As He Said

I am afraid of many things.  So many, in fact, I don’t know how to start.  Some are dumb, some are very real.  The real estate market is one.  It’s crazy! We all know it.  When is it going to crash?  That’s what I am afraid of.  How about cancer?  The Doctor said she got it all, but what if it comes back?  I am afraid of that too!  Every day, I think about what I am afraid of.  Not until I read Matthew 28 today, did I realize the root of my fear.  It is not what I am afraid of that is the problem, it is why I am afraid.

From today’s reading in Matthew 28, we join the two Marys visiting Jesus’ grave.  Upon their arrival, they are greeted by the angel that is now in charge of the tomb.  Knowing the terror that he could trigger, the angel quickly interceded saying, “do not be afraid.”  Then comes the reminder.  “He is not here, for He has risen.  As he said.”

Look a little closer at that last sentence.  “As he said.”  It is easy to miss.  The angel was not telling them something they didn’t already know.  In fact, Jesus had been telling them all along.  Remember in Matthew 16?  Jesus tells the disciples that he will go away and suffer many things.  But, he assures him, “I will rise again on the 3rd day” (Matt 16:21).  So, what were the Mary’s afraid of?  A scary angel, for sure.  But don’t you think they were also afraid of an empty grave?  Those are the whats.  But, remember, the better question is why.

Why were the Marys afraid?  The root of their anxiety is belief.  Or, more accurately, they were afraid because of their unbelief.  Their gut reaction is that Jesus was a lie.  He died and now he is gone.  Not just the man, but their hope was gone.  It makes sense, of course.  There were no witnesses to see Jesus leave the grave and we humans must make sense of it so we do what we do best.  Make up a story that makes sense to us.

Thankfully, the angel quickly led them back to Jesus’ promises. “As he said.”

He said…. that he would die, and rise again (Matt 16:21).

He said…. That he will never leave or forsake you (Deut 31:6-8)

He said… He will work all things for our good (Romans 8:28)

He said…. That he will complete us (2 Tim 3:17)

He said…. That we shall inherit the land (Psalm 37:9)

He said…. That he will always be with us (Matt 28:20)

It does my soul well to remember the things God says. Now, I am not afraid.


Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
    The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
The Lord protects them
    and keeps them alive.
He gives them prosperity in the land
    and rescues them from their enemies.
The Lord nurses them when they are sick
    and restores them to health. (Psalm 41:1-3)

Numbers 6; Psalms 40–41; Song of Solomon 4; Hebrews 4


Take a look at this sweet young lady. Her name is Ruth-Naelle and we have the privilege of being her sponsor family through Haitian Christian Ministries. My wife Amy stared at Ruth-Naelle’s picture numerous times Sunday saying “I love her! I’ve gotta get back there right away!!!” Amy was experiencing the true joy in being kind to the poor. I wish you could hear Amy say “I love her”… her voice rings; it softly raises and lowers as though she is singing a song.

This example is just one of an infinite number of reasons the following verse continues to prove true:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

God’s word is alive. It speaks to us in our daily lives, we just need to listen to it and allow His will to take over our will. The joy of being kind to the poor from Psalm 41:1 and this experience are God’s word coming to life. We get to experience that joy not because of what “we did”, but because God the ultimate giver, gave first. He gave his son Jesus Christ so that we can be saved. He gave us his word through the Bible. He gives us resources to steward appropriately. He gives us sound preaching, wisdom, churches, friends, and family to guide us along our path. This joy comes from God; to him, and only him be the glory.

My mom commented on Amy’s related Facebook post saying “She’s a blessed girl”… while true Ruth-Naelle is blessed, we too are surely blessed and you can be as well.

For only $30 a month, children sponsored through Haitian Christian Ministries receive a nationally recognized Christian education, uniforms, a daily hot meal and vitamins, access to the medical clinic, mentoring through the Pillatre Christian Church and above all else… hope. (from the HCM web site)


Haitian Christian Ministries is a real organization sponsoring real humans with real needs in Haiti; one of the world’s poorest countries. Amy visited Haiti in 2015 and had the opportunity to visit with many of these wonderful children and young adults in person. It’s legitimate, check it out.

Amy with our first sponsored Child, Osky. We love him too!

For more information on Haitian Christian Ministries, please go to