(Matthew 11:28-30; 1 Peter 5:7)

**ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, can you give me the meaning of Zechariah 11:17?

ANSWER: Sadly, this is the description of the majority of pastors today. It talks about their worship of idols and forsaking their flocks. The Bible says those who are called to lead His sheep will receive a double judgment. It is a stark contrast to John 10, and the description of the Good Shepherd. Is it any wonder why the sheep are weak, ineffective, and sitting targets for satan’s schemes when the shepherds don’t do their job?

Thought of in many circles as the nation’s “dad” after playing Cliff Huxtable on the Cosby Show for 8 years from 1984-1992, TV icon, comedian, and social commentator Bill Cosby is in the middle of a firestorm regarding allegations he raped and sexually molested well over a dozen women decades ago. For the record, no charges have ever been filed against Cosby regarding these allegations, only a civil suit he settled about 8 years ago with an undisclosed amount of money being paid to settle that suit.

I have no idea if Cosby is guilty of committing these serious criminal acts as alleged, however, it becomes more difficult to believe nothing happened when you have well over a dozen women now with very similar stories who have gone public with their name and appearing on camera. Since these events occurred 20-30 years ago, the statute of limitations have run out and these women have absolutely nothing to gain. You also have many people who were part of his world during those years coming forward claiming in those pre-social media days when Cosby was arguably one of the most powerful men in the entertainment business, it was well known he had “women issues.”

Many have questioned the motivation of these women, but having sadly dealt with women and some men who were victims of rape or some sort of sexual assault as an adult, I can tell you that a very small percentage of these criminal acts are ever reported. Due to the shame and guilt many victims feel, the fact that these are not easy cases to get a conviction, and simply the pain of remembrance of this incredible violation cause most victims to bury the pain and go on with their lives without ever healing.

I personally understand that this parade of women coming forth are probably speaking out of a need for closure, to get what they allege happened behind them once and for all so they can finally begin to heal. It is cathartic for them to finally share the details of what they claim happened to them. If true, Bill Cosby is a serial rapist and as evil as ex-Penn State coach and convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky, though unlike Sandusky, Cosby will keep his incredible wealth and never do a minute behind bars for his crimes.

However, those who may escape human judgment in this life, will face the ultimate judgment upon their death…GOD’S JUDGMENT!!!

Sadly, we often deal here at Liveprayer with women and some men who as adults were victims of rape or sexual assault. It doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you are a man or a woman, what your skin color is, what nationality you are, how much money you have or don’t have, rape and sexual molestation affects people across life’s spectrum. Being the victim of rape or sexaul assalut is such a personal and intimate violation of a person that the pain can be excruciating and often affects the rest of a victim’s life. Today, I want to share a word with you that could be one of the most important things anyone has ever told you. The key to starting that healing process is FORGIVENESS. As simple as this may seem, it can be one of the most difficult things in this world to do. Forgiving someone who has hurt us deeply is one of the hardest things to do in life. It is not something that we can even do in our own strength, but must be done in the strength we get from the Lord. That is the key to being free once and for all from the hurt and pain you have experienced in your life is to FORGIVE the person who caused this great pain in your life!

Secondly, if you have been the victim of rape or sexual assault and never dealt with it, you do not have to keep living with the pain from your past! Let me repeat that, because I really want you to hear these words clear. IF YOU HAVE BEEN THE VICTIM OF RAPE OF SEXUAL MOLESTATION AND HAVE NEVER DEALT WITH IT, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KEEP LIVING WITH THE PAIN YOU HAVE FROM YOUR PAST!

The fact is, God has made a way through faith in His Son for you to put the pain of your past behind you and live your life in freedom. Jesus has told us to give Him our burdens, that He would carry them for us. The Bible tells us to cast our cares on Him, because He cares for us. You see, God doesn’t expect you to carry the pain of your past with you each day. He wants you live FREE from your past so that you can enjoy the abundance that this life has to offer.

Just hours before going to the cross, Jesus told His disciples that in this world, they would experience trials and tribulations. But He told them to “be of good cheer” because HE has overcome this world. You see my friend, trials and tribulation are part of this human experience, but God has made a way through His Son for us to still enjoy the abundance that this life can offer despite those trials and tribulations.

The only reason you are carrying the pain of your past with you today is because you have chosen to believe the LIE instead of the TRUTH. Jesus tells us in John 8:44 that satan is a liar. He is the “father of lies.” When he speaks, he speaks his native language, lying! God on the other hand is TRUTH. The Word of God is TRUTH. The lie of satan is that you have to carry the pain of your past around with you each day like a 1,000 pound anchor around your neck. The truth from God is that you can take that pain of your past and give it to Jesus. HE WILL GLADLY TAKE THAT 1,000 POUND ANCHOR FROM YOU TODAY!!!

I love you and care about you so much. Everyone reading this Devotional today has experienced some of the pain that this life offers. So many of you have never let go of that pain and have simply learned how to live your life each day with that pain. Because of that, you are missing the fullness of the joy, peace, and abundance that this life can offer. Because of that, you are not completely fulfilling your purpose in this life which is to serve and glorify God with your life. Because of that, you are not living in total freedom and victory each day.

Right now, this very moment, I want you to stop whatever you are doing. If you are at home, at work, at school, it doesn’t matter. Stop whatever you are doing right now and pray this prayer. “Dear Father, I thank you for this day. I know that today was not promised to me, but it is a gift from You. Dear God, You know the pain I have today from what has happened in my life. I am tired of carrying this pain with me day after day. It is robbing me of my joy, of my peace, of knowing the abundance that this life can offer. I forgive (name) who caused this pain and ask your blessing upon (name). I trust Your Word today that tells me that I can give this burden to You, that You will take it from me. I trust Your Word today that tells me to cast my cares on You, because You care for me. In the name of Jesus, I give You the pain of my past today. In the name of Jesus, I surrender it to You. Take it from me, and fill me right now with Your joy, with Your peace, and let me live from this day forward in FREEDOM FROM MY PAST! In Jesus name I pray, AMEN!”

I will be praying for you today my friend. God loves you SO MUCH! He cares about you SO MUCH! We live in an evil and sin-filled world. Because of that, we all will experience pain in this life,sometimes excruciating pain from a violation such as rape or sexual assault. However, God has made a way so that we do not have to carry that pain around with us for the rest of our days. He has offered to carry it for us, to take it from us. I pray today that you will trust Him and give Him the pain of your past and live in FREEDOM from this day forward!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

(C)opryright 2014, Live Prayer Church, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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