Monday, July 31, 2017

Keeping Up Appearances

Matthew 23: 25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.


Scouting out the right desk was the first part of the plan. It had to have lowered light and needed to be at an angle where my back was all that could be seen. I placed a pen in one hand and propped my head up with the other. To anyone who walked past, I looked like I was working but in reality, I was asleep! I mean the job was boring!

  • There were times I appeared to be righteous.
  • There were times I looked great on the outside but was rotten on the inside.
  • There were times I seemed to have it all together.

JESUS told the Pharisees and Sadducees that while they appeared to be holy, they were not. They carried their hidden sin into the church and pretended to have it all together. Meanwhile their pretense did not go unnoticed. GOD sees the same in me. HE sees when I am trying to keep up appearances or “fronting.”

  • GOD says to me “Admit your sins before many and it will be easier to admit your sins to ME.”
  • GOD says to me “Ask to be cleansed on the inside and I will guide you.”
  • GOD says to me “Seek to have people learn of ME rather than trying to appear perfect before humans.”

Smiling on the outside and rotten on the inside is not GODLY. JESUS wants hurt people not those who declare they are well. HE knows only HE can cleanse me of all unrighteousness if I am willing to confess my sins. I may look like a wretch to humans, but to GOD, I am declared clean.

  • Are you taking hidden sin into the church and telling others to follow the rules?
  • Do you think your sin is not being noticed?
  • Can you stop trying to look righteous and ask GOD to cleanse you of all unrighteousness?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Pride of Giving

Matthew 23: 23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.


Finally I had made it! I could give a tenth of my salary while paying bills, going on vacations, and buying stuff! Suddenly someone asked me for some money. “What are you going to do with it?” I interrogated. When I did not hear the reply I wanted, I declined to give a penny.

  • There were times when I measured my faith by “my” actions.
  • There were times when I was “proud” of my holiness.
  • There were times when I was excited about “my” giving but blind to my true surroundings.

Pride of giving meant nothing to GOD when it came to the Sadducees and Pharisees. HE saw through their pride and said they should not only give, but treat others well around them. HE says the same to me.

  • GOD wants me to give and show others justice.
  • GOD wants me to give and display mercy when other people ask for it.
  • GOD wants me to give and be faithful to give to others who GOD sends to me.

My pride of giving was also the pride of being wealthy enough to give, but what about those who were struggling at the time? “Get a job” was my answer. GOD wants me to act differently. HE wants me to show justice, mercy and faithfulness for those who can’t give.

Instead of judging the poor, GOD wants me to raise them up with justice by being faithful enough to pour out mercy on them. GOD sees my heart and wants to grow it.

  • Are you proud of where you have come from in your giving?
  • Do you think your giving is the measure of your faith?
  • Can you stop judging those around you who are in need and just be there for them?

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Matthew 23: 16 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.


“I swear I will never do that again” were my empty words of whatever sin I did at the time and felt I got hurt by it. I actually swore by something that I would “never” do something again and probably did that thing the next week or even the next day.

  • In the past I have taking my “swears” lightly.
  • In the past I have taken my “oaths” with a grain of salt.
  • In the past I have treated my “vows” as something to find loopholes in.

Swearing is a part of GOD that is probably taken the most seriously. HE holds HIMSELF accountable to HIS sworn word. HE never lies. Whatever HE says, HE does. Unfortunately I have not been as diligent. For a number of reasons, more like excuses, I have travelled away from my “sworn” word in the past. BUT GOD makes that right.

  • GOD wants me to swear only when necessary.
  • GOD wants me to take an oath only when I am sure I can keep it.
  • GOD wants me to state a vow only when I know I have HIM on my side to enable the vow to be kept.

The Pharisees manipulated their congregations into swearing by money and gifts and not by the grouping of the people which is the church. GOD saw through their evil plan and sees through my pitiful sworn word. HE wants me to swear on occasion and to make it sacred.

  • Have you sworn without the means to keep your word?
  • Have you sworn in order to get out of trouble?
  • Can you swear on occasion and admit to GOD you need help upholding your end of the bargain?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Matthew 23: 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.


When I joined the group, I felt great. I received gifts and people noticed me. Little did I know that some who were in the group were doing some underhanded things. “Should I be like them and recruit for them?” came to mind.

  • Sometimes I have to leave the crowd.
  • Sometimes I have to not be part of the group.
  • Sometimes I have to step back and assess what crowd I am with.

Putting cute labels on something does not make what I was doing right. GOD saw my sins and didn’t want me to recruit anyone else to follow down that path.

  • GOD wants me to recruit for HIS kingdom, not for my sins.
  • GOD wants me to ask people to follow HIM rather than following humans.
  • GOD wants me to point people to HIM rather than pointing people to the club.

Recruitment is not the problem, it is what I am recruiting people to that is the problem. GOD wants me to bring those who have forgotten HIM back to HIM so HE can guide them to HIS better place. I can recruit people to follow GOD and please HIM.

  • Are you recruiting people to church but not to GOD?
  • Do you think your club is better than GOD?
  • Can you stop focusing people on club activities and bring people to a saving knowledge of JESUS?

Monday, July 24, 2017


Matthew 23: 13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.


After searching for the right programs and the right people with the right aged children, our church home was finally found. It had a normal cadence, a coffee shop and a book store. I was now part of “Insert church name” and proud of it. We did not exclude, but for some reason the crowd was full of high income people.

  • GOD wants me to be careful of becoming blind.
  • GOD wants me to be careful of falling into the habit of church.
  • GOD wants me to be careful not to “Block” others from the kingdom unintentionally.

After a while I did not see the poor or widows or hurting people. Only smiling faces with no financial worries at all. The right things were said and the buildings were huge, but GOD wanted something different for me.

  • GOD wants me to help the widows.
  • GOD wants me to be sincere about my prayers, not just make long ones and compare them to others.
  • GOD wants me to seek the lost and not just sit in church.

I must admit, having a church with all the amenities felt great, but my senses became dull to my neighbor’s needs. “Invite them to church” was the mantra versus “Lead them to CHRIST and send them out to do the same.” I still love that church and I did become part of their outreach group which was a much smaller crowd. I need to heed GOD’s warning of hypocrisy.

  • Are you looking for church to be a club?
  • Do you exclude people by the way they dress, or how they look?
  • Can you consider the widows and other hurting people in your prayers to GOD today?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Life’s Elevator

Matthew 23: “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.


“Making it” was top of mind. I tried not to step on people, but if a person got in my way, they were in trouble. I did get the title and it felt great to have the “respect.”

  • Seeking places of honor can sometimes make me blind.
  • Seeking to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces can sometimes puff up my head.
  • Seeking a title or a position of status can sometimes lead me to think I am better than I am.

JESUS makes it clear that HE is the only instructor and the FATHER is the only father. Anyone who seeks to have the spotlight on themselves in the church will be knocked down.

  • GOD wants me to humble myself so HE will not have to.
  • GOD wants me to humble myself so HE can use me HIS way.
  • GOD wants me to humble myself so HE can exalt me.

When I am in a humble position I celebrate more. I mean when GOD raises me up, even a little, I am thankful and I cheer. On the other hand, when I seek a title that I feel I “deserve” and do not get it, I pout and life is quite miserable. GOD wants me to be a servant no matter what title or position HE gives me. Serving others as HE served me is the highest honor!

  • Are you trying to get a title?
  • Do you feel you “deserve” better in life?
  • Can you seek to serve rather trying to exalt yourself?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lighten the Load

Matthew 23: Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.


Perfection was my desire as I cast the vision to my employees. I only had a few people working for me but I had some grand ideas! “This is a lot of work” they said. “Keep going” I told them. When funding dried up I had to do it myself. “Wow, this is a lot of work” I realized.

  • Practicing what I preach is not always easy.
  • Practicing what I preach is not always top of mind.
  • Practicing what I preach is not the first thing on my mind when I expect someone else to be perfect even when I’m not.

JESUS saw through the pastors and teachers of the day. HE saw their desire to be the “boss” rather than the employee. HE saw that in me as well. BUT GOD has a remedy.

  • GOD wants me to serve others especially when I am the boss.
  • GOD wants me to show people how to carry the load by carrying my own.
  • GOD wants me to help others with their load.

“Amazing” should be the word people have of GOD when leaving my presence. They should not feel more burdened or bothered. GOD will convict, convince and contrive in those who are HIS. I do not have to force people to do hard labor to serve GOD cheerfully. GOD wants me to lighten loads.

  • Are you placing heavy loads on people?
  • Do you place loads on others that you have not done yourself?
  • Can you stop placing heavy “churchy” burdens on people and lighten their load so they can see GOD?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

No More Traps

Matthew 22: 41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”

“The son of David,” they replied.

43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,

44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
    under your feet.”’

45 If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” 46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.


“Why?” is the question I asked GOD. “If YOU are GOD, the why” fill in the blank with whatever question. I asked this on many occasion. I never got an answer.

  • Sometimes I question GOD’s authority.
  • Sometimes I question GOD’s power.
  • Sometimes I question GOD’s position on matters.

Supremacy of GOD is what I question. I mean “Why does GOD allow ‘that’ person to get away with seemingly everything?” Usually I ask that question when I am not getting my way. JESUS quiets the Pharisees and Sadducees for good. No more traps were set because they were made to look like fools.

  • GOD wants me to learn to believe in HIM without question.
  • GOD wants me to grow in faith so I can throw away my sinful questions.
  • GOD wants me to ask without doubting, knowing HE will answer the right questions.

Questioning GOD’s authority has never yielded a favorable answer to any human. Asking HIM “What would YOU like me to do LORD?” always yields fruit. GOD does not mind questions, as long as they point towards growth in me and HIS kingdom.

  • Are you trying to trap GOD?
  • Do your words try to trap others?
  • Can you stop trying to twist situations and ask GOD to lead you?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Just like Me

Matthew 22: 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


One guy would break into our garage regularly. A group would let their dogs loose to poop on our lawn. The kid across the street would laugh at me and try to pick fights. I saw him throw bologna at me. I did not like those neighbors very much!

  • There are some people who seem to grate on my last nerve.
  • There are some people who tend to make me want to complain about them.
  • There are some people who seem to get their way while I take a back seat!

JESUS says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The problem is I like myself and I didn’t like them. HE was speaking about something higher than bologna being thrown at me. GOD wants something else from me.

  • GOD wants me to love HIM with all my heart and with my soul and with all my mind so I can understand what HE has done for me.
  • GOD wants me to love my neighbors as I love myself so I can stop being selfish.
  • GOD wants me to know that everything said and done in the Bible was because of GOD’s tremendous love!

GOD so loved me that HE gave HIS only begotten SON that if I believe in HIM I will not perish but have everlasting life. For GOD did not send his SON to me to condemn me, but to save my soul through HIM.

My neighbors should receive my best even when they give their worst. This is sometimes hard but not as hard when I focus on loving GOD as HE loved me.

  • Do you have difficult people around you?
  • Can you stop looking at their difficulties and see a creation of GOD?
  • Will you take the poison out of your heart and ask GOD to fill it with love for those who are hard to love?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Know the Power

Matthew 22: 23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”

29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.


Rain poured down in sheets but I kept going. Visibility was low but I could still see. I hit a puddle and the car went into a skid on an expressway loaded with cars and trucks. When the car came to a stop I was blocking two of three lanes because I was sideways. I turned the car straight and kept going.

  • Some days I need the power of GOD.
  • Some days I face some serious trouble.
  • Some days I need something miraculous to happen.

Protection is only a tiny part of GOD’s amazing power. Unfortunately the Sadducees read the scripture and listened only to what they wanted to hear. They tried to trap JESUS instead of being amazed at HIS true power.

  • GOD wants me to know the scriptures.
  • GOD wants me to know the power.
  • GOD wants me to know the FATHER, the SON and the HOLY SPIRIT as the only source of power.

Doubt comes from lack of belief or knowledge of GOD’s amazing power. It leads to questioning GOD in weird ways, like the Sadducees. BUT GOD has the power to overcome my doubt. HE steps in when I am in need and shows HIS might. GOD is truly amazing!

  • Do you doubt GOD’s power?
  • Do you think GOD is a distant concept?
  • Can you stop looking at things from human eyes and search the scripture to learn of GOD’s amazing power?

Friday, July 14, 2017


Matthew 22: 15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”

18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.


Hour upon hours I spent collecting my facts. I was finally going to catch this guy in his slippery ways. I was going to lay my trap that he could not get out. When I got in his boss’s office he was there. Their question was about something I was supposed to be doing, but had not time due to my collection of evidence. I was caught in yet another trap!

  • When I try to trap people I get caught in the trap.
  • When I try to bring someone down I am the one who falls.
  • When I try to make someone look bad, I am the one who winds up looking terrible.

Time is precious, yet the Pharisees spent an enormous amount of it scheming against JESUS. I did the same. I should have been working instead of trying to gain vengeance that GOD owns. Laying traps for people is as slimy as the person I am trying to trap. GOD wants something different.

  • GOD wants me to be the person of integrity so I don’t have to trap anyone.
  • GOD wants me to state the truth without bending it so I will not fall into any trap.
  • GOD wants me to stay focused on HIM so human traps will fall off of me.

Snares, traps and deceptions are not the way of the LORD. HE does not want me to play games like that rather HE wants me to be courageous enough to stand for the truth and tell the truth. By following JESUS’s example, I do not need to lay traps for anyone.

  • Are you trying to trap someone?
  • How much time do you spend brooding over “that” person?
  • Can you remove the hatred from your heart by asking GOD to fill it up today?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Crashing the Banquet

Matthew 22: “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”


Delicious food was just sitting there in the hallway. I was starving and headed towards the wonderful aroma. “Do you have your badge?” said the hotel attendant with a stern voice. “Um, no” was my pitiful reply. It seemed like everyone around could hear the conversation so they all looked at me.

  • There were places I wanted to see but did not have a ticket.
  • There were events I wanted to be involved in but I did not have a pass.
  • There were concerts I wanted to hear but I did not get my ticket in time.

Embarrassed, disappointed and upset were my feelings when I had the chance to get a ticket or a pass but I waited and they were all gone, therefore I missed out. JESUS’s parable was about missing out. HE gave people a chance to come to HIS wedding but they rejected HIM as the Messiah.

One person who tried to crash the banquet was immediately noticed because they had no wedding clothes on. JESUS was illustrating how those who accept HIM will be given “new clothes.”

  • JESUS wants me to answer HIM when HE calls me the first time.
  • JESUS gives me many changes to follow HIM but some day those chances will run out.
  • JESUS allows me to reject HIM over and over, but if my rejection persists, then HE will ultimately reject me.

GOD’s grace is limitless to those who “believe” in the SON. Unfortunately HE has no tolerance for those who do not. HE will toss them out of HIS presence forever, saying “I invited you over and over.”  I choose to live for JESUS daily so I can enjoy the official Wedding Feast.

  • Are you rejecting JESUS?
  • Do you feel there are many roads to heaven?
  • Can you accept JESUS as the only name who can save you eternally?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Time to Celebrate

Matthew 22: Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.


Christmas morning had arrived and the gifts were sitting under the tree. “Go on without me” were my whispered words because I had no idea how long the conference call would be. An “emergency” happened at work and all the leaders had to be on a call, even though my area was not affected.

  • There have been times when I have been too busy to celebrate GOD.
  • There have been times when I have been too exhausted to worship GOD.
  • There have been times when I had so much to do that I could not even conceive how to have a moment with GOD.

“This is important” as if to say “GOD will understand my absence from worshipping HIM.” Work did interfere with daily worship as well as gathering together with others to worship. Taking vacation to serve others was unheard of because I “needed” time to unwind and relax, or at least I thought. BUT GOD wanted something else.

  • GOD wants me to come to the celebration of HIS SON.
  • GOD wants me to take a moment to sit at the banquet with HIS SON.
  • GOD wants me to pay attention to HIS servants who talk about HIS SON.

As a created being, I should have as much time as the Creator desires. Unfortunately the things of the world distract me from paying attention to HIM. GOD wants me to celebrate HIS SON as much and often as possible.

  • Are you too busy for GOD?
  • Does worshipping GOD take too much effort?
  • Can you make time today to worship JESUS?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Reject Maker

Matthew 21: 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.


Humiliation turned into relief as I was finally picked to play the game on the playground. I was frail but fast. I caught people quickly and soon was recognized as a key player. The next time we played I was actually consulted. “Should we pick ‘that’ person?” they asked. “‘Nah’ let’s get some fast people” I suggested.

  • There were times I rejected people.
  • There were times I wanted to be on the winning side.
  • There were times I my desire to win was placed over my desire to accept.

Instead of bringing others along in the game, I joined in the exclusion. To this day, I do not know who I overlooked because of my short-sightedness. JESUS knows. HE feels those who have been rejected and knows those who have done the rejection.

  • GOD made each person special so I should not reject them.
  • GOD made each person unique so I should look at each person differently.
  • GOD made each person distinct so I should figure out a way to reach their distinction instead of rejecting them because it is too hard.

JESUS was rejected as the “Cornerstone” of the church. Upon this rock the church sits. When I choose to fall on it I am broken to pieces for HIS service. When I reject the use of the Cornerstone, it falls on my feeble plans and they are crushed.

Pastors, preachers, ministers and the priests of the day rejected JESUS. GOD wants me to gravitate towards HIS ways and be broken for HIS purpose.

  • Are you rejecting people so that you can fit in the crowd?
  • Does your job make you reject people?
  • Can you start accepting those GOD sends into your life?

Monday, July 10, 2017

If Not Me

Matthew 21: 38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”


“Will you serve this particular Sunday?” was the question. “Yes” was my answer, because it was easy and I had nothing planned. “Will you teach?’ was the question. “Yes” was my answer, because it wouldn’t take up too much time.  “Will you go with us on a mission’s trip?” was the question posed to me. Many reasons came to mind as far as why I could not go, all of which were excuses.

  • There are times when I think someone else should do “that.”
  • There are times when I am called and I hang up the phone.
  • There are times when I want life easy.

Wanting an easy life is not exactly the problem in this parable, but it is related. The tenants, Israel, rejected JESUS as the Messiah. They killed HIM thinking they would inherit HIS kingdom, namely heaven. Unfortunately they would never believe and would meet a wretched end.

Same goes for me. GOD wants me to do something. I don’t mean HE wants me to work my fingers to the bone trying to gain salvation. What I mean is HE wants me to do “something.” “If not me then who?” is the question. GOD wants me to serve someone at some point in time. HE may even call me to do something extreme for HIM and I should be ready.

  • GOD wants me to serve others even when it is inconvenient.
  • GOD wants me to pray for others even when I don’t like them.
  • GOD wants me to speak well of others so HE can speak well of me.

The story ends with the tenants being replaced by others who are willing, by those without excuses. Unfortunately I have passed up my opportunities to serve others many times. BUT GOD has other opportunities ahead. I should be ready with “Yes.”

  • Are you being called?
  • Do you think someone else should do “that?”
  • Can you listen to GOD’s calling and respond? 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Great Expectations

Matthew 21: 33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.

35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.


What I noticed about this passage is GOD is the owner of everything. HE created people for HIS pleasure and had some great expectations that HIS creation would grow and multiply. HE desired a wonderful relationship with HIS creation so HE put people in charge of HIS created kingdom.

Those in charge soon realized they could have heaven on earth and would do anything to keep it. When people tried to give to the poor or serve one another, the greedy made more rules to make it increasingly harder for them to live. They sold their souls for money.

  • GOD wants me to “collect HIS fruit.”
  • GOD wants me to watch over HIS vineyard until it grows.
  • GOD wants me to “Respect HIS SON.”

Since GOD owned everything HE decided to give it all to HIS creation. But instead of appreciating the gift, we treated it like we deserved it. We pouted for more and complained when we did not get our way. When GOD sent people to tell us our wrongs, we did not believe and slandered them and killed HIS SON.

  • The more I can act like HIS expectations the better.
  • The more I can appreciate HIS gift the better off I am.
  • The more I can understand HIS expectations of me the more I can appreciate HIS gift for me.

GOD’s expectations were only out of love for me. HE gave me so much, and in return only wants me to express my enjoyment of what HE has done. My expectations of HIM are great!

  • Are you complaining?
  • Do you worry?
  • Can you stop and praise GOD for giving you so much?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Knowing Doing

Matthew 21: 28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.


“Tell that person about ME” GOD said to me. “I can’t, they won’t listen to me.” The moment passed. “Tell that person about ME” GOD said to me again. “I can’t, I am at work.” The moment passed. “Tell that person about ME” GOD said on another occasion. I can’t, I’m at a club looking at, well I won’t go into that. The moment passed.

  • Many times I know what I should do and not do it.
  • Many times I have an excuse for not doing what I am supposed to do.
  • Many times I have said “Yes I will do that” but wind up not doing it.

“Stop talking and start doing” is what I heard from someone. It did not have a profound message at the time but I did remember it. After a while I pursued CHRIST, seeking HIS way. I then heard someone say, “If you only had two weeks to live, what would you do differently?” Many answers came out and I thought about “tell people about CHRIST.” The conference leader then said “Then why don’t you do live like that each day?”

  • GOD tells me what to do every day; it is up to me to listen.
  • GOD gives me direction daily; I get blessed when I follow HIM.
  • GOD talks to me on a regular basis, I only have to open my heart in order to hear HIM.

Clouded thoughts, fear, bitterness, lust, greed and other things got in the way as excuses for not serving GOD. BUT GOD was graceful enough to keep asking. HE knew HE could penetrate my stony heart and enable me to follow HIM little by little. GOD calls me to “do” all I have to do is obey.

  • Are you ignoring GOD when HE is talking to you?
  • Do you have too much going on to hear HIM?
  • Can you slow down for a moment and listen to HIM today?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Dilemma Answers

Matthew 21: 23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”

24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”

27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.


“Have the answer before you ask the question” was the advice of the person who seemingly had “made it.” I tried it and I could suddenly tell when a person was lying. He then told me I could use this as an advantage to put people in a dilemma they could not get out of.” Hmm, this may be a good idea” I thought to myself.

  • There were times I listened to hear what politics were being played.
  • There were times I tried to hear words so I could have a better political stance.
  • There were times I would collect my position way before I met with “that” person.

Twisted thinking brings out twisted words. Trying to “think ahead” of GOD is very impossible, but that is what the Pharisees were trying to do. They tried to twist JESUS’s words against HIM so their questions were well thought out for their advantage.

JESUS saw right through their twisted plot and did not answer their question. HE knew they were not “with” HIM rather their questions were only collecting evidence against HIM.

  • GOD wants me to ask questions that come from HIS words.
  • GOD wants me to ask questions that inspire people to love HIM.
  • GOD wants me to ask questions that enable people to be drawn to HIS love, not repel them.

Twisting words and acting political is not trait of GOD and HE doesn’t like it when I am trying to do the same. HE wants me to hold onto the truth HE gives me and then I don’t have to twist or mince words. HE leads me to a place that leads others to HIM.

  • Are you twisting words for your gain?
  • Are you manipulating the situation for yourself?
  • Can you stop your political thinking and start bringing people to GOD today?

Monday, July 3, 2017

Apprentice Time

Matthew 21: 18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”


Curiosity filled my mind as I was about to embark on my journey. I had never been this far away from home in my life and I was excited! I turned the corner and saw people I had never seen before. I kept pedaling and made it back from around the block. This was my first time visiting the block over!

  • When I have never done something before, I wonder if it can be done.
  • When I am venturing into the unknown I am curious and sometimes quite scared.
  • When I cannot see the path and I am told to “go” I question the sender.

JESUS is giving the disciples a lesson in faith. HE tells them they can do incredible things here on earth if they would only believe. HE says the same for me. At one point I did not know if I could make it around the block on my bike. I had the same doubts about driving to school, to college and across a nation. BUT GOD showed me I could.

  • GOD does not expect me to immediately have faith.
  • GOD does not expect me to instantly know I can connect to HIS incredible power and strength.
  • GOD does not expect me to know everything HE can do.

Gaining faith is a daily walk JESUS had to tell HIS disciples that they could move mountains if they believed. They were HIS apprentices. I am too. JESUS shows me HIS miracles daily and soon I believe more and more in HIS power. After a while I believe HE can do anything so all I need to do is ask and it will be done. GO is truly amazing!

  • Do you think you do not have enough faith to amazing things?
  • Can you start small and add a measure of faith daily?
  • Will you stop looking at yourself and believe that GOD can do anything, all you have to do is ask?