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The paradox (a truth that appears as a contradiction) of the cross defies reason and is often rejected by those who are searching for meaning within themselves and among themselves. The mantra of today’s culture is to search within oneself and find the answers: such statements as loving yourself  is the greatest love of all; knowing yourself is the highest degree of knowledge, and being yourself is the greatest truth of all, are today’s common philosophy. Their counselors are those who specialize in one discipline of study as authorities, yet are ignorant of oceans of information left unexplored. The most important discipline is the search for meaning. What good is knowledge when life itself is sacrificed? The dead know nothing and can do nothing. Bu the thing we call ‘life’ causes individuals to be too preoccupied to consider life’s meaning. The contradiction is that many people are too busy attempting to make a living to live. They are too busy mouthing the fallacies of existence, popular but divorced from purpose, to consider why they actually exist. (The Walking Dead) Death is not only when the body ceases to function. The dead are those who are detached from the Source of…

Love is often defined by and through experiences or observation. We experience love on a continuous basis and we observe the evidence of love all around us. However, there is a deeper love that can only come by revelation. When that love is made known to us, it brings all other expressions of love into their proper perspective. Those who love deeply are eventually wounded deeply because what appears on the surface can lose its luster over time. Impressions lead to disappointments if those impressions are not deeply rooted in truth. In our search for love, we must not seek it looking in the wrong places. Otherwise, we may find ourselves traveling down the dead-end path of infatuation. Its attraction is for the moment, while its glory continues to fade as character is revealed, and the deficit is so pronounced that we wonder how we could have embarked on such a journey. God is love! He is not restricted by our ideas of love, but we grow in our understanding of love as we grow in our understanding of God. There are things that happen in life that are difficult to understand or explain. But God makes everything beautiful in…

Three years ago, we changed our church’s name from Abundant Life Church to Cross Culture Church. Not that we do not believe in the abundant life, nor is it a matter of changing our assignment. There are times in life when the vision given by God is to be reinforced so that our understanding can be extended. When most think of abundance, their thinking is usually directed towards personal abundance alone. There is a sign in the center of our sanctuary with one word; “OTHERS.” It was placed there so that all who worship among us would focus their attention beyond themselves. We wish all to know that we are blessed in order to be a blessing. Not only that, but to know that our greatest blessing is being a blessing. When we are able to bless others, it is because we are graced by God for Him to serve others through us. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Serving others is giving your life through extending your redeemed soul to others. When your life becomes conduit in the Hands…

In the relay race, the fastest starting runner has placed within his hands a baton. His assignment is to run with the swiftest of speed while carrying the baton, but knowing that there will be other runners awaiting his completed assignment to take over what began with him. When he releases the baton to the second runner, his assignment is finished but race is not over. He entrusts into the hands of another runner the stewardship of discipline and drive to win the race while knowing that its completion requires the help of future runners. In this race of life, the baton has been placed in our hands. Who will be there to pass the baton to the next generation? Are you currently running the quality of race that you would encourage your children to continue after your demise? We are alive to make a difference and for that difference to last for generations to come. “Do you not know that those who run in a race–all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” (1 Corinthians 9:24) We must live our lives as if the future depended upon us and our…

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19  Although we are free to make choices, we are not free to determine the outcome or consequences of the choices that we make. Somewhere down the road we will meet the fruit of past decisions that will remind us of what we once thought and whether we were right or wrong. One writer mentioned that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” but we also know that the trail of tears left behind is moistened with regrets. If it were possible to hit the rewind button of life, how many mistakes would we delete? Even though we are the product of past choices, the road of possibility lies ahead to choose to live a better life. Freedom in choosing ought to be preceded by a careful examination of the facts. Wisdom must be applied because facts alone can be deceiving. How those facts align themselves to absolute truth will determine the outcome of the decision. When words like absolute are used, it suggests…

Psalm 145:4 “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” We have been assigned to make a difference in this generation and leave a legacy for all the generations that come after us. What matters most is not what we may have enjoyed in our lifetime, but what we leave behind for others. Today, we are either reaping the benefits or suffering the consequences of former generations. However, these conditions do not just develop, as there were people who set the stage that we currently occupy. In a sense, they were our fathers, for we are the products of their investments and efforts. Consequently as fathers, there are many things to consider—since we give birth to sons and daughters, what kind of world would we wish for them? Fathers of families, fathers of movements, and fathers of nations share this one thing in common; they all set the pace and rhythm for their generation. As time advances, the objective is for the progression of people commensurate to the progression of time. We are growing older, but we must also grow better. Although God works within the framework of time, He is not confined to…

“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! (27) Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” John 19:26-27 Every mother whose child may have preceded her in death could relate to the agony and pain experienced through the absence of the child to which she gave birth. Even Jesus took time from dying to acknowledge His mother. Two people who stood together, who were both precious to the Savior, now stand together. They were brought together by a circumstance beyond their control. The hell that Jesus suffered was the interval of separation from the Father. His adopted father, Joseph, had already departed this life and His Heavenly Father had turned His back to Him. His pain knew no boundaries. The Cross served as the convergence of physical and emotional pain, and Jesus’ examples sets the stage for some challenging questions: can you love through a broken heart? While bleeding, can you still see others through your tears? It gives solace when the attempt is made to at least try to understand…

Truth is losing the battle of its appeal among those who focus upon the expedient. The mindset of the masses has adapted to the constant changes in thinking, which has lead them away from God’s standard of righteousness. Those who were born in this generation and at the close of the former have seen nothing other than the results of moral decline. What ought to reign has been brought low, and what ought to be celebrated has been mocked and ridiculed. In reverse, those base and demoralizing vices which once caused shame are now given badges of courage and honor. If these patterns were to continue, the future would exclude all semblances of righteousness and truth. These things are not happening as a surprise to those who believe the Holy Scriptures. There were prophesies that spoke about a time that would come when people would not endure sound doctrine. They would reject the truth for a lie. Without the guiding principles contained in God’s Word, they would navigate in the direction of shallowness and falsity. Jesus had to invade a hostile environment that would reject Him, and ultimately kill Him, so that its hostility and hatred towards His Father might…

Things are changing more rapidly than most people are aware, and unfortunately, the changes are in areas not given much consideration. But have you ever stopped to think, why are things changing, and what effect will these current changes have upon our future? The prevailing view among the majority is to accept the inevitable. These changes will happen regardless of what we may think or do. Since the world has changed, if one is to be socially and politically correct, it is necessary to adapt to these changes. George Gallop, author of the Gallop poll, stated, “Despite these shifts in attitudes, 72% of Americans say the state of moral values is getting worse in this country rather than better. And almost as many rate the state of moral values in this country as poor or only fair.” The reason cultural shifts can occur without much resistance is the arbitrary approach many take toward necessary things. Cultural shifts and values occur at the same time, where culture is given definition by its values. If cultural shifts were to be motivated by impulse instead of reason, then people would have the option to do whatever they feel. These shifting winds of popular…

The shaping of culture takes place through individual decisions made by persons of influence. A single individual can make a difference that can modify the mindset of a generation. Influence can be one of the greatest tools for the good or a weapon of mass destruction. When cultural shifts occur, the agenda and origin of change is rarely explored. The ebb and flow is reinforced by art, media, entertainment, and yes even politics, while the ideals are embraced as the people’s new reality. Culture is ordained by God but constructed by mankind. The distinctions between people-groups provide an expression of faith in the One True and Living God if He is sought after and the pursuit of Him is not compromised. The beauty of cultural diversity with an overruling standard unifies us while it protects us from uniformity. The horrors of diversity occur when it is sought after without a guiding principle. It is when every person seeks independence from the rules that govern life and does what is right in his or her own eyes. Cultural values must be guarded and guided towards the higher good. The necessary changes ought to be as the result of knowledge rather than…