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“Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Jeremiah 15:16 It is not merely the exposure to the Word that will transform lives. The Word ingested is the cause for rejoicing. It is able to do its work of transformation remaking the individual into becoming a vessel of honor. It is the contrast from the old to the new that is so amazing. Before the Word was eaten, it was made available. There was no appetite to reach out and take it in. But God allowed the void to become more apparent. Then He shut off the optional appeals that would in the past bring temporary pleasure.  He placed me where the Word may be found and placed within me the desire for something other than what I was accustomed. Then I ate what is true rather than continuing to feed on the lies of the past. Never would I have imagined that what I once rejected would bring me such joy!

“Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life.” 2 Peter 3:11 (MSG) How quickly things can change from what we have grown accustomed to into something of which we are totally unfamiliar. The transitions occur as a judgment against every standard that opposes what ought to be established. The infusion of sin and the reinforcement given to it by an ever expanding majority opinion hastens the Day of the Lord. When right appears wrong and wrong appears right, God alone must vindicate His honor. He brings to naught systems and all under the authority of the rebellious and reestablish in its place newness. Do not be alarmed at the destruction of the wicked. These things must be if ever the Lord is to be glorified. Opposing and competing forces cannot coexist. The strength of the strong will overtake the weak, and the wisdom of the wise will befuddle the foolishness of the foolish. Since it will happen immediately, we should apply our hearts to live a holy life. The signs are before us now. The rapidity in changes around is our alarm as to how uncertain all things are….

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, (7) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 1:6-7 Faith is placed on trial when you are given a seemingly legitimate reason to rebel against God as the result of current circumstances and the decisions of others. Logically the thing to do would be to disobey God and partake of the forbidden, or curse God for relief that does not seem to be on the horizon or even a part of the plan. One is for self-gratification and the other is to remedy the effect of constant misery. Faith rises in the midst of trials as being more precious than whatever the outcome would have been if you had relented in the midst of your greatest and most fierce battles. It is precious because in the end, God will prove Himself to be faithful. He will reward those who do not cave in under pressure, and will avenge them from…

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; “But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” Proverbs 29:2 Authority is given by God in order for it to be used in ways that honor Him. When He is dishonored, authority is then corrupted and His face is veiled by those who make decisions independent of His counsel. Prayer is necessary for all, that the Holy Spirit may guide the heart of our leaders and if necessary, turn their hearts in the right direction. There are many decisions to be made and God has full knowledge of the end of each one. Some may appear to be right but the end may be damnation or even death. More than ever, God must be sought and our hearts surrendered to His will. There are leaders chosen by God, but people must choose to follow them. They lead their followers to righteousness, justice, and peace. The Lord can then receive the honor and the people will rejoice because His favor will come upon them.

“From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. (14) Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.” John 14:13-14 (MSG) Out of the personhood of Jesus, He does what only He alone is able to do. It is the character of Christ to love unconditionally. Every act was an act motivated by love and an expression of love. His objective is to free those who have sought the authentic but have settled for a substitute. Too many seekers have succumbed to merely settling for a level far beneath the level established by Christ. Therefore the requests are restricted to their limited understanding. The only prayer that the Father is obligated to answer is the prayer of His Son, as His passion burns deep within our hearts. He honors His Son through hearing His prayers through yielded vessels whose lives are fully engaged in the works of Jesus. They are His sons brought to glory. Through them, the works of God continue.

“that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 1:7 Faith is tested by the fires of adversity. It is often difficult to understand the challenges and interpret them as working together for our good, but each that we are allowed to face has significance in relation to our future. God tempers the fire and regulates each challenge so that none is beyond their usefulness to Him. Even though Satan meant it for evil, God transforms what would be evil and uses it for our good. It is not the external pressure that is His major emphasis, but it our faith in the midst of it that matters most to Him. Can faith withstand all and remain faith or does it disintegrate under pressure? All false perceptions are burned away in the fire and nothing remains but the genuine. Then He reveals Himself as being the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. He was there, He is there, and will remain with us through all that comes and goes. Our praise is genuine because…

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” 1 Timothy 1:12 The challenges of ministry are constant. There are always important things to do and areas of significance in need of being addressed. It is too easy to take the path of least resistance and say what would be pleasing to the masses and tickling to the ear. But the call of God is a call to faithfulness and dedication to a cause that is greater than any man. It is that call to which we must be faithful. Our efforts are not to be carried out as others who would place professionalism over character. If we are to most effectively carry out the call that is upon our lives, we must first be faithful to the God who has called us. He is the Great Teacher who will make known both His Word and His ways. It requires the discipline of character so that we are able to listen to Him first before we speak. Then our lives become of message and we live a message and not just speak one. We do not merely choose…

“When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.”2 Chronicles 7:1 The prayer of King Solomon in the dedication of the Temple was heard in heaven. He had listened to God in completing the task to which he was assigned. He was chosen by God as King of Israel, and now prayed a prayer of dedication for what the Lord had allowed him to participate in doing. It is a glorious thing to be a part of God’s work and attentive enough to listen fully to His instructions. He did not add nor take away from the specific instructions of God. His obedience to God provided for him the opportunity to place a sacrifice upon the altar. Many things may be offered to God with the intent of warranting His acceptance. But God only answers with fire that which is acceptable to Him. Are we placing sacrifices on the altar of God without giving Him His proper honor? We must do what He has assigned us to do. Then we can place on His altar our sacrifice. The consuming fire of God…

“Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life.” 2 Peter 3:11 (MSG) How quickly things can change from what we have grown accustomed to into something of which we are totally unfamiliar. The transitions occur as a judgment against every standard that opposes what ought to be established. The infusion of sin and the reinforcement given to it by an ever expanding majority opinion hastens the Day of the Lord. When right appears wrong and wrong appears right, God alone must vindicate His honor. He brings to naught systems and all under the authority of the rebellious and reestablish in its place newness. Do not be alarmed at the destruction of the wicked. These things must be if ever the Lord is to be glorified. Opposing and competing forces cannot coexist. The strength of the strong will overtake the weak, and the wisdom of the wise will befuddle the foolishness of the foolish. Since it will happen immediately, we should apply our hearts to live a holy life. The signs are before us now. The rapidity in changes around is our alarm as to how uncertain all things are….

There was a time when leadership was both honored and obeyed, and where men of renown would gather together at the city gates or the entryways to decide what was good for the well-being of communities. They would take the prophetic Word spoken by the prophets and interpret its truths so that every family could align him or herself with the will of God. They were usually the elders with years of experience in both life and judgments. Issues could then be easily settled and the people would move in one direction. Without the conveniences of modern technology, the spoken work connected to the fundamentals that governed behavior and were taught by every father and reinforced by every mother. If controversy arose, it was settled among the elders or fathers of the people. The elders were men that administered justice, settled disputes, and guided the people under their charge. Even the king would consult the elders even though he had the authority to determine his own course of action. As we retrace the path of history, it is easy to see those points of departure that adversely affect society today. In order for elders to govern the affairs of the…