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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…

“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.

“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…

 “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…

“For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.” Luke 12:48 God expects a return on His investments. The gifts of God are given to each person in order for all to profit as result of His distributions. It is not based on what most would consider as the criteria for God’s judgments. God is not equal in His judgments, but He is equitable. Grace is freely given, but God determines who will receive what is being distributed. Yet we may covet what we deem as necessary, but it must only be for the advancement of His kingdom and not our own. When our hearts yearn to do more for God and we feel powerless to fully participate with Him in what He wills to do, it is in order to seek Him for the empowering gifts that would further qualify us. Yet in our earnestness to receive, it does not obligate Him to any measure to give us what we consider to be necessary. He will give us what He knows is best for ourselves as well as others. But the warning is not to frustrate the grace of God. What God gives must be used…

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord extends to each individual the opportunity to be saved. It is the road that leads to life. The destination may not be clearly defined or easily understood, but the path to the destination is introduced to each one. It may be a subtle approach from a stranger, or an eye awakening experience. Each situation, when viewed from eternity’s perspective, was the extended hand of God releasing mercy. The objective is to provide an abundance of opportunities for the wayward to be drawn to Him. His desire is that none should perish. Those who perish are usually stubbornly justifying their rebellious ways and never seeing the need for a Savior. Oh, the wonders of His grace! When we understand the need for both mercy and grace, we will view our self-righteousness as sin, our abilities to love as hatred, and every effort on our part to boast as shame. What preserves us from destruction is the awareness of our absolute need for Him in all things….

 “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2) And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”  2 Tim 2:1-3 There is a need to maintain the consistency of effort in fulfilling a shared vision. The instructions of Paul were received because he both trained and taught his disciples in the ways of Jesus Christ. If his life contradicted his message, it would have been hypocritical for him to expect more from others than he was willing to do. Not only did they observe his manner of life, his reputation was widespread among many witnesses. It is good to be able to say that your life is a life committed to Christ, but it is far more significant for others to bear witness of your commitment. Therefore he was able to exhort his disciples to commit to others what they collectively were committed to. This is a day where true commitment is needed desperately. The world needs to see examples of committed saints of God modeling before them faithfulness to the Lord and His Word. At that…

“Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys.” Exodus 40:36  The glory cloud would settle the potential disputes among the children of Israel as to whether or not it was time to proceed on their journey. Otherwise there would have been unsettled arguments in interpreting the right season to advance, and even who had the authority to give the orders to move on. Moses alone was able to approach Mt. Sinai where the smoke ascended from the fire with the lightning, thunder, and earthquakes because the Lord had descended upon it. He had ascended into the very cloud that covered them and guided them along the way. Now the instructions given to them by Moses were received as instructions from Almighty God. The power of God has not diminished over time. Rather it was wrapped in human flesh. The unapproachable became approachable in Christ Jesus. Now it is His Word that must guide and govern our lives. When His Word is spoken, the glory cloud is lifted that we may go onward in all our journeys. Without His grace, we are exposed to the enemy of our…

“He grants the barren woman a home, like a joyful mother of children.” Ps 113:9 The exercise of affection in guiding the household and caring for children produces a joy in the heart of mothers. She was made to love her children and to maintain the household in which she has the pleasure to occupy. But what if there was no household to care for, nor child to guide? It would leave the woman who has the affection deep within without an outlet to express the innate love given to women. Yet God provides for her a home. Instead of being homeless, her place is in Christ with God. He draws her close to Himself so that nothing is lacking in her life. She will find in Him a satisfaction as joyful as that of a mother of children. It is only when she allow her mind to be influenced by thoughts of being incomplete will she be drawn away from the richness of God’s love. To some the circumstance is temporal until she is granted the privilege of mothering, while with others, her devotion is to be given over to God absolutely with a special grace to be drawn…

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” 1Timothy 1:15 What Christ did on the cross by dying in order that men may live is amplified through our witness. His voice is raised through the lives of us who understand that we brought nothing that would qualify us to do what is now being done. The worst of sinners now stand with a testimony of victory because the Lord alone has graced us to live on the other side of our prior sins. We should never forget from which we came. We can then appreciate the distance God’s mercy and grace had to reach down and arrest our violent attempts at self destruction. For it to be said that we were at our worst when we thought of ourselves as being at our best is an understatement. He shows us the worst in us that He might bring forth the best in us. Sinners at their worst may find in Jesus Christ a House of Refuge. If we, in the state we were once in could be saved, then He is able to…