Complain Right Here

Complaining-ManComplaining is probably one of the most respectable sins among people who claim to know Christ as Savior, next to things such as gossip, an occasional use of profanity or white lies. We usually don’t see it as someone who is complaining-it is usually the person with a bad attitude. After all, it does not seem that bad of a thing or that big of a deal because. everyone complains. We are only human. But this cannot easily be brushed aside as some small sin and Christians need to consider their attitude because it really exposes what they think about God.

Do you realize that this sin was severely punished under the Old Covenant?  It was the most common sin of Israel after they left Egypt (Ex 15:24; 16:2; 17:3; Num. 14:2, 29).  Paul says to the Corinthians: “You must stop complaining, as some of them were doing, and were annihilated by the destroyer.” (1 Cor 10:10 ISV).  Annihilated? Yes.  You are terminated.

It makes you wonder how with all the blessings we have in the New Covenant how God views complaining. Since everything described in the New Covenant is “better” (Heb. 8:6).

It should be very clear: there’s nothing wrong with going to God directly in prayer and pouring out complaints before Him. He knows our thoughts before we think them and our words before we speak them (Psalm 139). Asaph prayed, “I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble.” (Psalm 142:2). We are allowed to come and complain directly to the Lord (Psalm 77:2-3). BUT what we should not do is complain to others, look for self pity or grow a huge attitude about something that we should be directing to God in prayer. That is third-party complaining. It is bad enough when we think about how rough our lives are but when it starts dripping out of our mouths in muffled tones like spiritual sewage there is a problem. Stop walking around talking to yourself about how mistreated and misunderstood you are. God can hear you and He does not like it. All this is about is you wanting to have a one sided conversation with a total disregard for God’s input.

Complaining is having a grievance against God that results in cynical distrust in God’s ways. God asks, “Why do you complain…how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles? …How can you say God ignores your rights?” (Isaiah 40:27NIV/NLT). This is when a person mumbles bitterly against God. They are unhappy with Him and the way he does things. They are miserable because of conflicts with people or circumstances. They are resentful for what they see as being unfairly treated by God. But they maintain a veneer of religion and worship. Yet, they accuse God of wrongdoing under their breath. They make sure their complaining is heard but not too loud. They insinuate against the Lord’s character and make sure they make some kind of dig at God without him noticing. They do not scream in protest but as one man puts says they have, “the whispers and looks of discontent.” (Wagner). Complaining hints that God is not in control or it suggests he does not care for his own people. It diminishes God’s glory.

Complaining is a deep rooted heart condition that is seen as a cynical attitude. Complaining is the habit of those who have had difficulty gaining a biblical  mindset and godly perspective on the trials of life-because their expectations are unrealistic and unwise. So they are angry and depressed. Eventually their issues with God manifest in other ways. You usually see complaining where people are unfulfilled and unhappy creating an atmosphere charged with nitpicking, arguing and negativity that eats away at relationships (James 4:1-3). In 1 Corinthians 10 it is the last step before the cliff of total rejection by God of an entire generation of people and Paul intends to warn and threaten the church at Corinth with this truth.

You say, “Wow, that is ugly.”

Indeed it is. Especially for Christians who claim to love and obey God.

The New Testament teaches, “Do everything without complaining and arguing.” (Phil 2:14). Well there it is-everything. There is no amnesty where you can get away with a chronically bad attitude. It can ruin your life and your soul. My suggestion to cure this sickness of the soul is to talk to God in prayer and ask him to forgive you. Ask him to help you to learn contentment by trusting that he is faithful to his promises and will give you the strength to endure hardship. Study the lives of people in the Bible and read the biographies of Christians who suffered and remained faithful to God. Find mature Christian’s who have endured difficulty and talk to them about your challenges. It will encourage you to know that you are among people in a fellowship of sufferings that desire to identify with Christ (Phil. 3:7-10), who want to grow in his grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18) and have a better resurrection (Heb 11:35). Ask God to make you a testimony to others so that you can help others with the comfort you have received from God (2 Cor 1: 3-7).

© 2015 Soul Health Care Ministries. Come on now, give credit where credit is due.


ChristIsTheMystery“The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 1:1).   

The first word you cannot help noticing is revelation. The word revelation is the word apocalypse which has become identified with catastrophe, destruction and the end of the world. But that is not the meaning of the word revelation AT ALL.

To reveal means something like pulling back the curtains on a stage or opening a door and finding what is inside a room. It is discovering a secret. It is like solving a mystery. It is like finding treasure.

We are talking about God’s secret.

What is God’s big secret?


Jesus our Lord was and is God’s secret, His mystery hidden for many ages and generations now revealed to us in the scriptures.

The gospel pulls back the great curtains on the stage of heaven and brings out into the open, JESUS.

So the question all the time has been, “Who is this?” (Matt. 21:10) has been answered. It is not some secret philosophy or the product of some wild imagination. It is Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:2-3NASB). 

Though the second person of the Trinity, the Word, Christ, the eternal Son existed before time began with the Father He was not always seen, he was not always known (Romans 16:25-26). God the Son, seen as the Word became a human being (John 1:14). Now Christ lives in us (Col 1:27). He is the wisdom and power of God in person (1 Cor 1:24). 

God wants us to know who he is. So he gave us Jesus.  The Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Jesus is Lord over Life and Death. He rules over Dawn and Dusk. Christ is the A to Z, the Start and the Finish, the Center and Circumference with absolute command over all time past, present and future. The angels spill out their worship of Christ their King and demons tremble in horror at the Lord Jesus Christ!


© 2014 Soul Health Care Ministries-if you use this material give credit where credit is due.

Christ? Wash my feet?

washingfeetshort1Would Christ wash my feet? It depends on who you ask and upon the condition of the feet. I guess in these days of manicures and pedicures it does not matter. I know the Lord washes feet. The Bible says so. It is just so hard to imagine. I mean after all he’s….Jesus.

So I am trying to imagine myself reclining with them at that table. I would be thinking, “Is this all necessary for him to wash their feet and even mine?” Is he rubbing this in, forgive the pun, because we did not do the most simple of cultural practices at that time? He would use this as an object lesson demonstrating how we should serve one another. I get that. But the feet, man…the feet they are so dirty. My feet are so dirty. Yet no one even thought about it. Jesus said nothing at first.

Roads were muddy and dusty back then. People wore sandals. Feet were rough and abused. In most homes water was provided so people could wash their own feet.  Rich people had a slave who was in charge of foot washing in their homes. You know what bothers me? We are eating reclined at a low table so dirty feet are an issue-at least with me. Seriously, who wants some Apostle’s dirty feet near your food?

Jesus still -saw my filthy feet and still went on with the dinner and teaching the new commitment God was making with us. This bread is MY BODY…this cup IS MY BLOOD. Then he fed us. This was his object lesson about His body being broken for our healing and his blood was being spilled for our forgiveness. Although it was just bread and drink something spiritual was happening. It was as though he gave us spiritual meat and drink so that we could know that we live in HIM, and HE lives in us (John 6:56).  We are and were healed. Awesome.

What could show his love for us more than this? NOTHING. So, what did he have to prove? He could have waited just to show his love later on the Cross. Instead he does THIS.  It seems he uses as many opportunities as he can to show his love to us. So I began to think that it did matter they had dirty feet.

I mean Jesus let the disciples eat with dirty hands one time (Mk. 7:1-23) and explained that it is not unwashed hands but a dirty heart that was the issue. That time He left them as is, but not here.

Dirty feet and all, raw, uncultivated rejects of society (I fit in there) he selflessly and tangibly loves us. He goes right ahead and touched and washed their dirty feet. Then Christ, the eternal Son of God washes my feet and I am still confused why he would do this for me (John 13:7). All I could do is touch his shoulder and say, “Thanks Lord” and probably start crying. What else can you say to such an unmerited act of grace? But again what I sense is more than clean feet. The whole thing was refreshing. Then he tells us that we are all clean, except one. Judas. His feet were clean but not his heart.

Christ washes us by his name and Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:11). Hearing about Jesus will cause us, his genuine followers, to be filled with his presence. By this He refreshes my soul and your soul. (Psalm 23:3). He has cleansed us. He has washed us. He rejuvenates us and we feel refreshed.  We are and were washed.

He washes us because he loves us perfectly. This is why I plead with preachers and churches to preach the Word-even Jesus, the living Word. This is why we should study and contemplate the scriptures, which focus on revealing Christ, the Word becoming flesh (John 5:39; John 1:14).

All this just shows he rejects the dirt not the disciple. We often think of Christ being so repulsed at us that he must wash us because we stink so bad. Nothing could be further from the truth. He washes us because we are his own. He does not wash us because he is repulsed at us but because we are his body. We are one with him.

He said that if he does not wash us we have no part with him (John 13:8). Jesus prays at a later time and says, “For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” (John 17:19).  Sanctified in this context would mean he is clean so we are clean. As he is, so are we (1 John 4:17). We are made clean through his Word, the truth and Jesus is the Word and Truth. He brings a washing-not out of repulsion but love. He washes us because we are one with him. The mystery of the church is that it is his body, his flesh and his bones (see Eph. 5:23-32). We are and were one with him.

The Lunatic in the Mirror

PatienceA very bad week is over. It is amazing how the Lord can help you recover.

Here is a tip for going through trials: you may feel strong emotions-nothing wrong with that-but you can choose how react despite what you feel without letting your emotions become your tyrants driving you to do things you will regret.

Don’t let anyone try to put you down by saying you are emotional. Unless they have recently had a lobotomy they are emotional too. You blew it? You got angry or something. Look, all is forgiven. Let it go, guilt will only make you more irritable and uncontrolled guilt will make you miserable.

It is not easy controlling your emotions. Some people are just more emotional than others-that is they way God made them and it is part of his own fingerprint on them.   It is not easy putting a leash on emotions but I think that is what patience is all about. I mean I used to see patience like an picture of a Roman Catholic saint a person with a serene look and a halo over their head. Nah, that’s not it at all!

While reading this article to my wife, she got me thinking as she pointed out that there are people who just seem more patient or who can hold it together better than others. That is so true. Those people just have not encountered a circumstance or person that will bring out the lunatic we are used to seeing in the mirror everyday. But you know what?-God made every kind of personality or life would be dull.

In all this you will really need the Holy Spirit’s help.  The Holy Spirit produces patience in us. That is what HE Does. He does it, not you. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us and seeing the real biblical Christ is calming to the heart of a Christian. As you read scripture Jesus is always saying, “Fear not” or “Peace be with you.” and if I might paraphrase, “It will be all right, take it easy. I will take care you and this problem.”

Is that it you say?  Yes.

Can you be patient on your own? So what is the choice, another face plant after you lose your cool? Or, believe the truth of God’s incredible and profuse promises that are …wait for it…all TRUE! Much more true that your emotional reactions. All you need to do is say, “Holy Spirit I know you are in control of my life and circumstances. I know you are in control of my emotions as well.”

You are going to make it and God’s promises are still true-FOR YOU.

You see this picture?

DV0103You see this picture? Its from John 8. The woman caught in sin.

You and I were caught. No, it is not a scandal in the news perhaps but the shame and fear of consequences does something to our entire being.

Your mind and heart has a race and you cannot catch your breath. God catches people doing everything from stupid to evil things, everyday, all the time.

See the frowns of the religious, even so-called church people and the tenderness of Jesus?

Yes he is looking at you. he stands in between you and them.

The jury of the religious are powerless to hurt you despite your sins.

This is the day Jesus says with a smile of love, “I don’t condemn you, go and sin no more.”

Today, is the day Jesus showed you forgiveness of sin and freedom from sin.

He shows you mercy despite your crimes.

You did not ask, he just does it. Your spirit comes alive and your desires now have changed.

Jesus Christ shows you justice as well.

The justice of the cross.

He died in your place. He was glad to do it. He loved you as he did it. He loves you gladly now.

All the LAW and its law-men could do was justly bludgeon you with stones.

You see that smile? Jesus has spoken in his justice and righteousness and all is well.

You will never be condemned. The consequence and power of sin has been broken by Christ the Almighty Savior. 

Beautiful Words

il_340x270.623982910_pj66When Christ announced the fulfillment of the wonderful day of God’s good news, freedom, recovery, healing and favor in which we live the scriptures declared, “All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.” (Luke 4:22).

The word for gracious is charis. It is the word we use for grace. His words of grace spoke then and reverberate now not like an echo but a continuing transmission.

Despite the rejection of some, blinded by unbelief (2 Cor 4:3), these words Jesus spoke immediately exerted an influence upon those that heard them.

All of a sudden the light of Christ shined into the hearts of the people like when the first words God spoke in the empty chaos of earth and said, “Let there be light.” (Gen 1:3) in the Old Creation, but NOW in the new Creation (2 Cor. 5:17) the gospel speaks and brings the light of the glory of God-not planetary light, or the sun, moon and stars but the uncreated light of the face of the SON-Jesus in dark empty hearts. (2 Cor. 4:6). In him was light, shining in the darkness that could not put that LIGHT out (John 1:1-5).

In Jesus a bright undeniable light shined in in what was once called, “Death City.” (Mt 4:16). These gracious words were like “honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Prov. 16:24). Gracious words are words of beauty.

Christ shepherds us with two shepherd’s staffs and he named one “Beauty or Favor and the other Union or Unity” (see Zech. 11:7). We have the favor God showed Christ, the union Christ had with his Father. You see, Christ is our unending, unbroken covenant. This is what the LORD says: “At just the right time, I will respond to you. On the day of salvation I will help you. I will protect you and give you to the people as my covenant with them. Through you I will reestablish the land of Israel and assign it to its own people again.” (Isaiah 49:8NLT). 

Christ is The Promise, our promise. He is The oath, our oath. That was God’s promise directly to Christ! It was primarily to the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ he said, “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you.”  He helped Christ through his death through HIS glory (Heb 5:7; Rom 6:3). Now those promises are ours because it is to Christ we belong and he belongs to us. For us in CHRIST- “no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Cor 1:20).

Today Jesus himself has beautiful feet, though nail scarred, with beautiful words good news, freedom, recovery, healing and favor for you (Isaiah 52:7). Just hearing the steps of the Son of God and his gospel has already started the process, enlightened your eyes, opened your ears, make you leap for joy (Isaiah 35:5) and revived your spirit (Gen 45:7). He has made you glad (Ps. 92:4).

You will taste these gracious words and see that the Lord is good. (Ps. 34:8).

-Stephen Gibney


jesuscalmingstormGod’s peace is yours today. It really is yours.

He says, “Peace I give, MY peace I leave with you.”

Just trust these words. You do not have to make anything happen.

  • Anxiety has no stranglehold over you anymore.
  • Fear will no longer enslave you.
  • Loneliness will no longer dog your steps.
  • Addictions power is broken by the blood of Christ.

You are his beloved child!

Symptoms and circumstances do not rule your life. Christ does. JESUS IS LORD! His grace, mercy and PEACE are multiplied in your life.

Multiplied is made up of two words in the original “fill” and “multitude.”

It means abundance, overflowing, increasing and to fill to maximum potential.

May God give you more and more MERCY AND HELP and GRACE AND FAVOR and PEACE AND TRANQUILITY OF SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

Believe your Lord, He can be trusted. He never fails. He loves you all the time.


04psalm139_3-vi“My journeys and my rest you scrutinize with all my ways you are familiar.” (NAB)

How God knows us, He is familiar with us. We are of great interest to God. This is difficult to comprehend. God must be love, grace and mercy. All who put their faith in Christ are his friends. To the most boring and mundane person, to the most active and exciting. It is no matter. The all-seeing, all-knowing God is familiar with all our ways. He being familiar, does not mean he just knows us, but he associates with us.

The word “acquainted” in the KJV and familiarity in the NAB are colder than the Hebrew teaches. God is associated with us by friendship. He makes it a habit of being around us, being seen with us, talking to us. He has decided to be our friend and He enjoys our company. Jesus is the friend of sinners and the friend of saints. He likes us as friends and loves us as children. I mean we all have people who love us but do not like us. It seems crazy but it is true. When people like us they like being around us and being with us.

This verse three of Psalm 139 says he “scrutinizes.” us. The word in Hebrew is sift or winnow. He inspects our travels and rest closely. It would seem he looks closely at our activity and leisure. He likes being a part of what we do. He lives in us and his word lives in us. It is no wonder that he is our friend.

When he scrutinizes it teaches that God isolates that which is most important or useful and gets rid of that which is undesirable. This can be a reference to growing in holiness as he purifies our heart, very true.

But it would also indicate that God is not pettily criticizing every word, action and thought. He KNOWS us. He sees the big stuff, the deep stuff, the stuff that counts in our lives and he loves that about us.

After all, we reflect who he is as he gives us holy desires and abilities.


known“You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.”

God our Father seems so interested in us. We would think he has better things to do, but He is watching us from the beginning of our day to the end of it. He closes the distance with his presence in everything we do. He watches every time we sit, or stand. When we wake up and go to bed. It is hard to imagine.

He sees with perfect knowledge our thoughts, words and actions. We know we fall so far short that we are ashamed. Instead of seeing a smiling proud Father, we see him as one who frowns and is frustrated and even angry with his children. This could not be further from the truth.

What God sees is that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. Just as the Son of his love, Jesus Christ sat down on the right hand of His Majesty on high, the highest place of honor, so we are seated with Christ. He loves us as he loves Christ.

He sees when we sit down.

He sees us doing all to stand, as we use the armor he gave us, the armor Christ wore, the armor of designed by God. He sees us standing upon his Word and in prayer: in truth, righteousness, peace and faith. His royal sons and daughters fighting against Satan and his schemes.

He sees us when we stand.


PS 139“O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.”

Do you realize how much God KNOWS you. He knows your heart. You do not have to be afraid of that knowledge.

If you are a child of God. God no longer sees a heart that is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. Why would he? That was the old you. That was B.C.

He loved you as a sinner. Christ died for you as a sinner. He took your sins to the cross and forgave you, forever. This power of the gospel cannot be underestimated.

God has given you a new heart! He has put a new spirit in you! You no longer have a heart of stone-he removed it. Now you have a soft heart and God’s Spirit dwells in you. His decrees and laws are written on the very fiber of your being.

This is all his work and it is marvelous in our eyes and he delights in you.