What Does it Really Look Like to ‘Honor Your Father and Mother’? Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16

    Honoring your father and your mother is the only commandment out of the Ten Commandments that is followed by a promise, Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)

    Exodus 20:12Amplified Bible

    12 “Honor (respect, obey, care for) your father and your mother, so that your days may be prolonged in the land the Lord your God gives you.

    The Word of God for the Children of God.

    Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.

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

    Most Christians are very familiar with the verse “honor your father and mother”, but few actually know of it’s origin in the Bible.

    The command to honor your father and mother actually comes from the Old Testament book of Exodus 20 in the story of the 10 Commandments.

    However, it is also a command that is repeated several times in both the Old and New Testament. 

    Chapter 20 of the Book of Exodus serves as a powerful reminder of the intimate relationship God has with humankind.

    This passage specifically reveals the intense care and concern that God shows toward His Children.

    Today this chapter remains popular because of a very special occurrence – the Ten Commandments.

    At eighty plus years old, after venturing up to Mount Sinai, Moses, a father, brought down the Ten Commandments, rules given Him directly from God.

    The Ten Commandments described ten precepts for how God expected His people to behave.

    This monumental moment follows after the Israelites fled Egypt. 

    Chapter 19 in the Book of Exodus details how the Israelites camped in the wilderness, now living a life outside of slavery for a few months.

    God informs Moses that He desires to bless the nation of Israel.

    However, He also wants them to keep a covenant with Him (Exodus 19:5-6).

    The Ten Commandments serve as part of that covenant.

    One of these commandments spoke to the relationship between a child and parent and is a guideline we as Christians still ought to be following today.

    Exodus 20:12The Message

    12 Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you.

    The reason this commandment in addition to the other nine is still relevant today is because Jesus indicated such to later believers (Matthew 5:17-20).

    Jesus did not abolish the law, but rather came to fulfill it.

    The Apostle Paul wrote to the followers at the church at Ephesus;

    Ephesians 5:1-2 Amplified Bible

    Be Imitators of God

    Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]and walk continually in love [that is, value one another—practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God [slain for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.

    We are to do our part yet today in abiding in Jesus, by these commandments.

    Today, I do not believe there is little to no controversy about whether or not the Ten Commandments are still relevant.

    What has been up for rather contentious debate in the meaning of “honor” in the context of parents and children.

    There are many instances of children being the victims of incest, abandonment, neglect, or other severe and seriously exploitive forms of ultra damaging abuse.

    In these situations, how does a child honor a parent, when the parent lacks any concept or context of abiding in God, His Son Jesus and have honor for the child.

    To understand this commandment, we have to examine the original context.

    What Is the Original Meaning of Honor Your Father and Mother in Exodus 20?

    The commandment to honor our father and mother is the fifth of the ten mentioned.

    The commandment to precedes this one is honoring the Sabbath, followed by the commandment to not murder.

    Scripture explains the reason why the commandment should be followed.

    Exodus 20:12Amplified Bible

    12 “Honor (respect, obey, care for) your father and your mother, so that your days may be prolonged in the land the Lord your God gives you.

    The benefit of abiding by this commandment is longer life, specifically for the Israelites venturing on toward the Promised Land.

    Dennis Prager [https://dennisprager.com/] emphasizes that though this could be viewed as a reward, this is also a reason.

    And many of the other commandments are not given explicit reasons to be followed.

    Prager suggests in a society where parents are honored by children, the society is bound to survive longer, than a society with a weaker family structure.

    This commandment in Exodus is mentioned a number of other times in the Bible, each time as an admonishment to God’s people to better establish them. 

    Deuteronomy 5:16 tells us, “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”

    Ephesians 6:2 states: “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise”

    God blesses the people when their parents are honored, but the people are punished when they do not.

    To honor is to hold someone in high regard or reverence.

    The word honor does not mean agree with or even obey, but does suggest in this context a child should hold the highest utmost respect for both of their parents.

    Now that we better understand the original context and interpretation of the commandment to honor thy mother and father, we can try to discern how this precept applies to modern-day life.

    How Can Christians ‘Honor Your Father and Mother’ Today?

    With an understanding of the word honor, there need not be a change in how parents are respected by children today.

    However, with modern cultural shifts, this commandment for some has taken on a different interpretation.

    We can perhaps better, more prayerfully understand the proper ways of honoring parents by first understanding how honoring should not appear.

    As Dennis Prager discusses in his video analysis of the commandment, some parents yearn to be loved, rather than honored.

    The visual example given in his video is that of a parent showering their child with gifts in order to receive affection.

    This same parent when trying to discipline their child instead receives severe retaliation from them.

    This is definitively not an example of a child honoring their parent because instead of respecting them as an “authority” figure, they are simply seeking what else, exactly how much more they can manipulate, gain from the parent.

    Much like the Bible commands us to love others, the call to honor our parents is an outward action – something we do for others.

    Honoring our parents is therefore not contingent upon what they give in return.

    Within the Ten Commandments, verse 12 of Exodus 20 gives no clarification as to what parents are to be honored or even how.

    We can conclude then that all parents are deserving of honor, and we can use the context of love within the Bible to discern appropriate ways to show honor.

    We can even in some instances see how people have honored God as Father as an example.

    Ways we can appropriately honor our parents include:

    Expressing Gratitude
    Parents invest time and effort into raising children.

    Those reasons alone are enough to show them gratitude for the sacrifices they make.

    Parents provide shelter, food, clothing.

    For every action they do in their support of their child is in itself a far more than sufficient reason for expressing their appreciation and gratitude.

    Spending Time Together
    When physically possible, children can and should get together with their parents.

    This acknowledges their existence and places a level of importance upon the relationship.

    If being together physically is not an option, calling a parent on the phone for a check-in is also beneficial.

    Dennis Prager shares with fellow believers he called his parents once a week.

    Another way for children to honor their parents is to find creative ways to serve their desires, wants and needs, much like parents perform on behalf of children.

    To Honor or Not to Honor

    It goes without saying and preaching to the choir that modern parenting is not equivalent to the parenting in ancient biblical Jewish culture.

    Children today learn differently and have certain responsibilities such as owning a cell phone [I never did], which was not true for past generations.

    No matter the time, parents should always be honored.

    One concern followers, nonbelievers have with the commandment is the issue of bad parents, individuals who have abused their children by various means.

    The Bible does not qualify which parents deserve honoring.

    Additionally, Jesus mentions we are to love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:39) and to bless those who persecute us (Romans 12:14).

    We, therefore, know that even when seemingly impossible, we should all do our best to express love for our parents, our children as we express love for our God.

    This fifth commandment, however, does not advocate for putting ourselves in danger with bad parents.

    Applying this commandment for children who have been abused will look different in terms of how they show their honoring.

    Spending time together may be an impossibility but talking on the phone or writing a letter could prayerfully be an option depending on the circumstance.

    Sometimes we have to set boundaries in relationships, and whenever that is the case we have to pray unto our ABBA God for wisdom, so that we may honor His commandment and honor our parents while keeping ourselves safe (James 1:5).

    There are no easy or set human answers how to be complete, perfect parents.

    As Mom’s and Dad’s together …

    The very best we can do is diligently consult the Word of God for His Children.

    Study it …

    Like Jesus did, intentionally plumb its depths, its ways, its truths and its life.

    Pray without ceasing over every aspect of it, revelation from it …

    Koinonia, Fellowship with our ABBA Father, His Son Jesus, Holy Spirit, other Parents …


    Be Still, Be Quiet, know only God is God, and can, should be, exalted as God.

    Matthew 6:25-33New King James Version

    Do Not Worry

    25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one [a]cubit to his [b] stature?

    28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not [c]arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

    31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

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

    Let us Pray,

    Heavenly Father, thank You for my parents and for giving me life. Thank You for the pleasant and harsh lessons I have learned and the good times and the bad we have shared together. Forgive me for the times when I have not sufficiently honored my father and mother as I ought – for I am now acutely aware that this is dishonoring to You. From this day forward, I pray that I should honour You in all my interactions with my own family and with my friends, and may my life be honoring to You.

    Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.

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


    Honoring Parents, Honoring God. Exodus 20:12

    Exodus 20:12Amplified Bible

    12 “Honor (respect, obey, care for) your father and your mother, so that your days may be prolonged in the land the Lord your God gives you.

    The Word of God for the Children of God.

    Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.

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

    The fifth commandment is simultaneously a simple instruction and an indispensable element of the well-being of entire societies.

    When the Lord gives the command “Honor your father and mother,” He is laying down the essential blueprint for maintaining the stability of families, communities, the Body of Christ and His churches and hosts of all nations.

    What does it mean to honor your parents?

    The word for “honor” carries the notion of weight and heaviness; children ought to feel the weight of respect for their parents.

    By this fifth commandment, God places the full weight of responsibility for the lifetime of moral and ethical upbringing of the children and their instruction in righteous living, firmly and squarely on the shoulders of the father and mother.

    By this “God” weight, this weight of God, Parents are owed such high regard because God has placed upon them in their roles, the stewardship of such a role, accountability to such a role, to raise the next generation of children, is worth many times over, far beyond its utmost maximum possible weight in honor.

    While children are in view here, the Bible also has much to say about parenting that honors God (see also Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21). — More on this later.

    How does a child display this honor?

    In several ways.

    For one, a child ought to show practical respect to his or her parents.

    This can be as simple as speaking well of our parents, showing them courtesy, looking them in the eye, and addressing them with a due sense of deference.

    Second, it involves genuine love; there should be heartfelt expressions of affection between parents and their children.

    Third, unless it would involve disobeying God, a child ought to obey what his or her mom and dad say.

    This expectation is found all over Proverbs: for example, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8).

    Fourth, a child should submit to their parents’ discipline and authority.

    All good parents discipline their children (though it must not be done in anger nor vindictively or disproportionately), and children should ought to be taught to implicitly trust such discipline is for their long-term good (Hebrews 12:5-11).

    In ancient Israel, respect for ones parents was valued so highly that those who disregarded it flagrantly or persistently faced the death penalty (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).

    Why such a significant consequence?

    Because the home provides the most essential and vital training ground, the success of which affects how the child will relate to authorities of all kinds.

    We never outrun authority in our lives.

    There are political authorities we are called to obey (Romans 13:1-7).

    Spiritual authorities we are to respect (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12).

    And those of advanced years we are commanded to honor (Leviticus 19:32).

    Most significantly, when children are taught how, when they learn over time to honor their parents, even despite their parents’ many imperfections, they learn what it too means to learn how to honor our ABBA, our perfect heavenly Father.

    Reverence for parents is an integral part of reverence for God.

    Because parental authority is God-given, for children to learn to honor their parents is to come to that place of spiritual maturity and honor God Himself.

    So if you are a parent [age not specific] with children [age?] at home, it is not loving (though it may be easier) to fail to insist that your children honor you.

    If you are an adult with parents still living, it is a matter of obedience to God you still show them the honor they are due, not according to how well (or other- wise) you feel they raised you but according to the position the Lord gave them.

    As you honor them, you will be pleasing Him and showing those around you that God-given authority, when exercised in a godly way, is a blessing to all.

    Honoring Parents …

    It may come as a surprise to many of us this commandment is not age-specific.

    It’s a commandment not just for the young but for children of all ages.

    God asks parents be worthy of honor in the way they relate to their children.

    And God commands that children obey and show respect for their parents in line with doing what is right.

    This means both are to act appropriately at each stage of their lives together.

    This commandment came to a society without the support systems that many of us are used to.

    Adult children were totally responsible to look after aging parents.

    God reminds us that as long as we have parents, we are to honor them, seeing that their living is respectable and they are well cared for.

    It’s not just a matter of doing what our parents tell us to do when we are young.

    It’s a matter of showing our utmost respect, life-long honor to the parents who gave us life, sacrificed incredibly all to raise us, launched us upon life’s journey.

    The apostle Paul calls this “the first commandment with a promise.”

    God indicates when we honor the parents with whom we are in relationship, he will honor us and He will surely and certainly bless us.

    Some parents are easier to honor than others.

    But respecting to the utmost those whom the Lord has chosen to place over us opens a door to abundant blessings.

    By honoring our parents and others whom God places in authority over us, we honor and glory and our utmost worship and praise unto our Father in heaven.

    Which is what each and everyone of us were created, shaped by God, to do …

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

    Let us Pray,

    Heavenly Father, ABBA Father, thank You for my parents and for giving me life. My First ABBA, Thank You for the lessons I have learned and the good times we have shared together. Forgive me for the times when I have not honored my father and mother as I ought – for I am aware that this is dishonoring to You. From this day forward, I pray that I may honour You in all my interactions with my family and my friends, and may my whole life be honoring unto You. This I pray in Jesus’ name.

    Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.

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


    The Fourth Commandment: Our Rest, Our Witness. Remember the Sabbath. Exodus 20:8-11

    Exodus 20:8-11 Amplified Bible

    “Remember the Sabbath (seventh) day to keep it holy (set apart, dedicated to God). Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath [a day of rest dedicated] to the Lord your God; on that day you shall not do any work, you or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock or the temporary resident (foreigner) who stays within your [city] gates. 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].

    The Word of God for the Children of God.

    Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.

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

    Keep the Sabbath [verse 8]

    Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exodus 20:8

    Throughout history there have been well-meaning, earnest Christians who have, perhaps without their ever knowing it, who have come to functionally believe the Ten Commandments are really only the Nine Commandments.

    Somewhere along the way, some have decided the fourth commandment is not like the rest of the commandments but rather as a relic that belongs in the past.

    In truth, though, the ancient command to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy has abiding significance for us all, even today.

    Why has this simple command fallen on such hard times?

    Some have claimed that its regulations and penalties were tied to the old covenant, so it must no longer be relevant.

    Yet we do not treat the other commandments this way.

    Others have said that the way Jesus spoke of being “lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8) diminished the commandment’s significance and force.

    What about Jesus’ apparent intent here?

    What the man Rabbi Jesus sought to overturn was not the Sabbath itself but the host of hypocritical external rules of the Pharisees.

    I have long suspected what keeps most Christians from thinking of the fourth commandment as we ought to is simply that we do not like its implications.

    We do not like, nor appreciate all of the subtle and not so subtle ways it intrudes into our lives, into our leisure and whatever else takes precedence in our hearts.

    So we act as though this command is in a different category from the other nine.

    However, If we truly want to grasp the significance of the Sabbath and respond to it in a God-honoring way, we must all embrace, as a conviction, the real truth that God has intentionally set aside the Sabbath day as distinct from the rest.

    This was the case in the week of creation, with God resting on the seventh day and declaring it sanctified.

    The church, in the age of the new covenant, then changed the day from the seventh day of the week to the first day to mark the resurrection of Christ.

    In both cases, we see that the distinction of the day is woven into God’s work of creation and redemption.

    With that conviction in place, we can see that the day is not simply a day set apart from other days, but it is, in Gospel Truth, a day set apart unto the Lord.

    By not seeing it this way, we’ll be tempted to view our spiritual exercises on the Lord’s Day as something to “get over with” in order to “get on with” our week.

    If this is our mentality, we stand condemned by the fourth commandment.

    The Sabbath ought to be treasured for what it is: a gift of a day on which we enjoy, uninterrupted by leisure commitments or (if possible) by employment, the privilege of God’s presence, the study of God’s word, and the fellowship of God’s people.

    Seen like that, this command becomes an invitation: not only to just something we should do but something we will each come to learn how to love to do.

    If this is not how you have been viewing God’s Sabbath, then ask yourself:

    What’s preventing you from honoring the Lord’s Day?

    Take stock of your habits and receive the gift of the Sabbath.

    From that next Sunday, be sure that your priority is not to make the Lord’s Day convenient but to make the Lord’s day exclusively about God, to keep it holy.

    Keep the Sabbath [verses 9-10]

    Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath [a day of rest dedicated] to the Lord your God; on that day you shall not do any work, you or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock or the temporary resident (foreigner) who stays within your [city] gates. [verses 9, 10]

    Having established the fourth commandment remains what it has always been—a commandment of the Lord—and as such it is relevant to our lives, we can now turn our hearts, souls, minds, to thinking profitably about how to keep it.

    But we must be careful as we get specific about honoring the Sabbath.

    The Lord Jesus, after all, had some very harsh, strong words for the Pharisees regarding the way their moral specificity had become a means not of obedience but of self-righteousness (Mark 2:23 – 3:6).

    With “quaking and trembling knees” and maturing humility, let’s take some quality time to consider how are we to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

    Let us try to explore: How do we prevent worldly concerns—those of leisure, recreation, and work—from infringing on our enjoyment and worship of God?

    Let’s think first of public worship.

    What kinds of conversations do you typically have prior to the worship service?

    Are they concerned at any point with exclusively the things of God, or only ever with sports – making it to the home team game, family, and every other thing?

    It takes a conscious and a thoroughly intentional act of the will to give eternal matters the very highest measure of maxed priority in our minds and mouths.

    If you were to determine that in your preparation for worship you would set aside every priority which looms, loomed so large on other days, I guarantee the focus of your time at church would be changed.

    The same goes for after the service.

    When the last song has been sung and the service is over, how long does it take for your mind and conversation to return to worldly matters?

    If we were instead to:

    commit to spending time after the service speaking to one another about the greatness of God, the truth of His word, and the wonder of His dealings with us,

    and praying with one another about the week ahead and the trials we face, then we would begin to understand better the “one another” passages in the New Testament about:

    encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:25),

    speaking the truth to one another (Ephesians 4:25), and

    building one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

    —for we would then be prioritizing ourselves to actually living them out.

    Similarly, in our private affairs on the Lord’s Day, spiritual improvement should still take priority.

    That may mean additional family worship, reading edifying books, prayer, discussion of what was preached that morning, and more—but whatever it means, we should make it our aim not to let the cares of the other six days push into our efforts of growing our spiritual enjoyment of the first day of the week.

    If we want to profit from keeping the Sabbath, and if we want to take the fourth commandment more seriously, then our convictions must fuel our actions, and our daily aspirations must turn into daily practices.

    Avoid making unique rules that only serve to foster self-righteousness, but consider whether anything worldly needs to change, be re-prioritized Godly.

    How would, should, could you change to keep the Sabbath holy the next time Sunday comes round, then Monday, then Tuesday then Wednesday and so on?

    Our Sabbath Rest as Our Witness

    [sermon illustrations]

    The college student broke down in tears over his coffee.

    Driven by competition for limited space in a pre-law program, he had just poured himself into studying virtually nonstop, eight hours a day seven days a week. After seven months he found he lost the ambition for learning—and nearly for life itself.

    Driven by the desire for promotion and the prospect for more money for him an his growing family, [……….] takes extra work home every single night to get the one up on his fellow workers – he stays up till midnight every night for weeks. Taking no time for dinner with his wife or leisure time his young kids, he hears them crying.

    Our reading today states that “in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth … but he rested on the seventh day.”

    The ambition and creativity we bring to work is a reflection of our mindset on our Creator’s sovereignty over our lives and over the lives we genuinely value.

    It’s part of how we reflect his image and a big part of how we serve as witnesses for him.

    God also rested on the seventh day, however, and he calls us to do the same.

    For us, good work hinges on good rest.

    Without good rest our good work suffers.

    The discipline of regular rest is a witness in our fast-paced world, especially when that time is focused on enjoying our Creator.

    It speaks of God’s love to command what’s good for us.

    Our ambitions would otherwise serve only to distract us from him and drive us into the ground if we let them.

    How will you take our rest the rest of this week and this next weekend?

    For the sake of good work later, let’s rest.

    For the sake of sanity, let’s rest.

    For the sake of glory to God in regular worship and fellowship, let’s rest.

    God blesses those who “work hard” at resting in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Let’s trust him to establish the work and rest of our hands (see Psalm 90:17).

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

    Let us Pray,

    God, grant us and all our loved ones true rest on this Sabbath Day. May Your Holy and Sacred Presence drive out from among us anger and fear, worry and regret. Send your blessing upon us, that we may be people of the Word. Lord of work and of rest, thank you for these gifts. Help us to work hard and rest well. Please provide work where we need it. Please also bless whatever years of retirement rest we may have.

    Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.

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


    What is God Like? He is Merciful and Gracious, Slow to Anger, Abounding in Steadfast Love, in Goodness, and Truth. Exodus 34:5-9

    Exodus 34:5-9Amplified Bible

    Then the Lord descended in the cloud and stood there with Moses as he proclaimed the Name of the Lord. Then the Lord passed by in front of him, and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (faithfulness); keeping mercy and lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; but He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting (avenging) the iniquity (sin, guilt) of the fathers upon the children and the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers].” Moses bowed to the earth immediately and worshiped [the Lord]. And he said, “If now I have found favor and lovingkindness in Your sight, O Lord, let the Lord, please, go in our midst, though it is a stiff-necked (stubborn, rebellious) people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your possession.”

    The Word of God for the Children of God.

    Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.

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

    What is God Like?

    A little boy was working hard on drawing a picture from his Sunday School and his daddy came up from behind, asked him what he was working so hard on.

    The son replied, “Drawing a picture of God.”

    His daddy said, “You can’t do that, son, Nobody knows what God looks like.”

    But the little boy remained undeterred, continued to draw for several minutes.

    Without stopping his work, he looked at his picture with satisfaction and said very matter-of-factly, held it in his daddy’s face : “They will in a few minutes.”

    We may never know what God’s physical features are, but from the beginning, He does reveal His attributes to us so we can each know what He is about, like.

    In Exodus 34:6-7, rather than painting a picture a visual description of God, he writes a list about God’s invisible qualities.

    From this, we learn God is merciful and gracious.

    Keeping mercy and lovingkindness for the thousands.

    He is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

    He is abounding in goodness and truth

    He is longsuffering and willing to forgive.

    Forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin.

    We also learn that God will not spare the wicked from punishment.

    We also learn that God expects us to automatically respond to who He is with an attitude of repentance and with worship that is worthy of being in His Presence.

    “Show Me Your Ways Lord, That I May Find Favor”

    Exodus 33:12-13Amplified Bible

    Moses Intercedes

    12 Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray you, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways so that I may know You [becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, recognizing and understanding Your ways more clearly] and that I may find grace and favor in Your sight. And consider also, that this nation is Your people.”

    In Exodus 33:12-13, Moses asked God to teach him more about God’s ways.

    Moses said,

    “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.”

    In gracious response to Moses’ request for God to show him more about who He was, God shows Moses favor, God passes by Moses and proclaims the attributes about Himself, revealing to a much humbled Moses more about His character.

    God wanted Moses (and us) to know that He is not an angry, impersonal God.

    Instead, He is a God that loves us, unconventionally, while also being a just God who will hold His Children to account for their words and deeds and punish sin.

    The result of God’s revelation to Moses was that Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped God because Moses knew all he needed to accomplish the task God had called him to do was to be in and remain in, the presence of God.

    “Hear My Cry Lord, Show Me More of Your Ways”

    When was the last time we cried out to God and said,

    “Lord show me more of your ways?”

    Just as God answered Moses, God will answer us today.

    It might be through the Words of truth and life found through scripture that you read and study or in a sermon from your pastor or a song on the radio.

    When our desire to know more about God is a longing that is from the heart, God will most abundantly, decisively, definitely and directly reveal Himself.

    Where are the “Crying Christians?”

    Isaiah 2:2-3 Amplified Bible

    Now it will come to pass that
    In the last days
    The mountain of the house of the Lord
    Will be [firmly] established as the [a]highest of the mountains,
    And will be exalted above the hills;
    And all the nations will stream to it.

    And many peoples shall come and say,
    “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    To the house (temple) of the God of Jacob;
    That He may teach us His ways
    And that we may walk in His paths.”
    For the law will go out from Zion
    And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

    “All nations” is one of my favorite phrases in the Bible.

    God is an inclusive God. When he established a beachhead in our fallen world by starting a little nation called Israel, he was already thinking big.

    God’s plan was to reach out through Israel to call all nations to himself.

    Now, in 2023, Revival has broken out quite literally all over the world.

    Thousands upon thousands are responding … they are crying out to God …

    Onto the street Corners, into the streets of cities all across the globe …

    Into College Campuses …

    Into Churches whose pews had more accumulated dust than congregants.

    Into malls and supermarkets …

    Into the maximum security prisons …

    Into the incarcerated for life hearts of violent life long criminals …

    Into countries where Jesus Christ is not necessarily the most favored name.

    The Word of God for the Children of God goes forth …

    Repentance and Baptisms …

    “Show us Your Ways, O’ Lord, that we may find Grace and Favor IN THY sight.”

    Transformations …

    The Message of Salvation through Christ and Christ alone.

    God has a Plan …

    Jeremiah 29:11-14Amplified Bible

    11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. 13 Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and I will [free you and] gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’

    Jeremiah 29:13 says,

    “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

    How bad do you really want to know more about the Exodus 34:6-7 God?

    How badly do you want people to know more about the Exodus 34:6-7 God?

    How much do you long for the presence of the Exodus 34:6-7 God to lead you to what He’s called you to do?

    With what effort do you seek the Goodness and Mercy, the Slow to Anger and abounding in Steadfast Love, the Faithful and Forgiving and Max Truth of God?

    What effort do you bring your Worship, cry out to God: “Show Me Your Ways?”

    What strength of plea arises from your heart and soul: “If I have found Favor?”

    What percentage of your prayer life includes … “That I May Know God’s Grace?”

    What percentage of your heart is “firmly prostrated” before the Lord, your God?

    What percentage of thy soul is “squarely grounded” in the life of Savior Christ?

    Percentage of thy only hope is saturated in nothing less than the blood of Jesus?

    God’s promise of a gospel that reaches “to the ends of the earth” is being realized (Acts 1:8).

    All nations are streaming toward the mountain of the Lord’s temple—not by pilgrimage to a physical temple in Jerusalem, but by coming to Jesus, the one alone who fulfills the temple’s deepest meaning of God’s presence among us.

    Praise God for the amazing things He alone is doing right now within us.

    Praise God for the amazing things He alone is doing right now among us.

    Praise God for the amazing things He alone is doing within our homes.

    Praise God for the amazing things He alone is doing within our families.

    Praise God for the amazing things He alone is doing among our friends.

    Praise God for the amazing things He alone is doing among our neighbors.

    Praise God for the amazing things He alone is doing within our schools.

    Praise God for the amazing things He alone is doing upon, within our streets.

    Praise God for the amazing things He alone is doing upon, within our prisons.

    Praise God for the amazing things He alone is doing within our communities.

    Praise God for all the amazing things He alone is doing within our country.

    Praise God for the amazing things He alone is doing right now in our world.

    And thank Him that in a tragically shrinking world we can yet experience, be a thriving community with fellow believers from across all cultures and nations.

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

    Let us Pray,

    Psalm 150 The Message

    150 1-6 Hallelujah!
    Praise God in his holy house of worship,
        praise him under the open skies;
    Praise him for his acts of power,
        praise him for his magnificent greatness;
    Praise with a blast on the trumpet,
        praise by strumming soft strings;
    Praise him with castanets and dance,
        praise him with banjo and flute;
    Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum,
        praise him with fiddles and mandolin.
    Let every living, breathing creature praise God!

    Adeste Fidelis. Venite Adoremus. Dominum.

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


    Growing Up to Become a Child – Descriptions of a Childlike Faith. Matthew 18:1-5

    Matthew 18:1-6Amplified Bible

    Rank in the Kingdom

    18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and set him before them, and said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever [a]humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives and welcomes one [b] child like this in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble and sin [by leading him away from My teaching], it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

    The Word of God for the Children of God.

    Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

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

    Growing Up to Become a Child

    What does the man, Rabbi Jesus, mean by saying to his disciples that we each need to “change and become like the little children who are among us”?

    One clue we have here is that Jesus is responding to the question “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

    And he replies, “Whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

    In the Gospel narratives about Jesus and his disciples (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), we somehow find that the disciples often argued over which of them was, is and is about to become greatest; they seem to have been a competitive group.

    And it seems they were thinking of greatness in terms of authority, leadership, knowledge, ­power, influence, “one above equals,” thrones and of other things.

    So Jesus is seemingly telling all of his disciples that they need to change their attitudes about greatness and to become lowly and humble like little children.

    Jesus’ followers, whether ancient or contemporary need to die to their selfish ambitions, realize that, just as little children depend on parents and caregivers, we are all totally dependent on Father God for all our needs and future living.

    Here’s another hypothetical thought. A man in his sixties said, “Last week my five-year-old grandson said he wanted to be a firefighter when he grew up. I replied, ‘And when I grow up, I want to be a five-year-old boy.’ My grandson stared at me with wide, wondering eyes.”

    Have you looked around at your own children or grandchildren and pictured yourself having such a “wide eyed wondering hypothetical conversation?”

    Have you looked around at God’s world with “wide, wondering eyes” lately?

    That’s something which I long for when I look at my own almost nine year old grandson when hear the clarion call to change and to become like a little child.

    Descriptions of a Childlike Faith

    Rabbi Jesus’ statement to His disciples in Matthew 18:3 about them not entering the kingdom of heaven unless they are converted and become as little children speak volumes and volumes of truth of the importance of living a childlike faith.

    But what is childlike faith?

    What makes one’s faith childlike?

    Faith which is Rooted in Security

    During the days of childhood, one learns how to survive and prosper, how to live under authority, how to live, love and share, and how to serve and praise.

    A well-cared-for child has no worries about house or car or any credit card payments, no anxious moments over getting married to the right one, career or job opportunities, no apprehensions about failure, no thoughts of vengeance.

    David exemplified this kind of faith while he was on the run from Saul.

    Psalm 131:1-2Amplified Bible

    Childlike Trust in the Lord.

    A Song of [a]Ascents. Of David.

    131 Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
    Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
    Or in things too difficult for me.

    Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul;
    Like a weaned child [resting] with his mother,
    My soul is like a weaned child within me [composed and freed from discontent].

    In Psalm 131:1-2, David compared the calmness and serenity he had in the Lord to that of a weaned child with his mother.

    Composed, content with God and the works He was doing in his life, David did not concern himself with great matters such as any selfish ambition and self-promotion – rather, he found serenity and security in his relationship with God.

    Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
    And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord. (Psalm 23:6)

    To have a childlike faith is to find serenity and security in our relationship with God no matter the circumstance.

    Faith Which Praises

    Jesus loved children. He loved to use children to teach hard-headed and hard-hearted grown-ups about faith and praise.

    While preaching in the region of Judea, Christ was encircled by a great crowd.

    Matthew 19:13-15Amplified Bible

    Jesus Blesses Little Children

    13 Then children were brought to Jesus so that He might place His hands on them [for a blessing] and pray; but the disciples reprimanded them. 14 But He said, “Leave the children alone, and do not forbid them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 After placing His hands on them [for a blessing], He went on from there.

    He later reminded the priests and scribes that “the mouth of babes and nursing infants” would offer praise fitting for God’s Anointed (Matthew 21:16).

    When Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a colt, a very great multitude that included children cried out saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest” (Matthew 21:9)!

    The sound of the children praising Jesus in the temple courts made the chief priests and scribes indignant.

    In response, Jesus quoted from Psalm 8:2.

    God does not only want prayer in His house, He also delights in praise.

    To have a childlike faith is to have a heart that always longs to praise and glorify God in each and every life’s circumstance.

    Faith Which Believes

    Jesus used the lad with the five barley loaves and the two small fish to feed five thousand people (John 6:9).

    To show His power over death, Jesus used a little girl. Jairus, a ruler in the synagogue, fell at Jesus’ feet begging Him to come to his house and save his dying twelve-year-old daughter.

    Jesus agreed and tried to make His way with Jairus, but the surrounding crowd made the trip difficult.

    Word came that Jairus’ daughter had died.

    But Jesus responded, “Do not be afraid, only believe and she will be made well” (Luke 8:50).

    At the house, as the parents wept over their loss, Jesus said, “She is not dead but sleeping” (Luke 8:52).

    Through tears, the people laughed at the impossibility of what they heard.

    Jesus then asked everyone to leave the room, and then He said, “Little girl, arise” (Luke 8:54), and she did!

    Romans 4:17 says that “God gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.”

    Jesus spoke to the girl with the power of God, and she was raised from the dead.

    Jairus’ faith definitely played a part in the miracle healing of his daughter just like the faith of the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years had made her well (Luke 8:43-48).

    Nothing is impossible with God if we would just believe.

    This is what it means to have childlike faith.

    Faith Which is Humble

    Another time, Jesus used a child to teach humility.

    In Matthew 18:1-5, we read how the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” and how did Jesus respond?

    He called a little child to Him, set the little child in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    He then went on to say, “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”

    The fact that Jesus had been sharing with the disciples that truth about His approaching suffering and death did not affect them for they were thinking only of, about themselves and what position they would have in His Kingdom.

    So self-absorbed were the disciples in this matter that they actually argued with each other in the presence of Rabbi Jesus himself (Luke 9:46).

    Pride – the very sin that caused Satan to be cast down from heaven is what’s causing people to think of themselves more highly than others.

    When Christians are living for themselves and not for others, conflict and division are bound to result (James 4:1-2).

    True humility means knowing ourselves, accepting ourselves, and being ourselves – our best self – to the glory of God ALONE!.

    It means avoiding two extremes:

    Thinking less of ourselves than we ought to (as did Moses when God called him, Exodus 3:11), or thinking more of ourselves than we should (Romans 12:3).

    The truly humble person does not deny the gifts God has given him or her but uses them to the glory of God.

    The truly humble person also helps to build up others, not to tear them down.

    Hebrews 12:1-3Amplified Bible

    Jesus, the Example

    12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of [a]witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [b]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].

    Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

    This person is a stepping-stone, not a stumbling block.

    This person is a building block not a stumbling block.

    Thus, we must seek to remove from our lives anything that makes us stumble.

    If we don’t, we will cause others to stumble as well.

    Which Jesus Himself said was not a very good, very healthy, very wise, idea.

    Matthew 18:6Amplified Bible

    but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble and sin [by leading him away from My teaching], it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

    An unspoiled child has the characteristics that make for humility: trust, dependence, a desire to make others happy, and an absence of boasting or selfish desires to be greater than others.

    By our nature, we are all rebels who want to be celebrities instead of servants.

    And so we need a great deal of teaching for us to learn the lesson of humility.

    Concluding Thoughts ….

    As Christians, we are encouraged to have childlike faith.

    To have faith like a child is to completely embrace, trust our heavenly Father’s goodness, care, provision, leadership, His security, vigilance and protection.

    Have you experienced the peace of a well-cared-for child in letting Jesus take care of your worries?

    Have you found the healing that faith in Jesus brings?

    Have you praised His name with the joy of a child?

    Have you answered Jesus’ call in childlike faith, asking Him to be your Savior?

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

    Let us Pray,

    Psalm 17The Message

    17 1-2 Listen while I build my case, God,
        the most honest prayer you’ll ever hear.
    Show the world I’m innocent—
        in your heart you know I am.

    Go ahead, examine me from inside out,
        surprise me in the middle of the night—
    You’ll find I’m just what I say I am.
        My words don’t run loose.

    4-5 I’m not trying to get my way
        in the world’s way.
    I’m trying to get your way,
        your Word’s way.
    I’m staying on your trail;
        I’m putting one foot
    In front of the other.
        I’m not giving up.

    6-7 I call to you, God, because I’m sure of an answer.
        So—answer! bend your ear! listen sharp!
    Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
        take in your frightened children who
    Are running from the neighborhood bullies
        straight to you.

    8-9 Keep your eye on me;
        hide me under your cool wing feathers
    From the wicked who are out to get me,
        from mortal enemies closing in.

    10-14 Their hearts are hard as nails,
        their mouths blast hot air.
    They are after me, nipping my heels,
        determined to bring me down,
    Lions ready to rip me apart,
        young lions poised to pounce.
    Up, God: beard them! break them!
        By your sword, free me from their clutches;
    Barehanded, God, break these mortals,
        these flat-earth people who can’t think beyond today.

    I’d like to see their bellies
        swollen with famine food,
    The weeds they’ve sown
        harvested and baked into famine bread,
    With second helpings for their children
        and crusts for their babies to chew on.

    15 And me? I plan on looking
        you full in the face. When I get up,
    I’ll see your full stature
        and live heaven on earth.

    Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

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


    What Is this Spiritual Gift of Faith? 1Corinthians 12:4-11

    1 Corinthians 12:4-11Amplified Bible

    Now there are [distinctive] varieties of spiritual gifts [special abilities given by the grace and extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit operating in believers], but it is the same Spirit [who grants them and empowers believers]. And there are [distinctive] varieties of ministries and service, but it is the same Lord [who is served]. And there are [distinctive] ways of working [to accomplish things], but it is the same God who produces all things in all believers [inspiring, energizing, and empowering them]. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit [the spiritual illumination and the enabling of the Holy Spirit] for the common good. To one is given through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] the message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] the word of knowledge and understanding according to the same Spirit; to another [wonder-working] faith [is given] by the same [Holy] Spirit, and to another the [extraordinary] gifts of healings by the one Spirit; 10 and to another the working of [a]miracles, and to another prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], and to another discernment of spirits [the ability to distinguish sound, godly doctrine from the deceptive doctrine of man-made religions and cults], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, and to another interpretation of tongues. 11 All these things [the gifts, the achievements, the abilities, the empowering] are brought about by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, distributing to each one individually just as He chooses.

    The Word of God for the Children of God.

    Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

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

    Spiritual Gift of Faith

    Today, let’s learn something about the spiritual gift of faith.

    Your first reaction to this might be, “How can faith be a gift?

    Aren’t we all supposed to have faith as believers in Jesus Christ?”

    Faith is absolutely a gift!

    It is specifically mentioned as a spiritual gift in scripture (1 Corinthians 12:9).

    Because it is a spiritual gift, that means not everyone has the gift of faith.

    And that’s okay.

    We can all strive for faith, but for some people the confidence in the truth of God comes more naturally than to others.

    Do you know a person who can continue to trust in God no matter what comes their way?

    A person who can see where God is working in your life when you can’t see it?

    People with the spiritual gift of faith are unshakeable in their reliance on God’s promises and are a source of encouragement for the rest of us when we feel like embracing the world or giving up on God or think that God has given up on us.

    Here is how we can define the gift of faith:

    Faith is the exceptional ability to hold fast to the truth of God in Jesus Christ in spite of pressures, problems, and obstacles to faithfulness.

    Much more than just belief, faith is a gift which empowers an individual or a group of people to hold fast to its identity in Christ in the face of any challenge.

    The gift of faith enables believers to rise above pressures and problems that might otherwise cripple them.

    Faith is characterized by an unshakable trust in Jehovah God to deliver on God’s promises, no matter what.

    The gift of faith inspires those who might be tempted to give up to hold on.

    Those gifted with Faith create a foundation upon which true community can be built and sustained.

    It is critical for people possessing the gift of Faith to make, take opportunities to share their beliefs, their learning, most importantly, their life experiences.

    Faith stories have powerful and transforming effects.

    Faith is a prominent gift in witnessing congregations, where personal stories are shared in group settings, worship, Sunday school classes, or Bible studies.

    Faith is the exceptional ability to hold fast to the truth of God in Jesus Christ in spite of pressures, problems, and obstacles to faithfulness.

    Our Bible gives us many examples of individuals with the spiritual gift of faith.

    Hebrews 11:1-12 The Message

    Faith in What We Don’t See

    11 1-2 The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.

    By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.

    By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice.

    5-6 By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.

    By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.

    8-10 By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.

    11-12 By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said. That’s how it happened that from one man’s dead and shriveled loins there are now people numbering into the millions.

    • Verse 4 – By faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain
    • Verse 5 – By faith, Enoch skipped death
    • Verse 7 – By faith, Noah built a ship
    • Verse 8 – By faith, Abraham said yes to God
    • Verse 11 – By faith, barren Sarah became pregnant
    Faith in Scripture ….

    Mark 9:23 (NRSV)
    Jesus said to him, “If you are able!—All things can be done for the one who believes.”

    Luke 8:48 (NRSV)
    He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

    Luke 17:19 (NRSV)
    Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

    Luke 18:42 (NRSV)
    Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.”

    Romans 4:18-21 (NRSV)
    Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

    God gives us believers gifts of the Holy Spirit.

    We do not know why exactly God’s will is for us to have any of these gifts, but we are thankful for any blessings, gifting’s, and corrections that He gives us.

    Faith — it is a gift, and all we need is about the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20).

    To each and every one of us, a measure of faith has been assigned by God (Romans 12:3).

    Moses had faith to lead Israel to the Promised Land, Sarah had faith that she would conceive even in her old age, and Noah had faith that God had spoken to him to build the ark even when everyone thought he was crazy (Hebrews 11).

    There isn’t any formula that is alongside this gift of faith, and to think that there would be, it would be much more difficult to have faith.

    Believing in faith is easy, but in our finite minds, thoughts barricade what is truly simple.

    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    Faith without proof

    There are miracles everywhere mentioned in the New Testament.

    Many people today have seen what the goodness of God can do through miracles.

    In Mark 2, Jesus was in a crowded house in Capernaum.

    There were four men carrying a paralytic man, trying to reach Jesus.

    They had to make a hole in the roof of the house in order to bring the paralyzed man to be healed by Jesus.

    This act was an act of faith by the four men, and Jesus saw their faith in the man being healed of his affliction.

    Well, the man not only got healed but his sins were forgiven.

    Miracles are a wondrous gift, but having faith without seeing is believing that it is possible even though it seems impossible (2 Corinthians 5:7).

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). 

    Our hope is in Christ alone.

    Without faith, there is no hope.

    We have faith that when winter begins to thaw, and all the snow begins to fade away, that the seeds that were planted in the previous season shall burst forth.

    Springtime is a time of refreshment, a time of anticipated, expectant joy to see what was planted, will be planted and is to soon come up from the cold ground.

    We don’t see the seeds with our own eyes, but by faith, we have the hope to see green leaves, diverse colors of flowers coming up to bring out joy and harvest.

    Childlike Faith ….

    Matthew 18:1-6 Amplified Bible

    Rank in the Kingdom

    18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and set him before them, and said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever [a]humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives and welcomes one [b] child like this in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble and sin [by leading him away from My teaching], it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

    Children are like sponges.

    Children are naturally inquisitive about almost everything in their little world.

    They max out their efforts absorbing everything they can see, smell, taste, and touch, and hear.

    In a classroom, it is a teacher’s job to assure that the children are learning what is being taught.

    Children learn from their families as to what is wrong and what is right.

    But what they are the best at is having faith.

    Think about the inquisitiveness of your own children right now.

    What are they constantly getting themselves into?

    What holds their “undivided” attention?

    What is their “wish-list?”

    What are their dreams?

    As it might be applicable, be observant and give an answer to those questions for those of us who have grandchildren or great grandchildren inside our lives.

    Think about when you were a child, what did you have hope for?

    I hoped that I could see the world that God created.

    As I got older, I realized what goes into making those dreams come true.

    I then began to see that it may not ever happen, and my faith became less in that area of my life.

    I let my fears become more and more of my reality because I didn’t truly believe that I could travel the world.

    But, perhaps, one season, by God’s Grace, that dream of travel will come true.

    I believe and have faith God will bring me to places that He wills for my life. 

    In Romans 10:17, the Bible states, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” 

    Our thoughts can be louder than the Word of God if we let them.

    The Holy Spirit within us shows us what is truth and what is not.

    The gift of faith is truth and grace that has been given to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

    The spiritual gift of faith is steadfastly believing the truth, God’s truth alone.

    No matter what happens whether you receive what you are believing in or not, your confidence cannot be swayed.

    The fear, worry, and circumstances do not determine your level of faith.

    If God has given you this spiritual gift of faith, then trust, without doubt, that He will absolutely do as He absolutely wills for your life.

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

    Let us Pray,

    All-Powerful Father, I bow before You because You are awesome and worthy of all the praise. Your word declares that I can do all things through You who strengthens me! I put all my trust in You. You alone are my God. You alone are my joy. You are my heart and my soul. You are the grass under my feet and the sky above. You are seen and unseen, Father. Keep me at Your right hand forever, fill me with Your grace, and make me Yours all the days of my life. Father, we thank you for everything, and we love you with all that we are. I pray that those that have been given this spiritual gift of faith will never waiver. I pray that we will trust and believe you always God. 

     Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

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


    For We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight. 2 Corinthians 5:6-10

    2 Corinthians 5:6-10Amplified Bible

    6 So then, being always filled with good courage and confident hope, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises]— we are [as I was saying] of good courage and confident hope, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore, whether we are at home [on earth] or away from home [and with Him], it is our [constant] ambition to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we [believers will be called to account and] must all appear before the [a]judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be repaid for what has been done in the body, whether good or [b]bad [that is, each will be held responsible for his actions, purposes, goals, motives—the use or misuse of his time, opportunities and abilities].

    The Word of God for the Children of God.

    Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

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

    What does it mean to live by Faith?

    Those words seem simple enough, yet it may be a lot tougher than we think.

    It requires tremendous courage and strength.

    Preaching the gospel to the world brought Paul and his co-workers much suffering.

    Yet they continued the work contending for the faith.

    They refused to quit and “pressed toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

    Living in the end times requires living by faith and not by what we see going on around us.

    Yet it is a journey of tremendous hope, blessing and reward.

    Walking by faith and not by sight requires you to trust God, not knowing where you are at times in the larger scope of God’s plan and purpose.

    Take the example of Abraham, “when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going”. (Hebrews 11:8)

    That’s walking by faith.

    Walking by faith requires a strong determination to follow God’s plan as outlined in the bible, regardless what life throws your way.

    Like 2 Corinthians 4:18 urges us, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

    It is a deep trust in what cannot be seen that provides hope.

    Paul wrote to the church at Corinth that “we walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

    Jesus stated, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

    Jesus ascended and left his Spirit as a guarantee.

    Walking by faith is sometimes lonely, except for the presence of Christ by his Spirit, left to all believers as a “guarantee” (2 Corinthians 5:5).

    Christians are frequently called to stand firm in spite of the isolated place their faith leads them to.

    Our faith is reasonable, but there are aspects of the gospel we accept on faith and are unable to see.

    What are these invisible things?

    And what is the walk of faith?

    The Second Letter to Corinth

    First of all, here is some context for 2 Corinthians 5:7.

    Paul’s relationship with the church at Corinth was a difficult one.

    Paul had led them to faith with the assistance of mature believers in Christ, but when Paul was gone the church was easily swayed by outsiders who opposed his teaching.

    In Paul’s absence, they fell apart and it was easy for opponents to convince the church that his suffering was a sign that Paul’s faith was actually folly.

    If Jesus Christ has really come to save sinners, how could the apostle’s life be so horrendous?

    To Paul’s mind, his way of life represented faith.

    How else could someone suffer so much, if not for the reasonable expectation of eternal gain? (ESV Study Bible, Introduction to 2 Corinthians).

    The Corinthian church was struggling, and Apostle Paul’s letter suggests a big part of the problem was the followers trusting the Holy Spirit to work in their lives and coming to that place in their life of trusting in the promise of Heaven.

    Faith is trust.

    Fabulous Adventures In Trusting Him!

    Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him!

    Fulfilling Adventures In Trusting Him!

    Futuristic Adventures In Trusting Him!

    But faith in Christ does not come in the exact instant we snap our fingers.

    Time and effort, trials and tribulations, radically counter cultural responses.

    Faith not in what we see ‘Now’ but what we cannot see in Eternity

    2 Corinthians 5:1-5Amplified Bible

    The Temporal and Eternal

    5 For we know that if the earthly tent [our physical body] which is our house is torn down [through death], we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our [immortal, eternal] celestial dwelling, so that by putting it on we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened [often weighed down, oppressed], not that we want to be unclothed [separated by death from the body], but to be clothed, so that what is mortal [the body] will be swallowed up by life [after the resurrection]. Now He who has made us and prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the [Holy] Spirit as a pledge [a guarantee, a down payment on the fulfillment of His promise].

    What does the gospel tell us which we cannot prove by way of anything other than faith?

    For one thing, we cannot see what awaits the faithful around the next bend in their roadways, over the next mountain— eternal life in the Kingdom of God.

    Apostle Paul is confident: “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God” (verse 1).

    That building is the individual body, the church body, a real Kingdom, invisible to us for now. “We know,” says Paul; not “we believe,” or “we imagine.”

    The original Greek uses “eidó,” which means “be aware, behold, consider, perceive.” “Knowing” in this sense combines knowledge with an intelligent perception of an idea, which cannot be physically represented —just yet.

    Paul based his belief in eternal life on sound, objective evidence as well as his subjective, personal experience of Christ.

    His suffering could have become a distraction from this truth — it certainly was for the Corinthians.

    To Paul, his counter cultural response to immediate suffering was supposed to demonstrate his deep trust in what could not be seen, provide a reason to hope.

    Christians “look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

    A Connecting Faith

    Christ’s message of eternal salvation through his death and resurrection was explosive.

    Master Pharisee Saul, before becoming Paul, had originally sought to persecute these blasphemers, run them all to ground, imprison them all until he realized that the Old Testament had been leading Israel unto the empty tomb all along.

    When Apostle Paul described the body as a “tent” (2 Corinthians 5:1), he was also connecting the new church with the Old Testament.

    God’s people had frequently been sojourners, both in the days before Solomon and during Jesus’ ministry.

    Moses and the Israelites followed a pillar of smoke and a pillar of fire, setting up temporary Sukkoth shelters to cover themselves against cold desert nights.

    They had nowhere to permanently call “home” until Solomon built the temple.

    The body as a “tent” evokes the Israelite’s trust God would meet their needs day by day.

    A tent is impermanent, just like a body is temporary, but once this covering is shed God provides something eternally better.

    Faith in the Spirit

    2 Corinthians 3:15-18Amplified Bible

    15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil [of blindness] lies over their heart; 16 but whenever a person turns [in repentance and faith] to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom]. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.

    As believers, to some extent, we already see more than those who choose to turn their faces from God.

    We have an “unveiled face,” although we only see “in a mirror dimly” for now, it is by faith we believe we will one day see Christ “face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

    Meanwhile, we have the Holy Spirit.

    Here is one aspect of the Christian life we cannot lay hands on and inspect up close.

    There are ways to detect the Spirit in us; evidence of “fruit.” 

    Galatians 5:22-23 describes this fruit: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

    When one has grown in any of these ways, the Holy Spirit is responsible, and we are invited to delve into and recognize this gift living inside of us and in others.

    The Spirit is not a virus or an implant; it cannot be scrutinized with the naked eye or under a microscope.

    Everyone holds a belief in something, and Paul says we can be confident.

    That is the word used in the NIV and KJV for “courage” so “we are always of good courage” (2 Corinthians 5:6, ESV) is a statement of certainty.

    Faith is not blind; it merely sees in other ways.

    Every Faithful, Faith-Filled Christian

    1 Peter 3:13-15Amplified Bible

    13 Now who is there to hurt you if you become enthusiastic for what is good? 14  But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness [though it is not certain that you will], you are still blessed [happy, to be admired and favored by God]. Do not be afraid of their intimidating threats, nor be troubled or disturbed [by their opposition]15 But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.

    Every faithful believer sees something that is not visceral but still real — much of our knowledge is like that.

    We believe someone is trustworthy based on actions, which demonstrate their character.

    We know that an event took place in history based on statements of witnesses and on physical remains.

    We must examine the evidence and be ready to give our testimony, “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).

    We all live by faith in something, although not the same things.

    It is theologically accurate to say and to insist that the Christian must always seek to live by faith and trust in God and his promises, and not be motivated by only what he or she can see and hear in their present circumstances.

    But the Apostle Paul says the church at Corinth is already doing that.

    Apostle Paul “directly and unequivocally says that we, all believers, do, in fact, live by faith.”

    This faith must also stand firmly by the strength of internal reasoning, against external forces, and without an apostle to hold one’s hand in a spiritual sense.

    The Corinthians’ faith was strong in the presence of mature disciples such as Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:18) but definitely blindsided by “partisanship, with the Corinthians factionalizing behind rival leaders.”

    Paul knew what made “considerate and appropriate relating especially hard at Corinth,” which was an “unusually diverse” and tough, working-class culture.

    Paul sought to “overcome the tensions these differences were bringing into the community” by talking about how to just love one another in Christ-like ways.

    What Does it Mean to Walk by Faith?

    Ephesians 4:1-6 Amplified Bible

    Unity of the Spirit

    4 So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another [a]in [unselfish] love. Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful]. There is one body [of believers] and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when called [to salvation]— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,one God and Father of us all who is [sovereign] over all and [working] through all and [living] in all.

    And what about the action of walking in faith? “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” wrote Paul (Ephesians 4:1).

    Our walk as Christians should be identifiably different from the walk of one who does not believe and has been saved by grace.

    There is a practical element, which must not be overlooked, for if we love God there will be an outpouring of that love towards others.

    Jesus embodied a unifying love for the marginalized and Paul taught that their Savior was the best example of “what a Christian leader should look like. It could hardly be more dramatically countercultural, and Paul lived out this leadership style in person.”

    Yet walking, or living, by faith, is also about our relationship with Christ “God is looking for not only a clinging bride but also a walking partner.”

    13 No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you keep on doing what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you [My] friends, because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father. 16 You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you. (John 15:13-16)

    When we walk with him, we recognize that worship of Christ is not so much a “catalyst” to action but “an everyday walk of unbroken communion with our Lord and friend.”

    Jesus calls us “friend,” and we are called to live our lives close to him, confident and worshipful.

    This is personal and real — other people cannot fill in for Jesus, whether they are our pastors or mentors or BFFs.

    Such individuals promote growth, but they are not the vine.

    Only Jesus is the vine (John 15).

    Is Sight Coming?

    Will we see Jesus when we die?

    Paul says it himself: We see dimly today, but the mist will lift one day revealing his face – the veil between God and man was torn when Jesus died on the cross.

    John 20:11-18Amplified Bible

    11 But Mary [who had returned] was standing outside the tomb sobbing; and so, as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they said to her, “Woman, why are you crying?” She told them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”  14  After saying this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? For whom are you looking?” Supposing that He was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you are the one who has carried Him away from here, tell me where you have put Him, and I will take Him away.” 16  Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in [a] Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher)17 Jesus said to her, “[b]Do not hold Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene came, reporting to the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that He had said these things to her.

    So, while we cannot fully see him as Mary Magdalene did right now, this definitely does not mean that we are cut off from fellowship with the Lord.

    Living by faith, not by sight, is no hindrance to communion with our Savior.

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

    Let us Pray,

    Psalm 24The Message

    24 1-2 God claims Earth and everything in it,
        God claims World and all who live on it.
    He built it on Ocean foundations,
        laid it out on River girders.

    3-4 Who can climb Mount God?
        Who can scale the holy north-face?
    Only the clean-handed,
        only the pure-hearted;
    Men who won’t cheat,
        women who won’t seduce.

    5-6 God is at their side;
        with God’s help they make it.
    This, Jacob, is what happens
        to God-seekers, God-questers.

    Wake up, you sleepyhead city!
    Wake up, you sleepyhead people!
        King-Glory is ready to enter.

    Who is this King-Glory?
        God, armed
        and battle-ready.

    Wake up, you sleepyhead city!
    Wake up, you sleepyhead people!
        King-Glory is ready to enter.

    10 Who is this King-Glory?
        he is King-Glory.

    Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

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


    And As Enoch First Did, How Are We to Walk in Fellowship with God? Genesis 5:21-24

    Genesis 5:21-24Amplified Bible

    21 When Enoch was sixty-five years old, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked [in habitual fellowship] with God three hundred years after the birth of Methuselah and had other sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And [in reverent fear and obedience] Enoch walked with God; and he was not [found among men], because God took him [away to be home with Him].

    The Word of God for the Children of God.

    Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum

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

    We are assured that no matter where our Christian walk takes us, God our Father, His Son Jesus and Holy Spirit will be there with us along the way.

    Walking with God is sharing our thoughts honestly with the Lord.

    That means talking with him on a daily basis.

    You may be surprised to discover that of all the people mentioned in the Bible, only three—Enoch, Noah, and Levi— are expressly said to have walked with God. Their stories are found in Genesis chapters 5 and 6 and Malachi 2.

    Studying Enoch’s life provides clues to how he lived a lifestyle pleasing to God.

    The account of Enoch’s walk with God is told in the book of Genesis.

    The writer records that Enoch walked [in habitual fellowship] with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah and then that at the age of three hundred and sixty-five years, Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him (Genesis 5:24).

    This scripture reveals Enoch began to walk with God after his 65th birthday.

    How old are you?

    A recent newspaper article stated that today’s average life expectancy of a person living in the United States is about 75 years.

    How many years have you left to walk in habitual fellowship with God?

    After three hundred years as God’s habitual walking companion on earth, God invited Enoch to continue his walk in heaven.

    Enoch, like the later prophet Elijah, went directly to heaven without dying.

    Enoch’s goal was to walk in habitual fellowship with God.

    Enoch’s goal was to reverently and obediently please God. 

    Think about this …. how many thousands of years ago was this ….

    And how primitive or advanced was their thought process way back when?

    To know what [habitual fellowship] was ….

    To know what obedience was ….

    To know what reverent obedience was ….to ONE God alone and not many gods?

    What did it mean in that ancient context to say Enoch walked with the Lord ….

    “In Habitual Fellowship” ….

    What does that mean?

    Above and beyond all others that Enoch and Noah were the ones mentioned?

    Can you and I insert that ancient vision into our 2023 contemporary vision?

    That is a pretty significant adjustment for us to make – to give Enoch a place in our 2023 pulpits, worship services, prayer meetings and fellowship gatherings.

    How would that ancient witness testimony connect with our own witness story?

    Would it connect with us at all?

    Would it relate to us in anyway?

    Would it connect us with God?

    Would it strengthen or weaken or do nothing for our personal faith journey?

    We know so precious little, if anything, about the actions Enoch demonstrated that God took such an extraordinary notice of – that He took Him Home (verse 24).

    It would be so easy to insert our own judgments and interpretations and visions and deeds of all of those remarkable “ancient” “reverent and obedient” actions.

    In the New Testament, the Hebrew writer reveals two key actions that enabled Enoch to walk with God. 

    By faith, Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; he was not found because God took him up, for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up, he was pleasing to GodAnd without faith, it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:5,6a). 

    1.  Enoch was pleasing to God. Enoch did what God wanted him to do. His actions reflected God’s Will for his life.
    2.  Enoch was faithful to God. The Bible says that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Enoch, through his faith, pleased God. Enoch is an example of the righteous man that Paul wrote about in Romans 1: 17, But the righteous man shall live by faith.

    Many people suffer from the misconception that walking with God is about church attendance, Bible study, praying, and contributing to the needy.

    It’s true, people who walk with God engage in these activities.

    But, Enoch’s life highlights the genuine basis of walking with God.

    From the start, it looks as though Enoch fared more regrettable than the other patriarchs.

    He lived on earth for only 365 years, far shorter than the other patriarchs.

    Enoch was transferred straightforwardly to heaven without dying.

    At that point, however, that would imply that Enoch actually lived longer than any patriarch, for he never saw death.

    So, if we think about it, Enoch is the longest living human of all, even though Methuselah lived on earth for 969 years.

    But we are not specifically looking at the period or lifespan of Enoch or the other patriarchs. 

    Genesis 5:22 is quick to break with the example seen up to this point.

    To no one’s surprise, we are given the number of years that a man lived subsequent to fathering the child who might prompt Noah and his children.

    This time, however, we are enlightened with something regarding a man:

    “And Enoch walked with God,” a reality that will be rehashed in the verses that follow.

    What Does it Mean to Walk with God?

    In the Bible, the articulation “walked with God” alludes to somebody who is respectful and dedicated to the Lord, bringing about God’s approval.

    For Enoch’s situation, this was so crucial a point that it is referenced two times: both here and in Genesis 5:24.

    This entry is expected to clarify the genealogical record from Adam to Noah, so there are not many different subtleties given.

    We truly do not know much in regards to Enoch.

    In any case, we truly do realize that God decided to eliminate him from the earth before his earthly passing.

    Enoch is the first of the men recorded in this section whose story does not end with the expression “and he died.”

    This was an occasion like Elijah’s end of service when God took him “up by a whirlwind into heaven” (2 Kings 2:9-12).

    Up to Genesis 5:23, 895 years old is the youngest listed age at the point of death for the patriarchs.

    No details are given except that God was responsible.

    Physical death happened to all of the men listed, with the exception of Enoch.

    Genesis 5:24 is one of the most puzzling verses in the Bible.

    Considering how completely astounding and strange this occasion is, we may have expected more subtleties.

    But every expression of the Bible is centered around a specific reason.

    For this situation, the genuine object is to clarify the lineage from Adam to Noah, through Seth.

    Most definitely, precisely what befell Enoch is unimportant.

    What we can be sure of is that Enoch “walked with God.”

    Truth be told, this is such a significant piece of who Enoch was that it is rehashed twice in this chapter.

    To live by faith in the Almighty means to make a relationship with God part of your ordinary way of life, to respect God with your decisions in each part of life.

    Enoch’s case is strange in all of Scripture, in all of mankind’s set of experiences.

    What is the significance here?

    Enoch “was not, for God took him?”

    Obviously, in light of Enoch’s living by faith in the Almighty, God kept Enoch from passing on.

    Rather, God just removed him.

    By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God (Hebrews 11:5).

    This existence of confidence (life of faith), Hebrews tells us, satisfied God in such a way God kept Enoch from passing from this life in an ordinary manner.

    So, what was it about Enoch’s walk with God?

    Walking in God’s Direction

    The way for us to walk is marked.

    We are to watch for any obstacles that will present themselves before us, and we are to walk as Christ walked.

    Walking “as he walked” or living as Christ did does not mean that we are to us pick 12 devotees, perform extraordinary supernatural miracles, or be crucified.

    We cannot duplicate the existence of Christ, since quite a bit of that had to do with his way of life as God’s Son, his walk with God, his exceptional job in dying for all sin, and the social setting of the Roman world during the first century.

    To live today as Christ did, we should follow his lessons and illustration of complete submission to God and to the loving service to others (1 John 2:6; 1 Peter 2:21).

    Walking at God’s Pace

    As we walk, we are to spread the Good News of the Gospel of Savior Jesus Christ.

    We are not to try and walk ahead of the Lord nor are we to lag behind him.

    Walking requires wearing shoes to help protect our feet from the elements and the terrain that we walk on.

    Some are for running, walking, orthopedic issues, or just for style.

    Roman soldiers regularly wore sandals (shoes), which permitted them to move rapidly during a fight and gave their feet protection.

    Here Paul envisions the shoes as the “preparation of the gospel of peace.”

    Shoes made a fighter prepared to fight.

    The “gospel of peace” in like manner prepares a Christian for spiritual battles.

    Any individual who has strolled around outside without any shoes realizes that a few regions are beyond reach when you are shoeless.

    Shoes empower you to go anyplace.

    The gospel secures our faith in specific essential, widespread certainties.

    Without that, we would be slipping.

    One of the world’s most normal issues today is that of stress, which comes in several types.

    However, the peace offered through the gospel is the response to the greater part of our day-by-day tension.

    We can cast our cares upon him because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

    Further, interfacing the idea with the “gospel of peace” may likewise recommend the possibility of Christians bringing the gospel into everyday struggles, sharing it anywhere they go (Matthew 28:18-20).

    Christians are given the “gospel of peace to be prepared for the fight to come and to help other people confronting spiritual battles (Ephesians 6:15).

    Walking in Progress and Intimacy with God

    Any parent knows that a child must first learn to crawl, then walk, before they can run.

    A child must take simple steps first then successive steps.

    Walking in progress with God means to “walk by faith.”

    That means Christians are to live, make it a habit, by faith.

    Suffering comes and suffering goes.

    We are to live with courage and refuse to give up in our walk (2 Corinthians 5:7).

    Paul tells us that we that have to accept Christ as Lord and Savior should walk (to live and think by faith) in him (Colossians 2:6).

    Works are vital for the Christian life (1 John 3:17-18) but works should be the result of saving faith.

    Walking in intimacy is also about honestly sharing our thoughts with the Lord.

    That means we are talking with him on a daily basis.

    Walking to the Destination Which God Has Prepared

    Getting to a specific destination that we want to arrive at means that we must take one step at a time.

    We may have to be prepared to get outside of our comfort zone.

    We cannot also walk where it is easy to walk.

    A smooth flat surface will not always be present for us to take our steps upon.

    We are assured that no matter where or when our God starts us on our Christian walk, or why takes us, Christ will be there with us along the way (Hebrews 13:5).

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

    Let us Pray,

    15 God, who gets invited
        to dinner at your place?
    How do we get on your guest list?

    “Walk straight,
        act right,
            tell the truth.

    3-4 “Don’t hurt your friend,
        don’t blame your neighbor;
            despise the despicable.

    “Keep your word even when it costs you,
        make an honest living,
            never take a bribe.

    “You’ll never get
    if you live like this.”

    [Psalm 15 The Message]


    My Life is Under Pressure, My Faith is Under Pressure, “Even Though My Life is Being Torn,” I Will Make Time for God! James 1:2-4

    James 1:2-4The Message

    Faith Under Pressure

    2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

    The Word of God for the Children of God.

    Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

    God has a way of changing us deeply through various crisis points in our lives.

    But what happens when God strings together a long series of crisis points?

    Eventually the trail of change-points will lead somewhere, like stepping-stones crossing a river – the whole thing is this – the pressure we apply on ourselves of wanting to know where “where” is – where are all of these “crises” taking us to.

    As we come to realizing this, our collection of snapshot crises starts to become an “epic” movie with a story line with more plot twists we can shake a stick at.

    But how does one tell where the story is supposed to be going?

    How does one know where we are being lead to by all of this “story writing?”

    The pressure we place upon ourselves to always “have to know” our destination so we can better prepare ourselves, “packing our suitcases” better for traveling.

    Last Minute Details – one after the other – from every which direction and we have to adjust our lives to it all – ceaseless change – and ceaseless adjustment.

    When our bodies, spirits confronts an experience called a diagnosis of cancer.

    Heart Failure ….

    End of Life Issues ….

    Then something else happens with our jobs, our schooling, our finances –

    Ours, our spouses housing situation changes as our, their, health changes ….

    Then our children give us a phone call …. Illness, finances, marriage issues ….

    And then still try to live a “normal” life ….

    And still make quality time for God …. and Trust God to keep things in our lives in good order, make a space, keep a space, be the space in the “peace of Christ.”

    That’s not easy.

    “My God! My God … Everything in my life is moving too fast for me!”

    Dear God … “Stop the World I Want to Get Off – Right Now!”

    Multi-Tasking is not everyone’s gift.

    Even if it were, repeated multi-tasking over the duration of repeated crises becomes exhausting to our bodies, our minds and our souls – we get tired!

    God assures us that he has plans for our lives, but it can be hard, seemingly impossible to tell from the midst of the storm where those plans might lead.

    Sometimes it would be nice to have a burning-bush episode like Moses had—something concrete to see through the fog of life’s busyness (see Exodus 3).

    Why is it so difficult to determine God’s direction for our lives?

    Sometimes it’s simply because we forget to ask.

    It’s surprisingly easy to charge into the events of a day without bothering to ask God what he wants from us that day.

    Sometimes that can prompt God to allow a minor crisis to pop up as a wake-up call to pull our attention back to him.

    When was the last time you asked God to show you his plans for your day?

    When was the last time we sought out a direction for our lives ….

    When was the last time we simply shout to each and every single crises to do their absolute worst because we know that even when the crisis is catastrophic:

    – God is always going to be at His absolute best-and that will be enough for us?

    How about just “standing still” (Psalm 46:10-11) against the wind shear, all the wild and wilder and wildest winds, shouting, giving God every ounce of Praise?

    How about asking him right now?

    Slap a smile upon your faces ….

    Declare to all ….

    Even though ….

    Even Though My Life is Under Great Pressure, My Faith is Under Even Greater Pressure, Even Though My Life is Being Torn Apart,
    My God Was, My God Is, My God Forever will Remain My God!

    I will Testify ….

    I will make my Testimony ….

    I will shake, rattle and roll the Gates of Heaven ….

    Unto God’s Throne itself ….

    Even though my Life Maybe or Actually is Torn ….

    I will kick down the gates of hell ….


    Psalm 34:1-12The Message

    34 I bless God every chance I get;
    my lungs expand with his praise.

    I live and breathe God;
    if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy:

    Join me in spreading the news;
    together let’s get the word out.

    God met me more than halfway,
    he freed me from my anxious fears.

    Look at him; give him your warmest smile.
    Never hide your feelings from him.

    When I was desperate, I called out,
    and God got me out of a tight spot.

    God’s angel sets up a circle
    of protection around us while we pray.

    Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
        how good God is.
    Blessed are you who run to him.

    Worship God if you want the best;
    worship opens doors to all his goodness.

    10 Young lions on the prowl get hungry,
    but God-seekers are full of God.

    11 Come, children, listen closely;
    I’ll give you a lesson in God worship.

    12 Who out there has a lust for life?
    Can’t wait each day to come upon beauty?

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

    Let us Pray,

    God of truth, Author of my life, Perfecter of my faith, sometimes I not sure if I’m actually hearing your voice, or if it’s just another one of my own cascade of thoughts from within another crisis or confusion 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 that your words to me will never go against your written word in the Bible. Give me a clear mind and push out all my confusion. Let my Testimony be one not of repeated Crisis Control, but of highest praise to You!

    Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

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


    An Attitude Adjustment? How Can We Know ‘Goodness and Mercy Will Follow’ Us When We are Hurting? Psalm 23:6

    Psalm 23Authorized (King James) Version

    Psalm 23

    A Psalm of David.

    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
    he leadeth me beside the still waters.
    He restoreth my soul:
    he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
    thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
    thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
    and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

    The Word of God for the Children of God.

    Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

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

    One of the great hymns of the faith is “Surely Goodness and Mercy.”

    In its verses, this hymn summarizes what is taught in Psalm 23.

    The chorus, of which I’m sure you are familiar, simply quotes verse 6.

    Please read Psalm 23, then sing along with this hymn (at least verse 1):

    A pilgrim was I, and a wandering—In the cold night of sin I did roam

    When Jesus the kind Shepherd found me—And now I am on my way home.

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days, all the days of my life;

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days, all the days of my life.

    If you want to keep singing, then you’ll have to look up the other verse in your hymnal or online, but please wait to do so until after you have finished reading the rest of this devotional.

    Of all the words that David could have used to describe the blessings of God, he chose “goodness and mercy.”

    In this brief study of this Psalm, we have previously talked about our Shepherd providing for us, about restoring our souls, leading us, comforting us, securing us, anointing us with oil, fattening our lives, and overflowing us with blessings.

    David sums all this up as “goodness and mercy.”

    Goodness supplies all of our needs, and mercy saves us from our sin.

    What wondrous blessings our Shepherd has lavished upon us!

    Yet, the focus of this final verse is not on the blessings of goodness and mercy, but on their temporal extent—how long will they last – they will last forever!

    God’s goodness and mercy will follow me “all the days of my life.”

    This means that God is good and merciful when the days are bright and sunny, and when the days are dark and grey.

    God lavishes me with goodness and mercy in the days of feasting and in the days of fasting.

    God shows me goodness and mercy when I am in the prime of life, and when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. 

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life!

    But God’s goodness and mercy are not limited to this life only!

    They will be shown to me “forever!”

    When I pass from this life to the next, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord.”

    I will not be condemned to destruction.

    I will not be made to pay for my sins.

    I will not be isolated from my Lord. I will dwell in His house forever!

    Surely goodness and mercy will follow me, all the days of my eternal life!

    What Does ‘Surely Goodness and Mercy Will Follow Me’ Mean?

    This verse appears in the beginning of Psalm 23:6. 

    “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” 

    King David wrote this Psalm.

    It very eloquently an passionately speaks of the goodness of God.

    One of the rewards of being a Christian is the love that God shows to us.

    He loves all His creation.

    However, submitting to God and accepting Jesus Christ as personal Savior affords us special benefits.

    As Christians, God’s goodness and mercy are available to us even when we miss the mark.

    We have access to Him through Jesus Christ.

    We can ask for forgiveness, and it is like we have a clean slate.

    You will not receive this sort of treatment from man.

    Man keeps a record of our faults and is quick to remind us of who we were.

    Sometimes it is hard to imagine someone just forgetting about all the stuff that you used to do, but that’s God. God sees our worth.

    He sees the brighter picture. 

    Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “I know the plans that I have for you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

    I pray that God will help you to grasp what it means to know that goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life.

    The goodness and mercy of God especially follows you when you are hurting.

    Psalms 34:18 says, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saved such as be of a contrite spirit.”

    Contrite means to show remorse or be filled with guilt.

    You can feel the presence of God draw near to you best when you are in tears.

    That is a comforting feeling.

    Even when no one else wants to listen, God will draw near to you.

    You might say goodness and mercy have not always followed me.

    The Bible says that “in this life you will have tribulation but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

    God’s peace will allow us to remain stable in an unstable world.

    His peace has already overcome the world.

    What is the Context of Psalm 23?

    Most Christians learned Psalm 23 in Sunday School, or your parents made you read it at home until you memorized it.

    In the Kingdom of God, people are often referred to as sheep.

    The church leader or pastor is referred to as the shepherd.

    Here King David uses the imagery of a shepherd to show God’s blessing and protection of His people (The KJV Study Bible, Barbour Publishing, 2011).

    You might ask, why does my pastor care about what I am doing?

    As much as we do not like people in our business, pastors are shepherds.

    Ultimately, God will hold them accountable for how they tended the sheep.

    We are sheep.

    If you go line by line, you realize that since the Lord is your shepherd; you shall not want for anything.

    I have heard some Saints say that they do not want for nothing.

    Think about your life.

    You have everything that you need and many things that you want.

    You have so much stuff until you must give it away annually.

    I know people with some incredible wardrobe closets.

    A lot of people would be happy with just two week’s supply of the clothes in someone else’s closet.

    God gives us what we need and much of what we want.

    When God makes us to lie down in green pastures, that is symbolism for basic needs.

    Verse three says “He restoreth my soul.”

    God restores you when life or the enemy seeks to depress you and worry you about the cares of this life.

    All humans sleep and should wake up refreshed.

    I remember the host of times when I have felt that I had a difficult day, all I would desire to do, is to just go to sleep where ever, when ever convenient.

    When I would awaken, I would feel refreshed and just have a different outlook on things.

    It is a trick of the enemy to make us feel like our situation is the worst that it could be.

    That is why you and I need to discipline ourselves to read the Word of God every single day, pray the Holy Spirit, and find out what God says about the situation.

    God as shepherd also guides us. 

    Psalms 23:4 says “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” 

    We should not be fearful living this life.

    God is our shepherd.

    Many times the wife and I I have driven by the scene of an accident and thought that if we had been five minutes earlier, that could have been us.

    God is going before us and making the crooked places straight (Isaiah 45:2).

    We have been, by measures and degrees ill and perhaps even sometimes close to death, but our ever vigilant God sets his rod and staff, keeps us here on purpose.

    There are twists and turns on this walk called life, but God is always near us.

    Verse five says “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over.”

    I have been in both enlisted in the Navy and an Officer in the Army.

    I have completed both of their Basic Trainings.

    During marches from this point of some place to that far off place called “somewhere else, who knows where,” we sang cadences to keep in step. 

    I have often marched to the song;

    “You dig one ditch, you better dig two.”

    “You never know whose coming for you!”

    Often, your blessing is in the presence of your enemies.

    Everyone is not your friend, and you are a nice person.

    Different people have different motives and intents, but the plan of the Lord prevails (Proverbs 19:21).

    Like a Lion lurking in the brush, the enemy of mankind is wily and persistent- constantly looking to redirect our steps away from where God requires us to be

    It is important to note that if you know the purpose that God has for you, you need to stick with the plan, aware of the plan and let Him work out the kinks.

    You can talk to God about issues and ask Him to fix it.

    Sometimes, I am amazed at what He will do if you just ask Him.

    It is even better when you can hear that He is listening.

    So I try to be careful about what I say and do because I know that He is listening, and we can always on the fact that He will at the most inconvenient of time (for me anyway) “drop a dime” on you and a quarter on me and on those around us.

    God also gives us integrity checks.

    So step up to the test.

    God, your Shepherd is with your every single “pilgrim” step of the way.

    What is God’s Goodness?

    God’s goodness is His love.

    God is love and, God is good.

    Many of us can say that we do not deserve to be here.

    Sometimes people do not want God to have mercy on people that have done some awful things.

    I remember a soul chilling phrase from the movie Chicago when the defendant was asked why she killed someone. She said, “He had it coming.”

    I am still amazed about who God chooses to use.

    He is not calling us up and asking for permission to use certain people.

    God looks at the heart and sees how repentant people are (1 Samuel 16:7).

    His Word says that He is married to the backslider (Jeremiah 3:14).

    When we sin, we must repent.

    God knows that we are not perfect.

    He knows that temptation and trials are all around.

    We must get in the Word so that we have some help for what we face.

    Look to Luke 15:11-32.

    Read about the prodigal son.

    He came in like a spoiled brat and demanded what he thought was his.

    You normally get these things at the reading of the will.

    His still living father gave him his inheritance early.

    The younger son went away, lived his life as he saw fit and best for him and in the midst of all his presumed joy and happiness, things did not go as planned.

    He ended up broke, wishing he could eat any food with the pigs.

    He stood up, took a long accounting of himself in his mirror, returned home, presumably by the longest and the narrowest and the safest paths possible.

    Amazingly, Radically, His father waited at home, treated him well at his return.

    Sometimes, God will allow us to learn, earn our Doctorates in Life, through the “long way around the barn” school of hard knocks, but in His goodness and in His mercy He remains steadfast, waiting at home, stands ready to receive us.

    How Can We Know Goodness and Mercy Will Follow Us Every Day?

    Episode by episode, long experience, David knew God’s record of faithfulness.

    Episode by episode, experience by experience, we too can know God’s record.

    If you have been around for any length of time, you have experienced God’s goodness and his mercy and probably never even fully realized it every day.

    If you need confirmation, become the prodigal son as he turns away from the smells and sights of the pig sties, turns around, determines that at no matter what the cost in time and effort and risk, steels himself, and just goes home.

    Become that prodigal son and on the “journey home” just search the scriptures.

    Look at the scriptures from beginning to end and the many clouds of witnesses.

    Read the stories, as much as humanly possible, pray the scriptures, purposely become the people of the scriptures – become like Abraham, leave it all behind.

    Pick everything up, go to that far off, unknown place where God is sending you.

    Where step after step, meal after meal, day after day, trial after trial, tribulation after tribulation, God is setting up your table of abundance in full sight of every single enemy who will seek to stop you in your tracks from going home to God.

    How long did it take for the prodigal son to finally crest the hill where he finally saw, took a glance of home – the Lord who is our Shepherd, guided every step!

    Along the way, how many fields and meadows and still waters did the prodigal take his rest in, refresh and bathe himself by and long gulps, slaked his thirst.

    Most importantly, look at Jesus who God sent as a sacrifice and atonement for our sins – because ultimately – that prodigal son – made it all the way home.

    Hard steps?

    Absolutely to be expected ….

    Yet by Psalm 23, we must not allow ourselves to give up on the goodness of God.

    Because our Father awaits us at our eternal home ….


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

    Let us Pray,

    Psalm 24 The Message

    24 1-2 God claims Earth and everything in it,
        God claims World and all who live on it.
    He built it on Ocean foundations,
        laid it out on River girders.

    3-4 Who can climb Mount God?
        Who can scale the holy north-face?
    Only the clean-handed,
        only the pure-hearted;
    Men who won’t cheat,
        women who won’t seduce.

    5-6 God is at their side;
        with God’s help they make it.
    This, Jacob, is what happens
        to God-seekers, God-questers.

    Wake up, you sleepyhead city!
    Wake up, you sleepyhead people!
        King-Glory is ready to enter.

    Who is this King-Glory?
        God, armed
        and battle-ready.

    Wake up, you sleepyhead city!
    Wake up, you sleepyhead people!
        King-Glory is ready to enter.

    10 Who is this King-Glory?
        he is King-Glory.

    Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

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