by wretch


Amazing grace how sweet the sound 

that saved a wretch like me

I once was lost but now am found, 

was blind but now I see.


1 a (1) : sightless (2) : having less than 1⁄10 of normal vision in the more efficient eye when refractive defects are fully corrected by lenses b : of or relating to sightless persons
2 a : unable or unwilling to discern or judge <blind to a lover’s faults> b : unquestioning <blind loyalty>
3 a : having no regard to rational discrimination, guidance, or restriction <blind choice> b : lacking a directing or controlling consciousness <blind chance> c : drunk 1a
4 a : made or done without sight of certain objects or knowledge of certain facts that could serve for guidance or cause bias <a blind taste test> — compare double-blind, single-blind b : having no knowledge of information that may cause bias during the course of an experiment or test <physicians blind to whether the test drug is administered>
5 : defective: as a : lacking a growing point or producing leaves instead of flowers                                                                       b : lacking a complete or legible address <blind mail>
6 a : difficult to discern, make out, or discover b : hidden from sight : covered <blind seam>
7 : having but one opening or outlet <blind sockets>
8 : having no opening for light or passage : blank <blind wall>

blind·ly \ˈblīn(d)-lē\ adverb 

Hear that definition again without the dictionary largess. Blind: Sightless, unable or unwilling to discern, having no regard for guidance or discrimination, an action done without sight/thought of certain objects or facts that could serve for guidance. Having no knowledge of information that may bias judgment in a test, defective, difficult to discern, make out or discover.

Does this describe your life? Upon honest reflection, would you describe your life as lived blindly,without sight or thought of objects that could serve for guidance?When you lay down at night, and say your prayers and pause to reflect, are you happy? Is your life headed in the direction you would like? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

If your life seems without purpose, perhaps it is time to stop living blindly and seeing the Light.

Physical blindness would be a devastating condition. As you witness the glorious pink hues of a sunset or the majesty of mountains, thank God for your sight. To see a smile brightens your day. The waves crashing on the ocean inspire. The perfection of the Mona Lisa awes. God gave us beautiful colors and nature to reveal Himself and for our pleasure. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the earth shows forth His glory. Psalms 19 

Close your eyes. Imagine life like that all the time. No light. No sighted experience of nature. We feel sorry for the blind, and we are inspired by heroes who have overcome blindness to their credit. Helen Keller was blind and deaf, yet she used her “handicap” to inspire others, becoming a leader,writer, and speaker. Patrick Henry Hughes, who is blind and crippled, is a Louisville band member. Yes, marching band. His dad works nights so he can help his son fulfill his dream and use his talents. Blindness is only a handicap to those who allow it.

Spiritual blindness is just as devastating. Spiritual blindness means missing God’s best for your life. Spiritual blindness is where we were before God’s grace touched our life. Lost. A slave to sin. Searching for life’s purpose and significance. The author of Amazing Grace was all too familiar with spiritual darkness. John Newton was a rebel without a cause, an attitude and anger stick looking for someone to strike. John was a slave trader, in prison, and a vulgar sailor who was the epitome of spiritually blind. John had spent twenty years running from God and suffering one trouble to the next. One night in a storm, the sailor next to him was swept overboard. Fearing for his life, John asked God, if He was there, for deliverance. The spiritually blind who had cursed God his entire life was about to see the light. God’s grace delivered John Newton physically AND spiritually. John Newton knew first hand of the blindness from which he was set free, which inspired his song. This was God’s grace displayed on  a “Saul scale”. 

Saul killed Christians for a living. He describes himself several times as a zealot and “the chief of sinners”. God’s grace took the most famous Christian hater and he became the first missionary who wrote half the New Testament. The next time someone(you?) wonders if God and His Word are true, think about the Apostle Paul and the 180 turn his life took. If you are involved in a good Bible teaching church, you should know many lives touched and changed as they saw the light. Those changed lives are testimony to the transforming power of God’s Truth. Bob Coy ran a strip club in Vegas. By God’s grace, he was saved and God used him to build a church of 22,000 people into the miracle of grace. God is in the life changing business, after all He created you! In Gen 1,God says “Let US make man in OUR image” and God saw everything that He created, and behold, it was very good.”That “Imago Deo”,made in His image, gives EVERY person value and purpose. ”I know the plans I have for you, plans to bless and prosper, to give you a future, and hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 There is an OT story who’s character’s perfectly reflects Gods transforming power..

Israel has split into two kingdoms. Poor leadership has led to a slow drift away from God and God has allowed Israel’s enemy’s to act as His agents of judgment. Syria has been warring and defeating Israel. Israel now must pay tribute to the hated Syrians. Namaan is the head of Syria’s mighty army. Namaan is the kings number one man, a leader, brilliant and successful. However, Namaan with all his accomplishments and position has a problem: he has leprosy. Leprosy is a disease where your skin and body parts fall off, and it is contagious. It makes this mountain of a man separated from his family and ”less than perfect.” Namaan also has a servant girl, an Israeli with faith. Isn’t it interesting how God uses and places people, small people, in positions to achieve His purposes? Remember that the next time you question God. You could be the “small” one He placed to serve His purposes. Or that”small” person may be God’s instrument to deliver,strengthen,encourage, grow,”enlighten” you. One of the blessings of children are the humble, honest perspective they bring. How many times has your child’s hug erased a bad day at work? Size, popularity,riches matter not. What matters is knowing God and being available to share in His work, even if it is “just”expressing confidence in your God.

The servant girl says,”there is a prophet in Israel, he can heal my master.” Childlike faith is the strongest of all. Once, we had that kind of faith. What happened to that faith? Did life,circumstances, unfulfilled dreams cause that faith to doubt? We all need reminded that the God in Whom we trust is “the same,yesterday,today and forever.” Our perspective or faith may waiver, but He never does. 

Back to our servant girl, she is confident that Namaan can be restored whole. Namaan speaks to the king, who writes a letter to the king of Israel. “I have sent my servant Namaan to you that you may heal his leprosy.”

The king tears his clothes, the ancient symbol of grief and agitation. The servant girl believes God can heal, the king and spiritual leader does not pause to think that God is able. Do you see the irony? The supposed spiritual leader is in despair. The one who is supposed to know God and set the example is tearing his clothes. The servant girl, who has no wealth, power or prestige, is confident in God. The king lacks the servant girl’s faith and relationship with God. Is it any wonder that Israel is suffering at the hands of the enemy? The leader does not think that God can cure Namaan as the servant girl confidently states. Proverbs: God will use the humble and confound the wise. The king asks,”Am I God, that I can heal? Benhadad the king  is only seeking another fight.”

Pessimistic thinking leads to emotional reactions which don’t solve the problem.

Meanwhile, word reaches Elisha of the dilemma and the kings response. He tells the king”send Namaan to me THAT HE MAY KNOW that there is a God in Israel.”(and by implication,you too, king)

Namaan shows up with his chariots and entourage. Elisha sends a servant who says”Go wash seven times in the Jordan River and you will be healed.” Namaan is a proud man, he has great accomplishments. He is the General Eisenhower of his day. He also has an anger issue as he storms away enraged that the prophet did not come to see him. Namaan says,”indeed, I said to myself, he will surely come out to me(and be impressed with me) and call on the name of his God, and wave his hands around all over the place(healers had that reputation even then) and heal the leprosy.”

Therein lies the rub. Namaan thought he had a physical problem. What he missed were his larger issues: He had SPIRITUAL problems. He has character issues. He has pride and anger. Namaan was obsessed with his leprosy. God knew Namaan’s true issue: spiritual blindness. Jesus said,”What does it profit a man to gain the whole world while losing his soul.” Matt 16:26 Namaan had the world, he was the quarterback of the Super Bowl champs. Yet his soul was lost. Earthly vs eternal, think about it. 

God knew what Namaan really needed : to meet God and begin a RELATIONSHIP with Him. Namaan needed his pride and anger removed. How did God know that? Remember that the next time you question God’s actions. Is God “not answering your prayers?” Could it be that God has a plan, that plan is perfect, and He is waiting on you to GROW to answer that petition? God has a 10,000 year track record of working all things for good. How is your track record? Would God be”good” if he cured his leprosy and left his spiritual leprosy? What is more important, earthly temporary healing or heavenly eternal destiny. “What things were important to me I count as rubbish that I may KNOW Him.” Phil 3:11

We think we have physical problems. We worry about finances, family, jobs, health. Where we really need to focus is on the spiritual. A strong relationship with the LORD solves all those issues we worry about. God promises to provide for His children. When Israel was trapped against the Red Sea and complaining, God had a plan, a miracle.”Those Egyptians that you see today will never bother you again.” God used Moses to part the Red Sea, demonstrating His deliverance that His people would never forget. 4000 years later, we still remember this example of how”Our God shall supply all our needs.” Phil 4:19

Namaan has a need. He needs physical healing. He needs spiritual healing. He needs character healing, pride and anger removed. So what did Namaan do when he did not get the answer he was expecting? The same thing we do! He stormed away in a huff, and is talking about the rivers of Damascus. Note: he still had leprosy,spiritual issues,pride. He was still lost. The Great Physician waits for us to show faith and obedience to provide our miracle. Namaan”I said to myself…”

 Talking to yourself apart from God does not resolve issues. 

Bring your needs and concerns before Him….”casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.”

2 Pet 5:7 “You will keep in perfect peace who’s mind is stayed on You” Is 26:3

Again, God shows His sense of humor and using little people to accomplish His plans. His servants gently remind Namaan,”If the man of God asked you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much easier could it be than to wash and be clean?” Namaan, obey, what do we have to lose? “So Namaan went and dipped seven times and his skin was like a childs.”

Namaan returned to Elisha, and stated”Now I KNOW there is one true God, and He is Israel’s God.”

Physical problem solved, spiritual problem solved, character being worked on. “Now I know”, the servant girl knew, and now her master knows. The nobody influenced his physical and spiritual life. Bill Gates may have billions, but does he know? How often has God stepped into our worry, our problem, so that we may know. You prayed, God answered. Did you know, and forget? Did you know and fail to give thanks? 

When God steps in and works a miracle, it is so that we know…Who He is and that He is always working on our behalf.

Notice Namaan’s response: a new found humility,”May I take two mule loads of earth that I may worship God in Damascus?” The result of God’s plan was healing, worship, and most importantly, a relationship with Yahweh.

God is waiting on us to provide our healing. Quite probably our”need” is not what we think. Probably, our need is a fresh encounter with God. Probably, our issue is spiritual blindness. He is more than capable to do”exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think” Eph 3:20 His book is  a litany of promises to bless, prosper,heal, provide,”to give us that future, and hope.” The same promises God made to David,Moses,Peter and Paul apply to us. Abraham and David were called”friends of God.” You too can be a friend of God.

“The miraculous is always happening, even though we forget it or even when our faith is too small to trust God for miracles or even when we don’t see the miracles occurring. God is always still at work, and God will always provide for us.”  Louie Giglio

“Behold what manner of love that we should be called God’s adopted children.” 1 John 3:1 Are you aware of the privilege of being His adopted,chosen child? Do we thank Him daily for this ultimate act of love? Does my life reflect my Father’s family? BEHOLD, child of the King, and acknowledge your”good and Godly heritage.” Psalms 16:5 Are we “blind” to our status as “a royal priesthood, a holy, God’s peculiar people” I Peter 2:9

I adopted two boys when they were 5 &2. I CHOSE them, after God had graciously provided. Similarly, God CHOSE you to be a part of His family. As I desire God’s best for my boys, He is infinitely more caring for His adopted children. “If you then being sinful know how to care, how much MORE will your Heavenly Father do for His own?” Matthew 6

Does God know everything?  Hint: Allknowing and wise are two attributes of God. Are we allknowing? If God knows all and we do not, why do we question how He does things? He acts with allknowledge and we act in fear,worry,doubt, with 1% of the facts. Which way sounds like the best course of decisionmaking? Knowing ALL the facts and ramifications, or blind, prejudice, selfish guesses?

Remember Namaan when you think God is “surprised.” Spiritual blindness is failure to see what God has in mind, His direction for our lives. Prov 16:9”Man plans his way but the Lord directs his steps. How blessed are we that our Providential Father is directing our lives!

Spiritual blindness is allowing the “cares of this world to choke” that which is eternal/important. We overcome spiritual blindness by spending time with our Father in the Word and in prayer, obediently seeking His face, searching His Will. Ask that your spiritual blindness may be overcome by the light of His grace.


God is in the miracle business. Picture the most profane person you have ever met. Someone who has no use for God and mocks those who do. Someone who denies His glory. 1  Peter describes that person as “willingly ignorant”. God can change that persons heart into a humble servant. He did it with Saul and changed his name to Paul to signify the change in his life. He did it to John Newton. He did it to Namaan,Zaccheus, . He can do it for you as well. God has a wonderful plan for your life. We were created for His Glory,in His image. Am I living my life”without regard to guidance or discrimination”? Listen to these promises and challenges in God’s Word:

Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither can our mind imagine what God has for those who love Him. 2 Cor 1:9

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalms 37:4

God is our refuge and strength, ever present in times of trouble. Psalms 46:10

We were created for good works. Eph 2:10 (sadly, not doing those good works is SIN)

All things work together for good, to those who love God and are called according to His purposes.Rom 8:28

I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

I have chosen you to be my own precious possession. Deut 7:6

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears open to their prayers  1 Pet 3:12

Being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He had promised. Rom 4:21 

Have not I commanded you, be strong and of good courage, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Josh 1:9

God,rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He has loved us. Eph 2:4

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God thru Jesus Christ our Lord Rom 5:1

Wait on the Lord and He shall sustain you, yes, wait on the Lord. Ps 27:14

Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, Ask, and receive that your joy may be full.” Jn 14

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me. Ps 138:8

My grace is sufficient for you. 2  Cor 12:9

I know the plans I have for you. Jer 29:11 

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, for He joys in generously giving wisdom. James 1:5

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles Lam 3:23

He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. Phil 1:6

 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:16

His divine power has given to us ALL things pertaining to life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3

I have given you the spirit of adoption, so you can call Me Father. Rom 8:15

Before we leave this train of thought, remember that profane person? Maybe you’ve seen his picture at the post office ,”wanted”. Maybe you’ve judged them for ……The Bible says,”All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. “Rom 3:23

That profane person is you and I, apart from God’s grace. Wherever we are on our spiritual journey, any goodness is due to His Spirit and grace in our life. That goodness does nothing to get us to heaven, merely reflects God’s grace and work in our life. In our politically correct age, we don’t speak of sin. Certain television preachers and Rev Jesse Jackson never mention sin. It is all about prosperity, feeling good and what can Santa, er, God give me. How can a preacher never mention sin? Jesus did. Paul did. Peter did. Is 6”Woe is me, I am undone, for I am a man of unclean lips. “Martin Luther was a monk! What “sins” can a monk commit? Luther agonized over his sin to the point of whipping himself,crawling on his knees and traveling to Rome to seek penance. Do we have this level of awareness of who we are-sinners-and Who God is… HOLY.  Indeed we  are sinners deserving of God’s judgment. 

When people encounter God, they are always overwhelmed with His Holiness and their sin. That Gap is the gulf between God and His Holiness and who we are. 

The disciples had fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus told Peter to let down his net. Peter was the professional fisherman, what did Jesus know about fishing? As they drew their nets, the 153 large fish filled two boats. Peter’s response”Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.”

If you are unaware of your sin, it is a sure sign you are not encountering God.

A short math lesson. Let’s say you are a good person. Let’s say you are very good, Mother Theresa good. The Bible describes sin and Jesus taught that the 10 Commandments was a skeleton on which God’s standards are expounded. Jesus said looking at a woman with lust was adultery. Jesus said, let your word be your bond. Jesus spoke more of money and hell than he did any other subject. He warned,”Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Well, Jesus certainly believed in and spoke of sin, and yet always handled sinners with grace. So, if we have one bad thought, tell one white lie, and misplace priorities once a day, that is 3 sins a day. In one year that is 1100 sins! So in 70 years, the best person alive will have committed a minimum of 77000 sins! What are we going to do about that? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”1 Jn 1:9 “His grace is sufficient for us,His power is perfected in our weakness.”2 Cor 12:9  For further edification, what about all the good we are supposed to do and too busy to do? Those are sins of omission. Jeremiah said,”The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,Who can know it? I,the Lord,search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, and the fruit of his doings. Jer 17:9,10. 

So before we start thinking we are good, and especially better than anyone else, we need to reflect on how wicked we really are. God’s standard? “Matt 5:48”Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.” We all commit a lot more than 3 sins a day, and we need a Savior to resolve that sin problem.

But to mean it when I say that I want my life to count for His glory is to drive a stake through the heart of self – a painful and determined dying to me that must be a part of every day I live.”  Louie Giglio

Self must die so that Christ may live in me. I am crucified with Christ. Gal 2:20 What this means is that I subserve my flesh,my will,my mistaken priorities to the One who makes me whole. Every day.

I enjoy athletics and being physical. God in His grace has made me healthy and has not tested me in that area. What God does do whenever I feel sorry for myself, is send someone in a wheelchair to remind me how good I have it. Any negative thoughts or “pity parties” are immediately, and I’m talkin ten minutes, responded to with a handicapped person, who is inevitably doing something regardless of their condition. That is how gracious our God is. Instead of putting me in a wheelchair, He sends a gentle reality check.

I was recently in Thailand. A mission trip to a third world country does wonders for worldliness, the “I wants” the selfishness that Satan uses to distract you from God’s best. I saw a blind man leading his blind wife down the street singing for their supper. Someone in abject poverty with no capability to improve their lot in life, without the pleasures we take for granted every day, yet he was working for a living. He was dependent on the grace of others to survive. Not only is this a reality check for us, it is a striking image of our own lives. We are blind beggars leading our dependent families down the street of life, totally dependent on God’s grace to lift our blindness and meet our needs.  Ask God to remind you how good you have it when adversity strikes. The point is how good, patient and forgiving God is in spite of our undesert. “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God for you.”1 Thes 5:17 God’s grace is forgiving our sin and drawing us to Him. Now we shall look at who God is.


Knowing God starts with knowledge obtained thru His Word of how He reveals Himself. God said that “these things are written for your example”, so the lives of saints who encountered God can teach us Who He is. God said to Moses,”I AM”, written out as Yahweh. This lets us know He exists, and more importantly, ALWAYS HAS. He had no beginning, no end, no creator.

Jesus said,”God is spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in Truth.”

This tells us that we have a spiritual side which is how we connect with God. We need to develop that spiritual side thru reading His Word, prayer and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us into His Truth.

When God called Abraham, He revealed Himself as one Who provides and seeks relationship with His creatures. God called Abraham his friend, and had a relationship with him. God used circumstances to develop Abraham as a person and as a spiritual being.

Proverbs 1:7 says,”The fear/respect of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” If we want to be wise and seek Him, we must begin by acknowledging Who He is and what we are not.

God is Holy. Jesus said,”Be perfect, even as Your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matt 5:48

”Holy,Holy.Holy is the Lord Almighty. Is 6:3

God is Omnipotent-His power is limitless. He Who spoke the world into existence, Who demonstrates sovereignty over nature, Who proved His power over death.

God is Omnipresent-unlimited by space. He is everywhere in that there is no place He does not exist. Not to be confused with new age thinking that God is in all things. David says in Ps 139”There is no where I can flee where you would not see and be with me.”

God is Omniscient-all wise. The design of the human body, the eye,the brain,nature, space all point to a Divine wisdom beyond our comprehension. As David said in Ps 19”The heavens declare the glory of God and the earth speaks his handiwork.”

To deny His influence is to miss His best. “Eye has not seen,ear has not heard,neither can our heart imagine what God has prepared for those who love Him.1 Corinthians 2:9 As a believer, you are aware of God’s power. He created the world out of dust. An old joke: God and an evolutionist were discussing creation. The evolutionist challenges God with a statement that man evolved over millions of years. In response, God created a world out of dust. The evolutionist was ready to try. God said”Not so fast, get your own dirt.”

 God is All powerful, All Present, All Knowing. All capable of working together for good that issue that keeps you up at night. In Ps 139 God says He has searched and known us, He understands our thoughts and concerns,He is acquainted with ALL our ways. He knows all our words, intentions and acts. He knows when we are kind to the poor, when our smile encourages another on their walk, and when we act with improper motives. God says He has His Hand on us, protecting us. He states that He formed our inward parts while we were in the womb. His care caused David to state, and God to concur:

“I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, It is so high I cannot grasp it” Ps 139:14,6.

Do we grasp what God is saying thru David in Ps 139? We read it, but do we BELIEVE it? Do we live as if we are fearfully and wonderfully made? Does our selfimage reflect one who embraces the way God made me and reflect His glory? Does our God make mistakes? Was He asleep when He made your nose? If God is all powerful and all knowing, then He knew what He was doing when He gave you that body part you…..frown upon. That”flaw” was part of His divine plan and He promised that He works it for good and His glory. 

Knowing God starts with acknowledging His power,goodness and characteristics described above. KNOWING God increases with getting in His Word and finding out what He says, how He operates, His Will, His plan for our lives. Knowing God means remembering how He has provided in the past, how much He loves, how His grace has empowered our lives.

There was a man in the New Testament who thought he knew God. He had learned under the feet of the finest teachers. So pious was he that he described himself as “the ultimate religious man” Phil 3. He was so SURE he was doing God’s work that he KILLED Christians, going so far as to travel to other countries to imprison and kill those who believed in Christ.

In Acts 9 we read, Saul was on his way to Damascus, to kill more Christians,when a bright light shone upon him. A voice came from heaven saying,”Saul,Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” A sidelight-when we are persecuted for Christ, remember He said it was HIS persecution. Additionally,sometimes God needs to take drastic measures to get our attention. Wisdom is responding to His promptings quickly. Jonah spent 3 days in the belly of a great fish as a result of his running from God.

Saul’s response.”Who are you Lord?”

“I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads”

“What shall I do ,Lord?” The wisest answer one can give when encountering and prompted by God,”what shall I do?”

Saul arose blind, and went into the city, fasting for 3 days. God called a prophet Ananias to go and  heal his blindness. Ananias knew of Saul’s activity and reputation, nevertheless, he obeyed, as God said,”He is a chosen vessel of Mine.” And immediately Saul received his sight and began preaching Jesus in the synagogue. His name was changed to Paul, signifying his change of life. This dramatic conversion is another example of the blind seeing, literally and figuratively. God is in the life-changing business. Such life changes are further proof of God’s transforming  power. An interesting side note: God saw Saul for what he could become, not what he was that day. God arranged for Paul’s unique upbringing, education and background to use Him for His service.  ,Read Romans, the famous”Roman Road” as Paul brilliantly makes the case like a lawyer for understanding man,sin, hope,salvation by faith, God’s “no condemnation,all working for good,more than conquerors,renewed mind and the practical growth of someone who truly follows God”(Romans 8 and 12)God sees us for what we can become, not where we are  today. 

Repentance means a “turn around”, walking toward the Light instead of away.  John the Baptist said”Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” God expects us to acknowledge our sin, our need to resolve that sin problem and then TURN AROUND to live a life that honors the One who paid that sin debt on the Cross. Blindness is stumbling around without the Light(Word) for guidance. Following the Word removes the blinders. 

In Eph 3, Paul explains his call, that the Holy Spirit gave him special revelation to understand mysteries. Listen to God’s promises as He reveals Himself and His Will. Vs 11 “According to the eternal purpose(before the world) which He accomplished(it is finished) in Christ. For it is in Christ we have boldness and access with confidence thru faith.(Confident communion with God due to our standing thru Christ) vs 16”That He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit inside you, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you may be rooted and grounded in love.(Is Christ inside you? Do you LIVE as if Christ is inside you? Do you take Christ into places where you would be embarrassed for Him to see you? He IS inside you and knows where you go. A better, more “enlightened” choice is to “let your Word be a lamp to my feet and a light  to your path. Ps 119:105 Is your life rooted(fed) in , and grounded(humbled) by love?

Vs 19”To know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.(How full is that? 🙂 Now unto Him who is able(power) to DO(assurance) EXCEEDING ABOVE all we ask or think, according to His power working in us, to His glory.

Phil 3:10,Paul says,” That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His image and death. Not that I have arrived…..but I PRESS ON….FORGETTING THE PAST, reaching forward. I press toward the goal, the prize,the upward call of God. Therefore, as many as are mature have this mindset.”

Do you WANT to be mature? Do others consider you mature? What could God do with a mature believer? We will see below. Paul further stated in Romans 12”I URGE you therefore brothers by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable before God, which is the least you can do. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you prove what is the good and acceptable,and perfect, Will of God.” How do we renew our mind?  Col 3,”If you are risen with Christ, SET your mind on those things where Christ is.” Paul goes thru a list of things to die to and things to embrace, and then says,”above all this, put on love, the Superglue of perfection. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom. Let every word and every act be done before Him.” When we act in love, and have the Word dwelling in us richly, we know God. Our attitude and actions reflect this knowing.

What would happen if we forgot the past and focused on the future? Paul’s past included murder, persecution, and pride. What can we do to change the past? What we can do is learn from it, encourage others from our experience, determine in His grace to be better. Remember He promised He is working ALL things together for good;mistakes,sin,disappointments are part of His loving,caring,shaping Providence. Paul used his past to inspire. He suffered, was stoned, imprisoned and ultimately beheaded for Christ.  Here is one example of the result of” forgetting the past and reaching toward”:

After an unlawful beating and imprisonment, at midnight, Paul and Silas were singing and praising God. Roman prisons were not “spiritual retreats” with clean facilities. Picture cold hard floors and cruelty. Odors. Pain. Hopeless. Another impending beating and probably death. Yet Paul and Silas are WORSHIPPING. That is not an ordinary response. It is learned behavior and an attitude of trust in the One Who has proved Himself faithful over and over.

God sent an earthquake, and the prison doors were opened. The jailer, seeing the open doors and knowing that his life would be taken for missing prisoners, was about to kill himself. Paul cried out”Stop, we are all still here.” The jailer ran into the cell and cried out”Sirs,what must I do to be saved.” He knew there was something different about these prisoners! They knew their God and how to be saved, and he wanted what they had! Their attitude,actions and peace spoke volumes. Is anyone clamoring to know God because of how we live? 

That is the power of knowing Him, forgetting our past and trusting our future to One who has our best, His best, in mind. When we know Him, suffering is a blessing(Matt 5:11,12), and He uses that for His glory.

The amazing grace we sing about is that this GOD WANTS to be known, can be known, and we only grow and benefit by knowing Him.


Ask the average man what he thinks of Christians, and he is likely to respond judgmental or hypocrite. To be sure, part of this is a defense mechanism to justify their sin,position,ego. However, what does God see?

In Ps 103, God says, “He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy. As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy to those who fear Him. Do not forget how He blesses, forgives,heals,redeems,crowns, satisfies.” Those are action words. A God who is intimately acquainted with all our ways. He further states that: “as far as the east is from the west(how far is that?), so far has he removed our sins from us.”

In John 4, Jesus encounters the woman at the well. A woman who goes for water in the middle of the day, in the heat, is going at that time to avoid people,whispers…judgment. Read John 4 as Jesus wisely and relationally asks the right questions to lead the woman to acknowledge her sin,need, without the harsh judgementalism some are known for. Jesus does not say,”you SINNER”, He offers her living water…..”a future, and hope.” The result of this encounter is a CITY changed.

What kind of people does God use? Imperfect people. What kind of ability does God use? AVAIL-ABILITY. Moses,David,Saul…murderers. Peter attempted murder and denial. David adultery,pride,polygamy. Abraham,Jacob, liars. Jesus grandmothers included 2 prostitutes and a foreigner. Jesus did not choose 12 Pharisees with PhD’s in theology to be his disciples. He chose fishermen, a hated traitor tax collector, the “unlearned”. When He added the Holy Spirit’s power, they changed the world. Jesus saw what they would become, not what they were that day. There is an excellent illustration of this in Moses.

Moses, as we know from Sunday School, was saved from death as an infant by being hidden in a basket in the Nile and adopted upon discovery by Pharaoh’s daughter. Raised in the Egyptian court and finest education, Hebrews 11 tells us that Moses “CHOSE to endure affliction with the people of God, rather than the passing pleasures of the world.” How many of us choose that? Do we embrace,love, ”treasure” the world, (thereby misplacing our priorities)or do we consciously choose…..Christ. Relationship. Holiness. May the Holy Spirit convict us each time we choose the world over Him.

Back to Moses, he decides he is the judge, and kills a harsh Egyptian whipping a Hebrew slave. Another reason not to choose self vengeance, our tendency to over do it. How many times have you been”right”, yet your mouth got you into trouble proving it? Rom 12:19

Back to Moses, when word gets out, Moses flees to the edge of civilization, then goes a couple miles past, Midian. Forty years “wasted”, learning his lesson, paying for his temper. Moses marries, has kids, becomes a shepherd. 80 years old, life is over. Remember the “glory days”, what could have been. Shakespeare said,”of all the words that ‘ere been said, the saddest words, it might have been.”

So Moses, is out tending sheep. For forty years. One day, he sees a bush on fire. As he watches, the bush burns, but is not consumed, Moses says to himself,”I gotta check this out and see why this bush is not consumed.” 

When God saw that He had Moses attention, He called to him,”Moses,Moses.” Here’s a thought, how many people missed their burning bush before Moses? How many burning bushes have we missed? Video games, movies, travel, beautiful people, careers, bling……how many times have we missed His call, His best, been “blind?”

God tells Moses, I have seen My people’s affliction, and am come to deliver them, and YOU are my guy to do it. Moses looks around to make sure who God was talking to. Me? It’s been forty years since I tried to do ANYTHING. I’M 80! God, you got the wrong guy.

Excuse number one: I have low self esteem,”who am I”?

God:” I will be with you. And here is a sign, a promise, WHEN you have brought the people out, you will serve Me on this mountain.” God is the answer to our selfesteem issues.

Excuse #2 What if the Israelites ask Who sent you?

God: “ The great I AM sent you. And I am here to bring you back to the land flowing with milk and honey.” “Oh, and by the way, Pharaoh is hard hearted. You know what gods Egypt worships? The Nile, the sun, crops, cattle(who worships a cow?)beauty, ancestors. I will send plagues that display my power over their”gods.”

Excuse #3 What if they don’t believe me?

God:” I will turn your rod into a snake as proof, and back! And will make you leprous, and whole.

Excuse #4 “God, you forgot, I can’t speak well.”

God: “Who made your mouth? Trying to outsmart God is….futile and foolish. “I said, I will be with you and teach you what to say.”

Excuse #5 Oh my Master(?), please….send ANYBODY else.”

God, angered,” Your brother Aaron speaks well, and is on his way to meet you. You speak for Me, and he will relay it to the people. Surely I will be with your mouth, and teach you.”

Who is the greatest leader of alltime? Washington? Lincoln? Charlemagne? Luther? Churchill? Hands down, the greatest leader of all time, is Moses. He took on the #1 power in the world, with a stick and God and secured the release of millions of slaves without lifting a sword. In the face of adversity, at 80, with poor self esteem.

So, how did this happen? We always look for the secret formula for success. E=mc2, super computers, miracle diets, steroids. How, with all the odds stacked against Israel, did this come off?

God saw Moses for what he could become, not for the 80 year old failure, has been, he was.

 Guess what, God knows what you can become also. He can take that low selfesteem, that scared y cat attitude, your colossal failures,sins and inadequacy, and make YOU a Moses. Moses gave God 5 excuses why he was not right for the job. God saw the greatest leader who ever lived. An instrument, who turned aside. Will we “turn aside” and see what God’s all consuming fire can do? “For our God is a consuming fire.” Heb 12:29 He wants to consume us with passion, compassion, relationship, purpose. Will we obey?

What did God see in Moses? In Numbers 12:3,God said,” Now the man Moses was very humble, more humble than all the men on the face of the earth.” God described Moses as faithful,humble. That is a good place to start to be used by God.

What did Moses see? Moses was blind to his potential,God’s plan, and Israel’s hope. What did he get to experience because of his…availability?


Remember your adversary. He is real,powerful, slick. CS Lewis in his brilliant book,’Screwtape Letters’, paints the picture of one of satan’s demons who strategizes with Satan on how to trip up,tempt and “blind” people. satan’s most powerful tools are your mind, your thoughts and your blindness toward God.

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, of a SOUND MIND.” 2 Tim1:8 satan places negative thoughts, worry and fear in an effort to distract you from God’s plan for you. When you hear those little voices, are they reminding you of God’s greatness and mercy? Or do those voices  put you down, dispense negativity, cause you to doubt God? There is a wise old saying: Far from God? Who moved? Jesus called satan”the father of lies”.(Sadly, when you lie, you are like satan. Who’s your Daddy? The Father of Truth or the father of lies?) 

When Jesus was fasting for 40 days in the wilderness, preparing for His life’s work, satan chose this moment of hunger to appeal to the flesh. Matt 4 satan said,”If you be the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” After all, Jesus was hungry, it had been 40 days, what was wrong with using divine power to meet a physical need? Jesus response is a model for us. Jesus handled satan by quoting Scripture,”It is written,man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Brilliant! He knows the Truth, applies it correctly, and teaches a principle. All good teachers are constantly using life/Life principles to grow, teach, dare we say “illuminate”. satan does not give up so easily. He quotes Scripture in the second temptation(out of context, of course) and tries to get Jesus to doubt Himself and His Divinity. Again, Jesus quotes Scripture to defeat satan. Finally, satan takes Jesus to a high mountain and shows Him the glories of the world. “All these will I give you if you fall down and worship me” Shortcut. No pain, no cross, no becoming sin for us. Jesus response is one we would be wise to memorize. “Away with you satan, For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.” So, do we worship God only? Or do we worship money, children, an exalted image of ourself? James reminded us,”resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Using Scripture is the best way to resist the devil. Ps 119”Your Word I have hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”Using starts with knowing. If we do not know God’s Word, how can we quote it to Satan?

A final sidelight on satan: satan used the same old tricks with Eve.”Did God really say….causing her to doubt God’s Truth. Then he lies and says, “God knows that you will be like Him by taking the fruit. “A careful study of Gen 3 shows that satan has not changed his tactics since the beginning of time. Are we falling for the same old lines? satan has been tempting you to doubt God and His Word your entire life. Are we following Jesus example to use the Word to defeat temptation, or are we listening to his lies? Remind satan of his future and use the Word,”the sword of the Spirit”(Eph 6) to defeat him. When we fall for satan’s lies, we are really telling God that we do not trust Him. God says “fearfully and wonderfully made”. satan says,”You’re no good, you failed here, guilt,inferior,worry, doubt.” What are the tapes playing inside your head? Are they God’s Word and positive, drawing you to Him? Or are they doubtfilled, negative and moving you away from God?

satan did not tell Eve the future consequences of her choice. One son will be killed by his brother. You will have pain in childbirth. You will lose paradise and weeds will grow in your new garden. Your husband will not meet all your needs. Your relationship with God will be forever altered. He does not tell the alcoholic the consequences of that first drink. He does not tell the adulterer that an “innocent” lunch will lead to the breakup of your family.

God’s plan is for His Word to be our shield. God states that “Every word of God is pure” Ps 119, 2 Tim 3:16,”All Scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” God gave us His Word to show us how to live. He modeled how to defeat satan. Are we following His example?

When we stop questioning God and start embracing “His thoughts towards me”our attitude and perspective begin to align with His. When we question God, we are showing spiritual blindness.  Our”blindness” is really unbelief, doubting His Word and promises and character.

In Phil 4, Paul says”Whatever is good, whatever is lovely, whatever is Truth, if there is an virtue and worthy of praise, think on these things.” THAT describes God pretty well, don’t you think? When we think on positive things, then we can achieve Phil 4:13”I can do ALL things thru Christ who strengthens me.”

I Peter 5 and Ephesians 6 warns us that”our adversary is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. A lion stalks his prey and shows no mercy. He ravishes his victim without conscience. What about the life of the poor gazelle? This does not concern the lion. The lion is concerned with his next conquest.

So it is with satan. His mission is to keep you from God’s best, sabotaging your relationship with the only One who can make you whole. satan will use circumstances, temptation, worry, your imagination, your family, your strengths, anything that blinds us to the “Way”. Jesus said,”Broad is the way that leads to destruction”. Prov 1:7 “The fear/reverence of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Recently in church, after a powerful message, the pastor gave an invitation and 20 people went forward. As the audience cheered their decisions, the pastor said,”God is calling someone and you are resisting His call. Immediately, five more people came forward. satan is THAT desperate that he will do anything,distract, use pride or “what will people think” to keep one from turning to God. satan thought he won by keeping five more souls from God’s Light. The Holy Spirit had other plans. Behold, TODAY is the day of salvation.

Recently I was in New York City. Anyone who has been there knows the dangers of taxi’s, walking, it is a city in permanent hyperdrive. In one block I saw 6 blind people walking down the street, alone, in New York! I am afraid to do it with sight! As they tapped their canes on the ground before them, it stuck me that this is where many are. Blind to God’s best, blind to dangers around, blind to the joy and hope that is theirs for the asking. Are we tapping our stick on the ground looking for the Way? Jesus said,”I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, NO ONE comes to the Father except thru Me.” Keep in mind the dangers of blindly walking without our Guide. If the blind were walking into an open manhole in front of them, would we stop them? There is a world out there walking into manholes and eternity without knowing the Way. What are we doing to help them overcome their blindness? Ps 119:1, Blessed and happy are the undefiled who walk in the law of the Lord. Their walk is insightful, focused and clear, not tapping around hoping to get where God wants us to go. A loving Father has a perfect plan for each of us. His Word is a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path.”

Spiritual blindness is falling for satan’s lies and failure to trust God’s Truth and providential hand on our lives. Let us delve into what spiritual blindness really looks like.


Jesus was well known for his teaching and miracles. Matthew states that”He taught with authority, not as the scribes.” Jesus radically changed their way of thinking. He explained that the 10 Commandments was more than ten laws. Spiritual insight would show you the INTENT behind the commandments. Walking with God would lead to HOLINESS, which was the purpose behind the law. People flocked to Jesus because he reflected God’s glory and authority. The Gospels are full of questions people asked Jesus as he illuminated their eyes from blindness  to light. When Jesus taught, people had the “ah ha” moment.

There are also two miracles recorded in the Gospels which highlight our response to God. There was a man crippled from birth, who waited for the “moving of the water” for healing. When Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed, he pointed out to Jesus that “he had no one to help him into the water”. Jesus did not ask if he needed assistance getting in the water. The Great Physician asked if he wanted healed. Sometimes we get in our own way when God seeks to restore and bless. We are so focused on the problems, so busy worrying, that we lose sight of what we want and need. What we NEED is a fresh encounter with God. Every day. Every morning. Our first thought upon awaking should be” This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”What a glorious attitude to start your day! Some think, oh my, I have work, bills, issues with my kids. God knows all about those concerns. There is something calming about quoting God’s promises and praises back to Him. This is the day You have made, given, blessed, the day of opportunity,excitement and hope, we will have joy and approach it with enthusiasm. Which attitude most reflects faith in God? Which attitude most honors God? Which attitude is a sin? Which one shows blindness and which reflects that we see the Light?

 After we take step one and embrace this attitude, we can move on to other steps of higher spiritual growth and thinking. Step one is setting my attitude and focus on Him and expecting His best. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Phil 2:5 The cripple had made excuses for 30 years. The Great Physician is waiting to “perfect that which concerns me” Ps 138. When are we going to stop making excuses and let God take over? Jesus healed the man in compassion and demonstration of glory,in spite of the man’s attitude. The blind man had the proper attitude.

Jesus had a reputation as a man of compassion, power, healing. Blind Bartimeus had heard of Jesus and had dreamed of the day when Jesus would restore his sight. When the buzz came that Jesus was passing by, blind Bartimeus did the only thing he could. He screamed loud,”Jesus, have mercy on me.” When they told him to be quiet, he cried louder, “Jesus, have mercy on me. “Here is a man who knew what he wanted! No excuses, no wallowing in pity. When Jesus walked up to him, Jesus asked, “What do you want?” Bartimeus answered wisely and correctly,” Lord, I want my sight!”. Jesus said,”Receive your sight, your faith has made you well. And immediately, he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God and all the people gave praise to God. “ Luke 18:42,43 What  He promised He will perform.”

Two responses to spiritual Truth. One chose to focus on the problem, on excuses, on himself. His response was blind to God’s love,power and Word. The other response was to embrace God’s Truth and believe and receive his healing.

Two people in need of healing. Two people with different attitudes and responses. Some seek the Savior and some wallow in the same rut until someone shows them the Way. You can choose your response to healing. The Great Healer is aware and waiting to meet your needs from his “exceeding abundant power, which gives us all we need for life and godliness” 2 Peter1:3. 

Spiritual blindness is failure to know that our Father is the King, and we have unlimited access to His treasure trove of blessings.

I am not espousing the “prosperity gospel” some use to line their own pockets. Be careful who you worship. It is your RELATIONSHIP with God that lifts your blindness, spiritual, physical and emotional. We do not worship our King for what we can get but because “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive glory, honor, and praise Rev 5:12



Jesus said,” You will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” John 8:32

 In Jn 14:6, 2 Jesus said,”I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except thru Me. In My Father’s House are many mansions, if it were not true I would tell you.”. So, if the Truth sets us free, and Jesus is the Truth, and Jesus is entirely trustworthy and cannot lie(Titus 1:2, 1 Peter), then freedom from sin and blindness comes from knowing the Source of Truth,Jesus. His words point us to God. “I do not speak on my own, what the Father tells me, that I speak.”“I am come that they might have life, abundantly.”John 10:10 God has a wonderful plan for your life. It is a matter of recognizing our need, our blindness, and seeking a relationship. 

Imagine Michael Jordan or Leonardo Dicaprio wanting to be your friend. They ask you to dinner, listen to your cares and encourage you to be your best. Now imagine the CREATOR of the universe, God omnipotent, seeking a relationship with you. God ,Who can move mountains to bless you, Who engineers all things for your good, Who chose you and loved you before the creation of the world, seeks….ME.

When you love someone, you communicate care. You listen. You reveal yourself. God reveals Himself in His Word. God says in Psalms “He hears our petitions”. Casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Pet 5:7 God, our Father, seeks the best for His children. He knows the more we know Him, the more fulfilled our life will be and the more like Him we become. How sad that so many miss life’s biggest joy: a relationship with God. Jeremiah said,” Let not the rich man glory in his riches, or the wise in his wisdom, he that glories, glory in this, that He understands and knows Me.”  Jer 9:24 

Andy Stanley says:”A relationship with Jesus will make your life better and make you better at life.”

If you are a parent, you know how you love your children. You sacrifice for them. You go without to provide for them. When you correct or teach, it is for their good, protection. Look before crossing the street because to not do so can be fatal. So it is with God. He knows that if we “walk into traffic”(the world,sin, alcohol), the results can be disastrous. The first words of the Lord’s prayer are: Our Father.

If you think of God as your Father, and how you feel, think, watch out for  as a parent, you begin to understand what a privilege it is to have a loving Father. Now add to that He is perfect. Add to that His promises of blessing and provision. Remember His track record of wisdom. How He called you from blindness to salvation. How He protects you from harm. 

Imagine, the perfect child. All A’s, athletic, well mannered, thankful, mature, at ease in social situations, good friends, respectful. BE that perfect child toward YOUR Father. Are we thankful? Do we even respect Him and His Word? Would we grade even “C’s” as His child?

Christians love to point out how we know God. We often look down on other faiths as inferior. We can learn a lot about respect from Eastern faiths. Though steeped in superstition and ancestor worship, they respect God and their families. There is no violence in their society. They do not want to shame their family. Muslims pray to God five times a day. Do we pray even once? If we do, are those prayers honoring or asking? Jehovah’s Witnesses are constantly promoting their faith. Have we ever even led ONE soul to the Lord? So, is there ANY resemblance to you and your Father?

Imagine the perfect parent. You’ve seen her at school, shuttling kids, juggling schedules, providing for her family. Actually, God describes her in Prov 31. Take that super mom times 1000 and you do not begin to come close to Your Father. He gives us a “peace that passes understanding” Phil 4:7 He is engineering ALL things together for our good. He gave us the internet so we can hear great teaching and have access to blueletterbible.org and many Christian ministries.(see app) ) God has to be a perfect parent because a) that is His nature, b)we have an adversary that fights for every soul.

satan’s biggest trick is distracting us from relationship. satan makes you feel guilty, places doubts, whispers negatives, uses the lure of the world, anything, because he realizes what happens when we pursue relationship with God. In the early church, they had no mass media, no real travel, no churches. What they had was  Holy Spirit power and relationship with God. They were killed, they were tortured, they were used as human torches, yet they”turned the world upside down WITH THEIR DOCTRINE”(Acts 12) (Doctrine is code word for Truth.)Jesus said the Holy Spirit would remind them of all Truth, that He resided inside them, and they multiplied in a way that changed their world. They shared the good news and lives were changed. 

God wants the best for us. He gently guides us thru His Word, the Holy Spirit, and  circumstances to draw us to Him. Knowing His Truth allows us to bask in His freedom. God said that He came to Adam in the garden to walk with and relate to. What was God doing during those times but gently “parenting”,encouraging,growing His creation .As God related His Truths to Adam, he was free to grow into all God had for him to become. There is something liberating about knowing the Truth. How peaceful it is to walk in a relationship with our Father, free from guilt and sin. Imagine being FREE, really free. Jesus Truth leads us there. Freedom from false thought patterns, freedom from satan,freedom from fears, free to be all your Allpowerful Creator created you to be.

Contrast this with satan’s standard operating procedure. For example, satan places negative thoughts in your head. satan says you can’t, you’re guilty, you failed. What does God say? Ps 103: He knows our frame, He knows we were created from dust. As far as the east is from the west,(in other words, forgotten) He has removed our sins from us.” So guilt and negativity are satan’s lie. 

God says,first, you have to trust Christ for forgiveness of your sins. Then, you need to repent and remind the devil that you are forgiven. 1 John 1:9”If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If God can heal the blind, create the world from dust, design the human body to heal itself, then He has the power and authority to forgive sin. His resurrection proved His power over sin and death. When He says it is forgiven, it is done. To wallow in guilt is actually the sin of unbelief. God, I know you can do this, but…….. That but is satan’s whisper in your ear. The father of lies. Never trustworthy.

Finally, we need to surrender, following Paul’s motto: “I die to myself daily”. When we live Jesus words and love, enlightened by Paul’s practical teaching, sprinkling in the examples of OT hero’s, Psalms and Proverbs, we begin to see the God who communicates with us. We pray to respond back and commune with Him, and we grow in grace.

Before moving on, ponder a Truth Jesus slipped in there. John 14:2 “if it were not so I would have told you.” That means that ALL we NEED to know Jesus has told us. This is a great comfort and worry remover. How to get to heaven? Answered. How to live in Light? Answered. Deity? Divine plan/providence? How to be a “better person”?All answered, insight given and blindness lifted. 

If there is one thing we learned from what Jesus told us, it is to be careful to compare what we think with what God says in His Word.,  Jesus was continually correcting the religious leaders errors , which they were clinging to and teaching the people. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night to find the Truth. When Jesus explained the need to be “born again”, Nicodemus was confused. Jesus said,”Are you not a teacher in Israel and how can you not know the Way?” Knowing the OT, the prophecies fulfilled, the covenant kept, should have been clear to a teacher. Yet even Nicodemus was blind. And we see Jesus patiently taking the time to educate this teacher. Later, we see Nicodemus caring for Jesus body after His crucifixion at great risk to his person. 

How do we know that the Bible is true? One way is Jesus quoting every book in the OT authenticating their infallibility. Jesus quoting Jonah and placing him 3 days in the great fish means He believed it. If it were not so He would have told us. If we needed to know it, He would have let us know. The inverse of this verse means that what He DID tell us IS true and dependable. If the disciples (or we) had a misperception, misstatement or false belief, Jesus would have corrected it. When Peter declared Jesus to be the Messiah, Jesus acknowledged and blessed his observation. “if it were not so He would have told us.” If a mistruth was spoken, Jesus would correct them to protect the Truth He represents. 

A fourth axiom from this, if Jesus believed it, and declares it to be True, we should know it, guard it, obey it, live it.

Christians tend to ignore the OT and preach the New. Peter said the Scriptures, and he was referring to the Old, were “to make us wise unto salvation.” The lives of OT hero’s teach us faith, hope, love, consequences, character, choosing wisely.

Another aspect from Jesus Truth: Jesus taught principles in His stories that conveyed Truth. In Luke 16,the rich man and Lazarus, we learn there are only two destinations when we die. We learn there are no second chances. We learned that we are conscious in the next life. We learned that reincarnation, purgatory, and  excuses are not so for He would have told us. 

Jesus taught us to refer to God as “Our Father”. This was radical in His time. Jewish people so reverenced God’s name that they dared not take it in vain. Scribes bathed after writing His name. Jesus told the thief on the cross “today you will be with Me in heaven.” Therefore, we KNOW that our believing loved ones are in heaven instantly when they pass. We know, or can know, where we will be after death. Notice Jesus did not say,”Thief, you have no good works with which to enter heaven.” He died on the cross with Jesus. What good works did he have time to do? So,if our works”add” anything to our salvation, how did the thief get itn? Jesus Truth enlightens us to God,doctrine,mysteries and peace. This is the loving Father Who WANTS to be known.

The disciples saw that Jesus power was in His prayer life. They said,”Lord teach us to pray.” Jesus first sentence radically changed their concept of God,”Our Father”. No longer is He the abstract Judge who gave the law,poised to punish our shortcomings. He still will judge and He knows all, but Jesus was enlightening that God is our Father, we are His children, and He seeks a relationship with His children. He wants to hear about your day, concerns, questions, just as any good father does. Jesus taught that a good father disciplines his children, provides for them, and seeks their welfare. If we are His children, then we can boldly “ask anything in Jesus name, and we will receive the petitions we desire of Him.” Our Father seeks and welcomes relationship, repentance and restoration as well as requests.

“The Truth will set you free”. Freedom from what? Freedom from guilt. We are declared not guilty by the blood of Christ. Rom 8:1”there is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus. Free in that our eternal destiny is secure. We are “sealed by the Holy Spirit”Ephesians 4:30

Free in that we are loved and accepted. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there is nothing you can do to make Him love you less. He is altogether good and consistent. We have the freedom to access His throne, His power, His grace. We are free because all our spiritual needs are met. We are free from the control of sin, self and pride. This does not mean that we will not struggle with those, but as we draw closer to Him, our priorities and selfimage align with His. We see ourselves as He sees us-”fearfully and wonderfully made”. We are free because our life now has purpose: to glorify and honor Him. Finally, we are free because we are in a RELATIONSHIP with the God who makes us whole and directs our paths.

Pilate the Judge asked Jesus”what is Truth?”(not the kind of judge you want,just saying). So what is Truth? The Truth is that God loves us( 1John 4:8,John 3:16), that He made us in His image,let US make man in OUR image(Imago Deo), that ALL things work together for good. Rom 8:28 The Truth is that He sent His Son to die for our sins so that we might be reconciled to Him to spend eternity with our beloved Father. The Truth is that He has a wonderful plan for our life, which is all about relationship with Him, serving and loving our fellow man, and living a life that reflects what he has done in our heart.

Chesterton says’,”I maintain that thanks is the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” When we reflect on God’s Truth and goodness, we cannot help but give thanks. “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God for you. “1 Thes 5:17

Want to be happy? Double your happiness by wondering on God’s goodness. Reflect on His blessings, your child’s laugh, that last second bailout, that prayer answered. How about your daily health?

Music leader Don Moen says” God is good…all the time….all the time…God is good.” Wonder on God’s goodness, thank Him for it, experience the freedom the Good,Good Father desires for His children.

The Truth setting us free, …..there is a lot more to it than we imagined. Principles to live by and freedom to live. Just another example of the “great love with which He loved us.”


Guilt is another of Satan’s tools to keep us from God’s best. We must compare the thoughts in our head with what the Bible says. Conviction is one of the works of the Holy Spirit. Guilt is something that cheapens what Christ did for us on the cross. When we are saved, we should be motivated by gratitude to obey and serve. When satan speaks, he deals in lies and half truths, guilt and negativity. We have all heard those whispers in the ear. We need to make sure they agree with God’s thoughts about us.

“Behold, how great His love for us.” Ps 89:1

We all sin and fall short of His glory. Isaiah said,”Woe is me, I am undone, for I am a man of unclean lips.” Isaiah 6:1 Knowing God results in recognizing His Holiness and our shortcomings.

Ezra 9:6”Oh my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift my face to You, oh God, my sins have gone over my head, and my guilt reaches to the heavens.

After his incident with Bathsheba, David in Ps 51 shows proper remorse and asks God to “create a new heart in me” This is the proper response to sin. Notice God’s response and David’s subsequent restored relationship. Conviction results in renewed fellowship. Guilt results in  disconnect. Conviction leads to a resolve to live better. Guilt results in feelings of inadequacy. Ps 51 models repentance as the Holy Spirit seeks to bring us back.”Create in me a clean heart oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

God’s plan is conviction, leading to repentance, leading to the life long process of sanctification.


Though I live in an Intracoastal front home in Ft Lauderdale, with a  pool, 80 foot Bertram yacht and a Mercedes, if I do not have love, I am very poor. If I was the smartest man who ever lived, quoting Einstein and Shakespeare backwards and forwards,if I don’t have love, I’m not very smart. If I’m the president of Google or the President of the United States, if I won an Oscar and was the most famous person in the world, without love, I AM NOTHING.

True love is tough to define, but one might say……

True love would suffer a long time, because they cared,

True love is kind, because love is giving.

True love would not be envious or jealous because love is secure and content.

True love is not selfish or assertive, but selfLESS,always thinking of the other first.

True love is not proud or full of self, but humble,giving and grateful for someone to share love with,

True love does not behave itself strangely, true love is consistent.

True love doesn’t seek her own, but wants only the best for the one you love.

True love isn’t easily provoked, but patient and understanding.

True love doesn’t think anything bad about the beloved, only good.

True love rejoices when good things come to the one they love and cries with them when they need a shoulder…

True love bears all things, believes all things

Hopes for the best and endures all things(including minor hurts)….



There is no fear in love, because fear brings torment. 1 John 4:18

God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power,love and a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:8

These thought s are given by the Creator of love,God, as a reminder of how:

He loves us

We should love Him.

How we should treat our fellowman.

How to treat those we romantically love

How fathers should love their children

And oft overlooked, how we should love ourselves.

Think about a God Who loves you, knowing every sin you would ever commit, every failure, every time you would deny His Spirit and follow satan. Every time you would put yourself in His rightful place. Who sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sin. Who adopted you as His child. Who wants a relationship with you. Who gave you His Word to reveal Himself. Who’s love never fails.

God created us. God created love. God lavished love on us in sending His Son. God revealed Himself thru His Word. God protects us from harm. God provides for us thru rain, food, wisdom. As you read this, thank God for a mind, for teachers who taught you to read, for His Truth which programs our mind to think as He thinks.
Love is the common denominator of the Christian. In Matthew 22:37-40, a lawyer asks Jesus which is the greatest commandment. Jesus says: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Then the Lord gives the second greatest commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul writes that love is the greatest characteristic–even greater than faith or hope. Now in Romans this theme is picked up again. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the Law. God is love. If we are to be like Him, we also must love. 

Ephesians 5 succinctly sums up the true Christian experience, Imitate God, walk in love, walk in wisdom. What would my life be like if I imitated God? Would I get angry with other drivers? Would my life be about helping others come to know Him? Would I LIVE His Word and principles? If I walked in love, how would my family and friends be blessed? If I walked in wisdom, with the proper’ priorities and attitude, what would happen to my problems and worries?  What could God do with me?

Chuck Swindoll wisely points out that God cannot use a person until they are broken. Paul said,”I die daily.” He also said,”I am crucified with Christ, and yet I live.” What he is so eloquently saying is that he subservient’s his attitude and activities to Christ. He is consciously choosing to reject his old nature, acknowledging that his flesh, his natural man, would default to selfish things every time. Instead, in order to be like Christ, he chooses to reject that attitude DAILY. Jesus said,” I am the vine, you are the branches. I am the Source, your food, nourishment, the Bread of Life, your connection to God. The branches die without the vine. The branch carries life to the leaves, and thus the plant, the life, is vibrant and growing. The question is are we, what is, imitating God?
What is obedience? Showing the Lord your thanks that He loves you, by obeying and serving Him. Jesus said”If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 15 We honor Him when we  love others. James says,”Show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith by my works.” A godly life and growing relationship with Him is EVIDENCE of my faith. If there is no obedience, no “fruits of the spirit” and fruit in my life, then we have to ask ourselves what kind of faith do I have? If He could leave heaven and humble Himself for us, even to the point of dying for us, then do we not owe it to Him to live for Him in obedience?

I am convinced that most issues in life, spiritual,physical and emotional are due to failure to grasp God’s love. Either we are beating ourselves up over our sin and mistakes, missing out on His grace, or we take the “easy grace” route of thinking that I’m saved and my obedience or lack there of has no consequences. “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. Gal 6:7 As most things, there is a balance between what we what we think and how we live.  When we live in gratitude and understanding of God’s love, we experience His peace and desire to obey. When we forget His love and try to go at it alone, we fail. Worry, stress, sin and misplaced priorities replace the Throne reserved for our Father and Lord. Paul, who knew God better than anyone who ever lived, summed it up,”For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Phil 1:21 As long as I breathe, it will be to serve Him, and when I die, what could be more glorious than being in His presence?

Check out these verses and the reflection of His love lived out in our lives.
For with you is the fountain of life, in Your Light, we see Light. Ps 36:9  Jesus said He was the living fountain and the Light. Jn 4,14. His Light illuminates our lives on how to live,serve and obey.

Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. Ps 97:12 Love is grace on display and something we should be grateful for.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Is 53: 6

Love is Christ dying for selfish sinners and taking our sin.

May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23) Love is God taking us, making us more like Him, and our response of love is obedience.

“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”   CS Lewis

The Author and Creator of Love models for us how to do it. Consistently, with grace, selflessly, and with life changing results. Love like you’ve never been hurt, live like you know the perfect love of your Father.


First, we need to know our Bible. There are no good people. All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Rom 3:23

Second, are we superior to Christ? Christ suffered, for US and OUR sin.

Third, have we “arrived”? Paul, the greatest missionary and writer of half the NT said,”Not that I have arrived or am perfect, but this I do, forgetting what lies in the past, and reaching forward to the future, I press on toward the high call of Christ Jesus.” May I submit that is a better attitude?

Generally, when people ask about adversity, what they are really asking is why do we go thru trials? We all go thru them, the question is what do we learn from them, what is God trying to teach me, how is God using this to grow me?

Experience has taught us that we or a loved one is in a trial, or soon to be in one. Due to sin, we live in a fallen world where people do selfish things, weeds grow in our garden, beloved children make poor choices, and we must look to our Savior and Provident King to teach and lift us out. 

If there is one thing we see over and over again in His Word, it is His presence during the storms. Joseph was a man of God who kept his integrity thru 13 years of wrongful imprisonment. His brothers betrayed him. His response when he was in a position to take vengeance,”You meant it for evil, but God had a purpose, to save His people.” Gen 37 He learned the secret! Jesus was asleep on the boat while the experienced seafarers were terrified.” Master, do you not care that we perish?” “Peace, be still”(He was speaking to them and the storm.) Their response? “Who is this that even the wind and sea obey Him?”

Would they have learned the lesson without the storm? Would Peter have been Peter without walking on the water and falling? Another lesson well taught by the Teacher. Jesus, the night before His crucifixion, said,”These things I have told you before they come to pass. In the world you will have trouble. Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

When trials and doubts assail you, remember you are an adopted child of the King. He promised that His Spirit is INSIDE you. His Spirit guides us into all Truth. Here’s one promise we often forget: I will never leave you or forsake you. I will not leave you comfortless.” John 15 He promises in Romans 8 that we are “more than conquerors”. If God says we are more than conquerors, and that He is WITH us in the trial, then we can approach it with boldness and confidence. We see it as coming from Him, with His promise that He is with us and using it to grow us more like Him. A conqueror is one who overcomes, whether in battle,sports, or trials.

Next, think of His track record. Remember how He handled that worry that kept us up at night. How that situation we feared was actually a blessing. God promises to work all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. Rom 8:28. If God cannot lie, and He promised that He is working ALL things for our good, then ALL things are part of His divine plan to grow us, and that “issue” is another question from our Father: will you trust Me? Remember to reflect  on His track record of wisdom, deliverance and love. 

David obeyed his father and went to bring his brothers food while they were battling the Philistines. David heard Goliath blaspheming His Savior and was outraged. Where was the courage and indignation from Saul and his brothers? David’s response is a good example for us: He remembered his lion and bear stories, how God had delivered him as a shepherd. The same God Who delivered then would help him face Goliath. He stands ready to help you as well. Think of it. David woke up one morning, obedient, and a nobody. With God’s help, he slew a nine foot giant with a stone, and became the hero of Israel. When you wake up tomorrow, you can be a David, an instrument for God’s using, or a Saul who hides and doubts. Which attitude reflects God’s power? 

David’s son Solomon asked God for wisdom and God declared him to be the wisest person who ever lived. The secret to his success: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways look to Him, and He will direct your paths.” Prov 1:7, 3:5,6 Leaning on my own understanding brings trouble. Trust and obey brought David victory, and is what God seeks for our good. He knows our frame, He remembers we are from dust! Ps 103 Trust means I get out of the boat and walk toward the Master. It may not seem logical, my emotions may be saying no, but a pure heart and walk of faith will be met by the Savior. Not only does He promise deliverance, He guarantees our eternal destiny with His Spirit. He assures us that His Spirit is directing our prayers and groaning for us with prayers we cannot imagine. He is ASSISTING our prayers! Rom 8:26  Faith is the substance of things hoped for, evidence of things we have not, can not, see. Heb 11 Read Hebrews 11 to be encouraged and see God’s admiration for the heroes of faith. He is with us, and though we may not understand or see, WE KNOW, beyond a shadow of doubt, that HE keeps his promises and is inside us! John 15

Because He knew we live in a fallen world and would face trials, He encouraged us beforehand. 

Listen to these promises:

I know the plans I have for you, plans to bless and prosper, to give you a future, and hope. Jer 29:11

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ep 3:20,21

I will never leave you or forsake you. Jn 14

I can do all things, thru Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

God richly gives us all things to enjoy. 1 Tim 6:17

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:8

His divine power has given us ALL things pertaining to godliness and successful living. I Peter 1:3

God has a plan behind that trial. He is using that to grow us in faith, to be more like Him, to demonstrate His love,deliverance,trustworthiness and grace. How many people have been saved by illness or death of a loved one causing them to reflect on their eternal destiny?

Pushups build muscles, practice makes perfect, learning from mistakes teaches lessons which cannot be learned any other way. Through it all, God is in control and working it out for our good.

“My grace is sufficient for you,for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly
I will rather boast in my infirmities,that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”(2 Corinthians 12:9).  His grace, is it sufficient or is it lacking? Was it sufficient for Christ as He died for us? God states that the trial is perfecting us in weakness, drawing us to dependence on Him. Romans 5 says, ”KNOWING that trials produce perseverance, which produces character, which produces hope, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us.” It is a matter of trust, do we trust Him or not?  James 1:2,”Count it all JOY when in the midst of trials.”…JOY?…”knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience, but when patience work is done, you are perfected and lacking nothing.”

Elisabeth Elliot, that great woman of God and missionary said” Let us pray that if the cost of discipleship is too great, that they may be given to glimpse that treasure in heaven promised to all who suffer. For we have proved beyond any doubt that He means what He says—His grace is sufficient, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.”

No one enjoys trials. But remember to express gratitude for God’s hand in your life and the way He will use the adversity. Hardships are chances to trust your Creator and to know Him better. Dr Stanley says”Lord, what are you trying to teach me in this?”Of course, they are painful, but don’t waste the opportunity to become all the Lord has planned for you.


Eph 5:1,2 “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dear children. Walk in love, as Christ also loved us.” Are we imitating Christ or are we blindly “artificial”. What would an imitation of Christ look like in my life?

  Spurgeon said”speak kind words, do kind actions; live out Christ again in the kindness of your life. If there is one virtue which most commends Christians, it is that of kindness.” 

Do people ask what is different about you, or are you the same as the world? The Holy Spirit is INSIDE you!  We are commanded to imitate God, so His reflection should be clear. My son has”my walk”. You can tell he is my son by the way he walks. His gait is the same one he copied from me. Is our “walk” the same as our Father? When people see us do they see our Father? Do they say”he may be straight but he walks like he talks.” That is called your TESTIMONY. Your witness to the world. When the world sees your life the first adjective which comes to mind should be “LOVE”.

Jesus said,”The greatest example of love, is to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Then He proved it by doing just that, for you and me. And we repay Him…how? If you love Me, you will keep my commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome but for our good. Walking in love is a habit, a away of life, a proof that I am His. 

The purpose of this book is to help us see our blindness and embrace the Light. James talks about”seeing our face in a mirror and doing nothing about it. If you have toothpaste on your chin, you wash it off before you leave the house. Ladies know and men should learn to check their look before leaving home. The mirror does not lie! So when we check our look in the mirror of His Word, what do we see? Are we following James or are we going to work with our undergarments exposed?

What does “imitating God look like? Paul  in Galatians 5 describes the fruits of the spirit. “Love, joy,peace,patience,kindness,goodness,faithfulness,gentleness,self control. Do we show these fruits? When our coworkers, spouse, family and friends see us, do they see Love? Joy? Peace? Gentleness? Selfcontrol? These fruits are”evidences”,”proofs”,examples that I am imitating God. That is how loving God is that He gives us a standard to aspire to. The thing is, as we look at the list, we all want the people around us to BE that list. What are WE doing to be that list? Who doesn’t want to hang out with someone loving,kind and full of joy?

Love, like Christ exhibited for the woman at the well. Joy like Hannah when the barren was given a son. Peace, as in Christ calming the sea or Daniel confidently facing the lions. Patience, like God has with us. Kindness, as in Proverbs 

19:22”What is desired in a man is kindness.” Goodness as in God stating “have you considered my servant Job, righteous.(is that His proclamation of us?). Faithfulness, as in the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. Gentleness, as in Jesus calling the children to bless them. Selfcontrol, as in Joseph assuring his brothers that he would not take vengeance for God had a plan.

The disciples walked with Jesus for several years. They heard his teaching. They spent endless hours asking questions, honing their knowledge. They saw the miracles. Imagine passing out food to 14,000 people KNOWING it came from a small boys lunch and the Master’s touch. Picture living with and witnessing a man who never sinned, never lost his temper, who embodied the fruits of the spirit in every act. Peter described them as “eyewitnesses of his holiness and majesty.” They were so endued with His power and purity that they changed their world! Christians went from torches to torch bearers in a few short decades.

In Ephesians 5:8,”You were once in darkness(past tense),but now you are light in the Lord. WALK as children of light. He then goes on to describe the above “fruits of the spirit” as “evidences.”

He then reminds us in vs 15 to “walk in wisdom”. “Redeeming the time,understanding the Will of the Lord(our growth,behavior,obedience,witness) Be filled with the Spirit,giving thanks always,submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord(humble,teachable)

In His farewell address, Jesus is at His very best. He models this perfectly. He is thinking of His disciples, encouraging them, building them up for the trial that lay hours ahead. His words are inspiring, confident, and focused on God and others. John 14“Let not your heart be troubled…..” Who is in charge of let? Who “lets”?  Do I let my heart not be troubled, or do I feed off satan’s negatives and sink into fear and faithlessness? Jesus promised that we have an eternal reward which He was going to prepare for us. He promises that He will return for His chosen ones. 

After three years, His disciples should have known Him. Hear the response of doubting Thomas and Jesus patient,loving reply.” John 14:5-9

Thomas: Jesus, we don’t know where you are going and how can we know the way? 

Jesus: “I am the Way,the Truth and the Life, NO ONE comes to the Father, except thru Me.(No matter what Oprah and new agers and the politically correct claim. Either Jesus is telling the Truth or He is lying. Who do you choose to trust?)

 Philip: “Show us the Father,and it will be enough for us.”

Jesus: Have I been so long with you, and yet you do not grasp? Three years of miracles, seeing power over death, blindness, demons, storms, Himself and yet they don’t really get it. Maybe you have been reading Scriptures, attending a great Bible teaching church, have a relationship with God, and yet sometimes,”you don’t really get it.” Why don’t we get it? Are we listening to a negative voice? Distracted by”the cares of this world?”

The solution to this problem is found in Jesus life and response. First, He knew the Scriptures. Satan could twist them and Jesus could correct and apply. Jesus authenticated the OT by quoting every book as true. When we have doubts and trials, His Word is our anchor. Eph 6 says” take the Sword of the Spirit,rightly discerning the Word of Truth.”

Secondly, Jesus prayed. Why is it that we see Jesus praying and fail to make that our first response to adversity? Paul said,”Imitate me for I imitate Christ.” It is a HABIT we must learn. Troubles assail? Pray. James 5”Is any afflicted let them pray.”The disciples saw that Jesus power came from His prayer and they asked”teach us to pray.” In the hours before being rejected by God and taking on the sin of the world, Jesus prayed. His prayer was for the Father’s Will. Is our prayer for His Will or “get me out of this?”

Prayer is an illustration of my humility,acknowledging my dependence on the God who has our best in mind. Prayer is the primary means by which we talk to God, and also a way He grows us: it is through prayer that we communicate with the Lord and trust Him to lead us. As we learn to listen to Him , He teaches us patience and reveals His Will in His perfect time.

God calls the prayers of His saints a “wonderful incense””. Prayer acknowledges God’s power, position and love. We honor Him through the spiritual act of worship called prayer. Even nominal believers pray when loved ones are sick or they have a need. Instead of our prayers being a “give me” approach, try following Jesus example in the Lord’s prayer. “Our Father”, acknowledge Who He is and reverently submit to Him. “honored be your name”..do our actions bring Him honor or dishonor all He has done for us? Praying for His kingdom and Will to be done means I accept what happens as part of His divine plan, and trust the results to Him. After praise and respect, Jesus tells us to ask that our daily needs are met. Phil 4:19, “My God shall supply all your needs.” Matthew 6 is one long exhortation to not worry and trust Him.

He implores us to ask for forgiveness, just as we forgive. There is no question IF we forgive. Jesus said,”If you do not forgive, neither will your Father forgive you.” Much of societies ills stem from bitterness. A better, more godly approach is to give it to God and allow Him to right all wrongs. Rom 12:19,20”Do not avenge yourself, for it is written, vengeance is Mine, I will repay, thus says the Lord. If you are kind to those who oppress you, you are heaping coals of fire on their head.” The reason we are commanded not to take vengeance is, a)we are not perfect and b) we might do it in emotion and “overtake” our vengeance, something we all have done. This is one area where Eastern religions and “karma” have a grain of Truth. I am not calling it truth, just that their “trust” of karma is an example of a Christian trusting his loving heavenly Father to right all wrongs. Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived God is not mocked, whatever you sow you reap.” Jesus: “Do unto others as you would have done to you.”

“Deliver us from temptation and once again pray for and acknowledge His kingdom. 

Intercession is one of the best ways to take a temperature of our spiritual position. Do I pray for others?Or are my prayers centered around self? 

Oswald Chambers said”  Intercession is putting yourself in God’s place; it is having His mind and His perspective.”

  Every day we encounter people who need what we have. Are we pointing them to God or shying away and praying immature prayers for selfish things?I hear of needs and immediately tell people I will pray for them. Their response is always a smile, one of thanks, and it opens doors to discuss spiritual things. They want to know why this person cares about my needs, where does he go to church and how can I find such confidence in God. Prayer acknowledges Who He is-God Almighty, our stronghold and our Deliverer. After all He has done and does daily for us,  He deserves praise,glory, recognition. Paul recommended “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Jesus said”Ask and it shall be given you. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”Jn 15

Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”   Oswald Chambers

In Isaiah 57:15-21, He tells us, “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.  For I will not contend forever, Nor will I always be angry; For the spirit would fail before Me, And the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him; I hid and was angry, And he went on backsliding in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, And restore comforts to him And to his mourners. “I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” Says the LORD, “And I will heal . “There is no peace,” Says my God, “for the wicked.” We cannot fool God. He is ever gracious and forgiving but He knows our heart. Our motives and attitudes influence how our prayers are answered. Selfish praying does not honor Him. When we walk in RELATIONSHIP, we desire His Will, and our prayers reflect this. Who knows more, allknowing omnipotent God or imperfect,selfish, preoccupied me? 

The Lord’s objective is our good, and He promises that He is working all things toward that good. Rom 8:28 When we learn to grasp that concept, things that used to stress us out will no longer do so. The providential God Who controls all things is working ALL that happens to us for our good. Why would God take a humble servant like Jim Eliot, a missionary to cannibals in the Amazon and allow him to be killed? So his wife could return a few years later and demonstrate God’s grace, touching their hearts in a way only God can. Why did Christ delay coming to His friend Lazarus? Both Mary and Martha reminded Jesus”If you had come sooner, our brother would not have died.” Jesus used Lazarus death and resurrection to foreshadow His own power over the grave . When we worry, we are telling God He is not trustworthy.

“God, I know what You said, but……” Either His promise of working all for our good is true or false. Either we choose to trust or we choose to trust ourselves. His 8000 year track record demonstrates we can walk boldly and confidently in His promise and KNOW that He is faithful. 1 Cor 1:9 , I Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you, but such as is common to man,but God is faithful(AMEN!) Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but will make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” We all are tempted, we all fail, Rom 3:23, but when we rest in Him instead of our self,  God will help us overcome, on the Way, in Ways that we look back in hindsight and say,”WOW.” It all comes back to what Jesus said,” You shall know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”John 8:32 His Truth, always Trustworthy. His character, always true. His Word, our guide. The focus of this book is”was blind but now I see.” My hope is that you embrace His promises and see His faithfulness, “casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7. Who would know better than Peter about His care and casting on Him?

We should know Jesus, for He died for us and demonstrated His love in the ultimate way.”Greater love has no one than this than to lay down his life.” The Scriptures paint an image of the depths of His love, and His desire for relationship. Jesus constantly shows compassion and handles sinners with grace, drawing them to Him. Ps 18:25 “with the merciful You will show Yourself merciful”

So how do we miss it? Unbelief. God, you don’t know my circumstances. 🙂 Read Ps 139,”If I make my bed in the most obscure corner of the world, Your eye sees and Your hand protects. The Bible is full of examples of people who got in their own and God’s way because of unbelief and doing things my way. Peter, and it led to denial, hours after braggadocio. Moses, murder of an Egyptian and 40 years in the desert. Adam and Eve, “did God really say?” Jonah, who had to live 3 days in the belly of a great fish to partially submit. The wisest way to learn something is from OTHER PEOPLES MISTAKES. Disobedience brings consequences, obedience brings blessing. We experience as much of God as we are open to receive. God respects Free Will. Choose to trust and obey, “for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Hear that great first verse:”

When we walk with the Lord, in the light of His Word,what a glory He sheds on our way. While we do His good Will, He abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey.” 

Jesus said,”If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can….move mountains.” How else did God take Saul, killer of Christians and radically change him into writer of the NT and first missionary.”To those who seek Him He is kind; but to those who find Him, He is dear beyond expression!” Daily devotionals are the best way to seek Him,starting our day and mind on our relationship and obedience to our Father,Savior,Master.

Let me share a personal experience which illustrates many Biblical principles. First day on the job, selling fertilizer and maintenance products to golf courses. I was troubled over a relationship, and walked up to the golf course maintenance barn. An elderly black man I never saw before walked up to me and said,” I will lift up my eyes, unto the hills, where my help comes from. My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.” Ps 121:1 (One of my favorite verses and one I forgot, and needed to hear, that day. )The elder man was working on a tractor and went about his work. The super was not there so I came back the next day. My spirit was lifted by his wise words and I wanted to thank him. I asked the Spanish mechanic where the black mechanic was. He said,”I’m the only mechanic here.” I said, no yesterday, I spoke to him, short, older…” He replied,”I’ve been the only mechanic here for the last 5 years. Hebrews13:2”Be kind to strangers, for by doing so some have unwittingly entertained angels.” I do believe him to be an angel sent by God with a message I needed at that time.

Imitate God by walking in love,walking in light,walking in wisdom. Wisdom is following Jesus example in PRAYING about all things and trusting the results to a loving Father. That is the secret to living the Christian life.


Try this attitude and watch what God does:

Phil 2”:5-11”Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.(Who is in charge of let? Hint:we are) Who being God, did not think it unjust to be equal with God, but humbled Himself,taking the form of a bondservant,  to become a man. He was obedient unto the cross, even death. RESULT: God has highly exalted Him, and given Him the Name above all names, so that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. This is called kenosis”Christ “emptying” Himself of His heavenly glory for us. We are to emulate Christ. Is that type of selfsacrifice something we are CAPABLE of?

Pause to reflect on what exactly Christ did. He left heaven, was born in a manger, gave His entire life to build up people. He demonstrated love,patience,mercy,perfection,wisdom and God. He was arrested while being innocent, tortured, crucified in unimaginable pain, rejected by God as He took ALL the sin of mankind. And you are ashamed to proclaim His name??? David Crowder Band has a song”Oh how, He loved us….” Think about it, live it!

Do we have the mind of Christ? Are we humble? Would we suffer wrongly for His sake? “Blessed are you when men persecute you falsely for my sake, rejoice and be exceeding glad, for they also did His prophets before you, and great is your reward in heaven.” Matt  5:18 Is our mind full of Scripture, positive, grace, uplifting, love, acceptance, wisdom, selfLESSness,humility? Remember those fruits of the spirit : love,joy,peace,patience,kindness,gentleness,faithfulness,goodness and selfcontrol. How did Jesus do in each category with His mind of Christ? How are we doing? Would people confuse us with a Christian? Do we speak in anger? Are we making the world a better place? Are we caring for the poor,orphans, homeless? These are the traits of those who have the mind of Christ. They humbly seek to exhibit them in all they do, every day, in every relationship. When someone wrongs them, they respond with patience,love and selfcontrol. When you encounter these people, you are amazed by their joy. Why are they so happy? “I sing because I’m free”, free from anger,bitterness and allowing negative people to steal my joy. You have a choice. When someone takes out their frustration on you, you can give it to God and respond with the same grace Jesus showed the woman at the well. Which is a better testimony? Which shows my Savior that I have His mind?

Did you ever think what was Jesus attitude? What did He think about? What were his priorities? How did His actions line up with His goals? Who did He invest His life in? Where did His power come from?

At the age of 12, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover. Returning home, his parents assumed He was with relatives and continued a days journey before realizing He was not with them. Frantically, they returned to Jerusalem. After 3 days, someone said,”Have you heard the wise lad teaching in the temple?” Mary ran to Jesus and scolded him for worrying her. The Bible said the scribes and teachers were amazed at His teaching. What was amazing was not only His teaching. Hear his response to His mother, at 12.” I must be about My Father’s business”. Jesus attitude was focused on His priorities and mission at the age of 12! Some of us are still trying to find it at 50!

Some people walk around saying”I’m so stressed. What they should be saying is,”I’m so blessed.”

It’s all a matter of perspective. Abraham Lincoln said,”Most people are about as happy as they choose to be.” So are we. We become what we think about. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he Prv 23:7 If I tell myself I am stressed, what will I become? If I tell myself I am blessed, where do my thoughts take me? There is an old hymn which says,”Count your blessings name them one by one, count your blessings see what God has done, Count your blessings and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

Jesus attitude illustrated joy which drew people to Him. He exhibited humility in His coming to earth, in His submission to His Father,in becoming our Sacrifice. May I submit this was the Source of His joy, His humility and attitude?

We live in a land of freedom and prosperity. Most of the world lives in dire poverty. 4000 people die every day…because they don’t have enough food to eat! We complain because the steak was cold.

We are generally healthy and designed by our Creator with bodies that heal themselves. I have cut my fingers many times over the years. Why have I not bled to death? The Lord designed a clotting and healing method where in 3 days the skin has grown over and you cannot even tell where the cut was!

We are educated and can read. Much of the world cannot say that and with education comes hope.

 The night before Jesus died, He washed the disciples feet. In dirty dusty Palestine, that was no small feat(pun intended)!

The question is, would YOU wash someone’s feet. We feed the homeless and the best way to reach them is humble yourself and wash their feet. They will hear anything someone like that breathes. Another good question is would your pastor wash your feet? A humble man of God does whatever is asked to reach whoever is before them. Paul”I become all things to all men that by all means I reach some”. Paul, the same one who reminded us to “die to self daily”. Are we crucifying self or crucifying Him anew? One final thought: Jesus tried to wash Peter’s feet and he said,”not so,Lord”? The One Who was washing their feet….WAS GOD. God, Who created the universe, Who has allpower, Who became man, did the most humiliating thing possible. So explain to me again why you have an ego? Is our attitude like Jesus or like satan?

As we reflect on Christ submission to the will of the Father,imagine leaving heaven’s glory, becoming human and going thru the worst death imaginable, all the while being rejected by His Father as He bore our sin .Would we do that? Do we make even small”sacrifices” for Him? As a Christian, a Christ follower, an imitator of God, we should have no ego. Christ example should be our standard.`              

Jesus spoke again saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness,(blindly) but have the light of life.”(John 8:12) “Let your light so shine, that others may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matt 5 Are we reflecting His light?
Our challenge:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer(Psalm 19:14).

The best way to reflect His light is with pure, uplifting, encouraging words that point others to our Father and the Light.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and afterwords I shall dwell with Him forever. Ps 23:6

What an attitude! What if my every thought was EXPECTATION  of His goodness, every day and in every circumstance, and when it is all over, I will spend eternity with Him! It doesn’t get any better than that! Relationship and blessing on earth, and then eternal life with Him!

So, how do we develop this “attitude”? First, we should focus on His Word. Do you read it daily? Did you EAT today? Feed your soul with His Truth, memorize His promises towards you. Program your mind to think His thoughts, expect blessing. Ps 1”Blessed/happy is the man that walks not in worldly counsel, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His Word he meditates day and night.”


“Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is.”   Oswald Chambers

Abraham was called by God to start a new nation, of His people, thru whom the Messiah would come. Abraham was promised a son, an heir, in an age where that meant everything. Abraham must have been questioning God, “when Lord, when will we have that son You promised. I’m 75! Too old to have kids, my wife is 65! God, You know the desire of my heart, WHEN? “God gently reminds Abraham,”You have …….Me.” You get a relationship with Me. Gen 15:2 That is His desire for you as well. RELATIONSHIP. Why? Because He created us and knows what is best for us.

 Abraham tries to handle it on his own and has Ishmael. God in His grace blesses Ishmael AND sends the promised heir thru Abraham’s wife Sarah. When Abraham is 100 and Sarah 90! Romans 4:20 says”He did not waiver at the promise of God, but was strengthened in faith and hope,being fully persuaded, that what He had promised He would perform. And it was counted to him for righteousness.”

 David was called a man after God’s own heart. In faith he took on the giant Goliath,waited on God as he protected him from Saul’s jealousy, and became Israel’s greatest king. Another humble,teachable character to whom God could reveal Himself, David wrote the Psalms which reveal an intimate relationship with God.  David’s insights have comforted,inspired and enlightened us for 3000 years and considered some of the best poetry ever written.

Ps 46”God is our refuge and strength,ever present in times of trouble. Be still and know that I am God.

Ps 25”Show me Your ways,teach me Your paths,Good and upright is the Lord,therefore He teaches sinners in the way, the humble He guides in right.

Praise the Lord!
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?
Who can declare all His praise? . . .
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, Amen!
Praise the Lord! (Psalm 106:1-2, 48).

I will love You, oh Lord, my strength. The Lord is my Rock,my fortress,my deliverer;My God, my strength in whom I trust, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call on the Lord, Who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies. The Lord lives, and blessed be the Rock and let the God of my salvation be exalted. Ps 18:1-3,46

Praise the Lord for His mercy that endures forever, and praise Him for showing us the proper way to live. Ps 107    

Daniel purposed in his heart that he would trust and honor God as a young man. Due to his obedience and faithfulness, God had him promoted to #2 in the kingdom,enraging the jealous Chaldeans. He continued to pray 3x a day even when he was set up to fail/be put in the lions den. King Darius, who had been tricked, assured Daniel that”your God whom you serve continually(is that our testimony?)He will deliver you.: After a sleepless night ofprayer and fasting, the pagan king comes running”Daniel,servant of the living God,has your God whom you serve continually been able to deliver you?”

Now comes the best verse in the Bible,,,,,,,,,”Oh king,live forever,My God has sent his angel, and shut the mouths of the lions. Daniel 6

Later in Daniel 11:32,he says,”Those who know their God shall be strong and do great exploits. Like face lions!

A wise pastor’s wife once gave testimony of how she prayed for God to change her husband, to make him more sensitive and more like the man she wanted him to be. After years of prayer, she realized ,”I have you Lord. You are more than enough.” When she realized that she had Him, and God had her husband, she released him to God. She said,” God is my cake, and my husband is just icing from Him.” She testified that when she released her husband to God, God changed him, and her, into what He intended for them, marital bliss. Her trust in God and attitude led to happiness.

Consider Joshua, taking over for the greatest leader of alltime,Moses, feeling fearful and inadequate.  Replacing a legend is intimidating, ask the Miami Dolphins who have had 12 coaches and 28 starting QB’s since Shula and Marino. God said to him 3 times in 10 verses,”Have I not commanded you, be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you, wherever you go.” Josh 1:9 Joshua had seen the parting of the Red Sea, and miracles like manna and water in the desert. Yet he still needed reminded that God is in control and wants to bless His children.

Paul, in Philippians 3 says”That I may know Him”. What a goal! What a legacy! Go and do likewise!

1 Cor 10:11”These things were written for our example”, so that we can see how God operates thru those who know Him. He even encourages us(and Joshua) when we forget Who is in control. Remember, He knows our frame,that we are from dust,His children and most of all, LOVED.

As we learn to walk in submission to the Holy Spirit and His leading in our life,we know Him more. Jesus said He was sending the Holy Spirit to remind us and guide us into all Truth. The same Truth which sets us free. Those who know their God realize their need and  access God’s power thru prayer. Imagine, the Creator of the universe INVITING you to talk to Him about all your cares. And He can do something about it! He promises that He is working ALL things together for our good.!Rom 8:28.


In Matthew 7, Jesus compares earthly fathers with our heavenly Father. As a  human father, I want to provide for my sons .Imagine a perfect  heavenly Father, who knows all and is all-powerful, a God of love and grace. Will He not surely give us all things  that are good for us.Rom 8:32? God wants a relationship with us, just as He had with Adam and Eve in the Garden. His desire is INTIMACY, fellowship and growing us to be all He has for us. Phil 1:6”He who began a good work in you in faithful to complete it.” Our Father says in John 15 and many other occasions,”If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

Prayer is about relating to our Needmeeter. Jesus modeled the Lord’s prayer to teach us how to pray. The Lords prayer starts with God’s glory. Previously we looked at the Lords prayer, but other elements of wise prayer are forgiving others,asking forgiveness for our self, and seeking Him for our needs. Sidelight: those who refuse to forgive forget that they need forgiven. Jesus even warned that those who do not forgive will NOT be forgiven.

So how shall we then live? How can I have a closer relationship with God?

Developing a closer relationship with God is life’s highest goal and reflects a heart bent on knowing and growing into a deeper relationship with God.  We must recognize our sin nature,”die daily” and keep short account with God by recognizing our sin and confessing it daily.

Even the Apostle Paul, who had about as close a relationship as one could probably have with God in this life, still longed for a closer relationship when he wrote, “Indeed, I count every thing as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ” Phil 3:8.9. No matter where we are in our walk with Christ, we can always have a closer walk.

There are five basic things we can do to have a closer relationship with God. These are revealed in His Word and reflect a Father who wants to know and bless His children. God so desired that we know Him that He gave us His Word and protected it thru the ages. He breathed it,inspired it,blessed it, and do we even treasure it? Even the world embraces the Psalms and Proverbs and”positives”, even while denying the Lord of glory.

The first thing we can do to have a closer relationship with God is make a daily habit of confessing our sin to Him. If sin is what drives a wedge in our relationship with God, then confession removes that wedge. When we confess our sins before God, He promises to forgive us 1 John 1:9, and forgiveness is what restores a relationship that has been strained. We must keep in mind that confession is more than simply saying, “I’m sorry for my sin, God.” It is the heartfelt contrition of those who recognize that God is holy and our sin “crucifies Him afresh. Romans 7 David wrote, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” Ps 51:17.

The second thing we can do to have a closer relationship with God is to listen when God speaks. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:17 We must be in His Word,studying to show our self approved before God,rightly dividing the Word of Truth. Peter said  that we “have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” 2 Pet 1:19. That “more sure prophetic word” is the Bible. In the Bible, we ‘hear’ God speak to us. It is through the “God-breathed” Scriptures that we become “thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Tim 3:16,17. So if we want to grow closer to God, we need read His Word DAILY.  Reading His Word, we are ‘listening’ to God speak through it by his Spirit who illuminates the Word and reminds us of all Truth.

The third thing we can do to have a closer relationship with God is to speak to Him through prayer. If reading the Bible is listening to God speak , speaking to God is accomplished through prayer. The Gospels often record Jesus getting away to commune with his Father in prayer. Prayer aligns our will with God and allows us to be involved in His Work. In the Lord’ s Prayer Mat 6:9-13. ,the first three petitions in that prayer are directed toward God ( His name be hallowed,  His kingdom come, His will be done). The last three petitions are requests we make of God (give us our daily bread, forgive us our sins, lead us not into temptation). Another helpful model to guide our prayer lives is the acronym ACTS, which stand s for Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication. This somewhat follows the Lord’s Prayer in the order of its petitions. Using the Psalms to “pray back” His promises and praises directs our communication Godward. Many of the Psalms are heartfelt cries to God for various things. In the Psalms we see adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication modeled in a divinely inspired way.

The fourth thing we can do to have a closer relationship with God is to find a body of believers with whom we can regularly worship,serve and learn. The Bible says”forsake not the assembling of yourself together.” Hebrews 10 This is a vital component of spiritual growth, yet excuses like busyness,my only day off/sleep in, and “hypocrites” are satan’s tools to keep from God’s best. A proper attitude toward church is preparing our hearts and minds for worship. David said,”I was glad when they said to me,let us go into the house of the Lord.”. God invites us, commands us, to come into His presence for worship. How can we, His people, fail to respond? Not only does regular church attendance give us an opportunity to come before the Lord’s presence in worship, but it also gives us an opportunity to fellowship with the Lord’s people. As we come into the house of the Lord in worship and fellowship with His people, we can’t help but grow closer to the Lord . What about the service and “iron sharpening iron”that He expects of us?

Finally, a closer relationship with God is built upon a life of obedience. Jesus told His disciples in the upper room “if you love me, keep my commandments” John 14:23. James tells us that as we submit ourselves to God through obedience, resist the devil, and draw near to God, He will draw near to us. James 4:7. Paul tells us in Romans that our obedience is our “living sacrifice” of thanksgiving to God  and our mind is “renewed”Romans 12:1,2 OBEYING is the best evidence that we are saved and His grace displayed. We don’t earn salvation through our obedience; rather it is the way we show our love and gratitude toward God.

So through confession, Bible study, prayer, regular church attendance, and obedience, we can develop a closer relationship with God. Just as the best way to get to know someone is conversation, openness and listening,TIME; so it is with God.


Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Phil 3:15

If any wants to be mature, let them have this mind. Are you seeking a mature relationship with your Father? Again, who is in charge of let? Who “let’s”?

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus(Phil 2:5), If you then are risen with Christ,set your mind, that new mind, on things above, where Christ is(Col 3:1) I urge you therefore brothers by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable before God, which is the least you can do. Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.(Rom 12;1,2)

The mind is a powerful thing. It can process information like a computer. Trained, it can solve complex mathematical equations. It is the base of emotions, reason and memory. Are we choosing to think His thoughts? Ps 119”Your Word I have hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Is His Word in my mind, memory,thoughts? Dr Stanley says,”The more you know Christ, the more valuable you are to every person you meet.” 

A mind focused on God and His Word exhibits certain characteristics. One of those is thinking and acting like Christ. Are we acting in love, grace, wisdom and holiness? Another trait of the mind set on things above is the flow of thinking is positive. Phil 4:8’Whatsoever things are good,true,noble,lovely, of good report, think on these things.”We are children of the King, adopted heirs with Christ. He is working all things for our good. We can do all things thru Him. We have His Spirit inside us guiding us into all Truth. Our focus is on Him, our prayer life is focused on others, making the world a better place. Self takes a back seat to others. Our tongue is under control. James 3. Take every thought captive… 2 Cor 10:5. In other words, develop a mind like Christ.

In John 9, Jesus healed a man blind from birth on the Sabbath. This outraged the Jewish religious leaders as a failure to keep the Sabbath. They continually questioned him and his parents. The blind man defended Jesus and pointed out”,One thing I know, I was blind, and now I see.” One thing we know, we were blind, and by His grace we see. We see the Truth of His Words, the Truth of His offer of forgiveness and eternal life. We see where we used to be, the darkness lifted and His Light.

When our mind is set on Christ, we are usable servants. When blind eyes see,the impossible occurs. “if anyone thinks otherwise, God shall reveal it to you.” In other words, if you disagree with God’s Word, you’re wrong. If you think otherwise, His convicting Spirit and His twoedged sword will dissect your incorrect thinking. Happily, He loves us enough to correct. Whom the Lord loves, He disciplines.” Heb 13 One of the reasons to be in a good Bible teaching church, besides not forsaking the assembling of yourself together, is the Word proclaimed reveals God’s love,expectations,law and best to us.

Peter was always sticking his foot in his mouth. After boldly saying he would die for Christ, a few hours later he denied him three times to young girls. After Christ restored him, he received the Holy Spirit and preached the Pentecost sermon where 5000 came to know Him. In Acts 3, we read what God does with the blind who see. Peter and John were walking into the Temple. A crippled beggar had sat there for years seeking pity and pennies.  The beggar did not even look at the faces as they approached. When your selfesteem has taken a hit, you do not see yourself as worthy of eye contact. When life has left you blind and crippled, it is hard to see God’s Hand,plan, and way. Peter looked on the man with compassion and said,”Look at us.” Peter’s next statement was bold and telling,”Silver and gold have I none…..we’ve come a long way with preachers and healers…..but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus, arise.” And lifting him by the hand, his ankles received strength, and the crippled followed them into the temple, walking, leaping, and praising God.” Imagine how that man felt. He woke up one morning, hoping for pity and enough to eat. Suddenly, he is healed and leaping for joy.

The aftermath of this story: in verse 13, the leaders perceived that they were unlearned men, and that “they had been with Jesus.” A little Jesus rubbed off on them. A little boldness. A little grace. A little Jesus. So that begs a question. Do you spend time with Jesus? If so, has any Jesus rubbed off on you? Is there a resemblance to Jesus mind,maturity,attitude? Peter and John reflected their Savior.  The result was the lame walking, the world noticing, the world”turned upside down.”

This is the God we serve, Who’s compassionate, Who’s mercies are new every morning.

David Crowder Band sings:

You make everything glorious,

You make everything glorious,

You make everything glorious,

and I am Yours…..what does that make me? Think about it!

Steven Covey in his’7 Habits’ book talks about garnering Truth. The real key is SO WHAT? So what am I going to do with that Truth and how is God using that Truth to change me? How am I applying His Truth to make a better world, a better me? In the first paragraph we posed the question: am I happy? Is my life going in the right direction? After going thru His Word and seeing how God operates, the correct question : Is God pleased with the direction my life is heading? Am I honoring, glorifying, reflecting His love?

So, we’ve come full circle. We thought of John Newton, blind but now seeing. We looked at Christ life, example,love to see how we are to live. By following His Word and embracing the Truth, we are free to be all God intended for us to be: His children living in RELATIONSHIP with Him. Casting all our cares on Him. We were blind, deserving death and judgment. In God’s grace He called us into His marvelous Light, removing the scales from our eyes and welcoming us to enjoy Him forever. The first Westminster Confession is”What is the chief end of man? To glorify God  and enjoy Him forever. Do I glorify God? Do I want, expect to, enjoy Him forever? Am I living like one seeking to glorify God?

Jesus said”Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” May I submit that taking Jesus at His Word and seeking first is the surest proof that our blindness is lifted?

David said in Ps 34”I will bless the Lord at ALL times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth. I sought the Lord, and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears. O taste, experience, KNOW that the Lord is good. Magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together.

He has shown you,oh man,what is good; what does the Lord require of you,to do justly,to love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, or the strong man in his strength,He that glories, glory in this, that he understands and knows Me. Jeremiah 9:23

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21) 

This is the essence of 20/20 vision. My hope is that thinking His thoughts towards me will lead all of us to experience God. 

John Newton ends his glorious hymn:

When we’ve been there 10000 years, bright shining as the sun,

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we first begun.”

great websites to hear Truth proclaimed:

intouch.org Dr Charles Stanley,free,all the time

northpoint.org Dr Charles son Andy Stanley, live on Sundays, series and sermons avail free anytime 

passioncitychurch.org Louie Giglio, Americas best teacher,protege of Dr Stanley

calvaryftl.org my church,Pastor Doug amazing teacher, check web but latest sermon available anytime

truthfor life.org Alstair Begg, FREE,awesome messages all the time

gochristfellowship.com excellent teaching in Palm Beach Co Fla, including Dr John Maxwell,leadership guru





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