Happy Easter


Run away


1 Corinthians 6:18-20 encourages us to "Run away from sexual sin. Every other sin people do is outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies. You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves, because you were bought by God for a price. So honor God with your bodies." 

Well-Laid Plans

Well-Laid Plans 

"How could you?" Helen screamed. "How could you ever do such a thing?" 

Tom stared helplessly at his wife. He had committed adultery, faced his sinful actions, and asked his wife to forgive him. 

"I never planned for an affair to happen," Tom said with tears in his eyes. 

Tom wasn't lying. He knew he was making a few bad choices, but he hadn't looked ahead at the consequences of his actions. After almost an hour of pleading, he said something that helped Helen begin to understand and eventually to forgive. 

"I was unfaithful to you before I ever committed adultery." He spoke of their being too busy to spend time together, his critical attitude, her lack of emotional response, her not listening to him when he talked about problems at the office. 

That's exactly how Satan works. He begins by bombarding our minds with cleverly devised patterns of irritation, dissatisfaction, doubts, fears, and reasonings. He moves slowly and cautiously (after all, well-laid plans take time). 

Tom began to doubt that Helen truly loved him. She didn't listen, and she didn't always respond to his amorous moods. 

One of his coworkers listened. One time she said, "Helen doesn't deserve a warm, caring man like you." (Satan also worked in her.) Each time Tom took a tiny step off the right path, he justified his actions in his mind: If Helen won't listen to me, there are people who will. 

The coworker listened. Weeks later, he hugged her and wished he could feel that caring response from his wife. It was a harmless embrace--or so it seemed. 

Tom didn't grasp that Satan is never in a hurry. All he needs is an opportunity to inject unholy, self-centered thoughts into our heads. If we don't kick them out, they stay. And he can continue his evil, destructive plan. 

We don't have to allow those wrong thoughts to take residence in our heads. For the weapons of our warfare are . . . mighty before God. . . . [We] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ . . . (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). 

Lord Jesus, in Your name, I cry out for victory. Enable me to bring every thought into obedience. Help me not to allow Satan's words to stay in my mind and steal my victory. Amen. 

From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. 

Proverbs 16:25

Proverbs 16:25 NIV

"There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death."


New Day, New You


I finished the New Day, New You Bible reading plan at 

New Day, New You

1 Peter 1:18, 19

1 Peter 1:18, 19 NIV


"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect."

Psalm 133:1

Psalm 133:1 NIV

"How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!"

Mark 11:25


Mark 11:25 NIV

"And when you stand praying, 

if you hold anything against anyone, 

forgive them, 

so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. ”

Don't Give Up


“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” — Thomas Edison

Proverbs 13:11

Proverbs 13:11 NIV

11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.


1 Corinthians 2:10-12

How Does My Conscience Differ from the Guidance of the Holy Spirit?


God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.  For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?  Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.  1 Corinthians 2:10-12

Pastor, it is like God flipped a light on in my soul.  A man who had recently become a Christian said these words, and shared a simple but profound comparison of the conscience and the Holy Spirit.  He explained that his choices prior to salvation were based on the knowledge and evaluation of right and wrong, measuring the consequences of his decisions.  His actions would be determined by what seemed right and rational to him.  Satisfaction and regrets were based on feelings.  This man had been acting according to his conscience.

But that viewpoint changed when he became a follower of Jesus and the Holy Spirit came to dwell in him.  His decision-making process was completely different.  Now when he made the right choices, he felt God’s pleasure and direction, and a renewed sense of purpose in life.  When he chose sin, he felt conviction and uneasiness because he was displeasing God.  Personal regrets became sorrow for sin against the holy God (John 16:8).  Everyone is born with a conscience.  Psalm 139:13 refers to the creation of one’s “inward parts.”  It is the conduit in a person’s soul that allows the Holy Spirit to work in the believer’s life.  (John 14:26), led (Romans 8:14), and strengthened (Romans 8:26; Ephesians 3:16).

As today’s passage states, we can know more than surface facts about God.  The Holy Spirit creates in us a hunger to know Him personally.  He reveals mysteries and purposes.  And, although there will always be things about God that are beyond our grasp to understand (Romans 11:33-36), the Spirit generates in us a passion to search for what we can comprehend.  May we as believers never trust our conscience but fully depend upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  

You desire for me to know the deep things of You, Lord.  Create in me an insatiable desire to know who You are and what You are like.  May I reply on the empowerment of the Holy Spirit’s light to direct my paths.  Thank You for desiring a pure relationship with me.  Amen.

Thank you… Dr. Ted Traylor, Pensacola, Florida

1 Corinthians 1:18

1 Corinthians 1:18  NIV

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.


John 14:17

John 14:17  NIV

17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.


Retaliation and the Kingdom

Retaliation and the Kingdom

Matthew 5:38–42 “I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (v. 39).

One of the best helps for interpreting the Sermon on the Mount properly is to remember that Jesus’ stipulations deal directly with interpersonal relationships within the covenant community and, secondarily, with those outside the church. It is not as if He has nothing to say to the structures of society, it is just that we err if we treat Christ’s words here as primarily dealing with law courts, warfare, and other broad societal and governmental concerns.

Consider today’s passage in which Jesus discusses the Law’s “eye-for-an-eye” justice (Matt. 5:38–42; see Ex. 21:23–25). Many assume He is saying that the so-called lex talionis is wrong, but such interpretations make Christ one who denies the goodness of God’s law (Rom. 7:7), not the one who fulfills it (Matt. 5:17–20). As God Himself, Jesus knows that eye-for-an-eye justice is wise, instituted to ensure that the punishment fits the crime. Justice in ancient Israel’s tribal system could have easily become endless feuding without this law. Without the lex talionis, in ancient times my family might kill you to avenge your breaking of my leg, your family might then kill my family, and so on. Today, news of young girls being raped or killed as punishment in some Islamic countries for “violating” their family’s “honor” reveals the righteousness of the lex talionis.

Eye-for-an-eye justice was given to the courts in Israel to ensure that victims received adequate restitution. However, the lex talionis was never intended to justify retaliation for everyday, personal offenses. This is what Jesus is talking about in today’s passage. A slap on the “right cheek,” which basically amounts to a personal insult, must not be returned in kind (Matt. 5:39). Believers give up their law-given right to keep their outer cloak (5:40; see Ex. 22:26–27), that is, we may not appeal to our legal rights every time we are wronged. The lex talionis restrains vengeance to help us cultivate a generous heart that overlooks personal offenses and forgives for the kingdom’s sake. In short, Matthew Henry says, “Christians must not be litigious; small injuries must be submitted to, and no notice taken of them; and if the injury is such as requires us to seek reparation, it must be for a good end, and without thought of revenge.”

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

The last point of Matthew Henry’s quote is important since there are times when seeking reparation may in fact be the best way to love our neighbor and keep him from sinning further. Such occasions, however, will be few and far between. We are to endure insults and offenses meekly, doing extra even for those who do not deserve it (Matt. 5:41). When someone asks you for a favor, volunteer to go above and beyond their request.

Thank you… Ligonier Ministries

Highly Effective

The Highly Effective Christian

Luke 19:11–27

Recommended Reading: Exodus 4:10–12; Isaiah 6:8; Ezekiel 2:1–7; 1 Corinthians 12:4–31


In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey recommends the following mental exercise: Imagine that you’ve died and that four people representing different aspects of your life speak at your funeral: a relative, a fellow church member, a business colleague and someone else from your community. What would each one honestly say about your life?

While it’s not easy to imagine others testifying to the effectiveness of our lives in the context of a funeral, this exercise does provide some much needed perspective. There’s nothing like the end of a life to get others to consider the course of their days. Take a few minutes to seriously think about what these individuals might say about you to a gathered crowd.

Now take a few moments to imagine what Jesus would say about your Christian life to this point. What does he think about your faith? What does he think about your accomplishments for his kingdom? Would he describe you as someone growing closer to him each day?

Jesus told a story about three servants in order to illustrate that God expects each of us to be faithful with what he has given us. Of course, any number of fears might hinder us from using the gifts God gives us: fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of God’s disapproval, to name a few biggies. Failure to invest represents the most serious potential shortfall of all. Only when we use our faith does it stand a chance of growing. If we don’t exercise it, it becomes stagnant and lifeless. Can you think of anyone whose faith looks like that?

Let’s look ahead ten years and repeat the mental exercise. If you spend the next ten years investing your faith and wholeheartedly using the gifts God gives you to serve him, what would a relative, a fellow church member, a business colleague and someone else from your community be likely to say at your funeral? What would Jesus say?

To Take Away

What gifts and opportunities has God provided that you can use for him?

Be honest with yourself. How have you done at living a life of faith in God?

• What aspects of your life have you been withholding from God? What steps can you take to invest these areas in faithful service to him?


What Should I Do During Times of Adversity?


You will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the Lord charged Moses concerning Israel.  Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed.  1 Chronicles 22:13

David spoke wise words to his son Solomon before Solomon embarked on two assignments that were guaranteed to involve adversity – building the temple and ruling as king.  David reminded him to follow the Lord’s commands and to be strong and courageous.  Moses similarly advised Joshua to “be strong and of good courage” as Joshua was about to walk into a similar challenge rife with adversity – leading the nation of Israel into the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 31:7).  Following Moses’ death the Lord spoke to Joshua and reiterated the command to “be strong and of good courage,” instructing him also to obey His Word and to remember that He would be with him wherever he went (Joshua 1:6-9).

Though you are not leading multitudes into the Promised Land or reigning as a king, you do understand adversity.  The same directions given to Solomon and Joshua to prepare them for challenges are applicable to your in whatever difficulty you will face.  You are to be strong and courageous and continue moving forward in the midst of your adversity because God is faithful and will be there with you.  Your strength and courage are based on His power.  You are to live according to the principles of God, relaying on His promises and resting in His power.

There are seasons when it is not easy to believe God is faithful.  Friends fail you; your health deteriorates; your plans are thwarted; a fellow believer betrays you.  In times like these, it is hard to harmonize God’s dealings with His vows of love and protection.  But always remember His steadfast love and His faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:24 says, “’The Lord is my portion’, says my soul, ‘therefore I hope in Him!’”  You need to wait on Him.  He will, in His own time, demonstrate that He has neither forsaken nor deceived you.  Great is His faithfulness in the midst of adversity!

Lord, I thank You for another day to live for You and serve You.  I do not know what difficulties I may encounter this day, but I do know that You have already gone before me.  Today I will live by Your principles as stated in Your Word.  Help me be strong and courageous today.  Remind me constantly of Your steadfast love and enduring faithfulness.  May You be glorified in my response to the challenges of this day.  Amen

Thank you… Dr. Danny Wood, Birmingham, AL

Just Do It


1 Peter 2:7

"He is precious."  1 Peter 2:7


As all the rivers run into the sea, so all delights centre in our Beloved. The glances of his eyes outshine the sun: the beauties of his face are fairer than the choicest flowers: no fragrance is like the breath of his mouth. Gems of the mine, and pearls from the sea, are worthless things when measured by his preciousness. Peter tells us that Jesus is precious, but he did not and could not tell us how precious, nor could any of us compute the value of God's unspeakable gift. Words cannot set forth the preciousness of the Lord Jesus to his people, nor fully tell how essential he is to their satisfaction and happiness. Believer, have you not found in the midst of plenty a sore famine if your Lord has been absent? The sun was shining, but Christ had hidden himself, and all the world was black to you; or it was night, and since the bright and morning star was gone, no other star could yield you so much as a ray of light. What a howling wilderness is this world without our Lord! If once he hideth himself from us, withered are the flowers of our garden; our pleasant fruits decay; the birds suspend their songs, and a tempest overturns our hopes. All earth's candles cannot make daylight if the Sun of Righteousness be eclipsed. He is the soul of our soul, the light of our light, the life of our life. Dear reader, what wouldst thou do in the world without him, when thou wakest up and lookest forward to the day's battle? What wouldst thou do at night, when thou comest home jaded and weary, if there were no door of fellowship between thee and Christ? Blessed be his name, he will not suffer us to try our lot without him, for Jesus never forsakes his own. Yet, let the thought of what life would be without him enhance his preciousness.



Proverbs 16:9

Proverbs 16:9 NIV

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps."