What Is There to Declare? (1 John 1:1-3)



From the beginning of our salvation until now, we have heard the Lord and even seen him evident in our lives.  What is it that you have seen?  How many answered prayers have there been?  How many times has the Lord spoken to you through the scriptures.  On how many occasions has he guided you in your decisions?  Honestly speaking, we probably cannot number these occasions.  What I believe to be the best interactions with the Lord are when he encourages us.  He picks us up when we fall.  He mends our hearts when they become broken and encourages us as we live in this fallen world.  All of these instances are part of our fellowship with him and the fellowship continues as we lift our hearts to him and offer praise, thanksgiving and adoration.

As the apostles, we have a responsibility with this fellowship and that is to share it with others so that they too may fellowship with God.  We owe this responsibility to our brothers and sisters in Christ.  By doing so, we lead them from where they are in their fellowship and relationship with God to where we are.  It is the mature believer teaching the younger.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)

With these thoughts, we must ask ourselves a few questions.  Have I been having fellowship with the Lord?  We know that we have in the past, but in recent days has there been fellowship?  If you were to share a fellowship experience with someone, how far back would you need to reach?

Another question would be: have I shared my fellowship experiences with others?  Our lives are like plants bearing fruit and seed.  The fruit of the Spirit is what our lives should produce because of fellowship and the seed within the fruit comes from us sharing our fellowship experiences with others.

So, what should we do with this fellowship?  Share it at work.  Share it at home: even blog it on the media, but whatever you do, share it.  By doing so, others may begin to experience the wonderful relationship with God that he so longs to have with them.

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An Ornament for God (Psalm 78:61)



At Christmas time, many people look forward to decorating their tree.  For some , it is a family gathering where decorative ornaments are placed by the hands of young and old.  Some families have retained ornaments that have been passed down from generation to generation.  Not only are they beautiful, but the memories that they carry are much more ornate than the item itself.

And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand.  (Psalms 78:61)

God has declared that we are his glory or as this word many times refers, his ornament.  He places you and me in the midst of a troubled world.  Our lives are intended to shimmer and shine of the love and reality of God, just as a ornament shimmers and shines on a tree.

Make it a point to understand your purpose in life and then shimmer and shine as a testimony for God.  You can only accomplish this by getting close to God.  As you walk closely to him, you will reflect him to all those around you.

Brighten the Corner (Psalm 34:2)



Did you ever want to do something great with your life?  Have you ever desired to make such an influence upon people that the effect would be estounding?  Did you know that each of us can?  In fact, it is part of God’s design and plan for your life.

God has equipped you in at least two areas of your life for this purpose.  One enabling comes from the Holy Spirit giving you at least one gift for purpose of minister to others.  Another equipping are the words that you choose to speak.  Death and life are in the power of your tongue. (Prov. 18:21). It is important to understand that the words that you say can either make or break someone.  Consider the following passage.

My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. (Psalms 34:2)

There are key words in this passage that are important to identify and understand in order for the principle to be understood.  The word humble carries with it the idea of being depressed and glad is another term for meaning to brighten up.  In this passage, we can see that when I praise the Lord, those in depression will hear and brighten up or become glad.

As you live your life, The Lord wants you outwardly to praise him and as You do, he will use your words to encourage those who are struggling in their lives.  You may never know who these people are and may also never see the outcome of your words, but he has assured you that he will use them.

Instead of complaining about circumstances in life, why not look to the Lord for your help and then praise him for his wonderful works.  By doing that, his work continues through you to reach others.

Trauma (Psalm 27:1b)



Trauma is a terrible thing.  It reaches deep into the resources of the soul and damages everything that it touches.  Only now are we beginning to understand the effects of trauma as we help soldiers returning from war, but trauma isn’t something new.  We have been battling trauma on the domestic front for years.  Even though many lives have been destroyed by it, there is hope.

Hope for those traumatized can be provided by those whom they can trust.  Please let me illustrate.  This morning I woke up to the sound of rain.  I looked next to the bed and sure enough, the Shepherd was under the chair.  Our rescue had been traumatized by gun shots, being hit by a car and taunted by passers by as he remained tied to a fence with a broken hip.  It doesn’t take much to trigger fears and even reenactments.  So while he was terrified to go outside and do his morning business because of rain and the potential for thunder, I went out into the yard and called him to me.  As he approached, I gave him the repeated rhythmic shsh, shsh, shsh, shsh, shshshshshshsh that I give to soothe him when he is overcome with anxiety.  He recognized my call of caring and came next to me.  He practically knocked me over to get close enough to feel safe.

Jesus provides the same type of care.  He recognizes our fears and calls us to him.  As we hear his voice and get close to him, he provides comfort and security.  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1b). In this verse, the Psalmist declares that the Lord is his defense or fortified place.  He was that for him and he wants to be the same for you.  Will you hear his call?  Will you run to him for comfort and security?  He is waiting and ready to aid you in your trauma.

What is being spiritual?



What is being spiritual?

Is it knowing the bible very well to where you can quote large amounts of scripture or at the least scripture to pertains to life’s problems?

Is it demonstrating a faith attitude while in the midst of life’s dark circumstances?

Is it being separated from the world so that you don’t look, act, or speak like them?

Are you spiritual when you overcome the hurts, fears and abuses of life?

I am glad to say that the answer to all of these questions is, “No!”  Satan memorized scripture and then quoted it to Jesus, so that knocks out the first.  The outward appearances of man are not nearly as significant as the inward.  Just because a facade of faith is demonstrated on the outside does not mean that it is possessed on the inside.  Being separated is not an indication of spirituality because countless cults around the world, who deny Jesus Christ, have stringent guidelines for conduct and appearance, yet these people are not spiritual.  In fact, they are still lost in their sin.

Finally, we will look at the overcoming of hurts, fears and abuse.  I know many spiritual people who have not overcome.  This may surprise you, but it is true.  Many may state, “What about greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world?”  I John 4:4 is a good verse.  My reply to that is a question.  How can it be expected for people to overcome in Christ if they have not been given instruction in truth or have been given an incorrect manner of going to God for deliverance.  It is just like countless millions who have been told that they must serve Jesus with works in order for him to save them. These individuals may work tirelessly for years and never obtain salvation.  

In like manner, what victory would be obtained for those who have been hurt and abused if they were given the following advice.

If you want to get victory, sell out for Jesus, live holy, give, separate from the world and pray.  

What a legalistic approach.  How much selling out will be enough?  How can I know when I am holy enough?  Is tithing enough or should I give more? If so, how much?  Hair, clothes, words, actions, entertainment: I am separated…should I turn off my electric too?  After all this, there is no victory.  And then we wonder why people only stay in churches for five years.  These hurting people have done everything they were told to do and came up empty.  No wonder they leave…no wonder they give up.

It is time for us to be spiritual and make a difference.  Let us start with Galatians 6:2: Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Moved to Compassion (Luke 7:13)



One of the attributes of God is that he is omniscient, which means that he is all knowing.  He knows all that has occurred in the past, he knows what is in the heart of man and what is taking place currently, and he knows what will happen in the future.

When God became man, he cloaked his diety: that is to say that as God, Jesus functioned as a man and only accessed his divine powers and abilities as directed by the father.

In this passage when Jesus came face to face with the widow, he, as God, saw her and her condition for the first time.  What occurred revealed the nature of God towards man.  The scriptures state that when he saw her, he had compassion on her.  From this, we can know that as God looks upon us, he will be moved with compassion towards us.  Although his plan may require that we endure particular hardships in life, but nonetheless his heart is moved with compassion.

We too should have compassion on others.  What is needed for this to occur is to see individuals in their state.  This may come from visual sight or Holy Spirit illumination.  It is difficult to have compassion on someone if you cannot see them.  So in order for us to have compassion, we must see them.

Do I Really Care? (2 Timothy 1:4)

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If we knew how others viewed us, how many would say that we are self centered or all we think about is ourselves? The number may surprise us. In defense, we may point out the many times that we have reached out with aid to others. We may speak of how we support others in need or simply how we act kindly towards others. The question is, “Is that enough?”

Is it enough to perform actions of kindness and charity? I think not. Actions can be just that: simply actions. We can perform acts of kindness without the true motive for our actions being known. Guilt, fear of rejection and pride can each be a motivation for kind acts and if they are, the works performed will not be acts of kindness.

In his letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul best describes this virtue. Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; (2 Timothy 1:4). True kindness occurs as a result of empathy. Paul describes this emotion as “being mindful of thy tears”. The word mindful comes from two words meaning “to stay” and “to chew”. We are mindful about something when we continue to roll the idea over in our minds. For those being kind, they are rolling over in their minds the hurts and pains of others which causes them tears.

They may continually think of their friend’s hurt from losing a loved one. They focus on the pain and sickness of others and carry those burdens with them. When friends are absent from church or just out of touch, they wonder how they are doing and if they are abounding through their circumstances. These are the thoughts of a person who cares.

So let me ask you, do you really care about others? To find out, let your thoughts be your judge.