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“Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted.”Psalm 18:21 (THE MESSAGE) Things that we have grown accustomed to are often taken for granted. The sin of familiarity can often breed contempt. God’s ways are not our ways. He does what pleases Himself. Our wishful thinking and reasoning cannot alter what He has decreed. He looks beyond the limited view seen by us from where we are stationed in the theater of life. He is able to see the whole story from every viewpoint. When we dose off into a slumbered state and by default allow our minds to question God’s wisdom. He alerts us with a wake-up call and reminds us that He is God and we are mere dependent earthlings, yet loved by Him with a sacrificial love. The slack is jerked out of our loosened lifestyles and we acknowledge Him again as being our only security and hope. Now that we are alert, we must always stay that way. Our worship is determined by our continual awareness of God’s love, presence and unlimited power.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 Our confession is more than speaking words. It is our agreement with God in accomplishing what He has promised in us and through us. When our spirits have aligned with the Holy Spirit, we are provided a fresh and lively hope. Any secondary thought or effort will merely cloud the mind with clutter used to sway us away from God’s promises. God is faithful to deliver on every promise that He has made. Where do we stand and where should we stand in relation what has been given to us? Our confession is more precious than silver and gold. To believe God because we are in position to see Him as faithful even when we are challenged is the greater blessing. This is evidence that faith is established within our hearts. This kind of faith will produce a hope that will not disappoint. It is borne out of love and matured through experiences. None of these, whatever they are, will separate us from confessing that Jesus is Lord over every circumstance.

“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, (2)as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” 1 Peter 2:1-2 Things that have the potential of hindering our spiritual growth are to be laid aside. It is not always clear as to how things that may appear so benign can restrict the flow of fellowship with the Spirit of God. He is gentle and so pure that any of the above mentioned have the potential to disrupt the peacefulness and calm that He alone can provide. Feeding on the earnest milk of the Word is the antidote to the poisonous effect of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and evil speaking. It will convict us when the thought arises in our minds to participate in practices which will hinder His effect upon our lives. One of the evidences that we are born again is that our spirits will know what we so desperately need. We are then able to grow past those things that plagued our souls before we came to know the Lord. As we lay these things aside, the fruit of the Spirit will grow within us. The very…

“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6 The surety of the gospel message is an unflinching confidence that God is with him. God provides the messenger an assurance that all who love the Christ of the message will also love and accept the Christ within His messenger. The message and the Messenger can never be divided. As he further yields himself to Christ, that which is of Christ flows freely through him without any restraint. He does not rely upon a response from the people, even though positive responses are encouraging. But his motive is to please the One who sent him on the mission and nothing else. The Spirit of Christ can recognize Himself inside of him. He can make such bold proclamations as, “we are of God!” he doesn’t have to cautiously and timidly approach the subject. He is confident and radiant as he stands as God’s representative. He who is of God hears the one sent forth by God. His sheep both hears and knows His voice and…

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world…” but now My kingdom is not from here.” John 18:36 Jesus is the King over all the earth, but His authority does not come from among the earth. The political parties and their divides are not the determinants of His allegiance. Nor is He limited and controlled by the popularity polls of a shifting societal opinion. His rule is exclusive to what heaven has ordered and demands. God knows the outcome of every decision that appear to be right but often lack the stability and character to even last beyond even one election year. He allows us to take wild guesses in our attempts to move things forward and afterwards await our request to eventually ask Him what He has always known. His kingdom is not of this world but our references are too often worldly. When we come to understand that the true answers and resolve to our most perplexing questions and problems lie beyond this world, we will begin with Him and end with Him. His kingdom comes to invade our own kingdoms. He superimposes over what we had once established when we yield to Him. Otherwise, all that…

“My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” Psalm 45:1 The tongue is engaged as a result of the overflow of the heart. As we meditate on the goodness of the Lord, our speech is not restricted to the thoughts that immediately come to mind. But there is a buildup of thoughts awaiting expression as Mary, the mother of Jesus, pondered in her heart all that the Angel of the Lord made known to her. When she finally spoke, the Magnification which was a bursting forth of praise and adoration began to flow from the deepest recesses of her soul. How many times have we had to strain in offering praise when we have not gathered in enough within for the rivers of living water to flow from the innermost portions of our heart? Yet when we silently wait before Him and allow our minds to slowly reflect upon all which He has done, then when we speak, we have more to say than time will allow. We must be swift to hear and slow to speak. In hearing what God has said, His…

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3 The heavenly place must be occupied by the preparer before it can be inhabited by the prepared. The place was the reward of obedience to the will of the Father. All requirements of His earthly life were fulfilled. He was spiritually there even though He was still here. His spirit at that point knew no limits. His death was the ultimate qualifier for His bodily entrance into the place once filled by Him spiritually. The heavenly place was to become the permanent positioning of all who would allow the life of Jesus Christ to fully absorb their own. His finished work was to be presented to the Father as evidence through the passageway of death. His spirit had already ascended, yet all limits of time and space had been removed. Those who have received His life are seated in heavenly places in Christ. We are there in Him. Just as He arose from the grave and now the Man Jesus Christ is there in bodily form, so shall we be…

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.” Lamentations 3:21 The immediate challenges of our day oftentimes cloud our view from seeing the faithfulness of God throughout the years. Living in the immediate alone without any reference to the past will make us feel as if we must take matters into our own hands. God has given us the gift of memory to reflect upon His goodness directed towards us even when all hope seemed to be lost. We are then able to feast through reflection, on His faithfulness. Whatever may appear as an impassable mountain standing before us, God is there with His wisdom and His strength awaiting our request. He will first settle us in our difficulties to know that He has knowledge of our present state. Then He will provide for us the wisdom to see all things from His perspective. If this is one of those obstacles that should not be or is as a test of our faithfulness to Him alone, in time,  we will have provided for us the right answer and resolve. He will keep us in perfect peace if our minds are steadily focused on Him knowing that our God is…

“When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.”2 Chronicles 7:1 The prayer of King Solomon in the dedication of the Temple was heard in heaven. He had listened to God in completing the task to which he was assigned. He was chosen by God as King of Israel, and now prayed a prayer of dedication for what the Lord had allowed him to participate in doing. It is a glorious thing to be a part of God’s work and attentive enough to listen fully to His instructions. He did not add nor take away from the specific instructions of God. His obedience to God provided for him the opportunity to place a sacrifice upon the altar. Many things may be offered to God with the intent of warranting His acceptance. But God only answers with fire that which is acceptable to Him. Are we placing sacrifices on the altar of God without giving Him His proper honor? We must do what He has assigned us to do. Then we can place on His altar our sacrifice. The consuming fire of God…

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” Hebrews 6:19 The waves of adversity will test the authenticity of our faith. Whether we have placed all our trust in God is proven in trying times. Here we cannot rely upon any other person or thing. We have launched out beyond the banks of secure living and now have placed our lives in the hands of the only One who can safely navigate us through troubled waters. It is the emotions that are first under attack. The mind would consider the safety and security of the harbor. Some would think it would have been much better if they had never launched out into the deep. It is only when we consider the Commissioner of the mission that we may rest assured that none of the things facing us along this journey has taken Him by surprise. He is there to protect us and to build within us something of value far beyond what we are at those moments of conflict able to see. To trust the Lord is to love Him with our minds, wills, and emotions. It is to submit what we would otherwise…