Once again, the Lord has blessed us with another year. Yes, more opportunities to be thankful, productive and helpful. It’s precious indeed to be gifted with more time to live for the glory of God. We have so much to be grateful for as we continue our lives. High and jubilant praises to the Lord, Most High. Some folks have relocated. Others have given birth to new lives. Yes, adorable babies have entered families. Job changes have happened for select people. Adventures of all sorts are on the horizon. Expectations are ripe. The joy of the Lord is our strength. “. . . for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10- KJV. Truly, his grace is sufficient for us. “. . . My grace is sufficient for thee: . . .” – 2 Corinthians 12:9 – KJV. This time of year lots of folks make resolutions about weight loss, exercise plans, eating healthier, ceasing to procrastinate, etc. One great purpose of pursuing is to keep GodContinue reading »

How long are You going to allow the violence to go on? Look at us. Look at what we’re becoming. Is this the reason why the floods came, the Earth opened up, releasing the waters of the deep as the rain came down? Was the Earth so violent, so unforgiving, so malicious, that You had no choice, but to end the carnage that had spread to every corner of the world? Was there no escape from one killing another? Had crime spread so far, been so prevalent, that no one was safe in their homes? Children no longer went outside to play? No one traveled across the countryside to spend time away? Fear replaced the joy that was supposed to blanket the Earth You made? This wasn’t the plan. This wasn’t the plan at all. Time to start all over again. But there was a glimmer of hope. There were the families of Noah and his children and their families. You kept them alive. You had mercy, You had graceContinue reading »

“God, forgive me for my judgments of others – how I think they must be unbelievers, or somehow weaker than I because they drink or smoke or raise Cain. If I would bother to strike up a holy conversation with others, I would really see the truth. Jesus said in the Lord’s Prayer ‘forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,’ meaning in the same proportion to our willingness to forgive others. If we take this seriously, I think we would not be so cavalier with praying the prayer as if it were only words and not a request for mercy while holding on to unforgiveness.” Our Sunday School teacher once spoke about spiritual arrogance – thinking more highly of ourselves than we should (Romans 12:3 NIV), thinking we have cornered the market on spirituality and that our church is better than others or our doctrine is more biblical. That is a good word for us all. I am as guilty as any for thinking I know what theContinue reading »

The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche is attributed with the saying “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” I don’t think that’s true. If you have been through the place where death was poised to claim you, physically, mentally, or emotionally, you will be weak on the other side. But that is best because when I am weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). In weakness, He holds me and if He did not I could not make it on my own. He’s never failed me and now I find the more I need Him the more I love Him. The more I love Him the closer I feel Him to me. This is the way we are made and if we are too prideful to admit we are needy, we risk walking alone and lonely. If you hold tightly to the Master’s hand you will never walk alone and you’ll never be as strong as you are in weakness. No human strength can compare to His power andContinue reading »

“Blessed be the fruit of your womb” – Deuteronomy 28:4 To follow the Word of God and to follow his instructions is to bring success and life. Moses set before the people of Israel “a blessing and a curse”. Obedience to the Lord and His Word, a dynamic and living entity, brings about numerous blessings in this life and beyond. However, Moses speaks of a promised “curse” upon those who “turn aside” from the words of God. Politicians, who would aspire to run the United States, are trying to pull Christians aside from the Word of God. They pit their authority of this age, fleeting at best, against the eternal power of the Word of God by promising and pandering to those who only want success in this life and have little regard for the Kingdom of God. Politicians are campaigning on pro-abortion platforms, often hidden under the rhetorical title of “reproductive healthcare”. They are offering Christians a dangerous choice and a formidable challenge. Christianity has denounced abortion since theContinue reading »

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” said my neighbor. He had spoken to me about his recent troubles and I had gently suggested that God could help him, if he would look to Him for help. „There’s nothing you get for free in this life. You’ve got to work for it. And God’s not going to do it for you.” Of course God does expect us to be faithful and do what we can do, but there are limits. There are things you cannot possibly work for. Things that can only be received and God specializes in those things. *** I once walked past a little shop on the edge of town and saw a man who was trying to wash the shop window. That was certainly a good idea, for the whole window seemed caked with dirt, but whatever he did, the window stayed dirty. He scratched behind his ears. He didn’t understand. Maybe some new cleaning products and hot water would help. He furiously scrubbed andContinue reading »

Ephesians 2:3-5 (KJV) “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). That means that our sins have caused a separation between us and God (Isaiah 59:2) and the result is death (Rom. 6:23) and wrath (Eph. 2:3). The only way to be saved from the wrath of God is to be saved from it by having faith in Jesus Christ. (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 5:1) Transformation literally means “to have a form altered.” This is a radical change from the inside out. We can only achieve this state of “metamorphosis “byContinue reading »

Grace. . . through one man, Jesus Christ – Romans 5:17 The modern English word “grace” is often understood as something quite different than what was meant by the Biblical authors. Often, modern ears hear the connotations of “charm” or beauty of movement. While these aspects are certainly true, the core meaning of the word is based in the power and favor of God. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word for grace was “hanan”. It refers to the act of giving favor, allowing a request, or the manifesting of kindness and compassion. To give “hanan” or favor was an act of benevolence. From the beginning, whether in reference to this favor coming from God or man, the one who is giving such favor is under no obligation to do so. In the Christian Scripture, we see an expansion of this term. In Greek the term is “charis”. Herein is where the definition gets expanded and carried through to modern times, as in the profane usage of the word it gathers the connotations ofContinue reading »

  Then Peter approached him with a question, “Master, if my brother goes on wronging me how often should I forgive him? Would seven times be enough?” “No, replied Jesus, “not seven times, but seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18:21-22 Phillips) Of all psychosomatic illnesses, unforgiveness rates high on the psychologist’s scale. Somehow, holding in pent-up bitterness and hurt feelings, does detrimental damage to our minds and bodies. We are probably familiar with how the mind affects the body. Just ask your family physician and I believe they will agree that ‘harboring grudges’ lead to stomach problems, heart failures and unknown diseases; like fibromyalgia, for instance. With that in mind, let’s consider Jesus’ view about the subject. In essence, forgiveness is an act [decided in the will not the emotion] of excusing or pardoning others in spite of their wrongdoings, shortcomings, and blatant mean actions. As a theological term, forgiveness refers to God’s pardon of the sins of human beings. No religious book except the Bible teaches that God completely forgivesContinue reading »