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“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.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 Is it possible for a faithful servant of God to be tempted? Experience provides evidence that all are tempted on occasion. Yet temptations do not have to overtake you. The objective of the Tempter is to overtake the lives of those who do not deliberately fight against what has come to mind. When it becomes a thought that is difficult to erase from the memory, it is easy to yield to the temptation exclusively tailored for you. Yet there is a way of freedom to cancel thoughts that would otherwise translate into actions. It does not lie on the surface but must be sought after. He reveals His sacrifice of life and love in contrast to the current offer. Only then will you be provoked to respond rightly. On the other side of the temptation is the evidence of true love expressed from your heart as a sign of…

“No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.” Exodus 23:26 The curse of barrenness shall be broken over the lives of God’s people. There may be a period of dryness where it seems as if nothing is being produced. Some will think that God has disfavored those who appear without while many others rejoice with plenty. Can God be trusted in seasons of drought as much as when the sun and rain bring forth an abundant harvest? After what was thought to be the promise is aborted that God prepares the womb for the future delivery. He will show His people what they otherwise would not be in place to see nor understand. There is something much greater awaiting those who are faithful to Him. Much more will be gained that what was previously lost. God will turn their mourning into dancing. As the result of the sowing of His people, they shall bear much fruit and their fruit shall remain!

“Known to God from eternity are all His works.” Acts 15:18-19 What may appear as a difficulty or even defeat for many who are engaged in the works of God is no more than a part of a sentence in a completed story. The script has been written and complete while each has entered onto the stage with an assignment. It is only when everything comes together as the Author has prearranged, will we fully understand the significance of portions that does not seem to make any sense. “Known to God from eternity are all His works.” God has always known what He is about to do next in time because it is already established in eternity. This little stretch of time, in the vastness of eternity, is like a little boat in the sea. There is much more to life than we have been given to know and understand. That is why life often doesn’t make sense. Some would think that God doesn’t make any sense, because their judgments of Him are based upon the little knowledge made known to man. God’s will is that we participate with Him in what He is doing. There we will find both…

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9-10 The act that becomes a habit, the habit that equates into a lifestyle of doing good, is the life we have been called to live. We enter into the life and experience of Christ and grow into giving a fuller expression of Christ. It has to do with a new nature of the believer. He focuses his attention on the Lord, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will compel him to do things that are pleasing to the Father. It is easy to begin to feel used and not appreciated by the recipients of your benevolence. There are even times when it may even feel that all of your efforts are in vain, but God has promised benefits to those who would remain faithful. You will first reap the reward of being like Jesus when we see Him as He is, then we will be enabled to enjoy all that God offers throughout eternity. We are being changed to appreciate heavenly things and heaven’s order on the earth so that we are made fit to love…

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 One of God’s greatest gifts is a true and loving friend and a brother. He is there when others may have abandoned you and moved on. The love of a friend is not always soft and easy. There are occasions when tough love is necessary. An honest friend is not the person that agrees with our wrongdoings. He insists that his brother follow a course of righteousness. He is neither a fatalist nor an eternal optimist. He is acquainted with human frailties, but help to seek a path for recovery and restoration. The adversity may be external or internal. The troubled soul is in need of someone who will help him take an objective look at what he would otherwise be left unquestioned. There are many who fall off the cliff without warning. Their companions were too afraid to say anything thinking that they may cease walking together. While there are others who do not care enough to speak the truth in love. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” But there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.