Go Out of Your Way

The life and teaching of Jesus Christ is an instruction for us to go out of our way. The term “going out of your way” means to make a special and intentional effort to do something.

When you are told to “go out of your way”, what does that mean to you? Do you think about going out of your way to help someone? Perhaps you remember when someone went out of their way to help you.

It is very good to go out of your way to help others. Jesus Christ said, “That which you did to the least of them, you did to me.” Keeping that comment in mind should enable us to do our absolute best for one another.

As Christians, we should be good and faithful servants to the Lord, but that’s not all Jesus talks about when He asks us to go out of our way. Do good, yes… Help others, yes… but when Jesus says for us to go out of our way, He also means something deeper.

Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

When we are to go out of our way, Jesus is instructing us to go out of our own way and follow Him in His way. And His way is more than just a path to follow, He IS the way.

We are to be more like Jesus in every respect. Kindness, mercy, peace, love. All of these words are names and descriptors for God. We are to sacrifice ourselves and our own intentions for the betterment of others. In short, we are to love.

If I love you (and I do), I should want the highest and best thing for you. What’s that?

Heaven.

Like Jesus, I should be ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get you to Heaven. I can’t sit idle while you follow this fallen world into hell. I must tell you about Jesus and His life, death, burial, and resurrection that was done to pay for your sins. I must tell you about God’s love for you.

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in His shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

That’s God’s way. Love! That is Jesus Christ.

The blood of Jesus shed on the cross paid your debt. That sacrifice broke the chains that bound you to your old sinful ways. Now, you are truly free to go out of your way.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Am I Enough

I will give to charity when I have more money. Once I read the Bible more, I can be a good Christian. When I get more time, I’ll help out at the food pantry. When I get better at praying, I’ll start saying prayers with my family.

Have you said any of these comments or maybe you’ve had questions like them?

Many of us are looking and hoping for the “one day”. One day when I have enough money, or one day when my life isn’t so hectic. Or are you even looking for that one day where everything about the Bible makes sense? “Oh boy, when that one day comes, I’ll be able to really do something for Jesus…”

I promise you that if you are waiting for that “one day”, you’re going to be waiting all of your life. Much like the old saying that if you wait until you can afford to have children, you’ll never have any. Your “one day” will never come.

So what’s wrong with right now?

You may think that you aren’t strong enough, not smart enough, or don’t have enough resources to help people. Nothing could be further from the truth!

God has created you to be you. Your skills, your talents, all of them have been handcrafted by the Lord Himself, the same one that spoke worlds into existence. The Bible says that you have been fearfully and wonderfully made. None of your positives or your supposed shortcomings took God by surprise. You are just what you need to be.

It’s no accident that you’ve been placed right here and right now. That’s the providence of God. He knows what He’s doing. You have been hand picked to be who you are and where you are for such a time as this.

If you have a hand, you can use it to give food to the poor or to pick someone up when they’ve fallen. If you have an ear, you can listen to a friend who needs a positive outlet for their feelings. If you have a mouth, you can be a witness to someone about the power of Jesus Christ in your life.

You may not have much, but you have enough. Food on the table, roof over your head, and clothes on your back equals out to more riches than many people in this world have. Use them to help others.

There’s a story in the Gospel of Mark about people who were giving to the needs of the church. The rich people gave a lot, which was a good thing, but there was this small, old woman who only gave a few pennies. It wasn’t much, but it was literally all she had.

Which one of those people went away fulfilled? The woman. In fact, Jesus praised her for doing all she could with what she had.

God, the maker of everything, doesn’t truly need for anything. But He uses each of us to be His hands and feet, so to speak. We are to help all of His children and deliver the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone throughout the world. Even if that’s just the person in line at the grocery store, that’s enough.

But don’t stop there. One person today, another or maybe two or three more tomorrow. Start where you can and do all you are able. You will start to see the power of Jesus flowing if your life like never before.

You may not feel like enough in this life, but when it’s you plus Jesus, that combination can take on the entire world. God is called the great “I Am.” Believe that I Am enough.

Don’t wait until you have enough money to help the poor, help them now with what you have or especially the time you can give. Lend a hand at a food kitchen or rescue mission. Donate clothes or toiletries to those in need.

Also, don’t wait until you know more of the Bible to spread the good news of Jesus. Take one verse, learn it well, then say it to someone else who needs a word of encouragement. Just one verse in the Bible contains the power of Jesus. As a famous preacher once said, “Jesus is a lion. And you don’t need to fight for a lion, just let him out of his cage.”

Please don’t wait to help. There is so much work to be done in this fallen and sinful world, but we must start somewhere. Start by living a better life yourself. Be the change you want to see in the world, then go out and make a few more changes in people’s lives.

I close with a story from the Gospels about servants who were given different amounts of money while their master was away. Some invested the money, but there was one person who hid their money away and just went about their own business.

When the master returned, the first thing he asked was what did they do with their money. The faithful servants who did something with the money were rewarded with much more, but the one who just hid it away was scolded. Even what he had was then taken away.

Don’t approach the last day of your life and hear Jesus ask, “Look at all I gave you. What did you do with it?”

The Bible says to redeem the time; make good use of it. You don’t need to be a Billy Graham or a Mother Theresa to do great things. You have the same 24 hours as they did, but what are you doing with those hours? Who are you truly serving?

Every breath is a gift from God, and even if that is all you have, then use it to pray.

My mom died of cancer. In her last days, people would say how frail and how weak she was. In truth, she wasn’t just sitting there. She was praying nonstop for others. Those prayers were the most powerful that they could be in those moments. Focused on nothing else but prayer for people and worship of God, she was absolutely breaking chains and pulling down strongholds. She was strongest in the Spirit when worldly reason said she was at her weakest.

So don’t think for a second that you can’t do anything to help others. Do what you can with what you have. If you do this, I believe and declare that you too will become that mighty warrior that God has created you to be. In Jesus’ name!

God’s blessings to you.

DH

God is Moving In Your Life

On my daily commute to work, I pass a lot of windmills. The other day, the wind didn’t seem like it was blowing and from far off it looked like the windmills were not spinning. It was only as I got closer that I realized they were actually moving much faster than I had thought. In reality, they were still moving quite quickly even though my eyes didn’t originally see it.

How often does God do this in our lives? Yes, He has done some amazing, spectacular things in the past but there are times when we are waiting for something to happen and it looks like God is standing still. Why aren’t you doing something God?

Well, just like those windmills the closer we are to God, the more we will see Him moving. The Bible says that God uses all things for the good of those who love Him. And all things means just that, ALL things. He’s using the big, the little, and everything in between, even when it doesn’t look like it at first.

If we could see things from God’s perspective, we would see how everything is in constant motion. Much like a beautiful tapestry or an heirloom blanket, every tiny thread woven together perfectly to create one singular design.

Our problem is that we can’t make out what those tapestries will look like until you start seeing all of those threads come together. One thread at a time, step by step, moment by moment.

God knows what your life will look like because He’s the one making it come together. When we stay nearer to God, we will see more of the plan in motion. Even during life’s rough spots, rest assured that God is still at work. Every single moment of our lives coming together to creat something unique and fantastic.

When Jesus Christ was on the cross, to the people around Him it looked like He was finished. It looked like Jesus could do no other great works, like healing the blind or raising the dead. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

The truth was that upon that cross, Jesus did His greatest work ever: Salvation! Through His death and resurrection, Jesus saved our souls and allowed us Heaven for all of eternity.

He wasn’t laying hands on anyone; he wasn’t walking through towns healing the sick. Jesus just hung there. But when it looked like Jesus was doing nothing at all, He was doing His best, most miraculous work.

Remember that God is at work, even during those times in your life when He seems stagnant and the breakthroughs just don’t seem to be coming for you. Know that He is for you and not against you. Your Heavenly Father has promised peace, love, and victory in your life.

Accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Know that He is moving in your life. Right now, even if you can’t see it with your eyes, at this moment Christ is doing something wonderful.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Blessing of the Holy Water

God’s creature, water, I cast out the demon from you in the name of God (sign of the cross) the father Almighty, in the name of Jesus Christ (sign of the cross), His son our Lord, and the power of the Holy Spirit (sign of the cross). May you be a purified water, empowered to drive afar all the power of the enemy, in fact, to root out and banish the enemy himself along with his fallen angels. We ask this through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ who is coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire.

Oh God, who for man’s welfare established the most wonderful mysteries in the substance of water, hearken to our prayer and poor fourth your blessing (cross) on this element now being prepared with various purifying rights. May this creature of yours when used in your mysteries and endowed with your grace, serve to cast out demons and to banish disease. May everything that this water sprinkles in the homes and the gatherings of the faithful be delivered from all that is unclean and hurtful. Let no breath of contagion hover there, no taint of corruption, let all the wiles of the lurking enemy come to nothing.

By the sprinkling of this water, may everything opposed to the safety and peace of the occupants of these homes be banished so that in calling on your holy name they may know the well-being they desire and be protected from every peril. Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Blessing of the Salt

God’s creature, salt, I cast out the demon from you by the living God (sign of the cross), by the holy God (sign of the cross), by God who ordered you to be thrown into the water spring by Elijah to healing of its barrenness. May you be a purified salt, a means of health for those who believe, a medicine for body and soul for all who make use of you. May all evil fancies of the foul fiend, his malice and cunning, be driven afar from the place where you are sprinkled. And let every unclean spirit be repulsed by Him who is coming to judge both living and the dead and the whole world by fire. Amen.

Almighty Everlasting God, we humbly appeal to your mercy and goodness to graciously bless (cross) this creature salt, which you have given for mankinds use. May all who use it find in it a remedy for body and mind. And may everything that it touches or sprinkles be freed from uncleanness and any influence of the evil spirit, through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Blessing of the Holy Oil

We beseech you Lord, that by the power of your grace this mingling of fragrance and oil may become for us a sacrament of your blessing (Make sign of the cross over the oil).

Pour out in abundance the gifts of the Holy Spirit on our brothers and sisters anointed with this oil; adorn with the splendor of holiness the places and things signed by these sacred oils; but above all by the mystery of this oil bring to completion the growth of your church until she reaches that measure of fullness in which you, resplendent with eternal light, will be all in all with Christ in the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

Amen.

Jesus Taken For Granted

A friend of mine grew up in Scotland before he came to the states. When he went back on vacation, him and his wife toured a couple of the castles that were actually just down the road from where he grew up. He told me that they were beautiful and that he never really paid attention to them when he lived there. He was so used to seeing them there that he forgot your beauty.

Christians are often that way with God. The majesty and the creativity of God surrounds us daily, and we don’t take notice until something bad like a storm or a flood happens. Then, we miss what we once had.

Do you remember when you can honestly say you excepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do you remember what it felt like? All of that weight from sin lifted off of you for the first time. That moment when you felt God’s face shining upon you.

If you haven’t thought about that for a while, it’s time to think about it again.

You have been granted a great and wonderful gift. You have been brought into God’s family when you excepted Jesus Christ. You were no longer at odds against the Lord, but rather connected with Him in a pure and beautiful way as only a child can be with their loving Father.

Don’t take that for granted any longer.

If we were to live every moment as if it was that first moment of perfect saving grace, all of the pains and worries of this world would wash away quickly. We would all have a joy and a shining light about us that the devil could never take away.

Keep God first place in your life and in your mind. Focus your heart more upon Jesus rather than your circumstances. When you do this, I believe and declare that you will not only see things differently, but you will truly be able to partake in the eternal love that the Creator has in store for each one of His children.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

If you have not excepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I beg you to do so now. This world is evil and fallen. There is only one path to peace and that is through Jesus Christ, the one who offers you freedom from the chains of sin. Lay your worries down at the foot of His cross. You are forgiven. Be renewed by His love.

National Day of Prayer

Beloved, prayer should be something we enter into and live our lives with consistently. We should need prayer like we need to breathe.

With that said, please make an extra effort today to join your prayers with all of the saints in Jesus for the healing of our nation and our world. Pray to heal the wounds caused by our sin and for all Christians to come together as a beacon of hope and God’s mercy to all. In Jesus’ Name!

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Lift Each Other Up to God

Let me tell you one of my favorite stories from the Bible. In Exodus 17, there was a war between the Israelites and the Amalekites. They were some tough opponents. It was such an important battle that instead of leading the armies, Moses went up to the top of the hill to pray for Israel. Moses knew that God’s help was the only way they could win.

As long as Moses kept his hands up and prayed, the battle would go well. If his hands fell, the Israelites would start to lose.

Of course Moses is human, just like the rest of us. So after a while his arms started to droop. He got tired. But Moses’ brother and a friend saw this. They ran over and helped lift up his arms. By the end, Moses kept praying and the Israelites won the war, all because of some people lending their helping hands.

This story holds a lot for me personally as a Christian in today’s world. Our first obligation is to keep in close contact with God. It’s about doing what God says is good rather than what the world says is good.

Our second obligation is to love our neighbors. To bring and keep our brethren close to Christ. How do we do that best? Through prayer.

We all come closer to God through prayer, which is a dialog between us and our Lord. In short, prayer is a child talking to their parent. Prayer is where we find out more about Him and thereby find out more about the life we were truly meant to have.

Unfortunately, we all get tired sometimes. We may even hit some dry spells in our prayer and our walk with Jesus Christ. Jesus wasn’t the only one who goes through a desert sometimes. However, that desert of sorts is exactly when the rest of us need to be lifting those weary people up in prayer. In doing so, we can all continue to fight the battle between good and evil.

When we feel led by the Spirit to pray and talk with God, we are blessing those we pray for. However, when we feel dry and walking through a kind of spiritual desert, our prayers mean so much more. It is those times that we don’t FEEL like praying that we have the most power in our prayers. We aren’t feeling led to pray, but instead we are praying because it’s what we ought to do.

Those times when we are free to pray or not are the times that we really strike back at the devil the most. True freedom is not just doing whatever we want; it is being able to do what we ought to do.

You can’t have it both ways. Either we are working for God or the devil. The Bible says two roads are set before you, one going to Heaven and one to hell. You can only walk on one path.

Know that when you say yes to someone, you are saying no to someone else. The devil wants us to use our freedom for the wrong things in order to tear down the kingdom of God. If we instead use our freedom to further the help and healing of the nations, we deal a serious blow against his wicked ways.

With every prayer, we can help change the story for another lost soul. We don’t always pick the right way for ourselves from day-to-day, but there are other good and faithful Christians lifting us up in prayer and that can make all the difference.

So go forth and do the same for others. Lift them up, no matter what your day has been like or whether you feel like doing it or not.

Some people are concerned about what to pray when talking to God. I say that if you can’t muster up what you think is a solid prayer, then pray about praying. God likes honesty and knows what’s in your heart.

If you are in a scary situation that kicks you to your knees and all you can get out is the name of Jesus, then pray that name, the name above all names. The precious name of Jesus is one of the most powerful prayers there could ever be.

The Bible says that God is our stronghold in times of trouble. Run to Him, no matter the circumstances.

One thing to note: Just because you had a rough day and maybe made some sinful choices, don’t think that God isn’t listening to the pleas of His children. Although you fail sometimes, that doesn’t make you a failure. God will never see you as a failure, even if that’s how you see yourself.

God knows His own and is ready to be a good father to us, even when we aren’t necessarily ready to be good children for Him.

No matter how strong we are or how holy we think we have become, we can always backslide if we aren’t careful.

The devil is a tough opponent and he will hit us just where we can be the most easily tempted. But God promises that we will defeat evil as long as we stick close to Jesus.

So don’t give up and don’t give in to the devil. And just because you and I may be preachers or good professing Christians, don’t you think that it can’t happen to us. We can all fall now and then. It takes the prayers of the faithful to keep the rest of us in the battle.

So please, you pray for me and I’ll pray for you and together we shall overcome this world. Stay close to Jesus and help others to do the same.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Jesus Christ is Risen

“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

Since it is Easter, we are reminded today more than most times of the year that Jesus was crucified and died for our sins. It was horrible for all who looked upon the face of the Jesus hanging there on the cross. It is where we get our word ‘excruciating.’

Many people at that time thought that it was the end of their hope of salvation, but Jesus rose again just a few days later. What started as a miracle birth could have been reduced to just campfire stories had Jesus not risen again after his fall.

That is what made all the difference. Jesus rose again after his death. This life that we know will pass away soon enough, but when we accept Jesus as our Savior and put our trust in Him, we are promised that we shall be raised again with Him. We no longer need to fear death, because our Lord has complete power over death and not the other way around.

Over the years, there’s been many people that have said their way was the answer to life, but they all died; all but one, Jesus. Jesus backed up every claim He made through fulfillment of scripture prophecies as well as the miracles He did. The biggest miracle of all was the empty tomb on Sunday, because in dying He destroyed our death, and in rising He restored our life.

I don’t need a dead savior. I can die on my own just fine, thanks. What I need is the risen savior. I need Jesus Christ.

You and I will fall to our sins, but the real tragedy would be if we didn’t rise again from it. Only one thing separates us from God and keeps us out of heaven and that is our sin. That is why our greatest need is to have our sins forgiven. Only then can we be reconciled to God and have the opportunity to be with Him for all eternity. The Bible says in Acts 4:12, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Jesus is the ONLY way.

Happy Easter, my friends. It is not just the resurrection day of our Lord Jesus Christ, but it is the day of our resurrection as well. As He was raised, so shall we be raised with Him forever.

Happy Easter everyone! God’s blessings to you.

DH