Sunday, July 29, 2018



Everybody is looking for something. What is it that you desire more than anything else? Do you know where to look for it? Do you have any idea where it might come from?
  • Psalm 121:1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help?

The question that really needs to be asked is, ‘Is what you are looking for what you really need?’

When it comes down to it, from an eternal perspective, there are three things that every person needs.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
    • Faith – We all need something we can count on in this life. There is no greater truth and no higher power than Jehovah, the God of the Bible. We must trust in Him with all that we are.
      • Isaiah 45:22 “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
    • Hope – We all need something that keeps us going in this life. Regardless of how desperate things may seem, we must have confident assurance in His righteous, sovereign rule.
      • 2 Chronicles 20:12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
    • Love – We all need something that assures us we are highly valued. That something is the perfect love of God. He loves us so much, that He came to earth, lived a sinless life, and died on a cross to pay our sin debt – even when we didn’t deserve it or know we needed it. In order to spend eternity in heaven with Him, we must reciprocate His love by turning to Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
      • Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

There is One and only One Who can meet our ultimate needs – the self-existent eternal creator of all things!
  • Psalm 121:1-2 I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

Have Faith in Him!

Find Hope through Him!

Experience Love from Him and for Him!


Father, please reveal Yourself through the absolute truth of Your Word to those who don’t know You as Lord and Savior. Draw them through faith, encourage them in hope and transform them with love. Help them see their need for You above all else. I humbly ask these things in the name of my Savior, Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

What If

What If

As much as I hate to admit it, I spend way too much time and energy focusing on what I perceive as possible problems, likely inconveniences, and potential negative outcomes in my life. And I do this despite knowing that our loving sovereign Heavenly Father is actively involved in the events of our lives and the fulfillment of His prophecies and promises. Honestly, my unintentional preoccupation with these matters can overwhelm my mind and causes significant unnecessary stress in my life. There is nothing particularly wrong with asking, ‘What if ______?’, but I am over doing it!

Over the past week, I have been thinking and praying about this a great deal. My thoughts and prayers have led me to consider two phenomenal examples from the Bible that, instead of being consumed with their own circumstances and pondering multitudes of ‘what ifs’ about tomorrow, focused on glorifying God today regardless of the situations they faced.

Joseph, the son of Abraham

  • Genesis 37:23-24 So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. 24 Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.
    • Eleven of Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery because they were jealous of their father’s love for him.
Falsely Accused
  • Genesis 39:19-20 So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused. 20 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison.
    • The wife of Joseph’s master lied about what he had done so that her husband would throw Joseph into prison.
Giving Father God the Glory
  • Genesis 41:15-16 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.” 16 So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”
    • Joseph acknowledged that it was not him, but Father God who was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dream.
Acknowledging Father God’s Sovereign Rule
  • 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.
    • Joseph proclaimed that, it is Father God who rules over all things; in spite of, and/or in conjunction with the free will of man, He is working all things out to accomplish His ultimate purposes and plans.

Jesus, the Son of God

  • Matthew 26:47-48 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.”
    • One of Jesus’ disciples turned Him over to the religions leaders for 30 pieces of silver.
Falsely Accused
  • Matthew 26:59-61 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60 but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ”
    • The two false witnesses lied about what Jesus had said so that the religious leaders could charge Him with a crime punishable by death.
Giving Father God the Glory
  • Matthew 26:63-64 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” 64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
    • Jesus acknowledged that He is God (the Son of God), but that He is also submissive to Father God.
Acknowledging Father God’s Sovereign Rule
  • John 19:10-11 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
    • Jesus proclaimed that, it is Father God who rules over all things; in spite of, and/or in conjunction with the free will of man, He is working all things out to accomplish His ultimate purposes and plans.

What if:

Instead of asking so many questions,
I trusted God with the outcomes?

Instead of worrying about tomorrow,
I concentrated on bringing glory to God right now?

Instead of focusing so much on how things may impact me,
I watched with joyful anticipation to see what God is going to do?

Although often pondered, quoted and referenced, this week has brought me a much deeper and personal appreciation for the following verses:
  • Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
  • Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
  • John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
  • 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.”

As with many other areas of my walk with Christ, I have a long way to go. But I am on the path with Him. I now understand this issue much more clearly than I did a week ago, and trust Him to strengthen me for, and guide me through, the changes that need to take place in my life to honor Him in these things.


Dear Lord, please help me to let go of all the what ifs that flood my mind and steal my peace. Fill me with the truth from Your Word above so that I don’t just know them, but that I live them out daily. I praise You and thank You in the name of the one who died for me – Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

For I AM, Am I Willing To…

For I AM, Am I Willing To…

In Exodus chapter 3, in response to Moses’ asking for His name, the God of the Bible referred to Himself as ‘I AM’.
  • Exodus 3:14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”
In this name, the only true God, existing as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, identified himself as both self-existent (He was not created) and eternal (He has no beginning and no end). But He is not a distant, uncaring God. Our heavenly Father has revealed Himself and His love for us in countless ways.

He Created Us
With love and care, Father God intentionally and purposefully made each one of us.
  • Psalm 100:3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 

He Protects Us
With wisdom and power, the Lord shelters those who turn to Him.
  • Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

He Forgives Us
With compassion and mercy, Jehovah God pardons the sins of the repentant.
  • Psalm 86:5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

He Frees Us
With the shed blood of Jesus Christ, I AM delivers the souls of those who have faith in Him.
  • Psalm 34:22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

I am a born again believer in Jesus Christ. I have surrendered my life to the truth of His life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension. Jesus is my Lord, my Savior and my God. He is the bridge between me and Father God – the one and only way by which my sins have been forgiven and my relationship with God has been reconciled. But as much as I love him, as much as I long to please Him, I wonder, if for I AM, am I willing to:

Do I completely trust in this Savior that I cannot see and these truths that I may not fully comprehend?
  • 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.”

Do I always consider Father God’s standards, desires and plans as I make decisions?
  • Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

Do I joyfully prioritize other people’s needs ahead of my own?
  • Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Do I unconditionally put my personal comfort, possessions, freedoms and/or life at risk for His glory and purposes?
  • 2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

Do I completely, always, joyfully and unconditionally live for Christ? The honest answer is no. But I want to. I long to.

Thankfully, the liberating truth of the gospel is, Jesus had to die on the cross. I am incapable of living a perfect life. That is what He did. And that is why, when I put my trust in Him, His shed blood pays my sin debt.
  • Galatians 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
  • Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
  • 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.

For I AM, I am willing to:
  • Depend on His perfection, righteousness, faithfulness and strength, not my own!
  • Acknowledge my deficiencies and shortcomings as I confidently trust Him for the forgiveness of them!
  • Resist the temptation to give up the fight – for He never once gave up on me!
  • Persevere in this walk with Him – because He gives me the desire and ability to do so!
  • Trust that His Word and His promises are true!
  • Honor Him by being honest, humble, repentant, forgiving, loving, kind and merciful!
  • Learn as I go – I am a work in progress.


My Lord and King, help me trust in You, not in myself. Teach me to submit, surrender, serve and suffer in Your strength and goodness, and always for Your glory. I pray that my life will point others to You. Thank You for being the gracious, merciful, just and loving Father that You are. I pray these things in the name of Your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Our Miraculously Practical God

Our Miraculously Practical God

Have you heard the story about the Christian who died in the flood?

A faithful servant of God lived his entire life on the banks of a beautiful river. He thanked God daily for his home and the provisions and blessings associated with his land and its close proximity to the picturesque waterway. But one day, a tremendous storm came through the area upstream of his home. As the water level of the river started to rise, the man began to pray. He prayed with great faith and passion for the protection of his home and his life. When the waters reached his front door, he continued in prayer and moved his most precious belongings to the attic. And as the unrelenting waters rose higher, he persisted in prayer and went up to the roof. At this point, realizing his home and belongings were lost to the flood, He thanked God for keeping him alive. He rejoiced at the blessings of his life and again faithfully asked God to deliver him from the flood waters.

After just a few hours, a man came by in a boat. He urged the man on the roof to abandon his home and leave with him in the boat. The man on the roof confidently proclaimed, ‘I have faith in God. I prayed for Him to spare my life and I know that He will deliver me. Please, go rescue those who need your help.’ The boat left.

Another couple of hours went by and the floodwaters had almost covered his entire roof. Faintly at first, then louder and louder, the man heard a tremendous noise. It was a helicopter. The National Guard lowered a basket to the man and pleaded with him to climb in. Without hesitation, the man on the roof shouted up to the helicopter, ‘There are many others who need your help! I have prayed that God will deliver me! Please go help someone else!’ Reluctantly, the helicopter flew away.

Within two hours of the helicopter leaving, the man on the roof was washed away and drowned. When he got to heaven, he asked God, ‘Why didn’t you save me?’ God smiled and said, ‘My son, I gave you time to leave your home. I also sent a boat and a helicopter to deliver you from the floodwaters.’ A little embarrassed, and now with a smile on his face, the man simply said, ‘O, that was you.’

We serve an amazing, all-powerful God who has demonstrated His character, His love, His justice and His will in many ways that are beyond our complete comprehension.

Creating Something from Nothing
God created all physical matter when nothing physical existed.
  • Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Making a Way of Escape
With the Israelites trapped by Pharaoh’s army, God provided a path to safety through the Red Sea.
  • Exodus 14:21-22 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
Raising the Dead to Life
Lazarus had been dead four days when Jesus commanded him to walk out of his tomb.
  • 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.”
Calming the Wind and the Sea
Jesus’ disciples went from fear to awe as He displayed His divine authority over nature.
  • Matthew 8:25-27 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

But sometimes, in awe of who He is, in astonishment of the incredible things He has done, and in anticipation of what great things He may do, we lose sight of His engagement with the everyday aspects of our lives. Yet, despite our lack of observation, understanding and appreciation, in the midst of our daily struggles and sometime mundane routines, He is there. We serve a miraculously practical God who answers our prayers and graciously meets our needs according to His will, in His time, and often with wondrous sovereign acts that can mistakenly be viewed as mundane.

Artistic Ability
God gave a man incredible talent, insight and wisdom to complete the work He had commanded to be done.
  • Exodus 31:1-5 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, 5 in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.
A Close Friend
King Saul sought to kill David. But God provided a friend and advocate for David in Saul’s son Jonathan.
  • 1 Samuel 18:1 Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
True Rest
Jesus gives His love and gave His life so that in Him, we might find rest from the heavy burdens life.
  • Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Victory Over Temptation
The gift of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit provides the power, wisdom and conviction to overcome the enticements of sin.
  • Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Don’t miss the miracle from God
that may appear ordinary
because you are waiting for Him to do something
that will be perceived as extraordinary!

Focus on loving, obeying, pleasing and glorifying Father God, and He will take care of everything else. Our walk with Him isn’t always easy (sometimes it is very difficult); but He is always there. He is lovingly and sovereignly watching, anticipating, overseeing, providing and guiding.
  • Psalm 139:1-6 O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. 5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
  • Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.


Holy Father, help Your children to recognize and appreciate the miraculously practical ways You work in our lives and in the world around us. Forgive us when we want or expect something viewed as extraordinary instead of gratefully acknowledging the innumerable ways you express Your love in less blatantly obvious ways. Help us to surrender to Your will and Your ways. I ask these things in the name of Jesus my Savior. Amen.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

I Can

I Can

Pride lurks deep within the sin nature of all people (that includes Christians). And because of this, there is always the possibility that we might start to view His power as our ability. This possibility represents a clear and present danger in our relationships with God, the church and the world. Therefore, we must prayerfully examine ourselves on an ongoing basis to ensure that we are not letting pride enter and corrupt our understanding and perspectives about who God is and who we are.

Have you ever felt or believed that:

I can earn God’s favor.
  • Romans 3:27-28 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
    • Our Standing – Our righteous position before God is based on our faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ to pay our sin debt and to bring us into a reconciled relationship with Father God. God is not indebted to us for what we do for Him. We can’t earn His love – it is given freely. Genuine faith in Him is the key to this love relationship.
      • Also read Ephesians 2:8-9
I can live a God-honoring life because of my dedication and efforts.
  • Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
    • Our Testimony – Whether it is the victories we experience over the sin in our lives, or other things we do (or don’t do) that bring glory to God, it is not in our human nature to reverence Him. It is the presence, power and purpose of His Holy Spirit that calls, convicts and enables us to live according to the truth and standards revealed in His Word. The life we live in reverential awe and respect for Father God is a result of Him working in us, not us working for Him.
      • Also read Hebrews 13:20-21
I can figure out the deep meanings and correct application of God’s Word on my own.
  • 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.
    • Our Understanding – The Bible is full of true stories, historical facts, straightforward teachings, sensible standards, and much more that we can intellectually process, understand and apply to our lives with the help of pastors, teachers, other Christians and personal Bible Study. But comprehending, embracing and exemplifying the eternal truths and deep spiritual realities of scripture is only possible through a submissive encounter with the Holy Spirit of God. Praise God for His teaching ministry.
      • Also read Ephesians 1:15-17
I can convince someone that they should surrender their life to Jesus.
  • John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
    • Our Influence – No matter how eloquent, organized, passionate, convincing, persistent, etc. we may be, we are not able to talk someone into genuine saving faith in Jesus. Salvation results when a sovereign act meets submissive obedience. Father God draws a person to Christ with the gift of saving faith. When that person humbly accepts this gift and responds by surrendering all that they are to the Lordship of Jesus, they are spiritually reborn and adopted into the family of God. We are responsible for sharing the truth of the Bible through our words and our lives. We are not responsible for the results of another person’s encounter with God.
      • Also read John 1:12-13

Do you think that you love the unlovable because you are just that awesome? Are you convinced that you are putting other’s needs above your own because of your natural selfless desire to serve humanity? Have you started to believe that your merciful nature is why you forgive the unforgivable? If so, you have forgotten who you really are apart from God.
  • Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
Anything and everything good in us comes from Him.
  • John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
  • 2 Cor 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,

To what in your life are you saying that,
‘I can!’,

When you should be praying that,
‘God will!’?

Be honest with yourself and God. Turn from your pride and confess this sin. He is faithful and just to forgive your sins!


Father, help Your children thoroughly examine themselves. Show us any pride that may have crept into our lives. Cleanse us of this sin as we turn from it, turn to You, and confess our shortcomings. Help us to humbly and thankfully keep our eyes on You at all times. Help us to never forget that everything good is a gift from You. Please use Your Spirit and Your Word to empower and enable us through the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. To You be the glory. I pray this all in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.