Jesus Cares

John 14:16-18 KJV

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [17] Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. [18] I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.


Jesus cares for the disciples. It is almost time for Jesus to depart and his care is for those who will be left behind. Jesus promises to pray for another comforter. He is addressing their abandonment issues when he says this comforter will stay forever. In everything Jesus says, he is tending to the hearts of his men.

Jesus was not only Lord to these men, but he was also a friend and a brother. He loved them as we love our family. The world would soon seem to be on their shoulders and Jesus promises to help. He promises this comforter will be the Spirit of Truth. He assures them this is not available to people outside of Christ. This is a special endowment for the church.

And like the early church fathers, there is an endowment for us today as well. The Spirit of Truth lives inside us. Jesus wanted to reassure his disciples he would be with them again. He identifies himself as the Spirit of Truth that brings comfort in the last line of the text, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”


Lord, please bring your truth and your comfort to my life. Thank you for dwelling in me and giving me an inheritance with the saints. I receive your comfort and rejoice that you are so near. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Love Abandoned

John 11:43-46 WEB

When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” [44] He who was dead came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Free him, and let him go.” [45] Therefore many of the Jews, who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did, believed in him. [46] But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done.


Even after bringing the dead to life some of the Jews were offended. Thus, they went to the Pharisees to report on Jesus’ activities. It appears that all the Jews present were interested in the things of God. Some received Jesus as a savior while others reported him as an agent of evil to the religious leaders. It reminds me of the modern-day trouble we have between Conservative and Liberal Christians. Both parties have strengths and weaknesses. However, instead of loving one another, they appear to be at war.

From Conservatism, we get the Holy Spirit working actively. This is also where the miracles happen. Conservative missionaries seem prone to miracles. Conservatives also have a focus on saving the lost and getting the gospel to every people group. They have done a great deal to build the Church. However, there are some issues as well. First off is a deep suspicion of anyone who thinks differently or has different kingdom goals. The focus on God is great, but the narrowmindedness to all other groups is not great. Much love is abandoned in the demand for total agreement.

On the other hand, Liberal Christians focus on history and look for answers to today’s issues in ancient texts. They are more concerned with the knowledge of the Lord. Frequently liberals study the text to compare word usage and other markers which reveal much about the Bible. They are also focused on relieving poverty and meeting the needs of the poor. However, Liberals do not have as a primary concern the salvation of the Lost or the active building of the Church.


Lord, please help me discern what is good from what is evil. Fill me with love for all Christians. Inspire me to share the gospel and fill me with compassion for the poor. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The First to See

John 8:13-14 WEB

The Pharisees therefore said to him, “You testify about yourself. Your testimony is not valid.” [14] Jesus answered them, “Even if I testify about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from, and where I am going; but you don’t know where I came from, or where I am going.


Jesus came from the Father and was returning to the Father. It was simple for Jesus. He regularly cultivated his relationship with the Father, he knew how to hear his voice (Mark 1:35). Jesus knew scripture. Jesus knew who he was, and he knew what it meant (John 8:22).

The Pharisees could not even properly discern where Jesus was born, let alone anything else about him (John 7:52). Jesus rebuked the Pharisees because of their blindness (Mat 23:26). Jesus did not make excuses for their ignorance. They were the experts in scripture. The Pharisees should have been the first ones to realize Jesus was the Messiah.

Now, we are close to the end of the age. Jesus is coming back. Will we recognize him when he returns? With the modern-day push for all believers to know scripture, the church will be without excuse. However, with all believers educated in the Bible, we should be the first ones to recognize the Messiah.


Lord Jesus, please help me discern you in the world. If you return in my life, help me recognize you. Protect me from being deceived by the antichrist. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Lose No One

John 6:37-40 WEB

All those whom the Father gives me will come to me. He who comes to me I will in no way throw out. [38] For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. [39] This is the will of my Father who sent me, that of all he has given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise him up at the last day. [40] This is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”


It’s touching that Jesus is purposed not to lose anyone who believes in him. Can you imagine if we viewed all believers, from the greatest to the least, as too valuable to lose? That type of love would bring the lowly to the church. The pews would be filled.

The coffers would be empty. Because in churches where the poor are truly welcomed, the wealthy tend to leave. Without the tithes of the middle class most churches cannot survive. In fact, most churches have multiple people on the payroll, grounds to maintain, buildings to maintain, not to mention utilities, and other costs associated with property ownership.

In short, churches have bills. Additionally, is the benevolence cost associated with serving the poor. So, when churches are purposed not to lose anyone the Father brings them, they must overcome these difficult challenges. Sadly, many churches continue to cater to the wealthy.


Lord Jesus, please help me recognize the worth of all people. Help me love all those I encounter. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Jesus’ Attrition Problem

John 6:22-26 WEB

On the next day, the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except the one in which his disciples had embarked, and that Jesus hadn’t entered with his disciples into the boat, but his disciples had gone away alone. [23] However boats from Tiberias came near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. [24] When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus wasn’t there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. [25] When they found him on the other side of the sea, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” [26] Jesus answered them, “Most certainly I tell you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled.


It’s always provision. People seek, but not for God. Instead, people seek resources. In the above passage, Jesus comments it was no sign or miracle that attracted people. Rather, it was the food he gave the crowd that caused them to seek Jesus. In our modern era financial blessing is often the reason people seek God. Go on any social media and you will find authors and speakers posting about blessings.

But just like in Jesus’ time, people fall away when the expected blessing does not occur. In a few chapters, we are going to read about Jesus’ lonely journey to the cross. Jesus had an attrition problem. The same crowd that wanted bread is later chanting for Jesus to be crucified. The problem with people seeking Jesus for money or resources is when they do not get what they expect they turn away from Christ.

In a system that blesses those already blessed and diminishes those who are less fortunate, there is going to be attrition. The social gospel teaches connections and prosperity are signs of approval from God. But where does that leave the poor? Those who are hungry seek.


Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that all my supply comes from you. Please help me seek you as my Lord and King and not just my provider. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Evil Vs Truth

John 3:20-21 WEB

For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn’t come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. [21] But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God.”

It’s interesting that the verse does not read “he who does righteousness” but rather “he who does the truth” comes into the light. Evil, at its core, is functionally deceptive in nature. Dark and light have been separated by God in the creation. It was the very first creative act of the first day of creation. It is also the theme of the fourth day of creation. Two of six days of creation were devoted to separating the darkness from the light. And in our time, evil still separates itself from the light. This is done through deceptive means. Those who do evil in the church cover their deeds through sins of both commission and omission. They present a lie. They present as righteous and, in the light, but in truth, they are hiding their evil in the darkness. The Bible says that you will know them by their fruit. Matthew 7:18 and 19 (WEB) says, “Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. [18] A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit.” One of the easiest ways in the church to detect evil is to see what a life is producing over time. Anyone can polish up a rotten apple and make it look good for a little while. But in the long term, that piece of fruit is going to go bad. When ministries produce lasting fruit of lives changed and lasting righteousness you are witnessing good fruit. However, if everyone who gets “saved” ends up falling away, or, major sin issues are rampant in the church, you are seeing a tree that is producing evil fruit. That is an evil tree. That is a life with hidden and secret sins. Likewise, a congregant that whispers secrets and fails to reproduce salvation in others is also an evil tree. Gossip is a sin that has come to be accepted as “no big deal.” It is something that evil loves. Evil loves to destroy people with the fruit of their lips. Evil fruit. The life that is producing evil will allow itself to be deceived so that it can be comfortable. Another evil fruit is holding grudges. One of the evilest things a person can say or think is “I can never forgive them.” When you hear that coming out of a congregant’s mouth, and they refuse to repent, you are dealing with an evil tree. The Bible clearly says that if you do not forgive others the Father will not forgive you. In Matthew 6:14-15 (WEB) it says, ““For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. [15] But if you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” An unforgiving life is lost. However, a good tree making a mistake will repent when confronted in love. In Galations 6:1 (WEB) it says, “Brothers, even if a man is caught in some fault, you who are spiritual must restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to yourself so that you also aren’t tempted.” And in Acts 8:22 (WEB) it says, “Repent therefore of this, your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.”

So where do you stand? As you have read this blog has the Holy Spirit brought conviction about a matter or issue in your life? It’s not hard, just repent. Ask to be forgiven and stop sinning. If that does not work talk to a pastor that is producing good fruit and be healed and restored in the love of the brotherhood of believers. Galatians 6:10 (WEB), “So then, as we have opportunity, let’s do what is good toward all men, and especially toward those who are of the household of the faith.”

Lord Jesus, I come to you with a contrite heart, please reveal to me sin that I have become hardened towards. Breath life in me and help me repent Lord. I want you forever rather than the praise of men for a season. I’m sorry Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Walking in the Light

John 3:18-19 WEB

He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn’t believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. [19] This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil.

He who walks in the light is not judged. When we disobey the truth and walk in dark and secret paths, our evil deeds will condemn us. In 1 Cor 4:2 WEB, Paul the Apostle says, “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” This verse describes the anger the ungodly feel towards the righteous. Namely, their ungodly deeds bring them into condemnation before the Lord. As a result, they reject godly people whose lives bear witness to the light of righteousness. But what about those who name Christ? What causes shame to the professing believer? The same thing that causes shame to all people. That is, walking in darkness. This is a critical sign that we do not truly believe in Jesus and the power of his name. In truth, walking in darkness means the professing believer does not truly believe Jesus’ teachings. When we believe Jesus, we keep his teachings. When we don’t believe fully in Jesus’ teachings we are satisfied with sin in our lives and according to the word of God we are lost. However, any person in this condition would likely keep their deeds secret. For instance, the word of God says Fathers are not to discourage their children. In Colossians 3:21 WEB Paul says, “Fathers, don’t provoke your children, so that they won’t be discouraged.” Yet, how many “believers” are calm with their children at church but are hard or indifferent to them at home? Or, how about the commandment to love other believers? In 1 John 3:14 WEB it says, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. He who doesn’t love his brother remains in death.” Yet how often do we condemn other believers? In Psalm 101:4-6 WEB it says, “A perverse heart will be far from me. I will have nothing to do with evil. [5] I will silence whoever secretly slanders his neighbor. I won’t tolerate one who is haughty and conceited. [6] My eyes will be on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me. He who walks in a perfect way, he will serve me.” The issue of gossip among believers is a great example of walking in darkness. How often do you hear people gossiping in the light where their deeds can be judged? Almost never. There are many scriptures that group gossip and slander together with sins such as murder and sexual immortality. For example, in Romans 1:29-32 WEB it says, “being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, [30] backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, [31] without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; [32] who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.” And in Matthew 7:21-23 WEB it says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [22] Many will tell me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?’ [23] Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’” The key issue of our text scriptures is walking in darkness versus light. So, if you recognize that you are walking in darkness simply stop sinning. Start believing God and choose to become obedient. The world and those in sin will try to beguile you into believing you cannot help yourself. Don’t be deceived. If you know of sin in your life that you cannot overcome and you are keeping it a secret, you are in danger of missing eternal life with Jesus. In that case, talk to your pastor. Even if you are in leadership and will lose your position, if you cannot overcome sin, come into the light.

Lord Jesus, please forgive my unbelief and show me clearly my sin. I want eternal life, so I ask for conviction, especially of deliberate sin. Lend me the grace that I may walk in the light, fully renouncing all evil. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Like Jesus

John 2:17 WEB

His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will eat me up.”

Have you ever prayed and asked God to make you more like Jesus? This is one of those neat scriptures that tell us plainly one of Jesus’ attributes. Jesus was consumed with passion for God’s House. Strangely, despite believers professing a desire to be like Jesus, there is little passion for God’s House. Do you want to see the level of passion for God’s House that is in your church? It is easy, just go to the next workday. It’s amazing to see people profess willingness to be like God and then not show up for a workday. There is little evidence of passionate love for the House of God in most churches.

Lord Jesus, please partner with me to grow in passion for your house. Release the grace I need to become more like you. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

The Cost of Worship

John 2:13-15 WEB

The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. [14] He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. [15] He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables.

What is the cost of worship in the House of God? Is it the tithes and offerings? No, those are ordinances. Is it subjection to human authority? Is it having merchandise regularly presented by guest speakers? For Jesus, the cost of worship included going to Jerusalem at the appointed times. The text scripture above says Jesus went to Jerusalem because it was an appointed time. He honored the ordinances of Judaism. However, he did not honor the human authority over the temple. And He clearly did not like merchandising in the temple. So, I ask again, what is the cost of worshipping in the House of God? If that cost includes dishonoring God, then the price is too high. If that cost includes constant bombardment of merchandise, again I would say, the price is too high. It makes sense to offer God’s people material to advance their faith. But it does not make sense to sell merchandise in the House of the Lord. This behavior comes with a scourging by the Lord. The Lord is zealous for the temple according to scripture. It seems many churches would do well to keep that fixed in their minds.

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for participating in merchandising in your house. Heal my compromise and set my feet more completely on the narrow path of obedience to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Visitation

John 1:26-28 WEB

John answered them, “I baptize in water, but among you stands one whom you don’t know. [27] He is the one who comes after me, who is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I’m not worthy to loosen.” [28] These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.


If Jesus walked into your church would you recognize Him? We all miss numerous opportunities to encounter the Lord especially through the poor and needy. The Word says, “The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Mt 25:40 WEB)

My husband was needy for several years. He is a severe alcoholic and for 10 years he was in the habit of drinking daily. He was homeless due to his alcoholism. Worse, by the end, he was drinking a gallon and a half of vodka a day. He finally stopped after he nearly died. When my husband woke up in the hospital, he cried out to the Lord.

My husband drank to forget. He drank to numb the pain of severe childhood trauma. Because he was raped by family members through his childhood, he struggled with his bowels. So for about 3 years, you could find him running about filthy or passed out drunk. He frequently smelled like vomit and feces. He wasn’t very popular with the residents that had to deal with him in their neighborhood.

He wasn’t very popular with the churches either. In fact, one church caused him to lose everything he owned. My husband went to church seeking help to move from an apartment he had at the time. It was a Sunday and the ministers told him if he would attend church they would help him. So he stayed for the service. Then, after the service, they offered him a referral to another agency. He left hungry and angry. It was too late to get help from another church, so now He was out of options. He was hurt. He could not believe they told him to stay with the promise of help and then referred him to an agency that wasn’t even open.

He was Jesus to that church at that moment. And like so many, they missed their visitation.


Lord Jesus, help me see you in the people around me. Your Word teaches me to care for the poor. Lord, please help me love the poor and all people equally. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.