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(and NOT what I have done)—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!" Christ said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."(John 15:5).

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 Olson, RN ღღღ

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Breaking Down The Wall Through Forgiveness

By: Erlinda Mejia Olson

What comes into your mind when you think of the word, “Forgiveness”?  When you are confronted with a question today if you have forgiven someone—I mean completely forgiven.

I know that forgiveness does not come easy for most of us. Our natural impulse is to shrink-back in self-defense when we are hurt. It is not innate in us to openly spill-over with grace, mercy, and forgiveness when we have been ill-treated. But as a Christian, I believe it is necessary to do so, to exercise Biblical forgiveness in order for real healing, peace, and freedom to take place.

And I can say, that even in my own personal journey, I find it very difficult to go on in life if I have not forgiven.

President Abraham Lincoln once said: "I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends." In Matthew 5:43-45, the Lord has instructed us to love our enemies, "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

It may sound difficult to love someone who hates you. But, it is more difficult to hate someone when you are doing something good for them.

Perhaps, you are still in the process of penning down your New Year’s Resolution. Allow me to share with you these insights that helped me exercise Biblical forgiveness. I hope you will make,  forgiveness,  as part of your Resolution not only for this year ahead but all the days of your life.

Is forgiveness a command, a choice, or an emotional state?

Forgiveness is a command not a choice, driven by obedience to God and His command to forgive. It is not based on a mere-emotional feeling—that comes and goes.

It is very clear, the Bible instructs us to forgive as the Lord forgave us:
"bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do." (Colossians 3:13)
How is forgiveness possible when we don't feel like it? 

We forgive by faith as an act of our obedience to God. Since forgiveness goes against our nature, we must forgive by faith—whether we feel like it or not. We must trust the Holy Spirit of God to do the work in us so that forgiveness will be absolute.

I believe God honors our steadfastness to obey Him and our desire to please Him when we choose to forgive. He completes the work in His time. Our task is to keep on forgiving by faith until the work of forgiveness is completed in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in every heart of a Saved Christian.
"being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;" (Philippians 1:6)
How do we know if we have truly forgiven?

I have read about the story of Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian woman who survived a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, said, "Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you." Apart from exercising Biblical forgiveness, she would never be able to experience true liberation from being imprisoned by her own predicaments. She chose to forgive and that set her free.

We will know the work of forgiveness is complete when we experience the freedom, healing, and peace that comes as a result. We suffer the most when we choose not to forgive. When we do forgive, the LORD sets our hearts free from the bitterness, anger, resentment, and hurt that previously held us captive.

We need to bear in mind, that forgiveness takes time, and so for the results to come.
"Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21-22)
The LORD Jesus makes it clear that forgiveness is not easy for us. Forgiveness may require a lifetime of forgiving, but it is important to the LORD. We must never cease to forgive until the matter is settled in our heart.

What if the person we need to forgive is not a Saved Christian?

I have found that prayer is one of the best ways to break down the wall of unforgiveness in my heart. When I begin to pray for the person who has wronged me, God gives me new eyes to see and a new heart to care for that person. As I pray, I start to see that person as God sees them, and I realize that he or she is precious to the LORD. I also see myself in a new light, just as guilty of sin and failure as the other person. I too am in need of forgiveness. If God did not withhold His forgiveness towards me, why should I withhold my forgiveness towards another? "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Is it okay to feel anger and want justice for the person we need to forgive?

This question presents another reason to pray for the person we need to forgive. We can pray for God to deal with the injustices, for God to judge the person's life, and then we can leave that prayer at the altar. We no longer have to carry the anger. Although it is normal for us to feel anger toward sin and injustice, it is not our task to judge the other person in their sin.
"Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord." (Romans 12:19)
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21)
"Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." (Luke 6:37)
Why do we need to forgive?

We need to forgive because the LORD Jesus commanded us to forgive. We learn from Scripture, if we don't forgive, neither will we be forgiven:
"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:14-15)
We also forgive so that our prayers will not be hampered:
"And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses." (Mark 11:25)
In conclusion, we practice forgiveness out of obedience to the LORD. It is a command, not a choice, an important task we need to do. As we forgive, we discover the command is in place for our own good, and we reap the reward of our forgiveness—freedom, peace, healing, and blessings from God. As the Lord Jesus said, "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)


All glory and honor to Christ, my Lord and my Saviour!

Have You Been Born Again?

By: J.C. Ryle, revised by INTO THE LIGHT Journal

A Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus once visited Jesus. Like many people, Nicodemus expected that his good life would earn him a home in Heaven when he died. Imagine how he felt when Jesus said to him, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3)

Jesus explained to Nicodemus that the new birth is a spiritual change that can only be brought about by God alone:  “I, even I, am the Lord, And besides Me there is no savior." (Isaiah 43:11). The moment the lost sinner repents of his sins and trusts Jesus as the only one who can save him from the eternal judgment of his sins, he is born again. God gives him a spiritual nature through which he can understand and enjoy the things of God: that person is spiritually born into God’s family! What Jesus told Nicodemus 2,000 years ago is just as true today. We may try to live a good life, go to church, or engage in other commendable activities, but we still must be “born again” in order to be a member of God’s family.

Have you been born again? This is life’s most important question, because your answer will affect all your eternity.

How can you know that you have been born again? The Bible lists six characteristics of someone who has been “born again”.  These are not requirements in order to be born again, but life’s changes that show God is at work in your life. They are evidence that you have truly been born spiritually into a new, life-changing relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

1. Believing in Christ
1 John 5:1a ~ “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,” 

Someone who is born again believes that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. That He was sent by God the Father to pay the penalty for man’s sin by His death on the Cross. His resurrection from the dead on the third day is proof that He is able to forgive us and bring us into fellowship with the Father. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). A born again Christian does not merely know the facts about Jesus Christ, but he has entrusted his life to Him as Savior. The child of God does not depend on his church, his good deeds, or his pastor to bring him eternal life. The Bible says, “But as many as received Him (Jesus Christ), to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12)

2. Practicing Righteousness
1 John 2:29 ~ “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.”

For the person who is born again, Christ is not only a Savior but also an example. Believers are to keep God’s commandments (John 14:15; John 15:14), to please God. The true Christian lives to please his Heavenly Father and tries to avoid those things God hates.

3. Loving Other Christians
1 John 3:14 ~ “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.”

Like Jesus, the child of God loves even his enemies, but he has a special love for those who are fellow believers. They may be different from him in race, personality, and culture, but they are all members of the same family. “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,” (1 John 3:11).

4. Overcoming the World
1 John 5:4 ~ “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

Someone who is born again does not follow the world’s ever-changing standard of right and wrong.  He does not mind opposing the world’s ways, because he seeks God’s praise more than man’s and fears offending God more than offending man.

5. Not Habitual Sinning
1 John 3:9 ~ “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”

The true Christian does not habitually sin, because he wants to please God. Although he is far from perfect, he knows that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  If he does sin, he can confess it directly to God, for “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:19)

6. Keeping Oneself Pure
1 John 5:18 ~ “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself,”

A person who is born again tries not only to avoid sin, but also to avoid anything that may lead to it. He is like a soldier in enemy territory continually on guard. He knows he can’t keep temptation from coming, but by knowing God’s Word and through prayer he can resist it.

The Test
These are six characteristics of a “born again” Christian. Each of these traits may not be equally obvious in your life. But if you are born again, God is developing these traits in you. Are you born again?

If you have never been born again or you are not sure, you can be sure right now. Pray right now, asking God to forgive your sins, turn from sinning, and believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior.  For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
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Reference: J.C. Ryle, "Have You Been Born Again?" Bible tract, Good News Publishers;
Bible references: NKJV, ESV, KJV

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."

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).