Third Class Ticket

Luke 10:30, “And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.”

Back in the days of the stagecoach you had to have a ticket to ride.  There were three (3) kinds of tickets for you to choose from.  You could buy a 1st class ticket, 2nd class ticket or a 3rd class ticket.

If you had a first class ticket you would ride the stagecoach and only have to get off when you reached your destination.  If you had a second class ticket you could ride until there was a problem and then you had to get out and wait by the side of the road.  If you had a third class ticket you had to get off the stagecoach and help solve the problem whatever it may be.

You and I can look at God’s Church and see these three classes of people within.  You have the first class ticket holders who sit, soak and sour.  Nothing will make them move.  They are along for the ride.  In Luke 10:31, “And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.”  This priest, who was a religious leader was a first class ticket holder.  He did nothing at all to help this man who had been robbed and beaten nearly to death and left on the side of the road.

Look at the Levite in Luke 10:32, “And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.”  The Levite was a second class ticket holder.  He at least look at the guy as he passed by him.  This religious person was just a casual observer.  He was not going to get involved.  He was happy to sit on the sidelines.

Look at the Samaritan in Luke 10:33-34, “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”  This guy was a part of the solution.  He saw the man injured and in need of help.  Not only did he get him out of the ditch so to speak; but, he took him to an inn to heal and offered to the innkeeper to pay the bill.

The third class ticket holder will give of his time, talent and treasure for the cause of Jesus Christ.  The Church as we know it is full of first and second class ticket holders.  Now is the time to cash in your first and second class tickets and get a third class ticket.  You will never regret it.  There is no time like the present.  Look at the words of Jesus in Luke 10:2, “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”

Do you hold a first class, second class or third class ticket?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 30, 60, 90, 120, 150; Proverbs 30; Luke 10, 11, 12

He Said

Luke 8:22-25, “Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.  But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.  And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.  And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.”

As I was reading this passage of Scripture today I was drawn to the disciples lack of trust.  Then I was reminded of my own distrust.  Ouch!  Far too many times I find myself like the little boy who was scared in the night by a storm and asked his mother to come stay in his room until he fell asleep.  She reminded him that Jesus was with him.  The little boy replied, “Yes; but, I need someone with skin on.”

We chuckle at that and it is cute.  Sadly, how many of us are in the same boat as the little boy.  We want “someone with skin on.”  We have in our passage today the disciples in a boat with Jesus in the boat.  Sadly, when they came to a fierce storm they felt as though they would perish.  Had they forgotten the words of Jesus, “Let us go over unto the other side of the lake.”?  Were they so caught up in their immediate circumstances that they neglected the promise of God to go to the other side?

As you work hard to row to shore today remember the words of Jesus, “Let us go over unto the other side of the lake.”  If He told you to go to the other side you will make there.  I promise.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 29, 59, 89, 149; Proverbs 29; Luke 7, 8, 9

You Cannot Out Give God

Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

This past Sunday we were so blessed to have some friends come to our Church who minister in music.  The whole family did a fantastic job.  The Church was built up on their most holy faith and they enjoyed it so very much.

It was so good to see our friends again.  They only live about three (3) miles away and we do not see them very often.  When we do see them it is sweet fellowship.  It was so good to see them on Sunday evening that I pretty much cried myself to sleep on Sunday night.  I was emotionally drained.

The morning service went so well.  Our Assistant Pastor/Youth Pastor brought the morning message out of Jude.  His message on having compassion was fantastic.  Then Sunday evening I had the privilege of bringing the evening message.  I am not trying to toot my own horn, believe me.  I know that I am not “all that”.  Apart from Christ I am nothing!  I will say this.  I did put my all into that service.  I prayed for the service; as did others, and God poured out blessings on us all that day.  It was fantastic to see God work.

My point today is that if you follow the Lord faithfully He will faithfully bless you.  You cannot out give God either.  We saw how He poured out blessings on us that were far greater than the little things we did for Him.  God is good!  All the time!

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 28, 58, 88, 118; 148; Proverbs 28; Luke 4, 5, 6

Do You Know?

Luke 1:4, “That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.”

I love the philosophy of our Pastor.  He said that he does not want to hear members of our Church say, “My Pastor says…” or “My Church teaches…”.  He is teaching and preaching with the goal in mind that we can think for ourselves as God’s people.  We are not Christian robots so to speak.  God gave to each one of us a mind, will and emotions.  Since we are equipped to make decisions on our own we need to be able to support these decisions with rational arguments from the Scriptures.

When someone asks me why I do something or believe something I need to be able to open the Scriptures and go to a passage and say here is why.  We are not mindless little minions that just blindly going about our lives.  Jesus has given us eternal life and it is an abundant life.  We need to live it in such a way that people know that we are God’s children.

Do you know the truth of Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”?  Why not?  I have lived thirty-four (34) years as God’s child.  That is a long time.  If someone asked me if I believed that God would do a certain thing.  How would I respond?  I would quote this verse and tell them that nothing is impossible for God.  I would not call my best friends who happen to be Pastors and ask them how to address this issue.  I can go to God’s
Word and give them Bible reasons why this is true.  You should be able to also.

On thing everyone needs to know is that we need to put our faith and trust in Christ for eternal Salvation.  Even Mary the earthly mother of Jesus said in Luke 1:46-47, “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”  Believe you me if Mary needed a Saviour, I can guarantee you that we all need a Saviour too.  None of us are exempt from this.

How about it friend, do you know why you believe what you believe.  I hope so.  You need to know.  Do you know for sure that if you died today that you would go to heaven?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 27, 57, 87, 117, 147; Proverbs 27; Luke 1, 2, 3

Time to Worship

Mark 14:3-4, “And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.   And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?”

As I was reading our Scripture for today I thought about this selfless act of worship by this woman.  People do not look at the offering plate anymore as an opportunity to worship.  They drop in “a little piece of money” and think they have done their Christian duty for the week.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Worship is ascribing worth to Someone or something (Yes, I capitalized Someone on purpose.).

In our world today so many people seek to discredit Jesus and His followers.  They have removed prayer from schools, the Ten Commandments from the halls of justice and would love to remove “In God We Trust” from our currency.  You see, the people of our day do not know why we worship Jesus.  He alone is worthy to receive our worship.

Far too many people are like the other disciples and see our worship as a waste of our time, talents and especially our treasure.  In the song penned by Jeff Easter’s father, “Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me” one verse says, “… though the world may not see.  Thank You Lord for your blessings on me.”  He is correct.  The world does not see what we see.  They have a warped idea of what God is like and it only gets worse when the devil blinds them to the truth.

In Mark 15:16-20, “And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.  And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!  And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.  And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.” we have what is called “The King Game”.  This is an awful game that the soldiers played with those in captivity.  It was gruesome.  If you think about it, there are many people that attend worship services every week that are only playing games.  It hurts the Lord for this to happen; but, it does anyway.  There are people that attend “Church” to network.  Others attend to do their spiritual duty for the week.  Some even attend because they work in said churches and are required to attend.  What happened to attending because we love the Lord and want to please Him?  There is a remnant.  I hope you are one of the few who will go and truly worship the Lord today.

How are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 26, 56, 86, 116, 146; Proverbs 26; Mark 14, 15, 16

The House

Mark 11:15-17, “And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.  And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

Since my wife and I have been married we have had the opportunity of attending many Churches.  Some we have joined as members and others we visited due to her singing or playing in a wedding the day before.  Churches are for the most part very different.

I remember one Catholic church in Valparaiso, IN where the governing body of the church would not allow the organ to be unlocked until the day of the wedding.  Nobody except my wife knew the song to which the men were to come out to start the ceremony.  The groom or someone sent a guy over to my wife to tell her she could start playing it; but, she had already played the song through twice and was starting a third trip through it.  I was furious when I found that out; but, I kept my mouth shut, that time.

I remember when my cousin and his wife married.  Their service was like a mini concert for my wife as her name was in the bulletin more than the bride or the groom combined.  That ceremony was such a wonderful ceremony, and not because it was family either.

What I am saying today is that tomorrow as you attend worship services  in your respective Church take notice.  Churches are mostly different.  There are some things that should be present.  They should use the Word of God and not some watered down “version”.  They should teach you that all men need to be saved because of sin.  They should give you the opportunity to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation.  If these key elements are not present in your Church maybe you might pray and ask God where you could go that these vital ingredients are a part of the services.

I am deeply afraid that if Jesus Christ were to come back today and visit most Churches He would “clean house” like He did in our Scripture passage for today.  Be mindful if you are contributing to this in your Church and change your mind and your direction to become more Biblical.  Be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem and don’t be the problem either.

See you at “The House”!  I will see you, right?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 25, 55, 85, 115, 145; Proverbs 25; Mark 11, 12, 13


Mark 8:27-29,”And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?  And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.  And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.”

Notice some things here that I noticed as I was reading this passage again.  First of all the crowd did not come to Jesus.  He had to go to them where they were at.  So many times in life we want all of God’s biggest, richest blessings; but, He has to chase us all over the country to pour them out upon us.  First we are here.  Then we go there.  And now we are back here and then over there.  It is like we are saying, “Here I am bless me if you can.”  This should not be.

Jesus also inquired as to whom the people thought He was.  Some thought He was John the Baptist come back from the dead.  Some thought He was a prophet.  Then Jesus turns this soul searching question on the disciples.  He asks, “But whom say ye that I am?”  He is getting right to the heart of things.

Peter answered just right.  “Thou art the Christ.”  Friend, who do you say Jesus is?  Even more important is what are you going to do about it?  Look at the words of Mark 8:36-37, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”  We need to be careful not to put “things” before Christ.  It is so easy to do that.  Jesus Christ is the answer and we need to go tell the world that Jesus is the answer to all of their problems.  The sin problem is the worst.

So, who do you say that Jesus is?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 24, 54, 84, 114, 144; Proverbs 24; Mark 8, 9, 10


Mark 5:6, “But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,”

Today as I was reading the Scriptures I was caught by the phrase, “But when he say Jesus afar off,”.  This man was looking for something.  He saw Jesus and ran to Him.  This man lived among the tombs.  This is not natural.  People do not normally live in the graveyard.  This man was an outcast in the eyes of society.

I spoke with a Pastor that told the story of about him visiting another Church.  While at this Church a young black boy ran up behind this Pastor and jumped on his back.  He related how everyone in the room just stopped breathing and watched to see his reaction to the incident.  He said that thankfully he responded in a calm cool manner.  He immediately knew this boy was different.  It was later found out that the boy was autistic. Because of this interaction between this boy and this Pastor the whole family ended up coming to the Church.  The best part is that eleven (11) members of the family ended up putting their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation because they saw the love of Christ manifested in this Pastor friend.

Today as you go about life are people looking for you?  Are you a representative of Jesus?  I hope you are representing Him well.  People are watching each one of us who name the name of Jesus Christ.  We need to live our lives in such a way as to point people to Jesus.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 23, 53, 83, 113, 143; Proverbs 23; Mark 5, 6, 7

Compass Me About

Psalm 142:7, “Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.”

Mark 2:3-4, “And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.  And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.”

Mark 2:12, “And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.”

Today I was caught by the phrase “… the righteous shall compass me about; …”.  Last night I attended a Bible conference at Seedline International in Greencastle, IN.  It was wonderful to say the least.  The keynote speaker concentrated a good portion of his time on prayer.  This came back to me this morning when I read the words “… the righteous shall compass me about; …”  We cannot be omnipresent; but, God can.  If we are faithful to pray for those who are in need then God will work in their lives.  The knowledge that our Church prays for us gives us such hope and a feeling of being loved and we are compassed about by their faithful, fervent prayers for us.

Just like the man borne of four in the next passages, we are cared for by those who love us.  Thank You God!  As I sat here this morning I wondered to myself, “What have I done for someone else recently?”  Sobering thought, really.  “What have I done to get someone to Jesus recently?”  Ouch!

So friend, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 22, 52, 82, 112, 142; Proverbs 22; Mark 2, 3, 4


Matthew 27:24-25, “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.  Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.”

I was deeply moved today by our passage of Scripture.  I thought about Pilate here being face to face with Jesus and the encounter.  Pilate had been warned by his wife that she had dreams about Jesus and that he should not pronounce judgment upon Him.

I think this is a sad attempt to rid himself of guilt.  Look at this, “… he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude…”  He tried to wash his sin away with water and pronounce himself clean.  This will not stand with God.  It is not what we do or say.  It is that Jesus has died in our place to pay the price of our sin.  Then we must receive Him as our Saviour.  You can wash your hands in water until your appendages look like shriveled up prunes; but, the fact remains that you cannot wash your own sin away.  Only the sinless, shed blood of Jesus Christ can clean that away forever.  Amen!

How are you doing?  Are you clean?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 21, 51, 81, 111, 141; Proverbs 21; Matthew 27, 28; Mark 1