Love Overlooks and Excuses.

Love has an amazing affect on people.

Love is able to transform sadness to happiness; it changes loneliness into hope.
The Bible has much to say about love – how it is so patient and kind.

While,

Hatred stirs up strife, Love covers all sins. Prov 10:12

“love will cover a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

Love also overlooks sins.

There is a husband that’s an alcoholic but the wife loves him and makes excuses for him when he doesn’t show up with her at a party.

There’s the child doing drugs but the parents don’t want to believe that because they love her and just want to believe she’s going through a phase.

I can go on and on and this may be happening in your family. Your love is not covering their sins – it’s overlooking those sins.

You will overlook the sins of those you love!

You nor that person you love can ever, ever cover those sins.
But Jesus can because He covers those sins in forgiveness through His own blood.

Your sin isn’t overlooked or excused – it’s forgiven, washed away, removed, gone, and never to be remembered.

Abba, thank You for covering my sin. I would still be in a bad shape had you just overlooked it. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Treat others with fruit!

I love my wife. She teaches me things.

The other day we were discussing how we discuss things with other people. You have to be careful what you say and to whom you say it.

Someone you believe to be your friend will turn on you when you say something unflattering about another person – even if they agree with what you say.

Her conclusion is to speak things about others that cannot place blame back on yourself.

In Galatians 5:19-21 it speaks of the works of the flesh. Each of these attributes, characteristics, and sins work against you. Get involved with one and you will end up in trouble.

Use them against another person and you are to blame.

Then the next few verses say something totally different.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Gal 5:22-23

When you treat others with any of these characteristics you will never be blamed for doing wrong. There are no laws against these things.

So take the advice of the Bible and my wife – treat others with the fruit of the Spirit and others will never speak ill of you again.

Abba, the fruit of the Spirit is where I want to live each and every day. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

The Funeral

I’ve done many funerals in my time as a pastor. Each varies in length with how much the family tells me about someone, how much I know about the deceased, and what God lays on my heart.

I like to honor the one that has died, which is easier and much more joyful when the person knew Jesus as Savior.

It’s really not much different from a sermon – taking anywhere from twenty to forty-five minutes.

So I was a bit surprised by the amount of time the Bible spent on the death of a great man of God – a Patriarch of the Hebrews, Abraham.

Just forty-three words.

This is the sum of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. Gen 25:7-8

But when you think of the words of Jesus, who said,

“Have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Matt 22:31-32

Abraham did not have a funeral – but a homecoming!

And so it is with all that die in this life to wake up in NEW LIFE!
Death is not the closing of one’s eyes and seeing the darkness – it is closing your eyes and seeing the Light!

And Abraham’s life speaks for itself in the descendants he left behind, including a Child born into his family under the family of Judah – Jesus!

Abba, when I die, may the words at my funeral be “He lived for Christ!” YES&AMEN

Seeing Clearly

Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. Mark 8:22-23

All of us know someone that needs healing. Despite some of my infirmities, there are others that need healing more than me. That’s not to say that I would turn down a healing.

But the healing of this blind man is a lesson for all to learn.

And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. Mark 8:23

Don’t get caught up in the spit. I’ve read and heard a lot of things about this – things like spittle was considered medicinal or that it was used to moisten the eyelids, which may have been stuck together because of natural eye secretions that hardened over time.

To set your mind at ease, Jesus could have had the man use his own spit on his own eyes.

Nevertheless, he was asked what he saw.

And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Mark 8:24

It’s true the man was no longer blind!
Neither can he really see.

It’s a reality that exist today – people not blind but not clearly seeing.

Far too often Christian’s close their eyes to many things – the poor in need of food or shelter, the prostitute or addict in need of a loving friend, a child in need of authority, and even God!

God’s own people can have their eyes wide open and not see clearly the gifts of the Spirit, the miracles of God, or the outpouring of grace available to everyone.

Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Mark 8:25

Only a touch of Jesus can open your eyes and give you real sight.
Only a touch from Jesus can allow you to see what was always right in front of you.

I do not see all that is of God but I see more than I use to!

I can repeat the same words of the old hymn Amazing Grace, which reiterate the words of another blind man,

One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see. John 9:25

Abba, open my eyes that I may see You more clearly in all things. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

What do you want Me to do for you?

So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Matt 20:32

This question was asked to two blind men. Can you guess their response?

That’s an easy answer. They’re blind and want their eyes opened so they can see.

They didn’t ask for impractical things. They didn’t ask for a new car or a large home.
Their request wasn’t for great riches or three meals a day.
They didn’t ask out of excess – they asked out of honest need.

What do you want from Jesus?

Some want healing, while others may want a job or better marriage. Someone might want a blessing for some homeless person or salvation for a family member.

Still there are those that want God to help them win the lottery, promising to give a portion back to Him.

Jesus granted the blind men their request and it says,

they followed Him. Matt 20:34

They had already declared that Jesus was the “Son of David”, that is, the Messiah!

They believed in Christ, the Savior.

Though after this story nothing more is said of these two men, I am willing to believe they spent their days declaring what Jesus had done for them.

You can do the same thing today – declare what Jesus has done for you!
It’s not so much what the Savior can do for you, but what He has already done!

Abba, I too often forget the many, many blessings I have. I will speak of Your great goodness toward me. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Nothing New!

Christians are unpopular; viewed as haters, hypocritical, intolerant, bigoted, smug, and self-righteous.

Teaching about sin is unpopular and is viewed as judgmental.

What I find ironic is the amount of hatred that is directed toward Christians by the same one’s that call them haters.

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. Matt 10:22

And the hatred is far surpassed by anything a Christian might be guilty of doing. After all, if I preach what the word of God says about fornication and perhaps there is a couple living together outside the bounds of marriage, then I am told that I am passing judgment and out of touch with the way the world is now.

The way the world is now is not new. Sin is sin and has existed since that day in the Garden of Eden when the first couple decided to go against God’s word and will.

God gave commandments concerning adultery because it existed and was a problem.
Paul talked about fornication because it existed and was a problem.

God reveals:

there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us. Eccl 1:9-10

Hypocrisy is not new. Gossip is not new. Murder is not new. Cursing is not new. Child molesters are not new. Homosexuality is not new. Alcoholism is not new. Bestiality is not new. Drug abuse is not new. Nothing is new – it has already been done.

But sin will kill those that commit it.

The soul who sins shall die. Ezek 18:4

The wages of sin is death Rom 6:23

But praise God for His gift to us – eternal life through Jesus!

Abba, give me wisdom to always say the right thing to share the Gospel message of salvation in a loving way. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Good news – you’re not condemned! (Almost)

I have some good news from God’s word – Jesus did not come to condemn you!

Isn’t that great!!!

His exact words were –

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17

He is not here to condemn you!
He has come to save you!

I have discovered that many Christians want to condemn others. I have been guilty of that too.

But we are not here to condemn, anymore than Jesus came to condemn.

So why are Christians so prone to point out sin? I think it’s an attempt to salvation – the compelling nature to point out sin and to tell others they are condemned without Jesus.

That is also true!

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

What Jesus is saying is preach Jesus! That may sound a little self-fulfilling but He is the Messiah and Savior.

Paul said it best when he said,

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 1 Cor 2:1-2

Preach and teach God’s word and let the Holy Spirit use it to convict the hearer!
It works!

Abba, Your word is more powerful than my own. I debate whereas You end all debates. Your word is perfect and condemns and gives life through Jesus. YES&AMEN