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“For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:10 Those who trust in the living God labor with a goal in view that is different from the activities of others. There are luxuries not afforded the faithful for he must live his life with purpose. Every day must have a degree of significance that further sets him aside as God’s representative on the earth, maintaining the course leading to a destination. Kingdom business is his primary business. Now the world system will notice the difference but will not know how to interpret it. His strangeness will be repulsive to many who would much rather he be silent rather than to speak. His activity appears to run counter to values of his contemporaries. Yet he has fully embraced his call and end to suffer reproach because his life is not his own; he has been bought with a price. Therefore he trusts in the living God who is his constant companion to guide him through this maze of life to his eternal home. His life is a gift to…

“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…”  Phil 3:10 There is continuing aspects of Jesus Christ made available to us. Our spiritual hunger to fully identify with Him qualifies us to know what was unknown. We have come to know that He is our Savior and Lord through His Word. We believe on Him and apply faith in all of His promises. Yet the more we know of Him, a fire is ignited within our hearts to experience Him. To share with Him in His experience of life is the grandest endeavor one could ever attain. The evidence that we know Him is that we recognize that there is much more to be known than what we have come to know. The height and depth of His love is to be explored throughout our lifetime. Oh the joy of knowing that it is Christ working in us and the sufficiency is not of us! We have been raised in newness of life. Now each experience whether it be painful or pleasurable, is ordered by our Master for a purpose far greater than any at this…

“Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.” Mark 14:18 Before Jesus was crucified, He was identified through betrayal by one who sat at His table and ate with Him. One who loved so deeply would be exposed by a friend to His enemies. Jesus knew when it would happen and who it was who would be so used as a spy among them. Yet He did not make Him known among the brethren. There are times when sin must run its course. Any intervention on our part to defend ourselves or expose the adversary would be counterproductive. God will allow many to dwell among us who do not carry our heart or vision. Nevertheless, God uses all things for the fulfillment of His purpose. Jesus loved, provided for, and even dined with His betrayer. These events led to the cross, the inevitable end that marked a new beginning for all who would believe on Him. His will transcended the pain suffered by dishonest companions and even the pain of suffering and death on the cross. The glory that shall be revealed in us was…

“He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.” (NKJ) “Death is the reward of an undisciplined life; your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end.” (MSG) Proverbs 5: 23 A warning to the wise is the anecdote to his falling away and divorcing himself from his wisdom. Disciples are to exercise disciplines in order to safeguard areas that would otherwise be vulnerable to the enemy. He is seeking to influence those who have taken pride in their stance as being invincible thus allowing their guards to be down. Death is the price paid for our redemption. Since we are alive to Christ and dead to the world, Satan’s ploy is to attempt in resurrecting things that once dominated and controlled our lives. Daily decisions have far-reaching and severe consequences. Nothing is done in isolation from a path leading to a destination. And nothing is done that does not follow a pattern of living modeled by a master. Our death in Jesus Christ produced life with a purpose. We are being led to triumph over all the works of darkness. Our thoughts must be directed towards the eternal unless we…

“And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel 37:3 God asks us questions that He alone is able to answer. We try our best to understand how a possibility of hope may arise out of an impossible situation. What we see are circumstances that appear to be beyond hope. God placed the prophet there. And God continues to communicate to him at that place for which he has been prepared. The valley is a lonely place if you are alone. But God is in the valley in order to teach valley lessons. There we learn to raise others above their lowly state. He allowed him to see the ruins of what once was vibrant and alive. Then He asked him the question that sounds like a mockery of his intelligence and adding insult to injury. “Can these bones live?” Not just any bones, but the bones of the defeated army; an army that must rise from death then rise from defeat. Life would be meaningless if defeat was to be continual. His will is that we live on purpose. God must answer His own question, but if He is asking us, then He must have…

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16 Sublimation according to Dr. Hadfield, was “the process by which instinctive emotions were diverted from their original ends, and re-directed to purposes satisfying to the individual and of value to the community.” Man will instinctively fulfill the lust of the flesh. The energy to carry out that end is within him and if nothing is changed, it is inevitable that he will follow after that path. It is only when the Spirit is given permission to intervene will his course be changed. His instincts will be diverted away from what comes natural and the more he yields to the Holy Spirit the more he will find pleasures equal to and ultimately greater than what formally occupied his time and attention. The energy that was expended towards self-gratification is now used for the benefit of the community. When we walk in the Spirit, we are moving in the direction and the ultimate destination of God. All other paths lead to isolation and death. Habits are broken and new passions are ignited in place of the dominating forces that lead to frustration. The…

”The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26 The righteous ought to practice the art of carefully choosing their friends. Once the purpose of friendships is understood, each one can be taken seriously. There are commitments made to each other to be genuine and trustworthy at all times. The character of men is similar to a magnet which draws like-minded individuals together. Deceptive people may seek out those that they envy who possess the character that they wish was their own. Yet their deceptive ways have reduced them to mere pretense which leads many who trust them astray. Our influence is either positive or negative. We assimilate the character of the company that we keep. Choose friends carefully because one’s own character is reflected by their choices.

“Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit?” Psalm 139:7 When we are born of the Spirit, the Spirit remains with us wherever we go. He is there in those moments when we feel alone and abandoned. He is there when our hearts drift in directions that would be far removed from the warmth that comes as result of meditation and deep contemplation on His goodness towards us. Our reluctance to draw closer to Him does not affect His pursuit of us. His Spirit is wooing us in our darkest hour to deeper levels of intimacy with the Son of God. Only Jesus can reveal to us the love of the Father that will provide stability and purpose for our lives. He was that voice of conscience convicting us when we were wrong. He was that voice of encouragement pressing us forward when we had the opportunity to do right. The Spirit is both our Comforter and our Guide. He alone can reveal to us the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

“For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; (8) but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.” Hebrews 6:7-8 What we have experienced and participated in with God is not merely for ourselves. He allows us to experience His goodness in order to provide healing for others. Either we will bear healing herbs for wounded, restless, and reckless souls, or we bear thorns and briers to further wound them. The deepest wound is wielded by sword-handlers who are unskilled in spiritual warfare. They cannot effectively interpret God’s grace in ways to benefit the wayward. We have been enlightened, tasted of the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come. Therefore, we are the ones that are to bear herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated. The fruit of our lives is for those who wish to know the Source and purpose for our being alive. Then, we…

“May God, who puts all things together; makes all things whole, who made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus, the sacrifice of blood that sealed the eternal covenant.” Hebrews 13:20 (MSG) God is able to put broken pieces back together again. What great men only wish to happen, God is able to make happen. He is aware of where all the separated parts are misplaced. He has the power to draw each part back to its rightful place. Then He able to breathe life into what He has reassembled. The request was for God to do what only He is able to do. When all things work according to their intended purpose, they glorify God. His wish is that we be made whole. Too many people are measured by what others think or what they may have succumb to accept. But true wholeness is holiness. When we are set apart for God’s exclusive use, we come to realize His purpose for our lives. That is the highest degree of self-discovery. We know ourselves through knowing Him and then we are enabled to know that there is a future ahead of total completeness in Jesus Christ, His Son.