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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…

“Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.” Psalm 60:11 None has ever trusted God so completely that they never had a shadow of doubt. It is in the shadows where we look away from God in search for what appears to be strong but is lacking in content and in character. The challenge came to us and we wondered why we were chosen for adversity. Even then, there arose among some what appeared to be further evidence that God was absent. Many have abandoned God completely with thoughts that He was unreliable, while there are others who learned the lesson and passed the test. Without the test, there would be no need for help. The awareness of our need fostered the acknowledgement that we could not carry out our assignments alone.  Without Him we can do nothing. The assistance of man is useless unless God is involved. The help of others only further complicates the issue. It is above our heads and the heads that stand tall are not tall enough and their arm of strength cannot reach far enough to bring remedy to the deep wound left within. The need must first be identified…

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.” 2 Timothy 4:3 Teachers are instructors that mold the character of those who subject themselves as students to learn. The world is being fashioned by teachers. There are men and women who take what they have come to know and feed others who are eager to learn. There is not a shortage of teachers. But the problem Paul was addressing was that there would be a number of people whose hearts remain unchanged. They will seek to be instructed in matters of choice rather than in truth. Their level of toleration of God’s Word would be on the decline.  Yet their appetites for instructions in how to fend off any doctrine that would equip them in the ways of God would increase. They will gather to themselves instructors who would help them build up defenses against what God would have them to know. An intellectual argument and one’s ability to defend his position often can become the callous over the soul. It is when the heart is tender that God’s…

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (2) I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:1-2 On this day one of the most devastating tragedies occurred in this nation. This is the day when the World Trade Center Towers were attacked by Islamic terrorists. We remember where we were and what we were doing on this day sixteen years ago. Prayers were offered to God for the families of the victims and an appeal was offered unto God for His divine protection from further attacks. We commemorate the bravery of the firefighters, police officers, medical teams and others who risked their lives to rescue those who were in need of their help. There is a place in God where we can find safety and security. He is our refuge and our fortress and in Him we can place all of our trust. As this nation continues to manage the crises of the day, let us not forget why we called on God on that dreadful day. The fears of the unknown and the unexpected…

“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Isaiah  53:1 God’s arm is His strength. The mighty strength of God has manifested in history to overthrow corrupt governments and to dethrone the reign of wickedness. When it appears as if all is lost and the exercise of faith is a futile act, God intervenes with His might to reconfirm the truth that He is God and besides Him there is no other. The question that wrest on the minds of many is,” where is God” and, “how could He allow such things to happen as many are experiencing crises today”? God is asking the question, “can faith be found among those who profess to believe in Me?” Not the fickle faith of those who merely believe for what they want to achieve, but for Him to exercise His might overthrowing the works of the enemy. The whole report of God must be believed if Jesus is to be in view. He provides evidence that the report is true.  Then it becomes our guide for living. When it is believed and acted upon, the strength of God is manifested among men. Unbelief restricts…

“To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.” Romans 15:21 God heals many who may have thought their situation was beyond hope. They might have come with their limited view of what God was able to do, but to be surprised by grace to receive beyond their level of expectation. Salvation has come to the Gentiles to whom it was not announced. There may have been some who would have settled for the crumbs falling from the rich man’s table, but God invited them in to partake of the feast.  it is not always intelligent that are enabled to make sense of the God’s mysteries. It may not even be the one who has a history among fellow believers. They may see nor understand the life changing message of Jesus Christ. Yet an impoverished reject in society may rejoice immediately in hearing for the first time what they had heard time and time again. Why one is desperate in seeking the truth, God will open his eyes to see the Kingdom of God and his heart to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom. God has made it available to all but it…

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 Giving enables us to see the dimensions and depths of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Without personal sacrifice, we merely theorize rather than experience what He offers us so freely. It is impossible to understand the dynamics of His message and the glory of His life without participating with Him in releasing those things left in our hands to manage. The Holy Spirit will direct us to channel all things to acquire the greatest benefit. True freedom is freedom from the bondage of sin bred in selfishness.  What we have held too closely to have hindered the Lord from giving full expression of Himself to us. A freedom not yet experienced borne out of a need within us remains unmet. We were created to respond to God’s initiative in giving. None of what we manage is able to save our souls even though in the past we may have thought it would. True surrender is giving oneself completely to…

“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…

To lose heart is to become fainthearted when fear holds its grips upon the soul. It is when discouragement occurs as result of failed hopes and dreams. Things were expected in a certain amount of time; a rescue from a dilemma, but the situation remained the same. Time is beyond our control, but not beyond our management. Each moment must be used as an opportunity to further develop the stature of the soul. Each day, a lesson is learned and applied to our eternal destinies so that even our failures amount to success in God. We are being trained for eternity. God is taking us through a course in life that will increase the measure of our faith in Him alone. The outward man is perishing along with its passions for the external and temporal things. As we grow older we grow wiser in our values. We are now seeking those things which are above where Christ is. All other things are being held loosely in light of their eternal value. The confidence we have in Christ is that life as we have known it to be is not the only chapter in this story. The greatest chapters await us…