Ephesians 6 Thankfulness – Slaves & Masters

Ephesians 6:5-6  Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

Master / Slave relations at work and home

Ephesians Chapter six has some good advice from God.  The main point concerning children and fathers, [and later in life the relationship changes to a servant (employee) and the owner (boss)]  is the reality that our actions and emotions in these real-world relationships should be seen in the light of eternity.

There is no disconnect between our choice of attitude toward earthly relationships and our eternal relationship with God.  Humility, honesty, and a good work ethic on earth reflects our real relationship with God.


We are all a slave to someone and a master to another.  How we honor, respect,  work, appreciate each other is a reflection of our spiritual relationship to our eternal master.

God encourages us to understand the reaction or submission in each earthly frustration or seeming unfair situation can be an act of worship and trust as we take our concerns to God instead of emotional outbursts.


Unto the Lord…

Maybe an inner thought at work or family in difficult times is the thought “I do this in your sight and for Your glory God.”  This portion of Ephesians leads right into the reality that we are fighting battles against demonic influences rather than flesh and blood.

The success in family and world slave/master relationships is to do battle in the supernatural against the lies and self-exulting emotions the enemy tries to put in our mind.

Bring prayer, scripture first into situations  and ask the Holy Spirit to help us look past our emotions into our hearts as we call upon God for power to live in peace, forgiveness, understanding, and respect with others.  This is a great battle fought in the supernatural and acted out in the physical.


Be strong in the Lord.  Be thankful.  Work hard.   Keep Lightnside at work and at home.

Romans 12:1-2 Transforming Power

 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Conformity is a very strong temptation.

The power to conform is very, very strong.  It costs nothing.  It is very comfortable.  It is very self-pleasing.  It rewards desires.  But is it wise to conform to this world?  Does riding the wave of social standards lead to inner peace?  Of course not. If you are conforming to this world you are riding the downward rollercoaster to its end.  The fake news that promotes fun and success only ends in discouragement and loss.

Transformation only happens with God’s help

Romans 12:2 says do not fall into conformity but to transform areas of your life.  Transformation is NOT as easy as conformity.

Transformation is recognizing areas in our life that need to be energized to turn away from the lure to conform and become more alive in Christ.  Areas of our life that can become conformed is how we spend our free time.  Too much entertainment? Any time for spiritual development? Our emotions and relationships.  Are there charges on your credit card that points to conformity? We all fall into areas of ease.  Allow the Holy Spirit to speak with you to choose an area that needs to be transformed.

Renewing your mind

Our minds need to be renewed to the fact that we cannot transform ourselves.  We do not have the power to bring lasting change on our own.  We need supernatural help.

The word “Transform” is the Greek word metamorphoō  This word is used only two other places in the Bible. 


Matthew 17:2 NKJV — and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.


2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV — But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

It clearly refers to an inner transformation rather than mere outward conformity.


Imagine when you begin to ask God to help you transform something in your life.  Through faith, prayer and believing God is at work in you, you will begin to notice a brighter life.  Your growth is similar to Christ’s transformation.  Your heart and life become whiter and brighter as you move closer to following Christ’s example.

Do you feel areas that need transformation?  Do you desire a brighter life, a cleaner heart?   Allow God to put His power of transformation at work.  You will feel a brighter and whiter lightnside.

Romans 12:1-2 Upward living Part 1

Romans 12:1-2 NIV

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. [2] Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

God’s sacrifice – His Mercy


Without God’s mercy,  we would be hopelessly lost in our own sins.  There would be no escape from certain judgment and separation from God.  But God’s mercy sent Christ to die for us and provide a path to righteousness and hope through faith in Jesus Christ, our sacrifice.


Because of this mercy,  let us rise above the craziness of this world and become shining lights of “God’s Mercy” to the dark world around us.  How does this happen?  It is not automatic.  It is not easy.  Setting Holy standards require strength and constant attention in our heart and mind.  So much of our dark world’s ideas are trying to reprogram our lives toward sinful behavior and depraved thinking.  Let us rise above this world and strive to live by Holy standards to not only feel God’s presence but to present God’s presence to the world.

What is a Living Sacrifice?

Offer your body a living sacrifice.   This seems like an oxymoron.  How can one live and die at the same time?  Notice the two words.  Sacrifice represents the cost of following God in the Old Testament.  One would take their very best and most valuable sheep to be placed on the altar and killed as repentance and worship to God.   Sacrifice was the painful death of an innocent animal picturing the cost of sin covered by the innocent blood of Christ.

What does a “Living Sacrifice” look like?  We look closely at our lives and put to death (sacrifice) habits, attitudes, desires that are sinful in nature.  We compare our lives with the world and Christ’s standard.  We intentionally kill those parts of our lives that are not honoring to God.


This action is our sacrifice to God.  God sees our efforts and His presence grows in us.  What are some examples to consider sacrificing?   How do you relate to family, friends, and workers?  What do you watch, read or tweet?  What does your daily schedule look like?  Is there room carved out for God, the Bible, and prayer?  Make a sacrifice of time for God.

Set process, not goals

One piece of advice.  Instead of making a goal,  focus on creating a daily process.  Once a goal is broken it’s hard to really start a new goal.  But focus on creating daily or weekly processes of sacrificing known issues or the process of setting aside time to spend with God.

Ask God to reveal areas in your life that could be sacrificed as worship to God.  I know it is painful but it is an act of worship.   You will become closer to God and His presence will reflect a greater Holiness in your life.  The result is a greater lightnside for the world to see.

Make one change this week for a living sacrifice.

As I write this article,  I already know I need to sacrifice more to God in my daily processes.  No pain..no gain.

I feel good about it.  I’m striving to live upward.

Ps 46:10 “Be still”…Solitude with God

“We who have been drugged by diversions cannot expect to enter the quiet without a struggle.  Our souls will roar for diversion”

Gary Thomas, Seeking the Face of God



The quieter days

Some of you will remember when we had no cell phones, internet, Facebook, hundreds of channels of tv.  Simpler times.  Quieter times.  We went to church more.  Had more family time. More conversation with people. Probably more real friends.

There were fewer diversions.  Now we jump at every tone from our cell phones.  We have the capacity to fill every minute of our day with something.  This is an addiction just as difficult to fight as physical issues.

Solitude is worth fighting for

The idea of being quiet and having no distraction is something to fight for.  Solitude before God is such a powerful and fulfilling time.  It is in these quiet times that we began to know the real issues of our lives.  In solitude before God, the Holy Spirit brings up pains, emotions to deal with and receive healing.  In the quiet times there will come revelations that you would never receive in the business of the day.  God will give you a verse that is ‘your verse‘.  The more you meditate on it the more God reveals.

One powerful verse I love that God brings back to me is Luke 5:38 ” new wine must be poured into new wineskins.”  Jesus has new wine of His presence to pour into my soul,  but I need to prepare my old wineskin (soul)  to receive it.  I feel a drawing to mature in Christ through prayer and meditation.  The reading of scripture and the discipline of my daily walk helps me grow and repair my soul (wineskin). When my soul is renewed,  Christ will pour more of Himself in me.  More Holy Spirit power, peace, and praise.

A Practical Guide 

It all leads back to being still before God.  Mark out some time each day to be still before God.  I will share a simple formula I use many times that you can spend a half-hour before God very easily.  30 minutes of solitude with God:

5 min   Praise God  Psalms 57:11,  63:3-4,  Rev. 14:11

5 min   Cleans the temple (confession)  Psalms 51:10-11  (prays over yesterday’s problems)

5 min   Intercession – Remember the world 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (have different peoples on each day)

5 min   Share my needs Matthew 7:7-8, James 1:5-8.  ( upcoming needs, family, personal)

5 min  Quiet…let God speak John 10:27,  1 Kings 19:12

5 min   Read Scripture

“Solitude is the place where Christ remodels us in his own image and frees us from the victimizing compulsions of the world”  Henri Nouwen

Some of the material today is from a book called ‘Replenish’ by Lance Witt

Remember we are conditioned to surround ourselves with distractions.  Make a place of quiet solitude with God and you will find a brighter lightnside.

God’s Presence – A tale of two Kings

King Saul vs King David

two kings


Two kings, Saul and David.  Both were called by God.  Both kings were anointed by prophet Samuel.  But during their reign, there was an important difference between them which effected their decisions, attitudes, actions and had a drastic effect in their final years.

Neither Saul nor David was perfect.  Both kings made poor decisions.  David even committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband to cover up his disgrace.  Saul made poor decisions.  He had outbursts of jealousy and tried to murder David several times.

Importance of God’s presence

One major difference between Saul and David was their dependence on God’s Presence.  The presence of God made a difference in how they reacted to life.  The Presence of God makes a difference in how you respond to corrections and repentance.  The Presence of God helps one to seek God when in need and to glorify Him for His mercies.

It was during Saul’s reign that the Ark of God was captured by the Philistines (1 Samuel 4.)  Saul did not go after the Ark of God.  He relied on his own efforts rather than seeking the presence of God.

When David became king, the first thing he did was go after the Ark of God (2 Samuel 6.)  Even getting the Ark back to the kingdom was difficult.  But when the Ark was entering the kingdom David danced before the Lord with all his might.

Effect of God’s presence

When David was confronted by God’s prophet concerning his sin over Bathsheba and Uriah,  he repented crying out to God for forgiveness ( 2 Samuel 12).  David said, “against You only have I sinned”  (Psalms 51).  Saul made excuses and lied to God’s prophet about his sin (1 Samuel 15).

Our pride and selfish desires can keep us away from the presence of God.  Without God’s presence, we will become more self-righteous and begin sliding down a slippery slope of darkness.  I will confess the presence of God is not always pleasant,  especially if the Holy Spirit is putting a spotlight on your sin.  However, if you repent you will find God’s grace and mercy flooding your heart.  Your life becomes aligned again with God’s covering and the blessings of Psalms 91 (last week’s blog).

David’s life had its ups and downs but he lived a long life full of God’s presence.  Saul, on the other hand, suffered from depression, rage, and emptiness.  Saul even sought the demonic presence of a witch for direction.  Saul died in battle lost from God.

How to keep God’s presence

The main difference between Saul and David…the desire for the Presence of God. Many days I pray over Psalms 51:10-11 

[10] Create in me a pure heart, O God, [I look over my actions of the previous day and confess if I had said or did something wrong. I ask God to forgive me and fix my heart]

and renew a steadfast spirit within me. [I ask God to restore a constant reliance on God. To keep my emotions in balance]

[11] Do not cast me from your presence [I must have God’s presence.  I must feel God and be able to talk with God.]

or take your Holy Spirit from me. [ I need the direction of the Holy Spirit in my life. I need to be able to hear His voice even if it is telling me I’m wrong.]

Moses said I will not leave your presence.  David said do not send me away from Your Presence.  Today in a troubled world YOU need His Presence. Seek it today and every day and you will find a continuous lightnside.

God’s Presence – Benefits in a troubled world

The benefits of living in God’s presence are listed in Psalms 91.

This is the third message on God’s presence.  This message reveals the practical benefits of living in God’s presence in a troubled world.  I believe the time is running out for Satan and his demonic dominion.  He is working overtime to destroy as many people as possible before Jesus comes back to earth.  There are many signs that we are living in the last days.  It is important for us to be aware of satan’s traps and attempts to destroy our souls.

 Psalms 91. (New Living Translation)

V1-2 (Describes our focus on God’ presence daily)

“[1] Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. [2] This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

V 3-God’s presence makes you aware of satan’s traps.  (Anger, Lust, Unforgiveness, Rebellion, Pride, etc)

[3] For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease (of the heart).  [4] He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

V5-8  Protection from fears in the night.  Confidence in God’s power and protection.

[5] Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. [6] Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. [7] Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. [8] Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.

V9-13  God sends angels to help protect and guide you.

[9] If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, [10] no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. [11] For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. [12] They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. [13] You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!  (I would not run to a Zoo to see if you could literally crush a lion! God is speaking of the strength and deadly intent of our supernatural enemies. You have power in God to overcome them with boldness with God’s presence in your life.)


V14-16  God’s commitment and love to those who are living in His presence


[14] The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. [15] When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. [16] I will reward them with long life and give them my salvation.”


What a wonderful description of the benefits of God’s presence.  Even though we live in a dark world,  with God there will always be a strong lightnside.

God’s Presence – What is it?

Acts 2:28  You have made known to me the paths of life;   you will fill me with joy in your presence.’


What is God’s Presence?

Have you ever been in the presence of someone with great authority?  How did you feel? Have you been in the presence of someone who is very kind?  Or very scary?  How did you feel?

Their presence affected you.  There was some influence over you as you were in their presence.  You might have experienced joy or happiness In their presence you may also feel nervous or uncomfortable.

The presence of the Lord is no different.  While God is everywhere at the same time,  there is also a  part of God that desires to bring a concentrated presence of Himself to you.  A presence that can communicate with your spirit and share with you His spirit.  When this begins to take place you can understand Moses when He says “I am not leaving Your presence” (Exodus 33:15).  David said in Psalms 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God,  and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from Your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

God’s desire is to be with us all,  He is waiting for you to want Him.  God is waiting to be invited and sought after.  He wants your heart’s attention.  The blessings of His presence require a focused desire to know Him.

My personal experience. (1996)

I had been pastoring for many years.  The ministry was doing ok but I heard of a revival going on in Pensacola at the Brownville Church.  The pastor came up to Indiana to describe what was happening.  As he spoke something in my heart began to want more from God.  I began to hunger after this revival experience.  God was placing interest in my heart to know Him more.  God was waiting to see what I would do with that hunger.

I planned a trip to Brownsville at a pastors conference.  During the month of waiting, I began to read books on revival.  All the reading made me hungry for a deeper connection to God.  As the day approached, my hunger deepened.  I did not know what to expect but I had a hollow place in my heart for more of God.  The service started and I did not feel any different than I did in Indiana.  Then,  the drums began to play and the choir began to sing “We Come To Praise Him”.  Then…His Presence came!! The only way  I can describe what happened next is it felt like several grenades of God Presence exploded in that place.  I felt a deep presence of God.  I could feel it flowing in me.  Feeling up the hollow place in my heart.  Time slowed down.  Nothing mattered except being in God’s presence.  I still feel that presence today.  In my devotions and in my car.  I can call on Him and we talk. He brings hope, healing, protection, peace, rest.  All because of His presence.

Salvation, church, bible reading are all very important.  But there is nothing like experiencing a deep presence of the Lord.  In His presence, you will find rest, hope, faith, peace.  God helps you deal with life’s issues.  His presence makes life’s pressures easier.  His presence helps me respond to others in a more righteous way.


It takes hunger and time seeking Him.  Jeremiah 29:13  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Revelation 3:20  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

If you take time daily to speak to Him in prayer and bible reading and pour out your heart to Him,  you will God and His presence will grow and you will have a brighter lightnside.

Matthew 5:6  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Be- Attitudes – Poor in Spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 


This is the first truth Jesus spoke to the crowd of people seeking hope.  Christ’s words seem confusing and conflicting in today’s world. Blessed are the poor?? Does that sound right?  Let us look at the definitions of the words used then we will put them together to understand the truth Jesus shared.

Blessed is another word for “happiness”or “fortunate”.

We see someone who seems to be above all the pressures of life and is at peace we would say that person is “blessed”. Arn’t we all looking to be that person in this life.  To find the answer to worry, fear and insecurity?  To be blessed is seemingly a quality of existence and outlook on life that finds joy and satisfaction in any situation.

Poor – the Greek word  ptōchos (po-huas) – beggary, asking of alms, palper, poor.

 The image is of a beggar who has nothing and his only means of survival is at the mercy of others. Image these two words together in one sentence. Talk about an oxymoron!  It belongs with other combinations like  “jumbo shrimp”, “good grief”, or “the silence was deafening”. These two words do not seem to make since on the surface but there is a truth involved here that is profound and a sign of God at work.

Since Adam’s sin darkness has ruled the hearts of men. It has ruled the spirit of a man.  the spirit part of you is the reasoning, thinking, and feeling part of you.  It is the part that justifies your actions and determines your self worth.  Sin always builds it’s self up.  We become self righteous and proud of our achievements and abilities. However in this pool of self righteousness sin sets up addictions, anger, jealousy and other dark thoughts and emotions which lead to sinful actions.

When Jesus spoke – His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) spread through that whole crowd and the hearts of men were awakened.


A sudden awareness of the presence of Holiness laid bare the lack of holiness in man’s heart.  Just like in Luke 5:1-10 Jesus spoke to a crowd using Simon’s boat.  After the message Jesus asked him to go back out into the lake and fish.  Simon said “we have fished all night and caught nothing” (which is an illustration of an empty life without Christ), “but at your command we will go”. They went out and suddenly an abundance of fish were caught. Notice the effect this realization of Holiness had on Simon in Luke 5:8 “When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”  Jesus said your life is about to change course for the better.

When Jesus began to speak the very first sign of awakening to the new life in Christ is an awareness of our own need.


An awareness of our own emptiness of righteous.  It is that poor in spirit that brings us to the cross in need of Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing.

It is good to be poor spirit.  It is blessed to be poor in spirit.  It is wonderful to know Christ is a river of Holiness that will poor into our empty hearts the life and light of God and truth. Come to a place in His presence where you say “I am a sinful man and do not desire your mercy” and watch Christ reach out to you and put His light-n-side.



God’s Presence – Moses

If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here


Exodus 33:12-18


12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”


What is God’s Presence?

The presence of the Lord is different from salvation.  It is different from truth.  The Presence of the Lord  we are talking about is a relational connection with God that is developed through prayer, time seeking, faith and hunger to know Him more.  The Presence of the Lord is the Lord God Almighty actively present in your spirit.  God’s presence makes you different from the rest of the world.

How Does God’s Presence help us?

God’s presence in your life is a real connection with God  as you move though life, work, family, and any other situation you find yourself in.  Salvation is necessary.  Education through God’s word is also needed.  But without the presence of God, salvation and Biblical truth become something of the past and more mental reminders of God’s teaching. However when you have an active God residing with you, He takes His truth and gives new revelation and meaning.  Salvation comes daily as God leads you in your day.


Moses knew even though God saved Israel out of bondage and was instructing them on how they should live,  he needed the Holy, Almighty, Glorious, Presence of God to make salvation and truth alive in a daily walk.

Do you want to be better off then the world?  You need God’s Presence

If your presence does not go with us…I will stay.  It’s God’s presence that separates us from the troubles of the world. God’s presence is a guiding lightnside.

Take extra time today, tomorrow and from now on to seek God.  To talk with God,  to know Him.   Be still and KNOW…

Psalms 104 God is wrapped in light…

Read this Psalm slowly

The amazing, wonderful creator.

  1. Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
    you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
    he stretches out the heavens like a tent
    and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
    and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
    flames of fire his servants.

He set the earth on its foundations;
    it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
    they went down into the valleys,
    to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
    never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
    it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
    they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
    the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to cultivate—
    bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
    oil to make their faces shine,
    and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the Lord are well watered,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
    the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
    the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
    and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey
    and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
    they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work,
    to their labor until evening.

24 How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number—
    living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
    and the wicked be no more.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.

wow.  This chapter puts a lightnside me!