Isaiah 30:21 – “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.”  NKJV

Too many times, we do not listen!  We do not listen to each other; we do not listen to what is being said because we are often thinking about what we will say next rather than actually listening.  We do that in our daily lives, and we do it with God.  I have gotten into trouble more times than I care to remember because of this flaw and work on it constantly to develop Hearing Ears! 

I have been accused of having selective hearing.  We all do! I must confess that sometimes I have tuned things out either because I thought I knew what would be said, was disinterested, or had not yet perceived the full gist of the conversation.  Sometimes rather than interrupting and asking questions, I nodded and pretended.  I have answered questions wrongly as a result. Sometimes my responses brought delight to some around me and resulted in great embarrassment for me.

Yet, when it comes to God, we need to Learn to Listen and develop ears that are highly attuned to the Voice of the Spirit of God and the Word of God.  If we do, this promise becomes not only a benefit but a refuge at all times, not just in a time of danger or potential trouble.  It becomes a powerful source of confidence!  It becomes a source of faith!  It enables us to develop a trusting relationship with the Lord that can come in no other way than having Heard Him and then observing Him fulfill what He declared.  A few times of that, and you will develop a keen desire to Hear God! 

There have been times when I wanted to hear from God but allowed the noise surrounding me to become so loud with the clutter, fretting fear, and anxiety that I could not hear what He was saying.  I contend that God is Always Speaking, but we are not Always Hearing!  From Genesis to Revelation is a Speaking God! 

He spoke, and the Worlds were framed.  He spoke, and blind eyes were opened, deaf ears were unstopped, lame limbs regained strength, and the dead came back to life.  He Speaks, and it is our responsibility to Listen and Hear what He is saying!  He is not just speaking to hear his gums rattle.  He has a purpose!  He Never talks to talk.  He Speaks because there is something to be Heard.

I encourage each one to remember the words of our Lord Jesus when He said, “My Sheep hear my voice, and they know Me.”  Sheep respond to only their master’s voice because they recognize it, which does not happen naturally. It is a learned process.  That applies to us as well with the Lord. 

Through the years, I have learned How I Hear God by finding out How I Do Not Hear God!  Through making mistakes, I have learned something about truly hearing Him.  I recognize the Counterfeit by recognizing The Real. 

So, as you go through the day, may you Hear that still, small voice of the Lord and follow Him.  Blessings!


Romans 14:12 – “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” NKJV

The beginning of this Chapter is filled with worthy things for every believer to consider.  Things that are vital to victorious living would take a long time to cover them all.  I have chosen to isolate this passage to address the personal accountability issue.  I cannot recall the last time I heard a sermon or message on that subject in church, yet it is critical to Christian living.

To give a brief synopsis of the early portion of this chapter, Paul begins bringing to light our responsibility to those “weak in the faith,” frequently fledgling Christians trying to find their footing in their new life.  He gives some specific instructions:

We are to receive them but reject disputes, debates, and arguments over doubtful things. If we major in dialogue regarding things that the Bible is silent on or does not clearly define is not beneficial to spiritual growth and development.  It may be an interesting study and one that could prove valuable in the long term through individual study, but the debate over these issues tends to become a hindrance to faith and truth and should be avoided.

Example:  What you can eat as is discussed in verses 2-4.  What day you should worship on, as discussed in verses 5-6?  Paul reminds us that none of us live in a vacuum and that our lives affect others. Our lives are a reflection upon the Lord Himself, so we should avoid these kinds of open debates and judgments, which often lead to divisions and separations rather than mutual sharing and encouragement.

Verse 11 is significant:  “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.”

Therefore, Paul tells us that in light of all this, we should remember that each of us shall give an account of himself to God.  He further encourages us not to judge each other but seek agreement and mutual sharing of the faith rather than becoming a stumbling block to cause another to fall or be hindered. 

As we mature in the faith, we realize that we should not look to or at other people but look to the Lord.  If we compare ourselves among ourselves, we are not wise and will either become Pharisees or will develop a false sense of piety rather than a realization of our responsibility for our lives and actions and that we will ultimately stand in accountability before the Lord.

Notice he says, “Each of us shall give account of himself to God.”  He did not say, “Each of us shall give an account of others to God.”  You and I may differ on some things theologically, and that is okay.  We may disagree on some things regarding eschatology, and that is okay. 

I heard a preacher say, “Some are Pre-Trib, some are Mid-Trib, some are Post-Trib, but I’m Pan-Trib.”  He explained what he meant by saying, “I believe it will all pan out in the end regarding the coming of the Lord.”  I believe he is correct; it will.  I have a particular view, but that does not mean it is etched in granite, and there is no possibility that I am wrong. 

My core and foundational belief is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God and that He died on the Cross for my sins, rose for the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for me and is returning as He said so that I can spend eternity with Him in Heaven.  That is etched in stone for me! 

In confessing my sins and believing in Him, I believe He has extended grace to me that brought about the new birth (Salvation), and I have been transformed from darkness into light.  That is etched in stone for me!  I believe I am personally accountable for my actions, words, and attitudes and will give an account before God.  You will give account for you; therefore, instead of fretting over minor theological disagreements, we should be focused on pleasing the Lord in our lives and giving others an example of Christianity that draws to the Savior. 

So, my plea is to focus on personal accountability and seek to help others, but rather than judge them, encourage them in your life and with your love.  Educate them in truth whenever possible but always with an open mind and heart, knowing that we see in part and look through a glass darkly while walking in these human temples. 

So, as you go through your day, consider your actions, words, and deeds, and know that you are accountable for yourself!  May God’s best be yours on this day!


Matthew 21:18-22 – “Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. 19 Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered. 20 Seeing this, the disciples were amazed and asked, “How did the fig tree wither all at once?” 21 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.  22 “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”  NASB

Have you ever wondered about this account in the Bible?  Was this simply an example of Jesus being angry, and since the fig tree had leaves but no fruit, he cursed it?  The disciples were amazed, not only by his words and action but by the result.  If Jesus cursed it out of anger or frustration, He tainted His piousness and holiness by succumbing to man’s emotions and retaliating against an object that could not strike back.  Not very Messianic if that were the case. 

Several things in this account must be considered.  Jesus noticed the fig tree while at a distance.  He could see leaves, and in Palestine, the fruit appeared before the leaves.  Therefore, He was right to expect it to have fruit.  However, it had the appearance of fruit but no fruit.  It was showing outward signs but had no substance.  Jesus was hungry for fruit and saw an object that cried out, “I have fruit,” but had none.  What was His purpose in cursing the fig tree rather than simply walking away?

It was an object lesson for the disciples and all who would read and hear the account in perpetuity.  But an object lesson of what?  What was the lesson to be gleaned from this event?  He had multiple lessons He desired to convey.

One that is often missed is that of appearance without corresponding fruit.   People may talk the talk without truly walking the walk. The Pharisees, in that day, loved to appear pious and holy, but inside, they were full of corruption.  Jesus repeatedly taught about the heart versus the appearance.  He seized this opportunity to teach a lesson on prayer, faith, righteousness, and fruit-bearing.  He emphasized the danger of appearing to be something you are not. 

Remember, in the Book of Acts, Ananias and Sapphira pretended to be something but, when exposed, cost them their lives.  That is a situation that is repeatedly warned against in Scripture.  Our Confession must be backed up by our manifestation of “Christ in us, the Hope of Glory.”  Jesus even said, “Not everyone that says to me Lord, Lord will enter in but the one that DOES the will of the Father.”

A second lesson He was conveying was the power of prayer and faith in facing any obstacle in life.  The statement of Jesus, “…if you have faith and do not doubt…” is directly connected to what manifests in our hearts, not what we Profess or Confess with our mouths.  It is not what we appear to be but what we are that opens the door to faith that dries up fig trees or moves mountains in life. 

In the last verse, our Lord says, “And…”  that is a very important word because it connects the message to the previous verses, including the cursing of the fig tree.  He says, “And, all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”  Not to chase a rabbit down another trail, but how much does ALL cover?  The directive was Prayer, Believing, and Receiving, which includes expectation.

If we are to develop our prayer lives and faith lives to the place of moving mountains and seeing problems wither, we must become what we appear to be.  If we profess and confess that we are Christians, then we must manifest the life of Christ in us.  We must have the Gifts of the Spirit operational in our lives and manifest the Fruit of the Spirit in our hearts.  It is one thing to talk the talk but another to back up that talk with the walk that manifests what we profess.

The Fig Tree is a warning and appeal.  A warning against being all show and an appeal to allow the Holy Spirit to make Jesus so alive in our hearts that we have His mind in us and trust Him completely in all things.

God bless you richly as you go through this wonderful day!


Galatians 1:6-10 – “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!  10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”  NASB

I have addressed schisms and divisions before and how the Holy Spirit instructed me to be less exclusive and more open to what others I disagree with have to say.  That being said, I do not want to convey the idea that we should become so politically correct that we tolerate tenets and doctrines that pervert the message of the Bible.  Paul addressed that in this passage.  He was bold to say that even if an angel preached something different from the Message of Christ, he should be rejected.

In the context of this passage, we find that some were preaching a different gospel and a different door to God than Jesus.  The Cross, and the His sacrifice for the sin of man is the only Door!  Some tell me everyone will go to heaven because a God of Love could send no one to hell.  That is a Perversion of the truth of the Bible because it declares that not all will enter that eternal abode, we call heaven.  All will not accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, which is the only access to the Father as declared by our Lord Himself and validated throughout Scripture.

Some have suggested that Jesus is not the only Savior and that no matter what supposed deity you believe in, God will accept that just as He accepts Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross.  That is a Perversion of the Gospel!  I will not silently sit by and hear it without a response, especially to those I have responsibility for.  I am not seeking to please men or have favor with men.  I want to please God.  I like for people to like me, but if it is a choice between declaring what God declares and having people like me, I will have to endure being disliked and even hated because I would be demonstrating something other than love for my fellow man if I did anything less.

Jesus is the only Door to God!  The Cross is the only acceptable sacrifice for the sin and condition of man.  It is a straight gate, a narrow way, and as the Bible declares, few (in comparison to the billions who live and have lived) will find it.  Do not turn from the Message of Jesus to some other supposed Savior that will lead to death, not life.

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


Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  NASB

As we progress into 2023, we should start at the beginning and move forward from a solid and sure foundation.  Too often, we try to plug in somewhere rather than begin at the beginning.  Some attempt to start in the middle, have no history or foundation for the past, fail to understand the present and miss the future.  Some want to go to the end and see how it turns out, with no foundation, experience, or history to lead them to that point of ultimate culmination.  It is imperative that we ‘begin at the beginning’ and lay a proper foundation that is anchored in God’s Truth.

How did it all begin?  Genesis Chapter One, Verse One tells us that it started with GOD!  God, the creator, created the ‘heavens and the earth.’  The first twelve chapters of the Book of Genesis are foundational to understanding the rest of the Old Testament and any of the New.  I consider Genesis the ‘Seed Book’ of the Bible and know that God is systematic and orderly in His presentation and progression; therefore, I fully believe that He gave us a definitive guide or basis of information here at the beginning of the most important book that any of us will ever read.

If you begin with a ‘Big Bang,’ you will not and cannot see God as the creator because you believe in ‘random chance’ to explain the entirety of creation and man’s existence.  That would be like taking a few railroad cars loaded with printer’s type and a shovel, scooping them up, throwing them into the air, and expecting a novel of epic proportions to come forth.  It would be like taking the pieces of a watch and placing them in a bag, shaking them up, and expecting a finely tuned precision timepiece to be the result. 

Scientists cannot explain the complexities of man’s nervous system with the miles of blood vessels, nerves, etc.  Design implies a designer, and it would take far more ‘faith’ for me to believe the theory of evolution, the big bang, or some other theory other than “In the beginning God created….”

If we begin at the wrong premise, we will arrive at the wrong destination if we start anywhere other than “In the beginning God….” We start wrong and will come to the wrong conclusion.  If you want me to explain everything about God, you are asking the wrong person.  Frankly, I do not believe you will ever find a human to fill that role. 

But let’s turn the tables, and you explain the human body’s complexities, the universe, its operation, and life.  Oh, I’m sorry I asked a challenging question.  I declared that what you believe is based on what you have been taught and your willingness or unwillingness to consider the Bible’s account.  Your scientific evidence is not evidence but theoretical postulations from the likes of Charles Darwin and others. 

You ignore the holes in those theories.  You cling to them because it makes you feel secure not having to acknowledge the existence and power of God. After all, that would make you accountable to Him.  I do not mean you as inclusive of all who read this, for I doubt that many who read this believe that, and most are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, as you progress into this year, I urge you to make a commitment to go back to the beginning and start there with God as the starting point of your life.  It does not matter where you are on your journey from the cradle to the grave. Going back to review the foundation is never a bad thing.

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


2 Corinthians 1:8 – “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.”  NKJV

I have experienced some incredibly traumatic things, including the loss of someone dear in tragedy. I have lost loved ones in death. I have faced the feeling of abandonment to the point I despaired of life and the pronouncement that I had a malignancy.  Experiences like those mentioned were harrowing and distressing, but I know no pain more debilitating than the feeling of helplessness! 

I have watched my children face struggles that I could not step in and resolve. For a man who was raised to fend for himself, face difficulties head-on, and handle whatever came your way that was heart-wrenching.  Helplessness is murderous!  You see the problem and know that you can do nothing within yourself.  It is outside your ability, authority, or power.  It is not dependent on what you do or do not do and may rest in the hands of others you cannot control.

Helplessness is as much a state of mind as anything. Its roots are in Fear and Trust or the lack of trust.  The state of mind that says, “Nothing I do will make a difference,” is paralyzing and destructive.  It can and often does destroy relationships and faith.  It stems from the idea that we, as individuals, must be in control and are the captains of our ships and masters of our fate.  It, at its core, denies God, although the person in that state of mind may be devout in their belief in God.  It views life through the prism of self and becomes incapable of looking beyond themselves.

Helplessness is a continual spiral downward into the abyss of hopelessness.  If we find ourselves in a state of feeling helpless and hopeless, we need to remember we have choices.  We can continue focusing on self and circumstances and revel in the helplessness and hopelessness of the situation or condition, or we can look beyond ourselves. If we envision another can rectify our situation, we are not in a state of helplessness when we see no solution from our ability or any outside source; helplessness reigns.  From that sense of helplessness, we become hopeless and despair of life.  No Hope! No Help! Total despair rules.

When we look beyond ourselves or others and realize that nothing is impossible with God, helplessness, and hopelessness, begin to melt away from our minds.  Our pathway to deliverance and victory may be tiny baby steps, but the light at the end of the tunnel gradually transforms from a faint candle flicker to a brilliant flood light.  Hope begins to rise within, dispelling the sense of helplessness.

The Serenity Prayer is applicable when our confidence is directed to the LORD our God:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Helplessness is a condition where we see ourselves as the final source of a solution.  Hopefulness is where we see God as the final source of a solution.  In a time of helplessness, we can either become hopeless or hopeful depending on where our look is focused.  Psalm 121:1-2 answers, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

I pray that God will help you to be free of Helplessness and walk in Hopefulness for the remainder of your days!    

God bless you as you go through this day!


Jeremiah 1:12 – “Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.” NASB

I have encountered some as those whom Peter addressed in 2 Peter 3:9, reminding them that God is not slack concerning His promises.  If I can depend on anything, it is God’s Word, for I believe that His word cannot be separated from Himself, and if He says it, He will bring it to pass.

When Israel entered the Promised Land and finally took possession of the Land of Promise, we read in Joshua 21:43-45 – “So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. 44 The LORD gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.”  

All of it, every promise came to pass!  Every Word that God said, God did.  That is true in our lives as well.  Unfortunately, we live by the calendar and clock and serve one who responds to neither.  We are time conscious, and He is timeless.  We live in the finite, and He is infinite.  We have self-imposed deadlines and bind ourselves to them, but our limitations never bind God.

I don’t care if God promised something to you when you were ten, and now you are eighty. If He said it, then He will bring it to pass!  People will fail, but God will not!  Our plans are always flawed, but His are perfect!  Our timing is subject to our interpretation of the need and circumstances. His are limited only to His limitlessness which means they have no limitations, and He is never late (truly).  If we can embrace the words of Paul in Romans 8:28, we can deal with God’s supposed delays knowing that All Things are Working Together for our ultimate good.  Not all things are good, but their compilation produces the finished product.

The question should not be whether or not God will keep His promises but whether we will ‘faint’ before the promise is fulfilled.  If we believe God to be God, then we can hold on, no matter what, to His promises knowing that His track record is Not One Word Will Ever Fail! 

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


Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3, 5 “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:  3 … A time to break down, And a time to build up; …5 …A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;” 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”  NKJV

Several years ago, I heard the story of the twelve-year-old boy who apparently could not talk.  After his mother served him oatmeal three days in a row, he said, “Yuck, I hate oatmeal.”  His mother became hysterical and ran to him, shouting, “You can talk!  You have not said a word for twelve years, and today, you spoke.  Why have you never spoken before?”  He looked at her and said, “Up until now, everything’s been okay.”

Sadly, that is how we do things too often.  It is especially true in many churches concerning their pastors. If everything is okay, nothing is said, but let something go wrong, and you hear them.  I know some pastors who are incredibly effective in their efforts for the local body and the kingdom of God but feel like abject failures.  One wise minister explained it this way:  “We are victims of a system that is too high in expectations and too low in rewards.” 

Some people assume that the minister’s self-image is indestructible.  They expect the man of God to be filled with energy and fresh ideas but fail to give affirmation which is the emotional fuel we all need.  This is true with our children, spouses, employees, etc.  Everyone needs to receive personal affirmation from time to time when things are good, not just criticism that is constructive or destructive when things are not.  In saying this, I do not mean to imply that church members are cold and calloused but often are unaware of the needs of the man behind the sacred desk who carries the mantel of the pastor.

I do not know any Omnicompetent Pastors, but I know many flawed vessels who ascribe to that high calling and devote their lives to service.  I read a description of “The Perfect Pastor,” and I honestly do not know who originally wrote it, but it goes like this:

What is the perfect pastor?  He is 26 years old and has been preaching for 30 years.  He is tall, short, thin, heavyset, handsome, and homely; he has one brown eye and one blue, hair parted in the middle, the left side dark and straight, and the right side brown and wavy.  He has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all his time with older folks.  He always smiles straight because he has a sense of humor that keeps him serious at work.  He makes fifteen calls daily to church members, spends all his time evangelizing the unchurched, and is never out of the office.”

Some hold a myth regarding the pastor’s labors, and as I had a person say to me once, “It must be nice to have a job where you only work one day per week.”  He had no idea what my week consisted of and how many hours I spent praying, preparing, visiting, planning, meeting, etc. He saw me once per week (that’s all he came to), and to him, that was the sum total of what I did. 

I have a friend who heard similar statements, and he invited the individual to spend the day with him.  On that particular occasion, there were five emergencies that the pastor was called to and then the regular schedule of the day to be addressed, so when they concluded their day at 10:30 PM that evening, the man was stunned.  He said, “I had no idea!”  I make no defense of a lazy pastor, but I want to sing the praise of those individuals who devote their lives and expend their energies tirelessly for the service of God.  They deserve our affirmation even when nothing is out of the ordinary and everything is going well.  Let them hear you in good times, not just in times of difficulty.  Translate that to your families and work as well.

God bless you as you go through this day!


2 Kings 5:9-14 – “Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” 11 But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ 12 Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So, he turned and went away in a rage. 13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”  NKJV

This account of Naaman, the Syrian Commander, is one of several in the Bible that reflects ‘unrealistic’ or ‘unfulfilled expectations’ and the problem therein.  Naaman had leprosy, which was a virtual sentence of death.  His wife had a slave girl from Israel, and she said to her master’s wife, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria!  For he would heal him of his leprosy.”  Naaman’s wife relayed the information to Naaman, and he, in turn to his master.  The story begins with a letter sent to the king of Israel to heal Naaman. 

Imagine, if you will, receiving a directive from a powerful enemy to do something you could not do.  How would you view it?  He considered it a provocation to war and was distraught.  Elisha heard of the King of Israel’s hysteria and directed that Naaman be sent to him.  Naaman followed the king’s directive, and his entourage proceeded to Elisha’s house, and there the problem opened in a major way and reveals the “Problem of Human Expectations.”

Elisha told the Commander to go to the Jordan and dip himself seven times.  Naaman was furious, for he considered it an insult for someone of his stature to be instructed to do this.  He expected pomp and ceremony with Elisha standing before the great general, waving his hands over the leprosy and healing him in a dramatic fashion that fit what he considered worthy of someone of his stature. 

He left furious, and one of his servants took his life into his own hands and approached Naaman asking if Elisha had instructed him to do something great, difficult, or monumental, would he not have attempted it?  As a result, Naaman realized he had nothing to lose and obeyed.  The result was a complete cleansing of leprosy and restoring his flesh.

Had he allowed his ‘unrealistic’ and/or ‘unfulfilled expectations’ to rule, he would have died in Syria a Leper! How often do we fix in our minds how things should be and proceed to reject everything that does not fit that image and fulfill that expectation? Could it be that we fail to receive answers to our prayers because we ‘predetermine’ how we expect things to be, and when they do not satisfy those expectations, we reject all else? 

Isaiah 55:9 reminds us that God’s ways are higher than ours, and when we attempt to subrogate our ways over God’s, we are doomed to the realm of ‘unfulfilled expectations.’  I see it in relationships, businesses, churches, and spiritually that ‘unrealized, unfulfilled and unreasonable expectations’ bring disappointment and failure.  We do not have to live at that address, for we can subject our expectations to God’s will and ways and allow the Holy Spirit to birth in us the purposes of God. 

Demanding others to meet our expectations can and often is unrealistic and a catalyst to difficulty.  I am human.  You are human. We are flawed vessels, and to expect perfection from flawed vessels is unrealistic.  We need to be like the Naaman who went down into the Jordan, not the Naaman that drove off in a huff, wounded because his expectations were not satisfied.  I am learning more daily how Paul could say he was content wherever he found himself.  His expectations were God, not his preconceived ideas of how things should be.

God bless you as you go through this day!


Psalm 34:19 – “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”  NKJV

I had a person tell me once that if becoming a Christian was a guarantee against problems, they would readily accept Christ.  That individual had been witnessed to on numerous occasions by some well-meaning believers who suggested that by accepting Jesus, all life’s problems were over. 

At Salvation, our problems are, and they are not over!  They are in the sense that we settle our eternal destiny and have access to heaven’s resources for life, but they are not if one is to understand that one will never face another battle.  Accepting Jesus is the beginning of some major problems, difficulties, afflictions, and battles.  At that point, the devil declares full-scale war on you and will do all he can to shipwreck your life.

Please do not understand me to be making the devil more powerful than he is! The Bible identifies him as a defeated foe, but it does not declare him no longer existent.  He will attempt to destroy until he is finally thrown into the Lake of Fire.  The very idea that becoming a Christian excludes or exempts you from problems would call into question the many passages regarding the devil and the weapons of warfare the Lord has provided for us.  If all of our problems are over by receiving Christ, why bother with weapons you do not need?

The Psalmist declares that many are the afflictions of the righteous.  If that were all that he said it would be most depressing. I have experienced times when I could almost believe that was the end of the story as wave after wave of demonic attacks came my way.  There have been times when I, like the apostle Paul, almost despaired of life, wondering if there would ever be a reprise in the assaults.  Yet deep inside, I clung to the latter portion of the Psalmist’s declaration, “BUT the LORD delivers him out of them ALL….”   

When the enemy comes in, I expect God to come in like a flood and raise a standard against him!  I expect the Holy Spirit to comfort me when I am oppressed.  I take the words of our LORD to heart where He declared in Matthew 11:28 that I could come to Him in my weariness and fatigue from the assault and labors of life weighed down under the heavy burden pressed upon me, and HE will give me Rest. 

Trouble will knock on your door from time to time as you traverse from the cradle to the grave, and when it does, if you are a believer, “Lift up your eyes and look to the hills for your help comes from the LORD.”  He has not forsaken you, and you can cling to the promise here in Psalm 34 that although you may face many severe afflictions in life, GOD will deliver you out of them all, even if that deliverance is taking you out of this world, and home. 

May the Lord be with you as you go through this day!  Do not expect a life free of problems but a promise-filled one!   God bless you as you go through your day!