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“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11 God’s love obligates us without force. We are rather persuaded by His love if it is authentic. As we grow in knowledge of the dimensions of the love released from the Father through the Son to us, our confidence in Him increases. To know His love is to know that He has our best interest at heart. We are secure in Him with a positive expectation of the future. The present challenges are but temporary and momentary while God is working behind the scene for our good. The challenge to love others is usually stifled by our own insecurities. When there is a question regarding our own acceptance, we would have the tendency to hoard whatever we may have the opportunity to either possess or even manage. The knowledge of His love liberates us to love others. If we know that God so loved us, our response that His love is working in us ought to be translated into loving one another. If we cannot love one another, the question is not in relation to them but in relation to Him. To know His…

“Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” John 9:3  It was customary for sicknesses and diseases to be directly associated with an act of sin. A blind man who was born that way was in question as to whether it was his sin or his parent’s sin. The disciples looked backwards into the man’s past, while Jesus was looking forward. Many things may have contributed to situations being as they are. Sin is the root cause of all sicknesses and diseases, but the sin debt has been paid once for all. It is not just the act of sin but sin itself. In a fallen world, conditions exist among many without a direct cause. But the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil. As we look unto Jesus and allow His Spirit to work in us without fleshly interference, the works of God will be revealed in us that Christ may be glorified in our flesh. Look forward on behalf of the lost and the informed. Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith.

“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.” Matt 11:19 Sinners flocked around Jesus and loved to be his companions, while the religions found Him to be repulsive and were made to feel uncomfortable. Prostitutes and publicans followed Him around without feeling intimidated, but sought Him out knowing that they would not be condemned. Even though He did not give license to sin, but rather came that all of the works of the devil would be destroyed by Him. He would judge the judges of men who would place heavy burdens upon their shoulders. But He would come into the Temple and turn over the tables of the money changers. His life was paradoxical to most because it appeared as if He would tolerate the very thing in others the very thing that by His nature He despised. Sinners, Publicans, and the poor gladly received the Gospel because they knew that their lives did not measure up to His standard. Therefore, they received Him gladly as one who would be thought of as rejecting Him, while those…

“Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” John 19:27 Jesus made an oral testament to John, the beloved disciple, to provide as He would for her after His death. It was a binding agreement in the company of others if accepted, to care for her needs as the second oldest son. Even though there were other children, his responsibility was to treat her as He would treat her in absentia. John knowing Jesus was to compensate for the void that would otherwise be in her life. This example is a challenge to every son and daughter to consider the needs of parents. To honor our father and mother is to provide for them what is needed. Jesus told John to look intensively at the woman that will become his mother. And He told His mother Mary to look intensively at the man who would become her son. A new relationship was to be forged at that very moment. As we look at our mothers, if we could for a moment see what Jesus saw in His own mother. She was the vessel chosen by God for Him to enter into the earth. We owe a great degree of…

“He grants the barren woman a home, like a joyful mother of children.” Ps 113:9 The exercise of affection in guiding the household and caring for children produces a joy in the heart of mothers. She was made to love her children and to maintain the household in which she has the pleasure to occupy. But what if there was no household to care for, nor child to guide? It would leave the woman who has the affection deep within without an outlet to express the innate love given to women. Yet God provides for her a home. Instead of being homeless, her place is in Christ with God. He draws her close to Himself so that nothing is lacking in her life. She will find in Him a satisfaction as joyful as that of a mother of children. It is only when she allow her mind to be influenced by thoughts of being incomplete will she be drawn away from the richness of God’s love. To some the circumstance is temporal until she is granted the privilege of mothering, while with others, her devotion is to be given over to God absolutely with a special grace to be drawn…

“If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.” Eccl 10:10 The energy and strength exerted by the man who tries to figure things out on his own is constantly exerted. Yet the results are minimal because it is only mind challenging matter. The mind cannot achieve all that is believed when the axe is dull. But when God sharpens the edge, His Spirit begins to work and the prayer on earth is answered from heaven. God sharpens our axe in order to allow us to work with wisdom guiding us along the way. The Eternal God uses His faculties seeing the end before the beginning. He knows what it takes beforehand for the children of God to accomplish His will. We have a sharper cutting edge when we pray continually and do not lean to our own understanding. Then when His Word is spoken, it is sensible because the heart has been prepared to make room for the truth. Each moment must count with eternity in view. The wise seeks after wisdom and more is given to him. But the fool thinks that he has already…

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15  A sanctified heart is directed towards God alone. There is no other direction to which it may be turned that can satisfy the believer for he knows that only God alone can meet the needs existing deep in the recesses of the soul. There are many things around to lure him away from the position in which he stands. But he does not see things as others who are blind to the devices of the devil. The enemy constantly works in attempting to raise doubt in his heart. He has heard the Lord speak concerning His own. He is affirmed as being God’s Son, and continually dwelling in the place of God’s pleasure. Since his heart overflows with love, he has an answer for everyone. Because he is able to see beyond the current crisis, his answer remains prophetic. The pure and heart is able to see God. God is with him; therefore his hope is to take on the character of God….

“When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom.” John 2:9 Only the servants were knowledgeable of the source of the wine that was changed from water. Those who served had knowledge beyond those who mastered over them. Their obedience to the Master that ruled over masters had given them the instructions. As they had filled the water pots with water, they were firsthand to give witness to the first miracle of Jesus Christ. Jesus will reveal Himself to those who are willing to obey Him at His Word. They did not see first and then obey but rather, their obedience positioned them to see. The master of the feast was in amazement because he tasted the best wine last. The master of the feast was pleased, the bridegroom was pleased and the guests were pleased because the feast could continue. But only the servants knew the secret.  Who would get the credit for the miracle? Jesus, who was only a guest, had rescued the feast by turning water into…

“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (21) make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21 The restlessness of the soul was resulting from the waywardness of the heart. When you were determined to fix your own problems your own way, none of the benefits made available by God through our Lord Jesus Christ could be applied. Now that the struggle has ended as to whether the life of Christ was to be followed because His death was sufficient enough for His life to be our life, we are being made complete. What a difference now in comparison to then. All you need to do is remember how strained the struggle was and how difficult your life would be if His knowledge was absent. But now that you know Him, allow Him to complete the great work within you that He has begun. His objective is to complete you. When your ways please the Lord you…

“For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:10 Those who trust in the living God labor with a goal in view that is different from the activities of others. There are luxuries not afforded the faithful for he must live his life with purpose. Every day must have a degree of significance that further sets him aside as God’s representative on the earth, maintaining the course leading to a destination. Kingdom business is his primary business. Now the world system will notice the difference but will not know how to interpret it. His strangeness will be repulsive to many who would much rather he be silent rather than to speak. His activity appears to run counter to values of his contemporaries. Yet he has fully embraced his call and end to suffer reproach because his life is not his own; he has been bought with a price. Therefore he trusts in the living God who is his constant companion to guide him through this maze of life to his eternal home. His life is a gift to…