Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
by Mary Carothers
Someone asked me recently about why there is a Holy Spirit. She understood that we have a heavenly Father, and that Jesus is our Savior, but had never heard a sermon or read anything about a Holy Spirit.
One of the primary purposes for the Holy Spirit is to convict us of sin. He does this to help us realize how very sinful we are, and our need for a Savior. If we don’t understand how awesomely holy God is, we might think we should go to heaven when we die, because, well, we haven’t been too bad. We certainly haven’t been as bad as “so and so”. If they can get to heaven, then for sure the rest of us should!
But it doesn’t work that way. God the Father chose a completely different pathway for us to follow in order to live with Him forever. The way God has chosen will give Jesus all the glory. Nobody will ever be able to brag about being good enough to impress the Lord. All our so-called “goodness” is filthy to Him anyway. That’s because of how unbelievably pure God is.
God is pure but we are sinful. David understood this and he wrote in Psalm 51, Surely, I was sinful from the from the time my mother conceived me. Yes, David was a sinner, and so are we. The Holy Spirit helps us to understand this and recognize our need for a Savior.
It's kind of like being overdrawn on our checking account at the bank. Not only that, we are so badly in debt we will never be free from our indebtedness. Then, along comes someone who says, “I’ll pay all that they owe”. And then they also say, “I’ll pay any money they owe in the future”. We would be overjoyed if someone would do that for us.
In reality this is what Jesus has accomplished for us. The Holy Spirit helps us to understand all that Christ has done for us, not just in this life, but for all eternity.
Then, the Holy Spirit has a job to do for us that is not so much fun. He continues to convict us of bad attitudes. He wants us to grow up in Christ (see Ephesians 4:15). Even though we don’t like to be reminded how far short we are from all that the Lord wants us to be, the Holy Spirit’s ministry will help us to mature.
Some of the Holy Spirit’s other roles in our lives are: Our Comforter, Teacher, Intercessor, Standby and of course the Spirit of Truth. As children of God how very blessed we are to have the Father, the Son and also the Holy Spirit to help us along the way.
Getting the Help We Need
When we give money to help other people, we may feel that we are doing this to please God. Yes, we may please Him, but why do we give? Of course, the Lord wants us to help others, but there is another reason why we give that we should understand.
It is our human nature to want God, as well as people, to see us in a favorable way. But there is yet another reason for us to do our best to help people. God says it this way:
If you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give – large or small – will be used to measure what is given back to you (Luke 6:38 TLB).
Giving in order to get more for ourselves may seem to be selfish, but God knows us better than we know ourselves, so He gives us the above verse to help us along our way.
Why would God promise that we will receive more than we give? Here is an illustration that might help us understand. If we go to a store and give the salesperson our money, we want to receive something from the store in exchange. The system we live under says we don’t get what we want from a store until we first pay them money. So, we need to understand the “system” that God has built into His children. We give to others and then He gives to us whatever He knows will be the very best blessing to us.
Recently I saw two elderly ladies in distress. They didn’t know how to get to where they wanted to go. I was in a hurry to get something “important” done, but I walked with them to a place where they could get the help they needed and waited until they were satisfied. They were very happy and pleased for the help I gave them. I needed to get to where I was going, but as I left the ladies I had a warm feeling coming from somewhere within me that made me so happy that all I wanted to do was to thank God for His goodness to me. When I paused and asked God to help me understand what had just happened, the Holy Spirit explained that I had given to someone else what they needed, and God was now giving me what I needed! I guess I needed this beautiful feeling of joy, so I could write this message to you.
I read the above scripture in Luke again, and then understood more clearly. God rewards us in unexpected ways if we try our best to help others. We often want to be rewarded with temporary things that will mean nothing to us in eternity. However, He knows what eternity will be like and designs events in our lives to help us reach our best destiny in eternity.
We usually do not know where we are in our journey between birth and death. Often, we do not know what direction we should go. So, when God does give us clear directions, we have reason to rejoice! I believe that God gives us many opportunities to meet the needs of others, so that He can provide the help that we need. How sad that we may be in too much of a hurry or feel incapable of helping those who are “lost”.
There are so many people that need our help. They often need that help when we feel most unable or unwilling to give them what they need. But when we do our best to help them God will reward us by giving us the help that we need.. (Reprint from October 2007)
Thanks and Praise from Prison
Prison to Praise has been a blessing to me and I want to be a better Christian after reading it here in the county jail. Jeanne, IA
Prison to Praise is the best book, after the Bible, that I have ever read. It’s very spiritual and heart-felt, and I shed many a tear while reading it. I hope his books touch others the way it touched me here in the Correctional Center. Robert, WV
I very much enjoyed Prison to Praise. It has touched my heart and soul and has made my faith even stronger. I’m reading it in prison and I honestly could barely put it down. God bless you. Shane, MT
Prison to Praise opened my eyes to the power of praise that has had a major impact on my life. I’m walking around prison praising God every day, all the time. I am learning that God inhabits the praises of His people. Jeff, NC
I read Prison to Praise in the county jail while awaiting trial. I now realize my life has a higher purpose and that everything that has happened to me was to wake me up from my sinful life. I’m sober and clear minded now and I ask for your prayers. Paul, MA
I really enjoyed Prison to Praise. I’ve been locked up since June and I have now turned my life over to God. Your book and the Bible have helped me learn that I can praise Him for not only the good times but the bad as well. James, CA
God put your book Prison to Praise, in my hands to read at the correct time. I am in jail and went to Sunday service where I saw your book. Needing something to take my mind in a different direction, I read it. I was moved to tears and felt my faith refreshed. Kevin, CA
Thank you for sending the Praise books to our county jail. I read Prison to Praise and thought it was inspiring. I know our inmates will enjoy it too. It just might change a life! Mary, WI
We received the praise books for distribution to our residents. I would like to express my gratitude for your generous gift to the ladies. The books are in our Christian book library and are being given to anyone who wants one. Chaplain, DE
Your faithful support has
enabled us to send free praise
books to the following facilities:
Ward County Jail, Minot, ND
Woman’s Prison, Billings, MT
Detention Facility, Clayton, NM
County Sheriff’s Office, Fresno, CA
Pre-Trial Complex, Baltimore, MD
Big Horn County Jail, Basin, WY
Cameron Parish Jail, Cameron, LA
Pettis County Jail, Sedalia, MO
Fourth Avenue Jail, Phoenix, AZ
Medical Facility, Vacaville, CA
Marion County Jail, Indianapolis, IN
Monroe County Jail, Forsyth, GA
Correctional Institute, Redgranite, WI
Middlesex Corrections, North Billerica, MA
Atlantic County Jail, May’s Landing, NJ
Mail Jail Broward Sheriff, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Dan River Prison Work Farm, Blanch, NC
Lane County Adult Corrections, Eugene, OR
Marion County Detention Center, Lebanon, KY
Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Vancouver, WA
Merrimack County Corrections, Boscawen, NH
Broad River Correctional Institute, Columbia, SC
Department of Corrections, Boyd Unit, Teague, TX
Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, Hartsville, TN
Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center, Bethel, AK
Bexar County Detention Center, San Antonio, TX
Baylor Women’s Correctional Center, New Castle, DE
Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Cleveland, OH
Northwestern Regional Detention Center, Winchester, VA