Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Love defined

1 Corinthians 13:4, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast, it is not proud.

Can you imagine the world we would live in if people operated by the principle that says, "Don’t look out for your own needs and interests, but for the needs of others? We live in a culture that tells us to forget about others and to look out for number-one. But we should remember that God’s love is patient. And as the body of Christ, the love we have should be patient.

Another way to translate the phrase, "Love suffers long" from 1 Corinthians 13 is "Love is long-tempered." This common New Testament term is used almost exclusively in speaking of being patient with people rather than being patient with circumstances or events. Love’s patience is the ability to be inconvenienced again and again (and yes, in some cases it seems to go on forever).

The last words of Stephen, the first martyr of the church, were those of patient forgiveness: "Lord, do not charge them with this sin" (Acts 7:60). As he was dying, he prayed for his murderers rather than for himself. This is the same kind of love Jesus spoke of that turns the other cheek. It is the kind of love that has as its primary concern not its own welfare, but the welfare of others.

And love is kind. Just as patience will take anything from others, kindness will give anything to others. To be kind means to be useful, serving, and gracious. It is active goodwill. Love not only feels generous; it is generous. Love not only desires the welfare of others; love works for it.
However, if you wait for this emotion to come, you may never experience kindness. Remember, love is active. Love is kind. So just be kind, even if you don’t feel kind.
That’s what God’s love is: patient and kind.

Working towards being more patient and kind,
Pastor Mike

Oh no, here we go again.

An angry motorist went back to a garage where he'd purchased an expensive battery for his car six months earlier.

"Listen," the motorist grumbled to the owner of the garage, "when I bought that battery you said it would be the last battery my car would ever need. It died after only six months!"

"Sorry," apologised the garage owner. "I didn't think your car would last longer than that."

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The simple life!

I believe, and will always believe, that one of the greatest tragedies that we perform is turning the Bible into "rocket science." The Gospel of God is, and should be straightforward, easy to understand, and easy to live. It should not be confusing, hard or boring to read, and easy to live. One of the most profound verses in the Bible actually reinforces my belief in it's simplicity, but is so incredible short and sweet. It sums up our relationship with Jesus in just a few short words.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. --John 15:5

The Christian life really is very simple… it’s not the complicated thing we try to make it out to be. When you say the words, "Jesus died," you should have a flood of memories, verses and feelings overcome you. But two simple words should trigger that response.

Now I’m not saying there aren’t deep and profound things we can discover about Christ and being His followers. As we walk with Him day by day, we will naturally become more and more knowledgable about the Bible and the life of Jesus, I'm just saying that as we gain this knowledge, we can't let it go to our heads to the point that we forget the foundation on which our knowledge must be built; obedience. Jesus reduced the Christian life down to one simple word in the verse above: abide. He said, “If you abide in Me just like a branch stays connected to a vine… if you abide in Me, and I in you… you will bear much fruit.” It's just that simple.

I’m convinced that there are many Christians who are running around trying to live an obedient life who would have a much easier walk with the Lord if they could just learn this simple lesson. To learn that we have both union and communion with the Lord. It's a message that the "seasoned," as well as the new Christian can both embrace.

When you learn how to abide in Christ, you’ll find that every other thing in the Christian life will take care of itself. All you need to do is to be available. All you need to do is say, “Lord, here I am in communion with You; I am in union with You, and You can do with me what You will.” When life starts to get overcomplicated and worrisome, just go back to the basics. Otherwise, it's like trying to balance a beachball on top of a pin head. it just doesn't work.

That is the Christian life in its simplest, yet most profound form!

Trying not to overcomplicate things,
Pastor Mike

On a lighter note...:)

A man was speeding down the highway, feeling secure in a gaggle of cars all traveling at the same speed. However, as they passed a speed trap, he got nailed with an infrared speed detector and was pulled over.

The officer handed him the citation, received his signature and was about to walk away when the man asked, "Officer, I know I was speeding, but I don't think it's fair. There were plenty of other cars around me going just as fast, so why did I get the ticket?"

"Ever go fishing?" the policeman suddenly asked the man.

"Ummm, yeah... so," the startled man replied.

The officer grinned and added, "Ever catch ALL the fish?"

If you have any prayer requests, comments, or jokes (good or bad), please feel free to send them to us at

I'd like to welcome our new reader in Munich Germany. May the Lord bless you and your family.

Greatness Defined

Charles Spurgeon once preached on the foolishness of pride, calling it “a groundless thing” and “a brainless thing” as well as “the maddest thing that can exist.” None of us like to admit that we suffer from pride, but it's stubborn presence is in all of us. Even the disciples of Jesus were afflicted by it; in fact, they were prime offenders.

Pride was especially seen in the disciples’ quest for recognition in Mark 9:33-37. This pursuit wasn’t subtle, and it wasn't every-so-often. By their own accounts, it was outrageous and often. Mark 9:33, 34 says when the disciples and Jesus were traveling together. “They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’” But the disciples “kept silent”—no doubt from embarrassment and shame, “for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest." Men who were receiving intensive training from Jesus, the ultimate example of humility and servanthood, were in a full-scale argument about their relative superiority to each other. Sounds like Congress today...:)

Jesus knew their hearts, just as He knows ours. So He immediately addressed their selfish attitudes: “And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, ‘If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all’” (Mark 9:35). Jesus was redefining greatness in a way that had never been seen. But His point apparently didn’t sink in too far.

In Mark 10 we find the brothers James and John approaching the Savior apart from their fellow disciples. In apparent agreement with each other about their greatness, the two brothers bring Jesus a special request. John and James think that Jesus shares their self-absorbed opinion of themselves, because there’s no lack of confidence in what they ask. “Teacher,” they say to Him, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” Jesus asks them what they desire. They answer, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory” (Mark 10:35–37).

Mark has already informed us that Jesus and His disciples are going up to Jerusalem, where James and John and the others expect the Savior to immediately establish His kingdom, with armies and policies. He will enter His “glory” and the two brothers want a place in it. They assumed that a place of power for them is appropriate because of their superiority. “Let’s settle this greatness issue now,” they say. “Who’s the greatest? We're the greatest! And Master, we want You to acknowledge this fact by letting us sit on Your right and on Your left.”

The pride of their hearts are out in the open. There’s nothing subtle about their request. They’re not asking for faith to endure His suffering. They’re not asking to support Him during His suffering. They want to be famous, pure and simple. James and John have defined greatness as position and power, and they want the title. They want the respect, the acclaim, and the importance. In their prideful hearts, Jesus is just a means to their end of personal aspirations.

This passage doesn't exclude the other disciples, because the other ten are no different. They somehow learn of James and John’s request and become “indignant at James and John” (Mark 10:41), revealing the desire in their own hearts for power.

Can you see yourself in this story? It’s easy for us at times to get mad at the disciples and not recognize our face in their story. They argued on the road about who was the greatest; we may not openly argue about this, but don’t we have the same debate every day in our private thoughts? If you’re like me, you compare yourself to others and look for opportunities to claim greater importance than them, just as the disciples did.

Aren't you glad that Jesus is merciful and gentle with our pride. We read in Mark 10:42, “And Jesus called them to him.” Can you see Jesus' patience with them, as well as His commitment to teach them what they really needed to learn? He reminds them first of what they’ve all observed during the long years of Roman occupation: “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.” Then the Savior sets down a contrast: “But it shall not be so among you.”

We always want to pay careful attention when that word must appears in Scripture. “Must” points us to something that’s required. “You want to be great?” Jesus is saying. “Well, here’s what has to happen. What’s required is that you become a servant to others; it means nothing less than becoming the slave of everyone.” Remember that the Person standing there and making this statement is the ultimate example of true greatness Himself. And this is exactly what Jesus goes on to make clear: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (v. 45).
As sinfully and culturally defined, trying to achieve greatness looks like this: Individuals motivated by self-interest, self-indulgence, and a false sense of self-sufficiency pursue selfish ambition for the purpose of self-glorification. The opposite of true greatness as biblically defined: Serving others for the glory of God. This is the genuine expression of humility; this is true greatness as the Savior defined it.

True greatness is all around us. The question is, do we see it? Or more importantly, are we pursuing it?

Go out there today and seriously pursue greatness by serving someone. Go to someone's aid. Help the helpless. Make Jesus proud of you. Be great by imitating the greatest of them all....Jesus

On my way to being greater by serving Jesus,
Pastor Mike

Friday, April 28, 2006

How to change your clothes!

When we chose, or choose, to follow Jesus, we feel an immediate need to change our ways. This has been one of the biggest struggles that we all face; turning away from our old ways and following the path that Jesus has chosen for us. Let's face it, it's hard to put away those habits and ways that took us years to develop. It's why so many people who accept Jesus into their lives fizzle out and fall away. The temptation is just too great for them to handle. So, what does the Bible say about change?

Colossians 3:5-14, "Put to death therefore whatever belongs to your earthly nature, sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived, But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved children, clothe yourselves with compassion, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (NIV)

Verse five impresses the importance of beginning our life, or wardrobe change, by removing the "filthy rags" of our old sinful nature and putting those old behaviors behind us. It's like when you put on a nice new shirt, you don't put it on over a dirty T-shirt. This applies the same way when we accept Christ. You can't put on the new life of a Christian on over the sinful nature of your past and expect it to go together. So after verse five, we're encouraged to put on the seven layers of change.

The first layer is living in the reality that as believers in Christ we are chosen, holy and dearly loved. Secondly, we're to clothe ourselves with compassion, as we enter into the suffering of others, and third, our acts of kindness will help defend against evil in the lives of others. The fourth layer is humility, as we live our lives in awareness of God's grace. The fifth layer is gentleness, as we are gracious toward others. The last two layers are patience and forgiveness. God is so patient with me and is faithful to forgive my confessed sins, so in turn I must be willing to extend patience to others, even those who are hard to deal with. I must be willing to forgive those who have harmed me regardless if they ever apologize or ever ask for forgiveness.
Verse 14 explains that as we put on these seven layers, or garments, we'll create the perfect foundation for the outer garment of love which ties all of the seven virtuous garments in to perfect unity. This outer garment of love identifies us with the one we follow, Christ.

If you want your life to show others that you follow Christ, I want to encourage you to take a look at your spiritual closet. Is it filled with outdated attitudes and behaviors that just don't fit your life as a believer? Get rid of them! Are there bad habits hidden in the dark recesses of your spiritual closet that need to be discarded? Get rid of them! Perhaps the unflattering accessories of impatience and unforgiveness need to be removed and destroyed. Get rid of them! Friends, if you're ready to be dressed for success every day, I want to challenge you to completely overhaul your spiritual wardrobe. Get rid of anything and everything that doesn't fit your life as a believer and then experience the freedom that comes from wearing the correct clothes of love.

How to "change" you clothes:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal those items that are keeping you in bondage to your former sinful life.

Write each one down in your journal and commit to removing them from your life


2 Corinthians 5:15, "And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." (NIV)

Philippians 2:14-16, "Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain." (NIV)
Colossians 3:2-3, "Set you minds on things above, not on earthy things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." (NIV)

Have an awesome day, and be blessed...

Going to change my clothes,
Pastor Mike

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Spring has sprung, so the other day I was thinking about how many people don't like the words, "Spring Cleaning," so today I decided to discuss how to do a "real" Spring Cleaning. Mark 7:14-15, "Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, 'Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him unclean by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean.'" (NIV)

Dust bunnies run under the bed, cobwebs dangle from the ceiling, handprints point the way to the bedrooms, filmy windows play hide and seek with the sunshine. Yup, it's time for spring-cleaning. When the air warms and the sun shines brightly, it puts me in the mood to clean my home. Most of the time I abide by the slogan, "A tidy but comfortably cluttered home is good enough for me." However, I do like spring-cleaning.

Do you know that spring-cleaning began thousands of years ago in the Middle East? It all started when God issued the decree to the Hebrews to eat the Passover meal and celebrate it for the generations to come. One of the requirements in commemorating Passover was to remove any type of yeast or leaven from their homes. The Jewish Book of Why explains, "Why must the Jewish home be scoured clean before the Passover holiday? To find leaven in a home after the holiday has begun is considered a serious breach of Jewish law. From biblical times onward, the law had required that every bit of leavened bread and all materials and products associated with it (that is, leaven) be removed from the house before Passover so that it will not even be seen during the holiday."

So what's the big deal with yeast? In the New Testament, we're told that yeast represents different types of sin. Many times Jesus warned His disciples, "Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees." He didn't want the disciples to be influenced by the cold legalism of the religious teachers. The Apostle Paul elaborated on yeast a bit more. He wrote, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast - as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:7-8, NIV) Paul points out just what the key verse for today indicates. It's the junk inside of us that makes us unclean, not what's on the outside.

Do you recall that even Peter needed to be wiped down a bit? Before they celebrated the Passover feast, Jesus started to wash the disciples feet. Peter hesitated, not wanting Jesus to do it. However, Jesus insisted that Peter needed a little sprucing up. Here is how the Apostle John tells the story:

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."

"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."

Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."

"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"

Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. (John 13:6-10, NIV)

So, yes! If Peter needed to be cleaned-up, I know I do too. Just as my home gathers dust, dirt and smudges over time, so does my soul. I need to get the tarnish of yeasty sinful attitudes out and allow God to polish me up to shine for His Kingdom. Ephesians 5:26 even tells me what type of polish to use, "Cleansing her by the washing with water through the word." (NIV) On that note, I think I will quit vacuuming the drapes. Spring-cleaning my soul sounds a lot better.

Take a spiritual inventory by asking simple questions like these. What needs to be cleansed within you? Bitterness? Unforgiveness? Lack of love? Do I read my Bible everyday? How much priority do I place on spiritual housekeeping? What can I do to incorporate more time in God's Word throughout the week? These are just a few questions that will help you clean house and get rid of the "sin bunnies."

Here's some more verses on Spiritual Spring Cleaning that will help you with your inventory:

1 Corinthians 5:7-8, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth." (NIV)

Luke 11:39, "Then the Lord said to him, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness." (NIV)

Leviticus 10:10, "You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean." (NIV)

Galatians 5:22-26, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." (NIV)

Wow! I really cleaned up today didn't I?...:)

Well, I gotta go for now, remember this deep thought from my shallow mind, "you're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster."

Have a blessed day, and I look forward to talking to you all again tomorrow...

Giving it all to Jesus,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Children of Wrath

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” -- Ephesians 2:8

We are not naturally children of God. In fact, we are called children of wrath! Ever since sin entered the world (through Adam and Eve's sin) humankind has been in hostile opposition to God. It's only when we receive the gift of God, salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, that we become children of God!

If you ask most people why they believe they are going to heaven, they'll say that they've been a “good” person. And they'll list out all of their good deeds, believing that these good deeds outweigh the bad (sinful) things they've done in their lives. If you ever want to find out where a person is spiritually, just ask them why they should go to heaven!

It's a part of our human nature to try to reach God on our terms! We can't earn our way into heaven. No matter how many good deeds we perform, we can't attain salvation! The Bible says that our good works are as filthy rags to God! (Isaiah 64:6)

God demands holiness, Leviticus 19:2, Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them; be holy, because I, the Lord of your God, am holy. You and I could never satisfy God's requirements for perfection - only Jesus Christ meets that criteria! That's why it's silly to think that any good deed we may do can ever bring us into a right relationship with God. It's impossible. Our sins will always outweigh our good deeds! There is only one way to be declared completely righteous and that's through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. As we receive the gift of salvation from God, and ask Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, we are declared “holy” by Christ's righteousness. Through Jesus, we are brought back into fellowship with God and adopted into the family of God.

I've found that the longer I'm a Christian the more I realize just how much of a sinner I am! I'm not a “good” person by nature. My "real" self is filled with sin, and the good that's in me is from Christ alone! We need to understand... it's all about Christ, not about us. There's nothing we can do to earn salvation or God's merit! The only reason you and I are going to heaven is because of God's mercy and grace.

I read a wonderful description of grace recently. It said, “Grace is more than unmerited favor. If you feed a tramp who calls on you, that is unmerited favor, but it is scarcely grace. But suppose that after robbing you, you then feed him. That would be grace. Grace, then, is favor shown where there is positive demerit in the one receiving it.”

As you spend time with the Lord today...stop and honestly ask yourself...are you relying on your own righteousness...or on God's grace? There is only one right answer...

Salvation is not about what we do - it's about what God did on our behalf!

Be blessed today, and praise God for His grace on all of us.

In His Grace,
Pastor Mike

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Which one are you?

I was looking back at my spiritual journey through life the other day, and it amazed me how many twists and turns my life has taken since I've come back to Jesus. As I thought, I turned to the Bible, and this Verse just jumped out at me, and I'd like to share it with you today. 1 John 2:14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one

First John 2:12-14 describes three levels of Christian growth in relation to sin. The first level is compared to "little children" (verse 12). Little children in the faith are characterized by having their sins forgiven and possessing a knowledge of God. In other words, they are in the family of God and have overcome the penalty of sin, but they haven't grown to full maturity.

The second level is "young men" (verses 13, 14), those who have overcome the evil one. These are aggressively growing believers who are strong because the Word of God abides in them. They know the truth and how to use it to resist Satan in the battle for their minds. They are no longer in bondage to uncontrollable habits, and they have resolved the personal and spiritual conflicts which keep many Christians from experiencing freedom in Christ. They are free, and they know how to stay free.

The third level is "fathers" (verses 13, 14), those who have developed a deep personal knowledge of God. Their faith is securely founded on a close, intimate, loving relationship with God which is the goal of our spiritual growth. What about your faith? Are you a "child," a "young man" or a "father"? Is it your daily goal to grow to maturity in your faith? Have you overcome the evil one?

Having challenged us to combat sin's power in our lives through a commitment to growth, John goes on to describe the ways that Satan tempts us: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life.

Consider today which of these catagories you fall into and see if you're ready to move to the next level.

Be blessed today, and grow to another level...:)

In His love,
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Who says Christians can't think?

Today, I'm going to cheat a bit in my blog. I will say little, the following true story will say a lot!

Does Evil Exist?? The University professor challenged his students with this question.

"Did God create everything that exists?"

A student bravely replied, "Yes he did!"

"God created everything?" The professor asked.

"Yes sir", the student replied.

The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are, then God is evil."
The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor, quite pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "Can I ask you a question professor?"

"Of course", replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, "Professor does cold exist?"

"What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?" The students snickered at the young man's question.

The young man replied, "In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460? F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat."

The student continued, "Professor, does darkness exist?"

The professor responded, "Of course it does."

The student replied, "Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."

Finally the young man asked the professor, "Sir, does evil exist?"

Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course as I have already said. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.

The young man's name -- Albert Einstein

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Now this is strange

OK! This is going to be one short blog tonight. As we celebrate the Holy week in freedom, I want to tell you a short article I just saw on the news. Over the last weekend, Iraq held it's first Miss Iraq contest since 1972. Now that may not seem like it's of any interest to you, but there's more. The new Miss Iraq is a Christian. But it gets even more complex. The original Miss Iraq(Tamar Goregian) from this weekends contest stepped down and fled the Country after her life was threatened by Muslim extremists.

The next two runner up's, who were Muslim, refused to accept the title because of the same threats. Finally, the fourth runner up, (Silva Shahakian) accepted the title of Miss Iraq and announced that she was a Christian. An announcement that will surely put a mark of death on her. Now where am I going with this? After seeing this brave woman announce her faith in a faith that will put you to death for being anything other than Muslim, we have it pretty easy. We get to write nice blogs and attend fancy churches in the open to celebrate Holy Week, while others are putting their lives on the line for the name of Jesus. They're accepting a certain death sentence to spread the gospel. We're not all set out to be missionaries, but we can sure all pray for them. Today I ask that you pray for this woman of God, and everyone else who are putting themselves in harms way to tell others about Jesus Christ. Please pray in earnerst for these brave Christian Soldiers. They need our prayers, and we owe it to them. Just a thought...

Praying for everyone to spread the Word
Pastor Mike

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Show me the money!

Yesterday we talked about Jesus at the Temple after He entered Jerusalem. Between that time, and the time of the last Supper, He preached on various topics, so we're going to look at some of those over the next few days. Today we're going to look at the parable of the widow's offering. It deals with one of the hottest topics in the Christian community today, money. OK, let's open up this can of worms and see what the Bible says about giving.

Luke 21: 1-4 says, As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting up their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," He said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on."

It's not what you give folks, it's how you give it. One of the biggest mistakes that Pastor's make today is taking money from any source they can. We preach and teach on how to tithe, but not why. What we need to be preaching on is WHY people should give, and HOW they should give. Now this statement will draw fire from some Pastors, and finanace committees, but what do these verses tell us?

These verses tell us that giving is an act of worship, and just like any other worship, it's done because we love God, not because we have to. One of the greatest verses on giving can be found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, Remember this; Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctanlty, or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. Most people look at the first part of this verse and fail to read the next parts. Yes, we will be blessed more when we give more, but ONLY if we do it out of our love for the Lord. We could give a million dollars out of compulsion and never be blessed. At the same time, we could give our last ten dollars out of love, and be blessed in ways we could never imagine. The key component to remember is that "God loves a cheerful giver." He'd rather have our love and devotion than our money out of obligation, that's not love. Now don't think that this means you shouldn't pass on the offering plate next Sunday....:)

When I sat down to write this today, it didn't dawn on me that there was a strong connection between yesterday's message and today's. But when you really look at the Bible, you'll find that money has always been a source of controversy and dispute. So how do we handle money as Christians? With love. We handle it for what it is, a gift from God to be shared, not worshipped. Love the Lord first, and the rest will follow. I pray today that the Lord blesses you with the wealth of wisdom, peace, health, and finances that comes from a God-first relationship.

Thanking God for the wealth I have in you,
Pastor Mike

Monday, April 10, 2006

Jesus lets loose!

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, and we looked at what the day really meant, and what took place. Today we're going to continue the look at Holy Week and look what happened after Jesus entered Jerusalem.

This morning, we're going to look at the Book of Luke, 45-48, He entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling, "It is written" He said to them, "My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers." Every day He was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the leaders among the people were trying to kill Him. Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on His words.

Wow, what happened? Yesterday we saw Jesus entering the gates of Jerusalem very peaceful and with everyone singing His praises. Today we see Him throwing people out of the Church and people plotting to kill Him. That's quite a transition isn't it? So why the sudden change?

First of all, Jesus came into the Temple, and saw that it wasn't being used to glorify His Father. When a church stops worshipping God and starts worshipping itself, then you have a problem. The house of God should be a place of worship. When you look around and you see the same thing happening inside the walls of the sanctuary that is happening in the world, then it's time to find a church that focuses on God, not on man. Jesus came into His temple in today's passage and saw some things He didn't like. We saw His reaction. Now, we have to ask ourselves if our church would be pleasing to Jesus, or would He start throwing people out? I know the question sounds harsh, but Jesus was the Master of making people look into the deepest parts of their soul and making them answer the questions that they really didn't want to answer. Soul searching isn't always the most pleasant experience, but we grow from it when we answer the questions honestly.

Now you can see in the second part of today's passage that Jesus went right to work after cleaning up the Temple by preaching every day. And I'm sure that some of the things He said made a few people pretty mad. It made them mad enough that they plotted to kill Him. What could He have possibly said that would drive them to the point of murder? Could it have been that He hurt their pride by throwing the money changers out of the temple? Could it have been that He posed a threat to their power? It was probably a combination of both. Let's just call it conviction. Conviction is when an outside source (another believer, the Holy Spirit, the Bible etc) reveals a weakness or flaw in something we've been doing, whether it's intentional, or unintentional. It's that pain that comes when our pride has been hurt. Like we feel like we're being blamed. When we feel convicted, or threatened, we can't respond in anger like the leaders of the Temple did. What we need to do is dump our pride and move forward in a Godly manner. Pride is an easy tool for Satan to use in his battle against mankind, he used it against the leaders of the temple to the point that they handed over the Savior of the world to be crucified.

Today's passage is a great example of what can happen to a church when it fails to follow the Biblical example of how a church should operate. We can find Biblical examples of the church throughout the New Testament, and the Biblical examples of church leadership requirements in 1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus. The church should operate under the laws of God, not man. When we allow God to rule in His temples, then they will grow and strengthen, not crumble. They will grow and strengthen, not be punished.

May you all be blessed in this the Holiest Week of the year.
Pastor Mike

Easter Cross

For a great excample of a Biblical church, please read Acts:42-47

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I love palm trees!

This Spring has been very weird for us here in Southern California. Since we are technically a desert, we only get about 9 inches of rain a season (Between December to February). Well, this year it was extremely dry during the rainy time, and now we're getting a series of storms that are making up for the times that we had no rain. But along with the rain, comes cleansing.

When I wake up in the morning and look out my window, I'm treated to a God-given scene of beautiful palm trees, serene Koi ponds, and babbling streams. This morning was one of those "Oh Yeah" mornings because as I rolled over in my bed and looked out the window, the first things I heard and saw were the fresh new frawns on the palm trees and the babbling of our Koi pond and stream. Everything was so bright and new from the recent rains. As I looked upon God's beauty, it reminded me of how much He loves me, because today is the start of the Holiest week of the year. The week of Jesus' sacrifice for us.

The last week of Jesus' life was crammed with events as we follow Him from His entry into Jerusalem on Sunday until His death on Friday. In the days in between, He preached, taught, presided over the Passover supper, stood trial, and was sentenced to death. So this week, we're going to actually take a look at each day of Holy Week, and examine what Jesus did on each day leading up to the time of His death, and the impact it had on the world. So, let's start off this Holy Week with the first day, Palm Sunday.

Now at the end of today's devotional, I'm going to give a list of references where you can go in the Bible to read about Palm Sunday, but for today, we're going to focus on Matthew 21:1-11 for our study, so let's get started.

In verses 1-3, Jesus tell His disciples to, "go into the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with the colt tied by her. Untie them and bring them to me." Now there's many different thoughts on why Jesus chose a donkey to make His triumphant return to Jerusalem on, but in verses 4 and 5, the Bible clearly tells us that it, "took place to fulfill prophecy." The prophecy that Jesus based this on came from the prophet Zechariah, who told God's people years earlier to, "Rejoice greatly O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9)" You see, the Bible is full of promises and hope, and God will never go back on those promises to the people who follow and obey Him. Jesus knew that Zachariah had told the people of his day that there would be hope of salvation coming in the future, and that He would be coming on a donkey's colt. He knew that the people would have hope when He entered Jerusalem because they would see prophecy fulfilled before their eyes. That's what Jesus is. He's hope and prophecy fulfilled. His acts were based on giving the world hope and salvation. Please take the time to read the book of Isaiah, and match the prophecies in this incredible Book to the events of the New Testament, and you'll see hope and promises fulfilled. That's what our sweet sweet Jesus is, HOPE AND FULFILLMENT. Do you see Him this way?

Now in the second part of this passage, Matthew 6:6-8, we see another turn of events that shows us how Jesus was first accepted, and later in the week, rejected, just like He is today. In verses 6-8, we see that people were doing everything they could for Him. They were giving their all, "They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from trees and spread them on the road. (Matthew 7-8)" Now we see where the term Palm Sunday comes from. The palm tree was held in very high regard because it was such an intrical part of life. Palms provided shade, food, building material, and every bit of the tree was invaluable. So, to use it for a donkey to walk on was an incredible act of reverence. But the people knew that this was no ordinary event, they knew it was an act of prophecy being fulfilled right before their eyes, so they took joy in throwing down the palms and their cloaks for what they knew was the man who came to save them. What are we willing to do to show our reverence for the one who comes to save us?

The final verses of todays passage, verses 9-11, show us the hope the people of Jerusalem held in Jesus. We see where, "The crowds that went ahead of Him, and those that followed shouted, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest! When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, who is this? The crowds answered, this is Jesus the prophet." There are a two significant events here that we need to be mindful of in order to grasp the reverence that these people held for Jesus. The fact that they used the word Hosanna when shouting to Jesus shows that they seriously considered Him their savior. The word Hosanna means save us, and comes from Psalm 118:26, "Blessed is He who come in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord, we bless you." They knew that Jesus was the Savior, and treated Him with the reverence He was due. Too many times today, people expect Jesus to serve them, but it really needs to be the other way around. We need to remember that Hosanna is a plea for Jesus to save us, not for us to save Jesus. He's the lifeguard, not the victim. We need to remember and respect the realationship between us and God.
Now the second part of this verse that needs to be paid attention to is the part that mentions the city was "stirred." You see, at this time, the city was under the rule of the Romans and without hope that they would ever be freed again. But now, after all this time of foreign occupation, came prophecy fulfilled, and the hope of freedom that came along with it. Can you imagine how happy and relieved that the people must have been? They had been oppressed by the Romans for so long that they'd probably given up hope given by the prophets of so long ago, and now they saw their hope coming through the gates of Jerusalem on a colt. Just as God had promised! We still have the promise of eternal glory today, so don't forget that our future is being shaped by our actions now.

We live in a world today that is oppressed by sin. The world has lost it's zeal for Jesus because it's not paying attention to the Word of God, or the prophecy in it. We need to regain that joy of knowing that one day Jesus will return and take us home to spend all eternity in His Kingdom. A Kingdom of no fear, no worry, no problems, just joy, happiness, and praise. Remember that the theme of Palm Sunday is based on the promise of God sending His Son to die on the cross so we could be forgiven of our sins and have a second chance to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Jesus knew what faced Him as He entered those gates of Jerusalem. He knew it was going to be painful and humiliating, but He loved us enough to do it. He had the choice to die for us, or to choose self-preservation. He chose us. Have we chosen Him? He doesn't ask us to make the sacrifices for him that He made for us. Ours is nothing in comparison. Make this Palm Sunday special by remebering why Jesus came into Jerusalem on a colt. You may not have palm trees where you live, but you have your heart. Give Jesus the love He's due. Give Him your all.

Be blessed today, and remember what Hosanna really means.

Remembering the Palm trees today,
Pastor Mike

Verses to read for Palm Sunday

Luke 19:28-46
Matthew 21:1-17
Mark 11:1-11
John 12:12-50 and 2:13-15

Friday, April 07, 2006

What, me worry?

Today, we're going to look at Proverbs 3; 5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. How many of us struggle with the issue of trust? Its something that mankind has been struggling with since creation, and always will. So how do we deal with the subject of trusting God?

It's one thing for people to trust God with their eternal destiny, but it's another for them to trust God to handle the challenges of daily life. Today's verses encourage God's people to trust Him with all their hearts, and acknowledge Him in all their ways. When we do this, He promises to direct, or straighten, our paths. We need to trust God to help us handle the tough situations we face, even in cases where we can't even begin to see how He could. Also, trusting the Lord means to trust Him in all areas. If we really want to know God's will in our lives, or even for our actions in a certain situation, we have to begin by trusting that God cares about every part of living, and that He'll provide what we need. Without trust in God, our faith is talk. Having said that, let's take a look at someone who was just like us. He questioned God just like we do, but just like us, God answered him with wisdom beyond his understanding.

One of the greatest examples of human faith and trust can be found in the Book of Habakkuk, Chapter 2. When I was in Seminary, I remember having to write a paper on this Prophet that was longer than the book itself. As I started to research and translate this great book, I realized what an example of faith and endurance he really was. Habakkuk, God's prophet, preached trust during a time of turmoil. Judah was facing an invasion from the Babylonians, who had taken Nineveh, the captial of Assyria. Judah's days were numbered, because God would use the Babylonians to conquer His people and punish then for straying from Him. Habakkuk wanted to know why: "Why do you look on those who deal treacherously, and hold your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he?" (Hab 1:13). Does this question sound familiar? Habakkuk askes the question that the whole nation was thinking, and then waited for God to answer: "I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me." (Hab 2:1)

God answered His prophet by explaining that even though He was using the Babylonians to punish Judah, the Babylonians wouldn't even know that they were being used as pawns by God. Babylon's pride and power would wind up being it's downfall. God told Habkkuk to be patient. In the end, He would make everything right. Take the time today to read this great story of trust and faith. Not only will you be able to relate to it, but you'll be able to learn from it by example.

We need to trust God completely, even in the face of adversity. Sure, we question God just like Habakkuk did, but when we go beyond doubt and put our trust in the Lord without question, then we see faith in action. Trust is believing without seeing. Habakkuk said, "the just shall live by his faith." (Hab 2:4). When we trust in our trustworthy God, we don't need to know why, we only need to know Him.

Be blessed today, and trust God to make your paths right.

In the love of Christ,
Pastor Mike

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The two words we love to hear.

Today we start one of the most profound chapters of Proverbs, chapter number three. I say it's profound because it covers so many of the events that we face in life. So we're going to spend a little time here and see how we can apply it to our lives.

We're going to first take a look at Proverbs 3:3,4 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Love and faithfulness, two words that are like music to the ears. One of the greatest examples of love and faithfulness is that of Jesus going to the cross to die for us. Luke 9:51 says As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Jesus was resolute, which means He wasn't going to let anything get in His way. He knew that He was going to die a brutal death. He knew it was the only way for us to be reconciled with God. He knew the pain that he was going to endure, but He loved us enough to show us what faithfulness truly means by taking it all for our sins. He died so we could live forever, now that's love and faithfulness. It absolutely amazes me that He cares about us so much but asks for so little in return. Even when we turn our backs on Him, He remains faithful and willing to always take us back. Show God your love today by putting Him before your own needs, He did.

Verse 4 says Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. I've heard people say that they only have to please God, and I agree that it's the most important thing to do, but we can't forget to be good examples of Godly people. I'm sure that most of you have heard the old saying that says, "I have to watch how I act, I might be the only Bible people read." What that adage is saying is that people see the love and faithfulness of God reflected in the way we act. Titus 1:16 says They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. How many times have you seen someone who you thought was steadfast in their faith do something that you know was wrong? How did it make you feel? Did other people who weren't Christians see it, and if so how did they react? Once again, nobody's perfect, and we're certainly forgiven, but when we accept Jesus into our lives, people watch. We're the ambassadors of Christ, let's make Him proud of us. Let others who don't know Him see us as a positive influence. Show love and faithfulness through our actions.

Show God your faithfulness and love today by spreading His Word, and living His example of love by caring for others. Do a good deed for someone today that will make them know that you're a Christian. Show that Jesus is in you by your actions.

Have an awesome day today, and pray for someone that nobody else cares about...:)

In Him,
Pastor Mike

Monday, April 03, 2006

What's with all this wisdom?

As I started reading Proverbs Chapter Two today, it suddenly occured to me that it was almost identical to Chapter One. Of course my first thought was how people were going to react to another Devotional on wisdom. But then I asked myself why Solomon thought wisdom was such an important topic that he dedicated so much time to it, I thought today we would look at Chapter two in a new light. In the form of a question. Why was Solomon so pre-occupied with wisdom?

Solomon had it all. There's no doubt that he ruled over the golden age of Israel. He had riches that we can't even imagine, fame beyond belief, and wisdom greater than anyone who had ever lived. All of this of course, came from God.

Solomon was one of several sons of David and Bathsheba (1 Ch. 3:5). David had promised the Kingdom to Solomon (1 Kins 1:17), whom God had picked to follow him (1 Ch 28:5). God wanted to bless Israel through Solomon's rule. One night, God told Solomon to ask for anything and He would give it to him. Solomon knew that he needed wisdom to rule Israel.

When God answers a prayer, He doesn't go half way. Solomon wasn't given just a little wisdom; he became the wisest man who ever lived! His wisdom was known throughout the world, and people came from all over to meet him (1 Kings 4:29-24). Solomom built the greatest Temple in Jerusalem. He wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.

Solomon struggled however at putting his wisdom to use when it came to his home life. God had commanded Israel not to intermarry with certain nations, yet Soloman "loved" many. God said "Surely they will turn away your hearts after other Gods." (1 Kings 11:1), but Solomon didn't listen. He didn't marry one or two women, he married 700, and also had 300 concubines. What God predicted came true of course; "His wives turned his heart after other; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God." (1 Kings 11:4).

Like Solomon, we may be wise in some areas, but not in managing our own lives. Solomon did much for the nation of Israel with his wisdom, but his unwise lack of restraint caused him to lose his Kingdom (1 Kings 11:11). A truly wise person knows how to apply his God-given talent to their life. That's how we should apply the wisdom of Proverbs Chapters 1 and 2 to our lives.

Be Blessed today, and I'll see you tomorrow.

With Love,
Pastor Mike

Other wisdom related passages

Deuteronomy 17:18-20
Joshua 1:8
Proverbs 1 and 2
Matthew 7:24-27 and 13:18-23
2 Timothy 3:14-17

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Just say no!

Today's passage that we're going to look at comes from Proverbs 1:5-19, and it deals with something we all have faced at one time or another in our life. Being lured away from our walk with Christ by others, or things.

I grew up in the church, and I remember my grandmother took us to Sunday School every weekend morning just like clockwork. I did this for years, and got award after award from our church for never missing a Sunday. One weekend when I was nearing my teens, our family moved to a new place that was every kids dream. We had acres to play in, and woods to explore. During the first weekend at our new home, I mentioned to my mother that I wish I could stay back from church and explore our new home, and she let me. I wish I had never said anything now. I stayed home that weekend and got lost in a new world that I'd never seen. A weekend I enjoyed. One weekend turned into many, and many turned into years. Those years that I walked away from the Lord started out with one innocent statement, but turned into years of spiritual neglect. All because I was lured away by something I thought was better.

In today's passage, I want to emphasize a verse that will sum up the entire passage of Proverbs 1:5-19. Proverbs 1:10 says, My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. When I look back at that weekend I chose to do something else rather than go to Sunday School, it just tears me apart. I remember so well how happy I was to be able to run up and down the hills and see things I had never experienced before. It was so great, but it sure was short-lived. That new joy lasted a few months, but by then, church had lost it's appeal, and I never went back. That's how temptation is. We're always looking for something better, but we get so trapped into wanting more that we fail to see how blessed we really are. We hear about people who win the lottery thinking all their troubles will be over, wishing years later that they wished they'd never won it at all because of all the taxes, people bugging them for loans, and other things that just made the win a bad experience. It was more trouble than it was worth. When you really take a look at your life, no matter how bad it may seem, the long-term benefits of knowing Jesus will always out weigh the short-term effect that a temptation will bring. It's like a stock investment you make, if you stay in the race for the long-term, no matter how the market goes, you'll eventually have the money to retire on and enjoy life. However, if you choose to always go after the "sure thing" stock, you're going to lose most of the time because they usually plunge leaving you empty. Are you ready to resist the temptaions of others, and life, so you can enjoy the long-term benefits of an eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, or are you going to go for the short-term happiness that will bring an eternity of condemnation and seperation. That's what temptation is all about, your eternal life or the now.

We live in a world today that exposes us to people and things that make it easy to forget God. I wish it was different, but that's the reality. Everywhere we look there's a promise of a better life. Don't fall into that trap. Stand firm in your faith and know that Jesus loves you more than the world ever will. Don't chase after a shiny new penny when you have a dollar in your hand. Stay the course and stay with Christ. When you're standing in the Kingdom of Heaven praising the Father because you've never seen a happiness like you're experiencing, then you'll find your reward for all eternity. Then you'll find it was all worth it.

Stand firm today, and be happy because you know Jesus, and the temptation will no longer tempt.

In His Service,
Pastor Mike

Other Passages dealing with the subject of temptation and how to deal with it.

Proverbs 4:14
Romans 6:13
Ephesians 6:13
2 Peter 3:17
1 Corinthians 10:13

Saturday, April 01, 2006

How do we live?

Life is sure chaotic at times, isn't it? When things start getting out of hand or I just need to be reminded of how God wants me to live my life, I always go back to the Book of Proverbs. It's just a great way to make sure that I'm staying on the straight and narrow. It's a simple, but profound book that reaches out and grabs my heart.

Today I thought We's take a while to look over this Book in the Bible that I call the owners manual to a Godly existance. I call it that because it's one of those books that are like a roadmap of life, it tells us how we should live, and reminds us when we take the wrong turns. If we want to keep on the road, then we also have to follow the map to keep from getting lost, and this Book is a great map. So, having said that, let's get started.

Today's passage that we'll be applying to our lives will be Proverbs 1:1-7. Let's break it down and live it.

Proverbs 1:1-3 The Proverbs of Solomon son of David, King of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for aquiring a disciplined life, doing what is right and just and fair. First of all, let's take a brief look at who Solomon was. He was the second son of David who later became King. He was known for his incredible writings, wisdom, and wealth. But despite all of these gifts he possesed, he was still just like the rest of us. We see in the verses we just read, that Solomon brings up wisdom and discipline, and we'll see in his later writings that he brings these topics up quite a few times. However, like us, he knew the difference between right and wrong, yet still chose the wrong path in many cases. In order for us to really see what the book of Proverbs is saying about the way we should live our lives, then we need to learn from it (wisdom) and apply it ( discipline). We need to look at the wisdom of this great King and apply it to our lives to have a closer relationship with God.

Proverbs 4-6 says for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-let the wise listen to add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance-for understanding poverbs and parables, the saying and the riddles of the wise. It's our responsibility to know the Bible and to live it. It doesn't matter how many times you read it, it matters how we apply it. I remember when I attended an evangelism conference in Portland Oregon once, I met a man who had the book of James memorized. I was so impressed, but he wasn't. He told me that that was one book down, but he still had a lot of work to do. It was his goal to memorize the entire Bible. Now many people would consider that outlandish, but I consider that a true search for wisdom. The "wisdom" of the world has now taken place of the wisdom of the Bible. Teachers used to be able to instruct the students from the Word of God, but can't even say God in most cases today. True wisdom is the knowledge of God, which brings us to the next verse.

Proverbs 7 says that the fear of the Lord is the begining of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. This is a pretty blunt verse, but sometimes this is just what we need. Some people may look at this verse and wonder how a loving God would demand us to fear Him. Take a look at a parent-child relationship. The parent loves the child, and knows what is good for him. If the child does wrong, then for their own good, they need to have consequences for their actions. The child doesn't like it, but you know the parent doesn't like it either. But the child will learn form it, and "fear" the consequences enough to not do it again. Growing in a relationship with God involves learning from Mistakes and not doing them again. When we learn to do this, we truly are wise. Those who repeat the mistakes despise wisdom and discipline.

Take this passage today and start your path towards wisdom. Read the Bible daily and start experiencing it by living it. Know it inside and out so you know instantly the difference between right and wrong. When you know the difference, then temptation is easier to conquer. Put the Bible in your heart, Satan can't defeat that.

Be blessed today, and don't stop here, read more of the Bible and pray longer. Live the relationship so you can live the love.

Be blessed today, and we'll see you tomorrow.

In His Service,
Pastor Mike

To find out more about King Solomon, read 1 Kings.