The Chosen

I like the Christian mini movie series “The Chosen”.  In fact, it’s one of the few TV programs or movies I watch.  I’m not a big TV or movie person.  But I love “The Chosen” because it is a good expression of scripture.  I know that it’s a movie, but if you can get past that, you will find a story line that is close to what our scripture tells us.

“The Chosen” is about the story, the relationship, and the lives of the people Jesus choose to be His disciples and how that might have gone had we been there to witness it.  Jesus chose 12 people to be His disciples.  They were called to be His disciples.  And they were His Chosen.

The story makes me think about myself and ask, “What about me?”  It makes me wonder if I am Called, if I am Chosen, or if I am neither.  So, as I considered these two words, Called and Chosen, what I found is simple.  I want to be both Called and Chosen.  And being neither, well that is not an option for me.  Here is why.

In Matthew 22, Jesus tells the story of a king who held a wedding feast for the marriage of His Son.  The King sent out invitations to call His friends to the wedding.  But many people were too busy to answer the call.  They had all kinds of excuses.

The King then told His servants to go out into the streets and bring in anyone and everyone to the wedding – good or bad – until the banquet was full of people.  But the King found one man there who was not invited so this man was thrown out into outer darkness.

Then in Matthew 22:14, Jesus explains this by saying, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”  The King in this story could be God. The Son in this story could be Jesus.  The wedding in this story could be the joy both God and Jesus have because each of us are called to accept their invitation and gift of salvation.

God says to us, I am going to call a lot of people.  But I will choose those who respond with a hearty yes to come to the to spend eternity with Me. But like the invitees in this story, many of us will be called but we won’t respond.  So, few of us who are called or invited will be Chosen by God.

Abraham, John the Baptist, and Moses were each called by God. Their actions showed us they were Chosen by God to live with Him in eternity.

Mary was Chosen by God.  Her actions showed us she was called to live with Him in eternity.

David was Called by and Chosen by God.  So, David gets to live with God in eternity.

King Saul was neither Called by God nor Chosen by God.  Saul was the people’s choice to be their king.  We don’t know about the eternal life of Saul.  But if he were neither Called nor Chosen, then we know that is not a great state in which to find yourself.

Consider what this means to you.  Read Matthew 22 1-14.  Jesus isn’t just talking about an earthly king and an earthly wedding.  He is speaking to you and me about the desires we should have to make sure we are both Called and Chosen.

Don’t think you must have a ministry of some sorts to be Called.  God is always calling you to come to Him.  You don’t need a special anointing of the Spirit to receive a Call of God or to respond to the Call of God.  All you really need is a hearty response of yes!

Many are called.  You are one of the many.  Few are Chosen.  You want to be one of the few.  When Jesus writes the next chapter of “The Chosen,” make sure He is speaking about you as one of those He called and choose to be with Him.

And try not to be too religious about being Called or being Chosen.  When you are Called, people will see how you respond to something greater than your own desires.

When you are Chosen, people will see how you live quietly, listening to someone greater than you or anyone around you.

Many are Called.  Few are Chosen.  And all these live quietly listening and responding to the Lord with their lives more than with their words.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


You Get To Be

As I get older, I often think of our four sons and the fact that they are heirs to all that we have simply because they are our sons.  What we have of any value will someday be theirs.  They are my children, so they are entitled to all that is mine.

I get to be their dad.  They get to be my sons.  When we are born to our earthly parents, we are their children, so we are heirs to them simply because they are our parents.  We already have our identity in them.  Being an heir gives doesn’t make us different, it just identifies us with them.

In a similar way, we are heirs to God when we believe in Christ.  Our acceptance of Christ is how we get to be sons.  But things are a little different when we are heirs of God.  Faith doesn’t just make us sons, being an heir of God gives us a new identity.  We are no longer who we were.  

We will always be the children of our parents but through Christ we also get to be what we were not before; we get to be God’s children.  We are no longer simply who we were.  Galatians 4:7 says, “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son.  And if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

The key for us is to recognize and value the things we get to be and the things we get to do in life.  No one will say with joy that they are happy to be a slave.  But most of us would say we are overjoyed in that we get to be a free man.

The Spirit of Christ is captured in the hearts that understand what it means to get to be a child of God.

As a child of God, we get to partake in the grace of God.  We get to experience the Love of God.  We get to walk by faith and not by sight.  We get to receive mercy.  We get to call God our Father.  We get to have a personal relationship with Christ.  We get to receive and to give forgiveness.  We get to live justified by our faith.

And as important as any of that may be, when we learn to live by what we get to be, we are blessed with overcoming attitudes.  We learn to appreciate what we have to do because we are grateful for who we get to be.

We learn to become our best at what we must do because we are driven to be our best by who we get to be.

When we learn to look at who we get to be, we learn that it is a privilege to have to do many of the things others would hate to do.

Having a get-to-be spirit keeps us from focusing selfishly on ourselves.  It also keeps us from focusing on the things we believe we have to do.

When God blesses you with a get-to-be spirit, you will never complain about the things you have to do.  God wants us to develop and to nurture this get to do spirit because with it many of His miracles are manifested right before the eyes of and in the lives of others.

He uses those of us with a get-to-be spirit to touch the hearts of others with His message of Christ.  When others see us giving up what is rightfully ours to have because we get to be someone who can help others get a blessing of God, they are moved to wonder about the love and work of God.

So let this be your heart and your spirit.  Long for and seek after the get-to-be life.  When you have it, you will no longer be a slave to your old life.

Instead, God will favor you because you say to Him, I get to be your child, so I am happy to be an instrument of your work in the lives of those You know and those You love.

There are believers, and there are those who need to be believers.  There are those who are free from the captivity of the world, and there are those who need to be free.

God looks for people who long to get to be the people He can use to reach the people who need His touch so that they too can get to be sons and heirs of all His promises.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.



The tradition to set aside a day to honor mothers has been around for a long time.  I don’t know where it started.  That doesn’t matter.  Mothers are important to us, and they are important to God.  In John 19:25-27, while He was on the cross, Jesus honored His mother who was standing at His feet.

He looked down from the cross and said this to His mother and to one of His disciples whom we believe to be John, “Woman, behold your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.”  Jesus honored His mom who was about to lose one of her children.  His mom had other sons and daughters, but Jesus thought to make sure that His mom would be cared for after He died.

Several things we see in this exchange between Jesus, His mom and John.

Jesus loved His mom.  He probably loved her more than His brothers and sisters loved her.

Jesus cared for and about His mom.

Jesus gave her His best while He lives.  And after He departed, He made sure she had the best of what would remain.

Jesus favored His mom and was graceful towards her.

Now we don’t have to be the mother of Jesus to understand how important moms are to us and how we should treat them.  There are other examples of moms in the bible who were favored by God and man.  One of those was Hannah the mother of the prophet Samuel.

The name Hannah is a girl’s name that has Hebrew origin.  It means favor or grace.  1 Samuel 1:4-7 tells some of the story of Hannah.  She was married but without children.  Her husband had a second wife who had several children.  This second wife mistreated Hannah because she was barren.  Hannah was grieved, tormented, and provoked by this second wife.

But scripture says this about Hannah’s husband, Elkanah.  It says Elkanah gave much to his second wife and to their children, but always gave more to Hannah because he loved her more.  1 Samuel 1:5.

Elkanah somehow did for Hannah what Jesus did for His mom years later.  He did for Hannah what we should be doing for our moms now.

He took care of his other wife, but he loved Hannah.  We have to love our moms.  And even if they are barren in some way, they are still special before God so they should be before us.

Elkanah favored Hannah, and he made sure it was known by others.  We must love in ways that it are seen and known by others.  This shows the favor of God on the moms in our lives.

Elkanah knew his wife, and he did not stand in the way of what was important to her – children.  We have to know what is important to our wives and to our moms and to help provide those things of importance.

Mother’s Day is indeed a special day because mothers are a special people before the Lord and God.  It is through my mother that I learned that as much as is within me; because of that, I work hard to have a great relationship with the women in my life.  You see, nowhere in scripture does it suggest that moms are or must be perfect.

But just like Jesus with His mom, and Elkanah with Hannah, you and I today can make imperfect things perfect when we find it within ourselves to favor our moms,  always giving grace to them no matter who they are towards us.

Just like Elkanah’s second wife was mean towards Hannah but Elkanah used that to favor Hannah even more,  so we must learn to favor the moms and the women in our lives no matter the circumstances of life we face.

And to you moms and wives reading this, be like Hannah.  Don’t let hard things that come up against you make you a hard person to love and to favor and to give grace.  Remember, people are called to love and to favor you.  Learn to make that as easy as possible for them but being humble and graceful in all you are and in all you do.

Happy Mother’s Day to you all.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


Footsteps and Footprints

Have you ever noticed when God speaks in scripture, His Words are written in black?  When Jesus speaks to us, His Words are written in Red.  When I noticed this difference, I found that the answer is in the nature of God and Jesus as it relates to us.

God communicates to us about His nature so that we understand who He is.  No one has ever seen God, nor have we had conversations with Him.  So, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can only understand what God says about Himself.  God writes to us His biography.  It’s His account of His life.  He tries to get us to understand.

But with Jesus it is different.  Jesus was born a man, walked among men and talked with men.  Jesus has conversations with us.  He establishes a relationship with us by having conversations about who He is, who we are, and who we should become. 

God communicates with us.  Genesis 2:16 says it this way.  “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.”  God doesn’t expect us to say anything.  He expects us to obey.

Jesus has conversations with us because He wants a personal relationship with us.  John 3:16 says it this way. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  Jesus talks with us so that we will want to become believers in Him.

So, when we speak of and write of the nature of God and what He says, we are writing His biography.  We speak of and give an account of His life through our eyes and through our own understanding.  We say these are the footsteps of God.  We follow His footsteps so that we discover lives of obedience.

Do you have some footsteps in your path that you are following?  Whose are they?

But Jesus doesn’t need us to speak of Him.  He does that Himself by using our lives as believers to reveal Himself as our Savior. He writes His autobiography using a relationship with each believer.  He is the footprint in our lives that every believer and nonbeliever can see.

Believers gladly take His footprints as evidence of our relationship with Him.   So, our lives are in a way the autobiography of Jesus’ life in us.  When we give our lives to Jesus, He uses us to speak about Himself for Himself.  We reveal His footprints so that others can know His life.

So then, the historical account of God should be to our lives, His footsteps that reveal our knowledge of Him.  If the footsteps you take follow your own path, you are writing your own biography of your life more than you are writing of the knowledge of the Life of God by your life.

But the historical account of Jesus is Jesus’ own story about Himself to us.  It is His autobiography.  He writes and speaks about Himself for Himself.  Jesus has conversations with us through His own life and Spirit.  If the footprints found in your life are your own, then you are having a relationship with yourself telling others of your own life.

So, the question today is this?  Is your life a historical biography of who God is?  If it is, we should see some footsteps ahead of you that reveal the path forward for your life.

Or is it an autobiography of a relationship you have with Christ.  If it is, then we should see some of Jesus unmistakable footprints found in your life speaking to us about who He is.

You need both God’s footsteps and Jesus’s footprints living in your life.  It is important for you to distinguish between the two.

As a biography of the life of God, we follow footsteps that tell a story of what God has communicated to us about Himself.

As an autobiography of the Life of Christ, the Spirit tells of a relationship Christ has with each of us.  He reveals the footprints of Jesus’s love living in our lives.

As a biography of the Life of God, we share what we have come to know.  We follow the footsteps that reveal where God is and where He wants us to be.

As an autobiography of Christ, we reveal the depth of the relationship we have with Christ.  He tells others of Himself by revealing how He is the Bread of our Lives.

There are times when we should be the instrument of God’s biography.  We should tell the story of who He is as He has communicated that to us.

There are times when we should be the instrument of Jesus’ autobiography.  We should allow Him to tell the story of His relationship with us as He has conversations with us daily.

The problem we have with this is simple.  There are more times when we are our own biography of what we believe about God. We have never had a burning bush encounter so don’t have footsteps we can follow.

And many of us have never had a life changing, belief transformation in Christ, so we do not have the footprints of Christ in our lives that reveal the conversations we have had that led to the transformation we have enjoyed.

If you are going to live a believer’s life, you must recognize and follow God’s footsteps and you must have some of Christ’s footprints written in your heart.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


Possible Things

Matthew 14:25-26 tells of a time when Jesus went out on the sea to be with His disciples.  It says they were in a boat, and He went out to them walking on the water.  Matthew 14:26 says it this way.  “And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost.’  And they cried for fear.”

The disciples had just been with Jesus earlier that day.  He had sent them out on the boat to go to the other side of the sea.  He waited on shore a bit to pray and then He went out to them later that night. They didn’t know what to think or what to believe, so they chose to believe He was a ghost.

Well, I’m like the disciples sometimes.  When I encounter something that I do not understand or something I cannot explain, I often choose to believe the thing that cannot explain what cannot be to me.  Since I can make no sense of some things, I use nonsense to explain to myself the things to me that are not possible things.  But wait!

When the angel went to Zacharias to tell him that his wife Elizabeth would be having the baby John the Baptist, Zacharias was afraid to believe.  He was afraid because he and his wife were very old, so this didn’t make any sense to him.  Luke 1:12.

Yet a little later the same angel went to Mary and announced to her that she would become pregnant, and she would have Jesus, the Son of God.  Mary wondered about how this would be possible because she was a young girl, and she was a virgin.  But she was not afraid.

Fear kept the disciples from believing what they were seeing.  Fear kept Zacharias from believing what he was hearing, so he was made mute until the day John the Baptist was born.  Wonder and anticipation made Mary believe how possible it was to hear what she was hearing.

The disciples should have known better; they walked with Jesus daily.  Zacharias should have known better; he was a priest who served God daily.  And believers today should know better; we have the Spirit of God in our hearts.

In Luke 1:36-37 God assured Mary that the thing she was hearing was a Possible Thing.  He tells her, “Now indeed Elizabeth your relative is also conceived a son in her old age, and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.  For with God nothing will be impossible.”

God made the water.  Why should we find it amazing that Jesus then could walk on water?  Anything is a Possible Thing for God.  God is able to do all things.

God created Adam from the dust of the earth.  Why should we find it amazing that He could cause an old lady to have a baby?  Old women having babies is a Possible Thing with God.  He is able to do all things.

So, let’s not think the things that make no sense to us must be the ghost of our unbelief.  God can do anything.  We must not be fearful but believing.  Anything is then a Possible Thing with God.

So, if to us a thing has never been heard of, believe that with God it is a Possible Thing.

If to us a thing has never before been seen, believe that with God it is a Possible Thing.

If to us a thing is unimaginable, believe that with God the unimaginable is a Possible Thing.

Don’t give your fears the belief that you should only give to God.  It doesn’t matter how unimaginable, or how unknown, or how unthinkable, or how unseen anything may be to us. 

All things are Possible Things with God.  Put your fear to death and live in belief of the Possible Things that are in your life daily.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


Learn What He Learned

In Matthew 16:1, Jesus tells His disciples, “How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?  But to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  Now this was the second time Jesus had told them this.  The first time they thought He told them because they had forgotten to take bread for their journey.

I guess the disciples were kicking themselves because they knew Jesus would not have forgotten to take bread.  He remembers to do everything, especially the important things.  A few years ago, we went through a phase where we asked ourselves, “What Would Jesus Do?”  We started to see the letters WWJD everywhere in the Christian environment.

I imagine the WWJD letters are still around today, but the question has lost some of its emphasis.  Like everything, too much of a thing can easily make that thing common and perhaps unimportant to us.  Now I’m not saying we should not wonder about Jesus.  But perhaps a better more lasting question—one that will never lose its importance—would be to ask ourselves, “Am I learning the way Jesus wants me to learn?”

“How is it that you do not understand I did not speak to you concerning bread?”  That was Jesus’ question to His disciples.  But Jesus was saying to them, you must not only understand the words I say, but you must also learn to comprehend what is said and to learn what is meant.

Jesus was using words they all knew to talk about ways of living they all should know.  Having bread and water are necessary to sustain life, but how we live is critical to how fulfilling life can be for us.

“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  Here Jesus did not use the words “be aware.”  He chose the one word “beware.”  Sometimes we can confuse the two.  To be aware is to simply learn to be conscious of what is around you.  There is no real danger.  Be aware of what you need to take on your journey so that you don’t forget anything important.

But by using “beware,” He is saying to us stop, listen, use caution because there is danger around.  Watch out for what you cannot see ahead—there is danger lurking.  Beware of where you go because some places are not safe for you.

Beware of playing with fire; the fire could burn you.

Beware of who you hang around with; they may not have your best interest at heart.

Beware of who you live like; they may not be living right.

Beware of who you learn from; they may not have learned what will help you.

If we are going to do what Jesus does, we will need to understand what He says and comprehend what it all means.  The easiest way to do this is to submit ourselves to learn the things that He has learned and to learn the things He knows and tries to teach us daily.

When Jesus said beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, He wasn’t speaking about bread at all.  The disciples had learned that leaven was used to help make bread, so they thought Jesus was speaking about bread.

If you want to make sure you get your living as right as possible, set your heart to learn what Jesus has learned.  Learn how He learns.  Learn why He learns the things He learns.  He tells us to take His yoke upon ourselves and to learn from Him.

Let’s do that.  The best example of how we should live is perhaps found more in learning to learn from what Jesus has learned.  When we learn like He learns perhaps we will be better at doing like He does.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


Believers and Unbelievers

My message today should not be taken as a license to be set free from anything.  Nor is it a message to make you feel like you must stay tied to something that isn’t working.  It should help you see how to pull together or to work together when the time comes that you cannot go at things alone.

In the beginning, God created for Adam a helper comparable to him.  This helper was Eve.  Of all the things God had created until then, He knew that none would be an equal yoke to Adam.  Eve was the first symbol of being joined together with someone comparable.  Genesis 2:20.

A yoke is used to join two things together so that they pull and work together.  The yoke in some ways makes a man and a woman to become one.  Because of the yoke, a man and a woman lose the identity of having ever been separate individuals.  They come to share a vision of what is ahead for their life.

But the need to pull together and the need to work together happens in more than just a marriage.  That is why Paul warns us to be careful how and to whom we bind ourselves.  2 Corinthians 6:14 says. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.  For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?  And what communion has light with darkness.”

Here Paul is saying to believers, believers should be careful not to join themselves with unbelievers.  Such an arrangement will make for a hard and difficult way forward.  We mostly apply this scripture to the idea of marriage, but it has greater implications and value to us.

A believer is not the same as a nonbeliever.  And a nonbeliever is not the same as an unbeliever.  Believers working together with other believers should be easy for us to see.  When yoked together, what you see ahead is the same for believers.

You share the same reasons for moving forward and you respond to the things around you in much the same ways. Zacchaeus was a believer.

Believers working together with nonbelievers is different.  A nonbeliever is simply someone who has not yet made a decision to believe.  They are belief neutral.  They don’t deny the existence of God or the work of the cross.  They simply have not come to a place in their lives where they can believe what they do not deny.

Believers and nonbelievers can coexist and work together because the nonbeliever is not necessarily going to attack the believer’s beliefs.  In fact, they may look ahead after they are yoked, and they may be amazed at what they see and are drawn to it.  Nicodemus was a nonbeliever.

Believers working together with unbelievers is different and probably impossible.  I believe this is what Paul was warning against.  An unbeliever is someone who denies that God exists and actually works against your belief to prove they are right, and you are wrong.  An unbeliever will do anything and everything they can to undo what is believed about God and Jesus.

Pharoah was an unbeliever.  Goliath was an unbeliever.  Haman from the book of Esther was an unbeliever. Pilate was an unbeliever.

The unbelievers are the problem for the believers.  From these examples we should see why we are warned never to be voluntarily yoked to an unbeliever.  The path forward will be difficult or even impossible.

Goliath tried to make a deal with the Israelites.  If they defeated him, the Philistines would serve them and their God.  But if Goliath defeated the Israelite’s champion, then the Israelites would have to serve the Philistines and their God.  Do not be yoked to unbelievers like this.  The yoke is meant to share a burden not to be a burden.

So, how do we guard against becoming unequally yoked?  We learn to develop how we think, and we learn to be discerning about how others think.  And we help others to see how we think more than to just helping them to see what we want to do.

Yoke yourself to the Lord first. The Lord is on every path there is, but He only wants you on the path that He chooses for you.  Make sure you are on the right path so that you pull in the right direction.  

If you find yourself yoked to someone who fights against God, or against your belief in the Lord or against the path He has chosen for you, then you may be yoked to an unbeliever.  If the unbeliever’s way causes you to stray from God’s desired way for you, then you probably should consider if warning of Paul’s scripture is meant for you.

Whether in marriage, or friendship, or work, or play, or whatever the situation where you cannot go at it alone, pray for help that is comparable to you.

If your circumstances cause you to live like you are an unbeliever, then you may be unequally yoked.  In this case, pray that the Lord will help you change your yoke.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


Easter 2023

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ on the third day after His death.  Resurrection means to give life again to something that was dead.  It is important for us to know this because God wants us to know we have a living Savior, and we serve a living God.

In the 24th chapter of Luke, the Bible says some of the women who had been followers of Jesus went to the tomb where He was laid three days before.  They were bringing spices to anoint His body—a dead body.  But when they arrived, they found the stone sealing the door of the tomb had been rolled away.  They entered the tomb, but they did not find Jesus’ body there.

Instead they saw two men standing by them in shinning garments.  According to Luke 24:5 the men to the women, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here but is risen!”  Easter is more than about bringing a dead person back to the life they had before.  Easter is about resurrecting a dead life, to bring forth a new life that didn’t exist before.

Now the resurrected Jesus was still Jesus but much more.  He was and is a Jesus who never will die again.  Jesus brought many people back to life, but those people were not resurrected. Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, but Lazarus ultimately died again. Why is this important to us?

Because Easter represents God’s promise to believers that as Jesus was resurrected to a new life, never to die again, so it will be possible for all of us who are believers.  Jesus made it possible for us to die once, to be brought back into a new life and to never die again.

Now that is something worth celebrating!

If the thing we serve is dead, how can we live?

If the thing we serve cannot be heard, how can we obey?

If the thing we serve is silent and cannot talk, how can we hear?

If the thing we serve cannot move, how can we be found?

If the thing we serve cannot see, how can we be seen?

If the thing we serve cannot empathize with us, how can we be comforted?

I could go on.  But you should get the point.

Easter means we serve a living God.  And because He lives, He is our God while we live out our dying lives.  Then we can have time to accept His offer of being given a new and eternal life.

So, like the women who went to the tomb looking for Jesus, let’s make every day an Easter Day.  Let’s get up and go looking for the one true and living God.  But let’s not go looking in a tomb; He is not there.  God is closer to us than the tombs around us.

The women went to the tomb because they believed in Jesus and that is where they saw them lay His body.  Their faith is what made them go.  Today, He is alive and waiting to live in your heart.  You don’t have to go anywhere.  You need only believe that He is the Resurrected King and Savior.

When you do this, He will come and roll away the stone from the door of your heart.  He will come into your heart and there He will make His home.  And then you will begin to enjoy having a new life, one that comes into an old tired and dead life.  

Have a blessed Easter.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


You Go First

In the book of Luke, chapter 6, Jesus teaches us about our attitudes and how we should live with others.  It is here that He chooses the 12 people who will be His closest followers.  He called them disciples.  Disciples are learners.  In this case, learners about Jesus.

We are all called to be learners of Jesus.  It’s easier to follow Him when we are learners.  It’s easier to be obedient to Him when we learn from Him.  It is easier to hear His call when we are learners of Him.  It is in being a learner that our faith in Him is perfected.

Perfecting our faith means we must first believe something so we can learn to believe more.  So, in Luke 6, Jesus is teaching the disciples about the many times when they will have to go first, before being first can come to them.  In Luke 6:31, He gives a well-known verse of scripture.  He says to them, “Just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.”

We sometimes say it this way, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  All throughout chapter 6 of Luke, Jesus gives examples of how, as disciples of Him, we must learn to do to others what it seems unnatural to do.  For instance, He says, if a man hits you on one cheek, turn and let him hit the other.

Well now, turning the other cheek, as we would say, doesn’t make any sense to us.  If I am hit once by someone, it is not likely I will gladly say, “Here hit me again on this side.”  So, what is Jesus getting at here?  Well, I believe He is saying this to us: think about how you want to be treated by others, and you go first, treating them that way.  Jesus wants us to learn more about Him in whatever our circumstances, then we will know what we need to know about man.

Jesus wants us to know that how we treat people usually comes back to us.  And here is the key to what He is trying to get us to see.  If we do not care about how we treat others, an uncaring way of being treated will come back to us.  If you don’t care about how you are treated because you believe you are tough and can handle anything, then you cannot care about how you treat others.  Caring about how you want to be treated is key to learning whether you can care about others.

So, what does it mean to care about how you want to be treated?  Well Jesus teaches us that too in Luke 6:31. Caring about you means you have more concerns for how others are made to feel by you.  It means the more you care for yourself, the greater you must care for others.  Jesus is trying to teach us that how we make others feel is directly related to how much or how little, or how good or how bad we want to make ourselves feel.

If we do not care about how others make us feel because we are tough and we depend on ourselves to get through anything, then we will find it difficult to make others feel like we care about them.  We will want others to grit their teeth and get through things just like we do.

Be careful in how you want to be treated by others.  The word careful means to be full of concern for the well- being and for the good that is needed.  What we are carful to do to ourselves is the same thing we will do to others.  But is that what is best for others?  Probably not.  We are not the standard for how we should treat others.  God is.

We must learn that we must go first in learning how we should act toward others.  Going first means before we drink and make ourselves full, we let others drink.  We take second in getting so we can be first in giving.

Going first means that before we say everything that comes to mind, we let others say the little that is on their minds.  We say less so we can say more.

Going first means that before we grit our teeth and say we can handle anything, we let others handle the little things that may be hard for them to handle.  We use our strength to support the weaknesses of others.

Going first means that before we say we don’t care about how others are made to feel, we let others tell us how they are made to feel by us.  We care more for others so others can care more for themselves.

Jesus is always trying to teach us about us, so that we can really care about others.  He is saying, it is not reasonable for us to want to be treated poorly.  So, we must go first in learning how to treat others in great ways.

If the circumstances of life have made you sour in how you feel about how you are treated, you must learn that is not the norm.  If you treat others with a sour attitude, you are saying to others, you don’t care about how you treat yourself.

Others will not respond to a sour attitude with a sour attitude in return.  Because others care about how they treat themselves.  Those who learn from Jesus will try always to treat you with a good that is better than the good in which they treat themselves. 

As they want to be treated by others, so they treat others.  You Go First. 

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.


Not All Things

In our world people generally want all of what is rightfully theirs.  Some of us even want what is rightfully yours just so we can have more.  We believe if we can build it, create it, discover it, make it, or even dream it, then it’s in our God given rights to have it.

But is that really the way it should be?  In scripture, Paul warns us against this idea of having all that we can have.  1 Corinthians 10:23 says, “All things are lawful for me but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.”

Paul is saying not all the things that are rightfully ours to have are the things that we should seek to rightfully have.  Paul says this because if we get all that we can rightfully have, we will miss out on many of the things that are good for us but not rightfully ours to have.

If you can earn it, then its rightfully yours.  If you can inherit it, then its rightfully yours.  What is rightfully yours is yours only because you have done something to make it available to you. But, if you want all that is rightfully yours, you will miss out on having some of the more valuable things that must be given to you by someone else.  These are things we cannot earn.

You may have the right to free speech, but not all of your speech is free.  If you don’t learn how to hold your tongue you may never be given the respect of those who will hear and judge all that you say.  Free speech can sometimes cost you respect that must be given you.

You may believe you have the right to avenge yourself of any wrongs done against you, but, not all, if any, vengeance is right for you.  If you do not learn to leave vengeance to God, you may never be given the mercy of God when you need it.  Your time to need mercy will come.  It comes to all of us.

You may believe you have the right to have all the privileges that come with your job or your status, but not all privileges are meant for you to have for yourself.  If you do not learn that your privileges are best used to help others, you may never be given the privilege of being lifted up when you are down.

You may believe that you have the right as a child of God, to defend your faith and your beliefs from attacks.  But defending your faith may expose you to more attacks than you can handle.  If you don’t learn to leave defense of your faith to God, you may never have the blessing of the grace of God moving in your faith.

And finally, you may believe that having fundamental rights to be and to do and to live as you please are inherent rights for all human beings.  But having all these human rights may keep you from having the right to give up your humanity for the privilege of living spiritually before God.

Not all things that are right for us are right to us.

Not all things that we can have are things we should have.

Not all things that we can do are things we should do.

Having all the things we can have focuses our attention on ourselves when God wants us to focus our attention on Him.

Not all things will be good for you to have, but giving up things you could have leaves room for the Lord to give you good and better things that cannot otherwise be yours.

Feed His sheep and He will feed you.

Live a Delivered Life.  Love you.