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“From where then does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding?” Job 28:20 The pursuit of wisdom occurs in many places. It is sought in the majestic halls of education. It is pursued among the politicians who ponder over laws which prove over time to be no more than an experiment in balancing the scales of justice. Wisdom appears to be such a fleeting and ethereal thing that many are left on their own in their attempts to define it. Their eloquence and artistic usage of words is often the disguise used to camouflage what is lacking when true wisdom is lacking. The impressive psychobabble of self impressed individuals with self-interests often become standard among the misguided sheep who find themselves following after leaders who are not being led themselves. There is a place where wisdom can be found. It is found in the reverential fear of the Lord. It is when individuals no longer allow themselves to be governed by the whims of men, but consider the Lord before any decision is made. It is imparted to surrendered and humble hearts. Those who remain teachable oftentimes corrected so that the path of righteousness is maintained. Then the Holy…

“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…

“Your shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria; Your nobles rest in the dust. Your people are scattered on the mountains, and no one gathers them.” Nahum 3:18 The sheep have wandered away from the fold, each sheep in search for greener pastors. Because each has gone its own way, they are prey to the attacks of animals that make food of them. It is not the disobedience of the sheep, but the silence of the shepherds that are sleep and the leaders rest in the dust. There is no warning, nor guidance given to the straying folds. Shepherds must be awake and aware of the dangers lurking behind rocks and hiding in caves. It is the voice of the Shepherd who never sleeps nor slumbers that guide the under-shepherds. They too are sheep and it is required that they be awaken to righteousness. This is the time for gathering those who would be gathered, not gathered to a spectacular event or to a personality. The truth must be the clarion call coming making a distinct sound as a rallying cry to all who name the name of Jesus Christ. Deception is rampant today and many are misguided and apathetic. The…

“God, my strength, my stronghold, my safe retreat when trouble descends.” Jeremiah 16:19 (MSG) God does more than provide strength thus leaving us with the responsibility of knowing how to apply the pressure where most needed. He is our strength, upholding us when we are in our most weakened state, and warding off the enemies lurking around to take advantage of our vulnerabilities. As long as we maintain our focus on Jesus, He will fight our battles. And He upholds us with the right hand of His righteousness. When we enter into battle alone, we are prey to be devoured by one more force and shrewdness with experience in deceiving the self-confident. But when we humbly submit to the Lord, we are in the safest place we could possibly be. Trouble may bear down upon us as a storm that is out of control. Yet our God is our refuge in the time of trouble. God is my strength and security, and my sanctuary. I praise Him as my weapon of war, and worship Him as my place of rest.

“As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.” Matthew 24:32 One major sign of the return of Christ will be the renewed courage and strength among those who carry the testimony of the Lord. As it was in the days of the prophets and later the apostles, so shall it be among individuals who will stand for truth without compromise. They will be among a people who have relented to casual Christianity, but will not allow the pressures brought to bear against them to discourage them nor diminish their faith. There will be new life within the Church as both young and old will boldly face persecution if required, for righteousness sake. The sign will be an awakening spreading to the ends of the earth. The Kingdom of God will be their message, the cross will be their standard, and zeal of the Lord will totally consume them. Professor Martin Scharlemann of Concordia Seminary said, “As soon as the missionaries are no longer welcome to do their work and their host countries begin to expel them, look up.”

“Their job is to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, to show them how to discern between unclean and clean.” Ezekiel 44:23 The job of the preacher is not merely to entertain people or to build buildings. Neither is he successful when he possesses the ability to draw large crowds. God has assigned us to teach the difference between the sacred things and the secular. We must do all to the glory of God, but not all things warrant the same attention. The neglect of foundational truths will erect structures of wood, hay, and stubble that cannot withstand the waves of adversity or the strong winds of erroneous doctrines. Only those who are well taught will be able stand being fully equipped with the full armor of God. They are led in the path of holiness and righteousness thus developing their discernment between good and evil, the clean and the unclean. The paralyzing sin of sameness has dulled the senses of many. But God will raise up His priests who have not bowed their knees to Baal and remain faithful for such a time as this.

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”  John 13:14 Jesus was acknowledged by His disciples as both Lord and Teacher. He both rules over them, therefore having the right to demand their servitude. And He is their teacher, one who instructs them in the ways of righteousness. This dual role is a very unique one because one role does not require any patience or sympathy. As their Lord, their wills must be totally submitted to His will. There is no room for arbitration or any form of questioning. He has the right to rule them or they would be subject to face the consequences of their rebellion. Yet He never rules without instructions. He goes before us in order to train us so that we are enabled to see an example of what we will become. Then He shows us exactly how He does it and empowers us with His Spirit in order for us to be properly equipped to do it. Finally He serves us rather than look to us to serve Him. As we are being served by Him, we are expected to serve others. Only…

“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13 The instructions given by God to your children will first produce an inner peace. Their hearts will agree with the truth for which they were made to receive and understand. They would no longer be left to themselves to wander from one opinion to the next never knowing which path is the right one to take. But rather, they shall be surefooted in their stance in righteousness and not easily swayed by the winds of strange doctrines that have become prevalent in our day. There is a peace for children to receive. Even though they may not have experienced much of what lies ahead, nevertheless they can face the future with confidence. The instruction of the Lord will guide them when they arrive at certain impasses and a decision is necessary to go in either direction. They will apply their teachings to the situation at hand and not fall prey to the adversary whose objective is to allure them away from the path that leads to life. Each child shall receive his share. None shall be left out for all…

“The field is wasted, the land mourns; for the grain is ruined, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails.” Joel 1:10 There are times when conditions are bleak and the people are called to repentance. Nothing occurs by chance. God withdraws His Hand among a people who think they have the abilities to manage their affairs. It is not that the people are completely abandoned, but rather they are allowed to feel the results of decisions made when He is no longer reverenced as Lord. Without His oversight, the field is wasted, the grain is ruined, the new wine is dried up, and the oil fails. Each requires what only God is able to give for their sustenance. Without His care, the people must manage without the rain that must fall from heaven. Nothing planted is able to grow without the rain. When it touches the seed, it will then spring forth with new life. Spiritual dryness is a condition where the people have not come to realize the source of challenges facing the world. God’s people must, in humility, seek His face and turn in the direction of righteousness in order for the rain to fall from…

“Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day — but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.” 2 Peter 3: 12-13 (MSG) The coming of the Lord will attract the attention of those who are eagerly awaiting His return. While all things around us are being shaken, and nothing appears to have any degree of stability, there remains a constant focus in an upward direction in spite of all other things that would otherwise be disturbing. God has promised that He would send His Son again to the earth. If the earth could not receive the words of the prophets, and the world rejects His standard, it is not the world on which His kingdom will be established. He will descend, but above the earth while the heavens and the earth is burned with fire, then He will establish new heavens and a new earth where righteous will reign. But then, it will be under the rule of those who are kept by His power and anticipate His return….