A few years ago, God led me to combine several scriptures together to make it into a personal letter from Him to us. All phrases used are strictly from scripture (the NIV)
. The only changes I made was to personalize it, for example (we - you, Christ - Me, God - My Father, etc.)
I also made some very minor changes connecting the verses occasionally for the purpose of creating a smooth flowing letter but in no way did I "change" the scriptures to get a different intent. I misplaced this for awhile and have just found it, leading me to surmise that it is time to share it. I hope you all enjoy it and are blessed as much from reading it as I was from writing it.
My Dearest Friends,
Do not be surprised at the painful trial you suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. Rejoice that you participate in sufferings as I have, so that you may be overjoyed when my glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of my Name, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of my Father rests on you. If you suffer as one who is called by my Name (christian), do not be ashamed, but praise God, that you bear my Name. For it is time for judgment to begin with those that are considered the family of God; and if it begins with you, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of My Father? If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? So then, you who suffer according to my Father‘s will should commit yourselves to your faithful Creator and continue to do good.
The Spirit himself testifies with your spirit that you are God‘s children and co-heirs with Me, if you share in my sufferings so that you may share in my glory. You will be seated together with me in heavenly places and you are being built together to become a dwelling in which my Father lives by his Spirit. Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of My gospel. For it was My Father who gave some to be prophets, teachers, evangelists, or pastors, to prepare you for works of service, so that My Body may be built up until you all reach unity in the faith and knowledge of Me and become mature, attaining to my whole Body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, as it grows and builds itself up in love, as each of you do your work. Every one who prophesies speaks to you for your strengthening, encouragement, and comfort and edifies my church.
My Friends, love one another deeply from the heart, for love comes from my Father and everyone who loves has been born of Him and knows Him. If you love each other my Father lives in you and His love is made complete in you. Therefore as my chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as I have forgiven you. Over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. You should have equal concern for each other. If one of you suffers, you should suffer with them and if one of you is honored, rejoice with them. For you are all members of my Body.
You should stop lying and speak truthfully to each other. You are to be devoted to one another in brotherly love, having fellowship and honoring each other above yourselves. You are to be humble and serve one another, exercising humility in love and submitted one to another out of reverence for Me. You should live in harmony with each other, being sympathetic towards and accepting one another as I have accepted you in order to bring praise to my Father. Please do not become conceited, provoking and envying one another. Do not slander each other for if you bite and devour one another you will destroy yourselves.
You should comfort, encourage and exhort one another daily, while it is today, with my Word and build each other up, so that none of you may be hardened by sin‘s deceitfulness. You have a continuing debt to one another that you should carry each others burdens and thereby fulfill My Law. You should teach and admonish each other with all wisdom, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Agree with one another so there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Your prayers are powerful and effective. Make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification. I have written, "For my sake you will face death all day long; you are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." Rejoice in your sufferings because you know that suffering produces perseverance and perseverance, character and character, hope. Be joyful in hope, patient through tribulations, and faithful in prayer. Those of you that hope in My Father will renew your strength. You will soar on wings like eagles, and will run and not grow weary, you shall walk and not faint.
You must have perseverance and faith while you endure trials and persecutions, for who can separate you from My love. Shall trouble, hardship or persecution? Shall famine, nakedness, danger or sword? Hold fast to the hope you profess, for I am faithful and will keep my promises. Consider how you may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Don’t give up meeting together and do it all the more as you see the Day approaching. My purpose for this letter is so you may be encouraged in heart and united in love. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart!! I have overcome the world! Now, may my Father who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity amongst yourselves as you follow Me. Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what you have done."
See you soon and remember I Love You!