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“Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” Jeremiah 24:7 God does not respond merely to needs. He looks for passion. Even when we think we have the passion to press in, we are often disappointed because the passion has not reached its peak. God may measure what we thought to be an earnest prayer as being only a passing fancy. Good thoughts and warm feelings about God are not enough. There has to be the passion exuding from the heart whereas knowing God is desired more than any other thing. Whatever else may be there is in competition with the knowledge of God. It rises up as an idol to compete with what He wills to show us of Himself. These things must be rooted out of our lives and only God can do that. Israel was allowed to be placed in the land and under the government of the Chaldeans. It was their place of learning. But God was not through with them even though they were being chastened…

“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!”  1 Corinthians 9:16 “I must” is to brave the storms of life in spite of the difficulties required of me to survive. I can only give light consideration to the cost attached to obedience. Obedience is often costly because there are so many options that could lead to paths of least resistance. Yet the call of God to obey rings strong within my heart and ears in spite of my mind fighting against it and telling me that there are other ways go and other things to be done. Some of them appear to be equally important, and at times, seem to outweigh the measure of this assignment because of greater gain and requiring less effort. But God speaks “woe” to the very thought of my disobedience to His command. Necessity is laid on me to speak the truth when the lie or even silence would be of greater benefit. “I must” do what God has called me to do. I must speak what He has given me to speak. Yet…

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…

“He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”  John 16:14 The work of the Holy Spirit is to arrest our thoughts and energy and guide them in a new direction. He will give us an understanding of all things that belong to Jesus Christ. Beforehand our thoughts would wander and attach themselves to things that destroy the soul. Before He intervened there existed no passion to pursue Christ because His life to us had no appeal. Some would attempt to redefine Christ’s  life and mission in order to pursue their own passions and goals. Their emptiness remained when the activity ended. There was no lasting effect to their experiences. There is no contentment unless the Holy Spirit is completely in charge. He will not compete with the pettiness of selfish interests. He is committed to those things that please the Father alone and will not allow anything to get Him sidetracked. What we have learned and received of Christ is clarified and applied to the soul. As the Son did only those things that please the Father, so it is with us who are led of the Holy Spirit. We will…

“And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees.” Matthew 3:10 Many have sought justification for wrong habits of the heart in which they have grown accustomed. They strain to admit when they hear an unfamiliar voice from an unfamiliar place preaching an unfamiliar message. It is baffling to the mind to accept the fact that all previously known by them was in error. The truth contradicts our folly. We by nature try to fight against what we feel is right. Yet what we may be resisting is our true love calling us to a higher place. The call is away from our pride of knowledge that we may really know truth that beforehand was too elusive. The skillful artisan does not bring a scalpel to remove minor excess but an axe to completely remove the whole thing. It must be completely uprooted if it is ever to be replaced with what contains virtue. There will be something new replacing the old once the old is brought down in defeat and ruin. There is a defeat, a loss that must preceded victory and gain. Then God will plant seed in place of plant. The potential of…

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?”  Isaiah 40:10 The question God asks causes us to think of His majesty and glory. It magnifies the Lord and minimizes all other things that once appeared to be so overwhelming and intimidating. It is not a matter of what but moreover, a question of who as we consider what we daily observe a coincidental. Things and people being held together, maintaining their set boundaries, is the result of an ordered plan. The thought and the power displayed in nature, if more carefully examined would have us stand in awe and the wonders of God! He created all things and is above all things. He calls to mind from the greatest to the smallest.  The telescopic expanse and mystery of universes created by His Hand and the microscopic expanse and mystery of the molecule both are in need of the invention of instruments powerful enough to examine what is yet to be seen. God has full knowledge of both extremes. “He has measured the…

“ And He said to them, “It is not for you to know…” Acts 1:7 We must diligently pursue knowledge. There is so much to know and the subjects are so vast. With the invention of the internet, information can be gathered in moments where in times past it may have taken weeks, months, and even years. It is not to our advantage to merely gather in facts, but getting wisdom to rightly apply knowledge is more important than the knowledge alone. The question asked by the disciple of Jesus was a legitimate question. “Will You at this time restore the kingdom again to Israel?” It had to do with the fulfillment of prophecies and the rightful place of Israel. Jesus’ answer did not resolve their challenges, but rather challenged them. He told them that they was not privy to the information, but was privy to what was required for them to fully participate in fulfilling the prophecies.

“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. (2) For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,(3) how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,” Heb 2:1-3  To “give the most earnest heed” is stretching in order to understand what has been spoken. It is to hasten and to fasten one’s eyes upon the truths revealed. To commit ones heart to them. The reason this is necessary is because our minds alone cannot contain all that is needed. Without a heart commitment, it will appear as if there had been no exposure to such life-transforming truths. God does not judge on the basis of what one avails oneself to hear. He judges on the basis of the availability of knowledge at that time. If one is privileged to know the truth but decides to opt out of being where truth is imparted, the neglect on his part would be the criteria on which he is judged. It is our responsibility…

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 1 Corinthians 1:25 The Foolishness of God Contained within what we see is a truth that is much deeper than we have come to realize. From the surface, it does not make sense. There are many other things that appear to warrant more attention than this. To the fool, it appears as foolishness. He stumbles over his own thoughts and intellect. The Source of both true knowledge and life are hidden from him. He wonders why there would even remain those who would be so foolish as to waste their precious time on superstitious thoughts that would restrict his freedom of action. ‘Do what you feel’ is his motto. His idea of God is a permissive being allowing him to remain himself void of conviction. But God looks into our past and examines why we think the way we think and do the things we do. He looks ahead knowing where all actions lead. Fools rush to their demise. Their blindness causes them to throw caution to the wind. Yet one seemingly foolish word from the Lord is sufficient to save him. Are there any wise…

“So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 When we were born, we were given a name and assigned a number. Our last name identifies where were from or the origin of our birth while our first name identifies where we are going, or our future. A good name is worth more than silver and gold. Our names reflect our character. Expectations are placed upon us as result of being named or branded. We are also classified by number. As a citizen, we are numbered by the Social Security Administration. You are not merely John or Jane Doe, but you have both a name and a number. God knows us by name and has also given each one of us a number. Each name is different and each number is as well. The request of the Psalmist was, “Lord, teach us….”The instructions requested apply to both name and number. We may say, “Lord teach us to know who we really are,” so that we would not live a presumptuous life. He knows our name and what ought to have been the fullest expression of our name. Our parents may have done the best they could,…