Monday, February 29, 2016

Free At Last


[Photo of a tombstone depicting a boy leaping from his wheel chair]

“And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
—1 Thessalonians 4:17b

Three children in my formative years were confined to wheel chairs. Most of you reading this would not fully comprehend how devastating poliomyelitis (polio) was before Dr. Jonas Salk created his life-saving vaccine.

It was the summer of 1952. I was five years old. My beautiful little cousin, Marsha Moran, was two years old when polio struck. The disease moved fast, paralyzed the muscles of her diaphragm preventing her ability to breathe. There simply weren’t enough iron lungs available for all the children affected by the national crisis of the polio epidemic. Marsha died a horrible, life-choking death.

By God’s grace, the medical research of Dr. Salk, and later Dr. Albert Sabin, soon effectively halted the polio epidemic in the United States.

It is always terribly sad when a child dies. But the photo accompanying this blog post shows how one family reached out in their grief to declare a truth worth celebrating to all who might pass by the grave of their dearly loved and sadly missed child.

Please note these words from the Apostle Paul, as recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Therefore encourage one another with these words.

In the midst of our grief whenever a child, or anyone else, dies, we who believe in Christ have a true and lasting hope. That hope is fully realized in death.

In death, we are set free from the terrible effects of sin and from the restrictions and disease of our frail bodies. That freedom is glorious in all its manifestation.

Let us comfort each other, as we mourn the loss of those who have died. One day we will all exclaim: “Free at last!”


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Friday, February 26, 2016

No Other Name


[Graphic of a sign]

“Salvation is found in no one else…”
—Acts 4:12a

Sometimes, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, circumstances may require us to speak lovingly, but also with boldness. This is exactly what happened to the Apostle Peter, as recorded in Acts 4:8-12:

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them:

“Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.”

“Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

As we greet a new day, let's remember that we are servants of the One who bears the name by which every human in this world must be saved.

Recognizing that there is no other name with such power, let us boldly share His love and the good news of His salvation with others.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Right Kind of “Know-It-All”


[Graphic of a sign]

“…make every effort to add to your faith…”
—Peter 1:5a

People have complained about me all my life that I’m a “Know-It-All.” I confess that I do have the annoying habit of always feeling motivated to offer my opinion. I suspect people might find me much more tolerable if I would just keep my comments to myself.

There actually is a kind of “Know-It-All” that Scripture celebrates. Please take note of these words from the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1:5-8:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The kind of “Know-It-All” who adds to his or her faith the qualities listed in the above verses truly would become more effective and more productive.

Please join me this day in asking the Holy Spirit to give us a full measure of goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love. Truly, if God answers our earnest prayers for these critically important qualities, we will be very blessed.

And, by the way, pray for me that, by keeping my opinions to myself, I will become much less annoying. Okay?


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Everything Will Be All Right


[Photo of field grass with words superimposed]

“…God works for the good of those who love him…”
—Romans 8:28b

Do you ever start reading a novel and, after a while, turn to the end of the book to see how it ends? I’ve done that when I’ve become so caught up with the trials, difficulties, and tragedies that befall the protagonist that I want to make certain everything will be all right by the time the book ends.

One of the great comforts we have, as believers in the life-transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ, is that no matter what may happen along the road of our lives, when we come to the end of our lives on this earth we will find that heaven awaits us and everything will be all right.

The Apostle Paul confirmed this fact when he wrote these words in Romans 8:28-30:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

God has chosen those of us who believe before the foundation of the earth. Surely He will see us through to the end.

We can launch into this day with the confidence that God will see us through every aspect of our lives. And, as our life on earth comes to a close, everything will be all tight.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Our Divine Nature


[Photo of a valley with a word superimposed]

“…through them you may participate in the divine nature…”
—2 Peter 1:4

Most of us who believe in God, through the life-transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ, have no difficulty recognizing that we are terrible, awful, horrible sinners.

Yes, we truly are also redeemed by God’s grace with our sins covered by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. But, when it comes to thinking that we have a divine nature, we have a difficult time imagining that reality.

Nevertheless, the Apostle Peter declares the following in 2 Peter 1:4:

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

God has, indeed, given us many precious promises in His Word, the Bible. As we begin a new day, we need to identify and appropriate those promises for our own lives.

Let us depend on God's divine nature, that dwells within us by the power of the Holy Spirit, to empower us this day to live our lives devoted to God's agenda in this world.

Let us allow God to fill us full of His mercy, grace, and love in such a way that we will touch the lives of everyone who comes across our pathway today.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, February 22, 2016

The Faithful God


[Photo of a flower with words superimposed]

“…he is the faithful God…”
—Deuteronomy 7:9b

In the Old Testament, God entered into a covenant with His chosen people, Israel. He gave them many rules and regulations to follow as evidence of their obedience.

Time after time, the Israelites failed to follow God’s commands. Time after time, when they got into trouble, God would have to rescue them. Their striving for obedience could never seem to overcome their bent toward sin.

Finally, God had to send His one and only Son, Jesus, to stand in the place of all humans and bear the punishment for their sins. In Jesus, God found the only one capable of true obedience. He alone was the one who could fulfill these words in Deuteronomy 7:9:

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

Through Jesus, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can finally strive for and achieve obedience to God’s will and to His Word. That's because God has given us a new covenant, written in the shed blood of His Son.

Let us rejoice this new day that God's provision has enabled us to love Him, to follow Him and to serve Him with the kind of obedience that only He can give us.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Prepared to Give a Respectful Answer


[Photo of a flower with words superimposed]

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you…”
—1 Peter 3:15b

As citizens of God's Kingdom, chosen before the foundation of the earth to belong to Him, we live to love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strengths, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Naturally, we hold our Great King Jesus in the highest possible esteem.

We bow before Christ in reverence, recognizing that He is the source of everything that is good in our lives. We also live to share His love with others in a tender and caring manner.

The Apostle Peter sums up our “marching orders” with these precious words in 1 Peter 3:15:

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

The greatest possible hope resides within our hearts: the certain hope of eternal life in God's glorious heavenly Kingdom. Naturally, we want to share this hope with others.

So, as we begin a new day, let us stand ready with answers to the question, “Why do you have such a hope?” And, let us give a gentle and respectful answer that will partner with the Holy Spirit, as He irresistibly draws people to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

What better way could we possibly show God how much we love Him?


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Death’s Destroyer


[Drawing of Christ in His glory with words superimposed]

“…Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death…”
—2 Timothy 1:10b

The only video game I have ever played was “Pong.” Yes, I’m that old.

Two vertical lines that one could move up and down. A dot that bounced across the screen from side to side. No finesse, no subtlety. Really quite simplistic. But, in its day, quite fun.

I am amazed at the elaborateness of today’s video games. Fabulous graphics showing armies at war. Heroes rescuing damsels in distress. It’s all quite mind boggling.

The Apostle Paul wrote about an all-too-real battle when he penned these words in 2 Timothy 1:9-10:

He (Jesus) has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.

This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

In this battle, the power of the risen Lord Jesus Christ has destroyed death and Satan. It’s not make believe. It’s very real.

We who belong to the Savior have been set free from sin and death. In the distress of our eternal damnation, Christ has rescued us.

As this day unfolds, we should rejoice at our freedom in Christ. And, we should seize every opportunity He gives us to tell others about this miracle of God's grace.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Flame Tenders


[Photo of flames with words superimposed]

“For this reason I remind you to
fan into flame the gift of God…”
—2 Timothy 1:6

Camping in the desert offers a unique challenge. At night, the temperature often drops 30 degrees Fahrenheit or more. The desert winds pick up and blow rather severely.

If someone doesn’t keep watch over the camp’s fire, it might go out in the night. If the fire does become extinguished, it may be nearly impossible to restart in the heavy wind.

In our spiritual lives, we also must tend the flames of devotion to Christ and His Kingdom. That’s why we need to read our Bible and spend time in prayer each day. That’s why we must gather for worship with other believers. We must fan the flames of obedience to God’s will and His Word.

In writing to his son in the faith, the Apostle Paul put it this way in 2 Timothy 1:6-7:

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

We can rely on the constancy of the Holy Spirit’s divine Presence in our lives. But, we have to do our part, too.

Let’s determine this day to fan the flames of devotion to our Savior. By so doing, we will fulfill the role given to us by God as flame tenders and be able to tell others about the wonders of God’s mercy, grace, and love.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Know My Anxious Thoughts


[Drawing of a Valentine heart with words superimposed]

“…test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
—Psalm 139:23b

The Dictionary defines the word “anxiety” as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.”

Most of us have some level of anxiety in our lives. Sometimes our anxiety is about something quite trivial. At other times, possible life-threatening—or at least life-changing—events fuel our anxious thoughts. Let me offer an example of each kind of anxiety: the trivial and the life-altering.

First, the trivial anxiety—or at least it started out that way:

When I was in ninth grade, a group of boys from my class would gang up on me every day after lunch. They would hit me, kick me, trip me, and otherwise make my life miserable. I tried to avoid them. But, the layout of the school made that impossible. I never did figure out why they hated me so much. But their daily confrontations certainly prompted feelings of anxiety in me.

Since I was several inches taller and thirty pounds heavier than any of my tormentors, you might wonder why I didn’t put an end to their bullying. For quite some time, I had taken self-defense classes at the YMCA. But, as strange as it might seem, I took Jesus’ words in Luke 6:29 quite seriously:

If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.

I dreaded the beginning of tenth grade. I moved from junior high to high school. I wondered if the attacks would continue at a new building. Sure enough, on my way out of the school building on the first day of class, there stood my tormentors waiting to inflict their punishment. Day after day, week after week, I would dread the end of the school day.

Then, one day, something changed. I cannot exactly explain what happened that day. But, I decided I had had enough. As they attacked, I responded. Soon, five of the seven lay on the ground. The other two ran away as fast as they could run.

Truthfully, their hatred for me never abated. But, they never tried to physically attack me again. Nor did anyone else. I was glad, but I was also sad. I hadn’t resolved their hatred. I had just made them too afraid to attack me. I look back on high school with very few pleasant feelings.

This incident, along with many other incidents of non-physical bullying, has made it very difficult for me to trust other people. To this very day, it takes a great deal of effort to accept that any other human truly cares about me.

Secondly, the life-altering anxiety:

After 51 years of relatively good health, in June of 1998, my health began a decline that, inch by inch, has continued to this day. Over the last 18 years, I have had many anxious moments regarding my health. Fortunately, the severity of that anxiety has not debilitated me. I continue to try to adapt to the changing list of activities I can no longer do. And, by God’s love and grace, I have managed to continue to remain as active and as helpful as possible.

I share these possibly off-putting details about myself to reinforce the point I wish to make. No matter what anxiety may color our existence, the God who loves us, and who has redeemed us, knows our anxious thoughts. He understands our anxiety. He wants us to give Him our anxious thoughts and trust in His unfailing, undying love.

The Psalmist has written these words of prayer and longing in Psalm 139:23-24:

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

When the road ahead seems impassable, God will guide us through the trials that may produce road-blocking anxiety. We must learn to relax into His enfolding arms of love.

Please join me in beginning this day with a few quiet moments. Let us consciously and purposefully lay our anxiety at the feet of Jesus. Then, let us rise and go out into this new day with the sure knowledge that God will lead us in the way everlasting.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Perfect Faithfulness


[Photo of sun on the ocean with words superimposed]

“I will exalt you and praise your name…”
—Isaiah 25:1b

One of the most frustrating aspects of a relationship takes place when the other person does not act toward us in a consistent manner.

“I never know how my husband is going to react to what I tell him.” The woman had come for counseling. She truly loved her husband. But, his inconsistent behavior was putting an enormous strain on their marriage.

As I listened to her talk, I began to think of all the times I had allowed some little thing to trigger an out-of-proportion emotional response in me. I was convicted in that moment and said a quick prayer asking God to forgive me for my own inconsistent behavior. Then, I determined to ask God to help me respond to others in a more consistent manner.

In contrast, God always acts consistently toward us. Even during times of confusion or great trial in our lives, God always acts in our best interest. Even when He seems far away and we can't figure out why these seemingly bad things are happening to us, God has a plan He is working out in our lives for our very best.

The Prophet Isaiah clearly understood the steadfastness and perfect faithfulness of God when he wrote these words in Isaiah 25:1:

Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.

Let us begin this new day by praising God for His perfect faithfulness. And, let us strive to imbue all our relationships with a consistency of behavior that honors the example God has set for us.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Teaching God’s Commands


[Photo of a young child with words superimposed]

“These commandments that I give you
today are to be on your hearts.”
—Deuteronomy 6:6

The most fortunate children are those who grow up in a God-honoring home. If the people who raise a child love God and put Him first in their lives, then that child has truly gained the best possible advantage he or she can have in this life.

I was one such child. Conceived as the result of an illicit love affair between a pastor and a church organist, my birth mother very wisely placed me for adoption. I can only imagine the deep emotional price she paid in doing so.

In God’s providence, a loving older couple—she was 42 and he was 40—adopted me. Their most important quality was that they loved God and taught me to do the same.

I grew up in a wonderful church family where the good news about Jesus was preached every Sunday. I had godly Sunday School teachers and godly Youth Fellowship and Youth for Christ leaders who lived out their faith in Christ and taught me to do the same.

I attended one of the finest and most academically rigorous Christian colleges in the land. My professors not only were recognized experts in their fields, they taught in ways that integrated their faith in Christ with their academic subjects.

In every case, all through my early life, I have had the distinct privilege of being exposed to people who took their roles of spiritual mentors seriously.

Each one of these very special people took to heart God’s instruction recorded in Deuteronomy 6:6-7:

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

While God did not choose to bless my wife and me with children, nevertheless, I have tried to be a mentor to young people and follow in the footsteps of those who mentored me.

I begin this new day praising God and thanking Him for those who made a serious effort to teach me God’s commands.

If you belong to Him, I urge you to take every opportunity to teach the young people who cross your pathway about God’s mercy, grace, and unfailing love.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Our Constant Companion


[Photo of mountains and sky with words superimposed]

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid…”
—Joshua 1:9

I am not a big fan of new experiences. Oh, once I am actually in the middle of a new experience I may relax and enjoy it. And, after the new experience has ended, I may look back on it with a certain fondness.

But, contemplating any new experience produces at least a small amount of anxiety. Having someone accompany me always helps allay my fears.

As we Christians walk the road of life, we have a constant companion. The Holy Spirit dwells within us. He walks with us and guides us along the pathway that God has laid out before us.

So, no matter what we may have to face, no matter what new experience presents itself, we have a constant companion.

The Scripture records these words from God Himself as stated in Joshua 1:9:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Just as God spoke these words to Joshua upon the death of Moses, so He speaks them to us today. “Be strong and courageous,” He says. “I will be with you wherever you go.”

As we begin another new day, let us step out into the world with boldness and courage. God is with us. His Holy Spirit will be our protector and guide.

God will be our constant companion. And, dear ones, there simply is no one better with whom to travel the road of life.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Higher Thoughts


[Photo of clouds with words superimposed]

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts…”
—Isaiah 55:8

It impossible for us to fully understand the thoughts and intentions of God. We can’t psychoanalyze God. We can’t completely figure out what He is doing in every situation. We can only know as much about Him as He has chosen to reveal to us.

For example we know He is the awesome, all-powerful creator of the universe. We know He is tender-hearted and loving toward those He chooses to belong to Himself.

We know He extends mercy and grace to those who follow Him. We know He has given us many promises in His Word, the Bible. We know He is always faithful and always true.

But the development of our faith and trust comes forth most clearly when we understand that, this side of eternity, we can never fully know God completely. He has much higher thoughts than we do.

God has told us this Himself in Isaiah 55:8-9:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I actually think that it’s pretty amazing that God revealed to us as much as He did when He sent His one and only Son to earth to be our Savior. Jesus is Emanuel, God with us.

Jesus told us in John 14:9 that “…anyone who has seen me has seen my Father.” So, through Jesus, we know so much more about the nature and character of God.

Part of the joy of the Christian life comes from the fact that we are loved by a God whom we cannot fully know in this life. But, we will spend eternity with Him and there we will see Him face to face.

In that Day, His higher thoughts will be revealed. And, we will stand amazed in His Presence. Oh what a Day that will be.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

“I have kept to His way…”


[Photo of a path in a dense woods]

“I have kept to his way without turning aside.”
—Job 23:11b

When a person walks through a dense forest, one way of not becoming lost is to stay on the path. As long as the person does not wander into the deep woods on either side of the path, he or she will eventually find the way to the ultimate destination.

So it is with us “Christ’s-ones.” If we stay on the pathway that God opens up before us in our lives, we will arrive at the place where God wants us to be.

The Patriarch Job made this declaration in Job 23:10-11:

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.

God knows our way when He tests us. And, if our feet follow closely the footsteps He has left for us—if we stay on His pathway—we will arrive at the very place He wants us to be.

In the light of this new day, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus. And, as we meet others along the way, let’s become instruments of God’s mercy, grace, and love in their lives.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, February 8, 2016

The Light of His Face


[Photo of sunlight shining on a path]

“It was not by their sword that they won the land…”
—Psalm 44:3a

Everyone looks to some source of inner power to give him or her the ability to navigate through the challenges of this life. Many rely on their own cleverness, or their intellect, or their quick tongues, or their physical beauty.

But the Christian has a source of power that exceeds all human power. That power is the very Presence of God’s Holy Spirit in his or her life.

The Psalmist clearly understood this when he wrote these words in Psalm 44:3:

It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.

The very light of God’s face—His divine Presence—gave them victory over their adversaries. This is as true today as it was then.

Every victory over our adversary, Satan, comes because of God’s power in our lives. The light of God’s face guarantees our success in overcoming whatever trials invade our lives.

His great love for us, expressed in the light of His face, enables us to achieve everything He wants us to achieve.

So, dear ones, be encouraged this day. Receive God's love with great joy. Bask in the light of His face. And, meet the world today knowing that He has already overcome the world.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Proper Hate


[Photo of a Scripture verse]

“Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for
he guards the lives of his faithful ones and
delivers them from the hand of the wicked.”
—Psalm 97:10

The word “hate” has all kinds of negative emotion wrapped up in its four short letters. We often think of “hate” in contrast with “love” and rightly choose “love” over “hate.” But sometimes, there may actually be a time for a proper hate.

Near the very end of a Psalm of Praise to God, we find the Psalmist writing these words found in Psalm 97:10:

Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

After spending the nine previous verses voicing appropriate praise to God for His goodness, mercy, and unfailing love, the Psalmist decides that it is important to remind those singing this Psalm that there is a proper hate. Those who identify with the Kingdom of God and celebrate the fact that He has chosen them to belong to Himself have a responsibility, even a duty, to hate evil.

We live in a society that more and more wants to tolerate sinful behavior and even celebrate wrongdoing. Recently, the Christian writer Rod Dreher wrote an article—“Teen Love in the Ruins 2016”—about a new book, Firsts by a female author, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, that celebrates the sexual activities of a teenaged girl. Dreher points out that the marketing for this book is unabashedly directed at girls from the ages of fourteen to eighteen. The publisher, MacMillan, literally celebrates this as a ground-breaking book.

Dreher pushes back very hard against this book. As a Christian, he obviously believess he must use his bully pulpit, as a well-regarded writer for The American Conservative website, to denounce what is essentially a soft-porn enticement for unrestrained and wholly inappropriate sexual activity by very young girls.

As we begin another day, we may not have to face this particular kind of challenge in our lives. But, we do see examples of evil every day. While our culture wants to silence all dissenting opinions, we who belong to Jesus need to take stands against evil. We can no longer remain silent. We can no longer hide because we don’t want to offend our non-Christian friends.

In ways that are tempered by God-breathed love, we can take a stand against evil in this world. And, we can start by taking a stand against the evil in our own lives. If we do, we will fulfill a part of our responsibility as Christ’s ambassadors that few are willing to address. And, we will most certainly please our God who is the very embodiment of holiness.

As far as evil is concerned, there definitely is a time for a proper hate.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Equipped with Power beyond Timidity


[Photo of a Bible and keys with words superimposed]

“ For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid…”
—2 Timothy 1:7a

For someone who has had to speak to more than 300 different groups during my professional career, including one group of several thousand, I am actually painfully shy.

Yes, it’s also true that in virtually any kind of class I am likely to speak out all too boldly when I become frustrated with what’s being taught. Furthermore, it’s true that I am annoyingly confident about the knowledge I have regarding a wide variety of subjects.

Nevertheless, I remain painfully shy, especially in social situations. My most dreaded business event was the cocktail party.

For one thing, I do not drink alcoholic beverages. But, I have no scruples regarding those who do drink. Nor do I look down on people who do drink. I just have made it a practice to never drink alcoholic beverages and at age 68 I am very unlikely to change.

Secondly, I’m not at all good at “small talk” or, as I like to think of it, “conversational torture.” I am very interested in people and like to hear their stories. But, I am not a good “social conversationalist.”

Thirdly, I have virtually no interest in sports. I say “virtually,” because I do enjoy watching University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball. I became interested in that sport and that particular team because my wife had had one of the long-ago players as an elementary school music student.

You see, my father was not at all interested in sports, so I never caught the sports bug. As a teenager, I would much rather work on a piece of electronic equipment than watch sports on television. This lack of interest in sports means I have little to talk about with most other men.

All of these details represent my attempt to explain to you some of the nature of my painful shyness and timidity. Oddly, I have literally no nervousness in talking to a large group. And, I have no nervousness talking on the radio. I also, obviously, have no shyness about communicating with others in writing.

Just don't ask me to socialize with people unless I know them well or wish to get to know them. Oh, I can “fake it” for a little while. But, I’m almost always the first one to leave a party—that is presuming you can get me to attend that party in the first place.

With this background, imagine my surprise when I first read the Apostle Paul's words to his son-in-the-faith, Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7:

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Even though I’m painfully shy and, therefore, timid—particularly in social situations—I’m grateful that whatever inertia I have to rise above my timidity comes from God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God has equipped me with power beyond timidity.

Long ago I realized that all that I am and all that I have has come to me as a gift from God who loves me. And, boy, am I grateful!

This is true for you dear ones, too. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” God has equipped us with power beyond timidity.

Please join me in thanking God this day for the precious gift of His Holy Spirit.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Love in Action


[Grpahic of a sign]

“…let us not love with words or speech…”
—1 John 3:18

Have you ever heard this old adage: “Your actions are so loud, I can’t hear what you're saying”?

The most common words out of an abuser’s mouth are “I love you!” Whether the abuser is a parent, a spouse, a relative, or a friend, that one often wraps his or her abhorrent behavior in words of love.

In stark contrast, God has not only told us He lives us, He has demonstrated that love over and over down through history. He has cared for and protected those He loves. He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to die in our place on a cruel Roman cross of torture.

God’s demonstration of love seemingly knows no boundaries. His acts of love could easily fill every page of every book.

This reality prompted the Apostle John to write these words in 1 John 3:18:

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

God has clearly set the example. As we begin another day, let's follow His example and heed John’s words. Let’s show our love to God and to others by what we do, as well as by what we say.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

God Showed Us His Love


[Painting of Jesus on the cross with words superimposed]

“…God showed his love among us…”
—1 John 4:9a

In the early days of a romance, both parties look for signs of love. This is especially true if one party has begun to feel himself or herself falling in love with the other person.

Does he seem to love me? Do I see any sign of love from her?

Long before either party is willing to say the words “I love you,” each one is trying to find evidence that love has begun to bloom in the other.

When it comes to the love that God has for those He has chosen to belong to Himself, what signs do we see that tell us He really does love us?

The Apostle John offers these words of evidence in 1 John 4:9:

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

The sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus, in our behalf on Calvary’s cruel cross is the most telling evidence of God’s love for us. What more evidence could we possibly require?

Knowing without a doubt that God loves us with His unfailing, undying love, let us go out into this day with great joy and share the knowledge of His love with others.

God has shown us His love. Now let us live our lives through Him.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Life After Death


[Photo of a shirtless man standing under the sun shining through clouds with words superimposed]

“He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
—Matthew 22:32b

Sadly, for many people who do not believe in God, when death comes they believe they cease to exist.

But for Christian believers, we have the sure knowledge that, because of Christ's sacrifice on the cross in our behalf, we have eternal life with Him.

Jesus spoke these words, as recorded in Matthew 22:31-32:

“But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

Knowing this life is but a part of our journey to eternal life changes everything. So, as we begin a new day, let’s rejoice that some day, when we pass from this life to the next, we will spend eternity at the feet of Jesus.

And, with that comfort in mind, let us share His love with those who cross our path this day.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Plans to Prosper


[Graphic of a sign]

“For I know the plans I have for you…”
—Jeremiah 29:11a

“There’re so many things you Christians aren’t supposed to do. What fun is that?”

The person who spoke those words simply did not understand the glories of the Christian life. It is not a faith of rules and regulations. It’s not a list of dos and don’ts.

Instead, Christianity is a wonderful relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. The benefits of this relationship are beyond measure.

Looking toward the cross from the depths of ancient history, the Prophet Jeremiah reported these words from the lips of God in Jeremiah 29:11-13:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

God does indeed have a wonderful plan for the lives of those He loves.

So, as we begin a new day, let's step out with the confidence that comes from knowing that God has plans to prosper us in ways that we cannot even imagine.

Yes, God’s measure of prosperity may be radically different than the measure of prosperity of our current culture. But His prosperity lasts for eternity.

And that, dear ones, is very comforting as we journey along the pathway of life.


Copyright © 2016 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.