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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…

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 This was not the initial phase of Paul’s life after meeting Jesus. After having been introduced, he was left with an indelible impression upon his soul. His whole life was spent in an attempt to fully embrace what he both saw and experienced in meeting such a man. He was intrigued by the phenomena of God in the flesh; a glimpse of the glory state of his own soul trusting that the time would come when the Christ that he saw from a distance would totally possess him. It is Christ in us that give us the hope of glory. All other expressions of life would be so futile in their pursuits after such an encounter because they become mere shadows since the realness of Christ has become so real to us. This is the place the Lord intends to deliver each of us to. Once we are there, a passion to shed…

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.” Philippians 3:7 What a resolve! What a tremendous position one is placed in when his pursuit for Christ outweighs all the accolades of his past. He is then privileged to know Christ in a way in which he has never known Him before! Whatever value we place on any effort or accomplishment diminishes our view of Christ. It becomes difficult to see Him in the fullness of His glory when we have become so large in our own eyes and feel so important in comparison to the smallness of others who are around. We must decrease if He is ever to increase. When we have gained Christ, He is then given full permission to be Himself in us. We have the confidence that we are known by Him and will be with Him forever. If we are to be with Him forever, that implies we will live forever as He lives. To surrender what we currently have is a small thing in comparison to all we will gain as we count all other things as loss. They have no eternal value therefore they should not hold…

“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…

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:18 Circumstances ought not to control our rejoicing. Our faith is often strained by the pressures that are brought to bear against us. When the fig tree is full of figs, our joy is because they are sufficient in quantity even with some to store. When the fruit and olives are plenteous, we have the joy of the harvest. The food is plenteous and the flocks are in their proper place giving us a reason for contentment of heart. But the delicate balance may shift in an instance. If all of life depended upon these things being in place, how fragile our faith would be. Some give up on life itself because things are not as we would have them to be.  Others resort to desperate attempts to regain what appears to be lost. The most important thing remains and gives us a reason to maintain our faith and joy. The Lord is the God of our salvation and our strength. None of these things are capable of robbing us of the greatest gift we could possibly have. Once we are saved and…

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, (2) fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:1-2 The objective of preaching the gospel is for those who are following to have the mind of Christ. Whatever Christ has provided for us is to be provided through us to others. It is with His comfort of love that we become loving. A difference is made in our lives as the result of being loved by Christ. He settles us down and gives us both rest and a peace that surpasses all understanding. The disturbed soul cannot interact with others on the same level as one who senses the security of the arms of Christ. There would be a caution that interrupts that degree of fellowship. But the soul that rests in His love is free to love others because he is not dependent on them but gives to them expecting nothing in return. The Lord supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory. We are complete in Christ thus able to love…

“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….

“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…

“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6 The surety of the gospel message is an unflinching confidence that God is with him. God provides the messenger an assurance that all who love the Christ of the message will also love and accept the Christ within His messenger. The message and the Messenger can never be divided. As he further yields himself to Christ, that which is of Christ flows freely through him without any restraint. He does not rely upon a response from the people, even though positive responses are encouraging. But his motive is to please the One who sent him on the mission and nothing else. The Spirit of Christ can recognize Himself inside of him. He can make such bold proclamations as, “we are of God!” he doesn’t have to cautiously and timidly approach the subject. He is confident and radiant as he stands as God’s representative. He who is of God hears the one sent forth by God. His sheep both hears and knows His voice and…

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3 The heavenly place must be occupied by the preparer before it can be inhabited by the prepared. The place was the reward of obedience to the will of the Father. All requirements of His earthly life were fulfilled. He was spiritually there even though He was still here. His spirit at that point knew no limits. His death was the ultimate qualifier for His bodily entrance into the place once filled by Him spiritually. The heavenly place was to become the permanent positioning of all who would allow the life of Jesus Christ to fully absorb their own. His finished work was to be presented to the Father as evidence through the passageway of death. His spirit had already ascended, yet all limits of time and space had been removed. Those who have received His life are seated in heavenly places in Christ. We are there in Him. Just as He arose from the grave and now the Man Jesus Christ is there in bodily form, so shall we be…