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“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 Giving enables us to see the dimensions and depths of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Without personal sacrifice, we merely theorize rather than experience what He offers us so freely. It is impossible to understand the dynamics of His message and the glory of His life without participating with Him in releasing those things left in our hands to manage. The Holy Spirit will direct us to channel all things to acquire the greatest benefit. True freedom is freedom from the bondage of sin bred in selfishness.  What we have held too closely to have hindered the Lord from giving full expression of Himself to us. A freedom not yet experienced borne out of a need within us remains unmet. We were created to respond to God’s initiative in giving. None of what we manage is able to save our souls even though in the past we may have thought it would. True surrender is giving oneself completely to…

“The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness — Israel, when I went to give him rest.” Jeremiah 31:2 The challenges of today will be survived leading to the discovery of grace in a place unfamiliar to us. God has not abandoned His own children. Even when we are chastened, His everlasting love is directed towards us. These things are not allowed to destroy us, but for introspection. It is our responsibility to examine the caliber of our love and devotion towards Him in contrast to the time spent focusing on other things. He draws us to Himself with cords of love. We cannot depend upon what appeared to be the solutions of the past. Only God has the care and the answer that we so desperately need. Cast all of your cares upon Him and lean on Him for assistance. He will take away the reproach of the past. God is about to do wonders in our future. Remember the day of the sword when the enemy of faith appeared to destroy all hope for the future. God rescued us from the hands of the enemy. Now as we go through the wilderness, a lonely and barren…

“…. they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10 The motive behind one’s action is either truth or pleasure. Throughout our lifetimes we have made decisions on the basis of either of these factors. Usually it is pleasure and if truth can be found in pursuit of it, there is an added bonus. It gives one the sense of being right. The path of least resistance in pursuit of wholeness is a pursuit of pleasure and often requires the compromise of truth. The quest for truth must be deliberate unless a compromised version of it surfaces as a substitute for the real thing. The reason truth alone appears to be so unattractive is because it prohibits the full expression of free will. To follow ones heart is to allow the dictates of the world, the flesh, and the devil to dominate the life of the person. The heart unchanged will by nature violate the laws of God because of the nature of sin dwelling within the heart. “They did not receive the love of the truth,” they had not allowed their hearts to be changed by the Word of Truth. They found…

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; (10) and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power”. Colossians 2:9-10 Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher who announced the death of God placed his emphasis on the strength of the human personality. “Relinquishing the belief in God opens the way for human creative abilities to fully develop.” “The Christian, he wrote, “would no longer stand in the way, so human beings might stop turning their eyes towards a supernatural realm and begin to acknowledge the value of this world.” His idea was that “will power is the essence of reality”. Today, the death of the God which is expressed through a shift in values is proclaimed even while using religious language.  Asserting oneself and accentuating the positive while eliminating the negative supposedly have freed individuals from the bondage of their past. There is a super-human being on the scene that can control the activities of their god and create their own destinies. “If it is to be, it is up to me” has become the motto for daily living. God is about developing the human personality in ways far beyond the wildest dreams…

“The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”  Isaiah 52:10 The Lord has crowned His kings and princes throughout the earth. His strength has gone out to both defy the power of the enemy and to undo the enemy’s work. There are those who bear the mark of royalty and are destined for the throne to rule and rein with Him. The Kingdom of God dwells among men! The question the world is asking is where is the mark or seal borne by those that belong to Christ? There appears to be no distinction between them and others; in fact, those who rebel appear to have the advantage over the faithful. The mark that they bear is within their hearts. Their passion for their King and the desire to see Him rule in righteousness separates them from others. They have an undying hope directed towards the future. Their faith is not wrapped up into small packages limiting them to temporary pleasures. They want the whole thing and will not settle for anything less. As Dr. James Stewart puts it speaking…

“So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 God gives us the strength to love. The heart is guided in a direction and the soul agrees to give full expression to that particular emotion. To love is not a miracle. It is a part of man’s nature to love. Without guidance the heart gravitates by default away from God. Loving then is not deliberate, but the result of some forceful habit that captures the mind and heart in order to condemn the soul. The passions must be harnessed by an object that is capable of containing all that is offered and reciprocate by providing what is desperately needed in return. When love gives but does not provide the person with what is needed, he eventually becomes bankrupt and bitter having been taken advantage of. Then love is inverted and transforms into hatred that is primarily directed towards the true Lover of his soul.  They feel shortchanged having not received from Him what they needed, but refused to give Him what He commanded. When…

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26 Values are a means to equate the worth of thing in contrast to its usefulness or utility. Whether a thing is profitable or dispensable is determined by the individual. The question of Jesus was directed at the value one would place on his own soul. It has to do with ultimate importance, or to have one to stretch his thoughts beyond the immediate gain to consider the ultimate cost one would have to pay for it. Values fluctuate among the immature. True maturity is marked by the development of a value system that is unalterable. They become the center of our lives, standard of behavior, and the stimuli for thinking straight. Jesus asks them to make a value assessment of their lives. He asked them, “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world?” If the whole world as gain to him, would the gaining of it produce peace within the soul? Would the pleasures of the world squeeze you into a fixture that cannot…

To lose heart is to become fainthearted when fear holds its grips upon the soul. It is when discouragement occurs as result of failed hopes and dreams. Things were expected in a certain amount of time; a rescue from a dilemma, but the situation remained the same. Time is beyond our control, but not beyond our management. Each moment must be used as an opportunity to further develop the stature of the soul. Each day, a lesson is learned and applied to our eternal destinies so that even our failures amount to success in God. We are being trained for eternity. God is taking us through a course in life that will increase the measure of our faith in Him alone. The outward man is perishing along with its passions for the external and temporal things. As we grow older we grow wiser in our values. We are now seeking those things which are above where Christ is. All other things are being held loosely in light of their eternal value. The confidence we have in Christ is that life as we have known it to be is not the only chapter in this story. The greatest chapters await us…

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?”  Isaiah 40:10 The question God asks causes us to think of His majesty and glory. It magnifies the Lord and minimizes all other things that once appeared to be so overwhelming and intimidating. It is not a matter of what but moreover, a question of who as we consider what we daily observe a coincidental. Things and people being held together, maintaining their set boundaries, is the result of an ordered plan. The thought and the power displayed in nature, if more carefully examined would have us stand in awe and the wonders of God! He created all things and is above all things. He calls to mind from the greatest to the smallest.  The telescopic expanse and mystery of universes created by His Hand and the microscopic expanse and mystery of the molecule both are in need of the invention of instruments powerful enough to examine what is yet to be seen. God has full knowledge of both extremes. “He has measured the…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; (6) In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 The word “trust”, “lean”, “acknowledge”, and “direct”, illustrate to us the Lord’s mode of operation. Trust is not a mere accent to the existence of God. Even though we must believe on the Lord to be saved, but to accept His Lordship, we must lean on Him. That is, to place the weight of our lives upon Him.  To believe on the Lord is to have confidence in what He is able to do. But to lean on the Lord is to believe that He will be engaged in our personal experiences and do what He is able to do for us. Our understanding is limited. His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts.  It is when we learn from Him His ways and paths that they become our own ways and our paths. We must be convinced that He knows what is best for us. He does not lead us in a direction away from His ultimate intentions. He looks ahead and directs us towards those…