Thursday, March 22, 2018


Just read it...

Hebrews 12

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, 
let us strip off every weight that slows us down, 
especially the sin that so easily trips us up. 
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 
2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. 
Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.
Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. 
3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; 
then you won't become weary 
and give up. 
4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

  5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,

"My child, don't make light of the LORD's discipline,
  and don't give up when he corrects you.
6 For the LORD disciplines those he loves,
  and he punishes each one he accepts as his child."

7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. 
Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 
8 If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 
9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, 
shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, 
and live forever?

  10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, 

doing the best they knew how. 
But God's discipline is always good for us, 
so that we might share in his holiness. 
11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful! 
But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

  12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shakey legs.

13 Mark out a straight path for your feet. 
Then those who follow you, 
though they are weak and lame, 
will not stumble and fall but become strong.

14 Work at living in peace with everyone, 
and work at living a holy life, 
for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 
15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. 
Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 
16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, 
who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 
17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father's blessing, he was rejected. 
It was too late for repentance, 
even though he begged with bitter tears.

  18 You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. 
19 For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. 
20 They staggered back under God's command: 
"If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death."
21 Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, 
"I am terrified and trembling."

  22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 

23 You have come to the assembly of God's firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. 
You have come to God himself, 
who is the judge over all things. 
You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 
24 You have come to Jesus, 
the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, 
and to the sprinkled blood, 
which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.

  25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. 
For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! 
26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, 
but now he makes another promise: 
"Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also." 
27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, 
so that only unshakable things will remain.

  28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, 
let us be thankful 
and please God 
by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.
29 For our God is a devouring fire.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Big Bang

By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command,

that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

Hebrews 11:3

I remember a few years ago, National Geographic Magazine had a graphic of the Big Bang.

There was an unimaginable amount of creation & expansion in the first few infinitely quick milliseconds.

Essentially, our whole universe appeared in less time than it takes me to clear my throat.

As I sat there looking at those vivid pictures & read the explanation, as fantastical & stupendous as it seemed, it didn't seem all that implausible.

Something that did impress me was that although many scientists have bought into this after much, MUCH study, in the final analysis, it is a theory which much be accept by faith.

We are expected to buy into this theory by faith that billions of years ago something happened & presto! everything we see in our universe can into being.

Now don't get me wrong - I don't have a problem taking by faith from all this scientific thought that our universe - or any parallel or otherwise existing universes - came into being rather suddenly out of nothing.

Since reading that article & looking at those graphics, I've wondered about something...

If we are encouraged to accept by faith that this mind-blowing creation of the universe(s) happened basically in the blink of an eye, then why can't we take the next step & accept by faith that "something" that made this big bang creation of the universe(s) was God?

It is a BIG step by faith to believe that all that we see in universe was created in the blink of an eye.

Why is it so hard to take the next step by faith & believe that Someone with infinite power was the One who instigated the whole thing?

Now before anyone who is reading this decides to launch into an explanation as to why scientists &/or the thinking community has already laid out why that last step by faith is improbable, may I just say, save your breath ;-)

I've heard it all before, explained by some of the finest minds we've known.

I know the deal.

At the same time, it still remains a puzzlement to me.

Accepting the possibility of the Big Bang is a BIG step by faith.

But if we're going to take BIG steps by faith, then why not consider that the Power intentionally generating that Big Bang was God?

Just a thought...

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Paul is considered the author of Hebrews, a book written to the followers of Jesus among the Jewish nation.

In chapter 10, the author reminds the Christ followers how rough & persecuted they were when they first started identifying that they were followers of Jesus.

They were beaten, had their property taken away, & a whole lot more.

Wonder if you & I would be followers of Jesus if half of that kind of stuff happened to us?

Anyway, after reminding them of those events, the author wrote the following 2 verses.

Maybe some of you have never read these words before & they are a new challenge for you.

Or maybe you're like me, certainly familiar with these verses - maybe God is going to whisper this assurance to you.

For me, it's one of the passages that I feel God gave me for 2018 - maybe He did that to counter my own doubts?

Here they are - strong words, incredible promises...

Don't throw away this confident trust in the Lord,

no matter what happens.

Remember the great reward it brings you!

Patient endurance is what you need now, 

so you will continue to do God's will.

Then you will receive all that He has promised.

Hebrews 10:35-36 (NLT, 1st ed.)

Monday, March 19, 2018

amazing statment

Can there be a more amazing passage in the Bible that speaks to the identity of Jesus?

John 1

1 In the beginning the Word already existed.

  The Word was with God,

  and the Word was God.

2 He existed in the beginning with God.

3 God created everything through him,

  and nothing was created except through him.

4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,

  and his life brought light to everyone.

5 The light shines in the darkness,

  and the darkness can never extinguish it.

  6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.

8 John himself was not the light; 

he was simply a witness to tell about the light.

9 The one who is the true light, 

who gives light to everyone, 

was coming into the world.

  10 He came into the very world he created, 

but the world didn't recognize him.

11 He came to his own people, 

and even they rejected him.

12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, 

but a birth that comes from God.

  14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. 

He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. 

And we have seen his glory, 

the glory of the Father's one and only Son.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

amazing stuff

I was turning through the Bible this morning, going from what I was supposed to read in the Gospels to what I was to read in the epistles & hesitated when I passed through Romans.

This chapter is SO amazing - Paul just SO MUCH here for not only the followers of Jesus in Rome, but for us too.

Just read slowly through these 21 verses - it's so amazing...

Romans 12

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. 

Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. 

This is truly the way to worship him.

2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, 

but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

 Then you will learn to know God's will for you, 

which is good and pleasing and perfect.

  3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: 

Don't think you are better than you really are. 

Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, 

measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function,5 so it is with Christ's body. 

We are many parts of one body, 

and we all belong to each other.

  6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. 

So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, 

speak out with as much faith as God has given you.

7 If your gift is serving others, 

serve them well. 

If you are a teacher, 

teach well.

8 If your gift is to encourage others, 

be encouraging. 

If it is giving, 

give generously. 

If God has given you leadership ability, 

take the responsibility seriously. 

And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, 

do it gladly.

  9 Don't just pretend to love others. 

Really love them. 

Hate what is wrong. 

Hold tightly to what is good.

10 Love each other with genuine affection, 

and take delight in honoring each other.

11 Never be lazy, 

but work hard 

and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

12 Be glad for all God is planning for you. 

Be patient in trouble, 

and keep on praying.

13 When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. 

Always be eager to practice hospitality.

  14 Bless those who persecute you. 

Don't curse them; 

pray that God will bless them.

15 Be happy with those who are happy, 

and weep with those who weep.

16 Live in harmony with each other. 

Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. 

And don't think you know it all!

  17 Never pay back evil with more evil. 

Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.

18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

  19 Dear friends, never take revenge. 

Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

"I will take revenge;
  I will pay them back,"
  says the LORD.

20 Instead,

"If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
  If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
  burning coals of shame on their heads."

21 Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

a repeat

May I repeat myself, for all of us who feel forgotten?

10 For God is not unfair. 

He will not forget how hard you have worked for him 

and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, 

as you still do.

11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, 

in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.

12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. 


you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises 

because of their faith 

and endurance.

Friday, March 16, 2018

a bunch of stuff

Lemme start with this first psalm in the book of Psalms - I’m starting a sequential reading of this book again for the umpteenth time - Psalms always has something to say to me, no matter how many times I read it.
Psalm 1
1 Oh, the joys of those who do not   follow the advice of the wicked,   or stand around with sinners,   or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the LORD,   meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,   bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither,   and they prosper in all they do.
4 But not the wicked!   They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. 5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.   Sinners will have no place among the godly. 6 For the LORD watches over the path of the godly,   but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
And then there’s this from Hebrews...
The first section is especially for me today - something the Lord whispered to me - I wish I could embrace it more emotionally.
And the second section just undergirds the first.
Maybe God will whisper these two sections to you today?

Hebrews 6
10 For God is not unjust.
He will not forget how hard you have worked for him
and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers,
as you still do.
11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts,
in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.
12 Then you will not become spiritually dull
and indifferent.
Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises
because of their faith
and endurance.

13 For example, there was God's promise to Abraham.
Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:
14 "I will certainly bless you,   and I will multiply your descendants beyond number."
15 Then Abraham waited patiently,
and he received what God had promised.
16 Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it.
And without any question that oath is binding.
17 God also bound himself with an oath,
so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind.
18 So God has given both his promise
and his oath.
These two things are unchangeable
because it is impossible for God to lie.
Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary.
20 Jesus has already gone in there for us.
He has become our eternal High Priest.