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“Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.” Psalm 60:11 None has ever trusted God so completely that they never had a shadow of doubt. It is in the shadows where we look away from God in search for what appears to be strong but is lacking in content and in character. The challenge came to us and we wondered why we were chosen for adversity. Even then, there arose among some what appeared to be further evidence that God was absent. Many have abandoned God completely with thoughts that He was unreliable, while there are others who learned the lesson and passed the test. Without the test, there would be no need for help. The awareness of our need fostered the acknowledgement that we could not carry out our assignments alone.  Without Him we can do nothing. The assistance of man is useless unless God is involved. The help of others only further complicates the issue. It is above our heads and the heads that stand tall are not tall enough and their arm of strength cannot reach far enough to bring remedy to the deep wound left within. The need must first be identified if…

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.” 2 Timothy 4:3 Teachers are instructors that mold the character of those who subject themselves as students to learn. The world is being fashioned by teachers. There are men and women who take what they have come to know and feed others who are eager to learn. There is not a shortage of teachers. But the problem Paul was addressing was that there would be a number of people whose hearts remain unchanged. They will seek to be instructed in matters of choice rather than in truth. Their level of toleration of God’s Word would be on the decline.  Yet their appetites for instructions in how to fend off any doctrine that would equip them in the ways of God would increase. They will gather to themselves instructors who would help them build up defenses against what God would have them to know. An intellectual argument and one’s ability to defend his position often can become the callous over the soul. It is when the heart is tender that God’s…

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5 It was all about God before consideration is given to self. God had a purpose in mind, unknown to us but awaiting us by our Creator. “I knew where you were to fit into My plans.” Self-discovery is the challenge given to each person to consider what God already knows about us. “If any lack wisdom, even that which pertains to self, let him ask God.” Our reasoning can merely draw from what is already known. To observe God’s creation and to see merely through the eyes of others; their experiences and life alone may limit us from knowing what God desire to show us. God is aware of your uniqueness because He made you the way you are. Not to be weird and merely associate with those who different for the sake of standing out in the crowd, but participate in a plan far greater than even our most sophisticated plans could take us. God has a plan for your life .It is His desire to use everything that He has given to you for His glory. His plan is also to remove from you everything planted in…

 “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ. —“ Ephesians 4:15 The alternative to flowing with the wind and being influenced by the culture is hearing that we might do what the Word says. It was Paul’s passion to speak only what the Lord had to say. Even though the message is a challenge to current culture, it is the expression of a higher and deeper dimension of love. It is spoken in love when the desire of the heart of the messenger is to see those he has been called to address grow into developing the character of Christ. Often the growth of the hearers may excel beyond the level of the speaker, but he should not be jealous of his spiritual children. Instead, he should encourage them to take what they have received beyond his level of understanding for the Word alive within the hearer increases as seed to produce a great harvest. Ministers should not waste time addressing every other subject rather than God’s Truth. There is no growth is these side issues. Christ is the answer to every problem but He can only be known…

‘‘Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low.” Isaiah 40:4 God reaches down to valleys in order to lift them up and pulls down ever-exalted mountain. He encounters the mighty when they trust in their own strength. Nothing is able to stand above Him. These mountains stand to challenge His authority. His is the power to uphold mountains, and He has the right to remove them. By His Word mountains quake and the earth trembles. He is awesome in power and majesty. Yet He dwells in the high and holy place with the humble and the contrite. He exalts the valleys. The same power that brings mountains down is the power that lifts valleys up. The purity of their hearts permits them to see God. Their perspective is not the same as those who have lofty goals and are selfish in nature. They possess His heart. Their wills are in synch with His will. The way up is down and the way down is up. So different from the nature of fallen man, but the way of life that leads us down the path of life. 

“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…

“After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself:” John 21:1-2 He makes Himself known in ways that are familiar to each person. He once came in human flesh and fully identified with the human experience, yet honoring the Father by not yielding to the temptation of sin. After He was raised from the dead, He continued to show Himself again to His disciples. In His resurrected state, He is still in touch with all things pertaining to us. They were fishermen before their encounter with Jesus. Now that He had been crucified, they returned to their former professions. Their lack of success was challenged by His question, “Children, have you any food?” They had toiled all night to no avail. Jesus then gave them instructions that they could either follow or ignore. But when they cast their nets on the other side of the boat, they could not contain all that was in their nets. The resurrected Christ makes His presence known again among His disciples. He is the same Jesus but now raised in newness of life as the first-born of many brethren. It is…

“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10 The progression that takes place in the life of a Christ-follower begins with the call. He calls us to Himself. Then we can be conformed to the image of His Son. It is only when we answer the initial call will we qualify to experience what is produced in us as the result of being drawn close to Him. His eternal glory is the finished product of His grace. God looks at the end from the beginning. But the path requires suffering even though it is only for a little while in contrast to the glory that shall be revealed in us. We are matured to see things from His perspective, thus established in the faith not wavering because of various trials. Each challenge provides strength for future challenges as we develop a greater resistance to the evil one. Finally we are settled as not to be moved by whatever may come our way. A steadfast faith remains constant and undisturbed in a fixed position in relation to…

“Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Luke 24:5 The pronouncement of the two angels at the empty tomb is the challenge to this generation. We need answers. This is a desperate time for so many in searching for real answers. People are getting tired of pacifying words that merely delay the imminent failures that they have grown so accustomed to. Some are wishfully thinking that some semblance of life may yet remain among the tombs of yesterday’s shattered dreams. They have dug their stakes and set up their tents in graveyards rather than in the place where new life is blossoming. Jesus was once there but only for a little while. He was carried there because no life was within His body. Now it is as empty as those who attempt to live their lives without Him. But now as being resurrected, He has moved beyond where men were able to place Him. He is where He has decided to be. Now is the time to meet Him where He chooses to reside. He is among the living. Those who have spirit-life within them and a will to do His Father’s will, their life takes on its…

“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Hebrews 6:15 The rush towards the promise, without patience to endure the interval trials, is giving expression to doubt and unbelief. Those careless movements are usually met with disappointments with self as well as with God. Misunderstandings arise concerning God’s character of love and concern when one caves in while engaged in the battle. This happens when Christ is not being seen and known throughout all of the circumstances of life. Faith requires one to believe in God and what He has promised even before the evidence is present. His desire is to reveal Himself through His Word that is able to withstand every crisis met along the way. His Word is truth and can outlive the lies of Satan. The bump in the road was not a roadblock but a stepping –stone leading towards the life that lies ahead. There are times when there is nothing left but His promises and pressures. The pressures may try to shroud the promise but the promises are true regardless of the amount of pressure. Perhaps this could be the path of authentic faith being developed within one’s life. Many need to…