Calling on Orphans

John 14:16-18 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

While Jesus walked the earth, He made a certain promise to His disciples which extended to the living church.  He promised the Holy Spirit would indwell them, thus by this Jesus would be with them. They would not be left as orphans, meaning they would be treated as orphans by the world.

When one is saved, it can pretty much feel as Jesus said, you have been abandoned by the world as you are separated from the world.  Jesus points this out exactly by saying “the world”, meaning unbelievers. The distinction is that you are indwelled by the Holy Spirit of which is resisted and rejected by the unbelieving world.

You are left then as an orphan by these unbelievers. They abandon you. This can mean your immediate family, your close friends, your community, all leaving you by the wayside because of the Holy Spirit who now indwells you. But Jesus’ promise is that by this indwelling you really aren’t going to be left as an orphan because He has adopted you in His family now.

Anyone who has experienced being a Christian orphan from the world can understand the trying time this can be. Loneliness, shunning, coldness, meanness can come instantly from the world around you.  Your friends stop calling, a relationship can suddenly end, your family acts much differently as they shun you, you are treated as an outcast, a weird religious person to avoid, and there will much talk going on behind your back.   Why is this? Because God is their enemy, you are now their enemy as well.

Still being here in the flesh and this fallen world, it can be trying and painful.  The world treats you as an orphan, but Jesus treats you as His family which will take this pain away.   And make NO mistake, you will be tempted to be re-adopted back by the world if they see any weakness, if you compromise your faith or the Gospel to them.  Some will try and try to tempt you, some will give up immediately as they cannot make sense of this Holy Spirit indwelling you nor do they want to make sense of Him.

Jesus never said it wouldn’t be a struggle. But what He did say is that you are not being left as orphans so get that out of your mind. Show the world who adopted you! The Lord God Almighty!  Knowing full well, that Jesus is with you always. So the world might seem like a cold, dark, and lonely place now, but you are never alone! He is with you! And cheer up because Jesus made this promise and told you what would happen, it should give you more strength in your faith seeing this promise come true!

Christmas season can be a confusing and lonely time of the year for Christian orphans, especially the newborns.  The world will be running off into materialism, serving pagan idols and doing sinful things, and shunning the Christian orphans while seemingly celebrating the birth of Christ.  While it might feel like a lonely time, know that you have God indwelling you! Turn to Him! The comfort you have that they don’t have? You have a direct line to God day and night, they do not have this.  So cheer up and share this joy and your light of the Gospel! You aren’t alone and will never be alone, God has promised this! You are now adopted into His eternal family, take heart in this!


Understanding Despair “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Job 6:14 “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.”

I will confess, for most of my life I really had no empathy for the despair of others. I really didn’t understand how one could be anxious or depressed, I viewed it as a moral weakness. And I really couldn’t empathize with suicide either, viewing it from my moral high ground, I saw it as the ultimate weakness. I was quite self-serving in this regard, I looked down on those going through despair.

It was not until I went through deep despair of my own, that I actually understood what it was, and could start to empathize with it.  A couple of years before my rebirth, I went through a very dark period. Each day was worse than the next, I was filled with anger, depression, and anxiety. Being the proud Roman Catholic I was at the time, I didn’t turn to God but just viewed it as a weakness. As the days went past, the despair grew. I could not see a way out either. By the grace of God alone, I wasn’t suicidal or having those thoughts, but having been through that darkness, I can understand it now a bit better how one can approach taking their own life.

Without faith in God, make no mistake, there is no end point to despair. A person who takes their life does not view it as selfishness as some would accuse it of, they view it as easing the burden off of others, as they view themselves now as the ultimate burden. The despair has consumed them, they cannot see how the next day will be better.

In the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”, which is a classic Christmas movie, it shows the life of George Bailey. If you have not seen this movie, I won’t wreck it for you, but George goes through utter despair, his business fell apart in a moment, he could not see a way forward. George thought about taking his own life, easing the burden for him and his family.  In the fictional tale, God grants him to see what life around him would be like if he were never born. George then recants, as the guardian angel tells him “you really have had a wonderful life”.  The key part I think people miss, and it is quite subtle, is when George pleads to Clarence (the guardian angel) “I want to live again”, he repeats it over and over. Then he says “please Lord, I want to live again”, and his life is restored.  The point being, it was when George prayed directly to God, he came to the point of understanding that this was the only way. The despair lifted and George is restored.

George’s despair was something many of us can relate to.   If you live long enough, there will more than likely come a time when shear despair will come.  If your faith is not in God, but in the world around you, there is MUCH danger in reaching the point of no return. The despair can and will consume you.  You might of had a happy life without God up to this point, but this is fleeting when the shear helplessness of despair comes.

Turn to Jesus Christ today!  He is the GREATEST REMEDY to all despair!  With Him there is rest and peace knowing He is in charge and all things will be worked to your good. It doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen, but you have a weapon against the despair which will come, a glorious person in your corner who will see you through life’s biggest issues.  Don’t trust in yourself, you will let yourself down when despair comes, speaking from experience on this. Trust in God!  As George Bailey humbly pleaded “I want to live again!” to God, He will answer that prayer because you placed your entire trust in Him!

Depression drugs will not cure despair, they cover up and hide all the underlying problems. I am not saying they don’t help those with serious chemical imbalances, but they will never be able to cure you of the inner despair.

If you find yourself in despair, turn to the only One who can cure you! The Lord God Almighty.  Don’t turn to the world, turn to Him! The world will give you more despair and people telling you “buck up!” or “your life isn’t so bad, look at me”..turn to God instead who will always say “come to Me you who are burdened and weary, I shall give you rest”.

If you find a friend or a person in your life in despair, don’t judge and accuse or give a pep talk, empathize!  Understand the despair, point them to God.  None of us are beyond despair living in a fallen world, remember this.







But the Lord Looks At The Heart

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

The devil knows Scripture if you weren’t aware. He has studied part of this verse carefully which says “man looks at the outward appearance” and has employed this in his deception.

It is 100% true, in every respect in our fallen nature, and even a saved sinner in our unglorified state, looks first at externals.  We can be easily fooled and deceived because of this trait. I wrote this in my book called “Exposing False Teachers” but it is much like a fake fruit basket used as a mantle.  The manufacturer of these baskets can make plastic fruit look identical to the smallest detail, actual fruit to eat.  If you passed a basket on a table without studying it further by handling the fake fruit, you would believe it was real fruit.

The fiery televangelist or megachurch pastor on TV sound like the real authentic Christian person, but are they?  The church with a steeple and a bell with hundreds each week attending Sunday service looks like a Christian church, but is it?  The church with boasting talking points such as “we are the church Jesus founded”, “our church is the pillar and foundation”, “our church is 2,000 years old”, but are these claims true or window dressing?   The friend or stranger who says “I am a Christian, I believe in Jesus, I am born-again”, but are they really?  The social media post in which many say “I will pray for you and your family”, are they really praying to God?

We can be fooled by externals pretty easily.  Again, this is part of our nature. We don’t check the fruit out carefully, it looks pretty good on the outside so we pass on any further discernment possibly for fear of offending the fake.  Satan knows this, and uses it against the church.  Many religions have been planted by him to deceive man based on our external looking nature.  He knows what we see as attractive as well, what we want to hear, and uses this in his deception.

Look, if we couldn’t be deceived, Satan would be out of business! So to be naive and pass on the fake fruit baskets so to speak in your discernment, you are playing right into his hands hook, line, and sinker. He sees you as a buyer of the fake and will do everything possible so that you do buy the fake.

So what is the ultimate disinfectant to the fakes? Scripture and the Gospel!  It does not error and exposes the fake pretty easily.  The fruit can be exposed as fake or bad fruit pretty easily by the test of Scripture.  Another disinfectant is by looking at the heart as God does. We are limited, we cannot look in depth at the heart, but we can discern certain things.  Jesus gives us a clue in this when He said “out of the heart, the mouth speaks”.  If one is a profane liar for example while calling themselves a Christian, we can discern pretty easily the person has not been born-again.  If one is boasting in a world religion without a testimony and witness in Jesus Christ while claiming Christianity, we can discern the heart as not being regenerated.

DISCERN DISCERN DISCERN. Don’t trust the window dressing!  Look carefully at the fruits, discern the heart through Scripture. Don’t take vain claims as absolute truth, study the growth and maturity of a sinner through Scripture, are they a Christian or not?  Don’t buy the act as there are MANY Christian play actors.  An actress or actor can mirror the part of how they see a Christian acts and play it closely, but there are certain things you can spot easily just by asking questions of the faith of this actor. One discernment point of the play actor is they are often seasonal in their duties, coming and going from the act, living the part inside the church walls and front of church members and living the life of debauchery outside of this.

The enemy of the Gospel is at war with the church. He has not let up, he has used everything in his arsenal including propaganda, deception, and man’s sense outward looking.  The analogy of a duped man seeing only the externals of a woman, only to find out the woman is a vile nasty narcissist.  Or the woman seeing only the externals of a man, only to find out they are habitual adulterer and abuser.

We must always be discerning, with Scripture as the light exposing the darkness! The fake will always be shone clear as day. Get into the habit of digging deeper, get past the externals and discipline yourself at looking internally, using Scripture and the Gospel which saved you as the weapon which cannot be defeated.

God’s Terms are Not Your Terms

The Commander of the Army of the Lord

Joshua 5:13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” 14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” 15 Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.

This is one my favorite passages in all of the Bible.  A little context, Joshua had just replaced Moses to lead the Israelites into the promised land.  They were encamped outside of Jericho, the very first city they were about to take in the land promised to them by God.  After all the years of slavery in Egypt being led out by the Lord, and years in the wilderness, they were now about to embark in the land we now call Israel.

Joshua being a bit anxious went out to think about the day to come. Would they prevail or was he leading all of them to their deaths, probably thoughts “is this God for real” as well.   As soon as doubt crept in, the Lord showed up, specifically a Man, which could be no other than the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ.  His title to Joshua was “The Commander of the Lord’s Army”.

The Commander had His sword drawn which means He was ready for battle.  Joshua being a bit frightened I presume, posed a question to Him. “Are you for us or for our adversaries?”  The response was “No!” Which probably set Joshua back a bit.  He did not realize He was speaking to God Himself.  But when Joshua heard Him then say “I am the Commander of the Lord’s army, and now I have come”, he knew for certain who this Commander was, the Lord God Almighty.

So then Joshua asked a better question, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” And the Lord commanded Joshua to take off his sandals, just as He did to Moses at the burning bush, leaving absolutely no doubt who this Commander was.

The point I will make is that God is the term giver.  His answer was “No!” to Joshua because Joshua tried to invoke His terms, to make the Lord His servant.  We can draw from this in our own requests.  Are you God’s servant or are you trying to make God your servant?  He does not bow to man, we bow to Him.

He is not our spiritual ATM machine, or your genie at your beckon call. He gives out His terms, we are the servants of Him.  Too often we hear from a preacher “God loves you unconditionally and desires to give you ALL the things you desire, so ask Him”.  God’s love is unconditional, but He is not our servant.  He doesn’t partner with sin, He is always a million steps of us so He doesn’t succumb to demands outside of His will and to your fallen will.  So the answer is “No!” more times than not.

The important part of the passage I draw your intention to, is what Joshua finally said “What does my Lord say to His servant?”.  This is what we must always ask, and the answers are always in His revealed word, Scripture, of which He is the Author.  Are you searching for answers elsewhere? They are not in invented tradition, they come directly from God.

The same holds true for the modern sentiment in many churches which demand that God saves a sinner right here and right now. That religious pomp and circumstance must be the terms God submits to or else He cannot be served. They do this by infant baptism, altar calls, a boasting preacher claiming how many he saved today, subversion and manipulation of sinners demanding that we are somehow the converters and dictating to God the how, they why, and the time of His salvation. Only then to discover a myriad of confused false converts in the church who were told they were saved, but show no life in them.  His answer is NO! He is the the Lord, He will not bow to our demands, we bow to His.

Remember this when you pray next time. Are you dishing out the terms to God, the answer is going to be NO!  Rather submit yourself to Him in holy reverence.  The meaning I get when He says “take off your sandals” is a command of “submit yourself, remove yourself from worldly thinking and trust in Me alone” and “who are you compared to Me”.

When the Commander comes in your presence, ask the right question. “What will my Lord say to His servant?”.