Faith and “Sparks”

Haggai is a very small prophetic book written during the postexilic time in Israel’s history. The people of Israel had returned to their own land after living in Babylon. One of the main reasons they wanted to go back to Israel was to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed. They began well, (building an altar and offering sacrifices) but then go distracted and stopped. The Word of the Lord came to Haggai and Zechariah to encourage the people to finish the task. In the New Living Translation Haggai 1:12 we find then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave the people this message from the Lord: “I am with you says the Lord.” so the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies on September 21 of the second year of King Darius reign. The word “sparked” caught my attention. I thought I want to be someone who “sparks” another into good action, and I need others to “spark” me on to good works.

I believe God desires us to do/be both. The Hebrew word that they translate “spark” is “‘ur”. It means to rouse, awaken, stir up, excite, raise up; to incite, to arouse to action; to open one’s eyes. As I was pondering these meanings, I thought we need to be sparked first by God and second by ourselves and others! The struggles of this season are real. It is hard to stir up our faith–when oppression, depression and discouragement are close at had. But, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the very time we need to move into action. Those men were sparked into action by God’s Word. “I am with you”. He is with us. He has never, nor will ever leave us. The wind and rains are blowing, but if we persevere, we can light fires in our own hearts and in the hearts of others for His kingdom. Once the fire is lit, keep it burning. To those of you who are feeling alone, you are not. To those of you who feel abandoned, you have not been. He is with you. Call upon Him and He will show you great and mighty things. Do not forsake the gathering together during these days–even if you have to do it through the internet.

I want to thank our pastors and leaders for “sparking” me. I want to thank song writers, musicians and other artists who keep on “sparking” us with their gifts and talents. I want to thank teachers and writers who inspire me to keep moving on and “sparking” others. I need you, appreciate you and pray for you to continue “sparking” others. If you are a pastor, teacher, worship leader etc do not draw back from discouragement, but press on. God is moving in and through you, because that it what He does. Speak His Word.

Faith to Prepare Him Room

This year my dear daughter Elizabeth followed her heart and created an interactive Advent coloring book called “Prepare Him Room.” The title stopped me. In fact, it began to play as a loop in my mind. Prepare Him room–what does that mean? How do we do it? What changes must occur to prepare the room? What kind of “room”? What preparations should be done? Can they ever be “good enough”? As I pondered this phrase, I felt the Lord come close. Peace began to fill my heart. Anticipation began to grow. I knew that the phrase focus emphasis was on enlarging the “room” in my heart, soul and mind for Him. So how do we do that?

Prepare–means to make ready for use or consideration. There is a sense of anticipation that comes with the preparation. Something is going to change or happen. It also includes the willingness to do something. This preparation, was not about is not preparing for a newborn baby, but the preparation needed to receive our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To welcome Him into more of the aspects of our heart and life so we can shine even brighter for Him. There was no sense of trepidation with this preparation–just a desire to make a comfortable room for a special friend. An intentional decision to make even more room for Him.

Preparing a room usually begins with cleaning. Getting rid of any clutter and dirt that has accumulated. If we are honest, we know our hearts can accumulate clutter. If we want to prepare our hearts for Him, we must get rid of the excess thought clutter as well. Unforgiveness, worry and anxiety can build up–taking up space where His Presence and peace should abide. Asking the Holy Spirit to do a deep cleaning in our souls can seem scary, but in actuality it brings freedom from negativity and fear. Throwing out old hindering insecurities as well as childish ways makes way for His new revelation and joy.

The amazing thing about this room preparation for the Lord, is that He works right along side us! He helps in every stage. He longs to fellowship with us, even in the cleaning. In fact, most of the scriptures that deal with the word prepare, refer to God’s preparation for us! Psalm 23: 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. He comforted His disciples (and therefore us) with Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. Even now He is in preparation mode! Oh my friends, let us choose to die daily to ourselves to make more room for Him and His ways. To put off the things that so easily distract and detract from Him,

We are not only preparing our hearts more fully for the Lord, but also for the things He likes. The things He cares about. He cares about widows, orphans, the homeless, the poor, the cast out, the unloved most definitely those who do not know Him.. As we enlarge our hearts, we find ourselves caring about these things as well.

I have a friend who every month when she gets paid, she takes some cash and puts it aside in her purse. When she sees or hears about a need, she quietly meets that need. It is a practical way of loving and living for Him. In this age where people don’t carry much cash due to debit/credit cards it takes intentionality to prepare to meet an unknown need. I attempt to follow her example. As you read through scripture, take time to notice other things that make Him happy as well as the things He doesn’t like (read Proverbs 6:16-19)!

Friends, I trust you will take the time to make room for our Lord and Savior in every aspect of your life. As we ponder the miracle of His birth, let us allow the Son of Man, the Lord room to rule as well in our hearts and lives.

Faith and Dry Bones

My Bible reading program brought me to Ezekiel 38 this week. As I began to read about God’s famous question to Ezekiel: “Can these dry bones live?”, I felt the Holy Spirit ask me the same thing. It was like a jolt. Faith began to arise and I began to look around at the things in my life that I have just accepted as being dry and done. No life. No faith. Just acceptance as the way it is, so it shall stay.

But as this question became my question, I began to get excited. I began to ask Him to show me what areas in my life had I just accepted the circumstances? My own health has been especially difficult for the past few months . After testing, I found out my thyroid was not doing its job. About the same time I started on thyroid meds, I had an asthma flair and I could hardly walk across the room without experiencing shortness of breath. Monday morning, I woke to a shift in the circumstances. I could actually get things done! I am believing the allergies and asthma are also coming subject to His Word as well. My breathing will come alive and I can do what He calls me to do. The drying bones of my lungs are coming to life.

My friends, what or where are your dry bones? Is it in your marriage relationship? Your job situations? Your finances? Your own life perspectives? Your health? Hopelessness? Maybe you have some bones in your life that seem to be “drying and dying”–don’t wait till they are dead, but begin to speak life into them in the Name of Jesus. Hopeless situations do not have to stay hopeless. We serve an amazing Savior that came into this world with power and might that He wants to impart into and for us. Ezekiel’s response, was “Lord, you know”. We can read that with a sense of resignation, or we can let it begin to kindle expectation. Your thoughts may have settled on if God wanted to change things, they would change. However, He used Ezekiel to prophesy to those bones. He spoke to the dead bones while they were yet dead. He spoke in faithful obedience, as we should.

Maybe your dry bones are in the area of your parenting. Your child is a struggling learner. Do not lose hope. Begin to speak faith and encouragement to them. Call for the breakthroughs needed. Maybe you feel like it is your patience that is dry and dead. Remember, we have the fruit of the Holy Spirit working within. Ask Him for insight and direction, and when you begin to speak where His Spirit is prompting, release your faith and expect change. Do not let fear paralyze you from speaking to those hard or dry things. Expect change to happen. Lift your voice and declare life, not death. I have experienced Godly intervention, and it is good.

“Can these dry bones live?” I am excited as I sense breakthroughs coming. I believe with a resounding yes–in spite of Covid, In spite of past experiences, your dry bones can and will live. It may take time. It may take tenacity, but they will live, In Jesus Name.

Faith and Childishness

If I call myself childish, that is ok…if someone else calls me childish, not so much. The definition of childish is someone who is silly and immature–or is acts inappropriately for their age. It is the Holy Spirit’s desire that every believer grows up. That we learn how to put off childish things.

So what are some of the childish things or ways that we need to put off as we grow up? The first one that comes to mind, is selfishness. Most children come into the world with a “me first” attitude. It is all about me, mine and what about me. As we grow up, we begin to understand that in God’s Kingdom, His way is others first. God uses many things to help us grow up. Selfishness is something we seem to always need to conquer: employment, marriage or parenting put us in situations where self centeredness is unveiled. To put it off takes deliberate concentrated effort to change our focus from self to others. 2 Timothy 3:2 confirms that many adults grow up with these selfish traits in tact. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. This is, unfortunately, a clear description of our world, all childish behaviors.

Another aspect of childishness is being unteachable and letting pride stand in our way of receiving truth in love that will help us. A long time ago, when we were in our early stage of pastoring, I was talking with someone about the scripture dealing with wine/and new wineskins. She had an amazing revelation about it, but due to my pride in our position, I nodded, oh yes, I already knew that. It was silly. It is embarrassing to admit it, I lied. It was a wonderful insight, and I not only missed her truth, but due to pride, I lost the revelation as well. I can’t remember the truth she said, and it still bothers me today. Pride stood in my way of learning from her. Thankfully, I have learned I don’t know it all, and can admit it! There is such freedom in learning from one another. I would ask you to ponder this thought: when was the last time you let someone else teach you something? Or received their thoughts, that were different than your own? Do not let childish pride or stubbornness hinder you from learning from others.

To put off something is to admit that we are wearing it or embracing it. Letting go of foolish jesting or dealing with our carnal mind and the works of the flesh are part of putting off childishness. Many are deceived by Satan in pursuing “freedom” which really is bondage to Satan and his ways. Seeking the pleasures of sin over purity and righteousness is childish behavior. It is time to grow up and mature. The wisdom of God gives us insight and helps us follow Him and His ways.

Putting off childishness helps us grow in discernment and perspective. It helps us run with patient endurance the race that is set before us. It isn’t easy, but if we are going to be lights in this dark world, we need to understand the blessing of maturity. It isn’t about yourself–it is all about Him and His Kingdom. It is learning to lay your life down for Him and others. Learning to speak words of life versus words of death or criticism shows growth. Developing patience in our relationships, walking in forgiveness and love are all examples of maturity.

Father, please help us grow up. Helps us not to cling to childish ways, but to put them off–receiving your righteous robes in their place. Show us where we may be inadvertently be walking in childish behavior. Thy will be done. We trust you to help us grow and mature, because we love you. In Jesus Name, Amen

Faith and “Thy Will Be Done”

Driving in the car on Tuesday afternoon, I turned my thoughts toward our election and began to ask the Lord “how do you want me to pray?” I heard very clearly, “thy will be done”. Immediately peace began to fill my heart and once again I recognized His Sovereignty. In a way, it shouldn’t matter who wins the election as far as my walk with the Lord goes.

I will seek to be a peacemaker among those who do think like I do. I will continue to pray for our leaders, even those I disagree. I will continue to trust His leadership for my country. I will continue to seek to walk in the Light and be a Light to those who are looking for His ways. I will grow in my ability to trust Him no matter what comes my way.

I will choose to trust His ways, which may not be my ways. I will choose to remember that His ways are higher than my ways, and I can trust Him. I will choose to draw nigh to Him and walk in that friendship and grace. There was always a remnant that strove to walk in His righteous ways when there was an evil king ruling in Israel. Paul and the early church stood and lived under Nero and his persecution. We can stand, no matter what. I have heard first hand, how believers stood during the Communist takeover in Hungary and Romania and continued to grow in His grace and mercy. Our Chinese brethren are standing under severe persecution, it is not easy, but they are standing. I don’t know the future, but as the saying goes, I know who holds the future.

Dear ones, let us stand, pray and seek to walk worthy of the calling we have. We can do this. I choose to walk humbly with my God as we navigate these difficult times. I choose to govern my words, so I speak the truth in love. If you are feeling out of control and anxious, remember these days did not catch Him off guard. He is still on the throne, and as we simply allow Him to remain Lord of our lives, we are and will be secure.

As of this writing, the count is still continuing. Let us be diligent to pray for clarity, honesty and truth to prevail. Settle in your heart, now, that if your candidate wins or loses you will choose to walk in faith. Disappointment, discouragement and even a bit of disillusionment may arise, but do not let them take away your confidence in your loving God. Somebody will win, some one will lose. Those are the facts we do know! Thy will be done, dear Lord, not just in this election, but in my life and in your Kingdom.

Faith and Life’s Disparity

Disparity: inequality, imbalance, unevenness. This past week I have been made even more aware that, like Elizabeth’s sixth grade teacher avowed: “Life isn’t always fair on the Ponderosa”. I hate it. I think of my friends who have children with mental illnesses, addictions or other friends who have been diagnosed with incurable, but difficult life hampering illnesses all produce within me : It’s NOT FAIR. And the normal response, “why?” Or as many determine, “how can a loving God….” There is something within our soul that wants a explanation of the “whys” of life. Wiser theologians and philosophers have debated these topics for years.

Of course, rants and raves do not solve or change any of these feelings and situations. Since sin entered our world, so did disparity. Sin brought death and disease–which affected not only our spirit, but also our soul and our bodies. It is an inheritance of sort, that until Jesus comes we must cope and manage.

So what is the “more perfect way” (I Corinthians 12: 31) in responding to and viewing these difficult situations? Probably not the ostrich way–head in the sand–“it doesn’t exist”; nor the critical “it must be something they have done or not done, so it doesn’t touch me” approach. What would the most loving thing can we do? First we need to acknowledge that some people are walking and dealing with very difficult situations. Not their fault. Not their choice. It is somehow, in their journey they must bear these troubles. But my question to each of us–what can we do to make their walk easier?

When your heart of compassion begins to be stirred for others, listen to that heart. Remember when Jesus was moved with compassion (Matthew 9:36; Matthew 14:14 and Matthew 18:27 for example), he acted. Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, the sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.

Interesting response, isn’t it? He asked his disciples to pray for more workers. That is us. You and me–being sent into the world to help those who are confused and helpless. So, our first response to a need, is to pray. Pray for help. And as you pray for that help, keep in mind that you or I may be that person that He wants to send. Open your heart to that possibility. If you see a need, you may be just the person He wants to fill it.

Matthew 14:14 Jesus had compassion on the people, but it was the disciples who came to Jesus and said, This is a remote place, and its’ already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves. Those disciples were aware of the hunger and need for the crowd, but sought to solve the problem in a very natural way. As they talked with Jesus, he said, “That isn’t necessary–feed them.” There were only five loaves and two fish to share among the crowd. Maybe you don’t feel you have enough of whatever to meet the need, but you do. Focus on what you do have, not what you don’t. See what you do have to help meet the need, asking our God to multiply the rest.

Matthew 18:27, tells the story of a servant begging his master to release him from a very large debt. Then the master was filled with pity (compassion) and he released him and forgave his debt. We learn a different lesson in this story. The man forgiven did not pass the forgiveness along, but became hard hearted and refused to forgive another’s even smaller debt. Sometimes, as we follow our heart of compassion it will seem the person we were trying to bless or help rejects our offering. If that happens, we need to trust that God is our rewarder, and will recompense in His own ways. Do not let resentment take root, but simply give it back to Jesus. Ask Him to sort it out.

God is moving to use us to help people. Sin ravages, love heals. We may not be able to erase the disparities we find in this world, but we can make it a little easier for them to bear.

Faith and God’s Strengthening Power

Have you ever felt weak? Lacking the physical, mental or emotional ability to carry through a set purpose? Unable to accomplish what you wanted to do? I know there have been times, where I have felt inadequate to the task at hand–much less the mountains I want to climb! Focusing on weakness, leads to more weakness. Focusing on God’s strengthening power leads to strength.

Life is challenging. Sometimes it is difficult to think past our own generation and it’s struggles, but every generation has faced struggles and challenges. The church at Thessalonica faced challenges and persecutions. The believers faced opposition from both the Romans (Gentiles) and the Jews. The amazing thing about our precious brothers and sisters was their testimony. The book of 1 Thessalonians was written by not only Paul, but Silas and Timothy as well. I love verse 3: As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Verse 6 goes on to say: So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this you imitated both us and the Lord. As a result you have become an example to all the believers in Greece–throughout both Macedonia and Achaia. And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. It is good to remind ourselves that these were “ordinary” believers. Moms, Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas who came to saving faith in Jesus during challenging times and were making a difference in their world. I googled the walking distance from Thessalonica to Achaia and it was a four day journey! Their story was getting around!

Please do not let fall under condemnation right now–take a deep breath and look at your life: How far has your God story gone? How would it be if others said the same thing about you? When they think of you–the first thing they would think of is your faithful work, your loving deeds and the enduring hope you have? That would be awesome wouldn’t it? Even those believers were enduring severe suffering, they were able to let their light shine for the Lord because of God’s strengthening power. We have access to the same Holy Spirit that helped them. Our weaknesses can be turned into strength as we simply ask. It is up to Him, how that strength comes.

In 2 Thessalonians 1:11, we find Paul, Timothy and Silas writing to these dear believers again. So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Remember, it is not about us. This is such an encouraging scripture. We do not have to be stymied by our own weakness, but we can pray for and expect, by faith His strength to replace our weakness. Do not let the weakness you perceive hinder you from accomplishing the promptings the Holy Spirit gives you. It does not matter if your weakness is in relationships, parenting, educational goals, ministry directions, He strength is available.

Father, I thank you for your strengthening power helping your Church today. I thank you that we can accomplish all the good things our faith prompts us to do through the equipping power of the Holy Spirit. Open our eyes and hearts to all of those good things. In Jesus Name, amen

Faith and Our Words

Have you heard the phrase “weighing your words”?  It is an idiom that means to take careful thought before we speak; to carefully consider the results of our words on our hearers.  Proverbs 12:8 Reckless words pierce like a sword, and the more common used scripture: Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21.   What is it about this little “member” as James calls it that can stir up so much trouble–or bring such healing?

Our words are a gift we can choose to use everyday.  They are at our disposal–24/7.   In my imagination I wonder what it would be like if we had a little meter at our mouth.  Something that monitored the “weight’ of our words.  Would the “empty” ones show up as zeros?  Would the too heavy, harsher ones be registered in bold writing?  Would the words spoke in season be printed in gold?  Of course this is fantasy, but when I know my words could be important in the life of others–I value them differently.   Let’s review God’s perspective on words.

Proverbs 12: 6 in the NLT: The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives.

Proverbs 12:14 Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards.

Proverbs 12:18 Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing

Proverbs 12: 25 Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.

Proverbs 4: 23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life.

Sometimes the cutting remarks I face come from my own soul. I have to make sure I guard my own heart and thoughts; making sure I speak Godly thoughts to myself. When I do, I find it much easier to speak words of life to others. Words are valuable, let’s use them wisely.

Faith and Mountains

I am fortunate to live in a state with many majestic mountains. On a clear day I can drive about 1/2 a mile and see the Olympic Mountain range, the Cascade Mountain range and Mount Rainier! If I drive in a different direction I can see beautiful Mount Baker. Most of these mountains are high enough to have snow all year around and they are part of our water source for our island.

Physical mountains are inspiring, especially when viewed from a distance. There is a different kind of beauty when seen up close. We took a trip one August to Mount Rainier (14,000 feet) and the views were spectacular. The Bible is full of Mountain stories. God seems to like mountains! He asks many of His servants to become mountain climbers. Abraham and Isaac climbed Mt. Moriah at the word of the Lord. Moses met with Him on Mount Sinai, the ark landed on Mt Ararat with Noah and his family: so my question today is are you willing to become a mountain climber?

I have no natural inclination to climb mountains. One of my most vivid memories of time spent at a Christian summer camp was climbing a lower portion of Mt. Baker on a very hot summers day. All we could see were the seemingly endless switch backs ahead of us. A switchback is a zigzag road or trail that helps you climb a very steep hill. There was no shade and I just wanted to quit. We definitely were not happy campers–that is until we finally made it to our destination. There ahead of us was the most inviting lake–just waiting for us to jump in and cool off. Our leader knew what was ahead. She kept encouraging us to keep going. It tested our limit (or at least mine!). I was a mumbler and grumbler that day for sure. I did not enjoy any part of the journey. I missed any wildlife, or wildflowers we might have seen because of my anger. I was mad at our leader, I was mad at my companion climbers and I was miserable. It definitely was not a proud Martha moment. I had a choice that day, and I definitely picked the wrong attitude, which was my loss. I know I clouded the day for the others too.

Many times as we face our mountains, we just want to speak to it and have it be removed. Be gone in Jesus Name. But what if the Lord is not asking you to speak to that mountain, but to climb it? He has His reasons for both. In reality, neither are easy. Speaking to your mountain requires faith and fortitude until the mountain moves. Climbing the mountain requires faith and fortitude as well.

But the mountain of widowhood, is my mountain to climb. I can’t speak it away. It is my opportunity to journey with Him. Welcoming the views, enjoying His presence and learning His lessons are mine to embrace or reject. I could sit at the feet of this mountain in protest–I don’t want to climb, or I can trust His guidance. The fellowship of walking a path not of your own choosing (illness, divorce, financial struggles, or grief etc.) leads us to opportunities we would never go on our own. But the choice of how we walk the journey is ours. The journey is not always comfortable. It is not always easy. In fact, it usually isn’t. Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death. Neither option is easy–the speaking to nor the climbing, but both, when done in faith yield good fruits.

Father, I pray that you will help us discern how to approach our mountains. That we would appreciate and embrace the opportunity to see you move the mountains you ask us to speak to, or put on our climbing gear and conquer its heights. Either one, we need you and your presence. Thank you Father, for your grace for us. For every mountain climber, I ask you to give them patience, strength and mercy. I thank you for every lesson we will learn from you as we climb our mountain with You, In Jesus Name, Amen.

Faith and The Challenges of Walking in Unity

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves unified in the Spirit binding yourselves together iwth peace. For there is one body and one Spirit. Ephesians 4: 1-4

Reading Paul’s beautiful moving words of exhortation makes me want to say–yes, yes these are very good things. However, as I begin to really take them a part, I realize that these are also very challenging words. Even as I typed those words, “a prisoner for serving the Lord”, I realized he earned the right to encourage us to walk this way because of all the things he had gone through. When I was a teenager my parents took us on a trip to Europe. My father took us to the sight of Paul’s imprisonment in Rome. It was dark, cold and damp. Not a pleasant place at all. It was here he wrote this letter. So reading his reference to his imprisonment makes it real. The things he suffered for the Lord’s sake really does give him credibility and a platform to challenge us to stand taller in our walk with the Lord, and to “walk worthy of our calling”.

The challenge of walking in unity means we acknowledge the fact that we and the rest of the body of Christ are called by God. As we move closer to our US Elections, it will be increasingly challenging to fight for this unity. But if we can keep Paul’s wise words in mind and in action, the whole body will benefit. Walk humbly and gentle. Humility is not always easy to implement–especially when you feel you are right; adding gentleness is another aspect that often gets left out of our interactions with others. These admonitions are equally helpful when interacting with family and friends as well. Practicing being patient and learning to make allowances for one another’s faults because of your love can be a daily struggle. Oh, how I want others to make allowance for my faults, to give me the grace and understanding that I need; but do I do the same for others? Growing up into the maturity of Christ is understanding people are not perfect, nor will they be until the Lord comes. It is often easy to criticize those we don’t know–because we don’t really love them. I want to address my results driven friends. Do not let your focus on the “results” cause you to excuse these admonitions from the Lord through Paul. In the long run, you will see much more beneficial and fruitful results if you walk in these truths.

As Paul goes on the Ephesians 4 we discover his passion for unity even more. I want to encourage us all to ask the Lord to help you to learn to walk humbly with your God, in new measures. To learn to appreciate those different than yourselves, is a growing sign of maturity. We, as believers, are on display. It is a privilege and an honor to represent Jesus Christ, isn’t it?