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“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”  John 14:2 There is no greater honor than to abide in the place that is rightly prepared. Ill-prepared places are hastily erected without giving enough thought to details. There are special needs, passions, and specific preferences that will suit the taste of the person. We are individuals and always will be individuals. Yes, we will abide together but our personality is uniquely ours and belongs to none else.  God, who created all things, has room for us to be ourselves. There are spaces awaiting us within His economy. Jesus Christ, our elder brother has gone before us. He takes with Him our specific needs. The deepest longings of the heart are considered. The things that we are lacking are there is abundant supply. No expense is spared for the Spirit knows the things of God and the thoughts of every man. The place is not prepared for us as we currently are, but it is prepared for us on the basis of what we will eventually become. As we are being purified, our appetites are…

“For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; (8) but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.” Hebrews 6:7-8 What we have experienced and participated in with God is not merely for ourselves. He allows us to experience His goodness in order to provide healing for others. Either we will bear healing herbs for wounded, restless, and reckless souls, or we bear thorns and briers to further wound them. The deepest wound is wielded by sword-handlers who are unskilled in spiritual warfare. They cannot effectively interpret God’s grace in ways to benefit the wayward. We have been enlightened, tasted of the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come. Therefore, we are the ones that are to bear herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated. The fruit of our lives is for those who wish to know the Source and purpose for our being alive. Then, we…

“The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” Proverb 10:22 There is the accumulation of wealth among the rich which brings sorrow and a wealth that endures to eternal life. When money becomes the god that replaces the true and living God, it then competes with what He wills to do in his life. That person, under the control of Mammon, will never know the richness that comes through full surrender to God’s will. The greatest blessing is the passion to love Him with one’s whole heart, soul, mind, and strength; then His joy becomes our own joy. When we are there, all that comes our way is managed and not owned. If we have an abundance of things, we find pleasure in having more options to use them in blessing the Lord. Money does not make the person; it merely gives him more options to express what he already has become. We should not allow anything to stand between us and the Lord, but at all times exercise diligence in pleasing Him. He gives us both the ability to accumulate wealth and the joy of the harvest.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”   2 Corinthians 13:14 The benedictional blessing released from the lips of Paul over the brethren was that they receive the favor of the Lord Jesus Christ. Unlimited grace was invoked in order to fully participate with Christ on the earth. It would be a continuation of His earthly ministry through those who have received the Father’s love. They were to become the expression of His intentions. The Holy Spirit was working in them to produce both the will and the ability to fulfill their purpose for living. The grace was not to be frustrated through a misapplication of turning inward with some selfish aim. Rather it was to be strengthened by a passion to please God that would overrule any thoughts that would try to arise. The Holy Spirit will be the constant companion to those who would allow Him to lead. They will understand and know God and each other by the same Spirit. May this be with you all, Amen.

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17 The love of Jesus Christ is conveyed to the world through those who trust in Him. It is spread abroad through those who have no other motive other than to please Him. They wish for no greater blessing than the opportunity to serve others on His behalf. They can then be trusted with authority to extend His work to areas untouched by His testimony. We are here to be witnesses His redeeming grace and love thus fulfilling our call as saints. Our salvation was not merely for our own personal benefit. It was for the expansion of His kingdom. He touches lives throughout the world through His Church. It is not a matter of trying to imagine what Jesus would do in varying situations. Rather our question is “what is Jesus doing and how much of that ought to be done through us?” We have been given this grand opportunity to demonstrate the love of Jesus among many who have not heard of Him. We are here to be as…

“The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.” Proverbs 20:27 Our spirits have full knowledge of our true selves. It is not what we project, but who we are that the light of the spirit searches out. Experiences of the past are registered in the heart thus carving out our personalities. Our spirits reveal many of them as places in need of healing once it is awakened by the Holy Spirit of God. It is made anew for the saving of the soul. No longer are wayward behavior justified, for the awakened spirit can receive the conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit  as necessary for completing the inward work that He has begun. What a blessing to have the searchlight of God turned our way! Not only does He convict, but His grace is dispensed everywhere the light shines. He delivers us from those vices that beforehand we were incapable of seeing. No longer blind but now we can praise and worship Him from the depths of a changed heart. We are no longer who we once were. We are now becoming who we were meant to be!

“ For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”( 1 Cor 2:2) Memory is a gift from God. When appropriately used, it can serve as a blessing. But when the lingering effects of memory close our minds to God, it is then a curse. During times of stillness the mind can relive experiences of the past. Our memories capture those moments and freeze-frame them into the catalogue of our minds. Things we have learned lay the foundation for further knowledge. Paul realized this and made a decision. He said, “for I determined…” The word “determined” in the Greek language is “krino” which means, “to separate.” Paul was in essence saying, “I separate the knowledge of the past from the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” God was determined to separate light from darkness. It is not that Paul was ignorant of other things. He knew many things, but now possessed the ability to separate what he knew from who he is in the process of knowing. To know Jesus Christ is a full time job that ought to occupy our undivided attention. All other information must pass through the filter of the revelation of Jesus…

“But He is unique, and who can make Him change?  And whatever His soul desires, that He does.”  Job 23:13 God is complete in and of Himself. He is not like us with needs that may cause our focus to shift from one thing to another. Those are the limits placed upon the human experience. We navigate through time not knowing the things that lie ahead of us. But God knows the end before the beginning. He is light and in Him are no shifting shadows. Why would He change His mind for such things that may be a fleeting thought within our minds? Instead of His mind being changed by us, our minds are to be renewed by Him.  True humility is exercised when we are willing to forgo our will what another wills. When we trust Him in areas not completely understood, He will give us the will and desire to please Him. We will experience His goodness and grow in our understanding of dimensions of His love. What a blessing it is to find pleasure in what pleases Him! His uniqueness can then be celebrated rather than loathed. Some may wish to wrestle out of His hands what…

“If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the Lord, to do good or bad of my own will. What the Lord says, that I must speak’?” Num 24:13 Hearing and obeying the Word of the Lord is more important than the benefits of hard work and labor that would take us beyond it. There are those who ignore the standard established by God and wish to justify their position thinking that they are too busy or have risen above the instructions given. Their price is met through the fame, fortune, and acceptance of others who would reward them with tangible benefits or accolades affirming their significance to a particular cause. Yet if we are not speaking what God has spoken or doing what He has ordained, it is either blessing what God has cursed or cursing what God has blessed. We must not judge the Word of God has being optional but absolutely necessary in every endeavor. A transgression is going beyond the word whether it is for good or for bad. As ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must speak what God is saying…

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19  Although we are free to make choices, we are not free to determine the outcome or consequences of the choices that we make. Somewhere down the road we will meet the fruit of past decisions that will remind us of what we once thought and whether we were right or wrong. One writer mentioned that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” but we also know that the trail of tears left behind is moistened with regrets. If it were possible to hit the rewind button of life, how many mistakes would we delete? Even though we are the product of past choices, the road of possibility lies ahead to choose to live a better life. Freedom in choosing ought to be preceded by a careful examination of the facts. Wisdom must be applied because facts alone can be deceiving. How those facts align themselves to absolute truth will determine the outcome of the decision. When words like absolute are used, it suggests…