Friday, May 26, 2017

Series of Events

Matthew 17: 24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”

26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”


Walking past the corner house of a friend’s block I looked down and there I found a crisp dollar bill. Excitedly I picked it up and went on my merry way. Soon I found myself staring at the yard intently because I found all kinds of treasure like rulers, jewelry, pens and balls. Who would lose a ball? What an amazing yard I thought to myself.

  • Many times I have not credited GOD for something amazing.
  • Many times I thought “luck” existed.
  • Many times I attributed a house or a shirt or a yard as having special powers.

Looking back I realize I never praised GOD for those amazing finds. Peter on the other hand was told before the miracle happened exactly the amount he would find.

GOD knew way before that someone would lose a coin and a specific fish would mistake the coin for food and swallow it. At the right time, that same fish would get hungry and get caught by Peter.

  • GOD performs miracles daily that I cannot account for.
  • GOD can use a discomforting eyelash to distract the bully as the person is too preoccupied to focus on me.
  • GOD can have someone lose money only to be found by the right person at the right time.

JESUS was pointing out how unfair the tax collectors were, yet HE yielded to their greed. It is quite possible that the coin in the fish was dropped from the collector himself. Only JESUS knows the series of events that leads up to a miracle I benefit from.

  • Have you ever found something at the right time?
  • Have you ever thanked GOD for your finding?
  • Will you allow GOD to work out your problems HIS way?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Missed Message

Matthew 17: 22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.


“We are going to leave you here while we do some business so you can play with the other children” my parents said to me. I was highly upset and began to cry. When I got older I had to go with them to do errands. “Will this ever end? I want to play with my friends” I thought to myself.

  • Sometimes I miss the initial message of good news.
  • Sometimes I think everything is crumbling when it actually is bright and cheery.
  • Sometimes the bad news is all I hear even when the good news is coupled with it.

JESUS was a miracle machine! HE was healing people left and right. Mobs gathered to wait for HIM to hear HIM speak. They just knew HE would someday be a king, but in an earthly sense. When they heard the news of HIS impending death they were “filled with grief.” BUT GOD had a much better plan.

  • GOD’s plans for me are always better than I could ever imagine.
  • GOD’s plans for me are higher than I could ever think of.
  • GOD’s plans for me are to prosper me in HIS way and in HIS time.

JESUS had to be blamed and murdered in order to fulfill all prophecy spoken about HIM. HE remained sinless to be worthy enough to open the scroll of judgment on the earth. By HIS death and resurrection humanity could be saved. This is far better than a temporary king who would die off in a few years.

GOD wants me to hear HIS wonderful message even when bad news comes. HIS message to me is “I love you.”

  • Have you recently received bad news?
  • Do you replay bad news over and over in your head?
  • Can you stop thinking about the negative thoughts for a moment to listen to GOD’s message of grace and love for you?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Nothing is Impossible

Matthew 17: 14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”


Faith is a strange thing. It is not enveloped in my lust, desires or sight. It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. But what should I hope for? Should I hope to be the richest person on the planet? Should I hope that a person be healed from a terminal illness?

  • GOD loves when I align my desires with HIS.
  • GOD sees my tiny faith and couples it to HIS.
  • GOD gets excited when I use my faith for something HE believes in.

Sometimes I thought faith was having magical powers to do some impossible things… quite the contrary. GOD wants me to believe HE can do anything and have the faith to watch the situation unfold in HIS timing.

  • Faith takes time to grow as I account for the many times GOD has rescued me.
  • Faith means I watch GOD at work daily to understand just how amazing HE is.
  • Faith is quite powerful and only comes from GOD.

When I think “I” have to have faith I fail. When I believe GOD can do anything and I rely on HIM I succeed abundantly!

  • Do you have faith in GOD?
  • Do you believe HE can do anything?
  • Will you allow HIM to handle the situation, HIS way in HIS time?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Nothing Else Needed

Matthew 17: When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.


“Salvation is free, all you need to do is believe” I was told, so I did. I believed that I was saved from an eternal state of hell. “What a relief!” I thought to myself. But as time went on, problems arose. Maybe my salvation came a little too easy. “I better try to be saved a little harder by not sinning as much” I thought to myself.

  • Sometimes I try to supplement what JESUS has already done.
  • Sometimes I put up rules to make me feel saved by accomplishments.
  • Sometimes I tell GOD “Look at what I have done” as if to say “I deserve salvation.”

GOD made salvation so easy that all I need to do is believe in HIS position, power and my problem of sin. It is that simple. But over time I thought salvation meant doing a whole bunch of stuff that seemed righteous in order to “remain” saved. I became exhausted!

  • GOD’s salvation of me is permanent.
  • GOD’s declaration that I am saved is final.
  • GOD’s decree of my salvation is everlastingly written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

“No one can pluck you from MY hand” is what GOD says to me, not even myself. GOD’s declarations are eternal. I do not have to wait on anything else to happen. JESUS has already been raised from the dead. My belief in HIM through the measure of faith HE has provided me is all I need.

  • Do you feel that following GOD is difficult?
  • Do you try really hard to please GOD but feel like a failure?
  • Can you stop thinking so lowly of GOD and allow HIM to love you and protect you the way HE wants to?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Greatest Conversation

Matthew 17: After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”


Somehow, Peter knew who Moses and Elijah were without ever seeing them or meeting them. He was out of his mind as he blurted out his desire to help. I wonder what they were doing there. What were they discussing?

  • On a daily basis I can have a conversation with GOD.
  • Each and every day I can discuss JESUS for whom the FATHER is well pleased.
  • Daily I can seek to talk about JESUS with others.

Listening to JESUS is the most important conversation I could ever have. THE FATHER makes it very clear that I should do so. HE showed JESUS in a transfigured manner letting me know there is more to JESUS than what is written.

  • Are you listening to yourself or JESUS?
  • Are you quieting down to hear HIS voice?
  • Can you stop talking about humans and talk about JESUS today?

Friday, May 12, 2017

I Can and I Will

Matthew 16: 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”


“What will they think of me?” was my question when asked to go to church. I was the life of the party for a change. I had been “Goody-goody” for a long time. It seemed like I should be able to do some sinning for a while.

“What will they think of me?” was my question when asked to send a simple faith filled voicemail throughout the company. I mean I was the leader of a very large and influential portion of the company. I had to protect my perception right? Wrong!

  • I have been embarrassed to speak about JESUS.
  • I have been too filled with sin to speak about JESUS.
  • I have been so proud of my accomplishments that I did not want to risk losing “my” position to speak about JESUS.

GOD says to me “If you are ashamed of ME then I will be ashamed of you” and I was truly ashamed of HIM. Human standards got in the way of my living for CHRIST. I bowed to the thought of “You can’t pray here” or “We don’t want you to even speak about JESUS here” even though no one said those words to me.

  • JESUS wants me to shine my light before men on a daily basis.
  • JESUS wants me to be salt in a world where salt is rejected.
  • JESUS wants me to take up my cross by denying myself.

Losing my life means a lot. It means I can pray for all who pass me in the hallways. It means I do not have to be angry at “those” people, instead I can ask GOD for “our” forgiveness. It means I can open my home to my neighbors for JESUS’ purpose instead of hiding my affiliation with HIM.

GOD wants my family, my business, my job, my school, my house, my car, my clothes, my wealth, my desires and lastly my health. HE can do with them as HE pleases and I should learn to praise HIM when I try to hold onto any of them. HE can pry them from my hands in a hurtful way or I can freely give them to HIM, praising HIM along the way.

  • What are you holding onto?
  • Can you give GOD your home or your office or your school by inviting others into it to learn from HIM?
  • Will you take GOD to work with you today and pray for all who pass you?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Putting Words in Mouths

Matthew 16: 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”


“You won’t die” were my words to the person I donated blood platelets to. I mean this was my desire and I truly meant it with the best intentions. BUT GOD had other intentions.

  • Sometimes when I speak about GOD, humanity is mixed in.
  • Sometimes when I talk about HIS power, my sinfulness is mixed in.
  • Sometimes when I utter words about GOD, I place my desires over HIS supremacy.

“GOD won’t do this” or “GOD won’t do that” may be my hopes, but may not be quite true. Peter did not know GOD’s wonderful purpose of saving mankind. He saw JESUS as the next great leader who had some better parlor tricks than anyone else. His statement “YOU are the CHRIST” was doused by saying “YOU won’t die”.

Peter did not know GOD’s intention to save the world through HIS death and resurrection so he put words in HIS mouth.  

  • GOD wants me to ask what to say before I speak.
  • GOD wants me to tell the truth in love speaking only from what GOD has to say.
  • GOD wants me to not be afraid to give the hard news of the reality of HIS plan.

Worry ensues when I go against GOD’s plan. When HE wants to “ruin” me and I don’t want to be ruined, I worry and perhaps put words in HIS mouth. HE has taken me down many times only to build me up better than before. Following GOD’s plan means I allow HIM to be supreme. I do not have to place human words in HIS mouth.

  • Are you secretly trying to steer GOD?
  • Do you find yourself trying to get your way by saying you are exercising faith but you are really exercising worry?
  • Can you stop trying to manipulate the situation and allow GOD to transform you into something greater?