It’s All About Faith

Have you ever had a sin that you just couldn’t quit?  I have.  A couple of them actually.  Jesus changed a lot overnight, but there were some things I continued to struggle with.  I was talking to my friend, and I was contemplating out loud why God hasn’t removed a particular one.  “Ask Him” they advised.

I was confused… I began to explain how I have grieved this sin, have pled with God to remove it, but for some reason I can’t seem to stop stumbling back into it.  “I don’t think you really have asked” they replied.  Say What?!  I have asked for so long every day to take this sin from me.

So I went to the Lord and asked Him to show me where I am not understanding  how to ask.  And I prayed and prayed and prayed some more.  I dug into the word and asked that He show me the truth, so that I could understand why I continue to commit this sin, in light of how I know it doesn’t please Him… why I can’t let it go.

As Jesus would have it, by honestly seeking His wisdom on the matter through His word, I realized my friend was right.  I was asking God to remove it, but not to truly wanting Him to give me the strength to release it.  I wanted God to supernaturally make it just go away the way He did in other areas.  I didn’t want to lean on Him and flee from evil.  I simply wasn’t willing to trust Him to help.  Because if I am honest I really didn’t want Him to in those hidden places of my heart.

So, in light of that I prayed a little differently, by praying His word of truth over the matter.

  1. I confessed my lack of trust Psalm 40:4
  2. I asked God to give me a deeper hunger for his word Hebrews 4:12
  3. I repented of my willful blindness to His truth about anything I haven’t wanted to hear John 12:40
  4. I recommitted all details of my life big and small to God Proverbs 16:3

1 John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

I posted 1 John 5:14-15 everywhere.  The bathroom, my office, my car, the wall next to my side of the bed, etc, so that I could meditate and grow in faith, until the Holy Spirit let it take root.

Praise God for His wisdom and help when we sincerely ask.




“Commandments of Jesus “

The Commandments of Jesus must not be confused with the “Ten Commandments” in the Old Testament.

Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” (John 14:15, KJV).

As you study these commandments (orders) of Jesus it will become evident that God is not only the God of Grace, He is also the God of expectations. You will also see that obeying the Commandments of Jesus will bring rewards beyond measure.

For example, “Ye must be born again” (Jn 3:7), is considered to be one of the Commandments of Jesus. Those who obey receive Eternal Life!

The Old Testament Commandments beautifully teach what God considers to be sin, but they require perfection, and no person has ever been perfect (good enough), so it can only bring condemnation.

However, Jesus, being the “Son of God” and therefore perfect, could and did live up to the requirements of the Old Testament Law, and by doing so was qualified to die in the place of all who would accept Him as their Savior.

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1). Jesus paid it all!

“The Greatest Commandment”

Jesus was asked: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments,” (Matt 22:36-40, Amp).

“The Golden Rule”

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets,” ((Matt 7:12 NIV).

Although these Commandments of Jesus are not in numerical order as are the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament, most Bible Scholars agree that they are most assuredly the Commandments of Jesus.

The Commandments of Jesus
From the Four Gospels

1. “When you stand praying, forgive”

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins.” (Mark 11:25-26 NIV)

2. “You must be born again”

“You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.” (John 3:7 KJV)

3. “Remain in Me and I will remain in you”

When you ask Jesus into your heart and He becomes your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit lives in you, and you in Him. Here Jesus uses a grapevine to compare our relationship with Him. “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” ( John 15:4 NIV)

4. “Let your light shine before men”

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. ” In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven,” (Matt 5:14;16 NIV).

5. “Settle matters quickly with your adversary”

“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.” (Matt 5:25 NIV)

6. “Get rid of whatever causes you to sin”

“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matt 5:29-30 NIV)

7. “Do Not Swear at All”

“But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (Matt 5: 34-37, KJV)

8. “Do Not Resist an Evil Person”

(Turning the other cheek.)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also,” (Matt 5:38-39 NIV).

9. “Giving More than is Demanded”

(Going the extra mile)

“And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you,” (Matt 5:40-42 NIV).

10. “Love Your Enemies”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous,” (Matt 5:43-45 NIV).

11. “Give to Please God, Not to be Seen”

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven,” (Matt 6:1 NIV).

12. “Pray Privately, Not to be Seen by Men”

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words,”
(Matt 6:5-7 NIV)

13. “This, then, is how you should pray”

“This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins,” (Matt 6:9-15 NIV).

14. “Fast Without Fanfare”

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full,” (Matt 6:16 NIV).

15. “Do not Store up Treasures on Earth”

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,”
(Matt 6:19-21 NIV).

16. “Do not Worry about Your Needs”

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matt 6:25-26 NIV). Commandments of Jesus

17. “Do not Worry about Tomorrow”

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own,” (Matt 6:34 NIV).

18. “Place God First”

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” (Matt 6:33 NIV).

19. “Do not Judge”

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you,”
(Matt 7:1-2 NIV).

20. “Guard what is Sacred”

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces,”
(Matt 7:6 NIV).

21. “Ask, Seek, and Knock”

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you,”
(Matt 7:7 NIV).

22. “Care for Those in Distress”

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me,”
(Matt 25:34-36 NIV).

23. “Enter Through the Narrow Gate”

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it,”
(Matt 7:13-14 NIV).

24. “Watch out for false prophets”

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves,” (Matt 7:15 NIV).

25. “Exercise Spiritual Power”

“He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness,” (Matt 10:1 NIV).

“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give,” (Matt 10:8 NIV).”

26. “Do not Despise Childlike Believers”

“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven,” (Matt 18:10 NIV). Commandments of Jesus

27. “Do not Exalt Yourself”

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted,” (Matt 23:8-12 NIV).

28. “Settle Disputes Between Believers in this Manner…”

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector,”
(Matt 18:15-17 NIV).

29. “Do not Oppose Other Christian Groups”

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us,” (Mark 9:38-40 NIV).

30. “Have Complete Faith in God”

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours,” (Mark 11:22-24 NIV).

31. “Do as the Good Samaritan Did”

“The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise,”
(Luke 10:30-37 NIV).

32. “Love One Another”

(This commandment of Jesus summarizes all the others.)

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you,” (John 15:12 KJV).

33. “Do this in Remembrance of Me”

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.'”
“In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you,'” (Luke 22:19-20 NIV).

34. “You Should also Wash One Another’s Feet”

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet,”
(John 13:14 NIV).

35. “Be Merciful”

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful,”
(Luke 6:36 NIV).

36. “Go and Make Disciples of All Nations, Baptizing Them”

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,”
(Matt 28:19-20 NIV).

37. “Obey What I Command”

“If you love me, you will obey what I command,”
(John 14:15 NIV).

38. “You Must be Ready”

“You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him,”
(Luke 12:40 NIV). Commandments of Jesus

Little Lessons

I have a family member, I will call them Thorn (since they are an ongoing thorn in my side).  I love them deeply, but they are like a very course sandpaper to me at times. As the people we love most often are. Our biggest challenge is our communication styles.  Thorn and I have a language style that is so different, we can sometimes fight even when we are on the same page, because we simply can’t understand what the other is saying.  It’s not intentional by either of us.  It is simply a different thought processes that try as we might, can easily become confusing and frustrating.

As I have been fasting and praying for the Lord to break me, to spring forth ever more fruits of the Spirit in me, Thorn has become more confrontational and reactive to me.  It always goes this way.  Whenever I seek more of God, He responds with more refining.

I went to my “closet” and prayed for Father to reveal what I should do to walk in His way through this situation.

I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. Psalm 57:2 

As Jesus would have it, He compelled me not to go back and try to fix the problem. Instead He urged in the Spirit to go clean our kitchen chairs.  I didn’t understand why this would be His response. I want to fix this frustration, and want Him to help me right it.  Instead, of gaining understanding of what to say or do, I felt convicted to simply go clean chairs.

I must confess, I really wanted God to correct thorn and right what was wronged on my behalf. Oh wretched man that I am.

After a time of wrestling with God, with begrudging hands I got a bowl of soapy water and a rag.  I sat down and began to wipe the 1st chair.  But that wasn’t quite right, He further instructed me to get a scrubbing brush and cotton swabs. To sit and really focus on each detail of the chair, to inspect for any spots that needed extra attention, check the screws, inspect for hidden dirty spots underneath, which no one sees.  Further, do it not for the sake of cleanness, but for the sake of doing it well in the sight of my Father.

 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

As I began the tedious task the Holy Spirit suddenly grew in me a desire to give 100% to this chore, realizing I was doing it for His eyes only.  As I really leaned in to it, I lost sight of my anger, my hurt, my ego.  And I began to pray that God would give me a kinder spirit, that He would remove the confusion in our midst.  I began to think loving thoughts about thorn, I began to understand that this fighting affects them too. It became more and more as I cleaned and prayed, not about getting thorn to see it my way, but rather how am I reflecting Jesus in the situation. How am I trusting Him to direct my heart in the midst of battle, rather than trying to do it in my flesh?

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


I went on to clean all 6 chairs, slowly and with care.  By the time I finished, I no longer cared about the subject we were fighting about. I was instead reflecting on the many times I have been unjustly angry at God.  Or willfully disobeyed.  Yet He has had infinite compassion on my shortcomings, and graciously forgives me when I stumble.  In light of that, I had compassion for thorn and I repented of my selfish motives.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 

Even though thorn still had hostility when I finished cleaning those chairs, I had none.  I approached thorn humbly even though it felt like I was trying to hug a cactus, there was so much hostility.  I looked past the anger and kept my heart focused on leaning into Jesus.  I was able to react in love and respect, till thorn began to relax and gave up trying to revive the fight.  There wasn’t a resolution, just a cease fire.  But still, I walked away feeling at peace and was able to receive more of the love of Jesus in the midst of it.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Does this mean that there won’t be more conflict with thorn or that I will now be perfect in my responses?  Oh how I wish that were true. However, Conflict and hardship is how I learn to lean into Jesus. Trials no matter how big or small are a refinement to me.

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 1 Corinthians 3:13

He is my good good Father, who corrects and reproves. He gives me more faith, the more I trust Him and accept His instruct, both through His word and in the Spirit.  Even when I don’t always initially understand it.

Who knew a simple task of chair cleaning would bring about such profound understanding.  Jesus … that’s who.


Resist Temptation

Our enemy knows our weaknesses as humans and will seek to exploit them to make us fall. Even at our best, we are weak and need God’s strength.

God has given us armor and weapons, but their power comes from God.

2 Corinthians 10:4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” In God we have divine power to destroy strongholds, fight battles, and gain victory.

Cry out to Him to fight for you and with you. You can’t do it on your own. Rely on God, put on your armor, pick up your sword, and fight.

Prepare For Battle

Dear Heavenly Father, today we put on the full armor to guard our lives against attack. We put on the belt of truth to protect against lies and deception. We put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect our hearts from the temptations we battle. We put the gospel of peace on our feet, so we’re ready to take your light wherever you send us this day. We choose to walk in the peace and freedom of your Spirit and not be overcome with fear and anxious thoughts. We take up your shield of faith that will extinguish all the darts and threats hurled our way by the enemy. We believe in your power to protect us and choose to trust in you. We put on the helmet of salvation, which covers our minds and thoughts, reminding us we are children of the day, forgiven, set free, saved by the grace of Christ Jesus. We take up the sword of the Spirit, your very Word, the one offensive weapon given to us for battle, which has the power to demolish strongholds, alive, active, and sharper than any double-edged sword.

In the mighty name of Jesus – Amen

Be Thankful

Psalm 100

1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations