Friday, December 31, 2010

Character: A Spirit of Generosity

The generosity of our God is an awesome thing to behold; as we do, our own character is sweetened with a spirit of giving that blesses all! Love and generosity walk hand in hand throughout the scriptures. God’s Word opens with the story of Creation—a world created for and entrusted to mankind. John 3:16, the foundation of our faith, tells us “God so loved…He gave.” Thankfully, God’s generosity is not tied to our merit for in Hosea we read, “I will heal their backsliding, and I will love them freely…” The generosity of God is His character: nothing we do makes God love us more or give us more. He always loves us perfectly and gives to us all we need. His call is constant and the scriptures close with an invitation for us to drink freely at the river of life. The generosity of God flows eternally and transforms our character when we receive it!

Abundance is a truth woven throughout scriptures! God does all things well and abundantly. Christ came that we might have abundant life. Jesus told His disciples, “Freely you have received, freely give.” So what have we received; what can we give? All of scripture and the touch of the Spirit are needed to explore the treasures God has given, but our souls will be excited with even a glimpse of His gifts! The obvious gift to begin with is the redemption of our souls. Though we all have chosen to go our own way, the love of God paid the price to restore us to Him! He has loved us wholly as we have trampled His gifts. Forgiveness, grace and mercy are all rolled into the redemption concept. What treasures those are to share in a hurting world!

Simply considering how our world would be sweetened by forgiveness, grace and mercy is a breath-taking thought. Imagine ill-timed words and actions covered by a love that forgives the hurt caused! Consider the blessing of giving "Grace:"  the beautiful taste of God's Spirit: love, joy, peace, a willingness to suffer, kindness, gentleness and mercy offered to another! Do you know anyone who needs peace today—confidence in God’s love and power? Or perhaps someone who is drowning in the darkness of this world who needs you to sit in the mess with them giving a gentle touch of love? Giving mercy--seeing and meeting a need rather than condemning and punishing would bear precious seed. This world is abundant in need; what need can you meet today by sharing the blessings of Jesus you have received? The words of Christ to freely give are preceded by some miraculous things: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils.” When we share Jesus—when we share what we have received—His Spirit is freed to work in and transform more lives…what a privilege to embrace.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Character: A Spirit of Unity

The Christian character will demonstrate a respect for others that leads to unity!  Respect and unity go hand in hand but they make rare appearances in our world today.  Most of us, even Christians, are so focused on getting our viewpoint across that it is our individuality people see--not the character of Christ.  Our Lord is always respectful: even when we 'despise and reject' Him, He recognizes our individual will and ways. Yet, the Father never stops loving.  He never lowers Himself to respond in kind to our actions.  He remains focused on His glorious purpose: that 'we might know that He is God.'  The character founded and built on Christ will be motivated by that same purpose.  With the goal of revealing God's glory, the Christian character draws people to God and together!

The inner being of each human being is revealed in either individuality or personality.  Individuality is the mark of a natural man; it separates us from others and seeks to distinguish the uniqueness of a person.  Personality is no less unique but it is the mark of the spiritual man; it is infused with the glorious respectfulness of our Lord.  The Christian character is secure in Christ and not driven by the need to be set apart and glorified. 

Self-vindication, self-glory--self-righteousness--is an anathema to the Christian character.  The glory of the Christian is present in the character of Christ!  When we choose to sacrifice our individuality, our personality will bring the glory of Christ to the world around us!  We receive the gift of Jesus for the purpose that others will know Him; you have been created uniquely for touching the lives around you--let His beauty flow through!

Merry Christmas to all of you!  Enjoy the gift of Jesus and may His glory light your world!

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Character: A Spirit of Faithfulness

And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

Ruth 1:16

The Spirit of Christ exudes faithfulness and the character built on Christ can be equally steadfast!  During Christ's earthly life His Spirit demonstrated fidelity to the heart of the Father; the character of the Christian is intended to do the same. 

The ancient words of today's scripture model the attitude of the Christian:  'whither thou goest, I will go...'. While Ruth's words were spoken in loyalty to her earthly mother-in-law, our commitment is to be to  God alone.  Our character, embodied with the life of Christ, readily responds to the movement of the Spirit.  Obediently presenting our lives as living sacrifices to God necessitates a Christ-like character.  It is only such a character which demonstrate fidelity to the cause of Christ. 

Our natural selves continually demand loyalty to our own dreams, desires and felt needs.  Sacrificing our self-will for the will of the Father is possible only as we surrender ourselves to Christ's transforming power.  The glory of God will flow forth from a character rooted and nurtured in Christ's character.  Ask God to reveal to you the sacrifices of self which would please Him most today. 

Allow your Spirit to be flooded with Christ's character and you will be awed by the expansiveness you have entered into!  The character of Christ is a treasure God has entrusted to our clay vessels.  Receive Him!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Character: A Spirit of Confident Expectation

The character built on Christ will exude confident expectation such as that of Christ in Hebrews 10:12,13:

But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever,
sat down on the right hand of God;
From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

Our lives need not be spent quaking in fear or frustration; the Spirit pours out hope that produces when we purpose to receive it!  In the Creation account, we are reminded that God completed His Work and rested on the seventh day.  We are repeatedly admonished to 'keep the Sabbath.'  We must deliberately choose to enter that same rest because we are confident in His goodness and power. 

Jesus, upon the Cross, uttered the words, "It is finished."  Jesus came to earth to die, to provide the pure, permanent sacrifice we can not make.  As God, He completed the task set before Him.  Our life-race is authored by Jesus and when we fix our eyes upon Him, we will see the story He has written for our lives ends with victory as well. 

Our confidence is not in ourselves but in His plans and purposes and power in our lives.  Our confidence is in the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice on our behalf.   The writer of Hebrews unveils a critical principle in this confidence when he tells us that faith in God's presence and goodness is our key to pleasing Him.  He is worthy of our confidence; the perfection of His love casts out every fear or frustration that attempts to infiltrate our minds.  God's Word overflows with promises and prophesies that are ours because of the work of Christ.  Victory is already assured; the trials and struggles of this life--not matter how intense--are temporary.  Be confident in Him moment by moment!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Character: A Spirit of Availability

A Christ-like character is available to the purposes of God.  Like Isaiah's responsive heart to God's question 'Whom shall we send?', the Spirit-driven character responds to the purposes of God.  Christ modeled this characteristic in leaving the glories of heaven for the dark, dingy stable of His birth.  Few recognized His glory--but that did not minimize His glory.  A spirit of availability may not always be noticed but it is always valuable! 

The prophets of old demonstrated this spirit--and its difficulty--over and over.  They submitted to the will of God and were used by Him in uncomfortable, inconvenient, incalculable ways!  Hosea married a prostitute; Jeremiah and Ezekiel delivered undesired messages to a rebellious people.  God's purposes marched through time and their lessons still speak in our hearts.  Moses opted out of a luxurious lifestyle to be identified with God.  His training ground was a back-desert sheepfold and his great life-work leading a massive nation of wandering children.  Often maligned, seldom appreciated but vitally needed are those who heed the call to be available...those who refuse to accept the impossibility of anything God commands are greatly used by Him!

Our character, rooted and growing in Christ-likeness will demonstrate that spirit of availability.  Our lives are to be offered to God as living sacrifices.  He died for us that we might live for Him (not that we might live for ourselves or those we love!).  The Christian who wishes to make an eternal impact must be available for placement anywhere on this gameboard of earthly life.  A spirit of availability requires tremendous trust in the goodness and power of God.  We all know there are many ugly places in this world--war-torn battlefields, sterile hospitals, riverbank shelters the homeless call home, sin-infested workplaces, lonely nursing homes--places we would prefer never to call 'home.'  Yet a Christ-like spirit of availability has courageous confidence that any placement is a divine assignment.  Grow closer to Him, trust Him and see how He will use you for eternal good!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Character: A Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation

Another gift to the Christian's character is introduced in Ephesians 1:17 as a prayer request by Paul for the saints at Ephesus:

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father
most glorious, would give you a spirit of wisdom and
revelation through knowing Christ fully. (Ephesians 1:17)

Character developed upon personal knowledge of Christ will be infused with a spirit of wisdom and revelation.  Christ demonstrated this spirit in all of His human interactions.  He saw, listened and comprehended from His Father's viewpoint.  Jesus looked beyond the circumstances presented by those who came to Him and focused on their spiritual needs.  He was firmly identified with His Father's interests in individuals--and a character built on Him will evidence that same association.

We are called to be Ambassadors for Christ.  Our natural reactions to those we encounter--whether sweet compassion or abrasive frustration--should never be the source which motivates us to action.  We are not to be amateur Providences and change people's lives according to our plans. God's ways are not our own; He has measured the weight He puts upon every person.  What may seem excessive and unfair from the human perspective may be just the weight needed to save their eternal soul.  Alternatively what may appear to be tremendous blessing in a person's life may be a curse blinding them to their need for Jesus.   As Christ's Ambassador we need to share the reason for the hope with which we live and allow Him to guide in every interaction!

We need His Spirit to give us deep understanding of situations and the Truths of God which will speak to hearts.  We are given discernment to intercede for others--never to judge them.  The wisdom of God is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3:17).  As we listen to the hearts of others through the Spirit, He will give us words that encourage others and reveal His beauty.  He may impress upon our hearts the need to provide direct help or He may simply burden us to pray and love.  As we heed His guidance, we will learn more about Him ourselves and grow ever closer to His likeness!  Might we each increasingly embrace the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation He offers so freely!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Character: A Pure Heart

Mid-way through the Beatitudes, Jesus introduces the blessing of a pure heart: seeing God! Seeing God. Why would that bless? How would our days be different if we were able to see God? Is the cost of the condition worth it? A pure heart?! Is it even possible to refuse every idol and seek God without taking detours?

Let’s consider this aspect of Christian character. I believe we will be excited about its potential and delighted with the return on our ‘sacrifices’!

Certainly a pure heart does not come easily. We are born with a sin-stained heart and simply living life generates significant sin pollution. Like blue sky to a city-dweller, seeing God’s glorious beauty seems like a child’s myth to we earth-bound people. This is not a 21st century phenomenon either; Paul discussed this tendency in Chapter One of Romans and he relates the fearful consequences of such an exchange.

God has revealed Himself in a number of ways; it is our choice to embrace His glory or not. The consequences will not be our choice, though; they are the natural results of God’s righteous character. It is God’s desire for us to see and rejoice in who He is. In fact, in Isaiah we are told that “His glory” is our purpose. Later in Romans (5:2), Paul encourages believers that the certain hope of God’s glory is cause for rejoicing. A character built on Christ will embrace the eradication of idols that block the view of God’s glory…and that character will be blessed and a blessing!

We creatures of earth have heart hungers which drive us throughout our lives. Even the best things of this world: meaningful work, secure homes or caring families will leave us hungering for more. We are created for the glory of the King of King and Lord of Lords. Nothing else will satisfy. Setting aside any idols we are tempted to serve, though, and seeking Him with all we are, is all that He is asking. Our glorious King knows we are made of only dust; He is not asking more than we can give. He is asking only what we can do that He can transform us into being and doing ever more!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Character: A Spirit of Repentance

The first character trait we will explore is a 'spirit of repentance'. Jesus said that He came to call us to repentance.  His call is for us to exercise a change of mind--a turning from personal motivations to His revealed truth.  Without a doubt that is a most unnatural characteristic.  Only a character built on Christ is able to receive the gift of repentance.  It is a gift which initially brings great pain; but it is pain that is transformed into spiritual character.  The blessing of a spirit of repentance far exceeds the initial suffering.

This gift is a depth of sorrow which impels one to change direction.  Recognizing sin is not the same as repenting.  Too often we see our sins and seek to justify or excuse them.  We may experience regret--sorrow for the consequences but not grief for our pathway.  A Spirit of Repentance recognizes that the choice to walk apart from God's revealed truth is the underlying problem.  Regret sees the problem as the end result or the situation which prompted the diversion from God's path.  Repentance recognizes that God's ways are not situational or conditional; His truth has an integrity that makes His ways work ALL the time. Repentance propels us back to His ways!

Believers in the early church were known to pray for loved ones to receive the 'gift of tears.'  Such a prayer captures the spirit of repentance.  Tears which flow from a heart broken by its own willfulness create a place of growth.  God's grace and mercy sprouts bountifully in a heart softened by repentance.  May we all receive this Spirit with confident hope in Christ and be transformed!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Today's promise comes from 2 Corinthians 3:18.  Deliberately seeking the Lord will transform us into His image.  I love the old saying of "Praise God I am not what I was and I am not what I will become!"  Just as God's changeless nature is a rock-solid foundation, so our transformation is a glorious promise.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.  2 Corinthians 3:18

Character. It is a critical aspect of each individual. Character is the substance of an individual.  We live in a world which encourages us to indulge ourselves and never give a thought to our inner character. It is a tempting encouragement.  Pleasing ‘self’ seems like a good idea.  Unfortunately, though, character is never grown in a soil of pleasure. Character is not found in a church pew or a book.  Character is built through sacrifice and hard choices. It has been said that life is God’s gift to man; what man does with that life is his gift to God. This series will explore the traits that typify Christian character.

It bears stating that human character can be developed outside of Christ. Human character, though, is bound to earthly dimensions. Our focus will be on building godly character upon the hope of the glory of God. If you do not have your heart filled with the beauty of that hope, please take time to visit this blog page Hope of Eternal Glory and/or send me a note. Human character can be impressive--beautiful and even powerful--but it is so limited: DO NOT SETTLE!

God’s Word tells us that character is developed through perseverance. As we trace the source of perseverance, our hearts will tremble—for the source of perseverance is suffering. For the Christian, suffering can be a source of joy BECAUSE the hope of God is a certainty that sustains. The hope of God produces eternal blessing that outweighs and outlasts every heart ache. A character rooted in God’s grace and built on faith in Christ will produce blessing all around!

Next week's character trait:  A spirit of repentance

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Heritage and Legacy

Thy testimonies have I taken as a heritage forever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. Psalms 119:111

We are each a recipient of a family heritage and we are producing a heritage by the life we live.  Each of us provides a thread in the tapestry of humanity.  We receive characteristics from our ancestry; we are molded by the social culture we are born into.  Yet, God gives us the responsibility and the privilege to choose our heritage.  We are created to be His children and receive the abundance of all He has planned; too often we choose an earthly inheritance--failing to realize the frailty of it!  We fail to realize that any inheritance outside of God's kingdom will lead to death and destruction.  Our lives matter; they are a tremendous gift.  We must invest it for eternity.

The scripture passage this verse is lifted from offers great encouragement to choose wisely.  The Psalmist reminds us that the view which fills the heart with rejoicing focuses upon the testimonies of God.  Eyes fixed on the path illuminated by God's Word will lead us into His abundant blessings.  The testimonies of God will bring joy into our heart as we seek to follow His way.  Perhaps more importantly, the trail we mark for those who walk with us and for those who come behind becomes the heritage we leave!  Our lives count for more than today.  Let's purpose in our hearts to fix our eyes firmly on Jesus claim our inheritance and lead others to the source of legacies of life.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Not by might!

Now here is a promise I love to grab hold of:  Not by might but by my Spirit saith the Lord.  Whew, what a relief:  It is not about ME!  All of our natural life points us toward doing and achieving; all of God's Word points us to His sufficiency.  He is able--and willing--to do more than I can ask or think, let alone 'do.'

This particular promise is found in the book of Zechariah.  It was part of a vision given at a time of discouragement for the recipient:  Zerubabel, a builder for God.  We all become discouraged.  Life is hard.  Loved ones suffer; frail bodies die and grief surrounds us.  Our good intentions fall short and our best efforts often do not scratch the surface of the troubles which afflict us and our friends.  Yet throughout scripture God reminds us that faith in Him is the key to living well.  Faith is the victory that overcomes all that seeks to rob us of our joy.

Is there a situation, a fear or a grief attacking you today?  Turn your eyes to Jesus, trust in His goodness, His power and His love and know that He who has promised is faithful!  This world is not our home; we are on a pilgrimage and He will sustain us as we journey.  Encourage those you are traveling with and feel His power flow through your life.

Then he answered and spoke unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Be Still and Know

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

(Psalms 46:10)

As with all of God's commands, there is a treasure that accompanies obedience.  Heeding the call to 'be still' precedes knowing Him!  Knowing...the deep kind of knowing that transforms the the essence of a relationship with Jesus Christ.  In many ways we live in a culture that 'knows' too much.  The majority of our fellow citizens have received a 'shot' of truth which has inoculated many to true heart penetration.  Knowing Jesus in the depths of our heart will lead us to revere Him.  Simply hearing of Jesus, having facts in the head, simply teases our mind.  We glimpse a beauty, a promise that seems too elusive.  We strive and strive and fail to achieve the vision...because we fail to heed the simple command:  Be still.  We are so convinced that we must 'do' that we think God has failed.  The truth is we have never given Him a chance to reveal Himself. 
God created us with needs that we would come to Him to fill those needs.  We choose to seek to fill the needs in our own way...that is the essence of sin.The needs of our heart drive us to find a way to fill those needs.  Our attempts to meet needs will fail and hurt our hearts -- and others -- when we design our solutions.  Sadly, even when we recognize the inadequacy of our attempts, we often mis-diagnose the problem.  Our natural inclination is to 'do' rather than 'be still', so we simply alter our plan and attempt to meet our needs again.  We are beloved treasures of the Master.  He has a plan for us and we must be still and hear Him.  If your heart is hurting today, sit before Him.  Ask Him to show you that He alone is God.  The solution is not within our own efforts; it is in His power and His love. 
This week perhaps you would be blessed to focus on a name of God:  Elohim.  All of God's names reveal a nugget of truth about who He is!  Elohim is a combination of two Hebrew words which speak of God's unlimited power and His covenant-keeping character.  Our God is a God who is able and committed to keeping the promises He has made.  He is worthy of our trust and awe!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Faith: Promises Fulfilled!

Faith. It is a word we hear and use a lot! It is a word which occurs nearly 250 times in scripture; with all but two of the occurrences in the New Testament. Faith in God acknowledges His goodness, His power and His purposes. It is a complex and simple concept that is the vehicle which delivers life to us (Galatians 3:14). All of the promises of God are fulfilled by the faith of Christ which restored to us a possibility of fellowship with God.
Faith is a perfect picture of Christ's title: the Alpha and the Omega. Jesus is our all in all; He authors our faith, He empowers us to live in faith and He completes our faith. Faith is both an individual possession -- a gift from God Himself -- and it is a collective possession of those who are co-heirs with Jesus Christ. All that we have and are is of Him and in Him. Faith is an example of the scripture which says we see through a glass darkly, for it is a concept beyond our limited comprehension.

Rather than give you more of my words to explore this precious aspect of our inheritance, I offer you this collection of scripture. May you take the time to look them up, read their context and soak in them! It will bless your soul. It is not an exhaustive list; perhaps you will print it and add to it...and offer those insights back here as a comment! Blessings to each of you.


• an individual possession (Colossians 2:5 and referenced often by Jesus in the Gospels)

• a shared and unified possession (Ephesians 2:5; 4:5,13)

• necessary to please God (Hebrews 11:6)

• a gift from God (Hebrews 12:3)

• a gift with a purpose – soul salvation (1 Peter 1:9)

• authored by Christ (Hebrews 12:2)

• commanded by Christ (Mark 11:22)

• a tool in the purification of our hearts (Acts 15:9)

• a part of salvation (Luke 7:50)

• to be added to that it will produce in our lives and others (2 Peter 1:5-8)

o without love it is nothing (1 Cor 13:2)

o without Christ’s victory it is useless (1 Cor 15:14)

o without works it is dead (James 2:17)

• completed by Christ’s work (Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 12:2)

• victorious (1 John 5:4,5)

• able to falter AND to be strengthened (Luke 17:5; 22:32)

• subject to trying (James 1:3)

• is a foundation for living (Col 2:7)

• is a source of strength (Acts 3:16)

• is to be battled for (Jude 1:3)

• is to be kept by the saints (2 Tim 4:7; Rev 14:12)

Saturday, September 18, 2010


First my may have noticed I missed my usual entry last Saturday and I have not written for the blog this AM either.  I do plan to get back on schedule but for today I am sharing a piece written a while ago.  I hope it blesses you!

Peace is not the absence of conflict—what a revelation to me! That simple statement opened my eyes to see the ugly idol I had served my entire life: the idol of “NO CONFLICT.” From the little girl begging her daddy not to argue with mom anymore to the co-worker who soothed all the ruffled feathers to the mother who cajoled, threatened and begged for peace, the idol was the same. The deceitful promise of ‘fake peace’ brought only frustration and a need for peace that remained unfulfilled. Understanding peace was the open door to receiving the blessing of the peace only Jesus Christ can give.

The absence of conflict without peace is a costly endeavor. It is an unloving, selfish pursuit which places little value on individuals and no value on relationships. It is a pursuit which masquerades under several aliases and catch phrases…”Live and let live!” “Be yourself.” “Be tolerant”. Yet it is all lies from the Father of Lies. Everyone loses when the Destroyer deceives. Individuals are not treasured or loved…they are disposable and replaceable. Relationships are shallow and meaningless. Fake peace is the antithesis of Christ’s ministry of reconciliation. It robs both the children of God of their inheritance in Christ, and it robs the very glory of God from our world because the sacrifices fake peace requires are the essence of God…truth, integrity and love.

God’s love for us and the extent of His willingness to suffer that we might return to relationship with Him must be our heart’s sole focus. The devil prowls about counterfeiting the Father’s treasures, yet Satan’s phonies offer only heartache and suffering. We must give our needs to the Lord and trust Him to give us the desires of our heart. We can never substitute the desires of our heart for worship and trust in Him or else even our good desires become idols. True peace, true unity of hearts can not be achieved with anything less than loving sacrifice…otherwise Jesus Christ would not have needed to make that tremendous sacrifice of Himself for you and me. God promised in Genesis to crush the head of the serpent. If you, like me, have had an idol exposed, allow God to crush it. Only then will we be free to sacrifice to the one true God and experience the fullness of the blessed inheritance we have in Jesus Christ.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. Isaiah 41:10

Isn’t that a wonderful promise to rest upon?! The world is a place which generates fear and dismay on many fronts. Trust in anyone or anything other than God is sure to lead us into crisis. Yet, ‘do not fear’ is a common assurance throughout scripture – to God’s people. While warnings and admonitions abound for those who do not choose to follow God, comforts and promises proliferate for those who serve Him. There is nothing we need to fear when we walk with Jesus as our Lord and Master. Difficulties arise when we choose to go our own way or follow idols. Lives submitted to Jesus Christ have peace and safety. Seek the presence of the Lord and enjoy His protection.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Life will flow from us!

… Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:37b-38)

Now here is a promise we can claim and be excited with!  This is a bit different style of writing than I usually do.  It is my interpretation of the experience of another person.  Hope you enjoy it!

Why?! My mind raged against this ridiculous hindrance to my heart’s desire…a good desire. The longing to give blood—the gift of life—fervently burned in my heart. Yet my body would not cooperate. My mind understood the value of giving blood and the minor discomfort was not the slightest deterrent. Yet my body seemed determined to selfishly hold onto every drop of blood possible; it simply would not release the precious drops into the waiting bag of life. The selfish determination of my body thwarted my desire to share life with another in need.

The Red Cross technician gently encouraged me with information on the research potential of my donation and with instructions for future success. The directives for my next opportunity to donate ‘life’ were simple: drink water. I pursued that advice with zeal and consumed vast quantities in the day preceding my appointment. My body seemingly remained intent on thwarting my desire and promptly eliminated all I imbibed. I kept my appointment anyway. The table was readied and I lay down with some doubts about my ability to give what I so desired. I was astounded when just eight minutes later the technician prepared to remove the needle. The bag of life was full; my desire completed! Life offered! I couldn’t wait to share my joy and delight with my friend. As she rejoiced in my triumph, she spoke words of eternal truth: “That’s the way it is with Jesus! When we drink of the living water, life flows easily from us.”

Those words have pierced my soul and transformed the value of my days. Lasting life is not transferred by appointment. It is not a matter of my body’s cooperation, my ability or a specific activity. Sharing my precious gift of life is as easy as drawing on the Source and then simply living. My life is a wellspring for others if I have filled my wells with Him! This indeed is a dying world…His life is needed by all. Those who have received His life are called to share it…encourage those who know Him, enlighten those who don’t. Make your blood donation appointment and let the earthly blood extend the life of another but give the eternal gift of life moment by moment!

Monday, August 23, 2010

His Perfecting Presence

Abram heeded God's call to leave for an unknown land.  Years passed as Abram and Sarai walked on....sometimes faltering, sometimes fearing but pressing forward in faith.  God's faithfulness brought them through lies and mis-steps though He did not remove the earthly consequences and heartaches of those mis-steps.  The verses we will focus on today follow Abram and Sarai's attempt to help God fulfill His promise.  At first look, God's words seem more of an impossible instruction than a precious promise. 

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.   (Genesis 17:1)

These words came almost 25 years after their first footsteps of faith.  Over a decade had passed since they had implemented their own plan for fulfilling the promise.  God's instruction was patient and consistent--walk before me--and His promise assured.  It is the instruction and the assurance we still receive.  Live in the light of God's presence and trust His perfection to bring our lives to perfect completeness.

While God calls us to leave a life of sin, His words of 'be thou perfect' are not without understanding of our inability to walk perfectly.  His words relate to His nature and His perfecting power in our lives.  Our 'works of righteousness' are not the means by which God works; it is our faithful walk which allows God to transform our lives and fulfill His plans.  God was well aware of Abram and Sarai's mis-steps; He is aware of ours.  Just as they were unable to walk perfectly, so are we.  Yet God is sufficient.  He goes ahead of us, comes behind us and surrounds us with His perfect presence. 

Placing our life walk before Him does not mean we will have perfect performance but He will radiate His glory even into our mis-steps.  He will bring about His good and perfect will when we purpose to stay in His light.  God's instruction and promise is simply that we must continue to step out in faith in Him and trust His sufficiency.  His strength is perfected in our weaknesses.  Go out today trusting in Him and not fearing your own mis-steps.  He is willing and He is able! 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Promised Gift!

Let's gaze upon a gift which Jesus promised to Peter.  It is a promised gift to all who like Peter have received an earlier gift directly from God...the gift of seeing Jesus for whom He is.  It is God who reveals Christ to us; and that is the foundation for our spiritual growth. When we understand who Jesus is, we are ready to receive the very keys of heaven!  The keys are a gift with great power, privilege and responsibility.  In truth, I see only a glimmer of their potential but it so delights my soul, I long to share it with you!

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:19)

We, like the disciples, are easily distracted by this material world and mis-hear God's messages.  We filter His words with earthly concerns and fail to embrace the greater spiritual kingdom.  Our minds understand that our battle is 'not against flesh and blood' but against a kingdom of darkness.  We rejoice that we are citizens of heaven...a kingdom of light and good.  Yet we struggle through this world and fail to employ the resources of our homeland!  The keys of heaven are as vital to our journey as the armor of God!

Our earthly experiences are generators of emotions often empowered by spirits.  We can bind these spirits with the keys Jesus gives!  We can unlock the Spirit of life and release Him into every situation of our day.  What an incredible gift!  Consider the power when you next feel a spirit of rejection and you lock it up and turn to Jesus and unlock His unconditional love!  How might that change the situation!!  Or perhaps fear is knocking at your heart--you throw the chains around it and lock it firmly up as you reach out and unlock the very treasures of heaven!

I hope the gift excites you as much as me!  Thank you, Barb, for sharing your enthusiasm and insights into this gift.  Enjoy it my friends.  Use it against the evil that flows in this world and give Jesus a victory today!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Harvest of Joy

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again

with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalms 126:6

Life in this broken world brings us into some very heart-breaking situations. Unavoidable situations which produce tremendous sorrows are the common experience of each one. Going forward--with and through the tears--is the only good choice. Stubborn refusals to press on, fearful denials of reality or rebellious rejection of the path will simply divert us into other distressing circumstances. Our promise today in Psalms can give us courage to go forward in those tear-filled times.

The key to the promise of a harvest and joy is that we must go forward 'bearing precious seed.' The word the Psalmist used for seed is the same word given in Genesis 3:15 when God promises that Jesus will have victory over Satan. The promise of victory and a harvest that we can rejoice in is assured when we walk with the LORD. We are to carry the truth of who Jesus is into the situations we face; we are walk through those times in that truth and not be distracted by dismay. We must heed Moses admonition to Joshua, 'Be strong and of good courage. The Lord your God goes with you.' We are not victims of any circumstance when we walk in the victory of Jesus. Trust that He is doing more than you can see...and that your tears will water the seeds of faith you plant in your own heart and in the lives of those whom you touch.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Call on God

We have a wonderful promise to consider today.  Though it was written over 2500 years ago to the prophet Jeremiah, our God is unchanging and we can claim it today!  God still delights to reveal Himself when we heed His plea...'Call unto me!'

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

(Jeremiah 33:3)

God never gives commands without a reason;  His instructions always result in our good and His glory.  Prayer has many results and warrants a study in itself; today's promise though relates to the revelations God will give to those who call out to Him.  Prayer is the super highway of spiritual communication.  Prayer has a potential power to blast through earthly realities and unveil spiritual treasures beyond our experience. God is Spirit and we are made in His image.  God is willing to work in the realm of our natural bodies--to speak through circumstances--but His deepest revelations are to the spirit within. 

It is the cry of God's heart that we will commune with Him so that we can experience His all-encompassing love.  Hebrews tells us that those who seek Him must both believe that He exists and that He is good.  Faith in God's goodness allows us to place our hurts, fears and even frustrations before His healing, purifying presence.  As we cry out with those deep concerns, God reveals the great and might things we do not know and our burdens become light.  We see Him for who He is and are freed to worship without reservation.  For seeing God ALWAYS results in worship.

Don't settle for a social call on God.  Truly call on Him Him to show Himself to you and be prepared to rejoice!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Door of Hope

And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor (trouble) for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

(Hosea 2:15)

Our promise to stand upon today comes from the book of Hosea.  While it is spoken particularly to the Jewish nation, it holds a truth we can build upon as well.  Despite repeated and long-term unfaithfulness on the part of His chosen people, God purposes to call them to Himself.  In Hosea, we see that God had withdrawn His blessing from the people in response to rebellion and unfaithfulness.  But God's love is never withdrawn and He still sought to deliberately drawn them unto Himself. 

God's desire is always that our hearts will be united with His in love.  He allures us and blesses us that we will move from a relationship of 'Master' to 'husband.'  In verse 15 God promises to give Israel vineyards--fruitfulness--and to use the Valley of Trouble as a Doorway to Hope.  God still uses trouble to lead us closer to Himself.  Whether the trouble is the result of our own waywardness or an other's or simply a result of our broken world, God desires to utilize the sorrows for our benefit (Romans 8:28). 

Do not wander in despair in the valley of troubles; God promises there is a door to fruitfulness and hope.  Jesus is the door...enter into Him and enjoy the glory of God.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Our promise today is in the midst of a wonderful Psalm, so be sure to bless yourself and read the entire passage!  But for now:

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

(Psalms 34:8-10)

They that seek the Lord shall not want any good!  That is definitely a promise to rejoice the soul!  Hearts centered on God will never lack.  The focus is not on lacking 'things'--in fact, 'thing' is added into the verse for clarity but was not in the original passage.  (Thus the italics.)  So why do we not always feel that we are fully supplied?  One key is in the opening of verse 10...young lions will have lack.  Brazen, independent and self-confident hearts seek their own fulfillment--and find nothing!  It is far easier to trust in our own plans and our abilities to provide for us but the results will be empty.  Life is tough; our hearts are unfaithful and we are weak.  Trusting in ourselves will bring disillusionment, discouragement and defeat.  Trusting in God, centering our hearts on His goodness, is the key to a life supplied with all good.  God fills us with His riches when we truly revere Him.  As we taste His goodness, our hearts overflow with presence.  So next time your heart is hungry for more, purpose to taste the Lord's sweetness, praise His goodness and partake of His bounty!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

God's Word

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

(Isaiah 55:11-13)

Our first 'promise' to consider and rejoice in fixes our eyes on the Word!  As water penetrates the soil of our gardens and releases the potential of seeds, the Word penetrates the soil of our soul and produces the harvest God desires.  Earlier in the passage, we are reminded that God's thoughts and ways far exceed our own.  Nothing our life produces apart from His Word will compare.  In fact, the contrast given later in the passage is pine trees and myrtle instead of thornbushes and briers!  The soul production God desires is the glorious revelation of Himself that others' lives will be blessed as well.  With our eyes turned toward God's Word, our ears tuned to His Word and our feet trodding the path lit by His Word, we are assured of 'going out in joy, being led forth in peace and hearing the rejoicing all around!  God's Word, heard and heeded will produce great results in our lives and in the lives of those around us.  He promises.  We believe!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Relying on the Promises of God

Good morning!  Before we launch into exploring God's promises, let's consider this wonderful truth:

And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  (Romans 4:21)

God's power and love will be our focus that we might thirst to be in His presence more and more!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


We will close our Alphabet of Attributes with "zeal."  The work of Christ--our release from captivity to sin and deliverance to victory in Him--IS the zeal of the Lord of Hosts (Isaiah 37:32).  Zealousness is a powerful force displayed in God and intended to be displayed in the lives of believers.

Throughout scriptures God's people are exhorted to live with zeal.  Our zeal is to be for the Lord and with knowledge--for zealousness has great impact.  Perhaps the greatest insight into the power of zeal is revealed in Song of Solomon 8:6.  The Hebrew phrase translated as "love is strong as death" could also be written accurately as "ardent zeal is as strong as the grave."  Ardent zeal and fervent love are the same; both are as strong as death itself.  Only the zeal of the Lord is powerful enough to deliver souls from death.   The passion of God was Jesus' power source and it is to be ours as well. 

Isaiah passionately prophesied of all that the zeal of the Lord would accomplish.  We see God's purposes brought to fruition in Jesus Christ.  In Christ we see the patience and perseverance needed by one consumed with zeal for God's purposes.  It is that to which we are called.  In Romans 12, Paul exhorts believers to be living sacrifices never lacking in zeal.  Only if we 'die to self' and live in Christ can our lives be powered by the zeal of the Lord of Hosts.  God's purposes in our lives will be gloriously fulfilled with His zeal.  Embrace a zealous life today!

I truly pray you have enjoyed these weeks of focusing on Jesus Christ.  In coming weeks, we will look at beauty of living in the promises God has given.  Join me and invite others!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Yes and Amen!

For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen,
unto the glory of God by us.   (2 Corinthians 1:20)

What promise of God is your heart needing today?  Life has a way of presenting heartbreaking questions, overwhelming situations and seemingly insurmountable obstacles but God will provide a way to not only endure but to experience victory.  God has a promise that will speak to every need of your heart...and His promises are a 'done deal.'  Absolute, unwavering potential is a capstone truth for Christian living.  Victory, power, joy unquenchable, eternal Christ, it is YES!   There is no problem, no life situation, no dilemma that is not spoken to in the Word of God.  Abundant living, eternality today, is a truth we can live.

There is a purpose for the certainty encased in God's promises.  God's guarantee enables us to embrace the privilege of unveiling God's glory in our life that others might see and long for Him too.  Can you glimpse what it is like to unveil God's glory?  It is not an endeavor designed to build up His ego; it is a journey designed for a lifetime which will open the doors of eternity!  All God is...absolute love, power, goodness, timeless...becomes ours to seek, to welcome into our lives and to share with others.  Our purpose in life is such a glorious one:  to unveil the greatness of God in the minute details of every day!  It is a purpose that can not be fulfilled without relying on the promises that are found in Jesus Christ. 

Simply reading your Bible daily will open your heart to promises that will meet you in the most incredible ways.  God's Word is living and active.  If you desire a more directed look into God's promises, you can use a ready-made list of promises.  (There are several books or if you email me, I'll send you a page from one of my favorite websites.)  When using others' compiled lists, though, be sure to delve deeply into the scripture.  Read the surrounding passage; understand the context of the promise and ask God to reveal it in your day's happenings. 

The 'let it be' of God's promises is spoken by us for His glory--and only in the name of Jesus.  He is faithful to His promises.  God will meet us in ways perfect for us...and reveal Himself in ways we can understand.   We then take that precious revelation and share it with others who need to see Him.  Embrace the purpose and privilege God has with confidence in Him!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Exceeding Great Reward

Isn’t it nice to have effort acknowledged, to hear a word of appreciation or even receive a tangible reward for work? Today on our journey of exploring ‘who’ God is we have an incredible truth to embrace. God Himself, in speaking to Abram, said “I am…thy exceeding great reward.” WOW! Let your mind pause and consider all that it means to receive God Himself as a Reward.
We have spent weeks searching the scriptural depths of God’s identity that we might better understand Him. Our hearts have rejoiced as we considered how God is Wonderful; our Guide & Keeper; our Hiding Place; our Ransom; our Fortress and Victory Banner and so much more. Doesn’t your heart simply soar to consider that all of that richness is ours! We have such a generous, incredible, awesome God!

One of the great paradoxes of our humanity is that we so easily let our eyes be drawn to earthly rewards and miss out on the greatness of the Reward of God Himself. The praise of men, the pursuit of wealth or honor, the pursuit of pleasure and even our own service to God can become our misguided focus. God’s great desire woven throughout scripture is that we will know Him…and when we know Him, we can do nothing but revere His greatness.
The greatest service to God is complete devotion to Him. It is that service which will draw others into knowledge of Him as well. We must not set the eyes of our hearts on an idol; we must not fear earthly losses. If we do, we run from our Exceeding Great Reward and we may draw others away from Him as well. He is Worthy and He is ours! Seek Him today…embrace the Reward of His presence! Tell all those around about the great Reward you have received; the Reward that they can know too.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Wonderful is our name for today!  We are pausing at a verse which offers so much sustenance, we could camp here indefinitely. 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

Even the verb phrase which introduces the names has depths of meaning:  "shall be called..."  The names of Christ are meant to be personal, deeply felt and understood--and called out with confidence of their truth.  The first name given in this passage is our focus:  WONDERFUL.  Jesus, indeed, fills our hearts with wonder when we fully behold Him.  The depths of "wonderful" includes the concepts of extra-ordinary, miraculous and beyond human expectation.  Take time to allow your heart to plumb the riches of Christ.  His words and His works surround us but the speed of life blurs our vision and dulls our hearing.  Our longing for "wonder" is buried in activity but never suffocated.  We were created for a relationship with God and nothing but Him will satiate the inborn desire for His grandeur.  Purpose in your heart to pause each day--especially in the days that are chaotic--to behold the fullness of His wonder.  My prayer is that every fiber of your being, of my being, will speak to those around us that the wonder of God fills us.  Jesus IS wonderful!  Enjoy Him moment by moment!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


We live in a noisy world; many sounds contend for our attention. Although the beloved disciple, John, says the voice of the Lord is ‘great’ and ‘like a trumpet,’ our ears are often distracted by the competing noise. Like the people of Isaiah’s day, we hear sounds but fail to understand Truth with our hearts. Until Truth penetrates our hearts and becomes a part of us, it is subject to theft from the enemy. Praise God, He never stops calling; His Voice is always gently, firmly, lovingly revealing Truth again and again until understanding takes root. Amidst the noise of life, His tender voice faithfully resonates.

Proverbs tells us there are two voices: the voice of wisdom and the voice of the ‘adulteress.’ There is the faithful voice of the Lord; and the deceived (and deceitful) voice of the unfaithful. The voice we heed determines the outcome of our lives; we need to hear and heed the Voice of Jesus. It is a beautiful voice with a message our hearts are longing for…choose to filter out the competing songs and listen to Him.

God’s Word is His personal letter to us. We need to read it daily and let the Words sink deeply into our heart. God always has a message just for us—a unique, personal message designed for our heart. For example, consider the passionate love revealed in Song of Solomon. Jesus’ entrancement with the beauty of the believer beckons every heart--for the truth is we all long to love and be loved. In the New Testament, Jesus reminds us that He will never abandon us. Our slowness to respond, our failures and missteps do not repulse Him. He faithfully works and waits for us to hear His voice—and heed His call. As God’s Word, His letters, draw to a close in Revelation, the Savior reminds us that He is ever at the door of our hearts knocking and longing to commune with us.

God created humanity for fellowship with Himself and He is never silent. His love speaks eternally and He longs for each of us to hear and understand His Word. Reject the competing sounds and focus on that loving Voice today.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Upheld by the Father and the Son

We have nearly traveled through an alphabet of descriptive terms for Jesus, arriving today at “Upholder of All Things.” It is a portion of the passage in Hebrews 1 reminding us that God speaks to us through Christ. The little piece we are focusing on is this:

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power,”

As we consider that Christ upholds us—sustains us, leads us to our destination, proves us—through speaking (living) the truth of His power, may we each be strengthened and blessed deep within our spirits.

The weights of life are intense if we choose to bear them on our own. Individual complexities confound us. Heartaches and burdens we feel and see discourage us. Competing priorities drown us. Yet, we do not have to choose to bear those weights. First Peter commands us to roll all onto Christ. He is ready, willing and able to bear our weights. Hebrews 1:3 helps us understand how to roll them onto Jesus; it is not a ‘doing’ from us. We just have to let them go because He is there upholding us…if we will hear the truth of His power.
The word used for power in this passage speaks of Jesus’ ability; He is able to do all that God ordained for Him. In fact, it is done and this passage goes on to remind us that Jesus is seated in heaven at the right hand of the Majesty. An interesting link to the Old Testament is that in Isaiah, where we read prophesies of Christ, God calls our eyes to His Servant (Jesus) and tells us “I uphold Him with my righteous right hand.” When you are feeling crushed, remind yourself that the Father and the Son…with all the power that exists…can and will carry it all IF you let it go.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tender Plants

I love to garden; it is the time of year to move my seedlings from the indoor growing area to the garden. These tender plants will require some hardening before I set them into the unprotected garden environment. At first glance, the fragility of seedlings would not inspire thoughts of Christ, but Isaiah's prophesy portrays Jesus as 'like a tender plant' and a 'root out of dry ground.' Our journey this morning is to explore the reality and beauty of Isaiah’s words.

Unlike my seedlings, Jesus needed no hardening or well-prepared garden soil--that is the great beauty we will explore. Barren, hard ground is not a barrier to Jesus; His tender love of humanity is not frailty. J. Vernon McGee offers a wonderful insight with these words, "The loveliest flower of humanity came from the driest spot and period of the world's history." God did not 'plant' Christ in the midst of luxury and prosperity. He did not need to do that for His love and His power were sufficient...are fulfill His purposes.

Nothing created in this world can measure up to the tender fortitude of Christ. Tender green plants are doomed to death in a barren desert; eternal souls in a sin-scarred world are the same. In this world, there is much that masquerades as life but the reality is that without Jesus, there is no life—there is only barren ground. Just as Isaiah prophesied, Jesus is the tender shoot which can spring up in the dry ground of our lives. We need never despair at the soil we see—in ourselves or others—for He is able to transform even a desert into a bountiful vineyard. The presence of Christ brings the certain hope of a harvest. Share Him. His seed will produce in miraculous ways!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Beauty in Stones

The Bible lands are a very stony place; rocks and stones are common word pictures throughout scripture. In Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream revealed a rock which destroyed all the kingdoms of the earth; we know that kingdom is Christ’s. Peter, the disciple whose very name means stone, was told by Jesus that the truth of Christ’s identity is the rock upon which the Church is built. Jesus is the rock upon which the wise build their lives. He was the Spiritual Rock from which the desert-wandering Israelites were refreshed; He still quenches thirsts. The Word of the Law was written upon stone but the Word became life! As unbelievers we had hearts of stone but the Living Stone of Christ brings life into our hearts. We are now living stones being built up into a spiritual house of which He is the Cornerstone. Contemplating Christ reveals great beauty in stones, does it not?!

Stones are solid and foundational; we need them! There is much in our world to remind us that instability is the norm. A wobbly world-wide economy, volatile weather, incurable diseases and dissolving families reveal a crumbling world. The words of the Psalmist are a joy: ‘When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm.’ We have a glorious message to share with our trembling friends! The temptation to look at the quaking foundations of America—of every nation today--will only produce fear. Greed, selfishness and the desire to be our own gods is imploding the structure of nations once built upon the Word. Yet as individual living stones, we are part of the spiritual house held together by Christ. Our lives do not need to implode or even shake. We need not fear, only revere, the One True God. The God who is loving and faithful and not willing that any should perish has given us a message to share. Just as Noah called for others to join him in the Ark, we need to call others into Christ. Do not fear as the world crumbles! Remember the Sure Foundation upon which you stand…and call others to join you in that safety.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ransomed! Rescued!

Our journey of exploring the names of Christ brings us today to “Ransom.” Jesus is the ransom paid to release you and me from captivity. We can no longer be held by the captor’s chains because Jesus’ life was given in our place. The iron chains of sin—selfishness, self-righteousness, hatred, self-indulgence, lies—are released because the debt is paid. That the debt was paid by the One we rejected is another awesome facet of this amazing story. The magnitude of the Ransom price paid to release a soul reveals the worth of every individual to God. It exceeds my understanding but oh, how it excites my spirit!

Our human nature is to value ourselves above others. Even when we recognize that self-promotion is the path to emptiness and death, we all too often choose that road. We demand consideration from others expecting them to give us grace and mercy when we err or fail. Yet we resist giving the same to others. We resent, and usually refuse, to sacrifice what we see as our ‘rights’ for anyone—even those whom we ‘love.’ Jesus Christ, God Himself, came to show us God’s way, the right way. Jesus came to serve us, the rebellious and undeserving. He came as the Ransom which would purchase our freedom from the emptiness and death we chose!

We don’t mean to choose death; we have an intrinsic love of life. We are captivated by real-world rescues. Whether it is miners trapped in the dangerous dark depths or a pet floundering in torrential flood waters, our hearts soar when a life is preserved. That deep love is placed there by God Himself; our Ransom is rooted in that love. He desires for our hearts to soar at His Rescue and for our hearts to overflow with a passion for others to know the same! Choosing to live His way gives life—to us and to others. Who will you be a ransom for today that they might see the love of God and know the value He places upon them?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jesus is the Quickening Spirit

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul;
the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45)
A few years ago there was a movie where the main character dramatically whispers his secret, "I see dead people." The heart-wrenching truth is that there are 'dead people' all about us. Without Jesus Christ, there is no life...only an illusion of life...the living soul like Adam's. Walking, talking dead people. This was never God's intention. Humanity was created for union with God Himself...union with the life-giver. Yet there was an option given to this special creation called 'man;' the option to choose life or the option to pursue knowledge on one's own. We all know that Adam and Eve did not choose life; they chose to go their own way and seek--without God. God does not want a mindless creation; yet He wants to guide us on our journey.
Like Adam, all humanity since has sought their own way. The all-wise Creator had known the choice Adam--and his descendants--would make. God knew the cost He would pay to redeem His Creation to its intended purpose. And God, who is love, went forth with His plan by giving Himself to redeem humanity. Fully man, yet fully God, Jesus came to the earth to die to self that true life might be restored to His beloved creation. Jesus did not choose to allow his body to dictate his days on earth. He did not choose to allow his emotions or his reasoning to dictate his choices. Jesus chose to receive God's direction for all His life. With that choice, death had no power. It could not hold the body or soul of Christ; the life of the Spirit was victorious!
When we receive His Spirit into ourselves, we live that victory. We are no longer chained to the rule of our irrational emotions or our rational mind. We are no longer dominated by the desires of our body. We choose life; we choose to be filled with God Himself when the Life-giving Spirit of Jesus is received. May your soul be restored today to the full vibrant life Jesus has provided through your faith in Him!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Our Potter!

There are many references in scripture to potters and pottery but we will only consider one small piece of the topic this morning: God as our Father, Creator--Potter!

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay,
and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
(Isaiah 64:8)
Watching a potter work clay on a wheel is an amazing sight. A formless lump of clay is transformed into a vessel with beauty and use through the skillful touch of the potter. The speed of the wheel is adjusted, varying pressures are applied according to the purposes of the potter and an object of art emerges from the glob. The clay is formed into a vessel of use with a design that is perfect for its purpose.
God has plans and purposes for each of us but since creation mankind has preferred to seek its own purposes! Thankfully, our Potter is patient, skilled and determined. Unlike the lump of clay on a pottery wheel, we are often not pliable subjects. We refuse to stay put and resist the hands of the Potter. We resent the pressures which shape and choose to hide in pits of isolation. We reset the wheel speed, tromping on the foot pedal erratically. We reject the Potter's purposes and seek to shape ourselves.
Eventually, though, we reach the end of ourselves; we find our purposes do not lead to fulfillment. Our Potter is there with His gentle, skilled hands reaching out. He picks us up and places us back on the wheel and begins His creation again! His hands never reject us and are always longing to shape and mold us into a vessel of His love.
What a glorious purpose for a rebellious vessel: a container for the very Spirit of God. The Potter places His love within us and allows us to pour His healing love onto other empty souls! His love is completed in the pouring and the Potter begins to mold those we overflow upon. He softens and shapes with His love; His eternal purposes flow on! Don't resist Him anymore. Trust His hand to press perfectly and His purposes to loving fulfill!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Our title of Christ today is Omega; a title you are no doubt familiar with but one with depths we can search eternally. In scripture, the title is paired with Alpha—the beginning and the end; completion—and is used four separate times by Christ Himself. It is a title that reveals the full, unending character of our Savior. It establishes Christ as Creator and Completer.

We live in a scattered world where many things are initiated and nearly as many are left incomplete as new endeavors are ever beckoning. Fulfillment is constantly sought but seldom achieved. Yet Jesus Christ, who spoke the world into being, leaves nothing undone. That which He began at creation continues; that which He completed at the Cross—our redemption--is assured. We can join in Paul’s assertion of Philippians 1:6:

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Christ’s designation as the Alpha and Omega is a comforting reminder that He is faithful. He will not leave us even when we forget Him. His enduring nature, His wholeness, is His essence. Our souls, committed to the Christ are created and complete in Him. He is the author and the finisher of our faith. There is peace and rest in understanding Jesus as the Alpha and Omega.

Jesus is the fulfillment every soul seeks. He is the completion of every desire. May we live with a moment by moment recognition of this title of our Lord!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Name Above All Names

What a joyful look at Christ today! It is a daunting task to even seek to write a devotional on such an awesome title. In the days of scriptures, names were seen as embodying the essence of one's character. Probably all of us know the 'analysis' of the names we use of Jesus...Yahweh saves; Christ, Messiah; Immanuel, God with Us. There are books written which simply list the names of Christ in prayer journal contains pages of His names. He is God, greater than our finite minds. In Revelation we are told that He has a name written on Himself which no one else knows. Our text today, though, gives us a glimpse of the glory of Jesus:

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
Our glorious Savior will one day be seen fully in all His glory...and as the song says, What a day of Rejoicing that will be!
Before we leave this glimpse of Jesus, we need to consider with awe the power of the name of Christ. Praying in His name, serving in His name--in the essence of Jesus--is victory! Jesus tells us in John 14:13 that whatever we ask in His name, He will do. Astonishing! Faith in the person of Christ gives sight, gives strength, gives life: abundant life! May the sweetness of His name fill your soul with joy today.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mighty God

Isn't this the perfect title of God to consider on Easter weekend! Mighty God. We know it but oh, how often we forget it. This title has no intricacies, no hidden meanings and it is woven throughout scripture. Its truth is obvious whenever we consider the works He has done...the world around us, our own human bodies, the changes in our hearts. 'Mighty God' is used in verses which speak of God's authority, His judgments, His acts, His love and His deliverance. It is a part of the prophesy Isaiah made of Jesus Christ. Like Peter, we see the truth and seek Jesus--only to be terrified by the waves which crash upon us! Jesus, Mighty God, is always there reaching out His hand and lifting us to the joyous hope of Resurrection life.

The One who spoke creation into being, who closed the mouths of lions, who healed the lame and raised the dead is the One who loved us so much, He paid our debt and restored us to the source of power! Romans 6:4 tells us it was the glory of God which raised Jesus from the dead. The power of God flows unabated through time; He is unchanging. His Spirit dwells within those who believe with their heart; don't leave the truths of God in your mind. Live them!

May the victory we celebrate on Easter morning, fill your heart moment by moment with hope and joy. The glory of our Mighty God still gives life...grab hold!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lifter of Mine Head

Although the phrase we are using as the subject of our focus today is rather obscure, the concept is prominent throughout scripture. In Psalm 3, David says “But thou, O LORD, art…the ‘lifter up of mine head.’ And therein is our title, “Lifter of mine head.” It is a glorious thing to consider the love of the Father which reaches down and gently redirects our gaze toward His own power and provision. I have been most blessed as I contemplated this designation of God and pray you will be as well.

There is much in life to slump our heads and droop our eyes…sorrow, shame, disappointments. Grueling experiences of life afflict all of us at one time or another. Our eyes drift toward the heartache or circumstance at hand. Our faith seems to fail to produce the promised victory; we wonder if faith is only a fantasy. Or perhaps we have rooted our past triumphs in our own accomplishments and power; sooner or later we will face a challenge beyond our ability to overcome. The beauty of God as the ‘Lifter of our Head’ is most glorious in just those times.

In scripture, ‘lifting the head’ is often associated with pride. It is our natural inclination to ‘take care of things’ ourselves…to go our own way. Yet, Jesus revealed the doorway to blessing as a humble spirit. The difficulties of life which extinguish glimmers of hope outside of Christ move us toward that humility—they lead us to the door of His presence. Disheartening challenges quiet us so that we allow God to reach down and lift our faces ever so gently. His touch is compassionate and perfectly timed. All of the problems of life can be resolved in His light; let Him direct your eyes to the way He longs to resolve your pain!

As David penned that phrase, he was in the midst of great heartache and danger, yet he trusted God to direct him as God had so faithfully done through the years. God has been faithful to each of us as well. Check out the rest of the Psalm—it’s only eight verses. Perhaps you will want to jot a note of the ways God has lifted your eyes to Him in the past—and carried you on to victory.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Greetings, friends. Just a brief stop on our journey today. I have had the joy of attending a youth conference today with nine teens from our church and about 490 other teens from around the area. My mind is a bit mushy and my heart overflowing with delight for the ways many of our teens met with Jesus! Today we will look at how Jesus ‘keeps’ each one of us--protecting and providing for us as only He can do.

There are many things we are charged by God’s Word ‘to keep.’ We are to keep: our lives free of the love of money, our tongues under a tight rein, our hearts pure, our unity with the Holy Spirit and the Sabbath holy. In fact, scripture tells us our love for God is revealed in our efforts to ‘keep His commands.‘ God desires for us to accept responsibilities but praise His glorious wisdom, He holds the most critical responsibility for Himself. Though He gives us tasks to do, His Word teaches us that God alone has the job of our ‘Keeper.’ Our eternal souls are in the hands of the only One who is worthy: Jesus Christ.

I am comforted to know that my faith, my life is kept by God not me. Though I am growing and learning to find my strength in Him, I am vulnerable to drifting, lazy eyes, to stubbornness and selfishness, to fear and discouragement. But God is not and I am secure in Him. I rejoice that I can declare with Paul that my God is able to keep that which I have entrusted to Him. I have entrusted myself--my desires, my loved ones, my work and my destiny to Jesus alone. It wasn't always that way. It was Motherhood which revealed to me the depths of my own inadequacies. My first baby revealed to me that what I most cared about was beyond my knowledge and power…the struggles my child would face, his dangers and heartaches were in large part out of my control. Before Motherhood, I had felt able to make a way to meet my desires (or ignore them). Facing my inadequacy as a mother, drove me to Jesus--just as He no doubt intended.

God is the keeper of our souls and knows what each one needs. He is keeping us...protecting and providing for us--and for those we love. May we all learn the blessedness of living this truth--of having our minds kept in perfect peace by our Keeper. He is able and willing. Are we?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jesus, the Just One

Fair. Right. Just. The desire for equity is threaded deeply in the human heart. We see the desire everywhere! Toddlers almost seem to be born looking at the size of their cookie compared to another’s. Teens often decry homework as an unfair burden. The founders of America labored to establish a ‘fair government’ on the premise that all men are created equal. Every nation, every community establishes a system for regulating human activities in a fair manner. The list of places we seek ‘fairness’ and ‘justness’ is endless—fair wages, just punishments, fair regulations, just settlements. We have a major problem, though. The human execution of justice is irreparably damaged by deceptive hearts. Every human attempt for ‘justice’ is doomed.

Our view of justice is narrow and deficient. It is as complex and beautiful as Christ Himself. Justice is a concept entwined throughout scripture. As I contemplated this title of Christ, I was awed by the contrast of the breadth of the term and our typical view of it. In scripture, justice is the standard for dispensing blessing and discipline. We tend to see justice as equivalent to punishment. God gives what is needed. We focus on giving what is ‘deserved.’ In God’s economy, He alone is in a position to see and dispense justice. He calls us to walk humbly, love mercy and do justly. In a world broken by sin and filled with unfairness, Jesus sees our needs and meets them. Jesus, the Just One, alone can fulfill our longing for what is right.

The longing for ‘right’ is God-given and leads us to Him! Like every deep desire of the heart, fulfillment is found ONLY in Jesus Christ. Pursuit of justice instead of pursuit of the Just One will lead to heartache. The ultimate example of such a pursuit is the crucifixion of Christ. The religious leaders of the day dispensed ‘justice’ from hearts deceived by self-centered desires. Like those religious leaders, we, too, turn away from Jesus—betraying Him—to pursue our own idea of what is right. We determine what ‘needs’ to be done and proceed with our own ideas and power. Without the “Just One” instructing and leading us in our desire for right can never be fulfilled. Jesus alone is “Just” and able to mete out justice. Embrace the Just One and trust Him to bring about the best for you. He is able. He is willing.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Praise brings us into His presence

We have a beautiful ‘word picture’ to consider today from Psalm 24:3…our God inhabits the praises of His people! Farther along in the Psalms (100:4), we are told we enter in His gates with thanksgiving. Isn’t that exciting? Our great and mighty God has provided us an audience with Him through the simple act of praise. Far too often, though, we fail to enter into the Lord’s presence. We mouth words that give us a little hint of pleasure but when difficulties come, the truths are not deep in our hearts. We think we have worshipped but we have only gone through the motions.

The presence of God brings peace in the midst of storms; entering into His presence is a privilege and a necessity for living victoriously. Praise lifts us above our circumstances and reminds us of the nature of our awesome God. Often we equate worship and praise with songs; we must not forget singing is simply a tool to use in worship. Often the words we sing were born in hearts that knew great pain; the writer’s poured out their hearts in worship. That does not mean we worship as we sing. We must learn to discipline our hearts to hear the words we sing; we must teach our own hearts to pour out truths when we are facing troubles.

Our hearts can not pour out what they do not know. Throughout scripture God encourages ‘deep knowing. True knowing means allowing truths to penetrate our very being and be a part of our essence. We must seek Him all the time and seek to know Him more. Then we are to be disciples who put into practice the facts we have learned. True heart worship, truly praising God, is an ultimate act of knowing God and will bring us into His presence. The words of truth about the character and nature of God flowing from our hearts will bring us into His transforming light. Even with heartache facing us, knowing who God is will allow us to enjoy the love that casts out all fear. He is in control; He is all-powerful and He is loving us at every moment. We need to practice praise all the time so that it will be our first reaction in a storm. Try it today…look at the greatness all around and offer praise to God. Dig into His Word, learn more truths to store in your heart. Enjoy His presence…don’t settle for anything less!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Lord, our Hiding Place

As I considered this title of the Lord this week, I read (and re-read) Psalm 48. It actually closes with the designation we focused on last week, Christ as our guide unto death. The verses which spoke to me about Christ as my hiding place precede that title:

Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.
(Psalms 48:12-13)

My prayer for today’s devotional journey is that we will be encouraged to enter into Him moment by moment…to rest in Him fully and enjoy the power, the perspective and the beauty of His shelter.

‘Stop the world, I want to get off!’ The speed of life makes everyone feel like that sometimes. We all need a place to recharge; a place to hide when the pressures of life weigh upon us. Scripture is full of reminders that the Lord is the Hiding Place we need. All other fortresses: financial security, personal strength, our abilities, the love of others, earthly recognition will collapse. Too often, though, we trust in such temporary earthly things and fail to enter into God’s great strength. We rejoice in the beauties we find in this earthly life, beauties that can not last, and fail to contemplate the perfection of His palaces.

Thankfully anything we trust in besides Jesus will ultimately fail. I say ‘thankfully’ because otherwise we would fail to run to the only shelter which can protect, Jesus Christ! Lives outside of ‘the’ Hiding Place are a tragedy. Living outside of the shelter of Jesus produces empty lives without a legacy for future generations. Recognizing our limitations, our needs, and running to Him offers protection and hope for ourselves and others.

In Second Corinthians Paul reminds us that our weaknesses are our greatest point of strength. We do not want to center our minds on those areas of our lives where we are weak, though. To do that will only weaken us farther. Our need is to heed the instruction of Psalm 48:12, walk where God dwells and consider His power—the beauty of His holiness. We can not do anything for ourselves; He does not draw up strength from within us. He fills us with Himself when we ‘hide’ ourselves in Him. Our weaknesses, placed in Christ, are filled with Him. Jesus emptied Himself and left the glories of heaven to come to a lowly stable; He calls us to empty ourselves and leave the uncertainties of fleshly living to come to His fortified palace. What a tremendous calling…what an incredible exchange!

May we each determine to enter into His shelter moment by moment!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The LORD our Guide

We have a great aspect of God to look at this morning...His everlasting guidance! Your heart is sure to be encouraged as we contemplate His commitment to guide us. Throughout God's Word are reminders of His perpetual guidance. Divine leading is seen in the lives of every Bible character; it is in our lives too. God never intended for mankind to find his own way. In fact, each individual is precious to God, and He has individual plans of blessing and purpose for each. The path to His blessed purposes can only be found by those who trust in Him.

Even in Paradise, man needed--and received--instruction. One piece of counsel was enough to reveal the self-will of reveal the need for God. Like those first children, our eyes are easily diverted from our gentle leader, our Creator, our source of life. Our hearts are tempted to trust our own thoughts about what will please us most. We become our own blind guides. That first decision to ignore God's counsel opened paths of destruction which continue to be heavily trod. Yet God still gives us only ONE way...THE Way, THE Truth and THE Life: Jesus Christ.

The still small voice of God continues to call to us, 'This is the way, walk in it.' The eye of God still directs those who look to Him. The light of His Word continues to shine forth on the path He desires for us to walk upon. His very spirit dwells within those who have accepted the gift of life in Christ and His hand comforts and leads those who walk with Him. Yet the clamor of our hearts, the busy-ness of our lives and the deceptiveness of the one who masquerades as an angel of light diverts us from His path. We wander off His way; we allow our ears to become dull and our hearts hard. The confident hope we had when walking close to Him gives way to confusion and fear. Yet God's guidance is not absent; He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. If only we will stand quietly and look to Him, we will hear His voice and see His eye guiding us toward the Light and toward His perfect purposes. We will feel the comfort of His touch and our hope will be restored.

God never reveals all of His plans for He calls us to walk by faith and not by sight. His longing for our friendship is a longing for our trust. He is worthy. He will lead us to a place of bounty. We know His leading will never take us from the truth that is revealed in His Word. The path will not always be level or smooth; we would be weak and useless if it were. There may be battles on His path but victory is in Him! The route God takes us upon is designed to bring us into the fullness of His purposes despite our weaknesses and strengths! Take His hand, hear His words of love and embrace the adventures and blessings He has designed just for YOU!

There are so many wonderful scriptures of God's leading, I couldn't choose just one but wanted to offer you several to contemplate. May you be richly blessed in His Word:

The Psalms are a rich source of 'guidance' scriptures: Psalms 25:9; 32:8; 48:14 and 73:24. Isaiah 58:11 is a nice tie with last week's devotion of God as the source of living water. John 16:13 reminds us of the Spirit's presence. There are many, many more. Enjoy your search and let Him lead you into greater riches of His Word!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Source of Living Waters

Are you thirsting for some refreshment this chilly February morning? If so, come along on a delightful jaunt to the Fountain of Life...our Source of Living Waters. From Genesis to Revelations, God calls us to drink of His pure life-giving water. The message is clear: God, the giver of life, is the sustainer of life. Our thirst for vitality, for lives of significance, will be satiated only when we come to Him. Let's drink from a spring found in Psalms 36:5-9:

Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

God's love, faithfulness, glory and justice are the depths we are called to enjoy. Plumbing those depths provides us with incredible riches. We discover the precious commodities of refuge: peace and security. We are invited to feast upon His riches and drink of His pleasures. The word used for pleasures in Hebrew is 'Eden.' We are invited to enjoy Paradise! Truly, the life God longs to give us is 'exceedingly abundantly' greater than we can conceive. It grieves the Father to see man write his life in the dust as it is described in Jeremiah 17:13; yet we do it so often. We 'write' our lives in the stuff of the world and like dust it will blow away. We are the heritage of God; He wants us to be fruitful trees with our roots in Him.

Just like the trees in our yards whose roots are deep below the frigid snow, our roots need to be deep in the love of God. All around us, tree roots are busy about their work even in this dreary, cold season. Soon leaves will spring forth; the results of the roots' hidden work will be revealed in vibrant life. Our lives are to be the same. The soil, the source, of the roots of our lives is critical. Only roots established in Jesus produce life. Let us heed His call to come unto Him (Isaiah 55:1); to draw upon His provisions with joy (Isaiah 12:3); and to so live in faith in Christ that His life flows out of us (John 7:38). Not only will we be refreshed and vibrantly alive; we will bring life to others.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

End of the Law

Our look at Jesus comes from Romans 10:4 today…

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
(Romans 10:4)

This verse has some amazing depth to it that we will only glimpse as we take this morning jaunt. Let’s begin at the beginning; have you read the Books of the Law lately? The books of Moses (Genesis through Exodus) paint a picture we desperately need of the righteousness of God. We live in a culture of flippancy and irreverence for all things…God included. A recent church sign listed a ‘Worship Lite’ service. While I am certain they did not mean they take God lightly, it is a stark contrast to the way God revealed Himself to the nation of Israel. Though we are no longer under law, it still teaches us, and God has not changed. The Books of the Law portray the holiness of God in awe-inspiring detail and clearly show a God who is not to be taken lightly. Great care was needed in approaching God and the consequences of irreverent worship or disregard for God’s ways were deadly. Approaching God is serious business, which leads us to our first glimpse of the privilege Romans 10:4 provides.

Jesus is the end of the law so believers can receive the very righteousness of God. The end of the law does not mean that God is less holy; it means Jesus is the fulfillment of the law. In Jesus, the goal of the law was reached: access to God. It was God’s purpose from the first word spoke in Creation to have people to fellowship with and to love. His righteousness could not be compromised in reaching that desire, but He provided all that was needed to bring His plans to completion. Jesus provides us with the righteousness needed to come to the Father. No longer are there rules and regulations for seeking God other than coming through Jesus. What privilege we have in Jesus; are you enjoying that privilege with all your heart?

In Second Corinthians, Paul tells us that Jesus became sin, so we could become the righteousness of God by hiding our lives in Jesus. What a trade that is: the best we can offer to God is nothing but filthy rags but Jesus makes the way for us with a yoke that is easy and the burden light! May our hearts rejoice this week that the law is fulfilled and the way provided for us to enter into fellowship with a holy God. Jesus came that we might have abundant life. Don't waste a minute of your life living outside of Jesus...of seeking fulfillment anywhere but in Him! Jesus paid it to the Father and enjoy His glory and His love.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Door

As we continue on our journey of looking at ways Jesus is depicted in scripture, we are stopping by John 10:7-10.

Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

In this passage, Jesus describes Himself as The Door. He says, in effect, He is the gate to abundant life--to pastures of provision and rest. Later in the book of John, Jesus broadens the description: not only is He the door, He is the way. The depth of encouragement in the word picture is without end! Indeed, Jesus is our all in all...He is the door; the source; the way to life. In fact, Jesus is life itself.

Sometimes we find our way to 'the Door' through difficult times. We tend to be distracted in life by doorways which look promising for one reason or another...'false' doorways which lead to death. Satan, the great deceiver, loves to present false 'doors'--dead ends. He loves to obscure the 'Door,' but in Revelation we see a truth that is eternal...Jesus is the open door which Satan can not close!

In Hosea, God promised He would exchange the valley of trouble for a 'Door' of hope to those who turn to Him. Paul reminds us that through faith in Jesus, we have access to a place of grace. We enter through Jesus, the Door, into the very riches of God. Let us go through the 'Door' moment by moment into the spacious, abundant life God has planned for us!