Abide in Christ and Share Your Faith!


Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 (NKJV)

“The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.” Psalm 121:7-8 (NKJV)

To ABIDE is to accept or act in accordance with a rule. It is to comply with and to obey. It also means to follow, keep hold to, conform to and adhere…. With respect! When we abide in Christ we can endure all things. Through Him we are strong and by His grace we are equipped for everything.

So, when new trials come our way and adversity knocks on our door, we are supposed to praise God? We are to thank Him for our hardships? Yes! For these troubles were sent as lessons to build up your faith and deepen your reliance upon the Father. YOU are not supposed to enter any storm and ride it out with your own strength. You will never make it that way. Rather, you are to rely on God’s power to see you through.

You may say to yourself, “I have had more than my share of sorrows in this life. Surely this year God will provide only days of rest and comfort. I do not deserve any more trials or woes. I will NOT look for trouble nor will I seek out anything that could bring discomfort.” Did God ever say in HIS Word that our days on earth were to be full of rest…. or trouble free? Adam and Eve changed everything when they sinned in the Garden of Eden.

To Adam He said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.” Genesis 3:17 (NIV)

““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

Sin needs to be chiseled out of our spirit and this includes all self-centered perspectives. We are called to focus on others. Do not look upon your own discomfort but upon the comfort of others! This is not an easy task but it should be a goal for every saint.

Did our Savior deserve the cross? Did the apostles deserve martyrdom? Do innocent children deserve starvation? There is a REASON for every hardship. We may not understand His will but we must trust God with the purpose, as we ABIDE in Him. To accept His reasons through faith, while complying in obedience gives Him glory.

“The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.” Psalm 121:7-8 (NKJV)

This means God will maintain you as you abide in Him. Facing your future, though evil may harass, set snares and attack, is always worthwhile and profitable when Jesus is by your side. You need not fear the dark of night or the objects of discouragement in your path for the blood of the Lamb has defeated them. Your ascent to the high places of God awaits!

With confidence step into your future, but do not forget the lessons you learned from past trials. They were sent to equip you for the future. All adversity serves to refine us into the very image of Christ. As we reflect His love, others will draw near.

So what does the future hold for you? Many wonderful things, including the Great Commission! We are commissioned to share the light with the lost. This is a command for ALL of us, not just for those who are missionaries and evangelists. Since we have different gifts, we will share Jesus in many different ways.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

We are all ambassadors for Christ! God loves His children and wants every one to accept Him as Lord and Savior. As we live out our lives, we will realize how time on earth is but God’s means to train us for what lies ahead in eternity. To rid ourselves of sinfulness we must yield to His transformation process.

Like earth, heaven is a community where we will interact with God and each other. Earth is but a fuzzy picture of our eternal home, yet we still get the idea. Share love, think of others, and help as we can, worship the Creator of all things, learn from the past, and move forward into the future. Run the good race and sow as many seeds as you can along the way!


“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (NKJV)

“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.”  Isaiah 60:1-2 (NKJV)

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16 (NKJV)

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)


Suffering Unites Us All

UTR May I Know the Fellowship of His Suffering

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God has a plan and a purpose for everyone. Nobody is insignificant. We are after all, created in the very image of God. This includes the homeless person living in a cardboard box and the abused child in a home of neglect. We all have a part to play in God’s divine design, and sharing in the sufferings of Christ is part of His game plan.

Suffering is an effective tool God uses to refine our spiritual character. Adversity is permitted, or sent, as a loving gift from heaven above. Perspective is critical here. God gives good gifts therefore trials are beneficial.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  Matthew 7:11 (NKJV)

So how can our painful moments be of any use? How can something hurtful, shameful, or grievous actually be a blessing? Do not trials teach us valuable lessons? Do we not gain insight, knowledge and wisdom as we muddle through our adversity? Is this not something we can share with others? Healings and lessons of perseverance are not only a witness of God’s grace but also an encouragement to others.

The process of sanctification chips away self-reliance and causes even the most prideful of mankind to cry out for help, help that only God can provide. Learning to depend on the Father is a major lesson in our spiritual walk. When we trust Him with all things and remain peaceful in the midst of an uncertain fate, faith has carried us. Others will notice our manner and desire the same inner peace we exude. Life style witnessing is a powerful tool and useful in the work of the Great Commission.

Suffering unites us all. Each person has experienced pain. Therefore, we can compassionately connect with others through this common bond. No race, creed, social status or level of education can escape the reality of suffering. Because of this fact we have an open door, a first step in sharing the Good News. We can build relationships in many different ways and there IS a fellowship of suffering, with Christ Jesus AND with others.

Here then is the great blessing found in adversity. Because of the pain you endured, thanks to the grace of God, you are now equipped to encourage and bless others. Your victory over tribulation will give them hope. But wait; there could be an additional blessing. You might have an opportunity to lead someone to Christ. God could use your story to change someone’s heart. What a blessing it is to witness a spiritual rebirth! What a special honor and service God provides for those who are willing.

Our heavenly Father does not set out to crush His children. We are His beloveds! It is in love alone that He disciplines and uses painful circumstances to teach. Yes He does test us but remember, He is the Master Teacher. His gift to us is His wisdom, knowledge and instruction.

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” Ps.103:14 (NKJV)

The furnace of affliction is never pleasant but it is for our benefit and for the benefit of others. By refining us into the very image of His son Jesus, who was a bruised reed but never broken, God purifies and commands us to share His love with others. Not wanting anyone to perish, God moves us to carry His message of hope and salvation.

The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

Are you seeking opportunities to proclaim His truth to your family, friends and neighbors? If not…. Why not? Our Savior and Redeemer, the comforter of all souls is looking for those who will say, “Here am I Lord, send me.”

 “It was good for me to be afflictedso that I might learn Your decrees.”  Psalm 119:71 (NIV)

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19 (NKJV)

The instruction of the Lord is perfect,renewing one’s life;the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy,making the inexperienced wise.The precepts of the Lord are right,
making the heart glad;the command of the Lord is radiant,making the eyes light up.The fear of the Lord is pure,enduring forever;the ordinances of the Lord are reliable
and altogether righteous.Psalm 19:7-9 (NKJV)

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:“Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”Isaiah 6:8 (NKJV)

“There are no lessons so useful as those learned in the school of affliction.”    ~J.C. Ryle

*The devotion is in my upcoming book FACING ADVERSITY WITH WISDOM, PRAISE, AND PROMISES. Look for it on Amazon this December, just in time for Christmas gifts!



The Great Commission: Patience Required!



We have a great commission in life. We are called to make disciples of all the nations, including our own country. So, the rude co-worker and obnoxious neighbor is part of our assignment. God loves His entire creation and wants every person to accept Him as his or her Lord and Savior. This is every Christian’s most important calling and mission in life. Continue reading “The Great Commission: Patience Required!”