“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  (Matt. 5:16)
Jesus has begun His public ministry, and this “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5-7 records for us the principles of His rule.  He starts with the Beatitudes in verses 3-12 that tell us that Jesus kingdom is not like any other earthly kingdom. Who would begin their rule by blessing the poor in spirit?  Yet, Jesus is not speaking of an earthly rule but of a Spiritual Rule in the heart. When love enters the heart of a person their whole set of priorities changes.  They want to be with the one they love, they spend time doing the things the other enjoys, they want to learn about the others desires and cares, and begin to care for the people the other person loves. This is the kind of change that Jesus is speaking about. He then tells us that “we are the light of the world,” (vs. 14).  But this is not our light. Our light, by nature, is centered on ourselves and cares only for our perspective or wants.  Our light is dim and limited in time and brightness because of our short life and sin nature. What Jesus is speaking about is the light that we bear because we are His children.  The light of life given to us by the One who is the “Light of the World,” (John 8:12).  Our light is given to us by Christ as we learn of Him. He has saved us so that we can reflect the glory of Christ to a world that does not know Christ.  The mechanic that hums a hymn while he works because he is thinking of some truth he read in the Word of God or heard in Sunday School or Church, shines a light to those around him and gives him an opportunity to speak of his Savior.  The believer who bows his head to pray at a restaurant and gives thanks to God shines his light. The world needs to see believers who reflect the light of love that Christ has demonstrated to them. It is easy to see the darkness, it is all around us, but lights stand out if they are allowed to shine.


Wisdom’s Call

Doth not wisdom cry, And understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way. In the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, At the coming in at the doors. Unto you, O men, I call; And my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple, understand wisdom: And, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.” (Prov. 8:1-5)

In chapters 5-7, the seduction of the froward woman is given to warn us of her subtlety and wickedness.  This seduction has to do with immorality and other choices of life that can ruin a person.  These seductions are done on side streets and corners, in the dark, and hidden from view.

Wisdom is portrayed in a very stark contrast.  Wisdom calls and seeks to help people in the open.  She is standing in the tops of hills easily seen by others and in the paths or roads that are easily accessible to all.  She gives her wisdom in the gates or places of commerce and judgment.  It is easily accessible to all who want that wisdom and to all who will hear.  Her object is to disseminate her wisdom before they enter the doors of decisions that are going to affect their lives. One commercial illustrates this well.  Two boys stranded late at night with a flat tire.  One is on the phone with his father and he states, “I know what a lug wrench is dad.”  He then asks his stranded friend, “is this a lug wrench.” To which his friend replies, “I don’t know.” The instruction on how to change a flat should precede driving the car.

Wisdom is not seeking to control the people, but to give them the truths, knowledge, and understanding they will need to make right choices in life that will not destroy them.  A 25-year old driver was arrested in Boston on Wednesday for hitting an 80-year old man.  The young man was driving too fast, listening to his music, and saw the man too late, honked his horn, but could not avoid hitting him.  The driver said later, “People hit and run people all the time, it just happened to be an unfortunate situation where I was driving.”  Wisdom tried to teach this young man to drive safely in the driver’s manual he had to learn.  It taught him to remain at an accident to see if help could be given or secured. 

God’s wisdom is available to all who will seek it (James 1:5).  How blessed is the person who desires the wisdom of God and follows it.  Will you seek wisdom in your life?


Desire for Understanding

“My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding. That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.” – Proverbs 5:1-2

Like any father, Solomon desires the best for his son. And like any good father, Solomon seeks to instruct him in wisdom and character that is necessary for life.

Attend – The father can give good advice and important, wise truths that the son needs to have. But Solomon knows that the son must “attend,” (i.e. want to learn and understand). The thirst for understanding comes from a reverence for God and a desire to know Him. Solomon emphasizes this by using the phrase “bow thine ear.”

Regard discretion – This emphasizes the aspect of one’s choice. An estimation of value is placed upon the father, his wisdom, and the relationship the son desires with his father. This sense of value causes the son to place a priority in what he perceives as what is most important. His father guides this by his example and life. Discretion is the moral aspect of the choice. The son decides to do right or wrong based upon his regard for God’s Word (Prov. 1:4).

The end result of attending to wisdom and regarding discretion is that a child’s future speech and therefore his life is guided by knowledge and truth instead of rash impulse and emotion.  What is guiding your life and dictating how you make choices?  Chose God’s wisdom!


How Precious is a Soul

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Luke 19:10

The Scriptures are full of God reaching individuals and groups of people.  The actions of Christ and his disciples clearly reveal that every soul is precious to Him.  Note just some of the instances and the particular effort to reach the lost.

  • Matt 18:11-14  – The Good Shepherd (Jesus) leaves the ninety and nine to reach one lost sheep.
  • John 3:1-11  – Jesus shares the Gospel with Nicodemus at night.
  • John 4:1-26 – Jesus goes out of his way to meet the Samaritan women at the well.
  • John 4:46-54 – Jesus meets with the nobleman and heals his son.
  • John 5:1-9  – Jesus heals the lame man at the pool of Bethesda.
  • John 8:1-11  – Jesus meets with the woman caught in adultery.
  • John 9 – Jesus heals a man born blind and is challenged by the religious leaders.

While there are many more examples, Jesus doesn’t stop looking to minister to lost people until He ministers to the thief on the cross and lays down his life.  Will you and I be dedicated to reaching and seeking the lost like Jesus was?


A New Start

“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God, Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”  Psalm 40:3
     The Bible is full of times when God gave people a new start. Failure is the plight of fallen man and reminds us of our need for God. The author of this Psalm is David. It could have been written during the time when he was running from Saul, or more likely, when Absalom had taken his kingdom. David had experienced God’s forgiveness before and had been given a new start after the sin with Bathsheba.
     David reminds us that the focus of human flesh tends to be human things. We see the problems of our life, we see the challenges to truth, and we see the desires and needs of our flesh. It is easy to have the cares of this world attach themselves to us without us even being aware of it. Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, a custom that recognized that while a person may be clean, the walking of the dusty streets allows the dirt to attach to us without our knowledge.
Commencement is one of those “New” times in life. Mr. Zakry Minor is graduating Hope Christian School and starting a new path in his life. We encourage you to pray for him.
Our upcoming revival meetings are also an opportunity for a “New” start. I encourage you to plan to come every night of the meetings and rejoice in God’s goodness.


Numbered Days

And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”  Genesis 6:3

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; And if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, Yet is their strength labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”  Psalm 90:10

We have experienced the Lord taking some of His servants home in recent weeks.  These times are full of sadness and reflection on the purpose of life.  As in all things pertaining to our lives, the Scriptures give us the answer we need to understand life and what God is doing.  We look at death as the enemy that separates us from the one we love.  In this sense, it is indeed an enemy, but one controlled by God. 

Just before the flood, God said that the evil in the heart of man was “only evil continually.”  He limited the lifespan of man to 120 years.  Moses writes in Psalm 90:10 that the lifespan is further limited to 70 years and that the limit is because God is angered at the continued evil in the heart of man. 

Moses writes in Psalm 90:12 the prayer to “teach us to number our days, that we may apply our heart unto wisdom.”  A consequence for an action, if it is too far away has little effect on present behavior.  So God shortened life so that every time we have a funeral, we would be reminded that we too will soon meet the Lord.  While we do not like the thought of death, the shortened time is meant as a gift from God to help us seek the wisdom needed to reverence God and seek a right heart with Him.  Numbering our days should cause us to draw close to Christ and use every day for His glory.


The Great Enemy

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21



“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”   Matthew 1:22-23 Read more…


What Good is a Motto?

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30


A motto is only words.  The power of a motto is not the words themselves, but the meaning they convey and the attitude of every hearts response.  Santa Anna invaded Texas and claimed the territory of Mexico.  Men from all over Texas and other parts of the United States came to defend the people of Texas.  At the Alamo mission, they held off the army of Santa Anna to give Sam Houston and other Texans time to raise an army capable of defending Texas.  The motto, “Remember the Alamo,” so energized the people that the poorly trained and ill equipped army of Texas defeated Santa Anna. Read more…


When Google Is Not Enough

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.10  With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.  11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, That I might not sin against thee.”   (Psalm 119:9-11)

In modern America, education and knowledge are not valued as they once were.  Students think that most of the things they are asked to learn and know can be found by googling them.  Understanding the concept or knowing an event or truth is not really important any more to most people.  

It is true that the internet does make it easy to learn facts, figures, and general knowledge.  However, character, beliefs, and personal integrity are not things that can be googled quickly.  David said that the way we live clean and right before God is to “take heed” to the Word of God.  This must be understood in the heart not just known in the head.  The heart is the place where what we believe to be true about God and ourselves causes us to desire to know what is right and true.  When we desire to know the Word of God, we desire to obey it because it is truth and it pleases God.  It is the truth in the heart that causes one to make choices based upon what is right rather than what is easy for me now. 

Temptations do not come with a warning to Google “truth” and check out the consequences before doing what others and Satan have set before you.  Just like when Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4:1-10, Satan sounded so good and beneficial.  Our faith is not something we keep in our pocket and pull out at times to impress someone.  Our faith is the deep-seeded belief in the Word of God and of God’s unfailing love for us.