Pastor Stephen Dedman

Be Gracious To Others

And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭9:54

Have you ever been so angry that you wanted God’s wrath to be poured out on someone? We need to be careful with this type of attitude.

As Jesus made His final trip into Jerusalem to face the cross, He wanted to minister to a village of Samaritans but the people would not welcome Him.  Jesus sent a few men ahead of them to find a place to stay but they couldn’t find one.  

The city of Samaria wanted nothing to do with Jesus.  When James and John discovered this, they wanted to see the village go up in flames.  They thought the people should be destroyed because they rejected the Messiah.

James and John were nicknamed “Sons of Thunder” because of their bodacious attitudes. (Mark 3:17)  They were brothers and close friends to Jesus and expected people to believe in Jesus as Messiah.  However, we all know that Jesus is rejected by many.  

Even today we witness people rejecting the message of Jesus but we should never want to see them consumed with fire because of their hardened hearts.  Instead we should pray for them and for their hearts to be softened to receive the gospel of Jesus.  Jesus rebuked James and John for their judgmental attitude.

Again in Acts 8:5, Philip (one of the twelve disciples) went back to Samaria to preach the Gospel and great things happened as they received the Word of God.  We should never give up on those who reject the gospel of Jesus.  

We should be consistent with sharing the love and good news to those who are ignorant to the truth.  Calling down judgment and wrath is not the right perspective.  God’s ultimate plan was carried out as they finally accepted Jesus and believed.  But what if they were destroyed before they ever believed?


Lord we want to see Your great work done here on earth and we want to witness your power and grace. Help me to have a soft heart and a compassion for others.

He Came Home

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.”
Luke‬ ‭15:20‬

The parable of the lost son spoken by Jesus is probably one of the most popular parables. It’s a story of a son who left home with his father’s inheritance and squandered it all in sinful living.

After he came to his senses and humbly went home to where he was received with open arms and lots of love. What a great redemptive story.

While this parable is loaded with truth about God’s grace and how He is our Heavenly Father and He is waiting for anyone to come to Him, there is something special here in this passage for us all to receive.

The picture that is presented in this verse is a welcoming Father who still wants a relationship with His child even though he has lived rebelliously. God never turns His back on His own. God will never reject someone that belongs to Him.

God loves you and will not let anything come between you and Him. You may turn your back to God, but He is still right where He once was.

After the lost son returned home, his father gave a big party for everyone to celebrate with him. Then the father gave his son a the best robe, placed a ring on his finger, and put shoes on his feet.

This is a symbol of the love of a caring father. The father wanted his son to know he was loved unconditionally. This is how we are to show love and support to people around us, especially those who we call “brothers and sisters” in Christ.


Lord, thank you for receiving me just as I am. Thank you for loving me and welcoming me as you do so well. You clothe me and set me apart for your glory.

The Blessing of Forgiveness

‍The Blessing of Forgiveness

And he (prodigal son) arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:20‬

The Prodigal Son’s Father

Isn’t the response of the prodigal son’s father truly amazing?  He had so much compassion for his son and was so happy when he finally returned home.  Although, this joyous occasion was not what the son had expected to receive.  According to jewish customs the son knew that he would never be accepted back as part of the family but could return as a hired servant. Boy was he surprised!

As Jesus spoke this parable to the religious leaders (the Pharisees and Scribes), an intriguing aspect would have to be considered for the fact that the father ran to meet his son.  A first-century Middle Eastern man would never run.  Running would have caused him to pull up his tunic (so he wouldn’t trip and fall) and expose his bare legs.  This would have been embarrassing and degrading to a mature man.  However, the Scripture says, he ran!

The motivation behind the father’s shameful demonstration reveals an important truth.  The father ran to meet his son before anyone else could reject or insult him for his disgraceful sins.  Also because the father ran, it would have caused a disturbing scene.  The people watching would have noticed the emotional reunion and accepted the son back as well.  Only the father could restore the son back into a right relationship with the family.

God, the Father, accepted the shame of our sins through His Son, Jesus.  As Jesus endured the cross, the wages of sin was satisfied through His death.  As a result, we are restored and reunited with God in an eternal relationship.  No matter what we do or how far we stray, God runs to embrace His children with loving arms.  We are forgiven!  Isn’t God’s forgiveness a blessing?


Pray and confess your sins so that you will experience the blessing of forgiveness just as the prodigal son did.