In Luke 2: 41-49, we are told:

Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival.  When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual.  After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first,  because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there.  Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”  “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they didn’t understand what he meant.

The passage tells us that this incident occurred when Jesus was 12.


Here, the 12-year-old Jesus is bewildered as to why His parents were worried about His whereabouts.

“Where did you expect me to be?”


“Where else could I have possibly been?”

Was the question that the child Jesus asked, quite perplexed.

Luke 3:23 says “Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry.”

Even though the “Miracle Working Jesus” was not made known until age thirty or so, the scripture tells us clearly that “The Son, doing the will of His Father” had always been there. Present. Doing exactly what the Father had called Him to do:


As Christians, we often believe that it is only the conscious “thrilling” things of life, are a sign of God’s presence in us.

We are only conscious of God when we are in the act of service: preaching, ministering, charity work, prophecy, church work, when we are in prayer and the expectation of answered prayer.

However, here was Jesus, years before His public ministry began.

When He was just “the carpenter’s son”, faithfully abiding in the will of His Heavenly Father. Behind the scenes. With no audience – except the One who sent Him.

Are we zealous in the shadows?

Are we faithful in obscurity?

Are we abiding in the ordinary, mundane, routine, every day aspects of our lives?

Is abiding in Christ as important to us in the menial things as it is in the grand “everyone is looking at me” things?

Is abiding in Christ as important to us when we the other driver cuts us off in the road?

Is abiding in Christ important when our husband/wife/friend/parent/sibling does not behave in the way that we would prefer them to?

Is abiding in Christ important to us when we don’t receive the things we believe are our right to receive?

Do we abide in Christ when someone disrespects us? Dishonors us? Cheats us? Wrongs us?

Is abiding in Christ important to us when dealing with people we don’t like? Who don’t like us?

Is abiding in Christ important to us even if it does not seem like God even hears us? Not to mention giving us what we are asking of Him?

Are we abiding in Christ in the drudgery of life? Or are we just barely getting through it?

If someone came looking for us in those times, where would they find us?

In our “Father’s House” abiding faithfully? Or in “Our own houses” doing as we see fit, while saying “God will understand.”

God does not call us to perform miracles. He does not call us to raise the dead, heal the sick or save souls.


It is in the obedience of ABIDING, that He can now use us to raise the dead. Heal the sick. Save souls.

Jesus Christ says “I and my Father are one” John 10:30

He also says “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5.

Jesus is our only example of what it means to Abide in the Father.

                     AT ALL TIMES!

“How is that even possible?” We ask.

He answers:

For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

Not only was Jesus’ life on earth our example, it is He, by His Spirit, who works in us, enabling us to obey the will of The Father”

But He can only work in us when we come to what is called “The end of ourselves”.

Which simply means that “On my best day, at the peak of my self -flattering reverence of all of the good qualities that I possess – and my  “thank God I’m not like all those weak, useless, sinners” state of mind – I realize that “I” do not have the power or ability to make myself right before God.

Only Jesus Christ can do that.

Only Jesus Christ –through His blood and by His Spirit – can make me acceptable before God.

But Jesus Christ will do NOTHING until we come to Him in the total, broken, humble, inadequacy of ourselves…

…and when we arrive there, we should not ask for any other heart’s desire, except the desire to live every single day, for the rest of our lives, Abiding in Him.

Jesus Christ could only be the “Propitiation for sin” because He was “The Spotless Lamb”.

Not just as an adult but throughout His entire life!

How did He do it? Have we ever thought about this? He was FAITHFUL to His Father his entire life! NEVER, not even once, placing His own will above the will of His Father.

But the Word of God tells us that this is exactly what He did.

Therefore, if we truly believe the Word of God, if we truly believe on the Name of Jesus, then we will ask Him to give us His Spirit. This Spirit, which is His Life; His victorious, successful, perfectly God pleasing Life. It is then by this Spirit and through this Spirit, the Holy Spirit, that we too can live a life that is pleasing to God.

This is the “life” that the Father requires that we live on this earth. This is the “life” causes us to be “in this world” but not “of this world”.

But brethren, we cannot live this life unless we willfully, purposely, determinedly, abide in Christ.   May this be the new life, the Abiding Life, that we desire from this day. Amen.





In John 5, we are told of Jesus healing a man at the pool called Bethesda, in Jerusalem. The beautiful thing about this miracle is the subtlety with which it is portrayed.


John 5: 1-9

“After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.  In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.  Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.


This was a pool that was known to have “healing powers”. It apparently was true as the bible gives us the very account of an angel “stirring the water” at certain seasons.


Since we know that angels only operate at the command of God, we can say that it was God’s healing power that was upon this water and the people knew this. Which was why they waited for the water to be “stirred”. Then, when they rushed in to receive the healing and whoever got there first was in fact healed.


Now enters Jesus and he is having a conversation with this man who had an infirmity for 38 years. According to the text, this infirmity affected his mobility. That is why he needed help getting into the water when it was stirred. Hence, his response to Jesus about not having anyone put him in the pool.


What a sad and desperate predicament, wouldn’t you say?


Here is this pool of water, the source of his healing. So close that he can touch it. Yet, he can’t touch it as a result of his infirmity. The same infirmity he wants to be cured of is also the very barrier to his cleansing.  


Now, I’d like us to pay attention to verses 6 and 7.


When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

Jesus, knowing why the man was there, did not ask him if he needed help getting into the pool. Instead, he asks him “Wilt thou be made whole?” To which the man – not knowing who Jesus was or what Jesus could do – answered in reference to the pool. The only source of healing he knew of.

Can you see where this is going?

How often do we, even though we are followers of Christ, seek “the healing of the pool”, when we should be seeking Christ Himself to make us whole?

Jesus did not ask the man if he wanted to be healed of his particular infirmity. He asked if he desired to me make “whole”.

Not a repair of a part. A restoration of the whole!

We are supposed to come to Christianity seeking Jesus. After all Jesus Himself said:

 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” John 6:44

But when we get here, we take our eyes of the Christ who called us and start following after “pools of healing; showers of blessing; promises for worldly prosperity” and we lose sight of Jesus Christ!

Who in His very Life is contained “healing, blessing, prosperity.”

We don’t need the pools when we have Jesus!

We don’t need the showers when we have Jesus!

We don’t need the promises when we have Jesus!

Every day, He reminds us of His calling and asks us “Will thou be made whole?”

Then, we answer Him, “I have no one to put me in the water.”

So we wait…While the way to wholeness stands right in front of us.


“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” John 7:37

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11:28

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5:39-40

“Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” John 6:26-27

Why do we continue to trust in the bread and not in The Bread Giver?

Why don’t we believe that Jesus, knowing Him and growing in Him, is enough?

Why don’t we believe that even though we don’t know how he will keep us, He WILL keep us, because He said He would?

Why do we struggle with loosening our “grip” on how we believe our lives are supposed to be and just surrender our lives to Jesus and allow Him to use our lives for the will of The Father?

Why do we insist on shows of His power for us when, we can have His power in us?

Why do we insist on bits and pieces of Jesus when we can have the whole of Jesus?

In us. Re-making our lives. For His glory.

 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

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

Christ Seeker, Jesus is asking you today:

“Wilst thou be made whole”?

Unlike the sick man at the pool, you KNOW what Jesus can do.

So, will you say “Yes, Lord. I desire that You make me whole.”

Or will you continue to seek your blessings from the pool when the Lord chooses to stir it?

May we continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


While I was on my way to church on the night of December 31st, for the New Year’s Day Service, I came across a devotional that ransomed my mind for the entire evening. The topic was taken from the very popular Psalm 91. The verse that was focused on, however, was one that I’ve probably recited hundreds of times. This time, due to the speaker highlighting it in the manner that he did, I derived not only an entirely new meaning of this verse, but a profound entry way into a deeper relationship with God.


“Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”  Psalm 91:9


Whenever this verse is read, it is usually acknowledged with a resounding ”Amen”, and rightly so! However, what the author of the devotional asked that really got me thinking was this:


The promise is contingent only on “if we have made The Lord our refuge and The Most High our habitation”.


Therefore, the obvious question is:


Have I made The Lord my refuge?


Have I made The Most High my habitation?


How do I know if I have?


If I have not, how do I do it?


There is a zeal that comes as a result of positive thinking.


“All will be well”


“Everything is going to be ok”; “Everything will turn out fine”.


Though there is nothing wrong with positive thinking, the truth is positive thinking is not an indication of Christian faith.


Positive thinking is a direct result of a positive/optimistic attitude.


That positive attitude can come from human nature, past experience or the profession of a belief that is non-Christian.


Believing “everything will be all right” because my spirits are high or because things have worked out well in the past is different from believing these things as a result of my hope in God.


If the promise of Psalm 91:9 is to become a reality in my life as a believer, it has to be of the utmost importance to me that The Lord become just that for me.


My Refuge. My Habitation. My Dwelling Place. My Home.


God must become everything!


The danger of “zeal centered” positive thinking for a Christian is that it causes us to make affirmations based on our hopes and desires. We then proceed to ask God to certify those affirmations. Then, when things don’t work out as we hoped, we question God and become disappointed. We have to make sure that our zeal for God is not separate from our knowledge of God, and it is only the Spirit of God, who can give us a knowledge of God.


Our faith has to be in God. In his Omniscience.


Not in a “good life”; not in things working out how we would rather they work out; but by a total surrender of our lives to Him. As willing vessels. Allowing Him to use us as He pleases. All the while, trusting Him completely as He reveals Himself to us through the Holy Spirit.


The only way we can intimate ourselves with God is by recognizing the purpose for which He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, and allowing that purpose to be made a living actuality in our lives via the Holy Spirit


The Lord being our Habitation means that He covers us – not our worldly existence, but our life in Him. Our lives are hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3) and the evil one cannot touch us (1 John 5:18, John 14:30b).


Under normal circumstances, one would say that making The Most High our Habitation is the easiest thing to do.


In theory it is.


In words, it is.


But in actuality; in the course of “working out of our salvation”, we realize that under the assault of “worldliness” in this present age, it is hard!


But for the grace of God in the person of Jesus Christ.


It is only the Spirit of Christ that can make it possible for the Most High to be our Habitation.


This is why unless we have deliberately sought the Lord in this manner, let us not assume that we have made Him what these verses ask that we make Him.


Look at what He saves us from:


“No evil will befall thee”


“No plague shall come nigh thy dwelling”


But only if we deliberately make Him our Refuge and Habitation.


“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Ephesians 6:12


Fellow sojourners, we need to understand that the evil one is not interested in “interfering with our happiness”, unless he knows that the disruption of our happiness will cause us to stray from God in our hearts. If it is all about happiness in this world, then, it is not about God. If it is all about God, then, we are devoted to Him whether we are “happy” or not. Satan is interested in stealing our joy in the Lord; in causing us to lose our crowns of salvation by losing faith in God.


That is why The Lord urges us to make Him our Refuge and Habitation. Because it is only in Him that the evil mentioned in Ephesians 6:12 “will not befall us nor come nigh our dwelling place” which is – our life in Christ.


The Lord in His infinite mercy has seen it fit to allow us to see 2018. But it is simply not about “not dying”, it is about “living to declare the works of the Lord” (Psalm 118:17).


For every morning that we are given the grace to awaken, let us place the Lord’s promise of Psalm 91:9 before Him in prayer, because He says, “I watch over My Word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1:12).


Let us ask Him to fulfill the promise.


To become our Refuge and Habitation.


The exact way He meant it when He spoke it.


The exact way He wills and purposes to be so.


That we may always dwell in safety. In Him.

                                                                                                                   His Handmaid