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Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.”  Songs of Solomon 2:15 The tender grapes are the daily benefits provided to us by God. It is the knowledge of God’s love producing within us a confidence that is not easily shaken. When we are confident that we are loved, then we are empowered to love others without pretense. True friendships can be forged to last a lifetime and the expectation of a future hope of eternity burns brightly within our hearts. How delicate the balance is between our faith and our love. We can now love because we by faith can see beyond the shortcoming and limitations of the misguided and the misinformed. We can see good intentions even when bad habits inhibit positive action. We can also see the possibility of change among those whose lives appear to be hopeless and they may be blind to the true remedy of their souls. But when careless and immature foxes enter into a well cultivated vineyard, they have the tendency of destroying the very vines on which the fruit is being developed. One mishap can raise such doubt as to cause one…

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.” 2 Timothy 4:3 Teachers are instructors that mold the character of those who subject themselves as students to learn. The world is being fashioned by teachers. There are men and women who take what they have come to know and feed others who are eager to learn. There is not a shortage of teachers. But the problem Paul was addressing was that there would be a number of people whose hearts remain unchanged. They will seek to be instructed in matters of choice rather than in truth. Their level of toleration of God’s Word would be on the decline.  Yet their appetites for instructions in how to fend off any doctrine that would equip them in the ways of God would increase. They will gather to themselves instructors who would help them build up defenses against what God would have them to know. An intellectual argument and one’s ability to defend his position often can become the callous over the soul. It is when the heart is tender that God’s…

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (2) I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:1-2 On this day one of the most devastating tragedies occurred in this nation. This is the day when the World Trade Center Towers were attacked by Islamic terrorists. We remember where we were and what we were doing on this day sixteen years ago. Prayers were offered to God for the families of the victims and an appeal was offered unto God for His divine protection from further attacks. We commemorate the bravery of the firefighters, police officers, medical teams and others who risked their lives to rescue those who were in need of their help. There is a place in God where we can find safety and security. He is our refuge and our fortress and in Him we can place all of our trust. As this nation continues to manage the crises of the day, let us not forget why we called on God on that dreadful day. The fears of the unknown and the unexpected…

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, (9) and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; Ephesians 3:8-9 The assignment of the Apostle Paul is to be extended through every saint of God. He has graced us to put on display what is hidden in Christ. It is not merely a matter of speaking the truth, but we must become the truth of which be speak. The transformation of a sinner’s life to becoming a saint is a mystery. It cannot be scientifically explained. The work of grace granted to all, even to those who were not born as children of the promise have been given the privilege to fully participate in this marvelous experience. Why would it be that we should hide what has been so freely given to us when the objective was to convey to others what we have received? The way we show our appreciation for the gift of God is to…

“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Isaiah  53:1 God’s arm is His strength. The mighty strength of God has manifested in history to overthrow corrupt governments and to dethrone the reign of wickedness. When it appears as if all is lost and the exercise of faith is a futile act, God intervenes with His might to reconfirm the truth that He is God and besides Him there is no other. The question that wrest on the minds of many is,” where is God” and, “how could He allow such things to happen as many are experiencing crises today”? God is asking the question, “can faith be found among those who profess to believe in Me?” Not the fickle faith of those who merely believe for what they want to achieve, but for Him to exercise His might overthrowing the works of the enemy. The whole report of God must be believed if Jesus is to be in view. He provides evidence that the report is true.  Then it becomes our guide for living. When it is believed and acted upon, the strength of God is manifested among men. Unbelief restricts…

“He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”  John 16:14 The work of the Holy Spirit is to arrest our thoughts and energy and guide them in a new direction. He will give us an understanding of all things that belong to Jesus Christ. Beforehand our thoughts would wander and attach themselves to things that destroy the soul. Before He intervened there existed no passion to pursue Christ because His life to us had no appeal. Some would attempt to redefine Christ’s  life and mission in order to pursue their own passions and goals. Their emptiness remained when the activity ended. There was no lasting effect to their experiences. There is no contentment unless the Holy Spirit is completely in charge. He will not compete with the pettiness of selfish interests. He is committed to those things that please the Father alone and will not allow anything to get Him sidetracked. What we have learned and received of Christ is clarified and applied to the soul. As the Son did only those things that please the Father, so it is with us who are led of the Holy Spirit. We will…

“And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees.” Matthew 3:10 Many have sought justification for wrong habits of the heart in which they have grown accustomed. They strain to admit when they hear an unfamiliar voice from an unfamiliar place preaching an unfamiliar message. It is baffling to the mind to accept the fact that all previously known by them was in error. The truth contradicts our folly. We by nature try to fight against what we feel is right. Yet what we may be resisting is our true love calling us to a higher place. The call is away from our pride of knowledge that we may really know truth that beforehand was too elusive. The skillful artisan does not bring a scalpel to remove minor excess but an axe to completely remove the whole thing. It must be completely uprooted if it is ever to be replaced with what contains virtue. There will be something new replacing the old once the old is brought down in defeat and ruin. There is a defeat, a loss that must preceded victory and gain. Then God will plant seed in place of plant. The potential of…

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 The consistency of the message is as important as the message itself. Messages that contradict what has been established as foundational in our understanding of Christ cause spiritual erosion to occur within the soul. The writer of Hebrews was warning them to remember what was established within them by those who both spoke and modeled the standard of which they once faithfully followed. Consider that their instructions were intended to lead them to an end result that was to reach far beyond the immediate. This is what any faithful disciple must consider. Those who lead are graced to guide their followers into areas that can only be understood once obedience is completed. Disobedience occurs as the result of being carried away or allured, and not led.  Character deficiencies are sensitive to an alien appeal. One is then flesh driven rather than Spirit-led. One’s diet must consist of that which can provide for eternal gain. It should not consist of the delicacies that appeal to the taste but does harm to the body. What Jesus taught His disciples required them to fully follow Him if they were to become disciples indeed….

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5 It was all about God before consideration is given to self. God had a purpose in mind, unknown to us but awaiting us by our Creator. “I knew where you were to fit into My plans.” Self-discovery is the challenge given to each person to consider what God already knows about us. “If any lack wisdom, even that which pertains to self, let him ask God.” Our reasoning can merely draw from what is already known. To observe God’s creation and to see merely through the eyes of others; their experiences and life alone may limit us from knowing what God desire to show us. God is aware of your uniqueness because He made you the way you are. Not to be weird and merely associate with those who different for the sake of standing out in the crowd, but participate in a plan far greater than even our most sophisticated plans could take us. God has a plan for your life .It is His desire to use everything that He has given to you for His glory. His plan is also to remove from you everything planted in…

“To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.” Romans 15:21 God heals many who may have thought their situation was beyond hope. They might have come with their limited view of what God was able to do, but to be surprised by grace to receive beyond their level of expectation. Salvation has come to the Gentiles to whom it was not announced. There may have been some who would have settled for the crumbs falling from the rich man’s table, but God invited them in to partake of the feast.  it is not always intelligent that are enabled to make sense of the God’s mysteries. It may not even be the one who has a history among fellow believers. They may see nor understand the life changing message of Jesus Christ. Yet an impoverished reject in society may rejoice immediately in hearing for the first time what they had heard time and time again. Why one is desperate in seeking the truth, God will open his eyes to see the Kingdom of God and his heart to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom. God has made it available to all but it…