header image

“Then Zedekiah the king sent and took him out. The king asked him secretly in his house, and said, “Is there any word from the Lord?” Jeremiah 37:17 When it appears as if everything is well, any word will do. Extracurricular activities and entertainment may occupy one’s time and attention. There would be a generalized approach towards Church, leadership, and life. Convicting messages appear to be too harsh and insensitive. An approach to reach common ground among all men is then the agenda of those where a distinct sound of warning is not heard. Then trouble comes! New questions and concerns are raised when we hear from Him. There is a quest for real answers that can navigate the lost soul to a safe harbor. “Is there any word from the Lord?” We want to know if there is a true message to be relied upon. We need more than what would otherwise tickle our ears. That would be the same as taking a drug to desensitize oneself from the pain and somehow thinking that we have escaped the pressure. God is speaking today, but not what many wish to hear. His truth challenges the very core of our being….

“As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.” Matthew 24:32 One major sign of the return of Christ will be the renewed courage and strength among those who carry the testimony of the Lord. As it was in the days of the prophets and later the apostles, so shall it be among individuals who will stand for truth without compromise. They will be among a people who have relented to casual Christianity, but will not allow the pressures brought to bear against them to discourage them nor diminish their faith. There will be new life within the Church as both young and old will boldly face persecution if required, for righteousness sake. The sign will be an awakening spreading to the ends of the earth. The Kingdom of God will be their message, the cross will be their standard, and zeal of the Lord will totally consume them. Professor Martin Scharlemann of Concordia Seminary said, “As soon as the missionaries are no longer welcome to do their work and their host countries begin to expel them, look up.”

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 The question is how can something be foolish to some but so necessary to others? There are some who believe more in their abilities and strength rather than the strength that is ours through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. We were once without strength, dead in trespasses and sins, but Christ died for us. Now as we believe on Him and in His Name, the power of God works within us to the saving of our souls. Both categories have to do with one’s future state of being. On one hand, there are those who are perishing, and on the other hand, there are those who are being saved. The seed of destruction is embedded in the hearts of those who do not believe as it was in us all. Jesus died for sinners before they recognized their need for redemption. Those who reject His offer are perishing. But those who are being saved are in the process of living. The body of sin will perish, but just…

“Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.” Mark 14:18 Before Jesus was crucified, He was identified through betrayal by one who sat at His table and ate with Him. One who loved so deeply would be exposed by a friend to His enemies. Jesus knew when it would happen and who it was who would be so used as a spy among them. Yet He did not make Him known among the brethren. There are times when sin must run its course. Any intervention on our part to defend ourselves or expose the adversary would be counterproductive. God will allow many to dwell among us who do not carry our heart or vision. Nevertheless, God uses all things for the fulfillment of His purpose. Jesus loved, provided for, and even dined with His betrayer. These events led to the cross, the inevitable end that marked a new beginning for all who would believe on Him. His will transcended the pain suffered by dishonest companions and even the pain of suffering and death on the cross. The glory that shall be revealed in us was…

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44 The Father does a work by way of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are responsive to His love. None can take the credit for the saving of even one soul. We do our part, but must wait on God to arrest the hearts and wills of those who would otherwise be eternally lost. Our prayer must be a constant ascension of incense, the aroma of our passion and desire to experience an environment where the deepest need within each heart may be realized. Our petitioning His Throne will set the atmosphere for the Divine will of God to be given expression that can reap much greater benefit than the striving of individuals and groups of people who think that their efforts can save the world. We are powerless without Him. Not His work in conjunction to our efforts, but rather His work through us as His initiative and not our own. God alone can do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we could ask or even think. So why should we…

 “And thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 The long awaited Messiah was to come through a meek and humble virgin. She was to carry within her womb the answer to every question and the solution to every problem. The deepest questions in life are related to sins. They are multifaceted and pervasive as to penetrate every aspect of life. Sin was deeply woven into the fabric of man’s soul and conscience. He could not save Himself, but was in need of a Savior. Jesus would first come to fully identify with sinners as being his people. He became one of us thus fully identifying with every challenge that we may face in life. Yet He came to liberate us from the clutches of Satan that we may be set free from the enslavement of sin and light to guide us in a direction. All have been provided the opportunity to live differently and have a different walk because we live on the other side of the Cross. He came to save His people. All of His people now can be saved from the power of sin and shame.

“Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?” Job 11:7 The deep things of God are baffling to the mind. It is impossible for any person to wrap their minds around the mysteries that are hidden from the exploration of an inquiring mind. The rhetorical question of Job was for those questioned to consider how little they currently know about Him. Even when a depth is reached, there remains an immeasurable depth left unexplored. Our depth is shallow in contrast to reservoir of knowledge in reserve for the humble soul who would surrender His all to Him. These things have been hidden from the wise and prudent, yet He (Christ) reveals them to His babes. The deep things are God is hidden in Christ. In Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. It is more than the story of His life on the earth. But the plan of redemption and the hope of man’s future glory state are contained in Christ Jesus. The mysteries of the Kingdom of God are given and not excavated. Jesus is the free gift given to all who would receive Him. When one accepts His…

“What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? Psalm 116:12 The Lord provides benefits, many times unexpected and often before we are even aware of our need for them. As He looks far down the road of our lives, if we maintain a steadfast faith in Him, He takes our offering of life and leads us on a course directed towards His standard of righteousness. None can imagine the how many benefits we receive along the way as we journey on that path. It is not just arriving at the destination, but being on course with what really matters in life that is fulfilling. The emptiness of vanity is gone and we are left with a pursuit to know the One who loves us most. Love received demands a response. How can we respond to the overwhelming love demonstrated through our Lord, Jesus Christ? All we can possibly do is take advantage of the purpose for which He came to die such a cruel death on the cross for us. We can take Him up on His offer. By receiving His gift we bring the greatest joy to the heart of the Father.

“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…

“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…