Thursday, December 29, 2016

Feed On God's Abundance in 2017

Just as God wanted the Israelites to feed on the manna and quail, which He sent to them in the desert, He also wants you to feed on the Bread of Life; Jesus. Feed on the Bread of Life daily and enjoy the abundance that the Lord has in store for you in 2017. You can even have Quail Songs daily devotionals sent to your email or favorite news feed on a daily basis, just by signing up.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Our perspective is often limited by our understanding.

Let me provide an illustration.

About a dozen years ago, I happened to enter into a discussion with a woman from Romania in the Texas Tech University library. Though I don’t remember what sparked the conversation, I do remember some of what she told me. She was among the students who protested during the late 1980s when Romania revolted against Soviet control. She saw friends gunned down, but escaped with her life. It was a stirring story and from it, I came to understand some things that I hadn’t known before.g

After telling her story, the woman asked me a question. “Why don’t Americans honor Ronald Reagan?” She went on to explain how Ronald Reagan was highly honored in Romania because he broke away their chains by breaking down the Soviet Union.

What is our perspective of Jesus?

Our perspective of Ronald Reagan in America is very different than it is in Romania, but my purpose is not to discuss politics. My purpose is to focus on Jesus. What is our perspective of Jesus? Do we fully comprehend who Jesus is? In the first couple of weeks in the daily devotions of Quail Songs, we will be looking at how heaven views Jesus. It ought to stir us to greater humility and more profound adoration of the King of Kings.

Join me, beginning January 1st, 2017 at Quail Songs

Friday, December 23, 2016

Spread the Word: New Online Devotional Starting January 1, 2017

A week or so ago, while I was doing my morning devotional and praying, my attention was drawn to the 16th chapter of Exodus. In that chapter is the story of how God provided manna to the Israelites in the wilderness. Those of us who are grounded in the Word know how that relates to Jesus and His being the Bread of Life. God also provided quail every evening. He was doing that in response to the Israelites' claim that in Egypt they "sat beside pots of meat." An exaggeration of their luxury while in bondage.

God provides us with bread, but He also provides us with meat.

Jesus came that we not only have life, but life ABUNDANT.

Beginning January 1st, 2017, I am taking on the monumental task of writing a daily devotional, which is meant to draw our focus toward the abundance in God's Word.

Join me in January and spread the word to others.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What is the tribulation about, anyway?

With all of the talk about end times, predictions, discussions of what different signs mean, when the church will be raptured, etc., it’s easy to get lost in the purpose behind all of this. I’m going to give two illustrations to help you understand more fully what God’s purpose behind the tribulation is. I’m not going to speculate as to when rapture is to take place, but only point out what God intends to do with His people. To start, I want to refer to Paul’s warning to Timothy.

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5

There are those who profess Christ, perhaps go to church every Sunday, give their tithes and present the proper forms of godliness, but in secret, they are corrupt and impure, in essence, they “deny [godly] power.” For Christ to bring His pure bride to Himself, he must purify her. James tells us to “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse yourselves you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8) The eleventh chapter of the Book of Daniel speaks specifically of the tribulation:

“Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.” – Daniel 11:32-35

The church must be purified. There can be no double-mindedness. How will God purify us? Let’s look at two examples. The first comes from the book of Malachi:

“But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner’s fire
And like launderers’ soap.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
He will purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the LORD
An offering in righteousness.

“Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem
Will be pleasant to the LORD,
As in the days of old,
As in former years.” – Malachi 3:2-4

We will be refined like gold. Let me explain the process of refining gold. There are different types of mining, two of which are placer mining and hard rock mining. In the former, gold is typically separated from other gravel through panning or a sluice box. That gold is gold dust or nuggets of gold. It is, for the most part, ready to be refined. I’ll get to that process in a moment, but first let me explain how gold is gotten from hard rock.

In hard rock mining, gold ore is typically found with a very hard, crystalline rock known as quartz. When gold bearing ore is brought out of a mine, it is put into a machine that crushes it into gravel that is about the size of a marble. That gravel is then put into a drum filled with steel balls. Those steel balls crush the ore into a powder called slurry. The gold has to be separated out of the slurry. It is mixed with water to create a pulp. Cyanide is mixed into the pulp, which dissolves the gold. Carbon is then introduced and the gold clings to the carbon, which allows the gold to be filtered through screens.

Gold dust that comes from placer mining goes through the process of separating it from the slurry as well, but then the gold must be refined. It is put into extremely hot fire in order to liquefy it. Borax and soda ash are added to the liquid which helps separate out the gases and other metals. The remaining gold is pure gold.

You ought to understand, through that illustration, that the tribulation isn’t meant to be easy, but it is meant to get rid of the impurities that exist within the church. It is frightening, I do not deny you that and I won’t lessen your fear, because true Christians will allow their fear of the Lord to drive them to their knees and to their purification. Those who do not deny the power of Jesus Christ will have the strength of His Holy Spirit to endure the process. Those who do not will be crushed or removed in some other way as the Lord purifies His bride.

Another example, which isn’t quite as extensive, but equally direct, is the example of the vineyard. Jesus gave us a perfect picture of God’s desire for us as Christians in Chapter 15 of John:

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 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. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” – John 15:1-8

I’m going to get sappy for a moment. The bride of Christ will abide in Christ and bear fruit. How do we do that? Within a grape vine, or any other vine or tree, there is sap. The sap is what provides the nutrients to the branches, leaves, blossoms and fruit. The branches are entirely useless without that sap. In fact, the dead wood on a vine, is dead because it does not have the sap of the vine running through it. It is that dead wood that is cut off and thrown into the fire.

The bride of Christ will be purified as fine gold. The dead wood of the vine will be cut off and burned. Those whom God has set aside to be the Bride of Christ will be completed in perfection. We know, because of the promises of God that we who are set apart will endure the tribulation as Paul says, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6

Though it is right to be fearful of the Lord, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7),”” we can be confident that we can endure, in fact, it is my bet that we will more than endure, but thrive in our faith during that time. We will glisten as a shining example that we’ve never been before. Before closing, let me drop one more bit of scripture on you as encouragement. This is also from the book of Daniel:

“Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, ‘Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?’

They answered and said to the king, ‘True, O king.’

‘Look!’ he answered, ‘I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’” – Daniel 3:19-25

Christian, be of good cheer, for the Son of God, our own Lord, Jesus Christ, will stand with us as we go through the process of tribulation.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Are You Confused by Religion? Most People Are.

Why all the confusion about religion? Why are we constantly under pressure to accept the religious viewpoints of others? What is it that makes religion so confusing? Most people, even throughout history, have struggled with religion. Wars have been fought between religions or even sects within the same religion. Those wars were fought to prevent one religion from gaining more influence over the people in a certain area. There is even an adage that tells us never to bring up politics or religion in the workplace or in polite conversation. Why? Because religion is divisive and everyone has an opinion about it. How do we clear up the confusion about religion? As Christians, our best response to the confusion is to abandon it.

Abandoning Christianity

What? Did I just suggest that we Christians need to abandon our faith; abandon Christ? No, I suggested that we need to abandon Christianity. There is a major difference. Before I go any further, I want you to consider a passage of scripture:

“The Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” – John 5:37-40 (NKJV)

You probably don’t see a command or even a suggestion to abandon Christianity in that passage. Let’s bring it into context. Back all the way up to the beginning of the fifth chapter of John. What has happened is that Jesus has healed someone on the Sabbath. That, of course, had the Jewish religious leaders up in arms to begin with, but Jesus made it even worse afterward because he then made himself equal to God. The above passage was a part of his response to them concerning His equality with God.

Jewish Leaders Were Caught Up In Religion.

The Scribes and Pharisees were so caught up in their religion that the very words that they were reading in the scriptures made no sense to them. The religion that they had built around themselves had made them blind. Here’s another passage of scripture that ought to rattle you a little bit when you consider your Religion vs. Faith in Christ.

 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.” – Matthew 23:25, 26 (NKJV)

This passage of scripture is only a sampling of a series of judgments that Jesus pronounces upon the Jewish leaders because of their blindness. This entire chapter is an argument against religion. Even more sobering, however, is the fact that Jesus is pronouncing judgment upon religion. Are you ready to abandon religion yet?

God Hates Our Religious Practices

I’m pushing it a little bit too far now, right? Should I dare suggest that God Himself hates religion? I’ll give you a choice, you can either believe Amos Chapter 5 or Isaiah Chapter 1 on this one.

“I hate, I despise your feast days,
And I do not savor your sacred assemblies.
Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs,
For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.” – Amos 5:21-23 (NKJV)


“I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle.
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
Or of lambs or goats.
“When you come to appear before Me,
Who has required this from your hand,
To trample My courts?
Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
My soul hates;
They are a trouble to Me,
I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.” – Isaiah 1:11-15 (NKJV)

Do either of those passages sound like God is pleased with religion?

What Does God Desire?

Since I’ve jerked the religious rug out from under you, I’ve either angered you or confused you further. If God does not want us to be religious, then what does he expect from us? Let’s look at two Psalms and then move on into what we should do to replace our religion with true faith.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.” – Psalm 51:17 (NKJV)

 “The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” – Psalm 34:18 (NKJV)

If you’re starting to see a contrast here, that’s great, if not, let me point it out to you. The proud practice of religion is what God and Jesus are pronouncing judgment against. Though it is not always the case, going to mass, going to church, attending bible studies, taking communion and all of the various rites and practices of Christianity tend to puff us up and fill us with pride. Even keeping the law and being righteous can become a stumbling block to us.

We Are Not Christians Because We Are Christians Outwardly

Religion is an outward sign and not an inner one. The practice of our religion is our stumbling block; one equal to the stumbling block of the Jewish leaders that Jesus spoke so harshly to and about. The apostle Paul can help give you perspective in this passage from Colossians 2:11-14:

“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” – Colossians 2:11-14 (NKJV)

Our practice of religion actually works counter to our faith if we do not put our trust in Christ as the ultimate fulfillment of our own righteousness.

God Desires to Write His Law on Our Hearts

Earlier, you saw how God railed against religion, and then, in contrast, you saw how His desire is for us to have a broken and contrite heart. Why does God desire us to be broken? He desires us to be broken because He wants to write His law in our hearts. How? It’s a two step process. First:

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV)

And then:

“I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” – Jeremiah 31:33 (NKJV)


Religion is not only confusing; it is also a stumbling block. It not only divides Christians from one another, but it also separates us from knowing our Lord and pleasing our God. Though sound doctrine in the Word of God ought never to abandoned, because that is God writing his law on our hearts, those parts of our religion that make us prideful and make us believe that we are pleasing God ought to be abandoned altogether. God desires a broken and contrite heart upon which to write his law, not one that is cluttered up with religious rites and practices.