Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
by Merlin Carothers
Jesus came to bring us Good News. His news was and is so good that people can often find it difficult to believe. His salvation message has to be received the way little children receive anything – by simply believing (see Mark 10:15). There are people around us who have no idea what God’s Good News is.
God came to earth – what an amazing statement. When here Jesus demonstrated His power to give eternal life by allowing Himself to be crucified and then coming back to life! God tells us in His Word to dedicate our lives to telling everyone this joyful message. Christ was the perfect Lamb of God. His death alone could take away the sin of the World. Even though we are never good enough to get to Heaven, Jesus provided the way for us.
God’s Good News is sometimes rejected as being too simple. Some people keep trying to earn their way to Heaven by being good enough. Their goal is impossible, yet they cling to the hope that their good works will somehow outweigh their bad ones. This is exactly opposite to the message God gives us in the New Testament.
You and I have the same mission that is given to all the followers of Jesus (see Matt. 28:18-20). God wants each of us to share the Gospel with others. He doesn’t ask all of us to be missionaries, pastors or teachers, but He does ask us to share the Good News with others.
I urge you to believe this Good News so completely that you will want to tell others. Your most important Christmas gift this year is to share with others that Jesus came to bring us salvation (see John 3:16).
(Reprint from December, 2003)
by Mary Carothers
When God the Father gave His Son to us, it was the very first Christmas present. He knew that Jesus would not return to Him quite the same ever again. Before His incarnation, God the Son was wholly God, equal with The Father. After He had finished His payment for our sins on Calvary and was resurrected, He returned to The Father in Heaven. But now, He is forever both God and man (see I Timothy 2:5).
Think with me for a minute about that first Christmas. The stable where Jesus was born was a dirty, smelly place – unsanitary. What a picture of our sinful hearts! And how repulsive to a pure God! Isaiah 64:6 tells us that our efforts at righteousness are like filthy rags to a holy God. Yet, so great is our Father’s love and mercy toward us that He gave His Son to redeem mankind from our bondage to sin.
During Jesus’ three-year ministry, the Pharisees hated Him because the light of His truth shone upon their pride-filled hearts. They did not want His truth. They wanted to clothe themselves in their supposed righteousness because they felt comfortable in their religion of do’s and don’ts. But Jesus’ words stripped away their cloaks of self-righteousness, and revealed the wickedness of their hearts.
There are many today that hate the name of Jesus. His words, His righteousness shine the light of truth upon their hearts. And like the Pharisees so long ago, they don’t want their sinful nature revealed. We also are uncomfortable when the Holy Spirit shines His light of conviction into our hearts. But for those of us who claim Christ as our Savior, we must submit to His correction when the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. If Jesus is my Savior, I must be willing to acknowledge that I once was lost in my sins. But now because of what Jesus has done I am found in Him.
If Jesus is the Way, I must follow Him – His way (see John 14:6).
If Jesus is the Truth, I must believe Him when He says, No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6).
If Jesus is the Life, I must live in relationship with Him (see Galatians 2:20).
If Jesus is the Light of the world, I must walk in His light (see John 8:12).
If Jesus is my King, I must allow Him to reign in my heart and in my life (see Romans 5:17).
This Christmas let’s think about the Light of God’s Truth when we enjoy the colorful Christmas lights. And let’s give Him our heart, our life, everything we have and are. Here is something to think about that challenges each of us: It’s not always what we give Jesus that indicates our love for Him, but rather what we withhold from Him that truly reveals how much (or how little) we love Him.
Merry Christmas to each of you!
Many thanks to all of you who sent Mary
cards and best wishes for her Birthday.
They were very encouraging.
JUST A REMINDER
Year-end contributions to the Foundation of
Praise, per the IRS, must be mailed and
postmarked by December 31, 2017
to receive credit as a 2017 tax-deductible gift.
Recently I went to the hospital and your Bible on Praise went with me. It was all that kept me going. Loretta, IN
Thank you that this ministry is still going strong and for your encouraging words. God loves you, your family, the staff and all the partners. Irma, CA
Thank you for the work you do to bring the Good News of praise to us. The Praise News is a welcome piece of mail among all of the unsolicited stuff. Liz, AR
I’m always so grateful for Praise News – it’s just what I need to hear! Thank you for all you do. Anne, IA
I’ve read and re-read all of Merlin’s books since the 1970’s and they have helped me tremendously. God bless you all. Ruth, IL
Thank you so much for sending Praise News. It is
always fascinating. I am telling all my friends to
praise our Lord Jesus Christ in all circumstances –
the good, the bad and the ugly! Bea, CA
Thank you for the Praise books. They are a welcome
addition to our Bowie County Chapel library and will
provide the inmates with some much appreciated
spiritual guidance. Chaplain, TX
On behalf of the inmates I want to thank you for the
books you sent to Blue Ridge. Only glory will reveal
the lives that are touched by your ministry to the
often forgotten of society. As the inmates read these
books, I pray He does a supernatural healing in these
broken lives. May your ministry continue to bless and
help many more people. Chaplain, VA
Long ago on a starry night there was born a tiny Child who was the greatest, most loving gift that God
ever bestowed upon the World. The anniversary of Jesus’ birth helps remind us to be thankful for all the
blessings we have. One of the greatest of these is YOU! Thank you for being our friend. May we always
hold dear to our hearts the true meaning of this special time of year. We pray that you will draw deeper
into a relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ every day! Have a blessed Christmas Season.
Mary and Foundation of Praise staff, Joann, Janie, and Sally
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These offers expire on December 31, 2017.