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“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32 Jesus spoke of the benefits and advantages of His being Lifted up. It was not the elevation that many seek. It was not a platform of prominence, or the glitter and glamour of celebrity. It was the execution of the intentions of His enemies against Him. If they carry out their agenda, God will use it as a means to draw every people-group to a life of surrender. They would come to the very cross and die with Him. What the devil intended for evil, God meant for good. His death was His life’s purpose. The dynamics of the death of Jesus Christ is too complex to fully explain. He became sin as a sinless sacrifice for our sins. The message is foolishness to those who consider themselves to be too wise and prudent even to need it, But there are those who sense the weight of sin damning their souls to hell. They are appreciative that the consequences of their fallen nature destined to express itself will not be held to their charge. The message of the cross causes an explosion among…

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, (7) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 1:6-7 Faith is placed on trial when you are given a seemingly legitimate reason to rebel against God as the result of current circumstances and the decisions of others. Logically the thing to do would be to disobey God and partake of the forbidden, or curse God for relief that does not seem to be on the horizon or even a part of the plan. One is for self-gratification and the other is to remedy the effect of constant misery. Faith rises in the midst of trials as being more precious than whatever the outcome would have been if you had relented in the midst of your greatest and most fierce battles. It is precious because in the end, God will prove Himself to be faithful. He will reward those who do not cave in under pressure, and will avenge them from…

“God, my strength, my stronghold, my safe retreat when trouble descends.” Jeremiah 16:19 (MSG) God does more than provide strength thus leaving us with the responsibility of knowing how to apply the pressure where most needed. He is our strength, upholding us when we are in our most weakened state, and warding off the enemies lurking around to take advantage of our vulnerabilities. As long as we maintain our focus on Jesus, He will fight our battles. And He upholds us with the right hand of His righteousness. When we enter into battle alone, we are prey to be devoured by one more force and shrewdness with experience in deceiving the self-confident. But when we humbly submit to the Lord, we are in the safest place we could possibly be. Trouble may bear down upon us as a storm that is out of control. Yet our God is our refuge in the time of trouble. God is my strength and security, and my sanctuary. I praise Him as my weapon of war, and worship Him as my place of rest.

“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…

“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…

“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…

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32 Jesus spoke of the benefits and advantages of His being Lifted up. It was not the elevation that many seek. It was not a platform of prominence, or the glitter and glamour of celebrity. It was the execution of the intentions of His enemies against Him. If they carry out their agenda, God will use it as a means to draw every people-group to a life of surrender. They would come to the very cross and die with Him. What the devil intended for evil, God meant for good. His death was His life’s purpose. The dynamics of the death of Jesus Christ is too complex to fully explain. He became sin as a sinless sacrifice for our sins. The message is foolishness to those who consider themselves to be too wise and prudent even to need it, But there are those who sense the weight of sin damning their souls to hell. They are appreciative that the consequences of their fallen nature destined to express itself will not be held to their charge. The message of the cross causes an explosion among…

“So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30 God searches hearts in His pursuit of a man that carries His passion. He looks beyond the surface responses and reactions of those who make a good showing before others and will often find one who appears to have nothing going his way. This diligent soul appears to be benched and not actively recruited to participate on the world’s scene because the world does not see his qualities but God is fully aware of them all. This is the man that will build a wall between what God loves and what He loathes. He will also restore the wall of protection for inhabitants of the land that is now defenseless against the enemies of their souls. He stands before God in order to God as an intercessor, appealing to Him in order to avert the judgment that would come against all who rebel against God. But who is this man? He is a nobody in the sight of others, but to God he…

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, (7) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 1:6-7 Faith is placed on trial when you are given a seemingly legitimate reason to rebel against God as the result of current circumstances and the decisions of others. Logically the thing to do would be to disobey God and partake of the forbidden, or curse God for relief that does not seem to be on the horizon or even a part of the plan. One is for self-gratification and the other is to remedy the effect of constant misery. Faith rises in the midst of trials as being more precious than whatever the outcome would have been if you had relented in the midst of your greatest and most fierce battles. It is precious because in the end, God will prove Himself to be faithful. He will reward those who do not cave in under pressure, and will avenge them from…

“God, my strength, my stronghold, my safe retreat when trouble descends.” Jeremiah 16:19 (MSG) God does more than provide strength thus leaving us with the responsibility of knowing how to apply the pressure where most needed. He is our strength, upholding us when we are in our most weakened state, and warding off the enemies lurking around to take advantage of our vulnerabilities. As long as we maintain our focus on Jesus, He will fight our battles. And He upholds us with the right hand of His righteousness. When we enter into battle alone, we are prey to be devoured by one more force and shrewdness with experience in deceiving the self-confident. But when we humbly submit to the Lord, we are in the safest place we could possibly be. Trouble may bear down upon us as a storm that is out of control. Yet our God is our refuge in the time of trouble. God is my strength and security, and my sanctuary. I praise Him as my weapon of war, and worship Him as my place of rest.