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“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.” Ezekiel 36:24 People who are in exile are a people removed from their place. We see Israel being scattered among the nations and some taking on the character of the nations where they had been forced to occupy. Sin does not ask for our permission, but imposes its character upon those who occupy its territory. A culture of sin produces a people who readily adapt to the environment. It is then difficult for them to remember what God’s original intentions were for their lives. They merely see what others are doing and seemingly enjoying and adjust to their standard of living. But God stands up and makes His Presence known among them. He lets them know that even though they are in a strange place, Israel still carries His name. When His name is hallowed among the nations and a difference is made known by them to the other inhabitants, then deliverance will come. God will bring them into their own land. He is says to us, are we to represent Jesus where we are. Should He only…

In the relay race, the fastest starting runner has placed within his hands a baton. His assignment is to run with the swiftest of speed while carrying the baton, but knowing that there will be other runners awaiting his completed assignment to take over what began with him. When he releases the baton to the second runner, his assignment is finished but race is not over. He entrusts into the hands of another runner the stewardship of discipline and drive to win the race while knowing that its completion requires the help of future runners. In this race of life, the baton has been placed in our hands. Who will be there to pass the baton to the next generation? Are you currently running the quality of race that you would encourage your children to continue after your demise? We are alive to make a difference and for that difference to last for generations to come. “Do you not know that those who run in a race–all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” (1 Corinthians 9:24) We must live our lives as if the future depended upon us and our…

“Don’t run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God’s concerns, and he will take care of them. We’ve warned you about this before. (7) God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful — as beautiful on the inside as the outside.” 1 Thessalonians 4:6-7 (MSG) The care and concern we share with the brethren reflects the character of Christ that we possess. We share with them the love so richly bestowed upon us that is now demonstrated through us as an extension of God’s love. Our love must be intentional. Unless we are deliberate in our lifestyles to share the life of Jesus, the message would be shrouded by our careless living. We have been transformed into a vessel of honor. The riches of His grace reside within us as a priceless treasure. What more could we ever want other than a complete and glorious expression of life brought forth through us by way of His Spirit? Therefore we live for Him and He lives through us touching and changing all things by His renewing power. Praise God for the beauty of holiness!

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9-10 The act that becomes a habit, the habit that equates into a lifestyle of doing good, is the life we have been called to live. We enter into the life and experience of Christ and grow into giving a fuller expression of Christ. It has to do with a new nature of the believer. He focuses his attention on the Lord, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will compel him to do things that are pleasing to the Father. It is easy to begin to feel used and not appreciated by the recipients of your benevolence. There are even times when it may even feel that all of your efforts are in vain, but God has promised benefits to those who would remain faithful. You will first reap the reward of being like Jesus when we see Him as He is, then we will be enabled to enjoy all that God offers throughout eternity. We are being changed to appreciate heavenly things and heaven’s order on the earth so that we are made fit to love…

We are compelled to face life’s greatest challenges. To provide an answer to age old and new questions that will arise out of controversy. Our lives are lived in search of meaning and our values are determined by how we interpret the meaning of life. It is both quietly and overtly expressed by unsuspecting people who are drifting through life allowing circumstances to define them. The ever-changing world squeezes them into the mold of modernity. They become whatever others are becoming—neutralizing their wills by popular opinions and paralyzing their minds by the prevailing ideas of the times. Jesus came to change concepts and to modify the established order by transforming it into a thing of beauty (“He makes all things beautiful in its own time.”) And fortunately, Christ came to usher in a new season of change and restore all things to their original purpose. God, who made all things, is the One who assigns meaning to His creation. But the question is, what is God like? Even though he was described through the prophets and His personality was demonstrated through their lifestyles, that was merely a glimpse into the reality of God and the full display of His glory….

“This is love,  that we walk according to His commandments.” 2 John 6 Love defined by the Source from which it originated. None else can define love in language that is so sensible yet so profound. The qualities of love are found within the confines of obedience. Everything else outside of this is hatred and repulsive to the One who is able to determine the authentic from the counterfeit.  The world is in search of authentic love. Too many have been duped into believing the lie of those with strings attached to their affection. It is a legitimate need that is, to love and be loved. This is love, love identified as a lifestyle chosen and a people empowered to obey God’s commandments. The will or the heart to obey precedes one receiving the power or ability to obey. A daily walk willfully engaged that is pleasing to God. An assurance accompanies that degree of commitment. God makes it known to the servant’s heart that He belongs exclusively to Him. He reveals His love in order for it to be disbursed abroad or distributed through his heart to others. He becomes an instrument in God’s hands as His servant which…

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32 Those who are drawn to Jesus by the Spirit are kept by the Spirit. The mysterious magnetic pull of the cross of Christ produces within the heart of the believer a willingness to fully follow after Him even when circumstances are difficult. They see the sacrifice that He has made in contrast to the challenges that lie before them and equate all in light of what Jesus Christ has already done. This is not the easy believe(ism) or our day where many are attracted to the trappings of success in this life and the glory that comes from others. It is a heart commitment to fully follow Christ in all that He may assign as a part of our journey. They lifted Him up as an enemy to their doctrines and lifestyles by crucifying Him. He transformed what would have been defeat into victory. Now the message of the cross of Jesus must be preached throughout world in order for any to be drawn by dimensions of love never known before. Love was the motive for Him to die for our sins…

“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.

“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.” Ezekiel 36:24 People who are in exile are a people removed from their place. We see Israel being scattered among the nations and some taking on the character of the nations where they had been forced to occupy. Sin does not ask for our permission, but imposes its character upon those who occupy its territory. A culture of sin produces a people who readily adapt to the environment. It is then difficult for them to remember what God’s original intentions were for their lives. They merely see what others are doing and seemingly enjoying and adjust to their standard of living. But God stands up and makes His Presence known among them. He lets them know that even though they are in a strange place, Israel still carries His name. When His name is hallowed among the nations and a difference is made known by them to the other inhabitants, then deliverance will come. God will bring them into their own land. He is says to us, are we to represent Jesus where we are. Should He only…

God’s order is the opposite of our normal way of thinking. Human reasoning would have you to believe that death is the final act of nature, the ultimate sealing of one’s fate. Yet God looks at life differently and reveals Himself through nature. Contained within every created thing is the mystery of life, where one can clearly see His plan of redemption. First, death itself is redefined. The reality of death is sin; a life lived by those who are ignorant of life’s purpose. Sin is defined as “missing the mark.”  Their attempts to make life meaningful only add to their confusion and frustration. When life is lived arbitrarily without the knowledge of God’s original intent, nothing is left but to live life under the shadows of dreadful death. The fear of death becomes the obsession, since no one is able to fully describe what exists on the other side. Yet the magnetic pull of sin attracts one to what he fears the most and blinds him to the consequences. “The wages of sin is death.” Jesus beautifully illustrates salvation as an anticipated death. He first speaks of Himself and then how every human being might participate in His death….