Saturday, November 21, 2020

November 21

A couple of my neighbors and I got together to landscape an area of our community that had suffered from neglect for years. The shrubs that were there had grown into trees, so last year, we had them cut down. Upon cutting them down, it unveiled this hideous bright blue pipe, so for an entire year, we have had to look at that pipe every time we drove in or out of the neighborhood. 

Let’s just say the three of us learned a valuable lesson in roots. Not only did we have to deal with the roots of the previous shrubs, but there was also an enormous oak tree with its web of roots with which we had to contend. The clusters were tight, and after removing one, more were revealed. Some of the roots were thick and ran deep, but others were smaller and branched off the main root. If we had been dealing with just one tree, it might not have been so difficult to dig in, but because there were so many, it took extra time to remove the old to replace it with the new landscape plants. 

These roots are a picture of the minds of people who are tormented by their past. As humans, we tend to let a bitter root grow and multiply over the years rather than deal with the intrusion right away. That bitter root will draw more bitterness and become a tangled mess within our minds. Trying to get rid of them after years of neglect could be like me and my neighbors trying to dig holes among a cluster of the tree roots; it’s nearly impossible. You can try and remove them one at a time, but if that cluster is like the root system we dealt with during our landscape project, it could be challenging. Still, sometimes that’s the best way to remove them; however, if you will talk to Jesus and ask for his touch, you could have a whole legion of demons cast out all at once. 

Before we finished, our landscape maintenance crew came to plant our poinsettias for the holidays. They are experts at digging and had more powerful muscles than us, and they helped us complete the project within minutes. They offered to help us as Jesus would have, but there are times you need to ask.

Don’t live with the oppression; ask now for some help; dig out the root of each issue one by one, or have the entire web of roots remove by the Lord. He has compassion for us and wants us to live free. Begin today to seek freedom and plant something new in your newly cultivated mind.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Friday, November 20, 2020

November 20

Where is that debt counting clock, and why aren’t we updated on how much further in debt we will be at the hands of those who want to give our hard-earned money to officials who want to line their own pockets?

When Jesus left the wilderness, he came into his hometown, and on the Sabbath, he stood up in the temple and read the next scripture for that day. The temple in Nazareth was his home church, so there was nothing unusual about this except that the scripture he read summed up who he was, the Messiah, and who he was there to save. Everything was okay until he told them that he was fulfilling this very scripture. Then, they said to themselves, “isn’t this Joseph’s son?” They wanted him to do what he had done in Capernaum, but he refused by saying, “no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.” If only Jesus had healed their sick and blind, then the town wouldn’t have to deal with them anymore; and there would be no more pouring out of money into the hands of the indigent, then they could line their own pockets with the taxes. However, the miracles he did in other towns were to heal their unbelief, and he knew they would only see him as Joseph’s son, and they wouldn’t believe in him anyway. Jesus could see their motives. Out of anger, they ran him out of town and tried to kill him! It was not yet his time, so he slipped away unscathed. 

Jesus didn’t miraculously cancel their debt. Don’t you wish that clock would disappear and stop counting? We shouldn’t expect that clock to slow down anytime soon; most of the country wouldn’t believe the miracle anyway and would still be responsible for paying taxes.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” Luke 4:18-19

Thursday, November 19, 2020

November 19

When John the Baptist baptized Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove. Being full of the Holy Spirit, he slipped away into the wilderness to spend time with the Father. It wasn’t until his time there was ending, after forty days, that the devil began tempting him. He had denied himself food, but God had been sustaining him throughout that entire time.

After his wilderness experience, he began his ministry. Did Jesus give us the steps to take when we start our ministry? I know that every time I spend time in the wilderness, even if it’s only a few hours with Jesus, I have an exceptional experience, and he opens my eyes to new things.

What was Jesus hearing from God during his time there? Was God equipping him for the things to come? Was the temptation Jesus faced a way to strengthen his self-denial to learn to rely on God solely? After his time away, Jesus began his ministry, but you will see that throughout the gospels, he would slip away into the wilderness to spend time with his Father. 

The point I’m trying to make is that you don’t just jump into ministry; there is work to be done first. There is a period of learning, some self-denial, and overcoming temptation. Anything worth having needs time to be cultivated. Don’t rush into ministry without being equipped for service; Jesus didn’t; he knew the scriptures, was anointed by the Holy Spirit and spent quality time with God. Follow these steps, and God will reward you with success.

One more thing, God’s idea of success and the American concept of success are two entirely different things. It’s about people, not finances.

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. Luke 4:1-2

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

November 18

Did you know that Jesus’s lineage is traced back through Mary? In that day, it was not acceptable to mention women in Jewish records of lineage, but Jesus’s record shows Heli as Joseph’s father, but he was Mary’s dad. My commentator believes that Heli may have adopted Joseph, and so the history traced it back through Mary because of that. 

Jesus was in his thirtieth year when he began his ministry. I think thirty may be the year that we as humans start to wake up from our stupor and venture into knowledge; at least, that’s been my own experience. 

I now have children in their thirties, one of whom we are celebrating today, a little late because he chose to take a trip on his birthday to commemorate the event. I have high expectations for this eldest son and hope that the stupor has worn off and that he will continue taking the path of his mom and dad to become an even brighter light for Jesus. Never stop praying for your children, because eventually they will remember their ancestry, which includes you, and will hopefully choose the best part of your path.

Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, Luke 3:23

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

November 17

Once again, I’m focused on my bird feeder. Yesterday, I noticed that there weren’t any birds coming to it, and the feeder appeared to be full. I’ve seen this happen before, and I knew why; the seed had spoiled from the rain. Last night I cleaned it out and let it dry, and this morning I filled it up with fresh seed. It will probably take a day or so before they come back. I never knew what an aggravation it was to draw birds to my yard, but they are so cute, and I enjoy seeing them. 

Has your seed spoiled? You know, the seeds you spread, so others know of the love of Jesus. Do you know how it becomes spoiled? Blatant sin! You can ruin your testimony by not living a clean life for all to see, and eventually, your private sin will rule you and spill over into your public life; people can sense if you are not sincere. There are preachers and evangelist whose public stance on issues have caused me to turn my back on them and no longer hold them in high esteem. If they were to repent and turn, I would respect that, but it would take some time before I ever followed them again. Those people have spoiled seeds, like in my bird feeder. The moral of the story is, don’t flaunt your sin and keep your bird feeder clean.

He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. Luke 2:7-8a

Monday, November 16, 2020

November 16

Years ago, before my grandmother passed away, she gave me a banana plant that produces regular sized bananas. Before we moved, I dug up a baby from it because it had become a prolific producer, and I wanted to preserve the gift. For years this plant has been growing in a pot with no signs of growth other than producing a few new leaves once in a while. Then last week, I noticed a bloom and a cluster of bananas. I thought that because it was in a pot, I would never see any fruit on it, but to my surprise, it bloomed and is now producing fruit.

After accepting Jesus as Savior, his Spirit begins growing in us unbeknownst to anyone around us. Then suddenly we start producing fruit. It’s like turning on a switch; we are no longer afraid to share Jesus. We get past our nerves and the thought of rejection and honor him by sharing the fruit of God’s Word. Don’t get in the way of the Spirit; allow him to use you to bring others to know Jesus. 

One specific way to get past your nerves is to immerse yourself in the scriptures so you have a handle on the truth. A few minutes a day is all it takes. Education is the key to success, even when it comes to spreading the gospel.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Luke 2:46

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man." Luke 2:52

Sunday, November 15, 2020

November 15


After my adventure of picking up and reviving living sea creatures, I found one I thought was empty, and it was; however, it still had a small amount of the remainder of its inhabitant that I couldn’t see; I didn’t realize it until a few minutes later when I began to smell something heinous. I had gotten it on my hands, and it had now dripped all over my bag. I immediately knew which one it was and removed it. I couldn’t look at that seashell anymore without wanting to vomit. I didn’t notice it, to begin with, because it was a perfectly beautiful shell, but once I had it in my possession, it showed its real intention, to mar me with its filth. Do you see where I’m going with this? The beautiful shell is a picture of us; we look perfect on the outside but are filled with the heinous rot of sin; the smell of death. Some of us try our best not to sin, but because we are human, it’s nearly impossible, and like the seashell, we have a tiny bit of rot inside that no one but God can see. Sin separates us from God, and he shuts us out because the sin makes us smell rotten, but Jesus is a powerful cleanser that can wash the smell of death off of us and make us clean and pristine. 

How can you live knowing you are a stench to God? Don’t you want him to find you clean? There is only one way for that to happen, and that is to accept Jesus as your Savior. It’s straightforward to do, but you have to commit to him, believe that he is the son of God, believe that he was born in perfection through a virgin birth, and believe that he died for your sin and was raised from the dead. These are all miracles that only God can do, but you must believe. It seems a little out there if you haven’t heard of these things, but if you are feeling the weight of the world, it might be time to allow Jesus to take that pressure off your shoulders. Accept his gift and clean the filth out of your soul.

Pray this prayer if you want to accept him today: Lord Jesus, come into my life. I believe that you are the son of God, that you were born to save me from my sin, that you died and were raised again to cleanse me. I commit to turning away from my sinful life and pursue you from today onward. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer today. Please message me. I would love to begin praying for you and give you some direction.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:16-18