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“but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ. —“ Ephesians 4:15 The alternative to flowing with the wind and being influenced by the culture is hearing that we might do what the Word says. It was Paul’s passion to speak only what the Lord had to say. Even though the message is a challenge to current culture, it is the expression of a higher and deeper dimension of love. It is spoken in love when the desire of the heart of the messenger is to see those he has been called to address grow into developing the character of Christ. Often the growth of the hearers may excel beyond the level of the speaker, but he should not be jealous of his spiritual children. Instead, he should encourage them to take what they have received beyond his level of understanding for the Word alive within the hearer increases as seed to produce a great harvest. Ministers should not waste time addressing every other subject rather than God’s Truth. There is no growth is these side issues. Christ is the answer to every problem but He can only be known…

“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…

 “A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous cannot be moved.” Proverbs 12:3 There are many courses available to every man. Some seem more attractive than others and some in appearance, have no appeal. Yet it is required of each man to choose his course. At the beginning of the journey, it is difficult when we only use our experiences as the criteria for future actions. Then only pain pleasure are the factors when integrity is not the rule. Many shipwrecked lives and casualties of failed hopes and dreams scatter the ditches and graves of those who made decisions on the level of senses. Their attempt to make it at all cost was more costly than they had bargained for. But the righteous rejected the path of immediate gratification. The delay in waiting on the Lord’s guidance positioned them to hear His voice leading them around the fatal ditches and pitfalls of the enemy. They withstood the trends and the waves of popular opinion. They remained faithful when all else around them failed in order to receive the singular applause of the Father’s affirmation of “well done!”

 “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2) And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”  2 Tim 2:1-3 There is a need to maintain the consistency of effort in fulfilling a shared vision. The instructions of Paul were received because he both trained and taught his disciples in the ways of Jesus Christ. If his life contradicted his message, it would have been hypocritical for him to expect more from others than he was willing to do. Not only did they observe his manner of life, his reputation was widespread among many witnesses. It is good to be able to say that your life is a life committed to Christ, but it is far more significant for others to bear witness of your commitment. Therefore he was able to exhort his disciples to commit to others what they collectively were committed to. This is a day where true commitment is needed desperately. The world needs to see examples of committed saints of God modeling before them faithfulness to the Lord and His Word. At that…

“For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:10 Those who trust in the living God labor with a goal in view that is different from the activities of others. There are luxuries not afforded the faithful for he must live his life with purpose. Every day must have a degree of significance that further sets him aside as God’s representative on the earth, maintaining the course leading to a destination. Kingdom business is his primary business. Now the world system will notice the difference but will not know how to interpret it. His strangeness will be repulsive to many who would much rather he be silent rather than to speak. His activity appears to run counter to values of his contemporaries. Yet he has fully embraced his call and end to suffer reproach because his life is not his own; he has been bought with a price. Therefore he trusts in the living God who is his constant companion to guide him through this maze of life to his eternal home. His life is a gift to…

“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…

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” 1Timothy 1:15 What Christ did on the cross by dying in order that men may live is amplified through our witness. His voice is raised through the lives of us who understand that we brought nothing that would qualify us to do what is now being done. The worst of sinners now stand with a testimony of victory because the Lord alone has graced us to live on the other side of our prior sins. We should never forget from which we came. We can then appreciate the distance God’s mercy and grace had to reach down and arrest our violent attempts at self destruction. For it to be said that we were at our worst when we thought of ourselves as being at our best is an understatement. He shows us the worst in us that He might bring forth the best in us. Sinners at their worst may find in Jesus Christ a House of Refuge. If we, in the state we were once in could be saved, then He is able to…

“Their job is to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, to show them how to discern between unclean and clean.” Ezekiel 44:23 The job of the preacher is not merely to entertain people or to build buildings. Neither is he successful when he possesses the ability to draw large crowds. God has assigned us to teach the difference between the sacred things and the secular. We must do all to the glory of God, but not all things warrant the same attention. The neglect of foundational truths will erect structures of wood, hay, and stubble that cannot withstand the waves of adversity or the strong winds of erroneous doctrines. Only those who are well taught will be able stand being fully equipped with the full armor of God. They are led in the path of holiness and righteousness thus developing their discernment between good and evil, the clean and the unclean. The paralyzing sin of sameness has dulled the senses of many. But God will raise up His priests who have not bowed their knees to Baal and remain faithful for such a time as this.

“Let’s decide which of us is in the right. God may avenge me, but it is in his hands, not mine.” (MSG) 1 Samuel 24:12 We are in a battle for the souls of men. The opposition has the populous vote and has gained momentum over the years. It often appears as if we are on the losing side while vices seem to be virtuous. What the fathers of our faith established is now under attack led by those who ought to be defenders of the faith. Their creeds have been reinterpreted or altogether ignored. Their values have been viewed as obsolete and often amended. Who is listening while God is yet speaking through the faithful few? There are those who are willing to stand against the winds of adversity and defy the storms of error that are unleashed in order to overtake, if possible the very elect. Let God decide who is right and who is wrong. God will avenge His elect. Truth crushed to the earth will rise again. The argument of who is right and who is wrong will eventually be settled. It will not be a draw between two opposing views. God know those who are…

“And you? Go about your business without fretting or worrying. Relax. When it’s all over, you will be on your feet to receive your reward.” Dan 12:13 (MSG) There are places to go and things yet to be done by those who have put their trust in the Lord. None can predict the future, but we can rest assured that the outcome is in His hands. Situations can be paralyzing to those who have no hope beyond what they are able to see. Then others have completely ignored the signs and have not prepared themselves for what we have been prophetically forewarned. There is a God-given task to which the sons of men ought to be engaged. We are to occupy until He comes. The threats are real, but should not create fretting or worrying to the prepared. We have One in whom we have placed our trust. When the storms have passed us over, and the clouds have lifted, we will be standing on our feet to receive our rewards from God who rewards the faithful.