Thursday, March 23, 2023

He Does

 When did it become acceptable for soldiers to mimic lovelorn school girls, picking at daisy petals and alternatively mumbling he loves me, he loves me not? When was it that we grew comfortable with the arduous task of perpetual analysis, to the point that all we do is analyze, split hairs, and debate amongst ourselves, never actually marching onto war? It is a strategy of sorts, I guess. You argue over the route you’ll take to the battlefield so long that you miss the battle altogether, but still, you show up afterward just in case your side won for the accolades and attaboys.

If I’m not afraid of death, I’m certainly not scared of keyboard warriors with sensitive feelings and a need to vent. I understand that excuses are the mainstay of the coward, but it doesn’t mean that the excuses carry any weight. Most contemporary Christians will not defend the truth because they are concerned about how the world will view them if they do. As such, they remain silent even when everything inside them is screaming to say something, anything because the voiceless need a voice too.

If you are a sheep, your faith will mirror it, but so will your life. If you are His and He is yours, you know Him as Lord and King. Because He is Lord and King, you also live your life according to His will and Word.

1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

Well, there you have it, all this talk of sanctification for naught. Holiness is for the birds; I have an advocate, so I can do what I will, and Jesus will fix it. It’s like having a lawyer on retainer, knowing you’re going to break the law. The only unknown is the measure of severity.

Not so fast, Speed Racer; there’s more to the chapter than the first two verses, but we don’t want to be bothered with that. Knowing that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, the need for an Advocate with the Father is undeniable. What we must establish is what sort of sin John is speaking of. There is a difference between habitual, continual, and unrepented of sin and an angry thought toward someone or action less than ideal for a child of God.

1 John 2:3-6, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also walk just as He walked.”

If your walk and life are not commensurate with the walk and life of Jesus, though you say you know Him, you are a liar. That’s not me saying it; that’s the Bible saying it. That whole notion of I can live whichever way and still make it on The Way is contradicted by a multitude of Scriptures.

Yes, I know, the Apostles didn’t have the internet, so they couldn’t run a poll to see which opinion was more popular, but a majority doesn’t make something right by the nature of being a majority. Throughout history, it’s those who were in the minority that turned out to be correct because there is a madness to crowds that is dangerous and twisted, in that good seems evil to their eyes, and evil seems good.

If I call myself a sheep but all I want to do is hang out with the wolves, and the wolves accept me as one of their own, then maybe I’m not a sheep after all.

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge a wolf by its fangs. You can tell whether a tree is good or not based on the fruit it produces, and no amount of sugar and cinnamon will make bad fruit passable as good.

The Bible says we know Him, not if we have a fish sticker on our car, wear a white dove pin, attend a particular denomination, or support our favorite televangelist. The Book says we know that we know Him if we keep His commandments.

Living out one’s faith is more complex than speaking the right words. I’ve heard people declare that Jesus is Lord, then watched as they did things that would make the devil blush. Our declaration requires foundation. When we speak the words with conviction, we will live according to His precepts because if He is Lord, then our faithfulness and obedience are naturally occurring.

The how of it is easy enough. In everything you do, make certain that you are willing to suffer for the sake of the truth rather than be willing to let the truth suffer because of your actions. If that is the metric by which you live your life, then you will know obedience, self-control, self-discipline, and restraint.

Remember who you are. Remember what He promised. Remember that eternity is forever; where you spend it is the only metric yet to be decided. If you are a sheep, then follow the Shepherd, hear His voice, and obey His commands.

It’s not complicated if we choose to humble ourselves. Only when the flesh, our pride, and elevated sense of self insert themselves and wrestle for dominance does this journey become vexing and troublesome.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2023


 I’ve never understood believers who are terrified of dying. I understand not wanting to die because you’d be leaving something unfinished, because your kids aren’t all grown and out of the house, or because you know your spouse would be lonely without you, so for their sake, you want to abide for a little while longer.

Fear though, terror at the thought of catching something randomly that may endanger your life somehow and thereby isolating yourself from everyone, living like a hermit, and dipping the nuggets the Uber Eats kid delivered in disinfectant before eating them, that I don’t understand. If you knew what that kid did to your nuggets before ringing the doorbell, you’d be doing shots of the sanitizer, but let’s pretend they’re all wholesome, well-adjusted teenagers that are just trying to earn their way through college by delivering fast food to people too lazy or fearful of getting out of their homes.

The promise of eternal life eliminates the fear of death. It doesn’t just tamp it down or diminish it; it eliminates it. We have a genuine and abiding hope in Christ and His promise that we would be where He went to prepare a place for us.

The fear of death no longer holds sway; it has lost its sting, and dread no longer has a place in the believer’s life. You’re not stepping into the unknown full of terror and misgivings about what will come. You’re going home into the arms of the one who loves you to the point of already having given His life for you.

Had they not had the hope and the promise of eternal life, do you believe men and women would have gone to their deaths while being burned alive singing hymns and songs of praise to God? If you want an eye-opening history lesson as to what the primary church went through as far as persecution is concerned and what some believers go through today, grab a copy of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and give it a read.

In order not to love your life unto death, you must possess hope and assurance in something beyond this life. If I have the promise of eternal life, what does it matter to me what men do to this flesh? If I know that to be absent from the body is to be one with Christ, what have I to fear?

This is why believers were so negatively impacted by certain pastors and elders when they were given the ultimatum to either put something into their bodies they didn’t want or be shunned and no longer be considered among the fellowship of the brethren. I get that Franklin Graham’s a big deal in certain circles, but I can’t just take his word that Jesus would have rolled up His sleeve for the likes of this administration or the man tasked with ensuring everyone got one.

As I explained to a friend recently, I don’t want to die, but I’m not afraid of death. I’ll be here for as long as God will have me, and not a minute longer, no matter how much I may try to extend my time here by eating seaweed and kale or whatever atrocious thing is en vogue this week.

I’m not about to dedicate more time than necessary to something I have no control over. It’s just ironic that a guy who subsists on a diet of black coffee and gas station grilled cheeses is outliving professional athletes half his age.

God made me a promise. The same promise He made you, and because I know Him and trust Him, there is not a flicker of doubt in my mind as to His ability to keep it. It’s good enough because He said it. I am not entitled to any special proof regarding God’s sincerity, nor would I require it.

The promise of eternal life is undeniable, as is its originator. No more need be debated on the topic because God’s promises are ironclad, and His ability to carry them out is indisputable.

If you are His sheep and know His voice and follow after Him, you trust Him without equivocation because you know His character, you know His nature, and you know His compassion. It’s those who do not hear, who do not follow, and who do not call Him Lord that need constant reassurance about something God said.

There is a three-year age gap between my daughters. Recently we were swimming at a pool when the youngest walked up to the edge of the pool, and I reached out my arms and said, “jump; daddy will catch you.”

“Are you sure?” she asked, “promise?”

“I promise, baby bear, I’ll catch you.”

She stood there biting her lip when her older sister said, “jump, he’ll catch you; he catches me all the time. Daddy will keep his word.”

Then she jumped, and I caught her because, as the older one pointed out, I am her dad, and I keep my word.

God is not a stranger trying to offer you candy to get you into his van. He is a loving Father who promised eternal life to those who abide in the truth. He doesn’t need to trick you, beguile you, or charm you. You’re not a child; you’re His child. If you are His child, then you already know you can trust Him and that eternal life is yours to lay hold of.

1 John 2:24-25, “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Of Us

 Certain spiritual issues require thought and introspection. Thankfully none of them are salvific. When it comes to salvific matters, it’s cut and dry, absent ambiguity, because being saved, having the promise of eternity well in hand, and being anchored in it is one of those paramount issues that must be established fully before we can mature and grow as believers.

If I’m constantly questioning whether I’m saved or not, if I’m always wondering whether or not I have eternal life, I’ll have neither the time nor inclination to do anything else but worry. Working while it’s day, doing exploits on behalf of the Kingdom, these things require a foundation of the full conviction and assurance that He knows me, I am His, and He has me well in hand.

Goats pretending to be sheep will never know the peace and joy that comes with being a true sheep, following the Shepherd. It’s largely why many supposed believers require extra-biblical experiences to satisfy or spiritually fulfill them, going off into the weeds to the point of trying their hand at astral projections and out-of-body experiences.

Jesus didn’t say His sheep would know His voice and open their third eye. He said they would know His voice and follow Him. Goats get bored easily, are always looking for excitement, and are always searching for something fresh and new. The taste of green pastures doesn’t change; neither does the taste of fresh water.

That’s why my hackles get raised whenever I hear people declaring that God is doing something fresh, new, never before seen. It’s the ninth wonder of the world sort of stuff, brother; you just have to believe! I don’t, though. I don’t have to believe; you want me to believe, and what you want me to believe is contrary to what my Shepherd tells me I should believe.

1 John 2:18-19, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.”

Peppered throughout the Bible, especially when referencing the last days, we have warning upon warning when it comes to deceivers, false prophets, false Christs, and antichrists. There’s quite a mélange of deception, and if you don’t know the Shepherd’s voice, it will be difficult to remain standing.

By what John relates, even during his day, there were individuals who infiltrated the brethren with the singular purpose of deceiving them and leading them astray. This is what he means by those who came out of us because they were not of us. They left the fellowship of the saints because they were never of the fellowship of the saints.

And that’s one way of looking at it: individuals who stray, those who return to the world and the things thereof, were never of the household of faith, to begin with. They were just goats pretending to be sheep hoping to get sheep to become goats, and when it didn’t go as planned, they went on to find new opportunities. At least, John is asserting this when discussing those who strayed.

I’d be perfectly content with ending this train of thought here if not for the fact that those Jesus will say He never knew, prophesied, cast out demons, and did wonders in His name. Those absent intellectual curiosity will likely shrug their shoulders here and say they did those things by the powers of darkness. Still, biblically we know that the devil doesn’t set about destroying his own kingdom.

Coke doesn’t do promo tours for Pepsi, and Nike doesn’t encourage you to buy Reebok. Devils don’t cast out devils, and Satan doesn’t prophesy and do wonders in Christ’s name.

And that’s the philosophical question I’ve been grappling with for a few days now: Was the casting out of devils, the doing of wonders, and the prophesying a long con on the devil’s part? Was he just seeding soil so he could reap a harvest, or did individuals give in to lawlessness and worldliness because they ceased being watchful?

It is feasible that at some point throughout their life, both a sheep and a hog end up in the mud pit. The difference between the two is that the hog loves the mud, while the sheep does its best to extricate itself from it.

When a sheep stumbles, its singular purpose is to get back up and continue following after the Shepherd. A swine’s only focus is to find the next mud puddle he can jump into. How do you know whether or not you have laid hold of the promise? If the mud feels natural to you, if you enjoy it, if every fiber of your being isn’t screaming for you to get out of it, perhaps you are something other than a sheep who hears the Shepherd’s voice.

If you’re reading these words, know it’s not too late. You can still be His, truly His. You can still Hear His voice, follow Him, and know that you possess the promise of eternity. You can know it with the certainty that a sheep knows its shepherd will lead it to still waters and green pastures.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Monday, March 20, 2023


 Doubt and uncertainty are toxic to the human condition. Where doubt is present, everything turns gray, and the things that should bring joy do little toward that end. What doubt regarding eternal life does to the spiritual man is akin to someone trying to sit in a plastic chair that’s been out in the sun one too many summers. They attempt to sit gingerly, ease themselves into it, ever trepidatious that at any moment the plastic will give, and they’ll end up on the internet with their family howling with laughter as background noise. Even when they’ve finally seated themselves, they’re hesitant to move around or get comfortable because, in the back of their mind, the nagging thoughts persist. If the chair were made of iron rather than plastic, there would be no hesitation, worry, or concern.

If all someone did was wave a hand in church, but there was never a rebirth, a transformation, a renewal of the mind, the doubt will persist, and they will be leery of walking boldly toward eternity, and rightly so. We have seen the collateral damage of the touch your screen and say this prayer generation in the form of a stunted, withered, malformed, and powerless church.

My wife’s a fan of stretching her faith when it comes to how far she can drive after the little red low-fuel light comes on. As yet, she hasn’t called me from the side road asking to bring some gas, but it’s bound to happen.

Whenever I try to tell her that more gas went into her tank than the allotted capacity, she smiles and says, “I never doubted I’d make it home for a second.” As for me, if I get anywhere near a quarter of a tank, I start getting uncomfortable. It causes me psychological discomfort to know that I’m low on gas, and no matter what I try to do to distract myself, I can’t.

I traveled the highways and byways of this nation enough to know that fifty miles until the next exit seems like an eternity when you’re low on gas, especially before the time of cell phones and automobile clubs that come and help you out if you’re a member. Flat tires are flat tires. You can’t help those. They happen when you least expect them, and you have to deal with it. Running out of gas isn’t accidental. It’s something that could have been avoided had the driver had the presence of mind to pull over and fill up. 

I will freely admit I’ve had times when, unlike my wife, I doubted I’d make it to the next gas station. What I’ve never doubted, not for a second, is that I’d have the promise of eternal life. It’s not because I’m some super-Christian; I’m not. It’s because I read my Bible and believe it.

Issues arise when we believe what people tell us regarding eternal life over what the Bible tells us. If the Bible says one thing and the grinning head on television says another, believe the Bible, always, without equivocation.

Eternal life is a gift and a promise of God for all who belong to Him. What I have to determine as an individual is whether I do belong to Him, whether I’m a sheep or a goat. Sheep follow. Goats wander.

John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”

Jesus made it clear: those who are His sheep hear His voice. They are in tune with the Shepherd, and when the Shepherd speaks, they don’t pretend as though they didn’t hear or fail to hear Him because they were distracted by something else.

Not only do His sheep hear His voice, but they also follow Him. If we only hear His voice but do not follow Him, are we still His sheep? If we hear His voice but choose to go our own way rather than obey Him, are we still His sheep?

Jesus knows those who are His. They hear His voice and follow Him, and to them, He has promised eternal life. He also declared that no one would snatch His sheep out of His hand. You ask why I’m certain about eternity. Because Jesus said no one could snatch me out of His hand, and I’m not about to wiggle out of it voluntarily.

You can tell a lot about a person’s spiritual condition by how they frame the questions they ask. If the first thing out of the gate they want to know is what they can get away with, what they can do insofar as skirt the line but not cross it, if it acts like a goat and rebels like a goat, it’s a goat.

I’ve even had people get into units of measurement with me as though the cutoff is a pint of beer rather than a pitcher. If I am a sheep and He is the Shepherd, then my only desire is to listen for His voice, hear Him, and follow, not to determine how much time I can spend roaming the crags and cliffs and still end up with the flock.

The problem with being a wandering sheep is that wolves are still a reality we must contend with. A lone sheep away from its shepherd makes for a mighty fine meal.

The crux of the issue has been improperly framed for so long that the words of Jesus no longer resonate, and His promise fails to provide the expected comfort.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Sunday, March 19, 2023


 I know how many children I have. I don’t have to count on my fingers or think about it for a minute. Granted, my number’s just two, but I would wager even Amish parents whose numbers reach well into the teens know exactly how many children they have. Especially if you’re talking about the moms, not only do they know how many children they have, but regardless of the number, they can tell you their eye color, birthdate, food preferences, and their first words out of a dead sleep.

Other than the odd exception here or there, where selfishness has cast out love and paternal instincts, moms and dads love their kids and want what’s best for them. That’s not to say that sometimes kids go off the rails, want nothing to do with their mom or dad, and make such a mess of their lives that they become the defacto cautionary tale other parents tell their children.

Some things you’re just sure of in life. Salvation and eternal life should be one of those things, yet some fill pews every Sunday who are dubious and uncertain when it comes to them. It’s not a modern-day problem, I assure you. It is likely the reason John penned his first epistle.

So much doubt had been sown within the body of believers John was writing to that they doubted the fundamental tenets of faith in Christ. The joy, the peace, and the comfort had been sapped out of them, and individuals who once walked the path joyfully were now sour, dour, and despondent.

No, I’m not talking about eternal security. However, it is biblically proven that God will never initiate separation. God will never bar the door to those who wander, but those who wander must choose to return home. If I’m half a world away salivating at the thought of eating some pods the pigs are feasting on, then I’m not home, am I?

We are so selective in our reading of the gospel. We butcher it as though it were cattle, take the three verses we like, and chuck the rest of it. In order for the prodigal son to be received back by his father, he had to make the conscious choice to return home, then follow through and actually do it.

Had he stayed in the fields feeding swine and not returned to his father’s house, he never would have experienced his father’s embrace and reconciliation. The prodigal did one other thing: he confessed his trespass and acknowledged that only his father’s mercy could restore him. Not his merit, not his works, only his father’s grace.

Luke 15:21, “And the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

The prodigal returned home! He didn’t stop in for a quick meal and then returned to partying with the pigs. His father’s house wasn’t just a convenient place to get over a hangover between drinking sessions or somewhere to crash trying to avoid responsibility. He didn’t return home just to lick his wounds so he could return to the low place of envying swine.  He came back home to stay.

I’ve run across people who know that they are wayward yet use the parable of the prodigal son to remain so. They tell themselves that one day they’ll make it back, one day they’ll return, one day they’ll make things right, but that one day is far into the future, a future they are not guaranteed. That’s the thing about parables and stories in general; they usually have satisfying endings. Real life doesn’t. In real life, the good guys don’t always win, the prodigals don’t always make it back home, and sometimes, people already in their father’s house don’t appreciate what they have.

The declarative statement John makes to his audience is undeniable. He insists on driving home the point repeatedly, leaving nothing to chance or interpretation. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

You don’t have to guess at it or wonder or suppose. It’s not something someone can tell you you have; it’s something you know you have. You know you have eternal life because you believe in the name of the Son of God.”

Belief compels action. It is the natural flow of things. If I believe a storm is coming, then I prepare for the storm. My actions are a direct result of my belief. If I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He redeemed me from destruction, then I will honor Him, serve Him, worship Him, and praise Him.

You cannot believe something as profound as Jesus dying for your sins, then do nothing about it. You can’t help but weep at the love, and the mercy and the grace. You can’t help but be in awe and wonder of Him. You can’t help but surrender your heart, meager and paltry as it might be, because you know you can do nothing in a thousand lifetimes to make up for what He did.

God is justified in His wrath and judgment on those who trample His Son underfoot. He is justified in punishing those who count the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, a common thing. It doesn’t matter how many churches you planted, how many ministries you started, or how many wonders and signs you performed if you insult the Spirit of grace and refuse to return, repent, and reconcile.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Saturday, March 18, 2023


 We may be as unique as snowflakes, but when it comes to reactions regarding eternity, there are only three that men can have. They may be nuanced, with certain small addendums or omissions here and there, but on the whole, when you dig down and do away with all the unnecessary fluff, there are only three.

The first of these is men being lost, knowing full well that they are lost, and being wholly unconcerned about it. I’ve seen people wear shirts declaring that they know they’re going to hell and don’t care. I’ve even had people say it to me candidly when trying to have a conversation about salvation, eternity, and eternal life. It’s heartbreaking, and all you can do is present Christ to them, hoping that the seed you plant will take root and they will come to their senses.

Someone who is lost and who knows they are lost yet is indifferent about the prospect cannot be reasoned with or persuaded by natural means. When their heart is stirred, it is supernatural, something done by the Holy Spirit, for it must compel them to humble themselves, repent, and seek salvation.

The second is men affirming that they are saved, believing they are saved while utterly lost. The world is full of such individuals, people who will stand before Christ one day, reminding Him of all the things they did in His name and Jesus informing them that He never knew them.

Jesus didn’t say that to scare folks. He didn’t say it to cause anyone undue stress or sleepless nights. Jesus said it because it would be a reality. It will be true. It will happen just as He said it will.

John 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

Just so we’re clear, people with more power than the modern-day church will be turned away and commanded to depart from before Christ. Even though they’d prophesied, cast out demons, and done many wonders, they failed to do the will of God and continued to practice lawlessness.

If you don’t like wriggly things, you might want to turn away. We’re about to open a can of worms because everyone else seems to be ignoring it or giving it a wide berth. But why would you want to do such a thing? Why not let sleeping dogs lie and tell stories about Vlad the Impaler or something? Because there are people who are confident that they are saved, and they are not, and it’s hard to wash blood off your hands. I can’t even rub garlic powder into a chicken breast with my bare hands. It makes me squeamish.

For anyone trying to create a carve-out for any movement or person, past or present, insisting that they were mightily used of the Lord even though they practiced lawlessness and did not do the will of the Father, go back and read those two verses very carefully.

Just because someone prophecies, casts out demons, or does wonders, it does not mean that their demonstrable lawlessness is somehow sanctioned, excused, or justified by God. It likewise does not mean that on the day of judgment, their lawlessness and rebellion will be overlooked, and they will get a pass for their unrepented misconduct.

It’s one of those straw man arguments that drives me up a wall and one I hear more often with each passing day. But so and so divorced his wife, married his secretary, and look at the mighty wonders he is doing. It must be okay in the sight of God. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be doing all the wonders.

That’s not what the Bible says. Yes, I know, back to the Bible; sorry to disappoint those who think their opinion supersedes it.

It’s also how some men justify habitual, protracted, and ongoing lawlessness. Because they can keep prophesying or doing wonders, or even casting out demons, they talk themselves into believing that God thinks they’re so special, He’ll pretend as though they weren’t doing wrong.

God is not like man. Men will often excuse something their own nation does that they condemn in other nations who do it. There are plenty of examples, but the point is that God will not excuse sin in His house while condemning those of the world for it.

Fair warning: it will get to the point of being ludicrous, in your face, and blatantly obvious, and people will still attempt to justify it and embrace it. Make of that what you will, but the point is this: The Bible says a good tree produces good fruit, and a corrupt tree produces evil fruit. It doesn’t say the corrupt tree doesn’t produce any fruit at all. What the Bible makes clear, however, is that a corrupt tree cannot produce good fruit.

Perhaps, at some point, we’ll learn the difference between biblical and judgmental. One can hope, anyway. I’m not judging anybody, that’s not my intent, but I’m not about to say that due to changing weather patterns, corrupt trees are now producing some mighty tasty fruit.

But what about all the high-profile spiritual leaders and influential individuals endorsing this or that person? That’s on them. They will have to contend with the fallout and answer before an omniscient God. If I’d planned on selling out for clout, I would have done it long enough ago that I could have lived my best life for a couple of decades before spit-roasting for eternity. I’m too close to the finish line to consider it at this point.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Thursday, March 16, 2023


 Eternity’s a long time to be wrong about something so critical as eternity. In most cases, the fool and coward being indistinguishable, the reaction to a topic as heady as eternity is usually to scoff, mock, and brush it off with some ignorant trope like “I don’t care; I’ll be dead anyway.” Your flesh surely will, but that which is more than flesh that resides in you will not.

Perhaps it’s because that part of them knows the truth of it that some people are so reticent when it comes to considering and pondering eternity. If that which animates man and constitutes life comes from God, then that breath, that spark, that divine sliver knows when it is no longer in an environment conducive to His nature.

Most people say that the longing for God in the heart of man is like a hole that only He can fill. I’m sure you’ve heard the God-shaped hole theory at least once in your life; all of us have. What if it’s not a hole, after all, but that which God put of Himself in man that longs to be reunited with Him?

Genesis 2:7, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

Whether your relationship with your parents is good or otherwise, they’re still your parents. No matter how much you disagree, no matter how distant you grow, and no matter how far away you run, your mom and dad remain your mom and dad. It’s whether you want to acknowledge them as such and submit to their authority that’s in question, not whether or not they made you.

Since the big tech firms have determined that drinking boba tea, getting your septum pierced, and daydreaming about personal pronouns isn’t really worth shelling out six figures, many a youth with no life skill other than watching numbers on a screen has been forced to move back in with their aging parents. What they’ve found is that although the parents are welcoming, they have boundaries and standards they insist their children live by while under their roof.

Some find the idea of submitting to the authority of their parents so off-putting that they choose to live on the street and scrounge in garbage cans for their daily bread. Whether it’s their pride or that their sin has so consumed them that they cannot consider parting with it, they would rather descend into rot and ruin than humble themselves.

If you want to enjoy the safety and comfort of your Father’s house and avail yourself of His promises, then you have to submit to His authority and live according to His precepts.

It’s why I’ve never understood those who insist that you can come out of the world and continue to live like the world but enjoy all the perks of belonging to God, including eternal life. Did you climb out of a dumpster only to make your Father’s house a dumpster? How does that work exactly?

We pretend as though the only thing Jesus said to the adulterous woman was that He did not condemn her. That go and sin no more part, well, that was never really confirmed. It may have just been an artistic flare on John’s part or something that got lost in translation. It happens, you know, but that ‘I don’t condemn you’ part, that’s solid. It’s the sin no more part, that’s in question.

We play these games thinking that God’s participating, but He isn’t. They’re games we’re playing by ourselves, with our flesh, and diluting ourselves into believing that our machinations will somehow have an impact on God’s decision-making or that we will be able to scripture twist enough verses to get Him to change His position. It won’t, and He won’t.

God will not go back on His word because this generation is so enthralled by the sin that so easily besets it. He’s not going to have a change of heart because we’re whinier and more entitled than any generation to come before us.

1 John 5:10-13, “Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

The litmus test isn’t whether you performed signs or wonders if you prophesied or cast out demons or if you belonged to a specific denomination. The litmus test that determines whether I have eternal life or not is whether or not I have the Son of God and if I believe in the name of the Son of God. That’s what the apostle who focused more on eternal life than any other declared inspired by the Holy Spirit.

I get that it’s enticing, even tempting to chase after movements, manifestations, winds, and revivals, but if we ignore the Bible because we like the sound of clanging cymbals too much, we do so at our own peril.

Back in the day, a commercial was going around with a genius tagline. If you’re as old as I am, then you surely remember it. Got Milk? That was it! That was their pitch and the entirety of their messaging. As believes our messaging should be just as clear and succinct: Got Jesus?

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023


 Some ideas are so vast that even the most brilliant minds can only touch the edges, never mind fully understand them. They grope for enlightenment, excuse their limitations, come up with hypothetical situations of what may be, and extrapolate the little they know, yet they remain in the dark. Some who have the wherewithal to realize it, and the honesty to verbalize it, admit that they know very little, whether the topic is the capacity of the human brain, the universe, or eternity.

It is impossible for a temporal being to fully understand the depth and breadth of eternity. We’ve come up with terms to try and explain it, such as forever or time without end, but again, these are abstract and do very little to pierce the veil of understanding.

As they get older, the girls are starting to ask more difficult questions. Last week I spent a good hour trying to explain the reality that God has no beginning to my oldest, and every time her retort was, but everything has to have a beginning. Yes, everything that is created, I would answer, but God was not created; He has always existed. It may be too much to ask of an eight-year-old to understand, but she asked it, and I couldn’t just brush her off.

When it comes to eternity and eternal life, it is one of those promises that we know God made yet oftentimes fail to understand the full implications of. If men understood eternity, perhaps they would be more concerned about their immortal souls than they currently are, especially where those immortal souls will spend the aforementioned eternity.

It may be a subtle influence, but if the enemy can get someone not to ponder the implications of eternity, then perhaps, he may just get them to put off repentance until it becomes too late. As if things weren’t bad enough, I’m about to strike a blow to the candle industry and confirm what you’ve suspected all along: once you’re dead, you’re dead, and no amount of candle lighting will lead your soul back to the light.

Romanians are big into lighting candles, but so are all predominantly Orthodox cultures. You can walk into any Orthodox church, and some old lady will be there to sell you some candles, day or night, weekdays or weekends. When I used to live there, whether, in the markets or the shops, you were bound to hear someone say that they were on their way to light a candle for a mom, a dad, an aunt, or an alcoholic uncle who drowned in his own well. You could light a million candles until the world looks like a pyre; all it will do is make smoke.

Eternity is promised to us, but we must lay hold of the promise on this side of eternity. Just because there is some tacit agreement between the preacher and the bereaved that, at some point, the dearly departed will be seen as looking down from heaven doesn’t make it so. I understand the notion of not being needlessly cruel, but by the same token, we can’t tell lies just to soothe someone’s burdened conscience.

If many are called, but few are chosen, if narrow is the way and few are those who find it, but every funeral you’ve ever been to the departed is smiling down from heaven, either you know an exceptionally sanctified group of folks, or some of those declarations were lies.

This isn’t me picking at scabs. I’m not that petty. However, let’s say an unsaved individual is at a funeral, and they knew the person in the casket well. They hung out together and did the same nefarious things together, throughout it all, there being no sign of remorse, repentance, regret, or change, yet the man in the starched collar is saying he’s in heaven, sitting at the right hand of the Father. Would that make the individual reflect on their mortality or their need for a savior? Would that even compel them to see themselves as they were and realize that their destination wouldn’t be heaven if they died that day?

Our sloppy handling of the Word can have eternal consequences for others. It is something we ought never to forget because their blood may be required of our hands if we fail to warn them and speak the truth unflinchingly.

Ezekiel 3:18-19, “When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.”

We have a fiduciary responsibility to warn the wicked from their wicked way. Whether they turn from that wicked way or not is up to them. They decide their course, and by deciding their course, they determine their destination. Once I’ve warned someone, my job is done, my hands are clean, and though they may not turn, though they may die in their iniquity, my soul has been delivered.

If, however, I fail to warn the wicked from his wicked way, and he dies in his iniquity, his blood shall be required of my hands. Nowhere does the Bible say I can go light a candle for them and make it all right or go sit by their gravestone and bid them repent.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Monday, March 13, 2023


 It is evil itself when under the guise of love, cruelty is visited upon the unsuspecting to the point of bringing them to the brink of destruction. That’s not to say they are without fault because you choose what you believe and gravitate toward the things you want to believe. Faith is a choice followed by an action. What you put your faith in determines what action you will take. Fantasy and reality are perpetually at war in one’s heart, and the rational mind tries its best to reestablish the reality that absolute truth is, by its nature, absolute.

If you have difficulty walking from your microwave to your kitchen table, no matter how much body positivity you possess, chances are, one day, and one day soon, you won’t even be able to make that two-step trek.

One of the cruelest lies to be visited upon the contemporary church and one that made a handful of unscrupulous leeches wealthy beyond their wildest dreams is that this present life was about them rather than Christ. While some may deem this shift in focus and priority as nothing to be concerned over, in all practical terms, we’ve supplanted God, and His will, for ourselves and our will.

 As a philosopher whose name now escapes me once said, whatever sits atop your pinnacle of value, is functionally equivalent to God. That is why the me gospel is so dangerous. That is why this infatuation with self is so detrimental. We have made the flesh our foremost priority. It is the individual and not God that sits atop our pinnacle of value, and so, the self has become a de facto god, a god we serve and service, strive to please and appease.

This is why not loving one’s life to death is so difficult in our era. This is why, I believe, at the first sign of resistance, difficulty, or persecution, the modern-day church will fold like a paper airplane in the hands of an excitable child. When the self is sitting atop our pinnace of value, we attempt to protect it and keep it comfortable at the expense of everything else.

If keeping their life at its current comfort level demands that they turn their back on God because their flesh is more of a priority than a relationship with God, they will not hesitate to betray Him.

Do I love Jesus and what He did for me more than I love my life, my comfort, or my possessions? It is a fundamental question we must contend with presently that we might either continue to grow our conviction or make the requisite adjustments so that when the day comes, we would not falter.

Am I saying all of us will be called to martyrdom? No, I am not, but there’s a lot that can happen between our current existence and martyrdom that will require us to choose Him over ourselves. It doesn’t always have to be the threat of being beheaded; sometimes, it’s something as innocuous or insignificant as being marginalized by your social circle for standing up for Jesus.  

Since my social circle can fit into a midsize sedan, I’m not much bothered by their opinion regarding my stance on Jesus. Others, however, put great value on how their peers, coworkers, family, and friends view them, and if Christ is not their all in all, they will self-censor when they are in their presence and hold back for fear of retaliation.

Matthew 10:33, “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”

That puts a crimp in the undercover brother mindset, doesn’t it? Camouflage Christianity is not Christianity. If you can blend in with the world to such a degree that those of the world embrace you as one of their own, you are of the world.

“I don’t like this fat man anymore, Martha. He’s making me feel uncomfortable now. Go back to brother Joel’s morning affirmations.”

Perhaps I’m just an odd duck, but if my destination is heaven, I appreciate anyone who points the way, even if the road is uneven, difficult, or taxing. If you’re serving a god you’ve manufactured, or if you’ve decided you are the god you will serve, then don’t be surprised when on that day of days, He will say He never knew you.

The implication of Jesus saying if you deny me before men, then I will deny you before My Father, was that it would cost your flesh something if you declared Him as Lord and King. It’s not like you’d be denying Jesus in a church setting or when surrounded by other believers. If everyone around you is saying Jesus is Lord, it’s an easy thing to echo the sentiment.

If, however, proclaiming that Jesus is Lord would ensure that you will either be marginalized or otherwise persecuted, if He is not your all in all, it wouldn’t be all that easy a thing to do. Jesus knew those who followed after Him would be persecuted. He knew that those who followed after Him would be hated. In so knowing, He also foresaw that some would have to choose faithfulness or betrayal. He made it very clear to those who chose to deny Him before men that He would likewise deny them before His Father, who is in heaven.

This is just another example of something men say Jesus would never do, even though Jesus said He would. You either believe Him over the words of men or the words of men over what He said.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Sunday, March 12, 2023


You can gauge what a person loves by what they devote time, resources, and passion to. No one can accuse me of being a gamer because I don’t own a video game console. Someone who owns everyone and has built an entire room around it, replete with the gaming chair, and the mood lighting, can rightly be labeled a gamer.

Actions regarding what one loves speak louder than words, so when someone insists that they love Jesus but spend their time hip deep in depravity more days than not, their words ring hollow and untrue based on the demonstrable and contrary nature of their actions.

Walking the path of victory or living a victorious life requires three constant companions. The first companion is the blood of the Lamb, the second is the word of our testimony, and the third is not loving our lives to death.

Although, as the saying goes, two out of three ain’t bad, all three are necessary to guarantee victory. If a man is clothed in the blood of Jesus, has the word of his testimony, and does not love his life, not only is he a force to be reckoned with, he is a force the enemy fears.

When we look at those who came before us and the lives they lived, we often wonder how they could be so brave, so consistent, so faithful, and so strong. How could they have endured torture, imprisonment, threats, violence, psychological warfare, and confinement, and not despair, not given up, not done as they were told just to make it stop?

Granted, some did. Some became informants, turncoats, people who would infiltrate churches and prayer groups, then once having gained their trust betray them to the authorities, but there were also those who stood. One was no different from the other as far as genetic makeup was concerned. All were individuals raised in the same culture, converted to the same faith, and living at the same time, yet some overcame, some remained faithful, while others surrendered and broke faith.

When it came down to it, it was whether they had the blood, the testimony, and did not love their lives unto death that made the difference as to whether they stood or fell. Those who stood, those who remained faithful and survived their ordeals, freely admit that it was not in their strength that they remained standing but in His.

When you make the conscious choice that you will not love your life even unto death, that you will remain faithful no matter what you might have to endure, God will give you the strength to persevere and withstand.

The old adage in the intelligence communities is that everyone breaks. Apply enough pressure for a long enough period, and whatever information you are attempting to extract will be yours eventually. Find the weakness, find the chink in the armor, and apply pressure. Squeeze until something gives, then squeeze some more to ensure you got everything. Accurate as that might be, with people that held states’ secrets or knew some sort of intelligence the other side was trying to extricate, it was not so with Christians during Communist persecution.

There were men whom professional torturers deemed unbreakable. It’s not as though they weren’t skilled at torture or that they were squeamish about doing their worst. After all, it doesn’t take a genius to yank fingernails with pliers or beat on someone’s kidneys and lungs until they vomit blood. Torture is a pretty straightforward business if you have the appetite for it, and those who were put in charge of squelching the spread of Christianity were highly motivated and reveled in the breaking of their fellow man. They took at it with gusto and enthusiasm because if one could garner a reputation of breaking Christians, then the sky was the limit as far as promotions went.

Illiterate as some of them were, they had enough presence of mind to realize that save for their penchant for brutality, there was nothing else they possessed that would have allowed them to be elevated among their peers.

So it wasn’t lack of skill that kept them from breaking certain believers, nor was it lack of motivation. By process of elimination, the only thing it could have been was something that their victims possessed that they had yet to run across when torturing political dissidents or supposed spies.

I hope you understand what I’m trying to get at, not because it’s a nifty intellectual exercise, but because the very real possibility of Christian persecution, even in a place like America, is closer than you think. If you hope to overcome if you wish to be victorious, then you must understand how those before you overcame and obtained victory.

You must be fully prepared not only to live for Christ but to die for Him long before you are called upon to make the choice. The reality that you do not love your life to the death must be grown and matured by the time you are called upon to choose because if it is but a sapling, it will sway in the storm and snap if the wind is strong enough.

Yes, I’ve heard the Americanism that dying is easy, living is hard, but perhaps we can revisit that statement when you’re strapped to an electric chair, knowing that speaking a handful of names will let you see your wife and kids again.

Living for Christ and dying for Him both have their moments, but we must be willing to do both if we are to be effective for the Kingdom and victorious in our journey.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Friday, March 10, 2023


Some Christians never encounter resistance because they’ve never been actively engaged in warfare. Others are so used to getting rolled by the enemy that they’ve succumbed to a spiritual version of Stockholm syndrome, defending their tormentors and viciously attacking anyone who points the way to freedom. I’ve often thought about what triggers this mindset. Is it the fear of freedom? Is it the fear of escape? Is it the fear of the unknown? Is it a subconscious coping mechanism of the flesh that never believed you were worthy of freedom in the first place? What makes the dungeons of sin so attractive? Is it, perhaps, that while ensnared and imprisoned, men are not called upon to be accountable and live worthy of the name of Christ?

I see the struggle of those who live with the burdens of their past because they have yet to accept that what they were was cast into the sea of forgetfulness, and they are skittish and timid about drawing near to the love of Christ. Although God sees them through the prism of the blood of the Lamb, they still see themselves through the prism of who they were before their encounter with Jesus.  

This is why I have such an issue with the contemporary reimagining of what getting saved means. We’re talking about the difference between a commutation of one’s sentence and a prison furlough once in a great while. Because, at this juncture, we would betray Christ before hurting someone’s feelings, few dare to preach the whole counsel of God, and what you get are people who see the hope of being set free so close that they can touch it then it gets snatched away again. They were never taught they had to pick a side, never mind that they had to actively fight.

It’s not that I’m blaming any nation in particular. Still, we’ve been afforded the opportunity to live in relative comfort, where one’s faith cost them nothing more than a tithe and a few hours in church, thereby being offered the option of living duplicitous existences. Just because it’s free to you, it doesn’t mean it’s worthless. The blood of Jesus isn’t the plastic letter opener your bank hands out with their phone number and hours of operation. The blood is free to you because you couldn’t afford it otherwise.

More people than we want to admit jumped at the chance of having one foot in the world and one foot in heaven because it cost them nothing to ensure a first-class ticket to the land of cherubs and harps. Their preacher told them so. All they had to do was raise a hand, and that’s a good thing because that was all the sacrifice they were willing to make anyway. Ask for anything more, and the deal’s off the table!

2 Timothy 2:4, “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”

What is a light that does not shine? What is a spring that does not flow? What is a soldier that is not engaged in warfare? These are all anomalies, things that ought not to be yet are because we make allowances for them, excuse them, and justify them.

What are the affairs of this life, exactly, because some use this verse to shirk their responsibilities altogether and live as though they don’t have a wife, four kids, and a three-legged cat to provide for?

Knowing that scripture interprets scripture, we need to look no further than the Word to establish what the affairs of this life are and what they aren’t. Spoiler alert: providing for your household, your family, your wife, and your children is not what the Bible means by being entangled in the affairs of this life.

1 Timothy 5:8, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

I bring this up because I’ve met a handful of individuals throughout my years in ministry who use the scripture about the affairs of this life to justify laziness and slothfulness. It’s not like they’re doing anything productive as far as the Kingdom of God is concerned, but they’re not holding down a job either.

How about spending less time Facebook beefing with strangers half a world away? How about spending less time being idle, scrolling Twitter, and trying to find something you can be offended about? Those qualify as the affairs of this life, but we sure do fill up our days pursuing them.

If you can tweet battle and Instagram insult, you can hold down a job and provide for your own. But I don’t want to! That qualifier is not in the Bible. It doesn’t say to provide for those of your household if you feel like it. It says to do it lest you become worse than an unbeliever.

You can be engaged in warfare and make sure your kids have clothes on their backs and your wife has something to cook come dinner time. Yes, it is taxing. No, it does not allow you much of what today’s generation likes to call ‘me time,’ but the Bible doesn’t talk about me time either.

When fully grown adults are being infantilized by the culture that surrounds them, it’s not for their own good or because the culture wants the best possible outcome for their life. They are infantilized because an adult who spends his waking hours playing video games in a dimly lit basement covered in Cheetos dust is easier to control and manipulate. You just keep from being distracted by what’s going on around you; it makes it so much easier for them to implement their nefarious plans.

The same goes for the enemy. As long as you are not a clear and present danger to his plans, he will leave you be. Keep naming and claiming and tearing down strongholds, Boo, as long as they are the financial kinds.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Thursday, March 9, 2023

As Advertised

 My wife places a lot of credence on product reviews. When it comes to the opinions of others about herself, she couldn’t care less, but product reviews, those are indispensable. It doesn’t matter what she’s looking to buy. She goes to the reviews page of the item and reads through whether or not those who purchased it in the past were satisfied with their purchase, and if not, why not? She’s been doing it for so long that I don’t have the heart to tell her that a nail clipper is a nail clipper, whether it has five stars or three or that there are hordes of unscrupulous companies who buy reviews for their products. If you’re getting it for free or paid to review it, chances are you’re not going to knock the guys that just bought you lunch.

The unsavory and unscrupulous were so numerous at one point that the Better Business Bureau was created in order to combat them. If a company rips you off, you can give them a call, and they’ll place the company on a list, but as far as being made whole, that’s a bit more complicated.

As is the case with every pendulum swing, the unscrupulous on the consumer side started coming out of the woodwork as well, demanding free meals, free rooms, and free merchandise, threatening to leave blistering reviews on every website they could find if they didn’t get their way. The whole thing became so convoluted that for most people, reviews have become meaningless unless you’re getting one firsthand, face to face, from the person who either ate where you plan to eat or owns the nose hair clippers you’ve been eyeing.

Even then, their opinion is subjective at best because they might like their Mexican food to scorch the inner lining of their mouth, while one jalapeno seed will send you to the emergency room. If you, as an individual, take everything with a grain of salt and weigh the things people tell you, it would be duplicitous for you to expect everyone you come in contact with to believe everything you say outright. That’s not to say you shouldn’t speak. On the contrary, it is by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimonies that we overcome. One is exclusively a Jesus matter, namely the blood of the Lamb. The other is exclusively an us matter, namely the word of our testimony.

When you tell those you come in contact with that Jesus is as advertised, it undermines the enemy’s narrative. Some may not believe you, and some may have their doubts, but if, on a given day, ten people tell me the same thing, that tenth one just might get me to look into the matter for myself.

It’s even more compelling for those who knew you before Christ and what the power of His love transformed you into after surrendering at the foot of the cross. You can have all the doubts in the world about methodology, viability, or feasibility. Still, someone who was pushing half a ton shows up at your door, having lost a couple of hundred pounds, the evidence is undeniable.

We’re quick to tell anyone who would hear what the devil did to us. For some unexplained reason, however, some of us are reticent when it comes to telling others what Jesus did for us. There is power in the word of your testimony because it is the confirmation that the blood of Jesus isn’t just a placeholder or something interchangeable. The blood of the Lamb has the power to wash you clean of all your sin, and having been made clean, the word of your testimony confirms that present reality.

If He has freed you and brought you from death to life, why wouldn’t you shout His name from the rooftop? Why wouldn’t you glory in the name of Jesus? And while we’re on the topic, that’s how you can also gauge the authenticity of someone’s words. The word of their testimony isn’t about them. It’s not about their achievements, their accomplishments, their education, or the scope of their ministry. The word of their testimony is about Jesus and what He has done in their lives. It always goes back to Christ, the cross, repentance, sanctification, and the need for Him, rather than connecting with them, their ministry, or their vision.

But how will we build an international ministry and become the prophetesses to the nations if we don’t promote ourselves at every turn? What’s the point of interacting with the little people if there’s no ad funnel at the end of the fifteen minutes, with some sort of recurring commitment request to help spread the message of pet dinosaurs in heaven to the peoples of the earth?

I had to learn about all these schemes in order to actively avoid them in ministry. It always elicits a negative reaction when I see ministries and ministers employing them. There is nothing wrong in presenting a need when it comes to ministry. There is something very wrong with attempting to manipulate or guilt someone into parting with their cheddar. There’s a difference between saying this family needs a home; if the Lord leads, please help, and insisting that if you don’t dial that number right now, this family will die! The same goes for presenting the act of giving as some sort of pyramid scheme where you put in a fiver and get back fifty.

The reaction of the redeemed man, once he has been redeemed, is not a protracted treatise on why he was deserving of redemption but overwhelming gratitude for his redeemer. When you make it about Jesus, you have my attention and my respect. When you make it about you, you have my disdain because you are using Christ as a vehicle to further your agenda, not His kingdom.

Learn to be spiritually aware enough to discern between those who come in their name and those who come in the name of the Lord. It’s a good start and will save you much heartache in the long run.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Wednesday, March 8, 2023


 The path to victory cannot bypass submission to the will and Word of God. We are victorious against the enemy and the flesh because we submit to the will of God, and obey His word, not because we venture out on our own and attempt to be a one-man army. We used to sing the song well enough, the one about the only thing that can wash away our sins, but we stopped a few years back because it was too on the nose. We needed something more ambiguous, more esoteric, something given to interpretation because some people might take offense at the singularity of Christ and the cross, and we couldn’t offend people. That would be counterproductive to the bottom line, and the whole point of the exercise is to grow and expand and have multi-campus sanctuaries, not preach sanctification.

Hillsong saw a niche, and they filled it with all the gusto of the first guy to come up with the idea of an energy drink. Gone were the simple, biblical declarations about Christ alone and His blood being able to make you new, and we started singing about winds, and impressions, and the feelings in the atmosphere.

We went from telling people that Jesus was enough to telling them that they were good enough, even though bringing a hog into a palace doesn’t change the nature of the hog; it just allows the hog to dirty up the place a bit.

We make allowances for all manner of unbiblical practice if the individual is charismatic enough because it’s no longer about the power of the Word to convict; it’s about the individual’s charisma and ability to spin a yarn. That thing about God saying depart from me, you workers of iniquity, I never knew you, even though they’d performed signs and wonders in His name, that was just God having a bad day; He spoke out of anger. Don’t pay any mind to it. Yeah, that’s it. It couldn’t possibly be that He prioritizes holiness, obedience, and genuine fellowship over bombastic overtures and magic shows.

It’s kind of a weird flex to mock someone for pointing out what the Bible says about a given topic. I know, that pesky Bible, if only it didn’t warn about the sort of times we’d be living in. If only it didn’t warn of false teachers, false prophets, and those with a form of godliness who would flood the household of faith and seduce the gullible into turning their ears to fables.

You can’t claim victory if you’ve never stepped onto the battlefield. You can’t say you are victorious when it was a battle of your own making, shadowboxing in the corner like there was no tomorrow. We have this image in our minds that the victorious believer is resplendent and manicured, when in truth, the victorious believer is scarred, dented, and scored. The only people who walk away unscathed are those who never enter the fray, yet they’re always the most vocal about how everyone else goes about fighting their fight.

I don’t have time to judge your posture, how you hold your shield, how you swing your sword, or how you deflect the arrows of the enemy. I’ve got my own battle to fight, and I’m engaging the same enemy you are. If I see an arrow coming your way, I’ll do my best to warn you or even deflect it if I am able; if I see you are being flanked, I’ll fight alongside for as long as I can swing a sword, but you should know how to fight by now. You should have the basics well in hand so that you might stand against the enemy. This isn’t a synchronized swim contest. It’s not about form; it’s about functionality and survival. The Bible tells you to put on the whole armor of God, not to make sure you’re color-coordinated. Any battle you walk away from, scarred and bruised as you might be, is still a good day. Get some rest; tomorrow is likely to be another bruiser.

There are only two immutable laws in life: the law of sin and death and the law of the Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus. One is required to free you from the other, and whom Christ sets free is free indeed.

Romans 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Either you are free, or you aren’t; there is no middle ground. God is not interested in joint custody, where He gets you every other Sunday, but you’re under the sway of the law of sin and death the rest of the time. The blood of Christ has made you free; why would you return to the bondage of darkness and despair?

Victory isn’t you pretending to be free; it is you being free. It’s not hoping for a renewed mind; it’s receiving a renewed mind. What victory looks like is you walking in the law of the Spirit of life in Christ, which God promised the believer.

If you have been made free, then you are supposed to feel out of place among those who have not. If you have been made free, then it is natural to feel out of sorts, as though you don’t belong here. If the blood of Jesus has cleansed you, and you are a new creature, any attempt at reintegration into the world you once belonged to will be rejected until you either stop trying or return to your previous state of worldliness.

The world rejects what is not of the world. Be glad that you are rejected, marginalized, and vilified by it. If they’d hated Jesus yet loved you, you’d have something to worry about.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Tuesday, March 7, 2023


 The only one in authority to define victory in a given battle is the general in charge. The only one in authority to determine what a spiritual victory is, is God. We’ve all heard the ‘I feel like I did really good’ speeches from friends, family, or acquaintances, which usually prefaces why they feel they failed in a given pursuit or endeavor. Once the story unravels and more details are known, you typically come to suspect that even they don’t believe they did really well or that they even tried to accomplish what they’d set out.

My opinion as to whether or not I succeeded is arbitrary and will always tilt toward making allowances for myself. I will always see my endeavors, my striving, my attempts, and my consistency in the best of lights because the ego tries to protect itself at the expense of facts more often than we would like to acknowledge. God’s conclusion is not arbitrary, however, and when He defines victory for the believer, that is the standard toward which we must aim.

Revelation 12:9-11, “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.’”

Not only is the Word clear on how God defines victory, but it also underlines why He is the one who gets to do it. Because victory can only be had by the blood of the Lamb, no one can claim they are victorious without it or independent of it. That’s why it’s wise to be skeptical whenever someone insists they’ve been victorious through a given program or a handful of steps because the Bible is clear that without the blood of Christ, no victory can be had.

That’s not to say some people don’t trick themselves into believing they are victorious; some even do it for a protracted period, but save for the blood of Christ, any perceived victory is an illusion. Morality may keep you out of prison, but only the blood of Christ can keep you out of hell.

There are moral people, some more moral than certain professing Christians who, save for repentance and being made clean in the blood of Christ, will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Morality isn’t salvific. Being washed in the blood of Christ is. Having been washed in the blood of Christ, the subsequent fruit of said transformation become evident.

When the rich young ruler came to Christ asking what he needed to do in order to have eternal life, he was already keeping every commandment Jesus told him he should keep. He checked every box, he was moral by the standard of the law, but then Jesus told him he must do something that was not contained within the law itself.

Nowhere in the law does it say you should sell what you have and give it to the poor, yet it’s what Jesus asked of the young man because He knew that’s what his heart was tethered to. You can do all the right things, the moral things, the lawful things, yet, if your heart does not wholly belong to Him, if you are not made new, born again, and made clean, true victory will always be out of reach.

God’s promise of victory is declarative and prescriptive. Not only does God promise you’ll be victorious, but He also tells you how you’re going to do it. Like any tactician, He has identified the weaknesses and reinforced them. He has identified the enemy’s line of attack, so you might not be caught unaware. He provided the weapons, the training, and the gear, and all that’s needed is for you to follow orders.

I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have the promise of victory, to have the means of victory, to have the roadmap to victory, and yet see so many wallow in defeat, a hair’s breadth away from giving up because the enemy wormed its way in and made them believe their situation was hopeless.

The enemy knows that the only way to keep you from having victory, the only way to keep you from standing on the promise of God that you will, is to convince you to give up. As long as you put one foot in front of the other, as long as you press in, as long as you faithfully follow even when the road gets hard, victory is assured.

That’s not to say victory is effortless. It is incumbent upon you to fight the good fight, to finish the race, and to keep the faith. No one can do it for you. These are not things you can outsource or hire out; these are things you must do in order to receive the crown of righteousness on that Day.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.