“We’re On The Same Page!” (Acts 15:10-11)

Recently, my colleague and I were discussing a complicated skin cancer case. We both arrived at the same diagnosis but for different reasons. We laughed when we realized what happened and he exclaimed, “We’re on the same page! We may not be reading the same book, but we’re on the same page!”

Many times, I find myself in agreement with someone regarding a complicated theological issue. We may both arrive at the same conclusion but for entirely different reasons. The Bible records an important example of this. During the early years of the Church, a controversy arose on whether Christians needed to be circumcised like Jews in order to be saved. 

While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 

Acts 15:1 (NLT)

The controversy threatened to divide the early Church. Jewish Christians clashed with Gentile Christians. They both recognized that salvation was in the Name of Jesus Christ. However, how they arrived at this point differed. They were on the same page, but reading a different book. The Apostle Paul eloquently clarified the situation. 

So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 15:10-11 (NLT)

Circumcision is a physical sign of the original covenant agreement that God made with the Jews. Once Jesus Christ lived, died, and was resurrected, a new covenant through faith and belief in Jesus Christ began. We no longer have to be circumcised or participate in sacrificial rituals to atone for our sins. We are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of Jesus Christ! 

What powerful words that confirm the grace and mercy of God. Through Jesus Christ, we are all on the same page!

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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Triple Threat (Hebrews 1:1-8)

Paul McCartney. Elton John. Carole King. Adele.

What do each of these well-known singers have in common? Besides their considerable vocal prowess, each of them write their own songs and perform them on a musical instrument. I consider them a triple threat: singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist.

There are only a handful of artists who have achieved this level of fame and mastery. Even great performers like Frank Sinatra, arguably the most popular singer of the 20th century, did not write his own songs nor did he play a musical instrument. To be gifted with these three abilities is indeed, very special and rare.

The Bible records great saints who were prophets, priests, and kings. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied that a descendent of King David would someday rule as Messiah. Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, was a priest and he prophesied to the people how his son would prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Yet unlike musical artists who have achieved the coveted triple threat status, these great saints never held the title of all three. There is only one person who is all three: Prophet, Priest, and King. He is Jesus Christ. 

Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names. The Son Is Greater Than the Angels For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus: “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.” God also said, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.” And when he brought his supreme Son into the world, God said, “Let all of God’s angels worship him.” Regarding the angels, he says, “He sends his angels like the winds, his servants like flames of fire.” But to the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice.”

Hebrews 1:1-8 (NLT)

Jesus is greater than all of the prophets and fulfilled their ancient prophecies. Jesus is greater than all the priests and cleansed us from our sins. Jesus is greater than all kings and reigns supremely and forever in heaven. He is indeed, very special and rare. 

Man, Messiah, and God.

Prophet, Priest, and King. 

Jesus Christ is the eternal triple threat!

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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The Middleman (Job 9:33)


The sound was accompanied with a violent shake of the unit in my building. What happened? Did a truck back into the building? I scampered to the front of the office and peered outside the door and recognized a car that belonged to the courier of a reference laboratory for which I do contracted work. He was standing outside of his car, obviously shaken and apologized to me before I even asked him what happened.

“I am so sorry. I thought I put my car in park, however, when I got out of the car to get your cases, the car was still in drive and it went forward and slammed into your garage door.”

We both looked at the dented metal door, testifying to the impact of the car. “Oh my. Are you okay?”

He nodded. “Just shaken up. I’m calling my car insurance right now.”

I returned to my office and thought about my next course of action. He was not my employee and I was leasing my office space. I immediately notified the reference laboratory about the incident and then sent an email to my landlord. Meanwhile, the courier gave me some additional information from his insurance company. “Ok, someone will be contacting you. Here is the reference number.”

I thanked him but had an uneasy feeling that I would be stuck being the middleman. Sure enough, after sending several additional emails to the laboratory, my landlord, and the driver’s insurance company, pleading for action, there was no response. The end of the day was quickly approaching and there was no way to secure this garage door, leaving my office vulnerable to theft. I made several phone calls and finally, at the end of the day, a repair person arrived and fixed the door. I was thankful but frustrated, aware that had I not kept persisting, the repair would not have occurred in a timely manner. I needed someone else to intervene on my behalf. I did not want to be the middleman. 

Job understood this frustration. In a brief period of time, his wealth, family, and health were taken from him. Although his friends attempted to help him understand his plight, he remained frustrated, pleading with God to enlighten him for the reasons why he was suffering. He needed a middleman, a mediator between himself and God. His plaintive cry was recorded.

If only there were a mediator between us, someone who could bring us together. 

Job 9:33 (NLT)

Being the middleman may be a frustrating and hapless position, particularly when we are suffering through difficult life situations. With my recent encounter, I would have welcomed another to take my place as a middleman. Thankfully, it was resolved and while the consequences could have been costly, it was not life threatening. However, there are some situations we face in life where the outcome could be much more dire and costly. The most important life situation we will all face is the decision we need to make for our spiritual destiny. How do we restore the relationship with God that our sins have broken? How do we find forgiveness for our sins? Job asked this same question. Thousands of years later, God dramatically answered Job’s prayer.

For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 

1 Timothy 2:5 (NLT)

Only Jesus Christ can intervene between God and man. Through the power of the Resurrection, He conquered death and lives eternally to forgive our sins and reconcile us with God, our Creator. 

Jesus Christ is the only middleman we need because He is the true mediator and our Messiah.


Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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“Past Performance Is No Guarantee…” (2 Chronicles 26:16)

“Need extra money but don’t have the time? Try our new stock picking system. This is not day trading and only requires twenty minutes a week.”

Wow! This sounds too good to be true! The radio advertisement continued. 

“Past performance is no guarantee of future success.”

Of course not! The requisite disclaimer at the end of an ad touting amazing financial returns always brings the listener back to reality. It is a sobering reminder that we cannot rest upon our laurels or past success. From investing to performances in sports or on the job, we need to remain vigilant and disciplined in all of our endeavors. King Uzziah of Judah learned this very painful lesson. He was a godly king whom God blessed because of his faithfulness to Him.

He did right in the sight of the LORD according to all that his father Amaziah had done.  He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and  as long as he sought the LORD, God prospered him. 

2 Chronicles 26:4-5 (NASB)

Amongst his many accomplishments were tremendous military successes against Judah’s enemies, expanding and solidifying the kingdom. Uzziah even created novel weapons of war!

In Jerusalem he made engines of war invented by skillful men to be on the towers and on the corners for the purpose of shooting arrows and great stones. Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he was strong. 

2 Chronicles 26:15 (NASB)

All of these examples are given to illustrate and bolster the case for the remarkable success of Uzziah. As long as he obeyed God and relied upon Him for strength and guidance, God would bless and prosper him. His past performance should have been his blueprint for future success. However, near the end of his life, he succumbed to his pride and acted foolishly and arrogantly.

But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. 

2 Chronicles 26:16 (NASB)

By burning incense in the temple, Uzziah was usurping the role of the priests. God punished him by afflicting him with leprosy, forcing him to live outside of the temple and his own home. As a leper, he could not govern and his son, Jothan, took over his duties. 

King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death; and he lived in a separate house, being a leper, for he was cut off from the house of the LORD…

2 Chronicles 26:21 (NASB)

Let’s learn from the sobering example of one of the great saints of the Bible. Our pride can hinder our faith and we may then believe that we no longer need God in our lives. Like Uzziah, the results can be tragic. 

Past performance is no guarantee of future success.

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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My Beliefs Are More Important…(John 3:16)

The headlines blasted across every major news outlet. New York Yankees Aaron Judge had broken Roger Maris’ single season American league record of 61 home runs, set in 1961. It was a record that stood in the record books for many years and had never been broken, except for three times! Prior to this season, Maris’ record had been bested by three other major league players: Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa. Yet, their achievements are tainted since they were also using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. As a result, their records are not universally accepted, usually igniting heated debates amongst baseball fans, players, and sports commentators. Even as this story of Aaron Judge was being reported, one commentator stated, “Yes, Judge broke Roger Maris’ record unless you believe the three others did it before him.”

Another sports commentator chimed in, “I do believe it. My beliefs are more important than yours!”

It was amusing and made a poignant point. Instead of baseball, I could have been listening to two people debating the merits of religion and Christianity. All of us hold strong opinions about a variety of topics. While sports may generate animated discussions, religion and politics usually are singled out as the most inflammatory and I would aver that religion tops politics. Christians, in particular, are often labeled as bigoted and closed minded. Is this true?

For God so loved the world, that He gave His  only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 

John 3:16 (NASB)

There is a reason why this Bible verse is so popular. It explains God’s love, grace, and mercy to all of us. God knocks on the door of everyone’s heart. He does not force His way in. He created us and even though we rejected Him, He took the initiative to provide the pathway to reconciliation through faith and belief in His Son, Jesus Christ. 

My beliefs are not more important than yours. Only God’s beliefs matter. Whoever believes in Him will have eternal life and salvation. 

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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Zeal With Knowledge (Proverbs 19:2)

When I encounter a college campus Christian group, it brings back fond memories of my time in college when I first became a Christian. I had zeal and enthusiastically shared my faith with my classmates. The change in my behavior was surprising for people who knew me and more than one thought I was involved in a cult. This was understandable. I was emotionally charged but my decision was not based upon feelings but solid knowledge and evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I defended my actions and zeal by carefully explaining why I chose to become a Christian, retracing my steps and reciting the Bible verses that led me to make the decision. It was a zeal with knowledge. 

I applaud and support the many college Christian fellowship groups that have led so many seekers, like myself, to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. These groups have also helped to solidify the faith of young Christians or those who were wavering their faith. However, I am aware that some groups may prey upon these same students, taking advantage of their spiritual immaturity or instability. Some place an emphasis on emotional outcomes and feelings rather than a deepening knowledge of God. Others may enforce rules and regulations, requiring obedience and fealty to the fellowship group, even at the expense of relationships between students. How does one discern whether a Christian fellowship group is helping rather than hurting students?  

Even zeal is not good without knowledge, and the one who acts hastily sins.

Proverbs 19:2 (CSB)

All fellowship groups should be encouraging a careful discernment of God’s Word as revealed in the Bible. It should lead to zeal with knowledge. When zeal is separated from knowledge, sin fills the gap. 

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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Vigilante (Genesis 34:30-31)

Robin Hood. Zorro. Batman.

What do these fictional characters, spanning hundreds of years, have in common? They are all vigilantes. While officially not part of any law enforcement agency, they decided to take justice into their own hands. Even in real life, vigilantes have arisen. Countless stories of parents avenging the murder of their children, others seeking revenge and justice for their murdered spouse and still others organizing groups to exterminate ruthless criminals and gang members. 

The public romanticizes the vigilante as the popularity of these movies and stories attest. Is it ever justified? The Bible records several examples of what could be considered vigilante action. A tragic example was recorded with the sons of the patriarch, Jacob. Dinah was the daughter of Jacob and sister to Simeon and Levi. As they traveled back to their homeland, Dinah was raped by Shechem, the son of the prince of that land. Shechem’s father, Hamor, attempted to make peace with Jacob and requested that Dinah be allowed to marry his son. Jacob did not say anything and instead, let his sons Simeon and Levi speak for him and both agreed to allow Shechem to marry Dinah but only on the condition that Shechem and all of the men of the land became circumcised and worship God as they did. However, Simeon and Levi had no intention to allow Shechem to marry Dinah. Once the men were circumcised and incapacitated because of the pain, Simeon and Levi killed all of the men, including Shechem, exacting their revenge. Surprisingly, Jacob was more upset over how his enemies would view his son’s actions, rather than defending the honor of his own daughter. 

Afterward Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have ruined me! You’ve made me stink among all the people of this land—among all the Canaanites and Perizzites. We are so few that they will join forces and crush us. I will be ruined, and my entire household will be wiped out!”

“But why should we let him treat our sister like a prostitute?” they retorted angrily. 

Genesis 34:30-31 (NLT)

It is a sad story and although Simeon and Levi did defend the honor of their sister, it was not a godly action. In fact, God was not consulted in prayer during this entire sordid episode. Just because a story is recorded in the Bible does not mean that God condones the action. The Bible is very clear on this point. 

I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.

Deuteronomy 32:35 (NLT)

As Christians, we are commanded to obey the laws of our land unless it forces us to go against God’s law. While the cause of a vigilante may be honorable, even noble, vengeance is for the Lord to decide, judge and enact.

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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Hurricane Names (Jude 17-19)

“Hurricane Bob is bearing down upon the Gulf Coast.”

Hurricanes are given male and female names, a practice that began in 1979. Prior to this, from 1953 to 1978, hurricanes and tropical storms were given only female names. Female meteorologists and others leveled accusations of misogyny, claiming that male meteorologists and reporters were attaching sexual cliches to these female named hurricanes, reinforcing negative stereotypes. In 1978, the World Meteorological Organization agreed to add male names to hurricanes and tropical storms. Hurricane Bob was the first to be given a male name when it struck the Gulf Coast in 1979.

Reflecting upon this, I suppose one could have used gender neutral names such as Tracy or Leslie. Of course, in this current age of gender ambiguity, probably no solution except not giving gender specific names to hurricanes would suffice. We should probably number hurricanes like 2022-3, designating the third hurricane of the 2022 season. Inevitably, criticism will probably emerge from some group claiming they are disenfranchised by this new naming process.

It is challenging to live in a politically correct and woke world where everything must be gender neutral and pronouns such as he and she are eschewed in favor of they, regardless of the confusion this creates. The real issue is moral relativism. The world informs us there are no absolute standards. The illusion is by choosing relativism, this excludes those who disagree and this is no longer inclusive but exclusive, contradicting the message of relativism. 

But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions,  worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. 

Jude 17-19 (NASB)

Thousands of years ago, our Lord Jesus Christ warned us of these current days. Everyone will be following their own standard and attempt to impose it on others. Those who disagree will be mocked, publicly shamed, and canceled. Christians are a target. Keep the faith! He also gave us these words of encouragement until His glorious return.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 

Jude 20-21 (NASB)

Praise God!

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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Crossing The Border (Proverbs 18:10)

It was a horrific and tragic story. Fifty three migrants died in an overheated abandoned truck on a backroad leading from Mexico into the United States. To date, this is the worst human smuggling incident in the history of the United States.

Source: www.CNN.com

The issue was politicized by all sides of the political arena. The reasons that migrants would choose to risk their lives to cross the border and enter the United States are complex and individualized. One cannot indiscriminately lump all migrants in the same category anymore than one could lump all people who seek to leave the United States. However, nearly all would agree that migrants are seeking a better life in the United States, one that could not be found in their native country. They counted the cost of their decision and decided that it was worth the risk, even if it meant their own lives. 

The desire to seek a better life for ourselves and others is one of our strongest motivators. It is the same for our spiritual lives. If we knew a place existed where all of our problems would be solved, where there would be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain, wouldn’t we risk everything to get there? Does such a place exist?

Indeed, there is!

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe. 

Proverbs 18:10 (NASB)

A relationship with God is not empty promises and unfulfilled dreams. It is real and here, available to all who confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Don’t hesitate to do this. Run, don’t walk, to the Lord. He is a strong tower who will protect and save us from the evils of this world.

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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“What Would You Say?” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

“What would you say to your younger self if you had an opportunity to speak to that person?”

It is a classic interview or essay question. Life coaches and psychologists have exhaustively analyzed the responses to this question and have broadly grouped the answers into three categories: relationships, opportunities, and self care. Relationships dealt with issues like not rushing into marriage. Opportunities centered around issues like following one’s passions. Self-care focused upon reaffirming one’s self-worth and seeking encouragement when disappointment occurs. What does the Bible say?

The book of Ecclesiastes is often acknowledged to be written by King Solomon, the wisest and one of the wealthiest men who ever lived. He was a man who wrote over three thousand proverbs, composed over a thousand songs, and reigned over the greatest time of peace and power in the kingdom of Israel. People traveled from all over the world to hear his wisdom. His advice is still relevant for today. 

Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” 

Ecclesiastes 12:1 (NLT)

Ecclesiastes is replete with many nuggets of practical advice. This verse resonates with me because I certainly could have used this advice when I was younger. It encapsulates the broad categories that were outlined earlier. When I had the vigor of good health and lacked the responsibilities of a job and family, the travails of age were the furthest thing from my mind. It is no surprise that it took so many years before God’s message of salvation penetrated my heart. I was too preoccupied with having a good time to be bothered with weighty issues like repentance of sins. 

What would I say to my younger self?

Once again, God provides the perfect answer!

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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