New Year 2023

Today is the first day of the year 2023.  We rightly refer to this as New Year’s Day.  A New Year really means it’s a year that we have not had before.  In the end, it means we will have 365 new days that will make up what we will ultimately call a New Year.

By the time 365 days have come upon us, the idea of the new year will give way to the idea of the coming new year.  So, God gives us 365 New Days each year to live new lives in new ways.  Since we cannot look back at yesterday to live it like new, we ought to look to today and tomorrow to decide what will be new about us.

In Ezekiel 36:26-27, God tells the people of Israel, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”  That is what was new for them.

I typically end each of my messages by encouraging you to live a Delivered Life.  This is what I mean by a Delivered Life.  When we come to a saving faith in the Lord, He comes into our lives, He gives us a New Heart, and He puts His Spirit within us so that we can live more like He wants us to live.  He delivers us from our old hearts and our old ways.  He makes us new.

So, my encouragement is to live like you are a new person who has been delivered from your past way of living.  Live a Delivered Life.  As we start the first day of the year 2023, realize every day you live going forward should be a New You, living in a New Day.  Wake up each day in some way with something amazing that is new about you.

After God did the work of creating creation, scripture says, “So the evening and the morning were the first day.”  This was done seven times.  To me this means we are given the period between the end of the day we are living till the beginning of our tomorrow to let something new happen within us.  That is what is new.

God does not bring old things into a new day.  He does not allow us to live in what we might call yester-tomorrow.  Every day is a new day to Him.  So everyday day should be a new day that we bring forth something new in our lives.  Something old about us must die so that something new can come to life.

So, what is new about you?  When the evening gives way to the morning of the day, why don’t you ask yourself, what did I allow to die so that I can be something new?

If you have a new heart, do you love like you never did before?  To be new you will be a new love.

If you have a new Spirit, do you walk like you did before?  To be new you will walk a different walk.

If you are a new creature, old things will pass away and all things you are and all things you face today and tomorrow will be new.

If you are saved from your old life, then you won’t live like you are still in bondage to that old life.

If you know more about Christ, you won’t think like you did yesterday.

If you are found by the Lord, you won’t continue to live like you are lost in yourself.

In every new day of the New Year, when you are awakened, a new you will walk differently, talk differently, dress differently, look differently, and live in ways that you have never done before.

Since today is the first day of 2023, start by committing to be something new and different each day of the year.  And if you find yourself waking up each day the same person that you were the evening before, go back to bed for a bit.  Wait for what’s new.

So, what’s new for you?  Why don’t you ask the Lord to help you to wake up a new person in some way each day of your life for each new day that you are given.

Live A Delivered Life.  Love you.


Christmas 2022

In the second chapter of Matthew, we have the story of what happened just after Jesus’ birth.  It says wise men came from the East to Jerusalem looking for the baby born King of the Jews.  They said they had seen His Star in the East, so they had come to worship Him.

The scripture says they saw the star.  It went before them and stopped over where Jesus was.  The wise men were very happy and joyful at seeing the star because they knew what it meant.  Matthew 2:11 says, “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshipped Him.  And when they had opened their treasures they presented gifts to Him, gold frankincense and myrrh.”

The wise men are an example for us.

First, they saw His star in the sky.  They followed His star from where they were to where He was.  When life is so dark and hard that you don’t know where you are, find and follow the Bright and Shining Star that is Jesus.  Follow His Star and not your own.

Then, they celebrated His birth instead of a holiday.  They were joyful at His birth and not just because it gave them time off work.  Rather than celebrating a holiday, they celebrated a Holy Day.  Let’s follow their example and celebrate the Holy Day of His birth more than the holiday that we have made it.

To celebrate the Holy Day of Christ’s birth, the wise men left their homes to go worship Him.  It wasn’t about getting but more about giving.  They gave Him their worship, a priceless gift.  Let’s give Him the most treasured thing we have, our worship on the Holy Day of His birth.

But they didn’t stop there.  In addition to giving Him their worship, the wise men also gave Him the most valuable things they had acquired—gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  These were gifts for a King.

Gold was the most valuable thing on earth at the time.  A gift of gold was fit for a King, but they gave Him this valuable gift.  Let’s give Him the most valuable thing we have that is fit for Who He is.   Let’s give Him our lives.

Frankincense is an expensive, rare oil used for fragrance by the most privileged individuals of the day.  Let’s give Him the rarest treasure we have.  Let’s give Him the Frankincense of our hearts.

Myrrh is a perfume used to anoint one for death, so that the smell of death does not overwhelm those who are now alive.  Let’s give Christ the gift of myrrh as our lives become dead to what they were and alive to living for Him as our Savior.

After all this, the scripture says the wise men went back to their country full of joy because they had celebrated the Holy Birthday of Christ.  So, let’s do the same.  Let’s celebrate the Holy Day of Christ before we celebrate the holiday of Christmas.

Be blessed this Holy Day of Christmas.  Give to Him as you would want Him to give to you.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.  


Who Is Like You?

In Psalms 89:13 David asks himself a question of amazement.  He says to God, “O Lord God, Who is Like you?”  David didn’t wait for an answer.  He goes on to exclaim how amazing God is in everything!

David says that God’s faithfulness surrounds Him.  He rules the waves, the seas, and the whole world.  He created it all.  The north and the south were His idea.  Righteousness and justice are His ways.  Mercy and truth go before Him.  David was simply saying he cannot see how there could be anyone like God.  He is too amazing.

For sure, there isn’t anyone who can do the things God does, but we must remember how we were created.  In the beginning God created man to be like Him.  In Genesis 1:26, God had the same conversation with Himself that David was having with Him in Psalm 89.  God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”  He said, “Let’s do something more amazing than anything!”

When you understand that you were created in His very likeness, you should realize that God asks you, “Who then is like you?”  You must look beyond simply looking at your children or your close family members to answer this question.

Since we have never seen God, it is not enough to say that we look like Him.  But God gave you an amazing way of appearing like Him that goes deeper than your outward appearance.  He does amazing things in your heart when you let yourself be like Him.  Who else is like you?

Since we are not as powerful as God, it is not enough to say we are as strong as He is.  But God gave us the blessing of His favor which is His way of working through our weaknesses to show His strength in amazing ways.  Who is amazing in strength like He is in your weaknesses?

Since we do not know as much as God, it is not correct to say that we are knowledgeable like Him.  But He gave us the gift of His wisdom so that we can know more than we should know.  Who shows His amazing wisdom like you do in your ignorance?

Since we cannot talk like God, it is not enough to say that we speak His language.  But God gave us His Spirit to speak through us to the world so that we are amazing in the things we say.  Who is like you in your language?

And, since we have our own minds, it is not enough to say that we think like Him.  But God gave us the gift of Christ so that as believers we could transform our thinking by having the mind of Christ.  Who is like you in the amazing way Christs teaches you to think?

I believe if God were asking Himself, “Who is like Me?” He would answer by saying, “You are, and you are, and you are, and you are.”  You see, God is great enough that He has no problem creating you to be someone like Himself and of Himself.  God is either fast at work in you, or He is fast at work on you.

So, who is like you?  Are you a good enough version of yourself that you would want someone out there to be like you?  Do you love well enough, talk well enough, or walk well enough that you would want someone to be like you?

By myself, I am not good enough to want anyone who knows me to be like me.  But since I know the Lord, this is what I want.  I want the work that He does in me and with me and through me to be so amazing that I will be like the many of you who show the great work the Lord has done in you.

So, who is like you and me?  It is people who present themselves daily to the Lord to allow Him to do the work He wants to do with them.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


Gain from Loss

Change is one of the most difficult things for us to do.  Many of us are unwilling to change who we are because we are afraid to risk losing something we have gained.  We are unwilling to move from something certain to something uncertain.

Most of us spend a lifetime trying very hard to remain the same as we are while acquiring all the things we want.  We may say we want something different or something greater, but we are unwilling to change anything about ourselves to have it.  Life for us is a battle to remain just as we are.

We know that the Lord offers many things that are gains to us.  But to have the gains that He offers to their fullest, we must learn there will likely need to be a loss in something about us that we like.  I don’t believe the Lord blesses us so that we can remain the same as we are.  He expects His blessings of gain to result in the greater blessings we get in the of loss of something about us that keeps us back.

Scripture tells us something like this in Philippians 4:7 where Paul tells the Philippians, “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”  Paul was saying he counted all his past gains as losses so he could gain the love of Christ.  He couldn’t have both.

This mindset was very difficult for me to accept.  I didn’t want to give up any of the things I had or to change anything about who I was.  But I still wanted the things that God had for me.  I learned life with God doesn’t work that way.  Where there is gain with Him, you will always be asked to find loss for Him in something about who you are.

If you want His friendship, you must learn to lose your friendship with the world.

If you want to gain the favor of hearing Him, you must lose the desire to hear the world too.

If you want to gain the favor of Him speaking through your life, you must become silent in how you speak about your life.

If you want to gain the favor of having spiritual eyes, you must lose the use of your earthly sight.

If you want to gain the favor of His love, you must lose the trap of loving yourself more than you love others.

Gain through loss is God’s way of helping us understand that we must always find ourselves changing something about ourselves.  

If you have given up your life as an unbeliever, that loss is a blessing by itself.  Rejoice!

If you have gained the life of becoming a believer, that is a blessing that happens because you had a loss.  Rejoice!

If you have stopped living an unbelieving life and are now living a believer’s life, your gain and loss are each a blessing.  Rejoice!

If you were blind to the truth but now you see, this gain and this loss are both blessings.  Rejoice!

If you were deaf to God but now you hear Him, you have a gain and a loss that are blessings.  Rejoice!

If yesterday you spoke more like the world but now you can hold your tongue to allow the Lord to speak through you, that is a gain and a loss, and both are blessings.

Look at your life.  If you find you want more for your life, but you have not given up much, it may be because you are unwilling to lose what you must lose about you to gain something greater about you that you do not have.

Be blessed by the gains and the losses God has in His plans for us.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


Live Like

In the first chapter of the book of Matthew, scripture gives us the genealogy of Christ.  Genealogy is a look back at the line of descent from someone to find an ancestor.  It is usually a look back from you to someone in your past.

But the genealogy of Christ is not a look back. It is a look forward—from a man to a Savior.  The reason for that is simple.  Jesus and God are the same, so we cannot look back from Him because there was nothing before Him.  So, we look forward from a man to a Savior.

In Matthew 1:17, scripture says, “So, all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations.  From David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.”

Now these three time periods have an important meaning for us.  God wanted each of us to know that He has always had a plan in place for our salvation and our adoption into the family of Christ.  We were a part of His future genealogy.

Jesus looked forward to the day that we accepted that plan.  He is watching us daily to see if we are living like we know what the plan is for our lives.

God has always had plans for the Promise He wanted to make to us; He started this with His Promise to Abraham.  He has always had plans for a type of man to show us how to pursue Him; He did this with David.  And He always had a plan for a Deliverer for us after we were held captive because of our failures; He provided this with Jesus.

In the book of Proverbs 3:5-6 we are told, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  And lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”  

With Abraham and the generations that came after him, God was saying, like He says to us today, “I have a plan for you and for your family.  Will you accept it?”  If we live like we have accepted His plan for our lives, we will go where do not know.  We will stay where we have no home.  We will look at our lives through His eyes.  We will do all this because we Trust in the Lord with all our hearts.

With David and the generations after him, God was saying, as He says to us today, “I have a plan that includes not only your obedience but also a relationship between us.”  If we live like we have a relationship with Him, we will live the way we believe He wants us to live.  If we live like we have a relationship with Him, we will get our understanding about life and the things that concern us only from the relationship we have with Him.

With the generations that returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, God was saying to them, and He says to us today, “I have a plan to provide for you a Deliverer, a Redeemer, a King, and a Savior.  If we live like we are going home to Jerusalem, we will not live like we are in bondage to sin any longer.

If we live like we are going home to Christ, we will live like the most valuable thing that we have is the thing He promised that is yet to come.  If we live like we are going home to Christ, we will live like we acknowledge Him in everything such that He directs our paths and every step we take.  If we live like we are going home to Christ, we will proclaim there is nobody like our God.

He wants us to live like He is our God and that there is nothing that can compare to Him.

God is the only one who can show us what our futures will be.  He doesn’t ask us to look back where we started.  He wants our genealogy to be a look forward to what it will be in a life with Christ.  Let’s live like that.

So, let’s learn to live like we can see how our futures will be with the Lord.  Let’s live like we are not our own but His.  And let’s live like we are more than children of our parents; let’s live like we are also children of the Most High God.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


The Heart of Your Intentions

A young boy told his grandfather that it seemed like there was a fight going on between two people inside him.  One person wanted to do good, and the other person wanted to do everything that wasn’t good.  The young boy said he was tired of fighting.  

So, he asked his grandfather for help.  He knew he wanted the person who wanted to do good to win.  But why did he want that?  So, he asked his grandfather which person would win the fight for his life?

My life was transformed for better the day I realized that I too had this battle going on within me.  Two people were fighting to have control of my life.  One was whom God made me to be, into whose heart He put His Spirit.  The other one was destined to be a slave and servant to sin, always self-serving in actions.

I imagine this is probably the case for many of us.  But how can we live this way?  How can two people in one body fight for the same body?  Who will ultimately win? Well, perhaps like me, our victory cannot ultimately happen until we realize that we are in a battle with ourselves for ourselves.

I always thought my fight was against someone else.  You know, the person who hurt me, or the person who broke my trust or the person who was against me.  I thought it was easy to fight that person.  A fight them I did.  But this only led to my defeat in so many ways.

I learned that the ultimate battle against me was me.  When I realized this, I learned the only way to win the fight I fought against me was to change the intentions of my heart.  You’ve heard it said, actions speak louder than words.  Well, I was full of a lot of actions, and I had some very loud words directed at everyone else and at everything else before I changed my heart.

Romans 7:21 summed up my situation this way:  “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.”  There were those two people—evil and good.  I always thought that the evil I faced was the evil directed at me by others.  Then I realized the reason I could not do the good that I wanted to do was because evil was present in me, making me do what I didn’t want to do.

I had to learn to stop judging the actions of others against me and to start transforming the intents of myself within me.  Our actions will always be more easily seen and heard because they are visible to others.  But the intents of our hearts are a more accurate and truer representation of who is winning the battle for our lives.

Scripture also tells us that man looks at the outward appearance and actions of others, but God searches the heart.  God looks at the intents of our hearts.  Man is pretty good at finding a dirty man hiding behind what seems like a good act.  But we often get that wrong.

God is amazing at finding a good man in the middle of a dirty act.   He never gets that wrong.

So, lets start today to transform the intents of our hearts.  Let’s take our focus off what we believe people are doing to us and focus on what we can be for people.  Learn to guard your hearts and to shut your mouth.   When you transform your hearts intentions you can more accurately transform your actions.

We can all hear what we say but only by the heart can we discern the intent of what we meant to say.  We can see all the things we do but only from the heart can we discern the intent for what we meant to happen.

If you want to do good, change the intents of your heart so that you can become someone who is good at heart.  Lots of evil people want to do good things but their intents are for themselves.  If you want to win the battle for your life, let the intentions of your heart transform you to become the good that is missing in the lives of others.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


Thanksgiving 2022

The holiday of Thanksgiving would probably not exist today if not for the work of Sarah Joseph Hale.  She began to advocate for Thanksgiving in the early 1800’s.  She saw it as a way to advance a sense of national pride.  She wanted to make Thanksgiving an American custom, an institution, and a holiday.

But it wasn’t until 1863 that President Lincoln finally declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. Seeing that the President did this in throws of the Civil War, Thanksgiving is considered by some to simply be an attempt by the President to bring some peace back to the country.

We must not forget real reasons behind the desire of Sarah Joseph Hale and President Lincoln for a day of Thanksgiving.  They wanted to take time to thank God for the wonders of His work and of His great love towards us.

Ms. Hale wanted us to remember we had God to thank for our sense of nationalism.  We are one people under one God, and we should express that openly.

President Lincoln wanted to take time to thank God for preserving the country as one nation of many people of different types.  He wanted us to know that God is the only One Who can take things that are different and unite them together with something that is the same to all.

So, as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day this year, let’s not forget the real reason for our joy.  We are a people chosen by God Himself to be His very own.  We may be different in many ways, but we are made the same by the same sacrifice of His Son Jesus Who died so that we could live as one people under one great and mighty God.

Psalm 100 is a short Psalm of five verses.  It says this:

Verse 1:  Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!  (Don’t let the next 364 days go by without daily expressing your joy at being a child of God).

Verse 2:  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.  (Live out the year gladly serving Him as He is our provider of all things).

Verse 3:  Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  (Remember that we are not our own, and we are not to live on our own.  Instead, we are His, and knowing this will enable us to live like we are His in the favor of His presence daily).

Verse 4:  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him and bless His name. (We all ask the Lord to come into our hearts to live.  But today let’s commit to move our lives into His heart.  Let’s then remember as we enter the gates of His heart, to do that giving thanks that He made room for us.  And as we enter the courts of His presence, we do that with praise because we are amazed at the wonders of His goodness).

Verse 5:  For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. (Let’s remember all things good come from Him because He is good.  His mercy is good for us.  His Truth good for us, just as it was at the start of man, just as it was at the fall of man, just as it was at the saving of man, and just as it is today.  He is always Good for us).

So, as we celebrate Thanksgiving 2022, let’s do that with the mind that we can celebrate this day because He made it possible for us come live in His heart.  There, we have all that we could ever want and all that we can ever be.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


But He Says

In Matthew 5:43, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”  Now this scripture makes no sense if we just stop here, but that’s not the end.  Jesus continues in Matthew 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute you.”  

But He says.  One of the most difficult things for me to do is to say to myself, But He says.

When we are hurt by something and feel justified to return the hurt, we must remember, But Jesus says, “Whoever slaps us on our cheek, to turn the other cheek to him also.”  Matthew 5:39.

When someone wants to make us pay for something we have done to them, and we want to fight back, we must remember, But Jesus says, “Let them have what they want and give them more too.”  Matthew 5:40.

So why doesn’t it make sense for us to love our neighbors and hate our enemies?  It could be because Jesus knows that we would not all know exactly what is an enemy.  It is far better for us to love everyone than to risk hating someone who we mistake as an enemy.

Jesus also knows that we can be more like Him when we learn to shine brightly into the lives of all people—those we love and those who may not love us.  God does this same thing.  He makes the light to shine on the just and the unjust all the same.  Matthew 5:45.

Where we go wrong is in this.  We come to believe that God does not want us to be persecuted by anyone.  And we would be right.  We believe God does not want us to be used by anyone.  And we would be right.  We believe God does not want people to take advantage of us.  And in this too we would be right.

No father—neither our heavenly Father nor our earthly father—would want harm to come to us in any way.  God is loving as our earthly fathers should be.

But He says to us, while He does not want hardships to come to us, hardships will come because they are part of life.  He says to us that even in our hardships He has made a way for us to get through them.  We must understand that God cares about how we get through things, and He cares about how others get through things too.

So, we must remember, if we have an adversary, God is concerned about us, and He is concerned about our adversary also.  If we have a broken relationship, God is concerned about us, and He is concerned about the other person also.

Remember then, we may say we will love only who loves us, and we may want to give to those who use us what man says is right for us to do.  But He says, we all have thorns in our flesh to deal with.  We can plead that God will remove our thorns.  But He may not.

You see, sometimes the thorns—even thorns in marriages, even thorns with children—are the devil’s way to get us to act like we are not God’s children but our own.

So, God may not remove our thorns in the way we would like them to be removed.  But He says, He will make a way for us to get on with the life He wants us to live, even with our thorns, because He gives us grace.  Grace is what takes us through tough things.  Seeing grace in us can help others—even those who may not live for us, even those who may not live for God—get through their owns thorns.  Grace can lead them to live for the Lord and to stop living against you.

But He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


From Unless To Because

I’m sure you know the phrase “Trust but Verify.”  It is used in important relationships when one person is expected to believe another.  There is one big problem with this phrase—it contains the word “but.”

When we use the word “but” in this way, it simply says what comes before the word is not to be believed until what comes after the word is complete.  When we say, “Trust but Verify” we are really saying, “Verify then Trust.”  In other words, “Seeing is Believing.”  It says, “I will believe and trust only when I can see.”

“Trust but Verify” has probably saved a lot of people from things they want to avoid.  “Trust but verify” or “Seeing is Believing” has also keeps people from accessing the vast riches of life which are more valuable than the little things they avoided.  We cannot enjoy life as it is meant to be if we must have proof before we believe.

Our relationship with the Lord cannot be built on a “Seeing is Believing” mindset.  With God, this “Seeing is Believing” mindset is demonstrated when we set a condition that must be satisfied before we believe what we don’t want to believe.  I call this the “Unless I Get What I Want, I Will Not Believe What Is Before Me” way of living.

In John chapter 20, Jesus is raised from the dead, and He appeared to the disciples that same day.  The scripture says He appeared to them in a house, but Thomas was not with them.  When the disciples told Thomas they had seen Jesus, Thomas responded in John 20:25 by saying to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Thomas was saying, “Unless these things happen to satisfy me, I will not believe.”  We cannot have a “Trust but Verify” relationship with the Lord, and neither can we have an “Seeing is Believing” relationship with the Lord.  With God, belief is what helps us learn all truths, even those we cannot see.

Later in John 20:27-29, Jesus appears again to the disciples about a week later.  This time Thomas was with them.  After allowing Thomas to see His hands and reach into His side, “Thomas said, ‘My Lord and my God.’  Jesus responded to him by saying, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed.  Blessed those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”

We must learn to move from a mindset that says, “Unless I See It, I Will Not Believe It,” to one that says, “Because I Believe It, I Can See It.”  With the Lord, there are more blessings in believing all the things of God, especially those things that your flesh tells you to verify.  Choose to believe what you cannot verify.

Instead of living an “Unless I See It” life, start living a “Because I Believe It” life.  Often, we destroy relationships with others because we take on an “Unless You Prove It” mindset.  Your trust of others is of no value to others unless you give it to them.  Trust that must be earned is not trust at all; it is only verification.

Your love of others is of no real value to others unless you love them without the need for something in return.  Love that must be earned is not love at all; it is only verification of payment for work others are doing.  Love is not payment.

If you want to change things about your life that have been difficult to change, perhaps you may need to learn to go from “Unless” to “Because.”  Because God loved us, He loves us.  If we will not love Him unless He loves us first, if we will not love others unless others love us first, then we create a life that has no real love or trust or honor or faith or belief.

Let today be the day you start living a “Because I Do, I Will See It and Have It and Enjoy It” life.  When you do, you will be blessed beyond your imagination.  With God, “Because You Believe” is how He verifies the strength of your belief.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


Grace Will Find You

Most of us know Psalms 23, or as many will say, the 23rd Psalm.  There are six verses in this Psalm.  Verse six says “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Stop and let Grace find you.  That is my message today.

With this Psalm, we are told that for those who choose the Lord as their shepherd, His goodness—His grace—will follow them forever.  God wants believers to have His goodness and grace because He wants others to experience His goodness and grace through us.

Scripture tells us in 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”

So, the Lord’s eyes look for those whose hearts are loyal to Him.  Because we are willing to make Him our shepherd, we know that goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives.

So, what does it mean that goodness and mercy shall follow us?  I believe most of us think this verse is saying the Lord’s goodness will be on our lives for all our lives.  That is probably a good way to view it.  But if goodness and mercy are in our lives, we must give it to others to bless their lives.

Goodness and mercy are of no use if they are not given.  They must be used towards others.  If goodness and mercy are following us, it means we have stopped long enough to allow it to catch us.  Because it has caught us, we share it wherever we are, in all things we do.  Goodness and mercy will be the indication of where we have gone, no matter where we are at the moment.

I had a conversation like this with a good friend just recently.  We found that when we extend grace towards others, goodness and mercy have followed our presence.  Grace is God’s way of saying, “I will give you what you don’t deserve from Me so that you can give others what they don’t deserve from you.”

Grace teaches us that goodness and mercy are for others and never for ourselves.  Grace teaches us that life is about helping more than being helped.  Grace teaches us that forgiveness cannot be achieved when grace is not given.  Grace teaches us that we cannot be selfish and receive goodness and mercy.

I could go on with this, but here is the simple truth.  God gives us grace because He doesn’t want to punish us for every transgression against Him.  He wants us to give grace because when we withhold grace we act selfishly.  Grace is the way believers and nonbelievers can agree on at least one thing that is the same, and here it is.

So long as we live, we need the restorative healing and power of grace in our lives.  Grace received says we should be thankful and perhaps change our ways.  Grace given says we are thankful and have changed our ways.

So, stop running and let the goodness and mercy of God catch you so you learn the miraculous power of Grace.  And let goodness and mercy follow you into the lives of others, especially into the lives of those who stand between your desire to live selfishly for yourself and selflessly for others.

When goodness and mercy follow you, the grace of God will find you and enrich your life.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.