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Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, (2) as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,  (3) if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Peter 2:1-3 The passions and desires of a converted saint are different from the cravings of the sinner. Even though there is still that memory of a life without power driven by the force of sin, he is now free to make better and wiser choices. One must be fully aware of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to save everyone who believes. The tensions that exist between the bondage of the past and the freedoms that lie ahead in the future will be ever present. Yet they are now expendable. These things may try to attach themselves to you, but they have been expelled from within you. This is what Peter was addressing when he instructed believers to lay all these other things aside. They do not give expression to the new nature within you.  You are now in control and responsible for how these things affect you. Allow your affections to be directed towards those things that add to your…

 “Let God arise, Let His enemies be scattered; Let those also who hate Him flee before Him.”  Ps 68:1 The very presence of the Lord confounds the enemy. The light of His glory shines so brightly that anything that is contrary to His nature melts and fades away. We are drawn to His light. We are perfected in order to reflect the beauty of holiness. The defects as result of sin are first exposed, and then vanquished. It was the gravitational pull of sin that kept us earthbound and creatures with no desire other than the things of this world. The only sense of beauty was the aesthetics of His creation. Nature provided beauty but only as a reflection of true beauty. It is only when our sights are set on things above where Christ is will we be enabled to see that God alone creates in beauty, but makes all things beautiful in its own time. In the light of His glory all things give full expression of their being. What they attempt to express is fully expressed without any hindrances or reservations. We will then understand the beauty of holiness and the beauty of worshiping the One who is…

“It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in.  He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 The grace of God has been freely given to us but it is not cheap. Love requires sacrifice. And the more we love the greater the sacrifice. Since God is able to see the depth of our sinful state, only He would be able to convey to us what we needed in order to be set free. The naïve may think that a moderate adjustment is sufficient to stop the free-fall to destruction. But who independent of God is able to know the affect of even apparent innocent acts upon the character?  This is the environment in which all were raised. No one knows any other life than this. But God knew of our need for help. And He supplied it before we had the sense to desire it. Jesus Christ, God’s Son redeemed us with His blood while we were yet sinners. Now all must apply what has been appropriated for us if any is ever to benefit from such great a sacrifice.

“I am God, your personal God who rescued you from Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians. I ripped off the harness of your slavery so that you can move about freely.” Leviticus 26:13 (MSG) God identifies with us and calls us His own. In order for us to experience the blessings of communion, there had to be a divine rescue. The attachments of old held us as slaves to another. It was our condition and geographical location. We were in our Egypt and joined to the culture of Egypt. What where once were was so much a part of us that our objective was to further conform to what we were able to see. But God’s love sought us out and reminded us that we were in a place that we did not belong. The dissatisfaction within our souls not to settle was His mercy and grace reaching down to the lowest parts in order to lift us up above the slavery of Egypt. Then He ripped the harness off our necks enabling us to move about freely. Now that we have been set free after having been given the will to be free, let us…

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19  Although we are free to make choices, we are not free to determine the outcome or consequences of the choices that we make. Somewhere down the road we will meet the fruit of past decisions that will remind us of what we once thought and whether we were right or wrong. One writer mentioned that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” but we also know that the trail of tears left behind is moistened with regrets. If it were possible to hit the rewind button of life, how many mistakes would we delete? Even though we are the product of past choices, the road of possibility lies ahead to choose to live a better life. Freedom in choosing ought to be preceded by a careful examination of the facts. Wisdom must be applied because facts alone can be deceiving. How those facts align themselves to absolute truth will determine the outcome of the decision. When words like absolute are used, it suggests…

“It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in.  He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 The grace of God has been freely given to us but it is not cheap. Love requires sacrifice. And the more we love the greater the sacrifice. Since God is able to see the depth of our sinful state, only He would be able to convey to us what we needed in order to be set free. The naïve may think that a moderate adjustment is sufficient to stop the free-fall to destruction. But who independent of God is able to know the affect of even apparent innocent acts upon the character?  This is the environment in which all were raised. No one knows any other life than this. But God knew of our need for help. And He supplied it before we had the sense to desire it. Jesus Christ, God’s Son redeemed us with His blood while we were yet sinners. Now all must apply what has been appropriated for us if any is ever to benefit from such great a sacrifice.

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10 The household of faith is the instrument in God’s hands to bring sinners to salvation. They are the carriers of the Gospel message with the potential of setting the captives free. To do good concerning those who are of faith is participating in the expansion of faith. Our practice must be to do good to all. Benevolence must be practiced until it becomes a habit. But special care must be given to those who are of the household of faith. It frees the hands to work and the soul from unnecessary burdens so that it may be extended to those to whom God will to reach. The world is awaiting the release of love bestowed from God that is free from pretense and selfish ambition. Therefore we must take care in prayerfully considering those who are faithful within the household assisting them so that they may distribute to others what they so desperately need. Where should we lend a helping hand, and where should we direct our giving? God unites our hearts to a household of faith…

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free.” Galatians 5:1 The most secure place is the position of true freedom. Permission is granted to us by our Sovereign Authority to fully participate in a work that extends beyond the passions that once ruled over us. We once thought of freedom as being able to follow the dictates of our hearts. Our old selves willfully responded, as it had been conditioned, to the stimuli of influences surrounding us. Not having the ability to see beyond this, we did not understand that an offering was extended that we might be liberated from the confinement of a world that offered nothing beyond itself. The liberty in which we now stand is an inner freedom that makes us aware of things that exist beyond the confinements of a shrinking worldly existence. As our external life gives signs to decay and decline, the inner man is being renewed for its expression of eternal life. We are free to live forever the life that we now have come to experience in time.

“He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs”. Psalm 103:10 (MSG) If we received what we deserved, every inhabitant on the earth’s surface would warrant the consequences of their transgressions. Our treatment would be harsh while the sentence would be measured against the deserving. None would be able to survive the plight of heavy-handed justice from a God who would remain just in meeting all with the same treatment commensurate to their treatment of God’s Law. God does not give us what we deserve even when it is deserved many times over as result of repeated acts of rebellion. Instead of justice, He tempers justice with mercy. His sentiments remain the same in relation to our deeds. But continues to extend opportunities for us to hear something different than what we may have grown accustomed to hearing in order to give expression to a new way of living. His mercy cannot be demanded. It is arbitrarily granted. He will have mercy on whomever He wills. Yet we all receive it extended towards us. He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just…

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 The truth liberates us from the slavery of error. When we are deceived, we end up serving whatever lie we have embraced. But the truth liberates us from the manacles and shackles that would have forced us into conformity to the dictates of the world. It is the wisdom that cries out in the chief concourses, at the opening of the gates of the city, speaking her words. It contradicts the wisdom of this world because it came from above and descends from on High. It is the road less traveled and the narrow path often ignored by those who think they can find the way without godly instructions. Those who have found truth must continue in its ways. Any detour is a retreat backwards to the fears which once plagued the soul. This is the only path that leads away from all things which work against us because it leads to both life and love. There is a sense of certainty about truth. Even when we are led through the valley of the shadow of death, we remain bold. The reason being, Jesus is…