Silent Night. Quiet Morning.

It’s Christmas morning. Piano music drifts sweetly from the Alexa in the kitchen as I sip a cup of coffee. All is calm. My husband sits in his recliner reading something while the pups chew on a new water buffalo horn. All is quiet.

Years past looked different. I would fall into bed exhausted on Christmas Eve after finally getting everyone ready for bed. I’d wait for the children to fall asleep and sneak into the living room to grab the stockings. Filled with goodies and gifts I’d quietly return them to the living room. Christmas morning came early and burst with excited children, laughter, homemade cinnamon rolls, presents, stockings, candy, toys, and games. Then we would be off to visit grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.

But I blinked and my children grew up. They spent Christmas Eve with other family and significant others last night. As my husband and I sat quietly at the breakfast table this morning we reminded each other that this is exactly what we worked so hard for. Our goal was to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and have fun doing it. Then shoot them out into the world as arrows in the hand of a mighty man. We want them to have their own families and their own Christmas traditions. We want them to look forward to coming back home to visit.  I’m at peace with this quiet Christmas morning and season of life.

Every season is beautiful. As I contemplate the years my mind wonders to things the mother of Jesus kept in her heart. After the birth of Christ and the visit by the Shepherds, scripture tells us that “Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart,” Luke 2:19. No doubt that as her Son grew and begin His earthly ministry she reflected on those early wonders. No doubt that as she beheld Him upon the criminals cross her mind went back to the cradle and the prophetic words of Simeon that, “Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,” Luke 2:35. And there is no doubt that after the resurrection of Christ there were mornings Mary sat in silence and pondered the fleeting years with her Son. How she must have anticipated the day she would once again behold His glory face to face.

Likewise, I look with anticipation to the day we shall behold Him—the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. My prayer is that until then, I live a life pointing others to Him. I pray that my children and grandchildren see Jesus in me and that my days are filled with service to Him. I’ll spend this quiet morning in prayer for them and ask God to continue to shine His face upon them. Then tonight we’ll all gather at church for a special candlelight service. Afterwards, they will spend the evening and next day at home once again.

Christmas pups, 2022

When the Sun Comes Out

sun When we were in South Mississippi we lived in a home that was surrounded by acres and acres of National Forrest. During the summer months, after the children went to bed my husband and I would love to take evening swims. In the darkness of the night we would look into the heavens at the thousands of stars shining so bright. The contrast of the stars against the blanket of darkness was striking. This is how I picture the Christian’s life. We let our light shine before men in an extremely dark world.

It is certainly dark times. Today’s headlines, like all others, include stories of war, scandals, terrorism, and murder. One story that depicts the nature of our world in such a clear fashion is this one. A Chinese baby boy is rescued alive after being flushed away. I am a mother. The thought of a mom giving birth to a child and then being able to take that child and flush it down the toilet as human waste or garbage is inconceivable. I can’t even comprehend the cruel heart that could do such a thing, other than the fact that we are told in Jeremiah that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer 17:9) and that one of the characteristic of the ungodly is being “without natural affection” (Rom 1:31, 2 Tim 3:3).

So these gloriously dark times are grand opportunities to shine.

Look at how Daniel describes the wise. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever,” Daniel 12:3.

That right! You are a star!

At least those with heavenly wisdom, who point others to God, shine as stars in the darkness!

But what happens to the stars when the sun comes out?

They fade away.

John the Baptist understood this concept. He said, “He must increase, but I must decrease,” John 3:30.

Our purpose as light in the darkness has never been to point others to ourselves. We don’t shine for our glory. We point others to God, for His glory. Jesus told his disciples, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” Matthew 5:16.

We shine in this dark world so that others are pointed to our heavenly Father. But one glorious day, the Son whose “countenance was as the sun,” (Rev 1:16) will return and all darkness will be driven away for all eternity.

Until that day, dear Christian friend, keep shinning!

Why Our Church Doesn’t Celebrate Easter

easterWith the Easter holiday just a few days away there is a lot of talk about the subject. But this Sunday we will not be celebrating “Easter” but rather the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Below are a few reasons as to why:

  •  Ignorance is NOT bliss. Read I Peter 1:14-21. As a Christian every word, action, and deed should be done for the glory of God. To celebrate is to observe, show happiness, or mark an occasion. At the least, do a study on the origins of “Easter” before deciding to observe it.
  • Words mean things. After a careful study, why would you even want to use the word “Easter”? What purpose does it serve to call your celebration by that word? Isn’t Resurrection Sunday a better, more accurate description of what we are celebrating? Which one points more people to God?
  • The Easter symbols of bunnies and eggs are distracting at best. Really, what does it have to do with Christ’s resurrection? I haven’t figured that out yet. However, these symbols have plenty to do with fertility and pagan ideas.
  • “It’s just for fun” is counterproductive. The world and Satan will always win when it comes to providing fun. The church is to be the “pillar and ground of the truth” not entertainment centers. An attempt to compete with the world in this area cheapens the Bride of Christ.
  • It is confusing to children. When we play around with the world’s ideas our children become unstable and unsure of what to believe in. The same thing happens when we tell children that Christmas is about the birth of Christ while playing the Santa game. Or when they get older we allow them to be indoctrinated with evolutionary teaching and then give them an hour a week in Sunday school to learn about the Genesis account of creation. Our children are confused and no wonder. We allow these things to affect them and then question why 80% leave the church by the end of high school.
  • What you draw people with is what you draw them to. A church can use an egg hunt to draw people in (or any worldly event for that matter), but when we draw them in with activities, promotions, and such we are drawing them to those things. When we use the pure, unadulterated Word of God to draw people in, it is Christ alone that they are drawn to. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth,” Colossians 3:2.
  • We are called to be holy. We are to be set apart and peculiar. I’m afraid many have forgotten this. It is hard to be set apart while being the same. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;” 1 Peter 2:9-11.

We do as a church celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. The resurrection is, in fact, the hinge-pin of all of Christianity. Without it there is no hope. Without it our faith is in vain. Without it our loved ones would be gone for good. Without it we would still be in our sins. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable,” 1 Corinthians 15:19. But thank God we are not most miserable. Because of the resurrection of our Lord there is hope! The grave has been conquered! Sin not longer reigns! And death has no sting! This Sunday we will celebrate Resurrection Sunday with the living Christ being glorified, and his death and resurrection being preached!


*note:   My 16 year old son’s comment to this article was, “Mom, That was great. I agree with everything you said, but I think you will make people mad with your words.” So in reply to “making people mad” let me just say that is certainly not my intent. I hold no judgment over anyone. How you choose to celebrate is between your conscience and God alone.

I write because there are so many misconceptions and fallacies regarding the church. Dear Christian, never forget that the world is watching us. They want to know if what we say we believe is real enough to make a difference in the way we live.

Too many have a form of godliness, but deny the power (2 Timothy 3:5). They are denying the power of the Word of God to work in their life (1 Thessalonians 2:13). They are denying the power of Christ to crucify the old man (Romans 6:6). They are denying the power of God to keep them from practicing a lifestyle of sin (1 John 3:9). They are denying the power of the Holy Ghost to teach them spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:10-13).

Strangely Dim

strangelyLife is certainly consuming! So much thought, emotion, and energy is poured into the things of this fleeting world. We have to live, provide, and plan, but should this world be all-consuming? For an unbeliever, worldliness makes sense. It is all they have. But as a believer, I ask myself why. Why do I invest in things that will not matter in eternity?

Every time God’s Word is preached I get convicted. Last Sunday was no exception. My husband preached a sermon from 1 Corinthians 3:1-7 addressing the cause, characteristics and cure of carnality. Two things stood out in particular. He called them external and internal influences that cause worldliness. I like to call them the delights of this world and the desires of the flesh.

The Delights of this World

All these delights (or external influences) could be summed up with one word – things. Things we love, things we buy, things we invest in, things that distract us, things that cause us to sin, things….things…things…

Or we could call our things “childish pursuits” as David Breese did when he said,

“Strong sons of God are not perfected by childish pursuits.”

The cure if found in I John 2:15-17. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

The Desires of the Flesh

These desires are the internal influences. Not only do we battle against the world, but also our own flesh. I can relate to the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:19:

“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”

I want to do good things, but I don’t do them. And the things that I don’t want to do, those I do. This is the battle of the flesh, constantly warring within.

Although the war rages, know that we are overcomers! We overcome the delights of this world by seeking God. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” Matthew 6:33.

We overcome the desires of the flesh by pouring God’s Word into our hearts and turning our eyes to Jesus. As Helen Lemmel so eloquently penned in 1922:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus;
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

If we allow it the world will certainly consume our life, but if we will turn our eyes to Jesus, seek the things above, this world will have no hold over us, and all these things will  become strangely dim. That is my heart’s desire.

A Song of degrees. Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. (Psa 123:1-2)

“Jesus loved him”

“Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, ‘One thing thou lackest…’”

It only takes a few minutes online to see enough pride, arrogance, and debauchery flowing through Facebook, Pinterest, and other sites to make my blood boil.  There is a sense of indignation that springs up in my heart, especially when the things of God are debased.  The longer I live, the clearer I can see the depravity of man.  Of course, times are no different today than when Jesus walked upon this earth.  Sin still reigns in the hearts of men.  Men still love darkness rather than light. Men’s eyes are still blinded by the god of this world.  Man is man – nothing more.   But lest we forget, God is God and nothing less.

In 2 Corinthians 5:18 we are told, “all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” Have you ever thought about the ministry of reconciliation that the child of God has been given?  Our ministry is to help reconcile sinful man to a holy, perfect, and just God.  Sometimes this ministry is frustrating.  We know “the terror of the Lord” and therefore we persuade men (2 Corinthians 5:11), but “the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God,” 1 Corinthians 1:18.

Sometimes I struggle with how I am to communicate this with those who are blind.  This is why I love the Way of the Master evangelism course.  I’ve been through it several times and my husband is currently teaching it in our home each Monday night.  The point of the course is to evangelize the way Christ did.  His method was law to the proud and grace to the humble.   When the rich young ruler came to Christ seeking how to inherit eternal life, the Lord did not give him the “plan of salvation”.  Nor did He lead him in a “sinner’s prayer”.  Nor did Christ tell this man that he had a “God shaped hole in his heart” and if he would just believe that he would receive.  Instead, Christ pointed him to the law of God.

“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.” (Mar 10:18-19)

When this man insisted that he had kept all of these from his youth (obviously bearing false witness) then Jesus, “beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” Mark 10:21

Because of this man’s pride, Jesus kept pointing him to the law.  Giving away everything to the poor will not save anyone.  Jesus was showing him the essence of the 1st Commandment.

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” Exodus 20:3.

But what happens?  The man walks away sad.  He refuses to follow Christ, because he had another god.  “And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions,” Mark 10:22.

Other times in Scripture, like the woman at the well in John 4, we see Christ giving the gospel to those who are humble.  Law to the proud and grace to the humble.   

 But what really caught my attention while reading this passage yesterday during our small group study was one simple phrase in Mark 10:21.  “Then Jesus beholding him loved him…”  Here was an unsaved man who came to Christ, was pointed to the law, and still walked away unregenerate.  Yet, Jesus loved him.  I’ve missed it in the past.  Jesus loved him!  Of course He did.  He desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.  And in His love for the man, the most loving thing that Christ could do for him was to point him to the law of God.

Christian, Do you love the sinner?  Do you love them like Christ loved them?

Do I love the sinner like Christ loves them?  If I did I would tell them that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,” Hebrews 9:27.  If I loved them I would tell them about their sins and how “sin is the transgression of the law,” 1 John 3:4.  I would tell them that “the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23a.  And I would point them to the law of God so that they would see their need for a Savior.  This is the most loving thing we can do.

“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God,” Romans 3:19.

Matters of the Heart

We have been doing an interesting study through Deuteronomy on Sunday mornings during class. It is interesting to note that Jesus quoted from this book more than any other.  A few weeks ago we looked at Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in conjunction with passages from Deuteronomy.  Our lesson was about the Spirit of the Law.

There are a lot of misconceptions about God’s Law.   I have seen an attitude of indifference towards it that is often fostered by easy believism and the prosperity gospel.  Its faulty thinking goes like this: “The law does not matter, we live under grace.”  This is often followed by: “Don’t be so legalistic.  We’re not under the law.”  Or, “Jesus did away with the law.”  This thought is wrong for several reasons.  First, Jesus did not do away with the law; He fulfilled it.  Also, obedience is not the definition of legalism.  In addition, God’s moral law still exists.   It reveals our sin.  What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (Rom 7:7)

In fact, the biblical definition of sin is transgression (or breaking) of the law.  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1Jn 3:4) And it only takes the breaking of one law to be guilty.  The book of James states that whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (Jas 2:10)

 Paul tells us that the unregenerate are still under the law and that by the law they become guilty before God.  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Rom 3:19)  But thanks be to God that the saved have been made free from the law of sin and death!  (Romans 8:2)

 So where does the spirit of the law come in?  Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount not only elevates the standards of the law, but it shows the spirit of the law.  In Matthew 5:17 Jesus said that He has come to fulfill the law.  In verse 20 He said that unless our righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees (the law keepers and most religious of the time) that we would not enter into heaven.  Further down He quotes the law from Deuteronomy and contrasts the Old Testament interpretation of the law with the spirit of the law.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (Mat 5:21-22)

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Mat 5:27-28)

Why would Christ put the thought of murder or adultery equivalent to the act?  The answer is simple.  It is because God is concerned with our heart.  Sometimes we live as though we forget that there are internal sins as well as external.  There are sins of omission as well as sins of commission.  Our hearts are important.  Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man…” (Mat 15:19-20)

In our prideful state we think that if we look good on the outside and don’t commit those “acts” that it doesn’t matter what’s in our heart or our thoughts.  Oh, how easy it is to fool others.   How foolish it is to think that we can fool God.  He (Jesus) answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. (Mar 7:6)

As a parent I desire nothing more than for my children to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.  My standards for my children are high, because God’s standards for His children are high.  (Matthew 5:48)  But, I have to be careful in my endeavor to raise godly children that I don’t create little Pharisees.  (Those who keep the law but whose hearts are far from God.)  In truth, it is easier to teach children to obey “laws” than to teach them to follow the “spirit of the law.”  But really it’s the heart that matters.

Several years ago I found online a list of family rules that I want to share.  (I’m not sure of the source, so if anyone knows where they came from let me know.  I will be happy to give credit due.)  These family rules have been posted on our refrigerator and referred to often.  What I love about these rules is that they are not just a list of do’s and don’ts.  The focus of each is on the heart, the spirit of the law.  I hope they can be a blessing to you and your family.

 1. We obey God.
2. We love, honor and pray for one another.
3. We tell the truth.
4. We consider one another’s interests ahead of our own.
5. We speak quietly and respectfully with one another.
6. We do not hurt one another with unkind words or deeds.
7. When someone needs correction, we correct him in love.
8. When someone is sorry, we forgive him.
9. When someone is sad, we comfort him.
10. When someone is happy, we rejoice with him.
11. When we have something nice to share, we share it.
12. When we have work to do, we do it without complaining.
13. We take good care of everything that God has given us.
14. We do not create unnecessary work for others.
15. When we open something, we close it.
16. When we take something out, we put it away.
17. When we turn something on, we turn it off.
18. When we make a mess, we clean it up.
19. When we do not know what to do, we ask.
20. When we go out, we act just as if we were in this house.
21. When we disobey or forget any of the 21 Rules of This House, we accept the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Lessons from Jesus

 “Jesus, didn’t you know your words would offend them?”  Obviously, the disciples reasoned, if the Lord knew that the truth he spoke would offend then he would not have spoken it, right?  No, our meek and lowly Jesus still spoke the truth even when he knew it would offend the hearers.

 The story I am referring to is one that was covered Sunday in our women’s class taken from Matthew 15.  The scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus accusing the disciples of breaking the tradition of the elders by not washing their hands before eating.  Jesus answered the accusation by asking the religious why they would break the commands of God by their traditions.  There are many lessons in this text.

The first lesson is that we better be careful when we accuse other Christians.  Simply put, Revelations 12:10 tell us that Satan is “the accuser of the brethren”.  Unless we want to line ourselves up with him we should consider every accusation carefully.

 Another lesson learned is this.  The truth will offend those who oppose it.  Those that are blind and walk in darkness hate the light.  Those that love wickedness and evil hate all that is good and wholesome.  Those that love lies hate the truth.  And those with sinful, hypocritical hearts hate it when their hypocrisy is revealed.  But, the Bible in Psalms 119:165 says that, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” If you love the Words of God you will not be offended when truth is spoken.  I think that is the reasons so many are offended today, even professing Christians.  They simply do not love the Words of God.  Oh, they will say they believe the Bible and that they love God’s Words but when it comes down to it their actions declare loudly that they do not.  Great peace waits for those who love God’s law.  There sure are a lot of Christians walking around today without God’s perfect peace that passes all understanding.

 There are many other lessons from this story.  And if you haven’t read it lately why don’t you make a point to read Matthew 15 today.  But the final lesson I want to share is found in verse 12-14.

 “Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

 Jesus declares what will happen to those who refuse to hear His Words. They will be rooted up…  “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Mat 7:19-21)

 He also said to “let them alone…”  There is a principle of not casting pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6) and shaking the dust off your feet (Luke 9:5).  Sometimes people will just not hear.  Their ears are stopped.  Jesus had a perfect ministry.  He was the perfect preacher.  Every word he spoke was perfect and many still did not hear Him.  Many refused to listen.  Why do we think that as (imperfect) Christians that everyone will listen to us?  Why do we think that just because we have the truth that people will understand?  Only those with open eyes and ears to hear will listen to the truth.  Only those who love the law of God will not be offended by His Word.  Proverbs 23:9 says, “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.”

 He explained that they are blind leading the blind…  “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2Co 4:3-4)

 If the stories we read from Scripture do not have practical application to our lives today, they are just stories.  But God’s Word is much more than just stories.  It is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).  And it is given by inspiration of God for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).

 Those that love the law and have ears to hear, let the precious Word of God mold and shape you and give you perfect peace.  And may the lessons from our Lord encourage us to keep standing on His truth.

Dealing with Jesus

  We have set aside next Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord. Our family does not refer to the day as Easter. Nor do we associate with bunnies and Easter eggs. A study on the background of the word and history would explain the reasons why. However, we have chosen to refer to the day as Resurrection Sunday. In fact, every Sunday should be a reminder of our Lord’s resurrection. But this day is set aside as a special day to commemorate this event. I will spend this week preparing my heart by reading the accounts from the gospels of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Will your family be celebrating the Resurrection of Christ this next week? If so, how are you preparing your hearts?

My husband’s sermon on Sunday really touched me. It was titled Dealing With Jesus. Taken from Luke 22:47-23:25, the question posed was, “How will you deal with Jesus?” We must all answer this question.

Will we be like Judas who DECEIVES Jesus? (Luke 22:47-48)

Will we be like Peter who DENIES Jesus? (Luke 22:54-62)

Will we be like the Counsel who DOUBTS Jesus? (Luke 22:63-71)

Will we be like Pilate who DELAYS his decision about Jesus? (Luke 23:1-7)

Will we be like Herod who DESIRES a performance from Jesus? (Luke 23:8-11)

Will we be like Pilate who DELIVERS Jesus to be destroyed? (Luke 23:13-25)

My first reaction (and maybe you can relate) was I’m not like any of these people. But after a deep look into my heart I had to acknowledge that at some point in my life I have been like all of these.

While my deception was not as sinister as Judas’, I have tried to deceive my Lord. It usually comes in the form of a prayer. And while my heart cries one thing, the Lord knows me much better than I even know myself. Therefore, it is impossible to deceive Him.

While my denial was not as blatant as Peter’s, I have denied my Lord in times past. This denial usually comes in the form of omission. There are times I should speak out in behalf of my Lord but I refuse. In that refusal I deny Him.

While my doubt is not as ominous as the Counsels, I have doubted my Lord. I have doubted His Word. I have doubted His provisions. I have doubted His faithfulness. This shows up when I worry and fret. When my faith is strong I do not doubt. But when my faith is weak, doubts arise in my heart.

While my delaying is not as much as a hindrance as Pilate’s, I have many times delayed decisions. The Spirit has spoken to my heart to do something. I have read in God’s Word and been convicted toward action. I have prayed and known what God would want me to do. Yet, I have procrastinated. I have delayed my decision. Sadly, we all know that a delayed decision is actually a decision against God. Sometimes, I come back to the will of God. But many times my delay results in missed opportunities and missed blessings.

While my desire to see a performance from God is not quite Herod’s mockery, I have selfishly desired things from Him. Our Heavenly Father does desire us to come to Him with our petitions and request, but how many times have I only come when I wanted something from Him? How many times I have cried out….

“Lord, help me.”

“Lord, bless me.”

“Lord, heal me.”

“Lord, show me.”

“Lord, give me.”

In contrast, how many times I have gone to the Lord when I wanted nothing. How many times have I gone to Him just to praise His wonderful name? How many times have I come into His presence just to be near to Him? My God gives me so much. Blessings flow abundantly from Heaven. But, I had to ask myself, If God never did another thing for me, would I still praise His name? If He never blessed me again, would I still serve Him? If He never answered my prayers, would I still love Him with all my heart? Or, do I only desire a performance? These are hard questions.

 And, while I did not deliver Jesus to death like Pilate, there have been times that I have been guilty of killing the testimony of Christ. I claim to be a Christian. In that claim, I say to the world that I am Christ-like. Yet, when I do not live and act as Christ did I am killing the testimony of Christ.

Lord, you know my heart. My desire is to never deceive, deny, or doubt You. I do not want to delay in the things You would have me to do. And I pray that I lose all selfish desires and that my actions would never attempt to destroy Your name. Merciful Father, thank You for Your abundant grace. Your mercy endures forever!

The Sacrifice


The Friend of God heard from the Lord one day

“Behold, here I am. What do you have to say?”

“Isaac, the one you love, take him thy son

As a burnt offering, let it be done,

Upon one of the mountains I’ll let you know.”

“Yes Lord, if it’s Your will, I’ll go.”

Early in the morning he took Isaac and two men

Yet there was no doubt or fears within

For the Lord God had made a covenant

“Unto you and Sarah a son will be sent

A father of many nations you will be

Children as the sands of the sea”

So Abraham unto the young men said

“Abide here and we’ll go on ahead

And both of us will return unto you

We will see this sacrifice through.”

By faith he believed in his heart

God would raise him up, keeping his part.

“Father”, said Isaac, “A lamb I do not see”

“God will provide you must believe.”

The altar was built, Isaac was bound

Not from heaven came a sound

“Son, the Lord must be honored today” “

Yes father, I will willingly obey”

Abraham took the knife, this deed must be done

Yet from heaven came, “Do not harm thy son.”

“For I know now that God you fear,

Seeing you did not withhold that so dear.

A ram in the thicket I will provide.”

Abraham offered it with Isaac by his side

A beautiful story of father and son

Yet it is not the ending, it is not done.

Fast forward through time and you will see

The end of this story so precious to me

For now we see another Father and Son

Yet this time the sacrifice would be done

The Father from Heaven looking down would see

A world full of transgressors as evil as could be

No not one would seek righteousness or good

Redeem themselves? impossible – yet the Father could.

This must be done for “all like sheep have gone astray;

We have turned everyone to his own way.”

The loving Father not willing that any should perish

Would send His Son in whom he cherished.

Adoption for those who would repent and believe.

Still many were blinded and would be deceived

Yet, the Son willingly would lay down his life

But the Father would not use an altar and knife

“Crucify Him, Crucify Him” they would say

Still it pleased the Father to crush Him that day

He was despised and rejected of men

He took the full wrath of God and became sin

Surely he hath borne our griefs

Hung on a cross between two thieves.

Smitten of God and afflicted

So that mankind would not be convicted

Of eternal punishment deserving of all

Because of the sin that came at the Fall

A lamb to the slaughter God did provide

That precious Lamb was pierced in His side

He died, was buried, then arose on day three

For the Father’s Glory and for you and me!

A beautiful story of Father and Son

It is finally finished! It is well done!