John 6:35 NKJV – Where does my nourishment come from?

“And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.””

I like this verse because it always causes me to think about where I receive my nourishment. I’m not talking about actual food and drink. That’s for my physical body. But where do I go to receive nourishment for my mind and soul.

Bread was a basic staple in the diets of those living in biblical times. To this day, there are places of business where you can buy fresh baked breads of various kinds. There are bread makers that you can purchase if you are inclined to make fresh baked bread right at home. I admit that fresh baked bread is very good and I enjoy it from time to time.  It’s also said that a person can live longer without food than without water to drink. Some experts say that a person cannot live longer than 3 days without water. But this verse directs our focus to the true “Bread of Life” and the “Living Water” that keep us spiritually alive.

What Jesus is saying here is that if you come after Me, you shall never feel hungry. If you believe in Me, you will never thirst. If we pursue Jesus as if He would fulfill our emptiness from natural nourishment, He would fill us with His spiritual nourishment which lasts for eternity. “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14 NKJV)

Everything on this earth is temporary. “For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NKJV) The visible world is passing away. The unseen world is what is most important and most real. If we put our trust and faith in the things of this world, the things will eventually all die away. Then what do we have left? We are left with emptiness and a need to look for something else to fill the void. And if we continue to fill the void with things of this world, the cycle of emptiness is not broken.

But if we place our trust and faith on the things that are eternal (the unseen world), these things will never die away. If we hunger and thirst for truth and hope and the answers we are looking for, and we eat and drink from the truth and hope and answers of the Lord, we are given eternal nourishment. And God promises we will never go hungry or thirst again. Where will you place your trust and faith?

Friend, I don’t know what you are facing or where your struggles lie, but if you are seeking after the world for a solution, know that the solution grounded in the world has a life span and will die someday.   But Jesus Christ offers you an eternal solution and that is grounded in His grace, His mercy, His love, and His salvation for you. I’m asking you. What choice will you make? If you choose Jesus, it all starts with a prayer. A prayer that believes that Jesus died for your sins and that You desire to have a personal relationship with Him. His love, His Mercy, and His grace await you. Jesus loves you with an everlasting love and desires to spend eternity with you.

Dear Jesus, I need some answers and the world is not able to give me those answers. I feel lost without any help. I’m told You love me and that I can find the hope I’m looking for in You. Please help me, Jesus. I am a sinner and I need a Savior. I believe You died for me and You defeated my sin when You rose from the grave. Come into my life Jesus and be my Savior. I give You my life. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!


Psalm 71:14 NIV – I will praise You, Lord!

“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.”

I can look back at my past and see how God has saved me, and I rejoice. God has done so many wonderful things for me that the list seems endless. His love has changed me. His protection has served as a fortress for me. His hand has strengthened me. His mercy and grace has forgiven me. His Word has taught me. And His Son, Jesus has saved me. All of this has given me hope which is grounded in God’s goodness and inescapable care even in the face of trouble.

Our hope can be placed in God in the face of difficulty or trial. The Bible tells us, “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us” (2 Corinthians 1:10 NIV). His care for us here on earth is never complete. God will deliver us again and again; as much as we need. His care, just like His love for us, is everlasting.

God alone is good and He demonstrates His goodness. “You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.” (Psalm 119:68 NIV) We have this assurance that God works for our good. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)

We are encouraged by God’s loving care and faithful promises. God’s strength empowers us to live faithfully. God is the source of all victory, which He grants to those who obey His commands and put their trust and confidence in Him. In the past, I put my faith and trust in myself and the world and that got me nothing but heartache, trouble, and confusion. My faith now is grounded in trusting God for all things, including my life and He has given me in return eternal hope through His Son, Jesus and His death on the cross. God is King of everything and I want my life to praise Him.

Friend, where do place your hope? Do you place it in what the world can provide you? Or do you place your hope in God who is completely faithful. Where is your praise directed? This week spend some time in quiet prayer with God. Ask Him to open up your heart to hear the answers to these questions. And then, ask God to be your everything; your All in All.

Dear Lord, You are my everything. In You I place my hope. You are my deliverer, my healer, my protection, and my strength. Your care for me is like Your love for me; it’s everlasting. Continue to teach me to trust You in all things and to look upon You when I face trouble. Forgive me, Lord, when I trust in the world to give me victory. The source of all victory comes from You, Lord. I give You praise. In Jesus Name, AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

James 5:16 NKJV – It’s not in the power of the words, it’s in the Power of the Lord (Part 2)

Part 1 written on October 12, 2013

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

The last time this verse was discussed, it dealt with the subject that “Prayer changes things, starting with the one who prays.” We wrote that God hears and answers prayers and the power of prayer does not come from the words we use, but rather the power of prayer works because of the Power of the Lord! Power to heal, Power to deliver, Power to restore, Power to repair, Power to provide, Power to guide and direct, Power to protect, Power to give hope.

Part 2 asks, “But, can I be forgiven?” The Apostle James states in our verse that prayer of a righteous man avails much or is powerful and effective. But what about prayer of one who seeks God’s forgiveness.

An admission of sin on the part of an individual is what is called confession. Confession or in other words humbly calling upon God leads to divine forgiveness. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10 NJKV) God’s forgiveness is given as soon as we admit our need of it, not on the basis of some kind of act or service on our part to earn it, but rather solely because of God’s grace. The free gift of forgiveness carries with it complete purification of unrighteousness. God the Father accepts us as righteous in His sight and He imputes to us the righteousness of His Son, Jesus. And this is because Jesus died and rose again to defeat sin and eternal death. Jesus’ blood sacrifice on our behalf.

God’s character shows Himself as compassionate, accepting and generous to sinful man; shielding us from His wrath, forgiving us so that we can live and grow in faith and obedience. His grace and mercy are particularly expressed through God’s covenant with His children through the atoning death on the cross by Jesus. All of this is our assurance that when we seek God in prayer and ask for His forgiveness and repent from sin, He hears and forgives. Period!

Repentance from sin opens the way for God’s blessings. God desires that all people should repent. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV) I say, “Praise the Lord for His longsuffering or patience.” God is patient and He is slow to anger. (Jonah 4:2 NKJV)

Forgiveness begins with Jesus and is all about Jesus. Not ourselves, but what Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection. The fulfillment of God’s purpose of salvation is sealed by the blood of Jesus. It is a covenant grace, the benefits of which include forgiveness and a renewed relationship with God, through the Holy Spirit; an inward transformation that enables obedience.

Yes, again I say Yes! Humble, repentant prayer for forgiveness will lead God to hear and answer your prayer. God’s desire is to spend eternity with you in heaven and His plan involved sending His Son, Jesus, to earth for you to ensure this happens. Jesus’ death and resurrection provided what was needed and He defeated sin and eternal death. What’s next is a choice. Eternal fellowship with God or eternal separation from God. Fellowship with God begins with a prayer. Let’s pray.

Dear Lord, I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I cannot continue living the way that I do. I need a Savior. Jesus, I believe that You died for me and rose from the grave to defeat my sin and eternal death. You did this for me. Forgive me now, Lord. I repent of my sin, and submit my life to You. Come into my heart and life and be my guide. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 18:3 NKJV – My enemies have surrounded me

Psalm 18:3 NKJV – My enemies have surrounded me

“I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.”

Do you want to know something? Enemies can take on a lot of forms and be a lot of different things. I have learned that. Sometimes there are individuals that seem to get their joy from making people feel uneasy, embarrassed, or even frightened. It seems that no matter what is tried to keep these people outside of our sphere, they find a way to get into the door. In the world, there are people who are just plain mean.

But there are other enemies that come in to take away our eternal joy. And these enemies are not flesh and blood. Their names are fear, jealousy, anger, bitterness, bigotry, greed, and lust. There are many more but I name these because the world feeds these every day and tries to make them stronger. The world places those listed here out for everyone to partake in. And these, like flesh and blood enemies, can be powerful and nearly impossible to take down. I said nearly. There is a way! The way is Jesus!

Our defense lies in the One who can save us from the enemies that come against us. It lies in our faith in Jesus and our confidence in Him. Scripture emphasizes the importance of putting our trust in God and God alone. “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV)

What is the one requirement that is called out in our foundational verse? “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised.” Sounds simple doesn’t it. And it is. By calling upon the Lord we demonstrate our trust in Him and this is a form of praise. Prayer, or calling upon the Lord, embraces praising God for who He is, thanking Him for what He has already done, and looking forward with joy to what He has promised to do in the future. When we are surrounded by our enemies, both human and not so human, we can do what David did as recorded in this Psalm below. We can call upon the Lord and praise Him and we will be delivered from our enemies.

“The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God who avenges me, and subdues the peoples under me; He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man.” (Psalm 18:46-48 NKJV)

Friend, when we face attacks or enemy forces, we are not alone. The Lord, our Rock is near. All we have to do is call upon His Name, Jesus. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those 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 NKJV)

Dear Lord, thank You for Your protecting presence over our lives. You are worthy to be praised. Our enemies must bow to Your Name, Jesus. They must flee from us and leave. Thank You Lord that as we trust in Your love, our faith is increased. And no enemy, either human or not, can stand against the Your authority over all things. For greater is He that is in us than he who is in the world. Glory to You Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 29:2 NKJV – In the beauty of Your Holiness

“Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness.”

I was moved by this verse this morning. This verse speaks of the Lord’s reputation that He has achieved throughout all of history. The works of the Lord cause us to see His glorious beauty in the midst of His holiness.

The nature of God is to be uniquely holy. “No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.” (1 Samuel 2:2 NKJV) Truly, there is none like You, Lord. I confess that there are times when I miss recognizing the beauty of God and His majesty. My wife, Nancy, often sees it. She sees things from a different perspective. She notices things in ways that seem to pass me by. But Nancy takes the time to see with sensitivity the glory and beauty of the Lord.

I will gaze upon a tree turning color in the fall and see that winter fast approaches. Nancy will gaze upon that same tree and see the fingerprint of God upon it. She will see the Master Painter, hand painting each leaf. She will give God glory for the privilege to see His Masterpiece. Now, I am not a hopeless case when gazing at things of God’s handiwork. I am very sensitive to the smile of a child and a tear that is shed by someone in the midst of worshiping the King. So we both see God’s beauty in the midst of His holiness.

Scripture stresses the beauty of God Himself and His creation. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV) God is complete. He is flawless and faultless. God is totally sufficient in every aspect. And that perfection is made known in Jesus Christ, His Son; the ultimate goal of every Christian.   Psalm 25:8 teaches us that, “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He teaches sinners in the way.” (NKJV) Jesus Christ, He is the way to life. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 NKJV)

Friend, God’s beauty is everywhere and His Holiness surrounds Him. His glory speaks His name. In our times of intimate prayer, let us take some time to dwell on the beauty and the holiness of God. When we enter into prayer, let us be reminded of the Lord’s Prayer. Let us begin our prayer time with the Lord by saying, “Our Father, who art in Heaven. Hallowed by thy name.”

Heavenly Father, Your glory and majesty abounds in all things. Your creation speaks of Your beauty. Lord, lead us to honor You with our prayers of adoration giving You the Honor You deserve. Hallowed be Thy Name, Lord. For You alone are Holy and deserve all of our thanks and praise. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Luke 19:10 NKJV – He came for you and for me

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost.”

Hallelujah! God’s work of salvation is accomplished through the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through faith, the believer is able to share in all of the saving benefits won by Jesus Christ through His obedience to God.

Jesus Christ is the promised Savior. “From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior – Jesus.” (Acts 13:23 NKJV) The mission of Jesus was His work of salvation. Jesus was called to this mission since the beginning of time. Jesus came to reveal Father God and to redeem a sinful humanity through His death on the cross. He did this not only for the Jews, but for all of humanity. And His work continues through the Holy Spirit empowered witness of the church.

Jesus’ mission was completely motivated by God’s love. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NKJV) God’s desire since the beginning of time was to spend eternity with all of His creation. His desire has never changed. Not one bit. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)

As human beings we come to life spiritually only through faith in the redeeming work of God in Jesus Christ. There is no other way. This spiritual life is a taste of the life we as believers will enjoy to the fullest in heaven. This is our hope. “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27 NKJV)

Friend, Jesus Christ came to this earth with a purpose. That purpose was to glorify His Father and to seek and save that which was lost. That’s you and me. It was only by Jesus’ blood sacrifice and resurrection that we can even partake in His riches in glory. It’s God’s mercy and grace applied to our miserable lives that opens the door to eternity for us. We just have to make that choice. There is no other love anywhere, any place, by anyone that is greater than the love of God for you. And to receive all of His benefits, we need to simply make a choice. Will I live for myself and in accordance with the worldview or will I give up myself and submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Will you pray?

Dear Lord, thank You for the cross of Calvary. Thank You that You died for me a sinner. Thank You for the hope that is in You, Jesus. There are no promises that this world can make that are greater than eternal life with You. I am in need of a Savior and His name is Jesus. Forgive me and come into my heart, Lord. I submit my life into Your hands. Protect me and guide me as we walk together. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

John 14:6 NKJV – Which way, what truth, whose life

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

This is a powerful and strong affirmation that Jesus Christ alone is the way of salvation. To even imagine or proclaim any other way is simply misleading people and forgets the necessity of His coming and redemption. (John 1:4 NKJV)

The world will try to convince us that we can only live as best as we can live and that there is little else we can do. That through our acts of kindness and thoughtfulness to humanity, we can feel secure that we’ve placed our mark on this world. Our legacy rests on being a good and loving person.

Well, that’s one opinion and I simply don’t align with that opinion. My belief rests in the truth and the knowledge of God’s eternal Word that also says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV) Certainly, the attributes of Jesus Christ includes being kind and thoughtful. But if we live a life that relies on just this, without the power of God’s Holy Spirit living in us, we are falling fatally short. The things of this world are temporary. We see proof of that each and every day. It’s called disappointment. It happens every day in the life we lead in this world because the world is flawed.

Do I face disappointment being a believer in Jesus Christ? Yes, I do. But I am never disappointed in Jesus. He is where my strength and my absolute trust lie. It’s the world that disappoints me. People disappoint me. Things disappoint me. But God never disappoints me. That’s a lot to believe for someone who doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus like I do or cannot believe because God just isn’t a part of their life right now. I know how that feels. I was in that place as well. And I was disappointed when I lived outside of Christ. I thought I had it all together, but life and this world disappointed me. I needed to find stability in my life and Jesus brings me that stability. His love and truth and mercy and grace and sustaining strength gives me stability in an unstable and mixed up world. I live in this world, but I am no longer of this world. (1 Corinthians 3:19 NKJV)

How do I keep on keepin on? Prayer. The more I pray, the stronger I become. The more I pray, the more compassionate I become. The more I pray, the wiser I become. The more I pray, the more patient I become. The more I pray, the healthier I become. The more I pray, the happier I become. The more I pray, the more loving I become. The more I pray, the more I prosper. The more I pray, the more clearly I can hear. The more I pray, the more I understand. This list can go on and on. When did I learn to pray? When I chose to put my faith and trust in the blood of Jesus Christ and His saving grace. My point is without Jesus Christ, there is no way.

Nowhere in God’s Holy Word does it say that the way to eternal life is being a good person. Nowhere in God’s Holy Word does it say that the way to eternal life is giving the most to those who need it the most. And it’s in God’s Holy Word that I choose to place my trust. “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 NKJV)

What or who will you believe? What is your truth? Which way is your way? What or who defines your life? For me, the answer is Jesus. How about you?

Father, thank You for Jesus. Thank You for sending us Your Son to live and suffer and die for us so that in belief of Him we would have eternal life. Forgive us Father when we think that we can control our life. We can do nothing. It’s only in our belief in Jesus and His shed blood on the cross that we can find assurance of our life with You eternally. Draw us Lord unto to You. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!