Strange Things

Part 1

Strange Things - Sun April 17pm

26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.

– Luke 5:26 KJV

A man afflicted with the palsy was too weak to even get off his bed much less walk. The Bible doesn’t elaborate how long he had been suffering. Maybe he used to work in the marketplace, or he could have been a fisherman, or even a scribe in the temple. Now he was good for nothing…worthless, rejected, and stripped of all his dignity.

For whatever reason, four men were burdened to help this crippled man. We don’t know if they were just passing by or if they had known him for years. Moved with compassion, the foursome recognized the established religion of the day was doing nothing to help the sick man. He had no help and no hope! The poor man was snubbed by society and condemned to lay there and die!

The four men must have been inspired when they heard the stories about Jesus. How did a man have the authority to cast out demons? Could He really heal the sick? All the religious leaders they ever knew only cared about themselves. At least Jesus reached out to the hopeless and hurting.

News was out Jesus was preaching in a house in Capernaum. If they could just get the lame man inside where he could be seen, then Jesus would at least do something. Perhaps they weren’t sure what would happen, but something was better than nothing. What did they have to lose? But the man was so feeble they would have to carry him on his bed.

The house was crammed full of people trying to see Jesus. Even the doorways and windows were blocked. Can’t you just imagine the four men pressing through the crowd carrying this man and his bed? “Pardon me, please. This man desperately needs a touch! Jesus is his only hope. Won’t you please let us in?”

People from all walks of life came to see Jesus. From near and far they came to hear what He had to say…

17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

Luke 5:17

Even “…Pharisees and doctors of the law…” were there listening, critiquing Jesus’ every word, waiting for an opportunity to accuse Him. Surely the four men recognized some of these social elites as they struggled to maneuver the bed through the crowd. You have to wonder if the four men maybe mumbled as they passed, “You watched this poor man suffer and never did anything to help him. Let’s see what Jesus will do!”

The crowd wouldn’t budge! Nevertheless, the men’s faith in Jesus began to rise! The four would get this man in somehow, someway…Desperate times call for desperate measures!

 19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.

Luke 5:19

What? Shoulder a lame man and his bed up on a roof! Bust the stone tiles up to make a hole big enough to lower him down! Wow! Who would go to all that trouble to get inside?

Just imagine the crowd intently listening to Jesus, when suddenly…. THUMP! Clunk! Click! Clack! It was hard to ignore the click-clacking of the footsteps on the stone roof above. Then the pounding, banging, snapping, and cracking of tiles!

Were they crazy enough to cut a hole in the roof? No not crazy…just desperately needing Jesus. The four men weren’t worrying about what the crowd thought. Their eyes were focused on touching Jesus and getting His attention.

Have you been there before? Nobody understands your pain and sorrow. Nothing satisfies the emptiness you feel inside. You desperately need a change of circumstance.

How hungry are you for Jesus? Do you trust Him for everything? Would you go to such drastic measures to be in His presence?

We have seen strange things today…

Were the four men and the sick man the only ones in this large crowd of people needing a touch from the Lord? I’m certain there were others just as dissatisfied with their circumstances. I’m sure there were others in the crowd that day longing for peace and joy. Religion had failed them! Many were yearning to be healed physically and spiritually.

Why didn’t more recognize “…the power of the Lord was present to heal them”? Were they not hungry enough or desperate enough to go to such drastic measures? Were they afraid to make a scene? Or could it be they feared publicly challenging the religion of the day? The religious leaders…they were very intimidating.

20 And when [Jesus] saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

Luke 5:20

The power of the Lord was present to heal them! Yet the scribes and Pharisees immediately protested… They were so smug and content, too calloused to even recognize who Jesus was or what He could do. They were too busy analyzing and scrutinizing, so consumed with themselves and their positions that they missed the God of all Heaven!

Jesus said,

24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.

Luke 5:24

Right away the feeble man obeyed! He picked up his bed and walked out of the crowded house glorifying the Lord!

26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.

Luke 5:26

We have seen strange things today…

In an instant, the crowd witnessed the transformation! The symptoms of palsy involved more than just paralysis. The painfully shriveled up limbs, hands, and feet of the man were fully restored back to health. A crippled man healed by the power of God! That certainly was an extraordinary, strange thing!

We have seen strange things today…

The four men went above and beyond what was normal. They recognized the withered man’s only hope was Jesus. The men could’ve given up, but were determined to lay his bed at the feet of Jesus. It was strange what they were willing to do to get one man to Jesus.

Can you say that about your life? Can you say it about your church? Like these four men, are you willing to do whatever it takes to lead people (or just one soul) to Christ? Are you willing to surrender your plans to God’s will…to give up your time and efforts for the cause of Christ?

 The crowd was so caught up in their own agenda that day and refused to move to help a desperate, hurting soul get to Jesus. That didn’t stop the work of God though! Help us Lord to never be so consumed by our own selves that we hinder the work of God.

It’s not about religion! It’s not about church programs! It’s not about you or me!

Jesus said,

32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John 12:32

It’s all about pointing lost, hurting souls to the Cross of Calvary! Not just to be healed physically, but to be made whole by the blood of Jesus Christ. God wants to use your life to lift up Christ. Not just in your church, but at home, on the job, in school, on the street…wherever you go. All you have to do is let Jesus live in you, lift Him up, and He will do the rest.

We have seen strange things today…

The power of God was present to heal them, but only five men even acknowledged it! God longs to save souls, to deliver people from sin, to heal the sick, to restore marriages and broken homes. God wants to move in our midst so that He will be glorified. Like the crowd, how often is the power of God in our midst, yet so many walk away unchanged?

Strange things don’t happen to congregations or religious people! Strange things happen to people that aren’t content with the norm…people that aren’t satisfied with just going to church, singing a few songs, and listening to a sermon. What about you? Has serving God become just a Sunday morning ritual?

Strange things happen to those that are so desperate they will do anything to get to Jesus. Is that you? Is Jesus your everything?

Strange things are for those that are sold out and committed to spreading the gospel! Are you willing to sacrifice all you have to lay others at the foot of the cross?

But I have no talent, nothing to offer God.

God made you just the way you are for a purpose: to glorify His Son, Jesus Christ! God doesn’t need your talents or gifts. He wants someone who’s willing! It’s God’s desire to use each and every one of us to lead a lost and dying world to Jesus Christ! Not by your power, but by the power of God living in you!

Would you share Jesus and let your light shine to point others to Christ?

But you can’t share something you don’t have!

If you don’t know Jesus as Lord, you can. Or maybe you knew Jesus at one time, but got busy or distracted and left your first love. Either way, Jesus loves you and is patiently waiting for you to surrender. All it takes is a simple prayer to be free from your guilt and shame, to feel the peace and love of God cover you, to know you have a heavenly home.

Jesus, I know I am a sinner in need of a savior. Please come into my heart today and be my Lord. I want to be a part of the Kingdom of God!

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The Eternal Now


Eternal Now - Sun Apr 10Eternity…Our minds can’t even fathom what eternity will be like. While we live on this earth bound by time, God exists in one time. He doesn’t have a yesterday or a tomorrow. He is not limited by time. God lives in an eternal now.

Do you ever reminisce and wonder where all the years have gone? God sees everything and knows everything from start to finish. Do you sit and wonder what tomorrow will bring? While we look ahead anticipating what the future will hold, God is already there.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Psalm 90:2

God is from everlasting to everlasting. He is the first and last, the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.

Your time on earth starts at birth and ends at death (or the rapture). However, whether you realize it or not, the only time that really matters for you is right now…this very moment in time. The past you can’t change, and your future belongs to God. The only thing you have control over is a decision in this temporary now. Will you decide to live for Jesus, or live for yourself?

In Time Past

I wish I could live a Christian life! I’ve tried, but I have so many regrets. I feel so unworthy…so many mistakes, so many wrong choices, and now I have to live with them! I don’t know if I’ll ever overcome this. I’ll never be good enough!

Sound familiar?

No matter what you’ve been through, whether you have a lifetime of wonderful memories or haunting regrets, one thing is for certain. We all have a past and there’s no going back. There are no do-overs! What’s done is done!

1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Ephesians 2:1-3

In time past you were dead in trespasses and sin. All of us, saved and unsaved alike, have at some point in time lived in disobedience to please the flesh. But praise God our lives don’t have to be judged by the times past.

The question is: what are you doing right now?


Right Now

There are certain days that stand out as you look back over your life. We cherish and safeguard happy, joyous occasions with photos, scrap books, or souvenirs. While heartbreaking, tragic events that we wish we could forget, remain embedded in our conscious as long as we live. Some say all these things mold and make you into who you are. All these circumstances, good or bad, may affect your life here on earth. However, the most important event that should concern each and every one of us affects not just your time on earth, but your eternity when you leave this earth. The most important time of your life is the time at hand, right now…

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Revelation 1:3 (emphasis mine)

Time is at hand for all of us. Right now is the most crucial time of your life! Your right now moment changes with each tick of the clock. It’s only God’s mercy that we are given another right now moment.

None of us deserve it…

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

                Ephesians 2:4-5

That’s why it’s called amazing grace! It’s not about how good you can be. You can’t be holy enough to earn God’s favor.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

Even the most kind, compassionate person can’t be good enough to approach God. If it was about good works, then there was no need for Jesus to suffer and die a cruel death on a cross. But it’s not about how good we can be. The Bible says ”…there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:12).

If you don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior, salvation is a gift that is yours for the taking. All you have to do is receive it, right now! Essentially that’s all you have is right now. There’s no point in looking ahead to the future because you aren’t guaranteed another moment.


Time No Longer

Your future belongs to God! If you’re saved, then your future is secure in Christ! However, whether you are saved or not, God still holds your future. What you do with your now moment determines how you will stand before God in eternity

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:13

If you say yes to Jesus, God will judge you for your right now decision “…by the blood of Christ.”

I’m not ready to surrender to God right now! One day when the time is right, I will call on Jesus then. God gave me a choice to do it that way, right?

You do have a choice right now who you will serve? But there are no guarantees you will ever be given the opportunity again. Time is running out!

And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

Revelation 10:6 (emphasis mine)

There is coming a day, according to the book of Revelation, when time will be no longer. When you enter the eternal now one day, you will either stand before God in His mercy or in His judgement.

If you choose to submit to Christ in this temporary now, your past will be covered by the blood of Jesus. However, if you never take advantage of the now moment, then you will stand before God in judgement. Your life will be judged by your time past.

I’ve been a good person! I haven’t committed any crimes. What do I have to worry about?

No flesh can stand before a Holy, Righteous God and live! You must be covered in the blood of Christ!

God sounds so frightening and intimidating!

God is all-powerful! He is not the most powerful, but all-powerful! If He was the most powerful, then there would be others in line as the next most powerful. But there isn’t even a close second most powerful! God is all powerful!

Yes, He is all-powerful to carry out His justice in righteousness. But God is equally all-powerful to cover me in His love, mercy, and grace. God is all-powerful in everything!

You may be resisting God every step of the way, but He loves you so much and has done everything to make a way for you to be saved. No matter where you go God still loves you and continues to draw you to Himself.

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

Psalm 139:5-8

The word beset in Psalm 139:5 means to confine or corral in. God is working right now in your life. He sets up circumstances and situations in your life, not to control you, but to guide you to the cross. In mercy and love, He narrows your path and points you to surrender to Jesus Christ.

You’re not a robot. God won’t force His will on anyone. It’s your choice what you do with Jesus right now. Those who make Jesus Lord and Savior of their life, not years ago or yesterday, but right now, the eternal benefits and blessings of being a child of God begin right now.

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:6-7

In God’s eternal now, if you are in Christ, you are already seated with Christ. The riches of God’s grace are yours. Instead of judgment, you are covered in His loving kindness right now.

Will this be your now moment? You can draw near to God right now by just calling on the name of Jesus. Then you can say I was once a sinner eternally separated from a Holy God, but now…because of the blood of Jesus Christ, I am a part of the Kingdom of God. You can sit with Christ in heavenly places, and partake of God’s mercy and goodness.



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Jesus Glorified

Part 1

Jesus Glorified - Sun April 3

It was the time of Passover. By mandate, Jews came from near and far to come to the feast in Jerusalem. But the Passover wasn’t the only thing they had on their minds. Jesus had captured the attention of everybody, Jews and Gentiles alike.

They were fascinated by the miracles Jesus had performed. Even more intriguing was the way Jesus challenged the religion of the day. He taught in the temple with such wisdom and power that no one could deny His authority. Who was this man? With a holy anger, Jesus rebuked the profiteering and cleared the temple of all the merchants and moneychangers. It was intimidating for the religious leaders to say the least.

Jesus broke all the rules and traditions that the religious establishment had put in place. He was unholy because He ate with the publicans and sinners. He was unclean because He touched the diseased and afflicted. This Jesus totally disregarded the law of Moses! What gave Him the right to heal people on the Sabbath day? Jesus confounded religious efforts even more by claiming “…I and my Father are one (John 10:30).” What Blasphemy!

The current religious system was working great if you were “holy”. The chief priests and Pharisees enjoyed their lofty status. They weren’t about to let this Jesus threaten their position. The more famous Jesus became, the more the religious authorities hated Him. However, they couldn’t invalidate the works and the miracles. Instead, they attempted to use the law against Him.

It was on the Sabbath day when Jesus passed by a man who had been blind from birth. While the religion of the day reasoned this man was blind because of sin, Jesus declared the man’s blindness was so “…that the works of God should be made manifest in him (John 9:3).” He was blind so that God would be glorified!

Jesus spat on the ground, made some clay, and anointed the eyes of the blind man. Then Jesus told the man to go wash in the pool of Siloam. The man went away and did as Jesus commanded him. Was this really happening? Yes, he could see for the first time in his life! But the man had yet to see Jesus, the one who had touched him.

As the jubilant man shared the great miracle Jesus had done for him, the Pharisees’ grew more and more hostile toward him. What good could come from Jesus who defied their sacred system? However, the man boldly insisted:

If [Jesus] were not of God, he could do nothing.

John 9:33

The religious leaders couldn’t argue, but still refused to acknowledge the great miracle that had been done. They condemned the man and cast him out as a sinner.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?

John 9:35

Now… the man not only could see in the physical, but his spiritual eyes were opened as well. He believed on Jesus and worshipped Him. There’s a difference between receiving a miracle and actually knowing the miracle maker. Many people see the work of Jesus with their physical eyes, but never really behold Jesus and embrace Him for who He really is.

Then there was the ultimate miracle when Jesus called Lazarus back to life! Was the story really true or just a rumor? Lazarus had been dead for 4 days! His body had already started to decay.

Jesus saith unto [Martha], Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

John 11:40

When Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth”, a rotting corpse came out of the grave alive and well!

Now the chief priests not only wanted to put Jesus to death, but Lazarus as well.

Because they witnessed this miracle, many Jews now believed on Jesus (John 12:11). The religious leaders were desperate at this point. Jesus was corrupting everyone! “The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him (John 12:19).”

We want to see Jesus!

People gathered along the side of the road, waiting to see Jesus pass by. It wasn’t just about the miracles, but it was how He performed them. The old religion never reached out the way Jesus did. Jesus offered something more than the chief priests and scribes ever did. Jesus showed love and compassion to those that religion had condemned and rejected. Jesus touched the unclean, the hopeless, and the hurting.

And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:

John 12:20

These Greeks came to worship God, but were denied full access to the temple. The Greeks were pagans and idol worshipers. They were unclean and would surely defile the temple. Still these heathens were hungry for a move of God; they needed something more than what religion had to offer. They didn’t come seeking rituals or ceremonies! They were searching for truth! Then they heard about Jesus.

21 The [Greeks] came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.

22 Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.

John 12:21-22

They pleaded with Philip. We want to see Jesus! We want to witness Him for ourselves!

I’m sure the Greeks saw Lazarus and knew the miracles were for real. They may have even watched Jesus from afar pass by. But it wasn’t enough! They wanted to see Jesus up close and personal. They wanted to experience Him for themselves.

Today, we need a fresh revelation of Jesus Christ. It’s not about miracles! It’s not about exciting, spirit-filled services! It’s not about beautiful church buildings and elaborate programs!

The real question is: Do you long to see Jesus up close and personal? To commune with Him! To stand in awe of His beauty and holiness!

Where do we find Him?

For the Greeks and anyone who was seeking something better than a dead, corrupt religion, Jesus replied…

32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

John 12:32-33

Jesus had to die on the cross to fulfill His Father’s will. If the Greeks wanted to see Jesus, it couldn’t be through great works or miracles, nor could it be through great doctrines or discourses. If they were to see Jesus, they would have to go to the foot of His cross. Behold, Jesus, the Lamb for sinners slain!

If you truly want to see Jesus, you must look through the lens of the cross as well. Before you can even begin to walk with God, you must see Jesus through the work He did on the cross. There’s no other way! Without the cross, we have no access to God!

It’s not enough to go to church. It’s not enough to see the Spirit moving in the lives of others. You must experience Christ at the cross for yourself. When you taste the peace that comes in knowing your sins are washed away, and you are no longer a servant of the devil, then you will know you’ve seen Jesus.

However, the work of grace doesn’t stop here. Jesus didn’t go to the cross to make you a better person. He didn’t die to make you look good or feel better about yourself. You are saved for one reason: that Jesus be glorified in you!

Somebody has to be a conduit between a world that needs to see God, and a God that wants to be seen. When you are saved, you become that vessel. The world sees Christ in you!

As you study the Bible, each time you pray and seek the Lord, when you intercede for others, whatever you accomplish, it’s all so that Jesus be lifted up. When the church comes together for fellowship and prayer, to sing praises and worship God, to hear the preaching of God’s word, it’s all so that Christ be exalted.

The priority of Pentecost is not for you to get the Holy Ghost, but for the Spirit to possess you. You are baptized in the Holy Ghost not so you can boast about what you’ve got. It’s not about speaking in tongues, or miracles, or exciting church services. The purpose of the Spirit is not for entertainment or to lift people up. The Spirit comes to exalt Jesus Christ!

There’s nothing wrong with asking God to move. There’s nothing wrong with believing in faith for a miracle. We should bring all our needs to the Lord, but… until what we need lines up with what God wills, there will be a disconnect. Whatever we ask of the Lord, the ultimate goal should be to glorify Jesus Christ!

Is that your desire today? To see Christ glorified in your life? To see Christ glorified in your church?

23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.                                         

John 12:23-25

What are you willing to do to see Jesus?

What’s your motive for following Christ? Do you love Him and long to see Him, or are you more focused on His wonder working power? Is your passion for Christ or what He can do for you?

What are you willing to do to see Jesus glorified? Would you follow Jesus to the cross and sacrifice your will just to be near Him? Like that corn of wheat Jesus spoke of in John 12:24, are you willing to die to yourself so that you can grow and bring forth much fruit to glorify the Father in Heaven?

Jesus was nailed to the cross, but that cross has a back side. If you profess Christ as Lord and Savior, then you belong on the back side of that cross. The spikes that went through Christ’s wrists and into the wooden beam didn’t stop there. They protruded out through the other side through the back of the hands of all those that will say…

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

 Galatians 2:20

Christ can’t be glorified in my life while I live! My will has to be crucified. I must surrender all I have to the one who willingly suffered and died for my sins. Christ tells me where to go, what to do, what to say, and what to think. He controls me, so the world no longer sees me, but Jesus in me.

Are you willing to be crucified with Christ?

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We Have an Altar

We Have An Altar - Sun Mar 20am

You’re desperate! The guilt and shame you feel is unbearable. You long for forgiveness! You need to throw yourself at the altar and make things right with God, but you are too weak to make the journey to the temple. Even if you were able to get to the temple, you have no money! Nothing to even barter with, to pay the outrageous price of an animal to give to the priest. No sacrifice means no forgiveness! It’s hopeless!

Go back a couple of thousand years and just imagine being at the mercy of this corrupted religious system man had created. Can you hear the helpless cry of the poor, the lame, the broken ones?

Then there’s the worthless sinners, the lowest of the low. I’m sure many longed for an altar to seek repentance, but they were already hopelessly condemned by the law and the religious leaders. They had to die for their horrendous deeds. A woman caught in the very act of adultery was shown no mercy: she was to be stoned to death! The scribes and Pharisees pressed Jesus to agree with them. But little did they know when they cast the woman at Jesus’ feet, they were throwing her into a whole new dimension of an altar where mercy rejoices over judgement. Jesus “…said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her (John 8:7).

Have you ever felt as condemned as this woman?

I feel like I’ve gone too far to even be worthy enough to step foot in a church, let alone throw myself on their altar. Even if I get enough nerve to go to their altar, all I have to offer God is a broken, messed up life.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Psalm 51:17

If your heart is broken and you are sorry for your sin, then you have the best sacrifice you could possibly offer up to God.

An altar is always the path to God.

The only way to God is through an altar. Okay, but what if I want to surrender my life to God right now? I am nowhere near a church. I need to find an altar!

An altar is simply a place to meet with God. It’s not just a piece of furniture located at the front of a church sanctuary. Church should be a refuge, an ideal place to meet God, but it’s not the only place. God will meet you wherever you are, regardless of who you are.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

                                                           Romans 10:13

When you call on the name of Jesus, you are making an altar right where you are!

The Old Testament saints made altars everywhere! Starting with Abel then Noah, as well as Abram, Isaac, Jacob and the list continues on. In fact, in the Old Testament, the word altar is mentioned over 400 times. From mountaintops to valleys, in the middle of deserts and alongside the riverbanks, nowhere was too far out of God’s presence to build an altar.

But you don’t understand! I have never even prayed! I don’t even know how to pray! You don’t know where I’m at or what I’ve done. I’m not sure God will even honor my altar!

God is no respecter of persons! Scripture says whosoever…shall be saved. Not whosoever, except… Whosoever includes the drug addict and the dealer, the prostitute and the porn addict, the hurting and the hated, the abused and the abandoned…Whosoever excludes no one!

Whosoever included the adulteress woman in John 8. While the religious leaders did their best to keep her from their altar, in doing so they were only condemning themselves.

Have others labeled you as a hopeless case, hindering your efforts to get to an altar? Or can you relate more to the scribes and Pharisees? Do you enjoy the comfort of your religion while looking down at those who aren’t as “churched” as you?

Much of Christ’s ministry while on this earth was focused on those that others had deemed worthless. The religious leaders condemned Jesus for ministering to the publicans and sinners. People may condemn you and even exclude you from their “Christian” circle. But Christ doesn’t condemn or exclude anyone.

Jesus is calling…

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28


We have an Altar.

God’s loving mercy covers it all. You don’t have to make an altar because God has provided one for you.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Hebrews 13:8-9

Don’t get bogged down in doctrines or man’s religious systems. It’s really very simple! You don’t have to make a long journey, or go through a ritual or ceremony like those that serve the tabernacle. You have an altar available to you 24/7!


10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

Hebrews 13:10

The word altar appears in the New Testament in only 23 verses most of which either are referring to history in the Old Testament or a heavenly vision in the book of Revelation. Hebrews 13:10 is the only verse that stands alone in the context: We have an altar! You have an altar! You have a place to go to meet God. You have a refuge to find mercy and forgiveness, peace and comfort, healing or deliverance. Whatever you need can be found in this altar!

When Jesus suffered and spilt His own blood on the cross, He became the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. You don’t have to go through a priest, the pope, a preacher, or a religious system.

11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.

12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

                                                     Hebrews 13:11-12

Jesus willingly laid down His life to be our sacrifice. He conquered death, hell, and the grave. Now He is seated at the right hand of God, acting as our great high priest.

13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Hebrews 13:13-16

The priests, sacrifices, and altars of the Old Testament were just a type of what was to come. Like in the Old Testament, you still must go through an altar to get to God. Halleluiah! Jesus fulfilled all of it! Christ is your altar!

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14:6

No matter where you are, you can call on the Lord Jesus right now! Christ is your altar, but it’s up to you what you do with Him. You can ignore the altar, trample over it, kick it, neglect it. Or you can take hold of it and humbly bow down before it, and let Jesus change your life. Submit all you have to Christ. He wants to take everything you have, the good and the bad, and use it for His honor and glory.

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Consumed by Jealousy

Part 2

Consumed By Jealousy - Sun Feb 28am

What makes someone jealous? Insecurities? Feelings of worthlessness? Or just an unhealthy obsession? Regardless the situation, jealousy is sinful and destructive. So if God is good, perfect in all His ways, how can He be jealous?

14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Exodus 34:14


Jealousy is desiring the absolute possession of someone or something. However, for humans, we have no right to possess anything. We have no authority to own anyone or anything. God is the only one that has the authority to claim absolute ownership of someone. God has the right to be jealous over you!

The human side of jealousy is sinful and destructive.

When jealousy occurs in human relationships, it can be manipulative, controlling, and possessive. It often shows up in a marriage over a spouse, between dating couples, or even among close friends. It has the potential to occur in any relationship. Jealousy enrages people to irrational and violent behavior!

34 For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

Proverbs 6:34


Sometimes it rears its ugly head as envy over another’s rank, status, or position. Even Pilate, in Matthew 27, recognized the motive of the religious leaders when they chose to crucify Jesus and set Barabbas free.

18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

Matthew 27:18

The chief priests and elders were claiming absolute authority over their man-made religious system. They weren’t about to sacrifice their status or relinquish their control to submit to this Jesus. So they used their influence to condemn a sinless man: the Son of God.

How often do we flaunt this same rebellious attitude? Each and every time we choose our own way over the desires of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are no better than those that cried Crucify Him!

Once you surrender to Christ, His Spirit convicts you to abandon your own will for the will of God.

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Galatians 5:24

You no longer live to please yourself because you have crucified the flesh, along with all your plans, passions, and desires. 

Wait a minute! I have a right to my own opinion, don’t I? I can make my own choices, do my own thing!

Although very subtle, this is the most dangerous type of human jealousy. We are all guilty of jealousy over our own selves.

What? How can you be jealous over yourself?

When you choose your own way, when you pursue your own pleasures and walk in the flesh, you are not submitting to Christ. Instead, you are choosing to be lord of your life. In essence, you are acting out jealousy over your own self. You are telling God the sacrifice of His Precious Son wasn’t good enough. You usurp God’s position and become your own god!

Even if you reject Jesus as Lord and Savior, you still owe Him everything. You may not like it, but you have no right to own anything because you are a slave to sin. You don’t even own yourself!

God is the only one who has absolute authority and every right to be jealous over you because He purchased you with His own blood. All that you are or ever hope to be belongs to God.


I’ve submitted to God so why does He still have to be jealous over me?

Okay, so what if I agree God owns me? What if I make Jesus Lord of my life? I still don’t understand why God can’t share me with another. It sounds so unfair. I just don’t understand why I can’t have a little input in what goes on in my life.

That’s okay! You don’t have to understand. God is God and He is in complete control. Yes, He is loving, merciful and compassionate, but at the same time He is holy, righteous, and jealous. No sinful flesh can glory in His presence. He is a consuming fire!

I’m not seeking my own glory! I just want to enjoy life. Why do I have to be so fanatical about Jesus? It seems so narrow minded.

God loves you so much and refuses to share you or your affections with another for a good reason. If your life is not completely consumed by Christ, then you will be consumed by something. If you aren’t totally sold out to God, you are giving satan an opportunity to get a hold on you. You don’t have to willingly yield your vessel to the devil. All you have to do is leave a door unlocked or a window cracked and he will gladly take up residence in you.

Your vessel will either be filled up completely with God, or it will be filled with something else. You can’t dabble in sin and still live for Christ. Your whole being, including your very thoughts, must be completely consecrated to God.

Recall the story when Jesus was enraged by what was going on in God’s house. The temple, a holy place consecrated to God, was being used for nothing but a market place where corruption was rampant.


And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

John 2:17

When Jesus saw the temple being used for man’s gain and glory, a money making industry, He was consumed with a zeal, or jealousy. He was determined to guard God’s house solely for the glory of God and nothing less.

Just like the temple, Christ abandoned His desires and committed His body, His thoughts, His everything to be a holy vessel for the glory of God.

David prophetically recorded a promise the Father gave to His Son:

I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption

Psalm 16:8-10

While preaching Christ on the Day of Pentecost, Peter referenced this same Psalm 16.

He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

Acts 2:31

The Father kept His promise to His Son. Christ died and went to the grave, but didn’t lay there long enough to see corruption. He descended to the horrific pit of hell, but didn’t suffer or stay there. He marched through hell triumphantly and left victoriously with the keys of death, hell, and the grave.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

1 Corinthians 15:54

The same promise the Father made to Jesus is ours. Like Jesus, if your life is covered in the blood of Christ, you don’t have to fear death, hell, or the grave.

Like Jesus, you can be free from corruption!

Jesus led a perfect, sinless life. He lived to please and do the will of His Heavenly Father. The devil had no authority or claim over Jesus’ life. Jesus told his disciples in John 14:30, “… the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” How many of us can say that? The devil has nothing in me: no stronghold, no secrets, absolutely nothing!

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Galatians 6:7-8

Christ never reaped corruption because He never sewed seeds to the flesh. What kind of seeds are you sowing? When you plant seeds to the Spirit, you will reap life, everlasting! However, if you scatter seeds to the flesh, you will reap death and corruption.

God is so jealous over you and demands absolute devotion from you because He knows how corruption works. Sin will cost you more than you can pay! Hell is the absolute consumption of those that choose to sow seeds to the flesh. It will be filled with those who refused to submit to Christ!

This doesn’t mean you are going to lead a perfect, sinless life. It’s a battle each and every day: the flesh wars against the spirit. We strive to be more like Jesus “… that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (I John 2:1).”

However, every area of your life that you reserve for yourself and hold back from God is fertile ground for a seed of corruption to sprout. When corruption sprouts and takes root, it will be like a cancer infecting and consuming your entire being.

David said,

23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

 Psalm 139:23-24

Like David, ask God to search every area of your heart and thoughts. Don’t leave any secret sins, habits, or motives unturned. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that’s not pleasing to God. Confess it! Seek God’s forgiveness and plead the blood of Christ over it.

God desires all your affections because He knows the destruction that will follow if you choose another. Whether you choose to surrender your life to God or not, you will be consumed by something! If you choose to enjoy temporary pleasures of sin and satisfy self, corruption, death, and hell will be yours. But if you submit your whole life, everything you have, to Christ you will reap eternal life and blessings of a loving, jealous God. Be consumed by death, hell, and corruption; or be consumed by God and enjoy all His blessings and benefits. The choice is yours today!


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Consumed by Jealousy

Part 1

Consumed By Jealousy - Sun Feb 28am

It’s mine! I’m not sharing this with anyone!

Jealousy… It’s the green eyed monster that will devour anything it touches. Whether it’s over a relationship or a position, jealousy is unhealthy and enrages people to the point of obsession.

Wait a minute! God is a jealous God…

14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Exodus 34:14

If jealousy is such a bad thing, then how can God be jealous and still be good? This may be hard to understand, especially if you’ve ever been directly affected by the human side of jealousy.


First of all, you must understand what jealousy is. Jealousy is claiming the absolute possession of something. No human has any right or authority to claim the absolute possession of anything. We own nothing. We can’t even claim our next heartbeat. The only thing we can say we absolutely possess is a decision to either serve Christ or serve our own flesh.

Jealously is a sin for us because God didn’t create humans to be possessors of anything. God unites a husband and wife in a holy marriage to form a family for fellowship with, but not ownership of, each other. Similarly, He created us to unite and commune with the creator Himself. You and I are made to be a vessel for Christ to live through.

God, unlike man, has absolute power and authority over everything. So God has every right to be jealous over me because He purchased me with His own blood when I was nothing but a slave to sin. I owe Him everything!

I can be glad and take refuge in the jealousy of God. He loves me so much that He won’t share me with anything or anybody. He is totally devoted to sheltering me and protecting me from all harm. Moreover, God longs to fellowship with me, and His heart breaks when I choose another over Him.

Whether it’s human or divine, jealousy is never passive. Prisons are full today because someone acted and carried out their jealous rage. God’s jealousy is just as extreme.

 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.

Zechariah 8:2

God is jealous over you and me with great fury.

 24 For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 4:24

God is a consuming fire. Fire is aggressive and will devour anything in its path, including me. But I have a choice how this fire will consume me. I can either be consumed by God’s jealous love or by His jealous judgement.


It’s no coincidence that hell will be a lake of a fire. Those who have rejected the love extended to them through Jesus Christ will be consumed by the fire of God’s jealous judgement. Without the blood of Christ applied to your life, you can’t stand before a holy, righteous God.

No flesh will glory in His presence because God won’t share His glory with another. God is  also jealous over His name.

…and will be jealous for my holy name;

Ezekiel 39:25

God is jealous when we waste our life to glorify satan, or our own flesh, rather than exalt the name of the Lord. If God’s jealousy doesn’t consume you then something else will. What are you consumed with? Do you obsess over temporary pleasures and pursuits? Are you preoccupied with following your own plans and dreams for your life?

Maybe you have felt the fire of God’s jealous love touch you, but you have not let it consume you. What are you holding back or hiding from God? Nothing is secret to God! He’s just patiently waiting for you to surrender it to Him. Let the light of God’s love shine in every dark nook and cranny of your life until your entire being is sold out to Christ. Don’t hold anything back!


God’s jealousy not only is the driving force of hell, but it will also be the very essence of heaven. Those who receive the precious gift of salvation will also be the recipients of the benefits of a jealous God, a God so obsessed with His children that He has made a heavenly Kingdom to inhabit with them. If you are a blood bought child of this jealous God, you will inherit this Kingdom so secure nothing will ever get in to harm you.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 21:4

Sadly, hell is reserved for those that are consumed by something other than Jesus Christ. If you aren’t completely consumed by the fire of God’s love, you can be. Surrender every area of your life to Christ and relinquish all ownership. Allow God to be the only rightful possessor of you and all that you have. Be consumed by His wonderful jealousy!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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025: Embracing the Already

Embracing The Already - Sun Feb 14am

I’ve been praying for what seems like forever, but nothing has happened yet. I don’t know how long I can go on like this!

It can be discouraging when you’re believing in faith for something, but the miracle never comes.

Consider the heroes of faith…

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hebrews 11:13

They never received the promises, but pressed on anyway and died in faith. Can we say that of ourselves? If we never witness another healing or miracle, when our faith is really put to the test, are we going to continue to believe?

If the old ship that has sheltered you and carried you safely through so many storms and gales suddenly springs a little leak, it would be foolish to abandon your only refuge for the perils of the ocean. It makes more sense to work a little harder, bail a little water, and cling even tighter and trust that the Old Ship of Zion that has brought you this far will continue to carry you onward until you reach that heavenly shore.

If you feel your faith is wavering and all you want to do is give up, God knows what you need before you even ask. As you tune in to this podcast episode, embrace what God has already provided! Everything you need is in one word—Jesus!

024: He That Is Greatest

He That Is Greatest - Sun Feb 7am

Judas Iscariot, the betrayer… How could someone who physically walked and talked with Jesus turn on Him? I would never do that! I love Jesus too much! Oh, really? Judas sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver. How many times have each of us sold Jesus for less than that? What is Jesus worth to you?

Judas witnessed with his own eyes the miracles Jesus performed. He heard with his own ears the words Jesus spoke with such authority that even the winds obeyed. Judas was no stranger, but was close to Jesus. He was chosen to be one of the twelve disciples! Judas couldn’t have been this close to the Son of God without personally experiencing His power, His peace, His love, His mercy. Judas witnessed with all his senses the very presence of God Himself, yet betrayed Him. How could he do that?

Considering this, how much better are we than Judas? Have you ever compromised your relationship with Christ to pursue your will? How many times have you sold Jesus out to seek temporary pleasures? Every minute of our lives we have a choice to make. Will I strive to make myself great? Or will I choose to glorify Christ?

If you are wondering if you are capable of betraying Jesus, then you need to tune in to this podcast episode. When you look closely at the Table of Betrayal in Luke 22, you will find Judas wasn’t the only traitor among the disciples.


023: Escaping the Vulture’s Eye

Part 2

Escaping The Vulture's Eye - Sun Oct 25

The devil made me do it! As much as we would like to, we can’t blame our sin on the devil. Like a vulture, the devil is drawn to the stench of rotting flesh. Every time you walk in the flesh, you are giving the devil rights to devour you. You don’t have to be prey for the devil. Fight back! Walk in the Spirit and you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16)!

Okay, I’m walking in the Spirit and doing everything I know to do that’s right! But…the devil is still fighting me every step of the way! Vultures aren’t going to fight for their food. Just keep submitting yourself to God’s will, resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7)!

This doesn’t mean you’re not going to go through trials and temptations. Regardless of what you’re dealing with, God is good and faithful!

God’s faithfulness is not determined by your weakness. Tune in to this podcast and be reminded of the many ways God is faithful to you. I pray you will fully trust Him to deliver you and keep you today and forever!

The Gardener

Part 2

The Gardener - Sun Jan 31am




Jesus is the Gardener. Unlike the first Adam who disobeyed and failed to keep God’s garden, Jesus stands guard over the Church today. He fulfilled His Father’s will when He submitted and went to the cross. Now He stands ready to intercede for whoever will call upon His name. Jesus!

Growing in the Garden of God

If you know anything about growing things, gardens don’t just happen naturally. You don’t just one day walk outside and scatter seed and expect a beautifully landscaped garden to sprout forth. Fields don’t just naturally form in perfect rows either.

The garden of God is no different. The natural man can’t produce the garden God intends.

…Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

Zechariah 4:6

If you want to grow to please God, you must walk in the Spirit. When the flesh runs things, it will only go back to the wilderness it was before God redeemed it.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Romans 8:6

Flesh can’t please God! If Christ is the Gardener, then only the spiritually minded will produce a garden acceptable to God. When God’s children work together in harmony and think with the mind of Christ, God is pleased. Then a lovely, fragrant garden is cultivated.


What’s This Mess?

The garden is rich with color and fragrance! But as you stroll along a path, you find a mess that seems to throw everything out of order. Diseased clippings and dead branches litter the ground. The stench of rotting vegetation lingers in the air.

What happened to such a beautiful garden? All the lush green vines and branches look mangled and deformed.

1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

John 15:1-2

Like any good caretaker, God puts His pruning shears to work! He prunes the branches and purges all the infected areas that will eventually destroy our life. He only leaves the parts that will bring forth fruit and glorify Him. Are you willing to surrender and let the Gardener go to work in you?

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

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.

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.

John 15:3-5

For a time, it may look like a mess, but wait until the next growing season before you judge what the good Gardener is trying to do. The Gardener is not trying to harm you, but is making you more productive so you can bear much fruit.

It may be painful and almost unbearable at times, but…

Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

Isaiah 60:21

It is all for God’s glory!

He tends to you because you are the branch of His planting, the work of His hands. God knows how to cultivate the perfect plant. He knows how deep your roots go. He knows when to apply pressure to your life to make your foundation more secure so you can withstand anything.

This branch needs snipping! These roots need severing! Ouch! It may be painful, but the good Gardener has a plan. The goal is to use your life…

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Isaiah 61:3

He has promised He will turn all the mess, and deformities, into the planting of the Lord. A good Gardener will take drastic measures to care for His plantings, so “…that they might be called trees of righteousness.” If necessary, God might even transplant the tree altogether in order to save it.

But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.

Matthew 15:13

Although it may be painful, you can trust Jesus. He is a Master Gardener! If you’re not rooted properly, God knows it’s better to uproot and transplant the plant, than to just let it wither away.

He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

Luke 13:6-7

When others are saying give up. There’s no hope for that plant, “…why cumbereth it the ground?” God says, wait! Let me tend to it and nurture it a little more. Nobody has ever loved and cared for this bush so it needs extra attention. This one doesn’t need any cutting or severing. It’s been trampled over enough. It just needs a little more grace and some tender loving care.

And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

Luke 13:8-9

How many seasons has God given you to bear fruit? Have you submitted your life to this Gardener? Or are you resisting and fighting Christ every step of the way? He wants to take everything that’s wrong in your life and make it right!

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Romans 2:4


He’s a loving, merciful Father who wants the best for you. He is patiently waiting for you to submit and surrender your life to Him. He is laboring over you right now. Watering, fertilizing, pruning.

Maybe you feel so worthless and condemned that there’s no hope for your life to turn around. You don’t have any branches and barely any roots to offer God. You have tried everything under the sun to make things right only to be disappointed time and time again.

Everyone you know has given up on you, and you gave up on yourself a long time ago. If you think you’ve gone too far to turn back now, may I remind you of the woman in Luke 8:2. Mary Magdalene was possessed with seven devils. Drug addiction, sexual perversion, unforgiveness, mental anguish…The Bible doesn’t elaborate on how the demons tormented her. But one thing is clear Jesus delivered her and turned her life around.

The number seven in the Bible represents completion, a finished product. That tells me Mary Magdalene was too far gone. The work had been completed. She was beyond hope, until Jesus passed by. But that’s what Jesus does! In His presence, the impossible becomes possible. He takes the nothing and turns it into something for Him.

Maybe your life has been great and you can’t exactly relate to a Mary Magdalene. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your branches are! If the branch isn’t producing fruit, then it’s useless to the Gardener. You may have the perfect life, perfect job, perfect family! You may have the utmost respect of everyone in the church and the community, but at the end of the day, is it all bringing glory to God?

No matter who you are, Jesus, the Gardener wants to use you in His garden. The garden is not complete without you in it. But God can’t plant you unless you are willing. Will you surrender to Christ today and let Him have His way in your life?



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