Wednesday, March 21, 2018


The word abide, in every instance used in the Bible, means "to stay".

John 15
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

For the past few weeks, I've learned, more deeply, what that meant. More importantly, I've learned the consequences of "not abiding".

"Stay in me, and I in you," said Jesus. This means to have Jesus permeate your life: the music you listen to, the purpose you wake up for, your goals, your thoughts, your prayers, how you look at the world around you, how you look at the world to come -- everything about your life should have Jesus in it.

For the past few years I've listened to nothing but Christian music. I've went to church every time the doors opened. I went about my daily business not asking what God can do for me, but for what I can do for Him today.

Then, I got several personal blows in my life that sent my heart reeling. Though I did not question my faith, I know I felt angry and hurt. For weeks, I stopped listening to Christian music. I stopped "moving". I just "existed".

I continued to read and contemplate the Book of Job. I grasped at the strings of my faith, refusing the ropes in my "anger".

I went through the motions, and I never outwardly denied my God, or His power, but my heart was bitter.

A couple of years ago, I had an experience that was similar but not as deep with-in me. It was enough to realize that I needed help. So, I went to a local minister and asked about it.

I was told that a relationship has its ups and downs, and with God, it isn't any different. When you commit yourself to someone, you don't stop loving them when they don't meet YOUR expectations. And, since love is an ACTION and not an EMOTION, you don't stop doing it, in spite of how you feel.

The proper response is to ask God to change your "want to".


I have failed so miserably.

Today, I picked up the headphones, plugged into Pandora radio, and listened to Lauren Diagle and Jason Crabb, and all of those other greats who praise the Lord with their music.

I watched inspirational movies.

I prayed, in spite of how I felt.

And, now I realize that, after weeks of feeling secluded, I should have done that to begin with.

"As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye stay in me," Jesus said.

I realize that I have not been very fruitful with my inspiration or my reaching out lately. The branch, though still on the vine, hasn't been very fruitful, and looking at the next verse, it is scary.

"If a man stay not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

What good is a branch that doesn't bear fruit?

Today, I praise God. I feel the veil of anger lifting. I trust. I say "Hallelujah, Anyhow!"

And, I feel better.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Did you get the message?

Did you get the message?

You know, if anyone ever had a reason to be angry and rebellious, it was Jesus Christ. He KNEW the hearts of men. He saw the murders and the rapes and the destruction of mankind. He could have chosen, as a man, to question the Father who sent Him to die for such an ungrateful, angry, sinful and rebellious people.

Instead, as God, He let his love rule over His emotions. He had a message to share. He had hope to give. He had love to spread. He focused on what was to come rather than the here and now. He tried to teach us to do the same.

And, if that meant He had to let an angry, rebellious and sinful crowd torture Him and put Him on a cross, then so be it. It was worth it for what we would learn from it.

Did you get the message? Or, are you still angry, questioning God's love to the point of rebellion, and sinful without remorse?

He didn't come to stop the murders and the rapes and the sins that abound. He came to give hope to the murderer for forgiveness, that if he turns away from his sin, he could have peace, love and understanding in eternity. He came to give hope to the thief, that if he would turn from his sin, God would freely give him riches in Glory. He came to give hope to the rapist, that if he turned from his sin, God would give him a desire to serve and please rather than take and pillage, with peace in his heart. God would take away the anger, the hurt and the feelings of vengeance and replace it with joy, love and forgiveness that would last for all of eternity. He died for the gunman who shoots up churches and schools, pleading with him to repent, before someone else takes the chance He gives him away for eternity.

Sure, God could snap His fingers and make it all go away right now...but then you would never get the opportunity to know Him as your Friend, rather than your master.

The choice is yours.

Did you get the message?

Luke 17:1
Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!

Jeremiah 31:34
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

Romans 8:1-39
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. ...