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“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matt 16:19 The keys unlock the mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables because it had not been given to them to know the mysteries of His kingdom, but it was given to His disciples. They had submitted to Him and had committed to fully follow Him. Along their journey they were graced by the Holy Spirit to receive the revelation from the Father that He was the Christ, the Son of the living God. This truth unlocked the mystery to which they were to enter in. Experiencing Christ is having access bringing down to earth the blessings contained in heaven. As we grow in our knowledge of Christ, not merely our knowledge of created things, we will discover that all is subject to what we are learning. He has preeminence over all things. They maintain their consistency by and through Him alone. A glimpse of Christ is insufficient for the journey ahead of us. We must maintain our focus exclusively…

“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Eph 4:7 The Lord has dispensed to each member of the Body of Christ a measure of grace. We have been enabled to function as a whole but yet dependent on every part doing its share. It is from the wholeness of the Body of Christ the witness of Jesus is made known to the world. A fragment may have an effect to a degree, but the full effect can only be experienced when we come together as a whole. Coming together and sharing together as one is the prayer of Jesus Christ. The enemy’s attempts to divide the Body may have delayed the witness but can never destroy the witness. There will be a people equipped for service with understanding of the times, and a clearer knowledge of purpose in the last days. They will not hoard their gifts as exclusive to their party, but see the whole as being greater than the sum of all its parts. It is through the synergized efforts of the Church that the world will know that Christ has come down from the Father. Then the love of…

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3 In an age of diversity, tolerance, and political correctness, to speak exclusively that One would stand out among the crowd condemning all others beside as false, lifeless, and insignificant. So it is with God who has no respect for other gods. None other is to be worshiped and the exclusive course to the Father is through His Son, Jesus Christ.  What is most difficult to many is to understand the effect of original sin. None had access because of man’s nature as sinners. When sin is ignored then the need for a Savior is unnecessary. But thanks be to God, a provision was made through the death of His own Son that we might be redeemed! Idolatry is the pursuit of a god that is either after Him or in place of Him. He must stand alone. He is to be worshiped. Renounce any idols in your life that may be competing for your exclusive obedience to Him.

 “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!”

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11 God’s love obligates us without force. We are rather persuaded by His love if it is authentic. As we grow in knowledge of the dimensions of the love released from the Father through the Son to us, our confidence in Him increases. To know His love is to know that He has our best interest at heart. We are secure in Him with a positive expectation of the future. The present challenges are but temporary and momentary while God is working behind the scene for our good. The challenge to love others is usually stifled by our own insecurities. When there is a question regarding our own acceptance, we would have the tendency to hoard whatever we may have the opportunity to either possess or even manage. The knowledge of His love liberates us to love others. If we know that God so loved us, our response that His love is working in us ought to be translated into loving one another. If we cannot love one another, the question is not in relation to them but in relation to Him. To know His…

“Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” John 19:27 Jesus made an oral testament to John, the beloved disciple, to provide as He would for her after His death. It was a binding agreement in the company of others if accepted, to care for her needs as the second oldest son. Even though there were other children, his responsibility was to treat her as He would treat her in absentia. John knowing Jesus was to compensate for the void that would otherwise be in her life. This example is a challenge to every son and daughter to consider the needs of parents. To honor our father and mother is to provide for them what is needed. Jesus told John to look intensively at the woman that will become his mother. And He told His mother Mary to look intensively at the man who would become her son. A new relationship was to be forged at that very moment. As we look at our mothers, if we could for a moment see what Jesus saw in His own mother. She was the vessel chosen by God for Him to enter into the earth. We owe a great degree of…

“After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself:” John 21:1-2 He makes Himself known in ways that are familiar to each person. He once came in human flesh and fully identified with the human experience, yet honoring the Father by not yielding to the temptation of sin. After He was raised from the dead, He continued to show Himself again to His disciples. In His resurrected state, He is still in touch with all things pertaining to us. They were fishermen before their encounter with Jesus. Now that He had been crucified, they returned to their former professions. Their lack of success was challenged by His question, “Children, have you any food?” They had toiled all night to no avail. Jesus then gave them instructions that they could either follow or ignore. But when they cast their nets on the other side of the boat, they could not contain all that was in their nets. The resurrected Christ makes His presence known again among His disciples. He is the same Jesus but now raised in newness of life as the first-born of many brethren. It is…

“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” John 19:30 Jesus came into the world for this very moment. He was on a mission to die for the sins of humanity. It required a sinless death and now the moment had arrived. The sufferings would come to an end. At least the bodily sufferings, but there awaited Him a degree of suffering of the soul that only one who loves deeply are able to experience. The purchased price for our redemption was completely paid. But there would be many who He loves that will yet reject all that He came into the world to provide. “He came into the world and the world rejected Him.” Those who did not understand rejected Him then, but now that it is finished, will there remain those who refuse to believe that what He gave was sufficient enough for them? His Spirit returned to the Father and the Holy Spirit has now been sent forth to give life to all who would receive Him. From the fall of Adam, the promise was made for man’s reconciliation to God. The prophets…

“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 when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. (34) Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:33-34 The blinding and paralyzing effect of sin restricts ones view and motion towards the right prerogative. It is blindness that causes those who engage in destructive activities to see no harm in them. It is there but without foresight, the immediate benefits outweigh the ultimate consequences. Jesus was placed between two common criminals as one among them. To see Him there, none would question why One with such a significant mission as to save humanity from the vice-grip of sin would be placed there. He did not reflect the opinions of the present authorities therefore they felt justified in removing the blasphemer who defied their beliefs. Sin also has a paralyzing effect upon its victims. Since they could see no further, they could move no further than to condemn and mock Him. How many times has this scene been played in the lives of those whose since of reasoning does not allow them to embrace…