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“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.” 1 Peter 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…

“Since the One who saves and those who are saved have a common origin, Jesus doesn’t hesitate to treat them as family.” Hebrews 2:11 (MSG) We are members of the family of God and the household of faith. Regardless as to when we entered in or whether the member is born or adopted into the family, there is a place reserved for each one. Jesus saved us from the wrath of God. We were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Not only were estranged from the covenant of promise, we had no desire to be otherwise. Jesus saved us from a path even before we possessed the sense or the strength to seek any other path. We sought any option other than the path that led to life. It was the common origin of sin that blinded us to the love of God expressed through His Son. Little wonder why we made the choices that we made then. Our actions were expressions of our family of origin. But God rescued us by adopting us into His family. Now our reorientation…

“Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” John 19:27 Jesus made an oral testament to John, the beloved disciple, to provide as He would for her after His death. It was a binding agreement in the company of others if accepted, to care for her needs as the second oldest son. Even though there were other children, his responsibility was to treat her as He would treat her in absentia. John knowing Jesus was to compensate for the void that would otherwise be in her life. This example is a challenge to every son and daughter to consider the needs of parents. To honor our father and mother is to provide for them what is needed. Jesus told John to look intensively at the woman that will become his mother. And He told His mother Mary to look intensively at the man who would become her son. A new relationship was to be forged at that very moment. As we look at our mothers, if we could for a moment see what Jesus saw in His own mother. She was the vessel chosen by God for Him to enter into the earth. We owe a great degree of…

“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God.” Psalm 143:10 We often look to God with questions of bewilderment and doubt wondering why God does not give more attention to what we want and consider as important. Sometimes it seems as if the heavens are as brass when we pray our prayers and put forth our best effort to do our thing. He awaits our desire to be rightly taught before we engage in endless pursuits for worthless gain. The things that matter most await those who are willing to be instructed rightly. “Lord teach me to know Your will first that I may do the things I have been instructed to do.” We were born to cooperate with God in what He is doing. Every other effort will ultimately end in frustration and ruin. He alone is God and His will is to be known by and through all of His creation. “You are God. That is enough for every creature to know. But more importantly, You are my God. That says it all!

“Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:34- 35 Births are produced out of pain. The agony of a mother in labor will eventually end at the bringing forth of her newborn child. God had sent forth His Son into a hostile world to rule and reign over it. But those who would subject themselves to His reign had to be born into His kingdom. All others would challenge and work at undermining His authority. His coming on the world scene would produce promotion among those to whom God willed to promote, but the demotion of any whose reign God arbitrarily decided to bring to an end. What had been introduced through the law and the prophets was now personified and fulfilled in one person. None could remain neutral to. His  presence. Jesus would either bring the best out of them or the worst out of them. When confronted with Jesus, whatever resides within the hearts of individuals is brought to the surface. And those who…

“For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37 Jesus gave us a clear picture of the Nativity. There is a purpose for every birth. But His birth was not like any other. He knew why He was born and why and when He was to die. Many live and die never knowing why they were permitted to occupy a particular space in a particular period of time. The Nativity has to do with the place, conditions, and the circumstances of the birth of Jesus. “For this cause…” A cause that would affect the whole of humanity would come to light as the result of a child that was born. He was the gift given to us by God to save the world from the consequences of sin which was resident within all. His life was the resounding amen to the Truth of God. Christmas is about mankind coming into agreement with God. As Jesus bore witness to the truth, we are to be made witnesses of Jesus Christ. The world will know the…

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2 The sign of His coming was evident among the shepherds and the Magi. There was an atmosphere of excitement and intrigue among them because what had been long anticipated had finally arrived. The birth of a new hope for all of Israel was indicated by His star shining in the night. This was not just any star, but a new star. It was especially there and shone brighter than any other. The signal from heaven prompted a deeper and more intense degree of worship. When Jesus is among His people, it is their responsibility to seek Him out. None are to remain where they were, but to follow the sign. In that direction they will find a living hope pointing towards the future of many generations to come. The Word made flesh dwelling among us is our only hope. It cannot be found in the dark solemn halls of institutions of learning. Nor is it available among the historical chambers of politicians. It is in the place of worship where Jesus is…

“For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37 Jesus gave us a clear picture of the Nativity. There is a purpose for every birth. But His birth was not like any other. He knew why He was born and why and when He was to die. Many live and die never knowing why they were permitted to occupy a particular space in a particular period of time. The Nativity has to do with the place, conditions, and the circumstances of the birth of Jesus. “For this cause…” A cause that would affect the whole of humanity would come to light as the result of a child that was born. He was the gift given to us by God to save the world from the consequences of sin which was resident within all. His life was the resounding amen to the Truth of God. Christmas is about mankind coming into agreement with God. As Jesus bore witness to the truth, we are to be made witnesses of Jesus Christ. The world will know the…

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 The voice of Jesus speaking to Nicodemus had a ring of hope and promise. Not like many who would condescendingly speak in regards to the New Birth as a thing beyond the grasp of others. He spoke of the promise contained within the act of conversion as being given the ability to see the invisible Kingdom of God through the eyes of the heart. The born again experience is a heart change that will lead to a mind renewal. We see something before us worth living for and grasp hold of it by faith. The life of the Kingdom is the establishment of God’s order of righteousness, peace, and joy within. Then we are able to fully participate with Jesus in the establishment of God’s order in the lives of others. He said to Nicodemus in other words, “there is only one way for you to understand what I have been sent to impart to you. You must have My life within you.” God challenges us all to dispense of the old in order to make room for the new….

“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.” 1 Peter 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…