The Heart of a Child

At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.  Matthew 18:1-5

The childlikeness of the believer, should not be confused with what we would call “childish,” no, rather Jesus emphasis is on the humility of His followers. So to begin with, let us look at the motivation behind the question. Jesus disciples were always looking for ways to be first with Him. Things haven’t changed much today. We all can recall when we’ve seen someone, or perhaps it was ourselves trying to get in good with someone, usually of authority, that we might have favor with them. And here is our example from Scripture the prideful heart’s of believers who want to be rewarded here now in our earthly walk, so that we can become some super saint in heaven. By their one-upmanship of each other, Jesus could see right through their request. But what I like most of all is His way of giving us all a look at what God calls great in the kingdom of heaven. Can you imagine what was going on in the mind of this young Jewish boy Jesus selected? Here he was playing with his friends outside their homes, when Jesus and His followers come by, oblivious perhaps, or maybe just a tad curious as to what was going on, yet, either way, they were going on with their activities of just having fun. Kids, except for some instances, don’t really need no one to tell them to have fun, do they?

So here were these disciples of Jesus with their motivations not being the purest, all wanting to be first with Jesus. In fact, even their mothers got involved with this when they said to Him, “Lord, when You come into Your kingdom, would You let one of my sons be on Your right hand?” (Matthew 20:21). And so Jesus called a little child unto Him, and He sat the child in the middle of them, and He said, “Except you be converted, and become as a little child, you shall not even enter the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble themselves as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (vv.3-4) This is how Jesus characterized conversion. It pictures faith as simple, helpless, trusting dependency of those who have no resources of their own. And like children, trusts in the very words spoken to them, as they have no reason or comprehension because of having no past experiences not to believe when someone who has authority has spoken to them. I remember, years ago, a very legendary sportswriter, with many decades of column writing, wrote his own wife’s obituary in his column as a tribute to her. Writing about her nature, or character, he said, “she even believed everyone she spoke to, always told the truth!” Today, we may call that naïve, but this is the childlike faith Jesus is referring to.

The true path to greatness is always the path of humility. The Bible has a lot to say about humility, both in the Old Testament, and the New Testament. It is because the path to greatness is the path to servant- hood. Paul the apostle wrote to the church at Philippi, Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:3-5). Now much can be said through this passage but I feel it’s greatest impact is the modeling of humility by our Lord, Jesus Christ. His mind was always to be about His Father’s business, and fulfill His purpose and will, which was to go to the cross for our deliverance from sin. How important that we learn to serve, that we not be looking out for ourselves only, but that we would be looking for ways to serve our Lord, and exalt Him in our work.

Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me—Oh how Jesus loves little children! He loves their quizzical faces, their simple faith and trust. That is the heart of a child! The innocence and simplicity of little children the Lord reminds us, is glorious in God’s kingdom. The importance of marriage and family has always been the forefront of Christianity. A strong biblical family, is the making of a strong biblical church. Why shouldn’t we take all the necessary steps to want to preserve this valuable relationship between God and man, by living out our faith and encouraging others to do so also.

Beloved friend, Whether you are past child-rearing or perhaps you still have your family living at home, either way, you who follow after Christ, and the biblical teaching of His Word, have a major impact on those who are around you. Jesus give us a serious warning to anyone who hinders a child’s upbringing in the knowledge of Him, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offenses comes!” (Matthew 18:6-8). The emphatic warning cannot be denied. Jesus is warning us not to destroy the faith of children. Not to be responsible for their loss of innocence before its time. The Lord will hold us accountable for the raising of our children. A millstone was a heavy stone used for grinding of grain. Jesus straightforward warns of anyone messing with children. It is a very serious issue with anyone who deliberately seeks to destroy the faith of a child in God. That is one of the worst sins anyone could ever commit. To take away the purity and innocence of their trust and faith in Jesus Christ. Be careful, offenses are going to come. Be careful that you’re not the cause of them. The world will cause Christians to be offended, stumble and sin, and they will be judged for it. But let it never be that fellow believers lead others into sin, directly, or indirectly, but rather, always be leading others to Christ. There is no place safer, than in the hands of Christ.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!




A Teacher Come From God

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”   John 3:1-3

Although Nicodemus was a Pharisee, his name was Greek in origin and means “victor over people.” He was a prominent Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin (“a ruler of the Jews.”) In spite of his stature and position of authority, when it came to confronting the Son of God, and express his own concern of eternal life, by deciding to go to Jesus by night was perhaps because he was afraid of the implications of associating openly in conversation with Jesus. How ironic, Jesus makes people of great earthly stature be afraid to approach Him, yet, Tax collectors, prostitutes, and some of the poorest of their time were not afraid to seek after the Son of God. The Bible shows us that through Christ, God can use or show Himself to some of the most unlikely people in some of the most unlikely places to show His love for all of us. Nicodemus approached Jesus to find answers to his own spiritual questions.

For some people we may know may not yet know God in a personal way through His Son. And some of these people think of themselves as a Christian because they may have attended church when they were young. Or they might take comfort that they were baptized as an infant and confirmed. While early childhood family practices are important for a religious life, these experiences don’t make you a Christian. This is about where Nicodemus was. He knew of the Orthodox Jewish practice of the Law of Moses, yet, there was something still missing and he did not know what it was, until he was confronted by Who it was. It was then that Nicodemus realized the God-shaped void in his heart.

You are a teacher come from God—The word Rabbi means teacher and this was who Nicodemus was. So Nicodemus understood rabbinical methods of using figurative language to teach spiritual truth, so he was picking up some of the methods of teaching Jesus was using. Jesus’ response seems surprisingly unrelated to Nicodemus comments: “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ ” (v.3). The words that were spoken by both of them epitomize where we are at even today. That is the contrast between physical life and spiritual life. In the Garden of Eden, when God began to fellowship with Adam in the cool of the day, Adam had not yet disobeyed God. He was in a state of complete innocence. But after Adam disobeyed God by eating of the forbidden fruit, a fundamental change took place. A great barrier to fellowship with God and His creation damaged their relationship. How do we know this? When God made Himself available for fellowship with Adam, as He had done in the past, Adam expressed his awareness of his disobedience by hiding from God (Genesis 3:8-10). Similar to Adam, Nicodemus came to Jesus by night . Sin has forged a insurmountable chasm between man and God. At one time it was an intimate union between God and man. Now all Nicodemus could do was realize that man’s own efforts to approaching God, through the law, and once Jesus came on the scene to model the perfect Oneness relationship to the Father, that there was obviously something missing?

Born again—The tragic result of Adam’s rebellion against God was spiritual death. Adam was told on that day he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would surely die (Genesis 2:16-17). Adam died spiritually, be lived on physically many years, yet, his ability to fellowship with God was damaged by the consequences of his actions in sin. That is why Jesus’ words to Nicodemus were needed to be taken as good news! Jesus has begun to express to us all through His conversation with Nicodemus, that once were born again, any one of us can be made new, or alive again on the inside. Through God’s Holy Spirit coming to live inside of us, will restore our personal and intimate relationship with God again. And like Nicodemus, people are prone to admit “But how does this happen?” This can only be through the Person of Jesus Christ. And He is eager to forgive us of our sins and restore our fellowship with God the Father.

Jesus answered a question Nicodemus never asked. But because He is God, He sees right through our heart. He knows what we need even before we ask? And because He knows our hearts most deepest spiritual need, He doesn’t hesitate to let us know that this is our greatest need. This reminds me of an Old Testament story: Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because of him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. And on one of their raids, the Syrians brought back a young girl from Israel who became Naaman’s wife’s maidservant. It was she who told her about Elisha the prophet from God who could heal him. Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot , and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And his instructions couldn’t have been more easier? “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you, and you shall be clean (2 Kings 5:10). But the story goes on to say, Naaman became furious, and went away. Mad because it wasn’t what he thought he needed to do. Many people have been told that through Jesus Christ, by His death for us on the cross, we will be saved. These are the Biblical requirements we are witnessing to others by telling them about Jesus. Their response must be first, to admit, like Nicodemus that I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I need a Redeemer, in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The severity of our decision to be made without haste, is because of the need to see the seriousness of our sin. Our human nature is to rationalize ourselves as being good, and not like others who have committed gross sins, and heinous crimes. We begin to grade ourselves on a curve. But the Bible says, “Our righteousness are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) according to God, and that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? I the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give everyman according to His ways, according to the fruit of His doings.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10) God the Father, has given this judgment to His Son Jesus Christ. Through His atoning death those who come to Him by faith, and to seek His forgiveness, the Bible says, will be saved (Romans 10:9).

Beloved friend, Our world is in desperate need of good news. Tell them about Jesus, and what He has done for you. You will be amazed at the work God will do through you, to you who come to Jesus, and obey His Word, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7).

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!






Trust In, Lean Not On

Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.  Proverbs 3:3-6


Solomon, instructs us that wisdom is rooted in sound teaching and rests its trust in God, and Him alone. And the results are a reward to those who whole heartedly obey God’s written word and obey it. While at times wisdom demands chastening, it brings profound benefits and it’s value is a heritage to future generations. The virtues of mercy (the Hebrew word for loving-kindness and loyal love) and truth that come from God’s character are to become a part of us—outwardly in our behavior for all to see as part of a Christ-like adornment of spiritual beauty that comes from spending time with God, and in the reading and meditating of His Word. And such evidence of inward and outward transformation is seen in the New Testament Covenant of salvation (Jeremiah 31:33-34). This new heart is given to us through the finished work of the cross. Whereby Christ has taken our place and paid the price in full for our sin-debt which we could never repay. Cleverly stated: Christ, paid a debt for which He did not owe, for us who owe a debt for which we could not pay. Now today, we live in a very tolerate age, and unfortunately, our tolerance level has become very high. We’ve been taught to become very tolerate of evil. But what we are really lacking is need for a hatred towards evil. Paul wrote in Romans 12, abhor what is evil, cling to what is good (v.9), and this is to be the behavior of a Christian. Yet, to live in this manner, you’ll become the ridicule of every liberal supporter, and be labeled as narrow-minded in your thinking. Yet, the Scriptures we are to follow are very clear, The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way. And the perverse mouth I hate  (Proverbs 8:13).

So we learn that Wisdom from the Bible, hates what God hates. The highest virtue for man is humility (submission to God), and thus wisdom hates pride and arrogance (self-exaltation) above all. If I am to fellowship with God, I must hate evil. I am not to tolerate evil in my life if I am to have true fellowship with God. So the fear of the Lord is the summation of knowledge about God, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7).

So how can I know the will of God? A question so often asked. Well, what we read are three steps: Trust in the Lord, with all your heart. Second: Lean not on your own understanding. Three: In all your ways acknowledge Him. The result is? He shall direct your path.  Jesus said, He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad (Matthew 12:30) Meaning to be undecided is to be decided. There will be no fence riders in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said to us that we ought to count the cost to be His disciple, that we should go all the way in our commitment to Him, or basically don’t come at all. When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. (Mark 9:34-35) So to what extent am I to follow after Christ? Or why is it so necessary that I deny myself?  Jesus, knowing all things in a person’s life, knows also what our hearts will covet after, and what will possibly destroy our commitment to Him. To have a view of being tolerate of what His Word describes as evil, is not denying ourselves, and is not what a true disciple of Christ would allow in their lives.

A good example of trust we read about is the story of the Centurion’s servant who is healed by Jesus. It’s found in the gospel of Luke chapter 7: And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, for he loves our nation and has built a synagogue (vv.2-5). The Roman centurions were special men. They are mentioned several times in Scripture, and always in a favorable way. But it is the response of this particular centurion soldier that gives us a glimpse of his faith and trust in the Lord. Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think of myself as worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed (vv.6-7). Note some of the very first words out of the centurions mouth: “I am not worthy,” even though the elders of the Jews might of thought so, this humble Roman soldier did not think of himself as even worthy to come to Jesus . During this time, it was unlawful for a Jew to enter the home of a Gentile. He knew as Jesus was drawing near, that He, Jesus, would be causing a commotion among the people if He came into his home. And through this comes a remarkable statement of faith and trust: He said to Jesus, “Just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” For he understood authority, and he knew that Jesus had the authority of God.

Beloved friend, While this passage makes a great example of faith and trust in the Lord, It is also clear that the need was urgent. Do we always have to wait until the need in our lives is desperately urgent, before we turn to the Lord? What we can learn from the trusting in the Lord with all of our heart, and leaning not on our own understanding is, that this is way of life for every believer day by day. It is to plan ahead, but to always yield to the will of God in your life. As you grow in your relationship with God, your trust will be strengthened in Him. If it needs to be tested with trial, just know that God always has good plans for your life that will build you up in character and virtuous power over the sinful things of this world.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him!









Vessels for Honor

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.  2 Timothy 2:19-21

Paul realizes that the situation is now changed in Rome from the first time he was jailed. He realizes that the sentence of death is upon him. He knows his time is very short, that he will soon be executed by Nero for his faith in Jesus Christ. And so realizing that his execution is only a matter of time, Paul writes his final letter to Timothy, his son in the faith. This young man that Paul had discipled and spent so much time with to invest in Timothy’s life so that he could carry on the work of Paul once he was gone. So Paul now is writing his final epistle, this is the last of Paul’s words that have been inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21), shortly after this, Paul was beheaded there on the Appian way just outside of Rome.

If you take the name of Christian, if you take the name of Christ as your identity in this life, then you must depart from iniquity. Paul wrote to the Galatians, I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20). When a person trusts in Christ for salvation, he spiritually participates with the Lord in His crucifixion and His victory over sin and death. The believer’s old self is dead, having been crucified with Christ (Romans 6:3,5), with the believer’s new man having now the privilege of the indwelling resurrected Christ empowering him and living through him. So when you choose to follow after Christ, you know what it means to deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him. This is the solid foundation of God which is what the church, the body of Christ builds their lives upon. Which cannot be overcome by the forces of hell (Matthew 16:18), and is made up of those who belong to Him.

The Lord knows those who are His—This reference comes from the Old Testament account where Moses declares to Korah and all his company who gathered against Moses and Aaron, saying: “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him. That the one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him” (Numbers 16:4-5), and what we read after is that the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up Korah, and all those who sided with him, and their households. God’s awareness is He knows not in the sense of awareness, but rather in the sense of intimate relationship, as a husband knows his wife. God knows us and has chosen us to be His.

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some for honor, some for dishonor—Paul refers here to the church as a great house. Jesus in the kingdom parables indicated that the church was going to become something God didn’t intend it to be. Those seven parables in Matthew’s gospel, twelfth and thirteenth chapters deals with the Kingdom Age, talking about the church. It’s like a mustard seed that’s very small, but was planted and grew up into a great tree. And birds  or the fowls of the air came to lodge there, the birds in Scripture are always used in the evil sense. In the parable of the sower, it was the birds who came and snatched away the seed  by the wayside. Now the birds represent Satan, the seed represents the Word of God, who plucked the seed so that it couldn’t take root. What Jesus is saying is that Satan will find lodging with the branches of the church. And yes, that is true of the church today. There is so much junk that comes out of proclamations of false teachers in the church’s today. That if you are not discerning enough, will be mislead and believe in another gospel. Millions of people have been lead astray by such false doctrines, but we must remember Jesus’ words: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Now both of these are presumed to be the entrance to God’s kingdom, the narrow gate is by faith, and only through Christ. And it leads to true salvation the way God’s people take. Christ emphasizes the continuance in faith due to the difficulties of following Him.

Vessels for honor—Now the Greek word is very general and was used to describe various tools, utensils, and even furniture found in a home. In the “great house” analogy, Paul contrasts two kinds of utensils or serving dishes; Some for honor—In a wealthy home, the ones made of precious “gold or silver” were used for honorable purposes such as serving food with to serve your families and welcomed guests. Some for dishonor—Were those vessels made with “wood or clay” were never used but for dishonorable things such as garbage and human waste. Very much contrasted indeed.

Beloved friend, Anyone who wants to be useful to the Lord for honorable purposes, no matter what your background is. Even a common wood bucket or clay pot becomes useful when purged and made holy. It is through the blood of Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind, who can cleanse us from all unrighteousness (cleanses himself) this is what Paul was telling Timothy to preach to the church, the good news of the gospel, that we can be saved from the judgment of sin. The Greek word for “cleanses himself “  means “to thoroughly clean out” or “to completely purge,” Through the washing of God’s Word, the Bible, we can have our minds washed and cleansed from impurity by the renewing of our minds in Christ. This is part of our sanctification which is to be set apart for the Lord for noble purposes. Do you have faith to believe God can deliver you from anything in this life that may have a hold on you? That perhaps you’ve brought to Him before, and somehow, through whatever circumstances has still a stronghold in your life. God wants you set free from these things and wants to use you for noble purposes. He has a plan for your life that includes many blessings yet to be unfolded, would join me in prayer; Lord Jesus, Thank You for my salvation, for Your mercy and grace that You’ve so generously bestow upon me everyday. Lord, I want to be a useful vessel in Your hands. Would You remove from my heart, anything or anyone who is trying take first place before You! As I choose Your way and will for my life, may I discover wonderful new things for which I can take part in and be someone You use to further the gospel to our world, Lord, let it be always for Your glory and honor, and for my good, In Jesus’ name, amen!

May the Lord bless your walk with Him!





A Good Work For Me

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having a alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some there who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted ? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”  Mark 14:3-9

As you may already know, the gospel writers did not write what they saw as things were taking place, but wrote from their perspective of what they already seen take place. And here is a good example, The incident in our text occurred the previous Saturday as it is mentioned in John’s gospel chapter 12, verse 1. Now this man, Simon the leper is mentioned only in the New Testament only in connection with this narrative. And since a leper was an outcast in Jewish society, he was probably one who was miraculously cleansed of his leprosy by Jesus, and may have offered his home and this meal in gratitude of his healing. A woman—In John’s gospel he identifies her as Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who were also present at this meal. Alabaster flask was probably a long necked bottle that was usually brought from India. It was made from a special variety of marble, and proved to be the very best vessel container for it’s costly contents. Now it was custom that if you were a guest in someone’s house, that the host would dab a little of this beautiful smelling and very costly perfume and just dab it on you as way of honoring your visit. But this woman broke this container before Jesus and just poured it out before Him. Being so costly, you just didn’t ever see anyone do this. But this wasn’t just anyone visiting. When you ask Jesus into your home, Is He welcomed with this kind of hospitality? I mean do we hold back from ever giving Him our very best in what we own?

Some were indignant—Always remember that our work for the Lord will not always be admired or welcomed by others. In John’s gospel account 12:4-5; says, that Judas was the instigator behind these unkind remarks even to the point that it influenced the other disciples to view Mary’s actions as such a waste. In ministry, there is a fine line between service to the Lord, which is feeding His flock, and tending to His sheep, that also gets looked at by others in the body who if not being discerning or Spirit lead, may make comments about the way you do things. Often to the extent that it can look like jealousy, and can cause strive and division within the body of Christ. There is nothing more then what Satan would like to see, then bitterness between brethren serving the Lord. Since a denarius was a day’s wage, three hundred denarii represented almost a years wage for a person to earn. While the eleven disciples would have agreed to use this money for the needy, the fact was, that they might not ever have seen it anyway because Judas was in charge of the treasury.

You have the poor with you always—Opportunities to minister to the poor are “always “ available, but Jesus would be in their presence only a little while longer. Indicating to them, that this was not the time to be worried about the poor, but rather, it was a time for sacrificial worship of the One who would soon suffer and be crucified. He was revealing to them that there was a higher priority than any earthly ministry, and that is worship rendered to Him. This would be utter blasphemy to any other person less than God Himself, Jesus here, is implicitly affirming His deity. While Mary was probably without ever realizing what she was doing “anointing My body for burial,” her actions was used as preparation for Jesus’ anticipated death and burial.

Beloved friend, By the pure act of whole-hearted worship, which was unfeigned and not moved by emotions only, but rather Spirit filled, and Spirit lead, Mary worshiped at the feet of Jesus, her heart having been moved by God to perform such a sacrificial and symbolic act, the full significance she probably could have not known. Yet, she faithfully loved her Savior and was given special recognized honor by God by the guarantee of her actions would be declared in this gospel. As a memorial to her, which indicates God’s awareness of what we do for Him. Be that it may look to be small and insignificant in your eyes, when we do it unto the Lord, we shall have a just reward. Let us therefore encourage one another to use the gifts and talents bestowed upon us by the Lord, and never use them for anything nor anyone but to glorify God with. Let us not be willing to let them lay wasted and buried in the ground, or watered down in mediocrity by the this world’s compromised standards. For the Scripture says: “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” (Proverbs 18:16)  May whatever we do or say, and may it also be a standard of blessing to our families, find favor with others and be well received and respected. But most of all, I pray the gifts and talents You, Lord, have placed in us, will be released to find their fullest expression in glorifying You. In Jesus name, Amen.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!




Christian Liberty


Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.  Galatians 5:1-4

Stand fast—Paul was saying here, “Stay where you are!” Because of the benefits of being free from law and the flesh as a way of salvation and just rest in the fullness of blessings by grace. Now in the fifteenth chapter of the Book of Acts, this same issue had arisen in Antioch, for there were certain men, from Jerusalem who were saying to the Gentile converts, “You cannot be saved unless you are circumcised and keep the law of Moses.” Christ has made us free—Deliverance from the curse of the law pronounces to those who have been striving unsuccessfully to achieve their own righteousness, but now through the hearing of the gospel, have embraced Christ and the salvation granted to them by grace, and grace alone. Now let us not think or ever believe that because of this liberty that we have, is the liberty to do anything we might want to do in the flesh. That is not liberty we have as Christians. The liberty we have has nothing to do with the things of the flesh, Thank God that Jesus Christ has made us free from our bondage to our flesh. I don’t have to follow after the flesh anymore, I don’t have to be enslaved in the things that at one time had power over me. No, I can now have victory over those sinful habits of mine through Jesus Christ, and His righteousness. So stand fast in the liberty wherein Christ has made you free—And do not be entangled again, (better translated “to be burdened by” to be subject to, or yoked together with. Where the Jews thought the yoke,  which is an apparatus used to bring two animals together, can be referred to the “yoke of the law” as a reference for true religion. Paul argued that for those who pursued it as a way of salvation under the law, this law was a yoke of slavery.

Circumcised—Paul had no objection  to circumcision itself. But he objected to the notion that it had some spiritual benefit or merit with God and was a prerequisite or necessary component of salvation. Circumcision in the Old Testament had meaning to Israel when it was a physical symbol of a cleansed heart (Deuteronomy 30:6). And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God will all of your heart and with all of your soul, that you may live. This work of God in the innermost being and new heart will allow the Israelite to love the Lord wholeheartedly, and is the essential feature of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The atoning sacrifice of Christ cannot benefit anyone who trusts in law and ceremony for salvation.

So we’ve learned that we can’t work or ever earn our salvation. Yet, God does care about the way we work. “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24) The Lord ensures the believer that he will receive just compensation for his work for Him here on earth. For his efforts at witnessing to others, his longsuffering at the hands of unjust men. God will deal with obedience and disobedience impartially. So here is our liberty in Christ: We have the freedom of choice, To choose to follow after Christ while living here in this life, which in all likelihood will have suffering and even persecution, and yet, will be rewarded one day fairly with equity by our Lord Jesus Christ, as we enter in His kingdom. Or do I want to obey my flesh, which is fallen and been condemned to death by our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross. To choose my own way, my own righteousness, hey I might make a big splash in this life! People will look at me, and be enamored by what they see. But God looks at my heart. He is the One that will bring all of my works at the end of this life before His judgment. I wouldn’t fair well if I am compared to His Son, Jesus Christ, and His righteousness. And guess what? Neither would you! So to live in the flesh is to bring condemnation on one’s self, but If you choose this day to follow after the Spirit of God, to walk in the Spirit of God, you will bear fruit in this life which is the fruit of Jesus Christ, and His character in us enables us to display in our life love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23) When a Christian walks by the Spirit and manifests His fruit in this life, he needs no external law to produce the attitudes and behavior that please God.

Beloved friend, If your a Christian today, you already possess the imputed righteousness of Christ, but we are still awaiting the completion and perfected righteousness that is our inheritance as we wait for the return of Christ. This will be our coronation at His coming for His bride, the church. We will be transformed into the perfect image of Christ, and His glorification. Unbelievably hard to imagine, yes, I know. But in the meantime, let us go forth in our Christian walk by bearing the fruit of righteous living that glorifies God the Father, through Jesus Christ. Let us say “No” to our fleshly thoughts and lusts of our old selves by recognizing ourselves to be dead to those things that once enslaved us, and now, with this liberty that is in Christ, let us go out today, and enjoy our freedom to rest from our labors and be in Christ, and His perfect rest. We will see a big difference when we let Him be in charge of us in this life. Indeed, we will never regret that we choose to rest in the finished work of the cross at Calvary of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Let us care passionately for others in our life who are still in slavery to their flesh, and patiently love them and serve them. For this will honor our Lord till He comes back for us.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!

 With blessing to you: JB