Friday, October 30, 2015

Seek the Good


[Photo of climbers climbing Mt. Everest]

“Seek good, not evil, that you may live.”
—Amos 5:14a

One of the hallmarks of our culture is that, given a choice between good and evil, more times than not people will choose to step over the line and choose evil.

Our sin nature promotes the wrong choice. Without the cleansing that the shed blood of Jesus provides and without the Presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we children of God would consistently make the wrong choice.

We actually have to learn to choose good over evil. The Prophet Amos writes these encouraging words in Amos 5:14:

Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.

By reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word and by listening carefully to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to our inner person, we can more consistently choose good over evil.

But, to do our part, we must avoid seeking evil and, instead, seek good. Most of us have a hard time doing that.

Even though we belong to God through Christ, our sin nature still leans toward the allure of evil. We have to actively and consciously and persistently submit our stubborn wills to God and seek the good.

Let us begin this new day by praying for each other and supporting each other as we seek the good. In the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we can learn how to ever more consistently seek good.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Way of Love


[Photo of a path with a vine superimposed]

“…walk in the way of love…”
—Ephesians 5:2

As we begin each morning, we get to choose how we will greet the day. Sometimes, we wake up angry or depressed. In our current culture, it’s not at all difficult to understand why anger or depression might arise within us.

But we can also choose to wake up grateful—grateful for the love of God; grateful for the salvation He has given us through the shed blood of His one and only Son; grateful for the new life He has given us; grateful for the promise of heaven through Christ’s resurrection.

Such gratitude allows us to receive a new portion of God’s love. We can apprehend His gifts and use them to bring honor to His name.

Each day, the way of love stretches out before us. We can choose to lay aside our disappointment with our circumstances and do what God desires for us.

The Apostle Paul gives very clear instructions in Ephesians 5:1-2:

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

We have our marching orders for this day. We must walk in the way of love. As we do, we must stand ready to share God’s love with every person with whom we come in contact.

God has filled us full of His love for a reason. Let’s not withhold that love. Instead, let’s gladly share it with a needy world.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Call to Holiness


[Graphic of a sign]

“Be holy, because I am holy.”
—1 Peter 1:16

Living a holy life is simply not cool. Most Christians like to retain some pet sin that they nurture and think about and in which they secretly delight.

I grew up in Fundamentalism with all its rules of behavior. I look back in dismay at how some parts of that upbringing stifled my understanding of the fullness of God’s grace. But, at the same time, I am very grateful for the solid foundation of biblical teaching and warm fellowship that Fundamentalism conveyed.

In my early years of adulthood, I became somewhat of a neo-evangelical and began to experience the joy that comes from appreciating more fully the Person and work of the Holy Spirit and the amazing wonders of God’s grace. Gradually, as I spent more time studying Scripture, I moved away from the Arminianism of my youth and became deeply committed to a Calvinist theological perspective.

In these last 15 years, I have become a Presbyterian. First, in an evangelical-leaning PC(USA) church, and more recently, in an Evangelical Presbyterian Church. I appreciate many, many things about the EPC denomination. But, with more than a little sardonic irony, I’m not certain that I really fit in with Presbyterianism—at least to an extent that I’m all that happy about it.

You see, when viewed from the perspective of my own spiritual journey, almost all of my Presbyterian brethren do not seem to have as deep a commitment to the church as my Fundamentalist upbringing has taught me one should have. Nor do they shun certain sins in quite the way I was taught to do so. In fact, with a wink and a nod, they seem to delight in these little pet behaviors—these pet sins—that, from my perspective, are potential slippery slopes that might lead to even more serious sins.

Make no mistake, these dear Presbyterians truly love Jesus and want to do what’s right. They just seem a little “loosey-goosey” when it comes to certain sins.

In contrast, if I frankly and carefully examine my own life, with shock and surprise I discover that deep down I, too, have been nurturing some pet sins of my own that are every bit as bad, or even far worse, than the pet sins I observe in my Presbyterian brethren.

Holiness is just not cool. And, yet we are called to live holy lives. Here’s the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 1:13-16:

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Fortunately for everyone, I’m not the ultimate judge. God forbid that that would ever be so. For if I was the true judge, I would have to judge myself most harshly of all. Instead of looking at my brothers and sisters in Christ, I would have to fall on my knees and confess my own long list of pet sins. In fact, I would do well to pause in the middle of writing this blog post and do that very thing!

Knowing that God has called His children to holiness, let us humbly ask the Holy Spirit to nurture within us a spirit of obedience to God’s will and to God’s Word.

Let’s throw off the shackles of our pet sins and strive for holiness. Then, as freshly cleaned vessels of God’s mercy, grace, and love, let us share what God has done for us with the people He brings across the pathway of our lives.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

DIY Salvation


[Photo of a frozen rose with words superimposed]

“Wash and make yourselves clean.”
—Isaiah 1:16

“If only I can live a good enough life, perhaps I will get to heaven.”

So many people continue to believe that their eternal salvation is a “Do-It-Yourself” endeavor. But, there are some things we simply can’t do for ourselves.

As a teen in high school my most dreaded period of the day was sixth period Physical Education class. I hated P. E.!

As an extremely obese person, I hated P. E. because of all the things I could not do. And, of all of those many impossible challenges, I hated the pommel horse the most.

Relatively tall in those long-ago days at 6 ft. 2 in., but weighing over 250 pounds, I could not make it over the pommel horse.

The P. E. teacher mocked me and humiliated me and gave me the only failing grade I ever received in high school.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not make it over that horse.

Looking back, while I don’t agree with all of his methods nor with the way he treated me, the P. E. Teacher was trying to motivate me into making drastic changes in my life.

The prophet Isaiah was faced with an even more daunting task. God had chosen Isaiah to speak on God’s behalf to the wayward people of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Isaiah was to show the people they needed to change. But, he also gave them hope.

Here’s Isaiah 1:16-18:

“Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”says the Lord.“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson,they shall be like wool.”

The people of Judah could not wash and make themselves clean, for salvation only comes from God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Though they needed to do everything God told them to do, they could only do it through the power of the Holy Spirit. God had to provide the very salvation that they so desperately needed. There was no DIY salvation.

How fortunate we are that God has washed us thoroughly in the blood of His Son. There is no DIY salvation for us either. But, God has given us our salvation in and through Jesus.

Let us praise Him this day for our salvation. And, let us obediently live as ones who have been plucked from the fires of hell.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Qualified Leaders


[Drawing of Paul laying on hands]

“An elder must be blameless…”
—Titus 1:6

Anyone who has attended church faithfully for an extended period of time may well have encountered the behavior of a church leader who made you say, “Whaaaat?” Sometimes that exclamatory question is spoken through tears.

Church leaders can build up a church. And, church leaders can severely damage, even destroy, a church.

If you’ve followed my posts for very long, you know that I have a very low tolerance for incompetent, unqualified, unholy church leaders. Whether they’re called by the title of pastors, or priests, or elders, or deacons, unqualified church leaders can sometimes inflict great pain on an individual or group of individuals.

In one church I attended many years ago, I watched a particular young man swagger into church. He had grown up in the church and acted like he owned the place. Though he was well-educated and had a responsible professional position, his arrogance and pomposity always preceded him whenever he entered a room.

I remember thinking, “For the sake of the health of this church, I’m glad he’s not in leadership.”

The very next week, he was elected to serve on the Board of Elders. I was gobsmacked.

I wish I could tell you that my dire prediction was wrong. Sadly, working in a sneaky and deceptive manner, this young man brought about the near destruction of that church.

The qualifications of leaders become critically important to the health of a church. Yet, very few church people even know that the Bible contains specific requirements intended to define qualified church leaders.

In 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, the Apostle Paul gives instruction to the two pastors he was mentoring: Timothy and Titus. Notice Paul’s words in Titus 1:6-9:

An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.

Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.

Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.

He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Taking this list seriously certainly disqualifies a lot of people from serving as leaders. A church should not merely want to fill a slot on its leadership team. Rather, people should ask, “Who among us is most like Jesus?”

In that regard, here’s Paul’s other list as found in 1 Timothy 3:2-13:

Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?

He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.

He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.

They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.

They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

My zeal for this subject “burns hot.” I want all churches to be healthy. I don’t want unqualified leaders to become instruments of Satan who always strives to damage the people of God.

So, we must determine to choose our leaders wisely. The health of our churches depends on it.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Eager to Do Good


[Photo of footprints in the sand with words superimposed]

“…our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all
wickedness and to purify for himself a people
that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
—Titus 2:14

Most people are eager to have things in life go their way. Especially in our current society, if you ask people to set aside their own wants and wishes and give themselves wholeheartedly to doing what's best for others, you will draw a laugh of derision or even a curse.

But once someone realizes the gift of forgiveness that God has given to him or her through God’s one and only Son, Jesus, a new desire grips that one’s heart.

The Apostle Paul explains this exciting phenomenon in Titus 2:11-14:

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.

It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

An eagerness to do good arises within the hearts of “Christ’s-ones” (Christians). It comes from the understanding of what Jesus has done for us.

The bass singer, Tennessee Ernie Ford, made the following gospel song very famous in the 1950s, even among secular people.

Lord, help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for—Others.

Refrain: Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.

Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true
And know that all I’d do for You
Must needs be done for—Others.

Refrain: Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.

Let "Self" be crucified and slain
And buried deep: and all in vain
May efforts be to rise again,
Unless to live for—Others.

Refrain: Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.

And when my work on earth is done,
And my new work in Heav’n’s begun,
May I forget the crown I’ve won,
While thinking still of—Others.

Refrain: Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.


(Note: Your browser must support Adobe Flash in order to view this video)


Eager to do good—that’s the new way of living that God has given us through the outpouring of His love through His precious Son.

So, look around you this day for opportunities to show God’s love by doing good to others.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Satisfied by God’s Love


[Photo of a sunrise with words superimposed]

“ Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love…”
—Psalm 90:14

Every day, we who follow the Lord Jesus Christ, find ourselves in God’s classroom. He brings things across our pathway in order to teach us lessons we need to learn.

The Psalmist expresses this reality so very well in a prayer recorded in Psalm 90:12, 13b, 14:

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Have compassion on your servants.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

In the midst of the most difficult of lessons, God always shows us His love and compassion. No matter how difficult or frustrating any particular lesson might seem, God always treats us as His dearly loved children.

God’s love for us always triumphs over our difficulty in learning a particular lesson. No matter how we might struggle to learn, God’s love always satisfies the needs of our hearts and minds.

Therefore, we can rejoice as we begin another day in the classroom of our loving Father.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Be Reconciled


[Photo of a field with words superimposed]

“We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
—2 Corinthians 5:20b

Healing broken relationships is one of the truly most noble endeavors. It doesn’t matter who caused the breech. If a means for reconciliation exists, we must take it.

Consider the breech in our relationship with God.

God gave first man, Adam, a perfect world. But Adam wanted more. He believed Satan'’s lie that he could be like God without God. So Adam sinned and broke the only rule God had given him. Adam breeched his relationship with God.

We have inherited Adam’s sin and added our own sins to that original offense.

You might think that if anyone was going to try to repair the relationship with God it would be us. We’re the ones who broke the fellowship. Surely we have to be the ones to try to bring about reconciliation.

But no, God made the first move.

The Apostle Paul explains this so elegantly in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.

And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.

We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

God sent His one and only Son to pay the penalty for our sin and repair the breech in our relationship with God. Then, Christ rose from the grave to give us the gift of victory over death and eternal life.

We who were totally unrighteous have become righteous in Christ. And more than that, through Christ, God has made us His ambassadors and ministers of reconciliation.

As a new day begins, let us fervently share this good news. And, let us be the reconcilers that God intends us to be.

I urge you, if Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart, receive with joy the gift He has given you. For if He is knocking it means He has chosen you to belong to Himself.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

New Water for the Wasteland


Drawing of a desert stream]

“I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
—Isaiah 43:19

So many people are discouraged because they feel their lives have become a wasteland. Their lives once seemed full of hope and promise. They went about their daily tasks without a thought for the future.

But now it’s like a dry wind has blown across their lives and turned the fertile garden of their days into a desert wasteland.

If you are one who feels you have lost nearly everything that matters to you, let these words of God through the Prophet Isaiah give you hope. Isaiah 43:16-19:

This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Whatever part of your world may have become a wasteland will be renewed this day. Why? Because God is doing a new thing. That's what He has promised!

So, turn your back on those past troubles and drink deeply from the streams of living water that God has provided.

You may not yet even perceive that something new has come. Nevertheless, God’s promises are certain and true. It’s a new day, a new world. The old is past. The new has come.

Embrace God’s new plan with confidence and with a grateful heart. The new will be better than the old.

Even if the dust in your eyes keep you from seeing what God is doing, plunge your head into the desert stream, wipe the dust out of your eyes, and choose to believe that God’s promise is true. God will reward your faithful hope and expectation.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Becoming an Overcomer


[Photo of a city with words superimposed]

“In this world you will have trouble.”
—John 16:33b

Trouble of one kind or another finds its way into virtually everyone’s life.

Maybe you’ve lost a loved one to a dreaded disease or accident. Perhaps in a failing economy you’ve lost your job or your home. Maybe your body has become assailed by illness.

Maybe your marriage has dissolved in spite of every effort you made to preserve it. Perhaps a longtime friendship has become breeched through no fault of your own.

Maybe one of your children has rushed down a wrong pathway and become entangled in a mess.

The list of possible troubles seems endless. The question we all face, no matter what the source of our trouble: “What can we do? How do we recover?” We need someone to show us the way out of our troubles.

Fortunately, God has not only provided a way, He has provided the perfect person to lead us.

Carefully read these words of Jesus, recorded by the Apostle John in John 16:33:

“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.”

The ability to overcome the trials and troubles of life is found at the feet of Jesus. Not only is He our Savior, Lord, and King, He is our guide to becoming an overcomer.

How can He guide us? Because He has overcome every obstacle the world placed in His way, even the horrible death on a Roman cross.

No matter what trouble may have befallen you, this day you will find peace and the strength to overcome in the tender, loving embrace of Jesus. Let the Savior open up a pathway to healing and restoration for you today.

Yes, your life may have changed, the road of your life may have taken a turn you never expected. But that doesn't mean you are permanently derailed.

Allow Jesus to help you embrace your new circumstances. He will provide you with peace in the midst of your trouble, He will guide you to become an overcomer. Just place your faith and trust in Him.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Friday, October 16, 2015

A Guaranteed Reservation


[Drawing of the holy city with words superimposed]

“My Father’s house has many rooms…”
—John 14:2

Have you ever arrived at a distant location only to find that the hotel has lost your reservation?

I taught a seminar once in a southern suburb of Boston. Upon arrival, I discovered that my reservation for a handicap-accessible room had not been honored. The hotel manager made no apology and, in fact had a distinctive, “take it or leave” attitude.

This was particularly frustrating because, as one who held the highest level of that particular chain’s frequent traveler program with over 750,000 points, I should have been treated much better.

I struggled through the first night. It was so difficult to get ready in the morning. I almost fell several times. At the seminar, I made a joke about it to the attendees.

At the break, one of the attendees came to me and said that, to his chagrin, the hotel had placed him in a handicap-accessible room. He would be glad to trade rooms with me.

This man’s kindness made the remaining five days much more pleasant and safe for me.

Having a guaranteed reservation that we know will be honored when we arrive is very important.

The hope of heaven fills the minds and hearts of God’s people from time to time. I can remember a gospel chorus we used to sing at Youth for Christ rallies in the 1950s and 1960s:

Heaven is better than this.
Praise God what joy and bliss.
Walking on streets of solid gold,
In that land where we’ll never grow old.
Heaven is better than this.
Praise God what joy and bliss.
I’m glad I'm walkin’ with Jesus down here.
But, heaven is better than,
Heaven is better than,
Heaven is better than this

Yes, once in a while—or maybe if your health has begun to fail even more often—our thoughts turn toward heaven.

It is most comforting to know that through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, we have a guaranteed reservation in heaven.

Notice Jesus’ words, as recorded in John 14:1-3:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

What wonderful news! We have a guaranteed reservation in heaven.

Even though most of us hope to be here on earth for many days and years to come, we can take comfort that Jesus has gone ahead to prepare our place in the many-roomed mansion of heaven.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fruit-bearing Disciples


[Drawing of grapes with words superimposed]

“If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit…”
—John 15:5

Most everyone wants to feel as if he or she has a clear purpose in life.

In my career as a fire protection engineer that clear purpose was to make certain that buildings had specifically designed fire protection equipment that would save lives, protect the physical property, preserve the mission of the facility, preserve the heritage contained in the facility, and protect the environment.

As believers in the life-transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ, we also have a purpose in life: to become fruit-bearing disciples.

Our Savior explains this in John 15:5-8:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

“If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

Starting out in this new day, let us abide in Christ by spending time reading His Word, the Bible, and by talking with Him in prayer.

Then, let us proceed through our day conscious of our Savior’s great love for us and equally conscious of our duty to show His love in the way we relate to the people He brings across our pathway.

In so doing, we will abide (or remain) in Him and bring glory to His Name. And, we will become fruit-bearing disciples of the Great King Jesus.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Only Way


[Drawing of Jesus on the cross with words superimposed]

“I am the way and the truth and the life.”
—John 14:6

In a world of political correctness, we are supposed to maintain a tolerant openness to all religions. We are to accept the concept that all religions provide a pathway to God.

Even religions who describe a god very different than the God described in the Bible, we are to assume that all religions worship the same god.

But, like it or not—and, frankly, many don’t like it—Christianity teaches that the only pathway to a personal, eternal relationship with the Triune God is through His one and only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice how specifically Jesus responds to Thomas’ question in John 14:5-6:

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Let us begin this new day grateful that in His mercy, grace, and overwhelming love God has revealed to us the Way to new life through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Truly Alive


[Drawing of the empty tomb]

“I am the resurrection and the life.”
—John 11:25

The eleventh chapter of the Gospel of John contains one of the most poignant stories. Jesus’ friend Lazarus is sick and has died.

As Jesus goes to be with Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, He is confronted with mourners and a distraught Martha who says to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

With great compassion, Jesus tells her that her brother will rise again. Martha acknowledges that at the end of the age her brother will rise from the grave.

But Jesus counters with these words recorded in John 11:25-26:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Yes! Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Alive within us by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, Jesus brings true life into our lives. True life both now and for eternity.

Let us move out into this day with a strong sense of joy knowing that our Savior has made us truly alive.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, October 12, 2015

We Are Known


[Drawing of the Good Shepherd]

“I know my sheep and my sheep know me”
—John 10:14b

Don’t you just delight when you are somewhere in a large crowd—maybe at a concert or shopping at the mall—when suddenly you see someone you know?

You make an effort to get that one’s attention. The minute he or she recognizes you, a look of joy appears of his or her face.

“I know you! How are you? How’s your family? Oh! This is your daughter? What a beautiful little girl.”

Our Savior understood how important it is to be “known.” Notice His words recorded in John 10:14-15:

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

How fortunate we are to have such a Shepherd!

As we begin another day, let us be keenly aware of opportunities that God might give us to share His love with others.

Let us cheerfully be ambassadors of our Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Friday, October 9, 2015

The Word Became Flesh


[Photo of a baby's feet with words superimposed]

“ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God.”
—John 1:1

The first three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke each begin their narration of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ somewhat differently. Matthew and Luke begin with the birth of Jesus. Mark begins with John the Baptist in the wilderness.

The fourth gospel, the Gospel of John, begins the narration at creation. Notice how John tells his story in John 1:1-5, 14:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Let us rejoice this day that the “Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us,” even the very Son of God, our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ. In and through Him we have new life.

While for a time we each lived in the darkness of sin, now the Light of Life has come to gather us into His glorious Kingdom. Therefore, we have a reason to rejoice in this new day.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

The God of Enduring Love


[Graphic of a sign]

“His love endures forever.”
—Psalm 136:3b

Almost everything in our culture seems to wear out: things we buy; environments in which we live and work; and, sadly, even some relationships.

But one thing endures forever: God's unfailing, undying love for us.

The Psalmist tells us this in Psalm 136:3-9:

Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.

To him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.

Who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever.

Who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.

Who made the great lights—His love endures forever.

The sun to govern the day, His love endures forever.

The moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.

Let us give the God who created all things our thankful praise. He certainly deserves our devotion and our love because His love for us endures forever.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

God’s Enduring Love


[Photo of flowers with words superimposed]

“Give thanks to the Lord”
—Psalm 136:1

In every trial along the road of life, one constant prevails: God's enduring love. Such a love should cause great thankfulness to rise up within us.

Notice these words from Psalm 136:1:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.

Over and over, the Psalms proclaim this truth in numerous passages of Scripture.

The goodness of God simply cannot be measured. His love permeates all aspects of life.

With such a marvelous, enduring love engulfing us, how can we not overflow with thankfulness?


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Endless Praise


[Graphic of a sign]

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name…”
—1 Chronicles 16:8

A co-worker asked a woman, “In the morning, do you wake up grumpy?”

“No,” she replied. “I usually just let him sleep.”

How we begin our day is really quite important. The Bible makes this quite clear in 1 Chronicles 16:8-10:

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.

Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

Beginning every day with praise to God on our lips sets the tone for our day. Whether we wake up feeling happy or sad, energized or discouraged, at peace or on edge, comforted or agitated, by starting our day with praise to God, we declare His authority over our emotions and over every other aspect of our lives.

Praising God acknowledges that, no matter what our circumstances may be, God remains on the throne of our lives. He is the One who controls our destiny.

Let us begin our day with praise to God. If we do, His everlasting love, tireless mercy, and unending grace will surely flood our lives.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Thankful for God’s Power


[Photo of a fire with words superimposed]

“…let us be thankful, and so worship God
acceptably with reverence and awe…”
—Hebrews 12:29a

We may not always be consciously aware of how reliant we are on God’s power. Nevertheless, it is His power that leads us, cares for us, and protects us every day of our lives.

It is God’s mighty power that has brought His Kingdom to earth through the amazing Presence of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. His Kingdom is not some far off place. It is right here with us, right now.

The writer to the Hebrews has made this declaration in Hebrews 12:28-29:

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Notice the phrase “we are receiving a kingdom.” In New Testament Greek, the word translated “receiving” indicates something that is happening now and continues to happen over and over without stopping.

Our thankfulness rightly gives way to worship. We worship our God of power and might. We praise and honor Him for His mighty power.

Let us rejoice this day that our God is a consuming fire. His power is unstoppable. His love cannot be measured. And, we are the ones He loves. We are the ones in whom He imbues His power.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Will It Honor Jesus’ Name?


[Photo of a sunset over water with words superimposed]

“…do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”
—Colossians 3:17b

It is good to have a standard against which we can measure what we say and what we do. The Apostle Paul offered such a standard in Colossians 3:17:

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Let us choose this day to measure what we say and do against this standard: will it be worthy for our Savior's name? Using such a standard will help us guard our minds, hearts, pens, and tongues.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Overflowing Thankfulness


[Graphic of a tree with words superimposed]

“…just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,
continue to live your lives in him…”
—Colossians 2:6

The way we think controls the way we live. If we think positively, we will live positively. If we think negatively, we will live negatively.

The Apostle Paul recognized this truth when he wrote these words in Colossians 2:6-7:

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

We get to choose how we will live this day. So, let us choose to live thankfully: thankful for God's unfailing love for us; thankful for Jesus’ death in our place to cover our sins and for His resurrection that guarantees our place in heaven; thankful for the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit who leads us along the pathway God has provided for us.

Then, as we consider how blessed we truly are, let us live this day with the positive attitude of overflowing thankfulness.


Copyright © 2015 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.