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“And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers.  Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Isa 30:20-21 The departure from the Way is the root cause of the adversity that comes from the Lord. There are challenges that come as result of obedience and challenges that are rooted in rebellion. The difference between the two is the adherence on the part of the challenged to hear the instructions that come from the Lord. He is available to deliver us from all of our trouble, but do we listen to His voice before us to lead or have we left what He has to say to us behind? Their teachers were sidelined and replaced with guides who misguided them. They listened to falsehoods as blind guides led them into pits. But God did not abandon them even though they had abandoned Him. From behind His voice could still be heard. From the rear, the places inhabited and celebrated was the voice of God speaking to them in order for them to…

“and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith” 1 Thessalonians 3:2 We are encouraged through others who have been well taught and learned the lesson of diligence and persistence in the faith. Timothy had learned much from Paul’s tutorship. His boldness came as result of the encouragement from a seasoned saint who had forsaken all for the cause of Christ. As he imitated his leader he gained a testimony which would do more for a new convert than what might be learned from the Apostle. Much more would be expected from Paul therefore it would more difficult to relate to his experiences. But when young Timothy would stand before a neophyte beginning the long journey from the start, it would be much easier to relate to. We need the testimony of young men and women if we are to reach this generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If they would speak convincingly to their peers, it could turn their generation around. We are praying that God would raise up more youthful and inspiring Timothy’s. We will send them out if they…

“Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”  Revelations 1:19 The revelation of Jesus Christ gave John the insight to write His testimony describing the past, the present, and the future. Time and space no longer exist as divided in His presence. He takes us beyond the moment and brings all things into an eternal perspective. When we are facing current challenges, it is impossible for us to see into the future. It appears as if the bulls of Bashan had encircles around us awaiting their moment to attack and destroy us. He tells us to write what we have seen. Those moments when viewed from eternity were not there for our defeat but rather for our deliverance and future victory. “God Provides” became our testimony. He showed up in the midst of our deepest woe in order to prove Himself strong on our behalf when were at our weakest point. It was His strength made perfect when all that we attempted had failed. He said to John, “Write it down!” In other words, He asked him to mark the spot where he is standing today and watch…

 “How you have advised the one without wisdom, and abundantly revealed your insight!” Job 26:3 (NET) God’s advice to those who are void of wisdom can be translated as those who lack the ability to plan ahead. Those who lack foresight to make plans for the future are advised by God in things only known to Him. Forward thinking is the key to spiritual progress. Our sights must be set on things above as we journey from here to there. Each situation and every message must be weighed on the basis of their spiritual content. Are we growing in grace and the knowledge of God, or becoming content in our current state? The Holy Spirit guides us beyond the level of wisdom known to the world to insights revealed to us from heaven. Only then will we feel the sense of estrangement in an environment that is not our home and seek those things pertaining to life in the Spirit. Sound advice is required in order to have good success. Spiritual things are compared with the spiritual once we have been made aware of God’s Presence and humbly submit to His will as knowing nothing on our own.

“Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthews 7:14 The way that leads to life remains as the road less traveled. There are rabbit-trails along the way often taken by wayward travelers who get sidetracked by some petty issue. Then there are dazzling streetlights with flashing signposts captivating the attention of those who follow after crowds. Without thought it would be much easier to flow with the traffic. But who are the ones who pause long enough to ask the question, “Where are we headed?” The way which leads to life must be deliberately chosen. It does not just happen by chance. With eyes wide open one is enabled to see from a distance a sight that heals blindness and is a sight for sore eyes. The life of God through Jesus Christ our Lord awakens one from the deadliness of a zombie-like state to a clear discernment of all things. We have entered through the narrow gate, not as a thief but as a welcomed traveler. Then the Holy Spirit can continuously guide us throughout the journey from new life to eternal life.

“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…