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“Don’t forget to do good…”

I’ve often heard people misquote this verse and others with a similar message to justify their social activism and political agendas even though their ‘actions’ are completely contradictory to the context and whole of the Bible message.

‘Good’ can not be defined in human terms because ‘good’ in human terms is relative to the situation at hand and the mindset of the person or group defining it. Is the good you are doing helping the good of the majority of people who think like you do?

On the other hand, ‘good’ defined by God’s standards is impossible to attain without the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The guidance of the Holy Spirit will never contradict God’s word. It is what empowered Jesus during the wilderness temptations to stay true to his mission and resist satanic influences. Each of the things Satan tempted Christ to do were not wrong in and of themselves but the motive behind them was!

When we consider our ‘good’ actions measure them according to the standards God instituted. Then thank him profusely for grace because even at your best you can’t do everything perfect. Thank him for his inner peace too because if you stand with God, you will ultimately stand against culture and society.

You’ll fair better in the long run when you stand with the one who holds your eternity in his hand that you will standing with those whose future is limited to this world. Your good deeds should be done according to God’s standards, not the whims and fickle ways of culture.


While the Bible was written thousands of years ago, it continues to amaze me, especially in the stories it tells. The stories told are proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s humbling to realize that after all these years the human race is no closer to figuring out how to treat each other. The result is a sense of fear, frustration and hopelessness.

It’s easy to say ‘I believe in God. He is my hope’ but for many of us, at least for me, it’s much easier to put my hope in God when my checkbook is okay, my kids behave, and I haven’t done something stupid to cause friction in the family!

When prayers go unanswered; when there’s more month at the end of the money; when the doctors report is ominous; when the police are knocking on the door, it’s a little more difficult to follow the Apostle’s advice to ‘count it all joy when we encounter various trials.’

No where is this better illustrated than by Mark in the Gospel bearing his name. A discouraged father reaches the end of his rope. He most likely hasn’t had a good night’s sleep since his son began to have seizures that attempted to kill him with fire or drowning.

In an act of desperation he seeks out Jesus (Even back then it was incredibly hard for a guy to ask for help). The story gets worse. When he arrives at the place where Jesus was reported to be, he finds out Jesus was on a retreat with a couple of disciples. The other disciples failed miserably to be of any help whatsoever. An argument ensued. “You mean to tell me I came all this way and you can’t help?”

When Jesus finally arrived, dad told his story. He asks IF Jesus can help. Jesus says, if you believe, all things are possible. Dad blurted out “I DO believe…” but no sooner were the words out of his mouth than he realized that deep down, he struggled with doubt. He finished his sentence with the words many of us say during the honest moments of our lives, “help me in my unbelief!

It’s easy to believe when life is good. Not always so when life goes south. So, like the dad, I often catch myself admitting my desire to believe is greater than my ability to believe.

Have you been there? When we use human logic; when we put our trust in our own resources, Hope is hard to come by. When we put our hope completely in God we find comfort. But here’s the best part. He knows going into all this that you will struggle with belief. He knows that no matter how many times he shows himself capable, you’ll be attacked with the demon named worry. But that’s okay. His power is as result of who he is, not the level of you’re ability to believe.

Rest in his comfort.


The story of Joshua is one we should all learn from. As a young man he watched and learned from Moses, whose story is equally amazing. Born with a golden spoon in his mouth, he blew it all in a fit of rage. Then he ran for his life only to be called into service by God to lead a rebellious, stubborn people to a land he would never enter himself because of … a fit of rage.

Enter Joshua. He’d stood with Moses through much of the wilderness wandering In the midst of seeing Moses’ failures, he saw a God of power, strength, provision, holiness, and most of all, grace!

Chapter one of the book that bears his name is, in a sense, God’s motivational speech in the locker room before the big game.

He reminded Joshua that he should be strong and courageous. Not because of Joshua’s strength but because he was chosen by God for this task. ““Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Joshua‬ ‭1:6

He was reminded Joshua that his power would come through his obedience to God’s directives, not because of any knowledge or wisdom he had within himself. Be strong and very courageous. Success in God’s kingdoms comes from obedience. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Joshua‬ ‭1:7

He reminded Joshua that no matter how bad it gets on the field, God is by his side reminding him of the game plan that would never fail. No matter how hopeless the situation, Joshua was God’s man and was never alone. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua‬ ‭1:9

God reassured Joshua that there would be those who would rise up against him. Whenever you are doing God’s work, there will be those who oppose you. The closer you grow to God, the more his power will be evident and the more his power is evident, the more people will try to pull you down. But don’t spend your time defending yourself. God’s got your back. Just do what you do. Anyone who rebels against your orders and does not obey your words and everything you command will be put to death. So be strong and courageous!”” Joshua‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭

Are you up against a struggle? Does the future hold lots of questions and possibilities? Are you being oppressed by fear?

Be Strong. Be Courageous. With God on your side, failure isn’t an option.


Have you ever been really thirsty, so thirsty in fact, that you began to feel the effects of dehydration. Dehydration can be harmful to the body. The human body can survive for up to 21 days without meaningful food, but only a couple weeks without water. Water is essential for survival.

Not just any water will do of course. Water can look crystal clear yet contain harmful bacteria or chemicals that can make one sick, or even lead to death. People learning survival skills know the importance of testing water in a variety of ways to make sure, as much as possible, that the water is safe for human consumption.

It’s no surprise to me that Jesus refers to himself as ‘living water’. In John 7:38, he says “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” Living water. When I think of living water I think of a rushing stream cascading over a waterfall. Crystal clear. Beautiful, yet powerful. A never ending sign of strength yet in some strange way, serenity.

In the physical sense, water is beneficial to the body in many ways. It helps to cleanse your organs. It refreshes you. It gives you strength. It satisfies.

In the spiritual sense, a personal relationship with Jesus does the same thing to our souls. In the midst of the wilderness, a refreshing drink of water helps us to carry on. When our souls are in the wilderness, Jesus becomes that source of refreshment that helps us carry on. This living water becomes a source of strength when we don’t think we can carry on.

Jesus is the source of purity. There are other religions. There are other philosophies. There are other ways of thinking. But only Jesus offers the guaranteed love and forgiveness of sin that is available through his sacrifice.

Water refreshes the body, but Jesus refreshes the soul when you don’t feel you can go on.

It’s no wonder the psalmist writes, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:2)

Is your soul thirsty? Do you long for some relief from the wilderness you are in? We were created in God’s image and the only way to fill the void in our souls is with the living water of his Son, Jesus.

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