Isa:44:6 – The words of Yahweh, Israel’s true King and Kinsman-Redeemer, Yahweh, Commander of Angel Armies, says: “I am the Beginning and I am the Ending, and I am the only God there is”.

Things can get quite cloudy or confusing if you get your eyes on this present world and get caught up in this present system that is trying to swallow up every semblance of the Kingdom of God. Obviously the spirit of antichrist has been unleashed in this generation attempting to distract and discourage the children of light. In the midst of the noise there is one thing that helps get me back on track; remember that the Creator Himself has become a man and is my Redeemer. The concept of Kinsman Redeemer in the Hebrew world was a glimpse into the person of Jesus of Nazareth. To say it bluntly, God became a man to redeem us from the misery of this life. Here is a thought about the Kinsman Redeemer from the Passion Notes.

“Favor and mercy always triumph over judgment. God will excel in grace toward his people and give them back even more than what sins spoiled and Satan stole. There is coming a day when Lord Yahweh will wield his massive, mighty sword and take up our cause, slaying the serpent of confusion and working a mighty work of vindication from enemies and redemption from sins in the lives of his people. He is our Kinsman-Redeemer, the Mighty One who unveils to us his cherishing love like a relative coming to the aid of his next-of-kin in trouble to redeem and rescue them. He loves us so much that he took upon this role of family protector, becoming the sacrifice to rescue us from danger and return us to God.”

That’s the way it is with the Lord, it often appears that the Lord’s people are losing and the kingdom of this world is taking complete control. Nothing could be further from the truth. The devil is the master of fake news and nothing he says will ultimately come about. The Lord Himself has redeemed us from our sins and ultimately the misery that sin hangs around our neck. Rather than abandoned we are remembered. Rather than defeated we are more than conquerors. Rather than losing ground the kingdom of God is advancing in our society.


Isaiah 52:8-9The Kinsman Redeemer is a mysterious character in the Bible. This man of mystery is seen in the story of Ruth. Ruth was a childless widow who was cared for by Boaz; Christ ultimately came from this unlikely marriage. Ruth is a great picture of the church. We were outcastes and unable to care for ourselves until the Lord took us in. Just as Boaz protected and provided for Ruth, the Lord has covered and redeemed us. He is our provision and protection in all things. Here is how MacArthur describes the Kinsman Redeemer.

“In Hebrew, the word for kinsman-redeemer is Go’el HaDahm. It comes from the word lig’ol, which means “to redeem.”

As the name implies, a kinsman is a family relation, usually the next of kin if there is no brother or another male in the immediate family. And according to the dictionary, a redeemer is someone who buys, buys back, recovers, pays off, or exchanges something for goods.

Putting it all together, a kinsman-redeemer is someone, usually the nearest relative, who is charged with the duty of restoring or recovering the rights of another and avenging any wrongs in exchange for something.

By law, the kinsman-redeemer had two main responsibilities: (1) to redeem family property that had changed ownership, and (2) to marry a childless widow and raise children in her dead husband’s name.”

Maybe you feel like an outcast, unable to fit into your world. You find it hard to survive and feel unprotected in this dangerous environment. Just as Boaz took in Ruth as his bride, Christ has taken us in. He has pledged all of His resources to protect and provide for all of our needs.

This example reminds me again of the great mystery of the incarnation of Christ. God Himself became one of us. He is our closest relative. He became a human that we can be included in His family. If He is my protector and provider I have no concern. My role is to stay totally dependent on Him and to enjoy this unlikely relationship. Christ is my kinsman Redeemer.


Matt:21:31,32 – Jesus said, “You’re right. For many sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes are going into God’s kingdom realm ahead of you! John came to show you the path of goodness and righteousness, yet the despised and outcasts believed in him, but you did not. When you saw them turn, you neither repented of your ways nor believed his words.”

Kanye West has got church people talking, everyone has their opinion. I guess everyone is shocked to see Kanye accept the message of Christ and repentance. Who would have thought? It’s quite shocking to see who accepts the gospel and those who don’t. That was one of the shocking things about the ministry of John the Baptist and of Jesus. The folks who were practicing religion, the Pharisees and Sadducees, were unimpressed with the ministry of Jesus and had no intention of following the Lord. Actually His ministry was quite inconvenient. On the other hand the prostitutes, the publicans, tax collectors, and all sorts of common sinners were passionately following the Lord. The church folks were disgusted with the likes of Mary Magdalene, Simon the Zealot, and Matthew the tax collector but these were part of His inner circle who followed Him with their lives and ultimately changed the world. Like Jesus said, “people’s hearts burn with extreme passion to press in and receive it (the kingdom of God)”.

Today, not much has changed. Church people like the status quo. Of course they want more folks but don’t rock the boat with riffraff, just give them the “quality people”. The problem is Jesus has always liked to rock the boat. Uneducated fishermen, prostitutes, tax gatherers, and a cursing Pharisee were His primary vessels. He sits in the heavens and laughs as He orchestrates His plans to change the world.

What made me start thinking about all this was Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, not exactly the pair you would have picked to represent your church last year. Kanye claims to be born again and has renounced his old lifestyle. What if his salvation is legit? This reminds me of the summer of 1973 and the movie JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. The church world was irate and even picketed some theaters, I was getting saved and beginning my gospel journey. Maybe the Lord is calling in His tax collectors, publicans, and sinners once again. Maybe Kanye is just another sign of how Jesus loves to rock the boat.


Lk. 13:20,21 – Jesus taught them another parable: “How can I describe God’s kingdom realm? Let me give you this illustration: It is like something as small as yeast that a woman kneads into a large amount of dough. It works unseen until it permeates the entire batch and rises high.

Since everyone else is throwing in their two cents worth I thought I might as well join in at my own peril. For the old timers I want to remind you of another very public conversion of a very public influential figure by the name of Bob Dylan. All of us Christians were so excited when someone of his influence came to Christ. For those that are too young to remember, Dylan had a huge influence on society through his music. His anti-war message was espoused by an entire generation. His conversion was quite public. He recorded two overtly Christian albums; SLOW TRAIN COMING, and SAVED. Here is where the problem came in, new Christians are often compromised when they are thrown into the public and commercialized. That’s what happened to Dylan. Seeing Christian leaders use and manipulate his celebrity for their own benefit stumbled him. Today I am not sure he still considers himself a Christian. As far as Kanye is concerned just let him be. Let him just be a young Christian. More than that puts his faith in a precarious position. The testimony of Kanye can be very powerful, it can be like the yeast in today’s verse. Here is how the notes in the Passion Bible explain this.

“The meaning of this parable is that something small can impact and penetrate something great. It is the pervading influence of virtue and truth that is highlighted here. A transformation takes place when the hidden yet pervasive kingdom impacts every part of culture and society around us.”

I personally believe Kanye’s testimony is valid. Hopefully Christians will not try to manipulate him or his story. The testimony of conversion from the life he lived can stand on its own. Being delivered from the hedonistic lifestyle and culture Kanye West helped to build is enormous and is sending shock waves through society. Here are some words from Dylan after his conversion, this is for all of us, even Kanye.

Might be a Rock-n-roll addict

Prancing on the stage

Money, Drugs at your command

Women in a cage

You may be a businessman

Or some high degree thief

They may call you doctor

Or they may call you chief

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Yes you are, you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Well it may be the Devil

Or it may be the Lord

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody


Now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be —1 John 3:2

This is one of those Bible doctrines that falls into the unfathomable category. Just think about Who we are talking about being sons of, we are speaking of the Creator of all things Himself. He has brought us into His very own family, into a fellowship that the Heavenly Father and the uncreated Son of God have enjoyed from eternity. The ramifications are unthinkable. We were once enemies of God, children of darkness, until God’s only Son became one of us. He purchased us with His own blood and the results; He has sent the Spirit of Sonship into our hearts. This is more than just a legal adoption, He has come to live inside of us making us essentially one with HIm. This is too good to be true. Here is how A. B. Simpson sees this verse.

“We are the sons of God. We are not merely called such or even legally declared so, but we actually are sons of God by receiving the life and nature of God. And so we are the very brethren of our Lord, not only in His human nature, but still more so in His divine relationship. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call [us] brethren. He gives us that which entitles us to that right, and makes us worthy of it. He does not introduce us into a position for which we are uneducated and unfitted, but He gives us a nature worthy of our glorious standing; and as He shall look upon us in our complete and glorious exaltation-reflecting His own likeness and shining in His Father’s glory-He shall have no cause to be ashamed of us. Even now He is pleased to acknowledge us before the universe and call us brethren in the sight of all earth and heaven. Oh, how this dignifies the humblest saint of God! How little we need mind the misunderstanding of the world if He is not ashamed to call [us] brethren.”

What is the privilege of being family? It is access, fellowship with God. Jesus described this in His final prayer, He prayed that we could enjoy the intimacy with the Father that He had enjoyed from eternity. This is our inheritance, fellowship with God. This is why Jesus came, this is what He purchased with His own blood.


Eph.1:21 – far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.


This has to be in that too good to be true category. Jesus not only forgave and cleansed us, He restored man to a place of authority. All of us were born in a state of servitude. We were bound by our sinful nature. Our sinful state kept us in bondage. The results of our fall was dealt with by the the cross. Because of the cross we now qualify to be His dwelling place. Now Christ is in us, working His beautiful plan in us. When we represent Him all things become possible. Here is how Erasmus describe this verse.

“Paul here explains what it means for Christ to be seated at the right hand of God in heaven. It means that he has become Lord of all things in heaven and on earth and that he has been made high above everything in heaven and on earth. There is no principality, no power, no strength, no dominion and no name that can be compared with him. All things are subject to him, and he has been raised up so high above all the creatures that he has been appointed the cause, author, giver and transmitter of our righteousness and made our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Finally, our salvation is located in Christ alone.”

How does this effect my day to day life? Like Paul said, if Christ is for me who can be against me? No matter what I face, whether it is sickness, lack, temptation, or simply demonic attack, none of these enemies will stop me or the Lord’s plan in my life. Christ is seated at the Father’s right hand, He is ruling all things. I have to ask myself, am I following the Lord and His plan? If the answer is yes all I need to do is rest. It is impossible for the Lord’s plan to be thwarted. He has my past, my present, and my future. Why should I worry? He will finish what He started.



“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.  As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.” Luke 7:37

What a picture of redemption! It shows how much our emotions are to overflow toward our Savior! When He walks into the room do we treat him as ordinary? Or even better when our brothers and sisters come for a visit! My oh my how many times did I turn my head away! Some historians say that this woman was no stranger in this Pharisees house. We of course don’t know but everyone seems to know what her occupation was! It was also indicated that she had an encounter with Jesus earlier and came to this house to give thanks. Whatever the case is, her encounter was timely and newsworthy. Her life was turned upside down and instead of using her precious oil on men, she poured out her life onto Christ. All the feelings inside of her became white as fullers soap and she knew the old ways were finished. Her repentance filled the washbowl and poured over! The same hair that she used on others she used for the Son of God. The Pharisee on the other hand showed no common courtesy to Christ because he thought he was just another fixture in the room. In fact it sounds like he didn’t show any attention to Jesus at all. But this woman begin to cry and cry and kiss his feet over and again using her hair as a towel and wiping away the oil and the tears. We will call them heart tears! What a spectacle she must have been in the room! To those that know where they have been and know where they are, they have no trouble being a spectacle all the days of their lives. The alabaster box of devotion breaks out in all of us. We give him back what was meant for him in the first place. We can never diminish the guilt of sin and the amount of grace that it took to free us from it!

Christ turns to the annoyed Pharisee and demands him to “look at the woman”! Christ chides him by saying, ‘You gave Me no water for My feet; but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.'” What a changing of places there is now! The Lord has made the first to be last and the last to be first! Simon the Pharisee thought himself far more advanced than this woman. Where are your heart tears?


Rev. 21:9-11 – Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

The end of the Bible seen in the closing chapters of Revelation helps us begin to glimpse God’s ultimate and glorious plan. The scriptures teach us that all of God’s creation primarily exists to display the glory of God. From the minute intricacies of the microscopic world to the grandeur and majesty seen in His universe, everything pulsates with the glory of God. The Lord saves His greatest display of His glory for the closing chapters of His word. The ultimate display of God’s glory is His glory displayed on the Bride of Christ. She is seen coming down from heaven onto the new earth radiating with the glory of God. Think about it, the bride consists of a multitude of fallen humans. Each member of this bride purchased by His blood and transformed by His Spirit. We have been joined together as one body and presented before all creation as the ultimate display of God’s glory displayed in His act of grace towards us. Unthinkable! Here are some thoughts from Jonathan Edwards on this incredible display of glory.

“That the glory of God is the highest and last end of the work of redemption, is confirmed by the song of the angels at Christ’s birth. Luke 2:14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men.” It must be supposed that they knew what was God’s last end in sending Christ into the world; and that in their rejoicing on the occasion, their minds would most rejoice in that which was most valuable and glorious in it, which must consist in its relation to that which was its chief and ultimate end. And we may further suppose that the thing which chiefly engaged their minds was most glorious and joyful in the affair; and would be first in that song which was to express the sentiments of their minds, and exultation of their hearts.”

So the Lord has taken liars, adulterers, thieves, and bigots and transformed them by His love. We exist to display God’s ultimate work, the redemption of a fallen race through His love.


Rom. 1:19,20 – For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Mardi Gras pretty much describes the spiritual condition of our world today. It masks itself as a religious holiday, the day before forty days of fasting and penance leading up to Easter. Our culture does its best to stay spiritual, rewriting God in their own image rather than beholding His beauty that is all around us. The Lord has chosen to hide Himself in plain view. What do I mean by that? Paul touched on it in today’s verse. The Lord has revealed Himself (to those who want to see) in creation all around us. His infinite nature can be seen in the immensity and eternal nature of the universe itself, His power is seen in the smallest particle of His creation. Splitting the atom displays a small taste of the power of God seen in nuclear explosions. His beauty is seen in the splendor of sunsets and mountain vistas. His creativity is seen in the diversity of His creatures (sloths, kangaroos, and orangutans). His wisdom is seen in the invention of sound, sight, smell and taste (not to mention ears, noses, eyes, and tastebuds).

He is also hiding Himself in the mystery of redemption. The testimony of hookers, thieves, drug users and dealers as well as bank presidents, businessmen and women, not to forget the professionals from all walks of life experiencing the power of His redeeming love. He is everywhere and so casually ignored by the multitudes.

If Mardi Gras typifies the real condition of our world maybe we should not call it the day that God forgot, but rather a people who have forgotten their God. Here is a quote from my wife quoting John Calvin. I think it pretty much speaks for itself.

“Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a day “that we obscure Christ and wrap him up with our subtleties that he can never be found. For they know precisely what his name is; but we empty him of his power and so exhibit a phantom in his place. Though we profess to believe in Christ, we invent for ourselves a torn, disfigured, emptied of his power, denuded of his office, such as to be a spectacle rather than Christ himself.”

Today begins the Lenten season. I am asking to see Him more clearly in every part of my life; from the trials to the blessings, in His word and in His church. Let everything that has breath give praise to the Lord.


Eph. 2:10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

This verse has a very interesting word in it dealing with God’s work of redemption in our lives. It is the word workmanship. Here is how Dick Mills defines this beautiful Bible word.

“ poiema – From the verb poieo, “to make.” (Compare “poem” and “poetry.”) The word signifies that which is manufactured, a product, a design produced by an artisan. Poiema emphasizes God as the Master Designer, the universe as His creation (Rom. 1:20), and the redeemed believer as His new creation (Eph. 2:10). Before conversion our lives had no rhyme or reason. Conversion brought us balance, symmetry, and order. We are God’s poem, His work of art.”

I love that definition, God’s work of redemption in our lives brought us from a confused and disordered life into a spiritual life of balance and beauty. We have literally become God’s work of art. His masterpiece began in us the day we were born again and will be completed and revealed when we see Him in glory. Think about it, you are God’s work of art. I recently watched a movie about Vincent Van Gogh. I was taken back by his story and after doing some research found that he was a pastor’s son who loved to read Spurgeon and Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. His spirituality in his younger days led him to an attraction to creation. He painted God’s creation and saw colors as conveyors of spiritual truth. Here is some info about Van Gogh from an article by Jacob A. Davis.

“Van Gogh’s work reflects his spirituality….Among his symbolic elements (which are quite extensive), blue represents God’s presence in his paintings, and yellow represents God’s love.  Reading Van Gogh’s most famous work, Starry Night, in this light, one notices that God and his love are present abundantly.  The sky reflects it, as does the town below.  The sky and village are both largely blue with God’s presence.  The houses are filled with the yellow light of God’s love….So what can we take from Vincent Van Gogh?  He was certainly not a perfect man, nor a perfect Christian….In the end, it is important to recognize Vincent Van Gogh’s attributes and his contribution to art as a Christian, for all of his strengths and weaknesses.”

Art, like music, can transport us and effect us spiritually. It is the Lord who created us in His image who gives us artistic talent to communicate His glory. Open your heart up to Him today, allow His brushstrokes to add beauty and depth to your life. Look for Him in creation, listen for Him in the song, gaze upon Him in a beautiful work of art. After all that’s what we are, God’s work of art.