Intelligence and pride go hand in hand and, generally speaking, that blinds the eyes of those who seek Christ, because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. (1 Corinthians 1:25-29) Those who follow Christ have always been the humble, the quiet, and those with a troubled conscience—those who hear an inner voice of moral sense and turn away from what they know is wrong, turning toward God. They are baptized by the Word, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and receive the Holy Spirit.
Believing is receiving, and it is a free gift from God. However, the life that is made available to us through Christ is very expensive. To receive the benefits of the Christian life we have to be willing to surrender our own life in exchange. No life can exceed the limits of its foundation. If we build an existence on our own beginning, the infrastructure of our life will eventually collapse and bring us back to where we started. We are all born with the terminal disease of sin, and without the proper foundation of Christ, we will never be able to experience the growth of a spiritual life. Within the heart of every person is the confirmation of God. There is no physical evidence to prove that God raised Christ from the dead, but in the conscience of every man is the knowledge of truth. It is up to the free will of every one of us to accept the truth and receive it into our hearts.
The health of a Christian is dependent upon growth. Without it we falter or become stagnant, and without spiritual development we will never be of service in the army of Christ. Being dead to sin and alive in Christ means we wholly give everything over to God. We sacrifice our life in obedience and humility. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) We live our lives by the Book and we seek out spiritual improvement on a daily basis. Paul the Apostle said, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14 NIV) Our goal is to act like Him, think like Him, and love like Him. We don’t do this with the law, with dress, or religious rituals, but with the mind of Christ. We strive for an intimate relationship with God.
Many start the journey but fall short of the goal, which is to witness for Christ. We busy ourselves with church and family activities, to the detriment of success in sharing Christ with others. The soul must be enlightened and our personal desires set aside to become a completed Christian. If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3) Since the early days, after the crucifixion of Christ, people paid with their life for their faith. When they traveled throughout the secular world they wore their hearts on their sleeves as they shared the Gospel with others. They faced imprisonment and death, but they believed the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a fact and they celebrated His rising daily. They believed they were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (Romans 6:4-6)
Our faith and confidence are in heaven, and it comes from God. 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. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 16-18 NIV) The things we do in this life such as school, our business, and our chores at home are just as much of an offering to God as the money we put in the plate on Sunday. Our lives are risen with Christ, and we now sit on the right-hand-side of our heavenly Father in spirit. Our life is hidden with Christ in God. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. We cannot know any more today than what the Bible tells us, but we can grow closer to Him in intimacy through a Christ-like life.
There are many people who believe the Bible, but until we allow the Bible to change our lives through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, it is simply a book. It is one thing to read about the new birth. It is quite another to be reborn from on high by the Holy Spirit. Many read the promises of the Bible, but to receive them into your heart where we have a change of direction in our lives is another thing altogether. I guess this is the real question: Is it possible to believe something that we don’t act on? Do we ever leave the darkness to walk in the light? It is those who thirst after the living water of God, who step through the curtain and enter the Holy of Holies, who bathe in the light of God, that are saved? Fellowship with other Christians is important, but we cannot replace our personal time with our heavenly Father. Every soul that is saved is saved by a one-on-One relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not something that is done in a group setting. There were three thousand people saved when Peter proclaimed the Gospel on the day of Pentecost. They were there as a group, but were saved individually when each person repented of their sins. Many are misled when they accept the doctrines of a denomination and take another person’s word for what the Bible says. When we do this, we let someone else do the thinking for us, and we never come to terms with God ourselves.
We fill our religious lives with church attendance, baptism, and social events. I am not saying these things are wrong, but they do not draw us closer to God. It actually pushes Him away. As long as a pot is full of water you cannot fill it any further, and as long as our life is full of our own agenda, the Holy Spirit cannot fill us. God comes to us as far as we allow Him, and until we empty ourselves of our own desires we cannot be filled by the Holy Spirit. What in this world can be more important than the time we spend alone in daily Bible study and prayer? Absolutely nothing, but every day I hear from people who say they are too busy to read their Bible. I will tell you this to be the truth: when the day comes for you to enter heaven, the door will be shut and locked, you will cry out to Jesus to let you in, and He will say, “Go away, I am busy!” We need to be like the woman in Mark (chapter five) who had a blood disorder. She pursued Jesus. She fought through the crowd, touched His robe, and through her faith she was healed. We need to touch the robe of Jesus and have our hearts healed, and our minds emptied of the world.
The natural man is of the world and is led by his desires, whereas the mature Christian who is strong in faith is led by the Holy Spirit. The carnal man is an immature Christian who has been reaffirmed by the grace of God, but he is not a spiritual being. He believes he has received the gift of the Holy Spirit, but he does not rely on the Spirit for guidance because he is still controlled by the flesh. God takes us away from the slavery of sin not so we can mingle with the world, but to help bring others out of the world toward Christ. It is His desire that we become saints and be fully indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The carnal man straddles the fence, trying to live in both worlds. No matter how smart or religious we are, if we have not been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, we cannot know God. We can know the background to spiritual things, but we are unable to recognize the still, small voice that resides within us.
This plight of the carnal man is very similar to the Israelites being brought out of Egypt, escaping the turmoil of slavery, and then wandering around the desert for forty years. They crossed the Sinai Peninsula (Sin and I) and sent spies into the land of milk and honey, only to be discouraged by the giants who lived there. The carnal man spends his entire life wandering back and forth between the desert of desire and the spiritual land of milk and honey. We tell ourselves not to venture too close to the spiritual for fear of suffering personal loss. Every one of us who wanders a lifetime in the wilderness eventually falls back into sin. It is possible to be a Christian and be a spiritual failure because we never make a complete commitment to God. Our heavenly Father will not deny this person entry into heaven, but they will go there a pauper without any reward.
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15) We should be close to Christ not only to save our own soul, but to develop a testimony that helps the Holy Spirit save the souls of others. We may make it to heaven, but how much better it would be if we brought others with us so when we enter the pearly gates we can hold our heads up high to receive our just reward. We are certainly grateful and pray everyone makes it, but instead of wandering around foolishly in the desert, wouldn’t it be better if we developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ now?
Just like the Israelites wandering through the desert, we too wander mindlessly through life focusing on outward signs of religion. We do today what we did yesterday because we did it the day before. We content ourselves with the words, ceremonies, and formalities of religion instead of focusing on the internal spiritual life of the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus said, “These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:8-9) We are given the Bible as the Living Word of God. It is the spiritual food that feeds us, and it is the blueprint for our life. It guides us through the wilderness so we do not wander aimlessly, and there is nothing more important than being obedient to God.
There are many who use organized religion as a source of income, and perceive it as a business. Many of our seminaries today spend more education dollars on business management than spiritual management. It is no wonder pastors today lead very few to Christ. Those who live for Christ do not seek wealth and fame, rather we seek Christ so we can be like Him. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11) We, as servants of God, hate the mere formality of religion, and love the opportunity that Christ gave us through His crucifixion to have a personal relationship with God. There is nothing more a church can tell us than if we simply go to our heavenly Father in prayer and talk to Him personally, so we develop a sense for the presence of God. Eventually we stay in communion with Him constantly. As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalms 42:1-2)
One of the biggest challenges Christians face is lack of spiritual growth. We seem satisfied with being an average, run-of-the-mill believer. There is so much more to Christianity than the repentance of sins, and growth cannot happen until we are convinced that we have received the new birth. We need to go beyond forgiveness, beyond acknowledgment of promises, and beyond conversion of our soul. We have to completely forsake the world and turn our lives over fully to Jesus Christ. We cannot live with Christ within us unless we let the Holy Spirit lead the way. I am an excitable person. When the Holy Spirit reveals an idea to me, I jump up and run with it, and when the excitement dies down I realize I have run ahead of the Spirit of God. I have to force myself to slow down and wait on the Lord. Many simply do not let the Holy Spirit lead them at all. They go along with Him for a while, and then fall back into the life they were living before their rebirth.
When Christ is within us, working on the regeneration of our soul, worldly people will find us unusual and difficult to relate to because we don’t do the things they do. The wrong kind of church to attend is one that is highly regarded by the community. If the unsaved world accepts a church, then the Holy Spirit of God does not reside there. Seek a church that the community views as being eccentric, and you will find a place where the Holy Spirit indwells its believers. To be filled with the Spirit we must give up everything that is contrary to the Word of God. We are in the world, but we are not of the world. There is a distinction between the world that is divinely given, where we as Christians plant the seed of salvation, work while sharing our testimony, and live in the world by imitating Christ. Worldliness is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.
We surrender our life to set our self free. We give ourselves away to gain control through Jesus Christ. This is what gives us the power to overcome sin, and it gives us a reason to rejoice, and even though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. (1 Peter 1:8) When we turn all of our heart toward Jesus we discover the deeper meanings of life, and we find in Him the power to become a mature Christian. Our soul is like a thousand-voice choir singing to the glory of God. Earthly things that we thought we could not walk away from fade just like the desires of our previous life. Our past will be the catalyst for the furnace of the altar of God. “Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. (Malachi 4:1-2 NIV)
We are a life form made up of flesh and blood who, soon after maturity, starts to corrode and eventually return to the dirt we came from. Everything we work for does the same thing. It rusts and corrodes back to nothing. In the end we can’t take it with us. We place far too much confidence in ourselves, and this is the last stronghold to be defeated so not only will Christ be within us, but we will be in Christ. Self-trust is what all the psychologists hope for in their patients, confidence in their abilities, but overconfidence interferes with our relationship with God. It places the “glory” on us, and makes us an island of self-gratification. We live in the “me generation,” and the attitude of today is “What’s in it for me?” A relationship with Christ is completely different. We spend our time doing things for others so God can do things for us. It is not only physical, but spiritual in nature. We expose our selfishness by acts of love and sacrifice for others, trusting not in our own strength, but in the power of God. Our corrupt nature gives us a false impression of ourselves, and leads us to base happiness in pleasure.
My life was radically changed when I surrendered to God. I lost the desire to do things I had done in the past, and I started doing things I would never have imagined that I would enjoy. I learned that church was not doing anything for me except providing fellowship with other people. True change for me came about when I spent personal time with the Lord. We do not know just how weak we really are until God exposes our weakness. Only God can show us that what we considered strengths in reality were only weaknesses. Our reliance on anyone other than Jesus Christ is our undoing, and we never discover our inabilities until the Holy Spirit exposes them to us. “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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-11 NIV)
There is no part of us that is fit for heaven so we distrust our own ability and place all our trust in Christ. Many do not want God exposing their behavior and bad habits. When we share our testimony with others it is difficult to admit the wrongs we have done in the past, but this is exactly what God wants us to do. It shows our vulnerability, not only to others, but to ourselves. We are in a dangerous place when we trust our own morality. There is a belief that we can be good enough to enter heaven, but that is not how it works. But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6)
Through daily Bible study and prayer the Holy Spirit will enlighten us as to how we can stop putting trust in ourselves and start putting trust in God. Pride blinds us to the face of God and prevents us from growing as a Christian. We can’t learn this from human teachers. This must come from the Holy Spirit because only He can show us the true condition of our soul. He leads us out of the swamp and onto the mountain of God’s glory. The trials and tribulations we go through can be a direct response to our behavior from God. If we love Him, and yet do not obey Him, He disciplines us to correct the path that we are on. “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” (Hebrews 12:4:5)
A good example of this is after Jesus was baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, He was led into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. Each trial we overcome through Christ brings us closer to our eternal home. Our heavenly Father is permitting these things to happen to us so we stop trusting ourselves and start trusting Him. There comes a time in every one of our lives where we turn everything over to God, and stop worrying about what tomorrow brings.
Think of all the troubles Jacob and Job went through, and the temptations Peter struggled with and won. There are many stories in the Bible that give us examples of the trials and tribulations of those who lived long ago. Nothing has changed. Think of the thousands of Christians who were put to death in the Colosseum in Rome. Those who were burned at the stake for memorizing and sharing parts of the Bible. Most of us have it easier today where God only tests us to see if we trust Him. We realize that we struggle under the curse of sin so we cry out to God for relief and then, sadly, place our trust back on our own abilities. Thanks be to God, for He is ever patient with His children. So, let us be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. (Romans 12:10-13)
The souls who gave their life for the cause of Christ, and still do, form a long and glorious line. But from our standpoint we struggle to deal with the cost of our own life. The grace of God is free, but to serve Christ is expensive. We have to give up something to get something. The Church today is full of people profiting from Christianity, and that is why our houses of worship are so barren of spirituality. We have neglected the costs of self-discipline, patience, obedience, personal holiness, and discipleship. The grace that brought our forefathers to their knees has little effect on those of us who attend church on a regular basis. We are a generation seeking our own will so we never obtain our spiritual sea legs. The fact is, we don’t want to go to heaven for free because there is no reward for us in eternity. We want to serve others with all our heart, in every capacity that we can, because of our love for our King and Savior. When we turn to Christ in servitude the things that were once against us are now for us. There is a saying, “If you want to get something done, give someone else the glory.” We should avoid accepting any glory for ourselves. Not even 1 percent! To God give the glory, and take a step back from our own ego. This will turn a demerit into a merit in the eyes of God.
After service to our Lord we develop a testimony to share the Gospel with others. Our greatest commission is to gather a bountiful harvest of souls. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) Amen! Have you struggled in communicating with God? Have you struggled with sin and disobedience? Here is your answer to both questions: Share Christ with others and the Holy Spirit will expose your weakness. It is a simple request from your heavenly Father, but it is truth.
Whatever holds you back from your personal relationship with God, let it go. Set aside your own interest, and stop defending your actions. Stop dwelling in mediocrity and step out of your cubbyhole into the wide world of soul winning. We don’t have to take a class, go to Bible study, or attend some seminar. Step into your prayer closet and commune with the Lord. He will guide you through your testimony. Do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. (Matthew 10:19-20) You will be nervous at first, but all you have to do is start the conversation and the Holy Spirit of God will take over from there. Do not be afraid. If they rebuke your offering, knock the dust off your jeans and move on to the next person. Be gracious. The free gift of grace abounds for those who seek it, but we need to be willing to pay a personal price to align our souls to God and take advantage of the Holy Spirit living inside us. Once doing so, the victory of communion with Christ will be achieved and our spiritual path will be illuminated.
If God created us in His own image, surely He would have given some thought as to how we are going to look, how we are going to react with others, what character traits we may possess, and what we like or dislike. Only He knows our true character because he knew us before the foundations of the earth were laid. When we, as spirit beings, are placed in the body of a child we lose our true identity. As we mature, our environment and the curse of sin creates a person with desires and character traits that are not our own. When we surrender our earthly life to Christ the process of regeneration begins. We are transformed into who we were prior to our birth. Until the process of regeneration is complete we are what the god of this world has made us. For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)
We need to lift the curtains that blind us from our relationship with Christ. The things we care for the most are those that will be the hardest to defeat. Our will that is contrary to God. Our religious leanings, and our confusion as to ownership. Whatever we believe we own while here on earth is obscuring our view of God. We surrender our possessions and the fear of change. Money is one of the major curtains that blocks our view to Christ. Friendships can be one of the toughest things to overcome because of our history of habits, but if there is a person who blocks us from our relationship with God because of beliefs or bad habits, we have to let them go. We need to stop wandering around the desert in the Sinai Peninsula and enter into the Promised Land. I can assure you that God is jealous of your inappropriate relationships with others. He truly does not want to share you with anyone besides Himself. He is more than willing to illuminate our soul with the most wondrous love we have ever experienced as we open the curtains and peer into the eyes of God.
To know Christ and the power of His resurrection is to be conformed to His ways and to experience the illumination of His Spirit. As we strive to conduct our life by the spiritual laws of God, we are able to know Him for who He is. We put ourselves into the hands of God and let Him do with us as He wills. Our one and only intent should be to perpetually glorify and praise Him, seeking only to be cleansed from all wrongdoing. Those of us who seek Christ within us should not be discouraged with slow progress. It took years for us to become the way we are now, so we can understand it will take time for us to be healed. We need to follow the physician’s instructions, and take our medicine everyday (DBS&P). We should exercise our body as well as our mind and soul. Physical exercise makes us strong mentally. Physical strength is just a byproduct of a strong mind.
God has a personality just as you and I have. He has feelings. He has expressions of happiness, loneliness, anger, and pain. When we ignore and disobey Him it hurts His feelings, and we create separation anxiety for ourselves. We are created like no other creature in all of God’s creation. We are the only creature that is out of its original habitat. Our citizenship is in heaven, we were placed here for one purpose, to make a decision. Are we for Him, or are we for ourselves? There is nothing more like God in all the universe than a human soul. Unfortunately, because of the curse of sin we have become liars in our own imagination. When it comes to dealing with our heavenly Father we can’t even trust ourselves. Although we knew God, we did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in our thoughts, and our foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21)
Why is it so many people know so little about our Creator? We do not look at God as a personality and accept the fact that we were created in His own image. Instead, we create a god for ourselves to suit our own desires. We have become so degenerate that we believe God is created in our image, and is for our own use. Reason and intelligence can only know the words in a book, but love and understanding is what is required to know a person. So we may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of us. We do not count ourselves to have apprehended; but one thing we do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, we press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14) We read a travel guide and look at the pictures to get some idea of what a place is like, but unless we have been there we can’t know it personally through our senses. We haven’t touched or smelled it like one who has a firsthand knowledge of a place. This is how it is with God. We have to experience Him for ourselves.
Most of us settle for secondhand knowledge. We are so busy with our own lives we depend on someone else’s relationship and accept them as a substitute for our correspondence with God. Many of us allow people and “things” to take our heart from our God. We are not willing to give up our sinful lifestyle. All these things will prevent us from having effectual prayer. These things are roadblocks to God. Going to the Bible to understand the person of our heavenly Father is effective, but it is not the end to the means. The Bible is not there to replace God, but to lead us to Him. We may never know everything about God, but we can know all that has been revealed to us through Christ. That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11) Anything that keeps us from knowing Christ is our enemy. When we allow our heavenly Father to reveal Himself through the Holy Spirit there comes inside us an eruption of reality concerning the ways of Christ. Our understanding goes far beyond the words of the Bible, and we begin to learn of His Person in a very intimate manner. Discipleship is a quest for removing the personality we created prior to our knowledge of Christ.
People are always telling me how wonderful I am for doing the services for others that I do. I generally thank them for their comments, but the truth is there is no good in me whatsoever. The good that people see me do is not me, it is Jesus Christ living through me. Regardless of what we consider the value is, the old me has to allow the new me to take hold of our mind. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) We crucify our old nature completely, because there is no such thing as a partial death. We search out our old behaviors and remove them one by one. In my case this is not something I did in a day, or even a lifetime for that matter. I still struggle with sin and with my old nature, but thanks be to the grace of God, I see progress. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:25-26)
Me, myself, and I, with all our character flaws, are placed in the wastebasket. God’s purpose is not to send those of us who struggle with the sins of this world to hell. His vision is to remove the curse of sin from His creation and to make us like Christ, which in turn enables us to reach the heavens, and have a glorious reunion with the God we knew since time began. To return to the bosom of our Father and rest our souls in His loving arms, we have to start now to prepare ourselves for the journey to everlasting peace so that the life we live in the flesh we live by the faith of the Son of God who loved us and gave His life for us.