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“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…

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” 1 Timothy 1:12 The challenges of ministry are constant. There are always important things to do and areas of significance in need of being addressed. It is too easy to take the path of least resistance and say what would be pleasing to the masses and tickling to the ear. But the call of God is a call to faithfulness and dedication to a cause that is greater than any man. It is that call to which we must be faithful. Our efforts are not to be carried out as others who would place professionalism over character. If we are to most effectively carry out the call that is upon our lives, we must first be faithful to the God who has called us. He is the Great Teacher who will make known both His Word and His ways. It requires the discipline of character so that we are able to listen to Him first before we speak. Then our lives become of message and we live a message and not just speak one. We do not merely choose…

“But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27 The miracle of salvation is the greatest of all the miraculous wonders of God. None of our efforts are sufficient enough to reach the height of such a grand and glorious precipice. It is often cheapened in mind and thought as being attainable without any sacrifice of present goals and ambitions. Even some would think that it is unnecessary to be achieved because it to them is as much a part of every person as their body. But sin had dealt its deadly wound upon the soul. None are intrinsically righteous and all were at one time rebellious. And the consequence of the fallen soul is eternal death. The grace of God reaches down from heaven to touch the lifeless to revive him. None can be saved, yet what is impossible to man is made possible by God because of Jesus Christ. Each promised impossibility is fulfilled when we put of trust entirely in Him. He does what He alone is able to do when we realize how dependent we are in a world of challenges that require the One who majors in the…

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.” Lamentations 3:21 The immediate challenges of our day oftentimes cloud our view from seeing the faithfulness of God throughout the years. Living in the immediate alone without any reference to the past will make us feel as if we must take matters into our own hands. God has given us the gift of memory to reflect upon His goodness directed towards us even when all hope seemed to be lost. We are then able to feast through reflection, on His faithfulness. Whatever may appear as an impassable mountain standing before us, God is there with His wisdom and His strength awaiting our request. He will first settle us in our difficulties to know that He has knowledge of our present state. Then He will provide for us the wisdom to see all things from His perspective. If this is one of those obstacles that should not be or is as a test of our faithfulness to Him alone, in time,  we will have provided for us the right answer and resolve. He will keep us in perfect peace if our minds are steadily focused on Him knowing that our God is…

“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 The strong language used by Paul was to express how he directed his will to block out all information that would in anywise compete with the knowledge of Christ that he had attained. This knowledge would serve as the filter because it was the highest level of knowledge ever made available to mankind. He was not limiting what was being made known to his intellect. He was in addition speaking of his experiences. His entire life was to be governed by the dimensions of Christ yet to be known and the deep meaning contained within His death on the cross. There are so many distractions in this life competing with our knowing the things that are most essential to life. Many will major in minors and minor in majors. But none of their information can produce anything that produce a permanent resolve to their challenges and survive beyond this life. To know Jesus is to have eternal life. To know Him as crucified is to identify with His death, thus possessing resurrection life. As with Paul, we must determine to close the…

“The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness — Israel, when I went to give him rest.” Jeremiah 31:2 The challenges of today will be survived leading to the discovery of grace in a place unfamiliar to us. God has not abandoned His own children. Even when we are chastened, His everlasting love is directed towards us. These things are not allowed to destroy us, but for introspection. It is our responsibility to examine the caliber of our love and devotion towards Him in contrast to the time spent focusing on other things. He draws us to Himself with cords of love. We cannot depend upon what appeared to be the solutions of the past. Only God has the care and the answer that we so desperately need. Cast all of your cares upon Him and lean on Him for assistance. He will take away the reproach of the past. God is about to do wonders in our future. Remember the day of the sword when the enemy of faith appeared to destroy all hope for the future. God rescued us from the hands of the enemy. Now as we go through the wilderness, a lonely and barren…

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength. “But you would not,” Isaiah 30:15 When fellowship is broken with God, He does not give up on us. His desire remains the same as a loving father would his own beloved son. Yet the issues facing the one that walks away continue to surmount.  Trying to make the best of life only frustrates the person who tries in his own strength to hold things together. God reminds us of how frail we are when we are attempting to eliminate Him from our plans. Israel was reduced to a spiritual level of rejecting the challenges that came from God. They chose those who would speak smooth words to them. They resisted the prophetic warnings that ought to have been enough to deter them from rebellion. Therefore, nothing held together for them even in their attempts to gather. That significant part of the prophecies included the benefits of their return. He says to the rebellious, “in returning and rest you shall be saved.” It is not just a matter of returning, but resting relaxing in the place assigned by God for them. Some may return but be restless…

Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ Judges 6:13 God called Gideon before there was any evidence of might and valor within him. God did not wait on the evidence in order to affirm the fact that he was called. His call provided the evidence necessary to face the challenges that awaited him. We have been called to greatness! His call is initially a call to Himself.  It is His might and valor working through us when given permission, that will launch us into new challenges and trials leading to victories beyond measure. The question on Gideon’s heart was, “if the Lord is with us, why then has all these things happened to us?” Things happen that cause questions to be raised. Sometimes we may feel abandoned and all alone. These are times when God provides evidence that will take is beyond the level of our own strength. He was a mighty man of valor incognito. God does not merely choose those who have the external qualities…

“And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers.  Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Isa 30:20-21 The departure from the Way is the root cause of the adversity that comes from the Lord. There are challenges that come as result of obedience and challenges that are rooted in rebellion. The difference between the two is the adherence on the part of the challenged to hear the instructions that come from the Lord. He is available to deliver us from all of our trouble, but do we listen to His voice before us to lead or have we left what He has to say to us behind? Their teachers were sidelined and replaced with guides who misguided them. They listened to falsehoods as blind guides led them into pits. But God did not abandon them even though they had abandoned Him. From behind His voice could still be heard. From the rear, the places inhabited and celebrated was the voice of God speaking to them in order for them to…

“ And He said to them, “It is not for you to know…” Acts 1:7 We must diligently pursue knowledge. There is so much to know and the subjects are so vast. With the invention of the internet, information can be gathered in moments where in times past it may have taken weeks, months, and even years. It is not to our advantage to merely gather in facts, but getting wisdom to rightly apply knowledge is more important than the knowledge alone. The question asked by the disciple of Jesus was a legitimate question. “Will You at this time restore the kingdom again to Israel?” It had to do with the fulfillment of prophecies and the rightful place of Israel. Jesus’ answer did not resolve their challenges, but rather challenged them. He told them that they was not privy to the information, but was privy to what was required for them to fully participate in fulfilling the prophecies.