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“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…

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 24 God has the ability to stabilize our walk and keep us from staggering. It is the staggering walk or the unsettled and unsure steps that eventually lead to a fall. We don’t have to waver in unbelief, but can maintain a steady confidence that God is all that He says in His Word. The world has a dizzying affect upon all who focus their attention in its direction. The contrary winds of error spoken by the majority blow in such ways as to cause the fainthearted to sway under its control. But God has a path that is straight and the power to keep us straight on the path. It leads to the Presence of His glory as one who has victoriously endured the pressures that otherwise would have caused us to drift away. Even if we stumble or stagger or even drift for a moment in time, He gets us back on course and teaches us what we need to know in order that we may stand erect in the center of…

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34 A new commandment is given because a new power is made known. It is a power that existed in eternity but now is being revealed in time through Jesus Christ. He makes known to humanity a selfless love with the power to transform lives. It begins with the willingness to receive the love of Jesus Christ. He loved us first, but that love does us no good unless we first receive it. Allowing ourselves to be loved by the Lord is the first step. Then we are empowered to love one another as we are loved. It is a matter of allowing His love to flow through us along with His strength to do so. Those who are loved can be released from the bondage of self and Satan. They experience the presence of the Lord when we are instruments in His hands fulfilling the Lord’s command.

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44 The Father draws us by way of His Spirit that we may be close to Him. There is a place in God awaiting each soul that is discontent and longing to be where He is. It is our desire that moves the heart of God to beckon us to come closer. He is not impressed with the things that men would be impressed with. Nor can one force his way into His presence without the necessary conditions of the soul being met. He seeks the humble and contrite who would feel undeserving of such an invitation. In Jesus’ earthly ministry, He would spend time with publicans, prostitutes, and tax-collectors. It was the Pharisees that thought they deserve special attention because of their pedigree. He will even beckon little children to come unto Him and rebuke any that would forbid their approaching Him. It is the Spirit of the Father working through the Son that draws us. We are drawn to be with Him forever. Even when we die, He does not leave us. The…

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 There is an interest that ought to be equal to our own. There is no way for one to know this because there is none that is able to tell that make sense to our intellect. Why should we not know this truth that defines us as humans in the likeness and image of God? It is because we are fashioned to consider our own needs and war to make good on what our own heart desires. Self-interest is the path of least resistance. But to resist selfishness without strength, will lead to a loathing within the soul with the feeling of neglect. One will feel as if he is forced to deny himself merely because of a legal standard, but deep within his soul he feel is not fair. One can only be deeply concerned about the interest of others as much as his own with help from above. It is only when the love of God is accepted is he be empowered to release His love. He has a selfless love to give as evidence that His…

“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach.” Mark 3:14 The series of events are in sequential order. First, they were appointed that they might be with Him; then they were sent out to preach. If they had not come to Him when He called them to be with Him, they would not be in position to be sent out. They learned from Him how to live and what to preach by being with Him. It is not enough to merely hear about Him from a book or word of mouth, the experience must be personal. We are called to an intimate relationship with Him. His life is an open book to those who will to know Him, but to the casual inquirer, He is misunderstood and often misaligned. They accuse Him of things that is not a part of His character because they only know Him from a distance. John, the beloved disciple, laid His head upon His breast; Peter, the Zealot, stepped out of the boat in order to join in on what Christ was experiencing while walking on the water. Intimacy includes both the emotional and…

“For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:6-7 The people of God were discouraged because God’s Presence appeared to be withdrawn from among them. Their Temple had been destroyed for over seventy years and the workers who would rebuild it had become weakened and wearied. There are times when it may appear as if God is silent and all hope is lost; then God gives us a prophetic word that He will be restored all who put their trust in Him while all things that others relied upon will be shaken. There will be signs in heaven and signs upon the earth. Strange phenomena will happen so that the nations of the earth will be forced to look beyond themselves for help. Then there will be people of all walks of life that will look in our direction because our eyes will be constantly focused upon Him. Only the Church of the…

“If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.”   Exodus 33:15 As we move forward into this New Year, we need the Presence of the Lord. We stretch our hand into the darkness of uncertain experiences, but by faith believe that there is another Hand on the other side to take hold of it to guide us throughout the year. We trust God who has gone before us and has full knowledge of the end as well as every beginning. But our plight is for His Presence to be with us. As Jesus became man to dwell among us, we need His Presence daily to assure us that we are not alone. If God be with us, who can be against us? He will guide us through every pitfall and entrapment of the enemy as long as He is doing the guiding and we are not merely following the dictates of our own heart. It is our prayer to be changed this year in order for our hearts to be after His own thus having the will to fully follow Jesus wherever He may lead. “If He does not go with us, we do…

“One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” John 9:25 God has allowed us to see the entrance of a New Year. Sight is such a precious thing. Without it we would never see the beauty that surrounds us nor be able to discern the difference between it and the most horrifying and disgraceful thing that may appear. God gives sight to the blind and restore those who have lost their way. Often it is the knowledge gained of other things that appear which makes it more difficult to believe in the invisible. Even when God is not seen the signs of His Presence are all around us. They speak of His majesty, splendor, and power. As New Year’s Resolutions are being made, the greatest would be to draw our hearts and minds in the direction of Jesus Christ. If He is known He will make His Father known to us. Then our hearts would be settled on the one thing that really matters. When we see Him through pure eyes, we would be enabled to see all things that pertain to life and godliness. Those things that accompany salvation would become as priceless jewels. But the…

This year, as never before, we are invoking and anticipating God’s Manifest Presence – – invading the scene and filling the void left in those attempting to manage life without Him. Emptiness resonates in every arena of life leaving a trail of failed hopes and dreams. Setbacks and failures are not always negative, for they often sound the alarm that awakens one to face reality. God is real and has always been real, but unless we invoke His Presence, many will not even know that He exists. In light of this, I invite you to read the following speech by Benjamin Franklin during the Constitutional Convention on June 28, 1787: Mr. President: The small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance and continual reasoning with each other — our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ayes is, methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those…