Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Take Time

Take Time

When asked what is the first (chief/primary/foremast) commandment, Jesus answered:
  • Mark 12:29-30 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

Loving God with all that you are is not a part-time endeavor. Following Jesus is not a hobby or short term commitment. Christianity is not about pretending to be something you aren’t (that is hypocrisy). A relationship with Jesus Christ requires surrendering all that you are and taking the time to become all He intends you to be. It takes time to live a life the honors the Lord. 

Take Time to Pray
  • Luke 5:12-16 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He charged him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded.” 15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
    • The more miracles Jesus performed, the more those in need sought Him out (see also Luke 9:11). Although He was very busy doing the work His Father sent Him to do, Jesus made time for prayer. Ongoing prayer is a very important part of our walk with the Lord (Matthew 6, 1 Thessalonians 5:17). It takes time for meaningful prayer!

Take Time to Obey
  • Luke 6:46-49 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? 47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”
    • Obedience is a key factor in our relationship with God (1 Samuel 15:22, John 14:15). God has given us a lot to do – the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), shining as lights in a dark world (Matthew 5:16), and so much more. It takes time to build a life of obedience!

Take Time to Praise
  • Luke 10:17-21 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather[f] rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
    • Jesus rejoiced in the blessings of the Father. Heartfelt praise for the Lord in response to the goodness and perfection of His ways bring glory to Him and bring us closer to Him. Bless the Lord with all that you are (Psalm 103:1-2). It takes time to rejoice in praise for all the good that God does!

Take Time to Listen
  • Luke 10:38-42 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
    • There is always much good work to be done. But we must take time to listen to the Lord. God speaks to us through His Word, His Holy Spirit, His church, the Godly wisdom of other Christians, circumstances, discipline, and many other ways (Hebrews 1:1-2, Hebrews 12:5). It takes time to discern what God is saying to us!

Take Time to Count the Costs
  • Luke 14:27-33 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
    • Following Jesus is the greatest purpose for any life. But there are costs; there must be change (Mark 8:35, 2 Corinthians 5:17). Opposition from Satan and the fallen world are promised for those who surrender their lives to the Lordship of Jesus (Ephesians 6:11, John 15:18). And although we are made perfectly righteous and complete before God when we accept Christ’s gift of salvation, it takes time to become in practice who we are in position (Hebrews 10:14, Philippians 1:6). It takes time to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Take time to understand, appreciate, enjoy, embrace, embody and share who you are in Jesus.

As a Christian, you are part of something special, Christ’s church. Anything you lost or left behind has been replaced with better and eternal blessings.
  • Luke 18:29-30 So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Taking time for and with God is an act of discipline and an exercise in patience.
  • Discipline – Intentionally and regularly setting aside time for those things that exemplify a thriving relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Patience – Faithfully anticipating those times yet to come when you will realize the fulfillment of God’s purposes and promises.

Take time to love God with all that you are!!!


Eternal Heavenly Father, I pray that You will give Your children the faith, wisdom, power, strength, patience, endurance, courage and hope needed to live a life that honors You. Guide and teach us, protect and comfort us, enable and encourage us as we take time for You. I praise You for Your faithfulness. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015



God had a perfect plan before the creation of the earth. He knew that man would sin. He understood that Christ would be the only means of reconciliation between Himself and His creation. And He knows exactly when He will create a new Heaven and a new earth and restore all things to the perfection He desired from the beginning.

God Created Creation
  • Proverbs 3:19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens;
    • In His perfect wisdom God created all things perfectly.

God Cursed Creation
  • Genesis 3:17-18 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.
    • God gave man the freedom to choose between obedience and sin; he chose poorly. Adam’s sin led to the earth being cursed.

God Will Cleanse Creation
  • Romans 8:21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
    • God’s creation is desperately longing for the reconciliation of all things – the time when the curse and it’s effects have been washed away.

The birth of Jesus (‘Savior’) Christ (Messiah, ‘Anointed One’), Immanuel (God with us), marked a turning point in history. Prior to Jesus, the Old Testament promises of deliverance and restoration seemed distant and uncertain. But when a virgin named Mary gave birth to a baby boy in Bethlehem, those promises became extremely personal and very real.

Christmas is a celebration of Christ’s birth and the hope of eternal reconciliation that comes only through Him.
  • Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
  • Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
  • Colossians 1:19-20 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

Jesus is the living hope of God’s creation!










You are Part of God’s Creation
  • Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
  • Acts 4:24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them,
    • Have joined all of creation in rejoicing over the birth of Jesus Christ?

According to God’s plan, Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died for our sins and made a way for the reconciliation of all people to God!
  • Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
  • Luke 2:11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
  • Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
  • Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
  • Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

God gave the greatest gift of all; the gift of His Son Jesus. Although we didn’t deserve it, He gave us this gift so we can be eternally reconciled to Him!
  • John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Christmas - for some;

So many presents.  So many parties.  So many obligations.

Christmas - for followers of Jesus Christ;

Just One way to a right relationship with God!
  • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Rejoice in the true meaning of Christmas!


Gracious Heavenly Father, please reveal the true meaning of Christmas to those who are blind to the reason for the season. Jesus came to die for the sins of the world. Draw the lost to You for salvation in Christ. Sanctify Your children. May Your will be done in all things. Thank You for Jesus. Thank You for eternal life. Thank You for the joy of Christmas. I pray in the Holy and precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Why I Read God’s Word

Why I Read God’s Word

God has given me a tremendous hunger for His Word (a strong desire to know Him through studying the Bible). A healthy helping of scripture is the only thing that satisfies this craving. And although there are many opportunities to snack on the Bread of Life (sermons, small group Bible studies, daily devotions, etc.), a steady diet of personal Bible study is my primary source of spiritual nutrition. And though I greatly appreciate the information and insight I receive from preachers, teachers, mentors and friends, my growth as a Christian depends more on what God feeds me during my personal reading, prayer time and related life experience than on the nuggets I chew when others spoon feed me.

  • Psalm 119:103 How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
    • As children of God, we should crave and enjoy His Word.
  • Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
    • Diligently seeking God involves confirming for yourself what other say about the Word of God.

I pray that you share in this appetite for God’s Word and that you expect and enjoy the inevitable changes in you that result from spending time in study, contemplation and application of God's Word.

Here are some tremendous verses that make clear the importance of learning Biblical doctrine (teaching):
  • Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
    • Studying and applying God’s Word will transform you and help you understand His desires and plans.
  • Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
    • Followers of Jesus must earnestly pay attention to what the Bible teaches us to avoid carelessly losing sight of who we are called to be in Christ.
  • Ephesians 4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
    • Learning God’s Word is a required element of maturing as a Christian. This protects us from the deceitful intent of those who want to see us fall away from following God (see also Colossians 2:8).

Here are three fundamentally important reason Why I Read God’s Word:

To Know God

To Know That God Exist
  • Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
    • The existence of God is undeniable (see also Romans 1:20). But ignorance of the one true God leads to man creating his own gods. God’s Word proclaims His existence!
To Know God’s Character
  • Exodus 34:6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
    • God has told us much about Himself. His Word teaches us about His love, grace, mercy, omnipotence, immutability, omniscience… God’s Word proclaims His character!
To Know God’s Purposes and Plans
  • Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’
    • All we know about God’s designs and intentions are presented in scripture. God’s Word proclaims His purposes and plans!

To Change Me

To Change My Relationship with God
  • John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
    • God’s Word leads me to a right relationship with Him through Jesus (see also Romans 10:17)!
To Change My Mind and Heart
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
    • God’s Word declares that in Christ I am born again - I have a new nature and a new and eternal life!
To Align My Life with God’s Purposes and Plans
  • Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
    • The indwelling presence of God’s Holy Spirit guides me according to God’s will – He gives me the desire and ability to honor Him with my life!

To Impact Others

To Show God’s Love
  • Mark 2:29-31 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
  • Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
  • 1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
    • God’s children are commanded to love – Biblical love demonstrates God’s love!
To Share God’s Truth
  • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
    • The clear and simple truth of the Bible is that a right relationship with God is only found through Jesus Christ!
To Support God’s People
  • Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
    • Christians support and encourage each other!

There are so many more reasons I read God’s Word – but most of them would fit into one or more of the three categories above. 

Let reading God’s Word regularly
be one of the primary ways
you diligently seek Him;
For how do you love and serve
a God you don’t really know?


Father in Heaven, I beg You to fill those who know You with a burning desire to get to know You better by reading, studying and applying Your Word. Also, draw the lost to Yourself by instilling in them a curiosity about, an interest in, or a specific purpose for reading Your Word. Please allow Your Holy Spirit to illuminate all with the truth of Your Word. I pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sons, Saints and Slaves

Sons, Saints and Slaves

As God’s chosen people, the Nation of Israel has an amazing heritage through their relationship with God. He has richly blessed, justly chastened and lovingly preserved the Jews.
  • Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.
  • Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
  • Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

In the Old Testament, Jews in right relationship with God were His sons, saints and slaves.
  • Isaiah 63:16 Doubtless You are our Father, Though Abraham was ignorant of us, And Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O Lord, are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name.
    • There are references to God as Father in the Old Testament; however, God was viewed as the Father of the Nation of Israel. The idea of an intimate, personal and loving Father-son type relationship was not prevalent before the time of Christ.
  • Psalm 34:9 Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.
    • Old Testament Jews who sincerely repented of their sins were ceremonial cleansed by sacrificing animals. Before the once and for all final and perfect payment for sin by the death of Jesus on a Roman cross, additional sin required an additional sacrifice – ceremonial cleansing was not the same as a permanent right standing with God.
  • Psalm 34:22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
    • Redemption during the time before Jesus was only possible by keeping the law of God. Truly faithful and obedient Jews demonstrated their reverence for God by living as bondservants to His commandments.

But when Jesus came, everything changed. Having a proper relationship with God transitioned from conformity with commandments to reliance on relationship. God’s law was fulfilled by God’s grace.
  • Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
  • Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

After Jesus’ death, animal sacrifices became useless. 
  • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
    • The only way for Jews or Gentiles (anyone who is not a Jew) to have a right relationship with God is through Jesus Christ.
  • Ephesians 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
    • ‘both’ refers to Jews and Gentiles.

God has promised and delivered a better covenant.
  • Jeremiah 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
  • Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

Now our faith in our Savior, not our works, makes us right with God. We long to glorify our Lord and obey His law out of love, not obligation.
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
  • Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Through Jesus, all followers of Christ (both Jews and Gentiles) enjoy permanent and perfected relationships with God as sons, saints and slaves.
  • Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
    • Followers of Christ frequently and fervently call out to their loving Father in reverence and reliance. This is a close personal relationship.
  • Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:
    • Followers of Christ are made forever righteous before God through the shed blood of Jesus (See 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Hebrews 10:14). Jesus shed His blood to cover all our sins; past, present and future.
  • Romans 6:22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
    • Followers of Christ are freed from bondage to sin and self so they can faithfully and humbly serve and glorify God. Jesus died and rose from the grave so that we can have eternal life in Heaven with God.


Father, thank You Lord for making me Your son, saint and slave. You have given me a personal, positional and purposeful relationship with You. I pray that you will use Your Word and Your Holy Spirit to reveal this blessing to all Your faithful followers and to draw unbelievers to You for salvation in Jesus Christ. I praise You and love You. I pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015



The Word of God contains eternal truths; in this life we will never learn everything God has to teach us. However, as children of God, we are to learn and grow and change. 
  • 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
  • Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
  • Colossians 3:9-10 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

But Christians don’t just grow from immaturity to maturity, they are also transformed into something new. At the moment of our salvation there is an instantaneous, miraculous change that only God can do: we were transformed from death to life, from enemies of God to friends of God, from darkness to light. We are made right with God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Then we begin to evolve. We are gradually changed through a process called sanctification. Sanctification takes us from being in right legal standing with God to living a life that truly honors and glorifies Him (becoming in practice who we are in position). We are gradually changed from spiritual babies into mature Christians. We go through a process of evolution to become more and more like Jesus Christ.

Below is a high-level overview of this evolutionary process. But to be clear, this is not intended to represent some strict chronological sequence of events. God individualizes each Christian’s evolutionary process to align with His plan and their needs. There are overlaps and restarts. There is no strict order. This is a general representation of the miraculous process of transformation each Christian should experience as they ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’.

You hear or read a new doctrinal truth from scripture. You don’t really understand it or live it out (it doesn’t define who you are). You can repeat it, but you can’t explain it.
  • Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

Then, by the grace of God, the Holy Spirit reveals to you the truth of His teaching. In a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit, you begin to understand. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking you figured out God’s eternal truths on your own, that is very arrogant.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Once you understand something, you must apply it to your life. It is important that we live out what we believe. Faith and knowledge are wonderful, but if we are not applying what God has taught us, we are being disobedient.
  • James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

When you understand and do, you change. Your metamorphosis is a testimony to the world of God’s desire to see all things reconciled to Himself. The more you change, the more God’s love shines through you.
  • Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

God has ordained that each believer should become like His Son Jesus. As we humble ourselves, He lifts us up.  
  • Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

As we grow we spend more and more time in God’s Word. We hide His Word in our hearts through meditation on it and memorization of it. Our thoughts, desires and attitudes become centered on God’s Word.
  • Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
    • Read how Jesus used to Word of God to combat the temptations of Satan in Matthew 4:1-11

The more we grow the more we look to God’s Word and rely on the leading of His Holy Spirit to identify our next opportunity for growth. The more we understand and become, the more we desire to understand and be. This takes us right back to the beginning of the process.
  • James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Our Heavenly Father loves us so very much. He doesn’t just change us and then leave us alone. He is actively engaged in our lives and all the events of the world (whether we understand this or not). He lovingly molds us and gradually transforms us. This is one example of evolution that is true.

God’s love is revealed
in the evolution of His saints.


Thank You Lord for the process of sanctification. You never abandon us. You are always faithful to Your people, Your promises and Your plans. May we be submissive and obedient to the process of change that will continually make us more like Jesus. Your love is amazing. I praise You and pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Diversity of Perversity

Diversity of Perversity

Secular society relentlessly proclaims, ‘Man is basically good.’ There is a presumption of innocence that associates the incessant display of human depravity throughout the world with ‘environmental influences’. If only we could create and maintain a utopian culture where the presumed goodness of the human race would be isolated from any negative or harmful forces.

But the fatal flaw in this thinking is that degenerate human behavior is at the core of every negative environmental influence. The defense of innate human goodness stands on an argument that claims man would be good if only it weren’t for the evil of man.

The Holy Bible has definitively addressed this issue. God clearly and unapologetically proclaims that because of Adam’s rebellion against God’s one restriction in the Garden of Eden, all humans are born with a sin nature.

Man is not ‘basically good’.
  • Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
  • Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
  • Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
  • 1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

And unfortunately for all of us, our sinful nature is manifest through a tremendous Diversity of Perversity. Here are just two of the many portions of scripture that elaborate on just how bad we are.
  • Mark 7:21-22 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.
  • Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But in His love, grace, mercy and justice, the Lord of the universe, the Creator of all things, the One and only true God has made a way that our sin can be dealt with.
  • Psalm 103:10-13 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.

God Himself came to earth in the form of man named Jesus.
  • Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  • Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Jesus lived a sinless life so that He could pay the debt for our sin by dying on a Roman cross.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Surrender to Jesus to be saved from the wrath that God will poor out on those who have not had their sin debt paid.
  • Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

The only way that man becomes good in the sight of God is through accepting the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
  • Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

There may be a Diversity of Perversity when it comes to human nature, but there is only One way to a right relationship with God: Jesus Christ.
  • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a follower of Jesus Christ, the answers are in His Word, the Holy Bible. Pray that God will give you access to His Word. Pray that God will guide you to a mature and faithful Christian who can explain these truths to you. Pray that God’s Holy Spirit will draw you and guide you to the eternal truths about Jesus.


Father in Heaven, I pray that You will shine the Light of Your Truth on broken and repentant hearts. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Light of Your Face

The Light of Your Face

We see many phrases, concepts, themes, lessons, requirements and restrictions repeated throughout the Bible. God uses this repetition to:
  • Share the value of something
  • Stress the importance of something
  • Show the diversity in application of something
  • Secure the unchanging truth of something

In the sixth chapter of Numbers, God taught the priests how to bless the children of Israel.
  • Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’

In the book of Psalms, God repeats the theme of the blessings associated with His face shining on us:
  • Psalm 31:16 Make Your face shine upon Your servant; Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
  • Psalm 67:1 God be merciful to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us,
  • Psalm 80:3 Restore us, O God; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!
    • See also Psalm 80:7, 80:19 and 119:135

God shows his care and concern for us when He looks upon us
  • Exodus 4:31 So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.
  • Luke 1:25 “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

His Word tells how Jesus’ face shines with the glory of God:
  • Matthew 17:1-2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
  • Revelation 21:23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.

We want Him watching over us:
  • 2 Chronicles 6:42 “O Lord God, do not turn away the face of Your Anointed; Remember the mercies of Your servant David.”
  • 1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

When God turns away, He is condemning sin:
  • Deuteronomy 31:18 And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods.
  • Psalm 13:1 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?

Sometimes hard lessons from the Lord make it feel as if He has turned away:
  • Job 13:24 Why do You hide Your face, And regard me as Your enemy?
  • Psalm 13:1 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?

God’s use of repetition in His love letter to us is supremely effective at teaching His truths. I am blessed beyond measure to think about His face shining on me. For now I walk by faith, not by sight. But one day, I will be in His presence to see and experience the glory of the Lord as He looks upon me.

Experience the radiance of His righteousness shining down on you as you diligently seek His blessings.
  • Psalm 105:4 Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!
He is light and He is life. His favor is like a spring rain falling on a field of thirsty crops.
  • Proverbs 16:15 In the light of the king’s face is life, And his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.


Holy Father, may the light of Your face shine upon those who love You, those who seek You, and those who don’t yet know You! Thank You for Your Word and the elegant way You teach us through repetition. I pray for everyone that doesn’t know You; that You would draw them to Jesus for salvation. May the light of Your face shine brightly in this dark world. May the truth of Your love and forgiveness draw all people to You. I pray these things in the name above all names, Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Harvest

The Harvest

Throughout the Bible, The Lord uses agricultural examples to paint word pictures of His will and His ways. Some of the most powerful of these pictures are those of harvesting. God teaches us about the harvesting of souls for eternal life in heaven.
  • John 4:35-36 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
    • He also teaches us about the harvesting of souls that will experience His wrath (see Revelation 14).
The spiritual harvest of a Christian occurs at the moment of their understanding, belief and acceptance of the free gift of salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and Ephesians 1:13). But before the harvest, a seed must be sown, the seed must be watered, and the seed must die, grow and be guaranteed to bring forth fruit. The Lord of the harvest allows His children to participate in this glorious process. Christians are laborers in God’s field.
  • Mark 4:3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.
  • Mark 4:14 The sower sows the word.
  • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
  • Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
    • The Word of God must be sown in the heart of an unbeliever. A person must understand the truth about who Jesus is and what He did (died for the sins of the world) to be saved from God’s wrath against sin. The truth about Jesus is the only way to God. We are commanded to go and share this truth (see the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20).
  • Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
  • 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
  • 2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
  • John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
    • The way we live, the things we say about Jesus, and the authority and responsibility to share the truth about God waters the seeds that are planted.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
  • Mark 4:20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
  • Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies.
    • Salvation in Jesus Christ is a glorious gift from God. Only He can make the seed of His Word grow in the heart of an unbeliever. And each one that hears and accepts the truth will bear some amount of fruit. We are spiritually raised from the dead in Christ when we accept Him as Savior. We receive our eternal body after our earthly body dies and Christ returns to claim His bride.
  • Psalm 107:1-3 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, 3 And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south.
  • Luke 10:2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
    • Pray that God will use every Christian to plant and water seeds, and that He will send laborers to participate in the harvest.
  • Luke 15:7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
  • Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
    • There is a joyous celebration in Heaven each time a person confesses Christ, repents of their sins and becomes a follower of Jesus.
I pray for the harvest;
Lord, put me to work in Your field!
Holy Father in Heaven, use Your children to plant and water the seeds of truth in this lost and dying world. Give the increase by the gift of faith. Draw sinners to Yourself for eternal life. May the harvest be great and the Heavenly celebration be endless! I praise You and love You and ask these things in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Even Through Our Mistakes

Even Through Our Mistakes

No matter how hard we try, whether we deliberately rebel against God or unintentionally do something that doesn’t align with His will, we cannot prevent God’s purposes and plans from being fulfilled. 
  • Genesis 50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
  • Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’
  • Acts 5:38-39 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; 39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”

God’s purposes and plans are elevated above man’s decisions and intentions.
  • Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Here are two examples of God’s sovereign plan being fulfilled despite man’s shortcomings.

King David’s Sin
Despite David committing adultery and murder, and the personal anguish associated with this sin, God’s promise to him was fulfilled – David had a son named Solomon and a descendent named Jesus.

God’s Covenant with David
  • 2 Samuel 7:12-13 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

David’s Sin
  • 2 Samuel 11:4 Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house.
  • 2 Samuel 11:15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die.”

Consequences of David’s Sin
  • 2 Samuel 12:10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’
  • 2 Samuel 12:19 When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?”

God’s Plans Fulfilled

Short-term Fulfillment – Solomon
  • 2 Samuel 12:24 Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the Lord loved him,
  • 1 Kings 1:34 There let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’
Ultimate Fulfillment – Jesus
  • Matthew 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
  • Revelation 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

The Apostle Peter’s Denial
Despite Peter’s lies about not being a follower of Christ, and the personal anguish associated with his denial, Christ’s call for him to follow was accomplished – Peter’s relationship with Christ was reconciled, he faithfully followed Jesus as a leader in the early church and he was martyred for the name of Christ.

Jesus’ Challenge to Peter
  • Mark 1:17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

Peter’s Sin

  • Mark 14:30 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”
  • Mark 14:71 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this Man of whom you speak!”

Consequences of Peter’s Sin
  • Mark 14:72 A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.

God’s plan fulfilled
  • John 21:19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

Even through our mistakes:

God’s purposes and plans are accomplished
  • Joshua 21:43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.
  • Luke 24:44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
God’s character is revealed
  • Isaiah 63:7 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord And the praises of the Lord, According to all that the Lord has bestowed on us, And the great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, According to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses.
God’s children are blessed
  • Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.


Faithful Heavenly Father, Your Word contains so many examples of how Your purposes and plans are fulfilled despite the shortcomings of Your children. Please help us accept and trust Your sovereignty. Please alleviate our anguish and help us accept and acknowledge the forgiveness and love of Jesus Christ. Your purposes and plans depend on Your character and power, not us. Praise to You for Your perfection and mercy. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

One Christ Fits All

One Christ Fits All

One Size Fits All. What a great idea, a product made in one size that works well for a wide variety of needs and situations: a shirt that anyone can wear; a watch that fits on everyone’s wrist; a hat that fits perfectly on any head; etc. Manufacturing these products is efficient. Marketing these products is exciting. Shopping is quick and easy, ‘No need to try this on, it fits everybody!’

Unfortunately, this ‘great idea’ typically doesn’t work out too well in real life. For the one size fits all shirt, there is a small number of people that this ‘one size’ fits pretty well; but for the majority of people, they are either swallowed up in it or they can hardly get it on because it is so tight.

But there is one ‘One Size Fits All’ that never disappoints, the Son of God Jesus Christ!
  • Acts 10:34-35 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

Christ lived a sinless life, taught the truth about God, perfectly demonstrated the love of God, died on a cross, rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven to make a way to God for everyone that believes and confesses that Jesus is Lord and rose from the dead. He did all this to save us from God’s wrath against sin.
  • Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Here are just a few of the verses from the Word of God that clearly state Jesus is Savior for everyone who believes in Him and accepts His gift of salvation.
  • Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
  • Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
  • Romans 3:22-23 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Your age, gender, nationality, social status, religious background, income, health, past, shortcomings, etc., etc. aren’t what separate you from God; it is your sin that does that. And the good news about Jesus is, He died to pay your sin debt once and for all. He died for all your sin (past, present and future).
  • John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
  • Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

Here is hard and wonderful truth, Jesus is the only way to a right relationship with God and eternal life in Heaven.
  • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Jesus is the 'One Christ Fits All' 

He perfectly satisfies the most important need of every person on the earth – the way to be in right relationship with the one and only true God of the universe.


Father God, please touch the heart of those who need salvation in Christ. Thank you for Jesus, the One and only one way to peace with You. I pray in the name of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Eager to Endure

Eager to Endure

Christians encounter temptation, obstacles, struggles and weakness every day. Our adversary (Satan), our environment (the world) and our nature (the flesh) are relentlessly trying to undermine our objective and desire to faithfully serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We need endurance to run this race.
  • Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    • Jesus was Eager to Endure: confidently focused on ultimate outcomes, He steadfastly continued on through unimaginable suffering and shame.

It is tempting to take the easy path, to be jealous of those who carelessly, selfishly or recklessly blast through life without care or concern for the impact and consequences of how they live.
  • Proverbs 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;
    • Don’t lose your focus, steadfastly respect and honor the Lord at all times.

The endurance needed for the Christian life doesn’t come naturally. We need God and His church (the body of Christ – our brothers and sisters in Christ) to persevere. Here are four foundational factors that will help ensure that you are Eager to Endure.

  • Hebrews 6:11-12 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
    • Learn from those whose faith and fortitude honor the Lord and His calling. Then put what you learn into action.

  • James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
    • Joyfully expect God to use the trials and tragedies of today to mold and mature you for tomorrow.

  • Acts 14:21-22 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
    • Humbly and genuinely accept the encouragement and support of other Christians. God will use His saints to lift you up.

  • Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
    • Acknowledge, accept, appreciate and apply the presence, power and purpose of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Are you Eager to Endure?

Remember what God has done!
Relish what God is doing!
Rely on what God has promised!


Praise to You Lord for all You have done, all You are doing, and all that You will do!! Holy, holy, holy is Your name. I pray that when I am weak, scared, lonely, confused, frustrated, tired or uncertain, that in Your love, grace and mercy, You will help me to endure for Your glory. Put Godly people in front of me. Help me trust all You do and allow. Help me to accept encouragement. Fill me with Your Spirit. Make me eager to endure the life You have called me to live. I pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Do As I Say, Just As I Do

Do As I Say, Just As I Do

Are you familiar with that old saying, ‘Do as I say, not as I do!’? That saying exists because, when someone sets challenging expectations for themselves or others, they often fail, forget or flout the very guidelines(s) they establish. Despite our good intentions, because of the weakness of our flesh (our sinful/fallen human nature), we frequently fall short when it comes to:
  • Fulfilling Our Promises
  • Finalizing Our Plans
  • Forfeiting Our Passions
  • Finishing Our Projects


Jesus understands our weaknesses; He wants us to talk to Him about them.
  • Mark 14:38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Jehovah is Who He claims to be. He does what He says He will do. His Words and Works bear witness to Who He is and who He empowers us to be!
  • 1 Peter 1:16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

One of the clearest demonstrations of this truth is His command to love our enemies.
  • Matthew 5:43-44 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
    • Godly love is about decisions, actions and responsibilities; not feelings, intentions and fantasies (read 1 Corinthians 13).

Scripture is clear, there is no middle ground; you are either with God or against Him. You are either God’s friend or His enemy. 
  • Matthew 12:30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
  • James 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
    • Which side are you on?

Every person saved by the blood of Jesus Christ is proof that God has shown Himself worthy to say, ‘Do as I say, just as I do.’ He has shown love for His enemies. He has done good to those who hate Him.

God has taken us:

From Death to Life
When we were dead in our sins, God made us alive!
  • Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
  • Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
  • Romans 6:13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

From Enemies to Friends
When our wicked ways made us His enemies, Jesus died to make us His friends.
  • John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
  • Romans 5:8 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Colossians 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled

From Foreigners and Strangers to Citizens and Family
When we were estranged from God, His love brought us close.
  • Ephesians 2:12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
  • Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
  • 1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

God has told us how to live in His Word. 
God has shown us how to live by His Works.

Psalm 33:4 For the word of the Lord is right,
And all His work is done in truth.


Father God, Creator of heaven and earth, Lover of the unlovable, Forgiver of the unforgiveable; thank You so much for not just telling us how to live, but for showing us. Praise be to Your holy name for giving me life when I was dead, for forgiving me when I hated You, for saving me when I was lost. Please breathe life into someone reading this devotion. I praise You and I love You. I pray these things in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

How Small A Whisper

How Small A Whisper

What an amazing God we have! When you stop and think about what He has revealed of Himself, He is truly incredible. Look at His creation, read His Word, yield to His Holy Spirit, participate in His church, experience the life He has given you… But for all we know about Him (or think we know about Him), the Bible is very clear, He is beyond our understanding. 

We have merely:
  • Heard a whisper of what He has to say
  • Witnessed a finite sampling of His infinite work
  • Skimmed the surface of His knowledge and wisdom
  • Contemplated the rudimentary aspects of His judgments
  • Observed a miniscule sampling of His ways
    • Job 9:10 He does great things past finding out, Yes, wonders without number.
    • Job 26:14 Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, And how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?”
    • Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

We actually have an extraordinarily limited understanding of who God is. Yet considering that our cognitive abilities are limited by finite reasoning, through His generosity, we know enough about Him to come to know and love Him as our Lord, Savior and Friend!

Personally, I am glad that our God is past understanding. And I am eternally grateful for what He has revealed of Himself to us. Knowing God is exciting, enriching, empowering and so much more.

The scripture below is just a sampling of what the Bible has to say about Who God Is and What He Does.  Our God is awesome.  Praise Him!!

In Wisdom He Creates
  • Proverbs 3:19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens;
  • Psalm 104:24 O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions
  • Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

In Grace He Provides
  • Psalm 65:3 Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them.
  • Matthew 5:45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

In Mercy He Sustains
  • Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
  • 1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In Patience He Waits
  • Psalm 86:15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.
  • Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
  • 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

In Love He Redeems
  • Psalm 130:7 O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption.
  • John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • 1 Peter 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

In Faithfulness He Forgives
  • Lamentations 3:22-23 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
  • Matthew 9:2 Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
  • 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In Righteousness He Judges
  • Psalm 9:7-8 But the Lord shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. 8 He shall judge the world in righteousness, And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.
  • 2 Timothy 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
  • Revelation 16:5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying: “You are righteous, O Lord, The One who is and who was and who is to be, Because You have judged these things.

In Peace He Reigns
  • Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
  • John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
  • Revelation 21:3-4 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

No matter how small the whispers,
Each one fills me with awe and wonder.


Father, fill us with wonder and amazement at who You are and what You do. Forgive us when we arrogantly assume that we have learned all we can about You. Love us as only You can! Help us to hear Your precious whispers. I pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Having Not Seen

Having Not Seen

With the exponential progression in scientific knowledge and technology, our expectations have shifted dramatically. We live in a world that anticipates:
  • The Impossible to become Reachable
  • The Imagined to become Reality
  • The Incredible to become Routine

One of the most basic human qualities that has contributed to our reaching this point is the willingness to believe in things we haven’t actually seen. Here are a couple of very simple examples:

Love – The strong feelings one person has for someone or something that is evidenced by words and actions.
  • You can see the actions and hear the words; but you can’t see love.
    • Yet the same words and actions could be attributed to manipulation or infatuation.
Gravity – The physical attraction between physical entities as evidenced by an apple falling from a tree limb to the ground or the orbital path of a planet around its sun.
  • You can observe the physical phenomenon of gravity; but you can’t see gravity.
    • Yet there are other attractions between physical entities that are attributed to magnetism or intermolecular forces.
Leonardo da Vinci – The historical figure who lived between 1452 and 1519 as evidenced by his drawings, paintings, writings, sculptures, inventions, etc.
  • You can observe the physical evidence of his existence, you can read the historical accounts of his life and you can visit the place he is buried; but no one living today has actually seen the man.
    • Yet there is plenty of evidence of other painters, architects, etc. that lived during the same period of history as Leonardo da Vinci.

I am certainly not suggesting that love, gravity or Leonardo don’t/didn’t exist. My point is simply this, our ability and willingness as humans to see beyond what can be perceived with the eyes has established aspects of our history, enabled advances in our daily lives and engendered anticipation about our future.

So why is it, when it comes to Jesus Christ and the fundamental teachings of the Bible, the unbelieving world rejects these truths as rubbish based on what they consider a lack of visible proof?
  • Romans 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

Here are two important verses from the Bible linking belief in things that have not been seen with the fundamentally critical nature of faith in our relationship with God.
  • Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
  • Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Jesus clearly stated that that those who believe in Him without having seen Him are blessed.
  • John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Paul didn’t teach that seeing is believing; he taught that belief without sight guides our lives.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Peter taught that a Christian’s love for Jesus and joy in Him are not based on seeing Him, but on believing in Him.
  • 1 Peter 1:8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

So back to love, gravity and Leonardo:

The Love of Jesus
  • Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood
    • Jesus loved us so much He died for us.

The Power of Jesus
  • John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
    • Jesus has the power to create something from nothing.
  • John 11:43-44 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
    • Jesus has the power to raise the dead.
  • Mark 4:39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
    • Jesus has power over nature.
  • Matthew 14:14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
    • Jesus has the power to heal.

The Person of Jesus
  • 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
  • John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
    • Jesus is fully man and fully God.

Christians may not have seen Jesus,
but we believe in Him, worship Him,
praise Him, love Him, obey Him
and trust in Him.

The faith to believe in Jesus without having seen Him comes from His Word, the Bible. Read the Word of God and ask Him to open your heart to the truth about Jesus.
  • Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.


Father, I have never seen You. But You have revealed Yourself through Your Word, Your Creation, Your Spirit, Your Church and so much more. I believe in You and put all my trust in You. Please reveal yourself to anyone who reads this devotion that does not know you as personal Lord and Savior. I love You! In Christ’s holy name I pray, Amen.