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Three years ago, we changed our church’s name from Abundant Life Church to Cross Culture Church. Not that we do not believe in the abundant life, nor is it a matter of changing our assignment. There are times in life when the vision given by God is to be reinforced so that our understanding can be extended. When most think of abundance, their thinking is usually directed towards personal abundance alone. There is a sign in the center of our sanctuary with one word; “OTHERS.” It was placed there so that all who worship among us would focus their attention beyond themselves. We wish all to know that we are blessed in order to be a blessing. Not only that, but to know that our greatest blessing is being a blessing. When we are able to bless others, it is because we are graced by God for Him to serve others through us. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Serving others is giving your life through extending your redeemed soul to others. When your life becomes conduit in the Hands…

“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!

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 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.

“ For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”(1 Corinthians 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 in…

“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’?” Numbers 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…

“Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:16-17 To see with our eyes what God is doing is a blessing beyond measure. God allows His servants to see where He is in the midst of confusion and apparent hopelessness. He is there working His plan even when all appears to be still or falling apart all around us. Not alone does His servants see His works, they are used by the Lord to participate in what He is doing. His works are established through His servants as evidence that He is in fact the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. He seeks those who would fully avail themselves to Him. Why should our lives be filled with clutter that works against His plan? Our greatest joy can be found in pleasing Him through reflecting His will on earth as it is in heaven. Oh that Christ might be seen today through those who earnestly and exclusively seek Him as the only stability in these uncertain times.