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One of the hardest things for any of us to do is to be people of honor in an argument. This is especially true when we know the truth or are being personally attacked or wrongfully accused. It is during these times that honor is difficult if not impossible to hold on to. For the believer in Jesus Christ it is imperative that we remain people of honor; that we are salt and light not purveyors of darkness adding fuel to the fire. To the unbelieving pagan Jesus simply spoke the truth and by his actions showed love and acceptance. To the arrogant religious people, who were bent on attack, he lashed out at their shallow actions but in the end said “Father forgive them”. It’s no wonder that James writes, “Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” (James‬ ‭3:2‬) Knowing when to hold our tongue is a sign of spiritual maturity and honor. It is a process accomplished over time and with reliance on the Holy Spirit.

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We’ve never done well with choices. Ever since Adam and Eve chose the fruit over obedience mankind has consistently chosen self-gratification. Ironically, satisfying our physical desires never lasts. The body constantly demands more to fill the emotional side of us. It’s a futile attempt because nothing we can see, taste or touch will satisfy forever. Someone once said that within the soul of every person is a God shaped hole. The only thing that will fill the void is Jesus. But here’s the kicker. You have a choice. Will you continue to try to fill the void with the temporal or will you choose the narrow road and follow Christ? It’s your choice and your decision will determine your level of satisfaction and contentment.


Adam and Eve hid in the bushes. Jonah tried to escape by ship. David committed murder. Today people still try to cover up those things they are ashamed of. Some try drugs and alcohol. Others try sex or new relationships. Others may spend their lives trying to control others or live in anger, bitterness or resentment. But the best way to deal our bad choices is confession. Confession before a loving God isn’t admitting we are a failure, it’s admitting our need for a savior. All of us fail. Sometimes, multiple times a day. Confession releases us from the guilt. Confession is like a small candle which defeats even the darkest night. Live free of shame. Live free of the shame. Confess your failures to God through Jesus Christ. 



This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. Isaiah 48:17

paths we choose“I told you so.”

Don’t you hate hearing those words? Perhaps they are the words of a friend or a parent or an employer. You thought you had a better idea. You were warned that your idea wouldn’t work. You went ahead anyway and did what you thought best.

If you had been right you’d be a hero right now. But you weren’t. In fact, your decision has made a huge mess for yourself as well as those around you. Now you have to suffer the consequences. Not only that, your decision is like a pebble dropped into a still pool. The ripple effect with affect your life and the life of others for a long time, maybe eternity. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.”

Whether your decision was personal (such as family, kids, lifestyle), or career oriented, there’s some good news for you. We human beings tend to make decisions that lean towards our own understanding and comfort level. Our finite minds aren’t always able to grasp the full impact of our decisions.

The good news is that there is redemption available to us. Redemption is defined as “the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.” The implication is that if you need redeeming it’s because of an action you are responsible for, or an action that is outside your control. In other words, whether the consequences are your fault or the fault of another you have hope.

Each of us have no doubt been told something by a parent or teacher and knowingly taken a different path because it looked better and easier to us. Even worse are those times when we knowingly go against what God has told us to do. We do so either intentionally, or in ignorance because we didn’t check with God before we acted.

We are redeemed. That’s the message God give us in Isaiah 48:17. The prophet reminds us that “This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.

Another way of stating this verse might be to say this. “I know what’s best for you. I’ll teach you all you need to know. But WHEN you stray from me and take the wrong path, I’ll redeem you. When you focus on your own comfort rather than my glory, I’ll redeem you. When your actions cause turmoil for yourself and those around you, I’ll redeem you.

What a blessed promise we have of redemption through Jesus Christ. He alone frees us from everything that seeks to imprison us.

PRAYER: Father God. There are so many times I see my own comfort. So many times I take the path I think best even though I know it’s the wrong path to take. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you that he alone is my redemption from myself and the evil others plan for me. Amen.


service“For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.” 1 Peter 2:16-17

There are some that say the Bible is full of contradictions. I don’t personally believe that and many of the ‘difficulties’ that people have pointed out can be explained by a more thorough study of the text.

Having said that, there are plenty of dichotomies in the Christian life as taught by Jesus. For example:

  • To be the greatest you must be the least;
  • To gain everything you must lose everything;
  • The poor are the powerful ones, not the rich;
  • A true leader is a servant;
  • The humble ones are the ones that will inherit the earth, not the controlling;

Maybe you can think of others as well. Statements made in scripture that go contrary to everything that is spoken of in society. God’s Kingdom is nothing compared to what we see around us. God’s Kingdom lifts up the downtrodden, encourages the discouraged, empowers the powerless and comforts the hurting.

Peter, one of Jesus’ followers tells us another dichotomy in regards to our freedom:

“For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.” 1 Peter 2:16-17

Normally, we think of being free and being a slave as being on opposite ends of the spectrum. A slave has no rights, no hope for a future and no identity. He goes where he’s told, he does what he’s told. He has no choices.

A free man, on the other hand has the opportunity to do and be whatever he chooses. His identity is secure in who he is and what he does.

In yet another irony, Jesus teaches us that no one is truly free. Either you serve man or God. Either you choose to follow the desires of the flesh or the standards of God. Being enslaved to God gives you the rights to be called his child. Being enslaved to God empowers you to live free of the futile desires of the flesh. Being enslaved to God allows you to live in peace in the midst of the storm. Being enslaved to God frees you from the guilt of past mistakes.

Peter encourages us by reminding us that because of Jesus Christ, we are free to serve God. Service to God means we are loyal to all the teachings of Jesus. We are free to love those who reject God’s ways. We are free to be ourselves while at the same time showing grace and mercy to those without Christ. We are free to be examples to the world, to be Jesus in skin.

Live free today! Be free to show others around you the love and grace and forgiveness of Jesus.

PRAYER: Father God, it is so easy at times to feel insignificant in a world where wealth, power and status are worshiped. Forgive me for the times I let the voices of society make me feel insignificant. Empower me by your Spirit to live in the freedom of service to you. Amen.

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