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“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.” Isaiah 28:16 With all that the Church and the believers must suffer in these last days, doubt may enter into the minds of many. Evil appears to triumph over good and decisions to support what is wrong outweighs the support of the truth. Yet God has made a promise to His people. His foundation is sure for He knows His own. The foundation stone or touchstone of the Lord has been laid in Zion which represents the Church. It is the support of all that God is erecting. He will hold His Church together to weather the storms of adversity because His very life is invested in her. This is the hope of the believer, not to be a reactionary to the sudden storms that may arise from time to time, for our lives are anchored in the hope of His promises. God will have the final word, but we must endure to the end. The time will come when what in the past has been ignored will be greatly treasured. People will flock to…

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32 Those who are drawn to Jesus by the Spirit are kept by the Spirit. The mysterious magnetic pull of the cross of Christ produces within the heart of the believer a willingness to fully follow after Him even when circumstances are difficult. They see the sacrifice that He has made in contrast to the challenges that lie before them and equate all in light of what Jesus Christ has already done. This is not the easy believe(ism) or our day where many are attracted to the trappings of success in this life and the glory that comes from others. It is a heart commitment to fully follow Christ in all that He may assign as a part of our journey. They lifted Him up as an enemy to their doctrines and lifestyles by crucifying Him. He transformed what would have been defeat into victory. Now the message of the cross of Jesus must be preached throughout world in order for any to be drawn by dimensions of love never known before. Love was the motive for Him to die for our sins…

“God’s Way (the Kingdom) is not a matter of mere talk; it’s an empowered life.” 1 Corinthians 4:20 (MSG) The power to live according to the Word must be released to us by the Spirit of God if we are ever to become a witness of Christ to the world. A powerless speech may be impressive and even convincing, but once it is realized as being mere talk disappoints as surely as it once produced hope. It is God’s will for individuals to become partakers of His divine nature; the extension of His rule over those things that otherwise would dominate the earth. It was never to be an experience of diminishing returns, but an expansion of the Kingdom over all stubborn resistance.  His rule must first be established within the heart of the believer in order that for him to be empowered with the authority to use heavenly language as a weapon against external forces. What a tragedy exists when all we have is mere talk. Who would look any further into the matter if all we had was a good conversation? God releases His power among those whose hearts are perfect towards Him. This is His way of demonstrating…

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:4-5 Our comprehension will become the measure of our apprehension. When there is a willingness to understand that part of Jesus Christ which has been given to the saving of the soul, one then is able to be saved. If there is no interest in eternal life, but merely a desire to catch a few of the trappings from the promises given to the believer, he may prosper to a degree in those things, but be eternally lost. The light that God sent to men was the light of eternal life. This light illumines and guides the person to understand how little he really understands about Christ. Yet it awakens his interest to pursue Him with a passion never realized until the light has come. Those who are hungry for more than worldly pleasures or survival have seen something more of Him. The blinding light of His glory fixes their attention on a different object of affection. They become dead to the world and alive unto Christ. Paul wanted nothing more than…

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” 1 Peter 2:7 What man often finds as most useful, God rejects. And what man rejects God accepts. The material used by God to build lives, community, and His Church is not what we in the natural would always consider. He builds with character. He makes sure that what is being erected can support the winds of change and the waves of adversity. The example is a house built upon the sand. Even though the structure is elaborate and is a thing of beauty. It has no foundation and eventually the inevitable would come to test its strength. The strength of a structure is its foundation. And no other foundation can be laid other than Jesus Christ. The accuracy of the establishment of Christ in the life of the believer will keep him stable in the most difficult of times. Christ is often rejected or redefined because the majority of people do not see any use for Him as He is. They attempt to either fit Him in as they please or eliminate Him altogether. Yet He is the only One we can turn to when we are forced…

“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…

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21 The attachment to God’s Word is the same as being attached to all of His promises. The heart must be made ready to contain the infusion of life that comes as result of God speaking into it. It is not just the mind even though the message must pass through the mind. The heart must agree wholly with the Spirit who causes the Word to come alive within the Christian. The result is a quality of love that surpasses any effort on the part of the person to love Jesus. It is His love deposited within the heart and directed towards Him without reservation. It is His power that preserves the believer through making the Person of Jesus Christ known in every situation. He is not absent when things are tough. He does not conceal His identity in the midst of one’s greatest trial. He is there causing all things to work together for the good of all who have His love within them….

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 Life takes on a new meaning once Christ has come into the heart of the believer. He does not merely exist among the other things once deemed important, but rather sets the priorities for ones existence. Any other place given to Him constitutes a warms feeling in His regards, but not the quality of life He promises and died to give. This was the revelation given to Paul, the Apostle by the Holy Spirit. “For me, the meaning of life has shifted. For me, it’s no longer a matter of consulting with God as to whether it is permissible for me or not to have my own way. For me, to live is for Christ to fully live His life through me.” This ought to be the earnest desire of each and every Christian. This is a life of discovery whereas one is freed from pretense or attempting to force himself to do what he thinks that Jesus would do. But rather discovering in his own flesh the life and works of Jesus personally. “To die is gain.” Death died on the Cross when Jesus was crucified…

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,  (3) if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Peter 2:1-3 The passions and desires of a converted saint are different from the cravings of the sinner. Even though there is still that memory of a life without power driven by the force of sin, he is now free to make better and wiser choices. One must be fully aware of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to save everyone who believes. The tensions that exist between the bondage of the past and the freedoms that lie ahead in the future will be ever present. Yet they are now expendable. These things may try to attach themselves to you, but they have been expelled from within you. This is what Peter was addressing when he instructed believers to lay all these other things aside. They do not give expression to the new nature within you.  You are now in control and responsible for how these things affect you. Allow your affections to be directed towards those things that add to your…

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:17 The mind of the ungodly is perplexed by what exists beyond lie his reach. He has rested upon his opinions of life and love, as the result never knowing either. His restlessness drives him in dual directions thus condemning him to a divided life. The evidence of God cannot be completely ignored, but an admission of God’s existence would contradict the natural passions that demand attention. But to the believer, he knows that God’s mind is constantly focused upon him. Therefore he is aware that his life is lived under the scrutiny of the only One who will give special attention to details. He knows our frame and frailties, but intensely works upon and within us to produce what He wills. He never gives up but fixed His attention upon His beloved.  We learn to trust Him for the outcome of yielding everything to Him. The knowledge of God stabilizes us and prevents us from the inner wars of the ungodly but rather produce the peace that passes all understanding.