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.