Blind Faith

Have you been in a situation in which you did not see what others saw? Were you unable to follow along with the logic of an instructor? Did you not see the animal shape in the cloud because of the angle you were looking? Did you feel left out because you did not see?

We have all been there. Someone points out something odd they see, and we don’t see it. It doesn’t matter if it’s an animal shape in the clouds, a deer standing in the tree line, or someone dressed funny in the shadows of a building. We feel left out when we don’t see what others see.

Now, think about what it is like when you finally see it. Suddenly, the animal image appears in the clouds. Now you cannot not see it, right? It’s like those images that are two-in-one brain teaser images. If you look at it one way, it is a woman crying. If you look at it another way, it a girl dancing. Once you figure out how to maneuver your brain from one to the other, you can see both.

We have multiple stories of Jesus performing various healings. He uses the healings as a form of teaching. There is a lesson in each healing, but we must open our eyes to see it. Sure, there is the benefit of the healing. There is also an object lesson within the healing depending on the circumstance.

In today’s passage we see Jesus heal two blind men. Jesus heard their cry for mercy. He didn’t stop out in the street to heal them. He went into a house and the men came in to Him. Jesus asked about their faith. He didn’t ask what had happened. We don’t know if they were born blind or had a disease that blinded them. We don’t know how young or old they were. It isn’t even really about the blindness. It is about their faith. Faith is what Jesus is looking for in these two men and in us.

I pray we all put our faith in Jesus. I pray we see the lessons within the actions of Jesus. I pray each one of us understand that Jesus did everything for a purpose, and He still does. See Jesus’ lessons. See Him work on multiple levels. Put your faith in Jesus. Open your eyes. Truly see Jesus.

Matthew 27:30a As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored.

All About Heart

What are you looking for in this life? Are you looking for a guarantee of where you will spend eternity? Are you looking for a life filled with wonderment, good times, and luxury? Do you spend your time serving others? Do you think doing good works will earn your way to heaven?

Many of us believe in the mantra that we must earn our way through this life. It is true that we need to earn a living. We also like the nicer things in life. We like our nice homes, nice furniture, nice cars, and little to no worry about tomorrow. We enjoy the riches we have.

But what does it take for us to be true followers of Jesus? Many of us think the more good works we do the better our chances of being with Him for eternity. We think we can earn our way to heaven. However, that is a false belief. We cannot in any way, shape, or form earn our way to heaven.

Jesus makes it clear that we cannot simply perform works in His name and expect to be with Him. We must first commit our heart and souls to Him. Once that is done, then we can perform works for Him out of the love and commitment we have to Him. There is a major difference between the two approaches. One is selfish, the other is selfless.

Jesus tells us those who perform works out of selfishness will be rejected. Their hearts are not committed to Him. It is the selfless, who commit to Him first, then perform the works He desires of them who will be accepted. It all boils down to the heart. It comes down to putting Jesus first in our lives.

I pray we all commit our hearts to Jesus. I pray we give up our selfishness for selflessness. I pray each one of us choose to follow Jesus with our whole being, including performing His works. Commit to Jesus. Commit your heart to Jesus. Put Jesus first. Perform His works. Follow His lead.

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

Seeing the Christ

Have you seen Jesus? Have you seen Him as the Messiah–the Christ? Have you seen Him as the Son of God? Have you seen Him as your Lord? Have you seen Him as your Savior? Would you like to?

Many of us have heard about Jesus for much of our lives. We know many of the stories. We have heard about His miracles. We have heard that He raised the dead. We have heard His parables. We know He was crucified and raised from the dead on the third day.

But have we truly seen Him for who He is? Perhaps the better question is–do we believe He is who He says He is? We can witness something truly amazing and still fail to believe it. We can take for granted the blessings we receive from a loving God. We can be overtaken by the culture around us and explain away the miracles of God.

Doctors can explain a lot about how our bodies function. They can explain how an egg is fertilized and it grows into an embryo, which becomes a newborn baby. Scientists can break down our genetic structure. They can develop cures for some diseases. Surgeons can repair or replace various body parts. But can any one of them heal with the touch of their hand?

Jesus is our ultimate healer. He can heal our emotional struggles. He can fill our emptiness. He can grant us eternal life with Him. We simply need to see Him for who He is, much like the woman at the well. We need to believe Him, just as she did.

I pray we all see Jesus for who He is. I pray we believe His claim. I pray each one of us truly accepts Him as our Lord and our Savior, accepting eternal life with Him. See Jesus for who He is. Believe Jesus is who He says He is. Accept Him fully. Accept Him as both Lord and Savior.

John 4:25-26 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is come” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

An Important Message

What does it take for you to believe something? Do you need to hear it from a good, or perhaps a great, teacher? Do you need to see it to believe it? What if you were told by someone you did not know? What if it were a person you deem to be less than respectable?

In our hardened, callous, and skeptical world, we find it hard to believe anyone we do not know. It is also hard for us to believe people who do not have good reputations. We either discard the news or we attempt to verify it via a respectable source.

We might find that we miss a very important fact by disbelieving. That is not to say we should believe everything we hear. But we might discover we should believe something we hear from a less than respectable person when the testimony is about something that just couldn’t be made up.

Let’s take a look at what happened in the town of Sychar in Samaria. The less than respectable woman who came running and shouting at the people in town about the Messiah had a message that could not be made up. She was shouting that the person whose arrival they had been waiting for generations had arrived, and He was at their well! You can’t make that up. You don’t joke about it. You don’t tease people about it. And she didn’t.

Many of the people believed her message, as incredulous as it was. The few that didn’t, did after they heard Him speak. Believing an incredulous message such as this is the most important thing we can do in our lives. It determines where we will spend eternity.

We may think we are not respectable enough to tell people about Jesus. Or we may think the person telling us about Him is not respectable and don’t want to believe them. Regardless, we should be telling people about Him and be willing to believe others who tell us about Him. It can make all the difference in our lives.

I pray we all believe the incredulous story of Jesus. I pray we believe He is the Son of God. I pray each one of us tell someone else about Jesus and convince them they should believe us. Believe Jesus’ story. Tell others about Him. Weigh the importance of the message. Trust in Jesus.

John 4:39 Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.”

God’s Choices

How do you choose the things you invest your time in? How do you choose who you will have a relationship with? Is your choice based on what is in it for you? Is it based on what or who you are attracted to? Have you taken time to ponder how God makes his choices?

We make choices every day. We choose what we will eat. We choose what store to shop in. We choose who we will befriend. We choose to exercise or not. We choose what television shows we will watch. We choose to educate ourselves or not. Choices, choices, choices.

God makes choices as well. His choices further his plan. Too often, we don’t take time to think about God’s choices. We mosey through life merely concerned with our own choices. So, let’s take a look at one explanation of how God makes choices.

The Apostle Paul tells the Corinthians, and us, that God chooses the foolish things to shame the wise. What could he mean? Though the majority of our pastors have seminary degrees, we also have examples of some of the most powerful evangelists having no formal higher-level education. After all, Peter, James, and John were fishermen. They likely had ended their formal education by the time they were thirteen years old. God works through people we least expect.

Paul also tells us God chooses the weak things to shame the strong. Again, what might he mean by this statement? We have seen people who were completely broken have their lives turned around when they accept Jesus as their Savior. We have seen examples of them becoming active and powerful workers in Christ’s kingdom. Think of the woman at the well. She was shunned, shamed, and considered and outcast. Yet, after she met Jesus, she brought an entire town out to meet Him.

Despite what we may think, God can use each one of us. He can use us to spread the message of Jesus Christ. He can use us to bring others into the kingdom. God works through people, just like us, to further his plan, to bring others into his kingdom, to demonstrate who he is. We simply need to be willing come alongside him and allow him to work through us.

I pray we all choose to allow God to work through us. I pray we choose to walk alongside God. I pray each one of us will ask God to use us as he sees fit to further his plan in this world. See how God works. Allow him to use you. Choose to work for God. Ask God to work through you.

1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

Life Changing

How is your life? Is it a mess? Are you waiting for the other shoe to drop? Have you learned anything from your past? Have you learned from your family’s past? Have you decided to change your approach to life? Do you know where to turn?

Our lives often get messy. Things go awry. Things get out of control. We face interruptions. Plans get changed at the last moment. The disruptions create frustration. Our outlook on life gets out of whack. We may wonder how we will get through the day.

Have you entertained the idea that God is humbling you so you will turn to him? God does things like that sometimes. He decides we need an awaking. All the while, we flop around like a fish out of water. We struggle through the situation we are facing, trying to figure it out on our own. We don’t stop, take a moment, and discern if it is God at work in our lives or just the randomness that happens in this broken world we live in.

Despite what we may think, God is at work in our lives. Just like the Israelites who he rescued from their slavery in Egypt, God cares for us. But just like them, when we forget about him and start complaining about the blessings we have, he can put us in the desert so we will turn back to him. He cares too much about us to leave us in a state of discontent.

Notice in today’s passage that God turned the Israelites back to him through their stomachs. He reminded them that they needed to turn to him and obey his commands. We need to do the same. If we do not, God may just use a situation to remind us. After all, he is the Almighty God of heaven and earth.

I pray we all remember we need to lean on God. I pray we decided to obey his commands. I pray each one of us learn from the past—how God worked in the lives of the Israelites and how he has worked in ours. Lean on God. Live by his Word. Obey his commands. Look for him working in your life.

Deuteronomy 8:3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

God Provides

Do you worry about having enough food to eat? Are you picky about the food you eat? Have you gone without meals due to not having enough food? Or have you gone without food because you didn’t like what was available? Do you rely on God to provide your food?

Most of us have no need to worry about eating. Many of us have pantries with enough food to last at least a couple weeks. Oh, there may not be our favorite snack in the pantry, but there is something there to eat. We have gotten spoiled by the availability of food.

Our western culture has gotten so rich that if we don’t find something we want to eat in our house, we drive a short distance to a restaurant. We make our lists for our grocery runs to ensure we keep our shelves packed with what we might want to eat. We throw food away that has expired because we thought we might want it at some time, then never ate it.

In the first century, this was not the case. Though they may have had a few staples in their homes, they didn’t have large pantries. They often had to rely on getting food every day or two to feed their families. Travelers relied on the ability to purchase food along their routes, much like we do today. However, the difference was they traveled on foot, which meant sometimes staying out in the open country for a night or two between towns. They would only carry what food they knew they would eat between towns.

Yet, Jesus tells the people not to worry about what they would eat. He also changed what they could eat by stating anything God provides is approved for eating. The previous restrictions no longer applied. Why would Jesus go to this trouble? Perhaps He wanted the people to focus more on God than their bellies. Perhaps He wanted to set priorities straight for us. When we trust God to provide for our needs, we no longer need worry about them. We can focus on his will for us and go about doing his work.

I pray we all focus on God as our top priority. I pray we trust God to provide for our needs. I pray each one of us accept what God provides, trusting he will take care of us. Trust God to provide. Spend less time focused on needs. Focus on God. Know that God will care for you.

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”

False Justification

Do you justify yourself? Do you justify your actions? How do you justify your actions? Do you justify them according to worldly thinking? Does that worldly thinking include justifying yourself with the almighty dollar? How far will that get you in eternity?

We justify our actions in a variety of ways. We make excuses for doing one thing and for not doing another. We make excuses for missing our kids’ school events. We make excuses for having an affair. Perhaps worst of all, we make excuses for not going to church.

Our excuses for not going to church include I don’t feel like it today, someone there once offended me, I believe in God but don’t need anyone else, I think the church is corrupt, I had to work, etc. We can make up all kinds of excuses and justify our actions in our own minds. But how do we think God views those excuses?

I suggest God views our excuses just as Jesus viewed the self-justification of the Pharisees. All the money in the world will not buy us eternal life. Notice Jesus says what people value is detestable in God’s sight. Remember, Jesus told Satan when He was being tempted that we are to “Worship the Lord Your God, and serve him only.” (Matthew 4:9) In other words, we are to make God our number one priority.

I can state with full confidence from my own personal experience that God will get us through your toughest times if we put him first. It was the Sunday morning, Sunday small group, and Wednesday evening Bible study that got me through a very rough time in my life. It was spending time with God’s people that gave me strength. Were there people there that I didn’t get along with perfectly? Sure. That didn’t stop me from leaning on God and being where I knew he was most active. When we put God first, make him our priority, he justifies us and strengthens us.

I pray we all make God our priority. I pray we give up trying to justify ourselves before a holy God. I pray each one of us determine to lean on God and spend time with his people. Stop trying to justify yourself. Make God your priority. Meet with the people of God. Trust Jesus at His word.

Luke 16:14-15 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”


Have you ever been so thirsty you thought you would die? Have you had a lack of water for so long your lips cracked? Once you had water, did you gulp it down? Have you heard of people wondering through the desert without water? What would you say to them?

Some of us may have been very thirsty at some point in our lives. It could have been due to performing a task that we just wanted to finish and didn’t stop until it was done. It could be we were traveling a great distance and forgot to pack a cooler of drinks. It may have been at the end of a long race or sporting event.

Imagine this: a large group of people set out on a trek across the dessert on foot. They must carry everything with them or haul it on wooden carts pulled by oxen. How do they carry enough water? That was the case for the Israelites as they left Egypt. We are told in Exodus 12:37 there were 600,000 men besides children. The word interpreted as men actually means men who were able to fight. So, there would have been men who could not fight, women who were not included in this number, and all the children would have been excluded from that number. Some simple and conservative math would estimate there were more than 2 million people in total, not to mention all the livestock they brought with them.

Moses had a real problem on his hands. They needed water and were upset there was none to be had. I can only imagine they were about to lynch Moses. What does he do? He goes to God. He knew God was the only one who could provide the water they needed. He trusted God, even in a desert where there were no running brooks or springs. God delivers in a miraculous way.

When we are in need, we should go to God as well. He provides for our needs, sometimes in miraculous ways. I have seen God provide for a need in a totally unexpected way. We simply need to trust him to do so. We need to ask for the help. God will take care of the rest.

I pray we all turn to God in our time of need. I pray we ask God to provide for our need. I pray each one of us will trust God to provide, without doubting, and watch him work in our lives. Seek God in your time of need. Ask God to provide. Trust that God will provide. Watch God work in your life.

Exodus 17:2 The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?”

Saved By The Son

Have you allowed Jesus to save you? Or are you stuck on being condemned by the world and yourself? Do you think Jesus came to condemn you? Or do you think He came to save you? Are you willing to allow Him to save you? Are you willing to believe it is possible?

We will typically say that Jesus came to save us. But many times we act as though He came to condemn us. We fail to believe we are savable. In other words, we condemn ourselves. We believe far too much the world inundates us with, rather than believing Jesus.

It is absolutely true that Jesus gave us a few commands. It is also true that He has some expectations of us. But His expectations are not to satisfy Him as much as they are to change us into the person we were created to be. He wants only the best for us.

Jesus boils all the commandments and the prophets into two commands—love God and love your neighbor. If anything, Jesus simplified what it means to live for Him. If we do anything out of love for God or for someone else, we have obeyed Him.

By living out Jesus’ expectations our lives are better. We have more joy. We are more satisfied. We have more energy. We smile more. We enjoy being with others more. Overall, we feel better. How does this come about? When we believe that God sent Jesus to save us. When we take Jesus at His word. Believing Jesus is the first step. Taking His word to heart. Planting His word deep in our heart and allowing it to grow.

I pray we all believe Jesus came to save us. I pray we plant His words deep in our heart. I pray each one of us seek to meet Jesus’ expectations and improve our lives. Accept Jesus’ saving grace. Believe in Him. Allow Jesus to save you. Do not condemn yourself. Do not allow the world to condemn you. Live for Jesus.

John 3:17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”