Habakkuk 2

Then the Lord replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Clear the Way


A Voice Calling
Isaiah 40:3-8 NASB

A voice is calling,
“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
“Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
A voice says, “Call out.”
Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”
All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.

This was the call of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus Christ and his earthly ministry. But, aren’t we all called to do this? Aren’t we all called to prepare people’s hearts to believe in Jesus Christ by sharing with them the gospel of our salvation?

Are we not, as his body, to be his hands, his feet, his mouth and his heart to the people of this world? Are we not, as his holy ones, to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light? Are we, his holy people, not to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and to make disciples of people of all nations, and to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth? Sure we are!

So, we need to be the people of God in making the way clear for people to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of their lives. And, this means that we need to not short-circuit the gospel message, but we are to preach the full counsel of God, as did the Apostle Paul (Acts 20:27). We are not to sugar-coat the gospel message, either, to make it more acceptable and comfortable for people to receive, because what they are receiving, thus, is not the truth, and it is only the truth which will save them from their sins.

John the Baptist did not mince words. Neither did Jesus or his NT apostles. They spoke the truth of the gospel plainly so that we could understand all that is involved in belief in Jesus Christ, so that there would be no question as to what God requires of us or what it means to be a Christian.

So, if we are doing what this passage of scripture teaches, and what our Lord requires of us, then we will tell the whole truth of the gospel so that when people say they want to believe in Jesus Christ, they will know what they are signing up for.

Here is Your God!
Isaiah 40:9-11 NASB

Get yourself up on a high mountain,
O Zion, bearer of good news,
Lift up your voice mightily,
O Jerusalem, bearer of good news;
Lift it up, do not fear.
Say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
Behold, the Lord God will come with might,
With His arm ruling for Him.
Behold, His reward is with Him
And His recompense before Him.
Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

Here is the Good News: We are saved by God’s grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-10). His grace was made known to us through the death of Jesus Christ (God the Son) on a cross for our sins. When Jesus died, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Co. 5:21). He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15).

Faith in Jesus Christ is divinely persuaded as to Christ’s righteousness and holiness and of our need to follow our Lord in obedience to his will for our lives. Faith in Jesus Christ, thus, calls us to forsake our former way of living for sin and self, to be renewed of the Spirit of God in heart and mind, and to put on Christ and his righteousness (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Ac. 26:16-18; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21).

So, when you believe in Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior, you die with Christ to sin and you are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in Him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. The old has gone. The new has come. Whereas you used to live to gratify the desires of your sinful nature, now you walk in holiness and righteousness empowered by the Holy Spirit of God now living within you.

But, this is not optional, as some people would have you believe. You don’t believe in Jesus, and then have the promise of heaven when you die, and then get to choose if you follow him in obedience or not. He said that if we want to come after him, we must deny self, take up our cross daily and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose our lives (die with him to sin) for his sake, then we will save our lives (have eternal life with him).

(See: Lu. 9:23-25; cf. Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

As well, our salvation is not a one-time experience and then we are good no matter how we live our lives from that moment on. The Bible teaches progressive salvation, which some people call the process of sanctification. We are saved (past), we are being saved (present) and we will be saved (future) when Christ returns for us, his bride, and our salvation is complete.

So, this means that we have to walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh if we want the hope of eternal life with God and freedom from slavery to sin. For, Jesus didn’t die just to free us from hell, to forgive us our sins, and to promise us heaven when we die. He died that he might obliterate sin in our lives and that we might be free from our enslavement (addictions) to sin. Amen! THIS IS THE GOOD NEWS!

So, if we continue in our sinful addictions, and we make sin our practice, and we don’t walk according to the Spirit, and we don’t walk in obedience to our Lord, but we continue to live our lives for our own flesh and for our own pleasure, then we must know that we don’t have eternal life with God!

We will reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit of God, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8). So, if you are living to the flesh and not to the Spirit, the Bible says you need to repent of those sins.

Why Do You Say?
Isaiah 40:27-31 NASB

Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

But, you say, it is too hard, and you have tried and failed, and so you have rejected the true gospel in favor of one that appeases your flesh and makes life easier for you, but easier is not better, and it is not a true picture of God’s grace to us. For, his grace does not appease sin, it puts sin to death. And, it instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return.

Then, you say you have prayed and you have asked God to take away the desire to sin or to miraculously deliver you so that you are never tempted again, but you don’t realize that he already made the way out for you, or maybe you do. You just have to take the way he made, which is not the easy way (the broad road), but it is the hard way (the narrow road).

But, he carries the burden of it for us, and he gives us all we need to resist Satan and flee temptation and to draw near to God. We do it in his strength, but we still have to do it. We still have to say “No” to wrong, and we still have to choose what is right.

So, there are no excuses for anyone who claims to be a believer in Jesus Christ to still be walking in the flesh and resisting the Holy Spirit, especially if you have known the Lord for a very long time. You know the right way. You know when you are doing wrong. And, you know that Jesus already made the way out for you so that you can be free from your addictions. You just have to decide if you want Jesus or if you want your flesh.

For, if we surrender our wills to Jesus Christ, and we let him be Lord of our lives, he will supply all the strength we need to walk in holiness and no longer according to the cravings of our sinful flesh. Do I get an “Amen”?

Only in Him  
An Original Work / February 19, 2014

Based off Isaiah 30

Woe to those who look to man’s help;
Who turn away from Jesus Christ;
Forming an alliance not in step with God;
Making their own plans, and praying not.

Willing not to listen to truth,
They close their ears to what is right.
Pleasing words are all that they’ll hear;
Feel good messages that bring cheer.

Trust in your Lord; turn from your sin.
Put your faith now ONLY IN HIM.
Do not turn to idols. They’ll not satisfy.
Jesus will save you. That’s why He died.

Your Lord will be gracious to you.
He cares all about you, ‘tis true.
He forgives you all of your sin
When you give your life up to Him.

Oh, how truly gracious He’ll be
When you bow to Him on your knees;
Turning now from your sin; walking in his ways.
He’ll lead and guide you all of your days.

Now you will sing praises to Him.
He delivered you from your sin.
You’ll tell others now of His grace,
So they may see Christ face-to-face.


Saturday, June 23, 2018 – Thank you, Jesus, for dying for our sins so that we can be free from slavery to sin, and we can live holy and godly lives.


Friday, June 22, 2018

Forever and Always


My Help
Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

In this life we will have trouble, heartache, and distress. Friends and family members will die, or they will leave us or desert us in other ways. The church, too, in many cases, will abandon us spiritually, and will not teach the truth of God’s Word or care for our spiritual needs. Or, they will reject us because we do not fit with their worldly marketing schemes and plans.

Some (or all) of our country’s leaders, too, will abandon us in that they will lie to us, and will attempt to trick us and deceive us for their evil purposes. They will do evil and then blame others for what they have done, while they try to convince us that they are the good guys, and that we should trust them that they are looking out for our good.

Basically, humans will fail us, they will abandon us, reject us and mistreat us, though not all humans, thank the Lord. There are godly people out there, too, who will come alongside us to encourage, strengthen and support us in our walks of faith, and I thank God for them, too! But, they are human, and they may fail us at times, too. So, we should never make humans our gods.

And, sometimes we will fail ourselves, too, and we won’t always have just the right words at just the right moments, or we won’t respond to our circumstances with all the grace of God, as we had hoped we would. Or we will find that we grow weak and tired and get discouraged, and we wish we were stronger than that all the time.

But, whatever the situation in our lives, God is still on the throne. Amen! He is still completely sovereign over all that he has made. For those of us who have put our trust and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, he will never leave us or abandon us. We can depend on him and on his strength. And, he will help us through any and every challenge that we come up against in this life.

We just have to learn to look to him for our help and not let the troubles of this life get us down. We have to rely on his strength and wisdom, and believe that he is working out all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).

He Watches Over Us
Psalm 121:3-4 NIV

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we die with Christ to sin that we might live with Christ to righteousness. Thus, we are delivered from our bondage to sin that we might walk in freedom from sin’s control, and in freedom to live godly and holy lives in the power of God now living within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. And, that is awesome!

Jesus does not stop us from sinning, if we choose to sin against him, but he provided the way out from underneath the power of sin over our lives. By the grace of God, we can say “No” to ungodliness and worldly (fleshly) passions (lusts) and we can live self-controlled, godly and upright lives while we wait for Jesus Christ, when he returns for us, his bride. Amen!

Our Shade
Psalm 121:5-6 NIV

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

Jesus Christ and his salvation, which he provided for us, is our shield and our protection against temptation to sin and the devil’s schemes against us. He is also our covering of protection when Satan wants to harm us, in his attempts to destroy us. The Lord may or may not protect us from physical harm or from emotional suffering, but he will protect us spiritually from its ill effects on our lives and on our hearts and minds.

Because our God is completely in control over all that he has made, and over every power and authority in the heavens or on the earth, nothing can touch us unless God allows it. And, he will use it in our lives to draw us closer to him, so that we rely on him and not on ourselves, and so we learn to find our strength and our hope in him, and in him alone.

Trials and tribulations should drive us to call on our Lord, and through them we should be strengthened in our faith, and we should walk even closer to our Lord, in daily fellowship with him, greater than we had before, leaning on him for the strength to make it through each and every day.

Now and Forever
Psalm 121:7-8 NIV

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Again, the Lord may or may not protect us from physical harm or emotional suffering, but he will keep our minds and hearts safe from the ill effects of such pain and suffering. Knowing that we have Jesus on our side, walking with us every step of the way, and that he is in complete control over everything, we can rest in the Lord and rejoice in him even in the direst of circumstances.

It brings me great comfort to know that my Lord is watching over my life, and that he has a plan and a purpose in mind for everything which he allows to come into my life, and for what he is going to do in me and through me because of what I went through. I know that He is with me every step of the way, and that he will strengthen and help me, and he will counsel me in the way that I should go, and he will provide for my every need. I just need to trust him completely with my life, and always follow wherever He leads.

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken  
Henry F. Lyte / Mozart/ Arr. Hubert P. Main

Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee;
Destitute, despised, forsaken, Thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition, all I’ve sought or hoped or known;
Yet how rich is my condition! God and heav’n are still mine own.

Let the world despise and leave me, they have left my Savior, too;
Human hearts and looks deceive me; Thou art not, like them, untrue.
And while Thou shalt smile upon me, God of wisdom, love and might,
Foes may hate and friends disown me, show Thy face and all is bright.

Go, then, earthly fame and treasure! Come, disaster, scorn and pain!
In Thy service pain is pleasure; with Thy favor, loss is gain.
I have called Thee, “Abba, Father”; I have set my heart on Thee:
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather, all must work for good to me.

Man may trouble and distress me, ’twill but drive me to Thy breast;
Life with trials hard may press me; heav’n will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh, ’tis not in grief to harm me, while Thy love is left to me;
Oh, ’twere not in joy to charm me, were that joy unmixed with Thee.

Haste then on from grace to glory, armed by faith, and winged by prayer,
Heav’n’s eternal day’s before thee, God’s own hand shall guide thee there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission, swift shall pass thy pilgrim days;
Hope soon change to glad fruition, faith to sight, and prayer to praise.


Friday, June 22, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for these encouraging words. Help us, Lord, to always look to You for our help. Amen!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

He Who Dwells


His Faithfulness
Psalm 91:1-4 NASB

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

What does it mean to “dwell in the shelter of the Most High”? The Most High is God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To dwell is to live, abide, stay, remain, settle and to have as our home. And, to remain is to continue, endure and persist. As well, his shelter is his protection, covering, shield and defense.

So, what is God’s protection, covering, shield and defense for us? Is it not our salvation? It is what protects us from bondage to sin and from giving in to the enemy of our souls. It is what gives us life in Christ, hope for our future, and joy in trials. And, it is what brings us into relationship with Almighty God and fills us with His Spirit, so that we have power, strength, courage, and encouragement to persist, to endure and to continue in Christ.

So, if we dwell in the shelter of the Most High, it means we have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, and we are walking in his ways and in his truth, and we are no longer living to the flesh, but now to the Spirit. We are daily in prayer and in His Word, drinking it in, listening to our Lord, and we are following him in obedience.

Then, when the enemy comes against us, or when we are tempted to sin, or when Satan is trying to ensnare us via deception, our Lord delivers us from yielding to the enemy and to sin, and he empowers us to walk in victory. When Satan tries to tempt us to despair, or to fear our circumstances, or to fear what humans may do to us, God is our refuge and our strength to help us so that we can walk in peace and in joy, free from fear.

To Guard You
Psalm 91:11-13 NASB

For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

Our God is completely sovereign over all that he has made. He is absolutely in control over all powers and authorities in the heavens or on the earth. Nothing can touch those who belong to the Lord unless the Lord allows it, and he will give us all we need to endure it and to come through it praising his name.

He does not promise us that being under his shelter means we won’t have troubles or heartaches or difficulties in this life. In fact, he promises us that we will, and that these trials are for our good, that we might be holy as he is holy. We are destined to have trials and tribulations, in fact, to mature us in Christ, to teach us to rely on God and not on ourselves, and that we might be made to be like Jesus. Even Jesus learned obedience from the things he suffered.

But, what he does promise us is victory over sin and over Satan, and the strength, power, wisdom and courage to endure and to come out shining like gold, i.e. to yield the fruit of Christ’s righteousness. Nothing will be able to overtake us and to destroy us if we are walking in his love, his grace, and his power, because we are also walking in obedience to his commands. Even if other humans take our lives, they will not be able to take our souls.

Because We Love Him
Psalm 91:14-16 NASB

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
“With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”

To love God is to obey his commands. And, to know him is to love him.

This is not saying we will never sin, but that being in relationship with Almighty God means we are filled with His Spirit and that we are walking by the Spirit and no longer are we living to gratify the sinful cravings of our flesh. We no longer make sin our practice, but righteousness is now what we practice – all in the power, wisdom and strength of our Lord.

So, if we love God, we will obey him, and because we are walking in obedience to him, then he delivers us from sin. Now, I am not talking here about works-based salvation. For, faith in Jesus Christ is repentance, obedience and submission to Christ and to his cross. Faith is not a feeling or a religion or an experience. Faith in Jesus Christ means we have been divinely persuaded as to his will for our lives, and if persuaded, then we submit to Christ and to his will. But, faith is ongoing, not a one-time shot.

Again, it is those who are walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh who have eternal life with God and freedom from slavery to sin, not those who merely profess faith in Christ. For, if we walk according to the flesh, the Bible says we don’t know God, we don’t love him, we are not in fellowship with him, and we don’t have eternal life with him (See: Lu. 9:23-25; John 14:23-24; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; etc.).

So, if we want God’s help, and we want him to answer our prayers, and we want his protection, strength, wisdom, and courage to endure trials or to resist Satan and to flee temptation, then we need to love him, which means we need to be walking in obedience to him and not resisting him. For, if we hold back from God, and we ignore him, we should not expect him to come through for us when we need him.

And, this is true, as well, if we want to have the hope of heaven and eternal life with God when we leave this earth. But, this is not works-based salvation. We can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation.

But salvation from sin is not just forgiveness of sin and the promise of heaven when we die. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. When we believe in Jesus, it means dying with him to sin and being resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Eternal life with God is only guaranteed to those who are presently believing in him, and who are walking according to his Spirit and no longer according to the flesh.

God’s grace to us is not a free license to continue in sin without guilt. His grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return.

His grace, which brings salvation from sin, is what enables us to walk in freedom from sin and in his righteousness. This is what is free! Jesus paid the price for our sin on that cross, not so we could continue in sin claiming God’s grace covers it all. It is not grace if it leaves us still enslaved to sin. God’s grace sets us FREE from our slavery to sin. Amen!

I Sing of His Mercy  
An Original Work / April 10, 2014

Based off Psalm 32

Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven
By the blood of Jesus Christ.
Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does
Not count against them; freedom found.
When, in silence, I did not confess
My sin to You; had no strength.
Then I owned up to my sin and
You forgave and cleansed me within.

Therefore let the godly pray to You;
Draw near to You; grace they’ll find.
They will not be o’ertaken by afflictions,
But in Christ peace abounds.
Lord, You are my hiding place.
I find my refuge in You secure.
You protect me from all evil.
You give songs of vict’ry in You.

Lord, You teach me to walk in Your ways;
Counsel me in love, I know.
Help me to not be stubborn and
Unwilling to follow in Your truth.
Thank You for Your love and mercy.
I put my trust in You always.
I rejoice in my Lord and
I sing of Him throughout all my days.


Thursday, June 21, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for Your love and Your grace to us in delivering us from bondage to sin and in setting us free to now walk daily in your righteousness. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pernicious Leeches


To Test Him
Mark 8:11-13 NASB

The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him. Sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” Leaving them, He again embarked and went away to the other side.

The Pharisees were religious leaders in the temple of God, plus they had positions on the ruling council of the Jews, called the Sanhedrin, which was both a religious and governmental agency. They had the power to arrest people and put them in prison, for instance, and they had power to decide court cases, such as our Supreme Court does here in the USA. The Jews, although they were under Roman rule, were self-governing, to a certain extent. The Pharisees wielded enormous influence and power.

The Pharisees, at large, were opposed to Jesus Christ, his ministry, and his teaching. Although the Pharisees and the Sadducees, both on the ruling council of the Jews, differed in doctrine, they joined forces to oppose Jesus. Evidently there were Herodians, a political group who supported King Herod, who also joined in with them to oppose Jesus and his ministry.

The Pharisees were like leeches. They attached themselves to Jesus to try to suck the blood (life) out of him. They were always on his trail, trying to find ways to trip him up so that they could discredit him. One of the commentaries I read described them as “pernicious,” i.e. “having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way; poisonous; dangerous” (Google). The Lord gave me a picture here of someone who is sugary sweet on the outside but who is pernicious, detrimental, and unhealthy for us.

I liken them to people today who are deceptive, manipulative, charming, winsome, and sneaky, who will smile to you to your face, but who will stab you in the back if it suits their purposes. Many of them are leaders in the church who are wolves in sheep’s clothing who pretend one thing on the outside while inside they are full of wickedness.

And, they are dangerous, because they will win you over with their charm and their winsome personalities, but behind all that is a sharp bite, for they will lie to you and trick you into believing what is false while they make it appear as though it is truth. They are good at debating, and convincing, and they will twist the truth to their advantage, so be wise and discerning, and test the spirits to see whether they are of God.

Watch Out!
Mark 8:14-21 NASB

And they had forgotten to take bread, and did not have more than one loaf in the boat with them. And He was giving orders to them, saying, “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” They began to discuss with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.” “When I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?” And they said to Him, “Seven.” And He was saying to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

We need to be on the watch (on guard) against “pernicious leeches” who will suck the lifeblood of Jesus Christ right out of our lives via their manipulations and their deceptions, which are usually subtle, and are gradually introduced in order to not be noticeable. We need to ask the Holy Spirit of God to make us keenly aware of these subtle deceptions so that we can spot them, call them out, and not be caught in the deception ourselves.

The author of them, of course, is Satan, whose goal it is to destroy us, deceive and trick us, manipulate us, twist the truth, and get us to doubt God and to follow our own emotions, instead. Satan will blind our eyes and our minds to the truth through his subtle lies, which he introduces into our minds, too. He will try to get us to question the sovereignty of God over our lives or the Lord’s ability to meet our every need, and he will try to convince us that we need to follow our feelings and meet our own needs, our way.

One of the biggest lies of Satan right now, that many church leaders are spreading, is that God’s grace to us requires nothing of us whatsoever – no obedience, no repentance, and no submission to Christ and to his cross. They convince people that coming to faith in Jesus Christ is merely repeating words after someone else, or it is a mere acknowledgment of who Jesus was and to what he did for us, or that it is a mere acceptance of his forgiveness of our sins, and thus we are guaranteed eternal life with God no matter how we live our lives from that moment forward.

But, those are lies of Satan who wants to keep us bound in our sin and not walking in freedom, continually giving in to our flesh, while claiming God’s grace covers it all, because Satan wants us living in defeat.

Take Up Your Cross
Mark 8:34-38 NASB (cf. Lu. 9:23-25)

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

So, Jesus let us know here, and in other places, too, what it means to be one of his followers, and what is required of us in order to have the hope of eternal life with God. And, it all really comes down to us having a biblical understanding of God’s grace and his plan of salvation for our lives.

You will hear me say this over and over again, because it needs to be said, because these “pernicious leeches” are working hard against the truth, and they are making great strides in sucking the lifeblood of Jesus Christ right out of the lives of those who might be true followers of Christ.

God’s grace to us is not freedom to continue in our sin without guilt. God’s grace instructs us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions (lusts) and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return. True belief in Jesus Christ means we die with Christ to sin that we might live with Christ to righteousness. Jesus didn’t die just to forgive us our sins. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us.

If we claim to have fellowship with God, but we still walk (conduct our lives) in darkness (sin, wickedness), we are liars. It is those who walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, who are promised eternal life with God. For, if we walk (live our lives) according to our flesh, fulfilling what our flesh desires, we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God (See: 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8).

Jesus said, in essence, that coming to him in faith means we deny self and daily we die to sin and self and we walk in obedience to him. He said that if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self) that we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives (die to sin and self), for his sake, we will be saved from our sins and have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven. So, this means that our salvation is a lifestyle, not a one-time experience. So, believe Jesus, and reject the lies of these “pernicious leeches.”

Seven Woes 
An Original Work / May 31, 2012

Based off Matthew 23

Woe to you, teachers of the law;
Hypocrites, you keep men from God.
You refuse to obey the truth,
Nor will you permit others to.
You travel o’er land and sea
To win a single convert to you.
When he becomes one
You make him twice as much
A “son of hell” as you are.

Woe to you, blind guides of mankind.
You distort the words of your God.
By your practices you declare
Your oaths mean nothing, though you swear.
You give a tenth of your spices,
But you neglect justice, mercy.
When you focus your
Time and talents on
What is external, you miss out.

Woe to you, who appear so clean,
When inside you are crass and mean.
You work hard to look so upright,
While you hide all your sins inside.
You deceive yourselves when you think
You would not have done what others
Did to God’s messengers
And prophets of old,
For you will do much the same.
You’re to blame.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for these instructions and these warnings. May we take them to heart and obey them. Amen!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Love for Spouse


As Christ Loved the Church
Ephesians 5:25-27 ESV

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

The reason I am listing the husband first, out of order from what it is in the passage of scripture, is because Christ loved us first, so that we could then love him. And, the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. So, the husband, too, needs to love his wife first, as Christ loves us, which will then make it easier for his wife to love him back.

Also, I am listing the husband first because he is the head of the household, and he is the one who is to lead his wife and children spiritually, but not just with words, but by his lifestyle, i.e. by his example, as the shepherd of that family, his pasture, his flock (See: 1 Pet. 5:1-4).  

Jesus literally gave his life up for us. He willingly suffered and died for our freedom, so that we could be holy and blameless in God’s sight. And, this is how you, husbands, should love your wives, even if you don’t believe in God or Jesus, but especially if you claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ. For, a follower of Christ is one who obeys, shows respect for, and emulates Jesus.

So, you should emulate Christ in how he loves us, and love your wives in the same manner, self-sacrificially, in purity, and in truth, treating her with great honor, value and respect, and leading her by example in how to live a holy life committed to God and to his service. So, this means that you need to be walking in purity, honesty, righteousness, holiness, uprightness, integrity, honor, and love, in the power and working of God’s righteousness.

But, if you are not, that is no excuse. You don’t get an out. Just because you are floundering in your sin doesn’t mean you are excused from your responsibility. You can’t lead by example if you are not living it, so live it. Don’t keep on in your lust, selfishness and greed, and then opt out of your responsibility before God to be the man of God and the husband you ought to be. And, then don’t demand that your wife do her part if you are not willing to do your part first. God made you the head, so be who he made you to be, only model Christ and his love for his church. Don’t be an ogre.

As Your Own Body
Ephesians 5:28-33 ESV

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Do you love yourself more than you love God? More than you love your wife? Do you care more about your needs than you do your wife’s? Do you care more about what you want than you do about what God desires? Do you care more about what you lust after than you do about your wife’s heart? Or, do you regularly trample on her heart? Don’t answer these questions with words. Words mean nothing if they are not followed up with action.

Answer these questions by honestly evaluating your own life and how you live it day in and day out. What does your lifestyle say about you? About how much you care for yourself and how much you care about God and your wife? What you give your time to, your passion, your desire, your money, your thoughts, and your habits says a lot about you. It speaks volumes concerning who is number 1 in your life, and who is in last place.

I am going to be quite frank here. If you, as a man, are spending your time, money, thinking, and desire on pornography, lusting after other people, in even mild flirtations with another, or on masturbation, you are committing adultery against your wife every time you engage in any of those activities. God sees it as no different from you having sex outside of marriage. You are not only not loving your wife, but you are treating her with hate (disdain). So, then don’t be surprised if she is not jumping for joy over the idea of being intimate with you. There is no intimacy where there is no faithfulness.

When we marry, we become one flesh, but if you (husband or wife) commit adultery against one another, you then become one flesh with whomever you have committed adultery. The intimacy, fellowship and trust have now been broken with your spouse, and the only way to restore that back to what it should be is for you to flee temptation to sin, resist Satan, throw off whatever is leading you into sin, and walk in obedience to your Lord, in humble submission to his will for your life. And, then love (honor, cherish and value) your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

You want your wife to respect you? Then live rightly. Don’t cheat on her, lie to her, devalue her, treat her like a sex object, and commit adultery against her. Don’t betray her trust. Earn her trust. Prove yourself faithful. Love her as you do your own self. Consider her needs above your own. Don’t be selfish and think only of yourself. Don’t make yourself or your own body your idol (your god) which you worship, either. Don’t be one flesh with yourself, having an affair with yourself, but be one flesh with her, instead.

Submission to Husbands
Ephesians 5:22-24 ESV

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

So, the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, and the wife is to submit to her husband as to the Lord, and as the church submits to Christ.

So, what this is saying is that there is a parallel between the relationship Christ has with his church, and his church has with him, and that of the relationship between a husband and a wife.

If the husband, thus, is loving his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that she might be holy and blameless, then us wives should have no problem at all with being in submission to our husbands. For, our husbands should not be requiring anything of us that Christ does not demand of his own.

But, it gets sticky, I believe, when a professing Christian husband, in particular, is not living a Christian life, but is living an immoral life and is living in adultery against his wife, and his desires are not God’s desires, but are those of lust, selfish desire and wickedness. If we are to submit as we do to the Lord, and as the church does to the Lord, then we should not submit to anything that is contrary to scripture and is against the Lord. So, when it says to submit in “everything,” it does not include what is evil.

This is what I believe here. Jesus Christ sets the example for us in what this means. He did not give way to the Pharisees who were trying to get him to bow to them. He always followed the law of love. He didn’t dance their dance. They were wrong, and he called them on it. Although they were in positions of power and authority, he never compromised truth or righteousness in order to submit to them, nor did he participate in any evil.

Also, Jesus is never unfaithful to us. He does not lie to us, betray us, cheat on us, be cruel and hateful to us and then expect us to cozy up to him. He is not selfish, but he considered his life as nothing in comparison to what his sacrifice would mean for our salvation. And, I am certainly not saying here that we all have to be perfect. But, what I am saying is that we need to treat one another as Christ treats us, and not willfully, knowingly and with no conscience treat one another with hate and then expect intimacy in return.

So, how did/does Jesus love us? He gave up his own life, his own reputation, and was willing to suffer, to be mistreated, to be hated and persecuted, and even be put to death so that we could go free from our addiction to sin. And, that is how I believe wives should also love their husbands.

Thus, if your husband is caught in adultery, and if he is not willing to repent, then you need to be willing to be hated and misjudged and persecuted by him in order to help your husband be free of his addiction, i.e. in order for you to stand for truth and righteousness and against what is evil.

In other words, we should not participate with our spouses in anything that feeds that addiction, or that gives them permission to continue in it, even if they make fun of us, mock us, get angry with us or whatever. We need to speak the truth in love, and live the truth in love, too. We need to love our husbands as Christ loved the church, too. And, we need to set boundaries just like Jesus does for his church, but in our marriages, and not accept anything less.

Basically, we all need to be living what we profess and we need to be treating one another with the kind of love Christ has for us, his bride. But, especially, if you are the man, you have the stronger responsibility before God, as the leader of the home, to set the right example in loving your wife as Christ loves us.

Seven Woes  
An Original Work / May 31, 2012

Based off Matthew 23

Woe to you, teachers of the law;
Hypocrites, you keep men from God.
You refuse to obey the truth,
Nor will you permit others to.
You travel o’er land and sea
To win a single convert to you.
When he becomes one
You make him twice as much
A “son of hell” as you are.

Woe to you, blind guides of mankind.
You distort the words of your God.
By your practices you declare
Your oaths mean nothing, though you swear.
You give a tenth of your spices,
But you neglect justice, mercy.
When you focus your
Time and talents on
What is external, you miss out.

Woe to you, who appear so clean,
When inside you are crass and mean.
You work hard to look so upright,
While you hide all your sins inside.
You deceive yourselves when you think
You would not have done what others
Did to God’s messengers
And prophets of old,
For you will do much the same.
You’re to blame.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for Your love.

Count Your Blessings


This hymn is really speaking to my heart today. Sometimes we can get overburdened by the cares of this world and forget all that God has blessed us with. When we praise the Lord, and we count our blessings, and we don’t focus all our attention on the burdens we bear, but we focus our minds and our hearts on all that God has done in our lives, and through our lives, and all the good he has brought into our lives, then we experience much peace and joy, even in the midst of great conflict and persecution.

Count Your Blessings  

Hymn by Johnson Oatman, Jr.
pub.1897, copyright status is Public Domain

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Enemies of God


Who are God’s Enemies?

They are those who oppose the proclamation of the full gospel message, and who try to prevent others from believing the truth. They are also false teachers who twist the truths of scripture to their own advantage in order to gain followers after themselves, not followers of Christ. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing, pretending to be one thing while living another. Their teaching leaves their followers still living in sin, not in victory over sin, for they coddle sin while they reject righteousness (See: Ac. 13:1-12).

“But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, ‘You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.’”

They are also believers in Jesus Christ who are living in spiritual adultery against God who are lovers of the world of sin rather than lovers of God. Although they claim to be followers of Christ, they live not much different from the ungodly, for they have similar thinking, attitudes, values, morals and behaviors as those who make no profession of Christ. Therefore, they are double-minded, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. They are not one with Christ in mind, but they are having a love affair with themselves, doing what pleases their flesh, rather than living to please God (See: Jas. 4:1-10).

“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

And, they are those who oppose the Lord’s servants, including they will be members of our own households, i.e. of our own families. For, when we follow Jesus Christ with our lives, in full surrender to his will for our lives, we will be rejected and hated by many who disregard or hate what we believe and what we stand for.

We will be opposed by many who refuse to submit to Christ and his Lordship over their lives, who choose what they want over what God wants, and who are not willing to lay down their own selfish wills in order to follow Christ, to do his will, and to love others as Christ loves us. For, they choose to please their own fleshly lusts, instead (See: Matt. 10:34-39).

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

This is a sampling of who God’s enemies are, but simply put, they are those who reject the ways of God to follow after the ways of the flesh, who do not honor God with their lives, but who live to please themselves, i.e. their flesh. And, they are those who have not trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. They have not died with Christ to sin in order that they might live with Christ to righteousness (See: Phil. 3:17-21; cf. Gal. 6:7-8).

“For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”

Enemies Scattered
Psalm 68:1-2, 21, 28, 30 ESV

God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered;    and those who hate him shall flee before him!As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away;    as wax melts before fire,    so the wicked shall perish before God! “But God will strike the heads of his enemies,    the hairy crown of him who walks in his guilty ways.” “Summon your power, O God,    the power, O God, by which you have worked for us…Rebuke the beasts that dwell among the reeds,    the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples.Trample underfoot those who lust after tribute;    scatter the peoples who delight in war.”

One day God is going to judge his enemies. There will be a final judgment, at which time those who are enemies of God will face the punishment of their sin, which is eternity in the fires of hell (or the lake of fire). But, there will be a judgment on this earth prior to that, at which time God will pour out his wrath on the earth and many people will die.

Yet, I believe scripture teaches that, during this time, many will come to faith in Jesus Christ, and the church, the bride of Christ, will make herself pure (holy), i.e. she will be revived (Rev. 19:7). For, this judgment is first of all directed at the church living in adultery against her Lord. And, for those who overcome, there will be eternal rewards (See: Rev. 2-3).

During this time of judgment on the earth, there will be a separation of those who truly are following Jesus Christ with their lives, and those who are not, some of whom are pretending they are while they live secretive sinful lifestyles, some of which are sexually perverted. For, there will be no more middle of the road or double-mindedness. It will be abundantly clear who are on God’s side and who are enemies of the cross of Christ.

But, our Lord also disciplines, chastises, rebukes and reproves his children as a normal course of their lives in order that they might resist Satan, flee temptation, and draw near to God, that we might share in his holiness. So, this is for our good (See: Heb. 12:1-17).

God “disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

The Righteous Be Glad
Psalm 68:3-6 ESV

But the righteous shall be glad;    they shall exult before God;    they shall be jubilant with joy!Sing to God, sing praises to his name;    lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;his name is the Lord;    exult before him!Father of the fatherless and protector of widows    is God in his holy habitation.God settles the solitary in a home;    he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,    but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

Who are the righteous? They are all those who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) and Savior of their lives. They have been born again of the Spirit of God (spiritually), died with Christ to sin, and are now living with Christ to righteousness. They are those who are walking according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, who are not making sin their practice, but who are making righteousness their practice (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

They are also the persecuted who are suffering for righteousness’ sake because of their walks of faith, their beliefs and their practices. They are those who are being opposed because they are sharing the truth of the gospel of our salvation, and because they are not diluting the gospel message to make it more appealing to human flesh.

They are not compromising with the world (or the worldly church), and thus they are being mistreated, rejected, and cast aside. Some of them are even being invited to leave the gatherings of “the church” to go someplace else where they will be a “better fit.”

The reason for this is that so much of today’s church has gone the way of the world, and they are following humans instead of God, and they are following humanistic philosophy and business marketing schemes, which are opposed to God and to the working of the Holy Spirit, so they are also opposed to those who are Christ’s faithful followers. So, those who are following Jesus Christ with their lives truly do not “fit” in these settings.

But, there is encouragement here for the righteous. Our hope and our security is not found in other humans or in human institutions. Our hope and our security is found in Jesus Christ alone. He is our source of strength, our hope, our foundation and our security.

So, even though our enemies pursue us to destroy us, we can still rejoice and be glad. For, our Lord looks after us, not to do us harm, but to do us good, even if he allows us to have enemies and to face their wrath. For, he will bring good out of it in our lives, and he will carry us through it all, and through it all we will mature in Christ.

Your Lord is with You
An Original Work / August 14, 2016

Based off Various Scriptures

Fear not for your Lord is with you.
He will not leave you, nor will He abandon you.
When you walk through valleys of life’s rough ways,
You must fear no evil, for God is near.
Be of courage, then, and be not dismayed,
For your Lord is with you throughout your days.
Fear not for your Lord is with you.
He will not leave you, nor will He abandon you.

Trust Him with your life and witness.
He’ll go before you, and He will prepare the way.
The Lord is our helper, so we’ll not fear.
He will strengthen us. He sees all our tears.
Do not be afraid, but to God do pray,
And the peace of God will be yours today.
Trust Him with your life and witness.
He’ll go before you, and He will prepare the way.

My God, He is my Rock and my Shield
And the Horn of my salvation, whom I praise.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
Drew me out of waters so deep I’d sink.
My God turned my darkness into His light;
Opened up my blinded eyes, gave me sight.
My God, He is my Rock and my Shield
And the Horn of my salvation, whom I praise.


Sunday, June 17, 2018 – Thank you, Jesus, for these encouraging words.