Good Friday

Good Friday

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him…John 19:16b-18a

Good Friday is really good for those who have come to the foot of the cross of Jesus in repentance and faith. It is a commemoration for Christians of the ultimate and final sacrifice for the sins of the world. Through a cruel and grueling death, Christ gave His life—His body wreathed in pain, so the sick could be healed. He felt abandonment so the rejected could be accepted. He knew no sin, but became sin so sinners could be forgiven.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Oh, what salvation and love—the Lord’s life consummated on Calvary. Oh, what forgiveness—His raspy voice reiterated. Oh, what compassion—His swollen face communicated. Oh, what grace—His nail pierced hands activated. Oh, what good news—His nail pierced feet initiated. Oh, what humility—His crown of thorns demonstrated.

It is Good Friday because the good news of Jesus Christ’s love and forgiveness has been proclaimed around the world for almost two millennia. Taste and see that the Lord is good. He is good on Friday, but He is great on Sunday—because on the first day of the week He rose from the dead. Friday is good—but three days later is better—for He lives! Indeed, some who killed Him instantly recognized Him for who He was—they believed.

“And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the son of God” (Mark 15:39)!

Good Friday comes and Good Friday goes, but how is it with your soul? Does the cross of Christ move you to emotion—are you a grateful and engaged follower of Jesus? If not, embrace and celebrate the Cross. Ask your heavenly Father to restore the joy of your salvation, or maybe, you are coming to Him for the first time in faith and trust. Surely, this man must be the Son of God—who came to save you and the world from their sins.

Make today a meaningful memory of what your master Jesus did for you. Linger long in reflection of the love that flowed down and mingled with His precious blood. See His hands, see His feet; oh what love that makes your joy complete. You serve a risen Savior, who’s in the world today—He walks with you—He talks with you—He gave His life just for you. Good Friday is good—because Jesus is good—and His cross is God’s loving gift.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for Your amazing love on the cross where You paid the price for my sin, in Your precious name I pray, amen.

Application: How can I celebrate Good Friday as a sacrifice of praise and gratitude to God?

Related Readings: 1 Corinthians 1:18; Colossians 1:19-20; Galatians 6:14; Hebrews 12:2


Clean Conscience Christianity
Why confess past sin against others?

When our conscience is clear, the mind is undisturbed by guilt and free from uneasiness.

These “guilt deposits” must be dealt with. If not, every time a similar temptation to the recorded sin takes place, our minds will refer to that past surrender of will to selfishness for guidance.

At once, failure and defeat will crowd our thoughts, preparing us to sin again the same way. This is the reason so many people cannot seem to resist temptation.

This “law of sin” has terrible strength.

Romans 7:14-25 NKJV
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

God has given us two deeply powerful principles to overcome it. These two principles are the moral forces of confession—to bring self-honesty, forgiveness, and restitution to right wherever possible the harm that has been done by selfishness.

The purpose of confession is to restore a ruptured relationship. Too many Christians have overlooked the fact that when we hurt both God and man, it will be necessary to make things right with both.

1. Overcome Temptation

2. Obey God
Unforgiven sin blocks faith.

Clean consciences help you face anything. You can be
confident that there are no secret weeds of
unrighteousness that have not been rooted out and burned.

Past failure conquered means present power to beat temptation.

Acts 24:16 NKJV
16 This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.

Proverbs 28:13 NKJV
13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

If there’s someone you have sinned against and not made it right, to that person at least, you are not truly a Christian.

Spiritual Diagnosis Sheets

1. Stealing
Can you remember taking belongings, property or money that was not rightfully yours? List everything you can remember taking, large or small, and determine you will try to pay each back.

2. Cheating

3. Lying
— any designed form of deception.

“If you design to make an impression contrary to the naked truth, you LIE.” Dishonesty in action, word or appearance is an abomination to God. Lies cause distrust and suspicion.

4. Slander
— backbiting, speaking evil of another

Have you talked “behind someone’s back” in such a way to hurt their character, or in a way you would not be willing to do before their face?

5. Immorality
Are you guilty of past immorality? Your lust could have caused a complete chain of sin that can affect many lives. Moral impurity causes great guilt.

I Corinthians 6:18 NKJV
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

1. Levity

— needless frivolity, silly talk, speaking or acting like a

Jests that tend to undermine sacred standards of life like birth, death and sex.

2. Envy
Envy is “rottenness to the bones.”

Proverbs 14:30 NKJV
30 A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones.

Did you gossip and boast to exalt yourself at the expense of others? Does it hurt to hear certain others praised?

3. Pride
It is nothing but selfishness personified. It is thinking and pretending you are more or less than you actually are.

Have you paid more attention to your looks than you have to the state of your soul? Contention with others is almost always a direct result of pride. Do you constantly have conflicts with others?

4. Ingratitude
How many times have others gone out of their way for you, made personal sacrifices to help, and you have treated them like dirt under your feet?

5. Anger
Provocation only reveals the true state of your heart; it does not cause the state of your heart to become what it is.

6. Cursing
Have you hurt others by using gutter language? Swearing has no place in the life of a child of God.

To have said one thing and done another makes you a hypocrite.

Matthew 23:28 NKJV
28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

2. Hindrance
Have we hindered others from doing God’s will?

3. Hardness
Have you fought back, grumbled or returned evil for evil?

4. Half-Heartedness
Can you remember occasions where at work or on a job you shirked your full share of responsibility?

5. Broken Vows

Is there a vow you made to God that you have not kept? Did you promise Him something you have since forgotten or gone back on?

Active Listening 


Active Listening 

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19

I have to work at being an active listener. At the end of a work day, my tendency is to talk too much about work with my wife, Rita. I am learning to first actively inquire about her day, before I bore her with too many of my work details. Passive listening is like listening to music in the background. Active listening is like listening to music with headphones on. My mental clutter disrupts my ability to concentrate on another’s concerns. I pray for the discipline of organizing my thoughts so I am prepared to become an active listener. Active listeners selflessly focus.

James challenged his community of believers to talk less, listen more and not harbor an angry attitude. Perhaps he had witnessed unhealthy interactions between those who should be treating each other with the upmost respect. James addressed his readers as brothers and sisters. This family of faith needed to raise the quality of their conversations. The better we get to know one another—the better we should be at anticipating one another’s needs. Passive listening easily misunderstands, but active listening gains insight. God blesses a heart that really wants to hear.

“The more you talk, the more likely you will cross the line and say the wrong thing; but if you are wise, you’ll speak less and with restraint” (Proverbs 10:19, The Voice).

Who deserves your undivided attention? How can you show them that you really know them? If you want to engage in active listening consider statements like, “You seem overwhelmed right now. I feel a lot of pressure as well, but I want us to support each other the best we can. How can

I help you?” If someone expresses an uncommon complaint, repeat back to them the essence of their words. It shows you care. For example: “My body aches and my head really hurts.” “It sounds like you don’t feel well at all. You probably didn’t sleep well.” Active listening empathizes.

Most of all, daily go to our heavenly Father to actively listen to His heart. What Christ says is the most vital communication we have all day. Thus, we start the day listening for divine direction so we avoid pitfalls and unproductive paths. A heart that first listens to heaven’s heart is the most effective in engaging hearts on earth. When we actively listen to the Almighty, His Spirit flushes out our selfish pride and replaces it with selfless humility. Our active listening works best when we’ve been with Jesus. The One who created us gives us ears to hear.

“Let the person who is able to hear, listen to and follow what the Spirit proclaims to all the churches” (Revelation 3:22, The Voice). 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a heart that listens well to Your heart and to the heart of others.

Application: Who in my life needs me to actively listen to know and understand them?

Related Readings: Proverbs 17:28; Luke 10:39; Acts 10:33; 1 Corinthians 14:21; James 3:3-12

Happy International Women’s Day


Happy International Women’s Day

Guest Contributor

You may have noticed today’s Google Doodlecommemorating International Women’s Day (IWD). It has been celebrated every year on March 8th for almost a century now.

Setting aside a day to more publicly celebrate and honor women, as well as to advocate for more equality in their rights and treatment, is a God-honoring, good thing. But, as Mary Kassian notes in her post today, there is an unfortunate assumption among most advocates of IWD that for women to be treated as equals among men, they must be treated the same. In other words, their roles and responsibilities must be interchangeable.

Mary responds to this assumption with an insightful word for both men and women:

We don’t need women to be more like men—or men to be more like women. We need radical, counter-cultural men and women who dare to delight in God’s design.


I know that as long as we live in this sin-tainted world, women—the softer, more vulnerable sex— will suffer unjustly at the hands of sinful men. Legal protection/intervention is absolutely necessary to try to alleviate her plight. But gender-bending and role obliteration does not help our cause. It just makes matters worse. It is when men sense their responsibility to benevolently protect and provide that women will experience the dignity and respect that is their due.

Equality will not be achieved by pushing for gender-neutralization of male and female roles. Women do not need to be the same to be equal. On this International Women’s Day, I encourage you women to embrace and delight in what it means to be a woman. But more than anything, I call out to you men to step up to the plate and be men.

How Do I Know God Has Forgiven Me?



He was on a boat, headed for America when a massive storm rose up and began ravaging the boat. Immediately, he became scared out of his mind, frightened for his life, and started negotiating with God. “God, I can’t die. If you just let me live through this, I promise I’ll …”

In the middle of his panic, he looked over and saw a group of Christians who, in this midst of the storm, were worshipping God. His fear, contrasted with their peace and haunted him. Especially since he was going to America as a missionary to share Jesus with the Native Americans who lived there.

The Inward Witness

John Wesley was born in 1703 as the 15th of 19 kids. John Wesley’s father was a minister, and the family was flat broke. (Which, I guess, there are consequences for that if you decide to have nineteen kids.)

Although John Wesley’s father was a minister, and John grew up going to church every Sunday, he never really had a relationship with God. He went through all the motions. Despite his dedication towards living for God and doing all the right things, he never really accepted and put his faith in Jesus as his own Savior.

A couple of incidents led John to this realization. When his dad was on his deathbed, John was sitting with him, and his dad asked, “John, do you have the inward witness of the Holy Spirit?”

You might be wondering what in the world his dad meant?

The Bible teaches us that when we put our faith in Jesus and invite God into our lives, he literally moves into us through the Holy Spirit. Once the Holy Spirit lives in us, we’re never alone, and so we have God’s power to live the life he has for us.

An Internal Peace

In Romans 8 we read about something else the Spirit does for us.

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him, we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:14-16)

That’s precisely what John Wesley’s dad was asking. When you have indeed put your faith in Jesus as the forgiver of your sins, the presence of the Holy Spirit creates an internal peace. You know, without any doubt, that you’re right with God.

Do You Know Without Any Doubt?

Do you know? Do you know that God has forgiven you? Do you have that peace, the inward witness of the Holy Spirit?

That day on the boat, John Wesley realized he DIDN’T know. His parents were Christians. He had grown up in church. He had even gone to Seminary. He knew about God, and he had done all kinds of things for God, but yet, he had never personally put his faith in Jesus and said yes to a relationship with God.

The Bible is clear that knowing about God, even believing in God, doesn’t mean we’re forgiven. It says that even the demons know about and believe in God (Check out James 2:19). Jesus was clear that doing things for God doesn’t mean we’re forgiven (see Matthew 7:21-23). We can believe and do good stuff for God, and still have something missing.

When John Wesley’s father asked him, “Do you have the inward witness of the Holy Spirit?” John realized something was missing.

He realized it again a few years later on that boat headed for America to share Jesus with the Indians. When the storm hit, he was afraid to die. But then he saw the group of Christians who were at peace amidst the storm, worshipping God together. The sight haunted Wesley.

If he had Jesus as his Savior and knew he was going to Heaven, why would he fear death? He realized he still didn’t have that “inward witness of the Holy Spirit.” He wrote in his journal, “I went to America to convert the Indians, but oh, who will convert me?”

“I went to America to convert the Indians, but oh, who will convert me?”

The Journey From Head To Heart

Wesley continued to struggle with this until a few years later when he heard a preacher speak from the book of Romans. The preacher shared verses like, “for all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith” (Romans 3:23-25).

The idea is that we’re all guilty because we’ve sinned. But we can be redeemed or justified, which means God eliminates your sin. That happens “by his grace.” Grace means you get the opposite of what you deserve.

We don’t EARN forgiveness because God GIVES it to us as an undeserved gift. When Jesus shed his blood on the cross, it was a “sacrifice of atonement.” To atone means to erase. The blood of Jesus can erase our sins if we say yes to God’s offer. How?

Romans 10:10, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” We put our faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross. That belief happens in your heart, not just your head, and it leads you to “profess with your mouth.”

From Knowledge To Confidence

Wesley said that day he heard the message from Romans in a different place, not in his head, but in his heart. That day he said yes to God and accepted Jesus into his life in a way he never had before. His orientation towards Jesus moved from his head to his heart. It went from an intellectual belief to being personal, relational, and passionate.

As a pastor, people ask me, “How do I know God has forgiven me?” For some, the issue is that they grew up with Christian parents and going to church, which made it easy to believe in God intellectually. Intellectually believing in God is different from knowing with all of your heart.

Perhaps you need to hear the message in a different place, not in your head, but in your heart. Maybe you need to understand that you are guilty of sin, but God still loves you so much. And what you desperately need is not to be guilty of your sin, which is why Jesus died for you. Maybe you need to realize that his death can erase your sins if you believe, not just in your head but in your heart. And so, you say yes, and start a genuine relationship with God.

The Real Miracle

That’s what happened to John Wesley, and it changed him.

Several years later Wesley was preaching a sermon. Wesley would usually preach outside. As a result of his preaching, Wesley regularly got beat up and had bricks thrown at him.

On one occasion, Wesley was preaching in a town called Bolton when about forty people started throwing rocks at him. As the stones came, he continued teaching. Guys started running up on stage to attack him, but they got hit with the rocks and ended up asking God for forgiveness.

Wesley wrote in his journal that the real miracle that day wasn’t that God had protected him from physical harm. The miracle was that he realized he was no longer afraid to die. John Wesley finally had the inward witness of the Holy Spirit. He finally had the peace that he knew.

The confidence from knowing forgiveness is something we all need to know. As children of God, we also need the peace created by the inward presence of the Holy Spirit. It changes everything.

Do you struggle with believing in God’s forgiveness? Take a moment to check out our free 7-Day Imagine Bible Study to deepen your faith and confidence that God has forgiven all of your sins.

I dedicate this blog to JESUS my Savior; my Redeemer; my Restorer; my EVERYTHING. He changed my life. And will change yours too. I hope this blog will inspire you and make you get to know more about Him. GOD BLESS US!