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“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.“ Psalm 119:105 In a dark place, all things seem to be the same. No distinction can be made between a man and a mannequin if both stand together. Things that are false and counterfeit appear to be more perfect than things that are real in dim light. They are painted with beauty and are a piece of art, but are lifeless idols. Without the light of the Word of God, we would naturally gravitate in the direction of that appear to be real, but is only real and beautiful to the spiritually blind. Our senses once ruled us and every decision was made on the basis of our perception of reality. The darkness was not just before us, but the darkness was in us as well. Then the light of the Word invaded our world, and all things changed!  We were able to see the nature of all things and the danger that lay ahead by following the path of the blind. The very Word that changed us was also there to guide us. We have been changed in order to discern the difference between the real…

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.” James 1:17 The words “good” and “perfect” are given deeper meanings when God is speaking. He does not restrict Himself to our definitions of these terms. There is a goodness that transcends all efforts on our part and remains good even when what man is able to produce turns sour and withers away. The reason that God’s goodness is so special is because it is perfect goodness. There is no separation between the good and the perfect gift of God. The gift is good because it is perfect and it is perfect because it is good. He then sends it to us from His holy habitation. It comes from the Throne of God where He rules and reigns without the slightest hint of sin and confusion. Heaven is a perfect place, therefore perfect gifts can come from there. The gift reaches us with His signature on it. Not only does He sign it, but He remains attached to His gift. Not that the gift has not been given to us but as a man’s gift makes room for him, God’s gifts cannot…

“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…

“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…

“So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 God gives us the strength to love. The heart is guided in a direction and the soul agrees to give full expression to that particular emotion. To love is not a miracle. It is a part of man’s nature to love. Without guidance the heart gravitates by default away from God. Loving then is not deliberate, but the result of some forceful habit that captures the mind and heart in order to condemn the soul. The passions must be harnessed by an object that is capable of containing all that is offered and reciprocate by providing what is desperately needed in return. When love gives but does not provide the person with what is needed, he eventually becomes bankrupt and bitter having been taken advantage of. Then love is inverted and transforms into hatred that is primarily directed towards the true Lover of his soul.  They feel shortchanged having not received from Him what they needed, but refused to give Him what He commanded. When…

“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 not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.”Romans 5:3-4 (KJV) A price tag cannot be placed upon the lessons learned in and through troubled times.  We often know how we should feel and respond, but to be honest, the character of that response may not been developed within us yet. Many call this faith while it is actually dishonesty. David, the Psalmist gave expression to his heart, having various trials, set-backs and disappointments, but asked God to work the right response within him. Our mere words alone will not deliver us, but what we are becoming as result of God s; working on us and in us is the aim. “Tribulation worketh patience and patience worketh experience or character. Eugene Peterson in the Message paraphrase puts it this way; “and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary — we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! It is through our…

“And you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 There is a place of soul rest established for those who wish to find it. Jeremiah speaks of “standing in the ways and seeing” then “asking for the old paths where the good way is and walking in it.” Trying to keep up with the new ways and expressions of faith produces frustrations even though many are attracted to these paths. They clamor for the latest song and cliché, thinking they have arrived, but as in the life of the prodigal son, they have distanced themselves from home. The “old paths” are tried, tested, and proven to be the route leading to soul rest. Jesus speaks of a yoke that must be borne. His yoke binds us to Him and not to other things or people. When we walk on the old paths, we walk with Jesus, bearing His yoke. They say “we will not walk in it.” Those who say this never find rest for their souls because their stubborn hearts make them too resistant to learn from Him. But when we walk in His paths that are old, the good way which is His way is made known and…

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32 Jesus spoke of the benefits and advantages of His being Lifted up. It was not the elevation that many seek. It was not a platform of prominence, or the glitter and glamour of celebrity. It was the execution of the intentions of His enemies against Him. If they carry out their agenda, God will use it as a means to draw every people-group to a life of surrender. They would come to the very cross and die with Him. What the devil intended for evil, God meant for good. His death was His life’s purpose. The dynamics of the death of Jesus Christ is too complex to fully explain. He became sin as a sinless sacrifice for our sins. The message is foolishness to those who consider themselves to be too wise and prudent even to need it, But there are those who sense the weight of sin damning their souls to hell. They are appreciative that the consequences of their fallen nature destined to express itself will not be held to their charge. The message of the cross causes an explosion among…

Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.  Isaiah 60:1 The pronouncement of God is to arise above the circumstances and above all that was previously seen.  All things are now viewed in the light that is in you rather than the darkness that is around you! The light of His countenance has risen upon you. You can now see in the light what you missed while you stumbled around in the dark. He has become your life and light. Now your light has illumined your life and now can serve as light to the world. They walk in darkness just as you once walked, but now what has been revealed to you is being revealed through you. Your life is an invitation, not just your words but everything about you beckons the blind to see. Even nations shall come to your light. The Sunshine of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ has risen upon you! As the moon reflects the light of the sun and has no light in itself, your life reflects the Light of the Son of God. Do not allow anything to eclipse the Light that is…