature which I am because God says so-  then what would the new nature do in this particular circumstance? She would walk in agreement with God because she is one spirit with Him.” Then I find out what His word reveals about the reality of the situation and my appointed path in it.

If the situation seems foreign or awkward to me, I prayerfully imagine myself repeatedly walking on the appointed path according to His Word to lay down the pathways in my brain for me to actually walk in it. Then I ask God for wisdom, courage, strength and peace to follow through on it.

If I struggle to follow the Lord, I ask Him to show me the blockage. If necessary, I get help from a friend, relative, therapist or whoever can help me break through.

And sometimes in my weakness I just pray, “Lord, I cannot do this! But I fully surrender to you and trust you, and ask that you lead me and do it through me.”

He always honors my weakness!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Cor. 12:9).

The old nature faints. The new nature stays conscious.

The old nature crashes into trees. The new nature rides on the open path.

The old nature feeds on lies. The new nature feeds on truth.

Focus on Christ and the new nature He has made you.

Every Scripture points you to the Glorious Christ, and your glorious new nature in Him (John 5:39)!

Our thoughts are important. They define us. They direct us.

Think the way you want to go.


Proverbs 23:7  As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 12:19 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.


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Transformation Prayer Ministry (TPM)

Spirit beckons
Holy hosts
Hurting hearts
Come trust
Come exchange
One rope
One chain

Take dominion
Remember the knot
Feel the pain
Surrender your belief
Crucify the lie
Receive relief
Vanquish the pain

Truth heals
A new story
Heart healing
Freedom found
Lightness of Spirit
Lie by lie
Glory to glory

Via the power of the Holy Spirit Transformation Prayer Ministry (TPM), founded by Dr. Ed Smith, is shattering lies within the hearts of men and growing globally to over 150 countries at no cost to the recipients.

TPM operates out of the truth that “the only power (territory) the enemy has over you is the lies that you believe.” TPM replaces lies with truth. Truth is power.

Christ was into healing in His earthly ministry, and still is today. He gave us TPM to facilitate for His body rapid healing and empowering.

I call TPM “healing in the HOV lane.”

TPM is not something new or something Ed created. Rather it is simply a means by which we can intentionally cooperate with God in doing what He has done all along. It is the difference between knowing the truth with the logical mind and knowing it experientially with the heart. When the Lord supplies His healing perspective, it moves beyond the intellect and becomes experiential.

If you’re not familiar with TPM, educate yourself. We want to be into what Christ is into. Christ is very much into TPM.

Please contact me (ashleydwille@gmail.com) if you need healing.

Matthew 4:23
And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.

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Stewardship of Your Mind

How to successfully steward your mind? Let’s review the basics.

Firstly, God owns you inside and out, head to toe. He has gifted you with a powerful feature of the new nature: your mind. Your mind is holy just as the rest of you is holy, set apart for God’s purposes. God has given you -and only you- full stewardship over your mind. You have an instruction manual and maintenance guide for your mind in the Word of God.

Living inside you is everything you need for a godly life and mind (2 Pet.1:3). Believing (John 6:29) and seeking (Matt. 7:7) what is already there (2 Cor. 5:17) is all that is required for a lifetime of transformation (John 3:7, Luke 17:21).

Secondly, the LORD will show you what to allow in and what to discard. Unique to every individual, His ways are always consistent with His truth. He will teach you to guard your eyes and ears which are doorways to your soul, and lead you in meditations to heal and strengthen your mind. He will teach you how to take authority over your thoughts as His mind becomes yours, more often than not.

The mind is fluid and plastic, able to repair, change and transform to your liking. Linked with the heart, the mind is part and parcel of the soul. Ideally, your mind can be used as God designed it according to your unique temperament, gifts, skills and history.

Because all of our minds are damaged from the Fall and from growing up in dysfunctional families, healing of the mind is an integral part of stewardship. Believing lies comprises the majority of damage inflicted on our minds by the world system and our broken receptors. Extracting these lies heals our minds. Healing can be accomplished through various means, including Transformational Prayer Ministry (TPM), individual/group therapy, meditation, brain mapping and biofeedback, spending time in nature, and so on.

Again, your mind is a gift. It’s not a garbage can, which is what the world would have you believe. Lovingly protecting your mind and filling it with pure thoughts and meditations glorifies God. Just as important, reaching out for help with the dark places in your mind and soul glorifies God as well.

“Taking out the trash” issue by issue is “cleaning house” internally. Purifying our minds is a crucial factor in gaining spiritual maturity. Consider the condition of your physical house  if you never took out the trash or cleaned it-??

Finally, Proverbs 23:7 tells us, “As a man thinks, so is he.” Decide with the LORD how you want to be, then shape your mind in that exact way. What you think is who you are, and your reality. Your mind can be fully aligned with the LORD. It all depends how much time, attention and surrender you are willing to devote to it, which is determined by how critical a pursuit you believe it to be.

Think of your mind as a house that you can decorate, arranging furniture inside and even landscaping outside. Have fun with it! God will show you what your unique and precious mind was meant to be and do in His economy.

In the learning curve, grace stays in place. Always give yourself grace and truth, and in that order. Never condemnationJesus Christ = Grace + Truth (John 1:14). Grace is always first, unless dealing with a Pharisee. In that case, skip the grace, deliver truth.

If you’re interested in maximizing the use of your mind for your blessing and God’s glory, here are some tips. Start at #1 and proceed through to #7. Return to any of the steps as often as necessary and as you are led. Habits become practices.

1) SURRENDER your mind

Our minds are not our own. We have been bought in full with the precious blood of Christ.

Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

2) FILL your mind 

Inclusive in the process of filling of your mind is taking authority over your mind. Remember this: No one in the whole world has any authority over your mind -except you. This is so important. Believers don’t grasp the divine power of a renewed mind connected closely with the LORD (Matt. 11:28, Ps 23:1). This is what we were designed for and how we are meant to live.

mind-of-christ-picOne point we sometimes forget is that we HAVE BEEN GIVEN the MIND OF CHRIST at salvation. That’s the gift of God. Our stewardship involves believing it and maintaining  proper care of our minds. Stewardship of the mind is not meant to be a stressful process, only a learning process, just like the “mail in/mail out” boxes on an office desk or laptop.

Become aware that you already are the new nature, and that you were designed purposefully to live rejoicing in your salvation, meditating on, thanking and worshiping the LORD.

Ephesians 5:20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Philippians 2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Hebrews 12:3 Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Psalm 143:5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that You have done; I ponder the work of Your hands.

Psalm 63:6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate and thoughtfully focus on You in the night watches,

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God.

3) RENEW your mind

renewOur minds can fall back into the gutter if we’re not paying attention. Renewal is the only way to set the mind straight and keep it straight. Renew your mind as a way of life. Meditate to transform your mind. Apply James 5:16 as necessary.

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Philippians 4:5-7 The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Ezekiel 26:36 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.(Future reference to Christ’s death and resurrection -which is past tense; you have this now!)

Proverbs 23:7 For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

4) SET your mind

Setting your mind is like choosing a TV channel for your mind. The remote is in your hand. You always have the final say in what channel you select or frequency you receive to dwell on and operate out of. God’s perspective always trumps your own. You are in Him.

remoteColossians 3:1-2 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.

Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, “[You say to Me,] ‘If You can?’ All things are possible for the one who believes and trusts [in Me]!”

Hebrews 10:35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!

5) PROTECT your mind

protectAvoid exposure to points of entry for the enemy (Prov. 25:28). This is common sense. Have a simple plan of action to take when it occurs. Get help with your weaknesses so that the enemy doesn’t have an unfair advantage over you. He planted your childhood wounds and has definite plans for them.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 25:28 He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Romans 1:28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

2 Corinthians 10: 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Ephesians 4:22-23 regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, 23 and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude],

Luke 21:34 But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

6) FILTER your mind.

We can’t always determine what enters our minds, but we can certainly determine what stays there. Humble yourself. Let that dark ball bounce on out. Replace it with truth. Reframing can help. Apply James 5:16 as regularly as necessary.filter

2 Corinthians 10: 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want

2 Peter 3:18 but grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

7) REST your mind

Media continues screaming its relentless virtual reality. When television was first introduced, the public didn’t call it the “idiot box” for no reason. Media saturation numbs our minds and hearts to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

2 Chronicles 20:12b We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

mind-of-christBeginning stewardship of the mind with a black and white mentality (Gen. 2:17, 2 Cor. 3:6) is common, but not helpful. In time, as you walk with Christ and grow in His grace and knowledge (2 Pet. 3:18), the struggle between black and white will naturally give way to the simplicity of grace and truth (John 1:14) in all things (Rom. 5:20).

A process detailed in My Journey Through the Cross, spiritual growth can resemble a child making the landmark move from riding a tricycle. The wobbling and toppling he initially experiences on the new two-wheeler slowly give way to smooth, balanced riding, which becomes second-nature, and quite enjoyable. This easing (Matt.11:30) evidences that you have graduated from dining on the tree of knowledge to feasting on the tree of Life (Gen. 2:9, 3:7, Rev.22:2), and hopefully are headed toward the Sabbath Rest (Heb. 4:9-11).
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.

2 Corinthians 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Roman 5:20 And the law came in besides, that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly:

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

John 6:29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;

Revelation 22:2 also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:30  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

John 3:7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

Luke 17:21 neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you.

Genesis 2:2 On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.

Hebrews 4:9-11 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

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Near Death Experiences (NDEs) are commonplace these days. However, the Thomas’s in the faith remain full of doubt.

I know one leader in our church poo-poos them. Even John Piper struggles.

Why so skeptical?

~Do they not “see” what Scripture reveals?
~Do they lack discernment?
~Do they mistakenly attempt to put Almighty God in a human-sized box?
~Are they afraid of what they don’t understand in the spirit realm?
~Are they unaware of parallel universes?
~Do they dismiss all NDEs because some of them are deceptive?
~Are they so concrete, they walk more by sight than by faith (2 Cor. 5:7)?
~Are they so detail oriented that they miss the big picture (John 20:27)?

2 Corinthians 12:22 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know–God knows.

If you do your research, you will find that many NDEs are consistent with one another and with the multitude of verses describing heaven and hell.

With the Word of God and the spirit of discernment, we can see plainly that human experience often lines up with God’s truth. A recent sampling:

To Heaven and Back by Mary C. Neal

Imagine Heaven by Pastor John Burke

Face to Face with Jesus by Samaa Habib

Heaven is Beyond Your Wildest Dreams by Sid Roth

 Routine Surgery Opens Door to Heaven  Dean Braxton’s testimony about heaven when his body died for 1:45 minutes at cbn.com or charismanews.com.

Daily we witness the world spinning faster and faster into chaos as we approach the end of days. In His perfect timing, the LORD is showing off on a global level creatively bringing souls into His kingdom. Among many venues, He’s using NDEs to do so.

Although NDEs have occurred throughout history, in these days for His purposes the LORD is dialing the dark glass (1 Cor. 13:12) from opaque to slightly more translucent.  We see this in the dreams, visions and numerous testimonies (Luke 23:43, Joel 2:28) of the spirit realm and afterlife which are consistent with the Scriptures, notwithstanding those that are deceptive (2 Cor.11:14, 2 Thes.2:3, 1 Tim. 4:1) promoting Universalism and so on.

As such, with the Holy Spirit moving, more souls have come to Christ in the last decades than in the history of the world. Do we seriously need to review the milky fact that Satan never leads people to salvation in Christ alone? Come on.

The Scriptures relay many aspects of heaven, but less details. If NDE heaven testimonies reveal more than Scripture reveals, yet remain consistent with it, I am happy to consider discerningly each one of them.

Furthermore, John 21:25 tells us that, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” 

If “the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” about all that Jesus did while here, could the Bible possibly contain all there is to know about heaven? If the whole world would not have room for all the books written about Christ’s ministry, then all the universe could not contain all the books that would be written about heaven.

The many things that Jesus did here reflect, but surely can’t compare, to the awesome vastness of heaven’s glory. So, John 21:25 affirms for us that the Scriptures can’t and don’t reveal all we might consider about our true home.

Thus, vertical NDEs.

What a radical thought! –Let’s consider all of the Scriptural evidence that the LORD provides for us about heaven (Eph. 4:14).


John 20:27 “Then he [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.

On the topic of NDEs or any other for that matter, Thomas’s in the faith will always be with us (John 3:13). So let’s continue to walk by faith speaking the truth in love to them, just as Jesus did.
What Happens When We Die

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

2 Corinthians 12:22 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know–God knows.

Joel 2:28 And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

John 3:12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

2 Corinthians 11:14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way

1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

Ephesians 4:14 We are not meant to remain as children but to grow up in every way into Christ.

Ephesians 4:15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

Acts 7:56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

2 Corinthians 12:3-4 And I know that such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, [only] God knows— 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words which man is not permitted to speak [words too sacred to tell].

Luke 16:19-31  “Now there was a certain rich man who was habitually dressed in expensive purple and fine linen, and celebrated and lived joyously in splendor every day. 20 And a poor man named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, covered with sores. 21 He [eagerly] longed to eat the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 Now it happened that the poor man died and his spirit was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s [e]bosom (paradise); and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom (paradise). 24 And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in severe agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things [all the comforts and delights], and Lazarus likewise bad things [all the discomforts and distresses]; but now he is comforted here [in paradise], while you are in severe agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you [people] a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to come over from here to you will not be able, and none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 So the rich man said, ‘Then, father [Abraham], I beg you to send Lazarus to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may solemnly warn them and witness to them, so that they too will not come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have [the Scriptures given by] Moses and the [writings of the] Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 He replied, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent [they will change their old way of thinking and seek God and His righteousness].’ 31 And he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to [the messages of] Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

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Nullifying Grace

The enemy delights in nullification of the perfect and final work of Christ (Heb. 8:13, 10:10, 2 Cor. 3:6). All day long… he tempts us to add to or take from grace.

Adding to grace nullifies grace.

The enemy knows that adding to Christ’s finished work nullifies grace. If we add to grace, we fall from grace (Gal. 5:4). If we add to grace, the enemy laughs watching us puff ourselves up only to fall and be humbled.

Jesus Plus…are you falling for it?

Jesus plus circumcision

Jesus plus baptism as an infant

Jesus plus immersion as an adult

Jesus plus belonging to a particular denomination

Jesus plus worshipping on Saturday

Jesus plus being on duty as a servant at all times

Jesus plus daily Bible study and prayer

Jesus plus confessing your sins

Jesus plus regularly witnessing

Jesus plus tithing

Jesus plus not wearing pants, make up or jewelry

Jesus plus not drinking, smoking or dancing

Jesus plus centuries of traditions of man

Jesus plus a certain level of obedience

Jesus plus going to church every Sunday

Jesus plus taking communion

Jesus plus “renewing” the covenant…

Taking from grace nullifies grace. 

The enemy knows that removing grace by replacing it with condemnation (Rom.8:1) nullifies grace, and incapacitates us. That’s why he uses it, and God doesn’t. Condemnation is the enemy’s sharpest tool of manipulation. If we receive his condemnation, he chuckles watching us try to “fix” things between us and God. As if we could. And, as if God hasn’t already. (Spiritual tip: He did because we can’t. 2 Cor. 5:21)

Well acquainted with the vulnerability of our flesh, the angel of light hovers in the background of our minds. His whip stirs harshness, guilt and condemnation within.

Viewing God through this lens, the flesh then strains for a gold star marching to the beat of workaholism. Meanwhile, flesh naturally obeys the voice of condemnation, believing straight away it must now compensate with some kind of penance because the Sacrifice is


Trapped within the enemy’s game of cat and mouse, we live blinded to God’s tsunami of grace, nullifying the triumphant victory we praise Him for. 

Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Nullify in the Greek is athetō, meaning “to do away with what has been laid down.” Grace has been laid down for us to walk in moment by moment. We must never do away with it by adding to or taking away from it.

If we nullify grace by seeking righteousness through our own actions, then we must ask ourselves if our lives show clearly that Christ died for a purpose (Gal. 2:21). 

Receiving Grace If We Sin

Just as adding to grace nullifies it, receiving condemnation nullifies grace. If we sin (1 John 2:1), we are not condemned (Rom. 8:1), but commanded (Js. 5:16) to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another so that we may be healed. If we sin, God’s plan for us is not condemnation, but healing. (Think about it…was Christ into healing?)

If we sin, God is not angry with us. This is counterintuitive. That’s why He gave us His Word to straighten our broken intuition from the Fall. His unconditional, unilateral covenant cannot be broken by those who believe. If we slip up and sin, we are not breaking the covenant if we still believe Him. Believing Him is the only condition on which the covenant is unconditional. Believe means to trust in, to rely on, to adhere to.

That teaching, “our sin breaks fellowship with God,” is nonsense and unbiblical (1 John 2:1). Christ paid for all sin forever so that He could have a relationship with each of us. Period. The truth is that NOTHING can separate us from the love of Christ (Rom 8:38-39), not even sin. That’s why the cross was a perfect and eternal victory!

Think about it… Christ BECAME sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Hello. He’s obviously well acquainted with sin and can certainly help us escape and heal from it. He’s our friend now at all times (Heb. 4:15-16). Christ very much wants to heal all of our personhood, including the sins and wounds in our hearts (Ez.36:26) that cause us to hurt ourselves, others, and dishonor Him.

Think about it…God KNOWS Christ took all the punishment for all sin for all men for all time -that’s past, present and future. Christ said Himself that the sin issue is finished (John 19:30). He will not even deal with sin when He returns (Heb. 9:28b).

Anger? No. Mercy? Yes. God wants to help us (Heb. 4:16) if we sin… to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18) so we can live in freedom (Gal. 5:1) as the new nature (2 Cor.5:17) He has made us. Freedom is why He came.

If we sin, are we in need? Yes! So, along with James 5:16 we can also apply a need verse:

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of NEED. There you have it. The secret to victory is receiving mercy and grace from God, not performing for Him (Is. 64:4b) or boasting in ourselves (1 Cor. 4:7).

(1 John 1:9 is not a command, but a conditional salvation verse. See 1 John 1:9 Info and  Confessing Sin)

In conclusion, for us humans, God’s grace is just counterintuitive. There is a day and night difference between wanting to walk humbly in agreement and intimacy with God (Amos 3:3), and believing pridefully that we must perform certain activities or receive condemnation. The more we believe we “must do” for God to measure up to His heights, the more we reveal identification with the enemy (Is. 14:13). Our striving to measure up simply flies in the face of grace.

We can talk truthfully about the self-focused generation of today all day long, but we unknowingly join in the parade of selfishness when we make our salvation about ourselves, even a little. In our arrogance we might assume we’re helping God save us (as if He needs our help), but the truth is that we are stealing God’s glory by nullifying His grace (Eph. 2:8).

His grace is His glory (John 1:14; Eph. 1:6, 2:8; 2 Cor. 4:15)!

If we could only see the reality of all Christ has done for us, we would rejoice in high spirits continually with deepest thanksgiving and wondrous relief! The dark thoughts of adding to  or taking from grace would never even enter our minds. We would see clearly that His abundant flow grace is MORE than enough for absolutely everything (2 Cor. 12:9).

He gives grace. We receive grace. God’s New Covenant of grace is unconditional, unilateral and cannot be broken by those who believe. That’s why it is a perfect and eternal covenant. That’s the glory of grace.

Humans are not the performers, repairers or sustainers of God’s unconditional, unilateral covenant. It’s just not possible. Bowing to humbly receive His grace 24/7/365 positions us properly as the recipient of the New Covenant of God’s grace (Heb. 12:2a).

All day long… let’s bow and receive.

“Let me feel that love come over me
  Let me feel how strong it could be”  

(Steve Winwood, Higher Love)

Reflective prayer:

-LORD, show me why and how I am trying to add to Your perfect, finished work.
-Show me why and how I am taking from grace by allowing condemnation in my life.
-Please open my eyes to see ALL You have done FOR me in your death and resurrection.
-Reveal anywhere my calloused hands have attempted to manipulate the Gospel nullifying Your grace (Gal. 2:21).
-Expose my fear and pride (1 Cor. 4:5). They are not who I am (2 Cor. 5:17).
-Empower me to throw these behind me (Matt. 16:23).
-Extract forever every claim the enemy has on me (John 14:30).
-Please humble me and teach me to walk whole-heartedly in step with you as the new nature you have already made me (Col. 3:10).

Hebrews 8:13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

Hebrews 10:10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

2 Corinthians 3:6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Galatians 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Isaiah 64:4b  all our righteous acts are like filthy rags

1 Corinthians 4:7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

 Hebrews 9:28b and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Isaiah 14:13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

2 Corinthians 4:15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 4:5 For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.

John 14:30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Hebrews 12:2a fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Galatians 2:21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him

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