They Had Been With Jesus

They were unschooled, ordinary men.

But the religious leaders were astonished as Peter and John stood in front of them,  telling them what they knew about Jesus.  They were eloquent and compelling.  They were passionate and knowledgeable.

It was clear to those listening to Peter and John that these men had been with Jesus  –

and he had changed them.  Something was very different about them.

* Jesus had redeemed their lives from sin and death and given them the power of the Holy Spirit who was now living inside of them.

* They spoke with authority about their personal experiences with Jesus.

* They had courage beyond that of a normal person.

The religious leaders didn’t know what to say or do so they let Peter and John go with a warning not to speak of Jesus again.

Peter and John replied that they could not stop talking about what they had seen and heard.



Not intimidated by the those in positions of power.

Nothing was going to stop Peter and John from sharing what they knew about Jesus.  We know about Jesus today because they did not stop talking about what they had seen and heard.

Dear Father, Please help us be as brave and committed as Peter and John was about sharing what we know about Jesus.

They are Gone

I’m amazed.

As I read several of the Psalms David wrote, it is unbelievable how in tune he was with the Holy Spirit.  David writes about several topics that nobody else really understood at the time.

David wrote about salvation which would come from God.  David didn’t know how God was going to do it, but he was totally confident that God was going to make a way to save his children from eternal separation from God.  God was going to make a way for his children so he could take them home to live with him forever.

I also love the line in Psalm 103, “He has removed our sins as far from the us as the east is from the west.”

David lived in the time before anyone discovered that the earth was round.  He wrote those words probably looking from the east to the west, thinking that was a long way.  He didn’t realize the truth that you never go west if you keep going east.  East and west never meet.

David didn’t know that but the Holy Spirit knew that those words would make even more sense to us today.  He is telling us that our sins are forgiven.  They are gone – nonexistent.  And, if anybody tells you differently, that is not the truth.

When we accept the salvation God offers us through Jesus, all of our sins – past, present and future – are gone for all time.  There is nothing else to be done – Jesus did it all.  That’s what grace is all about.


Thank you, Father, for your Living Word which, through the Holy Spirit, made sense to David and also makes sense to us today.

The Gift

We have the gift.

Before Jesus left this earth to go to heaven, he told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the gift that his Father had promised.

And we have it.November 20 2015 the gift

The gift of the Holy Spirit living within us –

  • opening our eyes to grace and truth in God’s word.
  • convicting us of sin so we can repent and turn away from it.
  • leading us in the paths God has planned for us.
  • helping us really know God.

And the Holy Spirit won’t leave us.

But we can avoid listening to him.

We can tune out his influence in our lives.

We can let our own voice and the voices of others drown him out.

These are all crooked paths leading to darkness.


We can stop listening to all of the lies and negativity around us as we focus on the truth and love we read in God’s word.  When we’re listening, the Holy Spirit will lead us to the knowledge of God and will guide us in each step we take.

We can choose to honestly repent – plugging into the power of the Holy Spirit living within us to help us change.  To help us become more like Jesus.

We can step out of our comfort zones and let God use us for his purposes and for his glory.

We can let the Holy Spirit transform every part of our lives – starting with our thoughts.

These are all great choices that lead us into the light of Jesus.  Onto the path of the obedient and faithful.

We have to make these choices every day.

What are you choosing today?

I choose you, Lord.



Thanksgiving Prayer, 1 Corinthians

Thank you, Father, for the truth you have given us through Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.Thanksgiving 2015

We are grateful for your son, Christ Jesus, who brought your grace into this world for each one of us when we believe.

We ask that you enrich our words and inhabit our thoughts with your wisdom.  Confirm your truth in our lives every day, dear Father.

We are grateful for the gift of your spirit living within us as we eagerly wait for Jesus’ return.  Please keep us firmly rooted in you, dear Father – all the way to the end of our purpose here on earth.

Thank you for your faithfulness to us, dear God.  Thank you for the personal relationship we have with you.

We are blessed!

Amen!  Hallelujah!

What I Didn’t Do

When we think about our sins, we often focus on the things we did or said that we shouldn’t have.  These are our sins of commission.Feb 23 b 2015 what I didn't do

We don’t think about our sins of omission as often.  These are the things we should have done but didn’t:

* a word of encouragement to a leader at our church.

* a pat on the back to a co-worker.

* a special treat for a mother or father.

* a smile to stranger.

That last one reminds me of a recent Thursday morning when I was walking through a restaurant where my Bible Study small group meets bright and early at 6 am.  As I walked past a man sitting at the eating counter by himself, he looked at me and I felt a nudge from God so I made eye contact, smiled and said, ‘hi’.  Instead of greeting me back, he said, ‘Thank you”.

A thank you.

I got the impression that he really needed someone in this restaurant crowded with groups of people to acknowledge his existence and smile.  I’m really glad I didn’t miss that opportunity, that nudge from the Holy Spirit.

I wish I could say that I was always listening and responding to those nudges, but if I said that, it would be a sin of commission 🙂  Because it’s not true.

It was just a very small encounter at the start of a hectic day, but God has used it to remind me to be ready to respond to his nudges.  Who else in my world is looking for a smile and a ‘hi’?

Are there people in your world who need a smile and a ‘hi’?  Or a word spoken?  Or a door opened?  Or a text sent?  Or a card given?

Dear Father, please open our eyes to the things we might fail to do without your nudge.  We don’t want to miss the opportunity to be your light.


They Had Been With Jesus

When the Sanhedrin saw the courage of Peter and John and realized they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.Nov 21 2014 a they had been with Jesus

The Sanhedrin was astonished.

Because Peter and John had been with Jesus and Jesus had changed them.

* He had redeemed them.

* He had given them the power of the Holy Spirit who was now living inside of them.

* They now spoke with knowledge and authority.

* They had courage beyond that of a normal person.

The Sanhedrin didn’t know what to say or do….

so they let Peter and John go with a warning not to speak of Jesus again.

Peter and John replied that they were not going to stop talking about what they had seen and heard.



Not intimidated by the top dudes.


Nothing was going to stop them from sharing what they knew about Jesus.

Dear Father, Please help us be as brave and committed as Peter and John was about sharing what we know about Jesus.

He Moves……

and we follow.

He directs……DSC_0175

and we obey.

He organizes……

and we show up.

He plans…….

and we pray.

He makes it happen……

as we watch and join him in what he’s doing.

He rustles through the leaves of the tree of our life.  We hear him.  We see him.

He is always moving among us,

turning on light bulbs in our heads as we suddenly understand something for the first time.  He’s great at orchestrating epiphanies!

He knows us and loves us and intercedes for us when we don’t know what to say.

He leads us to the truth.

But he doesn’t let us stay there……because there is more truth.

And then more.

He convicts us when we are straying from the truth.  This doesn’t feel good…..

until later, after we have repented and turned back to God,

and we realize we’re a giant step closer to God.  That feels GREAT!

He is the Holy Spirit of God………and he lives within us.

Thank you, dear Holy Spirit!


Just Ordinary People…..

who have been with Jesus.Nov 21 2013

Peter and John are witnessing to the Sanhedrin – the chief priests –  about who Jesus really was in Acts 4.

And the Sanhedrin were astonished by what Peter and John said to them.  Peter and John were just ordinary men but it was obvious to the chief priests that they had ‘been with Jesus.’

There are powerful words!  They point directly to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

Peter and John had been with Jesus and now they were forever changed because the Holy Spirit was living inside of them.

And the Sanhedrin could tell.

Dear Father,  It is our prayer today that people around us can tell by  what we say and how we act that we have ‘been with Jesus”.

We want our lives to be an obvious testament of the redeeming power of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Please let the words that come out of our mouth be courageous and pleasing to you, Dear God.

Help us to shine out of this dark world by letting your love flow through us to others.  We desire to overcome evil with good and we can only do that with your help.

We have the Holy Spirit living in us so we are no longer ordinary.  We are your extraordinary children who are overwhelmed by the blessings you have lavished upon us as we continue on in our journey towards the truth – towards you.

We pray all of this in the awesome name of Jesus who has saved us.  Amen.  Hallelujah!

Towards The Truth

“But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

These are the words of Jesus in his final teaching session with his disciples before heading to the garden to talk with his Father on the night he was betrayed.

This is the life-long journey we are on – towards the truth.Nov 15 2013

God sent the Holy Spirit because he knew we would need a Guide for this journey.  We don’t know the way.  When we go to God, he sends our Guide who will show us the next step.

As we read God’s word to us, the Holy Spirit has a free rein in our minds.  He points out truths and helps us understand.  Whenever we are lost or confused, seeking God is the right thing to do.  Our Guide is always with us but his ability to help is limited when we’re not paying attention.  Reading the Bible helps us focus on God and then our Guide can accomplish his work of transformation in our lives.

We won’t know ‘all truth’ this side of heaven.  But our Guide is here to help us understand what we need to know to keep our lives in the center of God’s will for us.

Thank you, dear Holy Spirit.