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.





The reading that I will be sharing today was obtained from a devotional that I read in 2016. The only reason I am certain it was in 2016 is that I saved it to my documents, and that’s the date my computer tells me that I saved it on.

I am not sure what impact it had on me in June of 2016. But when I found it today, August 9th,2018, it was the Voice of My Savior speaking not only into my current situation, but speaking directly to ME, in the midst of my current situation.

As it has blessed me today, I pray that the timing of it, blesses a listener today as well.

The reading:

Can a sinner be turned into a saint? Can a twisted life be made right? There is only one appropriate answer— “O Lord God, You know” (Ezekiel 37:3). Never forge ahead with your religious common sense and say, “Oh, yes, with just a little more Bible reading, devotional time, and prayer, I see how it can be done.”

It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we see the activity and mistake panic for inspiration. That is why we see so few fellow workers with God, yet so many people working for God. We would much rather work for God than believe in Him. Do I really believe that God will do in me what I cannot do? The degree of hopelessness I have for others comes from never realizing that God has done anything for me. Is my own personal experience such a wonderful realization of God’s power and might that I can never have a sense of hopelessness for anyone else I see? Has any spiritual work been accomplished in me at all? The degree of panic activity in my life is equal to the degree of my lack of personal spiritual experience.

“Behold, O My people, I will open your graves…” (Ezekiel 37:12).

When God wants to show you what human nature is like separated from Himself, He shows it to you in yourself. If the Spirit of God has ever given you a vision of what you are apart from the grace of God (and He will only do this when His Spirit is at work in you), then you know that in reality there is no criminal half as bad as you yourself could be without His grace. My “grave” has been opened by God and “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18). God’s Spirit continually reveals to His children what human nature is like apart from His grace.

The grace you had yesterday will not be sufficient for today. Grace is the overflowing favor of God, and you can always count on it being available to draw upon as needed. “…in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses”— that is where our patience is tested (2 Corinthians 6:4).

Are you failing to rely on the grace of God there? Are you saying to yourself, “Oh well, I won’t count this time”? It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you— it is taking the grace of God now. We tend to make prayer the preparation for our service, yet it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the practice of drawing on the grace of God. Don’t say, “I will endure this until I can get away and pray.” Pray now — draw on the grace of God in your moment of need. Prayer is the most normal and useful thing; it is not simply a reflex action of your devotion to God. We are very slow to learn to draw on God’s grace through prayer.

“…in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors…” (2 Corinthians 6:5)— in all these things, display in your life a drawing on the grace of God, which will show evidence to yourself and to others that you are a miracle of His. Draw on His grace now, not later. The primary word in the spiritual vocabulary is now. Let circumstances take you where they will, but keep drawing on the grace of God in whatever condition you may find yourself. One of the greatest proofs that you are drawing on the grace of God is that you can be totally humiliated before others without displaying even the slightest trace of anything but His grace.

“…having nothing….” Never hold anything in reserve. Pour yourself out, giving the best that you have, and always be poor. Never be diplomatic and careful with the treasure God gives you. “…and yet possessing all things”— this is poverty triumphant (2 Corinthians 6:10).


The reason I say that this was my Savior speaking directly to Me in my situation is this:

I found myself deeply sad as I lay down to sleep last night. The truth is that deep down inside I was worried about a lot of “life stuff”, yet at the same time, my “conscious self” was saying “Stop worrying. Trust God.” But the fact that I knew that I was only trying to talk myself down, which, then, confirmed that I did not fully trust God – hence my lack of peace, made me very ashamed of myself. Which made me deeply sad.

So, I asked My Lord in prayer “Why can’t I allow myself – knowing what I know of you- To just be at peace and trust that You see everything? Why all the fear, anxiety and apprehension within me?”

Then, the still, small – but crystal clear – voice said to me “You still do not understand the concept of My Grace and that is why you cannot rest with assurance in Me.”

So, when I woke up this morning, it was as if He had put some breath of simplification into me. My prayer, which I now chose to also wear as my disposition today was: “Lord, you know what this day will bring. I do not. I surrender the Temple that is Me to You today. I will receive this day, as it presents itself, in You. I am a naturally fearful, anxious and apprehensive person, but in You there is no fear, anxiety or apprehension. Therefore, whatever it is, when You bring me to it, I trust You to bring me through it.


For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9


Grace is nothing more than Walking In The Assurance that the Life of Christ within us is able to get us through every situation that tries to get us out of step with Him.

It is one thing to say that we trust God. It is another thing to receive life in the trust of God.

 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” John 1:16 NASB  

Therefore, He has given us grace upon grace. The over-abundance of the assurance that He is with us, and will move in us. If only we become less and allow him to become more in our lives.

“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

What is it that we have committed to The Lord? We have committed our lives to Him.

Not that we may work for Him, but that He may work in us and through us.

May all who believe, by the power of The Holy Spirit, continue to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.



Most of us are familiar with the bible story of “The Widow’s Mites.”

“ And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”  Mark 3:43-44

The moral of the story has always been taught to be about giving. It is easy to give when one has an abundance. However, when one’s resources are not abundant, it becomes a tad more difficult to part with the little that one has. Jesus was teaching his disciples that this widow’s giving of her farthing was deemed more valuable than that of the rich people who gave more simply because they had more to give. The widow did not have an ample supply of funds. On the contrary, the two mites that she gave were all that she possessed. Yet, her faith motivated her to offer it. Therefore, Jesus, seeing the heart behind the offering deemed it more valuable than the heart behind the offering of those who gave simply because they had an abundance to give.

It is a timeless and valuable lesson. One that should remind us that when we make offering to the Lord, He sees the heart behind the offering. He sees the faith, the underlying motive. He cannot be deceived by quantity. He is, however, moved by the quality – the heart quality – of the offering.

Another thing struck me when I read this passage today.

Perhaps it was the particular words that were used. I am not sure. However, as I read them, they opened up another perspective that I believe is very important.

Verse 44 says, “For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

As I stated before, this story is used, in most cases, to illustrate giving money. However, as I read the words “but she of her want…” and “did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” It became clear to me is that it was some pressing need in the widow’s heart that led her to the treasury that day. Her offering was not made to obey a law, or to be recognized. It was made in direct response to something that was pressing heavily on her heart. Therefore, she came that day to pour herself out. To lay herself bare before the Lord.

The “pressing” may have been a desire. It may even have been a show of thanks. Whatever it was, it moved her to reach out to the Lord with her everything. “Even all her living.”

Let us not even think about money for a moment.

How often do we, in our want of God or our want from God, give all that we have? How do we allow ourselves to be broken down, to the point of physical, emotional and psychological helplessness because God has revealed to us in a “pressing of our spirit” that we are not right with Him?

We may say that we do when we pray. However, where we often (either during church service or personal prayer time) may lose ourselves in prayer, once it’s over, we get up and resume our lives as usual.

However, compare it to the offering of the two mites. Remember, a widow back in those times was a helpless person. She was at the mercy of whomever would provide for her financially and physically because she no longer had a husband. Meaning, since the person, by law, who was legally responsible to provide for her was no longer there, she was alone and without means unless someone else stepped up to provide for her. Therefore, when the widow put in those two mites, she no longer had any money. She put in all she had, and now, she had nothing.

There was no life as usual with the widow that day. She gave it all, “Even all her living.”

The Lord is telling us here that it is the giving of all of our living that He seeks from us.

In Christianity today, it is almost as if the only reason that we seek Christ is to make our life – as we want and desire it to be – better.

But we are still in charge of that life.

We “call the shots”. We envision how the life should turn out and every course of action we take is to ensure that our life visions come to fruition.

But what Jesus wants is for us to give up our lives!

He wants us to take “All of our living” and freely offer it up to Him.

He wants the “pressing” of His Spirit (that, if we are paying attention, reveals to us that we are not right with Him) to stir up a want in us.

What is this “want”?  The “want” is Jesus, Himself!  His very Life!

Jesus does not prompt us to desire an improvement of our lives…

He prompts us to desire a replacement of our lives!

Our life for His Life!  (Galatians 2:20)

The widow in this story represents an impoverished spirit. A spirit that has come to the realization that they have no physical provider. A spirit that has realized that God is the only true provider and it was this realization that manifested as the “want” of the widow.

The widow did not know what was going to happen to her after that moment. But the passage tells us that because Jesus saw and acknowledged the heart of her offering, He was going to take care of her.

Do we have that faith?

Do we have the faith to offer all of our impoverished lives to Him, for the want of Him?

Or would we rather pray for an overabundance first? Then from that overabundance we make an offering. Giving Him only a part of ourselves.

Brethren, as long as we still look upon our lives as being “adequate” or “not that bad” or simply in the need of a “sprucing up”, we will never have the impoverished spirit that the widow represents here.

Jesus wants us, by the enlightenment of His Spirit, to see that in our natural lives, we are as poor widows.

He then wants us to come, driven by the “want” of the better life that Life in Christ has to offer, and offer ‘’all that we have, even all of our living.”

As He saw and acknowledged the widow, He will see and acknowledge us!

He will then establish Himself in our lives as our Husband and our Provider. He will be there constantly to satisfy our every need. As He has promised us that he would.

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