Please find below Lara Love’s True Story with the best message in the world (the Good News message) also available upon request in my Finding the Light pocket-sized booklet tract.
This is just a very tiny version of my personal story, and you are very welcome to contact me at 843-338-2219 or lara@GoodNews.love to hear more and receive love, hope, help, inspiration, and encouragement.
FINDING THE LIGHT
Whether you’re unfathomably successful in the world’s eyes and live in a mansion as you indulge in the pleasures of this life, or homeless and hurting, wildly wealthy and living your dreams or spending the rest of your life on death row, a blue collar worker enjoying a typical American blue collar life, lost and broken or perfectly content with your life, living in my neighborhood or living on the other side of the world, poor and downtrodden or rich and think you have it all together, disabled and dying or an Olympic athlete in the throes of the best years of your life, a criminal who has yet to be caught or an abused person too scared to tell anyone, high on drugs you can’t stop taking or high on an awesome life you can’t get enough of, happily married or devastatingly divorced, no matter your story, we all have one.
Whether or not you can relate to my story, I can promise you this. The message that goes with it is the best message in the universe. And it’s the one message no matter our individual stories every human needs to hear. I pray you’re blessed, forever changed, and indescribably inspired as you read what is contained herein. With love, Lara
I come from a background of childhood sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism, an eating disorder, self-mutilation, years of wanting to commit suicide, horrible anxiety, debilitating depression, gut-wrenching emotional pain, indescribable hopelessness, abandonment by my family when I confronted my main perpetrator of sexual abuse, continual broken relationships with men, abandonment by two husbands, two unwanted divorces, hospitals, the psychiatric ward, counselors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, self-help groups, recovery programs, medications, welfare, food stamps, charity care, long-term disability, total despair, total brokenness, darkness beyond measure. Despite being enormously blessed with being raised in a family that had a lot of love as well as much wealth and being very well loved and cared for overall, and receiving an excellent education, we had our problems that nobody else could see which affect me to this very day.
One night, decades ago, long before I started dealing with the sexual abuse, lost my family, and was married and lost my marriages, I wrote something in drunken scribble in my journal and forgot all about it until I was sober. “Please someone help me please.” Several years later, I found that someone. And I found the way out of my crushing pain and utter brokenness. I found what would become for me the way out of darkness and into a light unimaginable, and what I would ultimately come to see is the only everlasting way out of the darkness of this world.
One day on a random beach on a random day with a random friend, I ran to the public restroom so I could sob in my incredible despair. I had just come out of a psychiatric ward followed by five weeks in the eating disorders unit of a hospital. I was dealing head on with the childhood sexual abuse and with the loss of my family.
In my complete despair, I cried out four simple words. “Please God help me.” When I returned to the beach, I found what looked like a crumpled piece of trash at my feet. I picked it up and read what lay inside. It was a prayer written in someone’s script handwriting.
On my hands and knees that night, broken beyond imagination, I spoke the prayer and was instantly transformed. I was so stunned by what transpired that I immediately called my counselor at the time and told her I thought I had finally gone completely over the edge and perhaps had been hallucinating. I had such an amazing, supernatural experience in terms of what I heard and saw that I could not fathom that something like that could happen to me. My counselor suggested that maybe something good had happened. Little did I know what had actually transpired, and how my life would never be the same. I had not gone over the edge into insanity. I had gone over the edge of my old life and into something beyond my wildest dreams. I had received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! Hallelujah!
Though I could not start my physical life over again and choose different circumstances, I was reborn spiritually when I spoke that prayer and given a new start. Looking back in retrospect, I can see now that for some time before that night God had been wooing me, drawing me to Himself by His Holy Spirit. Over and again, I would find myself in usually mostly empty churches not during service times, saying the name Jesus. Though I believed in a generic God, I knew almost nothing about God and little about Jesus. Even as I was falling apart by the very breath, desperately wanting out of the darkness, I was being drawn to the Lord. I had asked God numerous times to forgive me by then, but I had no understanding of sin, of repentance, of Jesus Christ and the cross. I simply couldn’t resist what was pulling me, not comprehending it was God’s Spirit leading me. In retrospect, I can see now God had planted seeds long before that and was scattering seed through His children into my life even during that time, but nothing until then had become of them. The night I spoke that prayer and received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior marked the beginning of what I would only see years later with clarity.
I had spent decades looking for a physical something or a human someone to take away my pain and make me whole. Little did I know the someone I needed wasn’t human at all. The someone I had cried out to in my drunken scrawl several years earlier, though I had not known it at the time, was Jesus Christ who is Lord and who is God!
As a woman who had grown up in a Jewish family that didn’t believe in God, and as a woman who dabbled, flirted, and engaged in all sorts of dangerous and false spiritual practices, including agnosticism and atheism, the last thing I expected was to find my salvation in the Lord God almighty through faith in Jesus Christ.
My life didn’t get easier the day I received Jesus. It became much harder. I discovered only later that God never promises us an easy life. But He promises believers in and followers of Jesus everlasting life and invites us into a breathtakingly beautiful forever relationship with Him. I didn’t know back then Christ’s followers can have an amazing loving relationship with God on this earth – and forever.
Nor did I know back then Jesus didn’t want me to just believe in Him. He wanted me to follow Him. This is true for us all, but how ignorant I was! When I finally picked up the Bible and began to learn and live the life God planned for me, everything changed. Not my circumstances, which remained hard and are hard to this very day. But I began to develop a relationship with God so beautiful and so awesome that I realize today that I can have the love and hope and joy and peace and faith and trust and fulfillment and intimacy that I had wanted all along but could never find in this world.
I was to come to find the love, light, hope, joy, peace, faith, trust, fulfillment, and forever intimate fellowship with the Lord His followers can have in and through Him are not contingent on our life’s circumstances but on a rock-solid relationship with the Lord. I had lived my life on a roller coaster, continuously feeling high when things went well and desperately depressed and broken when things went poorly which they so often did. Over time, as my relationship with the Lord eventually grew, I realized I no longer needed to live my life on that roller coaster. God wanted to teach me how to walk day by day in His magnificent and glorious light – the light of the Lord Jesus Christ – no matter my circumstances.
When I look back, the biggest missing piece in my life was not just that for decades I hadn’t believed in Jesus Christ. It was that from what I recall anyway that nobody took the time, love, and care to sit down with me and to clearly and carefully explain exactly how I could have a true fresh start in life, a brand new beginning, leaving behind the darkness and living a light- & love-filled life, enjoying the awesome blessings of God, and carrying with me continuously the hope of everlasting life. All the while learning to rejoice moment by moment in the indescribably amazing beauty of being in forever fellowship with the Lord. Oh, if only I had known! If only I had known and understood the true Gospel (Good News) message, how to be born again through Christ, and how to live and thrive and rejoice as a genuine follower of Christ as the Lord by His Holy Spirit and through His amazing Word would ultimately teach me. A life lived in sold-out commitment to Him!
I hope you will let me be the someone in your life to share with you the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ so that you, too, will get a fresh start, leave behind the darkness and come into God’s magnificent light, develop an amazing loving relationship with God on this earth, and look forward to everlasting life. You don’t have to stay in the darkness any longer. Are you ready to live in the light?
Living in the Light
Many years later now, I can honestly say I have a stunningly, awesomely, amazingly, indescribably, phenomenally rich, fulfilling, exciting, peace-filled, joyful, and light-filled life. For one reason alone. The Lord. I do not find any of this in the world around me, not especially in my circumstances and ongoing challenges. I find it all in Christ who now lives in and through me. For the Lord by His Spirit has led me into and taught me how to have an ever-growing, wonderful, fabulous, intimate, closer-by-the-breath, personal relationship with Himself as He teaches me His ways, conforms me to Himself, and draws me closer and closer to Himself!
My life’s circumstances are still hard and painful. I do not have the life most people would want. My family situation remains tragic, though I am blessed the Lord healed my relationship with my beloved Mom with whom I talk continually about the Lord and for whom I pray fervently the Lord will draw her to Himself, save her, and give her everlasting life with Him. He also blessedly brought 2 other family members back into my life to whom I speak about Him and for whom I pray for their salvation.
My life has remained challenging in many respects. I’ve had years of virtually relentless trials, lost my long-time beloved pastor unexpectedly, lost numerous of my sweet dogs who are like a little family to me, lost my closest female friend who was found dead with a gunshot wound to her chest, my ex-husband whom I dearly loved passed away after a long battle with a medical disease and prescription drug addiction, and have faced loss and tragedy after loss and tragedy. I am single, am on the road full-time for ministry as of April 2017, have relatively no social life to be available to the Lord and for ministry 24-7, live an exceedingly simple and extremely economical lifestyle, haven’t had a real vacation for years as I care for my remaining handicapped and senior rescued dogs after 20 years of dog rescue work, lost most of what I have ever wanted and did not get what I once desperately desired, have had health issues, and work exceedingly hard in my ministry work with no staff but thank God a very few volunteers. And yet I can readily say I am BLESSED beyond measure because of Jesus and my amazing forever relationship with Him and the Lord’s countless blessings He bestows upon me day after day even when they are the simplest and most basic of blessings.
The love, joy, peace, hope, freedom, excitement, passion, sense of purpose, trust, faith, blessedness, light, and so very much more that fill me daily are absolutely without measure. Of course this is so. All of it comes from the Lord!
Why do I have this now? Because I am at last 100% the Lord’s. I have it because of HIM. HE gets ALL THE GLORY! For years, I was a believer in Jesus Christ but not a follower. I refused to give up the ways of this world, and I lived for myself. For a long time, I didn’t read the Bible and solidly plant myself in the Body of Christ with believers in Christ who could help me to follow Him. I did not attend church nor have a biblically sound pastor.
When I finally started studying the Bible, going to church, and learning, I did nothing with the Bible. I was a hearer, not a doer of God’s Word. I was also for a long while under false teaching, sucked in by the exceedingly deceptive “prosperity gospel”. I was taught I could basically wave my magic wand and get God to do whatever I wanted. I thought God was here to serve me instead of that Jesus is Lord and that I was created to love, serve, & glorify the Lord. My life was a mess! My heart was a mess! Everything was a mess! The Lord by His Holy Spirit led me to repentance, drew me into His Word, began to teach me His truth by His Spirit, & began a lifelong process of sanctification in which daily He renews my mind and transforms my life by His Spirit through His Word in preparing me for eternity with Him and as He uses me to help others believe in and follow Him.
Now, at long last, I live and breathe to love, honor, revere, praise, worship, and serve God and to be conformed to His image and to grow ever closer to Him. I have finally become willing to forsake all for the Lord, leaving behind me my wants, wishes, and desires so that I can be available 24-7 to love, adore, and serve Him in my ministry work. I spend every day loving Him, seeking Him in prayer, studying the Bible as His Holy Spirit teaches me, and in ongoing communication and communion with Him as I learn to follow Him. I care for the sweet dogs He has placed in my hands whom for years now He has used endlessly to introduce me to people with whom I can talk about Him, pray for, minister to, give Gospel tracts to, etc. And I stay connected to Christ’s Body – my fellow Christ followers – so we can love, encourage, help, support, & comfort one another as we grow in relationship with God.
What a humbling, blessed, amazing and awesome privilege it is as of 2017 to be on the road full-time for the Lord with my handicapped ministry dogs going from location to location as the Holy Spirit leads to do my streets ministry work and write and publish Gospel tracts, devotionals, lara love’s Good News Magazine, and books. The pocket-sized booklets are distributed via my streets, hotels, & beaches ministry work & wherever the Lord sends me and shipped to prisons, homeless shelters, jails, rescue missions, street preachers, a Christian medical clinic, a Christian pregnancy center, individuals to distribute, and wherever the Lord leads.
While I continue to struggle and my heart still hurts over the losses and challenges I have faced and continue to face, I no longer get lost in it. I know now Jesus Christ died on the cross for me not so I can live for me, but so I can live for the Lord! Oh, what joy! What joy! What light! What love! How glorious is the Lord! Are you ready to leave the darkness behind and to walk in the light of the Lord forever?
The Good News Message
Ever since the first man and woman Adam and Eve sinned against God and were kicked out of their perfect lives in the Garden of Eden and lost most importantly their relationship with God, all humans have been born into sin resulting in the curse leading to death and eternal separation from God in fiery torment in hell and the lake of fire. We as sinners can’t live face to face with the perfect, holy, and righteous Lord God almighty in His full forever glorious magnificent presence in His indescribably awesome eternally blissful Kingdom of heaven because of our sins which separate us from Him. We all fall short of God’s glory, and we can’t earn His love, forgiveness, and everlasting life.
But God loves us so much He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to the earth as a man, to die a heinous death on the cross to pay the death and hell penalty for our sins by taking God’s wrath at us for our sins upon Himself, and to be raised from the dead and to now sit on the right hand of God in heaven until He returns again as the final steps unfold leading to His forever Kingdom of heaven that will be filled with Christ’s followers. If we repent of our sins, believe Jesus is the Son of God and died for us and was raised from the dead and is Lord, turning from our sins to a life devoted to God and His ways, we are forgiven and enter into a relationship with God and receive the promise of eternal life. We are born again spiritually with a clean slate and saved from God’s wrath, death, and hell and the lake of fire.
Belief in Christ as Lord for eternal life is NOT merely an intellectual faith. Even the demons believe. True faith in Christ for everlasting life with Him is an ongoing belief in Him, all that He is, did, is doing, says in the Bible, and a true trust in Him as Lord whereby we turn from our wicked ways and live according to the ways God teaches us in the Bible. We are not called to just believe in Christ in our minds. We are called to follow Him by yielding to God our very lives and demonstrating in our hearts, words, and actions that we have turned away from the ways of the world and turned to the Lord. We are to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him whereby we die to ourselves and live for Him. Countless people who believe they will spend eternity with God in heaven based on an intellectual belief, an emotional experience, church attendance, good works, etc., will be turned away by Christ and end up in hell and the lake of fire forever apart from God because they neglected to understand and put into practice that believing in, and following, Christ is a WAY OF LIFE of living for God!
God commands us above all else to love Him with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves. Once born again, we must go through a life-long sanctification process whereby our minds are renewed by studying the Bible, our lives are transformed by God’s Spirit, and we are conformed to the image of Christ. Good works cannot earn our salvation, but good works should be the fruit of true repentance demonstrating that we are truly living our lives for the Lord. Our purpose on this earth is to love, honor, serve, obey, worship, and faithfully follow the Lord; to love others; to share the Good News message with others; to help lead people to the Lord and to follow Him; to use the gifts and resources God gives each of us to fulfill the individual calling He gives us with the ultimate goal of bringing Him glory; and to rejoice in and enjoy forever fellowship with Him!
The journey following Jesus can be incredibly hard, but it is amazingly beautiful when we walk in intimate fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, devoting ourselves in love, faithfulness, devotion, and dedication to God almighty.
When we learn to walk with the Lord & to live the dreams He has for our lives, forsaking our own will and ways as we learn to live for Him and no longer for ourselves, we experience an intimate, personal relationship with God that is more beautiful and lasting than anything or anyone on this entire earth.
His love for us is forever, and the sacrifice we make in choosing to live the new life He has given us according to His ways and not ours is nothing compared with the love and the peace and the hope and joy He offers us for now and eternity in Christ.
There is no greater blessing, honor, and privilege on earth than to humble ourselves, to repent and believe in Christ as Lord, to fully surrender ourselves to God, and to live to love, serve, exalt, magnify, revere, honor, praise, adore, worship, and bring glory to the Lord forevermore!
The Gift of God’s Holy Spirit
The Lord. A forever relationship with Him. His love. His forgiveness. His salvation. Rejoicing in Him. Just writing about this makes me smile inside my heart. But He’s so far away, isn’t He? Oh, but no! Not at all!
Before Jesus left this earth and went up to heaven to be with God where He will be until He returns, He promised His followers the Holy Spirit, described in the Bible as giver of power, comforter, helper, “spirit of truth” (John 14:17), advocate, counselor, teacher, and so incredibly much more! God’s very own Spirit! But we can’t see God’s Spirit, can we? So where is He? Where is this indescribably amazing blessing?
Christ’s followers are “sealed (Eph. 1:13)” with the Holy Spirit, who comes to live inside His followers, but this is not all! There is a baptism of the Holy Spirit that some may receive when they receive Christ as Lord and are born again, and others do not receive at that time. In this baptism of God’s Spirit, or “gift” of God’s Holy Spirit, Christ’s followers are given the power, strength, courage, boldness, ability, the leading, direction, spiritual gift(s), absolutely all that is needed to share the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ with others and to help build God’s Kingdom of followers, to love, pray for, encourage, and help His followers to grow in their relationships with Him, and to love and serve others in Christ’s name. In other words, God pours into, and fills, believers in Him with His Holy Spirit!
Study carefully God’s Word to learn about the Holy Spirit, and seek and find strong biblical teaching to help you understand and receive and live in the fulness of the Holy Spirit!
Many churches and pastors fall short in the teaching about the Holy Spirit or teach wrongly about Him if they teach of Him at all. I have had to do a lot of digging into God’s Word and also into biblically sound writing from well-known preachers from long ago to have a deeper understanding about the Holy Spirit and to more fully take advantage of this breathtakingly beautiful and all-powerful gift and blessing of the Lord’s to His followers!
Now, day by day, I seek the re-filling of God’s Spirit, I seek to love and follow and obey Him rather than to grieve Him, I seek to repent when He convicts me of sin, and I seek to be taught by Him, counseled by Him, strengthened by Him, transformed by Him, comforted by Him, sanctified by Him, to be sensitive to Him, to hear Him, to be led by Him, and to be used by Him to help build God’s glorious Kingdom!
Watch Christ’s apostles in the Bible and His followers in general as they not only were indwelt by
God’s Spirit, but were given the baptism of God’s Spirit, were filled anew with Him, and were empowered by Him. And watch how right down to very specific instructions they were lovingly and mercifully controlled by and led by the Holy Spirit in following Christ and proclaiming Him to the world!
Oh, what a gift is God’s Holy Spirit! Oh, what a blessing beyond measure is the baptism of the Spirit of God! Oh, what a blessing we cannot even conceive of until we ask for it and know it ourselves!
To be sealed with God’s Holy Spirit, to be indwelt by God’s Spirit, to receive the baptism of His Spirit, to be filled again and again with His Spirit, and to be led throughout our lives by His Spirit, this is how the Lord intended His children to live!
Your New Beginning
If you are ready for a fresh start and to be born again, and if you truly believe what I have shared with you here, then repent from your sins and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Cry out to God to save you, tell Him you are sorry for your sins and want His forgiveness, tell Him you know Jesus is His only begotten Son who came to the earth in the flesh and that He is Lord, and that you believe God raised Him from the dead.
Lots of people suggest saying a specific prayer to invite Jesus into your heart. I do not recommend that you say anybody else’s prayer but your very own. Being reborn (“born again” spiritually) is about repenting and turning to God by receiving Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior and receiving the seal and indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit. This needs to happen as a result of your own true sorrow over your sins and your own genuine belief in Jesus as Lord and in His death and resurrection and your own calling on the name of the Lord.
Ask for the baptism of the Holy Spirit right then and there, or, if you are already born again but have never received the gift of the Holy Spirit or need a fresh filling of God’s Spirit, ask God now!
When you are born again and you have been brought out of darkness and into God’s amazing light, you now have a fresh start. Now that you believe in Jesus as Lord, you need to learn how to follow Him as Lord and to develop a strong personal relationship with God.
Study and apply the Bible to your life daily, and watch God transform your life. I use mostly the New King James Version (NKJV) and the King James version (KJV) of the Bible. Some translations are considered gravely and dangerously inaccurate, so it’s extremely important to research before choosing a translation and to ask a biblically sound, strongly devoted Christ follower(s) for help if needed.
Assemble regularly with other followers of Jesus
whether in a church setting, a Bible study, a house church, another similar setting, or some form of gathering of the Lord’s followers to love and worship Him and learn of Him and love, pray for, serve, encourage, share with, and bless one another and to help build His Kingdom of followers. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word, so be sure to hear it preached by someone who is strongly grounded in the Bible.
God warns us that as the world draws to a close & evil abounds, false teachers will come & many will be deceived. No matter how loving, comfortable, or good a person, church or pastor seems, make sure what you hear lines up with the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word, so you should measure everything in your life against it to make sure it’s from Him.
Spend time alone with the Lord daily, praising Him, praying, pouring out your heart to Him, singing to Him, studying the Bible, seeking Him, listening to Him, making the changes He wants you to make, learning to bring Him honor & glory in all you do, & enjoying time in His gloriously loving powerful life-changing almighty healing holy presence.
Above all else, always make the Lord your #1 priority and make the Bible your road map for living as you learn to follow Jesus. Learn to be filled with and led by His Holy Spirit who will always lead you in line with the Bible. God speaks to His followers first and foremost through the Bible which is His Word. Jesus says in the Bible, “My sheep hear my voice.” He also speaks to us in whatever other ways He desires including by His Holy Spirit to our hearts and through other Christ followers. As you grow in your relationship with the Lord and spend time alone with the Lord praising Him, worshiping Him, praying to Him, seeking Him, singing to Him, waiting on Him, hearing Him, and obeying Him, be sure to check what you believe you hear from the Lord against the Bible. If what you hear does not line up with the Bible, it is not from Him.
Learn to be filled with God’s Spirit, to live by God’s Spirit, to hear and obey God’s Spirit, and to live for the glory of the Lord God almighty!
It is my privilege and honor to have shared with you my personal story and how you, too, can move from darkness to light and have a fresh start, begin and develop your own intimate relationship with God, and enjoy His love now and forever in heaven. May you love and bring glory to Him forever!
The following verses are followed by 4 more little sections offering LOVE & ENCOURAGEMENT to help you as you go forth!
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” Eph. 5:6
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Mt. 13:41-43
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:3-6
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jn. 3:16
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38
“If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:15-18
“That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:12-14
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:13
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” Colossians 1:13
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” John 10:27
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46
“Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:2-12
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:4-13
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Cor. 5:15
A Special Prayer
A PRAYER I WROTE ONE DAY…!
Today is a new day. A new week. A fresh start. What do YOU want with it, my Lord? You created me. I just read in your Word, “Teach me to do your will…(Ps. 143:10)” Today I ask for just that. That you would teach me and help me to do your will so YOU ARE GLORIFIED. Let this day not be about me and what I want. Let it be about you and what you want. Fill me with your Spirit and use me for YOUR GLORY. I want to bring you joy today, Lord. I want to delight in you just as your Word says. You say you will then bring me the desires of my heart (Ps 37:4). If I delight in you, Father, then I believe you will place in my heart YOUR DESIRES. I used to live for me, Lord, as you well know. Today I want to live FOR YOU. I want to be closer to you than ever before. This world is so filled with trials. My life is so filled with struggles. But you are greater than it all. Today, dear Lord, help me to bring honor and pleasure to you. Carry me through the trials of this life and use me through the ups and downs and joys and challenges to help others to find and follow you forevermore. I LOVE YOU, LORD! I am yours! Teach me your ways (Ps. 86:11 & Ps. 25:4) and use me to bring a smile to your heart. You are my Father, and I want to make you proud to call me daughter. You are my Lord, and I want to be a servant who makes you happy. I love you, precious Jesus! Forever and ever, I love you Lord! AMEN!
Your Own Story
I began by sharing how we all have our own stories and then shared with you from the heart my own.
Now I am compelled to tell you that so long as you are alive and breathing, your story is not over.
Not only is where you will spend eternity contingent on whether or not you have made or make a decision to repent and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord whereby you genuinely commit your life to Christ, but how you choose to spend the rest of your time on this earth if you become Christ’s devoted follower will determine three things:
- The rewards God has for you when you are with Him in the Kingdom of heaven
- The quality of life you have here on this earth regarding your relationship with Christ and with others
- Whether or not and to what degree you help to build God’s Kingdom by sharing the Gospel and helping people to find and forever follow Jesus
The Lord will vomit out lukewarm believers (Rev. 3:16). What does He desire? Followers who are totally devoted, totally sold out, totally dedicated, to Him – now and forever. Oh, may you be so!
A Special Note
In the years since the 1st edition of this tract, my life has not become easy, happy, & comfy. Being on the road full-time for the Lord and facing my ongoing life’s struggles make for anything but an easy, happy, & comfy life. Even as I write this (written in October 2020), my beloved paralyzed ministry dog Mr. Simeon on the cover of this tract died tragically and unexpectedly just over a week ago in my hotel room. I am crushed and heartbroken as he was one of my greatest blessings on this earth amid a pretty challenging life, and I am facing other tough struggles, too. But I have learned no matter life’s trials, indescribably wonderful LOVE, HOPE,
FELLOWSHIP, PEACE, REST, COMFORT, JOY, CONTENTMENT, FULFILLMENT, WISDOM, STRENGTH, INTIMACY, RENEWAL, REFRESHING, RESTORATION, HEALING, LIGHT, MERCY, GRACE, TRUTH, etc. can be found in Jesus and in a forever relationship with Him with whom & with which nothing & nobody on this earth can compare. We who believe in Him and faithfully follow Him get to enjoy Him & His blessings on earth – and to look forward to forever with Him! Be totally devoted to Him forevermore!
Encouragement: Alone with Jesus!
Following Jesus isn’t a religious activity. It’s not about man-made traditions. It’s not about how often you go to church or giving perfect answers in a Bible study workbook. It’s about repenting, believing in Christ as Lord and in His death and resurrection, turning to God and His ways, truly living for the Lord, living the life He has created you specifically to live, fulfilling your life’s purpose for Him, and having a deeply personal, deeply intimate, deeply wonderful, forever relationship with Him. Some people will go to church religiously for decades and go to hell because they never turned to the Lord and His will & ways. Some will spend forever in heaven with the Lord but will miss having a deeply rich, vibrant, fulfilling relationship with Him on earth because they didn’t spend time alone in His presence loving Him, praising Him, singing to Him, seeking Him, praying, reading the Bible, worshiping Him, listening for His voice, obeying Him, and growing in relationship with Him. I encourage you with all my heart to be totally devoted to the Lord – including in dedicated alone time with Him & the Bible daily with your heart and mouth open wide in praise & singing & seeking & hearing & obeying Him! Hallelujah!
About Lara Love
I am a 100% Jewish totally devoted follower of the Lord Jesus Christ once broken for decades beyond human hope & repair and now overflowing with love, hope, peace, joy, passion & purpose on the road for Jesus with my special needs ministry dogs. A writer & evangelist, I write tracts, devotionals, & books; do streets / beach / hotel ministry; create t-shirts & journals; and make Video Devotionals. My life’s calling is to love & serve the Lord with all my heart & to help people become & remain totally devoted followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Please visit my ministry, receive help beginning a forever relationship with the Lord & following Him day by day, meet my ministry dogs, and order my tracts, devotionals & books including my FINDING THE LIGHT Good News tract which includes my personal story at: