Exploring a Potpourri of Biblical Ideas and Godly Living

Greetings once again friends! This is Episode 28 of the podcast. The title of this week’s episode is “Living Sacrifices.”

Today’s episode is Part V of the six-part series, “Studies in Romans: Saved by Grace, Powered by Love.”

Last week I shared the concept of the “Resident God” moving from the Wilderness Tabernacle to Solomon’s Temple to the re-built “Second” Temple to the Word in human flesh to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the heart of every believer. This provided the groundwork for understanding Paul’s teaching that followers of Jesus must live for his glory.

Today, we’ll move into the next few chapters where Paul talks about presenting our bodies as “living sacrifices” to God—which he says is our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1 KJV).

Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast at

But, as we begin, let’s glance back at the road we’ve traveled since the beginning of this series

  • Man is a sinner, saved by grace.
  • The just shall live by faith.
  • There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
  • If God is for us, who can be against us?
  • Nothing can separate us from God’s love.

Here is our base text for this study:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

You might want to open your Bible to that passage as we continue. Also, as we work our way through this study, keep in mind the theme we are following that . . . .

“The purpose of a temple is to glorify the deity that dwells within.”

So, Paul’s appeal to present our “bodies as a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God” is directly related to the Holy Spirit dwelling within our spiritual heart. God—in the person of the Holy Spirit—lives in YOU, the temple of His presence in the world today. You are the carrier of divine love into the streets of chaos, confusion, conflict, and crying needs. To that end you are His ambassador to those who do not yet understand the Kingdom of grace. You reveal God to the world through your life and conduct. As someone once said, “You may be the only Jesus someone ever sees.”

The second item in Paul’s appeal is for believers to “not be conformed to this world,” but to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2).

Again, what is the purpose this counsel? Paul is clear: “That you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” In other words, in order to rightly represent God (the Deity who dwells within our body temple) and His Kingdom, we need to experience an ongoing renewal of not only bodies, but also our mental abilities and our knowledge of His truth.

I’ll talk more about that in just a moment. Before we go there, however, we need to explore what Paul means when he says we need to be “transformed.”

To be “transformed” means we are changed from something we were previously into something new.

In electricity, for example, a transformer changes the voltage between an incoming circuit and an outgoing circuit. The power in lines servicing an entire region or community is far too strong for individual homes, or even industrial facilities. To be safe and useful it has to be reduced—changed—“transformed” into a lower energy level. At the appropriate strength for the local application the power can then be used as needed.

Paul says we must not be “conformed” to this world, but be “transformed” by the renewing of our minds.

To be “con-formed” to the world means we take on the ideas, attitudes, philosophies, and practices of social standards which often do not honor God.

Basically, what we could say is that conforming to the world is just doing what comes “naturally.” We are all born into Adam’s flesh. By nature we have a predisposition to self-centeredness—an orientation towards sinful thinking and sinful living.

But, when Christ comes into our lives—by our invitation and freewill choice—we become transformed over time more and more into the spiritual image of Jesus. Paul writes, We . . . are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).

As we are transformed we become conformed to the be like Jesus. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be *conformed to the likeness of his Son*” (Romans 8:29).

The transformation of our character entails two parts—God’s part, and our part.

God’s part is His provision for salvation and redemption—the gift of eternal life—to every son and daughter of Adam.

Our part is (a) to believe His promise, (b) accept His gift, and (c) act on our belief in faith.

That is the beginning. Following our conversion we enter a life-long journey of growing in God’s grace through the renewal of our minds. To that end we need to study, learn, and expand our knowledge of God and His Kingdom of love and grace.

Here are some practical admonishments from Paul to the Roman believers to help them in their daily journey of growing in grace (See Romans 12:9-21):

  1. Really love others – don’t just pretend to love them.
  2. Hate what is wrong.
  3. Hold tightly to what is good.
  4. Love each other with genuine affection.
  5. Take delight in honoring each other.
  6. Don’t be lazy.
  7. Work hard.
  8. Serve the Lord enthusiastically.
  9. Rejoice in hope.
  10. Be patient in trouble.
  11. Keep on praying
  12. Be eager to practice hospitality
  13. Bless those who persecute you.
  14. Pray that God will bless your persecutors.
  15. Rejoice with those who rejoice.
  16. Weep with those who weep.
  17. Live in harmony with each other.
  18. Enjoy the company of ordinary people
  19. Never pay back evil for evil.
  20. Act honorably in everything you do or say.
  21. Live in peace with everyone as much as possible.
  22. Never take revenge.
  23. Feed your enemies if they are hungry.
  24. Give your enemies something to drink if they are thirsty.
  25. Don’t let evil conquer you.
  26. Conquer evil by doing good.

WOW! What an incredible list is that! At least 26 commands from Paul in 13 verses—I may possibly have missed a couple, too!

What we see here is Paul teaching the Roman believers—and us—how we need to conduct our lives so that the Deity who dwells within our body temple will be glorified!

I can’t help but think of the many, many stories of individuals through the centuries whose lives testify of God’s transforming power. Not only people whose lives are mentioned or detailed in the Bible, but also countless saints from the time of Christ until now.

In the New Testament story, Paul himself was changed from persecuting, self-righteous Pharisee to an ambassador of grace and God’s agápe love.

Peter was changed from the impetuous, rough fisherman to a powerful preacher of hope, and a humble counselor of faithful courage.

James and John were changed from “sons of thunder” to peaceful advocates for truth in loving relationships.

There are dozens of others, of course whose stories could be cited. In addition, over the course of 20 centuries since the time of Jesus, literally millions of lives around the world have been changed—transformed—by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.

And, by the grace of God, I also can add my name to that list.

In my younger years my life was a stream of continuous hypocrisy. In Revelation 3:9 Jesus has a scathing rebuke for those who make a profession of being something they are not. That was me. I look back on those years now in shame. How grateful I am for the love, acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness of God!

God described Himself to Moses, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and sin” (Exodus 34:6).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3).

Through the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence, we can move from shame-based living to grace-based living. In our body-temple, as priests of the new covenant, we can represent man to God through intercessory prayer, and we can represent God to man by living godly lives for His glory, and by serving the needs of others in the Name of Jesus.

And, that’s really no sacrifice at all.


Thank you so much for listening today! I pray you have been blessed.

I hope you can join me for next week’s episode. I’ll share Part VI—the concluding episode—of this special six-part series on the Book of Romans. Next week’s title is “The Kingdom of God.” In that study we’ll explore Paul’s teaching in Romans 14-16 as he finishes writing to the church in the heart of the empire.

Be sure to tune in, and invite someone else to listen with you!

If you enjoy these Podcasts and Blogposts, please do share the links with your friends, family, or whomever! My many thanks—in advance!

God bless.

Greetings once again friends! This is Episode 27 of the podcast. The title of this week’s episode is “Romans, Part IV: Living for Jesus.”

Today’s episode is Part IV of the six-part series, “Studies in Romans: Saved by Grace, Powered by Love.”

Last week we explored the Apostle Paul’s teaching on God as the Master Bridge-builder, spanning the gap between fallen man and himself. We also saw how we as believers are also called to build bridges of healthy relationships with others so we can bring unsaved people to Jesus.

Today, we’ll move into the next few chapters where Paul talks about living the Christian life as witnesses to the grace of God.

Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast at

In summary for our series to this point, here are a few notes:

All human beings are sinners—but are fully justified by God’s amazing grace.

Justification (i.e. “righteousness) is accounted to all who believe and receive God’s gift of new life in Christ.

Love builds bridges. Jesus is our “bridge” to God the Father. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God [the Father] made [Christ] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

By accepting God’s gift of righteousness by faith, we are “born again” into God’s family. We become citizens of His heavenly Kingdom, and are commissioned as ambassadors for His Kingdom of love and grace.

With those basic truths in mind, let’s dive a little deeper into how all this works. To fulfill our incredible role as ambassadors—God’s witnesses—we must draw wisdom, power, and courage from His abiding presence in our very lives, empowering us to serve and accomplish His the purposes He ordains.

The Resident God

Consider the idea of a “Resident God.”

In the drama of the biblical Exodus, as God meets with Moses on Mt. Sinai, the Lord tells him, “Let them (the Israelites) make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8).

“Jeba Musa”
The Traditional Mt. Sinai
The Wilderness Tabernacle

Let’s stop for a moment and think about the enormity of that instruction. Here we have YHWH, the Great God of all Creation, instructing human beings to prepare a tent home for Him because He wants to live next door! Incredible! The Maker and Ruler of the entire Universe says He wants to camp right in the middle of all the tents in the Israelite campsite! He gives specific instructions for materials to be used, dimensions, visiting hours, and priestly responsibilities. There are specific—and rigid—requirements for the neighborhood like cleanliness, order, etc., but the message is clear: God wants to be near His chosen people, and the best way to do that in this moment is live in a tent with them in their city of tents.

Fast-forward a few hundred years. The wilderness tabernacle still serves as the meeting place between God and Israel. But, as with all material things, the 400-year-old tent is looking pretty tattered, simply because it’s been around for a long, long time.

King David gets an idea: Build a permanent temple as God’s house! Of course, as we read Old Testament history, we know that it was David’s son, King Solomon, who was able to fulfill his father’s dream. The scenes describing the dedication of “Solomon’s Temple” in 1 Kings 8 tell of God’s entrance into the holy place:

“And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.”

1 Kings 8:10-11

Now, instead of a tent-home the Lord has a permanent “house” in which to live among His people.

An Artist’s Rendition of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem

Sadly, over the next few centuries the people fell into apostasy, and YHWH abandoned the Jerusalem temple. He allowed the pagan Babylonians to attack and destroy the city—including the temple—and remove most of the population away from their “promised land.”

In God’s providence, however, Jerusalem was rebuilt, and another temple constructed. And, once again the “resident God” graciously recognized the heart’s desire of those who built it out of their love, dedication, and sacrifice. It wasn’t as ornate or physically more glorious than Solomon’s temple, but God promised this second temple would be more blessed than the first.

That promise was fulfilled in the person of Jesus who walked in this temple and ministered in its precincts. But, in fact, as we look at Jesus we discover that God is moving ever closer to us.

John writes, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Jesus of Nazareth was, in fact, the Word—the Second Person of the Godhead—in human flesh. Now, instead of merely living in a tent next door, or in a temple built with hands, the I AM has moved into Adam’s flesh and blood. He has become one of us, not just a divine neighbor, but an actual member of our race!

But wait! There’s more!

In Romans 8:9 Paul indicates that the Spirit of God “dwells in you.” The “resident God” takes up residence—by the presence of the Holy Spirit—in the heart of every believer!

When writing to the Colossian church, Paul also speaks of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

Thus, we can witness the progression of God’s “residence” with Adam’s race—from the wilderness tabernacle, to the temples in Jerusalem, to the person of Jesus present among us, to the Holy Spirit living and dwelling in the heart of every believer.

Because of this, Paul accurately describes our bodies as temples.

“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

The Purpose of a Temple

From this teaching by Paul, we can understand a rather obvious truth:

The Purpose of a Temple
is to
Glorify the Deity
that dwells within

Peter elaborates on this metaphor in his first epistle: “You . . . as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).

I really like the way this verse is rendered in the New Living Translation: “You are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God” (1 Peter 2:5 NLT).

The “spiritual sacrifices” Peter is talking about is the testimony/record of our life as followers of Jesus.

Back to Romans, Paul says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes . . . For in [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’” (Romans 1:16-17).

Let’s break down what Paul means.

The just shall live by faith.”

Who are “the just?” They are all who believe and receive God’s promise.

“The just shall live by faith.”

Paul’s message here is that believers will live pro-actively engaged with the world around them vs. reactively. They will touch the lives of others with God’s love whenever possible instead of allowing “the world” to control their thoughts, words, or actions.

“The just shall live by faith.

Faith is an integral part of life. You cannot NOT have faith. Where you place your faith determines your life.

Let’s talk some more about living for Jesus by faith. Paul has a lot to say about this in chapters 6-8.

(6:8) Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.

(6:13-14) Present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God, for sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

(8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

(8:11) If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

(8:31) If God is for us, who can be against us?

(8:38) 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.

The words of an old hymn seem to fit perfectly as we bring today’s episode to a close.

Living for Jesus
Thomas O. Chisolm (1917)

Living for Jesus, a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do,
Yielding allegiance glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me!

O Jesus, Lord and Savior,
I give myself to Thee,
For Thou in Thine atonement,
Didst give Thyself for me.
I own no other master,
My heart shall be Thy throne!
My life I give henceforth to live
O Christ, for Thee alone.

Thank you so much for listening today! I pray you have been blessed.

I hope you can join me for next week’s episode. I’ll share Part V of this special six-part series on the Book of Romans. Next week’s title is “Living Sacrifices.” In that study we’ll explore Paul’s teaching in Romans 12:1 where he writes, “I beseech you therefore brethern, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

Be sure to tune in, and invite someone else to listen with you!

If you enjoy these Podcasts and Blogposts, please do share the links with your friends, family, or whomever! My many thanks—in advance!

God bless.

Greetings once again friends! This is Episode 26 of the podcast. The title of this week’s episode is “Romans, Part III: Love Can Build a Bridge.”

Today’s episode is Part III of the six-part series, “Studies in Romans: Saved by Grace, Powered by Love.”

Last week we explored the Apostle Paul’s teaching on Righteousness by Faith. Today, we’ll move into the next few chapters where Paul gives clear, practical guidelines for the believers in Rome. The Christian life is not abstract theology unconnected with life, but it has practical implications that will affect how we choose to behave each day. It is not enough merely to know the gospel; we must let it transform our life and let God impact every aspect of our lives. (This paragraph adapted from the NLT Life Application Bible introduction to Romans.)

Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast at

Let’s begin today with a quick review.

In the first two parts of this series we read Paul’s description of the sinful state of man. Because we are born into Adam’s flesh, every one of us is sinful and doomed to destruction. However, Paul also states that in Christ, God has forgiven us, and all are justified in His eyes. The righteousness of Christ is accounted to all who believe and accept God’s gracious gift of full justification. The covenant of salvation is complete when both parties are in agreement. God has already finished and made known his part–every descendant of Adam and Eve is already fully justified in the eyes of heaven, but each individual must consent to receive the freedom offered by the gospel for him/herself. God won’t insist on saving someone who simply does not want to be saved, but chooses instead to live for self, rejecting the offer of grace and forgiveness.

We finished last week with Paul’s summary statement, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand” (Romans 5:1-2).

Today we’ll talk about God as the “bridge builder” who spans the gap between himself and us.

There is an ancient legend among the Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest. The Klickitat people in SW Washington State tell stories of the Great Spirit “Tyhee Saghalie” and his two sons Pahto and Wy’east who settled in the beautiful country of the Cascade Mountains, both north and south of the Columbia River. Tyhee Saghalie built a huge land bridge across the river so the families of his sons could visit with each other.

In time, both Pahto and Wy’east fell in love with the same beautiful maiden, Loowit, but Loowit could not choose between the brothers. This resulted in a time of terrible warfare between the tribes. Entire villages and forests were destroyed, and the earth shook so violently that the bridge across the river chasm collapsed, creating an earthen dam, the remains of which can still be seen today near the town of Cascade Locks, about 40 miles east of Portland, Oregon.

In 1926, the Wauna Toll Bridge Company completed and opened a steel-framed, cantilever bridge at the site of the ancient landslide. The modern “Bridge of the Gods” is now owned and operated by the Port of Cascade Locks. I have crossed this bridge many times. My mother first told me of the Native American story, and pointed out the nearby mountain features known as the legendary Bridge of the Gods.

And oh, by the way, according the the Klickitat story-tellers, because the brothers Pahto and Wy’east couldn’t stop fighting, Tyhee Saghalie turned them into volcanic mountains. Pahto became Mt. Adams to the north of the river, and Wy’east became Mt. Hood to the south. The lovely Loowit became Mt. St. Helens, and until the great eruption on May 18, 1980 she was the most beautiful of all the volcanic peaks in the Cascade range.

(AKA “Mt. Hood”)
(AKA “Mt. St. Helens”)
Pre-May 18, 1980
(AKA “Mt Adams”)
Modern Day Bridge of the Gods
Columbia River
Cascade Locks, Oregon

Well, perhaps it’s not too much of a stretch to use this old Native American legend to illustrate the condition of all the human race in our separation from God, the Creator, and from each other. Wars and conflicts dominate the entire history of humanity. Someone said the history of civilization is the history of war with occasional outbreaks of peace. Alienation from others is the natural fruit of self-centered hearts and selfish motives. It seems that regardless of countless attempts to form a lasting peace for our world, the best we can accomplish is never good enough. Inevitable conflicts erupt like volcanoes, spewing devastation and death everywhere.

The Old Testament prophet Isaiah wrote, “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear you” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

It’s quite obvious we need some bridges to restore the life-giving connections we all need—not only with each other, but also with God.

Sinful man (Adam) cannot bridge the gap. Our only hope for permanent restoration of relationships—both with God and our fellowman—must come from outside.

The Apostle Paul told the Roman believers just how God accomplished this for all of Adam’s race.

“When we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. . . . When we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:6-11).

A few verses later Paul adds, “Just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men” (Romans 5:18).

From all of this we can see that God is the Master Bridge-builder. Jesus told the Pharisee Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

When we accept God’s gracious invitation to join-up with him and his cause on earth, he gives us a new assignment for our new, eternal life that begins immediately.

“You are my witnesses,” says the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he. Before me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after me” (Isaiah 43:10).

Paul makes that assignment even more clear in 2 Corinthians 5. In verse 18 he states that we each have been given the “ministry of reconciliation.” A couple of verses later (verse 20) he narrows the role even more: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors.”

We, then, are ambassadors—representatives—of the Kingdom of God even while we continue living in this present world. God’s kingdom is a kingdom of love, forgiveness, and acceptance. It is a kingdom of peace—both inner peace and in all our outward relationships insomuch as it is possible to “live at peace” with everyone around us. (See Romans 12:18). I’ll talk more about this in upcoming episodes of the podcast.

For now, let’s simply note that we are called to build bridges of understanding, bridges of peace, bridges of forbearance, and bridges of grace between ourselves and others, and to be the mediator of peace between others and God whenever we can.

To that end, Paul makes this amazing statement at the end of 2 Corinthians 5, “God made [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (v.21).

How do we become the “righteousness of God”? By yielding our old sin-laden selves in exchange for the new life in Christ. In doing so, we then become the hands, the feet, the body of Christ on earth, commissioned with one task: work for the reconciliation of every soul with the Creator of all, and thus build up the eternal Kingdom of God.

Thank you so much for listening today! I pray you have been blessed.

I hope you can join me for next week’s episode. I’ll share Part IV of this special six-part series on the Book of Romans. Next week’s title is “Living for Jesus.” In that study we’ll explore somewhat more in depth what it means to be a “bridge builder,” following the example of Jesus who became “the bridge” to the Father for us.

Be sure to tune in, and invite someone else to listen with you! I’ll explore the next few chapters in Paul’s epistle where he writes about sharing our faith in our present world. I’m excited to share these incredible truths of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

If you enjoy these Podcasts and Blogposts, please do share the links with your friends, family, or whomever! My many thanks—in advance!

God bless.

Greetings once again friends! This is Episode 25 of the podcast. Today’s episode is Part II of the six-part series, “Studies in Romans: Saved by Grace, Powered by Love.”

Today’s title is “Righteousness by Faith.”

Last week we explored the first three chapters of Romans where the Apostle Paul described the utterly depraved condition of all people, regardless of their ethnic heritage or genetic background.

Today, we’ll move into the next few chapters as Paul points his readers—and us—to the one and only hope for Adam’s race: the sacrifice of Jesus Christ by which he makes atonement for our sins, and opens the door to eternal life for any individual who chooses to accept it.

Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast at

Let’s start with a quick review.

In Romans 3:10 and 3:23, Paul categorically declares that every son and daughter of Adam’s race—whether Jew or Gentile—is born in sin, steeped in sin, and not one single person is naturally righteous in his/her own right.

However, Paul also states unequivocally that every individual—Jew or Gentile, male of female, slave or free—has already been justified—made right with God—through the blood of Jesus Christ. (See John 3:24 and Galatians 3:28).

That text in Galatians says, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (NLT).

The complete spiritual justification Paul teaches is offered to everyone who will choose to believe the promise of God.

“By deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe” (Romans 3:21-22).

Now, let’s clearly understand this: “Righteousness” *assumes compliance* with God’s Law!

At the very end of Romans, chapter 3, Paul forcefully makes this point: “There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law” (Romans 3:30-31 NLT).

Here’s an undeniable truth factor: God has already made known his position in this equation. He has declared everyone justified in his sight by the blood of Jesus. However, the equation—the transaction if you will—cannot be complete without your personal choice. One of God’s irrevocable gifts to all mankind is the absolute freedom of moral choice for every individual. Thus, we can say without question, your faith is revealed by your choices, and your choices will be revealed by your outward actions. As the old folk-proverb says, “Actions speak louder than words.”

To underscore this vital truth, here are several verses from Paul located a few chapters later:

“Since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. . . . Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.

“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. . . . But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:15-23 NLT).

So, what does this look like in real life, in the “nitty-gritty” “rubber-meets-the-road” existence of our daily routines?

The answer lies in another base-line question: “How do you treat people?”

Take a look at Galatians 5:19-25.

“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”

Reading these words from the Apostle Paul pulls the picture into sharp focus. The essence of sin is self-centered indulgence, whereas the heart of righteousness inspired by the presence of the Holy Spirit is others-centered and self-sacrificing. I particularly love verse 24, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there!”

In another passage Paul specifies what was nailed to the cross.

“God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them in the cross” (Colossians 2:13b-15).

Thus we can see by reading these two statements by Paul together, our standing as “righteous” before God involves two actions. First, what God has already done in our behalf (nailing the record of our sins and sinfulness to the cross), and second, our response to God’s action (acceptance), consenting for those sins to be removed from both our life and our life record. Yielding the “passions and desires” of our sinful nature effectively “nails them to the cross,” yielding a new life in Christ energized by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

Which brings us to this precious promise: Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

All of this, of course—purity, righteousness, a new life in Christ, freedom from sin’s dominance, and freedom from guilt—all of this becomes reality for us by faith!

In the Old Testament, Abraham—who was called the father of the faithful—provides a great example. Paul cites Abraham’s experience with these words in Romans 4:13, “For the promise that he would be heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”

Then, Paul says this a few verses later: “[The promise of imputed righteousness is] also for us!” (Romans 4:24)

“Imputed” righteousness means that God “puts” the righteousness of Christ into our spiritual heart.

And, with that, Paul makes an amazing conclusion for this portion of his letter to the church in Rome. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).

So, once again we come to a point where we have opportunity to choose either to believe these incredible promises, or just let them pass and go on about living life as we think we want to. Choosing either way produces outward action, so choosing to believe God’s promises and the good news of the gospel will inevitably produce the fruit of obedient service for God’s kingdom.

By his grace, and through power of the indwelling Spirit, we can live outward lives of righteousness—that is, “right living”—that will honor God and bring hope, healing, encouragement, and blessing to other people within our circles of influence.

Thank you so much for listening today! I pray you have been blessed.

I hope you can join me for next week’s episode. I’ll share Part III of this special six-part series on the Book of Romans. Next week’s title is “Love Can Build a Bridge.” Be sure to tune in, and invite someone else to listen with you! I’ll explore the next few chapters in Paul’s epistle where he writes about sharing our faith in our present world. I’m excited to share this incredible truth of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

If you enjoy these Podcasts and Blogposts, please do share the links with your friends, family, or whomever! My many thanks—in advance!

God bless.

Greetings once again friends! This is Episode 24 of the podcast. The title of this week’s episode is “Romans, Part I: State of Man.

In today’s episode, I am beginning a six-part series for the podcast under an overall, umbrella title, “Studies in Romans: Saved by Grace, Powered by Love.”

Today, we’ll begin with a quick introduction to both the series, and the Book of Romans itself. Then explore Paul’s message to the Roman believers in the first three chapters.

Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast at

So, first off, here are the titles of each episode of the series as we move through the book:

  • Episode I, “State of Man”
  • Episode II, “Righteousness by Faith”
  • Episode III, “Love Can Build a Bridge”
  • Episode IV, “Living for Jesus”
  • Episode V, “Living Sacrifices”
  • Episode VI, “The Kingdom of God”

I hope you will be able to tune in to listen or read each of these episodes in the coming weeks. If you miss one, of course, you can always go back and listen to it at your convenience. Or, you may want to review a point I share later just to get a better understanding of Paul’s teaching. At any rate, I do hope, and pray, that the thoughts I present in this series with inspire you to make your own “deep dive” into Paul’s teachings in Romans. This letter to the Christian believers in Rome carries the core of New Testament theology more completely than any other single book. It is Paul’s greatest theological legacy for the church throughout all subsequent eras and ages. And, it is absolutely vital for our spiritual journey today.

Please pause with me for a moment as we ask God’s blessing on our study today, and throughout the course of this series.

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for all you do for us. Thank you for the messages of love and grace you send to us in the pages of the Bible, the written Word of God. And thank you for the ministry of Paul the Apostle who wrote this letter to the believers in Rome. Please guide our minds and teach us the things you want us to know as we work our way through this little series of Studies in Romans which I have titled, “Saved by Grace; Powered by Love.”

In Jesus Name, amen.

Paul’s epistle to the Romans was probably written around A.D. 56-57, but no later than A.D. 59. The earliest extant—that is still existing—manuscripts of Romans comes from about A.D. 200. Church historians and biblical manuscript scholars all agree that there is ample evidence supporting the authenticity of the text as we know it.

Paul wrote his letter to the Romans to introduce himself to the church there. He intended to stop there en route to Spain, to get acquainted with the local believers, and perhaps to raise funds for continuing his journey.

The Roman church was a mixture of Christian Jews and Roman believers. Paul had got wind of a major controversy brewing among them, and he needed to present the truths of the true gospel of Jesus.

The big issue was, “How can anyone be right with God on the final Day of Judgment?” In addressing this question, Paul’s one overriding purpose was to exalt Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah—the savior for all mankind, whether Jew or gentile.

With all that, let’s begin.

After a brief introduction of himself as the writer of the letter, Paul addresses the letter to his intended recipients:

“To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:7-8).

Before moving away from this first introductory verse, let’s ask a question:

Who are the believers “in Rome?”

Of course, I’ve already spoken of the Jewish Christians—probably individuals who had traveled from Rome to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, and while there they witnessed the testimony of Jesus’s disciples as they proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus, empowered by the fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (You can read about this experience in Acts:2).

There were also gentile believers—Romans, Greeks, etc.—who had received the report of the people returning from Jerusalem with the incredible story of Jesus as the Messiah, the Savior for the entire world. These gentiles had believed the report, and were part of the Roman church.

But, beyond that, in a certain sense of the word, we are all “in Rome,” meaning that we are all sinners, we are all “in the world.”

However, in Paul’s opening greeting he says that grace and peace are extend to ALL from God the Father and from Jesus. Grace and peace are sent to everyone, because everyone is “loved by God,” and all are called to be God’s “saints.”

(By the way, a “saint” in scripture is simply one who believes in God, and has accepted His promise of eternal life in the righteousness of Christ.)

A few verses later in chapter 1, before outlining the sinful nature of all humanity, Paul presents the promise of the gospel.

“The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

It’s a good thing Paul lays that foundation of good news before he continues. In the next few passages he “pulls no punches” in describing the sinful state of all humanity.

“They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, breed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:29-32 NIV).

No one is righteous

Paul continues his description of the sinful state of all humanity all the way deep into chapter 3, showing that Jews and gentiles are all in the same basket: All are sinners in rebellion against God and his law.

“There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Now, far too often preachers read these texts and stop short of what follows. It seems we need to emphasize the sinful depravity of all human beings so people will know how bad they really are. Maybe that will motivate people to “get their act together” and live a more respectable life among their fellow humans.

Not likely!

Here’s what the preachers miss: Verse 24 is a continuation of verse 23, and contains the most wonderful promise from God.

Here is the core truth of God’s gospel of grace!

“(23) All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Dear friend, that is the what we must keep remembering and sharing about the state of man and the infinite love of God that pours his grace into our lives.

The same individuals who are identified as reprobate sinners (“all”) in verse 23, are the exact same people who are declared “justified freely by [God’s] grace” through the “redemption that came by Christ Jesus” in verse 24!

For those of you with a linguistic bent, the word “all” is the antecedent for both of the identities that follow: “all” have sinned; “all” are justified freely by his grace!

That does not mean—or imply—that everyone will be saved. It simply means that in God’s eyes everyone is already forgiven, justified, and qualified for heaven. However, although God wants to save every individual of Adam’s race, he knows that it hinges on the freewill choice he gave and guaranteed to each of us. We are not compelled to accept his free gift of forgiveness and justification. We can still choose the way of life or the way of darkness. It is up to each person to make that choice for him/herself.

Here are four spiritual steps you may take to receive God’s promised gift of eternal life:

  1. Understand that God loves you. Jesus told a man named Nicodemus, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
  2. You are a sinner. We read earlier from Romans 3:10 and 3:23 that everyone is counted as a sinner. We all have fallen short of God’s ideal for us—by our own choice—and thus, as sinners, we all deserve to be separated from God, who is the source of life itself, and thus experience eternal death.
  3. However, all is not lost! Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, gave His life as a redemption for us—while we were still sinners! (See Romans 5:8). Recognizing this ultimate gift of Jesus who exchanged his life for our death opens the way for us to enter into life.
  4. We enter eternal life by accepting and receiving God’s gift. This is simply the opening of our heart to God’s Spirit, letting go of our natural spirit of rebellion and self-centered desires and practices, and allowing God’s Spirit to take up residence in our spiritual heart.

If you have not already done so, I’m inviting you today, right now, to take that final step. Accept Jesus as your personal Savior, and let him be Lord of your life. I can tell you from my personal experience, taking this step was the beginning of a life-long journey of fulfillment and growth in grace. From that moment until this very day, I have known a deep peace that surpasses frustration, sadness, loss, grief, disappointment, and anger. I can say with full assurance, God will always be with you to encourage, guide, provide, and lead.

Are you ready to enter into life today? If so, please bow your head with me right now and say this simple prayer:

“Dear Father in heaven, I confess that I am a sinner in need of your forgiveness. I accept your free gift of eternal life by accepting Jesus as my personal Savior. Just now, I open my spiritual heart to your Holy Spirit, and invite Him to live in me to lead me in the way of life eternal. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Thank you so much for listening today! I pray you have been blessed.

I hope you can join me for next week’s episode. I’ll share Part II of this special six-part series on the Book of Romans. Next week’s title is “Romans, Part II: Righteousness by Faith.” Be sure to tune in, and invite someone else to listen with you! I’ll explore those next few chapters in Paul’s epistle where he details the basis and experience of living by faith in our present world. I’m excited to share this incredible truth of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

If you enjoy these Podcasts and Blogposts, please do share the links with your friends, family, or whomever! My many thanks—in advance!

God bless.

Greetings once again friends! This is Episode 23 of the podcast. The title of this week’s episode is “My Seven Essential Daily Prayers.”

In today’s episode, I’ll be sharing some thoughts from the introduction of this book I wrote a couple of years ago about my journey into a new experience in my prayer life. As this podcast/blogpost goes out, I will be praying that each listener/reader will be blessed and inspired to a deeper walk with God through prayer.

(For information on obtaining a copy of My Seven Essential Prayers, click on the picture for a link to my “author page” on

Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast at

Prayer has always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my mother taught me to “talk to Jesus” every night when she tucked me into bed. I grew up attending church, and early on I was often asked to lead our church youth group in prayer. At home, our family paused to pray before every meal three times a day. My turn to “say grace” at the table happened regularly.

The idea of prayer was such an integral part of our lives that I didn’t think very much about it. That changed when I was about half-way through my teenage years.

One night when I was sixteen, I had a hard time settling down for the night. I tossed and turned on my bed for an hour or more, but sleep wouldn’t come. Everyone else was already chasing dreamland fantasies, but not me. Our big old farmhouse was lighted only by faint moonlight streaming through the windows. Everything was quiet—except for the heavy breathing of my slumbering family.

I often went for nighttime walks, so on that night when sleep wouldn’t come it was not unusual for me to get up, get dressed, and head out the back door. I glanced up at the clear sky and shining moon and began walking along a lane that led to the fields of our farm. It was a beautiful night, a cool evening with a gentle, almost imperceptible breeze.

Out there, under the moon and stars, I began to talk with God.

I was no stranger to prayer, but this time was different. God was talking to me! There was no physical presence I could touch with my hands, but I could truly feel Him walking beside me. There were no audible words—except mine—but I knew when He spoke to my heart.

I gazed up into the star-studded sky.

“Jesus,” I said, “tonight I accept you as my personal Savior and invite you to be Lord of my life. I open my heart’s door to you. Please come into my heart and live in me!”

In all the years of religion through my childhood and youth, never once had I taken this step. But that night, alone on that dusty lane under the moon and stars, that prayer became an anchoring milestone in my spiritual journey.

“Lord, what do you want me to do with my life?” I asked.

At that moment I heard God’s voice inviting me to a lifetime of Christian ministry. The compass of my life was reset to highways and byways I could never have imagined. Now, six decades later, I look back with amazement. On that dusty road my first baby steps of personal faith began a journey that continues even to this day.

In June 2011 I retired from 40 years of pastoral ministry.

I didn’t know it that evening when I walked that moonlit path, but—looking back—I can see God’s hand at work, leading, guiding, and empowering my walk with Him—and teaching me new lessons in prayer all along the way.

By early December after retiring, I had decided to reconnect with my blue-collar roots by leasing out my Dodge Ram pickup truck to deliver fifth-wheel RVs and travel trailers from factories to dealerships for their market. I genuinely enjoyed my “owner-operator” status in this tiny niche of the trucking industry. The job involved many, many miles of driving—and many hours of solitary reflection—as I traveled the highways of The United States and Canada. I was blessed to see some incredibly beautiful places, and I often found myself praising God all for the beauty of His Creation.

On the trail delivering a travel trailer to the Los Angeles basin

But the devil was out there on the road with me, too. At times during those long hours of getting from one place to another, I found my mind wandering into unhealthy areas of imagination. I knew that indulging in impure thoughts would sow bitter seeds of tragic loss in my spiritual experience and could inevitably destroy everything I held dear if I allowed them to grow. The fruit would be bitter, indeed. There’s no way I wanted to go there!

The only recourse I had was prayer. I spoke right out loud—right there in the cab of my truck—traveling sixty-miles-per-hour on the freeway, with a 38’ fifth-wheel trailer behind me.

“Lord,” I cried, “I want purity in my mind! I don’t want these evil thoughts. I reject them, and I pray for the purity that only you can give!”

To my utter amazement, immediately my thoughts were freed from the devil’s trap, and I could focus once again on healthy, life-building matters.

Over the next several months that simple prayer for purity expanded with several more. I began adding “righteousness in my heart,” and “integrity for my life” every time another tempting thought would rear its ugly head. And each time, God graciously delivered me by removing those errant, dark imaginations and replacing them with hope, peace, and light.

Eventually, I began to sense that God was taking me into a new journey I never anticipated. Those basic three prayers—purity, righteousness, and integrity— were joined by another four: “joy for my spirit,” “strength for my body,” “wisdom for my counsel,” and “to be a godly influence in the world.” These seven became my personal “essential daily prayers.” Of course, my prayers are never restricted to those seven only, but they are where I still begin my day, every day. I cannot survive spiritually without making this vital connection with God.

Witnessing the progressive growth and development of this journey has been wonderfully exciting. I have presented my experience and the ideas of My Seven Essential Daily Prayers series in live devotionals, and numerous sermons. And, if God opens the door for it, I’d love to develop a retreat-type seven-session seminar for “My Seven Essential Daily Prayers.”

My deepest prayer of all, however, is that every reader of these pages might find a rich personal walk with God, a vibrant spiritual journey, an abiding hunger for purity and righteousness, and to be filled with the Creator’s Agápe love.

Now, what I want to do is share a small summary of each of the seven prayers I write about in the book.

  1. “Purity in My Mind.” Because I recognize my imperfection and natural sinful inclinations, I must pray for purity as a gift from God, brought to me through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Purity is the soil in which God’s agápe love flourishes. Agápe love is unconditional and unbroken, and this was commanded by Jesus to his followers that they love [agápe) one another. We cannot generate this from our own choices. It must come as a gift from the source of love–God himself.
  2. “Righteousness in My Heart.” In the list of beatitudes given by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (v. 6). The spiritual “heart” is the seat of our wants and desires–the place of our innermost cravings. Since I truly desire the infilling promised by Jesus, in this prayer I open my life to him to create that hunger and thirsting I need.
  3. “Integrity in My Life.” Integrity involves both character and competence. My sinful nature wants to compromise for imagined short-term self-centered gain without the necessary investment of time and effort to do the right thing honestly and transparently. Only the Holy Spirit living in and through me can accomplish the goals of serving others with true excellence which will rightly represent Him.
  4. “Joy in My Spirit.” The Bible tells us “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). So, if I want the strength only God can give me, I need to have the joy in my spirit which only He can give. Thus, I pray for His joy to fill my spirit every day!
  5. “Strength for My Body.” Our body actually belongs to God since He created it. We are stewards (i.e. “caretakers”) of our physical being, and as such we should care for it as faithful stewards, living as much as possible to achieve the best health we can. Healthy living is God’s ideal for us, not to work our way into His good graces, but as a testimony of His amazing love (agápe) and grace. Praying for (physical) strength is good, but we must not work against God’s answers to our prayers by unhealthful practices.
  6. “Wisdom for My Counsel.” Once again citing the Apostle Paul, “Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:22-24). This prayer (#6 in my list) is simply to have the Cross of Christ as the heart of every communication–spoken or unspoken–that comes from my life.
  7. “To Be a Godly Influence in the World.” To live in this world is to bear influence in the lives around us. The question, then, is what kind of influence will it be? Will it encourage “godly” living (i.e. “”wholesome,” “morally upright,” “positive,” etc.), or will it contribute to the moral decline of those it touches? As I look back on my life, I see innumerable times when my influence was anything but helpful to someone else’s spiritual health. (“God, forgive me!”) Titus 2:12 says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.”

I hope all this doesn’t blow you away! Writing this book was not an attempt to sway others to my way of thinking on any of these points. Nor was it an attempt to just “sell a lot of books” (as if, that is ever going to happen! LOL). Instead, it is part of my testimony of how the Lord has been working in my life, ever since my very young years. A believer’s testimony cannot be divorced from Christian witness. Revelation 12:11 says, “And they [the saints of God] overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony.”

Perhaps my testimony can be an encouragement to another hungry soul.

Thank you so much for listening today! I pray you have been blessed.

I hope you can join me for next week’s episode. I’ll begin a special six-part series on the Book of Romans. Next week’s title is “Romans, Part I: State of Man.

Be sure to tune in, and invite someone else to listen with you!

If you enjoy these Podcasts and Blogposts, please do share the links with your friends, family, or whomever! My many thanks—in advance!

God bless.

Greetings once again friends! This is Episode 22 of the podcast. The title of this week’s episode is “The Great Circle Dance of God.”

In today’s episode, I’ll be continuing our study from last week about being part of God’s team as His ambassadors to our world, including all our relationships every day, whether in the home, among friends, or interacting with other people wherever we may be.

Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast at

This could possibly be one of the most important messages I could share with you here on the podcast. As I just mentioned, we who have accepted our role as Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), can be confident that the One who has called us into his service will also give us wisdom to rightly represent him.

One day many years ago when I was a student at Walla Walla College, I opened my mailbox located in the lobby of Sittner Hall, the men’s dorm on campus. I discovered a postcard from my sister Beulah Fern who lived in Portland at the time. The message on the card was a quotation of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (KJV).

Verse 6 in the New Living Translation says, “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

And, that really is the message I want to share with you today. Here is the basic idea: Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can be directed step-by-step in the best possible way to witness of his grace and allow him to use the influence of our lives to serve his purposes day by day.

Let’s explore that a little more deeply now.

The “preacher” who wrote the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes (King Solomon) included a beautiful, timeless poem which could be titled “A Time for Everything.” Among other things on Solomon’s list are these words: “A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

In the conservative faith community of my childhood and youth, dancing in any form was strictly forbidden! As a result, I never really ever learned to dance, although I did try a few times. Nevertheless, I have been fascinated over the years to witness many types of dancing in greatly diverse cultures around the world.

One of the most universal styles of group dancing is known as circle dancing.

In the biblical story of the Exodus, Moses’ sister Miriam led the women in dancing to celebrate deliverance from the Egyptian army (Exodus 15:20-21). That dance is still performed by groups of Jewish people today.

It seems nearly every indigenous culture in the world has some form of circle dance. I have personally witnessed beautiful cultural circle dances among aboriginal tribes in the mountains of Taiwan. I believe there must be some deeper significance to this than just people having fun. In fact, if we look closely at both the Scripture and nature, we discover some great truths.

Here are a few examples of some cyclical phenomena in nature.

The entire known physical Universe displays cycles of movement. The moon, planets, the sun, even the entire Milky Way galaxy, all revolve in a grand and wonderful dance through the heavens.

Directly related to the earth’s annual circuit around the sun, each season comes and goes at precise times of the year.

Migratory birds and animals follow the exact routes taken by hundreds of preceding generations of their kind—even though the specific individuals may never have traveled that route before.

And, as we study God’s work among his people through the centuries, the Lord instructed the ancient Israelites to memorialize significant events in their history with annual feasts and celebrations. Then Jesus himself instructed the disciples to remember his death and resurrection through the ceremony we now call communion or “the Lord’s Supper.” The Apostle Paul says that by participating in this sacred ceremony we “proclaim the Lord’s death till he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

King Solomon declared, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

So, what does all this have to do with our designated role as ambassadors for the Kingdom?

Let’s take a step back and look at one of the most intriguing—even mysterious—chapters in the Bible. Although the visuals described in Ezekiel 1 have often been misunderstood, I have come to believe the “wheels within wheels” vision perfectly describes the work God is doing through his people throughout the world.

Here is Ezekiel’s vision:

“As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground . . . This was the appearance and structure of the wheels . . . Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not turn about as the creatures went. Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes [facets] all around. When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.”

Ezekiel 1:15-21 (NIV)

This strange vision of Ezekiel’s is best understood by the next scene, just a few verses later:

“Then there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man . I saw that from what appeared to be the waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.”

Ezekiel 1:25-28 (NIV)

So, here in Ezekiel 1 we see this vision of wheels within wheels, turning, traveling, moving according to the direction of the Spirit. With that graphical description fresh in the reader’s mind, the prophet then paints a fantastic picture of God on his throne high above the earth. This vision is nearly identical to that described by Daniel in chapter 10:4-6,

“On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.”

Daniel 10:4-6 (NIV).

John the Revelator also saw a vision of the same divine person:

“I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone ‘like a son of man,’ dressed in in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance”

So, what—or who—did Ezekiel see in his vision connected with the wheels-within-wheels? I believe it was none other than the pre-incarnate Christ directing the movement of his Kingdom ambassadors—the divine Choreographer, if you will—sending each individual on missions of mercy, witness, and service to all the nations of the world. The Great Circle Dance of God is a divine movement carrying the good news of his love, grace, and forgiveness to every soul under heaven. Every believer is commissioned to represent the King in every transaction, every relationship, every word and action. Through the guidance and instruction of the Holy Spirit, we are sent on special assignments to bring hope, encouragement, and blessing to all within our circles of influence.

Here is a reassuring promise from Jesus:

“The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:25-26 NIV).

Then Jesus followed that promise with this: “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me” (John 15:26 NIV).

Do you ever feel like you’re just running around in circles? Sometimes we might seriously wonder if our life has any meaning or significance at all. If you’re working at a job, maybe every day feels just like yesterday, and tomorrow promises to be more of the same old, same old routine.

Don’t despair! God can use even your familiar, daily routine to serve his purposes. And that, in fact, is what our life in Christ is all about. It makes little difference whether you are on a mountaintop high in your spiritual journey, or slogging along down in the swampy valley, God is there with you, and will touch the lives of others through you as you give your life to him to use as he sees best. He knows just what steps in the great dance he has designed for you. Following the lead of his Spirit will glorify God and bring great blessings to you as well.

And, you never know when the circumstances of your life may change. As with all circles, “what goes around comes around.” God is in charge of the dance. He opens the path before you step-by-step. David, the shepherd boy wrote, “The Lord . . . leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:1-3 NIV).

Right now, today, the Holy Spirit invites you to join the circle. This circle is filled with agápe love, acceptance, and forgiveness. In the center is a fountain of living water springing forth in endless supply. “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).

The invitation is open. Come join the dance!

Thank you so much for listening today! I pray you have been blessed.

I hope you can join me for next week’s episode. I’ll be sharing some thoughts from my book, “My Seven Essential Daily Prayers.” Be sure to tune in, and invite someone else to listen with you!

If you enjoy these Podcasts and Blogposts, please do share the links with your friends, family, or whomever! My many thanks—in advance!

God bless.

Greetings once again friends! This is Episode 21 of the podcast. The title of this week’s episode is “Working Together—God’s Way.”

In today’s episode, I’ll be sharing some thoughts about teamwork and spiritual gifts in the church, the Body of Christ on Earth. Teamwork is God’s way of getting things done!

Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast at

Teams have always been a major factor in my life. Until recently, I didn’t know why.

The very earliest scenes I can conjure out of the fog of childhood memories include the giant draft horses my father used on our farm in Washington State’s Yakima Valley. Their names and faces are as clear to me as family members – Mike and Mickey, King and Prince. They were as much a part of our family as were my sisters and brother. Daddy loved working the fields behind them, and I can still feel the excitement watching him drive them into the yard, nostrils flared, eyes blazing, and everything throbbing to the beat of sixteen hooves the size of dinner plates and thousands of pounds of horseflesh. Nothing spelled “t-e-a-m” more dramatically! To say the least, they made quite an impression on a four-year-old farm boy watching from a safe corner.

Nowadays, everywhere one looks there are all sorts of teams. Sports teams of every imaginable hue, business project teams, government workforce teams, college debate teams – if you can name it there is probably a team for it. The simple truth is this: people working together in harmony, with a common focus, get more done than the same number of people all working separately. It is called synergy – the concept of combining diverse strengths and energies to produce more than the sum of the parts.

Synergy is a dynamic force of nature that expresses itself in all sorts of ways.

Popular reports state that migrating geese can fly 71% farther in formation than an individual goose can fly by itself. Some people have questioned the precision of that “fact,” but in truth, by banding together each individual bird helps out all the others in their collective drive. They encourage one another with squawks and honks as well as literally giving a boost to each other as they knife their way through the sky. The entire flock benefits from the contributions of every member of the team.

In an entirely different realm, lobsters on the ocean floor form a safety train by hooking together, and thus assembled they can cross open spaces faster and safer from predation than if one lone lobster tries to make it on its own. Great teamwork!

Teams of coyotes or wolves often work together to tire their prey, and thus ensure meals for their young and survival of the pack.

Arctic yaks stand shoulder to shoulder in a circle, with their young protected in the center, presenting a most formidable wall of hooves and horns to any would-be predator. Talk about a defensive front line!

Pods of whales work together creating air bubble nets to round up fish for dinner.

Even the insect world gets in on the teamwork act. A colony of bees is amazing in its organization and daily operation, and ants were immortalized by Solomon when he declared, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-8 NIV).

Look just about anywhere in nature or human society, and you can find countless examples of teamwork. It is the way things get done most effectively and efficiently. The image of the “Lone Ranger” is a myth. Even he had to have Tonto. There is no such thing as a self-made man. The brightest super stars are nothing without their support networks. Teamwork makes things happen.

The essence of teamwork is to join the strengths of different parties to accomplish a common purpose. A close study of the Godhead reveals that each member of the Holy Trinity has a distinct role that complements and empowers the roles of the other two. In short, the Godhead identifies three kinds of power – omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence – and then unites those powers with the unbreakable bonds of unconditional love.

But more on that in a moment. Before we go there, let’s consider a few texts from the New Testament which illustrate clearly that God’s way of doing His work in the world is through empowering teams of people with various abilities.

The Apostle Paul expressed the concept perfectly in three separate passages. (All quotations are from the New Living Translation.)

Romans 12:6-8 “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

1 Corinthians 12:27-28 “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is part of it. Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: . . . Apostles, . . . Prophets, . . . Teachers, . . . Miracles workers, . . . Healers, . . . Helpers, . . . Leaders, . . . [translators].”

Ephesians 4:11 “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”

In short, a quick survey of Paul’s teaching about how the church—the body of Christ—works efficiently and effectively here on Earth, reveals teamwork as the one, major organizing principle.

Now, let’s consider those three types of power I mentioned earlier.

Let’s look first at the power of KNOWLEDGE.

Proverbs 3:19 declares, “By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.”

In other words, one reason God had the power to accomplish those things because he knew how. It is rather obvious that if you don’t know how to do something you probably won’t be able to do it. God created the heavens and the earth because he was able, that is, He had the power to do so. His knowledge and understanding were vital elements of bringing the world—and the Universe—into existence.

Next is the power of AUTHORITY.

The word “omnipotent” literally means, “all-powerful,” but what kind of power are we talking about here? Using an old-fashioned term, we might call a king with complete power over his subjects a “potentate.” The potentate’s ability to rule had little to do with his or her personal physical strength. History is filled with stories of sickly, even dying monarchs who held absolute sway over their kingdom from their death chambers. Their authority was established by the loyalty of those closest to them, and was reinforced by swords, spears, and imprisonment or death to any traitor or dissenter. The power of a potentate was the power of authority. Understanding this sheds an important light on what we mean when we speak of God’s “omnipotence.”

Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Mat 28:18 KJV). The word “power” in this text is the Greek word exousia, “authority.” That is the rendition used (correctly) in many of the more modern language versions. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians underscores Jesus’ position as the highest authority in the Universe. He describes him (Jesus) as being, “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Eph 1:21 NIV). John the Revelator identifies Jesus as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev 19:16), indicating that his authority was higher than all earthly rulers of any sort. Thus, when Jesus commissioned his followers to “go make disciples,” it was on the basis of his authority, which he assured them would empower them to success. “I will be with you,” he said, “every step of the way” (my personal paraphrase).

Jesus is also described as the “Word” of God. Words carry the authority of governments in their laws, as well as the creative or destructive power of ideas. Jesus, as the Word of God embodies all the authority of heaven, and by that authority he both creates and sustains the Universe (see Col 1:15, 17). Jesus, God the Son, can thus be identified as the Omnipotent member of the Trinity.

The Power of PRESENCE.

Being there. That is what the third aspect of the God’s power, his omnipresence, is all about. God is always there, wherever “there” might be. The Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity, is the Omnipresent person of the Godhead. The Scripture declares that there is literally nowhere God’s Spirit cannot be found. King David wrote, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139:7-10 NKJV).

Now, I want to show how God brings these three kinds of power together to accomplish His purposes. We have seen that the three kinds of power are the power of knowledge, the power of authority, and the power of presence. It is linking all three together that results in action.

All three must be present for anything to happen. If any one element is missing, the desired result will be impossible to achieve. Let’s say, for instance, that someone has knowledge and authority, but no presence. That person will be totally frustrated in trying to make anything happen. If he has knowledge and presence, but no authority, he will be helpless. If he has authority and presence, but no knowledge, he will probably be dangerous. But with the combination of all three powers, omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence, God is able to create the Universe! He does it through bonding his knowledge, his authority, and his presence into a single unit – the ultimate super-team. We call this wonderful union the Godhead or the Trinity.

It seems reasonable to assume that if the way God himself gets things done is through teamwork, it also aught to be the most logical and effective way to pursue his work here on earth! For far too long – hundreds and hundreds of years, in fact – the church God commissioned to carry forward his work has been captive to a hierarchical, top-down, authoritarian command-and-control organizational structure that stifles the movement of the Spirit

Thank you so much for listening today! Again, I pray you have been blessed.

I hope you can join me for next week’s episode. I’ll be sharing some thoughts about “The Great Circle Dance of God.” I think you’ll find that episode fascinating—at least I find it fascinating! I’m anxious to share with you. Be sure to tune in, and invite someone else to listen with you!

If you enjoy these Podcasts and Blogposts, please do share the links with your friends, family, or whomever! My many thanks—in advance!
God bless.


Greetings, friends! This is Loren Fenton.

Last Wednesday my wife Ruth and I were both sidelined by COVID-19. Both of us received full immunization very soon after they were made available to us as senior citizens. However, last week when we began feeling totally miserable we decided to be tested. Tests came back positive.

By Thursday, I was feeling totally spent physically. After a rough night, very early Friday morning I called 9-1-1 and had the EMTs transport me to emergency. I spent several hours there (of course!), receiving all the required tests of things they check for. When the tests came back, the ER doctor reported that my COVID symptoms themselves were quite mild, but they discovered my blood sodium and potassium levels were dangerously low. They needed to admit me for a few days to address those issues.

I came home this afternoon. It’s now Sunday evening, and the schedule for the next episode of the GoodlifeNews! Podcast and Blog to post is tonight at midnight. That’s not going to happen. I do have most of the script written, but I need to finish, edit, and record everything, which usually takes a few hours. Frankly, I just don’t think it’s healthy to force the deadline.

So, I’ve decided to drop everything down one week. Thus, Episode 21, “Working Together – God’s Way” will appear next Monday, September 27, 12:01 a.m. 

My apologies for the break. I’ll keep you posted on any further development.

Love to all,



Greetings once again friends! This is Episode 20 of the podcast. The title of this week’s episode is “Seeing Jesus.”

In today’s episode, I’ll be sharing some thoughts about seeing Jesus in our world today, wherever we may be.
Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast at

Several times as I have stepped up to the pulpit in a church where I was a guest speaker, I have noticed a pointed message taped permanently to the desk.

It said, “Sir, we would see Jesus.”

This timely reminder to any and all who would occupy that pulpit is a direct quote from the Gospel of John 12:21. Here it is in context of the story in the Bible as it is rendered in the New Living Translation:

“Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, ‘Sir, we want to meet Jesus.’ Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus.”

John 12:20-22 NLT

I have spoken many times about our Christian calling as ambassadors for the King of Kings. In all our circles of influence we must keep this thought ever uppermost in our minds. We do not walk this Earth for our own purposes, our own glory, fortune, fame, or reputation. In every relationship let us never forget that Jesus is revealed to the world around us through our individual words, actions, and attitudes. And, not only that, every person we meet has some basic spiritual need for life-giving connection with Jesus the Life-giver. Our task is to show them to the Master.

In this Bible story, Philip and Andrew took the inquiring Greeks to see Jesus. I think it’s important to realize they only took this step in response to the Greeks’ expressed desire.

There’s an important principle of “witnessing” here. Let’s not miss it.

People can only receive our witness when they are open to it. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

So, how do we know when someone is open and ready—hungering and thirsting for the gospel—so we can respond appropriately to their need?

The simple answer is that we probably won’t know unless we are in some way connected to their life. They probably won’t see Jesus in us unless we first see Jesus in them.

How does that work?

In recent times, perhaps the most widely recognized example of selfless, compassionate service to others is in the life and ministry of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Here is a quotable quote from her:

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus.”

In this, Mother Teresa has obviously taken her cue from the parable of Jesus recorded in Matthew 25. It’s the parable of the sheep and the goats, and the final separation of these two types of people and the record of their responses to the needs of the world around them.

At the conclusion of his story, Jesus spoke this principle for his followers: “[The] righteous ones will [ask], ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” (Matthew 25:37-40).

Conversely, for those who thought they were serving others, but who were doing so from a self-centered motivation, receive this scathing judgment: “When you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me” (Matthew 25:45).

Sharing all this with you just now brings to mind an incident from my time in Taiwan many years ago back in the early ‘70s.

In May 1971, my wife and I—together with our 10-month-old son—moved to Taiwan as missionaries. After learning Mandarin Chinese, I served as pastor in the Island, first in the southern port city of Kaohsiung, then in the capitol city of Taipei in the north.

One day while we were living in Taipei, I needed to make a journey to the south end of Taiwan. Traveling by train took about 8 hours as I recall.

Several days before my scheduled departure, I went to the train depot in Taipei and purchased my ticket for the journey. I carefully tucked the small card-stock ticket in my wallet so I wouldn’t lose it somewhere before it was time to go. The ticket specified exactly which car, and which seat matched my reservation.

When the day arrived, I got to the depot early so I could be sure to get boarded without a great rush to get settled before the train pulled out. I was one of the first passengers on board, so I had no trouble finding my seat and settling in. I had a window seat next to the outside wall. The aisle seat remained empty as other passengers crowded in, finding their spot, and stowing their belongings.

I was a good missionary, of course, and I was looking forward to discovering who my seat mate would be for the trip. The long train ride would provide a wonderful opportunity to witness for Jesus!

It wasn’t long until a nice-looking middle-aged Chinese lady came to the seat beside me.

“Oh, that’s nice,” I thought to myself. “She looks like an ideal prospect to engage in conversation. But, I’ll wait until we get underway.”
My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by one of the train personnel speaking to me.

“Excuse me, sir. May I see your ticket?”

It seemed another passenger thought he should be sitting in my seat.

“Oh, I’m sorry, sir,” the steward spoke. “You are in the wrong car.”

I looked at my ticket. Sure enough. Right seat number. Wrong car!

The steward graciously escorted me to the next car forward, and then to the seat where I was supposed to ride. The aisle seat was still empty.
“Hmmm,” I thought to myself. “Maybe I won’t have a seat mate after all. But, that’s okay. This will be a good time to start memorizing some scripture.”
I got settled again, reached into my briefcase and retrieved my small Bible. I opened it to Psalm 1, and focused on the first few verses, silently repeating them several times until I could remember them without peeking.

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2).

(And, yes. I was memorizing the text from the King James Version. That’s the only one we used back then.)

Some passengers were still getting arriving, but it was almost time for the train to start moving. Then I saw one of the ugliest men I have ever seen in my life—and sure enough, he was my seat mate!

“Really, Lord? Why would I want to witness to this guy?”

The train began rolling forward as I fussed with the Lord. I stared out the window watching the green rice paddies slip past. Then I distinctly heard a voice in my head I recognized at once.

“What does that first verse of Psalm 1 say, Loren?”

I looked again at the text, and read, “. . . nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

Conviction gripped my heart. Yes, that was me, right then in that very moment.

A short time later I needed to use the restroom at the end of the train car. As I stepped past the ugly man in the aisle seat I spoke in Chinese.
“Excuse me,” I said.

He looked at me with some surprise that I—an obvious American—could speak Mandarin.

When I returned to my seat, the man reached into his bag and brought out his picture ID booklet. Everyone in Taiwan was required to have this booklet in their possession at all times—even foreigners.

My seat mate thrust his picture ID booklet at me and said, “I used to be beautiful!”

“A doctor did surgery on my face and left me looking like this. I am so ashamed and discouraged. I don’t know what I am going to do. I used to be beautiful,” he repeated his sad statement.

He continued for several minutes telling me his story. His smoking had caused a cancer in his mouth. Surgeons had removed the cancer, but left him maimed and disfigured. He was obviously deeply depressed.

“Lord,” I prayed, “what do you want me to do for this person?”

I reached into my briefcase again and pulled out a small booklet about God’s love and care for each person. The booklet detailed step-by-step how to learn more about God and enter into a life-giving relationship with Him.

I handed the man the book with the words, “I think I have something that you need. This will help you feel better.”

He buried himself into the pages like a drowning man clinging to anything that floats. Occasionally, I stole a sideways glance at his face. Strangely, he was no longer ugly. A peaceful light radiated from his expression. His eyes shined with hope as he read.

Not long afterwards the train pulled into the station of his destination. He gathered his few belongings, including the book I had given him. As he tucked it safely into his bag he looked at me and pointed to the book.

“This is wonderful!” he said. His face shone with a newfound joy. “Thank you so much! This is wonderful!” he said again.
And, he was no longer ugly in my eyes.

He was “beautiful” again!

Well, I’m no Mother Teresa, but that little experience from many years ago is still precious in my memory. I have no idea the subsequent story of that man’s life. Maybe when God’s Kingdom is established once again on Planet Earth I’ll be able to learn “the rest of the story.” But, for now, I am still blessed—even after all these years—to know that God was willing to use a “scorner” like me to bring at least a few moments of peace and hope to a floundering soul.

So, I want to leave you with this question today: Do you want others to see Jesus in you? What kind of Jesus will they see?

You see, you and I may be the only model of Jesus which others around us will ever know. Surely, when I rub shoulders and interact with other people day-by-day, I hope and pray that the “Jesus” they see is compassionate, loving, and sensitive to the heart-cry of their soul.

I confess, I don’t come by those character traits naturally! It’s something I must pray for every day. And the Lord graciously does allow me occasions to witness for him even now.

And I praise Him for the joy it brings to my heart when I know others have seen Jesus in me.

Thank you so much for listening today! I pray you have been blessed.

I hope you can join me for next week’s episode. I’ll be sharing some thoughts about Spiritual Gifts and Working Together—God’s Way. Be sure to tune in, and invite someone else to listen with you!

If you enjoy these Podcasts and Blogposts, please do share the links with your friends, family, or whomever! My many thanks—in advance!
God bless.