Friday, October 31, 2014

practicalities of walking in the light

Jesus said in John 8,

        "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."

In Ephesians 5, Paul talks about the practicalities of walking in that light.

Ephesians 5

 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do,

     because you are his dear children.

2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.

     He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

  3 Let there be no sexual immorality,


       or greed among you.

Such sins have no place among God's people.

4 Obscene stories,

   foolish talk,

   and coarse jokes;

these are not for you.

Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God.

For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

  6 Don't be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins,

       for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.

7 Don't participate in the things these people do.

8 For once you were full of darkness,

     but now you have light from the Lord.

So live as people of light!

9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

  10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.

 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness;

     instead, expose them.

12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.

13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them,

       14 for the light makes everything visible.

This is why it is said,

"Awake, O sleeper,
  rise up from the dead,
  and Christ will give you light."

Thursday, October 30, 2014

just some stuff

here's just some stuff I thought of this morning as I read this chapter in Ephesians.

Btw, Ephesians is a GREAT letter / book - chock full of all kinds of good stuff.

Fyi - Paul wrote this while in prison. Next time we think that God can't use us when we feel about as trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey, just remember that while in prison (which was NOT a Club Med experience back then) Paul wrote a chunk of his letters that make up the New Testament.

Ephesians 4

 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling,

     for you have been called by God.

(And since we're ALL called in this life to be & do something for God, that means we all must live in such a way that it brings glory & honor to Him? So what constitutes a life that brings honor & glory to Him?)

2 Always be humble

     and gentle.

(well, not doing really well with those too...)

Be patient with each other,

     making allowance for each other's faults because of your love.

(I guess that means that we don't look so much WHAT a person says, thinks, or does, but rather at WHY a person says, thinks,or does something. I'm thinking of someone right now who I love a great deal - so much of what he says, thinks, or does have nothing to do with the things he espouses & everything to do with the lack of love, tenderness, & support that he needed & wanted in his growing up years & his adult life.
(The lady who was the choir director before me in my very first church once said to me, "No one is that obnoxious on purpose". That's stuck with me for 40 years. No one wakes up one morning & decides to be a jerk. They are the way they are because of some thing(s) in their lives. We just need to cut them some slack & find out what it is & help them walk out of it's influence in their lives.)

3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit,

     binding yourselves together with peace.
(I think staying "united in the Spirit" takes a constant surrender of your self.)

 For there is one body and one Spirit,

     just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

5 There is one Lord,

     one faith,

     one baptism,

     6 and one God and Father,

          who is over all

          and in all

          and living through all.
(I don't think those 3 verses are designed to restrict us to some sort of hard-tailed fundamentalism, but to simply assert that the "all paths lead to God" thinking is erroneous. Iow, our connection to God happens only because of & through Jesus, not through any other gods or religious thinking.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

infinitely more

this feels like an rhapsodic explosion of Paul's about the love he knows & sees coming from God through Jesus.

Ephesians 3

 When I think of the wisdom & scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.

17 Then Christ will be more & more at home in your hearts as you trust in him.

May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love & keep you strong.

18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should,

      how wide,

      how long,

      how high,

      and how deep his love is.

19 May you experience the love of Christ,

      though it is too great to understand fully.

Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

  20 Now all glory to God,

        who is able,

        through his mighty power at work within us,

        to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

...infinitely more...

anyone besides me need God to "accomplish infinitely more than I dare to hope or ask?"

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


It's hard to feel like a masterpiece.

but God is the One who gets to determine my identity.

So,if He thinks of me that way, well, ok...

Paul crammed a lot of thought in these next 10 verses.

Read them slowly & see what He says to you through them.

Ephesians 2

 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.

2 You used to live in sin,

        just like the rest of the world,

     obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.

     He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.

3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature.

By our very nature we were subject to God's anger, just like everyone else.

  4 But God is so rich in mercy,

        and he loved us so much,

 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.

     (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!)

6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms

     because we are united with Christ Jesus.

7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us,

     as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

  8 God saved you by his grace when you believed.

       And you can't take credit for this;

       it is a gift from God.

 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done,

     so none of us can boast about it.

10 For we are God's masterpiece.

        He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,

        so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Monday, October 27, 2014

an outburst that's good

Every once in a while,Paul kinda let's go & makes these huge explanations of who & what we are, & how God feels about us.

This section in his letter to the young church in Ephesus is just one of those kind of outbursts.

Read it slowly - there's a lot in here...

Ephesians 1

 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

        who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms

        because we are united with Christ.

4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.

5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.

This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.

 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

  9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ,

        a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure.

10 And this is the plan:

      At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ;

      everything in heaven and on earth.

11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ,

        we have received an inheritance from God,

        for he chose us in advance,

        and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

  12 God's purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.

13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you.

And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit,

        whom he promised long ago.

 The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised

        and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

don't give up

Galatians 6

 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.

And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

2 Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

  4 Pay careful attention to your own work,

       for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done,

       and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else.

5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

  6 Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers,

        sharing all good things with them.

  7 Don't be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God.

You will always harvest what you plant.

8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature.

But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

9 So don't get tired of doing what is good.

Don't get discouraged & give up,

     for we will reap a harvest of blessing

     at the appropriate time.

10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone...

        ....especially to those in the family of faith.

Verse 9 is a verse I feel like God gave me for 3 relationships I have that are stuck at an impasse.

1 relationship is broken.

2 relationships have high, thick walls all around their hearts.

I don't know when the "harvest of blessing" will occur - maybe in this life, maybe in heaven.

As the years, I just trust God to fulfill his promise.

And I continue to care, to "do good" to them, & love them unconditionally.

And I wait.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us:









self control.

Galatians 5:22

hmmmm... yeah...

And how many of those fruits do you express?

And how many of those do I express?

And what does our pausity of fruit say about us? ;-/

If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.

Galatians 5:25 EVERY part of our lives...

"every" part?

What part(s) of our lives aren't we following the Holy Spirit's leading?

And aren't those the very parts of our lives where we sin the most - even to the point where that's where our "pet sins" are?

EVERY part of our lives, folks...

every part...

Friday, October 24, 2014

who Jesus is

sometimes there are parts of the Bible that speak succinctly about who Jesus was & is, & what His purpose was & how that relates to us.

The first section is written by John, one of Jesus' disciples, who knew Him well. The section is take from the beginning of narrative he wrote about Jesus' life.

The second is written by Paul, someone who had a stupendous encounter with Jesus while he was traveling to somewhere to persecute early Christian. His section is written to a small church in Galatia, which was a province during Roman times in what is now Turkey.

John 1

 In the beginning the Word already existed.

  The Word was with God,

  and the Word was God.

 He existed in the beginning with God.

 God created everything through him,

  and nothing was created except through him.

 The Word gave life to everything that was created,

  and his life brought light to everyone.

 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.

  15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds,

        "This is the one I was talking about when I said, 'Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.'"

  16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.

17 For the law was given through Moses, but God's unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

18 No one has ever seen God.

        But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father's heart.

        He has revealed God to us.


Galatians 4
  4 when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.

5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.

6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, "Abba, Father."

     (dan note: "Abba" is the most familiar name used for a father by his children)

7 Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child.

And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Galatians 3

24b So now, through faith in Christ, we are made right with God.

 26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like Him.

28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female.

        For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

So, I have a few questions...

24b So now, through faith in Christ, we are made right with God.

dan note: Iow, only with a faith in Jesus do we have the possibility of a connection with God in which He fully accepts us?

 26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

dan note: so we're no longer just people worshipping God, He has such a strong connection with us it is best described as a familial connect where He is the Father & we are His children?

27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like Him.

dan note: And not only are we His children, He doesn't leave us as He found us - He is in the process of making Him like Jesus- iow, our old identity is transcended by this new identity as a child of God?

28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female.

dan note: so God now sees each of us equally - no one is better than the other simply through the "accident of their birth"?

For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
dan note: and this non-distinctive perspective of God where He sees us all as His children binds us together as one entity because as far as God is concerned we are all equals in His mind?

If all this is so, how should it change our perspectives on things & our views of people?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Galatians 2

 My old self has been crucified with Christ.

It is no longer I who live,

     but Christ lives in me.

So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God,

     who loved me and gave himself for me.

I'm not sure we sometimes understand what happens when we become Christ followers.

We die.

God begins a process that will continue through the rest of our life of getting rid of that sinful person we used to be & turning us into the person He dreamed us to be - Jesus.

Did that last sentence make any sense?

We undergo a complete transformation - old things are passed away - behold, all things are new.

That's the scandal of the Gospel - we get a second chance - we get to start over - we get remade.

Of course, this dying of the old self is not easy. But if we let Him reshape & remold us we will become more & more like Him.

The person God dreamed us to be is infinitely preferable to the one we dreamed up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

but... but...

Read all of this - I've got one thing to point out at the bottom of the page...

Exodus 3
1 One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God.2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn't burn up.3 "This is amazing," Moses said to himself. "Why isn't that bush burning up? I must go see it."

  4 When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, "Moses! Moses!"

  "Here I am!" Moses replied.

  5 "Do not come any closer," the LORD warned. "Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.6 I am the God of your father*—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

  7 Then the LORD told him, "I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering.8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them.10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt."

  11 But Moses protested to God, "Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?"

  12 God answered, "I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain."

  13 But Moses protested, "If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' they will ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what should I tell them?"

  14 God replied to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM.* Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you."15 God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh,* the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.

This is my eternal name,
  my name to remember for all generations.

  16 "Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, 'The LORD, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, "I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you.17 I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live."'

  18 "The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD, our God.'

  19 "But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him.*20 So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go.21 And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed.22 Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth."

Moses had 2 very valid questions...
    1. Who am I to appear before Pharaoh?
    2. Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?

And God says 5 words that infinitely answers those 2 questions...

     "I will be with you."

Is God leading any of us to be or do something we KNOW we can't be or do?

We don't know the who, what, where, when, &/or how of it?

God says 5 words to us...

     "I will be with you."

Monday, October 20, 2014


Oh, how I wish I had wings like a dove;

     then I would fly away & rest!

I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.

Psalm 55: 6-7

This could be the verse for all of us who long to be out on the trail, or camping on the side of a mountain, or rambling through a river valley.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

strength through weakness

This is Paul talking about something in his life that hindered him - something God allowed in Paul's life so Paul wouldn't get too overblown a self concept - iow, proud.

This is a little talked about situation - one where God allows something so we don't get too impressed with ourselves.

2 Corinthians 12

So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, to keep me from becoming proud.

  8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.

9 Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness."

So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,

     so that the power of Christ can work through me.

10 That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses,

        and in the insults,



        and troubles that I suffer for Christ.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I wonder how many of us are willing to admit that we're really just a sack of weaknesses

        & that if anything good is gonna come out of us, God is gonna have to work through those weaknesses?

But there is a certain freedom that comes in admitting to our weakness because by doing so, we put the responsibility of any impact or influence on God.

We can just let go & let God work through us.

Just think about it today...

Saturday, October 18, 2014


We are such sissies here in America.

We live our lives in relative comfort & safety, driving our oversized cars through drive-thru's, complaining about the temperature of your skinny lattes.

We are so persecuted for our faith...

     why, just the other day, someone laughed at us at work because we were a Christian,

     or a relative told us we were crazy to believe all that Jesus stuff,

     or we are not readly accepted for the terrifically superior people we are.

Paul, the apostle, enumerates some occurrences in his life because he was a Christ follower.

How many of us would still be all righteous & "sold out to God" if just ONE of these things happened to us, let alone 3 or 4, or (horrors!) all of them?!

We are such sissies here in American.

2 Corinthians 11

I have worked harder,

     been put in prison more often,

     been whipped times without number,

     and faced death again and again.

24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes.

25 Three times I was beaten with rods.

Once I was stoned.

Three times I was shipwrecked.

Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.

26 I have traveled on many long journeys.

I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers.

I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles.

I have faced danger in the cities,

     in the deserts,

     and on the seas.

And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.

27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights.

I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food.

I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

  28 Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.

29 Who is weak without my feeling that weakness?

Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?

  30 If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.

31 God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, who is worthy of eternal praise, knows I am not lying.

32 When I was in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas kept guards at the city gates to catch me.

33 I had to be lowered in a basket through a window in the city wall to escape from him.

Friday, October 17, 2014

child-like faith

Luke 18

 One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them.

But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him.

16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples,

        "Let the children come to me.

        Don't stop them!

        For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.

17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God."

My son, Kevin, once shared this thought in a meeting in which we were together...

   "I've been looking at pictures of my son, Trey, & I (dan note: Trey was a preschooler at the time.)

   "In every picture, he's looking at me.

   "He's not looking around,

   "He doesn't know where we're going,

   "He doesn't know why we're going where we're going,

   "He does know how long it will take to get there.

   "He just knows he's with me, & that's all that matters.

"I wanna be that way again with God.

"I used to be that way when I first came to know Him.

"But now, I gotta know the who, who, where, when, & how.

"I wanna get back to just not caring about all that, & just focus on the fact I'm with Him."


I think that's what Jesus was talking about in this passage when He talked about the "faith of a child".

Something to think about.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

& as they went

Luke 17

 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria.

12 As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance,13 crying out,

        "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"

  14 He looked at them and said, "Go show yourselves to the priests."

And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.

  15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, "Praise God!

16 He fell to the ground at Jesus' feet, thanking him for what he had done.

        This man was a Samaritan.

  17 Jesus asked,

        "Didn't I heal ten men? Where are the other nine?

        18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?"

19 And Jesus said to the man, "Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you."

"And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy"

Iow, they'd begged Jesus to heal them.

He didn't touch them or nothing.

He just said go show yourselves to the priests.

When Jesus just said that, He was telling them to go to the persons designated to judge them clean.

But when they turned to go, they were still lepers.

It wasn't until they made the move to go to the priests to show themselves that the healing occurred.

We don't know if it was as they moved away, or when they were 10' or 15' away from Him, or a mile or 2.

Maybe the important fact here is that it didn't happen until they obeyed Jesus & started walking toward the one person in their culture who would legitimize their healing.

Now, you tell me if it is a bit of a stretch to say this, after reading this passage...

     Many of us won't experience the thing(s) we seek,

     or the miracles we need,

     or the favor we desire,

     or the response we hope for,

     until we move on in our lives in faith,

     expecting it to happen somewhere along the line,

        in God's good time.

And one other thing - when the things, miracles, favor, or response materializes, let's not forget to be thankful.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Trust Me in your times of trouble,

     & I will rescue you,

     & you will give Me glory.

Psalm 50:15

TRUST (as defined at

1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2. confident expectation of something; hope

With God, it's all about trust, isn't it?

No matter what we face or run into in this life, it's all about whether we trust Him to be & do what He says He'll be & do.

No matter what...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

the 1%, & us

These days, we hear a lot about "the 1%" - the people who control all the wealth (or they seem to think so).

But the writer of this psalm has a pretty stark take on the lives & future of the 1%.

(I don't think I've EVER heard this psalm used as a sermon text ;-) LOL)

Btw, you do know that the rest of the world considers most of us in this country to be rich?

Psalm 49

 Listen to this, all you people!

  Pay attention, everyone in the world!

 High and low,

  rich and poor—listen!

 For my words are wise,

  and my thoughts are filled with insight.

 I listen carefully to many proverbs

  and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.

5 Why should I fear when trouble comes,

  when enemies surround me?

 They trust in their wealth

  and boast of great riches.

 Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death*

  by paying a ransom to God.

 Redemption does not come so easily,

  for no one can ever pay enough

 to live forever

  and never see the grave.

10 Those who are wise must finally die,

  just like the foolish and senseless,

  leaving all their wealth behind.

 The grave is their eternal home,

  where they will stay forever.

They may name their estates after themselves,

   but their fame will not last.

  They will die, just like animals.

 This is the fate of fools,

  though they are remembered as being wise.

14 Like sheep, they are led to the grave,

  where death will be their shepherd.

In the morning the godly will rule over them.

  Their bodies will rot in the grave,

  far from their grand estates.

 But as for me, God will redeem my life.

  He will snatch me from the power of the grave.

16 So don't be dismayed when the wicked grow rich

  and their homes become ever more splendid.

 For when they die, they take nothing with them.

  Their wealth will not follow them into the grave.

 In this life they consider themselves fortunate

  and are applauded for their success.

 But they will die like all before them

  and never again see the light of day.

 People who boast of their wealth don't understand;

  they will die, just like animals.

Monday, October 13, 2014

what's going on here & what does it mean?

What is Jesus trying to tell us here about those who don't have much in the way the world counts as important to have?

And what is He saying in regards to what our response should be to people like that?

And how does all that square with our contemporary concepts & attitudes toward those kinds of people?

Luke 14

 When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave them this advice:

     8 "When you are invited to a wedding feast, don't sit in the seat of honor.

     What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited?

     9 The host will come and say, 'Give this person your seat.'

     Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!

   10 "Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table.

Then when your host sees you, he will come and say,

     'Friend, we have a better place for you!'

Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests.

11 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled,

        and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

   12 Then he turned to his host.

        "When you put on a luncheon or a banquet," he said, "don't invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors.

        For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward.

 Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.

        14 Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you."

15 Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, "What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!"

   16 Jesus replied with this story:

          "A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations.

          17 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, 'Come, the banquet is ready.'

18 But they all began making excuses.

        One said, 'I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.'

        19 Another said, 'I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.'

        20 Another said, 'I now have a wife, so I can't come.'

  21 "The servant returned and told his master what they had said.

His master was furious and said, 'Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.'

 After the servant had done this, he reported, 'There is still room for more.'

23 So his master said, 'Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.

24 For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.'"

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Every once in a while some section in one of Paul's letter is just fat with good stuff.

Just read & absorb this...

2 Corinthians 5

11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others.

God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too.

12 Are we commending ourselves to you again?

      No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us,

      so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart.

13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God.

And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.

14 Either way, Christ's love controls us.

Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.

15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves.

      Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.

At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view.

     How differently we know him now!

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.

The old life is gone;

     a new life has begun!

18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ.

      And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.

19 For God was in Christ,

      reconciling the world to himself,

      no longer counting people's sins against them.

And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.

20 So we are Christ's ambassadors;

      God is making his appeal through us.

We speak for Christ when we plead,

     "Come back to God!"

21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,

      so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

2 passages

Luke 12

 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, "

        That is why I tell you
don't worry about everyday life;

     whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear.
23 For life is more than food,

        and your body more than clothing.
24 Look at the ravens.

They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns,

     for God feeds them.

And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!
25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

26 And if worry can't accomplish a little thing like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things?

27 "Look at the lilies and how they grow.

They don't work or make their clothing,

     yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow,

        he will certainly care for you.

Why do you have so little faith?
(dan note: because we don't trust Him!)

 "And don't be concerned about what to eat and what to drink.

Don't worry about such things.
30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world,

        but your Father already knows your needs.
31 Seek first the Kingdom of God above all else,

        and He will give you everything else.

(dan note: Verse 31 is a TOWERING verse - read it again - I know it's true, because I'm living it right now!)

32 "So don't be afraid, little flock.

For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

33 "Sell your possessions and give to those in need.

This will store up treasure for you in heaven!

And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes.

Your treasure will be safe;

     no thief can steal it

     and no moth can destroy it.

34 Wherever your treasure is,

     there the desires of your heart will also be.

I think Jesus could have stopped at "don't worry about everyday life".

He said it all when He said that.


And I wanted to share these verses too, but they say a lot about where I am personally these day.

The words that stuck out for me today were "never give up".

I need to hear that these days.

2 Corinthians 4

 Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new ministry, we never give up.

7 We now have this light shining in our hearts,

        but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.

This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles,

     but we are not crushed.

We are perplexed,

     but we don't give up & quit.

9 We are hunted down,

     but never abandoned by God.

We get knocked down,

     but we get up again & keep going.

10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

16 That is why we never give up.

Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.

17 For our present troubles are small and won't last very long.

        Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

18 So we don't look at the troubles we can see now;

        rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.

For the things we see now will soon be gone,

     but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Jesus is the one talking here...

Luke 11

 "And so I tell you, keep on asking,

        and you will receive what you ask for.

Keep on seeking,

        and you will find.

Keep on knocking,

        and the door will be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks,


Everyone who seeks,


And to everyone who knocks,

      the door will be opened.

Don't know who this is for, but someone out there today needs to here what I think may be a direct word from these 2 verses.

What's that word?

Keep on.

That's right - keep on.

Keep on going.

Keep on moving forward.

If this is for someone out there, once they read those two words - keep on - they'll know that word is for them.

I don't pretend to be a prophet, or have a hotline to God.

Nor am I playing the averages that there's a good chance someone resonate with those words.

But like I said - someone out there needs to hear this word from God...

     keep on.

Don't know what it means for you - but you know what it meas, so do what the Lord is saying to do by keeping on.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

we stink!

Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God.

But this fragrance is perceived differently by those being saved & those perishing.

To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death & doom.

But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume.

2 Corinthians 10:15-16

What's Paul really saying here?

We need to remember that for people who don't follow Jesus sometimes our lives as Christ followers remind them of how far their live are out of sync with God.

Now,I don't think this is a conscious thought process a lot of the time.

Sometimes they interpreted what makes them uncomfortable around us as our arrogance as saying follow Christ is the only way to God.

Or they may not respond to our thinking that some types of behavior or thinking are not right or are morally wrong.

(Remember that one of the biggest lies our world pivots on these days is that there are so absolutes, except there are no absolutes.)

And there's probably a healthy chunk of people who just think those of us who follow Jesus are just plain stupid people - that building our lives on a dead Jewish dude who may or may not have lived 2000+ years ago is the action of someone who not all that bright.

Or there may be any number of other reasons people would say to quantify their discomfort or distaste for Christ followers.

Bottom line? We really make them uncomfortable.

And I think it's valid for them to say that we do.

Because we are diametrically different from them.

They would say it's because we are arrogant, judgmental, narrow, intolerant, &/or stupid.

We would say that it's because we're connected to the Life-giver Himself & they are not.

I guess we must then walk a fine line between trying to connect with non-Christ followers while at the same time not denying who we are in our connection with God.

So, what am I saying here?

I have to remind myself that sometimes, no matter how hard we try, some folks are just not gonna want to connect with us.

And it's not because of something we've said or done.

But that simply because as a Christ follower, we make them VERY uncomfortable.

Whether on a conscious or subconscious level, it's because they are responding negatively to the Jesus in us, & the power that comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit.

I hope all that made sense...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

it's all about favor

Genesis 39

 Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife's story about how Joseph had treated her.

20 So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king's prisoners were held,

        and there he remained.

 But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love.

       And the LORD made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.

 Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison.

23 The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything.

        The LORD was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.

A little back story...

Joseph, who had been sold into slavery by his brothers, was sold to Potifar, an official of the Pharoah in Egypt.

Potiphar trusted Joseph so much that he put him in charge of all his business & home.

Potiphar's wife had the hots for Joseph.

She kept pestering him to have sex with her.

One day she was really insistent - Joseph refused, ran away, but as he did, she pulled his shirt off.

She screamed & accused him of trying to rape her.

And Potiphar of course was furious & through Joseph in prison.

Now, here's the deal...

God gave Joseph favor with the jailer,to the point the Jailor turned the running of the prison over to Joseph.

Iow, even in prison, Joseph's life had impact bc God gave him favor.

Remember that back then, prison wasn't quite a Club Med experience. Prisons were primitive, violent places.

It doesn't matter where we are or what the situation might be, if God grants us favor, we will have impact.

I don't know what everyone's situation may be, or how limited, or limiting, it may be. But if God grants us favor in it, & we're willing to go where that favor may take us, Gd will grant us influence with people & fruit from our labors.

That might seem pretty impossible.

But if God can cause Joseph to have influence & impact in a nasty, awful place like a prison in Egypt, I would think He could cause us to have the same or greater influence in the places we live & work.

Think about this today...

     maybe if we took a fresh look at our situations & prayer for God to give us favor & influence in them, our impact would change.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

dead things

Luke 8

 On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him.

 Then a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come home with him.

42 His only daughter, who was about twelve years old, was dying.

(during the next 7 verses, Jesus heals the woman who touched the hem of his garment)

49 While (Jesus) was still speaking to to (the woman who touched his hem), a messenger arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue.

He told him, "Your daughter is dead. There's no use troubling the Teacher now."

  50 But when Jesus heard what had happened, he said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid. Just trust me, and she will be healed."

  51 When they arrived at the house, Jesus wouldn't let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, James, and the little girl's father and mother.

52 The house was filled with people weeping and wailing, but he said,

        "Stop the weeping! She isn't dead; she's only asleep."

 But the crowd laughed at him because they all knew she had died.

54 Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, "My child, get up!"

55 And at that moment her life returned, and she immediately stood up!

Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.

56 Her parents were overwhelmed, but Jesus insisted that they not tell anyone what had happened.

How many of us are like Jairus?

We have something precious, something so important in our life that is dead - something that seems to have no hope.

And what did Jesus say to Jairus when the servants came with the news that the little girl was dead?

"Don't be afraid - just trust Me..."

That's what Jesus says to each of us that has something precious in our lives that is dead.

"Don't be afraid - just trust Me..."

Monday, October 6, 2014


So,my brothers & sisters,

     be strong & steady,

     always enthusiastic about the Lord's work,

for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 

1 Corinthians 15:58

..NOTHING you do for the Lord is ever useless.

..nothing YOU do for the Lord is ever useless.

..nothing you DO for the Lord is ever useless.

..nothing you do FOR THE LORD is ever useless.

..nothing you do for the Lord is EVER useless.

..nothing you do for the Lord is ever USELESS.

...nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Now think about that...

NOTHING we ever do for the Lord is insignificant to God's overarching plan for humankind.

Whatever we DO for Him has some sort of impact.

And if what we are & what we do is focused on what the Lord would have us do, that action means something to Him & what He's up to.

And our actions are of consequence, no matter how slight, short lived, or seemingly unimportant.

But that's hard for us to swallow, isn't it?

Because a lot of us don't feel significant, do we.

We just feel like a face in the crowd - someone whose coming & passing will be acknowledged by very few.

We don't believe what we are & what we do means all that much - I mean, we are all that talented, or compelling, or strong.

But that's NOT what Paul is saying here.

Anything we do for the Lord means something.

Iow, if we're connected to the Lord, whatever He tells us to do fits into the big picture.

So, if what we do is significant, then we must be significant to the Lord.

And our significance is created by the world or what it thinks about us - because most of the time, the world will downplay, or denigrate, who we are as persons & what we do.

But that's not how it is in our connection with God - He's the one who determines our identity.

When we are connected to the Lord, we have meaning, because what we do means something to Him.

Think about that today...

     I know I will.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Ok, how to we square this in our lives in the type of world we live in today.

Jesus is pretty straightforward.

Nothing subtle is what He says.

Like I said, how do we live our lives in our world today & follow what Jesus says?

Luke 6

 "But to you who are willing to listen, I say...

love your enemies!

Do good to those who hate you.

 Bless those who curse you.

Pray for those who hurt you.

 If someone slaps you on one cheek,

        offer the other cheek also.

If someone demands your coat,

      offer your shirt also.

30 Give to anyone who asks;

        and when things are taken away from you,

        don't try to get them back.

31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

32 "If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that?

        Even sinners love those who love them!

33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit?

        Even sinners do that much!

34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit?

       Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.

35 "Love your enemies!

Do good to them.

Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.

Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High,

        for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.

36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

37 "Do not judge others,

        and you will not be judged.

Do not condemn others,

        or it will all come back against you.

Forgive others,

        and you will be forgiven.

38 Give,

        and you will receive.

Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.

        The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

keep on

There's a half sheet of paper I carry in my Bible. On it is something I read one morning during a very difficult season in my life.

It is interesting to me that since I've been reading the Bible EVERY day, without fail (almost 12 years now) that moments like this happen quite often. So many times what I'm supposed to read has something that speaks to where I'm at.

You may think it's coincidental, or I could be just reading into something from my own situation that may not really be there - I don't think so - it's happened hundreds & hundreds of times.

Here's what I read that day, & what my Life Application Bible said in the footnotes.

It might be something that speaks to someone else today that needs to hear it as much or more than I did that day.

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 for 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 what you hope for will come true.

And here's what my Life Application Bible had in the footnotes for those verses for that day...

It's easy to get discouraged, thinking God has forgotten us.

But God is never unjust - He never forgets or overlooks our hard work for Him.

Presently you may not be receiving rewards or acclaim,

     but God knows your efforts of love & ministry.

Let God's love for you & His intimate knowledge of your service for Him bolster you as you face disappointment & rejection here on earth.

Those verses & that footnote was like a lifeline for me that day when I really did feel like I was drowning in disappointment & rejection.

Maybe you are too.

You need to know that a couple of years later, the things that I had been hoping for really did come true, in a BIG way, & I spent one of the most halcyon seasons of my life.

Friday, October 3, 2014

gifts & parts

Read all of this passage written by Paul about how the Holy Spirit works through us & how each one of us is an important & integral part of the whole picture of God's work among us.

We all may feel insignificant at times, or all the time. But Paul says here that we all have some part of the big picture that we can be & do.

Read this slowly & try to absorb what Paul is trying to say here...

1 Corinthians 12

 Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us.

I don't want you to misunderstand this.

 You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols.

3 So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus,

     and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.

  4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts,

        but the same Spirit is the source of them all.

5 There are different kinds of service,

        but we serve the same Lord.

 God works in different ways,

        but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

  7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice;

to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.

9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another,

and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing.

10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles,

and another the ability to prophesy.

He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit.

Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages,

while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.

11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts.

He alone decides which gift each person should have.

12 The human body has many parts,

        but the many parts make up one whole body.

So it is with the body of Christ.

13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free.

But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

  14 Yes, the body has many different parts,

        not just one part.

15 If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand," that does not make it any less a part of the body.

16 And if the ear says, "I am not part of the body because I am not an eye," would that make it any less a part of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear?

Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

  18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.

19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part!

20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.

21 The eye can never say to the hand, "I don't need you."

The head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you."

  22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.

23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care.

So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen,

     24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care.

So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.

25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.

26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it,

        and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

  27 All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it.

 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:

first are apostles,
second are prophets,
third are teachers,
then those who do miracles,
those who have the gift of healing,
those who can help others,
those who have the gift of leadership,
those who speak in unknown languages.

  29 Are we all apostles?

Are we all prophets?

Are we all teachers?

Do we all have the power to do miracles?

30 Do we all have the gift of healing?

Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages?

Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages?

Of course not!

31 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

wicked vs godly

Wicked is not a term we use much when describing people.

(Unless we're talking about the Broadway musical! ;-) LOL) defines wicked as: evil or morally bad in principle or practice; sinful; iniquitous

(Iniquitous? Ooooooo... that's a kool word!)

So, in this psalm, the writer juxtaposes what happens to those who are wicked & those who are godly.

I've underlined the verses that have stood out to me through the times I've read it.

Psalm 37

1 Don't worry about the wicked

  or envy those who do wrong.

2 For like grass, they soon fade away.

  Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good.

  Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.

4 Take delight in the LORD,

  and he will give you your heart's desires.

5 Commit everything you do to the LORD.

  Trust him, and he will help you.

6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,

  and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

7 Be still in the presence of the LORD,

  and wait patiently for him to act.

(dan note: I would freely translate this part of the verse as "shut up & wait." ;-) LOL)

Don't worry about evil people who prosper

  or fret about their wicked schemes.

8 Stop being angry!

  Turn from your rage!

Do not envy others

  it only leads to harm.

9 For the wicked will be destroyed,

  but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.

10 Soon the wicked will disappear.

  Though you look for them, they will be gone.

11 The lowly will possess the land

  and will live in peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the godly;

  they snarl at them in defiance.

13 But the Lord just laughs,

  for he sees their day of judgment coming.

14 The wicked draw their swords

  and string their bows

to kill the poor and the oppressed,

  to slaughter those who do right.

15 But their swords will stab their own hearts,

  and their bows will be broken.

16 It is better to be godly and have little

  than to be evil and rich.

17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,

  but the LORD takes care of the godly.

18 Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent,

  and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.

19 They will not be disgraced in hard times;

  even in famine they will have more than enough.

20 But the wicked will die.

  The LORD's enemies are like flowers in a field—

  they will disappear like smoke.

21 The wicked borrow and never repay,

  but the godly are generous givers.

22 Those the LORD blesses will possess the land,

  but those he curses will die.

23 The LORD directs the steps of the godly.

  He delights in every detail of their lives.

24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,

  for the LORD holds them by the hand.

25 Once I was young, and now I am old.

  Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned

  or their children begging for bread.

26 The godly always give generous loans to others,

  and their children are a blessing.

27 Turn from evil and do good,

  and you will live in the land forever.

28 For the LORD loves justice,

  and he will never abandon the godly.

He will keep them safe forever,

  but the children of the wicked will die.

29 The godly will possess the land

  and will live there forever.

30 The godly offer good counsel;

  they teach right from wrong.

31 They have made God's law their own,

  so they will never slip from his path.

32 The wicked wait in ambush for the godly,

  looking for an excuse to kill them.

33 But the LORD will not let the wicked succeed

  or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.

34 Don't be impatient for the Lord to act.

  Travel steadily along his path.

He will honor you by giving you the land.

  You will see the wicked destroyed.

35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people

  flourishing like a tree in its native soil.

36 But when I looked again, they were gone!

  Though I searched for them, I could not find them!

37 Look at those who are honest and good,

  for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.

38 But the rebellious will be destroyed;

  they have no future.

39 The LORD rescues the godly;

  he is their fortress in times of trouble.

40 The LORD helps them,

  rescuing them from the wicked.

He saves them,

  and they find shelter in him.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

the devil made me do it

Remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience.

And God is faithful.

He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it.

When you are tempted, He will show you a way out,

     so that you will not give in to it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Hmmmm... well I guess that pokes some serious holes in the excuse we all have said when facing a temptation...

     "I just couldn't help myself."

So Paul is saying here that whatever the sin is we feel tempted to do, it's not something so unique.

     And, we ain't so special - others have faced the same sin countless times down through the millennia.

Add too that this face we ALL ignore...

     God is so in tune with every second of our lives & what's going on that He will not allow the temptation to become so strong that we are overwhelmed by it.

Now think about that - chew on that - REALLY consider that...

     God's NOT gonna let ANY sin we're tempted to become so strong that it has more power over us

     than the force of our own will

     & sustaining power of the Holy Spirit.

AND, God will show us a way out of it.

He'll give us an escape opportunity.


Now, I struggle with sin & sins, just like you.

I know, you think I'm so ever-lovin' holy...


Now, we all know better than THAT!!!

(Just keepin' real here...)

Anyway, for some reason, God hits me over the head with this verse on a right regular basis.

Usually when I'm trying to get forgiveness for something I've thought or done.

And sometimes He whacks me up the side of the head with this verse when I've managed to resist some temptation.

Bottom line here?

We have no excuses - ever.

We don't have a leg to stand on.

We CHOOSE to sin,

     because God has given us a way out.

Chew on that today.