CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?


1 Peter 4:7-8 – “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”  NKJV

I do not mean to make light of that phrase and the answer is Yes and No.  We could all get along but we won’t all get along because we are not all believers. We do not all have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts.  Even when we are we don’t always get along as is evidenced in the many different denominations, sectarian schisms, and divisions in the Body of Christ and within local churches not to mention those outside the church.

The admonition of Peter here is that “the end is near” so we are to be serious or sober or sound in mind and judgment and watchful or aware so that we know how to pray and pray fervently.  Intercession is a vital part of the life of a Christian of any age but in these last days it is even more important.  He then gives us another directive that sadly is overlooked or excused by much of the Body of Christ – “have fervent love for one another.” 

That is love that is “burning and constant.” It is a never fading love and one that “covers a multitude of sins.”  It doesn’t excuse sin or justify sin but love covers it in that it takes the sinner or brother/sister in Christ and reaches past the flaw to bring them to restoration.  Restoration to Christ if that is the need or restoration in our relationship if there is offense.  If we practiced this passage of Scripture we would see a unification of the church in such a way that it would send shock waves through the world and produce a revival and harvest like we have never seen.

I’ve heard people brag about “running their preacher off” as though that were a good thing.  I’ve heard people brag about “starving their preacher out” as though that were a good thing.  I’ve heard people, Christians say, “I don’t get mad I get even” as though that were a good thing.  When people tell me “I can forgive but I can’t forget” I always tell them God doesn’t expect you to develop Divine Amnesia he expects you to make a conscious decision to not allow that event to be a factor in future decisions and actions on your part. 

He expects you to love with UNCONDITIONAL LOVE or AGAPE LOVE and that is only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit.  I cannot love you unconditionally without divine help.  My humanity would step in and although I do not have a large overbearing ego I do have one as do you.  I am not prideful but I do have pride and have to deal with it from time to time as do you.  Our humanity hinders our ability to fervently love each other and should identify to us the need for diligent fervent prayer for the help of God to allow Him to LOVE THROUGH US! 

There was a time in my life that if someone disagreed with me I considered them an enemy or an adversary.  If someone did something to me I would retaliate and give them back double what they gave me.  Then when I  was rescued from myself by the Lord I realized that my actions and attitude were producing a harvest that I did not want to continue in my life and have diligently sought Him to help me LOVE.  My greatest concern is the condition of my heart toward fellow believers and my fellow man.  If God gets me right I can impact the lives of others in a positive and powerful way and even if they do not turn to Him I will have manifested Him and His love to them.

We need to realize that not everyone will agree with us, like us, or even love us but we can LOVE like Jesus!  So as you go through this day ask the Holy Spirit to help you in that regard! 

May God be with you as you go through your day!

FEAR NOT…


Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’  NKJV

Years ago I had an individual tell me that there were 365 “fear not’s” in the Bible, one for every day of the year.  Imagine that, if it were true but after doing some diligent research I was unable to find 365 and in many versions not even 100.  However, that is not a problem because ONE – “fear not” from Jesus is enough right!  Although this is some almost worthless information the following has been found:

            KJV – 74 “fear not”; 29 – “be not afraid”

            NASB – 4 – “fear not”; 57 – “do not fear”; 46 – “do not be afraid”

The word “fear” in all of its forms is only listed 314 times in the original languages, which also includes words translated as terrible, dreadful, reverence, and terrible acts.  As per www.blueletterbible.com, we find the following:

NKJV – 129, NIV – 66, NASB – 127, ASV – 148, DBY – 155, HNV – 44, NLT – 38, ESV – 137, RSV – 139, YNG – 115, WEB – 144.

The truth is that if it was in the Bible just ONE TIME that would be enough because as we find in Genesis God only had to say, “Let there be light” one time for it to happen.  It didn’t take 365 to cover every day of the year.  God said it and that was enough to bring it into existence.  What we need to do is “believe” what He says about this and everything else. 

As Christians, we DO NOT FEAR or do not have to fear!  We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus and transferred from the kingdom or domain of darkness into the Kingdom of God’s Light and Love!  We are more than, conquerors through Him who loved and loves us!  He has overcome the World and He lives in our hearts so we are overcomers!  We have nothing to fear because God is with us! 

I am concerned about the condition of our nation spiritually but not fearful.  I am concerned about many things but not fearful.  I refuse to allow fear to have dominion in my life because I know that God has promised to “never leave me nor forsake me.” 

Fear would be an expression of doubt in the promises of God and I choose to believe His promises!  When “fear” raises its ugly head and tries to gain a foothold in my thinking I run to the Cross and look at the finished work of Jesus and fear dissipates. 

Worry is a by-product of fear so I choose not to allow worry to have any place in my thinking.  I do not try to justify worry or fear by saying “I’m just concerned.”  I am concerned about many things but confident that no matter how they turn out God is still God and will be with me through it all and in it all.   That brings peace to my heart and gives me the confidence and strength to face each day and all the struggles that that day might contain.

So as you go through this day go with the confidence that God is with you!  Walk in freedom, not fear! 

May God be with you as you go through your day!

TWO ROADS – WHICH ONE IS YOURS?


Psalm 1:1-6 – “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.” NKJV

I love the Psalms and especially this first one.  It is applicable in all seasons and in all situations and expresses the heart of our Heavenly Father in such a powerful way.  There is the contrast of the “Blessed” person and the “Cursed” person or “Un-blessed.”  There is the identification that there are two paths in life that we can follow and the benefits or pitfalls of those choices.

THE BLESSED MAN:

Chooses the Lord and His Way over the wisdom of the world or the morals of an unregenerate society and this person is not scornful but takes delight in the law of the Lord and in God’s Word he invests himself as much as humanly possible.  In so doing, he finds that his life becomes like a tree planted by the refreshing streams that provide the nurture and nourishment needed to grow, thrive, and produce fruit.  It is not affected by the drought because it is receiving the life-giving flow of water from the river.  This person is prosperous in ALL that he/she does.  That is a position and condition that each of us should ardently desire.

THE UNGODLY:

Next we see the contrast in the state of the ungodly.  They are unstable like the chaff of the wheat that the wind blows wherever it may.  The ungodly are unable to withstand the judgment or ability to stand in their own defense in a trial because they are guilty, unrepentant, and Unforgiven.  They have no place or position in the congregation of the righteous or in the blessings that flow to the one who follows the Lord with a whole heart.

We are reminded that God is fully aware of our state and condition.  The righteous will walk in victory, grace, peace, power, and success but the wicked or the ungodly will perish.  I readily acknowledge that God sends the rain on the just and unjust alike and that many go through life with seemingly little negative as a result of their chosen lifestyles but I know that ONE DAY we will give account and on that day my heart cries to hear – “Well done!  Come on in!” The ungodly will hear, “Depart from Me for I never knew you.”

We all have choices in life and when we set our hearts to follow God, the Holy Spirit will come to our side and walk with us through life’s pathways.  It may not be easy but it will lead to Eternal Life!  So which road is yours?

May God bless you as you go through your day!

ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY AND THE BIBLE…


2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 – “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.

10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.

13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” NKJV

Let me say first – I am totally in favor of helping the truly needy!  However, let me continue to say that the “Entitlement Mentality” exhibited by much of the world and more particularly America today runs completely contrary to the teachings of Scripture as is evidenced in this passage.

Church discipline is almost non-existent today because we have little real concept of the Kingdom and the governing ministries and functions that God has established in the Church.  The apostle is emphatic that the church withdraw fellowship from every “brother” – – (a professing believer) who walks disorderly and contrary to how the apostles and Christ had taught them.  He stresses that in order to emphasize the importance of industry rather than idleness and laziness he and his companions labored rather than depended on the offerings of the Church for their sustenance.  They did so as examples.  Would to God that men and women of God, in leadership today would take this to heart on a deeper level than is frequently exhibited for it is a shame for a man or woman of God to become an example of “Entitlement” rather than “Industry.”

Paul, speaking to the church where all “welfare” or Christian charity came from addressed this issue and declared what our government and many in the church seem to miss – There is always work that can be done!  He is speaking to that issue and said plainly that if anyone would not work they should not be given food.  Busybodies, talebearers, idleness should not something be favored but should experience the sting of being outside the camp in order to bring them to their senses and even to repentance so that they can be restored.

In order that no one miss his true message he followed that piece of instruction with a charge in verses 13-15 that identifies that the motivation is to always be charitable, willing to help and do good, but maintain discipline not for punitive purposes but for restoration purposes.  I am convinced that if they church could somehow come to the place that it accepted the Apostles Doctrine and followed the guidelines of Scripture in this and other areas we would see the government booted out of the welfare business in a significant measure. We would find that more and more people would follow the directive of Scripture and enjoying the fruit of their labors in the Lord. 

When we shift our dependence upon man from God we become subservient to man and thereby shut off many of the blessings of the Lord.  “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and ALL THESE THINGS shall be added to you,” is more than a nice catchy phrase it is a principle of life. Churches, pastors, believers let’s consider getting in order so that we can have the fullness of God’s provision, protection, power, and potential. 

May the Lord bless you as you go through your day!

“IF” – – MY PART and HIS PART…


Colossians 3:1-11 – “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” NKJV

It is always important to note any sentence, thought, topic, or paragraph that begins with “if.”  Without the “if” the remainder of the thought has no application for the reader especially if it is a participatory subject as we find in this passage.  The apostle Paul is telling the Church a Colossae and to all who will read in the generations to follow that if they have been raised in the “New Birth – Salvation” through Jesus then there are some important things to note.

  1. IF – THEN “seek” those things which are above where Christ is.
  2. IF – THEN “set your mind” on things above and not on earth.

Because if you have died to sin your life is now “hidden” with Christ in God and the world no longer recognizes you because you are no longer part of it.

Verse five begins a process that is not possible without the divine work of Grace and the Holy Spirit.  Verse eight identifies some things that it is our responsibility to do.  Obviously this is not without the work of the Spirit of God but these are things that are our responsibilities as “born-again believers” who have been transferred out of darkness into the newness of life and light in Christ.

Notice the things he tells us to put away “ourselves.”

  1. Anger
  2. Wrath
  3. Malice
  4. Blasphemy
  5. Filthy language
  6. Lies

Because we have put off (by the work of the Holy Spirit) the Old Man with his deeds and have put on the New Man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him and it is universally applicable to everyone regardless of race, creed, or national origin.

In this NEW LIFE in Christ there is a part that God does sovereignly by the work of the Holy Spirit and a part that we cooperate and participate in through our knowledge and even personal determination which some would call will-power.  We know they are not right and if we are IN CHRIST we have no justification for continued participation in them.  You do not have to lie. You do not have to allow anger or wrath to rule.  You do not have to allow malice in your heart.  You do not have to blaspheme or use filthy language.  Those are things you can decide not to do and immediately the Holy Spirit will become your Helper.  Of course you will be attacked by the devil but “Greater is He that is in us that he that is in the world.”  We are victors in Christ!

May God bless you as you go through your day!

THE CURSES OF THE FALL IN THE GARDEN…


Genesis 3:14-19 – “So the LORD God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

16 To the woman He said:

“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

“Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.

18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”  NKJV

It is clear that there is so much more here than can be covered in a short devotional regarding the multiple curses regarding Adam & Eve’s DISOBEDIENCE and CHOICE in the Garden as well as the Serpent’s involvement.  God was specific and yet we seem to miss much of what He said and the impact of what He said.

  1. The Serpent was Cursed and informed that the “Seed of the Woman” – CHRIST would crush him in time to come.
  • The Woman received a three-fold curse.
  1. Multiplied sorrow.

This may well include the anxiety of the mother over her offspring not just in birth but as they develop and grow and seems to be a life-long situation.

  • Pain in Child-bearing.

Since there were not births before this it seems to be that God never intended for a woman to have pain in bearing children but because of disobedience this came into being.

  • Subjection to her husband.

Adam and Eve by all accounts were co-regents ruling the Earth but because she took the lead in this disobedience she was not relegated to a position of subjection to her husband.  Not his slave but subordinate in the structure of God’s plan for the family.

  • The Man received more than just a curse for himself.
  • Adam caused the very ground in which he grew produce to be cursed and it would no longer produce at the magnitude it had before.
  • He would have to labor to produce the food he would eat and that was passed on to all successive generations.
  • This condition would be a life-long condition.

Disobedience brought pain, trouble, and a conflict of the genders.  It also brought about a struggle for mankind in producing food and his livelihood.  None of which was necessary but “SIN” brought it into play.  The Garden of Eden was truly a land flowing with “milk and honey”. The productivity of the earth was something that successive generations would never know again.  The physical labor of a degree that would take a significant toll on the human body and initiated the process of physical death was brought into the picture.

The Garden of Eden was a Heaven on Earth and the Choice of Adam & Eve to disobey God’s directive and follow the deception of the serpent penalized all of mankind into perpetuity.   Sin has consequences!  That is a subject not often talked about in many churches today but it is a valid Biblical principle.  We do not have to succumb to temptation but if we do there is a consequence.  We can walk in obedience to God’s Word and if we do there is a benefit.  It truly is our choice!

Adam & Eve brought pain and suffering on mankind that has led to the wars and strife we see today in our world and have seen generation after generation.  The earth does not produce as it did in the Garden because of their disobedience.  Had it not been for the mercy of God and the coming of Christ to the Cross we would be of all men and women most miserable.  But, Jesus reversed the curse of sin!  Some of the elements of the curses stay with us but we are no longer under the dominion of the devil and have moved from dominance by the god of this world to the Kingdom of God’s Dear Son.  We have moved from darkness into light.  We have moved from hopelessness to abundant life.

So as you go through your day realize that although you may find some things difficult the ultimate promise of God found in the curse is that Jesus would and has crushed the head of the devil and WE ARE FREE!  So live free!

May God bless you as you go through your day!

MY PRAYER FOR EACH OF YOU…


Ephesians 1:15-23 – “Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,  21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” NKJV

I feel like declaring this morning how much each of you mean to me. I treasure each of you more than I can express. As I travel across this land I think of my friends and those who I am trying to reach with the message of Hope. Each morning as I rise and pray, read, and meditate on the things of the Lord, this passage keeps coming to my mind and I, like the apostle Paul, pray it for each of you.

Many of you have expressed your faith and love for the Lord so profoundly and it has deeply touched my heart.  I dare not cease giving thanks for you each day because you are so important to the Kingdom of God and to me personally.  I have begun anew to pray:

  1. Father, give my dear friends the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of You.
  2. Open the eyes of their understanding so that they are always enlightened.
  3. Make the hope of Your calling so rich and real to them that they are propelled into your desired labor with fervency.
  4. Make them know, in a new measure, their inheritance in You!
  5. Cause each of them to know the exceeding greatness of your power to each of us who believe and give them power, protection, authority, and dominion in the Spirit realm.

I pray, “Father, it is my genuine prayer that you protect each of my friends, their families, and those to whom they minister and associate.  May you grant them the overflowing riches of your grace and love in all things and at all times.  You know how valuable they are to me and if they are valuable to me then how much more are they to you?”

      May the Lord bless you richly as you go through your day!