The One and the 1

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Luke 15:7

The physician Luke records a conversation between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day over those who were spiritually lost.  The Pharisees focused on the found . . . Jesus looked for the lost.

The Savior told stories of a lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son.  The lost sheep was sought after by the shepherd . . . the lost coin was found in a routine cleaning . . . and the lost son was waited for.

In each parable, there was celebration when the lost was found.

Read More

Peace Out? I Don’t Think So . . .

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 NKJV

Nearing the end of His life, Jesus began preparing His followers for the life changing challenges they would soon face.  Amid describing His death and their persecution, He reassures them of His peace that will soon be their peace.

In each of our journeys, we face times of chaos, confusion and conflicts.

Uncertainty can lead to uncharted waters.  

Read More

There Is Someone Who Cares

O LORD, I cry out to you. I will keep on pleading day by day.
Psalms 88:13 NLT

The “Blues” genre of music began near the end of the 19th century.  It is soulful.  It is reflective.  It is introspective.  “Blues” share the “personal woes in a world of harsh reality.”[i]

Often our greatest sorrows can only be expressed with song.  Words are not enough.  Writing may not be adequate.  The powerful partnership between lyrics and music can soothe, satisfy or simplify the soul.

Psalm 88 has been called the saddest of all psalms.  Spurgeon gives us insight, “whoever wrote the Psalm must have been a man of deep experience, who had done business on the great waters of soul trouble.”[ii]

The psalmist shows his pain, shares his problems and surrenders his pride.  There is Read More

A Verse That I Don’t Like

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV

I came across this passage several years ago.  Candidly, it did not make my list of the “Top Ten Verses That I Love.”  In fact, I didn’t like reading it at all.  It’s one of those passages of Scripture that walks around in your mind until it works its way down to your heart.

These verses are not really what we want to hear.

We want to enjoy the blessings . . . not endure the burdens.
We want fruit on our vines, crops in our field and livestock in our stalls . . . translated . . . Read More

No More . . .

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:1–2 NIV

There is an unbreakable link between slavery and condemnation.  Bondage of any kind erodes the hope of freedom that exists in each of our hearts.  As Christ followers, we have been set free, yet many still struggle with the shackles of sin . . . sin in their past, sin and it’s pain, and sin and it’s power.

Paul reminds the followers in Rome that they are “set free from the law of sin and death.”  Even though it’s every believer’s right through their new birth, many don’t know how to Read More

Fear? Not Me!

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
Fear may be the most destructive and demoralizing weapon in our enemy’s arsenal.  The deceiver uses fear to discourage, to demean, to distract and to detour.
Author J. Ruth Glender tells us, “Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small.”
Fear stops our steps of faith.  
Fear influences our choices.  
Fear can change direction.  
Fear can eat away our confidence.  
Fear can tear apart relationships.
Paul, as an early church statesman needed to encourage a younger church servant.  He emphatically tells Timothy that fear is not from God.  That needs repeating . . . FEAR IS NOT FROM GOD.

Read More