Justice & Mercy

On February 13th, 2018, a man by the name of Haruna Yahaya, aged 35, was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for taking part in the Chibok school girl kidnapping. Yahaya, having a paralyzed arm and a deformed leg, confessed to being a part of the kidnapping; his lawyer, though, asked the judge for leniency, because Yahaya was “forcibly conscripted into the group and he acted under duress.”1 The judge did not agree to leniency, stating that Yahaya still could have chosen not to participate in the kidnapping of these women.1

Reading this article, I can’t help but suspect that Yahaya did act under duress— that he gave in to the pressure and fear around him, and chose to help take his fellow human beings captive. Perhaps I am wrong; perhaps he committed this crime in complete agreement with Boko Haram’s leaders, malice filling his heart. Maybe it was a bit of both; or maybe I shouldn’t even try to look at his motives. After all, only God can see a person’s heart (1 Kings 8:39).

But there are three things that I glean from this, that I feel are worth mentioning:

  1. How vulnerable all of us are to fear and to outside social pressure,
  2. That Jesus is fulfilling His Promise, in that those who have caused the Chibok girls suffering will get Justice for their actions; and that
  3. Perhaps this man is repentant (possibly shown by how he confessed to kidnapping the Chibok girls, and for maybe being under duress); and, because he might be truly repentant, he might now need mercy.

It brings to mind John 8:1-11, when an adulterous woman is brought before Jesus, and the Pharisees try to put Him in a trap. Instead, Jesus tells the Pharisees something very pointed: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7, NIV).

It is incredibly important to point out what Dave Miller of Apologetics Press says concerning this passage of scripture:

“this motley crew [speaking about the Pharisees]—with their notorious and repeatedly documented hard-heartedness—would not have been deterred if Jesus simply had conveyed the idea that, “Hey, give the poor woman a break, none of us is perfect, and we’ve all done things we’re not proud of.” These heartless scribes and Pharisees had the audacity to divert her case from the proper judicial proceedings and to humiliate her by forcibly hauling her into the presence of Jesus, thereby making her a public spectacle. …Paul was especially specific on the very point with which Jesus dealt: ‘You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery?’ (vs. 22). In other words, [Jesus was saying that] no person is qualified to call attention to another’s sin when that individual is in the ongoing practice of the same sin.”
(Dave Miller, “The Adulterous Woman,” Apologetics Press, words in brackets mine)

At the core, Jesus was not waving away this woman’s sin to show her mercy. He actually dealt quite lawfully with her, and showed her that she wasn’t to be condemned to death because her case, as mentioned by Dave Miller in “The Adulterous Woman,” lacked the necessary requirements for that to happen. Why bring this up? Because Jesus is a God of Law, Order, and Justice—after all, He (being part of the Trinity) created the Law of Moses to begin with.

As this woman is saved from death, Jesus tells her, “’Then neither do I condemn you… Go now and leave your life of sin’” (John 8:11). Lawfully, Jesus kept her from death—and then told her to completely leave behind the sin (adultery) that put her there in the first place. Jesus did not wave away this woman’s sin in order to show her mercy; He showed her mercy, lovingly telling her the Truth, while plainly seeing her sin.

It is Jesus’ heart for “genuine Justice,” as Christian Rapper Odd Thomas puts it in “The Size of Sin,” that introduced the need for Him to come to earth in the first place. But, in light of the need for true Justice, Jesus also came down to earth out of mercy.

Both Justice and Mercy are borne out of Love. However we have gotten ourselves into sin—whether it would be through thoughtlessness, a genuine mistake, caving in under pressure, or planning it out with exact evil intent, the Gospel shows us that it is God’s desire to both look at the sin committed and bring it to Justice, and to—when one is repentant of their sin—show forgiveness, grace, and mercy to even the worst of sinners.

Whatever this man—and tens, if not hundreds of other men coerced/recruited into Boko Haram—intended to do, they still inflicted pain and created anguish for countless people, causing irrevocable harm. May Jesus show them what their actions have really wrought; and, with hearts that are truly repentant, may they come to Jesus, receiving the forgiveness and mercy only He can offer.



 

Do you know Jesus?

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? ‘I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.’”
(Jeremiah 17:9-10, NIV)

You may intend to be a “good” person, and you may even consider yourself to be very good, enlightened, and spiritual—but yet, you do not know Christ.

Listen: I am not here to call into question whether you are a good person or not. You may be a very wonderful, kind, loving, warm person, with noble motives and ideals!

But, unfortunately, one cannot know God simply by being a great person. God knows our hearts; and no matter how pure and spiritual we may seem, nothing we do will ever be enough to gain eternal life.

Jesus said that the true work of God is to believe in the one He has sent (John 6:29). It’s not about you! Learn more about who it is about—and what He did for youhere.



Prayer Requests (print out a copy of these “Prayer Points” here):

  • Please pray for the Chibok girls; that each and every one would be able to come out of Boko Haram captivity, into a free and abundant life, with Jesus as their Lord and Savior (John 10:10)!
  • Please pray, even for those who have caused so much evil and suffering. I know this can be one we wrestle with… especially in light of the school shooting that just occurred on February 14th. But I encourage you to be real with Jesus in that completely justified anger and pain.
  • Pray that those who are facing worldly Justice would receive their punishment to the fullest extent of the law. Praise Jesus for the fact that He has set law enforcement over us (Romans 13:1)! More about how Christ has instituted law enforcement for our good in another post.
  • Please pray for each person who has been so deeply affected by the recent school shootings. Pray that Christ shows Himself to people through it.

Thank you for your prayers!!!

 

 

Footnotes:
1 https://www.news24.com/Africa/News/chibok-girls-kidnapper-jailed-for-15-years-nigeria-20180213

 

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People Set Free!!!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…
(Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV)

I am happy to report that on February 10th, 2017, two professors and one person who was a driver for the University of Maiduguri were released from Boko Haram captivity, as well as ten women who were taken captive by Boko Haram in July of 2017!!!

I can only imagine it… the taste of freedom, breathing the air with free lungs– looking up at the sun and moon and knowing that you– at least, not physically– are no longer in a place of darkness and fear.

It is always beautiful, good news to hear that someone has been set free. It is a sigh of relief, a smile on the face; sweet tears streaming down the cheeks, and a heart bursting with Joy.

Friends, on the eve of Valentine’s Day 2018, this is what happened to me. Weighed down with a seemingly unexplained heaviness, full of anger and a pride that said “I deserve God’s Love and Acceptance because I’m doing x, y, and z,” I went to a Bible study from Lysa TerKeurst about how Jesus is the Water of Life. About how He decided to go into “enemy terrority”– as God, becoming human flesh, and then as a Jew, heading into Samaria (the land of the Jew’s enemies, the Samaritans), just so that He could tell one woman that He was the One her heart had been waiting for (John 4). How did I come out of this Bible study? Filled with the sense that Jesus, just as He spoke to this unloved woman, wanted to speak to me.

I realized things about myself that were hidden deep— things I had not thought about or let myself feel for years. Through tears, cries, and a profound leading of the Holy Spirit, the lies that had caused my heart to grow cold with fear and legalism were replaced with Truth: that I am not under Jesus’ wrath. That the deep pain my own sin caused years ago was nailed to the cross at Calvary. That I am free.

And so I write this today, looking at the physical freedom these people have– and am truly blessed to know that our God delights in setting people free. 

As the wonderful Lysa Terkeurst has said, “[Jesus] is a God who knows women, and who knows trauma.” And as I look at this blog, I see this as a Truth that has been proven time and time again! He is our Rescuer, a God of Order, compassionately passionate about each and every person who has ever lived. And He reaches out to each and every one of us.

As we celebrate the fact that 13 people were set free from the violent, bounding, fearful captivity of Boko Haram– and the dead religious system it belongs to, let us not also forget those who still need to become free: the remaining 112 young women, held captive for simply going to school. 

It has been reported that these Chibok girls are being negotiated for, and this shred of seemingly solid, trusty news fills my heart with a ray of Hope– a ray of Hope that not all is lost, that maybe not everything (like the video from Boko Haram) is what it seems, and most of all, that Jesus– this God who sets people free– is above it all. I have no idea of what He’s doing, or how He’s doing it. All I know is that HE IS. 

And no matter what happens– through the Joy, or through the pain– I know who He is, and I trust Him; and that is all I need to know.

I leave you with this question: Where are you in your relationship with Jesus? Where have you kept the Lord out of, for way too long? He will shed His Light upon it. But it is not to shame you; it is to free you. Invite Him in, today; rest in the Truth that you are set free.

set free.jpg

This blog post is dedicated to the 17 people senselessly killed by a mass school shooter in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, in Parkland, Florida on February 14th, 2018. May Jesus be with these people and guide the country forward.



Do you know Jesus?

Around 2,000 years ago, Jesus stepped down from a perfect, painless existence in heaven, enjoying unhindered fellowship with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, to live in a sin-filled, wicked world, and to die in the most excruciating way possible. The crazy part of all of this? Jesus, God in human flesh, did it FREELY– He had all of the freedom in the world, and yet He CHOSE to die, under the wrath and punishment of God, and bearing every mistake and sin we have ever made (1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:6; Hebrews 10:8-9).

For you. For me. Personally.

So that we would never have to.

Because He Loves you

Learn more about this wonderful God, His Love for you, and what it all means, here.


Prayer Requests (print out a “Prayer Points” sheet here):

  • Praise Jesus for the AMAZING work He is doing– the work that we can see, and the work that we can’t see!
  • Please pray for all of the Chibok girls; that Jesus would help those who are still reeling from being taken out of captivity, and for those who are still in captivity.
  • That Jesus would FREE those who are stuck in darkness– that all those in Northeast Nigeria, including even Boko Haram, would come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
  • That those affected by the evil mass shooting that occurred on February 14th, 2018 would come to know Jesus Christ through it– and that Jesus would lead our leaders to make wise decisions to protect people from a tragedy like this.

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
(Colossians 1:13-14, NLT)

Thank you for your prayers!!!

The Priority of God’s Word: Why we should read the Bible

In 2018, it’s sadly not surprising that young adults– especially in America, but also worldwide– believe that the Bible is literally a thing of the past. The Barna Group, a research company dedicated to research pertaining to faith and spirituality, created a study in which they compared different questions regarding the Bible, and Bible Literacy, over a six-year period. Many of the answers were, unfortunately, very telling.

For example, in Barna’s Research study on how often people read the Bible, 35% of Americans in 2016 said they read the Bible at least once a week, but this statistic also highlighted the fact that only a quarter of millennials could say they read the Bible once per week1. American adults were also asked if the Bible– among the options of the Koran, Book of Mormon, Torah, and “None” — was a book they considered to be Sacred Literature. While those in this survey were able to choose more than one option, the percentage who chose the Bible as their sole response, or part of their partial response, went down by 6% in 6 years. To the question, “the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches,” the percentage of those who “Agreed Strongly” decreased by 15% between 2011 and 2016; there was also a decrease of 8% in those who believe “the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life.”

As with much of Scientific studies, this data only proves and supports many of the things people already see on a daily basis. Many millennials have traded the idea of Absolute Truth for an “Everything Is True” mentality; people have forsaken the idea that there is one answer and one way for a “Vanilla Spirituality,” one example of 1 Timothy 4 coming true: “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.”2

Now, more than ever, Christians must guard themselves against the hundreds of different thoughts and beliefs thrown at them, even unbiblical beliefs within Christianity itself (1 John 4:1-6). At the same time, the human heart can tend to pride itself on “knowing the Truth,” even when it comes to having great knowledge of the Bible—turning Christians into arrogant, heartless, religious people, akin to the proud Pharisees Jesus was so angered by (Matthew 23). In our world, how can one stay away from both dangerous extremes?

The Bible is Precious

“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands” (Psalm 119:9-10, NLT). Whether the person who wrote Psalm 119 was King David, Ezra, or Daniel, the person writing these words no doubt was faced with a real philosophical question: “How can a young person stay pure?” That is, how is a person, in such a world as this, remain untainted by sin, even the sins of legalism and Heresy? Psalm 119:9 makes it very simple: “By obeying [God’s] Word.” God’s Word is precious, because it erases the black tar of humanity’s changing, fallible thinking, replacing lies with Truth.

OBEYING GODS WORD.jpg

Yet, there is a caveat to this: God’s Word can only do this transforming work in a person’s life when they view God’s Word as precious. If one does not view the Bible (and the Bible alone!) as precious and worthy to be obeyed with all of ourselves, they remain blinded. 2 Corinthians 4:4 states this truth better than I: “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” God’s Word will never return void (Isaiah 55:11)—but if a person refuses to receive what it says with Faith, they remain blind to it’s Truth, and therefore, it’s life-changing power.

The Bible is God-Breathed

2 Corinthians 4:4 sheds light on the key to receiving God’s Word: The Help and Guidance of the Holy Spirit. Since “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV), it only makes sense that a person needs the Spirit of God to understand what He has breathed! Think of it, friends: The God of the Universe wants to speak to you! The fact that God has already made Himself known through the Bible is a precious gift in and of itself; and one receives it when they receive the One who created it! It is impossible to read and understand the Bible, God’s Wisdom, at a soul-level, without personally knowing the God who reveals it to us (1 Corinthians 10:9-11).

This is where many Christians can remove priority on the Bible, though. Attempting to “experience Jesus,” many can seek an exciting/profound personal revelation—or, at times, merely an ethereal experience—instead of conforming to what God has already revealed in the Bible. This is not to say that the Holy Spirit cannot speak to us individually, but that whatever He says MUST be in line with what the Bible says! There is no greater revelation than the one that is Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22. Only those who see the Bible as a precious, precious gift, and search it for confirmation on what the Holy Spirit might be saying, can steer clear of false spirits masquerading as “greater revelation.”

Jesus is the Word

All of this might seem complicated. But, when it comes down to it, a person will 1) Only regard the Bible as Precious and 2) Have the Holy Spirit when they receive The One who is the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” John 1:1 says.  “He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:1-3, NIV). There are many today who do read the Bible, yet do not have their hearts, souls, and lives changed by it’s Words. This is because they refuse the One who says it! If John 1 is correct, and if this scripture, as well, is God-breathed (God-inspired), Jesus Christ is God—and He is the Word made manifest as a Human. This is where the Bible becomes more than just Sacred Literature; through the Holy Spirit, it is able to speak to the Reader like changednothing and no one else. When one reads the Bible and listens to it, they are listening to God speaking directly to them. So many people—myself included! —will wait and wait until they get a profound, extra-biblical revelation from Christ on whether or not they should do something. While anticipating Jesus’ answer through the Holy Spirit is not wrong, the Bible is clear. Even if the Bible doesn’t explicitly give you an answer on something, its Words will still not return void. In times of uncertainty, ask Jesus to illuminate His Word to you, and give you the Wisdom and Guidance you need. He is willing to provide you that guidance—and what it comes to His Word, He already has!

 

It is true that a nation is blessed when the triune God, YHWH, is their God (Psalm 33:12). Aching, lonely, sin-ridden hearts all over the world are looking for something to save them out of the darkness, chaos, and emptiness they feel. Now, more than ever, we must pray that people read and believe the Bible—but even more so, put their faith the great, amazing God who inspired hundreds of men, over thousands of years, to write it. Let’s pray that those who are Bible illiterate would read its Words, and believe fully on its Loving Author. After all, it is a book of History, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, and every other noble academic pursuit; but it is SO much more, to the One who believes on Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It becomes a love letter, the very Words of Life itself. In the words of some beautiful person, “The Bible is the only book where the Author is in Love with the reader.


Do you know Jesus?

The Whole of the Bible is this: That God Loves you, gave Himself for you, and wants you to know Him and be saved by Him. To the lonely, it speaks of Jesus never leaving you (Hebrews 13:5); to the proud, it whispers that only those who know their poverty and need for God will inherit His Kingdom (Matthew 5:3; Psalm 34:18). To all, it says that Jesus Christ is the Only Way, Truth, and Life; no one gets to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

Whoever you are, Jesus is calling for you to come to Him.
Come to Him, and learn more about His Love for you and His Good News to you, here.


Please pray for…

  • The Worldwide Church, especially the Church within the United States and other “poster-modern” societies. In a day and time where “everything goes,” pray that the Church would stand for the values of the Bible, even when under pressure.
  • College campuses. So many lost, aching, dying souls fill these campuses, looking for purpose and meaning. Pray that Jesus would use fellow college students, professors, and college ministries to show these people the Good News of Jesus Christ!
  • That people would not only read the Bible, but love and cherish it. Pray that these beautiful people would come to realize and value the Sacredness of the Bible and would be Bereans (Acts 17:10-15)—comparing everything they hear of and experience with what the Bible has to say.
  • That people all over the world would come to know Jesus! Please pray—even in your own life—that Jesus would cause Believers to know the Gospel, and that those same Believers (you and me!) would share the Gospel with all those around us!

If you’re like me, you like writing down prayers. You can now print out a printable version of these prayer requests, with room to journal-pray, here!

Time is short—Jesus is coming back soon, and people NEED to know the Truth! Please pray that those who know nothing of Christ would come to meet Him in amazing ways!!!

Thank you for your prayers!!!

 

1  https://www.barna.com/research/the-bible-in-america-6-year-trends/

2  I Timothy 4:3-4, New Living Translation

Changes Are a Comin’

Hey friends!

But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
(Matthew 6:5-15, NKJV)

“It’s not about the eloquent words– but about the prayer itself.”

This is something Jesus has been teaching me, as of late– especially regarding this blog. A few days ago, as I sat with Him in the quiet, my focus concerning this blog was re-oriented; and with it, Jesus gave me some great ideas to initiate here on ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY.

He led me to focus more on this blog’s purpose, in the beginning, and to really go after it (as taken from the blog’s “About” page):
1) To continue to pray for the girls’ safe release from these Boko Haram camps,
2) To continue to be updated/ update others on the state of this situation, the church of Nigeria, and Nigeria as a whole,
and 3) To, as Isaiah 62:6-7 states, advocate for the Chibok girls, as well as to encourage world-wide prayer for the state of Nigeria, the Church of Nigeria, and all of Nigeria’s kidnappees so that other believers may “have no rest, and give the Lord no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the Earth.”

Because of this, I have decided I wanted to start these things:

  1. More prayer-focused resources for you, the reader. Instead of just writing about the Chibok girls, Northern Nigeria, Boko Haram, displaced peoples, those fighting Boko Haram, etc., I want to help you, the reader, have a more precise, straightforward, practical aid in praying for all the topics mentioned above. Part of this includes “Prayer Points” with each post: printable PDFs or Word Documents regarding the different prayer requests brought up in each blog post, so that you can be aided in praying for the things mentioned, as you are led. This could also include different resource pages, as well as updating and improving current resource pages (like The Names & Pictures). These printable “prayer points” could be done weekly, but I am not sure about that yet, as things like that can easily become legalistic for me.
  2. More posts just focused on the Chibok girls and their situation. News about them can be written about more frequently, like the fact that many Chibok girls are now going to school! I would like to write more about them explicitly, and ask prayer for them in a more detailed manner.
  3. I have edited/polished the “Do You Know Jesus?” Page. I wanted to keep this more up to date, reading as excellently as possible (and prayerfully, by the power of the Holy Spirit, bringing people to Jesus!).
  4. I have decided that I want the month of March to be especially dedicated to praying for the Chibok girls. More details about this, soon.
  5. I want to further encourage prayer for the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls specifically, so I will be posting a page/post on a group of Chibok girls readers can pray for, weekly.
  6. To let my local community know more about the Chibok schoolgirls, and to encourage prayer and advocacy for them, I may try to put together an art show for the art I have created that surrounds them. We will see; I would need lots of help, but I want to make good on this! 🙂
    contact final

    A portion of a piece of art I have created, Untitled, concerning the Chibok girls, and stating Bible Verses Christ has given me about their release.

    7. may change the blog’s overall theme! I am not 100% on this yet, but it’s an idea.

 

What do you guys think of these changes? Readers, I need your help!!! Do you have any other ideas for this blog? Any compliments/constructive criticism about it?? I’d love to hear from you!

As always, thank you for your prayers, and for reading what my silly heart and mind have to say! I love and appreciate you all! 🙂

What the Enemy Meant for Evil

Hi Friends & Readers,

While this may sound random and/or irrelevant to the Chibok girls, I felt today that Jesus wanted me to pray for Talinda Bennington, the wife of the late Chester Bennington, lead singer of the rock band called “Linkin Park.”

Talinda Bennington spoke a lot about her late husband’s passing, as well as about his mental and emotional health, at an event called Canadian Event Safety Summit, which was created in wake of Bennington’s passing. my knowledge, Chester did believe in “the next life,” but he never confessed to knowing Christ, and his wife Talinda has also not confessed Jesus. As Talinda Bennington is now dealing with, and grieving for, her husband Chester on a daily basis– while raising their three kids– I know that Christ hurts for her. If she has not already come to Him for Help, I know that He yearns for her to do so.

With this in mind, I read through John 6, where Jesus says that He is the Bread of Life.

I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
(John 6:35, ESV)

Reading this, I think of how hungry this world is for Jesus. How thirsty it is for Him, His Presence, for His Salvation. Chester Bennington committed suicide; and while we may never know what exactly was going through his mind as he made this awful decision, Talinda Bennington spoke to many people about how Chester’s struggle with addiction and depression caused him a lot of shame. Perhaps he desperately wanted to be better, but did not have the power to truly overcome his addictions.

While Chester Bennington– and so many others– may not be physically bound and in captivity to the darkness and to evil, Chester was, in many ways, bound emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. As spoken about in this post, we, as Believers in Christ, not only have the duty, but the amazing honor, to tell others about Christ– the only One who can set them free.

It is obvious, in a very literal and serious sense, that Chester Bennington had his own share of demons. He, and all of us, had an enemy that loves to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10)– which is exactly what happened to Chester.

And now, the lives of the rest of his family, friends, and truly, everyone who loved him, have been destroyed, too.
Let that soak in for a second; take to heart the damage the enemy has done in the life of Chester Bennington, and so many other people.
It is real.
It is dark.
It is painful.

But even out of something so dark and painful as this, Christ can bring life and beauty.

It reminds one of Genesis 50. It tells an incredibly important part of Joseph’s story. Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, who told his own father he had died; after this, he is wrongly accused of raping a woman and spends two years in prison– spending thirteen years in slavery and in prison, in total.1

After all of his suffering, he interprets a dream of Pharoah that foretells a major famine happening in the lands of Egypt and Canaan, today’s countries of Lebanon, Syria, and Israel2 (Genesis 47:14). Joseph, greatly favored by the LORD, is made second in command because of this interpretation and foretelling– and gets ready for the seven year famine. Led by the LORD to collect enough food for the nation and the land of Canaan to get through the famine, Joseph reunites with his brothers, who have come to Egypt seeking food for their starving family in Canaan.

Here, Genesis 50 tells of the reuniting Joseph has with his brothers. When they find out that the second person in command in all of Egypt is the brother they sold into slavery and lied to their father about, they expect him to be vengeful. Yet, his reply to their apology is profound.

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
(Genesis 50:20, NKJV)

Christ used Joseph’s suffering to save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people from starvation– including his family, who would later be the ancestors of the nation Israel. Like Joseph’s story, Jesus can even use the death of someone to bring others to Himself, the Bread of Life. And this is my prayer.

Because Jesus also says something very encouraging and profound, right after proclaiming that He is the Bread of Life, in verses 37 and 38: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” Those who come to Christ– no matter who they are, where they have been, or how ungodly they may have acted– will NEVER be “cast out,” rejected by Jesus. EVERYONE who comes to Jesus Christ will be saved. Simple as that.

So, as we pray for Talinda Bennington– and so many others who may not know Christ, and think that “knowing Him” is only for those whose lives and pasts aren’t “messy” or “dark”– let’s show all those around us the Love that Jesus has for them– and that Jesus will never cast them out, if they come to Him. For, He is mighty to save, and is the only One who can do so.

1 https://amazingbibletimeline.com/blog/q27_joseph_how_long_in_prison/
2 https://www.ancient.eu/canaan/



Do you know Jesus?

In a world where the name of Jesus is more common as a expletive than as a Name treated with reverence, many people believe they do not need Christ: either because they don’t believe they are sinners in need of a Savior, or because they feel that they have “gone too far” as a sinner, and could never possibly receive such a gift.

Both sides of this pendulum are dangerous lies. All have fallen short of God’s standard, as Romans 3:23 says. “Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins” (Romans 3:24, NLT).

There is no valid excuse. We all have a choice. Whether or not we believe we need Jesus, it is the Truth. Learn more about this Loving, Compassionate God– who wants you to come to Him, just as you are– here.


Please pray for…

  • Talinda Bennington, Chester Bennington’s wife. Pray for her salvation; for her to be able to come to know Christ personally, and deeply. Pray this knowing Christ will change her entire life.
  • Each of Chester’s children. Please pray that his children would come to know Christ, and that Jesus would walk with them through the process of grief and emotional healing after their father’s death.
    • Lila Bennington
    • Lily Bennington (twins with Lila Bennington)
    • Isaiah Bennington
    • Jaime Bennington (his first born son)
    • Draven Sebastian Bennington
    • Tyler Lee Bennington
  • The rest of Chester’s loved ones.

A great, evil darkness is controlling many of these people’s lives, especially Chester’s fellow musician-friends. Please pray that the darkness surrounding them would be flooded with light as those who know Christ love and share the Gospel with these lost people.

Thank you for your prayers!!!

“When ‘grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ,’ a long awaited revolution of the heart began to set religious captives free. Fearful bondage motivated by guilt was replaced with a fresh motivation to follow Him in truth simply out of a deep devotion and delight. Rather than focusing on the accomplishments of the flesh, He spoke of the heart.”
(The Grace Awakening by Charles R. Swindoll, Chapter 1: Grace: It’s Really Amazing!)

In this day and age, human trafficking is not something that only happens in far-off, “crooked third world countries” (as if the US was any less crooked). With stories such as this one coming out yesterday, talking about a woman in Texas who was drugged, kidnapped, and shackled to a bed so that she could be a cleaning slave, reality becomes painfully obvious: human trafficking is prevalent everywhere.

Today, as January– Human Trafficking Prevention & Awareness Month– is coming to an end, I encourage you to 1) Realize and receive God’s grace and freedom for your lives; and 2) pray for those still in physical bondage, like the woman in Texas. Most importantly, please pray against people’s spiritual bondage, to dead, works-based religion. To help give you ways to pray, you can pray for some of the top countries with Human Trafficking problems: Thailand, Spain, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Guatemala, among many others.

To learn more about how you can help end Human Trafficking, visit “The U COUNT Campaign”‘s website.


Do you know Jesus?

Romans 6:16 says, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” Whether or not you believe that you are a slave to something, the Truth is that Jesus died to set us free.
Learn more about Jesus– and what He came to free you from– here.