Anointed to the Task

John 12:48-50 WEB

He who rejects me, and doesn’t receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day. [49] For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. [50] I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak.”


Jesus is the exact expression of the Father. He is divine. He is also human. As a human, he did things from the weakened condition of having laid down his divinity. He laid down his life and took up a life as a human. It is not a small thing when the Lord tells us to lay down our lives. Jesus is calling us into the same behaviors that he demonstrated as he walked the earth.

If Jesus did it, so can we. If Jesus could hear and follow the Father’s commands, so can we. He was human as well as divine. Jesus was so assured that he was hearing from the Father that he claimed to speak the Father’s words. Jesus was anointed. He was righteous and holy. His behavior modeled the scriptures, and his attitudes modeled the scripture. These two things made him both righteous and holy.

Righteousness and holiness opened Jesus up for an enormous anointing. His anointing was so strong that it carried him to the cross. His anointing carried him to and through his divine purpose. This is something we can imitate. We can walk in outward righteousness of choice and behavior. We can also walk in the inner attitude of Godly motive; we can be holy. We can hear from the Father, and we can understand what he says.


Lord, thank you for becoming a human and showing me how to live. Help me, Lord, to equip an anointing through the righteousness of behavior and the holiness of motive. I want to fulfill my divine purpose as you fulfilled yours. Help me to serve you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Abiding In The Word Made Flesh

John 12:46-48 WEB

I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness. [47] If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn’t believe, I don’t judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. [48] He who rejects me, and doesn’t receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day.


The Word of God will judge us on the last day. That is an excellent reason to become familiar with the Bible. Jesus came to save us. Even now, he is not judging us but rather, loving us into the kingdom. That love includes the grace you need to lay ahold of the truth found in the Bible. If you have access to a Bible, you are responsible for all it says. According to the world that is impossible. But we are not of the world and Jesus clearly thought we could know the Word. We have the truth, and that truth will judge us in the end.

The truth is a great light to all who believe (Ps 119:130). For those who reject the Word of God as a mandate, there is darkness. Not darkness as the world perceives, but darkness of the mind and spirit. When we are witnessing to the lost we are talking to people lost in the dark. Thus, we must shine brightly with righteousness and holiness so the lost can find their way (Mt 4:16).

These virtues come to us when we hide the Word in our hearts. Jesus is called the Word. When we are hiding the Word in our hearts we are abiding with Christ. We know he abides with us, but we must be deliberate if we are going to abide with him. Jesus is the living Word, and the Word was inspired by the Holy Spirit. So, when we hide the Word in our hearts, not only are we abiding in Christ, but we are also filling ourselves with the Spirit. The Word is the mind of Christ. The Word is our lamp, and we must keep our light brightly shining (Isa 28:18).  


Lord, please bless me to hunger and thirst for Your Word. Fill me with an interest in the Bible and help me practice hiding it in my heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Blinded Eyes and Hardened Hearts

John 12:37-40 WEB

But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn’t believe in him, [38] that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, “Lord, who has believed our report? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” [39] For this cause they couldn’t believe, for Isaiah said again, [40] “He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and would turn, and I would heal them.”


How can we be responsible for God blinding our eyes and hardening our hearts? This is the very thing Paul addressed in chapter 7 of Romans. It brings new meaning to the idea of being saved by grace. We are saved by grace but are rewarded for our choices. Those who seek the Lord with humility will find him. The Word says that the one who has some will be given more and the one who has little will lose even what they have (Mat 25:15-28). This gives us insight into how to respond to this passage.

If we seek God, he will soften our hearts and open our eyes to be able to see him. Seeking God is easy. It is reading the Bible, praying, and attending public worship. We can also seek God with our behavior. On the other hand, we can also push God away with our behaviors. If we deliberately sin God will harden our hearts so that we continue to sin. Of course, if we deliberately walk in righteousness the Lord will soften our hearts so we walk in more righteousness.

The Lord is righteous. He does not cast anyone away from himself who walks in righteousness and holiness. The Word says those he foreknew he predestined to be sons of God (Rom 8:29). It is not that God is fickle. It is that God knows the future. God knows who will choose him and who will not. Of those that choose him, he creates opportunities for success. For those who are never going to choose him, he gives over to sin and unrighteousness. The primary thing we can do to ensure that God continues to open our eyes is to seek God and walk in righteousness.


Lord, please open my eyes so I can see you and understand your will. Soften my heart so I recognize sin in myself and give me the chance to repent. I long to be both saved and to have a vibrant relationship with you, Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Seek Ye First

John 10:16-18 WEB

I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd. [17] Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. [18] No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father.”


Did you know, like Jesus, we have the power to lay our lives down and the power to pick our lives back up? On the cross, Jesus paid the full penalty for humanity’s sin. When the payment was complete, he gave up life and died. Ironically, Jesus had control over his journey to the cross. Jesus went to the cross fully capable of avoiding the horrific experience.

But he did not avoid the shame and suffering. He embraced it as God’s will. He gave his life up willingly (Heb 12:2). After his death, he took his life back up by the power of resurrection that dwelt in Him (John 11:25). The word says the spirit of resurrection that was in Christ raised him from the dead. Jesus laid his life down and he took his life back up. It was good for us that Jesus was able to take his life back, it meant victory for the whole world (John 19:30).

When we choose to lay our lives down, we are emulating Christ. We do not lay our lives down in vain, we lay our lives down for the good of those being saved (1 John 3:16). Likewise, after we have been humbled by the Lord, we can take our lives back up. The word says that if we seek after righteousness, we will have abundant blessings (Mat 6:33). We lay our lives down for and allow the Father to purify us. After this process has done its work, the Father lets us pick our lives back up. We are meant to love others more than ourselves and we are also meant to walk in victory (1 Cor 15:54-57).


Lord, I want to walk in holiness and righteousness so that I can be used by you. And after a season of being humbled, I know I will have the desires of my heart. Please do your work and take away my worldly appetites. Then, when the time is right, lead me into victory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Jesus’ Holiness

John 4:27-29 WEB

At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?” [28] So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, [29] “Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?”


The disciples would have been astonished that Jesus was speaking with a Samaritan, let alone a Samaritan woman. Yet, they knew their master well enough to keep silent. Because of their silence, the woman goes back to her city and stokes the interest of the citizens. In fact, she calls them to come and listen to Jesus. The Samaritan woman was an astute woman and good at social relationships. She waited until she knew how Jesus’ disciples were going to behave before she was willing to bring her friends and family to Christ.

How often does the scorn of a believer stop the gospel? The gospel is good news, yet, so often Christians have such disdain for sinners that they become ineffective in sharing the good news. Jesus’ disciples were raised up from childhood in an environment of righteousness apart from holiness. The disciples knew what the law prescribed as right and wrong behaviors. Unfortunately, they also learned the traditions of the elders as if they were scripture. They learned to despise foreigners, to despise women, and to despise anyone who failed to keep the law.

However, after spending time ministering with Jesus, they understood that he cared more for people than for the traditions of the elders. Jesus was both righteous and holy. He kept the commands of the Father, and he was also able to bring sinners into a right relationship with God. There were many leaders who did not view Jesus as righteous, but he did not let those judgments stop him from the holy action of sharing the gospel.

In keeping silent, the apostles advanced the kingdom. They did not uproot what Jesus was doing with disdain for the Samaritan Woman. They may have felt uncomfortable with Jesus talking to her, but they like Jesus, cared more for the Father’s will than that of the religious leaders. The apostles also cared more for Jesus’ opinion than that of their peers.

The apostles did not jump on the legalistic bandwagon with their contemporaries. They were astute enough to recognize that Jesus was sent by God. They often struggled to fully believe he was the messiah. Yet, they did believe that Jesus was working for God’s interests (John 14:11). So, they remained silent, despite the ugly feelings that may have been stirring inside of them.


Lord Jesus, please give me the insight to understand when you are working in another’s life. Please forgive me for despising people because of their sins. Let the love you have for the lost rise in me so that I can bring them to you to be saved. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Compromise or Belief

John 3:34-36 WEB

For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for God gives the Spirit without measure. [35] The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. [36] One who believes in the Son has eternal life, but one who disobeys the Son won’t see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

Cultural compromise is destroying the modern church. A desire to be accepted in the world has caused entire congregations to become irrelevant to the mission of God. Namely, to bring the world into the victory of Jesus shed blood on the cross. John 3:16 WEB says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” To fulfill the mission of this verse the church has compromised in the hope of becoming relevant to the world. However, what has happened is the church no longer carries the true message of the gospel. You cannot compromise and be on fire for the Lord at the same time. You must believe Jesus to serve him and demonstrate that belief through obedience to the word of God.  In Matthew 7: 21-23 WEB we are instructed on the reality of compromise, 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.’ It seems like the church has forgotten this passage of scripture. Instead, a strong delusion is upon much of the church. People in this situation are convinced that they are in the right relationship with God. Yet, they compromise with the world. The desire to be liked and accepted has masqueraded as a desire to reach the lost. But reaching the lost is dependent on holiness and righteousness. We can understand that righteousness comes when we are obedient to the word of God. When that righteousness is coupled with a humble heart we can become holy. Holiness is the ability to give people access to the Father through the Son. Jesus was the holiest and when he died, he released his most Holy Spirit to guide the world into truth. The church must first accept the truth to become righteous and thereby holy. The truth is, no one believes who does not obey. The compromise of the church with the world is leading many who think they are safe into a collision course with hell. In Romans 2:8 it says, “but to those who are self-seeking, and don’t obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, will be wrath and indignation,” The word is clear, and it is urgent that every Christian accept that no one can compromise a little. This is because a little leaven works through the entire loaf. And each person will get more of what they already have. If one is compromised a little, then that person is compromised. And if compromised they will continue to become more compromised. However, if one truly believes they will obey. In John 14:23 it says, “Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.” Thus, because of obedience, their obedience will grow. God will make His home in that person’s heart. The result is their ability to bring the lost into a saving relationship with Jesus, or their holiness, will also grow. This is how we become relevant to God and the world. We must renounce compromise and return to obedience.

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for compromising with the world. I recognize I must return to obedience, and I ask you to help my unbelief. I want to be accepted on the final day Lord, please come in and save me from disbelief which results in disobedience. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Only God is Good

John 3:26-27 WEB

They came to John, and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, the same baptizes, and everyone is coming to him.” [27] John answered, “A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven.

Whatever any person has, for good or evil, is authorized by heaven. The Lord either released it or allowed it. Therefore, whatever good any person has is from heaven. This heavenly reality is critical for men and women of God to have firmly fixed in their minds. Did you learn skills and values in your childhood home so that you are clean and positive? Give thanks, those things are from heaven. Do you Love Jesus and desire his will with all your heart, mind, and soul? Give thanks, those things are from heaven. Are you enduring hardships? Rejoice, those things serve your good. The Father is good and he knows how to bend a twig and how to refine your faith (Romans 8:28). If all things are from God, what do you have to be proud of? Romans 3:27a (WEB) says, “Where then is the boasting? It is excluded.” Have you ever heard gossips and slanderers say unkind things about those who were not given values and were not taught right from wrong? What about the mentally or intellectually ill? Do they deserve to be despised? What, do we think a sound mind is something we gave ourselves? No, it is a good gift and it came from the Father. In Matthew 19:17 (WEB) it says, “He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” And in Mark 10:18 (WEB) it says, “Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except one—God.” Only God is good so there is nothing for any person to be proud of or boast about. Only God gives each of us our blessings and hardships. If we have this firmly fixed in our minds we will come nearer to the marks of righteousness and holiness. And thus, we will become a vessel that God can make use of. This is God’s goodwill for each of us. “If anyone, therefore, purges himself from these, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, and suitable for the master’s use, prepared for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21 WEB)

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for thinking that I have accomplished anything apart from you. Help me to believe your word and thereby become humble and usable. I hope for your will in my life and in the world. Choose me, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Mind of Christ Before the Voice of Christ

John 1:3 WEB

All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made.

In the first two verses of John we are confronted with the idea that Christ was present with God as the creative voice of God in the beginning. Now, in verse 3, the author comes out right and says it, nothing was made except that it was made through Christ. What does that mean? In the context of what the author is discussing it means that through the voice of Christ everything was created. This is an important doctrine for us to fix firmly in our minds. If we are devoted to Holiness, righteousness, fasting, and prayer, then we have the mind of Christ. So it’s reasonable to take the next step and believe we have a creative voice. Now, I am qualifying that. Without the Spirit of God dwelling richly within yourself how can your voice possibly be creative? In the sense that we are created in the image of God, then yes, even in our wrong relationship to God we have creativity to our voice. That’s why positive affirmations are so powerful to those in Christ and those out of Christ. All people’s words release both life and death. However, if we want to release the voice of Christ, we have to have the mind of Christ. This is a beginning point on the journey of becoming a mature Christian. Weeping has value, but the fervent prayer of the righteous is even better. In this truth we move from being victims to the difficulties of life to being victorious conquerors in all things through Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus, please help me to have the mind of Christ so that I can release the voice of Christ. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Holy and Righteous Pursuits

If, in our pursuit of righteousness, we separate ourselves from the lost or prevent another from seeing the Father through the Free Gift of Jesus’ love, then we have lost our holiness and thereby our purpose (Mt 18:6, Mark 16:15). Holiness is the attribute that allows the lost to access Christ (Luke 1:75-77). Righteousness is the attribute that allows believers to access Christ (Rom 4:3-8). Holiness attracts the lost (1 Thes 3:12-13). Righteousness attracts God (Mt 6:1). Holiness gives us the grace to bring souls to God (Rom 1:4). Righteousness gives us the grace to have influence with God (Gen 7:1, John 16:10). It is important that in our pursuit of righteousness we do not also decrease the lost’s ability to access God (Mark 9:42). We cannot be in obedience to Jesus if we are not bringing him the lost so they may be saved.