The Beauty of the House

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate. Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you out of Zion, and may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel.   Psalm 127:1-5, Psalm 128:1-6

God’s sovereignty is seen in 3 realms: 1.) Building a house or home, 2.) Protecting a city or home, 3.) Earning a living or working with your hands. In all of these three instances, the sovereign intention of God is far more crucial to the outcome than man’s attempts at success. Otherwise, all of a man’s efforts is in vain. So the psalmist is talking about trusting in the Lord, Unless God keeps our house. Unless the Lord build our house, you know, you’re just worrying in vain. You can’t do anything to add to it, We’ve got to simply just trust the Lord. As far as awaking early, or sit up late, and what does the bread of sorrows mean? (Food earned with painful labor.) You know people just toss and turn all night long worried about things that have already taken place, or are worrying about things that might take place, in either camp; Not an ounce of worry can cure what has happened in the past, nor change the fact, that we cannot control what happens tomorrow. But there is a rest for the people trusting in the Lord. How good it feels to know that in all of my affairs, God is working everything for my good, (Romans 8:28), because I love Him, and I am placing all of my hope and trust in Him, and His Word of promise to me.

Do not neglect your family—What good are a lovely house or large income if the people in your life are robbed of the joys of a happy home? Children are a gift and a heritage, so appreciate them and guard them. They are like fruit, so cultivate them. They can be arrows for fighting the Lord’s battles, so keep them polished and sharpened and aimed in the right direction. Give your self to building a home, and not just a house whose exterior is more important than its interior. It’s not the outer man, but the inward man, the heart that matters to God. In fact, when God measures success in a man, He puts the measuring tape around his heart. Emphasize the building for the future, and not just the present.

Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord—When we “fear the Lord” meaning we have reverence for God, His name, His Word, the things of God, Those “who walks in His ways,” God will bring blessing and enjoyment with employment so your work will be a blessing and not a curse (bread of sorrows). Your work will be a ministry to the Lord. As God rewards the work of your hands. And God will bless your home, beginning at the very heart of your home, your spouse. Proverbs 14:1 says: Every wise woman builds her house, Meaning she shows the virtues of godliness in all of her work, and this will have a profound effect on your children and families. All around your table indicates that these blessing are visible whether there little faces at the dinner table, or are now full grown young adults, having at least Sunday dinner together, God says it is a reward for your obedience to trust in Him, and His Word. Your home will be a fruitful garden, and not a desert wasteland. The psalmist makes reference to the family, and family ties and the strength of the nation is in the strength of the family. When we allow God to set the order in our home, the family home begins to be a blessing to many others connected to you. Your church family is blessed by your attendance there, your neighbors in your community are blessed because of your willingness to obey God’s Word, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3) The child in the home is to be willingly to sit under the authority of parents with obedient submission to them as God’s representatives to them. While v.1) speaks of actions, the word “honor” speaks of attitude, as Paul reveals the motive behind the action. When God gave the Ten Commandments, the first law governing human relationships was this one (Exodus 20:12). It is the only command of the 10 that relates to the family because that principle alone secures the families fulfillment.

Beloved Friend, Today is as good a day as any to start asking the Lord to show you what His will is for your household. Be open the leading of the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you, truth about yourself, and others in your home. Join me will you, And completely rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ, our resurrected Lord and Savior who has gone ahead of us to prepare a place for us in His Father’s kingdom, and will return for us (John 14:1-3). Rest your faith fully upon Him for what your family needs are, give Him ample room to work in your heart as well as theirs. And watch the beauty of the Lord build your house, into a home that glorifies God, and is a great blessing to others.

The beauty of the house is order; The blessing of the house is contentment; The glory of the house is hospitality: The crown of the house is godliness. And old motto often placed above fireplaces.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!








Of the Party of Christ

Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but Jews only. But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists (Greek speaking non- Jews), preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.  Acts 11:19-26

What is a Christian? Here in our text we find the term used for the very first time in the Bible. Let’s have a closer look. Phoenicia, a coastal region directly North of Judea, containing trading ports of Tyre and Sidon. Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia. Now Antioch, located some 200 mi. N of Sidon. Antioch was a major pagan metropolis, the third largest in the Roman Empire, behind Rome and Alexandra. And their worship was very licentious. And the people of the city of Antioch were known for living a very loose and licentious lifestyles.  So for starters, based on the geography there wouldn’t have been very many examples of Christianity until these disciples happened to come into their cities. Interesting isn’t, that the Gospel of Christ gained such a strong grip on the hearts of the people living there. And it was from the this church of Antioch that the Gospel really spread to the Gentile world, and the converted missionaries would come back and report all that was happening to the church in Antioch.

And the hand of the Lord was with them—Here is “The Great Commission” And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20) This what the disciples were instructed before Jesus ascended to heaven. And it is clear to us that it is a work of the Holy Spirit that is taking place at Antioch. God using ordinary men to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection to forgive men of their sin and trespasses against God. The results were extraordinary as the Spirit is moving amongst them, conviction and repentance are the result, and the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.

Now Barnabas was really the ideal man to send, because his ministry was that of reconciling within the body of Christ. He was the one who, when the church in Jerusalem would have nothing to do with Paul after his conversion, brought Paul to the brethren and said, “Look, he is a brother now! Receive him as a brother.” And so Barnabas was the one that brought Saul whom the Lord changed his name to Paul, brought him into the fellowship with the church in Jerusalem. The son of consolation” is what the name Barnabas means. And so here is a man living up to what his name means, reconciling opposing parties to Christ’s unified body of believer’s. So he was the right man to send to Antioch when this revival broke out among the Gentiles. A good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. So here is a mark of a true Christian, a person who seeks to reconcile others first to Christ, then to one another. He was a man who has great grace and understanding and was able to accept the work that God was doing there in Antioch.

When he came and seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord—To just cleave to the Lord, or abide in Him. And that their commitment was to be with their whole heart. God wants us to count the cost to be His followers today. Should a person confess to be a Christian today, it is not proven until it has been tested by the fiery trials that come to all true believer’s. Bumper stickers, Christian tee-shirts, or even going to church does not constitute you are a Christian. It is being convicted of your sins when confronted by the Gospel of Christ, then in true repentance and godly sorrow, turning from your sinful life and turning to the Lord. Then it’s a relationship that grows in Christ through the working of the indwelling Holy Spirit who inhabits all true converted Christians in what is called Sanctification. That is to be set apart to the Lord. This is what Barnabas was exhorting them to do.

Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul—Barnabas recognized that here is a work of the Holy Spirit being wrought in this Roman culture, that was also steeped in the Grecian culture, and was a major city in the ancient world. He realized that ministry here would take a certain special kind of person, one who had be liberated by the Holy Spirit, one who understood the Grecian culture, and yet, one who was strong in the Word of God. Now Paul the apostle, at this time was still called Saul, when he left Jerusalem, and went back to his home in Tarsus, some eight years later. As a tentmaker, I’m sure was sharing his new found faith in Jesus Christ, and God was preparing him for this work that He wanted for him to do. I think it is a mistake to put or allow a recently converted Christian right into ministry the moment they have received Christ. It is important that one allows the Holy Spirit ample room to move among us, to reveal to us His will, and purposed gifts of the Spirit that are given to the believer, and allowed to grow in our lives.  It is important that we be rooted and grounded in the Word of God, and in the work of God. We can add up that it was eleven years before Paul had entered into ministry. He spent the first three years down in Arabia, then eight more years of silence in Tarsus before Barnabas, seeing the work of the Lord in Antioch, realized Paul would be the ideal person for this ministry, went to Tarsus to look for him.

And the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch—A term of derision meaning of the party of Christ imagine that, being called a “Christian” was meant to be in the same vernacular as being called a “pagan.” It was given in a derisive way to the church but that all changed through the teaching ministry of both Paul and Barnabas to the church at Antioch. The more knowledge of Christ was taught, the more they could relate to what God meant being a Christian.

Beloved friend, Christianity today is still not clearly understood by most of our world. The absence of suffering is still the way most people want to live by in the church. But progress and faith in the life of believer does not come apart from trials and testing. The building up of the body of Christ in part, is to exhort one another through all of the adverse conditions one might find themselves in, reminding them that God is faithful, who gives more grace to the humble, but opposes the proud. We want to be effective and genuine in reflecting the love of Christ to others, so it is meant for us to be completely transparent that this all surpassing power comes from Christ, and not from us. Let us be encouragers of God’s Word, and His love for us, they will have reward one day!

May the Lord bless your walk!




Healing of the Nations

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.  Revelation 22:1-5

Here is the last chapter of the last Book of the Bible, Revelation, where the angel of the Lord has shown John, while on the isle of Patmos, this vision of the future where all believers will be at, after God has brought judgment on the sin of mankind throughout the earth. The first thing we should take notice is the word “pure” to describe a river. You know it is going to be new, because these don’t exist in our world anymore. The water of life symbolizes the continual flow of eternal life from God’s throne to heaven’s inhabitants. John writes that there is a “tree of life” which is interesting, due to the fact we are always seeing people, tree growers experimenting genetically with trees and plants creating hybrids of these types of species to help further the way people who like their fruits or vegetables with or without seeds for example. And it’s great what man has been able to do messing around with some of the genetic codes of some plants and trees.

Tree of life—A symbol of both eternal life and continual blessing, the trees bears 12 fruits, one for each month, and is symbolic of the abundant variety in heaven. The English word “therapeutic” comes from the Greek word translated “healing.” The leaves somehow enrich heavenly life, making it full and satisfying. There will be a medicinal value in the leaves of the tree. While it may not be too clear for us to understand what or why this healing of the nations is needed, we can clearly see what sin has been doing to man, and through man, to destroy and cause much hurt and pain.

No more curse—The curse on humanity and on the earth is a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience: “Cursed will be the ground; thorns and thistles will it bring forth. Cursed be man, by the sweat of his brow shall he earn his bread.” (Genesis 3:16-19) and finally sin will be totally finished. God will never have to judge sin again, since it will no longer exist in the new heaven and new earth.

But the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face—Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart,” for “they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8) They shall see His face. Until this time, no one living could ever look into the face of God and live, when Moses met with God, God had to put his hand out to protect Moses, when He had revealed a part of His glory as He passed by Moses: And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:19-23) Cautionary measures were needed for God to respond only in part to Moses’ request to see more of God than he was already experiencing. But those who live in heaven can look on God’s face without harm because they are now in their glorified bodied state (1 John 3:2).

His name shall be on their foreheads— In the Old Testament, in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, in what is called the Shema, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. The Israelites were to continually meditate upon and be directed by the commandments that God had given to them. I find that same recognition God wants us to have when we are in heaven. We will have His name upon the frontlets between our eyes, indicating that we are God’s personal possession.

There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light—Hard to believe is it? That is why he immediately said, And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true (Revelation 22:6). It sounds too good to be true, and it brings to mind all the disappointed times when we thought something here in our lifetime was supposed to be all that it said it would be, only to find out later . . . it wasn’t true. So the Lord affirms that these are true and faithful sayings. That God should for man do such things as are declared in the pages of Scripture, to purchase us by the blood of His Son, Christ Jesus, that we would be children of God, and obtain an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you (1 Peter 1:4). For we are so undeserving and unworthy that we should reign forever and ever in His glorious New Kingdom.

Beloved friend, If you are a Christian today, My prayer for you is that you are sitting under the teaching authority of God’s written word, taught by an anointed Pastor/teacher called by God to rightly divide His Word of truth. For these written words are a part of your inheritance. For those who aren’t sure where you stand? With all that has been written, I understand. You haven’t heard or perhaps read all of the gospel that God so loved the world, that He gave His Only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) And that the Bible teaches a bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:13-15). Our country recognizes Memorial Day, this weekend. The soldier who has given his life for our nations freedom cannot be overlooked. Our nations heritage has much storied heroism and bravery at such a great cost and sacrifice. I think of the U.S. Civil War, where countrymen fought one another, families were divided, even believer’s in Christ fought for both sides. I can’t help but think, The healing of the nations by these leaves mentioned today, are for reconciliation. First unto Christ, for the remission of our sins. Then to each other. Jesus prayed to His Father, that they all may be one, as You, Father are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us. (John 17:21)

May the Lord Bless your walk with Him!






I Chose You


You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.  John 15:14-17

Just as Abraham was called the “friend of God” (2 Chronicles 20:7, James 2:23) because he enjoyed extraordinary access to the thoughts of God through God’s revelation to him which Abraham believed and was accredited to him as righteousness. So too, are those who follow Christ today, are privileged with extraordinary revelation of Jesus, the Messiah, and Son of God, and believing, become “friends” of God also as it is revealed in the written Word of John’s gospel. It was for His “friends” that the Lord laid down His life for (Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.) John 15:13

It is interesting, though Jesus declared this new relationship as no longer bondslaves, but rather as now friends, that each of the writers of the New Testament took the phrase bondslave to describe their relationship to Him. “Paul, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, by the will of Christ….” “Jude, a bondslave…” “Peter, a bondslave…” “James, a bondslave…” And though the Lord said, “I’m calling you friends,” yet there was that awareness and consciousness that true life is only discovered when I submitted totally to Him, and to serve Him only as Lord.

If you love Me, keep My commandments—You will find when reading this chapter, Jesus promises believers comfort from 5 supernatural blessings that the world does not enjoy: 1) a supernatural Helper (vv. 15-17) 2.) a supernatural life (vv. 18-19); 3) a supernatural union (vv. 20-25), 4) a supernatural Teacher (v.26) 5) a supernatural peace (vv.27-31). The key to all of this is v. 15 which relates that these supernatural promises are for those who love Jesus Christ, whose love is evidenced by obedience.

You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you—Men choose a religion, but a Christian is chosen by Jesus Christ for a relationship. To be a Christian means to belong to Christ. “Jesus asked me to renounce even my life, to follow Him faithfully, not to fear the world even if my body must perish. I prefer to know that God the Almighty is with me, even if it means that the whole world is against me.” Those are the words of a pastor in Iran, one of many church leaders in Iran who risk everything daily to declare the truth of God’s Word and Jesus’ love to Muslim people. Ultimately, this cost this pastor his life, but his four children remain believers in Christ to this day as a generational legacy of lives forever changed by God, and His Word. So in any case of any pretense might exist among the disciples in terms of spiritual pride because of the privileges they enjoyed, Jesus made it clear that such privilege rested not in their own merit, but on His sovereign choice of them. God’s choices: He chose Israel (Isaiah 45:4; Amos 3:2), but not for any merit (Deuteronomy 6:6-8). God elected angels to be forever holy (1 Timothy 5:21); He elected believers to salvation apart from any merit: For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:29-31). Paul closes his teaching about the believer’s security in Christ with a crescendo of questions and answers for the concerns his readers might still have. The result is an almost  poetic of praise for God’s grace in bringing salvation for all who are chosen by Him and believe—a hymn of security if you will.

And appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain—The second part of God choosing us, is that we lead fruitful lives as we abide in Him, the True Vine, we are the branches that are to bear the fruit of righteousness to our world. This spiritual fruit is described as godly attitudes. And we are not to just bring forth fruit, but lasting fruit. I can’t beg and plead for people to be saved. Salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a repentant sinner. But I can lead a life of service to Christ, that represents Him to others all around me, so that they will see the lasting fruit in my life. We read in the Book of Galatians, Paul wrote: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (vv.22-23). When a Christian walks by the Spirit and manifests His fruit, he needs no external law to produce the attitudes and behavior that please God, and indicate true Christianity. And so you see, God is at work in my life, and in your life today, perfecting our lives more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. Bearing fruit that lasts, is done over a lifetime of service to the One, who gave His all for us, to ransom us to the Father. By simply believing in the Lord, and receiving His love for me through His Word, I can have a sweet and lasting relationship with God, and He calls me His friend, because I keep His commandments to love one another. But even that is a work of His Holy Spirit producing in me His fruit of the Spirit which is love.

Beloved friend, God cares greatly for you, and your families. He would love to use you today to reach out to them by working in you/me, His life of love and joy, and peace. This is evidence by what our world is so desperately seeking to fulfill their lives with. Yet, apart from Christ, they will never find it. Will you join me in letting our light shine brightly for His kingdom and righteousness, and inviting them to trust in the completed work of Jesus Christ, on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead. He will give anyone who thirsts, living water that will bring eternal life in Him.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!



Grace and Truth


And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

While  as God was uncreated and eternal, then the pre-existent Word of God, Jesus Christ, also was before the universe began, the Second Person of the Trinity, has always existed too. The Word “became” emphasizes that Christ’s taking on humanity did have a beginning. So were told by John, that Jesus has stepped into time that exists in our world from eternity which is without time. Surely our minds cannot grasp the scope of this. So we are to take what we know and receive it by faith. The disciples, as years passed and they had opportunities to really reflect upon Jesus, and their acquaintance with Him, must have marveled at the great lengths that God had taken to reveal Himself to them. This reality is surely the most profound ever because it indicates that the infinite became finite; the Eternal One was reduced to the conformity of time and space. The Invisible became visible; the Supernatural became natural. And in all of this, however, The Word did not cease to be God but became God in human flesh.

And so John, as he begins his first epistle, he is just reflecting on his relationship with Jesus, “We beheld His glory” when we heard Him talk, we were listening to the voice of God. When we looked upon Him, we were looking upon the face of God. And when we were touched by Him, we were being touched by the hands of God. Pretty amazing when you come to think of it! In John chapter 14, we read: Phillip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?” He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. (vv.8-11) John, in his writing is making it unmistakably clear in his gospel, to know Jesus, is to know God.

Dwelt—The word has meaning “To pitch a tabernacle,” or “live in a tent.” The term recalls to mind the OT tabernacle where God met with Israel before the Temple was completed. It was called the “Tabernacle of Meeting” (Exodus 33:7); Where God spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend (Exodus 33:11). In the New Testament though, God chose to dwell among His people in a far more personal way through becoming a man. So here, Jesus is, in the beginning with God, the creator of all things and coming to His creation was not recognized, coming to His own yet not being received by them. And yet, as many as would receive Him into their life, His Word of grace into their heart, He gave the right to become the sons of God, even as many as believed on His name (John 1:12). You cannot become a child of God by genealogy. I am not a child of God because my parents were Christians. My children, and grandchildren are not automatically Christians because of my choice, to want to become born again and become a Christian. It’s not something you can inherit from your parents or pass on to your children. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God  (John 1:12-14). The divine side of salvation: Ultimately it is not of man’s will that produces salvation but God’s will.

So we can learn from this at least two questions: Do you want to know what God is like? Do you want to know the truth about God? Then you/we must look at Jesus Christ, and study His life carefully. For He was and still is God manifested for us in the flesh. For the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, in order that He might reveal the Father unto man, so that man would not rely on false concepts about God. Later in His life John wrote other epistle letters, for we read in 1 John, And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God (vv.11-13). This summarizes the blessings of believer’s life through out the ages. Those who lived by faith, and believed the Words  God has said, Has this testimony, that they can know that they have eternal life. And it is a life lived through the grace and truth He provides us.

Beloved friend, Being gentle and “full of grace” is a Christlike quality. Look at the way Jesus described Himself to those in need of His help: “Come to Me, all you 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.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Here is a description of the strongest and most loving Person the world has ever known. Strong enough to create the universe and wise enough to stand against the hypocrisy and self-centeredness of the most powerful people of His day. Yet, He did so while being full of both grace and truth. Jesus is reminding us that while love calls for truth, truth expressed without kindness is not loving as God loves. Join me would you? Let our actions match that of our declarations that Jesus Christ is indeed God incarnate, and is the only way to salvation for our world. May the Lord’s love through us, be full of grace and truth.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!


Meaning “Grace”

So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the Lord. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” But Hannah answered and said, “No, my Lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” Then Eli answered and said, “go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.  1 Samuel 1:9-18

What a beautiful story in the Old Testament is Hannah’s whole-hearted plea for the Lord to show her mercy. If any men think today that they can’t understand their wives or women today? Just know that it has been going on for a long time. Earlier in chapter 1, we read that Hannah is the wife of Elkanah, who had two wives: Hannah, and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children (1:2). Although polygamy was not God’s intention for mankind (Genesis 2:24), it was tolerated , but never endorsed in Israel. Elkanah  probably married Peninnah because Hannah was barren. The name “Hannah” means “Grace” and she was shown kindness by her husband, but he still was not very comforting nor protecting of his first wife Hannah by keeping Peninnah with him who provoked Hannah because she was barren. Now there are many times when we pray and we wonder why our prayers are not answered immediately. There are times when God delays the answer to our prayers. Here is our example of someone who no doubt had been praying about a son for a long time. Why hadn’t God answered her? Hannah is a portrait of a love that is longsuffering, and waiting upon God. The psalmist wrote: Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22) The word for “burden” implies one’s circumstances, one’s lot. God’s promise: The Lord will uphold the believer in the struggles of life.

Now with Hannah there was a reason why God delayed the answer, and with so it is with us also. If God delays the answer of our prayers there’s a reason for His delay. In the Old Testament, the Bible says: “The eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are completely towards Him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9) And we read in the New Testament: But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)  So you can see Hannah’s character in both of these Scriptures. God is always working, we just don’t always see Him at work in ourselves or in others. God is bringing Hannah to the place where He can work in her and through her. In her, is when she is completely whole-hearted towards God, and through her, God was needing a man to lead Israel during these desperate days of transition. He needed a man He could speak to, and who would speak to the people for Him. During this period of time the Word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation (1 Samuel 3:1). God was speaking, and there was no one who was aligned with Him to listen.

So with a heart of a woman who only wanted the privilege of knowing what other women in her life knew, that is the love from God in conceiving then giving birth to a baby. In this case a son. So Hannah finally out of desperation of her soul said, “Lord, If You will just give me a son, I will give him back to You all the days of his life.” (v.11) This is where baby dedication derives from. And now we know why God had delayed. This is what God was desiring, this what God was looking for. So when God was working out the details to give Hannah this son, Hannah was getting her heart whole-heartedly committed to Him. This is her answered prayer. Today, there are so many women, mothers who are in constant prayer to the Lord for their wayward son, or daughter, or even her own husband who has no desire for the things of God. Just remember this, The Lord many times delays giving, in order to bring more, more of the spirit filled virtues that will be used for God’s purposes. Many times when we are praying, the Bible says, “We don’t always know how to pray as we ought” (Romans 8:26), and this is very true. We often pray for things that we look back on, and are glad we never got what we were asking God for. James said in his epistle, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3) Much of our praying is liken to a Christmas list of things we are asking God as a Santa Claus kind of “I want this, and I want that.” We’re not really thinking of what God might want for us, rather if were honest, It’s what I want, rather than what does God want for me.

Now the Bible says, “If we ask anything according to His will He hears us, and if He hears us, then we have received the petitions that we have asked of Him.”  (1 John 5:14-15) Hannah no doubt for a long time was thinking, “Lord, I want a son so that other wife can keep her mouth shut!” “I’m tired of her snide remarks.” She was thinking of herself, but now God through the process begins working in her life. Hannah is a godly woman, it is expressed in Chapter 2, when we read of her beautiful prayer as she was rejoicing at the Lord’s answering her long awaited son, Samuel. Now she is brought into harmony with the purposes of God, who all along wanted to bless Hannah’s request by using him to serve Him in Israel. Now we can understand the delay, now we can see how much higher is God’s ways more than ours.

Beloved friend, the Bible says, ” Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have, For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear, What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)  Let us give thanks to God for all those examples He put for us in the Scriptures of people just like us, men and women who prayed and kept on praying until they heard from God. And let us give thanks to God for our own godly mothers, and grandmothers  who demonstrated their faith and trust in God for us. Leaving us a godly example for our children, and children’s children to follow.

May the Lord bless Your Walk with Him!



From Sin to Holiness Completely

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.  1Thessalonians 5:19-24

The fire of God’s Spirit is to be a driving force in the life of a believer. Jesus tells His disciples after His resurrection, and before His ascension: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) The apostles had already experienced the Holy Spirit’s saving, guiding, teaching, and even miracle working power. And now they were promised by Christ’s departure back to the Father, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, a new dimension of power for witness. So we can know that God has empowered us to be His witnesses about the kingdom of God, and His plan of salvation. But we are always to be reminded of what can nullify all of this. We are told by Paul here in our text, not to quench the Holy Spirit. How do we quench the Holy Spirit? Did you know that one of the greatest quenches of the Holy Spirit is a lack of love? The work of the Spirit of God in our hearts and in our lives can be hindered by bitter feelings, by hatred, and jealousy, by animosity, and those things that represent our old fallen sinful nature. To operate under these conditions is to quench the Spirit of God in us. What are we to do whenever any of these feelings arise? We are to confess them to God. Let Him know that we are unable to stop these feelings that surface in our flesh. That He has to take them away by the power of His Holy Spirit in us. Guess what? When we are that transparent with God in prayer, His peace will begin to rise within us and replace all the feelings of bitterness and resentment. And so we are told “Do not quench the Spirit” It is really telling us, that work of God in us, don’t quench it by doing these things. The fruit of the Spirit you see, is love, and that is what the Spirit is speaking to, is seeking to produce in you that love of the Spirit. We are to respond to this by opening up to God’s love, and to be a channel of His love to meet the needs of others.

Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast to what is good—Here is something that may refer to the spoken revelation from God (Acts 11:27-28), but most often refers to the written word of Scripture (2Peter 1:19-21). Now these “prophecies” are authoritative messages from God through His ordained messengers, or recognized spokesmen, and because of their divine origin, should never be taken lightly. But be sure we are to test all things against the Scriptures. I’ve said here in this blog writing before, never, never just take my word for what you read me say. Take the time for yourself, and read through the text. Be diligent to present yourself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, but is rightly dividing the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Now that is Scriptural, now that is where truth lies. Does what I’m hearing or reading from another man line up with the Word of God? Then hold fast that which is good.

Abstain from every form of evil—Here is one of the most criticized activities a Christian finds himself in. Why? I do think we need to be very sensitive on the appearance of things, to make every effort to shun the appearances of evil. There are those couples that often come and say, “Well, we’re living together in the same house, but God knows how we feel?” We are in love. We’re eventually be getting married, it’s just not the right time, etc. To your neighbors it may all look normal, but to God, and your fellow believers, it has the appearance of evil. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1Corinthians 6:18-20) A Christian’s body belongs to the Lord, and is a member of Christ, and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Every act of fornication, adultery, or any other sexual sin is committed by the believer in front of God, and in the midst of His holy dwelling place. We seem to think that we are alone, in the dark, behind closed doors, therefore, no one really knows what is really going on. From God’s viewpoint, this will never be accepted by Him. It is an act from which Jesus Christ, has already died for, to forgive us from this type of sin, then empower us by His Spirit to resist this type of behavior. We don’t want to stumble anybody. So here is why I think we can receive such criticism from others, who want to water down the Holiness of God. So what is found to be “good” is to be wholeheartedly embraced. What is “evil” or unbiblical is to be shunned.

And the very God of peace sanctify {set you apart} wholly {or completely}; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless—Having concluded with these exhortations, Paul’s ending benediction acknowledged the source for obeying and fulfilling them all. It is not nor ever will be with human effort or strength to be sanctified in all these ways, but through the power of the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). The God of peace (Jehovah Shalom) “Himself” can separate you (us) from sin to holiness “completely.” The three parts of man’s being: body, soul, consciousness and spirit. Spirit, which is dead, until we receive the Lordship of Jesus Christ and we are made alive. Once we were dead in our trespasses and sins, but now we are alive unto God through the Spirit (Romans 6:23). It is only when we are made alive to God that we can then understand the spiritual things pertaining to God. But the natural man cannot understand the things of the spirit, and neither can they know them because  they are spiritually discerned. That is your whole man is God is referring to. God, preserving me physically, my body, God, preserve my mind, my consciousness. And God, preserve my spirit, blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, Greek word, parousia: refers to the rapture of the church.

He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it—How glorious it is to be called by God. And because God is faithful and having begun a good work in us, (Philippians 1:6) He will continue to perform it.

Beloved friend, Living for Christ today requires perseverance and commitment. A great love in our heart for Christ, and His Word of grace, to increase our knowledge of Him. This love for God is given to us by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5), and the quality of this love enables to suffer long in doing what others say they can never do. Our families need this kind of love to be shown to them. The love of Christ, which loves them unconditionally, just the way Jesus loves us. Will you join me in showing this type of love to others? It could indeed make the difference in someone’s life today.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today.






Set Free By God

Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gaderenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound by shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”    Mark 5:1-7

It is a tremendous pitiful sight of a man possessed by demon spirits. When this demon power would take control of his life, he had super human strength. They could not even hold him with chains. So Mark here in his gospel, paints for us a very vivid picture of a tormented soul. Jesus said referring to Satan, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10). He was making it clear that anyone choosing to believe in Him, the Good Shepherd, would be spared of the evils that the thief would bring. Now the demons knew that Jesus was deity, the God-Man, “Most High God.” When Jesus was led in the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, there was no doubt in Satan’s mind who Jesus was; but Satan’s method was to tempt Jesus to violate the plan of God the Father, and use His divine powers He (Jesus) had set aside (Philippians 2:7). The indictment today is how much demons tremble at the sight of Jesus and knowing that their fate is sealed in judgment. But for us today, very few people give the same reverence for God, nor His Son, Christ the Lord. They want more and more a life of what they think is freedom from knowledge of God the Father, choose to do rather what they want, not knowing that is exactly what Satan would want for them. When speaking to His disciples about what the response may be to their sharing the good news of the gospel, Jesus said to them, “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” (Luke 10:16) These words elevate the importance of faithful Christians who are sharing their faith, and the certain fate of the guilt and condemnation of those who reject the message of Christ.

This passage of Scripture continues with Jesus saying, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” Then He asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” Most likely, Jesus asked this in view of the demon’s appeal not to be tormented. He being God, however, did not need to know his name in order to cast him out. Rather, Jesus posed this question to bring to light the works of darkness going on in the hearts of men. Think about our world today. The heinous crimes being committed that almost seem too unbelievable that another human being could do such a deed to another person. Innocent children being targeted, cold blooded killings, molestations, kidnappings for the use of sex trading etc. You ask yourself, What a person could be thinking of to do such an act? Well, our world would like to put blame on the failed court systems, the judicial system of our over crowded jails, the breakdown of the family, etc. And all of these plus more are definitely playing a part in our societies moral corruptness. But it is indeed the working of darkness in the heart of man, sin laden man, being influenced more and more by evil darkness. Our courts, our school systems don’t want God’s laws to influence their thinking, nor their actions. Indeed, the rejection of the message of Christ, and His death on the cross for the forgiveness of sins, which would bring righteousness and peace with God to mankind is the reason behind our violence in our society today.

Isaiah the prophet wrote: For thus says the High and Lofty One, Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (Isaiah 57:15) The Lord will send true revival which comes to the humble and contrite people who are ready to surrender their life over to the Lord. Which in turn God chooses to use as a witness of a transformed life. To finish with this passage Mark writes that Jesus sent these demonic spirits into a herd of swine who ran them over a cliff. The Jews were not to be involved with the raising of swine going back to the Mosiac law, it was forbidden. So Jesus here has reminded them of their unclean law.

So those who fed the swine fled, and told it in the city and the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon -possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. Then they began to plead with Him to leave their region. (Mark 5:14-17) Here, this man that they couldn’t bind with chain and fetters, that was screaming, crying, and cutting himself with rocks and could not be tamed, naked, tragic, horrible spectacle. And now he’s seated there, clothed and in his right mind. The witnesses began to tell what happened, and the people began to beg Jesus to leave them. Rather than being grateful that this poor wretched fellow had been helped and healed, they were instead upset because they lost their herd of swine which they would have financially profited from. Their were more interested in pigs than people. And when Jesus had returned to the ship, he that had been possessed by the devil begged Him that he might go with Him. However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you.” (Mark 5:18-19)

Beloved friend, This man became a living witness of what great things God has done for him. Going around and telling everyone the great power of Jesus to set him free. To this day, a transformed life is still the best witness we can give to our world around us. Letting others see God’s grace and goodness through you. Let God use you today, to tell others what great things He has done in saving you!

It could truly make the difference in someone’s life.     May the Lord bless your walk with Him!