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Freedom in Following 

Lessons in Discipleship

   Fundamentally, a disciple follows the Master and in doing so ‘abides’ in Him, that is, partakes of His Spirit, His Life. It is a lifelong pursuit. It includes hilltops and valleys, stumblings, repentances and restorations. However, most importantly, the disciple, even if there has been a period of absence, when all is said and done, does not stop following.
Of course, in following, there may be elation and/or hardship; there may be tremendous grief and/or supreme hope and joy; there may be uncertainty and waywardness and/or absolute confidence and resolute determination; there may be fear and/or faith – in other words, the struggle between human frailty and spiritual strength will also never stop – not until your following becomes a transformation, an uniting, and you are truly, finally, completely born again into eternity.
Thus, despite the struggle, you will find a glorious freedom in following.

Things Above - Volume One

   I confess – I’m a man so desperately in need of God’s grace, it just amazes me that He would shed His love upon me. There was a time that I thought I was ‘not so bad’ and yet it was during that very time my Redeemer grabbed my heart and saved my soul. Graciously, He chose me, and I embraced the truth about Him. But there was still much to learn of my own despicably wicked heart. Later, when Abba Father took two of my own little boys home to heaven, I learned how shallow and shaky my faith and hope were but also how faithful, compassionate, merciful and gracious He is. These devotionals are offered in hope that those believers in Christ who have encountered the trials of grief or simply hunger for a more intimate relationship with God may be encouraged along the path of this pilgrimage.

Things Above - Volume Two

   As I shared in Volume One, I am a man so desperately in need of God’s grace, it just amazes me that He would shed His love upon me. But as we endeavor to know Him better, we discover that He is so often the Master of the unexpected. He seems to specialize in the ‘nobodies,’ and is found in the ‘nowheres’. As He commands the wind and waves, as He heals the sick and raises the dead, as He ties into the ‘spiritual elite’ and cares for the lowly sinners, as He dies and then rises to eternal life – He is continually surprising us. These devotions are offered in the hope that those believers in Christ who have encountered the trials of grief or simply hunger for a more intimate relationship with God may be encouraged along the path of their pilgrimage.

       Artistry of the Almighty

One of the most interesting ‘artistic’ lessons we can learn from scripture is its basis for classical Hebrew poetry, for it is quite different from our contemporary forms. Whereas we tend to express ourselves in meaningful rhyme - words that sound the same or similar, the writers of scripture, moved by the Spirit of God wrote poetry that was based upon the association of stark contrasts and/or similitudes in meaning.
As an example, this is the poetry we can see in Genesis and the Gospels:
•The first Adam was rebellious to His Loving Father; the Last Adam (Christ) was obedient -- both died as a result.
•For love, the first Adam died with his bride; for love, the Last Adam died for His bride.
•Burdened with sin, the first Adam was shown the door out of paradise; burdened with sin, the Last Adam became the door into Paradise.
•The first ark (Noah’s) was covered with ‘atonement’ (the literal meaning of the word for pitch); the ‘last ark’ (the cross) was covered with the atoning blood of the Lamb. Both mean(t) salvation for every kind of creature -- Jew and Gentile.
On and on the poetry of God continues. And surprise, it includes you and me. “For we are His workmanship (literally ‘poema’ or poetry) created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:10
And in addition to His poetry, His Word portrays His truth both in the ‘plain sense’ of its reading and in amazing illustrations of deep and prophetic messages to His children – revelations of His Son, Jesus. Indeed, the entire cosmos is the Artistry of the Almighty.

   The Name - Knowing the Divine

Something so holy it cannot be pronounced. YHWH. Hebrew people have for many centuries have simply referred to it as “the Name”. Gayle Erwin writes, “In the days of Moses, a name was significant precisely because of its meaning. Names, somehow, were assigned in accordance with the nature or promise of that person. Thus, to know a person’s name and the meaning of the name was to truly know the person.”
For this reason, as you read the scriptures, oftentimes you can reasonably replace “name” with “nature” and it is upon that journey we will proceed. Herein, we are going to discuss the many facets of our Holy God’s nature. Since the days of Eden, man has terribly misunderstood the character, the nature of our Lord.
When Jesus came, we have in the record of John these words, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” The holy nature of Almighty God was plainly portrayed in the life of Christ but with it ‘staring them in the face’, they still did not recognize it.
“Philip (the Apostle) said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father'?’”
Standing before them was the exact representation. You see, “Heaven had a choice to make: who can we send who will properly represent compassion, grace, longsuffering, love, faithfulness, forgiveness? He must be [an] exact and true representation; he cannot vary one iota. No course correction can occur in the midst of the representation and no damage control must be necessary after the representation. Heaven’s choice was surely the Son. Only he is the ‘exact representation.’” (G. Erwin)
It is my fervent hope that in reading these devotions, you will take a single step in the direction you were created to journey. To know God.
Jesus, himself, said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”


A collection of exciting lessons in scriptural prophecy that are relevant for today. Perspective is a critical determinant in whether you see God’s Word as edifying or irrelevant, foundational or fictitious. As many of you know, identifying with ‘Christianity’ no longer gives a ‘Christian’ perspective – that’s sad but not new. The same is true concerning ‘church’.
The perspective that unlocks God’s Word comes from the indwelling of His Holy Spirit and that indwelling is only obtained by sincerely believing in Christ and what He accomplished on Calvary. Unlocking God’s Word does not simply reveal more truth but actually opens and nurtures a personal, relational, intimate knowledge of Him. Apart from that, believers simply go through routines and when faced with crises of faith, fall away.


Life and Lessons from the

Gospel of John

   “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” - John 20:30, 31
John claimed that he was the disciple Jesus loved. Was that because he was the first to follow, along with Andrew? Was it because he and his brother James were firebrands? Was it because he had an ‘in’ with the religious elite? Was it because he first followed John the Baptist?
Maybe because he really was the ‘best’ disciple and deserved to rule in the kingdom of God? Maybe he had greater wisdom than the rest?
He just knew Jesus loved him. And his gospel proclaims the amazing love of Christ for all. He was the one who penned, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”
Nowhere in scripture is this love for John and for each of us explained. It is not definable nor is it explainable. And John knew that there is only one way to begin to receive and experience it. He came to understand that believing is the key and that is the principle reason he wrote his gospel.

Fellowship in Faith

   Would you like a real friend? Someone with whom you’re at ease, someone who honestly cares about you and whom you care about?
Would you like a purpose and pathway in life that actually inspires? One that stirs you up and causes you to pinch yourself to see if it’s real? One that scares, delights and lifts?
Would you like a confidence based upon knowing something unshakeable? And an attitude resulting from it that is gentle and kind yet strong and peaceful?
If so, you can consider each page of this little book as a doorway presenting opportunities to know and explore the character of our Servant-King Jesus Christ. Having said that, no doorway herein is intended to lead you to religion.
What I pray you’ll discover as you open and pass through is greater appreciation and attachment to Him – our Shepherd, Brother, Friend, Savior, Lord, Creator, Holy God - for these lessons have all been penned if not skillfully, at least in brokenness and in hope.

Fire Eyes

   The subject of prophecy has been the endeavor of liars, lunatics and the true lovers of God since it first began to be spoken and recorded. For the liars, it has been a tool for deception and self interest. For the lunatics, it is ultimately a tool of pathetic discredit and nonsense. For those who sincerely love and seek to understand God’s Word, it serves to guide, instruct and encourage.
The principles to understanding prophecy are not complicated, nor are they restricted, as some assert, to scholarly mediators, mysteries or magi. God has always been willing to give the necessary wisdom for ‘hearing’ the message He conveys in His Word to those who seek Him with all their hearts. Highlighted below are seven of them:
Principle One – let the Word of God interpret itself. Like a marvelous tapestry, the scriptures are integrated and complete. Careful study of the whole Bible reveals a consistent revelation throughout. God’s Word is perfectly inspired, translations are not.
Principle Two – God’s key focus in prophecy is Israel – the nation, the people, the capital and especially, the Savior. Of course, there are prophecies concerning other people and nations but only because of their relation to Israel.
Principle Three – God is consistent with His Word. Key imagery does not mean something in one prophecy and something else in another.
Principle Four – pay special attention to the first mention in the Bible of important words, phrases and/or imagery for significance and broader understanding. Compare them with other scriptures for confirmation or correction of your impressions.
Principle Five – be aware of the subtle tendency toward the erroneous influence of substitutionalism. Misguided teachers of scripture all the way back to the third and fourth centuries have claimed that the promises of God to Israel became those of the church since the Jews rejected Christ. Not so. That teaching is heretical and demeaning of God. Nevertheless, the overt and sometimes subtle tendency of most ‘gentile’ believers is to interpret prophecy, to varying degrees, in that mindset.
Principle Six – there’s no ‘fluff’ or ‘filler’ in the Bible. Every word is included for a purpose. Again, you should not put faith in the myriad translations so much as the original languages. Of course, this means study and discernment of intent.
Principle Seven -- there are no contradictions in scripture though some who are misguided by translations or assumptions of context would claim the contrary. No faithful instruction on prophecy will contradict the scripture or lead to ‘new scripture’.
Fire Eyes deals with the Revelation of Jesus Christ – chapter by chapter, verse by verse. Its addendum deals with prophecies that in a way preface and provide foundational understanding. May you be blessed and encouraged as you read.