Friday, April 29, 2016


April 29 2016
Scripture: 1 Samuel 30:6 (ESV)


"And David was greatly distressed for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God."

I can only imagine what the pain and confusion these men must have felt. For while they were away their home was raided and burnt, and their wives and children were taken captive by the Amalekites. Amidst the smoking ruins that was their home, David and his men wept bitterly until they could cry no more tears. In heated anger the men rashly talked of stoning David to death, because they needed someone to punish. But David under pressure chose to "take 5" and strengthen himself in the Lord. He inquired for wisdom from God, and he was encouraged to go on a rescue mission, for God promised that he would succeed. 

In my life, I must let God make my decisions clear, not reacting in clouded emotions like David's men. Unchecked emotions can cause us to make reactions instead of making decisions. The best way to combat this is to take time to inquire of God about how to respond next. Take time to pray, He may show you something you never would have thought of doing on your own. 

"Lord Jesus, thank You for the wisdom You grant to those who seek You. Please help me in my decision making to first pray and ask You what to do. Clear any irrational thinking that I might react in, and show me Your ways. Amen."

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Striking & Healing

April 27 2016
Scripture: Isaiah 19:22 (ESV)

Striking & Healing

"And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and He will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them."

Egypt was a "green isle" amongst a sea of sand. They had a lot to put their hope in. The Nile River provided a fishing economy, while the ground was fertile giving vegetation, flax, and cotton. Egypt had it made, and they were secure or so they thought. Here Isaiah prophesies how the Lord will strike Egypt; drying up The Nile, and knocking their flimsy pillars from under their feet. All they hoped in was gone. But some would return to the Lord, and He would listen and bring them to a much better place than they were. 

In my life, there are plenty of things I could set up as a pillar in which I could place my hope. I could hope in my career, or my bank account, or my friends and family, which are not bad things to have. But what if they all fell away? I would have nothing, no where to go. Maybe I would blame God for allowing them to be taken away. Or would I realize that He can be my hope when all else fails? I should not place my hope in anything less than God Himself, for all the other pillars are as sturdy as a Teeter-totter. 

So maybe you feel God is striking you, but what he really wants to do is heal you. If you lost a relationship, maybe you put too much dependency in a person. If you are experiencing financial difficulty, maybe God wants you to trust in His provision alone. I don't know the circumstances that each person faces, but I do know this for sure. If I trust in God, He won't be shaken, like all the other flimsy pillars, and He will bring healing in my life. 

"Lord Jesus, please help me to place my hope in You alone, and to step down from these unstable pillars in my life. Thank You that You are a rock in hard times, and for the healing that You give. Amen."

Monday, April 25, 2016

Radioactive Influence

April 25 2016
Scripture: Psalm 16:7-8 (ESV)

Radioactive Influence

"I bless the Lord who gives me counsel in the night, also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken."

Growing up can be very intimidating, not knowing where to go next, or what to do in new situations. It's like moving around in the dark, bumping into things until your bearings make sense. But David in his early days found his counsel in the Lord, for he grants wisdom generously to those who ask (James 1:5). He gives us the Holy Spirit as a guide that prompts our heart in the dark, guiding us into all truth (John 16:13). But God doesn't just give wisdom like a cashier gives back your change at the grocery market. No, the wisdom God grants is from constant exposure in relationship with Him. David set the Lord ever before him, at his right hand, and that is why he was not shaken. 

I read in an article lately that we ultimately become like the top five people we spend the most time with. Influence radiates off a person and can change who I am. But like David, I want to keep the Lord ever before me, letting His influence be the number one influence that radiates in my life. The way to do this is through constant exposure in the Bible, and in prayer, keeping me close to God. Then I will have the wisdom of the ages. 

"Lord Jesus, thank You for the wisdom You have given, and are going to give as I spend more and more time with You. Help me to keep You ever before me, and not let poor influences take me away from You. Teach me and change me to become the man You want me to be. Amen."

Thursday, April 21, 2016


April 21 2016
Scripture: Isaiah 12:3-4 (ESV)


"With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day, 'Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the peoples, proclaim that His name is exalted."

Amazingly, Isaiah had many prophecies of Jesus hundreds of years before He ever walked the earth. Here in chapter 12 is a clear picture of the Gospel at work. In verses one and two we see God's anger against sin is turned to comfort, and God Himself has become salvation, which means we need not fear, but trust in Him. In our joy, we can drink freely the Living Water of salvation metaphorically, much like Jesus said to the woman at the well in the gospel of John (4:14). Being thankful to God, we can call out His name at any time. We must tell others the things that God has done for us and proclaim His name exalted. We are then able to join the angels in singing the forever song, making God known throughout the earth.

For me, I can easily become numb to the impact of the Gospel. Sometimes my gears get jammed and the whole process within me becomes stuck because one of the parts are not active in my life. I've attached the rest of Isaiah chapter 12 and I would seriously recommend to read it and answer these questions to check each gear to see if it is an active part of your life. 

Isaiah 12

1 You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
    for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
    that you might comfort me.
2 “Behold, God is my salvation;
    I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
    and he has become my salvation.”
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
    call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
    proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
    let this be made known in all the earth.
6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
    for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

Questions to Answer for Yourself

1. Do I need to experience the comfort of the Lord, believing fully that he has turned away his anger completely?
2. Am I afraid to trust God with everything?
3. Am I depending on my strength instead of letting God be my strength?
4. Do I need to drink again from the well of salvation to quench my thirst for joy?
5. Am I giving thanks constantly to God?
6. Do I feel alone and need to call out His name?
7. Am I sharing what God has done for me with others?
8. Do I exalt Jesus name as holy?
9. Am I singing praise to God in all the earth?

I hope this was refreshing to you as it was to me.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Humble Your Hatchet

April 18th 2016
Scripture: Isaiah 10:15 (ESV)

Humble Your Hatchet

"Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as a staff should lift him who is not wood."

The Lord decided to use the king of Assyria to bring about desperation and humility among the people of Israel. But this king was not exempt from God's justice; for his pride was his downfall. The Lord knew that the king of Assyria would take all the credit for himself, claiming that it was his wisdom and his strength that brought him victory. Silly little hatchet...

This is what happens when the creation tries to play as the creator. It seems silly to us to think an axe could boast over the person who wields it, or a saw over the carpenter, or the car over a driver, or a book over it's author. So too is it silly to think that a human is greater than Creator God. Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17). If we receive a seed, we can till the soil, and water the ground, but only God can make it grow. 

We were created on purpose for a purpose. Until I come to grips with who I am and who God is, I will never see that purpose come to its full light. Imagine if the king of Assyria had humbled himself before God; he might have led his people and the people of Israel into a great revival back to the Lord, because of his earthly power and status as king. But "the haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day" (Isaiah 2:11). 

"Lord Jesus, thank You for creating me with a purpose. Help me to be full of praise rather than full of myself. Let me be humble in all I do, because without You I can do nothing. Take me and use me to do Your will. Amen."

Saturday, April 16, 2016


April 16 2016
Scripture: Isaiah 8:17-18 (ESV)


"I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in Him. Behold, I and my children whom the Lord has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion."

Isaiah and his sons must have felt very alone in their faith, for Israel had turned from the Lord and God Himself hid His face from those people. But what does Isaiah do? He holds on to his faith, "I will wait, I will hope." One of Isaiah's sons he named Shear-jashub, which means, "A remnant shall return." Many names given in the Old Testament were tied to a characteristic or purpose that person would display in his or her lifetime. Jacob means, "the deceiver", thus he later deceived his father, brother, and others in his life. Adam means, "Man", because he was the first of mankind. 

God planned to give Israel what they desired, independence from God, and in result they would be conquered and brought low, scattered, and only a remnant would remain. Isaiah used the word picture of a great oak tree, cut down and only a stump remaining. So will it be for the great nation of Israel, for they exchanged the true God for false ones, knowing full well the consequences. 

My grandfather, very much must have felt like Isaiah, within his family. The Wilson family just three generations ago had a reputation, but not a good one. They were bootleggers in the time of The Prohibition, and would use alcohol to enter into drunken rages, beating each other. During that time my grandfather when he was a boy found Jesus and dedicated his life to preach The Word. As a result, no alcohol was allowed in my grandfather's home, and my father never had to deal with the evils drunkenness brings to a family growing up. My dad became a preacher, like his dad, and I followed both their footsteps and am myself in the ministry all because "a remnant returned to the Lord."

Maybe you are the only Christian in your home. Or maybe you feel that you are the only one around who takes their faith seriously. Do not give up hoping and waiting in the Lord. Just like Isaiah and my grandfather, you can be the remnant generation that turns the tide and whole course of the generations to come after you. I'm living proof of my grandfather's legacy. God can take a dead stump and bring new life into it again, and He can in your life as well.

"Lord Jesus, thank You for the faith of my grandfather who changed the reputation of the Wilson family. I pray that You will use his story to encourage others to never give up. Thank You for new life out of a dead stump; let me be a remnant in this generation that returns to You."

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Praising in the Midst of "gods"

April 13 2016
Scripture: Psalm 138:1 (ESV)

Praising in the Midst of "gods"

"I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise."

King David was a man who committed his whole heart to God, which is seen in a lot of ways. Many of the larger more powerful nations around him constructed large temples and statues of man-made "gods". These monuments were everywhere and even God's people had struggles with worshiping these idols because the culture around them made it look so good. David could not simply tear down every temple that stood in the other nations beyond his boarders. Yet, he chose to sing God's praise before all the other "gods".

In our world today there are still many "gods" that plague us. If you go looking, you won't find many great stone temples of worship, but "gods" take many forms. How many people find themselves returning again and again to addictive substances, controlling their actions and stealing their time, money, and personality? How many secretly visit the "Red Lights Temple" and desecrate their bodies in lustful passion, like that of the ancient Babylonian goddess, Aphrodite. 

As a Christian in a world full of "gods", how difficult is it to shamelessly worship the One True God? We can try to combat these other idols, and we should. But what if our job was to sing praise to God before the "gods", like King David? When our God is revealed, the others pale in comparison, just like a picture of a sunset pales to looking at the real thing. 

"Lord Jesus, You are the true God, and I praise You. Help me to give You praise before the other "gods" and let Your light shine upon this earth. Amen."

(photo rights reserved by Hannah Wilson)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Joint Custody

April 11 2016
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7:4 (ESV)

Joint Custody

"For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does."

Being married now for over a year and a half, I begin to understand the meaning of this verse. I never thought my patterns of life would need to change once I got married. Yet, my bacheloristic lifestyle was far from the perfect way a family should live. So what if I fling my socks across the room after a long day, or fold my laundry a certain way I like, or play a video game to relax my mind?  

The truth is, I didn't really know how selfish I could be until I had to share my bathroom, my free time, and my bed etc. But even so, I don't consider any of this a loss, because by the power of Christ, I love my wife more than I love myself. Though I had to change and give up some things along the way, I would gladly surrender my rights for her, because my love for her conquers my selfishness for me. 

From the moment I said, "I Do", I no longer possess full custody over Luke Wilson. As a loving husband, I must learn to live by the principle that I am not my own. This doesn't mean that I must never have things to myself, like hobbies, goals, or dreams, for God made me an individual person apart from my wife. But what this does mean is that I must be willing to put myself and my agenda down on the line for the love of my marriage. When she needs me, I must not deny her physically, or deny her my service, or deny her my attention, or my affection. Likewise she does the same for me because true love conquers selfishness. 

"Lord Jesus, thank You for blessing me with an amazing godly wife. I pray that I will continually become less selfish as I love her the rest of my life. Let me be reminded that I am not my own, but Yours and her's. Help me to always be ready to show my love to her when she needs me, even when I don't feel like it. Amen."

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Weak, The Called, and The Qualified

April 9th 2016
Scripture 1 Corinthians 1:28-29 (ESV)

The Weak, The Called, & The Qualified

"God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God."

When I was called to serve as a pastor in ministry, I didn't have a lot going for me. I wasn't the most popular charismatic person among my peers. I struggled with some form of social anxiety in front of groups in all situations, except playing my guitar on the worship team at church. In fact, in high school I worked in the kitchen at Pizza Hut, where I was glad I didn't have to deal with people. And trust me, in ministry you have to deal with people a lot! 

All this to say, I didn't seem very qualified for the ministry. When I felt called to be a Youth Pastor, I am pretty sure a few members at my Dad's church scratched their heads, wondering how that would work out. I would have too. I wasn't qualified, or so I thought. The truth of the matter is that I wasn't qualified because of my great skills, but just maybe because of my lack of skills. God, more often then not, chose the weak to work though rather than the strongest or the wisest. As Henry Blackaby said once, "The Lord never calls the qualified, He qualifies the called." This way we humans don't get a fat head. I cannot boast about me, because it's not about me, but God who works through me. He deserves the glory, because He helped me do things I didn't believe I could do. 

So next time I view myself as weak and unqualified, I can claim the promise that "His power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9). When I am weak, He is strong. 

"Lord Jesus, thank You that You take my weakness and turn it into Your strength. Help me to give all the glory back to You, so that I do not boast in myself. Let Your power be made perfect in my weakness. Amen."

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Eye Covenant

April 7th 2016
Scripture: Job 31:1-2 (ESV)

The Eye Covenant

"I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? What would be my portion from God above and my heritage from the Almighty on high?"

I always respected Job for his great character of integrity. Even though he suffered so much, losing his health, possessions, and family, he still remained under conviction to be a godly man. Out of a list of things Job was intentionally avoiding, the very first thing is lust. Job decided to make a covenant with his eyes to not look at women lustfully. Even all those year ago, men struggled with lust. Sure, they may not have had Playboy or X-Rated movies, but the temptation was real. So why did Job make a covenant with his eyes? What did they have to do with anything? I think he knew the same truth that Jesus would proclaim hundreds of years later: "Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matt 5:28). 

As men and women of God, we are called to live blameless lives without even a hint of sexual immorality (Eph. 5:3), and the first thing this kind of purity starts with is our eyes. Job made a conscious choice that he would make a change. I have modeled my fight for purity after this principle by continuing Job's covenant with my own eyes. Job also kept in mind the Heavenly heritage that God will grant to those who are righteous. I've got amazing things coming, so why waste my efforts on temporary gratification that will rob me of the true richness of a close relationship with God? It's not even a comparison. 

"Lord Jesus, thank You for Your servant Job, who modeled what it looks like to live a blameless life of purity. Help me, as I keep a covenant with my eyes, to always focus on You. Thank You for my beautiful wife who has challenged me to grow in so many ways. Continue to guide and direct us. Amen."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Hated in Jesus Name

April 6th 2016
Scripture: Luke 21:17-19 (ESV)

Hated in Jesus Name

"You will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives."

This is a hard teaching. Jesus here is talking about the events leading up to the Last Days. Not only will there be earthly devastation like earthquakes, famines, and war, but all will hate you for the sake of being a Christian. This is a warning, but also a comfort from Jesus. These events will serve as an opportunity to witness. Jesus gave the promise that when we stand before judges and rulers, that He will give us a mouth of wisdom that no one could contradict (Luke 21:15). As for our hair not perishing, this means that our eternal dwelling in Heaven will not die. The key to this passage is that our endurance will gain our lives, our true lives

As Jesus has said before, we will not know the hour of His return, but He encourages us that when we endure the trials, we will be able to witness the power and love of Christ. The Holy Spirit will guide our words, and our Father has prepared our eternal home. So what can man do to me that would shake my hope? It should be considered great joy if I suffer for Jesus' sake, despite the feelings that I have been abandoned to endure more than I can bear. I must endure the storm. It's worth it every time. 

Lord Jesus, thank You that You will never leave me. I have not suffered much, but I know the storm is coming. Prepare me even now so that I may have a strong endurance, gaining my true life through my faith in You. You are worth losing my earthly life so I can sit at Your table in the life to come. Amen"

Monday, April 4, 2016

Don't Let Caesar Seize Your Soul

April 4th 2016
Scripture: Luke 20:25 (ESV)

Don't Let Caesar Seize Your Soul

"Then He said to them, 'Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.'"

The religious leaders sent spies to Jesus, attempting to catch Him saying something against the Roman government so they could arrest Him as a rebel. They asked if it was lawful to give taxes to Caesar. It would be equivalent today as asking, "Do I have to pay taxes to the President and the government, since we are part of God's kingdom?" Jesus ingeniously asks for a coin, saying to those around Him, "Who's face is on the side? Caesar's? Then if they made it, give them what's theirs, and God, what belongs to God. The truth is God really doesn't care much for little green pieces of paper. He would much rather have your soul than your salary. If taxes got extremely high and you had to pay the government to the point you couldn't give God more than your last two pennies, would He value those any less than the ten percent most churches expect now?

As long as it doesn't require us to break our allegiance to God, we must live in the world and its systems and rules, but not of it's passions and desires. Now there are times when the world will try to demand our worship, loyalty, and heart, to other things apart from God. There are many stories in The Bible when God's people had to stand up against culture and give God what belonged to Him. Just ask Danial, or Esther, or Moses. I must ask myself, "Am I giving the right things to the right owners?" I need not complain about my government, but rather pray for them. 

"Lord Jesus, thank You that I have freedom to give You my heart and soul. Help those in authority of this country to fear and respect You. As I live in this world help me to reserve all that is Yours, while I am still subject to the worldly authorities. I pledge my allegiance to You. Amen."