Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Just Doesn’t Fit

Matthew 10: 32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.


It felt great being baptized in front of the entire church. I acknowledge my declaration of following JESUS in front of a group of those who believed as well. Years later I was asked to become one of the leaders who would spread GOD’s word at a corporation. “What about the people who worship other gods or no GOD, who work for me?” I thought to myself.  I declined.

  • I have reasoned my way out of speaking about CHRIST.
  • I have thought about the consequences of speaking about CHRIST and chose to go away from HIM.
  • I have hidden my relationship with CHRIST so I could “get ahead.”

Foolishly I thought “I” was the one who got me to where I was. I thought it was my wit, drive and determination and I did not want to jeopardize all that I had built up by upsetting those in power. BUT GOD wanted me to act different.

  • GOD wants me to acknowledge HIM wherever I am.
  • GOD wants me to declare HIS righteousness in front of people, not just in my head.
  • GOD wants me to open my mouth and say to others “GOD is my LORD and SAVIOR.”

Trying to fit in caused me to douse my flame for GOD. I mean if I shined HIS light too much then I could be labeled a religious fanatic and lose my job. I lost my job anyway! What a waste. GOD wants me to carry HIM throughout the day.

I don’t mean that I stop important meetings to force people to pray at work. I mean I should go into work ready to share GOD’s great news to those HE sends me. Fitting in is not the quest, finding and feeding sheep is.

  • Are you hiding your relationship with GOD in front of people?
  • Have you passed up major opportunities to show your relationship with HIM in order to flaunt your wealth?
  • Can you stop hiding who you are supposed to be and tell people about CHRIST today?

Monday, February 27, 2017

You are of Great Value

Matthew 10: 26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.


Everyone else seemed to have some special skill, while I did not seem to have anything “special.” Some were good at sports while others were great writers yet others were incredible thinkers. I went to school with the strong and mighty, brainy and rich, beautiful and liked. I did not seem to have any of the above. Where did I fit?

  • There were times I did not feel I had any value.
  • There were times I felt everyone else had skills and I possessed none.
  • There were times I thought I could never “fit” into the crowd.

Walking through life, I felt afraid to meet people or sit at the “popular” table in fear of rejection. I mean what if they don’t like “me?” GOD says something very different.

  • GOD says to me “Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul.”
  • GOD says to me “Be afraid of the ONE who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
  • GOD says to me “Do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

“Worth” means I have value to GOD. When everyone around me is losing their heads and blaming it on me, GOD says to me “You are valuable to ME.” HE wants me to hear what HE whispers in my ear and proclaim it from my roof that “JESUS saved me from myself and the world!”

Health is also nothing to worry my head over. HE has that too! HE knows just how to fix my body and HE can heal any ill. GOD has given me a purpose and that is far more valuable than the acceptance any crowd can ever bring.

  • Do you feel afraid of the crowd?
  • Are you afraid of your job, your wealth or “that” person who is bullying you?
  • Can you confess your fears to GOD and ask HIM to guide you to a place of strength?
  • Will you accept a life of purpose from GOD so you can drop your fears of life?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Teach Show Declare

Matthew 10: 24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!


“What do YOU want from me?” has been a common question to GOD when I want something different than HIM. I mean can’t I have my fleet of private jets? “Why does that person get to have those?” is my jealous thought.

  • Sometimes I am blinded by what others have.
  • Sometimes I am jealous over the rich and powerful.
  • Sometimes I point fingers at those in the news who flaunt their wealth in a bullying way.

Grousing at someone else makes me forget my purpose. When I am busy talking about what “that” person is doing or not doing, I am not presenting what I am supposed to be doing, namely following GOD.

  • GOD wants me to teach HIS word on a daily basis.
  • GOD wants me to show others the way to the Living GOD.
  • GOD wants me to place a declaration on a household as either receiving HIM or rejecting HIM.

Now that last one seems a bit harsh but if GOD wants me to extend HIS grace to people and they reject HIS grace, then I am supposed to walk away and shake the dust off of my sandals, in other words, let GOD deal with them. I do not mean place a curse on the people, rather let them believe what they will believe.

GOD does not want forced relationships with HIS people rather willing ones. HE wants an “eyes wide open” relationship with me so I will know what I’m getting into. When I chose to follow HIM, HE is delighted. HE sends me out and says my students or employees are, at best, my equal. I should not be afraid to place HIS declaration on those who accept or reject HIM.

  • Are you called?
  • Does GOD want to send you out?
  • Are you being prepared for something great?
  • Can you hear that GOD is saying to you “Do not be afraid?”

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Shielded from Hatred

Matthew 10: 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.


“Get that Bible off of your desk!” was the exclamation from the account manager. At that time I was taking a theological class and wanted to get my studies in before work. I would arrive at 6:30 AM, thinking I was a model employee, instead I was met with opposition. I did not hang out with the fella’s drinking or carousing. Should I have tried to fit in?

  • Sometimes I’m face with the dilemma of fitting in.
  • Sometimes I am challenged with choosing between following GOD and looking good before humans.
  • Sometimes I face the world with my beliefs and I’m met with being outcast and labeled.

I felt like I was on an island, but something within me said “Keep going, it will be alright.” After a while I was moved from that account. I saw my career diminish so I changed jobs. At the next place I ran into a group of people who would openly pray at lunch. I didn’t think this could exist at a company.

  • GOD wants me to stand firm so HE can deliver me.
  • GOD wants me to stand firm even though people may hate me.
  • GOD wants me to stand firm when I am not quite fitting in.

Instead of compromising my beliefs, GOD wants me to stand firm. HE has a marvelous plan for me on the other side of someone’s hatred. “Standing Firm” on GOD’s word is the shield HE gives me to battle hatred. I can place my belief, trust and faith on GOD and let HIM handle my haters!

  • Are you hated by someone?
  • Do you feel like you are on an island even when you are in a crowd?
  • Can you “Stand Firm” on GOD’s word so HE will fight your battles for you?
  • Will you put your trust in GOD today?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

When They Arrest You

Matthew 10: 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.


Wait, what? Is GOD’s expectation that I be arrested for HIM? Does HE expect me to be beaten and flogged for HIM? These were not words of expectation but prophesy. GOD was telling HIS disciples that they would be falsely accused, jailed and beaten as an example to make sure no one else proclaimed JESUS as LORD.

  • There have been times when I have been falsely accused.
  • There have been situations when I have been the butt of slander.
  • There have been circumstances when I did not know what to do or say because I was profiled into a jail.

Extreme examples are what GOD needed then and now. I cannot say it will be necessary to be arrested for HIM, although sometimes HE does use this horrid situation to reach many. GOD told HIS disciples this for a reason.

  • GOD wants me to expect things to go wrong in life so I can proclaim HIS name without faltering.
  • GOD wants me to know I will be opposed in life so I can be prepared for the opposition.
  • GOD wants me to be “Wise as serpents and harmless as doves”, knowing I will face people who do not like me.

Attention by an audience is what GOD wants. HE doesn’t want extremist harmful worship, rather peaceful statements that HE is LORD. Many people are afraid to say this because of money or lust for power. GOD turns to me and asks me to follow HIM in peaceful times and difficult times. I chose to proclaim HIM as LORD!

  • Are you ostracized because of your beliefs in CHRIST?
  • Do you feel you will be held back because of your boldness?
  • Can you ask GOD to fortify your beliefs further so HE will speak through you at the right time?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Not Rejected

Matthew 10: 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.


“Come on, let’s go out and witness to people” were words I did not want to hear. I mean why go out and “force” people to believe what I believe, was my thought. Besides, “who am I that they might listen to me?”

  • Sometimes I doubt my calling by GOD.
  • Sometimes I hide my gifts and talents amongst the safe church people.
  • Sometimes “I” do not want to be rejected so “I” hide the most important message.

Rejection feels awful especially when I have high expectations. When I approach someone with the message of CHRIST, I expect them to drop to their knees in tears screaming “I BELIEVE” instead I have been met with weird looks and was once cursed out. This “Spreading the Gospel” thing is harder than it looks.

  • GOD wants me to build a community around those who need me.
  • GOD wants me to reach out to my neighbor and seek to give them peace, if not for a moment.
  • GOD wants me to give the words of peace as a representative of HIM, not me.

Each and every person placed in front of me is worthy of GOD’s redeeming message. I should not be afraid of giving a person “GOD’s peace” no matter how ornery they may be acting. I have to place it in my mind that if the person rejects the message, they are rejecting GOD, not me.

GOD sends me to many. I have to take the challenge out to the masses with love and peace. It will be up to them to accept or reject GOD.

  • Are you trying to reach people?
  • Do you feel “you” will be rejected so you do not try?
  • Can you stop trying to look good before humans and change your mind and heart towards spreading GOD’s message of redemption?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Not Holding Back

Matthew 10: As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.


Safe is how I felt when I attended Bible study. Everyone in the room was eager to learn and we enjoyed each other’s time and company. I did not get a sense of competition, back-stabbing or slander from anyone. I could relax.
  • Being around those who believe in CHRIST is safe.
  • Being around those who believe in CHRIST the way I do is safer.
  • Being around those who believe in CHRIST and looks like me and acts like me, is safest.

After a while I noticed I was hanging very safe people. None of these people resembled any danger whatsoever. No one hurt me or called me names… safe. BUT GOD wanted something else.

  • GOD wants me to take a risk and proclaim this message “The kingdom of heaven is near.”
  • GOD wants me to leave “safety” and go where there is turmoil.
  • GOD wants me to give freely the gift of salvation that HE has graciously bestowed on me.

When I was around all of the “good” people I noticed I stopped confessing my ills and only focused on learning. Don’t get me wrong, learning about CHRIST is noble, however, why learn? GOD wants me to be balanced. HE desires that I not only learn of HIM, but put it into action.

GOD sends me to people every single day. If I cannot speak directly to them, I can pray for them from a distance. HE has given me gifts and talents that HE expects me to use so HIS message can be heard. I should not hold anything back when I “go.”

  • Are you proclaiming GOD’s message to safe people?
  • Have you been hurt by the world and are scared to go proclaim GOD’s message to those who need it?
  • Can you stop playing it safe and go spread GOD’s message today?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Called and Authorized

Matthew 10: Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.


From “nobody special” to “purpose filled,” JESUS saw HIS disciples and gave them a mission. They weren’t supposed to sit and study HIM or read scripture about HIM. They were given a task so great that it would turn the world upside down.

  • JESUS called HIS disciples to meet people who had serious problems.
  • JESUS called HIS disciples to seek those who needed HIM.
  • JESUS called HIS disciples to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

Why give this group of unknowns this amazing power? I mean, won’t people start following them like they were gods? No! Following JESUS was a crime subject to death, so those who accepted this calling knew they were going to be persecuted and ostracized by friends and family.

  • GOD calls me to spread HIS great news.
  • GOD calls me to drive out impure spirits.
  • GOD calls me to heal every disease and sickness.

Wait a minute! I don’t know how to do most of those things. I don’t have any special powers to fight demons or heal people by touching them, or do I? When GOD called me, HE gave me the ability to have faith in HIS power. According to the measure of my faith, GOD somehow draws people to HIMSELF through my service to HIM.

If HE needs someone to be healed in order for them to believe in HIM, then whether I know HE healed them through me or not is none of my business. Seeking credit for healing a person is not the purpose. GOD wants me to simply be present around the sick, diseased and impure. Once I’m there, HE does the rest. GOD gives me purpose.

  • Are you called?
  • When is the last time you have sought out people who need healing?
  • Will you allow GOD to place you in situations where HE can use HIS powers though your presence today?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Harassed and Helpless

Matthew 9: 35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”


Walking down the hallway of my dorm, a guy stuck his head out of a room and screamed “Hey [racial name]!” and slammed the door giggling. Filled with rage, I went to the night clerk who was six feet, five inches and my friend. We banged on the door until they opened it, there were seven or eight guys in the room.

“Who is the guy who made slurs at my friend?” I pointed the guy out by hitting him on the back of his head. Nothing good came out of the situation. For the rest of the year, the floor had tension.

  • There were times when I have been harassed.
  • There were times when I have felt helpless.
  • There have been times I have taken matters into my own hands and did not get very far.

Rage, anger and hatred are values that get me into trouble. When I feel like retaliating, but cannot, I feel helpless. When someone else attacks me I immediately go on the defense, ready to go to war with them. We will go blow for blow until everyone loses. BUT GOD wants me to behave differently.

  • GOD wants me to see the sickness and disease of humanity.
  • GOD wants me to have compassion on the crowd.
  • GOD wants me to ask HIM “Please send out workers into YOUR field.”

Falling down the hole of rage blinds me to the ailment “we” all have, namely sin. I elevate “that” person’s sins over mine and blame them for all of the world’s problems. GOD wants me to calm down for a moment and pray to HIM so HIS Good News can be spread. The Good News is that JESUS has already won and there is no fight!

GOD wants my rage to be replaced with HIS compassion. HE took care of it all.

  • Are you being harassed by life?
  • Do you feel helpless?
  • Can you stop focusing on the harassment and look at GOD’s deliverance?
  • Will you ask GOD for more of HIS workers to help spread the Good News?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Willing and Able

Matthew 9: 27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

“Yes, Lord,” they replied.

29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.


“Fall backwards” were the words of a neighbor that I trusted. We had a great idea that we would roll like a circus act, instead I hit my head squarely on the concrete! Years later, at a leadership retreat, those words appeared again. “Fall backwards!” “Hmm… should I trust my team?” ran across my mind.

  • Sometimes I treat GOD according to my measure of trust in HIM.
  • Sometimes I treat GOD like HE has no powers at all.
  • Sometimes I treat GOD as a human with limited abilities.

Life has dealt out a number of blows that could be jarring to anyone’s faith. After feeling the concrete pain of challenges should I really trust GOD? Yes!

  • GOD wants me to seek HIM with all my heart and all my soul.
  • GOD wants me to ask HIM for the impossible and believe HE can and will deliver me.
  • GOD wants me to believe and receive according to the measure of my faith in HIM.

Dream small, get small. If I only believe that GOD is the GOD of finding lost keys and growing my career, then HE will probably only deliver that. BUT GOD wants me to dream bigger. HE wants me to believe HE can do anything according to HIS will.

HE wants me to have so many heavenly riches, all I need to do is ask. GOD is willing and able!

  • Do you think GOD is small?
  • When is the last time you asked HIM to handle something large?
  • Will you stop trying to be GOD and let HIM perform miracles in your life?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Belief and Power

Matthew 9: 18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.


“Absurd” comes to mind when I read this passage. Dead means dead! Why in the world would this guy even think this method would work? I read on. “Absurd again” came to mind. How could a person think that touching a garment would heal the body?

  • Belief seems absurd from the outside looking in.
  • Belief seems like something only crazy people or poor people do.
  • Belief seems to be a last resort rather than a first response.

What I like about this passage is the immediacy of those involved. The synagogue leader immediately went to JESUS, knowing JESUS could do something about the situation. He didn’t say she “may” live, he said she “will” live. The bleeding, ostracized woman said the same. She did not say “Maybe I will be healed and if I’m not then I will try something else.” No, she said “I will be healed.”

  • JESUS showed HIS power over death in order to grow my faith in HIM.
  • JESUS gave me an example of HIS power in order to make me believe HE can do anything in my life.
  • JESUS healed people in order to tell me “Do not worry about your situation, I can handle it.”

If I could just touch HIS garment or get HIS attention then HE can heal anything, should be my way of thinking. I should act like JESUS has the power I read about. JESUS looks at me the same way HE sees these people. The little girl did not ask to be raised from the dead, nor did the woman ask JESUS to be healed.

JESUS wanted the best for them and wants the same for me. HE heals me daily.

  • Are you wounded?
  • Do you feel your life is dead?
  • Can you stop believing in the worst and start believing that JESUS can heal your situation?
  • Will you say “GOD WILL” instead of doubting HIM?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Special Treatment

Matthew 9: 14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”

15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.


Hungry and tired I sat at the reception. Finally the wedding party showed up and I got excited because I would finally eat. They put on some long program and I began to pout. Finally they started serving food. The servers passed by my table and went directly to the wedding party. “Hey! What about us over here?”

  • Sometimes I ask “Why them and not me GOD?”
  • Sometimes I ask “Why are they so special?”
  • Sometimes I ask “Why do I have to do all this stuff and they don’t?”

Jealous of being last, I questioned why I wasn’t served first. I mean they were the ones who made “me” wait. “Shouldn’t they wait for their food?” was my flawed line of thinking.

  • GOD says to me “The last shall be first and the first will be last.”
  • GOD says to me “Do not be jealous of the BRIDEGROOM for HE has a special purpose.”
  • GOD says to me “There is a time to make others special, have patience.”

This was my first wedding and a memorable one. That day makes me relate to this passage. “Why are ‘they’ so special that they don’t have to follow the rules” is the question at hand. JESUS said ‘They will follow the rules and do much more.’ JESUS knew the disciples had to go through a very difficult time.

What is amazing is JESUS took time to explain what was going on too those who sought HIM. John’s disciples were asking a question, not trying to trip JESUS up, but simply to understand “Doesn’t everyone have to follow the rules?” JESUS points out that HE is the most important rule. Celebrate HIM and you will have special treatment.

  • Are you jealous of someone?
  • Do you think it is not fair that you have to follow the rules and someone else doesn’t?
  • Can you stop looking at other people and simply follow GOD where HE has you?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Label Me in Need of Mercy

Matthew 9:As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”


“Those people are bad” I said. I mean look at “them!” “They” are doing [insert sin]. I better tell “them” about “themselves” so “they” will stop sinning!

  • GOD said to me “Your righteousness is like a filthy rag.”
  • GOD said to me “Your righteousness is like dung to ME.”
  • GOD said to me “Your righteousness is a barrier to people accepting ME as their Savior.”

Pimp, hooker, gay, gambler, druggy and racist were convenient labels I placed on “those” people, meanwhile I forgot to say what I was, namely a lust-filled, greedy, power hungry blamer. I had stopped doing several sins only to pick up socially acceptable sins with honored labels.

People would label me as “One of us” or “Wealth Minded” or “Ambitious” or better yet “Calls ‘em as he sees ‘em.” BUT GOD wants me to have different labels.

  • GOD wants me to label myself as a “sinner” who needs HIS mercy.
  • GOD wants me to label myself as a “dead soul” in need of resurrection from HIM and HIM alone.
  • GOD wants me to label myself as a “forgiven being” because I believe that HE (JESUS), died for me on purpose and now lives as my Savior.

“Our” FATHER and give “Us” this day “Our” daily bread show me how GOD wants me to think. HE doesn’t want me to label “those” people rather HE wants me to include myself in “that” crowd.

Drawing people back to GOD means I need to be transparent about my sins, not my accomplishments. GOD doesn't need another perfect sacrifice; JESUS was already the chosen one. HE needs a “sinner” to say “Isn’t GOD wonderful? I did all of this and HE forgave me for ALL of it!”

HE wants me to show what a changed life can be like by demonstrating hope in HIM no matter what the storm brings.

  • Are you labeling people?
  • Do you think “that” person is bad and you are “good?”
  • Can you stop labeling people for a minute and label yourself before GOD?
  • Will you ask HIM for HIS forgiveness today?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Seeing Opportunity

Matthew 9: Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”

Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.


“This is my opportunity” I thought to myself as I jumped in the car and drove ninety miles in one hour. The VP was only going to be in town for moments and I needed to discuss joining his team. He saw my enthusiasm and promoted me.

  • Many times I have seen opportunity and grabbed it.
  • Many times I have gone for the gusto and seized it.
  • Many times I have traveled out of my way to get something that seemed important to me.

“There HE is! This is our opportunity” comes to mind when I read this chunk of history. The unnamed men believed in JESUS so much that they carried a paralyzed friend to HIM. They did not know if HE would say yes or no but they went anyway. They had nothing to give JESUS but a sick friend and HE loved their faith!

  • JESUS delights when I delight in HIM.
  • JESUS loves when I love HIM.
  • JESUS is excited when I show even the tiniest bit of faith.

Church leaders were upset at this entire situation. How dare this man claim to be GOD by forgiving sins, was the thought behind their words. JESUS saw through their love of status and hatred of GOD. HE healed this man because of faithful friends. I want to be like the mat bearers!

  • What opportunity are you running towards?
  • Do you see JESUS as an opportunity or a problem?
  • Can you run towards HIM with childlike faith believing HE can heal even the most drastic situation? 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fading Demons

Matthew 8: 28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.


“The devil made me do it” were the words of a comedian I watched as a kid. Next came the movies of demon possession with spinning heads of the actresses with bloodshot eyes screaming obscenities. My final stage was attending higher learning and being taught there is only a scientific reason for how humans behave. “Demons don’t really exist, do they?” was now my question.

  • Over time I slowly stopped believing in the demonic world.
  • In order to not look crazy I pacified my beliefs that demons existed.
  • After seeing what the crowd believed I ceased my beliefs in demons.

Books and movies have seemed to explain away the demonic world. When I went to church to verify the existence of demons, I was met with easy sermons of how to live right versus the difficult message that there is a battle against a realm that I cannot see.

  • GOD taught me that HE threw the devil out of heaven because of the devil’s pride.
  • GOD taught me that HE threw out a third of the angels because they followed the devil.
  • GOD taught me that demons not only exist, but some are stronger than others and wreak tons of havoc.

When I read this I realized I had not heard many sermons related to the demonic world that I was convinced that the person believed nor the audience. I felt my belief in demons was strange to say so I kept it to myself. BUT GOD wanted me to grow.

GOD wants me to see that my battle is not against humans or politics rather it is against a force that is stronger than humans but far less mighty than GOD. They bow to HIM and follow HIS commands. How can I protect myself? Through prayer and fasting brings GOD’s protection.

  • Have you written off demons?
  • Does mentioning demons seem weird?
  • Do you believe GOD can protect you from demons if you believe in this realm?
  • Will you stop looking at movies and pay attention to what GOD says about HIS control over the demonic world?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

It’s Not the Storm

Matthew 8: 23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”


Paralyzed with fear, I did not know what to say. I was in front of a big crowd for the first time and had to say some very bad news regarding money. Every word that came out of my mouth was salted with trembling tones. I was scared!

  • There are moments I have been filled with fear.
  • There are times when I have been afraid.
  • There are situations that seem so frightening that I just want out!

Being filled with fear makes me want to run home and cry. When the storm of life turns into a torrent, I cry out to GOD “Don’t YOU hear me?” BUT GOD handles me gently.

  • GOD asks me “Why are you afraid?
  • GOD says to me “Focus on ME, not the storm.”
  • GOD tells me “I AM going to strengthen you so other storms will not break you.”

Each stormy gale I face makes me stronger for the next. GOD sees my meager faith and wants it to grow. HE allows situations to happen and little by little I turn to HIM instead of relying on me.

Saying “We’re going to drown!” is not showing GOD faith. I know that sounds harsh and by no means do I take drowning lightly. GOD wants me to have faith enough to know HE will take me through storms in order to serve HIS purpose. I can also have the faith to know that when I finish serving HIS purpose, HE will take me home to say “well done.”

  • Are you nervous about something?
  • Do you feel afraid?
  • Can you stop thinking about your situation for a moment to ask GOD for your purpose?
  • Will you seek what GOD will have you do today?

Monday, February 6, 2017

Deep Devotion

Matthew 8: 18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”

20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”


After a long stent of being away, going to church was now a regular thing for me. I said “No” to more and more things that I used to do and say. I was finally getting my life back on track. When the sermon was about money, however, I did not want to hear it. “These preachers are always talking about money!” I thought to myself. “I already increased my giving from One dollar to Five dollars, what more do they want!?

  • My thoughts of money have gotten in the way of my relationship with GOD.
  • My thoughts of things have been a major problem with GOD.
  • My thoughts of comfort have been a war between GOD’s servanthood and my desires.

JESUS had no worldly possessions, no money and no place to live. HE lived like this to show us that life is so much more than these things. Just because a human is alive does not make that person “deserving” of more stuff. HE wanted me to learn about following HIM.

  • GOD wants me to follow HIM unimpeded so if I have “stuff” then HE wants me to put it second to HIM.
  • GOD wants me to follow HIM without distraction so if my worries are on “stuff” coming or going then he wants me to change my thinking.
  • GOD wants me to follow HIM with all my heart so if my heart is on “stuff” then HE wants me to ask for a clean heart which may mean losing my “stuff.”

Even in the example of “burying” the father, JESUS interjects “Let the dead bury their own dead.” I thought this was harsh at first. You mean leave the rotting corpse on the street? No, not quite. I believe JESUS was shortening the mourning period up for this person. Estate handling, amongst many other details could impede service for quite a while.

JESUS wants service to HIM now, not after I retire or after the business is up and running well or after I graduate eighty years from now. HE knows I can make excuses for not serving HIM and any excuse is nothing but an excuse. I can serve those around me wherever HE places me.

  • Are you making excuses for not serving JESUS?
  • Do you say “I have too many bills” or “I have to do this before I serve?”
  • Can you stop making excuses and start serving CHRIST right where you are?
  • Will you stop asking for stuff for just a moment and ask “Who would you like me to serve?”

Friday, February 3, 2017

Taking on Sickness

Matthew 8: 14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

“He took up our infirmities
    and bore our diseases.”


Sweaty, cold and hot, I did not know which way my body was going. My body was achy and I could barely see. After placing my breakfast and lunch on the floor and in the toilet, I finally cried out, “LORD help.”

There have been times when I felt really sick and could only think about getting better! I never once thought about “Where does sickness go?” Does it stay in my body, ready to pounce again or does it go someplace? GOD has an answer.

  • JESUS heals my body but it can be attacked again.
  • JESUS touches me to give me strength on a day by day basis.
  • JESUS bears my infirmities, meaning HE is the one who gets sick.

I am still pondering this notion, but I actually believe that if JESUS took on all of my penalties of sin, HE may also take on other penalties like sickness. “HE bore our infirmities” means HE took them away from me and became sick, just for me.

I wonder if Peter’s mother-in-law saw HIS symptoms and stopped to wait on HIM because she knew how she felt when she was sick. JESUS may have taken on her fever and felt as rotten as she did. In fact HE may have taken on everyone’s sickness that believed and was in the vicinity that day. JESUS cares enough about me to take on my ailments.

  • Do you wish to be healed?
  • Do you feel tired and run down?
  • Will you ask JESUS to take on your sickness so you can be healed to serve HIM?

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Just Say the Word

Matthew 8:When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.


“If you are a traffic light then you will change colors” or “If you are a mountain then you will be tall” are words I never say. I never challenge the traffic light’s authority especially on busy streets. I also never challenge the mountain by saying it does not exist. I do however challenge GOD.

  • I challenge GOD by playing “If YOU exist, then” games.
  • I challenge GOD by saying “If YOU love me, YOU would…”
  • I challenge GOD by giving HIM specific instructions on how to cure my ills.

Sometimes I do not trust in GOD. I immaturely ask for things to get better but in the back of my mind I do not believe they will. I doubt the big idea from GOD and I doubt that HE can do marvelous things through “insignificant people.” BUT GOD says something different.

  • GOD says to me “Ask and you will receive.”
  • GOD says to me “Believe in the one who made you.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM.”

Going back to the traffic light… It is a traffic light so therefore I must obey what it says, same with GOD. HE is GOD so therefore I must believe HE will do as HE says. Regardless of my desires, I must believe in HIS authority over the situation. HE is in command and HE does care about me in times of trouble.

Faith mixed with belief looks like the centurion. He clearly saw GOD’s authority and had faith enough to approach HIM with the belief that HE could do something about the situation, GOD wants me to believe HE has, not only the ability, but the power to change any circumstance. I believe in GOD.

  • Are you asking for something that you doubt you will get?
  • Do you think GOD is not listening to you so therefore you have considered giving up?
  • Are you tired of everyone around you placing their doubt in what GOD has you doing?
  • Will you add a measure of belief to your faith in GOD today?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

If You Are Willing

Matthew 8: When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”


“Demand a raise” was the thought that popped in my head. I walked into my evaluation and said all of the things that “I” had accomplished. I literally spent hours writing this stuff down. After the meeting I was proud of myself for being able to come up with all of these “wonderful” accomplishments.

  • There have been times I have demanded.
  • There have been times I have thought more of myself.
  • There have been times I have tried to convince others that I was more than what I am.

Arrogance was speaking to my pride as I waltzed down the hallways thinking “I” did all of this. When I got my average raise, I was furious. Looking back I can see several mistakes in my approach.

  • GOD wants me to be humble in my request.
  • GOD wants me to recognize HIS power and authority in all situations.
  • GOD wants me to ask HIM, not demand HIM.

GOD is not owned by me but HE is my GOD and I am HIS servant. HE enables me to humbly ask for things and HE has the right to say “No”, “Wait” or “Yes” whenever HE pleases. The man with leprosy humbled himself thoroughly. He followed JESUS for a while, he knelt down and he asked, knowing JESUS could say “No.”

One critical thing I noticed is JESUS said “don’t tell anyone.” Wait, there was a crowd there! HE sent the cleansed leper directly to those who opposed HIM as a testimony of HIS power.

  • Are you bragging about your power?
  • Is all the attention on you?
  • Can you stop trying to draw attention to yourself and have people focus on GOD?
  • Will you humbly ask JESUS to make you clean?