Posts by horacedukes


Sometimes when driving on the expressway with my wife on board, I will change lanes without turning on my signal.  My wife will then point out my failure to do so.  Typically my reasoning for not signaling is there is no car around or behind me for 100 yards.  So although signaling a lane-shift, which is a warning to other motorists, is good to do,  it is not always  necessary. 

If your faith and trust in God is weak you might want a sign from Him for each time you are about to encounter a life-shift.  You know–a change that catches you off guard and brings about anxiety.  But the Lord realizes that if  He signals you everytime an event is about to occur, your faith will not be increased.  Hewbrews 11:6 reads, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comethto God must beliee that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”  So if there is no sign, keep this in mind, He’ll show up on time.

Happy Holy Days!!

Did you know that the word holiday originated from the phrase ”Holy-Day?”  From the beginning it designated special religious days of rest.   Of course, today when we think of the word holiday, our minds give way to time off work and any social activities that accompany the short break.   Unfortunately, for many, Christmas has become a time to be off work, to spend money, and to attend parties.

Let’s agree to make this Christmas, and all that follow, a great Holy Day.  Let’s make it a time of rest but moreover, a time to reverence our creator.  If we truly believe that Jesus was the Son of God, and our redeemer, doesn’t He deserve the tribute of a Holy Day?



Everybody Take A Bow

It is customary to take a bow after giving a good stage performance. The bow is the performer’s acknowledgement of the praise and adoration of the audience.

In the Old Testament bowing was a method of worshiping God.  When God showed his sovereignty to the OT patriarchs, they often bowed to honor him (Gen. 18:2).  To bow to a prostate posture honors God by putting the worshipper in a position that demonstrates a willingness to submit to His will.  There is a problem, however, if we bow physically but our spirit remains upright (haughty).  To truly worship God requires, first and foremost, the inner-being to submit to His will; then the physical act of bowing becomes and outward confirmation of an inward confession.

In Psalms 95 the listener is given good reason to honor God: (95:1) He is the rock of our salvation (95:3-5) He is above all false gods and is in control of all creation.  And so in 95:6 we are given the imperative to come and worship (bow down) before him.

In 95:8–11 we hear from God himself who admonishes us not to provoke Him as Israel did in the wilderness.  Therefore, if we worship Him we must trust him, depend on him, and let him guide us through even the greatest obstacle.   So when you are faced with heavy trials and burdens TAKE A BOW.  It is your way of giving praise and adoration to God for what He is about to perform on your behalf.


Door Number 1 or 2?

Doors have three primary purposes: (1) Entering and exiting  (2) Security/Refuge (3) Invitation.  Did you know your security, both natural and spiritual, “hinges” on who and what you invite through your door?  If you inadvertently open your door to a predator, he sneaks in under the pretense of offering you a benefit.  Anyone truly entering your door for good comes with no pretense and waits until the invitation is clearly extended.  Consider door number 1 in the bible where God cautions Cain before he sinned.  God said, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” “And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:7 RSV)  Of course, Cain opened this door and lurking (crouching) behind it was jealousy, anger, envy, and deceit.  These predators caused him to kill his brother.  Now consider door number 2: A door that has no one wanting to pounce on you at the slightest opening.   Behind this door is the Lord, who patiently waits for an invitation.  If you open your door (heart) to the Lord you are guaranteed the best benefits available:  Abundant Life, Peace, Refuge, and Life Eternal.  Make sure you open door two daily–not only in your salvific walk, but also in your smallest and greatest decisions.  “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” (Rev. 3:20 RSV)


Less is More

Throughout life we are taught to achieve because the end result will be an access to “the good life.”  There is nothing wrong with striving for success in life because it is admirable to desire a comfortable environment for our families.   As Christians, however, we should not try to impress others with our material goods.  In our Christian walk we will encounter people with so little sustenance that they will not be able to see the God in us over the “god” of our possessions.  Why not take Paul’s approach.  For all that he gained in his natural life he considered it immaterial (rubbish) when compared to having a knowledge of Jesus Christ.  A true knowledge of Christ, which includes, having salvation, love, peace, and wisdom, will give us earthly gain and spiritual treasures. (Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ…”  Philippians 3:8)

Spiritual Health

Some of us attempt to follow a regiment in maintaining good physical health.  Others follow no regiment; they simply make periodic trips to the doctor and hope their vital signs yield a good report.  The first approach is proactive–following a plan with the expectation that their efforts will yield good results.  The second approach is reactive–waiting for something to go wrong and then hoping for a quick fix.  When it comes to our spiritual health, God wants us to move from being reactive to proactive.  Do you know the vital signs of good spiritual health?  Well, Paul addresses this in an appeal for unity for the church at Ephesus.  After writing of the gifts of the 5-fold ministry in Ephesians 4:11, which were given to the church to bring the body to maturity and fitness, he then summarized how the body is complete with Christ as its center.  Ephesians 4:16 reads, ” Christ….from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (NASB)  Did you notice the vital signs?  (1) Christ must be our head (2) Christians must work together–as one body, every part must work effectively (3) We must have and display love, for without it the body is unfit.  Come on–Let’s get fit!!!

Do You Have The Right Stuff?

In Taylor Brache’s epic book, “Parting the Waters,” is the story of an elderly man who was approached by a little boy with a question: Why does the firefly light up at night.  The man knew nothing of the firefly’s genetic make-up so he responded, “The stuff is just in him.”  If we are truly in Christ, our spiritual make-up has been changed.  This change allows our light to shine in the darkness of this world.   Our light must shine through the darkness of sin, oppression, mistreatment, pain, sorrow, and injustice.  Why must it shine?  Because it is during difficult times that nonbelievers will look upon us and wonder how we can “light up in darkness.”  They will not understand that the reason is- you have the right stuff.  (Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify you Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16)