Tuesday, May 31, 2016


2 Peter 1:1-11

vs.1b Peter is writing to those who have received from God, faith to believe in Jesus Christ for the salvation of their souls

vs.11 What is the ultimate goal in your life? Where are you headed? Odds are that your answer, your goal is bound to the world this side of Heaven. Goals people tend to set for themselves are limieted to this world and to this short life.

vs.3-4 Knowledge of God enables us to accomplish two things. It enables us to participate in God’s nature as we become reflectors of His glory. Secondly it helps us to escape the corruption of this world.

What are some reasons for a lack of assurance about having been forgiven by God?

The individual has never professed faith in Jesus Christ, never trusted in the work he completed on the cross. Lack of assurance comes to a person who sees himself as a good person, who occasionally does bad and could pay God back with good deeds for the sins he has committed. Not believing he can be so deeply loved by God or others sucks the life of assurance from the person. Repeated sins and failings leads the person into anger and rage directed towards himself. His pride keeps him from knowing his own power is limited in recreating himself into God’s image. Without the acceptance of God’s standards for our life leaves us with infallible human standards for living. He regrets the consequences of his actions but does not need His forgiveness. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

UNLOADING OUR LIVES Accepting, Storing, Turning, Appyling, Calling, Looking Hebrews 12:1-6

Accepting, Storing, Turning, Applying, Calling, Looking
Hebrews 12:1-6

The jockey on the horse is light for a reason. The horse can run faster and go farther with a lighter load. God calls us to be race horses. We must lighten the load that we heap on ourselves because of guilt. “Let us” get rid of the burdens that keep us from being ineffective followers of Christ.
We need to begin by taking inventory of our lives. What attitudes, thoughts and burdens do we carry that keep us behind what God intends for us. To grow in his graces we must let go of things that keep us from this task. The balloonist jettisons the unneeded ballets in order for his craft to lift and soar higher. Things that weigh us down are not necessarily sinful in themselves. Underdeveloped talents and abilities, low self-esteem, believing what others say about you, etc. can keep you from being effective Christians.

We must run. Life is an effort that we must accept. It takes exercise, practice, determination and work to live life with or without God. It takes more work to live life in the light of our faith in Jesus Christ as leader and sustainer of our spirits. God’s Word calls us to run with perseverance, faith and hope, no matter what the course he has established for you.

We must focus on some thing as we run. The racing greyhounds follow the rabbit around the course. That is their motivation for running the raise. Jesus said that he has prepared a place for us in heaven, in his father’s mansion for us. God says we will have new heavenly bodies when we get home. The Bible says we will praise God for all eternity when called home. What is your motivation for living? What have you set before you as the object to chase? Is it fame, wealth, worldly acceptance that motivates you?

Jesus is our ultimate goal. Whether we live or die we are Christ’s possession. This life will come to an end. We will age and grow weaker here. Jesus, the resurrected Christ, is the example for life now and forever. Focusing on him will keep us centered in God’s will, make us effective in our activities and keep hope alive within us every day of your life.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Psalm 138

Psalm 138

There are times when you know yourself. You can trust certain things to yourself without fear of sin. But there are other times when you must walk away knowing that you can not trust yourself to not sin in a particular situation.

Our lives are filled with reminders of those things we can do well and can do within God’s will. We may be able to withstand anger when it rises within us. Maybe the cover of a magazine no longer arouses feelings of lust. Perhaps you can say no to that drink. But with every success and ability to control our lives there comes other temptations and potential pitfalls. It is at these times that caution and wisdom are needed.

Godly wisdom leads you around these obstacles. Wisdom calls us to get help from God and those people with greater strength and insight than ourselves. In times of challenge or decision God is to be sought for strength and guidance. Fellow Christians that have struggled and overcome are valuable assets. A Christian friend will not allow your struggle to be a point of embarrassment. They will recognize and relate the same struggle but the ways they were able, with God’s help, to overcome.

Prayer: I cannot deceive myself into thinking I the “man for all seasons”. I acknowledge my dependence and need of you every waking moment. The struggles I face are not new to you and often not new to me. Lord help me to look to you for the way out of times of trial and temptation. Put into my life Christians that can mentor and lead me with your Word. May my actions and thought be pleasing in your sight each day of my life. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Genesis 19

God was pretty specific in what he was communicating to Lot. Sending two angels as messengers, God wanted Lot out of town. There was not time to argue or debate the merits of his work among the unbelievers. It was time to go. God wanted Lot out of their lives and he wanted him gone now.

As is the case with us humans, we don’t always want God in our lives. When it is convenient and when we have a specific need, we will allow God in our affairs, but only for a season. So it was with the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. They did not need Lot in their lives nor his God. They felt perfectly content in their disobedience and wickedness. In fact they had built an entire culture around their perversion and self-centered living. Anything was acceptable, even sexual relations between men or between women. One of the most grievous sins had become an acceptable lifestyle among this people. God had had enough.

Before Lot could leave, he wanted another shot at those wicked inhabitants. Lot was reluctant to give up on them right when God wanted him to act. He was not willing to change his thinking and give up on those God had determined were no longer deserving of His common grace. There came a time when nothing more could be done for those who had turned from God.

There comes a time in our lives when those we have tried to witness to will have to live with their rejection of Christ. God allows them a season for repentance but like earthly season, they change. In God’s plan for them judgment is the next season. Judgement will come when it is least expected. 

Although we will stand before the judgment seat of God, we are assured that Christ will be there to show that the penalty due us has been paid by him. Such a great salvation will not be available for the unbelieving. There opportunity will end at death. What is left for them is to stand alone before God without Christ. They will walk like dead men right into the trap they have set for themselves.

Prayer: With so little time in our lives to accomplish your will, allow us the strength and wisdom to act on your behalf when the opportunities for witness are given to us. Do not allow us to shrink for these times but to stand and profess our faith and call the unbeliever to repentance in Christ. 

Friday, May 27, 2016


Psalm 27 

List your fears and the categories of fears you face in your life. Do these fears make your list: failure, solitude, enemies, ridicule, crowds, spiders, death, success, strange places, people.
Battling our fears can be a successful event. It can happen but we best battle them with God’s Word as our shield and sword.

vs.1 David first affirms what he knew is true. God is active in this world, this our lives. The earthquake in Armenia, the father dug for 38 hours to find his son, who, with 14 other boys, was asked by his son to remove the other boys first. The son knew the father if alive would save him and his friends.

Faith is not just to over come the fear of death but to overcome the fears we face in this life. When it is dark we turn the light on to see. When you are in the darkness of fear, turn the light of God in Christ on to lead you clear.
vs.6 David practices the presence of God in his life. There are 365 occurrences of God saying “Fear Not”.

vs.7-9 David speaks to God. He anticipates God will hear and will respond to his pleas, prayers and words. Speak to God when fear raises its ugly head. In prayer he petitions and praises God. He then waits for God to respond, speak or act. We call the waiting, painful. The Hebrew for “wait” is a noun - like the twisted cords of a rope and it is a verb - twisting or twirling of threads.

When we wait on God we strengthen the bond or rope between he and us. Our society doesn’t need to wait today. Everything is instant in nature and designed to bring immediate satisfaction or results. A 50 foot oak tree materializes in your front yard after the nurseryman has uprooted the tree from their nursery. Coffee is available as fast as you can heat water. Messages travel the globe in seconds when you press SEND on your computer’s E-mail.

Wait on the Lord and he alone will renew your strength and renew your life both now and forevermore. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Living A Strange Life 1 Peter 4:4

Living A Strange Life

1 Peter 4:4 “They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.”

Jesus would not conform to this world. His temptation at the hand of Satan reminds us that our daily existence is provided not by the food we purchase but is determined by the God who feeds our souls. Our desire for worldly recognition is replaced by the truth that we are known by God himself. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture and this alone gives us inner strength and assurance that no matter what we experience in life, God is present in supporting, encouraging and comforting us.

Jesus’ intention throughout his ministry and earthly life was to live out His Father’s will for his life. His suffering in the flesh revealed his victory over sin. He was tempted, as we are tempted, but his suffering proves his victory over temptation and His lack of sin. Who struggles over doing wrong? Who agonizes over what lie to tell, what adulterous encounter to have, which person to rob? The people who suffer are those for whom a choice is available. Christians suffer in making the right choice, the Godly choice that lines up with God’s will. Suffering reflects the daily battle over sin and the victory we experience in daily skirmishes.

“Christ’s suffering is the sharing of his ministry of love, forgiveness, embrace of the marginalized, and his call for equal justice for all people, a ministry that then and now brings opposition from vested interests and threatened prejudices... the fellowship of Christ’s suffering is not joined at the time of suffering; it is joined at the time of service and witness, and the suffering follows. The suffering at the hands of the critical and abusive culture was interpreted by the church as evidence that they were being faithful to the will of God as it had been lived out by Jesus Christ. It was this understanding that gave them joy… The sufferer has to ask, What did I do right? as well as, What did I do wrong?”xiv Suffering for doing wrong is not suffering but justice.

Prayer: When ridicule and persecution for living to your glory should confront us, Lord remind us of Christ’s passion for obedience to your will. Help me to know your power in the midst of right living and may my witness not be darkened in these difficult times. Amen. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

YOUR SELF-WORTH Psalm 71:1-4


Psalm 71:1-4 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men.
Working with three other men in a close and cramped room, we toiled unrelentlessly on the company budget. Getting up for a drink, I walked around the cluttered table and tripped over an unseen cord. Black, went the computer monitors. Everyone in the room froze. I looked down in disbelief to see the power cord for the computers unplugged. I had zapped all the work we had completed that day. No one had backed up the system.

Thoughts and feelings flooded over me. I felt as if I had let everyone down. I thought I had wasted the time we all had put in that day. I felt so imcompetent and helpless. What an idiot I was to have not seen the cord. What a failure I am. Then the others responded. I let their words of anger affirm my stinking thinking at that moment. I believed their lies about me. I was falling head first into the abyss of self defeat. In the end I had allowed by self worth and acceptance be determined by an accident, by unfortunate circumstances. Their failure to do a back-up to save the work became my failure. They had done nothing to cause the situation. They did not see that their actions or lack of action as a contributing factor to this situation. I would be the scapegoat. I let myself become the scapegoat.

The causes of a low self-worth are many. Neglect teaches the person being neglected that what others are doing is more important. Children, for example, who are left unattended by parents are left to believe that they are less valuable and important than the careers of their parents. Failure compounds our low self-worth when it is viewed as the only course of action or activity to choose from. Failure, seen in this way, denies the variety and opportunities that the life God has given us truly affords in every circumstance we encounter. Think of Moses. He failed in many ways and saw himself through the lens of low self-worth, yet God insisted that he would be the leader of the people, Israel. Failure is something we do but it is not something we are. Unforgiven sin, like termites, will eat away the foundation of our self-worth. Satan wants us to measure our value by what we do, what we have and how we look. Satan encourages us to think that our actions can never be forgiven and new choices with new results be made.

Josh 1:5; Phil. 4:13; 1 John 1:9; Charles Stanley “Our Unmet Needs” p.225 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Whose Rights? Psalm 50: 12-23

Whose Rights?
Psalm 50: 12-23

God does not need the sacrifices we make, sacrifices that are nothing but blind efforts and actions to entice Him to respond as we desire. Such efforts are empty and amount nothing more than God’s displeasure.

God wants your heart filled with thanksgiving and praise. Such a heart is backed up by truthful living, the living of faith in any and all situations. It is living and verbal profession of who we trust in.
If you do this, God will know your heart and will. He will acknowledge and accept your honest confession of faith. He will deliver you from your past and lead you through the results of your sinful actions into a land of “milk and honey.”

The unbeliever has no rights before God. No amount of ordained ritual and practices will entice him to respond to those dead in their sins. The unbeliever has no rights before God because they hate God’s disciplined instructions for their lives. Such people ignore him and seek to understand the application of his words for their lives. Ignoring him they continue to wholeheartedly associate with the wicked. They speak words that reveal the deceitful hearts they possess. They lie and slander to gain for themselves.

God’s slow response to evil is not grounds for denying he can see or know that evil exists. It is not grounds to claim that God does not concern himself with our thoughts or actions. What they think is God’s silence is really His patience and tolerance until the day when he will speak for their eternity. God will have the final word!
Before he speaks for the final time, he offers warnings for all to hear and respond to. Without a heart of repentance, they will leave this world with no hope for Rescue.
Honor God with thanksgiving and praise. This opens the way for you to see and receive God’s salvation.

How do you respond to ......
False accusations about you?
Lies spoken about those who do good?
Ridicule targeted at the helpless?
Anger directed toward the weak?
Violence against the innocent?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Who Is Jesus Christ As The Son Of God? Colossians 1:9-14

Who Is Jesus Christ As The Son Of God?

Colossians 1:9-14 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

I want you to get “smart”. That is I want you to acquire wisdom and understanding. You must learn to live life worthy of your father’s admiration and live to please him.

A good life has specific characteristics or appearance. First a life worthy of God bears fruit. That is a productive life of self-sufficiency that reflects God’s dwelling in you for others to see. Secondly it is a life where you grow in knowledge of Him. Your relationship to him changes as you learn and apply the truth to your life. Good times and bad, stressful situations and frustrating people are used by God to teach, train and grow you in relationship to Him as you grow in relationship to others. Submission to this knowledge of him will impact your life and the world around you. Lastly, a good life reveals in you a supernatural strength with power. It is not a power that we are to use in abusing others or to manipulate life so as to get what we want. It is a power to glorify him, continue to follow his leading and to endure and enrich your world and the lives of people he brings your way. This power is made perfect in the love you characterize for others. In the end your life reflects your joyful thanks to Him who has begun a mighty work within you. If you grow in the grace of these three areas, then you are in the process of renewal that brings eternal life both now and forever more. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Victory In Death Judges 13-16:28-30

Victory In Death

Judges 13-16:28-30 Then Samson prayed to the LORD, "O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes." Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
The dedication of His parents to God
Samson’s wayward life that revealed the good and bad of human nature
Samson’s leadership is sporadic
Samson dies in victory
Psalm 62:5-8 Mankind is restless chasing the beauty of this world. Samson, God’s chosen leader, sought hope and rest in women.
His strength was in his hair, or was it. His strength was in the oath he took as a Nazarite and the life of obedience to God through his vows. Not his hair but God alone was his rock, salvation and fortress.
In flight, Samson returned to God. His honor was crushed by the people and the women who sought only physical, human pleasure and honor. Samson knew that his honor depended on God and his own obedience to Him.

In the end, Samson placed his final willful act of trust in Him. He poured out his hearts to him, and found God to be his final refuge. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

God’s Mercy

God’s Mercy

This is the loving-kindness of God: He never turns His face away from a sincere repentance. God accepts and welcomes anyone who has become wicked to the greatest extreme and chooses to return towards the path of holiness. He does everything to restore such people to their former position. But God shows an even greater mercy: For those who demonstrate incomplete repentance, He still won’t pass by their small and insignificant turn. Instead, He even gives these people a great reward. This is evident from what Isaiah the prophet says concerning the Jews. He said, “On account of his sin I put him to pain for a little while, and smote him, and turned my face away from him, and he was pained, and walked sorrowfully, and then I healed him, and comforted him.” And we can also cite that most ungodly king who sinned by the influence of his wife. However, when all he did was morn, put on sackcloth, and condemn his sin, he received the mercy of God and was released from all the evils that threatened him.xii
Proverbs 12:24-28
Psalm 130
Faith is required to receive and give forgiveness.
vs.5 God forgives those whose hope is in Him.
vs.3 No record of our past sins is remembered by God our relationship.
vs.1-2 God’s forgiveness comes to those who cry for his mercy.
God does not have to forgive us - that is why his forgiveness is merciful and gracious.
2 Peter 3:1-10
Why did God bring you to this Place?
Why did God bring you to this Time In Your Life?
Why did God bring you to this Position of Isolation?
Why did God bring you to this Form of Suffering?
Do you believe God has a plan for your life? If you do you must recognize that His plan entails significant changes in your life. The process of an unfolding plan for your future begins with a change, Repentance.

To begin this new life and process requires faith. Faith that the plan of God is sure and perfect. Faith to submit to God’s plan not your own. Faith to begin the process that will entail stress, hurt and discomfort. God’s plan will stretch every part of you physical, emotional and, most importantly, your spiritual being. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

GOD’S WILL FOR YOUR LIFE 1 Thessalonians 5:12- 18


1 Thessalonians 5:12- 18 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

The early church at Thessalonica was anxiously awaiting the return of Christ. Jesus had promised to return to take his people with Him to be with God the Father. Look outs were placed around the town. People talked much about Jesus’ teachings. They wondered from which direction he would come. Would it be out of the clouds as he had left them? Or maybe he would show up walking down the road. The people were preoccupied with his return. They ignored they leaders. They stopped working. They ignored the needs of themselves and others. Life was placed on hold.

The world has changed since those early days of the church. In fact life has really taken a 360 degree turn. We are preoccupied today, but with different things. People waste their days with leisure activities. They chase after happiness and comfort from short-lived pleasures like money, food and sex. The world has lost focus of Christ. The poor get poorer. The sick get sicker. The large percentage of the world today remains in poverty while the rich and comfortable few occupy every minute of their lives with selfish pursuits. The world has not really changed all that much.

God calls us back to the responsibilities of peaceful Christian living. We are not to be idle in play but are to work in order to provide for our family and our church family. We are to remain focused on Christ. But all this is to be done with the proper balance and focus. We are to listen to the spiritual leaders God has placed over us. We are to serve one another in love. We are to encourage the timid and help the weak. And most importantly, we are to always joyfully pray, giving thanks in all circumstances to our God.

Prayer: Help me to look beyond my needs towards the needs of others. Help me to pray that your will might be fulfilled in their lives and that together we may live at peace as you desire.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

THE ROSE OF COMFORT 2 Corinthians 1:3-7


2 Corinthians 1:3-7 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Reaching for God's comforting hand is like taking hold of a Rose. First we grab hold of the STEM OF PAIN. Next we gaze at the BUD OF PROMISE. We wait for the FLOWER OF COMFORT and finally extend to others the FRAGRANCE OF SHARING. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016



Romans 4:18-25 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead--since he was about a hundred years old--and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness."

Hope gives us a vision of the future as God has promised. The obedience that pleases God does not come before faith in God. If it had, Abraham would have needed the Law of Moses to have known how to act and find favor with God. The promise of God was spoken first to Abraham. The promise would be received by Him after faith was lived out. Abraham placed his vision for his future and the future of his family in the promise spoken by God. It was a promise of provision, plenty, a home and blessings for all who came in contact with Abraham. Despite the overwhelming circumstances of his life, he did not doubt God’s promise, God’s word.

Abraham believed. He knew God. He believed God was powerful enough and gracious enough to bring about what He had promised to Abraham. God’s ability and power were sufficient reason for Abraham to place his hopes in God. He believed God could provide.
In faith Abraham lived. He ordered his life in hope around the vision God gave him of the promise for the future. Believing God was able to provide, Abraham faithfully listened and followed God’s direction. Abraham believed that his hopes were being fulfilled by God so he lived in faithful anticipation of realizing all the goodness that God had promised.

This way of thinking and living was pleasing to God. It shows the righteousness that God seeks in His people. Hope, Belief and Faith are the elements of a life that is justified before our God.

Prayer: Establish in me hope for the vision of your will for my life. Sustain my believing heart that I might live my life with faith in the promises you have given through my Savior.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016



Genesis 4:2-7 Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

TURN TO GOD: Do not ignore the reality of His existence in your life.
Proverbs 8:12-21 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

DON’T CHEAT GOD: Don’t take him for granted, give Him his due.

GIVE GOD YOUR BEST: Give to God first, not as an after-thought.

DO WHAT IS RIGHT: God blesses and rewards those who do good.

EXPECT GOD’S REWARD: God grants greater faith and peace a reward.

Psalm 37:1-6 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you
the desires of your heart.

Monday, May 16, 2016


Proverbs 17:9-11 Key - vs.10
Psalm 81: 11-14 Key - vs. 13-14
If we listen to God and put in to practice His teachings, our struggles would be overcome as God’s power is unleashed in our lives.
Matthew 7:24-27


1. The “Perfect Appearance” Trap: Romans 5:8
The better your appearance the more accepting people will be.
You must look a certain way to fit in and feel a part of the group.
Certain levels of wealth must be maintained to be accepted.
Love is conditionally granted based on your appearance.

2. The “Perfect Performance” Trap: John 6:28-29
Perfection in what we do are needed to not feel as if we are failures.
Best efforts are never enough.
People internalize the failures of others as a reflection on them.

3. The “Perfect Status” Trap: Galatians 3:26-29
“Keeping Up With The Jones’”
Associating with only one specific group of people.

Why is living the “Perfect Trap” futile?

1. ________________________________________
2. ________________________________________
3. ________________________________________

4. ________________________________________ 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

YOUR SELF-WORTH Psalm 71:1-4 Proverb 15: 31-33 “He who ignores discipline despises himself...” Matthew 6:25-27


Working at Waste Management on the annual budget I experienced a dramatic failure. After hours of work with four other staff we lost all our work on the computer when I tripped and kicked the power cord out of the wall. The computers went dark. The darkness of the moment overwhelmed me. I felt a tremendous flood of failure overwhelm me. I felt I let others down. I felt all our efforts were wasted. I felt incompetent. I believed the angry words voiced at me by the group. I acknowledged their “stinkin’ thinkin’” to myself. I had let my ability to produce determine my self worth.
What led up to that moment in my life were years of learning how to value others and be valued by what I do. Simple inabilities were shown to be defects in by ability to do anything. Simple misunderstandings were taught to me as deficiencies in by knowledge or ability to learn. If could not measure up to the impossible standards of others, then I believed I was of no value or worth to others or myself.

Causes of low Self-Worth include:
Neglect: Children are taught the wrong things by the actions of neglecting adults.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5
Failures: Was Moses a failure?
Failure is something we do, it is not something we are.

“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

THE PIVOT Luke 13:1-5


Luke 13:1-5 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

Life is a fragile possession. What awaits us in the minutes, hours, days or weeks ahead is a mystery. This very moment you are reading these words. By God’s grace you can reflect on his gift of life to you. Death awaits each of us. This world will soon pass. The world and life ahead is as real as these pages. But what is it that God requires of us to know the meaning of life and death? What is the pivot point on which our life is balanced? Repentance is God‘s answer. Unless we recognize life as He has given it, we can never fully enjoy this life or the life to come. As a people in need of deliverance from sin, repentance begins our new life with God. The Pivot Between Life And Death is our repenting of our sinful life and turning back to God. It is coming to terms with our own mortality. It is coming to terms with the fragile nature of our every step and breath. Can we see or control our future? Is it within our ability to really determine our own destiny? Many questions with just one answer.

Life is more than breathing air and going about the plans of our heart. Life is knowing God in Christ and living with him and for him. Life continues after the curtain of death is lowered. Repentance enables life to begin now and continue after the curtain has dropped. Death can be now and forever, too. But God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him will not perish, but will have life and eternal life. Praise God for the opportunity to know Him. Praise God for the opportunity to repent.

Prayer: Lord, forgive my ignorance in thinking I can live life without you. Forgive my desire to live as an island to myself. Call me back to you that you might be glorified in and through my life to the glory of my Savior. Amen. 

Friday, May 13, 2016



John 11:1-45 Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me." When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." Therefore many of the Jews who ... had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.

The power of God is now and has always been the power to raise us from the dead. Period. It is not about us. It is about God. Our only role is to stick our feet straight up in the air and admit that without God we might as well be put to bed with a shovel. Now that is a message that can empty a church out fast.ix

This story is not about Lazarus, Mary, Martha or the crowds. This story is not even about you and I. The story is about God. This event is given to shake us awake from disbelief. This and other Scripture events are spiritual darts designed to puncture our self-centered understandings about the world, ourselves and about God. This story goes beyond the realm of physical death. It is not merely given to reveal the power of God in Jesus Christ. The story is designed to reflect the glorification of God by an individual’s belief in Jesus Christ’s power to overcome even death.

Death is disbelieving. Disbelief is the reality of spiritual death. It is disbelief in God that must be overcome. Death is merely another obstacle to our faith in God. The people attending the funeral were absorbed with the circumstances of Lazarus’ death. They saw their faith in Jesus conquered by his death. But, this story transcends the circumstances of his death. Jesus himself says that Lazarus’ death was designed to show God’s glory, overcome disbelief and bring faith in Himself.
Remember, Lazarus came out!

Prayer: Lord I will remember that Lazarus came out of the tomb. He was raised from the dead by you. I will live by nurturing my faith in you! Bless me with more faith. Amen.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

God’s Grace Romans 5:6-8

God’s Grace

Romans 5:6-8 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church.... Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian “conception” of God. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins.

Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner.... Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.... Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great proce to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which cause him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.... Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.... Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ.... Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son...and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.viii

Prayer: In this life I will never fully understand the value of your love for me. Thank you for giving of yourself to save me from the penalty of my sins. Help me to live each day in the richness of your loving gift of Jesus, my Savior. Amen. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A WISH FOR YOU Isaiah 9:2


Isaiah 9:2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

Recently you were stopped at the red light of an intersection. You saw a man who was sitting on the street corner with a sign: Will Work For Food. He was not an unusual sight for you. You have passed that intersection often and had seen others with similar signs.

This night you found yourself staring at the man. He was about your height with a wrinkled and weathered face, slick hair, dirty clothes and a ragged overall appearance. For a moment you put yourself in his shoes. You thought what it would be like to sit there hour after hour, without sufficient supply for your life. You imagined looking at people in there cars who refused to look you in the eye or who stared at you blankly. Your tried to imagine what it would feel like to sit there hungry, without work or money, without someone to care enough for you to take you in or offer help. What does it feel like to be empty inside, without accomplishments or purpose, without direction or future, perhaps with an addiction to alcohol or drugs? You wonder what it would be like to sit there in the early evening and gaze at a well dressed family on their way to a place where they were wanted, needed and loved. How would you feel being ignored by such a family and other people?
Was he looking for a handout to by a bottle of liquor? Perhaps. Was he looking for money so he did not have to work? Maybe. Was he looking for help in the only way he knew? You don’t know. The light changed. You drove away. He was still sitting in the dark.

Prayer: Lord God, give me the desire to stop and reach out to those around me lost in the darkness of their lives, to those lost in sin, hopelessness and sorrow. May the light you have give me be a light for them to see You. Amen. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016



Ezekiel 33:10-11 "Son of man, say to the house of Israel, `This is what you are saying: "Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?" ' Say to them, `As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?'

“In the days of the Old Testament prophets, as well as now, there were people so foolish as to say, “God is too good to send anyone to hell.” The prophet Ezekiel was quick to emphasize that God had no pleasure in the death of the wicked. God longs for men to turn from their evil ways and to live. A discerning prophet of a loving God never gives people the impression that God hates sinners. God loves sinners with an undying love; it is death-dealing sin which God hates with a fierceness born of his righteous love.”vii

Hell is proof that God hates sin. Those who persist in sinfulness will receive what God has ordained for sin and sinners. Separation from God’s presence for all eternity. It was Satan who challenged God’s position and authority when he tempted Eve. Century after century people continue to listen to satan rather than God or his prophets.

Jesus Christ is proof that God loves sinners. Allowing him entry into our hearts and lives brings an end to the rule of satan and sin in us. Yet, people still reject His offer of salvation. Instead of life, people choose careers, people, wealth, drugs, pleasure, knowledge, fame or power. In themselves, these activities may not be sinful. But allowing them to replace God is sinful. It is this willful choice on a sinners part that leaves them without hope, still lost in sin and apart from God. What is getting in the way of your continued devotion and faith in God?

Prayer: The reality of hell is difficult for many to accept. Father help mankind understand not only the punishment that awaits the unrepentant but the love and grace that awaits those who turn from their sins and embrace your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Monday, May 9, 2016



Psalm 42:1-5 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

“Thirst for God. We know the body’s thirst when there is no water; we know the thirst of our passion for life and good fortune. Do we know also the soul’s thirst for God? A God who is only an ideal can never still this thirst. Our soul thirsts for the living God, the God and Source of all true life. When will God quench our thirst? When will we come to appear before his presence: To be with God is the goal of all life and is itself eternal life. We are in God’s presence with Jesus Christ, the crucified. If we have found God’s presence here, then we thirst to enjoy it completely in eternity.” vi

Restless we are all the days of our lives. Because of our sin nature, we can never be fully satisfied in this life. Yes, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit but we still retain the blemish of sin in our nature. This blemish keeps us longing for full recovery from sin. We hunger and thirst after God. We seek comfort in his fellowship. Life’s journey is an up and down journey. It is because of our incompleteness in our human condition that keeps us thirsting after God until the day we can be fulfilled in His kingdom.

Knowing the spiritual restlessness that remains will help us continue to fight for the day of our complete healing in heaven. Each day this side of glory is a battle to be encouraged and faithful to the God who provides true refreshment and food.

Prayer: Heavenly Father help me to thirst for you. Help me to see the spiritual need that lives within me. May your spirit enlighten my will to seek the quenching power of your living water, Jesus Christ. May my thirst always be for him and not for this world. Amen.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

CONTENTMENT Matthew 20:8-16


“Parable of the Workers for the Vineyard”

Matthew 20:8-16 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. `These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, `and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' "But he answered one of them, `Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?' "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

The mother asked the class, "who hasn't received an invite to my daughter's Birthday party yet?" One girl in the back of the class raises her hand. The mother walks over and gives her an invitation to the party being held the next day. The little girl was overjoyed to be going to the party.
If this had been an adult the reaction probably would have been different. Questions would have come to mind. Why was I not asked earlier? An attitude of offense would have prompted them not to attend. They could have seen the gesture as an affront to their worthiness. They would have been mad. Unlike the child who was happy to have been invited at all, the adult is upset over not being asked first.

God invites his people at different times. Some are invited after many trials, after many years. Often they are seen as less worthy than those who have been in the fold for years. Many remain questionable converts because of their lateness. Our renewal timetable governs our response to them. Refusing to see them as God’s little children and we show ourselves to be carbon copies of the day-long workers in the vineyard.

Prayer: Father, help me to see in others what you see. Help me to embrace new believers as you have embraced them. Do not allow me to be blinded by my own position, but rather help me to see them as children invited into your kingdom party for your glory. Amen. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

BEING FOUND IN CHRIST Matthew 14:25-33


Matthew 14:25-33 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.

"The local sheriff had decided to tighten the requirements for deputies. So the deputies gathered to try their hand at hitting the target at the increased distance. Each man had 18 seconds to get off 12 shots. The best shot in the area...had been fitted with his first pair of trifocal glasses. Suddenly, as he told me later, 'I began to perspire...There I was with a bead drawn on the target and all I could see was fog. Then I remembered what our old navy instructor had taught us: "If you ever lose sight of the target, just remember your position." ‘So,' my friend said, 'I just held my position and pulled the trigger...When I took off my glasses and wiped them, I saw that I had hit the bulls-eye every time.'
There are times when, for some reason, we lose sight of our target-which is to glorify our Lord. The world is too much with us. Tears blur our vision. Unexplained tragedy raises questions that cannot be answered and shakes our faith to its foundations. Then we remember our position, for a Christian's position is "in Christ." Though we may not see the target through the fog, if we just "remember our position", we won't miss."

Our focus at all times and in all places is to be on Jesus Christ. How would he respond? What would he say or do? In faith we can step out and live as he has told us to live. Without that focus we will flounder. We will hesitate and doubt. But with the proper focus we “can do everything through him who gives [us] strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

Prayer: Jesus, enable me to remain focused on you. Do not let me be distracted by unbelievers of this world who neither know you nor believe that you exist. Make yourself my all in all. Amen. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

A CHOSEN PEOPLE Deuteronomy 7:6


Deuteronomy 7:6 The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

All the heavenly bodies throughout the universe are unique in their own right. They have been created to reflect their makers glory, power and wisdom. The suns exist to reflect light. The moons rotate around the planets they are matched to. The planets, themselves, are each unique in relationship to the sun they orbit. The planet Mercury is unique in it's high surface temperature, being closest to the sun. Saturn is unique for having rings that reach completely around it's surface. And Pluto, being furthest from the sun, is covered with ice and other frozen elements. Then their is Earth. It's creator chose it out of all the heavenly bodies to be unique. This planet alone was created to sustain life.

Christians are unique in the universe of humanity. We are a chosen people for God’s glory. We have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit to shine forth in a unique way. As reflectors of God’s glory, we are recreated to bring His light into the darkest corners of the human race.
God’s infinite love is the source of our light in this world. God loves his people so much that He gave his only Son to save us from the corruption and darkness launched by sin. We no longer walk in darkness, fear, doubt or uncertainty. Christ has shed the true light on our human condition. We see now that our struggles are with sin, with spiritual forces that swirl around us. No longer do we need to fear the next sunrise. Nothing in life is uncertain knowing that an infinitely powerful and knowing God is watching over our every step. God is protecting and guiding us. We may see troubling sights or encounter dangerous people, but doubting God’s presence is no longer an alternative. In faith we are certain that God is sustaining, guiding and leading us through this world.
With such encouragement and faith we can be the true reflectors of hope and love for a darkened humanity.

Prayer: Make me a bright vessel of your grace and love. May my walk with you bring the light of hope to others. Be pleased with my life. May your glory shine through me this day. Amen.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

HIS BLOOD Acts 7:54-60


Acts 7:54-60 Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." ...While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

An evangelist said: "A little girl of eight years was sent on an errand by her parents. While on her way, she was attracted by the singing of a gospel meeting in the open air, and drew near. The conductor of the meeting was so struck with the child's earnestness that he spoke to her, and told her about Jesus. She being the child of Roman Catholics did not know much about Him, but the gentleman told her of His love to her. On returning home her father asked her what had detained her. She told him, and he cruelly beat her, forbidding her to go to any such meeting again. About a fortnight afterwards, she was so taken up with what she had previously heard of Jesus, that she forgot all about her message. She saw the same gentleman, who again told her more about the Savior. On her return home, she again told her father, as before, where she had been and that she had not brought what she had been sent for, but that she had brought Jesus. Her father was enraged, and kicked the poor little creature until the blood came. She never recovered from this brutal treatment. Just before she breathed her last, she called her mother and said: 'Mother, I have been praying to Jesus to save you and father.' Then pointing to her little dress, she said: 'Mother, cut me a bit out of the bloodstained piece of my dress.' The mother, wondering, did so. 'Now', said the dying child, 'Christ shed His blood for my sake, and I am going to take this to Jesus to show Him that I shed my blood for His sake.' Thus she died, holding firmly the piece of her dress, stained with her own blood. The testimony of that dear child was the means of leading both father and mother to Christ. iv

Prayer: May my life and death reflect a faith in you that no one could deny. Let your blood cleanse me of fear and doubt. May it strengthen me to withstand whatever this unbelieving world brings my way. Amen.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016



1 Peter 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

"I've always felt like an alien myself. In fact, I often think of myself as an outsider in my own life." Words of actor John Lithgow after receiving an Emmy Award for his role of a visitor from outer space in the television comedy 3rd Rock From The Sun.

You know the feeling. At a gathering of people, a colorful joke is made and everyone begins laughing. Everyone but you. You feel awkward. You don’t understand what is so funny. The humor is lost in your mind. Maybe you understand their laughter but refuse to join in. You ask yourself why are they laughing at someone’s misfortune. Welcome to the “alienness” of the Christian life. There will be more times of such awkwardness.

I walked into the service garage to pick up my car. The mechanics were huddled together around a car. As I approached from a distance, I could hear an occasional curse word and laughter as one man was telling an apparently funny tale. As I got closer one of the men, he knew me as a Christian, looked up and saw me. He turned to the others. Their laughter and conversation abruptly stopped. They straightened up and welcomed me. What caused them to change their behavior and stop their discussion? The presence of an alien reminded them of our differences. It brought to their mind the differences between themselves and me. This alien did not laugh at their jokes, spoke a different language and was friendly to all. The alien was different then them. Not wanting to offend, they stopped for a moment in order to get the alien on his way again. As I talked to the mechanic in charge of my repair the others stood there watching in silence. After thanking him and paying the bill I turned to leave. In silence they watched me walk away and get into my car. As I drove away I noticed that they had turned away and had returned to their loud and boisterous discussion. Their world had been interrupted. But now, the alien was gone.

Prayer: In the image of Christ, remake me. May I appear to the world as an alien, an outsider that looks acts and loves not as they do, but as does Christ? Amen. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016



Acts 10:34-38 Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached-- how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
Few words, but yet an exquisite miniature of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are not many touches, but they are the strokes of a master’s pencil. Of the Savior and only of the Savior is it true in the fullest, broadest, and most unqualified sense. “He went about doing good.” From this description it is evident that He did good personally. The evangelists constantly tell us that He touched the leper with His own finger, that He anointed the eyes of the blind, and that in cases where He was asked to speak the word only at a distance, He did not usually comply, but went Himself to the sick bed, and there personally wrought the cure. A lesson to us, if we would do good, to do it ourselves. Give alms with your own hand; a kind look, or word, will enhance the value of the gift. Speak to a friend about his soul; your loving appeal will have more influence than a whole library of tracts. Our Lord’s mode of doing good sets forth His incessant activity! He did not only the good, which came close to hand, but He “went about” on His errands of mercy. Throughout the whole land of Judea there was scarcely a village or a hamlet, which was not gladdened by the sight of Him. How this reproves the creeping, loitering manner, in which many professors serve the Lord. Let us gird up the loins of our mind, and be not weary in well doing. Does not the text imply that Jesus Christ went out of His way to do good? “He went about doing good.” Danger or difficulty never deterred him. He sought out the objects of His gracious intentions. So must we.iii

Prayer: Liven my feet to go to others. Free my heart from the fear to confront. Open my mind to the urgency of going. Guide me along life’s path that I, too, may be known as a Christian who “went around doing good.” Amen. 

Monday, May 2, 2016



Amos 8:4-7 Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, saying, "When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?"--skimping the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat. The LORD has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: "I will never forget anything they have done.
“We must not forget that when the Hebrew prophets talked about the plight of the poor, they focused not on the behavior of the poor, but on the behavior of the privileged and powerful. The cross deconstructs moral superiority. And the faith that sets women and men free, the grace of justification, releases them to work passionately for social justice and the good of their neighbors.” ii
Christian, you are free from self-concern. God has enlightened you to the providential care that he promises to all his people. When we realize that God is meeting our needs, we can take more of our energy and thoughts to focus on others. We are free from worry about our future and how specific needs will be met. Jesus says “don’t sweat the details”. We are to turn our attention toward others, both those inside and outside the church.
Look at the lives of the saints of the past and present. They had very little in the way of worldly wealth or possessions. But they were rich in relationships. They had many people that were in constant touch with them. They met the material needs of others in order to find opportunities to share the freedom they already possessed through their relationship to God. These saints lived to serve, minister, disciple and mentor the children of God. They left family, friends and often the church to embark on global missions to the lost throughout the world. You can read about them ministering to drunks along the Bowery in New York City, peasant farmers in China, diamond miners in South Africa, and elsewhere.
It’s not the rich who are free to serve. They are bound to their possessions. But rather, it is the child of God; freed from earthly concerns who is truly free to serve the living God by lovingly serving others.
Prayer: Father, do not allow the gifts you give me in life to blind me to the needs of others. Help me to know the truth that your gifts to me are to glorify you in being used to help your people and reach the lost. Amen.

Sunday, May 1, 2016


Romans 10:14-15       How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

“I love to tell the story, Of unseen things above, Of Jesus and His glory, Of Jesus and His love….I love to tell the story, ‘Twill be my theme in glory, To tell the old, old story, Of Jesus and His love.”

When we think of the millions of people around the world or the thousands in our own communities who have never heard the story of love, an urgent challenge possesses us to take it to the ends of the earth so all might hear. To go to the ends of the earth requires that we first pass through our own neighborhood, city, state or country. This is where we begin to learn and train ourselves to share the story of Jesus and God’s love.

The preparation has begun by God’s planting the seed of life in us. As it grows we develop a natural hunger and thirst to speak of the story and to hear it repeated by others more mature than us. This old song will someday be made into a new song, but the message will always be to the glory of our Savior who died to give us eternal life. Have you shared with others the old, old story of Jesus and his love?

Ministry Scenes

Have The Homeless Become Invisible?