When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know I am He

Then they said to Him, “Who are You?” And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.” They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. Then Jesus said to them, “when you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.   John 8:25-30

The Jews here, especially the Pharisee’s were willfully ignorant in not believing even though there were many witnesses to support Jesus claims. What we have here starting at the beginning of verse 1, where Jesus makes the statement, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Jesus is not holding back by using any innuendos, He is squaring off with these Jewish leaders. He is laying things straight out on the line, He is declaring very plainly to them the truth, and what is the truth? “If you don’t believe in Him you’re going to die in your sins.” But provision is made by God for the forgiveness of our sins, but that provision is believing in Jesus Christ, and if you don’t believe in Him then there is no provision and you will die in your sins. And if you die still unrepented and in your sins, you are eternally lost and separated from God. Jesus emphasized that the fatal, unforgiveable, and eternal sin is failure to believe in Him as Messiah and Son of God. In truth, all other sins can be forgiven except for, the sin of unbelief. Jesus here is referring Himself as (Yahweh—the Lord)   of the Old Testament, and directly claimed full deity for Himself, prompting the Jewish leaders their questioning His claims.

When you lift up the Son of Man—The term “lifted up” is reference to the cross and Jesus impending crucifixion. Having refused to accept Him by faith and having nailed Him to the cross, they would one day awaken to the terrifying realization that this One whom they despised was the One whom they should have worshiped. Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:6-11)  Jesus emptied Himself of all the privileges of His heavenly glory, yet unable while on earth to enjoy His face to face relationship to God the Father, He continued to display the outward and personal enjoyment of that glory.

Think about it, these men in our text were trying to trick and manipulate the incarnate God, creator of the universe and all of life? Christ became more than God in a human body, but He took on all the essential attributes of humanity, even to the extent that He identified with basic human needs and weaknesses. He became the God-Man: fully God and fully man.  The first step in the progress toward true discipleship is belief in Jesus Christ as Messiah and Son of God. I always do those things that please Him—Now the Father testified that, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And Jesus said, “There is no unrighteousness in Me, I do always those things that please Him.” And we also know from the Scriptures, that He says, “Which of you convicts Me of sin? And If I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?” (John 8:46) Although the Jews argued that Jesus was guilty of sin, the sense of His perfect holiness being demonstrated before them brought silence at Jesus question to them. Only a perfectly holy One who has the closest and most intimate communion with the Father could speak such words.

Beloved friend, The Book of Romans says: What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? For those who believe in Christ, who have given their lives over to Him, who are born again according Scripture, The Lord is so willing to give you all things that you have need of while here on earth. And has your future destiny secured to be with Him forever. Who would not find that comforting in this unstable world environment? Let us praise God this day for His provision of grace in bringing salvation to completion for all who are chosen and believe–our hymn of security.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today.

A Sweet-Smelling Aroma, an Acceptable Sacrifice

Nevertheless you have done well that you have shared in my distress. Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:14-19

Praise the Lord! I love the fact that Paul was thanking them for their gift, what they sent, “not because I desire a gift. I desire that fruit might abound to your account.” Now God has a very interesting bookkeeping system, your investments that you are making into His kingdom will bring fruitful dividends to your account. Jesus tells us, “Don’t lay up for yourself treasures on earth where moth and rust can corrupt and decay and thieves can break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where these things cannot happen, rust, corruption, etc. For where your treasure is there will be your heart also.”  (Matthew 6:19-21)  God accounts to the person who supports the missionary the fruit that comes from the missionary’s service. He wrote in Romans 10, How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15)  And because a clear message of the gospel must precede true saving faith, and true faith always has content—the revealed Word of God. So that is why God says, those that send out these missionaries, share in whatever fruit there is from their ministries. Which ultimately is salvation. Salvation comes to those who hear and believe the facts of the gospel.

Concerning giving and receiving—Paul used 3 business terms. “Concerning” could be translated “account.” “Giving and receiving” refer to expenditures and receipts, Paul was a faithful minister/steward of God’s resources and kept careful records of what he received and spent. Though Paul had planted many churches, it was only the Philippians who sent Paul provisions to meet his needs. We can find from the studying of the maps recorded in the Bible for us, usually kept at the last pages of the Bible, how Paul traveled more than 5 thousand miles by sail or by land. That is like traveling from California to New York and about a third of the way back. So you can see why Paul was emphatic as to remind the Christians at Philippi, your giving to me did not go unnoticed by God. The fruit—The Greek word can be translated “profit.” Abounds to your account—The Philippians were in effect storing up for themselves treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20). The gifts they were giving Paul were accruing eternal dividends to their spiritual account: There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty.  The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.  (Proverbs 11:24-25) The one who gives unto the work of the Lord, receives far more than any other investment in this life.

A sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God—In the Old Testament sacrificial system, every sacrifice was to provide a fragrant aroma and be acceptable to God only if it was offered with the correct attitude toward God. In the New Testament, the Philippians gift was a spiritual sacrifice; Paul wrote an example of a spiritual sacrifice in Romans 12: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (v.1). For those in Christ, the only acceptable worship is to offer themselves completely to the Lord, and bring their whole body under God’s control, and offer themselves as an instrument of righteousness. Spiritual sacrifices mean God-honoring, and like Christ under the direction of the Holy Spirit and in guidance of the Word of God.

And my God shall supply all your need—According to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now who can measure that kind of riches? What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32). Would God do less for His children than He did for His enemies? Freely give—This word means “to bestow out of grace.” If the Lord is leading, if the Holy Spirit is prompting us, you will need faith to continue in the work of the Lord. When it is man leading, the flesh response is to focus on what it doesn’t have, usually money. And that onus is placed like a burden on the church. There is no biblical finding that whatever God has started, it never got completed because they ran out of money. God is our provision in yet so much more than just mere monetary assets. He gives to us the true spiritual riches of faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these being love (1 Corinthians 13:13), so that we will be fruitful men and women in the church, the body of Christ.

Beloved friend, Jesus is our sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. The gospels record of a woman who breaks an alabaster jar of fragrant oil over the head of Jesus, some where indignant because they deemed it to be a waste of what was costly, Jesus rebuked their thoughts and actions by saying this was done to prepare for My burial. Jesus knew He would be going to the cross, to suffer and die for our sins. Jesus did say this: you have the poor with you always—meaning we will always have a chance to minister to those who have less than we do, but Jesus Himself we will not always have. This means that in our lifetime, Jesus will always make Himself available to us, to those of us who come to Him in faith. But if we continue believing that one day, some day I’ll come to Him, That day might not come to you. Do put off another day if you have not been reconciled to God yet. How foolish for anyone to assume we have tomorrow! Tomorrow might not come for some of us. But for those who are in Christ, continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and do not be moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard and was preached to every creature under heaven (Colossians 1:23), always know how much more God has in store for us, for those who are willing to give themselves over to Him. Praise God, for His work of salvation in us!

May the Lord bless your walk with Him!



What We Believe and What We Do

How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.  Psalm 119:9-11

Internalizing the Word of God is a believer’s best weapon of defense to ward off the encroachment of sin. The practice of daily reading and meditating on the Scriptures, the power of the Holy Spirit to renew us in our mindset. It is said, seven days without your Bible makes one weak. So how does it all work? What does it mean to hide God’s Word in my heart? Let’s have a closer look. In the Book of Genesis, we read the account of Cain and Able: And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat (the best animal). And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And was very angry and his countenance fell. Now 3 questions God gives to Cain: Why are you angry?  Why has your countenance fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted?  And if you do not do well (which means to repent), sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it (Genesis 4:3-7).

Now why is it that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and did not accept Cain’s sacrifice? Abel’s offering was acceptable not just because it was an animal, nor just because it was the very best of what he had, nor even that it was a culmination of a zealous heart for God; but because it was in every way obediently given according to what God revealed to them. In the Book of Hebrews, we are told that by faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, so of the two brothers we find one offering up his sacrifices to God in faith, while the other was not. That’s the basic difference between two men then, and that is the difference between two men today. One has placed their faith and trust in God, the other not really believing, offers up what he thinks is good enough. Now Cain disdaining the divine instruction just brought what he wanted to bring, some of his crop. But when God pointed this out to him, rather than being repentant, and grateful for another chance, he was hostile toward God whom he took revenge on with prideful jealousy on Abel.

God reminded Abel and God reminds us, faith with obedience to His Word are required of us, it wasn’t for a personal preference between the two, or because of Cain’s vocation, God is not a respecter of person, meaning He doesn’t favor one man’s offerings over another, unless it is without faith. So God is saying, If your doing the right thing with the right attitude in serving Me, I will accept you. He’s encouraging him to the right kind of action. But if you don’t do well, then sin lies at your door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it. Here is an example of the free moral agent of man. God did not design us as robots, programed to do His will, but has given us the choice in life, to follow Him by faith and receive salvation and eternal life in Him, for the forgiveness of our sins. And yet, we see here with Cain, God revealing to him that if you don’t want a second chance with Me, sin awaits you and to have dominion over you.

The Discipline of God—For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:3-11)

God is always watching us. But not as a policeman to put handcuffs on us when we do wrong, but as a loving Father so concerned with His child that He just can’t take His eyes off you. Let us not despise chastening, it is proof that God loves us. During the chastening process it isn’t pleasant. It isn’t joyous, but afterwards what great fruit it brings into our lives. The release of guilt, the load of pressure taken off our shoulders, we are not longer carrying this heavy burden of guilt or shame, the remarkable way you feel when God removes the guilt of your sin and restores you into fellowship with Him. The participation of being in the family of God with other believers who have all come in the same way. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1) God knows this is what we need. This is what He wants for us, He has taken away the punishment for sin in the death and crucifixion of His Son, Jesus Christ. Then He destroyed our greatest enemy which was death, and eternal separation from Him, by raising Jesus up from the grave the third day. This is the good news of the Gospel, that God sent His Son to die for our sins, so that we can have a place with Him in the family of God.

Beloved friend, If I will accept this as God’s correction for me because He loves me, no matter what the offense, I can be forgiven! But if I hold on to bitterness, and resentment; The choice I am making is that sin will be always lying at my door, and in this life will  always be unfulfilled desires and without true peace. But the choice is mine. Will I respond to God in faith? Or choose my own will and way without faith in God, but instead in myself. Give over every concern to the loving and sovereign hand of Lord. Only He can answer your heart’s cry from a vast wealth of His heavenly resources. Trust in Him, Lean on Him. And He will lead you into all righteousness.

May the Lord give you strength today!




Renew Their Strength

But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not be faint.   Isaiah 40:31

To the human mind, God’s wisdom is not fully comprehensible in how He chooses to fulfill His promises to deliver Israel. Wait upon the Lord—There is a general principle here that patient, praying believers are blessed by God with strength, His strength in their trials. We can through prayer, as simplified as just admitting, “Lord, I can’t. But You can, lead me and direct me in the way I should go.” It is all of a matter of our heart. God’s Word reveals truth. Truth about Himself, and truth about ourselves. If I take the Scriptures to heart, “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5) How beautiful that is that our great God who created the universe will strength me and help me in my weakness. The psalmist wrote: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground. (Psalm 147:3-6) God doesn’t expend any more energy in healing a brokenhearted man, than He does in counting the stars in the sky.

Shall renew their strength—The prophet Isaiah’s promise to the people of ancient Israel still holds true for us today. The Hebrew word for “renew” means to substitute, to exchange, to show newness, to sprout. But the kind of waiting that renews strength is active, not passive. It is a deliberate exchange of human effort for divine strength. We are not expected to dig deep and tap into an unknown reserve of our own willpower and determination. Instead, we are to ask God to give us His energy—supply His strength. And when we ask, we ask Him in faith. 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) Without faith this text is telling us, it is impossible to walk with God (as Enoch did) or please Him. The emphasis here is on “He is” the true God, and that genuine faith does not simply believe that a Divine being exists, but that the God of the Scriptures, the Word of God, is the only real truth and only real and true God. Not believing that God exists is equivalent to calling Him a liar (1 John 5:10). A person must believe not only that the One true God exists, but also that He will reward man’s faith in Him with forgiveness of their sins, and God’s righteousness which is found in Jesus Christ. Who became sin for us, and paid the penalty for our sins, which was death. Even death of the cross (Romans 5:10). And finally, Because God said it would be this way, Is to believe in His promise towards us.

They shall mount up as wings on eagles—In the Book of Exodus, While Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped there: And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:3-6)  With a most appropriate metaphor, God described the Exodus and the journey to Sinai. Eagles are known to have carried their young out of the nests on their wings and taught them to fly, catching them when necessary on their outspread wings. Moses, in his final song, employed this metaphor of God’s care for Israel and especially noted that there was only One Lord who did this. God’s loving care is today in the finished work of Jesus Christ, who hung on the cross, was buried, and on third day, rose from the dead. By His resurrection and the empowering of the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer, we can find our strength to endure and walk with peace from God, as New Testament believer’s who are of His kingdom and are priests of our homes (1Peter 2:9-10).

Beloved friend, As we seek to spend time with God, who better to look at as our example than Jesus? During His life on earth, we read that Jesus limited the exercise of His divine powers. Although fully God, He depended on the Father and the indwelling Holy Spirit working through Him. That dependence was demonstrated by the way Jesus sought time alone with His Father. The Gospels record multiple times when Jesus left the crowds and His followers behind for solitary communion with the Father. Jesus used His alone with God His Father for meaningful fellowship as well as for renewed strength and direction to carry on with His mission “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). Meeting only those needs directly in front of Him would have been to ignore God’s concern for all who are lost. If time alone with God is seen as a once a day merely something to be checked off a “things to do list” we need to be careful of not separating our spiritual life with the rest of our life. Time with God is our spiritual lifeline. Waiting upon Him is reality on a daily basis, yet our faith is strengthened by this. From the Garden of Eden until now, God has desired to walk with His people in every part of life’s journey. We have need of endurance to be sure, but that very need is fulfilled by the virtue of God’s promised Word, of renewed strength for now, and an eternal and heavenly rest in Jesus Christ,  secured for us in the heavens so our perseverance is guaranteed. Even unto the end of the age.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him!




“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens” : “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those whole dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.  Revelation 3:7-11

The Faithful Church: Located on a hillside about 30 miles SE of Sardis, the city was founded by a king of Pergamos around 190B.C. His unusual devotion to his brother earned the city its name “brotherly love.” So with the name “Philadelphia” meaning the city of “brotherly love,” Jesus had a special love for these people. Weak as they were, they were given an open door of service; and the Lord urged them to take advantage of it. When God opens a door for you, no one can shut it, but you can ignore or neglect it. So it was the 6th of 7 churches that Jesus had given these special instructions to.

Holy and True—Says He who is holy and true; This definitive description of the character of Jesus can be a comfort to us; Jesus is sharing the nature of His Father, holy, sinless, the pure nature of His character and love towards His people. The fact that He is absolutely pure and separate from sin, “True,” in a sense that He is both One who speaks truth, and is genuine and authentic as opposed to all the false deities during that time is why, He can be trusted. So Jesus is our standard. From the O.T. (Leviticus 19:2), to the N.T. writings of the apostle Peter, were reminded: but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16). Holiness essentially defines the Christian’s new nature and conduct in contrast to their old nature that was condemned in judgment. I know your works—Jesus see’s the faithful work of Christians serving Him in this world. He see’s what sacrifice’s are being made, and what their cost is persevering under heavy persecution while giving out the gospel. And it is exciting to know that He opens for us a door of ministry. He sees what little strength we have, and yet we have an open door, or opportunity to serve Him in ministry.

So the picture here from the Lord to the church in Philadelphia is that He who holds the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens,” is that He has sovereign authority to control the entrance into the kingdom of His Father. Jesus is using the reference Isaiah the prophet wrote:  I will clothe Him with a robe and strengthen Him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into His hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and  to the house of Judah. The key of the house of David I will lay on His shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And He shall shut, and no one shall open. (Isaiah 22:21-22) And Jesus is laying claim to that prophecy.

Never forget that it’s not your job to add to the church. That’s His job. If you are involved any type of ministry that is presenting the gospel, no matter what kind of help it is, you will be rewarded. Our work is to feed the flock, tend to the flock, love the flock, and for some, to see that they are properly looked out for. This is especially true who attend a smaller church. It is Jesus who said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: you’ve been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21). The Lord’s not going to make you ruler over many until you’ve been faithful with a few. So we can come away with the idea from our text: Be faithful, be patient, wait on the Lord to open His doors of opportunity for you, then simply by faith enter in and do the work the Lord has called you to do. Minister to them diligently. As you’re faithful and as you prove yourself a faithful steward, the Lord will bring more people to watch over, to care for, and minister. So be faithful to those God has place under your tutelage.

You have little strength, have kept My word, and not denied My name—The Lord is not looking for super-saints, we are not very strong, yet it’s through these weak vessels God can demonstrate His power in those who keep His word and do not deny His name. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). When the church is what God intends it to be, when the church is doing what God wants it to do, then the Lord will do what He wants to do for the church. And He will add daily to the church those who will be saved. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

There will be a day that will come that the Jew will recognize that Jesus is their Messiah. That is a work that God is going to do in bringing the knowledge to these people. I believe until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled they will not be able to see Him (Luke 21:24).

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those on the earth—Christ’s description —an event still future that for a short time severely tests the whole world is referring to the time of tribulation, the 7 year period before Christ’s earthly kingdom is consummated, featuring the unleashing of divine wrath in judgments expressed as seals, trumpets, and bowls. This period of time can be read about in Revelation chaps. 6-19. The latter half is called the “Great Tribulation.” (Revelation 7:14, Matthew 24:21) So, the promise of being kept from the Great Tribulation, because we have kept the word of His patience, and have not denied His name is revealed here. It is also a reflection of God’s great love for us.

Beloved friend, The church in Philadelphia, is one of seven churches who after starting out strong and spiritual healthy in the mid-60s A.D. when Paul last ministered in Asia Minor, started to feel the effects of persecution. To those churches, Revelation provided a message of hope: God is in sovereign control of all the events of human history, and though evil often seems pervasive and wicked men all powerful, their ultimate doom in judgment is certain. Christ will come in glory to judge and rule. So how can we be effective in serving our Lord today? Live for the kingdom of God. Let us seek to bring glory to Jesus Christ and let the Lord use you. It is my constant daily prayer, that God would keep me usable. Paul desired the same thing. He wrote to the Corinthians, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (I Corinthians 9:27)

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today.





Lord, That our Eyes may be Opened

Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him. And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.  Matthew 20:29-24

By now, there was a great horde of people wherever Jesus would go. We can only relate when we have ever seen in person, a Presidential sighting, or such as a well known celebrity’s public appearance, the excitement as crowds of people gather, and long lines that take place. And what we know of people who have been born without one of the senses, such as eyesight, is that they have developed an even more keen sense of hearing. This is what is pictured for us in our text. These two men, no doubt knew of something special taking place, as the crowds were gathering, the commotion and all of the excitement that filled the air, they asked “What was happening?” “What was going on?” Someone said, “Jesus is going by!” By now it is certain from their reaction of their knowing about the One who had been going around and performing miracles of healing and such, that these two men saw this as their chance, perhaps their only chance ever, to have Him create a miracle for them as well. Though they were blind and without sight, they saw this as something for them to have hope in. Today, what a lesson this is for us. To have hope, that goes beyond sight and is filled with anticipation is what being a Christian who is living by faith is all about. These two men were determined that they would be heard, so they shouted, “Jesus!, Thou Son of David, Have mercy on us!”

They could not see Him, but could tell by the crowds around them, the direction in which to be heard from. And as they began to cry out to Jesus, the multitude around them said to them, “Shut up!” “Hold your peace.” Trying to discourage them from seeking after Jesus. Here is another application for us. Do you try to discourage anyone from seeking after Jesus? I hope not. Were living in a politically correct society that is so anti-Christ, It stifles anyone trying to follow Christ. Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26-27) What Jesus is saying by using the word “hate” in context with this passage, is a “lesser love.” Jesus was calling His disciples to cultivate such a devotion to Him that their attachment to everything else—including their own lives, would seem like hatred by comparison. Every Pastor or ministry leader will tell you, that they have known many people in their congregation who start out, as being the only members in their families who are following after Christ. Jesus knows, that family members can be what deters us from following Him. So the solution though it is not easy, is to simply let them see your love for Jesus grow more and more each day. A transformed life is still the best witnessing tool God has in His arsenal.

So these two determined men cried out even louder, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on us!” And so we read, And Jesus stood still. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17) He said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” If God were to ask you today, this same question, What would you answer? How many of us, think of only the things that the Scriptures say are temporary? What we are going to eat, what we are going to drink, what we are going to wear? All of these things Jesus says the nonbeliever’s in this world worry about. But Jesus tells us, Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all of these things shall be added (Matthew 6:33-34). While these men were seeking their physical eyesight perhaps for the first time, opening up a whole new world to them they have never seen. We can be asking the Lord, To open my eyes to the spiritual truths that I must have, to see the world from Your perspective. We would indeed, see this world from a whole new perspective and make a major impact on our society. So these men declared, “Lord, if we could just see.” They weren’t asking for earthly riches, nor longevity of life, So Jesus, it says had compassion on them, and healed them. And then these two men joined the crowd and followed Him.

Remember at this point the heart of Jesus is very heavy, because He knows that He soon is going  to be betrayed, by one of His own disciples, that He was going to be mocked, and scourged, and crucified at the hands of sinful men. And yet, He takes time for others to minister to the needs of people who are desperate for Him. He was never too busy to minister to individual needs. Application: When a person’s ministry gets so great, and they become so prominent that they lose touch with people, and they no longer minster to people’s individual needs, their ministry has become greater than their Lord. I wouldn’t want to answer the Lord for that type of ministry, that people seem so enamored by it’s cathedral like outer structural, but it always has, and always will be what’s on the inside that matters to God the most. To be real and transparent is a far better place to be, than to have some type of reputation that focuses its attention on you, rather than the Lord. God help us not to be led this way. Satan takes advantage of the pride in man, and will make it into something that produces falsehoods and will be the ruin and destruction of people’s lives.

Beloved friend, These two men in our text give us a very beautiful picture of people who are blind in sin and without hope, and there is that spiritual application for us, to those who cry out for Jesus, not to be discouraged by others, but rather through persistence and humility find victory over their sin-laden lives. And discover a whole new way of life that is in Christ, a new creation, born again to the Spirit of God, who now dwells within us and leads us in this life. That will bring praise glory and honor to our risen Savior, and King, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

May the Lord bless you this day!





We are not Ignorant of his devices

For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.                       2 Corinthians 2:9-11

Now we can read in Paul’s first epistle, he wrote to the Corinthian church concerning a man among them in an adulteress relationship with his father’s wife (1 Cor. 5:1-13). Paul had told the church that they should put him out of fellowship, that they weren’t to keep company with a brother who was an adulterer, that they should turn him over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh. It was not good that they just accepted and received this man into the fellowship of believers, because he was leaven, and a little leaven will leaven the whole lump. Paul never intended himself or the church to be judges of unbeliever’s outside the church, but to judge those inside. Those on the outside are for God to judge and believers to evangelize. Those who sin inside the church are to be put out of the fellowship when confronted with their sin, until they have repented. Now in following Paul’s instruction, they put the fellow out because of his lifestyle choice, but through God’s grace, the desired effect came. The man did repent, and he wanted now to come back into fellowship, having been cleansed from his sin. But there were those that were still going to keep him from fellowship. So Paul is saying: Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So now the direction is in restoring such a one, lest he should be swallowed up by much sorrow. Here is still a problem today; Christians are still reluctant to take such a one among them whose been beaten up by his wrong choices, but is seeking out forgiveness, this one needs the right hand of fellowship extended to him again.

To whom you forgive, I forgive also—Paul encourages them to take the fellow back in, lest Satan really get a hold of him and he be destroyed by him. That if they forgave him, he forgives them too in the stead of Christ. Jesus said to His disciples, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:23) Paul is representing Christ to them, what Jesus would do if He were there in Person. Forgiving such a man because of his repentance. God doesn’t require us to forgive, except there be repentance. If he or she repents then forgive them. If that bothers anyone, I’d like for you to remember Jesus statement: “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) It’s pretty clear that repentance comes before restoration.

Lest Satan should take advantage of us—The problem with the church today, like in our text, we are ignorant of Satan’s tactics. Too many times that is, we’ve allowed division among ourselves, not realizing we are merely dancing to Satan’s tune. I think of all the problems in the church, and in a smaller scale, in the families of believers the difficulties that take place, because we do not recognize the real source of conflict. It’s source is on a spiritual plane, though invisible, yet through the discerning of the Holy Spirit in us, is revealed to those whose hearts are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Days in which we may be feeling out of sorts with others, being tempted by our flesh to react in anger, instead of waiting on the Lord. James wrote: So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20) So we can learn that one of the devices Satan uses is our unwillingness to forgive someone who has repented, so that we would be tempted to stay in that emotion of anger, and thus nullify the grace of God in our lives. No man’s righteousness is ever earned. It is a gift from God. Paul wrote in chapter 1 of this letter to the Corinthians: For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you. (1 Cor. 1:12)

We are at risk of losing our blessings of joy and peace in the Lord during times of trials, because we fall prey to Satan’s tactics of warfare. To keep us in the flesh, to keep us in the moment, rather than looking at the bigger picture. He is a defeated foe, yet, not ever willing to surrender till he can destroy the faith and keep in havoc this world who is without salvation. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27-28) The security of the believer is in place, but we must continue in the faith of the believer’s who are seeking out the Lord, to remain in that place of victory. He is a shield to all those whose faith is in Him. Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. (Proverbs 30:5)

Beloved friend, The devil wants to produce sin and animosity that will destroy church unity. He uses every possible approach to accomplish this—from legalism to libertinism, intolerance to excessive tolerance. Paul used a different word but had similar meaning for devices, “wiles.” Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11) It goes along with words like “take advantage” and “ignorant,” strongly implying that Satan targets the believer’s mind, but God has sovereignly provided us protection in the reading and studying of His Word. Unmasking our “adversary” the word meaning for Satan, by responding with biblical truth to every lying accusation (Matthew 4:1-11). Let us remember His promises from His Word: For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)   Praise the Lord! For He is able.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!