Never Forget

Memorial Day is a day we should be thinking about all those who have died for the freedom we have in our country, at least for now.

And although each one of those deaths is so vitally important to us, there are two deaths we must be “thinking about” every day.

Christ’s death, and ours.

We are all thankful for Jesus going to the cross in order for our sin debt to be paid so that we can, by faith in His finished work, receive the gift of eternal life. But we must not forget that when He died, WE died with Him. We died with Him in order that we could also be raised with Him to “walk in a new way of life” (Romans 6:4). He has given His life to us. We have been given this new life because He wants us to live it! This is a truth we sadly ignore all too often, and its consequences are always disastrous.

Paul writes, “So if you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3).

Now, Paul isn’t saying we should live a “hidden” life that no one sees. The life that God wants us to show is Christ’s life! We are supposed to die to the old life that was focused on the ways of this world. Paul makes that very clear.

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Colossians 3:5-9).

Right now you’re probably saying, “I’ve read this all before, but it’s impossible for me to do this!” You’re right, you can’t. Living the new life can only come from a renewed mind that is “Set…on things above”. Peter says, God “has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 3-4).

No matter how you may want to look at it, we are living in a world of corruption. God has commanded us to live apart from it, and He’s told us specifically what we are to do. But in order to do so, we must surrender our will to His.

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

“That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:17-32).

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Lord, help us to always remember these two deaths. These we must NEVER forget.

May God bless you all!

Brother Rick


We wish to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ without whom this ministry would not be possible.

U.N.C.L.E. Ministry is affiliated ONLY with Jesus Christ to build up the body of believers who comprise His church…for His glory!

Loving the Lord…All the Time

One day, Jesus was asked by an expert in the Law, “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus answered by giving him two. He said to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength”. He also included, “The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).

It wasn’t very long after this encounter that Jesus made these commandments very personal for his disciples. During his last meal with them, Jesus said, “By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). But before the meal ended He got even more specific when he told them, “If you love me you will keep my commands” (John 14:15).

So, what was Jesus trying to get across to them? Let’s go back to the greatest commandment. Jesus said we are to love the Lord with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your mind, and ALL your strength, then, in turn, to truly love others. It’s sad to say, but I think we are living in a time when it’s getting hard to see our love for the Lord lived out in ALL we do. But Jesus did warn us of this, when he said, “The love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). Dare I say, we are becoming “cold” in our desire to keep His commands.

Why do I say this? Well, if people are being honest, many will admit they have seen, let’s call it, the “attitudes” of the people they come into contact with, becoming somewhat less than loving, and in some cases even unloving. Not to mention the people showing hatred.

Now, I know many will point the finger of blame at all the “stuff” that’s been going on for the last couple of years. But does that give us, as believers in Christ, an excuse to let it affect US the same way it affects unbelievers? I must say, at times it’s hard to distinguish between the two. To put it another way, WE’VE become the proverbial frog in pot. The heat and the pressure of the world is killing the love the Lord commands us to express, and in truth, this has been happening for much longer than the last couple of years.

The important question is, how can we correct this trend? The answer is, we need heart surgery. In Revelation 2, in His very first letter to the churches, Jesus tells the believers in Ephesus, they had left their “first love” (v.4). To correct that condition, He instructs them to “Repent and do the things you did at first” (v.5). We need a heart change. For us in the church today, this change needs to be done in two ways.

First, in our individual relationships with the Lord. How is your love relationship with Jesus doing? Are you being faithful and obedient to Him by spending time with Him in His word, in prayer, and in “Biblical” fellowship? If not, repent and do the things you did at first.

Second, in our relationship together as the church, the Bride of Christ, that He is coming for very soon. If we desire to be the church the Lord wants us to be today, we need to remind ourselves of what we are supposed to be doing as the body of Christ. Remember, we are to “follow His commands”. A good starting point would be to take another look at the church when it began, and remind ourselves of those basic tenants of church life.

When the church first began, we read that, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer…They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42; 46-47).

Then the Apostle Paul writes to the church in Corinth, “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up” (1 Corinthians 14:26). We are to be in a “Biblical” relationship with others in the church so that we can become the connected body the Lord wants us to be, built up in LOVE, “as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16).

Don’t just flip this off thinking you’ve “got it”. This may seem “basic”, but we need to be reminded of it often, or we WILL forget it. This is how we get the encouragement we need to be His light in the dark world we live in. It is from here that we go out into our world as His representatives. Being living examples of Christ to others, showing that we are His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Peter understood the importance of being reminded of the basics. “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have” (2 Peter 1:12).  And Paul even feared that the church in Corinth had been “led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). Remember, if we are no different than those we come into contact with, what difference do we expect to make in the world?

Paul writes, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:31-33). Paul knew what his focus needed to be. Are we as seriously focused on loving the Lord with ALL our heart, soul, mind, and strength? And showing that love ALL the time?

The Lord Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4). Brothers and sisters, we still have much work to do, and the time is short. When the Lord comes for His Bride, and takes us to be with Him, the night will come. Until then, I pray we will love the Lord ALL the time, as He loves us, so we can be ALL that He wants us to be.

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2).

“But God demonstrated His love toward us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus DIED for us. Are we willing to live in loving obedience to Him as His Bride ALL the time? I pray that we are.

May God bless you all!

Brother Rick


We wish to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ without whom this ministry would not be possible.

U.N.C.L.E. Ministry is affiliated ONLY with Jesus Christ to build up the body of believers who comprise His church…for His glory!