Monday, April 18, 2016

One of the women who attends our service at the jail was confined to her dorm because of an infraction of a rule and she was discouraged to the point of tears. She is a young forty something woman who we have become connected with and so I wrote this note of encouragement that may find some encouragement to you as well; I know it does to me. 

Numerous times this week I have wanted to write you a word of encouragement because last week, when you had a tough day, I felt the love of Christ for you so strongly and I wanted to comfort you, but somehow I failed to find the words. So I sought them throughout the week, but not until this morning did I, and I trust the Holy Spirit, find some thoughts that may encourage you. So here goes ---

The Kingdom of God is a contradiction to so many rules of our earthly kingdom and culture. "Results" are the measuring stick on earth, but "intentions" are the measure in Christ's society. We want to present to God a seamless flow of victories over our prominent failings, and when we fall short, we are flooded with discouragement. "Oh, it is all in vain," we cry, "I have failed once again and will never move past these hindrances to success and wholeness." But in these very sobs of remorse rises a higher prayer of intent than any pride of accomplishment. Christ will never be brought down to measure us by our accomplishments, but He will ever look deep into our intentions as the measure of success.

Each time we fall and feel remorse, we are, by "kingdom life's standard," exercising great faith and intent. He measures our devotion, not by achievement, but in our calls for mercy.
Each time we rise from failure and continue on in hope of mercy, we are met with His approval and acceptance. We stand, not by our abilities, but by our hope in His mercy, which endures forever.
His promise is ever to the bruised reed, those who stumble, stagger or fall, but look to Him for remedy, are accepted as beloved.
“They are blessed who realize their spiritual poverty, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them."
This is the most contrary law of heaven: that our weakness is our strength. Giving up our hope that we will achieve our goals, but rather, that we will never achieve them; but He will take our desire for completion: our sobs of remorse, for prayers of victory; and out of our weakness He will make materials for success.
It is always Christ's duty to achieve; our duty is to believe He can and will.
How will you ever encourage another if it depends on their will?
How can all come to victory if it depends on our ability? Oh no, we fly to His arms for strength; the cleft of His rock for comfort; under His wings for aid and safety: always trusting that, "God calls into being that which does not exist."
Ro. 4:17

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