Tribulations And Victory

Something to think.

Tribulations And Victory

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

We don’t want tribulations. We want our lives to be peaceful, joyful, and blissful. If you only listen to uplifting, edifying, empowering sermons and speakers, you may acquire the misconception that Christianity is a utopia.

You might begin to think you are somehow excluded from the blessings of God. Because you do have problems and tribulations in your life.   Sometimes we may give the impression that Christianity is beyond tribulations. If we stay in the empowering side of the gospel, we may lead people to think that Christians who do Christianity correctly will be without conflict. Christianity is not a utopia.

If you’ve been a Christian for a little while you’ve come to the realization Christianity is not a utopia. We face tribulations and spiritual battles some we will win some we will loose. If you’re going to live the Christian life, your life will be and adventure but it will not be without conflict. Some of the battles will come from growing pains. Some from the struggle to get rid of the sin in our lives. Some will be spiritual battles which are intended to destroy you. What I am saying is the Christian life is not the end of problems.

If you look at the lives of men and women of God in both the old and new testament you will find they faced tribulations. In real life past and present the exclusion of trials and tribulations does not exist. Conflicts exist in life.

What makes Christianity different is we win. It may sound simplistic and irrational but we win. The resurrection of Christ is the guarantee of the victory!!!!!! This is what Jesus meant when he said, “I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.” He is saying my victory is not in the moment it is in eternity. It is not just winning the petty battles of life it is in winning eternally. It means despite the tribulations of this life we win. However, we end up in this life, as a martyr for Christ or as His ambassador we will ultimately win.

We who believe in Christ will spend eternity with him. In a reality much different from this one. In a reality of peace, joy, bliss, purpose and love. In other words we will live the life we want now minus the tribulations.  Our hope is not in incremental improvements but in joyous complete victory. Victory embedded in the resurrection of Christ. Since he it’s the first to be resurrected we also will be resurrected in due time. Resurrected to a life with him. That is what “I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 means. Total and complete victory for all who choose Jesus. An eternal secure victory that can never be overturned.

Listen, we are not going to simply sit on a cloud with a harp for eternity. We are going to accomplish things which have yet to be thought of. We are going to work for God according to His will and propose. Can you imagine what awesome things the creator of the universe has for you to do? Can you imagine the things you will see the things you will do? Can you imagine what a life of love,  propose, joy and work will be like in a world where sin does not exist. What will be accomplished there? This is the victory of Christ and more. More than we can imagine, think or expect. Tribulations come to an end but the victory in Christ is eternal.


Blessings of The Lord

Something to think about.

Blessing of The Lord

“The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.”
Proverbs 10:22 NKJV

When was the last time you received a blessing from the Lord? Was it costly? Did it require something from you? I receive blessings of God on a continual basis. Every day the Lord does something in my life for which I’m grateful. Never have I had to sacrifice anything to receive the blessing of the Lord. It has always been a gift.

Some of the blessings of God are conditional. Even salvation John 3:16 has the requirement of belief in Jesus.

The blessings of God are conditional and unconditional at the same time . The blessings of God are conditional in practice and unconditional in intent. The blessings of God come from the generosity of His heart. For example, redemption is a gift of God. It is something God does for us without condition. You might say that is not true you have to do XYZ to receive redemption. Which is true, however, God did not have to redeem us. There is nothing that required God to redeem us. Forgiveness is another of those unconditional blessings.  He did not have to forgive us. Salvation, restoration, grace, adoption and many other blessing are unconditional. They are unconditional because God is not required to bless us. God is complete and perfect without us. He choose to bless us He did not do it out of need.  A condition is usually in place to benefit the one who grants the benefit. If someone loans you money and the condition is that you pay interest, the interest benefits the one who made the loan. The conditions we must fulfill to receive the blessings of God do not benefit God. By fulfilling the condition in no way, do we add or benefit God.

All of the blessings of God provide us with riches. They may not be momentary but they are rich never the less. When God decided to restore me from my heart attack, it was a rich blessing. Not just because I lived but also because he allowed to serve him. That blessing has turned my life around in ways I didn’t know existed. That single blessing has eternal benefits for me my family and friends and even you a stranger.

Every blessing of God is rich because it is not singular in nature. It does not just bless you but everyone around you. It even extends to people you don’t know. All the blessings of God are positive in there outcome.

In Deuteronomy 28:1 1“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. 

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  

God’s blessings are intended to make your life rich spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially. Even though there are actual mechanisms for bringing these blessings to life they are from the heart of God. He offers them too us unconditionally because he wants too. He can’t be required to. He chooses to bless us out of his generosity.

Clearly Seen

Something to think about.

Clearly Seen

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 NIV

The evidence of God exists in everything around us. From the air we breathe to the earth we walk on. The invisible qualities of God are on display. Yet, this evidence is interpreted differently by the created.

It is fascinating how two people can look at the same thing and see totally different things. One person looks at our design and sees majesty and wonder, and another sees chance and meaninglessness. One sees unquestionable intelligence and is amazed at the complexity of our existence. Others look at our complexity as evidence of chance. They see the complex intricacies of our existence and claim it to be impossible for something to have designed us.

Yet the word of God clams the proof of his existence is not absent from His creation but through his creation. It says if you look around you will find proof of his existence. The proof lives in and around us now not years or eons ago,  but now, here.

If you look at all that is required for us to exist it is mind-boggling to me that it can be credited to chance. If you take a look at the role of the Bee in our existence, it will make you wonder. For most of my life, I just thought of it as an insignificant bug. Yes, I had been taught when I was in grade school of the significant part it plays in pollination.  However, I never gave any thought as to the impact it has on our food supply. Now because of the loss of bees in the world, I have been made aware of there importance to our existence. A little Bee can have devastating effects on humanity.  Bees are necessary for the pollination of our food. If they cease to exist, we will be in very serious trouble as a species.  It makes you ponder what came first the Bee or the flower. This is but one example of things in life that will make you think.

Chance or evolution says they appeared when they were necessary because they were necessary. There was no intelligence associated with the appearance of the Bee. It just arrived because it was needed for the evolutionary process.  Ok, I will buy that explanation. Once maybe twice, but when you start thinking about it, every evolutionary step came about just because. Then when you begin to contemplate on our complexity, you really have to have blind faith to believe that at every turn of the evolutionary ladder the correct occurrence came into being because it had to.

It is far more plausible for me to believe in an entity of indescribable intelligence brought order and existence into being rather than believe we simply self-created out of nothing. In Genesis 1:1 It says, In the beginning God…….  Not chance, not billions of years it says “In the beginning God……”

Just One

Something to think about.

Just One

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19 (ESV)

This is what is called the great commission. It is the goal of Christianity. As Christians, we read and accept it as our responsibility. But somewhere along the line, we assigned it to someone else. We somehow placed it on the shoulders of the professional Christian. The pastors and leaders of the church. After all, they have been charged with being the shepherd of the sheep.

We have become adept at passing it off to the more eloquent and charismatic among us.  To the captivating speakers and presenters of our times.  We have become very good at putting on a tremendous spiritual show. Personally I enjoy the show and what’s more, I am uplifted and edified by it.  I sincerely believe it is much needed in our lives and it serves a legitimate propose in our spiritual lives. After all, Jesus spoke to thousands of people at one time at least twice that we know of.

These large gatherings of people for the purpose of advancing the gospel are a great thing. They serve a much needed purpose or no one would come. However, it is not what Christ intended when He gave us the great commission. The great commission cannot be fulfilled in large evangelical gatherings. Or in conferences of specialized training. These events are needed and essential to the body of Christ but by themselves, they will never fulfill the great commission.

To successfully fulfill the great commission each Christian needs to tell one person. If every Christian would tell one person about Christ, we would in a short period of time cover the earth with the gospel of Jesus Christ. When Jesus presented the great commission, it was not intended to be the responsibly of the few. It was intended to be the responsibility of the one.

We are all expected to be involved in the great commission. In the simplest of ways share the gospel of Jesus with one person, just one. Jesus never intended for each of us to be a great orator. He expects us to reach one, just one. Not the masses, not the world, not your school, or your state, just one.

It may sound too simplistic and it is simple. But it will be the only way we will ultimately fulfill the great commission. I am not saying that we should do away with all the good work people are doing. Please continue but to see the great commission fulfilled we need, every one of us to tell one.

The battle cry of the great commission should be, tell one, reach one, bring one. If we all tell one, we will tell all.


Something to think about.


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Is it a secret? The plans He has for you are they a secret? This is an inspiring, invigorating, motivating verse. However, taken in context, it is not secretive. God promised His people He would restore them back to their homeland.

It is important that when we recite this verse, we keep it in context. We have to know what God’s plans are for our lives. It does you no good to recite this verse without knowing His plans for your life. In Jeremiah 29:10 God tells Israel His plans. In verse 11 God is expanding on what He has already promised. Verse 11 is not a mystery verse of hopeful expectations. It is an explanatory statement tied to verse 10. God is referring to the prophecy He gave to Jeremiah. He is reassuring Israel of His good intentions.

What are the dreams God has placed in your heart? In Jeremiah God is speaking to captives and telling them I have a dream for you. A dream of freedom and restoration. He even tells them the time frame for the fulfillment of the dream. So, when verse 11 is made it is not something new it is the confirmation of an intended result.

What dream do you have buried in your heart? What dreams have laid dormant in your life for years? Bring those dreams to the fore of your mind and then repeat express, recite and claim verse 11 of Jeremiah 29.

What if God has placed a dream in you too turn the world back to Him.  For years your dream has laid dormant in the furthest recesses of your mind. But now your God is saying to you “I know the plans I have for you.” He is saying to you this is the time, this is the place I will bring this about through you.

All of the promises of God require one thing your action. Even the free gift of salvation requires something. John 3:16 (KJV) 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The condition of salvation is a belief in Jesus. 

The plans of God for you require the same thing your belief in Him.  Those dreams long regulated to the area of fantasy are they dreams God has placed in your heart? Dreams that require no more than belief in the God who put them there?  You must believe His plans for your life are for your benefit.

These Things

Something to think about.

These Things

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto us. Matthew 6:33

Have you ever wonder how this verse would be fulfilled? Is it fulfilled by God dropping blessing on you just because? Does it mean that if you seek the righteousness of God, your blessing will be magically delivered to you?

How often have we read verses like this and never stopped to ask, how? Shouldn’t we ask how? This is a powerful promise of God. If we seek him we will be rewarded in abundance. That’s what this verse says. It literally means all of your needs. Depending on your situation you may have great needs. The needs of some are greater than the needs of others but there is no distinction within this verse.  “All these things,” is what it said. God will provide what your need is regardless of what it is if you seek Him first.

It is talking about supplying all of your needs to accomplish all of your dreams and goals. “Seek his righteousness” and your needs will be supplied. If you don’t have a dream you don’t have a need. If all you want is your daily bread He will not provide a feast. If all you desire is to get by, you will.

You decide what your need is. As long as it aligns with God’s righteousness he will supply it. The condition is seeking his righteousness. The level of need is not discussed. In other words if you determine your need to be basic your provision will be basic. If your need is great your provision will be great.

But how will it be provided? Where or through whom will it be provided? The body of Christ, we collectively are described as an interdependent organism.  An organism which cannot function optimally without one another. The New Testament clearly defines our need for interdependence. In order for us to be an effective church we must combine our talents and gifts to further the kingdom of God.  Interdependence is not optional. God created a system which can only function efficiently if we all contribute the gifts He has given us.

If we are to seek the righteousness of God how do you suppose we do that? Through interdependence, we learn from each other. We receive from each other the gifts God has spread throughout the body of Christ. If we receive spiritual benefits from one another as God intended, should we not also receive all these things as well?

The needs we have are not going to be fulfilled by seeking after the world they will come from seeking after God. Through the body of Christ which was intended to be interdependant, you will receive all these things. Not through philosophies of man. Your needs may be met by the secular world but never through the secular world. In other words He will use His assets to supply your needs as long as you seek Him. The world is His and everything in it belongs to Him. He will disperse it as he sees fit. He is looking for the faithful among us to bless. If you are a seeker of God, you will receive the provision of God.

As a Christian, your needs are directly related to your dreams. Your dreams are dependant on your relationship with God. The more you seek him, the bigger the dream, the bigger the dream, the greater the need. The greater the provision.

Family of Faith

Something to think about.

Family of Faith.

10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10

As some of you know this is the mission statement of the Faith Business Alliance. The reason I choose this verse is that it best describes what I envision the Faith Business Alliance doing.  Helping all people but especially those of the family of Faith.  This has been a motivating verse in my life. It is the reason I do much of what I do in the church. As I think about this verse I ask myself what else can I do to fulfill the heart of this verse, what can I do to help those in the family of faith. 

I would like to see the church become or return to be more responsive time. A time when we were more interested in the needs of our brothers and sisters. I don’t just mean those who are in immediate need but all of us. We need as a family to begin to share the wisdom and knowledge the Lord has blessed us with.

The Lord never intended for us to keep what he has taught us to ourselves. We have a spiritual responsibility to get involved in the lives of our brothers in sister in helping them to accomplish the dreams the Lord has placed in their hearts.


Who is better equipped to help them than we? Who can love them into the next level in their lives if not us? We need to overcome our fear of involvement in the lives of our families. Now I am not talking about being noisy or busybodies but advisers and mentors to those who are in need of our help both in the Lord and in business. We need to get involved in such a way as to positively impact the lives of others especially of those of the family of faith. 

The New Testament speaks of us as being parts of the same body.  We need to move from the allegorical into the actual and begin to understand that we need each other to accomplish what the Lord has placed in our hearts. We cannot continue and should not continue to look outside of the church for mentors and advisers that are not part of the family of God.  If we engage with other believers in every area of life would not the blessing of God flow from one to the other? I am not asking for something out of the ordinary we do these things with people outside the body of Christ on a consistent basis. I am saying let’s begin to look inside the church and strengthen each other. As we strengthen ourselves, we will more effectively impact our society with the truth of Christ. 

10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10 

How can I help you? 

Kit and Caboodle

Something to think about.

Kit and Caboodle

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-17 (ESV)

If this verse only ended with”visible and invisible” but no it doesn’t. It goes right on to claim ownership of the whole kit and caboodle.  I am not able to manipulate the words in these verses and turn it into something other than what it says. God is taking responsibility for all things that exist.  Which is only logical if you accept what it says in verse 16, or in Genesis 1:1.

Now we can get into a philosophical discussion on cause and affect about the genesis of evil and attempt to place it at God’s feet. Thereby accusing him for all the evil in the world. After all, he does take responsibility for everything that’s been created. Except for taking responsibility for something is not the same as saying I am the creator of the thing. 


For instance, if your child goes out and performs acts of violence as in “Son of Sam” his parents must take responsibility for him but not for his actions. You might argue that the parents are responsible because they bore and raised him. The reality is that at some point you can not continue to blame the parents. The blame is solely on the perpetrator, it is on the child who decided of his own accord to be violent.  Likewise, God is responsible for creating all things, but He is not responsible or to blame for the choices we make. In the end, it is not Gods fault we sin. He created everything for His glory and our pleasure. We perverted that intent of our own accord. By the corruption of perfection with sin, we turned perfection into principalities and powers of evil.  

“All things were created through him and for him.” If we accept all things were made by Him, why would have he created evil? All things were not just made by Him they were made through and for Him. So all things have there origin Him, and He is perfect as the bible claims. It is impossible for perfection to come from imperfection as it is impossible for imperfection to come from perfection. Sin was introduced into the world through choice resulting in the corruption of perfection. Evil came into being not because God created it but because He gave man a choice. Man made a choice, and the choice man made lead to evil.  

God is responsible for creating the condition where a choice could be made.  We could have chosen perfection or imperfection. The choice we made had the inevitable consequence of evil. God is still offering us the same choice pick Him and live in eternal perfection, i.e., sinless perfection. Or choose imperfection, i.e., sin which leads to inevitable self-destruction. Whichever choice you make whether perfection or imperfection it will not be Gods fault it will be your choice and hence your fault.

If you choose perfection, evil can’t exist. If you choose to sin, evil is the prerequisite result.

Same Jesus

Something to think about.

Same Jesus

“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”  Acts 1:11 NIV

This is an unusual moment. Jesus has been resurrected for 40 days and now before his disciples and the public he is ascending into heaven.  This event is so amazing. The only time in the history of mankind we see another realm of existence interact with our physical world.

It is our hope in the concrete form of our future.  It is the actualization of the totality Christianity. It is what we live and breathe for.  The resurrection and transformation of our lives to our permanent, eternal life.  Jesus is ascending into a different life. A different existence.

He is showing us what the future holds for us.  In this amazing moment, he leaves the audience captive. So much so that angels in human form have to address them and tell them what has happened. They pronounce or define what they have just seen. These two witnesses give humanity a hope that is not equaled anywhere in the world. He will return in the same way he left.

Christ will return. It is what separates Christianity from any other belief system in the world.  The subject of our hope and faith is actually coming back for us. He will return. This moment this occurrence is beyond the imaginings of anyone.  The risen savior of humanity has ascended to His home from where He came. He left us with a promise of His return and our reuniting with Him.

The really amazing thing is this we, those who believe in Him are the only ones with this hope. The rest of the world is hoping in what? There is no substance for their hope.  We have the substance of the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. We have the testimony of many an eyewitness. We have the fulfillment of prophecy. We have the witness of the Holy Spirit in us. We have a hope and faith In the one that defeated and conquered the grave.

“…….This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11 NIV


Something to think about.


1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God’s good news.. Romans 1:1 

This word in any culture in the world has a negative connotation, but here it is describing the relationship between Christ and Paul the Apostle.  Paul himself wrote this book these are his words. We can only conclude that he is of his own free will aligning himself with Christ with a position and title of the slave.  Let that sink in a moment. 

It is allegorical in intent, or is it exactly how Paul wanted to be identified?  I think he intended it to be actual. I think he did not want it to be figurative but in every sense a reality. If you study the words and purpose of Jesus, you will find that he only has one intent. It is for the salvation of humanity. All of his actions were for the benefit of humanity. He never proposed violence. He never proposed evil. None of His actions could be construed as being harmful to His followers. Not a one of us has anything to fear from Jesus. He never intended harm for anyone that would follow Him. In fact, it is the exact opposite. His intent is for our salvation. If you understand the intent and purpose of Christ, you can begin to see how Paul desires to be a slave of Christ. 

Paul desires to identify himself as a slave not out of fear but because there is only an upside to this relationship.  Paul understands the provision of Christ. Not just in this life but in the life which is to come. He recognizes the sovereignty of Jesus.  He has experienced the depth of love Christ has for Him.  The word slave is the best word to use to describe a relationship in which you willfully and intentionally submit your will to God. 

In Paul’s times, it was possible to sell your self into slavery with the possibility of buying your way out of slavery.  Not that it was pleasurable by any means, but still you had the choice to sell your self and then pay your way out of slavery.  This is not the arrangement that Paul intends when he claims slavery as his position.  He intends to recognize the sovereignty and benevolence of God.  He understood that God had the very best for him in mind when God sent His son to die for him.  He understood and appreciated the best place to be was within the protected resource fill arms of God.

He knew that living as a slave to Christ meant that he would have the best life. 

He knew that being a slave to Christ was not a confining judgment it is a liberating, exciting purposeful loving fulling life of joy.