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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…

“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:16 Doctrines have been the dividing line among many within the Church. The debate over doctrine has split brethren from fellowshipping with each other. And some who do not understand the importance of doctrine may either generalize all beliefs as being of equal value or dismiss all beliefs as being false. Doctrine or Didache is teaching or what is taught. Right teaching or instructions will produce righteous living. Paul was admonishing Timothy to pay attention to how his own character was being developed in relation to what was being taught. Is there an adherence to the Word of God bringing you into conformity to a godly standard? This can only take place when you continue in the original instructions which brought you to salvation, and build upon the foundation of those truths that which leads to spiritual maturity. Once you veer away to the left or to the right of the road rather than remaining on the path of truth, your capabilities to discern will be compromised.  The life of the instructor and the…

“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…

Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.”  Songs of Solomon 2:15 The tender grapes are the daily benefits provided to us by God. It is the knowledge of God’s love producing within us a confidence that is not easily shaken. When we are confident that we are loved, then we are empowered to love others without pretense. True friendships can be forged to last a lifetime and the expectation of a future hope of eternity burns brightly within our hearts. How delicate the balance is between our faith and our love. We can now love because we by faith can see beyond the shortcoming and limitations of the misguided and the misinformed. We can see good intentions even when bad habits inhibit positive action. We can also see the possibility of change among those whose lives appear to be hopeless and they may be blind to the true remedy of their souls. But when careless and immature foxes enter into a well cultivated vineyard, they have the tendency of destroying the very vines on which the fruit is being developed. One mishap can raise such doubt as to cause one…

“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…

“…. they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10 The motive behind one’s action is either truth or pleasure. Throughout our lifetimes we have made decisions on the basis of either of these factors. Usually it is pleasure and if truth can be found in pursuit of it, there is an added bonus. It gives one the sense of being right. The path of least resistance in pursuit of wholeness is a pursuit of pleasure and often requires the compromise of truth. The quest for truth must be deliberate unless a compromised version of it surfaces as a substitute for the real thing. The reason truth alone appears to be so unattractive is because it prohibits the full expression of free will. To follow ones heart is to allow the dictates of the world, the flesh, and the devil to dominate the life of the person. The heart unchanged will by nature violate the laws of God because of the nature of sin dwelling within the heart. “They did not receive the love of the truth,” they had not allowed their hearts to be changed by the Word of Truth. They found…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; (6) In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 The word “trust”, “lean”, “acknowledge”, and “direct”, illustrate to us the Lord’s mode of operation. Trust is not a mere accent to the existence of God. Even though we must believe on the Lord to be saved, but to accept His Lordship, we must lean on Him. That is, to place the weight of our lives upon Him.  To believe on the Lord is to have confidence in what He is able to do. But to lean on the Lord is to believe that He will be engaged in our personal experiences and do what He is able to do for us. Our understanding is limited. His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts.  It is when we learn from Him His ways and paths that they become our own ways and our paths. We must be convinced that He knows what is best for us. He does not lead us in a direction away from His ultimate intentions. He looks ahead and directs us towards those…

“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…

He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; (3) and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.  Matthew 16:2-3 The corporate decisions made by both our spiritual and civic leaders are the uneasy breathing of this generation gasping for lack of spiritual air. The deficiencies reflect a climate of desperation, but without the knowledge of the Savior. The world has resorted to measures which are appeasing to the fallen masses, pacifying their appeals for pleasure thus taking the path of least resistance. Many Church leaders have relented to providing blind leadership by getting in front of the parade of fools. They hold the office and gain the attention, accolades, and allegiance of the people by giving them what they want and taking them where they desire to go. Where discernment is lacking, all things appear to be right. Every person is right in his own eyes because the King is absent from the consciousness of those who decide for us….

 “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…