The Power of the Cross: 91st Edition, August 3, 2019

Mike Cleveland

Greetings friends,

Welcome to the new subscribers just joining us. We publish once per week on Sunday. The newsletter shares short gospel teachings and testimonies from Setting Captives Free students. We hope you will find the newsletter helpful and encouraging.



All people are hungering, yearning and longing for deep intimacy and love. They may not know it, may not understand it, yet in turning to drugs, illicit sex, food, forbidden relationships and many other things they evidence that their heart is in need of love and joy and intimacy. 

This is indeed what God has designed us for, and when we turn to sinful things we discover they are empty and broken, unable to quench our thirst nor satisfy our desire for love and intimacy.

Jeremiah 2:13 (NCV) My people have done two evils:
They have turned away from me,
the spring of living water.
And they have dug their own wells,
which are broken wells that cannot hold water.

The majority of commentators recognize the book of Song of Solomon as not only a love story between a man and his beloved, but that it also depicts Christ’s love for the church. He is our Lover who came to us when we ran from Him, who loved us when we were in rebellion, who died for us while we were sinners. 

Today, look with me at what our response to His love can be, when viewing this outpouring of Jesus’ love on the cross. Let’s read what “she”, the beloved, says to Solomon, and in her response to his love we can see how to fulfill our own longings:

Song of Songs 7:9-13 (NCV) Let this wine go down sweetly for my lover; may it flow gently past the lips and teeth. 10 I belong to my lover, and he desires only me. 11 Come, my lover, let's go out into the country and spend the night in the fields. 12 Let's go early to the vineyards and see if the buds are on the vines. Let's see if the blossoms have already opened and if the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love. 13 The mandrake flowers give their sweet smell, and all the best fruits are at our gates. I have saved them for you, my lover, the old delights and the new.

Here the beloved evidences her strong desire to experience the love of her king. She states that she belongs to him and that he desires only her. She expresses her desire to go away with him that she might give him her love, and that they might remember old delights and experience new ones together.

My friend, have you ever expressed to Jesus your need for His love? Have you ever said to Him, “lets get away alone together, that we might give and receive love?” Were you aware that this deep intimacy, this love relationship is the very reason Jesus died for you? His desire was to remove your sin, to make you holy and righteous, that you and He might interact in a sweet and intimate way, that He might pour Himself into you and that you might give your love back to Him!

To experience this passionate love relationship, where the Holy Spirit literally pours out the love of Jesus in cascading wave after wave over your heart (see Romans 5:5) is the point of Christ’s suffering death in your place. God said it in the beginning that it was not good for man to be alone, so He put Adam into a deep sleep, opened his side and fashioned a bride from his rib. Likewise, it was not good for Jesus to be alone, so He was put into the deep sleep of death, had His side opened by a Roman soldier, so that the blood and water would forgive and cleanse all who come to Him, so that they might be His bride.

Oh friend, come to Him just now won’t you? Come and tell Him you’re sorry for turning to other lovers, for giving your heart to the enemy. Tell Him you want to get away privately with Him and experience love like you may never have known before. Come and kneel at the cross and look up! See the suffering Savior loving you unto death! "He had always loved those who were his own in the world, and he loved them all the way to the end” (John 13:1). Receive the love He is pouring out for you! 

Living in this kind of a love relationship with Jesus transforms every area of life, for now you are living your life and interacting with others from a heart full of love. It will transform your marriage, your relationships at work, your family interactions, everything!

This kind of loving intimacy is what you were purchased at the cross for, and what Jesus gave you His Holy Spirit for. Enjoy it to the max, and tell others about how He is loving your heart out of sin, and loving you to freedom! Write back to me here, just reply to this email, if this is indeed happening to you at the cross, and I will rejoice and pray with you!



Elzelien writes, "The Setting Captives Free Weight Loss course offers what no other program or diet offers: FREEDOM IN CHRIST!
I never realized how good it is to suffer for Christ by denying my flesh instead of gratifying it. I now know the importance of having Jesus fill my heart instead of food!

When I stay close to Jesus and savor Him, then He fills, cleans, and satisfies my heart again and again. The Spirit keeps me close to Jesus, and if I stay in tune with Him and walk with Him then He will guide me! My relationship with the Lord has undoubtedly increased.

I have lost weight. I know because my belt is much looser, and so are my pants!”

Nathan writes, "The biblical principles taught in the Setting Captives Free Purity Boot Camp course have been helpful to me.
Right now, Washing at the cross has become a major thing for me each day.  Remembering the work of Christ on the cross and how He took my punishment is a huge part of my day.  I am also learning to walk consciously with the Spirit remembering that God is with me.  Warring against the flesh by praying God's Word's back to Him is something I am seeking to increase in my life.
I recommend this powerful and biblical course to everyone.”


Friend if you find you are in agreement with the mission of Setting Captives Free, to see the gospel of Jesus Christ change hearts and lives, would you please consider helping us to continue reaching people with the gospel? Please pray for us, and also consider setting up a monthly tax-deductible donation of any amount. Thank you in advance.


Mike Cleveland
Volunteer for Setting Captives Free