Year: 2023

Fellowship and Forgiveness

There are certain things in life that just go together, and when you think of one, you automatically think of the other.  For instance, if I said, “peanut butter” you would think “jelly,” because they have always gone together.  Then there is “macaroni” and “cheese.”  But there are other things that go together other than food items that are even more critical to know about and understand.  Fellowship and forgiveness will always go together and they can’t be separated.  Think about it for minute, in order for any and every relationship to experience a deeper level of fellowship, forgiveness will always be a necessary element.  Why?  Because the moment something happens in that relationship, it can come back together and be in the same room together, but it cannot experience the joy and blessing of fellowship until forgiveness is offered and received.

This is the sad reality for many relationships today in the church and out of it.  The relationship is still there, but the fellowship is broken because forgiveness is withheld.  You know what that means, right?  It means you have got to forgive and I have got to forgive.  Unforgiveness will act like a dam holding back the blessings of God and the blessings and fullness a relationship could experience.  Unforgiveness will not sit dormant in our hearts, but it corrodes and turns our hearts bitter.

Colossians 3:12-13  “Therefore, as [the] elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also [must do.]

Helpless Hummingbird

As I walked into my house through the garage I notice a hummingbird flying back and forth at the window.  The hummingbird had mistakenly flown into the garage and must have thought it could go out through the garage window.  The hummingbird was blocked by the clear window pane and was flying back and forth as if that motion was going to somehow open the window.  It failed to see the huge garage door opening while continuing to fly frantically back and forth in front of the window.  I believe the bird would have labored to the death had I not come along and showed it the way.

The hummingbird’s efforts reminded me of our own futile efforts at times.  They way you want to go may only appear to be clear, when in reality it is blocked by an impenetrable barrier.  We too get so focused on the one way we want to go and become completely blind to the gaping opening God has for us.  We too need someone to come along and see our desperate plight and help us find God’s perfect way.

Let me ask you, do you feel trapped and exhausted?  Have you been focused on one thing so much you’ve become blind to the opening God has in so close to you the whole time?  If this is you, like David did, go to God with a simple prayer, “Lord, show me the way.”

Psalms 143:8-10 “Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You. 9 Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; In You I take shelter. 10 Teach me to do Your will, For You [are] my God; Your Spirit [is] good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.”

You and God’s Pathway

I have always enjoyed walking down pathways and trails in the woods to take in the beauty of nature.  When I was a young boy, my brother and I practically lived in the woods behind our house. We were the ones who made many of the pathways.  Some paths in the woods look heavily traveled, while some are overgrown and for whatever reason, avoided.  Some paths are narrow and others wide enough for bikes or even vehicles.  Pathways remind us of our own paths we must go down in life.  You are on a pathway right now.  We often cross paths with others, some only for a short time and some for many years, but you still have your own path to go on.  A good question to ask is, are you on the right path?  Are you more focused on someone else’s path than your own?  What happens when you get off your path?  This was something Jesus addressed with each of His followers, but especially with Peter.

John 21:20-22 “Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what [about] this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what [is that] to you? You follow Me.”

We are more like Peter than we want to admit.  Peter was strong and independent, but he was also one who took notice of other men, especially men who walked in the faith.  Just before this correction in Peter’s pathway, Peter had really gone off on his own path.  Jesus had warned him not to follow before he was arrested in the garden, but Peter decided he knew better.  Disobedience always causes us to stray off the pathway God has for us, while at other times we wander off because of arrogance or the luring of the world.  We can only wonder what it was that caused Peter to look at John and ask, “But Lord, what about this man?”  Maybe Peter saw John as someone who always had it together spiritually, but we don’t know.  What we do know is that Jesus didn’t want Peter to concern himself with John’s path.  He wanted Peter to focus on following Him and Him alone.

Let me ask you, are you focusing more on someone else’s path than your own?  If so, you can easily go off course.  It’s dangerous to get off of God’s approved and ordained path for your life.  What is outside of God’s pathway for your life?  It’s the wilderness!  So whatever you do, stay on God’s pathway for your life.

Is That Necessary?

If you find certain things in life necessary, you’re in good company because there were moments that even Jesus did things out of necessity.  One thing Jesus found necessary was making a home visit to a well-known and very despised man named Zacchaeus.  He was the very rich “wee-little” Jewish man who worked for the Romans gathering taxes from his own people and charging them more than they owed and he took extreme advantage of them earning the hatred.  You could imagine that he and his family were never welcomed or invited to weddings or any other celebration of the Jews.  He was used by the Romans and hated by the Jews, but Jesus still said, “I must stay at your house.”  As Jesus walked through the city of Jericho on His way to Jerusalem He spotted Zacchaeus watching from his perched position in a tree.  The scriptures says,

               “And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that [way.]  And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste(hurry) and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”  Luke 19:3-5

I think we can imagine the growls and groans coming from those walking and listening to Jesus as He called Zacchaeus to come down.  “And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, that He has gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.” V. 7   What did they see?  Those with Jesus saw a mistake instead of mercy, but Jesus saw it as necessary, but why?  Why not have a quick conversation on the street and head on down the road?  Why go to the sinner’s house for fellowship?  Jesus said, “I must stay at your house.”  Think about it, most likely no one outside of the immediate family had ever stepped foot in Zacchaeus’ house.  Everyone knew that just by going there or by any association with Zacchaeus meant you’d be looked down on, questioned about your loyalty to the people, and most likely labeled as a friend of the Romans.

But there’s something you need to see because Jesus saw it.  Those walking with Jesus didn’t see what Jesus saw or else they would have kept their mouths closed.  Jesus saw a man who was trying to save himself.  He saw a very self-centered man willing to be no one’s friend just to save himself.  He saw a man who, by his own actions, was a trader to his people and brought shame on his family.  I believe Jesus also saw a man who hated himself and wanted a way out and wanted to change.

I can promise you there are so many people today who want to change just like Zacchaeus, but never take advantage of opportunities like he did.  Jesus saw it necessary to go to Zacchaeus’ house to show us that no matter who you are, if you seek Him, He will be found by you.  Jesus saw it necessary to go to his house to show us in all our best efforts we can’t save ourselves.  Ultimately, the necessity was on the part of Zacchaeus, because Jesus was headed up that Jericho road to meet the necessity of the cross.

But there’s more application here because Jesus saw it necessary to go to his house to show us He is never content to have a relationship with us publicly and not have one with us privately.  Jesus doesn’t want a church house relationship with you unless He can have a relationship with you in your house.   Think about it, real faith in God doesn’t stop outside of our homes, nor are we to confine it to our church house, but real faith always welcomes and invites Christ into the home.

Jesus could have touched Zacchaeus and changed his life right there in the tree or on that street, but Jesus wanted to go to his house to touch and save the whole family.  “And Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham.”  V. 9  Those walking with Jesus only saw a rogue rich Jew, but Jesus saw a “son of Abraham” who wanted to changed, but didn’t know how.

When you let God in your house, life changes!  When you open the door of your heart and mind and let God in, life changes for the better!  I’m not talking about putting up crosses on the walls of your house and placing a Bible on the coffee table, but Jesus wants to come all the way into the house of your heart and life.  Let Him in!

If you are reading this and don’t like what you’ve become and the decisions you’ve made in life, let God’s power change you today.  “Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.  “Who is the King of glory?  The LORD strong and might, The LORD mighty in battle.” Psalm 24:7-8




BY FAITH MAKE THIS DECLARATION!  “Holy Father, I hear You speaking to me today and I want you to come and change my life.  I’m always reminded of the shameful things I’ve done in my life and I don’t like who I’ve become and what I have done.  Father, I have tried to change, but I always end up back where I was, so today, I turn everything over to You.  I believe You are the only One who can change me.  I believe Jesus is the Son of God.  I believe Jesus, you came to die on the cross for all my sins.  And I believe that You love me and can change me, so I open the door of my life the best I know how and I invite You to come into my life.  Forgive me for what I have done and make me who You want me to be.  Let what you did for me on the cross take full effect in my life.  From this point forward, I will live my life for You and I ask this and receive this gift of eternal life in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”





Many of God’s children see themselves as having a disadvantage, and it happens, right?  It may be because they didn’t have the right parents, or they didn’t grow up in the right neighborhood, or they didn’t go to the right schools.  Many see themselves as severely limited or under-privledged because of physical limitations or the color of their skin.  The question is, how do you see yourself?  Did you know that how you see or don’t see God determines how you see yourself?

Often times, what happens when you see yourself disadvantaged to those around you is, you start doing what you can do to make up the difference.  You start taking matters into your own hands to even the playing field and take the advantage back.  You start strategizing and calculating your every move and you begin to project what others are about to do so you don’t get left out or get behind.  The Bible tells a story about a man who saw himself as disadvantaged and started taking matters into his own hands.  You’re probably familiar with the story of Zacchaeus, right?  He was the “wee-little man,” who climbed up in the tree to see Jesus walking through Jericho.  But notice what the rich tax collector did to see Jesus.

“And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that [way.] 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”  Luke 19:3-5

Listen to this, there’s a lot of people today “running ahead and climbing up,” because otherwise they don’t want to be stepped on, overlooked and taken advantage of.  What we see in this moment in Zacchaeus’ life, was his way of life.  And many today are just like this short-statured man who are always calculating the next move instead of trusting God to see them right where they are and allowing Him the opportunity to make up any disadvantaged difference.  Some would argue that those who do such things as calculating and projecting are just using good business sense, and God is not against being wise in business decisions.  But God is against us seeing ourselves as disadvantaged in any way.  Truth is, we have the advantage over the world no matter what our physical limits might be because of who our Father is!  We have a Father who sits on the throne who sees us and loves us and is able to hear and answer our prayers.  Here’s the truth, those who take advantage of their place in the throne room of God in prayer and faith, will never see the need to take advantage of others in order to get ahead and stay on top.  Jesus wants to come to your house, just like He went to Zacchaeus’ house, to put an end to all the tedious calculating, manipulating and projecting.  Oh, what amazing rest and peace God brings when He comes to our house.

Truth is, we have the advantage over the world no matter what our physical limits might be because of who our Father is!

Spiritual Elites

Even though there are people in the world who are called, “Elites,” there are no elites in the kingdom of God and the church. That’s good news because we can see everyone the same and treat everyone the same. In the world, there are athletes who have great achievements and business owners who have grown global companies and hold to an extent some kind of position and power because of their wealth and fame. But in God’s Kingdom and the church, outside of Jesus Christ Himself, no such person exists. There are, however, those in spiritual and religious circles who might have you believe they have obtained a standing, understanding, and spiritual status that no one else can possess. But please know this, if God has made a spiritual attainment available to one, He has made it available to all.
So why do some in the Christian community claim something special or claim something special you can have, but you have to get it through them? Well, it must come down to holding power and control over those wanting more spiritually. Some may claim a special spiritual status because they are delusional and in reality don’t understand God’s word. Some may claim they’ve reached a higher plateau because it gives them an audience they would not otherwise have.
Think about it, if you were to flip through the Bible and pick out some possible spiritual elites, who would they be? Abraham, Daniel and his three friends, and what about the prophets, Elijah and Elisha? But look at what James said of Elijah,

James 5:17-18 “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”

James said, Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.  I don’t know, but that’s got to make the average everyday follower of Christ feel good.  Hopefully, for anyone reading this, this truth can also help you recognize any sort of bondage to those standing behind pulpits and podiums or making smooth televised speeches.  And there’s plenty of spiritual smooth talkers out there that many need to break free from.   There are followers of Christ who have prayed more, have spiritual gifts that are noticeable, and possess more wisdom and understanding than most.  They have sown more spiritually than others.  But those who are like that would never claim to have reached a special unattainable status, rather they walk with humility and grace.  Thank God today that you have been called to a community where everyone is as needy for Jesus as the other.  All are the same.

Colossians 2:8-10 “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”

A Special Place in Hell

Every place in hell is special!  Madeline Albright was wrong when she said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”  That same emotional sentiment has been echoed down through the ages, but loud emotional repetition doesn’t make something true.  There are no reserved seats and no front row or back row seating arrangements in hell.  There are no hot spots in hell that are any hotter than the other, because they all burn with the same intense temperature of God’s wrath.  No areas of hell have been roped off or are considered as designated VIP areas.  You must also make this note because it’s critical to your walk with God.  Hell was not created for people, but for the Devil and those fallen angels deceived by him.

Matthew 25:40-41 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:…”

Not one of the fallen angels cast out of heaven will be missing from hell in the final judgement, they will all be eternally confined to the torment they earned and deserve.  Every demon spirit (fallen angel) will be bound to hell forever and sadly, so will all of humanity who rejected Jesus Christ.  This is not what the world wants to hear today, but there is a price for rejecting the free gift of God, because the Son of God paid a great price for every person to have a different eternal destiny.

That special place in hell will be filled with violent offenders, mass murders, molesters, idolaters, liars, lovers of self, homosexuals and it will be filled with those who are well dressed, well educated, citizen’s of the year, bankers, teachers, morally good church folks will fill every special place in hell.  Hell will be crowed with masses of people, but there will be no conversations and no party gatherings, only continual cries of anguish.  It will be crowded, but everyone will feel the complete loneliness and utter despair of isolation.

If there really was a special place in hell it would not be occupied by those we might think.  Judas would definitely get the spot if there was only one special place.  But also,

Matthew 23:14-15  “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”

If there was a special place in hell, it would be reserved for those who used the name of Christ to their own advantage.  It would have to be kept open for religious and spiritual deceivers who didn’t tell the truth.  But here’s the good news, the good news is that heaven is open and Jesus is the door and no one has to go to that place of torment.  You can open your heart and receive Christ as Savior and Lord so that heaven is opened to you and hell is closed.