Category Archives: Uncategorized

From The Inside Out

Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” -Mark 7:15‭, ‬21‭-‬23 NIV

Many years ago, a popular comedian named Flip Wilson got a lot of mileage out of an old expression used as an excuse since before I can remember: the devil made me do it. As Christians, we know that humanity is a fallen race in a fallen world whose only hope for redemption is the blood of Jesus. Once we accept His wonderful gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to reside in us. When that happens, what is inside comes out — and that certainly should be His precious love.

Father, thank you for allowing us to receive and make use of the conviction and guidance of the Holy Spirit, helping us to grow ever closer to our Savior.

Useless without Him.


“Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can’t do a thing. -The Living Bible. John 15:5

Try as I might have sometimes, I was never able to accomplish anything of lasting value on my own without the aid of the Holy Spirit and goal of advancing His kingdom here on Earth. Things of eternal value are those which are of God and His will for my life.

Father, help me to focus on You and Your desire for my life as I work to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

Better Christians

The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. -Acts 10:45 NIV

In New Testament, among those first believers in the early church, the thought of Gentiles (non-Jewish people) having access to God was unthinkable. Yet, our Lord had a different idea. His disciples failed to realize that when He went into Samaria to share the good news with a group of people considered almost as bad. It would take some convincing for them to realize that God loved all people, not just the Hebrews.

The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” -Acts 11:1‭-‬3 NIV

How many times do we as believers look at each other, making judgments as to who is the better Christian? Who attends Church more frequently and gives the most of their finances? Who does the most service for the kingdom? Who never speaks a word of profanity? Who has never been divorced or perhaps suffered from a substance abuse problem? These are some of the many things we can use as points when comparing ourselves to our brothers and sisters.

Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman. So if you belong to Christ, you are now part of Abraham’s family, and you will be given what God has promised. -Galatians 3:28‭-‬29 CEV

Father, great is Your majesty and glory. Also great is your love for us. May we remember Your ever-patient grace when we start to think we are better Christians, somehow more worthy of Your love than others. May we meet at the foot of the Cross in humble adoration and gratitude for Your mercy and bountiful blessings.

PRAISING GOD FOR WHO HE IS

Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. -Psalms 117:1‭-‬2 NIV

Living in a world so full of uncertainty, it is comforting to be reassured that the Lord is faithful to us forever. Can we say the same?

Waiting & Hoping

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. -Psalms 25:4‭-‬5 NIV

The psalmist made quite a statement when he wrote “my hope is in you day long.” Sometimes I find waiting and hoping even a few minutes for something I really want to happen can seem like forever.

I believe God always hears and answers prayer. It’s the “how and when” that I struggle with. The answer to my requests may be yes, a resounding no, or wait and see. But I’m sure that my hope is valid — no matter what the outcome.

Born Again?

When Nicodemus came to Jesus Jesus one night to ask Him questions, he acknowledged that He was a teacher sent from God and cited the miracles He performed as evidence. What was the reply that Jesus gave him? Was it, “you’re wise to see that I am sent from God because of the works that I do?” No. It was: Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again.” -John 3:3 GNT

The Bible makes it clear that we are dead in our trespasses and sins until such time that the Holy Spirit opens are eyes to see the majesty, Glory and loving grace of God.

In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God. You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil. He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn’t obey God. Once we were also ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds. We had made God angry, and we were going to be punished like everyone else. -Ephesians 2:1‭-‬3 CEV

The life we receive from our human parents is already one that is fallen. You might well say that we are born dead. We are conceived into this fallen race by a fallen people and are by nature children of the “god of this world” (Satan) — unless and until we are redeemed by God through the sacrifical work of His Son on the cross. For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. -John 8:44 NLT

Keeping It Simple

For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. -1 Corinthians 2:2 NKJV

So many doctrines and opinions are used to separate brothers and sisters in Christ. Not only is the work of advancing the kingdom left undone, but Satan’s work is often accomplished in the process. How much more simple to preach the message of salvation given to us by our LORD through His death and resurrection. Keep it simple. Share the gospel. It must begin with that before there is any point of discussing other doctrine (important though it may be).

Abiding in Him

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. -John 15:7 NASB1995

A favorite of the “word of faith crowd,” but let’s take a closer look at what the Bible is actually teaching here. The key is in the first words: “if you abide in Me.” If we abide in Him, our heart’s desire should be harmonious with His. I somehow doubt that our LORD cares whether we acquire private jets, big homes, expensive jewelry, etc. In fact, I think He might well tell us to sell it all and follow Him.

Where have I heard that before? Oh yes, the words of Jesus Himself: Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” –Matthew 19:21 NASB1995

The 5 D Plan of Satan

Recently on Facebook, members of one the groups I’m belong to have been talking about the NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible. As a result, I pulled my copy off the shelf and began rediscovering this wonderful Bible that is so rich in resources. In case you haven’t guessed, I wholeheartedly recommend the Life Application Study Bible — in any of the available translations.

“It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” –Genesis 3:3‭-‬5 NLT

Today I read about Satan’s plan against us. This plan involves sewing doubt (makes you question His word), discouragement (making you look at your problems instead of God), diversion (makes the wrong things seem attractive so you want them more than the right things), defeat (if you feel like a failure, you won’t even try) and delay (put off doing things so they never get done). You may find this segment in the third chapter of Genesis in the Life Application Study Bible — at least the second and third editions.

Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.” –Genesis 3:13 NLT

Satan has a way of making the wrong thing seem right. Eve was so taken in by what she thought she wanted that, once doubt about God’s words to her crept in, she robbed herself of the life God had in mind for her and the whole human race. Remember what Jesus said about Satan:

For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. –John 8:44 NLT

THE SCARY THINGS…

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. John 14:1 ESV

These are troubling times, of that there is no doubt. But, couldn’t the same be said of any time in which people have lived? Were not the times that the Apostle Paul lived under a brutal, sadistic dictator troubling? What of the evil slaughter of millions by Adolf Hitler? History is replete with troubling times. Now, enter a new villain to the world stage.

For many of us, the tyrant that threatens life as we know it comes not in the from of a person or group of people, but a tiny virus that has spread across the world. This has caused death and sickness in many forms from the soul outward. People rush to get vaccines (that are not as effective as we had hoped) in an effort to feel safe, only to be left with the same restrictions and fears they had before.

This is not to say that the vaccines don’t help by lessening symptoms and shortening the time it takes to recover. I will take that on face value until proven otherwise. (As a matter of full disclosure, I am fully vaccinated myself on the advice of my doctor). I will not inject politics into this, either. But I would remind people that the real sense of peace and security comes from Christ and not a laboratory.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:7 ESV