Through the Storm Ministries - Scripture Pills

Welcome to Scripture Pills, a dose of commentary built around a Bible topic.

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. (Proverbs 4:20-22)


Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

A little over a week ago I was shocked to receive a call from an old friend, "Jim" (not his real name). For me, it is not unusual for my old friends and me to communicate occasionally. What was shocking is Jim had not been my friend for more than 40 years. We had had a "falling out", the details of which are not important. Since that time, we had not spoken to each other until October of 1985 when I was born again and started seeking reconciliation with him through messages passed via mutual friends. Jim never responded.

At my wedding a year later, Jim showed up to party with two of my groomsmen but would not come to my wedding. We spoke a greeting to each other in the parking lot as we were leaving on our honeymoon and that was it.

A few years ago, when I heard of Jim's father's death, I called him to express my condolences and we had a brief conversation, not friendly. Last year, my older brother died and Jim texted his condolences to me.

Then came the call last week. Jim reached out to me as a friend to friend and made it clear that he wanted to resume our friendship. He also indicated that he had been born again some time ago. He gave an open invitation to for us to visit.

As I reflected on our original friendship, our falling out and the events which led to the phone call, it began with me forgiving him, then reaching out in his time of loss, him reaching out to me in my time of loss and finally, the call. A key element is both of us receiving forgiveness through Jesus Christ and forgiving each other. God is the God of restoration, even of seemingly impossible situations!

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19)

With much love, Phil

Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. (Psalm 26:2)

In the Gospel book written by Luke, Jesus taught using these words: And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 18:9-14)

The first man was prideful and self-righteous and looked down on everyone who did not meet his self-made standards. His prayer consisted of him exalting himself before God and berating the second man. The second man knew he was a sinner and was unrighteous before God and asked for His mercy. The first man compared himself to others by his own actions. The second man compared himself to God's standards and was well aware that he fell short. The first man was not even aware that he himself was a sinner in God's eyes and that he needed forgiveness. The second man had faith that God would forgive him and cleanse him. Jesus explained that the humble, repentant man was on the right path.

We must remember that without God's forgiveness through Jesus the Christ, we are all that first man in the parable, unrighteous sinners comparing ourselves to other unrighteous sinners. We must also remember to pity those who are travelling the highway to hell without Christ.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)

With much love, Phil

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (1 Timothy 4:1)

A time of upheaval has come upon this earth and upon this nation. In this nation, many government officials are holding polar opposite views. God given rights are either being protected or scorned and overridden. Some are trying to force their will on others. Peace is under attack. Many people are forming loyalties based on whether they "like" the person or the cause. Who is right and who is wrong?

It is important to understand that Satan's mission on this earth is to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10) He is the god of this world and has blinded the minds of many. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) Since he is the father of lies, truth is anathema to him. His lies start out as sweet sounding suggestions that are pleasant to the ears and evolve to bold proclamations and demands. Publications inspired by satan can be found everywhere, even in our schools. The devil always tries to elbow his way in to destroy anything that is good.

How do we know who to give credence to? Here are some tests that words and actions must pass in order to be God inspired:

  • Does it line up with the ENTIRE Bible? Even the devil can twist scriptures to achieve his purpose. (Luke 4:1-13) Christians must know the Bible in order to keep from being deceived. "Good" ideas based on selective use of a Bible verse can be contrary to God's word.
  • Once we know what the Bible says, does it line up with God's character? E.g. Would God kill a baby to facilitate the convenience of the parents? Would God, out of His mercy, free a dangerous criminal if it endangers the lives of others?
  • Do the promoters of the idea confess Jesus is Lord, or at least match the first two criteria? If not, they are promoting the will of the antichrist. 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 1 John 4:3

As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. He speaks to us. He warns us. He guides us. He protects us. He shows us truth. He shows us God's side of things. He will help us discern the way - if we listen to Him. (John 16:13)

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:15) Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. (Proberbs 21:2) In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6)

With much love, Phil


But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (Romans 5:20)

In these times of intensifying conflicts pitting kingdom against kingdom, friend against friend, family against family and sadly, Christian against Christian, any one of us can get pulled into confrontation at any time, simply by discussing news, typing on our keyboard or opening our mouth.

The Holy Spirit reminds me regularly, and I need to be reminded, to not forget to love my political enemies. (Matthew 5:44) We should by no means compromise our beliefs and we must stand for what is right in God's eyes. We must not forget that political enemies are people too and God extends His grace to them, the same grace He extends to us. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Many people, including us, will not be convinced of truth when confronted with truth. Spoken truth must be accompanied by love. (Ephesians 4:15) God is love. (1 John 4:8) In many cases, our public arguments are not as effective as simple blessing or prayer. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

We must always remember that followers of Jesus are on the winning team. The losing team will go down in flames. The worst that the devil can throw at us now is better than the best that they will experience in eternity. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. (Psalm7:1-2) For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. (Psalm 7:9)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (Romans 16:20)

With much love, Phil

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (2 Corinthians 10:4)

Lately there has been some mentions about "the invisible enemy", speaking about the virus that has brought the world to its knees, just by its presence. Well, there is a greater invisible enemy working behind the virus and every manner of sickness and evil in this world. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

It is easy to focus on the people that are perpetrating this evil and to forget or ignore the real enemy who is orchestrating them, the devil (satan). Jesus called out this truth to those who oppose Him and His truth with these words. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

We can and must stand against evil that people perpetrate, but our stand is much more effective if we also address the unseen spiritual, wicked, principalities, powers, rulers of darkness who work their leader's will in the invisible atmosphere. Jesus has given us power over them. Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)

Individually, we have spiritual authority over the activities in our own lives, our homes and the areas that we occupy. Collectively, we have authority over cities, states and nations that we occupy. There are no limits to the reach of our prayers. We have weapons of warfare, including angels sent by God to us, ready to dispatch at our command. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (Hebrews 1:14) See also Ephesians 6:13-18.

And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. (Leviticus 26:8)

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

With much love, Phil

My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. (Psalm 63:8)

There are many occasions in the Bible where God has intervened in and guided His people through battles that they were fighting. Here is one such occasion.

In 2 Chronicles 20:1-26, the Ammonite, Moabite and mount Seir enemies came to battle against Judah. King Jehoshaphat, understandably afraid of this formidable army, called a fast among the people and prayed to the Lord, asking for His help and guidance. God's response was to speak through a prophet, telling them to not be afraid. Then He gave them instructions. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you. (2 Chronicles 20:17) Jehoshaphat's response was to worship the Lord.

Early the next morning, Judah assembled themselves in the Tekoa wilderness. The king reminded the army of Judah what the prophet had said and appointed singers to praise the Lord. And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. (2 Chronicles 20:22) The enemies completely killed each other off while Judah stood back and sang and praised the Lord. It took three days for Judah to gather the spoil from the fallen enemy soldiers! Not one Judah soldier was lost or even bloodied.

Today we all face battles, individually and collectively. The steps to victory are the same today. Seek. Petition. Listen. Believe. Worship. Obey. Praise. The method of victory won't always be the same. Our enemies won't always kill each other off, but final victory is always assured if we follow the appropriate steps, conquer our fear and act in faith.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

With much love, Phil


Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Matthew 13:44)

The earth is loaded with water, minerals and elements essential to our lives and useful for other enjoyable purposes. Even man was created from the earth. (Genesis 2:7) The earth is also loaded with oil and precious stones which greatly benefit our lives. Some of the benefits of the earth are on or close to the surface and easily accessible. Others require mining, excavating or drilling for them to be claimed.

The same is true with God provided spiritual truths. We are to consider them as treasures to seek after. Some treasures, such as eternal life, are surface level and can be possessed by simply saying "Yes" to the gift of salvation. Other truths require seeking and digging with faith and love, using tools such as prayer, fasting and reading the Word of God.

One example of spiritual treasure is Godly wisdom and its partners, knowledge and understanding. The Bible places the value of them above the value of earthly gold, silver, rubies and any other commodity. Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. (Proverbs 8:10-11) See also (Proverbs 3:13-15, 20:15, 2:1-5)

Other treasures include a virtuous wife (Proverbs 31:10) and anything that we build on the foundation of Jesus Christ and His kingdom. (1 Corinthians 3:11-14)

Expanding our spiritual treasure chest and living a victorious life requires work and diligence. The rewards are great and well worth the effort.

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Colossians 1:9-10)

With much love, Phil


And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (Romans 13:11)

Almost 2,000 years ago, the Apostle Paul admonished the saints in Rome that it is time for them to wake up out of their slumber, Jesus was coming soon. That admonishment is still valid today to the church and to the world, only we are now 20 centuries closer to the time. Jesus may come to get his church tomorrow, or it may be thousands of years from now. The message is still the same. Wake up!

One of the reasons that God wants for us to stay awake spiritually is to not be surprised by evil and cares of this world which always try to stealthily creep into our hearts and into the church. The pleasures of this world can lure us into enjoying the world more than God. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. (Luke 21:34)

Another reason to wake up is to form a distinct awareness of and separation between righteousness and evil and stop mixing the two. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. (1 Corinthians 15:34) Awakening invokes repentance. (1 Corinthians 7:10)

As the return of Christ draws nearer, it is important to stay spiritually awake, watch and pray. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. (Ephesians 5:14) See also Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38, Luke 21:36.

With much love, Phil


Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)

The Bible teaches us to search for and to speak truth. God's word also teaches us to not speak too hastily, (Proverbs 19:20) or too much. (Ecclesiastes 1:1) It is a good practice to pray before we speak and to use soft answers wherever possible to diffuse angry conversations. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1) These are habits that I, for one, need to practice more diligently.

Our words, carefully chosen, can bring comfort to others who are going through difficult times. (1 Thessalonians 4:18) Our words can speak wisdom, knowledge and understanding to situations. (Proverbs 2:1-5)

A prerequisite to wise speaking is good listening. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: (James 1:19) If we listen to others, they tend to also listen to us.

The objective of our conversations should be to bring life, even when confronting evil. Our words have much impact. ...the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

With much love, Phil

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Romans 14:11)

Now, as has been since the beginning of time, there are many, many people who are rebelling and fighting against God and even denying his existence. This is distressing to me as I see their destiny if they don't repent and turn to our Lord through Jesus, the savior of the world.

Just as distressing is those who view themselves as "good persons" who have no need of a savior. Both classes of the world's people will stand before God's judgment seat one day, and so will the believers. (Romans 14:11)

So what can we do? Pray, love, seek, give, stand. Pray continuously for those who still belong to the world. Love them. Seek someone to minister God's love to. Give out of our time and comfort to those the Lord assigns us to before it is too late for them. Stand for righteousness.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

With much love, Phil


Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (Hebrews 10:23)

As followers of Christ, God expects us to be steadfast in our faith and to stand strong when things are going well for us and when things are going wrong and when the devil is trying to blow us to shreds. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-11)

We need to purpose in our hearts not to give in to the pressures to speak unbelief, defeat, or death to our God given assignment, even during times of extreme weakness. The storms and attacks of the enemy will pass and we will remain standing, if we don't give in to the overwhelming urge to give up and quit. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Ephesians 4:14) For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 3:8)

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8)

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Ephesians 6:10)

With much love, Phil


...a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

The architectural principle behind the construction of a cord is to braid together a group of smaller materials to make a larger, stronger form. Two strands twisted together are stronger than a single strand and three are stronger than two. God is the author of and the perfect template for the threefold cord. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are unbreakable and all powerful. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (1 John 5:7)

Here on earth, the cord of one person, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is a powerful spiritual force. The cord of wisdom, knowledge and understanding makes us strong in our human affairs. (Proverbs 2:6, Exodus 35:31, Proverbs 9:10, Colossians 1:9) The cord of faith, hope and charity (love in action) conquers all that the devil can throw against us. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Corinthians 13:13) The cord of two or three people praying and agreeing together is stronger than one praying alone. (Matthew 18:20) The marriage of man, woman and Christ is a strong family foundation. Two or three witnesses build a strong case when administering justice. (Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15, Matthew 18:16) Each of us is a cord of spirit, soul and body. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

As we work at being successful in whatever we do, we should be diligent in finding and securing that second and third strand in our workings that will strengthen us and fully equip us to succeed.

With much love, Phil

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. (Proverbs 19:17)

During my daily Bible study, the Lord reminded me to remember the poor, the poor that we will always have with us in this world. (Matthew 26:11)(Mark 14:7)(John 12:8) There are two classes of poor people, The spiritually poor and the economically poor.

The spiritually poor are those who are not walking in the light of the Gospel of salvation. They have either rejected Jesus Christ or are riding the fence between God's ways and the world's ways. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (Revelation 3:17)

We are frequently reminded to help the economically poor by not withholding justice from them (Psalm 82:3)(Exodus 23:6) or taking advantage of them, (Proverbs 22:22) but by encouraging them and, if appropriate, helping them financially, always with love and concern for their spiritual well being. Individuals helping individuals as God leads is much more impactful to the individuals than government handouts as they are poured from a cup overflowing with God's love - and the giver and the receiver are both blessed. (Acts 20:35)

All poor people, spiritual and economical, need the love of God presented to them by acts of kindness, ministering to their needs, loving them and yes, sharing the Gospel. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (Luke 4:18)

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. (Proverbs 28:27)

With much love, Phil


For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

This is Janice. Phil asked me if I would like to share with you today and I decided to share with you what the Lord has taught me. I pray it helps someone to cut off the spirit of fear and to start today enjoying life more abundantly, (Ephesians 3:20) because Jesus has given us the power to do so in His name.

This Easter I will be 64 years young, strong and in great health. I am excited about this because the doctors told me when I was 18 that I would never live to be 30. At that time I thought "Who cares? 30 is old." But when I turned 29 I remembered what the doctors said and thought "I only have a year to live!" But God! I started to church (What else do you do when you think you are going to die? LOL) and learned that the devil comes to steal, but Jesus came to give us life abundantly! When we fear, we are agreeing with satan and putting our faith in reverse, giving power to the thief (satan) to steal our joy, peace and love and trying to replace it with worry, fear and anger.

A dear friend of mine was going through chemotherapy. He said that it was two weeks before his treatment and he was watching his grandsons. He was not in any pain, but thinking about the treatment was tormenting him. He realized that satan was stealing his time with his grandsons and he took authority over satan and cut off fear. He cast his cares on the Lord and started laughing with his grandsons. He is now cancer free! That story has helped me many times.

Remember, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Good is good! From my heart to yours, Janice


Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (Matthew 6:31)

During uncertain times such as these, it is especially necessary that we remember that God, through His Son Jesus, put six days aside to prepare this earth for us to live in, creating a GOOD and perfect place, a place where we still currently, temporarily live. (Genesis 1:1-31, 2:1-25) We are here on this earth for a short time. Then another journey begins.

Jesus assured us of another place, a great place in heaven, also temporary, waiting on us who receive Him. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)

But Jesus is again preparing a place on earth for when, at an unknown time, we return from heaven with Jesus for 1,000 years to reign with Him in His kingdom. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

That's not all. At the end of the 1,000 years, the most phenomenal event of all will take place. Jesus will destroy this current earth and the heavens and prepare a brand new, born again place for us. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. (Isaiah 65:17) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (2 Peter 3:13) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (Revelation 21:1)

Sadly, there are many who choose another place. Those people need the good news told to them while there is still time. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. (Revelation 20:11) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)

Jesus prepares places for us. Are we making a place for Him?

With much love, Phil


Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)

If someone in this audience is weighted down with constant or near constant pressure of some sort, there is someone who is more than willing to lighten our load. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

When we go through seasons of trials and even extreme blessing, it is important that we do not become so focused on our problems or our riches that we grow cold toward God and other people. And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (Mark 4:19)

God wants to use us and other people to help pull each other out of the thorns. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2) See also (Luke 8:14).

There is no need to wallow in depression. The way upward starts with asking for and receiving God's help. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

With much love, Phil

The snare is laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way. (Job 18:10)

Satan's only purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) he lays traps for every single person on this earth designed to ensnare us and hold us captive. Once we are born again Jesus releases us from permanent captivity but that doesn't stop the devil from laying in wait trying to trip us up in any moment of weakness. God, in his great love for us, provides an escape for every temptation that comes our way. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

The Bible is full of tips, techniques, admonishments, examples and commandments to help us navigate. Here is a summary of some:

  • Stay in a safe place spiritually. Consistently spend time with Him and other believers. (Psalm 91:1-2)(Hebrews 10:24-25, 13:17)
  • Don't go there. Avoid places and things that cater to our weaknesses, whether it is certain foods, investments, TV channels, ... Go back to the safe place. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. (Proverbs 22:3)
  • Be spiritually aware. Watch and pray. ,Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; (Colossians 4:2) (Mark 14:38)
  • Listen. Jesus has given us his Holy Spirit to be our guide as we navigate through life. (John 16:13)
  • Know when to speak, what to speak and when to keep quiet. (Proverbs 18:7)
  • If we fall, get up and repent. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. (Psalm 91:3)

With much love, Phil

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

There is a temptation to panic when facing an impending crisis or during a crisis in our lives. An example of a current crisis is the Coronavirus, which has world wide attention and is affecting most of us via the stock market, international business and the possibility that we could be exposed to the virus. News organizations promote the fear factor and politicians point fingers at one another.

During those times, it is critical for us to stop and take some time to pray and observe what the Bible says about our situation. We need to filter out the noise that is being generated and latch onto some scriptures that apply. My favorite scripture of protection is There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. (Psalm 91:10) I have used that scripture in times of trouble and it delivered me.

God has given us all scriptures to use to our advantage. He has given us armor, including a shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) to put on and wear and apply them to any situation (Ephesians 6:13-18) and has provided us wisdom to use. He may be telling us to build our immune system or to avoid certain areas. Either way, there is no need to worry.

No matter what we are facing, we have this confidence. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

With much love, Phil


For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. (Luke 20:38)

Today I am reminded of and encouraged by the verses in Luke 20:27-40 where a group of Sadducees, who deny the resurrection, asked Jesus a trick question. Jesus's answer, to put it simply, was to state that there IS a resurrection and and that He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. See also (Matthew 22:23-33). Jesus further clarified that He is the God of the living just before He rose Lazarus from the dead. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (John 11:25)

Paul spoke to the skeptics in church of Corinth affirming our resurrection. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1 Corinthians 15:19) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)

Some of us seem to sail through life and others suffer through many trials and tribulations. All of us, if we are in Christ (born again), will live forever with Him pain free when this present life is over. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:15)

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)

With much love, Phil

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (Mark 9:23)

God allows us to hear the wind and see the effects of the wind but He does not allow us on earth to see the wind, except for two occasions.

The first occasion is in Matthew 14:22-33 when the disciples, having been instructed by Jesus, were crossing the sea going toward Bethsaida when a wind started blowing. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. (Matthew 14:24) Then Jesus came walking on the water toward the boat and the disciples, when they saw Him, started freaking out, thinking they were seeing a spirit, but Jesus identified Himself and calmed their fear. (Matthew 14:25-27) Then Peter got bold: And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. (Matthew 14:28) Jesus responded "Come" and Peter began walking on the water toward Jesus. (Matthew 14:29) But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. (Matthew 14:30)

The disciples witnessed Jesus and Peter walking on water and Peter saw the wind blowing while he was walking on water. These were all miraculous events. But then Peter took his eyes and mind off of Jesus and his faith wavered. Jesus reached out his hand, rescued Peter and, amazingly, chided him for his little faith. (Matthew 14:31) The wind ceased when Peter and Jesus got into the boat and all the disciples worshipped Jesus and declared that He is the Son of God. (Matthew 14:32-33)

The next occasion is when Jesus was revealing Himself to one of the same disciples, John, in heaven. And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. (Revelation 7:1) Jesus allowed John to see the winds of the earth being restrained by angels.

John saw the winds from the perspective of heaven. Peter saw the wind from the perspective of earth. Both men were in the presence of Jesus at the time. In both occasions, Jesus was glorified.

With much love, Phil

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. (Galatians 3:7)

In Genesis 14:10-24, several armies, led by their kings, came against the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The kings of both cities fled and fell into slime pits and the residents of those cities fled into the mountains, except for Abraham's nephew Lot who dwelt in Sodom with his considerable amount of riches and his people. The armies carried them and their possessions away.

When Abram heard about this he armed his 318 trained servants, raided the armies during the night and recovered not only Lot's stuff, but all of the loot that the armies had taken from other cities. (Genesis 14:14-16)

Melchizedek, king of Salem (Jerusalem), a priest of the Most High God and representative and forerunner of the ministry of Jesus Christ, immediately came to meet Abram carrying bread and wine and blessed him. Abram responded by giving a tenth (tithe) of all of the spoils to Melchizedek. (Genesis 14:18-20)

Then the heathen king of Sodom, having freed himself from the slime pits and made his way to Abram, offered Abram all the leftover spoils. Abram let his men take their portions but refused anything from Sodom for himself because he had just submitted to the most high God and did not want Sodom to say he had made Abram rich. God had already made Abram rich. (Genesis 14:21-24)

What followed is truly amazing! Abram became Abraham, the father of our faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:9, 3:14) and the city of Sodom and their king were permanently annihilated because of their complete decadence. (Genesis 18:20, 19:24)

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (James 2:23)

With much love, Phil


Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. (Isaiah 42:9)

Many people around the world, when they choose to be born again by receiving Jesus Christ, have baggage from our past that we have been carrying. At the instant that we make that decision, God's word lets us know that things are different now, drop your baggage. You are forgiven. Forgive and sin no more. If you fall down, get up and start again. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Paul lists just a few examples of our baggage that God will no longer remember. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

With much love, Phil


Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (Matthew 7:7)

Jesus made it very clear that He, the Father and the Holy Spirit are listening very closely to every thing we are asking of the Father and they long to hear us make petitions and intercessions to Him.

Our Lord categorizes our prayers for needs and wants according to the condition of our heart. First of all, our prayers require faith that they will be answered. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:22) There are levels of faith ranging from little to great.

All prayers to the Father pass through Jesus and are stamped with the authority of His name. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (John 14:14)

Once we pray in faith, it is important that we don't let doubt creep in before we receive our answer. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (James 1:6)

Good parents, even unsaved parents, will seriously and lovingly consider the requests of their children and desire to give them what they ask, as long as it won't do harm to them or the family. So it is with the Father. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:13) And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: (1 John 5:14)

God won't willingly grant our requests if our intent is solely to feed our fleshly nature. If we do this, we are taking what He does not want us to have. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:3)

If we seek to further His kingdom on this earth, He will place priority on rewarding us with the desires of our hearts. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Luke 12:31)

I have felt for a long time that if I would have written down every request that I have made of Him the list would be long. Many of the requests have been answered "yes" or "no". Some of the answers have come quickly, some have taken longer to come and some are still on the way. All of us who have prayed for something would have similar records.

With much love, Phil


And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; (Mark 16:17)

When Jesus physically walked the earth He consistently demonstrated His power and authority over satan and his demon angels by resisting satan's temptations (Matthew 4:1-11) and casting otherwise powerful devils out of people. (Matthew 9:32-33, 17:18)(Mark 7:29-30)(Luke 4:41, 8:33)

That same Jesus gave those who believe on Him the same power over satan that He has. And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. (Luke 10:17) In those days people recognized the devil when they encountered him.

To cast out devils, or even to overcome their influence, one must have legitimate license to do so. The requirement is to be born again. Attempting to cast out devils without belong to the kingdom of God will not work. The seven sons of Sceva learned this the hard way when their satan inspired attempt to cast an evil spirit out of a man resulted in the spirit saying "Who are you?" and beating all seven of them and driving them all away naked, because they did not have legitimate authority. (Acts 19:14-18) Satan cannot cast out satan. If we are born again we have legitimate authority over satan and his devils. We have legal authority to sign a spiritual court order with Jesus' name.

Satan has the audacity to attempt to entice, seduce, bully and intimidate believers to be subjected to his will. After all, he is the father of lies. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8) Our protection is summed up in these words. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

With much love, Phil


Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Growing up in a rural area in northeast Kansas, my parents took my siblings and me faithfully to our local church, the oldest functional Catholic church building in the state. In those days, the roads in our community were not maintained as well as they are now. When there were long periods of heavy rain or snow, many times Dad would wrap the tires with tire chains to keep from getting stuck on the way to and from the church. During the week, when there were sub-zero temperatures, Dad would get up early and start the 1950's model cars for my older sisters so they could drive to high school and never miss a day. Mom would always have meals cooked for us and always ensured that we had clean clothes to wear. This went on whether I liked it or not. They taught us diligence by example.

God, in His word, stresses faithfulness, steadfastness, discipline and diligence. Consistency in applying these attributes to our daily lives is required for us to fulfil our calling and to partake in all He has intended for us. This means pushing through negative emotions and circumstances to maintain Godly fruit and stay on course. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:10-12)

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.(2 Peter 1:10-11)

With much love, Phil


Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. (Isaiah 43:18)

Many people make New Year resolutions. Common resolutions are lose weight, exercise, read through the Bible, and so on. Some keep their resolutions diligently. Some break them, even early in the year. With or without resolutions, we all have weaknesses that we fight against.

With God, we don't have to wait for a new year to start over. All hope is not lost if we veer off course and fall short of doing what we know we need to do - or not do. If we messed up our yesterday, we have today to make it right, and today is a great time to do so. Today is tomorrow's yesterday. What we do today can fix yesterday's mess-ups and help us with tomorrow. This truth is liberating and, with repentance, can relieve us of all self condemnation.

It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)

With much love, Phil

And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? (Luke 18:26)

There is an intensifying movement in some churches to invite other non-Christian religions to come in and worship their gods side by side with them. Their belief is that they have their own path to take to become one with God and their path will reach the same end as our path. For the bride of Christ to do this is sharing her bed with another couple.

The Bible is clear that Jesus is the only one who sacrificed His life to suffer and die on the cross for our sins and then rise from the dead so that we can have eternal life. Neither Allah, Buddha, any "good" person, any man-made god nor even God the Father or the Holy Spirit died for us so that we could be one with Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever - only Jesus did. We are to invite people of other religions to join with Christ. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:19)

Jesus described Himself as the strait (narrow) gateway to salvation and the many that try to get to God through another way will travel to their own destruction (Hell and the lake of fire.) Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. (Luke 13:23-24)

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Let us not be deceived or lulled into thinking that the pathways that bypass Christ will lead to the same destination. Let us love those individuals and look for opportunities to show them the strait way.

With much love, Phil

A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

Most of us will at some point plan something in our lives - our day, our trip to a store, our career, our vacation, our ministry, our latter years and even our death and funeral. But what about the times that our planned path crosses the path that God has laid down for us? If we are in a hurry to complete our tasks for the day and someone interrupts us with an urgent prayer request or makes a rare phone call to us, do we get irritated at the interruption or do we take time out and attempt to help them in some way? If we are laser focused on a task and we meet a beggar on the street do we automatically pass by, or do we at least consider giving an alm? If our household finances are strained and someone who is in desperate, legitimate need asks us for financial help, do we adjust our budget, or stay on course? If our life is going well and God invites us to give it up and do something else or go somewhere else to serve Him, what do we do? See (Matthew 19:16-22)(Luke 18:18-23)

In those times when our plans are interrupted, we need to discern where the interruption is coming from. Either it is from God or from the devil. If it is from the devil we need to be on high alert and maybe take a detour. If it is from God, it is best if we obey. In all cases, we need to quickly ask our Lord what we should do. The apostle Paul, then known as Saul, was on his way to Damascus to arrest and terrorize Christians when Jesus shined His light on him. He fell to the ground and Jesus told him to stop persecuting Him. Saul's fearful and astonished response was "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Jesus gave Saul clear instructions and Paul's plans were changed and his great ministry was launched. (Acts 9:1-18)

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was planning on simply getting married and raising a family but ended up giving birth to the Son of God and Savior of the world after she said yes when God asked her to do His bidding. (Luke 1:26-38) God's books are full of how people respond when our path crosses His.

The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. (Pro 16:1-3)

With much love, Phil

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

There is someone that God the Father wants everyone to know and He is advertising Him everywhere on earth. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (Philippians 2:9) Before the beginning of creation, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit made plans for Jesus to come to this earth and redeem us from an eternity of separation from God and from everlasting torment in hell. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Colossians 1:14)

God is doing everything He can do to convince all people on this earth to believe on Jesus and accept His free gift of salvation. (Romans 5:18) Many receive Him and many do not. God does not, and will not, make that decision for us, the decision is ours alone.

Even those who die rejecting Jesus Christ, even if it is too late for their salvation, will one day bow to the very One they rejected. It is better to bow ourselves to the One true God with joy now than with horror and regret after it is too late to be with Him. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Romans 14:11) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11)

... and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:23)

With much love, Phil

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, ... (Colossians 3:15)

One night, over 2,000 years ago, an angel announced to some shepherds in a field good tidings of great joy that Christ our savior was born. Then a heavenly host appeared and began proclaiming Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14) Thus, the prince of peace, Jesus the Christ, was sent to this earth as a gesture of GOOD WILL and reconciliation toward mankind, who are otherwise destined to hell.

Many have received that peace offered by our Father through Christ, and many have rejected and warred against Him. Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: (Luke 12:51)

Up until I was 33 years old, I lived without that "peace which passes all understanding" (Philippians 4:7) until one night in October, 1985, in a hotel room in Grand Island, Nebraska, I invited Jesus Christ to give me that peace, and He did, literally from top to bottom. That monumental event changed my life. What He did for me, He will do for anyone who will receive Him.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

With much love, Phil

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: ...

The scriptures make it clear that God is against debt, even though most of the world's businesses and individuals and even many churches operate with various levels of loans, credit cards, mortgages, medical bills, back taxes, fines owed and so on. As circumstances and enticements pass in front of us, the temptation to unnecessarily spend what we do not have is powerful. When we are in debt, we are at the mercy of the lender and the lender owns a piece of us. The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7) The only debt that God approves of is the debt of love that we owe one another. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)

God's Word joins natural debt with spiritual debt and equates us sinning against God and others, and others sinning against us, as debt. Jesus used a parable to illustrate how to and how not to handle natural and spiritual debt with God and others. (Matthew 18:21-35)

Our unpayable debt of sinning against God is hell. The only forgiveness of that debt is faith in Jesus Christ - with one condition - that we also forgive others their sin debts against us. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Matthew 6:12) And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. (Luke 11:4) For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Godly council on how to get out of natural debt is to, if possible, not enter into that debt. If we are in debt hopelessly, seek forgiveness, be diligent about paying it off and commit to living debt free.

With much love, Phil

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (Psalm 36:9)

On one particularly cold, rainy, dreary day, I sensed the Lord telling me "The sun is always shining." Immediately I realized the meaning in that, even if I could not see the sun, it was up there shining brightly, and even in the darkness, the moon was there reflecting the light of the Sun.

In Genesis 1:1-5 God's first act of creation was to speak light to the darkness and to divide the light into Day and the darkness into Night. That was the first day. Then, in Genesis 1:16-19, on the fourth day, he created the Sun, moon and stars, the Sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night and for them to be for signs, seasons, days and years.

The Sun is a sign of Jesus Christ who came to bring light to the world and dispel the domain of darkness ruled by satan. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:5) In fact, the Sun, moon and stars were created by the Son himself. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3) In all situations, day or night, whether we sense the presence of God or the oppression from satan, the heavens are a reminder to us that our life sustaining creator is loving us, watching over us and has redeemed us.

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings;... (Malachi 4:2)

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (2 Peter 1:19)

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, (Luke 1:78)

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalm 2:12)

With much love, Phil


Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. (Psalm 119:114)

While I was still a heathen chasing sin, I can remember at least three times that I faced almost certain death or severe injury. Once when a vehicle I was riding in was heading toward a steel bridge rail, once when a vehicle pulled directly into the path of another vehicle I was riding in at 60 mph, and once again when an older vehicle that I was stopped at a light in was rear ended by a loaded pickup truck. The vehicle was a 1974 Ford Pinto that was known for and recalled for exploding from rear end collisions. Those are just a few of many times that I was spared from damage of some sort.

In the first two instances, the driver did not see the collision coming until it was almost too late to avoid. In the third instance my neck was injured but I did not burn. In all three instances I had the sense that God had protected me. This was confirmed years later by a word of Knowledge from a pastor.

God is many things to us. The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. (2 Samuel 22:3)

If God can give a heathen sinner many chances to repent and turn to Him, how much more will He shield His children from all manner of evil - if we trust Him and put our faith in Him. Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Proverbs 30:5)

He encompasses us with His shield, For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12) covers us with His wings, He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (Psalm 91:4) and provides a shield of faith for us to use for ourselves. (Ephesians 6:16)

Even if something bad happens to us, God promises to restore us if we keep our faith and trust in Him. (Jeremiah 30:17)

With much love, Phil

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (Psalm 145:8)

It is easy to look at the misfortunes of others and say "If they had done this and not done that they wouldn't be in this mess." While that may be true, we don't know all that was arrayed against them nor the obstacles they were facing or their ability to execute. When such circumstances happen to us we say "If they only understood what I was going through." In most situations, comfort, encouragement and prayer are needed first before we enter into "What if". To do otherwise is joining forces with the devil against them.

In Chapters 1 and 2 of the book of Job, four men, three of them friends of Job came to visit Job, a righteous man in God's eyes, after satan had put unimaginable calamities upon him. He had just lost 500 yoke of oxen and 500 donkeys and all except one of their caretakers, 7,000 sheep and all but one of their caretakers, 3,000 camels and all but one of their caretakers, all ten of his sons and daughters and all but one of their servants and also was smitten with sores and boils from head to toe. He was not even recognizable. His brothers and sisters and all the people that had previously held him in high esteem deserted him (Job 42:11) and even his own wife told him to "Curse God and die." (Job 2:9)

Job could use a lot of comfort, right? Well the three friends sat with him seven days and nights in silence until Job began to speak. The conversation soon turned into a blame fest with the three friends blaming Job and Job blaming God. ... miserable comforters are ye all. (Job 16:2) Only Elihu, the young fourth man judged correctly. His wrath was kindled against the three friends ... because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job. (Job 32:3) and Job ... because he justified himself rather than God. (Job 32:2)

Then God showed up and set Job and his three friends straight, then restored double to Job everything the devil had stolen from him and he lived another 140 years. (Job 42 10-17)

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1) This verse works both ways.

With much love, Phil

... for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45)

Frequently I need to remind myself that God loves the evil people in this world just as much as He loves those that are in His adopted family. In fact, the wicked in this world share in many of the daily benefits of living on this earth with the righteous. Benefits such as sunshine, rain, food, clothing and shelter are available to them because they are entitled to dwell on this earth - for now. (1 John 2:17) Because there is sin in this world, both good and evil also suffer hardships. The advantage that the righteous have is that we are equipped to bring spiritual light to the wicked through prayer and acts of kindness. The path to salvation for someone often begins with an act of kindness shown to that person by a Godly person.

We have the ability and the mandate to show kindness and respect to our enemies and to the lost, even as we disagree with and oppose them. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:23)

With much love, Phil


For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)

Our makeup as humans is spirit, soul and body. (1 Thessalonians 5:23) As Christians, day by day, in every situation, we are presented with a choice. That choice is whether to allow our mind to align with our flesh (what FEELS good at the time), or according to our spirit (what IS good).

Our soul (our mind and reasoning) is connected to our body (flesh) with all of its functions and its worldly sensations, and also to our born again spirit which is connected to God through His Holy Spirit.

Because we live in a fallen body (flesh), satan constantly tries to use our flesh to influence our mind. Because we are born again the Holy Spirit is constantly speaking to us through our spirit. In every situation, we have control over our mind and have discretion on whether we follow our flesh or our spirit.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)

If we make a practice to follow after our flesh, we will never be content or fulfilled. Following the flesh leads to harm of our spiritual walk with our Lord and death to many of the GOOD things that He has for us. If we practice following after our spirit we will experience abundant life and peace. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:5-6)

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)

With much love, Phil


Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)

The Bible equates leaven with unrepented and unforgiven sin. Our sinless, spotless Jesus Christ, our unleavened bread, was sacrificed and crucified on the day of the feast of passover, at the start of the seven day feast of unleavened bread. (Exodus 12:1-20)(Mark 14:12) The timing of this event was ordained by God. His crucifixion, death and resurrection provided THE way for Him to forgive our sins and remove the leaven from our hearts and lives.

If we as Christians tolerate sin and impurity in our lives, even a little bit, we place artificial limits on our effectiveness in His kingdom and it stains our spiritual environment and it also affects our fellow believers. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)

Read the words that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth concerning the sin of one member that the church tolerated. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:6-8) The message is clear that tolerated sin will soon permeate the entire church. To the credit of the Corinthian church, they did repent and dealt with the sin. (2 Corinthians 2:4-11)

We can re-establish and maintain our purity by frequent self assessment. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. (1 Corinthians 11:28) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14)

With much love, Phil

But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. (Philippians 2:22)

In Acts 16:1, Paul and his companion Silas traveled to Lystra where they met a young disciple named Timotheus (later referred to as Timothy). Timothy already had a good reputation among the believers. Paul saw something in Timothy's character that indicated that he would be useful to the Gospel and he chose him to travel with them. To avoid discrediting their ability to spread the Gospel to the Jews because Timothy's father was a Greek, Paul circumcised Timothy and they went on preaching and establishing churches. (Acts 16:5)

Timothy was with Paul when he wrote the books of Romans, 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians and Philemon. (Romans 16:21)(2 Corinthians 1:1)(Philippians 1:1)(Colossians 1:1)(1 Thessalonians 1:1)(2 Thessalonians 1:1)(Philemon 1:1)

Paul sent Timothy to the church at Corinth to help them through a crisis (1 Corinthians 4:17), to the church of the Thessalonians to establish and comfort them (1 Thessalonians 3:2) and also hoped to send him to the church at Philippi. (Philippians 2:19) The writer of Hebrews intended for Timothy to accompany him to the church he was writing to. (Hebrews 13:23) Paul referred to Timothy as his son and said that he was the only one likeminded to him. (Philippians 2:20-22) After both spent time at Ephesus, Paul left Timothy to minister to the church there, (1 Timothy 1:3) and wrote 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy as instructions on how to pastor, oversee and serve the church.

Timothy started out young as a faithful servant of Jesus Christ, was without selfish ambition and was ready to do Paul's bidding and ready to receive instruction. We can learn much about faithfulness, steadfastness, loyalty and navigating through youthful inexperience from him.

With much love, Phil

... Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. (2 Chronicles 20:20)

In Jeremiah 38:1-28, the prophet Jeremiah had been prophesying to the Zedekiah, king of Judah, and to the nation of Judah that king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was going to burn the city of Jerusalem and take the people, including Zedekiah, captive into Babylon because of their great sins against Him. God had spoken through Jeremiah that Zedekiah and the people of Judah would be spared if they submitted to Nebuchadnezzar. Zedekiah persisted in not believing the not so good news that Jeremiah was delivering and wanted Jeremiah to go away.

Finally, the princes of Judah, with Zedekiah's consent, cast Jeremiah into the dungeon and left him to die a miserable death sunk in the mud. Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire. (Jeremiah 38:6)

Then, in Jeremiah 38:7-13, an Ethiopian eunuch in Zedekiah's house, pleaded with Zedekiah to not let Jeremiah die. The king relented, Jeremiah was saved and Zedekiah was blinded and led into captivity in Babylon for the rest of his days. (Jeremiah 52:11)

In Acts 8:26-40, the Holy Spirit sent the evangelist Philip to a road running between Jerusalem and Gaza where an Ethiopian eunuch, very influential to the queen of Ethiopia, was traveling. Philip explained the Bible to the eunuch and he received Christ, was baptized and both went their respective ways. Philip was caught up by the Holy Spirit to Azotus and the eunuch went back to Ethiopia.

What is the point? The Ethiopian eunuch in Jeremiah sowed seeds of righteousness and compassion to the prophet Jeremiah and Ethiopia reaped the harvest from those seeds by detouring Philip to fast track the Gospel into that dark nation. Believe the true prophets and never underestimate the impact of our seeds sown.

With much love, Phil


Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)

In 2 Chronicles 1:7-12, after Solomon, the king of Judah, son of the great king David, had just offered a thousand burnt offerings to the Lord at Gibeon, God appeared to him in a dream and said "Ask what I shall give thee." Solomon could have asked for anything, but since he was still a young, inexperienced man in charge of a great nation, he simply asked that God's promise to David be established and for wisdom in performing his duties as king.

God responded to Solomon saying that because he had not asked for riches, wealth, honor, the life of his enemies or long life, He would not only give Solomon the wisdom that he asked for, but he would give him riches, wealth and honor over any king before him or after. Solomon went on to be a very successful king, rich and wise beyond measure, and built the temple in Jerusalem.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, had this to say about asking God for wisdom while believing in faith that God will grant it, just as He granted it for Solomon. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. (James 1:5-7)

If we have Godly wisdom, we have a resource that can navigate us through extremely difficult situations without stumbling and bring us out the other side unscathed. This same Godly wisdom will lead us into a prosperous life.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)

With much love, Phil


Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. (1 Chronicles 16:8)

Many of the problems and trials we are facing today are resolved easier and much more quickly when we stop and take time simply to be thankful to our Lord for all the good things He has done for us and all He is going to do. God is looking for our praise to Him.

Meditating on the goodness of God and His love for us and telling others not only pleases Him but it increases our joy level, the joy which is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) By rejoicing in the Lord, we draw from His strength. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! (Psalm 21:1)

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will. (Leviticus 22:29) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)

With much love, Phil


For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (1 Corinthians 3:3)

There are good and bad types of strife. Good strife is striving for Godly things that reap rewards. Contentious strife is a war of the hearts, minds or mouths against two or more people or even against one's self. There are many things that can trigger strife, including disagreements, misunderstandings, confusion, injustice, pride, hurt feelings, jealousy or envy, circumstances, personality conflicts, meddling, and many more. The root cause of all strife is simply the devil wanting to destroy peace and stir things up. When strife is present there is no joy because the fruit of the Holy Spirit is squeezed out. (Galatians 5:23-23) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (James 3:14-16)

When the strife battle tries to start, the word of God provides the wisdom we need to nip it in the bud and replace it with peace. The first thing to do is not respond in anger or frustration. A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife. (Proverbs 15:18) A good thing to do initially is just to keep our mouth shut.

The next thing to do is to humble ourselves and be patient. Back off. Take authority over the devil. Take time to appeal to the Lord in prayer. Resolve to love. Ask God for wisdom on how to proceed. Forgive or ask forgiveness. Remember that God is our vindicator. Choose our words and the timing of our words carefully. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18)

With much love, Phil


Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

There are many, many things that are not visible to our natural eyes. Unless we receive a vision through the Holy Spirit, we cannot see the angels that are ministering on our behalf (Hebrews 1:13-14) or the demons that are on assignment to harass and ensnare us (Ephesians 6:12). We can't see our prayers that ascend to heaven and are stored in golden vials (Revelation 5:8), our tears that God puts in His bottle (Psalm 56:8) and are offered with incense on the altar before God's throne (Revelation 8:3), our every deed that is recorded in heaven and the corresponding rewards (1 Corinthians 3:8-15), the names that are written in the Lamb's book of life (Malachi 3:16) (Philippians 4:3)(Revelation 3:5)(Revelation 20:12-15) or the people that are already in heaven or hell.

Unless we receive a vision through the Holy Spirit, we can't see heaven or see God. (John 1:18)(1 Peter 1:8)(1 John 4:12, 20) That is why faith is so critical to our salvation and to our journey through life. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) God gave us every thing we need to know and all the tools, including grace and a measure of faith to believe with, in His word, the Bible. He even send His only Son who is the Word, to confirm and consummate His promises to us.

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. (John 20:29) Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)

With much love, Phil

For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)

Wisdom is the right application of our right understanding of what we have knowledge of. Our eternal One True God, when he created us at the beginning, bestowed us with perfect wisdom. He also created Lucifer with perfect wisdom but, as we know, Lucifer was filled with pride and became the devil (satan). (Ezekiel 28:12-15)(Isaiah 14:12-17) His pride perverted his God given wisdom and turned it to foolishness.

Satan wasted no time in convincing the first man and his wife to pervert their own God given wisdom by eating the fruit from the only tree in Eden which was deadly. Ironically, one of the enticements of the fruit to them was it would make them wise. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Genesis 3:6) They chose the devil's foolish perverted wisdom over God's perfect wisdom. They enabled the devil to be god over this world's systems. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Mankind took on a foolish nature.

Since that time and through this age, the wisdom of this world (satan's wisdom) wars against the wisdom of God. There are many men and woman, some of them very successful and influential in the world's eyes, who are fools in God's eyes because they have rejected His Son, Jesus. (1 Corinthians 1:18, 3:19) The only way to have true, unperverted wisdom is through Christ. He is our wisdom. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:24) See also Isaiah 11:1-2, Colossians 3:16, Proverbs 8:1-9:12, (1 Corinthians 1:18-30), James 3:13-18, Romans 1:22.

There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. (Proverbs 21:30)

With much love, Phil


Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

One of the definitions of the word sanctuary is a shelter, a place of protection, a safe place, a holy place. The Bible describes THE sanctuary as the place where God dwells. Under the old covenant, the sanctuary was the most holy place, first in the tent tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 25:8), and later in the stone temple which Solomon built in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 3:1).

Under the new covenant, Jesus, after He resurrected from His crucifixion, entered into the heavenly sanctuary of God, sits at the Father's right hand, (Hebrews 8:1-2) and gave us access to God in His sanctuary in heaven right from where we happen to be. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Hebrews 9:11-12)

As a bonus, when we receive Christ, His Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts and we also become a sanctuary of the Lord with a direct connection to our Father in His heavenly sanctuary. (Romans 5:5)(2 Corinthians 1:22)(Galatians 4:6)(Ephesians 3:17)

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

With much love, Phil

For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (John 6:33)

In the message of the previous week, we illustrated the compassion that Christ has for people, an example being Him feeding 5,000 men using five loaves of bread and two fishes. Today, we will focus on the same events, including Jesus feeding the 5,000, recorded in all four Gospels, from another perspective. (John 6:1-15)

Matthew, Mark and Luke all record that Jesus broke the bread and gave. John 6:11 records that Jesus distributed the bread to His disciples who in turn distributed the same to the huge crowd. There was plenty for everyone and much left over. Later that night, Jesus walked on water, (John 6:16-21) demonstrating that He is God.

The next day, on the other side of the sea, in John 6:22-71, Jesus pointed out to the crowd that sought Him that they were only looking for more bread for food. He admonished them to not labor for food from Him that perishes, but for the food from Him that gives everlasting life, Himself, the bread from heaven. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (John 6:35) I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (John 6:51)

Jesus made it clear in His time walking the earth that His breaking and distributing of the earthly bread, which was more than sufficient for anyone who would eat, is representative of Him distributing His own body of which His church of believers is comprised. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (1 Corinthians 11:24) See also Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19.

When we share Communion, the Lord's supper, breaking of bread or whatever we want to call it, we are reminding ourselves that Christ is still distributing His body (and blood) today, and there is more than enough for anyone who will partake of Him. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. (1 Corinthians 11:26)

With much love, Phil

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (Psalm 145:8)

When Jesus was told of the beheading of John the Baptist by Herod (Matthew 14:10-12), His twelve disciples had just returned from the mission trip that Jesus had sent them on, people were thronging around them and Jesus and His disciples were tired from ministering to the multitude and needed some food and R&R. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. (Mark 6:31-32)

They embarked to the desert place And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. (Mark 6:33) And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14) When evening came, His weary disciples bid Jesus to send the crowd away so they could get their badly needed rest. (Matthew 14:15) Jesus instead commanded them to feed the 5,000 men plus women and children with the five loaves of bread and two fishes. All were satisfied and much food (twelve baskets full) was left over. (Mark 6:37-44)

Now they could get their rest, right? Not. Jesus sent his disciples to the other side of the lake while He sent the multitude away and then went up into a mountain to pray before walking on top of the water until He met His disciples in the ship - during a huge wind storm. There they all witnessed both Jesus and Peter walking on the water. (Matthew 14:22-33) When Jesus got into the ship immediately the storm ceased and they came into the land of Gennesaret where more ministry awaited them. (Mark 6:53-56)

When did Jesus and His disciples get their rest? I don't know, but it was at least 24 hours after they embarked to do so. Jesus was willing to forego leisure because of His compassion for people and His grace provided the strength for His disciples to keep going as well. Are we willing to put compassion over personal needs when called to do so?

With much love, Phil

Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. (Psalm 24:8)

In 2 Kings 6:24-33, Benhadad, the king of Syria, set up a siege against the city of Samaria where the king of Israel was dwelling. In a short time, with no supplies coming into the city, the head of a donkey was selling for 80 pieces of silver, a small lump of dove's dung was selling for 5 pieces of silver and people were starving and eating their babies. Horrified, the king of Israel tore his clothes and put on sackcloth as a sign of despair and threatened to cut off the head of Elisha, the prophet of Israel, and sent a messenger to get him.

The next chapter, 2 Kings 7:1-20, Elisha, being tipped off by God, prophesied to those present that the next day flour and barley would be going for a cheap price at the gate of Samaria. One of the king's main servants expressed his disbelief at this saying and was told by Elisha that he would see it happen but would not take part in it.

Four lepers, sitting outside the city, decided that, since they were going to die anyway, they would enter into the camp of the Syrians and beg for mercy. To their astonishment they found no one there. For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. (2 Kings 7:6-7)

The lepers helped themselves to the food, drinks and spoils that the Syrians had left, then went to the gatekeeper of the city of Samaria and told him what they had found. The king of Israel, believing it was a trap, mustered two remaining horses and tracked the Syrian army into Jordan, observing the clothing and vessels that the Syrians had cast away in their haste to flee.

And the people went out, and spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the LORD. And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who spake when the king came down to him. (2 Kings 7:16-17) All had come to pass as the prophet Elisha had spoken. This is just one of many examples of God moving on behalf of His people to cause their enemies to flee. He will do it for us as well.

With much love, Phil

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

God intends for each of us to walk through life yoked with a special someone who can help us through the journey of life and all the pits and obstacles that are in our path. As believers in Christ, that yoke partner should be Him. Second only to Christ is our spouse. The most effective spousal relationship is one where both are believers on and yoked with Christ, agree on the weightier things and are trustworthy in all their ways.

It takes two to produce children. Once children arrive, there should be a general agreement on how they should be raised and the ground rules that should be followed. The children hopefully will also receive Christ and produce believers of their own.

Business partners need to be of good character and agree on how the business is to be operated. All parties need to be prepared against the temptation to quit when times are not so good and greediness when times are good.

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 18:19)

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Even when two believers are yoked together, there is no guarantee that one or both will not fall. One's character will determine how quickly they repent and dust each other off.

With much love, Phil

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

Here I am in Kenya at Haven on the Hill, realizing that I rarely have to carry a heavy physical burden here. There are staff members, contractors and even the boys at Haven who are more than willing to pick up something and carry it to wherever it is required. I have become spoiled here. All food is prepared for me. Other people do most of the physical work.

There are however, other burdens that no other person can carry for Janice and me, and that is the responsibility we have over this Children's Home and of the children entrusted to our care. Sometimes the decisions we have to make are beyond our intellectual ability or mental capacity to make.

Just as our Lord supplies all of our physical needs, He, when we ask him to take them and cast them upon Him, always relieves the heavy mental and spiritual burdens that we are facing and supplies a solution in the form of wisdom, knowledge and understanding injected directly into our spirits or through other people. It never fails.

This promise from God can and does work for everyone who believes it and puts it to the test. Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

With much love, Phil


Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Jesus, when He came to earth, spent a significant amount of time in different places. After He became well known, people sought Him and followed Him, whether He was in a town, on a mountain, in a wilderness, or by the sea. (Matthew 4:23-25, Matthew 5:1)(Matthew 13:2) Even when He was trying to be alone, people with great curiosity, great need and desperation made their way to Him. (Matthew 14:13-14) They endured difficult journeys, trekked up mountainous trails, traveled to the wilderness and descended to the sea, from other villages and rural areas to see Him, touch Him and better yet, have Him touch them. (Matthew 15:29-31) Jesus was GOOD NEWS to those people.

Things have changed much since those days but Jesus remains the same. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8) He is still GOOD NEWS to us. We don't necessarily need to travel anywhere outside of our hearts and minds to touch Jesus Christ and for him to touch us because His Holy Spirit is everywhere and, when we receive Christ, dwells inside us. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Galatians 4:6) Once we have received Christ our traveling is focused on showing Christ to the world.

With much love, Phil


I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3 John 1:4)

About a week ago, I woke up to the sound of thunder, wind and rain. I got up and went to the back door to look see how hard it was raining. After looking, I went into another room. But then I sensed that I needed to look again. When I did so, I noticed the patio was dry. It had not rained, even though I had been convinced by the thunder and wind that it was raining. Then i sensed the Lord telling me that this is how easy it is to be deceived. I had looked at the patio and the dry patio was a sign that it was not raining. My eyes had seen that the patio was dry but my mind was still convinced that it was wet.

We see people every day who are under deception, spiritual deception that causes the mind to process and believe things that are contrary to the truth. The eyes and ears see, hear and believe lies but the mind does not absorb and process truth when it is encountered because it is convinced that the lies are true. (Romans 1:25) This is spiritual blindness and deafness, and even Christians can fall prey to some of it. We can believe and stubbornly adhere to lies in the political arena, in every day situations, about other people and about ourselves.

All lies and deception originate from the devil and are propagated by people. ...because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44) But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13)

Many people will go to their graves believing lies and rejecting truth. (Matthew 13:15) Many will receive Christ but will still be deceived in some areas. (1 John 1:6) Many will receive Christ and walk in the truth. (John 8:32) The only way to really know the truth is to pray, listen, study the Bible and believe the truth. (John 8:31) (2 Timothy 2:15)

With much love, Phil


And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb... (Revelation 19:9)

All the parables that Jesus spoke in the Bible illustrate spiritual truth contrasting salvation vs. damnation, eternal life vs. spiritual death, acceptance of Christ vs. rejection of Christ, the kingdom of God vs. the kingdom of darkness. Most of the parables use earthly examples or concepts to drive home those truths. All of the parables together tell the same truth from multiple perspectives.

In Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus, in response to a question about the end times, tells a parable to his disciples to illustrate the kingdom of heaven. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:1-13)

The virgins are you and me, the bridegroom is Jesus Christ and the lamps are the spiritual condition of our hearts, based on the word of God. The wise virgins are the ones who believe on and have received Christ according to His word. The foolish virgins are the ones who have not received Him or have rejected Him. The oil is the Holy Spirit who resides in the hearts of the believers. The tarrying of the bridegroom is the upcoming return of Christ to take his believers to the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:9) The sleeping of the virgins is this current age of us dwelling on earth until His return. When it is time to meet the bridegroom, The virgins with oil (believers) are in the light while the virgins without oil (unbelievers) are in darkness. Many unbelievers will scramble to find a way into heaven without receiving Christ. They won't be willing or ready to receive Him until it is too late and the door of opportunity is closed. They won't be able to enter the kingdom of heaven, even with all their bargaining and begging. The tragic response by Jesus on judgment day is "I know you not." The unbelievers are locked out of heaven and destined to an eternity of torment and the believers will be married to Christ.

The parable ends with an admonishment by Jesus for us to watch for His coming and not grow weary of waiting. We need to be the ones with oil for our lamps and help others get their oil before it is too late.

With much love, Phil

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)

I do my best to account for every penny that comes in and goes out, both in our ministry and in our personal finances. Occasionally there is a miss-communication and we catch an omission or mistake, but our accounting systems are able to provide good reporting of our activities and financial position.

Our heavenly Father also has an accounting system. He keeps a book on each of us on all our activities, including our thoughts, speech and actions, good and bad. His accounting is perfect and has no flaws. He loves us, knows us intimately and watches over us closely.

There is another book that God keeps which is the most important of all books, and that is the book of life. In order for us to avoid an eternal hell and enter into eternal life with our Lord, our names must be written in that book. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Revelation 20:12) Our names can remain in the book of life only by receiving Jesus Christ in our hearts.

For those of us whose names are in the book of life, our final judgment is one of rewards. The base reward is living in eternity with the Lord and extra rewards are based on what we have done for His kingdom and for others. Eternal life might be likened to the cake and the extra rewards might be likened to how much ice cream is piled on top. Our frivolous thoughts, words and deeds and those counter-productive to building the Kingdom of God will be burned up with fire and will no longer exist. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

Those whose names are NOT written in the book of life will be cast, along with hell, into the lake of fire. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (Revelation 20:14) Additional suffering will be added to those individuals based on how many others they have led to the same destiny. (Matthew 23:13-14)(Mark 12:39-40)(Luke 20:46-47)

We all should be striving to build our heavenly account. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. (Philippians 4:17)

With much love, Phil

...for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (Revelation 12:10)

The Bible has much to say about the power of our words. Death and life are in the power of the tongue:... (Proverbs 18:21) What comes out of our mouth is usually first processed through our minds and incubated in our hearts. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (Luke 6:45)

As Christians, we are expected to use our tongue to bring forth blessings which build up and bring forth life and to not doublespeak with cursing which tears down and bring forth death. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (James 3:10)

There is a big difference between speaking out against evil and speaking negatively against someone or something. We need to use our voice to resist the devil, stand against evil and promote righteousness, agreeing with God. On the flip side, if we are gossiping, magnifying someone else's flaws, speaking negatively about a church, pastor, relative, friend, coworker, situation or yes, even directing insults against an elected or appointed official, we are agreeing with what the master accuser, the devil is speaking against them and helping him build his case against them. Not only that, we are building up a reaping of the harvest of what we are sowing.

There is no expiration date for our words. They stay alive and are effective in the invisible, spiritual world until they either manifest in the visible, natural world or are counteracted by repentance, other words or terminated by some other means. As humble men and women of God, we tend to think our words are insignificant and that idle words that we speak will just simply dissipate. Not true! But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36) We are forgiven, but the effect of our words will be accounted for. Lord, help us to wisely choose what will proceed from our mouths and help us to use our tongue to build your kingdom. Amen.

With much love, Phil


For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 10:11)

The Bible makes it clear that God will not be ashamed of nor will He deny whoever believes on Jesus Christ and walks with Him. Along with this security there is a requirement on our part, and that is we must not be ashamed of Him or deny belonging to Him. This means that we must be willing and prepared to suffer embarrassment, persecution or more in exchange for the wonderful gift of being in His family and the eternal, abundant life that He has promised us. This is a covenant of mutual trust. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. (1 Peter 4:16)

If we are truly followers of Christ, we must be prepared to answer "Yes" when asked if we are Christian and "No" when it is demanded of us to deny Him, no matter what the cost is to us. We should not be timid when unbelieving friends, co-workers or family members are ridiculing us for our faith. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28) For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. (John 12:43) We must be quick to repent if we fall short in this area and do it right the next time.

The victory of confessing Him is much greater than the shame of denying Him. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)

With much love, Phil

...and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

For the past month or so, circumstances have rejoined me with multiple friends and family members, some of the friends I had not seen for forty or more years. One of the circumstances was a funeral of my older brother. Another was a twenty five year anniversary in ministry of the pastor of a church we had attended for four and a half years. Whatever the situation, for me, it is always good to reconnect in a healthy, GODLY way with people from my past.

For some people, their best friends are family members. For others, non-family members are their preferred company. Some people don't think they have any friends and may have no family. All of us have the opportunity to take advantage of the company of the greatest friend and family member we can possibly have.

Jesus Christ is that best friend. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) He is also our brother. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29) And as members of His body, we are His spouse. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (Romans 7:4)

My friends, there is no need for any of us to be lonely, even if we are alone. We have access to Christ, the greatest friend and family member, and also to all the other members of His body, for eternity. Let us not forsake or neglect that gift.

With much love, Phil


...Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)

Recently, I watched a made for TV series which featured a competition among sixteen contestants, divided into two teams, where a single individual would eventually win a tremendous career prize. As the contestants were eliminated, one by one, I noticed that the individuals who were good teammates tended to last longer before being eliminated and, in the meantime, won more team competitions and experienced more rewards. Even if they did not win the ultimate prize, they got a career boost by lasting longer in the competition. The contestants could not shine as individuals unless they could function well in a team.

In the Kingdom of God, our success is measured by not only completing the race of life toward heaven, (1 Corinthians 9:24)(Hebrews 12:1) but also how we work together to bring others along with us. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; (Hebrews 3:13-14)

Some questions we should ask ourselves: Do we spectate, or do we participate? Are we using our talents effectively? Do we pray for others regularly? Do we rejoice in the success of others? Do we continually show our Lord that we are good teammates?

With much love, Phil

...Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

This is an adaptation of a portion of a message spoken by Marty Gabler today. Once in a while, I hear a message that is too good not to repeat.

Imagine walking on a dark, cloudy night through a narrow trail through some rough Texas timberland filled with trees, briars, clifs, deep streams, wild animals and other obstacles that could be painful or even deadly when encountered. During this walk all we have is our senses, which are handicapped by the darkness, some logical skills, possibly some prior experience and our trusty, never failing adjustable beam flashlight.

As we go, we shine the light directly in front of our feet to help make sure that we do not step on a venomous snake or stumble over a rock or root. We also frequently shine the light ahead of us to identify turns, slopes, water, thorny branches, poisonous plants, skunks, shining eyes, forks in the path or other potentially dangerous elements. Thank God for the flashlight, huh? Without it we would be lost.

Psalm 119:105 informs us of the basic survival tool that we need to travel the path of life. That tool is the word of God, the scriptures, the Bible. The word of God is the light that displaces the spiritual darkness of this world. Oh, and we also have a guide, the Holy Spirit, to steer us safely down that path. (John 16:13)

With much love, Phil

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 2:6)

Have you ever attended an event where there was an atmosphere of purity and people were enjoying one another, reconnecting with friends and relatives and even praying or enjoying a good meal together? Have you ever felt the presence of the Lord God and the accompanying peace and joy inside you? I hope so. That is a small taste of what heaven is like. If we are born again, we can and do experience a bit of heaven every day because we are living in the Kingdom of Heaven right here on this earth at this time. The Spirit of the King (Jesus) is living inside us. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

That pure heavenly feeling is a benefit of being in His Kingdom. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Romans 14:17) Every good thing we experience is a gift. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights,... (James 1:17)

The good things that God has given us on this earth are only a down payment on His heavenly promise. Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (2 Corinthians 1:22)

Even the non-believers, though they will not get to heaven, enjoy the benefits of God's goodness....for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45) We serve a wonderful, marvelous God!

With much love, Phil


As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)

In the early to mid 1990's there was a Christian band duo, named East to West, which had several hit songs during that time. I had the pleasure of seeing them in concert when they were touring. Then in 2007, the Christian artist group Casting Crowns recorded and released a hit song titled East to West. Both the name of the band and the title of the song were based on the theme of God's forgiveness of our sins when we repent of them, as spoken in Psalm 103:12.

Just how far is the East from the West? From the perspective of the earth's geography that God has created, consider that, if we go North searching for South, we will eventually find South at the northernmost point of the earth. If we continue heading South we will eventually find North again at the southernmost of the earth. On the other hand, if we go East searching for West, we will never find West. We will also never find East by going West. There is no directional junction of East and West.

From the perspective of the heavens, there is an incalculable distance between East and West as they both stretch to infinity.

The message from God in this scripture is that neither our minds, our bodies, or the devil or his forces can recover our forgiven sins, now matter how hard they try. That is a testimony of God's great grace and mercy toward us.

With much love, Phil


Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. (Hebrews 2:12)

It is by the name of Jesus Christ that our sins are forgiven. (1 John 2:12)(Acts 10:43) It is by His name that we use our authority to enter into His heavenly throne room in prayer, (Hebrews 4:16) to preach the Gospel, (Luke 24:47) to use our faith to move mountains, (Mark 11:23) to have the power to love one one another on this earth, (1 John 3:23) to dislodge demons and demonic forces (Mark 16:17) and to enjoy the multitude of benefits that we have access to in His kingdom. (John 16:23)

Operating in the name of Jesus is like possessing an endless supply of blank checks, each of which are signed with His signature, that we can fill out and use at any time.

Lifting up the name of Jesus and praising Him and His name causes God to move on our behalf.

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalm 150:6)

With much love, Phil


...For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13)

When His disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, Jesus responded with a prayer, sometimes called "The Lord's prayer", for us to use as a template in all of our various prayers. (Luke 11:1-4) Our focus today centers around one subject of that prayer Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10) Jesus is telling us to ask for God's kingdom to come to earth from heaven.

The Bible refers to His kingdom in some places as the Kingdom of heaven and in other places as the Kingdom of God. Both terms refer to the same Kingdom. Until Jesus came to earth, the Kingdom was located only in heaven. (Psalm 103:19) Then Jesus the servant came and ushered the Kingdom of heaven to earth. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. (Luke 4:43)

After Jesus ascended back to heaven he sent the Holy Spirit, the administrator of the Kingdom, to live in the hearts of believers in Christ. ...for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Romans 14:17) This Kingdom is currently a spiritual kingdom that all Christians belong to forever. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. (Psalm 145:13)

In the future, after a seven year tribulation period, Jesus the King will return to earth with resurrected and living believers and set up His physical Kingdom for 1,000 years. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

When the 1,000 years are finished, Jesus will give the Kingdom back to God the Father, (1 Corinthians 15:24-26) satan will be cast into a lake of fire (Revelation 20:10) along with those who have not received Christ, (Revelation 20:15) a new earth and new heavens will be created (Revelation 21:1), God the Father will come to dwell on earth (Revelation 21:3) and the believers will live forever with Him. (Revelation 22:1-5)

Thank God for what Jesus did for us!!!!

With much love, Phil

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Every so often we catch wind of another dreamed up story that Jesus sinned or otherwise led an an ungodly lifestyle while He was on this earth. To avoid being led away by and to counteract these false doctrines we need to know what the Scriptures say about Jesus and sin, particularly His sinlessness.

Because Jesus was born of a woman who was a virgin, His actual father was God. He is the Son of God by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:34-35) and the son of man through His ancestor David and His mother Mary. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: (Romans 1:3-4) He was born without the sin nature that the rest of us are born with. He was blameless and without the blemish of sin throughout His life, even though He was tempted by the devil in every way. (Luke 22:44)(Hebrews 4:15, 12:4) He was and is the spotless lamb of God who was born to take away OUR own sins. (Isaiah 53:5)(John 1:29)(Colossians 2:14)

(2 Corinthians 5:21) tells us that Jesus knew no sin, but He was willingly made to BE sin for us, the sinners, so that we could be made the righteous of God. Only God knows for sure everything that was involved in making Jesus to be sin. What is clear is that His suffering and agony went infinitely beyond that of thousands of others who endured cruel whippings and crucifixion. His blood was shed so that our sins can be forgiven (Colossians 1:14) and He gave His body up to torture, death and resurrection so that we can live forever with Him after our own lives on this earth are over. (John 6:51) To do that, we must receive Him (John 1:12).

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

With much love, Phil


For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Acts 1:5)

The living God is three persons in one. An analogy to the makeup of God would be three connected vessels of an unlimited amount of water, representing the Father, the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. The three vessels function as one. If we pour water out of one vessel it is the same water - it came out of a different vessel but from the same source. So, whether the "water" is coming from the Father, Jesus or the Holy Spirit, it is still the same "water", the Godhead.

The Holy Spirit, sent to us by Jesus (John 16:7), is called the Holy Ghost and the Comforter (John 14:26) and is referred to as the Spirit of truth, guide, teacher and one who reveals things to come, (John 16:13, 14:26) one who reproves (John 16:8), a gift to us (Acts 2:38), one who always points us to Jesus Christ. (John 15:26) The Holy Spirit impregnated the virgin Mary with Jesus. (Luke 1:35) He inspired all the words in the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16)(2 Peter 1:21)

When we are born again, the Holy Spirit lives in us. (2 Corinthians 1:22)(Galatians 4:6) If we yield ourselves, He fills us, speaks to us, gives us the character of God (Galatians 5:22-23) and liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17) and empowers us with our spiritual gifts and callings. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

It is important to know that the Holy Spirit is equal to God and IS God.

With much love, Phil

A just weight and balance are the LORD'S: all the weights of the bag are his work. (Proverbs 16:11)

The Bible makes references to God's use of balances (scales) and weights in reference to His evaluation of each of us on this earth. His balances are just and righteous. On one side of the balance is wickedness, including rejecting of His Son Jesus Christ. On the other side is righteousness, including salvation through Jesus Christ. In the case of Belchazzar, a king of the Chaldeans in Daniel's day, his balance was weighted as wicked. ...Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. (Daniel 5:27) During Job's troubles, he requested that God use an even balance to weigh him. Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. (Job 31:6) In general, the weighing of the righteous is favorable. The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. (Isaiah 26:7)

As believers on Jesus (the righteous), we are admonished to put down the weights of sin and worldly attachments which drag us down and to keep running the race of Christian life. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1)

We are assured that the measured eternal weight of the righteous is glory! For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (2 Corinthians 4:17)

With much love, Phil


Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

The Apostle Peter must have been a good sleeper. There are at least three instances in the Bible where Peter is mentioned as sleeping during critical times.

Jesus had taken Peter, James and John with him into a mountain to pray. While Jesus was praying and Peter and the others were sleeping, Jesus was covered in glory and talked with Moses and Elijah about His impending crucifixion. Peter awakened during this and while he was babbling about putting Jesus, Moses and Elijah up for the night, God interrupted him and told them to listen to Jesus. (Luke 9:28-35)

Again, Jesus had taken Peter, James and John to Gethsemane to pray with Him about His impending crucifixion, Jesus prayed and Peter and the others fell asleep. Peter later denied knowing Jesus because he had slept instead of praying. (Mark 14:32-42)

Finally, after killing James, Herod threw Peter in prison, intending to deliver him to be killed as well. The night before Peter was to be delivered, he was sleeping, bound in chains between two soldiers while the church was praying for him. An angel slapped Peter's side to awaken him, caused his chains to fall off and led him through gates, past guards and to freedom into the street. (Acts 12:2-11)

In all three instances, God had Peter's back when he woke up, because someone was praying. He stopped Peter from taking over a supernatural event. He restored Peter after he denied Him. He delivered Peter from prison.

What is the message here? After these experiences Peter wrote Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:7-8) We can cast our cares on Jesus and sleep, but we also need to wake up and be vigilant. We all need to pray.

With much love, Phil

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8)

One of the most dangerous mistakes a Christian can make is to not recognize when our enemy, the devil, satan, is attempting to cause us to align with him. We need to remind ourselves that the devil is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and the world's way of thinking and doing are not God's ways. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)

Ignorance of God's word is dangerous. We, as believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, need to study and know the word of God and judge every voice that speaks to us against the words that God speaks to us through the Bible. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1) To fail to do so opens us up to every manner of deceit and can leave us unwittingly serving the desires of the devil. This can happen even within the church and certainly out in the everyday world. Remember, satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

Put on the full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:13-18) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

With much love, Phil


Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. (John 10:7)

Because of sin there is a spiritual disconnection and separation between God and mankind. A man or woman can only reconnect with God by going through a door, not just any door but THE door. That door is Jesus. Any other spiritual door is authored by the devil.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:1-10)

Jesus stands at and knocks on the door of the hearts of each person and requests that we open that door so that He can enter in. He will not force His way in, we have to open that door. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)

When we open that door, not only does Jesus enter into our heart (spirit) but He gives us complete access into the kingdom of God and all of the benefits therein. Please encourage others to open that door.

With much love, Phil

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7)

No Christian is exempt from falling into sin. Sin comes in all forms. All sin brings death of some sort.

King David of Israel was riding high after a series of war victores and God had greatly blessed him. Then, in a moment of weakness, he committed adultery with the wife of one of the soldiers in Israel's army and subsequently, in an attempt to cover up his sin, committed treason against Israel by using their army to murder the soldier. (2 Samuel 11:1-27, 12:1-14) David, his family and Israel all suffered severe consequences for David's sins.

The great apostle Peter also sinned by being full of pride, not being in prayer and needlessly putting himself into a position where he denied knowing Jesus in order to save his own skin. (Matthew 26:40-41)(Luke 22:31-34, 22:54-62)

David, Peter and any one of us who sin will be restored by the following process:

  • Acknowledging and accepting responsibility for the sin and repenting. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. (2 Samuel 12:13) And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:75)
  • Asking God to restore us and cooperate with Him. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalm 51:12) God has a great eraser and is eager to use it.
  • Teaching and helping others that are struggling with sin. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luk 22:32) Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. (Psalm 51:13)

Psalm 51:1-19 is king David's prayer of confession and repentance of his sins and petition for restoration.

The two examples given are high profile sins. The low profile and hidden sins are just as serious and the forgiveness and restoration are just as sure. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

With much love, Phil

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)

The first recorded action taken by God after creating the heaven and the earth was to command light to be manifest in the lifeless darkness that covered the earth. He separated the light and darkness into day and night. (Genesis 1:1-18) That daily cycle of day and night will continue until the darkness no longer resides on earth. (Revelation 22:5)

When Adam sinned (Genesis 3:1-24), darkness gained a foothold into God's creation and as a result, there is an ongoing war between darkness, destruction and death ruled by satan versus light, restoration and life provided by God through Jesus Christ. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (John 1:4) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12) See also (2 Corinthians 4:3-6) (John 3:20-21).

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7)

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: (Colossians 1:12-13)

With much love, Phil


Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)

Most of us have heard the declaration "There's a new sheriff in town.", the implication being that things are going to be different from now on. Well, Jesus Christ made similar declarations when He brought the kingdom of God from heaven to earth. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles. (Mark 2:22) The message is that things and people are changing now that the new wine has arrived.

Who and what is the new wine? The prophet Isaiah told us that Christ, the new wine, is coming. Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all. And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. (Isaiah 65:8-9)

Jesus made a demonstration of the new wine when He performed His first miracle at a wedding in Cana where He caused jars of water to be turned into wine, which the ruler of the feast stated was better than the first batch of man-made wine, which had run out. Jesus' glory was manifest at that point. (John 2:1-11)

After Jesus ascended back to heaven, the new wine was demonstrated by the Holy Spirit which had just filled the disciples who were speaking in other tongues in Jerusalem. Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. (Acts 2:13) They were right about the new wine but wrong about them being drunk with liquid wine. (Acts 2:1-18)

Things definitely changed with Christ. New sheriff indeed.

With much love, Phil

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches... (Revelation 2:7)

In the Bible book of Revelation, the Apostle John received visions and instructions from Jesus Christ. One such vision was of seven candlesticks and the image of Christ walking among the seven candlesticks, holding seven stars in his right hand. The candlesticks represent the seven churchs in Asia. The stars represent the angels, ministering spirits, of the seven churches. The seven churches were in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. Jesus instructed Paul to write down what he sees and send a message to the seven churches by of their respective angels. Jesus Showed John the past, the present and the future. (Revelation 1:10-20)

Here is a condensed version of the message that each church received. The compliments, exhortations and promises in these messages also apply to each church in the world, and to each of us as individuals.

Church Compliment Exhortation Promise to overcomers
Ephesus (Rev 2:1-7) Have not fainted, hates evil, exposed false apostles, hate the deeds of the Nicolatians. Left their first love. Will lose their place if they do not repent from falling. Christ will give to eat of the tree of life.
Smyrna (Rev 2:8-11) Good works, been through tribulation and poverty but they are are rich. Do not fear what they are going to suffer (prison, tribulation). Be faithful unto death and receive a crown of life. Shall not be hurt by second death.
Pergamos (Rev 2:12-17) Held on to the name of Jesus Christ, even where Satan's seat is. Have not denied their faith. Tolerated those who hold the teaching of Baalam (eating as a sacrifice to idols and sexual immorality). Also tolerated the teachings of the Nicolaitans, which God hates. Repent, or Christ will fight against them with the sword of His mouth. Shall eat of the hidden manna, receive a white stone with a new, secret name written in it.
Thyatira (Rev 2:18-39) Good increasing works of charity, service, faith and patience. Tolerated the woman Jezebel, a false prophet who taught and seduced His servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols. Did not repent. Her children (followers) will have great tribulation and death if they do not repent. To those who do not follow Jezebel there is no further burden. Hold fast until I come. Will be given power (authority) over the nations.
Sardis (Rev 3:1-6) Some have not become spiritually dead, but almost all of the others are. Be watchful, strengthen those things that are not yet dead but are ready to die. Their ways are not perfect before God. If they do not watch and repent, He will come upon them as a thief at a time they do not know. Will be clothed in white and will not have their name blotted out of the book of life. Jesus will confess their name before his Father and his angels.
Philadelphia (Rev 3:7-13) They have an open door, a little strength, have kept His word and not denied His name. The ones of the synagogue of Satan will worship before their (Philadelphia's) feet and know that He loves them. He will keep them from the hour of temptation which will come upon all the world. He will come quickly. Will be made a pillar in the temple of God and will have the name of God, and the name of the New Jerusalem and a new name written on them.
Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22) None. They are lukewarm, not hot or cold. They think they are rich but they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. He will spew them out of His mouth if they do not repent. He stands at the door and knocks. Will sit with Jesus in His throne as He sits with the Father in His throne.

With much love, Phil

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19)

Jesus invited twelve otherwise ordinary, unqualified men to drop what they were doing and follow Him. Those men accepted His invitation and embarked on a journey that was packed with excitement.

Jesus worked for around three years preaching to, teaching and healing masses of people wherever he went. At the same time, He put His disciples through intensive preparation for their calling.

Jesus used the technique of object lessons to teach His disciples to trust and obey Him. One example is found in Luke 5:1-11 where Jesus, at the beginning of His ministry, approached Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John after they had fished all night with no success. He instructed them to launch their boat out and let down their fishing nets. They obeyed and caught so many fish that their net broke and the fish were gathered with great difficulty. Jesus invited them to come and become fishers of men. All four men immediately left their fishing business, equipment and all, and followed Jesus. The breaking of the net signified that they were not ready to fish for men yet.

Another object lesson is found in John 21:2-11 where Jesus, after His resurrection, appeared on the shore to seven of the disciple fishermen, who again had caught nothing, and instructed them to let the net down on the other side. They obeyed and caught 153 very large fish, but their net did not break, signifying that the disciples were now trained and ready to be fishers of men.

Eleven of the twelve disciples, because of their trust in and obedience to Jesus became Apostles and were instrumental in launching a worldwide harvest, not of fish but human souls into the kingdom of God. We can also harvest souls if we trust, obey and fish.

With much love, Phil


...Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:13)

Mammon is a false god who's system the world serves. The primary, but not the only characteristic of mammon worship is the love and coveting of money as opposed to loving God. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:10) There is no room for the One True God in mammon worship.

Jesus, in the presence of His disciples and some Pharisees, teaches us a powerful parable in (Luke 16:1-16), giving an example of mammon worship. In this parable, a rich man in the mammon system confronted a dishonest steward who had been entrusted with some of the man's affairs. The man dismissed the steward from his duties. (Luke 16:2) The distraught steward, wanting to land on his feet, sought to make friends with his mammon worshiping associates. (Luke 16:4-5) He collaborated with them one by one to further defraud the rich man by reducing their debts to him. (Luke 16:6-7) The rich man could not help but to commend the steward for his shrewdness and worldly wisdom, even as the steward was stealing from him. (Luke 16:8)

Jesus concluded the parable by stating that those in the world's mammon system (The lost) have more worldly wisdom than the children of light (The saved). Then, He told the mammonist Pharisees that when they make friends with mammon they will all end up in everlasting hell. (Luke 16:9)

Jesus went on to explain that unfaithfulness is a losing character trait, even with unrighteous mammon, and stressed that the true riches (The kingdom of heaven) requires faithfulness. (Luke 16:10-12) He then delivered the ultimatum. No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:13)

This teaching hit a nerve with the Pharisees, who rejected His admonishment. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. (Luk 16:14)

As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

With much love, Phil


But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Peter 2:9)

People have a tendency to either hate, dislike, speak badly about, condemn, praise, idolize or love people based on what we think they should be doing or saying or by what others are saying about them.

God sees the lost as flawed people in need of a savior. He knows people are not good For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23) but He loves us regardless. (John 3:16) There is a calling for a special purpose on each of our lives. Each one of us has a special assignment.

Our biggest calling (invitation) is to Receive Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives. Once we accept that invitation, we set out on the road to fulfill that calling. We are adopted into God's family. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12) We become instruments of righteousness. (Romans 6:13) We are not sinners any more. Our sins are forgiven. We are made holy. We become saints. (Romans 1:7)

At that point, we are expected to start thinking, acting, reacting and doing differently, one step at a time, starting as baby Christians. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) We are not to stay babies. And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:1) His grace is sufficient for every situation. (1 Peter 1:2)

At the end of this life, we who are in Christ will reap our eternal rewards. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1Co 3:12-15)

With much love, Phil

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:17)

When we see the word "saved" in the Bible it means preserved from evil. The most important evil that we are saved from is when we receive salvation through Jesus Christ. This saves us from an eternity of torment in hell after we die. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)(1 Timothy 1:15)

In the meantime, we who are in Christ are saved from all kinds of evil that the devil would perpetrate against us. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. (Psalm 107:13) Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:22-23)

God delivers His elect (the saved) from the coming wrath. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

Towards the end of this age, as the world grows more and more evil, God saves mankind from killing each other to extinction during the great tribulation. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. (Mark 13:20)

Salvation through Jesus Christ provides us with a lifetime and eternity of benefits and protections.

With much love, Phil

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. (1Co 3:11-13)

There is a nursery rhyme, written in the 1800's, about three little pigs, each of whom built a house. The first little pig made his house out of straw, the second made house out of sticks and the third made his house out of bricks. Along came a wolf and demanded that the first pig let him into his house, which he refuses to do. The wolf blows down the straw house and devours the first pig. The same scenario is repeated with the second pig and his house of sticks. The emboldened wolf then confronts the third pig and his house of bricks in the same manner but in unable to blow the brick house down. The wolf attempts to trick this wise pig into coming out of his house and fails. The wolf then climbed down the chimney of the brick house and ends up being cooked in a cauldron and eaten by the third pig.

Looking at this classic story from a Biblical point of view, the three little pigs represent you and me. The wolf represents the devil who goes about seeking who he can devour. (1 Peter 5:8) The houses of straw and sticks are built upon the sand of emotions, personal ambitions, concern about what others are thinking about us, fleshly desires and the ways of the world. (Matthew 7:6) The house of bricks is built on the rock of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 7:24) The wind from the wolf represents the floods and storms in life that the devil sends our way.

When the floods and storms hit the straw and stick houses there is nothing to hold them up and nothing to protect the occupants from the devil. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:27)

When the floods and storms hit the brick house, it stands and the occupant is safe. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. (Matthew 7:25)

Just like the wolf who ended up being eaten, the devil is a defeated foe and can not devour us if we resist him with the Word of God. (Isaiah 14:12-19)

With much love, Phil

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (Colossians 2:6)

As Christians, Sons of God and members of the body of Christ, there is a resolution that we can make that is guaranteed to help us become better persons, and that is to be more like Jesus Christ. Being like Christ involves loving and serving God (Matthew 22:37-40) and one another, (John 13:14-15) walking in faith and following righteousness, (1 Timothy 6:11) forgiving everyone who we believe has done us wrong, especially if they repent to us, (Mark 11:25-26) being willing to suffer for following Him, (1 Peter 2:21) and walking in the leading of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:1-2)

Being more like Christ is not all that hard, but it does require thoughtfulness, prayer, practice and perseverence.

Paul prayed a wonderful prayer for the Ephesians that we can grasp onto. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

Happy New Year, Phil

...and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Revelation 20:12)

Does predestination mean that God has already picked and chosen, as a type of lottery system, those who are going to be saved and those who are not? NO! God predestined, or foreordained, His Son Jesus to redeem us by His blood. (1 Peter 1:18-20) Jesus came to this earth for the purpose of saving us all.

We, who are not God, as individuals, do not have the option of merely kicking back and seeing if God has predestined salvation for us as if there is nothing we can do about it. We are ALL predestined to be saved. It is His will that we be saved. It is our choice whether we will walk in that predestination by receiving that salvation. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (Ephesians 1:4-5)

Can God look into the future and know whether we will choose to be saved? Absolutely. He knows the end from the beginning. He has possession of the book of life. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:10) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (Revelation 22:13) He will occasionally, mercifully, give us glimpses into our future, but He has already given us His word and every tool that we need to help us make the right decision regarding our salvation - He will not make our choices for us. He has called each of us decide for ourselves and to help lead others to that predestined salvation and have our name remain recorded in the book of life.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15) Let us choose life instead.

Merry Christmas to all of you! Phil

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:33)

We know from the Bible that after the great tribulation, Jesus Christ will set up His physical kingdom on this earth for 1,000 years. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)

In the meantime, satan has formulated, and is aggressively executing, a master plan to set up his own kingdom. He uses millions of willing or unwitting minions to implement his plan and circumvent God's plan. Communism, Socialism, Islam, Secularism, Leftism, Progressivism, Liberalism, ... are all packages influenced by satan in an attempt to consolidate and mature his antichrist one world government. One might call Socialism the devil's religion as he wants everyone to worship him instead of the One True God. All who follow the groups inspired by the devil are on the losing team.

The devil, at the end of the great tribulation, thinking he is close to attaining what he has always lusted for, gathers his armies in an attemp to stop Christ from coming to earth again. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. (Revelation 16:16) And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:19-21) God slays those armies with the breath of his mouth.

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:2-4) During that short time after the 1,000 years, satan is released from the pit and once again leads an attempt to overthrow the kingdom of God but is quickly snuffed out and then he is thrown into the lake of fire forever.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.(Psalm 2:1-4)

With much love, Phil


And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:4)

At Haven on the Hill, our Children's Home in Kenya, There is a species of beetle called "Nairobi Fly" which is indigenous to our area. One of the characteristics of these insects is they are very much attracted to light. At night, when there is darkness, when they sense a light of any kind, unlike some other types of insects which run from the light, they immediately make their way toward the source of the light.

The Bible is very clear that, in the spiritual realm, there is a kingdom of darkness which is controlled by satan , and there is a kingdom of light, brought into this world through Jesus Christ. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6) Each of us belongs to one of these kingdoms. By default, because of sin, we reside in the darkness.

We as God's human creatures, by choice, tend to either hide or run from the light and live in darkness, or shun the darkness and live in the light. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (Ephesians 5:8) It is a good practice to pray for those who are in darkness.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)

With much love, Phil


Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. (Psalm 31:24)

From time to time, due to circumstances and/or the whispers and shouts from the devil, we all suffer the temptation to be discouraged. It is important that we do not give in to those forces designed to stop us from accomplishing God's will and purpose. To not give in takes courage.

To encourage is to embolden and to give or increase confidence of success. As followers of Christ, each of us are called to stand with and help one another. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. (1 John 4:11) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (Hebrews 10:24) Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

As much we can be encouraged by others, God is our ultimate strengthener. Spending a few hours or even minutes conversing with our Lord can give us all the boldness, courage and wisdom we need for our situation. ...but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. (1 Samuel 30:6)

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psalm 27:14)

With much love, Phil


And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. (Acts 16:9)

As soon as the apostle Paul received a nighttime vision of the nation of Macedonia asking for help, he, Silas and Timothy traveled to the city of Philippi to preach the gospel to the Macedonians. (Acts 16:9-12) The first recorded person there to receive Jesus Christ and be baptized was a woman named Lydia and then, her household. Lydia lodged Paul and his team at her house during their stay.

Then trouble started when Paul cast a devil out of a woman. Paul and Silas were subsequently beaten and thrown in jail, which led to the jailer and his household receiving salvation. (Acts 16:16-40)

From those auspicious beginnings, through many trials and much suffering and persecution, churches sprang up across Macedonia and flourished. The believers at Macedonia, in the midst of their own poverty and afflictions, gave with joy offerings for the poor saints at Jerusalem and in support of the preaching of the gospel. (Romans 15:26)(2 Corinthians 8:1-5)(2 Corinthians 11:9)(Philippians 4:15)

The Macedonian church was started in obedience to a vision from the Lord. Are we obeying our visions?

With much love, Phil


What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (Luke 15:4)

If there ever is any doubt of how much God cares for you and me we can go to the scriptures and be reassured of how much He loves every person, lost or saved. If we are lost, He goes out of His way to seek us out. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? (Luke 15:8) This tells us that whether there is ten, ninety nine or 99 billion people, God would have sent His Son Jesus Christ to seek out the one (you or me) who still needs salvation. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10) Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:14)

Jesus told us very clearly the value of every one of us to Him. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7)

With much love, Phil

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)

As we head into the Thanksgiving season, let us look at something that we should be thankful for, namely the fact that the fall of Adam into sin did not dictate our final destiny. The Bible gives us several points of contrast between Adam and Christ. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45)

Several more contrasts between the two men are given to us in Romans 5:12-19.

  • Through the offence of one (Adam), many are dead spiritually, but the gift of the grace of God by one man (Jesus Christ), abounds to many (who receive Him). (Rom 5:15)
  • The judgment by one man (Adam) was condemnation, but the free gift (salvation through Christ) provides justification for our many sins. (Rom 5:16)
  • Death reigned by one man's (Adam) offence, but abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life by Jesus Christ. (Rom 5:17)
  • By one man's (Adam) offence all men were condemned, but the righteousness of one man (Christ) gave all men the opportunity to be justified. (Rom 5:18)
  • By one man's (Adam) disobedience all were made sinners, but by the obedience of one man (Christ) many (who receive Him) shall be made righteous. (Rom 5:19)

Even if we cannot think of anything else to be thankful for, this truth is more than enough to keep us abounding in joy. Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. (2 Corinthians 4:14)

With much love, Phil


When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:11)

At our Children's Home in Kenya, Haven on the Hill, we provide a home for 27 young boys. There is no age or maturity requirement for any of our boys to come to live at Haven. However, as part of growing up as a family, each boy has responsibilities of doing chores. Some of those chores can be performed by the younger boys but some chores require older boys who have the demonstrated ability to think like men when they are working. The boys are expected to mature so they can be trusted with higher level work.

So it is in the Kingdom of God. Anyone can, by choice, repent and receive Jesus Christ and enter in. We start out as spiritual babies and are fed the basics of the word of God, spiritual milk, to enable us to grow, and we are expected to grow to maturity. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. (Luke 18:17)

However, many of us are very slow to grow to full spiritual maturity and some even stay spiritual babies. And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) This prevents God from being able to trust us with higher level spiritual work and limits our rewards. Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (1 Corinthians 14:20)

Ideally, we will quickly grow up to feed on the meat of the word of God and be productive members in the kingdom of God. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ephesians 4:11-12)

With much love, Phil


(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. (Romans 11:8)

There is physical sleep, which we need regularly, that rests our bodies and helps us to remain healthy. There is also a spiritual sleep, which is dangerous and has eternal consequences. One can spiritually sleep through blessings, opportunities to resist the devil (Luke 22:46) and, to the extreme, through all our opportunities to receive salvation through Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 56:10)

God calls those who are in a spiritual slumber to wake up and open our eyes and ears to spiritual things. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler. (Proverbs 6:4-5) Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:6) Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. (1 Corinthians 15:34)

Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. (Ephesians 5:14)

With much love, Phil

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (John 11:25)

The Gospel of John records a great event in the Jesus Christ's ministry on this earth. (John 11:1-57) Jesus and his disciples had traveled to the wilderness following several exchanges with some very contentious Jewish religious leaders who tried and failed to stone Him. Then Jesus received word from Bethany that his friend Lazarus was sick. He reassured His disciples that this sickness would not result in death. Instead of going immediately to heal Lazarus, He delayed two days until He knew that Lazarus was dead before He headed to Bethany to "awake him out of sleep." The reason for Jesus purposefully waiting until Lazarus was dead was "to the intent that you may believe."

When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Lazarus, Martha and Mary's home, Lazarus had been dead four days. Martha met Him outside and lamented that He wasn't there to keep Lazarus from dying. Jesus responded "Thy brother shall rise again." Martha responded that she knows that he will be resurrected at the last day. Jesus responded with the all-important "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die..."

There is more. Jesus wept over the people that He knew would not believe in Him, even after witnessing what He was about to do. (Luke 16:31)(Luke 23:28)(Luke 19:41-44) After praying that those who were present would believe, He called alive a stinking, decaying corpse out of the grave and demonstrated that He IS the resurrection.

This event was a preview of His own resurrection and also of the resurrection we will all experience. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28-29)

With much love, Phil

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)

As citizens or legal residents of the USA, we are blessed to live under a form of government known as a Republic (not a Democracy), operating within the framework of a Constitution. Our Constitution specifies three equal branches of government, Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Each state also has its own governmental framwork and operates within the parameters of the USA Constitution. All members of these three branches are either elected by those of us who have the legal right to vote, or appointed by the appropriate elected members. All members are in place to be our servants and to represent us.

God's Word admonishes us to pray for and be thankful for our fellow man and for our governmental servants. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (1 Timothy 2:1-2) Because we have the right and privilege to elect most of our servants, we have an additional responsibility of choosing them and choosing them wisely, as they have great influence over the affairs of this nation and we have great influence over them. When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. (Proverbs 29:2)

So, how should we as followers of Christ vote? Remember that God Himself is righteous. The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. (Psalm 145:17) We should, to the best of our abilities, know the Word of God and, with an open mind, research the voting records and inclinations of each candidate and vote for the ones who come closest to adhering to our constitution and to God's Word and character.

We must remember that possessing the right to vote makes it a responsibility to vote.

Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Matthew 13:43)

With much love, Phil

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Psalm 127:3)

The biggest battle being fought in our nation is the "Right to choose". Right to choose means women (and men) want the legal latitude to choose to abort their unborn baby for any reason. This is a spiritual issue but the world has made it political. It means life and death for millions of human lives. As Christians, we need know to why we should (and must) defend the unborn and repent as a nation for facilitating and financing the abortions of millions of babies.

There is an argument that a baby in the womb is not a human. The Bible does not support this argument. Elizabeth's baby responded to the presence of Mary, who had just conceived Jesus in her own womb. For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. (Luke 1:44) Esau and Jacob struggled in Rebekah's womb from the time they were conceived (Genesis 25:21-23) and this struggle continued through their adulthood. The prophet Jeremiah was ordained before he was conceived. Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5) Jesus Himself was named by God through an angel before He was conceived. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. (Luke 2:21)

The Bible forbids shedding innocent blood, another way of saying murder, manslaughter, homicide, abortion, ... Thou shalt not kill. (Exodus 20:13) And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. (Psalm 106:36-38)

If we willingly abort or consent to abort a baby, that means that we either are not aware of the ramifications or we love ourselves more than we love the child. We are unjustly ending innocent life and shedding innocent blood. We are, after making the baby, determining that someone does not deserve the chance to live his/her life. We are sacrificing our children to make it convenient to sin. We need to remember that God is the giver of life and satan is the destroyer of life.

As with all sins, there is forgiveness through Jesus Christ for the sin of abortion, if there is true repentance.

With much love, Phil

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)

Given the increasing attacks from so many fronts on marriage, family and even the sexual identity of male and female, it is vital that we, as Christians, are equipped to stand firm on God's view on marriage and sexuality as recorded in the Bible and to know why we are standing.

First of all, God blesses marriage between one man and one woman and condemns fornication (sex outside of marriage) and adultery (sex where one or both of the partners is married to someone else.) Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4) See also (1 Corinthians 6:15-20) (Galatians 5:19-21). God equates fornication and adultery with committing idolatry with false Gods. (Jeremiah 3:8-9).

Man on man and woman on woman sex (homosexuality) is also condemned. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (1 Corinthians 6:9) See also (Romans 1:26-29)

God did not intend for married couples to be divorced. Divorce is a result of hardened hearts. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:4-6)

God equates the relationship between husband and wife with the relationship between the Father and Christ and Christ and the church. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3) See also (Ephesians 5:23-25)

Marriage, from the beginning of creation, is the basic structure of the family as God designed it. There is forgiveness for all of these deviations from God's design of man/wife marriage if there is true repentance.

With much love, Phil

And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:69)

A few nights ago, Janice and I watched a 1963 movie, Lilies of the Field, starring Sidney Poitier. His character, Homer Smith, a young Baptist, began helping some Catholic nuns build a chapel. During the construction, a man of means was motivated to donate some materials and also to help build. Another man asked him what motivated him to help. He responded that he did not believe in God or life after death but just in case he was wrong, he was doing it for "insurance". It immediately hit me that he was attempting to buy Heaven Insurance with his personal resources.

There are so many people in this world, even many professing believers on Jesus Christ, that, when asked how they know that they are going to heaven, their response is "Because I am a good person and I help a lot of people." Heaven insurance costs but never pays off. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23)

On the other hand, Heaven assurance is free simply by believing on Jesus Christ and receiving Him. And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:30-31) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (Hebrews 10:22-23)

Any eternal rewards for good works are given only if they are built on top of the foundation of our salvation, which is Jesus Christ. Any good works done on any other foundation will not be eternally rewarded. (1 Corinthians 3:8-15)

With much love, Phil

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Our heart is the lifecenter of our entire being. It is a partner with our spirit and the connection between our soul and our body. The heart is heavily influenced by our mind.

The biggest obstacle to someone turning to God and receiving Jesus Christ is a hardened heart. (John 12:40)(Daniel 5:20)(Mark 6:52) Only by breaking up the stony heart can we receive salvation.

Even Christians are subject to developing a hardened heart. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13) The surest symptom of a hardening heart is when our love for God and our compassion for others grows cold. We might find ourselves not being as enthused about God's word and what God is doing like we once were. We become self absorbed. We might not laugh or cry as easily as before. We might be less eager to forgive. We might become enamored with the world's affairs. We might even start doubting the God''s word.

If we find ourselves in that situation and realize it, that is the Holy Spirit giving us a wakeup call. There is hope! Our restoration is only a repentance away. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Revelation 3:19)

With much love, Phil


And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:22)

Jesus gave us a great example of how to use our voice to great effect by speaking a curse on a fig tree. (Matthew 21:19-20) The fig tree immediately began drying up by the roots and died. Jesus used that event as an aid to teach us how to use our faith and words to move mountains. A mountain is any problem that is impossible for us to solve by natural means.

Jesus told us the key to moving mountains. One requirement is to speak to the problem and command it to be moved. Another requirement is to have faith and not doubt in our minds or hearts. Speaking and commanding by themselves are not effective in getting God to intervene if we do not have faith the size of a mustard seed, meaning pure faith uncorrupted by doubt in any form. See (Matthew 17:20)(Matthew 21:21-22) (Mark 11:23) The third requirement is to do what He directs us to do.

During the 18 years of building and operating a children's orphanage in Kenya, Janice and I have encountered several mountains that have obstructed our path, mountains that were too big and too ominous for us to budge on our own. We needed God to move them. One of those mountains appeared in the form of power poles and lines. The electric company, while we were not there, installed power lines on our property all along where we had some type of building construction planned. This not only prevented us from building on a large, strategic area, but the lines went directory over our borehole (water well), making it very dangerous to pull the pump for maintenance and repairs. When we confronted the power company, they wanted $6,000 to move the poles and lines. Our response was that we know God was going to work on our behalf and that was what came out of our mouth. We did not know how but we new those poles were not there permanently. Over the course of several years, a series of circumstances arose which resulted in the poles being moved by the power company to a place where they were no longer obstructing us - and it did not cost us anything!

If we have child-like faith, not doubting is easy. If our faith has cracks in it, it needs repairing. At that point, we can appeal to the Lord to restore the mustard seed sized faith, and He will do it. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. (Luke 17:5) And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (Mark 9:24)

With much love, Phil

For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. (Luke 12:2)

Jesus admonishes us not to tell others of our good deeds in order to give glory to ourselves. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:3-4) All the glory belongs to God and He will make our deeds known at the appointed time.

On the other hand, if we are living in secret sin, we are encouraged to repent and confess our sins to God. Our sins are surely known to Him, and if we choose to continue to sin in secret, we will surely suffer the embarrassment of having our sins exposed for others to see. God is merciful and forgiveness accompanies repentance. It is better to repent and confess now than to suffer public shame later. (Psalm 90:8)(Ecclesiastes 12:14)(Jeremiah 23:24)(Psalm 19:12)(Jeremiah 23:24)(Numbers 32:23)(2 Samuel 12:1-14)(Psalm 51:6-13)

There is one thing that we should not keep secret, and that is our faith in Jesus Christ. We are expected to shine the light of the Gospel to the world, and that involves showing/ telling others what the Lord has done for us and what He can do for them. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. (Luke 11:33)

With much love, Phil

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:20)

As believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we are expected to bear much good spiritual fruit, fruits of righteousness, (Philippians 1:11) fruit that influences other people to follow and continue to follow Christ. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:8) When any person comes to faith in Jesus Christ, he/she adds to the harvest that God reaps from the seed that Jesus sowed into the earth by His death, burial and resurrection. (James 5:7)(Matthew 9:37-38)

The fruits of righteous that each of us are expected to show others, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,meekness and temperance are listed in (Galatians 5:22-23)

Occasionally, I venture into social media and join conversations dominated by others who have values and beliefs that are not in line with scripture. Most times the environment is hostile to opposing viewpoints. I became focused on making sound points which presented fact and truth to the best of my abilities and knowledge. Later I would rehearse my comments and seek the Lord on how I could have been more persuasive. The Holy Spirit clearly asked me if the participants in the thread sensed anything about me that was Christ like and if anything I said pierced their heart. (Hebrews 4:12) He showed me that it is more important to show the fruit of the Spirit than it is to win the argument. This simple correction changed my primary focus to winning the others to Christ, speaking truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and downplaying the importance of winning the debate. It also helped me to be more immune to the insults and vile that one invites when he/she invades the devil's territory.

We all are capable of bearing bad fruit, but we should always be mindful of what fruits we are producing and be determined to produce fruits of righteousness.

With much love, Phil


...thou art the helper of the fatherless. (Psalm 10:14)

There are several types of fathers, starting with natural, blood fathers. Natural fathers, along with natural mothers, are designed by God to be the most influential people and the primary nurturers in the lives of their children. God, in his mercy, in light of the fact that many children have been deprived of the presence of a natural father, has provided children with ways in which that critical gap in their lives can be filled. This also works in reverse in that God provides opportunities to some who otherwise have no children to be fathers.

Fathers by adoption are the closest replacement to natural fathers in that he legally makes a fatherless child his own child. We ourselves are legally adopted by our Father in heaven when we receive His own Son Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:15)(Galatians 4:5)(Ephesians 1:5)

Fathers in foster families agree to take in children without legally adopting them. A good foster father raises children on a temporary basis as if they were blood children. An example of a foster father is Joseph, husband of Mary, who, out of the goodness of his heart, raised Jesus as his own but never adopted him. There are many examples of grandparents, relatives, friends and strangers raising children with this arrangement, Janice and I did this and consider their children our own grandchildren.

Spiritual fathers are those who lead others into faith in Jesus Christ and then continue to raise them up to spiritual maturity. Examples include Paul and Timothy, (1 Timothy 1:2) Paul and Onesimus (Philemon 1:10) and Paul and some in the Corinthian church. (1 Corinthians 4:15)

Secondary fathers are those who have a fatherly relationship with others and provide supplemental fatherly love and guidance to them, even as those others have fathers of their own that are active in their lives.

Being any one of these types of fathers is a great responsibility, is pleasing to the Lord, and is very rewarding. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (Ephesians 6:2)

With much love, Phil

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Mark 1:3)

The life of John the baptist, born to an old priest Zacharias and his old wife Elisabeth, was predicted long before he arrived. (Isaiah 40:3-5)(Malachi 3:1)(Malachi 4:4-5) John's purpose in life was to come in the spirit of an earlier prophet Elijah, live a pure, separated life, announce and present Jesus and the kingdom of Heaven to the world and prepare the people of Israel to receive Him. (Luke 1:1-25) His destiny was to fulfill his calling, then bow out and let Jesus have the stage. He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)

John fulfilled his purpose and destiny by living in the wilderness, preaching repentance, baptizing and being put to death. (John 1:29-34)(John 3:22-36)(Mark 14:1-12)(Luke 3:1-22)

John also fulfilled another critical purpose when he turned over the system of continually changing members of the priesthood of Aaron of the tribe of Levi, of which John was an heir, to the permanent high priest, Jesus Christ, of the tribe of Judah. (Hebrews 7:1-28) Thus John ushered in the kingdom of heaven to earth and Jesus fulfilled the old law of animal sacrifices by becoming THE sacrifice. This was a major upheaval and it totally changed the order of things on earth.

Jesus said For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. (Luke 7:28) That means that, as great a prophet and man that John was, any one who receives Jesus Christ enters into the kingdom of God and is instantly greater, much greater, than any of the greatest pre-Christ prophets or priests and has access to all the benefits of that greater kingdom.

With much love, Phil

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; (Ecclesiastes 3:6)

We are instructed in the Word of God to hang on to some things and to depart from others. What specifically? The answer is very simple. Hang on to what is of God and His will and let go of what is inspired by the devil and our own flesh.

Starting at the point of salvation through Jesus Christ, our old self dies and we are born again into newness of life. We get a reprieve from our past, sinful life and a fresh start. Our old life fades into the distance and is gone. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Hanging onto our old way of doing things is futile and counterproductive to our new life. Doing things God's way gets the best results.

Next up is our thoughts. As a new creature, we are expected, for our own benefit and of others, to cast down our old way of thinking. We are always thinking something. God wants us to control our thoughts because there is a direct line of communications between our minds and our hearts and they affect one another. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:5) Janice is faithful to remind me of this one: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

What is in our heart comes out our mouth. What we dwell on we eventually speak (Luke 6:45) and our words have great power to bless or to curse. (James 3:1-12)

While we are controlling our thoughts and our mouth, we also have a lifestyle to live. There are two lifestyles, the kingdom of God's and the world's. Sinful, fleshly, demonic habits and unprofitable activities of our past life have no place in our walk with Christ. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11) Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (Hebrews 4:14) Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

These are not just today activities, they are for each day until we take our last breath, or when Jesus returns. But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Hebrews 3:6)

God is on our side and is here to help. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

With much love, Phil

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (Romans 11:29)

In Jonah's day, Nineva had grown so decadent that God called Jonah, an established prophet, to go to that nation to warn the people that their nation was soon going to be destroyed. God ALWAYS waits as long as He can before executing judgment on a nation or an individual, but judgment ALWAYS comes if there is no national or personal repentance.

The book of Jonah documents Jonah's assignment and the associated events. Jonah was instructed to go East to Nineva but Jonah boarded a ship destined to take him West to Tarshish "from the presence of the Lord." (Jonah 1:3) Jonah evidently paid to run from his calling.

But God, determined to give Nineva another opportunity to repent from their evil, prepared a storm that placed the ship in great peril and threatened to sink it. The heathen crew cried out to their gods for deliverance but God showed them that Jonah caused the storm. They asked Jonah what they should do with him and he told them to cast him into the sea. The crew, being reluctant to cast a passenger into a watery grave, tried to steer the ship through the storm but soon resorted to discarding Jonah. Immediately the sea was calm and the crew began following the One TRUE God. (Jonah 1:4-16)

God then chose an alternate route for Jonah aboard a large fish which came to his rescue. After three days and nights Jonah repented. (When reading Jonah's prayer and a subsequent comparison by Jesus of Jonah's time in the fishes belly to His own time in the grave, a case could be made that Jonah died inside the fish and was resurrected. (Jonah 2:1-10)(Matthew 12:40) The fish vomited Jonah out on dry land so he could start his journey to Nineva. (Jonah 3:1-2)

After Jonah preached a very brief warning to Nineva, the king and the nation repented and turned back to God and God turned back His judgment. (Jonah 3:3-10)

Jonah was not happy that Nineva was saved, so God reasoned with Jonah about His compassion for the people and animals of that nation. (Jonah 4:1-11))

So Jonah, whom God also used as a prophet to Israel, (2 Kings 14:25) stubbornly resisted God's will in this situation while pagan crew members, a fish, a nation and the weather obeyed God. Do we sometimes do as that reluctant prophet did?

With much love, Phil

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

To despise means to contemn; to scorn; to disdain; to have the lowest opinion of. Lately, I have been catching myself looking down on things and situations that do not meet the standards that I am expecting. During my latest episode, while I was criticizing in my heart the shape and game-worthiness of a football (soccer) field where a game was going to take place, the Lord spoke to me on that tendency and simply said "Do not despise this." I got the message.

The Bible admonishes us by example and by instruction to not despise unjustly. Some examples are when Sarai, Abraham's wife, despised Hagar, her mistress, after talking him into getting her pregnant. (Genesis 16:1-5) Other examples include Esau despising his birthright and selling it to Jacob (Genesis 25:29-34), Israel despising God by murmuring after He delivered them out of Egypt (Numbers 11:20) and Michal, king David's wife who became barren for despising him for his unrestrained dancing when he and Israel brought the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:16-23)

Some instructions about despising include My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: (Proverbs 3:11), Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. (Proverbs 23:22), Despise not prophesyings. (1 Thessalonians 5:20), Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

By the way, that game on that field was very competitive and enjoyable, and I got to stand anywhere I wanted, even right on the sidelines.

With much love, Phil


For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. (Acts 11:24)

Joses, who was given the name Barnabas (The son of consolation) by the apostles at Jerusalem, is first mentioned in the Bible where he sold some land that he owned and presented the money to the apostles to be distributed to those in need. (Acts 4:32-37)

Later, when Saul (Paul) was converted and called by Jesus to be an apostle, the other apostles were afraid of Paul because he had been a great persecuter of the followers of Christ prior to his conversion. They did not trust Paul. But Barnabas sought out Paul and brought him to the apostles and they accepted him. (Acts 9:26-28)

Still later, when great persecution of the believers arose, Barnabas was sent to Antioch to exhort the new believers there to cleave to the Lord at all costs. He also brought many others into belief on Jesus Christ. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus and again sought Paul and brought him to Antioch where they preached and taught for a full year. (Acts 11:19-26)

Then Barnabas and Paul were sent from Antioch to other cities where they suffered great peril and opposition from the established Jews while preaching the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles. (Acts chapters 13, 14, 15)

However, Paul documents an interesting confrontation in (Galatians 2:9-14) where he witnessed Peter and yes, even Barnabas, working hipocracy by favoring Jews and shunning Gentiles in Antioch - this after they had risked their lives for years preaching the Gospel to those Gentiles.

I have little or no doubt that Peter and Barnabas both repented after being confronted by Paul to their face. The moral of this story is we all, no matter how strong a man or woman of God we are, can let ourselves get weak and in need of correction from time to time.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

With much love, Phil


While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

Seed is the natural and spiritual system that God created for animals, plants, mankind and things to reproduce and multiply.

The first recorded seed system was put into place by God in the garden of Eden. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:12) After that came water creatures, birds, land creatures and then, man and woman. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

God blessed the man and woman seed system. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28)

God's word is also a seed system that is sown into the minds of people where it is expected to take root, grow and produce fruit. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11)

The kingdom of God is a seed system, it's root is the Word of God, sown into by our faith in Jesus Christ and motiated by love. And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. (Mark 4:30-32)(Matthew 17:20)

Our bodies are seeds sown to the ground in death and raised again by resurrection. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: (1 Corinthians 15:42)

Jesus Christ is the promised seed of Abraham, planted by God to lead us in resurrection. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. (1Corinthians 15:20-23)

Our words and actions are seeds. We can sow righteousness or unrighteousness by our words, lingering thoughts, actions, money - whatever we give, good or bad. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8) (2 Corinthians 9:10)(Proverbs 16:28)(Proverbs 6:16-19)

Whatever we contribute the the seed system, that is what we will reap. But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6)

With much love, Phil


So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)

Scripture is filled with situations where God's people, with hearts turned toward Him, prevailed against attacks from the enemies of God, many times in spite of insurmountable odds against them. The devil was unable to kill the apostle Paul until he had fulfilled God's purpose for his life. (See Acts, Philippians, Timothy, other books written by Paul.) David reigned as king of Israel until he was an old man and he had time to appoint his successor, in spite of his transgressions and many attempts against his life and his kingdom. (See 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 1 Chronicles) At Babel, God confused the language of and rendered ineffective a group of people who were attempting to become their own god. (Genesis 11:1-9) Israel was on several occasions (and still is and will be) surrounded by enemies and God caused confusion to come upon the enemies and they killed each other. (2 Chronicles 20:20-23)(Judges 7:19-25)(Revelation 12:13-17)

Even Christ our saviour was protected from death until He had fulfilled His purpose of redeeming us. And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way, (Luke 4:29-30) Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. (John 7:30)

Where does that leave us? For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) The answer is summarized in (Psalm 91:1-16).

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

With much love, Phil

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; (Colossians 3:23)

One of the basic truths of being in the kingdom of God is that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ only, and not by our own works or how "good" we are. Another truth is that we are rewarded for our good works that we do for the Lord AFTER we are saved.

Matthew chapter six records the words of Jesus telling us how to stockpile rewards by giving to and helping others in secret and not for show, praying and fasting, not to impress others, but to commune with God only, laying up treasures in heaven and trusting in God only, without anxiety, for our daily provision here on earth. (Matthew 6:1-28)

When we give alms to the needy to impress others or to feel good about ourselves, others being impressed and feeling good about ourselves is our only reward. Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 6:1) When we do the same out of love for God and for others, we reap earthly and eternal rewards. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:3-5)

Likewise, when we pray and/or fast to impress God and not others, the same rule applies. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:5-6) See also (Matthew 6:16-18)

Some of the rewards for following the principles in Matthew 6 can manifest on earth in people flocking to help us in our own time of need, special bonds with people that we have been praying and fasting for, desires of our hearts granted, gifts and power of the Holy Spirit working through us, spiritual authority over territories, influence with people in power, prosperity and so on. The rewards for eternity are innumerable and unimaginable.

With much love, Phil


Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. (Hosea 10:12)

God frequently uses references to farm crop cycles in Bible scripture. Some of the key activities in raising crops mentioned in the Bible are plowing or breaking up, sowing, fertilizing, watering, weeding, reaping and offering a portion of the harvest to the Lord. The Bible uses these crop cycle references to illustrate spiritual things that pertain to us. God particularly emphasizes that what we sow, we reap, good or bad. (Galatians 6:7) In fact, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is referred to as a crop cycle.

Any farmer or gardner knows that the ground to be sown in needs to be broken up by digging or plowing before or during the sowing. Usually, the plowing is the hardest, seemingly the least rewarding part and takes the most faith to believe that fruit will eventually be produced.

Similarly, in the spirit, plowing a field or an individual's heart takes a lot of work (faith, intercession, hearing) to get the ground (our hearts) in a condition (good soil) that can believe and receive the gospel when the seed (The Word) is sown (preached) in us so that the seed can take root and produce fruit (salvation). See (Matthew 3:3-33) (Mark 4:2-20)(Luke 8:5-15) for Jesus' explanation of the conditions of our hearts when hearing the seed of the Gospel.

Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. (1Corinthians 9:10)

With much love, Phil


Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

Any material or monetary inheritance we may recieve from our ancestors or friends on this earth is temporary and will someday perish. So, if we don't receive a temporary inheritance then we should not sweat it so much. Many people just blow it anyway. Our temporal inheritance is merely a reflection of the much greater heavenly inheritance that we have and will receive from Christ himself, for them that believe on and receive Him.

Just what is our inheritance? Well, to start with, we inherit etenal life with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That means that we have a glorious life with a brief interim stay in heaven and then a never ending dwelling on earth. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Jesus is preparing our everlasting dwelling place for us in His house right now. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3)

We will reign with Him for 1,000 years on this earth when He returns from heaven. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

We will dwell in His house forever on this earth. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (Psalm 23:6) The LORD shall reign for ever and ever. (Exodus 15:18) The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalm 146:10) See also (Revelation 21:1-4)

I can't think of any worldly inheritance that is better than the one that God offers us! Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (Colossians 1:12)

If we happen to be blessed with a temporal inheritance then we should be good stewards of it because it would be good practice for being good stewards of our real inheritance. One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. (Eccesiastes 1:4)

With much love, Phil


Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (2 Corinthians 1:3)

We all enjoy comforts as we go through life. In this nation that we live in, we are blessed with a myriad of things available to us that are designed to make us physically comfortable; cars, mattresses, hot tubs in our homes, and so on.

However, those earthly, physical comforts can only take us so far. All of us at some point in our lives encounter seasons where the comfortable things just don't help us much. In fact, if we focus too much on our own comfort then we are in danger of beginning to care less about the comfort of others, or worse yet, beginning to care less about the things of God, even to the point of putting our own comfort above God's will for our lives. Self comfort, taken to the extreme, is an enemy of the cross.

The real comforter is God through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Several times in my own life there was nothing on this earth that could have comforted me. My only recourse was to cry out to God. When I did that, He answered me with hope, peace and the words "I AM sufficient for you." Even though my physical and emotional distress might have still been there, the comfort I received from the Lord superceded that affliction. In fact, God caused the affliction to make me more sensitive to the needs of others and increased my prayer life. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19)

With much love, Phil

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Colossians 1:14)

In the book of Colossians 1:12-23 Paul gives a very good short description of what Christ means to the world and to us.

First he gives thanks to the Father for making us worthy to share in our inheritance in light by delivering us from the power that darkness had over us into the kingdom of His Son who redeemed us and forgave us through His blood.

Then Paul goes on to explain that Jesus Christ is the visible part of God and the firstborn of all Christians and that He is the creator of all things, the head of the church and, by the Father's pleasure, He is the manifestation of God's fulness on this earth. The Father also made peace with us, His former enemies, by the blood of His cross and made us holy and blameless in His sight - as long as we continue in the faith.

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; (Colossians 1:12-23)

With much love, Phil


Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)

A saint is generally described as "a holy one" and is attributed to one who is a follower of Jesus Christ. In the Bible, all true Christians are referred to as saints, whether they are in a house, a church building or anywhere else.

We are made saints only through the holiness of Jesus Christ. We cannot achieve that status on our own. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (Ephesians 2:19)

Being a saint in Christ means that we are expected to act like one. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:1-4) This is many times difficult to do, but we have help. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ephesians 4:11-12)

If we were to humbly wear the title of "saint" in our minds, it would make it easier to consistently live like one.

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)

With much love, Phil

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (Psalm 23:6)

Most of us know at least some of the stories of David, how he was anointed to be king of Israel to replace Saul, played the harp to sooth Saul from his torments, killed Goliath the giant, spent months fleeing from Saul who was jealous to kill him, was delivered by God from Saul through several miraculous interventions, learned of the horrors of Saul executing 85 priests on his account, spent time living in the wilderness, with his enemies and in Ziklag, commanded a mighty army of hundreds of outcasts whom God provided to him, spared Saul's life twice, mourned the death of Saul and became king, won mighty battles, brought the Ark of God to Jerusalem, committed adultery, murder and treachery, repented, was chased by his own son who tried to take his kingdom and died at an old age with the promise of an eternal kingdom. (See 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel.)

During those escapades, David took time to play stringed instruments and write dozens of psalms of praises to God, declarations of His glory, pleadings for His mercy, protection and deliverance, declarations of his trust in God and His justice for the wicked and for the righteous, insight into God's character and the character of men, repentance, thanksgiving and much more. (See the book of Psalms.)

During those intimate intervals with God, revelations and prophesies came forth from the Holy Spirit into the words of his psalms. God, gave David, a flawed man, more insight into His character and His kingdom than anyone who had come before him. God gave David the gift of seeing his own future for eternity. God shifted earthly kingdoms to make room for David. God caused Jesus Christ to be born into his lineage. As believers, we will see a lot more of David again.

And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. (Acts 13:22)

With much love, Phil

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19)

To the believers on Jesus Christ, healing is promised to us. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24) See also (Matthew 8:16-17)(Isaiah 53:5). Within the church, many are healed instantly by the laying on of hands of someone who has the gift of healing (1 Corinthians 12:9) , prayers by elders (James 5:14) and by each other (James 5:16), individual and group fasting (Mark 9:29) and by great, unwavering faith (Matthew 15:28). Even unbelievers are sometimes healed simply by God's mercy and compassion. (Psalm 86:15)

There is also a healing process, sometimes a lengthy process. Although it can take time, the healing is just as sure. Physical healing can be invoked by a diet and/or lifestyle change that begins to reverse years of abuse to our bodies. Emotional wounds and roots of bitterness from childhood trauma, verbal abuse, someone doing us wrong, unforgiveness, ... sometimes are brought to the surface layer by layer and healed one layer at a time during times of group or individual worship and prayer time. All healing is authored by God through Christ with the help of th the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (Luke 4:18)

Sometimes the healing process is more painful than the wound itself. Regardless of how long the healing takes, it is important to not lose hope, despair or resign ourselves to going through life physically, emotionally or spiritually broken. It is important to stay in faith and hang on to our hope of deliverance Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:13)

I have seen people die of physical sickness but be healed before they die of lifelong emotional sickness. Remember, if we are in Christ, we ALL win in the end. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:2)

With much love, Phil


Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. (Romans 15:7)

Most of us are familiar with this scripture For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23) and the truth that it expresses. Because of man's sin, the glory of God in all its splendor that we see and experience on earth is pale in comparison to His glory that is seen is seen in heaven. See (Revelation 4:1-11)(Isaiah 6:4)(Ezekiel 1:1-28)

Those who have not received Jesus Christ have been spiritually blinded by satan. Even though the the vail between God and man was ripped apart through Christ, many still have a vail over their hearts which keeps them separated from the Father. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Those of us who have received Christ have chosen to remove the vail from our hearts, But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. (2 Corinthians 3:15-16) and become changed into the glorious image of God and His Son. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Being a follower of Jesus Christs means that we progress from a fallen worldly glory, to the freedom of a Spiritual glory, to an eternal heavenly glory in the presence of the Lord! If you have not already done so, why not remove the vail?

With much love, Phil

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. (Hebrews 4:9)

For many years, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I struggled with reconciling why the church traditionally meets on Sundays when the Bible is clear that the sabbath is to be kept holy (Exodus 20:8). How and why did the shift of "holy days" take place in the church?

As a background, we need to recognize the six days that God created and the one day that He rested. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:11)

Without going into detail, the seven days of creation in Genesis 1:1-31,2:1-3 are a pattern for the seven days of restoration of mankind beginning with the fall/sin of Adam (Genesis 3:6) and ending in the future when the heaven and earth are re-created. (Revelation 21:1) The seventh (sabbath) day of restoration is when Christ returns and begins His 1,000 reign on this earth. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:9-10)

Israel was mostly negligent in observing the sabbath and by the time that Jesus was born, the sabbath observance had lost its meaning and had turned into a set of rigid rules. Jesus turned the sabbath observance on its head when he healed on the Sabbath and justified doing so. And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. (Mark 2:27-28) Jesus did the Father's work on the Sabbath AND kept the sabbath holy.

In the early days of the church, the apostles preached to and taught the unbelieving Jews in the synagogues on the sabbath (Saturdays) (Acts 13:42) and met with the Christians on the 1st day of the week (Sundays) (Acts 20:7)(1 Corinthians 16:2). The tradition of Christians meeting on Sundays seems to have started at that time.

Does God care that we meet on Sundays and not Saturdays? Scripture indicates that the sabbath is by no means obsolete. However, He is more concerned with us knowing and understanding the purpose of the sabbath, taking care of His business and looking for His return.

With much love, Phil

...When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)

Floods and waters can be spiritual or physical. Bodies of water can be blessings and gifts to us and provide entertainment and life giving nourishment, (John 4:10) or they can present obstacles to us and can be dangerous and deadly (Luke 6:49). A flood has been an element of God's judgment. (Genesis 6:17)

God can part the waters for us as he did for Israel when Egypt was pursuing them (Exodus 14:21-22) and when it was time for Israel to enter into the land that the Lord had promised them. (Joshua 3:15-16)

God can also lift us above the dangerous waters during times of peril as He did with Noah and his family when all the other inhabitants of the earth were destroyed. (Genesis 7:23) He can cause the earth to swallow up the spiritual flood water as He will do when the devil again tries to destroy Israel (Revelation 12:15-16). He can demonstrate that He is God as He did through Jesus Christ by walking on the water (Matthew 14:25) and by allowing Peter to also walk on the water. (Matthew 14:29)

Floods, storms and the perils of being on or in physical and spiritual waters come and go. The key to navigating them successfully is to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, (Matthew 14:30) build our foundation on Him (Luke 6:48) and letting the Holy Sprit be our guide. (John 16:13)

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

With much love, Phil

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:8)

Recently, Janice and I were visiting a couple who have been dear friends of ours for almost twenty years. During our conversation, Joyce began telling about some of the great things that God had done for them and their family and where they had brought them from and praising Him for His goodness and faithfulness. She was so moved that she shed tears.

While she was speaking I sensed the Father speaking to his hosts in heaven "Listen to my faithful child speaking of My goodness and faithfulness. Isn't that wonderful?" God was moved by what Joyce was saying.

Faithfulness works both ways. We appreciate our Lord's faithfulness and He appreciates ours. He is as moved by our faithfulness as we are of His. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2) His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Matthew 25:23)

With much love, Phil

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (Hebrews 8:12)

There is special significance to each area of Jesus' person that He allowed His tormenters to afflict during the season of His crucifion, resulting in unimaginable suffering. Here we look at some of those afflictions:

1) His mind. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:44) He was tempted with dread and surrender, sweated blood, and gained victory over that temptation so that we can overcome temptation as well. ...who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

2) His back. I gave my back to the smiters,...(Isaiah 50:6) He allowed Himself to be whipped unmercifully by a Gentile government for our healing. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)

3) His face. ...and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (Isaiah 50:6) He allowed His tormenters to spit on and pull the beard out of the face of God so that we can see His face. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (Revelation 22:4)

4) His head. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! (Matthew 27:29) They mockingly put the devil's crown on the King of kings so that we can reign with Him. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end... (Isaiah 9:7)

5) His skin and flesh. And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. (Luke 22:63) He allowed Himself to be beaten for hours in order to take our punishment for our sins upon Himself. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him;...(Isaiah 53:5)

6) His hands. ...they pierced my hands and my feet. (Psalm 22:16) His hands were nailed to the cross. He allowed His life to be shortened so we could have eternal life. He became poor so we could become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9) Length of days is in her [Wisdom. Jesus.] right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. (Proverbs 3:16)

7) His feet. ...they pierced my hands and my feet. (Psalm 22:16) The overcomer of the world allowed His feet to be nailed to the cross so that satan would be put under OUR feet. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly...(Romans 16:20)

In addition, Jesus took on all four categories of God's judgement for sins, The Sword, Famine, Pestilence and Wild Beasts. (Psalm 22:12-21)

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

With much love, Phil

When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)

Many centuries ago, after man being at emnity with God since the fall of Adam, Elijah prophesied a covenent of peace with mankind. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. (Ezekiel 37:26)

Several centuries later, angels appeared to shepherds in Israel and announced the fulfillment of that prophesy and the token of peace from God to mankind, Jesus Christ. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14)

Jesus demonstrated peace while He was on this earth, examples include calming a raging sea (Mark 4:39) and salvation and healing. (Mark 5:34)

He also promised to leave His legacy of peace with His disciples after He was to leave the earth. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

The lives of followers of Christ are promised perfect peace, even in the midst of crises, trials and tribulations. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3) Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippeans 4:6-7)

Godly peace is higher and more powerful than sickness, peril, turmoil and other cares of this world. It will sustain us through the worst of times. All we have to do is receive it.

Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. (Jude 1:2), Phil


Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (John 15:2)

The above Bible verse sounds scary, and it is, but not to believers on Jesus Christ. In John 15:1-8, Jesus, in response to some questions from His disciples, alluded to Himself as the vine, the Father as the husbandman (John 15:1) and mankind as the branches (John 15:5). Then he elaborates on what He means:

If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:6) In this verse, Jesus is referring to the lost, those who do not believe on Him, the ones who bear no fruit. The lost end up in hell and in the lake of fire for eternity.

Next he speaks about the saved, the ones who abide in Him (the vine), the ones who believe on Him, the ones who bear fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (John 15:3-4)

So, what is the purging that Jesus talks about? ...and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (John 15:2) He purges His believing children of sin and dead works. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14)

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21)

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Psalm 51:7)

With much love, Phil

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

God continually makes great efforts to communicate with us and discuss Himself, His character and our relationship with Him. When prompted, He drills down into details for the benefit of those who are drawn to Him as well as those who have made themselves enemies with Him.

In John 8:12-30 Jesus encountered intense opposition and accusations from the Pharisees while He explained His own status as God. He said "I am the light of the world". They called him a liar. Jesus assured them that what He is telling them is true and that He and the Father are one. They asked Him where His Father is. Jesus answered that if they has known Him they would have known His Father also. Jesus told them He was going away and that they would die in their sins (because they rejected Him). They thought He was going to kill himself. They asked Him "Who are you?" Jesus responded that He is who He said He is from the beginning and that He does what the Father had taught Him. As he spake these words, many believed on him. (John 8:30) The conversation continued with some accusing Jesus of being born in sin and of lying about having seen Abraham. Then Jesus declared Himself as "I am." (John 8:58) Then His enemies tried and failed to stone Him.

In John 3:1-21, Nicodemus, a Pharisee, came to visit Jesus and Jesus reasoned with him about being born again. Nicodemus became a secret beliver on Jesus and later defended Him in the midst of his peers and helped get Him buried after He was crucified.

Reasoning gently but firmly with people, telling them who Jesus is, what He has done and what He will do for them is a powerful tool for leading them to salvation.

With much love, Phil

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John 5:11)

God is the author of and provider for life on this earth. (Genesis 1:1-31) He provided the initial breath of life to Adam And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7) and He still perpetuates all forms of life today, and always will.

Out of all of the life forms in the universe, only mankind, not animals, not plants, not birds, has the unique status of being made in God's image. Only mankind is described as a soul. God made every other living thing for mankind to have dominion over them. To God, a human being is the most precious life, so much so that He sent Jesus Christ to redeem us back into eternal life with Him after mankind sinned.

The murder of another person is is the worst affront to our Lord in that the murderer has no right or justification to willfully end the life of an innocent person. The Bible refers to murder as shedding innocent blood. Note, Doing our duty for our country in the military or administering capital punishment is not murder. Abortion is murder.

However, with repentance, there is forgiveness for every sin, even for murder, through the innocent blood that Christ shed on the cross for us. (John 1:14) May you enjoy your life and prosper. (3 John 1:2)

With much love, Phil


The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. (Psalm 18:46)

Many scriptures in the Bible refer to God as the Rock or the stone. Here are a few of them:

  • He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
  • A Psalm of David. Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. (Psalm 28:1)
  • From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2)
  • The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. (Psalm 118:22-23)

That Rock or Stone was manifested in the person of Jesus Christ:

  • And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:4)
  • And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)
  • Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:10-12)

The message is clear. Either we choose to believe and stand on the Rock Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. (1 Peter 2:6) or we stumble over the stone at our own peril And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. (1Peter 2:8) To my unbelieving friends, choose life!

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. (Psalm 95:1)

With much love, Phil


The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. (Proverbs 20:7)

A few stores around where Janice and I live each have an employee posted at the exit door for the purpose of checking the receipts of each person who is on the way out. Obviously, this is done to try to discourage patrons from leaving with goods that have not been purchased. Because of continuing losses due to theft, the stores are in an unpleasant position of questioning the integrity of everyone as they leave.

As christians, we are to walk in the highest level of integrity and honesty and to walk uprightly before God and man, not just because we fear getting caught, but just because it is right, even when no man is looking or checking (God sees.) Wouldn't the world be a better place if more people were honest?

Walking in intregity also means guarding our mouth But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. (2 Timothy 2:16) and also our thoughts. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8) All of this is especially true if we have spouses and children as they will be affected by our integrity or lack thereof.

The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. (Proverbs 11:3)

With much love, Phil

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)

Sacrifices are being made everywhere. Most parents know the sacrifices that are required of them while raising their children. Most ministers in the church realize the sacrifices they make while preparing for and going about their service of helping others. Millions of people go about sacrificing time, money and desires so that others can have a better life.

In the old covenant in the Bible, priests were called upon to offer animal sacrifices and make intercession on behalf of themselves and other people. They had privileged access to God. The priests inherited their positions by being decendants of Levi, the patriarch of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

In the new covenant, the role of the priests also includes sacrifice and intercession. What has changed is WHO are the priests and WHAT are the sacrifices. Believers and followers of Jesus Christ, all of us, inherit the priesthood from Him. We ALL have privileged access to God through Jesus Christ. Instead of sacrificing animals, we are called upon to offer sacrifices of praise By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. (Hebrews 13:15), our bodies I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1), our substance Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. (Romans 12:13), and our service I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works... (Revelation 2:19). As priests, we are also called to pray and intercede for others. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (1 Timothy 2:1)

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6)

With much love, Phil

...And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-12)

The main message to be gathered from the above scripture verses is that the devil huffs, puffs, shouts, smashes and rumbles at us, but the Lord speaks gently to us. Many times satan and his demons roar or even whisper into our ears, eyes and mind some temptation, problem or crisis and the solution is like a calm in the midst of the storm. Elijah, exhausted from fighting spiritual and physical battles and forty days and nights of fasting, was in turmoil and was pleading for the Lord to take his life. God played scenes of extreme wind, earthquake, fire and chaos back to Elijah and then revealed Himself in a still small voice the solution to his problems.

That voice of the Lord speaks to us by the Holy Spirit through the Word of the Bible, through our own spirit or even through circumstances. One time about three years ago, Janice was out of the country I was doing some work at another piece of property and was planning on, and looking forward to, camping alone at the property. When the workday was finished and I began to prepare for the night, I felt what can be described as dread at the thought of staying there. I did not like or understand that feeling so I decided to sleep at home. When I arrived at our house I discovered that our garage door was open and anyone could have walked right into our house. Nothing was disturbed but it could have been a different outcome if the door had been left open overnight. How many times have we experienced an inconvenient delay or detour that subverted the devil's plan to snare us into harm?

Many times a directive has entered my mind to call someone or write something, to make or not make a transaction of some sort or to say something or not say something and when I obeyed, the results were good. But when I ignored, or worse yet, disobeyed a directive, I always reaped the negative results. Those directives, even the urgent ones, are always issued with a calm voice. With few exceptions, the topic of each of these Scripture Pills is spoken to my spirit from the Lord.

The generic solutions to all of the storms, earthquakes and fires of life are found in the Bible. And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:39) He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. (Psalm 107:29-30)

With much love, Phil

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (James 4:10)

In my adolescent and teenage years, I was at the bottom of the social ladder. I could not name a single true friend. Even after I gained some popularity in my late teen years and early adulthood, I was struggling in nearly every way. At the age of 33, my life hit bottom and I finally received Jesus Christ as my savior and was forever changed for the better. I was married to Janice 13 months later and had an instant family. We were poor but we had a joy in knowing we belonged to the Lord.

Still, even after several years of serving the Lord and working very hard at my job, I was doing pretty well spiritually but my career was empty. I had never received a single promotion and was always at the low end of the salary scale, even as we tithed and gave freely.

In my early forties, I finally got around to asking the Lord why I always seemed to be riding the bottom in everything I was involved in. His answer was clear. "You have exalted yourself and I have humbled you." Whoa! Talk about a direct answer that hit me between the eyes! I already knew this scripture For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 14:11) Right then I realized that in order to reverse this trend of bottom dwelling I needed to humble myself.

I Immediately dedicated myself to being respectful and humble and serving everyone around me instead of lamenting not being served, and things quickly turned around. I started getting better jobs, better pay and achieved a few career goals. I was given a series of team lead assignments in my church. I became more of a positive influence. True to His word, the Lord exalted me.

Since that time, I have had ups and downs and have been humbled and disappointed many times, but that personal revelation of being abased and exalted remains a highlight of my life. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (1 Peter 5:6)

With much love, Phil

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword... (Hebrews 4:12)

In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus, after being baptized by John, was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness and fasted, not eating anything, for forty days and forty nights. Matthew 4:1 states that he went there to be tempted of the devil.

While fasting, presumably near or at the end of the forty days, sure enough, the devil showed up and began the first of three temptations, each of them designed to derail Jesus from His work of redemption or even physically kill Him before His time.

The first attack of temptation was meant to capitalize on the state of hunger that Jesus was experiencing. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:3-4)

Then the devil took Jesus to Jerusalem to the top of the temple and tried to get Jesus to jump off so the angels could save Him. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Matthew 4:7)

Finally, the devil took Jesus to the top of a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and offered to give them all to Him if He would only worship him. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:10)

Well, the devil had experienced a triple fail at that point. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. (Matthew 4:11) Jesus won that duel with the devil by pulling out His sword, which is the scriptures contained in the Bible, the Word of God, and repelling the devil with it. (Ephesians 6:17)

We all have that sword at our disposal if we will use it as Jesus did.

With much love, Phil


Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

There is a lot of talk in our nation these days about resisting. Political opponents resist each other to the point of lying, name calling and even physical threats and violence. Both sides use the Bible or some other religious writings to attempt to justify their stance on moral issues. How do we make sense of all the noise and know for sure which side we should be on, or even to know whether to even take a stand?

The answer is simple. First, know that there is a devil and a host of demons that are on assignment to deceive you and lead you to destruction. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:... (John 10:10) Know that the devil's strategy is based on lies.

Study the Bible and invite the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to us. Get to know God's character, what He is for and what He is against. Know His priorities. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (John 16:13) Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:5)

Flush old preconceived ideals. Empty your memory. Check out facts. Learn who is actually lying and who is telling the truth. Determine accurately who is on the side of God. Don't get caught fighting AGAINST God. But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. (Acts 5:39)


With much love, Phil

...Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. (Jeremiah 31:3)

In this age of legalized abortion of unborn children, murders regularly protrayed on TV and video games, people loving dogs and other pets more than other people, and so on, it is important as well as refreshing to meditate on how much our Father in heaven really loves you, them and me. In all of those instances that I mentioned, God hurts for the victims and the perpetrators and also for absence of value that is placed on the humans affected, even as we are sometimes casual and uncaring about those passing events.

Even as human lives are cheapened in value, the words of Jesus ring true. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7) God accounts for every bird that has ever lived yet knows how many hairs are on each of our heads. He values each one of us more than all the birds on earth!

Jesus, our redeemer, who was so devalued in mens eyes that he was sold for a measley thirty pieces of silver, would, if you were lost (unsaved), temporarily leave an infinite sized flock to go find you and bring you to Him. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (Luke 15:4)

That same Jesus would have been sent by His Father and would have been more than willing to come to earth, even if you were the only person on earth. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10) That makes you and me worth a lot, wouldn't you think?

With much love, Phil

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. (2 Peter 3:14)

Usually, whenever a spot or stain appears on our clothing, furniture, car seats or whatever, someone tries to remove it. In our house, Janice usually plays that role. While the spot is there it is somewhat unsightly and tends to lower the level of enjoyment of the particular object. The object is no longer perfect until the spot is removed with some type of cleaner.

Likewise, spots (sins and iniquities) tend to appear on our own conscience, spots that keep us from being perfect. Our spot remover is Jesus Christ. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14)

However, we need to cooperate with Christ in order to let Him remove our spots. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. (2 Peter 3:14) We start by being born again and work from there. That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: (1 Timothy 6:14)

The end result is that Christ will present Himself with a perfect church. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:26-27)

As we pass into this new year, we have opportunity, just as we do every day, to examine ourselves and determine if we have any spots that need to be removed. Happy New Year, Phil

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15)

When we celebrate Christmas, and give gifts to each other, many of them wrapped, we are giving glory to the first Christmas gift ever wrapped and the greatest gift ever given! And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7) The "Him" is Jesus Christ.

The gift of Jesus to us is a multitude of gifts from the Father that keep on giving through Christ. The first stated gift is a peace covenant between God and man as the host of angels declared on the night He was born. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14)

Some of the other gifts are faith, grace, hope, mercy, forgiveness, healing, apostles, evangelists, prophets, pastors, teachers, truth, love, charity, abundant and eternal life, power through the Holy Spirit, each other, and many others. ...When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Ephesians 4:8) All of these gifts are constantly available to us. If we choose to receive them, we can celebrate every day as if it were Christmas.

This is an adaptation of a recent message preached by Pastor Mike Hill of God's Word in Action Church in Dayton, TX. Occasionally, I hear a sermon so good that I just have to use it and share the message with others.

Merry Christmas Ya'll, Phil


Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (Revelation 2:4)

Recently I had a conversation with two separate people who each stated clearly that they formerly were Christians but now do not follow Christ, believe in Christ or even believe there is a God. I was shocked because, although I had read about this happening to people, I had never actually encountered someone in that type of backslidden condition. My response was sorrow over the willful choices that they had made and an appeal to them to return to their first love. (Revelation 2:4) Since then, they have been in my prayers. Also, on a recent trip, I encountered several old acquaintances and friends who had in the past been enthused about following Christ, but now seem to have returned to some of their old ways.

There is a pull on Christians, especially newborn Christians, to fall back into the beliefs and lifestyles that they lived before receiving Jesus Christ. If we stop believing we are saved then we are putting ourselves into a position to where Christ would need to be crucified again to save us again, and that will not happen. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6)

The only way that I have overcome that pull to this point was through keeping Jesus foremost in my heart and determining to leave that old lifestyle behind me, reading the Bible every day, staying close to other believers and repenting when I became weak. To stay strong in the Lord, we have to continue that determination until the very end of our lives. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

The good news is that those people, and any one of us who is not in good fellowship with Christ, have a standing invitation to turn or return to Him! Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)

With much love, Phil


For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (Hebrews 8:12)

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7) One of the great characteristics of God is his unwavering desire to forgive. According to Ephesians 1:7, it is redemption through the blood shed by Jesus Christ according the riches of God the Father's grace that our sins are forgiven. He is eager to forgive anyone for anything - except for one thing.

Not only is God eager to forgive, He is eager to forget our sins along with forgiving them. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:8-12) When we repent, He blots out our sins, sends them far out of sight and forgets them. What a deal! It is the same as if we had never sinned in the first place. And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (Hebrews 10:17) Not only that, God is eager to fix and restore the parts of our lives that we have messed up, especially relationships. I call this the great eraser.

What about that one exception mentioned above? Well, God's mercy extends far and wide, but there is one sin that He cannot forgive. If we want to receive the fullness of His grace and mercy, the key is to believe on and receive Jesus Christ. To continue in rejecting Christ, the only One through whom forgiveness flows, is to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and if one does that, neither that sin nor our other sins can be forgiven.

We should always be ready to minister the love, mercy and grace of God through Jesus Christ to ourselves and others.

With much love, Phil


Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? (1 Corinthians 10:22)

Jealously is the suspicion that we do not enjoy the affection or respect of others, or that another is more loved and respected than ourselves. Most or all of us have been there.

Our God is also Jealous. (Deuteronomy 4:24) He designed and created us to have affections for Him above all others, including ourselves. The first two of the ten commandments express the basis of His jealousy. (Exodus 20:3-6) He knows that no other gods (which are false gods) can love us, provide for us, save us from hell, give us eternal life or even sustain our lives here on earth, so He guards us and protects us with Godly, righteous jealously. Any departure from us loving Him as the One true God provokes and invokes loving action on His part.

Our jealously, in contrast, is invoked as a result of our fleshly, fallen nature. We tend to be jealous for what WE want, not what God wants. We tend to mind the things of the flesh. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5) We can be tempted and provoked to unrighteous jealously over friends, relatives, spouses, or the success of neighbors, peers and associates and even fellow workers at our church.

Or we can mind the things of the Spirit and have righteous, Godly jealously for what God wants. Elijah, even though he underestimated the number of people in Israel who stood with the Lord, was jealous for the Lord. (1 Kings 19:10) Paul was jealous for the Lord over the church at Corinth. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:2-4)

So, if we are going to be jealous, we can choose unrighteous jealously in the flesh for our own desires or righteous jealousy in the Spirit for God's desires.

With much love, Phil


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

In 1965, a song named Turn Turn Turn became an international hit. Many people, including me, had no idea the song was based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 in the Bible. I mainly liked the catchy tune and the words. Here are the Bible verses, written by king Solomon, which comprise the lyrics of the song:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

A season is a short continuance of time that is distinguished from other times. The time between when we are born and when we die is divided into many seasons, natural, God ordained, self chosen or circumstantial. Some seasons repeat themselves.

Nations go through seasons. Israel spent a season in the wilderness. (Joshua 24:7) Even the devil goes through seasons. (Revelation 20:3)

People go through seasons. Using myself as an example, I went through seasons of infancy, childhood and adolescence (natural) then high school and college (self chosen) then early adulthood and working career (self chosen). Then I became born again by receiving Christ (self chosen, God ordained) then I was married (self chosen) and began working in ministry for Him (God ordained). During that time, I served in four different churches (God ordained). Gradually I grew from a baby Christian to a more mature one. (God ordained 1 Corinthians 13:11) Our children grew up, were married and then there were grandchildren (God ordained). I recognized when I had passed the mid-point of my life (natural). I went through a few job changes (circumstantial, self chosen). I retired from a career (circumstantial). And so on. In each of those seasons there were many mini-seasons of varying duration. Sometimes I passed through to another season gladly and gracefully and sometimes I did not want to let go.

Each of us have our own seasons. The key to successfully recognize and navigate through them is to use common sense, pray and seek God's wisdom, don't be moved by fear or impulse, wait patiently if it is not yet time to pass through and move decisively when it is time and be prepared to live with the results.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9) Have a great, joyful Christmas SEASON!

With much love, Phil


Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:21)

One form of an idol is any building or image of a man, animal or thing created by God or man, that has been designated as an object of worship and to be served as a god. Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: (Isaiah 2:8) See also Exodus 20:23, Romans 1:25. I have been to areas in India where there are multiple, elaborately designed, images of gods on every street. It is amazing how many gods that man can imagine!

While we wonder at the folly of building images, buildings, and other things for the purpose of worshiping them, there are things in our minds and hearts that could be objects of worship, such as sports, shopping, money, our careers, ... We can even make idols out of relationships with people, including our own selves! In short, an idol is anyone or anything that we elevate and exalt above the One True God in our heart and by our actions. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3)

Satan is the father of idol worship. (1 Corinthians 10:21)(Isaiah 14:12-14) He is constantly at work lying, deceiving, setting snares, shaping our thoughts, trying to find that one thing that is dear to us so he can help us displace our Lord from top place in our affections. King Solomon, the wisest man (outside of Jesus Christ) who ever lived, was led to idols by many of his heathen wives. (1 Kings 11:4)

Who or what do we love and serve more than God? If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)

With much love, Phil

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

One of the signs of inner joy is a sincere smile. Recently, a normally cheerful person whom I regularly interact with was acting withdrawn, was mum of speech except for one word responses and was apparently absent of that characteristic cheerfulness. In addition to my caring for this person as an individual, I depend on him/her to be joyous and positive. That night I went to the Lord in prayer about what should be done to restore that joy.

The next day, when I saw that person, My mouth said, without prior planning or rehearsal, "Where is your smile? You usually have a warm smile. I miss that smile." Immediately, I sensed the Lord saying "When I see my people not smiling, I miss their smiles - and yours as well." God taught me a lesson that moment.

Since that time, I have focused on presenting a smile to people I encounter throughout my day, knowing that I am also smiling, at, to and for my Lord.

By the way, that person's smile has returned. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.(John 16:33)

With much love, Phil

For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. (Philippians 4:16-17)

To truly prosper in God's Kingdom we must be willing givers. In Luke 21:1-4, Jesus taught that a poor widow who dropped 2 mites, all she had, into the offering gave more than the rich men who gave out of their abundance. Therefore, God rewards not based on the amount we give but on the percentage or proportion we give. But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6) There are many people who have become rich and live well because of their giving. Likewise, there are many who have become poor because they have refused to be givers. There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. (Proverbs 11:24-25)

We should never feel forced to give. Giving should always be done willingly. God can change our hearts to be more willing givers. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Have you ever known someone who never consents to let you buy a meal for them, or who argues and resists you when you are led to give a gift of money or something of value to them, especially if they know you "can't afford it"? Not only must we be willing givers, we must also be willing receivers. There is no guilt in receiving good things that God has for us. God uses other people to bestow blessings back to us. Read Luke 6:27-38.

Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive. When we receive, we are either getting a need met, or we are reaping what we have sown. When we give, we are blessing someone and multiplying our receiving. Here is a personal example: For many years, I had stoppped to render aid to anyone who was stopped along the road with car trouble. (This was before the days of cell phones.) Later, I noticed that every time I was stopped along the road, within minutes someone always stopped to assist me, even when it seemed that no one was around. My giving was the catalyst for my receiving. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)

With much love, Phil

Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. (Proverbs 25:4)

God uses allegories in His Word to describe the spiritual condition of His pople. Jeremiah 18:4-6 describes the nation of Israel, who had gone following after other gods, as a damaged pot of clay and God as the potter who turns the wheel and remakes the clay into a good, usable pot.

Elsewhere, God describes Himself as the finer, or refiner, who turns up extreme heat to make the dross (sin, uncleanliness, ungodly characteristics, ...) rise to the surface and be removed. And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: (Isaiah 1:25) What remains after the purging is an honorable and useful vessel (us). If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:21-22)

As followers of Christ, most of us are a a work in progress. The refining work can be painful and emotional, especially when the heat is turned up during difficult situations in our lives, times when dross is being removed and our world is twirling while cracks in our vessels are being repaired. Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (Romans 9:21)

My experience is that the refining process happens one layer at a time. Even if we previously have made a complete mess of our lives, our Lord the finer/potter is able to repair us and perfect us. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. (1 John 2:5)

With much love, Phil

Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. (Psalm 119:39)

The Bible has documented many instances of situations where God steps in and corrects wayward people and wayward situations, past, present and future. To understand God's judgments we must understand what human behavior brings judgment, what methods that God uses to execute judgment and the end results of the judgments.

Nothing happens on this earth without God knowing about it. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3) God keeps a close eye on the spiritual temperature of individuals, groups and nations and intervenes when He sees it is necessary to make a course correction. God is longsuffering and merciful but there is a limit to the evil that he allows to continue (Psalm 94:10)(Jeremiah 2:19)(Jeremiah 10:24)(Jeremiah 30:11) The purpose of His judgements are root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant. (Jeremiah 1:10) God roots out and destroys the problem then rebuilds and plants the correction.

Causes of corrective judgment:

  • Idolatry, following after false gods.
  • Rejection of God and His Way Jesus Christ and embracement of the world and its ways.
  • Chronic and malicious mistreatment of others, especially the poor and defenseless.
  • Blatant disobedience to God.
  • Emnity against Israel and God's annointed.

The categories of judgment God uses to make major corrections: (Ezekiel 5:17):

  1. FAMINE. Financial meltdown, loss of wealth, severe inflation, drought, crop failure, lack of food, forced cannibalism, lack of clean water, no Word of God being preached.
  2. PESTILENCE. Plagues, sickness, locusts and other plant destroying insects, torments, serpents, scorpions, abnormal weather patterns, unnatural events in the heavens.
  3. THE SWORD. Terror, besiegement, government takeovers, betrayals by friends and other trusted entities, captivity of man, forced migration, slavery, forced indebtedness, torture from the devil allowed by God, separation from or loss of spouse and children.
  4. WILD BEASTS that destroy and devour people.

God's desired outcome of His corrections:

  • Preventing mankind from completely destroying itself.
  • Purging of sin.
  • Repentance by individuals, groups and nations.
  • Revelation and knowledge of who God is.

The good news is that Jesus Christ took all four categories of God's judgment, Famine, (Psalm 22:15)(John 19:28) Pestilence, (Psalm 22:14) the Sword (Matthew 26:47-50) and Wild Beasts, (Psalm 22:12-13) (Psalm 22:16) upon Himself so that we won't have to suffer them (Galatians 3:13) - if we receive that gift.

With much love, Phil

And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. (Mark 10:44)

Before we receive Jesus Christ and make Him Lord over our lives, the Bible says we are servants of sin and our father is the devil. (John 8:34)(John 8:44) But if and when we make that glorious decision to receive Him we become sons of God for eternity. (1 John 3:1-2) We also function as servants of God and servants to one another. The fact that we are servants is in no way demeaning to us. The exalted apostles Paul and Peter as well as James and Jude. the brothers of Jesus, called themselves servants of God and Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:1)(2 Peter 1:1)(James 1:1)(Jude 1:1) Even Jesus came to this earth as a servant. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45) See also Isaiah 42:1 and Philippians 2:5-11.

If we strive to be in a leadership position responsible for the welfare of more people than just ourselves, then the old saying "Be careful what we wish for" comes into effect because our org chart will look like an inverted pyramid with ourselves at the bottom because the leader is servant to all the people he is leading. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. (Mark 9:35)

The rewards for serving the Lord faithfully through our lives are great. Some examples: Joshua served Moses and then was appointed the successor to Moses and led Israel into the promised land. Elisha served Elijah until Elijah was taken up to heaven and then became a greater miracle worker than Elijah. An otherwise little known common man named Epaphras served the church at Colossae faithfully and his name was immortalized in a book of the Bible. (Colossians 4:12) Could he have thought that would happen? We will all be singled out by Christ on our judgement day and rewarded in proportion to our level of faithfulness. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Matthew 25:21)

With much love, Phil


Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. (Matthew 27:38)

When Jesus was crucified, many people were present. Some were mocking and reviling Him, some were lamenting His fate, some were simply watching. (Matthew 27:39)(Luke 23:35)(Luke 23:27)

There were also two thieves, malefactors, as Luke 23:33 calls them, crucified with Jesus. Both thieves also mocked and reviled Him. (Matthew 27:44) Imagine that! However, something happened during the six hours that they hung on the cross before Jesus died. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luk 23:39-43)

Jesus and each of the two thieves had one important thing in common in that both died for the sins of the thieves. The thieves died because they had transgressed the law. Jesus died for their forgiveness. There was also one important difference between Jesus and the thieves in that the thieves were guilty and Jesus was innocent of any wrongdoing and that He shed His blood and died willingly. (Matthew 26:53-54)

During that time of agony hanging on their crosses, one thief recognized Jesus for who He is, repented, and was carried to paradise to be with Jesus. The other moved on to an eternity of miserable torment. We all face that same choice!

With much love, Phil


Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:16)

In this world, we are bombarded constantly with impure thoughts, images, words and actions designed to raise up idols in our hearts to lead us away from intimacy with God. However, For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. (1 Thessalonians 4:7)

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. (Revelation 4:8) The word holy is repeated three times in this verse because the Father is holy, (John 17:11), the Son is holy, (Luke 4:34) and the Holy Spirit is holy. (Luke 11:13) If we have Christ living in us, then we are made holy through Him and given holiness to wear as a garment. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:23-24)

Through Christ, we have the power to turn our eyes, hands, feet, ears and thoughts away from any and all unholy TV shows, books, magazines Web sites, live events, parties, etc. which are poison to our mind and heart. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (1 Peter 1:15)

With much love, Phil


O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalm 136:1)

Have you ever been in a position to where you had the power to rightfully punish someone for doing wrong to you or to someone else but instead you, out of love for that person, withheld some or all of the punishment, even though the person deserved the whole load of it? If so, you have extended mercy in that situation and that person did not receive what he/she deserved.

Well, our Father in heaven also has the power to minister the punishment we deserve but he mostly chooses not to. In fact, the entirety of Psalm 136:1-26, as well as many other scriptures, speak of His mercy and love. He has given His Son Jesus the power to FORGIVE sins and cancel out the punishment we deserve. (Matthew 9:6)(Colossians 2:14)(Ephesians 2:4-6)

Likewise, we are instructed to extend mercy in order to help bring others into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13

With much love, Phil


He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. (Psalm 107:29)

Oh, the troubles that are on the earth! Hurricanes, tornados, floods, volcanos, earthquakes, terrorism, the threat of a one world government, ... One could be driven to panic, except for one thing - Jesus Christ. If we are in Christ we have absolutely nothing to fear in what is happening on this earth. ...for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5) See also (Joshua 1:5)(Hebrews 13:6)(Hebrews 13:8)

To overcome fear and to avoid making foolish decisions, we must focus our hearts on the redeeming love that Christ has for us and His power to see us through the storms of life. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2) So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)

Remember, if we are in Christ, all bad situations come to pass, not to stay. If you are going through hellish situations, don't stop - Keep going. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

With much love, Phil


And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. (Jeremiah 24:7)

Multitudes of people believe there is a God. Even devils believe there is a God. (James 2:19) Many people, though they believe about God, have not received God as THEIR God. Many believe there is a God but do not believe that Jesus Christ is also God and that all salvation comes through Him. There is one and only one criteria for one to be saved and that is ...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:31)

One example in the Gospel of John of a change of his heart to receive salvation is Thomas, one of the twelve apostles. Thomas progressed from having a zeal for God in wanting to die with Jesus (John 11:16) to being skeptical and confused over Jesus (John 14:5) to not believing (John 20:24-25) to receiving Jesus as his God. (John 20:28)

Another example is Paul in the book of Acts. Through some God ordained circumstances, Paul evolved from a zealot who persecuted and killed Christians (Acts 8:1) to one who was willing to do whatever the Lord said to do (Acts 9:6) to bragging about his God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

It is God's desire that we help others to progress in their hearts from seeing God as someone else's god to claiming God as their own.

With much love, Phil

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (John 7:24)

Much has been made by the church, and also by non-believers, of the scripture in Matthew 7:1 where Jesus says "Judge not, that ye be not judged". Some see that scripture as a prohibition against any attempt by Christians to point out and stand against advancement of evil in the church, in our society, or in the world. Others use the same scripture to disavow our responsibility to judge matters that we need to be judging. Jesus told us to judge "righteous judgment". (John 7:24)

What does the Bible say we as Christians should judge and what we should not judge? First, we are to continually judge ourselves, repent when we sin, set Godly examples and don't cause others to sin. (1 Corinthians 11:31-32)(Romans 14:13)

1 Corinthians 5:1-13 tells us not to give implicit or explicit approval to a blatant immoral lifestyle being practiced by another (so called) believer in the church. We are to judge that lifestyle and not fellowship with that invividual as if their lifestyle is acceptable to Christ, or else corruption will settle into the church. ...Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (1 Corinthians 5:6) We are to love and help restore that individual (Galatians 6:1), but we are to expect repentance.

We are also to judge and help settle disputes among believers in the church instead of them suing one another in a secular court of law. (1 Corinthians 6:1-11)

We are to recognize and reject false prophets, wolves in sheeps clothing so they don't lead others astray. (Matthew 7:15-20)(1 John 4:1)

We are NOT to judge by comparing others to ourselves or to other people, or ourselves to others, or by arbitrary standards. (Romans 14:1-17) To judge righteously, it is our responsibility to know the Word of God and apply all of our judging with love and mercy according to the Word. (John 12:48)

With much love, Phil

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

There are several basic forms of government ruling the nations of this world - dictatorships, monarchies, theocracies, democracies, or other variations such as a representative or republican government which forms the United States, according to our constitution.

Regardless of the form of government that we are living under and how easy it is to immerse ourselves in political matters, it is critical that we, as followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, keep foremost in our minds that, although we are living IN this world, we are not OF this world (John 17:16)(1 John 4:4-5)(John 15:19).

Jesus refused the devil's offer to Him of all the kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4:8-11) and He overcame the world through His death and resurrection. (John 16:33) Because of Christ's victory over the world's system, which is controlled by the god of this world, the devil, we are also overcomers of the world (1 John 5:4)(Romans 12:21) and we belong to a higher Kingdom, the Kingdom of God. (Colossians 1:13) The kingdoms of this world are temporary and short lived. The Kingdom of God is eternal.

As Christians, because we live IN this world and God has allowed the citizens of this nation the choice of who we want to represent us, we should be influential in political matters and stand for righteousness and truth. Also, as Christians, because we are not OF this world, we should be more passionate about the Word of God and His Kingdom than we are about the words and actions of the politicians and the rulers of the hour. Our most powerful tool of influence is prayer.

With much love, Phil


The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Mark 1:3)

A wilderness is a desert place that is uncultivated and normally uninhabited by humans, a wild place, a dangerous place with harsh living conditions, a place of wandering. Our spiritual condition can also be a wilderness. Our minds can be a desert place where we are fighting for survival day to day.

How do we get into the wilderness? In short, sin takes us there and keeps us there, even if it is someone else's sin against us. Satan caused the wilderness to exist. (Isaiah 14:12-17) Ishmael grew up in the wilderness because of Abraham's sin. (Genesis 21:20) Israel had to cross the wilderness to escape captivity by Pharaoh in Egypt and ended up staying in the wilderness for 40 years because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:17, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) David had to dwell in the wilderness to hide from king Saul who was trying to assassinate him. (1 Samuel 23:14)

But the wilderness is also a place where deliverance happens. God wants our minds and spirits to abide in fertile places. God made Ishmael a mighty nation. He delivered Israel into a land of milk and honey. He delivered David from Saul and set him as king over Israel. John the baptist ushered in the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ from the wilderness. (Matthew 3:1-3) Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to overcome temptation by the devil and launch His ministry as our savior and deliverer. (Matthew 4:1-11) Through Jesus Christ, even the wilderness can be our friend. (Isaiah 35:1)

My friends, if anyone is dwelling in a spiritual wilderness, we do not have to stay there. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:7-8)

With much love, Phil


Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)

God's right hand is a hand of RIGHTeousness, (Psalm 48:10), strength (Exodus 15:6)(Psalm 98:1) and saftey. (Psalm 73:23) At the Father's right hand sits Jesus Christ Himself. (Luke 22:69)(Romans 8:34) (Colossians 3:1)(Hebrews 8:1)

In the Bible, the highest blessing of someone is done with the right hand (Genesis 48:13-20) and when Christ returns, individuals of all nations will be assembled at His right and left hands, depending on whether they are in RIGHTeous standing with Him, or not. The RIGHTeous will be at His right hand and He will be at the right hand of the RIGHTeous. (Matthew 25:33-46)

Satan tries to sneak in at our right hand and will stay there if we let him. (Psalm 26:9-10)(Psalm 109:6)(Zechariah 3:1)

Even on earth, hand shaking is done with the right hand and the culture of some nations dictates that their people eat with their right hands. A special assistant is referred to as a "right hand man". One can say that Jesus is the Father's "right hand man" and we are Christ's "right hand" people at His service to do His will.

With much love, Phil


And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

Jesus made several references to His disciples about us being required to take up our cross and follow Him. (Matthew 10:38)(Matthew 16:24)(Mark 8:34) What does this mean? Do we need to carry such a heavy burden or be nailed to a cross like Jesus did? For most of us, no.

Philippians 2:4-7 and Hebrews 12:2 describe the attitude that Jesus took to the cross; looking out for others, humbling Himself and being obedient to the Father unto His death while being joyful and seeing ahead the end rewards of his obedience. He was totally committed to fulfilling His purpose during His life on this earth. Likewise, to be true disciples of Jesus Christ and fulfill His purpose for us during this life on this earth we must also carry the same attitude that Jesus carried. (Luke 14:27)

When we are carrying our cross and following Him daily, we don't have much room to live a selfish life and to seek our own comfort. We are living for Him and for others. Does this mean that we must endure imprisonment, torture and martyrdom for Christ? Maybe, maybe not. For most of us, carrying our cross mainly involves being unselfish and obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit and remain steadfast in that to the end of our lives. Will it be difficult? Sometimes no, sometimes yes, but it should always be joyful. Jesus did say that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:29-30) and that His grace is sufficient for us. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

With much love, Phil


For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:10)

The love of money is a form of idol worship or idolatry where an individual or a group loves financial gain more than they love God - or loves it instead of God. This form of idolatry is called mammon. Unlike other idols which are built of materials, mammon is almost unlimited in how large it can grow or the influence it can exhibit. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)

I have seen several people close to me totally mess up a great opportunity to serve the Lord in ministry and grow into a higher level in the kingdom of God, if they had simply remained content with their current situation and trusted the Lord to promote and prosper them in His own time. Instead, they became greedy for instant gain and used unjust means to try to fast-track their road to riches. Although they can be restored by repentance, it is heartbreaking to watch them fall. There are examples of similar scenarios in the Bible. (1 Samuel 8:1-3)

I have also seen many people serve the Lord humbly throughout their lives and, although some remained poor by the world's standards, were taken care of in their last days, celebrated at their funerals and were most certainly welcomed into heaven to receive great rewards. Others obtained great riches by living wisely and met the same celebration at the end.

God has absolutely no problem with His people prospering, (Psalm 35:27)(3 John 1:2) but He wants our prosperity and riches to be gained with integrity by righteous means. A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. (Psalm 37:16) Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. (Psalm 112:1-3)

He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. (Proverbs 11:28)

To a prosperous life, Phil


And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. (Genesis 35:10)

There are many opinions and debates about Israel's place in history and also in the future. This is some of what I see in the Word of God concerning Israel and Israel's future.

God called a man named Abram, who was in a family of idol worshippers, to separate himself from his family and home and go to a place that God would choose. (Genesis 12:1) God also promised him a son in his and his wife's old age (Genesis 15:4). Abram obeyed. God later named Abram to Abraham and gave him a promise that he would be a father of many nations and through him all the families of the earth would be blessed through faith in his seed Jesus Christ. (Romans 4:13)(Galatians 3:16) He also promised Abraham and his descendants a certain area of land, part of which is currently the nation of Israel. Those of us who are in Christ are spiritual descendants of Abraham. (Galatians 3:29)

God miraculously provided a son named Isaac to Abraham and Sarah and then a grandson Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel. So, from the lineage of Abraham through Isaac and Israel (Jacob), our saviour Jesus Christ was brought into this world as the Son of God and the son of man. God chose Israel to present the salvation through Christ to the world but Israel as a nation rejected Christ.

There is a physical nation of Israel on this earth and there is also a heavenly or spiritual Israel. Spiritual Israel is illustrated as an olive tree which is currently the church with Christ as the root of the tree. (Romans 11:17-24) Because of unbelief, except for a remnant of Israelites, the nation of Israel continues to reject Christ. God therefore grafted the wild branch (Gentiles, non-Jews) into His olive tree but promised that the believers in Israel, the natural branches, will surely be rejoined to the tree. So, for now, the gospel is preached to the world mostly by the Gentiles, but God still intends for Israel to present Christ to the world - and they will do so. These verses also contain a warning to the Gentiles not to become haughty about assuming some of Israel's status.

If there is any doubt that Israel has a place in the future there is, along with many prophesies of God promising that Israel will be completely restored, the description of the new Jerusalem coming out of heaven onto this earth. (Revelation 3:12)(Revelation 21:2-3) Jesus will set up His headquarters in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and eventually our Father will join Him and all nations will be coming to worship them.

Those who bless Israel will be blessed. Those who curse Israel will be cursed. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:3)

With much love, Phil


...If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; (John 8:31)

In computer programming, when an "If" statement is used, then a "Then" or a "Then/Else" statement that directs the outcome always follows. The same concept of "If/Then/Else" is in the Word of God and applies to each of our lives. Here are some examples:

If we pray AND believe, then ALL things are possible. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (Mark 9:23)

If I am a man or woman of prayer, then I will have peace. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

If I am a man or woman of God, then I will not worry. (Luke 12:22-32)

If I am a man or woman of God, then I have the power and strength to resist temptation. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) See also (Hebrews 4:15).

If I am a man or woman of God, then, then I am not bound to the past. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Under normal circumstances, a computer will always do exactly what it is told and you can count on the results. The "If/Then/Else" principles in the Bible are even more sure.

With much love, Phil

In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.(Psalm 120:1)

Have you ever fallen into a situation where you were completely innocent in your heart of any wrongdoing but somehow you were unjustly blamed for the situation and there was no way to explain your side? I would guess that you have - and I know I have. What do we do as an alternative to holding onto anointing destroying hurt, resentment, unforgiveness and bitterness for being wronged?

The answer is easy and unfailingly effective, although the execution of the answer may not always be easy.

The first thing to do is to not receive the hurt feelings and forgive quickly (Mark 11:25). Let it go like water off of a duck's back.

Secondly, especially if you are struggling with hurt feelings or unforgiveness, take your case to the higher court, the court of the only truly righteous judge. O LORD, thou hast seen my wrong: judge thou my cause. (Lamentations 3:59) With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles...(2 Chronicles 32:8) Jesus was sent to heal the brokenhearted. (Luke 4:18) (See also Psalm 26:1-12) Exalt Him with praise, submit to Him in worship and enter into His courtroom in prayer and He will judge righteously and grant you His peace and comfort and show you what else, if anything, needs to be done.

Having peace and love in your heart during and after those situations is more important than other peoples' perceptions. If you are innocent and forgive, God will ALWAYS rule in your favor. If you share in the wrong, God will ALWAYS forgive. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31)

With much love, Phil

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. (Rev 3:11)

As Christians, we are looking forward to Jesus Christ's return to this earth to set up His 1,000 year kingdom. Many have tried to figure out WHEN this will happen by analyzing celestial patterns, calendar events and other resources, including the Bible itself. In this day and age, any predictions of the date of His return invariably have been and will be wrong.

We can however, gather from the Word of God why Jesus is waiting to return. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) If we read the entirety of 2 Peter 3:1-13, we can see that Peter is telling us clearly that Jesus is waiting for people to repent and turn to him. To God, bringing more souls into His family while there is still time is of utmost importance and supercedes any current earthly timeframe.

There is a future timeframe, although we don't know when it will begin, where a seven year countdown will start ticking. The last 3 1/2 years of that timeframe, called the great tribulation, will unleash a wrath of God and a wrath of satan that will be a sample of hell on this earth. (Read and understand the scriptures in (Revelation)(Daniel 9-12)(Zechariah)(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)(2 Thessalonians 2:1-12) and every other prophesy scattered through the Bible.) The underlying purpose of all of the judgements poured out on mankind is to get those sinners remaining on this earth to repent and receive Jesus before time runs out so they will not be judged to an everlasting hell. (Revelation 9:20-21) During that timeframe God provides 144,000 jewish servants (Revelation 7:1-8), two witnesses (Revelation 11:1-14) and even an angel (Revelation 14:6-7) to very visibly prophesy and preach the Word of God to the world and lead people to repentance. God, out of His love for mankind, is doing everything to get people to repent.

Let us pray that our priorities and urgencies match God's priorities and urgencies. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Revelation 3:19)

With much love, Phil

6/19/2017 thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16:11)

Joy is a delight of the mind from the consideration of the present or an anticipated future. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and is a companion of righteousness and peace in the kingdom of God. (Romans 14:17) True joy can only be achieved and maintained through faith in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and dwelling in the Lord's presence. (Psalm 35:9) Jesus Himself endured the cross because of the joy that was set before Him. (Hebrews 12:2) His desire for us and our right is for our joy may be full by abiding in Him and His love. (John 15:10-11)

As Christians, we are equipped to bring joy to others, even to our bosses and overseers and even when performing unpleasant or mundane tasks. (Hebrews 13:17)

If we are without joy, then our fellowship with the Lord has been damaged or broken, but with repentance our joy is restored. (Psalm 30:5, 51:12)

When I am struggling to be joyful, my favorite scripture is This is the day which the LORD hath made; we [I] will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

Whenever we go through hard times, or whenever we go through great times, it is important for us to keep our joy level higher than our problems level, our pride level and our euphoria level. The joy of the Lord is our strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)

With much love, Phil


Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Many scriptures in the Bible exhort us as Christians to perform good works. (Ephesians 2:10)(2 Timothy 3:17)(Titus 3:8)(Hebrews 10:24) We who understand the Bible also know that good works will not get us into heaven. In fact, Isaiah 64:6 tells us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Only through faith in Jesus Christ will we get to heaven. So, why then, is it so important that we go out of our way to do good works according to our ability, such as helping the poor, visiting those in prison, being kind to neighbors, sending notes of encouragement, defending the defenselessness, publicly standing for righteousness and so on? The short, obvious answer is it helps other people and we store up treasures in heaven.

Along with the title scripture above, (1 Peter 2:11-12) gives us a another very good reason for us to do good works. They glorify God in the sight of others. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Unless we spend all of our Christian lives hiding under a bushel basket, people are watching us, especially our unsaved friends and acquaintances and people we witness to. Some are wanting to see us stumble so they can justify themselves. If we keep ourselves above reproach (and repent quickly) through good times and bad, times of strength and times of weakness and are motivated by love, we glorify God before others and some will be drawn to Jesus Christ by observing our behavior. Also, no one can build a valid case against us and against our Lord.

Lord, help us to consistently manifest good works before You and others so that You will be glorified in their sight.

With much love, Phil

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (Mar 11:24)

One Sunday, when Janice and I were driving the church van picking up children in the community, one father came out to meet us. He needed prayer. While praying, I received a vision of a wall made of plexiglass standing between me and the man I was praying for. Even as I was praying the Holy Spirit urged me to speak to the wall of unbelief and command it to be removed, an urging which I obeyed. It was then that I realized that a tiny seed of doubt that the Lord was going to answer my prayers had sprouted up in me.

Not only had the Lord had given me a major course correction, He showed me the key to dealing with unbelief of any measure, whether it is by by the prayor, the prayee or the attendees. When I spoke against that wall of unbelief, the plexiglass wall vanished! Until then, my prayers were bouncing off that wall.

Praying with doubt that our prayers will get results, or praying with the belief that our prayers are of little power or significance in God's eyes is actually an affront to God's Word. In Matthew 17:14-21, Jesus rebuked His disciples for their unbelief in not being able to cast a devil out of a man's son. In Luke 8:49-56, Jesus made unbelievers leave the house of a man's dead daughter while He spoke her back to life. Likewise, Peter, at a house in the city of Joppa, had to put out the unbelievers before he spoke Tabitha back to life and subsequently showed her to the others and many believed. (Acts 9:36-42)

It only takes faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains by prayer. It also takes just a little leaven of unbelief for the mountain not to move. Seeds of unbelief are sowed by the enemy and the wall of unbelief is built by lettings those seeds sprout. Tear down the wall of unbelief with your words and let faith work for you.

With much love, Phil


For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar;...(Rom 3:3-4)

A multitude of unsaved people on this earth have never read the Bible or have read the Bible and heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ but do not believe what it says. There are also many Christians who pick and choose what they want to believe about what God is saying to us and how it fits into their doctrine. Even if someone, anyone or everyone disbelieves the Word of God and regardless of what WE say and how we reason it out, God's Word is still true! God does not change with passing generations or with the changing of society. God does NOT say "Oh, it has been 2,000 years since My Word was written, we better update it to make it more in line with contemporary thinking." (Hebrews 13:8)(Matthew 24:35) As ridiculous as that sounds, many people believe the Bible is outdated.

One of our responsibilities as Christians is to study the Bible and understand the character of God. (2 Timothy 2:15) We need to view each verse and word in the Bible as a piece of a giant picture of truth that God has sliced up into tiny pieces. The analogy can be made to a large jigsaw puzzle, that when most of the puzzle pieces are in place, allows us to realize a more complete picture of what the artist has provided for us.

If we say: "It's impossible.", God says "All things are possible." (Luke 18:27)
If we say "I'm too tired.", God says "I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28-30)
If we say "No one loves me.", God says "I love you and I command others to love you.." (John 3:16)(John 15:12)
If we say "I can't go on.", God says My grace is sufficient for you. (2 Corinthians 12:9)(Psalm 91:15)
If we say "I can't figure it out.", God says "Trust in Me. I will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
If we say "I can't do it.", God says "I am able, and you are too." (2 Corinthians 9:8)
If we say "Nothing good is happening to me.", God says "All things work together for your good." (Romans 8:28)
If we say "I can't forgive myself.", God says, "I forgive you. You also need to forgive." (1 john 1:9)(Romans 8:1)
If we say "I can't manage.", God says "I will supply all of your need." (Philippians 4:19)
If we say "I'm afraid.", God says "Fear not. I have not given you a spirit of fear." (Luke 12:7)(2 Timothy 1:7)
If we say "I'm always worried and frustrated.", God says "Cast all your cares on me because I care for you." (1 Peter 5:7)
If we say "I'm not smart enough.", God says "I give you wisdom, knowledge and understanding." "I am your wisdom." (Proverbs 2:6)(Colossians 2:3)
If we say "I feel all alone.", God says "I will never leave you or forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
If we say "There are many ways to God.", God says "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14:6)

So, if our word and beliefs differ from God's Word and His promises, who is right? God - every time. Believe Him!

With much love, Phil


But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

The Bible recognizes five types or categories of giving. They are:

  • Tithes. The 10% of one's monetary increase or time given to the Lord for the support of those dedicated to preaching and teaching the Gospel and for buildings to assemble in. Although tithing was required by the law given to Israel through Moses, many in the church believe the tithe remains today as a principle established by God and that it is the minimum that should be given to the Lord by a Christian.
  • Offerings. Items of value voluntarily given with a pure heart to the Lord. An offering can also include prayer or praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord.
  • Alms. Any charitable gift (compassion, money, food, clothing, ...) to relieve the poor or to help someone in need. Alms should be given without unnecessary fanfare. (Matthew 6:1-2).
  • Gifts. A present or anything bestowed without compensation from us to another, or from God to us.
  • Bribes. A price, reward, gift or favor bestowed or promised with a view to pervert justice, truth or rectitude.

We reap rewards from the Lord for all types of giving. There is even a negative reward for bribes. (Job 15:34)

A woman disciple named Tabitha, AKA Dorcas, who was known for the good works and almsdeeds which she did, got sick and died. The disciples knew that Peter was near the city and sent for him. When Peter came the widows mourning for Dorcas showed him the coats and garments that she had made for others. Peter prayed and spoke Tabitha back to life. Her almsgiving was in part responsible for the salvation of many in the citty of Joppa. (Acts 9:36-42)

A Gentile centurian named Cornelius also received special favor from God because he loved Israel, prayed always and gave alms. He and his household became the first Gentiles to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the baptism of the Holy Spirit and become part of the church. (Acts 10:1-48)

With much love, Phil

[That you might be] Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (Colossians 1:10-11)

The King James Version (KJV) of the Bible makes a distinction between patience and longsuffering. Here is the difference between the two words:

Patience is the perseverance through afflictions, pain, toil, calamity or other evil, knowing that there is justice and an expected good at the end of the suffering. Patience is the endurance of difficult circumstances.(1) Patience is needed in travelling through wearisome seasons in life, waiting in lines, traffic or for our glory in heaven. Patience will especially be needed by Christians who may live on this earth during the great tribulation.

Longsuffering is the enduring and unfailing love we display to others who are wittingly or unwittingly attempting to irritate or provoke us or are otherwise causing problems for us. Longsuffering is the endurance of people.(2) Longsuffering is needed in raising children, navigating through a successful marriage and dealing with difficult co-workers and selfish, demanding or boring people.

Patience and longsuffering are sometimes used interchangably, as are other Godly character attributes, but there is a general distinction in the application of the two words. Our Father, Jesus Christ (The Word of God) and the Holy Spirit work together to supply all the tools and information we need to practice patience and longsuffering through every situation.

Keep on truckin with perseverence, Phil

(1) Romans 5:3-4  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
2 Corinthians 6:4  But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
2 Thessalonians 1:4  So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
Hebrews 6:12  That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Revelation 14:12  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

(2) Psalm 86:15  But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Ephesians 4:2-3  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Colossians 3:12  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
2 Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.


...Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (Isaiah 28:16)

All of my life, up to the age of 33, was spent pursuing the wrong things, and my life was a mess. I had been in church for more than half of those years, but I had never received received salvation through the Rock, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 10:4)

In Kenya, where our Children's Home, Haven on the Hill, is located, the walls of some modern houses are made of stone. To start, a trench is dug in the soil for every wall that will be in the house and a foundation consisting of quarry stones is laid, each stone fitted and mortared together with the others. The first stone of the foundation is strategically placed at one corner of the building, and the entire foundation is built and squared around that corner stone. Once the foundation has been layed, the stone walls, also aligned with the corner stone, are fitted together.

In God's house, The corner stone is Jesus Christ, built on a Rock, which is also Jesus Christ. Christ is building his church upon that Rock (Matthew 16:18), the foundation was laid by the apostles and receivers of Jesus Christ are part of the church, the household of God. (Ephesians 2:19-22) We Christians are living stones fitted together in the walls of His house. (1 Peter 2:5) Each of us has a unique function in building the church. And His house is forever!

Luke 6:49 describes the man I was before I stopped running from God. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. My spiritual house was falling.

After I received Jesus Christ, I am described in Luke 6:47-48: Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. My spiritual house is solid.

Trying to live a good life and get to heaven without Jesus Christ is futile. I urge you to build your house upon the Rock.

With much love, Phil

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. (Luke 6:35)

We all have enemies of some sort. The best enemy to have is the one who hates you simply because you are a child of God. The worst enemy to have is one you yourself have chosen to be your enemy for personal reasons. The former gives you the upper hand because they have chosen you as their enemy, and God is on your side. The latter puts you at a disadvantage in that you have some spiritual and soulish issues to work out between you and the Lord before you can deal righteously with your enemy.

Regardless of how or why we became enemies (political or religious opponents, racism, spiritual opponents, jealously, unforgiveness over past wrongs, etc.), We are commanded by God to walk in love toward them. Loving our enemies requires strategy focused on three things, (1) bringing them (and ourselves) to repentance by prayer for them and/or personal interaction with them, (Matthew 5:44)(Luke 6:27-36) (2) building character and patience in us and (3) reaping a reward from the Lord.

We need to love our enemies because our Father loves them. (Luke 6:35) See also Romans 5:3-5. We need to remember that we were once enemies with God before we accepted Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:10) We must also remember that Christ is going to deal with His enemies (1 Corinthians 15:25) and that if our ways please the Lord, He will cause our enemies to be at peace with us. (Proverbs 16:7)

With much love, Phil


...He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? (John 21:17)

Simon, who Jesus surnamed Peter, was called of God to do great things for His kingdom. God had gifted Peter with leadership ability and he possessed a zeal to lead in serving God. Interestingly, in notable events in Peter's life, God communicated messages to and solicted responses from Peter in patterns of threes.

Peter, along with James and John, was one of three disciples that were in the Jesus' inner circle. He had priviledged witness to major events in Jesus' ministry.

In the garden of Gethsemane, just before He was arrested, Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him and and admonished them to watch and pray while He himself prayed. Three times he found them sleeping and woke them up. He singled out Peter as the one who most needed to watch and pray. (Matthew 26:36-46)(Mark 14:32-42)

A little later, when Jesus was being interrogated by Caiaphas, the high priest, Peter denied three times that He knew Jesus. (Matthew 26:69-75)(Mark 14:66-72)(Luke 22:54-62). This threefold denial was prophesied by Jesus earlier that night and Jesus told Peter that He had prayed that his faith would not fail. (Luke 22:31-34)

When Jesus raised from the dead after His crucifixion, on the third time that He appeared to his disciples, (John 21:14) Jesus asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?" (John 21:15-19) Peter affirmed his love for Jesus each time, once for each of the three times that he had denied Him. This exchange restored Peter. Jesus told Peter three times to "Feed my lambs/sheep" and prophesied the type of death that Peter would suffer for serving Him. (John 21:18-19)

God used Peter to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles, starting with Cornelius and his house, after He showed Peter a vision of a sheet full of unclean animals coming out of heaven. This vision was shown to Peter three times. (Acts 10:9-17)

Peter was instrumental in first ministering the baptism of the Holy Spirit and establishing the church to three groups of people, Jews, (Jerusalem/Judaea) (Acts 2:1-41), Samaritans, (Acts 8:14-17) and Gentiles (Acts 10:1-48), in accordance with the directive that Jesus gave His disciples just before He ascended to heaven. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

The Lord had tasked Peter with a big job to do as a leader in building the church and satan tried to destroy him and stop the work before he could get to it. However, Jesus interceded for him before his fail and restored him after his fail. Jesus still intercedes for us (Hebrews 7:25) and restores us today. If God is for us, who can be against us! (Romans 8:31)

With much love, Phil

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (1 Corinthians 11:24)

When I was growing up as a Roman Catholic and was attending a Roman Catholic primary school, we were taught to fast a short period before attending the church service and to examine our conscience before partaking of communion, the Lord's supper. That teaching planted a seed in me, and in my older years I have been striving to have a greater understanding of the significance of partaking in the Lord's supper.

In 2 Corinthians 11:17-34(1) Paul ministers correction to the Church of Corinth for partaking in communion unworthily and for not discerning the the Lord's body. By "unWORTHily", Paul is referring to many in the church who viewed the Lord's supper as little or no worth to them. Some who gathered with the church even disregarded and refused to receive the two greatest gifts that the Father gave to us through Jesus Christ, His body and His blood.

On the night before He died, after His passover supper, Jesus, the Bread of life (John 6:51, 6:33-35), took bread, broke and blessed it gave it to the disciples and instructed the to eat and do it in remembrance of Him. (Matthew 26:26)(Mark 14:22)(Luke 22:19)(1 Corinthians 11:24) Christ broke the bread which represented His body and distributed it out. His body is still being distributed to His church and Jesus admonished us to remember that and capitalize on it. As Jesus once distributed a few loaves of bread to 5,000 and then to 4,000 men and there was plenty left over, there is enough of His body for every single believer in the church-and plenty left over. In John 6:51, Jesus said "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." The life that Jesus speaks of is not only eternal life in the world to come, but abundant life in this life. (John 10:10)

Jesus then took the cup of wine, gave thanks and gave it to the disciples told them to drink. The wine represents Jesus' blood which He shed as part of a new covenant for the permanent forgiveness, discharge and pardon of our sins. (Matthew 26:28)(Colossians 1:14)

So, when we who are saved partake of and share the Lord's supper, (If you are unsaved, do not do it (1 Corinthians 11:29)) the more accurately we discern the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:29) and the more WORTH we place on the gifts that the Father and Jesus gave to us through His body and His blood and the more value we receive from those gifts, the more abundant our life will be. Our lives can range from barely making it through life to being consistently full of the fruit of the Spirit and prepared for any situation that we are faced with. Our lives can range from struggling against sin to being at rest and totally sin, guilt and iniquity free. God has provided more than enough for us to have the most abundant lives. To what degree we receive that provision is up to us.

With much love, Phil

(1) 1 Corinthians 11:17-34  Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.  (18)  For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.  (19)  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.  (20)  When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.  (21)  For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.  (22)  What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.  (23)  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:  (24)  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.   (25)  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  (26)  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.  (27)  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.   (28)  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  (29)  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.  (30)  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  (31)  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  (32)  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.  (33)  Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.  (34)  And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

In God's view, there are three classes of people in this world, the wise, the fools and those who are wise but act like fools.

The wise: We must understand first that wisdom is one of God's attributes and Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:24)(Proverbs 8:1-9:18)(1 Corinthians 1:24)(1 Corinthians 2:7-8) (Isaiah 11:1-2)(Ephesians 3:10-11)(Colossians 2:2-3) When we believe on and receive Christ in our hearts we also receive God's attribute of wisdom and are considered wise in God's eyes. (1 Corinthians 1:30)(Proverbs 13:20)(1 Corinthians 3:18)(Proverbs 9:10)(Proverbs 15:24)(Daniel 12:3)(Matthew 24:45-51)

The fools: We must also understand that satan is the ultimate fool. He traded in his God given wisdom for foolishness because of pride. (Ezekiel 28:12-15)(Isaiah 14:12-15) He presented his folly to Eve, and then to Adam, and convinced them that his perverted wisdom was to be desired above what God had provided for them. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Gen 3:6) Thus, the wisdom of the world was authored.

So now we have two opposite viewpoints, the wisdom of God manifested in the wisdom of the wise who are in Christ, and the wisdom of the world manifested in the foolishness of those who have rejected Christ. The fools view the wisdom of God as foolishness, while God clearly knows those who embrace the wisdom of the world as fools. (1 Corinthians 3:18-20)(1 Corinthians 1:19-20)(Psalm 14:1)(Luke 24:25) (1 Corinthians 2:14)(1 Corinthians 1:23)(Jeremiah 4:22)(Jeremiah 5:4)(Proverbs 24:9)(Matthew 7:24-27) (Read also the parables which Jesus taught) In general, the fools ridicule and persecute the wise and call them foolish and the wise recognize the foolish as fools and have compassion on them. God has compassion on both sides but judges each side differently.

The third class of people is the wise who have received Christ, but still live and act like the fools to some degree. They have temporarily lapsed into choosing to walk outside the character of Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 5:1)(Ephesians 5:15-18)(1 Thessalonians 4:4-7)(2 Thessalonians 3:6)(2 Thessalonians 3:14-15) The scriptures call us to attempt to restore these wayward souls.(James 5:20)

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30)

With much love, Phil

But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? (Luke 10:29)

There is a well known scene in the Bible about a lawyer who approached Jesus and asked Him "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus began the following dialog with the man:
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  (26)  He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? (27)  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.  (28)  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. (29) But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? (30) And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  (31)  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. (32) And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.  (33)  But a certain Samaritan , as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,  (34)  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. (35) And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. (36) Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?  (37)  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. (Luke 10:25-37)

The lawyer was tempting Jesus and was trying to justify himself, even though he did not have love in his heart for certain people. Jesus used the story about the Jewish man who embarked on a journey from Jerusalem to Jericho and was ambushed by thieves/murderers who left him half dead. A priest and then a Levite passed by and each were too self occupied to help the man. They even crossed to the other side of the path to avoid him. But a Samaritan (a people whom the jews hated) had compassion for the striken man, treated his wounds and paid for his recovery. Jesus answered the question of "who is my neighbor?" and gave the lawyer his salvation marching orders.

On my recent airplane trip home from Kenya, the Lord brought clearly into my remembrance who my neighbor is. Yes, a neighbor is one who LIVES near us but, as in the story above, a neighbor is also one who IS CURRENTLY near us. Our neighbors are the ones sitting in the seats next to us and the ones in the aisle walking past us on the plane. Our neighbors are the ones standing in the line with us waiting for something, or the one who arrives at a door at the same time as us or the ones who are in close proximity to us on a busy freeway. Even the beggar who stands at an intersection is our neighbor while we are also in the intersection. God places neighbors in our path. Whether we love those neighbors or not during those brief times of opportunity will be reflected in our thoughts, our compassions and our behaviour toward them.

I thanked the Lord for bringing this important reminder to me and immediately began putting the law of love into action. I took extra care to not spill my elbow over into the seat of the person next to me. I took care when leaning my seat back. I looked for those who needed help removing their carry-on articles from the overhead bin. I lowered my level of selfishness when deplaning. I strove to be more courteous to the security and Customs agents. These are things that one who loves his/her neighbors should always do.

Did the Holy Spirit quicken this into me just so I could write it down for others? I don't think so. I obviously needed to increase my compassion for those whom I don't necessarily know but who nevertheless cross my path. If this helps anyone else then I consider it a bonus.

With much love, Phil

For many are called, but few are chosen. (Mat 22:14)

Every individual person has a basic calling to receive Jesus Christ and join the kingdom of God. A calling is not a command, but an invitation - an invitation from our loving Father through Jesus to share eternity with Him. We, as individuals, have an absolute choice to accept or decline that invitation and the many temporal and eternal blessings offered to us. (Matthew 22:1-10) If we accept the invitation, then we are chosen.

There is also a higher purpose that God calls (invites) us to, and that is to the work that He has for us to do. Think of it. The God who made heaven and earth invites each of us to not only be His child, but also to go to work for Him. That is the ultimate job offer!

An example of a person being personally called (invited) by Jesus is found in three of the four Gospel books. (Matthew 19:16-29)(Mark 10:17-30)(Luke 18:18-30) As Jesus was going along the way, a man whom the Gospel accounts say is rich, young and is a ruler of some sort, runs up to Jesus, kneels before Him and asks Him "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus responds that he must keep the commandments, don't commit adultery, kill, steal, lie about others or defraud. He must honor his parents and love his neighbor as himself. The ruler apparently was a nice guy because he responded that he had kept all those from his youth. He then asked "What am I still lacking?" Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, "One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me." (Mark 10:21) The ruler went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:22)

As the ruler went, Jesus told His disciples "Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:23-24) Wait a minute! Does God place a requirement on people NOT to be rich in order to get saved? His disciples were also amazed. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:25-26)

Let me be clear. There are many rich people in heaven and heading to heaven. Wealth is relative. In fact, God desires that everything we set our hands to do will prosper. The kingdom of God needs rich people to help fund those that spread the Gospel. The key to understanding Jesus' comment about the camel and the needle is in knowing that, just as it is impossible for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle, it is impossible for man to save himself. Only by TRUSTING in God through Jesus Christ can man be saved. The key issue here is TRUST. The ruler had accomplished much by the world's standards but he was poor in God's eyes because he TRUSTED in riches. He did not trust God to do without his worldly riches and Jesus knew it. Being a nice, rich guy won't get someone into heaven. He chose his possessions over salvation. The sad part is that God would have paid him back many times over.

Jesus had not only called the ruler to repent and have saving faith, but He also called (invited) him to a special calling, and that is to literally follow Jesus. "... and come, take up the cross, and follow me." (Mark 10:21) Jesus was inviting the ruler to accompany Him, along with his disciples, on His journey. He was invited to spend life on the road with the Saviour of the world but he could not travel with all the possessions that were holding him back. Jesus and his company traveled light. The ruler was grieved and declined the invitations to salvation and also to great works and heavenly wealth - at least at that time. He did not have faith to be saved. His riches were his god. How sad!

As the ruler went on his way, having chosen grief and sorrow over the joy of salvation and serving the Lord, Jesus went on to confirm with Peter and those following Him that they would indeed be richly rewarded in this life and the life to come for trusting Him and accepting His callings. (Matthew 19:27-29)(Mark 10:28-30) (Luke 18:28-30)

How many of us have declined invitations from God because we did not trust Him? Many more than God would prefer.

With much love, Phil


Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:1)

God has assured us that, as long as this present earth remains, there will always be a day and a night. (Genesis 8:20) He has given us an equal assurance that every day is a new day. Throughout the Bible, Jesus is referred to as the symbol of a new day. He is the Sun of righteousness, (Malachi 4:2) the dayspring from on high (Luke 1:78), the bright and morning star (Revelation 22:16) and the day star. (2 Peter 1:19) He lit up the world and us! (John 1:9) There are many other referrences to Jesus being and bringing in a new day, too many to go into here in this short space.

The point is that Jesus provides each new day as an opportunity for a new start. (Lamentations 3:22-23) If we have had what we consider a great day, we can humble ourselves and rest up for another possibly greater day. If we have had a lousy day we have the opportunity to shake off our anger, (Ephesians 4:26) trade in our pride, forgive, repent, encourage ourselves and each other and generally set the stage for receiving grace for a new, fresh day (1 Thessalonians 5:5) and be ready to shine our light in the darkness. (Matthew 5:14)

Remember, our worst day with Christ is much better than a best day without Christ. Each day with Jesus is truly a new day!

For Jesus, Phil

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21)

There are many ways in this world to invest; stocks, mutual funds, real estate, businesses, and so on. We all need to invest time and efforts into worldly things in order to live. However, there is an infinitely better investment available to us than any of the worlds offerings, and here is why:

First of all, everything good that we have and can have on this earth comes from our Father in heaven, even to those who don't believe in God. (James 1:17)(Deuteronomy 28:12) (Matthew 5:45)(James 3:17) That is because God loves even those who don't love Him.

On top of the basic goodness that God supplies to everyone, when we receive Jesus Christ, we activate a pre-approved rewards account in heaven. It is our savings AND our checking account. It pays very high returns and it is 100% secure. (Matthew 6:20) We can make deposits to and withdrawals from the account at any time.

We make deposits to our checking and savings treasure account by studying the Bible, (John 5:39) by loving God and others, by putting priority on heavenly things over earthly things, (Colossians 3:2) by exercising faith, (Hebrews 11:6) by obeying the Holy Spirit and serving Jesus (Mark 10:21) and by being faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)

Not surprisingly, we earn withdrawals from our heavenly checking account, without any concern about overdrafts, by doing the same things, because whatever we sow into heaven, we also reap from heaven. (Mark 10:28-30)(Philippians 4:17-19)(Proverbs 19:17)(Luke 6:35)(Hebrews 11:24-26)(Luke 19:17)(Galatians 6:7-10)

Jesus Himself will bring the contents of our savings account (with much interest) with Him at the end of this age when we are resurrected. (Matthew 16:27)(Revelation 22:12) (2 John 1:8)(1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

Storing up treasures in heaven is an absolutely safe and extremely rewarding eternal investment. Whatever we send up to heaven comes back down to us in greater measure.

Best of success in your ventures, Phil


And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. (Mark 1:35)

We know the great works that Jesus did and the great legacy of His kingdom that he brought to earth and left with us, but do we know how much Jesus depended on prayer? Here are some examples of what Jesus (and His disciples) accomplished through prayer. Those same powerful heavenly forces are also available to us if and when we pray.

  • Jesus fasted (and prayed) in the wilderness 40 days after his baptism and just before His ministry ramped up. (Luke 4:1-15)
  • To beat the crowd, Jesus got up early in the morning and went out alone so He could pray, even after working late healing people the night before. (Mark 1:32-35)
  • Jesus prayed all night before selecting His twelve apostles. (Luke 6:12-13)
  • Jesus laid his hands on and prayed for little children. (Matthew 19:13-15)
  • Jesus prayed before feeding the 5,000 people in the desert. (Matthew 14:19-22) And after feeding the 5,000 He prayed again before walking on water. (Matthew 14:23-25)
  • Jesus prayed before He gave us the model for praying, known as the Lord's Prayer. (Luke 11:1-4)
  • Jesus shone in glory and was joined by Moses and Elijah while praying. (Luke 9:28-31)
  • Nothing stopped Jesus from praying – even if he had to go to the wilderness to be alone. (Luke 5:15-16)
  • Jesus, knowing in advance that Peter was going to deny Him, prayed for him that his faith would not fail afterward. (Luke 22:31-32)
  • Jesus, knowing the suffering and abandonment that awaited Him, prayed before being taken to the cross, and an angel strengthened Him. (Matthew 26:36) (Luke 22:42-44)
  • Jesus did NOT pray to be rescued from His assignment of the cross by angels. (Matthew 26:53-54)
  • Jesus prayed for our forgiveness while being crucified. (Luke 23:33-34)
  • Jesus prayed when He finished His work on the cross. (John 19:30)(Luke 23:46)
  • Jesus prayed for the church so that the world may know Him. (John 17:1-26)
  • Jesus commanded that WE forgive while praying, or else we will not be forgiven. (Mark 11:25-26)
  • Jesus told us always to pray. (Luke 18:1-8)
  • Jesus gave us authority to pray directly to Father in His name. (John 16:23-28)
  • Jesus, even now, sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven interceding for us. (Romans 8:34)(Hebrews 7:25)
  • Jesus asked the Father to give us the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17) and commissioned Him to also intercede for us. (Romans 8:26-28)
  • When we pray the Father’s will, we have Christ and the Holy Spirit teaming with us. (1 Thessalonians 5:17-19)
  • We are God’s prayer vehicles on earth. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Enough said for now, huh?

To our prayer life, Phil


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (1 Corinthians 16:23)

What is grace? Here are some very good definitions:

  • Grace is unmerited favor.
  • Grace is not getting what we deserve.
  • Grace is anything this side of hell.
  • Grace is the application of Christ's righteousness to the sinner.
  • Grace is anything that comes from God to us through Jesus Christ.
  • Grace is God's overwhelming desire to treat us as if we have never sinned.
  • Grace is God's unlimited supply of whatever we need to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

John Newton, the writer of the song "Amazing Grace" was in awe of the grace that God extended to him, a sinner. He would never have written that powerful song if he would not have received by faith the grace of salvation that God extended to him through Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:8) He would have missed out on heaven and being a blessing to us, and we would not be enjoying the blessing of his great piece of work and of his testimony.

As wonderful as that salvation grace is which was extended by God to Mr. Newton, and to all of us (Ephesians 4:7), we need His grace every bit as much after our salvation as we did before. The apostle Paul learned that lesson during a season of weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) In fact, as we go through our christian life becoming more and more mature, we need more grace (2 Corinthians 8:7)(2 Timothy 2:1) and to show more grace to others. (2 Peter 3:18)(Colossians 4:6) We also need to not use grace, which wipes out our sins (Ephesians 1:7), as a license to sin. (Romans 6:14-15) We need grace to resist sin. (James 4:6-7)

No matter what our calling is, working a job, raising children, preaching the Gospel, going through a sickness, we need God's grace to do it. The great part about grace is that we have access instantly to as much of it as we need or want, any time that we ask, and we can ask for it with boldness. (Hebrews 4:16)

Growing in grace, Phil


Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Most of us have heard the phrase "No one is perfect" and many of the people who use this phrase are christians. Even though this phrase is comforting and we can depend on God's forgiveness, it is possible, and it is God's will, for us to be perfect. (Deuteronomy 18:13)(Matthew 5:46-48) Being perfect is being like Jesus. (Luke 6:40)(Colossians 1:27-28)(Hebrews 13:20-21)

The formula for becoming perfect in this life is simple, walk in perfect faith and perfect love. Faith and love are the base ingredients of our righteousness. (Ephesians 6:14)(1 Thessalonians 5:8) When we receive the free gift of salvalvation through Jesus Christ, we exercise a measure of love for God and a measure of faith in God. That is the beginning of our walk with the Lord. From that point God provides us with the grace to grow to be more like Christ as we walk. (2 Samuel 22:33)(1 Peter 2:2)(2 Peter 3:18)

An example of perfect faith is Abraham. Abraham did not start out with perfect faith. He became righteous by believing God by faith (Romans 4:3)(Galatians 3:6)(Hebrews 11:8) and eventually became perfect in faith to the point where he was ready to sacrifice his son Isaac when tested by God. (James 2:21-22)(Hebrews 11:17) In between those two points there were some bumps in the road, (Ishmael, lying about Sarah's relationship to him) but he got there.

The love of God is perfect. God is love. (1 John 4:16) Therefore those who love God and follow Jesus can walk in perfect love. (1 John 2:5-6)(1 John 4:16-17) If we grow to love God and love one another consistently then God's love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:12) You may have noticed that most of the scriptures on love presented here are written by John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. (John 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, 21:20) John had a special relationship with Jesus and a special revelation of the love of God. The Holy Spirit gave him the grace to explain His love so that we can understand it and walk in it. John's love of God and love for others was perfect.

So, how do we grow up to be perfect? By practicing and pursuing faith and love and staying away from sin. (2 Timothy 2:22)(1 Corinthians 16:14) By practicing speaking and acting in faith and love in every situation, no matter how strong the temptation is to erupt in anger and unbelief. By knowing and standing on God's word in the face of adversity. By repenting and making reparations quickly when we do fall short, and keeping moving toward perfection. By removing the limits to our faith and love. By loving even our enemies and people we don't like. By refusing to gossip or speak contrary to the Word of God. By being consistent and unwavering in our quest to grow in faith and love, developing a habit of doing, and developing the habit into a lifestyle.

The more and higher we walk in faith and love, the greater the rewards.

To our perfection, Phil

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-11)

In (1 Samuel 17:1-52), the nation of Israel was facing a crisis in that the Philistine army was faced off against the army of Israel. Their giant champion Goliath was challenging Israel day after day to send out someone to fight him one-on-one. Israel was paralized with fright - until after 40 days when a lad named David showed up.

David was sent by his father Jesse to check on his brothers, who were part of Israel's army, and take some food to them and to the captain of the army. David surveyed the situation and then voluntered to fight the Philistine. Goliath was more than 9 feet tall and was heavily armoured with helmet, mail, brass and spear. He even had a shield bearer to stand in front of him. He was frightening to look on to everyone but David. King Saul ordered his own armour placed on David but David's response was "I cannot go with these for I have not proved them." He did, however, carry a sling, five stones, experience in previously killing a lion and a bear and an unshakable confidence in his own armour, the Lord of hosts. Goliath wore the armour of the world. David wore the armour of God.

Well, one stone fired from David's sling sunk into Goliath's head and put him down and David ran to him and cut off his head with the giant's own sword. The armour of God defeated the armour of the world! This same spiritual armour, also called the armour of light (Romans 13:12) and the armour of righteousness, (2 Corinthians 6:7) is available to every believer. It was used by Jesus Christ to resist the devil during 40 days of fasting in the wilderness, (Matthew 4:1-11) and by many other men and women of God to this day and beyond.

The armour of God lists seven critical components; (Ephesians 6:10-18)

  1. The girt (belt) of truth (Eph 6:14)
  2. The breastplate of righteousness (Eph 6:14) (which is faith and love (1 Thes 5:8))
  3. The shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace. (Eph 6:15)
  4. The shield of faith. (Eph 6:16)
  5. The helmet of salvation. (Eph 6:17)
  6. The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.(Eph 6:17)
  7. Praying and watching. (Eph 6:18)
The components of our armour are closely linked, interconnected and overlap each other. The helmet is connected to the breastplate. (Rom 10:10)(Isa 61:10) The breastplate, sword and shoes are connected to the shield. (1 Thes 5:8)(Rom 3:22)(Rom 10:8)(Luke 7:50) The breastplate is connected to the sword (Rom 10:17) The sword, belt, shoes and helmet are connected together. (Eph 1:13) (Col 1:5)(James 1:18)(Psalm 85:10) We put on the armour of God, ensure that all the pieces stay in place and stay aware of our situations by praying and watching for ourselves and for one another. (Matthew 26:41)(Mark 13:33, 14:38) (Luke 21:36)(Eph 6:18)(Jude 1:20). You get the picture.

Without keeping our spiritual eyes open and praying about all things, our armour could find itself lying dormat in a corner of our heart instead of where it belongs at time when we really need it. We might not have the words of salvation to share with a lost acquaintance or a powerful, faith filled and compassionate prayer for someone in need of a miracle, or or we might forget that we are ambassadors for Christ and act on the contrary, or we might not have the will to resist a moment of temptation, or we might forget to use scripture to extinguish a move against us by the devil, or we might be paralyzed by fear and back away from our calling, or we might not even know if we are sliding backward.

Unlike the armour of Goliath or all of the armour technology of the world's armies, God's armour has no weak spots or unprotected areas. When God's armour is in place and put to use, we are spiritually invincible and cannot be defeated!

To your protection and victory, Phil


And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. (Revelation 20:14)

My friends, we all have friends, aquaintances and even family members who, unless they repent and turn to Jesus Christ, have a very bleak future ahead of them. That future culminates in what the Bible refers to as the second death.

At the very moment that we are old enough to know the difference between good and evil and sin against God, we chart our own course away from God's will for us and towards an eternity of torment in a place called hell. The only way to avoid this indescribably horrible destiny is to accept the free gift of eternal life that the Father offers us through his Son Jesus Christ. (Matthew 25:46)(John 17:3) (Romans 5:21) Does receiving eteneral life mean that we never die? In an eternal sense, the answer is yes, we will live forever. Most of us will experience a physical death, which for believers is falling asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:6)(Acts 7:60) Others will be caught up alive and will meet the Lord in the air to join other previously asleep, resurrected believers. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) The resurrection of the believers in Christ is known as the first resurrection, and we will live on earth forever with the Lord, (Revelation 20:5-6) rewarded for accepting eternal life (John 3:16) and for what we have done for Christ and His kingdom. (1 Corinthians 3:8-15)(Revelation 22:12) We will have new bodies. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44) We will not experience the second death. (Revelation 20:6, 21:8)

The second death occurs after the 1,000 reign of Christ's kingdom on this earth after satan is released briefly from his prison and leads many people in one more rebellion against God. (Revelation 20:7-9) That does not end well for satan as he is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, (Revelation 20:10) located in the outer darkness. (Matthew 25:30) It also does not end well for those who have rejected Jesus Christ as they are resurrected from hell and the grave to stand before God in judgement and then are also cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)(Luke 12:4-5)

Through Jesus Christ, who is the firstborn from the dead, (Colossians 1:18) we will reign with Him as kings and priests forever (Revelation 5:10) while the unbelievers will join satan in the lake of fire forever. (Revelation 14:9-13)(Luke 12:46)(Psalm 37:28)(Matthew 13:49-50)(John 6:53-54)

The choice belongs to each of us individually and the stakes could not be higher. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

To your life, Phil


And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

I am in awe of the all powerful words of God that proceeded out of His mouth via His breath from the beginning when He spoke the earth, universes, light, firmament, seas, plants, animals, fish and birds into existence. (Genesis 1:1-25)

When He created man, He worked things a little differently. He piled up some dirt, formed it into HIS image and then breathed HIS breath INTO the man, creating a living soul! (Genesis 2:7) Then He formed woman out of one of Adam's ribs and presented her to him. (Genesis 2:21-24) God made man and woman special in His eyes and gave us dominion over everything else on the earth that He had created. He actually breathed His Holy Spirit into us and bonded us to gether with Him. (Genesis 1:26) What a priviledge and what a responsibility and what a dependency that we have on God! We are dependent upon Him for the very breath that is in us.

But, it did not take long for the devil to convince the woman and the man to obey him instead of God and they ate from the tree of good and evil. (Genesis 3:1-7) This act not only destroyed the spiritual bond between us and God, but it opened our eyes to the spiritual world of good and evil, something God had never willed for us to experience. (Genesis 2:17) God, in His Wisdom and mercy, banned them from eating from the tree of life, which would have caused them and us to live forever without hope in our sin. (Genesis 3:22)

God had already had a plan from before the beginning to fix this great wrong, even before it happened! That plan is Jesus Christ! (1 Peter 1:18-20)(Ephesians 1:4)(Matthew 25:34) God immediately began speaking via the breath of His Spirit through the prophets that His plan to restore our spirits is in place and will come to pass. (Isaiah 11:1-2)(Ezekiel 36:26)(Ezekiel 37:1-14)

In the Bible, the word spirit is synonomous with breath, air and wind. We cannot speak without using our spirit. Our life ends when we take our last breath and our spirit departs. (Luke 23:46) Get it? Jesus was full of the Holy Sprirt and was totally led by that same Spirit. (Luke 4:1) Jesus was full of, and spoke the Word of God (Luke 4:14) and demonstrated the power and love of God. (Luke 4:18-19)

After Jesus died on the cross and rose again and before he ascended back into heaven, He passed through the walls of where His disciples were assembled and breathed the breath of God on them and into them. (John 20:21-22) This transferred the resurrected, eternal life that Jesus had obtained unto those of us who believe on Him and restored that spiritual bond with the Father that we had in Eden! (1 Corinthians 15:45) But wait, there is more! To equip us to do without His physical presence on this earth, He promised his disciples that they would receive the power of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 1:8). Then, it happened! God fulfilled His promise and poured out the tremendous power of His Holy Spirit/breath/wind into us, (Acts 2:1-4) equipping us to use our breath to proclaim and demonstrate the life giving gift of Jesus Christ to ourselves, our family and friends and to the world! (Romans 8:2)

Lord, help us to use this gift of life responsibly and wisely. (Proverbs 18:21)

That the world may know, Phil

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. (Luke 2:42-50)

Joseph and Mary did not understand Jesus' response. Since Jesus' Father is our Father, the question is worth asking. What is our Father's business? Well, we can sum it up by saying that He is in the Redemption, Reconciliation and Restoration business.

Jesus Christ completed the work of redemption on the cross by shedding His blood and dying for us for the remission (forgiveness) of sins. (Matthew 26:28)(Hebrews 9:22) He bought us with a tremendous price. (Hebrews 9:12)(Colossians 1:13-14)(Revelation 5:9)

The work of reconciliation of man to God is ongoing and we have a huge part to play in that we are ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18) and ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). We have a responsibility, and God is counting on us, to share the Gospel in love with others and to represent Him well. He cannot reconcile others to Him unless we tell them and persuade them that reconcilation is available. (1 Corinthians 3:6-8)

The work of restoration is also ongoing and is a shared responsibility between God and us. God restored us to eternal life when Jesus rose from the dead and He continues to restore by healing our bodies, minds, spirits, relationships and broken hearts. His work of restoration will culminate in the future with the creation of a new heaven and a new earth, (Isaiah 65:17)(2 Peter 3:13)(Revelation 21:1) eliminating every trace of the devil's work. In the meantime, there are plenty of opportunities for us to restore individuals out of a state of sin. (Galatians 6:1)

Jesus made reconciliation and restoration possible for us by redeeming us. Our job is to help Him in the reconciliation and restoration.

With much encouragement, Phil


Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

When Jesus Christ was being interrogated by Pilate before His crucifiction, Pilate responded to Jesus' statement that He came into the world that He should bear witness to the truth by asking "What is truth?" (John 18:38) Pilot either did not believe in truth, or he did not know what truth is - a sign of those times.

In this present time, there is also a prevalent ignorance of, or resistance to the truth, even among some in the body of Christ. Many are calling evil good and good evil. (Isaiah 5:20) Hot issues such as same sex marriage, sex outside of marriage, abortion, suppression of religious freedom, lying and corruption in our government and society, terrorist attacks, decisions against Israel, ... are condoned, not only by the world, but by many in the church of Christ. This should never be.

One false line of thought is that the Bible is outdated, society has changed and God changes with the times. Well, The Holy Spirit says that is not true. (Hebrews 13:8)

How do we know what is truth and what we should support and what we should not tolerate and how should we explain our stand? By getting to know the Truth, Jesus Christ, by studying His Word and communing with Him. By the way, Jesus IS the Word (John 1:1-14) We can and should be regularly reading the Bible and asking for wisdom, knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6)(James 1:5) by the Holy Spirit to guide us, especially if we don't know where we should stand on a given issue. By the way, Jesus Christ IS Wisdom. (1 Corinthians 1:30) He is able to change our hearts to line up with His heart. A very good Bible study tool can be downloaded for free from

In addition, we can apply our God given wisdom to support our knowledge and understanding by observing the fruits of both sides of the fence. Who is slandering who? Who is attempting to force their idealogy on who? Who is being persecuted for their beliefs, just for believing that way? Who is trying to silence who?

The real issue is knowing the truth, being set free and building up others, speaking the Truth in love. (John 8:32)(Romans 12:21)(Ephesians 4:14-15)

Your friend, Phil

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies...(Psalm 23:5)

God has a wonderful table prepared for us. That table is filled with an unlimited buffet of physical and spiritual delicacies, including His Word, the Bible, for us to eat and drink of at any time. Also at His table is forgiveness, healing and abundant life now, and a marriage supper and eternal life in the next life. God's table in manifested through Jesus Christ. (Luke 22:29-30)(John 6:50-58)(Isaiah 55:1)

Our enemy the devil, satan, also has a table that is always open for business, and he is constantly trying to snare us by enticing us to feast there. (Psalm 69:22)(Romans 11:9) That table is filled with menu items which look good and, if eaten, taste good for a season, but immediately begin to turn sour and ultimately result in spiritual death. (James 1:15) In fact, the devil's table is filled with loss, death and destruction. (John 10:10)

Both of those tables are real! By God's grace we constantly face a choice of where to eat, (Deuteronomy 30:19) but we cannot simultaneously eat from both tables. (1 Corinthians 10:21)(2 Corinthians 6:14) I feasted at the devil's table for the first 33 years of my life until I turned to Christ.

If you are not a believer (Christian), then I encourage you to eat from the table of life and receive Jesus Christ in your heart. (1 John 3:23-24)(Luke 15:10)

If you are already a believer, you are being tempted in various forms. If you are backsliding by dabbling at the devil's table by things you do with your eyes, thoughts and body, you are loving sin more than God. Please repent and come back to where you belong. He is waiting...(Revelation 3:19-20)

With much love, Phil

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)

At various times during my more than thirty years of walking with the Lord, I have been healed immediately by laying on of hands (thumb wart), quoting healing scriptures (broken ankle), being in gatherings where the presence of the Holy Spirit was tangible (deep grief and emotional issues), and over time by diet and lifestyle changes (high blood sugar and high cholesterol) and with the help of doctors (severed tendons in two fingers).

I have also been healed in another way that the scripture above reveals. Years ago, during an airplane ride on one of my trips to Kenya, I was stricken with a spirit of anxiety or claustrophobia while sitting in a middle seat. There was no one around to lay hands on me or pray for me and I was too uptight to quote scriptures, but I remembered the part of James 5:16 that tells us to pray for one another that we may be healed. I didn't know who to pray for so I simply asked the Lord to heal everyone else in the world who was also being tormented in a similar manner, knowing that what I was sowing I also would reap (2 Cor 9:6).

Soon, the anxiety subsided, not to return. I was healed and that scripture became ingrained in me as a powerful principle in that God granted me the same healing that I had asked Him for everyone else. I know He was pleased with not only the application of that scripture, but with the unselfishness of the prayer itself as the focus was on others and not myself. I don't know who or how many others received their healing as a result of that prayer, but I know by faith that someone besides me was also healed. I have applied that same principle in several other situations and have always received healing for myself. You can do it too! It starts with believing (Mark 11:24).

To your health! Phil