Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube

Our True Selves  

Nassau, Bahamas—the fifth busiest cruise port in the world.

At Port Nassau, they can dock six massive cruise ships simultaneously. And nearly 100 ships do so monthly, bringing some 20,000 cruise passengers who tour Nassau daily.

My wife and I are just back from an anniversary trip to the Bahamas (no cruise—just a few days in the sun). There, we observed Port Nassau passengers immediately ushered to a pristinely manicured neighborhood.

The "Straw Market" is a collection of upscale shops and eateries with more diamond stores than any street I've ever walked. And this is the only version of Nassau that many cruise passengers ever get.

But just blocks away from the glitz and glamour of the Straw Market is a much more realistic view of the Bahamas: cratered sidewalks, grimy buildings, noisy trucks, and a lot less sparkle.

Our visit to both “halves” of Nassau reminded me of the way many Christians posture. We project a carefully manicured image of happiness and success. We’re all smiles—when we sense the spotlight on us. With our coiffed hair and cute kids, we’re killing it on Instagram. And nobody at church appears more together than us.

But the real us—the non-staged us—is not near as sparkly, which is odd—because God sees right past it all.

“Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Are you projecting an image—or letting people see the real Jesus inside the real you?


Who Do You Love More?  

Tree sap. Dust. Grime.

They transformed our once-beige storage unit into a grimy gray. But I was sure the power washer would bring a quick restoration.

Begrudgingly, the filth gave way, but at a snail's pace. The cleaning process was so slow I decided to entertain my wife by "drawing" the outline of a big heart on the lid of the storage unit using the jet stream of water.

Because four-year-olds rarely miss anything, that drawing did not escape little Emma, who inquired of my wife, "Who put that heart on there?"

“Grandpa did.”

“Is it because he loves me?”

“Yes, it is.”

But Emma was not done. She asked, “Is it because he loves you?”

Diana teasingly said, “Who do you think he loves more?”

With a twinkle in her eye, Emma answered, “Jesus!”

Question: Do you love Jesus? If so, how much? More than your boyfriend or girlfriend, or spouse? More than your possessions and position in this world?

The Bible commands, "Do not love the world—or anything in the world." But my experience is that it's shockingly easy to love the world.

There’s no point in comforting ourselves by saying, “I’m sure I love Jesus more than the world.” Because the bar is much higher than that. The command, you’ll recall, is “Do not love the world.” Period. Zero. Nada. Nothing.

It is not acceptable to love the Lord with some of our hearts or even most of our hearts. Jesus spells it out in Matthew 23:37. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

Jesus wants all my heart.

All your heart.

How much of it does He have?







Sin is the Enemy!  

As Christians, we’re angry.

  • We’re angry that educators and legislators are attempting to deny parents any say in the sexual choices of their own children.
  • We’re angry that criminals are put back on the street without posting bail.
  • We’re angry that concerned parents who speak up at school meetings are branded as domestic terrorists.

We’re angry about a lot of things. But we’re wise to test our anger against the standards of Scripture.

  • It’s okay to be angry about sin.
  • It’s okay to hate sin—we must!
  • But it’s not okay to hate sinners.  

Have you noticed that many Christians seem to be excelling at yelling yet shriveled in compassion for those opposing them?

Jesus said, “Love your enemies. Do good to those who persecute you.” But how often do we give people around us the idea that we hate them—not just their ungodly ideas?

Do unbelievers around us know us for our frowns and fists—clenched in anger? Or are they comforted (perhaps even confused) by the kind ways we care for them, even as we oppose their ideas?

When Jesus was dragged away in chains from the garden of Gethsemane, He did not hate one single sword-bearing brute in the mob. He loved them!  He said of the soldiers who pounded the nails into His hands and feet, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  No doubt Christ hated the pain and the sin that created it, but He loved those sinners.

News Flash: It is not in our future to be respected and loved, and affirmed by the world. It didn’t happen for Jesus and surely won’t for us, either.

This does not mean Christians should smile wanly and become roadkill. This does not mean we should remain silent as ungodly laws and immoral ideas are debated in the public square.

Those who oppose what is godly ought to feel our (biblical) vehemence—but never our venom. Much more than that, they must know we love them.

Tricky business, eh? No wonder Jesus said, “Without me, you can do nothing!”

Proud--Like a Fly  

Imagine a pile of dead files shaped like an Angel Food cake. Disgusting, right?

That’s what our fly trap looks like. It’s a green mesh cylinder with an inverted cone featuring an opening the size of a nickel. Attracted by smelly bait, the flies crawl into that hole, one by one. All day. Every day.

Once inside the fabric cylinder, they flitter about. Eventually, they lose interest and want to leave the party. But they don’t. Instead, they flutter against the trap walls, figuring there must be an exit "out there." Or they zoom up to the top of the fabric. They seem determined that the way up is the way out.

Ironically, nothing prevents them from coming down and crawling out of that narrow opening. But almost none escape. Instead, worn out from flights that lead to nowhere, their dead bodies pile up by the hundreds and thousands.

Like those flies, we humans buzz with excitement at the idea of moving up:

  • Up the corporate ladder
  • Up the chain of social standing
  • Up the ranks of authority

So, we engage in flights of fancy that ultimately lead nowhere: self-fulfillment and self-actualization.

But Jesus showed us a different way. Philippians 2 tells us, “He humbled Himself” (went down) and “became obedient unto death" (further down), “even the death of the cross” (can’t get any lower).

The way up is not the way out.

The way out is down.

That’s the Jesus way!


Lord, help us learn this!

Lest we waste our lives on flights to nowhere.



They Want Your Phone Number--Desperately  

I am weary of apps and websites determined to collect my mobile number. From Amazon to eBay, we're assured the request is merely for our "safety," perhaps as a backup so they can contact us in an "emergency." But these aren't doctors. They're digital distractions!

Still, they seem rabidly preoccupied with having me surrender my number. And the reason they want it is access. They want access to my wallet, my vote, and my mind. 

But I resent the demand…ur request. I really don't want every business (or shyster) in the world to be able to tell me about

  • The sale I should not miss.
  • The link I can't live without. 
  • The blog that could change my career forever. 

I don't want my phone to ping and ding all day long. Is that so wrong? 

These websites, apps, and companies all want complete, unhindered access to me—but not for my good. It's for theirs!

What a contrast is Jesus. He wants access not just to our phones but to our hearts, our souls, our passions. Refreshingly, His every intention is for our good. 

Jesus invites you to cast all your cares upon Him "because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). More than that, "He is not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). 

Take me, Jesus.
Take my heart and my mind, my soul, and my body.

You who gave all are worthy of all.

I want you and you only to have access to the real me. All of me.



Records per page First Prev   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 of  127  Next Last  

Jon GaugerJon Gauger

Recent Posts

Thursday, May 16, 2024
Just Looking the Part
Thursday, May 09, 2024
Living at the Cross
Thursday, May 02, 2024
Distracted by Jesus
Thursday, April 25, 2024
Just Beneath the Surface
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Do You Memorize Scripture?
Thursday, April 11, 2024
Plan for the Future
Thursday, April 04, 2024
What Refuge?
Thursday, March 28, 2024
Elophint in the Room
Thursday, March 21, 2024
What Hapened at the Kibbutz
Thursday, March 14, 2024
Naama's Story
Thursday, March 07, 2024
Electrician Not For Hire
Thursday, February 29, 2024
People of Faith
Thursday, February 22, 2024
About Fishing
Thursday, February 15, 2024
Plant Anyway
Thursday, February 08, 2024
A Survivor Remembers

Jon Gauger Media 2016