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“And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Matthew 13:10 He spoke to them with simplicity, but with profundity. There were natural things that they were able to see and understand. Therefore the language of Jesus was overly simplistic. Often His message is ignored because those to whom it has not been given may easily dismiss truths with such depth that the sharpest of minds may spend a lifetime examining one sentence, yet not be able to scratch the surface of its meaning. God has “hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and have revealed them unto babes.” There is a language that is coded for those whose hearts are open to receive the message. One must have a heart of understanding in order to have a mind of understanding. When Jesus speaks, we must hear Him with our hearts and not just our ears. The parables separated the seekers from the groupies. There are crowds that gather for entertainment. There is another select few that want to know the Lord. They have blessed ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to understand.

“Then Zedekiah the king sent and took him out. The king asked him secretly in his house, and said, “Is there any word from the Lord?” Jeremiah 37:17 When it appears as if everything is well, any word will do. Extracurricular activities and entertainment may occupy one’s time and attention. There would be a generalized approach towards Church, leadership, and life. Convicting messages appear to be too harsh and insensitive. An approach to reach common ground among all men is then the agenda of those where a distinct sound of warning is not heard. Then trouble comes! New questions and concerns are raised when we hear from Him. There is a quest for real answers that can navigate the lost soul to a safe harbor. “Is there any word from the Lord?” We want to know if there is a true message to be relied upon. We need more than what would otherwise tickle our ears. That would be the same as taking a drug to desensitize oneself from the pain and somehow thinking that we have escaped the pressure. God is speaking today, but not what many wish to hear. His truth challenges the very core of our being….

“God, my strength, my stronghold, my safe retreat when trouble descends.” Jeremiah 16:19 (MSG) God does more than provide strength thus leaving us with the responsibility of knowing how to apply the pressure where most needed. He is our strength, upholding us when we are in our most weakened state, and warding off the enemies lurking around to take advantage of our vulnerabilities. As long as we maintain our focus on Jesus, He will fight our battles. And He upholds us with the right hand of His righteousness. When we enter into battle alone, we are prey to be devoured by one more force and shrewdness with experience in deceiving the self-confident. But when we humbly submit to the Lord, we are in the safest place we could possibly be. Trouble may bear down upon us as a storm that is out of control. Yet our God is our refuge in the time of trouble. God is my strength and security, and my sanctuary. I praise Him as my weapon of war, and worship Him as my place of rest.

 “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!”

“And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.” Ezekiel 47:9 The waters of life will flow from the Temple thus producing life wherever it flows. The dry and brittle soil will receive the refreshing of revival when the Temple has enough water to flow from it to places beyond its doors. God has given us what the world so desperately needs. In a culture of death and spiritual stagnation, many are in pursuit of a truth that is able to reach the soul. The cosmetic treatments of fatal illnesses have not sufficed. There remains a wound deep within the soul that nothing external is able to satisfy. It requires the living water so that one would not have to continue coming to the well. God has given authority to the Church to be salt and light to the world. But His anointing will flow from His people touching the whole of His creation that now groans for redemption. God will pour out His Spirit upon…

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord extends to each individual the opportunity to be saved. It is the road that leads to life. The destination may not be clearly defined or easily understood, but the path to the destination is introduced to each one. It may be a subtle approach from a stranger, or an eye awakening experience. Each situation, when viewed from eternity’s perspective, was the extended hand of God releasing mercy. The objective is to provide an abundance of opportunities for the wayward to be drawn to Him. His desire is that none should perish. Those who perish are usually stubbornly justifying their rebellious ways and never seeing the need for a Savior. Oh, the wonders of His grace! When we understand the need for both mercy and grace, we will view our self-righteousness as sin, our abilities to love as hatred, and every effort on our part to boast as shame. What preserves us from destruction is the awareness of our absolute need for Him in all things….

“Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” Jeremiah 32:17 To understand by faith that the worlds were framed by the Word of God is the basis for the settled confidence necessary to trust Him for all things. Faith progresses from the observable to the invisible. We are able to observe creation with the mysteries contained within all things created. The complexity of nature may be explored but the knowledge contained within each creature is inexhaustible. The delicate balance synergized into a whole unit reflects the genius of a Creator whose thoughts gave consideration to every detail. What amazing wisdom and power must be present to both thinks so explicitly and yet to hold all things together. Since God is able to create both the heavens above which expand to the highest dimensions of man’s comprehension and the earth, the lowest depth of man’s comprehension, then nothing is too hard for Him. We can believe Him for what would otherwise be impossibilities. No longer are they impossible, but merely require a faith that goes deeper than the surface. Nothing is impossible to…

 “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2) And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”  2 Tim 2:1-3 There is a need to maintain the consistency of effort in fulfilling a shared vision. The instructions of Paul were received because he both trained and taught his disciples in the ways of Jesus Christ. If his life contradicted his message, it would have been hypocritical for him to expect more from others than he was willing to do. Not only did they observe his manner of life, his reputation was widespread among many witnesses. It is good to be able to say that your life is a life committed to Christ, but it is far more significant for others to bear witness of your commitment. Therefore he was able to exhort his disciples to commit to others what they collectively were committed to. This is a day where true commitment is needed desperately. The world needs to see examples of committed saints of God modeling before them faithfulness to the Lord and His Word. At that…

“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…

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15  A sanctified heart is directed towards God alone. There is no other direction to which it may be turned that can satisfy the believer for he knows that only God alone can meet the needs existing deep in the recesses of the soul. There are many things around to lure him away from the position in which he stands. But he does not see things as others who are blind to the devices of the devil. The enemy constantly works in attempting to raise doubt in his heart. He has heard the Lord speak concerning His own. He is affirmed as being God’s Son, and continually dwelling in the place of God’s pleasure. Since his heart overflows with love, he has an answer for everyone. Because he is able to see beyond the current crisis, his answer remains prophetic. The pure and heart is able to see God. God is with him; therefore his hope is to take on the character of God….