PROVERBS 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.” NASB

OBSERVATION: How do I trust in the Lord? This verse from Proverbs is one of the most familiar verses in the Bible. I learned it in Sunday School and it has been a verse that I have quoted more times than I can remember. However, how do I trust in the Lord?

I love how practical the Word of God is. The answers to our questions are usually found as we continue to read the text. Such is the case with this verse in Proverbs. As I continue to read the text I find that the answer is very practical and not without reach. Many times we miss the answer because we try to over-spiritualize it. We are called to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts. Here are the instructions from Proverbs on how we do this.

The first answer is found in the second part of verse 5. We begin placing our trust in the Lord when we lay down our own wisdom at the altar for His wisdom. Trust begins with surrender. It begins at the cross where we realize that we are sinners in need of a Savior and we surrender our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This does not mean that we stop using our minds or ability to understand. Rather, it simply means that we do not put our faith in what we see and know. We lean fully and completely upon His divine wisdom and understanding in everything we do!

  • “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6

The next step in trusting the Lord is to always put Him first. Jesus said exactly what this verse is saying when He exhorted us to – “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…”. This is the call to be Kingdom-minded. It means that we see all of life through the lens of God’s Word and submit all of our actions to the benefit and growth of His Kingdom. When we align our wills to His will, when we put His Kingdom above our own, we are trusting fully in the Lord and He promises that He will make all of our paths straight!

  • “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:7

Trusting in the Lord requires that we continually check our motives and our hearts. The enemy uses pride to lead us away from the path of righteousness. He is still using the same temptation he used against Adam and Eve in the garden, saying – “Has God really said?” We are tempted to return to our own understanding and find ourselves embracing things that are clearly outside of the will of God for our lives. As we trust in the Lord, as we continue in His Word, we must be willing to lay down every sin and weight that the enemy tries to entangle us with along the way! Repentance is more than an action. Repentance is an attitude of one’s heart!

  • “It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:8

God has given us a wonderful gift of discernment in our physical bodies. When we are trusting in the Lord and walking after the Spirit we experience life and peace. This brings both spiritual and physical harmony to our lives. When we are stressed or bound by fear, we feel it in our physical bodies. I am not saying that all physical illness is the direct result of sin in our lives. However, we cannot deny that when we are walking in the will of God when our hearts are anchored in trusting the Lord, we find healing and refreshment in our physical and emotional lives. We need to learn to listen to our bodies as we seek to trust in the Lord!

  • “Honor the Lord from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce; Then your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10

A life that is trusting in the Lord is a life that puts God first in a tangible way. If I trust the Lord as my provider I will honor Him with my first fruits. Giving will not be a difficult thing for me to do and will actually be a confirmation of the level of trust I have in the Lord. Some have said that there is an umbilical cord attached between our wallets and our hearts. To trust in the Lord is to allow the Spirit to cut the cord and release us into a life of joyful giving and generosity. A life that honors the Lord tangibly with their wealth and possessions is a life that is truly trusting in the Lord!

  • “My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord Or loathe His rebuke, For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, Just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12

Finally, to trust in the Lord is to recognize Him as our loving heavenly Father. The book of Hebrews says that a father who loves his child will discipline them. If a father does not discipline his child then he really does not love them. Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants the best for our lives. Therefore, when we begin to stray outside the path of His will, and we all will, He will lovingly discipline us. No one likes discipline or correction. Yet, it is essential for growth. The writer of Hebrews eloquently writes,

  • “For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. For the moment, all discipline seems not to be pleasant, but painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” Hebrews 12:10-11

God not only calls us to trust Him, He shows us how to trust Him, proclaims the blessings in our lives when we do, and promises to lovingly and faithfully discipline and correct us when we begin to veer of course. What a wonderful call! What a wonderful provision! What a wonderful promise!

  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

Lord, this morning, I put my trust in You! Help me to walk moment by moment after Your Spirit. Give me a renewed hunger for Your Word. Help me always to put you first. Keep me from pride and presumptuous sins. Lead me in the pathway of your loving correction so that I can experience the fruit of Your righteousness.

In Jesus’ Name!

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PSALMS 149:5-9: “The godly ones shall be jubilant in glory; They shall sing for joy on their beds. The high praises of God shall be in their mouths, And a two-edged sword in their hands, To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishment on the peoples, To bind their kings with chains, And their dignitaries with shackles of iron, To execute against them the judgment written. This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the Lord.” NASB

OBSERVATION: How do I fight my battles in life? How does the church fight its battles in life? These are the questions I have been pondering all day since I read these verses from the book of Psalms.

Every believer has been thrust into the battle whether they like it or not. It is a battle for the soul of mankind. It is the battle of light against darkness, truth against lies, and hope against despair. It is a battle for our families, our friends, and our neighbors. It is the battle for the soul of the country that we love. It is a battle whose consequences are life or death.

When I read these verses from Psalms I am both challenged and confused. Am I to take these verses literally? Do I ignore the literal context of these verses and spiritualize them? This is the point of my wrestling with the text. To take a wrong turn is to either miss the battle completely or possibly find myself embroiled in a battle that I am not even supposed to be in.

I can understand the call to praise and worship and to proclaim God’s Word. This is a common call to the believer from the Scriptures. One popular worship song today repeats the phrase regarding praise as one of the weapons of our warfare proclaiming…

This is how I fight my battles.

This is how I fight my battles.

This is how I fight my battles.

This is how I fight!

However, the problem I am having with this Psalm is the following statement.

  • “To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishment on the peoples, To bind their kings with chains, And their dignitaries with shackles of iron, To execute against them the judgment written. This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the Lord.”

What does this mean? I know of people who use this Scripture as a call to transform cultures and nations through their prayers and proclamations. However, this application of these verses ignores the teachings of Jesus concerning the last days and the events outlined in the book of Revelation. The church will not suddenly transform the world so that Jesus can return. The world’s condition will worsen until Jesus returns in judgment and establishes His Millennial Kingdom.

There will be a literal fulfillment of these verses when Jesus returns, establishes His Millennial Kingdom, and employs the restored nation of Israel in judging the nations. The context of Psalm 149 is this future restoration of Israel. Yet, in every prophetic Psalm, there is a present and future application. There must be a meaningful application for the church today!

In the book of Ephesians, Paul reminds us about the battle that we are fighting.

  • “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:12-13

It is clear from this Scripture that we are not fighting a physical battle. Our battle is of a spiritual nature. We are engaged in the battle for souls. Our battle is a part of the spiritual battle that takes place in the heavenlies and by which we are assisted by God’s angelic army. Yet, we are not in the heavenlies. We are called and stationed on Earth. Our call, our battle, is understood by the armor we have been given and by our marching orders from our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our calling is to preach the Gospel and to make disciples of all nations. In the Book of Acts, the church was focused on one thing and one thing only. They prayed that God would open a door for them to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all boldness and that the Holy Spirit would confirm this word through an outpouring of signs and wonders. As they did this two things happened.

  1. They turned their world upside down. It was not through trying to change governments or culture. It was through changed lives that took that change into the culture in which they lived. The culture was being transformed by transformed hearts.
  2. They experienced the power of God. The Holy Spirit confirmed the preaching of the Gospel through healing, miracles, and the casting out of demons.

God has given us specific armor. This armor is for our protection and it also defines our battle. If I was a pilot in the Airforce I would be given a completely different uniform and equipment set than someone from the Army who was in the infantry. God has not given us wings to fly into the heavenlies. However, He has given us spiritual armor as His foot soldiers here on earth. And, our shoes define our call and purpose in this battle.

  • “Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be alert with all perseverance and every request for all the saints, and pray in my behalf, that speech may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.” Ephesians 6:14-19

This is the armor of an infantryman. Something powerful happens when I do my part on the ground. God does his part in the heavens! I can stay in the church and pray against principalities and powers. This is often done and it has an air of spirituality and importance to it. However, I believe that God is calling me to pray on the front lines. He is calling me to preach the Gospel. To heal the sick. To proclaim deliverance to the captives. As I do this, God offers the air support I need to fulfill my mission!

An infantryman is on the move. He is not hiding in a foxhole or stationed in an office at the command center. We are all called to be on the move with the Gospel. This is why Jesus said “GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS…” He did not say to stay huddled in prayer. Prayer is of utmost importance, and it is a part of our spiritual armor, but prayer is employed as we are deployed! We are called to pray while we continue on the offensive bringing the Gospel to all nations! We pray before we march. We pray while we march. And we pray when we rest and before we begin to march again!

We pray – ON THE GO!

Can you take a moment to imagine what would happen in our world if the time we spent on Sunday mornings was to worship God and equip the saints – and the rest of the week we engaged in the harvest field of this world reaching lost and hurting people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. What if the church engaged more outside of its four walls than inside them? What if we took our spiritual armor seriously and engaged in the battle according to God’s strategy and command?

We could turn our world upside down!

Lord, my heart is stirred and I find myself wanting. Help my heart to be filled with praise and grant me the grace to take Your Word (Your two-edged sword) into the battlefield of life to seek out and rescue lost souls. Reset my focus on the Great Commission and help me pray as Paul prayed,

  • “…That speech may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.”

In Jesus’ Name!

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LUKE 23:39-43: “Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” NKJV

OBSERVATION: What do the sinner’s prayer and the thief on the cross have to do with each other? One is found in the Bible and the other is not. Both have been debated regarding their proper interpretation and use. One always leads to an authentic conversion experience while the other can give one a false sense of spiritual and eternal security.

In reading this short introduction you already have strong feelings regarding your position on these two subjects. The real question revolves around the age-old debate of salvation by grace through faith alone versus trying to be saved by one’s good works.


Recently, I was challenged by a fellow pastor regarding this very subject. I love and respect this pastor but we were on different sides of the fence regarding this subject. In our short dialogue on Facebook (which is probably the worst way to debate such a subject), we finally came to an impasse.


We agreed that we are saved by grace through faith alone and not through our own good works. What did we disagree on? We disagreed that someone is saved simply by reciting the sinner’s prayer. This debate was in response to a short video that challenged the very existence of the sinner’s prayer in the New Testament. What was my fellow pastor’s justification for his view?


Many have cited the thief on the cross as a proof that nothing needs to be done in order to be saved. It is fully by grace through faith. The thief never was baptized, never went to church, never taught a Sunday School class. He simply cried out to Jesus and he was saved.

First, I agree with most of this. Yet, there is something that is missing from this equation. You cannot form a doctrine based on the absence of something. While it is true that the thief on the cross did none of these things, it is obvious why he could not. He was dying. There was no option to be baptized, to become a part of the church, or to serve God.


Second, the thief on the cross did not pray the sinner’s prayer. Most sinner’s prayers focus on repentance from sin and asking Jesus to come into one’s heart as Savior. A familiar Scripture that is used for this prayer is Revelation 3:20 where Jesus is knocking at the door. I too have used this analogy. However, the true context of this Scripture is Jesus knocking at the door of the church.

So what is the distinction between what the thief on the cross did and the sinner’s prayer? Why is the sinner’s prayer generally deficient in a Biblical understanding of conversion? To answer these questions all we need to do is read the words of the Apostle Paul in the book of Romans.

  • “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart ”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:8-10

We also need to read Peter’s response to those who heard his sermon on the Day of Pentecost. It is notable that Peter did not give an invitation (an altar call) or lead them in a sinner’s prayer. He only responded to the cry of those who heard him.

  • “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what are we to do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” Acts 2:36-39

So let’s put these two important Scriptures together. What are the essential elements of Biblical conversion.

  1. REPENTANCE: We need to turn from our sins and toward God.
  2. FAITH: We need to believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose again from the dead.
  3. SURRENDER: We need to confess Jesus as Lord. (Note: Repentance, faith, and surrender are shown in the physical act of baptism and confirmed by the infilling of the Holy Spirit)

Paul and Peter are in complete agreement. Repentance turns us from our sins toward God. Faith trusts solely in Jesus’ death on the cross as the full payment for our sins and believes in the promise of eternal life through His resurrection. Surrender commits our life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and is followed by a life of discipleship and obedience. And, as noted, all of these actions of the heart are proclaimed in the act of water baptism and confirmed by the infilling of the Holy Spirit.


Did he do all of these things? We already have covered that he could not follow Jesus in water baptism because of his situation. Yet, did he come to sincere faith and absolute surrender as he hung on the cross?

Listen to his words for the answer.

  1. REPENTANCE: “But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds.”
  2. FAITH: “…but this Man has done nothing wrong.”
  3. SURRENDER: “Then he said to Jesus, “LORD, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

The thief on the cross may not have done anything after he believed, for indeed he could not. Yet, he did not simply throw up a simple prayer of desperation. He sincerely repented. He placed his faith fully in the life and person of Jesus Christ. And, most importantly,


This is why Jesus, without hesitation replied, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.

Repentance leads to faith. Faith leads to surrender. This is why Paul proclaims –

  • “…If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

And, Peter proclaimed,

  • “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

The weakness of the sinner’s prayer is that it can lead to a false sense of security for someone who has not repented and truly surrendered. The rich young ruler was not willing to surrender and Jesus let him go. We are not saved by merely asking Jesus to come into our hearts. We are saved when we turn from sin in sincere repentance, trust only in the completed work of Christ, and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.


We bring nothing to the cross but our broken lives. Yet, like the thief on the cross, we must be willing to leave everything at the cross and follow Jesus! When the 3000 Jews who heard Peter’s sermon were baptized – this is exactly what they did. They turned their backs on their past, their tradition, and their good works, and followed Jesus as Lord and Savior! Throughout the book of Acts, you will not find someone being converted without repentance, faith, and surrender. The danger of the common day sinner’s prayer is that it can lead to a false sense of repentance and faith that is devoid of surrender.

To CONFESS JESUS AS LORD is the supreme confession of our heart!

This confession proclaims our repentance, faith, and willingness to follow Jesus. It does not require our good works to complete. All it calls for is a fully surrendered life. However, the result of repentance, faith, and surrender, is a life that bears the fruit of God’s work in our lives.

We are not saved by good works but those who are truly saved WILL WALK IN THEM!

  • “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10



Heavenly Father, thank you for your free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ my Lord. Grant me the grace to walk in an attitude of repentance, in the full assurance of faith, and with a heart and life surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Work in me so that I can walk in the good works which You have prepared in advance for me to do.

In Jesus’ Name!

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WHAT DO I BRING TO THE CROSS? (A reflection on communion)

Romans 6:4: “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life.” NASB

OBSERVATION: What do I bring to the Cross? What do I have to offer Jesus? When I partake of Communion, the Lord’s Supper, how do I do this in a worthy manner?

I don’t usually have dreams that I remember or are more than just a collage of past memories and events. However, this morning I woke up early following a dream that made a powerful impact on my life. It was a dream about communion. This dream made me rethink how I approach the Cross of Jesus Christ.

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians writes about their misuse of the Love Feast, or the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, Communion. He writes,

  • “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a person must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” 1 Corinthians 11:27-28

While my dream is by no means greater than the revelation of Scripture, like Peter’s dream in the book of Acts my dream has brought some clarity to a common misunderstanding that I have labored under and have carried with me to the communion table.

In my dream, I was at the church I pastored (actually it was a composite of all the churches I had pastored). There were familiar faces from the past 40-plus years. I was not supposed to be at church this Sunday so there were many people who were filling in for me that morning.

Arriving unexpectantly, in the middle of the Sunday School hour, I noticed that they were preparing to celebrate communion. The wafers had been distributed and everyone was holding an empty cup because they could not find the grape juice. When they saw me they asked me if I would lead communion and I gladly agreed.

My first thought was – we need grape juice! I scanned the tables and noticed a grape cocktail fruit drink but no pure grape juice. I asked them to use this and we began to fill the cups. Then, I felt unprepared and asked for a moment to prepare my thoughts. What would I say? How would I lead them in a meaningful time of remembrance?

I remembered some old wood that was at the back of the church. I quickly grabbed some tools and began to cut and prepare a small old rugged cross. It was a race against the clock as the Sunday School hour was quickly approaching the end. They kept asking me – “Are you ready?” I replied – “Just one more minute!” When I tried to put the cross together it broke and all I had in my hands were broken pieces of wood.

As I approached the platform I felt discouraged and realized I still had nothing to share before partaking of the elements. As I shot out a desperate prayer to the Lord I felt the Holy Spirit speak these words to my heart.

You have nothing to bring to the cross!

Then it hit me. I have nothing to bring to the cross! Oh, how often I think that I have something to bring to Jesus. Yet, like Paul, when I genuinely examine myself, I realize that all my righteousness, past, present, or future, is nothing but filthy rags. When I came to the cross, and when I come to the cross, I must come just as I am. I must remember that there is nothing within me that is needed.

This is what it means to examine ourselves. This is why Paul focused so much on our union with Christ on the cross. We come to the cross to die. We leave the cross to live. We come to the cross with nothing to offer. We leave the cross with Jesus. We come to the cross clothed in filthy rags. We leave the cross clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

When I begin to believe that my righteousness has anything to do with me I have begun to exhume the old man from the grave and put on my old dirty rags once again. Communion reminds me that it is all Jesus. My life is in Jesus. My strength is in Jesus. My righteousness is in Jesus. He is my all in all.

This does not mean that I purposefully go out and sin realizing that all I need to do is come to the communion table to reload with God’s grace and forgiveness so that I can repeat the process. Paul addresses this misconception of grace and the cross.

  • “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? Far from it! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” Romans 6:1-3 NASB

Rather than sinning so that we can experience grace, grace reminds us that we are sinners in need of the cross. It is the cross, our call to die to ourselves, that allows us to live in the power of His resurrection. It is when we once again begin to think that we have something to bring to the cross that we find ourselves falling back into the old patterns of our life that will lead to sin and failure.

In communion, I bring nothing to the cross – I leave with everything in and through Christ Jesus!

There is a wonderful rendition of the classic hymn, “Just As I Am.” The bridge speaks to our need and our preparation for coming to the cross of Jesus Christ in communion.

Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot
O Lamb of God I come! I come!

I come broken to be mended
I come wounded to be healed
I come desperate to be rescued
I come empty to be filled
I come guilty to be pardoned
By the blood of Christ the Lamb
And I’m welcomed with open arms
Praise God, just as I am

Lord, this morning, I come, just as I am. I come broken, wounded, desperate, empty, guilty – and through the blood of Jesus Christ, I leave – mended, healed, rescued, filled, pardoned, and embraced in the arms of the Father!

In Jesus’ Name!

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PSALMS 138:7-8: “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will reach out with Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your faithfulness, Lord, is everlasting; Do not abandon the works of Your hands.” NASB

OBSERVATION: Have you ever felt like you have been forgotten? Does it seem like God is engaged in other people’s lives but has forgotten about yours? Has your life journey been filled with unsuspected turns and disappointments?

Has God stopped working in my life?

A little over four years ago I left a wonderful church that I had the privilege of planting and pastoring for 15 years. The ministry was going well, I was surrounded by people who loved my family. I could not have been in a better place or situation in my life.

Then the Lord called us to leave our church in Texas and move to Florida.

We moved to be closer to our daughter who had relocated a few years prior after her college graduation. We knew we would eventually move to be closer to her but did not anticipate it would be this soon. During the entire move, the transition of our church, and all the planning involved, God was working in tangible ways in our lives.

When we arrived in Florida we were ready for a new adventure. I would be working with our denominational missions print ministry and hopefully ministering at local churches in the area. We had wonderful plans of spending time with our daughter and getting to know an entirely new area that we had only visited during vacation.

Then everything stopped!

My daughter went through some very intense personal and relational challenges and we did not see her for over two years. There did not seem to be many open doors for ministry and I felt like I was in the wilderness. Then – COVID hit and everything that we had planned was put on hold for almost two years as we all walked through this uncertain time.

Was God done working in my life?

If it were not for my daily times of fellowship with the Lord and His Word I think I would have given up. The words of Psalms became especially comforting to me and my wife during this time of our life. I experienced God’s faithfulness in giving me the grace I needed to keep on trusting Him.

  • “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will reach out with Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.” Psalm 138:7 NASB

God protected us, comforted us, guided us, and revived us. During the two years of serious personal draught, we felt like we were being attacked from every side yet never vanquished. God’s right hand was always sustaining us. When I was weak, my wife was strong. When my wife was weak, God gave me extra grace to be strong. Somehow we muddled our way through this difficult time.

The only thing we could hold onto was the promises of God!

When you find yourself in a desert place in life, the only thing you have to hold onto are the promises of God. Everything in life may scream – “God is not working!”. Yet, God’s promises remind us that He is always working on our behalf. God’s grace and faithfulness never leave us nor forsake us. So, the Psalmist proclaims from the depths of his heart,

  • “The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your faithfulness, Lord, is everlasting; Do not abandon the works of Your hands.” Psalms 138:7 NASB

Since our first few years in Florida, we have seen God working to accomplish the things He has spoken and the promises He has given us. Our daughter is on the pathway of restoration and the Lord has given us a vision for our ministry going forward. Doors of ministry and mission that we would never have dreamed of have begun to open up for us.

God’s love and provision have been daily evident in our lives!

We still have a long way to go. Isn’t that true for all of us? Life is a journey that only reaches its destination when we step into eternity to be with Jesus. He is our destination. Until then, we will continue to journey over mountains and desert valleys as we endeavor to fulfill His will in our lives. Yet, He has promised, He will perfect (bring to full completion) that which concerns our hearts.

He will fulfill all His promises in our lives through Jesus Christ our Lord!

  • “…Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ‘ Philippians 1:6 NASB

Michael W. Smith’s song, Waymaker, has a refrain that I love to remember and sing in my heart. It reminds me of the truth of this Psalm. It reminds me of the faithfulness of God. It reminds me that Jesus will never leave nor forsake me.

Miracle Worker
Promise Keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who You are

Even when I don’t see it, You’re working
Even when I can’t feel it, You’re working
You never stop, You never stop working
You never stop, You never stop working

Lord, this morning, thank You for reminding me that You are always working in my life. You are perfecting those things which concern me. You are leading me on the path of righteousness for Your name’s sake! Keep my singing and believing!


In Jesus’ Name!

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PSALM 133:1-3: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to live together in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, Running down upon the beard, As on Aaron’s beard, The oil which ran down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For the Lord commanded the blessing there—life forever.” NASB

OBSERVATION: Is your church marked by a spirit of unity? Do those who are a part of your church family know the mission and vision of your church? Is the life of the church a unified effort to fulfill this mission and vision or is it just a group of spectators or ununified groups moving in different directions?

The church was begun in the spirit of unity on the Day of Pentecost.

  • “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4 NKJV

Note the distinction – “…they were all with one accord in one place.” Jesus had told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they had received the promise of the Father – the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. They were gathered together, with one purpose, one focus, in continual prayer – and then it happened. The Holy Spirit came down upon them in power.

This was not simply a one-time occurrence for the early church. After the disciples were gathered in prayer, following being persecuted for proclaiming the Gospel, the same thing happened again.

  • “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31 NASB

Psalm 133 is a beautiful reminder of the importance of unity among God’s people. David uses the beautiful parallel of the anointing oil that was placed on Aaron as he was consecrated for the priesthood and the dew of Hermon that brought moisture and refreshment to the mountains of Zion. Both of these are wonderful symbols of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

As you ponder the words of this Psalm, and as you reflect upon the life of the church in the book of Acts, the importance of unity becomes apparent. The Holy Spirit flows in power when we are united in purpose and in heart. The Holy Spirit is grieved when there is dissension and disunity in our lives and hearts.

We need unity in the church. This unity is not a unity of agreement on every doctrinal point in the Bible. Rather, this unity is a unity of purpose and vision. It is a unity that is centered on the person of Jesus Christ and the message of the Gospel. This unity allows for differences of opinion while we work together with a common calling and purpose. It is the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!

  • “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:1-6 NASB

The difference between a church moving in the power of the Holy Spirit and one that is devoid of power is the unity of the Spirit. When we read the above verses from Ephesians 4 we see how much we all have to be united around. How foolish is it to allow small differences of opinions to divide us? There is only one Savior, one Spirit, and one God and Father of us all.

And, there is only one commission to fulfill!

  • “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 NASB

If we are going to reach our world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, if we are going to move in the power of the Holy Spirit, if we are going to make disciples of all nations – then we must walk together in unity! We are all in this together. While people on a cruise ship may be stationed on a different decks, they are still all united in one direction and purpose. This is also true of the church today.

When we get to heaven some of us will be surprised when we do not see the banner of our denomination. All the earthly barriers that have divided us will have been removed. In this life, we need to hold our differences lightly and cling to those things that unite us in vision and mission.

This is not a call to ignore differences that deny the faith or the clear moral teachings of the Bible. We must stand up to the attempts of the enemy to bring heresy into the life of the church. Rather, it is a call to walk in love with those who love Jesus, uphold the faith once delivered to the saints, and are on a common mission to fulfill the Great Commission. We are all soldiers united in the foxhole of battle under one banner – the Lordship of Jesus Christ!

The enemy comes to divide the sheep. The Shepherd comes to keep the sheep unified and protected. We may differ in minor points of doctrine that does not determine the course of one’s salvation. Yet, we are united in a purpose that is greater than all of us. This purpose is to see God’s Kingdom established in the hearts of the lives of those who are lost!

As a church, the church universal, it is time that we begin to humble ourselves and pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray – in the unity of heart and purpose. Perhaps then we will see a strong wind of revival sweep through our nation and our world before Jesus returns!

  • “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 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 6:9-13 NKJV

In Jesus’ Name!

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PSALMS 126:4-6: “Restore our fortunes, Lord, As the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears shall harvest with joyful shouting. One who goes here and there weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” NASB

OBSERVATION: Have you ever experienced a wonderful time of victory in your life only to turn the corner and face an immense challenge that you did not expect? When this happens it is easy to wonder – “Did I do something wrong?”, or “Did I miss God’s voice?”.

The Psalms are filled with many helpful reflections when we experience such turns of events in our life. One particular Psalm that speaks so profoundly to this human experience is Psalms 126. This is a Psalm of Ascent. It was a Psalm that was sung as Jews from outlying areas traveled to Jerusalem during Festivals to gather at the Temple and offer their sacrifices.

The Psalm begins with a recount of the great victory the Lord had brought to the Jewish people when He restored them from captivity and allowed them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.

  • “When the Lord brought back the captives of Zion, We were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us; We are joyful.” Psalms 126:1-3 NASB

Do you remember that moment when the Lord answered your prayers and you experienced the breakthrough in life that you had been hoping and praying for? Your heart was filled with such joy. You shared this great joy with others and you felt the presence of the Lord in a way that you had not felt it for a long time. This was such a wonderful season in your life. You prayed that it would never end.

Then it happened – the wonderful springs of rejoicing turned into a barren desert as you faced an unspeakable challenge that you did not expect!

The Psalmist refers to this as the Negev (the South). The Negev was a desert region that was South of Israel. During most of the year, it stood barren, with limited vegetation, and dry rocky stream beds (or wadis). It was as if the Psalmist was moving from a beautiful paradise filled with rivers and lush vegetation to a place of rocks and sand that was devoid of beauty.

This is the way life can seem at times. One moment it is the flower garden. Then unexpectantly it becomes a desert filled with rocks and sand. When we face these difficult times in life – has God left us? Have we done something wrong? Are we without hope? The Psalmist does not leave us in the desert – he brings us hope and the pathway to restoration!

  • “Those who sow in tears shall harvest with joyful shouting. One who goes here and there weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalms 126:5-6 NASB

A wonderful thing happens in the Negev region each year. When the rains come something wonderful happens. The dry spring beds are filled with water. Underground wells of water are replenished and restored. And, the dry desert land becomes an oasis filled with flowering plants and a host of wildlife that come to bask in its glory.

In life, the rain that replenishes the dry barren ground of our hearts is our tears as we pour out our hearts before God. The seed we sow is the Word of God as we meditate upon and proclaim His promises. As we position our lives in humility and surrender before the Lord we experience His faithful restoration and the blossoming of new hope for the future. Peter reminds us of this in his epistle.

  • “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you…And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:6-7,10-11 NASB

God is faithful and He will restore our hope! He will bring springs of water to our dry and weary hearts. Although life changes – He never changes. He remains our Savior, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, Healer, and Soon Coming King! As we abide in His love, as we sow our seed with our tears, we will indeed come again with shouts of joy bringing in the harvest of His faithfulness and provision.

Paul reminds us of the power of God’s love. There is nothing in this life that can separate us from it. No matter what we face – we are anchored securely in His love!

  • “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 NASB

Are you facing an unexpected challenge? Do you find yourself in a desert place? Pour out your heart toward the Lord. Water His promises with your tears and call upon His Name. His answer is already coming. A time of refreshing and harvest will spring forth from His faithful and unchanging love!

  • “Those who sow in tears shall harvest with joyful shouting. One who goes here and there weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalms 126:5-6 NASB

In Jesus’ Name!

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ACTS 19:4-7: “Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus. ”On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all.”

OBSERVATION: What is more important – the Word of God or the Spirit? This is a question that is debated among believers from many different traditions. There are those who hold up the Word of God above all else. There are others who contend for the move of the Holy Spirit as the most needed and important.

Which is it?

The Apostle Paul knew nothing of such an argument. Neither did the early church. However, as time progressed, and as early as the writing of the book of Revelation, we see the separation of the Word of God and the Spirit begin. The interesting thing to note is that it began with the very church that Paul was addressing in Acts 19-20.

  • “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false…Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” Revelation 2:1-2,4-5 NASB

What had happened to the church of Ephesus? When Paul met the new believers, in Acts 19, he asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed. They replied that they did not even know who the Holy Spirit was. They had believed in Jesus Christ, they had trusted in the Word of God, and they had been baptized for repentance in the baptism of John.

To many, this would have been enough. And, when we get to the book of Revelation we see that they had reverted back to this original position. Yet, to Paul, this was not enough. Paul knew that you needed both the Word of God and the Spirit of God working in your life. Paul called them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and then he laid his hands upon them to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

  • ”On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.”

Paul remembered his encounter with the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus. He remembered when Ananias laid hands upon him and he was miraculously healed and filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul’s experience, and his call to the Ephesian believers, was the same call that Jesus gave to His disciples before He ascended into heaven.

  • “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4-5 NASB

The disciples already had the Word of God. In fact, they had walked with the living Word of God for 3 years. Yet, Jesus told them not to leave Jerusalem nor begin their ministry until they had received the promise of the Father – the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Why is this so important?

Someone has wisely said – The Word of God without the Spirit becomes a religion that is void of power and lacking in love. The Spirit of God without the Word of God becomes a life that is filled with misplaced priorities and emotional excess. We see the one in the church of Ephesus and the other in the church of Corinth. We need the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God.

We need the Word and the Spirit!

The Holy Spirit is the one who reveals God’s truth to the heart. God’s truth is the only thing that can set one free. It is and has always been the Spirit working through the Word! To Jesus, to Paul, and to the early church, there was no separation. This is why Paul led the Ephesians to a proper understanding of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

The church needs to stop arguing over which is the most important. Jesus said we needed both, Paul taught that we needed both, and the very written record of Scripture teaches that we need both. Without the Word of God, we will be led astray by false doctrine. Without the Spirit of God, we will lack the power and anointing that is needed to break the yoke of bondage.

The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, righteousness, and judgment – through the Word of God. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to proclaim God’s Word and equips us with spiritual gifts that confirm God’s Word. The Holy Spirit is the anointing upon God’s Word that brings life and liberty to those who believe.

The Church of Ephesus focused on the Word of God and neglected the Spirit of God. This led to a church that was maintaining doctrinal purity but was devoid of love.

The Church of Corinth focused on the Spirit of God and the spiritual power and gifts they had received. This led to a church that was moving in power but without balance, falling into many excesses and ignoring the truth of God’s written Word.

You cannot separate the Word from the Spirit, or the Spirit from the Word. God is calling His church to the truth of the Word in the power of the Spirit. We need to maintain the balance of both and recognize that one without the other leaves us wanting in the eyes of God and ineffective in our ministry to the world.

We need to ask ourselves, as Paul asked the Ephesians,

“Did we receive the power of the Holy Spirit when we believed?”

“Are we teaching and preaching the whole counsel of God’s Word?”

This is not a theological debate over whether every believer has the Holy Spirit living in their hearts. Every person who places their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, receives the Holy Spirit within their heart and life.

Rather, this is a question regarding whether we are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and moving in the fullness of His gifts and provisions. This was what Paul was asking the Ephesian believers and it is something we need to ask ourselves. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit in power is not a provision that is given to the superspiritual. It is the essential promise from the Father for every child of God.

We need the Word and the Spirit!

Throughout the book of Acts, believers received this power from on high in many different ways. They received it sovereignly on the Day of Pentecost in the upper room. Others received it through the laying on of hands. Some received it while simply hearing the Word of God being preached. It is not the methodology that is important it is the provision. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit in power is available to all who will ask in faith!

  • “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

Heavenly Father, forgive us for both our lack of love and our excess of emotion. Help us to hunger for the Word and the Spirit. Fill us with power from on high. Let us walk in the full revelation of Your Word and in the full power and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Restore balance into our lives so that we can effectively reach this generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and see You confirming Your Word with signs following.

In Jesus’ Name!

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ACTS 14:21-22: “After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” NASB

OBSERVATION: What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it an invitation to a life of blessing and ease – or is it a call to pick up one’s cross and follow Jesus? There is a marked difference between the invitation to follow Jesus Christ that was given by Jesus and the Disciples – and the normal invitation that is given today.

Today, at the end of most sermons, an invitation is given to say the “Sinner’s Prayer” and ask Jesus into one’s life. It is usually prefaced with such words as – “God has a wonderful plan for your life!”, or, “Just give your life to Jesus and He will bless you!” While there is truth to these statements, they are incomplete without an understanding of the cross.

When Jesus called people He said – “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!” Jesus always called people to repentance and surrender before He called them to follow Him. When there were those who got caught up in the moment and wanted to follow Jesus because of the excitement of the miracles He performed, Jesus responded with a sobering challenge.

  • “Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” Matthew 8:19-22 NASB

In other words, Jesus was saying – Are you willing to give up everything to follow Me? Are you willing to give up your comfort? Are you willing to give up your position? Are you willing to give up your family? Are you willing to give up your life?

  • “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” Luke 14:25-28 NASB

Imagine an altar call on an Easter Sunday morning, with a larger-than-normal attendance, where the preacher tries to talk the congregation out of accepting Jesus. This may seem extreme, and Jesus never turned someone sincere away. Yet, Jesus made it clear to those who heard His message and witnessed His miracles.


It is a call to surrender. It is a call to sacrifice. It is a call to put Jesus before everything else in our life. It is a call to pick up our cross and count the cost of following Him! When you read the book of Acts, when you trace the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas, it becomes evident right away…


In Lystra, after a wonderful miracle where a lame man was healed, when Paul had preached the Gospel, and the crowds had tried to offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas claiming the gods were walking among them – this is what happened!

  • “Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.” Acts 14:19

What did Paul and Barnabas do? Did they begin to evaluate their message or their technique? Did they succumb to the pressure and walk away in fear? No! They kept on preaching the full Gospel of Jesus Christ. The disciples gathered around Paul, he got up, miraculously protected by the Lord, and they pushed on to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the next town – Derbe! It is then we read Paul’s exhortation to the new believers he had led to the Lord.

  • “After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:21-22 NASB

A rose garden is beautiful to look at but not to walk through. Roses have thorns. If you ever fell into a rose bush you know that it is no picnic. Paul is telling the disciples – the pathway to the Kingdom of God is to walk through the thorns. It is to call people to repent from their sins, pick up their cross, and follow Jesus. It is a call with a price that must be counted before it is embraced. It is a call that will bring joy to those who have been called unto salvation and animosity and hostility from those who have not.

It is time that we stop sugarcoating the invitation to follow Jesus. Jesus did not do this, the Disciples did not do this, and neither should we. The reality is that a sinner’s prayer does not save anyone. We must call people to the cross. The cross is the place where we die to ourselves and begin to live for Jesus. Without the cross, there is no conversion. Jesus called the rich young ruler to the cross – and then Jesus let him walk away.

Are we prepared to do the same?

Lord, forgive me for portraying the Christian life as a rose garden and not a call to the cross. Help me to speak the truth in love and preach the full Gospel. Help me to pick up my cross and follow Jesus so that I can help others find the way!

In Jesus’ Name!

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PSALM 118:5-9: “From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and put me in an open space. The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? The Lord is for me among those who help me; Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in noblemen.” NASB

OBSERVATION: Our nation is now officially in the midst of a presidential election cycle. The election may be in November of 2024, but the candidates are already lining up and soon the early primaries will begin. To say that our nation needs help is, to put it mildly. Christians are praying for guidance and asking this important question…

Who You Gonna Trust?

In all honesty, with everything that is happening in the world today, it is hard to trust anyone. The top two candidates for the two major parties in America both have a lot of baggage. The current sitting president seems disconnected and confused, while the former sitting president is bridled with controversy and now a lawsuit. It feels like we are in the book of Judges where everyone is doing what is wise in their own eyes.

Is there anyone we can trust?

The answer to this question is found in Psalm 118. There is only one person who is trustworthy, without compromise, full of integrity, and who will never lie. He is not a man that he should lie. He is the Lord of all Creation!

  • “It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in noblemen.”

When you read the book of Judges you discover this truth. When the people cried out to the Lord in sincere repentance the Lord sent them a righteous ruler to deliver them. When they became complacent in their ways, so did their rulers and they found themselves once again in bondage. When we put our trust in man we will always be disappointed. However, when we put our trust in the Lord, He will deliver us.

To be honest, I don’t know who the United States needs as its next president. Samuel did not know who Israel needed as their next King. When he went to anoint one of the sons of Jesse, in obedience to the Lord’s command, Samuel naturally thought the most formidable among the sons would be God’s choice. Yet, Samuel was wrong 7 times! This is what the Lord said to Samuel.

  • “When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord ’ s anointed is standing before Him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God does not see as man sees, since man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:6-7 NASB

God had young David in mind for the King that would lead Israel in righteousness. David was called a man after God’s own heart. Was David perfect? Absolutely not. We are made fully aware of his personal indiscretion and family problems. Yet, David responded to the Lord in sincere repentance and allowed the Lord to both restore him and guide him. David’s trust was fully upon the Lord and not upon man!

We need a David in the White House! Yet, God will allow us to pick a leader after our own hearts if we choose to trust in men and not in Him. The Lord is not looking to a sinful world to lead the way. He is looking for His church to repent of trusting in men and return to a full and complete trust in Him. When the church repents and positions it heart toward the Lord – then true change will happen. We need to hear the words of David once again.

  • “Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven With the saving strength of His right hand. Some praise their chariots and some their horses, But we will praise the name of the Lord, our God. They have bowed down and fallen, But we have risen and stood upright. Save, Lord; May the King answer us on the day we call.” Psalms 20:6-9 NASB

Who is the best candidate for the future of our nation? If Samuel did not know – then neither do we. God will give us leaders according to the desires of our hearts. If our main concern is our bank account or a certain ideology – then we will get a leader that reflects the same. However, if the church will humble themselves and pray, turn from their trust in man, and put their full trust in the Lord – then God will raise up leaders in kind.

For believers, the time to begin praying is now. We must seek the Lord for who He wants to lead our nation. Like Samuel, we must remember that a good leader is not always the one who appears to be so on the outside. A good leader is one who has a heart that trusts the Lord and understands that leadership is only a stewardship given by God. It is not based on our accomplishments but on His grace and mercy.

This election cycle…I am putting my trust in the Lord!

  • “In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.” (Abraham Lincoln, September 7, 1864, Upon receiving a Bible from the Loyal Colored People of Baltimore).

Lord, give us a leader who trusts in You!

In Jesus’ Name!

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