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“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2Ti 2:15-16). We must be presented as approved unto God. Our lives are to be on display as showing evidence of God’s character. How else would the world know that Jesus is alive and the same yesterday, today, and forevermore? It is the life that expresses the truest meaning to Scripture that others are able to read even clearer than the text itself. Their interest prompts them to read on until the Word irresistibly becomes life to them. We direct them to Jesus Christ, the source of all that may be seen in us. He is seen through our every effort. He is glorified through our every deed, and He is edified when we participate with Christ and all who have come to know Him. Ours is to establish His kingdom on the earth as it is in heaven. Those who profess to know but do not know Him bring shame and disgrace to His name. And their pride becomes their shame. But those who know Him have contained in His Word the every life that He…

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (Jas 1:4-5). The trials that we face have a far greater purpose than the aggravation and pain that we often suffer. Isolated from God’s intent, some would think that we had been abandoned to face the giants of perplexity alone. It is when nothing is left but God’s promises that faith is called into action. What we received during those moments when could clearly see Him and experience His blessings must keep us when we enter into the fog. Faith to endure is the patience that must further develop us. We learn to wait on the Lord and not attempt to rush the process. God has more to teach us in these dry cold winter seasons than we could ever learn in the springtime of life. This is when our faith is tested. How would we ever know whether we love God for who He is or merely love Him for what He gives? On the other side of the test is a faith that endures. We can then see Him for who He really is and not just an image of what we …

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn 8:32). The truth liberates us from the slavery of error. When we are deceived, we end up serving whatever lie we have embraced. But the truth liberates us from the manacles and shackles that would have forced us into conformity to the dictates of the world. It is the wisdom that cries out in the chief concourses, at the opening of the gates of the city, speaking her words. It contradicts the wisdom of this world because it came from above and descends from on High. It is the road less travelled and the narrow path often ignored by those who think they can find the way without godly instructions. Those who have found truth must continue in its ways. Any detour is a retreat backwards to the fears which once plagued the soul. This is the only path that leads away from all things which work against us because it leads to both life and love. There is a sense of certainty about truth. Even when we are led through the valley of the shadow of death, we remain bold. The reason being, Jesus is…

Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted” (Ps 18:21 The Message). Things that we have grown accustomed to are often taken for granted. The sin of familiarity can often breed contempt. God’s ways are not our ways. He does what pleases Himself. Our wishful thinking and reasoning cannot alter what He has decreed. He looks beyond the limited view seen by us from where we are stationed in the theater of life. He is able to see the whole story from every viewpoint. When we dose off into a slumbered state we allow our minds to question God’s wisdom. He alerts us with a wake-up call and reminds us that He is God and we are mere dependent earthlings, yet loved by Him with a sacrificial love. The slack is jerked out of our loosened lifestyles and we acknowledge Him again as being our only security and hope. Now that we are alert, we must always stay that way. Our worship is determined by our continual awareness of God’s love, presence, and unlimited power. When we see what another has to suffer being without do we appreciate what we have?

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb 10:23-24). Our confession is more than speaking words. It is our agreement with God in accomplishing what He has promised in us and through us. When our spirits have aligned with the Holy Spirit, we are provided a fresh and lively hope. Any secondary thought or effort will merely cloud the mind with clutter used to sway us away from God’s promises. God is faithful to deliver on every promise that He has made. Where do we stand and where should we stand in relation what has been given to us? Our confession is more precious than silver and gold. To believe God because we are in position to see Him as faithful even when we are challenged is the greater blessing. This is evidence that faith is established within our hearts. This kind of faith will produce a hope that will not disappoint. It is borne out of love and matured through experiences. None of these, whatever they are, will separate us from confessing that Jesus is Lord over every circumstance.

“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1Pet 2:1-2). Things that have the potential of hindering our spiritual growth are to be laid aside. It is not always clear as to how things that may appear so benign can restrict the flow of fellowship with the Spirit of God. He is gentle and so pure that any of the above mentioned have the potential to disrupt the peacefulness and calm that He alone can provide. Feeding on the earnest milk of the Word is the antidote to the poisonous effect of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and evil speaking. It will convict us when the thought arises in our minds to participate in practices which will hinder His effect upon our lives. One of the evidences that we are born again is that our spirits will know what we so desperately need. We are then able to grow past those things that plagued our souls before we came to know the Lord. As we lay these things aside, the fruit of the Spirit will grow within us. The very…

“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1Jn 4:6). The surety of the gospel message is an unflinching confidence that God is with him. God provides the messenger an assurance that all who love the Christ of the message will also love and accept the Christ within His messenger. The message and the Messenger can never be divided. As he further yields himself to Christ, that which is of Christ flows freely through him without any restraint. He does not rely upon a response from the people, even though positive responses are encouraging. But his motive is to please the One who sent him on the mission and nothing else. The Spirit of Christ can recognize Himself inside of him. He can make such bold proclamations as, “We are of God!” he doesn’t have to cautiously and timidly approach the subject. He is confident and radiant as he stands as God’s representative. He who is of God hears the one sent forth by God. His sheep both hear and know His voice and a…

Jesus answered, ’My kingdom is not of this world… but now My kingdom is not from here’ ” (Jn 18:36). Jesus is the King over all the earth, but His authority does not come from among the earth. The political factions and their divides are not the determinants of His allegiance. Nor is He limited and controlled by the popularity polls of shifting societal opinion. His rule is exclusive to what heaven has ordered and demands. God knows the outcome of every decision that appears to be right but often lacks the stability and character to last beyond even one election year. He allows us to take wild guesses in our attempts to move things forward and afterwards awaits our request to eventually ask Him what He has always known. His kingdom is not of this world but our references are often too worldly. When we come to understand that the true answers and resolve to our most perplexing questions and problems lie beyond this world, we will begin with Him and end with Him. His kingdom comes to invade our own kingdoms. He superimposes over what we had once established when we yield to Him. Otherwise, all that opposes…

“My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer” (Ps 45:1). The tongue is engaged as a result of the overflow of the heart. As we meditate on the goodness of the Lord, our speech is not restricted to the thoughts that immediately come to mind. There was a buildup of thoughts awaiting expression as Mary, the mother of Jesus, pondered in her heart all that the Angel of the Lord made known to her. When she finally spoke, a bursting forth of praise and adoration began to flow from the deepest recesses of her soul. How many times have we had to strain in offering praise when we have not gathered in enough within for the rivers of living water to flow from the innermost portions of our hearts? Yet when we silently wait before Him and allow our minds to slowly reflect upon all which He has done, then when we speak, we will have more to say than time will allow. We must be swift to hear and slow to speak. In hearing what God has said, His Word must be applied to…

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (Jn 14:3). The heavenly place must be occupied by the preparer before it can be inhabited by the prepared. The place was the reward of obedience to the will of the Father. All requirements of His earthly life were fulfilled. He was spiritually there even though He was still here. His spirit at that point knew no limits. His death was the ultimate qualifier for His bodily entrance into the place once filled by Him spiritually. The heavenly place was to become the permanent positioning of all who would allow the life of Jesus Christ to fully absorb their own. His finished work was to be presented to the Father as evidence through the passageway of death. His spirit had already ascended, yet all limits of time and space had been removed. Those who have received His life are seated in heavenly places in Christ. We are there in Him. Just as He arose from the grave and now the Man Jesus Christ is there in bodily form, so shall we be…