Luke 18 Part 2–Child Like Faith and Wealth

Dr. Luke continues to recount the principles that Jesus taught while He was wrapping up His ministry on earth.  It remained important to Luke for those that read his account to see as many sides of the Lord as was possible.  In this account, Luke looked at how Jesus felt about children and childlike faith.  Parents were bringing their children to meet Jesus, and have the Lord bless them.  What a nice change for Jesus–pouring out blessings to the young.  The disciples, however, saw it as a bother, taking Jesus from the important duties.  Jesus called the kids to him and told the disciples not to interfere.  Jesus saw the children and their faith as pure and undamaged by life.  He wanted all to understand that it was that pure and complete faith of children that pleased God most.  It was a picture of the relationship God longed to have with His chosen.

Next, Jesus was asked what it really took to receive eternal life.  The man that asked was very wealthy. Jesus said that he should follow the law and prophets.  The man smugly said he had done that all his life.  Then Jesus dropped the bombshell–“Sell your stuff, give the proceeds to the poor, and then come and follow Me.” The man became sad. Jesus then told the group that it is very difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God. 

God told Israel at Mount Sinai that They must have no other God before Him.  Sadly, time has revealed repeatedly that money and wealth are some of the most difficult gods to release.  They give the illusion of independence and control.  They make one feel safe and unstoppable.  Jesus knew and showed us that those feelings were not real and were as temporal as a morning fog. 

Wealth is never satisfying, and unless its owner is willing to lay it at the Lord’s feet, it will take the Lordship of their lives.  Jesus was simply stating that to have eternal life, we must lay whatever controls us at his feet. Wealth, power, relationship, family, career, or anything that we consider our ticket to independence or control must be laid at God’s alter.  

Fear not, however, as He told the disciples, whatever we lay at God’s feet, He will restore exponentially back to us.  He is a loving Father that only wants us to enjoy peace and freedom.  That peace and freedom comes from trusting and following Him.  It has been the same since the beginning and will remain so until His return.

God Bless You


15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[a]

21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Isaiah 42 Part 1–The Character of God’s Chosen and of God

God made it clear to Isaiah that his chosen are people with character.  They do not whine or complain.  They are people of integrity that represent God well and represent themselves as separate and different.  They are selfless, content with God’s plan and leadership.  They will seek God with their heart.  They do not compromise or put their needs ahead of those of the Father.

As such, God takes them by the hand and leads them.  He protects, provides, and brings them to a place that they walk and act like the God that leads them.  Unlike the world, they are humble, honest and consider others needs as important as their own.  So as any good Father Adonai meet5s and exceeds the meeting of their needs.  He will never be outdone.  He answers prayers with such specificity and meets needs so completely that his power and authority is not an issue.

In our world, so many voices seek to undermine and minimize God’s hand in the world.  They would have one believe that either things happen by coincidence or at the expertise from their own hands. We must not be fooled by such a ridiculous lie.  One need only look up and see the stars to understand how insignificant our impact on the world.  We need to trust and follow God and allow him to complete his plan in our lives and in the lives of those we pass each day. Ours is not to try to figure it out God’s plan, but to simply allow Him to lead us along the path of this amazing journey.

God Bless You


Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen, in whom my soul delights.
I have put my Spirit upon him.
    he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
    or make it heard in the street.
a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a faintly burning wick he will not quench.
    he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be discouraged[a]
    till he has established justice in the earth.
    and the coastlands wait for his law.

Thus says God, the Lord,
    who created the heavens and stretched them out?
    who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it?
    and spirit to those who walk in it:
“I am the Lord; I have called you[b] in righteousness.
    I will take you by the hand and keep you.
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
    a light for the nations,
    to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
    from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord; that is my name.
    my glory I give to no other,
    nor my praise to carved idols.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
    and new things I now declare.
before they spring forth
    I tell you of them.”

Joshua 6 Part 2–God Exalts Joshua

It was the last day of Jericho. The people had followed Joshua’s lead and did exactly what God commanded.  The city fell.  The people of Israel gathered the God , Silver and Bronze and stored it in God’s treasury while everything else was destroyed.  Rahab, the prostitute that hid the spies and helped them to escape, was saved and she and her family brought safely to Israel’s camp; where she spent the rest of her life as a member of God’s people, and ultimately a member of Jesus’s family tree.

Joshua made sure that all was completed according to God’s command and then cursed the rebuilding of Jericho. God used this first epic battle to set the stage for what was to be the complete victory for His chosen people.  

The last sentence of the chapter, speaks volumes, “The Lord was with Joshua and his fame was in all the land.” Joshua did not care about his personal fame. He was focused upon trusting and honoring God. As he followed God’s lead and honored God’s name–the Lord exalted Joshua.  He prepared Joshua for the campaign, God provided all that Joshua needed to win the victory and God then allowed the world to know that Joshua was God’s man with access to all that God would provide to complete the victory.

During difficult times and horrendous odds, we need to trust God even more.  He is the victory. God leads, and God directs us to a place of victory and peace even when the odds are not with us.  Israel lost no one, and Jericho was completely destroyed. 

We need God’s same leadership through these most difficult days.  Please join me in prayer as we seek God’s healing of this great nation.  The enemy would love to see us destroy one another–but, that is not God’s plan for His people. If we will trust God and seek Him, He will direct our path and heal our land!

God Bless You


On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. 16 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city. 17 And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction.[b] Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. 18 But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it. 19 But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” 20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. 21 Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword.

22 But to the two men who had spied out the land, Joshua said, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring out from there the woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her.” 23 So the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. And they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel. 24 And they burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25 But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

26 Joshua laid an oath on them at that time, saying, “Cursed before the Lord be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho.

“At the cost of his firstborn shall he
    lay its foundation,
and at the cost of his youngest son
    shall he set up its gates.”

27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.

Numbers 32 –Walking as a Free People

The tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh liked the lands and cities they had just captured from the Amorites and Midianites. The leaders approached Moses with an offer–Hey Moses, this has been fun and all, but really we would just as soon not cross the Jordan for our lands, these Lands that have already been cleared seem plenty fine for us!  Moses almost went through the roof.  After languishing in the desert for 40 years, these people thought they would just skip clearing the promised land??!!

In truth, this was a different people.  They quickly made it clear to Moses–“We will build our cities here, but all the men who can fight–will cross over and clear the lands until all of Israel is placed in the lands for which they are promised.  What a different attitude, men would leave wives and family to help their people–not the thinking of a slave.  Moses was surprised and agreeable.  Israel had a track record, however, of promising one thing and then doing another–so Moses made it clear. If you fail to keep your word your sin will find you out!

The great news is that they did as they promised. In Joshua 22 it reads,”Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh and said to them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded. For a long time now—to this very day—you have not deserted your fellow Israelites but have carried out the mission the Lord your God gave you. Now that the Lord your God has given them rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan. But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”


God only requires we walk as free people. Trust Him, honor Him and follow his leadership.  If one is willing to do that, He will bless us far beyond our expectations.  God gave the tribes the land they wanted and actually expanded Israel’s inheritance.  That is what God wants to do in our lives as well.  We simply need to trust Him, honor Him and follow the Lord. Then we can also walk as free people and claim the inheritance that awaits us!


God Bless You


The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon,Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon— the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.”…

Then Moses said to them, “If you will do this—if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for battle 21 and if all of you who are armed cross over the Jordan before the Lord until he has driven his enemies out before him— 22 then when the land is subdued before the Lord, you may return and be free from your obligation to the Lord and to Israel. And this land will be your possession before the Lord.

23 “But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. 24 Build cities for your women and children, and pens for your flocks,but do what you have promised.”

25 The Gadites and Reubenites said to Moses, “We your servants will do as our lord commands.26 Our children and wives, our flocks and herds will remain here in the cities of Gilead. 27 But your servants, every man who is armed for battle, will cross over to fight before the Lord, just as our lord says.”

Numbers 31 Part 2–Becoming a Free People

God had just blessed the Israelites with a mighty victory over the Midianites. They wiped the nation out.  What’s more, after the battle, the troops were counted and Israel lost no men.  So It was time to divide the plunder of the victory.  There was a large amount. So Moses and Eleazar divided the spoils the way God told them to.  The result was amazing. Everyone got plenty of livestock, slaves and treasure. What’s more so did the priests and Levites. There was no fussing, no deceit and God’s people began acting like a free people.  It was beginning to look like God had finally prepared Israel to claim what was theirs.

It seems like it takes forever to be ready for God’s leadership. We face trials and temptation. Our lives take odd turns and terrible sidetracks. Then one day, we accept God’s leadership and know that He is God.  We pray, serve and mostly wait for the Lord’s leading. As we do, we become more prepared to receive all the blessings He has to offer.  As with Israel, God stands ready to bless us. We simply have to be ready to accept that blessing and recognize it is from the Lord and for Him and His Glory.  If we will–He will do amazing things in our lives, and we will rise up and become a free people; untouched by sin or the traps of this life.  The hymn says it best, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

God Bless You

The Lord said to Moses, 26 “You and Eleazar the priest and the family heads of the community are to count all the people and animals that were captured. 27 Divide the spoils equally between the soldiers who took part in the battle and the rest of the community.28 From the soldiers who fought in the battle, set apart as tribute for the Lord one out of every five hundred, whether people, cattle, donkeys or sheep. 29 Take this tribute from their half share and give it to Eleazar the priest as the Lord’s part. 30 From the Israelites’ half, select one out of every fifty, whether people, cattle, donkeys, sheep or other animals. Give them to the Levites, who are responsible for the care of the Lord’s tabernacle.” 31 So Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses.

32 The plunder remaining from the spoils that the soldiers took was 675,000 sheep, 33 72,000 cattle, 34 61,000 donkeys 35 and 32,000 women who had never slept with a man.

36 The half share of those who fought in the battle was:

337,500 sheep, 37 of which the tribute for the Lord was 675;

38 36,000 cattle, of which the tribute for the Lord was 72;

39 30,500 donkeys, of which the tribute for the Lord was 61;

40 16,000 people, of whom the tribute for the Lord was 32.

41 Moses gave the tribute to Eleazar the priest as the Lord’s part, as the Lord commanded Moses…Then the officers who were over the units of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—went to Moses 49 and said to him, “Your servants have counted the soldiers under our command, and not one is missing. 50 So we have brought as an offering to the Lord the gold articles each of us acquired—armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces—to make atonement for ourselves before the Lord.”

Wisdom the Bridesmaid???–Proverbs 1 Continued

We have all met them.  Perfectly lovely people who have for one reason or another not been able to connect with another.  We all pull for them and want so badly for someone to scoop them up and love them—and yet, alas, it never seems to happen.  That is Solomon’s illustration for wisdom.  So many people say they want to be wise and insightful.  We want the answers to life’s difficult questions and issues.  Solomon indicates that it is us–not wisdom.  Like the girl never picked at the dance, no one is willing to partner with wisdom.  Some would say it’s just too weird—wisdom is not their type.  They prefer sarcasm and google.  Others shy away feeling they are not worthy to have such an amazing partner.  Still others flirt with wisdom but just want what it will give them not caring instead what it will make them.

Wisdom, like the beautiful maiden, stands arms outstretched longing to be embraced.  But, we have to want to be wise and not simply knowledgeable.  What’s more, wisdom does not share the stage with base emotion and trash thought—She expects a desire to remain humble and to diligently seek God.  Finally, wisdom requires faith in God and his timing in order to be the lasting influence in our lives—This ain’t no one night stand. It is a covenant relationship that comes with age and commitment to service.  James 1 sums it up quite nicely—“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God who give generously and without judgment.  But when He asks let him ask in faith—or he will be like aa double—minded man.

If you have not begun, yet; today is the best day to court and win the hand of Wisdom in your life.

God Bless You

20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; 21 on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech:

22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? 23 Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. 24 But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, 25 since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—

Told Ya So, Part 2-Genesis 42, Continued

As Joseph received his first glimpse of the character of his brothers, the jury was still out.  Clearly, the brothers now knew their treatment of Joseph was wrong–but was it wrong because they may now have to pay a price, or was it wrong because they sealed an innocent boy’s fait. That is what Joseph needed to know.  As he listened, they clearly pointed fingers at one another placing blame, but they also at least intimated they were the reason for their own problems.  a beginning of recognition and repentance.  It broke Joseph’s heart, but, it also gave him some hope for their future.

We all fail! When we are willing to take responsibility and face our failure, that recognition and repentance begins the restoration in our lives.  Like any parent, God loves us and wants nothing more than to forgive and move forward. In order for him to do that, however, we have to be willing to be open, honest and submissive to his leadership.  There is no room for placing blame on others, there is simply the choice to submit and honor our Heavenly father.  It is tough, it is humbling–but it transforms us into his image so we can claim with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live–but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

God Bless You

They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”

22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.

24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.

27 At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack. 28 “My silver has been returned,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”

Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”

God Provides–Genesis 24 part 3

Make me successful today, what a great prayer. So often when we are following the Lord, we are not sure what his plan is. But, as in the hunt for a wife for Isaac, God has a plan in place. As we seek him, often we may not know the details but we know his direction. We pray accordingly, and he works to answer the prayers and accomplish his plan.

If we look back over time, and begin to see how many specific prayers he answers, then we will be better able to trust him for all the big and small needs in our lives. Our prayer life becomes amazing and we look forward to each and every chance we have to trust and follow him. That is the epitome of faith.

God Bless You

Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.

See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water.

May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor.

God Brings Laughter–Genesis 21 part 1

No one would have ever believed it. 90 year old Sarah having a baby boy. But, she did! He was the heir to the nation of Israel. Clearly God did it his way and in his timing. And this miraculous birth would later change the world.

We rarely are patient enough to allow God to do what he needs to in order to complete his plan. We try to rush things along and often slow down or prevent God’s best work in our lives.

The Bible reminds us again and again that his plan is worth the wait. So on this day, help me Lord to wait patiently upon you and your plan.

God Bless You

Genesis 21:3-7

Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.

When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him.

Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”

And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Trust Him with ALL or not at all Genesis 20

Once again, Abraham moved to a land and the king took Sarah as his wife…at age 90. She is my sister–his favorite line, put Sarah and the king’s life in danger. God again was kind. God stopped the king and blessed Abraham.

The idea that Abraham could trust God with everything but his wife, while odd, is not much different than most of us. As we follow the Lord, we tend to hold back pieces of our life to protect and control. As we do we endanger our walk and the lives of those around us.

We need to go “all in” in our faith. No hold backs, no exceptions. If we can trust him to save us, we should trust him with everything. As we do–he is free to bless us. Prov 3:5-6 says,”trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge him in all your ways and he will make your paths straight.”

God Bless You

Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar,

and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelek king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.

But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”

Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation?

Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”