Posted by: judyhitson | January 24, 2022

God’s Promise of Freedom

God’s Promise of Freedom
by Judy Hitson

Gal. 5:1 NLT So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

How does Christ truly set us free?

Some facets that came to mind: Freedom from the Law, Freedom in God’s Love, Freedom in God’s Joy,  Freedom in God’s Peace. Then I thought, “Freedom is not free.” The title of a hymn flashed before me, “Jesus Paid it All.”

Jesus paid an amazing price to purchase our freedom. Jesus did pay it all. He left heaven to come to earth, be born of a virgin named Mary and give His life on the cross of Calvary. He paid the debt of our sin that we might live forever with Him.

Remarkably, we find another perspective in Romans 6:23 NLT For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Remember, it is a matter of the heart and spirit. It is also a matter of a Biblical worldview of following Christ Jesus as well as a matter of His Spirit to walk and live in the Spirit. It is the Spirit who gives us life to live Christ on earth as it is in heaven. It is not on our own merit. It is what Christ has done at the cross of Calvary that freedom is possible for all mankind. 

Now Christians, let us make sure that we stay free and not get tied up again in slavery to the law as Paul exhorts us in Galatians. Let us stand on God’s promise of freedom.

How do we do that?

You may have examples in your own life of how you found and stay in the freedom of Christ.

For me, I find the importance of:

God’s Word through meditating on it day and night, Joshua 1:8.
Prayer without ceasing, 1 Thess. 5:17.
Accountability to God through confession and repentance for clean hands and a pure heart, Ps.24:3-4.
Fellowship in Christ, Phil.2:1-2; 1 John 5: 20.
Meeting with other believers, Heb.10: 25; James 5:16.

Prayer: Thank You Father in heaven for Your great love to send us Jesus and for Your promise of freedom. Thank You Jesus for Your great sacrifice of love to die for our sins and offer us eternal life with You. Thank You Holy Spirit for giving us life to live Christ. Amen.

Posted by: Administrator | January 12, 2022

Discover Treasures of Freedom

Discover Treasures of Freedom
by Brenda D. Flowers

Matthew 13:51-52 AMP “Have you understood all these things (in the lessons of the parables)?” They said to Jesus, “Yes.” He said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things that are new and fresh and things that are old and familiar.”

Praying about how to introduce this year’s blog, this verse came to mind. (I had written this verse down several days ago when I came across it in my study of the gospel of Matthew,  chapter 13.)

I truly believe that God has called me, and the other writers who post on this site, to scribe concerning the kingdom of heaven. I want to be like a householder who brings out treasure things new and old, touching your hearts with the timely truth of the gospel message, giving God glory.

Last year, our posts centered on the topic of power. As I review these “old” posts, I am impacted by the power of God’s words, nuggets of truth that continue to encourage.

I hope you will find value in reading past posts on this site. What new discovery will you make?

As we, the writers, prepare for this year, we believe God is giving us the direction to write on the topic of freedom.

I am excited to see how Holy Spirit leads us into new revelation of the mysteries of His Kingdom and freedom found in Christ.

What new treasures will we uncover together as we study what God has to say about freedom?

Please join us in prayer for God’s clear guidance in this new year:

Heavenly Father, we enter this new year, 2022, with thanksgiving and anticipation. We are touched by Your loving kindness each day! Today we, the writers and readers of this blog, join in prayer seeking Your wisdom and understanding as we search for treasures of truth in Your Holy Word. We are thankful that You sent Jesus, Your beloved Son, to set us free from sin and death. He came, fulfilling Your Redemption Plan, and sharing a great message of hope. We are thankful for Holy Spirit who gives us life and counsel. We look forward to the revealing of new treasures prepared for us. Great is Your Kingdom! May we gain supernatural understanding this year on the freedom You give us. In Jesus’s mighty name we pray. Amen

In the coming weeks let’s meditate on these words of Jesus as shared in John 8: 31-32 (NKJV):

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Posted by: judyhitson | December 28, 2021

Power in the Blood

Power in the Blood
by Judy Hitson

Leviticus 17:11 NLT for the life of the body is in the blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life that makes purification possible.

How ironic! In Leviticus 17:10 and 12, it was forbidden to eat or drink blood, yet in John 6:54 Jesus said,  The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life…

If we think in a physical sense, these words cannot be understood. Only the Holy Spirit can give us revelation and understanding. Jesus was talking about a Spiritual Diet. He says in John 6:63 NLT It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh provides no benefit; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit, and are life.

The result in John 6:66, many of His disciples left, and would no longer walk with Him.

Think about it! Some things we hear can shock us, disturb us, cause us to run away. We can understand in an earthly sense how these disciples left when Jesus talked to them about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. However, God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth, John 4:24 NKJV. How wonderful when we receive revelation and understanding by the Spirit of how we can eat and drink Jesus’ body and blood in the Spirit. We taste and see He is good, Ps. 34:8. Our spirits are nourished by His Spirit.

Oh yes! There is power in the blood of Christ, our Lord and our God. He sustains us with life in the Spirit to live Christ on earth.

We sing,
“What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

 Oh! precious is the flow
 That makes me white as snow;                                                 
 No other fount I know,
 Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”……….
(from Hymnal.net)

As I read the phrase, the life of the body is in its blood,  in  Lev. 17:11, this comes to mind, the life of the body of Christ is in the blood of Christ. In Col. 1:15-20 we read of the supremacy of Christ. Bottom line is God made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

Prayer: Praise and thanksgiving to You Lord Jesus for purifying us and making us right with You through Your blood, shed on the cross at Calvary. Amen.    

Posted by: judyhitson | December 14, 2021

Power in the Present

Power in the Present
by Brenda D. Flowers

Isaiah 7: 14 (NKJV)  Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

It’s mid-December, 2021, when I am writing this post. Many people, like me, are hustling and bustling to prepare for holiday gatherings, while still trying to maintain daily responsibilities. It’s a busy time of year!

So often, I am tempted to spend this time of year thinking about the future as I prepare to decorate, buy gifts, clean, and get ready for upcoming parties or family Christmas activities. 

If you’re like me, you don’t want to get caught in the busyness, focusing on endless “to do” lists. 

I want to live more intentionally each day with gratefulness and joy in my heart, focusing on what’s important each day, heeding God’s will.

I realize the importance of living today in a way that counts, and 

I have the assurance that God is my present help in my time of need. (See Psalm 46:1)

Reflect with me on the meanings of the word, present, and the power we have in the present. 

Our Heavenly Father gave us the best present of all when He gave us His Son, Jesus. He knew His Son would have to die sacrificially, as the perfect Lamb who would take away the sins of the world,  so that whosoever would believe in Him would have everlasting life. (John 3:16) 

Jesus, fully God, was willing to become fully Man, starting out in the womb of Mary, a virgin, being born in very difficult circumstances, and experiencing daily struggles by growing up in a sinful world, yet He was without sin. 

As we focus on Jesus, we experience peace in the midst of our circumstances.

The prophet Isaiah wrote of the coming Messiah over 700 years before Jesus was born.

 Fulfilled prophecy proves the truth of the gospel message and gives us hope. Followers of Christ are empowered by Holy Spirit’s presence in our daily lives.

The song, “Immanuel,” by Michael Card summarizes the truth of the Scriptures and God’s wonderful presence. God is with us. I hope you will take the time to listen to this song on YouTube.com as well as the song, “The Name of the Promise is Jesus.”  These songs powerfully proclaim the fulfillment of prophecies about the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.

We are not left to face tomorrow alone. God is here with us right now, giving us everything we need to experience a full joyful life no matter the circumstances we are facing.

Prayer:  Immanuel, thank You. May I give you glory each day as I focus on You. Thank You for Your sweet presence and the power You give us to live life abundantly. We are blessed in the present by You, the best gift of all. Amen

Posted by: judyhitson | December 14, 2021

Power in God’s Names

Power in God’s Names
by Judy Hitson

Is.25:1 NASB LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name;
For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

There is power in the name of Jesus, the name above all names, which I previously wrote. Now I  want to share a brief synopsis of the many names of God found in the Bible.

Elohim: The Creator
Adonai: LORD, Master
Yahweh: LORD (Jehovah)
El Roi: The God Who Sees
El Elyon: The God Most High
El Olam: The Everlasting God
El Shaddai: The All Sufficient One
Jehovah-shalom: The LORD Is Peace
Jehovah-sabaoth: The LORD of Hosts
Jehovah-nissi: The LORD My Banner
Jehovah-jireh: The LORD Will Provide
Jehovah-shammah: The LORD Is There
Jehovah-raah: The LORD My Shepherd
Jehovah-rapha: The LORD That Healeth
Jehovah-tsidkenu: The LORD Our Righteousness
Jehova-mekoddishkem: The LORD Who Sanctifies You

It was at a Women’s Bible Conference with Kay Arthur, International Bible teacher, that I first learned about the names of God in Scripture. God gave me a flash revelation and understanding of His many facets with the above list of His names on a note card. The peace of God washed over me as I soaked in these names of God and their meaning. This simple, profound and powerful Names of God note card stirred me with interest to know God more. This led me to join a Women’s Bible Study with Kay Arthur’s book titled, Lord I Want to Know You, a devotional study of the Names of God.

Since that time, I have seen many books written on the Names of God by various authors. There may be a favorite you have in mind, but Precept Ministries International will always be dear to my heart. If interested check their website: http://www.precept.org. You will find the card and book mentioned available.

You may be familiar with a song recorded by Amy Grant titled, “El Shaddai”. Recently, I watched a video that included the lyrics which best describes the impact God wants for our lives as the All Sufficient One. He is all we need. He is enough. There is no other God. (Deut.4:35)

Prayer: Precious Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thank You for Your names recorded through the Bible revealing Your many facets that draw us closer to You. Deepen our understanding of You in intimate, personal ways that center us in You El Shaddai- The All Sufficient One. Amen.

Posted by: judyhitson | November 6, 2021

Our Powerful Purpose

Our Powerful Purpose
That Jesus May Be Glorified
by Brenda D. Flowers

1 Peter 4: 7-13 (NKJV) But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Meditating on these words, I am impressed by their timeliness, practicality and hope.

When God speaks to me through His Word, I am comforted. I know God is aware of my circumstances. He hears my cries for help and direction.

For many weeks, I have been seeking the Lord for guidance regarding His will for my action steps related to some challenging family relationships. Also, I have been sincerely praying on how to live boldly for Him in a way that would give Him glory in today’s culture.

Look at His answer, “Be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.”

 As Christians, we are called to a very powerful purpose to live in a way that gives God the glory. His Spirit helps us, in our weakness, to leave our sinful ways, bad habits and comfortable self-serving existence. We are called to have a heavenly perspective, recognizing who we are in Christ.

As we journey to Holiness, not in our own strength, Holy Spirit empowers us to let go of our  past selves to embrace our new selves, God’s image-bearers living righteously for Him.  (See Ephesians 4:22-24)

Sometimes, I find myself questioning if I am willing to live a fully devoted life for Christ, to bring positive changes in my circle of influence. I confess my weakness and humbly seek God’s will, not my will.

God assures me:

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1: 13-14 (NKJV)

Holy Spirit, You are the change agent, empowering me to complete my life purpose. Thank You for helping me to stand for Truth each day in this counter culture. May my mind be transformed and may Your Life-giving Love be poured out through me as I step out in faith. I treasure the gift  You are!

Posted by: judyhitson | October 19, 2021

The Power of Thanksgiving

The Power of Thanksgiving
by Judy Hitson

Psalm 100:4 NKJV Enter into His gates with thanksgiving
                                 And into His courts with praise.

As I battle frustrations learning to use a new computer, I find myself in need to enter the presence of God with thanksgiving, rather than grumble and complain. The Israelites didn’t get to enter the promised land because of their grumbling and complaining except for Joshua and Caleb. That’s a frightening thought and conviction of sin that brings me to confess and repent of grumbling and complaining. How thankful I am for the Lord’s forgiveness and cleansing, 1 John 1:9.

An illustration comes to mind when a pastor and his wife spoke at our church. The wife shared how starting each day with five things to be thankful for changes her life. She exhorted us to put this exercise of thanksgiving into practice in our lives. I discovered peace with God and freedom from negativity. This is the power of thanksgiving to have peace with God and freedom from negativity.

 Reflecting on Psalm 100 in different translations as I wrote this devotional, my heart was comforted and filled with thanksgiving as I observed the following list of profound truths and want to share them with you:

1. the Lord, He is God. (v.3)

2. He made us. (v.3)

3. We are His people. (v.3)

4. We are the sheep of His pasture. (v.3)

5. The Lord is good. (v5)

6. His mercy, His love is everlasting. (v5)

7. His truth, His faithfulness endures to all generations. (v5)

Pause and think slowly on these truths.

Lord bless you with encouragement and His power through the practice of thanksgiving each day, learning that our dependency needs to be on the Lord who says nothing is too hard for Him.

Whatever your state of being is at this present time, join me in prayer:

Father, in Jesus name, I trust You. Fill me with Your Spirit, give me a heart of thanksgiving to live Christ and be able to do the things You call me to do. Amen.

P.S. In Ps. 100 we are called to enter into His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise. You might like to look back at the devotional I wrote last month on the power of praise.

Posted by: judyhitson | October 5, 2021

Intimacy with the Lamb

Intimacy with the Lamb
The Power to Overcome
by Brenda D. Flowers

 Rev 12:11a KJV
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony;

A dear Facebook friend and former co-teacher posted a heartfelt tribute to her mother on the day her mother’s life was celebrated. These tender words of testimony touched my heart, “Her legacy of loving others like Jesus does, and helping others was her passion. It gives me peace and happiness to know you are exactly where you always wanted to be….I’ll see you again one day.”

Waves of emotion came over me as I thought about my family members and friends who have died (grandparents, parents, sister, parents-in-law, aunts, uncles, former co-workers and friends—all dearly loved).

I too have hope for a great reunion in heaven.

 I know many of my loved ones had strong faith and trusted Jesus as their Savior. Several were instrumental in leading me to a saving faith and to a stronger walk with Him.

It saddens me, though, to think that any of them may not have had a personal relationship with  the Lamb of God. Some of them were not vocal about their faith. It is possible I missed hearing their testimony. That is my hope.

Yet, we all know people (even family and friends) who are lost, not truly knowing where they will be when they die.

I pray these Scriptures about the Lamb will give us deeper revelation about God’s loving plan for redemption so we may share boldly our testimonies of faith.

 In Genesis, God foreshadows the way He will save mankind. Notice the details of this conversation between Abraham and Isaac:

 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb …..14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The LORD will Provide”

It is amazing to read the prophetic words in Isaiah 53: 7a (NKJV), written over 700 years before the birth of Christ: 

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth, He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,

In the gospel of John 1: 29 (NKJV), we see how John the Baptist proclaimed boldly,  “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” referring to Jesus.

In Acts 8: 26-40, Luke records a powerful interchange between Philip and an Ethiopian. It is interesting that the Ethiopian “happened” to be reading the prophetic words from Isaiah 53: 7-8. He was sincerely searching for understanding regarding the lamb. Starting with this Scripture, Philip spent time telling him the good news about Jesus.(v. 35 ESV)The Ethiopian announced faithfully before being baptized, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (v. 37b,NKJV)

The book of Revelation has many references to the Lamb of God. Reading each one aloud is powerful! One of my favorites is:

…’Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ …Rev. 19:  9 (NKJV)

What a glorious celebration that will be! Let’s be prepared by devoting our lives to Christ.

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son as the perfect sinless Lamb to die in our place so that we may have everlasting life. Thank you for the power to overcome fear, sin and death. I pray the we may be bold in our faith like Abraham, Isaiah, John, John the Baptist, Philip, and the Ethiopian. We want to be prepared for the greatest reunion of all. In Jesus’s mighty name. Amen

Posted by: judyhitson | September 14, 2021

Power to Persevere

Power to Persevere
In Marriage, In Life

by Brenda D. Flowers

Ephesians 5: 31-32 (NIV)  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

     My husband, Eric, and I recently attended the wedding of two dear young people who attend our church. We felt honored to be invited to witness their wedding since they had to limit the amount of people who attended.

    From the beginning of the ceremony until the end of the evening, we noticed the intentionality of each part of the service and the celebration.

     I was especially touched when the bride and groom read their handwritten vows to each other before saying the traditional vows. Each one spoke about how God had answered his or her prayers in finding each other.

“I prayed for you,” the bride exclaimed.

Another beautiful part of the ceremony was when they invited their family to circle around them to pray blessings over their marriage. The song, “Bless the Lord Oh My Soul” was sung in unison at the close of their prayers.

The delicious marriage supper, beautiful decorations honoring the Lord, and the orchestrated celebratory activities made the evening extra special!

The groom’s dad covered the evening in prayer and in his prayer he mentioned the hope that everyone there would experience God’s anointing and glean from each other’s fellowship. He encouraged us to honor the couples who had been married a long time.

One of the events to highlight this was a dance to reveal which married couple in attendance had been married the longest.

Eric and I, along with several other couples, were called to the dance floor to dance a slow dance. We were told to keep dancing until we heard the number of years we had been married. 

“Who has been married 1 hour or less (the newlyweds left the dance floor), 1 month or less, 1 year or less, 10 years or less, 20 years or less, 30 years or less. 40 years or less, 45 years or less?”

One other couple was still on the dance floor with us. It turned out they have been married 41 years. Eric and I won the prize as we have been married 43 years.

Our prize was the opportunity to share advice on how we have stayed married for so long. (Many of the young people there were awed by the longevity of our marriage.)

Eric and I were blessed to be given this opportunity to share. We knew there were probably people listening who truly wanted or needed to hear our counsel. We shared spontaneously and from our hearts.

I am glad I acknowledged God’s help, but to be honest if I could go back in time to those moments when we shared, I would give all the glory for our perseverance in marriage to God. He has helped us keep our vows.

Perseverance is defined as “the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult.” (merriam-webster.com)

Let’s be real. To keep our marriage vows for 43 years, it has taken more than our own strength and will. God has provided the power to persevere by His Spirit at work in us.

God designed marriage for great purpose to illustrate the uniting of two into one. This transformation happens over time as each person goes through the tests of life and learns to fully submit to God first and to each other. A successful Christian marriage illustrates the promise that God will complete what He has begun in all of us who trust Him.

Attending this wedding has had a great impact on me as I have been motivated to search God’s counsel on the topic of perseverance.

Posted by: judyhitson | August 18, 2021

Power of Miracles

Power of Miracles
by Judy Hitson

Ephesians 3:20 TPT Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.

Miracles! What comes to your mind when you hear the word miracle?

Jesus healing the sick?

Jesus casting out demons for deliverance?

Jesus raising the dead?

Yes! As born again Christians, we think about the miracles of Jesus in the Bible and believe each one.

We also believe the miracles we read about in the Bible with the apostles. The Holy Spirit gave them the ability, Acts 2:4. Peter in Acts 2, when he preached, 3,000 believed what he said, repented, were baptized and were added to the church that day. In Acts 3 with Peter and John, the lame man walked. In Acts 5:12 the apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people, :16 the sick were healed as well as those possessed by evil spirits. We also see God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. The sick were healed and evil spirits were expelled, see Acts 19:11-12 in NLT.  

What about in our lives today?

Consider God’s power that works in you. What comes to your mind?

The first thing that comes to my mind is God’s power that worked in me His great salvation, imparting His Spirit within me. In Christ, I became a new creation. Old things passed away and all things became new. Our oldest son was nine years old at the time. Seeing the changes in me, he soon came to a saving knowledge of Christ. It was a powerful blessing to see him and other family members come to Christ as well as some with whom I shared the good news of Christ. As a mother in the land, some young women called me Mom Hitson. One in particular met a woman from South Africa at Bible study and asked if she could bring her to my house. It was a miracle to share Christ with her and lead her in the sinner’s prayer. How amazing it was and continues to be for God’s miraculous power to energize me.  

Yet, I confess having struggles with doubt through my years in Christ. Realizing the need to remember God’s miraculous power helps tremendously, not only of my salvation but times of deliverance and healing. For example, two things I recall, the miracle when I was healed from a TIA, in lay terms known as a mini stroke and my husband was healed of cancer.

Prayer: Praise and thanksgiving to You God for the power of miracles. Help us in Christ to never doubt Your mighty power to work in us and energize us for Your great achievements. In Your name Jesus and by Your Spirit. Amen. 

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