Palm Sunday – Seeking the Kingdom


(Photo taken by me @ Graveyard Fields, NC – June, 2015)

Luke 17: 20-21…”Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.’ “

I have always loved Palm Sunday. I love the spirit, and I’ve written about it plenty over the years. Though Jesus understands what he’s riding into, the people don’t, and they are so overjoyed to see the humble king riding his donkey into “the kingdom.” The greatest parade in world history. It wouldn’t take long for the crowd to begin to turn, once they figured out what they thought they wanted wasn’t going to happen. We know the rest.

Do you understand the mystery of the kingdom of God? If so, please reply with full explanation, because the rest of us are dying to grasp how to get there. It is “in your midst,” Christ tells us. While on the surface I do understand the concept, spiritually, the divide of the dimensions is a wall that few penetrate. I had a friend ask me yesterday, as we talked about the woes of the world and the influences of society, how do we teach the kingdom (goodness) to our kids? My reply was listing the fruits of the Spirit. All those things that flow from the Holy Spirit living within us. Jesus in our hearts. That’s the kingdom in this dimension as far as I can understand it. And that’s where we (Christians) are to live. If only we could let go of what we know and see. For me, that’s the biggest stumbling block of full transformation. It’s everyone’s stumbling block to full transformation.

C.S. Lewis, in his work, “The Weight of Glory,” dives into this subject. He writes…

“Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Lewis cuts right to the matter. “Desires not too strong, but too weak.” “Half-hearted creatures.” “Fooling about with drink and sex and ambition.” “Ignorant child in a slum.” Jesus rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday bringing the covenant of “infinite joy,” and days later the ignorant children are choosing the thug criminal, Barabbas, to be set free over Christ. Because they couldn’t see with their spiritual eyes who they were looking at, and they certainly couldn’t see past their too weak desires. They wanted their earthly king. NOW. They wanted the Romans gone. NOW. Completely missing the “staggering rewards” Jesus had promised. Blind to it all.

I submit that we are not one bit different, and place us in front of Pilate in 2017 given the same choice, we, too, would overwhelmingly choose Barabbas. Because we are ignorant slum children that can’t see beyond our current circumstances. I understand that’s harsh, but can it be denied?

What are you holding onto that prevents you from existing in the kingdom right now? On this Palm Sunday, and during Holy Week as we lead up to the Cross, that would be an excellent question to stew on as we consider all these things. I will be. Why are my desires too weak? Why am I fooling about with this or that, when I could be there? The Spirit given to me knows only one direction, and to there is where it is always leading. The only thing preventing that – is me.

Tomorrow on Palm Sunday as you smile and enjoy the spirit of the day…Consider these things. Hasten the coming of God’s Kingdom!

Gary Abernathy

Finding Spiritual Happiness


Romans 12: 3-8…(Apostle Paul Speaking) “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Peace and joy are the primary ingredients that make up what every human ever to live seeks – Happiness. Merriam-Webster defines happiness as “a state of well-being and contentment.” Isn’t this what our Lord promised in sending the Holy Spirit to us? Romans 15:13 states…”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Throughout the New Testament we are promised these wonderful things…joy and peace. Do you feel them?

The answer many give is: No. We are also promised a rough road to traverse. A cross to bear. A roaring enemy stalking us and setting traps. Do we feel those? Overwhelmingly, yes. Where is our spiritual happiness? If the Holy Spirit is indeed dwelling with you, it’s right there too. Guaranteed. We are just still holding onto to our worldly existence, and peace and joy are not allowed to be brought forth by our own misunderstanding of it all. Contentment is not something we excel at is it? We are taught by culture to want…to envy…to create our own dreams and plans…and to stop at nothing to attain them. We are taught these are the qualities of the justly ambitious and best among us. The exceptional. Who is planting those seeds? Christ or the enemy?

Even in our places of worship contentment is considered a foul word. They must be grown. They must have more. We must keep up with others. What God has provided is never enough. God’s direction is ignored and replaced with man’s direction…who claim to speak for God while they give it. The structures within our churches push their flocks for more and more. Give more, do more, say more, lead more, take up more…do, do, do…for Christ. You owe our Lord this. Lies. That’s the world talking, not our Lord. We are one body of Christ serving many different functions, just as Paul described, and he actually was divinely inspired to speak on God’s behalf. In short Paul is saying, “Do what you do best and don’t try to do too much. Stay within the gifts God has given you for his purposes and glory, and give them your best.” Is that the message you hear in your churches and groups?

In all my years of involvement in the church, I’ve said no to hundreds of things, and yes to only a few. Why? Am I a malcontent, selfish Christian only wanting to do what I want to do? Nope. I’m doing exactly what Paul told me to do. What are the gifts loaned to me by grace? I communicate well through writing, so I write on his behalf…without asking for compensation. I play percussion well so I serve my churches in that way…without asking for compensation…and have done so for nearly 20 years. I’ve been given the ability to recognize suffering and need that comes in my path, and God gives me the ability to offer encouragement. I do that every time I’m led to see it. Without asking for compensation. And God has blessed my family with resources that enables me to share…so I give generously to where I’m led. Those are my gifts, and they are all given to my Lord’s kingdom. No, I’m probably not going to go on a 10 mile walk…because that’s not my calling. I’m not going to agree to lead groups where I’m not qualified to lead them. I’m not going to serve this ministry and that ministry, because my function within the body doesn’t mesh. But do and will I support each and all? Absolutely. The body is one and we all work in unison. Know your role. Contentment follows.

There exists a billion dollar plus industry that caters to God’s people and their desires to find peace and joy…happiness. Christianity in America has largely become the world’s largest self-help seminar. This is why our nation’s faithful confuse and anger so many on the outside. Everyone has a book to sell, a bible study series to peddle, a viral video to expose…and they all have the secret. But nobody is happy. Why? The Holy Spirit isn’t present. No Spirit equals no joy…no peace…happiness nullified. When courageous church leaders and pastors do step up to their flocks and speak God’s true words to them…congregations recoil in horror. “That’s not what our church is about!” “That’s not what we believe!” “You’ve lost your mind!” “You’re pushing political agenda!” No, dear faithful, they are just telling you what God’s word actually says. The Spirit dwelling within them requires they not add or subtract a single word. They are to teach what God has instructed. Period. Want to see a big ol’ controversy in modern churches? Preach the gospel. It got Jesus hung a cross, and it still has the same effect today.

Which leads me back to finding spiritual happiness. Want it? John 14:6…”I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Those are the words of Jesus Christ – King of Kings, Lord of Lords. Philippians 2: 9-11…”Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus is Lord of all creation. To find spiritual happiness, as part of that creation, submission to that must occur. God the Father, whose Spirit provides that peace and joy, cannot be reached, but by Jesus Christ. Few will do so. Few will ever sincerely submit. Want to know peace, joy and happiness? Eternal life? Jesus tells us we must enter through the narrow door. The narrow door is truth. Few accept it, most reject it, and all exploit it.

To conclude I offer the words of our Lord from the gospel of Luke. Seek the narrow door.

Luke 13: 22-30…”Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, ‘Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?’ He said to them, ‘Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Call on Christ to come rescue you. He will send the Spirit. Listen to Him. Submit. Repent. Live.

Gary Abernathy






Good Friday 2016


Luke 23: 27-31…”A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?’ ”

I’ve watched the “Passion of Christ” many times. It was always hard to take, but I’ve viewed every scene multiple times. I was watching as an observer…and outsider…though thinking I was inside. Tonight, minutes before it became Good Friday in the Eastern Time Zone in America, I tried to watch it again. It has been a good day. A really good day. There was meaningful time spent with good men and friends in bible study during lunch. We discussed James 3 and the power of the tongue. That’s critical teaching to a man that does the things I do. There was quality time spent with my mother-in-law and youngest daughter at my church for Maundy Thursday service. I was honored to help lead the music with my 2 friends, Charlie and Kelly. My pastor gave a purposeful and sincere message. We worshipped. We ate ice cream after. It was a really good day. Then I turned on this film.

Mel Gibson’s masterpiece, “The Passion of Christ,” is the most realistic visual account we are ever going to get as to what the crucifixion of Jesus was like. Good Friday. It’s unbelievably brutal and cringe causing.  Yet, I’ve always been able to watch it despite the cringes and tears. But this time was much different. All of the things I’ve written about so far on this devotional…the baptism…the mountain…the transformation…stem from the Holy Spirit that came to me. The Holy Spirit that wasn’t living within me in all those previous viewings. He’s there now. I wasn’t seeing this as an outsider…an observer of a man being brutally murdered. The way the overwhelming majority view this moment. I was seeing it from the inside. The pain boiled inside of me. It’s me that’s supposed to be chained to that post being ripped to shreds. Flesh torn over and over again. It’s me that is supposed to be condemned. My body tensed and slow tears rolled. I was seeing my own punishment. I had never seen it before. My eyes couldn’t close tighter. Then I opened and he was on the path carrying my cross. I turned it off. I know what’s coming next. My nails. In one hand. In the other hand. Bones crushing. Pain searing. Screams. My screams. Then the feet. Placed on top of each other. 1 long rusted nail driven into them both. My nail. My feet. I couldn’t. I already know. He lives in me now. It was real. I was there because he was there.

I sat in the dark in my chair. A cross above my head. I sat there for a long time in a different place than the physical. We mourned together. The picture posted above is when I came out from that moment and wanted to write it here. That’s not a pose. It’s a capture that was needed for this post. The scripture from Luke I posted for this is not often spoken of in this story. They are words directly from the mouth of our Lord. It’s a dire warning.

Thank you, King Jesus. There is no way for me to ramble out meaningless words of detail, because none could ever suffice for what you did for me. For us. For those you come to rescue and send your Spirit. Thank you. I pray for those who do not understand. The one like me who thought he understood, but is just an observer on the street watching a man be killed with everyone else. I pray they call upon your name. I pray you come find your lost sheep and rescue them. I pray you send them your Spirit. I pray they one day have the moment to mourn together with you at their own crucifixion you took in their place. Thank you. Hosanna in the Highest.

Gary Abernathy


Building the Foundation of Eternity


Matthew 13: 37-43 (Jesus Christ speaking)…”The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be a the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Not many pastors dwell among these words from Christ when speaking to their flocks. If you want to run someone off quick, start explaining things like this and you’ll be preaching to only the few remaining faithful. That doesn’t fit into the church growth model. Into the outreach expansion goals or the exotic mission field desires. So they leave the devil, fire, and blazing furnaces tucked away in the gospel they know most of their flock aren’t going to read on their own anyway. Over time this has led to the worldly image of Christ as nothing more than a friendly hippie with some wise and nice things to say.

Jesus Christ came to build the foundation of eternity – His kingdom. “I came to bring fire and how I wish it was already time,” Jesus said. Luke 12:49. God is the creator. He builds things. When he came to earth, the Son of Man was first a carpenter. He built things. As his ministry began, so did the ultimate and final project – the kingdom. We are in that process now as he is growing us from his seeds that have been sown. We are mixed together with the weeds. How do we know which is which? How are we to be sure?

Examine our hearts. Where do our passions rest? What are the motivations that drive us? What do we fear? Where do we place our hope? If Christ isn’t the driver to the answers of all those questions, it’s a very good chance we’re weeds. Weeds eventually are bundled and tied, then tossed into the blazing furnace. Don’t be a weed.

To be clear, we are all deserving of being burned with the weeds. At the same time, with the work of the cross and the resurrection, we all can become good seeds that will bring about the final vision. However, it’s not enough to accept salvation because it’s free or from a sense of survival, and then go right back to being a weed. A great many are in the field waiting to be harvested without a clue they are actually weeds. Their eyes never in the word that is our daily bread, their hearts steeped in worldly sin, and their passions given to shortsighted earthly ways. Their knees never bent in prayer asking to be taught, forgiven and transformed. To the good seeds…the Holy Spirit guides, rebukes, disciplines, and transforms. For the weeds…they are left to the fickleness and playful torture of the devil, who can rise up and destroy any time it suits his fancy or purposes. This is not written as a condemnation of the reader…it’s written from experienced knowledge. I was once an unknowing weed with the confidence of the saved. The Spirit came to me and woke me up from the delusion I was under. The intent of this writing is to wake you up from the same.

Hurry and stir. The harvest nears each hour.

Gary Abernathy


Jesus is the First Responder


Luke 19:10…”For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.”

If you are a transforming Christian you know exactly what Jesus meant when he spoke those words. We understand that moment with vivid detail because we were that lost and broken soul reaching out to be rescued. In this story from Luke’s gospel, Jesus had entered the town of Jericho and a huge crowd had surrounded him. Zacchaeus was a wealthy tax collector with a great life, but he had heard of this Jesus and wanted to see him. Jesus knew exactly who he was coming to see that day, but for Zacchaeus, he just wanted to know if something more than the emptiness of his ill-gotten gains existed. He was a short man so he had climbed up into a sycamore-fig tree to get a better view.

When Jesus came upon him he yelled up, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” (Luke 19:5). Can you imagine? Jesus Christ standing below you as you sit in a tree yelling at you to get down immediately because he’s coming over. NOW! The town people were astonished. “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” Zacchaeus was relieved. Humbled. Rescued. “I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount,” said Zacchaeus. Jesus replied, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Recently I was at a Target store near my home and I happened on a first grade girl crying in the main aisle with desperation screaming from her eyes. Before I reached her two grown women pushed their carts right by her without a word. I gently approached her and asked her what was wrong. She was wearing the school shirt of the same elementary school both my own daughters attended. “I can’t find my mom…I don’t know where she is.” I know that moment. I thought of it right then as I stared at this young girl. Lost, broken, confused…seeking so hard to find home but everything is a blur. Then I considered that in that moment with this young lady, I was Jesus. He had come to me when I was in the same condition. He had taken my hand and brought me home safely. He was my first responder. Now here I stand in his shoes.

Maybe I am reading too much into it and she didn’t feel what I sensed, but this girl was very calm with me as if she knew I was good. I was a stranger, a man, in a big store, and all she’s ever been taught to this point is to run from me in that situation (as we all teach our children), but she trusted me right away. I’m certain she saw Jesus through me and not me. Eventually she disclosed that she knew her Mom’s phone number which I found very impressive, area code and all, which was different than the one we were in. I called her mother and told her I would wait upfront near management until she got there. When we saw her “red hair in a ponytail” round the corner, I started waving my arms so she could see where we were. This woman never made eye contact with me. When she got within 10 yards her daughter ran to her sobbing. Mom looked relieved and frustrated but not joyful to have averted disaster. Anyone could have taken that child. She never spoke a word to me. Not even a simple thank you. They quickly whisked away.

Jesus is the first responder to the trauma in our lives. He’s there when this little girl needed a lighthouse, he’s there when Zacchaeus was filled with nothing but emptiness and excess, and he’s there for you in every moment your heart is calling out from within your soul. When the addiction can’t be broken, when the abuse can’t be stopped, when life just can’t be lived straight…he’s there. It leaves us with the choice. Are we to keep our eyes down and pretend he doesn’t exist because it’s too painful and too shameful to look up, or do we go as far as to even climb a tree to find him in our desperation? He is always there but we have to accept him. We have to look him in the eye. We have to sense that he is good…he’s the way home.

Where do you stand? Are you in a tree looking over the crowd for him? Or is your head down like you didn’t do your homework and the last thing you want is to catch the teacher’s eye? Either way you know he’s there. That’s why you’re reading this. Get down from that tree immediately. Jesus is coming to stay with you. Your rescue has arrived.

Gary Abernathy

Almighty Social Justice


1 Samuel 17, Verses 34-37: (David speaking to King Saul regarding Goliath) “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

David vs. Goliath is the most famous underdog story in all of history. Everyone knows it, but few grasp its vital point – God is true power and humans are hopelessly powerless without Him. Depending on what you want to believe, Goliath stood somewhere between 6 ft. 9 in. to 9 ft. 9 in. tall. Like a good fish story, his height grew in each translation. No matter the actual facts, Goliath scared the living daylights out of King Saul and the armies of Israel. For exactly 40 days (If you pay attention, God seriously likes that number), Goliath would come out in the open and make his shout out for just one of Saul’s men to come fight him. Winner take all. Nobody dared…they would fall back in fear every time. God had specifically raised up Goliath to be what he was at that very moment to eventually meet, David.

David was the lightly regarded youngest son of a family from Bethlehem. (Yes, that same Bethlehem). Three of his older brothers were all in Saul’s army, but David split his time between keeping his father’s sheep and serving Saul. His family sent him to the front lines to give food to his brothers and cheese to their commander, hoping that it would buy goodwill in keeping them safe. When he got there, he was appalled at the disrespect of Israel by Goliath and was inquiring what had been going on. They told him that any man that stood up and killed Goliath would be made very wealthy by Saul, his family would be exempt from taxes, and he’d even be given the King’s daughter in marriage. When King Saul got wind of David’s intrigue he sent for him. Young David said to the King, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” The king must have laughed a bit looking at David and his bold claim, and said to him, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” That’s when David put on Saul the words quoted above.

David understood what no other soul all the way up to the King, in all their armor and all their weapons, on that battlefield understood – Power comes from God and God only, and because of his faith, he possessed far greater power than Goliath could ever fathom. This is a young boy that killed lions and bears with his hands. HIS HANDS. Because he had faith that God would enable him to do so. 100 out of 100 times without God’s intervention, a human loses that fight and dies badly to the animal. David knew God was with him. Later to come would be Jesus, born in Bethlehem in the direct lineage to David, who would say to his disciples (and us), “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

God keeps balanced scales – Always. When you read Proverbs, Psalms and throughout the Bible, you quickly pick up how important this is to God. For instance in Proverbs 11:1 from Solomon’s wisdom comes, “The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.” The 9th Commandment is, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” This is a major stumbling block for most of human history. Human power attempting to usurp God’s almighty power. It will always fail, but yet, God will allow human power to build up even while his suffer, because he is turning their rebellion into his balance all the while, teaching his via suffering, while laughing at the rebellious because he knows their folly is doomed. Balance of power is a very tricky thing. A scale must be perfectly weighted on both sides to keep order, so if you consider that in worldly terms, you might begin to start to understand why things are the way they are instead of how we wish them to be. Why seemingly bad things (worldly terms) happen to good people, when in fact, all of it is a measure of God’s Almighty Social Justice balancing the scales. In our viewpoint, if 10 innocent people die at the hands of 10 evil people, and the evil people remain free and seemingly victorious, then God is wrong and maybe he’s just sadistic. That is exactly what Satan whispers in the ears of many, because we are looking through lens that only see worldly dimension. Spiritually, those 10 innocent people now reside in the presence and light of God’s perfect goodness, and those free evil people are very soon doomed to an eternity of torment and suffering. Social Justice, the battle cry of today’s secular activists? It’s always been in perfect play and balance, they just can’t see past today and into what is.

Recently I watched an interview with the American man who was the lead in the 1994 nuclear weapon negations with North Korea. In the process of that interview he said something that is wisdom seldom heard these days in political and diplomatic circles. When pressed that America is the most powerful nation in the world and why don’t we just use our strength to end North Korea, he replied, “Of course we could crush North Korea, but is that the right thing to do?” There is a man that understands morality balanced with power. For my vote, he can negotiate on behalf of America any time, any place. God’s scales will always tilt back to balanced, so if power on one side goes rouge, justice on the other side will surely balance it back out. That’s a difficult concept for anyone to fully bring mental image to, but that’s exactly how this life works.

So there is David being given the go ahead by Saul to fight Goliath. He’s loading him up with armor, weapons, and even his own tunic, and David shuns it all away…”I cannot go in these because I am not used to them.” David didn’t need all of the worldly creations of war to win this seemingly impossible battle. He took his staff in his hand, chose 5 smooth stones from a stream, put them in the pouch of his bag, and with a sling in his hand he approached the giant menace.

Goliath was insulted by them sending a boy and snorted, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” He cursed David and told him to come and die. Here is what David said in retort: “You come against me with a sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

David drilled the massive man in the forehead with a rock and he fell to the ground. Standing over him he took Goliath’s sword and removed his head. Battle over. God’s Almighty Social Justice.

One of my favorite parts of this story is verse 55…”As Saul watched David going out to meet the Philistine, he said to Abner, commander of the army, ‘Abner, whose son is that young man?’ Abner replied, ‘As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don’t know.’ ” It makes me laugh. Can’t you just imagine that same scene in a big Hollywood blockbuster? Brad Pitt as Saul, and George Clooney as Abner, and Clooney and Pitt look at each other in shocked confusion, “Who is this guy???”

Have you ever found yourself faced with something so big, so daunting, that you lose all hope that you could ever defeat it? It could be problems in your marriage, it could be an addiction, it could be financial woes…it could be hundreds of things. Jesus Christ, your salvation, your Lord, your King, says to you, “If you just have faith as small as a mustard seed, I will give you the power to defeat anything holding you back from me.”

I have personally put that promise into action in my life. It’s as true as the sunrise. I have defeated many vices and habits that I always failed doing so with my own power, by using the power of the living Christ within me.

David is you today. Will you stand up to your Goliath?

Gary Abernathy








Keeping Christ’s Perspective


Luke 12: 49-51 – (Jesus Speaking) “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.”

One of the great misleading narratives of Christian faith in the modern world is that of a neutered, hippie-like, Jesus. I’m ok – you’re ok – let’s all go get high (on materialism, immorality – the breaking of all God’s law). This has created a superhighway of mislead believers going down a path away from the cross instead of towards it.

Jesus is the harvester sifting out (dividing) his that he calls wheat, from Satan’s, that he calls chaff. The chaff will burn in the resulting fire. That’s what he is saying in this passage of Luke’s Gospel, and he’s yearning to do it even before he’s gone to the cross and resurrected from the tomb. That is Christ’s perspective. To be fearful (mindful) of that daily is of highest importance.

When we are low, when we hurt, when we are in danger, our first instinct is to call for His help. It sure is for me. That’s a good thing and it’s exactly what we should do in those moments. Just as the psalmist David did, we do the same. But what about when we are doing well and feeling strong? Is our Christ perspective still intact? Are we praising him, mindful of his blessing, and giving credit (glory) where it belongs? This is something I’ve struggled with my entire walk with Christ. Ego and ownership of life.

In that same gospel of Luke, Jesus spells out the responsibility of those given much. (Jesus Speaking) “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”  While I am certainly not rolling like a Bill Gates, I have no room to complain about what I’ve been given in life. I’ve lived comfortable, and at the moment, God has me living very comfortable, and he has also entrusted me with some pretty large platforms. I fall smack dab in the middle of that warning from the mouth of Christ. I have failed it many times. I lose my Christ Perspective by the deception of my comfortable circumstances. Because he loves us, God will always rebuke his own when this happens, the same as we do to our children as parents. Some of those rebukes of me have been pretty harsh, but nothing compared to what he could have done. The spirit comes to me in warning, and where I once would ignore that warning and the rebuke would eventually follow, I now listen…very intently. Sometimes it takes the threat of losing everything that truly matters to us to get a person’s full attention. He has mine. My perspective is squarely on Jesus and his pitchfork. Am I to be wheat or chaff? I never was very fond of intense heat.

Where do you stand in keeping your Christ Perspective? Are you calling for his mercy and help when you are low, and are you praising when you are high, and doing his work of the sharing of your many blessings?

“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost.” Billy Graham

Pray for and work on building your character every single day. He is coming. Sooner than you think.

Gary Abernathy