Could vs. Should

“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

Old proverb

If someone is doing wrong, we may hold the right position and the authority to tell them so and to tell them what they ought to be doing instead.  We can even try to enforce it but in the end, if it is accomplished, it was not done because they had a change of heart, saw that they were wrong, and chose right.  Rather, they did it because they were made to.  There is no change in them, no growth, and they are not likely to experience the blessings and good that stem from making right choices.  Instead, resentment will likely fester and poison your relationship, their thoughts toward you, the truth you are trying to enforce, and maybe even their thoughts towards God.  Instead of ordering, ask.  Speak and lead out of love for the person, out of care for their eternity.  Show them the choice, and then give them power, the encouragement, and the information needed to make the right one.  Respect will grow in place of resentment, they will experience love and trust which will inspire them to make right choices.  Growth in their own lives will be a result that continues even when your influence is removed.  

Learning Through Doing


We cannot truly begin to understand Christ’s love until we let it flow through us, both to other believers and to those who aren’t.  Loving enough to get past ourselves, step out and be the tool God uses to help shape fellow believers or the shepherd that leads lost sheep home.  Christ’s love for people, that lives within us when he does, should push us beyond our own comfort.  We can’t fully understand love until we give it.  We can’t truly understand the forgiveness and mercy we have been given until we give it ourselves; in faith, without exception, to everyone who comes into our lives- many of whom will not deserve it.  Until we share all of the good things we have been given, we cannot truly understand what they mean or the power they have in our lives.



The fullness of God’s love and his power are both beyond what our human minds and concepts are capable of grasping or even imagining.  Despite the fact that we are incapable of understanding just how much he has made available to us, it is always there.  He gives it freely so that, through the small glimpses we are able to catch, we might know, love and serve him in return.



Not only did God create us, He PLANNED for us, planned exactly how to make us, exactly when and where we belonged.  He planned out good things for us to do that we could not know or even see before we fulfilled the most important reason for our being- to belong to Christ.  That is why we were created; for Jesus, to belong to him and, now that we do, we are able to discover and accomplish these good things, not through our own power or will, but through that of our savior.




You used to live as sinners when you followed the ways of this world. You served the one who rules over the spiritual forces of evil. He is the spirit who is now at work in those who don’t obey God. At one time we all lived among them. We tried to satisfy what our sinful nature wanted to do. We followed its longings and thoughts. God was angry with us and everyone else because of the kind of people we were. Ephesians‬ ‭2:2-3

To follow the ways of this world, trying to satisfy what our sinful nature wants by following it’s longings and thoughts makes us sinners serving Satan’s purposes; he is the only one served when we are disobedient to God.


But God loves us deeply. He is full of mercy. So he gave us new life because of what Christ has done. He gave us life even when we were dead in sin. God’s grace has saved you.   Ephesians‬ ‭2:4-5‬

But God loves us DEEPLY.  He is full of mercy.  So he gave us new life because of what Christ has done.  He gave us life even when we were dead in sin.  God’s grace has saved us.


God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:8-9‬

Our salvation doesn’t come from anything we do.  It is God’s gift to us all.  It is not based on anything more than our acceptance of it.  The only thing we bring to our own salvation is the sin that made it necessary in the first place, and that is hardly worth bragging over.

See Clearly


We allow our hearts and minds to become so bogged down with the things of this world that it becomes increasingly difficult for us to see through it to what is truly important.  We become stressed, worried, angry, and despondent over daily trials, over the government, over society, over they way we were mistreated.  This prayer is that our mind might see more clearly, see through the fog of these temporal things and into the bright hope of the things we know, which is that Jesus is in control of it ALL.  Verse 21 says that he sits far above all who rule, above all powers and kings, ALL things have been placed under his rule.  So we shouldn’t let the things he is taking care of weigh us down and distract us from his purpose for our lives.  Nor should we get confused about what is truly rich and glorious- our world based minds have trouble seeing clearly that the rewards God’s people will receive are far beyond anything we can ask or imagine and all this world can offer will eventually turn to dust.  We should not be so eager and quick to sacrifice diamonds for the coal.

God Is Bigger


God doesn’t sit on his throne in heaven and watch us wind along our little life ‘tracks’ that he laid out so that we could only go the directions and do the things he wants us to.  That is nowhere close to the free will he has granted us.  He granted us choice.  He allows us to make the wrong ones and sometimes that means we hurt ourselves.  Sometimes it means other people are hurt by us.  He allows obstacles to be placed in our paths.  Every mistake we make, every time we are hurt or hurt others, every time we fail, none of it de-rails God.  He is bigger than our mistakes.  He can and will use EVERYTHING for his own purposes, even the toughest things that we can see no sense in.  Remember, you can never mess up too big for God and that he can redeem whatever horrible things you may have been through and use them to guide you into the wonderful destiny he has planned for you.

God’s Pleasure


Life didn’t just happen, we did not randomly evolve from slime nor did our parents conceive us by accident.  We were both planned and chosen by God.  Not to be like some toy that he likes to sit in heaven and manipulate or torment for entertainment, but to be his children who he LOVES!  He created us because it made him happy to have us, to watch us grow, to delight when we choose what is right and good.  God chose for each of us to exist, planned it even, and it gives him pleasure that you do.  Never doubt how special you are to him or that he has a plan just for you.

Not Can’t, Won’t


It is not that we will never sin again once we have been saved, our human nature is still one of selfishness and sin.  But if the Holy Spirit has truly become part of our heart, of ourselves, then his presence will change our thoughts and our desires.  It should be that you no longer sin intentionally, no longer continue to only satisfy your selfish desires, and when you do sin there is conviction and remorse inside you for it.  It’s not that we can’t go on sinning, it is that we won’t want to because our heart and mind will cry out against such things.



People who teach us about God and his word are a wonderful asset; however, they are not a necessity.  We do not have to have them to be able to learn about God or His ways.  What we require is time, quiet, a chance to rest in His word and allow the Spirit to speak to us.  We have a tendency to become dependent on others to feed us and the effect is that we often forget or never learn how to seek or hear God for ourselves.  We may miss out on many things he has to say just to us.  Don’t drown out the voice of God with the noise of the world and do not neglect spending quiet time with just you, your bible and your Lord.