Enjoy these entries - we hope they make you think.


Pray and Don't Worry

Monday, June 03, 2024

Clown World is in full swing these days, and craziness abounds everywhere. It’s easy to feel like the world is coming apart, our social fabric is ripping, and we can trust no one.

We have seen politically motivated upheavals at unusual levels over the past few decades. Rioters have burned cars and shops in some of our major cities, commandeered sections of those cities, swarmed the capitol building as elections were being counted. We have seen unrest on many major university campuses as young people protest the war waged by Israel against Palestinian terrorists.

We see injustice, and we cry out against it. It hurts our souls. We might say, alongside Solomon,

“When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan” (Proverbs 29.2).

Our hearts groan deeply, and we hear the cries around us.

“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous
are both alike an abomination to God” (Proverbs 17.15).

Moses wrote:

“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 16.18–20)

When we see leaders and people in power who seem to blatantly disregard the rule of law and execute end-runs around the truth, we want to pull out our hair. We cry foul, but who is listening? Who cares?

The good news for Christians is we don’t have to worry about it. It is right to be upset about a travesty of justice, but we don’t have to worry in the sense of despair. God gives His people a peace the world cannot understand and a joy that cannot be stolen. How can we enjoy this supernatural peace? It is anchored in the knowledge of our God (Eph. 3.14–21), that He loves us and is for us and will never forsake us (Rom. 8.31–39). We don’t worry because our Father holds all things in His hands. We don’t worry because our Elder Brother is King over all nations. God reigns over Clown World.

Our little nation could crash down around us, cities could burn, the United States could become the Divided States, yet our Father and our King will always remain sovereign. They still love us. They still hear us. They still act on our behalf.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4.4–7)

So let us ask God for His help in all these things. Ask Him to judge all the injustice and to keep His people in the palm of His hand. This is the way to eliminate anxiety and be at peace.

Is This World Getting Worse?

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

I remember my parents’ generation saying, “This world is getting worse and worse. I fear for our kids. What will they have to deal with?” I hear people of my own generation saying the exact same thing now. Most seem to have a rosy remembrance of their childhood years, but the glasses come off as they get older. Perhaps it’s better to say they replace the rose-colored glasses with gray-tinted lenses; they see this world with overly negative vision.

Just because you now know the world is bad doesn’t mean it hasn’t always been bad. Human beings are evil creatures in their natural state. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2.14). Before God shines the light of the gospel into our hearts (2 Cor. 4.6), we are miserable men indeed!

God instructs us to “no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity” (Eph. 4.17-19).

Humans have been this way from the time Adam and Eve swallowed that prohibited produce. We are selfish, prideful, greedy, and sensual. We have twisted worldviews as we have attempted to find our own way apart from God’s direction and wisdom. We engage in sexism, racism, fascism, communism, authoritarianism.

But that battle has always raged, hasn’t it? God’s kingdom continues in pitched battle against the kingdoms of men, and we know who will ultimately conquer. The kingdoms of men continue to crumble while Christ’s dominion continues to increase. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

I suggest we stop talking about how bad things are getting because…

  1. It’s not productive. When you are pitched in battle against an adversary, it is useless to complain about his strength or that he seems to be winning. This is counterproductive, unhealthy, and generally causes unneeded, harmful fear.
  2. It’s not the truth. If we listen to the Lord, we understand man’s heart is evil from his youth. It’s not like the world used to be a good place, but it’s been sliding. The battle between good and evil continues to wage.
  3. It is a statement of unbelief. When we use this language, we teach our children the devil is winning here on earth, and that’s not a biblical picture. It’s a statement of unbelief. Remember Elisha’s servant who could only see the great army coming against them until Elisha prayed that his eyes be opened. Elisha said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Elisha’s servant could then see the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6.15-19)! Faith is knowing that God is winning here on earth even when we cannot see it, and we need to speak to our kids with language of faith. The good guys win!

Take heart, dear Christian, and speak confidently from a place of faith in the conquering King! Jesus has established His church to disciple the nations, and that’s the business we are in until He returns.

Are You Confident in Your Salvation?

Sunday, May 05, 2024

"Why are you confident in your salvation?"

If you answer, "I am not confident in my salvation," that needs to be remedied! God wants you to be confident. Read 1 John 1.1-4, and see that God wants your joy to be full. You should "know that [you] know Him" (2.3), and you should "know that [you] are in Him" (2.5).

But allow me to address those who are confident in their salvation. Why are you confident?

Are you confident because of your church or your minister?

"I'm a member of the right church, and my preacher preaches the right doctrine."

Let us immediately dismiss this, for no person or body of men can ever save a soul.


For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written:

    “As I live, says the LORD,
    Every knee shall bow to Me,
    And every tongue shall confess to God.”

So each of us shall give account of himself to God. (Rom. 14.10-12)

Are you confident because you follow God's laws?

Does your assurance come from having been baptized (in the correct way and for the right reasons)? Does your confidence swell each first day of the week as you assemble with the saints and correctly partake of the Supper of the Lord? "I'm obedient."

Every Bible preacher under both Old and New Covenants preached, "Repent, and bear fruits worthy of repentance." The fruit of a changed heart surely should be seen in us, giving us a level of confidence as to our position with the Lord. However, the fruit is merely a sign of our salvation and not what causes it. The good works we do may reveal that we have been saved, but the works themselves don't save!

"He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy..." (Titus 3.5)

Are you confident because of your inward repentance and faith?

"I know my heart is right."

Please don't depend upon some attitude of your heart, some inherent internal goodness. Can you be saved without faith and repentance? Hardly! But these, like the good works above, only expose the fact that you are saved!

If we are honest, we know we are not worthy because the intents of our heart continue to hold traces of evil motives and weaknesses to temptation. When is faith ever strong enough? When is repentance ever full? We might believe our latest repentance came from complete and utter brokenness, but in a few more days our weaknesses resurface again! O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

From Where Does True Confidence Come?

Our confidence, ultimately, comes from Jesus Christ, the One whose word never falls to the ground, whose promises are never broken. He exists, He lives, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Our confidence should never be in our seeking but in the One Whom we seek! Christ is our Yes and our Amen.


"For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." (2 Cor. 1.20-22)


Brothers and Sisters, rest confidently in this, that God saves in Christ, not because of works we accomplish but because of THE WORK Christ has done and the work the Holy Spirit continues to do in us.

In Christ do I trust. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2.20).

All Things Have Been Made New

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Jesus quoted from Isaiah 61 when He defined His mission on earth:

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
because the LORD has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor;
He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61.1–3)

Jesus ended His quote with “to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor” and did not mention the day of vengeance, but the context continues and fits the ministry of Jesus all the way down to at least verse 9. In verse 8, God says, “I will make an everlasting covenant with them,” which He has done through the work of Christ.

This text overflows blessing to God’s people! Not only is there much about releasing from bondage, healing the broken, and comforting mourners, but God replaces the evil things with wonderful things—He removes the ashes and puts a headdress on; He takes away the faint spirit and gives a garment of praise.

Verse 4 says, “They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.” What an awesome picture! I see families torn apart by sin and selfishness and corruption, and God heals the wounds and builds them back into a happy, loving group that serves one another. I see weeds pulled up, gardens cultivated, broken windows and doors repaired, new tables laden with food, smiling faces, satisfied people. God heals generational wounds.

I need God to pull out the weeds from my heart renovate my life. Move out the old man and move in the Holy Spirit.  This He does through Jesus Christ!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Cor. 17–19).

Why Did Jesus Feed the 5000?

Monday, January 29, 2024

In Luke 9, a huge crowd went out into a desolate place outside Bethsaida to find Jesus. About 5000 enjoyed the words and the powerful healing Jesus brought; all day they listened until the day began to wane. The disciples suggested that Jesus send the crowd into the surrounding villages so they could get something to eat, but Jesus surprised them with a challenge: "You give them something to eat" (Luke 9.14)!

"We have no more than five loaves and two fish," they answered, not for a moment considering a boy's lunch (John 6.9) ample provision for such a great multitude. I would have agreed with them, I'm afraid. (I sometimes stare into my fridge thinking, "There's nothing to eat," when really there is plenty...)

Jesus was not obligated to feed this multitude, and no one expected Him to provide a meal. He must have had a purpose to this miracle. Why did He do it?

1. Jesus increased the faith of the disciples.

After His disciples said they couldn't feed the multitude, Jesus didn't just say, "Okay, fine, if you won't do it I'll do it Myself." Rather, He launched into action to multiply the bread and fish, and He "gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd" (Luke 9.16). In other words, the disciples ended up giving the crowd something to eat, just as Jesus had instructed! Jesus does not command anything for which He doesn't also equip.

Jesus had told these disciples He would make them fishers of men (Luke 5.9-10). These twelve (Luke 6.13) would be the seeds which started a worldwide planting operation. How in the world would they accomplish such a monumental—dare we say, impossible—task? By faith these men would come to understand all they had to do was obey—God handles the multiplication!

God can take an oil jug with just a bit of left-over oil in the bottom and make it outlast a famine (1 Kings 17.8-16). God can feed and water a couple million people in the desert for forty years. Man's road blocks and impossibilities are nothing to God.

2. Jesus identified Himself.

Continuing the previous thought, Jesus identified Himself with Moses in the wilderness. John (in John 6) accounts a conversation the day following the feeding of the 5000 in which the Jews tried to provoke Jesus into feeding them again: "Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat’" (John 6.31). They did well to connect Jesus' power with the feeding of the Israelites in the wilderness, and Jesus continued the thought, identifying Himself as the true bread from heaven.

Not only did He identify Himself as the bread of life, but this even also identified Him strongly with Moses—Moses being a type of Christ. How could Jesus do such awesome things unless God had truly sent Him? And if God had sent Him, He was a true prophet. Moses had prophesied in Deuteronomy 18.15, "YAHWEH your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear..."

The feeding of the 5000 proved that God had raised up The Prophet!