All these people were still living by faith when they died…not receiving the things promised…” (Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭13‬ NIV)

On Sunday, January 8, 1956, five men slipped into eternity to the shock and horror of the world. As they attempted to reach the Waodani Indians of Ecuador, they became martyrs for Christ. Not a single one of them awoke that morning knowing they would die by spear point, but in faith climbed into an airplane with Christmas morning enthusiasm, believing they would be introducing souls to Jesus. 

Life rarely turns out the way we think it should. That may be why the Lord doesn’t give us greater glimpses of the future, because we might rebel out of fear! But even in our disappointments, we must maintain our faith that God is still in control and that He knows better than we do how things ought to be. 

If you are nursing a shattered faith due to an unexpected occurrence, give it to God and let your heart be reconciled. Faith is trusting God even when it hurts and doesn’t make sense. Let God reassure you that everything will be alright! You are loved today! Believe it! 

  

  

John did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Messiah.'” (John‬ ‭1‬:‭20‬ NIV)

A pastor friend once shared with me a humorous hospital story. One of his members had been in an accident and was rushed to the ER. When my friend got the call and arrived at the hospital, he found the frantic family. As he walked through the doors, there was the loud, collective, audible sigh of relief from this large group as someone spotted him and cried out, “Everything’s gonna be okay; the pastor’s here!”

The danger of a Messiah Complex is that we truly begin to believe we are “saviors”. And we really run afoul when we try to deliver people out of predicaments that God NEEDED for them to encounter to build their faith! We are not saviors, but Hands of the Savior, being used by God to touch lives so that their allegiance is given to Him, not us. 

Attention feels good, and to be seen as important to others is flattering. But the life of a servant is a life hidden in the Master’s shadow. We fail by accepting the spotlight. Point the way to God by impacting people’s lives and you will share in the Master’s joy! You are loved! 

  

Today, if only you would hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Psalm‬ ‭95‬:‭7-8‬ NIV)

Rev. Samuel Agnew was one of several pastors that served the South as a chaplain during the Civil War. He shared in a journal entry from March 27, 1864, of a spiritual drought he felt was taking place among the soldiers:

“There is a lamentable torpor among the [soldiers] in reference to their souls. They hear and attend the sanctuary but seem unaffected by the preacher’s word…More members were absent than ordinarily, and some who were present did not commune. There is a spiritual drought in that community. May God bless my labors…”

Is it possible to love God and come to Church, yet still miss God? Absolutely! A spiritual drought can occur when we simply ignore God. In Psalm 95, the psalmist instructs the people to worship God, but to be careful not to harden your heart afterwards. It doesn’t matter how much “outflow” we are producing for God; if there’s no “inflow” of His presence, we lose!

Take time this week to allow God’s presence to “rain” on your soul. His voice ends all spiritual droughts in your life! Worship cannot happen until inspiration commences! You are loved today! 

  

Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” (Revelation‬ ‭3‬:‭6‬ NLT)

As I sat on the couch, reading something or other, my toddler daughter was talking to me about things that were on her little mind. As a dutiful Dad, I’d nod and give her an obligatory nod or say something like “Oh really?” or “Isn’t that interesting?” She finally came up to me, pushed aside my reading material, gathered my face in her tiny hands while staring deep into my eyes and said with the exasperation of a four year old going on fourteen, “Daddy! Are you listening to me?!”

Everyday, God is reaching out to us. He desires to teach, train, or warn in order to grow us. But He competes with our schedules, desires, conflicting priorities, and any other little thing that we can invent to throw in the way. Pretty soon we lay flat on our backs, run over by Life, and wondering why God isn’t right there giving us aid and comfort! Our hearts would scream, “Why didn’t you say something, God?!” And His reply would have to be, “I did, but you weren’t listening to me…”

As you come to church today, consider that He has been trying to continuously communicate with you all week. He has even gone to the trouble of putting together an outstanding worship experience just for you! Don’t let your life drown out and cause you to miss the most beautiful opportunity in the world: To sit with your Father and know that He hears you and that you hear His loving voice too! You are loved today! Come experience it for yourself!



Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do.” (Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭5‬ NLT)

The Donner Party was a wagon train group that set out for California in 1846, but got trapped by snows in the Sierra Nevadas. Archeologists believe a Native American tribe, the Wel Mel Ti, tried to help these travelers, leaving everything from rabbits to potatoes at the edge of their camp. However, the pioneers shooting at them hampered relief efforts, and when the pioneers started EATING each other, well, a person can only help out so much!

Every where you look, there are people in need. Sometimes that person is us. By being a considerate person, people can see the genuineness of our spiritual life. Whether helping or being helped, good manners and right actions speak louder than any sermon we could preach!

As you go about your day, focus on allowing God to help you become considerate of others. Christ calls us to serve one another, even in our leadership roles. Don’t hurt those trying to help you, and don’t get flustered if others do! Be Jesus to the world around you. You are loved!



The work is great and extensive…Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” (Nehemiah‬ ‭4‬:‭19-20‬ NKJV)

Sergeant E.N. Boots served in the Union Army with the 101st Regiment of Newberry, NC, during the Civil War. The son of loving Methodist pastors, he wrote them from camp one day in 1863, having seen a thing hard for him to comprehend, the fighting of War on The Lord’s Day:

“Pray for me Mother dear…Last Sabbath no one could leave…Instead of being a day of rest, it was a day of excitement and unrest [plus] the sound of the death dealing cannon mingled with the sound of the church bell.”

Nehemiah saw this too. He understood that while we do the work of God to enrich and save lives, war rages around in everyday areas, sometimes spiritual but also very literal. Our fight isn’t against people, politics, or societal progression, but to save lives from extreme darkness and evil, that which seeks to take root in us and lead us away from the Hope only found in Christ. 

As you go about your day, listen for the sound of cannons and church bells. The call to rally to God rings amidst the clamorings of life. Hear it for yourself, then offer others the Hope that you find! You are loved today! 



As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” (Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭51‬ NLT)

At this moment in Jesus’ life, He had just prophesied twice that He was about to be put to death for His teachings. His time was drawing short. To get to Heaven and be with the Father, the Son had to pass through a severe moment in Jerusalem. So, instead of ducking and avoiding it, He made up His mind and headed into it. Now that’s courage!

There are many times in our lives that for us to enjoy certain activities or moments, we must first go through some difficulties that loom in front of us like Judgment Day. And the more we see it, the more we want to procrastinate and avoid it. Be it goals, deadlines, unpleasant meetings, or a lot of piled up hard work, they sit there in the middle of our path, waiting to be conquered. Trust that God can give you the courage to take on the inevitable, which leads to better days. 

As you come to church today, relinquish your plans to the Father. We don’t see the whole picture, but He does. Where God leads you, whether toward bright mountain tops or dark valley floors, is the best of places because He is with you! Got a “High Noon” moment in your path? Then be like Jesus and set yourself towards it, knowing that God has this and you will overcome! You are loved today! Have courage!