Friday, June 30, 2017

Childish Praise

Matthew 21: 12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,

“‘From the lips of children and infants
    you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.


Looking under cars for coins, I missed the beginning of the church service. I wanted to buy a doughnut and did not have any money. I didn’t want to ask anyone for money and those tasty morsels were calling my name!

“Ministry costs money” is what I have heard over the years as justification for selling books, CD’s, DVD’s, fashion shows and fancy dinners in the church. For years this has puzzled me because at the end of the “fund raising” thing, I rarely heard if people accepted CHRIST or were healed or turned their life around.

  • GOD said to me “Your ministry does not have to cost a dime.”
  • GOD said to me “You can pray for people for free.”
  • GOD said to me “You can go to people, tell them about ME and have them return to ME for free.”

Ministry does not cost money, buildings do. Please don’t get me wrong, I think it is wise to have a building for people to meet. Sometimes the building’s expenses get in the way of ministry.

The Pharisees enjoyed their buildings. They enjoyed their titles and in order to keep the building and human programs going, they needed money, lots of money. Even though JESUS healed people for free, the Pharisees groused. Meanwhile the children praised JESUS in their innocence. They had no motive, no manipulation.

JESUS wants me to praise HIM like these children. HE desires me to do “ministry” for free each and every day. HE wants me to assemble with others regularly, sometimes in a building. My praise should be as childish as these children.

  • Are you stuck thinking your lack of money is why you cannot do ministry?
  • Are you praying for money more than praising GOD?
  • Can you praise GOD with childish innocence today?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Cheer Practice

Matthew 21: The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”


Noise in the lunchroom was different this particular day. There was a rhythmic beat along with a chant against a rival school.  I did not want to act like a freshman, although I was, so I joined in on the celebration. It took a little practice, but soon I was able to chant like the other sports hounds!

  • Cheering with a crowd takes practice.
  • Cheering with a purpose can sometimes be fun.
  • Cheering with a group can raise the level of excitement in the air!

Hope is what the city wanted and JESUS was the provider of that hope. HE rode into Jerusalem as the KING of kings and LORD of lords. After all those years of prophecy, the ONE who would save the world was here!

  • GOD wants me to practice cheering about HIM on earth.
  • GOD wants me to praise HIM on a daily basis.
  • GOD wants me to shout towards HIM, about HIM and because of HIM!

Praise takes practice but sometimes complaints gets in the way of my praise. I shout at the crazy driver and murmur about the coworker who is acting political. BUT GOD wants my praise. HE can handle my prayer about problems but HE definitely wants and deserves praise for dying in my place. JESUS is my savior; in HIM I place my trust!

  • Are you complaining a lot?
  • Do you cheer at concerts or sporting events but do not cheer for GOD?
  • Can you practice cheering for GOD starting today?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Different King

Matthew 21: As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”


Political figures had me constantly watching the news. Searching for who would be right was my quest as I listened to their boisterous commentaries. The same was happening during the days when CHRIST walked the streets.

  • JESUS looked like the worst political candidate.
  • JESUS was never politically correct.
  • JESUS set a standard that politicians bend and twist.

“If you want to be great you must be last” is what JESUS taught. Who wants to be last? I mean shouldn’t GOD just roar in and say in a Hollywood booming voice “This is my politician whom I am well pleased?” HE decided to slip in gently.

  • JESUS came in with true power so HE did not make noise.
  • JESUS rode in on what was considered a low animal to show true power.
  • JESUS predicted the animals would be at that specific location which showed true power.

True power only comes from JESUS. HIS calm quietness was extremely misleading. Unfortunately the noisy politicians of today drown out the message of CHRIST. More conversations are about them than of the ONE who has true power. JESUS wants my time and my tongue.

  • How much time do you spend talking about politicians?
  • How Much time do you spend talking about JESUS?
  • Can you look to the ONE who has true power today, namely JESUS?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Make Me Wanna Shout!

Matthew 20: 29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.


Hurriedly I typed in the last few words. I ran as fast as I could to get to the building by the deadline as my paper was due at 5:00PM. When I arrived the door was locked.  “Let me in” I cried out! “Be quiet, people are taking finals” someone said. I kept calling out. They let me in and I turned my paper in.

  • There have been times I have needed to cry out.
  • There have been times when the crowd wanted me to be quiet but I couldn’t
  • There have been times that I simply needed help that the crowd could not provide.

JESUS’s fame was now in full bloom. People followed HIM all the time wanting to see the next trick or to truly be healed. The blind men knew of HIS powers and got so excited that nothing would stop them. They had one purpose on their mind, namely to be healed.

  • JESUS hears me when I cry out to HIM.
  • JESUS listens to me when I ask to be healed of my blindness.
  • JESUS touches me to the point of total healing from all unrighteousness.

The business crowd may not want me to shout about JESUS, nor do the political mongers. BUT GOD doesn’t mind my shout. In fact, GOD wants me to shout when people want me quiet. HE wants to see my alliance to HIM and my reliance on HIM. Sometimes I have to shout to be heard over the crowd.

  • Are you in need but have not asked?
  • Do you want something but are afraid of what the crowd would think?
  • Can you openly ask without worrying about the crowd?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Being the Boss

Matthew 20: 24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


After learning a lot, I felt it was time for me to try my hand at management. I mean I was deemed the “best” in the department in the technical systems. I asked to lead a group and was given the okay. “Do this” and “Do that” were my first orders. Later, I received complaints about my “management style.”

  • I once thought being the boss meant bossing people around.
  • I once thought being the boss meant I was on top and everyone else was on the bottom.
  • I once thought being the boss meant “do as I say” and that is that.

Being the boss quickly turned into a mutiny when I tried to flex my position. I went into my boss’s office to find no console. What was I to do? I still had to lead the people.

  • GOD says to me “You must become a servant.”
  • GOD says to me “I became a human to serve, not to be served.”
  • GOD says to me “I freely gave MY life as a ransom for you and for many.”

JESUS wants me to follow HIS example of extreme servanthood in order to be the leader HE wants me to be. Human leaders boss people around, sometimes they bully people into action. GOD wants me to serve people into action. Those who respond to HIS example belong to HIM; those who do not respond are not mine to lead, it’s as simple as that.

Once I started “serving” the people, they began serving me and others. GOD enables me to serve in order to draw people back to HIM.

  • Are you trying to be bossy?
  • Do you criticize your leaders?
  • Can you become a servant whether you are the boss or the employee for GOD today?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Faith of the Cup

Matthew 20: 20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.

21 “What is it you want?” he asked.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”


“LORD I choose to follow YOU” were my words as I reviewed my ambitions. I wanted to change for the better so things would go smoothly for me. No sooner than I spoke these words, it seemed as if life got harder, much harder. “Wait, I thought life would be easier if I followed CHRIST.”

  • I used to think following CHRIST would make life easier.
  • I used to think following CHRIST would make my life problem free.
  • I used to think following CHRIST would make all of my issues go away.

Heaven on earth was what I sought and this was my mistake. Following GOD not only meant dropping some bad habits, it meant I needed to mature in understanding HIM. HIS love for me is everlasting in spite of what is going on.

  • GOD wants me to be mature enough to see HIS love in the middle of the storm.
  • GOD wants me to understand HIS ways so I do not misinterpret HIS love.
  • GOD wants me to open my eyes and follow HIM no matter what is going on around me.

“”Can you drink from MY cup?” is what he asks the sons of thunder and me. JESUS knows in life I will have an opponent that is sly and cunning. HE knows battles will come daily and my hope needs to be placed in HIM. I have faith in the cup.

  • Are you going through a trial?
  • Do you think you are all alone even when there is a crowd around you?
  • Can you stop focusing on the circumstance and focus on GOD?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Making it Clear

Matthew 20: 17 Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, 18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”


How much more clear could JESUS have made it. I mean HE specifically said church people would kill him. Regular attendees of church would hate HIM so much that they would desire to get rid of the nuisance!

  • GOD wants me to see HIM as the solution not the problem.
  • GOD wants me to understand HIS love not human hate.
  • GOD wants me to speak life not death.

JESUS is the primary conversation I should have on my lips daily. HE said HE would be raised from the dead and was. Only GOD could say this and do it. HE was very clear about saying who HE “is” and what HE did. JESUS is my savior.

  • Are you looking for something and are lost?
  • Do you find yourself empty?
  • Can you look to JESUS as the one who can fill your life with glorious excitement?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Same Wage

Matthew 20: “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


“How are we getting the same pay?” I exclaimed in my mind. This guy does nothing but play golf and guess at things, then he comes to me for answers!

  • I have been jealous over some else’s position.
  • I have been upset over someone else’s rewards.
  • I have been envious when someone gets treated the same as me for doing less.

JESUS says “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” This story sounded unfair at first but HE was speaking of the kingdom of heaven in which no one deserved it at all. In heaven people will look over at me and say “How in the world did this person get in?”

JESUS wants me to accept my wages gratefully, so much so that I go out and recruit more workers for the vineyard.

  • Are you jealous over what others are receiving?
  • Do you feel that you should have more and are mad at GOD?
  • Can you drop your anger and allow GOD to bless you and receive thanks from you?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Leaving Home

Matthew 19: 27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.


Sun glared in my face as I drove to my new town. I was just about to start my new job and I was finally on my own. The reason I was leaving home seemed to be clear at the time. I was supposed to work like everyone else, right?

  • In the past I put a tremendous emphasis on work.
  • In the past I place a high amount of effort on work.
  • In the past I studied for jobs, begged for jobs and lost sleep over jobs.

Employment was the number one thing on my mind. I was groomed by people to be employed at “higher” levels. There was nothing more important than employment, or was it?

  • GOD wants me to leave my home for a purpose, namely HIM.
  • GOD wants me to leave my home for a single reason, for HIM.
  • GOD wants me to leave my home for HIS sake so that I will inherit eternal life.

Following GOD means losing my life. I can pursue all the riches of the world, becoming “first” and lose my soul. BUT GOD did not want that for me, HE died specifically for me so that I would live. Because of HIS resurrection HE will renew all things and with my belief I will be there with HIM. Leaving home should be celebrated by all if my pursuit is for GOD.

  • Why did you leave home?
  • Are your pursuits inclusive of GOD?
  • Can you reduce your ambitions to include GOD’s ambitions in your life today?

Friday, June 16, 2017


Matthew 19: 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”


“Lifejacket” I thought to myself. “Why would I need one of those? Will we sink? Is this boat safe? This was my reaction to my first boat ride in a small two oar boat. I clung onto what I thought would save me and did not enjoy the trip, at first.

  • I have clung onto things I thought would save me.
  • I have broken my neck to remain “insured.”
  • I thought doctors, investors and insurance people could protect me.

One item I could not protect with my lifejacket was my soul. As precious as I thought my body was, my soul was so much more important. JESUS talks about this with HIS disciples. “Who then can be saved?” they asked in response to the wealthy having a difficult time entering heaven.

  • GOD wants my total trust in HIM
  • GOD does not want me to think I can save myself by “my” wealth or diet or exercise.
  • GOD wants me to place an impossible task in HIS hands and allow HIM to wipe away my mountain of sins.

It is hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven mainly because wealth blinds. With extreme wealth, family and friends soon look like problems rather than sheep who need feeding. JESUS wants me to see others around me who need HIS kingdom. HE especially wants me to see that I need HIM more than anything.

  • Are you chasing wealth?
  • Are you blinded by your things?
  • Can you seek GOD first before you seek wealth?
  • Will you allow GOD to steer you in HIS direction today?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Perfect Life

Matthew 19: 16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.


Upgrading to a luxury vehicle felt great! I filled out the company forms and drove off in my company car, praising the company! Important people rode in the car and I kept it neat as a hospital. Never once did I give the poor a ride.

  • There were times wealth blinded me.
  • There were times I treated GOD as yet another achievement.
  • There were times when I like things and GOD was an afterthought.

GOD got HIS “cut” each week when it was easy to write a check, but HE wanted so much more. HE removed me from that position and visited with me.

  • GOD said to me “I provide you with shelter to execute MY purpose.”
  • GOD said to me “I give you transportation to bring MY people along.”
  • GOD said to me “I give you wealth to give to the poor.”

Ten percent is nothing to GOD if HE doesn’t have it all. What I mean is even when it came to giving, I looked at wealth as being “mine.” GOD has a right to give to who HE desires and if my heart is in the right place, HE can use me to provide. Sometimes I may be on the other side and need someone to give to me.

GOD said “If you want to be perfect” to the man, knowing his greedy heart. GOD wants my computer, my phone, my car, my house, my clothes and my coffee maker. HE wants me to trade them in for treasure in heaven.

  • Are you holding onto things?
  • Has wealth or lack of wealth blinded you?
  • Can you give GOD your wealth and possessions little by little until HE has it all?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Too Important

Matthew 19: 13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.


Prepping for the meeting was difficult. I only had fifteen minutes with the president of the company and I had to make every minute worth it. “Maybe I will be ‘too important’ to meet with people for long stretches of time someday.” I thought to myself.

  • I sought to make a name for myself.
  • I wanted to be “important” to other people.
  • I desired to be in the exclusive crowd.

Exclusion is great when I am in the “in crowd.” I mean when I am getting the fringe benefits that others aren’t, it feels wonderful, so much so that I craved more. BUT GOD wants me to act differently.

  • GOD wants me to welcome people with open arms.
  • GOD wants me to make time for people who cannot do for themselves.
  • GOD wants me to be available for the little children.

The disciples were trying to make JESUS exclusive to “important” people. These little kids had nothing to offer and JESUS could heal people back from the dead so the disciples shooed them away. JESUS illustrates how open I should be.

HE wants me to make time for people and not see levels or classes of humans. In fact, GOD wants me to make others more important than I make myself. The more I grow others, the more GOD grows me.
  • Are you trying to be important?
  • Do you want to exclude people away from you or the group you are in?
  • Can you stop trying to be important and point people to the ONE who is, namely JESUS?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Out Clause

Matthew 19: “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”


“Negotiate your exit” was the advice of the wealthy and powerful. They just knew their relationship would dissolve someday so they went in with an “exit strategy.”

  • GOD says to me there is no “Exit Strategy” when it comes to marriage.
  • GOD says to me “Throw away your ‘Out Clause’ thinking.”
  • GOD says to me “Marriage is a calling, not a pleasure ride.”

Within a few short sentences JESUS speaks about sexual purity in marriage as part of this calling. HE calls the “Out Clause” thinking “Forced Adultery.” The disciples reaction was classic! They had been taught they could divorce and move on to the next so there was no need for reconciliation or control of lust. “Who can do this?” they cried out.

  • JESUS explained a higher calling of sexual purity in not being married.
  • JESUS explained the higher calling is for a chosen few who can accept it.
  • JESUS explained that living married or unmarried is for the kingdom.

Anger, bitterness and rage can be controlled by those who are headed towards divorce or have already done it. GOD says “I forgive all who believe in ME” and HE means it. HE says to me “Love everyone as I have loved you.”

  • Do you have an “Out Clause?”
  • Are you bitter towards another person?
  • Can you drop your bitterness and turn your rage into GOD’s love so you can be successful?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Perfect Couple

Matthew 19: When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”


It is quite amazing how the Pharisees ignored the miracles happening before their very eyes. Instead they brought questions about something that was on their heart in the first place, namely divorce.

  • JESUS says “In the beginning I made male and female.”
  • JESUS says “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
  • JESUS says “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

What happened to the miracles? Didn’t someone get healed from a terminal illness moments before? The mere mention of the word “divorce” distracted me as I have seen the disintegration of this institution with not much help to keep it successful.

  • JESUS took me back to HIS creation to show me how HE meant things to be.
  • JESUS took me back to HIS creation to show me what perfection looked like.
  • JESUS took me back to HIS creation to show me HIS structure, not mine.

There is an important observation in this passage. “GOD has joined together” is the thing that I noticed the most. This means there is more of a purpose than my pleasure in this union. Without JESUS being the purpose of the marriage, two will remain two.

  • Are you divorced or getting divorced?
  • Are you married but are two instead of one?
  • Can you unite for the purpose of JESUS so you can see HIS miracles?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Heart Sorrow

Matthew 18: 23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”


“Say you’re sorry” a teacher demanded. “Sorry” was my pitiful response, but I wasn’t sorry at all!

  • JESUS wants me to have empathy over anger.
  • JESUS wants me to have forgiveness over being right all the time.
  • JESUS wants me to have a heart that is truly sorry over saying I’m sorry to get past an argument.

“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” tells me to have forgiveness all over. If forgiveness is not in my heart then I will pursue others onerously. GOD wants me to know the main reason I am here is for HIM in the first place. HE forgives, so should I.

  • Are you harboring ill feelings for someone?
  • Why are you holding onto so much negativity?
  • Will you let go of the hurtful thinking and ask GOD for a forgiving heart?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Keeping Track

Matthew 18: 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.


One time I was robbed. I remember the guy’s face as if it were yesterday. He stole fifty cents, a calculator and my bus card! This guy should have been thrown in jail for the rest of his life!

  • It is hard to forgive when I keep count.
  • It is hard to forgive when I quantify the offense with my emotions.
  • It is hard to forgive when I feel threatened or experience extreme loss or I am hurt.

Peter threw out the most extreme number he could think of, “seven.” I thought about it, I would have to get robbed by this guy six more times! JESUS says, “No, Seventy-seven times” meaning I would have to get robbed by this guy seventy-six more times before I stopped forgiving him. I could see myself saying “Is this number forty two or forty three?” as I kept track.

  • JESUS wants me to have the mindset of forgiveness even when I do not forget.
  • JESUS wants me to release problems by forgiving versus holding onto negative thoughts.
  • JESUS wants me to have abundant life and forgiveness is part of it.

Keeping track of the number is the main problem. GOD desires that I carry a mindset of forgiveness wherever I go. When “that” person cuts me off in traffic, my mindset says it is impossible for them to do this seventy-six more times before I reach my destination. Instead, GOD wants me to reset the clock to zero and say, “This was not an offense to me, but to GOD.”

No I am not saying I am GOD. I am saying the offender will have to deal with their offenses “to” GOD just like I will have to do one day. The act of forgiveness means I pray for the both of us in the offensive situation.

  • Have you been sinned against?
  • How many times did the person offend you?
  • Can you stop replaying their offense in your mind and start healing by forgiving them?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Power of Unity

Matthew 18: 18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”


Purity of prayer is what I believe GOD is looking for. I mean I believe HE wants to get to the heart of the matter, but sometimes my heart my not be focused on GOD, rather my own selfish ways.

  • Many times I want “my” way.
  • Many times I desire what “I” want.
  • Many times I hope to get what is good for ”me.”

“I”, “me”, “my” prayers do not work when there are more than one person involved. If two people oppose each other and are fighting, quite honestly I do not know how GOD sorts out the selfish prayers of the bitter hearts. I honestly believe HE ignores the prayers due to selfishness. How can HE hear the prayers?

  • GOD wants me to unite with others and pray together.
  • GOD wants me to put aside my selfish ways for a moment in order to have a successful prayer.
  • GOD wants me to come together “In HIS name” so HE can come along side of “us.”

Gathering in CHRIST’s name means “my” and “our” motive is only for GOD’s will to be done. We are gathering to ask GOD about something HE wants to grant us. Of course HE wants to give it to us! HE gets so excited that I am uniting with others for HIS purpose that HE gladly bestows it on “us” in abundance.

  • When is the last time you gathered with a group to pray for something GOD wants versus individual’s needs?
  • Can you drop your selfishness long enough to unite on a common purpose for GOD?
  • Will you ask for something amazing to happen like maybe your entire neighborhood accepting and following CHRIST?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ooo I’m Telling!

Matthew 18: 15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.


“This guy has to go” I thought to myself. In the meeting I allowed him to make mistakes on his facts. I knew he would snoop around my desk, so I laid a trap with false information. It took time to develop the fake report but it was worth it!

  • I have been a coward when it came to confrontation.
  • I have been selfish when it came to dealing with someone I did not like.
  • I have been foolish when it came to helping instead of hurting.

Telling my peers how wrong this guy was became a pastime. I wonder how many hours I spent trying to get rid of this person or wasting my breath talking about him. Not once did I approach him.

  • GOD wants me to be brave enough to confront “that” person in love.
  • GOD wants me to bring witnesses; otherwise my wicked heart may bring up slander.
  • GOD wants me to seek restoration versus demise and destruction.

I do not have to be a pushover if someone has wronged me. I should confront them, seeking restoration. If they refuse to listen then I should escalate the issue to those who also seek restoration.

Seeking demise and destruction hurts “that” person, myself and more. Nothing good comes from slander. GOD wants me to seek restoration so HIS work can be done.

  • Are you speaking negatively about someone behind their back?
  • Are you waiting for their next mistake so you can talk bad about them?
  • Will you stop desiring their demise before GOD brings that same demise on you?
  • Will you have the faith that GOD will deal with that person in HIS way and HIS time?

Monday, June 5, 2017

Heart of All

Matthew 18: 10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.


Looking around I could see no familiar faces. I panicked and began crying as I had no way to get myself “found.” People came over to me and led me to an office, but this provided no comfort. I was noticed, but not “found.”

  • It is scary being lost.
  • It is terrifying being in an unknown place where it seems to be no way out.
  • It is horrifying to be lost with no means to be found.

Humanity can be the same way. Many situations can seem so overwhelming to me that I feel “lost” with no way out. BUT GOD has an answer for that.

  • GOD sees me when I am in need and answers prayer before I even ask.
  • GOD knows my every fear and guides me out of the darkness.
  • GOD understands when I am lost and seeks me before I seek him.

I should never pretend that I am not lost when it comes to GOD. Admitting I have no idea how to be found is a start, but doesn’t do anything if no one is looking for me. GOD decided to search for me in my “lost” state. HE tapped on my heart to show me the way. It was up to me to follow HIM back to a place where it was safe. I rejoice over GOD’s search for me!

  • Are you lost?
  • Do you think you know your own way?
  • Can you let go and allow GOD to lead you back to HIM?