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“Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” Jeremiah 24:7 God does not respond merely to needs. He looks for passion. Even when we think we have the passion to press in, we are often disappointed because the passion has not reached its peak. God may measure what we thought to be an earnest prayer as being only a passing fancy. Good thoughts and warm feelings about God are not enough. There has to be the passion exuding from the heart whereas knowing God is desired more than any other thing. Whatever else may be there is in competition with the knowledge of God. It rises up as an idol to compete with what He wills to show us of Himself. These things must be rooted out of our lives and only God can do that. Israel was allowed to be placed in the land and under the government of the Chaldeans. It was their place of learning. But God was not through with them even though they were being chastened…

“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”  Luke 18:8 Not the faith released to enable us to initially respond to Him. That is our starting point. There is also a faith that sustains us along the way. When it is difficult and sometimes impossible to see what lies ahead, active faith would find the faithful waiting and anticipating whatever God is about to do. They will accept His will even when they do not fully understand it. It is a state of the soul and mind of saying yes to God even before the question is asked. Many have leaned to their own understanding and are moving in a direction that pleases themselves. But the Son of Man is coming back. He does not give warning, but immediately appears on the scene. Then the Truth will be made known. All pretense is exposed as error, and hypocrisy is uncovered as evil. When He comes, He will reward the faithful. Those who continued to withstand the pressures of compromise brought to bear against them will be rewarded. He will find them wherever they may have been driven for true faith is like a magnet…

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.” James 1:17 The words “good” and “perfect” are given deeper meanings when God is speaking. He does not restrict Himself to our definitions of these terms. There is a goodness that transcends all efforts on our part and remains good even when what man is able to produce turns sour and withers away. The reason that God’s goodness is so special is because it is perfect goodness. There is no separation between the good and the perfect gift of God. The gift is good because it is perfect and it is perfect because it is good. He then sends it to us from His holy habitation. It comes from the Throne of God where He rules and reigns without the slightest hint of sin and confusion. Heaven is a perfect place, therefore perfect gifts can come from there. The gift reaches us with His signature on it. Not only does He sign it, but He remains attached to His gift. Not that the gift has not been given to us but as a man’s gift makes room for him, God’s gifts cannot…

“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…

Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.”  Songs of Solomon 2:15 The tender grapes are the daily benefits provided to us by God. It is the knowledge of God’s love producing within us a confidence that is not easily shaken. When we are confident that we are loved, then we are empowered to love others without pretense. True friendships can be forged to last a lifetime and the expectation of a future hope of eternity burns brightly within our hearts. How delicate the balance is between our faith and our love. We can now love because we by faith can see beyond the shortcoming and limitations of the misguided and the misinformed. We can see good intentions even when bad habits inhibit positive action. We can also see the possibility of change among those whose lives appear to be hopeless and they may be blind to the true remedy of their souls. But when careless and immature foxes enter into a well cultivated vineyard, they have the tendency of destroying the very vines on which the fruit is being developed. One mishap can raise such doubt as to cause one…

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.” 2 Timothy 4:3 Teachers are instructors that mold the character of those who subject themselves as students to learn. The world is being fashioned by teachers. There are men and women who take what they have come to know and feed others who are eager to learn. There is not a shortage of teachers. But the problem Paul was addressing was that there would be a number of people whose hearts remain unchanged. They will seek to be instructed in matters of choice rather than in truth. Their level of toleration of God’s Word would be on the decline.  Yet their appetites for instructions in how to fend off any doctrine that would equip them in the ways of God would increase. They will gather to themselves instructors who would help them build up defenses against what God would have them to know. An intellectual argument and one’s ability to defend his position often can become the callous over the soul. It is when the heart is tender that God’s…

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, (9) and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; Ephesians 3:8-9 The assignment of the Apostle Paul is to be extended through every saint of God. He has graced us to put on display what is hidden in Christ. It is not merely a matter of speaking the truth, but we must become the truth of which be speak. The transformation of a sinner’s life to becoming a saint is a mystery. It cannot be scientifically explained. The work of grace granted to all, even to those who were not born as children of the promise have been given the privilege to fully participate in this marvelous experience. Why would it be that we should hide what has been so freely given to us when the objective was to convey to others what we have received? The way we show our appreciation for the gift of God is to…

“He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”  John 16:14 The work of the Holy Spirit is to arrest our thoughts and energy and guide them in a new direction. He will give us an understanding of all things that belong to Jesus Christ. Beforehand our thoughts would wander and attach themselves to things that destroy the soul. Before He intervened there existed no passion to pursue Christ because His life to us had no appeal. Some would attempt to redefine Christ’s  life and mission in order to pursue their own passions and goals. Their emptiness remained when the activity ended. There was no lasting effect to their experiences. There is no contentment unless the Holy Spirit is completely in charge. He will not compete with the pettiness of selfish interests. He is committed to those things that please the Father alone and will not allow anything to get Him sidetracked. What we have learned and received of Christ is clarified and applied to the soul. As the Son did only those things that please the Father, so it is with us who are led of the Holy Spirit. We will…

“And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees.” Matthew 3:10 Many have sought justification for wrong habits of the heart in which they have grown accustomed. They strain to admit when they hear an unfamiliar voice from an unfamiliar place preaching an unfamiliar message. It is baffling to the mind to accept the fact that all previously known by them was in error. The truth contradicts our folly. We by nature try to fight against what we feel is right. Yet what we may be resisting is our true love calling us to a higher place. The call is away from our pride of knowledge that we may really know truth that beforehand was too elusive. The skillful artisan does not bring a scalpel to remove minor excess but an axe to completely remove the whole thing. It must be completely uprooted if it is ever to be replaced with what contains virtue. There will be something new replacing the old once the old is brought down in defeat and ruin. There is a defeat, a loss that must preceded victory and gain. Then God will plant seed in place of plant. The potential of…

“To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.” Romans 15:21 God heals many who may have thought their situation was beyond hope. They might have come with their limited view of what God was able to do, but to be surprised by grace to receive beyond their level of expectation. Salvation has come to the Gentiles to whom it was not announced. There may have been some who would have settled for the crumbs falling from the rich man’s table, but God invited them in to partake of the feast.  it is not always intelligent that are enabled to make sense of the God’s mysteries. It may not even be the one who has a history among fellow believers. They may see nor understand the life changing message of Jesus Christ. Yet an impoverished reject in society may rejoice immediately in hearing for the first time what they had heard time and time again. Why one is desperate in seeking the truth, God will open his eyes to see the Kingdom of God and his heart to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom. God has made it available to all but it…