Satisfying Hunger #likeJesus

Do we seek after God for God Himself, or for what God can do for us?

After Jesus fed the 5000, the crowds flocked to Him.  In John 6, we read Jesus’ words for the crowds.

“The truth is, you were not searching for me because of the miracles but because I filled your stomachs with bread.  Do not work for food that spoils.  Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you.  God the Father has sent me for this purpose.”

Context helps immensely.  Reading these words in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, helps me to see Jesus’ words with fresh insight.

Hunger is a real problem in Haiti.  Open your eyes and you will see physical needs everywhere you look.  These needs bring people to our ministry here.  Open Door Haiti has a school, feeding program, orphanage, medical clinic…  all there to meet people’s tangible needs.

The needs bring people to our ministry, but they don’t necessarily bring them to God.

I’ve noticed this troubling trend over the past several years here.  While all our programs grow- feeding and educating more kids, caring for more orphans, and treating more and more sick people- our church here does not grow proportionately.  People who come to “fill their bellies” might not be seeking for God.

When the Catholic Church comes into the village with better programs, they go there.  When a humanitarian organization comes into the village with better programs, they go there.  Now, for the first time in my 15 years of coming to Haiti, a Muslim mosque has been built nearby.  If they offer better programs, people will go there.

How do you help hungry people to feel a different depth of hunger?  How do you help people to see their desperate need for God?

They must see something they don’t yet have.  It must be so real to them that they want it, hunger for it, crave it.

What do I have “in Christ” that others would see, sense, hunger for?

Love.  Forgiveness.  Peace.  Joy.  Purpose.  Strength.  Confidence.  Hope. 

Are these so much of a reality in my life, in how I live, in how I respond, in how I relate to others, that they see the reality of the dynamic presence of the living Christ in me…  and hunger for Him!

Here in Haiti, Father, my prayer is that the reality of Christ will be so demonstrable at Open Door that people will hunger even more for You than for mere food to fill their stomachs.


To learn more about Walking As Jesus Walked and Discipling As Jesus Discipled, visit:  SONLIFE.COM

Loving More #likeJesus

Am I worthy of being Jesus’ disciple?

“If you love your father, mother, son, or daughter more than you love me, you are not worthy of being my disciple.  Unless you are willing to sacrifice your own life and do what I ask, you are not worthy of being my disciple.  If you try to save your life, you will lose it.  But if you lose your life for my sake, you will discover real life.”

Jesus was preparing His disciples.  He was going to send the Twelve out two by two to minister in the towns and villages.  His instructions were very specific.  His expectations were clear.  The commitment required was high.

I love my wife.  A lot!

I love my girls.  A lot!

I love my family, my parents, my in-laws, my siblings, my wife’s siblings…

Can I say I love Jesus more?  Can I say I love Jesus more than my own life?

I can say it, but mere words are empty, meaningless, if I don’t show it.

So how do I show I love Jesus more than my wife, children, family, even my own life?

The 5 Love Languages are a simple way to look at my love for Jesus.

1.  TIME – Do I make Jesus a priority in my day?  Do I spend time with Him?  Am I in the Word?

2.  TALK – Do I make prayer a priority in my day?  Do I talk with God, not just as a matter of routine, but as a matter of relationship?

3.  TOUCH – Do I make the Body of Christ, His church, a priority.  When I rub shoulders with other believers in fellowship and meet others’ needs, I demonstrate my love for Him.

4.  TREASURE – Do I demonstrate that Jesus is a priority in the way I share the talents and treasures God has given me?  Am I generous?  Do I view what I have as mine, or as God’s?

5.  SERVICE – Do I put others’ needs ahead of my own?  Am I selfless?  Whenever I “feed the hungry, clothe the naked, embrace the orphaned” I do that for Jesus and demonstrate my love for Him.

Jesus actually keeps it pretty simple.  I demonstrate my love for Him when I obey His commands and when I love others.

Every day.  Every single day.  I need to ask myself, to remind myself, what it means to love Jesus.

I want my heart to yearn for, to ache for His presence.

“As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When can I go and meet with God.”  Psalm 42:1-2

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!  My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God!”  Psalm 84:1-2


To learn more about Walking As Jesus Walked and Discipling As Jesus Discipled, visit:  SONLIFE.COM

Rejected #likeJesus

This passage has perplexed many people through the years.   What do you think Jesus meant?

In Matthew 12 and Mark 3, Jesus says,

“Understand this:  all kinds of sin and evil speaking may be forgiven, but speaking evil of the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven.  You may speak against the Son of Man and be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.  Not now.  Not ever.”

The Unpardonable Sin

Many times I’ve had a worried believer ask me if they’d committed the unpardonable sin and now were going to hell.

My “evangelical bias” is to interpret this passage by telling them that the only unforgivable sin is to reject the Holy Spirit when He tries to convict you of sin and draw you to the Savior.  This is a sin of the unbeliever, not the believer.

But where do I get that interpretation from Jesus’ words here?  Is my theological bias being inserted into the passage?

The Pharisees are saying that Jesus has an evil spirit and that’s how He can say the things He says and do the things He does.  They are attributing the work of God to Satan.  This is what prompts Jesus to speak of the “unpardonable sin.”

The Pharisees were rejecting Jesus.  Attributing the miracles Jesus did to Satan makes their rejection abundantly clear!

The miracles Jesus performed were used by God to prove to the people that He was the Messiah and to prompt them to put their faith in Him for salvation.

The Pharisees rejected Jesus’ proof and the Spirit’s prompting.  Their hearts were hardened.   They couldn’t receive forgiveness.

You can’t forgive a sinner who refuses to acknowledge their sin and doesn’t think Jesus has the authority to absolve sin.  A sick person who refuses to believe they’re sick and thus refuses to go to the hospital can’t be healed by a doctor.  They remain sick because of their own ignorance, stubbornness and neglect.

That’s my “evangelical bias” on the unpardonable sin.  What’s yours?


To learn more about Walking As Jesus Walked and Discipling As Jesus Discipled, visit:  SONLIFE.COM