Author: Michael Heilman

Christians Should Sanctify One Another

Christians Should Sanctify One Another

Christians know very well that their sanctification or cleansing comes from God and His Word. But Christians also have the responsibility to sanctify one another. This is one of the purposes of the church. Believers are not only called to encourage and edify one another but also to sanctify.

Bible Verse: John 13:10, NKJV

Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”

Obviously, Jesus was not talking literally. Everybody gets dirty. Our entire body gets dirty. Jesus is referencing our spiritual cleanness.

Romans 12:2a

The cleansing that Christ does in the life of a sinner who trusted in Him is complete and permanent. However, as the believer walks in this world, it is easy to become defiled. He does not need to bathe again but needs constant cleansing from everything that caused his defilement.

God is faithful; He promises to cleanse us when we confess our sins to Him (1 John 1:9).

Sanctify One Another

While God promised to continually cleanse us, we have the responsibility to sanctify our spiritual brethren. The Lord’s instruction to His followers (this includes us) is clear. “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).

How, then, should Christians sanctify one another? By constantly reminding each other of the sacrifice God made to redeem us from sin. It’s our responsibility to rebuke our brethren when we see them going off the rails.

The reality is, that we tend to forget the cost of our salvation which often leads us to a compromised lifestyle. In this regard, we need other Christians to remind us. We may feel offended but that’s what having a spiritual family is about. After all, God expects us to look out for one another.

And should we have friends and family who are going the wrong path, it’s our job to get them back on track. We must do what it takes for them to go back to their first love.

Defiled by the World

At the moment of salvation, Jesus cleanses the sinner completely. That begs the question, why do the feet of believers still get dirty? John 17:18 answers this question. “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”

God has sent us to a dirty world. He has sent us to share the good news of the gospel to a lost, dying, and dirty world. As we go into a dirty world, our feet are going to get dirty since the primary mode of transportation was on foot.

This is where Christian fellowship and community are critical for spiritually washing the feet of others as John 13:14 says. It’s also why the author of Hebrews exhorted the church to “not forsake our assembling together” (Hebrews 10:25). It’s pretty easy for us to go back into the “world” after coming to the truth of God’s amazing grace.

This is why we need to be in constant fellowship with other Christians.

Do Not Give Up Meeting Together

Sanctified by God’s Truth

In John 17:17, Jesus said, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

God gave His truth to us in three “editions.” His Word is truth (John 17:17), His Son is the truth (John 14:6), and His Spirit is the truth (1 John 5:6). We need all three for a true sanctification experience; sanctification that touches every part of our inner person.

With the mind, we learn God’s truth through the Word. With the heart, we love God’s truth, His Son. And with the will, we yield to the Spirit and live God’s truth day by day. It takes all three for a balanced experience of sanctification.

Sanctification by Washing

Washing the feet of other believers is another way of saying “to sanctify each other.” God uses other believers and the Bible to bring about sanctification by showing humility and using the water of the Word. Christians sanctify one another by humility and submission as the Word of God commands.

What the Lord showed when He washed His disciples’ feet with water is the greatest example of humility. If the King of kings and Lord of lords stoop down to wash His disciples’ feet, why can’t we do the same to one another? We must always remember what the Lord said in Matthew 23:12 and Matthew 20:26.

If we want to grow and experience true sanctification, we need to wash one another’s feet. It is important to note that God wants all Christians to grow spiritually. That is sanctification.

Conclusion

Sanctification is an ongoing transformation or renewal of our actions, thought processes, and attitudes so that we live a Christ-like life. That is the will of God for our life.

Jesus wants us to be transformed so much to the point that we are willing to humbly sacrifice for other believers. We do this by using the Word to bring about sanctification in others.

Jesus did it for us. We can do it for others. How well are we washing the feet of other believers?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: Sanctification: God’s Passion for His People by John MacArthur

Sanctification: God’s Passion for His People by John MacArthur

Among all the things that a pastor will do on any given day, he must not lose sight of his one ultimate goal: the sanctification of God’s people. This is the heart of God’s purpose for Christians.

John MacArthur calls pastors to remember what all the countless hours preparing sermons, visiting hospitals, counseling, conducting weddings, and more are all about, even when the finish line seems so far in the distance that they’re tempted to give up.

He encourages pastors with the power God gives them to place the sanctification of God’s people at the center of their ministry.

“Sanctification is a powerful tract for our times―a purposefully short book. You can read it in an hour or two, but its goal is the transformation of the rest of your life.”

― Sinclair B. Ferguson, Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries

Vulnerability Because of Spiritual Blindness

Vulnerability Because of Spiritual Blindness

We are all prone to vulnerability at some point in our lives. Whether it be physically, emotionally, or spiritually. In the spiritual sense, spiritual blindness is one of the common reasons for vulnerability.

Thus, we need spiritual discernment that comes from God alone. We cannot live a victorious Christian life if we allow the enemy to deceive us. But what about those who are still in darkness? How can they remain alert if they remain spiritually blind?

Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 2:14, NKJV

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Christian vs Unbeliever

The contrast here is very clear; it’s between the Christian and the unsaved person. The Christian (spiritual) who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and the unbeliever who does not have the Holy Spirit.

The “natural man” refers to the unconverted who lacks supernatural life and wisdom. But through the illumination of the Word, the Holy Spirit provides the saints the capacity to discern divine truths. This is in contrast to the spiritually dead who are unable to comprehend.

The doctrine of illumination does not mean we would know everything and do not need teachers; we do. Also, we need to keep studying the Word of God to gain an understanding of what God wants is telling us.

The Doctrine of Illumination

Winning Spiritual Warfare

As Christians, we are in a spiritual war. We do not war against flesh and blood but spiritual forces as Ephesians 6:12 says.

Wrestling (struggle) features trickery and deception, like Satan and his hosts when they attack. Coping with deceptive temptation requires truth and righteousness. Yet, our enemies are the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realms. These are the entire realm of spiritual beings.

They want to kill, steal, and destroy spiritually as John 10:10 says. Those evil spiritual forces want to destroy as many people as they can. As we near the end of the age, Satan’s forces are succeeding at destroying more and more lives. This is primarily because of the belief that there is no truth.

We need the Holy Spirit’s illumination if we want to win our spiritual battle.

The Power of the Truth

Most people hold to the belief that nobody is always right and nobody has the right to judge. This makes them completely vulnerable to the spiritual war around them. Without the armor of God described in Ephesians 6:11-17, it is impossible to defend or fight against these spiritual evil forces.

Just because we cannot see them with our physical eyes does not mean they are not there. It is impossible to put on the armor of God without the Holy Spirit as 1 Corinthians 2:13 says. Not to mention the first article of armor is like a belt of truth. It would be impossible to possess a belt of truth if we did not believe that truth even exists.

As an important side note, the belt of truth also tied several other pieces of armor together so that there are never any gaps between the pieces. 1 Corinthians 2:13 (NIV), “but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.”

Jesus promised that the Spirit would teach us (John 14:26) and guide us into truth (John 16:13). But we must note carefully the sequence here. The Spirit taught Paul from the Word; then Paul taught the believers. We cannot know the truth from just any other source/s. We find the truth of God only in the Word of God.

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood

Only Jesus Saves

Man’s wisdom teaches there are no consequences and hence people believe whatever they want. This includes many different philosophies and religions across the world, not realizing they are blinded to what God said. The only way to God is through His Son, Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are explicit!

No one is good enough to get to heaven. Only Jesus can save us from our sin. The question is whether people are willing to humble themselves before God. Would you ask for forgiveness by recognizing the finished work of Jesus Christ?

That is what the Holy Spirit teaches. He cannot teach error which should be evident by the word Holy, but that does not mean everyone is a perfect student. No student gets 100% all the time. All unbelievers get failing grades and only spiritual Christians receive good grades from the Holy Spirit.

Closing Words

You can win against Satan and his minions by not allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Do not remain spiritually blind. Instead, allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten you with the truth of God’s Word.

The question is which attitude will you have about truth? Do you believe that only God defines “the truth?” Is it your belief that Jesus Christ revealed the truth as explained in the Holy Bible? Or do you believe that you get to define truth?

If this is so, then you would have to suffer the consequences as a result.

Choose wisely!


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Life According to the Truth by Michael HeilmanDo you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to The Truth. Disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to Michael’s life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life.

With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • Loving God and others
  • Discerning God’s will for your life
  • Being confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

Not Every Key Opens Every Door

Not Every Key Opens Every Door

Why do we need many keys? It’s because not every key opens every door! There is a specific key for every lock. This is exactly why key holders were invented. As the name denotes, their purpose is to hold several different keys.

But what do keys and key holders have to do with Christianity and the believers in Jesus? We’re all about to find out in this short Bible verse reflection and challenge.

Bible Verse: John 4:24

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

God is Spirit

This verse represents the classical statement on the nature of God as Spirit. This phrase means that God is invisible (Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:27) as opposed to the physical or material nature of man.

The word order of this phrase puts an emphasis on “spirit” and the statement is essentially emphatic. Man could never comprehend the invisible God unless He revealed Himself as He did in Scripture and the Incarnation.

God is Spirit

Worship God in Spirit and Truth

When Jesus said, “those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth,” He is not speaking of a desirable element in worship. Rather, Jesus is referring to that which is absolutely necessary.

The word “spirit” does not refer to the Holy Spirit but the human spirit. Jesus’ point here is that a person must worship not simply by external conformity to religious rituals and places. We worship not outwardly but inwardly (“in spirit”) with the proper heart attitude.

The reference to “truth” refers to the worship of God consistent with the revealed Scripture. It must also be centered on the “Word made flesh” who ultimately revealed His Father (John 17:25-26).

The Key to Heaven’s Door

A few years ago the phrase, “Not every key opens every door” was logical. Now, the prevailing philosophy says that every belief opens the door to heaven. How did we go from knowing that only one key would fit a lock to every key fits one lock?

This philosophy is wrong according to Jesus. Heaven is filled with the worship of God. God deserves our worship. He created this complicated world and provided a way to have a relationship with Him.

There are many reasons to worship God but according to John 4:24, God wants to be worshiped a certain way. We can only come into His presence a certain way. This implies there is only one way into heaven (John 14:6).

To use the title of this article, there is only one key to heaven’s door and it is a relationship with Jesus. You can try to be the best version of yourself but that does not qualify you for heaven. Going to church every Sunday and doing charitable works does not earn you the key to God’s paradise.

There is one and only one key to getting to where God is – a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Do you possess that key?

Whose Child Are You?

Just because people say or believe something does not make it true. Every person is a child of the devil until salvation according to John 8:44. This verse implies the devil is a murderer and the father of lies and liars.

The Devil is a Liar and the Father of Lies

Sonship is predicated on conduct. A son will manifest his father’s characteristics (Ephesians 5:1-2). Anyone who exhibits the patterns of Satan in their hostility toward Jesus belongs to Satan.

Are you of God or Satan? You will know to whom you belong by evaluating what you believe. Do you believe the lies propagated by Satan or the Truth? Why not compare it to the words of Jesus, who proved to be the Truth by having His claims of divinity validated at the resurrection? Every person is either a child of God or the devil. Sometimes it is hard to differentiate the truth from the lies.

Why not compare it to God’s word?

Final Words

In the same way that not all roads lead to heaven, not every key opens every door. Whether we acknowledge it or not, there is a specific key that is designed to open a specific door.

Jesus declared that He is the way to God because He is the truth of God and the life of God. The exclusiveness of Jesus as the only approach to the Father is emphatic.

Jesus is the truth and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. There is no other way, no other key!

Are you worshiping God in spirit and truth? Do you hold the key to God’s Kingdom?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

50 Days of Heaven: Reflections That Bring Eternity to Light (A Devotional Based on the Award-Winning Full-Length Book Heaven) by Randy Alcorn

50 Days of Heaven: Reflections That Bring Eternity to Light (A Devotional Based on the Award-Winning Full-Length Book Heaven) by Randy Alcorn If you’ve always thought of Heaven as a realm of clouds, disembodied spirits, and eternal harp-strumming, you’re in for a wonderful surprise.

From the author of the bestselling book Heaven, here are 50 daily devotional meditations that will touch your heart, capture your imagination, and fill you with hope and anticipation.

  • 50 daily devotional meditations
  • Great for personal reflection and small group study
  • A perfect gift for someone who has recently lost a loved one

Randy Alcorn brings eternity to light in 50 inspiring and thought-provoking meditations that will forever change the way you think about the spectacular new universe that awaits us.

New heavens and a New Earth, where Jesus will be the cosmic center and joy will be the air we breathe―a universe free from pain and suffering, filled with unending beauty and adventure.

Get ready to embark on a wonderful journey!

After reading and reflecting on these soul-stirring meditations, the next time you hear someone say, “We can’t begin to imagine what Heaven will be like,” you’ll be able to tell them, “I can.”

It’s time to bring eternity to light!

Obey God Rather Than Authorities

Obey God Rather Than Authorities

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to choose if you should obey God rather than the authorities? On the one hand, the Word of God exhorts us to submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1). But on the other hand, we are told to obey God rather than the governing authorities that God has put in place.

So, where do we draw the line? In what instances can we commit civil disobedience?

Bible Verse: Acts 5:29

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

The apostles obeyed God and trusted Him to take care of the consequences. They could not serve two masters and they had already declared whose side they were on. Had they been diplomats instead of ambassadors, they could have pleased everybody and escaped a beating. But they stood firmly for the Lord, and He honored their courage and faith.

We Ought to Obey God Rather Than Men

Peter and John set a good example of boldness amidst intimidation and persecution. They did not stop preaching about the resurrection even after they were presented before the council of religious leaders, elders, and teachers. But they acted with respect and courtesy, even when they defied the law.

Doing What’s Right

Many times Christians imply that resisting authorities is always a sin and obedience at all costs. That is just not true. That is like saying Corrie Ten Boom should have let those Jews be killed by the Nazis or Rahab should not have hidden the two spies.

God does allow dictators to rule nations at different times in history. But that does not mean Christians must obey them. All of us need to follow Peter’s example and make our decisions based on “Is it right?” and not “Is it popular?” or “Is it safe?”

We must be sure, however, that we have the clear teaching of the Word on our side before we disobey the government. Peter knew what the Lord commanded the believers to do (Acts 1:8) and he was going to obey Him at any cost.

The situation of the apostles is not that different from what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had to go through. We read in Daniel 3:1-30 how these three young Jewish men refused to bow down and worship the golden image of King Nebuchadnezzar. As a result, the king’s men cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

But because they did what is right before the Lord, the God of Israel rescued them from the furnace that was heated seven times more.

Civil Disobedience

The governing authorities during Peter’s time were doing the same thing that is happening today. Those authorities were trying to silence Peter and the apostles from speaking. Isn’t this what the authorities in Canada, Australia, China, and America are doing today?

They were trying to remove Peter’s God-given right to proclaim the gospel and whatever Peter wanted to say. The government in many countries is arresting those who are speaking against their mandates. This is a violation of their God-given right to free will and free speech! Are we willing to stand up with courage to resist this tyranny?

Mandatory Wearing of Face Masks

Two years ago, it was just a mask, then closing the churches and small businesses (a.k.a the livelihood of many people). Then it was about a vaccine, a booster shot, and a mandate.

When are all the Christians going to say, “We have had just enough of this tyranny being imposed upon us?” Where are the Peters of today who will stand up and say, “God has given us the right to refuse these vaccines?” Why are we not refusing these vaccine passports imposed by the ruling class and the government?

My Body, My Choice

We often hear people say, “My body, my choice,” when talking about abortion. But these same people who believe in “bodily autonomy” do not believe we have a choice as to what we inject into our bodies. If you are going to stand by this principle, at least try your best to be consistent!

Thank God for the first amendment that allows Americans to make their own choices. Our freedom is a gift from God and we should not allow anyone, even the government, to take it away from us.

1 Corinthians 6:19 says that we have the right to take care of our temple (our body) as we see fit. That is our choice. Since when did God give the government the right to dictate our choices to us? He didn’t. So, Christians, stand up for liberty.

Final Words

Yes, Christians should obey governmental authority (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17). But when government decrees are clearly contrary to God’s Word, we must obey God rather than men. See also Exodus 1:15-17 and Daniel 6:4-10.

In other words, we can respect authority and at the same time disobey the authorities. Remember the example of Daniel who tried to avoid getting his guard into trouble (Daniel 1:5-16). Also, the apostles used their arrests as opportunities to witness to the lost (Acts 5:26-42).


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: Radical Submission to God: The Awesome Life-Changing Secret to Peace, Power, & Permanent Victory by Philip A. Matthews

Radical Submission to God: The Awesome Life-Changing Secret to Peace, Power, & Permanent Victory by Philip A. Matthews True and pure Christianity is God downloading heaven to earth!

That is not happening very often or in very many places. This explains why the world, especially Western society, is getting sick of and cynical about Christianity.

In today’s world, when people “have a problem with religion,” it is simply because they are not seeing heaven downloaded to earth!

This book will change your life! It is a must-read for the deeply wounded, the depressed, the forsaken, the disillusioned, the abused, the marginalized, and, in fact, anyone who has existential suffering of any kind.

But the message is also great for anyone who wants to go through the crazy changes of life and stay on top with peace, power, and perpetual victory!

In other words, the “abundant life” that Jesus promised His disciples, but which so many Christians today fail to experience. This book contains the secret-radical submission to God!

The Danger of Carnality

The Danger of Carnality

Can Christians be carnal? Some say no; there’s no such thing as carnal Christians. So, if you are practicing carnality, you are not and cannot be a Christian.

But others say there are carnal Christians among us. They are those who have heard the Good News but are struggling to follow God and obey His commandments.

What carnal Christians do not realize is the danger they are in. Let us not forget what happened to the Israelites in the wilderness as Moses led them out of Egypt.

Bible Verse: Hebrews 4:11

“Let us, therefore, be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”

Moses and the Israelites in the Wilderness
Photo Credit: LinkedIn

The book of Hebrews was written to warn the NT believers of the consequences of disobedience. Hebrews 4:11 emphasizes the accountability which comes to those who have heard the Word of God.

It records the examples of those in the wilderness with Moses, and those who entered Canaan with Joshua They received the same opportunity but not all of them listened and obeyed.

Saying No to God

Some Christians say it is impossible to say no to God. But the above-mentioned verse says the opposite. I believe God inspired this verse as evidence that anyone can say no to God. After all, God has given all of us the free will to obey or disobey. The triune God did not create robots who cannot choose to be selfish and rebel against their Creator.

It started in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. God specifically commanded Adam to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Adam failed as he chose to listen to his wife who gave him the fruit (Genesis 3:6).

Obviously, there are consequences to rebellion. As a result of their disobedience, Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden (Genesis 3:24). Indeed, it is possible to say no to God and it’s a choice to do so.

Do not be deceived and believe the lie that we can never say no to God. The Bible warns us in many places that unbelief in our actions as Christians is still possible. 

Do You Really Believe?

The entire Bible is the Life Manual to Christians. This means the Book of Hebrews was written to Christians, not unbelievers, that could act according to unbelief. 

Just because people say they believe in something does not mean they live as they believe. People say they believe the Bible, but do they act like they base their actions upon it? Most people don’t. What’s worse is that they twist what the Word of God says to support their views and justify their actions.

Every circumstance we could ever face has principles in Scripture. That is the reason why Romans 1:17 says, “The just shall live by faith.” This expression emphasizes that true faith will demonstrate itself in actions. And true faith is not a single event, but a way of life – it endures.

Simply put, God does not just want our words, He wants our actions as well.  God wants obedience to His word as John 14:15 says. 

John 14:15, NKJV

Closing Words

We must believe and obey God’s Word, whether we find it convenient or not. Cherry-picking scriptures is not an option for Christians. Either the Bible is God’s inspired Word for our life, or not. In the end, it’s the Word that will judge the disobedient.

Carnality is a choice to not follow God’s Word. Christians find rest and peace in obeying God’s Word as a contrast to the unbelief that the children of Israel exhibited when they feared going into the promised land.

Do not be a carnal Christian. Instead, commit to living by faith, obey God and enjoy His rest.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Carnal Corinth: A Proof of the Existence of Carnal Christians by Marty A. Cauley

Carnal Corinth: A Proof of the Existence of Carnal Christians by Marty A. CauleyThe denial of the very existence of carnal Christians is common among those who deny eternal security.

A primary reason Carnal Corinth was written was to defend the doctrine of eternal security by biblically demonstrating that the category known as carnal Christians is an exegetical certainty.

Particular focus is given to the Corinthian epistles in this study. Even carnal Corinthian believers have unconditional security soteriologically. Fallacious arguments by pseudo Lordship Salvationists against so-called carnal security are discussed and refuted.

Along the way, certain misunderstandings about the nature of carnality are discussed. A frequently misunderstood passage, even among the author’s fellow Free Grace Salvationists, is found in 2 Corinthians 5:20.

The common assumption is that all believers are ambassadors of God’s grace and are involved in urging unbelievers to be reconciled to God.

The common assumption is challenged at length in Carnal Corinth. Even some Lordship Salvationists who deny eternal security acknowledge, correctly, that in the passage Paul is urging the carnal believers in Corinth to be reconciled to him and his apostolic associates.

The discussion of this apostolic “we” in this passage and throughout the Corinthian epistles leads to a discussion of the apostolic “us” in the infamous 1 John 2:19, a passage frequently used in the conditional security camp to claim that all true believers will (and must) persevere in the faith.

Carnal Corinth counters and expands upon the Free Grace counter to demonstrate a plausible pervasive use of the apostolic circle citations in the NT epistles.

Collateral studies include the nature of blamelessness in 1 Corinthians 1:8 and the nature of the Gospel.

His Story Gives Everyone Hope

His Story Gives Everyone Hope

Everybody has a story to tell and can make some people hopeful. But not every story gives everyone hope; only His story does. If there is one story that made great history, it’s none other than what God has done.

The Bible tells us that God sent His only begotten Son as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). Man was in a state of condemnation as a result of Adam’s rebellion. But God loved us so much that He did not want us to perish.

So, He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross on our behalf (John 3:16). And the Son humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8).

Indeed, His story is nothing like anybody else’s.

Bible Verse: Romans 15:4, NKJV

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

Here, the apostle Paul was referring to the divinely revealed Old Testament as that which was written for our instruction.

It’s true; Christians live under the New Covenant and are not under the authority of the Old Covenant. But God’s moral law has not changed and all Scripture is of spiritual benefit. See 1 Corinthians 10:6, 10, 11, and 2 Peter 20-21.

Paul’s description of the benefits of Scripture certainly includes the NT but speaks primarily about the OT sacred writings. Without the clear and certain promises of the Word of God, believers have no basis for hope.

A World of Hopelessness

Hopelessness is at an all-time high. Between depression, anxiety, drug abuse, pain, sex abuse, etc, there is no doubt that many souls are looking for hope. The problem is hope cannot be found in this world.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1 says that hope can only be found in the unseen. Nothing that can be seen or touched or tasted is worth trusting in. Everything in this world will be burnt up and destroyed. They don’t have any eternal value.

So many people place their value and identity in things of this world. It’s because they do not realize that those things cannot give them what they are looking for. They are looking in all the wrong places.

Hope is Found in His Story

Romans 15:4 says that hope is found in His story. God’s story is written down in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. He wrote down the literal history of how He is giving hope to humanity. God did this knowing that only some will receive it.

Even though we cannot see God, that does not mean He isn’t there. He is good at working behind the scene. Yet we can see the evidence of God working as John 3:8 says.

Although John 3:8 is referring to evidence of salvation, God also works in our everyday lives. The problem is with us because too many people doubt God is there and thus cannot work. We should trust God even if we do not see the works of His hands. God gives evidence after we believe, trust and hope in Him.

Closing Words

In this world full of chaos, everybody longs to have even the smallest glitter of hope. Hope keeps us going in life despite all the trials and difficulties. Without hope, we would all give up and let the enemy win without putting up a fight.

We all want to live a life full of hope and encouragement. But how do we achieve this?

Believing the Bible as God’s Word is the first step to a Hope-filled life, rather than a miserable existence. Life is hard for everyone, but that does not mean everyone is hopeless.

Life is difficult but God gives joy to those that learn from the past. This is the history found in the Bible so that we all can enjoy HOPE no matter the circumstances.

Do you have that kind of hope? Are you striving to share that HOPE with hopeless people?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

HOPE In Numbers – Holding Onto Promises Everywhere: How to be Reminded of God’s Word Everywhere You Go! by Gordon Wickert

HOPE In Numbers - Holding OnHOPE In Numbers - Holding Onto Promises Everywhere: How to be Reminded of God's Word Everywhere You Go! by Gordon Wickert erywhere: How to be Reminded of God's Word Everywhere You Go! by Gordon Wickert In a world where hope seems lost and Christians seem to lose grip on their faith, there are numbers that tell a different story.

With Hope in Numbers, we can transform every number we see into a well-timed Bible verse and promise from God. There is nothing that can separate us from God’s Word.

In fact, the world has done all the work for us by placing numbers on every street corner, license plate, price tag, sports jersey, and time of day. Anywhere there is a number, that is where hope can be found.

Hold tightly to these truths found in God’s Word and see your life blessed in every situation. This is a rebellion to get God’s Word back into our schools, workplaces, and in the hearts of those in our communities.

HOPE stands for Hold Onto Promises Everywhere and in this book I will show you how you can be reminded of God’s Word everywhere you go. You will never see numbers the same way again!

How Christians Act Matters

How Christians Act Matters

Everybody is familiar with the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” even non-Christians. But little do many people know that our Lord Jesus Himself said this to His followers.

Bible Verse: Luke 6:31 (NKJV)

“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.”

Do you know that versions of the Golden Rule existed before Christ? It was not invented by Jesus. The truth of the matter is, that it is found in rabbinic writings and even in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Interestingly, all of them cast the rule as a negative command, such as Rabbi Hillel’s version. “What is hateful to yourself, do not do to someone else.”

In contrast, Jesus made it a positive command, enriching its meaning. The Lord also put it in a way that summarizes the whole gist of the ethical principles contained in the Law and the Prophets.

Golden Rule for Christians

Applying Jesus’ Command

The command to, “… do to them likewise” especially applies to Christian fellowship. Having experienced love from people who reached out to us, we must also love and reach out to others.

Are you, as a Christian applying what Jesus taught? Do you act differently than the world or there is no visible evidence that you’re a follower of Christ?

We must understand that the way Christians conduct themselves especially in public and among unbelievers makes all the difference. Simply put, how Christians act matters! When people in darkness see the light of Christ in us, we don’t even have to preach to them. This is where the saying, “Action speaks louder than words” applies.

Knowing the Needs of Others

Now that I am a parent, I am slowly learning the needs of my children. Everyone has needs. Sometimes people say what their needs are, other times they don’t. Many times children don’t even know what their needs are. Thus, it is the responsibility of the parents to know and provide what their kids need.

The same is true with our fellowmen. Let us be sensitive to their needs because this is one way of showing that we care for them. It doesn’t matter how many Bible verses have we memorized if we treat others like trash. Oftentimes, people just want to know that we care about them. As another saying goes, “People don’t care what you know (about God and the Bible) until they know you care.”

Christians should care about people enough to learn and know the needs of others. Jesus knew we had a sin problem 2,000 years before we ever knew we had a sin problem. Are we perceptive enough to know the needs of others around us?

In addition to perceiving needs, we need to care about everyone, including our enemies. The context of verse 31 is loving our enemies. It is contrary to our human nature to love our enemies.

Matthew 5:44

The Christian Response

Everyone has been the recipient of sin or misdeeds. We have no control over what other people do to us, but we do have control over how we respond. This is especially true of parents of children. Children naturally disobey their parents.

But how does God want us to respond? Of course, there should be a correction for disobedience as Proverbs 3:12 says. But with the heart of love and the goal of reconciliation rather than just retribution or superiority.

This is another reason why abortion is wrong. That baby did not wrong you. If we apply this principle of love toward everyone, how could we ever murder an innocent person? It is a shame that average Americans have murdered 60 million babies over the last 50 years because of excuses and they could.

This is another reason why I believe that all people are sinners.

Final Thoughts

It is true that loving everyone is very difficult and sometimes very uncomfortable but God blesses that humility toward others. The perfect example of that is Jesus. He laid His life down for everyone and yet He is called King of kings in the book of Revelation.

Do we love others as we should? Or do we need God to sanctify us some more?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

Life According to the Truth by Michael HeilmanDo you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to The Truth. Disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to Michael’s life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life.

With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • Loving God and others
  • Discerning God’s will for your life
  • Being confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

Developing a Sympathetic Heart

Developing a Sympathetic Heart

In a world marred by sin and evil, everybody needs someone who truly understands what they’re going through. But we can only be that someone if we have a sympathetic heart.

What does it mean to have a sympathetic or understanding heart and how do we develop such?

Bible Verse: Hebrews 4:15

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus, our High Priest, does not only know what we go through. More importantly, He feels it too. It means that He can “sympathize with our weaknesses.” The ancient Greek word translated sympathize means “to suffer along with.”

Jesus' Crown of Thorns and Nails

One who hears of a tragedy that happened in another city would feel a measure of grief. But it’s nothing like the pain we would feel if it were the city we grew up in. Jesus added humanity to His deity and lived among us. When you have been there, it makes all the difference.

In times when you think and feel that nobody understands your pain, always remember that Jesus does. He is kind, loving, and compassionate. If there’s someone who would know and understand exactly how we feel, it’s the Lord.

Do Not Be Insensitive

All people are indeed sinners and there is plenty of proof of that fact, but does that mean we should be insensitive. Just the fact that God is holy and people are sinners would be enough excuse to be insensitive to the plight of humanity.

God did not have to give us the opportunity for a relationship with Him. We chose to break His law. That was not His responsibility to resolve and yet, He became human and died and rose again to have a relationship with us. Jesus gave us the perfect model of how to build a relationship with other people.

Everyone needs relationships. Without relationships, people become bitter. Everyone needs someone to relate to them. Are you willing to relate to them?

Jesus did all the hardest work to save people. However, that does not mean Christians don’t need to put effort into understanding, relating, and caring about where people are coming from. Being insensitive towards others shows a lack of love.

It is easier to receive instruction or a challenge from someone that tries to relate to you. How well do we try to relate to others?

Always Act Without Prejudice

Many Christians say that the gospel is for everyone, yet many of those same people have no desire to relate to other people. Why?

In the book of Hebrews, just like Jesus is our High Priest, all Christians are also priests that can intercede for others. Yet we tend to be narrow-minded and insensitive toward those that are different from us. How is that Christ-like? The Lord was tempted just like every person and overcame every prejudice.

Why are Christians not able to overcome every prejudice as well? We need to remember that a very prejudiced Jew named Saul hated gentiles. But he got saved and God changed him so much that he became the Apostle to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:8).

Galatians 2:8, NKJV

“For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles.”

God gave His Son to suffer and die on the cross so that everyone who believes will receive eternal life (John 3:16). Whether male or female, Jew or Gentile, small or great, low or high, and whatever race you belong to, Jesus died for you.

As recipients of God’s amazing grace, let us sympathize with the lost and give them the gospel. Let us avoid prejudice at all costs and help them come into a saving relationship with the Lord.

Final Words

Being a born-again believer does not make us any better than others. Every Christian was a sinner saved by grace. If God is not patient and compassionate, we would still be wallowing in our sin and rebellion.

Do we believe that we can come up with an excuse to be indifferent, insensitive, or hateful toward anyone? How sympathetic are we?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: Radical Compassion: Finding Christ in the Heart of the Poor by Gary Smith

Radical Compassion: Finding Christ in the Heart of the Poor by Gary SmithFor almost ten years, Gary Smith, S.J., lived and worked among the poor of Portland, Oregon.

With this memoir, he invites us to walk with him and meet some of the abandoned, overlooked, and forgotten members of our society with whom he has shared his life.

Just as Smith found a deeper, truer understanding of himself and the heart of God through his work, these people and their stories stand to transform us.

“Although its subject matter is bleak, the book is not. Smith has found love amid the despair. His book is touching, at times hopeful, and the kind of book that is hard to put down, that fascinates, horrifies, and rivets one’s attention.”

Children are God’s Blessings

Children are God’s Blessings

The Bible tells us that children are God’s blessings. So, when a couple builds a home, they’re building it for their children; for their family. At the same time, having kids carries a lot of responsibility for the parents.

King Solomon knew this and that’s why he considered the wisdom of trusting God in building a house (Psalm 127:1). He understood that a home is built with more than just bricks and wood.

Bible Verses: Psalm 127:3-5b

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed.”

We all acknowledge that the family is the basic unit and most important element of society. A family consists not just of the husband and the wife but of children as well. Thus, we secure our home to secure our family. I’d say no parent would not do anything and everything to keep their children safe.

Staring into the Face of Evil

It’s beyond unimaginable that someone would want to hurt innocent and defenseless children. Yet, recently, there was a terrible mass shooting in an elementary school that killed 21 people, including 18 children. How and why did this happen? This is just pure evil!

People can theorize why the shooter chose a location with so many innocent people to kill. One of the many possible reasons is America has a culture of hate toward children. We can say that this is a result of public schools teaching that all people are just evolved animals. There is no reason to value any life if that was true.

Murdering Defenseless Babies

Liberals and democrats love to talk about protecting democracy. But they never want to address the issue of unrestricted abortion. Did you know that 60 million babies have been murdered for convenience in America alone over the last 50 years?

In 2019 alone, a total of 629,898 abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. Women in their 20s accounted for more than half of abortions (56.9%). Those aged 20–24 and 25–29 years accounted for the highest percentages of abortions (27.6% and 29.3%, respectively). They had the highest abortion rates (19.0 and 18.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20–24 and 25–29 years, respectively).

How did we get here?

Sustaining Society

The average number of children per family is less than 2, which can’t even sustain the population of any nation. My wife once received a snide condescending comment from a Christian for having 3 children. If that comment reflects the beliefs of average Christians regarding the number of children in a family, that is a shame.

We can protect society by maintaining a family sufficient to sustain society. But how can we do this if most Americans refuse to have more kids? We do not have a one-child policy like other countries do. Yet, we act as if it’s a crime to have more than 1 or 2 children.

Train up a child in the way he should go

The most successful husband and wives are those that have a quiver full of well-trained children as Psalm 127:5 and Proverbs 22:6a says.

By far well-trained children are the most useful instrument of change as Psalm 127:4 says. Wouldn’t we want a quiver full of them?

Final Thoughts

Children indeed mirror the flaws of their parents, but that is not a bad thing. Any humble parent would use that opportunity to grow in maturity rather than being a hypocrite.

Having children is a blessing because they are God’s blessings and a reward. Jesus welcomed the children to come to Him (Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14).

Do we love children enough to have a quiver full?


Life According to the Truth by Michael HeilmanGet a copy of my book, “Life According to the Truth.”

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • Loving God and others
  • Discerning God’s will for your life
  • Being confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Appointed to Die Once

Appointed to Die Once

One reality that nobody could escape is death. The Bible says we are all appointed to die once and after that the judgment. There comes a time when Christians and non-Christians alike will give an account to God on how they lived.

Bible Verse: Hebrews 9:27

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”

I used to hear people ask, “What is something you know but at the same time you do not know.”

Tricky question, isn’t it? Think about it; you know for certain it will happen but you don’t know exactly when.

Psalm 90:10, NIV

Death and Judgment

To die once is a general rule for all mankind. There have been very rare exceptions. For instance, Lazarus died twice (John 11:43-44). Those, like Lazarus, who was raised from the dead by a miraculous act, died a second time.

Another exception will be those who don’t die even once, but who will be caught up at the Rapture  (1Thessalonians 4:17). Then there’s Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11) who did not die but were taken up alive.

The word judgment is a general term encompassing the judgment of all people; believers and unbelievers. Those who are in Christ will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). Unbelievers, on the other hand, will face God at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15).

The Uncertainty of Life

How many people know when they will die? Some die in an accident. Others die from a long-drawn-out illness. Still, others have their life taken from them.

Nobody knows how long we will live on this earth, hence the reason why life is uncertain. We do not know what a day will bring.

In James 4:14, the Lord’s brother exposes the presumptuous folly of the practical atheists he condemned. These people thought they knew what the future holds for them. But it’s God alone who knows what will happen tomorrow or the day after.

When James said, “life is like a vapor,” he is referring to either a puff of smoke or one’s breath that appears for a moment in cold air. It stresses the transitory nature of life. See James 1:10; Job 7:6-7; 9:25-26; 14:1-2; Psalm 39:5, 11; 62:9; 89:47; 90:5-6, 10.

James 4:14, NKJV

Preparing for Eternity

Are you prepared for eternity? How many people are prepared to meet God?

Since there is nothing more sure than death and taxes, how are you preparing for eternity? Or are you just wasting your time?

Every person has a finite amount of time. So, use it wisely. Don’t use your time to glorify yourself. Rather, use it to glorify God. God wants His creation to glorify Him. Sadly, most people in this world want to do their own thing.

Hence, the consequence of disobeying God is found in Hebrew 9:27.

No two people indeed disobey God the same way, but that does not mean anyone is good compared to God. Jesus said in Matthew 19:17 that none is inherently good except God. We are all sinners before God, hence the reason why we all face judgment after we die.

Have you taken care of that sin debt before God by repenting and asking for forgiveness through the finished payment of Jesus Christ? If not, why not now?

Closing Words

For those of us that are saved, are you spreading this glorious news that Jesus came to save sinners? Are we using our finite amount of time to glorify ourselves or God?

Jesus is coming. Can you honestly say that you are prepared to meet Him? Romans 12:1-2 says we are to sacrifice our will to do God’s will; are doing just that?

Too many Christians look at salvation as fire insurance rather than a lifestyle change. When we glorify ourselves over glorifying God, we are acting just like unbelievers.

Do you believe that is what God wants for us? Absolutely not! Jesus died to make us new as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says. Are we living like that is true?


Recommended Resource: 

Preparing for Heaven: What Dallas Willard Taught Me About Living, Dying, and Eternal Life by Gary Black Jr.

Preparing for Heaven: What Dallas Willard Taught Me About Living, Dying, and Eternal Life by Gary Black Jr.In his acclaimed books, renowned writer, speaker, and philosophy professor Dallas Willard explored the nature of Christian life in God’s Kingdom.

Yet one topic remained undisclosed: Willard’s understanding of heaven and eternal life. In the months before his death, Willard engaged in moving and insightful conversations about the meaning of life and the life to come with close friend and theologian Gary Black Jr.

These inspiring dialogues were steeped in biblical theology as well as practical wisdom grounded in the here-and-now.

In, Preparing for Heaven, Black reveals not only Willard’s profound and liberating vision of life after death, but he also deftly unpacks the implications these realities hold for our lives today.

Black shows how Willard understood our mortal lives as preparation for what comes next—that death is not the end of one life and the beginning of another, but rather a transition through which we continue the transformational work begun on Earth.

Informative, challenging, and poignant, Willard and Black’s conversations and insights challenge us to reconsider our beliefs—that perhaps the line separating the afterlife from this life is not as absolute as we think, and that there is work to be done both now and in the glorious life to come.

As a result, we will find that our faith is more vibrant—and eternal—than we have dared to imagine.