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“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.” 1 Peter 2:1-2 Things that have the potential of hindering our spiritual growth are to be laid aside. It is not always clear as to how things that may appear so benign can restrict the flow of fellowship with the Spirit of God. He is gentle and so pure that any of the above mentioned have the potential to disrupt the peacefulness and calm that He alone can provide. Feeding on the earnest milk of the Word is the antidote to the poisonous effect of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and evil speaking. It will convict us when the thought arises in our minds to participate in practices which will hinder His effect upon our lives. One of the evidences that we are born again is that our spirits will know what we so desperately need. We are then able to grow past those things that plagued our souls before we came to know the Lord. As we lay these things aside, the fruit of the Spirit will grow within us. The very…

“ For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”(1 Corinthians 2:2) Memory is a gift from God. When appropriately used, it can serve as a blessing. But when the lingering effects of memory close our minds to God, it is then a curse. During times of stillness the mind can relive experiences of the past. Our memories capture those moments and freeze-frame them into the catalogue of our minds. Things we have learned lay the foundation for further knowledge. Paul realized this and made a decision. He said, “for I determined…” The word “determined” in the Greek language is “krino” which means, “to separate.” Paul was in essence saying, “I separate the knowledge of the past from the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” God was determined to separate light from darkness. It is not that Paul was ignorant of other things. He knew many things, but now possessed the ability to separate what he knew from who he is in the process of knowing. To know Jesus Christ is a full time job that ought to occupy our undivided attention. All other information must pass through the filter of the revelation of Jesus in…

“I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”  Jeremiah 17:10 The Lord looks at the heart of every person and does not merely see its present condition. He looks into the heart at every contributing factor that motivates both mind and heart. We see the world and people through the lenses of past experiences whether good or bad. Our heart is set in a particular direction while our mind searches out new things to explore. God searches the heart in order to remove the debris that hinders our minds from thinking on things which are just, lovely, pure, and or a good report. Our thoughts will determine our action. Our truest motives are from either a pure or an impure heart. What God has ordained will continue to affect the lives of others bringing them to deeper and greater levels of understanding Jesus Christ. He must be seen in all that we do. When He is glorified through our efforts, our work will have eternal rewards rather than merely producing temporary relief.  He rewards the fruit of our doings and not our deeds…

 “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…

“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder)” 2 Peter 3:1 Our minds are purified as the result of hearing a pure word. The clutter of a misguided conscience and the pollutants of compromised values are removed and replaced with an understanding of absolutes that can withstand the scrutiny of contemporary questioning. A pure mind is to be treasured above all things. It means that the mind has processed what the heart has embraced. Then one is able to give a reason for the hope that is in them. They can defend the faith and withstand the scrutiny of error. Now that we can receive words of wisdom, we are not to entertain thoughts and ideas that can lead to moral failure. Our minds must remain pure in order for us to receive from God instructions for daily living. There are many things to be added to what we currently know. These are the building blocks that contribute to our becoming a spiritual habitation. They cause us to further set our minds on the things above and not be distracted by things around us and beneath…

“He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:3 God Himself will purge His people as silver and gold. He has invested in the lives of His own and is committed to removing the residue that would shroud the beauty of what is deposited deep within the heart and soul. There are desires polluted and misdirected by the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. When the heart of His leaders are turned in the wrong direction, yet they remain His leaders; they are purged of the dross in order for His glory to shine through them. He is aware of the tendency within the heart of humanity to stray away, but fire of the refiner must burn away all that should not be. It is a painful thing to be refined but the end result is glorious! When we are tried, we will come forth as pure gold. Offerings are not enough to please our Lord. He seeks after an offering in righteousness. It is the life of the…

“For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 The external things may be impressive and rewarding to those who would settle for less than God’s approval. Men celebrate success and imitate the lives of those who appear to have accomplished what they one-day wish to achieve. It is often that gifts and talents may carry a person where character cannot maintain them. Their truest nature will all too often peek around the corner and betray them, thus exposing their motives. We cannot fool ourselves, nor will ourselves into having the heart of Christ. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to change our hearts so that our will is to do His will. All other works are rejected because the motives are not pure. We must pray that God would give us a clean and pure heart and a steadfast spirit. Then we must constantly pray that nothing would enter into our hearts to turn us away from remaining pure before God.

“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….

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28-29 A healthy fear is necessary for a balanced life. It helps one avoid carelessness and reckless living. Yes God is love and He initiates the process by loving us first. But unless we first fear Him, it is impossible to appreciate how far down He had to reach in order to save us. We are saved from the wrath of God. His wrath is measured against all ungodliness among those who suppress the truth. They are within the aim of His wrath. A healthy fear would cause concern as to whether we are in God’s will or out of it. It is when we receive His forgiveness are we able to respond in pure love. It flows to us and from us as it is received from the Lord. The assumptions of many lead to a brazen attitude interpreted as boldness or worldly wisdom. But the wise consider their state and desire to walk worthy of their calling.

”Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” Hebrews 10:22 We are invited to come closer to God as we meet the conditions of spiritual intimacy. His blessings are as the result of our moving in His direction. Many may attempt to confiscate the benefits without the relationship, but God will test the purity of our hearts. He knows when true love is the motive of our actions, and His Spirit will give witness that we are in agreement with Him. Then we can boldly approach the throne of grace and obtain mercy to find the grace to help in the time of need. Assurance of faith is a blessing reserved for the pure in heart. As we are being purified by the Holy Spirit, our passions will continue to conform to His will. We will want what He wants for us when we have been drawn to the place where He abides.