Sufficient grace

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh…”

We are plainly taught how mistaken we are when we set eminent saints upon a platform by themselves, as though they were some kind of superhuman beings or even angels.

Paul enjoyed more revelations than we do or at least more than we should let others know about,  but then he also had a thorn in the flesh. He was a good man, but he was only a man. And, as men sometimes do, he was subject to the lure of the sin of pride itself. Pride in your children is not a bad thing, nor is being proud of your heritage, but the things which Paul had seen in the Spirit and in his walk with the Lord, he might have elevated himself higher than he should if he were to think much about the revelations that were given to him.

In his prayers, Paul asked the Lord to remove this thorn from his flesh. He did this at least three times as recorded here, yet the Lord said, No. My grace is sufficient for you. So, you see sometimes our infirmities may be brought on by Satan but allowed to stay by God. Why? Because when your joints hurt and it is hard to get up and walk or maybe you can’t balance yourself very well, then you need to depend upon God and His grace toward you so that He will get the glory in your weakness by giving you the strength to endure this trial.

In verse 9, Paul says that he would rather boast in his weakness and infirmities that the power of Christ may be manifest in him.

Leaning on God or on Jesus daily is what God was always speaking of when He told the Jewish people time and time again that He was their portion or that He would sustain them. Even in the wilderness, they got tired of the manna yet they ate it because they needed something to eat. He provided water for all of the people and their animals in the desert, even where there was no river or spring to draw from. God has always provided, yet people tend to rely on themselves more than they do on Him. Even when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, God provided the substitute for him in the form of a goat.

We are meant to walk with Him every day. That doesn’t mean that you have to be reading your Bible all of the time or even be in prayer all of the time. But, to walk in the spirit of worship regardless of where you may find yourself or in what situation, this is what Jesus meant when He told the disciples to take up your cross and follow Me. Your cross is your spiritual worship of Him everywhere you are, not just in church or Bible study.

Even when we do walk with Him daily, don’t fall prey to the sin of pride like the Pharisee did while praying. He was proud in his prayer: The Pharisee was standing alone by himself and he was praying these things: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men: extortioners, oppressors, adulterers, and not like this Tax Collector.”  We must be careful not to allow pride to raise us to a place above others because we don’t deserve it, especially concerning our faith in Jesus.

Paul’s thorn was a blessing as well as a messenger of Satan because it drove him to his knees in prayer. Anytime that we are on our knees in prayer before God we can stand before anyone or anything! God honors our prayers and He hears them, whether He answers them right away or not is His prerogative because He is God!

Do we look to Him for our strength today and every day or do we just say so because it makes us look more like a Christian in the eyes of others? Remember, there are many people who claim to be a Christian but there are fewer people who actually worship God and live their lives in accordance with His Word. Even when they do this, they don’t brag about it, they just walk through their day and their lives the way that they always have since Christ entered their life. Sometimes you can spot them and other times you may not be able to pick them out. Striving to be more like Jesus is a life of living one foot in front of the other. Every second of each day is expectant of His return for us because it could be at any time.

Is it possible to live with the grace of God giving us our daily bread and following Him like He will be appearing just any day? Yes, it is! Because whether we are ready for it or not, He will appear and call us home one day. Then the world will mourn and rejoice in the same day! Rejoice because all of those “intolerant Christians are gone” and those who are mourning will be the ones who attended services and knew about His return one day but like the virgins who needed more oil…they weren’t ready when He did show up.

The glorious gospel of Jesus!

The glorious gospel of Jesus the Christ is all that you need. Our world and the young people in it don’t need to be preached self-help courses masquerading as topical sermon series.

The church needs to be…the Church that Jesus and His disciples began in that first century. Reaching out to those who are lost, reaching out to those who don’t attend church for whatever reason it might be. Don’t try to make them or your congregation into people who fit into a doctrine or some mold that someone dreamed up when they met with others who wanted to give their brand of religion a code to live by!

That is NOT what Jesus taught! He taught that we are saved by faith alone in Him and through Him, we are justified and sanctified! No amount of communion services or crackers and wine/grape juice will ever save anyone, but their belief in Jesus and the sacrifice which He paid for us on that cross does save and sanctify each and every one who believes in Him!

It is true that this sort of a sermon may not be very popular, but it is the truth. People under forty don’t need to be pampered with coffee or told that they are the next generation to lead the church, they already know that! God needs them to carry on with the message, His message of love and compassion and salvation. It doesn’t take a light show or a bunch of slides to bring the message across, just preach from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit will do the rest!

Will the church be flooded with people clamoring to get in and hear the message? NO, they won’t at least not at first, but they will come. Put your sermon on the Internet in written form and recordings if possible so more people can hear it or read it because it is needed in the world. Your ideas and your way of teaching may get people’s attention, but God’s Word and His Wisdom is what they truly need and no amount of flowering it up and putting more flamboyant shows which pass as a sermon team approach will make it any more appealing to young or old.

If the Truth of God’s Word is preached, even without the flash and bang of music and lights, the hearts of those in your audience who are longing for God and looking for Jesus will respond to His Word. God does love each of us far deeper and more intensely than we can stand or even imagine, and yet much of the world doesn’t want to hear it regardless of how you jazz it up or change it so that it is more like a pep talk.

If it is the Word being preached, even if you try to disguise it, it will still shine through and those who recognize it as God’s Word may not like what they hear. But…God will get the glory and He will draw those in the audience to Him whether they do it today or next week because He knows how long they have to live but they don’t.

None of us know whether tomorrow is going to bless our eyes when we wake up or if we open our eyes in the throne room of Glory! Make sure where your heart is before your day is through because that uneasy feeling may not let you sleep much tonight if you don’t.

Be ready, look up!

Look up…

When the trumpet of God sounds, what will you be doing? Are you working for His Kingdom or just working to pay your bills? Well…it depends on what time of day that He blows the trumpet. If it is in the night, most of the world or at least half of it will be asleep. If it is the early morning, like right after sunrise, then many will be getting up and preparing for the day to come. Whether it is getting ready for school or work, that is what they will be doing, regardless of their age.

What about the people who don’t know Jesus yet? Truthfully, they will be doing mostly the same things that we are, except some of us will be reading God’s Word and doing our daily Bible study, if we are in the habit of doing that. It is a shame that many Christians miss out on the freshness of God’s Word in the morning simply by NOT studying His Word before going to school or work. Why do I say this? Because reading and praying for God to reveal His wisdom for you from His Word is just a good way of starting the day off on the right foot.

Are we commanded to do so? Well, no, God doesn’t tell us that it is a commandment but He did say “Meditate on the Scriptures day and night”; so in a way, He did say that we should read His Word daily. Whether we choose to do it in the early morning or in the afternoon or evening is our choice, but it would get the day started better if you would begin your day by being in His Word.

God loves us beyond our measure and yet we don’t usually seek Him out until something is wrong or something is going wrong in our lives. Many people seem to be brought up with that sense of not needing God until ?. It isn’t good for us to try to live our lives daily, let alone throughout the year, without Him as part of our lives. What good does that do you?

Your Father in Heaven is the Creator and if you don’t want anything to do with Him don’t you believe that hurts His feelings? I know there are some who don’t believe in God or Jesus or a Creator and that is fine, but it is foolish. Our universe did not just create itself and it didn’t organize itself without God’s hand guiding it to be what He intended it to be and to do His will.

On that day when the trumpet sounds, will it be audible for all to hear or will it be audible for only those who have given their hearts to Jesus? Honestly, I have no idea! It could be the loudest trumpet blast in history or it may be only audible to the ears of those who have been waiting for it eagerly. Either way, it is going to happen soon and by that, I mean within my lifetime.

So, look up expecting to hear or see something beyond amazing but also terrifying. Why? Because, if you see it happen or hear it and you are not part of it, then you will need to seek out God fast! Because the world is going to go into a tailspin and there will be a delusion, sent to the Earth, which will allow people to believe the lie that they will be told about what happened. This is what the Bible speaks of in 1 Thessalonians 4, about being taken up in a moment: 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This is the rapture of the Church, of those who believed in Jesus and His message. No matter the denomination, those who have truly believed and have been changed by the Holy Spirit will be taken up into Heaven, changed into our immortal bodies and be with Him forever. Jesus told the thief this while they were on their crosses before Jesus said: “It is finished.” He said, “Today, you will be with Me in Paradise”. No waiting for the end of the age when all will be awakened to their punishment or their reward,  and when you die you will be taken from your body to be judged to receive your reward or your punishment.

Make sure of which one it will be while in this life, because after death there will be no second chances.

Who is driving?

Have you ever seen those bumper stickers which say something like this: Jesus is my co-pilot? Do you realize what that even means? In a Christian’s life, Jesus is not supposed to be the co-pilot, He is supposed to be THE Pilot! The problem is that we have a very hard time when it comes to giving God or Jesus control over every area of our life. Most of us walk around or drive around with a prayer on our minds or maybe a Bible verse on a sticky note on the console to remind us that we are supposed to be like Jesus.

WalkingwithJesusThe problem with that is that God is not and doesn’t want to be your second, He wants to be first in all that you are and in everything that you do, no matter how small you think it might be. Our lives are small compared to the majesty and glory of our sinless God, but He wants to be part of your daily life, not just someone that you call on in a time of crisis. God loves you deeply or He wouldn’t have given His Son’s life for you and every person on Earth! While it is true that Jesus didn’t stay dead, thankfully, the shedding of His blood was part of the sacrifice which had to be given in order to bring salvation to all who will believe in Him!

No, God doesn’t want to be your co-pilot, He wants to be the driver of your everyday life. Yet, many people stick Him in a place which only gives us a little taste of being a Christian. We visit Him in church on Sunday and Wednesday nights, but we leave Him in the church when we leave. We take a memory of Him with us on the way to work on Monday, but by Thursday we have forgotten that He is there anyway.

We should ride along with Him each day, no matter what may be going on in our lives. He came to the Garden and walked with Adam every day, Adam could probably see His feet in the grass or see His back as they walked along. Could we have that kind of relationship with God? I don’t think we will see any part of Him until we meet Him face to face in Heaven, but I am looking forward to it.

Why do I bring this type of walk with our Lord up now? Because I don’t think that this type of relationship is being taught in Sunday school. God does want a relationship with us that is much more than a once or twice a week visit. He wants to be a part of your life and mine every single day, from the time you wake up until you go to sleep at night. Some people may find this weird, but ever since I accepted the calling of being a preacher I have tried to live my life with Him in it every day. Some days I fail at it pretty badly and some days it goes along pretty smoothly.

The only person Who ever walked with Him perfectly was Jesus, so we are not expected to be perfect just strive toward that goal. Will you fall down or fail at this? Yes, it is very likely but He will help you up and then you can begin again. You don’t lose your salvation just because you trip and fall or give over to a temptation which comes your way. God is not going to kick you out just because you tripped up today or last week because He loves you!

Be not conformed to this world

Why not, you might ask?

All of the wonders of this world are ours to enjoy, so why should I just ignore them? Because, if you have given your life to Jesus then you are not part of this world. You belong to Him. But, Jesus did not say that we couldn’t enjoy the world with all of its wondrous beauty. He meant for us to stay away from the worldly pleasures of drinking and using drugs and the sin that those can lead you into.

LoveOfChristBe not conformed to this world is an admonishment against following the crowd and doing what everyone else seems to be doing. Walk your path through life with Jesus by your side and realize that once you have given your heart to Him, He is always near you regardless of where you go. Jesus is the potter and we are the clay and we are to allow Him to mold us and make us into an image which closely resembles Him in almost all respects.

Why should you follow Him this closely? Because He died to save your soul and if you truly are a Christian you will want to be near Him and take Him everywhere with you. He died in order that you might be set free from sin and its deception in this life and to give you access to an eternal life which we cannot imagine or comprehend from where we are now. There have been a few people who have been blessed with visions or even a spiritual trip to Heaven for a little while and when they come back to finish their life here…they can’t explain nor describe the colors or sounds that they heard and saw there!

I think the little boy, who died for a few minutes in the book Heaven is Real, saw the people in his family so that he could come back and tell us that our life up in Heaven will be unbelievable to people here unless we can make sense out of Heaven. He did make sense of it because Jesus wanted him to know and be able to give hope to people when he came back.

God loves you so deeply that He sent Jesus to die for your sins and everyone else’s sins too. He may not call every person on the planet to get to know Him, but He loves you just the same. If you diligently and earnestly seek Him in the Bible and by prayer, I don’t believe that God would refuse your prayer of repentance and request to allow Jesus into your heart and life.

Does God know which of us will ask Jesus into their heart? I am sure He does or He isn’t God! Does He know which of us will actually accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior? Yes, again if He doesn’t know that, then HE isn’t God! God doesn’t say that He will refuse you when you pray earnestly and mean every word of your prayer. But, if you pray in a manner which is just a mockery of God and essentially laughing in His face then He will not listen to that prayer.

The Bible does say, “be not deceived, God is not mocked” because whatsoever a man sows in his life, that is what he will reap. God is the Creator of ALL, and He is terrible when He is angry so I wouldn’t recommend that you try His patience or His anger. He loves us deeply, far more than we can imagine or comprehend, so please ask Him into your life before it is too late. After you die, there will be no second chances.


In our culture today we have put the Bible down and we turn to social media such as Facetime from Apple and Facebook online in order to see what is going on with our friends and sometimes family in our community. We have abandoned God’s Word and many in the church don’t even believe that it is the inspired Word of God.

What happened?

Have we truly lost our way as far as God’s Word is concerned? Have we moved so far away from God until we will accept almost any religion or doctrine? I pray that we haven’t gone that far!

God has never left us alone or without His Presence and yet America seems to be moving away from belief in Him. Not only America but much of the world doesn’t give Him any credit for being our Creator anymore. It seems that there are more Christians in Korea and China and even India than there are in America today! What went wrong?

At one time America was sending out missionaries to many places all over the world. Now, there are missionaries coming to America to bring Christianity and other religions here. I had always thought that the church or the body of believers in America was larger than it is, but I suppose I was wrong. Just because a person claims to be a Christian doesn’t make them a Christian.

Much of America claims to be a Christian but lately, some statistics show that the real percentage is much lower than the seventy percent which is claimed. God has not given up on us, so why are we giving up on Him or the verity of His Word? As Christians, God’s Word is our lifeline and the standard by which every instance in life is supposed to be judged by. Thinking that the Bible is only true in certain situations is like saying that the Sun may come up tomorrow, but I am not sure of it.

Get into the Word of God so that your walk with Him will be more productive. If you are wondering why that will happen, then you haven’t read the Bible enough. You can’t be productive as a Christian without knowing what God’s voice is like and you can’t recognize Him unless you have read and studied His Word. Especially if you only read it during a sermon or on the weekends.

God loves you and He will never leave you in a situation that He can’t get you out of or at least give you the strength to get through it.



God loves you!

AllRoneinJesusDuring my life, I have seen Christian attitudes change. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse, but the love of God is for everyone, regardless of your nationality or creed. This is the message that Jesus taught and it is the same message that all believers in the world should be taking to the rest of the world today! Why should we do this? Because Jesus would do it if He was still on Earth doing His ministry today and that is why we are supposed to take His message to ALL over the world!

There is no reason that we should not tell others about our Savior, regardless of where we might go or who we are talking to. Everyone needs Him, regardless of their religion or their doctrine and they need to make that decision today. Why? Because today could be your last day on this Earth. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so seek Him and believe in Him today! Your salvation and your eternal destiny depend upon your decision here and now. Once your life is over there is no second chance to make it right.

Make sure of your salvation now while you have the time.

Why did Jesus come?

According to the Word of God, He came to Earth in order to die, and He did die for your sins and mine. But…He also came out of that tomb three days later and taught His disciples what they should do and where they should go after He had gone to Heaven. He told them to stay in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit and then they were to go into all the world teaching and preaching the gospel of God!

That mandate has not changed because we have been given a fantastic gift through belief in Jesus and that gift is eternal life with Him and through belief in Him. We can be saved from the penalty of our sins and our sinful life through belief in Jesus. Then we are to take that with us and tell others about Him and what He has done for us and for all people.

Why? Because God loves you and He wants every person to know that He loves them. Jesus came into the world for that purpose to pay the penalty for your sins and for mine, and for every person in the whole world! It is your choice whether you believe in Him or the atonement which is provided for you or not, but if you choose to go your merry way then you may not get another chance to give your life to Jesus!

We are not promised tomorrow. Today is the day of salvation because in hearing the good news of His love for you, then you are responsible for your decision. Once the message is heard and understood by you, if your heart is convicted of the sinful life that you have lived, then it is your choice which sends you either to Heaven or to Hell!

God doesn’t choose to send you to hell, that is your decision and your responsibility and accepting it and believing it is your responsibility because God doesn’t force you in any way. Your eternity is based on your decision to accept or reject Jesus and His atonement for your sins.

There is no amount of work or prayer or money which will do anything toward saving your soul from hell. Only belief in Jesus as your Savior can do that! It has to be a heartfelt belief in Jesus, not just knowing Who He is but accepting Him as your Savior and asking His forgiveness for your sins. Because without accepting Him as your Savior and repenting of your sins, changing your life from what you were before to being a follower of Jesus…then there is no salvation at all.

When you read about Jesus or hear about Him, knowing that you will be in Heaven after you die IF you accept Him as your Savior, then there shouldn’t be any hesitation on your part at all. He is what you have been searching for to fill that empty space in your life that you know has been there but you couldn’t find what fit in it until you hear about Jesus. He is the key to filling that empty space, the longing in your heart that wants to be full but you have searched all over and you have never found what could fill it.

Jesus is the answer to that question. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 )

What happened on Easter?

The story which is celebrated in much of the world has to do with pagan ritual. Eggs and rabbits and things like that. These have nothing to do with our risen Savior.

Jesus told His disciples that He would rise again on the third day. Many people disbelieve that story today, even in the church. I mean, how can you manage to get three days between Friday and Sunday? Going by Jewish calendars and tradition it is simple. A day begins at sunrise and ends at sunset, at least to us. But, to Jewish people who lived in Jesus’ day, the next day begins at sundown on the day before. So, when the soldiers arrested Jesus in the garden on early Friday morning, part of that day had already passed by.

The sunrise brought the priests and the High Priest before Pilate to accuse Jesus and He was flogged, but that wasn’t enough. They wanted a crucifixion and the Sabbath began at sundown. From about the third hour until the ninth hour Jesus was on the cross, that would be 9 am until 3 pm for us. Counting from sunrise to sunset is the timing that they used because the preparation for the Sabbath had to begin at sundown, counting as the next day.

empty_tomb11He laid in the tomb from just before sundown on Friday, all day on the Sabbath, and most of the day on the first day of the week on Sunday. So Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are three days!

So…what happened on Sunday morning at around sunrise? A miracle to those who witnessed it for sure! A bright light which was brighter than the Sun in its strength, which pierced even the cracks around the rock which covered the entrance to the tomb. The stone which had been rolled over the opening of the tomb and sealed with the Roman seal was rolled away.

We don’t know what the soldiers saw at that moment. They could’ve seen the risen Jesus in His glory or maybe an angel, possibly two angels who told the disciples and Mary that He has risen just as He had told them that He would. I want to believe that those soldiers who were guarding the tomb saw Him in His glory and likely believed that He was the Savior, the King of the Jews and their Messiah. But, until we get to Heaven we will not know for sure what they saw or what they believed.

Our Savior is alive and is at the right hand of Power on High! There is no other name by which we must be saved to be in His Presence! The only requirement is that we believe in Him and in what was written about Him in the Bible, ask Him for your forgiveness and repent of your old way of life and follow Him daily. That is our job, our responsibility as believers and as Christians! To tell others about our Savior Who died to give them the ability to become Christians and partake in His Kingdom too. No amount of money or work to do to be eligible for salvation, just believe in Him.

What would you gain?

This is a question which was asked by Jesus to some who were listening, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:26

God places that much value on you and your soul, but it is hard for us to imagine that kind of wealth. What this passage is saying is this: if you had all of the wealth in the whole world, the entirety of wealth and land and all of it, and you haven’t given your heart to Jesus and had been changed by the Holy Spirit…what would you truly have gained? A huge headache and the ulcers to go with it I would imagine. Because, whenever your life ends, all of that wealth will be fought over by those who are desperate to have it. None of it will go with you to the grave!

When you stand before God after having all the wealth in the world, you will be penniless. God doesn’t look at your bank account because He is the Creator of it all and all of it belongs to Him anyway. Your wealth, regardless of how grand it may have been on Earth, doesn’t mean anything in Heaven where the streets are paved with gold. God places that much value on your soul and your salvation through Jesus the Christ.

Money doesn’t buy you a brick in Heaven because man’s wealth doesn’t follow him to eternity. You are no better or worse than the homeless man who knows Jesus as his Savior, in fact, the homeless man is richer than you are because he had nothing but he gained a place in Heaven through believing in Jesus.

The riches which are given to those who believe in Jesus are the kind which never can be taken away. Eternity awaits you when you accept Jesus as your Savior and that is a far richer and more glorious reward than all of the trillions of dollars of wealth that is here on Earth. When you feel the call of God’s Spirit in your life, don’t turn away from Him. Eternity is the reward for obeying His call and following Jesus daily. Reading the Bible, telling other about your Savior, showing them that God’s Word is True and the reward is eternal life with God!

That is worth more than all of the gold and silver that you could get your hands on here in this life. Why are God’s love and grace worth more? Because those rewards never fade and can never be taken from you! Once you have the Holy Spirit residing in your heart and you follow Him daily learning more about Him in His Word, this reward will make you feel unworthy and humble because of the price paid for you!

God’s love for you is available through belief in Jesus and repenting from your sinful ways. No matter what you have done in your life, God can forgive you and He will, all you have to do is believe in His forgiveness and repent, learning more about Him as time moves on.

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-18