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“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,” Ecclesiastes  9:11 The race may begin with speed and the warrior may show both courage and strength. But when the battle continues beyond the allotted time, the soldier grows weary.  Even when he is nearing the completion of the battle, it appears as if strength wanes and the possibility of surrender increases. It takes the second wind of the soldier to push beyond the discouragements that are sure to come. It requires that extra effort in remaining consistent regardless of fatigue. This where losers give in and are defeated.  What is most important is winning the race and finishing the course that is before us.  When our eyes are upon the right prize, we would settle for nothing less. What is before us is greater than anything left behind.  Therefore, we must keep moving forward, putting one foot before the other. This is the race of life to become like Jesus as we press into His Kingdom. We are laying aside every weight and the sin that would otherwise hold us back. It is because we are desperate to fully possess what we are coming to understand and…

“In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:”We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks.” Isaiah 26:1 There will be a day where the people of God will have a new song on their hearts. Those who had been driven into exile while the land had been forcefully taken from their hands will return to the land of promise. God Himself will be a firewall around them. They will live in a fortified city and their song will be of victory while they experience a level of peace beyond any that they had ever known. This is the future state of the Church of the Living God. God will provide both deliverance and protection for His people. It will not be a place inhabited by a den of thieves or corrupted by money-changers, magicians, sorcerers, or any who have a bent in the direction of corruption. God will establish His rule and His peace will abide among the people. This is the battle that is raging today. God wants His Church back and is determined to gain reentry where His praises are to be offered up by His people. It will…

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 The voice of Jesus speaking to Nicodemus had a ring of hope and promise. Not like many who would condescendingly speak in regards to the New Birth as a thing beyond the grasp of others. He spoke of the promise contained within the act of conversion as being given the ability to see the invisible Kingdom of God through the eyes of the heart. The born again experience is a heart change that will lead to a mind renewal. We see something before us worth living for and grasp hold of it by faith. The life of the Kingdom is the establishment of God’s order of righteousness, peace, and joy within. Then we are able to fully participate with Jesus in the establishment of God’s order in the lives of others. He said to Nicodemus in other words, “there is only one way for you to understand what I have been sent to impart to you. You must have My life within you.” God challenges us all to dispense of the old in order to make room for the new….

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”   2 Corinthians 13:14 The benedictional blessing released from the lips of Paul over the brethren was that they receive the favor of the Lord Jesus Christ. Unlimited grace was invoked in order to fully participate with Christ on the earth. It would be a continuation of His earthly ministry through those who have received the Father’s love. They were to become the expression of His intentions. The Holy Spirit was working in them to produce both the will and the ability to fulfill their purpose for living. The grace was not to be frustrated through a misapplication of turning inward with some selfish aim. Rather it was to be strengthened by a passion to please God that would overrule any thoughts that would try to arise. The Holy Spirit will be the constant companion to those who would allow Him to lead. They will understand and know God and each other by the same Spirit. May this be with you all, Amen.

“…and you will find rest for your souls.”Jeremiah 6:16; Matthew 11:29 It is not established paths that causes constant disturbance of the soul. It is the ignorance that there is a course already laid out before us that is both tried and sure. Each message from God provides both guidance and peace. When the commitment is to do the same, the results will be a peace that passes all understanding. The pleading of the Spirit of Christ is “learn from Me!” He is fully aware of the outcome of every decision made in a lifetime. He still pleads rather than force us to do what is best. Yet many will stubbornly reject the offer to learn from Him what He knows. My friend, your restless soul can only find rest in Him. He will take your burdens and permit you to be His yoke-fellow. As you walk with Him, even though there will be challenges ahead, the lessons learned through those challenges will provide a much greater reward than the little effort required of you. You will discover a new kind of rest, a rest in labor rather than from it for His yoke is easy and His burdens are…

Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.” Hebrews 12:27 The voice of God speaks from heaven and the earth is shaken. God’s Word has the power to disturb the false peace that resides upon the earth when it is not according to His design. Our lives must be established on the principles of His doctrine unless we too will have a false sense of security merely to be shaken by the calamities that are sure to come upon all who live their lives in disobedience to His will. He stands alone as the Creator of all things. He has the authority over and the design for the whole of His creation. They are unstable without His Spirit bringing all things into proper order. The Word of God may appear obsolete in our day. The true ministers of God may seem to have lost their significance among much talk and activity that in God’s eyes is meaningless chatter. God has both a heavenly message and gives a heavenly vision to those whom He has called to represent Him…

“….By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4 The promises become our focus rather than other things previously lusted after. It is when faith in God’s promises is real to us that we can then rely upon and trust in His Word to deliver all He has said. The bondage of misdirected desires goes deeper into the soul than any pain inflicted upon the body. We have now become a settled and undisturbed people because we have received from the Lord the faith to believe His Word. That pain is no longer a thing to suffer because our hopes are on things that are eternal. We have learned that craving for the forbidden or placing our hope on the temporal erodes the soul. But, thanks be given unto God, we have escaped what once held us in bondage. The reprieve from the penalty of former lusts and the deliverance from being sentenced to only seeing and desiring them have been granted to such an undeserving soul.

“Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Revelations 4:1 The immediate appears to be more practical than the ultimate. What many assume to be a message from the Lord may be practical but not prophetic. It is only what is seen that is addressed, causing many to stand together but unable to progress beyond their current position. They may find comfort because they are not alone, but nothing of substance is feeding their malnourished souls. The invitation of Jesus is to be raised beyond the level of convention. “Come up here!” He awaits the arrival of those desperate souls who hunger and thirst after righteousness. They seek more than temporary relief, but a life-changing encounter. God offers the weary and heavy laden rest, but only in an elevated position in heavenly places in Christ. When we are seated there, we can see what He has to show us and not be distracted by the side-shows of the enemy. Even this too shall pass as we by faith trust in the Lord to guide us in the direction of what will take place after this.

“This is love,  that we walk according to His commandments.” 2 John 6 Love defined by the Source from which it originated. None else can define love in language that is so sensible yet so profound. The qualities of love are found within the confines of obedience. Everything else outside of this is hatred and repulsive to the One who is able to determine the authentic from the counterfeit.  The world is in search of authentic love. Too many have been duped into believing the lie of those with strings attached to their affection. It is a legitimate need that is, to love and be loved. This is love, love identified as a lifestyle chosen and a people empowered to obey God’s commandments. The will or the heart to obey precedes one receiving the power or ability to obey. A daily walk willfully engaged that is pleasing to God. An assurance accompanies that degree of commitment. God makes it known to the servant’s heart that He belongs exclusively to Him. He reveals His love in order for it to be disbursed abroad or distributed through his heart to others. He becomes an instrument in God’s hands as His servant which…

“That I may know Him…” Philippians 3:10 The deepest cry of the human heart cries in the direction of its Maker and Provider. There is a deep yearning to know the Source from which it came. The ability to want and have provided a fulfillment that makes all of life meaningful is a gift given to all from God. It is the desire left unfulfilled that leaves one searching and grasping for straws only to discover that what appeared to have significance was merely a fathom or a pipe dream. It is the god that is imagined that stands in the way of an authentic search. It leads to a manufactured religion that gives temporary relief but wears off as quickly as it came. Paul’s prayer is earnest having tasted and seen the real thing. Because he had experienced Christ to a degree, he wanted more of the same. “…that I may know Him!” He had the satisfaction in being on the right path but anxiously anticipating the arrival in reaching the destination. He was knowable, but daily the whole of his life was absorbed in the pursuit. It is the experience that he sought after, not just a casual…