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“Now the king was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month, with a fire burning on the hearth before him. And it happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Yet they were not afraid, nor did they tear their garments, the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words.” Jeremiah 36:22-25 When Josiah, Jehoiakim’s father read the scroll handed to him from the prophet Jeremiah, he tore his garment. But when Jehoiakim was given the scroll of prophetic writings, he took his penknife and tore the scroll. The scroll was divided into manageable pieces and instead of being used as a means of salvation as God intended it was reduced to a personal and practical use of firewood to warm the king. The arrogance of many has reduced the most sobering message ever delivered to humanity to a source of entertainment.  It has become a means to many others to warm themselves and producing some immediate profit to those who…

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength. “But you would not,” Isaiah 30:15 When fellowship is broken with God, He does not give up on us. His desire remains the same as a loving father would his own beloved son. Yet the issues facing the one that walks away continue to surmount.  Trying to make the best of life only frustrates the person who tries in his own strength to hold things together. God reminds us of how frail we are when we are attempting to eliminate Him from our plans. Israel was reduced to a spiritual level of rejecting the challenges that came from God. They chose those who would speak smooth words to them. They resisted the prophetic warnings that ought to have been enough to deter them from rebellion. Therefore, nothing held together for them even in their attempts to gather. That significant part of the prophecies included the benefits of their return. He says to the rebellious, “in returning and rest you shall be saved.” It is not just a matter of returning, but resting relaxing in the place assigned by God for them. Some may return but be restless…

Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ Judges 6:13 God called Gideon before there was any evidence of might and valor within him. God did not wait on the evidence in order to affirm the fact that he was called. His call provided the evidence necessary to face the challenges that awaited him. We have been called to greatness! His call is initially a call to Himself.  It is His might and valor working through us when given permission, that will launch us into new challenges and trials leading to victories beyond measure. The question on Gideon’s heart was, “if the Lord is with us, why then has all these things happened to us?” Things happen that cause questions to be raised. Sometimes we may feel abandoned and all alone. These are times when God provides evidence that will take is beyond the level of our own strength. He was a mighty man of valor incognito. God does not merely choose those who have the external qualities…

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 Time is different from seasons and seasons are not the same as time. Contained within each season is the designated time to accomplish all assignments, but when one is unaware of the season, they waste the opportunities granted. Each is gifts from God our Maker. There are low seasons when the ebb tide is low without sufficient refreshing rain to water the fields. The harvest passes without produce because of conditions which are beyond our control. Then there are times when the ebb tide is high. The waters are plentiful, the fields are watered, but there are no laborers to first plant and then gather in the harvest. Whether it be low season or high season, the preparation for participating in the work must be the same. Paul told his son Timothy to “preach the Word. Be ready in season and out of season.” There is time for every purpose under heaven and there is a purpose for every season which contains sufficient time to prepare for what God is about to do. It is our privilege and responsibility to redeem the time, to take full…

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.”Romans 5:3-4 (KJV) A price tag cannot be placed upon the lessons learned in and through troubled times.  We often know how we should feel and respond, but to be honest, the character of that response may not been developed within us yet. Many call this faith while it is actually dishonesty. David, the Psalmist gave expression to his heart, having various trials, set-backs and disappointments, but asked God to work the right response within him. Our mere words alone will not deliver us, but what we are becoming as result of God s; working on us and in us is the aim. “Tribulation worketh patience and patience worketh experience or character. Eugene Peterson in the Message paraphrase puts it this way; “and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary — we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! It is through our…

“And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers.  Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Isa 30:20-21 The departure from the Way is the root cause of the adversity that comes from the Lord. There are challenges that come as result of obedience and challenges that are rooted in rebellion. The difference between the two is the adherence on the part of the challenged to hear the instructions that come from the Lord. He is available to deliver us from all of our trouble, but do we listen to His voice before us to lead or have we left what He has to say to us behind? Their teachers were sidelined and replaced with guides who misguided them. They listened to falsehoods as blind guides led them into pits. But God did not abandon them even though they had abandoned Him. From behind His voice could still be heard. From the rear, the places inhabited and celebrated was the voice of God speaking to them in order for them to…

“And you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 There is a place of soul rest established for those who wish to find it. Jeremiah speaks of “standing in the ways and seeing” then “asking for the old paths where the good way is and walking in it.” Trying to keep up with the new ways and expressions of faith produces frustrations even though many are attracted to these paths. They clamor for the latest song and cliché, thinking they have arrived, but as in the life of the prodigal son, they have distanced themselves from home. The “old paths” are tried, tested, and proven to be the route leading to soul rest. Jesus speaks of a yoke that must be borne. His yoke binds us to Him and not to other things or people. When we walk on the old paths, we walk with Jesus, bearing His yoke. They say “we will not walk in it.” Those who say this never find rest for their souls because their stubborn hearts make them too resistant to learn from Him. But when we walk in His paths that are old, the good way which is His way is made known and…

“ And He said to them, “It is not for you to know…” Acts 1:7 We must diligently pursue knowledge. There is so much to know and the subjects are so vast. With the invention of the internet, information can be gathered in moments where in times past it may have taken weeks, months, and even years. It is not to our advantage to merely gather in facts, but getting wisdom to rightly apply knowledge is more important than the knowledge alone. The question asked by the disciple of Jesus was a legitimate question. “Will You at this time restore the kingdom again to Israel?” It had to do with the fulfillment of prophecies and the rightful place of Israel. Jesus’ answer did not resolve their challenges, but rather challenged them. He told them that they was not privy to the information, but was privy to what was required for them to fully participate in fulfilling the prophecies.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8 There is much about God that is attractive. His attributes will have an appeal to every part of our being if we are made aware of them. The Holy Spirit will provide the faith to see and understand what is missing.  The necessary things are offered to us to fulfill us providing both life and godliness. Without this faith we are left empty, reaching out for things around us and slipping deeper into despair. It is the distractions that allure us away from being drawn near to God. To be drawn to God is : empowered to resist the devil in all of his deceptive ways. The world, the flesh, and the devil no longer will control you once the beauty of God’s holiness is realized. He is the Lover of your soul and your soul with know this perfectly well. He draws us with cords of love. We are drawn in response with the assurance of faith. He restores us with a confidence that all is well because we abide in the secret place of God.

“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. (2) For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,(3) how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,” Heb 2:1-3  To “give the most earnest heed” is stretching in order to understand what has been spoken. It is to hasten and to fasten one’s eyes upon the truths revealed. To commit ones heart to them. The reason this is necessary is because our minds alone cannot contain all that is needed. Without a heart commitment, it will appear as if there had been no exposure to such life-transforming truths. God does not judge on the basis of what one avails oneself to hear. He judges on the basis of the availability of knowledge at that time. If one is privileged to know the truth but decides to opt out of being where truth is imparted, the neglect on his part would be the criteria on which he is judged. It is our responsibility…