Born of the Spirit


“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from or where it goes. So is everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3: 6 – 8)


Jesus likens the Holy Spirit to the wind, which blows wherever it pleases; its origin and destination remain unknown to everyone who has rejected the gospel message. To those who are carnal, the way that Christians speak and behave seems strange and even foolish. Why be honest? Why be charitable? Why serve others? Why be kind to our enemies?

When God directed Noah to construct a massive boat in the middle of nowhere, he obeyed because he knew that a flood was coming, and that everyone but his family would soon perish. Those carnal souls who observed his tireless efforts must have questioned his sanity. Only a fool would construct a boat in the absence of the water needed to sail it.

Like Noah, when an individual receives the Holy Spirit, their actions and behaviors change, based upon what they know is coming in the future. For some everlasting life, and for others, everlasting death. We die in the present so that we may live in God’s eternal kingdom. We remain obedient, speak the truth, and preach the gospel so that others might also receive salvation and avoid the coming judgement. May we always follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

“Lord Heavenly Father, as we journey through this world, may we continue to preach the gospel message. Number our steps, that we might obey the Holy Spirit, and remain faithful in everything that we do. May our efforts be diligent, and our actions righteous. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Becoming as Little Children


     At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” (Matthew 18: 1-5)


    Simply put, humility is the acceptance of helplessness.  Although we are all called to repent, the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ isn’t something that can be earned; it is something that can only be received.  Children inherently realize their own helplessness, and thus look to their parents for the fulfillment of their daily needs.  The disciples had yet to realize that those who displayed the greatest degree of humility, also elevated and honored God the most. Today, those who are nearest to the Lord, lower themselves down so that God may be lifted up in their place.

   In nature, birds represent an abundant group of animals.  Their young ones remain sheltered in nests while the adults go hunting; thus enabling them to establish a continuous supply of food.  No chick can provide for itself; they can’t fly, fend off predators, keep warm, or even clean themselves properly. They never stray from their nests because they instinctively understand their own limitations, and in turn, they comprehend the value of their parents. Lacking any sense of pride, the nestlings receive their care and nourishment as little children.

     Today, God has sent His Son to us, that we might consume eternal food.  We exist in this passing world for a short time before we can enter the Kingdom of God. Those who venture out to achieve righteousness for themselves will only discover death. Genuine salvation is a gift from God that can only be received; it cannot be earned (Note: Good works must also be accomplished in His name.) Outside of God’s provision we are incapable of becoming right with Him. By nature we are little children. May we understand this truth as we continue on our journey with Jesus Christ.

     “Lord Heavenly Father, as we walk through this world may we always lift You up.  You are an amazing, powerful, and awesome God.  You alone are Holy and righteous, and we thank You for all that You have done for us.  We ask and pray that You would lead us into humility and lowliness of heart. May we always seek Your righteousness and not our own. Feed us with Your spiritual food, that we might continue as little children.  We love You Lord, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Spreading the Gospel with Efficiency


“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” (Matthew 7: 6)


Jesus instructs His followers to spread the gospel with the greatest degree of efficiency. The message of salvation is likened to holy pearls, which filthy animals such as dogs and pigs can never receive or appreciate. In a similar fashion, we must use discretion and wisdom when presenting the truth to people (some of whom are likened to brute beasts.) We should therefore avoid pouring our valuable words and resources into those who will never be converted or transformed. By avoiding these rebellious souls, we can reach even more individuals for Christ.

Some years ago, a local church decided to start a new movement in the surrounding community; otherwise known as a ‘motel ministry.’ They set their eyes on a local motel; a shabby complex notorious for housing drug addicts, criminals, alcoholics, and outcasts of every kind. A Sunday service was started and resources began pouring in. Individuals were provided with food and assistance of every kind. To most observers, the program appeared to be a noble attempt to show affection for outcasts and sinners. And yet, after many weeks of preaching and ministering, the church abruptly discontinued the entire endeavor. The reason was simple; they were not observing any genuine conversions; nor was the message producing any meaningful changes. The church admitted that rather than being productive, they were actually enabling people to live in sin with greater ease and comfort.

God never wastes His resources and neither should we. As Christians our mission is to spread the gospel message. We are thus commanded to avoid pouring into individuals who are Godless mockers; men and women who will never receive the riches of faith. Therefore, whenever the salvation of God is rejected, we need only move forward; refocusing our efforts on those who show an interest in being reconciled with the Lord. If we are led by the Spirit, then we will produce much fruit with great efficiency.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to spread the gospel message to the ends of the earth. Strengthen us, that we might evangelize without fear. As we minister to others, speak to our hearts, that we might avoid preaching to those who are brute beasts; men and women who revel in their godlessness. Instead, lead us to those whose hearts have been softened and prepared to hear Your truth. Use us Lord, that we might produce much fruit for Your Kingdom. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you!

Consider the Cost


“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, doesn’t sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build but was not able to finish?'” (Luke 14: 27 – 30)


Jesus used this parable to warn any potential followers of the lifelong hardships they would endure as a result of Christian living. In full disclosure, He instructs them to “count the cost,” lest they commit themselves in error and eventually turn away from the faith prior to entering eternal life. In this present age, genuine believers will experience overwhelming joy, peace, sanity, healing and truth; but in service to God, they will also know suffering, persecution, hatred, and temporary discomfort. The Christian path is narrow, difficult, and rarely chosen. And yet it is the only way to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Adoniram Judson, the renowned missionary to Burma, experienced untold hardships while trying to reach the lost for Christ. For seven years he suffered hunger and poverty. He was eventually thrown into Ava Prison, where he endured incredible mistreatment for 17 months. For the rest of his life he would carry the ugly scars from the chains and iron shackles that bound him. Upon his release, he remained steadfast. He asked for permission to enter another province where he could continue preaching the Gospel. The godless ruler denied his request, saying, “My people are not foolish enough to listen to anything a missionary might say, but I fear they might be impressed with your scars and turn to your religion.”

Before an individual makes the decision to follow Jesus, they too must sit down and consider the cost. What does Christ expect from us? The answer is, ‘everything.’ Our whole lives. By submitting ourselves to His will, we can know unfading joy and everlasting peace. Following Jesus is a lifelong endeavor which requires great sacrifice; we will endure untold hardships, and persistent persecution. And yet, if we lay down our lives now, we will receive the greatest prize imaginable; eternal life with God in His kingdom.

“Lord Heavenly Father, may we continue to walk in faith as we spread the gospel to those who are willing to receive Your truth. Fill our hearts with joy, even as we endure persecution and suffering for Your Name’s sake. Order our steps and guide our decisions, that we might serve others and willingly sacrifice our own wants to accomplish Your desires. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Where God Guides God Provides


Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. And He said, Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.” (Luke 9: 1 – 6)


Jesus sent His disciples out into the surrounding communities to preach the gospel message and to heal the sick. They were prohibited from carrying any provisions with them on their journey; no food, no money, and no additional clothing. Thus they were required to rely upon God for the fulfillment of their daily needs. As a consequence, none of them were in want for anything. The Christian principle established through this scripture can be condensed into one simple phrase; “Where God guides, God provides.”

There once lived an old testament prophet named Elijah, who was ordered by God to address King Ahab (an evil ruler.) Elijah spoke, saying, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.” His pronouncement of an impending drought made Elijah a target. In anger, the King sought to murder him. In turn, we read, ‘Then the word of the Lord came to him (Elijah), saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook.’ Thus, in seclusion his life was preserved.

Like Elijah and the disciples, those who are obedient to God’s calling needn’t worry about the fulfillment of their own needs. As we endeavor to spread the gospel and serve others, the Lord will provide us with everything we require. We need but ask and we will receive the blessings of God. Only He can be trusted; only He can be relied upon. And so in Him the expression is true, “wherever God guides, God provides.”

Lord Heavenly Father, give us the faith required to rely upon You completely. Guide and direct our thoughts and actions, as we minister to others and preach the gospel message. May we never fear, or lack any trust in Your provision. As we continue to walk in Spirit with You Lord, may we have confidence in knowing that wherever You guide, You also provide. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

A New Family


“Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.” But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8: 19 – 21)


As Jesus preached to the masses, His mother and brothers arrived. And yet the thick crowds prevented them from reaching Him. Upon being made aware of their presence, Jesus verbally dismantles the priority of traditional family affiliation. Thus, the importance of biological association is no longer a cause for preference. Instead, a new spiritual family has been established; a family comprised of individuals who not only profess a belief in Jesus Christ, but also implement His teachings into their daily lives. In turn, genuine faith is always accompanied by good works.

Since the beginning, authentic Christianity has consistently been very works oriented. We read in the book of James, “What does it profit my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead.” (James 2: 14 – 17)

When we place our trust in Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit we are reborn into a new family. We become children of the Living God; sons and daughters of the Most High. As brothers and sisters in Christ we are no longer affiliated merely by what we express verbally, but instead, by the works that accompany our confessions of faith. Odedience to God and the teachings of Jesus Christ are physical manifestations of true belief. May we continue to accomplish good works in our community and among the family of believers.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we are truly grateful for Your mercy and grace. As we walk in fellowship with You, may we obey the teachings of Your Son and love our new brothers and sisters. Permit our faithfulness and acts of affection to drive others to the foot of the cross. As we lay down our lives, may you arise in our place; that the gospel message might be preached to all those living in darkness. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

The Most Powerful Witness


Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gaderenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” For He had said to him, Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” Then He asked him, What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” Also he begged Him earnestly that he would not send them out of the country. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine that we may enter them. And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine […] and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea. So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region. And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled. (Mark 5: 1 – 20)


In this passage we read about a demonically possessed man living an isolated life in a graveyard. No one could subdue him; thus enabling him to abandon his family and friends. The naked man cried out day and night, uttering strange and frightening things. He had also begun cutting his own flesh with sharp stones (a form of self-injury indicative of demonic possession.) Without warning, the suffering man stumbled out of the tombs and met Jesus, who cast out the evil spirits living within him. The man’s sanity was immediately restored. Those who came out from the city to investigate what had occurred saw him “sitting and clothed and in his right mind.” This simple observation was so powerful that they became frightened and begged Jesus to leave their area. Although the restored man yearned to follow the Lord, Jesus commanded him to return home and share his miraculous transformation with his family and friends. A transformed life is the most powerful testimony anyone can offer as evidence for God’s divine presence.

We read in John 12 that Jesus went to Bethany six days before the Passover to dine with Lazarus in his home. Lazarus was the man Jesus had previously raised from the dead; calling him out of the tomb where his body had been lying for many days. We read in verse 9 – 11, “Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead. But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.” A man who had been dead and brought back to life was a walking testament of God’s power and authority. His mere existence was drawing many to the Lord.

Like Lazarus and the demon possessed man, those who have been healed and reborn are living examples of God’s transformational power. He can heal the sick, raise the dead to life, and turn sinners into saints. For those of us who have been healed, the sanity, the purity, and the goodness of our new lives is the most powerful message we have to pass along to others. If we share about the miracle that God has performed in our lives, others will be drawn to Jesus Christ. Our testimony is beautiful, it is powerful, and it is productive.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we praise you for healing our hearts, our minds, and our bodies. You have taken what was dead and brought it back to life again. May we continue to live as committed Christians; reborn and transformed by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May we continue to share our testimony with others; that they might see a miracle in us and be drawn to You. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

The Purpose of Every Christian


When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God.” And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ. Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee. (Luke 4: 40 – 44)


During His Earthly ministry Jesus performed many miracles; He healed the sick, cast out demons, and even raised the dead. And yet these divine feats were somewhat secondary. According to Christ His primary purpose was to “preach the kingdom of God.” Thus spreading the gospel message was paramount. The gospel is an invitation to be reconciled to God and thus walk in eternal fellowship with Him; an invitation which can be accepted or rejected. Those who choose to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are called to repent from evil and be reborn (an act of submission and transformation expressed through baptism.) Those who are washed by the blood of Christ are then called to continue spreading the gospel message to others.

As the story goes, Dr. Len G. Broughton once told of a minister who called his leaders together and said that he was about to resign his ministry at that church because he had seen no more people converted for a considerable period. They begged him to stay, and pointed out how edified they were by his preaching. “Edified for what?” he asked. Turning to one leader he asked him if he had ever led a soul to Christ. “No” was the answer; so the question was put to the next man with the same result, and to the next man again. Finally the minister got all the members at the meeting to promise that they also would resign with him, if within a short period they had not led anyone to Christ. On Monday morning one leader began with his confidential clerk, and by the next Sunday he had eleven saved men with him in church for company. The rest of the meeting brought the tally up to thirty.

As followers of Christ we share His purpose; to spread the gospel message and to reconcile those who are lost to God. This is our work; this is our mission. We must be bold and brave. We must step out in faith and be obedient to God’s calling. There are souls that need saving; and the fields are ripe for the harvest.

“Lord Heavenly Father, may we continue Your work upon this Earth. Remove our fears and fill our hearts with faith. May we spread Your gospel message to all those who are willing to listen; so that many may be reconciled to you and receive the eternal gift of salvation through the blood of Your Son Jesus Christ. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ name we pray. Amen.” God bless all of you!

The Power of Forgiveness


     “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” (Luke 17: 3-4)


    Those who desire God’s mercy must also be merciful; and those who yearn for His forgiveness must not withhold forgiveness from others. Hatred, anger, and resentment have no place in the heart of a believer. Unresolved bitterness creates division between God and His disciples. Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Everyone who truly seeks to follow the Lord must also attempt to imitate Him. And so, forgiving those who repent without restriction or exception is necessary. God’s mercy is immeasurable, and those who practice unconditional forgiveness are splendid examples of His limitless love.

In 1956, five American missionaries flew into the jungles of Ecuador in an effort to make contact with a hostile and war-like tribe of Indians known as the Waodani. All five men were speared to death. Their families were devastated by the loss; in a single day, many wives were widowed, and a number of children were orphaned. And yet the remaining family members didn’t seek vengeance or cry out for justice. Instead Elizabeth Elliot (who had lost her husband), and Rachael Saint (who had lost her brother), remained obedient to God; unconditionally forgiving the murderous tribesman. Elizabeth and Rachael continued evangelizing to the natives. Eventually the Waodani people invited them into their community. One by one, the members of the tribe began committing their lives to Jesus Christ. The men who had perpetrated the murders expressed great joy in knowing that they had been forgiven. The women eventually formed lifelong friendships with the individuals who had killed their loved ones. This unconditional forgiveness has given birth to the Waodani Church; a church that is currently thriving. They have abandoned their spears and picked up their bibles; going so far as to evangelize the other neighboring tribes (at great personal risk to themselves.) This amazing work of God was made possible because two women were willing to forgive without restriction.

Forgiving other repentant souls is not a suggestion, a recommendation, or a request; it is a command; a command that heals both the forgiver and those who are forgiven. Is there anyone you are angry with? Has someone caused you great pain? Forgive them and move forward. Search your heart and ask God to give you the courage and the strength to let go of your resentments and bitterness. If you forgive others, God will fill your heart with joy and peace, and you will walk in eternal fellowship with the almighty and everlasting Father.

“Lord Heavenly Father, search our hearts and reveal to us any hidden resentments we may be harboring. Give us the strength and the courage to forgive those repentant sinners without restriction. May we love as You have loved. May we forgive as You have forgiven; and may we always do what pleases You. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Who Moved the Stone?


Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?  Whom are you seeking?”  She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary!”  She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!  (which is to say, Teacher).  Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and Your Father, and to My God and your God.’” (John 20: 15-18)


Upon arriving at the tomb, Mary discovered that the body of Jesus was missing. She was so grieved that she began to weep. She had journeyed toward the grave that day expecting to find the lifeless body of her beloved Lord; but instead, she encountered the living God. Mary embraced Him with such ferocity that He urged her to loosen her grip (His return was not permanent; He would soon ascend into heaven and take His place at the right hand of the Father.) Mary was instructed to deliver this news to the disciples who were in hiding as they feared for their lives. Having seen the risen Lord she became the first messenger of the resurrection and newness of life.

Throughout history, many, like Mary, have gone to the tomb expecting to find the body of Jesus; and like Mary, they too have found an empty chamber.  Every generation has had its share of doubters; people who believed they could do what no one has ever been able to do […] disprove the resurrection of Christ.  In the early 1900’s an English professor and journalist named Albert Henry Ross set out to investigate and refute the claims that Jesus rose from the dead (being a journalist he was skilled in examining the credibility of sources.)  As the evidence mounted, Albert was faced with an awesome truth; the accounts matched up; the archaeology was sound, and all of the witnesses were credible; Jesus Christ had in fact risen from the dead.  So instead of writing a book that disproved the resurrection, he entitled his book, “Who moved the stone?”  In the book, Mr. Ross, a new convert and faithful believer, sought to bring what he had discovered to the rest of the world.

The work that began with Mary on that third day has continued throughout every generation and persists even today.  Anyone who goes looking for Jesus Christ in a dusty tomb is looking in the wrong place.  He is very much alive, and is sitting at the right hand of God.  Both Albert Ross and Mary Magdalene set out to find Jesus; both of them discovered what they were looking for. Anyone who looks for Jesus will find Him alive; and because He has conquered death, we too can have eternal life.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we believe that Your Son has risen from the dead and that He is seated with You in Your Kingdom. Through His death and resurrection may we also have eternal life.  We desire to carry this message of hope to others and to boldly preach the truth in love. Give us the strength to spread the gospel to the entire world.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Being Prepared for His Return


      “Be dressed and ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when He comes and knocks, they can immediately open the door for Him.  It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when He comes […] But understand this:  If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming he would not have let his house be broken into.  You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” (Luke 12: 35-37, 39-40)


      In ancient times, Jewish weddings were relatively prolonged engagements; often lasting for many days.  The guests would recline on pillows, feasting day and night; often falling asleep beside the table.  The length of the celebration was uncertain; it could end at one in the morning, or three in the afternoon. As a result, when the master of a household attended a wedding, his servants had to be prepared for his return at any moment.  Thus, Jesus uses this parable to illustrate His second coming.  After ascending into heaven, He promised to return; yet provided no specific day or hour. He could return tonight, a month from now, or in a hundred years. And so His servants must eagerly await his arrival every second of every day.

     Many years ago, prior to my conversion, I was engaged in a life of sinful disobedience.  I lived alone, in an apartment paid for by my Dad.  He would occasionally pop in to make sure the apartment was clean and in proper condition.  One evening, while hosting a drunken bash, things got out of hand.  We smashed beer bottles in my living room.  An exterior window was broken, and another party-goer broke my car window with an empty beer bottle.  Somehow the toilet clogged and overflowed as well; leaking into the apartment beneath me.  I eventually passed out; thinking I could clean up in the morning without anyone noticing.  However, early the following day, I was rousted from my sleep by the shouts of an angry man. “Get up,” my dad yelled in my ear!  I sprang from the mattress\ in utter shock.  I was embarrassed, ashamed, and filled with fear.  I hadn’t expected him; I never thought that he might witness the carnage of my drunken behavior.  He stood by, patiently watching as I cleaned up the entire apartment.

      Much like my Dad, the Lord is coming at an hour when we least expect Him.  We must always be ready for his return.  Those who obey the teachings of Jesus Christ are prepared to meet Him.  If we continually love and serve others, then when our savior arrives, He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant […] enter into the joy of the Lord.”

      “Lord Heavenly Father may our hearts be filled with the expectation of Your return.  Reveal to us any areas where we are being selfish, rather than selfless. Convict our hearts and give us the strength to repent.  May we always be giving, kind, and obedient; never missing an opportunity to serve You and our fellows.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you!

The Hope of Eternal Life


“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I also go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know; and the way you know.” (John 14: 1-4)


Jesus confirms the existence of heaven in this scripture; a magnificent place where believers will walk forever in fellowship with God. In turn, there is no reason for Christians to fear death; nor should their hearts be troubled. Without exception, there is no death for those who are alive in Christ. This hope of eternal life in the future enables believers to abandon their selfish pursuits in the present; choosing to serve others today in exchange for an everlasting crown. Therefore, when a Christian dies there is more cause for joy and celebration than sadness and sorrow.

Around the year 125 A.D. a Greek by the name of Aristeides was writing to one of his friends about the new Christian religion. He attempted to explain the reasons for its extraordinary success. In one particular sentence he wrote, “If any righteous man among the Christians passes from this world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God, and they escort his body with songs and thanksgiving as if he were setting out from one place to another nearby.”

The bodily death of a Christian may initially cause sorrow in the hearts of those who are left behind. However, as the truth of their location is acknowledged, any remaining sorrow turns to great joy. They are not dead, but are alive in Heaven with God. The temptations of their flesh have been destroyed, and they are at peace in His presence. In turn, their funeral is a cause for celebration rather than sadness. If we too are faithful, we will see them again; and that hope is more valuable than great riches.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we know that death is not the end, and that one day we will be alive in Your presence. May we remain faithful and never lose hope in Your promise of eternal life. Give us the strength to continue walking in fellowship with You; that we may continue doing Your work in this place, until we are called home; a day that we are looking forward to with great anticipation. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.” God bless all of you!

Jesus Creates Division


“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10: 34 – 39)


Jesus didn’t come to create peace on earth. Instead, He likens His message to a sword; a sharp instrument designed to slice the world in two; separating the faithful from the unfaithful. Everyone, without exception, must choose a side. Either Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life,” the only begotten Son of God, or He’s nothing more than an influential historical figure; or perhaps even a deceptive charlatan. Those who believe the Gospel message are called to live as Christians; shunning what is evil and embracing what is good. Although individual believers adore Jesus, the vast majority of human beings despise Him, and His disciples. They hate Him because they cannot hide their sins in the light of His presence; and so they seek to destroy the light and everyone who carries it.

As Christianity grew throughout the Roman empire, it created immense division. Seeking to preserve the worship of false Gods, many rulers sought to destroy the faith. One Emperor named Diocletian was particularly violent in his hatred of the bible and Christianity. He killed many Christians, with such outrageous cruelties, and destroyed so many bibles, that at one point he believed he had actually succeeded in his efforts. Over a burned bible he constructed a monument with an inscription that read, “Extincto nomene Christianorum,” which means, “the name Christian is extinguished.” Additionally, he fashioned a medal with the engraving, “The Christian religion is destroyed and the worship of the gods is restored.”

Obviously Diocletian’s efforts to destroy the Church were unsuccessful, as the gospel is still being preached to this day. And yet the message continues to create division. Some are receptive and become believers, while many others do not. Those who call Christ their savior can expect to be shunned, hated, and even persecuted for their faith. If those who yearn to live in darkness without shame or remorse cannot flee from the light, then they will seek to destroy it. Thus, as faithful believers we will be persecuted and despised.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to carry Your truth wherever we go. As we faithfully walk through this life, we expect Your gospel to elicit division, strife, and even hatred. Please give us the courage and strength to stand firm; that we might endure the persecution and animosity of this present world; and thus through us, Your light may always shine in the darkness. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you!



In the book of Revelation, Jesus spoke to the Church of Ephesus saying, “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2: 2 – 5)


Jesus commends the Ephesian Church for their good works, patience, spiritual discernment, and avoidance of evil. He also exhorts them to return to their first love; a state of being exemplified by an overwhelming zeal for the gospel message. This scripture represents a type of communication known as an ‘exhortation.’ The definition of an exhortation is, ‘an address or communication emphatically urging someone to do something; in a biblical context, exhortation more specifically relates to the correction of some behavior.’ The practice of exhortation is an integral part of any healthy church and can lead to wonderful revivals.

Many years ago an evangelist named D.L. Moody entered a small town hoping to experience a revival. However, for at least a week nothing remarkable occurred. The meetings were devoid of power. And yet one day he chose to exhort those in attendance; suggesting that one of the participants was harboring an unforgiving spirit. The chairman of the committee suddenly stood up and left the meeting in full view of the audience. The arrow had struck its mark, piercing the heart of the group’s leader. Apparently he had been having trouble with someone for about six months. That night he hunted the man down and asked for his forgiveness. The chairman abruptly returned to Moody. With tears in his eyes he said, “I thank God you ever came here.” That evening the inquiry room was thronged with people and the chairman committed his remaining life to faithful service. Eventually he became one of the greatest Christian laborers Moody had ever known.

The practice of exhortation, exemplified by Christ in this verse, is meant to correct and strengthen the Church. Those who have lost their zeal are encouraged to repent and take hold of the passion they once possessed for spreading the gospel. For those seeking to live a Christian life, a lack of enthusiasm is unacceptable. We need to release our fears and step out in faith. Our duty as believers, is to share the message of salvation with others, and to further Christ’s coming kingdom.

“Lord Heavenly Father, fill our hearts with a supernatural passion; a zeal that never fades. If we have wandered, guide us back to our first love. Give us the courage to boldly speak Your truth and to accurately present the gospel message to others. Fill us with more of Your Holy Spirit. For it is only through Your Spirit that a revival can occur, and the newness of life can be attained through the sacrifice of Your son upon the cross. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you!

Simple Faith


Then Thomas, called the twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”  So he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in to the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.  And after eight days his disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them.  Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at my hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into my side.  Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed.  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20: 24-29.)


Thomas had seen Jesus walk on water, heal the sick, and raise the dead. And yet, when several disciples claimed to have seen the Lord after his crucifixion, Thomas’ faith wavered. Accordingly, he professed that his doubts would persist until he had encountered the resurrected Messiah; at which time, he would need to examine the physical wounds for himself. Shortly thereafter, Jesus appeared and invited Thomas to touch His lacerations. The doubting disciple promptly glorified God and expressed the renewal of his faith. In response, Jesus uttered an enduring truth. The strongest faith a person can possess is simple and requires no proof. Those who believe without seeing are the nearest to God.

As the story goes, one night a mother and her daughter were preparing to retire for the evening. The Child was afraid of the dark. When the light was extinguished, the girl caught a glimpse of the moon through her window. “Mother,” she asked; “is the moon God’s light?” “Yes,” said the mother. The little girl continued, “Will God put out His light and go to sleep?” “No my child,” responded the woman, “God never goes to sleep.” Then, out of the simplicity of her child-like faith the girl concluded, “Well, as long as God is awake, there is no sense in both of us staying up.”

Childlike faith is the most powerful form of belief; it requires no miracles, or signs or wonders. But rather, it consists of a complete trust in God; in His words, His deeds, and His promises. Although His works can be easily observed today, after His ascension into heaven, no living human being, except the apostle John, has ever seen Christ. Still, those of us who believe possess a faith that is solid and unwavering. We know Him, because He lives inside us. We would do well to continue in our faith without the need for more evidence or intellectual affirmation.

“Lord Father, we are Your children. We believe, not because of what we have seen, but because of who You are. You alone are worthy of our trust; You alone carry the truth. We accept Your words and promises without the need for proof, because You are alive within our hearts, and we are one with You. May we always possess a child-like faith. We love You Father, we praise you, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Warning Against Harming Children


“Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offenses come.” (Matthew 18: 5 – 7)


Young children are naturally innocent, faithful and pure. They share a closeness with God that even adult Christians are encouraged to emulate. Some responsible parents today attempt to shelter their children from the corruption of this world; thus ensuring their proper development. And yet there are those demonically depraved individuals who are like filthy beasts; they take pleasure in defiling the purity of little ones. These twisted people are the enemies of God; thus Jesus expresses the severity of the punishment that awaits anyone who harms a child.

I grew up in a home with a stepfather who was a child molester. As a boy scout troop leader and respected lawyer in our small community, he was able to hide his evil deeds for many years. He molested family members, friends, and acquaintances alike. He was skilled at robbing children of their innocence. As these victims grew into adulthood, most of them struggled with life; some turned to alcohol, some to drugs, and some to other forms of deviant behavior. Many suffered from psychological disturbances, relationship difficulties, and poor life outcomes. And yet, while his evil deeds went unseen by most, they weren’t hidden from God. The Lord’s wrath was being stored up against him. (Truly it would have been better “if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”) One day his entire life became a nightmare. He was arrested at his law office and led away in handcuffs. Having been publicly shamed, everyone he had ever known had abandoned him. His freedom, his family, his occupation, and his privileges in life were taken away. His once large home was replaced by a tiny prison cell; his bed became a cot. His suits were worthless, as he would never again wear anything other than prison issued attire. The judge sentenced him to serve decades behind bars. We later learned that he was likely being violated and abused by other inmates. The very atrocities he had visited upon little children were being visited upon him. He eventually died alone in that place. I am sharing this account as a warning to others. (Having become a Christian, I can only hope that he gave his life to Jesus Christ and was reborn before his death. I have forgiven him completely, because God has given me a new heart.) However, his life, his sins, and his eventual punishment represents a powerful example of how God’s wrath is poured out upon those who harm children.

Today, those who are Christian must aspire to protect children from the evil influences of this world. We must exercise caution and behave righteously in the presence of little ones; setting a good example without causing them to stumble. We must be mindful of what we watch, of how we speak, and how we act. If we choose to live as Christ lived, our children will grow and develop into believing adults. Children are special, and they have the Lord as their defender. We must tread carefully as we seek to edify them, build them up in the faith, and protect them from evil.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You now and stand in the light of Your divine presence. You are a just and righteous God. We pray for those who are lost; may you enter their hearts and convict them and transform them. Please continue to protect our children from those who would abuse them or destroy their faith in Your Son. Also Lord, help us to be good examples for the little ones in our lives. May they see Your goodness in us and choose what is right. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

God Made A Way


“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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3: 16 – 17) Jesus also said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father, except through Me.” (John 14: 6)


Since Adam initially sinned in the garden of Eden, man has been separated from God. A pure and holy Creator doesn’t fellowship with sinful people. And yet, in His wisdom, the Lord created a way through this barrier of sin and death by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross. This eternal sacrifice has the power to completely and permanently reconcile human beings to God. When we place our faith in Jesus Christ and exercise obedience to His teachings, we are reconnected with our Heavenly Father. Only our faith in Jesus Christ is enduring and acceptable.

For centuries the Pacific and Atlantic oceans remained separated by the American continents. Ships carrying cargo had no choice but to sail around them in order to reach the other side. Many individuals had long dreamed of creating a waterway through a narrow section of land in the nation of Panama. Considering the amount of work needed to accomplish the task, most believed it couldn’t be done. And yet President Theodore Roosevelt thought otherwise. As president, he ordered the digging to begin in 1904, and despite many setbacks, the canal was completed in 1914. The mighty barrier had been breached. The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans had finally been united.

Like the Panama Canal, God has dug a pathway through the barrier of sin and death that separates Him from mankind. Those who place their faith in Jesus Christ can be reconciled with their Heavenly Father; permitting them to once again be united. The praise and honor for this amazing work belongs to God alone. We read “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2: 8 – 9)

“Lord Heavenly Father, we pray for your unending grace, and we thank You for sending Your son to die for our sins, that we might be reconciled to You forever. May we continue to spread this good news to others; that they too might be saved and reunited with You. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and give us the strength and courage to continue faithfully preaching the Gospel. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Turn the Other Cheek


“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I tell you not to resist an evil person.  But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.  And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.  Give to everyone who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.” (Matthew 5: verse 38 – 42)


The natural human reaction to being slapped in the face is to respond in kind; reciprocating upon the attacker an equivalent amount of violence. Yet Jesus has instructed us to resist this temptation; and instead, to offer up our other cheek. How then does this act of submission serve to further God’s eternal kingdom? Simply put, unsaved individuals expect you to hit them back; which then leads to a brawl. As a result, any ensuing violence creates a veil; a cover that permits their evil hearts to remain hidden. However, responding to hatred with sacrificial love tears away this covering; revealing their own wickedness. Witnessing this genuine vision can convict people and lead them to repentance and salvation. Thus responding to evil with kindness is a powerful tool which serves to further the gospel message.

Some time ago I was involved in a road rage incident. While traveling at an adequate speed, I turned left into another lane. A large truck abruptly appeared behind me. The irate man clutching the wheel began honking his horn relentlessly. I eventually stopped in the left hand turn lane. The stranger pulled up beside me and exited his vehicle. After approaching my passenger’s side door he began pounding on the window as he continued directing his hateful screams toward me. Without provocation he spit on my window. During our ensuing discussion I informed him that he was speeding; a fact that I sensed he knew to be true. At any point I could’ve left my car and initiated a physical altercation. However, the Spirit took hold of my heart, causing my demeanor to abruptly shift. My agitation and frustration faded. I looked into the man’s eyes and said, “Well you have a blessed day Sir.” In that moment his anger faltered. The love in my voice had made his hatred less certain. As he attempted to continue the argument, I responded yet again, saying, “Well you have a blessed day sir.” Right then I witnessed his defensiveness flounder. I perceived in him the presence of remorse and shame. He had been convicted by my kind words. He slowly backed away, re-entered his vehicle and drove off.

Responding to hatred with more hatred is expected, but spiritually unprofitable. No amount of violence, retribution or harm can change a human heart for the better. And so we are commanded to respond to evil with affection. Only love can reveal the truth, convict hearts, and lead to the transformation and rebirth of a human soul. We cannot, of ourselves, display supernatural adoration. However, God can and will give us the mind and spirit necessary to accomplish such a daunting task. If we continue loving, giving, and following the Lord, we will participate in a great harvest and produce much fruit.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we revel in Your Holy Spirit and embrace Your calling. As we interact with the world, may we display Your supernatural love for others; returning good for evil, and kindness for hatred. May we participate in Your harvest, leading others to repentance and salvation through love. Remain in us always, as we can accomplish nothing without You. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Let Your Light Shine


“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it provides light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5: 14 – 16)


Like a city on a hill, genuine Christianity can never be concealed or remain hidden. Those who have been reborn are no longer shackled by apathy and indifference. Instead, they are compelled to accomplish good works; powerful displays of affection, service, and selflessness that shine through the darkness of the surrounding culture. Openly displaying these charitable behaviors serves but one singular purpose; to bring glory and honor to God. This divine light draws those who are lost to The Lord, and many are converted and receive salvation.

Every evening without fail, the moon rises and a seemingly endless sea of stars fills the night sky. The northern lights splash around and the constellations are easily observed. And yet when the morning arrives, a single powerful star appears on high and shines with such ferocity that it overwhelms the atmosphere; causing the other stars to disappear; but they aren’t really gone; instead they are simply concealed amidst the suffocating rays of the sun; and thus, in its presence, every other bright thing becomes muted and obscured.

Like the Sun, Christians are called to shine so brightly that they are easily recognized by others. Amidst an ocean of indifference, our love must stand out. Having been filled up completely, God’s Holy Spirit will inevitably pour into the lives of those around us. When we serve others, when we practice generosity, and when we display affection for those who are lost, they will see God in us, and be drawn to Him. May we continue to shine brightly, and may God receive the glory and honor He so richly deserves.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and ask for more of Your Holy Spirit. Pour into us, that we might pour into others. Compel us to accomplish good works, to be charitable, and giving; knowing that Your love can transform anyone, no matter how far away they might’ve wandered. As we continue to evangelize, may our lives be a testament to the transforming power of Your Holy Spirit. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Meeting Jesus Christ


The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” […] The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him. […] And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” (John 4: 25 – 26, 28 – 30, 39 – 42)


Having met a sinful woman near a well, Jesus expounded upon her past with supernatural precision (providing her with details that only God could know.) He abruptly identified Himself as the Messiah; prompting the Samaritan woman to re-enter the city and report this miracle to her fellow citizens. Those who believed the woman’s words received a measure of faith, which compelled them to follow her back to Jesus. The curious masses urged Him to stay and He satisfied their desires by remaining with them for two days; during which time He instructed them concerning God’s perfect will. Although the woman’s reports were the initial source of faith for many, those who truly believed were drawn out of the city to meet Jesus Christ. After listening with great enthusiasm, those who had made the journey were fully established in their faith. Those who aspire to live a Christian life will inevitably be led to the words of Jesus Christ; as expressed in the New Testament.

As the story goes, during the 1800’s, an explorer named Henry Mortan Stanley began his journey across the continent of Africa. Initially he chose to bring seventy-three books along with him, in three packs, which weighed approximately 180 pounds. After traveling 300 miles he was obliged by those who were carrying his luggage to throw away some of his books. Which he did. Still, as he continued on his trip, his library was slowly diminished; growing leaner and leaner, until he had but one book left; The Holy Bible. It is said that Sir Mortan read through the scriptures three times before his journey had ended.

The words of Jesus Christ, His messages and His teachings are immortalized within the pages of the New Testament; the only divine book ever translated. Concerning His desires, His Doctrine, and His will, we need not speculate. Instead, like the Samaritans who wandered out of the city to meet Jesus, we need only crack open the pages of God’s word (the Holy Bible.) If we endeavor to meet the real Jesus, we can easily find Him and know Him. Read His words and you will grow in your faith; listen to Him and you will be transformed, and you will know what it means to be a Christian and to walk according to God’s perfect will.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we thank You for illuminating our understanding through Your Holy scriptures. May we take solace in the bible, and may we meet the real Jesus as we continue reading. Soften our hearts, that we may receive His message and live according to His doctrines. May our faith be genuine, may our loyalty be unwavering, and may our trust in You be everlasting. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and watch over us as we accomplish Your desires in this place. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you!

The Rapture


    “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of man (Jesus Christ):  For they ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all […] even so will it be in the day that the Son of man (Jesus Christ) is revealed.  In that day, he who is on the housetop and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away.  And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back.  Remember Lot’s wife.  Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.  I tell you in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left.  Two women will be grinding together; the one will be taken and the other left.  Two men will be in the field; the one will be taken and the other left.” (Luke 17: 26 – 27, 30 – 36)


    The event Jesus describes in this scripture is known as ‘the rapture.’  In a moment, in the blink of an eye, God will gather up His faithful believers from around the world before pouring out His wrath upon the earth.  Co-workers, relatives, friends, and even complete strangers will vanish in an instant.  Those who are left behind will face God’s judgments.  How then can we be prepared for the rapture?  By cherishing eternal rewards more than worldly possessions (wealth, homes, jobs, belongings, etc.)  Jesus asks us to “Remember Lot’s wife;” a woman who was ill-prepared for God’s deliverance.  In the Old Testament she and her family were led out of the wicked city of Sodom and Gomorrah just prior to its destruction.  Sadly, she disobeyed God’s command by turning around to look back upon the city with fondness and affection.  As a result she was turned in to a pillar of salt.

    Like Lot’s wife, many throughout history have mistakenly loved worldly possessions more than their own lives.  One day while driving with my Dad through the town where I grew up, we passed by a certain building.  He informed me that decades earlier the building had caught on fire and that the owner had foolishly rushed in and went to the basement to collect some of his valuables.  Unfortunately he became trapped inside.  He desperately tried to escape through a basement window but it was too small for him to fit through.  Unable to help, onlookers could do nothing but watch as he perished in the flames.  He died because he valued his possessions more than his own life.

    Similarly, some individuals today value their belongings more than their eternal lives. Those who take great comfort in their worldly possessions are often ill-prepared for the coming Kingdom.  As believers we must be ready for ‘The Rapture;’ an event that could occur at any moment.  To be completely prepared is to love God more than anything else.  We must make truth more important than trust funds and make people more valuable than possessions.  As our values change we will come to embrace the rapture and look forward to it with great joy and remarkable anticipation.

    “Lord Heavenly Father, help us to value the things that are truly important.  Prepare our hearts and minds for the rapture; may our thoughts be continually focused upon Your coming Kingdom.  Strengthen us by the power of Your Holy Spirit that we might accomplish your will and bring honor and glory to your Holy name. We love you Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you!

Standing Up For What’s Right


         Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And he found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When he had made a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers money and overturned the tables. And he said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then the disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house has eaten me up.” (John 2: 13 – 17.)


         Long ago King David prophesied of the coming Messiah; suggesting He would be zealous for the things of God. Jesus, having witnessed His fellow Israelites using the temple for selfish gain, became enraged. After constructing a whip made of chords, He drove out all those who were defiling His Father’s house. Today, much like our Savior, we too will occasionally observe instances of unspeakable evil. In such circumstances, the Holy Spirit will eradicate our fears and fill our hearts with zeal; giving us the strength to publicly oppose anyone engaging in malicious conduct.
         One day many years ago, while I was studying in a coffee shop, a man and his teenage son sat down beside me. Without provocation, the youngster began persistently berating and verbally abusing his Dad. As the disrespect escalated, my heart was filled with righteous anger. The boy eventually threatened his Dad, saying, “Have you ever been punched in the face?” I lashed out; telling the young man to ‘Shut his mouth!’ The boy fell silent. I proceeded to lecture him concerning the fifth commandment; honoring his father and mother. Embarrassed and afraid, he stepped outside, but eventually returned to apologize.
         In this life, we will occasionally witness acts of such unspeakable evil that Jesus will inspire us to intervene. In these moments, He will fill our hearts with zeal; giving us the words to speak and the strength to overcome our fears. The Lord will use us to rebuke, to exhort, and to correct many who intentionally violate the basic laws of God.
         “Lord Heavenly Father, give us the courage to speak the truth when necessary. May we love what is good and be zealous for Your ways. When great acts of evil are being practiced, may we stand up against them; allowing our desires for righteousness to eradicate our fears of reprisal. May we be a light in the darkness. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

A Servant’s Heart


    But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  However, it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first shall be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10: 42 – 45)


    As children we are taught that dominance is better than submission, and that a higher social status leads to a better life.  Many therefore seek to acquire positions of great power and authority.  Yet Christ’s teachings are often in direct opposition to such worldly principles.  Those who follow Jesus must deny what they have been taught, in order to embrace the doctrines of genuine faith and divine humility.  Only by abandoning the desire for greatness, can one completely and lovingly serve others. [Note: This does not mean you need to quit your job or stop seeking a higher wage or position. However, we must always be humble, no matter our station in life.]

    For years young men from across the country have flocked to the church where I was saved, seeking to begin a career in pastoral ministry. Many new hopefuls were initially referred to a pastor named Romain, who skillfully employed a special technique designed to separate the qualified from the unqualified.  As the prospects approached, he would hand them a broom and tell them to go sweep a portion of the church.  Although many were obedient, others felt insulted and became upset.  One common response sounded something like this, “I came here to be a pastor and to teach the bible, not to sweep floors.”  Upon hearing such a retort, Pastor Romain knew then that they did not have a servant’s heart; they had not come to serve and to practice humility, but rather to acquire power and authority.

    Those who follow the Son of God must give-up the desire for worldly greatness in order to pursue lowliness and humility.  Seeking to serve others rather than to be served, we become the men and women God has called us to be.  We can serve at home, in the community, at work, and in our church.  We can serve our family members, coworkers, friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers.  Only through selflessness and sacrifice can we be transformed into the image of our great Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.     

    “Lord Heavenly Father, inspire us to seek lowliness and humility.  May we hunger to love and serve others in sincerity and singleness of heart.  Provide us with opportunities to place the needs of our fellows ahead of our own, that we might be examples of Your great mercy and everlasting affection.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!



        Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So, when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was, that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell on his face at his feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So, Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” (Matthew 17: 11 – 19)


        Leprosy is a debilitating bacterial disease that has existed for thousands of years; it causes fingers, toes, noses, and other extremities to rot away, horribly disfiguring its victims. Despite modern treatments, Leprosy remains highly contagious. Since the days of Christ, infected individuals have been ostracized; forced into isolated colonies beyond the city limits. When traveling, lepers were required to maintain great distances between themselves and those who were healthy. Upon entering a crowded area, they were obligated to yell out, “unclean, unclean,” as a warning for others to keep their distance. The lepers who approached Jesus stood “afar off,” and pleaded with Him to be healed. Jesus ordered the lepers to go and show themselves to the priests (In Jewish society, the priests were charged with diagnosing leprosy; if someone was healed, the priests had to examine them before they could return home to their families.) As the lepers journeyed, all ten were outwardly healed; yet only one was inwardly healed. Filled with gratitude, the filthy Samaritan returned to praise and honor Jesus Christ.
        As the story goes, there once lived a prominent Physician who was also a devoted golfer. His longtime caddie had a club foot (a deformity in which the foot bends inward, making it difficult to walk.) ‘Doc Gordon,’ as he was known, often traveled south for the winters to continue his golf game. One winter, he decided to take his caddie with him; during their trip, the doctor operated on the man’s foot and he was made completely whole. Soon after they returned, the doctor became ill and passed away. One day, the caddie was carrying another member’s bag; at every hole he stopped to pluck a flower, until eventually he had gathered a very beautiful bouquet. The member was curious and asked the caddie about his new girlfriend. He replied, “Oh no, I don’t have a girlfriend. These are for Doctor Gordon. I go to his grave twice a week and place these flowers there.” Over his lifetime, Doctor Gordon had helped thousands of sick people; correcting many physical afflictions and uncomfortable ailments. Yet only one patient was truly thankful. The young caddie continued to praise and honor his deceased friend and benefactor because his heart was filled with gratitude.
        Jesus Christ has given eternal life to every faithful soul and healed so many individuals around the world. Still, only those who express frequent gratitude have truly experienced a miracle. There are several ways to express our gratitude for God; we may offer prayers of thanksgiving and testify of His greatness. We may also gather together with other believers to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. We may continue to perform acts of service, charity, love, and mercy, etc. Gratitude is a fruit of genuine salvation; those who understand the value of what they have been given, honor and praise God every single day. (Note: If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please contact us and we can discuss how you can do that right now.)
        “Lord Heavenly Father we praise You, we honor You, and we thank You for our salvation. We are unworthy servants, and yet You have loved us. Thank You for healing us and protecting us; thank you for Your kindness and provision. You are truly an awesome and amazing God. May our hearts be filled with gratitude; and may we be compelled to speak of Your greatness whenever and wherever possible. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Follow Me


     ‘As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office.  And he said to him, “Follow Me.”  So he arose and followed Him.’ (Mark 9: 9)


     The calling of Matthew is one of the shortest conversion stories recorded in the bible.  As a tax collector, he worked for the Roman Empire; earning him the contempt and disdain of his own people.  Still Jesus saw something in him worth saving.  As the Lord passed by He uttered two simple words that would forever transform Matthew’s life; “Follow Me.”  Matthew’s response was simple, immediate, and unwavering.  He arose, abandoned his position, and began following Jesus Christ.

     During the 1880’s, a famous baseball player named Billy Sunday had a similar experience.  One day he and his teammates entered a saloon and began drinking. Upon exiting the bar, Billy spotted a group of Christians singing hymns and preaching about God’s salvation and forgiveness.  With tears rolling down his face, he turned to his teammates and said, “Boys, I’m through!  Going to turn to Jesus Christ.  We’ve reached the parting of the ways.”  Some mocked him, while others encouraged him.  He immediately entered the Pacific Garden Mission, where he gave his life to the Lord.  Later he said, “I called upon God’s mercy.  I staggered out of my sins and into the outstretched arms of the Savior.  I became instantly a new creation in Him.  The next morning at practice, my manager, Mike Kelly greeted me and said, ‘Billy, I read in the paper what occurred yesterday.  Religion isn’t my long suit, but I won’t knock you, and I’ll knock the daylights out of anyone who does.”  Billy Sunday went on to become one of the greatest evangelists of the early 20th century.

     Like Matthew, and like Billy, God is still calling many of us to follow Him today.  Jesus Christ desires that everyone might come to know Him and submit to His discipleship.  Some individuals will respond to His calling, while others will not.  How then can you obey God’s call and receive salvation?  First, find a quiet place; then ask God to enter your heart.  You must profess a faith in Jesus Christ and also turn away from sinful living.  Get involved at a local church and be baptized.  Find an easy to read version of the bible (read it every day; beginning with the gospels.)  As you grow in the knowledge of God and submit to His commandments, you will experience an amazing transformation.  The old things will pass away, for behold, God will make ‘all things new.’

     “Lord Heavenly Father, we thank You for calling us to be Your disciples.  May You dwell forever in our hearts and minds.  Give us the strength to turn away from sin and death, that we might fully embrace the new life we have in You.  You are our Father and we are Your children. Teach us and guide us in all things. Give us more of Your Holy Spirit that we may lovingly serve You and our fellows.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Ultimate Love


“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 5: 9 – 13)


Before sacrificing His life upon the cross, Jesus addressed His disciples, saying, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. We are thus reminded of the greatest act of affection one can possibly accomplish. Accordingly, those who follow Christ must also emulate His death upon the cross, crucifying their selfish desires every single day. The self-seeking appetites of the flesh must be struck down so that the will of God might be accomplished in us and through us. Therefore self-sacrifice is a necessary and essential component of genuine Christian living.

In 1941, a man named Sgt. Franciszek Gajowniczek was imprisoned in Auschwitz, a German concentration camp and extermination facility. One day, when three prisoners had seemingly escaped, the deputy commander of the facility selected 10 men at random to be punished; they were sentenced to death by starvation in an underground bunker. Sgt. Gajowniczek was one of those men. He pleaded for his life; making mention of his wife and children. A priest and fellow prisoner named Maxillion Kolbe was listening. He suddenly stepped forward and offered to die in the man’s place; hoping to ensure the preservation of his family. The commander accepted his offer. A few weeks later Reverend Kolbe died from starvation and a dose of carbolic acid. Sgt. Gajowniczek survived the rigors of Auschwitz and was eventually reunited with his loved ones at the end of the war. In 1972 a crowd gathered at a memorial service at Auschwitz to honor the priest who had sacrificed his life. Gajowniczek spoke at the gathering, heaping praises upon the man who had died in his place.

Like Maximillion Kolbe, all Christians are called to lay down their lives so that others might be saved. Selfish pursuits must be abandoned so that God can use us to accomplish His works. If we choose to die, Christ will be raised up in our place, and many will see Him and be drawn to Him. Being selfless is not an easy discipline; it represents a significant struggle. Still, may we all be equipped with the strength to serve others as we lay down our lives for our friends.

“Lord Heavenly Father, fill us with Your Holy Spirit; refresh our hearts and minds, that we might lay down our lives as a sacrifice for our friends. May Your perfect will be done. Give us the strength to deny our fleshly apatites and embrace a life of gratitude and selflessness. As we die, may Christ be lifted up in our place; so that many might come to the faith and be reborn. We love you Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Pray With Expectancy


    “Have faith in God.  For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.  Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11: 22 – 24.)


    ‘Faith’ is defined as a strong belief or trust in God’s abilities.  Only He can move mountains, heal the sick, and raise the dead.  Jesus therefore urged every follower to pray with a measure of expectancy.  We must truly believe that God is able to provide for each of our individual needs.  When we ask in faith, according to God’s will, and do not doubt, we can rightly expect to receive the desires of our heart.

    Hudson Taylor was a prominent missionary who lived in the 1800’s.  He established the China Inland Mission, an organization that still exists to this day (also known as the OMF.)  During his first journey to China, his ship hit a patch of windless ocean and began drifting uncontrollably toward an island known to be inhabited by vicious cannibals.  The frantic captain approached Mr. Taylor and asked him to pray for God’s help.  “I will” said Taylor, “Provided you set your sails to catch the breeze.”  The captain refused; not wanting to appear silly for unfurling in a dead calm.  Taylor responded by saying, “I will not undertake to pray for this vessel unless you will prepare the sails.”  The captain reluctantly obliged.  Soon there was a knock at Hudson’s door; “Who’s there?”  “Are you still praying for wind,” inquired the captain?  “Yes” responded Taylor.  “Well” added the skipper, “you’d better stop praying, we have more wind than we can manage.”

   As a genuine believer, Hudson Taylor understood the principle of praying with expectancy.  He prayed with confidence; knowing full well that God would answer his prayers.  If we pray with that same measure of faith, we too will receive the blessings of the Lord.  May our hearts be devoid of doubt; may our requests be brave and bold; and may we fully expect our prayers to be answered according to God’s will, and to the measure of our faith.

    “Lord Heavenly Father, You are an amazing and mighty God.  Create in us faithful hearts; hearts that are devoid of doubt; hearts that fully trust in Your ability to provide for our needs.  May we always pray with confidence, unwavering faith, and genuine expectancy.  We love You Father, we praise You, and thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you!



      “If the world hates you, you will know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I have spoken to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15: 18 – 20.)


     Jesus was persecuted relentlessly during His earthly ministry. He was slandered publicly and privately. He was shunned by many, and ridiculed, even by members of His own family. His message was so offensive that He was nearly stoned to death on several occasions. Eventually, despite His miraculous feats, and His immeasurable love, Jesus Christ was abandoned by His closest friends; He was bound and beaten; spit upon and crucified. Those who choose to follow Him can expect to experience some manner of persecution.
      Eleven of the twelve disciples were brutally martyred for their unwavering faith. They paid the ultimate price for fearlessly spreading the gospel throughout the known world. Although physical peril is a common type of persecution, it comes in many other forms. One day, many years ago, as I sat studying in the local coffee shop, I began talking with a Muslim friend concerning the tenants of the Christian faith. As I presented her with the gospel, a woman sitting next to us became visibly upset. Not knowing that we were already friends, she yelled “Can’t you see she doesn’t want to talk to you about that?” The woman continued to verbally harass me, making every effort to subvert the conversation. In the middle of the pestering, I looked at my friend and said, “This is the type of persecution that occurs when you become a believer.” Eventually the woman became so disruptive that we had to end our discussion.
      Persecution is an inevitable consequence of genuine faith. If you are not experiencing some form of persecution, then perhaps you are keeping your beliefs hidden away; choosing safety and security above obedience to the Lord. Still there are those who boldly spread the gospel message. These individuals can expect to be persecuted. Persecution, in any form, isn’t very pleasant; yet it is a reminder that we are earnestly following in the footsteps of our teacher, our master, and our friend.
      “Lord Heavenly Father, provide us with opportunities to preach the gospel to others. May we reach out to those who might become our brothers and sisters. Strengthen us when we encounter persecution; that we might stand firm in the faith. Give us courage to boldly speak the truth, that we would continue to emulate our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

The Holy Spirit


    “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. However, the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14: 25-26)


    The Lord informed His disciples that He would soon be taken away from them. In His absence, He promised to send them a replacement; a helper; a spiritual entity that would guide and direct them, and bring to their remembrance all of His teachings. After the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven; upon reaching His eternal position, He sent the Holy Spirit into the hearts and minds of every believer (beginning on the day of Pentecost.) The faithful began to speak in foreign languages; they were given the power and authority to forgive sins, to cast out demons, to raise the dead, and to heal the sick. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit was, and is, proof that Jesus Christ has reached His heavenly destination. Even today, the work of the Spirit reminds us that He is still seated at the right hand of God; a place of honor from which He continues to guide and direct His church.
    In the early 20th century a bold and daring explorer named Roald Amundsen set out to reach the remote poles of the earth. He succeeded, arriving at the South Pole in 1911, followed by the North Pole in 1926. As the story goes, during his northern expedition, he took along a homing pigeon (homing pigeons mate for life; and thus, when separated from their mates, they possess a unique ability to return to their nests from anywhere in the world. Before leaving for the North Pole, Amundsen, not wanting his wife to worry, promised to release the pigeon when he had reached his destination. His wife was elated when the bird eventually arrived back at its nest in Norway. The pigeon was a symbol; a message proclaiming that the explorer had arrived in a distant land, and was very much alive and well.
    The Holy Spirit is also a symbol; it is a message and a reminder that Jesus Christ is alive. Many have received the message; while others have not. Those who have opened their hearts to God’s messenger have acknowledged that Jesus is their Lord and master; the Living God who presently guides and directs His church through the power of the Holy Spirit. If you have never received His gift of salvation, go somewhere quiet and ask God to send His Holy Spirit into your heart. He will not withhold this wonderful gift from those who faithfully ask Him.
     “Lord Heavenly Father, we believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son, and that He is seated at Your right hand. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit; guide and direct us; teach us and remind us of Your ways. May we always remain faithful believers; may we never waiver; may we never grow weary; and may we never turn away from Your truth. Continue to use us to fulfill Your will in this place, until the end arrives and we see you again, face to face. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Forgiven Much, Love Much


Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher say it.” “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And he said to him, “You have rightly judged.” Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” (Luke 7: 36 – 50)


Jesus agrees to dine with a Pharisee in his home. Upon arriving, He is refused several customary gestures reserved for honored guests. He is not greeted with a kiss, His feet are not washed, and His head isn’t anointed with any fragrant oil. The religious leader, believing himself to be righteous, discovered little value in the gospel message. And yet a harlot woman who had lived her entire life in abject sin, experienced a new birth; she felt the magnitude of God’s forgiveness through Christ; and in an instant she was transformed. Her newfound faith compelled her to honor Jesus. She kissed his feet; she washed them with her tears and dried them with her hair; she also anointed him with perfume. Through this interaction we are introduced to a solid biblical truth; ‘those who are forgiven much, love much; but those who are forgiven little, love little.’

As the story goes, in 1896, Captain Alfred Bertrand was traveling through South Africa when he arrived in the region of the Barotsi people. He had heard stories of the native King Lewanika, whose greatest delight had been torturing his enemies in cruel and unusual ways before murdering them. He was a brutal, sadistic, and Godless man; which produced his nickname; “the human tiger.” Upon arriving in the region, Captain Bertrand met with a local missionary and Pastor named Monsieur Coillard. On sunday, as a matter of politeness, the French soldier attended church. When he came out of the service, he asked Pastor Coillard, “Who was that remarkable looking man sitting next to me, who listened so carefully?” “That was King Lewanika, ‘the human tiger,'” he replied. “Was it really?” he inquired again. “Yes,” responded Coillard. “Then if that is what Christ can do, I mean to be His,” muttered Captain Bertrand.

Like King Lewanika, those whose lives are steeped in sin, are often the most willing to hear the message of forgiveness and receive salvation. In turn, the prior degenerates, having experienced the depths of God’s mercy, are reborn and reformed. They become compelled to worship God and to follow His commandments and virtuous principles. As a result, genuine believers will display authentic affection for others; every act of kindness is a reminder to the lost that God is alive; and that He is calling them to repent and return to Him.

“Lord Heavenly Father, may we experience Your complete forgiveness, and never forget how merciful You have been toward us. May we remain humble and seek to love all those we meet, as we preach the gospel of grace to those who need to be forgiven, reconciled, and reborn. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit Lord, that we might choose what is good. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

The Depths of Forgiveness


“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in Heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11: 25) In Matthew 18: 21 – 25, we read, ‘Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.'”


Peter asks Jesus what the limits of forgiveness are; initially expressing his belief in the sufficiency of seven times per day. However, the Lord quickly corrects him. Jesus uses an exaggerated number of 70 times 7, to emphasize the inexhaustible nature of forgiveness, as it pertains to repentant souls. By implication, Christ also vilifies the harboring of any resentments. Resentment is defined as, any persisting anger or indignation experienced as the result of another individual’s harmful, unfair, or detrimental treatment. Resentment is a destructive, selfish emotion that causes harm to those who refuse to forgive others absolutely.

As the story goes, on a prominent boulevard in Chicago there once stood for many years a fence eighteen feet high; erected by a woman who imagined her neighbor was peering into her windows. While it effectively cut off the in-look, it shut the sunshine out of her own yard, ruined the lawn, and cast a shadow upon the house. In a similar fashion, spite and resentment cast the heaviest shadows over the hearts that harbor them; shutting out the sunshine of life and the fullness of God’s peace.

Harboring hatred and resentment toward others separates us from God and produces destruction in our hearts and minds. If we have received God’s forgiveness, then entertaining spite and unforgiveness against others is unjust, hypocritical, and quite dangerous. Grace has been given, and grace, through us, must continue. As a practical matter, praying daily for those who have harmed us is extremely beneficial. By means of this mechanism, we are able to see our enemies as fallen individuals, in desperate need of a savior. We can then love them with God’s heart. There is nothing so freeing to the soul than the death of resentment.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we come before you as broken people; individuals who, aside from your grace, would be imprisoned in sin. If we are currently harboring any resentment toward others, make it known to us; and give us the strength, the courage, and the will to let go of our anger. Through forgiveness, may we continue to reach our enemies with the gospel message and serve our fellows without prideful intent and selfish ambition. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you!

The Golden Rule


“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

(Matthew 7: 12)


In this scripture Jesus identifies a simple litmus test that can decipher what is right and wrong in almost every situation. He basically condenses Christianity into a single sentence, which when followed, accomplishes the will of God and leaves little room for selfish behaviors. Simply put, we must treat others the same way that we would like to be treated. If we encounter someone who is hungry then we must feed them; if they are thirsty then we give them something to drink; if they need to hear the gospel, we must speak the truth in love. When empathy reigns in our hearts, there is little room for ungodliness.

As the story goes, before the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian government had written many laws relating to water pollution. One of these regulations required that every factory had to discharge their water up-stream from their own intake pipes. In this manner, a factory would get back exactly what it put out; subsequently forcing them to remove pollutants if they wished to use clean water. In essence, their comfortable existence was conditioned upon, and equivalent to, the way they treated others.

According to Jesus, doing what is right is far simpler than attempting to follow every commandment individually. As Christians we are obligated to treat others with the same measure of affection and attention we might seek from them. Using the Golden rule permits us to carry out the will of God without resorting to selfishness, deceit, or hypocrisy. This way of living isn’t always easy; because telling people the truth is difficult and uncomfortable. But no matter the consequence, we must continue to speak the Gospel and to do what is right.

“Lord Heavenly Father, may we be empathetic and sincere; shunning hypocrisy and deceitful living. Give us the wisdom necessary to practice the golden rule; and to treat others exactly how we would like to be treated. We desire for our lives to conform to your righteous standard; in everything we do, may we emulate You. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you!

God’s Perfect Plan


Now as Jesus passed by, he saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing. (John 9: 1 – 7)


According to the prevailing sentiment of the first century, the disciples believed that all deformity and dysfunction were the result of an individual’s own sinful behaviors. Thus they sought to discover who’s sin had caused the man’s condition. Jesus insisted that his blindness wasn’t the consequence of any sin; but instead, had arisen as an opportunity for God to accomplish a miraculous feat of divine healing. His eyes were made whole again so that others might observe God’s power and embrace a faithful existence. In this life, the things that initially appear the most challenging or tragic, are frequently used by God to bring Him the greatest glory.

In the Old Testament, we are introduced to a man named Joseph (one of Jacob’s twelve sons.) He was highly favored above his siblings. This favoritism provoked his brothers to jealousy and hatred. One day they bound Joseph and sold him into slavery in Egypt. They then lied to their father, claiming he had been killed by a wild animal. Joseph served as a slave in Egypt for many years; enduring numerous trials and tribulations. After being falsely accused of a crime, he is sentenced to prison; where he remains a faithful servant. By means of divine providence, he impresses Pharaoh with his ability to interpret dreams. Pharaoh then promotes Joseph to the highest position of authority in Egypt. When a terrible famine strikes the land, Jacob and his family begin to suffer. He sends his sons to Egypt to buy grain, where they soon encounter Joseph; the brother they had sold into bondage many years earlier. Their evil deed is eventually revealed to Jacob, who is reunited with his lost son. Due to the devastating famine, Joseph has his entire family relocated to Egypt; thus ensuring their survival. He forgives his brothers for their mistreatment saying, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 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. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.”

Like Joseph, we may encounter moments of tragedy and tribulation; and yet, unlike God, we cannot see the end from the beginning. Our adversities and struggles often arise, not as a punishment, but rather, as an opportunity to observe some divine achievement. As we overcome our trials, and God’s perfect will is accomplished, our victories become a testimony concerning the power, the honor, and the glory of our Heavenly Father; to whom all authority remains forever.

“Lord Heavenly Father, apart from You we can do nothing; but with You, we can accomplish wonderful things. As others witness Your miracles being accomplished in our lives, may they be healed, forgiven, transformed and reborn; according to the measure of Your faithfulness. You truly are an awesome and amazing God. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Excess Wealth


Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and mother.'” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God?” And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10: 17 – 25)


A wealthy young man asked Jesus how he might receive eternal life. The Lord insisted he sell all of his possessions; only then could he embark on his Christian journey. Sadly, the idolatrous man walked away; preferring to continue worshiping his wealth rather than God. Jesus responded by issuing an additional proclamation stating that it is nearly impossible for those who are wealthy (and trust in their riches) to enter the Kingdom of God. Excessive wealth is therefore a frequent hindrance to faithfulness and a detriment to those who seek after it.

As the story goes, one day Martin Luther found himself penniless, yet he was asked to contribute to an important Christian work. He remembered that he owned a beautiful medal of Joachim, Elector of Brandengurg, which was one of his most prized possessions. He promptly approached the drawer, opened it, and said: “What are you doing there, Joachim? Do you not see how idle you are? Come out and make yourself useful.” Then he took the medal and gave it up for the work of the Lord.

Excessive wealth and abundant resources can often become a stumbling block for those who are seeking to follow Jesus Christ. Many place their trust in bank accounts, precious assets, or stock portfolios. Christians however are called to place their faith and trust in God alone. Wealth can be beneficial, but only when it is used to further the gospel message, to express God’s generosity, or to accomplish something eternally beneficial.

“Lord Heavenly Father, may we use our excess possessions to serve you; to spread the gospel and to proclaim Your plan of salvation. May we be grateful, may we be generous, and may we be faithful. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and cleanse our hearts and minds. You truly are an awesome and amazing God. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name we pray, amen.” God bless all of You!

God’s Reflection


“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5: 48)


Jesus commands His followers to imitate God’s righteous behavior with perfection. We read in Ephesians Chapter 5, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself up, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” If we lay down our selfish ambitions, the divine attributes of God will manifest in our actions. Striving for perfect adherence to God’s will is admirable and necessary. If we remain diligent, others will look at our lives and know God’s heart; they will experience His grace, His mercy, and His love.

Modern photography as we know it, began less than 200 years ago. Prior to that, images could only be created using a mixture of paint or ink deposited on canvas, paper, or wood. Those who desired an image of themselves, or their families, had to pay an artist to paint a portrait. These depictions were often time consuming; requiring individuals to stand still for hours, days, or even weeks while the artist recreated an exact image of them on a canvas. The skill of each artist varied quite significantly. The better the artist, the more exact and detailed the painting.

Similarly, like these portraits, God desires that our lives conform to His image. We must strive to become a perfect reflection of Him in this place. If we behave as genuine Christians, others will see God working in us and through us. They will know the will of God, and discover His nature and Spirit. Those who are willing will be transformed by His love, affection, and righteousness.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we desperately desire to obey Your will; to be transformed into Your image and likeness. May we become portraits of who You are in this world; a visible reflection for all those who are seeking the truth. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we may always do what is pleasing to You. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!



“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19: 4 – 6.)


Quoting an old testament scripture, Jesus reiterates and affirms an unwavering truth concerning the fundamental nature of human kind. In the beginning, God ‘made them male and female.’ Therefore every person alive today is either a male or female; their sex is determined at birth and any deviation from this certainty is an egregious sin requiring prompt repentance. Those attempting to change their gender are spiritually sick. We read in Deuteronomy 22: 5, “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.” The modern day transgender movement is a demonic endeavor that requires Christians to stand up in opposition.

Some time ago i received a call from a pollster gathering information about an upcoming election. After identifying as a conservative, I was asked if I would vote for Caitlyn Jenner for Governor. Without hesitation I corrected the caller, saying ‘Well first of all, Caitlyn Jenner is not a real person. His name is Bruce Jenner and he is pretending to be a woman.’ I informed the caller that I was a Christian, and that women cannot become men and men cannot become women. I rejected his language again and again; reminding him that Bruce Jenner’s attempts to transform himself were unGodly and delusional.

As of late, the world we live in has drastically changed. The huddling masses have accepted and even begun to celebrate the sinful practices of ‘transgenderism,’ homosexuality, and fornication (sexual activity outside the boundaries of marriage.) As Christians we are duty bound to represent God; and to boldly proclaim the gospel without apology. When confronted by worldviews that don’t adhere to God’s will, we must oppose them. We will undoubtedly offend people and we will be persecuted for speaking the truth. However, those who have stood in opposition to evil will be rewarded beyond anything they could possibly ask or imagine.

“Lord Heavenly Father, give us the strength to oppose the demonic forces of this fallen world. May we reach out to those who are walking in darkness, that they too might see Your wonderful light. May we be joyful and never lose heart as we endure the persecution that accompanies the manifestation of Your will. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you!

Second Chances


      When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”  Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”  A third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?”  He said, “Lord you know all things; you know that I love you.”  Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” […] and when he had said this he said, “Follow me.” (John 21: verse 15 – 19.)


      On the night that Jesus was arrested, His disciple abandoned him.  As the armed soldiers escorted Jesus to the high priest for questioning, Peter followed at a distance.  When they arrived at their destination, Peter sat down and watched as an angry crowd condemned his master.  They hurled insults at him and spit on him; they blindfolded Jesus and repeatedly struck him in the face.  Upon observing the brutality of the mob, Peter’s heart began to fail; his faith soon gave way to fear.  Three times he was asked by those around him if he was a follower of Jesus Christ; and three times he denied his affiliation.  He eventually ran off, disgraced and ashamed.  After rising from the dead, Jesus appeared to His disciples. They engaged in fellowship and shared a meal together.  Eventually Jesus took Peter aside; refusing to condemn him for his denials.  Instead, He absolved him of his sins and gave him a second chance.  Peter was now being called to serve and care for those who were repenting and receiving salvation.

      In the late 1800’s there lived an ambitious inventor named Thomas Edison.  He is credited with inventing the battery, the phonograph, the telegraph, the movie projector, and many other well-known devices.  One of his greatest inventions was the first industrial light bulb (an item we still use today.)  As the story goes, it took Mr. Edison and an entire team of men, 24 hours to produce the first working prototype.  After many long hours, Edison gave the bulb to a young boy to carry up the stairs to the testing area.  With the fragile device in hand, the nervous assistant cautiously made his ascent; every step was carefully planned and executed. Sadly, despite the child’s best efforts, he somehow shattered the bulb.  In turn, the disappointed team began manufacturing another prototype.  Twenty-four hours later, the new bulb appeared.  Although the young assistant had failed the first time, Edison wisely understood that the boy deserved a second chance.  The youngster didn’t disappoint either; he delivered the bulb to it’s destination intact.

      The world is teaming with people who have failed, in more ways than one; mistakes are a part of life.  However, many human beings can be unforgiving and cruel; but God is merciful.  As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to forgive others who are truly repentant and deserve a second chance. In so doing, we too will escape the sins of our past. Forgiveness is the pathway to peace, and mercy is a road that leads to genuine fellowship with our eternal Father.

      “Lord Heavenly Father, we have made many mistakes; but You have created in us a new heart.  You have given us a second chance.  May we show that same love toward others; may we forgive completely, and may Your mercy and grace be manifested through us, into the lives of all those we meet.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you!

Selflessness and Sacrifice


“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16: 24 – 25)


The old rugged cross is an enduring symbol of selflessness and sacrifice. Those who strive to follow Jesus Christ must crucify themselves daily. Our temporal wants, fleshly desires, and the present pleasures of this passing life must be abandoned. We lay down our lives so that Christ might arise in our place. If we die to ourselves, others will see God and be drawn to Him. By accomplishing acts of great service, we can spread the gospel message far and wide. Only through death can we experience eternal life.

As the story goes, during the 1800’s, a missionary named James Calvert was led by God to spread the gospel message to the cannibal infested islands of Figi. During his journey, the captain of the ship on which he traveled sought to dissuade him, saying, “You will risk your life and all those with you if you go among such savages.” Calvert’s response was simple and magnificent. “We died before we came here!” James and his companions had sacrificed their desires for self-preservation the moment they chose to follow Christ.

Like James Calvert, anyone who chooses to follow the Messiah must lay down their lives in service to God. We must abandon our selfish wants and desires. When compared with the promised rewards of eternal life, the passing pleasures of our current existence are insignificant. If we cannot embrace selflessness and sacrifice, we can’t hope to properly represent Jesus Christ.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to follow Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we take up our crosses and sacrifice our hunger for the passing pleasures of this world. Only You can give us the strength to lay down our flesh and walk according to the Spirit. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Overcoming the Fear of Evangelism


“But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” (Matthew 10: 17 – 20)


The textbook definition of evangelism is, ‘the spreading of the Christian gospel through public preaching, individual witnessing, and personal testimony.’ Jesus addresses the root cause of why many professing Christians refuse to evangelize. In verse 19 he says, “do not worry about how or what you should speak.” Thus the fear (worry) of appearing foolish and being rejected are the primary obstacles we must overcome if we are to faithfully carry the gospel message. To further alleviate any lingering anxiety, Jesus affirms that the words we share will not originate from us, but will instead be spoken through us by the Holy Spirit. If our evangelistic efforts are rejected, we needn’t feel shame or remorse; for they have not forsaken us, but God Himself; the creator of all things.

Currently, the United states has approximately 169 Ambassadors serving around the world. An ambassador is an important official who lives in a foreign country and represents American interests. A reliable and trustworthy ambassador assumes the duty of accomplishing a singular task; he must accurately convey the thoughts and desires of his nation to the country in which he is stationed. His private and personal opinions are abandoned; he speaks boldly without fear or regret. He has become the carrier of a message; a delivery man so to speak.

As Christians, we are ambassadors from heaven; carrying a message from our King to all those who might hear the gospel and be saved. We must abandon our selfish pride and the fear of rejection and evangelize whenever or wherever God may lead. We lay down our concerns, our worries, and our lives, so that we might represent the risen Lord in this place.

“Lord Heavenly Father, empower us with boldness, that we might be unashamed and unafraid. As we evangelize, may Your Holy Spirit speak through us. Compel us to reach out to those who are lost. Grant us numerous divine appointments, that might lead to the repentance and salvation of many souls. We love You Father, We praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.” God bless all of you!

Being Chosen By God


“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” […] “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” […] “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” (John 6: 37), (John 6: 40), (John 6: 44 – 45)


The Lord almighty has predestined the means by which mankind can attain divine reconciliation. Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God is the doorway through which every faithful believer must pass. We understand that, without exception, those who have been chosen by our Creator will be drawn to the foot of the cross. Only through the Messiah can we be forgiven, made perfect, and become entirely prepared to fellowship with our Eternal Father. Jesus alone is the door to heaven and the pathway to God.

Years before the world was introduced to GPS navigation, traveling was tedious and imperfect. Stopping multiple times to pester strangers for directions was commonplace. Gas station attendants were quite commonly inundated with questions. With every new fragment of information, the voyager could journey closer and closer to their desired location. As they journeyed, every folded map, every dingy street sign, and every pointed finger would coalesce into a pathway, leading the traveler to their final destination.

Today, those who have been chosen by God have also embarked on a splendid journey. Seeking reconciliation with the Father, they are drawn toward His Son. Jesus Christ is the only road that connects God and man. If the Lord has chosen us to be disciples, then we have but one task in this life; to point others toward the Messiah; toward Jesus; toward a future with God. For those who are called according to His purpose, the Father’s eternal promises will never fail.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we thank you for choosing us, and we desire to serve You with our whole hearts. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, and direct our daily tasks, that we might point others toward Your Son, and in turn, toward the goodness of Your salvation and grace. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Fellowship is Essential


     “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Mathew 18: 19-20.)


     The word ‘Amen,’ so commonly spoken at the end of most prayers, essentially means ‘I agree.’ Like so many Christian practices, prayer is meant to be exercised in community, as well as in solitude. In order to have a complete relationship with God, we must share Him with others. When two or more gather together to celebrate Christ, His Spirit is made manifest in their hearts; the feeble become strong and the empty are made full. An isolated Christian will eventually grow weak and become more vulnerable to attack.
     Some time ago, I regularly answered the prayer lines at my local church. After gaining some experience, I was able to make some profound observations. Those who were not involved in a church fellowship, or a small group bible study, suffered great difficulties. Many isolators were addicted to drugs or struggling with some other terrible sin; most of these detached souls were stuck in a continual state of crisis. On the contrary, those who expressed a spirit of joy were actively involved in service work; they usually attended a small group fellowship also; and they maintained close friendships with other followers.
     As believers we need to be involved in some form of Christian fellowship. Our experience with Christ must be exercised in community, rather than complete isolation. If you are not actively involved in a fellowship with other believers, find a church near you and get plugged into the body of Christ. Endeavor to make friends with other followers and pray with them regularly; become a part of God’s family and be renewed by the Holy Spirit. Without fellowship, we cannot know the fullness of God’s power in our lives.
     “Lord heavenly Father, we come before You as members of Your body and ask for more of Your Holy Spirit. We desire to continue in fellowship with our eternal brothers and sisters. May we draw near to one another as we all draw near to You. If we have isolated ourselves, give us opportunities to fellowship with others, that we might grow stronger. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Loving Other Christians


“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Luke 13: 34-35.)


Despite being called to love everyone, a unique bond exists within the Christian community. According to Jesus, the manifestation of supernatural affection that occurs between believers is an enduring symbol of authentic Christianity. If we fail to love our brothers and sisters in Christ, then we have failed to accomplish the will of God, while also ignoring the desires of our Savior. May our hearts remain steadfast and never falter, as we seek to love every member of the ‘Body of Christ.’

Richard Wurmbrand was an Evangelical preacher who spoke up for Christianity during the Russian occupation of Romania. In 1948, he was thrown into prison by the communist regime, tortured, and harassed. Despite the atrocious conditions in which he was kept, he said that he and the other believers continued tithing. “When we were given one slice of bread a week and dirty soup every day, we decided we would faithfully ‘tithe’ even that. Every tenth week we took a slice of bread and gave it to the weaker brothers as our ‘tithe’ to the ‘Master.’

Even in the depths of despair, Richard had found a way to show affection for his fellow believers. His duty then is our duty now. We are called to be a part of a Christian community. And within the fellowship of believers we can accomplish Christ’s commandment to love our brothers and sisters. Our unique affection for one another is a symbol of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within our hearts. May we be the light that draws others to Christ.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we ask and pray for a deeper relationship with You. May we become part of a Christian community. Let Your Holy Spirit flow through our hearts, creating the desire to show affection for our fellow believers. May we care for our brothers and sisters, showering them with love in the light of Your majesty and grace. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You. And we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ name. Amen.” God bless all of you!



    And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.”  As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him.  Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”  Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”  Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the Spirit and was troubled.  And He said, “Where have you laid him?”  They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”  Jesus wept.  Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”  And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” (John 11: 28-37)


    Upon arriving, Jesus observed Mary and Martha weeping over the loss of their brother.  He was immediately filled with compassion and empathy; His heart was so grieved that He began weeping with them.  And yet not one of Christ’s tears was shed for Lazarus (whom He would soon raise from the dead.) Instead, Jesus cried because He empathized with those who were mourning.  Concerning empathy and compassion, God has no equal; He’s filled with it.  Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another person who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate their suffering.”

    One day, many years ago, I happened by a man named Eric.  He was seated outside of a coffee shop, slouching down in a chair; he looked more dead than alive.  His skin was pale and clammy and he was sweating profusely. His clothes were also old and tattered.  Upon witnessing his pain, my heart was moved with compassion.  I promptly sat down and began speaking with him.  He informed me that he was withdrawing from heroine and was very sick.  I took him out to eat and provided him with some clean clothes; I ministered to him as best I could.  As his condition worsened, I drove him to the hospital and sat with him in the emergency room for hours; I even accompanied him in to see the doctor.  After being treated he was released.  Before dropping Eric off, I paid for his prescription and made sure he had enough food for the evening.  Nearly a year later, Eric showed up at the coffee shop to say hello.  He told me that after our interaction, he had nearly died of a heart infection and was hospitalized for an extended period of time.  He thanked me for my efforts, and said that without my assistance, he might not be alive.  He was grateful that (‘even when his friends had abandoned him’) someone had cared enough to help.  Despite his personal gratitude, I reminded Eric that it was God who deserved the credit; for it was God who had filled my heart with compassion; and in turn, it was the Lord who had moved me to act.

     Because Jesus Christ is filled with compassion, His followers are as well.  In turn, He moves human beings to accomplish great feats of kindness and mercy.  The closer we are to God, the more compassion we will feel for those who are hurting.  When someone is struggling, God feels their pain and inspires others to comfort them.  Wherever mercy and love abound, the Spirit of God is at work.  However, where there is indifference and a lack of compassion, there is an absence of Godliness.  There are so many broken people in this world who need to be loved.  May God’s compassion lead us to act; may we feel what God feels; may we see with His eyes; may we be filled with the mercy required to relieve the suffering of others.

     “Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to know You and to be filled with Your compassionate Spirit.  Inspire us, that our hearts may be sensitive to those who are hurting.  Give us the strength to be kind when others are in need. May we love our families, our friends, and even those who are complete strangers.  Use us to express Your merciful benevolence.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name we pray.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Being a Peacemaker


  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the Sons of God!” (Matthew 5: 9)


    The world is full of conflict. Yet in the midst of the hostility, God’s children are called to promote peace. The Lord Himself is a peacemaker; He detests unjustified violence and senseless aggression. Those who share His heart also share His mission; to bring harmony where there is hatred and tranquility where there is contempt. Those who choose to make peace will inherit the eternal blessings offered to the ‘Sons and daughters of God.’ (Note: Despite our efforts to foster peace, we must always speak the gospel truth; which will inevitably create discord.)
    As the story goes, in the 4th century A.D., a monk named Telemachus felt God calling him to go to Rome. He packed up his meager possessions and set out for the great city. Upon arriving, the streets were bustling with excitement. When he asked why everyone was so energized, he was informed that the gladiators would soon be fighting to the death in the coliseum. Horrified that men would be killing one another for sport, he headed for the stadium. After entering the complex, he pushed through the crowds and hopped a fence; making his way to the center of the arena. As he stood between the two gladiators, he shouted, “In the name of Christ, stop!” The crowd began yelling, “Run him through, Run him through!” A gladiator abruptly approached; striking the monk in the stomach with the back of his sword. Although Telemachus fell to the ground, he soon recovered. Once again, he placed himself between the two armed men and shouted, “In the name of Christ, stop.” The other gladiator suddenly approached him and plunged his sword through the monk’s belly. Telemachus plummeted to the ground and began bleeding out. Before dying, he was able to utter one last statement; “In the name of Christ, stop.” A hush came over the crowd. A single spectator rose up from his seat and left; followed by another; and another. Within minutes everyone had left the coliseum. According to the story, that day marked the end of the Roman gladiators fighting to the death for sport.
  Like Telemachus, no matter the consequence, the people of God are called to be peacemakers. When others fall silent, we must speak up. Where there is discord, we ought to bring unity; where there is conflict, we must promote peace. In so doing we will be called ‘The children of God;’ and we will know the eternal blessings reserved for those who remain faithfully obedient.
    “Lord Heavenly Father, we long for obedience; may we share in the desires of Your heart. May we love others as You have loved others. Use us to promote peace and to end conflict. Give us the courage and strength to speak up when the masses remain silent; may we be Your sons and daughters; and may we experience the blessings of genuine obedience. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.” God bless all of you!

Loving Sinners


   Then Levi gave him a great feast in his own house.  And there were a great number of tax collectors (sinners) and others who sat down with them.  And their scribes and the Pharisees (religious leaders) complained against his disciples saying, “Why do you eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5: 29 – 32.)


    Those who had committed the greatest offenses were also the most eager to receive forgiveness. The prostitutes and tax-collectors, devoid of any delusions of purity, were wholly capable of conducting an honest self-appraisal.  The religious leaders however, believing themselves to be righteous, refused to accept the message of repentance and reconciliation.  The initial step toward the restoration of divine fellowship includes a genuine recognition of sin. Still today, those who need the greatest measure of healing, are often rejected by the self-righteous. Although most have forsaken the worst offenders, God has not abandoned them.

  Many living within the boundaries of the Roman Empire had little compassion for the sick and the infirmed.  There were no retirement homes, assisted living facilities, or modern hospitals.  Poor sanitary practices often lead to outbreaks of disease that devastated entire towns, cities, and nations.  Those who fell ill were usually abandoned by the healthy; and left to die in the streets. Still, as Christianity spread, so did mercy, compassion, and love. During a plague in Alexandria, Egypt, in 416 A.D., a group of Christians assembled to care for those who were sick. They became known as “the Parabalani” (“the reckless ones”); because in caring for the infirmed, they selflessly exposed themselves to infection.  As they ministered, they undoubtedly preached the gospel; drawing many to the foot of the cross.

    In similar fashion, we are called to care for the sickest of sinners; those who have been abandoned and left to die.  Drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, thieves, adulterers, and fornicators are frequently the most willing recipients of God’s message of forgiveness and salvation. May we never abandon the lost; nor shun the wretched; for Jesus Christ himself loves every outcast.

   “Lord Heavenly Father, may we never forget that we are but sinners, saved by Your grace.  Provide us with opportunities to minister to the lost.  May we have compassion on the sick and love those who are dying.  May we be instruments of Your mercy; delivering Your message of salvation to the lost.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.

Producing Fruit


    “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12: 23 – 25.)


     Utilizing an agricultural metaphor, Jesus references His upcoming death, burial, and resurrection. A single grain of wheat, when planted, can produce hundreds, thousands, and even millions of additional seeds. Similarly, the Lords’ suffering and agony upon the cross, and ensuing resurrection, has produced much fruit. His selfless sacrifice has inspired endless conversions; enabling millions to receive the mercy and grace of God.
     In the 1800’s there resided a little girl from Philadelphia name Hattie Wiatt. She lived in close proximity to a popular, and very crowded Grace Baptist Church. One day she approached the Church and asked to attend their Sunday school. Sadly, she was told that there was no more room. Less than two years later, Hattie fell ill and passed away. A pocket book containing 57 pennies was found underneath her pillow; it was wrapped in a piece of scrap paper; written on the paper was a note that read, “To help build the little temple bigger, so that more children can go to Sunday school.” She had saved her pennies for 2 years intending to give them as a donation to the church. The pastor told his congregation of Hattie’s selflessness. Immediately donations began pouring in, until they had collected nearly $250,000 dollars. Soon the church was seating 3,300 people; the parishioners also chose to build a hospital as well as a university accommodating some 1,400 students (today, attendance at Temple University has grown to nearly 28,000.) Hattie’s sacrifice, although small, has gone on to produce much fruit.
     Like Hattie, we are called to selflessly lay down our lives to “build the little temple bigger.” To sacrifice our own wants and desires so that others may come to know the love of God. When we serve our fellows, love our neighbors, and give to those in need, we bear much fruit. Those who strive to live selflessly will come to know peace; true peace; heavenly peace; eternal peace; “the peace that surpasses all understanding.”
     “Lord Heavenly Father, You are truly an amazing and awesome God. We desperately desire to be selfless; we yearn to lay down our lives so that others may come to know You. Help us to enjoy and embrace serving, giving, and loving. May we produce much fruit and bring many souls into Your everlasting Kingdom. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

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