Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sin... Willful Transgression

Sin, as an act, is defined by John Wesley as "A willful transgression against a known law of God."

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it,
-- James 4:17 (NIV)

Dr. Stephen Manley has described sin as shaking my fist of rebellion in God's face.

Lord, give us a holy hunger to turn from all rebellion and to prefer a right relationship with You. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Holiness Unto The Lord!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Be Patient... The Lord Is On His Way!

(7) Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the
farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. (8) You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.

-- James 5:7-8 (NIV)

(7) My friends, be patient until the Lord returns. Think of farmers who wait patiently for the spring and summer rains to make their valuable crops grow. (8) Be patient like those farmers and don't give up. The Lord will soon be here!
-- James 5:7-8 (CEV)

Lord, I want to be found waiting for you and resting in Your Word.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Present

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
-- Psalm 118:24 (NIV)

Let's take some time to thank the Lord for the gift of today. Afterall, it is called "THE PRESENT!"

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Noblest Revenge. The Sweetest Words.

The noblest revenge is to forgive.
-- Thomas Fuller

The sweetest words He ever said were "I forgive".
-- Joel Hemphill

“The Spirit of the Lord is with Me. He has anointed Me to tell the Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to announce forgiveness to the prisoners of sin and the restoring of sight to the blind, to forgive those who have been shattered by sin, to announce the year of the Lord’s favor.”

-- Jesus of Nazareth Spoken in Nazareth, Luke 4:18-19 (GWT)

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”
-- Words of Jesus While On The Cross, Luke 23:34a (GWT)

Click here: The Sweetest Words He Ever Said - Joel Hemphill and J.D. Sumner - YouTube

Forgiven and...

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Light Came. People Loved The Dark.

On Friday the 13th of January, 2012, the cruise ship Costa Concordia sunk at night right next to Italy's coastline. Lives were lost. (As of this post 16 people are dead of drowning and 16 are still missing.)

The captain of the modern day luxury liner was accused of being a coward for abandoning his ship while his passengers were still trying to get into lifeboats. Many eyewitnesses testify that the tragedy was totally preventable. Seems the captain and his piloting crew seriously lost focus. Concentration was somehow compromised.

I didn't fully understand the sadness of what happened until I went online searching for photos of the disaster. The cruise ship ran onto the rocks right in the very beam of a lighthouse. Heart-wrenching, indeed!

(See a photo of the sinking ship and lighthouse > ).

Seeing the photo of the ship sinking in the glow of the lighthouse gave me a spiritual parallel immediately. Sadly, many drowning souls today are in the vicinity of Jesus, The Lighthouse, but they have lost focus. Yes tragically concentration has somehow been compromised by the seduction of sin, and the payoff of sin is death.

Could anything be sadder than to drown in the beam of a beacon of hope? God forbid!
This is why people are condemned: The light came into the world. Yet, people loved the dark rather than the light because their actions were evil. -- John 3:19 (GWT)

Let's Live in the Light, Not Die In The Light!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Receiving Forgiveness

There are two sides to forgiveness: giving and receiving. Although at first sight giving seems to be harder, it often appears that we are not able to offer forgiveness to others because we have not been able fully to receive it. Only as people who have accepted forgiveness can we find the inner freedom to give it.
-- Henri Nouwen

Lord, if You can forgive us, You can help us to receive forgiveness.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Choosing Friends

You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
-- James 4:4 (NIV)

(14) You are My friends if you obey My commandments. (15) I don’t call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. But I’ve called you friends because I’ve made known to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father. (16) You didn’t choose Me, but I chose you.
-- John 15:14-16 (GWT)

Lord, You have called us friends. Now, let us also call You, Friend!
For Forever And Today! Amen!

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wealth And Arrogance

You're a clever businessman and are extremely wealthy, but your wealth has led to arrogance!
-- God's Word in Ezekiel 28:5 to the King of Tyre (CEV)

God Forgive. God Forbid.
Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Inspire A Soul. Ignite The World.

This question is on my mind today:

As individuals, if we will inspire one-soul-at-a-time could it be that we just might ignite the whole world and make it delightfully different?

Be Light! Go Shine!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Even Demons Believe There Is Only One God!

(18) Suppose someone disagrees and says, "It is possible to have faith without doing kind deeds."I would answer, "Prove that you have faith without doing kind deeds, and I will prove that I have faith by doing them." (19) You surely believe there is only one God. That's fine. Even demons believe this, and it makes them shake with fear. (20) Does some stupid person want proof that faith without deeds is useless? (21) Well, our ancestor Abraham pleased God by putting his son Isaac on the altar to sacrifice him. (22) Now you see how Abraham's faith and deeds worked together. He proved that his faith was real by what he did. (23) This is what the Scriptures mean by saying, "Abraham had faith in God, and God was pleased with him." That's how Abraham became God's friend. (24) You can now see that we please God by what we do and not only by what we believe. (25) For example, Rahab had been a prostitute. But she pleased God when she welcomed the spies and sent them home by another way. (26) Anyone who doesn't breathe is dead, and faith that doesn't do anything is just as dead! "

-- James 2:18- 26 (CEV)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Victory In the Camp

(14) My power and my strength come from the LORD, and He has saved me. (15) From the tents of God's people come shouts of victory: "The LORD is powerful! (16) With His mighty arm the LORD wins victories! The LORD is powerful!"
-- Psalm 118:14-16 (CEV)

Click here: Paul Wilbur - The Shout of El-Shaddai - YouTube

By Faith! In Faith!
(Hebrews 11)

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Am Crucified With Christ! My Story, My Song!

This is my story. This is my song:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

-- Galatians 2:20 (KJV)

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Don't Let Me Make A Mess Of Things

Let’s PRAY TOGETHER from Psalm 119:31-38 (TLB):
(31) i cling to YOUR commands and follow them as closely as i can. LORD, don’t let me make a mess of things. (32) If YOU will only help me to want YOUR will, then i will follow YOUR desires even more closely. (33-34) Just tell me what to do and i will do it, LORD. As long as i live i’ll wholeheartedly obey. (35) Make me walk along the right paths, for i know how delightful they really are. (36) Help me to prefer obedience to making money! (37) Turn me away from wanting any other plan than YOURS. Revive my heart toward YOU. (38) Reassure me that YOUR promises are for me, for i trust and revere YOU. Amen!

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Too Much Work For You... Alone.

(17b) “What you’re doing is not good.
(18) You and your people will wear yourselves out. This is too much work for you. You can’t do it alone!

-- Exodus 18:17b-18 (GWT)

We really do need each other.
-- Reuben Welch

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

God's Son In The Old Testament

Did you know that The Son of God is not just a New Testament reality, it is clearly referenced in the Old Testament? Hear two of the passages:

(11) Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (12) Kiss the Son, or He will become angry and you will die on your way because His anger will burst into flames. Blessed is everyone who takes refuge in Him.
Psalm 2:11-12 (GWT)

(3) I haven’t learned wisdom.
I don’t have knowledge of the Holy One.
(4) “Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in the palm of His hand?
Who has wrapped water in a garment?
Who has set up the earth from one end to the other?
What is His name or the name of His son?
Certainly, you must know!"

-- Proverbs 30:3-4 (GWT)

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dont Fool Yourselves

(19) My dear friends, you should be quick to listen and slow to speak or to get angry. (20) If you are angry, you cannot do any of the good things that God wants done. (21) You must stop doing anything immoral or evil. Instead be humble and accept the message that is planted in you to save you. (22) Obey God's message! Don't fool yourselves by just listening to it. (23) If you hear the message and don't obey it, you are like people who stare at themselves in a mirror (24) and forget what they look like as soon as they leave. (25) But you must never stop looking at the perfect law that sets you free. God will bless you in everything you do, if you listen and obey, and don't just hear and forget. (26) If you think you are being religious, but can't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and everything you do is useless. (27) Religion that pleases God the Father must be pure and spotless. You must help needy orphans and widows and not let this world make you evil.
-- James 1:19-27 (CEV)

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stop Sinning And Live!

(21) Suppose wicked people stop sinning and start obeying my laws and doing right. They won't be put to death. (22) All their sins will be forgiven, and they will live because they did right. (23) I, the LORD God, don't like to see wicked people die. I enjoy seeing them turn from their sins and live.

(24) But when good people start sinning and doing disgusting things, will they live? No! All their good deeds will be forgotten, and they will be put to death because of their sins.

(25) You people of Israel accuse me of being unfair! But listen--I'm not unfair; you are! (26) If good people start doing evil, they must be put to death, because they have sinned. (27) And if wicked people start doing right, they will save themselves from punishment. (28) They will think about what they've done and stop sinning, and so they won't be put to death. (29) But you still say that I am unfair. You are the ones who have done wrong and are unfair!

(30) I will judge each of you for what you've done. So stop sinning, or else you will certainly be punished. (31) Give up your evil ways and start thinking pure thoughts. And be faithful to me! Do you really want to be put to death for your sins? (32) I, the LORD God, don't want to see that happen to anyone. So stop sinning and live!

-- Ezekiel 18:21-32 (CEV)

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Don't Fall In Love With Money

(5) Don't fall in love with money. Be satisfied with what you have. The Lord has promised that He will not leave us or desert us. (6)That should make you feel like saying, "The Lord helps me! Why should I be afraid of what people can do to me?"
-- Hebrews 13:5-6 (CEV)

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The First Step To Wisdom...

Respect and obey the LORD! This is the first step to wisdom and good sense. God will always be respected.
-- Psalm 111:10 (CEV)

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Your Sins Have Deprived You!

Your sins have deprived you of My bounty.
-- From Jeremiah 5:25 (NET)

Lord forbid that we would choose to embrace our sinful rebellion and in so doing forfeit Your holy blessings. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

"My sin not in part, but the whole...
is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! O, my soul!"

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If People Are Causing Divisions Among You?

(10) If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. (11) For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.
-- Titus 3:10-11 (NLT)

We want to be an answer to the prayer of the Lord -- unity. (John 17)
We do not want to be a victims to the snare of the devil -- divisions.

(Yes, I often repeat the good songs.)

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Live By Faith! Die In Faith! Hebrews 11

Hear these powerful words of faith in Hebrews 11 (CEV):

The Great Faith of God's People
(1) Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see. (2) It was their faith that made our ancestors pleasing to God.
(3) Because of our faith, we know that the world was made at God's command. We also know that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen.

(4) Because Abel had faith, he offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. God was pleased with him and his gift, and even though Abel is now dead, his faith still speaks for him.

(5) Enoch had faith and did not die. He pleased God, and God took him up to heaven. That's why his body was never found. (6) But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and that he rewards everyone who searches for him.

(7) Because Noah had faith, he was warned about something that had not yet happened. He obeyed and built a boat that saved him and his family. In this way the people of the world were judged, and Noah was given the blessings that come to everyone who pleases God.

(8) Abraham had faith and obeyed God. He was told to go to the land that God had said would be his, and he left for a country he had never seen. (9) Because Abraham had faith, he lived as a stranger in the promised land. He lived there in a tent, and so did Isaac and Jacob, who were later given the same promise. (10) Abraham did this, because he was waiting for the eternal city that God had planned and built.

(11) Even when Sarah was too old to have children, she had faith that God would do what he had promised, and she had a son. (12) Her husband Abraham was almost dead, but he became the ancestor of many people. In fact, there are as many of them as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand along the beach.

(13) Every one of those people died. But they still had faith, even though they had not received what they had been promised. They were glad just to see these things from far away, and they agreed that they were only strangers and foreigners on this earth. (14) When people talk this way, it is clear that they are looking for a place to call their own. (15) If they had been talking about the land where they had once lived, they could have gone back at any time. (16) But they were looking forward to a better home in heaven. That's why God wasn't ashamed for them to call him their God. He even built a city for them.

(17-18) Abraham had been promised that Isaac, his only son,would continue his family. But when Abraham was tested, he had faith and was willing to sacrifice Isaac, (19) because he was sure that God could raise people to life. This was just like getting Isaac back from death. (20) Isaac had faith, and he promised blessings to Jacob and Esau. (21) Later, when Jacob was about to die, he leaned on his walking stick and worshiped. Then because of his faith he blessed each of Joseph's sons. (22) And right before Joseph died, he had faith that God would lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. So he told them to take his bones with them.

(23) Because Moses' parents had faith, they kept him hidden until he was three months old. They saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king's orders. (24) Then after Moses grew up, his faith made him refuse to be called Pharaoh's grandson. (25) He chose to be mistreated with God's people instead of having the good time that sin could bring for a little while. (26) Moses knew that the treasures of Egypt were not as wonderful as what he would receive from suffering for the Messiah, and he looked forward to his reward. (27) Because of his faith, Moses left Egypt. Moses had seen the invisible God and wasn't afraid of the king's anger. (28) His faith also made him celebrate Passover. He sprinkled the blood of animals on the doorposts, so that the first-born sons of the people of Israel would not be killed by the destroying angel.

(29) Because of their faith, the people walked through the Red Sea on dry land. But when the Egyptians tried to do it, they were drowned. (30) God's people had faith, and when they had walked around the city of Jericho for seven days, its walls fell down.

(31) Rahab had been a prostitute, but she had faith and welcomed the spies. So she wasn't killed with the people who disobeyed.

(32) What else can I say? There isn't enough time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. (33) Their faith helped them conquer kingdoms, and because they did right, God made promises to them. They closed the jaws of lions (34) and put out raging fires and escaped from the swords of their enemies. Although they were weak, they were given the strength and power to chase foreign armies away.

(35) Some women received their loved ones back from death. Many of these people were tortured, but they refused to be released. They were sure that they would get a better reward when the dead are raised to life. (36) Others were made fun of and beaten with whips, and some were chained in jail. (37) Still others were stoned to death or sawed in two or killed with swords. Some had nothing but sheep skins or goat skins to wear. They were poor, mistreated, and tortured. (38) The world did not deserve these good people, who had to wander in deserts and on mountains and had to live in caves and holes in the ground. (39) All of them pleased God because of their faith! But still they died without being given what had been promised. (40) This was because God had something better in store for us. And he did not want them to reach the goal of their faith without us.

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hardheaded As A Rock?

They have become as hardheaded as a rock.
They refuse to change their ways.

-- From Jeremiah 5:3 (NET)

Lord, in my prayer journal this morning I wrote these words with great conviction: "Deo Volente... still!" Yes, "Still in my life, I want whatever You want." God forbid that I should be a human that is hardheaded as a rock. Change me until I completely possess Your mind, Christ Jesus! I want to be tender and devoted to the touch and desires of Your precious Holy Spirit within me. So be it! Amen!

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Passion Afterglow -- Waiting Passionately

Lord, find us waiting passionately for You. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Passion is waiting.
-- Henri Nouwen

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Faithful To Finish!

See to it that you complete the ministry you received in the Lord.
-- From Colossians 4:17 (NET)

Precious Lord, as You completed Your ministry for us on the Cross and cried out "It is finished", let us also be faithful to finish whatever ministry You have entrusted us to complete for You and Your glory. Amen and Amen.

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Friday, January 6, 2012

PASSION 2012 -- Final Day

Well, we made it safely back to Virginia from Georgia. The journey was delightful from beginning to end. When the Lord assembles a group, you can know the chemistry will be miraculous. The Passion Gathering was a God-Thing, for sure. I was totally humbled to just serve the Lord and these young believers of Jesus.

Because it's about 1 a.m. as I am making this post and because I was the bus driver and am somewhat wondrously weary, let me just close with a few details about the Final Day of Passion 2012:

(1) Louie Giglio, The Passion Gathering Founder, shared a heartwarming closing message. He basically affirmed a message I share all the time with people. In my own words: "No matter what your age, get over searching for God's will. Just become God's will, and now!"

(2) The NASCAR rookie who won the Daytona 500 in 2011 on his 20th birthday, Trevor Bayne, was introduced as an attendee of the Passion Gathering. Louie told how Trevor gave glory to God after his win and then later when he had to miss races because of Lyme's disease continued to give God glory. The young congregation was reminded that they do not have to wait to speak for the Lord. 20-year-old Trevor Bayne didn't wait! When given the opportunity he was bold as a witness of His Lord.

(3) Also, the 40,000-plus, 18-25-year-olds raised -- drum roll please -- 2 1/2 million dollars in three days to help prevent and to begin to bring an end to human slavery around the world. In addition to that, another giver inspired by the generosity and sacrifice of the Passion attendees gave $500,000. So,yes, your math is correct -- $3 million raised to hopefully bring that 27 million slaves around the world number down, one freed slave at a time! May the Lord be glorified!

(4) The Passion attendees also brought towels and socks for the homeless to Atlanta. Last count I heard there was about 25,000 towels and even more socks, even blankets came in though they were not requested. The stacks of these items in the Georgia Dome foyers were unbelievable to see. Teamwork really does make the dream work!

Please keep praying and thanks for following us along the Passion 2012 journey on my blog. I hope the photos have helped to encourage you as well.

Ephesians 6:19 (GWT) -- Also pray that God will give me the right words to say. Then I will speak boldly when I reveal the mystery of the Good News.

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

PASSION 2012 -- DAY 3 -- Ephesians

If you want to know the essence of The Passion Gathering on Wednesday, DAY #3, read the Apostle Paul's Letter to the Ephesians -- yes, all of it. In the early session Wednesday, five of the gathering's keynote speakers read in rhythm all six chapters of Ephesians aloud as the morning message. It was a strong rendering of God's Word.

And yes, today the money raised to prevent and abolish human slavery around the world rose from 1/2 million yesterday, to over 1 million this afternoon. The final number will be staggering, no doubt. Our group of only fourteen gave an offering of $1,000. Unbelievable is right! I'm sanctified proud of our 18-25-year-olds. They have also been a joy to be around. ALL JOY!

Our gathering for today ended with a midnight , silent candlelight walk and prayer vigil of 40,000-plus. We all gathered in the International Plaza here in Atlanta. Take it from me. 40,000-plus candles lit with everyone standing in the gap for modern-day slaves to be freed is powerful to participate in. And hearing Amazing Grace sung by so many voices in the dark, night air, is also very inspiring.

One more morning-to-noon session of Passion on Thursday and then we will be on the road home. We pray that upon our return to Virginia, our familes, homes, workplaces and our church will become delightfully different because we have been here seeking His face.

Pray for our young people. They have waved the white flag over their lives this week. Yes, surrender is in the air. Amen.

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!
Kerry Willis

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Well, it's 1:30 a.m. as we call it a day. Yes, Day 2 of Passion 2012 is history. Today, it was reported that the 40,000-plus 18-25-year-olds attending this gathering have given over 1/2 million dollars so far for the purpose of preventing and ultimately ending human slavery in our world. This evening, Francis Chan asked, "How would our passion about ending human slavery in the world be different if it were one of our loved ones who was suffering in slavery?"

Did you know that there is an estimated 27 million people living in our world today who are under the yoke of human slavery? I know, it's staggering. And beyond this staggering statistic, let us not forget that behind each number is an eternal soul in need of the church's help.

Tonight, Hillsong United led in a worship concert. One of their songs speaks directly to the issue of slavery and to many more, too. Yes, indeed, "everyone needs compassion."

When He (Jesus) saw the crowds, He felt sorry for them (He had compassion on them). They were troubled and helpless like sheep without a shepherd.
-- Matthew 9:36 (GWT)

Thanks for praying for our local college-age attendees and for all of the young people in attendance. Pray that the local churches these young souls return to will be willing to embrace their new-found comPASSION for our lost and dying world.

Click here: Passion 2012 Live Stream

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

PASSION 2012 -- Wait With Hope For The Lord!

Yesterday I spent 10 wonder-filled hours behind a mini-bus steering wheel driving young believers to Atlanta, Georgia for The PASSION 2012 event. We made it in time for the opening sessions of worship. From 7 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. I was immersed in the presence of over 40,000 18-25 years-olds seeking the face and favor of God. It was amazing. The evening ended with a concert of worship with The David Crowder Band. What a powerful experience! We left believing more than ever this awesome reality: "HE LOVES US!"

More to report later... but let me encourage you to read Luke 7 and Jesus raising the widow's dead son for some context of the message we heard last evening. Also, here is the key verse of The PASSION movement:

Isaiah 28:6 (GWT):
Certainly, we wait with hope for you, O Lord,
as we follow the path of your guiding principles.
We want to remember you and your name.

Click here: David Crowder*Band - How He Loves - YouTube

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

People Do Not Control Their Own Destiny

Lord, we know that people do not control their own destiny. It is not in their power to determine what will happen to them.
-- Jeremiah 10:23 (NET)

Lord, it is such a comfort to know that You have already been into this New Year and now You will lovingly lead us to the destiny that You have designed for those who wait for You and rest in Your Word. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!