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“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” 1Timothy 1:15 What Christ did on the cross by dying in order that men may live is amplified through our witness. His voice is raised through the lives of us who understand that we brought nothing that would qualify us to do what is now being done. The worst of sinners now stand with a testimony of victory because the Lord alone has graced us to live on the other side of our prior sins. We should never forget from which we came. We can then appreciate the distance God’s mercy and grace had to reach down and arrest our violent attempts at self destruction. For it to be said that we were at our worst when we thought of ourselves as being at our best is an understatement. He shows us the worst in us that He might bring forth the best in us. Sinners at their worst may find in Jesus Christ a House of Refuge. If we, in the state we were once in could be saved, then He is able to…

“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” Matthew 16:13 What men say cannot change the nature of a person or a thing. It has to do with recognizing and agreeing with the truth. Those who know Him merely by reputation can only repeat what they have heard and never share their truest knowledge of Him. Those who see Him from afar and can only see His silhouette may describe it with accuracy without ever knowing those special features that give expression to His passion. Only those who have answered the call to come to Him; to come close enough to see His face will be able to share with others the intimate things that would ignite a fire within the hearts of others to know what they may otherwise would have never known. What they say is not as important as what you say. Jesus Christ came to be known, but not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. The resurrected Christ invites us to come closer and see the nail prints in His hands that His love may be known through…

“He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.” (NKJ) “Death is the reward of an undisciplined life; your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end.” (MSG) Proverbs 5: 23 A warning to the wise is the anecdote to his falling away and divorcing himself from his wisdom. Disciples are to exercise disciplines in order to safeguard areas that would otherwise be vulnerable to the enemy. He is seeking to influence those who have taken pride in their stance as being invincible thus allowing their guards to be down. Death is the price paid for our redemption. Since we are alive to Christ and dead to the world, Satan’s ploy is to attempt in resurrecting things that once dominated and controlled our lives. Daily decisions have far-reaching and severe consequences. Nothing is done in isolation from a path leading to a destination. And nothing is done that does not follow a pattern of living modeled by a master. Our death in Jesus Christ produced life with a purpose. We are being led to triumph over all the works of darkness. Our thoughts must be directed towards the eternal unless we…

“And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel 37:3 God asks us questions that He alone is able to answer. We try our best to understand how a possibility of hope may arise out of an impossible situation. What we see are circumstances that appear to be beyond hope. God placed the prophet there. And God continues to communicate to him at that place for which he has been prepared. The valley is a lonely place if you are alone. But God is in the valley in order to teach valley lessons. There we learn to raise others above their lowly state. He allowed him to see the ruins of what once was vibrant and alive. Then He asked him the question that sounds like a mockery of his intelligence and adding insult to injury. “Can these bones live?” Not just any bones, but the bones of the defeated army; an army that must rise from death then rise from defeat. Life would be meaningless if defeat was to be continual. His will is that we live on purpose. God must answer His own question, but if He is asking us, then He must have…

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8 Who can preserve his own life and maintain the fading glory that comes and goes so quickly through the passing of time? Each may have his or her day in the sun, but the same light that brought forth the growth will ultimately cause what has grown to wither. In our youth, it seemed as if growing up and enjoying the benefits of independent adulthood was the essence of life. But if we live our lives as if there is no tomorrow, the candle will be burning on both ends and too soon the pleasures of youth will fade. They will take their toll upon the body while it will carry the marks of decisions made without thought. Even at our best, the grass withers. We grow old. Then our values shift from the immediate to the ultimate. We wonder if our lives really counted for anything of significance. The flower fades and what once had a pleasant aroma to the world has now become putrid and detestable. Only the Word of our God is able to preserve our lives and prepare us for…

“Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:2 What the Lord offers the Church should be shared alike by every believer. The benefits of salvation and the joy that accompanies obedience should be experienced by all. It is not enough for merely some to know the grace of the Lord and peace that resides within their hearts. God’s desire is that all should know Him in intimate and endearing ways. The mind can either be one’s best friend or worst enemy. When our minds retain the information of past experiences and attempt to decipher it without the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, division is inevitable. How can our varying experiences and thoughts lead to a unified conclusion? Each would interpret life and God on the basis of his own conclusions. Like-mindedness can only be attained when we hear the same message having the same Spirit in common.  The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of unity. He will take us from where we were to a new place of worship. Then we see Christ together and love Him with the same love. He then takes what is within…

“God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.” Psalm 18:24 (MSG) An open heart to the Word of God gives Him permission to transform one’s life. The Holy Spirit works within us not only affects our future, but takes into account our past and our present state and weave all things into a beautiful tapestry fit to be presented to the King. He gives us a new beginning; the reorientation of those things that would otherwise condemn us. This does not happen in the life of the half-hearted. They can only be awakened to the reality that there is more to life than what is being lived. However, the open heart is giving God permission to search deeply into those secret compartments where none are allowed but maybe a select few. When we are under His scrutiny, those things that are contrary to His will are highlighted. He does this, not to be heavy handed in discipline but lovingly purge the heart of the residue of sin that may linger so that He may be worshiped in purity. Our lives then tell a different story. It expresses the message of…

“Their job is to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, to show them how to discern between unclean and clean.” Ezekiel 44:23 The job of the preacher is not merely to entertain people or to build buildings. Neither is he successful when he possesses the ability to draw large crowds. God has assigned us to teach the difference between the sacred things and the secular. We must do all to the glory of God, but not all things warrant the same attention. The neglect of foundational truths will erect structures of wood, hay, and stubble that cannot withstand the waves of adversity or the strong winds of erroneous doctrines. Only those who are well taught will be able stand being fully equipped with the full armor of God. They are led in the path of holiness and righteousness thus developing their discernment between good and evil, the clean and the unclean. The paralyzing sin of sameness has dulled the senses of many. But God will raise up His priests who have not bowed their knees to Baal and remain faithful for such a time as this.

“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection.” Hebrews 6:1 The elementary principles of Christ must be the primary discussion of the newly converted. To take on weightier matters concerning Him are destined to be misconstrued thus misapplied. There has to be a foundation of truth established within each life if we are ever to know how to live as we ought. But when individuals get stuck into the trap of discussions only and never do anything, the information puffs them up and becomes counterproductive to their spiritual growth and development. What they know causes harm for he knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. Many well learned individuals find themselves standing in the way of future converts because they reduce Jesus Christ to nitpicking arguments but no fruit is developed as a result of what they may know. This admonition is to leave discussions and look towards application. How can our faith come alive and make an impact upon the world around us. Yet our efforts must never be detached from the principle because the unprincipled actions misrepresent Christ. Build upon the principles, a…

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44 The Father does a work by way of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are responsive to His love. None can take the credit for the saving of even one soul. We do our part, but must wait on God to arrest the hearts and wills of those who would otherwise be eternally lost. Our prayer must be a constant ascension of incense, the aroma of our passion and desire to experience an environment where the deepest need within each heart may be realized. Our petitioning His Throne will set the atmosphere for the Divine will of God to be given expression that can reap much greater benefit than the striving of individuals and groups of people who think that their efforts can save the world. We are powerless without Him. Not His work in conjunction to our efforts, but rather His work through us as His initiative and not our own. God alone can do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we could ask or even think. So why should we…