“Do You Want to Get Well?”

We all know the street level definition of insanity, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”  Pam and I see insanity everyday in personal lives, marriages and families.  We see the same behavior and habits practiced day after day, and people have the insane idea that things will change for the better.  Ain’t happening!  Things won’t change without something fundamentally occurring in the lives of the “insane”.

We see a harsh example of “insanity” in John 5:1-5, “Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.”  In this story, a great number of disabled people daily would make their way to a pool in Jerusalem called Bethesda with the superstitious belief that an angel periodically would stir the water.  Once stirred, the first person in the water would supposedly be healed.  Day after day, a great number of disabled people would make their way to the pool hoping to be healed.  They had no other hope.  Let’s face it, it was a place for a community of disabled to hang out day after day with a very feint hope of being healed…insanity. 

One of the “pool dwellers” helplessly had been sick for thirty-eight years.  This man was incapable.  Even if the superstition came true, it was physically impossible for him to be the first one in the pool.  What insanity and he does this daily! 

H-O-W-E-V-E-R, something or should I say, “Someone”, changed the narrative.  Verse 6 tells us what happens, When Jesus saw (the invalid of 38 years) lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  Jesus does what Jesus almost always does.  In a crowd, He encounters an individual personally.  Often these people are hopeless, helpless, and broken-hearted, impossible to help themselves.  After learning from others about the man’s physical condition of thirty-eight years, Jesus engages this man, “Do you want to get well?”  Jesus asks an insightful question.  People often allow their hurtful situations to become their identity…“my depression, my injury, my husband is such a jerk, my wife is an emotional nightmare, my family of origin and my past experiences are irreparable, my anxiety, my mental and my emotional condition…”  We often feed off our helplessness.  “I can’t get better.  That’s just who I am and my plight in life.”  Others of us are so numb, we are conditioned not to respond to God’s Word.

“Do you want to get well?”  “‘Sir,’ the invalid replied (in verse 7), ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”’  Even after thirty-eight years and a painful yet emotionally numbing daily walk to the pool, He wanted healing, but someone always beat him to the pool. “Then (in verses 8&9) Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.’” Desiring to be healed, he responded immediately to the command of Jesus.  “At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked!!”

Do you want to get well?  Something or Someone has to impact and change your current insane environment, or you will not get well.  The good news for you is God loves the broken-hearted, impossible situations, and the helpless. 

  • Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” 
  • Psalm 147:3 declares, He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
  • Matthew 17:20 exclaims, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

“Get up! Pick up your mat and (start) walk(ing).”  God can heal…start the journey today.

A New Day

Well today begins a new way of thinking in the nation, as an inauguration takes place, or a least a new way of governing for the past four years. But the thinking of individuals that are supposed to be united are still just as divided as they ever were. There is something good about a two party system, because there will always be plenty who challenge the status quo. Those who want things differently.  But a couple of things I would like to note this morning. There is really a three party system in place here in America, or at least should be. There is the Democratic party, the Republican party, and the Christians. Even though Christians closely align with one party more than another, some Christians remain divided also in their desire to see one part over the other. Here is the point I would like to make. We, as believers, are not to be a part of the world, we are not part of a “party”, but we are set aside from the world. We can partake of things of the nature of how our nation runs, and we should, but in the end, our allegiance is always to God first, not party first, or man first. We are to be followers of Christ. Listen to what Peter writes to the believers, the “temporary” residents on this earth: “Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, equip yourselves also with the same resolve – because the one who suffered in the flesh has finished with sin – in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for God’s will. For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the pagans choose to do; carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. So they are surprised that you don’t plunge with them into the same flood of wild living – and they slander you. They will give an account to the One who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead, so that, although they might be judged by men in the fleshly realm, they might live by God in the spiritual realm.”  1 Peter 4: 1-6  We know that as long as we live in this body on earth, we struggle with sin.  We can put it to death in our minds and in our actions, even though it will be a constant battle all through this life.  The nation wants us to form with them on one side or the other, showing that we will be a part of one party or the other, but doesn’t that become a wonderful opportunity to stand for Christ? It’s not about joining with the world in the battle against what one side determines is right and the other wrong, but it’s a battle against good and evil, and we must stand for the good that comes from a pure heart. So even if we do sin, our hearts will be toward God and not a man. Let’s make sure our stand is for faith, for a way of life that will live out that faith in all we do. Perhaps we can then be an effective witness to all sides for the cause of Christ. Yes, we will probably be persecuted by both sides, but if we stand for what is good then we never have to waiver trying to figure out which side is good and what side is evil. Because in our hearts we know that the only good side is the side of Christ. That is a spiritual life, and a steadfast life in which we stand ready to be the people God made us to be fearless in faith, strong under the mighty control of our Lord and Savior Jesus, who knows full well that the battle is His, and not ours. Pastor Andy

Slow the Game Down

If you are around me much, you will often hear me say, “Slow the game down.”  No matter the sport, it is often said about great athletes that they are able slow the game down enabling them to see things clearer, process better and make the best, winning decisions.  They play the game within themselves and see things others simply do not see.  Those, who cannot slow the game down, play frantically and impulsively ultimately making poor decisions that often cost their team a game.

Slow the game down is not only true in sports but is even truer in life.  James, the brother of Jesus, explains in 1:19&20, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”  James tells us to slow the game down.  Be quick to listen then slow to speak and slow to become angry.  While listening to others, your mind and heart are engaged allowing you to process more incisively with wisdom and compassion. 

If you have a “motor mouth”, your mind is actively expressing your viewpoint alone causing you to speak impulsively and often acting foolishly.  Proverbs 18:7 is a wise statement, “The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives.”  Later in the same chapter verse 13, Solomon is spot on, “To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.”  Slow the game down and be quick to listen and slow to speak.  You will discover that your decision-making is precise and encouraging to others.

The old saying is, “if the only tool in your tool box is a hammer everything looks like a nail.”  I see people again and again lose their composure in anger.  What makes this even worse, often this is a mom or dad.  If I could say one thing to mom and dad’s, I would say, “slow the game down.”  BE SLOW TO BECOME ANGRY.  Often you voice reverberates throughout the whole house which is incredibly unhealthy to those under the same roof.  James 1:20 “nails” this, “human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Another powerful biblical passage that slows the game down is Philippians 4:6&7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Before you bury yourself in anxiety, slow the game down!  “In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  When you slow “every situation” down by “praying and petitioning God, with thanksgiving” before acting, you learn to trust God by offloading to Him and not acting on your own.  This gives God the space to act.  Then, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Adopt my life verses to slow the game down.  Proverbs 3:5&6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  Trust God and lean not on your own understanding.  If so, He will slow you down and make your paths straight. 

Remember Your First Love?

Can you remember your first love?  I can.  Even though it was years ago, I have fond memories of her and the freshness and sweetness of the emotions that we shared.  I could not wait to spend time with her.  She was my first love.

Likewise, I can remember as a thirteen-year-old boy meeting Jesus and the joy of spending time with Him shortly after I met Him.  I read my Bible each evening and could not get enough of it.  Sharing a room with my brother, I waited at night until he fell asleep to crawl off the side of my bed to pray on my knees.  I can remember vividly those fresh, sweet moments.

In Revelations 2:4, the Apostle John scolded the Ephesians, “I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.”  Jesus enjoys loving us and likewise relishes the sweetness of our love.  However, stale love is not what Jesus looks for.  He enjoys freshness.  I believe Lamentation 3 is a beautiful description of the love and desires of Jesus.  22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.” 25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LordLet’s focus on several key characteristics of first love evidenced in the above passage:

  • “His compassions never fail.”  You don’t give in or give up.
  • “They are new every morning.”  We are not looking back at yesterday’s love but expressing fresh love to Jesus first thing every AM.
  • “Great is your faithfulness.”  First love is faithful.
  • “The Lord is my portion.”  First love is focused on Jesus and Jesus alone.
  • “I will wait for him…wait quietly.”  Wait patiently and quietly for Jesus.  Sometimes, He wants you to want Him and are willing to wait on Him.
  • The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him.”  The hope of first love “is in Him.”
  • The Lord is good to the one who seeks him.”  Matthew 6:33 is a great first love verse, “Seek you first the Lord, and all other things will be taken care of.”  Focus on Him, and He will take care of and guide you in the rest.

First Love…Jesus never wants you to get so busy and caught up with other things that we forget to love Him with our first emotions and continue to love Him throughout the day…each and every day!  Jesus loves to be loved.

Foolish Living

At the end of chapter 3 of his book, James, the brother of Jesus, contrasts what is wise living and what is foolish living.  Today, we focus on “foolish living.”  In verses 14-16, the comments are blunt, “But if you harbor bitter envy (or jealousy) and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”  “Bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts” lead you to foolishness.   These verses take us from a walk of wisdom to stumbling in foolishness.  According to James, once you “harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart,” wisdom is sucked out of your spiritual walk. Your life becomes “earthly, unspiritual, and demonic” leading to “boastfulness (or pride) and denial of truth.”  Lives and families end up in “disorder and your lifestyle has become evil.”  I have observed this often.  Beautiful couples start out meaning well yet end up living a nightmare often no longer together with pieces of their family strewn all over the place. 

So, let’s ask ourselves some questions:

  • Do you harbor bitter envy (or jealousy)? 
  • If so, is there a person you harbor bitter envy against?
  • Why are you jealous?
  • Is harboring bitter jealousy worth it?
  • A good indicator of foolish living is boastfulness.  Are you boastful?
  • Another indicator is “denial (or stretching) of the truth.”  Are you truthful?
  • Is your family in disorder?
  • Has your family become ungodly?

Harboring bitterness is ugly for you much more than anyone else.  Many times, the target of your bitterness is not even aware and would be shocked if they knew.  Hebrews 12:15 states, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”  Get rid of “bitter envy”!  If not, it will cause trouble most likely for your family and closest relationships and will likely defile the most tender of folks around you namely your children.

Do you harbor “selfish ambition”?  This means that your life is caught up focused on this world and not the next.  You may drive the “baddest” car, live in the biggest house, professionally at the very top of the pyramid, hang out with a beautiful woman or dynamic man, raise physically beautiful and talented kids; yet, without God first in your life.  I got one word for you, “I am sorry.”  You are focused on a finite number of years and your treasures are based on finite investments.  Eternal good news is for those folks who place God first, live their lives prioritizing the service of others especially their family, and rejoice in the things of God.  This doesn’t meant these folks are not successful. Many are but that’s not their focus. James warns if this world is your oyster with your eco-system based on your kingdom, “you’re boastful and denying the truth.” 

Time to re-focus!  James 3:17-18 characterizes wise living, “17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” Amen!

But I don’t wanna!

Ever have one of your children say, “I don’t want to?”  That seems to be the stand of the testing child, and probably everyone goes through it at one time or another. But when they say that they don’t want to do something, it is something that is usually good for them or something that you want done, a law put down by you, so that they can learn obedience. But the nature in them wants to reject that ‘law’ and do what they want to do, which is usually play. Are we as adults any different? Listen to what Paul says to the church at Rome about this very thing: “Therefore, did what is good cause my death? Absolutely not! On the contrary, sin, in order to be recognized as sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment, sin might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am made out of flesh, sold into sin’s power. For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to, but I do what I hate. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me.”  Romans 7: 13-20 So we go back to the child who is rebelling against the orders of the parent. He doesn’t know why he does not want to be obedient, he just is, and it is the sin that exists within each of us. As adults we don’t want to do those things that we know are put in place for a reason, but we know that we are obedient if we do, but everything within us hates being obedient. That is the perfect example of the law being good, because it reveals the sin in us that wants us to reject that which is good. It has been going on since the garden, when Eve, who knew not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden, was taken in by the serpent to eat it anyway. He convinced her that nothing would happen to her if she did, other than she would be like God. So she ate, and gave some to Adam, and immediately they were ashamed. They knew they had done wrong, so they tried to hide it. From that time on, sin was present in the individual. It’s in you and in me. We will have it happening in us until we die and receive a new body, for the sin that is in us will die. But what is the answer? Jesus, who came to be a sacrifice in our place for the sin that would keep us from being in the presence of God. Jesus became the substitute for us; paid the price, and as Paul would finish this part of his dialogue: “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.” 7:24-25 Thank You Jesus, for paying for that which I could not afford, to give me that which I cannot lose. Pastor Andy

I Like Lists

I am a guy who does not like guess work and appreciates detailed definitions. For example, if you take the word “love”, I along with many men have trouble understanding this simple, fundamental word.  The good news is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Paul the Apostle lists fifteen characteristics of “agape love” so that we clearly, in detail can understand what “love” looks like:  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Paul precisely gave the characteristics that make up Christian love.

Since the Holy Spirit is God living life within us, what does the “fruit of Spirit” look like in our lives?  Again, Paul the Apostle is crystal clear.  In Galatians 5:22-23, He gives us nine specific characteristics what our lives will look like if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Be filled with the Holy Spirit and folks will see the evidence of the “fruit of the Spirit” in your life.

There is another essential list that most of us are unfamiliar.  James the brother of Christ in 3:17 clearly defines to us what Godly wisdom looks like, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” Now, you have the eight characteristics of wisdom.  Earlier in his book in chapter 1:5, James exclaims to us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  God wants us to be wise knowing how to live life out in practical ways evidencing Godly knowledge and good judgment.  Wisdom is soundness of mind…often lacking in today’s world. 1:5 says that we who “lack wisdom…should ask God (for wisdom),” and he “will give generously without finding fault.”  God commits to us that He will bless any of us generously with wisdom if we ask. That’s a huge statement.  You can change from foolish to wise by asking God for wisdom.  He wants to make you wise.

James 3:18 gives us a view what the person full of wisdom looks like, “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” 

Above are three powerful lists.  Don’t leave them as ink on a page.  Get to know these lists backwards and forwards and flesh them out in your daily walk.  God will bless you mightily in the process.

You Willing to be a Load Bearing Wall?

Being a part of an authentic community is work.  Live around me for a couple of days, and you will see inconsistencies in my walk.  All of us have idiosyncrasies and things that are unique or peculiar depending how you look at it.

There is a powerful Biblical passage located in Colossians 3 that pictures what community looks like, 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 

  • Very quickly this passage gets to the core at what generates and orchestrates authentic community…“as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved.”  We are loved sacrificially by God.  Community starts always with foundation of agape love.
  • Then, Paul tells us to bear with each other.  It is the picture of us being a load bearing wall for someone else so that their hurtful situation does not collapse on them.  For whatever reason, they are under the pile and they can’t get out.  You bear the burden for them.  A great picture of this is that Good Samaritan in Luke 10:33-35, 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’  The Good Samaritan was a load bearing wall for this Jewish man.
  • Paul’s third verb used was “forgive.”  “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” The cross is at the very center of who we are as believers.  There is no viable Christian community without forgiveness.

Are you willing become a part of an authentic community?  You will see inconsistencies and experience frustration.  However, you will see and experience agape love in action.  When you act as a load bearing wall from someone else and do it compassionately, kindly, humbly, gently and patiently, it is an experience of Jesus that you will never forget.  In those moments, you were Jesus to others.  Find a community of people and agape love the heck out of each other!

Put ‘em on God’s Hook

Let’s face it.  Our current world is mayhem even in the good old USA. One-word descriptions of what my eyes saw this week on telecasts, online and through print, I came up with this list…violence, disorder, chaos, confusion, havoc, bedlam, pandemonium, tumult, uproar, turmoil, madness, hullabaloo, all-hell-broken-loose, lies, deception, darkness, hatred, N-O-I-S-E.  If we are not careful and perceptive, this can take us down. 

Always realize who “The Grand Master of Chaos” is…yep, you got it…the devil himself.  You will discover that he loves, thrives on, relishes and is most at home with N-O-I-S-E.  1 Peter 5:8&9 makes this clear, Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”  This week, the devil orchestrated and strutted his stuff and the world marched right behind him in perfect attention.

Things are so discouraging that many of us have fallen into depression and despondency.  Don’t go there!  “The roaring lion looks around for someone to devour.”  His tactic is to produce enough noise to paralyze his foe.  Once paralyzed, his foe becomes easy pickings.   John 8:44 declares the devil “was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  He spouts lies loudly through the highest profile newscasts, through online news feeds and even on weekly mainline television shows.  1 Peter 5:9 instructs us to “Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”

Romans 12 instructs us, “17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord…21 Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good”.  Here is what Paul the Apostle tells us not to do, “do not repay anyone evil for evil…do not take revenge.”  You know what this looks like to me.  We get so caught up with the dialog of this world that we argue, debate, speak over each other, scream at each other voicing our displeasure as if we are the resident expert and have responsibility to fix it.  The N-O-I-S-E of this world is deafening to our hearts. Don’t let it!

Then, Paul tells us what to do… “leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ says the Lord.”  God says for us to stop trying to fix things in our own power, don’t get caught up in the world and certainly don’t let the debate of this world define our everyday life.  Daily take the cares of the world off your hook, and put them on God’s hook.  God demonstrably states through Paul that “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.”  We de facto try to take the place of God!  Don’t do that anymore.  Put things and leave things in the hands of the One who can actually take care of it.

Once you have taken responsibility off your hook and put it on God’s hook, you are freed to do what He wants you to do, “21 Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.”  You are freed up to be goodness to this world no longer buried under deafening debate.  BE GOOD!

New Year … Same God

“Haven’t I written for you thirty sayings about counsel and knowledge, in order to teach you true and reliable words, so that you may give a dependable report to those who sent you? Don’t rob a poor man because he is poor, and don’t crush the oppressed at the gate for the Lord will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them. Don’t make friends with an angry man, and don’t be a companion of a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. Don’t be one of those who enter agreements, who put up security for loans. If you have no money to pay, even your bed will be taken from under you. Don’t move an ancient boundary marker that your fathers set up. Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand in the presence of kings. He will not stand in the presence of unknown men.”Proverbs 22:20-29 Good things to start off the New Year with. We are to treat others with respect, especially the poor and oppressed. The second verse in Proverbs 22 says, “The rich and poor have this in common: the Lord made them both.” So if the Lord is the creator, and He is, then why would we want to separate those who seem oppressed or poor? We should respect them, love them, and if there is a need there, to be there to help them in their need, by teaching and guiding, and whatever help the Lord puts on our hearts. We are not to make friends with someone who is angry. How true! I have heard it once said that if you put and mild man and an angry man in a room for a while, both will come out angry. Let’s be careful no to get tangled up in the ways of hot-tempered and angry people. Let’s only buy what we can afford. I know that not many can even get some necessities that they need unless they borrow, yet we must be careful to live within our means. We live in a society where even the poorest are richer than most of the people on earth. But let’s not get entangled in the pressure of debt, thinking that we need to have what everyone else has. It too, will be used up and we can’t take it with us. We are to be honest about property lines, and about everything that belongs to us, and that which does not belong to us. Let’s work for the sake of family, faith, and skill. Let’s be a people who may have to live in a way that will not bring us into failure because of our heavy debt. Let’s not practice how our country is practicing. Let’s give to the Lord out of the Love we have for Him, and give to others as the need exists, and the capability of our giving is with us. Let’s recognize that every day we stand in the presence of our Lord, and He is the One we are answerable to. He is the One who sees what we think we do in secret. He is the One who knows the intent of the heart behind every action we make. He is the One who listens to what comes out of our mouths, because what comes out of our mouths reveal the intents of the heart. Let’s make 2021 a year that regardless of how it is played out on the national or worldly front, it will be played out on the Godly front in our lives.