Spiritual Thought Of The Day

6/1/2023Isaiah 6:8 “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us? Then I said, Here am I! Send me.”

The Church today is not so much guilty of the sin of commission or omission, but of no mission. We hang back and wait for the lost to enter our world when we need to enter their world with God’s love and His heart.

We have been rescued, saved, delivered, healed, showered with blessings, and highly favored. This good news should be so uncontainable that we are sharing it with every person we encounter. Instead, we often hoard it, hide it, and hope nobody asks.

We stall while we wait for the grand gesture – to speak to thousands, to touch the masses, to travel to a foreign land. But can we walk across the street and talk to our neighbors? Jesus’ example for us was often the opposite of the grand gesture. He held a child. He ate fish with his friends around a campfire. He touched a leper when no one else would. He discussed the Scriptures in the temple. And every one of those simple gestures had a profound impact.

Mother Teresa said, “God never asked me to be successful. God asked me to be obedient.” Let’s begin to think specifically about how we can obey the Lord. How can we be more intentional in the mission to which God has called us? Let’s stop drifting aimlessly.

Who can we invite to church?
Who can we visit in the hospital or nursing home?
Who can we ask out to share a meal?
How can we better use our finances for His purposes?
Who can we pray for tenaciously?
Can we give a cup of cold water to someone? Just start there!

A whole world around us is floundering, flailing, and fading fast…We have the hope…We have the remedy…Jesus has already sent us out on assignment…Let’s fulfill our mission…Starting now!!!
5/31/2023Matthew 20:27-28 “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Social scientists have a name for the tendency to watch from the sidelines: The Bystander Effect. It’s a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any of them will help. Everyone thinks that someone else will do something or step in to rescue the victim.

It is easy, in the middle of our busy, fast-paced lives, to think that someone else will do what God is actually calling us to do. Someone else will witness to a neighbor or volunteer at our church or pray with a co-worker. We often think that throwing money at a need relieves us of the responsibility of wading in and getting our hands dirty.

If we are all honest, God is prompting us at this very point in time to do something we have not done before, to stretch beyond what is comfortable for us. So, why do we hesitate and hang back? Why are we content to watch while another believer steps in to meet that need?

For someone in your life right now, you are God’s Plan A…Jesus is counting on you to listen to His voice, to obey His prompting, and to reach out to meet the need…He created you for exactly this moment in history, to perform this good work that He ordained, and to be the answer to someone else’s prayer!!!
5/30/2023Ephesians 5:1-2 “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

With great freedom comes great responsibility. And we have received the deepest and widest of freedoms through Christ. We are free indeed!

We are free from the law of sin and death to live in the righteousness of God (Romans 8:2). We are responsible to be imitators of God and to be examples “in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). That may seem like a tall order, but once again, Jesus equips us with all that we need.

When we spend time with Jesus, we become more like Him. When we spend time in His Word, we begin to see things His way. When we spend time communicating with Him, our prayers become powerful and effective. We begin to speak His heart into situations. When we follow Him and step in His footprints, we begin to look a lot like Him Who “is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). We become imitators and examples.

When we spend time with Jesus, He leaves a mark on us that can be seen by those with whom we do life. He molds us, He shapes us, and He leaves His fingerprints all over us.

After Moses spent time with God on Mt. Sinai, he descended the mountain with the stone tablets in hand, his face aglow from the presence of the Lord. His countenance was kindled by the Light of God. In Acts 4, the crowds marveled at Peter and John when these uneducated and untrained men stood and boldly compelled others to accept the good news, but the people “realized that they had been with Jesus” (verse 13).

Spend time in His presence…Allow Him to leave His mark on you…Submit to His shaping…He will kindle a fire in you…He will make you bold…You will become an imitator of God and an example for others to follow!!!
5/29/2023Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Americans boast a long history of “standing” — standing for civil rights, standing for women’s equality, standing for political freedoms, or standing for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As Christians, we stand on the promises and stand for the cause of Christ.

The Bible has much to say about standing. God often instructed people to stand – stand by the well, stand by the river, stand on the rock, stand before the priest, stand to minister, or stand still. And when they followed His direction, something interesting was bound to occur. We are still standing today.

We stand by grace. This amazing gift steadies us. Even in tribulation, we are filled with hope, and God’s love fills our hearts to overflowing (Romans 5:2). Because we have received grace, it pours out of our lives. We give it away freely because it will be measured back to us in the same way we extend it. If we give generously, it comes back in “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over” (Luke 6:38).

We stand by faith. When we place our confidence in God, believe on His Son and lean on the Holy Spirit, we are established in Him (Romans 11:20). Our lives are marked with order, strength, and courage (I Corinthians 16:13). He seals us with His Holy Spirit, and we feel His presence in our hearts (II Corinthians 1:22-24).

We stand in the gospel. This good news has been proclaimed to us, so we can stand and proclaim it to others (I Corinthians 15:1). Our lives are grounded in its foundational truths that provide and protect us. We find hope in its promises.

We stand in liberty. We have been set free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). We are no longer entangled in a yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1). We are free indeed!

Because we are standing in the grace, faith, and liberty of this glorious gospel, we stand fast…As Christians, we are rooted in unity — one spirit and one mind — all striving to spread this glorious gospel story and to glorify our Father!!!
5/28/2023Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

We live in a culture driven by a consumer mentality. So many voices and choices compete for our attention. On any given Sunday, we are faced with the choice to attend church or spend our time elsewhere.

Even in the Apostle Paul’s day, this seems to have been an issue. He writes to the Hebrews to continue to assemble together for worship…even though some had given up the practice. He knew that we would need one another.

Have you ever thought that, perhaps, you might hold the answer to someone else’s prayer? That they will be sitting in the pew, desperate for the hope you could bring? Philippians 2:4 encourages us to look out not just for our own interests, but to watch out for others too.

Paul compares the body of Christ to the human body (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Every part has its purpose, and every part needs to be present for the whole body to function at its highest potential. Without just one part, we would be off balance.

The body of Christ functions in the same manner. The gifts that you bring, your fresh perspective, your testimony of God’s faithfulness, sometimes just the mere fact of your supportive presence — the body of Christ needs you. When you are absent, the body is lacking. When you hold back, someone is left in need. When you do not share what God has given, we limp along without balance.

We are to be interconnected and interdependent, checking in and watching out for one another…Grab a cup of coffee with someone…Make dinner reservations with another family…Welcome the newcomers…Show up at church…for someone else…That is how God created this family of believers!!!
5/27/2023Mark 13:31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”

We live in a world that makes less and less sense, where it becomes more and more difficult to discern fact from fiction. Charles Spurgeon said, “Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather, it is the difference between right and almost right.”

To cut through all of the confusion, God has provided a resource to lead us to the truth. He has placed in our hands the Bible — the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, the Good News of the Gospel, the Sword of the Spirit, the Law of the Lord.

In his second letter to Timothy, Paul warned that many deceivers and imposters would come claiming to know the truth, but actually living in opposition to all that Jesus taught. He reminded Timothy to go back to the one place that he could always find truth: “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15).

Not only has He placed this truth in our hands, but He encourages us to hide His Words in our hearts, so we do not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). We need to read them, study them, memorize them, carry them inside of us so that we can expose the lies and recognize the truth (Hebrews 4:12).

The grass may wither, and the flowers may fade, but the Word of God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8)…Not one period or comma will disappear from His law until all of it comes to pass (Matthew 5:18)…When nothing else makes sense, His Word does…May it always be our true foundation!!!
5/26/20231 Timothy 6:18-19 “Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

Do you ever get discouraged by the routine of life? After all, most of us haven’t slain a giant, camped out in the belly of a whale, led a million people across a desert, or healed the sick when our shadow fell across them.

Don’t be discouraged! Shepherds, fishermen, tax collectors, farmers — our heroes of the faith were just everyday people leading ordinary lives until God put His finger on them to do extraordinary things.

Too often, we search for the huge moment that will define our faith. What we overlook are the small, seemingly insignificant places where God begins to build the character and characteristics for the plans He has in mind for us.

Jesus reassures us that, if we do something as inconsequential as giving a cup of cold water in His name, there is a reward in that small act (Matthew 10:42). That is an easy starting point!

When we are filled with the Spirit of God, we are full of power to impact our worlds, our spheres of influence…When we do small things well over a long period of time with great love, they add up to a life of big impact for Jesus!!!
5/25/2023Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

We have been commissioned by Christ Jesus. He has entrusted the keys of the Kingdom to us. He has given us the permission and the power to loose in heaven the things that we desire here on earth that are in agreement with His will for us.

How do we unlock those blessings though? We can struggle with the practical application of that spiritual truth. We all desire the good things of God to spill over out of our personal relationship with Him into our families, our homes, and our businesses. It is easy to bask in His presence in the church sanctuary, but is it reasonable to expect Him to fill up those other places too?  Yes!

Businesspeople, do you wish for a happier workforce, more productivity, a stronger bottom line? Invite Jesus to be your Chief Executive Officer. Put Him first in all of your work; follow Him in the same way you would like for others to follow you. Colossians 3:17 admonishes us to do everything as if we were devoting our work to Him — not to a supervisor. Invite Him into the boardroom — He promised to be with you always.

Ask Him to guide you to make business decisions that honor Him. When you interact with employees, speak peace and positivity. Speak the promise of God over your workplace. Expect the providential turnaround. New opportunities, deals, mergers, acquisitions, trades — God gives it back when you surrender it to Him.

Many of us long for families of faith. Get on your knees and fight for your unsaved loved ones. Take the keys and unlock the promises of God in their lives. Claim the promises of God that your children are the inheritance of the Lord, that they are blessed and highly favored. Pray that your spouse begins to walk in the divine destiny God has decreed, that they do not belong to this culture, but they are set aside for the purposes of the Father. In prayer, use the keys to unlock the promises of the Almighty for their futures.

You are a child of God…The keys of the Kingdom are in your hands…Information without application leads to frustration…All of the access and authority, the permission and the power, belong to you…In the mighty name of Jesus, unlock and loose, bind and lock!!!
5/24/2023Matthew 16:25-26 “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

Now that we have moved beyond the curious to become the convinced and have committed our lives to Christ, He has commissioned us. He has given us the keys to the kingdom.

Let’s be honest though. We always approach commitment with caution. One of our first concerns is what it will cost us. What might I have to give up that I might not want to give up? How will that look? How will it feel? Will it be worth it?

Jesus gives us a new perspective in today’s verse: “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.” This is quite a paradox, but Jesus pushes the point even further: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

Words like “deny,” “lose,” “sacrifice,” and “follow me,” understandably make us nervous. Jesus encouraged us, to stop focusing on what we have to lose and to, instead, think about all we have to gain.

Like the young boy who gave Jesus his lunch to feed the five thousand, he did not obsess about what he might lose. He willingly surrendered his all. And when he gave it to Jesus, it was out of his hands. Jesus took it, blessed it, and used it to meet not just his needs, but the needs of many. And then He gave the boy twelve basketfuls of leftovers. That was quite a return on his investment!

Hold nothing back from Jesus…He came to give us abundant life…He will not withhold any good thing from us…When we give our lives and all we value to Him, He will pour out blessings that we cannot contain…In Christ, we can love and live and give like we have nothing to lose…because we don’t!!!
5/23/2023Matthew 16:19 “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

The person who holds the keys has the power to lock and unlock. He has the access and the authority. He can enter and exit freely.

In Matthew 16, Jesus has a heart-to-heart with the twelve disciples. He asks them this question: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” In essence, He asked, “What do the curious say about Me?” The disciples tossed out some answers that they had overheard in the chatter surrounding Jesus. Some thought that maybe He was Elijah, perhaps John the Baptist, just a prophet like other prophets.

Jesus pressed a little harder: “But who do you say I am?” He had done enough; were they convinced? Impetuous Peter passionately blurted out, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Not only was he convinced, but he was committed.

Jesus rewarded him in the same way He rewards all those who are committed: He commissioned Peter. He said, “…on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Jesus appointed and authorized Peter. He gave him the keys. Like a law enforcement officer who wears a badge or a soldier who wears a uniform, those keys represent authority.

Jesus explained the keys to Peter, “…whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). Through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ, we have access to the throne room of God. Because of the gift of His grace, we can freely enter. Whatever we have need of here on earth, we can unlock in heavenly places to be poured out on us. Whatever needs to be prevented here on earth can be locked in heavenly places.

If we are committed to Him, He has commissioned us…He has entrusted these keys to us…We cannot afford to lose them, to stick them in our pockets, and forget about them…Those keys give us the privilege, the permission, and the power…They grant us the access and authority to retrieve those things we need…The possibilities of what you can do with these keys entrusted to you by the Son of the living God are unlimited!!!
5/22/2023Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”

In every congregation or conversation with Jesus recorded in the Bible, three types of individuals emerge. The curious came to hear what this preacher had to say. The convinced believed, through their experience and observation, that He had the power to change their lives. The third group of individuals moved beyond the curious and the convinced to a faith that changed the world – they were the committed.

One day, five thousand people came to hear Jesus – some walking great distances. He had compassion on them, and He healed the sick and hurting that came seeking His help. When evening arrived, the disciples urged Him to send them off to nearby villages in search of supper.

He said, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” The twelve were convinced that Jesus was Who He claimed to be, that He had the ability to help, but they approached Him only to point out the problem…the hour was late, the people were hungry, and they didn’t have enough food to feed a crowd of five thousand.

In spite of the fact that they had watched Him minister to this group all day long, they had witnessed the healing miracles from morning to evening, the disciples faltered in moving from the convinced to the committed.

One young boy demonstrated what it looked like to be committed. He brought everything he had – just five loaves and two fish – and presented them to Jesus. This faith-filled boy was all in. He saw a need. He looked at what was in his hands. He knew it was not enough. But he believed that if he gave all he had to Jesus, something miraculous could happen. He was committed.

Most of us stumble to a stop at convinced. We are content to point out our problems to Jesus. We know He can help if He wants to do so. The truth is that Jesus did not come from heaven to suffer what He did if He is not willing to fix it for us.

Like the young boy, be sure you are committed…You look at what is in your hands…You know it is not enough…You are convinced that Jesus can do something miraculous for you…Be all in…Take all that you have, all that you are, and lay it in His hands…Like those fish and loaves, He will bless what you commit to Him, and He will fill you up to overflowing with every good thing!!!
5/21/2023Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

In every congregation or conversation with Jesus recorded in the Bible, three types of individuals emerge. The second type are those who are the convinced. They have seen God do some miraculous things. Through their own experience and observation, they are convinced that He is Who He claims to be and that He has true power to change their lives.

Multitudes of people followed Jesus from city to city. The crush of the crowd was overwhelming at times as people came to witness how His teaching challenged the spiritual leaders. They brought their sick friends and family members in hopes that this miracle worker would touch them and relieve their illnesses.

They were convinced that Jesus was a great Teacher. They marveled at the miracles that He performed. They were convinced of His ability to heal their diseases, to deliver from demons, and to comfort the afflicted. They were certain that He had come to rescue them, to set them free from oppression and bondage.

However, when Jesus taught a particularly difficult doctrine one day, John 6:66 tells us that many of His disciples turned away and no longer walked with Him. They were convinced, but they were not committed. There lies the problem with simply being convinced. In James 2:19, we learn that even the demons see and believe…and they tremble. But that conviction has not led them to serve Him or commit themselves to Him.

When a person leans on their own observations and experiences, that is shaky ground…Sometimes, what we see consists of a piece of the story…What looks like tragedy can result in our ultimate triumph…What looks like the impossible may be setting us up for a miracle…When we move beyond the curious to the convinced, we believe that Jesus is Who He claims to be and that He can do what He has promised to do…That faith will propel us to take the next step to commitment…Faith without action is worth nothing, but faith that moves us to commitment leads to victory!!!
5/20/2023Matthew 19:16 “Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’”

In every congregation or conversation with Jesus recorded in the Bible, three types of individuals emerge. The first are the curious. They were simply inquiring minds who wanted to know!

They showed up in the crowds to check out all the fuss. They wanted to hear what Jesus had to say and to see why the priests were so confounded. They wanted to witness a lame man jump to his feet and go running through the temple. They had lots of questions.

What was so special about a Carpenter from Nazareth? Wasn’t He the Son of Joseph and Mary? Why was this guy from Galilee stirring up trouble for them? Why did fishermen follow Him and Pharisees despise Him? Why did tax collectors and prostitutes make dinner reservations with Him? By what power did He work these astounding miracles? How did He speak with such intelligence regarding Scriptural mysteries that even the religious leaders couldn’t understand?

A rich, young ruler came running to ask Jesus a question: “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” Jesus repeated a few of the commandments to this inquisitive young man. He assured Jesus that he had kept all the commandments since he was a young child. He demanded to know what else he lacked. When Jesus told him that he should sell all he had, give the proceeds to the poor, and come to follow Him, the ruler went away sad because he had much wealth. He was curious, but he wasn’t willing to commit.

In our everyday encounters, many are still curious about Christ. They may have attended church and experienced His presence. They may have felt that inexplicable tugging in their hearts. They may have witnessed a family member who encountered Jesus and had a radical change when He made them a new creature. Could He do that for them?

If people are curious about Christ, they are headed in the right direction…When that curiosity leads to conviction and is followed by commitment, they will experience the satisfaction and joy of fully knowing Jesus Christ!!!
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…”

Our commitment to Christ is the key to unlock the ability to pull down the spiritual strongholds of Satan in our lives. What are spiritual strongholds? Paul defines them clearly for us in today’s verse. Strongholds are “arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” — fortresses of lies against the truth of God in our lives.

As followers of Christ, we engage in spiritual warfare with the mighty weapons God provides. This spiritual struggle ensued long before we arrived on the scene, but we are not helpless in the face of evil. We take back spiritual ground that our enemy, Satan, has stolen from us and those we love.

We are not created to hide behind the walls of the church, to merely defend ourselves from the schemes of the devil. We are created to offensively establish God’s kingdom here on earth, to ward off the fiery darts of the evil one, to make war in heavenly places, and to gain ground for the cause of Christ.

Jesus told us that “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). This spiritual violence of which Jesus speaks describes how Satan strikes at us. He is intent on our defeat and our destruction. He sets out to disrupt, damage, and ultimately, destroy our lives. He will infiltrate our emotions, relationships, health, and finances. John 10:10 makes it plain that he comes to “kill, steal, and destroy.”

No matter the spiritual violence that he attempts to wreak on us, as believers, we can set him in full retreat through the power that we have through Jesus Christ…When we submit our lives to God, when we engage the mighty weapons God has given, and when we resist the devil, he will flee before us…We have authority through the name of Jesus, the power of His Word, and His overcoming Blood…Our Savior will crush him under our feet and lead us to victory!!!
5/18/2023Psalm 128:4 “Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the LORD.”

Psalm 128 tells us that a man who fears the Lord and walks in His ways will be blessed! The best way that a man can love his wife is to walk in relationship with Jesus Christ. It changes their marriage, their family, and their world.

This Psalm continues with the admonishment that you shall eat the labor of your hand (Psalm 128:2). A Godly man works at a job to provide for his family. He is honored and well respected (Proverbs 31:23). First Timothy 5:8 even goes so far as to say that a man who does not care for his relatives – especially those in his own home – denies the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. His lack of empathy and enterprise deny the faith that he professes.

As he and his family enjoy the fruits of his labor, Psalm 128:2 declares that he “shall be happy.” A Godly man demonstrates a pleasant attitude. Others enjoy his presence and conversation. A harsh word or an angry demeanor do not denote machismo (Colossians 3:19). A Godly man has no desire to intimidate or dominate. He leads by example and practices wisdom and self-control.

Paul encouraged men to love their wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25). He laid down His own desires, sacrificed all that He had for her sake. This is the example that a Godly man emulates. He seeks to compliment, not complain. He seeks to help, not hurt.

A few verses later, Paul reminds husbands to love their wives as they love their own bodies, as a very part of themselves (Ephesians 5:28). A healthy person does not mistreat his own body, but he nourishes, protects, and cares for it. A Godly man will do the same for his wife. He seeks to nurture, not neglect. He seeks to assist, not abandon.

In such a loving relationship, wives thrive and families flourish…The holy vertical relationship with our heavenly Father impacts all of our horizontal relationships, too…Husbands, love Jesus…Wives, love Jesus…And when you do, “it shall be well with you”…
5/17/2023Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

You are not an accident. You are here on purpose. No random whimsy of act has dropped you here haphazardly. Almighty God has chosen to insert you into this moment in history for a specific reason.

We often, and quite unintentionally, discredit the greatness of God inside of us when we say, “I guess I was just lucky.” Luck had nothing to do with it. That was God working all things to our good, because we are “called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Sometimes, we say, “I was just in the right place at the right time.” And you would be right…because God led you there. Let’s give credit where it is due!

In the Old Testament, we read of the beautiful, Jewish girl, Esther. She found herself in the king’s palace with the weight of the survival of all Jewish people sitting squarely on her young shoulders. Mordecai, her cousin, urged her not to shrink from this enormous task. He was certain that she had come to that place “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). With the prayers of her people and Greatness inside of her, she rose to meet the challenge.

God did not place you here to merely exist. He deliberately sent you here for such a time as this. He did not place you here to merely get by or survive. Embrace the Great inside you! Let that light shine so that others will see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

He knows you…He knows exactly what you need…He sees where you are and what you have walked through to get here…Whether you realized it or not, He was walking with you…He knows where you are headed, and He has gone on before you to prepare the way…Don’t let the world weigh you down…Don’t let the critics slow you down…Don’t let the burdens bring you down…Do let the greatness of God arise in you, and let His enemies scatter before you…Rise up, and shine!!!
5/16/2023Galatians 6:4-5 “But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.”

One of the three unalienable rights endowed on Americans by our Creator, according to the Declaration of Independence, is the pursuit of happiness. It sounds so simple. However, the Declaration did not grant us the “guarantee” of happiness…only the right to pursue happiness. If God has granted us life and liberty, each one of us has the responsibility to pursue happiness.

We are responsible for how we reach our individual happiness. Each one of us chooses a path and pursues it until we possess it. The work and effort required for the end goal is where we sometimes get derailed. It turns out that the pursuit of happiness may be one of the greatest struggles of the human condition. This pursuit of happiness is not a guarantee; it is an opportunity. Each one of us is responsible for what we do with that choice.

In 1 John 4:4, John told the Ephesians that God has placed greatness inside of every believer. By virtue of Jesus living in our hearts, we have His greatness to meet every eventuality. As Winston Churchill once said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.” The battle for greatness is won and lost — not in a voting booth or on a ticket — but within each one of us.

What will we choose to do with the Greatness inside of us? How will we face down our giants? How will we handle lack? How will we reach out to those in need? What will be our attitude when opposition rises? Will we choose words that build up or tear down? How will we stand for the defenseless? Jesus paid the price for this greatness, but we are responsible to grasp its promise.

Lean into that greatness…Apply yourself in heart, mind, soul, and strength into loving God and loving your neighbors…There, we will find the contentment, the fruitfulness, and the happiness of a life well lived!!!
5/15/2023Psalm 128:3 “Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table.”

When a husband fears the Lord and walks in His ways, his choice sets up his household for success. His relationship with God strengthens His relationship with his wife and positively impacts his children.

Our verse for today creates a picture of the health and happiness that exists in such a home, the richness that flows out of a relationship with our Creator and Sustainer. At the very heart of the home, the verse depicts the wife as a fruitful vine.

Genesis 2:24 tells us that a man leaves his parents to cleave or cling to his wife, and they become like one person. When a wife is secure in the love of a Godly husband, she will freely wrap her life around him like a fruitful vine. She can cling to him as a leader because she trusts him, as a lover because she adores him, and as a confidante because she has a friend in him. Their lives are intertwined, joined so closely that they are inseparable.

Vines climb. When a wife is secure in the marriage relationship, she has liberty to climb to the destiny that God created for her. She has the confidence to reach for the Son until the dreams that God has planted in her heart become a reality.

Fruitful vines produce – they grow clusters of grapes on every branch. All that a wife puts her hand to will flourish. She will find satisfaction and contentment in her relationship with God, her husband, and her endeavors. Her productivity will bless her own family as well as her neighbors and her community (Proverbs 31).

Around their dinner table, their children will be like olive plants, a spring of life in their home. They will watch them bud and bloom with fresh promise for the future.
5/14/2023Proverbs 31:29-30 “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”

On this special day when we honor mothers, Proverbs 31 offers us a wonderful reminder of all the traits that add up to a virtuous woman and wife. She is a treasure worth far more than precious jewels.

The virtuous wife respects her husband. Every day of her life, she finds ways to treat him well. He can trust her completely, and she enriches his life in every way. He is a well-respected leader in the city because of the support she affords him.

The virtuous wife works hard to provide for her family. She rises before the sun, and her lamp burns into the night. She brings food for her family. Her hands are busy, and her arms are strong. She is industrious and entrepreneurial. She sews and spins and creates beautiful products to sell for profit. She buys a field and plants a vineyard. She watches over all the aspects of her household.

We all know these women – up before dawn, dropping the children at school, heading off to jobs before returning home with the groceries to prepare a meal and help with homework, cheer from the sidelines, and organize tomorrow’s tasks before falling into bed late at night.

The virtuous woman cares for the poor and the less fortunate. She opens her heart and extends her hands to help. She does not sit idly by waiting for someone else to take action. She picks up the phone. She mails a card. She volunteers her time.

She lives with a quiet confidence in God, and she senses the value of the work that she completes. She speaks with wisdom and kindness, and she faces the future with a smile. Her strength is evident. Her actions speak for themselves.

Her husband sings her praises, and even her children admire and recognize that she is blessed. A woman who fears the Lord and places all of her hope in Him will reap the rewards of a life spent with Him and for Him.
5/13/2023Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.”

In honor of Mother’s Day, Pastor Matt Hagee shared the privilege it is to call Mrs. Diana Hagee his Mom. Like many women, she fills a multitude of roles, but the one role that supersedes all the others is that of being a mother.

Pastor Matt verifies that his mother has only one speed: overdrive! He is the first to confess that, if you have a mom who loves you in overdrive, you are blessed indeed. If you need help, she is knocking on the door. If you need a friend, she is there to hold your hand and dry your tears. If you need food, buy a larger refrigerator, because you are going to get food!

For over forty years, she has ministered alongside Pastor John Hagee. The greatest gift that she has given to the church – and to many outside the church – has been to teach them how to love one another. In John 15:12, Jesus said to His disciples, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Diana is a walking, talking tutorial on loving one another. Her life has been a humble demonstration of how to love each other well.

She has loved her husband, her family, and the members of Cornerstone Church. As importantly, she has taught them to do the same for one another. When church members visit one another in the hospital, when they reach out to someone who is ill, when they bring over a casserole in a covered dish, it is not because one of the pastors instructed them to do so over the pulpit. They do so, because Diana has been an example of loving and taking care of your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jesus issued a new commandment to us; in the same way that He loved us, we should love one another. When a watching world sees the love that we demonstrate towards one another, how we tenderly care for and stand up for one another, they will know that we are His disciples (John 13:34-35).

For the virtuous woman, Proverbs 31:28 says that “her children rise up and call her blessed.” Pastor Matt Hagee is grateful for his mom and the legacy of love that she continues to build.
5/12/2023Psalm 45:9 “Kings’ daughters are among Your honorable women.”

The Hagee family story cannot be told without acknowledging the contributions of the women from generation to generation. In honor of Mother’s Day, Pastor Matt Hagee shared pieces of their stories.

Laverta McElvany Hagee was born in 1893 and married Pastor Matt’s great-grandfather, John Christopher Hagee, when she was sixteen. She was the daughter of the Methodist bishop of Kansas and the region of Missouri. One night, Laverta attended a prayer meeting where she asked God for more of His presence, a deeper relationship with Him. He responded by baptizing her in the Holy Spirit. God filled her with unspeakable joy.

Struggling through the Great Depression, she gave birth to ten children – nine sons and the baby girl. Three sons died in infancy, and the others grew into a wild bunch. She needed the joy of the Lord to be her strength! She lived out this verse – the Lord was her salvation, her strength and song (Exodus 15:2). When her children gathered and shared childhood stories, laughing until tears ran down their cheeks, they always remarked on the joy with which their mom lived.

Vada Hagee married Pastor Matt’s grandfather in 1934. Very unusual for a woman in the 1920’s, Vada held not one, but two, college degrees. She was a college professor who taught homiletics and hermeneutics to men who wanted to be pastors. After she married, she preached to standing-room only crowds twice a week.

One Thursday night, she made this announcement from the pulpit, “Tonight is the last night that I will stand behind the pulpit and preach. I’m going to devote my life to supporting my husband and his ministry. And I’m going to invest my life in my sons. And I believe that God will give to one of them the ministry that He intended for me.” And she kept her word.

No one knew that the 10-year-old boy standing beside her that day would be the one that God used to fulfill His promise to her – Pastor John Hagee. She prayed every day that God’s will would be done in the lives of her sons. Pastor John avows that this woman was the force that Christ used to shape his life.

She believed that winning the lost was the most important thing that any human being could ever do. Because of her sacrifice, millions of people have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, millions of lives have been changed through Cornerstone Church and its ministries. Because Vada laid down her life and invested it in her children, millions of souls have been won to Jesus.

John Hagee
5/11/2023Psalm 37:3-5 “Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”

The Greatness of God that lies within each one of us, by virtue of our relationship with Jesus, requires a wholehearted commitment. This Greatness merits more than excuses, procrastination, and carelessness.

We must be committed to this Greatness. We must consistently pursue the purposes that God drops into our hearts. The difference between a wish and a reality is hard work. We will never accomplish the destiny that God designed for each one of us if we are unwilling to commit to the necessary work to achieve it.

God designed us for industry and achievement. When He blew life into the dust that was Adam…poof! Adam became a living being. Even as he was still rubbing the dirt from his eyes, God said, “Get to work!” He built a garden, and He instructed Adam, “Go tend it.” He created all of the animals, and He directed Adam, “Give them all a name.”

Adam could have responded many different ways, but he didn’t. God designed him. God created him. God put him to work.

In the same way, God designed us. He created us, and if we intend to realize the Greatness within us, we must be willing to get to work. What would you attempt if you knew that you could not fail? What would you try if you knew that whatever you set out to achieve, you were guaranteed success? Jesus Himself gave us this promise: “Everything is possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23). If we will believe, that belief will spur us to act. Whatever we pursue from His purpose and plan – that Greatness inside of us – will come to pass.

Commit to greatness…Don’t procrastinate any longer…The first step is the most difficult…Don’t sabotage those plans with indifference or idleness…Stop dreaming and start doing – no more excuses…For those who commit to the Greatness within, greatness lies ahead!!!
5/10/2023Proverbs 18:22 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.”

In honor of Mother’s Day and in fulfillment of Proverbs 31:28, Pastor Matt Hagee shared this sweet story regarding his wife, Kendal. She was born at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio on May 10. Just a few months later in July, Pastor Matt was born at the same hospital. In anticipation of things to come, he assured us that she left her name and number at the nurse’s station.

In 2001, he was not married, was not dating, and his parents were getting worried. He took matters in hand, and on October 21, 2001, he wrote and taped this note into his study Bible:

“Dear Heavenly Father, these things I promise to pray every day without ceasing until You provide the desire of my heart, a wife.

That she would love You and Your kingdom with all of her heart, her soul, her mind, and her body.
That she would love me for me and nothing else.
That she would have a good understanding of family because I’ve got a big one.
That her parents would value and cherish marriage.
That she loves children.
That she loves people.
That she has a servant’s heart.
That I could trust her with my heart.
That I would be able to tell her anything.
That I could be me in front of her.
That she’d never be ashamed of me or what God has called me to be.
That she would be pure under the blood of the Lamb.
That she would have a deep hunger for God.
That she would love to be treated like a queen.
That she would have dark hair and blue eyes.

… when God heard me praying for a wife, He answered my prayers with you, [Kendal].”

If you are single and longing for a spouse with whom to share your life, if you are married and yearning for a child to hold in your arms, even if Mother’s Day has little to do with you and your dreams, follow this simple step…Take your longings, yearnings, and dreams and write them down, make them plain, and pray them out to our loving Heavenly Father…He knows how to answer those prayers!!!
5/9/20231 John 4:4 “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

In today’s verse, John the Apostle writes to the believers at Ephesus to make a very important point. Greatness lies within them. They did not need to go in search of greatness, and neither do we. As believers of Jesus Christ, we have received His greatness by virtue of Him living in our hearts.

All around us, creation testifies of His magnificence. From the rising to the setting sun, from the tiniest atom to the far-flung galaxies, there is no one like Him — no one above Him or beside Him. He laid the foundations of the earth. He established the boundaries for the oceans and told their proud waves where to stop. He stores up snow in heaven’s treasuries (Job 38). That same God Who hung every star and called it by name knows your name (Psalm 147:4). He keeps count of the hairs on your head (Luke 12:7).

Before you were born, God masterfully wrote on the blank pages of your life. He inserted beauty, pain, struggle, tears, joy, and, yes, greatness — some verses and chapters that you might have chosen to omit. Every day has been recorded in His book! (Psalm 139:16)

If you choose to surrender to His quill — His plot line with its twists and surprises, your divine destiny — He will redeem all the pages and weave together a story of adventure, passion, mystery, and the greatest of loves. He will make you His living love letter to the world (II Corinthians 3:1-3), pointing them to the author and finisher of our faith of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Before He even formed you in your mother’s womb, He knew what you would need for this life. He has equipped you with great gifts and talents to use to bring glory and honor to His name. Most importantly, He has brought all that He is and all that He has to live inside of you.

He empowers you to do the impossible…Not only are you His workmanship — His masterpiece — He will show you the way to complete the good works that God has planned for you, the unique purposes for which He created you (Ephesians 2:10)…Look no further…You have Greatness inside!!!
5/8/2023Genesis 2:23 “And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’”

In the beginning, Genesis tells us that God created light, the sky and sea, the land, the sun and moon and stars, and all living things. He spoke, and all things came into existence. He declared it all good.

On the sixth day, God formed a man, Adam, from the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils. God made him a living being. At the end of the sixth day, He looked around at all the things He had created and declared it “very good.” On the seventh day, He rested.

In short order, though, God declared, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:18). After bringing all of the animals to Adam to be named, they recognized that no other living being existed that was a complementary companion for Adam. So, God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and He took a rib from his side and formed the woman, Eve.

This world that God created does not work well, does not function properly, does not exist as it should without the presence of a woman. God created a man with a specific role and responsibilities. God created a woman with specific roles and responsibilities. Neither is more important than the other. Neither subsists without the other. Ephesians 5:23 proclaims the husband as “head of the wife.” Some have taken that to mean that the man is in charge. Not so!

Can a head function without a body? Can a body function without a head? If the head is dysfunctional, does it not impact the body? And vice versa? When both work together, side by side, merging their unique strengths, this God-created plan comes together perfectly…Bringing their differences, the sum of the parts into a beautiful whole…Neither inferior, neither less-than…both as God created!!!
5/7/20232 Corinthians 2:14 “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”

The greatness of God living inside of us causes us to be “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). We must rediscover our identity as the Church Triumphant. We are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. The way to triumph is not by force, but with the power of God’s love through Jesus Christ.

The church cannot afford to remain silent in the face of evil. Romans 12:21 commands that we do not be overcome by evil, but that we go on the offensive to overcome evil with good. We triumph over deception and lies with the voice of truth.

When the church sees a need, we must move to meet that need. We triumph over poverty and lack with empowerment and kindness. We triumph over selfishness with sacrifice, over greed with giving. We triumph over sorrow with joy, over despair with hope. Where does that triumph originate? It does not come from a government plan or a social service. That kind of triumph flows from a God Who is greater and Who has placed that greatness in us!

He is greater than every enemy. He met His enemies at Calvary and conquered them there.

He is greater than every sickness. He bore our diseases on His back. By His stripes, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).

He is greater than every need. Our God shall supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19).

He is greater than every bondage and addiction. He is the Anointed One Who breaks the yoke of bondage and Who sets captives free. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).

He is greater than every mountain that you face. He can take that mountain and cast it into the sea (Matthew 21:21).

He is greater than every sorrow. In His presence, we can find fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).

This Greatness is not a secret to be kept…Let’s use it into a waiting world…We are His light shining forth…We are like a city built on a hill — impossible to hide…God uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume…He causes us to triumph!!!
5/6/2023Psalm 18:35 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.”

Nineteenth century English dramatist, Henry Taylor, once said, “The world knows nothing of its greatest men.” Two hundred years later, this statement still rings with truth.

In our media-saturated culture, superficial notoriety is often substituted for true greatness. People have traded the valuable for the vain, dignity for disrespect, kindness for callousness, and restraint for rebellion. They think that money, power, and fame represent the marks of true greatness.

Many people are willing to do many things for their fifteen minutes of fame. Grasping for short-lived celebrity, they break boundaries and push limits. Fame may garner some notice, but it does not constitute greatness. Attention spans are short. Spotlights fade.

Some equate money with greatness. People invest their lives in the pursuit of wealth and gain. The principle of living simply within one’s means has been discarded for a more-is-better, pay-with-plastic mentality. Money may fill someone’s life with stuff, but it cannot buy greatness.

Some correspond power with greatness. Since the dawn of time, people have striven for power. Armies have marched, emperors have schemed, kings have killed, executives have plotted. People scrabble over others to climb to the top of the heap, to demand deference and force fear, but coercion does not constitute greatness.

To ever be considered great, we must submit to the Source of greatness Himself. Jesus had much to say about true greatness in the Kingdom economy. For those who wish to be genuinely great, learn to be the least (Mark 9:35). He pulled a small child onto His lap — the picture of unassuming innocence, no fortune, no fame, no power — as He said those words.

True greatness lies in the character that is forged through a relationship with the One Who emptied Himself, became as nothing, and humbled Himself to go to His death on the Cross…He came seeking no fame, fortune, or power…He came only to do the will of His Father Who sent Him…And therein lies true greatness!!!
5/5/2023Psalm 8:3-4 “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?”

Greatness is more than a catch phrase, much more than a campaign slogan. If we pause long enough in any moment of any day, we will become aware of the greatness all around us.

Genesis 1 tells us that God created light on the first day. On the fourth day, He set lights in the heavens — a greater light to rule the day, and a lesser one to rule the night. He also set the stars in the sky — so numerous that they are impossible to count. Every morning, that greater light rises over the eastern horizon and sets in the west. It warms our planet to create an ecosystem finely balanced to sustain life. Greatness!

At night, those smaller points of light twinkle against a black velvet sky. For many years, humankind believed that our solar system was the only one that existed. We now know that many galaxies spin outside of ours, that innumerable stars shine beyond our sight. Telescopes have given us the ability to gaze deeper and deeper into space, and the deeper we search, the farther it stretches — beyond our vision and our mathematical calculations. God’s greatness on display!

Amazingly enough, Psalm 147:4 assures us that God knows the number of the stars. Not only does He know the number, He knows all of their names. 

The breathing process? The easy, unconscious inhalation and exhalation, the act of taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide, comes from Him. God breathed the breath of life into Adam and created a living being. Job declared that the breath of the Almighty gave him life (Job 33:4). Let everything that has breath praise the Lord for His greatness!

Consider the handiwork of God all around us…See it in the watercolor of an evening sky…,Smell it in the raindrops…Hear it in the birdsong, and in the moment…Breathe out a prayer of gratitude to the Creator for His greatness!!!
5/4/2023Proverbs 4:20-22 “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.”

Healing comes through the Scripture and the Spirit. Not only does He forgive all of our sins, He promises to heal all of our diseases, too (Psalm 103:3).

The Word of God speaks healing to us. When we cry out to the Lord in our troubles, He sends His Word to heal us, to deliver us from distress and darkness, even the very shadow of death. He breaks our chains into pieces (Psalm 107:13,14,20).

Our verse for today says that His Words bring life and health to our flesh. As we read His Word, as we memorize and internalize it, as we apply it and walk it out, it translates into healing and wholeness for us. One of the most powerful things that you can do to improve your health is to read God’s Word.

Not only does God heal through His Word, He heals through His Holy Spirit. According to Romans 8:11, the Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead. As believers, that same Spirit lives in us. The Word tells us that Spirit will quicken our mortal bodies. He will bring new strength and new vitality to us — now and eternally.

As we immerse ourselves in the words of the Father, our faith unfurls and blossoms. Mustard-seed faith can move mountains of medical impossibility! As the Spirit comes alongside to convict us of our sin and convince us of His righteousness, we recognize our need to confess. He trades our sin for salvation and mends our broken hearts. As we heed His counsel, we find the power to forgive. When we find the strength to let go, we are set free.

Our Good Shepherd anoints our heads with the oil of His Spirit, and we flourish even in the presence of our enemies…The Lord is our Healer!!!
5/3/2023Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

One of the greatest barriers to receiving the healing of God in our lives is to harbor unforgiveness. The individual who holds an offense against another builds a barricade between himself and God.

The disciple, Peter, asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who had wronged him. Seven seemed a generous number! Jesus corrected him and upped the ante to seventy times seven. Essentially, Jesus said to forgive so often that it becomes a lifestyle. Forgive so many times that the practice becomes an ingrained habit.

We sometimes hold onto a long list of grievances against others. We believe that no one understands the harm they have done to us, the pain they have caused, the rejection they have inflicted, the burdens they have heaped upon us. Our Good Shepherd does. And still He urges us to forgive them and cast all of our cares upon Him (I Peter 5:7). He comprehends the weight of carrying around that unforgiveness which is why He wants us to let it go. As long as we hold that list so tightly, He cannot pour healing and blessing into our hands.

Jesus told the story of a servant who owed ten thousand talents — about 50 billion dollars in today’s terms — to his master. His master had every right to judge him, to sell him and all his family for recompense. However, when the servant begged the master to have mercy, not only did the master pardon him, but he forgave the debt entirely.

The servant went out and found a fellow servant who owed him fifteen dollars. He demanded immediate payment, and when the man could not pay, he had him thrown into debtor’s prison until he could pay back what he owed. When the master heard, he angrily reciprocated and threw the first servant into jail with the same sentence. Instead of two men going free, two people lived in bondage.

The King of Glory has forgiven us the debt of our sin…He paid the price to set us free when we had no ability to do so ourselves…we can forgive those who have offended us…Choose to forgive…Release the bitterness and the rage…Tear down the barricade between yourself and God to receive the healing you crave…When you set that person free, you open the door to your prison cell, too!!!
5/2/2023Proverbs 28:13 “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

Jesus is our Healer, but unconfessed sin can obstruct the blessings of God in our lives. As today’s verse points out, if we cover up our sins, we cannot prosper. Obtaining mercy involves two steps.

First, we must confess our sins to God and ask His forgiveness. Most of us find that step the easier one. Second, we must forsake our sins. This is the more difficult action. Repent actually means that we feel such regret for our actions that we amend our life; sorrow brings about a change of behavior.

God cannot bless our rebellious disobedience. It would deny His own character. If He did bless disobedience, it would enable us to remain in our sinful state…the place from which Jesus rescued us. He loves us too much to leave us there.

While God’s love is unconditional, available to all, many of His promises are not. Those promises are not based on Who He is, but on how we respond to Him. Consider I John 1:9 — “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” His action hinges on ours. If we do what He commands, He considers us His friends (John 15:14). Exodus 15:26 tells us that if we heed the voice of God and do what is right in His sight, He will heal us.

Our Good Shepherd knows how far we stray…At our faintest cry, He will seek us out and bring us home…Restoration is as near as repentance…Maybe your healing is a confession away!!!
5/1/2023Matthew 21:22 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Jesus is our Healer! Evidences of this fact are scattered throughout the New Testament. He reached to touch a leper, He smeared mud in blind eyes, He stuck His fingers in deaf ears…and they were healed. Jesus is exactly the same — yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He still heals!

So, why do many go without a healing? One simple answer zeroes in on unbelief. The writer of Hebrews cautioned the believers to beware of an “evil heart of unbelief” that might cause them to be “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13). The children of Israel, because of their unbelief, were led astray to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Their rebellion and disobedience kept them from entering into the Promised Land.

James, the brother of Jesus, in his no-nonsense manner, said that a person who doubts should not expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6-8). Indecisiveness, an inability to make up our minds, causes us to be unstable and wavering. Jesus was unable to do many mighty works in Nazareth because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58). Their lack of faith tied His hands.

In the gospel of Mark, we read the story of a desolate father who came to Jesus. His son was possessed by a mute spirit that would seize him, throw him to the ground, and cause him to convulse and foam at the mouth. The father had taken the boy to the disciples, but they were unable to help him. If these men — who saw firsthand the miracles of Jesus, who looked into His face and asked the hard questions, who were sent out by Him – could not lay hold of healing for this boy, how can we do any better? But wait — there is hope!

The despairing father brought his child to Jesus and told Him that the spirit often threw the boy into the fire or the water to try to completely destroy him (Mark 9:14-29). Sadly, the father looked to Jesus, “But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Jesus already knew He could do anything, but He wanted this sad father to know, too. “If you can believe,” He told him, “all things are possible to him who believes.”

The desperate father, wanting to wholeheartedly believe but knowing there were gaps in his faith, cried out tearfully, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” And it was enough for Jesus. He rewarded the man’s mustard seed faith and healed his son. He will do it for us, too.
4/30/2023Psalm 107:19-20 “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”

God declared Himself to be the Lord that heals us (Exodus 15:26). Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted, to give sight to the blind, and to free the oppressed (Luke 4:18). In all the places where we suffer, Jesus is our Healer.

Our verse for today tells us that God sent His word to heal, deliver, and save. In John 1, we read that in the beginning, the Word was with God and was God. Everything was created by Him. Life and light were found in Him. That Word became flesh and came to earth so we could behold the glory of the Father. He was sent to heal us.

In Isaiah 5:13, God says that His people have gone into captivity because they have no knowledge. In Hosea 4:6, He laments that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. In many of our lives, what the world says has taken precedence over what the Word says. We have placed our faith in other things and have learned to treat only the symptoms.

We cannot experience the healing power that the Gentle Shepherd provides simply because we do not take God at His Word. The power of this Word cannot work in our lives if we do not build our faith based on its promises. How do we build our faith? Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. The sound of it has gone out to all the world, to the ends of the earth (Romans 10:17-18).

We need healing – in our hearts, in our minds, in our bodies. Open God’s Word and read it. Ask the Father to open your eyes to understand this rich inheritance that He has given us, that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is at work in us to accomplish mighty things (Ephesians 1:17-21). As we read over the pages, we will find a Lamb Who took stripes on His back so that we would be healed. We will find a Good Shepherd Who comes to pour in the anointing oil that brings relief from our pain and suffering. We will find a Savior Who went about healing the lame, the blind, the paralyzed, the epileptic – all who came to Him.

Read His Word…Wrap your head around it…Wrap your heart around it…Wrap your hands around it…His Word was sent to heal you!!!
4/29/2023Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

The Lord is our Shepherd. In Israel, making a living as a shepherd was not a status symbol; it was considered one of the lowliest positions of service. For the psalmist David to liken Jehovah God to a shepherd seems quite the paradox. How could our Lord Above All, Who created the heavens and the earth, be so down-to-earth as to walk among the sheep?

King David, who started out as a young shepherd boy, understood that God is with us, never far away, walking beside us, and providing all we need so we do not want for anything. David also understood that a good shepherd was not just a provider, but he was also a healer. David remarked that God anointed his head with oil, that his cup ran over (Psalm 23:5). Every shepherd carried oil with him – a mixture of olive oil, fragrant frankincense, and myrrh which was a natural pain killer.

In the rainy spring season in Israel, lambs graze in the fields. The sharp, new blades of grass cut the lambs’ tender noses, and something dreadful occurs. Flies lay their eggs in those tiny wounds. When they hatch, the maggots work into the nasal passages of the sheep where they cause serious agony. The sheep will run from place to place and butt their heads into rock or trees to jar those tormenters loose. When the shepherd realizes the situation, he pulls the oil flask from his belt and pours it over the head of the sheep. The fragrant oil runs over the sheep’s faces and into the wounds where it eradicates the pests and brings healing and relief.

Satan, whom Jesus referred to as Beelzebub (meaning Lord of the Flies), seeks out the wounds and sore spots in our lives. He embeds himself there and begins to torment and terrorize. He brings such agony and pain that we will not know what to do except to run from place to place, pounding our heads against anything that might bring a measure of relief – anything that might deaden our pain.

We have a Good Shepherd Who will leave the other ninety-nine sheep to come looking for you…He will take you in His arms and pour in the oil of the Holy Spirit…He will tenderly anoint you until it runs into every wound, every spot that brings anguish and torment to bring relief and healing and peace…In His arms, you will know what it is to want for nothing!!!
4/28/20231 Peter 2:24 “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”

Our God is a Healer. Jesus purchased our salvation at Calvary, and He paid for our healing. He was wounded for what we did. He was crushed for our crimes. He was punished so we could find peace. He was hurt so we could be made whole (Isaiah 53:5).

We serve a Deity who loves us. He is not mad at us; He is mad about us. If we need healing in our emotional lives, in our spiritual walks or in our physical bodies, He is our Healer. If we want His joy to return and be our strength again, if we want His peace to be our portion, if we long for our broken hearts to be restored, He has power to heal. He sent His word to heal us. No sickness, no disease, no ailment or infirmity exists that He has not conquered.

He not only forgives our sins, but He heals all of our diseases. He redeems our lives from destruction and makes us young again (Psalm 103:3-5). He heals the brokenhearted and bandages our wounds. He renews our hope and heals our bodies (Psalm 147:3). Malachi 4:2 paints a beautiful picture for those of us who honor and worship His name. He promises that the Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in His wings, and we will leap forth like well-fed calves released from the stall – healthy and happy in the presence of our Healer!

Jesus, our Father in the flesh, went about healing all kinds of sickness and disease. The leper and the lame, the mute and the maimed, the blind and the brokenhearted, the hopeless and the helpless – He healed every one. Yesterday, today and forever, Jesus remains the same (Hebrews 13:8). The stripes on His back that He received at Calvary still have the power to make us whole.

If you are you hurting ask Him to heal you…If you are tormented ask for the touch that brings liberation….If you are you brokenhearted ask Him to bind up your wounds…If you are afflicted with disease ask for the word that brings deliverance…From the very beginning, God has assured us, “I am the Lord Who heals you” (Exodus 15:26)…Take Him at His word today!!!
4/27/2023Psalm 97:12 “Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.”

Because of the work that He completed at Calvary, God has given Jesus Christ a name above every other name (Philippians 2:9). Faith in that name makes us strong (Acts 3:16). His name justifies us (I Corinthians 6:11). The name of Jesus brings life (John 20:31).

In the name of Jesus, signs and wonders are accomplished (Acts 4:30). Miracles occur! In the name of Jesus, demons are cast out (Acts 16:18). They must flee! In Jerusalem, after the Day of Pentecost, the disciples preached the word with boldness. Thousands were saved and baptized. The disciples healed the sick. They cast out demons. And they did it all in the name of Jesus. The religious rulers were so disturbed by their behavior that they arrested them, beat them, and commanded that the disciples no longer speak or teach in the name of Jesus. They departed from the council, rejoicing that they were worthy to suffer shame for His name, and they did not cease to teach in His name (Acts 5:41-42).

The name of Jesus Christ has dominion today! When we speak that name, all of heaven stands behind it. When we speak that name in prayer, all of the power and authority of God come to our aid. Speak it out loud and often! In the name of Jesus, leave my family alone because they belong to the King of kings. In the name of Jesus, leave my marriage alone because what God has brought together, let no man separate. In the name of Jesus, leave my body alone because by His stripes, I am healed.

Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” How would your life be revolutionized if you brought every action and every word that you speak under the name of Jesus? How would it look different? Sound different?

Let’s see how our homes, workplaces, and cities change when we declare the banner of Jesus over them…It’s a comfort and confession, a hope and a healing, a bandage and a battle cry…Speak the name!!!
4/26/20231 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

The Blood that Jesus spilled at Calvary was no ordinary Blood. His Blood washes every stain. His Blood breaks every chain. The Blood of the Lamb of God reaches farther than that of any other lamb ever sacrificed. The Blood of the Only Begotten soars to the highest heaven and plunges to the lowest hell. It knows no limits.

His Blood makes all men acceptable to God. Slaves are now set free because Christ became the Servant of All. The One Who knew no sin became sin for us so that we could become the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21). We were once far away from God, but we have been brought near through the Blood of Jesus (Ephesians 2:13). We now have access to the place where grace abounds and mercy is poured out. We once were enemies of God, but we have been reconciled to Him through the death of His Son (Romans 5:10).

Because we are justified by His Blood, we are saved. Saved to live our best lives. Saved so that the stain of sin has been washed away. Our past is forgiven. The weight of shame has been lifted. What the Law demanded was satisfied when Jesus shed His Blood. Our debt has been paid. Through His Blood, we are now adopted as children, and we can call God our Abba Father (Romans 8:15). We have been made free indeed.

Do not allow the guilt of yesterday to keep you from where God made it possible for you to go. Do not allow any yoke of oppression or chain of bondage hold you back. The Blood of Jesus makes you righteous. Your sins have been washed as white as snow.

Satan, the accuser of all of our brothers and sisters, is overcome by the extraordinary Blood of Jesus, our spotless Lamb, and by the word of our testimony…Jesus has shed His Blood…Let us stand and testify to His work in our lives…Because He died, we are alive…Because His grace is greater, our sin is forgiven…Because He endured the shame, we do not carry it…The promise of our future is greater than the guilt of our past…Only through His Blood!!!
4/25/20231 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Jesus was no ordinary man nailed to no ordinary Cross. He was the Son of God sent at the appointed time to rescue us in our broken state. His death on the Cross, this gospel story, is the power of God to bring us to salvation.

At Calvary, God acted to silence the cynics. He wanted the doubters to know that this was not just another criminal, but His Son. Jesus was there when the mountains were formed. He exulted when the seas were fashioned. He flung the stars against the velvet of a night sky. He delighted in the dust that became a living soul with the breath of God. For all those who ignored a baby born in a stable, He became the Lamb.

At Calvary, the earth trembled as rocks saluted the Rock of Ages. At Calvary, those who were sick began to be healed because He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). The One Who made the lame to leap had His feet nailed to the Cross. The One Who brought the dead to life died for all mankind. The darkness of this earth wrapped itself around the Light of the World.

At Calvary, Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” And God ripped the veil in the Temple. The sin-separation was over! The distance between us was dispelled. Jesus Christ, the Sinless One, died so that we could be set free. The relationship that God longed for since Genesis could now become a reality. He is heaven’s hope! He is hell’s dread! He is the Great I Am! He is the Conqueror over death, hell, and the grave! He is the King of Glory!

God moved heaven and earth to be with us. He defeated hell and all its principalities. We no longer need a priest. Jesus is our High Priest Who sympathizes with our weakness. We do not need to wait for a specific day. Jesus is our Mediator at the right hand of God always interceding for us. We do not need to come in any certain way. His arms are open to whosoever will. Every moment, He is poised to listen and respond.

Enter in behind the veil…Don’t wait for another to lead you…Walk boldly in where Jesus gave us access…Approach the throne and raise your hands, bow your knees, and pour out your heart in worship to our worthy Savior!!!
4/24/2023Exodus 40:21 “And he [Moses] brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off the ark of the Testimony, as the Lord had commanded Moses.”

Sin separates us from God. It comes between us and cuts off the blessings of God in our lives. Scripture details God’s holiness and His zero tolerance for sin. Even though our culture has become comfortable with sin, God has not. Without grace and mercy, His holiness would consume us.

In the book of Exodus, God told Moses that He wanted to dwell with, to tabernacle with the children of Israel. However, the sin issue had to be addressed. He commanded Moses to create a barrier, a veil, in the Tabernacle. He dwelt between the cherubim above the Ark of the Covenant behind the curtain in the Holy of Holies. The priests and the people lived on the other side of the curtain because if they approached God in their sin, His holiness would destroy them.

This was no ordinary curtain. God gave specific design instructions to Moses. Bible scholars say the veil was 50 feet wide and 30 feet high, made of fine linen with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. It was so heavy that it took 300 priests (150 to the right and 150 to the left) to pull it back for the high priest to enter through the middle. To raise and lower it, 150 oxen were used to pull it into place. It was comprised of 200 embroidered squares that, when put together, displayed beautiful gold cherubim.

In the Old Testament, forgiveness was not a simple matter of confession. A significant amount of effort had to be extended. On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies to atone for all the sins of Israel for the year. Bearing the sacrifice, he went in with bells around the hem of his robe and a rope around his ankle. If the bells ceased to ring, the priests would use the rope to pull out his body. The sacrifice was unacceptable. This was serious business.

When Jesus died on the Cross, Hebrews 9 tells us that He, as our perfect High Priest, entered the heavenly Tabernacle with His own Blood to make atonement once and for all for all of us. As Jesus breathed His last, God ripped the Temple veil from top to bottom (Mark 15:38).

His body was torn on the Cross…His Blood was shed…We now have bold access to the throne of grace where we can obtain mercy…No ordinary Savior became no ordinary sacrifice to tear through no ordinary curtain!!!
4/23/2023Romans 5:19 “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

Sin has always created a barrier to entry into the presence of God. Sin separates us from the Lord. It always drives a wedge and hinders our relationship – sin rips it.

Sin became a problem for Adam, for the children of Israel, and it remains a problem for us today. The prophet, Jeremiah, extolled the faithfulness and goodness of God. He said that if it was not for the mercy and compassion of God, we would be consumed. Those mercies are renewed to us every morning (Lamentations 3:22-24).

As faithful as God is to mercy, He does have a threshold. That limit is always pushed by sin. Whenever sin enters the relationship equation, that rips it. God, Who is holy and Who cannot be in the presence of sin, decides that He has reached the place where enough is enough.

We see it in His relationship with Adam and Eve. When they ate the forbidden fruit, sin cut short their lives in Eden. God drove them out of their perfect home and placed cherubim at the east side of the Garden to guard it (Genesis 3:24). Sin separates.

A few generations later, God was grieved by the great wickedness that abounded on the earth. He decided to destroy everything with a flood. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and when he and his family were safely aboard the ark, God closed the door. Those inside escaped judgment, but those outside had forfeited their choice. God had reached the place where grace was no longer extended.

Because He is holy, He cannot abide sin. Not because He cannot handle it, but because we cannot handle Him in His holiness. We would be consumed. Separation is God’s way of protecting us in our sinful state.

In the book of Exodus, God told Moses that He wanted to dwell with, to tabernacle with the children of Israel. However, the sin issue had to be addressed. He commanded Moses to create a barrier, a veil, in the Tabernacle. He dwelt behind the curtain in the Holy of Holies. The priests and the people lived on the other side of the curtain because if they approached God in their sin, His holiness would destroy them.

Sin is still the issue…Every effort should be made to purge our lives from sin…If we wish to draw near to God, we must separate ourselves from sin…If we desire closeness with Him, we must cut out what divides…In our relationship with God, sin rips it!!!
4/22/2023John 4:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

When we find ourselves overwhelmed by circumstances, surrounded by the enemy, and mired in the midst of the trial, the temptation is to doubt God’s good heart towards us. It is easy to slip into believing that He has abandoned us.

When we lift our eyes to Him, though, our perspective changes. When we worship Him in spirit and in truth, we begin to look through the eyes of faith. We begin to consider the greatness of our God, not the circumstances that threaten to pull us under.

When we consider how He came through for us in the past, faith begins to burgeon in our chests. When we look back and see the rubble that was our mountain, we are reminded that the same mountain-moving Defender can bring down what we face today. A shout begins to build inside of us. Walls are about to crumble in His mighty name.

Praise reminds us of what God has the power to do in the present. Worship, in spirit and truth, stirs up our faith for the future. We begin to believe for what is on the way.

Instead of fear, we thank God in confidence that He has a plan not to harm us, but to prosper us, to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). We thank Him that He gives His angels charge over us; He is our Refuge, our Habitation, our Fortress (Psalm 91).

Instead of doubting, we thank God that He will not withhold any good thing from us; He is our Sun and Shield, our Provider and Protector (Psalm 84:11). His goodness and mercy follow us every day of our lives (Psalm 23:6).

Through eyes of faith, we begin to see what we could not see before. The servant of Elisha cried out in fear as the Syrian army surrounded them. All he could see was their ultimate demise, certain death…until Elisha prayed that his eyes would be opened, that he could see “those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (II Kings 6:16). Suddenly, his eyes opened to see that they were surrounded on every side by horses and chariots of fire. The Armies of Heaven still charge to our rescue.

No matter what is happening around us, we have safe passage with Him…Through the eyes of faith, we see that we never stand alone, that we never fight in our own strength…Just open your eyes…See it and believe it!!!
4/21/2023Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”

When God saw the extent of Jesus’ sacrifice, our verse for today tells us that He exalted Him. He elevated and extolled Him. He gave Him a name that is above every other name. There is no one above Him or beside Him.

At the sound of that name, every knee in heaven bows. The book of Revelation tells us how the twenty-four elders will fall down before the Lamb. All the angels pause to revere the Great High Priest, the Victorious One.

At the name of Jesus, every knee on earth will bow. Every human being on earth will bow their knee to Him. Each person will choose to honor His sacrifice and humbly serve Him here now or will be forced later to bow to Him Who sits on the throne of a kingdom that has no end. Every one will worship the Almighty One, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

At the mention of that name, every knee under the earth will bow. Every power and every principality that was already defeated at Calvary will submit to the Alpha and Omega, the Lord of All. Jesus is now at the right hand of God in heavenly places. He is far above these powers and principalities, all power, all might, and dominion, and every name that has been named not only in the present, but in the time that will come.

It is not a matter of if – but a matter of when – knees will bend…Every created being will, one day, confess that He is indeed the Lord of lords…He is incomparable and unrivaled…God has put everything under Jesus’ feet…As Joshua of old declared: Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve!!!
4/20/2023Acts 5:30 “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree”

Freedom comes at the expense of sacrifice. Thomas Jefferson once said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” His statement has been proven true from Valley Forge to Afghanistan. Citizen soldiers raised their hands and swore to protect and defend this nation against all enemies foreign and domestic.

God loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to become the sacrifice for the sin that separated us from Himself. Jesus humbled Himself, wrapped Himself in flesh, and obediently went to Calvary. He became cursed for us by hanging on a tree (Galatians 3:13). The Lamb of God shed His Blood to wash away our sins. His sacrifice bought our freedom. When we were captives to sin, He paid the ransom that released us.

Unlike the tree of liberty that is watered with the blood of patriots, Hebrews tells us over and over that Jesus made this sacrifice “once for all” (Hebrews 7:27; 9:12; 10:10). Jesus, our High Priest, entered the Most Holy Place – not with the blood of goats or calves – with His own Blood to suffer once for all. Every separation, the barrier that sin had erected between us and God, was destroyed.

At the moment that Jesus died, the veil of the Temple was torn from top to bottom. This veil separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple. The veil itself was about 60 feet tall and six inches thick. It prevented people from entering the presence of God unworthily. The Holy of Holies housed the Ark of the Covenant, and it was there that God’s presence presided. It was there that the High Priest entered – only one time a year – to make atonement for the sins of the people.

As Jesus breathed His last, God Himself tore the veil from the top down…No more separation! No more barrier…We now have direct access to the Father because Jesus bought our freedom once for all…As the Blood and water flowed, as the light and the love rushed from the Holy of Holies, a new covenant was born…Jesus Himself is our Mediator…The Cross truly became our Tree of Liberty…There, once for all, He purchased our salvation through His suffering and through the shedding of His Blood…His sacrifice bought our freedom…Oh, what a Savior!!!
4/19/2023Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”

Jesus Christ stretched out His arms and gave all that He had to give at Calvary. He emptied Himself to pay the price for our sin. His blood washed over our I.O.U. and set us free. In our lives, that sacrifice demands a proper posture and a proper proclamation.

As today’s verse signifies, our proper posture is a bowed knee in reverence to His name. That bending of the knee is an outward symbol of an inward work – a bowing of the heart that recognizes our deep need for Him and humbly accepts Him as Savior and Lord.

Our proper proclamation is the confession that Jesus Christ is Lord. Paul assured us that if we believe it in our hearts, if we confess with our mouths that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved (Romans 10:9). The word that saves us is as close as the tongue in our mouths, as near as the heart in our chests. This word of faith – boldly said right out loud – welcomes Jesus in and sets things right between us.

Our bowed heads and surrendered hearts acknowledge that He gave Himself in our place for a debt that we could not repay. How amazing that we will never receive what we truly deserve – mercy! Instead of being slaves to sin, He has given us power over it. Instead of condemnation, He gives us confidence to approach Him boldly. Instead of death, we are raised to life eternal.

Our bent knees and proper proclamation pay homage to our King of kings in recognition of a battle that He waged, for an enemy that He vanquished for us. How amazing that we receive what we could never deserve in our own puny efforts – grace! He made it possible for us to become co-inheritors with Him of all that heaven has to offer. His very presence enriches and enlivens our days.

Let us bow our knees…Let us surrender our hearts…Let us speak the welcoming words that make Him Lord…His sacrifice merits the proper posture and proclamation that position our hearts with His….Let bow in reverence and boldly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!!!
4/18/20231 John 2:22-23 “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also”

In today’s verse, the apostle John has harsh words for anyone who denies the Father and the Son, for anyone who rejects Jesus as the Christ. He declares that person antichrist – not the Antichrist, as the man who will rise up against God in Revelation – but one who exhibits a spirit that rejects God and His plan. Those who are not for Christ have pitted themselves against Him in an antichrist attitude (Matthew 12:30).

John goes on to say that the spirit of the Antichrist already abounds in the world around us (I John 4:2-3). Most of us would never blatantly deny Jesus, but can an antichrist attitude subtly invade our thoughts and the manner in which we live our lives?

When we refuse to read the Word of God to pick up the latest bestseller instead, what does this omission say? When we reject Jesus’ admonition to give and hoard every resource as if it were ours and not His, where have we placed our trust? When the Bible instructs us to pray without ceasing, and we fly through our days without giving Him a thought, how deep is this relationship that we claim? When we stand against His instructions, when we deny what He requests, isn’t this, in essence, against Christ? When we know right, and we do not choose to do right, it is antichrist.

We can easily point an accusing finger at the spirit of Antichrist in the culture all around us, but every time we choose to fall back on comfort rather than take a stand for conviction, the antichrist attitude wins. Every time we excuse corruption rather than speak against it, every time we soften the message of the Gospel rather than proclaim it unashamedly, antichrist wins. When we hide His light, when we do not stand in the day of evil, when we are more concerned with public opinion than honoring God, we bow to the antichrist attitude.

If we are for Him, if we are on His side, let us cast off our lukewarm lives…Let us fully embrace all that He requires…Let us deny ourselves, choose to sacrifice our will for His, and embrace the responsibilities, as well as the rights, of a life hidden in Christ…We are for Him!!!
4/17/2023Ephesians 3:19 “that you know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”

French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, alluded to a God-shaped hole inside of each one of us in his work, Pensees. Augustine, in his Confessions, declared that “our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.”

We can find ourselves attempting to fill that aching void with the obligations, pleasures, and busyness of this life. We earn advanced degrees. We pursue careers with single-minded ambition. We devote ourselves to the health and welfare of our children. We aspire and achieve more and more, yet never seem to arrive. We often are left exhausted and empty by the pursuit. We can become so full of ourselves that there is no room for the God we claim to serve.

Make it your own ambition to serve Jesus…There is a place of surrender where our will is exchanged for His, where we submit to His purposes, where we are filled with the fullness of God…We may need to draw boundaries, to be stingier with our “yes” to lesser things…When we pour out our lives to Jesus, we find ourselves empowered and energized by the Holy Spirit…When we co-labor with Christ, His plan is brought to fruition in our lives…Along the way, we find love, joy, peace, and goodness…Let us be filled with the fullness of God Himself!!!
4/16/20231 Peter 2:17 “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”

We find ourselves in the middle of an all-about-me culture. We live out our lives in selfies and social media. This is me waking up. This is me eating breakfast. This is me working out. This is me arriving at work. This is me walking. This is me talking. This is me. This is me. This is me.

We climb into the car in our garage and drive to work where we sit in a personal cubicle and stare at a computer screen all day. On the way home, someone loads our groceries that we ordered online into the back of the car. We drive home, raise the automatic garage door, glide into the garage, and hit the button to close out the world. In an increasingly larger world, we have become ever more isolated and self-centered.

The Christian community to which we belong runs counter to our culture. We are adopted into this diverse, loving, noisy, happy, and sometimes messy family. We are called to love and unity, discipline and celebration. We are to live in affectionate relationship. We gather to encourage one another with songs and Scriptures. We restore those who fall. We reach out to those who are thirsty and hungry. We laugh with those who rejoice. We break bread and build bridges. We erase barriers and ease the burdens of those who are bowed down.

In an all-about-me world, place the spotlight squarely on Jesus Christ…We are all about His will and His way…He alone deserves center stage in our lives…He alone sits on the throne of our hearts…His mission has become our mission – to go and to tell…And always, our doors, our hands, and our hearts are open to those who need healing and hope…If you wish to be included, you are invited…If you long to belong, there is a place for you here…Come and stay…Welcome home!!!
4/15/2023Acts 1:11 “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven”

Since the day that Jesus ascended, disappearing in the clouds over Jerusalem, the eyes of believers have scoured the sky. Could this be the day that Jesus Christ returns in glory? Even though the world and the church – even Jesus Himself – do not know the day or the hour when He will return, we can be assured, now more than ever before, that Jesus is coming soon.

When He comes, may He find you faithful.

When He comes, may He find you working in the fields to bring souls to salvation.

When He comes, may He find you shining His light and His love.

When He comes, may He find you serving one another with gladness.

Until He comes, child of God, put on the whole armor of God…Stand for righteousness in the day of evil…Tear down anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…When the world takes to the streets, may we take to our knees until God heals our land…When the world clamors for their rights, may we take up our crosses to follow Christ with all our hearts until the day of His return…May our eyes never cease to search the skies until the day our faith becomes sight!!!
4/14/2023Romans 14:11 “For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

In this country, we are blessed by the sacrifices of brave Americans who have served before we arrived and others who continue to serve in arenas around the world. The liberties and the freedoms we enjoy were not purchased by our own actions, but rather by others who were willing to take a stand in our stead.

Our grandfathers, fathers, aunts, cousins, and the friends who sat next to us in class are the individuals who sacrificed so we could continue to live in liberty. Freedom is the result of sacrifice.

In the almost 250 years that this nation has existed, we have not grasped the fullness of this freedom. In all of our history, our stories past, our painful pages, our difficult years, in all of the blood shed, and the sacrifices made, we still do not understand what we have in our freedom.

The Bible reveals the same truth: freedom is the result of sacrifice. Jesus’ death on the Cross bought us freedom from the weight of our sins, from guilt, and the shadow of death. He paid the price for our restored relationship with the Father, for our future, and our resurrected hope.

Someone fought. Someone died. Someone stood. Someone spoke. Someone sacrificed. How do we respond to such a sacrifice? Because we have a responsibility to do so. Freedom is not the liberty to do exactly what we want; it is the freedom to do exactly as we should. How do we exercise freedom responsibly? How will we protect freedom for the coming generations?

Responsibility for freedom begins and ends with us…Choosing to be responsible is a personal choice…If we do not choose well, we forfeit liberty…Choose this day whom you will serve…Choose to submit your life to Christ, the One Who bought and paid for it…Bow your knee to the only One worthy…Rise to fight for those who have not grasped the freedom available to all…Stand…Speak…Freedom is the result of sacrifice!!!
4/13/2023Philippians 3:7-8 “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”

We gladly embrace Jesus as Savior. As Savior, He becomes the sacrifice in our stead. As Savior, He sets us free from sin. As Savior, He delivers us from death. Making Him Lord in our lives requires a new level of submission and trust.

If Jesus is our Lord, we must obey Him. If He is Lord, He has the authority and the right to govern our lives. If Jesus is our Lord, our opinions no longer matter; His will is of the utmost and primary importance. We choose Him and what He says. Every. Single. Time.

As Jesus taught the disciples one day, He asked, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). The point is clear. Loving Him, serving Him, making Him Lord requires more than lip service. If we love Him, we must keep His commandments (John 14:15).

When He is Lord, He leads us. He is our Tender Shepherd. We know His familiar voice, and we will not follow another (John 10:4-5). We do not wander off on expeditions and adventures of our own. Always, He leads us in paths of righteousness for the sake of His name to do the things that honor Him most (Psalm 23:3). If we are careful to observe His commands, He will make us the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13). He will cause all the work of our hand to prosper abundantly (Deuteronomy 30:9).

Jesus came as the Suffering Servant. He did not come to do our will, but the will of His Father Who sent Him. Our responsibility is to follow His example. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith; He writes each one of our stories, and He alone has the ability to perfect them with every stroke of the pen (Hebrews 12:2). God has exalted Him and given Him the name above every other name. He truly is Lord.

He becomes our Savior in an instant, but making Him our Lord is a process…Some days, it can seem to be a minute-by-minute decision to place ourselves in the correct posture of bowed knee and submitted heart, to surrender to His purposes and His plan…Lay it all down to make Him Lord!!!
4/12/2023John 5:19 “Then Jesus answered and said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”

Most of us do not respond positively to a dictator, someone who barks out orders with no regard or respect. Effective parents, employers, and leaders do not dictate responsibility, they demonstrate it.

Jesus remains our unparalleled example. He never imposed His will on another. He never sought to dominate or control. He watched His Father, and whatever He saw Him do, Jesus did the same in word and deed (John 15:15).

When we watch another demonstrate responsibility, we witness efforts that work. With his words and actions, he outwardly reveals what he believes inwardly. The importance of her words is made apparent by her behavior. The way that they act proves the value of the words that they proclaim.

When we believe and demonstrate the truths of the Bible, we can change our homes, our churches, our cities, our states, and even the nation. The New Testament church turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). They took responsibility over their newfound liberty in Christ. They appropriated the newly-endued power of the Holy Ghost. They demonstrated to the world what Jesus did not dictate to them.

Jesus has called us to demonstrate the difference. If you are upset at the government and its policies and politicians, vote your conscience in every election. Campaign for issues close to your heart. Run for local office. If you are disturbed by trends in your local school, volunteer in a classroom, join the parent-teacher association or run for the school board. If you are concerned about the direction of your home church, pray fervently, serve humbly, and speak God’s truth in love.

When we truly believe the Gospel message, we will demonstrate what we know to be true in our hearts…We will take responsibility for the freedom Jesus has granted us…Even though He has freed us from the expectations and demands of everyone, we willingly choose to become a servant to all to show off the wonder of knowing Christ…The power of the Holy Spirit inside of us is brought to bear in every situation in which we find ourselves…Emulate Jesus’ example…Live it loud…Say it and display it…Demonstrate the difference!!!
4/11/2023Proverbs 25:28 “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.”

Personal responsibility begins and ends with each one of us. While we cannot control every circumstance around us or many of the things that happen to us, we are responsible for how we respond and react.

In every place that we refuse to accept responsibility, we forfeit liberty. People who forfeit liberty surrender to dictators.

Most dictators in this life are not elected. A dictator overtakes and sets up rule. A dictator quells opposition, hoards all the power, limits the rights of his subjects, and abolishes freedom.

When we refuse to accept personal responsibility – when we blame, avoid, or play the victim – it creates a power vacuum into which an emotional dictator will swoop. When we refuse to take responsibility for our personal attitudes, we submit to emotional dictators. Rage, bitterness, jealousy, and offense are dictators that will overtake us and leave us defenseless against the wiles of Satan. Like an Old Testament city without its protective walls, the enemy will breach the barricade and pour in like a flood to steal, destroy, and kill (John 10:10).

Poor financial decisions become dictators when we are careless stewards over the resources that God has gifted to us. When we owe more than we earn, when we rob God by withholding our tithe (Malachi 3:8), when we ignore those in need, we relinquish our responsibility and our rights. A financial dictator will destroy relationships, steal our peace, and usurp our power.

No matter how we like to consider ourselves masters over the universe, we truly control nothing but ourselves. We have the power to respond and react in ways that bring honor to God, as well as health and harmony to our daily lives.

That power is rooted in relationship with Jesus Christ. When we welcome Him into every aspect of our lives, the Holy Spirit empowers us to live with self-control. Through the spiritual weapons that He provides, we can capture every thought, impulse, emotion, and action to bring it under the rulership of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5-6).

When we choose to do so, when we act as the responsible men and women of God that He created us to be, the opposition of the enemy is quelled…The Holy Spirit fills us with power for right living…We embrace all of the promises and provision of God…We dance in freedom!!!
4/9/2023Luke 23:34 “Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’”

It was during that Last Supper with His disciples that Jesus announced that one of them, who was dipping his bread in the same dish that Jesus used, would betray Him. All of the disciples denied that they would do any such thing. Even Judas said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi,” to which Jesus replied, “You have said it yourself” (Matthew 26:25, NASB).

Judas went on his way and Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray. He knew what was coming, and He knew who would betray Him. Yet, when Judas showed up with a loud, angry mob, Jesus said to His disciple, “Friend, do what you have come for” (Matthew 26:50, NASB). Even in the moment of being betrayed, Jesus calls His betrayer “friend!”

But that is not even the greatest act of forgiveness that Jesus did in His lifetime. In His final moments, having been beaten and torn and ridiculed and hung on a Cross to die, Jesus demonstrated the act of forgiveness that we, as Christian believers, are to follow. His exact words on the Cross were: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34, KJV).

Our Redeemer used His last breath to forgive a brutal Roman empire that had harassed Him and His family from the day of His birth. As blood flowed from His hands and feet, mercy flowed from His lips. They killed Him because they feared Him. They feared Him because He healed, He raised the dead, He used a boy’s sack lunch to feed a multitude, and He upset their sense of order.

They didn’t kill Him because they thought He was the Prince of Peace…They killed Him because He was considered an insurrectionist too dangerous to be allowed to live…Jesus was crucified because He fought a battle for your soul and mine…On that Cross He shed His Blood for the forgiveness of sin — my sin, your sin, the iniquity of the whole world’s sin — forgiven and forgotten, buried in the deepest sea, never to be remembered any more!!!
4/8/2023Romans 4:7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered.”

Three days after the crucifixion, when the women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus body with special oils, they found an angel instead of a body. The angel said to them, “But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you” (Mark 16:7, NKJV). Tell His disciples — and Peter. Why the emphasis on Peter? Because prior to the crucifixion, Peter denied Jesus three times.

Peter, who liked to make grandiose statements that he couldn’t back up, said to Jesus in the Upper Room, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you” (Matthew 26:33, NLT). Peter then falls asleep while he’s supposed to be praying for Jesus, reacts impulsively cutting off Malchus ear, and then denies Jesus three times. Well done, Peter.

Let’s take a quick look at those denials. First, Peter lied to a servant girl who asked if he’d been with Jesus: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Then he lied to another servant girl who said he most definitely had been with Jesus: “I don’t even know the man!” Finally, he lied to a group of bystanders who recognized his accent as Galilean: “I DON’T KNOW HIM!” (see Luke 22:54–62).

Peter is oblivious to his betrayal until a crowing rooster reminds Him of the Master’s prophecy. The sound triggers a flood of remembrance and understanding. He had vowed to go to jail or even to death for Jesus. Peter wept bitterly in shame and regret: What would Jesus, his Messiah and friend, think of him now?

Thus, it is no accident that the angel encourages Mary Magdalene to tell the disciples and Peter to meet Jesus in Galilee. Galilee! It was on the shores of that vast lake that Jesus had first called Peter and his brother Andrew to follow him. And there, the risen Jesus would instruct Peter to cast his net on the other side (see John 21). When Peter realized it was Jesus, he jumped ship and headed straight for his risen Lord. In that poignant reunion Jesus forgave Peter by giving the fisherman the opportunity to declare his love for Him three times — one for each denial.

Forgiveness is a full pardon. It’s a fresh start. It’s another chance. It’s a new beginning. It’s a lifting of a heavy burden and the canceling of a debt.

Where does this power to forgive come from? It comes from God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the witness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The devil will try to trick you with his schemes, his devices, his sly ways…One of those strategies is to try to trap you in unforgiveness, which will completely destroy the quality of your life and steal the peace in your heart…Don’t give him an opening…Slam the door in the devil’s face…Forgive, and move on to new beginnings!!!
4/7/2023Matthew 6:14–15 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgive me for being so blunt, but if you don’t practice forgiveness, it will destroy the quality of your life on earth and even put at risk your entry through the gates of heaven.”

Write that on your bathroom mirror. Forgiveness is that important.

Forgiveness is serious business, but it isn’t complicated. You don’t need a seminary degree to understand that when you forgive, you will be forgiven; and when you don’t forgive, God will not forgive you.

The Lord’s Prayer endorses heaven’s policy on forgiveness: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12, KJV). We recite that prayer but seldom practice it. It’s not only important to know the words but understand its message and to obey it. Forgiveness is not optional. If the Bible teaches anything, it teaches that. The Word and the will of God are made perfectly clear: we can freely ask God’s forgiveness once we have fully forgiven others.

Saint Paul wrote, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32, KJV). When I was a boy, my mother made my older brother Bill, and me quote that verse to each other every time we got in a ruckus, which was about three times a week.

I had that verse memorized before almost any other. It still rolls off my tongue with ease. But the fact that my brother and I said it so much was an indication that we knew the words, but we weren’t getting the message. Get the message!

Paul continued teaching the New Testament Church by saying,

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (Colossians 3:12–13, NKJV)

This truth is clearly affirmed by God, Jesus, and Paul—forgiveness is not optional! If you won’t forgive another person, God will not forgive you…The words “forgive” and “forgiveness” appear sixty-six times in the New Testament, and one-third of those are tied to the forgiveness of others…Why so many? Because the power of forgiveness is that important!!!
4/6/20232 Timothy 1:8-9 “…share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began…”

Have you ever gone house hunting on a budget? Whenever you do anything on a budget, you know you are not looking for something perfect; you are looking for something “as is.” As is, it may look like a disaster, but a person who can see potential will call that chaotic mess “good bones.”

When God looks at you, He doesn’t see a hopeless cause; He sees potential. He loves you “as is,” but He loves you too much to leave you that way.

If God has given each of His children unlimited potential to do great things in this life, why isn’t everyone living joy-filled, successful, abundant lives? There are two main things I see hindering people’s potential: excuse making and instant gratification.

There are people who make good and there are people who make excuses.

Stop whining. Stop making excuses. Take charge of your life. Believe in the power of your potential. When you blame someone else for your inability to do something, you have empowered that person to control you. They are now in charge of your life. Take charge of your life or someone else will! No more excuses!

The second way people destroy their potential is by demanding instant gratification. They want microwave Christianity. They want love without commitment. They want benefits without responsibility. They want success without work. Well, the only place you’re going to find success before work is in the dictionary!

The goal is not to be an overnight success, or to be in the right place at the right time. The goal is hard work, never giving up, and learning to be patient with the process.

The greatest tragedy in life is not death…The greatest tragedy in life is to fail to fulfill your purpose and potential…The fact that you were born is proof that God has an assignment for you…God has something special planned for every believer…Don’t you dare go to your grave with unused God-given talent, with unfulfilled God-inspired dreams, and with missed God-ordained opportunities!!!
4/4/2023Ecclesiastes 2:18 “Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.”

There is a difference between making a great living and having a great life. Plenty of people make a great living but lead miserable lives, lives that lack peace, joy, and hope.

Friend, contrary to what you may have been told, it is possible to be a Christian and still be happy. Many people believe that being spiritual means walking around looking like you’ve been sucking a lemon all day. But that is not spirituality, that’s religious legalism and legalism is a curse.

But I have good news! Salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ sets you free to serve the Lord of the Bible and enjoy the life He died to give you–a life filled with powerful potential.

Back when Elvis Presley was at the peak of his career, his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, arranged for me to meet and talk with him in his hotel room in San Antonio, Texas. Elvis had everything that money could buy. He had luxury cars. He had jets. He had diamonds. He had fame. He had the applause of fans. He had a telephone that was covered with gold. Yet, I’ve never met a lonelier person. At the end of our conversation, Elvis said, “Pastor, will you pray for me?” I prayed with him. Elvis was a good person. He had a great living. But he had a hurting heart and a lonely, empty, joyless life.

What kind of life do you have? Are you living with divine purpose? Does your life have meaning? Or are you lonely? Are you angry? Are you frustrated? Are you chasing illusions that never materialize? Is your home in crisis? Is your marriage a war zone? If so, then you are not living up to your powerful potential. God has made it possible for you to have peace that surpasses all understanding. He has made it possible for you to have joy unspeakable and full of glory. He has made it possible for you to experience unconditional love.

There is a Father in heaven who loves you more than you can possibly imagine…Even if your mother and your father forsake you, Jesus promises that He will never leave you…He will be with you in the darkest valley…Nothing can separate you from His love!!!
4/3/2023Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

“I wish.” We all have wishes for ourselves and other people for the future. These wishes are our perception of what we think would be best for us or believe would satisfy us.

When I was a boy living in the country in southeast Texas, my family called the Sears and Roebuck Catalog “The Wish Book.” As a six-year-old, I poured through the pages of that catalog at least three times a week wishing for a Daisy Air Rifle. That Christmas, my father gave me what I wished for. He gave me that BB gun. My older brother, Bill, tried to take it away from me on Christmas Day. He was twice my size, so I shot him. Don’t worry. I did the Christian thing and merely shot him in the leg.

I can assure you, when my father caught up with me, I was not singing “Joy to the World” but rather remembering that famous sermon of Jonathan Edwards’, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

Fast forward to the twenty-first century, and fully understand that millions of Americans are looking in a “wish book” for our future and selecting the poison of socialism. Socialism is a fraud! In history, it has never worked. In the past century, it has killed over one-hundred million people under the leadership of socialists like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.

The Daily Caller reports that one-in-three millennials in America see socialism as favorable, and seventy percent are prepared to vote for a socialist. Why? When we don’t educate our younger generation about the historical truth, we shouldn’t be surprised at their willingness to embrace the endless promises of socialism, which will be the absolute destruction of the United States of America.

But hope is not wishful thinking. Saint Paul writes, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Hear these two words: “substance” and “evidence.” Our hope is based on the “substance” of what God has done in the past and the “evidence” found in the Bible.

God’s provisions are in His promises, and they are all found in His Word…If God has done it in the past, He will do it today…Therefore, our hope is based on God’s performance knowing that He is faithful to His Word which accomplishes all He has assigned it to accomplish!!!
4/2/2023Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”

It’s dark out there.

If you had any doubt that our world is broken and fallen, a glance around should relieve you of all uncertainty.

Thus, it’s no surprise that many of God’s people are overwhelmed, pessimistic, and despondent. Some have lost hope and given in to despair. But that is not the appropriate mindset for a child of God. Believers have been given the power to turn things around — for ourselves, for our families, for our communities, and for our country.

I’m talking about heavenly power. Divine power. Supernatural power that changes circumstances and destinies. Power that turns the fate of nations.

Two-thousand years ago, Jesus lived on Earth. He raised the dead, He healed the blind, the lame, and the deaf; He touched the rotting flesh of lepers and healed them. Jesus calmed the violent winds and waves and walked on the waters of the Sea of Galilee.

He ordered demons to come out with a word. He did not interview them or scream at them all night. He spoke a Word and they obeyed. He fed multitudes with a boy’s sack lunch and there was enough left over to start a Jewish delicatessen. He turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana. Jesus spoke with such authority that the politically correct crowd was stunned with silence.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Gospel of Power…There is power in His Word…There is power in His blood…There is power in His name…There is power in His presence and in His presence is fullness of joy!!!
4/1/2023Revelation 19:16 “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”

“Jesus is coming again! His return is imminent!” Those phrases have resounded throughout my life – from childhood through adulthood. Over and over, they rang out as an alarm and as a promise. As we look at the world around us, they take on greater urgency. As Bible prophecy is fulfilled in daily headlines, with confidence I say, “Jesus is coming soon!”

He Who is called Faithful and True, the King of kings and Lord of lords will split the eastern sky and return for His faithful bride, for a Church that is without spot or wrinkle. This time, He will not visit us as a lowly babe in a humble manger or as a suffering Savior, a Lamb led to slaughter. The One Who is faithful to redeem you is coming in power and great glory. The One who is faithful to provide for your every need is coming to reign from His throne for a thousand generations. The One Who is faithful to heal you is returning with healing in His wings to restore the nations.

The Fairest of Ten Thousand will shine like the noonday sun. The Bread of Life will restore the broken. The Lamb of God will bring peace. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah will rule from the city of Jerusalem. Out of His mouth will come a two-edged sword with which He will destroy the enemies of Israel. He will cast the antichrist and the serpent of old into the lake of fire. He will set his foot on the temple mount, split the eastern gate, establish His throne, and of His kingdom, there will be no end!

Most assuredly, Jesus is coming…When He returns, may you be found waiting and watching…May you be found alert and about the Father’s business…May you be found a faithful follower…Those who are will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and we will be with Him forever…Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near!!!
3/31/2023Hebrews 9:22 “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

The idea that sacrifice is the purchase price of freedom is not new. In the book of Genesis, we grieve as Adam and Eve hide in humiliation after eating the forbidden fruit. God, in His mercy, sacrificed an animal to cover their nakedness and shame.

In the book of Exodus, we watch as God set His divine plan in motion to free His chosen people. As the Israelites packed their bags and prepared to walk out of Egypt after four hundred years of cruel slavery, God commanded a curious thing. Each family was to sacrifice a spotless lamb and apply its blood over the doorpost. God set apart and spared His own at the sight of that dark stain.

Later, as the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, God demanded that an animal be sacrificed, that its blood be poured on the altar for the cleansing of their sin. The blood was the means by which the Israelites could experience communion and relationship with God.

For those of us who did not belong to the nation of Israel, we stood outside of this arrangement that God forged with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his descendants. Before the cross, we were far away from God, outside of this covenant, and without hope in the world.

But Jesus Christ was our Hope! He came as the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the earth (Revelation 13:8). When John the Baptist looked up and saw Him, he cried out, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus came as the sacrifice for our sin.

When He went to Calvary, He shed His blood “once for all when He offered up Himself” (Hebrews 7:27). What the blood of goats and calves could not do, His blood accomplished. He “obtained eternal redemption” for us (Hebrews 9:12). Because of that sacrifice, every barrier, every separation, has been torn in two. We now have bold access to the Father!

We now have freedom to enter where we could not go before, to receive what we could not claim before…We have hope…We have salvation…We have life…Jesus, the Lamb of God, paid the purchase price for our liberty…His is the sacrifice that won our freedom!!!
3/30/20231 John 5:14 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

Jesus created quite a ruckus in the Temple after being hailed with a hero’s welcome when He arrived in Jerusalem. He drove out the money changers. He turned over their tables. He reprimanded them sharply. Afterwards, Matthew 21:14 tells us that the blind and the lame came to Him there in that holy place, and He healed them.

That seems fitting to us, the perfect place for Jesus to perform miracles. However, in Jerusalem, tradition dictated that the blind and lame – anyone who had a physical impairment – were not allowed to enter the Temple. Their imperfection denied them the right to be admitted to the very place where they could receive healing.

Jesus broke through the barriers, tore through the tradition to welcome the hurting. Can you imagine the crush of the crowd? Can you see their eager faces? Here, where they had only found rejection and resistance, Jesus reached out to heal blind eyes and lame limbs. Those who had never seen before received their sight. Those who had never walked went running and leaping and praising God. The Temple walls must have resounded with exuberant shouts. Tears of joy and gratitude must have wet their cheeks.

Throughout Scripture, we see Jesus reaching out in welcome:  sharing a meal with tax collectors, pulling a child onto His lap, touching a leper, plucking Peter out of the sea, taking a dead girl’s hand, smearing mud on a blind man’s eyes.  He welcomed their questions and their complications, their illnesses and infirmities.

He is still reaching, still welcoming…His arms are open…His eyes are smiling…No fear of rejection here…We can boldly approach the throne of grace with full confidence to obtain mercy and grace…We are surrounded by the spiritually blind, those who have overlooked the important and cannot see what is needful…We are surrounded by the spiritually lame, those who may see what they need but are too hindered to get to it…We can bring them to the throne, too – with full confidence of acceptance and love!!!
3/29/2023Jeremiah 20:9 “Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.’ But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.”

Ezekiel was consumed with passion for the Lord. His zeal could not be contained. Even when he tried to control himself, the words burst past the barrier. Are you full of fiery faith? Or has your faith become so bland, benign, and boring that it is met with yawns?

When someone asks about Jesus, we must be ready to share the life, truth, and hope that has revolutionized our lives. Share the kind of Savior that no one can ignore. Proclaim a Redeemer that no one can forget. Leave them in no doubt that He is everything.

We were dead, lost in sin, bound for hell, but He rescued us. He saved us, set us free. Where there was sorrow, He gave us joy. Where there was weakness, He became our strength. When we were alone and lonely, He became our Friend. When we only deserved judgment, He extended mercy.

Jesus Christ is not some powerless, dead historical figure. He is alive. He is present. If you are thirsty, He is the Living Water. If you are hungry, He is the Bread of Life. He protects. He intercedes. He fills us up. He satisfies our souls. He is awesome in strength and mighty in power.

He is the Lamb of God.

He is the Lion of Judah.

He is the Indescribable Gift.

He is our Great High Priest.

He is our Mediator.

He is our Hope.

He is our Peace.

He is our Burden Bearer.

He is our Good Shepherd.

He is our Refuge.

He is our Strength.

He is our Rock.

He is our Sword.

He is our Shield.

He is our Way Maker.

He is our Miracle Worker.

He is our Wonderful Counselor.

He is our Everlasting Father.

He is Lord of lords.

He is King of kings.

There is no one beside Him, no one above Him..There is none like Him…He is an ever-present help in time of trouble…He is great and greatly to be praised…If we refuse to praise Him, the rocks will pipe up in our place…Stir up the embers within, and blaze forth His glory!!!
3/28/20231 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…”

Are you always ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you? We have found our hope in Jesus. Hope for salvation and strength, protection and perseverance, for safe haven and stability. This hope anchors our souls for today and gives us bright expectation for tomorrow. How do we explain the reason for this overflowing hope?

In Matthew 21, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on the back of a young colt. An exultant crowd lined the streets shouting “Hosanna!” and threw down their coats and tree branches to line his path. Thousands of Jews from the then-known world had traveled to the city to celebrate Passover. The crowds were moved by this joyful parade. “Who is this?” they asked curiously. The multitudes answered correctly, but “just the facts” did not amount to the whole truth.

This is Jesus, a prophet. That was a fact, but it was not the whole truth. Hundreds of prophets roamed Jerusalem at that time. Some of them enjoyed fame; others ministered in anonymity. To call Jesus a prophet was to classify Him, to assign Him a place among a faceless mass of others.

He is from Galilee, a city in Nazareth. That was a fact, but it was not the whole truth. Nazareth was a hill country town in northern Israel. It was not Jerusalem, which was known as a religious center. It was not Athens, which was known as an intellectual center. It was not Rome, which was known as a political center. Creator of all…but they attempted to give Him a mailbox.

We live in a world that still wants to know Jesus. They do not know that He is more than a prophet. They don’t know the peace He brings to a tormented heart, the joy that He brings to those who are without strength. They don’t know the burdens He can lift, the yokes He can destroy, the chains He can break. When they ask, are you ready to give a reason for the Hope inside you?

Be careful not to make this great, big, beautiful Savior a small thing…Beware of putting Jesus in a box; it only gives opportunity for people to put a lid on it and push it aside…Be ready to make it all about Him, all about the Hope that fills our every waking moment and promises an even brighter tomorrow!!!
3/27/2023James 5:15-16 “And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Few pains cut so deep as that of the Christian parent whose child has wandered far from God. We raised them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, but they have rejected the faith of their youth. We trained them in the way they should go, but they have forsaken that path for their own. Like the father of the prodigal son, our eyes scan the road each day, looking for signs of our child’s return from a far country.

Too often, we run to their rescue. We defend and debate. We coax and cajole. We aid and abet. Instead, with hearts full of faith, we can relinquish them to God’s hands. We can trust His good heart towards them. He alone can stir up a hunger and thirst for righteousness. He knows how to arrest their attention. Even if their hearts are broken, He will collect all the pieces and give them brand-new hearts. Even in utter desolation, He can restore and return the years the enemy has stolen. He knows how to capture their hearts again.

Now, more than ever, we should be full of faith for our children. We do not give in to despair or defeat. Every prayer will be a sharp, pointed arrow targeted to bring down the evil schemes of the enemy in the lives of our children. Now is the time to pray in faith without doubting (James 1:6). Now is the time to hold on tight to God with both hands. Now is the time to open our hands and release our children into His hands.

He will whistle, and our children will come running to be set free (Zechariah 10:8-9). In Isaiah 43, God encourages us to trust Him – don’t be afraid. He is in our corner. He will round up our scattered children and pull them in from the east and the west. He will send orders to the north and south to send back our sons from distant lands and our daughters from faraway places. “I want them back, every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one” (Isaiah 43:5-7, The Message).

Full of faith, we stand in the gap for our beloved sons and daughters…We won’t give up…We won’t back down…As long as we have breath, we pray for their joyous return!!!
3/26/2023Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.”

Incorruptible, infallible, inerrant – those are some impressive words that perfectly describe the Word of God! Scholars have dissected and debated it for centuries.  Men and women were beheaded, exiled, burned at the stake, banished from their homelands, and labeled heretics so we may have the privilege of studying this sacred Scripture.

This Word has withstood the flames of the trial; it has been tried and been found true. Cynics have mocked it for centuries, but it has silenced its scoffers. It has been debated in classrooms, diluted in pulpits, and misused by scheming men. For all of the abuse leveled at it, the Word of God endures. It is sharper than a two-edged sword. Like a surgeon’s scalpel, it cuts through everything – all of our doubt and defenses – to open us up to believe and receive what God says. It exposes and sifts, analyzes and judges the very thoughts and purposes of our hearts. No one is impervious to its truth. We cannot escape its reach (Hebrews 4:12).

When we ingest it, this Word comes to abide in us.  It takes root in our hearts to make us strong (I John 2:14). It establishes and steadies. The Psalmist declared that God’s words were sweeter than honey (Psalm 119:103).  Jeremiah devoured the words of the Lord and declared them a joy and a delight (Jeremiah 15:16). Job said that he treasured God’s word like his daily bread (Job 23:12).

Isaiah assured us that the grass may wither, and the flower may fade, but the Word of the Lord endures forever (Isaiah 40:8). It will stand for eternity. Every jot, every tittle, every comma, every period, every letter, every line, every word – all will be fulfilled in Christ. No deception can be found in its pages.

Like Job, hunger after God’s words like the food that is necessary for life itself…Like Jeremiah, gobble them up…Take joy in all the discoveries and the mysteries that you unravel…Find the character and the promises of God in His Word…Allow its truth to become the bedrock foundation of your life…Allow that truth to transform your mind, your heart, and your very life!!!
3/25/2023Thessalonians 5:18 “…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Here we are – miles away from Thanksgiving! Months away from turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Many miles and months to go before the calendar turns, before the leaves turn, and before we turn to a table laden with scrumptious bounty and surrounded by those whom we love the most.

For the Christian believer, Thanksgiving is not just a holiday that we tick off our to-do lists the third week of November each year. Thanksgiving – gratitude – should be hardwired into our DNA, rooted in our hearts, and evident in our everyday lives.

In today’s verse, the apostle Paul instructs us to give thanks in every single thing. It’s easy to breeze over that verse with a confident, “Of course!” But are we giving thanks in everything? When we are satisfied and safe, happy and healthy, praises roll easily off our tongues. What about the other times though?

Paul practiced what he preached. The book of Acts tells us about a particularly tough time for this Christ-follower. In the town of Philippi, Paul and Silas were attacked, stripped, beaten with rods, thrown into jail, and restrained in stocks. That’s a bad day! Deep in the night, a sound reverberated through the prison cells as the other inmates listened. Was it crying, complaining, kvetching? No, it was the triumphant strains of praise, prayer, and the singing of hymns (Acts 16).

Paul had figured out how to be content. In poverty or prosperity. Whether famished or full, abased or abounding, thanksgiving flowed from his grateful heart. He recognized his Source in every situation and shared it with us: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Our thankfulness demonstrates to God that we trust Him more than the affairs of the world in which we live. In everything – not for everything – but in every condition, under every circumstance, through every situation, give thanks to God.

In the big moments, give thanks. In the small, seemingly insignificant moments, give thanks. On the good days when everything goes according to plan, give thanks. On the bad days when everything seems against you, give thanks.

When you consider your past, give thanks that God carried you through it…When you are overwhelmed in the crisis, give thanks that God will never abandon you to cope alone…When you consider all of your tomorrows, give thanks that God goes before you to smooth the path!!!
3/24/2023Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

The reality of this Christian life, as the hymn proclaims, is “joy unspeakable, full of glory,” and “the half has never yet been told!” Because Christ lives in us, we overflow with His life. This present life is not the one we once endured, but a sins-washed-away, guilt-free, arms-wide-open, I’m-a-brand-new creation kind of life. All the old has gone, and His life has flooded in to fill every nook and cranny with lavish love, perennial peace, and jubilant joy. We should radiate that life.

Jesus proclaimed Himself the life (John 14:6). He brings His great big presence to so fill our hearts that it must spill out into our lives. Paul pointed out that “…in Him we live and move and have our being…” (Acts 17:28). Amazingly enough, He lives in us, moves on us, and works through us. As the irrepressible genie in Aladdin declares, “Phenomenal cosmic powers! Itty bitty living space!”

No matter the circumstances around us, the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Too many of us are living a “someday out there” life. When things get better or when we get through this rough patch or when we all get to heaven, “someday out there,” we will live our best lives. This is a right-now kind of salvation! This is the in-the-moment life of Jesus working on the inside. When the clouds open over our heads, pop up the umbrella of joy, and dance in the rain. Under His protection and provision, we still live with gladness and contentment. Jesus inside of us brings all that He is to bear on all that we experience.

With that Life comes power. Power to live with joy. Power to live with peace. Power to live with laughter. Power to live with self-control. Power to live with hope. Dynamite power on the inside of us – impacting our families, our communities, and our world.

Jesus Christ is alive…The King of kings, the Lamb of God slain, conquered death, hell, and the grave to bring life everlasting…No need to wait and see…No need to postpone…He is alive…He is life…And He lives in us…We are filled with Life, full of life, and carrying that Life to the world…Live!!!
3/23/2023Luke 15:10 “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Whenever one individual on this earth professes Jesus Christ as Savior, the angels in the presence of God rejoice. Imagine a sinner who bows his head to whisper a “yes” to Jesus, the Friend to sinners (Matthew 11:19). Consider how God might lean down to catch that desperate plea, how all around the throne, activity ceases and silence reigns as He smiles a “yes” in response. And at that final amen, all of heaven erupts in a party of praise! Innumerable angels shout for joy as one more receives a Savior that is worth having.

Do you ever take time to think about heaven? John the Revelator describes “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (Revelation 7:9-10). Beyond the mysterious creatures, the crystal river, the thundering horses, and the Lion of the tribe of Judah, do you ever think of the people who might stand next to you before the Great Throne?

A nomad with stars in his eyes who believed the promise of God. A young upstart who felled a giant with one smooth stone. A woman of ill repute who hung a scarlet cord in her window. A frightened maid who unflinchingly said, “Let it be to me.” A brazen professor who nailed 95 Theses to a door. A frail woman who reached out her hand to lepers. These shadowy figures who helped to shape our faith – their faces and philosophies, their doctrines and disciplines, their treatises and tenets, their hearts and hopes – will emerge from the mist to sing the song of the redeemed alongside us.

And, of course, there will be those even closer to our hearts. A grandfather who prayed for the generations to follow. That parent who sang hymns of deliverance over her children. The lovingly-anticipated child who never knew his mother’s embrace. The pastor who sacrificed for his little flock.

Consider that moment when all those faces around you turn to the Lamb Who was slain for our sins, when the great song of redemption bursts from our lips in glorious praise, when the angels revel in silence as that melody rolls through heaven, and our faith finally becomes sight…And all because one Man emptied Himself and was obedient even to death on the cross…Jesus is a Savior worth having!!!
3/22/2023Romans 10:9-10 “…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Jesus is a Savior worth having. He is so rare that no other like Him has ever existed. He is so capable that nothing is impossible for Him. He is so reliable that He has never disappointed one person who chose to trust in Him. He is so loving that when everyone else has given up on you, when no one else sees any good thing in you, He reaches out His hand and says, “I choose this one.” He is so good that, if you have not accepted Him as Savior, He is waiting with outstretched arms.

Today’s verse tells us how to become a child of God, to accept Him as Savior. If you believe in your heart that Jesus exists, that He came to die on the cross to forgive your sins and that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. If you acknowledge Him in your heart and say it out loud, Jesus can be yours.

You may think that this is an impossibility, but the Bible tells us that whoever believes in Him will not be lost, will not perish, but will find eternal life (John 3:15). Whoever believes…every single person who looks up to Him, trusting and expecting, will gain a real life, an eternal one.

No matter what you have done, where you have been, whom you have let down, what you have gone through or what others say about you, as long as you want Him, He wants you…Find out for yourself the magnitude of His goodness, the unsearchable depths of His love for you!!!
3/21/2023Psalm 5:11 “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.”

Jesus is a Savior worth having, One worth praising. He is not angry with you. His welcome mat is always out. His porch light is always on. His face is turned towards you. He does not tire of you or find you too needy. He knows your name. His thoughts toward you are too many to count (Psalm 139:17). His plans for you are good, and He is orchestrating every detail of your life to draw you closer and to make you shine like a star in the sky. He loves you.

When you sat in the ashes of a broken life, He loved you. When you were surrounded by the consequences of a thousand bad choices, He loved you. When you were stripped of dignity, He saw you clothed in majesty. When you were certain of your nothingness, He gave everything to call you His. While you were a sinner, He loved you. At the lowest point of your life, God loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die for you. Jesus took your place. He became the substitute, the sacrifice, for you. The IOU with your name scrawled across it? He drove a nail through it, signed it in blood, and paid the debt in full. He gave all to bring you near.

Does your heart thrill at the thought of Him? For those who profess faith in Christ, those who have asked Him to abide in their hearts, those who have received this Savior worth having, He merits our gratitude, our soul’s best song. If it had not been for the Lord on your side, where would you be? David instructed, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6).

Take a moment to celebrate all that Jesus is to you, all that He has done for you, all that He has given to you. Take a deep breath – oh wait, that came from Him, too! That beating heart? It keeps time because He set it in motion. Pour out your gratitude to Him!!!
3/20/2023Zephaniah 3:5 “The Lord is righteous in her midst, He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails…”

Jesus is a Savior worth having. Many people measure the value of something based on its reliability. Is it of good quality? Will it perform consistently? Can I trust it? If you have ever owned an old jalopy, you quickly come to appreciate the value of dependability!

We live in a shifting-sand world. A man’s word is no longer his bond. Contracts and legal clauses are required to seal the deal; mere handshakes no longer suffice. Promises seem made to be broken. Conflicting voices make guarantees they do not deliver. The ground beneath our feet can be unstable and insecure. Stories are slanted. Perspectives are perverted. Expectations are exhausted. Vows are violated.

If you are weary of the disappointment, consider the Rock (Deuteronomy 32:4). In Jesus, we find the stability, the solid ground beneath our feet. In Him, we live in a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28). Across the centuries, no person who ever put their trust in Him found themselves disappointed or without hope (Isaiah 49:23). He will not walk away. He will not turn His back (Hebrews 13:5). He is not fickle. He does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17). He is the tried and true, utterly reliable, the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

We can take Him at His word. Heaven and earth will disappear, but His word will remain forever (Matthew 24:35). His promises to us are always “Yes” and “Amen” (II Corinthians 1:20). His amen is a “truly,” a “let it be so.” John the Revelator called Jesus the “Amen, the Faithful and True Witness” (Revelation 3:14). He is proven. We can trust Him.

Unwavering, secure, dependable, trustworthy – Jesus is a Savior worth having…We find shelter under the shadow of His wings…He holds us lovingly, safely in His hand, and nothing nor no one can snatch us away…We can count on His welcome, His smile, His good heart towards us…He never falters…He never fails!!!
3/18/20232 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

Jesus is a Savior worth having. When it comes to something worth having, people want to know its worth. What is its value and how can we determine it? Often, the worth of something is dependent on its rarity. How available is it? How many exist? Can it be duplicated?

If you travel to Paris to visit the Louvre Museum, you might wander into the gift shop where you can purchase a poster of the Mona Lisa. You will only spend a few dollars because thousands of reproductions have been printed. However, if you went to the curator of the museum and asked to place a price on the original painting, you might experience a serious case of sticker shock. Many experts estimate that the work of art is priceless.

Jesus Christ is an original, a treasure beyond measure. No one like Him graced the planet before, and until He returns to set His foot on the Mount of Olives, no one ever will again. Paul declared that there is only one God and one Mediator between God and men, and that is the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all (I Timothy 2:5-6). Peter averred that there was no other means of salvation, that His was the only name by which we are saved. He passionately proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah (Matthew 16:16).

Our Savior cannot be duplicated. He is irreplaceable. There is no substitute or alternative. This is wonderful news! Oftentimes, if given a multitude of options, we choose unwisely; we make the wrong choice. Here, we find no margin for error. We can choose with confidence.

For every person that needs deliverance from sin…Jesus. For every person who needs the pain of the past erased…Jesus. For those who need the weight of guilt lifted off their shoulders…Jesus. For those who need the chains of bondage broken off of their lives…Jesus.

Only He can step into your yesterdays and erase the regrets…He is the only One who sets free…He is the Lamb for sinners slain…He is the cornerstone precious and elect…He is the One Who died in our place…He is the One Who conquered the grave and transformed it into the gateway to glory…He has been given the name above every name, and at that name every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that He alone is Lord over all…Jesus is a Savior – the only Savior – worth having!!!
3/17/2023Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

We live in a world that places a premium on options. We like having choices. In fact, we are convinced that the more options presented to us, the better able we are to make the best decision. Our culture is consumed with preferences and having it our way.

Think about ordering a simple breakfast. Coffee? Would you like that black, with sugar or creamer, decaffeinated? How would you like those eggs: hard-boiled, scrambled, poached, over easy, sunny side up? Toast: white, wheat, multigrain? Breakfast meat, anyone? Your choice: bacon, ham, sausage patties or links, or steak.

Every day, the average person makes dozens of decisions. Our society affords us the luxury of many choices. We are so addicted to choices that we are offended when options are not available. However, that privilege can be abused. We become so accustomed to options that we begin to create choices where none truly exist.

The Pew Research Center released a poll of thousands of Americans. When asked if there is more than one way to heaven, 80 percent of Americans said yes. Forty percent of those claimed to be church-going Christians. Eight out of 10, under the age of 25, claimed that multiple religions offered multiple ways to find eternal life. They also believe that neither Satan nor hell exists. God, however, is not sitting on the throne, scouring poll results, and making adjustments to His plans based on our preferences.

God, in His infinite grace and mercy, has offered us ONE option when it comes to salvation. The only choice is Jesus Christ. No viable alternatives exist. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). When it comes to salvation, there is no other option.

Jesus told the disciples, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus did not speak on His own authority, but that of the Father (John 14:10). He did not create this claim or argument. God had already said in Isaiah 43:11, “I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior.” And again in Hosea 13:4, God says, “For there is no savior besides Me.”

No alternatives…No Plan B…No other options…Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation…He alone is the beloved Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, the Author and Perfecter of our faith!!!
3/16/2023Ephesians 4:4-6 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Jesus longs for all of the members of His church, His body, to become one just like He and the Father are one. We have an enemy who is just as determined to wreak havoc on our unity with one another. In John 10:10, his goals are clearly stated. He has come to steal anything that pertains to life – our relationship with Jesus, our marriages, our prosperity, our health. He has come to kill – our dreams, our purpose, our children’s futures. He has come to destroy – our peace, our joy, our very lives. He exults in driving us away from God and away from one another.

He knows that if he can disrupt the unity in the body of Christ, he can staunch the flow of blessing in the church (Psalm 133:3). He knows that, if he can sow doubt and discouragement, he can set us against the one true Source of help. As long as he can divide us, he wins. However, if we ever unite, if we ever band together, if we ever decide that it will be God’s will and not our own, Satan can do nothing about it. He will stand helpless in the face of the church victorious. He is indeed a defeated foe.

You and I have the authority of God’s Word. We have the authority of His blood. We have the power to pull down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. These mighty weapons He has given empower us to wage supernatural war against the enemy who seeks to divide, isolate and overtake us. Jesus has come to lead us into abundant life.

We know better; let us do better…We know the Word of God; let us apply it…Until we are willing to seek unity, we will not accomplish it…Until we are willing to sacrifice for our brothers and sisters, we will not be joined as one…See what God can accomplish when we propose to stand together in unity…Let us join our hearts, our minds, and our hands…Here, His blessings will flow freely…Here, breakthrough comes…Here, peace, power and prosperity are poured out…It remains Jesus’ great desire – that we be one!!!
3/15/2023Acts 4:32 “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul…”

Solomon pulled no punches in the sixth chapter of Proverbs. He flatly declares that there are six things that the Lord hates, seven things that He loathes (Proverbs 6:16-19). Every single one of those detestable things inhibits walking together in unity.

God hates:

A proud look. Conceit, comparison, and competition are the enemies of unity.

A lying tongue. The words that proceed from our mouths come from our hearts (Matthew 15:18). If lies, deceit, manipulation, and exaggeration pour from our lips, there is no basis for trust, no foundation upon which to build relationship. Lying destroys unity.

Hands that shed innocent blood. A man raises his hand against his wife. A lone gunman walks into a crowded theater. Children are sold into slavery. Everywhere abuse occurs, where innocent lives are poured out, where blood is spilled, life is diminished and destroyed. Separation and disconnection — not unity — preside.

A heart that devises wicked plans. The Joker and Lex Luthor might come to mind when we think of wicked plans. While global domination may not figure into our future, any plan that leads us away from God’s plan— a secret tryst, an illicit social media post, a dishonest business transaction — is evil. Such scheming leads us away from unity.

Feet that are swift to run to evil. Moral depravity pulls at us from every side. No need to plan – how easily our feet slide down this slippery slope. Sin — evil — always leads to broken relationship with God and with those we love here on earth. Those who hurry to pursue their own wicked desires break off unity.

A false witness who speaks lies. In a specific context, someone who perpetrates untrue statements about another can lead to unfair judgments and imprisonment for the victim. In a broader sense, slander and gossip can initiate and perpetuate untruths against another that lead to ruin. Marriages break up. Partnerships dissolve. Reputations are destroyed. False witnesses inhibit freedom and sabotage unity.

One who sows discord among brothers and sisters. The very word “discord” indicates conflict, friction, hostility and disagreement. Most of us say, “Well, I would never!” But it only takes a small spark — one eye roll, one raised eyebrow, one pointing finger, one whispered accusation, one well-placed insult — to stir up a conflagration that rages for years. Discord burns unity to the ground.

If we look around and see disunity in our relationships with spouses, co-workers or fellow Christians, let us examine our own hearts…When one of the practices above drives a wedge, God has provided a way back…Repentance leads to restoration…
3/14/20231 John 3:16 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

Many people today suffer from serious “I” problems. They have a chronic condition that plagues their everyday lives. It manifests itself in some persistent symptoms:

The way that “I” want it.

The way that “I” see it.

The way that “I” think.

The way that “I” feel.

The way that “I” want to do things.

Christians often trip over that “I” issue. Real unity requires real sacrifice, but “I” is the enemy of unity. “I” demands its own way. “I” refuses to budge. “I” never prefers another. “I” is only interested in his own comfort or her personal agenda. Paul warns Timothy to be certain that church leaders are not self-willed (Titus 1:7), and Peter warns against false teachers who are self-willed, insolent egoists who despise true authority (II Peter 2:10-11). Self-will sabotages unity. Self-will refuses to submit to God, our true authority, and refuses to sacrifice to promote unity within the family of God.

Self-will makes unity impossible. As long as our preference takes priority over our purpose, unity will be impossible. The body of Christ can be divided by preferences: “I didn’t like the song selection” or “His sermon was too long.” Churches split over issues as unimportant as the color of the carpet. When we finally put “I” aside and come into the sanctuary to gather in HIS name, to lift up HIS Son, to read HIS word, and to worship in HIS presence, preferences are forgotten as we remember that our purpose is all for HIM.

When brothers and sisters in Christ dwell together in unity, God commands His blessing in that place (Psalm 133:3). Where unity exists, the blessing of God is guaranteed. Those blessings come when we sacrifice our will for His, where we lay down our lives for others. The wind of the Holy Spirit blasted into the upper room as 120 believers cried out as one voice (Acts 2:1-4). Three thousand people rushed to salvation when Peter stood, with the eleven disciples beside him, to preach the Gospel (Acts 2:14). A lame man went running and jumping when Peter and John shared what they had (Acts 3:8).

“I” must submit to him…Self-will must succumb to sacrifice…His purpose must take priority over our preferences…Only there will He command His blessing…Only then will His anointing and power rush from the throne of heaven to fulfill His purposes through us!!!
3/13/20231 Peter 5:5 “Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Unity requires sacrifice. The price of unity is the sacrifice of self. In the final prayer that He spoke over His disciples, Jesus asked repeatedly that all believers would be one. He prayed over those men who had toiled with Him, but not them only. He also looked ahead to include those of us who came to believe in Him because of the word of those first disciples (John 17:20). His great desire was for all believers to be joined in unity, one heart and one purpose.

Unity is a lofty goal, but the difficulty arises when we do more than talk about it. We advocate for unity until it requires more than words. Sacrifice is required – which is wonderful if the other person is willing to do so. We get along well with others – to the point where they disagree with us. We can live in harmony as long as everyone else follows our agendas. To be so all-encompassing, unity can get pretty personal.

The apostle Paul gives us a beautiful analogy of unity between marriage and the church (Ephesians 5). God ordained marriage as the sacred institution where two separate people, a man and a woman, are united in marriage; the two become one. This union is not without its struggles. However, the Bible instructs the woman to submit to her husband; she sacrifices herself to honor him. The Bible instructs the man to submit to his wife; he sacrifices himself as an expression of love to her. When these two separate people submit to one another in love and respect, they operate in harmony, agreement, and oneness of mind and heart. As separate members of one body, we must learn to mutually submit to one another in respect and love.

Jesus loved the church so much that He gave Himself for her, the bride of Christ. He sacrificed Himself. He emptied Himself, became nothing, took on the form of a servant, and humbled himself to obedience to death on the cross. In our relationships, we are to do nothing less (Philippians 2:5-8).

He is our example…We must empty ourselves…We must lay down our self-will…We must humble ourselves to become a servant of all…As we reason together and honor one another, we become unified…When we dwell together in one accord, there God’s blessing is found…Make whatever sacrifices you need to make…Make your relationships benefit from your obedience!!!
3/12/2023Psalm 133:3 “For there the Lord commanded the blessing – life forevermore.”

A person’s last words often carry much weight. When the end looms near, the extraneous is stripped away. No more patience for pretense. No more time for tiptoeing around the edges. Here lies the most important, the vital thing that must be conveyed.

After sharing a meal and bowing to wash their feet, Jesus must have looked around that somber circle of faces in the Upper Room. James, the son of thunder. John, the beloved. Peter, the rock. These men had deserted all to follow Him. For three years, He had taught them in synagogues. He had instructed them on hillsides. He had demonstrated His power over death and demon possession. Jesus knew this was their final conversation – no more reclining around campfires together, no more laughter over shared meals, no more miracles or marvels, no more questions or corrections. He did not hesitate. Leaning in, He began to speak with urgency. Over their bowed heads, He spoke one final prayer.

As He neared the conclusion of His earthly ministry, what was on His mind? Did He pray for their prosperity? He knew the weight of the mission that they would soon undertake. He knew the painful sacrifices and the price that ministry would exact. Knowing the toll, He could have prayed for their prosperity, for the success of their assignment. He could have asked for all the resources of heaven. But He did not.

He could have prayed for power. He could have petitioned for crowded coliseums and standing-room-only stadiums where supernatural miracles and divine wonders would draw unbelievers into the presence of God. But He did not.

Over and over, He asked for this one thing: that we all would be one. God is in Jesus. Jesus is in us. Perfect in unity so that the world may know that God has sent Him. He loves us in the same way that God loved Him.

He knew that if we walked in unity, if we sacrificed our will for His, that all of His power and prosperity would be evident in our lives…When we dwell together in unity, it is here that He commands His blessing…It is here that His anointing flows…It is here that heaven and earth collide…His prayer will be answered in you!!!
3/11/2023Mark 1:41 “Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, I am willing; be cleansed.”

The Son of God – sent by love, motivated by love, and reaching in love. We often see Jesus with His hands extended, reaching out to touch a wounded world.

He demonstrates His love with actions – reaching beyond racial, cultural, and gender barriers, beyond sin, shameful pasts, and societal condemnation, beyond time and space to heal and restore.

Standing at a well in the midday sun, Jesus reached out to the Samaritan woman. Rejected by Jews and Samaritans alike, Jesus gave her living water so that she never need thirst again.

The scribes and Pharisees caught a woman in the very act of adultery. Instead of pointing an accusing finger, Jesus challenged the man who was without sin to throw the first stone. When they retreated, He sent her home to “sin no more” with no weight of condemnation.

When the disciples shooed away the children, Jesus took them in His arms and blessed them. When the blind man came seeking sight, Jesus took Him by the hand. When the leper begged to be made clean, Jesus reached out and touched his diseased body.

At the border of the cross Jesus still stands with hands extended…He longs to gather every person under the shadow and safety of His wings…May He teach us to reach with the same love that drove Him to the ultimate sacrifice…He is right beside you…All you need to do right now is drop to your knees in humble submission and He will show you the way…
3/10/2023John 17:20-21 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You…”

As Jesus looked, in turn, at each beloved face gathered around the Passover table that last evening, He knew what lay ahead – for Him and for them. After the meal, the King of kings and Lord of lords laid aside His garments, picked up a towel, and knelt before each one to wash their feet…even the one who would betray him in just a few short hours. After He sent Judas into the night, He opened His heart to share those final, important truths that the disciples would need to carry them through the next terrifying hours. He concluded those precious moments by praying His heart over them, reaching out to the Father on their behalf, on our behalf.

He could have prayed many things. He alone knew the horror, the mind-numbing grief, the overwhelming disillusionment that would follow His benediction. He understood the transformation that needed to occur so that this ragamuffin band of rough men could turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6). Only He could foresee the faith explosion that would shake the very foundations of the formidable Roman empire. He could have asked for and imparted many things, but He asked for one thing over and over: that we all may be one.

Five times He prayed that we might be one. Just like He and the Father are one, He asked that we would be united, that we would stand together in the Word that He gave, that we would radiate the glory that He shared. And somehow, this unity between us, this unbreakable bond will testify to the fact that God sent Jesus to this world and that He has loved us with an unsurpassed love. God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son so we could believe in Him, so we could be united with Him in love and share in this great big, messy, wonderful family. We will never be on the outside, never be without a friend or advocate or helper again. We stand as one. This is our forever family.

Today, are you the answer to the petition that Jesus prayed on that night long ago? Are you unified with the body of Christ? Are you making every effort to live in harmony with your brothers and sisters? Are you humbly kneeling to wash their feet? Are you surrendering your will to stand united in heart, mind, purpose and action? A world is waiting to be turned upside down again!!!
3/9/20231 Samuel 17:47 “Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

King David is the quintessential example of a warrior. Even as a boy, he demonstrated remarkable courage and faith in God.

In 1 Samuel 17, he stands on the hillside overlooking the Valley of Elah. Below him stands Goliath, the mammoth giant, who mocks God and taunts the Israelites. “Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us” (verse 9). While the grown men around him trembled in fear, courage blossomed in David’s heart.

He remembered the cause for which Israel fought. He looked at his older brother, Eliab, and those around him, “Is there not a cause?” (verse 29). Why would Israel not stand up to Goliath? God had not brought them this far to hand them over to Goliath. David’s courage hardened into conviction: God would deliver them from the blasphemous giant.

David developed his battle plan. He went to the brook and selected five stones. Was this in case he missed? No! Bible scholars tell us that Goliath had four brothers. David was sending a message. He was not going down to the valley to start a fight; he was going to finish one!

David marched out to meet Goliath with five smooth stones and a slingshot. Goliath scoffed at the sight of the lad: “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” (verse 43). David sized him up, but he did not flinch. He knew where his strength originated. He had no doubt in Whose name he stood. He confidently called out to the mammoth: “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (verse 45). One smooth stone sailed unerringly through the air to bring down a formidable foe.

Across the centuries, a triumphant cheer still rises in our hearts…If God came to David’s aid, certainly He will come to ours…In the face of our invincible enemies, God can bring them to dust with something as simple as a small stone!!!
3/8/2023Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.” Most of us can quote the familiar words of the “Serenity Prayer” penned by American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr. To anyone who has ever struggled with change, it can prove exceedingly difficult, and like Niebuhr, we know that it requires courage.

Even Paul, battle-hardened apostle though he was, declared himself a wretched man. “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice” (Romans 7:19).

The first step towards change is admitting the issue. While it sounds simple enough, we recognize our humanity. We blame; we avoid; we ignore; we justify; we put off the inevitable. Whining about what we wish to change is futile. Ignoring what we are afraid to change leaves us powerless.

We cannot change what we will not confront. Often, calling the issue for what it is – putting a name to it – brings it out of the darkness into the light of Jesus’ love, and it breaks the power of it to harm. Satan does his best work under cover of night. When we bring our situations boldly to the throne of grace, Satan’s lies drop powerless in the presence of God’s absolute truth.

Once we confront, change requires commitment, a walking it out by faith. First Corinthians 3:9 refers to us as co-laborers with Christ. He does not leave us to confront and change on our own. When we come to the end of our puny self-discipline, His strength is perfected in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). He supernaturally accomplishes what we are helpless to address in our own strength. With Paul the apostle, we can then proclaim: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

That conflict in which you are engaged? That secret sin with which you struggle? That situation from which you cannot escape? In the power of Christ, confront it today…Call it by name…Bring it into the light…Rise up like a warrior intent on victory…Do not let the fear of change diminish the plans God has for you…He alone gives power to overcome!!!
3/7/2023Judges 6:12 & 16 “…Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

In the time of Gideon, the Midianites had terrorized the Israelites for seven years. They raided the country, destroyed the crops, and stole their livestock. Their land was ravaged, and the Israelites were impoverished, forced to live in caves and mountains.

When God introduces us to Gideon in Judges 6, he is threshing wheat in a winepress. Usually, an Israelite threshed wheat in a wide, open space, but Gideon was lying low, hiding out from the Midianites in a pit dug into the ground.

Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared and announced, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Gideon must have looked over both of his shoulders, tapped himself on the chest, and asked, “You talkin’ ta me?” He did not hesitate to voice his doubts aloud.

How could this be true? If God was with them, why were these things happening? Where were the miracles they had heard about from their fathers? He was certain that God had deserted them. He blatantly declared that he was the weakest, least likely person to deliver Israel. He was not convinced. His eyes were closed to the possibilities. His faith in God wavered after so much suffering.

Perhaps you find yourself in a situation like Gideon. The enemy has attacked relentlessly, assaulted your health, waged war against your marriage, or even carried off your children. Your faith is eroded. Lying low, you long for deliverance.

When we met him, Gideon was not a warrior. He was a wimp and a whiner. God, however, looked beyond the pit and saw the potential. He had handwritten Gideon’s destiny with victory. When God opened his eyes, Gideon recognized the truth: God plus you make a majority. When God pressed a torch in one hand and a trumpet in the other, Gideon discovered that God equips you with the weapons needed for battle.

Whatever your situation, know this: God drafted a plan for your life before you drew your first breath…He lovingly wove in valor and victory…He created you with purpose and talents for your particular battles…Look up, mighty man and woman of valor…Climb out of the pit…Put on all the promise, potential and power of the plan God designed specially for you…He will provide the weapons of your warfare and send allies to fight beside you…God is with you, and His plan never fails.
3/6/2023Psalm 40:2 “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.”

In the days when judges ruled, the children of Israel found themselves in a rut. Joshua and Caleb, those mighty, faith-filled warriors, had died. The generation that rose up after them did not know God nor the work that God had accomplished on their behalf. The Jewish people cast off the truth of God’s Word and did what was right in their own eyes. They were surrounded by social chaos, political turmoil, and lawlessness.

Please understand that the Israelites were not ignorant of God. They had grown up listening to the stories of how Abraham believed for a son, how Jacob wrestled with an angel, how Miriam danced a victory jig. All around, they saw signs of God’s handiwork—here are twelve stones heaped up in the Jordan River where God rolled back the waters, and here are the ruins of Jericho where the walls came down with a shout. This generation knew God, but they chose to act as if He did not exist. They fell into the hands of the enemy who carried them away as captives. They were in a serious rut.

Have you ever found yourself in a serious rut? In the course of everyday obligations, it is easy to find ourselves overwhelmed, bogged down and stuck. Preoccupation with the demands of life can cause us to act as though God does not exist. When we neglect to pray, we cut off the communication line that speaks power into every area of our lives. When we ignore His Word in favor of other pursuits, we can cross over into lawlessness where we are buffeted by a culture that declares good to be evil and vice versa. The enemy can carry us off into confusion and chaos, doubt and disorder.

If you find yourself in a rut, be encouraged…Call out to God Who is attuned to your every cry…You are divinely positioned to be sprung…You are His lamb…He will leave the ninety-nine to search you out, lift you from the ravine, lovingly place you over His shoulders, and carry you back to the safety of the fold…He will spring you from the trap, the rut into which you have fallen to walk again in freedom and truth!!!
Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.”

Israel suffered under the Canaanite king, Jabin, for twenty years. The renowned general of his army, Sisera, commanded 900 iron chariots – more than any army in the Old Testament. These chariots were the tanks of their day – sleek, fast and deadly. Sisera horribly oppressed the Israelites until they cried out to God for help.

In response to their plea, God spoke to Deborah, the only woman to ever judge in Israel. She summoned Barak to tell him that “the Lord God of Israel” (Judges 4:6) commanded him to go fight General Sisera with 10,000 soldiers. God commanded! Not his father or mother, doctor or minister, but God Himself! He even promised unquestioned victory and to give Sisera into Barak’s hands.

And how did Barak respond? Did he suit up for war? Call for his sword and shield? Rally the troops? None of those things. He wimped out. He turned to the woman, the “weaker” fair sex, and staunchly declared, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!” (Judges 4:8)

Deborah did not flinch. Proving her strong leadership and faith in God, she agreed to accompany Barak on his campaign. Just as God promised, General Sisera and every man in his army fell to the Israelites that day. But the glory for the battle belonged to a woman – not to Barak.

What is God commanding you to do today? Maybe He has asked you to apologize for an offense. Perhaps He has instructed you to share the Gospel with a coworker. Has a habit taken root that He is asking you to lay aside? Is He asking you to initiate a new discipline? Do not ignore or postpone.

Even though Barak eventually proved to be a worthy warrior, his initial hesitation cost him. He faltered at the Word of the Lord. His misplaced faith – in another human instead of God – testified to his fear and inability to follow God without doubt.

Whatever God is prompting, obey without delay…Attune your ear to His merest whisper…Align yourself to His request…You can trust His direction without reservation…He is faithful to accomplish every one of His promises…He will bless your “Yes”!!!
3/4/2023Romans 8:37 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Every person that you meet today is facing a struggle. How they meet that struggle determines the outcome. Wimps run away. Whiners play the blame game. Warriors, though, refuse to point the finger or wait for rescue.

A warrior determines to engage the enemy. He polishes his armor and brandishes his sword. A warrior is not concerned with the number of the enemy. She doesn’t ask, “How many?” She says, “Where are they?” Warriors choose to take a stand. They do not feel their way into being a warrior. They contend with the same fears, doubts and distractions that assail us all, but they make up their minds to draw a line in the sand, to fight for right, to charge into battle.

The Bible teaches that every warrior needs three things:

Every warrior needs to remember the cause for which he fights. Fathers, are you contending for the faith of your children? Ladies, are you combating the tendency to over commit? Keep that worthy cause at the forefront of your mind. Pray without letting up. Take the necessary steps to protect and defend.

Every warrior needs a battle plan. Armies do not stumble over a success. Soldiers do not drift into a victory. Warriors without battle plans are casualties. Fight with focus. Be intentional. Ask for the intelligence of God to be poured out in you as you strategize for success.

Every warrior needs to remember in Whose strength you fight. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness (Ephesians 6:12). You have an enemy – the devil, the serpent of old. In your own strength, you are no match for him. Alone, you cannot go toe to toe. Jesus has promised to stick close to your side. He will not desert you on the battlefield. He will provide the mighty weapons you need. In His name, you are undefeatable.

Choose to be a warrior…Remember the cause for which you fight…Prayerfully create a battle plan…Be aware that you do not wage war in your own strength…When you do these things you will be a warrior that becomes a winner!!!
3/3/2023Romans 8:37 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Warrior. Winner. Whiner. Wimp.

We all know people who fit neatly into these categories. No pointing fingers! Eyes on the page!

We celebrate warriors. We enjoy winners. We are irritated by whiners. Who has any use for a wimp? Each of these people earn the title. While they may be greatly different, they have one thing in common: they earned the title they wear based upon how they responded to struggle.

A winner is not crowned as champion until she overcomes the struggle. A warrior demonstrates valor only when he endures the adversity of battle. We recognize the whiner right away when trouble breaks out and the complaining commences. The wimp invariably puts her faith in fear, her head in the sand, and waits for someone else to solve the problem. The common denominator is struggle.

Job assured us that struggle is inevitable: “Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). The headlines shout at us – global conflict, economic inequities, political stalemates, racial strife, class discrimination. No shortage of struggles exists.

On the home front, you may be wrestling with questions that seem to have no answers. You may be staring at a zero balance wondering when provision will come. You may be contending for a marriage that seems shattered beyond restoration.

In this world, we will have trouble (John 16:33). How will you respond? Will you engage like a warrior? Complain like the whiner? Or ignore it like the wimp? Rise up, and be what God created you to be – a winner!

Jesus Christ bought you with His blood, so you are able to stand and declare, “I am more than a conqueror!” You were born to win. When you came to faith in Jesus, an amazing transformation occurred: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Regardless of the circumstances or the person that you once were, the day that you received Him by faith, you were born to win.

Through Him, you are a warrior not a weakling, a vanquisher not a victim…The battle belongs to you as a chosen champion…You were born to win!!!
3/2/2023Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

God calls us to first love Him with all our heart, and that is reflected in what we put in the treasury of our heart. There are many things that people tend to lay up in their heart as treasure—money, time, career, family, pleasure—but Jesus cautioned that we should rather lay up treasure in heaven. That means we need to bring all our earthly treasures to God, including our families, and give them to Him to use for His glory.

This is easily seen in our attitude toward giving money. Whenever God sees us put more love into our bank accounts than we do into the King who died for us, He says there’s a problem in the heart. This is why the Bible says, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7 NKJV). If you cut God a million- dollar check with a begrudging attitude, the church board will be thrilled, but God won’t be because your attitude says more to God about the love of your heart than anything else. But if you have just a dollar to give and you’re delighted to give it, God loves it. It’s all about what’s in your heart!
3/1/2023Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

The promises of God’s Word may take longer to come to pass than your impatient self wants, but if you wait on the Lord, He will strengthen your heart and keep His promises. He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. He will make a way where there seems to be no way. He is the God who can do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask or think. He’s the One who said that when you call on Him, He will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you know not. He’s the One who said that He will provide your every need according to His riches in glory. He’s the One who brings you peace that surpasses understanding and joy in the midst of great sorrow. He is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

Wait upon the Lord for He is worthy…He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the fairest of ten thousand, the Lamb of God for sinners slain…He has conquered death, hell and the grave…He is your Savior, Redeemer and Good Shepherd – faithful and true…What a mighty God we serve…Wait, I say, on the Lord!!!
2/28/2023Psalm 63:1 “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.”

Have you ever read something in God’s Word and wished it wasn’t there? If His Word on certain points, such as “early will I seek You,” doesn’t line up with our will, we may try to forget or disregard it because we don’t want to do what it says. God’s Word sometimes requires us to change our perspective in order for us to be willing to accept it. But we struggle to want to conform to certain truths even though they are the very ones that can transform our lives to become what God wants us to be.

Let me remind you today that God desperately wants you to get to know Him. He’s made a way for you to have a relationship with Him that’s far greater than anything you could ask or think. But in spite of all He has done and can do on your behalf, until you’re willing, He will not. So for everything He can do, He won’t until you do. You have to seek Him, and by hearing His Word, you’ll begin to develop the faith that overcomes the world.

Child of God, whenever you begin to have faith in God and take a step in God’s direction, He’ll move heaven and earth on your behalf!!!
2/27/2023Acts 16:25–26 “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.”

Prayer is not getting God to do your will; prayer is getting you ready to do His will. In today’s Scripture, notice that if Paul and Silas had the kind of prayer life where they were going to talk to God about what they wanted, they would have said, “Lord, set us free!” Instead of asking God why they wound up in this difficult circumstance or asking Him to get them out of it, they were giving God thanks and praise. Even though they were still in prison, they recognized that He was still on the throne. And even though they didn’t necessarily understand why He allowed them to be put in prison, they believed that He was the God who could deliver them. Which is why at midnight they were singing hymns of praise to God; and suddenly, they were set free.

When you start talking to the King about who He is, about what He’s done, and about what He’s going to do, it means you’re willing to trust Him right where you are…And when you do that, all of a sudden, heaven and earth begin to move, the glory of God fills your life with power, chains of addiction are broken, and captives are set free!!!
2/26/2023Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Because this is the day that the Lord has made, it doesn’t matter if it’s a wonderful day or the hardest day of our life; we will rejoice and be glad in it. The reason we’ll rejoice is not because of the outcome, but because of the promise of what’s coming. Oftentimes we like to wait on the results before we start to celebrate, but the context of what David was writing about here was something that he didn’t live to see. He was talking about a day of salvation in which Jesus, the stone that the builders rejected, would become the chief cornerstone. David didn’t live to see that, but he said it because that day is coming. He was rejoicing in advance of its arrival because the One who promised it is faithful to complete it.

Child of God, you don’t have to wait for the mountain to move or the crooked place to be made straight before you can start rejoicing in the joy of your salvation, before you can start celebrating the great things that God has done because He can do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ever ask, think, or imagine…He is great and greatly to be praised…Rejoice in the Lord, and again, I say, rejoice!!!
2/25/2023Psalm 118:23 “This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.”

When God does something, man does not deserve one ounce of credit. That’s why all glory, all praise, and all honor are to Him alone. There are things that happen in our lives that we can’t make sense of. We did the best we could, but it was not enough, so God took over, and it was His doing. Don’t try to make heads or tails of it; just get on your knees and declare, “This is the Lord’s doing!”

Take a moment to consider all that God has done…Everything in your life is the Lord’s doing…Your salvation is by grace through faith, the gift of God that no man can boast…It is the Lord’s doing…Every ounce of success you’ve ever known is not because you are so amazing…It’s because God has given you the strength to succeed and the mind to achieve…It is the Lord’s doing…Every struggle you’ve made it through, every battle you’ve ever won is not because you are so brilliant in strategy or so capable…It’s because God has a plan to protect you and pull you through that storm and bring you to the other side…It is the Lord’s doing, and He is greatly to be praised!!!
2/24/2023Luke 11:1 “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

None of us just wake up one day as a prayer warrior; we learn to pray. The disciples saw very clearly what was happening in the ministry of Jesus. They saw Him walking on water after He had spent the night in prayer. They noticed that when He prayed, the fishes and the loaves were multiplied and fed thousands. They heard what He said when He drove out a demon—that “this kind” only comes out when you fast and pray. If the disciples knew they needed to learn to pray, don’t you think we should learn, too?

How was it that Christ had the confidence to say, “He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do” (John 14:12)? He could say that because He taught the disciples to pray. 

When you learn to pray like Jesus prayed, and you learn to walk in the power of the anointing that gave Him the ability to move heaven and earth, when you learn how to live the life of “greater things than these shall you do,” you have the chance to turn the world upside down…Enter into the power and the privilege you have when you are willing to learn to pray!!!
2/23/2023James 4:2 “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.”

You know that God can do more for you in a moment than you could do for yourself in ten lifetimes. But what if He is waiting on you to participate in the process? You may know exactly what you want God to accomplish in your life and believe that He has the power to do it. The problem is not that the provision isn’t made. The problem is you’re not reaching for the provision and doing what God has asked you to do.

Here’s what I mean. God will not answer prayer until you pray. God “will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” until you are giving (Mal. 3:10). God will not “forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” until we confess our sins (1 John 1:9). But the moment that you do, the moment you reach out to Him in faith believing, suddenly all of heaven and earth begin to move on your behalf because that’s just how much God truly wants to bless you. 

Take the step that God is asking you to take, and you’ll move in the faith that overcomes the world!!!
2/22/20231 Samuel 3:10 “Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, Samuel! Samuel! And Samuel answered, Speak, for Your servant hears.”

Many people dismiss the concept that God wants to talk with them. The devil doesn’t want you to ever believe that God would talk to you personally, so he’ll give you a list of reasons to not listen for God’s voice. But I believe that God talks to a lot of people who either have the mute button on, or they engage in selective hearing. Like my own children, who tend to hear what they want to hear from me, God’s kids tend to turn off what they don’t want to hear and listen for exactly what they want to hear Him say.

You really need to read the story of young Samuel in 1 Samuel 3. What would happen in your life if you took on his attitude of “God, speak to me. I’m listening to You?” And then, what if whatever He told you to do, according to His Word, according to His plan, according to His purpose, you had the faith to do? That’s the kind of communication and relationship God wants with you.

The prophet Jonah heard God’s still, small voice and did just the opposite of what he was told, so God turned up the volume by sending a big old fish…God always has the final word…
2/21/2023Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, Says the Lord, Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”

Most people consider prayer to be like a drive-through window. It’s where they pull up and don’t have time to stay, but they want to make sure their order gets in and they get just what they want before they rush away. They pull up to heaven, and God says, “Welcome to McHeaven. May I take your order, please?” As sad as that sounds, that’s what a lot of people think about prayer.

The first thing they…and we…need to know about prayer is that prayer is not a monologue; prayer is a dialogue. Prayer is not where I speak and God listens. It’s where God and I have a conversation. Not only do I get the opportunity to speak to Him, but God very dearly wants to speak to me. Prayer is how we invite the supernatural presence of the Almighty to invade our life. Prayer is where we take time to learn how God effectively communicates with us! Prayer is where we get to hear exciting things when we stop talking and start listening to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We get to talk to the Commander in Chief and ask Him what He wants us to do here on this earth so we can wage spiritual warfare and overcome the enemy.
2/20/2023Proverbs 3:1–2 “My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you.”

We live in a world that is suffering with a tremendous lack of peace. Perhaps you’re concerned about the chaos you see happening all around you. You’re wondering about the indecision of leaders and what direction our future holds. Today, God’s Word promises if you remember His commandments and do what He asks you to do, you are going to have length of days, long life, and peace. You can be supremely convinced that if you do God’s will in your life, you can have perfect peace that God is a problem solver, and everything is going to be alright.

His Word also says you will have “long life,” which is God’s promise that you will get to enjoy your years of living, not just live long…But what does it mean to have “length of days?” A life is made up of decades and years, but days are made up of hours…When you have a “length of day,” God is saying that whatever you put your hands to in a day’s work, God will pour His anointing upon it, and He will give you progress…Rather than struggle in your own strength, when you submit yourself to God’s Word, whatever you put your hands to is going to prosper!!!
2/19/2023Romans 15:4 “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

When you look back at what God has done historically, you can build expectation about what He can do for you. When you see how He consistently blessed Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, you know that if He blessed a father, son and grandson, He will bless you, your children and your grandchildren, too. When you look back at how He delivered the children of Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh and brought them miraculously from their past into the full potential of their future, you recognize that He can destroy every shackle of sin and set you free from every bondage and addiction that binds you. And you can, with comfort, declare that whom the Son sets free is free indeed.

When you read about the manna and the water from a rock in the wilderness, about Jericho’s walls that came down with a shout, and how a giant was defeated with David’s stone, you can trust God enough to declare in faith believing,“Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.” When you read how Jesus Christ touched multitudes of the sick and healed them all and how He fed the masses with a sack lunch, you know that our God is full of power and able to provide more than you could ask, think or imagine.
2/18/2023Mark 12:30 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”

When we hear the word “currency,” we immediately think “money.” But did you ever wonder what the currency of the kingdom of God is? What does God find valuable in our lives as a heavenly currency? For a heavenly kingdom, you must trade in heavenly currency, which Jesus defines in these words: “you shall love the Lord your God.” That is what God values as the kingdom currency.

The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13 that our intellect is not kingdom currency. He says that even if he knew everything there was to know, or if he could tell you everything that no one could figure out, he would be nothing if he didn’t have love. And if he could speak all kinds of languages, he would be nothing without love. And if he could do great things for people, even sacrifice himself for them, he would be nothing without love. Why? Because God only values love as His currency.

You might not think you have much to give God, but it’s not about money…The capital that you can give to the King is love from your heart, soul, mind and strength…Today, consider what you have to invest in His kingdom and be generous in the love offering!!!
2/17/2023Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding”

Trust is a deteriorating quality in today’s world. Coworkers play office politics because they cannot trust one another’s motives. The public doesn’t trust the government and vice versa. We have apps on our phones to check on the safety of our homes and bank accounts. We’ve learned how not to trust.

In the midst of a world where trust can be so difficult, you have every reason to fully trust the God whom you serve with your whole heart. When you see how He gave His only begotten Son to forgive and cleanse sinners, who sets free those who believe in Him and gives them everlasting life, you can declare, “If God is for me, who can be against me?”

The faster we trust the Lord, the farther we can go…The delay between us receiving His blessing and His willingness to pour it out is the time it takes for us to trust that His promise is true…The less time we spend worrying about what if and what will be, and the less strength we waste in our own effort, the more we are able to accomplish because God’s goodness is being poured out the quicker we trust Him!!!
2/16/2023Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.”

Oftentimes we get together and talk about things we’d like to change in the world. When we see the conditions of morality in this nation and the current direction our country is headed, and we know that many churches are abandoning the truth of God’s Word to be politically correct, it’s easy to feel hopeless because we don’t feel as though we have the ability, the power or the strength to make a difference. The reality is that not much will change until we talk to Someone who can change things. Regardless of how corrupt our world has become, the truth remains that this earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness. God is still on His throne, and He still governs the affairs of men.

If we want to see change, we need to talk to the One who can change it…The only One who has the ability to change the direction of this nation is not running on a party ticket…The only One who has the ability to fix what is broken in your world is the One who created it…And the only way to speak to Him is when you pray….Now is the time to pray!!!
2/15/2023Psalm 119:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”

Have you ever heard something that was so profound that you immediately knew it was important? And you told yourself, “I will never forget what I just heard.” Then on your way to the car, you ask yourself, “What did he just say?” The mind has a way of taking information in and doesn’t necessarily forget it or lose it; it just can’t remember where it placed it.

David said, “I’m not going to hide God’s Word in the filing cabinets of my mind. I’m going to hide His Word in my heart.” 

We need to place His Word as a treasure into our heart so that when life becomes overwhelming, we can open the treasure chest and receive what we need…When we’re in a hopeless situation, we will remember God’s Word because it’s our source of hope…When we don’t have the strength to carry on, we will reach into God’s Word because it will give us the power to take the next step…When the world around us is saturated in fear and afraid to move, we will go to the treasure of God’s Word and find courage because we know that we are more than a conqueror through Christ!!!
2/14/2023Job 37:5 “God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend.”

When we see what God does, we should marvel and give Him praise. When was the last time you just stood awestruck at God? It’s one thing when you see the waters of the Red Sea part, and then take the tambourine and dance and praise Him for His wonders. When you see Jericho’s walls fall or Goliath slain, it’s easy to be awestruck by God’s greatness.

But when was the last time you just closed your eyes in your everyday life, took a deep breath, and said, “My God, how great Thou art?” When’s the last time you got up to walk and thanked God that you could move? Or, you used your fingers and thanked God that you had strength? Or, you saw something beautiful and thanked God that He gave you the ability to see it? Or, you heard something wonderful and thanked God that He gave you the ability to hear it? When was the last time you said, “God, life is marvelous in my eyes, the way You’ve created this world, the way You’ve protected me and provided for me, and all the wonderful things that You’ve done?” Now would be a good time!
2/13/2023Matthew 21:42 “Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

The birth of Jesus Christ fulfilled every prophecy given in the Old Testament, and the life of Christ painted the exact portrait of the One who was promised. Every action that He took and every word He spoke shouted in agreement with John the Baptist, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” But regardless of all that He did to demonstrate who He was on the earth, the men in that day rejected Him. Why? Because Jesus was what they needed, but He wasn’t what they wanted. They needed a Savior; they wanted a king. They needed someone to forgive them of sin; they wanted someone to run Caesar out of town. When they saw His miracles and His majesty, they said to themselves, “Maybe this is the guy who’s going to bring back the good ol’ days.” But having seen the priceless gemstone of eternity, they walked away from the priceless treasure for counterfeit traditions.

What a joy to know that our Savior is not just another stone; He is the Stone that our faith is built upon…Never put your faith in something that can be substituted…You can take lots of stones out of a building and replace them, but if you take the cornerstone away, the building goes flat…Put your faith in the Chief Cornerstone…You can’t live without Him!!!
2/12/2023Lamentations 3:23 “They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”

People who live in the Rocky Mountains, looking at the same mountains every day, can easily take for granted the majestic sights and the peace that surrounds them. It may take a visit from somebody who lives in the flatlands of Kansas to help them recognize the wonders they’re taking for granted. Somebody who’s never experienced it before will be filled with amazement.

We need to guard against becoming so familiar and saturated with the good things God has provided us that we lose our wonder. Sometimes I think we forget the power of God’s Word because we have unlimited access to it. We have 24/7 access to Christian television and radio. There is no shortage of opportunities for us to worship with others and receive excellent preaching. Sometimes our abundance creates complacency, and we just start to take it all for granted when there are places in the world today where people are being persecuted even unto death for professing their faith in Christ.

Let us never become complacent in our walk of faith and lose our sense of amazement at what great things God has done for us…His compassions and mercies are new every morning…Take time right now and give Him thanks for His wonders!!!
2/11/20231 Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

If you ever feel overlooked for some reason, David knew what you feel. The day the prophet Samuel came to anoint one of Jesse’s sons for the throne, David’s family sent him out to the field. They didn’t see in David what God saw. He wasn’t considered worthy enough to even be considered by Samuel. David was overlooked and ignored until God reminded Samuel that man’s opinions do not determine one’s destiny. God Almighty is the One who ordained us. God Almighty is the One who says that when He begins a good work in us, He will be faithful to complete it. God Almighty is the One who makes the least one suddenly ascend to be the greatest.

Don’t let the small-minded perspective of others around you become your limitation…Believe in your life what David believed in his life: The Lord is on my side…God loves me, and He has chosen me…Nothing is too difficult for the Lord whom I serve…No giant is too big that God and I cannot take down…No valley is too great that God and I cannot walk through…No night is too dark that His Word will not be a lamp to my feet!!!
2/10/2023Exodus 3:14 “And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

Have you ever done the best you could in your own strength to help someone, but it wasn’t enough? Or you tried to make a difference at something, but it still fell apart? You reached out as far as you could, but in the end, your efforts weren’t even appreciated. And you told yourself, “I’ll never try that again. I try to help and just get my hand slapped.”

Moses felt that way. He was compelled to be the deliverer of God’s people enslaved in Egypt. It was God’s destiny for his life. But his initial attempt to intervene failed, and he had to flee to the backside of the desert. For 40 years I’m sure Moses told himself, “I’ll never try to help again. People don’t even care.” All by himself, Moses wasn’t enough. But at the age of 80, after one conversation with El Shaddai, the great I AM, Moses recognized that he suddenly was more than enough.

Child of God, don’t struggle in your own strength because it is “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord…Wherever God sends you, be willing to go, knowing that I AM is on your side, and He is all you need!!!
2/9/2023Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

When you first get married, you think the two of you know how to talk with each other. It’s only after being together for a long time that you come to understand what’s being said when no one else hears a word. You come to a communication level where your spouse can talk to you without saying a word. They give you “that” look, and you go, “I’m in trouble.”

When you begin to talk with God in prayer, you develop a relationship and a pattern of communication with Him in much the same way you develop communication skills with people whom you’re close with. You begin to know that it’s God who’s speaking to you, and you become familiar with who He is, what He’s saying, and how He communicates. You get to know Him intimately through His Word, through worship, and through prayer. You discover that God will tell you things that no one else will pick up on, not because He doesn’t want them to know, but because they don’t know Him in the way you do.

Be encouraged today that your relationship with God must be developed…Make it your daily priority to deepen your relationship with Him!!!
2/8/2023Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Trust in another person is developed with two fundamental elements—consistency and capability. When you find someone who’s consistent, you can trust them to a point. When you find someone who is capable, you can begin to trust them. When you find someone who is consistently capable, you can trust them more, but you know they will falter eventually and disappoint you.

While all that is true, we have to remember that the God whom we serve does not change and is always capable of meeting our every need. He is the God who is from everlasting to everlasting. He is the One who said His consistent goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life; that His angels would walk before you, clearing a path in front of you; that He would open every door that was closed. He is the God who can move every mountain and calm every storm. He is the One who said that every weapon that is formed against you will not prosper. He promised you that every power and principality would be bound and muzzled in His mighty name!

Believe God to move mountains in your tomorrows that are greater than any mountain He’s helped you overcome in the past because He is faithful!!!
2/7/2023Romans 10:1 “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.”

You may have heard it said that a prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian, but let me add that you’re not powerless if you’ll pray! You want power with God? Learn to pray. You want God’s blessings to be on your family? Learn to pray. You want your children to fulfill their potential in life? Teach them to pray. You want to know what it takes to change the world? Pray. Pray. Pray.

Do you have family members that you know need God in their lives? Pray. Don’t go to them and point out all their faults or quote 500 Scriptures about what would change if they would change. Don’t post little convicting messages on Facebook, hoping they’ll read them. 

Pray…Get on your knees and call out to God on their behalf…Bind every hindering spirit that is enabling them to run from the plan and purpose of God…Pull down every spiritual stronghold that would keep them from understanding the love, the grace, and the mercy of God…Command every power and principality in the heavenly places that would rise against them to turn from them…Pray that the Father will wrap His arms around them and bring them to the throne of His grace!!!
2/6/2023Psalm 105:19 “Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him.”

When Joseph was a teenager, God gave him a vision that one day he was going to rule. But Psalm 105 tells us that God sent Joseph into Egypt fettered with irons and shackled with chains from his teenage years well into his thirties. The word of the Lord tested him as he was thrown into a pit, then taken from a pit to a prison, and from a prison to the palace. Joseph was made to be a world changer, but first he had to go through the work of character development.

I believe that God wants to use you to change the world where He’s planted you. It starts with the people you know the best. Today you’re going to encounter family members, friends and coworkers that you know don’t know Jesus. You can help bring change to them by loving them with the love that God gave to you. What kind of love is that? He loved you unconditionally when you were dead in your sins, and it was only through His love that you found grace for salvation. 

When you’re willing to work on loving somebody like that, God will use you to bring change to your world…Ask Him today, “Lord, what work do You have for me to do for Your glory?”
2/5/2023Genesis 37:19–20 “Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!”

Joseph was rejected by his brothers because their father favored him, and there will be people in your life that will not be able to accept God’s favor upon you. There may be a season when they’re willing to walk with you. But when God begins to promote you because you trust Him, they’ll try to pull you down because God is taking you places, as He did Joseph, and they can’t stand it. If you’re wearing a burden of rejection that’s been placed upon you by those who should have accepted you but didn’t, whom you reached out to and have been shunned, whom you attempted to embrace and were denied, Joseph has a message for you.

It’s in those moments of rejection that you, like Joseph, have to stand firm in the faith that you are blessed and highly favored…Never hang your head because God is blessing you…Square your shoulders and declare, “God’s promise is my portion.His goodness and mercy follow me. He will never leave me nor forsake me”…The world may not like it, but the world didn’t give it, and the world can’t take it away…God has been faithful, good, loving and kind…If that bothers someone, they can take it up with Him!!!
2/4/2023Hebrews 11:24–25 “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.”

Everyone whom God uses must go through the process of work in order to become the person God wants them to be. Moses was born with all the raw ingredients of a deliverer and leader of God’s people. But if you follow his story, including his forty years of shepherding in the wilderness, it wasn’t until he was eighty that God began to use him to the fullness of his potential and purpose. It took a long time to prepare Moses to be the man that God wanted him to be.

As was true of Moses, who you are right now has all the raw ingredients for what God wants you to become so you can accomplish His purpose for your life. But there are still some things that need to be refined, some things that need to be added, and some things that need to be taken out. There are some tweaks and some changes that must be made if you are going to accomplish what God wants you to achieve in your life.

The question is, are you willing to do the work that is required to improve and become the best you can be for Him?
2/3/2023Psalm 22:3 “But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.”

You don’t have to be in a church service in order for God’s presence to inhabit your praises. You can be at home and turn your living room into a cathedral if you’ll start talking to God about who He is. Why? Because when you talk to God about who He is, you are praising Him.

Start saying, “Lord, You are the Ancient of Days. You met my needs in the past, You’re meeting my needs now, and You’ll meet my needs tomorrow. You’re the One who created the heavens and earth. That means that everything in my life that needs to be made new, You can do it because You’ve already done it before. You’re the Shepherd of the stars, and You’ve numbered and called them by name. You measure the mountains in a scale, and the hills You hold in a balance. You’re the God who has made the lame to leap and the blind to see. You are the King above all kings and Lord above all lords. Today I am speaking to God Almighty, and I declare that You are great and greatly to be praised!”

If you start talking to God you will have an audience with the Father!!!
2/2/2023Philippians 4:19 “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Today’s Scripture doesn’t say, “My God shall give me what I want.” It says that He’ll supply all my needs. I need a Savior. I need someone to wash sin out of my life. I need a scapegoat who can bear the guilt of my transgressions and iniquity and die in substitution of what I deserve. I don’t get what I want. But thank God, He loves me so much that He gives me the supplies I need.

I don’t know what you want in your life today, but I know that if you need something, Jesus Christ is all-sufficient. Jesus Christ is El Shaddai. He is a way maker. He is a yoke and bondage breaker. He is the Prince of Peace who can soothe your tormented mind. He is the Provider who can open up the windows of heaven and shower you with blessings that you cannot contain. He is the Healer who can touch a sick body and make it strong again. He is the Banner in battle who will give you victory when defeat looks imminent.

Stop begging God for what you want and start praising God that He has supplied your every need according to His riches in glory!
2/1/2023Psalm 100:4 “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”

An invitation to be with someone is a wonderful thing. When we receive an invitation, we suddenly recognize that someone has requested our presence; therefore, they must value us as important to them. Amazingly, our God has cordially invited us to enter into His presence to worship Him. Indeed,Jesus tells us that “the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23), meaning those who worship Him “in spirit and truth.” And because Jesus has conquered and is now our High Priest before the throne of God, we have the opportunity to enter into the King’s presence and worship anytime and anywhere!

But we must remember that this is our privilege…We have become such a self-serving society that we sometimes forget that it is our privilege to enter into the presence of the King…Whenever we come into His presence, our purpose should be to magnify Him, not gratify us…When it comes to worship, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a bad week, a bad month, or even a terrible decade—you’re not coming for you; you’re coming for Him…Remember, you have been cordially invited to enter His courts…Don’t ever take worship for granted!!!
1/31/2023Mark 7:28 “And she answered and said to Him, Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”

This woman’s statement is a cultural statement. She was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and because she was not of the children of Israel, she was an idol worshipper and considered to be a dog. In her desperation for her demon-possessed daughter, she recognized her great need for Jesus, and she would not let the cultural barrier stop her from establishing a relationship with Him. But Jesus tests her faith in Him by stating that it’s not good to give the children’s bread to the dogs.

Her response, “Yes, Lord” was a remarkable declaration of faith. Do you know that those are the two most powerful words you’ll ever learn to say? “Yes, Lord” is the response of a disciple who in following Jesus must deny himself and take up his cross when it’s hard. She agrees to His terms, and in that moment, Jesus felt her faith in agreement with His, and He knew that she was ready to receive the power of God in her life. She said, “If I can get a crumb from You, it is enough to bring deliverance.” 

Whatever you need, you have it in Jesus…You will receive that mountain-moving miracle when you believe that He is the only One who can make that miracle move!!!
1/30/2023Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Do you believe that your words are so powerful that they have the power of death and life in them? Notice how extreme those two positions are. God didn’t say that there’s a little bit of good and a little bit of bad in your speech. He didn’t say there’s a little sweet, sour, sassy or sincere. He said you have one of two things coming out of your mouth. One is life, and the other is extremely different, and that’s death.

How many dreams have been birthed by words of inspiration and hope? Words such as, “I believe in you” and “You can do it,” reminders that “all things are possible through Christ,” and statements such as, “God is able to give you exceedingly abundantly above all you could ask, think or imagine.” These are words that give life to your dreams. And how many dreams have been abandoned because of statements that have destroyed the thing that you desire in your heart? We can assassinate a dream and destroy a destiny with statements such as, “I don’t think so,” “You’ll never…” and “I doubt it.”

Today choose words of life from God’s Word that will change your life and others’ lives!!!
1/29/2023Mark 9:23 “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

What would you do today if you knew you couldn’t fail? What would you attempt to achieve if you knew you were going to succeed at it? The Bible says very clearly, “All things are possible to him who believes.” If you’ll go to work and trust in God, whatever you pursue for His purpose and plan for your life will come to pass.

What would be different in your life, in your marriage, in your family, with your children, in your finances, in your career, and in your physical body if you took the responsibility and made the commitment to work toward what you know God wants for you? That’s how God designed us—to believe what He has said and work for it. You have to consistently pursue your goals so you can accomplish what you set out to do. You cannot talk about what you want and not be willing to go to work for it. 

The difference between a wish and reality is work…The world is filled with those who talk about it…Don’t say, “Maybe tomorrow”…Make up your mind that right now is the moment that you’re going to begin walking toward the greatness that God designed for you in this life!!!
1/28/20231 Samuel 30:4 “Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.”

David and his six hundred warriors returned to their city only to find that their wives and children had been taken captive, their homes burned, and all their possessions had been taken. It was an unimaginable loss that broke every man’s heart, and they didn’t know what to do. The Bible says the first thing they did was to lift up their voices and weep until they could weep no more.

The world we live in is a heartbreaking place. Some heartbreaks and grief come without warning, and others come as the end result of rejection, betrayal or poor choices made over time. When your heart breaks, it’s right and good to cry. There is nothing strong about stoicism. David was brave enough to fight a giant. His men were so mighty that stories are still told about them today. Yet, these warriors wept.

But it’s what you do when the weeping is over that determines whether or not you’re going to be a victor or victim. In his great distress, David “strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” He refused to give up, and instead, rose up to be his best, defeating the enemy. You can do the same as David by tapping into the only true source of strength—our God!
1/27/20231 John 3:8 “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

Why did God send His only begotten Son into the world to go to Calvary, conquer death, hell and the grave, and rise on the third day? So that He might break the chains of sin from our shackled and tattered lives, mend our ruined lives, and give us the opportunity to see our lives changed, thus destroying the works of the devil. Every time you encounter Jesus’ presence, He has the ability to meet your every need according to His riches in glory. He can heal sickness in your body, lift the burdens and yokes off of you, and set you free from bondage and addiction. For whom the Son sets free is free indeed!

When you see what Jesus came to do, the first thing you have to ask yourself is whether you are willing to allow Him to do His work in your life. Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). 

You have to believe He can destroy the works of the devil in your life before He will…Today, recognize that you need to see Him as your only source and put Him first…Let Him in and let Him do His work!!!
1/26/2023Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”

If there was ever a time in our modern society when we needed to hear from heaven, it is now. We need God to move on our behalf each and every day to keep watch over us and protect us, to lead us and guide us.

We need favor and blessing of God upon our lives and the lives of our family members. We need an infusion of the Holy Spirit in our households so that we may dwell in peace even when it seems that all hell is breaking loose.

Remember, our God is a strong tower! We can run to Him in the day of adversity and be saved. He is all-knowing and all-powerful. You have never faced an enemy that could not be defeated by the almighty God. When things appear grim and you are surrounded by adversity, look to the One who holds the world in the palm of His hand—who knows your every thought and counts your every tear—and rest assured that everything is going to be alright.

You may feel like the only one on the planet who is trying to live a righteous life, but stand firm, persuaded that the fight belongs to the Lord…He will protect and sustain you when you put your life in the His capable hands…Our God is an awesome God!!!
1/25/2023Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.”

We all have fears. People fear failure, the unknown and change. People fear rejection, which is why they’re willing to morph into what other people believe they should be. People fear conflict, which is why they’ll do anything to avoid it. People fear death because they’re afraid that the promises of everlasting life might not be true.

Whenever I look for a profile of courage to encourage me, the shepherd boy named David, who faced a giant with a slingshot, tops my list. But for all his acts of courage, he said he didn’t just have a fear; he had many fears. And when he considered his fears, no matter what they were, he had one solution—to seek the Lord. When he sought the Lord, he was “delivered” from them, which means the fears were taken off of him, but he was not delivered from the situation. Suddenly in the midst of conflict, he had the courage to do what he needed to do to solve the problem, whether it was a giant or to rule and build the kingdom. 

Courage for David, and for all of us, is the strength to control our fears and to do what God calls us to do!!!
1/24/2023Psalm 25:2 “O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me.”

Today, I’m asking you to turn loose of the things that have held you back. Stop drowning in desperation and despair. Rise up! This year is going to be God’s year in your life. It is the year where doors will be opened in your favor while others will be closed that would cause you harm. Trust Him to handle things without trying to micromanage the details of your life. Turn loose of the reins and allow God to have His way in you!

This year, with the help of Almighty God, you can get over your heartaches, the rejection you’ve faced, and any controlling relationships! Get over what Satan has done to you, too! Turn loose of the resentment and bitterness…those who have abused you and lied about you. Turn it all over to the Lord and watch as your life becomes filled with joy once again.

Let the misery melt away…Let the Son shine in!!!
1/23/2023Psalm 23:5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.”

Our God is the God of yesterday, today and tomorrow. He’s the God who can go into your past and erase the pain. He’s the God who can make a way for you today. And He’s the God who’s already working out details in your future long before you arrive in your next conflict. God is the One who is there whenever and wherever You need Him.

You and I have a common enemy. Jesus called him a thief who comes to rob, kill and destroy. And whenever the devil comes against you, your family, your physical health or your finances, because God has already gone into your tomorrows, He pulls out a chair at a table of provision. He says, “Sit down and be blessed while I defeat your enemies, build your business, open the windows of heaven, and pour out blessings that you cannot contain.”

If you are going through a difficult time, recognize that God has already charted the course…He is not hemmed in by your wristwatch…He knew where you’d be today and was already working out the answer to your problem long before you knew the problem…So rather than worry about it, sit down at His table, be thankful and bless His name!!!
1/22/20231 Samuel 30:6 “Now David was greatly distressed … but David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”

Did you know that sometimes the most powerful motivational speech you’ll ever hear is the one you give yourself? That’s what David did. At the moment when he had suffered the greatest military defeat of his life and his own army was threatening to stone him, David found a way to strengthen himself in the Lord. There wasn’t anyone else to encourage him, so he made up his mind to encourage himself. He rose to his best when everyone thought he should be at his worst. He said to himself, “I might be knocked down, but I’m not staying down. I may be surrounded by bitterness, but I’m not letting bitterness get inside me. I’m not giving in to fear or worry. This did not come to stay; it came to pass.”

Today, decide that you’re not going to let anything get the best of you…Look yourself in the mirror and remember that people don’t see what God sees in you…When He looks at you, He sees a king or a queen…He calls you a joint heir with Jesus to His kingdom…He says you’re My child…You are the most priceless of all My possessions…I am the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and I’m on your side…Nothing is impossible with Me!!!
1/21/20232 Corinthians 10:4 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.”

What would happen if you decided right now that you were going to do everything in your power to make today count for something? What if you decided that when you prayed, it wasn’t just going to be another prayer, but it was going to be a prayer that makes a difference? Prayer is your privilege. Prayer is where you get the chance to reach heaven from down here on earth. So when you take the opportunity to come before God, make sure you come boldly and make it a prayer of power.

Use your prayer as a moment to pull down spiritual strongholds and powers and principalities that are set against you…Use it to bind what is coming against you and loose the power of God within you…Use it to shape the destinies of your children…Use it to conquer sickness in your body…Use it to defeat the giants that are standing against you…Use it to move heaven and earth…But whatever you do, when you open your mouth to pray, make it count!!!
1/20/2023Mark 7:2 “Now when the Pharisees and Scribes saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault.”

The Pharisees were of the right people and the right lineage; they just had the wrong approach. Rather than relate to Jesus Christ and what He wanted to do in their lives, they argued and found fault with Him based on their flawed religious knowledge. Jesus had already turned water to wine, fed the five thousand, healed lepers, walked on water, and raised the dead. Now the Pharisees come and just sit and watch to see what they can find Him doing wrong. Religious people always want to point out what’s wrong before they will talk about what’s right.

What did they find wrong to disqualify Jesus? His disciples ate bread with unwashed hands! The Pharisees had taken a law stated in Leviticus 16:28 that regarded the high priest washing before going into the tabernacle, and they built it into a long list of constant hand washings. That’s what religion does. You’re going to meet some religious people like that. Don’t become like them and start making a religion out of rules and regulations, building lists of do’s and don’ts. 

When you have a relationship with the Son of God who died for you and set you free, never let religion get in the way of loving and obeying Him!!!
1/19/20231 John 4:4 “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

If we’re going to be overcoming, triumphant believers, it’s time we rediscover our true identity. The way we triumph is not through force but with the power of God’s love through Jesus Christ. That kind of triumph comes from the God who is greater, and He placed that greatness in you. For greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world!

Our God is greater than every enemy because He took your enemies to a place called Calvary and conquered them there. He is greater than every sickness because He bore your sickness upon His back, and by His stripes you are healed. He is greater than every need because He will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory. He is greater than every bondage and addiction for He is the Anointed One who breaks the yoke of bondage and sets captives free, and whom the Son sets free is free indeed. He is the God who is greater than every mountain that you’re climbing because He can take that mountain and cast it into the sea. He’s greater than every sorrow because in His presence is the fullness of joy.

Don’t let the world weigh you down today…Our God is greater!
1/18/2023Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

For Joshua to become great, the first ingredient God told him he needed is courage. The second ingredient is to stay connected to His Word. In order for Joshua to be successful and prosper, he couldn’t just think about the Word, he had to live in the Word. God was saying “Keep this Word before your eyes in the morning and evening, in your mind during the day, and out of your mouth when you speak. Do whatever it says. If you’ll do this, no matter where you go or what you do, no matter the problems you face or the needs you have, no matter the giants that come against you or the cities that need to be defeated, no matter the land that needs to be conquered or the hour in which you’re living, you will be a success!”

God said it…observe it…speak it…keep it…don’t turn from it…and you’ll be successful wherever you go!!!
1/17/2023Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Our God is a God of new beginnings. Every twenty-four hours, He gives us a brand-new day; every seven days, a new week; every thirty days, a new month; every twelve months, a new year. And it is our prerogative to make sure that we maximize what God gives us every time He gives us the opportunity to do things new. I want to challenge you to unleash the power of God in your life and make a difference in other people’s lives more than ever before. Why every day? Because it’s not your day. Every day is the day that the Lord has made, and we, His children, should rejoice in it.

If you’re going to make a difference today, you have to decide what you will choose to do and not do, what you will choose to say and not say. If you’re going to see God’s greatness poured out in your life, you have to make up your mind that no matter what it takes, no matter what you have to go through, no matter what you have to do, no matter what you have to learn or become, you are going to make a difference.
1/16/2023Isaiah 62:1 “For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns.”

In March of 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. led many civil rights activists in a nonviolent demonstration from Selma to the capitol steps in Montgomery, Alabama. After a 5-day, 54-mile march campaigning for voting rights, King told the crowd, “There never was a moment in American history more honorable and more inspiring than the pilgrimage of clergymen and laymen of every race and faith pouring into Selma to face danger at the side of its embattled [African Americans].”

Linked arm-in-arm with the leaders of this march, front row and center with Dr. King, was a rabbi by the name of Abraham Joshua Heschel. This Hasidic rabbi was born in Warsaw, but ready to take action to support his friend, Martin Luther King, Jr., who was a staunch supporter of Israel and a very outspoken Zionist.

“Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality. Israel’s right to exist as a state in security is incontestable.”

Today, we honor the memory of a man who stood up for so many…until the day he sacrificed everything for his beliefs. May his memory be a blessing!
1/15/2023Matthew 4: “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

If you are a child of God, you are engaged in the same spiritual warfare that Jesus Christ faced in the wilderness temptation after His baptism (Matthew 4:1–11). The devil tried to get Jesus to question the Word of God, and that’s exactly what he’ll do with you. Jesus did not enter into a debate with Satan, but to each accusation, He answered, “It is written…” He spoke the Word of God, and finally He declared, “Away with you, Satan!” That being the weapon Jesus used, you need to do the same.

You drive the enemy out of your life by speaking the Word. When he tries to come into your finances, you drive him out by saying, “My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory.” When he comes against your household, you say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” When he comes against your marriage, you declare, “What God has brought together, let no man put asunder.” When he comes against your physical body, you say, “By His stripes, I am healed.” When he comes against your children, you declare, “No weapon formed against them will prosper.” You have power to drive the enemy out of your life in Jesus’ name!!!
1/14/2023Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Have you ever compared the difference between the power of God’s words and the emptiness of men’s wisdom? Men want us to live by their supposed wisdom, but the apostle Paul warns “that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5). Why? Because men’s statements may sound good, but they don’t work.

Here’s one example: “Just follow your heart.” Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” If you follow your heart but your heart is not filled with the Word of God, you’ll destroy yourself. David said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). He was saying,“God, if I don’t stay in close contact with Your truth, I won’t know the right way to go. And if I don’t follow Your light, I’ll go in the wrong direction. If I make it my way and just go by what I feel, I’ll destroy myself. I dare not follow my heart unless Your Word is in my heart, lighting the path of righteousness.”

Build your life on the only wisdom that is certain at all times— God’s Word!!!
1/13/2023Jonah 2:1-2 “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, And He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice.”

Many people say that Jonah was the wayward prophet, but he wasn’t wayward; he was stubborn. God spoke to him specifically that he was to go to Nineveh and tell the people to repent. But Jonah was so prejudiced against the people of Nineveh that he said, “God, I’d rather die than do that,” and so he bought a ticket to a boat going the opposite direction. Some people would say that the ensuing storm that God sent was His judgment on Jonah, but the storm was actually God’s grace. Sometimes difficult times are God’s way of getting our attention, and Jonah knew why it was happening. But even then Jonah did not fall on his knees and say, “Lord, forgive me. Make the weather better, and we’ll turn the boat around.” He was so stubborn that he preferred being thrown overboard. Now that’s hardheaded!

Some people also mistakenly say that Jonah’s being swallowed by a big fish was God’s judgment rather than His grace. But in His mercy, God waited three days for Jonah to finally say, “I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed.” That was all of grace and miracle-working power. Don’t mistake trouble for judgment when it’s really God’s grace.
1/12/2023John 4:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

If you read John 4, you know that the Samaritan woman whom Jesus had just met began to debate with Him about which mountain they should worship on. Jesus responded that worship doesn’t have anything to do with a place; it’s about how you worship. It has to do with what’s inside you. It has to do with the heart of worship—it must be in spirit and in truth.

That debate is not unlike what we sometimes hear today. Should we sing this way or that way, clap or not, lift our hands or not? Should we use a band like we’re at a concert? Or, should we sit in silent reflection? Do we really think that God prefers one over the other? I think what He said to Samuel still rings true today: “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Regardless of the style or quality of the music, regardless of the enthusiasm, regardless of the appearance, you might not have God’s presence. It’s only when you have the heart of worship that you have the privilege of being in His presence.

God is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.
1/11/2023Joshua 1:5 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”

For at least 40 years, Joshua looked to Moses as the great problem solver for the people of Israel. He had seen the miracles performed and heard God’s Word spoken through Moses. But Moses was dead, and now Joshua needed the same power to solve problems. Joshua’s time had come, and sooner or later, your time will come as well. God will direct you to lead something for His purpose. When that time comes, the only way you’ll succeed is if you engage with God and hear what He has to say to you. God will move you out of every comfort zone and into what I call “the God Zone” where you hear His voice.

Joshua is in the God Zone, and the Lord opens the conversation with this promise:

 “As I was with Moses, so shall I be with you.” God was telling Joshua the same thing He told Moses from the burning bush: “I AM the source of your power. I AM the One who parts the waters. I AM the One who rained manna on you in the wilderness. And I AM the same yesterday, today and forever.” He had been with Moses. He was with Joshua. And the same God is with you now!
1/10/2023Numbers 13:33 “There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

The twelve spies whom Moses sent in to report on the Promised Land saw the same things. Two of them declared in faith, “We are well able to overcome it.” The other ten said, “We are not able” because the people were “of great stature.” Giants were there who made them feel like “grasshoppers.” Now I’m a native-born Texan, and I know Texas tall tales when I hear them. Just do the math. If a grasshopper is an inch tall, and a man is five-feet tall, that man would have to be three hundred feet high by comparison. Those giants may have been big, but they weren’t that big. And while they were bigger than what the men of Israel could handle, they weren’t bigger than what God could handle.

We’ve all let our imaginations take over at times and made our problems too big for even God to solve…But when you keep your imagination submitted to God’s Word, suddenly, there is no problem that’s too big for God to solve…Suddenly, He will make a way where there seems to be no way…You might not know where your answer is coming from, but He’ll show you great and mighty things…Suddenly, you’ll be saying, “We are well able to overcome it.” That’s the God whom we serve!!!
1/9/2023Psalm 147:4-5 “He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.”

It is easy to forget how great our God is. Everything He has done is great. When He created the stars in the heavens, He made so many that we can’t begin to count them all. The deeper that scientists look into space, the more galaxies and countless stars they discover. And yet the Bible says God numbers the stars and calls them by name. God doesn’t look and say, “That’s star number fourteen trillion.” No, He calls it “Charlie.” How great is that!

That is amazing, but even more amazing is the fact that He created you…He knows you by name, He’s numbered your days, and He’s charted your course…Before He formed you in the womb, He knew what you would need in this life, so He equipped you with gifts and talents to use while you’re here so you can bring glory and honor to His name…He didn’t send you to the world to just exist or survive…He sent you here so that you would be more than a conqueror through Christ…Let the greatness of God arise in you, and let His enemies be scattered!!!
1/8/2023Isaiah 55:11 “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

On Wall Street they say, “Money never sleeps.” They want it to be constantly earning money, and to do that after the market closes, they invest their money in another market in the world so that it keeps producing. They want value to be constantly added.

The same principle applies to God’s Word: It never sleeps. It is constantly working in your life. God wants to invest in you so much that He bought you with the great price of His only begotten Son’s life. He is investing His Word in you, and it’s not going to return void. It’s going to accomplish its purpose in changing your life and causing you to prosper and grow. Whatever He has said He will do in your life, He will do it and nothing can stop it. No one can void God’s promises from working in your life. That promise that He’s given you may not show up for a month or a year, but it will come to pass. The apostle Paul said it this way: “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Be encouraged today: God’s Word is always working.
1/7/20231 Chronicles 29:11-12 “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all.”

Henry Taylor wrote, “The world knows nothing of its greatest men.” We as a world have deceived ourselves as to what greatness really is. We’ve taken the character qualities that make for true greatness, and we’ve substituted superficial things that really aren’t great.

Fame may get people to notice you for a while, but it will not bring you character, and character is what’s required for greatness. Money may enable you to buy and fill your life with a lot of stuff, but what good is that if you’re too tormented to enjoy what money has bought you. Money will not buy you peace of mind because peace was bought with the price that Jesus paid as the Prince of peace. Power may cause people to respect or even fear you, but you’ll constantly struggle to gain and maintain it.

In our culture, we think fame is great…money is great…power is great…But in reality, those things are anything but great…If anything in your life is ever going to be considered great, it must be in touch with the only source of greatness, the Almighty God…He alone is the greatness, and He alone makes great!!!
1/6/2023Psalm 100:4 “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”

My children know that whatever they need, I’ll give everything I have to supply it, but they can’t whine. I think God’s the same way in heaven. He doesn’t have a customer service department where you get to record your complaint calls. I don’t think He listens. Rather, He commands us to come before Him with thanksgiving and praise to bless His name! He says to give thanks “in all things,” and not just when everything seems right and you feel thankful. You have to be thankful “always.”

Did you know that the “gates” David wrote about were where the judges sat, and that the “courts” were where the judges ruled? What the Bible is saying is that if you want God to rule on your behalf, don’t go into the heavenly places complaining about what’s wrong. Rather, lift up your hands and say,“God, thank You that You’ve brought me through storms before, and You’re going to bring me through this one. Thank You that You’re going to give me strength to overcome, victory in this battle, and hope for tomorrow. Bring glory to Your great name!”
1/4/2023James 5:17 “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.”

James says there was nothing special about the prophet Elijah. He wasn’t an Old Testament Jedi. He was just a human being. But when you read how he faced 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, called down fire from heaven, and brought Israel back to worshipping the Lord, here’s what made him stand out.When God needed someone to take a stand for righteousness, he was willing to be used. He refused to spend his life complaining about what was wrong. He had the boldness to do what needed to be done when others were afraid to speak up.

In today’s world, God needs you to be willing to speak up for Him…He might send you to the boardroom to speak to people who are only concerned about the bottom line and tell them,“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?”…He might send you to your living room to declare that your family needs to be a household of faith…He might send you to the hallways of your high school to unashamedly tell your friends that you are a child of the living God…Whatever God wants you to do, have the courage to leave a mark!!!
1/3/2023Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

What is it that you want God to do for you, for your family, for your finances, in your physical body today? Whatever it is, no matter how impossible others declare it to be, regardless of whether or not you think it can be done, ask Him to do exactly what you’re looking for. In Jesus’ name, ask that whatever mountain needs to be moved will be moved. Ask that whatever door needs to be opened will be opened. Ask that whatever crooked way needs to be straight will be made straight.

Read Jesus’ words in today’s Scripture out loud and believe His promise. 

Every hindrance can be broken, and every chain of bondage can be destroyed by Him who sets us free…Those who are without hope can be filled with hope by the God of all hope…Families that are broken can be restored by our great Redeemer…Weak bodies can be strengthened and diseases healed by His healing touch…New business opportunities can be opened and favor rest upon you…You can be blessed in your going out and in your coming in from this day forward…So ask Him now and receive!!!
1/2/20232 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

When I was a kid, on one particular evening after dinner, I was headed to the back door to play when my dad called out, “Matt, where are you going?” I said, “Outside to play.” He responded, “No, you don’t go outside in the dark. Bad people come out when the sun goes down.” Whoa! That didn’t just stop me in my tracks, but I got so afraid of the dark that if you put me in a dark room, I’d light it up like a SWAT team rolled in! That sounds funny, but it became a very real problem for me. Finally, my dad told me that when I was lying in bed afraid, I needed to say today’s Scripture over and over until I fell asleep, and eventually, that living promise from God’s Word prevailed.

My fears have changed over the years, but this promise from God that I’ve taken as my own has not changed. As I look at the world my children are being raised in and the culture that the world is changing to, I continue to declare, “God, You haven’t given me a spirit of fear, but of power.” When you speak His Word, it is alive, powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword to bring you victory.
1/1/2023Deuteronomy 28:7 “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”

Happy New Year! Today I want you to see the walls of resistance crumbling before you. I want you to see God taking on your enemies and handcuffing them—they are powerless when you hand them over to the Lord. I want you to see the mountains of impossibility that you are facing being cast into the sea.

Start telling God the desires of your heart and watch as He begins to make your paths straight. Watch as He begins to bring things to pass in your life that you never thought possible.

Focus your faith on the outcome. Right now the circumstances may look grim, but these are just mere stepping stones in the overall story of your life. Keep marching forward. God sees your end from the beginning! Stay focused on Him!

I have read the book of Revelation, and we win! Great things are in store for you when you turn your life over to the King of kings!!!
12/31/20222 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Many of us launch into a new year with a handful of resolutions to make the coming months better than those we left behind. Jesus is the one path to true transformation.

When we welcome Christ into our ordinary lives, He transforms common clay into royalty. Everyday water becomes extraordinary wine. Unremarkable lives become trophies of His grace.

If you despair of a do-over, just look at the parade of people that Jesus granted new beginnings. A blustering, impulsive fisherman named Peter became a rock of the early church. From Christ-denying coward into a conqueror who was crucified upside down because of his radical faith!

John had such a hot temper that he was nicknamed “son of thunder,” but Jesus transformed him into an apostle of love. From the cross, he commissioned John to care for His own mother for the rest of her life.

Jesus transformed a Christian-killing, intellectual monster named Paul into a great evangelist and father of the New Testament church. And if He did it for them, He will do it for you!

When we plant ourselves in Christ Jesus – and He comes to abide in us – we have no need to fear the future…The old gives way to the new, and we are transformed to be like Him!!!
12/30/2022John 2:10 “And he said to him, ‘Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”

By all accounts, this year has seen its share of tragedy and trials. If you are exhausted and disheartened, invite Jesus into the situation. His presence changes everything – even when our circumstances do not.

When He was born, humble shepherds came to pay homage. Wise men traveled from the East with camels loaded down with priceless treasures for the tiny King. When He was twelve, He stole away to dazzle the most brilliant theological minds in Israel with His unusual understanding of the scriptures.

When a wedding disaster threatened the reputation and dignity of His friends, He turned water into wine and gladdened the celebration. In fact, He saved the best for last! His presence makes things better.

When He shows up, dead things come to life. Fear yields to hope. Disease yields to health. Poverty yields to prosperity. Depression yields to joy. Gloom gives way to glory. As the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, when He roars, victory comes.

As we prepare to turn the calendars to a new year, cast all your cares and anxieties on Jesus…Walk fearlessly into a new year filled with His hope and promises…Perhaps, He has saved the best ‘til now!!!
12/29/2022John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

At the border of the cross, God sent His One and Only Son to draw all people – whoever believes – back into relationship with Himself.

“Whoever believes” is more than an intellectual acknowledgment because even demons know about Jesus. This type of belief involves commitment, confidence, and identification with Jesus that leads to trust and obedience.

When the Light of the world came, He shone a light on our sin – not to shame or humiliate us – but to bring us to repentance. God goes out of His way to interrupt our lives to save us with limitless, unconditional love. Like all gifts, we have to reach out to receive it.

“Whoever believes” means that He allows us the choice. He is not a master puppeteer pulling our strings and forcing us to comply to His will. At the Cross, He lovingly provided a way home. He held nothing back; He gave all He could give. Now, it is up to you.

If you will choose to believe, He will give you a brand-new life…If you will choose to believe, He will lift the weight of your burdens…If you will choose to believe, He will break the chains that hold you down…If you will choose to believe, He will heal your broken heart…If you will choose to believe, He will give you a home and a hope. Will you choose to believe?
12/28/2022Mark 1:41 “Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, I am willing; be cleansed.”

The Son of God – sent by love, motivated by love, and reaching in love. We often see Jesus with His hands extended, reaching out to touch a wounded world.

He demonstrates His love with actions – reaching beyond racial, cultural, and gender barriers, beyond sin, shameful pasts, and societal condemnation, beyond time and space to heal and restore.

Standing at a well in the midday sun, Jesus reached out to the Samaritan woman. Rejected by Jews and Samaritans alike, Jesus gave her living water so that she never need thirst again.

The scribes and Pharisees caught a woman in the very act of adultery. Instead of pointing an accusing finger, Jesus challenged the man who was without sin to throw the first stone. When they retreated, He sent her home to “sin no more” with no weight of condemnation.

When the disciples shooed away the children, Jesus took them in His arms and blessed them. When the blind man came seeking sight, Jesus took Him by the hand. When the leper begged to be made clean, Jesus reached out and touched his diseased body.

At the border of the cross Jesus still stands with hands extended…He longs to gather every person under the shadow and safety of His wings…May He teach us to reach with the same love that drove Him to the ultimate sacrifice…He is right beside you…All you need to do right now is drop to your knees in humble submission and He will show you the way…
12/27/2022John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

Jesus’ claim that we would do greater works than He did seems quite preposterous when we consider all the works that He did!

Greater things than turning water into wine, healing incurable diseases, and raising the dead? Fueled by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, He assured us that we will do greater than these!

Every miracle consists of two parts: God’s part and our part. Jesus commanded the man who had been sick for 38 years to get up, pick up his bed, and walk. He was healed immediately (John 5:8)! Jesus urged the man with the withered hand to stretch out the useless limb. When he obeyed, it was fully restored (Matthew 12:13).

Jesus told the blind man to go wash in the pool of Siloam. When he splashed the water on his eyes, he came back seeing (John 9:7). When the wine ran out at the wedding where Jesus was a guest, His mother instructed the servants to do what Jesus said. She trusted Him to help His friends.

When we demonstrate our faith by our actions, we will do greater works…When we listen and obey, the best is yet to be!!!
12/26/20221 Peter 2:7 “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious”

To us, a Child was born, a Son was given. However, a gift must be accepted before it can be received. If we refuse the proffered gift, it does not belong to us.

The most important question you will ever answer is this one: Have you accepted the gift of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ? Have you received Him as Savior and Lord? If you have not opened your heart to invite Him in, this gift of salvation is not yours.

Attending church services, singing songs, giving generous gifts or doing good deeds does not make us His. Only through confessing Him with our mouths and believing in our hearts do we gladly accept the gift of salvation to become His children.

Without Him, we are still dead in sin…We have no claim to His joy or peace, no authority to bind the powers and principalities of darkness…Our names are not recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life…No mansion awaits us in heaven…For those who do believe and accept Him, He is precious…He is Wonderful, a Counselor Who holds the answers to all of life’s issues…He is our Mighty God, our powerful Defender…As our Everlasting Father, He loves, accepts, and adopts us…We rest securely in the Prince of Peace…Accept the gift Jesus Christ has to offer…Hold out your hands and your heart to receive this incomparable Gift!!!
12/25/2022Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

When we are children, Christmas Day possesses a special kind of magic all its own. As adults, we still experience that sense of awe as we consider the reason that we celebrate. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be known as Wonderful – full of wonder – and oh, how we know it to be true.

Come, stand under a night sky with poor, work-worn shepherds as the stars are eclipsed by a multitude of angels singing God’s glory. Hurry along with them to gaze in awe at the holy Child that inspired a heavenly choir.

Come, travel with a caravan of kings in search of an even greater King. Follow a path lit by His blazing star to fall to your knees in adoration and worship. Bring out the greatest gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh – and know that even these are too little to honor Him.

Come, linger inside a stable filled with mellow lamplight, the snuffles of farm animals, and the cries of a newborn Child. Stretch to get a glimpse of the reverence on the faces of the young parents as they carefully swaddle this promised Babe.

Today, may your home be filled with the light and the love of that first Christmas night…May you draw near to worship and adore our King…May you reflect and rejoice in Immanuel – God come down to us…His name truly is Wonderful!!!
12/24/2022Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

The prophet Isaiah spoke of the coming Messiah – from the cradle to the cross, His mission and majesty. He looked ahead to a time when the government would rest on His shoulders, when He would rule from Jerusalem, and exercise dominion over the whole world.

God has established Jesus as King over an empire that will never be destroyed and will stand forever (Daniel 2:44). The Lord’s Prayer makes it clear that His is “the kingdom and the power and the glory forever” (Matthew 6:13).

When Christ returns to earth the next time, He will set up His kingdom on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem…Kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers from all corners of the earth will come to pay Him homage…Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…Peace will settle over all people as His glory floods the earth…Weapons will be destroyed…Armies will be dismantled…Jails will close down…Hospitals will sit empty…The lion will lie down with the lamb…Jesus, the Word of God, will have the final say as He sits on the eternal throne of King David…Of that government, there shall be no end!!!
12/23/2022Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

During this Christmas season, we celebrate the Child that was born, and we rejoice that God’s Son was given to us. The word “given” speaks of the preexistence of Jesus. He existed long before He was born here on earth.

Jesus was there – with the Father and the Holy Spirit – when this universe was only a brilliant idea. He was there at the dawn of creation when God spoke light into being, set the boundaries of the oceans, and flung the starry host against a velvet sky. Jesus was there when the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Jesus was there when Abraham climbed Mount Moriah with Isaac, the son of covenant. He was there when Moses stretched the rod over the Red Sea. He was in the fiery furnace with the three Hebrew children who did not bow, bend, or burn.

He is Jehovah Shammah – the Lord Who is there…He is there to catch our tears when our hearts are broken…He walks beside us to the grave of a loved one…His hand is on our shoulder when the doctor pronounces a dire diagnosis…He will never leave…To us, God gave His Son now and forever!!!
12/22/2022Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Jesus’ earthly journey began like any other infant’s life. He was born of a woman, naked and helpless like every baby. This speaks to us of Christ’s humanity.

As He grew, He wept like we weep. He experienced the same sorts of impulses we do. He endured scandal and heartbreak. His birth was questioned. He was persecuted for His religious beliefs. He was acquainted with racial hatred as a Jew living in a Roman Gentile world. He suffered betrayal at the hands of His friends.

He knew injustice. When Pontius Pilate exclaimed, “I find no fault in this Man,” the trial should have ended according to Roman law. Pilate was not seeking the truth; he was attempting to appease people. The judicial system failed Jesus.

Hebrews 4:15 assures us that Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses, because He was tempted in every way that we are, but He did not sin. Now, as the resurrected Son of God, He has given us the power to be victorious in every crisis. He has given us the ability to prevail.

Satan is a roaring lion seeking to devour, but the Child born to us was the Lion of the Tribe of Judah that crushed him completely!!!
12/21/2022Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Christmas is the celebration of a Child, God’s indescribable gift of love to us. He is the Light of the world, our Hope of glory.

When God planned to conquer Pharaoh and destroy Egypt, He sent the baby, Moses, to smash the oppression of slavery that held Israel captive. When God decided to expose the sins of Israel, He sent the prophet, Samuel, as a baby who went on to judge Israel all the days of his life (I Samuel 7:15).

When God set His plan in motion to vanquish Satan and his evil empire, He sent another Baby – His only Son – to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem’s manger. Jesus did not come to earth to establish the commercial chaos that we call Christmas.

He came to fulfill the promise that God made in Genesis 3:15 – Jesus, the Seed of the woman (Mary), would crush the head of the serpent, Satan, once and for all! His arrival marked the beginning of the battle for our souls. He came to redeem and set us free.

God came near…He wrapped Himself in flesh and came as a Baby to live among us…He is not a far-off God, unaffected by our plight and untouched by our dilemma…He is Immanuel, God with us!!!
12/20/20221 John 5:11 “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”

Our words have weight. Our stories have significance. Proclaiming them holds power.

Romans 10:9 tells us that we must believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, AND we must openly acknowledge Him with our mouths. Believing in our hearts makes us righteous before God; confessing it with our mouths confirms our salvation. Saying it out loud makes it so!

Overcoming power is found in sharing our testimony – the story of God at work in our lives. And that overcoming power is not just for us; it is for the people who hear our stories and are captivated by the ways that Jesus Christ has taken up residence in our hearts and has enriched every aspect of our lives.

When we say it out loud, we welcome others into hurts that we have experienced…More importantly, we point to a Healer that made us whole…We were dead in sin…but He has given us abundant life…We were lost and alone…but He adopted us into His family…He broke the chains of habits that diminished our lives…When we say it out loud, others are drawn to this lovely Light…They find reason to hope again…They find strength to fight another day…They find tools to try once more…They find a Savior Whose love changes everything…Say it out loud…Testify!!!
12/19/20222 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

God often asks us to let go of a good thing before He will place the better thing into our hands. If He is out in front, pulling us into deeper waters, we cannot stay in place. We must close our eyes, suck in a great gulp of air, and make the leap of faith.

Better waits in the upcoming year! God is weaving all the pieces of our lives together for the good. We are not stuck in a forgotten place. We are divinely positioned, so that we are being changed from one degree of glory to the next, in ever-increasing brightness and beauty, to look more like our Father.

When we act like a child clinging to the edge of the pool, He urges us to let go of that comfortable spot – from the only life we know – to take a leap of faith. Even as He backs up a bit, He encourages us to keep breathing, to keep kicking. He promises to always be there, alert and ready to scoop us up.

Let go of whatever holds you back…Take that leap into His waiting arms…Every breath makes us bolder…Every kick grows our confidence…The risk is worth the reward!!!
12/18/2022Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

As we look forward to a new year, many of us can honestly say that we really do not know where we are going. As long as we are focused on the One Who does, we can trust that we are headed in the right direction.

Scripture reminds us to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts. Our feelings reside in our hearts, but our faith must take precedence over our feelings. To put our hope and confidence in God, we must hand our hearts over to Him.

Proverbs goes on to warn us not to lean on our own understanding. We process and store an overwhelming amount of information in our minds. And it is here that the Enemy aims his fiery darts!

He attempts to persuade us of lies that are contrary to God’s truth. Our understanding becomes our crutch. Instead of focusing on the Lord’s reliability, we trust in our own instincts which lead us astray.

Therefore we must acknowledge God…We must remember and rely on His guidance in every path we take…We must listen for His words to direct the choices that we make…We must take His hand like a child and follow where He leads – into a new year bright with hope and promise!!!
12/17/2022Hebrews 11:11 “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.”

By faith, many of us received the promises of God and have believed for the fulfillment of His word to us. We have held on until we are exhausted and disheartened – with no answers in sight.

Sarah must have stood in that same place. After years of suffering the devastation of infertility, she laughed when God promised her a son. Then, He waited 25 years to fulfill that promise! She was well past childbearing age, and Abraham also was “as good as dead” (Hebrews 11:12).

But something in her refused to lay down hope. She judged God faithful. She considered Him reliable; she trusted that He would be true to His word. In spite of what others said, in spite of the evidence in her own body, in spite of God’s delay…she believed.

And God not only kept His promise, but He gave her the strength that she needed to conceive, carry, and deliver the long-awaited son. True to God’s word, their descendants were as numerous as the starry host and the sand along the seashore.

If God promised a baby, paint the nursery…If He said that wayward child would come home, save a seat for her on Sunday…Like Sarah, judge Him reliable…He is the Faithful and True!!!
12/16/2022Hebrews 11:1-2 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.”

We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, those who have gone on before us in the Lord (Hebrews 12:1). Their stories testify of the faith that made them right with God.

One of those elders is Abel. By faith, he offered an acceptable sacrifice. If he were called as a witness, he would testify that God honors faith. Even though his life was cut short when his brother murdered him, Abel’s impact has lived beyond the grave. God did not allow him to be forgotten; He rewards those who diligently seek Him.

Another one of those witnesses would tell us that if God says it, He will do it. By faith, Noah built an ark. Faith made him look foolish! He chopped down trees, hammered boards, built scaffolding, and planned for the storm. He was the talk of the town! Decades later, he was just the crazy old man who believed God would still keep His word. And 120 years after the promise, God closed the door of the ark and opened the skies.

Keep holding on for an answer…People may be calling you foolish for believing in a miracle that has not come…Do not be discouraged…God honors faith…If He made a promise, He will keep it!!!
12/15/2022Hebrews 12:1-2a “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

The author of Hebrews urged us to hone in on the one thing that helps us run well and cross the finish line victoriously: look to Jesus!

Do not get distracted by doubts and debates, feelings and facts that slow our progress. Shake off the sin that traps and trips us up! We cannot run well when our shoulders bow under the weight and our feet are held fast in the vice of sin. Strip them off, and run for the prize!

When the road gets long, the Spirit comes alongside to comfort and guide…When the scorching sun parches our throats, the Living Water quenches our thirst…When our feet drag through the valley of the shadow of death, He lights up the dark and bolsters our courage…Focus on Jesus…Let’s fix our hearts on Him and set our faces like flint towards the Author and Finisher of our faith…The One Who began this good work in us will faithfully complete it…He sets us free to run in the path of His commands!!!
12/14/20222 Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

To take that proverbial leap of faith and place our trust firmly in God, we often must overcome two very significant adversaries: feelings and facts.

Our feelings fluctuate depending on what is happening around us. One moment, we are brave; the next, we are shaking in our boots. One moment, we are quiet and content; the next, we are spewing rage and dissatisfaction.

We cannot rely on feelings, because they lead us astray. Jeremiah declared that our hearts are deceitful, that no one can truly comprehend how wicked we are (17:9). We must live according to the truth found in God’s Word, not by what we see or feel.

Facts can fool us too. Statistics are not stacked in our favor. The diagnosis is dire. The future appears futile. However, faith says we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us.

Faith tells us that, with God, all things are possible…Our faith often does not align with our feelings…It will lock horns with the facts…But we can fix our faith on a God Who never fails…God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity…He empowers us to be bold, loving, and sound in mind…No need to be overwhelmed with negative feelings…No need to be dragged down by opposition to God’s truth…We walk by faith in an unfailing God!!!
12/13/2022Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

If we are going to receive the unexpected, overwhelming, beyond-what-we-can-imagine goodness of God, we must willingly make a leap of faith into the hand of a God Who will never fail us.

God has already proven that He will do whatever it takes to rescue us – even to the extreme of sending His cherished Son to save us from our sins. He has already demonstrated that He is a generous provider – opening the windows of heaven to pour out overflowing blessings.

He has shown us that He will deliver His own – from a worldwide flood to a fiery furnace to midnight chains in a prison cell. He did it in the past, so we know He will do the same in the here and now.

As we prepare to turn our calendars, we expect that the goodness of God is already waiting for us in the coming twelve months…We have no need to be anxious, no need to fear what the future may bring…He has already proven His unfailing faithfulness…When our faith is firmly fixed in Christ Jesus, all things are possible…No matter what lies ahead, He has made us more than conquerors!!!
12/12/2022John 4:23 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”

God created the heavens and the earth from nothing. He formed the man and woman and spoke all life into existence. Yet, our all-powerful Father, Who needed no outside assistance or resources, is looking for something.

He is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. He is not concerned with outward appearances or obsolete traditions. He is looking for those who will bow in His presence and lift up hearts filled with genuine adoration.

In 2 Chronicles 16:9, we learn that the eyes of the Lord are running to and fro throughout the whole earth looking for those whose hearts are loyal to Him; He wants to strengthen and support His children who are wholly and completely devoted to Him.

Too often, we have behaved like disgruntled children, unhappy with our lot and ungrateful for the gifts we have received, demanding more and better…When the wise men followed the star to Bethlehem, they must have been surprised to discover a child, but they fell on their faces and worshiped Him wholeheartedly…We now know how that Child turned the world upside down…Our lives will never be the same because of Him…As the Father’s eyes roam the earth, may His search stop here as He finds us worshiping in spirit and truth!!!
12/11/20222 John 1:3 “Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.”

God is the Master of unexpected gifts! Grace and mercy are two of His best. We can extend those same gifts to others.

While we were still sinners, God demonstrated His love by sending Jesus to die for us. His grace gave us what we did not deserve and could never earn. He accepts us just as we are, because He knows what we can become in Him.

God has the divine right to judge us for all of our offenses. He offers us mercy instead. Every morning, His mercy and loving kindness are fresh and new for us. He does not give us the judgment we rightfully deserve.

What unexpected gifts grace and mercy are in this cruel and critical world! Instead of allowing imperfections and irritations to build up walls, could we bridge the gap with His grace and mercy?

Because God accepted us in the state we were in, we should accept people just as they are with grace and faith in a God Who has a better future for them…We should choose not to judge and condemn, because God has given us mercy and compassion instead…Let us choose to be grace-givers and mercy-mongers…Here lies the secret to peace on earth and good will to all people!!!
12/10/2022Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

What if, this Christmas, we determined to give our neighbors the same gifts God so freely gives to us? Rather than the person who lives across the street, maybe the neighbor we need to forgive is our parent, sibling or child.

Many families play the game of pretense at the holidays, sitting together but seething with resentment and unexpressed anger. We place a gift card in an envelope or wrap a present in pretty paper when what we really need to give is the gift of forgiveness.

Could we love our neighbor – or friend or family member – enough to give what Christ has generously provided for us? Jesus taught us to pray that God would forgive our trespasses as we forgive the ones who trespass against us. We plead, “Forgive me, God, for what I owe You, as I forgive others for what they owe me.”

Unforgiveness is a you-owe-me. You owe me an apology for what you said, what you did, what you did not do. And that may be absolutely true! But God presses us to give the unexpected. In fact, He tells us that if we cannot extend pardon to our offenders, He cannot forgive us for what we owe Him.

With His strength and love to empower and guide, give the unexpected gift of forgiveness this holiday season…The freedom it brings is cause for celebration!!!
12/9/2022Luke 10:27 “So Jesus answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself’.”

One of the greatest gifts we can bring to Jesus Christ is the act of fully surrendering our lives to Him. He surrendered His life for us.
Do you love Him with all of your heart? Have you turned over your relationships, career, possessions, and dreams for the future? Wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart can be found.
Do you love Him with all of your soul? When we come to the end of our logic, we can relinquish our control and trust Him with the outcome – even when our faith seems unreasonable.
Do you love Him with all of your strength? He gave us natural abilities to utilize for the kingdom of God. All of those gifts are for use in His purposes and for His glory.
Do you love Him with all of your mind? The greatest wars we wage occur right between our ears. We must cast down anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
Do you love your neighbor as yourself? Jesus came to us, reached out to us first. Are you extending a hand to your neighbor, preferring them, lifting them up, and meeting their needs? Surrender your life to the One Who laid down His.
12/8/2022Matthew 2:11b “And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

When Jesus wrapped Himself in flesh and was born to a virgin, wise men from the East came searching for Him. They did not come empty-handed; they brought gifts for the tiny King.

When they found Him, they fell down to worship before they opened up their treasures and presented offerings to Him.

The gold they gave provided for Mary and Joseph’s flight to Egypt after Herod’s evil decree to murder all the boys who were two years old and under. Before the need arose, God knew that the poor carpenter would need travel funds to make their getaway.

The frankincense and myrrh hinted at Jesus’ ministry. He was anointed to heal and set free, to break the yokes and lift the burdens. These gifts also pointed to His death. He was born to die, so that we might live.

As Christmas approaches, bring your gifts to the King…Celebrate His advent with exceedingly great joy…Come into His presence and bow to worship…Like the wise men of old, bring the gift of your attitude – a humble adoration that celebrates His arrival…Like they did, focus all of your attention on the One Who came for you…Determine to seek Him until you find Him – no matter how far you must travel or how difficult the journey…Bring your gifts to Him!!!
12/7/2022Matthew 2:11 “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.”

During this joyous season, we reflect on Jesus, the greatest gift God ever gave. And if He freely sent us His precious Son, we know that He will not withhold any good thing.

The wise men followed the star to Bethlehem with “exceedingly great joy” (Matthew 2:10). They had pursued its light until it led them to Jesus. They were drawn irresistibly to worship this King of the Jews.

When they entered the house, they did not introduce themselves, proclaim themselves ambassadors from a foreign land or dispute the validity of His claim to be King. They simply wanted to thank Him for coming. He was the beautiful fulfillment of a long-ago promise.

In humility, they fell down and worshiped this young Child. These were men with power, position, and prosperity. They had traveled by caravan from afar, their camels loaded down with expensive gifts for the tiny King. Before anything else, they fell to their knees and poured out their adoration and gratitude.

The journey to this Christmas holiday may have been an arduous one this year…As we enter this season of light and love, let us do so with exceedingly great joy…Like the wise men, let us welcome Him into our world…Let us bow in humble adoration to our King…May the Lord bless you and keep you…May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace…Emmanuel – God with us – has come to stay…He will never leave you…Come into His presence with rejoicing and adoration!!!
12/6/2022Matthew 2:1-2 “…behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him’.”

One star blazing in the night sky was so compelling that the wise men of the East loaded their camels with expensive gifts and followed its light to Jerusalem.

King Herod was the highest official in the land, but they were intent on finding another king. “Where is He?” they fervently asked. And their next declaration was most interesting!

“For we have seen His star….” They had not been captivated by a peculiar or particularly bright star. The adjective they used was quite specific; they had seen His star. Of the millions of lights in the sky that night, only one announced, “Jesus is here.”

In this life, we are enticed by many distractions…Our eyes are drawn to look, and our ears are lured to listen…Many paths promise to be the proper one; many roads seem the right one…People look to money or relationships to find wholeness…They believe that their good works or intellect can save them…Only one Star leads to heaven, and His name is Jesus…He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life…His is the only Name under heaven by which we can be saved…Let us come to worship Him!!!
12/5/2022Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’.”

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We were prisoners because of the crimes we had committed – slaves to sin, estranged from God.

We sat on death row, awaiting the punishment for our wrongdoing. We were guilty, and the death sentence was just. But the Father did the unexpected when He sent His Son into the penitentiary.

He took our place and allowed us to walk out free and clear. He covered our debt, so justice was paid. He wiped away our record to give us a clean slate, a new beginning.

Even more unexpected than our redemption is the fact that He wants to adopt us. Often, when prisoners are released, they have no place to call home, no family to receive them, no purpose to inspire them.

God adopts us as His own children…He welcomes us into His family…He calls and commissions us…His Spirit in us causes us to cry out, “Abba, Father,” the most intimate, tender exchange between a Father and a child…If we only accept redemption, we merely receive a portion of what God intended…When we accept the grace of His adoption, we look like the sons and daughters He created us to be – the spitting image of our Father!!!
12/4/2022II Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

As believers in Jesus Christ, we can count on our tomorrows being better than our yesterdays. The Spirit of God works in us, with ever-increasing splendor, so that we become more and more like Him.

Too many children of God believe that their best is behind them. They look back at the mountaintop experiences, the miracles that God did, or the way He moved back then, and they are not convinced that He still does the impossible.

God has more for us tomorrow than He has today. The triumphs of yesterday are wonderful reminders of what the Lord did in a past season, but they should not be where we hang our hopes and expectations. We should carry those memories into the future, believing that He can do it all again.

God healed the blind eyes, the deaf ears, and the lame legs in the past, and He still heals today…God provided for the destitute widow, and He still meets our needs today…God saved the jailer and his whole family, and our children are not beyond His reach…His performance in the past builds our expectations for the future…He takes us from glory to glory!!!
12/3/2022Job 36:22-24 “Behold, God is exalted by His power; who teaches like Him? Who has assigned Him His way, or who has said, ‘You have done wrong?’ Remember to magnify His work, of which men have sung.”

When we consider only the things that we know, our expertise limits our expectations. We fail to account for a sovereign God Who knows all things.

He understands things that we have not even considered. Not only does He know about our current needs, He was aware of them before we even knew they existed. When we bring our request to Him, He already knows how He will solve it.

Yet, we often argue His answer. We tell Him how to figure out what He has already solved. If His response does not look like we expected, we accuse Him of doing wrong. Wouldn’t it be wiser to trust in a God Who can accomplish much more than our expertise leads us to expect?

If we had relied on our expertise, Mary would not have experienced a virgin birth…Jesus would have never fed 5000 with a few fish and loaves…Lazarus would have remained in a tomb…The way of the Cross would not have led to redemption…Death would not have given way to victorious, overcoming life.

In our expert opinion, none of that makes sense! None of that should have happened. But God specializes in the unexpected, and we can trust in His right way!!!
12/2/2022Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!”

We can expect the unexpected when we have put our faith in the Lord. But do not expect His reply on our timetable!

We often bring our petitions to the Lord and expect Him to answer by the close of business today. We place time restrictions on God and grow impatient with Him when He does not respond to our demands.

As we expect the unexpected, we must remember that His thoughts and ways are much higher than ours – beyond our understanding and explanation. Abraham waited 25 years for the son that God promised him. Sarah was 90 years old when she gave birth to Isaac – that was unexpected!

Moses was 80 years old when God sent him back to Egypt to lead the children of Israel out of slavery. He considered himself a failure, but God had the unexpected in mind!

When we trust God’s timing, He will part the waters, move the mountains, and make a way through the wilderness of impossibility…In the fullness of His time – when we are led by His Word and His Spirit – He will orchestrate every detail for the right-on-time arrival of our blessing…Our responsibility is to trust His timing and wisdom in the waiting…He will keep us in perfect peace when we focus on Him…In His good time, we can expect the unexpected!!!
12/1/2022Psalm 145:7 “They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness.”

Our expectations are not just built on faith. The things for which we hope and believe are influenced by how people have acted in the past.

Our expectations are determined by what others have done. People may have failed to fulfill our hopes, discouraged us, and let us down. There is One, though, Who never disappoints those who put their trust in Him.

Consider the powerful gift God gave us through His Son. God clothed Jesus in our unrighteousness, so we might wear robes of royalty. Christ went to the grave where we were supposed to lie to give us everlasting life instead.

He rose again – victorious over death, hell, and the grave – so we could be more than conquerors. He emptied Himself, so we might be filled with His splendor.

He made amends with God and paid the price, so we could boldly approach the throne of our Father. When we raise our voices, God no longer hears the sinners of old; He hears the children of God who have been set free by the blood of Jesus Christ!

The same God Who loved us so much that He sent His cherished Son is the same One Who watches over us today. His past goodness proves that we can still expect the unexpected – above what we can even ask or imagine!
11/30/2022Galatians 4:4 “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son…”

Our expectations can be hampered by the depth of the relationship that we share with a person. The less we know, the fewer our expectations.

When we meet a stranger, we have little to no expectations since we have no shared history on which to build. When we know someone well, though, we develop expectations based on our familiarity with his character and behavior. If he meets our expectations, we are pleased. If not, we are disappointed.

God wants to know us so well that He sent His own Son to us. No greater gift could ever be given to forge a relationship! He did not extend a mere token; He sent us the most precious thing He had.

No matter what presents we have received in our lifetimes, none compare to the gift of God’s only begotten Son. If He is the only gift that ever comes our way, He is more than we asked for, more than we deserve, and more than we will ever need.

He gave His Best to know us more…Once we profess Jesus as Savior, we get to know Him as a Person…The more we study His Word and pursue Him in prayer and fellowship, the more familiar we become with His promises…As our familiarity and faith grow – the more we know – we begin to expect the unexpected!!!
11/29/2022Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Have you ever considered how influential our expectations are in our outcomes? If we do not expect good things to happen, they usually will not.

Often our expectations serve as limitations on what God can accomplish in our lives. We pray for the things that we desire in the ways that we determine they should happen under a deadline that we establish. But God’s Word tells us that He has greater things in mind than we can even imagine, that His plans are much better than ours, and that His timing is impeccable.

We often expect our blessing to look a certain way and be delivered on a certain date. If we stubbornly refuse to let go of our too-small expectations, we will limit the God Who wants to do exceedingly, abundantly above what we could think or ask (Ephesians 3:20-21).

We sell ourselves short! God has promised that our eyes have never seen, our ears have never heard, our minds cannot even imagine the wonderful things that He has in store for us (I Corinthians 2:9). Why would we settle for less?

Let’s make up our minds to expect the unexpected…Let’s wait for His answers with excited anticipation…Believe for the impossible…Hang on for a miracle…Let go of the limitations…God never disappoints!!!
11/28/2022Psalm 35:9 “And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; it shall rejoice in His salvation.”

One memorial stone stands above all others in the Christian faith, and that is the mount of Golgotha called the Place of the Skull.

There, the spotless Lamb of God hung and bled and died so that He might bring us into right relationship with our Father. On that hill, He paid the price that we have no means to pay. If He had not taken our place, God would not receive our thanksgiving. We would forever be separated from Him.

But because Jesus chose Calvary, the voiceless can now magnify His name and enter boldly into His throne room. No longer are we orphans and alone, wandering this earth without haven or home.]

Give thanks that we have been redeemed…Through the shed blood of Christ, every crimson stain has been washed whiter than snow…We now live and move and find our very existence in Him…Praise Him for the skills and strength to do the work that He has given us each day…Rejoice that He has blessed us with divine wisdom when we did not know what to do…For joy in place of sorrow, for peace instead of anxiety, for strength instead of weakness raise a hallelujah…

Heavenly Father, You are the giver of every good gift! We thank You for the perfect gift of Your Son, and we rejoice in our salvation!
11/27/2022Psalm 106:1 “Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

When we choose thankfulness in the middle of the trial, the power and presence of God breaks through to bring us victory.

Every week, Hagee Ministries receives messages from individuals who partner with us or who need prayer for difficult situations. One particular letter came from a mother to ask for prayer for her daughter, Jesse.

Jesse was a healthy, happy teenager who joined her youth group for a much-anticipated ski trip. While hurtling down a hill, she had a terrible accident that broke her neck and several vertebrae and left her with a life-threatening head injury.

The first letter begged, “Please pray that my daughter doesn’t die.” And we did.

For several weeks, Jesse teetered between life and death, bedridden and without much hope.

Every week, Jesse’s mom sent an update: “I’m thankful that my daughter is still alive. I’m thankful that doctors are still giving me hope.”

Six weeks later, she reported: “I’m thankful that my daughter has blinked her eyes.”

Five months later, she revealed: “I’m thankful that she moved her hand.”

Ten months later, she rejoiced: “I’m thankful that she has wiggled her toes.”

After fourteen months in the hospital, Jesse’s mother sent a jubilant note: “I am thankful that my daughter is walking out of the hospital!”

Give God glory…Every day is a gift from our Father…Our praise will break through to victory!!!
11/26/2022Psalm 143:5 “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.”

One hundred and fifty years before the Constitution was signed, our forefathers landed on Plymouth Rock – a memorial stone for America.

Before they disembarked, the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact, a document whose fundamental principles of self-government and common consent laid the groundwork for democratic government in America.

Under the leadership of William Bradford, about one hundred Pilgrims came ashore hoping to establish a settlement “for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.” On Christmas morning, they assembled their first work crew and began to construct their colony.

The winter of 1620 proved extremely harsh, and 47 members of the original group perished due to sickness and starvation. In March 1621, when a Native American named Squanto visited the village, he found the Pilgrims desperate for help.

Squanto taught the colonists how to build homes to survive the North Atlantic weather. He instructed them on when to plant, how to fertilize with fish, and the prime months to harvest. He also brokered a peace treaty with the Wampanoags, a local Indian tribe, that stood firm for five decades.

The Pilgrims experienced such abundance under Squanto’s tutelage that, in one journal entry, Bradford described him as “a special instrument of God for their good beyond their expectation.” God’s gifts often come in unexpected packages!
11/25/2022Deuteronomy 31:8 “And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

Squanto, whose proper name was Tisquantum, was a member of the Patuxet tribe that lived near Plymouth, Massachusetts at the time the Pilgrims began to build a colony there.

Much of Squanto’s life is cloaked in mystery, but we do know that he traded with trappers and spent considerable time in England, making several transatlantic expeditions with Captains John Smith and Thomas Hunt. He was educated abroad and spoke English fluently. Some scholars believe that he developed a deep faith in God when Spanish friars took him under their care.

The Lord orchestrated the events of his life that led him to the small struggling village the Pilgrims called home in 1621. Squanto’s many experiences and skills caused William Bradford, the leader of the Pilgrims, to call him “a special instrument of God.”

He became their interpreter, translator, educator, and guide. Squanto taught them the tools that they needed to escape certain death the following winter.

For all of us, the Lord is the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow…He knew the needs of today…His grace has brought us this far…Right now, He is going ahead into tomorrow to move the mountains and make the crooked ways straight!!!
11/24/2022Deuteronomy 31:8 “And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

On that first Thanksgiving in 1621, William Bradford gathered with about 50 Pilgrims and almost 100 Native American friends to celebrate a bountiful harvest with a three-day feast, games of skill, and military exercises.

Only about half of the colony had survived the preceding winter – many succumbing to sickness and starvation. Legend tells us that on some days, the Pilgrims were rationed only five kernels of corn. Their survival relied on those small morsels of food.

As they gathered around the tables laden with venison and vegetables, Bradford shucked an ear of corn and meted out five kernels of corn to each guest. He wanted them to remember where they had started and what they had survived. Together, they gave God humble thanks.

On this special day of gratitude, look back and remember where you began and how God brought you here – the just-in-time job offer, the joy of your salvation, the word of confirmation, the check in the mail, His sustaining grace, the miraculous medical turn-around, the faces of your loved ones…He was faithful to you in the past, and He is not finished…If He brought you from there to where you are today, He will take you the rest of the way!!!
11/23/2022Genesis 28:22 “And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house…”

God knew that we have a tendency to forget, so He encouraged some simple habits to help us remember His wonders. He instructed the Israelites to tie His words on their hands and foreheads, to inscribe them on their doorposts, to speak them to their children, to build altars, celebrate annual feasts, and pile up memorial stones!

On his way to Haran one night, Jacob used a stone for a pillow. He dreamed of a ladder with angels descending to earth and ascending to heaven. When he awoke, he set up the stone and poured oil over it – a reminder of the covenant God had made with him (Genesis 28).

When God rolled back the waters of the Jordan to allow the Israelites into the Promised Land, He commanded them to choose twelve stones from the dry riverbed and carry them across on their shoulders.

Joshua piled up those stones – one for each tribe of Israel – as a future memorial. When their children asked about that mysterious heap, their parents could tell the miraculous stories of the mighty God they served (Joshua 4).

In this week of Thanksgiving, take time to remember the memorial stones in your own life – the ways that God met you…For the place He brought you from and every promise He has kept – give thanks for those stones of remembrance!!!
11/22/2022Psalm 86:12 “I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore.”

In just a few days, families will gather around a table with those that we love. As we slice the turkey, dive into the dressing, and savor the pumpkin pie, we will offer thanks for the blessings that we often take for granted.

More than an annual tradition, our gratitude should spill over into every day. We must cultivate an ongoing attitude of appreciation – a spirit of thanksgiving – that permeates our every waking moment.

King David vowed to glorify the name of the Lord forever. And in Psalm 34, he declared that God’s praises would continually be in his mouth. And we know that the mouth can only proclaim what is generated in the abundance of the heart! (Luke 6:45)

We need only look around us to find reasons for praise…The heavens declare God’s handiwork…He made the sun to rule the day, and each night, he brings out the starry host one by one and calls them by name…When we look into the faces of our loved ones, we recognize that He has fearfully and wonderfully made each one…They are His gifts to us…When we look inside, we are overwhelmed at a Savior Who abides in us…How can we not pour forth His praises…With all of our hearts, may we glorify Him forever!!!
11/21/2022John 11:41 “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me’.”

Jesus exhibited a thankful attitude as He fulfilled His ministry here on earth. He demonstrated the way to the Father’s heart, the means to walk in the miraculous.

When the disciples despaired of feeding a crowd of five thousand with seven loaves of bread and a few fish, Jesus stopped to give thanks before sharing it among the multitude. Everyone ate, and seven baskets of leftovers were collected!

We often meet our lack with complaints and comparison: “Why do they have so much when we have so little?” Perhaps, if we offer up genuine gratitude for what He has given us, an all-sufficient God will bless us with more than enough!

When Jesus wept before the grave of His friend, Lazarus, He paused to thank God for listening. Immediately afterwards, a dead man walked out of the tomb into the joyful arms of his sisters.

When we stand in front of an impossible situation, we can say with deep hope and trust: “Father, I thank You”…In spite of what the bystanders believe or the doubters do or the scorners say, we offer praise to the One Who has shown us great grace and glorious mercy in the hardest days of our lives!!!
11/20/2022Jonah 2:9 “But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.”

Praise and thanksgiving open the door to the demonstration of God’s power in our lives. Never is this truth more evident than in the life of Jonah, that headstrong prophet from Jaffa.

When God instructed Jonah to head north and deliver a warning to the city of Nineveh, he sailed straight south instead. Because he hated the Ninevites so much, Jonah took control into his own hands.

When a terrible tempest blew up, Jonah demonstrated his relentless stubbornness. He opted to take a swim rather than submit to the Lord. The sailors threw him overboard, the storm ceased, and Jonah was swallowed by a huge fish.

From the belly of the whale, he cried out to God. Jonah’s sacrifice of thanksgiving won him the opportunity to go do what God had instructed him to do in the beginning. Upon his admission of gratitude, God caused the whale to spit Jonah on the beach.

Jonah quit complaining about the assignment God delegated to him. He stopped trying to comprehend why God would show mercy to a nation that he detested. He determined to trust the One Who gave him the mission.

When Jonah voiced an offering of thanksgiving instead of opposition, revival swept through an entire city. His praise released God’s power!
11/19/2022I Chronicles 29:11 “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all.”

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

With this one realization comes amazing liberation – we are not in control. When we lay hold of this fact and relinquish our rights to the One Who is, we open ourselves to miraculous possibilities.

Many of us believe that we are in control, convinced that everything rises and falls on our endeavors and efforts. We plot and plan, maneuver and manipulate. Scripture tells us that we might make many plans, but only God’s purposes will stand (Proverbs 19:21). He will have His way.

All the time and in every situation, God alone has complete control. When we finally lay down our illusions, it frees us from the overwhelming burden of attempting to control every outcome and believing that everything is our fault.

That liberation allows us the opportunity to get to know the One Who is in control. Like a beloved child, we learn to trust our Father Who rules over all. Because we belong to Him, we are favored.

In His house, everything He owns belongs to us…We recognize His voice, and He recognizes ours…He is our Rock and Refuge…We find provision and protection under His care and control!!!
11/18/20221 Chronicles 29:13 “Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.”

True thanksgiving puts the key to miracles in our hands. A lack of genuine gratitude can cause our prayers to bounce off the ceiling and disqualify us from receiving a miracle.

Thanksgiving is not a spiritual suggestion; it is a biblical command. Over and over in Scripture, we see Jesus’ example and God’s admonishment to be thankful, to bless His name.

Paul encouraged the church in Colossae to allow the peace of God to rule in their hearts and to always remember to be thankful for all God had done for them (Colossians 3:15).

He echoed that same direction to the church in Thessalonica when he urged them to be thankful and to give thanks in every circumstance; this was the will of God for them (I Thessalonians 5:18).

Again, to the church at Ephesus, he instructed them to be continually filled with the Spirit, to encourage one another with hymns and spiritual songs, and to give “thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-20).

How astonishing this command becomes when we consider the persecution that the early church suffered! In spite of stonings, beatings, imprisonment, and even death – Paul directed them to continue to thank God and to serve from hearts filled with gratitude.

Paul comprehended what we need to grasp: thankfulness opens doors.
11/17/20221 Chronicles 29:13 “Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.”

True thanksgiving puts the key to miracles in our hands. A lack of genuine gratitude can cause our prayers to bounce off the ceiling and disqualify us from receiving a miracle.

Thanksgiving is not a spiritual suggestion; it is a biblical command. Over and over in Scripture, we see Jesus’ example and God’s admonishment to be thankful, to bless His name.

Paul encouraged the church in Colossae to allow the peace of God to rule in their hearts and to always remember to be thankful for all God had done for them (Colossians 3:15).

He echoed that same direction to the church in Thessalonica when he urged them to be thankful and to give thanks in every circumstance; this was the will of God for them (I Thessalonians 5:18).

Again, to the church at Ephesus, he instructed them to be continually filled with the Spirit, to encourage one another with hymns and spiritual songs, and to give “thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-20).

How astonishing this command becomes when we consider the persecution that the early church suffered! In spite of stonings, beatings, imprisonment, and even death – Paul directed them to continue to thank God and to serve from hearts filled with gratitude.

Paul comprehended what we need to grasp…Thankfulness opens doors!!!
11/16/2022Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”

Every person who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is a supernatural manifestation of God’s power! We have experienced the unexplainable; the impossible has become our reality. Jesus broke into our ordinary lives to bring us the extraordinary gift of salvation.

How miraculous that a sinner can whisper a prayer to trade a lifetime of sin for an eternity of everlasting life. Jesus’ crimson blood paid for our pardon and washed us whiter than snow. Forgiven and set free!

Sorrowful souls are set to dancing. Heartbreak and regret are swallowed in joy. Greed is replaced with giving hearts. Hate is swept away in a baptism of love.

The greatest miracle we will ever experience is salvation through Jesus…When we gaze in the mirror or gather with our brothers and sisters in the family of Christ, we are looking at the mighty miracles of God…When one lost soul confesses and professes Jesus as Lord, all of heaven pauses as the angels rejoice…A praise party breaks out, because they have witnessed a miracle…The unworthy has been made worthy…The one who stood far off, outside the promises of God, has been brought near…Highest praise to God the Father and Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son, for this miracle of miracles…All honor and glory and thanksgiving belong to Him!!!
11/15/2022John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

A mysterious connection ties our thankfulness to God’s miracle-working power. But before we can receive, we must believe in miracles.

Some declare that the signs and wonders that marked Jesus’ ministry were only for the early New Testament church. However, Hebrews 13:8 assures us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever – the unchanging, miracle-working God!

A miracle is the supernatural manifestation of God’s power, so that we recognize Him for Who He is. When the unexplainable occurs, when the impossible becomes a reality, we are forced to acknowledge the One Who breaks into the ordinary with His extraordinary.

Trapped! The children of Israel gazed helplessly at the Red Sea before them and the Egyptian army in hot pursuit. No way out…until a strong wind piled up water on the left and right, and two million people crossed on dry ground.

A humble virgin gave birth to a Son. Wise men came from afar, shepherds worshiped, and the heavenly host sang, “Glory to God in the highest!”

Jesus performed many miracles…He promised that we will accomplish even greater works than those…If you believe in miracles you will receive…First we must believe!!!
11/14/2022Nehemiah 8:10 “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

When we face various hardships, it does not mean that the Lord no longer loves us. In this life, troubles just mean that we are breathing!

Anything in this world that is worth possessing requires a struggle to lay hold of it. Behind every prosperous business, someone strived to succeed. Every great church has overcome obstacles of all sorts. Every loving couple has contended for their marriage. Every believer has fought the good fight of faith.

While we prefer the easier route – the road most traveled – God understands that the struggle is where we get the strength to grasp the blessing. Building spiritual muscle helps us gain the power to hold onto the things that God has promised us. And this is not a stress-free workout!

In the middle of the circumstances where we find ourselves, when we offer up praise and thanksgiving, the Lord makes that place His address. And when He arrives, He brings joy with Him. He gives us beauty for ashes and dancing for mourning.

When we lift up our thanks before the victory is won, we are not denying the reality of our situation…We are telling the situation about the reality of our great, big God…So, go ahead…Sing to Him in the middle of the storm…His joy becomes our strength even as the struggle is making us stronger!!!
11/13/2022Job 1:21 “And Job said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD’.”

Human nature struggles to believe that joy can exist alongside trials. Our senses and emotions live in the temporal right now, but Jesus asks us to stretch to an eternal perspective.

All that He said and did was in light of eternity. When we recognize that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” we can count it all joy (II Corinthians 4:17)!

We can lift our eyes above the natural to start seeing it God’s way. And if we cannot fully grasp it yet, we can trust in a God Who is unfailingly faithful.

That is how Job survived his season of devastation. Everything that he had – his children, fortune, and health – were snatched away. His friends were no comfort, and his wife urged him to curse God and die.

In his greatest tragedy, he still responded with praise. He could not comprehend God’s generosity. He did not understand why He mysteriously took away everything He had given. But he blessed His name anyway.

When we face our darkest day, we can take joy in the fact that God blessed our yesterdays, He blesses this moment, and the blessings of tomorrow are beyond our comprehension!!!
11/12/2022John 16:33 “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Immediately before His crucifixion, Jesus warned His disciples of coming trials. After promising that troubles would befall them, He gave a strange command: Cheer up!

Trials take different forms. Satan recognizes the power and favor in our lives. God has given each of us a divine destiny filled with abundance and promise. Satan schemes to kill those dreams, steal our blessings, and ultimately destroy us – anything to hold us back and push us down.

Trials occur simply because we live in a fallen world. Since Genesis, earth has lived under the curse of sin, a fractured relationship with God and with one another. Sin opened the door to every kind of disease and disaster. We suffer its repercussions daily.

Maybe a trial comes for our greater good. God is setting us up for more! We have all asked God for more strength, more power, more resources. Remember the prayer of Jabez: “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory…” (I Chronicles 4:10)? Expanding our territory means pulling up tent pegs and painfully stretching to enlarge our capacity for His gifts. And, oh the joy that follows!

Whether Satan is setting you back or God is setting you up, take heart…Jesus gave us good reason for joy…His is the final victory!!!
11/11/2022Ephesians 1:22-23 “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

For every person who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ, the cross is not just a border of salvation. It is a border of triumph!

When God raised Christ from the dead, He sat Him down in heavenly places and placed everything under His feet. Everything includes every ruler, every power, every authority, every name that is named, in the present age and in the ages to come…everything!

From His throne, Christ directs galaxies and governments, planets and politicians, countries and kings. Nothing is exempt from His rulership. From now and through forever, He is over all.

Today’s verse informs us that God set up Jesus as the head over everything for the church. We are His body. Christ – the One Who fills the whole, wide universe – fills us up in every way. He speaks to us and acts through us so that we are His love and message to the world around us.

When we are full of Christ, His power and authority have rulership in our lives…He crushes Satan under our feet…We no longer are slaves to sin in a lifetime of bondage…The cross opened the door to salvation and liberty…Thanks be to God Who always causes us to triumph in Christ…
11/10/2022Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

David was out warding off lions and bears when Samuel came looking to anoint a king. His own father did not recognize David’s potential until the old prophet poured the oil over his head.

From the shepherd’s field, David traveled to the battlefield. His brother angrily ordered him to go home, but David went out to confront a giant instead. The women of Israel rattled their tambourines and danced for joy in the parade that formed in his honor, and King Saul welcomed him home to the palace.

Only a short time later, David escaped with his life when King Saul tried to kill him in a jealous rage. For years, he and his mighty men hid out in caves and enemy territory to elude the murderous king. Only after Saul’s death did David take his rightful place as king of Israel.

As David pondered all the places he had been and all he had accomplished, he put pen to parchment in Psalm 16. Joy did not come from power or position, the victory of battle or the luxury of the palace. David had discovered the fullness of joy in the presence of the Lord.

Joy resides in the Jesus in our hearts…In seasons of success or times of trouble, exquisite pleasures abound in the presence of the Almighty!!!
11/9/2022James 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials…”

James, the brother of Jesus, asks us to do the math! When we balance the books in our lives – the burdens against the blessings – we find that it all adds up to joy.

Where would we be if God had not been for us? If He had not redeemed us, we would still be lost and wandering outside of His provision and promises. If Jesus had not paved the way to heaven with His blood, we would be facing eternal suffering and separation from our Father.

Consider how He has opened the windows of heaven to pour out innumerable blessings. Remember how He healed the disease the doctor diagnosed. Count up the prayers He has answered.

Even when we face all sorts of trouble, we can consider it nothing but joy. These tests of faith lead to endurance, maturity, and wisdom – all vital to this Christian journey.

When we consider the doors that He has opened, His protection when we were unaware, the profound peace that fills us in darkest times – we can celebrate…Joy is not in what surrounds us; it is in the One Who watches over us…When we accurately do the math, we discover that the depth of His riches is too much for us to comprehend…We can only respond with deepest gratitude and praise!!!
11/8/2022John 16:22 “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”

At this very moment, we are as joyful as we want to be. If we are not filled with the joy of the Lord, we cannot blame our bosses, our spouses, or our mothers-in-law. Joy has nothing to do with them, but everything to do with the attitude we choose.

Our joy is determined by our willingness to give God the glory He is due. This is how Daniel found joy in a den of hungry lions while King Darius paced the palace floor.

This is the joy that prompted Paul and Silas to burst into song in their prison cell at midnight. Inside Paul and Silas was the key that sets every captive free.

Circumstances do not manufacture joy…The joy of the Lord is a fact on which we can depend – not a fickle feeling…Happiness is not to be confused with joy…Happiness is an unstable emotion blown about by changing situations; if all is not right in our world, we cannot be happy…Joy comes to stay…It is not found in our position – it is found in a Person…Jesus gives us joy that no one can take away…If we are not experiencing joy, it is because we relinquished it…We choose our attitude – make it joy!!!
11/7/2022Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

This day offers the opportunity to be grateful. No matter how difficult this season has been, we can lift hands and hearts to bless the Lord.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for Your eternal Word. Your hand is mighty to save; Your arm is able to deliver! Thank You for Your faithfulness, for making a way when it seemed impossible.

In lonely hours, thank You for being a friend that sticks closer than a brother. In times of sickness, thank You for the stripes that Jesus took for our healing. In times of oppression, thank You for the authority to overcome.

In times of need, thank You for providing blessings that cannot be contained. In times of anxiety, thank You for the peace that passes understanding. In times of death, thank You for the promise of resurrection and everlasting life.

Thank You that every sunrise brings renewed mercies. For the air that fills my lungs, thank You. For the home that shelters me and my family, thank You. For the food on the table before me, thank You. For breaking generational curses and lifting heavy burdens, thank You.

For the soaring sky and the shimmering sea, thank You. For beloved family and friends, thank You. 

For Your marvelous gifts to me, I am grateful…I bless You for Your goodness to me!!!
11/6/2022James 4:6 “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.”

God does not mince words – He hates pride and arrogance (Proverbs 8:13). He sets Himself against the haughty, but He gives grace to those who are humble enough to receive it.

We can choose His offer of grace or His opposition. If God resists us, we face a fight we will never win. When we puff up with pride, take credit for His work, or refuse to give the thanks He deserves, He sets Himself against us. He will not share His glory (Isaiah 42:8).

If we crave God’s grace, we must humbly acknowledge His generosity. Like the one leper, we must turn back to fall at His feet, pour out our soul-deep appreciation, and glorify Him (Luke 17:15).

Every good and perfect gift in our lives comes from the Father of lights…From the prime parking spot to a perfect sunset to a prosperous career – all of it comes from Him…If our business experienced record growth, that was God’s doing – not our efforts…He gives us health to work…He gives us wisdom and creative ideas…While we sleep, He aligns the pieces that give the increase…To Him be all glory, honor, and praise…Let us humble ourselves to recognize His handiwork and thank Him for His grace to us!!!
11/5/2022Psalm 71:23 “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You, and my soul, which You have redeemed.”

God deserves our joyous thanks for the indescribable gift of salvation through the sacrifice of His Son. All of the glory goes to the One Who conquered death, hell, and the grave for us!

Not one of us is worthy of the saving grace of God, of the price He paid to redeem us. Yet, no matter who we are or what we have done, He has a divine destiny for each of us filled with glorious things.

From the moment Eve’s teeth sunk into the forbidden fruit, God has been miraculously redeeming humankind. The blood of Jesus flowed at Calvary for the remission of our sins. One generation after another has rejected and attempted to replace Him, but He continues to reach for us.

And because He lives, we live! His resurrection ensures our victory over the world, our flesh, and Satan. The same Spirit that quickened Jesus now makes us more than conquerors through Him Who loves us without reservation.

How incomprehensible that He would come to our rescue…But because He did, we are no longer the sinners we once were…Because He looked past our sinful state to see our desperate need for a Savior, we have been washed white as snow…He became our bridge back to the Father, and we rejoice…We are thankful!!!
11/4/2022I Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

When we live rejoicing and praying without ceasing, these life-changing practices shift the dynamic of our lives. The third powerful principle in God’s will for us lies in learning to give thanks in everything.

Rejoicing encompasses praising God, but giving thanks is attributing to God the credit He deserves. We show appreciation for Who He is and what He has accomplished in and through our lives.

Every piece of creation comprises the magnificent display of His glory. For every bird that sings, He wrote the song. For every rustling leaf, He breathed the breeze that causes it to flutter. The rising sun reminds us of His renewed mercies. He holds every towering mountain in His hand. He scooped out every valley in the earth.

He deserves the glory for everything that He has created and sustained by His mighty right hand…He deserves the glory for saving and redeeming us, for conquering powers and principalities, for every blessing that He has afforded us…The use of the word “give” indicates intentionality and a determination to be thankful…We make up our minds to give God the glory that He is due…For every heartbeat, every breath, and in every moment, resolve to give thanks…God is great and greatly to be praised!
11/3/2022I Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

A second practice in God’s will for us is to pray without ceasing. That sounds complicated, doesn’t it? How can we pray 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with all of the obligations and demands every day holds?
In his directive, Paul is not suggesting one long, never-ending prayer. He is encouraging us to make prayer such a consistent part of our lives that it becomes a habit we cannot live without. Habits become such a part of our daily routine that we often do not remember when they began and cannot imagine a day lacking them.
Too many believers regard prayer as heaven’s emergency hotline – only to be used in the event of crisis as a last resort. But that perception denies the very purpose and power of prayer.
God’s will for us to be in a constant prayerful state brings us into uninterrupted communication with Him…Prayer is living in an unbroken awareness of our Savior and His work around us…As we practice the discipline of praying without ceasing, it becomes as natural as breathing in and out…Even in the middle of a business meeting or lunch with a friend, prayer can be the ever-flowing undercurrent – silent and undetected to the observer, but always heard and answered by our omnipresent Father!!!
11/2/2022I Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Rejoice always – this powerful principle possesses the ability to change our lives. The simple statement slips off the tongue so easily, but walking it out often trips us up!

In today’s verse, Paul shares the first of three principles that are God’s will for each of us. God understands something we may not grasp. God is all-complete; He does not rely on our praise. But when we are always joyfully praising Him – focusing on the beauty of His holiness – His overcoming power shows up in our circumstances. His joy becomes our strength.

David demonstrates this truth repeatedly in the Psalms. He often began his songs with pitiful pleas for God’s deliverance from sickness, enemies or sadness. However, as he turned his eyes from the overwhelming situation and began to focus on the faithfulness and goodness of God, a strange thing occurred. His weariness turned to wonder; his despondency turned to delight. He realized that praise was the purpose for which he was created.

The apostle Paul learned to be content in whatever state he found himself. Whether he was abounding or abased, hurting or hungry, needy or not – he knew that he could accomplish anything through the power he had in Christ (Philippians 4).

Paul understood how difficult it is to always choose joy, but he also experienced how Jesus can make the implausible possible…Like him, let us determine to live always rejoicing!!!
11/1/2022Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”

This first day of November marks the beginning of the annual season of thanksgiving. For Christian believers, though, our gratitude is not limited to a season, stage or second.

Constantly and continuously, our praises flow from hearts that have been transformed by our loving Father. No matter where we find ourselves, today is a good time to be grateful.

Our thanksgiving is not rooted in the dilemmas where we may be mired; it is wholly focused on God Who is an ever-present help in the day of trouble. When we pour out worship – even sacrificially from our lowest place – God inhabits our praise; He takes up residence right in the middle of whatever we are facing.

Our thanksgiving ushers us into His presence; our songs of praise carry us into His courtyards. There, in intimate communion with Him, He heals us and makes us whole.

If we are young, we can thank God for the dreams that lie before us, for His plans to prosper us and give us a beautiful future…If we are advanced in years, we can be grateful for the proof of His unwavering faithfulness…If we are experiencing a season of abundance, we can praise the Father of lights Who blesses us with every good thing…As long as He affords us the opportunity to inhale and exhale, let us praise the Lord!!!
10/31/2022Psalm 121:7-8 “The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.”

Over and over in Psalm 121, God reassures us that He is our Keeper, that He will watch over us in every circumstance. He will keep our feet from slipping. He will be our shade, protecting us from the sun. He will keep us warm under the moon. He will not sleep, so we can rest while He stands sentinel.

Now, He sums it up in today’s verses: He will preserve our souls from all evil forever. The word preserve (shamar) indicates the most tender care and protection. And in addition to all of the verses before, He covers every eventuality when He tells us that He will preserve us from all evil.

Why does this short psalm repeatedly tell us that God is keeping us? 

He understands that our trust is slow to gain and easy to lose…We live in a world that readily breaks the most solemn of vows…He emphasizes His promise to let us know that He will honor our faith…In all of our public affairs (going out) and our private ones (coming in), from now until forever, we can count on God’s promise to keep us, to watch over and protect us from all evil!!!
10/30/2022Psalm 121:3-4 “He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”

God never sleeps nor slumbers. We can rest, because He will not. How comforting is that promise!

In this harried and hurried world, we often believe that everything is up to us. We must keep going no matter how tired we feel. To succeed, we cannot quit. If we slow down, we will fall behind.

At times, our fortitude and endurance are a measure of our faithfulness in the battles we face. However, when we push ourselves to physical exhaustion, our faithfulness turns to foolishness.

God deems rest so important that He commanded us to work for six days, but on the seventh day, to rest (Exodus 23:12). Our rest signifies our confidence in Him. If we obey His mandate to take one day off, we are trusting Him to help us accomplish all our work in the next six days.

Jesus often stole away to rest and pray alone…When the disciples were stretched so thin, ministering to all the people coming and going, that they did not have an opportunity to eat, Jesus urged them to come away to a deserted place and rest…You may rest today…The One Who keeps you never slumbers…He watches over you and the things that concern you with constant care…You can lie down in peace and sleep…He will keep you safe!!!
10/29/2022Psalm 121:3 “He will not allow your foot to be moved.”

When we take a stand and place our foot on God’s Word, He keeps us from slipping. When we stay put on His promises, He will not fail us. Others may doubt, intimidate, or accuse, but we stand immovable.

Paul urged believers to put on the whole armor of God to withstand the fight with the powers and rulers of this dark age (Ephesians 6:13). Having done that, we will stand. However the enemy comes against us, our feet remain firm in the power of His might.

The young David shows us what uncompromising confidence in God looks like. While war-hardened soldiers trembled in the face of Goliath, David stood on the battlefield and proclaimed, “I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied…” (I Samuel 17:45). Then, he ran at the giant on sure feet!

Once you make a bold decision to stand for Jesus, do not succumb to second-guessing…The Israelites gladly followed Moses out of Egypt, but their doubt in God shut the door to the Promised Land for forty long years…Take a stand today…Contend with the enemy for the souls of your children…Speak Truth to a society steeped in lies…No matter how treacherous the path or shaky the ground, God will not allow our feet to be moved!!!
10/28/2022Psalm 121:1-2 “I will lift up my eyes to the hills— from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”

Perspective makes all the difference! The way that we see something determines how we feel about it which determines what we do with it.

The difference between a sculptor and a stonemason is profound. The stonemason deals in absolutes. He mortars each brick into place with precision and care. A sculptor steps back and allows the block of stone to speak to her. She chips and chisels away the excess to set free a masterpiece.

God wants to change our perspective. We can easily be overwhelmed by the pressing issues of our day. With sagging shoulders, drooping heads, and downcast eyes, we wonder where we can turn for help. Who will come riding over the hill to save the day?

The psalmist encourages us to lift our eyes above the hills to the one Who created them…and us. Here is where we find the relief and the rescue for which we yearn.

God holds the oceans in the palm of His hand…He sized the heavens between His thumb and pinky…He poured out the dust of the earth in a measuring bowl…He weighed each mountain and hill…Lift up your eyes to consider our majestic Creator…Nothing is too hard for Him…Perspective makes all the difference!!!
10/27/2022Psalm 121:5-6 “The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.”

The Lord is our Keeper. We belong to Him, and no one will ever be able to pluck us out of our Father’s hand. His fingers are closed around us – safe and secure.

He is our Protector. In the valley of the shadow of death, His rod and staff comfort and make us feel secure. We have no reason to fear, because He is with us – now and forever.

He is our Provider. In times of drought and famine, He leads us into green pastures and allows us to rest by quiet waters. Even when enemies threaten, we sit down right in front of them to eat the meal that He gives to us.

He is our Guardian and Giver of every good thing. He pours the oil of gladness over our drooping heads until our cups run over with joy. His goodness and His mercy will chase after us every day of our lives until we finally reach our forever home with Him.

We can entrust our hearts to Him…Into His loving hands, we can commit our families and our futures with confidence…He will never let us go, relentlessly pursuing us until He is at the center of our lives, our eyes are fixed on Him, and our hearts are set on Him…He plays for keeps!!!
10/26/2022Isaiah 36:4 “…Say now to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: ‘What confidence is this in which you trust?’”

Hezekiah was a righteous king living in troubled times. When he came to power in Jerusalem, he tore down all the pagan altars to false gods, reinstated the reading of the Torah, and reestablished the Sabbath. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.

The leader of the Assyrian army, King Sennacherib, and his massive army set their sights on Jerusalem. Their military campaigns had wreaked havoc – burning, pillaging, and murdering across the countryside. The people of Jerusalem trembled at the sound of Sennacherib’s name as he mocked the God they served and vowed certain destruction.

Beyond the walls of Jerusalem, the beloved hills were alight with the campfires of the soldiers plotting the day that they would breach her walls and do their worst. King Hezekiah tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and ashes.

Into his panic and fear, the prophet Isaiah spoke a word that changed Hezekiah’s perspective. This watchman did not point to the danger; he pointed to the Savior and Jerusalem’s sure deliverance.

No matter what trouble surrounds you today, no matter the dread that pierces your soul, know that the war has been won before the battle even begins…We serve a God Who delivers us from the hands of every enemy…He is our confidence!!!
10/25/2022Ezekiel 33:6 “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.”

In the ancient world, the watchman on the city wall was essential to its protection and well-being. The citizens counted on his vigilance and responsiveness to keep them safe within the walls.

The watchman was responsible to look out for enemies, to spot danger before it arrived, and to sound the alarm to the townspeople. Watchmen needed a “get to” mindset – not a “have to” perspective.

On blistering desert days or frigid winter nights atop the wall, they chose the “get to” attitude of service that no one would be harmed on their watch.

In our modern world, God has appointed us as the watchmen on the walls who carry on this tradition…Sober and vigilant, we watch out for others and alert them to coming perils…We stand for truth in the day of deception…We fly the banner of hope in the day of despair…Parents, we have the privilege of watching over our families…Principals and teachers stand watch in our schools…Corporate employees oversee our businesses…Delivery people keep an eye over their routes…We all have our places on the wall!!!
10/24/20222 Chronicles 7:15-16 “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”

After Solomon completed the majestic Temple, he consecrated it to God. The glory of the Lord filled the building, and the children of Israel fell on their faces and rejoiced.

Later, the Lord appeared to Solomon and assured Him that He had chosen the Temple as a house of sacrifice. When He shut up the heavens and held back the rain, or commanded locusts to devour the land, or sent disease among the people, He made this promise to Solomon (2 Chronicles 7:14).

If My people – not the Congress or Supreme Court – who are called by My name – not Republican or Democrat, but the God of heaven and earth Who created us in His image – humble themselves and pray – no flashy pretensions but repentant hearts seeking forgiveness – then, I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, the dwelling place of the awe-inspiring Most High God…We are chosen, sanctified, and sealed with His name..His eyes are open, and His ears are attentive to our prayers…His gaze is upon us, and His heart is perpetually within us!!!
10/23/2022Romans 15:13 “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

As long as we have breath in our lungs, we have a reason to hope. Our God is able! We do not possess the ability to control, contain or explain how He moves and works on our behalf, but we can be confident that He will never fail.

When we call on Him, He will deliver us. He may sail a baby in a basket down the Nile River to crush a mighty pharaoh. He may guide a shepherd with a smooth stone in his hand to take down the giant in front of us.

He may lead a ram up the side of a mountain to tangle his horns in a thicket. He has already provided the most precious gift of all in the form of a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger of hay. We can be assured that Jehovah Jireh will deliver us!

We once had no hope and lived without God in the world…We were strangers to the covenants of promise…But the shed blood of Jesus Christ brought us into that glorious circle, that marvelous kingdom of light…The Lord takes pleasure in those who hope in His mercy…Every person who places their hope in Him will never, ever be disappointed…Hallelujah!!!
10/22/2022Romans 13:11 “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”

A significant and essential change needs to occur in this nation to combat the deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons that have hypnotized us!

We do not need a shift in our governmental system, for a certain party to come to power, or a dynamic voice to come to the forefront. The most vital and necessary change that needs to happen in this country is for apathetic, sleeping Christians to wake up!

Current circumstances are shaking us awake from our deadly slumber. The world is sleeping in the dark, but we have fallen asleep in the light. If we do not begin to use our freedom to defend our freedom, we will lose our freedom!

We are at a tipping point. The scales of justice and Truth are not just out of balance, they are in danger of toppling over. The scales of political correctness will not set us aright. The social scales will not reinstitute balance and order and peace.

The time is now to shake ourselves from sleep, to rekindle the flame in our hearts, and to stir up our passion for Jesus and His kingdom once again…Rise from your couch of complacency, and go into all the world…Wake up!!!
10/21/20222 Thessalonians 2:11-12 “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

What happens when a society is constantly bombarded by methodical lies? Its people fall under their spell and believe them. They become apathetic and are intimidated into submission.

Otto Adolf Eichmann was one of the major organizers of the Holocaust. At the Nuremburg trials, he outlined the many lies used to trap their victims. They strung razor wire to isolate Jewish neighborhoods and told them it was a necessity in the fight against Russia.

They forced the Jews to wear yellow stars on their sleeves and told them it was to signify they were under German protection. They took Jewish bribes and promised to buy better lands, nicer homes, and safer environments for their children.

A fellow officer testified that Eichmann vowed to “leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had five million people on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction.”

The Bible tells of a son of perdition – the antichrist – who will come to power in the last days…For those who refuse the Truth and take pleasure in unrighteousness, they will fall for his lies and be condemned…Those who embrace God’s Truth will escape this delusion and rejoice at the brightness of Jesus’ coming!!!
10/20/2022John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Adolf Hitler once said, “What good fortune for governments that people do not think.” He also said, “Make the lie big, keep it simple, keep saying it, and eventually, they will believe it.”

How did Hitler come to power? He told people what they wanted to hear. Through lies and manipulation, he hypnotized a nation. Under Nazism, 11,283,000 were murdered – six million Jews and five million more Christians, Gypsies, and others who did not fit into his master race.

These “undesirables” lined up peaceably, loaded themselves onto trains, and were shipped to their death. German citizens turned a blind eye as eleven million people were starved, crowded into gas chambers, and incinerated in furnaces. They fell under the spell of Hitler’s lies.

We are buried under an avalanche of lies today…It is difficult to distinguish the truth amid all the deceptions…Jesus declared that we shall know the truth, and it shall make us free…In order to be liberated and set free, though, we must know the Truth…God’s Word is Truth, and Jesus prayed that the Truth would sanctify us…He is the Word made flesh, the Way, the Truth, and the Life…The foundation of freedom, life, and abundance is built on one thing only: the big and simple Truth!!!
10/19/2022Acts 28:26-27 “Go to this people and say: Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you will see, and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull…”

A mystical character draws a timepiece on a gold chain from his pocket. He swings it slowly back and forth in front of his subject. With low, methodical words, he lures him into a trance, “You are getting very sleepy.”
As the conscious is subverted, and the subconscious comes into play, the subject easily succumbs to the master’s directives. If the master tells him he is cold, he shivers. If he tells him he is a chicken, he scratches and squawks across a stage.
He believes a lie, and his subconscious reacts with no inhibition. Reality has been suppressed, and he accepts fiction as fact.
We have been persuaded from political platforms to give up increasing control in our lives. The media undermines and mocks the value of faith and the traditional family. Things once labeled theories are now taught as absolute truth in our educational system. Society has believed the lies and fallen under the spell.
Jesus warned His disciples of coming persecution…He sent them out as sheep among wolves and urged them to be as wise and wary as snakes and as innocent and inoffensive as doves…We must do no less today – spiritually discerning, awake and aware of Satan’s lies!!!
10/18/20221 Timothy 4:1-2 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.”

We are a nation in need of Truth. If we reject that Truth, we will live under a lie.

Paul warned that in the last days, men would love themselves and their money above all else. They would be braggarts and blasphemers, disobedient to their parents and despisers of good.

He foretold a generation more knowledgeable than any other before that would drift ever farther from the Truth. Making a show of godliness, their lives will deny its power and validity (II Timothy 3).

In today’s verse, the Spirit expressly directed Paul to share that in the last days, even believers will fall for lies of deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. Their consciences will become so seared, they will not be able to comprehend Truth.

Our culture has accepted false narratives and succumbed to deception until we are numb to the lies. We have fallen prey to Satan’s lies until our national conscience has been seared.

The best way to identify a counterfeit is to be so acquainted with the Truth that we cannot be fooled by any worthless imposter…May God’s Word grow such deep roots in our lives that we will never be lured away to depart from the faith!!!
10/17/20222 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

If America is being destroyed from the inside out, we cannot expect change to come from the outside in. No political party, candidate, or program will save the day.

The only thing that can make a difference is the life-changing power of Jesus Christ in the heart of every individual. God is waiting for us to fall on our knees, to humble ourselves, to turn from our wicked ways, and cry out to Him to heal this country.

The time for dressing up and playing church is over. May the church of the Living God rise up to shine a light in this nation until the darkness is dispelled!

With every sunrise, His mercies to us are renewed…Where our sin abounded, His grace abounded more…The goodness and mercy of God will follow us all the days of our lives…He will faithfully complete the good work that He began in us…We have a choice to make about the Truth that we know…We have a responsibility to that Truth – to speak it out and act on its principles…It will change us – and our nation – from the inside out!!!
10/16/2022Psalm 25:5 “Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.”

When God leads us to Truth, we cannot ignore it. Two pagan pharaohs demonstrate the different outcomes of either embracing or rejecting the Truth.

The first pharaoh had two dreams, and he was desperate for their interpretation. He called Joseph out of prison to explain them.

Joseph was a righteous man filled with Truth. The pharaoh had a decision to make: what would he do with the Truth he knew? He accepted the God-given Truth and acknowledged the Spirit of God in Joseph. It set Egypt free from famine and financial ruin to become the most powerful nation on earth.

After his death, another pharaoh came into power that did not know Joseph. Even though he had served as the highly-esteemed prime minister of Egypt, the new pharaoh chose to ignore the Truth.

He knew that Joseph and his God were responsible for Egypt’s prosperity, but he enslaved the Israelites anyway. God remembered His promise to curse anyone who cursed Abraham’s descendants, and pharaoh’s body ended up floating in the Red Sea.

The Truth has made us one nation under God and poured out every blessing that we possess…The Truth has anchored our society and carried us through national crises…When we turn back to God’s Truth, we will see Him do great things in this country again!!!
10/15/2022Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Knowledge of the Truth brings a burden or a blessing to our lives. Truth that is applied brings blessing. Truth that is not applied burdens us.

In today’s verse, Jesus encourages everyone who labors under a heavy burden to come to Him for rest; He promises that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. In this verse, the Greek word zygόs is used to denote a yoke or a set of scales. For either of them to work properly, they must be balanced.

When a farmer places a yoke on a team of oxen, he is telling them that there are fields to be plowed. When we shoulder the yoke of Jesus, we understand that we have work to accomplish. It is not a matter of if we will work; it is a matter of for whom we work.

We do not escape a yoke…The one who is in charge places the yoke across our necks…For those who live outside of Christ, the ruler of this world, Satan, places a yoke on their necks…For those who submit to Jesus, He becomes our Master and Lord…Know whose yoke are you wearing…Satan’s yoke is one of burden and bondage…Jesus’ yoke is light and easy and filled with blessing!!!
10/14/2022Matthew 12:25 “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”

In one of his most famous speeches, Abraham Lincoln uttered this oft-quoted line: “A house divided against itself will not stand.” He took the verse directly from Scripture, and the point he made is just as relevant today.

He emphasized that, if America was going to fall, it would collapse from the inside out. Through the pride and arrogance of self-deception and self-reliance, this country is destroying itself at so many levels.

We believe that we can address all these issues on our own. We can rectify the economy, correct our failing education system, resolve the race issues, and right all wrongs. We can make America great. None of that is true!

Jesus declared that apart from Him, we could do nothing…It is time to place Jesus back where He belongs – not in a book collecting dust on the coffee table…We need to welcome His transformative power into our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies…We do not need truth that makes us comfortable; we need the Truth of God’s Word that alone makes the difference…We do not need a denominational takeover…We do not need a particular political party in power…We do not need one more opinion…We need to submit to Him as one nation under God until freedom rings from sea to shining sea!!!
10/13/20222 Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

It is impossible for God to lie. He only deals in Truth. Satan, on the other hand, has nothing to do with Truth. He is a liar and the father of lies.

A wicked combination of pride, arrogance, and deception causes us to deny the Truth. Satan himself is our warning. In Isaiah 14:14, in a moment of self-deception, he said, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” He went toe-to-toe with Truth, and God ejected him from heaven.

He deceived one-third of the angels who fell with him. He manipulated Eve with the exact lie he told himself. He operates the same today, prowling about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour the unsuspecting.

He distorts God’s Word to make us doubt. He leads us to create a different truth that convinces us of our rightness and the error of scripture. When we think we know better or that alternative truths will lead us to God, we are deceived.

The God Who lives in us is greater than that serpent of old…He has given us the Truth of His Word and equipped us with the armor of God that we may stand against the wiles of Satan!!!
10/12/20221 John 3:7 “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.”

We are a nation in need of truth. We treat symptoms in our society, but we seldom search for the actual cure.

We are so quick to treat the surface symptoms, we rarely get to the root cause of the problem. We take a handful of pills for a quick fix rather than search for and treat the source. The root cause of the problems in our nation is sin – not lack of gun control, a struggling economy, a lack of tolerance, or any other reason.

Jesus warned us that deceptive days would come (Matthew 24), and John urged us not to be deceived. We are surrounded by fraud, slander, manipulation, and pretense. It is difficult to distinguish the truth from the lies. How can we be certain?

If the articles we read do not align with God’s Word, they are false…If the reports we hear do not line up with what He says, they are untrue…If the actions we witness are not supported by the principles of the Lord, those individuals lack integrity…The righteous will act righteously…Let’s call sin exactly what it is – a transgression against the divine laws of God and a reproach to our people and nation…With unflagging resolve, let’s point to the only cure for the problem: the shed blood of Jesus Christ our Redeemer!!!
10/11/2022John 8:31-32 “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

We can ignore the Truth, debate the Truth, argue the Truth, and refuse to apply the Truth. No matter what we do with it, though, Truth does not change.

Many people are discussing the national issues that need to be addressed. Politicians expound from their various platforms. Commentators present their views on the nightly news. In casual conversations between friends, topics are dissected and discussed.

We debate who should be voted in or unseated. We argue who deserves to be defunded, who needs to be refunded, and who is overfunded.

Amid the noisy clamor, we have overlooked this central truth: we are hacking at branches instead of striking the root. Until we realize that we are a nation in need of God’s Truth, the chaos and confusion will continue to worsen.

God’s children will recognize the Truth, and it will make us free…Once we discover it we cannot dilute or disregard it…We must submit to it and speak it…Our blessings do not come from a political party, a savvy economic program or a charismatic leader…Our blessings flow from the Father above…When America remembers, we will return to our legacy as one nation under God!!!
10/10/20221 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…”

The beauty of the scales of God’s Word is that nothing in heaven nor the world beneath has the power to knock them out of balance.

Truth tells us that two types of people exist in this world – the just and the unjust. No matter the diversities of our cultures and creeds, God simply sees the just and the unjust.

The just never committed a sin. The unjust – no matter who we are or where we are from – were born in sin. The just was the Darling of Heaven in need of nothing. The unjust deserved nothing. The just was the only begotten Son of the Father. The unjust were imprisoned in death, enslaved by iniquity, and sentenced to hell.

God placed the unjust on the scales and considered our transgression and unrighteousness…Into those scales, He placed justice…All things being equal, without Jesus, God knew we would live an eternity without Him…So, there in the balance, He hung His Son…Oh, what God did at Calvary when He stretched the Truth between heaven and earth, when He twisted the Truth on a rugged cross, when He bent the Truth with stripes across His back, and He buried the Truth in a grave…Truth arose – the just for the unjust – to bring us close forever!!!
10/9/2022Proverbs 16:11 “Honest weights and scales are the LORD’s; all the weights in the bag are His work.”

The experts and influencers and brightest minds of our day can gather up all their predictions and projections, but their opinions will never outweigh God’s promises.

In biblical times, the weights for the scales were held in a bag, because once they were true, they needed to be protected. If a shekel was chipped, it no longer weighed an accurate amount and would lead to dishonest outcomes. The person who owned the scales kept the honest weights in the bag to be certain nothing changed.

God holds all the weights in His bag. He watches over the scales of truth and righteousness. He ensures that the weights do not change. His scales are accurate.

He measures everything justly – large or small…He weighs the movement of galaxies, the affairs of nations, and the financial transactions of corporations…He also weighs our motives, thoughts, deeds, and words…What no one else can see or comprehend, He places on the scales and measures…Worldly scales will tilt in the favor of some and not in the favor of others…Earthly judges sometimes do not rule equitably…But there has never been a time when God was unjust…He holds the weights in His bag…His work is perfect, and all of His ways are just!!!
10/8/2022Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”

The only set of scales big enough to balance the chaos of our day and to overcome the deceptions of this generation are the words of our Living God Who never falters or fails.

The only scales accurate enough to treat every person with justice are the words of God bound in the pages of the Bible. They equally value every life, fairly and squarely weigh every motive, and grant every individual their full worth.

This Word is the firm foundation that undergirds our lives. It heals our hearts and mends our minds. It delivers from addiction and releases every person that has been restrained. It restores every single thing that the enemy has stolen. When we pray its promises over our family, it erects a hedge of protection that Satan cannot penetrate. When preached to a nation, it brings repentance and revival.

The weight of the world may bow our shoulders, but God sees it as a small thing…He invites us to place it on the scales…We are not big enough to carry it, but His promises outweigh the problems we face…When we place the issues of our lives on the scales of God’s righteousness, His love, grace, mercy, and justice guarantee that we are treated fairly…Our needs will never overwhelm Him…His promises stand forever!!!
10/7/2022Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

When the scales of political correctness fail to bring balance to our society, social scales come into play. Social scales attempt to create our future with facts from the past.

Social scales collect data to determine our destinies. Pie charts and graphs predict that everyone who looks like us, grew up like us, went to school with us, or suffered the same setbacks will only rise so high or do so much. They attempt to standardize and force people into narrow roles, because history repeats itself.

These social scales are an abomination to the Lord, because they lie; they are dishonest. They attempt to hinder and restrain what God has called blessed, privileged, and favored.

As children of God, no demographic or statistic can limit our destinies! God says that all things are possible to those who believe. The pain of our past cannot overturn the promise of our futures. Statistics cannot unbalance the promise of our potential because of God’s power inside us!

What social scales call barren, God calls blessed…What they call broken, God heals completely…What they reject, God accepts…He does not look at us and see high risk; He sees great reward…He is our portion, and we are His prize!!!
10/6/2022Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

Our society often uses the scales of political correctness to weigh the value of a person. Can we rely on their fairness, balance, and accuracy?

Political correctness is marked by words like “sensitivity” and “tolerance,” but when we place questions such as “Who am I?” and “Does my life have value?” on the scales, balance is impossible to achieve.

In spite of the fact that God created man and woman and declared them to be “very good,” political correctness refuses to identify or define gender.

The politically-correct term is “pro-choice,” but it equates to millions of babies annihilated each year in the name of a woman’s prerogative. Their blood is on the hands of those that abort the innocent.

Political correctness has tipped the scales precariously out of balance…The effort to create order for every cause has resulted in chaos…Under the guise of equality, everything is unequal…In search of tolerance, Truth has been ousted and will not be recognized…Though it promises inclusion, those who refuse to conform to its agenda are slandered and vilified…The scales of political correctness are not fair or faultless enough to measure the value of a human life…They rob us of our highest potential and bankrupt our future…This way that seems right to a man will surely lead to death!!!
10/5/2022Proverbs 11:1 “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.”

God detests dishonest scales; they cause rage and disgust to burn within Him. Why?

Dishonest scales give privilege to some and abuse others when “the Lord is the Maker of us all” (Proverbs 22:2). They appear balanced, but someone has manipulated the dial to give them the appearance of a truth they do not possess.

We must use scales of truth, but whose truth? Whose scales will give every person a fair assessment? God’s truth is not on a sliding scale; His values never change. What He considered sin in the Garden of Eden is still sin today.

The weight required to balance the scales of unrighteousness has not changed…The measure of its cost has not changed; the wages of sin is still death…Sin and death hang in the balance, and the weight remains the same: without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin…The scales that bring balance to our lives must be large enough to manage the weight of the issues of our day…The scales must be accurate enough to ensure that every person, tribe, tongue, culture, and nation are treated and valued equally…They must be true enough to withstand the deception and corruption of our society – of a culture that bends, stretches, and buries the truth…A just weight is the delight of the Lord!!!
10/4/2022Job 31:6 “Let me be weighed on honest scales, that God may know my integrity.”

Scales measure true value. When an object is placed on one side of a scale, an equal amount of weight must be put on the other to strike a precise balance between the two. We want the scales we use to be fair, balanced, and accurate.

In Genesis 23, Abraham meted out 400 shekels of silver to purchase a burial cave for his wife, Sarah. A shekel was not a coin; it was a unit of measure. Abraham piled silver on one side of the scale, and the owner placed 400 shekels – weights – on the other side. Only when the two sides came into balance was the deal struck. A balanced scale ensured every person was treated fairly and given equal consideration.

When perfect balance was achieved, the individual doing the weighing would say, “All things created equal, this scale is balanced.” As long as all aspects of the exchange remained exactly the same and nothing unexpected happened, the deal was equitable for all involved.

In a world that changes from minute to minute, we still long to know justice and the value that we carry…While the world weighs and finds us wanting, we trust in the accurate and honest measure in the hands of our loving Creator!!!
10/3/2022Mark 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”

Our human goodness and morality can only carry us so far. We try our best, but every one of us falls short of God’s glorious ideal. We are incapable of living up to His holy standards (Romans 3:23).

So, God sent His beloved Son, Jesus, to die on the Cross for us. When we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that God sent Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins, that He died, and that God raised Him again, our confession becomes our salvation. New life begins with this simple prayer:

“Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask You to cleanse me from all of my sin. May the blood of the Cross wash me whiter than snow. From this day forward, I will serve Jesus as my Savior and Lord. I will read and follow God’s Word found in the Bible. Because of Jesus’ blood, I am saved, my sins are forgiven, and I am on my way to heaven. Amen.”

We lay down our old lives and take up our new Christ-centered lives through baptism…He makes us brand-new creations and gives us a fresh start…And when the King appears in all of His glory, we will leave this world in the twinkling of an eye to live with Him in heaven forever!!!
10/2/2022Revelation 21:2 “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

As unexpectedly as a thief in the night, the Day of the Lord will come. The heavens will disappear with a terrible roar. The heavenly bodies will be engulfed by fire, and the earth and everything on it will be burnt to nothing (II Peter 3:10).

After this great conflagration, John saw the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven, as beautiful as a bride adorned for her groom. God declared that His home would now be among His people; He will live with us and will wipe every tear of mourning from our eyes. Death will be no more, and we will no longer experience crying, sorrow or pain.

The New Jerusalem will be a perfect square – 1500 miles on each side. The city’s foundations are adorned with stunning gemstones. Its walls are composed of jasper, its gates of pearl. The gates will never close, and the nobles of the earth will stream through to bring the glory and honor of the nations.

From the throne will flow a crystal-clear river of water of life. On either side of the river grows a tree of life, and their leaves are for the healing of the nations. The whole city will glow like pure gold. Finally, we shall see the face of our Beloved and reign with Him forever.
10/1/2022Revelation 6:9 “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.”

Ignatius, the pastor of the church at Antioch, called himself Theophorus or God Bearer. For confessing that Christ lived in his heart, he was escorted to Rome in chains by a company of soldiers. There in the Colosseum, before thousands of cheering spectators, he was devoured by lions for his unshakable faith in God.

Perpetua was a 22-year-old mother and young believer preparing for baptism when she was arrested for refusing to worship the Roman empire’s deities. She cared for her infant son in prison until conditions forced her to entrust him to her mother and brother.

Her father, a pagan, visited her in prison and begged her to denounce her faith and live, but she refused. She calmly faced a raging bull in the amphitheater, straightening her tunic and her hair, to die with dignity for the faith that took her home.

The souls of those who were slain for holding fast to their witness of the Word of God now reside under the altar of heaven…They cry out to the Lord, wondering when He will avenge their blood…They are given white robes and encouraged to rest quietly for a while longer until their fellow servants on earth are martyred and join them in heaven…
9/30/2022Revelation 2:4 “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”

Jesus – the First and the Last, the One Who was dead but now lives forevermore, the One Who holds the keys to death and hell – had a message for each of the churches of Asia, represented by seven golden lampstands.

For the church at Ephesus, he had many compliments. He commended them for their hard work, their refusal to quit, and how they would not tolerate evil pretenders. They had been patient and persistent for His name’s sake.

In spite of these admirable traits, Jesus had one thing against them: the Ephesian church had left their first love – their passion and evangelistic zeal. Jesus urged them to remember the height from which they had fallen, to repent, to turn back to that first precious love, to do the early works they had once performed. Otherwise, Jesus was on His way to remove the lampstand from its place.

Do you burn with the same fervor as when you first came to Jesus? Is His Word like fire shut up in your bones that you cannot hold back? If you are not eager to accomplish the first works that you once did, repent and turn back to Him.

Listen to what the Spirit said to the church of Ephesus and what He still speaks today: for the one who overcomes, He will give fruit from the Tree of Life in God’s paradise.
9/29/2022Revelation 1:12-13 “Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man…”

As God unfolded the revelation to John, He showed him seven golden lampstands. In the midst of them was a person so overwhelming that John fell prostrate before Him.

The seven lampstands represent seven churches of Asia located in seven different cities. The One like the Son of Man wore a long robe with a gold sash across His chest. His eyes flamed like fire under wool-white hair, and His face blazed like the sun.

Just as Jesus stood among the lampstands, the Tabernacle of the Old Testament was situated in the center of the camp in the midst of all the tribes of Israel. When God’s Shekinah glory fell, it radiated to all of His people.

The Lord longs to be at the center of our lives…He is to be our wellspring, the bountiful and beautiful source of all the good that flows in and out of our lives…He aims to be in the middle of our marriages, the hub of our families, and at the center of our churches…When we set our love on Him – make Him the focal point – He promises to rescue us from every trouble, to answer when we call, and to honor us…Make sure He at the center of your life!!!
9/28/2022Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

The book of Revelation, anointed by the Holy Spirit and delivered by an angel to John on the isle of Patmos, serves as our roadmap from today to eternity.

God promised a double blessing to the one who reads the revelation and to the one who hears it. He guarantees that blessing will flow from this book.

While many choose to focus on the antichrist, the book of Revelation actually is a victorious declaration of Jesus – the Alpha and Omega, the Faithful Witness, the Bright and Morning Star, and the Amen. Why did God reveal Him to the Church in these final chapters?

When Jesus came to us before, He came as the Lamb slain from the creation of the world…He was mocked, despised, spat on, and betrayed by His closest friends…He hung on a Roman cross, bleeding for the remission of our sins…His cruel, humiliating death purchased our redemption…In Revelation, God pulls back the curtain to present the King of kings and Lord of lords…He is the Root of David Who will rule the world from Jerusalem with a rod of iron…Nobles will come to pay Him homage…He came as the Lamb before, but He will return as the Lion of the tribe of Judah!!!
0/27/2022Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, was exiled to the island of Patmos by Roman Emperor Domitian in 95 A.D. John was over 80-years-old and the last living disciple from the original group of twelve.

Domitian’s reign was marred by fear and suspicion. Subjects of the empire were required to throw a pinch of incense into a fire which burned in front of the emperor’s statue to acknowledge the leader as their true lord – a test of loyalty. When Christians refused, they were thrown to the lions.

John opposed all emperor worship and fervently preached a “new religion” that continued to grow in spite of persecution. His devotion was to Christ alone. Domitian sentenced this “enemy of the state” to the small, rocky island.

John was surrounded by many other criminals who were forced to work in the mines and suffered harsh conditions. The church that John had pastored in Ephesus was only 36 miles away, beyond the pounding waves and the screeching seagulls.

But it was there, in that barren place, that God sent an angel with a revelation that still captivates us. John tenaciously clung to his faith and claimed Jesus as His one, true Lord. Would you pass the test of loyalty?
9/26/2022James 5:11 “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”

If the Church aims to re-establish itself in America, we must be willing to endure. We cannot falter under the measure of the day. We must rise to become the shining city on a hill.
If we are persecuted, we must endure suffering as a good soldier of Christ (II Timothy 2:3). We do not pass out, we press on. We lean our shoulders into the plow and do not look back.
God is greater than any financial storm; He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. God is greater than any emotional storm; He remains our Prince of Peace. God is greater than any physical storm; He is Jehovah Rapha, our Healer. He is greater than any enemy we will ever face, an ever-present help in the time of trouble. He gives us strength to endure every hardship!
As long as we live and breathe, the best is yet to be…The Lord of Hosts promised that the final glory of this house will be greater than anything that came before…He will pour out His peace and prosperity there…Press on and persevere for the prize…For those who endure to the end shall be saved!!!
9/25/20221 John 3:18 “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

When the Church was born in the upper room, the power of the Holy Spirit breathed into us the ability to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth.

We have the power to lay hands on the sick and see them recover. We have the power to cast out demons. We possess the power of the Name above every other name!

Until we put our faith to work through obedience to God’s Word, we will not tap into this power. Many churches read the holy Scriptures as part of their tradition, but they do not believe that they are His God-breathed words to us. They claim the Bible as an historical document. They do not believe in a God Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever – Who still heals and deals in signs and wonders.

It is time for us to be saturated in the power of the Holy Spirit and be obedient to His Word…The Church of the Living God must behave like we believe…That Church will experience signs and wonders…That Church will see the lost forsake their sin and come to the Cross of Christ…That Church will witness captives set free, marriages mended, and addictions broken…That Church will welcome prodigals home and see broken hearts filled with hope…May that Church arise!!!
9/24/2022Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

To our faith, we must add power! The power of the Holy Spirit fuels our faith.

The Lamb of God came to take away the sins of the world. Jesus told the disciples that He would be crucified, rise again, and ascend to the Father. He wouldn’t leave them alone; He would send another, and they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them.

Power to do what? Jesus inspired them with these words in John 14:12: “In solemn truth I tell you, anyone believing in me shall do the same miracles I have done, and even greater ones, because I am going to be with the Father.” (TLB)

The disciples saw Jesus take a sack lunch and feed 5,000. He walked on water in the midnight storm. With a few words, He subdued the wind and waves. He halted a funeral procession to bring the dead back to life. And through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will do greater things than these!

On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled the upper room, and the Church was born when that power came upon it…The gates of hell will not prevail against us…We are the Church triumphant!!!
9/23/2022Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

We are people of action! We are people of conviction who refuse to cower under current societal pressures.

Jesus prompts us to have faith in God! Have faith that the life-giving blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed us from all sin, that we have been saved by grace. Our hope is in Him Who gave His life for us.

Faith is the means by which our spiritual forefathers subdued kingdoms and worked righteousness…Faith is how they received their dead back to life…Faith is the key that unlocks the door to every precious promise found in God’s Word…Faith opens the windows of heaven so that provision is poured out to us…Faith claims the shield of protection in the day of battle…Faith allows us to smile at the grave, because Jesus has robbed its sting and power over us…Faith believes that God will provide for all of our needs according to His great riches…Faith empowers us to trust the Great Physician Who heals all of our diseases…We have faith in the King Who rules over all…We trust in Jehovah Jireh…We have no fear of tomorrow, because we rest in the hands of the One Who holds our future!!!
9/22/2022Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

The 55 delegates who gathered at the Constitutional Convention argued fiercely. Some contended that the only means for national survival would be to appoint a king. Others debated that this country would only thrive if individuals governed themselves.

The group finally decided that, as long as the citizens of the United States willfully bowed to a Heavenly King and submitted to His Kingdom, they could govern themselves.

John Adams, a founding father who went on to become our second president, said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” In order for a country to survive, we must remain closely connected to our faith. In order for a society to remain moral, we must retain our religious convictions.

The wisdom of these 55 patriots ensured over 200 years of prosperity in which this nation has been exalted above all other nations. Not just because of the self-evident truths they wrote down, but because of how we chose to live – we put God first.

How can we preserve freedom for our next generation? When will a righteous revolution sweep this nation? When we love the Lord with all of our hearts and acknowledge Him in all of our ways…
9/21/2022Deuteronomy 28:1 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.”

During a heated moment at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, many delegates reluctantly believed that they would not be able to come to a consensus and that they should each return to their own colony.

At that moment, the convention’s oldest delegate, 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin, spoke up: “We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that except the Lord build the house they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this – and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel: we shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves a reproach and bye word down to future ages.” The impasse was broken by prayer, and the Constitution was completed.

Franklin understood that, unless this fledgling government was built on the foundation of the Creator, it would fail. The colonies could remain free only through His ongoing benevolence. America has wandered from these early truths, and his words have become reality.

He knew then what we must remember now: if this republic is going to survive – if we can keep it – we must bow our knee before the King of heaven and kneel before His throne of grace and mercy. Unless the Lord rebuilds this house, we labor in vain.
9/20/2022Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage”

With freedom comes responsibility. Until we confront our issues, nothing can change. If we do not confront them, we will suffer the consequences of ignoring them.

For too long, we have disregarded the rising tide of sin in our nation, but we cannot do so anymore. In our churches, we have abandoned declaring the power of God’s Word for debating doctrine. We have replaced Holy Spirit conviction with the condemnation of judgment. We have traded a zeal for reaching the lost for the indifference of apathy.

Declaring separation of church and state, America finds God offensive. We have removed prayer from our schools and eradicated the Ten Commandments from public places. We are now called a post-Christian nation.

If Jesus is our true source of freedom, and we are intent on eliminating His name from our culture, the only other alternative is bondage. When the Prince of Peace is no longer welcome, we can expect conflict and confusion. Rather than living in the fear of God, we now live in fear of one another.

We are the called and commissioned…We must devote ourselves to prayer…We must study and stand upon God’s Word…We must speak out in the voting booths and the streets…The faith-filled, Bible-believing Christian has a charge to keep!!!
9/19/2022Revelation 19:10 “…Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”

The essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus. Where do we find Jesus in prophecy?

The first prophecy of the Bible is Genesis 3:15 which promises that Jesus, the seed of the woman, will crush the head of the serpent, Satan. He is called the Passover Lamb from Exodus 12. In Numbers 24, He is the Star of Jacob.

He is the Great High Priest of Psalm 110. He is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18 and the King referred to in II Samuel 7.

He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9. He is the Righteous Judge of Isaiah 32 and the Man of Sorrows Who carries our burdens away (Isaiah 53).

He is the Son of Man (Daniel 7), the Anointed and Holy One (Daniel 9), and the One Who will rule the world with a rod of iron (Psalm 2). He is the Lord of the Temple in Malachi 3.

He is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11), the First and the Last (Revelation 1), and the Lamb of God in Revelation 5. He is the miracle-born Child of Israel (Revelation 12) and our coming King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19)!

Every prophecy testifies of Him and points to the day when, together with Him, we will reign in His eternal kingdom!!!
9/18/2022Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian who spent his life in service to the Lord and in active resistance to Hitler and his Nazi regime.

He was executed in a German concentration camp, and his fervor still calls us to a deeper faith decades later. Bonhoeffer urged Christians to act on their faith: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

In a society wracked by moral depravity, we must speak and act out of our relationship with Jesus. In Isaiah 58:6-7, God’s heart is revealed. Here is what He longs for His children to do: to break the chains of injustice, to eliminate exploitation, to free the oppressed, and to cancel debts. He longs to see us share our food with the hungry, invite the homeless into our homes, to clothe those with no garments, and to minister to our families.

When we do the things that He desires, He promises that our light will break out like the dawn, our healing and restoration will come quickly, our righteousness will escort us to the peace and prosperity of God, and His glory will bring up the rear guard. When we pray, He will answer with, “Here I am”! (Isaiah 58:8-9).

We cannot delay…Begin to overcome evil with the goodness of God today!!!
9/17/2022Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know”

As Daniel studied the ancient Scriptures, he realized that Israel’s time of captivity was drawing to a close. Prophecy foretold that, after seventy years, the captives would be allowed to return to their land.

Daniel began to pray and fast in sackcloth and ashes. Hebrew scholars have timed how long it took him to utter the heartfelt words recorded in Daniel 9. They estimate his prayer lasted a maximum of three minutes.

While he was still speaking, Gabriel came to him in swift flight. The angel informed him that, at the very beginning of his prayer, a command went out, and he was sent to talk to Daniel, because he was “greatly beloved” (Daniel 9:23).

Heaven lies somewhere far beyond the North Star which hangs 2.4 quadrillion miles from earth. Light travels 186,000 miles per second, so the light from that star takes 680 years to reach earth.

In three short minutes, God heard Daniel’s prayer and sent Gabriel to respond! Isaiah 65:24 assures us that: “…before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

If you are discouraged in your prayer life today, take heart…Like Daniel, you are greatly beloved…Continue to draw near to the throne of grace…From the edges of our universe, He will hear and answer!!!
9/16/2022Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

King Nebuchadnezzar had another dream, and Daniel was terrified to share this interpretation: Nebuchadnezzar would be driven away from society to live among the wild animals; he would eat grass and be drenched by heaven’s dew. Daniel pled with the king to renounce his sin and do what was right (Daniel 4).

Twelve months later, the king surveyed his domain from his palace roof. He said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30). Immediately, a voice from heaven informed the king that he would lose his mind until he truly admitted that God was sovereign over all.

For seven years, Nebuchadnezzar roamed among the animals until his hair grew wild and his nails were like a bird’s claws. Finally, he lifted his eyes to acknowledge God. In Daniel 4:37, he abjectly confessed, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”

Pride and arrogance lead to strife and shame, but wisdom and honor reside in the humble…God will not share His glory with another…Let us give all honor and praise to the only One Who is worthy!!!
9/15/2022Psalm 119:160 “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever”

People are fascinated by the future. What will happen to planet earth? Are we facing a nuclear holocaust? How accurate is biblical prophecy? Can we trust it?

When King Nebuchadnezzar experienced a troubling dream, Daniel asked the king for time to perceive the dream and its interpretation. Through prayer, Daniel received his answer in a night vision.

He described the dream to King Nebuchadnezzar – a statue with a head of gold, arms and a chest of silver, loins and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and toes of iron and clay.

The head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar whose Babylonian empire held power for almost 50 years. Afterwards, the inferior Medo-Persian empire, represented by the two arms and chest of silver, ruled for almost 200 years.

The bronze midsection represents Alexander the Great’s Greek Empire that endured for over 250 years. The two legs of iron signified the Roman Empire that ruled for over 350 years.

Finally, Daniel predicted an unstable kingdom represented by toes made of iron and clay, a strange mix of strength and weakness, interconnection and division. Compare it to our current culture – globally connected but deeply discordant.

Every word was fulfilled as Daniel predicted – and verified in our history books…We can trust the prophecies inspired by the Holy Spirit thousands of years ago…We know how this story ends!!!
9/14/2022Proverbs 31:8-9 “Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy”

Isn’t it time for believers everywhere to stand up, speak out, and push back against moral corruption?

Proverbs urges us to speak up for those who have no voice, for the desolate and defenseless. We are to speak out for justice and stand up for the poor and needy. I John 3:17 challenges us: if we have adequate means, we must share sacrificially with others. If we see another in need, and we shut our eyes – and our hearts – how can we say that God’s love is alive in us?

The Bible presents beautiful examples of God’s care for the outcasts on the margins of society. Boaz ordered his workers to deliberately drop grain so Ruth could gather enough food. The widow of Zarephath used the last of her flour and oil to make a cake for Elijah, and God provided for her family until the drought ended in Israel. Jesus healed ten lepers.

James, the brother of Jesus, declared that true, pure religion before God was to visit the orphans and the widows, to reach out to the homeless and unloved in their distress (James 1:27)…We have been blessed to bless others…Where is the Lord asking you to stand up and speak up???
9/13/2022Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance”

The America that we once knew is disappearing before our eyes. Our foundational freedoms are being eroded. Many agendas that our society promotes as progress equate to moral insanity.

Why should we be concerned about the future? The good life that we hoped to extend to our children and grandchildren is consistently crumbling, because we have abandoned the principles of righteousness.

Now more than ever before, believers must humble ourselves, pray, and seek God’s face…We must turn from our wicked ways so that God will heal our land…Change begins in our prayer closets and in our own hearts…Repentance and prayer lead to revival…As the righteous of the Lord, we must impact this world as His salt and light…We must speak His truth into the darkness…We must counteract corruption, extend mercy, and stand for justice…Our faith must propel us to action…We must demonstrate our faith by the works of our hands…Corporately, we must not squander the right to make ourselves heard…We must seek God’s direction as we enter the voting booth to decide the candidates who will represent us in the coming years, who have demonstrated the attitudes and actions that align with the truth of the Lord…Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!!!
9/12/2022Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”

The message of Jesus is not one of tolerance for sin, but the confession and forsaking of sin to pursue Him and His path. His message is repentance and restoration.

Repentance involves not only a deep sorrow for the sin that we have committed, but a changing of our hearts and minds and actions. It requires a turning back to God, a realigning to His purposes.

We choose right over wrong, ethics over convenience, truth over popularity, and Christ over all. He is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all.

And, oh the joy that we experience when He completely erases and blots out our sins! They are washed away in the blood of Jesus, and we savor the peace of being in right relationship with the Father. We are clean and renewed!

After knowing the fierce heat of conviction and the barrenness of our souls outside of the Father’s will, we now can experience His presence like a cool breeze and a refreshing drink of water.

Submit every piece of your life to Him…When we repent and choose to conform to God’s Word and His pattern of thinking, He transforms our minds and keeps us in perfect peace as we stay focused on Him…Make Him Lord of all your life!!!
9/11/2022Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.”

Recent headlines have pointed to a looming financial collapse, a reported coin shortage, and an emerging cashless society. Are we witnessing the rise of a one-world economic system (Revelation 13)?

God gives us His financial statement in one line: “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine” (Haggai 2:8). The ultimate control of our finances rests in His hands, and He has charged us to be good stewards over the blessings that He has entrusted to us.

Money can easily become an idol – controlling us instead of our managing it. The love of money can replace our love for God. Many squander their health in pursuit of wealth only to spend it to recapture their well-being.

In Exodus 20:3, God warns us to place no other gods before Him. In Matthew 6:20, instead of stockpiling treasures here, Jesus instructs us to store treasures in heaven. Wherever our treasure is, we will eventually find ourselves there.

Honoring the Lord in our finances begins with recognizing that every gift we receive comes from our Heavenly Father…Even when we work hard to earn a paycheck, our jobs and the health and abilities to perform them are blessings from above…Be faithful to tithe, always remember the less fortunate, and ask the Lord to lead you in managing the rest…It all belongs to Him!!!
9/10/2022Psalm 139:1 “O LORD, You have searched me and known me.”

More than a fuzzy image in a large group photo, God sees each one of us as individuals. He created us in His likeness, and His heart is bent towards us.

He was there when we were formed in the secret places and knew every page of our stories before we lived one. He knows if we rise early or stay up late. No matter where we roam on this great, big planet, He sees us there. He numbers every hair on our heads and knows the words we will speak before we open our mouths.

When we accept Him as Savior, He makes each of us a “lively stone” in this huge spiritual house that He is building…He gifts us with unique talents and abilities that we can put to work to help others and advance His kingdom…He instructs and teaches us in the paths that we should take, and He always has an eye on us…We can rest under His protective gaze…When life breaks our hearts, He promises to draw near…When we go through the fire or the flood, He vows to be with us…He will not allow us to be overwhelmed…He will hear our cries and deliver us from every trouble…How reassuring to know that He holds our hands and holds us in His hand!!!
9/9/2022John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life’”

At the end of a 40-day fast, when Jesus was weak and hungry, Satan whisked Him to the top of a high mountain where the kingdoms of the world were spread before Him in their glory. “All these things I will give you,” he promised, “if you will fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9).

Satan possessed that ability. When the former angel of light was cast from heaven, he became the prince of darkness, the ruler of this world. Where spiritual darkness exists, Satan has authority. Jesus, the Light of the world, withstood the temptation and sent him away with the Word of God ringing in his ears.

For those who trust in Him, He fills us with that same light of life. He charges us to shine this light before others, so they may see our good works and glorify our heavenly Father. We are like a city set on a hill ablaze with light; we cannot hide this glorious treasure inside.

Let’s stop complaining about the darkness, and turn on the light! Speak the Word of God to break down barriers and snap shackles…The prince of darkness must flee when the light of life explodes from the mouth of the believer…That is the power we possess!!!
9/8/2022John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’”

Jesus Himself made it clear. There is only one way to reach the Father, and that is through Him. He is the way, the truth, and the life. No alternatives exist.

The cross of Jesus built a bridge back to the Father for us. We were lost in sin, wandering in darkness, alone and unloved. Sin severed our relationship with God, but it is renewed through the sacrifice of His Son. The blood of Jesus washed away our sins. He transferred us from darkness into His marvelous kingdom of light. He adopted us as His own children. Jesus opened the way back to our Father.

In stark contrast to Satan – the father of lies – Jesus is the truth. All of the promises of God in Christ are YES and AMEN to the glory of God (II Corinthians 1:20). If every man is a liar, God alone is truth (Romans 3:4).

In opposition to Satan who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, Jesus comes to give us life. And not just a barely-getting-by kind of life. He comes to give us abundant, pressed-down, shaken-together, overflowing-with-His-goodness kind of life!

There is no getting around it…Jesus is the one way to a genuine eternal life…What a beautiful choice the Father has given us through His Son!!!
9/7/2022Hebrews 12:26 “…but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven’”

At the end of the age, God has warned that He will shake the earth and the heavens, that everything will change as a great shaking occurs.

Every offensive thing that has not been established by God will be shaken loose and removed from its place. Every nation will be shaken – not one will escape this momentous sifting.

When Nehemiah discovered that the wealthy children of Israel were taking advantage of their poorer brothers, he called them to account. They admitted their treachery and took an oath to stop oppressing them and to return the fields, houses, olive groves, and taxes they had taken from them. Nehemiah shook out the folds of his robe to demonstrate how God would shake out and empty the house and possessions of every man who did not keep his promise (Nehemiah 5).

Before the Day of the Lord, governments will fall, currencies will fail, and Christianity will suffer a tremendous falling away. Judgment will begin in the house of God. If it begins here, what will happen to those who have refused to obey the gospel (I Peter 4:17)? Even now, the tremors have begun.

Establish your heart in God…Be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord…When the shaking comes, you will stand fast in Him…
9/6/20221 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”

One of the most crucial tactics in military science is to know the enemy. In order to defeat an enemy, one must know that enemy.

Today, many scoff at the idea of a spiritual realm of darkness where Satan rules, where his fiendish agents carry out missions to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). But Ephesians 6:12 warns believers that we do not fight against flesh and blood. We battle against satanic beings, evil princes of darkness, and spiritual envoys from the headquarters of wickedness.

While we may not perceive them with natural eyes, we need not look far to see the damage that they have perpetrated: a global pandemic, a world thrown into confusion, seething racial tensions, economic collapse, soaring unemployment, and broken families. Satan is on the prowl!

Now is the time to be sober and vigilant and aware of the father of lies…Now is the time to suit up; put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, and the helmet of salvation…Now is the time to wield the flaming sword of the Word of God, to heft the shield of faith to dodge every burning missile the enemy hurls at us…In this life-and-death fight to the finish, now is the time to pray!!!
9/5/2022Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

If we are alive and breathing, God is not finished with us yet. He has a plan for good for each of us.

However, His “good” and our “good” sometimes look like two very different things. When we picture “good,” our minds conjure up sunny skies, carefree days, cars that never break down, jobs without difficult co-workers, children that never go astray, health, wealth, puppies, and rainbows.

When Paul spoke those words, “good” in that statement means God-like. To rephrase it: God is working in the life of the believer to make us more like Him. And sometimes, that takes strong medicine!

He will break our pride…He will strip away our arrogance…He will send people along to sandpaper us, to rub us the wrong way, to knock off rough edges…He loves us too much to leave us in a sinful state and to leave a sinful state in us…In Hebrews 13:5 (Amplified Bible), God tells us: “I will never, under any circumstances, desert you nor give you up nor leave you without support; nor will I in any degree leave you helpless; nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you…He will complete the project He began…Embrace the “good” work He is doing in you!!!
9/4/2022Psalm 84:12 “O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!”

Jesus is worthy of our trust. We can trust Him when He answers in the way we desire or when He chooses another outcome. If He said it, He will do it. If He promised, He will make good on it. If things do not go our way, we can trust in a way that is higher than ours.

Trust is highly personal and individual. We can describe trust to one another. We can read about it in His Word. We can sing about it corporately with a body of believers. But in the middle of the night, when circumstances are bleak, when we are alone and afraid and tired of the fight, will we trust Him?

Trust is born, nurtured, and solidified inside of a relationship. When we commit to Jesus for the long haul, when we are faithful to Him exclusively, when we cling to Him, trust grows. When we obey the things He asks, He goes ahead of us. He stands ready to meet us with His power and presence.

He provides everything that we need…and even things we did not know we needed…He holds our hands…He shares His secrets…He ministers side by side with us…He holds our hearts, and His love never ends…Take a risk, take a step, and watch Him reward your trust!!!
9/3/2022Joshua 23:8 “…but you shall hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.”

Our relationship with Jesus should be marked by single-minded stick-to-it-iveness! We need to cling to Him, to hold fast to Him.

We have discovered that Christians do not enjoy issue-free lives. Quite the opposite, in fact! We do not possess the ability to pray away every bad thing. One of the biggest temptations we face is to believe that, when difficulties or tragedies occur in our lives, God has turned His back on us.

The inclination in the middle of a health crisis or when the bills outweigh the paycheck or when our prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling is to believe that God no longer sees us, that He does not care enough to intervene.

In those moments, there is a deciding, a choosing, and a clinging to Him. We determine that we are not going anywhere, that He is our choice no matter the circumstances. We set our hearts on things above.

Even though He absolutely can deliver us from every trouble, He often chooses not to pull us out…Instead, He walks with us through the fire to refine us and deepen our trust in His faithfulness…If we let go or turn away with accusations and anger, we will miss the victory of coming through to the other side with an overcoming testimony and an unshakeable faith!!!
9/2/2022Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe”

When troubles come, when doubts assail, to whom do you turn? Where is the first place you run?

Instead of our last resort, the Lord should always be our first resource. In unstable times – like those we currently face – His name is a strong tower. When we feel threatened, frightened, abandoned or alone, He offers His defense.

He promises to pull us close under the shadow of His wings and to cover us with His feathers (Psalm 91:4). What a beautiful picture of His fierce protection and faithful love. He alone is our refuge!

He encourages us to bring all of our burdens to Him. With His own strength, He will sustain and establish us so that we will be immovable and unshakeable (Psalm 55:22). We need not fear the uncertainty of the future.

Run to the Lord…Beat a direct path, a straight line, to His door…Do not stop to read a self-help book or hash it out with a couple of friends…Do not wait until the situation is so dire that sheer desperation drives you to Him…At the first sign of trouble, sprint for safety…The door is open…His arms are wide…When you rush to Him, He will lift you up and hold you securely…He will protect and carry you through every calamity!!!
9/1/2022Philippians 3:12 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me”

How many of us smile on Sunday while hanging on to faith by our fingernails the rest of the week? Externally, we go through the motions while, internally, our faith grows cold.

Somewhere along the way, we have fallen for the enemy’s lie that if we cannot get it right, we might as well give up and stop embarrassing ourselves and the Lord. The byproduct of this belief that we must be perfect is that many will lose hope and desert their faith or put on a façade at church while living lives of quiet desperation every other day of the week.

Sometimes, we forget that we are in a long-term, committed relationship with Jesus. It is safe here. Grace gives us breathing room so that when we fall, we can get back up and try again.

We are not perfect…Better than anyone else, we know just how much we need a Savior…The good news is that He does not require – or expect – perfection…He simply wants every piece of our hearts…Even when we fall short, keep pressing on in faith…Jesus has grabbed hold of us for His purposes, and He will not let go!!!
8/31/2022Deuteronomy 32:11-12 “As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings, so the LORD alone led him.”

What a year we have experienced! Our comfortable, predictable lives have been disrupted and, in many cases, may never look the same.

Perhaps, God is stirring His church like the mother eagle stirs her nest. Mating eagle pairs return to the same nest year after year. They repair it with branches and twigs until some nests will weigh over a ton. Inside, they carefully line the nest with moss, feathers, and fur—a soft, warm home for their babies.

The parents care for the newly-hatched eaglets until, eventually, the mother begins to pull out the fur and feathers so that the babies become uncomfortable, unwilling to remain in their prickly home. They perch on the edge of the nest and pluck up the courage to take their fledgling flight.

As the eaglet attempts its wobbly flight, the mother hovers protectively over it. If it falls, she swoops it up on her wings to return it to the nest. Repeatedly, she rescues her child until his wings are strong enough to take to the skies.

As we venture out to discover our new normal, we can trust in a Father Who hides us under the shadow of His wings and Who faithfully leads us in the lessons that teach us to soar!!!
8/30/20221 John 5:4 “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

No matter how got-it-together someone appears on the outside, every person is walking through, climbing over or tunneling under some sort of adversity. We’ve all got something!

Can we dare to believe that the something we all have is absolutely no match for the Someone we know? What if the greatness of Him inside of us is mightier than everything happening around us?

We have Someone! And when we get our heads, hearts, and lives wrapped around that truth, we walk on a whole other plane. When the world watches us navigate our way through the difficult days, trying our best to honor God, to worship Jesus through the struggle…our faith draws people to Jesus.

What we do with the circumstances we are given – how we talk about them, act because of them, trust or distrust God through them – influences others. Let others see Jesus at work in our trials. When they catch a glimpse of Him in us, they know that they are not alone either.

He has given us Himself for the forgiveness of our sins, for freedom…He has made us His family to encourage, motivate, and make a difference for one another…He has given us a commission and the power to reach others who have all got something…We have Someone!!!
8/29/2022Psalm 91:1 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

What does it mean to abide in Christ? The dictionary defines abiding as “continuing without fading or being lost, living or dwelling.”

Abiding conjures up images of surveying the perfect spot in the shadow of the Almighty, bringing in an excavator to dig a deep foundation, pouring some solid concrete, putting up some brick walls and a sturdy roof, and moving in for keeps. There’s a rocking chair on the wide front porch where we can while away the hours, just enjoying the company of the Lord.

There is a deciding, a choosing, and a clinging to Him. In the beginning, it comes as a one-time yes to Jesus. As we walk with Him, we make many choices a day that draw us closer or pull us farther from Him. Abiding takes putting down roots and sticking to Him like glue.

We can give our hearts without fear. His promises to us are “Yes and Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20). If He said it, He will do it. If He promised it, He will make good on it. If things do not appear to be going our way, we can trust in a way that is higher than ours.

Abide in Him…Make Him your permanent address…Determine to stay put, to choose Him no matter the circumstances…Make Him your forever home!!!
8/28/2022Genesis 32:26 “But he said, I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

Jacob was alone in the camp, dreading the confrontation with his brother, Esau. Thirty years before, Esau had vowed to kill him for stealing the blessing that belonged to him.

A Man appeared in the camp, and they wrestled throughout the night. This Man was God Himself! As the sun rose, He was not prevailing and demanded that Jacob release Him.

How could God not prevail? Even when God demanded that he stop, Jacob’s stubbornness and desperation would not relent! He would not let go until the Man blessed him.

From conception, that blessing is all Jacob desired. He fought for it in his mother’s womb. He grappled with his twin as they were born. He took advantage of his brother and deceived his own father to lay claim to it. He grabbed hold of Esau’s heel at birth, and he took hold of God, contending for the lifelong desire of his heart.

Every struggle endures for a season…Every wrestling match comes to a conclusion…God will not wrestle with us indefinitely…Jacob would not turn loose…He held on for what only God could give…Hurting and exhausted, he refused to give up until God relented…And the Lord responded in that moment of desperation…Do not let go until His blessing breaks through to you!!!
8/27/2022Matthew 17:20 “So Jesus said to them, …if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Jacob ran for his life. After he swindled his brother out of his birthright, Esau issued a death threat. Thirty years later, that grudge still stood.

As Jacob made his way home, Esau marched out to meet him with 400 men. Greatly distressed, Jacob pled with God: “For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea…’” (Genesis 32:12).

In the face of impending death, Jacob reminded God of the promise that He had made. If God did not address this problem, Jacob’s promise would be wiped out.

In moments of desperation, we have all reminded God of what He said. We have pointed to a Scripture and echoed Jacob’s words, “You said!!”

We have it backwards! God has not forgotten; He needs no reminders. Instead, we must proclaim to the problem what our Promise Keeper has to say!

In the storm, remind the wind and the waves of the One Who quiets them with a word…Declare to the diagnosis that His stripes make you whole…Walking through the valley of death, tell the shadows that He restores your soul…Speak to the mountain!!!
8/26/2022Job 12:16 “Yes, strength and wisdom are His; deceivers and deceived are both in His power.”

Jacob deceived his brother, father, and uncle. He plotted and pilfered his way through life. What he did not realize is that he was deceiving himself.

He believed that it was all up to him and all because of him. As he camped out one night, he had a vision of a ladder with angels descending and ascending to the Father. God promised to bless Jacob and all his descendants.

Jacob was certain that his craftiness and deception were required to get the blessings he desired. He was convinced that he needed to manipulate people and predicaments to turn in his favor. He was wrong.

Jacob did not receive those blessings because of his own strength, brilliance or strategy for every situation. He received them because God was faithful to the promise He made to him.

God is faithful to us…because of Who He is…When we deserve less, He gives us much more…When we are disobedient, He is merciful…When we are sinful, He still loves us…When we are stubborn, He does not give up on us…Angels ascend with our prayers and petitions…In His strength and wisdom, God sends down exactly what we need…It is not up to us, and He deserves all the glory…We are blessed, because He made a promise!!!
8/25/2022Psalm 27:14 “Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.”

Jacob was a fighter from conception. Even in the womb, he and his twin brother struggled against one another.

Esau was born first, but Jacob followed closely behind with his hand grasped tightly onto Esau’s heel. His mother named him Jacob which sounds much like the Hebrew word for “heel” but also for “deceiver.”

All his life, Jacob wanted to be first. He wanted the double portion blessing reserved for the first-born son. He fought for it in the womb and on the day of his birth. He slyly tricked Esau out of his birthright and even deceived his own father to grasp the blessing that rightfully belonged to Esau. Later, when an angel wrestled through the night with him, Jacob would not let go until God blessed him.

Jacob’s desire for the blessing was a noble one, but he was willing to scheme and steal to achieve his ends. He took matters into his own hands and eventually found himself fighting for his life.

When tempted to manipulate or deceive to obtain the blessings of God, we must wait on Him to bring about the promises He has given…When we allow God to mold us, we are prepared to carry the responsibility of the blessing…We must wait for the Lord, practicing patience as He works His will in us!!!
8/24/2022Genesis 32:24 “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.”

Wrestling conjures up images of cages, tights, referees, and atomic drops. While most of us may not literally enter the ring, we do understand the conflict.

Each one of us faces the inescapable struggle to choose what we need to do over what we want to do, what we should say over what we should not. Like a wrestler in the ring, we are pushed, pulled, tugged, turned, spun, and slammed.

In the space between what we prefer and what God requires, we engage in a wrestling match. Our natural inclination – our flesh – pulls against the divine direction. In that gap, God is refining us to be the people He created us to be. Here is where character is forged.

God will grapple and struggle, pull and tug…He will turn our heads, twist our arms, and even break our legs to develop the character that He desires in us…He has a destiny for us to fulfill, a purpose beyond our imagination…He will engage us in the wrestling match of our lives until we become the people that He created us to be…We have His full support…Until the final bell rings, He will go to the mat for us…He will fight for us to the very end!!!
8/23/2022John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

God gave Noah a promise before he ever got into the watery predicament! In spite of the coming flood, He vowed to establish His covenant with Noah and his family. That promise helped Noah persevere!

Even though most of us have not heard the audible voice of God like Noah, He has spoken His word to us too. Every promise recorded in the Bible belongs to every believer who reads it for himself or who hears it spoken by a pastor, teacher or evangelist.

Every Scripture is God’s message, opened up to share His heart with you. He longs to meet you in the moment of need and demonstrate His love and provision. He instructs you in paths of righteousness, so abundance will fill every corner of your life.

He remembers His word. It will not return to Him empty, but it will accomplish every purpose for which He sends it (Isaiah 55:11). Everywhere it is voiced, it prospers.

Silence the noise of the outside world…Cease listening to the opinions of people with limited understanding…Stop staring at the circumstances in which you are mired…Abide in His Word…Allow His promises to take up residence in your heart…He remembers His Word…When you remember it, He will fulfill it for you!!!
8/22/2022Psalm 135:13 “Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your fame, O LORD, throughout all generations.”

Still today, some orthodox Jewish rabbis use their fingers to mark the Hebrew letters for the name of Jehovah God on the foreheads of the children that they bless.

God has placed His mark on us. We belong to Him. We are a people called by His name, and that precious name is filled with the characteristics of His power, personhood, purpose, and prophetic blessing.

He is Jehovah Jireh – our Provider. He plants us beside rivers of living water and causes us to flourish and prosper.

He is Jehovah Nissi – our banner and point of unity. At the place where we live together in harmony, God commands a blessing.

He is our Shepherd – the One Who guides. He leads us beside calm waters and causes us to rest in green pastures. He protects His own.

He is Jehovah Rophe – our Healer. Whatever our ailments or sicknesses, God promises to heal all of our diseases.

He is Jehovah M’kaddesh – pure and holy. The blood of Jesus cleanses and sanctifies to make us holy like Him. Without holiness, no one will see God.

He is Jehovah Shalom – the God of peace and wholeness. That name signifies the cornucopia of heaven – blessings in our families, health, relationships, and prosperity.

We are a people called by His name and marked by the characteristics of that name…We are born to be blessed!!!
8/21/2022Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, and every word that he spoke over his two boys became their reality. On his deathbed, Jacob called in his twelve sons to prophetically bless each one. Everything he said came true. His words shaped world history!

Jesus declared to His disciples: “You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth.” Here is a wonderful illustration of a prophetic blessing that sculpted the world! When Jesus uttered those words, the disciples were not salt and light. They were selfish and immature.

James and John enlisted their mother to ask Jesus if they both could sit in positions of prominence in His coming kingdom. Peter denied and cursed Jesus three times on the day of His death. Thomas refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he could place his fingers in the scars in His hands and side. The disciples were a million miles from salt and light on the day Jesus spoke that blessing over them. But after His ascension, they turned the world upside down for Him.

When we speak a prophetic, anointed-by-the-Holy-Spirit blessing over the lives of our children, they will rise to the level of that blessing. The power of the supernatural will sculpt their tomorrows.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, and every word that he spoke over his two boys became their reality. On his deathbed, Jacob called in his twelve sons to prophetically bless each one. Everything he said came true. His words shaped world history!

Jesus declared to His disciples: “You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth.” Here is a wonderful illustration of a prophetic blessing that sculpted the world! When Jesus uttered those words, the disciples were not salt and light. They were selfish and immature.

James and John enlisted their mother to ask Jesus if they both could sit in positions of prominence in His coming kingdom. Peter denied and cursed Jesus three times on the day of His death. Thomas refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he could place his fingers in the scars in His hands and side. The disciples were a million miles from salt and light on the day Jesus spoke that blessing over them. But after His ascension, they turned the world upside down for Him.

When we speak a prophetic, anointed-by-the-Holy-Spirit blessing over the lives of our children, they will rise to the level of that blessing…The power of the supernatural will sculpt their tomorrows!!!
8/20/2022Luke 24:51 “Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.”

Jewish families have practiced the power of the blessing since the days of Moses. Jewish fathers and mothers bless their children at Sabbath meals and bar or bat mitzvahs.

They place their hands on their heads, and they speak aloud a blessing in the name of God. Their children live under the anointing of that blessing spoken over them by a spiritual authority.

Jesus of Nazareth began His public ministry with eight blessings in the Sermon on the Mount. Over and over, He pronounced believers to be blessed. He made it clear that God intends for us to be blessed.

Traditionally, Jewish rabbis delivered their messages from beginning to end without stopping. However, Jesus paused in the middle of His teaching to bless the little children. The disciples desperately tried to prevent the children from getting to Him, because that is what tradition dictated. However, Jesus welcomed the interruption, gathered them up in His arms, and blessed them. Throughout His time on earth, He imparted blessings to those He taught and touched.

Jesus began His earthly ministry with blessings, and He completed it with a blessing…The final thing that He did for His disciples was to bestow a blessing as He ascended into heaven…Jesus recognized and demonstrated the power of the blessing and we should too!!!
8/19/2022Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

A miracle in your mouth is waiting to be spoken into existence! The power of the prophetic blessing is released through your supernatural proclamation based upon the Word of God.

When Aaron, the high priest and spiritual authority over Israel, spoke God’s words, His miraculous blessings flooded the lives of His children. God has ordained fathers as the spiritual authorities of our homes. The most powerful gift we can give our children is to lay our hands upon them and speak God’s blessings over them.

We have the ability to release God’s supernatural power into their lives – power that protects, that controls their destinies, that shapes their self-esteem, that bolsters their self-confidence, that speaks levels of success over them for the rest of their lives.

Too many children live under a curse spoken inadvertently by their parents…Toxic words have destroyed their self-image, eroded their hope, and diminished their futures…Parents have the Godly mandate and spiritual authority to direct our children in the way that they should go…Call your children by name, and speak blessings over their relationship with Jesus, their health, their friendships, their academic studies, and every endeavor…Send them out with the angels of God before and behind them and the promise of a victorious day ringing in their ears…Speak life!!!!
8/18/2022Matthew 12:36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.”

When God created Adam, He breathed the breath of life – the spirit of God – into him. We are two elements: the dust from which we were created and will return, and the spiritual man which will live forever.

It is impossible to speak without inhaling and exhaling. Somehow, God has connected the breath of the supernatural to our speech. One day, we will give an account for every word that we utter. We will be condemned – or justified – by the things we say.

There is a miracle in our mouths just waiting to be spoken into existence! In Matthew 17, Jesus declared that, if we had faith as tiny as a mustard seed, we could speak to a mountain and command it to move. Nothing would be impossible!

By the power of His spoken word, our God creates something out of nothing…When we dare to believe in the promises that He has made, and we speak them aloud, the supernatural becomes reality…Instead of saying that you “can’t,” affirm, “I will, by the grace of God!”…Don’t say “impossible;” declare that “nothing is impossible with God.”…In the middle of the trial, boldly proclaim that “the afflictions of the righteous may be many, but the Lord delivers us from them all.”…There is a miracle in your mouth!!!
8/17/2022Deuteronomy 28:2 “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God.”

The Lord listed the blessings that would overtake the children of Israel if they would only obey His commands. Everything that He promised to His chosen people has now come to us through the Cross of Christ.

The word “overtake” means to flood our lives – much like a tidal wave sweeping away a child’s sandcastle. We will be helpless against the overwhelming outpouring of His blessings!

Deuteronomy 28 spells out the many blessings He promises. We will be blessed in the city and the country. Wherever we go, He will pour out His favor.

We will be blessed in the fruit of our body – our children who are gifts from the Lord…We will be blessed in our basket and store; we will have more than enough in our finances…We will loan to others but have no need to borrow ourselves…If enemies come against us from one direction, they will flee in seven directions – scattered like straw in the wind…Whatever we put our hand to, He will bless…Whether we are a salesman or a scientist, God will prosper the work we do…We will be the head and not the tail – always coming out on top…Others will see that we belong to the Lord and will stand in awe of our generous Father!!!
8/16/2022Numbers 6:24-26 “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

The blessing is an impartation of the supernatural power of God into a human life by the spoken word of God’s delegated spiritual authority.

In ancient Israel, God commanded the high priest, Aaron, to speak His blessing over the whole nation. When Aaron obeyed, God instantly began to pour out miraculous riches on His chosen people.

Today, we are His chosen people, and we were born to be blessed (1 Peter 2:9)! Not because we deserve it, but because we have a generous Heavenly Father Who wants to give us the best in this life and the one to come.

His grace knows no limits…His love has no measure…His compassion has no boundaries…His mercies are renewed every morning…He is the Glory and the Lifter of our heads…Through the sacrifice of His own Son, He provided the Way, the Truth, and the Life…He is the wonderful Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace…He is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother…He is our Savior, Deliverer, Shield, Fortress, and High Tower…This is the God Who blesses us exceedingly abundantly, above all that we can ask or imagine!!!
8/15/20222 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”

As the signs of the last days rage around us, our sovereign God is still in control. As He delays His coming, we need to heed the wake-up call and warn others that the time to choose Jesus is now.

Today’s verse encourages every person to examine himself. Are you truly in the faith? Is Christ really at work in your heart? Are His power and wisdom growing in you every day? Are you looking more and more like your Father?

The Bible warns us of a broad way that leads to destruction; multitudes will take that easy path to eternal loss…The gate is small, and the path is narrow that leads to true, eternal life, and few will find it…To find that path and to stay on that path takes discipline and focus…Test yourself and see where are you in life…Be sure you are walking the narrow, blood-stained path that leads to the Cross and not strolling hand in hand with the world…Be certain that you are ready when that final trumpet blast rents the air…Tell others about a Savior Who loves us so much that He does not want to live without us!!!
8/14/2022Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.”

The country of Israel and the Jewish people are holy, chosen, and treasured above all other nations on earth.

Israel’s story began in Genesis 12 when God told Abraham to leave his father’s house and to set out for an unknown land. He vowed to make Abraham a great nation. He promised to bless anyone who blessed him and curse anyone who cursed him. That word still stands today.

Israel was created by a sovereign act of God. The country was given to the Jewish people exclusively and eternally (Exodus 15:13). Israel does not just occupy the land – they own it! Zechariah 2:8 declares that He will go out against nations who oppress Israel, because anyone who does so sticks their finger in the eye of God.

His love abounds for the holy city of Jerusalem. As the mountains surround the city, God encircles His people forever (Psalm 125:2). He has established intercessors to cry out day and night until He makes Jerusalem a respected and admired city of praise.

Jerusalem is the shoreline of eternity, the capital city of the final Kingdom, where Jesus Christ will sit on the throne of David…Of that Kingdom there shall be no end, and you and I will reign with Him eternally!!!
8/13/2022Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

The book of Hebrews likens our faith journey to a race that we are to run with the single-minded passion of a champion.

Too many times, we run like t-ball players. We get distracted, lie down in the outfield, and chase butterflies. We fill up our hats with dirt and run to third base instead of first. But God calls us to discipline and focus.

We must align with the Lion of Judah to understand the roar of Him inside of us…We need to get lean and mean so that when we step up to the starting block, Satan and his minions tremble…It will be a fight to the finish, and they are on the losing team…We may experience loneliness, the weariness of putting one foot in front of another, the struggle to keep going, the frustration of a road not headed where we expected…In those laps, God refines us until we grow bold and strong in Him…We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses – all the pioneers who blazed the trail before us – and they are cheering us on to victory…Jesus began a good work in us and will see it through to the finish line!!!
8/12/2022Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

When the Spirit of the Living God dwells in a believer, He will raise us up and fill us with strength and vitality to fulfill the purposes of our Father.

When faced with increasingly challenging times, we can easily be overwhelmed. Our hearts can faint within us. Our perseverance can fall short. Our faith can cool. But when His Spirit is alive and abiding in us, He will fill us with can-do belief in our ability to overcome.

In fact, Ephesians 3:20-21 assures us that God will do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” according to the power that is already working away deep inside us. It is not something beyond our grasp, nothing for which we need to wait. His Spirit is ALREADY at work in us and through us.

The requests that we dare not speak aloud? The dreams that we can scarcely conceive? The plans that we once thought dead? His generosity, His purposes, and His answers exceed our wildest imaginations!

He will strengthen our spirits mightily through His Spirit…He will ground us in His love and fill us to the richest measure with God Himself…That same Spirit will give life and power to us!!!
8/11/20221 Corinthians 2:9 “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Rapture! People talk of it as a never-seen-before happening, but the Bible tells us of several mysterious incidents when believers were snatched up and carried from one place to another.

Enoch was a man who walked with God and pleased Him. He did not die; God simply took him (Genesis 5:24).

A fiery, horse-drawn chariot whisked Elijah away to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11).

When King Uzziah died, Isaiah was “carried away” in a vision where he saw God seated on His throne, surrounded by angels declaring His holiness (Isaiah 6:1).

As Jesus’ disciples looked on in Acts 1:9-11, He ascended from the earth and disappeared into the clouds. Two angels declared that, in the same way He left, He will one day return.

On the way to Gaza, Philip baptized an Ethiopian eunuch alongside the road. As the eunuch came out of the water, Philip was transported to Azotus, a city over 30 miles away (Acts 8)!

In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul shared how he was caught up to tour the third heaven before returning to earth.

The seventh rapture will occur when Jesus catches away the victorious Church…We can exhaust our imaginations but still not grasp how indescribably wonderful it will be when we all go home!!!
8/10/20221 Thessalonians 4:18 “Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

If ever there was a time in our nation and the nations of the world where we are experiencing unprecedented division and chaos, it is right now. Current headlines come straight from the pages of Scripture.

On the other side of this chaos shines a promise that causes us to live above the fray, a comfort that floods our hearts with the profound peace of God. Jesus’ foot is poised to step onto the clouds of glory.

Paul says that the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout – a symbol of victory over death, hell, and the grave.

He will descend with the voice of the archangel – an announcement of the appearance of royalty – the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of peace.

He will come with the trump of God – the clarion call that precedes the arrival of a king.

All of that noise is going to wake up the dead, and they will emerge from their graves to rise first. Then, those believers who are alive and remain will be caught up in the clouds to finally meet our Savior in the air. What will only take moments here will result in our forever family reunion in heaven!

In the face of the tumult around us, comfort one another with these reminders…Stand up straight, raise your head, and rejoice…Our redemption is oh so close!!!
8/9/2022Revelation 3:15-16 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

Jesus challenged the church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation, and that message still rings true in these last days.

He accused the church of being lukewarm – indifferent and lacking passion. In a wealthy city known for its banking industry, thriving wool trade, and a medical school that produced a healing eye salve, the church had become proud and idle.

They smugly declared that they were rich, that they needed nothing from no one. But Jesus proclaimed them “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). They were so distasteful that they made Him want to vomit.

He counseled them to find their treasure in Him – not their great wealth. He urged them to don His robes of righteousness – not the clothing for which their town was famous. Instead of their celebrated salve, they needed Jesus to open their eyes to His truth.

Because He loved them, He urged them to repent for their halfhearted service, to stir up their cooling faith, to burn with zeal once again.

Has your relationship with Jesus grown cold???Have you traded the temporary for the eternal???Today, He stands at the door of your heart and knocks…Fling it wide, and ask Him in to set you ablaze again!!!
8/8/2022Revelation 21:2 “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Every believer is longing for a place which we have never seen nor visited. Like Abraham, we are looking for a city that was designed and built by God, whose foundations are real and eternal (Hebrews 11:10).

One day, we will hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” and we will walk through gates of pearl on streets of pure gold as transparent as glass. A mansion of splendor prepared by the Architect of the Ages awaits our arrival. The sun and moon have no need to shine, because the glory of God will illuminate the city. The Lamb is its light.

Unlike any city we have ever known, the word “goodbye” has never been spoken there. No tears of sadness have ever been shed. It knows no sorrow, no sickness, and no separation. No hospitals, cancer wards or nursing homes exist there. No suffering or death have darkened its atmosphere.

The redeemed will wear dazzling robes of righteousness and majestic crowns of life, and it will be our deepest honor and greatest joy to cast our crowns at the feet of our Redeemer when we finally see Him face to face. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Bright and Morning Star, worthy of blessing, honor, glory, and power forever and ever!
8/7/20222 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

God holds the stopwatch in His hand. From the first morning of creation – before sin ever entered the equation – God knew the day, the hour, the very second that Christ will return to catch away His church.

Peter warned that doubters would have plenty to say before His return. Where is this Jesus? What happened to His promised return? From the beginning of time until this very day, everything continues the same (2 Peter 3:4).

Those scoffers do not know the God Who spoke, and galaxies spun into existence. He hung the moon and named the stars. He caused the oceans to teem with life and the dry land to rise from the waters. He prompted the grass to spring from the soil and created the cattle to graze. He spoke, and it was good.

His Word remains good today…He is not slow about keeping His promise…His loving patience actually has led to His restraint, to hold off the end so that every person can come to repentance…He does not want anyone to be forever lost…At the appointed time – like a thief in the night – He will keep His promise…The eastern sky will split, and the trumpet will blast!!!
8/6/20222 Thessalonians 2:7 “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.”

In a letter written to the Thessalonian believers around AD 51, Paul indicated that the mystery of lawlessness – the spirit of the antichrist – was already at work in their midst.

Paul also indicated that there was an opposite and opposing force Who was restraining that antichrist spirit and would continue to do so until He was taken out of the way. The Holy Spirit is the one Who hinders the work of Satan.

As believers in Christ, that same dynamite power – the infilling of the Holy Spirit – dwells in us…He convinces us of God’s truth and righteousness…He convicts us of sin…He comforts us in a world that is unkind and unaccepting…He enables us to be salt and light in this world…He fills us with holy boldness and empowers us to be His witnesses…He speaks God’s Word through us…He appoints us to ministry and gives us gifts to fulfill our calling…While the Holy Spirit restrains, we must be energetically completing the Father’s work…Now, while it is still day, we have the freedom to work, but Jesus warned that the night would fall when no one would be able to do so…Let us work while we can!!!
8/5/2022Matthew 24:13 “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

As the signs of Jesus’ return increase, we have a choice to make. We can be blown about by the calamitous winds or we can choose to anchor our lives in Christ and His Word.

God did not leave us ignorant concerning the dark days to come. Daniel prophesied of an antichrist who will become so powerful that he will dare to challenge the very Prince of princes (Daniel 8:25). He will have complete authority over a one-world government with a one-world economy, and a one-world religion, executing anyone who opposes him.

Jesus foretold a time of tribulation that has never been witnessed since the world began. Unless those days are shortened, no human will survive (Matthew 24:21-22).

As we perceive the signs of His appearing, our world grows increasingly fearful, running to and fro, accumulating knowledge in hopes of curing the ills of this current age.

Instead of being overwhelmed by confusion and dread, we must make a decision to abide in Jesus…We must hide our lives in Him, so that we are not shaken…We must study to have discerning eyes and ears…We must not only be people who hear His Word, but those who perform it – even in a culture that refuses to recognize Him…Sticking with Jesus to the end will save us!!!
8/4/2022Matthew 24:3 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

As Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to ask Him about the signs of His coming. He proceeded to tell them, and straight from the Son of God came a very comprehensive outline of the end of this age and the beginning of eternity.

Jesus spoke of wars, famines, earthquakes, and pestilences. He predicted that many would be offended, would betray and hate one another. Today’s headlines are a fulfillment of prophecies spoken over 2000 years ago.

In record time, the coronavirus changed the world. Rumors of biochemical warfare and nuclear capability are rampant. Racial tensions, once simmering, have erupted. The economic implications loom large. Freedoms we once took for granted disappeared. Fear and uncertainty grip many across the globe.

Even while the signs rage around us, we can rest assuredly in His promises…Jesus holds us safely in His hand, and no one can snatch us away from Him…He promised that He would never abandon us…He is present to help us navigate these current woes…He enjoins us to take heart, to not be afraid…In the middle of it all, He promises to fill us with His profound peace…These signs of the end are also signs of a new and better beginning!!!
8/3/2022Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

Christ set us free so that we could live free! At Calvary, He destroyed the shackles of slavery and the chains of darkness.

In today’s verse, Paul strongly urged the Galatian believers to stand up for liberty. False teachers had infiltrated the early church and were luring susceptible believers back under the letter of the Law, heaping on requirements for salvation that Jesus never intended. Paul warned that if they attempted to be justified by the Law, they had fallen from grace. Christ had profited them nothing.

Those strong words should be a warning – and a comfort – to us. Only faith in Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary are sufficient for our salvation. 

The only way to the Father is through Jesus Whom He sent to be the sacrifice for our sins…No one can even approach God unless they come through the blood of His Son…His grace is more than enough…We can do nothing to cause Him to love us any less, and we can do nothing to cause Him to love us more than He already does…Salvation does not rest in us; it is a free gift that He offers to whomever will accept and receive Him…The world did not give it to us, and the world cannot take it away!!!
8/2/2022Ecclesiastes 7:8 “The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”

Every ending signals a beginning, and a new beginning brings a former matter to a close.

The diploma signifies a farewell to academia and ushers in a new reality of full-time employment. A wedding marks the end of singlehood and opens up a future of mutual, loving submission.

When we place our trust in Jesus, an ending occurs. Our old man – with his sinful attitudes and actions – passes away. We are mysteriously made a brand-new creation as we embark on this faith adventure full of hope and promise (2 Corinthians 5:17).

If we pay attention, we see that every one of these situations involves the process. A graduation, a marriage ceremony, and a salvation experience are captured in one moment in time, but living out these new beginnings is a journey. And like every journey, it carries its disappointments and delights, triumphs and tragedies, healing and heartaches.

If the new beginning looks different than you expected, be encouraged…Don’t be so focused on the somewhere-out-there that you lose sight of the here-and-now blessings…When we invite Jesus into every moment, He becomes a Friend Who walks through the fire beside us…Who heals our hurts…Who shares our joys…Who teaches us the lessons that lead to life everlasting!!!
8/1/20221 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”

Am I my brother’s keeper? We are, and may the Lord help us to be true to His holy word.  

Romans 10:13-15 tells us that whomever calls on the Lord will be saved. How will a person call on Jesus if they have never heard of Him unless someone speaks up? We are God’s messengers of grace.

Soul winning is not a gift; it is a commission from Christ…He commands every single believer to be His witness, to tell His story…When someone shares a problem with you, listen, show compassion, and offer intellectual solutions, but more importantly, point them to the One Who holds the power to help…As simplistic as it sounds, Jesus is the Answer…When you take their hands and begin to pray, heaven comes down…Remedies that you did not see will suddenly become apparent…The knowledge that you do not possess will pour from your mouth…When you stand up and step up, God will do things through you that you thought impossible…Ask Him to alert you to every opportunity to share His glorious message…Oh, the treasure that you have to give!!!
7/31/20222 Corinthians 5:20 “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”

Believers bear the responsibility of carrying the message of redemption to the lost. We are saved to save others.

In Acts 10, we meet Cornelius, a devout man who honored God and prayed continually. An angel appeared to him one day and instructed him to send for Simon Peter who would tell Cornelius what to do.

By the time Cornelius’ men arrived, God had already prepared Peter’s heart. He went along and shared the Gospel, and Cornelius’ family became the first Gentile converts. Why didn’t the angel tell Cornelius how to be saved himself?

On the road to Damascus, Jesus knocked Saul off of his donkey as he went to persecute Christians. Struck blind, Saul was led to Judas’ house where the Lord told him that a man named Ananias would come to lay hands on him so he would receive his sight.

In another Damascus home, God spoke to Ananias and instructed him to go and minister to Saul. When he prayed for him, the scales fell from his eyes, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and baptized. Jesus certainly had his attention on the Damascus Road. Why didn’t He deal directly with Saul?

Not angels…Not Jesus…We are the elected instruments of salvation for the lost everywhere…We are ambassadors for our Savior!!!
7/30/2022Daniel 12:3 “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.”

We are the instruments of salvation – not God or angels, but humans. We are the ambassadors that God has chosen to carry the treasure of the Gospel to the lost.

Jesus commissioned us to go into all the world and preach His Gospel, to teach unbelievers to observe all the things that He commanded. It is our responsibility, but He did not abandon us to the task. He will be with us to the end of time.

Proverbs 11:30 tells us that a person who wins souls is wise, and Daniel assures us that the wise shall shine as brightly as the sun’s brilliance. Those who turn the sinner to righteousness will glitter like stars forever.

James, the brother of Jesus, caught His vision. He encouraged believers to go after those who strayed from the faith, to refuse to let them go! For every person that we bring to God, we save a wandering soul from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins (James 5:20).

We are to do our absolute utmost to introduce those outside of the Kingdom to the love of Christ…We are the ones to whom He entrusted this task…When we win souls, we will shine like the stars!!!
7/29/2022Acts 20:26-27 “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.”

When Cain killed his brother and lied to cover up the murder, God told him that Abel’s blood cried out to Him from the ground; it demanded justice.

God clearly answered Cain’s question; we are our brother’s keeper. Centuries later, He emphasized this point to Ezekiel when He sent the prophet to the wayward nation of Israel. The Lord cautioned Ezekiel that if he failed to sound the warning to save the life of the wicked, and they died in their sin, their blood would be required at Ezekiel’s hand (Ezekiel 3:18).

The righteous carry the responsibility to witness to the lost…If we fail to do so and souls are banished to hell, God will hold us responsible…Their blood will be on our hands…When Paul spoke to the elders at Ephesus for the final time, he declared that he was innocent of the blood of all men…He had preached the Gospel fully, fervently, and without apology…The unsaved could not lay it to his charge…We have a high calling, a holy accountability…Our hands are not free from the blood of the lost until we have done everything we can to win those souls to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ!!!
7/28/2022Proverbs 29:23 “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.”

Cain’s pride brought him low and left him to wander the earth separated from all that he loved. Instead of humbly responding when God gently rebuked him, he chose a path that led to his downfall.

The story of Cain and Abel is one of the inward soul. When they brought their offerings before the Lord, Genesis tells us that God not only accepted Abel’s sacrifice, He respected him too. For Cain, though, God had no respect, and He rejected his offering. No matter how much you bring to God, He will not be impressed by the gift until He has your heart. What He wants is you!

Cain’s pride was evident in his actions – his jealousy, anger, refusal to repent, the murder of his brother, and his lie to hide it from God. Pride pits people against one another. Like a boa constrictor, it squeezes life from the relationships that it infects.

Pride never tires of broadcasting its own accomplishments…It never fails to exert its superiority…Pride flexes its muscle at the expense of another…Arrogance and self-importance lock arms with pride…It finds its roots deep in self-idolatry…Unlike Cain, don’t let pride lurk in your heart…Don’t let it live in your speech…Don’t let it choke out your relationships and alienate the people you love…Humble yourself before the Lord before pride brings you low!!!
7/27/2022Matthew 25:40 “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

One simple Bible principle provides a 100% guarantee of success for now and eternity: find out what God desires from you and do that! Jesus, Who only said and did the things that God directed, is our guiding example.

In Matthew 25, Jesus made it clear that we are our brother’s keeper, that we have a responsibility towards others. He said that He would return with the angels one day to separate the nations. He will commend those “sheep” who fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and visited the sick and imprisoned. He will welcome them into His eternal joy.

His warning was much more somber for the “goats.” He will curse those who failed to minister to the hungry, thirsty, sick, and bound and will send them into everlasting fire. When they refused to do those things for the least, they refused to do them for Jesus Himself.

Jesus places a high priority on caring for others if He will send us into everlasting punishment for failing to do so…Let us feed the hungry and clothe the needy…Let us visit the sick and those in jail…Let us begin today and try diligently to reach out to “the least” in our society!!!
7/26/2022Genesis 4:9 “Then the LORD said to Cain, Where is Abel your brother? He said, I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” That was Cain’s sulky, defiant question flung at God immediately after he lied regarding Abel’s whereabouts.

Cain, a farmer, and his younger brother, Abel, a shepherd, both brought their offerings, but God did not respect Cain and rejected his fruit offering. He respected Abel and accepted the animal that he sacrificed. Overwhelmed by rage, Cain killed Abel. When God asked where his brother was, Cain replied that he did not know. Was it his job to take care of his brother?

That simple question reverberates today. Are our brothers and sisters any concern of ours? Like a thread woven into the tapestry of Scripture, we find a resounding “yes.” In the Old Testament, we see God’s provision for the poor and foreigners living among the Israelites (Leviticus 23:22). In the New Testament, we discover that caring for orphans and widows constitutes “pure, undefiled religion” (James 1:27).

America is a country applauded for its rugged individualism and fierce independence, but God still calls us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, to unselfishly seek the best for others, to take on the responsibility of leading in love…When we care for others, it changes us and them…It changes our community and our country…How do you answer this timely question???
7/25/2022Revelation 22:12-13 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

At the end of the Great Tribulation, the antichrist will wage the war to end all wars in the Valley of Armageddon. In the midst of that battle, he will make a major mistake when he challenges the God of Angel Armies.

After that, John the Revelator saw the Faithful and True seated on a white horse with eyes like fire and many crowns upon His head. His robe was dipped in blood, and He was called The Word of God. The armies of heaven – clad in white linen – followed behind Him. On His thigh was written a name: King of kings and Lord of lords!

Jesus Christ is coming back…He will split the eastern sky…From His mouth, a sharp sword will strike down the nations Who oppose Him…He will cast the antichrist and the serpent of old into the lake of fire…The Lamb of God will bring peace to all the world…The Lion of the Tribe of Judah will rule from His throne in Jerusalem…And of His kingdom, there will never be an end!!!
7/24/20221 Thessalonians 4:17 “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

We do not know when the antichrist will rise to power, but we do know that he will seize control quickly and at a time of great chaos.

Imagine how our disappearance will contribute to the confusion! The world will be thrown into pandemonium when millions of Christ-followers suddenly vanish from the face of the earth.

In Revelation 4:1-4, John the Revelator saw a door open in heaven. Transported in the Spirit, He saw the throne of God surrounded by twenty-four elders clothed in white, wearing crowns, and seated on thrones themselves.

Many scholars agree that these elders represent the Old Testament saints, as well as the New Testament church. They are all present and seated in heavenly places with the Father. Several chapters later, the antichrist takes his place on the world stage.

In the first three chapters of the book of Revelation, the church is mentioned twenty times…After Revelation 4 when John slips through the door, the church is not mentioned again until the final chapters of the Bible…Why? Because we will not be here…We will be with the Lamb Who was slain, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the only One worthy to open the scroll!!!
7/23/2022Revelation 3:16 “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

An unlikely visitor has shown up in the church today – the spirit of antichrist. It has infiltrated the body of Christ and influenced us in subtle ways.

Many believers choose comfort over a righteous stand of conviction…Many make excuses for corruption rather than speak against it…We have softened the Gospel to bow to political correctness instead of proclaiming it unashamedly…If we stand for God’s truth, we will be labeled and called radical…We will be painted with the same brush as the religious right and be controversial…We have become more concerned about public opinion than honoring our Savior…When Jesus commands us to shine a light, but we hide in fear, it is antichrist…When He tells us to boldly proclaim the Gospel, but we distort His message to prevent offense, it is antichrist…When He tells us to stand in the day of evil, but we refuse to engage, it is antichrist…Now is the time to continually be filled with His Spirit, to burn hot with the zeal of God, to speak His truth without compromise, to stand against injustice, to defend the helpless, to shine a light into the darkness, and to wage war from our knees…Our Father demands no less!!!
7/22/2022Joel 1:3 “Tell your children about it, let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.”

In our nation, we are suffering under the curse of division and discord. In the house of God, though, may we be the city on a hill that blazes forth the light of unity and love.

We believe that Jesus is returning soon for His bride. Until that day, we have a responsibility to work until He comes. While we remain, we must never stop telling our children about our Heavenly Father and the priceless gift of His Son.

We must show them how to love Him with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength. We must teach them the unshakable truth of God’s Word and the unsurpassed power of the Holy Spirit.

The next generation was created to worship Him. If we do not protect them, they could fall victim to the enemy. If we do not provide for them, they might seek out what they need in other places. If we do not prioritize them, who will?

May we give the best of ourselves to the kingdom of Christ…From father to son…from mother to daughter…from generation to generation…let our hearts be turned towards one another as we embrace the wisdom of one generation and the energy of another…Let us instruct our children to live for Jesus and teach the same to those who come after them…Let all of God’s children say, “Amen!”…
7/21/2022Philippians 2:14-15 “…become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…”

In the end times, Paul warned that humankind would be lovers of self, lovers of money, and lovers of pleasure – not lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

We live in an all-about-me, get-rich-quick, have-it-all culture. Sacrifice for the benefit of another person has fallen by the wayside. Self-absorption leaves no room for responsibility or consideration of others.

This preoccupation with self runs exactly contrary to how Jesus’ followers will behave. He insisted that the greatest among us is actually the servant of all (Mark 9:35), that we are our brother’s keeper (1 Corinthians 8:12), that we should contribute generously and cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7), and that we should love goodness, justice, and common sense (Titus 1:8).

Jesus once wrapped a towel around His waist and washed the disciples’ feet…A King behaved like a common servant…He taught them to extend His mission here on earth, to follow His example of humble service…Like us, these men were commissioned to move into the world serving God, serving one another, and serving all people to whom they took the message of salvation…When we follow the blueprint that He designed, we will shine like stars in the middle of this dark and evil last-days generation!!!
7/20/20222 Timothy 3:1 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come”

God loves us too much to leave us without warning or time to prepare. In another apocalyptic passage, Paul pulls back the curtain to reveal why believers need to be vigilant in the last days.

Paul minced no words as he spoke of a culture in which people would love themselves and money, be proud, boastful, blasphemous, disobedient to their parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, and have a form of godliness while denying its power. He warns us to turn away from such people (II Timothy:2-5).

Signs of the times abound – a culture consumed with money and materialism; people steeped in self-absorption with no self-control; and a lukewarm church that appears presentable but has no power or purity…The news is not all bad though…The prophet, Joel, unveiled a promise that God would pour out His Spirit on every kind of people in the last days, that our sons and daughters will prophesy, our old men will experience divine dreams, and our young men will have Godly visions…For every person who calls on His name, He will come to their rescue…Deliverance and salvation will be evident among His people…Even in perilous times, God is on the move!
7/19/2022Revelation 13:18 “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

As we focus our attention on the end of days, an apocalyptic figure emerges that strikes dread in the hearts of many.

Theologians call him the antichrist. The book of Revelation specifically refers to him as the beast, a man to whom the number 666 is mysteriously associated.

In Hebrew gematria, every number and letter possesses a correlating value. The number 666 signifies that this man will be completely given over to Satan and sin. At that time, one-third of the world’s population will be destroyed, seven years of destruction will be unleashed on the earth, and he will execute anyone who dares to resist him.

While we do not know his identity, the Bible clearly indicates the purpose of his advent. The question begs to be asked: what kind of people – knowing before he comes into power how it all will end – would follow and worship this guy?

Paul, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, described exactly the type of culture that would follow the beast in II Timothy 3:1-5…Since His Word is truth, may it quicken our spirits to recognize that we live in just such a day…The dominoes are set to fall!!!
7/18/20221 Thessalonians 2:19 “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?”

The dominos are lined up, ancient prophecies all fulfilled. One decisive nudge of God’s finger will set the final chain in motion. One event has forever impacted the outcome of the end of times.

This one event has affected every nation, tribe, tongue, kindred, and people. This one event has influenced every socialist economy, free-market economy, and a communist nation. One Man, one Cross, and three nails has made all the difference for all eternity.

One choice, on our part, absolutely changes everything instantaneously – our “YES!” to Jesus saves us from the judgment to come.

The angels of God stand at attention before His throne…King Jesus is about to exit the gates and step onto the clouds of glory…The trumpet blast will rent the air, and in the twinkling of an eye, the dead in Christ will rise first, and those who are alive and remain will be caught up in the air to meet Him…Those who call Him Savior will forever remain with Him…Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…Make Him your choice…Say “YES” to Jesus…Your choice today impacts every tomorrow!!!
7/17/2022Matthew 24:4 “And Jesus answered and said to them: Take heed that no one deceives you.”

Jesus warned His followers to be on alert, because this world would be saturated in deception. Rumors, offenses, betrayals, lies – the end of days would see such mass duplicity that people will not be able to tell the truth from a lie.

Satan, the father of lies, has so infiltrated our culture that he has infected the way that we receive our information, as well as the motivations for our decisions. The media has neglected objectivity to create stories that fit their own narrative.

From the government to education, deception has crept in to distort and deceive. Truths that once seemed so evident have been discarded. Even in our churches, pastors are more interested in comfort than the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus declared that God’s Word is truth…It is still the truth of God that brings the sinner from the far country, that sets the addict free…It is the truth of God that breaks the chains of bondage, that reaches into the past to redeem what the enemy tried to destroy and gives hope for a brighter tomorrow…It is this truth that brings joy to the hopeless, strength to the weary, water to the thirsty…The agnostic may deny it…The world may reject it…The atheist may hate it…But His truth still stands!!!
7/16/2022Matthew 24:3 “Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Even before His death on the Cross, Jesus’ followers have looked for the signs that He would return. Jesus described a series of events that would occur – some immediately following His crucifixion, others that would take centuries to develop.

Jesus declared that the Second Temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed, that not one stone would remain atop another. In AD 70, Titus besieged Jerusalem and decimated the Temple and the city, carrying off the holy implements – previously viewed only by the High Priest – to parade them through the streets of Rome.

Jesus assured His disciples that Jerusalem would be trampled by the Gentiles until the Day of the Gentiles was fulfilled. While Israel became a nation in 1948, it did not come into the hands of the Jews until 1967 when Israeli paratroopers stormed the Old City and seized what was taken from them almost two thousand years before.

Here, at the unquestionable end of the age, our eyes are still trained on the sky as we sense His impending return…We are experiencing signs in the skies, the distress of nations, and widespread fear for what the future will bring…The dominoes are stacked…His kingdom is near!!!
7/15/2022Isaiah 66:8 “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once?”

One of the most significant prophecies to be fulfilled in these last days is the birth of the nation of Israel in 1948. The questions that Isaiah asked centuries before were answered in the affirmative on that fateful day.

Pastor John Hagee, an eight-year-old boy living in East Texas, remembers sitting at the table, listening to the radio when a newscaster announced that the United Nations had decided to recognize the sovereign state of Israel. The news was met with jubilation! Across America, Jews gathered in synagogues to give thanks.

For over 2000 years, Israel only existed as a promise held fast by Jews around the world. In 1948, they streamed back to the Promised Land from the nations where they had suffered unspeakable persecution.

President Harry Truman faced intense opposition in recognizing Israel as a state, resisted by several powerful leaders in American politics. However, he remembered the Baptist teachings of his youth and the Bible passages that referred to Israel as God’s chosen people. He believed that they were entitled to that land.

The nation of Israel triumphantly emerged as a huge prophecy fulfilled – one more domino set in the intricate last-days plan. Though many generations had passed, God remembered His covenant with Abraham and Isaac.
7/14/2022Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

When God shared the signs in today’s verse, He instructed Daniel to seal the record, because no one would be able to comprehend their conversation until the last days. These mysteries have now been unveiled.

One of those signs is that “many shall run to and fro.” As never before, humankind is on the move! We cram our calendars and stuff our schedules. Busyness has become a status symbol in our culture, exhaustion, a token of our success.

Travel that once took months is now accomplished in hours, journeying easily from one continent to another. Reserving our seat on a shuttle bound for another planet is on the horizon.

Daniel also predicted that “knowledge shall increase.” In 1900, human knowledge doubled almost every 100 years. In 1950, it doubled every 25 years. In 2000, it doubled every 12 months. Today, human knowledge doubles in one day!

We are overwhelmed with the complexities and chaos that this avalanche of data creates…Technology is not evil, but the church – those with a trust in God and a desire to do right – should be at the forefront of advancement…The signs of Jesus’ return are evident…Let our endless pursuit and thirst for knowledge bring us closer to Him!!!
7/13/20222 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Pastor Matt Hagee grew up in a church that preached the Word of God and believed wholeheartedly in its truths. All of his life, he has heard that we are living in the last days and that Jesus Christ is coming soon.

Elder church members have pointed to various events and declared them to be signs of the times. A long drought, a stock market crash, wars, the fall of prominent leaders – all proof that Jesus’ second coming was imminent.

Simultaneously, scoffers also existed to question His return. Ironically enough, scoffers themselves are actually a sign of the times. In 2 Peter 3:3-4, he tells us that scoffers will appear in the last days questioning Jesus’ return and pointing out how everything continues just as it did from creation’s beginning.

Pastor Matt is a sixth-generation pastor. When his great-great-great-grandfather stood in the pulpit, many end-time prophesies had not been fulfilled. Things were unclear when his great-great-grandfather pastored. A generation later, we still had unanswered questions.

Today, though, Pastor Matt can tell us things that they never could – not because of greater intellect, but because every major Biblical prophecy has been fulfilled. We are poised on the brink of His promise, that much closer to the time of Jesus’ return!
7/12/2022Luke 21:28 “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

Signs of the times abound around us! As we learned from the book of Daniel, we are living in the final days of the last earthly kingdom.

Like dominoes arranged in an intricate pattern, the whole world holds its breath in anticipation of the moment when God tips the first block to set in motion the chain of events that will dot every “i” and cross every “t” to fulfill every prophecy contained in His Word. Every component is in place, and how quickly the tiles will fall when He precipitates the day and hour.

For followers of Jesus, we do not look to the future with dread…Our God sits upon the throne of an eternal kingdom…We are not waiting for Him to get started; we are waiting for God to complete His plan…Soon, the struggles of this life will conclude…Those who have endured to the end shall be saved…He will wipe every tear from our eyes…We will slip the confines of this earth to finally go home…The trump of God is pressed against an angel’s lips, and we anticipate the blast that will cause us to be changed…In the blink of an eye, this corruptible will put on incorruptibility, and the mortal will put on immortality…When will God tip the first domino???
7/11/20222 Corinthians 3:14 “But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.”

Standing before King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel declared that the dream God had revealed to him was “certain,” that the interpretation he gave was “sure.” This was no tentative shot in the dark.

He had experienced an apocalypse – a revelation of the last days – that is still being fulfilled today. Soon, God will send His Son from heaven to crush every earthly principality and establish an eternal kingdom that will fill the whole earth with the peace for which we long.

The question is not whether Daniel’s words – uttered thousands of years ago – were accurate. History books – even in godless institutions – prove that Babylon was succeeded by the Medo-Persian empire that was succeeded by the Greek and Roman Empires. The question is not whether Daniel was on target.

The question is: Have you placed your faith in the Chief Cornerstone? When He comes to earth to crush the kingdoms of this world, will your feet be planted on the Rock of Salvation? God, in His great mercy, has pulled back the curtain to unveil what is to come so we can be prepared and watching.

The Stone that was rejected will return as the King of kings…On that day, no one will stand in His presence…Prepare yourself and be ready!!!
7/10/2022Daniel 2:45 “Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this.”

When Daniel interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, he saw an unstable kingdom represented by toes made of iron and clay – a strange mix of strength and weakness, interconnection, and division. Today, we are a culture that is globally connected but wracked with conflict.

How can we overcome the dissension that plagues our world? Will the correct candidate help us overcome our issues? Will the right legislation finally unite us in peace and justice?

Daniel said that no assistance would rise from one party or nation. Instead, help will come from heaven above. Our great God sees the affairs of earth, and He carved a Stone from His holy mountain. That Stone that the builders rejected is now the Chief Cornerstone – Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:6).

That Cornerstone was the seed of the woman that God spoke of in Genesis…He was the rock in the wilderness from which living water flowed…David called Him a rock of refuge, a strong tower, and an always-present help in times of trouble…That same Stone will grow into a great mountain that fills the whole earth and will crush all previous empires…His will be an indestructible kingdom that will stand forever!!!
7/9/2022Daniel 2:45 “The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”

When King Nebuchadnezzar experienced a troubling dream, Daniel assured him that there is a God in heaven Who reveals secrets, and He was pulling back the curtain to reveal events in the last days (Daniel 2:28).

Daniel used the words “splendor,” “excellent,” and “awesome” to describe the image in the dream – a statue with a head of gold, arms and a chest of silver, loins, and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and toes of iron and clay.

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream speaks to us today. The head of gold represented the Babylonian king whose global empire held power for almost 50 years. Afterward, an inferior kingdom seized power. The Persians and Medes, represented by the two arms and chest of silver, ruled for almost 200 years. Silver is a harder metal than gold, and each kingdom became harsher and more vicious than the one before.

The bronze midsection represents the Greek Empire that began under Alexander the Great and endured for over 250 years. We transition to the two legs of iron that signify the Roman Empire that came to power 63 years before Jesus was born and ruled for over 300 years after His death.

Finally, Daniel predicts an unstable kingdom represented by toes made of iron and clay. This kingdom displays a strange mix of strength and weakness, interconnection, and division. Compare it to our current culture – globally connected and yet, so at odds. Every word was fulfilled as Daniel predicted – certain and sure. And now… we await a kingdom with no end.
7/8/2022Daniel 2:23 “I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of You.”

Nebuchadnezzar, the temperamental king of Babylon, had conquered and proceeded to rule Israel. Not only had he carried her leaders into captivity, but he had also audaciously marched into the Temple and stolen all its gold, silver, and artifacts of worship.

One night, a troubling dream prompted him to call for all of his magicians, sorcerers, and astrologers. He issued a shockingly impossible challenge – not only should they interpret his dream, but they must tell him what he had dreamed! If they failed to accomplish this feat, he would kill them and reduce their homes to ash heaps.

Hearing the ultimatum, the prophet Daniel went to Nebuchadnezzar and asked for time to perceive the dream and its interpretation. He enlisted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to pray with him. In a night vision, Daniel received his answer. He awoke and worshipped God before he hurried off to talk with Nebuchadnezzar.

If you are facing an impossible situation today and need to hear from our omniscient Father, take the time to seek His face…Take the time to ask other believers to join you in fervent prayer…And when He hears your petition and responds from heaven, take the time to bless His name!!!
7/7/2022Mark 13:32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

For two millennia, we have been living in the Last Days, waiting and watching for Jesus Christ to return. Time is ticking. Over two thousand years ago, the prophetic clock moved into the delivery room.

The young couple who discovers that they are expecting a baby are not certain of the exact moment that they will meet their precious newborn. They understand that they have nine months to prepare for the birth. They visit the doctor, enjoy baby showers, choose a name, and prepare a nursery. They celebrate the signs of impending arrival. At the appointed time, they welcome their long-awaited child.

Many around us choose to ignore the signs of Jesus’ impending arrival. They cling to the truth that no one knows the day or the hour of His coming. With every hour that passes, though, we draw closer and closer to that moment when the trumpet of God shall sound, the dead in Christ shall rise, and we who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet Him in the air. Hallelujah!

Do not get distracted…He has delayed only because of His great desire for all to know Him…Pay attention and prepare for His impending arrival…God has unveiled a mystery…Everything is in place for our long-awaited King’s return!!!
7/6/2022Joel 2:28 “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”

Two monumental things occurred on the Day of Pentecost: the New Testament church was birthed, and the beginning of the Last Days commenced.

On that day, 120 believers gathered in an upper room. As they prayed in one place and in one accord, a mighty wind rushed in, and tongues of fire rested on each of their heads. They received power to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. The church was born.

People from all over the world – of all languages – were in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Weeks. To their astonishment, these 120 disciples – most of them unlearned fishermen – began to declare, in languages previously unknown to them, the story of the virgin-born Son of God Who was crucified but rose again on the third day.

While many presumed them drunk, Peter corrected them when he quoted the prophet, Joel. God fulfilled His Word and ushered in the Last Days when He began to pour out His Spirit at Pentecost.

As the New Testament church, we still change the world not through buildings or budgets or programs, but by the truth of the glorious Gospel delivered through the power of the Holy Spirit that God continues to pour out on all flesh!!!
7/5/2022Daniel 2:22 “He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.”

When the word “apocalypse” is mentioned, visions of doomsday scenarios, mushroom clouds over cities, and end-of-days disasters come immediately to mind.

The apocalypse is not the end of the world, a nuclear war or a horrific, last-days judgment. “Apocalypse” is derived from a Greek word that means “to pull back, unveil or the holy disclosure of information or knowledge.”

In the book of Daniel, the hand of God pulled back the curtain of time to show Daniel what waited on the other side. This unveiling revealed Himself as the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Sometimes, we become so focused on the notes on the page that we forget to enjoy the music…The apocalypse is not intended to create confusion or bog us down in frightening details…For those of us who belong to Jesus, we can be filled with confidence and hope…God is still on His throne in absolute control…When the final word is uttered by the last leader on earth, God will still be in power…No government can unseat Him…No scientist can disprove Him…No judge can overrule Him…He has unveiled His plans so we can be prepared and look forward to the promised salvation through Jesus Christ, His Son!!!
7/4/2022Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.”

Today, in America, we celebrate the many freedoms of this great nation of ours! Few nations on the globe enjoy the liberties we do.

Take a moment to reflect on where we have come from and to where we are progressing. As we picnic with our families, participate in Fourth of July parades, and stare up at a night sky spangled with explosions of light, let us remember those who fought to establish and maintain our liberty.

The first guarantee in the Bill of Rights is the freedom of religion. Across this land, we have the right to assemble in churches, pray freely, worship extravagantly, and boldly teach the Gospel of Christ. We can publish books, broadcast television shows, and stream services on the internet to lift up the name of Jesus – even in countries that are denied those rights.

We have the right to an education, to speak opinions freely, and to vote for the people and policies that govern our nation. We can join a political party, march on Washington, or lobby our representatives.

With these freedoms come responsibility…We must be stewarding these liberties for the cause of Christ…We are to be praying…We are to be exercising our right to vote…We are to be proclaiming God’s truth…May we always stand one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!!!
7/3/2022Hebrews 13:5 “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

In the thick of battle, we are often tempted to believe that God has turned His back, walked away, and left us defenseless.

It’s one of Satan’s greatest tactics – to convince us that the Lord has abandoned us and forsaken His love for us. In the face of the father of lies, God’s Word stands forever true and unchanging. He will never leave or forsake us.

Salvation brings us the promise of a Forever Friend. Like a nursing mother could never forget her precious infant, God created us, and He will never forget us (Isaiah 49:15). He has inscribed our names on the palm of His hand, a constant reminder of our relationship.

Do not be dismayed by His silence when you no longer hear His voice in the noisy confusion of the conflict…Press ever closer to Him…Attune your ears to His direction…Persevere in obedience to the instructions that He last gave…Do not be discouraged when you cannot see Him at work…He has not deserted you…Behind the scenes and beyond your sight, He is fighting for you…In His time, He will reveal how His hand has orchestrated your deliverance…Do not fall prey to the lies of the enemy…To the ends of the earth, to the ends of this age, He is with you!!!
7/2/2022Psalm 18:39 “For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.”

Have you ever found yourself in a heated battle, baffled and bewildered? Am I not supposed to be victorious, more than a conqueror through Jesus?

The Christian journey is not for the faint of heart! We contend with the everyday skirmishes of a fallen world, as well as the spiritual powers and principalities of this evil age. We must engage in battle before we can be crowned victors and overcomers.

Take heart! Peter encourages us to not find it strange when we go through the fiery trials (1 Peter 4:12). To one day participate in Christ’s glory, we will share in His suffering.

Paul inspired his young charge, Timothy, to endure suffering like a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3-4). He instructed him to disentangle himself from worldly cares, submit to the rules of engagement, and persevere for the prize that awaits.

He assures Timothy that if we die with Christ, we will certainly live with Him. If we endure with Him, we will also reign with Him. Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:11-13).

God subdues those who rise against us…He scatters every enemy that comes for us…He increases our faith, powers up our courage, and bolsters our perseverance…He arms us with strength for the inevitable battle…We never fight alone!!!
7/1/2022Psalm 92:13 “Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.”

Many today have rejected assembling together with the body of Christ (Hebrews 10:25). They have been wounded by this imperfect collection of people that are the family of God.

Throughout His Word, though, God encourages us to plant ourselves in His house. In the Old Testament, His glory rested atop the mercy seat, and He met with His people in the unsurpassed beauty of Solomon’s Temple.

In the New Testament, the bodies of His believers became His temple. The newly-formed church in Acts met together every day – sharing all their resources, encouraging one another with songs and Scriptures, and building up one another in their fledgling faith.

Today, God continues to work in and through His church…Only arrogance presumes to say that we do not need one another…No one person can comprehend all God’s truth…No one person possesses the ability or gifts to reach everyone in this wide world…Each one of us is a lively stone in the house He is building…We must take our place in His body so that together, we can accomplish all of His purposes…Plant yourself in His house…Put down deep roots…Intertwine your heart with those who fervently love Him…Planted together, we will bear fruit!!!
6/30/2022Matthew 25:21 “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”

Many of us hesitate and wait for circumstances to be perfect before we will commit to serve. To delay is to disobey.

When we undertake what God asks us to do, He makes it count. No matter how difficult it might be to accomplish the task He has assigned, no matter how few stand beside us, no matter where He sends, no matter how long it might take – be faithful to respond to His prompting.

Do not despise the small beginnings or neglect the details others never see…Even when we labor in obscurity, our Heavenly Father notices and honors our obedience…When we offer our best – even if only a few fish and loaves – He magnifies and makes it much…If He calls you to the nursery, nurture the upcoming generation of Jesus lovers…If He sends you to the boardroom, lead with integrity…If He calls you to mop floors, clean with care…When you answer the higher call, your obedience blesses others…We are responsible to respond and invest the talents that He gives us…When we do little things well – faithful over the few – He will reward us by promoting us to the greater things…It all counts in His kingdom!!!
6/29/2022Psalm 90:2 “…even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”

God remains ever faithful. The One Who moved in generations past still reigns from His throne today.

Elijah and Elisha, the prophets of God, served shoulder to shoulder in the midst of a corrupt generation. Ahab, the Israelite king, did more to anger God than all the others before him (1 Kings 16:33). As an ardent devotee to Baal, Queen Jezebel ruled over the pagan worship in the kingdom – false gods, ritual prostitution, and child sacrifice. She habitually executed priests and prophets of the true God.

Elijah and Elisha boldly proclaimed the word of the Lord and condemned the worship of Baal before Ahab and Jezebel. Because of the evil they perpetrated in Israel, God finally eliminated their family line.

We also serve in a generation that has rejected God to turn aside to lesser idols…Instead of being overwhelmed by despair and fear as events unfold, we are called to be beacons of truth to a world that has lost its way…We stand on a foundation that cannot be destroyed…Heaven and earth will one day pass away, but every “i” will be dotted, and every “t” will be crossed in the Word of God; every promise will be fulfilled…When we are faithful to do what God asks of us, He will make it count for His kingdom…He is faithful!!!
6/28/2022Psalm 139:16 “And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

“Time flies” is a universal adage. How fleeting are the childhood days of summer. How swiftly our newborns mature into graduates. How quickly the years slip away.

Unnoticed, clocks and calendars can rule our days. The cares and concerns of life – the obligations and the things that we desire — can choke out the truth that we have heard. Stress strangles our devotion to the Lord and leaves us with nothing of genuine value for all of our efforts.

The recent pandemic ground the world to a halt and issued a global invitation to return to the important over the imperative. We reawakened to the wonder of meaningful time with loved ones, the beauty of caring for one another, and the elemental bonds that we share – powerful and basic truths that Jesus expounded.

Time does fly, but we choose how to spend it…We can be its puppet – caught up in the blur of ambitions and activities…Or we can be its master – carefully deciding how to make the moments matter…God penned the chapters and verses of our lives before we took one breath…Let’s pause at the beginning of each day to ask where He would lead…Our lives are open books before Him…He will show us how to make them count for Him!!!
6/27/20221 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Any athlete knows that training requires persistence and consistency. Lifting weights for one day does not produce a muscular physique. Jogging once around the track does not precipitate a call from the Olympics.

Training requires discipline – for the parents and the children! Parents, we must be steadfast in setting and enforcing the guidelines. What applies today must be upheld next week. When we are careful to mean what we say, our children learn to trust our word.

We must be immovable when it comes to the Word and work of the Lord…When we persevere in spite of tempers and tantrums, children find safety in our consistency…When we persist through the sass and stubbornness, they learn that obedience brings the best outcome…When we model hearts completely devoted to our Savior, children can safely surrender their hearts too…When our lives exemplify the order and peace that flows from obedience to His Word, they will prioritize its truth too…We must consistently demonstrate trust and obedience to God’s voice and train them to do likewise…Even when this work is difficult, exhausting, and frustrating, we rest assured that our labor is not in vain in the Lord!!!
6/26/2022Ephesians 6:4 “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

Just as we provide for our children’s physical well-being, God instructs us to help them develop their God-given attributes.

From the manger to the time of His appointed ministry, Joseph and Mary created a home where Jesus was enabled to become what God had designed Him to be. Even though He sometimes baffled them, they trained and loved Him. Mary treasured what she did not fully understand.

As parents, we might observe frustrating character traits in our children that lead to worry for their future. But just like a bit in the mouth of a runaway horse, we can bridle and guide those characteristics to be used in great ways.

We can teach them to harness and focus those traits, so they become tools in the hands of God. An impetuous Peter can become a fiery preacher. A persecuting Paul can become a mighty missionary.

God entrusted Jesus to Mary and Joseph…Their home was the safe space where He had the opportunity to grow into God’s plan…God has entrusted our children to us for the same purpose…It is a sacred charge…Our children are proof of His confidence in our ability to help them grow in wisdom and stature and favor!!!
6/25/2022Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Our words carry weight. One careless remark can open a wound that lasts a lifetime. One sincere compliment can restore hope.

We impact the direction of our children’s lives when we speak life and blessing over them. When we tell them of the good that they can do – instead of constantly focusing on the negative – they wake up to the possibilities of God in their lives.

Throughout the Bible, we see the power of blessing. Abraham blessed Isaac who blessed his son, Jacob. When he blessed his twelve sons, his words shaped their destinies and the future of Israel.

When Jacob laid his hand upon each son, those young men were not yet mighty or distinct in any way. However, the words that Jacob spoke in heavenly places were brought into their lives for the unfolding of God’s plan.

We have the power and the privilege to speak words like “I see great potential in you,” “I see a great leader in you,” “You are a difference maker,” “You are a world changer,” or “I see someone who is going to do amazing things.”…Those blessings breathe affirmation and hope into our children’s hearts…It makes them stand taller and walk straighter…No matter their ages, never underestimate the power of speaking a blessing over your children!!!
6/24/2022Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

If we point our children in the direction of the cross, when they grow up, they will not be lost. Parents, we have a part to play in this principle!

We must prioritize our children and practice Godly balance in our homes. They are gifts, not inconveniences. No matter what life throws their way, our children need to live with the assurance that we will be there for them.

We must encourage our children and celebrate the uniqueness God placed in each of them. We must help them identify their strengths, develop their abilities, and work through their shortcomings. Remind them that, in God’s hands, they are masterpieces-in-the-making!

We must value our children equally – no playing favorites. God has a plan for each young life in our homes. Our own natural aversions or appreciation towards certain traits should never taint our attitudes or actions towards these impressionable ones.

We must nurture our children. In the same way, we ascertain that they eat healthy foods, get plenty of exercise and sleep, we must nurture their growth in the Lord. Feed them a steady diet of His Word. Teach them to exercise their faith. Surround them with the security of His love.

How we train today will determine how they live tomorrow!!!
6/23/2022Psalm 34:11 “Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.”

To invest our lives in something great, we need to look no farther than the children and grandchildren that God has given to us. With the same conviction as Joshua, we must determine: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

We are accountable to God for the way in which we raise the children with whom He gifted us. God instructed the Jewish fathers to make Him their first priority and then teach His principles to their children.

Many parents hope that their children will simply learn by proximity – that by being near the principles of God, they will adopt them as their own. Faith is not something we learn by proximity; it is learned through practice. Our children follow our example – not our advice.

We must be intentional about our children’s spiritual instruction…We must practice the presence of God and live out His Word ourselves, and we must be diligent to teach our children how to take those reins in their own lives…This is not a task to be left to Sunday School teachers or professors…God has charged parents with taking their children by the hands and leading them in the steps of the Master…They are our heritage and reward!!!
6/22/20221 Corinthians 9:25 “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.”

A story is told of John, a Montana rancher, who spent his days working alongside his father and grandfather. He anticipated how his own sons would follow in their footsteps.

Finally, eight-year-old Jess was ready to ride along. John chose his most reliable horse for Jess. Side by side, they worked in the pastures throughout the day. As evening approached, they turned for the long ride home.

Jess challenged John to a race, and before he could caution him, Jess took off. What began as a trot turned into a lope until the horse was at a dead run. The small boy had no strength to stop the large animal. In terror, he cried frantically, “Daddy, help me!”

John tried desperately to grab the reins, but the horse quickly outran his slower steed. When he arrived at the trailer, he found Jess sobbing hysterically – but physically unharmed. That night, as the house slept, John awoke from a nightmare. Why was he so upset when his son was safe?

Then, he heard the voice of the Lord: “Teach him to take the reins. This will not be the last runaway he is ever on.” 

Life is full of runaways, situations that we have no ability to control…We need someone wiser and stronger to teach us how to diligently follow the Lord and to take the reins…How can you do this for the children in your life???
6/21/2022Luke 11:23 “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.”

The cross of Christ demands a decision. Neutrality does not lead to triumph. To not deliberately choose is to make the choice.

When the Pharisees leveled their accusations at Jesus, He spelled it out very simply. There is no neutral ground. If we are not on His side, we are His enemy. If we are not helping do His work, we are actually harming His cause.

Many come to the cross as a source of salvation. They embrace the convenience of redemption but reject the commitment that comes with it. They view their relationship with Jesus as a complementary aside – not the one priority of primary and utmost importance.

True commitment is not convenient…When our comfort is challenged, and we still choose the way of the cross, it is in that place that our commitment is demonstrated…If anyone wants to follow Jesus, he must lay down his own life and ambitions…That person must take up his cross and sacrifice his personal desires…He must follow Jesus and choose His plan…If we are committed to the cross, we are committed to the Savior Who died on that tree…We are committed to follow His Word that commissions us to do the work of our Father…There is no neutral ground!!!
6/20/20222 Corinthians 2:14 “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”

If Satan had fully realized what nailing Jesus to the cross would do, he would have turned the world upside down to prevent His death. Only a Sovereign God could take a tool of torture and turn it into a tree of triumph!

When Satan watched the religious leaders arrest Jesus, he must have thought, “Finally! We have him right where we want Him!” When the accusations were leveled against Him, the Father of Lies must have laughed with glee.

When the soldiers pounded the nails and dropped the cross into the dirt, he surely rubbed his hands excitedly. As he heard Jesus breathe his last, he thought the end was in sight, that his victory was certain, that he would have the supremacy he coveted.

“It is finished.” Those words of Jesus were not a pitiful admission of defeat, they were a roar of triumph! The cross was the pinnacle of a plan that God laid with the foundations of the world. His only Son would become salvation to all those who choose to believe.

What Satan intended for evil, destruction, and death, God redeemed for good, abundance, and life…God is still leading us in triumph – will always lead us in triumph – in Christ!!!
6/19/2022Proverbs 20:7 “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.”

Today, we honor the fathers in our lives! Before Batman ever made an appearance, many of us believed that our dads possessed super powers.

In the spirit of giving due honor, here’s to the dads who are passionate about pursuing Jesus and have made Him the priority of their lives. They embrace their position as spiritual head of their home and earnestly seek the will of their heavenly Father.

Here’s to the dads who realize that honoring their wives – second only to the Lord – is the best gift that they can give their children. They work diligently to provide for their families and intentionally create a safe space where their wives and children are liberated to become who God created them to be.

Here’s to the dads who are present and positive participants in their children’s lives. They train their children to love and obey Jesus, take them to church, and speak blessings into their futures. They chase down fly balls, dress up for daddy-daughter dances, and tell all the corny jokes.

Great dads can be found roughhousing in the backyard, cheering from the bleachers, tutoring at the kitchen table, helping a neighbor change a tire, holding his wife while she cries, raising his hands in worship – and a thousand other places. They may not be our last heroes, but they were certainly our first. Here’s to all the dads!
6/18/2022Luke 8:40 “So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him.”

Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus was met with mobs and meals, palm branches and parades, accusations and accolades, pointing fingers, and perfume. His presence prompted a response.

Even today, Jesus demands a decision….and action. What we choose to do with Jesus and His cross is the primary and most pressing decision any person ever makes.

Instead of His death ringing with finality, it trumpeted a new beginning for all of us. His anguished cry, “It is finished,” actually means “paid in full.” He wiped away the enormous, insurmountable debt – the penalty for our sins – completely.

What looked to be a fatal and final tragedy became a tree of triumph to every believer. How can we properly express our gratitude and devotion? In today’s verse, the crowd waited for Him with anticipation. They came out to meet Him with happiness and expectation.

Let’s do the same! Wait and watch for Him. Welcome Him with worship and adoration. Greet Him with gratitude and great joy! Work for His coming! What is the one thing that you can begin to do now? How will you usher Him into your day?
6/17/2022John 10:28 “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”

How comforting to know that God holds us securely in His hand, cradling us with great care and compassion. If you find yourself exhausted in the middle of a difficult season, be assured of several things.
Every detail of your life is filtered through the loving fingers of our Father. Nothing and no one can tear you away from Him. He is not shocked or alarmed by the drama or tragedy in your life.
Whatever you perceive as your greatest weakness, whatever is lacking in you, in the place that you feel the ugliest and the least lovable…you are His. Now and forever. He will not disown or throw you away. You are precious in His sight.

He cannot wait to swoop you up and pull you in close…He delights in you as He sings with joy…Imagine His lips on your forehead as He hums a lullaby…You belong to Him…Run to Him as fast as your tired legs can carry you…Throw out your arms in complete trust…He will swing you up, pull you close, and call you His own…He won’t give you up, and He won’t give up on you…You are accepted in the Beloved…He’s got you…Better things are on the way!!!
6/16/2022Philippians 3:13-14 “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

After you experience a trial, as things settle back into normalcy, you may look back at months marred by loss and disappointment.  

Jesus understands the longing and necessity for new beginnings. For every person that comes to Him in brokenness, He washes away the old and makes a brand-new creation. He continues to mold us into vessels He can use.  

Consider the man lying by the Pool of Bethesda who had been ill for 38 years. When Jesus asked if he wanted to be healed, his despair was evident. 

Jesus gave three commands: Rise, take up your bed, and walk!  If the man had remained on the mat, it could have tied him to his pessimistic state. He needed to get up and get moving forward.

Perhaps, this year’s events have left you hurting and longing for relief…Hope, help, and healing are found in Jesus alone…His mercies flow anew every morning…Leave your burdens at the cross of Calvary, the tree of triumph…Let go of the things that weigh you down and prevent you from running your race well…Forget those things behind, and walk into the coming months with head held high!!!
6/15/2022Romans 10:13 “For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Equality and inclusion are two catchwords prevalent in today’s culture. Different people groups clamor for acknowledgment and justice, for the rights they believe they are due.  

At the foot of the cross, the ground is level. Every one of us brings our sinfulness, our brokenness, and our desperate need for a Savior. All of us are undeserving with nothing and no one to recommend us. We stand as equals.  

No one has ever been rejected at the cross. Peter declared that God did not show partiality towards certain types of people (Acts 10:34), and Jesus demonstrated that truth in His earthly ministry.  

He healed the leprous outcast as compassionately as he spoke to Nicodemus – a wealthy man in a powerful position. Doctors and business people were counted among His followers – as were unlearned fishermen, tax collectors, and political zealots.  

He included children, women, Samaritans, the poor, and the diseased. The cross of Calvary is all access to all people, off-limits to no one. “Whoever” calls on Jesus will be saved.  

If you have ever felt unseen, unheard, discounted and discarded, know that you are welcome at the cross…Jesus waits with open arms to embrace you, to call you His very own child, and to make you a vital member of His great big family…You are accepted in the Beloved!!!
6/14/20221 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

More than a mere symbol, the cross is a source of triumph for every person who bows under its shadow to accept Jesus as Savior.  

When Jesus hung on Calvary’s tree, He defeated sin once and for all (Romans 6:10). He broke its power over all humankind. We no longer live in slavery to its demands, at its beck and call. His death and resurrection make us free indeed!  

When we responded to the clarion call of Calvary and accepted Jesus’ invitation, His blood washed away our sins to reconcile us to the Father. As we take up our cross to follow Him daily, He perfects and matures – sanctifies – us (Luke 9:23).  

For those who are being saved, Jesus keeps calling us back to the cross. Here lies the power of God! Bring your discouragement, your broken heart, your shattered dream, your rebellious children, and your messed-up marriage. Lay it down. Here – more than any other place – we know that what seems dead and broken beyond repair can be raised and made brand new!  

Jesus still calls today…What do you need to lay down at the foot of the cross???Come, cast all your cares on Him, because He loves you so…Find power in the triumphant tree of Calvary!!!
6/13/2022Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

When Naaman, the leper, immersed himself in the Jordan River seven times per Elisha’s instructions, he must have held onto his breath when he came up out of the muddy waters that final time. He must have been clutching hope tightly but still afraid to look.  

Naaman was a war-hardened soldier who had stared death in the face, but he feared a horrifying demise at the hands of a terrible skin disease. Would the God of Israel care enough to heal him?  

He had his answer when he came up the seventh time to run his hands over his limbs and to peer with incredulous eyes at skin no longer white with leprosy. He joyfully declared that there was no god in all of the earth except the God of Israel (2 Kings 5:15)!  

On the brink of a breakthrough, we are often tempted to fall back into doubt, to lose hope that the Lord has heard our cry and will come to our aid…Like Naaman, we are afraid to look…However, the One Who promised is able to perform it…You may be going under for the final time, but Jesus will never abandon us in the middle of the story…When you come up gasping for air – no need to fear – you can expect cleansing, healing, and restoration!!!
6/12/2022James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

Elisha offered a simple solution when Naaman, the leper, visited him seeking a cure. If he would go dip seven times in the Jordan River, he would be healed (2 Kings 5).  

Naaman was furious but eventually decided to comply. We can imagine his thoughts because ours would be similar today. Down he went, and up he came seven times.  

After the first time, he might have thought, “How embarrassing! Why are all of these people gawking at me?”  

After the second time: “This water is cold and filthy! Is this some alternative therapy?”  

After the third time: “What will become of my family if this does not work?”  

After the fourth time: “Who will lead the king’s troops into battle?”  

After the fifth time: “Does the God of Israel care enough to heal me?”  

After the sixth time: “The leprosy is not shrinking at all!”  

After the seventh time: “Nothing has changed! God, please!”  Naaman must have been tempted to haul himself out of the water. If he would have immersed himself only six times, he would have died, because partial obedience is disobedience in the Lord’s eyes.  

Down he went into the muddy waters for the seventh time, and up he came with clean, baby-soft skin! When God gives a command, hurry to obey it to the last detail. Restoration waits on the other side!
6/11/2022Psalm 37:23 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way.”

When Naaman, the leper, arrived at the prophet’s house seeking healing, Elisha did not even come to the door. Instead, he sent his servant with a message for Naaman: if he would go dip seven times in the Jordan River, his skin would be healed and restored.  

Naaman was outraged! Elisha did not even speak to him, did not even wave his hand over the leprosy to heal it. He merely suggested that Naaman go jump in the dirty river. He could have saved himself the long journey.  

What a simple solution, and yet, Naaman hesitated, resisted, and even scorned Elisha’s advice. Perhaps, he expected something more dramatic in keeping with his important stature. Maybe he believed that he needed to perform a more difficult feat to prove he was worthy.  

How many times do we find ourselves in this same situation? God gives us a gentle nudge. A friend shares some wise words of counsel. The Holy Spirit whispers from the pages of scripture. Yet, we drag our feet and question every simple instruction. Our hesitation limits the blessings He can give to us.  

What simple steps has God asked you to take? Where is He leading? Your steps are arranged by God. He goes ahead of you to make the path sure, and He delights in your obedience when He looks back to find you following in His footsteps.
6/10/2022John 14:13-14 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

When the king discovered that Naaman had come to Israel to be cured of leprosy, he was terrified. He had no ability to heal, and failure to do so meant war with Syria (II Kings 5). He had position but no power.  

The prophet, Elisha, calmly invited Naaman to his home. Elisha had power that did not arise from wealth, might, or office. When he hit his knees, all of heaven moved on his behalf. Like Elisha, we hold the position and the power to change the world.  

Each one of us faces impossible situations, unsolvable problems, and unanswerable questions…Without God’s intervention, we have no hope for change…But when we ask in Jesus’ name, all of the capability and authority of our Father come to bear on our circumstances…In His mighty name, we can tear down every barrier that the enemy has built against God’s truth…With the Lord on our side, Satan may come at us in one way, but he will be scattered in seven different directions…When we cry out from the position of humbled hearts and bended knees, there is nothing that God will not do for us…That is the power of prayer!!!
6/9/2022Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”

The Gospel message – the Good News about Jesus Christ – is the truth that we possess! We carry around this unspeakably precious treasure in our jars-of-clay bodies (2 Corinthians 4:7).  

Naaman, the leper, was desperate for a cure. One small voice of hope spoke into his despair. A captive slave girl shared a message that changed his world (2 Kings 5:3). She walked in and out of one verse unnamed, but the truth she possessed delivered Naaman from certain death.  

Why do we shrink from sharing the truth that we possess? We cringe at the thought of rejection. We worry that we can’t quote chapter and verse. We think someone stronger and smarter will be better for the job. But the treasure inside speaks otherwise.  

We mingle with people every day who are desperate for a cure for the sin that has ravaged their lives. They strain for a glimmer of hope. They seek a truth that will change their world and deliver them from certain death.  

Open up the treasure box! Bring the good news! Proclaim peace! Bring glad testimony of the good things that God has done for you! Proclaim His salvation! The truth that you possess is the truth that changes the world!
6/8/2022Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

When Naaman could not hide his leprosy anymore, he confided directly in his boss, the king of Syria (2 Kings 5).  

The king was anxious at how Naaman’s revelation impacted himself. What if his enemies discovered that his star general was in a weakened condition and set out to attack them? When Naaman told his wife, she must have been frightened for the future. What would become of the comfortable life to which she was accustomed?  

Sometimes, we believe that concealing our sin is the best plan for ourselves and those that our confession might impact, but those who hide their sins never prosper…Unconfessed sin eats away at our souls and infects the very ones we hope to protect…Only those who confess do obtain mercy…Gladly embrace the wise counsel of a trusted friend over the acquaintance who comforts with what-we-want-to-hear platitudes…A true friend will correct out of love; it may wound us in the short term but works for our greater good…The one who kisses and compliments may be motivated by a hidden agenda and has no concern for our welfare…Seek out a trustworthy envoy who will pray and speak the truth of God – even if it stings – to bring about the healing that leads to forgiveness and life!!!
6/7/2022James 1:15 “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

In 2 Kings 5, we meet Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army. He was a powerful and popular soldier, but he had a problem. He was a leper.  

What began as a small spot on his skin bloomed into a full-scale onslaught that threatened everything he valued – his family, health, military career, and prosperity. As their health deteriorated, so did their ability to make a living. At that time, lepers became societal outcasts who were forced to live in colonies away from their families. Death was the inevitable outcome.  

Without the saving grace of Christ, we are like Naaman. No matter how successful or strong we appear, we have a sin condition. If left unchecked, this condition infects every area of our lives and leads to our demise.  

Our loving God has planned a hope-filled future for each one, but Satan has an alternate plan to kill, steal, and destroy us…He aims to steal the abundant life found in Jesus, to kill our potential, and to bring us down to utter ruin…Sin always diminishes us; it always makes our lives less than God intended…Only one person holds the cure for our condition, and His name is Jesus…Through Him, we reclaim our divine destiny and the lavish life He promises!!!
6/6/2022Psalm 23:5 “You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.”

When God pours out the anointing oil and fills up the vessels of our lives, our cups run over. The blessings refuse to be contained. His generosity knows no limits. His blessings to us are pressed down and shaken together until they overflow into our laps (Luke 6:38).  

The anointing of God gives us strength when we are weak. In place of sorrow, unspeakable joy will spring up instead. When those around us quake with fear, we will abound with faith and courage.  

Under the anointing, every burden will be lifted and every yoke will be destroyed. Mountains will be tossed into the sea, and every crooked path will be rolled out like a red carpet before us.  

These overflowing blessings ripple out to our homes and children too. They bubble up in our places of business. They spring up in our churches and the course into our communities. Even in the presence of our enemies or in the frightening shadows of the very valley of death, He continues to fill our cups. God’s goodness and mercy chase us down and overtake us every day of our lives.  

Take a moment to stare deeply into the cup of your life…Tip it up to sip slowly and savor the overflowing blessings the Lord has poured out just for you!!!
6/5/2022Isaiah 10:27 “It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.”

A “yoke” is a wooden bar that is lashed to the neck of an animal that enables it to bear heavy burdens and pull large loads. The farmer binds the yoke to the animal’s neck, so it cannot shake it off. Yokes often signify slavery and oppression.  

In today’s verse, the prophet, Isaiah, brought good news to King Hezekiah. The Assyrian king had captured Judah’s cities, demanded exorbitant tributes, and mocked the God they served. But God promised that He would lift the burden and break the yoke!  

And why would God deliver Judah? Was it for His great love? Because Hezekiah was such a deserving king? Because Judah had done all the right things in the right ways? No, the anointing oil bought their freedom!  

As His children, we are His anointed…Whatever yoke Satan has bound to your neck to lead you astray and bow you under its weight, God will lift it from your shoulders…He will not just remove it – He will destroy it…You will no longer have to carry that burden…It will no longer be a source of struggle that will affect you or your children…The anointing breaks the yoke to set you free!!!
6/4/2022Exodus 40:9 “And you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it; and you shall hallow it and all its utensils, and it shall be holy.”

As Moses and the children of Israel completed the Tabernacle of God, He commanded Moses to anoint the tabernacle and everything that was in it.  

Every curtain, piece of furniture, article of clothing, and the priest was anointed with the oil of God. Without that anointing, nothing could be used for God’s purposes, could be close to God’s presence, or experience God’s power.  His anointing sanctified the common and made it holy.  

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day relinquished the anointing for man-made rules and empty traditions. Jesus called them white-washed tombs full of dead men’s bones. Outwardly, they had an appearance of religion, but their very lives denied the validity of its power (II Timothy 3:5). They preferred the prestige and comfort of their position over the true presence of God in their lives.  

Have we exchanged our pride for His power? What separates our church services from mere social gatherings? The anointing! Without it, there is no power to see the prodigals come home, to break the chains of addiction, or for the impossible to become reality.  

There is no substitute for the anointing of God…It is not optional…The anointing brings power and life and an explosion of abundance!!!
6/3/2022John 20:22 “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”

Jesus Christ anointed the disciples. They were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and they turned the world upside down with the Good News entrusted to them (Acts 17:6).  

Under that anointing, thousands repented when they preached. Under that anointing, the lame went walking, leaping, and praising God. The demon-possessed were set free, and the dead were raised back to life. When Peter’s mere shadow fell on the sick, they were healed.  

Under that same anointing, they were arrested, imprisoned, beaten, crucified, burned, beheaded, and stoned. Through that persecution, the message of the cross spread like wildfire. No religious leader could shut it down. No emperor could put a stop to it. No power on earth could stand against it.

Under the anointing, we may face persecution…Struggle does not mean that we are not spiritual…Struggle means that we are flesh and blood fighting against spiritual powers of darkness that are rampant in the world…The weapons of our warfare are mighty…When the battle rages, the anointing enables us to fight through to the victory that is ours through Jesus…When the fire blazes the hottest, the anointing emboldens us to stand our tallest as children of Almighty God…In good times, in bad times, in all times, the anointing of God empowers us to fulfill His purposes!!!
6/2/20221 Samuel 16:13 “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.”

The anointing of God does not guarantee a trouble-free life, but it is the power that pulls us through the trouble.  

When the prophet, Samuel, anointed David as Israel’s next king, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him from that day forward. Samuel departed for home, and David returned to his father’s flocks.  

Later, when an evil spirit troubled King Saul, he sent for David to play the music that soothed him. Finally, he was in the palace where he belonged! But when his father called for help, David left for home.  

When Israel warred against the Philistines, David went to check on his brothers. There, the anointing rose up to defeat the arrogant Goliath with one stone. David’s fame grew, and so did Saul’s jealousy. Threatened with his murderous rage, David was forced to flee.  

For years, David ran from Saul – hiding, pondering Samuel’s words, questioning his anointing. But at the appointed time, God fulfilled His promise and exalted David to king.  

You are anointed for God’s purposes…Seeming setbacks do not diminish His calling for your life…In the waiting, He will strengthen and prepare you for promotion…His plan may be years in the making, but your perseverance will be rewarded!!!
6/1/2022Luke 10:34 “So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine…”

David knew the voice of the Good Shepherd because his young life was spent in the pastures tending his father’s flocks. Strumming his harp, he wrote songs to the Mighty One of Israel.

He understood the power of the anointing. When springtime pastures grew green and lush, he led the sheep to the fields. As they grazed, sharp blades of new grass and thorny bushes cut their tender muzzles. Flies then laid eggs in the open wounds, and the infected cuts tormented the sheep.  

As a caring shepherd, David took oil from his bag to anoint the lambs. As the fragrant oil flowed over the head of the animal, the flies would take their leave; the curative properties of the oil would trickle into the wounds to alleviate the pain and bring healing.  

Jesus, our Good Shepherd, knows that we need the anointing to heal the wounds that the enemy has inflicted on our souls…He understands that we need emotional relief from guilt and shame, spiritual relief from the oppression that weighs us down, and physical relief from sickness and weariness…He longs to gather us into His arms, to pour out the healing oil and the wine of gladness until the grace, peace, joy, and love of God saturate our lives!!!
5/31/20221 Samuel 16:13 “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.”

The anointing of God is a mark of distinction that separates every believer from the world. It activates the power of God in our lives to accomplish His will in this world.

In I Samuel 16, God commanded Samuel to anoint the next leader of Israel. He sent him to Bethlehem to find Jesse, a man with eight sons; one of them would be king!

Jesse presented his sons to Samuel, but the Lord rejected each one. God admonished Samuel, saying that He was interested in the man’s heart – not his outward appearance.

Samuel asked Jesse if there were more sons. David, the youngest, was out in the fields tending the sheep. He was something of a dreamer, musician, and poet. Samuel sent for him, and when he appeared, the Lord directed Samuel to anoint him. As the oil flowed, the Spirit of the Lord changed David forever.

Perhaps, you are feeling isolated and forgotten…Maybe you have labored unnoticed for a long time…If Jesus has found you far afield and brought you home, be encouraged that you are chosen and anointed…He sees your willing heart, and He has set you apart for His purposes!!!
5/30/2022Isaiah 53:4-5 “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows … but He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

In the contents of the Communion cup, we are reminded of our three-fold healing.

Jesus died to heal us emotionally. He bore our grief and sorrow; He carried them away. His sacrifice gave us victory over bitterness, unforgiveness, fear, grief, and depression. No regret for the past nor fear of the future has the power to diminish our lives. He fills us with a peace beyond our comprehension.

Jesus died to heal us physically. He took the stripes on His back to relieve us of sickness and disease. He was wounded so we could be completely whole, bruised so we could be healed. James encourages us to pray for one another because tremendous power is released through the heartfelt prayers of the Godly believer (James 5:16).

Jesus died to heal us spiritually. God laid on Him the sins of humankind, our wrong rolled onto Him so that we could be made right with God. Though our sins were scarlet, He washed them white as snow. He nailed the record of our debts to the cross, canceling our IOU. Through Him, we are set free.
5/29/2022John 6:56 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me, and I in him.”

Communion promises the presence of Christ. As we share the bread and wine, we receive His body and blood, His promises and provision.

If we have heard His call and opened the door, He will come right in and sit down to eat with us (Revelation 3:20). If we bring a hearty appetite to the table, He will reward us with the fullness that can only be found in Him. Fully partaking of His body and His blood bring the abundant life that we all crave (John 6:55-59).

When we “make a meal of Him,” taking in the Bread of Heaven, we will live forever. The person whom Christ abides in and who abides in Christ will never die – ever.

Jesus also promises to never leave or abandon us (Hebrews 13:5). He promises to be with us, moment by moment, to the very ends of the earth to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

When we participate in Communion, we experience His presence…His touch comforts the brokenhearted and reassures us that He will stand beside us, turning the darkness into glorious light…He will lift the heaviest burden and transform our fear into faith…He comes near to bring hope and healing, to enliven and inspire, to touch and transform, to anoint and abide!!!
5/28/20221 Corinthians 12:12 “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.”

The Holy Communion unites all members in one body. This table makes no room for sexism, racism, materialism or denominationalism. We are one.

In Christ’s family, we are equal. He does not play favorites between males and females. All of us were created by Him with unique gifts, each designed with a specific role and an assignment to accomplish.

In God’s house, everybody is somebody! He died for every color, every tongue, and every people group. Around the world, every person is valued and accepted in the Beloved. Racism has no place at the table of God.

In America, materialism has become a god…People with lesser means are often considered “lesser than”…James 2 warns against showing partiality to the rich or prominent; he says that God has actually chosen the poor to be rich in faith…We all stand equally needy at the foot of the cross…God did not send His Son to the cross so that denominations would spring up to squabble over doctrines and differences…He created us to dwell together in unity, to demonstrate His love, and to preach the saving grace of Jesus…Male or female, black or white, prince or pauper, Presbyterian or Pentecostal – we are one!!!
5/27/20221 Corinthians 11:28 “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.”

Communion is a time of reflection, a time to examine our hearts and to be honest with ourselves before the Lord.

Picture the Passover table as Jesus held the common cup – a large goblet. As we sit together, and He extends the cup to each of us, what do we see in its reflection?

First, we see His beloved face, the Lamb Who became our perfect sacrifice. His body broken, His bloodshed became the answer for our sin-sick souls, the remedy for our shame, and the cure for our disease.

As we take the cup, we catch our own reflection. Without looking, we know our desperate state and how lost we would be without Him. We recognize our need for a righteous Savior. And as we take the cup, we remember that He paid the price and our hearts overflow.

Sitting around us at the table are our brothers and sisters, their faces reflected beside our own. The single cup reminds us that we are united in one body. As we lift the cup to our lips, let us reflect that we are bound by His blood to every person who sits at the table, and around the world, who calls on the name of Jesus.
5/26/20221 Corinthians 11:25 “In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My Blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

As we participate in Communion, Jesus reminds us to remember – to look back at the darkest night on which all of history hinges and to anticipate His promise that we will sit around a table again with Him one day.

Remembrance holds an important place in Jewish culture. The Israelites insisted on remembering God’s enduring compassion and undying faithfulness. They established memorials to remind themselves and their children. They sang songs, designed dances, and penned poetry. They assembled altars, designated days of celebration, wrote in their record books, and offered oblations to God.

For them and the following generations, those memorials pointed to how the Lord delivered them from enemies, brought them through deep waters, and provided for every need.

Remembrance is an act of righteousness…Remember Jesus’ desperate prayer in Gethsemane…Remember Judas’ act of betrayal…Remember the Roman whip that laid open His back…Remember the blood that poured out for the remission of our sins…Remember the final words that He uttered from the cross…Remember the promises of God, because the provision of the Lord is found in them…In Communion, we remember our Savior, Healer, Provider, Defender, Hope, and Soon-coming King!!!
5/25/20221 Corinthians 11:24 “and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you”

Communion is a memorial meal that looks back to celebrate Christ’s victory on the cross and looks forward to the day when we drink anew with Him in His kingdom (Matthew 26:29).

Jesus celebrated Passover with His disciples the night before Calvary. In the same way that He broke the bread, His body would be cruelly shattered for us.

For us! He was bloodied and wounded, battered and pierced, bruised and crushed. Those 39 lashes that lacerated His back bought our healing, for “…by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). He took our suffering, weaknesses, sicknesses, and disease, and He carried them all away.

Christ gave us victory over sickness and disease. We can now lay hold of divine healing through His work on the cross. He is the Lord that heals us (Exodus 15:26).

Jesus gave sight to the blind, caused the lame to leap, opened up deaf ears, loosened mute tongues, healed long-term diseases, and even raised the dead…Our Savior is the same yesterday, today, and forever…He will do for us what He did for those long-ago seekers…As you take the communion wafer, remember and accept the healing that His sacrifice won…His body was broken for you!!!
5/24/20221 Corinthians 11:23-24 “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke”

On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus shared the Passover meal with His disciples. There, He instituted the beautiful practice of communion which we still share thousands of years later.

That evening, as He stood in the very shadow of the cross, as He tore the bread that would forever symbolize His broken body, He gave thanks. Knowing that He was destined for the cross, He gave thanks.

He often expressed thanks throughout His earthly voyage. When he held up a boy’s meager lunch, He gave thanks as He broke the bread and divided the fish to feed more than 5000 people before collecting the leftovers.

As He wept outside the tomb of His dear friend, Lazarus, He paused to pray, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me” (John 11:41). Moments later, He called His dead friend back to the land of the living and into the arms of his grateful sisters.

The spirit of gratitude releases the miracle-working power of God in every situation….When you are navigating a storm or trudging through a dark valley, find a place of prayer and offer thanks to God…Your gratitude will invite His presence, provision, and power into every area of brokenness!!!
5/23/2022Hebrews 9:14 “how much more shall the Blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Some purport that we are all on the same road headed for the same destination, that there are many ways to God.

But His Word tells a different – and true – story! Jesus decisively proclaimed that He is the only way, truth, and life. No one can approach the Father without Jesus taking us there (John 14:6).

Is God’s heart so hard that He will not show mercy if someone weeps remorsefully at the day of judgment? Can we prevail upon God for forgiveness then? Not if we reject the sacrifice of Jesus and His cleansing blood now.

What if we donate all of our money to feed and shelter the poor? 

Our church membership, good standing in the community, and sterling reputations cannot earn us places in heaven…Without faith in Jesus and the work of the cross, our most shining deeds are like filthy rags…We are decaying leaves whose wickedness, like the wind, carries us far away from God’s favor…The tomb of Jesus is empty…Angels rolled away the stone – not to let Jesus out, but to let us enter – so we could see that God has accepted His sacrifice…The only way to meet the Father is through the blood of Jesus!!!
5/22/2022Colossians 1:19-20 “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself … whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the Blood of His Cross.”

Only the blood of Jesus – only the blood of His cross – reconciles us to the Father. Only His blood makes peace between us and God.

When the Nile River turned into blood in the first plague of Egypt, every stream ran red and the water in every vessel in every home turned to blood. That blood did not save us.

When Solomon dedicated the Temple, he sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So much blood – but those offerings could not wash away their sins.

The Roman army surrounded Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The city was decimated, the Temple was destroyed, and over one million people, mostly Jews, were killed. Their blood could not bring us into right relationship with God.

The only blood that can remove the stain of sin from our souls is the blood of the Lamb of God slain for the redemption of many…With heaven and earth watching, Emmanuel bled His life away…From His head, His hands, His feet, His brow, and His side, His blood poured out for each one of us…Only His blood bought our forgiveness, our hope, our future, and everlasting life!!!
5/21/2022Hebrews 9:12 “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own Blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”

A scarlet stream flows through Scripture. It begins at the gates of Genesis and courses through to the end of Revelation.

The stream was set in motion when Adam and Eve sinned at the beginning, and God shed the blood of innocent animals to provide covering for them (Genesis 3:21). Later, God accepted Abel’s blood sacrifice, but Cain’s offering was rejected (Genesis 4:5).

Six centuries passed, and the stream resurfaced when Noah’s first act following the flood was to worship God with the offering of sacrificial animals (Genesis 8:20). Years later, God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son. Even as Abraham lifted the knife, God spared Isaac and provided a ram for the altar instead.

Four centuries passed, and the stream rolled on in the story of Moses. On the night that the Israelites escaped Egypt, the blood over the doorpost of their homes spared their firstborn sons.

To usher in the new covenant, Jesus shed His blood once and for all…Destined to die from the foundations of the world, He became the scapegoat for our sin, the ultimate and final sacrifice…Today, we remember that crimson, cleansing tide every time we participate in communion…This we will do until He comes again…Only then will the scarlet stream reach its final destination!!!
5/20/2022Matthew 26:27-28 “Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My Blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’”

When Adam took of the forbidden fruit in the beginning, his bloodline was tainted with sin. He died from blood poisoning. Thousands of years later, the virus of sin still thrives in the blood of every person who has not come to Christ.

The only solution for eternal death is a Blood transfusion from the Savior of all humankind. When we participate in communion, we remember the sacrifice given to wash away our sins and initiate a new covenant and new way of living. We symbolically take in the supernatural, life-changing Blood of Jesus that drives out the virus.

When we participate in holy communion, Satan must hang his head…He knows that he has lost us to the Lamb…In the same way that the lamb’s blood over the Israelites’ doorposts forced the death angel to pass over those homes, the Blood of the Lamb over the doorpost of our souls makes us untouchable to the prince of darkness…When we come to the table with our brothers and sisters, the Blood of Christ unites His body…He mediated a new covenant so that we might receive the promise of eternal inheritance!!!
5/19/2022Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”

God instituted animal sacrifice to make atonement for the sinful souls of humanity in the Old Testament, but a river of blood from bulls, rams, goats, and turtledoves could not save us.

Christ alone redeemed us from the curse of the Law through the shedding of His Blood (Galatians 3:13)! Only His Blood could atone for us. We are not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold or the dead-end traditions of the past. No! We were bought with the priceless Blood of the perfect Lamb (1 Peter 1:18-19). The Innocent died so the guilty could go free!

In our physical bodies, bones, muscles, organs, tendons, and nerves are set in place…The blood, though, is ever moving…It circulates through the body about every 20 seconds carrying oxygen, nutrients, and cleansing power…Life is in our blood…When a nurse touches our wrists, she is looking for the pulse created by moving blood…No pulse indicates death…In the body of Christ, His Blood circulates to give us life, to connect and empower us individually and corporately…Without His Blood, we can expect deprivation and death…True life is found only in the Blood of Jesus!!!
5/18/2022Ephesians 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

We have been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Our sins have been forgiven, and we are accepted in the Beloved. Oh, the riches of God’s grace!

Colossians 2:14 says that He “wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us.” The impossible-to-uphold Law is the handwriting that stands against us. One broken statute meant we were fully guilty.

“Handwriting” was the term used for the signature on an IOU, a document that acknowledged a debt we could not pay. But Jesus signed our IOU at the Cross.

An ancient method existed for indicating a paid-in-full debt. A person could cross out the writing on the IOU or strike through it with a nail. Jesus’ nail-pierced hands crossed out the judgment against us.

Picture your long list of sins written down for all to see…See the nail pounded through Jesus’ hand to your list of sins…See the stream of His Blood washing away the record that stood against you…Your sins never to be remembered again…Your name recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life…Your filthy rags traded for spotless robes of righteousness…Destined to live in a mansion prepared for you by the Architect of the Ages…Redeemed by His precious Blood!!!
5/17/2022Hebrews 9:22 “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

Our generation thrives on power. We pay professional athletes exorbitant salaries to vanquish their competitors. The automobile industry builds stronger, sleeker vehicles. The military develops mightier rockets and weapons of destruction.

At Calvary, God unleashed the most extraordinary power the world ever had – or ever will – experience. There, Jesus poured out His Blood for the remission of all humanity’s sins, to cancel the debt against us. His atonement bought our redemption and reconciliation to the Father.

The power, purity, purpose, and protection of the Blood encompass the mystery of God’s salvation plan. The scarlet thread of blood runs through the Bible. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were naked and ashamed. In His mercy, God provided animal skins to cover them. The principle was established that blood must be shed to cancel out sin, that the innocent would suffer so the guilty could be set free.

Without the Blood of Jesus, Christianity is a powerless fraud…The church is merely a religious fraternity living in absolute deception…Our preaching is in vain, our worship a farce…We have ritual without righteousness, ceremony without conversion, and deception without discipleship…Because of His Blood, we have been forgiven, saved, and filled with the hope of a future with our Redeemer…It will never lose its power!!!
5/16/2022Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.”

Many profess the promises of God, but they fail to possess them because they do not walk in agreement with the Lord.

If Joshua had proclaimed, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15), but his children had rejected that mandate, he would have been left with an empty profession – no possession.

God blesses unity…Our families must place Him at the center, take courage, and walk in agreement with His Word…As parents, we must be present to watch over our children, guide and teach, walk hand in hand with them…Talk to them about the wonderful works of the Lord, His faithfulness in the past, His promises for the future, His amazing gift of salvation, and the destiny He has designed for each one of them…From the time they rise in the morning until they drift off to sleep at night, teach them to love and walk in obedience to His statutes…Home is truly where our hearts are…Invest your love, time, and energies into the children whom God has gifted to us!!!
5/15/2022Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?”

Before the Israelite leaders, Joshua made this bold declaration, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua’s “me” was personal, but his “we” meant that he and his family were walking in agreement.

Agreement does not mean that we are all cookie-cutter versions of one another with no original thoughts. Agreement means that, in spite of our diversity, we understand the roles we are called to fulfill, and we sacrifice our individual plans to God’s greater plan.

Jesus did not pursue His own desires. He only spoke what the Father said (John 12:49). He only did what His Father showed Him (John 5:19). Dreading death on the cross, Jesus prayed for another way, but He ultimately relented, “…nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).

Families must come into alignment with God’s plan…The husband submits himself to God’s plan and to his wife in the same way that Christ gave Himself for the church…The wife, in turn, surrenders to the Lord and submits to her husband…When the two walk in agreement, their children learn how mutual submission accomplishes the mission…Choose to walk in agreement with God…Submit to one another for the greater good of His plan and for the fulfillment of His mission!!!
5/14/2022John 16:33 “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

This world can discourage and dissuade us from being the people that God created us to be. In our key verse, Jesus encourages us to “be of good cheer” – to take courage, to be undaunted, even filled with joy!

We have all compared our lives to those picture-perfect social media families and realized that we do not measure up. Our families are imperfect, fractured, and dysfunctional. Well, take courage! We stand in good company.

God does not discount imperfect families. In fact, He has a long history of using very imperfect fathers, mothers, and children to bring about His ultimate plans for good.

He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah. Abraham fathered a child with the “other woman” – flawed. Isaac and Rebekah played favorites and created a family rift that lasted for decades – flawed. Jacob’s eleven sons ganged up on their young brother and sold him into slavery – flawed. Judah slept with his daughter-in-law because he thought she was a prostitute – flawed.

All broken down and messed up, but through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah comes the very Son of God…Be encouraged…A perfect God will take what the enemy intended for evil in your family and turn it to great good when you submit your all to Him!!!
5/13/2022Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Jesus summoned us to lay hold of the eternal, to pour our lives into things that carry everlasting weight and will endure forever.

We choose how to live today. Distractions and detractors may attempt to pull us off course. Obligations and appointments crowd our calendars. Good things can deter us from the “God things” – the plans that He has purposed for us.

With the power of the Holy Spirit, we can make choices that redirect us to Him, that guide us into truth. Let’s pour our lives into the divine purposes of God and our relationship with Him, into being about our Father’s business.

Let’s discipline ourselves to not just read His Word – but obey it. Let’s quiet ourselves to pray. Let’s practice the presence of God and living in the fullness of joy.

Individuals who prioritize the kingdom of God grow into Godly spouses who raise children in the nurture and instruction of the Lord. Those families build a church that welcomes the presence of God. Churches filled with the power and presence of the Lord build a strong nation. Those efforts do not begin at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. They begin at our own addresses, under our own roofs.

Determine to seek His kingdom and His purposes first and foremost…When we do, He will provide for every other need!!!
5//12/2022Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Joshua threw down the gauntlet to the children of Israel. “Serve the Lord!” he challenged (Joshua 24:14). But he made it clear… the choice was theirs to make.

Before they weighed in with their decision, Joshua reminded them of the God he served. He was the One Who parted the Red Sea so they could cross on dry ground – then swallowed the Egyptians in the briny deep. He protected and guided them in a column of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When they were hungry, manna fell from heaven. When they were thirsty, water gushed from a rock. He caused the walls of Jericho to crumble before their victory cry.

How could it seem evil to elect that kind of Lord? But He gave them the privilege of choice.

The choice of who you will serve stands today…A reminder is in order…This is the God Who loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die in your place…The lashes that He took across His back set you free from the shackles of sickness…When you need provision, He opens up the windows of heaven to pour out a blessing that cannot be contained…Choose whom you will serve…Make Him your choice!!!
5/11/2022Matthew 6:19-20 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”

Jesus encouraged us to stockpile treasures in heaven where moths couldn’t eat them, rust couldn’t corrode them, and thieves couldn’t break in and steal them. He knew that where our treasures are located is the place where our hearts are invested.

Over the last generation, a shift has occurred in our nation. Parents often are more interested in climbing the corporate ladder than building a Godly home. Fathers have abandoned their roles as spiritual leaders who train their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Mothers spend more time at the office than nurturing home and family.

In the Old Testament, Joshua issued an ultimatum to the children of Israel: “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…” (Joshua 24:15). The Israelites had been ensnared by foreign gods in the nations around them, but Joshua called them to choose the Lord.

Joshua’s challenge still resonates today. Will we find our treasures in earthly pursuits or will we prioritize our eternal purposes? Large salaries and success amass material things and the semblance of significance, but those things are fleeting.

Instead of focusing on the bottom line, pour all of your heart and energy into influencing future generations with the truth of Jesus Christ…Lay up eternal treasures in heaven!!!
5/10/20221 John 4:11 “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

The global crises we’ve faced over the past several years have given us the opportunity to rediscover what we truly love.

While countless immigrants are risking their lives and futures to come to America, unruly mobs are burning our flag in the streets, professional athletes are kneeling during the anthem, and Hollywood elites mock patriotism.

America has found itself in the greatest moral and political crisis since the American revolution. The media is more propaganda than truth. Socialism runs rampant, and one of its key goals is to shut down the churches in America! Our children are being taught “critical race theory,” which tells them that America’s laws, institutions, values, and traditions are racist and must be destroyed.

This is the time for the body of Christ to dwell together in unity…This is the time to come together under His banner of love…We need to demonstrate that we are united in one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one body, and one Spirit in one hope with faith in action…Our purpose is to love the Lord and to care for one another…Let’s be about the Father’s business!!!
5/9/2022Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Throughout the Bible, names are often linked with the purposes of God. Abraham means father of multitudes. Eve was the mother of all who were living. God renamed Jacob, the deceiver, to become Israel, he who prevails with God.

When Moses asked God Whom he should tell the Israelites had sent him to deliver them, God responded, “I AM.” Day after day, He revealed more of Himself through miraculous exploits.

The current situation has driven us into our homes and to our knees. He is revealing Himself as Jehovah Shammah, the Lord Who is there.

When difficult circumstances drive us to our knees, He reveals Himself as Jehovah Shammah, the Lord Who is there.

When anxiety threatens to overwhelm, He is Jehovah Shalom, our Peace. He calms every fear and fills us with a peace that guards our hearts and minds.

Greater than any virus, sickness or disease, He is Jehovah Rophe, the God Who heals us. The stripes on Jesus’ back purchased our healing.

He is Jehovah Nissi, the Banner over us. When we align ourselves with God, we fight under His banner and with His help. The battle already belongs to Him!

There is a name above every other name…That name is Jesus…Call on Him in the day of trouble…He will answer and deliver!!!
5/8/2022Proverbs 31:25 “Strength and honor are her clothing…”

On Mother’s Day, let us honor the ladies in our lives! Whether a mother or daughter, a wife or single, a stay-at-home mom or a career woman, you are precious in the sight of God and a marvelous part of His plan.

Throughout the Bible, God uses women to accomplish His purposes. Graceful Abigail saved her foolish husband with her intelligence and hospitality. Risking her own life, courageous Esther rescued her fellow Jews from certain death. Deborah – a prophetess, poet, and warrior – served as a judge in Israel.

In the New Testament, Anna, the prophetess, served the Lord ceaselessly in the Temple. Successful businesswoman, Lydia, was the first recorded Christian convert in Europe. Paul entrusted Pheobe, a deaconess in the church at Cenchrea, to carry his letter to the Romans.

Jesus emphasized the worth of women. He healed them–the woman with the issue of blood and Jairus’ daughter who was presumed dead. He defended them when He rebuked those who criticized Mary for anointing His feet with expensive perfume. He delivered them; Mary Magdalene’s life changed forever when He cast out seven demons. He provided for them; from the Cross, He charged John to care for His mother.

On this Mother’s Day we celebrate the dignity, intelligence, virtue, and Godly influence of the women in our lives…We rise up to call them blessed…In the immortal words of Solomon, “You are altogether beautiful…”!!!
5/7/2022Romans 8:37 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Paul assured the Romans that “…we know that all things work together for good to those who love God…” (Romans 8:28). Even as he penned those words, Paul understood the pressures and pains of this life.

He had been whipped, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, hungry, naked, and cold – all for the sake of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). He was not suggesting those things were good.

He was declaring that when we look at adversity through the lens of God’s goodness, it shapes and molds us. We see struggles as a season to gain strength. Rock-solid confidence pours into our souls that God is on His throne, and everything will work out for the best. We make the determination to rejoice in the day that God has made, to be glad right now (Psalm 118:24).

We are living in an unpredictable world…There are constant disruptions to our “normal” including sickness, relational discord, and financial hardship…However, we have a God Who is greater than these things and the chaos they create…Even in situations that Satan intends for evil, God will redeem them to bring about His good purposes…He has caused us to be more than conquerors…As the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write these words, his heart must have been singing as he smiled ear to ear…Determine to rejoice alongside him today!!!
5/6/2022Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

What hope resides in today’s key verse! When it seems that everything is working against us – a deadly virus, enforced isolation, supply shortages, loss of income – God is right beside us.

Not one ounce of defeat can be found in this verse or the ones before and after it. Paul agrees that yes, we will suffer in this world, but it is nothing compared to the glory that awaits. We look with eager anticipation for what God will do on our behalf (Romans 8:18-25).

Paul says that yes, we will experience weaknesses, but the Spirit will help us (Romans 8:26). His power shines through most brightly at those points (II Corinthians 12:9).

The Psalmist declared that it was good that he had been afflicted because he learned to trust in God’s Word (Psalm 119:71), to run to the secret place of the Most High, and to dwell under the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1).

The sun came up and we are breathing…God has a purpose for us…When you are feeling overwhelmed or defeated, turn to the Lord for His provision and peace…God is for us…God is in our corner…God is championing us…God has created us to be more than conquerors!!!
5/5/2022Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Our key verse for today is an outlook indicator! How you read this verse determines your outlook. Your outlook determines your outcome in life.

In our current climate, we face unprecedented struggles. We are dealing with the unknown, with an uncertain future. Each of us has the opportunity to choose our outlook and to determine our ultimate outcome.

Some people will deny the power of this verse. In the crisis, they will argue that God has not worked things for their good. They will fix their eyes on a faltering business or an illness or a deficiency, and they will lose sight of a benevolent God orchestrating His plan for their lives.

Others stand on a weak theology that the Christian life is absent of struggle. That doctrine is not weathering the current storm well.

His Word says that we will experience difficulties in this life, that needs will arise, that struggles will come…It also assures us that, in the middle of the struggle, He is our Strength, our Provider, and our Healer…In the swirling uncertainty, we have a firm foundation, and Jesus is His name…Choose to believe, to know, that God is working for you…Allow this faith-filled outlook to determine your good outcome!!!
5/4/2022Psalm 119:89 “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.”

Where do we turn in uncertain times? When life as we once knew it is no more, where do we look for stability and truth?

For the child of God, the Word of God has always been the place to turn. In its pages, we find God’s promises. It steadies our anxious hearts. It replaces fear with faith. It reminds us of the One Who swore to never leave us, that He would be our Defender.

In spite of how shaky the world may seem today, we can be certain that God Almighty still presides from His throne. Even though people may plot and plan and scheme, God will have His way (Proverbs 19:21).

We can be certain that He will provide for our every need…He will do exceedingly abundantly above what we can ask or imagine…The all-sufficient One is more than able…We can be certain that He will protect us…He has given His angels charge over us…No evil can come near us, and no plague can get through our door when God is our refuge…His goodness and mercy will follow us – chase us down – all the days of our lives, and we will dwell safely in His arms forever…Allow His Word to settle your heart once and for all!!!
5/3/2022Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

“Doing good” seems effortless when life carries on as usual, but it becomes difficult when a challenge throws your whole world into tumult. Simple tasks become a challenge, and normal routines are hindered at every turn.

Challenging seasons are a time to lean into the Lord and not into our own understanding. It is not a time to lose heart but to trust Him with our whole hearts. When we welcome Him into our situation, He will keep us on the right track (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Rampant uncertainty floods our planet as we continually face unprecedented obstacles. We have learned how quickly our world can change and how tenuous is our stability over the last several years.

The good news is that we serve a God Who is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in the time of trouble…Under His sheltering wings, we find protection…In the pages of His Word, we find the truth upon which to stand…In the family of God, we find the support we need…Don’t lose heart…Continue to do good…Even in times of uncertainty, He will cause us to reap a bountiful harvest!!!
5/2/2022Joel 2:13 “Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.”

A story is told of a rebellious young man who broke the law and was sent to prison for several long years. He knew his father was greatly displeased and angry with him.

As he served his time, he believed that his father would never allow him to come home. He wrote to his mother to tell of his impending release.

He would take the train whose tracks wound around their farm. If she and his father would welcome his return, he asked them to tie a ribbon in the oak tree beside the tracks. If he saw that scrap of cloth, he would get off the train. If not, he would pass through and never contact them again.

On his release day, he boarded the train. With every turn of the wheels, tension mounted. Rounding the final bend, he could not bear to look. He asked the gentleman seated beside him to look for a ribbon in the tree.

Peering out the window, the man said, “I don’t see one ribbon. I see hundreds of ribbons tied to every branch, the fence, the clothesline, and the back porch. There are so many ribbons, it looks like it snowed. What does it mean?”

With tears on his face, the young man responded, “It means I’m forgiven. I’m going home.”
5/1/20222 Corinthians 5:18 “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…”

Many of us have been abandoned, betrayed or abused. Actions taken against us left scars on our souls, continual anger or deep bitterness. Those offenses destroyed our peace of mind.
We have a Savior that we abandoned. We deserted our faith to chase after lesser things. We wounded Him and heaped up injustices against Him. Still, He emptied Himself of all heavenly royalty and humbled Himself to the point of death on the Cross…even while we were still sinners.
When we approached Him to plead for forgiveness, He opened up His arms and poured out grace…He reconciled us to God…He chose forgiveness, washed away the sins of the past, and refused to remember them anymore…He gave us the ministry of reconciliation…He healed our vertical relationship with the Father, so we can show others the way back to Him…Through Christ, our horizontal relationships with others can be healed too…He gives us the ability to forgive, the power to rise up and walk away free…He breaks the strangleholds of anger and bitterness…He alone brings the hope and healing, the reconciliation and restoration, the freedom and a future…He ministered reconciliation and charges us to do the same!!!
4/30/2022Luke 12:48 “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”

Romans 3:23 reminds us that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s expectations. We have compiled a long list of transgressions, proven ourselves incapable of living up to the glorious plans He has for us.

In His mercy, God sent Jesus to save us. His blood washed away our sins, and He adopted us as His own children.

Jesus told of a master who wished to settle his accounts. He summoned a slave who owed billions of dollars. His master commanded that his family and everything he owned be sold to pay the debt. When the servant fell down and begged for mercy, he released him and forgave the debt.

Afterwards, the servant found a fellow servant who owed him a small sum of money. He grabbed him by the throat, demanded payment, and threw him into debtors’ prison. When this news reached his master, he turned the ungrateful servant over to the tormentors until his debt was repaid.

Mercy and forgiveness are wonderful to receive but can be difficult to extend to another…Remember the great debt of sin that Jesus has forgiven you…Be quick to extend mercy to the one who offends…Much has been given…Much will be required!!!
4/29/2022Psalm 126:5 “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Peter Hulme left his village for the university, going on to become a famous architect. After gaining great wealth, he lost it all because of alcoholism.

He returned to his village with his wife and only child, a daughter on whom he doted. Their new neighbor owned a large, vicious dog. Although the townspeople had asked the man to restrain the dangerous dog, he arrogantly refused.

As Hulme returned home one day, he heard his daughter’s frantic screams. He raced to find her in the jaws of the neighbor’s dog. He managed to tear her from the dog’s teeth, but she died in his arms.

The town was outraged and shunned the owner of the deadly dog. He was a farmer, and no one would sell him seed for the next season. No seed, no harvest, no crop to sell, and he was broken. The act of unified revenge would drive him into bankruptcy.

But when spring arrived, the neighbors were shocked to see Hulme’s field was only half planted, and his neighbor’s field was also half planted. The evidence was obvious. Hulme had crossed the fence at night to sow seeds in his neighbor’s field.

We have not practiced forgiveness until we sow seeds in the garden of our enemies…In whose garden do you need to sow seeds of forgiveness today???
4/28/2022Luke 6:32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”

Most churches would have welcomed the Pharisees. After all, they tithed up to 30% of their income, knew the Scriptures backwards and forwards, fasted twice a week, and were very religious.

They were also mean-spirited, stingy, and self-righteous. They twisted the Scriptures – tested and questioned Jesus. They prayed loudly in the streets, so others would be impressed with their piety. They moped pitifully when they fasted, so people would admire their self-deprivation and discipline.

Jesus saw through their religious façade, and they hated Him for it. However, Jesus said that even the Pharisees – deceptive hypocrites that they were – loved those who loved them. And He challenges us today: if we only love those who are kindly disposed towards us, what credit is that to us?

The true test of love is when we are the first to forgive…when we seek to be reconciled to an enemy…when we do good to those that deceive and use us…when we lend to the needy with no expectation of return…when we treat others the way we wish to be treated…Jesus promises a wonderful reward when we act like our generous Father Who shows us how to be kind to the ungrateful and wicked!!!
4/27/2022Colossians 3:13 “…even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”

Unforgiveness and bitterness harbored in our hearts can bring us to an impasse in our faith. They are toxic to our souls. Consider the true story of Adolph Coors IV.

On February 9, 1960, Adolph Coors III, heir to the Coors Brewing Company fortune, was kidnapped and held for ransom. His wife and four children hoped for his safe return, but seven months later, his body was found on a remote mountainside, shot in the back. Joseph Corbett, Jr., an escaped fugitive, was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison.

At the age of 15, Adolph Coors IV lost his father and best friend. He spent years hating Corbett. In 1975, he gave his heart to Jesus and divested himself of his interest in the family business, but he could not divest himself of the hatred.

Resentment and rage seethed within him and blighted his growth in faith, affecting every area of his life. His bitterness alienated him from God, and he began to seek His help to forgive Corbett.

His pastor later related: “Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Adolph Coors IV visited the maximum-security unit of Colorado’s Cañon City Penitentiary and tried to talk to Mr. Corbett, the man who murdered his father.”

Corbett refused to meet him, so Coors left a Bible with the following inscription: “I’m here to see you today and I’m sorry that we could not meet. As a Christian, I am summoned by the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to forgive you. I do forgive you, and I ask you to forgive me for the hatred that I have held in my heart for you.” In the same way that Christ forgave him, Adolph Coors forgave the man that murdered his father.
4/26/2022Mark 16:7 “But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

Who would roll away the large stone to allow them access into the grave? Very early in the morning, a group of women made their way to Jesus’ tomb. Shocked, they found the stone rolled away. An angel instructed them to tell the disciples – and Peter – that Jesus would meet them in Galilee just as He had promised (Mark 16).

Why did the angel specifically mention Peter’s name? Impetuous Peter – always running off at the mouth and making grandiose promises. After all, didn’t he fervently avow that, even if everyone else rejected Jesus, he would never disown Him? (Matthew 26:35).

Yet, a few short hours later, he denied even knowing the One he had promised to defend to the death – three times. Big promises, little performance.

But the angel mentioned Peter by name. Be certain that the one whose confidence was crushed, whose shame ran deep, whose self-recrimination threatened to overwhelm – be sure to let him know that Jesus wants to see him again.

No matter how you might have denied Jesus, His love will restore your shattered heart, His forgiveness will wash away all shame, and He longs to meet with you again…His arms are open, and He calls you by name…His forgiveness promises a new beginning!!!
4/25/20222 Kings 2:9 “And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?’”

Knowing that his time was limited, the old prophet, Elijah, looked at his soon-to-be successor, Elisha, and demanded, “Ask!”

Elijah had urged Elisha to stay behind at Gilgal, Bethel, and Jericho, but he would not be shaken. He refused to leave him. Now, Elijah asked what he could do for Elisha before he was taken away. This was their final conversation, and Elijah challenged Elisha. He had come this far … make it count!

Elisha did not hesitate. He did not ask for a strategic plan, the ministry manual or keys to the building. He wanted that same God that was at work in Elijah to work in him. In fact, He wanted a double portion of that blessing! God had empowered Elijah, and Elisha knew God would do it for him too.

Suddenly, a chariot of fire whirled Elijah into the heavens. As Elisha stared after him, he saw Elijah’s mantle drift to the ground. He picked up that symbol of prophetic authority, of connection between God and man. He returned to the Jordan, struck the water, and watched in wonder as the river parted.

What will you ask Jesus today…What needs to be imparted to your life…What river needs to part…Where do you need provision, power, healing, and victory…Ask!!!
4/24/20222 Kings 2:2 “But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!’”

Elijah and Elisha – the old prophet and his young successor – labored together in Israel. As Elijah’s life neared its end, he visited four significant places.

He traveled to Gilgal, the place where Joshua circumcised the Israelite men before crossing into the Promised Land. The covenant required the shedding of blood and the rolling away of transgressions. Our Gilgal occurred on Golgotha where Jesus’ flesh was pierced, His Blood was shed, and our sins were rolled away. Elijah urged Elisha to stay, but he refused.

They traveled on to Bethel, the house of God – where all newborns are nurtured and the saints are strengthened. When we plant ourselves in His house, we will flourish (Psalm 92:13). Even though Elijah insisted he remain, Elisha persevered.

They reached Jericho, a place of battle. As God’s children, we also engage in spiritual warfare. We endure hardships, knowing that no weapon formed against us will prosper.

Leaving Jericho, they encountered the Jordan River, the symbol of death’s rising tide. Elijah struck the water with his mantle. The river parted, and they crossed on dry land.

When we accept Jesus, He refuses to leave our sides…He walks us through every trial and every triumph…When we reach Jordan’s banks, He will usher us into everlasting joy…He will never leave us!!!
4/23/20222 Corinthians 1:21-22 “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee”

Elisha was Elijah’s successor – a man of God, handpicked by God, to do the work of God.

God commanded Elijah to anoint Elisha to be the prophet in his place (1 Kings 19:16). Elijah had no vote. Why is that important? If a man had chosen Elisha, he would have felt compelled to meet his expectations. When God picks and places someone, He anoints him to fulfill his divine destiny.

God sent Moses to anoint Joshua. God sent Samuel to anoint David. God, through Jesus Christ, chose Saul on the road to Damascus. If they would have been appointed and anointed by a mere man, they would have lived up to their human opinions and expectations.

However, they were empowered by God to do what no one else could do.  When you are anointed by God, the walls of Jericho fall. You stand fearlessly in front of giants. You put pen to parchment in a prison cell to write, “In all of these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ…!”

You are appointed and anointed by God…His is the only opinion that matters…The only expectations you must meet belong to Him, and He has graciously equipped you for every good work…He has picked and positioned and prepared you!!!
4/22/20222 Kings 2:14 “Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, ‘Where is the LORD God of Elijah?’”

Like Israel, under the corrupt rule of Ahab and Jezebel, our nation has forgotten our foundation of faith. We tolerate anything but Truth, floundering in a sea of political correctness.

The prophet, Amos, envisioned a famine in the last days – not of bread or water, but of the words of the Lord (Amos 8:11). That famine does not mean that no access to the Word will exist, but that no appetite for the Word will exist. We echo the words of Elisha: “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?”

Where is that bold voice unashamed to declare the truth…Who is the person willing to announce to a lost generation that there is one true God…Jesus is not one prophet among many, a mere teacher of morality…He is our Redeemer Who now intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father…Our Sovereign God is on His throne…He needs no political party or slick candidate with proper speaking points to shift a generation back to Him…He needs an Elijah or Elisha to blaze brightly in a dark generation, to stand against the rising tide of evil, to speak life-giving words to change the world…We know where God is. Where are you???
4/21/2022Isaiah 6:8 “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’”

God sent Elijah to stand before the evil Israelite king, Ahab. At God’s prompting, Elijah boldly declared that no rain or dew would fall in the land of Israel until he said the word.

He threw down the gauntlet to a nation that served Baal, a god who purportedly brought down the rain and made the crops grow. Elijah challenged Baal and demonstrated the power of the one true God. Three and a half years later, drought had devastated Israel.

Elijah stood on God’s Word…He did what God asked him to do, and he made it count…No matter how difficult the task that God has given you, make it count…No matter how many or how few stand with you, make it count…If He sends you into political office, speak the declarative words of truth…He may send you to the PTA, your workplace or the community center…He may ask you to usher or sing in the choir…Whatever you do, make it count…Elijah stood in a generation where no one else was willing to speak the truth…When he did, a nation fell to its knees…Be willing to go…Be willing to stand…Be willing to speak…Make it count!!!
4/20/2022James 5:17 “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months”

Elijah and Elisha were two men who served God and made every day count. When the whole world opposed them, they believed in the One Who called them. They shaped the world for the glory of God.

One day, as they walked along shoulder to shoulder, a chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah was caught up to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11). Elisha was left staring forlornly into the sky.

He must have thought, “Without this great prophet, what will become of us now?” We easily succumb to similar thoughts. When God moves powerfully in the life of one individual, we begin to believe that, as long as that person breathes, God can work.

God is no respecter of persons…He displays no partiality…He has purposes for each one of us…Elijah was a human being with the same kind of nature that we possess…When he prayed earnestly, God answered…Elijah was just like you and me…Like him, we can make every moment count…Like him, our prayers are powerful and effective…Like him, we can impact this world with the glory of God!!!
4/19/2022Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

El Shaddai, the Hebrew word for God Almighty, signifies that He is the God Who is all-sufficient. He is more than enough.

Jesus Christ nailed your sin to the Cross. He nailed your past to the Cross. You are not a patched-up, somewhat-improved version of your old self. All the old things passed away, and He made all things brand new. You are a new creation!

He made a public spectacle of rejection at the Cross. The enemy attempts to use the past to bring guilt and condemnation. He sticks his finger in old wounds to resurrect the pain and shame. But El Shaddai is more than enough! The Cross represents our total triumph!

Satan believed that the Cross was the end, but Jesus was just getting started…When He declared, “It is finished,” Satan soon discovered that those words of finality ushered in a new beginning for us…Shackles fell powerless…Addictions were broken…Ruined lives were redeemed…Shattered hearts were restored…Broken dreams were revived…Every promise that He made, He has kept…Through every trial, He has been a Friend Who sticks close…He has never abandoned us in the difficult hours…He has met every deficiency…No need to ever wonder…He is more than enough!!!
4/18/2022Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Jesus didn’t die on the Cross so He could condemn us. He came to save us and grant us the peace that surpasses understanding as we navigate life’s roads to the inexplicable splendors of heaven. The half of what we will see upon our much-anticipated arrival has not even entered our minds. But until that day when we meet our Savior face-to-face, we must continue to stay the course.

We were never promised a primrose path on this earth…We were promised that in Him we could find peace…If we will seek Him, Jesus will carry our burdens no matter how great our load and make a way where none seems to be…He knows our end from the beginning…Take it to the foot of the Cross and leave it there…Don’t carry part of the problem back home with you…Leave the entire burden with God, knowing that He will not only meet your need but give you sweet rest in the valley!!!
4/17/2022Romans 8:37 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

The day Jesus died on the Cross looked like a day of total defeat, when in fact it was a day of total victory! From a human perspective, it looked as if the enemy had won. The soldiers were mocking Him. His robe was torn and sold. The sky was gray and dismal. All hope seemed lost.

What appeared to be utter defeat was actually the portrait of sheer victory on a grand scale that the world had never before seen. That was the day you and I were set free from death, hell, and the grave, from sickness and disease. It was the day we were liberated from the chains of the past, from addiction, from every kind of hindrance that would defeat us in our daily lives.

On this day, Jesus descended from the Cross into the bowels of the earth and shook His finger in the face of the prince of darkness. He gave us all authority, on earth and in heaven. No matter what we ask for in His name, we can now have it because of the complete victory that was won on the darkest day the earth has ever known.

Think of the chains that bind you today…Look in the mirror…You are now face-to-face with your worst enemy…The person you see in the reflection has been completely liberated, set free to live a life of abundance…Calvary made that possible…Whatever chains have shackled you to the past, whatever controls you and manipulates your life, keeping you from enjoying the goodness of the Lord needs to be let it go in Jesus’ name…You are more than a conqueror…Live like it…Act like it…Think like it…That is what Calvary did for you!!!
4/16/2022Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it”

To make it count, we must choose this moment that will never come back to us. Too often, we are tangled up in regret for the past or riddled with anxiety about the future, and we miss the opportunity of the here and now.

This day is not like any other. This is the day that the Lord has made. Before our eyes opened this morning, He went ahead of us to fill up every space. He saw – start to finish – and planned His purposes for us. Because we are His children, we can trust Him and rejoice and be glad right in the middle of it.

Bathe this day in prayer…More than a command to us, prayer is a conversation with the God Who holds the world in the palm of His hand…When we pray, we reach into heavenly places and pull down strongholds…We approach the throne to move mountains…Our pleas help shape the destinies of those we love…We bring down giants of fear…Prayer in Jesus’ name stirs up the gifts of God in our lives…It saturates our souls with the peace that passes understanding…It fills us with faith to face every moment…It kindles our hope…Live in this moment…Experience the wonder…Rejoice in it…Breathe in its gladness…Make it count!!!
4/15/2022Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The Word of God is such a powerful weapon that, when spoken out loud, it makes demons run for cover. If you are looking for victory in any area of your life, I encourage you to start reading the Bible out loud. Read the promises of God, believe that He can and will deliver you in your day of trouble. No mountain is so high and no valley is so deep that the hand of God cannot reach down and snatch you out of harm’s way!

The Bible is God’s blueprint for our lives…You can have what this book says you can have…You can do what it says you can do…You have no limits as a child of God…Whatever you are looking for to fill that gaping hole in your life, child of God, pray and ask Him to bring it to pass…Call upon the Lord and you shall have whatever you ask in His name…His Word promises that we can achieve the impossible when we are holding God’s hand and He is walking us down the path toward our divine destiny…With Him, nothing is impossible!!!
4/14/2022Romans 6:18 “Having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

Are you saved but not free? Many people are controlled by the people around them or by religious rules—false doctrine that they’ve been taught their entire lives. I’m going to make it very simple for you: if it’s not found in the Word of God, toss it out! You have no use for it in your life.

If man made rules could pave the way to heaven, then Jesus died in vain. Look to the Cross!

The Cross delivers you from arbitrary rules for obtaining righteousness with God…It erases your past and give you a future full of promise…You don’t need anything but the Cross—the Blood of Jesus Christ—to be made whole and totally set free from any form of bondage…You might fear what the future holds or still harbor guilt from the past…Today, in Jesus’ name, and by His sovereign grace, you can be supernaturally set free…Let your past be gone…Leave behind every failure…The Cross has set you free!!!
4/13/2022Galatians 6:14 “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

The Cross is the central theme of the Bible. Without it you have nothing. But the beauty of the Cross is that it is an open invitation for “whosoever will.” Jesus died on this Cross as a scapegoat, to redeem us of our sins. He took on our filthy rags so that we could be afforded opportunities that only the grace of God can provide. All we have to do is accept this gift, accept His love, accept Him as our Savior.

Once we meet Jesus at the foot of the Cross, our sins are washed away and our name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life…There is no symbol or theme more powerful in the life of a Believer than Calvary’s Cross…God loved you so very, very much that He sent His only Son to die in your place…You are a designer original; don’t live like a cheap knockoff…Make today your best day…Give it your all in everything you say and do…Live a life full of confidence, knowing that the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world is rooting for you every second of every day…Don’t listen to the negative things the world has to offer; keep your eyes focused on the Cross!!!
4/12/20222 Corinthians 1:20 “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”

There are more than 3,000 promises found within the Word of God. Your daily provision comes directly from these promises, which hold the golden key to open the gates of heaven and close the gates of hell.

When you are needing a spiritual breakthrough in your life, call on the mighty name of Jesus Christ…He will give you a promise within the Scripture that will bring you out to rich fulfillment…When God gives you a promise, hold onto it…Rest on it, knowing that in due season this prophetic word for life will be fulfilled…It will probably not be done on your schedule, but when God deems the time is right, your promise will be completed…It isn’t difficult to have faith in a God who never fails…Faith is reaching out in the darkness and knowing that you will feel the hand of God reaching back on the other side!!!
4/11/2022Isaiah 45:2 “I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron.”

Prayer doesn’t need proof, it needs practice. God is as close as your next breath. He has promised to never leave you nor forsake you. This means that when the dearest on earth have turned their backs on you, God sees. He knows your pain. And He wants to set things straight.

If you want to make a difference in your day, begin each morning with prayer. As soon as you start to pray, God releases His angels to meet your every need. Then get ready! Great and mighty things are about to happen!

Prayer is the weapon that God has given His children to wage war in the heavenlies…Put on the full armor of God and make it a great day…Satan is a defeated foe who has no power over you as a child of God…He cannot stop you when God is on your side…Run to the One who calmed the raging seas with three simple words: “Peace, be still”…If you feel like you’ve hit more bumps than usual on the road of life, look to the face of God…He has promised to lead you down a path that will grant you the greatest possible success…You need Him to make crooked places straight…Call on His name, then leave the driving to Him!!!
4/10/2022James 5:16 “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

The tragedy of our modern-day society is not unanswered prayer but unoffered prayer. God knows your every thought, need, and desire, but He is waiting for you to ask for great things. When you call on His name, do you ask God to help you find an umbrella for the storm ahead, or to help you build an ark? When you pray in faith believing, expect mighty things to happen.

The Word says all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain…Maybe the circumstance you are currently in looks like a mountain of impossibility…Pray in Jesus’ name…Have faith that what you are asking God for, He can and will do…Speak to the mountain with total authority and watch as the things in your life begin to line up with the Word of God…You will start to gain favor among God and men…This doesn’t mean that you will have sunshine every day, but it means that the Son will shine in your life and light your pathway…You will have the best of things in the worst of times as you trust the Savior to lead you in paths of righteousness…God is ready to remove the mountain of impossibility in your life if you will only ask!!!
4/9/2022Colossians 2:14 “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the Cross.”

Jesus Christ nailed them to the Cross – every charge that was stacked against you. Every sin, He covered with His Blood. He became the propitiation for you.

Jesus’ action at Calvary made peace between humankind and a holy God…He took our place and became the payment for a debt He did not owe…His act of obedience repaired the breach between us…He broke down the wall that separated us…When you accepted His invitation and welcomed Him into your heart, every accusation against you was covered in His Blood…Satan is the accuser of all believers…Satan points his finger at us day and night, attempting to bring up all those old allegations…Satan wants to drown us in shame and condemnation…But when you enter the throne room of His grace and approach the Righteous Judge, and He demands the charges against you, an Advocate will defend you…He will announce that all of your sins are covered with His Blood, plunged into the depths of the ocean to never be remembered again…Though your sins were as scarlet, He washed them white as snow…There are no longer any charges…He nailed them to the Cross!!!
4/8/2022Colossians 2:15 “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

When a Roman general marched an army off to war, he was bent on triumph. He was determined to decimate the enemy.

Only when his adversaries were soundly defeated did he return to Rome. On that day, cheering citizens lined the streets as the conquering general, astride a white horse, rode into the city through the Arch of Triumph.

The city celebrated wildly as the general was preceded by wagonloads of treasure plundered from the enemy. Following the wagons, the prisoners of war paraded in shame as the citizens looked on their defeated foes – the captured soldiers who dared to defy the Roman Empire.

Behind this sad procession came the king of the vanquished land. All of Rome looked on this defeated royal, bound in chains, destined for slavery in the emperor’s palace. What a public spectacle!

For those of us whose citizenship is in heaven, we have a conquering King…He marched out to battle against Satan at Calvary…He disarmed every principality and power, stripped away their ability to steal, kill, and destroy…He publicly exposed them as powerless…Like those long-ago citizens of Rome, let us lift up our voices to wildly celebrate our conquering Lord of lords and King of kings!!!
4/7/2022John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

Horses straining towards the fight, soldiers bravely brandishing their swords, and banners flying proudly in the wind – we can picture the battle scenes of old.

While the conflict raged and the ground was in question, no army hoisted its victory banner. But when one army vanquished another, when the enemy fell back in defeat, the conquering army planted its flag firmly in the dirt. No longer in question, the ground now belonged to the victor.

Before we come to the Cross, the ground of our soul is in question…Our eternal destiny is uncertain…Satan fights ferociously to capture and carry us to hell…Jesus was lifted up on the Cross, hoisted above the battle…His death means certain victory for all who accept His invitation for life everlasting…At the Cross, Jesus draws all people to Himself…No one has ever been rejected or turned away…Every single soul can find its home in Him…Satan may attempt to torment, but he cannot overpower us…He may attack, but he will not destroy us…He may come at us from one direction, but he will flee from us on seven different routes (Deuteronomy 28:7)…Let His banner fly over the soil of your soul…Let His victory flag be planted in the battleground of your heart…Let there be no question Who reigns over your life!!!
4/6/20221 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”

How peculiar that the place where Jesus was brutally crucified has become a tree of triumph for those who believe! The Cross has become a beautiful symbol used in art, jewelry, and decorations.

To the first-century church, a cross was recognized as a tool of torture, a death sentence. Rome preferred this method of execution. Anyone who witnessed the gruesomeness of crucifixion realized that Rome was not to be resisted. Yet, Jesus’ followers took the Cross as their symbol of worship – foolishness to the unbelievers!

Graphic portrayals of Jesus’ journey to Calvary abound. He was arrested, taken, and crucified. However, Jesus made it clear in John 10:18 that no one took His life from Him. He chose to lay it down!

He was not arrested; He submitted…He was not taken; He gave Himself…He hung on a tree, but it was not nails that held Him there; it was His love for you and me…He could have called ten thousand angels to come to His rescue…More than a symbol, the Cross is our source of triumph…the Cross is our place of victory…The message of the Cross is the power of God to those of us who are being saved!!!
4/5/2022Galatians 6:14 “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world”

At the top of Mount Moriah, God used a tree as a tool of redemption for Isaac. At the final instant, as Abraham raised his knife in obedience to the Lord, God provided a sacrifice instead of Isaac – a ram caught in the thicket.

Centuries later, Jesus became the substitute for us all on the tree at Mount Calvary…The only begotten Son of God was nailed to the cross…This tree is why He knows us, why we are united in the family of God, that we can create a habitation of praise for our Father, that we can go boldly before the throne of grace to receive mercy…Jesus Christ paid the price on that cursed tree…His blood reached us in our faraway, desperate state and pulled us near…Without the Cross, no grace or mercy is extended, no salvation is available…Without the Cross, we cannot be called sons and daughters of the Most High…Without the Cross, we have no reason to rejoice…Because of that cruel tree, we are grafted into every promise and covenant, sins washed away, lives made whole…We have a glorious future with the One Who loved us to the death…That cruel Cross became our tree of triumph!!!
4/4/2022Psalm 56:8 “You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?”

How amazing to think of God bending low to collect the tears that slide down our cheeks!

In biblical times, mourners often caught their tears in small, glass bottles before placing them in burial tombs as a sign of their grief. In Civil War times, women collected their tears in bottles until their men returned from battle.

Not only does God collect our tears in His bottle, He also records them in His book. Think about the tears that you have cried: when failure disappointed, death shattered your heart, loss uprooted your life, your child deserted his faith, malicious words wounded. All those tears of grief, frustration, and distress trickled into God’s bottle, and He recorded each shimmering droplet.

Why is God so interested in our tears? In Revelation 21:4, He makes a promise He intends to keep. When we are united in the New Jerusalem, God Himself will wipe every sorrowful tear from our eyes. Because He has kept count, every tear will be wiped away.

In the darkest hour, when no one else sees, your Creator draws near to gently collect and count each tear…One day, He will remember and wipe away every one…Those who sow in tears will reap in joy!!!
4/3/2022Psalm 143:10 “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness”

As believers, we are enrolled in a continuing education program. We become lifelong learners as God opens His Word and speaks His truth.

We keep learning, growing, and maturing – making ourselves ready for the work that God has for us to do. The Lord will enroll us in classes that challenge and stretch us.

He will teach us to pray. Through problems that we are unable to solve, burdens that we are unable to bear, He will instruct us how to call upon Him so He can show us great and mighty things that we did not know before (Jeremiah 33:3).

He will teach us to give. Every perfect gift that we have in our lives comes from the Father of Lights above (James 1:17). Giving is not extraordinary; it is expected. When we recognize the abundance of His blessings, it will prompt us to give cheerfully and generously.

He will teach us to praise. He will take us to school about the power in praise – how it brings heaven down into the circumstances of earth. When God invades the atmosphere, mountains move, yokes break, and chains fall.

When we choose to listen and learn, He will teach us to do His will…Because He is good, the Spirit will lead us into all righteousness and truth!!!
4/2/2022Proverbs 18:9 “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer”

If we believe in something, we will bleed for it. We will sweat to succeed. Sweat demonstrates effort and hard work. Only in the dictionary does success precede work!

In Luke 22:44, Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, and His sweat poured out like huge drops of blood. Why? He believed in us, and He was working for us. Jesus bore the burden of our humanity, and in that moment, He struggled mightily.
He accepted a weight with which we are too familiar. Jesus, Who had never known sin, became sin, so that we could be made right with God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our sin and shame rolled onto His shoulders, and He was separated from the Father – an agony that He had never experienced.
Hours before, He prayed of the beautiful unity that He and the Father shared. Hours later, He cried from the Cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34). He poured out His blood and sweat. He completed the work to pay a debt that He did not owe.
Invest your sweat…Be about the Father’s business…Faithfully and energetically undertake the work that Jesus commanded…Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature…Sweat comes before success!!!
4/1/20222 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?”

Paul encouraged the Corinthian Believers to test themselves. Then, he gave them a one-question examination: “Do you not know that Jesus Christ is in you?”

It was not a matter of faith; it was a matter of acknowledging that Jesus was alive in them. Today, many of us struggle with the same dilemma! We easily believe in the free gift of salvation, but we disregard the power of a Risen Savior that takes up residence in our lives.

Christ is in us! The One Who walked out of the grave with the keys of victory in His hand lives in us. The One Who quiets the wind and waves with a simple command lives in us. Along with John, we can say, “…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world!” (1 John 4:4).

If the Mountain Mover is in us, those obstacles will be removed…If the Commander of Angel Armies is in us, no weapon formed against us will prosper…If our Rock and Defense is in us, we will not be moved…Know that Jesus is alive in you…Square your shoulders…Lift your chin…You are a child of the King!!!
3/31/2022Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Christ bled for you, because He believes in you. He planted great potential in you, and He believes in the person that He created you to be.

In spite of the wrong turns or poor choices you might have made, He died for you while you were still a sinner. He no longer considers your past sins; He hurled them into the depths of the ocean.

Jesus puts no stock in expert opinions, statistics, and analyses of how impossible your situation might appear. He already knows that you can do all things when He gives you the strength (Philippians 4:13).

When every door closes in your face, just keep asking and seeking and knocking…He promises that if you ask, you will receive…If you seek, you will find…If you keep knocking, He will open a door that no one can ever close…When you were at your very worst, He gave His very best…Jesus believes in your healing, because He took the lashes on His back to buy it…He believes in your redemption, because He won it at Calvary…He believes in your royalty, because He wore a crown of thorns to make you a child of the King…You will bleed for what you believe in, and He believes in you!!!
3/30/2022Luke 22:44 “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

In the Garden of Gethsemane, hours before His death, Jesus knelt to have a conversation with His Father.

For 33 years, Jesus walked this earth. The Father’s mission was His exclusive aim. He only spoke and acted as His Father directed Him. As He anticipated the Cross, He pled with God that, if it was possible, if there was another way, to please let this cup pass from Him. If not, God’s will be done.

His agony was so great as He prayed that His sweat became like huge drops of blood dripping from His face. He bled for you because He believes in you.

At His Word, everything was fashioned…The sun rises in the east and sets in the west because Jesus instructs it to do so…The moon glows at His insistence…He has numbered and named the stars, commanding them to shine for His purpose…He formed every mountain with His hand…He carved every valley with His finger…He planted every flower…He designed every creature…Yet, He bled for none of them…He did not bleed for the trees or the birds…He did not bleed for the multitudes of angels…He bled for you because He believes in what He created you to be!!!
3/29/2022Colossians 1:29 “To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.”

Sir Winston Churchill, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, popularized the phrase “blood, sweat, and tears” in a rousing speech that he delivered three days after his election in 1940.

The first use of the phrase occurred in print in 1837 when Welsh preacher, Christmas Evans, expounded the extraordinary sacrifice of the Author and Finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ.

Our blood represents life. It contributes to all that we do. As long as it flows, our lives are sustained. If it ceases to flow, we experience a quick death. Leviticus 17:11 tells us the “life of the flesh is in the blood…”

Our sweat reflects the price that we are willing to pay to accomplish a goal. Nothing great is achieved without great effort. Sweat represents long days, hard hours, struggle, and strain.

Our tears water the passion that pushes us to persevere when giving up is the easier choice. God has promised us that weeping may endure for the night, but joy will come with the rising sun (Psalm 30:5).

The blood, sweat, and tears that we invest determine the quality of our families, careers, and our lives in Christ…If we lose our lives for His sake, we will save them (Luke 9:24)…Where are you investing your blood, sweat, and tears???
3/28/2022Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.”

The leper, Naaman, took great offense when the prophet, Elisha, sent a lowly servant to speak with him. He was insulted at the humble cure that Elisha suggested.

He left his house in a rage. His servant wondered why he did not take the steps that the prophet recommended for healing.

His servants had traveled the long distance with Naaman, had suffered with him, dealt with his disease and his desperation. Most likely, they had helped him hide it and aided in the frantic search for a cure. They longed for Naaman’s healing too.

We often choose to deny that our sin is an issue. If we want the truth, we should talk with the people that live with it every day. Don’t have a temper problem? We should talk to the people we wound when we lash out. Don’t have a lying problem? Talk to the people who cannot trust a word we speak.

Naaman heard what his servant had to say, and it changed his perspective. He recognized that his disease impacted more than himself. Why not wade into the Jordan?

Our sin-sickness is a matter of life and death…Its lethal impact can infect those around us…Wade into the water to wash away its deadly damage…Come up clean and free!!!
3/27/2022Psalm 149:4 “For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.”

When Naaman, the leper, arrived at the prophet’s house seeking healing, he stepped out of his chariot looking for the red carpet. After all, he was a celebrated war hero in his home country of Syria!

Elisha did not even come to the door. Instead, he sent his servant with a message for Naaman: if he would go dip seven times in the Jordan River, his skin would be healed, and health would be restored.

Naaman was livid! The prophet did not even deign to speak with him, important man that he was! He did not come out and wave his hand over the leprosy to heal it. He merely suggested that Naaman go jump in the dirty river.

In the middle of his rantings, Naaman’s servant dared to ask: “…if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it?” (II Kings 5:13). Naaman’s great, big pride was preventing him from taking a simple, small step that would make him whole.

We all have the leprosy of sin in our souls…One prayer can wash us clean…One step of obedience can set us free…Don’t let pride stand between you and the healing you seek…Run to the river and jump in with both feet to be made whole!!!
3/26/20221 Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers.”

Naaman, the leper, received a message of hope – an Israelite prophet could heal him! He hurried off to Israel with a letter from his Syrian king.

When Naaman arrived, the king read the short note: “Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy” (II Kings 5:6). The king tore his robes in distress. He had no power to heal Naaman of leprosy, and his resulting death would result in all-out war with Israel!

When Elisha, the man of God, heard the king’s dilemma, he sent a message: “Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel” (II Kings 5:8).

The king had position, but no power…When faced with a cure-or-be-conquered situation, his royalty, army, and treasury were of no use…Elisha had power that did not arise from wealth, might or office…It was the power of the Most High…All of the capability and authority of His Father came to bear on the situation…When he hit his knees, all of heaven moved on his behalf…Just like Elisha, as God’s dearly loved children, we hold the position and the power to change the world!!!
3/25/2022Psalm 119:141 “I am small and despised, yet I do not forget Your precepts.”

Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army, was a leper. He was desperate for a cure for his deadly condition.

Help came from an unlikely source. Syrian soldiers raided Israel and captured a young girl whom they brought back to become a maidservant to Naaman’s wife. Living in such close quarters, she must have seen Naaman’s dreadful disease and overheard the distressed and fearful conversations.

One day, she found the courage to say to her mistress: “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy” (II Kings 5:3). One small voice of hope spoke into Naaman’s misery and despair.

She is only ever mentioned in this one verse. She speaks her truth and leaves the scene. She walks in and out unnamed, but her message of hope changed Naaman’s world.

This maiden had every reason to stay silent. She was a young, foreign girl – small and despised in many eyes. For all of the reasons why she could not have said anything, she had some truth. When she shared the truth, it began to deliver Naaman.

What have you done with the truth you possess about Jesus Christ and His salvation…Your voice can offer the message of hope to change someone’s world forever!!!
3/24/2022Proverbs 28:13 “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

We do not talk about sin in America; we talk about the problems that it creates. We do not talk about the origin; we focus on the symptoms. Until we get to the root of the cause, we will never discover the cure for our condition.

Issues that we face around the world are not merely behavioral symptoms that can be treated with better education, new legislation or citizen organization. Humans have a sin problem!

Mass shootings are not a gun control issue; they are a sin problem. Four thousand abortions per day is not a political issue; it is a sin problem.

Adultery is not a momentary lapse of judgment; it is a sin problem. Lying is not a matter of perspective; it is a sin problem. Battering a spouse is not an anger management issue; it is a sin problem.

Until we have the courage to acknowledge that we have a sin problem, we will never address it…Until we confess our trespasses, we will never be cured…If we freely admit our sin, our faithful and fair God will forgive us, cleanse us from all evil, and give us brand new lives…We will look different, and our society will look different…First, we must get to the root…We have a sin problem!!!
3/23/2022Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

In 2 Kings 5, we meet Naaman, commander of the Syrian army, a great and honorable man. He led his country to victory against the Assyrians and was a national hero.

Though he was a mighty man of valor, Naaman had leprosy. One of the most feared diseases in that day, leprosy was almost always incurable and led to death. What began as a small spot would spread to cover the skin and deaden the nerves. Often, lepers were quarantined to live in colonies outside of the cities.

This sickness was so consuming that it did not matter how much influence Naaman wielded, the important people with whom he associated, or the wealth that he had accumulated. Naaman knew it was a matter of life and death.

No matter how well things are going for us, we all have a spiritual leprosy called sin…No natural cure exists, and it always leads to death…If left unchecked, it will consume us until our consciences are deadened, and we are alienated from those we love…The price for this sin-sickness is death, but God sent us the extraordinary gift of His Son to cover the debt that we owe…He washes us clean and gives us a new life with Him that will last forever!!!
3/22/20222 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Our potential is determined by the characteristics of God that we develop and exhibit in our lives. If we truly belong to Him, and He abides in us, His characteristics will be our characteristics.

As long as we remain in contact with our Source, our life will explode in an avalanche of good things. When we are rooted and grounded in the Word of God, we have the same power that Jesus demonstrated.

God is faithful to keep His promises; His word is His bond. He always does what He says. Do you? God surrounds us with mercy. Do you do the same for others? God lavishes unconditional love on people who do not deserve it – like He did for you. Do you love in the same way?

God completely forgives a person’s trespasses and does not remember those sins anymore. Do you forgive those who trespass against you? Do you resurrect their shortcomings in moments of anger? He teaches with gentleness and humility. Do you?

Paul encouraged us to grow up in every aspect, to become mature, to be transformed into God’s image by the Spirit of the Lord…Little by little, look more like Jesus…Develop His character…Reach your God-given potential!!!
3/21/2022Psalm 78:41 “Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.”

We can hinder the potential of God in our lives. We can actually limit the work that He desires to accomplish through us.

Two groups of people exist: those who make good and those who make excuses. When we blame someone else for our failure, we empower that person to control us. If we do not take control of our lives, someone else will.

Do you think you are too young? Jesus taught the rabbis when he was nine years old. Too old? Abraham fathered a child at 100. Not educated? A handful of unlearned fishermen changed the world. Not well-connected? You do know the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

Another way to destroy our potential is to demand instant gratification…We must submit to the plans of the Master Potter and allow Him to shape us into His image…It is a painstaking, time-consuming process, but He promises to be with us through the very end…We can also forfeit our God-given potential by expecting His benefits without assuming responsibility…When we fail to pick up our crosses and follow Him, we limit His work in us…We forget that if we lose our lives for His sake, we can reach the fullness of our potential…He will make us beautiful in His time!!!
3/20/2022Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

Our potential is activated by faith. It is not an option; it is a requirement for the child of God. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world (I John 5:4).

In Genesis, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). The Hebrew word for likeness means “to operate like” – not to look like. How does God operate? He operates with faith. If we are not functioning like God in faith, we are malfunctioning.

For the believer, hope is based on the evidence found in the Word of God. Hope is based on the substance of what God has done in the past – knowing that if He has done it before, He can do it again in our lives.

Faith is not mystical; it is rock solid…It does not demand miracles; it creates miracles…Faith takes the first step before we know the outcome…It is not a leap in the dark; it is a walk in the light…Faith believes because of the proof in God’s Word…Because Jesus healed, the potential to heal is inside of us…Because Jesus worked miracles, the potential to work miracles is inside of us…Faith is fact – not fiction…As children of God, we have the potential to receive whatever we ask!!!
3/19/20221 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.”

Let’s face it. As Bible-believing Christians, we are a little strange by the standards of this world. We live by another set of rules.

We feel supreme love for One we have never seen and talk to someone that we have not touched. We empty ourselves to become full, decreasing so that Christ might increase. We lower ourselves to become servants of all so that we will rise up as the first. When we are at our absolute weakest, He makes us strong.

When we are poor, we are very rich. We give our things away so that we may keep them forever. We deposit treasures in a heavenly bank that we have yet to visit.

We die daily, little by little, to lay down our lives so that we can live forever…Death is not a tragedy for us believers; it is a reward for the righteous…We perceive the invisible…He has given us eyes to see…We discern the inaudible…He has given us ears to hear…Because we are rooted and grounded in Him, He has opened our understanding to the Truth that this world cannot comprehend…In His upside-down, inside-out economy, the impossible is made possible for those who are odd for God!!!
3/18/2022Isaiah 40:29 “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.”

The fact that we were born is proof that God knew that this earth needed our potential. He has ordained a special purpose for each one of us.

We all have potential! We can make no room for excuses – limited resources, lack of education, lies from the past. God will take the little bit that we offer to Him, and He will make it a whole lot!

In every seed, there is the potential of a great harvest. In every fish, there is potential for a school. In every bird, there is potential for a flock. In every man, there is potential for a nation.

Bethlehem’s manger was not a five-star hotel, but it changed the course of the world. One small stone killed Goliath and changed the destiny of Israel. Through one obedient maiden, a King was born Who has blessed the nations. Faith that is the size of one small mustard seed – as small as a BB – can move a mountain of impossibility.

God has given us the power to reach our potential…We must seize every opportunity to put the talents that He has given us to work…We must act upon the dreams that He has dropped into our hearts…Nothing is impossible to those that believe they can!!!
3/17/2022Philippians 3:13 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”

Our potential does not lie in our yesterdays. It cannot be found in what we have already accomplished – that’s ancient history.

Many of us allow the past to sabotage our potential. We replay old regrets, are paralyzed at the scene of personal tragedy, and waste away our days on what-might-have-beens. We fail to move forward because we have not dealt with the wounds of the past.

Conversely, some of us destroy our potential by resting on the laurels of one shining moment in the past. Did your company break all sales records last year? Keep working hard or you could be looking for a job. Did you make honor roll last semester? Do your homework; the challenge is still in front of you.

Paul encourages us to stretch into the future, reaching for the things that are ahead…Our potential lies in the grades that we have not made, the promotions that we have not earned, and the souls that we have not won…The greatest tragedy is a life that fails to fulfill