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To believe in, or better stated; to place your confidence in a person or a thing is more than most have given full consideration to. It requires a level of trust with the willingness to submit your future to the object of your faith. The risk is higher and the effect is greater than what can be easily brushed off while the wound is healed by time. Time does not always heal the wounds of disappointments that reach deeply into the soul. I may believe you and hope that what you say and do is honest. However, if it is discovered that you were not completely honest, my loss was calculated by the amount of trust invested. But to believe in something or someone is placing the weight of my faith which governs my life determining decisions. I am the product of what I believe in. The measure by which I judge all things is determined by this. I make a distinction between what and who I believe on and who and what I believe in. To believe on a person is to trust them to do a particular thing or be a particular way. It places the burden upon…

Am I responsible for and accountable to my brother? If so, who is my brother? How far does this responsibility extend? There are so many questions revolving around the subject of mutual accountability placing added burdens to people who have a full plate just managing their own affairs. It is a stretch to believe that my concern for others could have an effect upon their behavior. The collective selfishness or individualism we see today has created an environment where it is much easier to take advantage of, or even harm each other than it once was. If no thought is given to the potential for both good and evil that we all possess, each act committed is isolated from the context of the whole. One lie contributes to a community of dishonest people. One item stolen from another person contributes to a security breach that may cost more than you are willing to pay to protect what is left of your goods. One adulterous act contributes to debauchery that is out of control. Yes, the Golden Rule is to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  However, when people do what  they ought not do, or…

The distinct cultures of the world are the current cause of much controversy. It is the cultural clashes that divide people into competing and warring factions. The exclusivity of a particular culture, in their eyes, becomes the standard and measure of right and wrong. We changed the name of our church to Cross Culture Church over five years ago realizing that there are distinctions among culture.   There are things to be celebrated within every culture, but there are things within every culture in need of change. It is easy to accentuate the positive attributes of a culture, but the majority of people are blinded to the defects. We need an established standard and objective criticism for those invisible defects to be seen. The first lesson to be learned is that no culture is to be deified. Christ did not come into the world to affirm culture but to transform culture. He introduced to humanity the culture of heaven. The established order of heaven came down to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ and lived among us! This invasion of spiritual reality into a sinful and wayward environment created turbulence rather than peace. The world’s reality was defined by…

 “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to yo.” (Lk 6:38).  Giving enables us to see the dimensions and depths of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Without personal sacrifice, we merely theorize rather than experience what He offers us so freely. It is impossible to understand the dynamics of His message and the glory of His life without participating with Him in releasing those things left in our hands to manage. The Holy Spirit will direct us to channel all things to acquire the greatest benefit. True freedom is freedom from the bondage of sin bred in selfishness. What we have held too closely to has hindered the Lord from giving full expression of Himself to us. A freedom not yet experienced borne out of a need within us remains unmet. We were created to respond to God’s initiative in giving. None of what we manage is able to save our souls even though in the past we may have thought it would. True surrender is giving oneself completely…

“So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself’ ” (Lk 10:27). God gives us the strength to love. The heart is guided in a direction and the soul agrees to give full expression to that particular emotion. To love is not a miracle. It is a part of man’s nature to love. Without guidance the heart gravitates by default away from God. Loving then is not deliberate, but the result of some forceful habit that captures the mind and heart in order to condemn the soul. The passions must be harnessed by an object that is capable of containing all that is offered and reciprocate by providing what is desperately needed in return. When love gives but does not provide the person with what is needed, he eventually becomes bankrupt and bitter having been taken advantage of. Then love is inverted and transforms into hatred that is primarily directed towards the true Lover of his soul. They feel shortchanged having not received from Him what they needed, but refused to give Him what He…

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?” (Is 40:10). The question God asks causes us to think of His majesty and glory. It magnifies the Lord and minimizes all other things that once appeared to be so overwhelming and intimidating. It is not a matter of what but moreover, a question of who as we consider what we daily observe a coincidental. Things and people being held together, maintaining their set boundaries, is the result of an ordered plan. The thought and the power displayed in nature, if more carefully examined would have us stand in awe at the wonders of God! He created all things and is above all things. He calls to mind from the greatest to the smallest. The telescopic expanse and mystery of the universe created by His Hand and the microscopic detail and mystery of invisibly tiny worlds both are in need of the invention of instruments powerful enough to examine what is yet to be seen. God has full knowledge of both extremes. “He…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Prov 3:5-6). The words “trust”, “lean”, “acknowledge”, and “direct” illustrate to us the Lord’s mode of operation. Trust is not a mere accent to the existence of God. Even though we must believe on the Lord to be saved, but to accept His Lordship, we must lean on Him. That is, to place the weight of our lives upon Him. To believe on the Lord is to have confidence in what He is able to do. But to lean on the Lord is to believe that He will be engaged in our personal experiences and do what He is able to do for us. Our understanding is limited. His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts. It is when we learn from Him His ways and paths that they become our own ways and our paths. We must be convinced that He knows what is best for us. He does not lead us in a direction away from His ultimate intentions. He looks ahead and directs us towards those…

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”But you would not” (Is 30:15). When fellowship is broken with God, He does not give up on us. His desire remains the same as a loving father would his own beloved son. Yet the issues facing the one that walks away continue to grow. Trying to make the best of life only frustrates the person who tries in his own strength to hold things together. God reminds us of how frail we are when we are attempting to eliminate Him from our plans. Israel was reduced to a spiritual level of rejecting the challenges that came from God. They chose those who would speak smooth words to them. They resisted the prophetic warnings that ought to have been enough to deter them from rebellion. Therefore, nothing held together for them even in their attempts to gather. That significant part of the prophecies included the benefits of their return. He says to the rebellious, “In returning and rest you shall be saved.” It is not just a matter of returning, but resting and relaxing in the place assigned by God for them. Some may return…

“Gideon said to Him, ’O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, “Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?” ‘ “ (Judg 6:13). God called Gideon before there was any evidence of might and valor within him. God did not wait on the evidence in order to affirm the fact that he was called. His call provided the evidence necessary to face the challenges that awaited him. We have been called to greatness! His call is initially a call to Himself. It is His might and valor working through us when given permission, that will launch us into new challenges and trials leading to victories beyond measure. The question on Gideon’s heart was, “If the Lord is with us, why then have all these things happened to us?” Things happen that cause questions to be raised. Sometimes we may feel abandoned and all alone. These are times when God provides evidence that will take us beyond the level of our own strength. He was a mighty man of valor incognito. God does not merely choose those…

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl 3:1). Time is different from seasons and seasons are not the same as time. Contained within each season is the designated time to accomplish all assignments, but when one is unaware of the season, they waste the opportunities granted. Each is a gift from God our Maker. There are low seasons when the ebb tide is low without sufficient refreshing rain to water the fields. The harvest passes without produce because of conditions which are beyond our control. Then there are times when the ebb tide is high. The waters are plentiful, the fields are watered, but there are no laborers to first plant and then gather in the harvest. Whether it be low season or high season, the preparation for participating in the work must be the same. Paul told his son Timothy to “Preach the Word. Be ready in season and out of season.” There is time for every purpose under heaven and there is a purpose for every season which contains sufficient time to prepare for what God is about to do. It is our privilege and responsibility to redeem the time, to…