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If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 1 John 3:14

the power of loveThere’s a bunch of dead people around. Zombies are fictional characters that are ‘dead’ people walking around as though alive. If a Zombie touches you, you may become one yourself. The real danger with Zombies though is that they look human until it’s too late.

Although Zombies themselves are fictional, they often show up at church. Christian Zombies so to speak. These are people who, by all outward appearances have Christ in their lives. They do all the ‘right’ things Christians do. They go to church. They may teach Sunday School or hold a home Bible Study. They may even be pastors of thriving organizations…er…uh…ministries. The problem is, Christian Zombies have no real life.

They have no blood flowing through their veins. Their eyes stare straight ahead and fail to focus on what’s around them. As a result they are unwilling or unable to see the needs of those around them. They spend so much time worrying about this rule or that rule they miss the story of grace. They spend so much time seeing what’s wrong in the world they fail to see what’s right. They label people according to their faults and sins and miss the fact that for all their bruises, everyone is created in God’s image.

These Zombies have the appearances of life but lack the life-giving flow of blood, the blood of Jesus. The Spirit of God has never been allowed to flow freely through their veins. Unfortunately, like the fictional Zombies, they can infect those around them with the same poison.

The best defense against becoming a Christian Zombie, and the best way to defeat a Christian Zombie, is with the magical power of love. Love destroys every evil part of the Zombie’s life. Love can never be defeated. Love never sees a person’s faults but always sees their potential. Don’t be overtaken by Christian Zombies. Rely on the love of Jesus to defeat any opposition that comes your way.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for your love that conquers anything that may try to attack me. Empower me with the life giving ‘blood of the Spirit’ to love and to overcome anything and anyone that tries to get in my way. Amen.


Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. Proverbs 3:27

help1I have a friend who has been a nurse for over 30 years. It’s always been interesting to sit and talk with him about his work. He’s seen a lot of things few of us would hope to see. He has one of the most compassionate hearts I think I’ve even seen. Soft-spoken, understanding, kind and respectful are all words I would use to describe Ben (not his real name).

Although been would rarely talk about individual patients or their situations, he’d tell about general situations that would tug at his heart. One of these was a life-changer. Ben had always considered himself to be non-judgmental towards other people but one shift taught him a valuable lesson about who he really was.

A patient had been brought up from ER and placed in his ward. Two police officers were stationed outside his room. When he inquired about the situation he found out that the patient assigned to him was the drunk driver in a fatal collision that took the lives of a young mom and two children. It was a sad story indeed, and one that is played out hundreds, if not thousands, of times every day. The drunk driver survived, the innocent did not.

As his shift progressed he knew it was time to go in and check on ‘the patient in #302’ but he kept putting it off. Finally, he could put it off no longer. Begrudgingly, he entered the darkened room to check on his patient. He was surprised to see a small dark form in the recliner beside the bed. As his eyes adjusted to the light he could tell it was a young girl. He asked the officer standing guard about her and found out she was the man’s only daughter. She’d been there since he was admitted and refused to leave for even a minute. Her mother had just died of cancer the week before.

My friend Ben removed himself and found an empty room where he could weep for a few minutes and regain his composure. His ‘hatred’ of the ‘drunk’ changed markedly when he realized the loss this man must have felt and the pain the little girl in the recliner felt. Why had he not checked on him sooner? If he had he could have perhaps offered some comfort to the little girl.

Proverbs 3:27 is one of the hard sayings of the Bible. On the surface it looks easy enough. If you have the means to help, help those who deserve it. Then the question comes. Who deserves it? In our humanness we can answer that question. If we look at others the way God looks at us, none of us deserve any help at all. But when we look at others the way God looks at us through the lens of Jesus’ love, then all of us are on equal footing. The man making a stupid decision to drive drunk is no better or worse than the self-righteous nurse refusing to care for him.

Who do you know that needs your help today? Perhaps just a prayer, a smile or a helping hand is all that is needed to show the love of Jesus. The key to this verse is that ‘when it’s in your power’ to help, help is required not optional.

PRAYER: Father God, every day we are surrounded by people in need of our help in various ways. When we encounter them give us the wisdom and strength to help them to the best of our ability regardless of their circumstance. In Jesus name, Amen.


There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Proverbs 16:25 NLT

I was talking with an old farmer one day. He was telling me about some of the issues his son was having with his dairy herd. Being a real green hand on the farming issued, I asked him what were more difficult to raise? Sheep or Cows?

He shook his head and looked at his feet. “Sheep, he said, definitely sheep.”

“Why is that?”

He looked up at me like I’d said something really stupid, then replied, “Well, sheep are just so stupid!”

He was right, of course. Sheep are known to follow one another into dangerous or even fatal situations. When you are a sheep, strength in numbers and peer pressure aren’t nessecarily good things.

It’s interesting that Jesus likens us to sheep in the Bible. Does he refer to us as sheep because he thinks we are ‘just plain stupid’, like my farmer friend said? Was he trying to send us the message that we are really worthless creatures?

Most likely not, for whenever Jesus references us as sheep he speaks of our value; the speaks of the shepherds love for and concern for his sheep. Jesus speaks of himself as the good shepherd. A good shepherd gives his life for his sheep, he knows them by name, he rescues them when they get lost.

The evil shepherd, on the other hand, has no concern for his sheep. When sheep (people) follow the evil shepherd they are doomed. If they have no shepherd at all, they will follow a path that seems right to them: a path that leads to destruction.

Proverbs also reminds us of the futility of following our own instincts. Those who follow the path that seems best to them, follow a path that inevitably leads to destruction. There is no guide to show us the way through the wilderness. We are on our own.

As Christians our path through life should be determined by the words of Christ, not government policy, church edicts or popular opinion. “Fairness” is not a gaurentee. Cultures change and evolve, but the principles in God’s word remain unchanged throughout time.

Jesus tells us that the broad road, the easy way, the way of popular opinion is the path that leads to destruction. The hard road, the narrow path that few others will travel, is the path of righteousness and holiness.

The closer we walk with Jesus and according to Godly principles, the more we will understand the difference between right and wrong. The deeper our relationship with Christ, the more we risk standing against the popular notions of our day.

Refuse to live the life of a sheep. Grow closer in your walk with Christ and prepare of battle. Better to live in disharmony with the worlds standards than to live in separation from God.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus. I’m buffeted on every side by this wind of philosophy and that call for social justice. In the midst of the battle help me walk the narrow path of your love and grace. Amen.


Now take seven bulls and seven male sheep, and go to my servant Job, and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will listen to his prayer. Then I will not punish you for being foolish. You have not said what is right about me, as my servant Job did.” Job 42:8 (NCV)

One of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves is to forgive others.

Forgiveness doesn’t say the other person is deserving of forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t condone their actions. Forgiveness doesn’t mean in any way that the relationship can or will ever be the same.

Forgiveness brings freedom.

Forgiveness allows us to become instruments of grace.

Imagine the pain and agony Job had endured. He had lost his children. Nothing is more devastating to a parent than to lose a child. Job lost ten of them all in one tragic moment. He lost his fortune. While still grieving the loss of his children he was met with financial calamity. While his head was still spinning, his health was taken from him. Then, to add insult to injury he was visited by three friends who continually reminded Job that things like this only happen to sinful people. Job should repent. Job should admit he was nothing but a filthy rag. Job should have faith.

Ironically, that’s all Job did have by this point was his faith. Job didn’t understand why God was allowing all this to happen to him, but he never lost sight of the fact that His God would deliver him. He never lost his trust in this God who’d gone silent.

God humbled Job with a series of questions and Job bowed in worship and admiration of this God who’d been so absent during his struggles. God never explained why he allowed such tragedy, and Job never again asked the question we all ask: “Why?”

Perhaps one of the most stunning parts of the story happens after the dialog between Job and God. God turns to Job’s friends and demands they bring sacrifices for their actions. They had spoken ignorantly of God and sacrifice was required for forgiveness. But not just any sacrifice. The sacrifice had to be administered by Job.

Amazing. The very people who had accused Job wrongfully would now humble themselves before him (and God). Their forgiveness was dependent on Job’s offering up of the sacrifice. Can you imagine how hard it was for the victim and the aggressor to approach the altar together?

That’s the power of forgiveness. We may not be able to physically approach the altar of forgiveness with those who have wronged us, but we can do so in the spiritual sense. To experience the freedom Christ gave us through his death and resurrection we must forgive those who have willfully or ignorantly wronged us. This is impossible to do through human will. This kind of forgiveness can only happen through the power of the Holy Spirit of the Living God. This kind of forgiveness allows us to become instruments of grace.

PRAYER: Father God. I confess to you that there is a need for forgiveness in my life. I harbor hurts, grudges and bitterness. I nurse feelings of judgmentalism. I gossip. Like Job, I need your power to bring my enemy to the altar of your forgiveness so that I can be free. Amen


They will be so kind and merciful and good, that they will be a light in the dark for others who do the right thing. Psalm 112:4 (CEV)

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! Ephesians 5:8 (NLT)

Light. It’s comforting to the young mom after a night comforting a sick child; it’s calming to the sleepless heart after a night of storms; it warms the fingers and toes and brings a smile to those in the cold; it brings relief to the ship captain as he guides his cargo and crew safely into harbor; it provides needed nutrients for plants to produce their fruit. Life can not exist without light.

It’s no wonder Jesus and others use this analogy in reference to the church, his body. He knew the importance of providing light to those in darkness. Light has nothing to do with darkness because light by its very presence dispels darkness once and for all.

The world is full of darkness. We see it in the politics of the nations, the lies of its people, the deceptive tactics of the enemy. Darkness can creep into the church itself with words of condemnation, criticism and legalism. Religion based on rules and dogmas is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, ready to distract us from our real purpose of giving those around us hope, sharing the message of forgiveness, showing mercy to those who are lost.

We are called to be the light of the world. When we use the tactics of the world to respond to the issues of life, we become part of the darkness, not the light. People are looking for light, not more darkness.

Spread the grace of Jesus to those who need some light today. Our purpose is not to pass judgment; not to condemn; not to burden down with guilt. That is the work of darkness. Rather, spread light today to those around you who disagree with you. Rather than defending your cause to their face, talk over the issues with your father on your knees. Only he can change hearts.

PRAYER: Father God, it’s so easy in our culture to become messengers of darkness rather than beacons of light. Empower me today with your Spirit so that I can spread the light of your grace, forgiveness and hope to those seeking the light. Amen.

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