No Longer Slaves

Augustine of Hippo said “he who sings prays twice,” once with our music and once with our words. This song has pierced my heart as only music can. It is my anthem of freedom.

My fears were drowned in perfect love. Jesus, You rescued me. No longer a slave to sin: I am a child of God!

Pray this song. “No Longer Slaves,” by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser

Him Who Knew No Sin

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” – 2 Cor. 5:21

Thank you, Jesus.

I love you, Jesus.

Have a Mentor & Be a Mentor


Are you looking for a mentor? Who wouldn’t welcome the wise counsel of a strong advisor who is willing to invest in them, come along beside them, & offer insights on relationships, finance, & life?

It is important to have a mentor and to be a mentor. (Prov. 15:22; 11:14; 20:18)

If you are seeking a mentor, pray for God to put one in your life. Likewise pray for God to reveal someone you can mentor. Think of it this way, you know how much you would like someone to step up and be a lifecoach to you? Well, step up and be that lifecoach for someone else!

You might shy away; who am I to guide someone else? Look, it doesn’t take perfection, training, or a degree. It only takes a heart for God, time, & love.

Mentorship involves prayer partnership, setting goals (accountability), allowing for honesty, & listening. It also has an End. Commit to a specific amount of time (6 months/a year), then evaluate whether to continue or if the purpose has been accomplished. Luke didn’t stay on Dagobah indefinitely, did he? No, he learned from Yoda and then continued on his own mission.

Ok, so you may not have a mentor at this time. If not, consider the following until you do:

Who is the most successful man or woman you can think of? The wealthiest? The wisest? Whoever that is, what if you could read their diary full of thoughts and wisdom? How much would that be worth to you?

Besides Jesus, Solomon was the wisest human ever to live (1 Kings 4:29-31). He was also the wealthiest; He brought in $1.1 billion a year in gold alone! Silver & gold were as common in Jerusalem as STONES (2 Chr. 1:15)!

He collected his experience & knowledge into the Book of Proverbs. Why are you not tapping into all that insight? What is stopping you from sitting down with Solomon every morning and learning from his free mentoring?

There are roughly 31 days in a month and there are 31 Proverbs. Therefore, if you read 1 per day, you can read the Book of Proverbs 12 times through in a year. It takes only a few minutes to read each chapter. Imagine the wisdom you would learn in just minutes a day!

Easy reading schedule: Just match the date with the chapter. If it is the 3rd of the month, read the 3rd chapter.

Of course, Jesus is our main Mentor. Nothing & nobody replaces Him. He is our lifeline and first go-to Person! That much should be obvious. “All the treasure of wisdom & knowledge are hidden in Him (Col. 2:3).”

But don’t overlook this powerful book in the Bible. A chapter a day may keep bone-headedness away.

I said “may.” Even the wisest person ever can’t guarantee that I won’t make a bunch of bonehead moves.

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Rich in Mercy


If I am honest with myself, oftentimes when it comes to others, I want justice, but when it comes to me; I want mercy. However, Micah tells me that I am to love mercy (Micah 6:8, NKJV).

Do I? Other than for myself?

Jesus loved mercy (Matt. 5:7). Jesus was mercy. In the Bible, if Jesus was involved, mercy was involved.

With Peter who denied Him, with Paul who persecuted His people, with the woman caught in adultery, with the very people driving the cold nails into His body – mercy, mercy, mercy.

Like His Father, Jesus is rich in mercy (Eph. 2:4). Rich, man. Rico. Abundant. Full. Strongs calls it “God’s muchness.”

I could be rich in a lot of things; compassion, loyalty, or honesty. But instead, I am rich in self-obsession, rich in criticism, and rich in worry. I’m awfully poor when it comes to mercy.

Wouldn’t it be something to be rich in mercy? Wouldn’t you like a spouse like that? Or an employee like that? Or a best friend like that? One that is wealthy in mercy?

New life goal: be richer in mercy. Be more like Jesus, who was swimming in mercy, who was rolling in mercy, who was loaded with mercy, who was stinking rich in mercy.

Wouldn’t that be something?

Wouldn’t you like to join me?


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Take Heed How You Hear

not listening

A little phrase Jesus used that I have skipped over many times without too much thought (as I’m sure you have too) was brought to Brittany’s attention this morning and she shared it with me:

“Therefore take heed how you hear.” – Luke 8:18a

Am I paying attention to how I hear? Am I even listening? Or is it the old “in one ear & out the other?”

When we are listening to a sermon or a devotion, are we dialed in or tuned out? Jesus said to look at HOW you hear.

A common obstacle is the presentation, right? If the presentation is boring, its hard to focus. Presenters are definitely on the hook to make the Gospel engaging but, the hearers are supposed to be… hearing.

Let me also give you this scenario: If you are in a plane and someone is presenting how to put on a parachute in the event of a crash: no matter how boring his or her presentation is- YOU’D BE TAKING HEED HOW YOU HEAR!

How much more important is hearing, understanding, & absorbing the Gospel of Grace?

Let’s hear on purpose. Take heed how you hear!

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The Lord Would Fulfill His Promises

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” – Luke 1:45

The Lord will fulfill His promises. Do you believe that? Blessed you will be if you believe it!

To Show Himself Strong

V0016540 Grace Darling rowing out to sea in a furious storm. Colour w

I would like to share a verse with you that has encouraged me & fed me on many difficult nights:

“For the eyes of the Lord run to & fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” – 2 Chronicles 16:9a

I know many of you are facing awful times. Difficulty & trial seem to be your only trusty companions. Life seems impossible. You feel like you are being crushed under the weight of it all. You can hardly even breathe.

The eyes of the Lord continuously search. He’s looking for just a chance to show how strong He is on the behalf of His children. Claim this promise! Write it over your heart. Repeat it to your dark night.

The Hebrew word for “run to and fro” (shuwt) also holds within it the word picture of a “mariner rowing the sea with oars.” That, to me, seems more appropriate. The storm is raging. The waves are roaring. Each row of the oar is met with strenuous resistance. The mariner puts his full body into moving the vessel into more tranquil waters.

He sees. He sees your tears. He is on your side. He will supply. His arm is not short. He will show Himself strong on your behalf!

It is true, we have a relentless enemy. It is true, he will not give up. He attacks and then attacks again. But what’s also true is that he’s already defeated.

Our Champion is even more relentless. Jesus will not give up. He pursues us and then He pursues us some more. Jesus is victorious.

Is your heart loyal to Him?

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Love Mercy

We are called to not only be merciful, but to love mercy (Micah 6:8). To love it! When you love something you sacrifice for it, you protect it, and you put it before yourself.

Mercy (not getting what you deserve) is like that for a Christian and here’s why: God has shown us such immense mercy (hesed), the obvious response is to show mercy to others (Matt. 18:33).

Jesus and merciful are synonymous. Christian and merciful should be likewise.

Mercy, although not easy, is a requirement. The LORD expects it of His children.

Are we showing it?

Knees Hit the Floor First

camel knees

Bill Hybels says that as he rolls out of bed in the morning, his knees hit the floor first.

I like that. What a great habit.

Prayer is as vital to us as oxygen and water. You cannot survive long without it. I fully believe in the power of prayer. So did James.

James devotes a lot time to prayer in his epistle. And James wasn’t all talk, no action either; Tradition tells us that because of his habit of kneeling in prayer, James’s knees became calloused like a camel’s. So much so, he became known as “The Man with Camel’s Knees.”


“pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” – James 5:16

How are your knees? Are they as smooth as silk or calloused from a lifetime of prayer?

Paul believed in prayer:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer & supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Phil. 4:6

Our ultimate example is Jesus. You might think, “The Savior of the universe surely didn’t need to pray, right? I mean, He is the Alpha & Omega; What’s He got to pray about?” Well, first of all: Yes, Jesus fully believed in prayer and secondly, don’t call me Shirley. (Ask your parents about that reference).

“So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” – Luke 5:16

You see that, “often.” Jesus frequently slipped away to pray. It was Jesus’s custom was to go off early in the morning to pray. He prayed all night long before drawing the twelve (now, that’s a long prayer!). He prayed before His betrayal. You better believe, Jesus believed in prayer.

If Jesus needed prayer, how much more do we?

You may say, “Well, I don’t know what to pray for.” No big deal; none of us do. The Bible is explicit on this. But, don’t worry the Holy Spirit picks up the slack:

“For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” – Rom. 8:26

Isn’t that just like God? He doesn’t leave us without help!

Look, if you want to pray and are unsure of how to start, look up Matt. 6:5-15. If that is too church-y for you, try these:

  • Thank you, Lord.
  • Or Help me, Lord.
  • Or I love You, Lord.
  • Then let Him take over.

As you roll out of bed in the morning, see how your day is different if your knees hit the floor first.

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  1. Bill Hybels, Just Walk Across the Room, Session 4.

How Long Halt Ye?

bird on branch that forks

There’s no way the Old Testament is relevant to me. People from 3,000+ years ago and 6,000 miles away living in a culture radically different than mine could NEVER speak into my life! Oh really.

“And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.  – 1 Kings 18:21 (NKJV)

Is this not the same exact question we must answer today?

  • How long will you waver (NIV), hesitate (HOL), go limping (ESV) between?
  • How much longer will you try to have things both ways? (CEV)
  • Or my favorite: “How long halt ye?” (KJV)

The original Hebrew is really vivid. The literal translation is: ” ‘Till when are ye leaping on the two branches?” (YLT)

Here’s the word picture Elijah is painting: a bird is walking down a branch and it forks. Instead of choosing one branch or the other, the bird begins leaping between the two.


Is it going to be God or satan? There is no third branch.

A fork in the road splits the road. Now it runs in completely different directions; one goes North and one goes South. The further along you go, the further away from the other you get.

The word pacach; to halt or hesitate also has the idea of “dancing” between two.

Are you dancing between God and satan?

Try showing up to Prom with two dates and see how that ends up for you. No, both demand your affection & loyalty. But you can give it to only one.

Jesus said you cannot serve two masters (Matt. 6:24a). At least have some conviction; If the LORD is God, (which He is, of course), then give Him your 100%. If the Baal is God (which he is not, of course), then give him your 100%. This wishy-washy, back-and-forth nonsense is just annoying.

Notice the people’s reply. Crickets. What’s your reply?

You CANNOT be silent on this issue. Its the most important issue of your life! God has set before you life & death, blessings & curses; now choose life! (Deut. 30:15-20)

Hmmm, the OT’s seeming awfully relevant suddenly, isn’t it?

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