New Year, New Life

Rob Walters' Tombstone

Rob is dead.

He died a few days ago.  Please, no condolences, no flowers, no cards. My death is a good thing.

It’s bad enough that I gave breath to that life of mine, the LAST thing I want to do is to celebrate it in any way.

But now I’m dead, so I can finally tell the tale of how I died.  It isn’t unique, but it IS compelling and I hope and pray that it compels you to die too.

First, to understand my death, you need to know a little about my life.  When I was 7 years old, I received Christ into my heart as only a little child can: joyfully.  And I remained full of joy throughout my early teen years, but as often happens to children, I began to grow up and as I did, the joy of Christ alone was being pushed aside to make room for my self, my will, my desires and ultimately, my sins.

But it was ok (I told myself) because my sins could peacefully coexist with my relationship with Christ.  After all, I was forgiven, so what was the big deal.  Everybody was sinning and asking forgiveness, so that became the norm for me.  I didn’t understand.

The problem was, I was giving myself a license to sin.

Bottom line: it was easier to ask forgiveness later than simply to obey God.  And this was a BIG problem for me, because it would set the tone for the next 20 years of my life as Christ was slowly pushed completely out of my life.  In His place came every evil sin imaginable, and I welcomed them all with open arms.

Not all at once, mind you, but each sin that I allowed into my life opened the door to other sins that I would never have imagined I could be capable of.  Finally, I reached the point where there was no commandment of God that I was not openly breaking.  In addition to that, drugs had become my whole world and I could see no way out except to take my own life.

And that’s when it happened: God called to me while I was at my lowest point. When all of the lying and denial finished and I was face to face with the truth of what I had become, that’s when He reached out to me.

Some may question why He waited so long (I certainly questioned why He had waited so long), but I understand now: it’s because until I came to the end of myself, I wasn’t ready to acknowledge my complete and total need for my Savior, Jesus Christ.

And this isn’t a one time thing.  As life continues on, we often make bad choices that draw us back into sin.  And every time it happens, we need to come to the end of ourselves and place our complete reliance and trust in Christ again.

This is called dying to self.  It’s how and why I died a few days ago.

Galatians 2:20 (ESV) – I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

The past is behind me, covered in the blood of the Lamb.

I am dead.  I am crucified with Christ.  I no longer live.  Christ lives for me.  The life that I now have is being lived through faith in Christ alone.

I pray that one day soon, you die, too.

It’s the only way to really live.


Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Life Experiences


You Lying Little Snake (Part 2)

Bible Verse

Genesis 3:4 – But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.”

Your Discipleship Minute

First came the doubt.  Now we see the outright lie.

“You will not surely die.”

But they did die.  They died spiritually as soon as the sin was committed, but in His mercy, God allowed them to live out their physical lives on the earth before death finally claimed them in their old age.

Satan thought he had won the victory, and indeed he had won a battle, but God Himself had already written the outcome, and had a plan to save sinful men and women through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Through faith in Jesus, Satan is defeated and we are restored to our right standing with God.

Praise God that the end was known before the beginning!

Action Point

Be on the lookout for the lies of Satan.  His tactics haven’t changed much since creation.  First he sends a seed of doubt then an outright lie about God and His Word.

Stay strong in the Bible and you won’t be fooled when Satan’s attack comes.

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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Devotionals


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You Lying Little Snake (Part 1)

Bible Verse

Genesis 3:1 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Your Discipleship Minute

Doubt. The part of our selves that is always looking for the loophole.

Satan used it in the Garden to tempt Eve with disobeying God, and Satan has been using it ever since to tempt mankind into doing the same thing.

Doubt is a powerful thing because it is the opposite of faith.  Peter walked on the water by putting his faith in Jesus, but when he doubted, he sank like a stone.

Action Point

Faith is the key to living a victorious Christian life.  Ask God to show you areas in your life where doubt has replaced your faith and then confess those areas and give them to God in faith once more.

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Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Devotionals


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Love Your Bone, Love Your Flesh

Bible Verse

Genesis 2: 23 – Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Your Discipleship Minute

God never meant for man to be alone.  Right from the start of creation, God gave to man a helper who was suitable for him: woman. And in marriage, the two became one. However, it doesn’t always seem to be that way.

It was never the intention of God for the two to live “separate lives” after they were married. Today though, it is very easy for a man and his wife to become emotionally and spiritually distant, as well as physically distant.  This seems to be the world’s basis for marriage.

But Adam gives us the proper context for a marriage when he says, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” When we truly see ourselves as one with our spouse, we treat them the same way we treat ourselves which fulfills the commandment to “love our wife as we love our self.”

Action Point

Today, speak only kind words and affirmations of love to your spouse.  Let no negative word pass through your lips.  Use the tongue as it was meant to be used: to speak love, kindness and encouragement to the one who is “bone of your bones and flesh of your flesh.”

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Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Devotionals


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The Cosmic “Fun” Police

Bible Verse

Genesis 2: 15-17 – The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Your Discipleship Minute

The commandments of the Lord are not given to keep us from something good, but rather to save us from something bad.

But how many times are we guilty of looking at God as the “fun police,” keeping us from all of the good and pleasurable things in this world?

It is a lie of Satan, just like the one he told Eve in then Garden, that God is deliberately withholding His best from us and that we need to reach out and take for ourselves what God has not ordained for us.

Action Point

God is always seeking our best, even if we don’t understand what He is doing.  It is a matter of trust to look at our life and allow Him to guide and direct us in our path.

Sometimes, God wants us to give up what we think is good in our lives so that He can give us what is best.  Trust Him today to lead you through your life. Even when it seems you are going over the edge of a cliff, trust Him to catch you.

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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Devotionals


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You Are The Potter

Bible Verse

Genesis 2: 7 – then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Your Discipleship Minute

How great is the love that God has for us!

The heavens and the earth were formed by the spoken words of God, but man was formed by the very hands of God.  Care was taken to ensure that every feature was crafted perfectly and then, when the body of the man was finished, God breathed life into his nostrils and man became alive.

The same happens at salvation.  God breathes life into our dead spirit and then lovingly, carefully forms us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Action Point

God truly is the potter and we are the clay.  Take time today to ask God to conform you to the image of Christ.  It may hurt to be molded and formed, but in the end, we will reflect the glory of God.

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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Devotionals


Break From Your Life

Bible Verse

Genesis 2: 2-3 – And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Your Discipleship Minute

Busy, busy, busy. We are always so busy working, playing or just going about the business of our daily lives. But through the creation of the heavens and the earth, God sets a precedent for us to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.

God did not rest on the seventh day because He was tired out from the creative work of the past six days. In His rest, He stopped to enjoy His creation and the glory he received from it. Likewise, we need to set aside one day to stop, enjoy God’s creation all around us and to worship Him and give Him the glory.

Action Point

Take one day each week and devote it to God. Fast from something distracting on that day (such as TV, computers or social media) and use the time instead to study the Bible, pray and worship God.

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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Devotionals


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