Narrow Road Concert Message

Narrow Road Concert

You may or may not have known that my old band (Narrow Road) had a reunion concert this past Saturday night. It’s been 20 years since the band first formed, 10 years since it’s last performance and around 15 years since I was involved personally. However, many of my old bandmates and I got back together and played a reunion gig at the local Christian college and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback so far. We played around 20 original song and had a really great time. I had an opportunity to share the Word during the performance and I thought I would share my notes. I integrated not only the name of the band (and the intent behind it), but also a few of the song lyrics as well. The challenge I presented integrated many of the thoughts on discipleship that I’ve shared on my site over the last year. I would love to hear your thoughts…


Today Is The Day

Today is the day… The day to be born.
The day to be free. The day to be warned.
Today is the day… The day to decide,
for darkness or light… for wrong or for right.

The author of the book of Hebrews reminds us of our responsibility for “today.”


But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?
(Hebrews 3:13-18)


The message of both John the Baptist and Jesus was “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”  We have long since forgotten this message, particularly its original meaning in its original context. We should understand the message of Jesus to be calling us to lay down our own lives and agendas and surrender them to his kingship. But how do we do this and how do we spread this message of his kingship?

Typically, we think that the solution is either to focus on the fear of God (hell and damnation) or to focus on the love of God (grace and acceptance). When our focus is hell and damnation, we lose the intimacy between ourselves and our Creator. When we focus on grace and acceptance, God becomes molded into our image and his standard of righteousness is thrown out the window. When we are consumed with only the mechanics of the “do’s and don’ts” of our faith, our relationship to Christ easily becomes distant. When we say that we love Jesus wholeheartedly and this is all that matters, it becomes easy for us to justify walking in a life of sin. “After all, Jesus loves us, right? It doesn’t matter if we’re not perfect.”

But we fail to recognize the need for both love and fear of an Awesome God who both created us for companionship, and will one day judge us according to our deeds. To live life as a Kingdom citizen is to be subject to the laws of his Kingship and to enjoy his companionship.

Of Jagged Rocks and Cornerstone  

Does anybody know where their soul’s gonna go?
Does anybody see the rocks below?
I see the land approaching as the storm clouds roll
We’re living for the body when the life is in the soul

What are we living for? Are we living our lives for the next adventure, the next paycheck, the next moment? Or are we living our lives for our King?


“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
(Matthew 6: 19 & 20)

Vampire Christians

Deepest December

“Royal blood: poison to the vampires
which encircle your soul”

The reasoning behind these lyrics is that when the Royal Blood of Christ in our veins, our blood becomes poison to anything in this world that tries to suck the life from us. Through Christ, we should be “more than conquerors.” However, most Christians live a defeated life. Let me explain why…

A. W. Tozer said, “Salvation apart from obedience is unknown in the sacred scriptures.” Dallas Willard takes this a step further by saying,

“This ‘heresy’ has created the impression that it is quite reasonable to be a ‘vampire Christian.’ One in effect says to Jesus, ‘I’d like a little of your blood, please. But I don’t care to be your student or have your character. In fact, won’t you just excuse me while I get on with my life, and I’ll see you in heaven.’”

Willard has spoken out loud the silent thoughts of all Cultural Christians. He has exposed the heart of those who would invoke the blood of Christ in order to wash away their sinful past, but continue to proudly live a life in which the Risen Lord has no place.

They say the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. The same is true in our spiritual walk. Paul tells us that if we have life in the Spirit, then our daily walk (life) should also be “in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). If we are walking on our own path, rather than following in the dust of our Master, how can we expect any different results than the ones we are already getting?

Are we a “vampire Christian”? Has our Cultural Christianity lulled us into a spiritual coma from which we cannot awaken? The gift of grace through the blood of the Risen Messiah is entirely free. Yet it cost Jesus his very life. Shouldn’t we at the very least give ours back to him, rather than merely feeding off of his blood?

Repent, because His Kingship is calling…


Too many times we want to go out and change the world and start off by trying to “fix” everyone else. But the path to permanent, lasting, sustainable change has to begin with ourselves. Yes, we should be working to change the world, but it must begin with ourselves. It’s like one empty vessel trying to fill another, because we’ve been trying to fill empty people with the emptiness inside of us.

At one point the crowds begin abandoning Jesus because of his difficult teachings. Jesus asks Peter if he would do the same. Peter responds with the beautiful truth, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). But what were those “difficult” teachings of Jesus that caused his followers to give up and turn away?

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” (John 6:53-58)

Is this saying that in order to have a relationship with Jesus all we need to do is take communion? No, it is saying we must partake in his sufferings and that we must give our entire lives to and for him. In other words, we must allow his life to become our own by “feeding” on him, the incarnate Word of God, daily.

This is my challenge. I want to ignite a spark in you that will eventually become a flame. I want to set you on fire for Jesus, but not just in your emotions, but in your day-to-day living.

Sure, we know Jesus and may have even said the Sinner’s Prayer at some point of our lives. But the question is, “Does Jesus know us?” Have we spent time walking in his dust, sitting at his feet, filling ourselves with the Words of Life? If we truly believe that Jesus is the “Word made flesh” then the entire Word of God should inform our day-to-day choices, rather than sit on our shelves collecting dust. Does our daily life reflect a relationship with the One Whom we serve?

On A Whim

Should we even have to say
Should our actions show the way
Should we feel it every day
Or is it all a game we play?


The name of the band is Narrow Road. This name was chosen for a reason:

The Narrow Road

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

The wide road is believing in Jesus. The Narrow Road is living and dying for him.

Someone once said, “Repent one day before your death.” Jesus said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”

Today is the day… The day to be born.
The day to be free. The day to be warned.
Today is the day… The day to decide,
for darkness or light… for wrong or for right.

Pirkei Avot 1:17 — Messianic Commentary

The following is a brief, messianic commentary I recently wrote for a messianic newsletter on (Pirkei) Avot 1:17.


Shimon his [Rabban Gamaliel’s] son said: All my days have I grown up among the wise and I have not found anything better for a man than silence. Studying Torah is not the most important thing, but rather fulfilling it. Whoever multiplies words causes sin. (Avot 1:17)

In our above mishnah (saying), Rabbi Shimon states his observations from the time which he has “grown up among the wise.” In this he states that true wisdom is found in two main principles: holding the tongue, and living out the beliefs one espouses. These are principles that are commonly supported in the Scriptures.

Subduing the Tongue

The first principle, holding the tongue, is a base requirement for godly living. Proverbs tells us the following:

“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” (Proverbs 10:19)

Rabbi Shimon’s saying that “whoever multiplies words causes sin” is merely a succinct restatement of this proverb. His introductory words, “I have not found anything better for a man than silence,” however, are a fence he establishes for guarding against sin. This fence is based on Proverbs 21:23, which states:

“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”

James, the brother of our Master agrees:

“… the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:6-10)

Our words are important. We must be extremely careful with them, for “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).

In the late nineteenth century, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan, commonly known as the Chofetz Chaim (the “Desire of Life” – based on the title of his most famous work, founded on Proverbs 34:12-15), wrote extensively on the subject of Shemiras Halashon (“proper speech” — literally “guarding the tongue”). He became a world-renown authority on the biblical ethics of proper speech, and his works are the benchmark on the ethics of speech within Judaism to this day.

Yeshua taught about the overuse of words in regard to prayer. He taught his disciples,  “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:7). In this teaching, Yeshua agrees with Rabbi Shimon in that “less is more.” In one instance, Yeshua says regarding our speech, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil” (Matthew 5:37). In another instance, he says, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45). Yeshua’s focus is on the quality of one’s words, verses the quantity. His concern was whether they emanated from the heart, or were a means of manipulation.

Knowing vs. Doing

Back to Rabbi Shimon. Sandwiched between these two expressions regarding speech, he states, “Studying Torah is not the most important thing, but rather fulfilling it.” In the tradition of a true master of Scripture, he ties these expressions of making ones words few to the living out of the principles of Scripture. But the question we must ask is how does Rabbi Shimon connect these teachings, regarding speech, to the “doing” of Torah? How are they related?

Throughout the existence of humanity we have witnessed an epic struggle between knowing and doing. There is a constant battle in relation to these two forces, ever the struggle to marry knowledge and application. This is the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Whereas knowledge is being informed, wisdom is acting on the knowledge we have been given. When we choose to ignore the knowledge we have been given and make choices that contradict this information, we are being foolish. Hence, it is the fool who ignores instruction and correction according to Proverbs. It is the fool who repeats his folly, not taking heed to warnings from his elders or even his peers. It is the fool who is informed, but who lacks wisdom in his actions.

The chasm between belief and faith have long been the discussion of seminaries, pulpits and armchairs. It is precisely here that we find the spiritual struggle of every believer. Our actions, however, reveal our true nature — we act according to our values. Don’t we justify ourselves in judging others based on their actions, rather than their intentions, but judge ourselves solely on intention? Dallas Willard is quoted as saying, “You can live opposite of what you profess, but you cannot live opposite of what you believe.” This is a very accurate observation, which is in the same line of thought as the words of Rabbi Shimon. We may have an ample number of intentions, but it is our actions that ultimately carry the weight of our beliefs.

This is the litmus test of genuine faith. It is only genuine faith in which “faith and works” walk hand in hand, as James tells us (James 2:18-26). Rabbi Shimon recognized the truth of the common aphorism that “actions speak louder than words.” He places emphasis on minimizing words, and maximizing actions, realizing that one’s actions are the sermons that others will hear quicker than any eloquent speech or illustration. Within the Christian tradition we have a well known saying which agrees with this assessment. St. Francis of Assisi is attributed to have said, “Preach the gospel at all times. And when absolutely necessary, use words.

May it be so.