Luke 24–The Resurrection

It should have come as no surprise…Jesus rose from the dead just as He had promised. Oh, who are we kidding.  It was an amazing miracle that was almost impossible to believe, unless you had been there.  The women went to the tomb to prep the body for the long term stay in the grave; only to be met by angels reporting Jesus was no longer there. Then Peter ran to the tomb to find the graveclothes lying in a pile like yesterday’s laundry.  It had to be a mixture of terror and elation.  This Messiah had been killed.  they took the body down and placed it in the tomb merely days before.  Now, on this Sunday morning, when the week was to begin, Jesus was up and out.  In Luke’s account, we do not get the privilege of knowing guards had been stationed.  We do not read of the women seeing Jesus in the garden. (See Matthew 28).

Jesus’ resurrection was important and well documented. The faith of those that followed Jesus had been shaken to the core, but their love for Him and faith in His teachings led them back to seeing His completing His mission. As the writer of Hebrews reminds us, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the confidence in things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 ESV). That faith, while challenged, never left Jesus’ followers.  In fact, it would transform them from cowering refugees to world-changing evangelists and teachers. While they hid from punishment before, now they would face martyrdom and persecution until they were called Home.

We need to cling to the same faith that led his followers to the resurrection. Jesus would and did complete the mission.  That was truly not in question.  The entire history of the Bible confirmed that God accomplishes His plan in His time.  We must embrace the writer of Hebrews definition of faith, “confidence in things hoped for and assurance of things not seen”. When we do, we will better face the broken world and our personal trials and struggles.  Hebrews 11:6 says it best, “Without faith it is impossible to please God!” We cannot complete enough tasks, nor can we behave well enough to be redeemed by our own actions. 

We, like the disciples, must rely on the truth of His word to see His hand in our lives.  As we trust Him, Jesus will transform us into His image and prepare us for an eternity with our Lord.

God Bless You


On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Unwelcome in the Camp of the Enemy–I samuel 22 part 1

 David felt betrayed.  He had followed God’s lead, he was effective in battle.  He was the kings comforter and son-in –law.  On paper he was right on track for the throne. But the King wanted him dead.  So he started out to the one place he knew the King would not follow—the enemy camp.  It was not long, though, that David realized that the enemy was still the enemy even when he was betrayed by his father- in- law.  He figured he would be welcomed to assist—but he was the warrior that killed thousands of the enemy. You simply cannot change teams and expect a warm welcome.

It is the same with the family of God.  When we walk with the Lord, we will encounter trials and tribulation.  Sometimes it feels as if we are abandoned and all alone.  For some the response is to walk away from God.  They figure that they will be welcomed into the world and its culture as a new recruit.  But, the truth is once you follow God, you will never fit into the camp of the world.  You will be despised as hypocritical or at best tolerated as one that is lost and confused.  There will never be provision or protection in the enemies camp.  You will never feel at home.  Stay the course through trials and trust that God loves you and has a plan.  You will find peace, protection and provision on your father’s house.

God Bless You

 That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances:

“‘Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands’?”

12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.

14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? 15 Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”

I Samuel 18 final—The Price of Fear

Fear is a crippling disease. It binds senses and causes perfectly decent people to do awful things.  Saul was anointed King of Israel.  He allowed the position make him selfish.  That selfishness drove him away from God and cost him his relationship with Samuel, and ended his legacy. It also made him extremely fearful.  He was deathly afraid of losing all that he had attained. Sadly, he had already lost it. But the fear also shaped his decisions, his relationships and his ability to lead.  He saw David’s success and knew that he was walking with God’s anointing.  He knew it because he had lived it.  He also knew that privilege was only afforded to Kings! Rather than repent and humbly follow the plan of God Saul was allowing fear to drive him to do mean and horrific things.

Today, we are all subject to fear. We know that God does not give us the spirit of fear, but the spirit of power and of a sound mind (2Timothy 1:7).  Yet, when we try to be independent and ignore God’s plan—we, like Saul can be driven to fear and away from the peace of God.  Great news, though, If we will acknowledge our inability to live independent of God—Confess our sin; then humbly allow him to direct our journey—follow his lead; then he will give us peace. God is in the business of granting peace not causing Chaos.  He is there to bear our burden not cause it. It is the greatest of all heart issues—Commandment Number One—YOU SHALL NOT HAVE ANY OTHER GOD BEFORE ME!!!!! Let God be God in your life.  Fear will be replaced with peace and independence will be replaced with true and complete freedom.

God Bless You

Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

10 The next day an evil[a] spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. 13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. 14 In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns…

26 When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, 27 David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, 29 Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days.

30 The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more success than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known.

It is all Perspective I Samuel 17 part 2

The Army saw a giant, but David saw a heathen. Goliath was 9’6″, and was by human standard and appearance unstoppable—But David, like God, did not look at the appearance, he looked at the power of God.  Compared to the God that created the universe, Goliath was a mere speck.  The idea of fear and or uncertainty was never an issue.  That was why David, the newly anointed king was a man after God’s own heart.

In our world, like David’s, our perspective will dictate our fear.  If we dwell on the giants in our lives, we will live enslaved by fear.  But, if we focus on the size and greatness of our God, we will be confident, protected and provided for.  God does not change, He simply is. We are the only ones that become a variable.  Paul Reminded Timothy, as a young pastor in a dynamic church—“God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power and a sound mind.” 2 Tim1:7

God Bless You

20 Early in the morning, David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”

26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

I Samuel 17 part 1–The Giant is Real and Large

Israel had a very real problem.  They had an enemy with a champion that was almost 10 feet tall. That champion wore armor that was heavier than most in the Israelite army.  That giant wanted to fight any soldier from Israel winner take all. From Israel’s perspective, there was little to win and everything to lose.  Anyone looking at what the army faced, they had a very real problem.  It was not only sheer fear that kept the volunteers from lining up, it was the thought of a failure leading to the capture of the entire army.  From Saul down everyone understood the size of the giant and the implications of failure.

In our lives, we also face giants.  Whether spiritual, emotional, financial or professional, those giants are most times very real and very large.  When facing them, we, like the Israelite army not only analyze the problem personally—but also we look at the effect it has on those we care about and care for. What we see, though is that through our eyes, many of the giants we face are simply too big and too powerful for us to face.  BUT, from the Lord God’s perspective, they are nothing.  As we face each day and each giant, we have to walk by faith and believe that GOD not us is charged with facing the giants.  He alone will met and defeat them no matter how real or large they are.  Sadly, it takes patience and faith to meet the giants and face them—but, as we will see, doing so can change the world.

God Bless You

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.[a] He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels[b]; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[c] His shield bearer went ahead of him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.