May I please have the keys? –Declaring Independence

May I please have the keys?                     

                       –Declaring Independence

“May I please have the car keys?”

That question just might still be ringing in your head if you currently have or have had a teenager with a driver’s license.

When he walks out the door, car keys in hand, he experiences a new independence that was not his just a few years, months, or days ago. It’s a great feeling. Do you remember what it felt like yourself? (In my example, I’m using the male gender only because we have sons. All is the same with girls. I know that because I am one.)

That teen may try to hide the grin on his face but you can bet it’s there.

Independence! Ah, yes—master of his own destiny—in control—call his own shots! For the teenager clutching car keys, it’s a new freedom—kind of a personal declaration of independence.

With the possession of keys comes power and authority. In the case of car keys, one has power and authority over a vehicle and command over the direction in which it will go.

When we come to faith in Jesus and become His followers, He gives us keys. It’s at the point of our realization and proclamation of who He is, that He hands over to us the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus asked His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter spoke right up and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:15-16 NKJV).

Peter nailed it—right answer!

When reading this dialogue, one can sense Jesus’ pleasure in Peter’s response. I’ve always loved what Jesus said next:

“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 16:17 NKJV).

Did you catch that? The source of the revelation that Jesus is Lord, is God Himself.

Rest assured, the Spirit of God, helps us come to a revelation understanding of the deity of Jesus. This is why, when we pray for lost loved ones, we should ask that Holy Spirit to deal with them on a spiritual level, helping them come to their own aha moment.

When Peter gave Jesus the right answer, the Lord made a proclamation. It is upon this belief, and confidence in the identity of Jesus as the Christ, that He builds His church. Jesus said “… on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:18b-19 NKJV).

If you’re in prison, a key will unlock a door and set you free. Early in Jesus’ ministry, He declared He had come to set free those who were bound (Luke 4:18). Any of us who are in bondage to sin, oppression, addiction, anger, loneliness, guilt, fear—the list can go on and on—are given the keys of God’s Kingdom when we’re born-again. The Bible describes the Kingdom of God as righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

55 Free indeed

Keys also give a person authority over something. When I buy a house, I’m given the key to the house. At that point the house is mine and I’m free to live in it, decorate it, entertain guests in it and do things I may not feel comfortable doing elsewhere, like sing out loud.

When Jesus gives us the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, we have the capability to unlock a whole new dimension in our lives. We’re then qualified to be in His family and live in His Kingdom in Heaven.

We don’t have to wait until we get to Heaven to use the keys though, because with them, we have access to abundant life on earth. The choice is ours. We can do the things that help us access God’s abundance or we can deprive ourselves of the freedom Jesus bought on the cross, and continue in bondage and oppression.

If the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, let’s just do it! Let’s make full use of the keys our Lord has given us. If our friend has freely given us the keys to his beach-front house, why would we pay to stay in a hotel two blocks away from the beach?!

55 Freedom- photo by DominikLange

The best way to utilize all the wonderful doors we can open with the keys God put in our hands is to read and study His Word. Connecting with a good Bible teaching church is essential as well, in addition to communicating with God through prayer, both by talking and listening.

Those beach house keys may open the gate to the pool, the hot tub, the closet full of beach chairs, umbrellas and toys, the dune buggy, the grill and even the free passes to the putt-putt and nearby golf course!
Our friend’s keys may give assess to a full, exciting beach experience. But if we don’t use them we miss out on so much we could have freely enjoyed.

The keys to the Kingdom are given to every follower of Christ Jesus, so we can access our best possible and exciting life experience. We’re free from the bad stuff and can open the doors to the good stuff.

When we believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, we need to open our hand to receive the keys of the Kingdom and live a life that is free indeed.
As we celebrate freedom in the next few days here in the U.S., let’s also celebrate the freedom we have as citizens of the Kingdom of God. Both of these freedoms were attained through blood sacrifice. One great thing about our freedom through Christ is that it continues on into Eternity! Let’s choose to be FREE!  

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1 NIV).

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From what has Jesus set you free? Your comments are welcome.

©Connie Wohlford 2016

Death — Fear No More

Are you ready to celebrate Resurrection Sunday (Easter)?

Jesus accomplished many things when He left His throne in Heaven and came to earth.  Have you considered His main accomplishment?  Please check out my latest blog post. Here is the link:

http://godswordourdestiny.blogspot.com/2016/03/deathfear-no-more.html

45 Jesus

I want to encourage you to attend a Bible believing church or fellowship Easter Sunday and each and every Sunday–for He is RISEN!

May God richly bless you and your loved-ones.

Spring Newsletter – June 1, 2013

Cover - His Name is Jesus

Joy Comes…         Newsletter                                                               June 1, 2013

       So…did you notice something different when you first looked at this page?  If so, did you realize what the difference is?    [If this is the first e-newsletter you have received from me, you will not know what I am talking about and that’s okay.]   And, if your answer is:  “That is a different book cover.”   Then you are right.   Speaking of— don’t you think Molly Keller did a fabulous job on the art? Just wait till you see all of the book interior  —-  it’s like a gallery!   —AGAIN!   Thank you, Molly!

Behold, my new book, His Name is Jesusand I am so excited!  How many people know what happened to Jesus on the 8th day after He was born? Many will say: “He was dedicated.”  And they would be wrong.  Actually, He was dedicated on His 40th day after birth, which is the subject of my 3rd book, in the series.  If you are Jewish you will probably get the right answer and say something like:  “He experienced the rite called Bris Milah.

He was circumcised.”  And you would be right.  And, as I suspect you will agree, this is not a subject for a book targeting children.  And, I would agree with you.  But, since the 8th day of His life is of such great significance, I did not want to overlook the occasion.  Therefore, His Name is Jesus focuses on the official naming of the King of kings.  It is on this occasion that His name was officially recorded.  I hope you get your own copy of His Name is Jesus and enjoy my little narrative of this important episode in Jesus’ young life.  It is also a great teaching tool.  The book description states:

At the young age of eight days, Jewish boys experience the custom called “Bris Milah”, at which time their names are officially recorded in the Hebrew records.  In “His Name is Jesus”, you can travel with Joseph and Mary as they take Jesus to the home of a rabbi for His own ceremony.  While walking along the dusty road, Mary & Joseph each recall the most unusual way in which they came to name their baby son.  Their faithful donkey, Gil, which means “Joy” in Hebrew, is of course with them as well.  In fact, Gil alerts them to an alarming danger as they visit in the Rabbi Jonathan’s courtyard.

Meanwhile, back in Nazareth, the young donkey, Elpis, which means “Hope” in Greek, is still missing her mama, Gil, who is traveling on an amazing adventure with Joseph and Mary.  But Elpis continues to be comforted in a very special way.

So join in with these wonderful characters of the Bible and continue learning about the young life of Jesus.  Young and old alike take pleasure in gaining insight into these very early days of the King of kings, so artfully captured in the story and illustrations in His Name is Jesus”.

As with Joy Comes to Bethlehem, His Name is Jesus is self-published, though I have used a different publishing house this time.  With the help of Ken Henderson, of Henderson Publishing, I have made great effort to keep the price down so more folks can enjoy the book and be able to give more copies for gifts, etc..  Gratefully, this has been accomplished. We all want to help spread the Good News.  Don’t we?   And, because it is self-published, I am doing all the promoting and market myself, that is along with your wonderful word–of-mouth recommendations. I was totally WOWed by the help of so many of you with selling and promoting Joy Comes to Bethlehem.  That means the world to me.  I hope you are as enthusiastic again this go round.  Believe me, I cannot thank you enough!

So …. “What is the price?” you ask.  I am happy to tell you it is $10.50 per book. That is several dollars less than my first book, which retails for $16.99.   I’m sure you and others will be happy about this too.

Matter of fact, if you have not yet purchased a copy of Joy Comes to Bethlehem, (or maybe you have but want another copy), and want to get one now, along with His Name is Jesus, you may purchase “Joy Comes to Bethlehem” at this time (from me) for only $12.50.   Shipping for 1 to 3 books is $3.00. (Add .50 more for each additional book to be shipped).  For those of you who are local, I will be happy for you to pick them up from me or at my husband’s office (Hill Insurance), if that is more convenient.  And don’t forget to tell me if you want your book/s personalized for yourself or someone else.

Thanks so much for taking your time to read this. I know it has been a bit lengthy, but I have a lot to say!  Please see my contact information below.

And … Come to the official Book Launch ~ Fun ~ Food ~Books!

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BOOK LAUNCH  ~  Sunday, June 9, 2013 

12:15 – 2:00 p.m. 

at Radford Worship Center Fellowship Hall

1820 Second St., Radford, VA

God bless you and yours as you embark into Summer 2013.  I hope it treats you real nice!   You might even find yourself writing a book!

Blessings!  Connie

E-mail –author@conniewohlford.com   ~   Facebook -  Connie Wohlford, Author

 I have a new web site under construction and hope to get a lot of work done on it within the next week or so.  It is  www.conniewohlford.com  —-   Check it out  —  but be patient as I get it updated (with the help of Jeff).

 And, HEY, if you have not yet clicked “Like” on “Connie Wohlford, Author”  on Facebook, please do so.  Thanks a bunch!

Feel free to forward this to anyone who you think might be interested. Thanks!

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Generally in this next space in my e-newsletter, I have a continuation of the telling of my story of how I came to start writing my books. But since this is already so long I will forgo that until the next installment of Joy Comes Newsletter.   Also, I have been enjoying telling my story for a few civic and church groups. It seems that many folks are interested in getting into writing from the heart and like to hear about my own experience.

Newsletter #3 – June 1, 2013