Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
by Merlin Carothers
How we thank God for all of this! It is He who makes us victorious through Jesus Christ our Lord! (I Cor. 15:57)..
Who are these victorious people and what are they victorious over?
In I Corinthians 15 Paul reminds us of something we should never, ever, forget. He says we are victorious over sin – not by our own goodness – but by Christ’s goodness! Now, that is good news. Jesus demonstrated His power to do anything by His resurrection from the dead. And He offers to share His victory over death with everyone who believes Him.
In verses 36-37 Paul compares our death to a seed which reaches its highest potential only when it dies. Death causes us (and our Christian loved ones) to be “resurrected” into a glorious new body. Just as Jesus was victorious over death, so are we! Because of Jesus’ victory, God makes death work for our good!
If we refuse to believe that Jesus is our Savior, we remain guilty of all our sins, and death will destroy us. But, what glorious victories we can have as free gifts if we believe Him. Remember – victory over our two greatest enemies, sin and death, comes by our faith in what Jesus has accomplished for us.
How does all of this affect what you and I do today? Today is our opportunity to believe that through Jesus we are victorious over the power of this world and everything in it! But His victory comes only to those who believe Him.
Paul believed. He claimed victory over everything that happened to him and he believed that God was using it for his good (see Rom. 8:28).
If you have been confident enough to believe that Christ has made you victorious over sin and death, why not believe He gives you victory over anything else that is troubling you? Christ’s victory over everything in this world is ours if we believe Him. Jesus believed that death could not defeat Him and He wants us to believe that nothing can defeat us. But if we are troubled, or live with fear and doubt, His victory doesn’t accomplish His purpose in us.
Believing God is not easy so we must practice believing! Remember learning to ride a bicycle? At first it may have seemed impossible. But then we practiced and practiced until we learned that we could do it. We can practice believing God until we eventually do believe Him.
One of God’s illustrations of a person who learned to believe Him is Abraham: Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness (Rom. 4:3). He died before some of God’s promises were fulfilled, but he died believing. You and I have opportunities every day to practice that same righteousness! Believing God is the victory that overcomes our trials! Every day there are dozens of opportunities to practice believing that we are victorious over worry, anxiety or fear.
If we see no hope for a solution to a difficult problem then that is the perfect time for us to practice believing that Jesus will give us the victory.
Believing God today, will bring us great joy in all our tomorrows. (Reprint from November, 2007)
by Mary Carothers
In all of God’s dealings with mankind, He has attempted to teach us spiritual principles. We on the other hand keep asking for cut and dried rules to follow. For example Peter’s question, Lord how many times should I forgive my brother? Seven times? (Matt. 18:21). This seemed reasonable to me. But Jesus’ answer on the other hand was not reasonable. Seventy times seven is just ridiculous.
Did Jesus really mean for Peter to forgive his brother so many times? No of course not. What Jesus was trying to teach Peter (and us) was to have a heart that was in right relationship to Him, so that forgiving would be a natural response. Rather than trying to keep the letter of the law and keeping track of how many times we have to forgive our brother let’s keep the spirit of the law. This of course requires more effort. We learn that when we determine to forgive someone Satan loves to remind us of the terrible thing done to us. We naturally have emotional feelings about it and suddenly feel as though we have not truly forgiven the person. However, forgiveness has little to do with feelings. It is entirely a determination we chose to make.
Sometimes we feel that we should forgive only those who come to us and ask for our forgiveness. But what was the example Jesus set for us? On the cross He prayed, Father forgive them (Luke 23:31).Were they repentant? Not at all, yet He forgave them, and continues to forgive us.
How often do we wrong one another – completely unaware we are doing so? We are in need of continual forgiveness from others, so let’s be in an attitude of forgiveness toward each other. This was the spiritual principle Jesus was trying to teach Peter.
The law said to love our neighbors (that is our friends). But Jesus said to love our enemies. He went even further, Pray for them and bless them (Matt. 5:44). Doesn’t Jesus know I would much rather clobber my enemies than try to bless them? Lord, why should I pray for you to bless them when they are trying to hurt me? It doesn’t seem fair. And Jesus replies, “I’m concerned with your attitude of heart Mary. Make sure you are in right relationship with me, and let me take care of them”. Now, I ask you, have you ever been able to stay angry with someone when you sincerely and earnestly prayed for them? Most likely if you are like me you begin to see them through God’s eyes of love. Then the next step, forgiveness, is so easy.
Let’s seek the Spirit of the Word when we read our Bibles. Remember, the letter kills but the Spirit gives life (II Cor. 3:6).
In Loving Remembrance of Merlin
It’s still very hard to believe that four years ago on Veteran’s Day, November 11th we lost
our beloved dad, loving husband, minister and friend. Every day when we enter the Foundation
of Praise we can still see his smiling face and hear his joyful, “Praise the Lord!” Our joy
comes in knowing that he is resting in the lovi ng arms of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Thank you to those who have continued to pray for us and support the Foundation of Praise.
We will continue to carry on Merlin’s message for as long as the Lord allows us. God bless you!
Merlin’s books have touched so many lives. If it weren’t for Prison to Praise I don’t think I’d be alive today. Joyce, OH
Merlin is missed but I know his ministry is still greatly needed in these times in which we live. Kathy, SC
It is only normal to miss a loved one but I know that Merlin is joyously walking and leaping around Heaven. I am happy to see that you are continuing the ministry that he started so many years ago. I know God will bless it. Dorothy, VA
I never had the pleasure of meeting Merlin but was very inspired by his books. We miss you Merlin but your works endure! Edward, IN
I thank and praise the Lord that Merlin’s ministry is carrying on because it is so needed. Power in Praise was a major milestone in my walk and life in Christ! Judy, FL
Because of Merlin’s teachings to thank the Lord for all things, I have learned to hear God’s still, small voice which has kept me protected. Denise, MA
I never met Merlin but wish that he could have been my Chaplain while I was in the Army. Someday I look forward to meeting him in Heaven. Don, TN
Merlin was an awesome man! God has certainly used him and his books in marvelous ways. He impacted my life and thousands, if not millions, of others too. Donna, NM
We give thanks to the Lord for Merlin, his ministry and Prison to Praise. That book led my wife and I to a loving relationship with Jesus. Don, MO
Garza West Unit, Beeville, TX
Parish Prison, Baton Rouge, LA
Metro Jail, Salt Lake City, UT
Correctional Center, Moberly, MO
State Hospital, San Antonio, TX
Correctional Institute, Lowell, FL
Correctional Complex, Monroe, WA
East Mesa Facility, San Diego, CA
Worldwide Prison Ministry, Mayo, FL
Bowie County Jail, Texarkana, TX
Jerome Detention Center, Kankakee, IL
Shelby County Corrections, Memphis, TN
Cliff Skeen CDCF for Women, Akron, OH
Baldwin State Prison, Milledgeville, GA
Armstrong County Jail, Kittanning, PA
Blue Ridge Regional Jail, Lynchburg, VA
Etowah County Detention Center, Gadsden, AL
Arrowhead Correctional Center, Canon City, CO
Robert N. Davoren Complex, East Elmhurst, NY
To place an order, please call Foundation of Praise at 1-800-772-4731, or 760-741-2755