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“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder)” 2 Peter 3:1 Our minds are purified as the result of hearing a pure word. The clutter of a misguided conscience and the pollutants of compromised values are removed and replaced with an understanding of absolutes that can withstand the scrutiny of contemporary questioning. A pure mind is to be treasured above all things. It means that the mind has processed what the heart has embraced. Then one is able to give a reason for the hope that is in them. They can defend the faith and withstand the scrutiny of error. Now that we can receive words of wisdom, we are not to entertain thoughts and ideas that can lead to moral failure. Our minds must remain pure in order for us to receive from God instructions for daily living. There are many things to be added to what we currently know. These are the building blocks that contribute to our becoming a spiritual habitation. They cause us to further set our minds on the things above and not be distracted by things around us and beneath…

“Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:16-17 To see with our eyes what God is doing is a blessing beyond measure. God allows His servants to see where He is in the midst of confusion and apparent hopelessness. He is there working His plan even when all appears to be still or falling apart all around us. Not alone does His servants see His works, they are used by the Lord to participate in what He is doing. His works are established through His servants as evidence that He is in fact the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. He seeks those who would fully avail themselves to Him. Why should our lives be filled with clutter that works against His plan? Our greatest joy can be found in pleasing Him through reflecting His will on earth as it is in heaven. Oh that Christ might be seen today through those who earnestly and exclusively seek Him as the only stability in these uncertain times.

 “A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous cannot be moved.” Proverbs 12:3 There are many courses available to every man. Some seem more attractive than others and some in appearance, have no appeal. Yet it is required of each man to choose his course. At the beginning of the journey, it is difficult when we only use our experiences as the criteria for future actions. Then only pain pleasure are the factors when integrity is not the rule. Many shipwrecked lives and casualties of failed hopes and dreams scatter the ditches and graves of those who made decisions on the level of senses. Their attempt to make it at all cost was more costly than they had bargained for. But the righteous rejected the path of immediate gratification. The delay in waiting on the Lord’s guidance positioned them to hear His voice leading them around the fatal ditches and pitfalls of the enemy. They withstood the trends and the waves of popular opinion. They remained faithful when all else around them failed in order to receive the singular applause of the Father’s affirmation of “well done!”

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15  A sanctified heart is directed towards God alone. There is no other direction to which it may be turned that can satisfy the believer for he knows that only God alone can meet the needs existing deep in the recesses of the soul. There are many things around to lure him away from the position in which he stands. But he does not see things as others who are blind to the devices of the devil. The enemy constantly works in attempting to raise doubt in his heart. He has heard the Lord speak concerning His own. He is affirmed as being God’s Son, and continually dwelling in the place of God’s pleasure. Since his heart overflows with love, he has an answer for everyone. Because he is able to see beyond the current crisis, his answer remains prophetic. The pure and heart is able to see God. God is with him; therefore his hope is to take on the character of God….

“Do not be a terror to me; You are my hope in the day of doom.” Jeremiah 17:17 Our confidence is only secured only when we place it entirely in the Hands of the Lord. Life is too uncertain and sudden terror may appear at times when preparation for it is impossible.  Many will wonder why we would place such confidence in a God that we cannot see. Scoffers will rise up thinking that our denial of self and worldly acclaim is but mere superstition. Yet we pray that we do not offend God through any self-defense attempts at preserving our own reputation. Even when we do not make sense to the world, we desire His wisdom to be our guide. All of the wisdom that comes from other sources is being judged.  Only God’s wisdom will stand. He is our hope in the day of testing.  He will take us through the storms of adversity victoriously!

“And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel 37:3 God asks us questions that He alone is able to answer. We try our best to understand how a possibility of hope may arise out of an impossible situation. What we see are circumstances that appear to be beyond hope. God placed the prophet there. And God continues to communicate to him at that place for which he has been prepared. The valley is a lonely place if you are alone. But God is in the valley in order to teach valley lessons. There we learn to raise others above their lowly state. He allowed him to see the ruins of what once was vibrant and alive. Then He asked him the question that sounds like a mockery of his intelligence and adding insult to injury. “Can these bones live?” Not just any bones, but the bones of the defeated army; an army that must rise from death then rise from defeat. Life would be meaningless if defeat was to be continual. His will is that we live on purpose. God must answer His own question, but if He is asking us, then He must have…

“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matthew 28:6-7 His promises would have been mere empty words without power if the tomb had contained His Body without interruption. His Words would have faded off the scene as snowflakes in the heat of a warming sun if they were only good for the moment in which they were spoken. He said many things and made so many promises that built the faith of His followers and raised their hopes and dreams. They lived by His Word, but if the most dramatic and complex were false, then the least and the simplest were merely impressive conversation. The test would be the place where He was buried on the day on which He said He would rise from the dead. They arrived there with trepidation. But the tomb was empty validating the promise He made remembered. “He is not here.” If He is absent from this place, then where could He be? “As He said to us with Words to confirm all others spoken; now all that He has said can be trusted.” What else did He say? “Whatever He said…

“And you? Go about your business without fretting or worrying. Relax. When it’s all over, you will be on your feet to receive your reward.” Dan 12:13 (MSG) There are places to go and things yet to be done by those who have put their trust in the Lord. None can predict the future, but we can rest assured that the outcome is in His hands. Situations can be paralyzing to those who have no hope beyond what they are able to see. Then others have completely ignored the signs and have not prepared themselves for what we have been prophetically forewarned. There is a God-given task to which the sons of men ought to be engaged. We are to occupy until He comes. The threats are real, but should not create fretting or worrying to the prepared. We have One in whom we have placed our trust. When the storms have passed us over, and the clouds have lifted, we will be standing on our feet to receive our rewards from God who rewards the faithful.

“Not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.” Hebrew 7:16 The High Priest, Melchizedek was a High Priest by the sheer force of resurrection life rather than mere genealogy. This was a different class of priesthood signifying an important future event. God’s promise to us is an endless life. Jesus, who is the Begotten of the Father, was with the Father from the beginning. Those of us who are in Christ have entered into eternal life. He is our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Nothing of the law could produce it. All of its fleshly commandments could only point out to us our deficiencies. So many are yet trying to compensate for what is lacking, thus giving them a false hope of resolving issues that are too deep for them to even fathom. In Jesus Christ, we have eternal life. To know Him is to take full possession of His promises. We die to our former state and the futile efforts of reforms to preserve our souls. We then rest in Him as being our sufficiency. It is His grace alone that saves us and delivers us from…

“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2 In troubled times, we become acutely aware of our need for rescue. When the currents of life are rising all around us and it seems as if there is no way to survive, even if we are not saved from the situation, our immediate need is security in the midst of it. Jesus becomes our oasis in the midst of the desert. He is our solid rock in the midst of troubled waters. He is within reach at all times if we merely reach out to Him. In those moments of despair, when hope is wavering because of the insurmountable pressure, we should not merely cry out in pain and agony. Our cry must be directed towards the One who can save us. Oh, if men would direct their cries towards God alone as the only rock of their salvation. If they would stretch out their hands in the dark and gloom to discover that there is another Hand on the other side to lead and guide them towards a brighter future….