Your Story (Luke 8:39)

Our lives should be showing the great things that God is doing in them. It isn’t what we are now doing with our lives, but what he has done to us on the inside.

Religion can cause people to serve and even clean the inside of the cup, but God’s hidden work can never be duplicated. We can never fill the emptiness, but God can. We can never remove our shame, but God can blot it out. The nets of fear and insecurity, which grip us can never be escaped, but God can deliver us from them.

The struggles that brought you to Christ are the very areas of your life upon which he has done his greatest work. This is what your life must declare.

The maniac of Gadera was delivered. The woman with the issue of blood was cleansed. What’s your story?

Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. Luke 8:39

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Loving the God We Cannot See (1 Peter 1:8)

Love: a word used so freely today, but what does it mean? True love is the desire that a person has to meet the needs of another without expecting to receive anything in return. With that, a great question arises. Can you love someone with whom you have never met face-to-face? 

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (1 Peter 1:8)

The answer is simple. You can love someone that you have never seen, but only if you have had the opportunity to interact with them.

In the early 20th century, a man in America, named Charles, began to correspond with the young woman, named Minnie, who lived on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Their many letters shared the events of their lives: their likes, dislikes, problems and struggles. The letters also contained hopes, dreams and passions. All the time as the letters were shared something began to happen. Each began to be concerned for the other and desired to be with them so that they may experience life together: to share, help, care and love. They fell in love and one day, decided to marry. They never met face-to-face until the day that she came off of the ship on America’s shore. To them, it didn’t matter what the other person looked like: they knew each other and recognized the beauty that each possessed within. Several decades later, I met them and marveled at their story of love.

We too can love someone that we have never met face-to-face. Through our interactions with the Lord, we can experience him in times of trials and testing. The words that he has recorded for us speak to our hearts and encourage us in the deepest of struggles. When sorrow comes, only his words bring comfort. When others have rejected and cast us out, his words of love and the promise to always be with us draw our hearts close to him. When nobody understands or cares, he does and he tells us to cast our cares on him. (1 Peter 5:7). When we are confused and searching for direction, he sheds light on our path to brighten the way. Each of these interactions bring us into a greater understanding of the person who saved us and through it all we begin to love him. 

One day, we will embark off of the ship on eternities shore and will take part in the marriage between Jesus and his church. But until then, our hearts rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory all because we know and love this person that we have never seen.  

Have Mercy (Psa 94:18)



When people interact together, it is only a matter of time before some type of conflict will wise.  When the interaction involves one person trying to instruct or mentor another, the chances of it occurring increase.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to lead someone who continually struggles to either keep up or perform as expected.  So, what should our response be?

When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. (Psalms 94:18)

As we strive to trust God and walk in his ways, how does he respond when we falter?  He doesn’t attack or pound us down, but instead holds us up by his mercy.

When people are struggling, our response toward them should be the same.  We should respond with mercy.  There is a difference between struggling and refusing.  When people struggle, they are striving to accomplish or perform as expected, but yet still need support.  We love it when people show mercy towards us and especially when we receive it from God.  His dealings with us are a pattern or model for us to follow.

Patience is still a virtue.  So at work, be patient and show mercy.  As you raise your children, remember mercy.  Mercy is like a fertilizer.  When it is used correctly, it will enhance the growth of your relationships.  Without mercy, relationships can die.  If you want to make a great difference by helping people, you need to exercise mercy.

How Can I Love? (1 John 2:5)



We know Jesus said that men shall know we are disciples because we love one another.  The Apostle John writes that in us God’s love can be perfected.  The question is, How do I get to the place where I can love like Jesus loves?

Many would set out to create a list of actions that should be performed that would be considered acts of love and when these actions are completed you will be loving that individual.  The list could be something like this.

1. Pray for them

2. Reach out to them

3. Communicate your concern through notes, cards or emails.

4. If possible, meet a need that they may have.

5. If necessary, share the gospel

The list is a good list, but in itself it is not love.  A person could complete each of these acts and still not love the person.  Have you ever said that you were sorry and you really weren’t?  Did you ever state that you forgave someone, but in reality you really didn’t?  The same can be true with the actions on this list.  You can do them and not really be loving.  So, what is the answer?  How can I love others?

But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. (1 John 2:5)

If we keep or guard God’s word in our hearts, it will eventually create fruit from its seed.  It is the Word of God that perfects our love.  Love is a condition of the heart and not the completion of acts.  Keeping or guarding God’s word in your heart is parallel to abiding in Christ.  When we abide in Christ, he lives through us.  When we abide in God’s word, it lives through us.  It may live through us and lead us to perform the very acts listed above, but the difference between the two is the condition of the heart.

If you want to love, keep or guard God’s word in your heart.  In fact, if you want to accomplish anything for God or to be anything he wants you to be, keep the word.  Guard it as a precious gem or as a “keep sake”.  When you do, it will produce its fruit in your life.

The Test for: Do You Know God (1 John 2:3-4)



I remember speaking with a young man back in the early 90’s.  He commented about me being religious to which I disagreed.  As I tried to explain the difference between being religious and being saved, I ended by asking him this question, “Do you know about God or do you know God personally?”  His reply was that he only knew about God.  A truthful answer which opened the door for me to present the gospel.  It was probably very easy for him to answer because his life was devoid of any religious activity and more than likely filled with sin.  But how difficult would it have been had he been very religious.  He could have convinced himself that he knew God based on biblical knowledge and the laundry list of do’s and don’ts that he follows.  God knew this would happen to man.  So he presented a heart condition as the determining factor.  This litmus test of the heart would enable man to determine his right standing with God.

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:3-4)

What do these verses mean?  More than likely we have heard it preached that if you know God you will keep or obey his commandments.  Sounds good.  So let’s check.  He who has always obeyed God’s commandments, please step forward and declare that you know God.  Hmmm, no response.  But wait a minuted, don’t we all sin.  It must mean those who try their best at keeping God’s commandments are the ones that know him.  However the scripture states that if we don’t keep his commandments then the truth is not in us.  I guess that leaves all of us out.  Help!!!

The word keep can have many meanings one of which is “to guard (by keeping the eye upon), hold fast, or watch”.  If this definition were put into the passage, it would state that those who know God will guard the commandments or live their lives with the heart’s focus on God’s commandments for the purpose of observing them.  I am first to admit that I sin daily, but with the same breath, I also guard the commandments in my heart for intent of observing them.  I may sin daily, but the truth is in me.

The former “keep” meaning to obey is impossible for me and every person on the planet, but to “keep” meaning to guard is attainable.  Stop trying to attain the sinless perfect life.  You will fail miserably in defeat.  Live the guarded heart life.  If you do, the sins will diminish and your relationship with God will be a heart based relationship instead of a performance based one.

Can you confidently say that you have obeyed God’s commandments? I cannot, but I can with great confidence say that I have guarded the commandments in my heart.

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.

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.