Friday, February 16, 2018



Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:32 (KJV)

 Also, I say unto you, whoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:  Luke 12:8 (KJV)

These are two passages written in the gospel accounts of the ministry of Jesus Christ. He said the words from Matthew to the disciples as he sent them out. Luke records words Jesus spoke to a multitude of people.

Have you ever wondered what it means to confess? We hear of people confessing to breaking laws. In that sense, it means to admit to a wrong. However, when we read it in God’s word, it has a different meaning: to acknowledge something.

How can we acknowledge Christ in our 21st Century world? We do this through belonging in and participating in (as much as we can) a local church. We stand for Jesus by praying for those who hurt, struggle with issues and those who have lost their way.

When we acknowledge or confess our own needs to Jesus, He can then take that problem from us and either resolve it or guide us through to the outcome He wants us to achieve.

In both of these passages, Jesus uses the phrase, “Before men.” How can we acknowledge that we belong to Christ to others? I try to tell the cashiers and the sack persons at our local grocery store to be blessed as I depart the check-out line. This store is a very busy place. And I am aware that these workers deal with all sorts of people while doing their jobs. Sometimes, certain ones thank me for my words.

I used to ask the women who helped me at the pharmacy if they had to work on the upcoming weekend. Sometimes, I would ask how late they had to work that day. I say ‘used to’ because the ones I came to know are no longer there.

It came to me as I wrote this that I have a new set of women to let know that I care about them and desire to have them blessed by God.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; make his paths straight.” Matthew 3:1-3 (ESV)

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a time of preparation to celebrate our LORD’s resurrection. During the 40 days of this season, we focus on our relationship with Jesus and how we can improve it. Basically, we look at our lives and strive to weed out the things that we believe are a hindrance to our living for Him.

We practice a fast, or ‘giving up’ of something in our lives that we think might take the place of time we could devote to knowing more about God. I spend a lot of time playing scrabble and a related game on my tablet.  I believe I am doing this too much. As of this morning, I have put it away until Easter Sunday.

For the past two years, I have used a certain Lenten devotional book. Last year, I kept a journal of my thoughts during each day. As I initially write this entry, I am unsure of my plan for devotions. 

Sometimes God leads us also to perform one positive thing each day. This year, I plan on praying more for our nation. With all the upheaval we see, I feel the need to truly take these issues before the LORD and ask Him to take care of them.

Does your faith tradition observe the season of Lent? What are some ways you have participated in the observance?

Monday, February 12, 2018

God Rewards Our Love for Him

Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “How is it you will manifest yourself to us and not to the world? Jesus answered him. “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23 (ESV)

Jesus answers Judas’ question in a very direct and, yet, deep way.

“If anyone loves me,” This is conditional. He states that we are to respond to Him in love and in caring ways. We know we are to pray, to read God’s Word, and treat others as we would want to be treated. 

“he will keep my word,” The person who loves God learns from His word how he or she should act in given situations. We have to learn to incorporate those teachings into our hearts and into our behavior.

“my Father will love him,” God will love us when we are obedient to what he tells us. I have learned that I cannot say, “I know what God says about this but I think I will do what I want.” When I have done this, I have unknowingly disrespected God by thinking I know more than God.

“we will come to him” Here, we read where God and Jesus comes to those who love God and keeps His word. They come to us in times of trial and tribulation. (I checked a Thesaurus, another word for tribulation is adversity.) God blesses us with good times and wonderful gifts. He brings us comfort when we hurt or grieve.

“and make our home with him.” Jesus lives in the hearts of all who yield their lives to Him.

It’s that simple. We yield our lives to Jesus and we receive all He has for us. God will live with us.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...