Spiritual Blog - Weaker Brother

1 Corinthians 8:9-13 – “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” NKJV

Personal Liberty and the Conscience of a Weaker Brother is and always will be an issue in the Church.  How far do we press our liberty before we become a stumbling block for a “weaker brother”?  Is there a time to say, “Grow up and realize that different people have different convictions”?  Is exercising our liberty worth causing another to stumble?  How you answer those questions will determine how you relate to those around you.

There was a time in my Christian walk that I felt that everyone should hold the same convictions that I did and if they did not they were “carnal” at best and “backslidden” at worst.  That was incredibly Pharasical and in a very real sense I was a Pharisee of Pharisees!  It took God rattling my cage in a major way to cause me to rethink my way of thinking and to understand that I was not God’s Fruit Inspector He could handle that job just fine without my assistance.  Likewise, I had to learn, although in my heart I knew it that most of what I called “convictions” were simply “opinions” and did not have the weight of Scripture.  An opinion is just that and is something that may and should change if any new light comes.  If God “convicts” your heart over an action, belief, or anything you should follow what God says implicitly and explicitly.  Yet you must always remember that what God “convicts” you of He may not convict another.  Many times the roots of that conviction stem from something within you or the geographic region in which you live and the mindset of those around you.  God will bring conviction to your heart for your benefit not so you can attempt to impose it on everyone else that would be what a Pharisee does.

There have been times that I could have done something but knew that there were those around me who would be hindered in their Christian walk if they saw me.  So, in the interest of another, I choose to abstain.  In traveling to other parts of the country and world I have found that there are many differing views on various things that Christians do or do not do and sometimes the dogmatism is so strong that no amount of reason or biblical teaching can break it.  Unless God brings light to the heart that person or persons will remain as they are.  Attempting to legislate a particular mindset or lifestyle would be futile and brings to mind the old saying:  “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”  They may yield to your insistence but their hearts and minds have not truly changed.  You are not God so why try to be?

As you go through your day realize that what you do and say will have an impact on others so choose your words and deeds carefully considering another for your liberty is not worth hindering another in their pursuit of GOD and His GRACE!

May God be with you as you go through your day!

WANTED – – Truth Tellers…

Spiritual Blog - Truth

Ephesians 4:25 – “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.” NASU


I won’t get political or go on an all-out attack on religious hypocrisy but will say that what we need in this present world is men and women of THE TRUTH.  Paul tells the Ephesian Church that they are to “lay aside” FALSEHOOD and “speak the truth.”  He reminds them and us that we are not isolated from each other but as members of both the human race and the family of God we are part of the same fabric and while we sometimes are guilty of lying to ourselves or distorting reality in our minds we do not practice that regularly, at least I hope we do not.

My grandfather and father always told me, “Tell the truth it is easier to remember than a lie.”  They usually told me that when I attempted to pull the wool over on their eyes and they saw through it with amazing clarity and regularity.  Neither would tolerate laziness or dishonesty and were truthful to a fault and even if telling the truth brought them personal or financial difficulty.  They believed and so do I that “honesty” is not just the best policy it is the “only policy.”  If we are truthful then we do not have to worry about being exposed and that in itself brings a certain sense of peace and security to the heart and mind.  We have all known people who it seems would climb a tree to tell a lie when they could have stood on the ground and told the truth.

My children know that I told them, “If you lie to me and I catch you it will be far worse than if you tell me the truth.”  If they remember they can recall times when they told me the truth and escaped punishment and times when they didn’t and the punishment or correction was stepped up a notch.  If we encounter someone who tells us untruths on a regular basis, no matter how hard we try not to label or characterize them as being a liar we still do so, at least in the back of our minds and it affects our relationship or prevents us developing one that is positive.  No one wants to do business with a person that distorts the truth or facts.  No one would want to sit under a preacher who uses fabrications.  As a friend of mine had a member of his congregation asked him, “Pastor was that story you told the truth or were you just preaching?”  What a statement and while she may not have meant it as it came across that she would even entertain it is a tragedy.

You do not want anyone to tell you anything but the truth so why practice telling others something that is not truthful?  You would not want your doctor to tell you something that was not true regarding your health because that could cost you your life.  You would not want your banker or financial adviser to misrepresent your finances that might cost you your possessions.  In life (all of it) let’s be PEOPLE OF THE TRUTH!

May God bless you as you go through your day!


Spiritual Blog - Slaves

Galatians 4:1-7 – “Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. 3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ” Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” NASU

Paul’s way of explaining our relationship with God is powerful.  He brings to mind that a child although a member of the family and ultimately owner of all the family fortunes and worth is little different from a slave because the child is under the authority of his/her parents or those whom the parents have placed over them.  They are not allowed the privilege of operating as an “owner” until it is deemed by the father that they are ready.  The Child though Owner of all but operates in the authority of a slave is the condition described, yet he must never forget HE IS A CHILD, not a SLAVE!

Then he declares to us that we are “sons” (a non-gender term as used here) and because of that truth God has sent the Spirit of God into our hearts crying “Abba! Father!”  As a result, we are no longer slaves but sons and daughters and if we are sons and daughters we are HEIRS OF GOD!  Oh my friends, how often do we as children of the Most High live beneath our privilege?  How frequently do we live as slaves rather than sons and daughters?  It is time that we assess who we are and whose we are.  It is time to reread the Bible and determine what this “New Covenant” that is established upon “Better Promises” is all about and what it affords.  It is time that we reevaluate our relationship with the Lord and that we have authority and power to not only overcome the enemy of our souls but the grace to live the Abundant Life that Jesus promised.  You are not a SLAVE you are a CHILD OF GOD and an HEIR according to His Promise!

Let’s move from a slave mentality to a son and daughter mentality.  Let’s move from timidity to boldness in our relationship, heritage, and covenant.  Let’s begin to live as HEIRS and bring real hope to this hopeless world outside of Christ.

God bless and keep you as you go through your day!


Spiritual Blog - Grace

2 Timothy 2:1, 11-13 – “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus…..11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” NASU


How about you, do you want to be “Strong in Grace?”  I believe that I can answer that for you without violating your right to make the decision for yourself and say, YES!  Paul identified in verses 11-13 some truths regarding our walk in Christ in this life by saying:

  1. If we have died in Him we will also live in Him.
  2. If we endure we will reign.
  3. If we deny Him, He will deny us.
  4. If we are faithless, He will remain faithful
  5. God cannot deny Himself. 

We are dead in Christ through the “new birth” and have been made a new creation through the gift of Salvation.  The result of that is that one day we will live with Him eternally!  Jesus never hid the fact that we would face difficulties in life and in the Christian walk and neither does Paul.  He tells us the end of that enduring is reigning with Jesus.  He warns that if we deny the Lord, God will deny us on that day and that is not something that any of us desires.  He tells us that we may be less than faithful but God will always be faithful because He cannot deny Himself and He is faithful.

So to be “Strong in Grace” is to embrace the faith that is in Jesus Himself.  It is to allow the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts, words, and deeds. It is to allow the Holy Spirit to shed the Love of God abroad in our hearts and to teach us all things that Jesus said.  It is to allow the Holy Spirit to quicken our mortal bodies so that we shake off the shackles of carnality and move into the realm of the spiritual.  It is to become focused on the King and the Kingdom of God as paramount and supreme above all else.  It is to TOTALLY SURRENDER our life, all of it to GOD!

It is in that condition and position that we become “Strong in Grace” and no matter what comes we come out the other side IN CHRIST and therefore VICTORIOUS.

May God be with you as you go through your day!


Spiritual Blog - Contest

Matthew 7:1-10 – “Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]. For just as you[hypocritically] judge others [when you are sinful and unrepentant], so will you be judged; and in accordance with your standard of measure [used to pass out judgment], judgment will be measured to you. Why do you look at the [insignificant] speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice and acknowledge the [egregious] log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me get the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite (play-actor, pretender), first get the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

“Do not give that which is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, for they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

“Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will [instead] give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will [instead] give him a snake?

Most people read these verses as vv. 1-5, see v. 6 a bridge, then vv. 7-10 but since there were no verse divisions in the original I suggest you read these verses in the context of one continuing thought.  I think it will take on a somewhat different shape when you do.

Jesus begins with Judging and issues the warning that if or maybe when we judge (we all do) whatever standard we use will be the standard that others and God uses with us.  The emphasis is deal with your own issues BEFORE attempting to deal with the issues of others.  Then verse 6 shows up and the implication, if the verses are read as one thought, is when we fail to deal with the logs in our own eyes.  We will likely judge others critically the message we are conveying will be rejected and our pearls will be trampled in the pig trough and not have their intended effect.  Not only that, but those we are judging, while we have glaring issues in our own lives will result in them turning on us and attacking us.  If we are a Pharisee or Legalist, we will wonder why they treated us so vilely and will claim that we are suffering for Jesus when the reality is we are suffering because we did not follow the biblical directive and we judged without first judging ourselves and dealing with our own issues.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of the next few verses in light of the previous six.  Once we have judged ourselves and dealt with our own spiritual and personal issues THEN we are in a position to ASK and RECEIVE in a most powerful manner.  It is the man or woman who follows the prescript of the first six verses that is in a position to not only ask but expect to receive what we have asked.  BUT THERE IS MORE!  The Golden Rule is viewed by most Christians as a Stand Alone but when connected as in these verses it becomes incredibly powerful.  If we reject the temptation to Judge Others while needing ministry ourselves and we treat others as we want to be treated THEN, when we go to the Father in Prayer we go with an incredible sense of EXPECTATION because we are in Right Standing with the Father, walking out the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and Resisting the Devil.  We are DEMONSTRATING CHRIST and EVERYTHING that Jesus asked the Father, the Father granted.

I would be remiss if I failed to connect vv. 13-14 to these passages and suggest that the narrow gate Jesus is speaking of is directly connected to the actions and the directives in the preceding verses.  The wide gate is a Gate of Judgmentalism.  The wide gate is a Gate of following our feelings emotions and nursing our wounds rather than forgiveness and demonstrating godliness, mercy, and forgiveness to others in all things and at all times.

Maybe this does not impact or resonate with you as it does me, but it touches me in a way that changes my entire view of interpersonal relationships.   God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!


Spiritual Blog - Heart and Mouth

Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” NASU

 There have been times in my life, Christian walk, and ministry that I have either found myself out of harmony with that directive or have encountered others who were so conditioned.  What does it mean to be out of harmony between the “mouth” and the “heart”?  It means that what you are saying is not what you really believe or living and that would fall under the definition of “hypocrisy”.  None of us wants to be a hypocrite.

David’s prayer is one that I pray regularly and with earnest because I recognize that if “my talking the talk” does not line up with “my walking the walk” then it is like “rain on a tin barn” and is only noise but no substance.  There will be no impact on lives for the good and God only repulsion and rejection of both the message and messenger.  But, it goes deeper than that because if my “words” are not in harmony with the “meditation” of my heart then I lose out in my relationship with God and do not develop or enjoy the bountiful benefits of walking with Him.  In that condition, I am, at best, out of fellowship with my Lord and at worst in a rebellious state and in danger of being spewed out of His mouth.

I want my words to PLEASE THE LORD as well as my thoughts and heart.  I want my actions, which spring out of my heart to be pleasing to God and productive for the cause of the Kingdom of God.  I believe that the vast majority of believers desire the same thing ALL THE TIME.  Therefore, the question arises – “How Do We Ensure That Is the Case?”  I believe that Jesus said it best in Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” NASU  Paul echoed that in a different fashion in 2 Corinthians 10:5-6 – “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.” NASU If we are to have our “words” and “meditation” or our MOUTH and HEART be in harmony with the pleasure of the Lord we MUST make Him first above everything.  We MUST take proactive steps to ensure that NO THOUGHT that is out of harmony with His Word is allowed lodging in our hearts or minds.  We MUST become people of PRAYER, PRAISE, and PURSUIT of God.  If we do that I am convinced that God will step into our situations and maneuver our “words” and “meditations” so that they are in complete harmony and pleasing to the Father!

May God be with you and guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord as you go through your day!



Spiritual Blog - Peace

Isaiah 57:19-21 – “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 him.”  20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 “There is no peace,” Says my God, “for the wicked.”  NKJV


Jesus said in John 14:27-28 – “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” NASU Paul later wrote in Philippians 4:7 –“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” NASU The Lord, through Isaiah, declares that He creates the fruit of the lips and grants peace to the one who is near and the one who is far off.  God promises to bring healing to those and I personally believe that means physically, mentally, socially, spiritually, and economically.  Then He says something that should catch our attention if the first part did not.

God identified that there is something that the wicked cannot have or possess – TRUE PEACE.  The wicked will toss and turn on his bed at night troubled by shadows of things they fear whether real or imagined.  The wicked will always be looking over his shoulder because of the vileness of his heart and the corruption that proceeds from it.  He will never trust anyone because he cannot be trusted.  He is like a troubled sea that dredges up filth and pollution and THERE IS NO REAL PEACE.  So, if your life is marked by the absence of peace you might want to examine your relationship with our Lord.  I am not saying you are wicked but suggesting that if you allow the Holy Spirit to develop your relationship with Jesus, PEACE will become a natural product of your life and its continued absence is a definite sign of a problem.  On the other hand, if you are engaged in wickedness then you cannot expect to experience true peace or continual peace it is not something that God will allow you to have.

I know the PEACE OF GOD that goes far beyond what the human mind can comprehend or imagine.  I know what it is to be completely calm, collected, and restful in the midst of a situation that would cause any heart to be completely hysterical.  I know what the infusion of GOD’S PEACE can bring to any situation and any heart in the most difficult of times.  That place of peace is a place that I desire as my permanent residence.

May God be with you as you go through your day!