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“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3 The heavenly place must be occupied by the preparer before it can be inhabited by the prepared. The place was the reward of obedience to the will of the Father. All requirements of His earthly life were fulfilled. He was spiritually there even though He was still here. His spirit at that point knew no limits. His death was the ultimate qualifier for His bodily entrance into the place once filled by Him spiritually. The heavenly place was to become the permanent positioning of all who would allow the life of Jesus Christ to fully absorb their own. His finished work was to be presented to the Father as evidence through the passageway of death. His spirit had already ascended, yet all limits of time and space had been removed. Those who have received His life are seated in heavenly places in Christ. We are there in Him. Just as He arose from the grave and now the Man Jesus Christ is there in bodily form, so shall we be…

“When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.”2 Chronicles 7:1 The prayer of King Solomon in the dedication of the Temple was heard in heaven. He had listened to God in completing the task to which he was assigned. He was chosen by God as King of Israel, and now prayed a prayer of dedication for what the Lord had allowed him to participate in doing. It is a glorious thing to be a part of God’s work and attentive enough to listen fully to His instructions. He did not add nor take away from the specific instructions of God. His obedience to God provided for him the opportunity to place a sacrifice upon the altar. Many things may be offered to God with the intent of warranting His acceptance. But God only answers with fire that which is acceptable to Him. Are we placing sacrifices on the altar of God without giving Him His proper honor? We must do what He has assigned us to do. Then we can place on His altar our sacrifice. The consuming fire of God…

“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…

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 The consistency of the message is as important as the message itself. Messages that contradict what has been established as foundational in our understanding of Christ cause spiritual erosion to occur within the soul. The writer of Hebrews was warning them to remember what was established within them by those who both spoke and modeled the standard of which they once faithfully followed. Consider that their instructions were intended to lead them to an end result that was to reach far beyond the immediate. This is what any faithful disciple must consider. Those who lead are graced to guide their followers into areas that can only be understood once obedience is completed. Disobedience occurs as the result of being carried away or allured, and not led.  Character deficiencies are sensitive to an alien appeal. One is then flesh driven rather than Spirit-led. One’s diet must consist of that which can provide for eternal gain. It should not consist of the delicacies that appeal to the taste but does harm to the body. What Jesus taught His disciples required them to fully follow Him if they were to become disciples indeed….

“And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers.  Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Isa 30:20-21 The departure from the Way is the root cause of the adversity that comes from the Lord. There are challenges that come as result of obedience and challenges that are rooted in rebellion. The difference between the two is the adherence on the part of the challenged to hear the instructions that come from the Lord. He is available to deliver us from all of our trouble, but do we listen to His voice before us to lead or have we left what He has to say to us behind? Their teachers were sidelined and replaced with guides who misguided them. They listened to falsehoods as blind guides led them into pits. But God did not abandon them even though they had abandoned Him. From behind His voice could still be heard. From the rear, the places inhabited and celebrated was the voice of God speaking to them in order for them to…

“SINCE ALL this is true, we ought to pay much closer attention than ever to the truths that we have heard, lest in any way we drift past [them] and slip away.”  Hebrews 2:1 ( AMP) The things we neglect we forget. The things we give attention to are remembered. It is easy to have good intentions and resolve to apply great truths to various aspects our lives, but unless that commitment is immediately acted upon, the urgency of the moment will fade. Even if the thought returns, the zeal would have diminished. Obedience to God is to make Him the priority of your life. It is to make first things first at all times. Disobedience will dull the senses and the spirit becomes sluggish in its response to the Word of God. That person will eventually become a selective hearer and not be able to contain great truths when they are conveyed because the capacity to comprehend them has not been developed. Pay attention to God’s Word, especially those truths that you do not understand. Your interest in the deep things of God will prompt your inquiring mind to search with all diligence. Then when you ask God through prayer, the…

 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments,For this is man’s all.”  Ecclesiastes 12:13 The fear of the Lord is where wisdom begins. It is the acknowledgement of God’s existence and His divine power. Even though He is invisible, the evidence remains that God is Almighty.  Many have lost their fear of the Lord and has either disrespected and ignored Him altogether or reduced Him to a level that makes Him common. As important as it its, yet the fear of the Lord does not constitute salvation. Even the devil believes that there is a God and trembles. The second must accompany the first. We must keep His commandments. An attempt to keep His commandments solely on the basis of fear will lead to a Pharisaic and legalistic form of obedience. It is the motivation is love that provides consistency in our obedience to Him. If we love Him our will is to obey Him. The Royal Law of love provides a constant flow from our hearts to the object of our faith. Then it is distributed towards the assignments given to us. We must see the objective from beginning to end. Then our…

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3 In an age of diversity, tolerance, and political correctness, to speak exclusively that One would stand out among the crowd condemning all others beside as false, lifeless, and insignificant. So it is with God who has no respect for other gods. None other is to be worshiped and the exclusive course to the Father is through His Son, Jesus Christ.  What is most difficult to many is to understand the effect of original sin. None had access because of man’s nature as sinners. When sin is ignored then the need for a Savior is unnecessary. But thanks be to God, a provision was made through the death of His own Son that we might be redeemed! Idolatry is the pursuit of a god that is either after Him or in place of Him. He must stand alone. He is to be worshiped. Renounce any idols in your life that may be competing for your exclusive obedience to Him.

“When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom.” John 2:9 Only the servants were knowledgeable of the source of the wine that was changed from water. Those who served had knowledge beyond those who mastered over them. Their obedience to the Master that ruled over masters had given them the instructions. As they had filled the water pots with water, they were firsthand to give witness to the first miracle of Jesus Christ. Jesus will reveal Himself to those who are willing to obey Him at His Word. They did not see first and then obey but rather, their obedience positioned them to see. The master of the feast was in amazement because he tasted the best wine last. The master of the feast was pleased, the bridegroom was pleased and the guests were pleased because the feast could continue. But only the servants knew the secret.  Who would get the credit for the miracle? Jesus, who was only a guest, had rescued the feast by turning water into…

“After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself:” John 21:1-2 He makes Himself known in ways that are familiar to each person. He once came in human flesh and fully identified with the human experience, yet honoring the Father by not yielding to the temptation of sin. After He was raised from the dead, He continued to show Himself again to His disciples. In His resurrected state, He is still in touch with all things pertaining to us. They were fishermen before their encounter with Jesus. Now that He had been crucified, they returned to their former professions. Their lack of success was challenged by His question, “Children, have you any food?” They had toiled all night to no avail. Jesus then gave them instructions that they could either follow or ignore. But when they cast their nets on the other side of the boat, they could not contain all that was in their nets. The resurrected Christ makes His presence known again among His disciples. He is the same Jesus but now raised in newness of life as the first-born of many brethren. It is…