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“Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding.” Proverbs 23:23 The price paid for the truth may be the loss of friends and love ones. It may be the loss of the potential of profit requiring the compromise of our integrity. Our integrity is worth more than the things acquired through dishonest gain. Even though they may bring immediate success, but the high cost paid in the end far out measures its temporal benefits. We must be willing to pay the price for the truth. The price of self-denial and sacrifice for the sake of having the character to stand for what is right. This is accompanied with wisdom which comes from above. God can speak His truth to our hearts and there is nothing within us rejecting it. The lust for things not sanctioned by God choke the Word and it becomes unfruitful. It is the fool that despises instructions. The ownership of truth will deliver us from the bondage of greed and self-centeredness. We can then understand what the will of the Lord is and comply with joy because we are enabled to see the benefits of our faithfulness to Him.

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:7 Our strength against the enemy must not in our boasting. Many may flex their muscles and consider that they are strong enough to withstand the attacks of the opposition. The chariots of old were status symbols representing pedigree of the warrior. Some had two horse chariots arrayed with precious metals which were often intimidating to those of lesser position. They trusted in their nobility and the amounts of artillery they were able to afford. Their horses were the best money could buy, trained to obey their every command. But even the best had the possibility of failing them. The psalmist placed his trust in Lord his God and remembered His name. His name defines His character. He trusted in what God said about Himself. When we who are called by His name remember it, we are able to face every opposition. We take ownership of His name as His people and are protected with His strength. He is reliable in keeping us from falling and failing and gives us victory over our enemies.

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (16) But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.” 2 Timothy 2:15-16 We must be presented as approved unto God. Our lives are to be on display as showing evidence of God’s character. How else would the world know that Jesus is alive and the same yesterday, today, and forevermore? It is the life that expresses the truest meaning to Scripture that others are able to read even clearer than the text itself. Their interest is prompted to read on until the Word irresistibly becomes life to them. We direct them to Jesus Christ, the source of all that may be seen in us. He is seen through our every effort. He is glorified through our every deed, and He is edified when we participate with Christ and all who have come to know Him. Ours is to establish His kingdom on the earth as it is in heaven. Those who profess to know but do not know Him bring shame and disgrace to His name. And their pride becomes their shame….

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4 The trials that we face have a far greater purpose than the aggravation and pain that we often suffer. Isolated from God’s intent, some would think that we had been abandoned to face the giants of perplexities alone. It is when nothing is left but God’s promises that faith is called into action. What we received during those moments when could clearly see Him and experience His blessings must keep us when we enter into the fog. Faith to endure is the patience that must further develop us. We learn to wait on the Lord and not attempt to rush the process. God has more to teach is in these dry cold winter seasons than we could ever learn in the springtime of life. This is when our faith is tested as to its authenticity. How would we ever know whether we love God for who He is or merely love Him for what He gives? On the other side of the test is a faith that endures. We can then see Him for who He really is and not just image…

“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…

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world…” but now My kingdom is not from here.” John 18:36 Jesus is the King over all the earth, but His authority does not come from among the earth. The political parties and their divides are not the determinants of His allegiance. Nor is He limited and controlled by the popularity polls of a shifting societal opinion. His rule is exclusive to what heaven has ordered and demands. God knows the outcome of every decision that appear to be right but often lack the stability and character to even last beyond even one election year. He allows us to take wild guesses in our attempts to move things forward and afterwards await our request to eventually ask Him what He has always known. His kingdom is not of this world but our references are too often worldly. When we come to understand that the true answers and resolve to our most perplexing questions and problems lie beyond this world, we will begin with Him and end with Him. His kingdom comes to invade our own kingdoms. He superimposes over what we had once established when we yield to Him. Otherwise, all that…

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” 1 Peter 2:7 What man often finds as most useful, God rejects. And what man rejects God accepts. The material used by God to build lives, community, and His Church is not what we in the natural would always consider. He builds with character. He makes sure that what is being erected can support the winds of change and the waves of adversity. The example is a house built upon the sand. Even though the structure is elaborate and is a thing of beauty. It has no foundation and eventually the inevitable would come to test its strength. The strength of a structure is its foundation. And no other foundation can be laid other than Jesus Christ. The accuracy of the establishment of Christ in the life of the believer will keep him stable in the most difficult of times. Christ is often rejected or redefined because the majority of people do not see any use for Him as He is. They attempt to either fit Him in as they please or eliminate Him altogether. Yet He is the only One we can turn to when we are forced…

“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…

“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:16 Doctrines have been the dividing line among many within the Church. The debate over doctrine has split brethren from fellowshipping with each other. And some who do not understand the importance of doctrine may either generalize all beliefs as being of equal value or dismiss all beliefs as being false. Doctrine or Didache is teaching or what is taught. Right teaching or instructions will produce righteous living. Paul was admonishing Timothy to pay attention to how his own character was being developed in relation to what was being taught. Is there an adherence to the Word of God bringing you into conformity to a godly standard? This can only take place when you continue in the original instructions which brought you to salvation, and build upon the foundation of those truths that which leads to spiritual maturity. Once you veer away to the left or to the right of the road rather than remaining on the path of truth, your capabilities to discern will be compromised.  The life of the instructor and the…

“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.” Ezekiel 36:24 People who are in exile are a people removed from their place. We see Israel being scattered among the nations and some taking on the character of the nations where they had been forced to occupy. Sin does not ask for our permission, but imposes its character upon those who occupy its territory. A culture of sin produces a people who readily adapt to the environment. It is then difficult for them to remember what God’s original intentions were for their lives. They merely see what others are doing and seemingly enjoying and adjust to their standard of living. But God stands up and makes His Presence known among them. He lets them know that even though they are in a strange place, Israel still carries His name. When His name is hallowed among the nations and a difference is made known by them to the other inhabitants, then deliverance will come. God will bring them into their own land. He is says to us, are we to represent Jesus where we are. Should He only…