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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…

“He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”  John 16:14 The work of the Holy Spirit is to arrest our thoughts and energy and guide them in a new direction. He will give us an understanding of all things that belong to Jesus Christ. Beforehand our thoughts would wander and attach themselves to things that destroy the soul. Before He intervened there existed no passion to pursue Christ because His life to us had no appeal. Some would attempt to redefine Christ’s  life and mission in order to pursue their own passions and goals. Their emptiness remained when the activity ended. There was no lasting effect to their experiences. There is no contentment unless the Holy Spirit is completely in charge. He will not compete with the pettiness of selfish interests. He is committed to those things that please the Father alone and will not allow anything to get Him sidetracked. What we have learned and received of Christ is clarified and applied to the soul. As the Son did only those things that please the Father, so it is with us who are led of the Holy Spirit. We will…

“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…

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, (2) as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,  (3) if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Peter 2:1-3 The passions and desires of a converted saint are different from the cravings of the sinner. Even though there is still that memory of a life without power driven by the force of sin, he is now free to make better and wiser choices. One must be fully aware of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to save everyone who believes. The tensions that exist between the bondage of the past and the freedoms that lie ahead in the future will be ever present. Yet they are now expendable. These things may try to attach themselves to you, but they have been expelled from within you. This is what Peter was addressing when he instructed believers to lay all these other things aside. They do not give expression to the new nature within you.  You are now in control and responsible for how these things affect you. Allow your affections to be directed towards those things that add to your…

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…

“So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30 God searches hearts in His pursuit of a man that carries His passion. He looks beyond the surface responses and reactions of those who make a good showing before others and will often find one who appears to have nothing going his way. This diligent soul appears to be benched and not actively recruited to participate on the world’s scene because the world does not see his qualities but God is fully aware of them all. This is the man that will build a wall between what God loves and what He loathes. He will also restore the wall of protection for inhabitants of the land that is now defenseless against the enemies of their souls. He stands before God in order to God as an intercessor, appealing to Him in order to avert the judgment that would come against all who rebel against God. But who is this man? He is a nobody in the sight of others, but to God he…

“Since the One who saves and those who are saved have a common origin, Jesus doesn’t hesitate to treat them as family.” Hebrews 2:11 (MSG) We are members of the family of God and the household of faith. Regardless as to when we entered in or whether the member is born or adopted into the family, there is a place reserved for each one. Jesus saved us from the wrath of God. We were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Not only were estranged from the covenant of promise, we had no desire to be otherwise. Jesus saved us from a path even before we possessed the sense or the strength to seek any other path. We sought any option other than the path that led to life. It was the common origin of sin that blinded us to the love of God expressed through His Son. Little wonder why we made the choices that we made then. Our actions were expressions of our family of origin. But God rescued us by adopting us into His family. Now our reorientation…

“but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ. —“ Ephesians 4:15 The alternative to flowing with the wind and being influenced by the culture is hearing that we might do what the Word says. It was Paul’s passion to speak only what the Lord had to say. Even though the message is a challenge to current culture, it is the expression of a higher and deeper dimension of love. It is spoken in love when the desire of the heart of the messenger is to see those he has been called to address grow into developing the character of Christ. Often the growth of the hearers may excel beyond the level of the speaker, but he should not be jealous of his spiritual children. Instead, he should encourage them to take what they have received beyond his level of understanding for the Word alive within the hearer increases as seed to produce a great harvest. Ministers should not waste time addressing every other subject rather than God’s Truth. There is no growth is these side issues. Christ is the answer to every problem but He can only be known…