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“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!”  1 Corinthians 9:16 “I must” is to brave the storms of life in spite of the difficulties required of me to survive. I can only give light consideration to the cost attached to obedience. Obedience is often costly because there are so many options that could lead to paths of least resistance. Yet the call of God to obey rings strong within my heart and ears in spite of my mind fighting against it and telling me that there are other ways go and other things to be done. Some of them appear to be equally important, and at times, seem to outweigh the measure of this assignment because of greater gain and requiring less effort. But God speaks “woe” to the very thought of my disobedience to His command. Necessity is laid on me to speak the truth when the lie or even silence would be of greater benefit. “I must” do what God has called me to do. I must speak what He has given me to speak. Yet…

“He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”  John 16:14 The work of the Holy Spirit is to arrest our thoughts and energy and guide them in a new direction. He will give us an understanding of all things that belong to Jesus Christ. Beforehand our thoughts would wander and attach themselves to things that destroy the soul. Before He intervened there existed no passion to pursue Christ because His life to us had no appeal. Some would attempt to redefine Christ’s  life and mission in order to pursue their own passions and goals. Their emptiness remained when the activity ended. There was no lasting effect to their experiences. There is no contentment unless the Holy Spirit is completely in charge. He will not compete with the pettiness of selfish interests. He is committed to those things that please the Father alone and will not allow anything to get Him sidetracked. What we have learned and received of Christ is clarified and applied to the soul. As the Son did only those things that please the Father, so it is with us who are led of the Holy Spirit. We will…

“The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”  Isaiah 52:10 The Lord has crowned His kings and princes throughout the earth. His strength has gone out to both defy the power of the enemy and to undo the enemy’s work. There are those who bear the mark of royalty and are destined for the throne to rule and rein with Him. The Kingdom of God dwells among men! The question the world is asking is where is the mark or seal borne by those that belong to Christ? There appears to be no distinction between them and others; in fact, those who rebel appear to have the advantage over the faithful. The mark that they bear is within their hearts. Their passion for their King and the desire to see Him rule in righteousness separates them from others. They have an undying hope directed towards the future. Their faith is not wrapped up into small packages limiting them to temporary pleasures. They want the whole thing and will not settle for anything less. As Dr. James Stewart puts it speaking…

To lose heart is to become fainthearted when fear holds its grips upon the soul. It is when discouragement occurs as result of failed hopes and dreams. Things were expected in a certain amount of time; a rescue from a dilemma, but the situation remained the same. Time is beyond our control, but not beyond our management. Each moment must be used as an opportunity to further develop the stature of the soul. Each day, a lesson is learned and applied to our eternal destinies so that even our failures amount to success in God. We are being trained for eternity. God is taking us through a course in life that will increase the measure of our faith in Him alone. The outward man is perishing along with its passions for the external and temporal things. As we grow older we grow wiser in our values. We are now seeking those things which are above where Christ is. All other things are being held loosely in light of their eternal value. The confidence we have in Christ is that life as we have known it to be is not the only chapter in this story. The greatest chapters await us…

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 Life takes on a new meaning once Christ has come into the heart of the believer. He does not merely exist among the other things once deemed important, but rather sets the priorities for ones existence. Any other place given to Him constitutes a warms feeling in His regards, but not the quality of life He promises and died to give. This was the revelation given to Paul, the Apostle by the Holy Spirit. “For me, the meaning of life has shifted. For me, it’s no longer a matter of consulting with God as to whether it is permissible for me or not to have my own way. For me, to live is for Christ to fully live His life through me.” This ought to be the earnest desire of each and every Christian. This is a life of discovery whereas one is freed from pretense or attempting to force himself to do what he thinks that Jesus would do. But rather discovering in his own flesh the life and works of Jesus personally. “To die is gain.” Death died on the Cross when Jesus was crucified…

A book, a letter, or a sermon is result of the deep meditation of the presenter. It is usually expressive of much of what has been read, prayed, and is birthed out of the relationship that person has with God and with others. Therefore, words may mean different things to different people. That is why I take pleasure in reading both the preface and the bibliography contained within books. I like to know what the person was thinking when he said what he was saying. Jesus spoke with the deepest of thought. Everything He said was expressive of the heart and mind of His Father. He was asked on one occasion a question. “Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22.35-40) Such a simple yet profound answer to…

“Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?” Psalm 8:4 (MSG) My smallness in contrast to His greatness and the vastness of His creation causes me to wonder. Why would God even bother with someone as small and seemingly insignificant as me? If it were only a case restricted to observation, my worth is very little. But since God looks at His creation from the perspective of potential, we all stand as His masterpieces and created for good works. What we have the potential to become and to do far outweighs the work of angels. We are to reflect His glory to all of His creation. Principalities and powers in heavenly places will know His many-faceted wisdom through those obedient souls that are surrendered to Him. God gives special attention to mankind. All of creation is held in subjection until the mature sons of God are manifested for its release. Therefore God is not merely looking at historical or current events.  He is looking at those who are in Christ being prepared to carry out His work.

“For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,” Hebrews 3:14 Our confidence in Christ must not waver even when we face adversities that appear stronger than our strength to maintain. It is not our strength that preserves us but God alone. Our beginning is of faith therefore we must not view the battles as ours alone. Christ being a part of us is involved in everything we do. He shares with us what belongs to Him and since He has already passed through the heavens, there is no goal higher than what He has already accomplished.  He takes His victory and shares it with us therefore we have an identity in Him in heaven. We are admonished to hold fast to the confidence we had from the beginning. It is God’s gift to us to be maintained by us. Our faith is cultivated by and through the living Word.  Even if we do not see an end to our dilemma, God is able to keep us to the end in order for us to receive what He has promised. There is an end or a reward to all who trust…

For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”  Hebrews 8:5 God gave Moses specific instructions as to how to build the Tabernacle. It was not arbitrary, but rather what God showed Him while he was in His Presence was the design for its construction on the earth. It requires both hearing and seeing from heaven to engage in such a sacred task as leading others in the way of God. We are not here merely to survive, but our lives are to be lived with such exactness as to leave a legacy for those who come after us to follow. They must see Christ in us if they are ever to impact their generation. They are to build upon the foundation that we have laid. The baton is passed from one hand to another. Even though great things are accomplished by those who are mighty in the eyes of the world, none of what they say or do will receive any rewards in heaven. It is only those things shown to us by God and proclaimed in concert with the whole Body of Christ that God will honor as His work….

“He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart” Psalm 15:1 The benefit of abiding with Christ is the motivation to act is governed by the Holy Spirit rather than merely our own minds. The thoughts generate from God and are transferred to the heart so that the will is to do His will rather than what previously occupied our time and attention. It is not a matter of consciously manipulating the mind to think right. There is a continual flow from the heart to the mind maintaining an awareness of God’s Presence at all times. Then it is not as much of a strain to make the right decisions in relation to our walk. Though temptations may come and trials may test our faith, we know that He is with us and we know that He working in us. Now when we speak, we speak from a changed heart. His Word is hidden in our hearts and no other language is our own other than what is being translated into life within us. What marvelous position to occupy when God is able to convey His truth boldly through an earthen vessel that has been transformed…