“and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,” Just Who Do We Say Jesus Is? John 1:1-5

When Christians answer the question “Who is Jesus Christ?” they build their answer on the Bible – on things Jesus said about Himself, on prophecies from the Old Testament that foretold His coming, and the doctrines laid out about Jesus Christ and His Church through the rest of the New Testament.

There is little historical question that Jesus Christ existed, but people do often wonder about everything else: His divine nature, His miracles, God’s offer of eternal salvation by grace through Jesus Christ “first to the Jew and also to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16)… in other words, to all of mankind who would believe.

Because the love Jesus offers comes in the form of an “intimately personal relationship, intimately connectional relationship” with Him, many believers have particular definitions, understandings about who Jesus Christ is to them.

I want to try to give you the Biblical basics about this amazing, paradoxical Savior who purports to be simultaneously the Son of God and Son of Man.

The gospel of Jesus is literally “good news,” so we hope you enjoy exploring the miracle and wonder of what the God of all creation did for you through His Son.

John 1:1-5 Amplified Bible

The Deity of Jesus Christ

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word ([a]Christ), and the Word was with God, and [b]the Word was God Himself. He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him not even one thing was made that has come into being. In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines on in the [c]darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it].

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

Who is Jesus?

The Deity of Jesus Christ

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word ([a]Christ), and the Word was with God, and [b]the Word was God Himself. He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him not even one thing was made that has come into being.

John’s Gospel Narrative says without any doubt that Jesus is God.

He declares that Jesus is the Creator of all things.

This accounts for Jesus’ singularly unique and remarkable personality.

He is the originator of all things.

Eight times in the opening chapter of Genesis it says, And God said.” 

God said, Let there be light, and there was light. 

God said, Let there be a firmament between the heavens and the earth and there was. 

God said, Let the earth bring forth trees and vegetation, and these sprang into being.

The Son of God, was speaking into being, what the Father had designed in that amazingly, incredibly, indescribably and also infinitely complex mind of his.

Any scientist who gears their education, who directs their lives into the studies in the natural realm always seem to be astonished when they come to conclude the complexity of life, the marvelous symmetry of things, what lies behind all visible matter, the molecules, the atom, the make-up of a flower or of a star.

The obvious order, design and symmetry of every created thing is astonishing.

We have all sat back at one time or another and wondered at what we have seen through some of the discoveries of science, looked at the stars thru a telescope.

All of that and more was in the thoughts of God, but it never would have been expressed until the Son said it; He spoke and all these things came into being.

So this amazing Man, Jesus of Nazareth, in the mystery of his being, was not only a human being here on earth with us, John’s narrative says, but was the One who in the beginning spoke the very universe we “see” into its existence.

He understands it!

He knows exactly how it functions!

He is able to direct it!

He is able to guard it and to guide it!

He spoke it into being!

Furthermore, John says, Jesus sustains it: 

Without him was not anything made that was made. 

He is essential to it;!

He is what keeps it going!

He is who holds it in existence!

In the first chapter of John, we immediately read: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

Throughout the centuries, many have pondered this statement.

What does this mean?

How can somebody be with someone and also be that someone?

So the Overarching Question: Who is Jesus?

Immanuel God with us … Christ the Messiah… The Prince of Peace… The Word made Man… Savior and Lord… The King of Kings… The Lion of Judah… The Lamb of God

When Christians answer the question “Who is Jesus Christ?” they build their answer on the Bible – on things Jesus said about Himself, on prophecies from the Old Testament that foretold His coming, and the doctrines laid out about Jesus Christ and His Church through the rest of the New Testament.

There is little historical question that Jesus Christ existed, but people do often wonder about everything else: His divine nature, His miracles, God’s offer of eternal salvation by grace through Jesus Christ “first to the Jew and also to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16)… in other words, to all of mankind who would believe.

Because the love Jesus offers comes in the form of an “intimately personal relationship, intimately connectional relationship” with Him, many believers have particular definitions, understandings about who Jesus Christ is to them.

I want to try to give you the Biblical basics about this amazing, paradoxical Savior who purports to be simultaneously the Son of God and Son of Man.

The gospel of Jesus is literally “good news,” so we hope you enjoy exploring the miracle and wonder of what the God of all creation did for you through His Son.

Who do we say Jesus Christ is?

Matthew 16:13-17 Amplified Bible

Peter’s Confession of Christ

13 Now when Jesus went into the [a]region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they answered, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah, or [just] one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of the living God.” 17 Then Jesus answered him, “Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, favored by God] are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood (mortal man) did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

The same questions are being asked to this day:

Who does everyone else say Jesus Christ is, but then, who do we say He is?

We must ultimately decide.

It is the perhaps the most important question to settle during our lifetimes, for reasons we will try to examine shortly.

The New Testament book of Hebrews is another source that attempted to answer the same question.

As the Ryrie Study Bible states, “The theme of the book is the superiority of Jesus Christ and thus of Christianity.”

Superior to what?

Among other things: prophets, angels, Moses/The Law, priests, and other powers.

In other words, Jesus Christ is supreme among any thing or any one – even things and people that issue from or are beloved of God.

“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it,” says Hebrews 2:1 about the nature of the Messiah’s identity.

This is why even Christians of all theologies continually study these precepts.

It is not merely skeptics, seekers, and unbelievers who benefit from asking the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?”

The Apostle Paul, before his sudden Damascus Road conversion, was known as Saul, a very legalistic Jew who persecuted Christians… until he was confronted with the answer to our question in a most dramatic way, a way that changed his life and the course of history (Please read and study about it in Acts Chapter 9).

After that miraculous conversion experience, Paul would then often refer to himself as a “bond-servant of Christ Jesus,” someone who is little more than a voluntary slave, but one sharing in the same servitude.

In Philippians 1:21 Paul would express his secure devotion to the Lord as well as give another clue towards answering our question when he would write: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” 

You see, finding the answer to “Who Jesus Is to us?” can be an incredibly jarring, topsy-turvy, and life-altering experience – one that sends us back on our heels.

It can also be one which will fill what has always seemed to be missing inside you, since the Father sent His Son to reconcile you to your original purpose – communion with a wonderful, holy Creator.

So as you pursue knowledge of the Savior, consider yourself joyfully warned.

Who Jesus Said He Was

1. He claimed to be the Son of God, equal with God, and with authority from the Father.

“Then they all said, ‘Are You then the Son of God?’ So He said to them, ‘You rightly say that I am’” (Luke 22:70).

“For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50).

“Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth’” (Matthew 28:18).

“Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:17-22).

27 The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they will never, ever [by any means] perish; and no one will ever snatch them out of My hand. 29 [a]My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are One [in essence and nature].” (John 10:27-30)

Bear in mind that while a man claiming to be God is a radical thought, Jesus is the only leader of a world religion to have made the claim – not to mention to have also completely, fully and utterly backed it up.


2. Incredibly, He claimed to live a sinless life.

“Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?” (John 8:46, The Message).

Jesus had the ability to sin; if He weren’t able to sin, He could not have been tempted genuinely and would be unable to be our sympathetic High Priest (Hebrews 4:15).

When He was tempted by the devil, He always rebuked the thought with scripture. (Matthew 4:1-11)

Because He didn’t sin, God was able to accept His sacrifice. 

1 Peter 3:18 says, “Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”

3. He claimed to be the one and only way to God.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

It’s also interesting to me to note that Jesus did not call himself the destination, but the way, indicating that our Christian walk is a journey.

4. He claimed He had the power to forgive sins and provide everlasting life

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25).

“When Jesus saw their faith, He said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’ The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, ‘Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” (Luke 5:20-21).

“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40

“I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.” (John 6:47).

5. He predicted his own death and resurrection.

“Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, ‘We are going up into Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again’” (Luke 18:31-33).

6. He’s said He would come back.

Matthew 24:27-30 “So as the lightening comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man… At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” 

Mark 14:61-62 “Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ ‘I am,’ said Jesus. ‘And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.'” 

Jesus clearly knew He was the Lamb of God, the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament.

He knew He had to live a life without sin, no matter what.

When He returns, He will judge the sins of the world… except for those who have already acknowledged conviction, entered a plea of guilty, and sought His forgiveness and mercy by believing on Christ. (Psalms 32, 51, Romans 10:9-13)

How the New Testament Answers “Who Is Jesus?”

“So Jesus tried again. ‘When you raise up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am – that I’m not making this up, but speaking only what the Father taught Me. The One who sent Me stays with Me. He doesn’t abandon Me. He sees how much joy I take in pleasing Him’” (John 8:28-29, The Message).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:1-3, NASB).

“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” (John 3:16, NLT).

From The Book of Acts

The Book of the Acts of the Apostles describes how Christianity moved from being seen as a new radical fringe sect of Judaism now into a world religion because the spirit of God moved in the lives of those who had physically witnessed Jesus, and who now carried His message of salvation for all into all the world.

At Pentecost, Peter preaches,

“Let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ – this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:22-36).

From Paul’s Letters

The Apostle Paul wrote numerous letters to the churches he helped establish in southern Europe and Asia Minor, helping to answer questions or solve disputes over Christian theology.

“Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

“For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).

“Just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:5).

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free” (Galatians 5:1).

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:5-7).

“And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation” (Colossians 1:15).

From The Book of Hebrews

The Book of Hebrews is about the superiority of Christ – over prophets, angels, Moses, and priests.

He made Himself our High Priest, so that we can all become priests with our own access to the Father.

“God… has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

From The Book of Revelation

“Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5).

The Significance of Christ’s Humanity

Living on earth for 33 years, Jesus experienced every temptation we face, which is why “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation” (2 Peter 2:9).

He also showed us how to model our behavior. 

1 Peter 2:21 says, “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.”

So, He knows what we go through.

A God-Savior could forgive sins but would not be able to relate to the sinners.

A man-savior would be able to relate to our humanity but would not have the authority or power to forgive sins or return from the dead.

It was necessary that Jesus be both.

In doing so, he became “the New Adam.” 

“For as in Adam [the first man, through whom sin entered the world] all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:22, 45; NASB).

To All Who Believe

John 1:14-18Amplified Bible
The Word Made Flesh

14 And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception). 15 John testified [repeatedly] about Him and [a]has cried out [testifying officially for the record, with validity and relevance], “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me [b]has a higher rank than I and has priority over me, for He existed before me.’” 16 For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift]. 17 For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God [His essence, His divine nature] at any time; the [One and] only begotten God [that is, the unique Son] who is in the intimate presence of the Father, He has explained Him [and interpreted and revealed the awesome wonder of the Father].

As we have seen, a major part of the story of Jesus is the shocking, history of how the Son of God is despised, rejected, and betrayed, crucified, dead, buried.

But, as each of today’s verses also remind us, from the beginning, God’s light shone in the darkness, and (good news!) “the darkness has not overcome it.”

Instead, the reverse is true: the light overcomes the darkness.

And the darkness was clueless as to what to do about it.

Amazingly, the Holy Spirit can use darkness to lead us to the light.

This is the light that brings us back into God’s presence as his loved children—the light of life that lasts forever.

At the end of John’s gospel, after he tells the story of Jesus’ life, suffering, death, and resurrection, John clarifies why he has told Jesus’ story:

“that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).

That opportunity to receive Jesus, to believe in him, is for everyone. 

Revelation 7:9 describes “a great multitude. . . from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”

Will we be a part of that vast uncountable multitude on the day when our Savior Christ returns, or when our Shepherd calls each of unto our eternal homes?

So, we all, as sinners, have to turn to God for forgiveness of sin, and trust Jesus died to give us new life that we may be “born again” (John 3:3; 1 Peter 1:23). 

Faith is the key.

It’s the cause and effect of our hope for salvation.

If there is truly “no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12), then our acceptance of God’s gift, our own admission that we are a sinner, our repentance (changing mind), and our faith in the real and alive saving Lord is all that can bring eternal and abundant life.

If knowing about Jesus has stirred your heart to read, study, hear even more, receive forgiveness for your sins, renew your Christian walk, receive a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit and get involved in mission and in ministry.

In the name of God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Lord God, thank you for loving me enough to send your one and only Son to die for me. I know I am a sinner, and that Jesus was crucified and raised to life to pay a debt I was unable to pay, in order that I may live with You forever. I want to turn from my way of life and follow Jesus. I invite Jesus into my heart as the Lord of my life. Thank you muchly, Father, for giving me new life in the name of my Savior Jesus. Amen!

Lord Jesus, I receive you as my God; I believe in you as my Savior; I embrace your Father as my Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Out Of The Darkness: “God Said” Let There Be Light, Let There Be Day One. Genesis 1:3-5

In the beginning, there was God.

And God spoke all of creation into being.

God created ex nihilo (God created out of nothing).

God spoke, and light appeared.

By the power of His Word, land, air, and sea were formed out of nothing.
There is power, wonder-working power in the wonderful Word of God.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

He created all things and the Word was light.

He was the light that lightens every man that comes into the world.

There is light and life and power, wonder-working light and life and power in the wonderful Word of God.

Genesis 1:1-5 Amplified Bible

The Creation

In the beginning God ([a]Elohim) [b]created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth. The earth was [c]formless and void or a waste and emptiness, and darkness was upon the face of the deep [primeval ocean that covered the unformed earth]. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters. And God said, [d]“Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good (pleasing, useful) and [e] He affirmed and sustained it; and God separated the light [distinguishing it] from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was [f]evening and there was [g] morning, one day.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

“I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,”

The first verse of Genesis begins with the greatest observable fact known to man: the existence of the universe, the heavens and the earth, (Genesis 1:1b); and it links to that the greatest fact made known by revelation:

“I Believe in the existence of a God who creates.”

There is thus brought together in this simple verse at the beginning of the Bible the recognition of the two great sources of human knowledge:

nature, which is discoverable by the five senses of our physical life; and revelation, which is discoverable only by a mind and heart illuminated and taught by the Spirit of God.

These things “are spiritually discerned,” says the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2:14 Amplified).

14 But the natural [unbelieving] man does not accept the things [the teachings and revelations] of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness [absurd and illogical] to him; and he is incapable of understanding them, because they are spiritually discerned and appreciated, [and he is unqualified to judge spiritual matters].

Both of these sources of knowledge are from God, and each of them is a means of knowing something about God.

The scientist who studies nature is searching ultimately for God.

One Christian scientist declared, “I am thinking the thoughts of God after him.”

That is an excellent way to describe what science basically is doing.

Also, those who seek to understand the Bible, to grasp its great themes and to understand the depths that are revealed there, are likewise in search of God.

Nature is designed to educate and teach humanity certain facts, truths, about God, but revelation is designed to lead us to the God about whom nature speaks.

So the two are ultimately complementary.

They are not contradictory in any sense, but definitively complete one another.

Genesis 1:3-5 – The First Day: “And God Said …”

Repeatedly throughout Genesis 1 we read those words, “God said,” followed by an act of creation.

God speaks and it is there.

God creates by speaking.

What does this mean?

In seeking an answer, we must be governed by what Scripture tells us.

Several passages come to mind.

One can think of Psalm 33:8 and 9. “By the word of the LORD, the heavens were made and all their host by the breath of His mouth … He spoke and it came to be; He commanded and it stood forth” 

(compare also Psalm 148:5b, “…He commanded and they [His created works] were created”).

God created by His word.

What was involved with the creation by the Word is made clearer as we go to the New Testament.

As the reader of Scripture knows, “the Word” is a name for the Son who was involved in the work of creation! 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:1-3, 14; cf. 1 John 1:1-3; 5:1; Revelation 19:13).

The reference to the Word in creating is further also illuminated by 1 Corinthians 8:8

“Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” 

One can also think of Colossians 1:17 and 18, “For in Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (cf. Revelation 3:14).

If we read the words “and God said” in Genesis 1, in the light of Scripture, then what is not immediately obvious in Genesis 1, becomes more clear elsewhere.

God’s creating by the word involved the Son.

The word that God spoke was not without content.

It was a powerful and living word.

The word by which He called into being things from nothing was powerful for it was spoken in and through the Son. 

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

“‘Let there be Light’ and there was Light”

After God’s creation of heaven and earth, His first work of creation was light.

Light as we know it is part of creation. It was made. God spoke and it was there.

The importance of light is evident, not only from its place in God’s work of creation, but also from our own experience.

Who can imagine the possibility of life without light?

It is significant that light was created independently of the sun, moon, and stars which were created on the fourth day.

Although I hope to be coming back to this in a future devotion, suffice it for now to note that I would have thought there was a time when men said that this was a scientific error, but I guess men do not, would not, speak like that anymore.

Rather than my trying to ridicule or dismiss this order, or try to explain it, or put it on “social media” trial we should carefully try, consider the implications of this sequence of God’s first creating light and later the sun, moon and stars.

This order of God’s creation work reveals to us that all light comes from God.

God spoke into the prevailing darkness, light was revealed, the light – made it.

Light does not come in the first instance from the sun, the moon or the stars.

Light is a gift of God, not of the sun!

What a tremendous revelation!

What a tremendous gospel revelation this is for our naturalistic age in which people speak so freely and so scientifically of the sun, moon stars, as if alone, in the absence or dismissal or ridicule of their Creator, makes all of life possible.

For this reason people can even fret about the future horror of a spent sun.

For Israel this order of God’s creating activity was also of great comfort over against the host of pagan religions which regularly worshipped the sun.

It is not the sun, which is a part of creation, but the Creator, the Creator’s Son, who alone gives light, who alone is the Light (John 8:12) who is to be adored.

Jesus Is the Light of the World

12 Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, “[a]I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

“And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:4).

God’s work was pleasing in His eyes.

It was as He wanted it to be so that the light could serve the purpose for which it was made.

Notice that the phrase “God saw that… (it) was good” was not used with verse 2 where we read: 

“The earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” 

God’s creation was not yet as He wanted it.

The earth was not yet suitable for the purpose for which God had summoned it away from the prevailing darkness of chaos, ultimately then called it into being.

The fact the created light was pleasing to God doesn’t mean an end to darkness.

No. God makes a separation between light and darkness.

Each gets its proper place in the Created order.

God had made both (Psalm 104:20 Amplified; Isaiah 45:7 Amplified).

You [O Lord] make darkness and it becomes night,
In which prowls about every wild beast of the forest.

The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing peace and creating disaster;
I am the Lord who does all these things.

Both are absolutely needed.

Both are absolutely required.

Think, for instance, of how darkness helps in sleeping!

What the place of light and darkness is, is clear from verse 5.

“God called the light Day and the darkness He called Night” (Genesis 1:5a).

It appears from this verse that the light which God had made functioned in a way similar to the sun; that is, it was not always going, required to be daytime.

Also nighttime was to have its regular place.

It has been suggested that this could point to a light source outside and beyond the world with the earth rotating.

In any case, the fact that God assigned names to the periods of light and periods of darkness is significant.

This reveals God’s power and sovereignty.

Think of Psalm 74:18a, “Thine is the day; Thine also the night.” 

God made the separation between light and darkness and God gave each their name and God made known to man of these names through His spoken Word.

“And there was evening and there was morning, the first day” (Genesis 1:5b); that is nighttime and daytime making one day.

From Exodus 20:11 Amplified we know God created heaven and earth in six days.

11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy [that is, set it apart for His purposes].

We may therefore probably assume that the first day began in darkness with God’s work of creation in the beginning (vv. 1, 2).

This darkness was followed by the creation of light.

The first day ended with the coming of evening, which was counted with the following day (Genesis 1:8; similarly with the other days, vv. 13, 18, 23, 31).

In view of the way the first day was made, it is understandable the Bible reckons a day from evening to evening (e.g., Leviticus 23:32; Psalm 55:17; Luke 23:53-54).

32 It is to be to you a Sabbath of complete rest, and you shall humble yourselves. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening you shall keep your Sabbath.” (Amplified)

Evening and morning and at noon I will complain and murmur,
And He will hear my voice.

53 And [after receiving permission] he took it down and wrapped it in a linen [burial] cloth and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had yet been laid. 54 It was the day of preparation [for the Sabbath], and the Sabbath was dawning. (Amplified)

There was a Day When Everything Was New

Genesis 1:1-5 The Message
Heaven and Earth

1-2 First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

3-5 God spoke: “Light!”
    And light appeared.
God saw that light was good
    and separated light from dark.
God named the light Day,
    he named the dark Night.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day One.

Once, the whole world was new.

Out of nothing, God spoke, God created the heavens and the earth.

The Bible describes the process of creation:

God spoke, and the world came into being.

And what God made was good.

It shone with delightful diversity, reflecting the richness of God’s character.

We do not always see the goodness and brilliance of God’s creation because sin and brokenness obscure our vision, bring decay to what was once brand-new.

Every day, our complete delight in the newness of God’s work just wears off.

So, daily, we need our attention called back to the character of the Creator.

Genesis tells us that God can and does bring goodness and light out of chaos, and in this way God blessedly assures us that the world is firmly in his control.

In all of the coming coming days and years ahead of us, we will all, without any exceptions, face times when the newness of our abundant blessings wears off, when the brokenness of our lives keeps us from receiving each day as a new gift.

When that happens, let’s remember that God spoke, God made all things good, and let’s just trust that He has the power to make all things new and good again.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Creator God,

As we are made in Your image, we give You thanks for the seed of creativity You planted within each person. We praise You for the clean lines of the sculpture, the complexity of the musical concerto, beauty, eloquence of the poet’s spoken words.

Grant us, we pray, the greater capacity to more fully appreciate creativity where we don’t always notice it: the perfectly clean and useful lines of a row of coat hangers with our wardrobes of praise hanging up neatly and orderly in our closets, say, or the complexity of a computer that brings the world to our doorsteps, crashes (some days) but most days does not, or the beauty in a text message carrying everyday news.

Forgive, us we pray, for those times when we have sadly squandered with aimless disregard our capacity to create, and for those times we have used our creativity as a force for destruction rather than reconciliation and reparation. Help us truly to live in deep appreciative awe of the creativity that you’ve already planted within each of us.

Give us the patience and courage to nourish that creativity, and the strength and truest persistence to express it, witness to it, everyday. In Your name we pray.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Pondering: “In The Beginning God Created the Heavens and the Earth.” Genesis 1:1-2

I love how the Bible never seeks to prove the existence of God.

It never tries to explain him or try to classify or try to categorize Him.

It isn’t a study on Him.

It is a revelation.

Simply, “In the beginning God.”

In what beginning?

Throughout the Bible we see God as the beginning and the end.

He is the Alpha and the Omega (He’s A through Z).

He is the first and the last.

We know that God is eternal.

We know that he has always been and always will be.

That is how he reveals himself to us.

So what does the Word of God for His Children mean when it says,

“In the beginning God?”

Genesis 1:1-5 Names of God Bible

The Creation

In the beginning Elohim created heaven and earth.

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The Ruach Elohim was hovering over the water.

Then Elohim said, “Let there be light!” So there was light. Elohim saw the light was good. So Elohim separated the light from the darkness. Elohim named the light day, and the darkness he named night. There was evening, then morning—the first day.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Each of us has exactly one thing in common, we all began life as a baby, and we were all unaware of what was going on around us or what the world was like.

But as we grew older, we started to take note of the world—the sky, the sea, the winds, the birds, the flowers, the animals, the trees, and all of life around us.

As we became aware of the world, we inevitably asked some questions about it.

Just a few weeks ago, our Pastor began a lengthy study on the Apostle’s Creed.

The first line of the Apostle’s Creed is;

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty …”

In my own short 20+ years of Christian experience, this is the very first time I actually sat down and considered the enormous brevity and depths of the Creed.

“All Christians believe more than is contained in the Apostles Creed, but no one can believe anything less.” writes the Rev. Dr. Albert Mohler the studies author.

“What is this all of this about?

“Who is it all about?”

“When did it all begin?”

“Where did it all begin?

“How did it all begin?

“Who started it all?”

“Who is all of this for?”

Those questions, undoubtedly more will come to mind, are the ones answered for us in the brief compass here in the opening verse of the Book of Genesis.

Genesis 1:1 Amplified Bible

The Creation

1 In the beginning God ([a]Elohim) [b]created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth.

Again, what are the questions we are asking of this opening verse of the bible?

First, we ask ourselves, 

What is all this?” 

Driven by an insatiable curiosity to know, humans have been attempting to answer that most basic of questions ever since they first appeared on earth.

Driven forward, they seek to push themselves into great, greater and greatest boundaries and limits, to explore the universe and the world in which they live.

Another question, we ask, “How did it begin?” 

This question is the emphasis of science.

Then we ask, “When did it all start?”

How long has ‘Creation’ been going on like this?”

How long has the world been going on like this? 

Finally, we come to the great philosophical question, “Who is behind it?”

“Who is back of these indescribably mysterious and remarkable processes?

These questions are answered in the first verse, and thus it serves for us as a tremendous introduction to the great themes weaved in and through the Bible.

Take the first question,

the one most obvious to us—the wonder of the universe itself. 

In the beginning, we read, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).

Someone has said that this phrase is the beginning of true science, because a fundamental part of the task of science is to observe and classify all that can be observed in the makeup of the world of nature.

Here is an early and primitive attempt at classification.

What do you see around you?

You see two great classes of things—the heavens and the earth.

One of the marvels of the Bible is that it uses language that communicates with people of the most primitive and limited understanding, while at the same time it still has significance and inexhaustible meaning for the most erudite and too, learned scholars and addresses itself with equal ease to all classes of humanity.

That is the beauty of Bible language.

The Bible avoids the philosophies of some of the early myths about creation found in other religions.

It was the Bible that first said the number of the stars is beyond computation.

It declares that God stretched out the heavens (Isaiah 51:13) into limitless expanse that can never be measured and God filled it with stars that are as numerous as the uncountable grains of sand upon the seashore (Genesis 22:17).

15 The [a]Angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “By Myself (on the basis of Who I Am) I have sworn [an oath], declares the Lord, that since you have done this thing and have not withheld [from Me] your son, your only son [of promise], 17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies [as conquerors]. (Genesis 22:15-17)

Modern science has now established this to be true.

It is also the Bible that says the earth is suspended over nothing (Job 26:7).

“He stretches out his heavens[a] over empty space.
    He hangs the earth on nothing whatsoever.

In that eloquently poetic way it describes the mysterious force of gravity that no one even yet completely understands.

It was the Bible that said that what is seen was not made out of what was visible (Hebrews 11:3 Amplified), thus predating by many centuries the discoveries of science that finally recognized that all matter is made up of invisible energy and that matter and energy are interchangeable.

By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, and wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

Why Ponder “In the Beginning, God” Today?

Matthew 1:1 English Standard Version
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Luke 3:23-38 New King James Version
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

The opening words of Mat­thew’s Gospel narrative presents us with a list of historical names in the family line of Jesus to the Patriarch Abraham.

Some readers skip over such lists, seeing them as boring or only filled with names that are hard to pronounce, and mostly not mentioned anywhere else.

The Gospel Narrative account of Dr. Luke has a long list of names like this too.

These lists are selective genealogies of Jesus—and in them, God is saying,

“See, I have kept my word; the promised Messiah and Savior has come through my chosen people.”

The list in Luke’s gospel includes many names different from those in Matthew, possibly because Luke lists the ancestors of Mary, the mother of Jesus and also goes back to Adam the first human – “The son of God.”

The list in Luke’s Gospel Narrative is also longer than the one in Matthew’s, going back all the way to the beginning, to connect Jesus with God himself.

This helps us see that the story of salvation—indeed, the story of the whole world—is really all about God.

God created a good, amazingly complex perfect world, only to have it scarred by sin because our very first human parents disobeyed God’s command (Genesis 3).

But God did not sit idly by.

In the beginning, from the beginning, God got personally, intimately involved.

He immediately set out to redeem and restore His Creation – including us!

From the beginning, God planned to renew us through his Son, Jesus. And when Jesus, the Savior, was born in Bethlehem, God’s plan took a major step forward.

So as we look ahead to pondering God and Jesus, let us join with the angels who announced Jesus’ birth, singing out, “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:14)!

In the name of God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let Us Pray,

Lord, I praise You as the Creator and Sustainer of all things. From the very beginning of time, You have not changed, and I am grateful to know You as the One who has made all things. Creator God, thank you for your true and everlasting faithfulness unto all future generations in sending your Son, our Savior, Christ the Lord! Amen.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Are We So Confident in God that We Will Sing the Goodness of God in An Exuberant Earth, in Our Lifetimes? Psalm 27:13-14

God is good all the time.

It’s easy to see God’s goodness when life is tastes like an Ice cold glass of lemonade on the hottest days of Summer.

When our hearts are happy our eyes are open to His glorious presence, His plan for our lives, and the beauty of His creation all around us.

But sometimes life is just so hard.

Life is just too bitter.

Life is just too disappointing.

Life seems to be so completely empty of anything which might be even loosely, so minimally defined, as being “good” and being “worthy.”

It’s in these times we must hold fast to this simple truth: “God is good” “God is GOOD all the time.”

But can we, will we, could we, should we, sing of it, actually “mean it?”

Psalm 27 The Message

27 Light, space, zest—
    that’s God!
So, with him on my side I’m fearless,
    afraid of no one and nothing.

When vandal hordes ride down
    ready to eat me alive,
Those bullies and toughs
    fall flat on their faces.

When besieged,
    I’m calm as a baby.
When all hell breaks loose,
    I’m collected and cool.

I’m asking God for one thing,
    only one thing:
To live with him in his house
    my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
    I’ll study at his feet.

That’s the only quiet, secure place
    in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
    far from the buzz of traffic.

God holds me head and shoulders
    above all who try to pull me down.
I’m headed for his place to offer anthems
    that will raise the roof!
Already I’m singing God-songs;
    I’m making music to God.

7-9 Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs:
    “Be good to me! Answer me!”
When my heart whispered, “Seek God,”
    my whole being replied,
“I’m seeking him!”
    Don’t hide from me now!

9-10 You’ve always been right there for me;
    don’t turn your back on me now.
Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me;
    you’ve always kept the door open.
My father and mother walked out and left me,
    but God took me in.

11-12 Point me down your highway, God;
    direct me along a well-lighted street;
    show my enemies whose side you’re on.
Don’t throw me to the dogs,
    those liars who are out to get me,
    filling the air with their threats.

13-14 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
    in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
    Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
    Stay with God.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Freedom and Confidence “In the Land of the Living”

Psalm 27:13-14Amplified Bible

I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for and confidently expect the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.

In a culture, in any society that prizes self-confidence and on a positive self-image, we are most surely and certainly tempted to think, if not wholeheartedly believe, that any relationship we claim to have with God should make a priority of focusing exclusively on ourselves, our own needs, our sense of self-worth.

But now, please consider what happens when self-assured people pray to God.

People who believe their relationship with God, not God’s relationship based on them, is based in their own merit and interests, will find prayer an empty ritual.

They will almost certainly tend to see little need for prayer, take little time for actual prayer and they don’t and probably will not see the results “they” expect.

Prayers offered in our own strength rise no higher than the roof over our heads.

Fervent and sincere Prayers “offered up to God” in our own confidence of our being “blessed by the goodness of God” being answered by God in our own way will invariably be the source of the “bitterness of our own disappointments.”

the “bitterness of our disappointments” will become our “bitterness’s in our God.”

Bitterness in anything translates to the severe diminishment in our confidence in whatever or why ever or whoever it is we have become badly embittered by.

The Word of God for His Children reveals what happens to the embittered heart:

Genesis 27:33-34 Amplified Bible

3Then Isaac trembled violently, and he said, “Then who was the one [who was just here] who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I blessed him. Yes, and he [in fact] shall be (shall remain) blessed.” 34 When Esau had heard the words of his father, he cried out with a great and extremely bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!”

Our Bitterness in the Goodness of Man or Confidence in the Goodness of our God in the Land of the Living?

“I am 100% confident that all of mankind is inherently bad and bitter.”

What emotion(s) does that global statement stir up inside of your soul?

“I am 100% confident in saying that God is good, all the time, God is good.”

What emotion(s) does that statement of affirmation and faith stir up in you?

I know for some one statement stirs up much anger and resentment in all that is associated with all of the actions and activities of mankind upon this earth.

I know that for some the other phrase stirs up within them unspeakable joy, while others of us seem to be overly immune to any one emotion in our lives.

I believe the issue for many of us is that the repetition of phrase “God is good” is so frequently said, so frequently exhorted and so infrequently experienced.

For many of us we are just told that God is always good from a young age, but we are seldom given the chance to experience any negativity in that goodness.

Negativity is something God has always meant to be experienced by mankind.

Disappointment in mankind, disappointment in God were always meant by God to be experienced by mankind that the experiences of all our disappointments might be utilized by God, should be transformed by God into a stronger faith.

Job 1:20-21 Amplified Bible

20 Then Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head [in mourning for the children], and he fell to the ground and worshiped [God]. 21 He said,

“Naked (without possessions) I came [into this world] from my mother’s womb,
And naked I will return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Bitterness is something we were always meant to experience and mature from.

Disappointment is something we were always meant by God to experience – not to be protected nor to be shielded from by the highest of parental castle walls.

Perhaps mankind is too embittered, too disappointed by the fact that it is 100% impossible for them to build and fortify their walls enough to prevent the bad, to prevent the bad and the ugly from being seen and then “max” experienced.

Ecclesiastes 3:11-15 Amplified Bible
God Set Eternity in the Heart of Man

11 He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot ever hope to find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.

12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good as long as they live; 13 and also that every man should eat and drink and see and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. 14 I know that whatever God does, it endures forever; nothing can be added to it nor can anything be taken from it, for God does it so that men will fear and worship Him [with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is God]. 15 That which is has already been, and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by [so that history repeats itself].

Everyone always want the better side of living life for the coming generations.

But this too is the worst expression of vanity mankind can have confidence in.

We all need the fullness of both in our and our children’s lives to know we will always need the fullness of something far greater than all our bitterness in life, that being the absolute fullness of Goodness which only comes from our God.

Goodness is something which was meant by God, always meant by God, to be, by measures and degrees experienced, then believed, not the other way around.

From Psalm 27 verse 13 David said that he had the highest confidence he would look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

He could in highest confidence say such a thing, possess such a high level of “blessed assurance in God” because he had also known the greatest bitterness.

In his great personal failures as a father – with his relationship with Absalom.

In his relationship with his wife and his adultery with Bathsheba, his personal relationship and deep personal confidence, friendship with Uriah the Hittite, the husband of Bathsheba, Uriah the Hittite whom David conspired to murder.

Ultimately confronted by Nathan with the indescribable scope of his failures, of his crimes against his family and friends, David recognized the greater and far more to be prioritized, valued, and be treasured, Goodness of God (Psalm 32)

From within his own greatest bitterness, his greatest disappointments, He had already seen God’s goodness in his life and believed that he would see it again.


He also knew for a fact that ultimately he was missing the mark in life but God was always on target, always good, ergo, he sought to experience goodness.

It’s that same heart that the Sons of Korah had in the famous Psalm 84, singing, 

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God . . . For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:1-2,10).

It sounds like the worship of a good God, a goodness that is to be experienced.

Intersecting the Facts of Life with our Faith in God.

When was the last time you experienced the goodness of God? 

Psalm 33:5 says, “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” 

God’s goodness is always here, and always just waiting to be experienced. 

James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” 

God is always good, every good and perfect gift you’ve received is from God!

He demonstrates his goodness to us in innumerable ways, all the time.

How is it then that we don’t recognize it?

How is it then we are always quicker to recognize bitterness, disappointment?

How is it that we can be surrounded by God’s goodness and not experience it?

God has repeatedly proven throughout Scripture that God works in our midst, continuously, perpetually, demonstrating His goodness, but we have to cast off our bitterness so as to take time to listen and respond to these demonstrations.

In Psalm 27 verse 4 God says to David, “Seek my face,” and David responds, “All the days of my life My heart (confidently) says to you, your face, Lord, do I seek.” 

When God says “seek” He uses a Hebrew word that is meant for more than one person.

God calls all of us, God’s Children, to “set bitterness aside” “confidently seek my face.” then in our natural response we are to say, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

Take time to consider the depths of your bitterness and disappointments.

Take time today to prayerfully respond to God’s invitation of His Goodness.

Seek to look upon his face and to experience his goodness.

He has laid a banquet table before us in the presence of our enemies named “bitterness and disappointment.”

And God is simply asking, inviting, us to come forward and dine with Him.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Psalm 27 The Message

27 Light, space, zest—
    that’s God!
So, with him on my side I’m fearless,
    afraid of no one and nothing.

When vandal hordes ride down
    ready to eat me alive,
Those bullies and toughs
    fall flat on their faces.

When besieged,
    I’m calm as a baby.
When all hell breaks loose,
    I’m collected and cool.

I’m asking God for one thing,
    only one thing:
To live with him in his house
    my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
    I’ll study at his feet.

That’s the only quiet, secure place
    in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
    far from the buzz of traffic.

God holds me head and shoulders
    above all who try to pull me down.
I’m headed for his place to offer anthems
    that will raise the roof!
Already I’m singing God-songs;
    I’m making music to God.

7-9 Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs:
    “Be good to me! Answer me!”
When my heart whispered, “Seek God,”
    my whole being replied,
“I’m seeking him!”
    Don’t hide from me now!

9-10 You’ve always been right there for me;
    don’t turn your back on me now.
Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me;
    you’ve always kept the door open.
My father and mother walked out and left me,
    but God took me in.

11-12 Point me down your highway, God;
    direct me along a well-lighted street;
    show my enemies whose side you’re on.
Don’t throw me to the dogs,
    those liars who are out to get me,
    filling the air with their threats.

13-14 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
    in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
    Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
    Stay with God.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Guided Prayer:

1. Take time to quiet yourself and receive God’s presence. Meditate on this verse:

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

2. Respond to his goodness by telling the Lord:

“My heart says to you, Your face, Lord, do I seek.” Psalm 27:8

3. Make David’s prayer yours today:

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4

Take time to make that prayer your own throughout your day today.

Memorize it.

Write it on your heart so you can experience the goodness of God throughout your day.

It only takes a moment to receive his presence and have the joy and the perfect peace, the SHALOM, SHALOM, that can only be found in our Savior Christ Jesus.

God Will Keep You In Perfect Peace Those Whose Minds are Steadfast. Isaiah 26:1-4.

Peace is possible even in our stressful, troubled world.

In Isaiah 26:3-4, the Bible promises God “will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

Here some thoughts about what it means for us to do that, so so can experience peace in any situation.

Isaiah 26:1-4 English Standard Version

You Keep Him in Perfect Peace

26 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

“We have a strong city;
    he sets up salvation
    as walls and bulwarks.
Open the gates,
    that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

What a wonderful and sure promise we receive and prayerfully welcome and claim as our own from God’s Living Word that He keeps us in perfect peace.

Oh, don’t we long for that?

I just think about all of the unknowable, unsearchable unknowns in my life.

Also, I think, sometimes even enter the realm of obsession, about things I’m wrestling through, decisions that I need to make, those sorts of things where there can be this turmoil, and worry, or anxiety, and as I talk with folks, I know.

I mean, who is it among us who cannot say that fear, worry, anxiety, our mental health, are not some of the most pressing issues within our hearts, and minds.

We are constantly wondering, what’s going going to happen here or there?

How am I going to get this or that done?

When am I going to get this or that done?

What do I do in this decision or that decision?

How do we address this in my life or my family?

Or, what do I do at work?

Or if we are about to be blessed by our High School or College graduations, what will become of our futures when we are the ones who have to make the choices?

Peace.  It’s something people crave.

I’ve written about it in many of my devotionals, and I have received multiple messages and questions and debates about it from literally all over the globe.

But let’s take a fresh look at it in context of this verse.  

What does it mean to have Perfect Peace?

Isaiah 26:3 is known as the perfect peace scripture.

It gives us directions for finding that perfect peace that keeps you calm even when life’s storms are swirling around you.

The secret to finding this peace is keeping your mind on God.

God will keep you in perfect peace when you keep your mind on Him and trust Him with everything in your life.

In Isaiah 26 we meet God’s prophet, Isaiah is rehearsing a song of trust in the provision of God.

He is prophetically singing of how God will restore Israel, who will once again walk in righteousness and peace.

After the coming judgement for their sin, a day will dawn when Israel will be redeemed and restored, they will be at peace when their eyes are fixed on God.

This promise was given to Israel during a very dark period in Israel’s history.

Meaning of Perfect Peace in Hebrew

God promises that we can have perfect peace, and even be kept in a place of perfect peace in Isaiah 26:3.

In the original Hebrew text, the term “perfect peace” is actually shalom shalom.

This shows how in the Hebrew language repetition communicates intensity.

It isn’t just shalom; it is shalom shalom, “perfect peace.”

It is as if God wasn’t satisfied to give us one door of peace to walk through; He opened up the double doors of peace and said “shalom shalom.”

If one assurance of peace is not enough for us, He will follow it with a second and then put on top of those two the very steadfast promise to keep us there.

Perfect peace, which is the peace of God, coming only from God, only comes when our anxious minds are set on Him and when we put our trust in Him.  

This peace doesn’t necessarily correlate to what is going on around us. 

It’s something we experience inside. 

Our outward situation does not, or rather should not, determine the peace that we experience.

We can’t get away from what’s going on in our world right now. 

The news is filled with stories about socio-cultural, socio-economic upheaval. 

At every corner and with every plan we try to make, we can’t get away from the reality that we are experiencing uncertain times. 

And uncertainty usually does not lead us to peace. 

In fact, it has quite the opposite effect.

Uncertainty creates anxiety, fear, overwhelm, excessive worries.  

But when we put our trust in Christ and set our minds on Him, we can have peace.  Even if, even when, everything around us tells us to do otherwise.  

Still, how can we do this?  We must take control of what we put in our minds. 

Isaiah 55:1-3 English Standard Version
The Compassion of the Lord

55 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
    hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    my steadfast, sure love for David.

It’s important that we fill our thoughts with God’s Word. 

It is important that we fill our thoughts with the things of God.

It is important that we all fill our hearts with the Way, the Truth, the Life of His Son, Jesus who is the Christ, who is our Lord of Lord, King of Kings, our Savior.

The Truth will always be we cannot hide from what is happening in the world. 

We need to educate ourselves, to discipline ourselves and follow the guidelines we have been given, but we can’t allow the fear and worry alone to consume us.  

We must put our trust in God.  

Proverbs 3:5-8 English Standard Version

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh[a]
    and refreshment[b] to your bones.

Every time thoughts invade our minds that distract and discourage us, we need to replace them with truth from God’s Word – Have scripture ready and positive statements around you to remind you God is 100% good, Jesus can be trusted.  

Our minds and spirits might feel like a chaotic jumbled mess right now, but we can have God’s perfect peace when we choose to focus those thoughts on Him. 

Isaiah 26:3–4 Reminds Us We Can Find Peace In God

Amidst the impossible complexities of all the chaos, and all of the turmoil, there is a peace to be found in God that nothing in this world can rob you of.

Are you anxious or worried?

Of course you are!

Am I anxious or worried?

Of course I am!

Do you know God’s peace in every circumstance?

Probably, if not decisively and definitively not!

Do I know God’s peace in every circumstance?

Probably, if not decisively and definitively not

To be honest, I have to work hard on keeping God’s peace in my heart.

It doesn’t have to be an exceptional impending disaster that makes me lose my peace, it can be less life impactful irritations that’ll come across my path daily.

Why do I lose my peace?

Because without any effort at all, without any debates or second thoughts, I will have taken my eyes off God and focused directly on that distraction on my path.

Does this happen to you too?

Virtually guaranteed it does – it is quite literally inescapable.

We need to stop paying such a high rate of rent to that which distracts us.

Because there are infinitely better, more eternal housing alternatives for us.

Romans 5:7-10 English Standard Version

For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Pray, rent all (un)available space in our hearts, souls and spirits unto God.

Far more than we need the debilitating complexities of chaos and disorder,

We need God’s supernatural peace, SHALOM SHALOM, that only He can give.

We need His, ‘shalom shalom’.

The good news is that we can have this perfect peace constantly.

We will have perfect peace when we keep your mind stayed on Jesus.

Jesus has already paid the rent and has paid the rent for all of eternity.

Keep your mind stayed on Jesus

What is consuming your thoughts?

Are your thoughts exclusively on your circumstances or exclusively on Jesus?

I find that when I sit in Jesus’ presence every morning and layout before Him all that concerns me, I can refocus my views, my circumstances in a different light.

We can redirect our minds and take the focus off our circumstances and look in faith in the Lord and His Word.

When your mind is stayed upon the Lord, steadfastly fixed on the Son of God, on the Spirit, it means it is firmly fixed and unwavering focused on the Lord.

It also means that we are fully leaning upon His eternity and trusting in Him.

I mean, we could go on and on.

I don’t know what’s going on in your life that turmoil tempts you.

But, today, and in the coming complexities of chaos, hear what God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are telling you through this verse from Isaiah 26:3–4, what else does it say to you, except that if you fully trust in God, keep your mind stayed on God, He’ll keep you in perfect peace because He is an everlasting rock.

So, I just want to encourage everyone today, no matter what’s going on in your life, find the Word of God, Read and Study the Word of God, and fix your eyes on Him, cause your mind to stay on Him, fully realize you can 100% trust in Him.

You can 100% trust in Him now.

You can 100% trust in Him tomorrow,

You can 100% trust Him with all of your remaining tomorrows because God is an everlasting rock, and in Him, His unchangeability, there is perfect SHALOM.

We need to trust God with our today and all of our tomorrow’s.

We cause more anxiety for ourselves when we distress over what might happen tomorrow.

As we seek God’s presence constantly, He will order our days and fill us with His strength and wisdom for all of life’s circumstances.

It will definitely take an active discipline on our part to keep our minds, souls steadfast and unwavering focus on the Lord but Jesus wants to help us with this discipline too, we just have to fervently, unceasingly pray, and ask for His help.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Psalm 18:1-6 The Message

18 1-2 I love you, God—
    you make me strong.
God is bedrock under my feet,
    the castle in which I live,
    my rescuing knight.
My God—the high crag
    where I run for dear life,
    hiding behind the boulders,
    safe in the granite hideout.

I sing to God, the Praise-Lofty,
    and find myself safe and saved.

4-5 The hangman’s noose was tight at my throat;
    devil waters rushed over me.
Hell’s ropes cinched me tight;
    death traps barred every exit.

A hostile world! I call to God,
    I cry to God to help me.
From his palace he hears my call;
    my cry brings me right into his presence—
    a private audience!

Amidst the turmoil, amidst the waves, so to speak, of this world, there is a peace to be found in God that nothing in this world can rob you of. So, we pray, God, we look to you as the everlasting rock. We trust in you. Help us to trust in you with all of our hearts, even amidst the unknowns and things we don’t know around us, even amidst the things where we are tempted to worry. We’re anxious and confusion creeps in. What do I do here or there, God?

We pray for your peace. I pray for your peace. For those who are listening to this right now, I don’t know what’s going on in your life, but I know you’ve promised to keep them in perfect peace when they focus their mind on you, when their hearts trust in you, so help them. Also, help them to trust in you. I pray this for every single person who’s listening to this right now. Please, God, help them to trust in you. Keep their mind focused on you.

May this promise from your Word of perfect peace encourage them today, embolden them today even, amidst all the things going on around them that you would captivate them with your perfect peace. We praise you as the everlasting rock. We trust in you. God, oh, together we say, we trust in you. And we praise you for the peace that’s found in trust in you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Is God Worthy of All Our Devotion? Isaiah 6:1-8

I am not completely sure why the glory of God began to be so central for me.

The roots probably go back to when I received my first bible lesson which oft quoted 1 Corinthians 10:31 to me,

“Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

So I “grew up” in my “Christian thinking” believing everything in life from eating pizza to drinking Coke is supposed to somehow glorify — make God look glorious.

And so from that bible lesson it felt early on in my faith primarily like a duty.

That is what you are supposed to do.

But the Bible reveals many other things about “my growing up in the faith” and the glory of God that made that little duty in 1 Corinthians 10:31 explosive with significance.

Isaiah 6:1-8 The Message

Holy, Holy, Holy!

1-8 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Master sitting on a throne—high, exalted!—and the train of his robes filled the Temple. Angel-seraphs hovered above him, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew. And they called back and forth one to the other,

    Holy, Holy, Holy is God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
    His bright glory fills the whole earth.

The foundations trembled at the sound of the angel voices, and then the whole house filled with smoke. I said,

“Doom! It’s Doomsday!
    I’m as good as dead!
Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted—
    blasphemous even!
And the people I live with talk the same way,
    using words that corrupt and desecrate.
And here I’ve looked God in the face!
    The King! God-of-the-Angel-Armies!”

Then one of the angel-seraphs flew to me. He held a live coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with the coal and said,

“Look. This coal has touched your lips.
    Gone your guilt,
    your sins wiped out.”
And then I heard the voice of the Master:
    “Whom shall I send?
    Who will go for us?”
I spoke up,
    “I’ll go.
    Send me!”

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Can it ever be understated or underestimated precisely how vital it is to the Christian life that we as sons and daughters of the most high God allow our affections to be stirred by the loving, powerful nature of our heavenly Father?

Too often we may find ourselves feeling or too often we will find ourselves hearing people say that God is too distant or too greatly separated from us.

Too often we will find ourselves allowing misconceptions or listening to the lies of too many others, allowing them to go unchallenged, to place a rift between us and every single one of our most valued neighbors and not experiencing God.

It is in our devotion to God, it’s in reminding ourselves of God’s character that Satan’s lies are broken, a pathway is set for us to encounter God’s tangible love.

Is God worthy of my devotion?

Is God worthy of your devotion?

Open your heart and mind and receive fresh revelation of the goodness of God.

Today, with our fresh anointing’s of the Holy Spirit, allow our affections to be stirred, our heart to be filled with desire to seek the face of our heavenly Father.

What if we risked asking ourselves if God is worthy?

Isaiah 6:4-5 Complete Jewish Bible

The doorposts shook at the sound of their shouting, and the house was filled with smoke. Then I said,

“Woe to me! I [too] am doomed! —
because I, a man with unclean lips,
living among a people with unclean lips,
have seen with my own eyes
the King, Adonai-Tzva’ot!”

If we like the Prophet Isaiah, we are declaring ourselves unworthy to be in the presence of God in God’s own throne room because of our “unclean lips,” “our unclean lives” living too comfortably, too complacently among too many others with “unclean lips” “unclean complacent” and “comfortable lives,” are we not also saying, in not so many or too many words, God is not worthy of devotion?

By not, like Isaiah; “fully sitting still,” “fully exalting God,” (Psalm 46:10-11)

Are we not setting our most unworthy selves up for the most unworthy failure?

Are we not even giving God any minimal opportunity to actually be God for us?

Why would we do that to ourselves if we actually believed, 100% believed, God is 100% worthy of 100% of our time, of 100% of our devotion every single day?

Do we even realize that this might be exactly what we are doing, what we are all saying to God, God is in fact only some smaller percentage, worthy of our lives?

What of our ‘valuing’ our fresh anointing from God?

Isaiah 6:5-8 Complete Jewish Bible

Then I said,

“Woe to me! I [too] am doomed! —
because I, a man with unclean lips,
living among a people with unclean lips,
have seen with my own eyes
the King, Adonai-Tzva’ot!”

One of the s’rafim flew to me with a glowing coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with it and said,

“Here! This has touched your lips.
Your iniquity is gone,
your sin is atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of Adonai saying,

“Whom should I send?
Who will go for us?”

I answered, “I’m here, send me!”

Throughout the long concourse of reading and studying the Holy Scriptures we see a powerful principle exemplified: when God is seen for who God truly is, the natural response of the seer is inevitably their 100% full and absolute devotion.

When God reveals God’s glory, love, power, holiness, and splendor, the seer inevitably responds with their expression of absolute commitment, worship.

I believe that God would reveal himself to us today in simple but mighty ways.

I believe that God longs for us to see Him as he truly is, and that His chief desire is our devotion – to our finding God 100% worthy of 100% of our daily devotion.

May we see God face-to-face today and be forever changed by a fresh revelation of this God who would give up everything for relationship with us.

Isaiah 6 exemplifies both a vision of God and our worthy response of devotion.

Isaiah has an open vision of the majesty of God in heaven.

Isaiah sees God on his throne, hears angels declaring his holiness and splendor then shouting out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3).

In response to this vision Isaiah 6:8 says, “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’” 

Humbled by the sight, Isaiah fully acknowledges God’s worthiness, responds to seeing God, seeing the fullness of God’s worthiness, with a life full of devotion.

God doesn’t ask for your devotion the way man does.

He doesn’t offer us ultimatums or transactional based benefits if we’ll love him.

Devotion to him is meant to be the natural response of seeing God for who He is, because he is inherently worthy of every bit of devotion we can bring to him.

He is 100% worthy of our maximum allegiance because He is the King of Kings.

He is worthy of our obedience because His will is both knowable and perfect.

He is 100% worthy of our maximum worship because He is the almighty God to whom all creation offers ceaseless praise.

And God is worthy of 100% of our hearts and 100% souls because He is the God of love and mercy who has created us for an exclusive relationship with him.

Way too often we are mistaking God’s mercy and grace as opportunities to go our own way and come back to him as we please or when we need something.

Way too often we are treating His love as an opiate for our problems rather than the foundation on which we devote our lives in our humble submission to him.

God is 100% patient.

He is 100% kind.

He will never force or manipulate us into loving Him.

But His patience, kindness, and gentleness do not change the fact that He is the King of kings, He is the Lord of lords, and He is the Creator of all, and He is all we need to live and He is 100% worthy and deserving of our ceaseless devotion.

Run to meet your God in the secret place today. (Matthew 6:4)

Psalm 17:13-15 Complete Jewish Bible

13 Arise, Adonai, confront them! Bring them down!
With your sword deliver me from the wicked,
14 with your hand, Adonai, from human beings,
from people whose portion in life is this world.
You fill their stomachs with your treasure,
their children will be satisfied too
and will leave their wealth to their little ones.

15 But my prayer, in righteousness, is to see your face;
on waking, may I be satisfied with a vision of you.

Look upon God’s face and see Him for both the loving and majestic God He is.

God longs to reveal His nature to you.

God longs for you to search out the depths of Him and be awed by his wonder and mystery.

Spend time in study, fellowship and prayer meeting with your loving heavenly Father and responding to His nature with ALL your love, worship, and devotion.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on the majesty, holiness, and love of God. 

Allow Scripture and the Holy Spirit to guide us into a direct encounter with the living God.

Ask God to reveal his nearness, holiness and love to you in a fresh way.

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!’

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.’” – >Isaiah 6:1-7

“I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” – Isaiah 44:6

2. Spend time giving God thanks for who he is. Worship him in the beauty of His Holiness and His Worthiness, through devotion and with thanksgiving.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” – Psalm 107:1

“Through [Jesus] then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” – >Hebrews 13:15

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep!” – Psalm 92:1-5

3. Now offer God your total devotion in a 100% worthy response to who He is. 

Commit to following his leadership and living your life in total obedience to God through the ever present help and continuous intercession of the Holy Spirit.

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” – >Philippians 3:8

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” – Deuteronomy 6:5

May our life be a worthy example of a believer in love with God.

May we offer God all the love, obedience, and devotion we can.

All God desires is our heart.

He longs to have all of us.

He is completely relationship focused and completely lovesick for us. 

2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

God will help you live your life in commitment to him if you allow him to.

Revelation 4:9-11 Complete Jewish Bible

And whenever the living beings give glory, honor and thanks to the One sitting on the throne, to the One who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before the One sitting on the throne, who lives forever and ever, and worship him. They throw their crowns in front of the throne and say,

11 “You are worthy, Adonai Eloheinu,
to have glory, honor and power,
because you created all things —
yes, because of your will they were created
and came into being!”

Receive the Worthiness of the Lord!

Receive the Joy of the Lord!

Receive the Strength of the Lord!

and worthily respond to God’s love with our maximum devotion today.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


When Jesus Points and Commands; “Get into the Boat!” and Guides Us Straight Into and Through a Storm. Mark 4:35-41

Every person here has what I call “Storm theology.”

Storm theology is what you believe about God when storms come into your life.

When a crisis comes into your life is God a good God or a bad God for allowing it to happen, not stopping it before it begins or stopping it before we discover it or not raising an awareness of its coming before where we find we are somewhere where after we get into the boat we cannot control it, ourselves or the outcome.

After we get into the boat in obedience to God’s will, When we pray during the storm do you trust in God as caring or as uncaring based on how He answers?

Or, how God does not answer and we believe that God has “fallen asleep” on us.

Mark 4:35-41 Complete Jewish Bible

35 That day, when evening had come, Yeshua said to them, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So, leaving the crowd behind, they took him just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. 37 A furious windstorm arose, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was close to being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern on a cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, “Rabbi, doesn’t it matter to you that we’re about to be killed?” 39 He awoke, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind subsided, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no trust even now?” 41 But they were terrified and asked each other, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the waves obey him?”

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Every person here has what I call “Storm theology.”

Storm theology is what you believe about God when storms come into your life.

When a crisis comes into your life is God a good God or a bad God for allowing it to happen, not stopping it before it begins or stopping it before we discover it or not raising an awareness of its coming before where we find we are somewhere where after we get into the boat we cannot control it, ourselves or the outcome.

After we get into the boat in obedience to God’s will, When we pray during the storm do you trust in God as caring or as uncaring based on how He answers?

Or, how God does not answer and we believe that God has “fallen asleep” on us. 

Storm theology is what we believe about God when things seem to be going horribly wrong after we have been trusting, obedient to His Word, His will for our lives.

Listen carefully, storms in life have the ability to bring to the surface what’s really inside of you.

Storms will reveal the truth to us whether (in panic) we live by fear or by faith?

Storms reveal unto us if our panic stricken heart is full of trust or full of doubts. 

The way we react to God during a storm reveals the true nature of our deep, deeper and deepest truths about faith in ourselves or in God, whether we want it to or not.

Storms: “Stand Up and Fight or Run Away in Flight”

Number one, storms are test.

It is during the storms of life we discover what we really believe.

It is during the storms of life we discover how we really, naturally, react.

Storms have a way of revealing for all to see the deepest truths about us.

Storms have a way of revealing all of the truths we want no one else to know.

Storms have a way of revealing those things we all hold most dearly in secret, those things we hold closely, most guarded to our breast, as 100% shameful. 

Verse 35 says,  As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 

The storm that is about to happen to the disciples occurred at the end of the day, “as evening came.” 

This had already been a busy day for Jesus.

  • The day started back in Mark 3:20 where he had a confrontation with some Pharisees who publicly said that Jesus was possessed by Satan, and said that this is was the only place where He gets His power to do the miracles. They also accused Him of highest blasphemy which was punishable by death. This was a fierce and adrenaline pumping confrontation and exchange of their thoughts.
  • Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, try to take Him away because they thought He had lost his mind, so now Jesus has tension within his family.
  • Then Jesus spent the rest of the day teaching. He taught the crowds in parables and privately explained them to His disciples. He taught about the parable of the farmer scattering seed, parable of the lamp and it revealed and hidden light, parable of the growing seed, parable of the mustard seed and a host of others. This teaching session continued throughout the day under the heat of the sun.

This had been a busy day and emotionally draining day for Jesus.

However, for the disciples they had a front row seat to the array of teachings about the significance of God’s kingdom, to the miracles Jesus had performed.

Jesus had been teaching the disciples with what He said and what He did.

But now Rabbi Jesus, the master teacher, would give them an unplanned and unannounced practical test to see exactly how much they had really learned.

After all, the hearing of God’s Word is intended to produce faith (Romans 10:17) and faith must always be tested.

17 So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ. (Amplified Version)

It is not enough for us merely to learn a lesson or be able to repeat a teaching.

We must also be able to take the Word of God, apply, amplify and magnify those Words, apply, amplify and magnify those lessons by faith, hope, love, and that is one reason why God allows for trials, difficulties, and storms to come into our lives – storms are the tests and opportunities to demonstrate our trust in God.

Before we move on, look closely at what Jesus said in verse 35“Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 

I know that literally, Jesus is talking about getting in the boat and going to the other side of the lake.

But His statement reminds me about the “other side” of life. 

On this side of the lake Jesus had performed miracles, confronted the Pharisees, Jesus had learned there was growing dissension in his own family, taught about the Kingdom of God, the crowds are growing and everything is looking “good.”

On this side, the disciples faith and trust in Jesus has been easy and fun, but on the “other side” without any warnings or emails they are about to be tested.

They don’t know it, but a significant storm is coming on the other side.

On this side things are going well, all they have to do is sit and listen to their Rabbi do the teaching, but on the “other side” things are about to get tough.

  • The “other side” of good health is life changing illness, life changing decisions. How will we respond when our faith is going to be TESTED on the “other side.”
  • The “other side” of the honeymoon is a strained relationship. How will we then respond when our faith is going to be severely tested on the “other side of life?”
  • The “other side” of God’s abundance and provision is the threat of bankruptcy. How will we then respond when our faith is going to be severely tested like that?

I believe we get the idea.

Storms are a significant test of our trust of our faith, of our hopes and our love.

The severity of those tests will always “occur” on the “other side” of our lives.

When God Guides You Right Into a Storm

Mark 4:35-37 New King James Version

Wind and Wave Obey Jesus

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.

Have you ever been following God, and one bad thing after another takes place?

Have you ever stopped, looked around, and wondered if you missed a sign or a wonder or somewhere or somehow, you (un)knowingly took a wrong turn? 

If so, shrug your shoulders and don’t worry about it; you’re in good company.

Remember David?

David waited fifteen years from when he was taken from his fathers sheep pens and “secretly” anointed king by Samuel, to when he finally became the king!

Can you begin to imagine how often he must have “asked” the Lord, “Did that day really happen, Samuel really anoint me to be king? Or was that just a fluke?

Because King Saul doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.” 

Initially, David had hope.

Remember, he played the harp in the palace for Saul.

So, he was undoubtedly encouraged, knowing that he was at least working in the palace, getting acclimated to his surroundings and with Saul and his family.

But then, the bottom dropped out. 

King Saul lost it, kicked David out, and then spent considerable time hunting David down to kill him. 

I am not sure about you, but I would have questioned.

“Lord, was that You? Or am I making something up? Are You sure I’m supposed to be king? Because we are getting further away from any hope of becoming king.”

What does David do?

Well, we have many of the Psalms to tell us.

First, David poured his heart out to God. 

Psalm 38:9 says, “Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You.”

Over and over and over, David bears his soul to God.

God sustains him, gives him strength, and keeps him steady. 

Eventually, David became king.

As King, David had no shortage of bad decisions, intrigues, and storms.

Yet, David was still “a man after God’s own heart.

Yet, the Lord was in charge the whole time — in absolute command, just exactly like Jesus was when He commanded the disciples to go across to the other side.

And in the midst of their travels, a storm blew in.

Jesus knew this was going to happen.

The storm took those professional fisherman on the ride of their lifetimes.

The storm was unannounced, unanticipated and wholly unprepared for.

Though Jesus was sound asleep, the storm didn’t take Him by surprise!

Brothers, Sisters and neighbors; our storms won’t take Him by surprise, either.  

Intersecting Faith and Life: “Why are we so Fearful?”

Mark 4:38-41 New American Standard Bible

38 And yet Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they *woke Him and *said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and [a]it became perfectly calm. 40 And He said to them, “Why are you [b] afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who, then, is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

So, why do we think God allows us to go into an unannounced storm?

Why did He send the disciples right into their unanticipated storm? 

Verses 38-41 gives us the answer,

“But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’ And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!'”

Because from the midst and throes of their panicked state of mind, while they were deep in harms way within the storm of their life, they saw Jesus’ power.

If they didn’t feel their panicked state of mind, experience the magnitude of the storm, they wouldn’t know the unleashed magnitude, strength of their Savior! 

Look at the saints before us and the tests they went through.

Moses spent ample time in the desert, and then over and over and over again, he had to go back to God to see what other signs God wanted to do.

Yet, God kept hardening Pharaoh’s heart.

Moses would need this hardened training when he returned to the desert with the Israelites.

Through this hardened training Moses became closely acquainted with God.

If you don’t believe me, read Exodus and underline every verse that says, “The Lord spoke to Moses.

Then God tested Abraham with Isaac.

After that severest of “life and death” trial, Abraham knew God as a provider.

And after God tested Job, he said, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You” Job 42:5 NKJV.

Job 42:1-5 New King James Version

Job’s Repentance and Restoration

42 Then Job answered the Lord and said:

“I know that You can do everything,
And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Listen, please, and let me speak;
You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You.

In the storms, God shows us both the known and secret things about ourselves that we would never ever admit to ourselves nor unto any other human being.

In the storms, God compels us to seek Him out, to “wake Him up out of His slumber” show us things about Himself that we wouldn’t learn any other way.

Psalm 46:8-12 Complete Jewish Bible

8 (7) Adonai-Tzva’ot is with us,
our fortress, the God of Ya‘akov. (Selah)
9 (8) Come and see the works of Adonai,
the astounding deeds he has done on the earth.
10 (9) To the ends of the earth he makes wars cease —
he breaks the bow, snaps the spear,
burns the shields in the fire.
11 (10) “Desist, and learn that I am God,
supreme over the nations,
supreme over the earth.”

12 (11) Adonai-Tzva’ot is with us,
our fortress, the God of Ya‘akov. (Selah)

God is not interested in theory, does not want us to know Him in theory.

“Row, Row, Row, Your Boat, Gently Across the Lake, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, then Suddenly, Without Warning, Life is, but then can just as quickly becomes, a …?

God, through His Son Jesus the Christ, wants us to know Him experientially.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Isaiah 43:1-7 The Message
When You’re Between a Rock and a Hard Place

43 1-4 But now, God’s Message,
    the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
    the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
    it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
    The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
    all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
    That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
    trade the creation just for you.

5-7 “So don’t be afraid: I’m with you.
    I’ll round up all your scattered children,
    pull them in from east and west.
I’ll send orders north and south:
    ‘Send them back.
Return my sons from distant lands,
    my daughters from faraway places.
I want them back, every last one who bears my name,
    every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory,
    yes, personally formed and made each one.’”

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Why (and How) Should We Pray the Names of Our God? Psalm 46:10-11

Isaiah 43 But now this is what Adonai says,
he who created you, Ya‘akov,
he who formed you, Isra’el:
“Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you;
I am calling you by your name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through water, I will be with you;
when you pass through rivers, they will not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire, you will not be scorched —
the flame will not burn you.
3 For I am Adonai, your God,
the Holy One of Isra’el, your Savior —
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and S’va for you.
4 Because I regard you as valued and honored,
and because I love you.
For you I will give people,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
I will bring your descendants from the east,
and I will gather you from the west;
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Don’t hold them back!
Bring my sons from far away,
and my daughters from the ends of the earth,
7 everyone who bears my name,
whom I created for my glory —
I formed him, yes, I made him.’”

Psalm 46 Names of God Bible

Psalm 46

For the choir director; a song by the descendants of Korah; according to alamoth.[a]

Elohim is our Machseh and strength,
    an ever-present help in times of trouble.
That is why we are not afraid
    even when the earth quakes
        or the mountains topple into the depths of the sea.
            Water roars and foams,
                and mountains shake at the surging waves. Selah

There is a river
    whose streams bring joy to the city of Elohim,
        the holy place where Elyon lives.
Elohim is in that city.
    It cannot fall.
        Elohim will help it at the break of dawn.
Nations are in turmoil, and kingdoms topple.
    The earth melts at the sound of God’s voice.

Yahweh Tsebaoth is with us.
    The Elohim of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah

Come, see the works of Yahweh,
    the devastation he has brought to the earth.
        He puts an end to wars all over the earth.
            He breaks an archer’s bow.
            He cuts spears in two.
            He burns chariots.
10 Let go of your concerns!
    Then you will know that I am Elohim.
        I rule the nations.
        I rule the earth.

11 Yahweh Tsebaoth is with us.
    The Elohim of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Guess What Neighbors? God IS 100% on OUR Side!

The first words of Psalm 46 announces its overarching theme to the reader:

God is God Alone!

God is our ALL in ALL!

God is our Refuge—God is our Fortress, God is our Shelter, God is our Ever Present Help in Times of Struggle.

God is also our Strength, God is also our help—God is the One who deals with the perils surrounding us.

And because God is our refuge and help, we have nothing to fear, even if nature throws its worst tantrums at us – we do not have to pretend to be Him to Live.

The Gospel of God is replete with empowering and inspiring examples of this.

A substantial number of boats including a group of Jesus’ followers feared for their lives in a storm one day, out on a boat far into the middle of a huge lake.

In complete panic, their normalcy broke down and betrayed the disciples.

All of their best and greatest skills at being PhD boat handlers and fishermen, at conflict management and resolution of same conflict evaporated in an instant.

Them, and undoubtedly every single of the occupants of all the other little boats with them upon the lake were now echelons beyond their PhD’s in lake survival.

The disciples had done everything they knew to do and then some – nothing proved to be the least bit successful – until they “woke up” and went to Jesus!

Is there anyone out there, even one single person out there in the vastness of this globe of ours, who is reading this devotional right now who can identify?

Is there anyone out there, even one single person who could use even 0.01% of that “wokeness” those disciples and boatmen suddenly discovered that night?

Then their Teacher stood up and said to the wind and the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”

Then seemingly just as fast, the wind quit; there was dead calm.

“Who is this?” they asked. “Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (See Mark 4:35-41.)

The Lord Almighty was in that boat and every single other boat on that lake as their strength, their helper in their needs; the God of Jacob was their refuge.

Our faith is always being subjected to storms and earthquakes. Where can we find safety and security?

Listen, again and again to Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way. . . .”

There is a certain and trustworthy basis for our faith—the God who made us and everything in our world.

In all circumstances, no matter how terrible or frighten­ing, our unchanging God is our refuge and strength.

What Really Happened at Pentecost?

Acts 2:1-4 Names of God Bible

The Believers Are Filled with the Holy Spirit

When Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Passover, came, all the believers were together in one place. Suddenly, a sound like a violently blowing wind came from the sky and filled the whole house where they were staying. Tongues that looked like fire appeared to them. The tongues arranged themselves so that one came to rest on each believer. All the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.

Jesus’ followers were all together when a sound like the blowing of a mighty wind came from heaven.

What appeared to be tongues of fire separated and rested on each of them, they were each filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in other tongues.

After Jesus’ ascension, his followers, about 120 of them, continued to meet in Jerusalem. 

Acts 2:1-13 Luke records the events of this Pentecost, about 10 days after Jesus’ ascension. Jesus’ followers were all together when a sound like the blowing of a mighty wind came from heaven and filled the place where they were staying.

What appeared to be tongues of fire separated and rested upon each of them, they each were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues.

When this happened, a crowd gathered to investigate the noise.

And when they did, they heard Jesus’ followers all speaking in the native languages of the listeners.

The crowd of thousands had come to celebrate the harvest, and were from all over the known world, with many different native languages. (verses 7-11)

Yet, each one was hearing what was said in their own native language.

This confused the crowd, but Peter explained to them that what they were experiencing was the fulfillment of a prophecy in Joel 2:28-32.

An ancient prophecy that included God pouring out his Spirit upon all people.

Peter then proceeded to preach his first sermon, explaining who Jesus was and the significance of what had happened to him.

Then Peter called on them to repent and turn their hearts to Jesus for salvation.

And that day, 3,000 people believed and were saved.

And that very same day, 3000 people responded completely out of character and they believed that God was their Refuge, God was their Strength and their Help!

That God and God alone was the Answer – through Jesus Christ the Resurrected!

What if, With Those 3000, We ALL Celebrated God?

Psalm 100 Names of God Bible

Psalm 100

A psalm of thanksgiving.

Shout happily to Yahweh, all the earth.
Serve Yahweh cheerfully.
    Come into his presence with a joyful song.
Realize that Yahweh alone is Elohim.
    He made us, and we are his.[a]
    We are his people and the sheep in his care.
Enter his gates with a song of thanksgiving.
    Come into his courtyards with a song of praise.
    Give thanks to him; praise his name.

Yahweh is good.
    His mercy endures forever.
    His faithfulness endures throughout every generation.

In the indescribable moment which was that first Pentecost,

Try to imagine, if anyone can, what would the sound be like when 3000 people filled with Holy Spirit all suddenly started singing 3000 choruses of Hallelujah?

Started uncontrollably singing, belting out, 3000 plus choruses of “Hallelujah” in the presence of our enemy Satan, directly into our enemy Satan’s ear drums?

What if with the 3000, Studied and Prayed God too?

Acts 2:43-47 Names of God Bible

43 A feeling of fear came over everyone as many amazing things and miraculous signs happened through the apostles. 44 All the believers kept meeting together, and they shared everything with each other. 45 From time to time, they sold their property and other possessions and distributed the money to anyone who needed it. 46 The believers had a single purpose and went to the temple every day. They were joyful and humble as they ate at each other’s homes and shared their food. 47 At the same time, they praised God and had the good will of all the people. Every day the Lord saved people, and they were added to the group.

If we have ever gathered together with our brothers and sisters, neighbors, done a Bible study about the names of God, we were likely blessed to discover the wonderful ways God is described throughout the Old and New Testaments.

Rich with meaning, the names of God not only point to who He is, they give us an indescribably clear picture of what our God has done, is doing, and will do.

Praying the names of God can be a wonderful reminder of His holy attributes.

It can be an unbelievably powerful way to honor, celebrate and worship Him.

And the overwhelming peace we receive, by the mere mention of His name, is both undeniably comforting, deeply reassuring for the time in which we live.

Here are a few reasons why we should pray the names of God, examples of how. 

1. Affirmation

Praying the names of God brings affirmation to our hearts, minds, and souls.

As we all know, doubt creeps in and causes us to question the Lord we love.

Yet, fear and doubt quickly dissipate when we practice being in His Presence, we discipline ourselves to focus our thoughts upon affirming our Lord and Savior.

Here is an example of how you can pray and affirm who God is:

Sovereign God, Maker of heaven and earth,

I know that You are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. There is nothing that escapes your sovereignty. I can trust You in all things. Today, Adonai, I bring all my fears and doubts to You. I lay them at Your feet. I ask that You affirm in my heart exactly who You are. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, give me the assurance that You are who You say you are. Forgive me of any doubts that I’ve allowed to circle my mind. I will continue to draw from the deep well of certainty that You are my Father in heaven. You are my Lord and Savior. And You are my Mighty God, my Counselor, my Prince of Peace. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

2. Declaration

Praying the names of God declares who He is the mighty things He has done.

When we feel weak and weakened, discouraged, or even tempted by the enemy, we can call upon the name of the Lord boldly, knowing He is Mighty to Save. 

Here is an example of how you can pray and declare who God is:

Lord God Almighty,

There is no one like You! As Your word says, You are the great I AM. You are the Chief Cornerstone of my faith. There is no other foundation. There is no other way. For You are the Way, the Truth and the Life. I worship all of You today and declare Your praise. In every area of my life, I know You are working to refine me and restore me. Thank You, Lord for being my Helper in all my times and needs, my best Forever Friend. I forever lift up Your name, declare who You are. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia,

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

3. Comfort

Praying the names of God brings comfort to our weary souls.

Just by speaking the names of the Lord aloud, a sense of peace washes over us by His Holy Spirit.

Throughout the Scriptures, we are given wonderful words of hope and joy.

Turn your prayers into reminders of God’s steadfast love, be comforted today.

Here is an example of how you can pray and remember the God of all comfort:

Abba Father,

Hallowed be thy Name,

How I long to remain in Your Fatherly presence. For in You, I find peace and rest. You truly are the God of all Comfort. You lead me to quiet pastures; You lead me to still waters, You shepherd and restore my soul. Please help me abide in You – the True Vine. I need Your loving protection to guard against the winds of change that blow. I need Your words of truth to settle my wandering heart. Keep me from stumbling. Thank You, Lord, for being my blessed hope. Thank You for being El-Roi, the God who sees everything, who sees everyone, who sees everywhere all of the time. My Abba, My Heavenly Father, You are Faithful and True! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, In the beautiful name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

4. Surrender

Praying the names of God is a form of surrender.

With all the worries, responsibilities, and burdens we carry, we so desperately need to surrender everything to the God who redeems.

He not only redeems our lives from sin and death, He redeems us each new day. 

Here is an example of how you can pray and surrender everything to God:

Holy God,

I surrender everything to You today. Every anxiety, every worry, and every trial — I hand them over to You. I know, Lord, that You are my Kinsman Redeemer and my Restorer of the Breach. In You I put my full trust. Lord, I am tired of trying to control everything around me. I surrender all control to You, for you are my Rock and my fortress. You are my refuge and hiding place. As you offer new mercies every morning, I thank You and praise You for Your goodness. I surrender my life to You and seek to walk in all Your ways. I look to You, the Author and Finisher of my faith. Thank You for hedging me in, all around, behind and before. I will continue to walk hand in hand, in-step with Your Holy Spirit, in all wisdom and truth. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen

5. Wisdom

Praying the names of God is a way of seeking wisdom.

As the tides of culture change, and our faith is greatly tested, we need the wisdom of God over our own now more than ever.

One way to solidify your beliefs and walk in the wisdom of the Lord is to pray His holy name.

By fully relying on His infinite knowledge, on the magnitude of His Truth, from His holy Word we can remain steadfast, confident and sure of what we believe.

Here is one example of how you can pray and seek God’s wisdom:

Ancient of Days,

How vast are Your judgments and how true are Your words. You are completely trustworthy. Lord, please give me heavenly wisdom as mentioned in James 3:17 — wisdom that is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. You, Lord, are the only wise God. There is no one like You — holy, perfect, and just. You are the Branch — beautiful and glorious. Our wisdom is as foolishness to You, but Your wisdom is righteous and sure. Thank you, Lord, for being my God and King. Thank you for being Lord of my life. I will seek Your wisdom daily, and ask for the strength to walk in that wisdom. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia,

In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Psalm 46 Complete Jewish Bible

46 (0) For the leader. By the descendants of Korach. On ‘alamot [high-pitched musical instruments?]. A song:

2 (1) God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
3 (2) Therefore we are unafraid,
even if the earth gives way,
even if the mountains tumble
into the depths of the sea,
4 (3) even if its waters rage and foam,
and mountains shake at its turbulence. (Selah)

5 (4) There is a river whose streams
gladden the city of God,
the holy habitation of ‘Elyon —
6 (5) God is in the city.
It will not be moved —
when daybreak comes, God will help it.
7 (6) Nations were in turmoil,
kingdoms were moved;
his voice thundered forth,
and the earth melted away.

8 (7) Adonai-Tzva’ot is with us,
our fortress, the God of Ya‘akov. (Selah)
9 (8) Come and see the works of Adonai,
the astounding deeds he has done on the earth.
10 (9) To the ends of the earth he makes wars cease —
he breaks the bow, snaps the spear,
burns the shields in the fire.
11 (10) “Desist, and learn that I am God,

supreme over the nations,
supreme over the earth.”

12 (11) Adonai-Tzva’ot is with us,
our fortress, the God of Ya‘akov. (Selah)

The Word of God for the Children of God. Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Did The Holy Spirit Empower Only 12 Disciples On The Day Of Pentecost? Acts 2:1-13

Healthy relationships are all about people savoring time together.

Sometimes it may happen with the need to take care of a family matter. Sometimes it may happen when we’re not quite sure what to do next and find comfort in simply being together.

That’s probably what was happening with the apostles when God’s Spirit lit them up and enabled them to “come out of their normal character” and do the unexpected.

Acts 2:1-13 English Standard Version

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

What Happened at Pentecost, and Why Does It Matter Today?

At His first coming, our Lord Jesus Christ inaugurated His kingdom on earth.

The disciples expected a triumphant warrior king, but instead, Jesus likened His kingdom unto a mustard seed that expands progressively and grows organically (Matthew 13:31–32).

The church now occupies the time when the kingdom comes progressively as the word of the Gospel goes out to the ends of the earth.

Christ has ascended and sent His Spirit, and so we live between two fixed points: Pentecost and the Parousia (Christ’s second coming).

During this time in between, we are to advance the Gospel until Jesus returns.

Only then, at His final advent, will Christ’s kingdom come universally.

If we want to understand our place in redemptive history, then we ought to understand something of that first point of our period in salvation history:

Pentecost. Only when we begin to grasp the events of that momentous day recorded in Acts 2 will we comprehend our church mission between the times.

Questioning the Restoring of the Kingdom

To understand Pentecost, we have to consider the conversation that sets up the story.

Just before the Lord Jesus ascended, the apostles asked Him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).

Jesus responded, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority” (verse 7).

Even after the resurrection, the apostles expected a triumphant kingdom to break in.

But the book of Acts goes on to describe the progressive expansion of the kingdom not by force but by the preaching of the Gospel.

In Acts 1:8, Jesus provides the framework for the entire book:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (emphasis added).

After this, the apostles were left “gazing into heaven” upon witnessing Christ ascend (v. 10).

They were also left waiting for the Holy Spirit, as the Lord instructed them (verse 4).

What Happened at Pentecost?

Pentekoste—Greek for “fiftieth”—was the second of three great annual festivals that brought Jews from all over the world to Jerusalem.

Fifty days after the Passover, many would make their pilgrimage to celebrate Pentecost, which was a time of thanksgiving and praise to God for the first wheat harvest of the season.

Acts 2:1–4 describes what happened on that day when God poured out His Spirit on the apostles:

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

We can describe what took place at Pentecost using four adjectives.

1. Unmistakable

Pentecost was unmistakable because of its three distinct phenomena, which served to make it perfectly clear that Jesus had indeed come to His people by His Spirit.

First, there was an unmistakable “sound like a mighty rushing wind” that “filled the entire house” where the believers had gathered.

Second, there were what seemed to be “tongues … of fire” dividing and resting upon them individually.

And third, being “filled with the Holy Spirit,” the believers “began to speak in other tongues”—that is, languages other than their own—“as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Each of these signs by itself would have been miraculous.

Taken together, they leave us without any room for questioning that God did a mighty work by His Spirit.

2. Unconditional

Pentecost was also unconditional.

There was no requirement, no description of process, no indication of pattern.

Rather, God acted irrespective of any man-made conditions.

This has to be pointed out because from time to time, people will say,

“Well, you see, if we are really going to be Holy Spirit people, then we would have to go back through the same process, the same pattern, and fulfill the same conditions as the early church.”

But that was simply not the case with Pentecost.

If there was any condition, it was the condition we the Children of God had to wait patiently—which could hardly be described as any real condition at all.

3. Unavoidable

Pentecost was also unavoidable in the sense that what happened in the house where they were gathered spilled out into the community.

The rushing wind, the tongues of fire, and the new languages being spoken caused such a commotion the “devout men from every nation under heaven” could not avoid the hubbub (Acts 2:5) and began hearing “the mighty works of God” in their own languages (verse 11).

Upon hearing, some “were amazed and perplexed” (verse 12), while others mocked (verse 13).

Nevertheless, none could avoid the events of Pentecost.

4. Unrepeatable

Lastly, we need to view the miraculous events of Pentecost in terms of the whole story of Jesus—His incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension.

When we do, we see that Pentecost is unrepeatable.

Neither the death of Jesus nor His ascension is a repeatable event.

The same is true for Pentecost.

This is not to say that the experience of God the Spirit in the life of the church was somehow locked two thousand years ago.

But at Pentecost, when the river was opened and the pouring out took place in this unmistakable, unconditional, unavoidable fashion, it was also done in an unrepeatable way.

There is no need for a second Pentecost.

The Good News of Pentecost

All that unfolded at this particular Pentecost surely was equal parts spectacular and confusing.

The apostle Peter heard the questions and cries from the crowd and quickly went on to explain the events that had just happened:

“This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.” (Acts 2:32–33)

Just as Jesus had abstained from earthly ministry until His baptism, when the Holy Spirit came upon Him, so He had made clear to His followers, You need divine enablement for understanding and proclamation. 

He had anticipated, promised the Spirit in His own ministry (Luke 24:49; John 14:26).

When Peter quoted from Joel 2:32 (Acts 2:16–21), he showed that Pentecost was in God’s plan all along and highlighted the very best news of his day and ours:

“It shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Amid the chaos and upheavals of life, we can yet find gladness in God’s presence when we call upon the name of Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:37–39 then shows us what it looks like to “call upon the name of the Lord” in more detail.

The Jews who were “cut to the heart” asked Peter and the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter responded, “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” (emphasis added).

To repent is more than simply being sorry for your wrongdoings.

It means changing your mind about sin itself.

It means viewing sin the way God does: as having overstepped His boundaries and missed the mark.

It means acknowledging the wrong direction you’ve been going.

It involves a change of heart, a change of mind, and a change of direction.

Baptism, meanwhile, is the unashamed public announcement that you’re fully committed to a new life in Christ.

When we call upon the name of Jesus, God offers us a whole new start, a whole new beginning.

God can and in truth, does, give us when we confess our belief and faith in Christ that fresh start because He grants the Holy Spirit to come and live in us.

Notice, though, that this new beginning is for “those who received his word” (verse 41, emphasis added), not for those who merely heard it.

You see, the Bible does not teach we are automatically forgiven just because Jesus died on the cross.

You and I must individually receive Christ and make Him your own.

Babel Reversed

With the coming of the Spirit and the forgiveness of sins being proclaimed in at least fifteen languages (Acts 2:9–11), Pentecost was essentially a reversal of what had happened at Babel, when human languages were confused and the nations were scattered (Genesis 11:1–9).

On that unforgettable day in Jerusalem, the language barrier was supernaturally overcome as a sign that the nations would be gathered together in Christ.

Instead of assimilating all of God’s people under a common tongue, Pentecost makes clear that every language is an appropriate vehicle for the praise and the proclamation of Jesus.

The heart language of men and women and children, in their own native land, of their birth, will be able to receive this fantastic news, just as at Pentecost.

We don’t want people to have to learn English as a second language solely in order to discover and experience “the mighty works of God” (Acts 2:11).

We want even the most remote, unreached people groups to rejoice in God the Father, God the Son and Holy Spirit with us all in their own unique languages.

Ultimately, this is why Pentecost happened, why God has left us His Spirit: so that we can continue the great work of proclaiming the good news of the Gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

One day, we will see with the apostle John “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages.” And these people of every tongue will be singing the same song together: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9–10).

Actions Always Speak Louder Than Words

There is an old saying that “Actions Will Always Speak Louder Than Words.”

We read about the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, where we find Jesus’ disciples and 120 other of his followers, including his mother, Mary, along with some of his brothers, all huddled in an upstairs room in Jerusalem.

They are hiding out for fear of local religious authorities, but they are also waiting for something Jesus, their beloved teacher and leader, has promised them, “some days hence” – being the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Suddenly, a sound like a violent wind fills the room where the disciples are hunkered down and tongues of fire seem strangely to hover over their heads.

Even stranger, those gathered in the room miraculously begin to speak in the languages of the wide variety of pilgrims gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Weeks.

The Spirit of God gave Jesus’ apostles the ability to speak in many languages on that day of Pentecost written about in Acts 2, and the same Spirit enables us to speak and to act in winsome ways today.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s kingdom is advancing, and God has called has equipped each and every single one of us who believe, who have faith to be his witnesses in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves.

Because in one single moment on any given day anointed, designated by God, we have to walk outside of our Upper Rooms, meet the ministry calling of God.

There are people outside that door that God has deliberately placed in our path.

Pilgrims on their own spiritual journey and we cannot tell them to “get lost” or “get out of our way because they bother us.”

And we cannot form a cordon of body guards or Roman Centurions to move out in front of us and unceremoniously move them at spear point out of our way.

God desires them to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ too.

They are going to want to know what is going on and God wants them to know what is going on and we need to be mightily responsive to this the Will of God.

In that crowd outside the Upper Room, Some of these pilgrims, seeing this strange sight, ask, “Are these fishermen drunk this early in the morning?”

There is an old saying that “Actions Will Always Speak Louder Than Words.”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, filled with more courage, more boldness than at any other time in his life separates himself from his normal character.

Because sometimes God no longer has any good use for “normal characters.”

Because we will one day come to realize that reality about ourselves too.

We no longer have any good use for our “normal characters” either.

And in a move which is completely, and radically shocking to our “normal characters, we realize the will of our God and our Savior is superior to ours.

And we suddenly find we are placing our whole selves on God’s path for us all.

Then the Apostle Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, rejects the explanation of drunkenness for this miraculous event, seizes the moment and preaches one of the most powerful and most important sermons in the entire New Testament.

Peter points us to the prophet Joel’s words in the Old Testament (Joel 2:28-32) promising an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all of God’s people, which fulfills a promise that Jesus had made in the Upper Room.

Then a very sober Peter suddenly opened his mouth, gave the people the Word:

This Jesus, whom you crucified, Peter informs the crowd, is the Messiah, the Christ, God’s promised Savior who conquered sin and death.

When the crowd hears Peter’s piercing words, many are “cut to the heart,” and come rushing forward to ask, “What should we do?”

There is an old saying that “Actions Will Always Speak Louder Than Words.”

Peter calls on them to repent and believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

The Holy Spirit moves among the thousands gathered and starts convicting.

Many hearts are touched, many souls are moved, many lives are shaken up.

Many in the gathered crowd do, and three thousand are baptized on Pentecost.

What Then Becomes The Significance of Pentecost?

In short, Pentecost, though originally a Hebrew religious festival, becomes the high watershed moment in God’s plan of salvation.

God, The Creator and Shaker of the Universe chose the exact moment to send forth the Holy Spirit which was during the Jewish national holiday, known as Pentecost, the Feast of Harvest, which was 50 days after the crucifixion of Jesus.

It was the celebration of the wheat harvest, and was intended to remind the people of their 400 years of bondage spent in Egypt and it marked the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.

They were there to bring their first fruit offerings to God to celebrate with great rejoicing in music, dance because they had been delivered from their bondage.

Everyone was invited to this feast, including Levites, servants, sons and daughters, the fatherless, the widow, even strangers (Deuteronomy 16:9-12).

The Day of Pentecost was so incredible, so utterly miraculous that it affected the entire human race and their relationship to God and their Savior Christ.

The Holy Spirit of God was sent forth, given as a gift from the Father as the confirmation that the New Covenant of grace – paid for by the shed blood of Jesus, and now written on the heart of every Christian – is more effectual than the Law given at Mount Sinai that was written on stone (2 Corinthians 3:3-18).

It also confirms that those who place their trust in Jesus find true deliverance and healing from the penalty of sin.

There was and is no better reason or rationale to celebrate with great rejoicing in music and dance on that day – that very first birthday of the Body of Christ!

Why Did the First Believers Receive the Holy Spirit Via Tongues of Fire?

When the feast of Pentecost arrived, “tongues of fire” descended upon each disciple (Acts 2:3). 

“Fires will always attract people.”

Acts 2, the disciples were waiting in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus had given the Great Commission but then told them to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit they would need to be his witnesses (Luke 24:19).

So they waited.

When the feast of Pentecost arrived, the Spirit descended, and “tongues of fire” were upon each disciple (Acts 2:3).

The disciples went out into the city and began speaking in other languages, declaring the mighty works of God.

Inevitably, subtly, not so subtly, great gatherings of people took notice.

Thousands had their curiosity “tickled” had elbows stuck into their ribcage heard the message from Peter that day, believed and received the Holy Spirit.

Fires attract people.

People will come from miles in every direction just to see what is burning.

Pentecost Day was no different.

God was counting on that human nature, that inane curiosity being peaked.

This is commonly known as the birth of the church, the beginning of the gathering of disciples and the ministry Jesus had set out for them, further detailed in the rest of Acts through Peter and Paul.

The Gospel of the Kingdom was preached.

Fire also inevitably spreads in whatever direction it wants to go.

And as the Winds of God blow where they may, Holy Spirit fire spreads out.

As the Winds of God are unstoppable, so are the Fires of the Holy Spirit!

For all who would come to God, confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, the following are three hugely significant and timeless truths of Pentecost.

  • Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit reminds and assures us that Jesus keeps his promises. Now, when old and young, women and men, and people from every other race and ethnicity, as well as every walk of life, claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they receive new life through the Holy Spirit. Moreover, the Holy Spirit unites us to Jesus and assures us deep in our hearts that we belong to God and that nothing will ever separate us from his love.
  • Pentecost also marks the birthday of the church. In the Old Testament, God’s people consisted only of Israel. Pentecost heals the divisions and animosity of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), where because of pride and arrogance, people were divided by language and race. At Pentecost, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, people from every tongue, race, and nation are brought together in Jesus Christ. God has reconciled us individually to himself through his son Jesus, and through him we have been made one body in the church.
  • Finally, Pentecost reminds us of the church’s primary purpose: to share the love of Jesus to the ends of the earth. Throughout the remaining chapters of Acts, we see the Apostles and all of Jesus’ followers continue his mission to proclaim God’s love. Significantly, Acts’ open-ended conclusion clearly indicates the church’s mission to proclaim the gospel is to continue until Jesus comes again. When the church shares the love of Jesus in word and deed, it carries out God’s purpose and plan to redeem and restore our fallen world.

Today we celebrate God, His Son Jesus and the gift of the fires of the Holy Spirit.

But our cele­bration of Pentecost is not so much meant to be talked about as it is to be lived—in word and deed – which need to speak far louder than the worlds.

By the incomparable power of the Spirit working through us, our words and fruit-filled actions are the building tools God uses to build up His kingdom.

Somewhere, somehow, we need to model the boldness and courage of Peter.

We need to realize that God has no more use for our “normal characters” as God had no more use for Peter’s “normal character.”

God simply does not need, nor does God require anyone’s “normal characters.”

Our “normal characters” accomplish exactly nothing for the Kingdom of God.

One day, our “normal characters” will have that full on encounter with their Creator God, the Way, Life and Truth of Jesus and the fires of the Holy Spirit.

Then when that happens,

I want to be there to witness what happens to that so called “normal character.”

I pray too that many others will gather at that bonfire to witness God at work.

I pray many others will also come to their time of repentance, belief in God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in a time of Holy celebration.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in us the fire of Your love.  Send forth Your Spirit and we shall be created.  And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we, the church may be truly wise and ever enjoy Your consolations. Through Christ who is our Lord, our Savior and our Eternal King.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Staying Faithful Unto the Gospel in a World Which Has Long Lost Its Way. Isaiah 5:18-24

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”
― George Orwell

Isaiah 5:18-24 The Message

18-19 Doom to you who use lies to sell evil,
    who haul sin to market by the truckload,
Who say, “What’s God waiting for?
    Let him get a move on so we can see it.
Whatever The Holy of Israel has cooked up,
    we’d like to check it out.”

20 Doom to you who call evil good
    and good evil,
Who put darkness in place of light
    and light in place of darkness,
Who substitute bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!

21-23 Doom to you who think you’re so smart,
    who hold such a high opinion of yourselves!
All you’re good at is drinking—champion boozers
    who collect trophies from drinking bouts
And then line your pockets with bribes from the guilty
    while you violate the rights of the innocent.

24 But they won’t get by with it. As fire eats stubble
    and dry grass goes up in smoke,
Their souls will atrophy,
    their achievements crumble into dust,
Because they said no to the revelation
    of God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
Would have nothing to do
    with The Holy of Israel.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

The Wizard of Oz has remained popular for years.

It has always been one of my “go to” favorite movies.

Just “follow the yellow brick road and be good, you will always get home.”

People of all ages have also learned much valued moral lessons from each of the characters Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion as they traveled down the long and winding concourse of the fabled ‘yellow brick road.’

Of course, weaved right into the plot line the great enemy to be overcome is the Wicked Witch of the West and her dark kingdom with everything to be feared.

Evil is clearly depicted as being highly dangerous and then is overcome by good.

A recent Broadway musical, however, turns the high moral sense of the original story upside down on its head.

In this rewriting of the story, the wicked witch is presented as a sympathetic character.

Born with green skin, she feels like an outsider.

Major characters, plot lines, roles, and other details are altered so that the wicked witch is really just a misunderstood person, evil is misunderstood.

The audience might come away with the idea the evil is good and good is evil.

From today’s biblical text, during the ministry of the prophet Isaiah, a reversal of moral values took place in Israel. 

Some actually lifted up the evils of stealing, murder, idolatry, adultery as good. 

In response Isaiah gave a stern warning:

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil!” (Isaiah 5:20). 

In our relativistic world, studying, memorizing, and meditating on God’s Word can ensure our discernment between good and evil. 

If we know the truth, the truth will free us, we can discern what’s false.

Isaiah 5:20 Amplified Bible

Woe (judgment is coming) to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

One of the tell-tale signs of being at the very end of the Church age is people gradually moving away from the ethical things of God and embracing wildly distorted ideas regarding morality, what are the very basics of right vs. wrong.

Biblically, such a society can no longer successfully function, navigate through the vast diversities of challenges brought out by technological advancements, economic cycles, social cultural and political upheavals and vast global crises.

We are all seeing the truth of this Word from Isaiah unfold before our eyes in what has become a clash between a secular worldview and a Biblical worldview.

Today’s secular worldview is developed through highly divisive, “hot button” cultural preferences and social norms that are promoted through progressive educational institutions, social media of all sorts, and even so called “science.”

And since these factors shift from generation to generation, and one political, politically correct or else!” body their “expression of truth” is always changing.

Jeremiah 23:28-29 Amplified Bible

28 The prophet who has a dream may tell his dream; but he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat [for nourishment]?” says the Lord. 29 “Is not My word like fire [that consumes all that cannot endure the test]?” says the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks the [most stubborn] rock [in pieces]?

Hebrews 4:12-13 Amplified Bible

12 For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged [a]sword, penetrating as far as the division of the [b]soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And not a creature exists that is ever concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.

This is the exact opposite of a Biblical worldview which is based on the never changing, immutable, divinely-breathed, divinely-inspired Word of God!

Like its author, the Way and the Truth and the Life of the ever living Word of God never changes, but is and remains the same yesterday, today and forever!

This raging, even openly violent conflict between two worldviews, secular vs. biblical, has never been more evident than it has been recently.

Secular society now grapples with a host of aggressively divisive issues.

However, people who are raised and educated to make moral decisions based on these temporary feelings and peer pressures are easily deceived and led astray.

As a result, we, the Body of Christ, God’s Church in the World, have entered into a time when Christianity is regarded by many as inferior and narrow-minded.

In truth, criticism of Christianity has often been justified.

John 8:1-11 Amplified Bible

The Adulterous Woman

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came back into the temple [court], and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began teaching them. Now the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the center of the court, and they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women [to death]. So what do You say [to do with her—what is Your sentence]?” They said this to test Him, hoping that they would have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and began writing on the ground with His finger.  However, when they persisted in questioning Him, He straightened up and said, “He who is without [any] sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then He stooped down again and started writing on the ground. They listened [to His reply], and they began to go out one by one, starting with the oldest ones, until He was left alone, with the woman [standing there before Him] in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She answered, “No one, Lord!” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]

Representatives of Christ can and do use the Word of God as a battering weapon to attack and shame people, keeping them bound in shame and condemnation, rather than, like Jesus, subtly using it to transform, help set them free from sin.

We must always keep ourselves steadfast and vigilant, to guard our hearts so to prevent becoming haters, shamer’s of those vulnerable people whom God loves.

Even if they hold a distorted secular worldview, let’s remember the following admonition from Paul:

2 Corinthians 4:1-2 Amplified Bible

Paul’s Apostolic Ministry

4 Therefore, since we have this ministry, just as we received mercy [from God, granting us salvation, opportunities, and blessings], we do not get discouraged nor lose our motivation. But we have renounced the disgraceful things hidden because of shame; not walking in trickery or adulterating the word of God, but by stating the truth [openly and plainly], we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.

Nonbelieving people judge how they feel about the Scripture and the Savior based on the way in which we, the saints of God, behave.

Therefore even in the face of the very harshest criticism, we have a far higher accountability, responsibility, as God’s separated and anointed handlers of the Word of God and carriers of His Spirit to demonstrate Christ for the betterment and salvation of the lost, not as a hammer to further enslave deceived people.

So handle with care and concern, rather than condemnation or carelessness.

Let God and the Word of God alone do work of conviction and transformation.

Isaiah 55:8-11 Amplified Bible

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts higher than your thoughts
“For as the rain and snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth,
Making it bear and sprout,
And providing seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

So will My word be which goes out of My mouth;
It will not return to Me void (useless, without result),
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Time-Tested, True Ways to Stay Faithful

During times of social and cultural upheaval, it’s especially good to remember the foundations of our faith.

God has not left us to fend for ourselves on the shifting sand of moral relativity, but provided time tested, true keys to enable us to overcome every challenge.

These time tested biblical keys are not new, but are things every believer should be reminded and disciplined to practice regularly, in order to mature spiritually and maintain a solid biblical worldview. 

We may be in the world, but we are not of it!

Here are five quick keys to help you stay faithful in a world that has lost its way.

1. Start Your Day in Prayer

Mark 1:35-38 Amplified Bible

35 Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left [the house], and went out to a secluded place, and was praying there. 36 Simon [Peter] and his companions searched [everywhere, looking anxiously] for Him, 37 and they found Him and said, “Everybody is looking for You!” 38 He replied, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so I may preach there also; that is why I came [from the Father].”

Prayer anchors your soul to God even while living in a society that is drifting far from Him.

It opens our hearts to receive His peace, hope and reassurance, and sweeps clean the debris of sin that we’ve picked up in our daily lives.

In short,

prayer helps us to hold onto our faith when everything around us is nuts.

2. Study the Bible Daily

Psalm 119:9-16 Amplified Bible


How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to Your precepts].
With all my heart I have sought You, [inquiring of You and longing for You];
Do not let me wander from Your commandments [neither through ignorance nor by willful disobedience].
Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
Blessed and reverently praised are You, O Lord;
Teach me Your statutes.
With my lips I have told of
All the ordinances of Your mouth.
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.

I will meditate on Your precepts
And [thoughtfully] regard Your ways [the path of life established by Your precepts].
I will delight in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.

After we’ve established a disciplined practice of daily prayer, successful rhythm of daily devotions, we need to go further, to do more than simply read the Bible.

We need to study it and make it a part of our thinking and our speech.

We need to check our “political correctness at the door” to decide that knowing the truth of the Word of God is more important than knowing the daily news.

We must realize the Word of God is where we find our guide to right and wrong (not political correctness), our guide to life, purpose (not New Age affirmations), our guide to health, wholeness (not man’s suppositions), to be lights of the Lord.

It is imperative that the Word of God be implanted deeply in us, so it can be our guiding light which leads us all down every path and in every decision we make.

3. Repent of Sin Quickly

James 1:14-17 Amplified Bible

14 But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). 15 Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death. 16 Do not be misled, my beloved brothers and sisters. 17  Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow [a]cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes].

Translation: sin has “babies,” and those babies grow up and take on a destructive life of their own.

Sin is not something to sugar coat or to not play hardcore with.

It will always take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you are willing to pay.

It also desensitizes you to what is right and wrong, and makes you vulnerable to the seducing spirits at work in the world.

Sin is sneaky.

Its goal is to trip you, trap you, and take you out.

If you ignore it or try to hide it, you’ll lose every time.

So be proactive! Confess it to God, receive His forgiveness, and forsake it.

Proverbs 28:13 Amplified Bible

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and [a]turns away from his sins will find compassion and mercy.

Jesus was faithful on the cross to pay the price for our sin 2,000 years ago, and He remains faithful to forgive us of our sin today and we still need forgiveness ourselves, and since we receive it from God, we must also pass it on to others.

4. Get Spiritually Dressed

Ephesians 6:10-12 Amplified Bible

The Armor of God

10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. 11 Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.

Wiles of the devil are simply mind games or delusions.

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember in the moment, but people are not our problem – principalities and seducing spirits are.

Stop hating on people and start praying for them instead.

Suit up in your spiritual armor and take a stand against the real enemy. 

Get covered with the armor of God from head to toe! 

The belt of truth – the truth that comes from the Word of God, not society or politics.

The breastplate of righteousness – knowing we are right with God, not because of our goodness, but because of God’s grace

The gospel of peace – knowing we are at peace with God, and have an eternal home in the heavens not built with the hands of man. Knowing we can walk in a quiet rest that passes all understanding

The shield of faith – an absolute assurance that God’s word is true and will come to pass in our lives

The helmet of salvation – we have soundness of mind because of a secure faith in the principles of the Word of God and so great a salvation bought for us by our Savior

The sword of the Spirit – an unwavering revelation of God’s word that empowers us to respond to every attack of the enemy and causes him to flee

And of course, our battle position is in prayer – always.

It’s not just what we do when we don’t know what to do, it is what we must do at all times, for this is how we fight our battles in a world that has lost its way.

5. Go to Church!

Hebrews 10:23-25 Amplified Bible

23 Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]; 24 and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, 25 not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.

Sometimes we forget, but we really need to be in God’s house, where we are fed the Word of God in fellowship with others of like faith.

It’s where our errant theology and politics gets challenged and changed to line up with the God’s truth.

It’s where we experience the power and healing of worshipping in God’s presence.

It’s where iron sharpens iron, and we experience the love of the brethren.

Thank God for church online when gathering together is truly impossible.

And at all other times, we must not forsake this valuable key to remaining steadfast, strong and immovable in the faith.

Finally, it’s important to remember that much of the chaos today has been blamed on politics, power plays, social injustice, etc.

But the truth is the world’s gone crazy wild because of sin.

And the devastation caused by sin cannot be controlled by any president, agenda, or master plan.

No matter how hard we try, we just can’t hope to even minimally control sin.

It’s why more than absolutely anything or anyone else, we absolutely need our Lord, Savior, King Christ Jesus, weaving, working in a world that’s lost its way.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

God of all truth, sometimes I not sure if I’m actually hearing your voice, or if it’s just my own thoughts or even another spirit. Sharpen my spiritual hearing, Lord, so I can recognize your words when you are speaking to me. Help me know it’s really you, with no doubt or second-guessing. When I’m asking for your guidance in important decisions, give me your peace that surpasses understanding with your answer. Help me remember, to preach, to teach, that your words to us will never go against your written word in the Bible. Give me a clear mind and push out all my confusion. Amen.

Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.