Guilt that Remains

John 9:39-41 WEB

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, that those who don’t see may see; and that those who see may become blind.” [40] Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” [41] Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.


The Pharisees were a religious group intent on obedience to God. In their intense desire to obey God, they wrote approximately 400 rules every Jewish person was meant to obey. The book of rules was called the Talmud. During Jesus’ day, the Talmud was the authoritative text of the Jewish religion, Judaism. Unfortunately, the Pharisees were about the only people that could properly obey the Talmud. This was because they studied the Scripture and Talmud daily. They did not have other employment. Instead, they spent all their time focused on obedience to God.

Because they knew the scriptures Jesus said their eyes were open. That meant they understood the scripture had authority over the Talmud. The Pharisees considered anyone a lawbreaker if they disobeyed the Talmud to obey scripture.  In fact, the Pharisees were professionals at policing and enforcing the Talmud. Anyone caught breaking the rules of the Talmud were put out of the synagogue, an extremely traumatic life outcome.

The Pharisees had just thrown the man who had once been blind out of the synagogue. He went to them to have his healing confirmed. However, instead of rejoicing that the Father had healed him, they were more concerned that the healing was done on the Sabbath. Doing anything on the Sabbath, even healing someone, was outlawed in the Talmud. This upset Jesus. The scriptures testified of the Father’s kindness and goodness. Therefore, to outlaw kindness and love on the Sabbath was disobedient. Because they knew this Jesus hurls the truth at them and declares them fit to be judged.


Father, forgive me for caring more about rules than about people. I long to be righteous in my obedience to the Bible and I long to be holy in my love towards others. Help me repent, Lord. This is inner work and I need you to come and show me the best way. In Jesus’ name, amen.

God’s Approval

John 8:18-19 WEB

I am one who testifies about myself, and the Father who sent me testifies about me.” [19] They said therefore to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me, nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”


When Jesus says the Father testifies about him, he is referring to the many miracles he performed. It is clear in the text the Father approved of Jesus (John 3:2). The Father often released his power when Jesus asked it of him. So, if Jesus was openly approved of by the Father, can you and I be openly approved of by the Father (Rom 16:10)?

How can we tell in the modern age if the Father approves of someone? First, there are still miracles happening and they tend to be performed by people who are fully invested in God (Heb 2:4). They also meet specific needs. For example, missionaries often report they have experienced the miraculous.

So, a powerful move of God can show his approval. However, not many miracles are happening. How can we tell in the modern age if God approves of someone? You must know the Bible. Someone whose life is in line with the principles and precepts of the Bible is approved by God (1 Kings 11:38).

By extension, knowing the Bible and living it to the best of your ability is proof that you are accepted by God. If I do not know the Bible, I may be subject to the wrong teaching. I may be deceived.  So, no matter the denomination, you can test yourself by asking yourself how much of the Bible you are living. This will help you understand if you are approved by God.


Lord Jesus, I want to be approved of by you. Please help me comprehend and learn the principles and precepts of the Bible. Lead me into righteous and holy living. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Righteous and Unrighteous Judgments

John 5:28-30 WEB

Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice, [29] and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. [30] I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous; because I don’t seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me.


The most famous verse about judgment in the Bible is probably “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged.” (Matthew 7:1 WEB) Jesus had the authority to judge but judgment was not his priority. In John 3:17 Jesus reveals his purpose is to save the world. And in John 3:16 Jesus reveals that the Father’s purpose is to save the world. Also, Jesus’ priority was to do the Father’s will. That is what made his judgment righteous.

The main piece of advice Jesus has for us regarding judgment is not to judge. He helps us understand the consequences are serious for the one who makes unrighteous judgments. More, we can recognize unrighteous judgments because they are not infused with the Lord’s purposes and priorities.  We can recognize unrighteous judgments by asking a couple of questions. First, is this judgment being made to help the person get saved? Second, what does this judgment do for the one making it?

It is easy to recognize unrighteous judgments such as gossip, but other situations may be more difficult. For example, some judgments are made for personal convenience. Telling someone to hurry up or slow down are judgments. They seem innocent until we recognize they do not help the one being judged.  

Judging other people can become a habit. When a person has a habit of judging they tend to lose their patience frequently. A couple of examples could be a person who often becomes angry at other drivers or at the person in front of them at checkout. Most people trace these two examples to a lack of patience. However, before the person’s patience was affected their attitude was affected and that is where the judgments are made.


Lord Jesus, please help me recognize when I am hearing or making an unrighteous judgment. Fill me with a desire to prioritize your will as my highest priority.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, 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.

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.

Condemnation or Salvation

John 3:17 WEB

For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.

Do you look at the world through the lens of condemnation or salvation? We know that God loves the world and wants all people to be saved (John 3:16). Yet, many Christians judge the world and condemn the lost. This is worldly. It seems godly to stand against unrighteousness. However, it is not right to condemn the lost before they have a chance to get saved and adopt a righteous lifestyle. On the other hand, we should condemn unrighteousness in ourselves. This is part of us becoming holy. We must be holy to bring people to Jesus so that He can save them. Furthermore, when we live righteously it proves that we believe in Jesus and the finished work of the cross. If we believe Jesus we will live righteously. Thus, when we demonstrate our beliefs through our actions we know we are in right standing with God. Once we are in right standing with God we become holy which means we are able to give the lost access to Jesus. Matthew 7:21-25 tells us that if we do not obey Christ’s teachings he does not know us. That is scary. It is comfortable to imagine that all we have to do is confess with our mouths that Jesus is the Lord and we are saved. This leaves us room to “be in process” or to keep some of Christ’s teachings but not all of Christ’s teachings. Many people want to throw all their unrighteousness under the cross and call it good. Essentially they are trusting in their confession alone to save them. But if this was true, then even the demons would be saved. However, this is not the case. We must believe and confess to be saved (Romans 10:9-10). The only way we know that we believe is if we keep the teachings of Jesus (Matthew 7:24). It is significant to note that Jesus loved the lost. The truth is He condemned those who professed to love God but demonstrated only love for themselves. So, where do you stand? Does your life condemn you or are you genuinly saved both believing and confessing?

Lord Jesus, please have mercy on me and show me my unrighteousness. I accept that I have to see my sin to correct my sin. I am not afraid for you to tell me the truth. I am only afraid of not genuinely believing. Please help my unbelief. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Nathaniel’s Repentance

John 1:46-49 WEB

Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” [47] Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said about him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” [48] Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” [49] Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are King of Israel!”

Why was Nathanael so amazed that Jesus saw him under the fig tree? He was amazed because Jesus called him out for the sins of scoffing and laziness. Nathanael scoffed at Jesus because he was from Nazareth. Psalm 1 clearly defines scoffing as the worst level of sin. Psalm 1:1 NLT says, “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.”

Notice how Jesus cuts right to the issue when he says, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”  I don’t think He said it as praise but was probably employing a tone of sarcasm. Scoffing is one of the sins that partners with laziness. So, Jesus cuts to the heart of Nathanael’s life issues. Proverbs 6:9 NLT says, “But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up?” Essentially Jesus was calling Nathanael out for his sins of scoffing and laziness. His answer to Nathaniel brought conviction and revelation and led to Nathanael getting up and following the Lord.

Don’t be afraid of all the scoffers. Also, do not come into agreement with them. Your right behavior will also be a holy behavior because it paves the way for their repentance. We are not Jesus; we do not have the Spirit without measure. I would leave off the sarcasm. We do not want to scoff at or with scoffers but rather speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15 NLT says, “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”

Lord Jesus, please reveal to me those areas of sin that I am ignoring or ignorant. I want to get up from all sin and follow you. In Jesus’ name, 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.