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“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb 10:25). Is Church the place that we attend or a people in the process of being made? Many place more emphasis on place than on purpose. It is not a matter of getting what we consider to be our needs met. To be honest, we do not really know precisely what our needs are. There are symptoms, but our needs go much deeper. God knows. He knows our frame or the substance on which all that we have become was constructed upon. The foundation of our soul; mind, will, and emotion, is taken into account when the Word of God is spoken under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We are challenged at the very core of our being in order to discover His intentions for our lives. We are not in place to merely receive affirmations. They will only strengthen the soul in its rebellious state against the knowledge of God. He is our Father. He rebukes us, challenges us, and affirms us. Oftentimes Church becomes a very uncomfortable place….

 “I am God, your personal God who rescued you from Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians. I ripped off the harness of your slavery so that you can move about freely.” Leviticus 26:13 (MSG)  God identifies with us and calls us His own. In order for us to experience the blessings of communion, there had to be a divine rescue. The attachments of old held us as slaves to another. It was our condition and geographical location. We were in our Egypt and joined to the culture of Egypt. What we once were was so much a part of us that our objective was to further conform to what we were able to see but God’s love sought us out and reminded us that we were in a place that we did not belong. The dissatisfaction within our souls not to settle was His mercy and grace reaching down to the lowest parts in order to lift us up above the slavery of Egypt. Then He ripped the harness off our necks enabling us to move about freely. Now that we have been set free after having been given the will to be free,…

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.” Philippians 3:7 What a marvelous work must have taken place in the life of Apostle Paul to now be at a place of devaluing what once was the measure of his boasting. Now things had changed for him. Things that were measured as advantages had now become deficits. If they remained his central focus or if he took pride in any other thing, it would diminish the opportunity of knowing Christ as being far more superior to any other thing. It is a matter of prioritizing our lives where Christ becomes all and other things are subordinate to our seeking to know more of Him. This can only happen among those who once knew that they were boastful. Pride has many disguises. Some would say that they are proud of the fact that they are not proud. This oxymoron hides behind a thin veneer of humility. When we become aware of our pride, we then give the Holy Spirit opportunity to free us from it. The test of true humility is when we determine not to know anything but Christ and Him crucified. There we harness…

Both hopes and fears can be traced to the position and attitude towards fathers. The family legacy as our inheritance is transferred from fathers to sons. Dr. Thomas Smail in his epic book entitled The Forgotten Father sums up this dilemma in two sentences: “Mothers tend to promote the fulfillment of their sons from behind; fathers tend to require the obedience of their sons from above! The first kind of love ministers to the needs of the beloved; the second kind dethrones the one it loves and presses him into its own service.” (p. 12). Both fathers and mothers are necessary. We need the push and reinforcement that comes from mothers, but we also need the upward pull to be elevated beyond status-quo living that fathers encourage. He speaks of obedience as the key since the father establishes the parameters and laws within which his children are to function. If lawlessness is to abound, as it is today, it is the result of the rules of fathers being violated. When boundaries are established the fear is the loss of freedom. Yet true freedom can never be experienced unless there are rules of engagement protecting one person’s freedom from invasions caused…

“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.” Philippians 1:12 The trials of the Apostle Paul was sent to destroy him on the part of the enemy, but allowed to prove him on the part of God. Faith is not a mere idea of the mind, but a disposition of the heart. It is able to withstand the onslaught of challenges that would otherwise wear one down. When we are tried and pass the test, on the other side of that victory is a special grace useful in the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can then all the more identify with the price He paid by enduring much more than we could ever face in this life. There is a message preached by some who are void of experience that may stir the emotions and impress its hearers. But there is another message deeply rooted in experiences aligned with the sufferings of Christ. That message is able to make a deep impact upon its hearers because they not only hear it but see it. We live our message much louder than we…

Col 2:2-4 “I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. (3) All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! (4) I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or “the Secret.” (MSG) The knowledge of God connects as a woven tapestry of love. Each part finds its significance in the whole thus touching every aspect of each life. The problem lies in one trying to understand and find answers to the influx of life’s questions apart from the Truth. It is there and has always existed, but that aspect of Christ yet to be known contains what is presently needed. Do not lose Christ yet to be known contains what is presently needed. Do not lose your focus on Him. When you do, you are out of focus. Other things may appear as more than they are. They are but smoking mirrors, tricks of the enemy to allure you away from your primary…

“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Eph 4:7 The Lord has dispensed to each member of the Body of Christ a measure of grace. We have been enabled to function as a whole but yet dependent on every part doing its share. It is from the wholeness of the Body of Christ the witness of Jesus is made known to the world. A fragment may have an effect to a degree, but the full effect can only be experienced when we come together as a whole. Coming together and sharing together as one is the prayer of Jesus Christ. The enemy’s attempts to divide the Body may have delayed the witness but can never destroy the witness. There will be a people equipped for service with understanding of the times, and a clearer knowledge of purpose in the last days. They will not hoard their gifts as exclusive to their party, but see the whole as being greater than the sum of all its parts. It is through the synergized efforts of the Church that the world will know that Christ has come down from the Father. Then the love of…

“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…