Author's Note.

     I  wrote these comments and posted them on a mailing list I have owned
     for  more than a  dozen years called  EChurch-USA.  I  felt others may
     find  comfort in these words  concerning our relationship and identity
     with God through Jesus Christ.

     End Of Author's Note.

                            Words Of Encouragement

          As a followup to things already mentioned earlier on this support
     group mailing  list, I  personally experience  the efficaciousness  of
     absolute truth by referring  to what He told me once  a few years ago.
     "Phil, you don't  have to be perfect, because I am." Many times, since
     the Lord  spoke this to me,  I have used  it to bring stability  to my
     thinking that is being challenged by circumstances beyond or out of my
     control.   It  may  just  be a  situation  which  I  don't  understand
     intellectually  or eventually  spiritually.    Furthermore,  it  could
     literally be,  as in the case  of my recent  spinal surgery, something
     totally beyond  my ability  to understand.   As  with the  case of  my
     surgery, the circumstances we face is sometimes just off the wall.  So
     does this mean you aren't a very good Christian?  Does it mean, if you
     really believed the  Word, you wouldn't react that way?  Does it mean,
     other people are much better Christians than you because they have had
     similar experiences  and sailed right  on through; happy as  could be?
     Does it mean you are just a  weak and faithless Christian in the first
     place and God is only interested in His children who are giants of the
     faith?  If  these things, and  others like them,  are true, then  King
     David,  Elijah, Noah, Job,  Paul, Peter, and  Abraham, just to  name a
     few, aren't very  good examples of Giants of the Faith.   You see, the
     truth is, this is why Jesus loves you in the first place.  Not because
     you are  perfect but because  He is.   He doesn't change how  He feels
     about you due to circumstances you are facing.

          What if I'm involved in sin of some kind?

          Good  question.   The answer  is still  no.   Your sin,  however,
     especially  if  it is  something  you are  doing you  already  know is
     against God's  Word, is  a blockage the  Enemy uses  to keep  you from
     knowing God intimately.  Sure, Jesus still requires responsibility for
     sins committed but  He is your way  out as well as your  way onward in
     your walk with  Him.  He still  forgives your sins according  to First
     John 1:9 but of course it is a matter of application.

          When I  find myself a  lot less  than what  I wish,  and this  is
     normally due to circumstances, I remind the  Lord that He told me that
     I  don't have to  be perfect  because He  is.  This  is not  faith and
     confession; it  is agreement  with the  truth He  has confirmed  in my
     spirit through the Holy  Spirit.  No, silly.  I'm  not truly reminding
     Him of  what He said;  I'm reminding myself.   More  specifically, I'm
     reminding  the Enemy  because he  is the  one  trying to  unbalance my
     relationship with the Lord.   Besides, Jesus likes it when  we talk to
     Him using  His own  words and  the Bible  is filled  with hundreds  of
     personal promises  the Lord  has given  us.   Nope, we  don't use  the
     promises  to become perfect or even to become  more like Him.  We used
     to sing  a little cute song in Sunday school when I was growing up.  I
     can't recall the whole song, although I can hear the melody in my mind
     even as I type, but a phrase in the song says, "Be  like Jesus all day
     long."  It took me nearly  50 years of my Christian relationship  with
     God to learn the  promises in God's Word are not to  make me more like
     Jesus.  Until His return, or until we die and go home  to be with Him,
     we are as much like  Jesus now as we ever will  be.  We are as  saved,
     born again, as we ever will be.  We will never become more holy in His
     sight.  We will never experience more righteousness than we have right
     now nor  will we experience  being more pure  in His sight  than right
     now.   Why?   Because,  before the  foundation of  the world,  meaning
     before anything existed at all, we were  conformed to the image of His
     Son  according to  Romans 8:29  and you  cannot, I repeat,  you cannot
     improve upon that image  no matter how hard you try.   Yes, it is true
     we one day will be walking in completeness and have a physical body as
     Jesus did following  His resurrection.  Until then, we walk in what we
     know.   There are ways of getting rid of  the things that hinder us on
     earth.    Sharing in  agreement  is  one  method.   Accountability  is
     another.  Application is yet another.  Awareness is even another.  The
     Lord told me once many years ago,  "Phil?  If it is complex, it  isn't
     Me."   Wherever  you are  in  your walk  with the  Lord right  now, is
     exactly  where Jesus wants to be and, in  fact, He is there even if we
     can't sense His presence.   He has made a way of escape  and it is Him
     and His Lordship.

          I used to relate to the salvitic experience and relationship with
     the Lord as  a game.  If  I don't know the  rules, how can I  play the
     game?  I  would complain to  God that I  didn't know His  rules.   Why
     would  these terrible  things be happening  to me other  than I wasn't
     following His rules.

          Upon coming out of  surgery a month  and a half  ago, one of  the
     first things Jesus spoke to me in  my spirit and my thoughts was:  "It
     isn't  a game."   I heard  it so  loudly I said  it out  loud, with my
     family  around, a couple of times.   I didn't know what He meant right
     away but a couple of days after coming home, He told me what He meant.
     My relationship with Him had no rules except for who He is and not who
     I am or what I am trying to become.  He said that my relationship with
     Him wasn't  a game but a covenant  and He keeps His  covenant with His
     own because He cannot  deny Himself.  Even if we do,  that is, deny by
     believing lies about ourselves supplied by the Enemy, Jesus will never
     deny Himself as far  as how He identifies and  relates to us as  Lord.
     When things are over, He will still be there where He has always been;
     standing in the midst of your life.

     Safe Place Fellowship
     Phil Scovell
     Denver, Colorado
     Mountain Time Zone

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