JOHN 16:7-11: “But I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I am leaving; for if I do not leave, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me; and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” NASB

OBSERVATION: Are you experiencing the Holy Spirit Advantage? Are you struggling to live life, to find direction, to know what choices to make, to overcome the obstacles and enemies of life? If you answered yes to any of these…


The setting of this discourse between Jesus and His disciples was the last Passover meal and His final words to them before going to the Garden and being betrayed. Jesus tried to tell His disciples what was going to happen and to prepare them for the time when He fulfilled His ministry and returned to the Father.

Naturally, this news was hard to swallow. It was hard to believe and understand. Why would Jesus talk about death when He is the Messiah? Why would Jesus talk about leaving when He had only just begun His ministry? In the midst of the disciple’s confusion, sadness, and questioning, Jesus says these important words.


Have you ever watched the recap of a championship sports game? They list the stats side by side of each team. As they lay out these stats a summary is compiled and each skill is awarded to the team who has the ADVANTAGE. What is an advantage? Webster defines advantage as,

“Any state, condition, or circumstance, favorable to success, prosperity, interest, or reputation.” (Websters 1828 English Dictionary)

Jesus made it very clear what the believer’s advantage would be. It would not be based on his skill or education. It would not be a result of his personal strength or faith. The believer’s advantage was not something they possessed. Rather, it was something that would be given to them when Jesus left and returned to the Father.


When Jesus walked this earth He was filled with the full measure of the Holy Spirit. He was the living cloud and pillar of fire of God that led the children of Israel in the desert. He was the Light of Life. As long as Jesus walked this earth the Holy Spirit could not be given to His disciples. However, when He returned to the Father, then the words of John the Baptist would be fulfilled.

  • ‘“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:11 NASB

Why do we need the Holy Spirit? Why is He our advantage? Why is He central to all that we are called to do and become? Jesus answers these questions with three clear and decisive statements of which entire books could be written on each one.

  • “And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me; and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”

The purpose of my reflections this morning is not focused on developing these three points. It is focused on emphasizing our need for the Holy Spirit in everything we do. So, I will simply list these three critical things we cannot do without the Holy Spirit’s vital ministry and presence in our lives.

  1. CONVICTION OF SIN: We cannot convince anyone of their need for Jesus. We cannot convict anyone, including ourselves of our sin and need for repentance. When we try to change our lives or the lives of others with mere human efforts we will always fail. Only the Holy Spirit can convict one of sin and their need for a Savior!
  2. CONVICTION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: We cannot discern the truth, understand the Bible, or walk on the path of righteousness without the Holy Spirit. Left to ourselves we will all wander down the wrong path. The disciples had the physical presence and teaching of Jesus to guide them. Jesus, now sitting on the right hand of the Father, has sent for the Holy Spirit to be our teacher, comforter, and guide in His place!
  3. CONVICTION OF JUDGMENT: We cannot win the battle against sin and the enemy without the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who proclaims the victory of Jesus’ death and resurrection through the gifts that He bestows upon the church. It is through these gifts that we partner in Jesus’ victory and break the strongholds of sin and the power of the enemy in our lives.

I don’t know about you – but I want to live with God’s ADVANTAGE! This advantage was so important that Jesus told the disciples to wait until they received power from on high before they did anything! When they walked with the risen Christ they were ready to go. Yet, if they had started prematurely they would have quickly met defeat. When they were baptized in the Holy Spirit on that wonderful day of Pentecost the –


The Holy Spirit was the changing factor as He indwelt the lives of the 120 that were gathered in the upper room, the 3000 that believed and were baptized when Peter preached, and all those who from that point would repent, believe, and receive!

  • “Peter replied, “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. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39 NASB

Every person who repents and believes in Jesus Christ receives the Holy Spirit when they are saved. However, there is a baptism of power when a believer yields their life to the Holy Spirit and allows Him to lead, correct, teach, and empower their life. This is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which is available to everyone who asks in Jesus’ Name!

  • “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NASB
  • “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13 NASB

Lord, I thank you for the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. I also thank you for the Holy Spirit’s baptism of power that You freely give to everyone who asks! Today I desire to yield my life fully to the work of the Spirit. I want to live with the ADVANTAGE that You promised.

Holy Spirit, convict my life of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

In Jesus’ Name!

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JOHN 12:46-48: “I have come as Light into the world, so that no one who believes in Me will remain in darkness. If anyone hears My teachings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects Me and does not accept My teachings has one who judges him: the word which I spoke. That will judge him on the last day.” NASB

OBSERVATION: What will be the final judge of our lives? This is a sobering thought to consider. No one likes to think about the end of their life. Yet, we all will face this day. There is no one who will escape it. Therefore, it is important that we are prepared for it!

With the thought of judgment comes our concept of who God is. Is God the eternal judge who is sitting in heaven just waiting to punish us for all of our failures in life? This is the idea that many people have of God. Jesus came to reveal the heart of the Father. Jesus was the express image of the Father. In Jesus’ life, we find the true nature of God revealed.

  • “I have come as Light into the world, so that no one who believes in Me will remain in darkness. If anyone hears My teachings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.”

Jesus came as Light to the world. He came to illuminate the truth of God’s Word, God’s heart, and God’s love. Jesus came to be the light to all mankind – to everyone who would believe. He did not come to pronounce judgment upon the world. Jesus came to die for this world and to save it. This is the heart of God.

Yet, this does not mean that there will not be a final judgment. If God is a God of love He also must be a God of justice. True love demands justice. Truth always calls one to a decision. It is this decision that will be the core of the judgment that we all will face. Jesus makes it very clear what the final judgment will be.

  • “The one who rejects Me and does not accept My teachings has one who judges him: the word which I spoke. That will judge him on the last day.”

So many today dismiss the Bible as a fairy tale. They reject the claims of Jesus Christ. They ignore the cross and the empty tomb. They believe there is no absolute truth. Truth is something that each person decides for themselves. If there is a God then He will judge us by how we have lived and treated our fellow man. As long as I do my best that is all anyone can expect – Right?

Wrong! Truth is not relative. Our judgment will not be based on what we have done but on what we have believed. The Bible is clear, we are all sinners and fall short of the glory (perfection) of God. Even our best efforts are not enough to escape the final judgment. At the end of our life, there will be a final judgment and a final judge. This final judge will be the very Word of God that so many dismiss. Jesus’ words will judge all men at the end of their life.

The final judgment will not be a performance test. It will not be based on how well each person followed Jesus’ teachings. If that were the case we all would fail. The final judgment will be a faith test. There is only one consideration that will determine our eternal destiny at the end of our lives.

What did we do with Jesus?

Did we embrace Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord and His teachings as the truth? Or, did we dismiss Jesus’ claims and His words? No one will escape the final judgment based on works. The only way to escape final judgment and receive the assurance of eternal life is to place our complete trust in Jesus Christ. To trust Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord is also to embrace all of His teachings. Jesus said,

  • “…If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ‘ John 8:31-32

Jesus’ teachings, His truth, will set us free. It will set us free from the power of sin in this life and the judgment for sin in the life to come. To reject Jesus is to reject His truth. To reject His truth is to reject Jesus. On that final day of our life the only thing that will matter will be –

Did I believe in Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life?

Only those who place their complete trust in Jesus Christ will go from death to life and escape the judgment of sin. To those who reject Jesus Christ and His Word, Jesus Himself will not judge them. Jesus’ very words will be the final judge of their life and they will determine their eternal destiny.

God is a God of love. He is not willing that any should perish. His love is full of truth and justice. God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to show us the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus died on the cross, for our sins, in our place, so that we could escape the power and penalty of sin in the final judgment. To embrace Jesus Christ is to receive life and peace. To reject Jesus Christ will result in death and eternal judgment.

Jesus and His Word have been given so that all may believe!

Lord, I pray that everyone who reads these words will be convicted by the Holy Spirit, will repent, and receive the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. May they know the joy of life, peace, and the blessed assurance of eternal life, without judgment, forever secure in the arms of a loving God!

In Jesus’ Name!

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JOHN 5:39-44: “You examine the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is those very Scriptures that testify about Me; and yet you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you accept glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” NASB

OBSERVATION: When was the last time I had my spiritual eyes examined? This may seem like a strange question. How can one have a spiritual eye exam? The last time I looked, Lens Crafters did not offer this service. Yet, just like I need to watch the health of my physical eyes, I also need to care for my spiritual eyes.

Spiritual nearsightedness or farsightedness is a real malady that affects all believers. We are all vessels of clay going through different times of trial and testing. These struggles, and how we react to them, have a lot to do with the health of our spiritual eyes. It is very easy to begin to see and understand God’s Word incorrectly – through our eyes of hurt, disappointment, or failure.

This was the case with the Jews whom Jesus was addressing in John chapter 5. They took great pride in their religion and in being the recipients of the Word of God. Yet, they completely missed the very Messiah that God’s Word proclaimed. Jesus, standing in their midst, was not embraced for who He truly was. It was not that they did not revere God’s Word. The problem was with their spiritual eyesight. Jesus said,

  • “You examine the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is those very Scriptures that testify about Me; and yet you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.”

How can a person be a student of the Scriptures and miss the very essence of God’s Word? How could one pour over the Word, day in and day out, and miss the very life they were seeking – when it stood right before them? And, it was not simply that they were missing it. Rather, they were openly resisting it!

  • “…And yet you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.”

What were these people missing? What do we so often miss in our pursuit of the truth? What is the defining component of healthy spiritual eyes? It is not the amount of time we spend in the Word. There are many that use God’s Word in ways that lead many astray. So what is it?

It is the condition of our heart that determines the health of our spiritual eyes. And, the condition of our heart that is a prerequisite to the health of our spiritual eyes is – HUMILITY! This is exactly what Jesus focuses on when He challenges those who were resisting Him.

  • “I do not receive glory from people; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you accept glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?”

Jesus had only one focus in His life. It was to please the Father, to do His Father’s will, and to speak His Father’s words. Jesus did not do this for any fanfare or acclaim. He did this out of a humble heart of obedience. The result of this obedience was both suffering and misunderstanding from those He came to save.

On the other hand, the Jews who stumbled at His word were more interested in their own personal comfort and acceptance from others. They hungered for their peers’ glory and honor and would do anything to receive it. This spiritual pride, this hunger for acceptance, and this need for affirmation from their peers, blinded them from seeing the very Son of God. Instead of humbling themselves before Jesus, they criticized what He did because it did not fit into their personal framework.

In the recent movie, Jesus Revolution, there is a scene from the movie where one of the church leaders is upset because the hippies that are now attending church do not wear shoes. His objection is that their dirty feet will stain their new carpet. When we begin to worry more about the church’s carpet than the heart of someone who needs Jesus Christ we have lost our spiritual eyesight!

I love the scene that follows. As Sunday approaches, the man who objected to the dirty feet, and his family, approach the church, only to see a long line of hippies at the door. He angrily pushes through and mutters – “What is this all about!?” When he gets to the door he sees the pastor, kneeling down, and washing the feet of each person who came to church without shoes. Angrily, he passes by and takes a seat. He would soon leave the church!

We are all the Jews who stood before Jesus, or the angry man worried about the carpet if we do not humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God. If we worry more about pleasing others than pleasing God – we will be blinded from the very truth that will set us free. God always resists the proud but He gives grace to the humble. His grace is like a finely tuned pair of eyeglasses. It keeps us in a place of humility and enables us to see and understand the truth.

Grace corrects our spiritual vision so that we can clearly see!

The more we strive, the more we try to convince others, the more we worry about what people will think of us – the more we move away from the heart of the Father and the truth of His Word. Yet, when we humble ourselves under His mighty hand, when we desire to please God more than man, when we are willing to count the cost of discipleship and take up our cross and follow Jesus – we receive God’s grace and our spiritual eyes are opened!

Lord, I hunger to see You and know You. I hunger to know You through Your Word. I hunger to be pleasing to You in all that I do and say. So, this morning, search me and know me and see if there are any roots of pride or insecurity that are springing up in my heart. Give me the grace to humble myself under Your mighty hand.

Open my eyes and let me see Jesus!

In Jesus’ Name!

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JOHN 3:19-21: “And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.” NASB

OBSERVATION: What is the oldest battle known to man? Is it the struggle for political power? Is it the war between the sexes? Is it the battle for competing ideologies? The oldest battle known to man is…

The battle between light and darkness.

This is the ultimate battle. This is the battle that takes place in the heavenlies and in our own backyard. It is the battle that will one day be settled once and for all when Jesus Christ returns in glorious light and overcomes and dispels all darkness once and for all. When Jesus Christ sets up the New Heavens and New Earth there will be no darkness at all – either physically or spiritually!

  • “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed…” Revelation 21:23-25 NASB

What a glorious day that will be! Yet, today, we find ourselves in the battle of light and darkness as we look for this day. We are all thrust into this battle. There is no way to escape the battle. However, there is a way to have victory. Our victory is found only in the light. We cannot dispel or overcome the darkness. Only the light, the True Light can do this.

  • “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind. And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it. ‘ John 1:4-5 NASB

Jesus is the True Light. We need to always keep this forefront in our minds and hearts. The battle that wages in the world, the battle of light against darkness, sin against righteousness, is ultimately a battle of the enemy against Jesus Christ. The kingdom of darkness, under the rule and authority of Satan, is constantly battling against the Kingdom of Light, ruled by Jesus Christ our Lord.

As believers, we know and understand the end of the battle. Jesus wins! We win in Christ! Yet, we often forget this fact amid the battle when the struggle becomes personal. When we are accused of being intolerant, unloving, narrow-minded, haters, bigots, and all sorts of vile things, we begin to take it personally. We forget that the attack is not against us but against The Light!

  • “And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil.”

Jesus is the light. We are called to be reflections of His light. The world and its system are under the rule of the prince of darkness. Therefore, the world will hate The Light and us as we reflect His light. So what is our call as lights to the world? Is it to be exposers of darkness or reflections of His light? This is where many become confused and also discouraged in this ongoing battle.

As children of the light our call is to proclaim the Light. The Pharisees were famous for pointing out the darkness in others. Yet, when God sent forth His Light, it was not to expose the darkness of the world – it was to proclaim His light – His love!

  • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17 NASB

Jesus came to proclaim the love of the Father. Jesus came to be the true light to a world lost in darkness. Jesus came so that everyone who believes in Him could have eternal life. He did not come to judge the world. He came to die for it! This is the message of the Gospel. This is the purpose of the light. So then the question remains – why doesn’t everyone embrace the light? Why doesn’t everyone embrace Jesus Christ through faith?

Light does not have to point out darkness. Light naturally exposes it. When one turns on the light whatever is broken, dirty, or deficient is immediately exposed. It is not that the light is looking for these things. They already exist. It is simply that the light exposes that which has been hidden in the darkness. When the light exposes these things then a choice has to be made.

The choice is repentance and faith – or rejecting and hating the light.

  • “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed.”

This is why the battle continues to wage on. The enemy or our souls hates the light. Those who embrace evil hate the light. They hate it because it exposes the true nature of their deeds. The truth of God’s Word, the call of His love, and the person and work of Jesus Christ, all shine a light that exposes the reality of their life and their choices. There are only two decisions that are possible. Either you come to the light in repentance or you hate the light and avoid it at any cost.

This is the battle that defines our current day. This is why we are caught in its crossfire. Yet, in all of this, it is important that we do not internalize this struggle or allow our message to be changed. Jesus said that the world will hate the one who embraces the light because they hate The Light. It is always about Jesus. The battle is between the kingdom of darkness against the Kingdom of Light. Our victory is not through becoming light police. It is through becoming light heralds!

  • “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 NASB

The world is waiting to catch us in our failures and accuse us of hypocrisy. We fall prey to this when we make the message about us and not about Him. The Gospel is not about how much better we are than anyone else. The Gospel is about Jesus Christ, the Light of Life, coming to this world and taking the full penalty of our sin upon Himself. The Good News is that we were all once children of darkness but have become children of light through Jesus Christ alone!

Lord, in this day in which we live, help us to let our light shine brightly in the darkness that surrounds us. Keep our light focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Help us to be ambassadors for Christ, proclaiming His love, His sacrifice, His victory over death, and His promise of eternal life to all who will believe. Keep our lights burning brightly with the oil of Your love!

In Jesus’ Name!

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LUKE 20:40, 45-46: “Now when He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you do not come into temptation…When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you do not come into temptation.” NASB

OBSERVATION: What do sorrow and temptation have to do with each other and how can I live in victory? In context, the sorrow that I am speaking about in the account of Jesus and His disciples in the Garden is the sorrow of impending loss or disappointment. We could also look at this as the kind of depression that is not clinical but comes from a quick change in one’s circumstances.

What was this change the disciples were dealing with? As they celebrated the Passover with Jesus it became clear that their hopes of the Kingdom of God being established at this moment were replaced with the prediction of Jesus’ betrayal, death, and suffering. Jesus tried to prepare the disciples for what would be a radical change of events.

  • “And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me: ‘And He was counted with wrongdoers’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.” Luke‬ ‭22‬:‭35‬-‭37‬ ‭NASB

Suddenly, their arguments about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom seemed foolish. Why did Jesus continue talking about suffering and death when He was the Messiah? Why did Jesus tell them to change their preparation from His previous instructions? Something was in the air and even though they did not fully understand it – their hearts were filled with sorrow. They grew increasingly depressed.

It is during these times in life that we are most susceptible to temptation. We lose heart, we hide in sleep, and our vision grows dim as we look to the future. At this moment – the enemy comes to try and kill, steal, and destroy the work of God in our life. The enemy does not come in our moments of strength and courage. He comes at the height of our loss, sorrow, depression, and physical strength!

  • “Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Luke‬ ‭4‬:‭1‬-‭3‬ ‭NASB

Whenever Jesus said, “Truly, truly…”, or whenever He repeated something twice, it was something of utmost importance that He was calling us to take note of. When Jesus and the disciples went to the Garden to pray, Jesus cautioned the disciples, both before and at the end of His time of prayer,

  • “Pray that you do not come into temptation.”

In the other Gospels, we read this additional exhortation,

  • “…for the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

What are the temptations that Jesus is warning us about? I believe there is a primary temptation that opens the door to all other forms of temptations. The primary temptation that we all have to face is that of losing heart. This is what this band of weary disciples was dealing with as they were told to watch and pray but chose to allow sorrow to overcome them and they fell asleep so they did not have to deal with their sorrow.

What is losing heart? It is looking at our circumstances and letting go of our faith. It is to look down instead of up. When we lose heart we are prone to make bad decisions and bad choices. These are not necessarily falling into overt sin, although this too can happen. However, it all starts with a general malaise that causes us to turn from the path of righteousness to the easy path of our own making. This has been the general downfall of God’s people throughout the ages.

The Scriptures are replete with warnings about not losing heart. Yet, Jesus puts a laser focus on this when He tells us to watch and pray! To watch and pray is an active engagement with God and His Word. It faces uncertainty with faith and presses into God’s presence amid our sorrow and loss. It recognizes the willingness and weakness of our human nature and our need for power from on high. It is only in active communion with God through prayer and His Word that we are equipped to overcome this temptation!

  • “Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews‬ ‭12‬:‭1‬-‭2‬ ‭NASB

Looking only at Jesus! This is the key to overcoming our sorrow and temptation. It is what the Lord Jesus Himself did as He humbled Himself and prayed to the Father. He is the originator and perfecter of our faith. In His moment of agony in the Garden, Jesus found the strength to endure the cross for the joy that was set before Him. Our victory will be found in this same place. When we are tempted to retreat, to hide, to sleep – we need to press into God’s presence through prayer and the Word!

Lord, forgive me for the times that I have retreated and hidden in times of sorrow, depression, and loss. When everything seems to be changing, when unexpected turns meet me on the road of life, help me to remember that You have given me an example of how to overcome. In the wilderness, You defeated the enemy through prayer, fasting and the Word. In the Garden, You faced the cross with the same. Help me to face every challenge in life by watching and praying!

  • “And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

In Jesus’ Name!

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PSALM 74:22-23: “Arise, God, and plead Your own cause; Remember how the foolish person taunts You all day long. Do not forget the voice of Your adversaries, The uproar of those who rise against You, which ascends continually.” NASB
OBSERVATION: What is revival? I have been drawn to the thought of revival continually over the past few weeks. I have felt like the disciples who were praying for Peter’s release from prison and then had a hard time believing when young Rhoda told them that Peter was free and standing at the door! (Read Acts 12:6-19).

For the last 20 years, I have been lamenting the condition of our nation and our world. I have been praying for revival to once again come to our churches and turn hearts back to Jesus Christ, to His Word, and to the call of fulfilling the Great Commission. There have been prayer meetings, conferences, and just my time alone with the Lord pouring over His Word and crying out for the Holy Spirit to move upon my heart and the hearts of His people.

Now, I believe revival is knocking at the door. While we are still huddled together inside the four walls of our churches a young generation is coming to us and saying – “Revival is at the door!” And, to many, the response is what the disciples said to young Rhoda…

  • “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “We need to just wait and see. This could just be an emotional response of a group of impressionable youth!” (An adaptive paraphrase of Acts 12:15 for emphasis)

The disciples, like many of us, were praying for something – but they really did not know what to expect. I think this is true of revival. When we are praying for it we only have the examples of past revivals to look to and understand how God moved in His people. Yet, we cannot put God in a box. This revival will not be led by hippies coming out of San Francisco, but I do believe it will be God profoundly working through our youth.

Psalm 74 seemed like an unlikely place to be drawn to contemplate revival. This Psalm was written by Asaph, one of the Levite Temple musicians, or more probably by one of his descendants during the time of the Babylonian captivity. It references the desolation of God’s people and the defiling of the Temple.

  • “Step toward the irreparable ruins; The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary. Your adversaries have roared in the midst of Your meeting place; They have set up their own signs as signs.” Psalms‬ ‭74‬:‭3‬-‭4‬ ‭NASB

Isn’t that the way so many have been feeling about the church, our nation, and the world in which we live? Irreparable ruins! It seems that the enemy has been winning and the church has been merely holding shrinking ground. Seekers are no longer crossing the doors of our churches. The Bible, although still the best-selling book of all time, is rarely read, and even more, is completely misunderstood. And, so the Psalmist cries…

  • “How long, God, will the enemy taunt You? Shall the enemy treat Your name disrespectfully forever? Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? Extend it from Your chest and destroy them!” Psalms‬ ‭74‬:‭10‬-‭11‬ ‭NASB

Let’s be honest. I am speaking to pastors and leaders for the moment. We have entered our pulpits with smiling faces and the resolve to hold the fort. It is our job to make sure God’s people don’t lose heart. Yet, we have battled disappointment as we see the world crumble around us. We know that God is faithful, that He is still on the throne, but we have longed to see Him move in power – not just a sprinkling of power, but an outpouring of power from on high that changes the hearts of man!

Then, from this unsuspecting Psalm, when I read the last verses, my heart was filled with both hope and understanding!

  • “Arise, God, and plead Your own cause; Remember how the foolish person taunts You all day long. Do not forget the voice of Your adversaries, The uproar of those who rise against You, which ascends continually.”

REVIVAL IS…God stepping into the scene to plead His own cause!

Yes, it is the answer to our prayers, but it is more than that. It is God doing for Himself what we could not do. It is Jesus Christ stepping into the affairs of mankind with a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit that accomplishes transformation in the hearts and minds of men and women that all of our combined efforts and programs never could accomplish.

It is God knocking at the door in answer to our prayers!

Just yesterday a colleague of mine shared a story with me that could only be explained by this new move of God’s Spirit in our midst. I am an Evangelical Christian – but this story came from the setting of a Roman Catholic School. (Note: Many evangelicals would already have dismissed any account based on this fact.). My colleague’s daughter is a peer minister in high school. At a retreat, to prepare for confirmation, one girl was both angry and agitated. She said – “I don’t want to be here! I don’t believe in God and my parents made me come!”

This wonderful young girl simply asked her if they could pray for her. She agreed and a group of young girls gathered around and prayed a simple prayer. The girl then left and went to another part of the room. Later this young peer minister heard that this girl had come to faith because when she laid her hands on the angry girl’s shoulder and prayed, in the words of the rebellious youth –

“I felt the hand of God!”

When the winds of revival come they do not come with distinction based on the denomination or Christian labels and expectatons. God’s Spirit moves in hungry hearts. He moves in any heart that calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! The Spirit breaks down walls and barriers and returns us to our first love and passion – Jesus Christ our Lord! It becomes all about Jesus and less about everything else.

I believe God is arising to plead His own cause. We can answer the door of His knocking with doubt and skepticism, or we can open the door and invite Him in! Lord, help me, help us – make the right choice!

  • “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. The one who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat with My Father on His throne. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation‬ ‭3‬:‭20‬-‭22‬ ‭NASB

Come Holy Spirit!

In Jesus’ Name!

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NUMBERS 17:12-13: “Then the sons of Israel spoke to Moses, saying, “Behold, we are passing away, we are perishing, we are all perishing! Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the Lord, must die. Are we to perish completely?” NASB

OBSERVATION:  Is my heart hard? Have I grown callous to the moving of the Holy Spirit and the presence of God? Am I positioned for a new move of the Spirit in my life, the church, and our land?

Over the past several weeks all eyes have been fixated on what is happening at Asbury College and a host of other colleges across our nation. It was no coincidence that the movie “Jesus Revolution” was released in theatres during this unplanned news cycle. As one who lived through the Jesus Movement, I was eager to see this movie and relive these days.

What I am about to reflect on will not be a spoiler to any who have not already seen the movie. Most are aware that in the Jesus Movement people in the established church did not respond well to what God was doing in the heart of these hippies and youth. The music and dress they embraced was something the church had never seen.

At the beginning of this Movement I was part of a church that did not embrace it at all! Today, I am a Foursquare pastor and minister. I have served as a pastor and am now a District Representative for Foursquare Missions Press. I love our Foursquare family and their emphasis on Jesus as our Savior, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, Healer, and Soon Coming King!  Yet, many do not know that Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel began as a Foursquare Church.

In the movie, one of the pivotal moments was the struggle the leading members of Calvary Chapel had with these new hippies attending their church. The staunch church members who rejected these young people were not part of a dead church – they were part of the Foursquare Church that had its roots in the Pentecostal Movement and the evangelistic and healing ministry of Aimee Semple McPherson.

This struck me in a profound way.  It does not matter what our background is, or our heritage, we all can develop callous and hard hearts to the moving of the Spirit of God. This was true of these few believers in the movie, it was true in the nation of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness and when Jesus walked this earth, and it can be true of each one of us if we do not keep open and tender hearts to the winds of change that come from the Holy Spirit.

One of the most devastating things that we can say is – “That is not how we did it back in the day!” More churches have split and died over this statement than any other. Have you ever said any of the following?

The music just isn’t the same!

The preaching lacks power and conviction!

There is no respect for God among the youth!

These people will not be able to support the church!

I wish we could return back to the glory days of the past!

Imagine the closing statement from the children of Israel in Numbers chapter 17.

  • “Then the sons of Israel spoke to Moses, saying, “Behold, we are passing away, we are perishing, we are all perishing! Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the Lord, must die. Are we to perish completely?”

This statement followed three important events. They are:

  1. Aaron and Miriam’s challenge to Moses’ leadership.
  2. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram’s challenge to the Aaron and his sons. (This included 250 who challenged the right to exercise the duties of the priesthood.)
  3. The challenge of tribe leaders to Aaron’s leadership symbolized by the 12 staffs placed in the Tabernacle and the budding of Aaron’s staff.

In each of these situations there was a desire to control the moving of God’s Spirit. God was clear, through the commands of Moses, who He had called and established to serve in His presence. Yet, out of jealousy and the hardness of their hearts the children of Israel, including also Aaron and Miriam, challenged what God was doing.

God’s presence was manifested in their lives to bring His blessings, protection, and victory to the entire nation. When the Holy Spirit moves in the church it is for the same reason. Yet, when our hearts are not positioned to receive the new wine of the Holy Spirit we can find ourselves fearing the very provision of God! This is what happened to the nation of Israel.

What was meant to be life – became a fear of death. This was not because God’s presence was at fault. The fault lay totally on the hearts of those who challenged God’s authority and the way He had designed and desired to manifest His presence among them. What was meant for life became death because of the condition of their hearts. This is exactly what Paul writes about in Romans.

  • “…And this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it, killed me. So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” Romans 7:10-12

The movie never showed what happened to those who left the church. The winds of revival no doubt touched the life of the Foursquare church as a whole, but even those who claimed to be Spirit-filled missed the intent of what God was doing. What was good and righteous was seen to be a threat. Like the children of Israel, fear kept many from receiving the good that the Holy Spirit was doing.

The Asbury Revival, the Jesus Movement, and the movie “Jesus Revolution,” have all come at an important time to my life and the life of the church. I pray that my heart will not be like those who resisted the presence of God in the Old Testament, or those who walked out of the church during the Jesus Movement. Rather, I pray that my heart will remain tender to a new work of the Holy Spirit in our day and that I too will be transformed by the winds of revival.

Come Holy Spirit and move upon our hearts, our churches, and our land!

In Jesus’ Name!

Posted in Numbers | 3 Comments


LUKE 17:7-10: “Now which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him after he comes in from the field, ‘Come immediately and recline at the table to eat’? On the contrary, will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’? He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? So you too, when you do all the things which were commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’ ” NASB

OBSERVATION: What does it take to forgive someone? When I have been wronged or hurt by someone else do I have the fortitude to forgive them? When someone who has wronged me asks for forgiveness am I ready to freely forgive or do I find myself struggling to release them from the sin that they have committed? In the opening verses of Luke chapter 17, Jesus speaks to the issue of someone who has committed an offense and has asked for forgiveness.

  • “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” Luke 17:3‭-‬4 NASB

The disciples probably had no problem with the first part of Jesus’ teaching. When Jesus spoke of the seriousness of someone who brings an offense and causes even the little ones to stumble, the disciples were right with Him. Then, when Jesus said, “If your brother sins, rebuke him..,” no doubt they were ready to obey. However, when Jesus called them to forgive someone who sins against them seven times, if they come back seven times and ask for forgiveness, this is where the disciples (and most of us) start to have difficulty.

I can understand forgiving a person who offends me once or twice, but after that, it becomes increasingly difficult to do so. My natural response to this would be – “If they were really sincere they would have stopped it at the very first offense!” In my natural response, I would send them packing! Yet, Jesus calls us to forgive. In essence, Jesus is saying that if there is repentance it should be greeted with forgiveness – no matter how many times the offender offends. This is when the disciples, in desperation, and seeking understanding, cried out…

“Increase our faith!”

We are usually are not able to forgive others because of our limited human capacity. It is almost impossible to continue forgiving a repeat offender. Our natural response is to store up offenses and hold them against the other person. Many will cut someone off at the first offense, let alone seven or more! Faith is trusting God to do something in and through us that we are not humanly capable of doing. We are not capable of saving ourselves. We are saved by grace through faith – and both are a gift from God! When you read the 11th chapter of Hebrews you will find that all of God’s people had to rely on faith to follow and obey Him. It is no different with the call to forgive.

The disciples were fixated on their quantity of faith as if it were a power resource that needed to be increased before they could respond according to Jesus’ command. I call this bumper-jack faith. It is the concept that we have to keep cranking up our faith until we suddenly have enough to do what God has called us to do. This is especially true with the call to forgive. Jesus immediately confronts this common misconception.

  • “But the Lord said, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.” Luke 17:6‭ NASB

It is never the quantity of our faith that is in question. It is the source of our faith that is important. If we have faith in God, even faith as small as a mustard seed (one of the smallest seeds), there is no limit to what we can do – by grace through faith. This is true in salvation, our walk with Christ, our fulfillment of the Great Commission, and our call to forgive others. Jesus never calls us to forgive others because we feel like it. Jesus calls us to forgive others because it is the very heart and nature of God and it is the proper response of faith!

Hurt, unforgiveness, offenses, and repeated experiences of the same, are impossible to forgive within our limited ability. Yet, it is what we desire and need from God in our own life. Imagine if there was a cutoff limit for forgiveness from God for our failures. How could we face life each day without the full forgiveness and cleansing we receive from Jesus Christ our Lord? Faith brings us to the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness. It is this same faith that brings us to others and gives us the grace to forgive them as we have been forgiven.

Yet, there is one more important point I need to understand about forgiveness. When I am called to forgive someone I can view this as a grand gesture toward them. I can almost be puffed up with pride that I forgave them – even though they did not deserve it! Forgiveness begins to be something I see as a measure of my Christian maturity and accomplishment. What was a call of faith can become a source of pride. To this, Jesus once again brings us and the disciples back to reality!

  • “So you too, when you do all the things which were commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.”

Forgiveness is not something that I should expect an atta-boy for. It is not something that I should brag about. It is not something that shows how magnanimous I am when compared to others. Forgiveness is what I am expected to give. It is my responsibility because I am a son of God. I did not earn the forgiveness that I have received from Jesus. Therefore, I cannot take any credit for the forgiveness I have extended through faith in Jesus. Forgiveness is a gift that was freely given and is expected to be freely extended to others in faith and obedience to God’s command!

Like most, I struggle with forgiveness. Yet, I do not need to wait until I feel like I can forgive. I do not need to wait until I receive an infusion of faith from heaven. Everything that I need to forgive others God has already given me. All that I need to do is respond in faith and freely give that which I have already received. I must do this with simplicity, honesty, and without fanfare. When I have done so I must say –

“I have only done that which I have been called to do.” I am called to forgive!

Lord, I do not ask You to increase my faith. Rather, I ask You to release within me the faith that You have already given me. When my brother or sister sins against me, and when they ask for forgiveness, let me freely extend the same forgiveness that You have so freely given to me. Let my heart be Your heart!

  • “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NASB

In Jesus’ Name!

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NUMBERS 9:20-23:  “…Then in accordance with the command of the Lord they set out. If sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning, when the cloud was lifted in the morning they would set out; or if it remained in the daytime and at night, whenever the cloud was lifted, they would set out. Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud lingered over the tabernacle, staying above it, the sons of Israel remained camped and ldid not set out; but when it was lifted, they did set out. At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out; they did what the Lord required, in accordance with the command of the Lord through Moses.” NASB

OBSERVATION:  Am I following God’s timing in my life?  To be honest, this is an area I have struggled with all my life and still do.  You don’t have to be a follower of Christ long to learn that God’s timing is not our timing.  We live in an “instant” society.  As I ponder this question, an annoying commercial pops into my mind that goes – “It’s my money and I want it now!”  This commercial is brilliant because it plays on the general impatience we all struggle with.  We want instant results, instant answers, instant miracles, and instant breakthroughs. 

Everyone has difficulty learning how to wait!

The book of Numbers is a very interesting book.  It is a book that outlines God’s formation of the nation of Israel into an ordered society.  At times, the reading can seem tedious and we may wander in our minds as we read its pages.  Yet, if we pay attention we can learn some important lessons.  The first lesson is that God is a God or order.  Many equate the move of the Holy Spirit with freedom from order.  This cannot be further from the truth.  While we are warned about dead form and religion, we are still called to do things decently and in order.  Disorder is not the move of the Spirit, it is the manifestation of our old nature.

I love the instruction the children of Israel received regarding following God’s timing.  When they constructed the tabernacle the cloud of God’s presence rested over it.  It would appear as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  When the cloud rested over the tabernacle, the children of Israel rested and stayed encamped where they were.  When the cloud lifted from the tabernacle the children of Israel would pack up and in an organized military formation, they would follow the cloud until it once again came to rest.  This is a natural picture of the Christian life in learning to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Learning how to walk after the Spirit is crucial to our spiritual growth and victory!

  • “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, in order to keep you from doing whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” Galatians 5:16‭-‬18 NASB

We all know this truth.  Yet, to know the truth and to live it out are two completely different things.  And, when we think about this truth concerning our future, it becomes even more difficult. 

It is always a wonderful break to go camping or to take a weekend off and stay somewhere we enjoy visiting.  The break in the routine is both refreshing and needed.  Yet, when we take these breaks all forward motion is halted.  We must return to life and the responsibilities we all have to deal with.  It is in the normal day-in and day-out journey of life that we find it hard to wait on the Lord.  We may find ourselves camped in the same place in life.  We are not on a vacation break – this is our real life.  We want to move forward!  We want to break camp!  We want to see change!

And – the cloud does not move!

This is when waiting on the Lord becomes difficult.  This is when we are tempted to move ahead of God’s timing.  If the cloud does not move on its own – we try to help it.  We are all great at manufacturing excuses why we don’t have to wait.  God needs us to move forward.  We can’t afford to stay in the same place.  If we don’t move now, life will simply pass us by.  And, the list goes on and on.  Yet, when we read these words from Numbers we are challenged to the core of our being.

  • “…Then in accordance with the command of the Lord they set out. If sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning, when the cloud was lifted in the morning they would set out; or if it remained in the daytime and at night, whenever the cloud was lifted, they would set out. Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud lingered over the tabernacle, staying above it, the sons of Israel remained camped and did not set out; but when it was lifted, they did set out. At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out; they did what the Lord required, in accordance with the command of the Lord through Moses.”

Note these important words.  “Whether it was two days, a month, or a year…”  For the children of Israel, it did not matter how long the cloud stood still.  The key to their future and success was to wait on the Lord.  If God was not moving then neither would they.  Yes, they did grumble and complain about this as we all do.  Yet, Moses knew that they were all traveling in a direction that none of them was prepared for.  It was crucial to follow the leading of the Lord and to only move when God’s presence moved before them.

Isn’t our life like a wilderness journey?  We all have plans and dreams but in reality, none of us knows where we are going.  We don’t know what the day holds, let alone the week, month, or years ahead.  It is presumptuous on our part to live as if we have the full understanding in life to lay out the plan.  We need to learn this lesson from Israel’s wilderness wandering – we will not move until God’s Spirit goes before us!  Yet, we don’t have a physical cloud hovering over our lives.  How are we supposed to discern when God is calling us to move?  There are three wonderful indicators that God has given us in our journey of life.

1.  We have the Word of God to guide us!

2.  We have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit that will give us His peace when we are moving in the will of God.

3.  We have open doors that God provides as confirmation of His leading.

To follow God’s will we must never mix up the order.  To do so can be just as disastrous as it would have been for the children of Israel to break camp before the cloud moved.  We cannot rely on the mere opportunity to be our guide.  We must surrender and test all opportunities to the written Word of God and seek the Lord in sincere prayer.  God will never call us to do something that is contrary to His Word or that will lead us in a direction that causes us to lose our peace.  This does not mean that following God’s leading will be a piece of cake without struggle.  What it does mean is that we will be sustained by God’s Word, led by the Holy Spirit, and comforted by His peace all along the way.

One final note.  Waiting is not inactivity.  It is simply being faithful where God has put us until He leads us to the next open door in our life.  The children of Israel stayed camped as long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle.  In doing so, they did not stop their daily activities.  They went on each day in full obedience to God’s will.  They simply refused to break camp and move forward until God led them by the cloud of His presence.  How many times have I jumped the gun and rushed through, or broken through a door of opportunity before God had opened it?  I need to learn to be faithful where I am planted and continue doing what I have been called to do until God opens the next door.  This needs to be my attitude whether it is for a day, a week, a month, years, or even for the rest of my life!

To be faithful and obedient to the Lord is more important than to be successful in the eyes of man!

Lord, quiet my spirit this morning and teach me to wait upon You!  May I surrender my life to Your Word?  May I learn to hear the still small voice of Your Spirit and wait for Your peace to lead me?  Give me the grace to refuse to break camp until I hear Your calling from the Word, have confirmation from the Holy Spirit, and have Your peace that the open door before me is from You!

In Jesus’ Name!

Posted in Numbers | 1 Comment


LUKE 12:1-3: “…Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.” NASB
OBSERVATION: Am I a hypocrite? Jesus often spoke of the leaven of the Pharisees, the leading religious group of His day. Leaven is always used in the Bible regarding sin. In this section of Luke’s Gospel Jesus addresses the leaven head-on.

It is hypocrisy!

To put it simply, hypocrisy is pretending to believe something but having behavior that is not consistent with that belief. This was the hallmark of the Pharisees during Jesus’ day. On the outside they feigned righteousness but their real lives betrayed what they pretended to be. This is true of many who call themselves Christians today. They go to church and claim to believe in Jesus and the Bible – yet their attitudes and their actions do not look anything different than the world.

Many unbelievers use hypocrisy as the main reason they do not come to the faith or go to church. They accuse the church of being an assembly of hypocrites. There is some truth in their accusations but I think they completely miss the mark. In reality, apart from Jesus Christ, we are all hypocrites. We went through our daily lives pretending to be something we were not and hoping that nobody would find out. Yet, there is a stark reality that will meet everyone one day!

  • “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”

Eventually, who and what we are will come to light. Every idle word spoken, every action done in secret, every lie we ever told, will be revealed. Jesus said that there is nothing covered up or hidden that will not be known! Imagine one day having your entire life played before everyone. Just imagining this is enough to make me cry out…

Isn’t there any way to escape this awful day?

When I ponder this question I am drawn immediately to the words of the Apostle Paul when he writes,

  • “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” Romans‬ ‭7‬:‭24‬-‭25‬ ‭NASB

Only Jesus can save us from a life of hypocrisy! Only Jesus can change our hearts and renew our minds! Only Jesus can wash away our past through the cleansing of His blood and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit! We all can escape this fateful day through Jesus Christ our Lord. When the enemy wants to play our life before everyone – the tape will be wiped clean. Our sins, our failures, and our misspoken words will all have been forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ!

  • “Bless the Lord, my soul, And do not forget any of His benefits; Who pardons all your guilt, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with favor and compassion; He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our guilty deeds…For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our wrongdoings from us.” Psalms‬ ‭103‬:‭2‬-‭4‬, ‭10‬-‭12‬ ‭NASB

Paul shows us how we can walk free from hypocrisy. We no longer walk according to our old sinful nature that was never able to overcome hypocrisy. We now walk in the newness of the Spirit who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord!

  • “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭2‬-‭4‬ ‭NASB

What a wonderful comfort to know that we will be in Christ on that final day. What a blessed assurance that our sins have been removed and when our life is reviewed it will be hidden in Christ Jesus. What a peace we have to walk in this assurance and hope. On the day of reckoning, which shall come to all men, those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ will simply hear,

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant…”

One final note on hypocrisy. The enemy will continually come to the child of God and accuse them of being a hypocrite. We are all a work in progress and there are times when we respond with obedience to the Lord even when our mind and our bodies are fighting against this action. This is when the enemy will accuse us of being hypocrites. He will say –

“See, you are still a mess! You say you believe but your heart is not really in it. You are just faking it!”

Let me reassure you of one thing. Hypocrisy is when we pretend to be a certain way and have no desire of truly being or acting that way. However, when we truly desire to do God’s will, when we surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives, when we respond to the grace of God even when everything else in our life is screaming – “I don’t want to do that!” – this is never hypocritical.

This is Biblical obedience!

This is what Paul calls offering our life as a living sacrifice. It is putting our emotions in check to the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. And, as we begin to obey, we will find something wonderful happening in our life. Our minds will begin falling into agreement with our spirit and our bodies will be brought into discipline to the power of the Holy Spirit!

Christ followers are not perfect. We are all a work in progress. Yet, we are not hypocrites if – we love Jesus Christ and walk after the Holy Spirit. The only way to escape the embarrassment of the final reckoning is to surrender our lives to Jesus. We can rest assured that every sin, every failure, every misspoken word will be erased by the blood of Jesus Christ!

What a blessed hope! What a blessed promise!

Heavenly Father, I surrender anew to You today. I confess that Jesus Christ is my Lord, that I am a child of God, that I am being perfected and changed each day by the Holy Spirit, and that I stand complete and fully forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ. Grant me the grace to live my life in the full revelation of this truth!

In Jesus’ Name!

Posted in Luke | 2 Comments