Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Take notice that this passage begins ‘The fruit of the Spirit’ and NOT the fruit ffof the Christian, the reason being that the fruit belongs to God and is for bringing Him glory. The fruit of the Christian is a myth. When the Bible declares in Matthew 7:16 that people will know us (identify us as Christians) by our fruit and that good trees bear good fruit, the reality is that they will know we are followers of Jesus when they see the Holy Spirit and His attributes in operation.

Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.” (John 16:14)

When we receive the Holy Spirit, it’s a package deal – where He goes His fruit goes and it’s consumer-ready from day one WITHOUT law or regulation. The Christian on the other hand is the shipping crate and it’s his duty is to pop the lid off and display this Spiritual produce to God’s glory.

Let us abandon the notion that we’re babes in Christ and that our fruit needs to mature or other such nonsense. The reality is that in ourselves we will never master these qualities, but we have something better in the Holy Spirit. We just get need to get out of His way (die to our selfishness) and allow Him to do what He desires to do. As a result folks will occasionally notice how loving or how patient we are, at which point we will say, “Dude, that’s not me. To God be the glory.”

It’s not the power of the fruit, it’s the Power behind the fruit.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

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Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Christianese 101

What is Christianese?

Simple words like sin, salvation, fellowship, and gospel could be considered Christianese, if the person you’re talking to isn’t familiar with them. A proper definition would be ‘the terms, catchphrases and theological jargon used by some Christians, commonly from Christian theology and influenced by popular translations of the Bible.’ Christianese (which is in itself Christianese) is something that we’re often told to avoid in conversations. We come upon articles like “The Dangers of Christianese,” that encourage us to cease, but should we?

As far as moderate Christianese is concerned, I would disagree that we should stop, as long as our words are applicable to the conversations in which we’re engaged. I am a Christian and I speak the Christian language in an appropriate manner when it is appropriate.  What typically happens next is a conversation develops. If I use a word that a person does not understand, they generally say something like, What does that mean?” and you know what I do? I tell them what it means and the conversation goes deeper. It’s probably what occurs in your conversations too. Oh, and guess what I do if they use a word I don’t understand? That’s right! I ask them what they mean. As a result we’re not only having a conversation, but we’re learning stuff about each other!

Christianese and Discernment

I was being seated in a diner a few years ago and the waitress asked me how I was doing. I responded as I usually do, “I’m blessed more than I deserve.”

DSCN1750The waitress said, “Oh that’s nice, I wish I was.”

She got the gist of what I was saying.  A conversation was blossoming and I couldn’t wait for her to return to the table. As I sat down, my Christian acquaintance rebuked me. “Ya know, David,” he said in his lovely Australian accent, “she didn’t understand a word you said because you’re talking in Christianese.”

I was taken aback. His words made me feel as if I did something horrible.  When the waitress returned I said not a word except to tell her my order.

A lot of water has passed beneath the bridge since that incident and I have learned much. I realize now that my friend was wrong and I was wrong for listening to him; I had forfeited an opportunity to have a wonderful conversation with our waitress. God only knows where it would have gone — I had been given a measure of discernment and direction from the Holy Spirit, and I ignored it. Shame on me for listening to the wrong voice.

The Real Controversy

The real issue has nothing to do with non-Christians not understanding the words that Christians use, in fact it’s quite often the opposite – they do understand, or at the very least they recognize it as Christian jargon and as a result they are offended. They’re offended because they don’t like Jesus and they don’t want to discuss their sin. If they sense that they’re conversing with a Christian, they go on guard immediately. If they cannot suppress our enthusiasm (often with some undelightful language of their own), they will attempt to leave the conversation entirely.

It is here that some well-meaning Christians (at least I’d like to think they’re well-meaning) have determined to come to their aid. Their counsel: stop talking like Christians! In other words, they want us to take that little light of ours and put a basket over it, or better yet, slide it under the bed before we leave the house in the morning. Talk about quenching the Holy Spirit!  (If you don’t know what Quenching the Holy Spirit,” means, click the link).


I wonder why my brothers and sisters in Christ do this? Are they ashamed of Jesus Christ and/or their Christianity? Are they embarrassed that they lack boldness and confidence in their faith? Are they trying to protect a relationship? Have they witnessed an overly aggressive believer in operation and therefore want to solve that problem by silencing all Christians? Are they adhering to some false doctrines of their own which prejudices their reaction to the truth? Are they nominal (or minimal) believers? If you’re a Christianese-squelcher, please tell me why in the comments below.

Whatever their reason…

Don’t Buy the Lie

Friends, please don’t buy into their nonsense. I’m not talking about those who muddle a conversation with complicated phraseology or weighty theology (they need to know their audience). I’m referring to us simple folk who desire nothing more than to talk and act like the new creations that God has made. No, instead of rebuking you, I want to encourage you to continue expressing yourself as a Christian should and to be ready to answer any questions that arise, being sensitive to the reality that folks might not understand a word or a phrase you’re using. Also be sensitive to the fact that a Christian conversation is not a Gospel presentation until God says it is. It is when we attempt to force the latter upon an unwilling audience that we often bruise or become bruised.

He that saith he abideth in Him (Jesus) ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked. 1 John 2:6

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Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? 1 Corinthians 6:9a

Did you know that homosexual perversion (while still a sin), is not nearly as rampant as heterosexual perversion?  It’s true. Drawing upon the data from recent surveys, there are over 8 million adults in the US who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. That’s only 3.5% of the population. That leaves us with a population of over 96% that are heterosexual.  Of those, 75% have had sexual intercourse (outside of marriage) by their late teens!

We’re Not Hurting Anyone

“We’re not hurting anyone,” is an excuse common to both the homosexual and heterosexual camps, but the sad reality is that casual footheterosexual sex has directly contributed to the death of almost 60 million babies in the United States and over 1.3 billion globally. Let that number sink in. 1.3 billion abortions due largely to casual sex between a man and a woman. In steep contrast AIDS has only claimed the lives of 39 million people. It sure makes me wonder if our homo-myopia is yet another satan-fueled diversion. Could it be we’re shooting our own foot?

What’s my point?

Hear me out — I am not defending homosexuality. Heaven forbid. Having said that, homosexuality is a frequent topic of conversation (as it should be), but it should not be so at the cost of all other sin. Chances are the folks sitting next to you in church are not gay (based on the data), but might very well be involved in some type of heterosexual sin that is being largely overlooked in our discussions and our pulpits.

Be not deceived : neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers,nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9b-10

Do you ever wonder how many of the people who rightfully denounce homosexuality are ‘habitually’ viewing pornography or are fornicating outside of marriage? Porn alone will claim 70% of these men. How many of these have slid under the church’s radar, or more accurately, beneath the span of the spotlight we shine on what’s generally perceived to be the more grievous sin? We’d be wise to remember that homosexuality is a sin worthy of discussion, but it’s not the only sin.

The Debate

I’ve heard the arguments and I have even cited them myself: the ‘gay agenda’ is being crammed down our throats. It’s an undeniable truth. Everywhere we turn the culture, the media, and the government are defending, supporting, or creating law in support of homosexuality, thus encouraging sinners to wrongfully proclaim ‘gay is not a sin.’ We stand against this assault because souls are being lost. I get it. I’m merely putting forth there’s a larger picture we should not ignore.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed , but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

Fear Factor

This is going to hurt a little, but I’m going to say it anyway. When it comes to social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and social interaction in general, we’re afraid of our heterosexual friends. By that I mean we don’t want to make them angry, nor do we want to lose any of them. We may only have a few gay friends and/or family members, but we have a gazillion sexually active hetero friends and family, and we do not want to further alienate them.

You might not like it, but hatred of this kind is inevitable. You can espouse your love for them until you’re blue in the face, but at the end of the day most sinners will choose their sin over your suspect love or friendship.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Matthew 10:22

What Are the Options?

In an attempt to thwart Bible prophecy, some Christians have determined that they won’t talk about any sin, at any time, with anybody (aka: Joel Osteenism). I submit to you that is not a viable option for a follower of Jesus Christ. We’re called to share the Gospel message and its foundational principle: all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. In other words, we cannot ignore the issue of sin, but we’re to approach the sinner in a loving and Biblical way.

Judge Not

The Bible makes reference to three kinds of judgements and encourages the followers of Jesus Christ to actively participate in two of those three. The third type, judging unto condemnation is forbidden — God alone makes that final determination. The other two are:

  1. Judging for the purpose of identification.
  2. Judging for the purpose of restoration.

An example of the first sort might be ‘determining that a person is highly intoxicated,’ and based on the situation concluding that the wisest option is to walk away.  An example of the second type is similar, but in addition to making the identification we see an open door to assist (restore) that person.

Christians are called to identify (judge) sin, and then by means of the Holy Spirit discern if we can act on God’s behalf to restore such a one. Sin is very often the leaping off point by which we deliver the Gospel message, but if we’re primarily focused on just one sin, we’re inevitably going to miss a slew of other closeted-folks who need a little light shined in their direction in order that they might know the full grace of God this side of Heaven.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20a

Are You Going to Heaven?

My blog is primarily intended for a Christian audience, but I realize that on occasion non-believers happen upon it. It’s for those folks I’d like to give an opportunity to know and follow Jesus Christ. Please click this link to learn more.

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“[T]he natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

UNLESS you’re talking to an unsaved soul about salvation (i.e., sin, its consequences, and deliverance brought about by faith in Christ), in most cases it is a frustrating waste of time discussing other unrelated Biblical doctrine. How so? Because the Bible explicitly says that it’s only natural for people ‘void of the Holy Spirit’ to perceive these things as foolishness.

HSHOWEVER, as it pertains to salvation, the Holy Spirit will come along side a person to give them understanding as per their sinful condition and NEED for a Savior.

I SUSPECT that there is somebody, somewhere who came to Christ Jesus after being won over in a debate about Creation or Jonah or Noah, but they’re a unique exception to the rule and I could probably argue that someone else planted and nurtured ‘salvation’ seeds before you came on the scene.

FOR THIS REASON, focus on the Gospel and the message of Salvation through Christ alone. And if your listener wants to debate these other issues, tell them the truth – hand them your Bible and let them read aloud 1 Corinthians 2:14. Then explain to them that no mathematician ever started with trigonometry or calculus, but with basic arithmetic.

The ROMANS ROAD is an excellent Biblical method to explain salvation to a person. As your listener reads each short Bible passage, the Holy Spirit is there to bear light and give understanding. Oh that’s not to say that they might reject or deny the truth, but they will (at least briefly) understand these words as the truth before dismissing them. From this point forward, this seed you plant will either blossom in redemptive glory or grow to haunt them the rest of their lives.

HERE is the Romans Road. Simply highlight the passages in your Bible and get in the habit of having easy access to it all of the time. There’s really not much to memorize – God has done all the work for you! Number the passages and move from one to the next, letting them read the verses. Go through the text asking pointed questions. For example when they read Romans 3:23

For all have sinned , and come short of the glory of God,”

Ask them, “What does the word all mean,” or “What does it mean to fall short?” Don’t forget to mention the Law and how God uses it to show us our sin and need for salvation. With the Holy Spirit present, there’s a great possibility (especially if you got them reading from the Bible), that the conversation will miraculously flow in the direction the Lord desires.

REMEMBER, stay on point. Salvation is the critical issue we want to discuss, everything else will likely just be a distraction. Get in the habit of reeling your audience in, preventing them from taking the discussion down a rabbit trail. In most cases, these are nothing more than premeditated diversions that the listener employees to control the conversation and avoid looking at their own sin. Be a polite listener yourself, but remind them these are weighty issues (recall the math illustration) and one does not commence to undertake them on a collegiate level.

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“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive , because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18)

This verse explains (among other things) why, when we share the Gospel, the message we present must be kept simple. Going too far beyond, “You’re a sinner and Jesus died for your sins,” and the Bible verses needed to support the doctrine, typically only serves to muddy the waters. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that if you stray too far and too often from the Good News message, your non-believing audience will deem your words as folly.

That’s not merely an opinion — it’s the Bible.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

It’s not that the unsaved soul is simple-minded, but rather, they are natural-minded. Frankly, we’re spinning our wheels when we begin to expound upon deeper theologies and heavier doctrines before the listener has understood and received the fundamentals of the faith. It’s akin to teaching algebra (or geometry, physics, or calculus), before the student comprehends basic math; these weighty subjects are foolishness to the student who cannot yet add or subtract whole numbers.

I like how Pastor Lloyd Pulley puts it. “A hundred gallons of water,” he explains wateris very heavy — almost a thousand pounds! Imagine trying to carry that weight on your head. You can’t. It’s just too heavy. But when you’re fully submersed in water, that same amount of water is nothing to bear. It’s the same way with the things of God — unless we are fully immersed, the notion of bearing such weight is foolish. Like fish out of water, we cannot yet bear the weight of heftier matters. Full immersion; us in God and God in us is the answer.

It’s Not My Fault

What about Jonah and the whale?

How many of us already know the importance of keeping the Gospel message simple, but get dragged into these weightier discussions by the listener, or a bystander? It seems to occur almost every time we begin to share! We’re going along nicely, “And John 3:16 says…” (or something to that effect) and someone interrupts, “But what about contradictions in the Bible, ” or, “What about Jonah and the whale,” or some other issue that takes both listener and teacher down a rabbit trail.

In the same way an elementary-school teacher would reel-in one of her students who wants to distract the rest of the class, it’s your job to bring the discussion back to basics. If you cannot get your listener back, it just might be a sign from the Lord that perhaps you should ‘dismiss the class’ and move on. Failure to do so will just lead to more rabbit trails, confusion, and probably frustration on your part. Often times this where we get into arguments. Reel it in or cut if off — we never want to argue.

Reeling It In

In this regard I believe honesty is the best policy. Explain to the person how you would love the opportunity to explore any and all Bible doctrine with them, but they need to understand and receive God’s grace and plan for salvation before these other matters will make any sense. Be firm and loving and stick to the Good News. The Holy Spirit needs to be in them in order to grasp these other things of God, and at this particular point in time, the Holy Spirit has only come alongside them so that they might understand the Gospel.

How to Share the Gospel Simply

Are you going to Heaven?”

There are many ways to deliver the Gospel message, but I believe there is no better (and simpler) way than using the Bible and the Roman’s Road method. Start with your Bible and a highlighter and mark the following passages:

I like to start a conversation off with, “Hey, can I ask you a question…are you going to Heaven?”

Many conversations stop right there, but most do not. The reality is that most people, if they’re not busy, like to talk. How they answer the initial question will guide how the rest of the conversation goes. If they say yes, ask them why. If they say no, ask them why. If they say they don’t believe in Heaven, ask them why not. Eventually (be a good listener — there’s no rush), use the Ten Commandments as a road sign to point them to the truth: they are a sinner. This is the precise intersection where we pick up the Roman’s Road!

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Go directly to the highlighted portion of your Bible and tell them to read it aloud, asking, “What does that mean?” trusting the Holy Spirit (which has come along side them) to give them understanding. I have never had anyone tell me anything other then, “It means all have sinned and fallen short of God,” or something similar. I might ask them to elaborate, “What does it mean to fall short of God,” and eventually they come around to the issue of separation. Occasionally someone will say, “I dunno,” but I just have them read it again until it clicks. And click it will.

At this point one of two things will happen: the Holy Spirit will convict them of their sin and you’ll be able to move onto the next Bible verse or the Holy Spirit will convict them of their sin and they will attempt to end the conversation. You can lovingly try to re-engage them. If they’re adamant about leaving, let them go, but know this: you have done well. You may not have gotten to the Good News portion of the Good News message, but you planted the most important seed: the seed of conviction. Your listener will never be the same again. Trust that the Lord will send another to ‘tend’ that seed; a waterer, a fertilizer-er, and eventually a harvester. You never know, He might send YOU back to do all those things!

The remaining portions of the Roman’s Road method is self explanatory. Read over each passage and as you highlight, formulate in your mind (and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit) how you would easily move from one to the next. I actually wrote in the margins of my Bible where the next step was so I could quickly find it. Remember, the convicted soul is likely feeling very uneasy and may attempt to hijack the conversation with obscure questions in an attempt to stump you and throw you off your game. See these distractions for what they are and don’t allow them. Be focused and stick to your simple Gospel presentation. The Holy Spirit is on your side, inside and out.

Finally, remember this is all a work of God. He has provided all the components towards salvation — the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the script. We’re just willing vessels having made ourselves available to Him and for Him. The results are entirely up to God. It’s His plan and He’s responsible for it. We don’t need to fret about our presentations and appearances, we just need to show up ready on game day.

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;reprove , rebuke , exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2


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“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” (Matthew 5:13)

How many sermons on salt have you heard?

Me too.

Frankly, I’m a little salted-out. What really salts my wounds is when the sermon-ator gets all caught up in his saliferous illustration and dismisses all other analogies as savor-less stepchildren.

saltI found a solution! 

Lets call it a “Make-Your-Own-Sermon” kit. From the list below select a singular salty trait and meditate on it. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind the briny, and of course Bible-ly similarities. For example, take the first word from the list below and ponder the ‘preserving’ aspects of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. To complete the exercise, discover (or rediscover) a portion of Scripture using the concordance in the back of your Bible, an online Bible search tool, or Google inquiry that will enhance and support your supposition.

Preserves ~ Purifies ~ Flavors ~ Heals ~ Penetrates ~ Melt Ice ~ Gives Traction  
Trans-cultural ~ Works in All Temperatures ~ Unbiased ~ Stimulates Hunger
Quietly Works ~ Cleanses ~ Lingers ~ Promotes Thirst ~ Provokes Interest
Necessary for Life ~ Readily Available and Usable ~ Inexpensive ~ Valuable
Gives Identity ~ Absorbs Moisture ~ Irritates ~ Does Not Go Bad (ever)
Misunderstood ~ White ~ Pure ~ Set a Part (Holy) ~  Created by God

Let’s remember that individually and corporately, the church is likened to common salt. Since salt does not rot and Christians cannot be plucked from God’s hand, they share eternal qualities. The only way salt (or a saint) can lose its flavor is if it’s polluted; that is to say watered-down. Think about that as you meander the narrow road of faith.  Are you picking up contaminates along the way? Are you keeping your flavor Holy? When you share the Word of God, are you adding to Scripture things that dilute and weaken the message?

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. Revelation 22:18-19

We have been entrusted and blessed with a priceless commodity. Let us be mindful to protect it and share it liberally.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” (Matthew 5:13)


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Look upon me and be merciful to me, As Your custom is toward those who love Your name. Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from the oppression of man, That I may keep Your precepts. Psalm 119:132-134

When Unforgiveness is a Good Thing

mvLet me be clear about one thing – being an unforgiving person is not a good thing, it’s a bad thing. However, it’s a bad thing from which we can discover a couple or three good things. What redeeming trait can come from evil, you ask? First, the recognition that you might be merciless. Are you a Christian who hates Michael Vick for what he did to animals?


We can fix that.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15

Of course when I say ‘we’ I mean Jesus. Did your read the Bible passage above? Jesus said it and He wasn’t just waxing poetic; He was laying down doctrine for believers to learn and employ. There’s no getting around Christ’s instructions to His church; there’s either obedience or disobedience.

But it’s hard!

If you think the Christian walk is hard, you’re not doing it correctly. More accurately, you’re probably walking out your Christian faith in your flesh rather than the Spirit (click on those terms if you’re not familiar with them). Believe it or not, this is a good thing too! It’s good because you just recognized why you can’t forgive Michael Vick and why your walk with Jesus seems difficult at times! Jesus said that His teachings are easy and that the burdens we are to carry are light. Was He lying to us? Of course not! Jesus set into motion a practical way by which the children of God can easily identify a hitch in their giddy-up.

Still not seeing it?


Do you know what that means? Your flesh, or more precisely, your fleshy heart, is hindering you.

Consider this truth:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10

The heart, that emotionally driven component of our flesh, is deceptive, but emotions in themselves are not evil. They are the God-given vehicles that bring us to places of decision. Sadness, anger, happiness, they all eventually lead to a choice, but what choice? In the teachings of Jesus, we have been given the right responses for every circumstance, but left to ourselves we have sin. It really is just that simple. The Christian must recognize that only God effectively searches the heart and tests the mind, otherwise our emotional paths will misguide us. Hopefully it’s clear by now: Christian folks who harbor hatred towards Michael Vick are being driven by their emotions rather than Jesus.

But I’m Not a Christian!


Let’s fix that! Hatred and sin eat people alive, and ultimately destroy, but thankfully there is a cure: salvation found in Christ Jesus. God the Father is the Mastermind behind absolute forgiveness! Through His Son Jesus He provided a way by which all humanity can be saved.

Are you human?

Good, than you qualify.

The Bible teaches the following: all mankind has sinned (Romans 3:23) and that sin separates us from God.  The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. God demonstrated His love toward us while we were still sinners, by sending Christ to die and pay the penalty of our sin (Romans 5:8).  If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). If you believe by faith, you have been justified through faith, and have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1 ). There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

You can pray right now to acknowledge and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The prayer does not save you; Jesus saves you. Believe that by faith.


“God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. With your help, I place my trust in You for salvation. Help me to die to my flesh each day and to walk in Your ways. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness – the gift of eternal life! Amen!”

It’s time to let hatred and unforgiveness go. It has been reported that Michael Vick is a Christian. If this is true (and I have no reason to believe otherwise), then Jesus has already forgiven him, so it’s time you did too. Do you want to know something else? It doesn’t matter if Michael Vick is a Christian or not; our Lord’s directive to the church was to forgive all men, not just Christian men.

Let hatred go

“I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God.” Exodus 6:6b-7a

Did you pray to receive Jesus today? Please leave a comment below and let me know. I’d like to help you get moving in the right direction.

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Did you read the story about Natalie Grant walking out on the Grammy Awards?  I didn’t watch the program, but apparently it was so filthy and demonic, Natalie upped and left, tweeting,

“We left the Grammy’s early. I’ve many ngthoughts, most of which are probably better left inside my head. But I’ll say this: I’ve never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I’ve never been more sure of the path I’ve chosen.”

Was it Katy Perry‘s performance replete with satanic imagery and witchcraft that caused Natalie to bail? Was it Queen Latifah (aka: Dana Elaine Owens) officiating over a mass homosexual wedding to Macklemore (aka: Ben Haggerty) & Ryan Lewis‘s pro-gay marriage anthem ‘Same Love?’ Or could it have been  Beyonce‘s (aka: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter) disgusting dance to open the program?

I suspect it was none of those things, but rather it was the result of her submission and obedience to the Holy Spirit. I’d like to speak with her directly to get her testimony regarding the incident, but it’s my sense that the Holy Spirit was directing her to not attend the award show at all that evening. Of course (and if in fact my hunch is correct), she disobeyed and decided to go anyway. I’m not condemning her for that, but only using it to highlight the fact that in due time, she listened to the Lord’s directive and walked out.

Bravo, Natalie, bravo!

I applaud her obedience. This Bible passage came to mind:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2)

What Really Happened?

I submit to you that what Natalie did is a picture of revival. If you’re not sure what revival is, I like this definition:

Revival refers to a spiritual reawakening from a state of dormancy or stagnation in the life of a believer. It encompasses the resurfacing of a love for God, an appreciation of God’s holiness, a passion for His Word and His church, a convicting awareness of personal and corporate sin, a spirit of humility, and a desire for repentance and growth in righteousness. Revival invigorates and sometimes deepens a believer’s faith, opening his or her eyes to the truth in a fresh, new way. It generally involves the connotation of a fresh start with a clean slate, marking a new beginning of a life lived in obedience to God. Revival breaks the charm and power of the world, which blinds the eyes of men, and generates both the will and power to live in the world but not of the world. (Taken from GotQuestions.org)

Revival is initiated by the Holy Spirit. In other words, it’s not something we can work-up within ourselves. God, through His Spirit guides, instructs, and empowers. Individually it occurs when the believer first recognizes God’s voice, and then decides to submit to His will and obey His directives. I for one believe this is what occurred with Natalie; I doubt she was led by her flesh to leave the show [because] her flesh would likely have told her that the choice could greatly damage her career. She disobeyed her flesh and obeyed the Lord — the first step toward revival.

The question is not whether or not Natalie will keep on walking (I pray she does), but rather if you are willing to take the first step of revival, with the resolve to stay revived in and with the Spirit of God.

Did you walkout on the Grammys?

If you didn’t, you still might be in the world, and therefore not revived. Does that make you sad?

I pray that it does.

“For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:8-10)

I feel confident in telling you, my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, that the Lord, by means of His Holy Spirit and His Word the Bible, is telling you it’s time to walk away from all those things that are attractive to your flesh. He’s been telling you all along, but you have been tuning Him out. You know this is true.

Jesus knows you cannot achieve this on your own, which is why He has given you the power to do this! The evidence of your personal revival is going to be a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit which will manifest itself in your changed life.

But it’s hard!

Jesus said it isn’t.

“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

Jesus cannot lie. If it’s hard, let me tell you what’s going on — it’s a sign that you are being driven by your flesh and that you need to switch drivers. Praise the Lord that He has given us a method whereby we can easily identify the problem. It is when a Christian allows himself to be led by the Holy Spirit that the words of Jesus spring to life and His truth is experienced.

The Bible tells us the works of the flesh are evident.

“…Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

Saint, you need to know if your watching these things on TV or the computer, God has said you’re an accessory to the crime — look it up; it’s in Romans 1. The good news is that the Holy Spirit has given you the power to walk away and when you submit and obey the Spirit, it will be easy and the load will be light. It’s a promise of God!

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (Galatians 5:16-18)

Be revived

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Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20 

I saw this tweet today:

sssIn case you were unaware, Mohamed Elibiary is an associate, supporter, and sympathizer (and some say member) of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is also a Department of Homeland Security adviser under President Barack Hussein Obama. He has since changed his Twitter profile photo, but it used to feature a ‘Rabia sign,’ a yellow square with a black, four-finger salute and ‘R4BIA’ in the lower corner; a symbol adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood.


As a Christian first, and an American second, I am appalled. I am also very concerned over this partial list of Islamist folks, who having varying degrees of association with the Muslim Brotherhood, have infiltrated the United States government at high levels. How many are there in lower positions throughout the government? Of course this raises the question, “Should Christians be concerned with these governmental things or should we maintain a hyper-Spiritual C’est la vie attitude towards it all?

I would ask you to consider the Matthew 17:20 Bible passage once again:

“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Christians should understand the symbolism here: ‘mountains’ in typology are kings and/or kingdoms (or presidents and/or governments), not literal mountains, unless the context speaks directly to a literal interpretation (see also: Psalm 30:7Isaiah 2:2; and Revelation 17:9-11).

Is Jesus suggesting that we can move or re-move governments and leaders through faith?

I believe that’s exactly what He is saying.

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

So while our primary focus should be submission to Christ Jesus for the purpose of winning souls for Christ Jesus, we are also motivated to do, as the Holy Spirit leads, those faith-filled things that promote the Kingdom of God rather than the kingdom of man. What are these things? I submit to you that we must be in constant contact, through prayer, with our Father in Heaven and move as His Holy Spirit leads. For me, at this moment, it meant to post this blog today. I do not know what tomorrow holds, despite its bleak appearance.

It starts with prayer

As a nation, it’s quite clear we’re playing catch-up; we have allowed this country to sink so low, many believe that it is a lost cause and God’s furious wrath is inevitable. Be that as it may, I pray for our president and government officials daily and I encourage you to do the same. Nowhere in the Bible are we instructed to give up. If you find praying for our leaders a difficult task, I would remind you that Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light. If praying for your leaders is hard for you, it’s likely a good indication that you are operating in your flesh and not His Spirit. I say this not to mock you, but to admonish you – the Holy Spirit has identified something within you that needs to be changed, so humble yourself and submit to God.

Are you going to Heaven?

Click here to find out.

Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ” Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. Psalm 2

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“Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; Incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, To which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.” (Psalm 71:2-4)

meI came across this picture today. Well not this exact image. I altered it and reposted the new photo here. The original was just a black and white photograph of the president with the added Bible passage down the right side. I later superimposed my image over Mr. Obama‘s.

I had to.

Admittedly, when I first saw (and read) the unaltered picture, my first thought was, “Yeah! That shoe fits him very well!” I easily surmised that he was in fact guilty. But then the Holy Spirit chimed in. “Dave,” the Father said inaudibly, “That shoe fits you very well, too.”


I didn’t want to hear that, but the bell had been rung and I could not un-ring it. Because I had reacted the way I had, I felt compelled by the same Spirit to slap my ugly mug over the president’s kisser. The Lord knows that this feat was in no way an endorsement of the president’s practices and policies, but rather an indictment against my own. Arguably, the president’s actions are more grievous and far-reaching, but that does not negate the abominable things I have pulled off through the years.

Who is the Cruel Man?

As God would have it, Psalm 71 was part of my Bible reading this morning. With the above image still fresh in my mind I read, “Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man,” and I quickly deduced that I was the cruel man. I say that not to discount the reality of satan, or his minions, or the enemies of Christ Jesus, for they also fit the bill, but rather to recognize that I am my own worst enemy. For this reason I believe the Apostle Paul penned these words:

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Romans 7:18-19

It’s for this cause we are to reckon our own flesh dead.

Defending the President

Please hear me on this: I am not defending the president. However, neither am I saying that we cannot judge the reprehensible words or actions of another person. That’s an unbiblical doctrine as well. If I could proffer a quick tutorial on judging others, there are three kinds: Judging unto condemnation, judging to identify, and judging to restore. The first is not allowed, but the last two are. If you don’t agree, please leave your (kind) comments below and we’ll discuss.

What I am merely pointing out is that although sin is rampant, when we recognize transgression in others, we better be prepared for the Holy Spirit to point out ours. Having said that (and this is so very important), by the finished work of Jesus upon the cross, Christians are forgiven; our sins have been washed away by the blood of the Messiah and they are remembered no more. When the Holy Spirit convicted me this morning (in regard to the president’s picture), it was not over my former sin, but because I was waxing condemningly, as there was (for a brief moment) not a restorative thought in my heart or soul. I was quickly reminded that my offensives of yore were just as much an abomination to the Father, and Jesus restored and redeemed me.

So can we judge the actions (or inaction) of the president, or anyone else for that matter? Yes, if it is for the purpose to identify sin and then (hopefully) to restore the transgressor through prayer and obedience to the directives of God’s Holy Spirit. At the same time, merely turning the spotlight on another sinner is grossly insufficient and borders on condemnation.  Don’t be afraid to flick on that light, but neither be afraid to step out from behind it to help a soul to his feet. This is the will of God.

Please continue to pray for the president and for our nation.

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

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