GOOD FRIDAY

Holy Week – Good Friday Mark 15:1-47

Good Friday was the last day of Jesus’ life on earth before His resurrection. He was betrayed by Judas, just as He said, and denied by Peter, just as He said. His disciples scattered, Just as He said.

He was arrested and was placed on trial falsely. (Isaiah 53:7)

He was condemned, scourged, and mocked (Isaiah 53:8). 

He was forced to hear the cries of the crowd to crucify Him. (Isaiah 53:3) – even to the point that many cried out “let His blood be upon us and our children” – Matthew 27:25

The soldiers made a crown of thorns and put it on His head and continued to beat Him and mock Him. He was led away to a mountain and made to carry His own cross (John 19:17, Genesis 22:6-7) to the place where He was crucified.

He was mocked, ridiculed, and taunted along the way, but there were some who mourned after Him. (Luke 23:27).

He was offered something to dull the physical pain, but Jesus refused, choosing to face the pain of death head on (Matthew 27:34).

He was nailed by the hands and feet to His cross. But knowing that his death was to atone for even these who drove the nails, Jesus begged the Father to forgive them. (Luke 23:34)

They stripped Him of His clothes letting him hang there naked on the cross, and gambled for them, Fulfilling another prophesy. (Psalm 22:18)

All of these things happened just as He said.

Matthew 16:21-23, 17:22-23, 20:17-19

Mark 8:31-33, 9:30-32, 10:32-34

Luke 9:21-22, 9:43-45, 18:31-34

Two prisoners were crucified alongside Jesus, again fulfilling prophesy (Isaiah 53:12). 

One mocked Him, but the other said, “‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise’” (Luke 23:39-43). 

While suffering the most cruel, unfair, unjust, and painful death a human body could endure, Jesus chose to respond in grace to the criminal beside Him teaching us there is always hope in His forgiveness – right up to the point of death.

That’s how perfect GRACE is.

Even in His disgrace He cared for His mother and best friend. (John 19:25-27).

Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Isaiah 53:6).

He accepted the drink he refused before, fulfilling another prophesy (Psalm 69:21)  

And then He died. The Holy Spirit, The Water, and The Blood all departed the earthly body of Jesus, our Savior.

Jesus was taken down from the cross, wrapped in linens, and placed in a tomb, fulfilling prophesy again even in death. (Isaiah 53:9)

This is what He did for us. To satisfy the wrath of God against sin. To close the separation between us and our God. To make peace between us and God by His blood; to wash us and cleanse us by the water of His word; to give us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. Born again as new creation, holy and blameless before Him in love.

He did all of this… He suffered all of this – to bring us back into fellowship with God, the Father. Isaiah 59:2 says we have made a separation between ourselves and God by our sinful ways. He has turned His face away so that He won’t see us and He will not hear us…

Jesus died to fix that.

And then, just as now, most people don’t understand that and don’t even care.

We’re running out of time. I know this has been said over and again through the years, but as sure as you are reading this – one of 2 things is going to happen one day:

  • Jesus is gonna come back, and we don’t know the day or the hour, and we will face Him.
  • We’re all gonna die and none of us know the day or the hour, and we will face Him.

So, let’s all ask ourselves this prayerful question:

Will I meet Him as my Judge, or as my Savior?

HOLY WEEK -THURSDAY

Holy week – Thursday – The Commandment

Mark 14:12-72 (read this for yourself and compare with the other gospel accounts)

On Holy, or Maundy Thursday, in an upper room, Jesus and His disciples shared the Last Supper. We notice how, like the donkey, everything was supernaturally prepared ahead of time and the disciples always found things the way Jesus said they would be.

On this day, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. And, He broke bread with them for the last time. It’s still observed and partaken today as an ordinance for believers. The bread broken and the wine shared represented, then and now, the body and blood of Christ, broken and shed for them, and for all of us.

During the meal, Jesus predicted His betrayal by Judas, and Peter’s denial.

After the meal, the disciples accompanied Jesus to the Garden at Gethsemane. He warned that they would flee from Him soon, fulfilling prophesy (Zechariah 13:7).

In the garden, Jesus prayed in agony for Himself, for His disciples, and for us 

(John 17:1-26).

He prayed in such agony that an angel came to strengthen Jesus in the garden as the sweat fell from His face as drops of blood (Luke 22:42-44).

There, in that moment, He taught His disciples, and us, what to do when we come to the end of our own strength and need The Father to help us press on.

HE PRAYED

Jesus is betrayed by Judas, just as He said – with a kiss (foretold in Proverbs 27:6).

Jesus is arrested and led away to a secret, joke of a trial by the Sanhedrin in the middle of the night, and He is condemned.

Peter weeps as he denies his all-knowing Master, just as He said. (“before the cock crows twice…”)

“Just as He said” has been a common thread throughout Holy week so far. But starting now, it becomes a theme.

The word “maundy” comes from the Latin root madam, and means “commandment” or “mandate.”

On that Thursday Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment (maundy) The word in this context is used by Jesus after He washes the feet of His friends.

“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another: just as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

Can you imagine that God-in-the flesh, would humble Himself to wash a man’s feet – one who would deny and betray Him – before intentionally giving His life to save him?

That’s exactly what is happening. And He did it for you.

“What manner of love is this that He has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God?”

– 1John3.1

Are you starting to see why LOVE is the greatest commandment? Can you see How important LOVE is to God? Can we see why the world, and OUR flesh-our EARTHLY MINDS, our wisdom cannot understand this kind of love?

Can that kind of love be seen in our lives as believers?

Can the world see that we, as believers, are at least trying to use this standard of love?

HOLY WEEK – SPY WEDNESDAY

Holy week – Wednesday – A day of rest for the Savior, but not for those who served Him or for those who would betray Him.

Mark 14:1-11 After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. 3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. 4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. 6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. 7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. 8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. 9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. 10 And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.

Wednesday is referred to as a day of rest for Jesus. While in Bethany, a woman anointed Jesus with perfume. Mary, of Bethany (John 12:1-3) used all of her “very precious” spikenard ointment to anoint Jesus for His coming death. She also broke the costly alabaster box so it could never be used again. In one act of worship this woman surrendered the very best of what she had to Her Savior. A deeper study of this woman would give profound meaning what she actually surrendered to Jesus that day concerning repentance and worship, belief and faith.

I wonder if maybe this was symbolic of her devotion and thankfulness for what her Lord was about to do to save her. Maybe this is the kind of surrender Paul spoke about in 2 Corinthians 5:15 and Romans 6:11.

Some also call this day “Spy Wednesday” because While Jesus rests in Bethany, the plot of the high priests and the authorities to kill Jesus is coming together. We can see in the scripture that they were not trying to decide if they would kill Him, they were trying to figure out how to entrap Him so they could kill Him.

Finding an open opportunity in the greed of Judas, Satan entered him. Judas went to the chief priests and authorities, and from that moment he looked for an opportunity to betray Him. His agreement was to betray Jesus for the price of a slave. (Zechariah 11:12)

Once that was accomplished the twelve would scatter. No one will be left at the foot of the cross as Jesus dies but John and His mother.

As the hour comes, Jesus knows He has to bear this burden alone. There will be no more team effort, But still, He keeps them close as long as He can, as long as He can. The Christ must go forward by Himself, as his friends and followers betray him, deny him… run and hide while He is condemned and dies.

Today we face a choices too. Will we repent and surrender all to Him in faith as Lord, King and Savior? Or, will we reject Him and seek out our own way?

HOLY TUESDAY – ANOTHER DAY CLOSER TO THE CROSS

Holy Week continued – Tuesday

Mark 11:20-13:37 (PLEASE READ FROM YOUR OWN BIBLE)

This was a day of much teaching and avoiding the traps set for Him by the religious leaders.

On the way back to the temple the next morning, Jesus and the 12 passed by the fig tree. It was withered and dead. Good for nothing but firewood. Remember that before, the tree was alive and full of leaves, giving the appearance that it was yielding fruit. But there was no fruit. The Lord cursed the tree, and it died as a testimony of what happens to those who give the outward appearance of spiritual righteousness, but produce no spiritual fruit. When Peter spoke about the tree, Jesus responded with a lesson on the importance of faith and forgiveness. Maybe Jesus was making them understand that, without faith and forgiveness, they would end up like this tree – like the ones cast out of the temple. But with faith and forgiveness, God would make their lives fruitful as a part of His Kingdom. You see, in spite of being cast out, Grace and forgiveness was still available to those corrupt, fake religious leaders. The choice of receiving grace through repentance and faith was still theirs to make. His saving work is always available to all who would receive it, no matter who they are or what they have done.

Maybe He was preparing the disciples for the teachings they would hear that day…

As they entered the temple, Jesus was confronted by the religious leaders. They challenged His authority. They asked Him who gave Him His authority to do the things He was doing, attempting to catch Him in His words. He responded by asking them a question about the authority of John’s baptisms. It was a question they could not answer without being caught in their own words. Jesus went on (in the gospel of Mark) to establish his own authority – even over them by teaching the parable of the tenants and citing a prophesy from Psalm 118:22-23. Matthew’s account recalls 2 other parables proving the religious leaders to be lost and condemned in their stubbornness, by their own words and fruitless lives and lack of faith.

Then, His allegiance was tested by asking questions about government taxes. He answered according to scripture (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5)

Next He was questioned about the order of husbands and wives in the resurrection in an attempt to fool Him by the Sadducees, who didn’t even believe in the resurrection. Jesus explained that in Heaven we are like the angels in that we do not marry. He also taught that the resurrection was indeed true because God the Father is the God of the living and not the dead, quoting exodus 3:6&15. (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been physically dead for many years at the time of Moses)

Finally, His tests ended when asked which was the greatest commandment. His response was that real and pure love for God and for other people was first and greatest because real and pure love for God and men fulfills all law.

There is much more. Too much to cover in one devotion.

But this is our Lord, Jesus Christ. Teaching in grace and truth, standing up to tests, and silencing all those who would try to discredit Him. He did all this with nothing but the authority and power of God’s Word… and love.

Another day closer to the cross. Still not too late to repent, still not too late to change.

All the haters and scoffers, all the stubborn unbelievers were given yet another chance to repent and believe the Word – to believe in Him, because He is the Word. He is the King, who has real salvation.  Let me ask, What do you believe? WHO do you believe?

HOLY MONDAY

Holy Monday

Jesus curses the fig tree: Matthew 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Jesus cleanses the temple: Isaiah 56:7 these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a “house of prayer for all peoples.”

Mark 11:11-19

11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve. 12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: 13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. 14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. And his disciples heard it.

Fruit tree growers know that ordinarily a small amount of fruit ripens prior to the main crop. It is referred to as the first ripe fruit or the firstfruits. When Jesus approached the tree, it was the time of the firstfruits of figs, but it was not yet time for the main harvest. Maybe this means that the particular tree on which Christ expected to find figs was barren, because it had no figs on it at all. It did not fulfill its purpose, and Jesus simply eliminated an unproductive tree, not with an ax or a saw, but by faith – by His word.

Maybe Jesus used this incident to teach His disciples—and US—that the outward appearance does not count with God. Instead, what really counts is whether or not one produces godly fruit in his or her life.

15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; 16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. 17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. 18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine. 19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.

Why did Jesus clear the temple? We have to remember that He was just there yesterday. He was ignored. Rejected as King and Savior – quite the contrast to the praises He received from the common people as He entered the city. So, as it says, “He observed all things round about”.

What did He see?

My personal belief is that He saw merchants in partnership with the religious leaders and authorities using the church as a way to make a profit by exploiting the Word of God concerning salvation. (they were selling fake salvation)

So, let’s look at how these short stories “stack” together and act as blocks to build a larger overreaching story:

The King, who has salvation comes as foretold in prophesy. Those who need and want salvation were waiting and watching for this King, and they knew Him when they saw Him. And they respond accordingly. Jesus is an eternal King, with real, eternal salvation. So, He goes to church, where He should have been received and praised all the more. But here He finds people who don’t want real salvation. They are busy corrupting the church with buying and selling of fake salvation through their own power and authority. So, the King, with real salvation leaves quietly and comes back the next day.

On the way back to church, He teaches His followers a lesson in the barren fig tree about how people who only appear to be godly but don’t really produce godly fruit with their lives will ultimately be cut out of the Kingdom because God looks past the external and sees what is inside of us all. When He reaches the corrupted church this time, the King with real salvation brings His teaching to reality by cutting out the merchants and church leaders who are selling (and buying) fake salvation. (corrupted fruit, bad fruit – no fruit).

Then He sat down and began teaching the ones who remained. Other gospel accounts say he also healed many while he was there that day. Those who had been called out, rebuked, and even cast out as barren fig trees, could only stand in the background and try to find a way to destroy this King because He had taken away their power and authority – and their way of life.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. The Savior. He is the Lord. He is the King of kings, who has real salvation. In order give Him the praise He deserves, we have to accept Him and follow Him in TRUTH. If we accept Him and follow Him, we receive real salvation and we will produce good fruit in our lives. But we need to understand ahead of time that real salvation and good fruit means that we surrender everything, even the most important things, to Him.

Some of us will do that because we know and believe that we need real salvation. But some of us will reject Him. Some of us have the outward appearance of righteousness and fruitful lives, but on the inside we are not really interested in real salvation. It costs too much.

Which one are you?

Palm Sunday

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

The day we have decided to call “Palm Sunday” is the day that Jesus entered into Jerusalem during the time of the Passover, before His arrest and crucifixion. Jesus did this to fulfill the prophesy of Zechariah 9:9.

Mark 11:1-11 And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, 2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. 3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither. 4 And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him. 5 And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? 6 And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. 8 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawedthem in the way. 9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: 10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. 11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

According to tradition and culture the donkey was considered an animal of peace – an animal of humility, while the horse was considered an animal of war. – Jesus didn’t come to bring peace by shedding the blood of others with a sword, He came to bring peace through the shedding of His own blood –  the blood of  His cross. –  Colossians 1:20

Maybe the symbolism from prophesy is why the donkey is the only animal in the world to have a cross on it’s back. He entered the city being carried on a cross, and He left the city carrying a cross.

Jesus is called the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6. He is humble – Matthew 11:28-30

According to Tradition: Palm branches represent victory of the spirit over the flesh. Spreading garments and palm branches was a customary way for the subjects of a king to honor him. Hosanna is a word used in recognition of a rescuer or savior. They took this from Psalm 118:25-26. Hosanna can be heard in 2 ways: “save us, please”. And “salvation, thank you”.  It’s clear that these people knew the scriptures and connected Jesus to those scriptures when they saw Him coming. I believe they truly recognized Him as Savior and King. But did they really understand what was happening?

Probably not exactly. They probably connected Jesus as King and Savior to an earthly hope in someone who would bring peace by freeing them from Roman rule.

But we know that Jesus came to bring eternal, spiritual peace between us and God through sacrifice… Prophesy fulfilled!

I want us to notice something in verse 11 >>

11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

During Jesus’ entry, the “regular” people knew Him. He was recognized. There was celebration. It was like a parade. But when He came to the temple the big party had turned into a non-event. He wasn’t noticed. He wasn’t recognized. He wasn’t even acknowledged. According to the word, He came and looked around to see what was going on. Then He left.

Why is that?

I think the religious leaders of the day, were not waiting for a savior. They were not watching for Him. We can be sure they knew who Jesus was, but we can also be sure they were never going to recognize Him for who He truly is.If there was ever a time, it’s now. Let’s look and listen. Let’s wait and watch for the Savior together. Let’s know Him when we see Him. And let’s rejoice because He is here with us and we know Him for who He is: The King of kings and the Lord of lords. the Savior. The visible image of the invisible God.

Who do YOU say He is?

Easter Tradition

For the past few years I’ve posted a very basic scripture lesson for each day of what some call “HOLY WEEK”, Palm Sunday through Resurrection Sunday. I thought it best to continue that habit and make it a sort of tradition for the mission’s page. Like I said, each scripture lesson is very basic. In spite of the simplicity, there are still some deeper spiritual and contextual meanings found within them, if we look deep enough – If we seek expecting to find – If we chase after Him in the truth His Word.

These last days, Palm Sunday through Resurrection Sunday, are the culmination of Jesus’ earthly life and ministry. The Biblical record leads us to and through the crucifixion and resurrection, by which we are saved, sanctified, and justified to eternal life with the Prince of Peace, our Savior, Lord, and King – Jesus Christ.

The lesson for each day of “Holy Week” will be posted on the preceding day. For example, Palm Sunday is tomorrow, so that study will be posted this evening.

I hope reading these studies each day bless you as much as they have blessed me.

Be blessed, God is good!!! – Tracy

Personal Mission update: 1.28.2022

Well, 2022 is starting out to be white-knuckeler. I have a friend named Joe Bradshaw, that often posts funny quotes he calls “Joeisms” on Facebook. While humorous, they are often very educational. So my Joeism for 2022 is this:

Life is like a helicopter… Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about helicopters. Lord, I think it’s time for you to take control again… and I’m sorry about your helicopter.

Mission update-Year End 2021

This has been a really good year for the mission, the ministry, and the Kingdom. Here are the highlights:

1. Mona’s children’s ministry has grown from 12 kids in one village to more than 70 in 2 or 3 different villages. Some of these kids are migrating into the youth and young people ministry at the church in Gabaldon, and she spends 4 to 5 days per week away from home, staying in Gabaldon now. There are always kids and youth visiting her and hearing the word on almost a daily basis. Please be praying for the families of the children Mona touches. Every time she teaches or has fellowship with a group of kids, there are adults present and they hear the word, but most remain caught up in the pastimes of drinking and gambeling. (cards, dominoes, and fighting chickens) These are widespread problems in the country.

2. Pastor Hann’s youngest son, Pim, has 6 months more to go in Bible College here in the US, in Ohio. I’m anxious to see how God uses him there in Gabaldon.

3. Pastor Eric Hennessey is still recovering from his illness. He is able to sit up and use his hands and arms. He is able to speak. He is still bound to a wheelchair. The church there in Cabanatuan City is doing well. The Hennesseys have left their home and converted part of the church into living space in order to reduce expenses. Again, the church is doing well.

4. The church in Tarlac City is exploding. They had to abandon the outreach mission building they had rented in the city because of COVID. But now they are looking to start again in a new building, when one comes available and when the budget permits. Twice this year, the church has trekked into a remote area to do outreach there, and we are praying for a Pastor to take a hold of that ministry.


5. I don’t have an exact count, but as of Christmas day the number of salvations has reached between 170 and 180, with about 50 baptisms in the Philippines this year. (that is the best part for me)


6. We collected well over 1000 pcs of kids’ clothing and shoes to send this year. We shipped 7 boxes. (none of them have reached the philippines yet because of all the problems and issues with supply chain) We still have 5 more boxes to send. I’ll do that later this year after I know the rest of the boxes are starting to be delivered. 7. The Mission’s involvement here in the US continues to grow. We preach and teach in 2 different churches weekly in Booneville and Lincoln, Arkansas. The church in Lincoln is starting a Recovery Ministry, and I have been asked to lead that. Teresa continues her involvement in a Feeding ministry in Booneville for the homeless population there in town, which is also growing. Teresa has also become the “chief cook and bottle washer” at the Cumberland Presbyterian church where we serve on Sunday mornings. We also contribute to the food pantry at Unity Church in West Fork, Arkansas.

We thank everyone for all of the gifts, money, and prayers. Let’s “Do it NEW in ‘22”!!!

God is good. Be blessed.

Mission Update 4.11.2021

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in Him purifiers himself, even as He is pure.

From February 14th through the Easter Holiday, 18 new believers have been born again in the rural and metro areas of Central Luzon. Today, 6 of those new believers were baptized today. God always keeps His promises: His Word will not return void, and our labors are not in vain.

Keep praying, working and giving. Keep waiting and watching. One day He will come again, and we will be changed!

There are other fruits to enjoy with our brothers and sisters overseas. One of those is a new “rooftop” for the mission church in the picture above.

Please keep praying for my friend and brother, Pastor Eric Hennessey, of River of Life Baptist Church in Cabanatuan City as he slowly recovers from a bout with very serious illness.

Final thought: Why do people nowadays refuse or deny simple invitations to church? This was a question asked in a facebook group I’m a member of recently. There are a lot of obvious answers, and we as “the church” can point the blame outward in every direction. But we need to understand something very basic and simple about this lost and dying world. It watches us and measures and records everything we do and say. It sees and remembers how we act as opposed to what we teach. And yes, it knows what we teach.

So instead of blaming the world for doing exactly what scriptures say the world is going to do, maybe we should ask ourselves these questions:

Do we, as a church, love the way we’ve been commanded? (John 13:34) If someone took a real, serious, close look inside my church, would he see what I have there and want that for himself?

Is my individual life really set apart? Does it look different from this broken world somehow?

If someone really wanted to change his life, why would he choose Jesus knowing that the only apparent difference between my life and his life is church attendance?

Oh, me.