Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Checking the Limit

Luke 4:Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you,’

11 and,

‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”

12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ 

13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.


“I can make it” I said to myself as I raced to catch a plane. I did not factor in spontaneous excessive traffic and I missed the plane. “I can make it” I said again as the low fuel light glowed for miles. I ran out of gas. “I can make it” I said yet again as I sprinted for the train. When I tripped up the stairs my case opened up and papers flew everywhere. I missed the train.

  • There were times when I cut it too close.
  • There were times when I did not get what I was chasing after because I missed the cut off.
  • There were times when I pushed the limit and wound up in worse shape.

JESUS was tempted to commit suicide by the devil. “Push the limit and have the angels save you IF YOU are GOD’s SON” slyly stated the devil. BUT JESUS knew HIS tricks.

  • JESUS says to me “Follow all of MY ways and you will be safe.”
  • JESUS says to me “True freedom comes from the truth and I AM the truth.”
  • JESUS says to me “You shall not tempt the LORD your GOD.”

Staying away from the boundaries has always been the problem with humanity, especially me. Adam and Eve could not stay away from the tree of knowledge, and I have fallen into known sins. BUT JESUS did not get fooled. HE kept every word of GOD in order to redeem me. HE guides me away from the boundaries of sin to the middle of HIS love.

  • Are you busy pushing GOD’s boundaries, trying to see what you can get away with?
  • Do you think that just because you can do something that goes against what GOD says, you will get away with it?
  • Will you stop pushing the limits of GOD and accept HIS love, grace and mercy for you today?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Fine Print

Luke 4:Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”

And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ 


“Just hang with me and you will be alright” was the promise from one of the higher ups to me. At dinner, he drank until he could hardly speak and flirted with the wait staff.  As I walked him and others to his suite in the convention hotel and he suggested we do this again tomorrow only this time bring more people so we could really party.

  • There were times when I had to decide between career and virtues.
  • There were times when I had to decide between money and character.
  • There were times when I had to decide between the crowd and the lone trail.

As a human JESUS was relegated to decide between supernatural comforts of life versus an uncomfortable low quality human existence. Greed, power, fame and lust were now possibilities presented to JESUS BUT HE knew that the fine print of the contract would cause all humans to be lost.

  • JESUS wants me to decide to follow HIM versus the very tempting roads presented to me.
  • JESUS wants me to decide to follow HIM versus the blind road the world presents.
  • JESUS wants me to decide to follow HIM versus following the fears of money, the lusts for power, and the desires of constant pleasure.

Some of the temptations sound perfectly fine and logical. I mean who wouldn’t want riches and the ability to satisfy any lust one could imagine? GOD says to me “Control yourself and follow MY lead so you may be protected from the world.”

People may laugh at this choice because it doesn’t look “successful.” BUT GOD loves when I follow HIM and ignore the jeers from those who poke fun at my plain life. Being amazed at GOD daily is more important than people temporarily following me for my five minutes of fame.

  • Are you seeking fame and power?
  • Do you think you would be better off if you were extremely wealthy?
  • Can you stop trying to fix your problems with money and give all your issues to the LORD who knows just what to do with them?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Identity Meal

Luke 4:And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ 


“Aren’t you in charge?” questioned the salesperson trying to poke at my ego. The decision could cost the company millions so my answer had to be correct. “Being in charge is not what is in question right now” was my reply.

  • Some people have questioned “my” authority and it made me furious.
  • Some people have checked up on me even when I said who I was.
  • Some people have doubted “my” role even when they knew what my role was.

“If YOU are the SON of GOD” were the words the devil used to question JESUS’s validity of being the CHRIST. His next ploy was to tempt JESUS into doing parlor tricks with HIS infinite power.  JESUS showed me extreme constraint.

  • GOD wants me to grow in power to forgive those who are hard to forgive.
  • GOD wants me to grow in strength to have mercy on those who get on my last nerve.
  • GOD wants me to grow in courage to speak about HIM instead of easily conforming to what the world would say.

JESUS had the choice of eating a meal to prove HIS identity to the devil or possibly dying because HE had not eaten in forty days. JESUS chose to put HIS circumstance in the FATHER’s hands implying “I would rather die following what is right than to be comfortable for two seconds.”

GOD wants me to do the same. HE wants me to sometimes say “No” to the plot of the world. When the world says “Why don’t you work hard for moments of pleasure and stuff” GOD wants me to think about HIS kingdom and chose HIS way. 

Sometimes I choose pleasure, BUT GOD rewards me when I say “I will not live by bread alone, but by every word of GOD.”

  • Are you caught up in trying to prove who you are to people?
  • Do you think a title or a contract or a job will define you?
  • Can you stop thinking about “what” defines you rather than “WHO” defines you, namely GOD?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Wilderness Training

Luke 3: Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.


“Do you want to hang out with us?” was code for “Let’s go out drinking, dancing and laughing all night.” Yes was my normal answer, but this time a strange word came out of my mouth. “No” I said. One guy would not take “no” for an answer. “There will be lots of honey’s there” he said trying to change my answer. “Hmm, I don’t have anything to do.” I thought to myself.

  • There was a time when the purpose of my life was focused on maximizing relaxation.
  • There was a time when I pursued as much pleasure as possible.
  • There was a time when I spent an enormous amount of time and money on “fun.”

JESUS was led into the wilderness by the HOLY SPIRIT. For forty days HE did not experience pleasure or comfort. HE did not eat so HIS body was weak. At HIS weakest moments the devil tempted HIM, but HE held strong. Each temptation HE denied only made HIM stronger.

  • JESUS wants me to bypass temptation little by little in order to get stronger.
  • JESUS wants me to purposefully focus on growing in HIM little by little.
  • JESUS wants me to follow HIS example knowing I will fail, but try again and again with HIS help.

JESUS had to remain sinless in order to redeem a sinful world. HE does not require me to be sinless, because I cannot redeem mankind. HE does want me to know that the less I sin the more of HIS power can be shown.

HE somehow rewards me when I turn from temptation, but it takes practice in order to do it. HE sees when I fail, but more importantly HE sees when I succeed in passing up the temptation in order to further HIS kingdom. JESUS knows my every weakness and still has total grace for me.

  • Do you feel like a failure to GOD?
  • Do you feel like you are not being good enough?
  • Will you stop trying so hard to be good and allow GOD to transform you little by little at HIS pace to do HIS will?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Background Check

Luke 3: 23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the sonof Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.


Fascinated with my ancestry, I asked my parents and grandparents to remember names of relatives as far back as they could go. I was amazed at the fortitude of my family and wondered how we even survived.

  • Family history has strengthened my relationship with GOD.
  • Family history has shown me the good and the bad of humanity.
  • Family history has given me faith in GOD who controls everything.

JESUS’s human lineage was traced back to the first human, Adam. It is a wonder humanity survived. HIS ancestry was spread over years of violence that almost wiped out humans, BUT GOD intervened.

  • GOD’s plan cannot be altered by wars and rumors of wars that affect my family.
  • GOD’s plan cannot be changed by people in my ancestry who may have made huge mistakes.
  • GOD’s plan cannot be modified by the difficulties of life that hurt my family.

Whether it was a depression, slavery or a hostile takeover of a neighboring village, my ancestors made it by the grace of GOD. JESUS shows me that good can come out of hurt and life can spring out of meager beginnings.

  • Are you blaming your family on where you are?
  • Do you think the circumstances of the times altered your family history so you would either fail or succeed?
  • Can you look at the history of your family and be amazed that GOD has your ancestry as part of HIS amazing plan for you?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

That’s what it’s all about

Luke 3: 21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”


One single endorsement was all that was needed. JESUS prayed and the HEAVENLY FATHER opened up heaven and said “YOU are MY beloved SON; in YOU I AM well pleased.” This statement declared JESUS as being the SON of GOD.

  • JESUS became a human to save me.
  • JESUS lived HIS life sinless as an example to me.
  • JESUS was baptized to show me what I should do to others.

Life is all about JESUS. HE guides me and many others through HIS HOLY SPIRIT. HE loves like no other and pursues me daily. JESUS along with the HOLY SPIRIT and the FATHER are always there for me.

  • Have you pondered JESUS?
  • Do you recognize that JESUS is GOD?
  • Can you focus your attention on HIS power today?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Meeting Expectations

Luke 3: 15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, 16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

18 And with many other exhortations he preached to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, 20 also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.


Nervously I opened my mouth and told a person about my belief in CHRIST. I could not tell if he was joking or not about his thought on GOD’s existence but I was moved to say something at the lunchroom table.

When the words came out, I felt better and did not care as much whether I would be labeled as weird. This was my first time speaking about GOD to someone outside of my comfort zone.

  • There were times when I wanted to just blend into the crowd.
  • There were times when I wanted to simply be like everyone else.
  • There were times when I wanted to meet the crowd’s expectation of me and fit in like the rest.

The people set expectations on John by asking “Who is this guy?” Some said he was The CHRIST, others thought he was a prophet, but all had to listen to him as he spoke candidly about their sins, even royalty. GOD wants me to speak up as well.

  • JESUS says to me “I will baptize people with the HOLY SPIRIT and with fire.”
  • JESUS says to me “I will gather the wheat you plant in the souls of people I send to you or send you to.”
  • JESUS says to me “I will burn up the wasted efforts of those who do not turn to ME.”

Life is short. Everything I do and say will one day be accounted for and it is up to me to listen to the HOLY SPIRIT each day in order to make the best out of life. When I am not selfish and follow what GOD wants me to do, HE counts it as fruit and rewards me generously.

  • What are you spending your time on?
  • Are you squeezing GOD out of your life to the point that you cannot hear HIM?
  • Do you spend enormous amounts of time meeting human’s expectations?
  • Can you stop trying to please people and look to pleasing GOD today?