Welcome to INTO THE LIGHT Journal!

This journal is NOT about me but about the GREAT Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ and ALL that He has done for me—who saved and changed (inside-out) a great sinner like me. I don't claim that I know everything about life. But one thing I am certain, that apart from the love and mercies of Christ—I AM NOTHING. "... God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(Galatians 6:14). I’m attesting the words of Charles Spurgeon: "My hope lives not because I am not a sinner but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; I don’t trust that I am holy but that, being unholy, He is my righteousness. I don't have to be rich, but I must be pure. My faith doesn’t rest upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ IS and what He has done for me. The love of Jesus is the source of salvation. He loves, He looks, He touches us, and we live!"

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 10:36)

Serving in Christ's throne of grace,

Erlinda Mejia-Olsonღღღ

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ITLJournal in True Woman 201: Interior Design

Element One: Building Your Life on Sound Doctrine – Discernment
Element Two: Reverent in Behavior – Honor
Element Three: A Heart for Home – Affection
Element Four: A Self-Controlled Life – Discipline
Element Five: The Beauty of a Pure Life – Virtue
Element Six: Working at Home - Responsibility
Element Seven: The Power of Kindness – Benevolence
Element Eight: What Does It Mean To Be Amenable? – Disposition


1 Peter 1:15-16 ~ "but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy."

Molding Young Minds Into Godliness

By: Erlinda Mejia-Olson

PROVERBS 22:6 (NKJV) ~ “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Can children understand the Gospel and not know the exact meaning of eternal life or the word saved? In Matthew 18:3, the Lord Jesus said, ““…“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.””  Therefore, the answer is yes.

The Gospel is the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins, He was buried and rose again on the third day.  Children find it difficult to decipher the meaning of particular words. At times, by pointing to their heart, children meant to express a certain word, phrases or gestures such as, “Jesus loves me”, “Amen”, or by holding their hands in prayer.  As adults, we cannot expect a child to use all the lingo or grammar we use to explain salvation. That is why, it is very important that we are always prepared to be able to explain and help them understand specific terms in the Bible.  However, I have seen some people who expect a child to know every doctrine in the Bible, I mean literally, have the child memorized the Bible, before they can be allowed to know Christ as their Savior. This may not necessarily mean, that it is wrong to teach children to memorize Scriptures, I believe it is a good thing.  “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) —I see, that the most effective way to remember a particular verse other than by just simply memorizing it, is by meditating on it, asking God’s Holy Spirit for discernment, allowing God to speak to you through that particular Scripture. Obviously, we cannot expect a child to meditate by himself or herself, so we need to involve them in our meditation. Set aside a time for them in our daily devotions, or start a family Bible study at home. The Bible says in Romans 10:13, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  If God expected us to understand every word in the Bible then none of us would be saved.

As adults, we may easily understand the meaning of multiple words in the Bible and may also expect a child to automatically comprehend them the way we do.  Normally, children think through visualization.  In numerous instances, when leading a child to Christ, it is wise to use an object or imagery to explain a word. The word saved may not make a lot of sense to a child, but exemplifying it through the use of an imagery may help them understand a very important Bible terminology. They may not exactly understand the meaning of eternal life, but using an imagery may help them understand that we are saved forever.

There are children, as young as the age of five, that the Holy Spirit of God is convicting about salvation, and as adults, we need to make sure that we are not standing in the way of a child knowing Jesus as his or her Savior.  Not only that we need to make sure we are not expecting them to know the exact word, but we also need to make sure they are ready to be saved.  As parents or Bible teachers, never give a child a false hope.  Be mindful that questions do stimulate and search the heart and mind.  Ask the child questions about what they have learned in school or at home through personal or family devotions and you might be amazed how a little child answers.  In lots of times, they give answers in ways that convict us.

God loves the little children. Therefore, dealing with them is not something that we should be afraid of, “...but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4).  During the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, in many instances, He referred to the faith of a child or used a child to picture out the kingdom.  Children can and will show great faith in the Lord. So, when those words that seem to be highfaluting for a child come along and a child looks at you like you are from a different planet, patiently take time to explain to them what the word means.  The Lord Jesus is ready to save every child that desires to put their faith in Him.  But see to it that we are not expecting those highfaluting words to block our way from molding our young minds into Godliness before we allow them to trust Christ as their Savior.  I hope that you have entrusted God to be your partner in molding your children into Godliness and obedience.

I am very thankful that God made His plan of salvation simple for us to comprehend.  My heart beat is that:  I hope you do as well.

Rekindle Your Marriage With God

By: Erlinda Mejia-Olson

Scripture Reference: Genesis Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3.

As the song goes, 
…Many, many years ago God wrote the first love story,
When He made a perfect woman, for a perfect man.
And ever since that day He's been working in His wondrous way,
To write new love stories like no other can…
Romantic love originated from God. He wrote the first love story. And the Genesis account of Chapter 2 depicts the romantic nature of our Loving Creator. It is one of His amazing creations. And every poet, writer, and storyteller is only retelling a story already told.

Before the world committed the first sin, the first man's heart longed for the romantic love of a bride (Genesis 2:18-20; Genesis 2:23). God saw that it was not good that man should be alone so He made him one of his kind (Genesis 2:21). And thus, God commanded them to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:26-28). While romantic love is sweet, it is honestly normal for marriage to be challenging at times. If we think about it, almost everything in this life that has eternal value is difficult at one point or another.

While I was writing this journal, I said to my husband, imagine what marriage would have been like if not because of Adam and Eve’s disobedient to God’s command in the Garden of Eden (read the full Chapter of Genesis 3). God wouldn’t have put a curse. Mankind would have a perfect fellowship with God and with His creations. They would have perfectly enjoyed every moment together as husband and wife. They never would have blamed each other for their mistake (Genesis 3:12). Labor and giving birth for Eve wouldn’t have been severely painful (Genesis 3:16), and Adam wouldn’t have to toil the ground and work very hard in order to eat (Genesis 3:17-19). They never would have a son named, Cain, who committed the first murder, by killing his own brother, Abel, because of jealousy (Genesis 4:1-15). They never would have been mindful of their own self-vested motive. Utterance of unkind words would never have been spoken. They would have a perfect family who love and obeys God.

A picture perfect marriage a picture perfect romance in a picture perfect world.

But then, this romantic love—a special bond God created for His first married couple—would never again be perfect, when Eve gave in to Satan’s temptation and be deceived; and Adam willfully believed the lie. In that sudden moment, romantic love was suddenly and forever changed. The result of their sin has shackled their relationship with God, like an infectious disease – infiltrated the relationship between husband and wife, and eventually carried over unto their offspring. Since then, every husband and every wife has fought the same battle. Even in marriages that are loving, faithful, and happy, the sting of sin still plays a major role in hurting this special gift of marriage.

However, though earthly romance will always be imperfect, but God transforms us through His Son, Jesus Christ, with gospel hope and abounding grace, as we live life alongside our spouse. As we shove the joys and the struggles of the marriage relationship, here are heart attitudes learned, which have helped me and my husband, to cultivate a Godly marriage through the Word of God:

Repent and forgive immediately—With sin comes the need for repentance and forgiveness (Matthew 6:14). When we first sense the warm affinity to repent, we should go immediately to the one we have hurt. That is just the way marriage is. We have hope, believing that as we keep growing in Christ, we will sin less and love more. But even in the best marriages where there is an atmosphere of mutual love and respect, sin is still going to stern its head. The question is not, “Will there be sin?”, but in, “How will we respond when we have sinned or been sinned against?” Sometimes our nature is to remain angry, distant or cold just a little bit longer when we have been sinned against. Even when we are approached in sincere repentance, our fleshly instinct would seem to want to hold on to anger. Avoid doing this. A response of delayed repentance and forgiveness can often be more harmful than the initial sin. We should repent and forgive immediately and completely. Along with this, when we have been the one who has sinned against our spouse, don't procrastinate in asking for forgiveness. It takes a lot of courage and humility to even do that. Coldness is not the way to love someone.

Always give your spouse the benefit of the doubt—Keep an open mind and heart. Don't be too quick to judge (Matthew 7:1-5).  We have every reason to assume the best about our spouse, to assume the best about their intention and their heart, and yet our human tendency during conflict can be to assume the worst about. Don’t always assume the worst. In a healthy Christian marriage, the husband and wife genuinely desire for the good of each other. For instance, I know my husband loves me. And I know he would do anything for my good. And yet, there are times when we are in moments of conflict or disagreement that I fail to recognize who he is. And because God has blessed me with a patient husband, David sporadically reminds me that we are on the same side. A simple reminder and yet very helpful. Our spouse is for us. They desire what is best for us. We should hope for the best and give each other the benefit of the doubt.

Be levelheaded—Some of us have tender hearts. Sensitive hearts that get hurt so easy and easily get empathetic. I for one possess such attribute. And I have seen how God used this attribute in my own marriage to teach and humble me. However, there can be an aura of sweetness and compassion that flows out from a tender heart that can help us love our husband and our wife genuinely. But when you become exceedingly sensitive, when you get hurt so easily by things that never should have hurt you in the first place, you will become flustered, and eventually would have missed the point of trying to find out the real cause of the very thing you have been hurt about. If this is one of the areas that you are struggling, first, ask the LORD for wisdom and strength to help you learn to identify when you are being overly sensitive and when you can just laugh something off. As the famous saying goes: “like a water off a duck’s back!”, let go and let God.  With Christ’s help, I have learned to taper my sensitivity and use it to honor the LORD by being sensitive instead, to my husband’s needs and concerns. I have learned that it is more therapeutic to have actually smiled than be offended. Not taking everything to heart and learning to just let things go, is definitely comforting. After all, the LORD commanded me (as a wife) “to submit to my husband, as to the LORD” (Ephesians 5:22).

Pray for your spouse for Godly change and growth—Don't dwell on changing your spouse your way or the high way. Only God can change a person. Each of us has areas we need to change and grow; And every Christian husband and every Christian wife is a work in progress. Should we want change? Should we want growth? And in Godly perspective and ways, we should even desire for our spouse to change and grow in the likeness of Christ. In order for change and growth to take place, sin has to die; the old man has to be put off (Ephesians 4:21-24). Change and growth should begin inourselves first, not in our spouse.

Hold on to the Truth in God’s Word—Seek the God of the Bible who created marriage. He is the ULTIMATE marriage counselor any Christian husband and wife could ever have. And if you and your husband are both not saved in Christ, it is never too late to bring your life and marriage before the LORD. His Word is a lamp to our feet; a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). Therefore, don’t feel discourage. Even the best marriages go through seasons that are not always cheesy, where the road seems full of grooves, furrows, and troughs, where it requires sincere and genuine effort to love one another. This is an important truth for newly married couples to know ahead of time, so not to feel discourage when they enter the worst season of marriage. Just as there is sunshine and rain to life, so there is in marriage as well. But regardless of the season, our marriage is facing, Christ taught us  to love unconditionally, as He loved us unconditionally when He died for our sins (Romans 5:8). When I asked my husband, “What lesson in life did you learn when the LORD took us to the pilgrim’s road, to journey with Him, for seven years?, David simply answered, The LORD was with us all those years, and He is still with us now.” It is when we have the vantage point of looking back at the tough times that we see how our faith was refined and how our love for our spouse is stronger, deeper, and safer than we ever imagined possible. More so importantly, it brought us closer to our Heavenly Father through Christ. As Christians, we believe the hopeful truth that the gospel is transforming our marriage according to His divine purpose (Romans 8:28). God is at work in us. In the sweet seasons, we rejoice, in the most trying times, we have hope (Isaiah 41:10).  My husband and I are very thankful to God for our marriage and for all that He has done and will be doing in us and through us. To Him be all the glory in Christ!
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

How Do You Know You Are Going To Heaven?

By God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation: What Does It Mean To Be Saved (Born Again)?

"And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment," (Hebrews 9:27).

Dear Friend,

God is asking you the most important question of life. Your joy or your sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. The question is: Are you saved? It is not a question of how good you are, nor if you are a church member, but are you saved? Are you sure you will go to Heaven when you die? God says in order to go to Heaven, you must be born again. In John 3:7, Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again." In the Bible God gives us the plan of how to be born again—which means to be saved. His plan is simple! You can be saved today.

How?

First, you must realize you are a sinner. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death. "For the wages (payment) of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). This includes eternal separation from God in Hell ...."it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement" (Hebrews 9:27). But God loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin and die in your place. "...He hath made Him (Jesus, Who knew no sin) to be sin for us ... that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to shed His blood and die. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:11). "...without shedding of blood there is no remission(forgiveness)" (Hebrews 9:22). "...But commandeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Although, we cannot understand how, God said my sins and your sins were laid upon Jesus and He died in our place. He became our substitute. It is true. God cannot lie. "God ... now commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). This repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross.In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: "...'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' And they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...'" Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior. "But many as received Him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12). "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). Whosoever includes you. Shall be saved means not maybe, nor can, but shall be saved.Surely, you realize you are a sinner. Right now, wherever you are, repenting, lift your heart to God in prayer. In Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed: "God be merciful to me a sinner." Just take God at His Word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church. no lodge, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it.

Just Pray:

Oh, Father in Heaven, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe that His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I believe that apart from Your Son's finished works on the Cross, there is no other way I can go to Heaven except through Him and in Him alone. I now receive Him as my Lord and Personal Savior. I thank You for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of Your merciful grace. Amen."

God simple plan of salvation is: You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and His gift of eternal salvation by faith. You say, "Surely, it cannot be that simple." Yes, that simple! It is Scriptural. It is God's plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as Savior today. If His plan is not perfectly clear, I'm encouraging you to read this journal over and over again, until you understand it. Your soul is worth more than all the world. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36). Be sure you are saved. If you lose your soul, you miss Heaven and lose all. Let God save you this very moment. God's power will save you, keep you saved, and enable you to live a victorious Christian Life. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).Do not trust your feelings. They change. Stand on God's promises. They never change. After you are saved—there are three things to practice daily for spiritual growth: Pray—you talk to God. Read your Bible—God talks to you. Witness—you talk for God. After you are saved—you should be baptized (by water immersion, a symbolic picture of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection) in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible-believing church without delay. "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord..." (2 Timothy 1:8) ..."Whosoever therefore shall confess (testify of) Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in Heaven" (Matthew 10:32).