Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
If you consider yourself successful and superior to most people, you probably do not need to read this article. It is dedicated to those who have a different kind of problem
Everyone has both good and bad qualities, but are you worse than most? It all depends on your point of view. And your point of view depends upon the information you are receiving. If everyone you talk with tells you how bad you are, you might soon think of yourself as a bad person. But what if you speak only with people who like you? Then you might feel better about yourself. Perhaps it all boils down to whose words you listen to and accept. Some folks have become so accustomed to listening to Satan’s lies that they have an extremely poor opinion of themselves.
We can turn our backs on Satan and become citizens of the kingdom of God. When we refuse to honor or serve Satan, he may try everything he can to make us miserable. He has a “radio program” that he broadcasts 24 hours a day called, “You Are No Good.” But we don't have to listen to it! We can listen to God's program instead which is “You Are Loved by God.” We are one of His new creations. We have a new heart. We are His!
The opinion you have of yourself depends on whose “voice” you have been listening to. God's voice tells us to be filled with joy and confidence in what He has done for us. He has written our names in His Book of Eternal Life. We are His beloved children. We should never think of ourselves as a nobody. Because of Jesus, we are someone important. Let’s thank God that we can have confidence in what Christ has done for us.
Too often Christians adopt a false modesty and continually profess to be worthless. If they are worthless, then God is failing! But God IS NOT failing! We are part of His wonderful plan to defeat evil. We should hold our heads high and listen to His heavenly broadcast that tells us about the great things He has done for us. Our eyes should sparkle with the inner knowledge that we may not look so great, but because of Jesus, we have new hearts and are God's treasure. Even though we have faults and failures, we are still God's instruments. He lives in us! That should make us stand tall, speak with authority, and live as though we are of great eternal value. Because we are!
When I ask people if they are going to Heaven, they often say, “I hope so.” That is like saying, “I hope God is powerful enough to do what He says He will do.” He says that He so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). We are not a people who might have eternal life. If we trust that Jesus took the punishment for all our sins on the cross then our destiny is secure. Therefore, it is very important that we declare to ourselves and to others that we have received His gift of eternal life. (Reprint from February, 2002)
by Mary Carothers
Jesus said, Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Only when we have lived through enough trials to be deeply weary and burdened with life can we really understand how wonderful this next part is. Because then Jesus promises: I will give you rest.
“But Mary how can I receive this rest? I don’t know how.” The key is found in the next verse where Jesus says: Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me. Picture in your mind two oxen walking along together pulling a wagon. This is not difficult for the oxen because they are yoked together. In my article here I’m using the two oxen to represent Jesus and us. Jesus wants to be the leader in our lives and as long as we let Him lead us, we are going to be okay.
The next thing Jesus tells us is: For I am gentle and humble in heart. Jesus is not a tyrant driving us to do His will. Rather He is gentle with us as a mother is gentle with a little child. We also will learn to be gentle as we stumble along gradually learning to walk in step with Jesus. Remember He desires to lead us.
Then Jesus says: And you will find rest for your souls. How wonderful to finally enter into the “rest” that Jesus has for us (see Psalm 62:1, Psalm 95:11, and Hebrews 4). No more striving. Even no stress as we learn to continually picture ourselves going along in life with Jesus beside us. He looks at us and says “Don’t worry, just follow my lead. I’ve walked this path before, I know the way. I will never leave you. Even when the path is difficult, I am here, closer than the breath you breathe. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. I will carry most of the load.”
Because God’s love for us is unconditional and everlasting, we can put all of our trust in Him. Remember, He died for you and He lives with the Father, interceding on our behalf (see Romans 8:34).
Let’s try to allow Jesus who is our Lord to truly become our leader. We will probably stumble and fall many times. But Jesus knows our hearts. When we are trying, and failing many times, He is so very patient with us. Jesus never criticizes us. He lovingly helps us up and smiles in encouragement at us. “Let’s try again, shall we?” Jesus is a wonderful Savior; let us begin today to make Him our Lord.
I just finished reading Prison to Praise. I know that Merlin is with the Lord but this book is still being used by God. His book has done so much for me in my ‘prayer time’ and in my spirit! Dolores, NY
Prison to Praise touched my soul 45 years ago and I have shared this blessing many times over by giving this book away. Pat, OH
I read Prison to Praise many, many years ago. I considered myself a Christian but was so taken by this book that I ordered copies to give away. I am still giving the book to people whom I meet. Many come back to thank me for giving them the book. I truly believe that Merlin did “exceptional work” in winning “souls to Christ”. I know he is enjoying Heaven and is united with his loved ones as well as many of those he helped to draw closer to Jesus. June, OH
Prison to Praise has been an inspiration to me and I give many copies away! Florence, TX
While in prison I picked up Prison to Praise. I could not stop reading it. I have to say it gave me great hope. I know that God wants me here to learn something and I’m praising the Lord for it. Please keep me in your prayers. I want to thank God for all of this. James, Regional Jail, WV
I’m sitting on my bunk in jail reading Prison to Praise. Wow, I’m blown away. This book came at the right time. I was just taken off of a suicide watch and now I’m inspired to praise God for all things. Stephen, County Jail, CA
Reading Prison to Praise woke me up. I was saved in 2004 but depression and addiction to drugs took over my life and I ended up in jail. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helped me so much. I am now reading my Bible again and dedicated my life to Christ. I hope to share your book and testimony with others here in jail with me.
Kimberly, Correctional Facility, CT
If your father were a billionaire, he could make business opportunities for you that now seem impossible. If he were a Hollywood film director or producer he could introduce you to most of the stars and even to a movie career. If he were the President of the United States, he could open many opportunities to you.
But your Heavenly Father has already given you the opportunity to open the doors of Heaven to ten people, one thousand or even one million people. If you say, Not me. I’m too old, or I don’t have the talent, you would be wrong. You could give one book to a man or woman whom God would empower to win multitudes to Christ. In Heaven you could see a record of what YOU had accomplished for Him!
Act on this possibility. At a very small cost you can get that copy of Prison to Praise that God could use to win that person to Christ. With many copies you can greatly increase the potential of what God will do through you. But act now before you get too busy or even forget!