Monday, November 24, 2014


Habakkuk 3:17-18      Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Failure is the opportunity God provides us to change direction and move into a further unfolding of His eternal plan for our lives. Failing at something is not always a bad thing. Failure causes us to look at our actions, reconsider or review our choices and circumstances that led to the day at hand. Failure helps us learn and is also necessary for us to grow forward, away from the past.

When we move away from the failure we are free to begin again. We are free to apply different ideas, abilities and other tools to the future in ways that are new. We experiment with new ideas, practices and locations as we strive to find a new direction or new results in our endeavor. Thomas Edison once said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

In some ways, failure is a gift of God’s grace toward us. It is a gift for all of life, both failure and success, is a gift from Him. The closing of one activity, relationship or idea is the end God intended for our life journey. Thank you Jesus for not allowing us to travel or accomplish what you did not want for us.

Life’s calling is best discerned and most clarified when failure happens. Events are forced upon us for a new direction and for change. The creative nature God has instilled in the hearts of man-kind is best released for new creativity when failure occurs. The past is stopped and a new direction is found and creativity is exercised on a whole new playing field.

God created diversity in creation and maintains it to this day. One may fail at an activity while a similarly equipped individual succeeds. Is the one person necessarily more deficient than the other? Do we blame it on intellect, ability, education or other human measures? It is better to see it as God’s decision that equally able and gifted people are not equally destined by Him to that same vocation or activity.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Matthew 5:14-16        You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Volunteering has proven to be a benefit to physical and mental health. Numerous studies report that volunteering improves the health of those who give of themselves. This is good news for those who work with volunteers in their organizations. Volunteers come in different ages, genders, backgrounds, hobbies and more. The diversity adds to the uniqueness of the organization.

Volunteering can increase self-confidence. Working to help others gives satisfaction to the giver, building confidence in themselves and their ability to influence the lives of others. Such work provides a sense of accomplishment, a sense of healthy pride and identity. For those who are retired, widowed or disabled, an appropriate volunteer position can bring a new start to their lives.

Volunteering fights against depression. Social isolation can be demoralizing and unhealthy. Volunteering brings new people into their life and provides regular contact and interaction with others. Others become a new support system. Stress and depression recede as people become more interactive, building new friendships and relationships.

Depending on the volunteer position, you can count on some added activity and movement in your life. Physical movement and activity is good for your health. Studies have found that those how volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants. Volunteering also lessens the symptoms of chronic pain or heart disease.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Matthew 11:28-30      Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

There is nothing wrong with taking care of your own physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Take care of yourself first. The most important person you may lead today is you. When your day begins, take a few moments with God to seek His help in bringing you the needed resources for the day ahead.

It is easy to get wrapped up with the problems and needs of others. If we were to attempt to personally fix each person we work with it, we would be dead in a week. No one can shoulder the lives of these people. But God can handle them, and He will. When you leave the mission after your day ends, pray that God will take over for you as you leave. Ask Him to now help you to focus on your needs for the remainder of the day. It is your time and the time with your family that is now your greatest concern.

Renewal is not easy but it is necessary. God uses you best when you are most effectively at rest with yourself and the world around you. Establish routines and practices that bring you distraction from the mission and the problems of your clients or staff. Do things that renew your mental, physical and spiritual abilities. Read the bible, fellowship with friends and family outside the mission. Worship with believers and find times of solitude with Jesus. Pray each day, interceding for others and for yourself. God is faithful and good to meet you each day and provide the strength you need.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Matthew 8:14-17        And when Jesus entered Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him. That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”

God is at work here among us, in us and through us. A week does not go by that someone says a prayer is answered. The client least likely to succeed in the program confesses faith in Jesus Christ to a staff person. In a matter of days we see the transformation occurring. When the food pantry shelves are empty the evening of a busy day, a truck pulls in the next morning with food to fill them up again. God is good, all the time.

When someone enters the Mission they enter into the Light, Christ Jesus. God is at work in them. They enter a place where truth and grace can be freely received. The journey they have made brings them to our door, a journey only God could have orchestrated, so says the new client.

When they enter the Mission with their sin baggage, we are able to reach out to carry them to Christ. Galatians 5 teaches us to "carry each other's burdens". Our role is to walk with them, not to judge, not to feel superior, and not to take their responsibility. Goal is to help restore them gently. No man can heal a broken heart. I cannot purge him of his addiction. You cannot give him enough knowledge to ensure him a future. Only Jesus can accomplish the impossible.

We bring Jesus Christ, grace and truth, to the work of reconciling people to God. The Holy Spirit is present to teach the truth, open the heart and transform the mind. Jesus reverses the flow of influence between clean and unclean, and empowers us to do the same. Jesus came to turn us into instruments of His grace, mercy and love. We are convinced of these things.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Mark 12:30-31   “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

            God desires that we love Him with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind. After this He directs us to love our neighbor as we love our self. Love is what a Christian is called to do in all walks of life. As Christians, all of us are to exhibit this love.

God involves himself in our lives. He shepherds us in the direction of Jesus Christ. This is no small task. His love for us exposes him to those who know no love. It makes him vulnerable to the sufferings of others.          

The Apostle Paul speaks of vulnerability when he writes that "I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep...I face daily the pressure of my concern for all [the people]. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? “(2 Corinthians 11:27-29)
            “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motion- less, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside heaven where you will be perfectly safe from all dangers and perturbations of love is hell.”  (The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis)

          Do not fall into the trap of being discriminating with your love. The tragedy of life is when love is not shared with God and others. It is too easy to become selfish with love. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Matthew 28:18-20    Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”                                                                                                     

Christians are exhorted by Christ to be “fishers of men”.  To fishermen requires proper training and equipment. Training by the Holy Spirit reminds us of the principles and teachings of Christ. The equipment needed is truth, prayer, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God. Discipleship entails the side by side teaching, modeling and encouraging between people. The aim is to bring them closer to one another and closer to Christ.

Discipleship is “not” certain things. Not just to get them to make a profession of faith. It is important but not the end goal. Not just to get them to attend all activities and participate in the activities of the church. The building of the church is important but it is not the end goal. Baptizing them into the family of God begins the journey. This is a sacrament, a grace filled event in the life of the believer. It is the entry of the person into the fellowship of God’s visible Church. It is important but not the end goal.

The end goal is to make disciples who are taught to obey all the commandments of Christ. This is the end goal. The baptism by the Holy Spirit is the ingredient that makes possible the believers understanding what is taught in his mind and the power for his feet to obey with faith the instructions of Christ.

Discipleship is making disciples. It is creating a new person transformed by the renewal of their mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. This brings the power of faith in Christ to move the believer to obey the teachings of Christ Jesus, their Savior and now their Lord.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Proverbs 16:20-21     Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

            Trust has an important impact on any group or organization. Trust can be an asset that brings value to all involved. The lack of trust is a detriment or liability to the organization as well. How trust is developed will impact the growth and effectiveness of the group. When people trust one another, there is a greater sense of teamwork and unity. Together people look out not just for themselves but for others on the team. This creates momentum in day to day activities and leads to an overarching movement forward for the group as a whole.

            Where there is failure to trust each other, the movement of the organization begins to slow. People fail to fill in gaps and let things drop, thinking another person will handle it. The opportunities to succeed are delayed or lost because everyone is expecting someone else to take action.

            Trust is fragile. Once established, it is difficult and slow to rebuild or reestablish once it is lost or broken. It is a challenge to build trust between people with varied race, gender, religion, age, wealth or political orientations. Trust is also difficult for people of varied responsibilities or duties within the organization. Hourly workers may not trust their supervisors. Clients may not trust those given the duty of teaching and mentoring them in their programs. Management may not trust their Board of Directors. Board members may not trust one another.

            Building trust requires integrity, transparency and respect. Without trust work cannot be delegated effectively and the organization becomes less and less effective in its mission. Roles for everyone must be clearly defined in order that people do not lose focus and become frustrated in their work. Employees who trust management will underperform and act in their own interests rather than the interests of the mission.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Ephesians 2:19-22   You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

          An organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete. When management, operations and culture are unified around the mission statement you will find the organization vibrant and growing.

          Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts. They are free from politics and confusion. Such places provide an environment where star performers never want to leave.

          Healthy organizations maximize the human potential and gifting that God places in his people. With an eye towards the mission statement, leaders align their workers around the goals, principles and resources of the organization. Together they work to move the mission further in the direction of realizing the purposes of the organization.

          Our organization’s mission is to lovingly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the economically, emotionally and spiritually impoverished by responding to their basic physical and emotional needs; and by promoting Christian growth as characterized by a productive and changed life. Jesus Christ is our center point. In Him we have been drawn here to labor as one body. The mission statement becomes the heart of ministry as it pumps meaning, guidance and destiny into every action, program or activity within the organization. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014


John 3:6-7      That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

The brain you use to read this is made up of 100 billion neurons, the same number of stars in the galaxy. Language and data are contained in the outer part of the brain. That’s the part of the brain you are using now.
Research shows that basic human functions of love and attachment occur within the inner areas of the brain. That is by God’s design, so that a baby can emotionally attach to parents before he/she is even able to say a single word. Our base emotional processes and attachments need no language skills.
What this means is that information alone cannot do anything at all to change those base-layer emotional parts of a person. This inner part of the brain is wired or re-wired experientially, not through information or education. You cannot learn your way out of addiction.
This explains why a client seems to be doing well, then one day falls off the wagon and back into using.  They can do and say everything appropriate for a recovering addict but then allows events and conditions to arise that undo the success and progress. Fifth century monks exchanged living in society for life in caves deep in the desert wilderness in order to flee from sin. They found that sin followed them because it exists within.
The way into the person’s inner mind is through relationship not information. Building a loving, accountability focused, grace and mercy filled program will enable meaningful connection with addicts.  We need to earn our way into their innermost heart or mind. Clients must make the decision willingly to let us in. Then time is needed for new relationships to replace the bad experiences and habits that had kept them in bondage.
This reflects the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing the lost to saving faith in Christ. It is a rebirth that entails the transformation of our minds.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Joshua 1:8-9   This Book of the Law… you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful 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… Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

The boss walks into your office and shuts the door. “I think Leslie has a nose problem. I just heard that she is heavy into cocaine. We can’t have her around here. I want you to get some dirt on her and get rid of her.” Your first reaction could be to offer help to Leslie, and find a rehab facility for her. You share this with the boss but he responds, “No. I don’t care what you do on your own time. But she needs go from here. Now!”

Caught between a rock and a hard place do you give in and unjustly fire her? Or do you go to Leslie and help her find help and somehow save her job? Perhaps, you could go over your bosses head and find help from his superior. How does a Christian respond?

You may not face this exact situation but there will come a time when a leader’s faith will be tested. The time will come when business pressure from peers, intellectual logic and fear will push you into making a wrong decision. Fear and discouragement can keep us from the right decision. Courage, on the other hand, can lead us to stand on Godly principles and make the right decision, even if it hurts us in the process.

Courage is not always doing brave and heroic things. Sometimes courage is expressed in a way that only God knows what has happened. Fear of losing power, not being recognized or having our ego hurt will cause us to make the wrong choice.

Godly courage requires faith and trust that He will protect us and pick up the pieces from having to do what is right. Remember, every decision we make impacts the development of our character and our future. It is therefore important to take time in making decisions that will reflect your faith, values and principles as a Christian.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Hebrews 12:1-2     Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.

            There were many times when Jesus turned down the requests of people around him. He refused a request from the mother of James and John to give her sons the best seats in the Kingdom. Jesus said that could not happen. The Pharisees wanted Jesus to pick up a rock so He could join them in stoning the woman caught in adultery. Jesus gave them no heed as He scribbled in the dirt. Pilate wanted Jesus to acknowledge his power to release him from the crowds who wanted him killed. Jesus refused. 
When Peter rebuked Jesus for saying that his journey to Jerusalem would end in His death, Jesus told Peter that he was speaking like a man of the world and not a man of God.

            Our lack of faith keeps us near-sighted, never seeing the big picture or the distant future. Short-term plans do not always ensure a long-term success. Sometimes the urgency of immediate needs can over take the long-term plans that bring stability and success. Pressure from within us and from other people will derail our efforts to build a strong foundation that will last beyond the immediate crisis.

            To overcome this short-term pressure we can follow Jesus’ example. The best seats may not be the ones God has prepared for us. The future has already been set by God. Our job is to cooperate with the progress He is making in and around us. Joining in with others in activity that may be legal in society does not ensure that it is morally sound in light of God’s Word. The free exercise of power or authority is not the means for solving all problems. A little delay will prove that God can solve problems without us. The plans we force into completion are man-made. God forces no one and nothing into existence. His plans are nothing like our plans. His are always better.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


John 13:14-17    If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

How do I find meaning and purpose in my work? Have you ever found yourself saying this? Has someone asked you that question? How would you answer?

God wants us to be successful at work, home and in living for Him. He gives us the motivation of heart and gifts to contribute to, add value and have relationship with others. Finding meaning and purpose in our work is a key to both personal and professional fulfillment.

In the organization, at work, the mission or purpose of the organization is where the answer can be found. God is involved in the business of the organization. He is involved through the Christian who sees their role as one of service to others. Growing and prospering the organization begins with helping the other people around you to be successful in their roles. God works through the believer and the unbeliever. Our job is to find how our responsibilities and duties can improve those around us as individuals and fellow workers.

Everyone has potential, dignity and worth. God has created everyone according to His plan and purpose. Our priorities are to reflect God’s own concern for others. Despite the mundane nature of some aspects of our work, we are called to fan the flame of the gifts and talents God has equipped us with and to ignite the flame in others. In relationship to the people around us we begin to see God’s will unfold for the organization and for the jobs He has placed us in.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Proverbs 3:5-6      Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

We operate in two worlds. The first is a deeply personal, private, spiritual world. The second is a very public, demanding, competitive business world. Often these two worlds collide. This collision results from the fact that they both operate with different values, beliefs and principles. As a result we are caught in the middle. Our choices must take into account this pressure from two sides.

God has not put us here to live a life as “victims of circumstances”. If you trust in God’s principles, have courage to live by them and nurture the patience to wait on Him, and then you will be able to do what is right and be successful in this competitive, bottom-line world.

Biblical principles and “bottom-line success” are not opposites. You can do what is right and be successful, both ethical and profitable. And you can do this and still be honoring to God, serving others and fulfilling your vocational obligations.

The answer to this pressure from two worlds is found in drawing closer to God in Christ. He wants us not to run from the pressures and competing interests but to work through them in prayer to Him and truthful communication with others. Exercising faith, patience and courage will itself develop the leadership skills in you. God’s Holy Spirit will work through your efforts and in the circumstances that you find a challenge.

Victory is found when you naturally integrate God’s wisdom and principles with your responses to the world’s pressure. The gifts He has provided you in the talents, skills, character and life-experience will be used to bring you to the correct choices and decisions that fulfill your role as a child of God and as a sojourner in this world. God is faithful, so be of good cheer.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Romans 12:3   For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Sooner or later, a wise leader will want to assess his own work and evaluate the quality of his oversight. So what is the biblical way to think about self-assessment?

Paul gives us a starting point in this passage. The context for his exhortation is the effective use of our spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. To use our gifts well, the apostle says we need to examine ourselves soberly. We are to look with serious integrity at our motivations and actions.

To see ourselves the way we ought to see ourselves is a product of grace. The reason we can be honest about our failings or successes is because we know there is forgiveness for us in Christ. And because we are accepted in him – just as we are – we do not need to exaggerate our accomplishments. Nor do we need to magnify and dwell on our faults. The ability to see ourselves the way we really are is grounded in the gift of God’s grace.

When we apply this principle to our stewardship and leadership role in ministry, we recognize that self-assessment should be a regular, faith-centered exercise. Such an approach will be characterized by honest, deliberate and sober grace-filled judgment. This allows a leader to hold himself accountable to the same high standards that he holds other members of the organization.

We are gifted for the roles God has placed us into. Faith, leadership, service and generosity make up just a few of the characteristics of Christian leadership. May God’s grace guide and grow you into the role he has placed you into.

Monday, November 10, 2014


2 Timothy 2:3-7    Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Like other sports, rules are the backbone of baseball. Without them, the game would quickly turn into chaos. The rules must be so thoroughly understood by an umpire that they are applied instinctively – often in a split second.

All of us have unwritten rules in life. We do things instinctively each day. Some rules are known to us and easily shared with others. Then there are rules less known even to us that we obey. We get up at specific times and practice certain rituals each morning. Throughout the day we conduct ourselves according to these rules.

As Christians we follow Spirit-enabled rules, too. Such obedience creates relationships that create, redeem, sustain and transform the life that God invites us into with Christ. Rules, unlike a set of laws that forbid us to do certain things, a rule of life is a set of guidelines that support or enable us to do the things we want and need to do.

Like individuals, Christ-centered organizations need a central rule for organizational life. Like a trellis that provides support for a plant, guiding its growth in a certain direction, organizations need to adopt a rule to communicate its intentions and identify the way they want to function and grow in fulfilling their mission.

Christ-centered biblical rules will ensure consistent practices which glorify God. When financial or other pressures come like a flood, an organization needs to stay the course following its biblical rule, the mission statement for everyone. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Proverbs 24:3-6    By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might, for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

          “No man is an island, entirely of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main”. (John Donne, 1624)

          As Christians we know that each of us lives life as a part of the body of Christ, the Church. The eyes of God and the world are upon each of us daily. Accountability entails the acceptance of discomfort and vulnerability.  It means that we are able to report, explain and justify our activities to those who are entrusted with overseeing our work.

          Leadership is a two-way relationship between those who lead and those who are led. Communication between people is to be constant and reciprocal. This enables both parties to see and know the progress of the individual and the organization.

          Leadership is not management. Leadership ensures that another person manages well. The need within the organization is to nurture an environment of accountability, open and honest communication. Together the manager and the worker strive for excellence in obedience to Christ’s work. Working together minimizes disruptions and confusion because communications is open, honest and frequent within the group.

          Leadership ensures that organizations will exist into the future. They must avoid “not seeing the forest for the trees”. The competent leader will submit to the competent direction of those entrusted with their oversight, the Board or Trustees. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Ephesians 4:1-4      I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

          At the beginning of Jericho Road Ministries we created our Statement of Faith. This was done in order to communicate to one another and future participants in this Mission, what we believed to be our purpose for beginning this work. As believers in Christ, we wanted our position to be known and accepted by those we work with. For board members, staff and volunteers, the Statement of Faith expresses our common commitment to what the Bible teaches and the outworking of our obedience to Jesus Christ. Together we commit to Him in a community dedicated to serving the least and the lost among us.

          The Holy Spirit guides us individually as we labor collectively in this place. Honesty, truthfulness, servant-hood, unity of purpose and love for others cements us together in ministry to the world around us. Organizational life is lived in full view of both local Churches and the world. The consistency of our witness brings respect and support from fellow Christians. The world marvels at our success and holds us in esteem. God enables these relationships to grow in order that His Kingdom might grow and extend to the darkest corners of our community.

Friday, November 7, 2014


Genesis 2:15-17      The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

God gave Adam leadership responsibilities. He was given a helper, Eve, to assist him in living out God’s mandate. In the Garden he had been given specific duties to cultivate and keep up God’s creation. In essence he was to nurture and protect that which God had entrusted to him. In verse 16-17, we read that his own needs would be met from the Garden he was to keep and cultivate. Only one prohibition existed; he was not to eat of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

God gave to Adam a woman, Eve. She was suited for Adam as a helper in his work. They were to be one in their devotion to God and each other. Together they are servants of God and stewards of the Garden. Their responsibilities are to nurture and protect what God had given to them. He would lead the duties and she would help him realize their goal of serving God and maintaining the Garden. Together they labored.

Leadership is knit into our being men. Without shame, we are able to embrace this role. God leads us to fulfill every responsibility He gives to us. In prayer and faith in God we accomplish His plan for our lives. However, if we abdicate our responsibility to another we will find trouble. Giving away the responsibility we have from God will lead us away from His plan for our lives. When this happens, we will find the same strife and friction in our relationships as did Adam and Eve. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Galatians 6:14-16       But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor un-circumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

If you want to know the power of God in your life, then think long and hard about the tragedy of the Cross. The innocent One died for your sins. Let go of all your concerns for yourself and your problems. Spend some time thinking about what God wants for you now that He has given Jesus Christ for your sins. From the Cross comes your source for new life.

The effect of the Cross is salvation, sanctification, healing, fellowship with God and eternal life. But these are the after effects of first coming to consider the Cross given for your sins. The preaching and teaching about Jesus Christ is good news to those who are lost in the failed promises of this world. The sin in us drives us to find fulfillment in things rather than a relationship with God.

Every now and then God lets us see what we would be like if it were not for Himself. He reminds us of the words Jesus spoke to the disciples: “Without me you can do nothing.” That is why the foundation of Chritianity is your personal, passionate devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. We can get side-tracked with the benefits that flow from faith and trust in him. That’s like putting the “cart before the horse”. If you want peace and meaning in your life, then reconsider the Cross of Christ for you, the sins of yours that are forgiven and the arms opened wide for you to run into. God loves you. Jesus Christ is your proof of His love.

Monday, November 3, 2014


 Galatians 6:10     So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

The Lord commands us to do good to all men without exception, though the majority, are very undeserving when judged according to their own merits. But Scripture here helps us out with an excellent argument when it teaches us that we must not think of man’s real value, but only of his creation in the image of God to which we owe all possible honor and love. The image of God, moreover, is most carefully to be regarded in those who are of the household of faith, because it has been renewed and restored in them by the Spirit of Christ.

If anyone, therefore, appears before you who are in need of your kind services, you have no reason to refuse him your help. Suppose he is a stranger; yet the Lord has pressed his own stamp on him. Suppose he is despicable and worthless; yet the Lord has adorned him with His own image. If he has deserved no kindness, but just the opposite, because he has angered you with his insults, even this is no reason why you should not show him all sorts of favors.

You may say that he has deserved a very different treatment, but what does the Lord command but to forgive all men their offenses, and to charge them all against Him.

Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life, By John Calvin, pgs. 32-35.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Galatians 6:9     And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

In 1982, internal-medicine resident Barry Marshall was frustrated that there was no cure for his patients who had ulcers. While studying a stomach biopsy, he saw organisms resembling Campylobacter bacteria, which was first identified by his hospital’s pathologist, Dr. Robin Warren. For the next year, Marshall and Warren studied over 100 ulcer patients and found this bacteria in 87 percent of the cases.

Other leading specialists, however, insisted that the bacteria developed after the specimens were removed from the patients. For decades, clinical researchers had concluded that ulcers were based on weak stomach linings. Marshall’s bacterial theory was snubbed.

Undaunted, Warren and Marshall continued to study cultured bacteria and found that a combination of drugs destroyed it. Again, their work and report was met with skepticism. Marshall reported study after study, yet doctors refused to conduct clinical trials to substantiate his findings. But finally, four years after his reports, trials were started and confirmed Marshall’s bacterial theory and his treatment methods.

Today, stomach ulcers and some cancers can be successfully treated because someone would not accept no for an answer. Failure in people is caused more by a lack of determination than a lack of talent. Keep on keeping on, friends.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Galatians 6:7-8          Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Sowing looks like a losing business. A farmer sows an edible cornel of corn into the ground, never to see it again. Time passes without any activity. Yet in time we see a young shoot begin to appear. How and when this shoot appears is beyond the power of the farmer. Growth is given when the rain falls and the ground puts forth its nourishments. All this happens without the eye’s ability to see.

Sowing to the Spirit seems a very dreamy business. Sowing to the Holy Spirit is to deny ourselves and appear to get nothing in return. Yet we are told to do this in order to begin to grow.

Selfishness is our natural response to life, apart from God’s influencing power. To sow to our flesh is to seek covetousness, selfishness and ignorance of others and their basic human and spiritual needs. Such a life leaves us with loneliness, greed and a never satisfied attitude toward the world around us. This is a life apart from faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Paul warns us that such a life will bring forth, in the end, misery and loss.

If we sow to the Spirit by studying to live as God directs us, seeking to be obedient to His will and laying up for ourselves things in heaven we will not be working in vain. Our attitude toward life and toward God will change. His Spirit will bring a change that is, at first, beyond the view of others and ourselves. As we draw near to Him, the Spirit will draw us closer to Him. We will learn to trust and obey.

Life will be our reward. Christ came to give us life in abundance, now and forever. Such newness of life will begin in a mind and heart transformed by the Holy Spirit. He will teach us all the things Christ taught the disciples. Like the cornel of corn, the Spirit’s dwelling within us will bring forth a new and renewed person. This life flows on like an ever deepening, ever widening river until we enter His presence.

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