Friday, December 22, 2017


There's an account I've read in the Bible so many times, but I made a recent new discovery in it.  It's a story about light and darkness even though I'd never read it that way before.

It's about a woman who has committed adultery.  The leaders of the day wanted to kill her on the spot - stone her.  They asked Jesus what He thought should be done with her.

It's at this point in the account that Jesus makes this famous statement known to almost everybody, whether you're a believer in Christ or not:  'Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.'  

We're told that after hearing that all the accusers drop their rocks and walk away.

Jesus turns to the woman:  'Where are your accusers?'
No one.
'I don't condemn you either; go and leave your walk of sin.'

Her life was changed that day.

I've preached that story numerous times over the years.  It's in the Gospel of John, verses 8 through 11.  But usually I stopped there and never thought to keep reading.  Here's what the very next verse says - Jesus speaking:  'I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'

See what I did inside her, Jesus says.  I showed her light.

I can do that for you.  I have light for your emotions.  I have light for your marriage.  I have light for your children.  I have light for your health.  

He has light for you.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


God isn't a concept;  He's a person.

He's real.
He knows.
He's present in every one of your moments.

In the difficult time -- in the time of temptation -- in the struggle -- when it's overwhelming -- know that God is real -- He knows -- He's present.

And He loves you.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


What excites you to talk about?  What do you talk about most of the time?

Your children?  Your family?  (Both good things)
Your workouts?
Your fashion?
Politics and world events?
More than you talk about Jesus?

If 80% of folks in the city where you live don't go to church (likely a very close percentage), it's time to come out of the closet as a follower of Christ and share the difference Jesus has made in you.

HAS He made a difference in your life?  HAS He?

If you found the cure for cancer, would you keep it to yourself?  Of course you wouldn't.  You'd be taking out full page ads on that.

If you found the cure for anxiety or anger or stress, would you keep it in?

But we HAVE found the answer -- it's Jesus.

Share that discovery with others.  Share how you finally found meaning and peace and purpose and hope.  Tell someone about Jesus this Christmas season.

And be blessed.

Monday, December 11, 2017


The rewards of purity are eternal, but they aren't always instant.

I confess that I thought my mom just made this up, then one day I found it in the Bible.  It's in the book of Numbers, which might explain why I didn't find it until I was 37.

But it says in there:  'Be sure your sin will find you out.'  (Numbers 32:23)

Just because you got away with it today, doesn't mean you're going to get away with it tomorrow.  But also, just because you do something right today, doesn't mean you're going to experience instant reward for it tomorrow.  That isn't even why you do it.

Moses never got into the Promised Land.  All those years of faithfulness - struggling with the people as their leader - resolving conflicts - endless meetings and goal setting and making plans - wandering in the desert -- yet he never stepped into the promise.

He got all the way to the corner of it -- right on the border, his toes hanging over the edge -- he could see it -- he could smell it -- he could feel the beautiful breeze on his face -- but God didn't allow him in.

Doesn't seem fair, does it?  Such a good man, Moses.

You can go the route of instant gratification, but it's a shallow, temporary road.  Or you can enjoy a life of greater value where you aren't looking short term, you're looking for the 'out there' reward instead.  The one that lasts ... forever.

And be blessed.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Do you want JOY this Christmas?

Here are 7 quick ways to get it.  Try one ... or more ...

Power down your gadgets for a day.  You'll just feel better.

Volunteer somewhere.  Giving boosts joy.

Talk to a stranger.  Share your discovery of the Good News of Jesus with them.

Go shopping ... for someone else.

Dance.  Just do it.

Take a family 30 minute walk.  Let those hormones release.  You'll feel amazing.

Get some quality rest tonight.  Fulfilling shut-eye increases joy.

And be blessed.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


The shepherds' encounter with Jesus changed them forever.  They returned to their old jobs as new people.

That's important to grasp.

How has your encounter with Jesus changed you?
Can those at work see a difference?
Can your friends at school see you've changed?
Is your attitude different?
Do you give greater effort at work now that you follow Christ?
Have your values changed?  Your thoughts?  Your speech?  Your motives?
Do you operate with greater integrity than before?
How are you different at home, work and school because of Jesus?

Impacting the world for Christ for most of us doesn't mean across the globe;  it's across the hall.  It's impacting family - it's impacting friends - it's impacting neighbors - it's impacting co-workers.  That's our world.

You think your job and life are boring?  Try herding sheep every day.  But the shepherds went back to their old employment with new excitement because Jesus had changed their perspective about life.

Most of us don't need to change our jobs; we just need to change ourselves.  We need to go back to the old job as a new person, with a new attitude and a new perspective -- because Jesus has changed us.

The greatest evidence of Jesus walking the Earth isn't a bunch of people being healed; it's a bunch of forever changed lives after an encounter with Jesus.  That's the greatest message we have this Christmas.

And be blessed.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


It isn't enough to just respond to Jesus.  HOW we respond makes all the difference.

Let's say you finally get up the nerve to get engaged to that special one.  You pick out the perfect ring - select the location and time - go to your beloved and get on one knee - take the hand - open the box to reveal the diamond - and say: 'Will you marry me?'

And the response you get back is:  'Let me get back to you on that?'

Would that create a special joy in your heart?

Let's say a friend calls:  'Want to go to dinner tonight?'

And you answer:  'Don't really have anything better to do, so I guess.'

Would a fountain of happiness spring up inside you at that moment?

If you're a parent and you said to your child:  'Would you please take out the trash?' and the response you got back was: 'I'll pray about that.'

Any joy coming at you from that?

If we want joy, we need to respond to the promptings of Jesus NOW.   Immediately.

What has God called you to do that you've been ignoring?  You've been delaying it.

'Trust Me with your finances,' He says.  'Because 90% with Me will go farther than 100% without Me.'

"Yeah, I really do want to do that - and I'm planning to.  I have a goal to get there by 2020.'  


There's an addiction ruling your life.  'I know I need help, but I need a few more months to see if I can kick this on my own.  If not, I'll seek help.'

Get yourself to someone who can help you now.  Run there.  Immediately.

Delayed obedience is disobedience.  You know that's true.

When your child says, 'Not right now,' that isn't obedience.

And when we say, 'You're my Lord, Jesus' -- and then He asks us to follow Him a certain direction and we go:  'Ummm.  No.  Later' -- that's disobedience.  And delayed obedience never brings joy.

But if your child says:  "Absolutely, Dad.  I'll do that right away.  What else can I do for you?" ... After we resuscitated you . . . what kind of joy would that bring?

Do you want real joy this Christmas?

Respond to God with immediate obedience.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


The Good News is Jesus.  Christ, the Lord.

No doubt about it.  The good news is where real joy comes from.

Our major mistake when it comes to finding joy is that we believe joy is tied to our circumstances.  If my situation was different, I'd be happy.

That's why people go on exotic vacations - it's why they change careers - it's why they alter their hair color - it's why they get a different spouse.  If I change my situation, I'll be happy.

The problem is -- that doesn't work.  Because joy isn't found in our circumstances.  It's found in our choices.  It's found in the decisions we make every day of our lives.

Good news of great joy - for all the people - is Christ the Lord.  A Savior.  Someone to rescue us from our sins.  Because no matter how good we are, we can't save ourselves.

All of us fall short of God's standard for perfection and if that's so, we're all in trouble.  We can't make it to heaven on a B+.

'The wages for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.'  (Romans 6:23)

The penalty is death.  That's what hell is.  It isn't just a place on fire.  It's forever separation from God.  We can never make it to heaven on our own; we need help.  God's gift of Jesus makes eternal life possible.

Jesus is the Link.  He's the Bridge between fallen man and a holy God.

Do you want joy this Christmas?  Invite Jesus into your life as your Savior and let Him wipe away your past and all the anxiety and ugliness that comes with it.

He's our Savior.  But it's that second part we so often miss, even as followers of Christ.  He's also our Lord.

What does that mean?

It means Jesus is in charge - it means Jesus is the leader - it means Jesus has your complete loyalty and allegiance - it means you'll do whatever He asks of you.

He's our Savior.  He takes away our sin, but the tougher part is to accept Him as your Lord.  It seems so many Christ-followers have accepted Him as Savior, because we all want to go to heaven one day - but fewer follow Him as their Lord - because that means we release control and let Him direct our lives.

The Good News of great joy at Christmas is Jesus Christ the Lord.  He's the answer to your situation.

And be blessed.