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“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 Life takes on a new meaning once Christ has come into the heart of the believer. He does not merely exist among the other things once deemed important, but rather sets the priorities for ones existence. Any other place given to Him constitutes a warms feeling in His regards, but not the quality of life He promises and died to give. This was the revelation given to Paul, the Apostle by the Holy Spirit. “For me, the meaning of life has shifted. For me, it’s no longer a matter of consulting with God as to whether it is permissible for me or not to have my own way. For me, to live is for Christ to fully live His life through me.” This ought to be the earnest desire of each and every Christian. This is a life of discovery whereas one is freed from pretense or attempting to force himself to do what he thinks that Jesus would do. But rather discovering in his own flesh the life and works of Jesus personally. “To die is gain.” Death died on the Cross when Jesus was crucified…

“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.” Hebrews 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 in 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. We…

“ 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…

“Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”  Revelations 1:19 The revelation of Jesus Christ gave John the insight to write His testimony describing the past, the present, and the future. Time and space no longer exist as divided in His presence. He takes us beyond the moment and brings all things into an eternal perspective. When we are facing current challenges, it is impossible for us to see into the future. It appears as if the bulls of Bashan had encircles around us awaiting their moment to attack and destroy us. He tells us to write what we have seen. Those moments when viewed from eternity were not there for our defeat but rather for our deliverance and future victory. “God Provides” became our testimony. He showed up in the midst of our deepest woe in order to prove Himself strong on our behalf when were at our weakest point. It was His strength made perfect when all that we attempted had failed. He said to John, “Write it down!” In other words, He asked him to mark the spot where he is standing today and watch…

“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 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 the energy…

“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matt 16:19 The keys unlock the mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables because it had not been given to them to know the mysteries of His kingdom, but it was given to His disciples. They had submitted to Him and had committed to fully follow Him. Along their journey they were graced by the Holy Spirit to receive the revelation from the Father that He was the Christ, the Son of the living God. This truth unlocked the mystery to which they were to enter in. Experiencing Christ is having access bringing down to earth the blessings contained in heaven. As we grow in our knowledge of Christ, not merely our knowledge of created things, we will discover that all is subject to what we are learning. He has preeminence over all things. They maintain their consistency by and through Him alone. A glimpse of Christ is insufficient for the journey ahead of us. We must maintain our focus exclusively…

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, (7) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 1:6-7 Faith is placed on trial when you are given a seemingly legitimate reason to rebel against God as the result of current circumstances and the decisions of others. Logically the thing to do would be to disobey God and partake of the forbidden, or curse God for relief that does not seem to be on the horizon or even a part of the plan. One is for self-gratification and the other is to remedy the effect of constant misery. Faith rises in the midst of trials as being more precious than whatever the outcome would have been if you had relented in the midst of your greatest and most fierce battles. It is precious because in the end, God will prove Himself to be faithful. He will reward those who do not cave in under pressure, and will avenge them from…

“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 The keys unlock the doors to the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. With one key, the largest and the most difficult door can swing open on the hinges of faith. Peter was given the keys to unlock every door existing there. The possessing of keys is essential, but their proper use is still required. Peter received from the Father the revelation of the Person of Jesus Christ accompanied with the relationship that exists between them. The revelation that He is the Christ provides the keys given to man in order for him to correspond and commune with God. Now it takes spiritual growth and experience to know what things we should ask for thus aligning ourselves with the will of the Father. When earth reflects the will of heaven, then earth will have upon it an instrument that will use the keys as a means of having God’s kingdom to come, and His will to be done on earth as it is in…

“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” Hebrews 2:1 We should pay special attention in reflecting on what has already been said. We need to meditate on what we have already heard. Contained within those messages are words that are needed for our future growth. It is within the course of living that God will test as to whether we took seriously those things that once excited us. It is not the initial enthusiasm that matters most, but will it endure the challenges of the future? It is the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust for other things that will snatch away what we once possessed and treasured. They drift when our attention is diverted away from them. Then it is as if we had never heard. God’s desire is to build upon the revelation of Jesus Christ established within our hearts. We can then grow in grace and in the knowledge of Him. Attention given to the Word of God in the past requires a more earnest heed. Then the Holy Spirit will preserve what we have committed to Him from ever leaving…

“Blessed is he who takes no offense of Me.” Luke 7:23 The offense that occurs among men is the contradistinction between His deity and His humanity. Some would view Him as not being human enough to understand man’s dilemma and the challenges that all men face, while others would reduce Him to being just a man, the son of a carpenter. Then there are those who view Him as being an impostor who proclaims to be God. The paradox of His life as being fully God and fully man is the reason for many taking an offense to Him. But blessed is he who has received from the Holy Spirit the revelation as Peter received, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” In this statement, both His deity and humanity are genuinely and fully expressed. Flesh and blood cannot make this known. Only the Father in heaven can reveal this to us thus positioning us to receive the revelation of the Father through our surrender and obedience to Him.