If Jesus Shared the Gospel …

If Jesus shared the gospel with you, it might sound something like this:

“There are two kinds of people in this world: those who are in the spiritual realm of Adam and those who are in Me.”

“The fullness of God lives inside My resurrected body.”

“And those who are in Me—through My Spirit—are automatically in the Father.”

“They are eternally and affectionately held within the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.”

“You may better understand this relationship by picturing a cube that represents the entire, unseen spiritual world.”

“Now see a Light-filled sphere floating in the center of the cube.”

“This sphere represents My Spirit.”

“Everything inside of the sphere is spiritually alive and everything outside of the sphere is in the realm of Adam, in darkness, spiritually dead.”

“You are not merely a human body which contains a spirit, but a spiritual being who lives inside a perishable human body.”

“You communicate with this physical world through your soul, which is your conscious awareness.”

“And because of the fall—the declaration of independence of man (Adam and Eve) from God—in the garden of Eden, you were born into this world separated from My eternal life, in darkness, in the spiritual realm of Adam.”

“I created you—knit you together in your mother’s womb—because I want you in My forever family.”

“I love the world so much that I willingly laid down My life to mend the separation between Me and man and to welcome all those who will believe in (literally into) Me into My eternal family.”

“I am Unconditional Love personified.”

“That’s who I am.”

“That’s what I do.”

“I can’t help but love you with no strings attached, no matter what.”

“I love you dearly and long for you to experience eternal life through believing into Me.”

“But I have given you a free will and will not make this decision for you.”

“If you pass from this earth separated from My eternal life—My Spirit—then you will remain outside of My family forevermore.”

“If, however, you believe that I died to mend our separation and have received the gift of My life, then you can rest assured that I have already taken you out of the spiritual kingdom of darkness (in Adam) and immersed you into the spiritual kingdom of Light and Life in Me.”

“You are now a beloved child of My Father because of your eternal spiritual union with Me, His only begotten Son.”

“You are no longer dead in Adam but forever alive in Me.”

“You are My flawless bride because of your eternal spiritual union with Me.”

“And nothing you could ever think, say, or do will change this truth.”

“Once you are in Me, you are in Me forevermore.”

“Now isn’t that the best news you’ve ever heard?”

Longing to be Yours,
Jesus

Scripture references: Rom. 5:12–21; 1 Cor. 15:22; Col. 2:9; John 14:20; John 8:12; John 12:46; Eph. 2:1–5; Ezek. 36:26-28; John 4:24; 2 Cor. 5:1–6; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12; Gen. 3; Ps. 139:13, 15; John 3:16; 1 John 4:9; John 3:18; Heb. 9:27; John 14:6; Col. 1:13; Gal. 3:26; John 1:12; Rom. 8:16; 1 John 3:1; 1 Pet. 3:18; John 3:29; John 10:28; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:22–32; Heb. 13:5; Rev. 19:7–9; Rev. 21:2, 9; Rev. 22:17; 2 Tim. 2:13

If you enjoyed this post, then I believe you would savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him.

If you want to learn more, check out my book page.

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

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God’s Reminder on Our Mountain Vacation

There’s just something about the mountains.

When we’re thinking “vacation,” sandy white beaches and theme parks never enter our minds.

It’s almost as if we hear God whisper, “Come and get away from your daily routines and just rest.”

“Rest in Me.”

“And receive.”

“Allow yourself to be inspired.”

“Let Me love you unconditionally.”

“Be still.”

“And know.”

“That I am God.”

“You are Mine forever.”

“And I am yours forever.”

“So why don’t we just enjoy each other’s company?”

“No agenda. No to-do list.”

“Just enjoy Me while I enjoy you.”

“After all, isn’t that what true intimacy is?”

If any of the above appeals to you, God might just be calling you to “come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while” (Mark 6:31).

I had made up my mind that I was going to unplug (go offline) while during our vacation.

It really wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be.

There were a couple of times I was tempted to check my e-mail and Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, but the desire didn’t last long.

My desire to be attentive to the Lord and experience sweet intimacy with Him was much greater.

I’m so thankful that His desire for me to spend time relaxing in His presence is the well from which my heart’s desires spring (Jer. 31:33; Heb. 8:10).

His heart’s desire is where it all starts!

One way that helps me get into a state of relaxed receptivity is to read the New Testament (especially Paul’s epistles) and New Covenant, grace-saturated books such as the following:

Lifetime Guarantee
The Confident Woman
What God Wishes Christians Knew About Christianity
Relaxing with God
God without Religion
The Naked Gospel
The Art of Spiritual War
The Hurt & the Healer
Heaven Is Now
God’s Astounding Opinion of You
Life According to Perfect
God’s Best-Kept Secret
The Cross Worked
Unveiling Jesus

And I don’t want to leave out my debut Bible study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs: His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

Every one of these books highlights the finished work of Christ and the believer’s spotless identity in Him.

Jesus really did do all the work on the cross! (John 19:30)

When we literally believed into Him, we became a blameless child of God and the pure bride of Christ (John 3:16; Phil. 2:14-16; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:27; Rev. 19:7).

All that’s left for us to do is believe the Gospel of grace in Christ Jesus and walk in harmony with His Spirit who lives in us 24/7/365 (John 6:28-29; Gal. 5:16, 22-23).

If you view yourself as a dirty, rotten sinner with whom God is always disappointed or angry, then you will not allow yourself to enjoy the intimacy with Him that is available for the receiving.

Receiving, not earning.

That’s amazing grace.

The kind of grace that you will not be fully able to wrap your mind around in this time-bound world (Eph. 2:8-9).

So why don’t you do yourself a huge favor and unplug, get away with Jesus, and rest in His unconditional love for a while?

The greatest benefit of my mountain vacation was God’s reminder to get back into “restful, receiving mode,” no matter what I’m doing.

It’s an attitude of the soul where I am continually drawing on His resources within (John 7:38).

And realizing that I don’t have anything to offer unless I’m enjoying authentic intimacy with the Lover of my soul on a regular basis (Song 2:10, Matt. 11:28-29).

As I wrote in my book,

No one wants to read a book on how to bake the perfect cherry pie unless he or she knows the author makes delicious cherry pies! Likewise, no one wants to read a book or listen to a message about how to enjoy Jesus unless the author or speaker consistently shows forth the fruit of delighting in Him.

You cannot go wrong when you invest precious time resting in Christ’s finished work and enjoying His sweet presence!

Dear reader, what, if anything, is keeping you from resting in Christ’s finished work and enjoying His sweet presence?

Until next time,
Live Christ, Live Happy!

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

Home          My Core Beliefs          About          Pursuing Love          Speaking          Contact

5 Signs the Christian Song You’re Listening to Is Polluted

If you subscribe to my blog and/or have been following my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, then you probably already know that I’m a devoted fan of the Christian band MercyMe.

They have recently made headline news due to the fact that the movie based on the story behind their smash hit single, “I Can Only Imagine,” premiered last month and has done very well at the box office.

I’ve enjoyed their music since the early 2000s, but it wasn’t until April 2014 when they released their album Welcome to the New that my enjoyment was elevated to an entirely new level.

And just when I thought their music couldn’t get any better, it did!

In March 2017 they released their album Liferwhich has just been nominated by the 2018 Billboard Music Awards for Top Christian Album.

The album’s debut single, “Even If,” has been nominated for Top Christian Song, and the band has been nominated for Top Christian Artist!

Those nominations alone should be enough to spur you into grabbing your own copy.

I remember the first time I listened to Lifer.

I was walking around my neighborhood, earbuds in, and feeling like I’d died and gone to Heaven!

I wanted to dance, jump up and down, and shout for joy over the pure (no legal additives) gospel truth I was hearing!

This grace-saturated album impressed me so much that I did an eleven-week series of posts, reviewing the message in each track:

    1. Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever” – Intro
    2. Are You a Lifer in Christ?” – a review of track 1, “Lifer
    3. Come out, Come out, Wherever You Are!” – a review of track 2, “You Found Me
    4. Has Grace Got You?” – a review of track 3, “Grace Got You
    5. Have You Heard the Best News Ever?” – a review of track 4, “Best News Ever
    6. Because Life Ain’t Always Pretty” – a review of track 5, “Even If
    7. Bye-Bye Lies!” – a review of track 6, “Hello Beautiful
    8. Don’t Throw in the Towel” – a review of track 7, “We Win
    9. Why Every Christian Should Be Doing the Happy Dance” – a review of track 8, “Happy Dance
    10. Christian, Heaven Is Here & Now!” – a review of track 9, “Heaven’s Here
    11. This Ghost Is Way Friendlier Than Casper!” – a review of track 10, “Ghost

Devoting eleven posts to the messages in Lifer should give you a pretty good idea how important this album is to me.

You may be wondering, What’s so amazing about Lifer? 

After all, there are a lot of hit Christian albums out there.

I’ll tell you what makes Lifer so amazing: Every one of its songs communicates the unadulterated gospel of grace in Christ Jesus!

Words that mean the same as unadulterated are: “clean, pure, unmixed, spotless, unblemished, uncontaminated, undiluted, and unpolluted.”

The apostle Paul was so passionate about communicating the uncontaminated gospel, he was livid when he found out that some of the Galatian believers were trading in this spotless gospel for a polluted one by trying to add works of the Law as a requirement for their salvation:

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ,  for a different  gospel;  which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:6-7 NASB).

Notice that he says this so-called “gospel” that some were spouting was really no gospel at all!

You can almost see the tears in his eyes and feel the lump in his throat as he writes:

I am not one of those who treats Christ’s death as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping Jewish laws, then there was no need for Christ to die (Gal. 2:21 TLB).

Paul had been so radically transformed by this wonderful, Jesus-plus-nothing gospel of grace, he had zero tolerance for those who were trying to pollute it with works.

The only equation that works is: Jesus + Nothing = Gospel 

Andrew Farley’s best-selling book The Naked Gospel: The Truth You May Never Hear in Church is an excellent treatise on the gospel of grace in Christ Jesus.

It resounds with the truth that the believer’s only part in their salvation is their belief that Christ did everything necessary to make them right with God and their acceptance of this gift—no good works added.

And guess what?

It wasn’t until after Bart Millard, the lead singer of MercyMe, got hold of a copy of The Naked Gospel, that he began writing song lyrics that reflected his enjoyment of God’s wonderful gift of grace in Christ Jesus!

(While MercyMe’s pre-Naked Gospel song lyrics reflect grace for the most part, Bart would be the first to tell you that he wasn’t living it.)

Now, you might be wondering, How can I know if the Christian song I’m listening to is expressing a polluted gospel?

Use the following checklist as a litmus test:

If this song suggests that I am not already and forever …

  1. a brand-new, pure, righteous, and holy creation in Christ,
  2. flawlessly fused to Christ,
  3. completely forgiven through the blood of Christ,
  4. lavishly loved and accepted in Christ, and
  5. destined to rule and reign with Christ,

then it is polluted.

People who are trained to spot counterfeit money aren’t trained by studying counterfeits; they are trained but by examining the real thing.

In the same way, if you want to become gospel-exuding song-savvy, meditate on Paul’s epistles.

You can also listen to the MercyMe albums Lifer and Welcome to the New again and again.

And, if you want to enrich your listening to Lifer, click here to read all of my MercyMe’s Lifer Messages and start scrolling.

Or you can just return to this post and click on the eleven links listed above.

And just so you know, my intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Solomon, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, is also saturated with the unadulterated gospel of grace in Christ Jesus.

If you love to read about the Divine Romance between Christ and His bride, then you don’t want to miss savoring His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

And right now, it’s the lowest price it’s ever been on Amazon!

I hope you’ll get a copy and let me know what you think.

Until next time,
Live Christ, Live Happy!

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit My Core Beliefs page and my About page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

Home          My Core Beliefs          About          Pursuing Love          Speaking          Contact

Why This Hit Song Turned Movie Means So Much to So Many

Lately I’ve been contemplating the phenomenon behind “I Can Only Imagine,” the best-selling Contemporary Christian song of all time.

Bart Millard, the lead singer of the Christian band MercyMe, wrote this song in 1998, seven years after he lost his dad to pancreatic cancer.

The song’s title and lyrics reflect Millard’s imagining what his dad was experiencing in Heaven in the presence of Jesus.

“I Can Only Imagine” was first included in MercyMe’s 1999, independently-recorded album, The Worship Project.

But in 2001, it was released as the lead single on their major-label, debut album, Almost There, which, to date, has enjoyed triple-platinum success.

Two years later, the song crossed over onto pop radio charts after stations were flooded with requests for the song.

People everywhere wanted this faith-based song played in the secular arena because of the hope that it infused.

Hope not only for those who had lost loved ones, but also for anyone who was going through really tough times—for whatever reason.

Since 2003, when “I Can Only Imagine” launched MercyMe into the Contemporary Christian limelight, the band has enjoyed much success, producing several albums with number one hits.

(Last summer, I had a ball reviewing every grace-saturated song on their most recent album, Lifer.)

And now, seventeen years after the release of ‘Imagine,’ the movie (by the same name) based on its backstory surprised Hollywood, making around $17 million its opening weekend.

This film depicts the heart-breaking physical, verbal, and emotional abuse that Bart suffered for years at the hands of his dad, Arthur Millard.

It also portrays the incredible transformation Arthur underwent after he found out he had cancer and asked God to save him.

You can only imagine what kind of impact this had on Bart’s faith, seeing God change his dad from a “monster” into the father he had always wanted.

This movie is a wonderful redemption story. I cried more the second time I saw it than I did the first.

If you want to learn more about it, just Google it and you will find numerous articles and videos to enjoy.

My purpose for the rest of this post is to zero in on what I believe is the real reason behind the impact of this remarkable song.

What sets this song apart from other Christian-based songs?

I don’t think we have to look any further than one word in the song’s title.

Imagine.

Imagine means “to form a mental image of (something not actually present to the senses).”

Every believer in Christ is banking their eternity on Someone they have never actually laid physical eyes on—Someone they have put their faith in.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is …

  • “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (KJV).
  • “being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it” (EXB).
  • “the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen, the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead” (TLB).

Faith is knowing that what we hope for—that which we cannot see with our physical eyes—will someday manifest in physical reality.

Last week on Twitter, I was challenged by someone whose handle included the word atheist.

That person asked me to justify my faith in God, to give proof of His existence without quoting Scripture or divulging personal experience.

After going down a few religious rabbit trails, my final reply to that person was: I don’t have to justify my faith. Christ’s Spirit lives in my heart. It’s a love relationship I’ve experienced with Him for years that will last forever. I’m sorry you don’t have the Hope that I do.

The common thread in my Twitter conversation and the above Biblical descriptions of faith is that believers in Christ have the incredible hope that this world is not all there is because of their faith in Christ.

The hope that someday soon, we will be experiencing Jesus face to Face forever.

Even though it’s difficult to wrap my mind around how wonderfully glorious that will be, I still try to.

And the thing is, believers aren’t limited to only imagining what it will be like when we stand face to Face with Jesus.

Right here, right now, we can ask the Spirit of Christ within us to inspire our imaginations and cause us to see, experience, and enjoy Him.

In a sense, we can experience Heaven right now, because we are one spirit with Him, already seated with Him in Heaven (1 Cor. 6:17; Eph. 2:4-7).

When I began to “see” Christ in me, with me, smiling at me, embracing me, dancing with me, loving me perfectly, and hearing Him speak life-giving words to me, it was like that scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy walks out of her black-and-white surroundings into the vibrant world of Technicolor.

Relating to Christ in my mind’s eye has added a whole new dimension to my life. I guess you could say that I now I see my life in Christ in high definition.

And I’m convinced that this is the key to believers enjoying Heaven on earth in the here and now.

I’m also convinced that experiencing Christ’s cherishing love in our mind’s eye is what catapults us into the expression of His love in this world.

The success of “I Can Only Imagine” is proof positive that pictures of us relating to Christ in our mind’s eye touch our emotions and affect our lives in ways that rows of black print on white paper simply cannot.

God longs for us to experience the positive emotions that result from believing spiritual truth.

And the quickest way to believe that something is true (real) is to see it.

You’ve likely heard the old adage: Seeing is believing.

I’m not talking about seeing with our physical eyes, but picturing spiritual truth in our mind’s eye through the power of Christ’s Spirit.

In the song, “I Can Only Imagine,” Millard pictures himself seeing Jesus for the first time—what his reaction will be when he actually lays physical eyes on the Resurrected Christ.

And every time we listen to this song, we too picture ourselves standing before Him.

Jesus wants us to see His continual smile toward us—a smile that can never be erased by something we do or don’t do.

Our initial yes when we first believed in (into) Him sealed His forever smile toward us.

Dearly beloved, you can bask in the warmth of His forever smile toward you right here, right now!

The best news you will ever hear and believe is that He rigged this so you can’t mess it up!

And when you see Him smiling at you, taking great pleasure in you, you will begin to feel the truth of His unending, cherishing love for you.

And when you see and feel His no-strings-attached love for you, you are motivated to love yourself, love Him back, and love others.

That’s when life on planet earth becomes sweet and you begin living in the fullness of what you will get to enjoy throughout Eternity.

Dearly beloved, are you enjoying Jesus’ cherishing love for you through seeing Him loving you right here, right now, in this present moment?

It’s there for your receiving and enjoyment 24/7/365.

And this time on planet earth is only the beginning of pleasures forevermore!

If you enjoyed this post, then I believe you would savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him.

If you want to learn more, check out my book page.

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

Home          My Core Beliefs          About          Pursuing Love          Speaking          Contact

Why Many Christians Aren’t Enjoying Intimacy with Christ

Over the last fifteen years, I’ve enjoyed leading several Bible studies focused on how to enjoy greater intimacy with Christ. At the beginning of the opening session, I ask the participants complete a questionnaire so that I can find out what they hope to gain from the study.

The last question is: “In your life, what do you believe is the greatest obstacle to enjoying intimacy with Christ?”

While most of their answers have to do with busyness, tiredness, and just not taking the time, every once in a while someone will answer that they are the greatest obstacle to enjoying intimacy with Christ.

Sadly, they see themselves as the major hindrance.

I remember when a wrong view of myself kept me from enjoying intimacy with Christ.

Oh, I spent focused time with Him, reading His Word, journaling, and talking to Him.

But almost always, my conversations with Jesus revolved around my shortcomings—my sins, failures, and mistakes—and asking Him to forgive me and help me do better in my walk with Him.

There was no fixing my eyes on Jesus, setting my mind on things above, or dwelling on eternal spiritual truth (Heb. 12:2, Col. 3:2, Phil. 4:8).

Until one day.

That incredible, liberating, marvelous day when I finally realized that His finished work on the cross had already wiped out my sin debt in full and made me a brand new person altogether!

In many of my posts, I share about the believer’s identity in Christ and our new life in Him.

But I don’t believe I have fully expressed what it means that Christians are already completely forgiven—forever.

Oh, how I pray that God will give you eyes to see that the sins of your lifetime are gone and you no longer have to fixate on them!

Instead, you can focus on the Wonderful Christ and His finished work on your behalf.

This way, you won’t waste one more minute missing out on the wondrous delight He longs for you to experience in intimacy with Him!

Right here. Right now.

Beloved, I don’t expect you to take my word for it when I tell you that you are already completely forgiven for the sins of your lifetime.

The following list of Scriptures provides more than enough evidence:

If you are thinking, This sounds too good to be true, I encourage you to look up and write out the above Scriptures for yourself, meditate on them, and trust Christ’s indwelling Spirit to confirm the truth of your complete forgiveness in Him.

My favorite passage concerning our complete forgiveness is Colossians 2:13–14:

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Some interpret this passage as “He forgave all of my sins up until the moment I got saved, but then after that, I have to make sure I ask forgiveness for every sin I commit.”

If that is true, then let me ask you an important question: What happens if you forget one?

Imagine that my wealthy earthly husband never wants me to do without anything I need or want, so he deposits a massive sum of money into a savings account to cover every debt I will incur throughout my lifetime.

But there’s a catch. My checking account has a zero balance.

Every time I write a check, I have to tell him what I bought and how much it cost. Then I have to ask him to transfer the exact amount from the savings account to cover my transaction so that I won’t overdraw my checking account.

While I am extremely thankful my generous husband will always agree to pay each debt, the consequences (overdraft fees, embarrassment) will be costly if I forget even one.

This may sound like a silly example to you, but I lived in fear for years over the possibility that some of my sins would go unforgiven because I couldn’t remember them all.

You can imagine how thankful I was when I found out my heavenly Husband deposited His unlimited riches into my checking account instead!

Now I never have to worry about incurring hefty insufficient funds fees for unconfessed debts.

Does this make me any less appreciative for His overwhelming generosity? Of course not!

It makes me even more thankful that I can lay my head on my pillow every night and sleep in sweet peace, knowing that I will never have to work to pay off my own sin debt.

My heavenly Husband paid it all with the first and only forgiveness deposit the very moment we were joined in sacred union.

To make my ongoing forgiveness contingent on my memory and my asking for it shifts my focus away from what Jesus has already accomplished on to what I must do to remain in “good standing” with Him.

His shed blood and my belief in Him were all that was necessary for me to enjoy my complete once-for-all forgiveness (Heb. 9:22).

Beloved, if you believe that all of your sins—up until the moment you receive salvation—are forgiven, but the ones you have committed since then aren’t forgiven until you confess them, you will not be able to enjoy the assurance and peace Christ died to give to you (Rom. 5:1; 1 John 5:13).

This is hardly the kind of life the royal bride of Christ should be living!

It may help you to understand your complete forgiveness by considering the answer to the following questions:

  1. How many of your sins did Jesus shed His blood for?
  2. How many of them were in the future when He died for them?

All of them!

We appropriated His complete forgiveness for the sins of our lifetime—past, present, and future—the very yoctosecond (smaller than a nanosecond) we believed in Him.

Opponents of the complete forgiveness doctrine often cite 1 John 1:9 as evidence that we have to keep asking God to forgive our sins to remain cleansed: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

This verse has been referred to as the Christians’ “bar of soap.” Thirteen verses later, however, the apostle John writes, “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake” (1 John 2:12 NASB).

At first glance, this appears to present a conundrum. The two verses cannot both be true at the same time—unless they are addressed to two different audiences.

In the first chapter, John was appealing to the Gnostics (those who had infiltrated the early church and believed that they had no sin) to be saved.

In contrast, 2:12 is unmistakably addressing believers—little children whose sins have been forgiven them.

People who teach that believers have been forgiven for the sins of their lifetime often get accused of giving people a green light to sin. I don’t know about you, but I don’t recall ever needing anyone to give me a green light!

I did a pretty good job of sinning without one. But now that I understand what I’ve been given through Christ’s finished work on the cross, I realize that I really don’t want to sin.

My heart’s desire is to express the cherishing love and exuberant life of Christ (Heb. 10:16).

Before I conclude this post on our once-for-all forgiveness, I would like to clarify a couple of things.

First of all, I believe that confession (agreeing with God that we are sinning) and repentance (changing our minds and turning from sin) are healthy and beneficial habits in the life of every believer.

When we realize we are sinning, it is important to tell our Beloved we are sorry for not living in complete dependence on Him and to thank Him for the forgiveness that is already ours in Him.

Nevertheless, our confession and repentance are not a means of obtaining more forgiveness.

Our initial acceptance of His forgiveness through His shed blood at salvation secured a clean slate for us forever.

Christ wants us to believe it and live like we believe it!

Second, our complete forgiveness before God does not shield us from the earthly consequences of our sin and doesn’t mean that we don’t need to ask for forgiveness from other people when we sin against them.

In order to maintain healthy relationships, we must be willing to admit our wrongdoing and seek forgiveness from the person we have injured.

We also need to be quick to forgive others when they sin against us. (That’s a topic for another post … or book … or series.)

Jesus wants us to wake up every morning, believing that we stand completely forgiven in Him.

This may not be something we fully understand with our minds or feel with our emotions, but we can choose with to believe it, regardless of opposing thoughts or feelings.

It is much easier to believe our way into a new way of feeling than to try to feel our way into a new way of believing.

After all, don’t we possess the very faith of Christ (Gal. 2:20)?

Believing that we are completely forgiven for the sins of our lifetime will enable us to receive and enjoy His lavishing affection.

That’s where the cycle of authentic love in our life begins—by letting Him love us unconditionally.

Dearly Beloved, do you believe that the sins of your entire lifetime—past, present, and future—were forgiven through Jesus’ shed blood the moment you believed in Him?

If your answer is yes, what difference has it made (or will it make) in your life?

If your answer is no or not sure, what is hindering you from believing it?

If you have trouble allowing yourself to enjoy His unconditional love without thinking you’ve earned it, ask Him to give you revelation about your total forgiveness.

Remember, just because you might have heard (and believed) throughout your life that you have to continually ask God to forgive each and every sin, it doesn’t mean it’s true.

Simply put, repetitive exposure to a false concept does not make it any truer.

Instead, why don’t you see what happens when you begin to thank Him for what you already have and see yourself as a completely forgiven, brand-new person altogether!

What you focus on will be expressed through your life.

If you enjoyed this post, then I believe you will savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ, both men and women, enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him.

If you want to learn more, check out my book page.

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

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What the Resurrection Has to Do with You

Today, on Good Friday 2018, Christians around the globe are commemorating the passion of Jesus Christ—the suffering He went through to pay our sin debt in full with His blood and to give us new life in Him.

Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

Good Friday isn’t a national holiday in the U.S., but it is a state holiday in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Texas.

I’m so glad I live in Texas, one of eleven states in the U.S. that recognizes the importance of the Resurrection!

Every Christian knows (or ought to know) that Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday wasn’t the end of His story:

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and … He was buried, and … He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4 NASB).

If Christ was not raised from the dead on the third day, then our faith is in vain (worthless) and we are still in our sins (1 Cor. 15:14, 17).

The Good News is, if you are a believer in Christ, you are no longer in your sins.

Every person on this earth at this moment is either “in Christ” or “in their sins.” There is no middle ground.

And the change of location from “in our sins” to “in Christ” happens once in a lifetime. There’s no such thing as jumping in and out of Christ.

Dear reader, I am leaning entirely upon His Spirit within me to cause me to communicate the extraordinary significance of not only what happened to Him over two thousand years ago, but also what happened to me and you (if you are in Christ) at the same time!

You may be scratching your head, wondering, How in the world could something that happened to Christ have happened to me at the same time? 

I will tell you. It’s a spirit-thing.

It happened in the unseen, eternal spiritual realm.

Father God exists in the Eternal Now (eternity past, eternity present, eternity future). He exists outside of this time realm.

After all, He is the One who created time. He didn’t have a beginning. He has always been, is, and will always be.

If you’re having trouble wrapping your mind around this, ask Christ’s Spirit within you to give you eyes to see into the eternal spiritual realm and realize this amazing truth.

In Ephesians 1:3-4, the apostle Paul writes:

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 (NASB).

Father God chose you and me to be in His Son, Jesus, before the foundation of the world.

Why did He want us “in” His Son? So that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.

I believe Father God does the Happy Dance every time one who belongs to Him realizes (becomes fully aware of; understands clearly) that not only are they in Christ right now and forever, but they were “in Christ” when He was crucified, buried, risen, and ascended into Heaven at His right hand.

In other words, those who belong to Him were co-participants (in union) with Christ in His crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascension (all Scriptures below are taken from the NASB):

Scriptures that speak of our crucifixion with Christ:

  • “Our old self was crucified with Him” (Rom. 6:6).
  • “I have been crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20).
  • “You have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3)

Scriptures that speak of our burial with Christ
(burial implies the finality of death):

  • “We have been buried with Him through baptism into death” (Rom. 6:4).
  • “Having been buried with Him in baptism” (Col. 2:12).

Scriptures that speak of our resurrection with Christ:

  • “God … even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ … and raised us up with Him” (Eph. 2:5).
  • “You were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead … He made you alive together with Him” (Col. 2:12–13).
  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3).

Scriptures that speak of our ascension with Christ:

  • “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4–6).
  • “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 (Eph. 1:3).

Dear reader, please notice that all of the above Scriptures are past tense.

If you are a believer “in Christ,” the old, sinful you was crucified and buried with Him and the new, holy you was born again in Him when Father God raised Him from the dead!

And that is exactly what the Resurrection of Christ Jesus has to do with you!

On Resurrection Sunday (and every day), you should be doing the Happy Dance, celebrating your resurrection—your spiritual birthday—in Christ!

If your brain is going tilt-tilt and you are struggling to wrap your mind around this supernatural, eternal truth, this tangible example might help:

Imagine that Father God is holding a Holy Bible in His right hand.

This Bible represents His Son, Jesus Christ, who is also called the Word of God (John 1:1, 14).

Since Christ is also referred to as “eternal life,” we can think of this Bible as the spiritual realm of eternal life and everything outside of it as the spiritual realm of eternal death (1 John 1:2; 2:25; 3:15; 5:11-13, 20).

The Bible refers to these two distinct spiritual realms as “in Christ” and “in Adam.” “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive”(1 Cor. 15:22 NASB).

Now, I want you to see Father God taking a blank sheet of paper and writing your name on it. This is when He knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16).

When you were born into this world, you were born into the spiritual realm of Adam, separated from Christ’s eternal life (John 8:21, 24; 1 Cor. 15:17; Col. 1:13, 2:13).

Please notice that this paper (you) is outside of the Bible (Christ).

Father God longs to put you (the paper) inside of Christ (the Bible), but because He gave you a free will, this is not His choice to make.

He can woo you, presenting all the evidence to you, but you get to choose whether or not to be joined to Christ.

If there is such a thing as Father God “waiting,” I believe He waits with bated breath for us to hear the Gospel and believe in (literally “into”) His Son (John 3:16).

Think back to the moment you accepted Christ and see Father God take you (the paper) out of Adam and put you into Christ (the Bible) (Col. 1:13).

Take a moment to let this truth sink in.

Once you are placed into Christ, your God-less spiritual past becomes nonexistent and you automatically share in Christ’s Spiritual past, present, and future.

Talk about a quantum leap!

And His past includes His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension!

In other words, it is just as if we had never been separated from God by sin!

Now that is shouting (and dancing) ground!

Our sins are gone—not merely covered. They are no longer attached to us because we are now and forever in Christ!

We don’t live in the realm of our sins—in the uncircumcision of our flesh—any longer!

Outside of Christ, we were in the flesh; inside of Christ, we have been separated, or cut off, from the flesh.

And the news just keeps getting better: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Rom. 8:1-2 NASB). (Notice the verb tense is once again past.)

Jesus promises us that no one can take us out of His eternal life: “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28 NASB).

No one means no one, not even ourselves. Once we are in Him, we cannot get ourselves out of Him. Only Father God could do that and He promises not to!

He also promises never to leave us or forsake us: “He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you'” (Heb. 13:5 NKJV).

Christ promises to never separate Himself from us, no matter what we do or don’t do!

And finally, He says that even our own faithlessness (not living in dependence on Christ) can’t disqualify us once we are in Him: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13 NASB).

Goodness gracious!

This says we are so joined to Him—so mingled with Him—that we are “one spirit with Him,” and He cannot ever be separated from Himself! (1 Cor. 6:17).

The super-fantastic news of the Gospel is: Every believer in Christ is in Him forever! It’s a done deal!

No chance of ever going back to Adam. Even if you were deceived into believing you wanted to.

Don’t you think it’s high time we Christians put on our dancin’ shoes and celebrate what Christ has ALREADY accomplished for and in us (made us holy and blameless) through our co-participation (union) with Him in His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension!

Until next time,

Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

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The Christian’s Eternal Spring In Christ

Even though our local weather men and calendars now agree that the spring season has officially arrived, we in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles know not to put away our winter clothes or plant new flowers—just yet.

All we have to do is take a quick look back at our area’s track record for snow in late March & April to keep us from getting out the storage totes and buying potting soil:

  • 2017 – Rare Late April Snowfall & Blizzard
  • 2016 – March 26 White Easter
  • 2009 – March 26-28 Blizzard

Brrrr!

As long as we live on this earth, we will continue to have more unpredictable and unstable weather (tornado season—grrrr!) to look forward to.

While we cannot control the weather, we Christians can rest in this super-fantastic news: We have the incredible blessing of enjoying an eternal spring in Christ!

You might be wondering what I mean by “enjoying an eternal spring in Christ.”

Allow me to explain.

One of the most wonderful parts of spring is that—after a cold, harsh winter—new life starts springing up everywhere!

Multiple shades of green and brightly colored flowers (daffodils are among the first to appear) explode onto our landscapes, and the sounds of singing birds fill the atmosphere—from sunup to sundown.

Simply put, spring represents the symphony of new life.

In my opinion, there is no better place in God’s Word to see and hear this symphony of new life than right smack-dab in its middle:

“For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been
heard in our land.
The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom have given forth
their fragrance.”

—Song of Songs 2:11-13

That’s right. This passage comes from the Song of Songs, a.k.a the Song of Solomon or the Canticles

The Song of Songs is one of the most neglected and misunderstood books in the Bible.

Just ask my mother-in-law.

When I gave her a copy of my debut book over the Song’s first two chapters, she adamantly exclaimed, “The Song of Solomon is the only book in the Bible I can’t figure out why God put there!”

For centuries, Christians have been dazed and confused by this metaphor-laden masterpiece nestled in the heart of God’s Word.

And for years, I was one of those Christians.

Until, that is, Christ started wooing me with His pursuing love through every verse.

There have been many great studies based on the Song’s literal interpretation, which celebrates love in an earthly marriage.

But you may be surprised to learn (as I was) that the Song’s allegorical, or symbolic, interpretation is its most ancient.

In fact, Rabbi Akiva, a renowned Jewish sage, defended the Song and was instrumental in its inclusion in the Tanakh. His intense passion for the book was expressed when he declared,

Heaven forbid that any man in Israel ever disputed that the Song of Songs is holy. For the whole world is not worth the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel, for all the Writings are holy and the Song of Songs is the holy of holies (Mishnah Yadayim 3:5).”*

The Song of Songs is a gorgeous moving picture of the ultimate love story between Christ and His bride, the church.

In verse 11 of the above passage, Jesus is telling His bride that the winter rains of the Law—the system of works-based righteousness—is over!

The super-fantastic news of the Gospel of grace of God is that no one has to earn the righteousness that God so freely gives! (Acts 20:24; 2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus really did pay it all! (John 19:30).

All we have to do is believe in (into) Him in order to enjoy the eternal spring of faith-based righteousness (John 3:16; Rom. 5:17).

Christian, you are the righteousness of God in Christ—His GORGEOUS bride—at absolutely no cost to you.

Forever.

And nothing you could ever do or not do will change this incredible truth.

And that, my friends, is the BEST NEWS you’ll ever hear and believe!

So, what are you waiting for?

Why don’t you go ahead and acknowledge that you no longer live under the cold, winter rains of the Law and celebrate your eternal spring—your free gift of righteousness in Christ!

If you enjoyed this post, I think you will savor my debut study over the first two chapters of the Song of Songs: His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

You can order directly from me or Amazon today.

*Quotation from Mishnah Yadayim 3:5, translated by Herbert Danby, The Mishnah.Ox ford: Clarendon Press, 1933. As quoted in Barry L. Bandstra, Reading the Old Testament, 4th Edition. Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage, 2009; page 418.

Until next time,

Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

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That Time Those Dogs Ganged up on My Beagle

So, this past Monday, March 12, 2018, National Napping Day was celebrated in the United States. This was the day after most of us reluctantly moved our clocks forward one hour.

I hadn’t heard of this national day, but since I was feeling particularly sleep-deprived that morning, I decided to join the celebration.

And I did that by doing what any serious tweeter would do: I tweeted about it.

I honored the best napper I know, our beagle, Little Joe Jack Carson. But we just call him “Joe.”

 

 

Funny thing about this particular tweet.

It hands-down got more activity than any of my other tweets.

 

 

To date, I have 500 tweets, most of which pertain to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how we can enjoy greater intimacy with Him through understanding our one-and-only flawless identity in Him.

Now, I’m sure that Jesus isn’t offended, so I shouldn’t be offended for Him, right?

Because without Jesus creating this world, Joe wouldn’t have even been a glimmer in his parents’ eye.

And besides that, you have to admit that Joe is the most handsome beagle of all time and eternity! (Thank you, big brother Bobby, for giving him to us!)

As you can tell, I love our dog. And it’s amazing how much I’ve learned just watching him.

For instance, if there is only one tiny spot in our big backyard with the sun shining on it, that’s where you will find Joe, basking in all his beagle glory. (Smile.)

Whether he is just sitting there being his regal self, catching rays or sprawled out in a full-fledged nap without a care in the world, Joe knows how to savor life.

Even though Jesus has been showing me how to consistently enjoy Him and life in general, I sometimes envy a dog’s world.

You know—how easy it is for a dog to relax, take several naps a day, and dream whatever it is dogs dream about.

No, I wouldn’t rather be a dog. But, at times, I have a tendency to be super-serious about life, so I have to be intentional about relaxing and taking a nap when I need one.

Since Joe spends most days just mindin’ his own beagle business—without a care in the world—you can imagine how my ears perked up this past Saturday morning when I heard him going ballistic right outside my library window.

I was just sitting there quietly, reading Day 3 from Week 6 of my debut study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Lovewhen all the commotion started.

The subject of that day’s study is taking enemy thoughts captive that pop up in our minds.

Jarred from my peaceful contemplation, I bolted out of my chair, looked out the window, and saw the three little culprits that were rocking Joe’s world.

One was mostly white, another mostly black, and the third, a black-and-white mix.

You would have thought they were planning to eat Joe alive by the way they sounded.

So, I started banging on the window. Their combined canine courage quickly dissolved and they took off like a bat out of … well, you know.

One of them—the black one—mustered up enough gumption to stop and look back.

So, I banged on the window again and told him to vamoose! It didn’t take him long to catch up with his partners in crime.

And they haven’t been back to our house since.

I did, however, catch a glimpse of this trouble-making trio roaming around the neighborhood the other day as I was driving home from the grocery store.

No doubt trying to rock another canine, feline, or squirrel’s peaceful world with their all-bark-and-no-bite dogsanas.

Right after that brief interruption in our otherwise uneventful morning, Joe got settled into his backyard utopia and I dug back into my study.

That’s when God started talking to me about what just happened.

It was no coincidence that I was just reading about how the enemy works in our thought lives, stealing our peace, joy, and contentment.

One of the main reasons I wrote this book was to expose Satan’s clandestine schemes. The fifth bullet point on my back cover reads:

  • You have a real, invisible enemy who is trying everything within his limited power to hoodwink you into accepting his lies about who you are. Once you learn his most effective strategy, you will be armed and dangerous to the kingdom of darkness.

There is a daily battle going on in the mind of every believer in Christ. And it’s called a  battle because there are opposing forces in there.

Some of you may be shouting a loud Amen right now to this statement.

The apostle Paul wrote about these skirmishes in his second letter to the church at Corinth:

The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity (2 Cor. 10:3-5 MSG).

I laughed out loud when I read the second sentence of this passage in The Message paraphrase of the Bible—given the subject matter of this post!

God has a wonderful sense of humor, don’t you agree?

Now, let’s zero in on the phrase fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

Please notice that our mind trouble comes from loose thoughts, emotions, and impulses.

Thoughts drive emotions, emotions drive impulses, and impulses drive actions.

In the negative sense, the genesis of all of our mental trouble are thoughts that don’t line up with truth—loose thoughts.

And we all know what those loose thoughts are called—LIES! And where do lies originate?

We need look no further than the John’s Gospel to find out. Here, Jesus is addressing the Jewish people:

“If God were your father,” said Jesus, “you would love me, for I came from God and arrived here. I didn’t come on my own. He sent me. Why can’t you understand one word I say? Here’s why: You can’t handle it. You’re from your father, the Devil, and all you want to do is please him. He was a killer from the very start. He couldn’t stand the truth because there wasn’t a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me. Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone on God’s side listens to God’s words. This is why you’re not listening—because you’re not on God’s side” (John 8:42-47).

Jesus makes it clear: all lies originate with the Devil (Liar, killer).

Whether you realize it or not, the lies you hear in your mind are not coming from you.

They are coming from an outside enemy. And you are not it!

I purposely left out one very important detail of Joe’s story.

The entire time, those hairy little harassers were on the other side of the fence!

They weren’t in the backyard with Joe but they were raising enough ruckus, they might as well have been.

It’s the same with ungodly thoughts that seemed to pop into our minds out of nowhere, stealing our peace and joy.

And before you know it, we’re acting contrary to who we really are!

Satan, “the one who deceives the whole world,” would love nothing more than for you to believe that those ungodly thoughts are coming from you (Rev. 12:9).

And if he can get you to believe this, you won’t believe that you are the new creation in Christ that God’s Word unquestionably declares you to be!

And then there you are, duped, acting like the devil! Because people act like who they think they are.

This one truth—if the body of Christ could get a revelation of it—would turn their world right-side up! It did mine.

And no, I don’t always catch the lying thoughts the enemy sometimes serves up to my mind.

But I experience a lot more peace and joy now that I know that junk isn’t coming from me!

Through dependence on Christ’s power within me, I am on a mission to fit every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

What do you say, dear reader? Want to join me in this God-honoring mandate, now that you know where those enemy thoughts are coming from?

I hope you will!

If you enjoyed this post, I believe you will relish my book! In it, I devote two full days of study exposing how the enemy works in our thought lives, and I share powerful offensive strategies in this daily war going on in our minds.

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

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This Hashtag Got Me Thinking

Lately, I’ve been spending an awful lot of time on social media. Between sharing the Good News (my #1 passion) and getting the word out about my Good-News-packed, debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, I’ve spent little time doing anything else.

I never in a million years would have thought that I would become a “tweeter” (a person who posts on Twitter).

Before learning about Twitter, I thought all those hashtags—those slanted tic tac toe boards—cluttered everything up. (Did I tell you I get distracted easily?)

But now that I understand the purpose of hashtags, they don’t bother me near as much:

A hashtag is a key word or phrase used to describe a post’s topic and makes it easier to find, follow, and contribute to a conversation.

Since most of my posts are about the almost-unbelievable, indescribable, super-fantastic news of the Gospel of grace in Christ Jesus, a hashtag I frequently use is #GoodNews. (The adjective good just doesn’t do the Gospel justice!)

Sometimes, I will look to see what’s trending (being widely discussed) and join the conversation.

And I did just that this past Wednesday.

The hashtag that caught my eye was #ImStillHereBecause.

I immediately clicked on it because I wanted to see what other people thought about their purpose for existence.

Sadly, most of the tweets had nothing to do with why they were here or Who created them (Ps. 139: 13-16).

Most people still don’t know their purpose for existence.

They don’t know that God created them (literally) to be the object of His extravagant affection—a recipient of His eternal, no-strings-attached love and life (John 3:16, 1 John 4:19).

The reason for their lack of knowledge is simple: the god of this world has blinded them to this precious truth (2 Cor. 4:4).

If people truly understood and experienced their Creator’s one-of-a-kind love for their heart alone, they could not help but express His love and life in this world (1 John 4:19).

And that’s all that God has ever really wanted: for people to believe in (into) His Son, enjoy His love, and share it with others.

Believe in Jesus. Enjoy His love. Share His love. God’s purpose for our lives is that simple.

The devil doesn’t like simple. He likes to confuse people and complicate things (1 Cor. 14:33).

The most heart-breaking tweet I read was, “#ImStillHereBecause the devil didn’t want me.”

The first reason it’s heart-breaking is that the last part is simply not true.

If the devil had his way he would capture every single heart that’s ever existed.

Thank God, he hasn’t done that!

Jesus interrupted his plan for humanity’s demise when He paid the price for our separation from Father God on the cross! (The shrieking scene right after Christ died in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ comes to mind here.)

Secondly, this deluded tweeter thinks so little of herself that she believes the worst entity ever rejects her. So sad!

While it is a possibility that she may have been joking to draw attention to her tweet, I believe there are bookoos of people who think that little of themselves.

So, I decided to join the #ImStillHereBecause conversation with this tweet:

As I thought more about this hashtag, I began to thank God for the major ways He has protected me (that I’m aware of) over the last 53 years:

  • When I was 23 years old, I slid on a patch of ice into an eighteen-wheeler in Wheeler, Texas. The only injuries I sustained were facial lacerations and a broken nose. (God was the last thing on my radar at the time.)
  • When I was 30, I was as close as you could get to having cervical cancer without having it. I had an emergency hysterectomy and all of my checkups since then have been clear (God was still not on my radar at the time.)
  • In March 2016, I underwent a nuclear test for carcinoid cancer. It revealed tumors in my liver and possibly in the right adrenal gland. On April 8, I had a dream where I rebuked the cancer, telling it to get out of my house (my body). In June 2016, I received an “all clear” at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center in Denver, Colorado. (As you may well imagine, God was front-and-center on my radar! He healed me!)

Almost a year after my “all clear,” I launched this blog and then a few months later, published my first book (which had been in the works since 2008).

You might say that the cancer scare “lit a fire under me” to find every way I could (as soon as I could) to share the Good News of God’s love with everyone who would listen.

I am so thankful for what He has done for me and in me! (Tears.)

In closing, I would like to reiterate why I think I’m still here on this earth:

#ImStillHereBecause Jesus wants me to share the #GoodNews of eternal life in Him with as many as will listen and to help other Christians #EnjoyHim through understanding their one-and-only #FlawlessIdentity in Him.

Now, dear reader, I would love to know, Why are you still here? 

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post, I think you might enjoy my debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

P.S.S. If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Pursuing Love     Speaking     Contact

If We’re Doing This, We’re Not Loving

We Christians might as well admit it. We all do this. We really don’t want to do this. But somehow it seems to come so natural to us.

Yes, people who aren’t Christians do this, too.

But the target audience for my blog are Christians who want to enjoy greater intimacy with Christ through understanding their flawless identity in Him.

And that’s exactly why Christians don’t really want to do this at all (Gal. 5:16-17).

They are flawlessly fused to the God of the universe forever (1 Cor. 6:17). Their new heart’s desires are one with His heart’s desires (Heb. 8:10).

But the Christian’s new heart is not the source of this ungodly habit. (Did I mention this is a habit?)

The source of this ungodly habit is what the Bible calls “the flesh” (See Philippians 3:3-10).

I’m not talking about our physical bodies here, but “a flawed way of living in this world, independently of God and His power.”

In short, when we are walking by the flesh, we are walking in self-sufficiency instead of Christ-dependency (See Galatians 5).

There are many different flavors of flesh. Angry, hateful, greedy, anxious, guilty, lazy, selfish, suspicious, fearful, insecure, unforgiving, prideful, impulsive, jealous, lustful—just to name a few.

The flavor of flesh I want to shine the spotlight on in today’s post is judgmental flesh.

When we pass judgment on other people, we aren’t living from the internal wellspring of His life in new hearts (John 7:38).

I want to clarify that the type of judgment I’m referring to in this post is a “negative focus on the visible flaws in others’ outward appearances and behaviors.”

When we judge others, we are eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, deciding whether they are good (right) or bad (wrong) based on their outward appearances and actions (Gen. 2:9, 17).

To put it simply, we are evaluating them according to the flesh (2 Cor. 5:16–17).

When we judge another person, what we are really doing is math—subtracting from their worth to add to ours (because we don’t know where our true worth comes from):

Every one of our judgments prevents us from agreeing with God that each person we encounter has unsurpassable worth, as evidenced by the fact that Jesus died for them. Instead of ascribing worth to others, at cost to ourselves, we tend to feed our hungry souls by ascribing worth to ourselves, at cost to others. What we see when we judge another are the things we judge rather than a human being whom God was willing to die for. Our judgment prevents us from seeing their unsurpassable worth. (Taken from Present Perfect by Gregory A. Boyd. Copyright © 2010 by Gregory A. Boyd. Used by permission of Zondervan. zondervan.com. 122.)

What we see when we judge another person are externals, rather than an internal heart with unsurpassable worth.

Jesus gave every one of us unsurpassable worth by dying on the cross for us. Unsurpassable worth means “a worth that cannot be exceeded in value.”

We will never be worth more than we are at this moment. Take a minute to think about that statement.

Here’s something else to chew on: Do you realize that it is impossible to judge someone and love that person at the same time?

Judgment and love are mutually exclusive. Simply put, if we are judging, we are not loving.

We would also do well to remember that judging ourselves on the basis of outward appearance and actions is just as wrong as judging another person.

When we find ourselves steeped in judging others and ourselves, it is an obvious symptom of a root problem—our lack of knowledge of the unsurpassable worth Christ has already given each one of us.

When we focus on Christ (eat from the tree of life), acknowledging and enjoying the unsurpassable worth He has given us—regardless of our outward appearances and actions—our hungry souls will be satisfied, and we will have little appetite for judging others.

Do you find yourself more often judging, rather than loving others and yourself?

If your answer is yes, please understand that trying hard not to judge will only exacerbate the problem because of your negative focus.

The way to get free from the snare of judgment is to immerse yourself in the unconditional love of Jesus and to understand the unsurpassable worth He has already given you by dying for you.

Ask Jesus to cause you to understand the unsurpassable worth He has given to you and to experience the unconditional love He has for you.

As He does this, judgment toward yourself and others will greatly diminish.

Now that is Good News!

(Today’s post is derived from an excerpt in my debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. You can order it from Amazon today!)

Until next time,

Live Christ—Live Happy

P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, please visit my About Page.

Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis
INSTAGRAM: @KimKFrancis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Pursuing Love     Speaking     Contact