Are you a servant of God or a friend of God

Embed from Getty Images Most Christian’s would say they are a friend of God. From Genesis- Revelation God’s word (the bible) is full of commanding instructions. Time and time again, blessings come from those who obey what Almighty God tells them.

In the gospel of John, Jesus brings the fullness of obeying God’s commands, “If you keep My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love.” John 15:10.

When we do something other than what God has written out for us, it is rebellion. Weather it is do not fear, listening to the authorities over us (which is hotly contested now a days) it does not matter.

The fallen part of us says ignore, the overcomer side of us says obey, there is joy when we do. It lines us up with Jesus in God’s eyes. This brings blessings not just for ourselves but for others.

“You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14, this is the only place in the bible where Jesus tells us how we can be true friends with God. Do what He commands. Doing it our way does not bring friendship with the One True King, no matter what we have lead ourselves to believe.

If we do what God has commanded or instructs then freedom comes. It comes in a big way, a way that only Jesus can provide. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” John 15:15. Jesus has an expectation His followers will do what is written in the bible.

If we are doing our own thing and taking authority from God so that it fits our wants, God will not call you friend. That may sound harsh, but I did not write the book, neither am I God. I believe a heart check on our part is needed, perhaps a change of thinking as well.

Maybe praying a simple prayer like Psalm 51:9 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me,” would be the steps we need in becoming true friends with God.


Submitting to authority when things seem desperate

Embed from Getty Images “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Titus 3: 1-2.

I admit these are trying times. With people working from home, unemployed or going to work because they have been counted as essential workers. This is geared more for the folks that are Christ followers and are not working. I am going to attempt to put things in perspective.

There should be no complaining about shelter-in-place mandates. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” Philippians 2: 14-15.

I understand the want to go to work and the urge to make money. That is very valid. However, I also know that God will meet needs. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 19.

That verses gives me the confidence that if I or my wife would lose our job, God will meet us where we are. It brings peace to my family. For Christian’s to voice concerns is fine, in fact we should. But to rail against State Officials or the President is something we should not take part in.

“Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” Romans 13:2. We need to remember that God is in charge. Nothing is bigger than Him, nothing escapes Him, nothing surprises Him.

To seek God daily is to seek peace. Asking God to give you your daily bread is to ask Him to meet your needs. In fact, there is great wisdom, hope and redemption in Isaiah 55: 8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

It is easy to get caught up in the worry and allow our thoughts to hold us captive. It is another thing to apply the word of God to our life and allow Him space to move and meet our needs.

For a great resource check out BibleGateway.

Tricks of the Devil

Embed from Getty Images And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
 Luke 10:18

The Devil is sly and is, forgive the expression, hellbent on destroying our relationship with God. With everything going on currently with jobs, layoffs, work hours cut, children doing school at home, pandemics the list goes on and on.

Here is a little secret for you, The Devil wants you to stress about things outside of your control. Many of us do this. The Devil throws things at us so that we will not rely on Christ, the One who strengthens us. But rather give into the panic and issues at hand.

Also, the Devil wants to trick you into believing the Bible is either a myth or simply does not apply to today’s world and life. I submit to you that God’s Word is real and has real significance. Though written nearly 3500 years ago it is so insightful to the past, present and future to lose sight of that is to give the Devil his due for making us feel differently.

God wants to to live life to the fullest. The Devil wants you to be reliant on things that bring a wedge between us and God. He is looking to destroy as many lives as he possible can before he is shown his new home.

In today’s world it is so important to be pressing into the word of God. Otherwise, we could fall into the trap the Devil tries to set. Do not give into worry, fear or anything else that is not from God. Those things are lies.

Ephesians 6: 10-18 tells us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, … ”

God will fight for you, you only need to stand. Clear your mind and stand.

Being the calm in peoples worry and stress

Embed from Getty Images “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

In uncertain times such as the current times, there is enough worry and stress going around it is almost contagious. There is real fear, worry and stress globally, Christ followers absolutely should not be overcome by worldly issues.

What are ways we can breathe peace into people lives while being quarantined, and in an age of social distancing? First and foremost hold onto God’s promises! He is faithful. That is what we need to bring to people.

Meet the people where they are. A good way to do this is by admitting to them that you are dealing with the same issues they are. When we put ourselves in the same boats with others it begins to  deescalate some of the absences of peace.

Be quick to let them know you are trusting the Lord through all of the uncertainty. Offer them a word from God, something like: “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take this suffering away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

Encourage people to invite Jesus to walk with them in the fear, worry and stress. The mind is a dangerous place to be at times. Turning the T.V. and news off can also be helpful.

Pray with them perhaps pray a bible verse over them, like “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16.

Reflect Jesus, this what Christ followers are asked to do. When we do through the power of the Holy Spirit people are set free.


How to get the most out of reading the Bible

Embed from Getty Images “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119: 105

This article may pinch. But that is okay. This article is for the Christian reader who professes they read God’s word, yet can not put any context around what they read or quote.

Most Christian’s if they are reading their bible’s at all, only read the surface stuff and do not take the time to really dive into the Word of God. Which is exactly what we should be doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The world is not getting answers from state and health officials, the President or anyone for that matter.

Yet, God has the answers because God is The answer. So how then can bible verses have more context? How then can Christ Followers be peace in the storm? Understanding God’s word would begin to answer those questions.

Let’s look at a simple bible verses most Christian’s know “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. There it is in it’s surface appearance.

Now it is time to put some context around it so it has the deep meaning the timeless verse should have.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4: 9-10. Now we are starting to build a body.

Let’s continue, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will He not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32, now not only do we have some body but we now have a question to ponder.

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1: 15-16, Now we begin to get the entire gospel of Jesus and all we are doing is checking the concordance in the bible.

Finally we get the redemption of Jesus’s mission “and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood” Revelation 1:5.

There are many more verses that would bring even more fullness to John 3:16. I used only four bible verses that bring into light just how weighty the famous bible verse as an example.

If you profess to be a Christian, then I think for the sake of your walk with God, as well as having answers for a world looking for them, then really get into God’s word.

Covid-19 showing why living by a list is not always the best

Embed from Getty Images Some of us are list makers. We map out grocery trips, school drop offs and pickups. We write a  list about things we need for vacation or things to do around the house. We leave a list for the babysitter. We jot down what we need for our hobbies or when we see a friend. It goes on and on. Then along came a global pandemic and the list makings came to a screeching stop.

Is there anything wrong with making a list? No. I say that carefully. While on the surface lists are a good idea, they can hold us in captivity. If we make a list and either have to stick to it no matter what. Or feel disappointed with ourselves at the end of the day because one or two things did not get done then our list can creep into idol worship.

It is not that I think all lists are an idol. But lists without allowing flexibility puts us in captivity. Listen there are plenty of things out there to put us in captivity. Words on paper should never be one of them.

Now let’s toss in Covid-19. A small (I kid and in no way make light of the issue at hand) global pandemic that has made mockery of nearly every list out there. As well as calendars. Perhaps, and just hear me out that is a gift from God.

Lists are null and void. Perhaps this is God saying “check with Me, I’ll help you through your day.” As Christ followers that is what we should be doing daily. This allows God’s Holy Spirit to flow through us the way He intended. Something a list puts a blocker of sorts between us and the Spirit of God.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10: 10, again a list is not a thief unless we allow it to be.

In my opinion, God is giving some rather strong clues to His church as to what He expects during this time. One is do not live by lists, live by asking Him. When we do, we may find we have more peace and happiness. That is what He wants and died for us to have.

How should the Church respond to Covid-19

Embed from Getty Images “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

In the sheer panic and fear that has engripped the United States and the better part of the world. God has called His church into action. No more standing on the sidelines hoping the head coach does not call on you to enter the game. No the Church, the whole Church needs to be proactive during this time.

So what are some practical ways the Church can help during a time of “social distancing?” First and foremost, love your neighbors. Text or call them ask how they are doing, if they need anything. The same for family and friends. Always pray with each person as you check on them. This will help to lower panic and hopefully with the help of the Holy Spirit fears will become less elevated.

Next always make sure you are leaning into God for peace, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6. If you have children of any age, they and your spouse will react according to how you both present things as well as react to things. Again, bring prayer in as you tend to your house.

While people wear masks and gloves (which is absolutely fine!) it can be a starting point at stores. Tell them while P.P.E. is very good, God provides everything we need Proverbs 18:10 tells us “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.

What the Church also needs to be during the day in which we live is to be like Daniel, to stand in a cave with roaring lions (or a global pandemic) and be willing to pray and make intercessions for the world, the countries, the sick, the worried and the fearful.

It is my opinion, God is giving His Church this time to shine. This is extremely important. Do not be lukewarm, for the sake of the world!



The world is full of gripping fear and chaos, there is hope

Embed from Getty Images Unless you live under a shoe or do not watch, listen to or ignore the news. Unless you have not been to the grocery store, odds are very good you know what is happening in the world. A pandemic of epic proportions is and has swept the globe. Leaving fearful people everywhere. So how do we find peace?

The answer in short is Jesus. Jesus is the calm and peace the world needs. I am not going to add fear and panic on top of fear and panic. The Bible does talk about the end of the age and the return of Jesus to this earth. Let’s take a look at the facts.

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.” Joel 2:28, This is what God promises before he even thinks about coming again. That he will send his Holy Spirit to open peoples eyes and wake them spiritually. In my opinion that is what is happening now.

Jesus who came as the sacrificial Lamb of God, in order to both allow us to go before a Holy God as sinful people and open the doors of Heaven wide for all. When he comes again He is coming as judge and jury.

“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will cry on account of him. Even so. Amen.” Revelation 1:7, this is peace filled. To see God is all His glory coming. Unless you have rejected Him or not even thought about Him.

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” Matthew 24:36 “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 24:44.

I submit that this is a good time to take Jesus at His word. I have been blessed to have visited Israel. I walked the same places Jesus walked. I have little doubt that what is happening right now is God is demanding the attention of the world.

God and God alone will bring you the peace that is absent from your life. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you: not as the world gives,  let not your heart be troubled, do not let it be afraid.” John 14:27.

I offer you this, a way to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior: “If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved.  Romans 10:9-10. Pretty easy.

I think it is time to look in the mirror and do some soul searching. Be blessed.

Detroit: Rest in peace Aretha Franklin

Embed from Getty Images The voice. That voice. A gift from God. Given to a person who was as humble as she was respected. Aretha Franklin passed away on a rainy Thursday. The city of Detroit let out a collective cry.


She had money, fame and could have lived anywhere. She chose Detroit Michigan. The city she attended church and served the people. “Being the Queen is not all about  singing, and being a diva is not all about singing. It has more to do with your service to people. And your social contributions to your community and your civic contributions as well.” Miss Franklin was quoted as saying.


73 charted hits on the Billboard Hot 100 the most of any female artist. 18 Grammys. Recording Academy lifetime achievement Award, Grammy Legend award. The first female inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The Presidential Medal of Freedom. An incredible talent.


Detroiter Bob Seger said “What an other worldly talent. Legendary. Right up there with the greatest singers ever. She will be greatly missed.”


Aretha Franklin sang about respect one moment and lifted her voice to God the next. She  loved Detroit, and Detroit loved her back. She paid for funerals of people who could not afford them.


She did her own shopping which brought her closer to the people of the city. There are no words that will properly express what she has meant to the city of Detroit. She fought for civic rights in the city. Paid for children to go to school. The list is extensive.


When she passed away the Detroit airways filled with her songs. All of them. No matter the type of radio station. That is a powerful statement. Life will go on. The people of Detroit will never forget Miss Aretha. Ever.