Beggar or Prince

Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God. – John 1:12

Beggar or Prince

Are you a beggar or a prince?  Some religious people will tell you that you’re despicable and worthless.  Others will say that you’re the pinnacle of creation or the center of the universe.

I think the words of C. S. Lewis from his great work The Chronicles of Narnia communicate the division between beggar and prince well. The voice of the lion, Aslan, is a representation of Jesus Christ says in the book Prince Caspian, “You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve. And that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”

Friend, you were made in the image of God. That image, however, has been tragically marred and gracefully corrected. It was marred when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. It was gracefully corrected when Christ bore our sins on the cross . . . when he gave His life to pay the price for our sin.

Erect your head in honor of being a child of God. At the same time, bow in fear and respect to the King of Kings.

– Steve Arterburn

“You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure about you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.” – Marianne Williamson

Banishing Fear

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. . . – 1 John 4:18a

Banishing Fear

When we feel threatened in relationships, we tend to become defensive and guarded. On the other hand, when we feel safe, we’re far more willing to be open and vulnerable. This is true of our relationships with other people, and it’s also true in our relationship with God.

The apostle John wrote: “Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that [God’s] love has not been perfected in us. We love each other as a result of his loving us first.”

If Jesus hadn’t paid the price for our sins on the cross, there would be every reason for fear and defensiveness before a holy God. But, God showed His love for us by sending His Son, Jesus, to pay for our sins and free us from them. As a result, it’s safe to open yourself to God.

Jesus has his arms wide open, calling you to come and receive His love. Could there be anything better? His love is real, and waiting to embrace you. His love is ready to transform you and drive the fear from your heart. God is love, and He shows Himself to you in and through His Son, Jesus Christ.

When you open yourself to God’s love, you’ll become open to seeing the truth about God and yourself—and you’ll no longer need to be afraid.

– Steve Arterburn

Never take counsel of your fears.” – Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (1824–1863)

The Meaning of Sacrifice

Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. – Philippians 2:5–7

The Meaning of Sacrifice

To make headway in your relationships, incorporate sacrificial acts of love; letting Jesus be your ultimate role model. Consider Jesus’ washing of the disciples’ feet. This act of submission wasn’t about showing off His superior humility or sensitivity. Setting an example wasn’t even Jesus’ primary motive. Listen to what the Bible says in the 13th chapter in the book of John:

 “It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love . . . So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet.

Why don’t we do the same for those we love? The sacrifice of submission and service will speak to others, and it will do something inside you that you can’t explain . . . that you have to experience.

– Steve Arterburn

Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.– Napoleon Hill (1883–1970)

Trust and Obey

If you love me, you will obey what I command.  John 14:15

Trust and Obey

“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.” Simple words from a simple hymn. Yet these simple words contain incredible insight into the essential elements of the Christian life.

Trust and obedience are your allies when you surrender your life to God. “For it’s God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” That’s what the apostle Paul teaches in the book of Philippians. But if we don’t trust that God loves us, that He is all-wise and all-powerful, and that He cares for us; we won’t be very likely to obey Him, will we?

When it comes to our formal theology, we confess a belief which says that obedience is born out of trust. Yet in our day-to-day life, we’re too often disobedient in spite of giving lip-service to trust.

So the question remains: can you truly trust your Lord without obeying Him?

In Luke 11:28 Jesus calls those who hear the word of God and obey it “blessed.” In other words: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”

– Steve Arterburn

“Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. ” – Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)

John 3:16

Today is March 16 or 3-16. For many of us in the Christian community, the Bible verse John 3:16 is a favorite. It’s even more “famous” out in California because it’s printed on the rim of the drink cup at In-N-Out burger, the first ever burger joint with a drive up window! But instead of talking about french fries, let’s talk about John 3:16. Click here to watch the video.


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Lights Flashing

The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them. – Hosea 14:9

Lights Flashing

John Smith was pulled over for driving erratically, but just as officers began administering a breath test, there was an accident on the other side of the freeway. The policeman ordered John to wait and ran across the street, but John immediately drove home.

A few hours later, Mrs. Smith found two officers at her door. John came out of the bedroom faking a cough. When asked if he’d been pulled over for a highway citation, he replied, ‘Oh, no I’ve been home sick all day.’

When they asked to see his car, John confidently walked out to the garage thinking, ‘It’s been hours, the engine is cool, and I’m totally going to get away with this!’

He threw open the garage door, and there in the garage was the patrol car with the lights still flashing!

Tell me, friend, what lights are flashing in your garage?

Steve Arterburn

We are not creatures of circumstance; we are creators of circumstance.‘ – Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

Listening To Guilt

Listening To Guilt

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. – Romans 8:1 NKJV


All of us have made mistakes. Sometimes, we are swept up by events that encourage us to behave in ways that we later come to regret. And sometimes, even when our intentions are honorable, we make errors in judgment that have long-lasting consequences. When we look back at our actions with remorse, we may experience intense feelings of guilt. But God has an answer for the guilt that we feel. That answer is His forgiveness.

Sometimes, long after God has forgiven us, we may continue to withhold forgiveness from ourselves. Instead of accepting God’s mercy and accepting our past, we may think far too long and hard about the things that ‘might have been,’ the things that ‘could have been,’ or the things that ‘should have been.’

Are you troubled by feelings of guilt, even after you’ve received God’s forgiveness? Are you still struggling with painful memories of mistakes you made long ago? Are you focused so intently on yesterday that your vision of today is clouded? If so, you still have work to do’spiritual work. You should ask your Heavenly Father not for forgiveness (He granted that gift the very first time you asked Him!) but instead for acceptance and trust: acceptance of the past and trust in God’s plan for your life.

If you find yourself plagued by feelings of guilt or shame, consult God’s survival guide: His Holy Word. And as you do so, consider the following Biblically-based tips for overcoming those feelings of guilt once and for all:

1. Stop doing the things that make you feel guilty: How can you expect not to feel guilty if you should feel guilty? (Acts 26:20)
2. Ask God for forgiveness. When you ask for it, He will give it. (1 John 1:9)
3. Ask forgiveness from the people you have harmed: This step is hard, but helpful. And even if the other folks cannot find it in their hearts to forgive you, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you asked. (Proverbs 28:13)
4. Forgive yourself: if you’re no longer misbehaving, it’s the right thing to do. And today is the right day to do it. (Romans 14:22)
5. Become more diligent in your daily time of prayer and Bible study. A regular time of quiet reflection and prayer will allow you to praise your Creator, to focus your thoughts, to remind yourself of His love, and to seek His guidance in matters great and small. (Isaiah 50:45)
6. Get busy making the world a better place. Now that God has forgiven you, it’s time for you to show your gratitude by serving Him. (Matthew 23:11-12)

Guilt is a gift that leads us to grace. – Franklin Graham

Today’s Prayer
Lord Jesus, help me to forgive myself as you forgive me. Amen.



He Overcomes

He Overcomes

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. –  John 16:33 NKJV


The hope that the world offers is fleeting and imperfect. The hope that God offers is unchanging, unshakable, and unending. It is no wonder, then, that when we seek security from worldly sources, our hopes are often dashed and our stresses are often increased. Thankfully, God has no such record of failure.

Where will you place your hopes today? Will you entrust your future to man or to God? Will you seek solace exclusively from fallible human beings, or will you place your hopes, first and foremost, in the trusting hands of your Creator? The decision is yours, and you must live with the results of the choice you make.

For thoughtful believers, hope begins with God. Period. So today, as you embark upon the next stage of your life’s journey, consider the words of the Psalmist: “You are my hope; O Lord GOD, You are my confidence” (71:5 NASB). Then, place your trust in the One who cannot be shaken.

Without the certainty of His resurrection, we would come to the end of this life without hope, with nothing to anticipate except despair and doubt. But because He lives, we rejoice, knowing soon we will meet our Savior face to face, and the troubles and trials of this world will be behind us.   ~Billy Bright

Oh, remember this: There is never a time when we may not hope in God. Whatever our necessities, however great our difficulties, and though to all appearance help is impossible, yet our business is to hope in God, and it will be found that it is not in vain.   ~George Mueller

Dear Lord, let my hopes always reside in You. If I become discouraged, let me turn to You. If I grow tired, let me find strength in You. You are my Father, and I will place my faith,  my trust, and my hopes in You. Amen

Are You Fitting In?

Are You Fitting In?

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you. – John 15:19


“Don’t love the world’s ways.  Don’t love the world’s goods,” wrote the apostle John.  When he wrote of “the world,” he meant everything in life that ran counter to staying connected to Jesus; everything that contradicts what the Bible teaches and undermines a life of faith and discipleship.  Indeed, the world has a different take on how we should live.  Many today believe that all ideas are valid; that no one is wrong, because no absolute truth exists.

We are encouraged to believe whatever we want in the name of tolerance and diversity, no one’s viewpoint can be dismissed.  But Jesus presents Himself to us as the Truth, meaning all so-called truths must be measured against Him if they are to truly be considered truths.

Jesus Christ’s message to his disciples is His message to you: Fitting in with the world isn’t the mark of a follower of Christ.

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Called by Name

Called by Name

The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. – John 10:3-4


There’s no group discount for the kingdom.  Instead, God tugs at your heart as an individual, calling you one by one.  When God calls someone, He calls him or her personally.  It’s a biblical pattern repeated time and again.

The Lord called young Samuel by name until he responded. (1 Samuel 3) Jesus stopped at the fishing boat of Peter and Andrew and said, “Come, follow me…and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) Jesus halted Saul of Tarsus in his tracks in the middle of the highway, again calling him by name. (Acts 9:1-9)

And so it’s been through all of time. The manner and circumstances of the call are radically diverse, but its personal nature is the same. The Bible compares such a relationship to a shepherd’s intimate knowledge of his flock. The shepherd knows the peculiarities and habits of every one of his lambs.

Jesus Christ knows you intimately. He calls you by name. Listen for Him today!  When you hear Him—respond to Him!

 A leader takes people where they want to go.  A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go but ought to be. – Rosalynn Carter