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“One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” John 9:25 God has allowed us to see the entrance of a New Year. Sight is such a precious thing. Without it we would never see the beauty that surrounds us nor be able to discern the difference between it and the most horrifying and disgraceful thing that may appear. God gives sight to the blind and restore those who have lost their way. Often it is the knowledge gained of other things that appear which makes it more difficult to believe in the invisible. Even when God is not seen the signs of His Presence are all around us. They speak of His majesty, splendor, and power. As New Year’s Resolutions are being made, the greatest would be to draw our hearts and minds in the direction of Jesus Christ. If He is known He will make His Father known to us. Then our hearts would be settled on the one thing that really matters. When we see Him through pure eyes, we would be enabled to see all things that pertain to life and godliness. Those things that accompany salvation would become as priceless jewels. But the…

Three years ago, we changed our church’s name from Abundant Life Church to Cross Culture Church. Not that we do not believe in the abundant life, nor is it a matter of changing our assignment. There are times in life when the vision given by God is to be reinforced so that our understanding can be extended. When most think of abundance, their thinking is usually directed towards personal abundance alone. There is a sign in the center of our sanctuary with one word; “OTHERS.” It was placed there so that all who worship among us would focus their attention beyond themselves. We wish all to know that we are blessed in order to be a blessing. Not only that, but to know that our greatest blessing is being a blessing. When we are able to bless others, it is because we are graced by God for Him to serve others through us. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Serving others is giving your life through extending your redeemed soul to others. When your life becomes conduit in the Hands…

“For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37 Jesus gave us a clear picture of the Nativity. There is a purpose for every birth. But His birth was not like any other. He knew why He was born and why and when He was to die. Many live and die never knowing why they were permitted to occupy a particular space in a particular period of time. The Nativity has to do with the place, conditions, and the circumstances of the birth of Jesus. “For this cause…” A cause that would affect the whole of humanity would come to light as the result of a child that was born. He was the gift given to us by God to save the world from the consequences of sin which was resident within all. His life was the resounding amen to the Truth of God. Christmas is about mankind coming into agreement with God. As Jesus bore witness to the truth, we are to be made witnesses of Jesus Christ. The world will know the…

“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…

“Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?” Job 11:7 The deep things of God are baffling to the mind. It is impossible for any person to wrap their minds around the mysteries that are hidden from the exploration of an inquiring mind. The rhetorical question of Job was for those questioned to consider how little they currently know about Him. Even when a depth is reached, there remains an immeasurable depth left unexplored. Our depth is shallow in contrast to reservoir of knowledge in reserve for the humble soul who would surrender His all to Him. These things have been hidden from the wise and prudent, yet He (Christ) reveals them to His babes. The deep things of God is hidden in Christ. In Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. It is more than the story of His life on the earth. But the plan of redemption and the hope of man’s future glory state are contained in Christ Jesus. The mysteries of the Kingdom of God are given and not excavated. Jesus is the free gift given to all who would receive Him. When one accepts His…

“That I may know Him…” Philippians 3:10 The deepest cry of the human heart cries in the direction of its Maker and Provider. There is a deep yearning to know the Source from which it came. The ability to want and have provided a fulfillment that makes all of life meaningful is a gift given to all from God. It is the desire left unfulfilled that leaves one searching and grasping for straws only to discover that what appeared to have significance was merely a fathom or a pipe dream. It is the god that is imagined that stands in the way of an authentic search. It leads to a manufactured religion that gives temporary relief but wears off as quickly as it came. Paul’s prayer is earnest having tasted and seen the real thing. Because he had experienced Christ to a degree, he wanted more of the same. “…that I may know Him!” He had the satisfaction in being on the right path but anxiously anticipating the arrival in reaching the destination. He was knowable, but daily the whole of his life was absorbed in the pursuit. It is the experience that he sought after, not just a casual…

“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.

“What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? Psalm 116:12 The Lord provides benefits, many times unexpected and often before we are even aware of our need for them. As He looks far down the road of our lives, if we maintain a steadfast faith in Him, He takes our offering of life and leads us on a course directed towards His standard of righteousness. None can imagine the how many benefits we receive along the way as we journey on that path. It is not just arriving at the destination, but being on course with what really matters in life that is fulfilling. The emptiness of vanity is gone and we are left with a pursuit to know the One who loves us most. Love received demands a response. How can we respond to the overwhelming love demonstrated through our Lord, Jesus Christ? All we can possibly do is take advantage of the purpose for which He came to die such a cruel death on the cross for us. We can take Him up on His offer. By receiving His gift we bring the greatest joy to the heart of the Father.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” 1 Timothy 1:12 The challenges of ministry are constant. There are always important things to do and areas of significance in need of being addressed. It is too easy to take the path of least resistance and say what would be pleasing to the masses and tickling to the ear. But the call of God is a call to faithfulness and dedication to a cause that is greater than any man. It is that call to which we must be faithful. Our efforts are not to be carried out as others who would place professionalism over character. If we are to most effectively carry out the call that is upon our lives, we must first be faithful to the God who has called us. He is the Great Teacher who will make known both His Word and His ways. It requires the discipline of character so that we are able to listen to Him first before we speak. Then our lives become of message and we live a message and not just speak one. We do not merely choose…

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:18 Circumstances ought not to control our rejoicing. Our faith is often strained by the pressures that are brought to bear against us. When the fig tree is full of figs, our joy is because they are sufficient in quantity even with some to store. When the fruit and olives are plenteous, we have the joy of the harvest. The food is plenteous and the flocks are in their proper place giving us a reason for contentment of heart. But the delicate balance may shift in an instance. If all of life depended upon these things being in place, how fragile our faith would be. Some give up on life itself because things are not as we would have them to be.  Others resort to desperate attempts to regain what appears to be lost. The most important thing remains and gives us a reason to maintain our faith and joy. The Lord is the God of our salvation and our strength. None of these things are capable of robbing us of the greatest gift we could possibly have. Once we are saved and…