Podcast 226:  The Beginning of the Book of John

Podcast 226: The Beginning of the Book of John

John the Apostle and friend of Jesus has a unique purpose in writing his Gospel. He states that purpose in John 20:30-31:

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

He has a two-fold purpose. One, that you would believe and two, that by believing you would have eternal life in His name.

And this is just the beginning. Want to hear more? Then keep listening.

The following is a study of John 1:1-3.

Download this episode (right click and save)



Exactly who are the Righteous?

Exactly who are the Righteous?

In reading the 11th chapter of Proverbs, I was struck by two simple questions:  One, who are the Righteous that the Proverbs speak about and two, how do you become one?

Let me explain.

Proverbs 11 is basically a summary of the contrast between the wicked and the righteous (whatever that means).  It shows, like Psalm 1, how each responds differently to situations or circumstances or experiences, good and bad, that are common to man.  And the lesson learned is the righteous win and the wicked lose.  Big time.

But the one promise that keeps repeating itself over and over again in this Proverb is that the righteous will be “delivered” from trouble, destruction, death or whatever calamity the wicked plunge headlong into.

For example:

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.

The righteous is delivered from trouble,
But the wicked takes his place.

With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor,
But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.

Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished,
But the descendents of the righteous will be delivered. *

You know, there are some promises here that we would do well to hold on to.  But they are conditional promises— made only to those who are righteous or blameless or upright in their integrity.  Can we, in all honesty, claim these promises are for us today?  Can we truly say that our righteousness and desire for holiness is as great as… say, the early church?  How about Believers living during the time of the Great Awakening or during the revival movements of the last 150 years or so.  Does our righteousness come close to that of the Spurgeon, Wesley, Finney or Edwards?  How about our passion for the holiness of God?  How do we compare to Watchman Nee or George Muller or Brother Andrew?  How about our desire to see all men saved?  Where do we rank in comparison to Hudson Taylor, William Carey or Gladys Aylward?

Can we look at the plight of Job and assume that, faced with the same horrific set of circumstances, we would hold on to our righteousness as he did?  Would we, after the death of our children, the destruction of our security and the failure of our health, echo the words, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.” *

Or would we crumble in despair, blaming and cursing God, shaking our fist at heaven, claiming that He failed to keep His promise to us— the promise of “Your Best Life Now!”  Geez.

I don’t know.

But I do know that Jesus said, “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees (the ones who later attributed Jesus’ miracles to Satan), you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” *  Really?  That’s sobering.  Scary.

So what do we do?  Where do we go from here?  Because I’m sure that very few of us spend as much time trying to be as righteous as the Pharisees did?  For most of us, it’s not even on our radar.

One last passage from Proverbs 11.

The perverse in heart are an abomination to the Lord,
But the blameless in their walk are His delight. *

Ah, that’s it.  To be His delight.

Can you imagine?  Can you wrap your mind around what it must feel like to know that you are the very delight of the Lord?  That you are blameless in your walk with Him and others?  How does that happen?  How can someone become His delight?  Or, the righteous?  Or, as Jesus said, “the people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.”? *

I think it begins with a conscious effort, a determined spirit, a fierce commitment to find out what pleases the Lord and then make it our single ambition in life to do it.  Just Do It!  Because in the great scheme of things and the brevity of life, what else matters than to please the One who created and saved us?

What?  Fame?  Money?  Sex?  Acceptance?  Ease?  Come on, compared with being the delight of the Lord— all the stuff the world offers is nothing more than chump change.  Cheap shiny trinkets and pieces of cut glass.  Nothing of real, lasting, eternal value.

After all, isn’t that what Paul said to the Corinthians?

Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord- for we walk by faith, not by sight- we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.  Therefore we also have as (what) our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

Join with me, will all that is within us, to make it our ambition to please the Lord.

Adveho quis may.  Come what may.
Will you join with me?  Come what may.


Proverbs 11:4, 8-9, 21, 20; Job 1:21; Matthew 5:20; John 4:23; 2 Corinthians 5:6-9


Family Man

Family Man

I still get a big ol’ catch in my throat every time I watch Andrew Peterson’s video, Family Man.  It is my story, indeed.



Thanks to my family for helping me become a Family Man.



Spirit and Truth

Spirit and Truth

Spirit and Truth

I am awed by the words the Lord spoke to His disciples after they returned from Wal-Mart with some groceries and supplies and found Him conversing with a woman from Samaria. If you recall, the heat of the Gospel was burning close to this woman and bringing her to point of crisis in regards to Who this person was that was speaking to her. “Sir” she said to Jesus, “I perceive that You are a prophet.” And then, as it to deflect the gaze of Jesus to a side, debatable issue, she restated the common question of her day pitting the Jews and the Samaritans at odds with each other. “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and you people (ouch!) say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” In other words, come on big guy, deal with that! My racial prejudice is showing.

Jesus responded, in part, with a statement that has filled my heart with longing. A simple, single sentence that has brought me to this point of deep hunger, at any price or personal cost, for a deeper relationship with Him. The words Jesus spoke have given me purpose and a goal. They have, in effect, been the calling of my life.

Jesus said, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshippers.” *

Wow. Did you catch that?

Jesus clearly said that there is a time, which existed then and now, when the Father will seek those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. Now, in seminary and from the Sunday pulpits, we have focused almost entirely on the topic, “What Does Jesus Mean by Spirit and Truth?” and have missed the focus and truth of what He was saying. We have gone for the academic and ignored the spiritual, the practical applications. I guess you could say we have looked at only what this verse says that won’t offend or force us out of our comfort zones.

“Hmmm, interesting topic preacher. I never quite thought about spirit and truth that way before. Really enjoyed it a lot. See ya next Sunday.”

But what Jesus said is that there is a group of people whom “the Father seeks to be His worshippers.” Now sit back and let that sink in for a few moments.

What Jesus told the woman at the well was, in all of created humanity, especially those called out of darkness into His marvelous light, those whom He knew from the foundation of the world, there are two categories of Believers— two categories of worshippers, if you will.

There are those who worship the Lord in their own way, with all sincerity and good intentions, who faithfully stand, or raise their hands, or sing hymns or choruses, who lug big ‘ol King James or soft-covered NIVs to church each Sunday morning, evening and even Wednesday night and enter into a described and predictable time of singing, sitting, giving, standing, listening, sometimes sleeping— and who believe that this is all there is to worship. You know, faithfulness, dependability and service within the church setting. “Just doing our duty, ma’am.”

But Jesus said there is a group of worshippers who worship the Lord in “spirit and truth” and all that conveys, and it is these worshippers “the Father seeks to be His worshippers.” In other words, there are groups of people who worship the Father the way He wants to be worshipped— the way, or in the mode, that puts a smile of His face, that gives Him the biggest blessing. And, these people are so pleasing to Him that Jesus said the Father literally “seeks to be His worshippers.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I want to be in that group. Don’t you?

And, if I were brutally honest and transparent, I know that I haven’t been. My experience in church, the predictable form and mode of worship that leaves me longing for more, is not the kind of worship the Father seeks. Not by a long shot. I know He also longs for more from His children… and especially from me.

Hence, this section titled, Leaving Laodicea. Here I will post items that show what Leaving Laodicea looks, smells and taste like as well as posts that will help move us from lukewarn faith into the realm of Spirit and Truth Worship.

Come join with me in this quest to rediscover Spirit and Truth Worship and let us leave Laodicea behind.

Adveho quis may.
Come what may.


* John 4:23, Joshua 4:6-7, John 6:13



Perverted Priorities

Perverted Priorities

The following is from the late David Wilkerson and spoke powerfully and directly to me today.  If you will take the time to read and reflect on his words, I believe it will speak to you also.


Perverted Priorities

Christians who neglect prayer have perverted their priorities.  Many believers pledge to pray if and when they can find the time.  Yet each week, seeking Christ becomes less important to them than washing the car, cleaning the house, visiting friends, eating out, going shopping, watching sports events.  They simply don’t make time to pray.

People were no different in the days of Noah and Lot.  Their top priorities were eating and drinking, buying and selling, marrying, and caring for their families.  They had no time to listen to messages of God’s coming judgment.  And so no one was prepared when judgment fell!

Evidently, nothing has changed over the centuries.  For many Christians today, God remains at the bottom of the priority list; at the top are income, security, pleasure, family.

Beloved, the Lord does not want your leftovers— those little bits and pieces of time when you have only a moment to toss up a quick prayer request.  That isn’t a sacrifice of prayer.

The prophet Malachi writes: “If ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil?  And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil?  Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 1:8).

Malachi is saying, “You’re bringing just any old farm animals to sacrifice in God’s presence— careless, thoughtless, secondhand gifts.  Try giving those kinds of offerings to your governor and see what happens!”

God expected His people to go through their flocks carefully, examining every animal, and choosing the most perfect specimen for sacrifice to Him.  Likewise today, God expects the same from us.  He wants our quality time— unrushed.  And we are to make that time a priority!

I once met with the pastor of one of America’s largest churches.  This man was one of the busiest ministers I had ever seen.  He told me without apology, “I have no time to pray.”  Yet, what he really meant was, “I don’t give any priority to prayer.”  When I visited his church, I sensed no moving of God’s Spirit in the congregation.  In fact, it was one of the deadest churches I had ever preached in.  How could there be any life if the pastor didn’t pray?

No Christian will set aside time to pray unless it becomes his first priority in life—  above family, career, leisure time, everything. Otherwise, his sacrifice is perverted!



Podcast 225:  The Consequences of Unbelief

Podcast 225: The Consequences of Unbelief

One of the most chilling verses in the book of Matthew is this:

Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

In this verse, the He is Jesus and the there is Nazareth and the truth is that because of their unbelief Jesus was not able to do what He wanted to do among those He loved.  He had to cut His revelation to them short because they would not receive what He was offering them.  And the results of their unbelief were damning.

Do you think you have ever walked in their shoes?  Probably so.

Keep listening.

Download this episode (right click and save)