Jurong Outreach

"whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ."


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Remember the Duck

In his book, “Will Daylight Come?” Robert Heffler pens this moving illustration.

There was a little boy visiting his grandparent on their farm.  He was given a slingshot to play with, out in the woods.  He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target.  Getting discouraged, he headed back to dinner.  As he was walking back, he saw Grandma’s pet duck.  Just out of impulse, he let fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it.  He was shocked and grieved.  In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to see his sister watching.  Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch that day…  Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.”  But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today,  didn’t you Johnny?”  And then she whispered to him,  “Remember the duck!”  So Johnny did the dishes.  Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing, and Grandma said, “I’m sorry,  but I  need Sally to help me make supper.”  But Sally smiled and said, “Well, that’s all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help.”  And she whispered again, “Remember the duck!”  Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed!

After several days… of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he finally couldn’t stand it any longer.  He came to Grandma and confessed that he killed the duck.  She knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, “Sweetheart, I know.  You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing.  But because I love you, I forgave you.  I was just wondering HOW LONG you would let Sally make a SLAVE of you.

Like Johnny, YOU and I are guilty of committing sin: “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God(Romans 3:23).

We CANNOT –DENY IT– or –HIDE IT–.

The GOOD NEWS (the Gospel) is that forgiveness is AVAILABLE!  Jesus died on the cross so that we can be forgiven of our sin. (Romans 5:8). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us

God has promised that: –IF WE WILL

place our trust in Him: (Hebrews 11:6), “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

repent of  our  sins  (2  Corinthians 7:9-10),  “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance:for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might  receive  damage by us  in nothing.  For  godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised  him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

be baptized (immersed) into Christ (Acts 2:38)  “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  (Galatians  3:27)  “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.. and live in faithful obedience to Him” (1 John 1:7),  “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

THEN HE WILL– wash away our sins.

You would think…  that once we receive forgiveness from God, Satan would leave us alone, but he doesn’t!  He CONTINUES to accuse us and tries to make us feel guilty.  That’s what he does best – HE’S AN ACCUSER.  (Revelation 12:10).  “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven,  Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which  accused them before our God day and night.”  Sometimes we make the mistake of listening to him – REMAIN a slave!

Forgiveness offers freedom – freedom from “GUILT” as well as freedom from “SIN”.

How long will  YOU allow Satan to make a SLAVE of you? Accept the Lord’s forgiveness by TRUSTING and OBEYING Him today!!!

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The Carpenter

A story is told of two brothers, who lived on adjoining farms, but fell into conflict.  It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labour and goods as needed without a conflict.  Then the long collaboration fell apart.  It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days’ work” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?

“Yes,” said the older brother.  “I do have a job for you.  Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbour; in fact, it’s my younger brother.  Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us.  Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll do him one better.”

“See that pile of lumber by the barn?  I want you to build me a fence – an 8-foot fence – so I won’t need to see his PLACE or his FACE anymore!”

The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation.  Show me the nails… and the post – hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”  The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.  The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing.  About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.

The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.  There was no fence there at all.

It was a BRIDGE – a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other!  A fine piece of work, hand rails and all – and the neighbour, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched. “You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.”

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other’s hand.  They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder. “No, wait!  Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.

“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have MANY more bridges to build.”

In like manner, OUR sin has created an enormous chasm which has separated YOU and ME from our Heavenly Father (Isaiah 59:1-2).

But, because of His GREAT love for us, God sent His Son – a carpenter – to “build the bridge” whereby we may “return to God” – to receive forgiveness for our sins and be reconciled to Him (Mark 6:3; John 3:16; Roman 5:8-10).

Mark 6:3  “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James,  and  Joses,  and  of  Juda,  and  Simon?  and  are  not  his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.”

John  3:16  “For  God so  loved the world,  that  he gave his  only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Roman 5:8-10  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall besaved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Building the bridge of forgiveness to close this tremendous gap cost the life of Jesus as He paid the price for our sins on the cross.

1 Peter 1:18-19  “We may “cross the bridge” through our obedient faith – believing in Jesus and trusting Him (Acts 16:31), repenting of our sins (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), being baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38), and faithfully following Him for the rest of our lives (1 John 1:7).

Jesus said, “I am the Way (theBridge“), the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes (“crosses over“) to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6)

Have YOU crossed the Bridge of forgiveness and reconciliation to God?


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One of Us

Joseph Damien was a nineteenth – century missionary who ministered to people with leprosy on the island of Molokai, Hawaii.  Those suffering grew to love him and revered the sacrificial life he lived out before them.  One morning before Damien was to lead daily worship, he was pouring some hot water into a cup when the water swirled out and fell onto his bare foot.  It took him amoment to realize that he had not felt any sensation.  Gripped by the sudden fear of what this could mean, he poured more hot water on the same spot.  Again, there was no feeling whatsoever.

Damien immediately knew what had happened.  As he walked tearfully to deliver his sermon, no one at first noticed the difference in his opening line.  He normally began every  sermon  with,  “My  fellow  believers.”  But this morning he began with… “My fellow lepers.”

Now Damien could FULLY RELATE to the lepers because he BECAME a leper.  He knew personally the struggles that they faced.  He could actually feel their pain!

Damien’s experience portrays the wonder of the Incarnation – how JESUS, “being in the form of God, … made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” to live among us (Philippians 2:6-7).

The Hebrew writer informs us of the importance of the incarnation: “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.  For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18).

Because Jesus was “made like His brethren” (human), He understands us.  He “knows all about our struggles” as He has shared the human experience with us AND – He knows how to help!

He ALSO knows our deepest need: salvation from sin and a relationship withour Heavenly Father.  In order to provide for our deepest need, Jesus lived among us, and then died for us, “to make propitiation [to pay the price of redemption] for [our] sins.” “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, EVEN… the death of the CROSS” (Philippians 2:8).

The ONLY one who could take our place and pay the price for our sins has to be one who is  like us, yet  without  sin.  Jesus  was  that  One  (Hebrews  4:15-16).  He became “ONE of US” to save us!

There IS a response on our part: Jesus saves those who: believe in Him and trust Him (Acts  16:31),  repent of  their  sins  (Acts  17:30-31),  confess Him before  men (Romans 10:9-10), are  baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38),-AND- who commit their lives to faithful obedience (1 John 1:7).

He became “LIKE YOU” in order to “SAVE YOU”.  Won’t you accept His offer?

Salvation Is Free

Salvation is free… if you want to take hold of it today

The choice is yours… will you choose to obey?

Salvation is waiting… but only you can save your soul

God wants you to be saved… but you are in control!

God has the ability… but you must heed His call

To obey… be baptized… take heed unless ye fall!

Salvation truly is the most precious gift for man

So seek out your salvation… by following God’splan!

Salvation is wonderful… salvation is free

It’s yours for the taking… what will your answer be?

Philippians 2:12 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as In my presence only, but now much more in my absence, Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”


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Peace in a Troubled World

The story has been told about a shipwrecked sailor.  He had spent three long years on a desert island when one day he was overjoyed to see a ship drop anchor in the bay.  He anxiously watched and waited as a small lifeboat made its way to shore.  But then, to his surprise, instead of calling to him to get in, an officer of the ship presented him with a big batch of newspapers.  The officer said to this marooned sailor…

“The captain suggests that you read what’s going on in the world, and THEN let us know if you STILL want to be rescued.”

We live in a troubled world…  There is so much conflict in the world that to be marooned on a desert island can be an attractive thought.  “Peace” is a concept that so often seems to be found only in the dictionary.  This is true not only of world peace – peace between countries, but also of inner peace – peace within the individual.  Jesus warned, “In the world you WILL have tribulation…,” but He also promised, “In ME you may have peace” (John 16:33).  Jesus comforted His followers with words of assurance: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

The peace that Jesus promises is not the absence of conflict on the outside, but an inner confidence within the individual – a calm center in the eye of the storm!  It is based on trust in a God who cares and provides for His children,

Luke 12:22-31  And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you,  Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.  The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.  Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?   And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?  If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?  Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?  And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

This peace is found in a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, which sustains His children even in difficult circumstances.

Jesus Christ died on the cross so that YOU and I might have THAT peace.  Through His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus conquered the Number One problem that keeps us from having peace: SIN.  His death served as payment for the sins of those who will submit their lives to Him:

  • believing in and trusting Him.   Acts 16:31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”,
  • repenting of sin.   2 Corinthians 7:9-10  “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death”,
  • confessing that He is the Son of God.   Romans 10:9-10  “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
  • and being baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of sin.    Acts 2:38   “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

The “peace of God which surpasses all understanding” will CONTINUE to “guard” the hearts and minds of those who CONTINUE to walk with God obediently. (Philippians 4:6)

 


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A Life That Counts

One morning in 1888, Alfred Nobelinventor of dynamite, the man who had spent his life amassing a fortune from the manufacture and sale of weapons of destruction, awoke to read his own obituary.  Of course, it was a mistake.  Alfred’s brother had died, and the reporter inadvertently wrote Alfred’s obituary.

For the first time, Alfred Nobel saw himself as the world saw him“the dynamite King,”; the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives.  This, as far as the general public was concerned, was the entire purpose of his life.  None of his true intentions surfaced.  Nothing was said about his work to break down the barriers that separated persons and ideas.  He was quite simply “a merchant of death,”; and for that alone would he be remembered.

Alfred read the obituary with HORROR!  He felt that the world must know the true meaning and purpose of his life!  He resolved to do this through his last will and testament.  The final disposition of his fortune would show the world his life’s ideals.  And at that time came into being yearlyprizes for chemistry, physics, medicine, literature — and the famous Nobel Peace Prize.*

If you were to read YOUR OWN obituary today, what would it say?

How would others describe what truly mattered to you?

A wise person has written:

A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove,

how much money I made,or where I lived.  What will be important is that I…

How would YOU finish the quote?  How you answer that question will be reflected in your obituary.  The rest of the original quote is:  “What will be important is that I… made a difference in the life of a child.”  Indeed, to make a positive difference in the life of a child is extremely important and commendable.  However, THE MOST IMPORTANT factor in our lives, when all is said and done is: “WAS I A CHRISTIAN?”  Everything else is secondary.

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS MORE!  Your eternal destiny hinges on the answer…  Because of our sins, WE are lost, doomed to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14) “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

However, because of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross, YOU and I can be forgiven of our sins and have the hope of eternal life with Him in heaven.  God provides these blessings to those who will: 

  • place their trust in Him (Hebrews 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”,
  • repent of sin (2 Corinthians 7:9-10) “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
  • confess Christ (Romans 10:9-10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”,
  • be baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
  • and live for Him the rest of their lives (2 Corinthian 5:15)  “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”.

Chances are, you will not be reading yoour own obituary. But you have already begun to WRITE it — day by day, moment by moment.

Live YOUR todays for Christ, and tomorrow you will look back on a life that counted!


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Brethren, Be Ye Reconciled to God

Jesus Christ has “…made peace through the blood of his cross…to reconcile all things unto himself… (cf. Col 1:20).” We are made at one with God by His perfect atonement. By the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, God saves all who are obedient and puts them in a right relationship with Himself (cf. Rom 1:16). This incomparable good news sounds too wonderful to be true, and it is all the more wonderful because it is, indeed, true.

Our sins were washed away (cf. Acts 22:16). When we are raised in newness of life from the waters of baptism (cf. Rom 6:4), we are new creatures in Christ (cf. 2Co 5:17; Gal 6:15) – redeemed to walk in the faith and good works (cf. Tit 2:14). No longer do we march to our own drumbeat or the world’s. The divine pattern of the New Testament is now our compass and roadmap on the pilgrimage to heaven.

We look ahead at the glory which shall be revealed in us; all our trials, sufferings and tribulations are nothing by comparison (cf. Rom 8:18). We lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and we run with patience the race that is set before us (Heb 12:1). There is now purpose in our lives. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Gal 2:20).”

However, there are times when we trip. Times when the wiles of the devil are so strong and we feel overwhelmed. Times when we just simply give in and gratify the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (cf. 1John 2:26). Times when spiritual drowsiness clouds our eyes and we let down our guard. Times when discouragement gets the better of us and we wonder, “Why press on?”

Like Adam, shame of having transgressed the perfect law of liberty (cf. Jas 1:25) sets in and hits us only when the deed is done. The sense of peace is lost. Our conscience condemns us. Sometimes we try to crowd out the guilt and shame by indulging in busy activities but it is all an exercise in futility.

But there are those whose consciences are seared with a hot iron (1Ti 4:2). They experience no guilt, no sense of shame, perhaps only a touch of embarrassment if others found out their deeds. They make excuses, which is nothing but vain attempts at self-deception. They justify themselves by these excuses so much they actually believe them to be true.

Of these poor souls we have not much more to say. They shall have to give an account on that Great Day (cf. Rom 14:12; 2Co 5:10). For our part, we can only pray that they might come to their senses and cease not to warn them night and day with tears (cf. Acts 20:31).

What of those who experience the pangs of guilt in realisation of their sins of either commission or omission? The good news is that our heavenly Father provides a way out for His errant children.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1Jn 1:7-9).”

David says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise (Psa 51:17).”

He says in another psalm, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit (Psa 34:18).” The mercy and compassion of the Lord is super-abounding. Let no one doubt that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Shall anyone continue in unrepentant sins? Brethren, if you have transgressed the law of Christ and have yet to be reconciled to the Father, it is time to come home and make peace. So let us “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:16).”


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A Second Chance

Thomas A. Edison was working on a unique new invention called a “light bulb.” It took Edison and a whole team of men 24 straight hours to put just one together. When Edison was finished with one light bulb, he gave it to a young boy helper, who nervously carried it up the stairs for him. Step by step, the young man cautiously watched his hands, obviously fearful of dropping such a priceless piece of work.

Then just as he was approaching the top of the stairs, it happened…..

The poor young fellow DROPPED THE BULB! He watched in horror as the prototype crashed helplessly to the floor into pieces. It took the entire team of men another twenty-four hours to make another bulb. Finally, it was completed! Exhausted and ready for a break, Edison was ready to have his bulb carried up the stairs. He turned and handed it to the SAME young boy who had dropped the first one!

Now, that is true forgiveness.

God also has a unique creation: mankind. He has given a precious commodity to His creation called “LIFE.” He created men and women to find ultimate fulfilment in their lives in doing the will of God. Yet, from the very first couple that He created – Adam and Eve – men and women have continued to “mishandle” that which God has entrusted to them. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Despite our BEST efforts in handling life carefully, we all “fumble”; we either transgress or fall short of the will of God in our lives.

But God wants to give US a second chance! The opportunity for a second chance came at a tremendous price. God sent His Son Jesus to live and to die as a man in order to “pay the price” for our redemption. When Jesus died on the cross, He took our sins upon Himself, that YOU and I might be forgiven, and have a second chance (1 Peter 2:24) “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Now, THAT is true forgiveness!

This forgiveness is available to all who will accept it on His terms: Forgiveness can be enjoyed by those who will place their faith in God (Hebrews 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”,

repent of their sins (Acts 17:30-31) “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead”,

confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

and be baptised (immersed) in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:38) “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Apostle Paul described the appropriate response to the sacrificial death of Christ with these words: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? Therefore we 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” (Romans 6:3-4).

Newness of life! – Forgiveness! – A second chance!

THESE are the things that God wants to give US. And God will CONTINUE to forgive us as we CONTINUE to strive to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Now that is TRUE forgiveness! And, it is available to YOU. Will you accept?