Sphere of Activity

Have you ever gone somewhere and met someone who told you that they have heard of you? It’s happened a few times in my life. The first thought that goes through my mind is, “Uh oh. What did they hear about me? Did they hear that I was a pig at the buffet? Did they hear about that time I forgot to do something important? Did they hear about my inability to play guitar well, or that I hurt someone’s feelings, or that I said something I should not have?” Yep, panic starts to set in. Are you that way too — assuming the worst?

I’ve been teaching for more than a decade now. Accordingly, I sometimes hear about a student before we meet each other. I love it when a student tells me something like, “I hope you get my brother next year. I’ve been telling him about you, and he is excited. But you need to be tough on him because he doesn’t like to do his homework.” Sometimes a teacher will tell me about a student who might need to be transferred to my Pre-AP class because of a strong work ethic. What people hear about others can be good — or it can be bad. It’s called a reputation. Accordingly, while some reputations are big others are small, some are strong while others are weak, and while some are positive others are negative. Ultimately, it is simply an opinion someone has based on what they’ve heard from others. 

However, sometimes the things we do have a bigger impact than just creating an opinion. Occasionally, our actions can influence a person in regards to what they do or believe. That’s huge! Maybe they want to be like us, they might want to be the opposite. Maybe our lives impact some important decisions that somebody needs to make. And sometimes, well, sometimes our example can stimulate change that lasts for generations. This is different than just a reputation. It’s more powerful, more important, more eternal.

The apostle Paul makes reference to impacting others in 2 Corinthians 10:15-16. The apostle speaks of an area of influence where followers of Jesus spread the gospel message. Depending on the version you read, he may call it a territory, region, province or a field. Strong’s calls it a “sphere of activity.” I like that a lot — but it’s much more than just the circle of influence we have on those who are intimately close to us. In context, Paul is telling the Corinthian church that while they were currently the outer edge of his missionary efforts to spread the gospel, as their faith grew he expected that outer edge to expand.

Remember, Paul is talking to a church full of new converts. They were not very mature, yet Paul told them that as they grew in their walk with Jesus, he expected the territory of Christ to expand as the gospel was spread. From the NASB, “… but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you, so as to preach the gospel even to the regions beyond you …”
So, that begs the question: are the borders of Christ’s kingdom growing because of your efforts? Or is your lack of effort causing the kingdom of Jesus to remain stagnant or even shrink?

I encourage you to take a self-inventory.

1. Did I talk about Jesus today with someone who is not actively seeking the Lord?

2. Did I invite someone to church this week?

3. Did I share the gospel with someone this month?

4. Did I ask someone if they would like to study the Bible with me this quarter?

5. Did I talk to my neighbors about creating a neighborhood Jesus class this year?

6. Did I help save anyone in the last five years?

7. Have I suffered a life changing persecution for the sake of righteousness?

8. When was the last time I was slandered, reviled, hated, ostracized and insulted because of Jesus?

9. Did I spend more time arguing with other believers than helping those in need?

10. Did I debate some inconsequential point of doctrinal opinion instead of reaching out to the lost?

11. Did I build up the church or tear it down?

12. Did I forget that even if I convinced the worst of sinners to stop their wickedness, that they are still headed to Hell if they don’t know Jesus — yet the one who has given their life to the Lord and while trying to shed their old ways continues to struggle is “new every morning?”

13. Have I substituted having a good reputation for expanding my sphere of activity?

14. Do I limit my sphere of activity solely to people I am related to or to my best friends?

15. Is my evangelism limited to inviting people to gospel meetings?

16. Do I concentrate on talking to Christian background people and avoid speaking to Muslims, Buddhists and Athiests? 

I know. I KNOW!!! This is a hard lesson. And, I am chief among those who have poor responses to almost every single one of those. So, my friends, join me. Do something. Get up! Speak to everyone about Jesus – especially those who have no idea who He really is – those who need Him the most. 

Don’t know how to speak to others? Fill up your heart with Jesus and you won’t be able to stop your mouth from talking about Him (Matthew 12:45b). We just need to trust and obey. By immersing ourselves in the words of the Word, we will produce good fruit. Luke 6:45 says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart.” So study. Pray. Prepare yourself. And then increase the sphere of your activity. 

Watch Your Step


I wrote this poem a few years ago in response to what happened to my student who was the subject of my Friends and Needles post. I have more commentary after the poem.

Watch Your Step

When I first saw their sin
I was repulsed and very shaken
But, as I slowly looked again
My disgust began to weaken

I began to see their sinful deed
As something to be pitied
Surely they would try to stop
If I loved them but not their sinning

Perhaps I could gain their trust
If their sin I would tolerate
Certainly, if I became their friend
It would help their sin abate

As I grew closer to them
Towards their sin I simply grew passive
And in my fondness for their love
My preaching became inactive

I certainly could not condemn their acts
So my teaching I neglected
And while I grew used to them
Their sin I just accepted

One day I saw them sin again
And I barely took second glance
And when someone else questioned their acts
I quickly ran to their defense

I still knew the act was sinful
But castigation is so strong
Surely the love I showed them
Would make them understand their wrong

One day a friend asked me
About someone that they knew
Who engaged in the same weakness
I said “let me tell you what to do”

“Just love them like I love my friends”
I said, “Don’t tell them that it’s a sin”
“Because maybe the act is justified”
“We don’t know where they’ve been”

And that is how I progressed
To eventually taking part
Then promoting their activities
And giving it no thought

So if you notice someone sinning
Let me tell you what to do
Simply “observe” then “pity” then “tolerate”
But wait, we’re still not through

Then, you “accept” “defend” and “promote” the act
And “engage” in the activity as well
So one day when the judgment comes
You can spend forever with your friends in Hell

 – by Bob Baulch

Obviously, we need to love everyone — including sinners — because we are all sinners. Jesus was the ultimate example of how and why we should associate with sinners. However, let’s not lose sight of the truth that Jesus came to seek and save the lost — not just socially befriend them (Luke 19:10). We should do the same. We must do our best to walk in love towards others – while remaining pure ourselves. A great passage that might help explain this is Ephesians 5:1-20.

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Friends and Needles


I recall stopping in the middle of my sentence to watch Carlos fidgeting with something under his desktop with both hands. It occurred in my 6th grade Math class, and I had recently changed seating assignments to intentionally place some of the more troublesome students next to the model students who would ignore their attempts to talk. So, here was Carlos the troublemaker, sitting next to Destiny the model student – who was looking straight ahead. And, I simply stared at him.

He was so involved with whatever it was under his desk that he didn’t even notice that the class was totally silent and everyone was watching him. I quietly made my way to the front of his desk and cleared my throat to get his attention. He slowly looked up, and I asked him to place both hands on the desk. As he did, I noticed that he wasn’t holding anything, but there was a string or something coming from under his left hand. That was – odd.

He just smiled at me with his hands flat on the desk. When I asked him to turn his hands palm up, his smile went away. He gradually turned his hands over and there it was. A sewing needle and thread woven through the calluses of his left hand. Carlos weakly attempted a grin while he looked at me. Destiny continued to look straight ahead. I called the front office. An 8th grader office aide escorted Carlos to the nurse and the principal’s office. The whole incident took less than five minutes, and I got back to teaching – or so I thought.

Immediately after Carlos left the room, Destiny put her hand straight up in the air. I smiled at one of my star students as I asked her what she wanted. The short conversation we had will be forever imprinted in my brain – and it’s a story I continue to tell my classes every year.

“Mr. Baulch,” she began, “you need to send me to the principal too.”

“Why do you need to see the principal?” I asked.

“Well … why did you send Carlos to the principal?” she replied.

“Because he had a big sewing needle stuck in his hand that he shouldn’t have brought to school” I answered.

“Well … it was my needle. So you need to send me to the principal.” By this time, her voice had started to shake a little.

“Destiny,” I calmly began, “I’m not going to send you to the principal. Even if the needle was yours, you weren’t the one playing with it.”

“But,” and the tears finally started, “it was mine!” And then the longest sentence I’ve ever heard began. “My mom said a lady is always prepared for a clothing emergency and she told me I had to have a needle and thread in my purse and so I always do and I opened my purse to get my pencil and Carlos saw my sewing kit and he grabbed it from my purse and I was going to stop him but I didn’t want to disturb class and he played with it and you caught him and he went to the principal and the needle was mine and I should go too!”

“Destiny,” I said with a smile, “I appreciate your honesty, but I’m not sending you to the principal.”

With an incredulous look in her eyes she pleaded, “Well … can you at least give me a teacher detention?”

I just shook my head and replied, “No.”

“Well,” she wiped her eyes and sat up, “then I’m giving myself a detention for tomorrow morning. I suggest you be here at 7:45.”

I just smiled and nodded my head that I would see her there.

Destiny was the kind of student every teacher loves to have in their class. Honest. Well behaved. Motivated. Smart. Curious. A real treasure.

When I saw her in the halls during her 7th grade year, I noticed that she had started hanging out with some of the more troublesome students. I approached her and asked her if she would mind if I gave her some advice. She just smiled, hugged my neck and listened to my warning.

“Destiny,” I began, “you are such a nice young lady. But, this year I’ve noticed that some of the young ladies you associate with get in trouble a lot. That concerns me.”

“Oh Mr. Baulch,” she replied, “I’m okay. They’re just my friends. I don’t do anything bad! And maybe I can influence some of them to behave better!”

During her 8th grade year I was teaching 8th grade History. Even though we were both in the 8th grade hall, I rarely saw Destiny. I think she was embarrassed because instead of her being a good influence on them, she had been the one that was influenced by her new friends. She got in trouble a lot that year. So, even though I kept an eye out for her when I could, she was nowhere to be found. I guess I reminded her of the light she used to be, and that made her uncomfortable.

I heard things got worse in high school. It makes me sad. I sometimes wonder if I could have said or done something that might have had a more positive impact on her. Maybe I could have just quoted from the Bible and left out where I got the words. I don’t know.

So, I’ll tell you my friends. The Bible is clear. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” It was good to know then, and it’s good to remember today. Be careful.

** note ** – student names were changed to protect their privacy.


Hey Jude (and James)

Have you read the letters that Jesus’ brothers wrote? James and Jude – wow!

Talk about a tough childhood! Can you imagine being the younger brothers of – quite literally – the most perfect son that ever lived? “I see you got an A- in conduct. You’re not like Jesus huh?” Or maybe, “You call this a clean room? You should see Jesus’ room!” How about, “Aww. Look at you trying to get everyone in line to taste the new wine — that Jesus just made out of water.”

Yes, that would have been hard. Yet, they probably adored their brother. They brought their mom to see him during His ministry – not that it worked out too well! But, I suppose they were probably close to their mom when Jesus was arrested and crucified. Maybe they were some of the first ones Jesus visited after he was resurrected. 

So maybe that explains the tone of their letters. Both are pretty straightforward and to the point! Jude is the most concise: stop using grace as a reason to continue in sin. James touches on several topics, the most famous being that works are evidence of your faith. You see, Jesus’ brothers knew what it was like to question the Savior status of Jesus. So they understood the need to stop taking the cross for granted – their own flesh and blood had died for them. 

Regardless which one you choose, the next time you’re feeling like you’ve got this whole “living for Jesus” thing packed in a nice convenient box — read James or Jude or both. Submit yourself to, not only the Savior part of Jesus, but also the King part! Jesus isn’t satisfied with you to simply avoid sin and rejoice in grace. No. 

Jude 1:22-23 says, “… have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.”

Wow. Here are your instructions from Jude: be a merciful evangelist — seriously? That’s a tall order that I’m just not sure I’m able of even trying. 

James 1:21-22 says, “Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”

‭‭Aww man! Here is what James tells us: get rid of the rest of that sinful stuff in your life that you kept from the start … and then get off the couch and start actually doing what you’ve been commanded to do! 

That’s really tough – I’m still “putting aside” things I’ve struggled with for more than 40 years. And I have a nice sofa – and church pew. 

What about you? Are you ready to stop sitting on the sidelines? How many people have you actually brought to Jesus in your lifetime besides family members? Are you satisfied with that? Is God?

Stop inviting people to church and (when they don’t come) say that you did everything you could. Is that going to be your parting remarks as they receive their sentences to eternity in Hell?

I wish I was just preaching to you – my dear friend. But, actually, I’m preaching to myself more than any readers of this blog. Pray for me. Please. I’m hoping to begin my “merciful evangelist” role soon – I need focus, strength and courage. Again – please pray. I’ll fill you in on the details as they happen. 

A Return to Monarchy

I love the United States of America and the principles it was founded on: freedom, unalienable & individual rights, justice, a representative government, equality, popular sovereignty, property ownership, separation of powers, free enterprise, checks and balances, the pursuit of happiness, limited government, and even … federalism. I can hear my dad in my head yelling, “States’ Rights!” as I’m typing this. 

So, don’t get me wrong here. I served in the military for several years. My grandfather was a war hero. I even teach United States History. But, I want to ask something a bit controversial: wouldn’t your life be better under a monarchy? Seriously! Think about it. 

If you could pick one king who was perfect in every way, who never made a single bad decision, who always remembered the poor and downtrodden, who expected everyone to work with the talents they were given and was perfectly justified and correct every single time — would you surrender everything to serve that king? 

If you totally trusted the king, you wouldn’t need all of the principles the USA was founded on. I wish I could sarcasticly say, “Good luck with that!” and then keep on living the American Dream. However, the king exists — and his name is Jesus!!! And guess what! His nation is NOT the United States of America — or even Israel for that matter. Listen to Jesus’ own words before Pilate hands Him over to be crucified. 

“Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?

“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. 

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.””

John‬ ‭18:33-37‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So, the kingdom belonging to Jesus DOES exist, but not in the world as we know it. His kingdom is from Heaven. Now the question is this, which nation has priority in your life? The nation of the USA with all of its political upheaval? The country we live in that declares our freedom gives us the excuse to freely sin? The nation that says we are free to express ourselves by retaliating against those who either hurl insults at us or make us suffer because of our faith? Do we pick THIS kingdom …

… or the kingdom of Heaven with its eternally perfect king? What if the USA turned into a dictatorship that abolished the constitution? What if it decided following Jesus should be illegal? What if it passed laws that declared bad – good; and declared good – bad. Would you rebel?

Choose my friends. Which one do you consider “home” and “country” most often? Are you a slave in God’s kingdom, or a slave to the “religious freedom” and riches of the USA? I sometimes need to be reminded that “I’m just passing through” and “this world is not my home.” Maybe we need to read what the apostle Peter wrote more often.

“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul … Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 

Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God … But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. 

Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2:11-25‬ ‭NIV‬‬ (edited for length)

Choose wisely my friends. Either the eternal monarchy of Jesus — or the temporary democratic republic of the USA. 

Conduct Yourselves

There are some verses in the Bible that you just don’t highlight too often. Like the one about loving your enemies (Matt 5:43-44). Maybe the one about selling everything and giving it to the poor (Mark 10:21). And the ones following the beatitudes that warn the rich, full, laughing, and well thought of (Luke 6:24-26). Or the one telling you that you will be hated because of Jesus (John 15:18-20). Oh Jesus – you say some difficult things that I sometimes just do not want to hear.

But, Jesus isn’t the only one with some hard teachings. Have you read the NIV version of Philippians 1:27 lately? “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Seriously Paul? Whatever happens? WhatEVER happens? WHATEVER happens – I am supposed to conduct myself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ?!

So, when somebody cuts you off on the highway and almost causes a wreck – we conduct ourselves in a worthy manner? Or, when the budget that was so carefully planned gets thrown to the wind because of someone else’s mistake – we conduct ourselves in a worthy manner? Really? It’s that simple Paul?

What about when your five year old tells you that someone comes over to your home to spend time with your spouse in the bedroom while you’re gone? We just “conduct ourselves” in a worthy manner? Maybe our career just ended against our will and we’ve just spent all of our savings because of a legitimate healthcare emergency – what was that you expected of us? Oh yeah – that we conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Seriously?

What about when you get the call that your parent has suddenly died and you never had a chance to say goodbye – we simply “conduct” ourselves? Or, what about the lady who gave herself to Jesus a week ago, and then she suddenly comes to the realization that she ended the life of her own children before they were born? Is she expected to merely conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ? Really Paul?

No – Jesus wasn’t the only one with some difficult instructions. I honestly don’t know how to conduct myself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. What am I truly “worthy of” anyway? I’ll tell you what I’m worthy of – Hell – that’s what I’m worthy of! That’s what I deserve – because I’m a sinner and I’ve disappointed God more times than I can fathom.

But thanks to the mercy and grace of our Lord – I suddenly find myself as a representative of Jesus himself. What a task. What an unobtainable and huge undertaking! I am supposed to conduct myself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ – no matter what happens.

Paul ends this train of thought with these encouraging words (Philippians 1:27-29): “I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.”

Conduct on my friends – conduct on. In the name of Jesus – conduct on.

Paul’s Prayer


Ephesians 3:13-19

Be encouraged for this reason
I gladly kneel down just for you
Before our God and our Father
Whose love from the heavens shines through

I pray that out of his glory
Strength and power anew shall start
Thru His spirit that in you lives
So that Christ may dwell in your heart

I pray that you being rooted
In faith, may have the power to grasp
How wide and long and high and deep
Is the wonderful love of Christ

To know this love passes knowledge
And I ask this thing from above
That you may be filled beyond measure
Of all of the fullness of God

By – Bob Baulch

Hell and Jesus


Someone asked me once, “Did Jesus ever look at a non-believer and say, pal, you are mistaken and you are going to hell?” That is a good question for these reasons:

1. If Jesus didn’t say non-believers are going to Hell, why should we believe the apostles or other early church leaders?

2. If Jesus DID say non-believers are going to Hell, then Jesus followers are doing a disservice to their fellow man if they do not warn them.

The answer to the question is YES. Jesus did warn non-believers that they would be damned to Hell.

We are going to look at the 8th chapter of the gospel of John to explain my answer in a moment. But, before we do, let’s appreciate just how famous that chapter is in the first place! John 8:1-59 is famous for some very important and popular verses:

“The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her” – verse 7. “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more” – verse 11. “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life” – verse 12. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” – verse 32. “Who among you can convict Me of sin?” – verse 46. “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I AM” – verse 58.

However, a certain “not so popular” passage occurs in that chapter as well. When the non-believing scribes and Pharisees confront Jesus, He prophesies about His death, resurrection, their inability to find His body in the tomb, and His ascension into Heaven – a place they will not be able to go because of their unbelief. Jesus says in John 8:21: “I’m going away; you will look for Me, and you will die in your sin. Where I’m going, you cannot come.” When they ask Him to further explain, He clearly says: “… if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

So, what does it mean if you die in your sins? These men surely considered themselves “righteous” before God. So Jesus quotes a passage from Ezekiel 3:20 about people turning away from righteousness and toward sin, “Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; … he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; …”

Wow! Not only are his sins not forgiven, all of the good things they did will not even be remembered. No wonder Jesus said that He was going to a place where they could not come.

Well, what does that mean for me? Should I just feel sorry for non-believers and let that be the sum total of my response? Ezekiel 3:18 says, ‭“When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.”

That’s a warning we all need to be aware of – failure to warn sinners about their situation before God will result in dire consequences for me as well! This verse comes to mind: James 4:17, “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” I know I need to do better. What about you?



Just something I’ve been thinking about lately — most of the New Testament is simply letters written to people who are already followers of Jesus. Some contain words of encouragement, others are words of warning, a few contain admonitions of correction, and still others have messages of advice.

So, I’m thinking –  most of the New Testament was written to people who have previously committed their lives to Jesus! If that’s the case, then the writers are not instructing people what to do in order to obtain salvation — because they are writing to people who are already saved. That takes a little bit of time to wrap your head around. Some of the most familiar verses used to teach people the plan of salvation are not directed to people who are being taught the gospel.  Does that sound like it could be a context issue?

It would be like me trying to show someone the steps to get a Bachelors Degree by quoting from a speech at a ten year college reunion when someone is reminding people how important it was that their elementary teacher taught them how to read. Can you see the folly in that? “Well Tim, in order to get that degree, all you need to do is sit down with a book and sound out every word.”

First, that was not the intent of the original message. Second, we frequently recall the first step of a journey and give it the same significance as the entire prize. Could these sentences be taken out of context? “Eating healthy is what made me a pro baseball player.” Or, “I have a great marriage, so glad we exchanged phone numbers.”

So, when talking to people who don’t see Jesus as their king, is it logical to focus on sharing parts of the Bible with them that were not really written with them in mind? I think not. I think it makes more sense to share Jesus with them and His teachings — that will either move them or not.

Ultimately, I’m concerned that there may be a lot of people out there who follow a religion, or belong to church, or live in a system called Christianity — who actually don’t follow, belong to, or live in Jesus.

Love Your Enemies


Have you read the words in Luke 6:27-36 lately? They are, I believe, some of the most difficult words Jesus says. I have a tough time putting these into action in my life. I need to do better. No excuses. No exceptions. What about you?

I would like to challenge you – my friends. Think of your enemy. Really. Identify your enemy. Name him or her or them. If you say you don’t have one you are being dishonest with yourself. Is it your neighbor? Your ex? Someone you work with? A person who bullied you? Someone who stole from you? Somebody who assaulted you or someone you love? A political party leader? A terrorist? A religion? Identify your enemy by name — and then read these words spoken by Jesus.

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.” Luke 6:27-29

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:35-36

Have you given your enemy any gifts or money lately? Have you blessed them by doing something for them or helping them in some way? Have you truly prayed for their well-being or health or happiness recently?

I’ll say it again. These are some of the most difficult words from Jesus you will find. Lord, please help us to be more like You!