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“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.” Philippians 1:12 The trials of the Apostle Paul was sent to destroy him on the part of the enemy, but allowed to prove him on the part of God. Faith is not a mere idea of the mind, but a disposition of the heart. It is able to withstand the onslaught of challenges that would otherwise wear one down. When we are tried and pass the test, on the other side of that victory is a special grace useful in the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can then all the more identify with the price He paid by enduring much more than we could ever face in this life. There is a message preached by some who are void of experience that may stir the emotions and impress its hearers. But there is another message deeply rooted in experiences aligned with the sufferings of Christ. That message is able to make a deep impact upon its hearers because they not only hear it but see it. We live our message much louder than we…

 “For He says, In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation, I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; and behold now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2 When the gospel of Jesus Christ is heard, the day of salvation and the accepted time of deliverance come. Eternity is interjected into time in order to produce within the soul what would otherwise be impossible. It may appear to be so simple and often is taken for granted and generalized among many other statements that are made when not fully understood. But something more dynamic has happened, but its entrance is so subtle that those seeking the spectacular will often miss it. The grace to become what the Lord has promised is introduced through such simple words as these. They prepare the heart and soul to be with Christ and to reign with Him throughout eternity. We have been given the assignment and the authority to deliver salvation to a dying world. As the Holy Spirit so directs us, we can speak His Word with power and at that very moment a life-changing experience occurs among the hearers. We cannot afford to…

“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.” Matt 11:19 Sinners flocked around Jesus and loved to be his companions, while the religions found Him to be repulsive and were made to feel uncomfortable. Prostitutes and publicans followed Him around without feeling intimidated, but sought Him out knowing that they would not be condemned. Even though He did not give license to sin, but rather came that all of the works of the devil would be destroyed by Him. He would judge the judges of men who would place heavy burdens upon their shoulders. But He would come into the Temple and turn over the tables of the money changers. His life was paradoxical to most because it appeared as if He would tolerate the very thing in others the very thing that by His nature He despised. Sinners, Publicans, and the poor gladly received the Gospel because they knew that their lives did not measure up to His standard. Therefore, they received Him gladly as one who would be thought of as rejecting Him, while those…

“And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.” Ephesians 2:17 Those who were Jews as well and the Gentiles received the message of peace. The message was originally given to Jews. Great enmity existed between the two. There was division between man and man as well as man and God. But now the middle wall that separates and divides has been broken down. Any wall that would prevent the gospel message from reaching every people-group must remain down in order for the nations of the world to see Jesus Christ. It is our responsibility to bridge every gap, mend every fence, to close every breach if true peace is to be realized. We have been given the message of peace to proclaim to the world. All other efforts will eventually fail and only the right message will produce the right results. Why should we take our assignment so seriously? The world is awaiting the heralds that will cry in the streets with a sense of urgency during a time when chaos and confusion is everywhere. It is upon the lips of the saints in order to settle matters of upmost…

“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…

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, (2) fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:1-2 The objective of preaching the gospel is for those who are following to have the mind of Christ. Whatever Christ has provided for us is to be provided through us to others. It is with His comfort of love that we become loving. A difference is made in our lives as the result of being loved by Christ. He settles us down and gives us both rest and a peace that surpasses all understanding. The disturbed soul cannot interact with others on the same level as one who senses the security of the arms of Christ. There would be a caution that interrupts that degree of fellowship. But the soul that rests in His love is free to love others because he is not dependent on them but gives to them expecting nothing in return. The Lord supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory. We are complete in Christ thus able to love…

“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6 The surety of the gospel message is an unflinching confidence that God is with him. God provides the messenger an assurance that all who love the Christ of the message will also love and accept the Christ within His messenger. The message and the Messenger can never be divided. As he further yields himself to Christ, that which is of Christ flows freely through him without any restraint. He does not rely upon a response from the people, even though positive responses are encouraging. But his motive is to please the One who sent him on the mission and nothing else. The Spirit of Christ can recognize Himself inside of him. He can make such bold proclamations as, “we are of God!” he doesn’t have to cautiously and timidly approach the subject. He is confident and radiant as he stands as God’s representative. He who is of God hears the one sent forth by God. His sheep both hears and knows His voice and…

“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!”  1 Corinthians 9:16 “I must” is to brave the storms of life in spite of the difficulties required of me to survive. I can only give light consideration to the cost attached to obedience. Obedience is often costly because there are so many options that could lead to paths of least resistance. Yet the call of God to obey rings strong within my heart and ears in spite of my mind fighting against it and telling me that there are other ways go and other things to be done. Some of them appear to be equally important, and at times, seem to outweigh the measure of this assignment because of greater gain and requiring less effort. But God speaks “woe” to the very thought of my disobedience to His command. Necessity is laid on me to speak the truth when the lie or even silence would be of greater benefit. “I must” do what God has called me to do. I must speak what He has given me to speak. Yet…

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; (10) and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power”. Colossians 2:9-10 Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher who announced the death of God placed his emphasis on the strength of the human personality. “Relinquishing the belief in God opens the way for human creative abilities to fully develop.” “The Christian, he wrote, “would no longer stand in the way, so human beings might stop turning their eyes towards a supernatural realm and begin to acknowledge the value of this world.” His idea was that “will power is the essence of reality”. Today, the death of the God which is expressed through a shift in values is proclaimed even while using religious language.  Asserting oneself and accentuating the positive while eliminating the negative supposedly have freed individuals from the bondage of their past. There is a super-human being on the scene that can control the activities of their god and create their own destinies. “If it is to be, it is up to me” has become the motto for daily living. God is about developing the human personality in ways far beyond the wildest dreams…

To lose heart is to become fainthearted when fear holds its grips upon the soul. It is when discouragement occurs as result of failed hopes and dreams. Things were expected in a certain amount of time; a rescue from a dilemma, but the situation remained the same. Time is beyond our control, but not beyond our management. Each moment must be used as an opportunity to further develop the stature of the soul. Each day, a lesson is learned and applied to our eternal destinies so that even our failures amount to success in God. We are being trained for eternity. God is taking us through a course in life that will increase the measure of our faith in Him alone. The outward man is perishing along with its passions for the external and temporal things. As we grow older we grow wiser in our values. We are now seeking those things which are above where Christ is. All other things are being held loosely in light of their eternal value. The confidence we have in Christ is that life as we have known it to be is not the only chapter in this story. The greatest chapters await us…