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“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32 Those who are drawn to Jesus by the Spirit are kept by the Spirit. The mysterious magnetic pull of the cross of Christ produces within the heart of the believer a willingness to fully follow after Him even when circumstances are difficult. They see the sacrifice that He has made in contrast to the challenges that lie before them and equate all in light of what Jesus Christ has already done. This is not the easy believe(ism) or our day where many are attracted to the trappings of success in this life and the glory that comes from others. It is a heart commitment to fully follow Christ in all that He may assign as a part of our journey. They lifted Him up as an enemy to their doctrines and lifestyles by crucifying Him. He transformed what would have been defeat into victory. Now the message of the cross of Jesus must be preached throughout world in order for any to be drawn by dimensions of love never known before. Love was the motive for Him to die for our sins…

“The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.” Proverbs 20:27 Our spirits have full knowledge of our true selves. It is not what we project, but who we are that the light of the spirit searches out. Experiences of the past are registered in the heart thus carving out our personalities. Our spirits reveal many of them as places in need of healing once it is awakened by the Holy Spirit of God. It is made anew for the saving of the soul. No longer are wayward behavior justified, for the awakened spirit can receive the conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit  as necessary for completing the inward work that He has begun. What a blessing to have the searchlight of God turned our way! Not only does He convict, but His grace is dispensed everywhere the light shines. He delivers us from those vices that beforehand we were incapable of seeing. No longer blind but now we can praise and worship Him from the depths of a changed heart. We are no longer who we once were. We are now becoming who we were meant to be!

“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26  A change of heart must take place before the heart can be fully trusted. It is too easily influenced by external forces. It can be manipulated by infatuations, deceived by insinuations, and deeply distressed by insecurities and fears. Wisdom is made available but it rests beyond the limits of what may currently dwell within. God must give us a new heart that beats with the rhythm of His own. Only the heart in sync with His can be trusted. He guides it to the path of righteousness, a wise course leading to life. The light of His love delivers us from certain death. When we surrender our stouthearted souls to His warm and tender care, we can be guided in a new direction of peace leading to eternal life.

“And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.” Luke 4:33 The conventional wisdom and language of the people was mere talk without power to back it up. There had been many who had made impressive speeches that dazzled the crowds and arrested their undivided attention. But none was able to speak with such words of power to command spirits that controlled their environment and lives as Jesus could. He did not mince words with senseless and endless babble. Every word was direct and true even when not fully understood. It was given for His disciples to know the mysteries of His message. He presented to mankind the kingdom of heaven, an order that was strange to the disorder existing on the earth. Little wonder why they were astonished when all they had ever heard were light-hearted messages that do very little for the soul and spirit. Now that His authority has been given to the Church, it is our responsibility to represent Him in ways where the integrity of His Words are delivered intact. If it is to be His authority, it must be both His Word and His Spirit communicated through a vessel that is…

“An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: (31) The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?”  Jeremiah 5:30-31 When the power of God is absent, the people follow the dictates of their own hearts. They gravitate in the direction of leaders who tell them what they want to hear rather than desiring to hear from the Lord. There will always be people-pleasers among us whose mission is to appease the consciences of the wayward rather than to tell the wayward the truth. The Holy Spirit judges the land on the basis of our choices. Even though the world may be in flux, God require His own people to prove all things and to hold fast to what is good. There are so many choices and so many voices that without the discerning Spirit of God confusion would continue to hang as a heavy cloud over this nation. But God is speaking with a distinct voice providing us with a clear message. Those that love Him will love His Word. They will not go the way of the world down…

“God’s Way (the Kingdom) is not a matter of mere talk; it’s an empowered life.” 1 Corinthians 4:20 (MSG) The power to live according to the Word must be released to us by the Spirit of God if we are ever to become a witness of Christ to the world. A powerless speech may be impressive and even convincing, but once it is realized as being mere talk disappoints as surely as it once produced hope. It is God’s will for individuals to become partakers of His divine nature; the extension of His rule over those things that otherwise would dominate the earth. It was never to be an experience of diminishing returns, but an expansion of the Kingdom over all stubborn resistance.  His rule must first be established within the heart of the believer in order that for him to be empowered with the authority to use heavenly language as a weapon against external forces. What a tragedy exists when all we have is mere talk. Who would look any further into the matter if all we had was a good conversation? God releases His power among those whose hearts are perfect towards Him. This is His way of demonstrating…

“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26 It is too easy to feel that a particular thing is right and rely totally upon one’s feelings. Many place their confidence in the inclinations of the heart rather than the established truth of God’s word. Our hearts may guide us in the direction away from the things we despise, but will eventually crash against the jagged rocks of reality. The good is often despised if the heart remains unchanged. Nothing is within us to embrace the truth if all we have is an empty heart in search of significance. Nothing within fallen man is able to deliver him from perishing along with the weight of passions sinking him deeper into the quagmire of sin and rebellion. His feet are not established upon any solid substance enabling him to be upheld on shaky ground. He trusts in what is within him and around him. He foolishly stumbles along in life until he utterly falls. But the wise will walk wisely because he is steadied by the power that comes from on high. God is able to lift him above the traps set…

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.” Philippians 3:7 What a resolve! What a tremendous position one is placed in when his pursuit for Christ outweighs all the accolades of his past. He is then privileged to know Christ in a way in which he has never known Him before! Whatever value we place on any effort or accomplishment diminishes our view of Christ. It becomes difficult to see Him in the fullness of His glory when we have become so large in our own eyes and feel so important in comparison to the smallness of others who are around. We must decrease if He is ever to increase. When we have gained Christ, He is then given full permission to be Himself in us. We have the confidence that we are known by Him and will be with Him forever. If we are to be with Him forever, that implies we will live forever as He lives. To surrender what we currently have is a small thing in comparison to all we will gain as we count all other things as loss. They have no eternal value therefore they should not hold…

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 There is a place where our heart and truth connects. The heart beforehand had grown accustomed to wandering in search of whatever would bring any semblance of satisfaction. The pursuit alone would appease it for a little while but only to eventually resort to the same empty space to which it had grown accustomed. Where faith in God is lacking, a void exists of which nothing else can fill.  A godless life is an empty life. Our displeasure is a reflection of His longing for us and His displeasure when live not taken advantage of the privileges made possible through the sacrifice of the life of His Son. God is pleased when the Holy Spirit is revealing Jesus Christ to us. The truth of God concerning His Son liberates the soul from the bondage of self-seeking. By faith we believe that God is who He says He is in His Word. This is both the truth and the reward of the saint, to know Him and…

“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…