Topics

Power of the Cross: 36th Edition, June 17, 2018


Mike Cleveland
 

Hello friend,
 
Welcome to the new subscribers just joining our newsletter. We publish once per week on Sunday. The newsletter alternates a short gospel teaching on one week with testimonies from Setting Captives Free students on the following week. We hope you will find the newsletter helpful and encouraging. 

We make a bold claim at Setting Captives Free; people’s lives can and will be changed by believing the gospel. From looking at the cross of Jesus we are changed from the inside out, and people find freedom from sinful bondage that they may have been in for decades. The cross is that powerful. 

This week we want to see the above points illustrated in the lives of two people: one from the weight loss course and one from the purity course. Let these two lives draw you to the cross of Jesus, to see for yourself the overflowing love and the gospel power that is there:

Karen writes, “I had done SCF 1.0 before and tasted freedom. A few years ago I entered into an especially challenging season in my life and therefore my heart. I went back to being consumed with food and wanting to sleep to avoid feeling the weight of the trials I faced. The more I binged on foods, the more despair, hopelessness and oppression I experienced. I hated that I was letting God down, but kept doing so, and then got more scared of what I was doing, but couldn't find a way out. I knew Jesus promises us a way out of temptation, but I couldn't find it even though I was studying God's Word, praying, going to church and crying out. 

In my desperation I came to Setting Captives Free and started the (new weight loss) study (SCF 2.0). I was so amazed at the depth of the teachings and found that every day I was coming closer to Christ and understanding the Gospel. I was a sinner, and needed Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross took my sin, my shame, my gluttony, my laziness, my compulsion for food and He healed it. 

Because I received that sacrifice deeply and have replaced food with Jesus, I am walking in freedom. I have energy, I am exercising, I have joy, peace and I am even able to enjoy food and stop eating when I am full. When I eat too much, I repent and look at why. NOT to ever make excuses, but I find the more I look at what lies of the enemy are underneath the sin, I receive more healing as I replace the lies with God's truth and love. 

I have lost 5 pounds and have more to go, but every pound has been like many pounds of bondage. With every pound I lose, I feel so free of the past, unforgiveness, fear, and self focus. I am incredibly grateful to SCF for all you do! There are so few studies that are about freedom and victory in Christ. May God be glorified by all that He has done in me!!! God bless you all.

——

Daniel writes, "When I was about 7-8 yrs old I was exposed to pornography and started watching it very often since then. A couple of years after self gratification was part of my life and I realized I'm attracted to men too.


I loved God and six years after being a slave to that sin I gave up that way of life to christ. For almost a year I was not involved in such sins, but when I did not expect it came again and I fell. I started hating my self- I could not understand how such a believer could do such things. For almost a year I was struggling with that until I decided I'm tired enough and that if God wouldn't free me till now I will just leave him and go to the other side.

I believed I was a homosexual and in the end I met someone. That incident was so devastating.

But God was there. I was so blind and I couldn't see why such a man can't live such a life, but at that same moment I realized the imperfection in it when I sought a perfection to help my heart feel.

"For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back" (Isaiah 54:7).


God let me do it, leave him and live for myself, but he found me, gathered my tears and comforted me. 


Isaiah 54:7 reflects specifically what happened: He brought me back! 


Two days after that incident I started the SCF course and started receiving healing from the cross.


God started revealing to me how graceful he is to me and I was so amazed at his goodness. 


I can say now that he delivered me from darkness to light, he did not give up on me! He is so good- he died on the cross and did it all just because he couldn't see me live in such a lost life. He saved me and he has won me!


When I realized what a sinner I was I realized what a saviour he is! He is everything I need and want! 


He is working in my life now and he is changing me. He doesn't want only a small change in my life for he is changing everything in me. 


He is faithful and he never stopped being faithful. Maybe I did, but he is stronger and I am so thankful for that! “

When considering the above testimonies, this passage explains the change that happens, and the method of that change:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NCV) Surely you know that the people who do wrong will not inherit God's kingdom. Do not be fooled. Those who sin sexually, worship idols, take part in adultery, those who are male prostitutes, or men who have sexual relations with other men, those who steal, are greedy, get drunk, lie about others, or rob--these people will not inherit God's kingdom. 11 In the past, some of you were like that, but you were washed clean. You were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

——

Dear friend, we are desiring to get the message of the power of the cross out to as many people as we can. Please consider forwarding or posting and inviting others to subscribe. Anyone can subscribe by sending a blank email to main+subscribe@SettingCaptivesFree.groups.io. 

Let’s win the world to Jesus, by way of the cross. That’s our mission and our commission!

Sincerely,

Mike Cleveland
Volunteer for Setting Captives Free