Jesus is still a friend of Sinners…

Jesus, Friend of Sinners
Luke 15:1 ¶ Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Jesus loves you! This is the message, this is the truth. The only thing you really need to do to go to heaven, is recognize you are a sinner, and ask forgiveness. The only people that Jesus has a problem with, are those who think they need no help.
Pride in God’s sight, is not a puffed out chest, and haughty attitude, it is simply thinking that you can live life without Him, doing your own thing, and ignoring Him, and His Word.

This is pride, when you see something in the Word of God, and then deciding you have a better idea. A walk with Jesus is a love walk, a journey into truth, never a destination. He is looking for a relationship, that ever deepens with time…
Reminds me of a story: I remember one time I was asked to visit an inmate during my weekly prison visitation when I was pastoring. I was escorted into maximum security, then into protective custody, where the prisoner was brought to see me, through glass in handcuffs and leg-irons. The man was a small skinny guy, about 140lbs, with short hair, and piercing eyes. I remember thinking: ‘Wonder what this guy is in here for?”. So I told him that Jesus loved him, and had a plan for his life, and that sometimes we get drunk or high and do stupid things, but Jesus understands, and will forgive us if we ask Him. This man looked me straight in the eye and said: ‘I know exactly what I did. I wasn’t drunk or high!’

When he said this, the hair on the back of my neck prickled up, and I suddenly knew I was in the presence of a very dangerous man. Out of my heart, I said: ‘Good! At least you know you are a sinner, and Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for sinners. If you have enough guts to face Him with your sin, He will forgive you, and give you a clean heart, and a fresh start.”

Very somber, serious words, to what turned out to be a very serious and brutal man. I watched my words register on him, and he was ticked off at me, and the guards came, and the visit was ended.

After I got out of the facility, I immediately called the addiction counselor that had asked me to visit this man, to discover that everyone else in their community was afraid to visit him, because he had horribly cut up a teenage girl with a knife, and the girl had somehow lived, and was presently in intensive care, fighting for her life. The counselor asked me if I would be willing to visit this man again, the following week. I told them I would pray about it.
Next day, someone shoved a newspaper in my face, with this man’s picture on the front page, the Media glorifying the horror of what he had done, and the life and death drama of the young girls life hanging in the balance in intensive care.
At first I was frustrated and angry, feeling like I had been shoved into a brutal situation, that I felt really unqualified for, then I began to pray, and realized God had not only allowed it, but orchestrated it, and was asking me to go visit this man again, the following week. I called the prison chaplain that oversaw my security clearances, and told him what had transpired, and asked him to try and keep this man alive until the following week, and to get him a Bible in his language.
We organized a 24 hour prayer chain for the wounded girl, and for him, that he not go to hell. God did a miracle! The girl was miraculously healed, and some top plastic surgeons donated their time, and when the girl eventually came out of the hospital, some time later, you would never know how horribly she had been disfigured.
When I went back the following week, there was a new man on the other side of the glass! He had given his life to Jesus, and was proudly holding up the new Bible the chaplain had given him. Turns out this man had been raised as a first nations hunter, and all he knew was killing and butchering animals. He had broken into the families house where the girl lived thinking there was no one home, and when he found the girl there, he did what he did with a knife, quickly. Makes my stomach turn to think about it, but God forgave Him!

As the court system performed its inexorable course of justice over the next 18 months, the man was sentenced to 12 years, with no parole. I visited him for the time he was on trial, and watched him receive ministry and grow weekly in the grace of God, as the prison chaplain integrated him into several small group Bible studies.

Amazing grace, Jesus left the 99 and found the one lost sheep. The one all of us had written off, the one none of us ‘ministers’ wanted anything to do with. Love never fails, and mercy triumphs over judgment. This is the love of God, finding the sinner and the victim both at the foot of the cross, receiving forgiveness or healing, as Jesus, King of Love makes wrongs, right, by His mercy, grace, love and power. This is the kingdom of God in action, this is love!
Let’s Pray:
‘Father, I need you to forgive me, and help me to forgive those who have done me wrong. You have seen the atrocities I have committed, the betrayals, lies, and breaches of trust, and you have seen the horrible things that have been done to me. Forgive me, heal me, find me Jesus, because I have lost my way in life. I need you Lord Jesus, help me, Amen’

Singing Their Sermon – What are you listening to?

Singing their sermon – The Power of Words


Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof

Thinking about one of the ‘boom chucka boom ‘ cars that drove by me one day, pumping violent murderous rap music into the airwaves, with about every imaginable cuss word being loudly inserted for effect.

poison rap

I know the power of words, that lead to thoughts, that will eventually lead to deeds…for it is written:

Proverbs 23:7 [Full Chapter]

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:

Thoughts Words and Deliberate Deeds!

I believe you could take anyone, and pump their minds full of that murder, hate, profanity, perversion, and adrenaline and produce a criminal…

Spoke with a young man one day about it, and he said: ‘Don’t mess with my music! It’s just songs…’

Sometime later, I was speaking with a medical doctor that volunteered in a facility for troubled teens.

I asked him how best to relate to some of these troubled young people, and what he thought about this ‘gangster rap’ kind of music.

His response was enlightening:

He simply asks them how much the artist pays them to ‘sing their sermon.’ He then explains to them that every song is a sermon, a message to the world. When an artist is producing lyrics to songs that are not edifying, every time we sing their song, we are advertising for the artist, and not getting paid for it.

If their lyrics line up with Scriptural truths, then we glorify God in music, no matter what style of music is used. If they lyrics portray violence, sexual depravity, hatred, and profanity, then we feed those things in our lives, and eventually open the door to performing that which we listen to.

“Trust me, that artist ain’t going to take your rap, or do time for the crimes you commit’

Our mind is a precious gift, a garden to be guarded, guided, grown, and transformed into the mind of Christ.

We can’t plant weeds in the garden and expect good fruit…


Be a true superhero, today – it begins in your mind…


Let’s pray:

‘Father, show us what we are putting into our minds each day. Help us to put in what is good, clean, passionate, and pure, and to intentionally remove movies, music, and messages, that are contrary to You and Your love. In Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

Here is another article I wrote you might like:

The Pig Pen or the Big Pen?

The Prodigal Son: Pig Pen, or the Big Pen?

prodigal pigs
I remember when we first started our church up in Ottawa, we had no place to meet, so we met in a football change house in Debra Dynes community. At the time, Debra Dynes, was one of the illicit drug capitals of the city, and as we would leave our little Bible studies, there would be gang bangers hanging around smoking dope, high as a kite, and initially, they nick named me ‘Preach’.
“ Hey Preach, they would taunt, what’s the Word of the day?”
My wife, who had never been involved in the drug scene, would encourage me to walk away from these mockers, but I would always stop, get in the midst of the 30 or so tweaking and bouncing freaks, and preach to them the love of Jesus.
This went on for awhile, so they changed my nickname from ‘Preach’ to ‘Jesus’, and it got kind of comical hearing them, ‘Hey Jesus! What’s the Word of the Day?’

word of the day
They thought they were pretty smart, laughing at me in my suit with my Bible. I remember one bold gang member trying to put a joint to my lips saying: ‘Here preach, take a hit, looks like you had a pretty tough week.” I saw in this teen actual compassion, he was so messed up, he thought he was seriously trying to help me!
One night, I felt the Holy Spirit come upon me, and I proclaimed: ‘Hey guys, I got a word for you, straight outta the good Book’
At that time, one of my friends who served as the prison chaplain, was on a six week sabbatical, and had asked me to cover services for him in the youth detention block of the local prison. I spent a most of the day each Thursday going from cell block to cell block holding a series of youth services, preaching, praying, and referring for counseling the youth that had been arrested that week.
As these gangsters were cutting up and trying to blow dope smoke in my face, I read them the story of the prodical son. Made it plain: How the young man in the story couldn’t wait until his dad died to get his inheiratance, but wanted his money now. Basically saying to his dad, ‘I wish you were dead’, and his wise, and heartbroken father, actually gave him his money, and the boy went on a spending spree of wine, women and song. Yet, the money ran out, and there came a recession in the country, and his so called friends all left him high and dry. The only thing the boy knew was farming, so he got himself a job slopping hogs, working on a pig farm,that paid so little, that he was so hungry he thought about eating the pig slop. Finally, the young man came to himself in the pig pen, and realized that even the hired hands at his fathers ranch were paid better, and treated better, and then he realized he had sinned against God and his father. He decided that if he was going to have to work for someone, that his father was a better boss than this pig farmer, and he decided to go home. His father saw him coming,


and ran out to meet him, and he said ‘Father, I have sinned against God and you, please hire me as a servant in your house.” Yet, the boy had no idea how much his father loved him, and his father brought the best robe, shoes, and placed the family ring again on his finger, and said, ‘My son who was dead,prodigal father is now alive, he has come home’ and he killed the fatted calfand threw a big party for him.
It had gotten quiet in that circle for a minute, and I looked these hardened criminals in the eyes and said: ‘Boys, God loves you, and you have a Father in heaven that has a wonderful plan for your life. He wants you to come home. Though you may not see it yet, right now, you are in the pig pen, partying, thinking there are no consequences for your actions. Tonight, I pray you listen to me, and give your life to Jesus, but if you do not, know this: Every Thursday this summer, I will be holding services in the youth detention block of the jail, if you will not hear me here, in the pig pen, maybe you will listen to me downtown, in the big pen.’
Uproarious laughter! To their drug induced minds, this was the funniest story they ever heard!
“Give me five preach! Pig pen or Big Pen!, preach got lines!” they said, thinking I was joking.
Yet, one week later, I guess narcotics officers raided one of their crack houses, and when I went in to the prison, there they all were, looking like lost puppies, heads hung low, broken.
So, I laughed and said:
“Come on boys, to chapel. I still have good news for you. God still loves you, and Jesus is still the way out of this place. You wouldn’t listen to me in the pig pen, and here we are together, in the big pen.’
To the glory of God, all of those boys accepted Jesus that day, and many were set free of addictions, healed in their bodies, and some were filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.’
Over the next year or so, I was able to work with their families, foster care, the chaplain and the courts, to get many of these help they desperately needed to make a clean break with a life of crime. To God be the glory!
Let’s Pray:
‘Father, help me to be unafraid of reaching out in love to people that look scary, or who are obviously criminals. Give me special faith, to love them in the midst of their mess, out of the pig pen, big pen, and back into your house of grace, honor, and mercy. Show them your love, power, and plan for their lives, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’