This Little Light of Mine

Daily Reading: (John 8:12):

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Something incredible just happened if you will go back and place yourself at the exact location of where Jesus spoke these words. We do as we focus on verses 2-4.

“At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery” (John 8:2-4).

The Court of the Women is the place where Jesus proclaimed that He is the light of the whole world.

The timing of this proclamation was during the Feast of Tabernacles. Which meant there was a brilliant menorah/candelabra that was lit. The candelabra provided light throughout the entirety of the Court. There was a great ceremony called the “Illumination of the Temple,” which involved the ritual lighting of four golden oil-fed lamps in the Court of Women. These lamps were huge menorahs/candelabras (seventy-five feet high). The reason they would light the candelabra was to remind God’s people of the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night that guided His people in the wilderness.

Here in one of the three most holy festivals Jesus pronounces that He is God. As God was with His people in the Exodus, Jesus is the Light of the World, tabernacling among His people now.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people,”the Greek word for “again” is (autos) and it means the same. So, if Jesus is speaking to the same people, they must have witnessed and heard something before the “I am the Light of the World” statement. In verse 3 a woman who was caught in adultery was brought before Jesus with the Pharisees (religious leaders) wanting to have her executed by stoning her to death. Have you ever wondered where is the guy who was involved in the same act?

When Jesus walked the earth, gender inequality was so entrenched in Jewish society that an adulteress could be stoned without trial and men could divorce their wives for virtually any reason. Some of the religious leaders taught that women were ignorant and that there was no point teaching them because they had weak minds. Then along came Jesus.

The Law states this woman could be killed for her adulterous actions. What does Jesus do? Jesus says: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7).If you want to bring her sins in front of everyone you religious leaders, how about we take a second and talk about yours first. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you” (John 8:10)?

What is so beautiful about this is the light of the world clearly is not there to expose our sins because that is not what Jesus did with the woman caught in adultery. Jesus is the Light that brings the lost out of darkness. Jesus’ light exposes our perfection in Him and unveils the truth that our sins have been completely removed.

This tells us that we don’t have to be fearful when we come into God’s presence. He is not there waiting to punish us for our mistakes and failures. His light is not for exposing our sins and shame, or for condemning us. No, Jesus’ glorious light (John 8:12) shows us how perfectly His blood has washed away our sins (John 8:10/1 John 1:7)! That is why Jesus could tell the woman that He did not condemn her—because He would be condemned for her at the cross.

“Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12b).

If you have lived long enough you probably have been a part of a remodeling project of some kind. What is amazing to me is the minute you redo one part of your house everything else stands out that needs to be redone. What has become beautiful has the opportunity to impact what is around it. What is beautiful can lead to what is near being redone and completely changed. Jesus, the light of the world, lifts us up and gives us a confident expectation of good even in our darkest hour. As we let our light shine before others, they may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven.

Jesus said, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” “Follows Me” it really isn’t the best translation from the Greek to English. “Follows” means whoever becomes my disciple. Because it isn’t that when we mess up or we make a mistake that God leaves us in the dark. Whoever is a disciple of Jesus will not pass one’s life in darkness or you won’t live your life having a want of light but will have the light always. It means as a believer in Jesus Christ you possess the Light of Life. In the darkness of the world, our lives are really able to contrast that darkness and bring forth the Light of the World. It gives those who are walking round in darkness an introduction to the Light of the World, and if they will receive the Light (Jesus Christ) they will never be in the dark anymore.

As a Man Thinks…

Daily Reading: (Proverbs 23:7): “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”   

What you think has a great bearing on what you do. However, Proverbs 23:7 is not saying that you are what you think.

Think positive thoughts, make positive confessions and you’ll become a positive person. Whatever your focus on the inside is, will become the reality on the outside. Thoughts shape destinies. Of course, there’s truth to all of those sayings, however, this is not what Solomon had in mind when he wrote Proverbs 23:7. Solomon is referring to a specific kind of person in verse seven. But who? The answer is right there in the passage.

Do not eat the bread of a selfish man, or desire his delicacies; for as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” but his heart is not with you. You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten, and waste your compliments (Proverbs 23:6-8).

Clearly, this passage has nothing to do with positive thinking. This text gives a straightforward warning to keep your guard up around selfish people.

Now that we cleared that up, now I want to talk about the power of our thoughts. Our spirits are made new the moment we are born again, but from then on our minds have to play catch-up. They have to be renewed. We need to take on new attitudes, new ways of thinking. We need to cultivate the habit of saying yes and amen to the promises of God. We need to call things that are not as though they are. Because what we believe can be contrary to who we are or who Christ made us to be.

Your erroneous thinking does not change your identity of who you have become. For some reason, there is the tendency to think of saints as people who became saints, sainthood based upon what they have done in their lives. It’s not true. You don’t become a saint by what you do but by what has been done for you and what you received (2 Corinthians 5:21). Saints (holy people) are not a special group of people but are all believers. The qualification to be God’s holy people (saints) is that a person be in Christ (Ephesians 1:1).

The devil works hard to win the battle in our minds. He doesn’t want the church to walk in Christ’s victory. He wants you to believe the lie that you are defeated so that you don’t tap into the divine power you have to demolish strongholds he has set up (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Be encouraged to know that you don’t have to be afraid of the battles in your mind. Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Right believing is based on God’s Word and it is the key that unlocks the treasures of God in your life. Right believing gives you access to the fullness of His love, grace, and many blessings. The hindrance to your victory is found in your wrong beliefs. The battle has to do with your beliefs (John 8:32).

The enemy knows that if he can control your thought life, he can manipulate your emotions and feelings. If you entertain thoughts of guilt, failure, and defeat, you will begin to feel lousy about yourself, physically weak, and even depressed. Our emotions are the flags that indicate to us if our thoughts are negative or positive. Your emotions follow quickly after your thoughts. If your thoughts are negative, you will naturally produce negative emotions. If your thoughts are positive in Christ, you will produce positive emotions. That is why there is a battle for your mind. The devil wants to keep your thoughts negative so that he can keep you defeated. Through the power of right believing, you will win the battle for your mind.

Take Up Your Cross

Take Up Your Cross

Daily Reading: (Luke 9:23): Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”   

How do you react to this text? “Whoever wants to be a disciple of Jesus must… take up their cross daily and follow Him.” The way I have heard this verse commonly and incorrectly used is in the preaching of self-denial. If this were true then the Gospel would not be good news. If we had a bad day or screwed up and didn’t properly deny ourselves, well I guess we’re just not a disciple of Jesus anymore. If this were the case it would mean that Christ’s death on the cross was not needed. It would also mean that the more you deny yourself the holier you’ll be. But go ahead and deny yourself from anything and everything and that won’t make you anymore righteous or holy, Isaiah 64:6 tells us that.

Another problem with this interpretation of preaching self-denial as a way of becoming righteous is that it will leave you anxious and insecure. “Have I denied myself enough?” Jesus suffered and die on the cross so that we might be free from this sort of religious way of life.

So, when we come to Luke 9:23 we must ask two very important questions if we really want to understand what Jesus is saying.

  • Question 1: Who is Jesus talking to in this verse?
  • Question 2: What Covenant are we now living in?

In verse 18 it says- “Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” this progresses until we get into our verse.  If you want an even clearer answer where you don’t have to back up a few verses to understand who Jesus is referring to just read Matthew’s version (16:24).

The disciples were still living in the Old Covenant system. The New Covenant we live in was enacted after the death of Jesus. One purpose of the Old Covenant was to make it absolutely clear that no man is righteous before God and that no one can save himself (Romans 3:10–11, 20). “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” There are no off days if you are living according to your righteousness. The ultimate purpose of the Old Covenant was to point people to Christ: “The law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian” (Galatians 3:24–25). The Old Covenant established our guilt before God and our need for a Savior.

So. the correct translation of what Jesus is saying in Luke 9:23 happens as we continue moving forward in the text in the next two verses, verses 24 and 25.

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self” (Luke 9:24-25)?

When Jesus says, “Follow me,” he’s saying the way to salvation is through Him and His cross. In the New Covenant taking up your cross daily doesn’t make sense and is impossible to do because you were already crucified (Galatians 2:20). I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me… (Gal 2:20a). The reason most Christians struggle to live the Christian life is they look at Luke 9:23 and are trying to die daily, they do not know they have already died with Christ.

“To deny yourself” (Luke 9:23) means to trust Jesus instead of self. Live each and every day out of the glorious relationship you have with the Lord. This Greek word “deny” (aparneomai) is to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests. This denial of self is the same thing for all Christians that the cross was for Jesus, namely, the submission to God’s will, not one’s own will.So, in our text Jesus made the cross central. Our Lord’s death was an absolute requirement and precondition of human redemption. As long as the will of man opposes the will of the Lord, salvation for that individual remains impossible.

Take Up Your Cross

Take Up Your Cross

Daily Reading: (Luke 9:23): Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”   

How do you react to this text? “Whoever wants to be a disciple of Jesus must… take up their cross daily and follow Him.” The way I have heard this verse commonly and incorrectly used is in the preaching of self-denial. If this were true then the Gospel would not be good news. If we had a bad day or screwed up and didn’t properly deny ourselves, well I guess we’re just not a disciple of Jesus anymore. If this were the case it would mean that Christ’s death on the cross was not needed. It would also mean that the more you deny yourself the holier you’ll be. But go ahead and deny yourself from anything and everything and that won’t make you anymore righteous or holy, Isaiah 64:6 tells us that.

Another problem with this interpretation of preaching self-denial as a way of becoming righteous is that it will leave you anxious and insecure. “Have I denied myself enough?” Jesus suffered and die on the cross so that we might be free from this sort of religious way of life.

So, when we come to Luke 9:23 we must ask two very important questions if we really want to understand what Jesus is saying.

  • Question 1: Who is Jesus talking to in this verse?
  • Question 2: What Covenant are we now living in?

In verse 18 it says- “Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” this progresses until we get into our verse.  If you want an even clearer answer where you don’t have to back up a few verses to understand who Jesus is referring to just read Matthew’s version (16:24).

The disciples were still living in the Old Covenant system. The New Covenant we live in was enacted after the death of Jesus. One purpose of the Old Covenant was to make it absolutely clear that no man is righteous before God and that no one can save himself (Romans 3:10–11, 20). “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” There are no off days if you are living according to your righteousness. The ultimate purpose of the Old Covenant was to point people to Christ: “The law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian” (Galatians 3:24–25). The Old Covenant established our guilt before God and our need for a Savior.

So. the correct translation of what Jesus is saying in Luke 9:23 happens as we continue moving forward in the text in the next two verses, verses 24 and 25.

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self” (Luke 9:24-25)?

When Jesus says, “Follow me,” he’s saying the way to salvation is through Him and His cross. In the New Covenant taking up your cross daily doesn’t make sense and is impossible to do because you were already crucified (Galatians 2:20). I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me… (Gal 2:20a). The reason most Christians struggle to live the Christian life is they look at Luke 9:23 and are trying to die daily, they do not know they have already died with Christ.

“To deny yourself” (Luke 9:23) means to trust Jesus instead of self. Live each and every day out of the glorious relationship you have with the Lord. This Greek word “deny” (aparneomai) is to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests. This denial of self is the same thing for all Christians that the cross was for Jesus, namely, the submission to God’s will, not one’s own will.So, in our text Jesus made the cross central. Our Lord’s death was an absolute requirement and precondition of human redemption. As long as the will of man opposes the will of the Lord, salvation for that individual remains impossible.

All the Promises of God are Yes in Jesus

Daily Reading: (2 Corinthians 1:20):

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

In this verse we discover that we can’t receive any spiritual promise apart from or outside of Jesus. If we aren’t receiving a promise God made it isn’t that God isn’t sending it, our faithfulness to God is an Old Covenant problem that is solved by the New Covenant. So, if we aren’t receiving from God what God wants to give us, it doesn’t mean we are no longer in Christ, what it means that we need to get to the amen part of the verse in order to receive it. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God”

Amen is a declaration of our faith. The word “Amen” comes from the Hebrew word for faith. When we say, “Amen,” we are saying, “I agree, Lord. Be it unto me as it is in Your Word!”

When we believe for something that we don’t appear to have that God has promised to give, it says I trust in God’s faithfulness and it brings God glory. Amen means we take ownership of the promise God has made to us. Only you can “Amen” to what God’s Word says about you and your life. I can’t do it for you. Your grandparents or your parents or your friends can encourage you in it but only you can speak “Amen”.

Have confidence in God’s faithfulness to you. If He gave His only Son so that you might have life, will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things, especially those things He has promised to us?

One of the most common questions that I see in the Christian community is: “Why do some people experience their breakthrough but I don’t?” It all comes down to right believing. The word “repentance” is the Greek word “metanoia, which means “change of mind.” We repent by looking to Jesus and believing that all His promises are for us to claim.

If you belong to Christ by faith, then everything God could possibly give you for your good, He has signed over to your account in Christ. Is this promise in my account? Yes! “Every sinner who comes to God in Christ, with all his needs, finds God coming to him in Christ, with all his promises.” -John Piper[1]

Prayer is drawing on the account where God has deposited all His promises. Prayer is not hoping in the dark that there might be a God who could possibly provide us what we need, He already has and He will continue to do so in Jesus. Prayer goes to your spiritual bank account and draws on those promises. Amen spoken at the end of our prayer to God is affirming that God is faithful to deliver on His promises.


[1]John Piper. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/all-the-promises-of-god-are-yes-in-christ. December 31, 1989.

Promise of Protection

The Promise of Protection

Daily Reading: (Psalm 91:4-6):

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.”

The Psalmist refers to God with two different names. He calls God both Most High (El Elyon) and Almighty (El Shaddai). The Hebrew name for God Most High means the extremely-exalted, sovereign, High God. He that dwells in the secret place of the Extremely-Exalted, Sovereign, Almighty is the One absolute in power (Psalm 91:1). If you are a believer, the place you dwell and find your rest is in the protection of the one who has absolute power. When we know this truth about our positioning in Christ, protecting by the One with absolute power, what is there to fear? Wisdom tells us not to jump off a cliff without a parachute. The wise thing would to not gather in large crowds during a pandemic. As you go through your life guided by God’s leading, dangers will be present no matter what you do, but His protection is there for you.

This word rest or abide means to stay permanently. Our permanent dwelling place in Christ is with the extremely exalted Sovereign High God (El Elyon) under the shadow of the One in Absolute Power (El Shaddai), which means we have the protection of the Lord. 

Let’s follow the Psalmist in his writing: “This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him” (Psalm 91:2). Do you trust the Most High? Do you trust that He loves you and that He has and will continue to take care of you? Do you trust him with your life?

 “For he will rescue you from every trap.” When you set a trap, it is to ensnare the unexpecting, otherwise, traps wouldn’t work. God’s protection protects us from dangers we can’t even see (Psalm 91:3).

“You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday” (Psalm 91:5-6).

When we receive His love for us the fear is cast out. David says in Psalm 91 that we don’t need to fear, we only need to trust. We were created, our bodies were not designed for fear. Our bodies were designed for faith and trust in our Creator (Psalm 91:2).

Psalm 91:15-16: “He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

This means that trouble will most certainly come. The doctor could give troubling news but the report from the Lord is “I will deliver him”. Deliver him and honor him. As the troubles and the terrors come all around us may we remember that Jesus, Our High Priest prayed on our behalf, that God the Father would protect us from the evil in this world. “Father I pray not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil in the world” (John 17:15). His prayer was not to be delivered out of trouble, but to be protected in the midst of it.

The Psalm concludes in verse 16. “With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” There is another name of God mentioned in Psalm 91 (Yeshua). So we started off with two names for God listed: El Elyon (Extremely-Exalted, Sovereign, High God) and (El Shaddia) absolute in power, and then finally Yeshua.“Show him my Salvation/Yeshua.” The final word of Psalm 91 is the name of Jesus.We have been shown our salvation is Yeshua/ Jesus.When trouble comes you will find salvation in the name of Jesus.

The Promise of Peace

The Promise of Peace

Daily Reading: (John 14:1-2, 27):

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Peace is an interesting emotion as it is one of two Kingdom emotions that God wants your life to have right now, the other being joy. Peace and joy. These are the two emotions the devil works the hardest to try and remove from your life because they are Kingdom emotions. This is what you will experience for all of eternity in heaven, perpetual inner peace and great joy.  And what that means is every time you seek Christ’s kingdom and His righteousness, the righteousness that He has given to you, the emotions of both peace and joy will be present. You can find joy even in what would seem to be joyless moments and so I believe one of the main reasons the devil works so hard to try and rob us of peace and joy is those are the most attractive emotions that give us an opportunity to bring forth the very Light of the World to the lost and hurting people of the world.

If you make a choice to seek or pursue something outside the Kingdom or that might bring glory to God, peace and joy will not be present. So what this means is that your peace and joy are not linked to what happens to you, or what comes on you, it is linked directly to what you have in Christ (access to the Kingdom).

When bad things happen, use them as reminders to seek the Kingdom and the promise is you will have the Kingdom emotions flowing out of you of peace and joy. When bad things that come by way of the enemy will cause you to seek the kingdom first that will completely dismantle the enemy’s strategy. The devil is only able to rob from you, peace and joy by getting your mind on your situation instead of your Savior.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

Trouble is coming on the disciples and Jesus wants His disciples (which includes all believers) to be ready, to not be moved to trouble but to be brought and kept by peace. To start the chapter off in John 14, Jesus says:  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

Did you notice what just happened? Jesus modeled for us what we are to do to not let our hearts be troubled, seek or reflect on the kingdom (John 14:1-2). In verse two, Jesus starts talking about the kingdom. “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”

Now moving ahead in the text Thomas at this point is troubled because he wants the GPS coordinates of how to get to the kingdom. “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way” (John 14:5)?  There are two questions for me to answer here. The first question is for a non-believers? How do I get to heaven? How do I get to spend eternity on streets of gold with unending joy and peace where I am in the very presence of God forever? It is the grandest question of all time. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Anyone who believes in Jesus as the Messiah, the One who paid the penalty for their sins on the cross- John‘s Gospel tells us they will not perish but have everlasting life. If you place your trust in Christ today as your means of salvation- you have just found the way (Jesus Christ) to the Kingdom. 

Now the second question is for anyone who already is a believer. How do I have peace in the middle of my life’s storm?Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” But Pastor Matt, Jesus is talking about the way to the kingdom. And what does the kingdom bring? “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Jesus showed us the way to the kingdom through Himself, so that we might have the kingdom emotion of peace right now. There is a promise of peace which takes us back to our main verse today.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Jesus has permanently given you His peace (John 14:27). It is available to you whenever you put your mind on the Kingdom.

The Promise of Wisdom

The Promise of Wisdom

Daily Reading: (James 1:5-7):

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

Only a foolish person would say I don’t need anymore wisdom in my life. In today’s world our brains are wired that when we don’t know the answer to something what do we generally do? We google it. But there are some answers we seek that Google can’t help us with.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask… Alexa. You should ask Siri, or Google, or just ask Jeeves. No!“If any of you lacks wisdom…” that is all of us and it is all the time. I want us to get out of the mindset that it is only life changing decisions where we need wisdom. We always need it and God is ready to give it.

So what exactly is wisdom?Wisdom in the Greek is the word sophia. There are generally two kinds of wisdom. The first is the wisdom of man. It simply means wisdom, broad and full of intelligence. We all know wise people. But even the wisest people you meet will have limitations in their wisdom.

This takes us to second definition of wisdom: supreme intelligence, such as belongs to God. If you try to discover wisdom apart from God you are seeking it from a limited intelligence source but if you want supreme intelligence, just ask God (James 1:5). This actually means something very specific and it is found in the last half of the verse which we will get to in a minute.

So we know the text says and life tells us if or even when we lack wisdom we should ask God for it and now the promise comes. “who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” What does finding fault have to do with asking for wisdom? How are we able to stand before God where He does not find any fault in us? How have we gained access to come boldly before the throne of grace that we might obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need? It has to do with Jesus. Because of Jesus who is our wisdom, we are able to come before God for whatever it is that we need and we will find or be given grace (in this instance wisdom) to help us in our time of need.

God desires that we pursue wisdom as we are told in the Old Testament (Proverbs 4:7). However, we learn in the New Testament that Jesus is our wisdom.

“God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin” (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Whatever your situation, make it your ambition to know the Lord. Know Jesus, and you will know wisdom. Pursue Jesus and you will experience wisdom in every area of your life. Because in Christ, God does not find fault and gives you generously what you need.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7).

If we lack wisdom ask God and ask Him in faith so that you might receive and you will receive wisdom generously. God who gives“generously” is the Greek adverb haplos and it reveals that God gives you wisdom led solely by His desire to bless you. Our part is simply to ask and believe God for it (James 1:6).

The Way Over Temptation

The Way Over Temptation

Daily Reading: (1 Corinthians 10:13):

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

There is nothing that can come into your life that you have to give into. God always provides the Way out

There was a list put together of the 5 most common quotes that people think are in the Bible.[1]

The number one quote people think is in the Bible is: “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” In fact, just the opposite is found. The world is filled with people who are dealt more than they can handle. And, surprisingly, the Bible is also filled with people who were given more than they could handle.

The apostle Paul wrote:

“For we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).

There will be times when you will be given something far beyond your ability to endure and the reason for it is so that you won’t rely on yourself but on God. God wants us to hand our great burdens over to Him. He doesn’t want us to rally more of our own strength. He wants us to rely solely on His strength which is far superior than what we could muster up ourselves.

There is a point in why God might allow the more than I can handle moments of life. We humans have a tendency to think that we can do everything on our own, don’t we? Our pride has a way of dragging us down:

“Pride goes before destruction, an arrogant spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). To keep us grounded in the reality of our need for a Savior, God graciously allows us to see just how much we can’t handle.

So, while the Bible doesn’t say God won’t give you more than you can handle- the Bible does say He has provided the way for us in every temptation.

“But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).  In the Greek it doesn’t read “a way” out.  If it was a way to escape, we would not know what that way would be. That is a problem. That is a problem for someone battling depression who doesn’t see a way out. The Greek doesn’t say “a way out” the Greek says “the way out”.  “The” points to something very definite, it points us to the Way, it points us to Jesus Christ (John 14:6). 

The word “bear” or endure depending on which translation you are using is hupophero. What is hupophero? It is actually two Greek words placed together and gives us a great word picture. Hupo means under. Phero is to be born along on a river. When you place the two words together you get: “An under-current of a river carrying someone away, carried safely away from danger”.

God makes the way of escape that you may be born, carried safely, away from danger (hupophero) and He does this through the Way (Jesus). The context for how God does this is in verse 16, communion.

What does communion have to do with the way of escape, the way out of my trial or temptation?

“Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:16)? There’s a condemnation in this world that was released, a divine sentence ever since Adam sinned, and the divine sentence includes sickness. Communion is the way out.

Why was Jesus scourged and beaten before being crucified? God arranged everything, why didn’t God just send Jesus straight to the cross? Because by his stripes, we are healed. God loves you and wants you well.Today, healing is your right because Jesus has paid the price for your healing. Disease has no right in your body. I am healed in Jesus’ name!” Every curse of sickness that was supposed to fall on you fell on Jesus instead. He bore every one of those stripes, so that you can walk in divine health all the days of your life. You have been given the way over what comes over you and His name is Jesus.


[1]https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/inside-bst/5-more-verses-you-just-won-t-find-in-your-bible.html

The Promise of Union Life

The Promise of Union Life With Jesus

Daily Reading: (2 Timothy 2:13):

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

What this is saying right off the bat is that even if we sin or when we sin, Christ isn’t going to disown you, how could He? Because Christ lives in us, He is always with us and He cannot disown Himself. This verse is indirectly speaking of union life with Christ. Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:5, asks the Corinthian believers a question: “Or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” Maybe a better starting point is to realize Christ lives in you. He is always with you, He will never leave you or forsake you and since He remains faithful, even when we mess up, Christ will never disown you for He cannot disown Himself.

The book of 2 Timothy has a lot of great verses in it. There is a website called topverses.com that has ranked verses by how popular they are. 2 Timothy 3:16 ranks 9th on the list, 2 Timothy 2:15 ranks 45th. Already two verses in the top 50 in the book of 2 Timothy alone. One of my favorites, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” checks in at number 429. There are many verses in 2 Timothy that are ranked as some of people’s most favorite verses. Where does our 2 Timothy 2:13 verse rank on people’s all-time favorite Scripture verse list? 2 Timothy 2:13 is the 16,811 most popular verse. What that tells me is people don’t understand what is being said here. If we knew what this verse meant it might become your favorite verse from 2 Timothy. There is a verse, 2 Timothy 4:12 that says: “I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.” That’s all it said and that is ranked 9,552. It ranked over 7,000 spots ahead of our verse. People don’t like the verse I quoted because it is attached to a portion that absolutely frightens people because they have been misled in what is being said. Today, that all changes.

I believe one reason why 2 Timothy 2:13 is often overlooked is because it completely dismantles a works-based system of my own faithfulness. The spotlight is entirely where it should be and that is on Jesus Christ and His accomplished work for us that whatever the promise God has made, Promises of God series part 2, He is faithful to deliver on it through Jesus.

In the Gospel in Twenty Questions Paul Ellis breaks down our 2 Timothy 2:13 verse and he does it masterfully as he connects it to the entire statement.

Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Timothy 2:11–13).

The “if we endure” is satisfied with the faithful one (Jesus). Jesus who did endure, lives in us and will cause us to endure and reign now.”

Why is this verse the 16,811 most popular verse? Because people don’t understand it? This new life we have in Christ is a new kind of life characterized by supernatural endurance and reigning in all things (2 Timothy 2:11-13).

“If we disown him, he will also disown us.” Paul is not talking about Christians at all, but those who reject Christ and will one day reap the consequences of their choice (2 Timothy 2:12). There’s no grace for the faithless because the faithless will not receive it.

Do you see? There are two camps in the world. There are individuals who confess Christ as Lord and those who deny Him.

If you have denied him, you may yet confess him. This provides hope for the lost and unsaved people.

If you have confessed him, you cannot deny him. This simply means we who have died with Christ cannot un-die. We who have been born again cannot be unborn. If you were to deny him, as Peter did three times, Jesus won’t disown you, for He cannot disown himself. If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. (2 Timothy 2:13) “Keep reminding them of these things…” (2 Timothy 2:14a)

To recap, Paul says if we die with Christ, we will live, endure, and reign with him. Each follows the other and this is a trustworthy saying.Thank you, Paul Ellis, for the amazing clarity you have brought to this passage of Scripture, making it one of my favorites and hopefully one of yours as well.