Saturday, February 6, 2016

I have a problem

I have a problem. It is a very serious problem. It is so serious that I honestly fear it may cause me to stop going to any “Evangelical Christian Church”. I suspect there are some people with insight that may be able to help me with my problem, if they are willing. This is not a joke or an exaggeration. I am deadly serious! It has been years since I was able to invite anyone to join me in going to my church.

As far as I am able I believe what is written in The Word of God (The Bible). There is much that I am sure I do not understand. But in my study and visiting roundabout with other believers I have seen two important areas where my understanding is in diametrical opposition to what is called “Evangelical” teaching.

Please understand, I do not wish to argue this issue. But if I am wrong I would very much appreciate being shown where I have gone astray. I long for fellowship with believers who are sincerely seeking to follow Jesus and be changed into his image. (Romans 8:29 & 2 Corinthians 3:18)

In nearly every meeting that I attend the idea is expressed or the statement is boldly made and validated that “Jesus was wholly man and wholly God” when he was living among us as a man. This naturally leads to several other ideas that follow easily. Things such as “we cannot be perfect” (Matthew 5:48) and “he was God so of course he could resist sin.”

Allow me to share what I believe and why I have come to this understanding.
In John 1:1-4 it says;

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

I need to begin by plainly saying that I believe absolutely what is said here. In the beginning Jesus, here referred to as The Word, was with God and he was God. By the word God created all things. (Ref Genesis 1:1-2:3)

But when we go further down to verse 14 something profound takes place.

And 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 of truth.

This is evidence of a profound change in nature, from one with God to being flesh. How complete is this change and what are the implications? Please consider a few more scriptures to see if you can at least understand how I have come to my conclusions.

Please take a look at Philippians 2:5-8

Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.

First notice in verse 6; existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, Jesus did not count equality with God as something to be grasped, therefore he (vs. 7-8) emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man…This doesn’t seem to me to need explanation especially if you compare this to Hebrews 2:14 &16-17. First Since then the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise partook of the same and then; For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but he gives help to the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like his brethren in all things so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Look at that again He had to be made like his brethren in all things. There is no question that we are not wholly god and wholly man, therefor if Jesus was made like us in all things, he must of necessity not be wholly God and wholly man. It just seems logical to me.

Of course there is the matter of Jesus living a sinless life so that he could be the perfect sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 4:15 gives us a place to begin to talk about Jesus and sin. That may be the whole point of this whole issue. According to the popular logic, Jesus had to be wholly God and wholly man to live apart from sin. If he was not wholly God he would have a sin nature like us. Well here the plot only thickens. I looked in several versions and even paraphrases of God’s word and nowhere did I find anything about “sin nature.” I don’t think it is there. (Kind of like other popular teachings that are accepted because of an inference.)

What I do find is in Hebrews 4:15-16.

For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

To me this is an amazing scripture and an amazing reality. This says to me that Jesus was tempted just like I am tempted and yet he did not sin. I love thinking about that because it is such an encouragement for me. But how was Jesus tempted just like me?
Let’s look in James 1:13-15 and see what it says.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man: but each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is full-grown, bringeth forth death.

First observe that it says God cannot be tempted with evil. If Jesus were wholly God and wholly man these two passages would be in contradiction. No evangelical in his right mind would agree to scripture contradicting itself. Then there is the next problem for most “Christians”, “each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed.” Someone will scream blasphemy but, did Jesus have lusts? Yes. Was he enticed? Yes. Was he drawn away to agree with the lust? No. How do I know? It says so in Hebrews 4:15-16.

For this to happen Jesus would have to have a flesh like ours. Jesus would have to have lust in his flesh. He would have to have a will that was different from his father’s. And by his own words in Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36 and in Luke 22:42 Jesus is recorded as saying essentially the same thing. “Not my will but thine be done.” Clearly here I am confronted with two (2) wills; God the Father’s will and Jesus’ will. Yes absolutely Jesus had a will that was different from his father’s.

Someone will say that this understanding makes Jesus something less and we must not accept it. Let me answer with a couple of questions. Which is greater someone who could not be tempted not being tempted or someone who could be tempted overcoming temptation? 1 Peter 2:21 says

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps

So how would it be possible for me to follow the steps of the God-man? Is it more conceivable that I might follow the steps of the man Jesus?

For me the man Jesus did what no God-man Jesus could ever do and that makes him so far better that there are no words to describe it fully. The man Jesus left me an example to follow. The man Jesus promises to not allow me to be tempted beyond my ability (1 Corinthians 10:13). Because Jesus was a man when I read 1 John 1:8-9 I can continue reading to the next chapter where it says “My little children, these things I write to you so that you may not sin…”  I can have hope to overcome. I can have a hope to be transformed into His image (Romans 8:29, 2 Corinthians 3:19) if I will persevere (Galatians 6:9).

Finally on this matter I am compelled to mention the scripture in 2 John 1:7:

For many deceivers are gone forth into the world, even they that confess not that Jesus Christ cometh in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.

My second major problem is a result of the first. Since Evangelical Christianity proclaims the God-man Jesus personal transformation is not possible. Therefore the message is reduced to the forgiveness of sins and behavior improvement. The absolutes of God’s Word are reduced to strong suggestions and the promises to wishful thinking.

Instead of saying we should speak evil of no one we are told to pray for them at least as much as we badmouth them (Matthew 12:37). If God were a man who heard all of our words that might be confusing for him. We sing songs pleading “remember me oh God” as if he might forget us. I have actually heard a paid pastor say that if someone tells you that ‘God won’t give you more than you can bear’, that’s just a cliché.

In the beginning God created all things by his Word (Genesis 1, John 1) and he upholds all things by his word (Hebrews 1:3). We were created in His image and it is his will that we be changed into his image, shouldn’t we be very careful with our words.

As I said at the beginning I believe these issues to be very serious. I would welcome any help to see how I am in error. I desire to be a disciple of Jesus. Please understand that I offer these words in humility and fear.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Take My Yoke Upon You

Jesus says, “Come to me all of you who labor and are burdened down with heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

Everyone has burdens to bear and to each one his burden seems hard to bear whether it’s a neighbor’s cat that leaves things in your flower bed or a child with cancer. Maybe your burden is a sister or a brother, a child or a neighbor or even a spouse. Our burdens vary from time to time. But the truth is that most of the time I am my most difficult burden to bear.

Maybe you have not seen the truth of this last statement yet. “I am my most difficult burden to bear.” I will not try to convince you that this is what you must believe but I will try to show you how I have come to this conclusion for myself.

Everything is based on the foundation that I have decided to follow Jesus and give my life into his Lordship. For me this means that his words and the teaching of the rest of God’s word is the truth for my life, conduct and understanding.

Jesus has said that we are to “make disciples”. As I have meditated on this and labored over it for some time, it seems to me that the first disciple that I am responsible to make is myself.

In the passage we are looking at today, Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me.” This is a phrase that refers to Jewish men who would commit themselves to one teacher or rabbi. In doing this they would commit themselves to spending as much time as possible with the rabbi in order to learn to speak and act as much like him as possible.

We understand that the disciples who followed Jesus left everything to follow him. Peter and Andrew, James and John left their fishing business and Levi (Matthew) left his government job to follow Jesus. Following Jesus meant being with him 24/7, listening to what he said and doing what he commanded. Learning to be like him.

Today we are not able to be with Jesus in flesh but we have his words and we have his spirit. We can study His Word (the Bible) and his words to see how he responded in situations. We can study his teachings to learn and be filled with his spirit.
When I memorize and meditate upon his words it is possible for them to change my mind and the seat of my affections (my heart) to become like his.

Someone will complain, “I can’t memorize,” or worse, “I don’t like to memorize.” Everyone over the age of four has already memorized hundreds of things. By the time you have progressed to be able to read this article, that number has grown to thousands and hundreds of thousands. Just consider what you had to commit to unconscious memory to translate the shapes on your screen or paper into words and then those words into meaningful ideas that you could disagree with.

If it’s important to you, you can commit it to memory. If you can remember your birthday, your address and your phone number, you can surely learn by memory, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” If it’s important.

That is the easy part! Once I have it in my mind, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven”, then I have to think about it. What does it mean? How does it apply to my life? Does it apply to my life in any way? What action do I need to take?

When I begin to take Jesus words and apply them to my own life, then I begin to take his yoke and learn of him. Then I begin to see that the greatest burden I need to bear is me; my pride, my sense of always knowing, my thinking I am rich in knowledge and understanding of spiritual things.

Of course the other burdens are still very real. But as I learn to follow Jesus, I am also learning to cast all my cares upon him, because I am learning that he truly does care for me as He cares for each one of us. I am learning that all of the trials and sorrows in life only come to draw me closer to Him.

At the end of this passage, Jesus says an amazing thing. “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

How can this be true? Didn’t he come to die on the cross for the sins of the world?
Well not exactly, although that was part of it. It is written about him, “I come to do thy will, oh God.” (Psalms 40 & Hebrews 10) Jesus came to do the will of God. As I become his disciple that becomes my purpose as well; to do God’s will.

How can I know God’s will? Read it, memorize it, meditate upon it. Begin where you are. Start with one thing: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Memorize, meditate, pray. When that is securely in your mind and growing in your heart, move on a little. “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  These are virtues that are surely God’s will for your life and mine.

These seem like simple steps and they are. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. These are possible things that we can do and as we do them God will work in us to form the character of Jesus in each of our lives.

It's something to think about.

Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of my friends and family. This has been quite a year for us and the adventure seems that it will continue.

Just over a year ago Jeannie and I moved into our newly acquired 5th wheel trailer. We stayed for a couple of months near Medford so we could get used to the whole RV lifestyle a little at a time. There were some pretty serious adjustments right off the bat. Jeannie had filled a 3 bedroom house with furniture and, well, stuff. We got rid of a lot of the aforementioned stuff, etc. I also had a shed that was pretty full of stuff. Much of that had to go as well. What didn’t fit in the 5th wheel went to storage. That was a shock for both of us.

Moving into the RV precipitated a very different life style. In cold weather, frequent trips to buy propane, emptying black water weekly or more often, and completely rearranging our ideas about shopping for groceries; Our food storage is about 1/3 what it was before. Just a lot of stuff and we were really thankful to be so close to Walmart.

In February we hooked up and moved to a little/big town in western Arizona. Quartzsite is a snowbird town ranging from under 20,000 in the summer to over 300,000 between October and April. There are lots of temporary shops there and just about every craft imaginable. We had a very pleasant time there and Jeannie found that she enjoys making jewelry. Check out her pendants at dramamamajewelry on

In May we hooked up again and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our youngest daughter Bethel and her family live there. For the last several years Jeannie has been going there to do child care during the summer. Our granddaughter turned 12 this year so this will be our last year for that. But we enjoyed time with them and we got reconnected with a dear friend from college. We also had a nice visit with Jeannie’s cousin and his wife.

Then late in August it was time to move again. This time to Springfield Ohio, my home town. I have a lot of family there but mostly our son and his family live not too far away in Cincinnati. They have a fairly new son that we haven’t seen nearly enough of. We have gone down there or they have come up nearly every week and we have really enjoyed being together with them. We also have family and friends in and around Springfield that we have really enjoyed seeing again.
There are many others here that I would have loved to see if I had just managed our time better, but alas it is about time to pack up again and roll back to Arizona. We did have a lovely Christmas time with our son and his family and our kids from Oklahoma came up and we had a very pleasant 4 days all together.

After a hopefully restful time in Arizona we hope to head back to Oregon for a long stay, after they get pretty well done with winter.

The first year of our Roamin’ adventure has been pretty enjoyable all around. After my being on the road and gone for most of 12 years we are learning to get along again. A 5th wheel as a lovely way to travel and a nice way to live although sometimes it’s a little extra cozy. We are getting a little better at it each day.

At the beginning of the year I had some grand ideas about how I might encourage some people and be a blessing to many. I hope I have been an encouragement to some. Discipleship is something that I was hoping to encourage many to become active in. I even completed the first of a series (I think) of discipleship studies. I believe I am supposed to continue working on that because my calling is to be a disciple. I have been able to write several articles for my blog and it seems like some are looking at it so I am encouraged to continue.

I am sure that the blessings of God are absolute and I pray that you will consider them as you step into the New Year.
·         Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
·         Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
·         Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
·         Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
·         Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
·         Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the Sons of God.

Be among the blessed.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

To See What Jesus Sees

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
I never cease to be amazed at how I can read a verse that I’ve read many times and all of a sudden I see something that I’ve never seen before. This week I was reading in Mark 4, where we have the story of the woman with the alabaster box. She was reprimanded for wasting so much money on costly perfume, but Jesus commended her and said that what she had done would be told wherever the Gospel was preached.

What the critics were saying was correct. That money could have been used to feed the poor. But instead of agreeing with the critics Jesus saw the good thing that the woman had done. For myself I see that this is a place where I need to work. I am often like the critics who are quick to point out what is wrong with this or that.

In the second chapter of Mark there is another story, which I may have mentioned at another time. Jesus is teaching in a house and some people come carrying a crippled man on a bed to Jesus, but when they get to him there is no way to get into the house where he is. So they climb up on the roof with their friend on his bed and break through the roof to let him down on his bed through the hole that they have made.

In verse 5 it says an amazing thing “When Jesus saw their faith…”; Now try to imagine that this was your house and a bunch of guys have just broken through your roof to let someone down on a bed. What would you see? I would probably not see faith. But that is what God desires that we see.
As I was looking at this and seeing how I need to grow much more I thought about the verse in Galatians 5:24;

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

As I was looking around there I saw the list of the works of the flesh and I noticed that in the midst of things that nearly everyone would agree on are things like hostility, quarreling, outbursts of anger, dissensions and divisions. As I thought about these things it dawned on me how easily I become angry and raise my voice because I am irritated. I saw how I want to separate from others because they don’t see things as clearly or correctly as I do.

And so I see once again that there is work for me to do. I must work to have the exhortation of Philippians 4:8 living in my mind until it becomes living in my life. Whenever I see where I fall short I rejoice because God has shown me confidence to open more of the way of salvation to me so that I can be conformed to the image of Jesus.

Let us each learn more faithfulness.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Two Houses

Two men went into a neighborhood to find houses to resell. They each found a house and they were very near to the other. The houses were very similar since they had been built around the same time by the same builder.

The first man, Charley Makepeace went through the house he bought and said let’s get this house looking good so that we can resell it for a nice profit. So they fixed the cracks in the plaster and caulked where the siding had splits. In the living room the ceiling light didn’t work so they plastered over the switch and removed the fixture and plastered over that hole. The kitchen floor was recovered by putting down a thin sheet of plywood and then putting down new vinyl. After all the cracks were filled and everything looked straight they painted the whole house and put it back on the market listed for a nice profit.

Tom Straight went in and found the problems with the house and then set about to fix them. Some of the siding had to be replaced and all of the electric had to be redone so it would be safe. Some of the drains were replaced so the water would flow better. In the bathroom the floor was taken up and some of the structural pieces replaced and then the floor was put back down with new vinyl. The house was repainted inside and out. He then had the house inspected and an appraisal made. The house was certified safe and put on the market at a price pretty close to Mr. Makepeace’s house, for a smaller profit.

If you went into that neighborhood to buy a house, which of these two houses would you prefer to buy?

A lot of people believe in a God who accepts you just the way you are and is only interested in external improvements. They call this Grace. While other people believe in a God who wants to go through their life and change them from the inside out into people who genuinely resemble their Lord. This second group know that sometimes this process is painful and unpleasant but the result is genuine and therefore worth it. This second group calls this Grace.

It’s something to think about.
Matthew 7:24-27

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sometimes We Don't Say Exactly What We Mean

A few days ago as I was going over one of my favorite passages in my mind I realized something that I don’t remember seeing before. Sometimes we don’t say just what we mean.

When our children were growing up I used to go in and pray with them when they were going to bed. I remember clearly when our son prayed that God would help him be patient with his sisters. I remember telling him about the danger of praying for patience. In case you don’t know, when you pray for patience God will often give you more opportunities to become better at being patient. I think his sisters were co-operative in this case. The real point is that what he really wanted was to not be annoyed by his sisters’ behavior. There is a way to do that but that is for another time.

The passage that I am referring to is found in Luke 17. Jesus is giving instructions for our behavior here. In the first 4 verses he tells his disciples that they need to be ready to forgive those who offend them often. Even if they do that very same thing 7 times in a day and then come and repent, we are to forgive them as often as they come and repent.

At this point the disciples said something to Jesus that might not have been just exactly what they meant. What they said was, “Lord, Increase our faith.” What I suspect they meant and what I believe most of us mean when we ask the same thing of God, and that is, “Lord make it so I feel like doing what you said.”

I suspect the disciples didn’t quite understand the true nature of faith. I also believe that we are inclined to not understand it correctly as well. But God is faithful and gives us exactly what we need so that we may understand and do His Will.

Next Jesus says something that is amazing if you will think about it.

And the Lord said, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, ‘Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea’; and it should obey you.”

Jesus said what he meant, unfortunately we often don’t read or listen carefully. Sometimes we add things that weren’t said. Jesus is talking about the power that is possible with faith, not the power of wishing. Those are two very different things.

The holidays are just around the corner and I could wish that turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie with whipped cream wouldn’t add inches to my waist. But faith tells me to use discretion in what I eat and I will be able to control my weight. I am subject to the laws of diet and nutrition, no matter how much I wish it were different.

Jesus went on to show us how faith really works in verses 7 to 10. Let’s look at it in the Good News Translation.

"Suppose one of you has a servant who is plowing or looking after the sheep. When he comes in from the field, do you tell him to hurry along and eat his meal? Of course not! Instead, you say to him, 'Get my supper ready, then put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may have your meal.' The servant does not deserve thanks for obeying orders, does he? It is the same with you; when you have done all you have been told to do, say, 'We are ordinary servants; we have only done our duty.' "

What just happened here?

We just went from ordering trees around to working all day then fixing dinner and serving a master who may not even be thankful. How can these things both be correct?

Something that we MUST understand is, faith is always a matter of obedience to authority. (Romans 1:5)

In the example where we started, Jesus gave the disciples instructions. Faith will obey those instructions no matter how we feel. In every area of my life God will give instructions on how to proceed if I will ask, seek and listen. Often, I will not like those instructions. I won’t feel like it. But, faith will obey and in the end say, “I am only an unprofitable servant for I have only done what I was commanded.”

Some of the things that faith will do are:

·         Speak evil of no one. (Titus 3:2)
·         Give thanks always for all things. (Ephesians 5:20)
·         Rejoice in the Lord always. (Philippians 4:4)
·         Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)
·         And, Oh yes, “Be perfect just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Now that should be something to think about.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

First Steps are Important

The first step is important. People have a baby’s first step recorded on their smart phone and email or text them to friends and family by email and text message and even share them with complete strangers on social media. Without that first step there can never be the second, third and millions of steps which follow.

In the process of becoming a child of God there seems to be a first step that has been emphasized and yet seldom considered in any depth to understand how to get to the root. We are told that “…all have sinned and come short of the glory of God ;”( Romans 3:23) but we never are shown clearly what that means. Therefore we are left to our own devices to determine what sin is. So instead of coming to an understanding of the nature of sin we find examples and use them as a definition. In that case we are relegated to the big 4; stealing what belongs to someone else, killing another human being, sexual immorality however we end up defining that, and then lying is the fourth. Some do go a little farther and include thinking about doing those things as sin.

So we are told in Sunday school (where they still have that) that Jesus died to save us from our sins. And frightened children come home and tell their parents that they must be baptized because they need to be saved from their sins. But they have no idea what those sins are. They certainly haven’t stolen, killed or been involved in immoral sexual behavior (people of the opposite gender are icky). But they are sure they have sinned because the teacher read to them from the Bible that “all have sinned.” I am sure there are exceptions to this illustration, but generally speaking you will see the point that I am making is valid, I hope.

So, what is this “sin” that we are all guilty of that has caused us to fall short of the glory of God? And how can understanding the answer to this first question help me to stop falling short of God’s glory?

The word Genesis means beginning, so since we are considering this to be a first step the beginning would be a good place to start. In the first chapter we can read how God created the whole universe with his words.  God spoke all of the physical that we can see and more into reality.  That’s a whole other topic. Then in chapter 2 we can read beginning in verse 8 how God planted a garden in “Eden”. Here again we find that the Bible translators didn’t translate. The Hebrew word for Eden is pronounced “Eden” the translation is “pleasure”. Of the 19 or so translations that I look at, only the Douay-Reims Translation agrees with several commentators and says,And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning: wherein he placed man whom he had formed.”  

God provided all that man needed for his pleasure in this garden. Just take a moment or several to think about that.

I really like caramel and my wife likes dark chocolate. I enjoy seafood but my wife prefers chicken. What does this have to do with sin? Not a lot, but it does have to do with pleasure. One of the pleasures that God placed in the garden was a freedom to choose. When we choose the course that is right we have great pleasure but when we choose the course that is wrong we quickly come to sorrow. This is simple to illustrate in several life situations. In this “paradise of pleasure” all of the choices but one were within God’s will. Everything was a delight to behold, unimaginably wonderful foods were everywhere, and physical pleasure had no boundaries. Included in the pleasures was the pleasure of choosing to do God’s will. The pleasure of allowing God to decide what is best for me and what I should avoid. The only way that it could be possible to choose one way over another is for you to have at least two options. In this case there were thousands of options and only one had been labeled as “the wrong option”. And yet with a little help from a clever salesman that is what they chose.

That option was not a pear, a plum, an apple or a pomegranate. The option was the option to choose to decide between what is good and what is evil. The option was and is to place my will above and before God’s will. Here is the root of all sin. God’s will or my will; we are presented with the same choice as Adam and Eve.

Every day all day long we are presented with choices. Unfortunately because of that first choice, to choose other than God’s will, we often have several wrong options and only one or a few right options that are in agreement with God’s will. How do we possibly learn to choose properly?

This is what following Jesus is really all about. Jesus was tempted in every way the same as we are tempted and yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). God’s Word promises that, “there is no temptation that comes to you or me except what is common to all men and God is faithful and will not permit us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear ( 1 Corinthians 10:13). Does this mean that I will never sin again? I don’t think so. But it does mean that there is always a way open to me where I can learn to choose to do God’s will and not my own.

God’s will certainly involves healing the sick and possibly doing other miracles but it is not likely that we will get to be a part of that while we are still becoming angry with our brother or sister because they didn’t pick up their dirty clothes. I must learn to be faithful to do God’s will where it is clear to me. Then I can learn to be involved where my will is so easily confused with God’s.

As I choose God’s will in more and more situations of life I gain power over sin. As a born again follower of Jesus I always have the power to choose and God will always show me the right choice and give me the power to choose His will in the moment if I will cry out to him in my time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Let us each one continue to faithfulness
2 Corinthians 3:10