Prepare for Meat

Is there something the believer/church can do that will bring meat to the table?


John 21:5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.


As I travel about out globe (in six different countries outside the USA in 2018), I witness a great need for “meat” to be served in our lives and houses of worship.  Is there something that we, as believers, and we, as the church, can do that will bring meat to the Lord’s table to feed His people?  I am convinced there is.  Allow me to share my thoughts on what is necessary to bring meat to the table in God’s church. 

Let’s begin with the words of Malachi.  “Bring the tithes to the Lord so there may be MEAT in My house.”  I don’t know how much more plainly it could be stated.  For there to be “meat” in the church, thieves must repent, turn, and “bring their tithes into the storehouse.”  A believer who does not tithe is a thief.  That’s Jehovah’s judgment, and I will not be fool and disagree with Him.  My friend, the servant of the Lord can be bringing the finest of spiritual meals to the church banquet, but the thieves in the congregation will never taste the meat.  While mankind has developed devices that can make adult food compatible for small children, he has never been able to create a device that will turn “milk” to “meat.”  Think on that. 

Then I offer you one more necessary element that will bring meat to the people of God.  The Word clearly states, that “strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, who have exercised their senses to discern between both good and evil.”  In short, if you want meat, GROW UP.  That means starting with milk that you may grow thereby, but one MUST come to the place where he/she begins to act like a mature, adult believer, and the demonstration of the development comes when they give clear evidence that their senses (the five senses that comprise in input gates of the flesh, and even to some degree, the soul), have been so groomed by the Word of God that they discern between both good and evil.  And that, dear believer, is no small feat.   

And all this rises from the wisdom of God; not wisdom as the world understands it, but the wisdom of God that is clearly defined by being seen in the person who “hears His (My) sayings, and does them.” In the eyes of God, that is a wise man/woman.  How about it, dear reader; where do you line up on these three Biblical premises/directives?  Are you a tither?  Do you truly live as a spiritually mature believer?  And are you, in the eyes of the Lord, a true son of His Wisdom?  If so, get ready.  Meat cometh. 

Manna for Today John 21:1-14; Malachi 3:6-12; Hebrews 5:12-14; 2 Kings 4:1-7; Matthew 6:25-34


Have Ye Any Meat?

SECOND MILER with text 2017Is there meat in the house of the Lord today?  Is it time for inspection?


John 21:5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.


When we speak of meat as it is presented in our Text for Today, it is talking about more than having natural meat on your table at meal time.  Yes, in the context of our Text for Today, Jesus was greeting seven of His disciples in the early morning after they had fished all night and taken nothing.  The question Jesus asked, in the broader sense, was inquiring as to whether they had any success in fishing.  And of course, we know the answer.  It was, “No.”  And by reading the contextual setting, we see that Jesus already had a fire built, and had bread and fish for them when they came ashore.  In that imagery alone, a dynamic truth is revealed.  Though you may not be able to put meat (natural and/or spiritual) on the table, by looking to the Lord, you can be assured of being well supplied, spirit, soul, and body. 

An oft quoted Scripture is Matthew 6:33.  The “these things” mentioned in that verse is “food, clothes, and shelter.”  God has promised us that if we would put Him first, seek Him first, we would never lack food, clothes, or shelter.  That is a promise to the individual covenant believer, and it is likewise a promise to the body of Christ, not only at the collective level, but I believe also at the local church level.  And at the church level, both collective and local, the “food” issue is a matter of spiritual food that is provided to the body of Christ.  Then when we look at the tithing issue as addressed in Malachi 3, we see clearly that it is surely the will of Father that there be “meat” in His house. 

At this point we come to the question of the day, “Children, have ye any meat?”  And I offer this question, not concerning the natural food you have on your table in your home, but to the issue of having meat to serve in the church, locally and at-large.  At this time in my ministry, my bride and I travel internationally, and in the period of a year have the privilege of being in many churches.  Please pay close attention to the fact that I am NOT referring to the message brought from the pulpit, though that can be an issue.  I am referring, rather, to what I see in the body of Christ.  Like the Apostle Paul, I see many people who need “milk” when they should be desirous of “meat;” meat that belongs to those “who are of full age.”  This is for your personal consideration – what is your spiritual age factor? 

Manna for Today John 21:1-14; Malachi 3:6-12; Hebrews 5:12-14; 2 Kings 4:1-7; Matthew 6:25-34

After the Dark

It’s amazing how differently things appear after the darkness is gone.


John 21:4 – But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.


Read our Text for Today again.  Now note its placement after the resurrection.  At the time of this happening, Jesus had, of course, already been resurrected.  He had appeared to Mary Magdalene, to His disciples (minus Thomas), to two disciples on the road to Emmaeus, eight days after the resurrection, to His disciples again (this time with Thomas present), and likely to many others.  After all that, Peter and six other disciples decide to go fishing, which to me seems strangely odd after so many encounters with the resurrected Lord.  Then after fishing all night and taking nothing, the disciples see a man standing on the shore, yet, once again, after all the post-resurrection encounters, did not recognize Him.  It is to that point I desire to speak today.

Each of us has, at some time in our life, encountered events and situation that were devastating to our emotions, dreams, and hopes.  Despite the times of encouragement that can come after such spiritual and emotional trauma, the effects seem to last on and on.  That is what seems to have happened here.  Yes, Jesus had been crucified, died, and buried.  But NOW He was alive, in a glorified body that had been manifest to the disciples on numerous occasions by the time this event occurred, and seen by per-haps hundreds of people.  Yet with all that proof, for whatever the reason, they had not fully embraced the truth of His victorious resurrection and the truth that His promises and prophecies about Him would indeed be fulfilled completely.  And herein is the point of today’s Second Miler.   Regardless of the truth we have heard, the witnesses we have received, and the proofs set before us, unless we keep our focus on faith in Him, the darkness of the world will affect our perceptions.

What have you faced?  What devastation, destruction, or deception has come your way?  How long have you found yourself laboring in darkness at what you naturally do, and in doing so, lost sight, and perhaps even the ability to recognize your restoration, restoration, and revelation when it stands so near to you?  You know the story surrounding our Text for Today, and it didn’t take long for the disciples to come to the realization that the man they didn’t recognize was, in fact, their Lord.  Here is the really great news.  Though Jesus had faithfully revealed Himself to His disciples, and despite that they failed to recognize Him on this occasion, He still loved them.  Out of His love for them came the miracle of the second draught of fish, the miracles of fish and bread awaiting them on the shore, and His work of relieving guilt in Peter for his three denials.  Jesus hasn’t changed.  Where are you today.  Are you with Him in the light, or are you perhaps finding it a bit difficult to recognize in the encroaching darkness that presses upon you?  Know this; HE IS THERE FOR YOU!



Manna for Today – John 21:1-14; Psalm 119:105; Psalm 119:130; 1 John 1:7-9; John 9:5; Matthew 5:14


Gone Fishing

Aspiration without inspiration leads to frustration and desperation.


John 21:3 – Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.


When what we aspire to do, especially when our aspirations are great, seems to be failing, the great tendency of man is to return to the familiar.  That is precisely what Peter did after the crucifixion of Jesus.  And interestingly, his decision to go fishing was even after Jesus’ resurrection; after Peter had seen Him alive.  Perhaps like so many of us, when our aspirations seem to be failing, or possibly just coming along too slowly, not happening as quickly as we thought they should, or in the manner we thought they should, Peter chose fishing over waiting on the Lord.

But let us not isolate Peter as the only one with failed aspirations.  He had a lot of company when he went fishing.  And think about who they were; Nathaniel, Thomas (who had put his fingers in the holes in Jesus’ body), James and John, and two other disciples (not named).  That is a total of seven disciples who went fishing.  Peter, James, and John were all professional fishermen; partners, in fact, in the fishing industry on the Sea of Galilee.  Though their success on two occasions would not indicate it, in truth, they were experts in their field, knowledgeable of their industry, and comfortable with those surroundings.  And it all points to what I shared earlier.  When that great aspiration does not seem to be bringing about desired results, it is so easy for one to fall back on the familiar elements of life, especially those with which one is comfortable.

Now think of this.  When healing seems to be slow in coming, when the salvation of a loved one seems to be slow in happening, when the needed financial blessing seems to be overly delayed in its arrival, how easy is it for the Christian to fall back on natural means.  Taking a pain reliever is no indication that one has stopped believing in divine healing.  Attempting to apply gentle force to move a loved one to come to Jesus does not mean one does not believe that the Word of God works.  Going to a banker does not mean one has stopped believing in God’s ability to provide.  All these simply mean that the Christian is not content with what appears to be happening; that the believer is under greater influence from circum-stances than they would like to admit.  It is, in fact, a symptom of double-mindedness, and it DOES ultimately work against our faith.

But rejoice, my friend, for even when you’ve gone fishing, and like Peter and his friends, gained nothing, Jesus knows precisely where you are.  He knows how to find you, show you what you need to change or correct, and walk you through the process to put you back on track to your aspirations/dreams.  So, if you’re fishing today, keep your eyes on the shoreline.  Someone who loves you supremely may be walking there for you right now. 

Manna for Today – John 21:1-14; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17


Whose Church Is It?

Does any believer have the right to verbally take sole ownership of the church?


John 20:27 – Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.


I have heard it so often in my life, and especially in my almost five decades of ministry.  Wherever I travel; locally, in our nation, or internationally, I have heard it.  In every culture and within every ethnicity where I have ministered, I have heard it.  I have heard it in churches, ministers’ meetings, prayer meetings, on social occasions, or just over coffee.  So, what is it I have heard?  I have heard people, especially pastors, calling the church they serve “my church.”  I understand how personal a pastoral ministry is.  I served as the pastor of one church for 28 years.  You can rest assured, it was very personal.  I knew and loved the people, watched the people grow and grew with them.  I dedicated the babies, married couples, ordained leaders, led boards and leadership teams, cast vision, cried with them, laughed with them, labored with them, fought battles with them, and buried them.  It was personal.   To the degree that the church I served was the focal point of my ministry, and that only the Lord and my family had priority over that church, I understand the sense of taking ownership of that local church.  But somehow, in nearly three decades, in all I face, in all I did, in the laughing, in the crying, in the good times and in the struggles, I could never really bring myself to call it “my church.”  That thought often came to my mind, but every time it did, I would take a moment and look at my hands, and for the life of me, I could never see any holes there.

Once again, I understand the responsibility that befalls the pastor.  As the pastor of the church, the pulpit was mine.  While I served as pastor, I was in control of who stood in that pulpit to minister.  The church board was mind.  It did not represent the body of believers to me, as in a democracy.  Rather, it represented me to the body as we served together in leadership.  They were invaluable in their loving service to the church.  BUT!  BUT!  BUT!  The church was NOT mine!  The church belonged, and still does, to the Lord!  I can tell you truthfully that in my 28-year pastorate, I did not call the church, “my church,” for it was not.  Speaking as a member of that congregation, I would often refer to the church as “our church,” as it was the body of our belonging.  But as pastor, it was NOT “my church.”

Note that I do not take offence when I hear others call the church they pastor, “my church.”  This is a point of choice to which I have given myself.  I simply choose to hold dear the ownership of the church as belonging to ONE, and His Name is Jesus.  He is the One with holes in His hands and feet (holes that are still there in His glorified body).  It is His church, and I am deeply honored to have been trusted by Him to stand in leading service in His work.  To God be the glory!  Just a thought on my part. 

Manna for Today – John 20:19-31; Ephesians 5:23



Don’t Despise the Latecomers

Eternity is a long time.  Better late than never, but never let it be too late.


John 20:26 – And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.


The day of Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to His disciples in a room where they had concealed them-selves.  We don’t know how many were there.  Jesus had many more than just twelve disciples; we know He had an additional seventy under specific assignment.  But we DO know of a conspicuous absentee; Thomas.  He was one of the twelve.  So, imagine with me what may have been transpiring in Thomas’ heart.  For eight days, he had been hearing all this talk about Jesus being alive from those who said they had seen Him.  But like so many people today, talk alone is not enough.  Emotion alone is not enough, and I’m sure those who head seen the resurrected Lord were excited.  But Thomas wanted to see for himself.  And my friend, that is not always a bad thing.

So, eight days after the resurrection, as a group of Jesus’ disciples were once again gathered in seclusion, Jesus appeared to them for the second time.  As before, His first words commanded peace in the room.  Allow me a bit of a side-bar here.  My friend, you can be assured that if Jesus comes to you, His words will ALWAYS command peace in the room, even if He has come to make corrections.  Settle your heart on that NOW!

But on this occasion of His appearing, it seem Jesus’ presence was directed at Thomas, who for eight days, had wanted to SEE Jesus, not just hear of the resurrection.  Still, Jesus begins by bringing peace to the occasion.  Then He spoke directly to Thomas.  He called upon Thomas to examine His body, and not be faithless.  Look at it again.  He brought peace first, and then reproof, rebuke, and exhortation.

Of course, from Thomas there was immediate repentance and belief.  But what must we take from this occasion?  Once again, peace always arrives first.  Secondly, we must never be offended if your words are not believed.  As Jesus said, those who hear and believe are blessed indeed, but the truth of our testimony will surely stand under the rigors of any investigation.  You see, Father ALWAYS confirms His Word with signs following.  Never be reluctant to speak the truth of God’s Word.  Have peace about yourself in every situation.  When people hear and believe, confirmation will come TO them.  When people choose not to believe, the Lord knows how to care for His own, and in some way, confirmation will come FOR those who dare to speak the truth.  Regardless of whether one believes your words, or the confirmation of those words, don’t despise the latecomer.  As it has been said, “better late than never.”  Eternity is a long time. 

Manna for Today – John 20:19-31; John 12:12-14; Mark 16:15-20


Why Do You Wait?

At an intersection, if the light is green, you don’t wait; you go.  Your light is green.


John 20:21 – Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.


Read closely and breathe in deeply these words from the lips of the Messiah Himself, “as Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”  If you have ever studied English grammar, then you should remember that a simile is a comparison using “like” or “as.”  Jesus’ statement and command is one of similitude.  So, first we need to consider HOW Father sent Jesus.  Read Luke 4:14-19.  Father anointed Jesus, and Holy Ghost came on Him because of that anointing to empower Jesus to preach, heal, and deliver.  Do you see it?  Because God HAD anointed Jesus, Holy Ghost came upon Him.  Holy Ghost comes to manifest Himself where the anointing is yielded to Him.

Do you sit today, waiting for Holy Ghost to move you?  Read our Text for Today once again.  How have you been sent?  As Jesus was sent, now you have been sent.  Once Jesus was sent, He did not wait for Holy Ghost to move Him.  because Jesus obeyed the Father, Holy Spirit was always there to move “with” Jesus, confirming His Word and empowering Jesus.  Now you are anointed, and being anointed, Holy Spirit will seek out that anointing that is upon your life, and there, when you voice His Word in faith, Holy Ghost will manifest Himself and confirm the Word.

So, stop sitting there.  Jesus has sent you to do what He did, and even greater.  It’s time to get up and get busy.  What is the Word of God commanding you to do?  don’t expect to be used by God in a great measure until you have shown yourself faithful in the smaller matters.  You have been sent just like Jesus was sent.  You have been given the same authority He had.  You have His Name and His Covenant backing you up in keeping His Commandments.  You have Holy Ghost as your Teacher, Helper, Guide, and Comforter.  You have been “inspired,” or “God in-breathed,” authorized, and empowered to carry out your role as a member of the body of Christ in the earth.  Why are you still sitting there?  Arise!  Go!  Obey the Lord!  The lost are waiting to be found, and you are the light of the world.  Why do you wait? 

Manna for Today – John 20:19-31; Luke 4:14-19; Matthew 28:18-20; John 14:12-14


The Same Day

On Resurrection day, much more happened than most people realize.  What a mighty Lord is our Lord!


John 20:19 – Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.


Years ago I read a great book by E. W. Kenyon titled “What Happened from the Cross to the Throne.”  It provoked me to study, learn, and investigate more deeply the events of that 40-day time period.  Today I want to examine two things that happened on Resurrection Sunday.  Immediately following the resurrection, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb where Jesus’ body was laid, and found the tomb empty.  While still in that general vicinity, she encountered someone she thought to be the gardener.  But when He called her name, she realized it was Jesus.  She immediately moved to touch Him, but Jesus stopped her.  Here is a question for your consideration.  Why would Jesus stop here at that moment, and yet later on the same day, say to His disciples, “Handle Me, for a spirit hath not flesh and bone as you see I have.”?

While some may not consider these two events important, I believe they are.  We need to consider them, and place them properly along the “Cross to Throne” timeline in order to gai a much deeper insight into the depth and grandeur of the events surrounding our redemption.  Too many Christians don’t seem to realize that Adam’s high treason in the garden of Eden tainted with sin, not only all things earthly, but all the way UP TOBUT NOT INCLUDING FATHER’S THRONE.  When Father made man, He gave him authority over ALL His handiworks in heaven AND in earth.  Adam’s high treason released all that authority into Satan’s possession.  That is why in the days of Job, Satan could walk right into the presence of Jehovah and accuse the brethren directly before God’s face.

In the Old Testament, following the ritual cleansing of the high priest before he went into the Holy of holies with the Passover lamb, if anyone touched him, he would be unclean.  When Jesus was first raised from the dead, He was perfect, clean, and pure, so He could not allow anyone to touch Him before He had taken His blood, the blood of the final Passover Lamb to heaven’s Holy of holies.  That is why He would not allow Mary Magdalene to touch Him.  But later the same day, He allowed His disciples to touch Him.  Than can mean only one thing.  Between the time Mary saw Him and His appearance before His disciples, He had gone to heaven, applied His blood there, cleansed heaven, and returned to the earth.  this trip was a short one in duration, but eternal in scope.  Then later, at His ascension, He was able to return to heaven with the Old Testament saints, at which time He sat down on the right hand of Majesty on high.  No longer does Satan have access to heaven.  He accusing must now be done in the earth.  Deny him any authority, for he has none remaining.  Jesus totally defeated him, so enjoy living in your victory, and TOUCH THE MASTER . . . TODAY. 

Manna for Today – John 20:11-20; Luke 24:36-43



The Sweetest Sound

One of the sweetest sounds you will ever hear is hearing someone who love you call your name.


John 20:16 – Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.


In our life here on this earth, one of the sweetest sounds one will ever hear is his/her name, especially when it is called by a voice the hearer knows that is from someone who loves them.  When I do leadership training in different parts of the world, I have found that regardless of culture, when the attendees have gotten to know me a bit, and I call their name, the immediate response almost always comes with a smile and a twinkle of the eye included.

Imagine the scene at the coming of Mary Magdalene to the tomb of Jesus.  She found the tomb empty; the body of Jesus was gone.  While still in the garden, she sees a man she believes to be the gardener, and she ask him where she could find the body of the Lord.  When the supposed gardener responded, everything about that scene changed.  Think about it.  She had already dealt with the sadness and bitterness at what she thought to be her loss of the one she considered Messiah.  Now His body is missing.   The response of the supposed gardener shook her world.  He responded by simply calling her name.  He said, “Mary.”  While she had not recognized Him before, when she heard her name coming from His lips, she knew it was Him.  All doubt fled from her presence.  What a joy surely surged through her whole being as she realized her Savior, her Lord, her Master, her Friend was alive and standing before her!  Once again she had heard Him call her name!  Oh how sweet that sound must have been to her ears!  Still, at that moment, though she longed to do so, she could not touch Him, for He had not yet ascended to heaven to apply His blood to the heavenly vessels of worship, there to be accepted and payment in full for covenant before Father, thus making heaven a fit place for redeemed saints to come and abide in the presence of Father.

But what of you, my friend?  Jesus surely knows your name.  Have you heard Him speak to you today?  Are you listening for His voice?  Whether you recognize His voice of not, Jesus still speaks to you.  It is directly through His Word, or by His Word through the lips of a servant of God, or by His Spirit, Jesus is still speaking.  Through dreams, visions, or gifts of the Spirit, Jesus is still speaking.  Are you listening?  It’s up to you.  Mary did not know He was alive until He called her name.  You, however, already know that He lives, and that He lives forevermore.  As the songwriter penned, “He lives….Christ Jesus lives today.  He walks with me and talks with me along the narrow way.”  Oh how sweet those words.  And as sweet as they are to the believing heart, a far sweeter sound is when Jesus speaks to you.  When He speaks to you, He doesn’t just speak to you in generic terms.  He is your Lord, your Savior; He bled and died for you; you are special to Him beyond your ability to fully grasp it.  When love of that depth speaks to the object of His love, He calls His love by name, and oh, how sweet that sound! 

Manna for Today – John 20:11-18; John 3:16; 1 John 5:4





Come Early and Stay Late

Your name may not be remembered, but live so that future generation will speak of you in a good way when they say, “There was a man/women…..”


John 19:39 – And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.


I find the Scriptures completely fascinating.  I realize they were not originally written in English, and that my Bible is a translation from languages such as Chaldean, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.  But a particular phrasing of words from one language could be consistently translated to similar phrasing in English.  For a moment, consider the phrase, “there was a man.”  In almost every usage of that phrase, someone is about to be described or referenced who played a key role in the narrative at that point.  There are many references pointing to this very fact.  For instance, there was a Hebrew interpreter, a dream teller, the father of Samson, John Baptist, and Nicodemus.  There are multitudes more such references, but in each one, such terminology points to something of significance in the person’s life.

That is surely the case with Nicodemus.  His entry into the ministry of Jesus apparently came early, right after Jesus had selected His twelve closest disciples.  In John 3, Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, and he was a congregation of ONE.  Coming as he did to Jesus, he was among the first people to hear the message, “You must be born again.”  Nicodemus believed then, though the new birth could not happen for him until after Jesus was raised from the dead.  That is what makes his faithfulness to his beliefs so remarkable.  He came to his belief in Jesus early, and he stayed late.

Think of this:  there were many who believed in Jesus, but who at some point turned away from Him, including, at one point, His own mother, and His disciples.  Yet we don’t read this about Nicodemus.  With Him, it seemed much different.  He came to Jesus in His early ministry and believed.  Then in our Text for Today we see him in the picture again.  But amazingly, this was NOT after the resurrection, but immediately following His death.  If there was a point when His followers were having a struggle in their belief, it was then.  Yet that is when Nicodemus came on the scene the second time; this time with 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes to anoint and attempt to prepare Jesus’ body for burial.  It seems Nicodemus was expecting something beyond a funeral.

Are you expecting something great to come of your faith in God?  If so, adopt a Nicodemus attitude.  COME EARLY AND STAY LATE.  It is up to you to be that person whose actions will provoke those who follow you to say of you, “There was a man/woman….. 

Manna for Today – John 19:38-42; John 3:1-21