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It is good to be back! Today I wanted to share a story that Kristi recently wrote. A powerful story about forgiveness.
May it touch your heart this morning...
From my family to yours,
Author Michael T. Powers
"You Are Mine"
by Kristi Powers
Dark eyes pooled with tears
the mark of "S" upon her clothes
Guilt, shame etched into her face.
She is thrown before the Teacher
By those with violence barely masked in their eyes
The seething rage they try to choke down comes up like vomit in their throats. They truly cannot contain their hate.
But who do they hate more, the one they deem the "sinner" or the Teacher who's ministry of love, truth and grace shines so bright that it exposes the heart of the accusers instead?
Teacher, THIS one has sinned. The Teacher looks at the accusers with stones ready in their hands, the Sinner with bowed head and knees. He calmly reaches down with his finger and begins to write in the dirt. What could He be writing? When He sees the hatred, the judgment, the wrath....He writes not the "Sinner's" sins, but those who are so ready to judge her, it is their sins He writes down.
The secrets of their hearts. They think no one is able to see them. But they are seen with every rock held in their hand. A sign of a lifetime of hate. And so the Teacher continues to write. And one by one, the sound of rocks dropping from outstretched hands plop at His feet. And the dust is kicked up in His face as they turn abruptly and leave.
The Teacher then looks up. It is only the Sinner and the Teacher left standing. The Sinner barely able to look up, the shame weighs so heavily. The Teacher reaches over and cups the Sinner's face in His hands "Where are your accusers my daughter?" She can not look Him in the face. The piercing love, the peace that radiates from this man...Oh how can it be that He looks upon her, a Sinner, like no man has?
She hastily looks around her. "They have all left, Teacher." He continues to hold her face, gently helping her to look fully upon his gaze. "They have not condemned you, and neither do I, now GO AND SIN NO MORE."
It is in this instance that for the first time, she knows, love, mercy and grace. It pours over her soul like a wave in the ocean. She is changed in an instant. Oh such love has she ever known? It then requires all of her daily effort to walk in the way God has asked her to. No looking back, no returning to that sin that so easily entangled her.
It happened because of The Teacher. The One we call Jesus. He reached down and was willing to get His hands dirty for the "least of these." And it changed her life.
And it has changed my life.
So where are you in this story? Are you the one who feels like you have a Scarlet letter on you that no one can forgive? Or are you the one holding the stone of continued unforgiveness, believing you are in your "right" to do so? Or are you trying to emulate the lessons from our greatest Teacher? He was willing to get His hands dirty and to walk through the hard stuff with those who may not deserve it. The funny thing is I don't deserve it either. And neither do you.
Jesus looked into my heart, saw I needed Him and reached down and saved me out of my sin. He was willing to tell me three things: That I AM a sinner , that I need Him to save me, and that He loves me enough to die for me. And that He did. Therefore, I live for Him. I point others to Him, and I turn from my sin, daily and follow Him.
He who gently took my face in his hands and looked upon me, His child, and said "You are mine, no one can pluck you from my hand. Come, turn from your sin and walk with me." And over thirty years ago, I did just that.
Thank you, Jesus, for loving me and never letting me go. Thank you for a day like Easter to remember all of this, and more. And Jesus? Thank you, for the Adventure that my life is. You have blessed me more than I could ever believe or imagine.
Copyright © 2013 by Kristi Powers
Write Kristi and let her know your thoughts on her story!
Kristi is happily married to Michael and they have three boys. Her writing appears in ten inspirational books, including many in the Chicken Soup series, and their own book entitled: Heart Touchers. Kristi is also a homeschool mom and fills her "free time" doing youth ministry, volunteering for Vets Roll and absolutely loves her "job" as a CASA volunteer!
To read more of Kristi's writing visit: http://www.hearttouchers.com/
Creation Q & A
The Preservation of the Bible
by Mike Matthews
One of the most amazing testimonies to Scripture’s truth is its preservation over thousands of years despite sometimes intense efforts to destroy it.
Jesus Christ made an amazing prophesy about this preservation of His Word: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Mark 13:31; also Matthew 24:35). He believed that God’s Word is indestructible (“And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle [small mark in Hebrew lettering] of the law to fail” Luke 16:17).
Moreover, Jesus believed His words would spread around the world: “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14); “the gospel must first be preached to all the nations” (Mark 13:10). And that is what we find today. God’s Word has been preserved.
The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947 confirmed that we still have the same Old Testament as they did at Jesus’s day. The survival of thousands of New Testament manuscripts confirms that the New Testament writings were also providentially preserved. The question among textual scholars is not whether some words are missing, but which variant readings, in a few minor cases, are the correct ones.
In contrast, few copies have survived from nearly every other classic book, such as Caesar’s Gallic Wars or Herodotus’ Histories. While copies of major portions of the New Testament survive from documents dated around AD 300, most other classic books survive in copies no older than around AD 900.
God’s Word survived despite intense efforts to destroy it. For instance, in 175 BC the king of Syria, Antiochus Epiphanes, ordered the Jews, on pain of death, to destroy their Scriptures and worship the Greek gods. But Judas Maccabaeus saved the books and led a revolt that won independence for the Jewish nation. (Today, Jews celebrate this event at Hanukkah.)
Another example is the Roman emperor Diocletian’s order to have Christianity outlawed, its leaders killed, and their Bibles burned. As a sign of God’s providence, the next emperor, Constantine, legalized Christianity and paid for fifty new hand-written copies of the Bible.
The Bible has not only been preserved, but translated into over two thousand languages (both ancient and modern). Many of the earliest surviving manuscripts include translations, such as Syriac versions, showing that God’s Word was spreading from the very beginning, and the words of its message have been preserved in many languages.
To read more about this amazing subject please visit: https://answersingenesis.org/the-word-of-god/