Walking dead?

And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.
Romans 6:8-9 NLT

Have you died with Christ?

Our baptism in water signifies this very event that is spiritual and eternal and invisible to others. It is an outward testimony that is physical and temporary and visible to others. The water baptism is important as an act of obedience. 

Acts 2:38 ESV
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 22:16 ESV
And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

John 3:5 ESV
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

1 Peter 3:21 ESV
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Mark 16:16 ESV
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

So again,  I ask,  have you died with Christ?

Are you ready to live with Him?

Our lives and how we live each day,  even with each breath, are preparing us for our final destination. We are choosing to either do life with Christ,  learning to draw closer and closer to Him – learning and growing in our faith and our new areas of surrender and obedience and love in our lives – or we are practicing being without Him,  practicing being separated from God’s will and purpose for our lives, practicing for that final and eternal separation that some will know at judgement.

So I ask you again, are you ready to live with Him?

And if we are ready, and if we are already learning to live with Him,  if we are becoming more aware of His presence in our lives, day by day,  lesson by lesson,  prayer by prayer – aren’t we given an assurance by His faithfulness,  by the amazing way in which He orders our steps and brings us into such amazing places of inner peace – even amidst the fiery trials of this world. You see,  He is the solid foundation that we can stand on,  and watch those same winds and waves that used to control us and send us scattering this way or that – we can now watch those spiritual forces at play in the world around us and we can discern the ways of the enemy.

You see,  death has no power over Him,  and now that He is in us,  it has no power over us either.

Luke 10:19 ESV
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.

He is our rock. He has given you a new name. He has blessed us. And this truth was not revealed by men of flesh and blood, but was revealed to you by God Himself. Know wroth confidence and assurance that if you are His vessel set aside for His special purpose that the gates of hell shall not prevail against you. Also remembering and testing yourself to prove yourselves not bound for destruction.

Matthew 16:15-19 ESV
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

John 20:19-23 ESV
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

John 6:67-71 ESV
So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.

But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.”  In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.”
Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it. For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.”  So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen.
Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?” No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?”
When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory. And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles.
Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea, “Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.” And, “Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”
Romans 9:11-26 NLT

Jesus also told them other parables. He said, “The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son.  When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come! “So he sent other servants to tell them, ‘The feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet!’  But the guests he had invited ignored them and went their own way, one to his farm, another to his business.  Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them. “The king was furious, and he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their town.  And he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor.  Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.’  So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding.  ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had no reply.  Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 22:1-14 NLT

From Prisoner to the Flesh, to Student of the Word

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
Acts of the Apostles 20:24 NLT

My life without Christ at the center was worth nothing. The wrong and selfish choices that I made brought bad consequences for myself and for those around me. My carnal nature had me chasing sensuality and all kinds of temptations that never satisfied me long term,  but only left me wanting more. I provided an example to others around me that led them into darkness and into their own bad consequences.

“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.  A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes.  A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
Luke 6:43-45 NLT

Continue reading “From Prisoner to the Flesh, to Student of the Word”

Why me, Lord?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The others accepted his advice. They called in the apostles and had them flogged. Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go. The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.  And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.”
Acts of the Apostles 5:40-42 NLT

There are some in the high councils of today’s religious bodies that tell people they can’t share the good news about Jesus Christ. They point to a lack of formal training. They point to someone’s past – that has not been hidden and made to appear perfect on the outside – as a disqualifier for sharing the gospel. Do they mistakenly believe that followers of Christ who seek to show Christ to the world are seeking the same titles and positions that they long for?

Continue reading “Why me, Lord?”



Regardless of your beliefs or your feelings about religion, we can all admit that we have been drawn to the questions of “what’s the meaning of life”, “how did everything come into existence”, and “is there anyone else out there”.

We can see through the history of mankind that these very questions have had men and women from different nations and backgrounds struggling to explain and understand these higher things,  these questions that surpass our measuring and examination. And it has resulted in all kinds of differing and partial understanding of those things spiritual that transcend this physical world.

“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone. “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
Acts of the Apostles 17:27-31 NLT

Continue reading “Purpose?”

His or mine?

All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.
Acts of the Apostles 4:32 NLT

Imagine a body of believers united in heart and mind,  dedicated to each other, not considering anything their own but God’s – sharing without a second thought when another is in need.

So what is the problem? What are our excuses?

Continue reading “His or mine?”

Is this my life?

They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
Acts of the Apostles 2:46-47 NLT

Imagine how many people feel like their lives are missing joy and love and true friendship. Have you ever felt this way? The world’s constant marketing of “look out for yourself” and “do whatever YOU think is right” ends up boxing us up into isolated, separated lives. This is because when our desires are for ourselves,  it puts us at odds and in conflict with the desires of others. The world becomes little more than convincing or manipulating someone else to agree with your desires and bartering and trading and working,  hoping that we can build up enough leverage and wealth to control others so that we get what we want. This is a me against the world attitude that the world whispers in our ears.

Continue reading “Is this my life?”

What a dreamer!

“Look at that dreamer, with His head in the clouds. He’s such a fool.” This is how I feel many look at me. So instead of fighting against it, I’m learning to accept it.

And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.
Acts of the Apostles 2:44 NLT

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible,  so I was excited when we realized that it was our devotional verse for today.

You see, I have a vision for a Christian community and farm.

Continue reading “What a dreamer!”

How much further?

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.
Acts of the Apostles 1:6-7 NLT

Oh how impatient I can become when I’m wanting to know what is ahead,  when I’m wanting to know what the future holds for me and my family, when I’m wanting to know how to best plan for the future. But some things are not meant for me to know.

I am humbled so often by my search for knowledge and understanding that at times is in perfect alignment with seeking the Kingdom of God and righteousness,  but that at times seems to compete against that goal.

Sometimes I try to put God in a box by thinking that I understand how He works,  then I am reminded of Job and Ecclesiastes. Sometimes I try to put Him on the shelf as I try to figure out how I can accomplish these goals. Sometimes I find myself needing a reminder that the power of Christ is in me and that through Him all things are possible.

You see,  there is great Hope that can be found in realizing that we don’t have to figure it out on our own. HOPE is the gift of grace that we grasp hold of and cling to, thankful for the gift, even while we haven’t even yet unwrapped and opened it.

I wonder what percentage of our life opportunities for joy and peace in each moment have been squandered by our wanting to know,  by our anxious thoughts, by our stress, by our contemplating the future instead of making the best of this moment? And don’t the clouds begin to roll away and reveal the glory of a future where we are building up the best in each moment instead of being paralyzed by anxiety?  What good does it do for us to worry about the future? It will not change it for the better, but our pressing on and doing our best right now will. This is why we need the grace of HOPE.

But you might say, this is easier said than done – and you are right. I am no wiser for saying such things, I am only wiser if I actually do them. And this takes Faith. Faith is not the easy and broad path chosen by the many,  but it is filled with trials,  and with struggles,  and with lessons,  and with discipline – but it is only there that we will grow. It is only there that we will no longer be paralyzed. It is only in Faith that we will find that peace that comes without understanding. It is only in Faith that we will find the joy that comes from giving what you cannot afford to give to those who are not able to repay you. It is only in Faith that we will find the forgiveness and mercy to extend to those who consider themselves or enemy but who are merely lost friends waiting to be freed from the bondage of their captors. 

FAITH is grace awakening, arising from sleep, stepping forth into our lives. Faith is the currency of the Kingdom of God. Faith is the life giving waters that feeds the plants. Without Faith,  there is no power,  no source,  no authority over the enemy’s plans to harm you. With Faith we are able to participate in His Kingdom and we are able to participate in righteousness. A lack of Faith leaves us fruitless, powerless, and not equipped for His use.

So let’s not become confused and seek to only grow in understanding, which is a never ending pursuit of knowledge, but let’s seek His promises and His commandments and exercise the Faith to see them fulfilled in our lives. Let’s walk in the confidence of knowing that His power is real and that He is working all things for our good. And this is especially true in those fiery trials that give us the opportunity to bear fruit abundantly as we long for the treasures eternal and remove or eyes from the distractions of this world.

So He promises that we will be freed and we find HOPE in that promise. And He tells us not to worry about tomorrow but to focus on the work at hand, so we walk in FAITH. And the glory of the Lord is that His LOVE reveals itself to us when we are not even prepared or expecting it,  because only He knows the date and time to provide for our Freedom.

And the freedom that I speak of is not freedom from the fiery trials,  but the freedom from slavery to sin,  the freedom to walk above the trials and temptations,  the ability to tread upon the heads of serpents and scorpions – and in the trials for His power and authority to be manifest in our lives.

This is a new kind of LOVE, a gift of grace powerful and militant and victorious over sin and temptation. And He pours it out on us,  grace upon grace, victory after victory. And we know the treasures worth having and holding onto that will not rot or rust – treasures of love like joy,  peace,  patience,  kindness,  goodness,  faithfulness, long suffering, and self control. And these treasures eternal are called the fruit of the Holy Spirit because they are the fruit that grow from trees that are tapped into the vine of Jesus Christ, the source, the life.

Yes,  this is His LOVE, that He loves us and He frees us so that we can bring this hopi fruit into the world, that we can be the seed bearers of His LOVE into a world in need of Hope,  Faith, and Love – a world in need of deliverance from bearing the rotten fruit of disease and death into a life eternal.

And what is amazing is that He does it on His time and His plan. We find Hope,  we walk in Faith,  and one day we look up and realize the Love that He is pouring out through our lives,  we realize the victory that is taking place over our old temptations, we realize the change that is taking place – and that we never knew the dates and times that He was using us,  nor will we know them in the future as they come to pass – but like the wind that we know exists because of that which it moves,  He has moved us,  and used us, because we were equipped,  because we were faithful.

What an amazing realization, to be used by God – either to serve someone,  or to encourage someone,  or just to be an example to someone that Christ is real and alive and that He has the power to change lives. You see, I find that the undeniable times that He used me aren’t in the grand plans or efforts that I’ve make to serve Him or others,  but in the times unexpected and unnoticed – He surprises me,  He humbles me,  and He touches me.

And this is nothing compared to the glory of that day when we will be fully in His presence, freed from this temporary world and it’s opportunities to grow and shine and be refined by the trials. But have we yet realized that the growing occurs now? If we have a foundation of Jesus Christ, what have we built upon that foundation, friends? Are we growing? For we also never know the date or time at which our opportunity to grow and bear fruit will be at its end. What will we have as the testimony of our Love for our Lord and Savior?

If tomorrow was that day, are you ready? Use your time faithfully friends.

It’s starting to get weird around here

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.
John 16:20 NLT

Yes,  disciples of Christ are a “peculiar people” compared to the rest of the world. And disciple is not a great title that is beyond you to bear,  friend.


“A disciple is a follower and student of a mentor, teacher, or other figure. ” – Wikipedia

Let’s not get religious and start putting other people on pedestals so that we can minimize our own value in Christ’s eyes and the purpose and calling that Christ has upon each of our individual lives. But let’s understand that each of us has great value and purpose in the eyes of the Lord. Each of us is meant to be a disciple and to make disciples. That is the call. Yes, even you.


The world rejoices over those who seek titles and honor and wealth and pleasure and temptations and distractions and all sorts of wickedness.  Just turn on your television these days and you can see what the world glorifies and gives honor to. And when we were serving that master, we were like the world. But we have been set apart as a peculiar people for His use.


And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:8-9 NLT

And there are those who will make claim that it is narcissistic,  prideful above all things to take something in the Bible said to another group of people and apply it to ourselves – Yes, I know the venom of that liar’s voice. I know the voice of the one who is no shepherd at all and who does not feed the sheep but who instead feed upon them. Take this Word of God and apply it to your heart and to your lives,  children of God. Take hold of your inheritance like your brothers and sisters have done before you.


So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
Acts 10:34-35 ESV

Do you see that He accepts all who fear Him and do what is right? That He shows no favoritism? That you are just as much a Child of God as any of those children mentioned in the Bible if you will just hear His call and choose Him over the world – not just a one time choice, but a change of direction to do what is right because you believe and respect, His divine instruction and guidance. You are to be set apart, chosen,  with a purpose and value to God.

And many will say,  but look what I have done. Look at my past.  God cannot use me. I’ve been an addict. I’ve been a drunk. I’ve hurt people. I’ve been a thief. I’ve been a liar. I’ve committed adultery. I’ve been divorced. I’ve murdered. I’ve hurt innocent children. I’ve hurt women. I’ve chased after the things of this world. I’ve participated in things that were satanic, the occult, witchcraft, religions and traditions of man. I too know that liar’s voice – but he has no authority here anymore.

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Luke 10:19-20 ESV

Have you not yet realized that every person in the Bible has clear flaws except one. Only Christ fulfilled the law and His offering of grace is sufficient for you, dear friend.


He is ready to do a work in your life. He is the stumbling block that leaves us no room for excuses,  because He says,  let me come live in you and I will do the work,  I will overcome your demons, I will change your life – all you must do is hear my call and choose to follow me.


But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV

The world sees a life surrendered to Christ, not keeping wealth for yourself but sharing freely with others who cannot pay you back as foolish, but to His children,  He says:

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord , and he will repay him for his deed.
Proverbs 19:17 ESV

He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.  But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,  and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Luke 14:12-14 ESV

The world says that giving a glass of water to the thirsty,  or food to the hungry,  or giving encouragement to those in prison is foolish and is enabling those “who aren’t contributing to society”, but to His children,  He says:

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Matthew 25:34-40 ESV

Yes, we have laid hold of a treasure greater than what can be held or tasted or enjoyed upon this earth and have set our eyes upon a greater treasure indeed – Christ as our portion and our prize.

“The kingdom of heaven  is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and  buys that field.
Matthew 13:44 ESV

But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—  these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
1 Corinthians 2:7-10 ESV

So we must ask ourselves, “Do I love Him? ”

And if our first answer is yes,  we must ask ourselves, “Does my life example demonstrate clearly to others that I love Him?”

And this is the answer that proves us to be a peculiar people,  set apart for His use. For many will be comfortable with the first question,  but will turn back from the narrow path of a living,  surrendered life to be satisfied practicing empty religious sacrifices in His name. But how many truly love the Lord and will follow Him along the narrow path?

Remember, it does not even take your own strength, He will guide you and teach you and establish your steps, but we each choose who we will follow and who we will serve.

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.  Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.  You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.  Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?  Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
John 8:31-32, 34-36, 42-47 ESV