God KNEW before Adam and Eve sinned that they would do so.

There are some who believe that God was caught unaware when Adam and Eve sinned. But this flies in the face of what scripture teaches.

Ephesians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love

Revelation 13:8

All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

1 Peter 1:20

20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

So no, God was not caught unaware when Adam and Eve sinned. Jesus was not Plan B. It was always in God’s plan to provide a solution to the problem of man’s sin. That solution is, and has always been, the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God. It is only by grace through faith in the saving work of Christ that we may truly live – live an eternal life.

Jesus is Author and perfecter of faith

Jesus is the one who gives us faith and grows our faith. The bible puts it as “the author and perfecter of faith”.

Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart

With what sort of things should Christians be entertained?

So many time I see or hear Christians say they went to see some movie which depicts things God has said are abominable, or said to not do. I have long felt that a Christian should not be entertained by things God has said to not do. Does scripture agree?

First we have to realize There are things of the spirit and things of the flesh.

Galatians 5:19-24 (NKJV)

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

So we know from Galatians 5:21 that we should not do the things considered to be works of the flesh, or we will not enter heaven.

Scripture tells us to not look at bad things.

Psalm 101:3 (NKJV)

I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me.

Scripture also tells us what to focus upon.

Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

We are warned that making ourselves friends with the world will ensure we are enemies with God.

James 4:4  (NKJV)

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Indeed, people who love the world or love the things in the world, do not have the love of God in them.  We are told not to love the things in the world – lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life – because they are of the world, not God.

1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV)

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Finally, what ever we do, we are to do it in the name of the Lord.

Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)

17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Should a Christian  be entertained by something that depicts as good that God has said to not do? Magic/witchcraft/sorcery, getting drunk/high, homosexual sex, heterosexual sex with someone to whom you are not married, lying/deceitfulness, covetousness, stealing, murder are all things we are told are not good (Galatians 5:18-21, Romans 1:28-32).

Romans 1:28-32

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

We should seek things which will please God, not the world.

Ephesians 5:8-10(NKJV)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.

And we should not be entertained by things which depict as good the things God has said is evil – regardless of the form said entertainment is packed in – such books, games, movies, TV shows, theatre plays, etc.

 

For further discussion, see What and Who you surround yourself with affects you.

Do people born gay go to heaven?

Someone wrote me,”God made everyone the way they are and he doesn’t make mistakes. When My oldest nephew was only 3 I knew he’d be gay. So tell me how he’s gay only because he chose to be gay?”
I think the real questions people want to ask are, “Are people born gay?” and “Do people born gay go to heaven?”
I dont think it matters whether God created anyone gay or not. What matters is God created us all, and God has standards He requires us to adhere to – whether we believe or not, whether we agree or not, whether we succeed or not.

The fact is,  God makes everyone the way they are.

We are all sinners.
Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

We all earn death.
Romans 6:23a

For the wages of sin is death,

But this is so that grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life though Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:20-21
20The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23b
but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Just because we are born with a trait that is not normal, such as being born blind, or with an illness or a disorder, or gay (I am not saying it happens; I am just not arguing either way), this does not mean it is to show that a certain behavior that God calls sin is acceptable to God. It is so the work of God might be displayed.
John 9:1-3
1 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

But do not be deceived, homosexual sex is sin – for both the passive partner (Greek word Malakos translated as “effeminate” in this translation)  and the active partner (Greek word Arsenokoites translated as “homosexual” in this translation) – and that sin will prevent people from entering heaven.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived;neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Even lesbian sex is a sin.
Romans 1:26-28
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

 

The good news is that people can be forgiven, washed, sanctified and justified. We sinners CAN be forgiven. In fact, even those the Apostle Paul wrote to had been doing exactly those sins  and were washed, sanctified, and justified.
1 Corinthians 6:11

Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

But for this, we must repent, turn away from sin to God through faith in Christ.
Acts 26:20
but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance

 

We can be thankful that it is GOD who leads us to repent.
Romans 2:4


Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

 

We need to remember all of us sin. None of us are without sin. God forgives any who turn to Him in repentance and we are gifted eternal life, causing us to live lives which demonstrate our new faith in a growing obedience. Its not that obedience is what saves us. But it is part of what demonstrates living by faith.

Get off the fence – stop being lukewarm

Here is the deal people…. If you believe something, then live like it. If you dont, then quit pretending.

If you dont believe that Jesus is God, then ok. But if you DO believe, then ok.

We are either WITH Jesus or against Him. Make up your mind.

Matthew 12:30

He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

Even though Satan masquerades as an angel of light, we are to know the difference!
2 Corinthians 11:14

No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

Decide for God or against God – grow up. Make up your mind.

Ephesians 4:11-15

14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

God wants us to be hot or cold – for him or against him – not sitting on the fence, not being lukewarm.

Revelation 3:15-22

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

So stop being lukewarm Make your choice. But be sure you choose wisely. Be careful to know you are following the right god – not all gods are equal. They demand different things from those who follow them. Satan demands things which scar the soul. God demands your heart so you reflect trust in God through love (for God and others as informed by what He teaches) and obedience.

If we are truly saved, we can not lose our salvation. Are we truly saved?

The problem with those who think they can lose salvation, is the belief that it is a one time event.

Salvation is  a process where in we were saved, are saved, and will be saved.

We can see we have been saved in Ephesians 2:5

even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),


We can see we are being saved in  Acts 2:47

praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.


We can see we shall be saved in  Romans 5:10

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.


But the end result of salvation only comes if we remain firm in the faith. If we walk away from faith, then we were never saved. In those cases, we will have had a faith which sprang up quickly but died quickly too – it was an emotional event but not a saving one (Mat 13:3-23, Mk 4:3-20; Lk 8:4-16).

Mk 4:3-8

“Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

We see the explanation of the parable of the sower in Mk 4:14-20

14 The sower sows the word. 15 These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 16 In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

The word of the kingdom is the seed. Verse 15 tells us that verse 4 is speaking of the one who does not understand – the seed sown beside the road – this is someone who has not believed and so is not saved.

Verse 16-17 is speaking of verses 5 and 6, where word springs up immediately, but dies quickly away – this is someone who believed for a period of time (This is belief without faith, a temporary thing), but then did not believe to the end and so is not saved.

Verse 18-19 speaks of verse 7, where someone hears the word but worry and deceitfulness  of wealth causes the word to be unfruitful and they are not saved.

Verse 20 speaks of verse 8, where someone understands the word and bears fruit.

It is only those who are fruitful until the end who are and will be saved. The others might have THOUGHT they were saved, but were not. They may have claimed to be Christ’s, and they may even done miracles in the name of Christ, but Christ was adamant that they had to have been righteous and done the will of God.

Matthew 7:15-23

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

We see this more clearly in Matthew 25:31-46 – where the King will separate the sheep (who gave food and drink and clothing to those in need and visited those in prison) from the goats (who did none of those things).

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

If we do not remain firm, then we were never saved to begin with. If we continue in the faith firmly established, then God has reconciled us to present us holy and blameless – but if we dont remain steadfast in the faith, then we never truly had it in the first place. Paul said many times we are saved if we remain firm in the faith.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2

1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.


Colossians 1:21-23

21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.


In fact, if we leave the community of faith, then we were never truly of it to begin with.
1 John 2:19

They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

So the question is not really can we lose our salvation, but rather are we saved to begin with?

We must have faith to be saved. Luke 7:50

50 And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

This faith is belief (something that even demons have, see James 2:14-25) coupled with that something inexplicable that results in obedience. It is not our obedience that saves us, for then it would depend upon us. It is the faith that results in obedience that saves us, as seen in Ephesians 2:8-9.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

If we do not have the habit of obedience, we will have a habit of disobedience. We know from 1 John 3:9 that those who continue to sin (live a life, a habit if you will, of sin) are not born of God.

1 John 3:9

No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Our faith must have corresponding works, and both the faith and the works must persevere until the end:

Acts 26:20

20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

I Corinthians 15:2

by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

Colossians 1:22-23

22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

Hebrews 3:12-14

12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,

 

Some believe that we stand firm by our own power, but Paul says GOD causes us to stand firm, that GOD anointed us, seals us, owns us, given us His Spirit as a guarantee of our salvation.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

But if we have this faith, we are saved and will not loose that salvation – for you have been sealed by God, and will not be snatched from the hands of Jesus, not even by you yourself

John 10:27-29

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

 

Not only can no one snatch us out of Jesus’ hands, but He will not drive you away.  More than that, Christ will lose none of those the Father has given Him, but everyone who believes in the Son will have eternal life and He will raise them up at the last day.

John 6:37-40

37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

 

If we ARE saved, then we are sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption.

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”
When we truly believe, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and will be lifted up.
So no. If we are truly saved, then we can not and will not lose our salvation. But if we are not saved, or if we walk away from the faith, then we were never saved to begin with.

 

A Memorial of a Special Lady


Obituary:

Janessa Lawyer Moore, 41, of Searcy, died Wednesday, February 24[, 2016]. She was born April 18, 1974, the daughter of Linda Earles and Michael Lawyer.

Janessa is survived by her parents, Linda Earles of Searcy and Michael Lawyer and wife Martha of Wynne; three sons, Michael Moore and future daughter-in-law, Erinn Tozer and Ian Moore of Searcy and Samuel Moore of Somerville, Tennessee; one daughter Julia Moore of Searcy; one brother, Robert Lawyer and wife Lynnette of Cypress, Texas; one step-brother, Paul David Earles and wife Patricia of Clarksville, Tennessee; two step-sisters, Rachel Earles Cates of Clarksville, Tennessee and Lesley Paddock Scates of Loveland, Colorado; and two grandchildren, Isis and Griffin Tozer. She is preceded in death by her grandparents, Lloyd and Juanita Leasure and Robert and Vera Lawyer and her step-father, Dick Earles.

Janessa was an LPN, employed at The Crossing at Riverside and a member of Trinity Baptist Church.

Courtesy of http://www.tributes.com/obituary/show/Janessa-Lawyer-Moore-103331561


Memorial:

Today we celebrate the life of quite a woman.  Janessa Moore has had, in some ways, some very difficult experiences, such as medical issues. She also had some very interesting experiences – she told the story of angels helping her drive home in the midst of a storm. She also had some very funny experiences – she was also known to tell of when the mafia laundry attacked her, or when she was in the drive thru lane at Mc Donald’s and a Jewel Spider dropped down on her and she was suddenly in the passenger side of the minivan, with both arm rests bent out of the way, throwing a water bottle, screaming bloody murder – and the car was still idling in drive as it moved forward hitting the new brand new Cadillac in front of her, and the entire staff of young people leaning out the drive-thru window to see what was happening. This is a woman who was told was told she had less than 1/2 percent chance of ever getting pregnant – yet God gifted her with four lovely bright lights called Michael, Ian, Samuel, and Julia.

As you all know – she loved. She loved every body, and every thing – except bugs. She loved puppies. She loved babies. She loved learning.  She had learned Spanish when we lived in Miami. She loved everything medical – she had been a medical transcriptionist while we lived in Miami, and in fact, she went back to college later in life to get a degree in nursing. She loved children – she loved having teens and adults coming to the house and hanging out. She loved movies, and sci-fi – in fact she wrote fan fiction and poetry. She loved people – people of all ages, all walks of life, all -you-fill-in-the blank. She loved.
She also worried. While she would be aware of our pain, and would have wanted us to process it, she wouldn’t want any of us to wallow in it, or to get lost in it. She would want us have our pain relieved. She would pray – to God. We had had long conversation about a month ago where she had reaffirmed her faith in God.

She would want us to know that God is there. God is here. God is with us. God loves us.

Jeremiah 23:24

Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the LORD.  “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.

God is everywhere.

The Apostle Paul told us that HE had been burdened beyond what HE could bear, so that he would not trust in himself, but in GOD.

2 Corinthians 1:8-10

8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9 indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us.

God WANTS us to turn to Him – especially in the hard times. God is love.

1 John 4:16

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 him.

God loves you and wants you to trust Him.

John 3:16-18

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:19

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

We do not know necessarily know why things happen when they happen. But we know we must turn to God and trust in the work of Christ. We must remember God’s love, as well as Janessa’s love. Let us take comfort in the fact that,  just as Janessa loved us and wanted us to be happy, God loves us and is there for us.

Dear God – we hurt. We are in shock and in pain and some of us are looking around, trying to make sense of what happened. We simply don’t understand. Please God, comfort us. Guide us. Protect us. Help us. Strengthen us. Help us love like Janessa loved, like YOU love. In the name of your precious Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Amen.

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