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“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15  A sanctified heart is directed towards God alone. There is no other direction to which it may be turned that can satisfy the believer for he knows that only God alone can meet the needs existing deep in the recesses of the soul. There are many things around to lure him away from the position in which he stands. But he does not see things as others who are blind to the devices of the devil. The enemy constantly works in attempting to raise doubt in his heart. He has heard the Lord speak concerning His own. He is affirmed as being God’s Son, and continually dwelling in the place of God’s pleasure. Since his heart overflows with love, he has an answer for everyone. Because he is able to see beyond the current crisis, his answer remains prophetic. The pure and heart is able to see God. God is with him; therefore his hope is to take on the character of God….

“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (21) make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21 The restlessness of the soul was resulting from the waywardness of the heart. When you were determined to fix your own problems your own way, none of the benefits made available by God through our Lord Jesus Christ could be applied. Now that the struggle has ended as to whether the life of Christ was to be followed because His death was sufficient enough for His life to be our life, we are being made complete. What a difference now in comparison to then. All you need to do is remember how strained the struggle was and how difficult your life would be if His knowledge was absent. But now that you know Him, allow Him to complete the great work within you that He has begun. His objective is to complete you. When your ways please the Lord you…

”The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26 The righteous ought to practice the art of carefully choosing their friends. Once the purpose of friendships is understood, each one can be taken seriously. There are commitments made to each other to be genuine and trustworthy at all times. The character of men is similar to a magnet which draws like-minded individuals together. Deceptive people may seek out those that they envy who possess the character that they wish was their own. Yet their deceptive ways have reduced them to mere pretense which leads many who trust them astray. Our influence is either positive or negative. We assimilate the character of the company that we keep. Choose friends carefully because one’s own character is reflected by their choices.

“From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. (14) Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.” John 14:13-14 (MSG) Out of the personhood of Jesus, He does what only He alone is able to do. It is the character of Christ to love unconditionally. Every act was an act motivated by love and an expression of love. His objective is to free those who have sought the authentic but have settled for a substitute. Too many seekers have succumbed to merely settling for a level far beneath the level established by Christ. Therefore the requests are restricted to their limited understanding. The only prayer that the Father is obligated to answer is the prayer of His Son, as His passion burns deep within our hearts. He honors His Son through hearing His prayers through yielded vessels whose lives are fully engaged in the works of Jesus. They are His sons brought to glory. Through them, the works of God continue.

“Let love be without hypocrisy.” Roman 12:9 Love is to be an expression of one’s real character or actual behavior. It is a movement and not a state of being. God is love and as we move in His direction, His love within us moves us in the direction of becoming more like Jesus. It is the Spirit of love within our hearts that transform our personalities. Therefore we cannot take credit for any good that may generate from us. We know that it is the love of Christ within us that we have received from God as evidence that we belong to Him. Whatever may try to remain outside of love must be surrendered. It is a strain on occasion to walk in love among those who may not deserve it. But in light of His love released towards us before we were enabled to respond, we can love the unlovely. Remember that it is His love and not our own. It is not ours to withhold from those who He wills to love through us. Let it flow without our interference. We will benefit more than those who are the recipients.

“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach.” Mark 3:14 The series of events are in sequential order. First, they were appointed that they might be with Him; then they were sent out to preach. If they had not come to Him when He called them to be with Him, they would not be in position to be sent out. They learned from Him how to live and what to preach by being with Him. It is not enough to merely hear about Him from a book or word of mouth, the experience must be personal. We are called to an intimate relationship with Him. His life is an open book to those who will to know Him, but to the casual inquirer, He is misunderstood and often misaligned. They accuse Him of things that is not a part of His character because they only know Him from a distance. John, the beloved disciple, laid His head upon His breast; Peter, the Zealot, stepped out of the boat in order to join in on what Christ was experiencing while walking on the water. Intimacy includes both the emotional and…

“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.” Psalm 19:12 The degrees and dimensions of transgressions are not easily and readily understood. It is extremely difficult for a person who is engaged in an act to fully understand the full effect of that act upon others was well as his own future. This is also true both in doing good as well as doing evil. God measures the distance between His heart and our own which is affected by deeds done daily. We are forging character one act at a time into becoming whatever we will ultimately become. Those things done in secret are things that produce both guilt and shame. The reason why they are hidden is because the objective is to conceal them from any other ever knowing about them. But ultimately our character will deceive us into making public what we once tried to hide. When it is known there appears no reason to further hide it. Who can know the depth of such errors? We need to be cleansed of anything that we would rather not be made public. Then we will not reach a place of becoming so desensitized as to blatantly rebel…

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13 Careful preparation is required if one is to continue standing under the pressures of the world, the flesh, and the devil. The armed attack of the enemy which may work through all three, are aimed at the weakest part of our character. It is impossible for any to fully know all of his weaknesses. Surely in the areas of perceived strength temptations will come to test the strength of our commitment to God and the truths that we profess to uphold. This is why an accurate and spirit-guided articulation of the message from God is so important. Equally so, this is why the enemy of our souls would much rather see us doing any other thing that taking heed to the words that are given for the salvation of our souls. The whole armor of God, not just those portions that are comfortable and in fashion must be continually worn. The attacks do not come at a scheduled time, but when we least expect them to come. They may come successively if there…

“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…

“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.