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Dear Partner,

I always pay close attention to the messages that are taught during every Conference held at the Prayer Center. The Holy Spirit is the only one who knows every person who attends and what each of them are facing in their lives. I know that there is a vast reservoir of teachings that reside on the inside of Pastor Dave Roberson but it is never his desire to simply "choose" messages on his own. On the contrary, he spends much time in prayer ahead of each Conference for the precise purpose of finding out the "present-hour" mind of Christ for the people. What do they need to be taught? From the thousands of messages that could be taught, which are the precise messages the people need to hear during this Conference?

Of course I have done my best to follow in the footsteps of my pastor and even though I didn’t know for sure ahead of time if I would have any speaking opportunities during this Conference, I also spent time in prayer so that I would be prepared in case I was called upon to teach. As it turned out, I taught two of the services and also presented nine “mini-sermons” concerning kingdom finances.

As I have had a few weeks now to reflect on everything that was said and done during the Conference, it seems to me that there are two major areas where our Lord is focusing His attention at this time. The first is … TRANSPARENCY! The time for "hiding behind fig leaves" like Adam did in the Garden is over. It is a time for complete openness before the Lord. Even as I write this paragraph I am hearing this verse from within me:

Heb 4:13   Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

We are coming into the "last of the last days" and there is no time for playing games or hiding behind veils of hypocrisy. Who we are at church must be the same person we are in our homes. The Lord is not pleased when we hide behind fig leaves. Why? Because as long as we do that, we cannot change! CHANGE is the second area the Lord seems to be focusing on at this time. Notice the rest of this passage in Hebrews Chapter Four:

Heb 4:14-16   Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus was tempted in all points just like we are. He never sinned, but He understands our weaknesses and our failures. Because He is our faithful high priest, we can come to the throne of Grace and receive two things: 1) Mercy and 2) Grace to help!

What is mercy? By definition, mercy is when compassion is shown … on the guilty. If a person is not guilty, he does not need mercy. All mankind is guilty because “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” [Rom 3:23]. If you catch a thief red-handed as he is stealing your goods … yet you let him go … you had mercy on him. Mercy forgives and sets free. But mercy is not enough to change a person. The thief would be forgiven, but not changed. In his heart he would still have the nature of a thief.

But grace goes far beyond mercy. Grace says to the thief, "Not only will I let you go free, but I will adopt you into my family, give you my name, and make you an heir of my inheritance." That is what God did for us. He changed our very nature. He took out the heart of a thief and gave us the nature of His own Son, Jesus Christ. With the new birth comes a new nature. Mercy forgave us, but His "grace to help" is what causes us progressively to change more and more into the "same image" as Jesus Christ:

2 Cor 3:18   But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed INTO THE SAME IMAGE from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. [Emphasis added].

None of us like airing our dirty laundry. We all want people to think the best of us. Everybody has the tendency to hide what they don’t like about themselves. But the Lord is calling for transparency in our lives. As we are fully open to Him, confessing our faults and our shortcomings, we can have full assurance that our faithful high priest will be merciful to us and pour out His grace upon us in order that we can become more and more conformed to His image.

Once we step out from behind the fig leaves, His grace begins to reveal strongholds within us that have kept us from changing old patterns for long periods of time. His grace strengthens us in our inner man to go forth as conquerors to pull down every stronghold that has been keeping us from possessing our full inheritance in Christ.

2 Cor 10:4-5   (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


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