When God Sends You A Pace Car

You are not allowed to pass the pace car. They are there to keep the race cars moving at an appropriate speed. They maintain order on the track.

As I was driving this morning, I got behind a vehicle that was moving a little slower than I desired but there was nothing I could do. I could not pass because the speed limit was 30MPH. To be honest, we were probably going 30MPH. Nevertheless, it seemed too slow for my liking. I guess I could have honked the horn, but that would have been a little overboard for this situation. So, I just hunkered down at their pace, keeping an appropriate distance between us until they turned a different direction.

Often, God has placed pace cars in front of me to slow me down. Looking back, I am thankful because it’s obvious if I had moved at the speed I wanted, I would have ended up in trouble or missed some great opportunities. I could have married the wrong the person. I could have taken the wrong job and I could have ended up at the wrong place.  

As I study my Bible, I’m not the only one God placed a pace car in front of. Moses was on the fast track to delivering Israel from Egypt, but an unfortunate incident put him on the back side of the desert for forty years. By the time God was ready to use him, he didn’t feel ready to be used but actually he was more prepared.

Joseph was on the fast track for fame and power after he received his dreams, but God put a pace car in front of him. It would be 17 years before his dream became a reality. The 17 years of yielding to God’s pace car prepared him greatly. Until the time that his word came the word of the Lord tried him – Psalms 105:19

Our youngest daughter use to love riding her bike out ahead of us, but we had to put the breaks on her when she started to run through stop signs without looking.

Maybe the Lord has put a pace car in front of you? You are struggli

ng with patience, but God knows it is best if you go slower right now. It may be a big financial decision. It may be a relationship decision. It may be a job opportunity or the desire to relocate. Whatever it is, let patience have her perfect work. God knows best and it’s His kindness that prevents us from experiencing everything we want when we’re not ready for it.

Having said this, I must confess. I have, at times, drove ahead of God’s pace car. I’ve made some decisions that have cost me dearly.  I remember cleaning out gutters to make a little extra cash on the weekends. It was a cold November evening. I had finished the West side of a large house on Washington Blvd. By the time to I got to the East side, it was dark and difficult to see inside the gutter. The gutter was filled with ice. I had been taking the backside of my Estwing hammer to pull the ice out. It was coming out in large chunks and I thought this is going be easy. The only problem was, I couldn’t really see what I was doing. I was guessing as I swung my hammer into the gutter. Rather than wait and finish the next day, I chose to get it done that evening. The following day, I got a phone call from the owner informing me I had put holes in his newly installed 6” copper guttering. It was a $2000 loss all because I was in a hurry.

There is nothing wrong with pursuing your desires, but be careful not to run ahead of God’s pace car.

Desire Determines Directions!





Through desire a man having separated himself,

seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. Proverbs 18:1

This morning, in my reading, this passage caught my attention. Though I was familiar with it, I guess I just needed its message today, as I begin the week.

Motivation is a necessary thing in all of our lives. Here we learn some things about desire.

  1. There is the emphasis on the right desire
  2. There is the effect of desire
  3. Then we must ask how do I kindle this desire?

First, let’s consider the right desire. “all wisdom”. That is a wholesome desire. The fact is, Proverbs 4:6 says, wisdom is the principle thing therefore get wisdom … The physical, financial, spiritual, emotional, and relational benefits of wisdom are all mentioned in Proverbs.

Everyone has a degree of desire, but not everyone desires wisdom. Many people desire things that are of no eternal value at all, nor do they help in your relationships.

Second, let’s consider the effect of desire. “separateth himself” It separates us from the trivial, from the unnecessary and even from harmful things that capture our time and attention. We cannot pursue both, so if we desire wisdom, then we will leave off the other.

You know you have no desire for wisdom if you are not willing to separate yourself from the foolish things in life. We could illustrate it in many areas. You have no desire for good health if you are not willing to separate yourself from junk food and laziness. You have no desire for a good marriage if you will not separate yourself from those who want to destroy your marriage. You have no desire for accomplishment if you are not willing to separate yourself from the unnecessary things in life.

Desire prompts us to separate either from the good or the evil! This is why the right desire is most important. This leads to the next point.

How do we kindle a fire for the right desire? If we do not know how, the knowledge of t

his truth means nothing.

Start with the end in mind. Ask yourself some questions. Where do you want to be ten years from now? How do you want to be remembered when your life comes to an end? What do you want to leave behind? Will you look forward to meeting God?

Read good books. Listen to good music. Fill your heart and mind with thoughts that inspire you to pursue wisdom. Fellowship with people who have the right desires. Be a servant to the needy and most of all trust the leadership of Jesus Christ and follow him.

They Chose Swine Over the Saviour


And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts. Matthew 8:34

The Lord Jesus had just confronted two men that were possessed by demons. They were out of control, living in the cemetery and nobody would go near them. They may have had parents, siblings, spouses or children that loved them but could not go near them. Now, Jesus has delivered them. They are free from the power of Satan. They may live normal lives now. Grace came and new life is the result. There should be praise to God! There should be joy that One more powerful than the devil is now with them, but NO!

The whole city comes out and asks the Lord to leave. Why? What is going on here? It is obvious they had a greater interest in the pigs than the people! They were more concerned about filthy lucre than human lives! They had money, not the Master on their minds. Those swine represented cash. Those men, though demon possessed, were not hindering their cash. Now that the demons had left the men and entered the swine, they lost their revenue. You know you are choosing swine over the Savior when money is more important than human souls!

When Essau sold his birthright for a bowl of chili,

 he was choosing swine over the Saviour! When King Saul allowed the green eye of envy to move him to murder David, he was choosing swine over the Saviour!

Anytime your pride becomes more important than the will of God you are choosing swine over the Saviour!

When Pharoah refused to let Israel go, he was choosing swine over the Saviour! When Balaam compromised with the Midianites to snare the Israelites, he was choosing swine over the Saviour!

When Judas took thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus, he was choosing swine over the Saviour!

When you choose bitterness over forgiveness you are choosing swine over the Saviour! Any time you choose your flesh over the Spirits leadership, you are choosing swine over the Saviour!

It’s easy to criticize these men but have you been guilty of the same thing?

The Disciples on The Troubled Sea

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked  the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. Matthew 8:26

The disciples are on the open sea with the Master, He is sleeping,  and a storm comes but He continues to sleep. The waves are splashing over the bow, the boat is getting filled with water, yet, Jesus continues to sleep. The Master is able to sleep through the storm. This could be a testimony of what a good day’s work will do for you. Many would benefit from that lesson. They worry, because they don’t have enough to keep their minds preoccupied. We could emphasize this point further but that’s not why I am writing.

The real lesson that needs to be pointed out is that the disciples were fearful for their lives and desperately wake up the Lord hoping He will save them. The Lord wakes up and gives two rebukes. The order is significant. The first rebuke is toward the disciples and the second rebuke is toward the wind and the waves.

Let’s consider this for a moment. The Lord questions their fearfulness and rebukes their little faith first. Why? Because little faith is far more dangerous than wind and waves! Little faith kept the children of Israel in the wilderness forty years. Many were never able to experience the promised land because of little faith. Little faith keeps many people out of church. It keeps others from reading their Bibles. It keeps others from witnessing, as well as opens the door to fearfulness every time trouble comes our way!

Those of little faith are those who are ruled by fear. Don’t go into spiritual combat with someone of little faith. These are people who often allow the situations of life to rule their wellbeing rather than the Situator!

The Lord is far more concerned about our faith than the wind and the waves in our lives. He is more than able to care for the wind and the waves but He wants to see faith. Faith is necessary to please God.


We need to consider the rest of the story. The disciples did wake the Lord up and He did calm the troubled sea.  Why? Because they had a little faith. Enough faith to wake Him up but not calm their hearts. Do you have a troubled heart today? Do you feel like the Lord is sleeping as the winds and the waves of worry blow upon your heart? Wake Him up with the touch of faith.

Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? Arise, cast us not off forever Psalms 44:23

Christ will awake and you will know Him to be the Master of the sea!

They Lightened the Ship

They Lightened the Ship

And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they li

ghtened the ship; Acts 27:18

Paul is ohis way to Rome over rough waters. The ship he is sailing on is in jeopardy of being grounded and destroyed. The captain of the ship gives orders to lighten the ship so they throw out the tackling. The tackling was all of the spare supplies such as ropes, chains, and sails. These things were useful, but since the occasion caused a lightening of the ship, they would be the first to go overboard. Excess weight had to be removed to give the ship more buoyancy and avoid the quicksand, which was a terror to all Mediterranean sailors of the day. Many a ship and crew had been lost in this quicksand. Once the ship was grounded in the shallows, the waves would tear it apart.

The ship had to be lightened. So it is, in our lives at times, especially when we are going through a storm.

  1. There may be material baggage that must be removed. We have a lot of stuff, and much of our stuff requires maintenance. Time is important when you are going through a storm. Maintaining stuff is just not as important, and to have it begging for your attention when you have more important things to tend to makes life even more difficult. It may be that if you reduce some of your stuff you will find yourself more buoyant in the storm you’re going through.


  1. There may be emotional baggage that needs to be unloaded. Heavy baggage such as worry. Didn’t Jesus say to cast your care upon Him for He careth for you? Martha was cumbered about many things, but one thing was needful for her and all of us. Stopping and listening to Jesus.

It may be baggage of fear. You have found yourself paranoid beyond reason, but this is simply a testimony that you don’t believe God can take care of you. Call it sin and cast it overboard. It cost the ten spies of Canaan land their lives.


It may be baggage of envy. Envy some heavy cargo that is truly unnecessary, yet it abides in all of us. King Saul would be shipwrecked by it. Remember, if you envy someone you are telling God He does not know what He is doing! Ouch! Cast it overboard!

Bitterness is heavy cargo that is poison on the ship. Get it out and prove it is out by showing love and mercy. Remember what Jesus has done for you and allow His mercy to lighten your load.

Worldliness is heavy and will certainly sink the ship of a Christian who allows it on board. Ask Lot. The reason it was so difficult for him to leave Sodom was that he wouldn’t throw it overboard.

  1. There may be social baggage that needs to be removed. When you associate with people who influence you more for evil than you do good for them, then you need to separate yourself.

You may have over-obligated yourself because of guilt, and you know you cannot do it all because of the storm. Don’t feel bad about unloading it.

In conclusion, you know you need to lighten your ship when:

  1. You have no time for God’s Word and prayer
  2. You have no time for church or service for the Lord
  3. Your joy of serving is gone
  4. Your love for the Lord is cold
  5. You yield more to the flesh than you do the Spirit
  6. You can’t handle confrontation without losing your testimony
  7. Little disturbances now have become big problems

Lighten your ship!


Don’t Drink That Cup!

They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. Matthew 27:34

Contrary to the appearance of what we read, this was not an added insult offered to our Lord, but rather a drink that would alleviate the sufferings to be endured on the cross. It was for this reason our Lord refused the drink. He understood he needed to endure the complete suffering of the cross to pay the sin penalty for humanity! He would not make a partial payment, therefore he refused that cup!

It is strange that later he appears to drink that cup.  And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar and gave him to drink. Matthew 27:48

What was the difference? The second time he was offered the drink he had already completed the payment of sin’s penalty and would not jeopardize the redemption process! The first time the drink was offered he had not. As we consider his refusal we should understand that;

Some things are only wrong because it is not the right time for them. Vacations that must be paid for on credit alone are an example. The privileges of marriage without being married is an example. Don’t drink that cup!

Some things are wrong all of the time; Lying, stealing, drunkenness to name a few. Once again people often resort to this behavior to get themselves out of trouble. Don’t drink that cup!

Some things are wrong because they will take you out of the will of God. The Father’s will, was that Jesus would drink the full cup of suffering. It was the only way to make redemption available to mankind. Earlier the Lord had prayed, “take this cup from me, nevertheless not my will but thine be done!” He chose the difficult right over the comforting wrong!

In times of trouble, we tend to look for the easy cup even if it takes us out of the will of God. Like Elimelech did with his family when he left Bethlehem Judah during a famine to sojourn in Moab. He and his family would suffer greater trouble for leaving the will of God. Don’t drink that cup!

Often I’ve seen good people turn to alcohol when they were going through a great crisis and it only made things worse! Don’t drink that cup!

Some things are wrong because they are offensive to the conscience of another. We don’t want to be a hindrance to someone’s faith, let alone someone who is lost. Paul said if eating meat makes my brother to be offended, I will not eat meat. There are things that are not sinful, but they are questionable. Therefore it’s best not to flaunt your Christian liberty in front of those who may get wounded by your actions. Mixed swimming parties, certain types of music, and entertainment may offend another. If you are mindful of this, then don’t drink that cup!

 What we don’t do is as important as what we do when it comes to being used for the glory of God!

The ransom was paid as the result of our Lord’s decision. Doubters at the cross became converts!

Is Thy God Able?

And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Daniel 6:20

A friend of mine sent me a text not long ago with the portion of this verse that is in bold. Servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

What an awesome text to receive. It really made me think and it challenged me. I was able to reply, so far so good! Only by the grace of God! I liked the text so much that I sent it out to a few other preachers. One of them replied with a like passage;

At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.  2 Timothy 4:16-17

I love it! He is a good brother and has the blessing of God on his life. I ask you, dear Christian, Is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee out of the mouth of the lions?

You know the lion has hold of you when you choose sin over righteousness! You know the lion has hold of you when you choose pleasure over responsibility! You know the lion has hold of you when you choose to run from your marriage rather than work on your marriage. You know the lion has hold of you when you choose to ignore parental responsibility rather than confront the need.

The lion I am talking about is far more concerned about destroying your testimony for Christ than he is taking your life! If Daniel had died, he still would have honored God and proved his devotion.

God chose to deliver him for glory and it served to convert the king. You will face lions if you are a Christian. The question from those watching you, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee?

The answer will always be yes! Those who are eaten of the lion worshipped another God! In the spiritual sense, the only way the devil can destroy you is if you begin to serve another god, the god of self, or gold, or some other idol! Only God can deliver!

The king needed to see this deliverance for his own conversion. There are people watching you and I, who need to see us remain faithful when we are among the lions. It is the only way they will be convinced that our God is able!

I love Daniel’s response: My God hath sent his angel and hath shut the lions mouth … Daniel 6:22

Moses, what happened to Pharoah and his great army? My God hath sent his angel and hath shut the lions mouth!

Joseph, what happened to your accusers? My God hath sent his angel and hath shut the lions mouth!

David, what happened to Saul? My God hath sent his angel and hath shut the lions mouth!

Hannah, what happened to your adversary? My God hath sent his angel and hath shut the lions mouth!

Elijah, what happened to Ahab and Jezebel? My God hath sent his angel and hath shut the lions mouth!

Stephen, you are facing death, are you afraid? My God hath sent his angel and hath shut the lions mouth!

Paul, what happened to those forty men who bound themselves with a curse until they killed you? My God hath sent his angel and hath shut the lions mouth!

The question is never can God take care of the lions? The real question ought to be, Whom are you serving?

Gaining Entrance to Heaven!

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

Jesus pronounces a blessing on those that are poor. Strange as it sounds the word blessing could be interpreted as happy but it has a deeper meaning. It has the sense of being in a good position.

Let’s consider a few things about this passage, it is not about the financially poor although they are often poor in spirit as well. It is not saying the wealthy cannot enter the kingdom of heaven either. Lazarus didn’t gain paradise because he was financially poor and the rich man didn’t wind up in hell because he was wealthy. Zacchaeus was wealthy but found a home in heaven, Joseph of Arimathaea was wealthy and he is certainly enjoying the kingdom of heaven.  

How could one be blessed and poor in spirit? Well, to be poor in spirit is to understand you are spiritually bankrupt. You have nothing to gain entrance into heaven in and of yourself. If you would find entrance you can only beg. The poor in spirit see their need of God and his mercy and are most welcoming to God’s gift of eternal life found in Jesus Christ.

As opposed to the proud in spirit, whom God resists. The door to heaven is shut to the proud in spirit. The spiritually lost of mankind will remain lost until they see they are poor in spirit. The rich man that went to hell obviously did not see his spiritual condition before the Judge of all the earth. The fact is even among believers, our pride can hinder us from enjoying the blessings (I didn’t say salvation) of the kingdom of heaven. You may be struggling with guilt, bitterness, envy, or some other stronghold of sin and wonder why you cannot find victory. The answer is most likely that you forgot you were poor in spirit.

A story is told of a very large semi hauling very large cargo across the United States. It was extremely valuable cargo and they thought they had planned the easiest route to their destination. What they did not account for was a particular bridge they must go under. They were some four inches too high to clear. They brought engineers out to assess what they must do. They talked about tearing down the bridge to unloading the truck but were not quite sure of the best option until a young employer said, Why don’t you just let the air out of the tires?”

There is the answer! We need to deflate often when it comes to our pride! Remember, he giveth more grace to the HUMBLE.

That is why Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” That is why theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

Have You Been Defeated By Your Flesh?

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  Galatians 5:16

Maybe you have hit bottom with personal guilt and you are now fearful of becoming hardened to your sin. It is possible to no longer feel guilty about your sin. When that happens, you are in danger of becoming reprobate-minded. So, the very fact you feel guilty is good!

You have heard this verse and even read this verse but the question is how do we apply this verse?

Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh! That is the remedy for the flesh but how do we walk in the Spirit? I will keep it simple and straight from the Book (Bible).

Apply the three D’s

  1. Distinguish between the flesh and the Spirit- Sometimes we think we are in the Spirit just because we are having a good time but that is not evidence of the fruit of the Spirit. My flesh can be made happy and joyful through many experiences that are good and wholesome. Like eating a good meal, playing games with friends, fishing and catching fish! These things do not determine my spirituality. Lost people can enjoy these things. So I must ask myself, am I able to find joy outside of those things? Am I able to experience the joy of the Lord when everything is going wrong?

Take each fruit of the Spirit and distinguish if you have them in your life when naturally they would not appear. This will help you know if you are in the flesh or not. Often people fall into great sin by small degrees! David’s first sin was not murder nor adultery but the negligence of duty!

Read Galatians 5:17-23


  1. Decide to follow Christ. Getting victory over your flesh is a personal decision. No one can do it for you. Once you have distinguished your spiritual status decide to do right. You may have to confess sin. You may have to start soul winning. You will have to get in the Word of God and get into a good Bible-preaching church if you are going to walk in the Spirit. It is a directional decision! You know which way Walmart is! You know which way the gas station is! You ought to know which way Jesus wants you to go. Read Galatians 5:24-26


  1. Depend on Jesus. After you have distinguished your spiritual status and decided to follow Christ you now need to depend upon him for spiritual strength and guidance!

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5

We cannot live the Christian life without dependency on Jesus! We plug our phones in and we gas our vehicles up why? Because they need energy to perform. You may look like a Christian and act like one for a while but if you are not depending on him it will show up in your attitude and appetites!

David would later testify – Evening, and morning and at noon, will I pray and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. Psalms 55:17

What Motivates You?

Everyone is motivated by something. Even a lazy man can be motivated if you put enough fire under him. A story is told about a man falling into a freshly dug grave, in the late evening. It was too deep for him to climb out, so he decided to wait until morning for help. Later that night, an old drunk came staggering through the cemetery and fell in the same grave. He jumped and jumped but could not get out. Finally, the first man said, “Just wait until morning and we will get out together.” At that, the drunkard was able to jump out immediately. Everyone can be motivated! What is it that gets you out of bed and off to work? What is it that helps you press on when fatigue is setting in? Anyone with character has something driving them. What motivates you?

The apostle Paul was a motivated man. In Romans 1:14-17, he revealed what kept him going, even through disappointment. He first said, “I am a debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise…” People with good character can’t sleep well when they know they are in debt. They understand their personal obligation to pay off their debt rather than continue to incur more debt (How I wish the government would have good character). Paul was saying because of what Jesus Christ has done for me, I have an obligation to tell others. It would be like a cancer patient finding the cure for cancer and having it on hand to help others. If he had good character, he would want to use it to help others. His desire to give people a cure would be greater than his desire to make a profit. Paul knew the remedy for man’s sin was Jesus Christ: not the sacraments, not the rituals, and not religion, but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! Paul said in verse 15, “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you at Rome also.” He was moved by the need of sinful humanity! This is the behavior of compassionate people. They cannot be still if they can do something to help! They are moved by the needs of others! Are there people you care enough about to get you out of bed and off to work? Are there people you care enough about to motivate you to live right and honor God?

Paul was also moved by his love for the Lord Jesus Christ. Love is the greatest motivator! In verse 16 Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Paul’s loyalty to Christ was due to his understanding of the power of Christ. He knew change was possible to the most depraved person if they could just believe in Christ. He knew this by experience and it moved him to gratitude. The kind of gratitude that could not be still. Has anyone ever done a kind deed for you that made you want to express to them your gratitude? If so, that is how Paul felt. It motivated him to honor the Lord.

A man told a story of how he was saved from drowning when he was a boy by an older man. He told the stranger, “My father has money. Can I repay you?” The stranger told him, “Son, just make your life worth the saving.” That boy was Winston Churchill. What moves you says a lot about your heart!