Ephesians 4:14-16 – “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” NASB  

[Please read verses 1-16 for the greater context]

Without rehearsing all of the discussion of the previous devotional let’s jump into the water and begin to address what is in my heart regarding ‘Covenant Community’ and where we are in today’s Church.

We mentioned major changes that could and would have to occur in the Church for us to become a Covenant Family and a Covenant Community, walking in the fullness of His Power in this present world.  One of those changes is our understanding of The Church as well as the individual’s role and function in the organism called The Body of Christ. 

I believe that requires the fitting, placing, and developing of the Individual Stones into a rightly framed and built house.  It will require a clear view of the vision and purpose of our Lord for His Church.  It will require a total commitment and surrender to that Vision and Purpose and He will, of necessity, become Lord of All and First before Everything or Anything.  It cannot be a casual relationship, it must be All In. 

It is my conviction that we in the Last Days that the Bible predicted. We could focus on the negative, but I choose to focus on the Harvest that God has Promised and Predicted.  The Bible tells us that many will ‘fall away’ but it also speaks of the Great Harvest and Ingathering of Souls that will occur. [Matthew 13;17-20, 29].

Too often we focus on the numeric but the Bible identifies that the End Times will be marked by a Church that has come to full stature (Ephesians 4:13-16), is without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:25-27), and is a sharp threshing instrument moving mightily against the powers of darkness (Romans 16:20).  That is exciting!

The Last Days will be marked by a Great Visitation of the Holy Spirit and will result in the ingathering of multitudes into the Kingdom of God.  It will be the Greatest Harvest the world has ever experienced!  That is exciting!  I believe that is illustrated and emphasized in Peter’s miraculous catch of fish, Joel’s vision of the latter rain outpouring, and all indicates that the Latter House (Church) will far surpass anything that has existed heretofore.  That is exciting!

Regarding the Harvest, it is clear, the vehicle God will use is the Church, universal and local.  The harvest is to be caught and kept.  That means that the Church must become a Covenant Family and a Covenant Community.  It becomes the vehicle through with the Army of God is fielded and funded.  It will provide real answers to real problems for real people.  It will no longer be about noses and nickels but lives and victory.  Transformed lives impacting their world for the Kingdom of God in a Covenant Community.

It goes without saying that in this Harvest many are going to be saved and come into the local churches throughout the world.  Here is a problem in that vision.  The multitudes that are born-again and come in will bring with them a multitude of problems.  No one of us got rid of all our problems when we came to Christ, they won’t either.  We all came in with baggage and hang-ups, questions, and fears.  All of us!  If you recall in Acts 6 that as the number of disciples increased the number of problems increased proportionally.  It is automatic that with more people there are more problems and the need for more answers.  Real answers, not theoretical postulations.

How do we handle that problem?  When you have multitudes of people with a multitude of problems that means more work, ministry, and a greater need for the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.  That cannot be achieved with the One-Man idea of church ministry or even a single team, it requires a Body Ministry effort. Unless we become a Body and a Covenant Community this effort will fall short of God’s design and desire.  I am not sure how we arrived at the place where we became satisfied with one-hour or a couple of hours a week and call that the church and its ministry.  As a result of one-hour weekly, many are left weak. 

I know that I am treading on thin ice but want to dig a little deeper and even then, know that I will not scratch the surface of the problem, the promise or the potential.  However, hopefully, it will inspire thought and personal investigation and introspection. 

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!


by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” NASB   [Please read verses 1-16 for the greater context]

What is in my heart may not win friends and may not influence people the way I hope. I see something that is existent in the Church today and one few seem to be willing to address.  My devotionals are designed to be encouraging so for me to venture into something that would require the detail and length to adequately address, such as this, makes me cautious and concerns me. 

In the Body of Christ, we have the Church, the Ministry, and the Problem!  Of course, that demands explanation because on the surface it is meaningless and could lead to a terrible misunderstanding of what I am talking about.  The idea of ‘Covenant Community’ is a belief that consumes my heart, as a Christian and a preacher.  It burns in me like a fire that refuses to abate.  Therefore, regardless of how it may be received or understood, it is a message that I cannot avoid. 

Incorporated into this thought of ‘Covenant Community’ are some important facets of Truth and vital pieces of the spiritual puzzle.  I believe that I see with a significant amount of clarity where God wants to take us as the Body of Christ. I also have a sense of inadequacy in knowing exactly where to begin in addressing this reality. I sense a certain level of inadequacy in presenting what I see.  I am a very small fish in a very large pond and others with renown could present this with more receptivity, I am sure.  However, it is burned into my heart and the Holy Spirit won’t let me walk away, so we dive in.  I hope and pray this will be beneficial and ultimately a blessing to you.

I know what it is to have enormous physical and emotional pain.  I know what it is to feel that you have been abandoned by God and man.  I may not know the pain you feel or have felt, but I know what I feel and have felt.  In some measure, what I am going to address has a prophetic tone and anytime there is a message that has that tone there is great danger of it being misunderstood or misapplied.  It most assuredly opens the door to harsh criticism of those who disagree or disbelieve the message.  But, before you render a judgment, I ask that you hear the whole matter and then decide.

All of us need to engage in reevaluation and reexamination of our hearts and our positions from time to time.  That is not an unusual condition for me to find myself.  In days gone by, the Lord has challenged me to reevaluate everything in my life.  He has challenged me in my views of ministry, life, my dreams and purposes, everything.  That can be and, at times, was painful because of the honesty He required.

Covenant Community – – What is it?  Why do we need it?  How do we attain it?  All questions that are valid and hopefully in some measure I will answer satisfactorily.  I believe that it is the desire of God for the Church today to become His Covenant Community in every local expression.  He wants us to become a Covenant Family.

Let me make this declaration:  “Unless the local expression of the Church becomes a Covenant Family it can never become a Covenant Community and will never be fully assimilated into the Body of Christ in a universal sense.”  What I mean is that it will never become the Church Triumphant, enforcing the Victory of Calvary in this world until it becomes a Covenant Family and a Covenant Community. 

Lest anyone think I am saying that the Church of Jesus will fail, IT WILL NOT!  We may fail individually and in the local community, but the Church Universal will not fail.  The Church Jesus is building will pull down strongholds and defeat the authorities and powers of darkness.  What I am saying is, we may have to make some changes in our attitudes, understanding, and actions to become a viable part of that Church Triumphant.  I hope we all want that desperately. Today’s pandemic is opening the door for that to become a reality in a larger measure than most would have thought or believe.

I am going to pause there, knowing that I have not adequately defined my objective and may have left you wondering where I am going with this.  However, if you will join me in the next devotional, we will consider some major changes that need to occur in many hearts and local congregations.

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

JUST TELL THEM WHO I AM! – – Part Three…

Exodus 3:13-14 – “Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” NASB

We have looked at this directive that I received from the Lord in prayer and I feel woefully inadequate to fulfill the charge but am giving it a go.  If I can open one eye to one truth, the exercise is worth all the effort and any frustration I experience.

Thus far we have looked at Who GOD is and declared that He IS, He SEES, He HEARS, He KNOWS, He DELIVERS, He SEES, He HEARS, He KNOWS, He Comes to Deliver, He Sends Forth, He is with those whom He sends,  He desires Worship, and He IS what we need when we need it.  Those are declarations regarding the character and person of God that hopefully will inspire everyone to dig deeper than my superficial address of those traits, qualities, and characteristics. 

As we continue it is beneficial for us to consider other things about God to help us fully or grasp who He is in a greater measure.  I doubt that any of us could offer enough instruction or information for the human mind and spirit to fully grasp Who He Is.

He INSTRUCTS – – In verse 15 we find God giving detailed directions to Moses as to what He was to do and say to the children of Israel when he got back to Egypt.  If you study, you find that each of God’s Covenants and Promises carries with them instructions.  Likewise, every Covenant and Promise has a Provision.  God instructs and provides.  That’s Who He Is!

He Is Incredibly ORDERLY – – In verse 16, God gave Moses the order or process by which he was to operate and proceed.  I notice the order of God in many things and in the account where Jesus fed the multitude at the end of the day order was there. Before his instructions to feed them, they were permitted to sit or stand wherever they pleased, now, He has them arranged in groups and fed them with 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish.  There is Order in the Kingdom of God and He will never allow us to operate outside His Order.  His order unleashes and releases His power. 

I ask that you recall the account in 2 Kings 3 when Elisha was giving God’s directive to Israel as they were being attacked by powerful forces.  In verse 16 he instructed them to ‘make the valley full of ditches.’  That might sound a little trite, but they obeyed the Word from God and when the arose the next morning the ditches were full of sparkling water.  However, when the Moabites looked, they saw ‘blood’ and rushed to their destruction.  Preparation always precedes blessing!  Always!

He Is The GOD Who PROSPERS – – In verse 21 we find the amazing promise, “And I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed.”  Jesus said in Luke 12:32 that it was His Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom.  In Matthew 6:33 we are promised provision if we will place God before everything in our lives.  In Proverbs 13:22 we are informed that God has laid up the wealth of the wicked for the just.  Then in 3 John 1:2, the prayer of John was that the believers would “prosper and be in health, even as their soul prospered.”  It is God’s desire to Bless us and make us Prosper.

He Uses WHAT WE HAVE – – That is amplified in Exodus 4:2 when Moses was protesting that he was unqualified and God reminded him that He would use what Moses had, not what he did not have.  Initially what we have may be small, but God will make it grow and expand as we walk in obedience and trust Him.

He Is The GOD OF MIRACLES – – That should go without saying but in Exodus 4:6-9 God makes this clear.  God is a Miracle Worker and a Covenant Keeper.  We can trust Him.  One of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit is the ‘Gift of Working of Miracles.’

When we know Him as did Moses, we can do incredible things for God.  However, Moses, like too many of us, kept making excuses and human justifications as to why he could not do what God said he could.  That is why Moses had to be empty of self and that is the heart of the message of John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  Even with Saul, the word from God was, “When you were little in your own eyes.” 

David was not looking for the job of being King, he was a shepherd.  Joshua was the loyal servant of Moses the man of God and God elevated him to rulership.  When we lose our self-sufficiency, we are able to move into His sufficiency.  When we empty out self that makes room for us to be filled with Him.

The choice is self and our natural abilities or God and His supernatural abilities.  The choice is our manipulation and plans or God’s provision, call, development and sending forth.  He IS! He SEES! He HEARS! He KNOWS! He DELIVERS! He SENDS! He is WITH US! He INSTRUCTS! He has an ORDER! He is WHAT we need WHEN we need it!  He PROSPERS! He is a MIRACLE WORKER! He Uses WHAT WE HAVE!

God makes and keeps His Covenant and He has Promised that we can Pull Down Strongholds!  Now is the time to embrace Who He Is, and Believe He is, He can, and He will!

Have a great day!


Exodus 3:13-14 – “Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” NASB

Some time back, I heard in my spirit the Lord saying, “Just Tell Them Who I Am!”  I heard it over and over again, day after day for weeks and when something like that will not lessen in its tug at my heart, I know it is something that I need to pay careful attention to.  As I prayed and meditated on God, the things of God, and the Purposes of God I realized that this was the cry of the Father that His children would come to a greater awareness of “Who He Is” and “Know Him.”

As I prayed, I sensed in my spirit the Lord saying, “When My people know me, fear will be gone.  They will be able to wait on Me, trusting My provision, love, and timing.  They will be able to take dominion, establish My Covenant, set the captives free, and walk victoriously in this life!  So, Tell Them Who I Am!”  That was an incredibly humbling experience and the pressure of that directive was staggering.  How could I do that in the way I felt God wanted and deserved?  I knew the deficiency in my own ability and my sense of weakness and incapability soared.  I understood how Moses must have felt as he stood at the burning bush. 

God’s motivation is always out of a heart of love.  His motivation and purpose are always demonstrated in His Covenant.  His Love ‘Hesed’ (Hebrew) and ‘Agape’ (Greek) is His heart and binds Him to His Covenant opening the door for us to become one with Him.  It is through God’s Love and His Covenant that He totally commits Himself to us. In Chapter 3 of the Book of Exodus, we discover several important realities about God and in His dealings with Moses that help us to “know” Him and relate to Him.

I want to begin considering some of those realities and will allow the Bible to do its own commentary.  I pray this will be an inspiration and beneficial for you and inspire you to Know Him beyond anything you have ever experienced and move deeper into Him and His Purposes.

HE IS – – In verse 6 we realize that He is not ‘a’ god but THE GOD of all creation. In Abraham, we see His Covenant, in Isaac we see His Provision and in Jacob we see the Transformation that occurs.  He is!  He is whatever the need is!  He is eternal, past, present, and future.  I AM is Who He is!

HE SEES – – In verse 7 we discover that He sees ALL.  “for I have surely seen…”  The Bible tells us that the eyes of God run to and fro through the whole earth looking for opportunities to show Himself strong on behalf of His people. (2 Chronicles 16:9).  In Psalms 34:15 – “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous.”  Psalms 33:18 – “The eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him.”  Job 36:7 – “He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous.”  Psalm 139:12 – Darkness and light do not prevent Him from seeing.  Nothing escapes His notice.  He is the Seeing God!

HE HEARS – – In verse 7 we discover that He hears, “and have given heed to their cry…I am aware of their suffering.”  He is not an inanimate and unconcerned being, He hears, He sees, and He knows.  David said in Psalms 34:4 – “I sought the Lord and He heard me.”  In 34:15 – “His eyes are open to their cry.”  Jeremiah 33:3 – “Call unto Me and I will answer.”  John 14:3-14 – In that word of comfort from our Lord He reminds us that He Hears our prayers.  In 1 John 5:14-15 – “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”  That is powerful! 

God IS and never changes. God SEES and misses nothing.  God HEARS and is aware of everything.  I have just begun to scratch the surface of Who He is but will pause here and pick up more realities and declarations of Who He is in the next devotional.  God bless you as you make it your objective to discover Him more fully and Know Him completely. 

Have a Great Day!

AGAPE LOVE – – Part Three…

1 Corinthians 8:1b – “…Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”  NIV

Romans 12:5 – “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”  NASB

Let’s continue our consideration of God’s Agape Love and its importance in today’s church.  Not only are we to realize that we cannot function alone, we need the rest of the Body of Christ to function fully, efficiently, and be complete, but we must realize more.

Second, No Member of Christ’s Body should feel he or she is more important or less than any other member of Christ’s Body.  No Christian has exclusive rights to God’s Grace.  We are all equal at the Foot of the Cross.  In Romans 12:3 we read, “For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”  In Romans 12:5 we are informed, “So in Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”  That is Powerful!  In Ephesians 4:12, the apostle reminds us, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”  We are Family!

Thirdly, Christians should work hard at creating unity in the Body of Christ.  Unity and the display of God’s, Agape Love should be a prime objective of every believer.  Paul teaches that not one of us can function effectively by ourselves, we need each other.  He also informs us powerfully that none of us are more or less important than any other believer, even those with the more obvious and visible gifts and talents.  We are to be clothed in humility and remember that even those who have the greatest responsibility is to be the greatest servant.  We are reminded that all of us is to strive for unity and peace.

I suggest that the emphasis is not on the Gifts but preserving the Bond of Peace and creating Unity in the Body.  In that, we build each up in Love and create an atmosphere for the Gifts to function freely and powerfully.  When we realize that each other member of the Body is important to us and vital to the success of His Kingdom we treat each other differently and the world takes note.  Our spiritual welfare is directly connected to the condition and function of the other members of the Body of Christ.  When we stop biting and devouring each other we are able to give attention to the building up of the Body in Love and thereby advancing the Kingdom on this Earth.

Agape Love is our ultimate weapon against the devil.  It is more powerful than all the atomic energy in this world.  It is the power that expelled the devil from heaven and is the force that sends him into the shadows and back to the pit from whence he came. 

There is no difficulty that Agape Love cannot and will not overcome!  There is no disease that Agape Love cannot and will not heal!  There is no door that Agape Love cannot and will not open!  There are not gulfs and divisions that Agape Love cannot and will not bridge!  There are no walls that Agape Love cannot and will not tear down!  There is no sin that Agape Love cannot will not redeem!

Therefore, if you begin to consider the other members of the Body of Christ as members of your own body, you will find it most difficult to be apathetic and indifferent about them.  You will find it incredibly difficult to harm them and you will want and seek their best.  Love defeats the devil-like nothing else can!  It is my prayer, hope, and plea that we become reservoirs of God’s Agape Love and dispenser of it. 

God bless you as you walk in Love and enjoy His Presence today!

AGAPE LOVE – (Part Two) …

1 Corinthians 8:1b – “…Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”  NIV

Romans 12:5 – “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”  NASB

In considering the power and the need of Agape Love in the Body of Christ I ask that you consider this idea.  I believe that when there is sufficient flow of God’s, Agape Love in the body all divisiveness shrinks and diminishes in a significant measure.  It drives the devil back into the shadows and into the darkness.  Love brings light and the devil cannot stand the Light. Increasing Agape Love will cover all differences concerning non-essentials and bring oneness to the Church that Jesus prayed for.  Therefore, I contend that the greatest need of the Church is Agape Love!

I have long pleaded with Christians to remember “We Are Family.”  Family, in the natural, is far more important than opinions.  We are ‘members’ of one another.  That is a very interesting concept that seems to be lost on many within the Body of Christ today.  I wonder how many people would intentionally harm a part of their own body.  How many would cut off a toe because it didn’t look right, or function perfectly?  Yet, we do that very thing in the Body of Christ.  I find that incredibly disturbing.

The New Testament teaches that we are “Members of one another.”  Every New Testament writer recognized that truth.  But, the apostle Paul, drove it home the most powerfully in his analogy of the human body in 1 Corinthians 12:14-26.  There is no possible way that even the most carnal and immature believer could miss what Paul was saying.  He wrapped it up in an incredibly powerful package and declared in 1 Corinthians 12:27 – “Now you are the Body of Christ, and each of you is a part of it.”  You cannot misinterpret or fail to see the message.

There are three major passages in Paul’s writings that illustrate and describe the ‘Functioning Body of Christ.’  Those are 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4.  I suggest that you read and reread them until they explode in your heart and mind.  In my humble opinion, most Christians have either missed or misunderstood Paul’s emphasis in these passages.  Most of the time we are instructed by Church leaders to search to discover our spiritual gifts to function in the Body of Christ.  We have been told this because in these passages Paul makes repeated reference and gives great emphasis to specific spiritual gifts.

That demands, a closer look at what the apostle was saying.  I believe there are some truths revealed that have crystal clarity.  It is vital that we not miss them and gain an understanding of the Truths being conveyed. 

First, He is telling us that no Individual Christian can function effectively by themselves.  We are individuals but we are also part of the Body.  Let me ask, “Have you ever gotten a speck of dust in your eye?”  I cannot imagine anyone saying, “No, I never have?”  What do you instinctively do when that happens?  You rub your eye, right?  What am I saying?  It took more than the eye to resolve the problem, right?  We know that and recognize that in the natural body, but fail to grasp it in the Church, the Body of Christ.  We seem to think that we are islands and can function alone without the rest of the Body.  WE CANNOT!

I want to deal with this more but for the sake of space and time will pause here and pray that the LORD opens our eyes to see His truth and embrace the Body as extensions of ourselves. 

Blessings on your journey today in Jesus!


1 Corinthians 8:1b – “…Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”  NIV

Romans 12:5 – “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”  NASB

It is incredibly clear in studying the Scriptures that “Disunity” is one of the most disruptive things that the New Testament Church faces.  It is also, clear that “Unity” is high on the list of the most needed and most powerful force the Church can have.  “Unity” can only be realized through the work of the Holy Spirit in the manifestation of “Agape Love.”

I believe it would be impossible to casually read the New Testament without realizing that God has a unique plan for every believer.  God desires that every believer become a functioning member of the church.  I believe that is revealed by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians.  He tells us in Ephesians 4:15-16 that as Christians we are to “Speak the truth in love.”  As we do, we will “in all things grow up into Him who is the head, that is Christ.  From Him, the whole body is joined and held together by every supporting ligament, and grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

Repeatedly, the writers of the New Testament exhorted believers to engage in specific activities that would enable the Body of Christ to function effectively and grow spiritually.  Frequently they used a unique word to describe this mutual and reciprocal process, it was “Allelon” or one another.  It is used 58 times in the New Testament and Paul used in 40 times.

Some of these concepts are repeated from letter to letter, but when all the “one another” exhortations are studied carefully and grouped together according to specific meaning, they can be reproduced in twelve significant actions that Christians are to take toward “one another.”

The greatest of these is LOVE.  This Agape Love is the ‘more excellent way’ of 1 Corinthians 12:31 and 13:13. The exhortation to “Love one another” appears more frequently than all the rest.  Of the 48 references to what we are to do for “one another”, as believers, 11 times we are told to “Love one another.”  Then, if we add the commands of our LORD to “Love one another” the list grows to 16 times.  That reveals the importance and significance of us Loving one another.

It goes without saying that “Love” is the most important issue for the believer in the New Testament.  To love fellow believers is a basic injunction of the New Testament and is evidence of a Spirit-filled Life and Salvation.  In Colossians 3:14 we read, “And over all these virtues put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”  Then in 1 Peter 4:8, we discover, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”

When we consider the directives of our Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples it comes as no surprise that the New Testament would place such an emphasis on Love.  In John 14:34-35, He declared, “A new commandment I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must Love on Another.  All men will know that you are My disciples if you Love on Another.”  How’s that for emphasis?

The truth is that all the actions that we are enjoined to take toward “one another” are wrapped up in the singular directive of “Love in Action.”  The apostle Paul sensed that truth as he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Philippians 1:9-11 saying, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in the knowledge and depth of insight, so that you are able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Chris, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

We could solve most of the problems of the church and the world if we received and demonstrated God’s, Agape Love!  I believe that would produce one of the greatest revivals and awakenings the Church has ever seen.  We will address this again in the next devotional but until then may the rich and bountiful blessings of our Lord be upon you.

Have a great day!