Then Pie Is My Favorite Dessert!

For January 10, 2021
Over the past two months, much pie has been consumed during the truncated Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. For many of us, losing the weight we’ve gained from the various meals and celebrations—even though modified—is a perennial New Year’s resolution. Pie is a culprit! Although it is customary to have pie or any dessert following the meal, I tend to have it with the meal to be enjoyed simultaneously!

Speaking of pie, there are those who characterize the Christian faith as merely a “pie-in-the-sky” religion. To these people, all we Christians have is eternal bliss in Heaven. But we have nothing to look forward to receiving in this life. For them, God is dead and the Christian faith is irrelevant.

I beg to differ, because our Christian faith produces a life of abundance (John 10:10), which begins the moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord and it continues for all eternity. In fact, we who embrace the Christian faith have considerable treasures to gain in this life and the next,

The incentive to win is in the glorious perspective we have because we are “looking unto Jesus.” “Looking away from all else, looking at that which fills the heart.” We are going to run, not because of the prize at the end and not because so many illustrious saints have run the course in the past and have been gloriously crowned, but because the vision of Jesus thrills the soul.1

One of our most treasured possessions—given exclusively to Christians—is the gift of the Holy Spirit. He inhabits and keeps us through the good times of bliss as well as those unfortunate times of uncertainty. He never leaves or forsakes us; cheering our hearts with unspeakable love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control as Galatians 5:22—23 teaches.

Did someone say peace of mind? We Christians are blessed to have the Holy Spirit provide incredible peace of mind—even during uncertain moments—that provides us with comfort and fulfillment that never ends.

This alone, makes our Christian life more valuable than any commodity on the earth, and it certainly makes the Christian life worth living “in real-time” in 2021 as Jesus teaches,

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be (Matthew 6:19—21 NLT).

The joy He sustains within us is never whimsical. It is always at work within us to remind us of how the Lord supplies us with His incredible goodness and mercy every day.

As the Almighty God in Spirit, He is fully capable of purifying, revealing, strengthening, encouraging, and keeping us throughout our life’s journey. He is much more than just our Comforter who “seals” our redemption and secures our heavenly home. He gives us eternal life, direction, purpose, and meaning.

He secures our eternal life in Heaven where there is no more pain, sorrow, or disease and where all our wants, needs, and desires are satisfied in their fullest measure. There, we will thrive in the holy presence of our Lord, along with our departed loved ones, and those precious Saints who have gone before us in a blessed, sinless state of perfect innocence, peace, tranquility, and safety forever.

If all these are pie-in-the-sky, then pie is my favorite dessert. How about you?

What a Wonderful Savior!


Let The Redeemed Of The Lord Say So!

For January 3, 2021
2020 was a remarkable and most regrettable year with a global pandemic (hysteria vs fact), unlawful church shutdowns, business shutdowns and other intrusions on our personal freedoms; the politicization of medical treatment and vaccines, social, political, and racial unrest, the quest for political power and social activism by “any means necessary,” selective censorship by the media, escalation of senseless and brutal violence, and excessive government restrictions. When will it end?

Modernist who declare there is no God, insist that humanity is evolving for the better. Soon all people on earth will share in a perfect utopia where love, peace, and harmony will reign supreme.

Unfortunately, as 2020 proved most emphatically, we humans are not evolving for the better. Instead, we have an inherent “sin problem” that causes us to think, speak, and act in ways that are detrimental to others, for which there is no human remedy!

Human beings are morally and spiritually bankrupt. Thus, we will not become “good” people over time. Although sin is making us progressively worse and disqualifies us from eternal fellowship with our holy God, we can find comfort in the telling and encouraging words that have been spoken and sung for more than two-thousand years,

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,  And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in.  Hungry and thirsty, Their soul fainted in them. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses.  And He led them forth by the right way, That they might go to a city for a dwelling place. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness (Psalm 107:1—9 NKJV).

The Lord is good and His mercy endures forever. There is a blessed hope and bright future for those of us who understand and acknowledge our sin problem by recognizing that we “wander in the wilderness in a desolate way.”

In addition, our souls fainted in us because we were spiritually separated from God forever. We lived desperate lives on earth now, and we were subject to eternal torment in a fiery Hell later. Then, in desperation, we cried out to the Lord and He delivered us.

We who turn to Jesus Christ for mercy can experience His spiritual transformation as His Holy Spirit removes our sin problem forever while imparting within us the ability to think, speak, and act in ways that honor the Lord instead of the Enemy (Satan) to the benefit of others and ourselves.

Jesus Christ also supplies us with a new righteous standing before God which allows us eternal access to all that God has to offer to secure our well-being forever. He also gives us a new lifestyle that seeks His Kingdom and righteousness first and foremost. Then having been sealed by His Spirit, we have access to Heaven upon our death or at His triumphant and glorious return.

In spite of the sinful tendencies of this world and those who know not Christ, we who know the Lord have a blessed hope, an all-encompassing joy, a deep sustaining peace, and a bright eternal future that cannot be taken from us,

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:28,31,35—39).

We are the living testimonies of God’s goodness, grace, and mercy. He is faithful and will never break His promises or providence towards us. We can give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever; let the redeemed of the Lord say so.

What a Wonderful Savior!

Happy New Year!

For January 1, 2021
Today, people around the world will welcome a new year. With each successive year of the Gregorian Calendar, proposed in 1582 to compensate for the solar year drift of the Julian Calendar, which was instituted around 45   before the birth of Christ (B.C.), we note the time that has passed since the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The term B.C. is used to designate the time before the birth of Christ from the time after His birth, referred to as Anno Domini (A.D.), which is Latin for, “In the year of our Lord.” The time since Jesus’ birth is also referred to as the Common, Current, or Christian Era (C.E.).

Numbering these calendar years is appropriate for paying our respects to the most influential person in human history. In other words, this year, we acknowledge that two-thousand and twenty-one years have passed since the birth of Jesus Christ (although many scholars place His birth somewhere around 4 BC).

We make this distinction because only through Jesus Christ can we, as sin-scarred humans, be reconciled to our holy God. We benefit from Jesus’ atoning work, not by trying to perform good deeds, but by placing our faith in the redeeming works He still performs to God on our behalf.

      • His perfect life satisfies all God’s requirements for conformity to God’s holy Law.
      • His sacrificial death at Calvary remains our perfect sacrifice to absolve us from our sin.
      • Jesus’ resurrection secures God’s acceptance of His redeeming work; now we can have full confidence that He is our accepted way to God, and
      • His ascension, His Spirit, His intercession, and His glorious return provide all the spiritual graces we will ever need to fully experience His abundant life—now and forever.

The Lord promises to embrace us with His eternal power and providence when we surrender to Him. Then we can find the rest that completely satisfies and refreshes our eternal souls,

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28 NIV).

2020 was a difficult year for many. If you are looking for consolation, hope and a new beginning, let me suggest,

      • Others have failed you, so give your heart to Jesus Christ. He never fails!
      • Stop trusting in your human abilities alone. They are finite while God is infinite. Instead, turn to the Lord, and trust in Him completely.
      • Surrender to Jesus Christ so that you can experience and enjoy the fulfilling life of purpose, freedom, and victory He freely gives to all those who trust Him.

When our New Year’s resolutions are Christ centered and God honoring, He performs His perfect work in our hearts, minds, souls. Only then can we truly have a Happy New Year!

What a Wonderful Savior!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

For December 25, 2020
Christmas is my favorite time of the year. For on this special day, we honor the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who represents the greatest gift ever given or received.

More than two thousand years ago, in a Bethlehem manger, the Savior of the World was born. Although some may dispute His December 25th birthday, no one can prove that He could not have been born on that particular day either. Other than Scripture, we have no eye witnesses alive today to retell the story.

Any controversy concerning the Lord’s birthday is merely a distraction from the fact that He was born, and for some, the less focus on Christ, so much the better.

Nevertheless, He came to save humanity from sin, and to reconcile us to the Father. This is as the Angel of the Lord announces in Matthew 1:18—21 (NKJV),

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

We were broken—morally and spiritually—before our holy God, without remedy when God decided to cancel the sin debt we acquired from Adam and Eve, by becoming human and shedding His blood to wash away our sins forever. Thus, as Acts 4:12 tells us, there is no other name, besides Jesus Christ, under heaven by which we can obtain salvation (and receive God’s eternal favor as a result).

Just like the shepherds of old, we too can joyfully observe December 25th as eternally grateful recipients of God’s unspeakable gift of grace and mercy. For we now have unimpeded and eternal access to a holy and loving God through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Yes! On this day, we can be grateful for what the Lord is still doing around the world in the hearts and lives of untold numbers of people—ever since His first birthday.

What a wonderful Christmas present, and what a Wonderful Savior!

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Still No Room For Jesus!

For December 20, 2020
In Luke 2:7 (NKJV), we read these telling words,

“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

The world’s fate rested in the hands of two young travelers, Joseph and Mary, his espoused wife, who carried inside her the Savior of the world.

The Savior of the world is a title reserved for dignitaries. However, unlike the celebrities of today who travel with an entourage that provides for their very best, especially securing suitable four-star hotel accommodations.

Not so with our Lord Jesus Christ as there was no room for Him anywhere!

Fast forward two-thousand years, and this has not changed. There is still no room for Him in the public discourse as His teachings are “not relevant” for our modern world. For instance, no one wants to seek first His Kingdom and righteousness, or turn the other cheek when challenged, or love our enemies and our neighbors as we love ourselves, or provide aid to the widow, orphan, and downtrodden.

Instead, in today’s “me-centered” world, we clearly see the mantra: “Hang everybody else…I got to get paid!” being celebrated and perfected in the lives of young and old alike.

However, although we may seem to get by at times, we will never get away. There will be a day of reckoning when God’s righteous judgement will be served. Then, everyone will be required to account for his or her deeds—whether good of bad. Thus, Jesus Christ issues a warning for our proud, self-centered generation,

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? (Mark 8:34—37 NLT)

The Lord chooses foolish things to confound the wise and weak things to confound the strong. He also uses the lowborn and chooses the things that are insignificant to make nothing out of the things that are. (1 Corinthians 1:26ff). In this way, no one can boast except he or she boasts in the Lord alone.1

I praise the Lord for His precious remnant. Those who leave room for Jesus to reign in their hearts as well as in every phase of their human and social interaction. These courageous men, women, boys, and girls continually celebrate our King of Kings and Lord of Lords, because in Him alone, we can find redemption and peace with God.

As we turn our faith towards Him, making room for Him, we can experience all the joy and fulfillment this Christmas Season has to offer—now and forever!

What a Wonderful Savior!