top of page

Search Results

76 items found for ""

  • A Narrow Road

    I once heard a story of a pair of siblings that were fleeing from their home through the French Ardennes as Nazi Germans invaded France in May of I940. The Siblings, Beacon and Pearl, had lost their mother to the Germans and their father had been wounded and was recovering at a hospital in Belgium when he sent for his two children to join him. Pearl peered at the roads before her; one on her left and one on her right. The road to her right is wide, level, and well-trod with several people ahead choosing to travel its course to a safe country. The road on her right is the French Ardennes; a mountain range that climbs through France and Belgium and consists of lush woodlands and hard roads etched into it's mountainsides. Narrow and desolate, it harbors numerous potholes and depressions upon its surface; wide bushes of thorns rise in stature on either side of the road as spindly tree limbs reach for her with thin tendrils like fingers. Pearl shudders g ently. "Which way?" she whispers faintly. Her brother, Beacon, stands beside her, his walking cane gripped tightly in his fist as red dirt covers his feet, legs, and face from the swift and long journey thus far. His head is bleeding from where the Nazi had beaten him, small droplets of warm crimson blood falling down his cheek and onto his shoulder. He grimaces softly beneath the weight of the rucksack slung over his shoulder as he squints in the late evening sun. A moment later, he points right. "We go that way," he says. Pearl swallows, following his gaze down the narrow path. "Are you certain that is the right way?" "Yes, of course, it is," Beacon says softly, his gaze fixated on the road before us as his cane feels the road at his feet for any dips or rocks he may stumble over. "Why wouldn't it be?" Pearl motions her hand over her shoulder toward the path to the large crowd of fleeing civilians that they have been traveling with for the past few miles chooses to go left, while Pearl follows Beacon right. "Everyone else is going that way. Shouldn't we be following them?" She asks as she stumbles blindly after Beacon, the sky darkening as late evening settles over the Ardennes like a warm blanket and she nearly falls over something she cannot see. Beacon catches her elbow with ease, glancing behind them at the people they leave behind. He shakes his head sadly. "They have made their choice, Pearl. I only fear that they have chosen unwisely," he says. Pearl grimaces, frowning at the few paces of ground she can see at her feet. "When Father sent for us, I never thought he would ask us to travel such a hard road as this one," She say softly under her breath. "He said it would be difficult and hard, Pearl. We have no reason to doubt Him." her brother says, "But we can rest assured that He is waiting for us, no matter what." This story is an allegory of the Narrow Gate. These two children were fleeing from the Germans as their world was ravaged by the horrors of WW2, and their road was not an easy one. The French Ardennes led directly into Belgium, which was occupied territory at this as well. Beacon and Pearl could have followed the company of civilians to neutral territory where they would be safe, far from invading enemies, and safe from war. But that is not what their father asked of them. In many ways, our lives are a lot like the ones of these children; there is always what seems to be an easier road, but God often calls us to travel the more difficult of the two. Sometimes God asks us to face the darkness head-on with no explanation as to why; we are asked to walk with blind faith as we trod the narrow path, or gate, that ultimately leads to life. Scripture: You can enter God's kingdom only through the narrow gate. The Highway to hell is broad and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

  • To Whom shall we Go?

    I have come to know that life is a constant cycle of ups and downs; either an uphill battle trying desperately to pull yourself from the valley, or a peaceful and triumphant walk on the mountaintop. Either way, we must face the one to get the other. You cannot reach the mountain's top unless you have experienced the troughs of the valley below. This, of course, does not make the valley any easier. But when we are faced with unanswerable questions, unavoidable hardships, and certain heartache, where do we turn? To whom do we go? Simon Peter asks the same thing in the gospel of John. In chapter six, we read of how many of Jesus’ disciples began murmuring and arguing against him, saying, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?” Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining so he said to them,  “Does this offend you?..... The Spirit alone gives Eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you do not believe me……” At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of Eternal life. We believe, and we know that you are the Holy One of God.” Many of his disciples deserted Jesus in his three years of ministry simply because they did not understand, or they misunderstood, his mission. And even today, when we are served with troubles and trials that confuse us, we ask the same questions they did. “Why this? I just don’t understand. How can I accept this?” That hard phone call. That life-altering diagnosis. That tragic accident. That moment when everything changes.  We have all faced something along these lines, and we are all always left spinning, just barely holding on as we are cast into a pit of confusion and shock. We do not understand, and we wonder why God has let this happen. We wonder how anything good can come from this seemingly terrible situation. But oftentimes, we aren’t meant to understand why bad things happen, or why we had to be the target of it all. That’s the beauty of faith. Jesus doesn't always give us all the answers as to why something has happened to us or a loved one, simply because if he did, we would find something hard in his reply and choose not to believe. And even if he did  tell us all his plans, then we wouldn’t have much of a need for faith. But it is in the midst of our own questions that we hear Simon Peter’s question arise also. To whom shall we go? When the weather turns gray and the troubles come, when you begin to buckle beneath the heavy weight of the ups and downs of life, to whom do you go? Where do you turn? In your heartache, in the midst of your inner turmoil and confusion, do you turn to Jesus? Do you look him in the face, meet his loving gaze and say, “You have the words of Eternal Life. I believe, and know that you are the Holy One of God. I do not understand this, but I trust you.”

  • True Freedom

    Freedom. It is something we all long for, and the very thing that the human race has been fighting for since the beginning of time. Freedom from oppression. Freedom from persecution. Freedom from enslaving authority.  Freedom from sin. And Freedom to believe in the one true God. On the fourth of July, two hundred and forty-eight years ago in 1776, freedom was granted to the persecuted Puritans, and America was born. The Puritans had fled to America in search of religious freedom, and they received it.  In America, true freedom means having the ability to serve and worship God without hindrance, as well as having the right to stand up for what we believe in. All across the globe, there are persecuted believers who must keep their faith silent, or lose their life for it; they long for freedom, but they do not have it. But, even in the free country of America, this privilege of freedom is fading. President Ronald Reagan said this concerning freedom: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t  pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on to  them to do the same……” Freedom must continually be fought for and always comes at a price. And Jesus paid that price on the cross. The Bible’s definition of freedom is found in Christ, and the freedom that we receive from Him applies to all believers around the world, no matter where we live or the state of our social liberties.  Without Jesus, we are bound by the shackles and chains of sin, and ensnared by Satan's tactics to gain our loyalty; but the shackles fall away when we turn to face Jesus, and freedom is found at the foot of the cross. If the Son sets us free, then we are free indeed (John 8:36). So, as we celebrate our Independence this Fourth of July, I want us to also celebrate our Independence from sin and our dependence on the grace of God. for it is only through His love and mercy and Jesus’ sacrifice that we are given Eternal Freedom that paves the way for earthly freedom. This is true freedom. Scripture: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do  not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

  • Come to the Table

    I want to take you on a small trip back in time- to Jesus's time. On the outskirts of Jerusalem, where he and his disciples have gathered for an evening meal around a table. Seated around this table are the twelve disciples and Mary Magdalene. There is fiery and reckless Simon Peter, a former fisherman from Capernaum, sitting beside his brother Andrew. And beside them are their fellow fishing partners, James and John, two boisterous and confident brothers known as the Sons of Thunder. Across from them sits Thomas, doubt filling his eyes as he sips absently from a cup of wine, his gaze scanning the room around him. Matthew sits quietly at his side, the former tax collector finding a home among all the misfits at the table with him. Mary of Magdala sits nearby, her eyes resting on Jesus at the table's head, recalling the dark and haunted past that Jesus pulled her from when he cast out her seven demons. At the opposite end of the table, sits none other than Judas Iscariot- his dark eyes flashing as he too, gazes at the master, his heart pounding in his chest as the dark hiss whispers in his ear. Simon the Zealot listens closely to Jesus' words as he stands watch at the door, the former zealot's face taunt and tense as Jesus' voice rises through the room. Several others are present tonight, such as Nathaniel, James the son of Alpeahus, Thaddeus, and Philip. They all sit at the table, gazing at Jesus as he stands at the table's head preaching to them; they all come from different backgrounds, different lives, and beliefs. They had all faced something that had led them here, to the feet of Jesus. Yes, they are all different. They are all scarred, tainted, and flawed individuals who have failed God time after time, and all need grace. But if you look closer, you can see that they all have one thing in common; they are all hungry. Hungry for truth, for belonging, and for purpose. They no longer want to wander through their lives chasing things in search of purpose and finding only things that cannot suffice the hunger and thirst within each of them. So, tonight, they sit and listen to Jesus. "I am the bread of life," he tells them, his brown eyes smiling at each of them and begging them to believe, "Whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." Jesus says the same thing to you. He is asking you to come to His table- the table of grace. He is able to fill the void in your life and suffice the hunger in your heart; come to him, for he gives freely. and He calls you to a feast of celebration as you leave your old life and sins behind you, and find fulfillment and purpose in him as your hungry soul is filled with his goodness and restored by his grace. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. "Come to the table, my child," He says to you, "Come and thirst no more." Will you come? Scripture: For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalms 107:9

  • The Father's Love

    In this world, the Devil will try and put some disgraceful, discouraging and ultimately untrue labels on us. And his labels are lies disguised behind a veil of truth that tricks us into believing them. They have just enough truth that we are blind to the actual lie that  he is telling us. Satan’s tactics can come in various forms and in diverse manners, depending on who you are. Here are some examples of his lies in my life: I am not enough I am not beautiful/worthy What am I even doing this for? I don’t have to read my Bible I am a failure Who is going to listen to me? And my personal favorite, No one cares, so I might as well give up Can you relate? The lies are different for all of us, and they change with the seasons of our lives, but I think that just about everyone can find something to relate to in these few lies listed above. But I want to show you how Satan’s lies truly work. Look at the first one- I am not enough. We have all been there, done that, said it, and believed it. But look close, do you see the lie buried in the truth? I’ll be honest; there is a lot of truth in this lie, even for the Devil, the father of lies. We are not enough. That is just a fact that few are willing to face nowadays. We as simple Human Beings often fail when it comes to sin and evil, and are not enough in ourselves to inherit the Kingdom of God. But Jesus is. That is the side of the story that Satan does not want you to know, so he just doesn’t speak of it at all. He wants to manipulate us and discourage us into believing that we have to be enough, and so therefore pressuring us to either believe in ourselves by pride or fall face-first into a heap of self-pity. The Devil may even whisper in your ear, “You are not enough.” But listen close, and you may hear another voice rise above the Devil’s- it may be small and still, but it is there. “But I am,” Jesus whispers. God loved us so much that He didn't just spare his only son, but allowed Him to die for the ransom of many. Jesus died for us. Jesus was enough when he died on the cross to pave the way for us in Heaven, He was enough to rip the barrier between us and God the Father in two, and He was enough to rise again on the third day. Were we enough to conquer all of this? Simply put; No. But Jesus is. Another lie that I believe we fall prey to the identity trap, where we are left asking the same question- “Who am I?” The people of this generation of today’s world are searching at a break-neck pace for the truth of identity. But in our endless cycles of seeking purpose, fulfillment, and identity, we have actually lost sight of the thing that gives us all of these things, and more. We have lost sight of who we are, and the Devil wants us to look at the world for the answer. Look in 1 John 3:1 instead: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. (NIV) The Devil wants us to forget the truth that we are all sons and daughters of the perfect Father. Lavish means to ‘expend or bestow with profusion’. He has lavished his endless love upon us, bestowing on us all the title of Child of the King. This is what Satan wants to keep hidden- that God loves us so much that he has given us his love and extended to us the free gift of salvation through His son. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, That God sent his only son into the world, so that we might Live through Him. in this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4: 9-10 (ESV) This is the love of the Father! God’s love set a rescue plan in place for you and me, not because we deserved it, but because of his great love for us. Do you believe it? Satan is the father of Lies. But God is the Father of Love. Can you hear him calling to you right now as you read these words, the small whisper, the small string perhaps, in your heart? Is He rising above the Devil’s lies about you and restoring your soul with his message of love and grace? I pray He is. In closing my friends and fellow Crist-followers, I want to tell you the secret the Devil doesn't want you to know: You are a child of the most High God. He is a son of the Father. And she is her Father’s daughter. We are all children of the perfect Father. Scripture: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been Born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. -1 John 5:1

  • Joy Unspeakable

    While imprisoned in Rome for the crime of spreading the Good News, Paul was chained to his guard while awaiting a trial that would determine his fate- freedom, or execution. His cell is dark, damp, and cold, and the faint echoes of the other prisoners who have gone before him are still heard in the halls. The weight of his impending trial weighs heavily upon Paul’s shoulders as he stands chained to his guard, the glinting sword in the guard's possession warning Paul that if he moves, he will not even reach the trial. But even still, through the darkness around him, the unknown verdict of his trial, and the depression of imprisonment, Paul has joy. Yes, joy. Why? Well, Paul says so himself in his letter written to the small Church at Philippi during this same imprisonment. “Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now,” (1: 4-5). Even though he was facing death himself, he still possessed joy when he prayed for those who were still free and actively spreading the word- and he encouraged them to be full of the Joy of the Lord. This is proven once again in chapter three of the book of Phillippians when he tells them this: Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. (3:1) The word joy is defined as ‘happiness’ or ‘a state of felicity’, and even ‘a feeling of pleasure’. I don’t know about you, but a prison does not exactly paint the picture of pleasure, nor does a death trial bring happiness. So why is Paul joyful, though a prisoner? Because he had found the secret to true joy, no matter his life circumstances. He knew that no matter what became of him, God was still in control of his life and that God already knew the outcome even though Paul had not the slightest clue what would become of him. He knew that no matter what the verdict of the trial was, he had already won Salvation and Eternal Life through Jesus. And that gave him joy unspeakable. For many believers, Philippians is seen as the most happiest and joyful book of the Bible, though it was written in the dark and damp confines of a prison cell just moments before going on trial. Friend, our current circumstances and the darkness that we may be facing does not have to define our joy. for with Jesus, we too can have Joy Unspeakable. Scripture; Count it all joy, my brothers, when you face trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3 (ESV)

  • A Mighty Endeavor

    “Almighty God: …Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the Enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by your grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph. They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war. For these men are lately drawn from ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for the return to the haven of home. Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom. With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy….. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen” Wading through the salty waters of the European coast on a warm day in June, American soldiers heard this prayer by Franklin D. Roosevelt over the radio broadcast as they and the allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in the early hours of the day that after the battle fought would forever be known as D-day. In the many years since D-day took place on June 6th, 1944, many survivors have told their own stories and personal testimonies of what happened that day, their voices ringing through the now eighty years that have passed. But now, many of these survivors are no longer here. Most of them have already been called home, and their voices are no longer heard over the clash and clamor of today’s news topics and the overall turmoil that the world is in. The memories of their valor and courage are waning with every year that passes as we slowly forget their sacrifice. But still, President Roosevelt’s prayer rings true even today, even after eighty years have passed. No, we are not fighting a declared war, nor are our men facing such dangerous and perilous combat as they were eighty years ago, but there is a silent battle raging that goes unnoticed by most. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 The road that we walk is still long and hard. The enemy is still strong. The Devil still lurks in the dark corners and murky shadows of our world, and we still must pray for a steadfast faith that is able to defeat him. This battle has been fought between Christ’s allied troops, his followers,  and the Devil’s ruthless demons since the beginning of time; and it will continue until Christ’s coming, when the Devil will be defeated once and for all. And we do not lose heart, for this is a mighty endeavor. And as in the closing of the prayer above, With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy….. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. We must never forget our pasts or the pasts of those before us; for it is by examining their lives that we see God’s faithfulness. And we know that he will be faithful in the days to come as well.

  • Running

    Louis Zamperini was a decorated World War 11 Veteran and beloved Christian Evangelist. But before the war and before he met Jesus, Louis had a rough and unsteady early life. At a young age he began drinking, and on top of that, soon began smoking. He fought daily with harsh bullies everywhere he went. So, Louis began running. Running from his past, his uncertain future, and from the truth of reality. Everyday he ran a little farther than the day before. He began running for track in high school, but soon, in 1936, he qualified for the olympics in Berlin. There, he finished in 8th place and set a new world record. Things were going pretty great for Louis, until war was declared. And in 1941, Louis was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Force, where he served as a Lieutenant Bombardier on the Air Corps 327nd Bomb Squadron. It was during a search and rescue mission over the Pacific that his plane experienced major mechanical malfunctions, and he crashed over the ocean. For forty-seven days, Louis drifted along on a life raft; and it was on that raft that he prayed a simple prayer like this- “Lord, if you will only get me home, I will serve you forever.” God heard Louis' prayer that day, but it wouldn't be until the Japanese surrender in 1945 that he would return home, malnourished and tortured at the hands of the Japanese who took him prisoner. After arriving home, Louis suffered greatly with trauma and flashbacks of the torture he had endured. He resorted to drinking to drown his memories. But when his wife took him to a Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angeles, Louis found the answer to all his problems. And he remembered his prayer that day on the life raft so many years before. God had brought him home. Now it was Louis’ turn to keep his end of the deal. And at last, Louis stopped running. He turned to face his Savoir, and began running the race that God had called him to. As Paul says in Philippians, “Forgetting what lies behind and straining toward what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (3: 13-14) Louis began serving Christ, just as he promised; and it was a promise that he would keep for the rest of his life as he went on to forgive the Japanese men who had taken his captive and tortured him during the war. He no longer ran aimlessly, but by the grace of God he turned the course of his life around, and was able to use his past as a testimony that still lives on today, eighty years after the darkest hour of his life. Like Louis, we are all running from something. Whether it be from God, from work, or a person from our pasts, we all seem to have reasons to run. But God asks us to stop. To stand still. Be still and know. He wants us to stop aimlessly running around and chasing after foolish and temporal fixes for our problems. He wants us to come and sit at his feet and lay the burdens down. And finally, he wants us to dedicate our lives and hearts to him, to be used by him for service. Will you do that today? Friend, will you stop running? Scripture: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. -1 Corinthians 9: 24-27

  • Just Believe

    Sometimes, our lives seem uncertain, foggy even. At times our futures are pure shadowland, shrouded in the shadows of uncertainty, discouragement and fear. We strain to see through the fog of our lives, straining to see what lies ahead in our future, though all along possessing no power to do so (and we never will!). It is in times like this that we often find ourselves turning to God, saying, “I just can’t see, Lord. What do you want me to do?” I have asked this question so many times it is unbelievable. And I have a feeling you have too. We ask for vision, for a clear path, which is not a wrong request in itself. It’s actually quite right and acceptable, so long as we are seeking the Lord’s will instead of bending His will to our own. God wants us to seek his will, to long for his guidance and to rely upon him. But the problem occurs when we want God to just show us the roadmap and all the wonderful plans he has for us in advance, so that we can see all the potholes, pit-stops, and problems along the way. We wish for clear paths. We all do. It’s only human. “Make your paths known to me.” We ask with genuine longing to know the paths God has for us, to know the clear destination and journey to it. We want to know the steps to take forward. What do I do now? And His response? “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (John 6:29) Just believe. It sounds so simple, but that is His answer. To believe in the one whom he sent. And whom did he send? “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3) While we sometimes wish for a full game-plan for our lives, in color and with footnotes included, God sometimes asks us to just look to Him. To simply stop worrying about the ‘plan’ and to resist the urge of looking at the foggy and uncertain road ahead, and just turn our eyes on Him. “Just look at me, child.” He says, “I have you in my hand; believe in me and take the next step of the journey. Just keep your eyes on me.” Believe in Him today, friend. Don’t worry if you don’t have it all figures out or if you don’t know what to do next. Just believe.

  • Jars of Clay

    The potter sat at his wheel, his hands gently cradling the mound of clay in his palm, murky gray splatters rising up his forearms as he pressed his thumbs down at just the right moment to form a swift lip in the mound. He slowly pulls upward and the clay grows in stature and height. Pretty soon, the clay he has fashioned in his hand becomes a tall jar with a slender neck, nearly identical to the near dozen resting at his feet. Why has he made so many jars, all the same? Each one he crafted with the same loving manner and graceful touch just as the one before, but still, they are the same. Upon closer inspection, one may see the tiny flaws and cracks in each of the prior jars as they sit drying in the sunshine; small veins and slight nicks to their exterior hint at their breakable-ness and fragile nature. But still, the potter pours his love into crafting each one. In 2 Corinthians 4:7, the Apostle Paull says this; “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” We are the jars of clay that Paul is speaking of. We are the identical human creatures to the jars in the story above. We are fragile, undependable, inadequate, unworthy, and easily broken creatures living in an equally broken world. We as humans will ultimately crack under the pressure of life, and we will certainly falter under the weight and stress of this world. But this treasure he mentions, this is God’s gospel. This is the good news of great hope that a savior died for us- and God has given us this treasure to cling to and believe in. It is our duty to carry this treasure with us and spread it wherever we go, to whomever we meet. "But thanks be to God, who always leads us captive in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16) Who is equal to such a task? Certainly not us. So, why does God pour His love and mercy into us when He knows all along that we will crack and fail? We are breakable, unworthy, marred and flawed creatures, but God still loves us and offers to us the Gospel of his Grace; and he transforms our bodies of clay into mighty seaworthy vessels with the mission of carrying his message of salvation to all places, everywhere. Why? Because that is what we are meant to do. That is our mission. We may falter and fail along the way, but this is only to prove that the power we speak of is not our own; it is God’s. And it is God alone who can use broken and flawed vessels such as ourselves to hold the valuable treasure of his love.

  • The Waymaker

    In Joshua chapter 3 we read of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River. In verse 8, The Lord tells Joshua, “When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.” He wanted the Israelites to have faith and believe, and take the first step. But then we notice how the Lord said to “Stop there”. He didn't command them to just throw themselves in the river and try and see how many of them could make it to the other side. No, he said  “Stop there”. Meaning, “I will meet you there.” “I will divide the waters.” “You need not fear, Just believe.” That's what He's telling me and you today, as well. He wants to see that we have faith to take the first few steps, and also that we have faith that He will not only meet us there, but will make a way through the churning waters once we are there. Verse 13, “As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream and the river will stand up like a wall.” He may not take away our trials and tribulations, but He will certainly make a way through them, and there will be a promised land on the other side. Maybe your waters are clear and shallow. Maybe your waters are dark and deep. All the same, God can and will part your waters if you have faith and believe. Whatever it is that's drowning you, heartache, addiction, persecution, confusion, whatever it is, The Lord will make a way through for you if you have faith and trust Him. God rarely beacons us into what we can do in our own strength. We will face the raging seas, some deeper than others. But let me say, it is only through Him that the waters are parted. It is only in Him that we can walk amongst the raging waters and not be overcome. Because He is the Waymaker. “ When you go through deep waters I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

  • The Root

    Have you ever wanted to- or maybe you have- trace back your family tree? Discovering many aunts and uncles, and maybe a few relatives you had no idea even existed? You begin with yourself, then you look across both your father and mother’s family, back to you grandparents, their grandparents, cousins, a cousin once-removed, and the list goes on. God’s Tree is much like this. Except at the root of this tree, is Jesus. There are many branches and limbs to the tree, but every one one of them leads back to their root- Jesus. In Romans, Paul tells us this: “....For if the roots are holy, the branches will be too. But some of the branches from Abrahams tree- some of the people of Israel- have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree. But you must not brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. You are just a branch, not the root.” - Romans 11: 16-18 (NLT) Paul is saying that we are wild, we have no roots- nothing that will supply life. He means that we are dead in ourselves, and only in Christ can we truly Live. We are all rebel children bought by our Father- from which we all receive grace. By Grace, we are Grafted into God’s Tree. Graft; A shoot or twig inserted into a slip on the trunk or stem of a living plant from which it receives sap. The grafting process is tedious work. You must make a notch in your rootstock (the roots and bottom half of the tree) and take your Scion (the upper dormant half of your tree), and place it in the notch you have created. And the two are bound together. The tree senses it has been wounded, and therefore attempts to heal its wound, by securing itself to the new Scion. In short, it is the process of joining two plants together, to grow as one plant. All of our lives, there has been a notch in our souls that could never mend on its own. But if we have been grafted into God's tree, then Jesus is our root. His roots run deep into the wells of the Father's grace, and it is through him that our weary souls are revived and restored to life through salvation. He is our foundation and life-source. He is our root.

bottom of page