Comparison: The Thief of Joy

John 21.png

John 21:21-22  "When Peter saw him [John], he asked, 'Lord, what about him?' Jesus answered, 'If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you, you must follow me'" 

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy".  Folks, there is no joy to be found in measuring your life against anyone else's. One of the best pieces of advice I've received is, "Never compare your beginning to someone else's middle".  

I hear all the time…I want to be further along in my career. I want to provide better financially.  I want a bigger house.  I want a nicer car.  Why is it easy for her to talk to people?  Everyone loves her.  Why am I not more like that?  I wish I was more outgoing and popular.  He has such a good handle on life, why do I constantly feel like I am struggling to figure things out?  I wish it would be easier, why not me?  These thoughts are like a vacuum that sucks the joy right out of life.   

In John 21, Peter was consumed with what John was going to do.  He was comparing himself to John, and Jesus answered and said "What is that to you?" In other words, Jesus had something unique and special for both John and Peter, but in essence was saying, "Get your eyes off of what he's doing and get your focus on what I've told you to do and Me". 

Listen family, you’re an original, you're not meant to be a copy of someone else.  Don't let comparison be a thief in your life.  Comparing who God has made you to be to someone else, comparing your child to someone else's, or comparing your spouse to someone else's.  That’s a recipe for frustration, disappointment, bitterness, and resentment.  Listen to what Jesus is saying to you…"Don't worry about everyone else, follow Me, listen to me, keep your eyes on ME!


Grace for the Last, the Lost, and the Least

End of Your Rope.png

Genesis 32:24 "And Jacob was left alone: and there wrestled a man with him until the break of day" 

Did you know that grace is attracted to our weakness?  So why do we always try to "put our best foot forward" and fix things ourselves?  Why do you we think that God is waiting for us to turn our weaknesses into strengths?  Why do we think God is only interested in our strengths?  Hmm, that leads to another question.  If God is only after strengths, why are the parables all about "the last, the lost, and the least"? 

Wait!  As Spirit-filled Christians who love God, are we sometimes amongst the last, the lost, and the least?  Yes.  Nobody has arrived, we are all in a process of growth.  Before God, we need to "put our worst foot forward" and tell God "I'm weak, God, I have this problem, I can't do that".  God then says, "no problem, I'll be your strength".

In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled with God.  We heard this taught that Jacob was implying, "God I won't stop wrestling until You bless me".  But if you read it carefully, as Jacob wrestled with God, God said in verse 26, "let Me go".  God wanted to leave, but when God touched his thigh, Jacob now needed God, and God couldn't  go.  There was no way Jacob was going to let God go, he needed Him in this state of weakness.  That's when God's grace came…when Jacob was at his weakest.   

If a person is drowning in an ocean, and someone comes to rescue them, if the person who is being rescued is thrashing in the water, he will bring both people down.  If the person being rescued simply lets go, and stops exerting his own strength, he will live.  

Jesus loves to help the last, the lost, and the least.  It's the self-sufficient and self-confident that He can't help.  When you're at the end of yourself, you have just found the beginning of God!  He loves to help those that have no more hope, no more help, no end in sight.  If you are at the end of your rope, there is a life line waiting for you, His name is Jesus, and He is a very present help in your time of need.


I'll Be There


Judges 6:15-16 -  "So he said to Him, 'O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house'.  And the Lord said to him, 'Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man'.” 

Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 recorded a song in August, 1970 called I'll Be There.  In his autobiography Moon Walk, Michael Jackson said I'll Be There was one of the most important songs that they had ever recorded. All Music said about the song "Rarely, if ever, had one so young, sung with so much authority and grace, with wisdom and understanding far beyond his years". It was the most successful single ever released by the Jackson 5. 

Well, 5 is the number of unmerited favor and grace in the Bible. In Judges 6:15-16, it's speaking about a young man named Gideon who God had chosen to deliver all of Israel. His response when he was called?  "My family is poor in Manasseh", and did you notice, Lord? "I'm the least in my father's house". 

You see, grace flows best when we feel the weakest, the smallest, the poorest, the least qualified.  But in God's economy, He doesn’t "call the qualified", He "qualifies the called".  God loves choosing the foolish things to confound the wisdom of the world.  Him?  Her?  Are you serious? 

Great confidence rises up on the inside of you when you hear God say to you, "Surely, I will be with you".  Whatever the task is, no matter how big the situation looks, if He called you, He has promised to "be there".  He will never leave you or forsake you.  Verse 17 goes on to say, "Lord, if I have found grace…"  Grace is a person, and His name is Jesus, and He is in you.  Grace is with you in the impossible situation you are facing, rely on Him. Hear Him saying to you this week, "I'll be there". 


The Miracle that comes AFTER

After the Thanks.png

John 6:23 "Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after the Lord had given thanks" 

The Father was so glad about this that He wanted the Holy Spirit to write this down - the miracle happened after the Lord had given thanks. This is referring to the miracle of multiplying the loaves and the fishes to feed over 20,000 people in John 6:11. 

The miracle happened after Jesus had given thanks. We can have 98% health in our body, but still focus on the 1 or 2% that hurts.  God wants us 100% healthy, but we tend to focus on the little that we don't have at that moment. You may not be in the home of your dreams yet, but the miracle will happen "after" you give thanks. It could be that your child is out there doing his or her thing.  What will happen when you give thanks for full restoration?   

But why did the Lord give thanks?  He is the Lord Himself.  Because He is showing us how we need to receive a miracle.  A miracle of provision, a miracle of healing, a miracle of parenting your child, a miracle in your marriage, or a miracle for your mind.  If you're always distracted, remember, that's the work of the enemy who wants you to take your eyes off of Jesus and onto your need. 

Martha was "much distracted"…how can you be distracted when the Lord Himself is right there in your living room!!?  Why are you thinking about food when the one who multiplied the loaves and fishes is in your presence?  This was purposely put there for us.  I believe that many of you will testify to awesome miracles before this year is out "after you have given thanks".  We are already seeing them in our family.  Give thanks, then get ready!


The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Good and Perfect Gift.png

James 1:17 NIV "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" 

The grace of God can be described in two words "free gift". Everything about the grace of God is simply "the gift that keeps on giving".   Grace is always giving in every circumstance, it's a gift that never stops! 

To understand the grace of God you have to understand that life is all a gift. Health is a gift, a promotion is a gift, a love one finding his way home is a gift, life is a gift. In James 1:17, I'm so glad it says "every GOOD GIFT" and every "PERFECT GIFT".  Sickness isn’t included as a gift from God, a car accident isn’t a gift, although walking away without a scratch is a gift.  Losing your job isn’t a gift, unless very soon after you get a better job with better pay and better opportunities, that’s a gift.   

What's really great is that the Father doesn’t change, He's always "good" and His gifts are always "perfect", that’s good news. The scripture says that God is not like a "shifting shadow".  I love that because a shadow is constantly changing second by second minute by minute day by day.  His love for us is a gift that never shifts like a shadow.  His provision for us is a gift that never shifts like a shadow.  

Since Jesus is full of grace and truth, then Jesus is a gift.  Our relationship with Him is a gift.  His friendship with us is a gift.  He is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. That's great, great news to me.  It's the nearly too good to be true news.  So enjoy a life of gifts, God's grace that just keeps giving and giving and giving every day!

Better ATE Than Never

Better ATE Than Never.jpg

Job 23:12 ESV "I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my favorite food" 

Here’s something interesting.  Well known chefs are teaming up to advocate for food waste reduction in the U.S.  This food campaign encourages Americans to make simple lifestyle changes like making shopping lists, freezing food and using leftovers to reduce waste in the home. Every year, 40 percent of food in the U.S. is thrown away without getting eaten, contributing to the 1.3 billion tons of perfectly edible food that are lost or wasted worldwide annually. 

Our scripture for today compares a love for natural food to a love for the Word.  I have a few questions for you today, are you “eating” right?  Are you eating a regular diet of the Word of God?  Are the words you’re speaking wasted on negativity?  Are they filled with doubt? Do you esteem Your time with the Word more precious than your basic natural necessities?  Imagine your favorite food.  Now imagine loving the Word of God, and enjoying it as much as and more than your favorite food.    

Proverbs 4:22, says that His Word is "life to those who find them and health to all your flesh".  Think about it, the Word of God will affect ALL your flesh, that's your physical body, that's all the natural areas of your life!  Eating God’s Word daily is what will give you a healthy life.  Whatever it takes, don’t go without a steady diet of God's Word.  Make it your highest priority.  Enjoy a God-meal today…it’s better ATE than never!

Out on a Limb

Out on a limb.png

Mathew 14:28,29 "Lord, if it's you, Peter replied, tell me to come to You on the water. Come, He said, then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus" 

Anybody feel like they're living life "out on a limb"?  Taking risks?  Living on the edge?  That's great news.  Why?  Out on the limb is where the fruit is!  

In Mathew 14, the disciples were in a boat in the middle of a huge storm way off shore, and Jesus came toward them walking on the water.  The first thing He said to them was "Don't be afraid, I'm here".  Peter took one look at Jesus and said, "If that's really You, tell me to come".  Did you know that there was really very little difference between being in the boat and getting out of the boat?  A storm is a storm, no matter where you are.  But to get to Jesus or to get to the supernatural, Peter had to make a decision to do something different than what everybody else was doing. 

Jesus said, "Come!"  Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on water!  In verse 30 it says that Peter took a look around and "began to sink".  Technically speaking, he should have sunk as soon as he stepped on water.  But not Peter.  He was doing the miraculous, walking on the water, and only "began" to sink when he focused on the surrounding circumstances.  

If you "stay in the boat", you're never going to see the miracle of walking on the water.  To see the supernatural you'll have to sometimes, well…no…most of the time, take a risk. Jesus said in Ephesians 3:30, "according to the power that works in us" . God wants us to participate in our own miracle. Come on, get out on the limb, walk in the supernatural, get out where the fruit is!!


We serve a happy God!.png

1 Timothy 1:10,11 "Sound doctrine (is) in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed (happy) God" 

A great part of God's glory is His happiness.  Paul says that "sound or healthy doctrine" is in agreement with an understanding that God is a happy God, not an angry God.  Paul used the phrase "the glory of the happy God" because it is a glorious thing for God to be as happy as He is, infinitely happy. 

Gods glory consists much in the fact that He is happy beyond our wildest imagination.  This is the gospel, the gospel of the glory of the happy God.  It is great news that God is gloriously happy, no one would want to spend eternity with an unhappy God!  

Jesus invites us to spend eternity with a happy God when He says, "enter into the joy of your master", Mathew 25:23.  Jesus lived and died that His joy, God's joy, "might be in us and our joy might be full", John 15:11. The happiness of God is first and foremost for His Son.  So, the exact same happiness that God has for Jesus, He has for you and me.  

Revelation 4:11 says, "for thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created".   You and I were created by God for a very important purpose, we make God happy!  Certainly not because of our behavior, but because of His extreme love for us and His son Jesus.  We bring Him great joy.  He is a happy God.  Enjoy Him today the way He enjoys you…be happy!


A la carte Grace?

law and grace don't mix..png

Romans 11:6 "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" 

When it comes to restaurants, a la carte is the way to go.  You can pick and choose, and mix and match from a variety of items on the menu.  A little of this and a little of that.  It makes the dining experience fun and exciting.  But when it comes to grace, a la carte is NOT the way to go.  Here's why… 

Grace and law don't mix.  It's either one or the other.  Yet some people try to live in both.  They know they are saved by grace, but they believe they are sanctified by works.  But according to the Word, you are saved by grace and sanctified by grace.  In other words, all the blessings of God come to us as free gifts.  Forgiveness, salvation, righteousness, healing, holiness…all free gifts.  

Mixing grace and the law (works and performance based righteousness) is like "carrots and sticks".  Carrots are the blessings you get for obedience and sticks are the penalties you pay for disobedience.  If you do good, you get good , if you do bad, you get bad,  If you confess, you'll be forgiven; if you do right, you'll be accepted; if you act holy, you'll be holy, and so on. 

An a la carte grace puts the emphasis on you and what you have done.  Your identity will be defined by your productivity, you will start to think of yourself as God's servant instead of His beloved son or daughter.  Worst of all, you'll end up totally distracted from Jesus and focused on your works instead of His finished work on the cross.  

So remember you were saved by grace and you now live by His grace.  All of life is now a gift, so simply receive and be empowered unto total salvation.  No more picking and choosing, mixing and matching grace and law.  Stay focused on Jesus.  Enjoy pure grace!


Raiders of the Lost AARP

Long Life.jpg

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 ….."For He is your life and length of your days…" 

The American Association of Retired People (AARP), founded in 1958, was established with the goal of helping Americans, age 50 and older, remain physically and intellectually active by serving others.  Why?  People are simply living longer.  In 2015, the world was home to nearly half a million centenarians (people ages 100 and older), more than four times as many as in 1990, according to United Nations estimates. 

So many studies have been done on centenarians and longevity, concluding that long life is something you can "achieve" if you do all the right things.  Two scientists in Okinawa, Japan studied centenarians for over three decades.  They attribute long life to genetics, diet, an active lifestyle, a relaxed life, and a "don't worry, it will work out" mindset.  

Would you like to hear God's supernatural prescription for long life?  The Bible says the Lord is your life and the length of your days. In other words, the length of your days is a person, and His name is Jesus!  Psalm 91:14-15 says, "With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation".  The secret for long life is found in the last word of the last line…salvation.  

The Hebrew word for salvation in this verse is Yeshua, meaning Jesus.  Glory to God!  In other words, you could say, "With long life I will satisfy him by showing him My Jesus".  Wherever you see Jesus in the Word, you see long life and length of days.  See Jesus and see longevity.  And not just surviving or existing either, God promises us a long, strong and satisfying life.  So, today I am here to announce to you, you're later days shall be greater than your former days, in Jesus' name.  Can I get an amen?!!


There's a Ram in the Thicket

God Will Provide copy.jpg

Genesis 22:13-14 "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh [the Lord will provide]…" 

Once in a while, our dog Benny will find himself stuck halfway inside the rung of our kitchen counter stool.  We have to go and get him unstuck.  Then we find him stuck halfway under the laundry room bench.  Then the kitchen chair.  And we have to go and get him unstuck.  He's something else! 

In Genesis 22:13, it says, the ram was "caught in a thicket by his horns".  Most rams get caught in a thicket by their fur and are cut by the thorns.  But this ram had to be a without blemish or cuts of any kind to qualify as a perfect sacrifice.  It was a type of our Lord Jesus Christ,  Hallelujah.  As Abraham went up the mountain in obedience to God's instruction, a "ram" was going up the other side of the mountain.  Glory to God!  

Here's a word from the Lord for you today.  There's a "ram in the thicket" for you in your situation.  Whatever your need is today, be encouraged, there is a "ram" going up the other side of the mountain for you.  Jesus is called "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world".  That means, before you had a problem, God had the answer.  Before you had a question, God had the answer.  Before you had a diagnosis, God already provided the healing!  So get up and dance and shout!  Lift up your eyes. God provided His Son, His only Son, for you.



Son Burn.png

Luke 24:32 - "Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?"

Summer is on its way, which means it's time to stock up on the sunscreen.  Nothing worse can happen on vacation than a bad sunburn.  Everything is sensitive when you even touch it, sometimes you can actually feel the heat coming off of your skin. 

After Jesus rose from the dead He gave us the secret to a different kind of sunburn…a "Son-Burn"!  Something happens to you when the scriptures are opened up to you.  Revelation, understanding, insight, joy…something supernatural.  It causes your heart to burn within you. It's the light of God's Word exposing every area of darkness and bringing deliverance, healing, freedom, excitement and fulfillment like nothing else. 

On this Resurrection Sunday weekend, my prayer for you is that your heart would burn on the inside of you, as you open up the scriptures.  That you would receive a "Son-Burn"!  But I must warn you - excessive exposure to the Word of God can cause side effects such as raising the dead, healing the sick, extreme favor, restoring the lost, miracles, and so much more!


Elisha...the Water Boy?


2 Kings 3:11 "But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord, that we may enquire of the Lord by him? And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah" 

Elijah and Elisha are two of the most recognized and powerful prophets of the Old Testament. When it came time for Elijah to leave earth, he was taken to heaven in a whirlwind. He was instructed by God to anoint the man that would be his successor. His name was Elisha. 

Just before Elijah went to heaven, Elisha requested that he might have a double portion of the spirit of Elijah. In the new covenant, in John 3:34, it says, "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." Therefore, there is no such thing as a "double portion" in the new covenant.  We have no measure of the Holy Spirit in us on this side of the cross.  If you're saved and filled with the Holy Spirit you are "wall to wall Holy Spirit". 

Nevertheless, there is a powerful principle here.  King Jehoshaphat was looking for a man of God to advise him about a certain military campaign.  When Jehoshaphat inquired about a prophet of the Lord, Elisha was recommended.  Elisha was referred to as being the one "which poured water on the hands of Elisha".  These were his credentials. He had been a faithful servant to Elijah. 

Imagine that.  Before Elisha was promoted, he was a servant, he helped in menial tasks, including washing the hands of his mentor.  Elisha became a mighty man of God, but he received his training as a servant!  This is the way spiritual leaders are formed. It involves serving others and learning from those we serve. Servants learn by serving.  We prepare to lead by following.  It is next to impossible to be a great leader if you haven't been a servant. Would you like to be promoted?  Then get you water pitcher ready and get in line, you could be next!  


Don't Let Fear Shut You Up


John 20:19-20  "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." 

Why were the doors shut?  "For fear of the Jews".  Fear will always try and shut you up, close you in, and restrict you in every way.  It will try to stop you, keep you from moving forward, and from breaking free of all limitations. But be encouraged, fear did not stop Jesus when He found His disciples gathered together, behind closed doors, and it can't stop you. He came and stood in the midst of their fear.    

And what was the very first word the resurrected Jesus said to His frightened disciples?  In our English bibles, it says "peace be with you", but our Lord would have spoken in Hebrew.  He would have used the word shalom.  Shalom is taken from the root word shalam, which means, “to be safe in mind, body, or estate.” It speaks of completeness, fullness, or a type of wholeness that encourages you to give back. 

"Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side."  These were the receipts of His payment for their shalom, and of His guaranteed peace.  Jesus paid the price for your shalom. You don't have to be full of worries and cares.  For every fearful and threatening situation in your life, you can declare the same thing that Jesus said to His disciples, "shalom".  Fear can't shut you up, unless you let it.  So don't let it.  Shalom.  


Let Go, Live Long

let go, live long.png

Psalm 91:16 - "With long life will He satisfy you and show you His salvation" 

It's okay when the Bible says to "number our days" (Psalm 90:12), but it's not okay when the doctor says, "Your days are numbered!"  That's not good news. Maybe your parents died young, and you're fearful that you will die young too.  Thank God for doctors who are doing all they can to fight sickness, but the things that are impossible for man are possible with God.  

God's Word is health to all your flesh (Proverbs 4:20-22).  God's Word is health to your kidneys. Healing to your bones. It's healing to your skin. It's healing to your lungs. Not a single part of your body will be left untouched by the healing power of God's Word!   

Like many people, I used to say, "Well, life is short" to express how we shouldn't take anything for granted.  I stopped confessing that over my life many years ago, because my Bible says "with long life will He satisfy me…" 

Proverbs 14:30 says, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones".  A heart at peace is sound.  The Hebrew word for sound in this verse is "marpe" which means "a healing" or "a cure".  So what does that tell you?  When your heart is at peace it becomes a healing heart that gives life to your body!  If you want to live long you need to have a relaxed attitude. Don't let your heart be troubled.  Be at peace.  Be at rest.  Declare today, "I let go and live long".  


No Condemnation

Romans 8-1.jpg

Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" 

One of my favorite chapters in the book of Romans is chapter 8.  Something I found very interesting, that really opened my eyes to winning over condemnation, was that the word Spirit appears 21 times.  Wow!  I don't believe the Holy Spirit puts anything in the Word by accident.  

In Romans 7, Paul talks about overcoming the flesh, and the word Spirit doesn't even appear once.  It only mentions the word spirit as in a good attitude, but not Spirit as in the Holy Spirit.  The word flesh simply means, what you see or perceive with your senses, your negative emotions. 

We win over condemnation when we walk after the Spirit.  When we walk after what the Word says about us.  When we walk not after our flesh, our senses and negative emotions.    When we know who we are in Christ.  

For God sent NOT his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:17).  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more (John 8:10-11). 

So when condemnation comes, remember, it's not from God.  There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.  If you're in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation.  Period.  


Cloud Nine

1 John 4-17.png

1 John 4:17 - "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is so are we in this world" 

According to the International Cloud Atlas, which defined ten types of clouds, the ninth type of cloud is a cumulonimbus, which rises over six miles, the highest a cloud can be.  Hence the phrase, "floating on cloud nine"…or a state of bliss, happiness, elation, and euphoria.  

Cloud nine seems pretty awesome, huh.  Well here's nine words that are even more amazing - "As He is so are we in this world".  Those are the nine words I wake up saying every morning.  Notice the verse doesn't say "as He was" or "as we will be".  It says, "as He is", right now, present tense, "so are we". 

Let me ask you a question, is Jesus healthy?  Of course He is.  As He is so are you.  Is Jesus worried today?  No.  As He is so are you.  Is Jesus poor?  No.  As He is so are you.  Is Jesus righteous?  Yes.  As He is so are you.  In your born again spirit, you are wall to wall Holy Spirit.  When the Father looks at you, He sees Jesus.    

These are the most powerful nine words in all the universe.  As you say them out  loud, you are declaring that everything that Jesus IS right at this moment, is released into your life.  Into your marriage.  Into your business.  Into your body.  Cloud nine?  It's no match to the "1 John 4:17 nine"!  


God's Grace Graph

Romans 5-9.png

Romans 5:9 "Much more then, being justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" 

If you followed the news recently, you may have heard about the sudden shift in the stock market.  How it skyrocketed for twelve months, and then a few weeks ago declined at a rapid rate.  When it was going up people were up.  When it went down, some commentators were reporting that the "sky was falling"!  Well guess what, it started back up again. 

I want to ask you a very important question…is your view of God's love for you up some days and down the next?  If it were charted on a graph, how would it look?  Perhaps after a great church service, you feel God's love for you is "up".  Then you do something you shouldn't have, and you feel God's love for you is "down".  Then you read your Bible, and you feel like God really loves you!  Then you don't read your Bible one day, and your graph shows a decline.  Here's some good news.  God's love for you is constant.  It never changes.  Your behavior does not change God's love for you.  

Romans 5:8 says "But God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us".  Then in verse nine it says, "Much more then, being justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him".  In other words, before you were saved, as a sinner, God's grace abounded toward you.  How "much more then", after you were saved, did His grace super abound toward you. That's really big.  

Fix your eyes on His love for you, not on your performance or behavior.  His love for you is unshakable and immovable.  When you do, you remain stable, settled and strong no matter how you "feel".  No more up one day, and down the next.  God's grace graph is always the same…love, love, love.   


No Sweat!

No Sweat.jpg

Ezekiel 44:17-18 " When they enter the gates of the inner court, they shall wear linen garments. They shall have nothing of wool on them, while they minister at the gates of the inner court, and within.  They shall have linen turbans on their heads, and linen undergarments around their waists. They shall not bind themselves with anything that causes sweat." ESV

According to this scripture, the Old Testament priests were forbidden from entering the inner court wearing anything that might cause them to sweat.  Jesus is saying the same thing to us today, when we yoke ourselves together with Him, no sweat! (Matthew 11:28-30)

If there is an area in your life where you don't see the manifestation of God's promises, perhaps it's because you have not cast your care on the Lord.  Instead, you're on your own, sweating it out, and worrying about it.  He wants us to wear "linen turbans" on our heads, or in other words, keep our "minds" free of worry and care (sweat!).

Every time the enemy comes to you and demands, "What are you going to do about that?", what's your response?  Or when the accuser comes to shake you up about a situation on the job, or about your child, or your marriage, our your mortgage payment?

Here's what you need to say, "I'm not going to worry about this!  Jesus already made a way for this to work out".  Remember, before Jesus redeemed us from sin at the cross, before He was scourged for our diseases, He first shed His blood in the Garden of Gethsemane.  In Luke 22:44, it says that Jesus sweat great drops of blood from His brow.  He redeemed us from stress and anxiety in our minds!  Hallelujah!  He redeemed us from every oppressive thought and lie that tries to torture us.  So start today, let your response to every anxious thought be, "No sweat!"


I Wanna Hold Your Hand

I Wann Hold Your Hand.jpg

Isaiah 41:13 "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee" 

It seems like yesterday that my whole family would gather around our TV in our basement every Sunday night to watch the Ed Sullivan show.  Anyone with a TV set was doing the exact same thing, all across America.  On one particular Sunday night in February of that year, a band from England rocked the nation with their new hit called I Wanna Hold Your Hand.  The band…the Beatles.  

In Isaiah 41:13, the prophet Isaiah says "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy hand".  How many of you know that a child holding on to a mother's hand is never as secure as when the mother holds the child's hand. I would always grab hold of my daughter's hand when she was young, when we were in a store or at some kind of event.  I held her hand tighter and more secure than she held mine. 

I want you to encourage you, you're not holding on to God's hand, God is holding on to your hand, and He'll never let go. The verse says "I will hold your hand, fear not".   When God holds your hand, there's nothing to be afraid of.  Even when we are weak, His hand is strong. Hallelujah!  Do you feel weak today?  He's holding on to you. 

You might ask, "What about Psalm 51 where it says, "Take not your Holy Spirit from me"?  David prayed that because he was under a dispensation where the Holy Spirit would come upon you, and the Holy Spirit would go.  As a born again believer, the Holy Spirit lives and abides in you, and will never leave you, ever, no matter what. That's good news for us today.  Let that sink in.  Rest and be secure in His love for you. He will never let go.