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“Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted.”Psalm 18:21 (THE MESSAGE) Things that we have grown accustomed to are often taken for granted. The sin of familiarity can often breed contempt. God’s ways are not our ways. He does what pleases Himself. Our wishful thinking and reasoning cannot alter what He has decreed. He looks beyond the limited view seen by us from where we are stationed in the theater of life. He is able to see the whole story from every viewpoint. When we dose off into a slumbered state and by default allow our minds to question God’s wisdom. He alerts us with a wake-up call and reminds us that He is God and we are mere dependent earthlings, yet loved by Him with a sacrificial love. The slack is jerked out of our loosened lifestyles and we acknowledge Him again as being our only security and hope. Now that we are alert, we must always stay that way. Our worship is determined by our continual awareness of God’s love, presence and unlimited power.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 Our confession is more than speaking words. It is our agreement with God in accomplishing what He has promised in us and through us. When our spirits have aligned with the Holy Spirit, we are provided a fresh and lively hope. Any secondary thought or effort will merely cloud the mind with clutter used to sway us away from God’s promises. God is faithful to deliver on every promise that He has made. Where do we stand and where should we stand in relation what has been given to us? Our confession is more precious than silver and gold. To believe God because we are in position to see Him as faithful even when we are challenged is the greater blessing. This is evidence that faith is established within our hearts. This kind of faith will produce a hope that will not disappoint. It is borne out of love and matured through experiences. None of these, whatever they are, will separate us from confessing that Jesus is Lord over every circumstance.

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.” Lamentations 3:21 The immediate challenges of our day oftentimes cloud our view from seeing the faithfulness of God throughout the years. Living in the immediate alone without any reference to the past will make us feel as if we must take matters into our own hands. God has given us the gift of memory to reflect upon His goodness directed towards us even when all hope seemed to be lost. We are then able to feast through reflection, on His faithfulness. Whatever may appear as an impassable mountain standing before us, God is there with His wisdom and His strength awaiting our request. He will first settle us in our difficulties to know that He has knowledge of our present state. Then He will provide for us the wisdom to see all things from His perspective. If this is one of those obstacles that should not be or is as a test of our faithfulness to Him alone, in time,  we will have provided for us the right answer and resolve. He will keep us in perfect peace if our minds are steadily focused on Him knowing that our God is…

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” Hebrews 6:19 The waves of adversity will test the authenticity of our faith. Whether we have placed all our trust in God is proven in trying times. Here we cannot rely upon any other person or thing. We have launched out beyond the banks of secure living and now have placed our lives in the hands of the only One who can safely navigate us through troubled waters. It is the emotions that are first under attack. The mind would consider the safety and security of the harbor. Some would think it would have been much better if they had never launched out into the deep. It is only when we consider the Commissioner of the mission that we may rest assured that none of the things facing us along this journey has taken Him by surprise. He is there to protect us and to build within us something of value far beyond what we are at those moments of conflict able to see. To trust the Lord is to love Him with our minds, wills, and emotions. It is to submit what we would otherwise…

(2) Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. (3) For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”(4) For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:2-4 A selfless heart cannot be prefabricated. The fallen nature of man hinders him from becoming altruistic. Yet God is able through one who has yielded himself to Him, do what is pleasing and for the good of his neighbor. Christ died for us. It was not a pleasant experience leading up to His death. But He had us in mind throughout all He had to suffer. The Scripture does not tell us to do whatever is pleasing to our neighbor. That would reduce us to becoming men-pleasers. We must consider what is good for him and do what is best even if it cost us in our efforts in assisting him. The love of God given expression through us will lift him to a level where Christ becomes visible to him. As we seek God for the…

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…

“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…

“The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness — Israel, when I went to give him rest.” Jeremiah 31:2 The challenges of today will be survived leading to the discovery of grace in a place unfamiliar to us. God has not abandoned His own children. Even when we are chastened, His everlasting love is directed towards us. These things are not allowed to destroy us, but for introspection. It is our responsibility to examine the caliber of our love and devotion towards Him in contrast to the time spent focusing on other things. He draws us to Himself with cords of love. We cannot depend upon what appeared to be the solutions of the past. Only God has the care and the answer that we so desperately need. Cast all of your cares upon Him and lean on Him for assistance. He will take away the reproach of the past. God is about to do wonders in our future. Remember the day of the sword when the enemy of faith appeared to destroy all hope for the future. God rescued us from the hands of the enemy. Now as we go through the wilderness, a lonely and barren…

“The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”  Isaiah 52:10 The Lord has crowned His kings and princes throughout the earth. His strength has gone out to both defy the power of the enemy and to undo the enemy’s work. There are those who bear the mark of royalty and are destined for the throne to rule and rein with Him. The Kingdom of God dwells among men! The question the world is asking is where is the mark or seal borne by those that belong to Christ? There appears to be no distinction between them and others; in fact, those who rebel appear to have the advantage over the faithful. The mark that they bear is within their hearts. Their passion for their King and the desire to see Him rule in righteousness separates them from others. They have an undying hope directed towards the future. Their faith is not wrapped up into small packages limiting them to temporary pleasures. They want the whole thing and will not settle for anything less. As Dr. James Stewart puts it speaking…

To lose heart is to become fainthearted when fear holds its grips upon the soul. It is when discouragement occurs as result of failed hopes and dreams. Things were expected in a certain amount of time; a rescue from a dilemma, but the situation remained the same. Time is beyond our control, but not beyond our management. Each moment must be used as an opportunity to further develop the stature of the soul. Each day, a lesson is learned and applied to our eternal destinies so that even our failures amount to success in God. We are being trained for eternity. God is taking us through a course in life that will increase the measure of our faith in Him alone. The outward man is perishing along with its passions for the external and temporal things. As we grow older we grow wiser in our values. We are now seeking those things which are above where Christ is. All other things are being held loosely in light of their eternal value. The confidence we have in Christ is that life as we have known it to be is not the only chapter in this story. The greatest chapters await us…