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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…

“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matt 16:19 The keys unlock the mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables because it had not been given to them to know the mysteries of His kingdom, but it was given to His disciples. They had submitted to Him and had committed to fully follow Him. Along their journey they were graced by the Holy Spirit to receive the revelation from the Father that He was the Christ, the Son of the living God. This truth unlocked the mystery to which they were to enter in. Experiencing Christ is having access bringing down to earth the blessings contained in heaven. As we grow in our knowledge of Christ, not merely our knowledge of created things, we will discover that all is subject to what we are learning. He has preeminence over all things. They maintain their consistency by and through Him alone. A glimpse of Christ is insufficient for the journey ahead of us. We must maintain our focus exclusively…

 “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!”

“Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys.” Exodus 40:36  The glory cloud would settle the potential disputes among the children of Israel as to whether or not it was time to proceed on their journey. Otherwise there would have been unsettled arguments in interpreting the right season to advance, and even who had the authority to give the orders to move on. Moses alone was able to approach Mt. Sinai where the smoke ascended from the fire with the lightning, thunder, and earthquakes because the Lord had descended upon it. He had ascended into the very cloud that covered them and guided them along the way. Now the instructions given to them by Moses were received as instructions from Almighty God. The power of God has not diminished over time. Rather it was wrapped in human flesh. The unapproachable became approachable in Christ Jesus. Now it is His Word that must guide and govern our lives. When His Word is spoken, the glory cloud is lifted that we may go onward in all our journeys. Without His grace, we are exposed to the enemy of our…

“Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.” Mark 14:18 Before Jesus was crucified, He was identified through betrayal by one who sat at His table and ate with Him. One who loved so deeply would be exposed by a friend to His enemies. Jesus knew when it would happen and who it was who would be so used as a spy among them. Yet He did not make Him known among the brethren. There are times when sin must run its course. Any intervention on our part to defend ourselves or expose the adversary would be counterproductive. God will allow many to dwell among us who do not carry our heart or vision. Nevertheless, God uses all things for the fulfillment of His purpose. Jesus loved, provided for, and even dined with His betrayer. These events led to the cross, the inevitable end that marked a new beginning for all who would believe on Him. His will transcended the pain suffered by dishonest companions and even the pain of suffering and death on the cross. The glory that shall be revealed in us was…

“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10 The progression that takes place in the life of a Christ-follower begins with the call. He calls us to Himself. Then we can be conformed to the image of His Son. It is only when we answer the initial call will we qualify to experience what is produced in us as the result of being drawn close to Him. His eternal glory is the finished product of His grace. God looks at the end from the beginning. But the path requires suffering even though it is only for a little while in contrast to the glory that shall be revealed in us. We are matured to see things from His perspective, thus established in the faith not wavering because of various trials. Each challenge provides strength for future challenges as we develop a greater resistance to the evil one. Finally we are settled as not to be moved by whatever may come our way. A steadfast faith remains constant and undisturbed in a fixed position in relation to…

“You crown the year with Your goodness, And Your paths drip with abundance.” Psalm 65:11 Whatever happens and however it may happen, God ends with the placement of His crown of goodness. That is why He is called good even when things happen that are difficult to explain. When there are valleys there also must be mountains. The deeper the valley indicates the higher the mountain must be. Valley experiences are not always fatal. They can be but not necessarily must be fatal. His path is frightening to the fainthearted. Every wall in the valley contains a message that you have reached the point of no return. But as long as you are aware that He is leading you, you can trust Him throughout the journey. A crown awaits you at the end of the season of testing. Not only is there a crown, but there are rich blessings to be gathered along the way.

“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….

“Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” Ruth 1:16 Naomi and Ruth were joined together in a God honored covenant. They became one family with bonds of love that could not be broken. It is the same with members within the Body of Christ. We are joined to Christ by the Spirit to be with Him in order to go wherever He goes. We are also joined to one another as one people. No longer are we divided by race, class, or any other division. There is a kindred spirit among those who have come to know the Lord. As we walk together with a resolve to remain together, we learn things concerning Christ and the love of the Father demonstrated through Him. It is a journey that takes us beyond our current location as we grow in both grace and knowledge. Time does not cause our commitment to fade away, but we are further strengthened in our resolve. “Your God is embraced as my God. Therefore your people that serve under Him are my people as well!” I must be with my people and be concerned about their welfare. This is the Body of Christ…

“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him.” 1 Peter 4:1 (MSG) The aim of Jesus is to teach us what it means to be fully human. There has been made for us a way to understand life from a perspective that is much greater than fallen man is able to see, understand, or express. Jesus Christ’s example demonstrates God’s intentions from the beginning for the whole of humanity. The image of God in man was ravaged and marred by sin leaving him disfigured with only a faint semblance of the original model. But where the first Adam became the personification of man’s rebellion and failures, the last Adam came to restore all that we lost. Every test and challenge was measured against Jesus, yet He did not succumb to the pressure. Jesus went through everything you are now going through and more. There is no way to measure the degree of suffering experienced by Him. Since He has gone through it all, His promise is to be with you while you are going through. He qualifies to lead you through whatever you may face in life. He’s been there. He is well…