Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Standing Strong

Matthew 7: 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”


Watching my car get towed away was the “last straw.” I no longer had transportation, I no longer had money and I had plenty of bills. I simply wanted to just sit in a corner away from everyone!

  • There have been some rough times when I just wanted to give up.
  • There have been some difficult times when I felt like nothing was going right.
  • There have been some extreme times when it seemed like I had no help and “everything” was crashing to the ground.

Years later I took a leadership course giving me several habits to believe in “me.” Up to this point I had already relied on my intuition so this course was a natural fit. When I completed the course I still felt empty. What happens when a problem occurs that is much larger than the power of “me?” GOD had an answer.

  • GOD says to me “Listen to MY words and put them into action.”
  • GOD says to me “Build your fortitude on MY promises to protect you.”
  • GOD says to me “When you place your trust in ME you will not fall.”

Slowly I stopped depending on my wit and started placing more trust in GOD. I began walking down the scary road of not always needing to know what the future had to hold. When the difficult times came I began to ask GOD how HE wanted to handle the situation rather than springing into action.

Prayer began to pop into my head as the answer rather than the question. GOD is a firm foundation for which I place my trust!

  • Are you being blown around by life?
  • Do you feel like you have reached your wits end?
  • Do you feel like giving up?
  • Will you stop relying on your own power and start looking at GOD for your answers?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Trying to Convince

Matthew 7: 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’


Scared half to death I read this passage. I mean who can be sure they are saved if this is written? Also, the statement “Away from ME, you evildoers!” seems pretty permanent.

  • It is quite possible for me to act righteous and not be righteous.
  • It is quite possible for me to preach about JESUS and not believe in HIS position, power or protection.
  • It is quite possible for me to actually drive out demons and perform miracles in JESUS name without believing “in JESUS name.”

Mimicking a follower of CHRIST is still effective because GOD’s word does not return void. In other words, even if I did not believe in what I am saying, the words are still true. I can say “GOD sent HIS SON to save the world” but if I do not believe HE saved me, then I have wasted my words. What can make me sure?

  • GOD says to me “But the one who does the will of MY FATHER who is in Heaven will enter.”
  • GOD says to me “Follow MY SON for who I AM well pleased.”
  • GOD says to me “Be led by the HOLY SPIRIT and all will be well with you.

A sigh of relief came over me when I saw what I overlooked. GOD simply wants me to do HIS will and stop trying to impress the crowds by pretending to hear from HIM. GOD speaks to me daily through HIS word and when it says to stop, keep going or stand up, I need to obey immediately.

GOD wants my total attention and while I am still a bit nervous about this passage, HE enables me to clearly see that I can humble myself to obey HIS will. I do not have to “try to convince” GOD that I am doing HIS will when I am doing HIS will.

  • Are you mimicking?
  • Do you have dishonorable motives of leading a group or getting rich off of GOD?
  • Can you stop using HIS people and seek GOD’s will for them?
  • Will you stop siding with humans and ask GOD to lead you with HIS HOLY SPIRIT?

Friday, January 27, 2017

You Will Be Recognized

Matthew 7: 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.


Lying had become a habit to “fit in.” Whatever the subject, I could come up with a story that showed I had either done it, or known someone who did. Then one of my lying friends said something profound about himself… “I’m lying so much that I had to ask myself, what do I have to gain by this particular lie?”

  • Many times I have bared bad fruit.
  • Many times I have tried to fit in rather than stand out for good.
  • Many times I have desired to be what the crowd wanted me to be and I was on a road to destruction.

Nervous and directionless I placed “fitting in” over GOD’s path. Soon I became the center of attention but to what end? When I finally turned back to GOD, “my” crowd looked at me like I was living yet another lie. BUT GOD saw something different.

  • GOD showed me that it is never too late to bear good fruit.
  • GOD explained to me that I can stop baring bad fruit and start baring HIS gracious fruit.
  • GOD endeared to me that HIS fruit is much better than the world’s fruit.

“Okay LORD I will follow YOUR ways” was my step towards maturity. It took some practice and I failed over and over, but eventually GOD gave me the courage to tell the truth. Once I bared my faults I bared good fruit and GOD was well pleased.

  • How are you recognized?
  • Do people see GOD when they see you or do they only see you?
  • Can you stop trying to bear selfish fruit and seek GOD’s amazing fruit?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Way to Go

Matthew 7: 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


“Fun” was what I sought after. I mean “everyone else” seemed to be having “fun” and here I was, by myself, not having any “fun.” I went to church and all I heard was how bad I was and a list of rules I couldn’t follow. “Maybe I should stop going to church and have some FUN!” I thought to myself.

  • Sometimes I want what other people have.
  • Sometimes I desire what other people are going after.
  • Sometimes I crave what the crowd is doing so I can “fit in” with them.

Sex, drinking, and greed were many of the conversations “the crowd” said was okay. It’s okay not to serve GOD or the poor and it’s okay if I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe; was the crowd’s mantra. BUT GOD says something completely different.

  • GOD says to me “Enter the narrow gate which is MY SON, JESUS who is the CHRIST.”
  • GOD says to me “Stay away from the road to destruction which is listed in MY word.”
  • GOD says to me “Find the road that leads to life, namely following JESUS.”

After having ”fun” for a while I found myself at a place where I could not even mention the name of JESUS to anyone around me. “Hypocrite” would be thrown at me if I opened my mouth about GOD because I was not living a lifestyle befitting of HIM, or at least that is what I thought. BUT GOD said something different.

GOD wanted me, in my broken state, to mention how HE rescued me in the “middle” of my sin. HE did not need me to clean myself up in order to mention HIS name. JESUS wiped away my shame and now I can talk freely about my sin without hiding or cowering in the corner. Oh, and by the way, hiding my sin was also me walking on the “broad path.”

  • Are you walking on the broad path?
  • Are you tired of following GOD’s numerous rules?
  • Can you stop for a moment to assess where you are with GOD?
  • Do you have hidden sin that you are not admitting to anyone?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What to Ask For

Matthew 7: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.


New to this “asking” thing, I prayed “Please, please let me win the lottery!” I was sincere and I thought my motives were right because I just wanted to “quickly” help those around me who were in debt, me included. I purchased a ticket and watched zealously. Strangely each number on my ticket was off by exactly one or two. What are the odds?

  • There have been many times I asked for the wrong things.
  • There have been many times I sought after things that were not good for me.
  • There have been many times I knocked on the door that would have led me to my destruction.

Asking, seeking and knocking are powerful, yet dangerous abilities. Sometimes I ask to get into trouble and GOD allows me to do it abundantly, then when I ask to get out of the trial, it seems like HE leaves me there long enough for me to wish I never had asked! What can I ask for?

  • GOD wants me to ask for wisdom, knowledge and understanding in order to grow HIS kingdom.
  • GOD wants me to seek first HIS kingdom so HE can draw all who seek HIM back to HIM.
  • GOD wants me to knock on the hearts of those who have turned their backs on HIM.

Asking for “that” person to be successful or better yet, saved, is what I find being aligned with what GOD wants. If money is required, then I truly have to check my motives to ensure the “ask” is not rooted in all kinds of evil. GOD also wants me to seek out those who are lost. HE then wants me to press on their heart by knocking on the door of their soul.

GOD also knows my needs. HE has granted me stuff, jobs and relationships. HE even showed me the location of my lost keys. HE allows me to ask for anything, but the more I ask for things that align with what HE wants, the more my prayers are answered with “Yes, of course!”

  • Are you asking for something GOD does not want you to have?
  • When is the last time you asked for something that would enable a person to seek GOD?
  • Are you seeking GOD’s kingdom?
  • Will you allow GOD to show you how to knock on someone’s heart to accept JESUS as their Savior?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Fixing People

Matthew 7: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.


New at teaching, I stammered through the lesson about sexual purity. At long last, this was now my Sunday school class and we had a great discussion. When class was over a guy shouted from across the room, “Hey we had a great time at the club last night!” This club was known for drunken single people to meet.

  • There were times when I used to point out other folk’s flaws.
  • There were times when I used to try “saving” people by telling them how wrong they were.
  • There were times when I used to say “Do as I say, not what I do.”

Hypocrisy is the main problem with people fixers and I was public enemy number one. “I” had cleaned myself up, why shouldn’t you? “GOD doesn’t like ‘insert sin’” was my hypocritical statement. While the words may have been true, they never included a confession that I too was committing the same sin.

  • GOD said to me “Do not judge, or you too will be judges.”
  • GOD said to me “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
  • GOD said to me “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

When I started looking at my sins I realized a lot of work was needed in my own house. Before I could “fix” someone else, I needed to get help, but where? GOD sent HIS SON to die, raise and live again. HE did this to eradicate my sins and with that truth, I can help someone remove the spec in their eye. Many times I am asking them to remove the plank in my eye.

  • Are you complaining about someone?
  • Does “that” person or “those” people need to be fixed?
  • Why do you spend so much time talking about someone else when you have not admitted to your own sins?

Monday, January 23, 2017


Matthew 6: 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?


33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


“Oh no, my life is ruined!” I thought to myself. I started calculating what would happen to my life now that I failed the class. “If  I don’t graduate in this particular major, then I won’t get good paying job, then I will be stuck being a janitor the rest of my life!” was my dramatic line of thinking.

  • When I worry I think the worst will happen.
  • When I worry I think of all kinds of bad things that could happen.
  • When I worry I take it a step further and turn it into panic and start reacting to those who are worried around me.

Worry is an evil incessant foe. It rears its ugly head to distract, not only me, but many around me. It invites its friends “panic” and “fear” to join in on the party and soon I found myself blaming GOD for all my ills. “If YOU would have just given me the answers to the test, then I would not be in this mess!” was my immature thought after not studying.

  • GOD says to me “You are more valuable than all the animals I feed daily.”
  • GOD says to me “Seek MY kingdom first on a daily basis and MY righteousness and I will feed and clothe you.”
  • GOD says to me “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

Tomorrow is GOD’s domain and I have not right to be in it at all. GOD wants me to stay in “today” where have an opportunity to praise HIM, serve HIM and be guided by HIM. A sigh of relief comes out of my mouth as I do not have to think about “tomorrow” for today I seek GOD.

  • Are you worried?
  • Do you think your worry can change things?
  • Can you stop worrying for a few moments and praise GOD so HE can help you think straight?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fast Recognition

Matthew 6: 16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


As we were talking about going over someone’s house I think I said, “What time are we leaving? I have to know because I’m fasting.” When we left I think I said “Which way is it to their house? I have to know because I’m fasting. Did I tell you I’m fasting?”

  • Sometimes I want to be recognized for my “righteous” acts.
  • Sometimes I want to be recognized for my “goody-goody” appearance.
  • Sometimes I want to be recognized for my “spiritual” efforts.

“You’re fasting?” was the response I was looking for and I received over and over that day. When I read this verse I realized I could have eaten that day because I was not fasting for GOD.

  • When I fast GOD wants me to keep my normal face on in order to not draw attention to myself.
  • When I fast GOD wants me to not let others know so the fast can be between me and HIM.
  • When I fast GOD wants me to understand that I do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from HIM.

I noticed some important words that GOD says in this passage, “When you fast.” This means GOD expects a fast. These words come right after HE said “When you pray” because HE expects that too.

I have heard others try to explain to me that fasting was only for a group of people at a special time, blah, blah. BUT GOD says to me “I will reward your fasting efforts done in secret.” GOD opens my eyes when I fast and lets me know that survival is not only dependent on physical food but spiritual as well.

  • Are you afraid to fast?
  • Have you been told to fast by a doctor?
  • Why can’t you fast for the LORD?
  • Will you take time out this month and fast for GOD without telling others?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Knowing What is Needed

Matthew 6: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.


“Please let the stock rise higher” was my “prayer-ish” thought. I was trying something new and I wanted to see if it would work. I invested in a “penny” stock to see if I could make some extra cash. I watched the value increase to a point just under my threshold. I figured the value would keep increasing. Suddenly it fell and fell and fell. Weeks later I got a letter stating the stock had no value.

  • Sometimes the motive behind my prayer isn’t the best.
  • Sometimes the method behind my prayer is loud and boisterous.
  • Sometimes the length of my prayer, compared to “that” person, is too long.

Communicating to the GOD of the universe requires thinking sometimes. I mean other times when there is an emergency there may be no time to think. There are other times however that maybe I should stop for a moment and process what I’m about to ask GOD.

  • GOD wants me to take prayer seriously.
  • GOD wants me to have a habit of praying in secret so HE will reward me, not people.
  • GOD wants me to want what HE wants so my prayers can align with HIS will.

Praying to be seen or heard is what GOD seems to be against in this passage. HE sees when I am trying to be the center of attention and rejects the prayer. Since HE wants me to succeed, HE teaches me to pray. HE guides me to acknowledge HIM as supreme, debts, temptation and HIS power to overcome anything.

GOD takes prayer very seriously. Whether eyes open or closed, head up or bowed, GOD takes time to listen to me. HE wants me to pray while walking, driving or in a closet on my knees. GOD listens when I earnestly pray.

  • Are you trying to be seen by others when you pray?
  • Do you feel you pray “better” than “that” person?
  • Will you stop comparing yourself to others or trying to be seen and sincerely pray to the unseen GOD?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

No Announcement Needed

Matthew 6: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


Flipping pages in the program became more and more rapid as I searched for my name. I had given but did not see my name or the amount. “Excuse me!” I stopped someone. “Where is my name?”

  • There were times I wanted to be recognized.
  • There were times I wanted to be the center of attention.
  • There were times I wanted to be noticed because of my giving.

Receiving pats on the back feels really good. I mean having a bunch of people saying “You did well” feels tremendous. BUT GOD wants me to behave a bit different.

  • GOD wants me to give to the needy in secret.
  • GOD wants me to give with the right motive of giving.
  • GOD wants me to give in a way that I will be rewarded by HIM and not by those who will puff me up.

Giving in public sometimes takes the eyes off of the recipient and sadly off of GOD. All of the accolades come towards me, meanwhile no one asks me, “who did you serve and how can I help?” The recipient then thanks “me” and not GOD.

Secret giving enables the recipient to receive something they need, assisting them to focus on GOD as the provider, not me. GOD may have prompted me to take a portion of my wealth and hand it over to those in need and if I am obedient, everyone is rewarded. No accolades needed because GOD is my reward.

  • Are you bragging about what you are giving?
  • Do you feel you need to tell someone about who or how you are serving in order to get a pat on the back?
  • Can you stop seeking accolades and start seeking secret rewards from GOD today?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Perfection at its Best

Matthew 5: 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


“Strong dislike” was the feeling I had towards this guy. I mean he had come along an upended my world simply by being inserted as my boss. He went out of his way to harm me and seemed even more maleficent when I showed any type of resilience.

  • There have been times that I didn’t like a person.
  • There have been people in my life that I could do without.
  • There have been times when I brooded so much over a person that I lost sleep.

Replaying the “criminal” act over and over made me furious. I could not help but conclude that the only answer was to have this person dropped off a mountain while locked in an exploding train met with jagged rocks and a shark pit. Since I couldn’t afford to buy a train, I just sat and fumed.

  • GOD said to me “Love your enemies.”
  • GOD said to me “Pray for those who persecute you.”
  • GOD said to me “Be perfect just as I, your HEAVENLY FATHER, AM perfect.”

Perfection in this example was “Love.” He wanted me to take bitterness and poison out of my heart and replace it with love for those who went out of their way to harm me. It took time to drive out the bitter thinking. I actually found myself praying for this person more and more. Soon I was able to sleep well.

Their onerous acts became child’s play to me. GOD removed the bitterness by showing me how HE handles HIS enemies, namely me. HE forgave me for my sins and allowed me to flourish instead. HE is a great example!

  • Are you bitter about someone?
  • Do you have a long standing grudge with someone?
  • Do you have hatred in your heart over “that” person or “those” people?
  • Will you drop your hatred and replace your poison with GOD’s love?

Friday, January 13, 2017

You are Made Special

Matthew 5: 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


After returning back to church from years of absence, I felt my life was going to get back on track. The next day some guys at work travelled out of town on a business trip and they asked me a question no one had asked me before. “Hey, do you want to come out with us to a strip club?” “Why yes of course I will go with you!” I replied. I didn’t want to look like a wimp even though I was scared!

  • There have been times I went with the crowd when I shouldn’t have.
  • There have been situations that I should have said “NO” to.
  • There have been circumstances when I could have been a good example and decided not to.

Pleasing people sometimes means doing the wrong thing. I went with the crowd and did not find the “fun” the guys wanted me to experience. The next Sunday when I was back in church, I felt slimy and guilty, as if everyone in the congregation had watched me enter the dive.

  • GOD says to me “You are the salt of the earth” and I am supposed to preserve life, add flavor and heal ailments like salt does.
  • GOD says to me “You are the light of the world” and I am supposed to show everyone I meet that HE is first in my life.
  • GOD says to me “ In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Whenever I lose my saltiness or hide my light, I never succeed with my plan. In fact, I find that my plans fall apart rapidly. The crowd that cheered me on to do the wild act disperses and I am left there having to account for my act, alone. GOD wants me to be truthful to HIM and HIM alone.

HE wants me to do HIS deeds on a daily basis so that people can be drawn back to HIM. HE made me so I am supposed to serve HIM all of my life.

  • Are you hiding your GODLY relationship?
  • Are you following the crowd?
  • Can you stop trying to please humans and start trying to please GOD?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

An Approach to Life

Matthew 5: “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Being “liked” or “pleasing” people is not the theme in this list. In fact when I read the “Be” Attitudes I can see a remedy to some of life’s ills.

  • When I want to be arrogant I should consider a poor spirit instead.
  • When things go dreadfully wrong it is okay to mourn.
  • When I feel hungry for power I should back off and seek a meek approach.
  • When I have sin on my mind I should seek righteousness as my alternative.
  • When someone has been downright disrespectful to me I should show mercy.
  • When my motives could go wrong I should ask for a pure heart in the matter.
  • When I feel like fighting I should back off and seek peace instead.
  • When I am persecuted because of the way I follow GOD I should look forward to GOD’s rewards.
  • When I am insulted, persecuted and falsely accused I should rejoice and be glad for great is my reward in heaven!

It is not always easy to “Be” this kind of person, but the more I try the more GOD says “Well done!”

  • Are you facing some difficult situations?
  • Do you feel that life is difficult?
  • Can you clear your mind by “Being” who GOD wants you to be?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Immediate Reaction

Matthew 4: 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.


“Would you like to serve?” were the only words I heard. “No” was my immediate response. I mean I was busy and besides, GOD wouldn’t want a person like me serving.

  • There have been many times I have been “called” and hung up the phone.
  • There have been many times I have been “asked” but refused to give.
  • There have been many times I have been “chosen” but chose to decline the choice.

GOD seems to call me at inconvenient times. I mean my first thought is “Doesn’t he see that I am working on something?” I will get to YOU later.

  • GOD wants me to respond to HIM first.
  • GOD desires that I seek HIS kingdom first.
  • GOD longs for me to put HIM first in my life rather than fifteenth.

Peter and Andrew had the correct response. They may have been seeking GOD all their lives and when HE showed up, they were ready to go serve. They dropped everything and followed JESUS. Circumstances may be different today, but the more things change the more they stay the same.

GOD wants me to follow HIM on a daily basis. I don’t have to stop going to work rather I can carry the HOLY SPIRIT into my workplace or school or neighbor’s house. HE prompts me to pray for people and to speak about GOD at the right time, with the right words. It is up to me to have an “immediate reaction” to GOD’s calling.

  • Are you being called and have refused to listen?
  • Do you hear GOD on a daily basis?
  • Are you making excuses like I am too busy or too poor or too old or too needy or too sinful right now?
  • Can you drop the excuses and listen to the HOLY SPIRIT right now?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

It is Tempting

Matthew 4:Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”


“If YOU are GOD then heal my eyes” was my foolish prayer that was met with silence. The thought I had in my mind was to get a quick miracle so I would then dedicate myself back to GOD. Of course the choice was to keep doing what I wanted to do if GOD did not relent.

  • There have been times I have put GOD to the test.
  • There have been times I have put an “If” statement in front of GOD’s power.
  • There have been times I have reduced GOD’s power to what I could “see”.

Tempting GOD to do my bidding is never a good idea. Forcing HIS hand or threatening HIM is the wrong way to serve the ONE who is trying to help me. When I say “If YOU are GOD…” I am really saying “YOU may not be so much of the GOD that YOU say YOU are.”

  • GOD says to me “Do not put the LORD your GOD to the test.”
  • GOD says to me “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of GOD.”
  • GOD says to me “Worship the LORD your GOD, and serve HIM only.”

Fortunately for me, GOD knew I was immature and allowed me to rant foolishly. HE gently guided me back to HIS word and had me focus on HIS ways. The tantrum was over and HE allowed me back into HIS family to serve HIM.

One thing I noticed is the devil tried to use GOD’s word against JESUS. HE has been tempted in every way possible. HE empathizes with me and loves me more.

  • Are you tempting GOD?
  • Do you put false expectations on HIM?
  • Will you stop threatening HIM and start serving HIM today?

Monday, January 9, 2017

In the Way of Progress

Matthew 3: 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”


“Traffic will hit our kids and increase crime” was the gist of my note to the mayor. It was so nice and peaceful seeing the deer and critters near our house, but the road had been planned before we got there and the neighbors and I tried to fight it. Once the road was finished, it actually saved me ten minutes off my commute. Sometimes GOD does the same.

  • There are some things in life that I don’t like.
  • There are some things in life that seem wrong to me.
  • There are some things in life that I do not agree with but when they are in place I can see things differently.

Change is never a welcome visitor. Sometimes when I fight change, I lose sleep worrying about the future. That is my flaw. I may not see GOD in the middle of the change. John could only see his own need and argued with JESUS about not being worthy of baptizing HIM. He could not see that JESUS needed to do this in order to fulfill scripture. John was in the way of progress.

  • GOD has a plan for me that sometimes seems strange.
  • GOD has a plan for me that sometimes requires change.
  • GOD has a plan for me that is supreme and divine.

I understand John’s hesitance. GOD asking a mere human to baptize HIM seems to be a bit strange. BUT GOD’s plan always works and sometimes my blindness to HIS plan is a deterrent. I want to play it safe instead of jumping out there and following HIM. HE wants my full attention to HIS plan without a fight. HE makes me successful.

  • Are you fighting GOD on something?
  • Can you learn to be content with where HE has you?
  • Will you allow GOD to keep you where you are or to change you to a new place in HIS timing?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Produce Fruit

Matthew 3: Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.


Listening intently in the meeting, I picked through all of the rough parts of the conversation to hear what was needed. I formulated a plan and executed it without flaw.  Observers were impressed and gave me a raise, promotion and a bonus!

  • There have been times I when worked hard for the world.
  • There have been times I when put a lot of effort into obtaining wealth.
  • There have been times I when monopolized my time with helping the rich get richer.

You have had a “fruitful” career someone once said to me, but what is “fruit?” I mean if “fruit” is making people wealthy who could care less about the poor, then yes I did that. BUT GOD’s fruit is quite different.

  • GOD wants me to bear the fruit of appreciation of HIS creation.
  • GOD wants me to bear the fruit of thoughtfulness of those who are truly seeking HIM.
  • GOD wants me to bear the fruit of passion for HIS kingdom.

Recognition that I am here today and gone tomorrow means that I am not trying to leave a legacy to myself, rather I am trying to put people on GOD’s path so they can carry on HIS plan. Bearing fruit is important to GOD. HE loves that I “believe” in HIS existence but wants much more.

GOD wants me to act upon my belief, bearing fruit whenever and wherever HE sends me. HIS kingdom has to be foremost in my mind so HE can draw those HE desires towards HIMSELF.

  • Are you bearing human fruit or GODLY fruit?
  • Do you spend most of your time working and are too exhausted to mention GOD during your day?
  • Can people see GOD in you?
  • Will you step back from bearing worldly fruit for just a moment and bear GOD’s fruit today?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Escaping for Life

Matthew 2: 13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”


“Shoot him” were the words I heard as I dashed to the safety of the bowling alley. Our instincts had kicked in and standing to fight an outnumbered crowd was not the option for me or my friend. After waiting a while I could hear something that said “go check on your friend now, he is safe.” I found him and we went home together.

  • There have been some very dangerous times in my life.
  • There have been some times that I have faced some extreme life threatening situations.
  • There have been some moments when I did not think I would make it.

“Fight or flee” comes to mind when faced with danger. I chose to flee that time and hoped for the best. Looking back on this extreme situation I could only see one thing, GOD.

  • GOD protects me on a daily basis.
  • GOD protects me from those who try to harm me.
  • GOD protects me in extremely dangerous situations.

Since GOD has a plan for me, HE wants me to continue so HE protects me to fulfill that plan. HE guards me from dangers I am not aware of and for that I am eternally grateful.

  • Are you mad about something?
  • Do you feel upset?
  • Can you stop your anger for a moment long enough to praise GOD for HIS protection?
  • Will you thank GOD for HIS wonderful plan for you?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Obedient to the Weird Plan

Matthew 1: 18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”


What a strange plan. As I pondered this plan to save all humans I said to myself, “I would never have done it this way.” I mean in this chapter I read that Joseph was a descendant of murderers, liars, adulterers and thieves. Then it turns out that this guys’ fiancĂ© turns up pregnant without having sex.

  • GOD says to me “MY ways are not your ways. MY thoughts are not your thoughts.”
  • GOD says to me “I WILL be your GOD and you will be MY people.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM.”

Joseph had to do something so divorce was a nice quiet option. BUT GOD said something different. GOD wanted all of humanity to know this was no ordinary plan. It had to be weird, extraordinary, and supernatural. GOD does the same in my life. HIS plans are weird and sometimes seem that they will not work.

  • GOD’s plan for me is extraordinary.
  • GOD’s plan for me is not the norm.
  • GOD’s plan for me sometimes seems strange but when I am obedient it always works!

I did not have an example that compared to the birth of my SAVIOR, but I do recognize that GOD doesn’t always tell me everything up front. HE requires me to have faith without fault. The more I can have the better off I will be.

  • Does your plan seem strange?
  • Does it seem like you will never get to the finish line?
  • Can you stop trying to make sense out of GOD’s plan and ask HIM for the faith to continue?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Sunny Warm Days

Malachi 4: But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.


Wet and cold were my toes from snow engulfing my boots. Dark was the day and it seemed like the word dismal was the only description for life at that time. As I stood waiting on the bus, a snowplow drove by and sloshed its slush on my cold feet.

  • Sometimes it seemed like the sun would never shine again.
  • Sometimes my mood felt like a cloud of grey.
  • Sometimes multiple difficult situations made me think everything was wrong.

When new dirty slush hit my frozen toes I had reached my final straw. I officially declared that particular day the worse day of my life at the time. Nothing would cheer me up and I was ready to be grumpy, but lo and behold I saw the familiar lights of the bus shining in the darkness. My heart was filled with relief as the driver pulled directly in front of me for a change.

  • GOD provides me with the sun of righteousness.
  • GOD provides me with the warmth of HIS love.
  • GOD provides me with the rays of HIS healing power.

I sat in a warm spot and noticed an extra bonus. Somehow I had even more heat than normal blowing towards me as I sat near the tire well. The bus was very old. I removed my boot and socks, emptied the excess water placed my socks and toes next to the vent. Such great relief! I got off the bus with warm toes and dry socks. Maybe the day wasn’t so bad after all, I thought.

  • Have you reached your limit?
  • Do you think the day is filled with nothing but grey clouds?
  • Can you see GOD’s healing sunshine even when it is cloudy?
  • Will you learn to take GOD’s warmth to people instead of cold bitter words?