The Days are Evil

We hear word of the deadly shooting in the grocery store. Ten innocent people lost their lives. Three others were wounded. People going about their daily lives. Buying groceries. Planning for upcoming meals and family gatherings. Targeted by someone who thought their lives were worth nothing.

Other innocent people are killed every day, and they’re not even born. People are protesting the possible overturning of an almost fifty-year old ruling that was wrong to begin with. Women say they want to rule their bodies, but they’re also trying to rule the new life within them. I read about one young woman who thought the mother should have the right to end her child’s life at any point, even at any age after birth. She said the woman should always have the right to choose. She believes women should have the right to murder their child at any point in the woman’s life. That’s what she said.

And then there’s rage. It’s seeping into the fabric of our lives. People are outraged by everything that goes against their beliefs. They claim that people are intolerant for having different views. But isn’t that what tolerance is? Accepting of another’s views even if you don’t agree? I mean. Who’s really being intolerant?

School boards and administrators have been quietly pushing secular teachings to unsuspecting children. And now that the parents know and oppose the new ideologies being taught, they’re at odds with the schools. Pedophilia is being pushed as normal. Pronouns are being distorted based on feelings, not actuality. Kids are being groomed to accept sexual perversion as normal from a young age. Teachers are encouraging students to lie to their parents. Who’s really in charge of our children today?

The media is leading people astray by twisting the truth. Social media skews information to favor a biased left leaning agenda. The leader of the free world is chipping away at our liberty and is dismantling our rights. Our country’s sovereignty is on the chopping block. Who’s stopping him? Maybe a better question is. Who’s encouraging him?

If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. John 15:18-19


Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. 1 Peter 5:8-9


The enemy of our souls is on a warpath. And he’s coming for each of us. Can’t you tell? He’s trying to pull out all the stops, because he wants your heart. And mine. But mine isn’t available. It’s already been won by the Lord Jesus Christ. I plan to keep it that way.

Oh. Satan is working overtime. But just know this. He isn’t all powerful. He isn’t omnipotent. He isn’t God. So he is limited in his power and ability. Oh. God has him on a leash. Sometimes the leash is drawn tight, and other times it seems to be fully extracted. God gives Satan permission to do anything he does. Imagine what life would be like if God wasn’t in control. Imagine life with Satan as ruler of this world.

Oh. That day is coming. There will be a time when Satan has control over the earth. But right now, he’s just testing the waters. He’s just getting started. He’s tugging on the leash. He’s always trying to expand his power beyond what God has allowed. And yes. It seems that more and more, his power is increasing. Oh. He’s chomping at the bit to take control. He wants to wreak havoc over all the earth. And he is. Can’t you feel it?

Everywhere we turn, Satan’s fingerprints are on many aspects of life. It’s impossible to ignore him, anymore. But we don’t have to give in to his tyranny. We don’t have to bow to him. Never should we bow to Satan. He is the enemy of our souls.

We must stand and fight with all our might against his evil works. We must choose truth over lies. We must not give in to his pretty schemes and flirty ways. He’s a trickster, all right. He’ll woo and manipulate until we’ve bowed to his plans. If we aren’t careful.

What we must realize is that God is still in full control. He’s allowing Satan to infiltrate our culture and our minds, because we haven’t kept our eyes on God. We’ve allowed Satan to have his way in our world, and he wants more. He always wants more. But so does God. And we must choose who will have control over our lives.

Oh. It’s not too late to turn back to God. Even when the days are evil, God is still good. God is still sovereign. God is still in control. And we have the choice of who we will serve. God. Or Satan. Who will it be? I choose God. And while there’s still time, I encourage you to choose God, too. His love is everlasting. His love is eternal. He’s preparing a home in heaven for those who call on his name. Won’t you surrender your life to him while there’s still time? Bow to God and repent of your sins. Ask for forgiveness and choose to serve God. You won’t regret it.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13

Sacrifice of Thanks

The Israelites lived a life of rituals. It was their lot in life. Mainly because God had commanded a life of physical and spiritual purity. There were many laws and customs that the Israelites were required to follow. Some were for keeping physically clean, most likely for health reasons. Other laws were for spiritual purposes. After all, the Promised Messiah had not been delivered to the earth, so they had no Savior. Their sins were forgiven by offering animal sacrifices.

And sometimes, it was easy to sin and just offer a sacrifice without being truly sorry for the wrong that was committed. Just kill a cow and your sin will be forgiven. That was the thought in some people’s minds. But God saw their hearts. He knew they weren’t truly sorry. And he called them out on it.

He reminded them that he owns all the cattle on a thousand hills. He owns every bird on the mountains. So he doesn’t really need their sacrifices. He doesn’t let them know when he’s hungry, because he’s not human. He doesn’t need food to sustain himself. He needs their obedience and allegiance. He wants their sacrifice to be thankfulness. Their thankfulness emphasizes what God has done for them, not what they’ve done for God.

I have no complaint about your sacrifices or the burnt offerings you constantly offer. But I do not need the bulls from your barns or the goats from your pens. For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine. Do I eat the meat of bulls? Do I drink the blood of goats? If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for all the world is mine and everything in it. Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Psalms 50:8-14


And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2


Oh. How that still stings today. God sees our hearts. He knows our bent toward sinning. He sees the rituals that we cling to so we can call ourselves Christian. Sure. We go to church. We give our tithe. We volunteer to serve in church ministries.

But the question is. Are we offering our “rituals” with a pure heart? When we walk through the church doors on Sunday, are we there out of love and thankfulness? Are we there to worship God and stand in His presence? Are we there to fellowship with other believers? Or is it just a habit that we haven’t yet broken? Is it only a social gathering? When we tithe, is it because the bill is set to autopay without a second thought? Or do we give sacrificially because of our desire to help spread the gospel? Are we giving a gift of thanksgiving for God’s provision? When was the last time we asked ourselves if we were giving cheerfully or just out of duty? When we accept the cup and bread of communion, is it an act of reverence and honoring of Jesus’ broken body? Or is it a ritual we’ve come to expect on Sunday? Is it an impersonal act we perform without considering the sacrifice of God’s only Son on the cross for our sins? Do we perjure ourselves by presenting our unclean selves as holy before a God who knows our hearts?

If we’ve lost the joy of being a Christian, how can we turn our hearts around? How can we fall in love with giving our tithe and not feel like it’s a drain on our finances? How can we reclaim the deep burning desire to be in church worshipping with fellow believers every Sunday? What will it take to get excited about serving God in the church again? How do we reclaim the joy and thankfulness we experienced as new believers?

Perhaps it time to stop and renew our relationship with God. Perhaps our fire has burned out, because we’re not putting God first. If God cares so much about the animals, he cares much more about we who are made in his image. God does not need anything from us. He accepts our offerings. And our service. And our worship. He commands we honor him. But rituals won’t satisfy him. He wants our hearts. He wants our confession. He wants our obedience. Our allegiance. Our trust. He wants our full surrender to his will. He wants our sacrifice of thanksgiving.

Does he have it?

Therefore, change your hearts and stop being stubborn. Deuteronomy 10:16

Consider the Children

There is a large group of people who are silent on the day we celebrate mothers. Sixty three million people have never been able to celebrate Mother’s Day. They never made it out alive. Out of the womb, that is. Each of their mothers decided that the life she had created wasn’t necessary. Whether the act of creating that life was consensual or not, life had begun. And she knew it. But she opted to end the life of her child when their life had barely begun.

But make no mistake. Life had begun.

There’s confusion over whose right should be heeded. Is it the mothers? After all, she has the ability to make decisions. Or is it the baby’s right? The baby, who is helpless and can’t make decisions. Oh. Some say it’s her right to have control of her body. They believe this innocent, helpless life is an inconvenience. A needless clump of cells. An unnecessary expense. An unplanned pregnancy. So they remove the life from their womb.

But has anyone stopped to ask about the rights of the baby being formed? Has anyone thought of other options besides killing the unborn child? Don’t the unborn have rights? These millions of unborn babies never had the chance to declare their rights over their bodies. They can’t speak for themselves.

Somehow it seems that these lost children are overlooked. In the wake of demanding rights, we only hear of the woman’s rights. The mother’s rights. Nothing about how precious a new life is. It seems to be all about the mothers.

So let’s consider these children who have been lost to us. The generations of unborn lives can still speak to us. Their loss is magnified in the empty chairs and empty places in our lives. Our loss is overwhelming, because we have no idea what we have missed out on. We have no idea what those children have been denied. Their life. Their accomplishments. Their successes. Their inventions. Their mistakes. Their failures. They’ve missed out on their earthly lives. Only God knows the deepest losses placed on us because of the loss of these individuals.


You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalms 139:13-16


I wonder which one of those sixty three million would have been the next Mozart. Or Michelangelo. Or Einstein. Or C.S. Lewis. Or John Wesley. Or Billy Graham. Or Abraham Lincoln. 

I wonder who in the group would have been an Olympic athlete. Or a brain surgeon. Or a florist. Or an engineer. Or a stay at home mom. I wonder if any would have been a bus driver. Or a farmer. Or a nurse. Or a teacher. Or a Heisman trophy winner. Or a photographer. 

We’ll never know. They never had the chance to live their life. But their mothers did. You betcha. 

These children missed out on piano lessons. Cooking classes. Softball tryouts. Prom. Sleepovers. Cousins. Grandparents. They missed their first loose tooth. They never got their first spanking. Or grounding. They never hit a home run. They never celebrated Christmas. Or their birthday. They never got married. Or had their own kids. They never went on a job interview. Or got a raise or promotion. They never got to teepee their neighbor’s yard. Or learn to drive. They never bought a house. Or rocked their own baby to sleep. They never got to retire. These children missed out on life.

Those sixty three million could have started a revolution. They could have been a powerful army.  They could have been a small country. They could have been someone’s spouse. Or mother. Or father. But they never got the chance. 

Instead. Heaven holds sixty three million precious souls who were never given the chance to live their lives. Their life was in the hands of a woman who chose herself. They were never allowed to become old.

Consider how many children never had a chance to be born because their parents never had a chance to be born.  We’ve lost many more than sixty three million lives. And that’s in one country alone. In the last year, forty two million unborn babies lost their lives globally. It’s unthinkable. This world isn’t overpopulated. It’s underpopulated.

Even before the mother knew she was with child, God knew. He knew the child intimately and had ordained the child’s life. God is the giver of life. And he’s the taker of life. No one else.

An Invincible Faith

The conversation went something like this. She said she didn’t see the point of going on. What was it all for? Was it really worth it to continue? Perhaps she’s in a dead end job and no longer finds joy in her work. Perhaps she’s bored with life. Maybe she’s depressed and doesn’t realize it. Or perhaps she needs a Savior.

Oh. But she said she was a believer. I wonder though. Does she believe in God? If not, where is her hope? Where is her joy?

It’s one thing to be hopeless and not have faith in God. But someone who says they’re hopeless and are a believer, well….that opens the door to some questions. Does she not know that those who have placed their hope and trust in God have access to his invincible power? Doesn’t she know that her faith is worth holding onto during life’s momentary troubles?

But perhaps she isn’t aware of how to be invincible in her faith. Perhaps she’s never taken a deep dive into how faith and growth occur for followers of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t just happen. It takes time and effort. But the results are life changing and life eternal. As believers, we shouldn’t scare easily. God is on our side.

So what does invincible mean for a Christian? Being invincible isn’t automatic. It takes faith. Self denial. Obedience. Trust. We must put on the full armor of God each day. There’s the belt of truth that goes around the waist. Then the breastplate of righteousness. These are followed by the gospel of peace. The shield of faith. The helmet of salvation. And finally we carry the sword of the Spirit. We’re fully dressed for battle.

I think of the three Hebrew men who were thrown into a fiery furnace, because they wouldn’t bow to a godless king. And when the the king looked into the furnace, he saw a fourth person with them. During the worst moment of their life, God stood with them in the fire. He saved their lives with his invincible power. If he can save them, can’t he save us during our most difficult days? If he can stand with them, won’t he stand with us in our fiery trials?

Paul was given a thorn in his flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment him and keep him from being proud. Three times he begged the Lord to take it away. Each time the Lord said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

It may be safe to say that we all have a thorn in our flesh. We have something that can cause us to be proud or tempted to sin. But God’s grace is all we need. Let’s claim God’s power in our weakest moments, because that’s when his power works best.


Remain in me, and I will remain in you. John 15:4


In 2 Kings 6:15-17, Elisha’s servant is afraid when the king of Syria sends a great army with chariots and horses. He asks Elisha what they should do. Elisha tells him not to be afraid. He said “there are more on our side than on theirs.” And the Lord opened his servants eyes, and he saw the hillside surrounding them filled with horses and chariots of fire. He then realized that the army of the Lord was on their side and would fight for them.

So often, we don’t stop to think of the army fighting for us. They are invisible. But yet, they are invincible. They do their job very, very well. In other words, they don’t lose.

Please be warned. When I use the word invincible, it is not a substitution for the word perfection. I know as believers in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, we will not ever be perfect on this earth. So that is not what I’m saying. My purpose for calling believers invincible is the fact that our faith is grounded in Jesus Christ. We buckle on the armor of God every day. Every single piece of the armor. We’re faithful to read God’s word. We’re prayer warriors. We obey God at all costs. We allow God’s will to work as the primary source of our lives. We are God’s children, and we live like it. We grasp on to God’s mercy. We hold tight to his grace. We ask for his forgiveness. We relax in his love. He is the main source of our comfort. Our identity is not found in something or someone other than God, our heavenly Father.

And when we put him in first place in our lives. Above all else. Our faith is invincible. Our faith will not come crashing down when life throws us a curveball. Our faith will not be weakened when we’re tempted by momentary pleasures. Our faith will not be at risk when we lose the joy of performing our daily tasks and duties and taking our responsibilities seriously. Our joy comes from the Lord. Our strength is from God’s strength. Because of that, we are invincible. God is the Lord of heaven’s armies, and he fights for us. He leads us into battle. When we’re up against Satan’s armies. The enemy of our soul. When we don’t realize that the pleasant thing that’s been offered to us is a trap of Satan’s. God is fighting for us.

We need to have that armor on. And the fresh sweet aroma of Christ needs to be so strong that any type of temptation will be weakened by the aroma of Christ in us. If we sense that our faith is not invincible, then we realize we must fall on our knees and pray and ask God to give us his strength and power. We can claim that as our own any time of the day. Let’s not forget. Let’s be bold. Because we know this one fact. The kingdom of God still stands. And it always will.

All or Nothing

It was his first year on the job as king of Israel, and it was unremarkable. Oh. It wasn’t a job he asked for. It was one his fellow countrymen had been asking for. They wanted a king. So God gave them a king. And when Samuel warned them that their desire for a king was sinful, they said they didn’t care. They wanted to be like every other nation around them.

This king, Saul, was chosen by God. And Saul failed early on in his reign. He failed because he was not a man after God’s own heart. He was after his own selfish ways. Never mind God. Saul would do what Saul wanted. And pay the consequences later, if need be.

And during his second year in power, he received a horrible performance review. Samuel told him that because of his disobedience to God, he would lose the kingdom. Saul’s early sin of offering a sacrifice that only the priest should make cost him his kingship. Oh. He remained in power, but none of his sons would inherit the throne. It would go to another.

And so the downhill decline started. So early in his reign, Saul saw his kingdom and legacy faltering. He was not a man of God. It didn’t have to be this way. But Saul made poor decisions early on in his reign that began a downward slide of continued disobedience to God’s commands. Saul led the nation of Israel poorly, and it showed. His monarchy would come to a screeching halt after his lifetime. It would not be carried down to the next generation. And he knew it.

I wonder how often Saul relived that day Samuel anointed him in private to be king of Israel. Didn’t he walk away a new man? God had given him a new heart. Once afraid, he was filled with boldness and bravery. He was now a statesman appointed to lead a nation. Oh. Saul did some good things. He won some battles. He rescued people from their enemies. He even prophesied. He was humble as he began his reign. But oh. How the tide turned.

Over the course of his reign, Saul’s sins were many. He was impatient, foolish and jealous. He attempted murder. He was vengeful. He consulted with a witch and disobediently offered sacrifices. When Samuel helped him guide the nation, things went well. Once Samuel stepped aside to let Saul lead the country on his own, Saul appeared to be awkward and weak. When left to his own devices, he made poor decisions.

Saul had a bent for disobeying the God who had chosen him as the first king of Israel. God rejected Saul, because he saw that Saul’s heart was set against him. Saul was self-centered and proud. He told himself he was being self sufficient when he took matters into his own hands, instead of waiting for Samuel to arrive and perform his priestly duties. Saul acted as his own priest. Because. Why not? He was king. He could do everything the priest could do. But that act of rebellion didn’t go down well with Samuel or with God. Saul thought he didn’t need God to instruct him. If only he obeyed God, his reign would have been a powerful statement of God’s grace. Instead, it was a powerful statement of how powerful men can be broken by sin and disobedience.


The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9


I wonder if King Saul ever stopped to examine his life and his decisions. Did he ever feel guilty about turning his back on God? Was he ever regretful for the many attempts to kill David? Did he realize he didn’t have to lose the kingdom to David? If only he had obeyed God, his family would have remained in power. But Saul was bent on having his way in his own way.

We never know how our lives will be impacted by responding wrongly to God’s will in our lives. Do we stop to think about how one decision can turn our lives in a totally different path with our disobedience? Or do we just go merrily about our business without a care? Disobedience doesn’t come out of nowhere. It starts in the heart. A turning of desires from pleasing God to pleasing self. It may start small. With just a glance. Or a thought. And it builds from there. Until one day, the desire to please God is a far distant thought.

Disobedience becomes easier the more often it happens. The conscience eases. The guilty twinges subside. Until disobedience becomes a lifestyle of comfort and selfishness. Our self sufficient attitude becomes an act of defiance to an all-sovereign God of the universe. And not a thought is given to pleasing God. Disobedience grieves the heart of God. Nothing about it pleases him.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We know that. Hearts can change. Hearts can be turned back toward God. Hearts can still be convicted if they are open to hearing God’s truth. Repentance can happen. Forgiveness is open to everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. Those who seek forgiveness will be saved. God is working in hearts and lives today. But we must seek him while he may still be found.

According to 1 Samuel 12:14-15, blessings await those who obey the commands of the Lord, while troubles are in store for those who disobey. Choose you this day whom you will serve.

On Winning Battles

In Judges 6-7, the Israelites are in trouble, once again. They’ve turned their back on God and have disobeyed his commands. They’ve been under the control of the evil Midianites for seven years, and they’ve had enough. At least, that’s what they say. But the Midianites are very evil and are so cruel, that the Israelites hide from them in mountains, caves and other strongholds. When the Israelites plant their crops, their enemies attack them and destroy their crops. Their oppressors leave them with nothing to eat. They’re reduced to starvation. So they cry to the Lord for help.

The problem isn’t that their enemies are strong. It’s that the Israelites have again disobeyed God. Trouble always finds them when they turn their backs on God’s commands.

One man, who is basically afraid of his own shadow, threshes his wheat at the bottom of a winepress in hopes that his enemies can’t find his food and steal it. Gideon says he is the lowliest person in the lowliest tribe of Israel, and he’s scared of everything.  But God sees him and comes to him in his hiding place. 

When the Lord finds him deep in that winepress, he calls Gideon a mighty hero. But Gideon asks God why he has allowed his people to endure such hardships. He asks why God has abandoned them. God knows Gideon has many fears, but he also knows Gideon’s heart.  He hears Gideon when he asks why God has allowed all the evil to take place.  He hears Gideon’s cries about his people starving and struggling to survive.

God doesn’t rebuke him for questioning.  God doesn’t chastise him for being fearful.  Instead, God empowers him to fight.  He enables Gideon to assemble a small army.  God says a large army would indicate that they won by their own power.  A small army shows that God is the one who led them to victory.  Because there are times in life, we can’t do everything.  We need God to guide us, and the victory is all his.


It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Zechariah 4:6


God didn’t give him attaboys or you got this, man.  No.  God wanted the praise.  God wanted the adoration and commitment. Gideon needed to depend on God’s strength to fight this battle and win.  God led Gideon to defeat the enemies, but it was with God’s power. Not Gideon’s. The victory was not through human strength but from God’s favor and power. After all, God whittled down Gideon’s army from three thousand to only three hundred men. And those few men defeated an army of thousands with the help of God.

Gideon doubted God. He thought his people were in such a bad way because God wasn’t doing his job. But when God showed him that his people’s deliberate disobedience had caused this oppression, Gideon had a change of heart. He saw his countrymen for the sinners they were. In spite of his fears, he saw God’s mighty hand upon him and his small army.

Too many times we try to fight our own battles. We imagine victory at the sound of our sharp words or brute force. But we are weak. We are inadequate. We are fearful. We are human. We can’t fight our own battles. We need God’s help. If we claim to be a child of God, we need God’s strength to fight our battles. And he says he will fight for us.

We don’t have it all together. And God sees our weakness. But he also sees our hearts. And if our hearts are seeking to obey and honor God, he will work with our weakness. He will be our strength. He will be our guide. He will lead us to victory. Oh. The victory may not look as we expect. But victory will be look the way God intended. God ordains all our steps. All our battles. All our losses and victories. They are his. If we are his, we know that obedience is much better than elaborate victories.

Proving Ground

So the Israelites moved into the land God had promised their parents forty years earlier. He had commanded them to destroy all the people living in the land. They did not. Oh. They fought a lot of battles and killed a lot of people. But they didn’t kill all the people. And this would come back to haunt them.

God had specifically told them to destroy everyone in their new homeland, because the people living in Canaan were wicked. They were not followers of God, and they would lead the Israelites astray. If left alive, the Israelites would befriend their enemies. They would work together. They would play together. They were marry each other. They would learn to worship the false gods of their enemies. That’s exactly what God didn’t want. And that’s exactly what happened.

I’m sure it was easier to not kill everyone, because killing is hard business. But it was God’s command. And they disobeyed. So God let some of the nations of Canaan remain alive. This was a proving ground for the Israelites. The people who had sworn to always follow and obey God were put to the test. He wanted to test his chosen people to see if they would remain faithful to him while living with the enemy. We can already guess how the story goes.

Oh. God could have destroyed all those remaining nations of Canaan on his own. He didn’t need the help of the Israelites. This was a test. And as we know, we tend to rely more on God when faced with tests than when life is easy.

God allowed their enemies to live, because he wanted his people to learn to know war. Sounds a little odd. Why would God want his people to learn about war? Because this generation had never known war. After all, they had abandoned the God who had brought their ancestors out of Egypt. They worshipped idols and did evil in the sight of God. They angered God. That meant that neighboring nations would war against them. They must become acquainted with war.

To read more of this story, read Judges 2-3.


You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13


The tower of Babel was built by people who had everything. They wanted to build a city and a tower that reached toward heaven, so they could make a name for themselves. When God saw their hearts, he confused their languages so they couldn’t understand each other. Then he scattered them throughout the earth, and they stopped building the city. 

God knew they didn’t trust him and that their plans were evil. He saw their rebellious hearts and separated them. He knew there was great potential for these people to commit evil atrocities, so he put a stop to it.

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. Genesis 6:5

Our country was founded on Christian principles. Our founding fathers fashioned the words of the documents declaring independence and the formation of the nation on biblical principles. Yet look where we are today. Our nation is far removed from biblical principles. And we wonder why we’re experiencing troubling times. Godless leaders. Extortion. Bribery. Lies. Corruption. Mandates. Killing of unborn babies. Gender identity issues. Liberal agendas that mock God.

Our country is much younger than the nation of Israel. We’ve only been a nation for two hundred forty six years. We hear of wars and rumors of wars. Devastating weapons are at the ready for evil leaders if they wanted to wreak havoc on the world. Famine is predicted. Inflation is at an all-time high. Shortages of food and fuel may be on the horizon. And it doesn’t have to be this way. But we as a nation have rejected the commands of God. We flaunt our defiance and liberalism in his face. It’s no wonder we’re in this moral decline. We’ve pushed God away from our nation.

I wonder how many times God doesn’t remove evil from our path to see if we’ll remain faithful to him. It’s obvious how that test is going. Oh. How the mighty have fallen. It’s time for a revival in our country. We have an opportunity to turn this nation around and serve God once again. Will our leaders repent? Can we get godly leaders elected who will stand for biblical truths? Our time may be running out, but we can still repent today.

Be Blameless

I think of the times when I’ve started a new job. I don’t know whether the experience will be good or bad. I don’t know if I’ll be successful or a complete failure. I have no idea if my boss will be considerate or a control freak. Will I make friends? Will I like the job, or will I live to regret my decision? Will I stand up for my faith, or will I be silent? Only time will tell.

As I walked in the door on the first day of my new job, I wondered what my new co-workers would be like. Would we get along? Would I build strong relationships with them? What would we talk about? What would they teach me? Would they learn anything from me? Would this be a good experience? Only time will tell.

We all have times when we get a fresh start. We start a new job. We move across the country or to a new neighborhood. We go away to college. We begin a new relationship. And with each new start, we will have new experiences. New conversations. New opportunities. New learnings. New blessings. New temptations. New memories. And we must make a decision about how we will approach each new situation. Will we live in obedience to God? Or will we choose to disobey?

The people of Israel were getting ready to move into the land that had been promised to them forty years earlier. Oh. It was promised to their parents, but they didn’t live to see it after they had disobeyed God. Their punishment was that they would die before reaching the promised land. Now it was to be awarded to their children. And it was time to move in.

Moses gave the Israelites a long list of instructions to live by once they were in their new land. He warned them of the trouble they would face if these new laws were broken. He also spoke of the benefits they would experience if they obeyed the laws. God would bless them and multiply their nation if they were faithful to him.

But in his message, Moses warned the people that they would disobey God. He told them that they would turn their backs on God and follow their own ways. He warned of the trouble they would face when this happened. God had also commanded them to destroy all the towns and all the people in them. This was because the people they were displacing were evil. And God didn’t want his people to be tempted to turn from him by living with people who dishonored God.


You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. Leviticus 19:2


God was commanding the people of Israel to live holy lives. They must be blameless, because the people they’re about to displace are not holy people. They must be prepared for that. And they were to avoid all the pagan practices that they were going to encounter. They were not to imitate the detestable customs of the people living in those places.

As followers of Christ living in a post-Christian culture today, we must be blameless. We must avoid the pagan practices of those we encounter each day. We are not to imitate evil customs. We are to avoid anything that God hates. God calls us to be in the world but not of it. We must live above the evils that surround us. We must stand for truth and not tolerate the lies that are being told. We must not bow down to any other gods.

When we’re starting fresh, we will come face to face with many new situations. Some will be great opportunities, and others will be temptations to disobey God. We always have a choice. In the middle of the warning to the Israelites, Moses commanded the people to be blameless before the Lord. Just as the Israelites were to be blameless, we too are called to be blameless.

When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there. For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord . It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you. But you must be blameless before the Lord your God. The nations you are about to displace consult sorcerers and fortune-tellers, but the Lord your God forbids you to do such things. Deuteronomy 18:9-14

Enemies Abound

Our culture teaches us to avoid trouble. We’re supposed to be kind and good. We should treat others in the way we want to be treated. Be honest, but don’t hurt the other person’s feelings. We want an easy life, so we try to blend in. Don’t make waves. We’re told that we’ll get further in life if we agree with what we’re told. And just keep quiet. Don’t cause trouble. These days, we haven’t developed the toughness we need when hard times come. We aren’t prepared for adversity or struggles.

But where does that get us? Oh sure. We should avoid trouble if it’s uncalled for. But sometimes trouble comes looking for us. Sometimes trouble is the instigator, and we’re the target. Do we stand still and let it overtake us? Or do we push back? Which is better? Fight or flight?

Jesus told us that we would have trouble in this world. He said we would have many trials and sorrows. It should be of no surprise to God’s children when we face hurdles and obstacles. We will face seasons of unrest and instability. We may be the target of attempts to discredit or defame us. The enemy is a monster who wants our souls. And when we are facing battles, we must commit them to God. Our confidence must be in his power. Not our own. We must know that, as children of God, his presence and power are with us.

Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God. Psalms 20:7

As followers of Christ, we must live strong. We must put on the armor of God each day before we meet our adversaries. Oh. You may think you don’t have enemies, but most likely your enemies aren’t visible. We do fight against principalities. Against unseen powers of the darkness. We are not fighting flesh and blood. We are in spiritual warfare in this world.

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12


Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11


And God tells us that we should not be afraid when we fight our enemies. He doesn’t say if we fight our enemies. Oh no. He says when we fight. We will fight. There will be warfare. And we’re not to be afraid, because he is with us. He will fight for us. He will give us victory.

We also must realize that the army we fight may be bigger than us. So we must commit our situation to God. Because he also said that he has overcome the world. Our confidence must be in God and God alone. Oh. He says he will fight for us, but there’s no doubt that we must prepare for battle. We can’t go in without plans and preparation. God fights for us and through us.

We must surround ourselves with likeminded people.  Brave people. People who will stand for the cause of Christ.  People who will do hard things and fight for truth and liberty. We need friends who will encourage us and pray for us.  If we spend too much time with weak, frightened people, we will become like them.  We must know our enemy. Because he masquerades as an angel of light looking for someone to devour. He makes good look evil and evil look good. It’s easy to be tricked if we don’t know what he’s capable of.

When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you! When you prepare for battle, the priest must come forward to speak to the troops. He will say to them, ‘Listen to me, all you men of Israel! Do not be afraid as you go out to fight your enemies today! Do not lose heart or panic or tremble before them. For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!’ Deuteronomy 20:1-4

Uncertain Times

I had just finished shopping and was pushing my cart to the car. I assumed the woman walking toward me was planning to do some shopping. So when she stopped and spoke to me, I was a little surprised. She asked if I had some spare change so she could get a bite to eat. I said no. Then she approached the next car. He too said no. I didn’t see which direction she went after the second rejection.

I wondered if she noticed how full my cart was as I said no. I wonder if she realized that I had bought things I needed and then some things I just thought I needed. Oh. She didn’t know the amount of money in my bank account. She didn’t know I had cash in my wallet, but the bills were bigger than I was prepared to hand over to a stranger. Hungry or not, she didn’t get my money. It was reserved for other purposes.

I always feel awkward when a stranger approaches me. I couldn’t lie and say I didn’t have any money. Because I did have a little cash on me. And I knew that a little spare change wouldn’t be enough to feed her. Plus. There’s always that uncertainty that she really needed food. Or did she need a fix? I don’t know. I don’t mean to judge. I’m just always wary about strangers approaching me for money. Oh. There have been times that I’ve shared a few dollars. Just not today.

Did I do the right thing? Was my decision the best one? I have no idea. It’s not that I’m heartless or unkind. I am cautious and concerned. I am suspicious of strangers who walk up to me out of nowhere.

It probably took a lot of courage to walk up to a stranger and ask for money. What if she really was hungry? What if she hadn’t eaten in a few days? She did look a little unkempt. But that could also have been arranged. Just don’t bathe or comb your hair for a few days, and you will start to look different.


God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalms 46:1


I wonder what I would do if I was hungry and needed food but had no money. Would I be bold enough to approach a stranger in the middle of a parking lot? Would I notice their overflowing cart filled with odds and ends? Would I wonder if they were lying when they said they had no spare change? Would I be as kind and considerate as she was when I said no? What if she was an angel unaware and I missed my opportunity to bless her? What if I could have been Jesus to her today and I blew my chance? I’ll never know.

Oh. I may someday know what it’s like to be hungry and penniless. These times sure are getting tougher. Gas prices are high. Food prices are high. Tempers are short. There are wars and rumors of war. Things are unsettled these days. And things could get much worse. So I can’t say I’ll never have days where I have nothing to eat. I can’t say that I’ll never have to wander through parking lots begging for food or money. I can’t say I’ll always be freshly bathed.

I see those people standing on street corners and at the entrance and exit ramps of the freeway. Oh. I see their faces. I read their signs. If I put myself in their shoes, I would probably hand them a few dollars. But more often than not, I try to put them in my shoes. I wonder if they really have money in the bank and just don’t want to work. I wonder if their job is begging on street corners. Is begging a new career option? I wonder where they lay their head at night. I wonder where they store their winter coats in the off season. I wonder if they are starving and when they last ate. I wonder how many people actually give them money. And I wonder, after months on end, why I still see them standing there holding a sign.

Life is full of hard choices. Life is also full of hard knocks. Good decisions aren’t always easy to make. Regardless of which side of the equation you’re on. If you have plenty or if you’re in need. One decision could change the course of a life forever. And it could go either way. No one knows what tomorrow holds. But we know who holds tomorrow. Whether in plenty or in want, we can be content in the Lord’s hands.

We know that our God is always ready and able to help us in our time of need. All we have to do is call on his name. Oh. He may not provide a hot meal at the exact moment we need it. But he may. He may not provide employment when the unemployment checks stop. But he may. He may not heal us from an awful disease. But he may. He may allow us to wait years on end to see an answer to the prayer that we’ve been praying. He may allow us to suffer in pain with no end in sight. Throughout difficulties, he continues to love us. Our suffering may be of our own doing. And it may not. But God is always faithful. His love never fails. And it endures to the end. Even when others ignore us or fail us. God is with us.