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“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26  A change of heart must take place before the heart can be fully trusted. It is too easily influenced by external forces. It can be manipulated by infatuations, deceived by insinuations, and deeply distressed by insecurities and fears. Wisdom is made available but it rests beyond the limits of what may currently dwell within. God must give us a new heart that beats with the rhythm of His own. Only the heart in sync with His can be trusted. He guides it to the path of righteousness, a wise course leading to life. The light of His love delivers us from certain death. When we surrender our stouthearted souls to His warm and tender care, we can be guided in a new direction of peace leading to eternal life.

“An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: (31) The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?”  Jeremiah 5:30-31 When the power of God is absent, the people follow the dictates of their own hearts. They gravitate in the direction of leaders who tell them what they want to hear rather than desiring to hear from the Lord. There will always be people-pleasers among us whose mission is to appease the consciences of the wayward rather than to tell the wayward the truth. The Holy Spirit judges the land on the basis of our choices. Even though the world may be in flux, God require His own people to prove all things and to hold fast to what is good. There are so many choices and so many voices that without the discerning Spirit of God confusion would continue to hang as a heavy cloud over this nation. But God is speaking with a distinct voice providing us with a clear message. Those that love Him will love His Word. They will not go the way of the world down…

“Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (34) Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God….” 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 The company of the deceived is hard to penetrate. There is strength in numbers among them. Even God had to come down and confound the language of those who would have built a tower that would reach the heavens. They would have made a name for themselves and stood in competition with God Himself. The company that is evil influences the behavior of those who gather together. Only the pursuit for righteousness will awaken them from the daze and cause them to be aware of what has taken control of their lives. The wisdom of God shouts in order to draw their attention away from the path that leads to destruction and death. The warnings are for their good. But the loss of familiar companions often arrests their reasoning and they continue on the track leading to hell. Be not deceived. There is a way that leads to death, but God wills us to learn and live.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 The living Spirit of God frees us to give a fuller expression of His will. We are no longer bound to obey His Law as heavy restrictions levied against us, but rather freed inwardly to joyful give expression to what we have become. We are made alive to His righteousness while the Spirit reveals to our spirit a standard no longer alien to us. He gives us both the will and the ability to do for His good pleasure. What a life; to please God and at the same time be pleased ourselves! The old nature of sin of which we had grown accustomed, has now be exposed as a slave master. We have now been liberated from his controls and freely ruled over by a Beneficent and loving Lord. He rules by placing His will within us so that there is no struggle between us. We know that He loves us and we know that His will is perfect. As we progress in our knowledge of Him, we surrender even the most stubborn portions of our lives to His…

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 The dimensions and dynamics of God’s grace are immeasurable.  When we think about the severity of our sins in light of His righteousness, we can then agree with Him that all sins are worthy of death. Only when we give consideration to the depth of the offense will we fully appreciate the grace of God provided and extended towards us. He takes what we deserved and separates it from us. Then as we grow in our understanding of what He requires as a means of cleansing us from the stench of the ruin of sin, He can then separate us from it. Forgiveness of sin is the cleansing from all unrighteousness. It is as if the Lord took a large eraser and erased all that was before. Then we are instructed as to how we are to live in order to remain cleansed from what was once participated. Even in the process of learning, He has made provisions through the precious blood of Jesus to cleanse us of all unrighteousness if we confess our sins. He takes our transgressions, that…

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14 The Apostle Paul uses the language of an athlete competing for the ultimate prize. The intermediate victories are not be become the level in which he was to settle, but his eyes were upon something much greater. They may be used as a means to lead him there, but ultimate prize was the fulfillment of the upward call. This has more to do with becoming someone than getting something. He qualified to enter in to the competition of becoming all that God had called him to become. And out of his becoming, he was enabled by the Holy Spirit to do all that God had called him to do. We too have been called by Almighty God to a standard of spiritual excellence. It is a standard of living out and giving a full and clear expression of the life of Jesus Christ upon the earth. The world is in desperate need of knowing Christ and He can only be known through His Church. He was aware of his imperfections and areas where improvements were needed. But also open for God…

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. 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 God’s eyes are upon the truth in every situation. His judgments are based on the truth that He knows without having to measure circumstantial evidence. This may serve as vindication for the innocent, but will also be an indictment to the guilty. Man can only see that is made known to him. Actions are borne out of motives. We both speak and do what has been brewing in our hearts even before the time comes that we give full expression to it. The matter is already judged in heaven’s court. It is the execution of His judgment carried out when penalties are met. Our judgments or our opinions at that moment do not really matter. When God takes charge of what He sees, it is to our best interest to allow God to be God and for us to take inventory of our own lives. We may have done things differently if…

“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.” Ezekiel 36:24 People who are in exile are a people removed from their place. We see Israel being scattered among the nations and some taking on the character of the nations where they had been forced to occupy. Sin does not ask for our permission, but imposes its character upon those who occupy its territory. A culture of sin produces a people who readily adapt to the environment. It is then difficult for them to remember what God’s original intentions were for their lives. They merely see what others are doing and seemingly enjoying and adjust to their standard of living. But God stands up and makes His Presence known among them. He lets them know that even though they are in a strange place, Israel still carries His name. When His name is hallowed among the nations and a difference is made known by them to the other inhabitants, then deliverance will come. God will bring them into their own land. He is says to us, are we to represent Jesus where we are. Should He only…

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 The consistency of the message is as important as the message itself. Messages that contradict what has been established as foundational in our understanding of Christ cause spiritual erosion to occur within the soul. The writer of Hebrews was warning them to remember what was established within them by those who both spoke and modeled the standard of which they once faithfully followed. Consider that their instructions were intended to lead them to an end result that was to reach far beyond the immediate. This is what any faithful disciple must consider. Those who lead are graced to guide their followers into areas that can only be understood once obedience is completed. Disobedience occurs as the result of being carried away or allured, and not led.  Character deficiencies are sensitive to an alien appeal. One is then flesh driven rather than Spirit-led. One’s diet must consist of that which can provide for eternal gain. It should not consist of the delicacies that appeal to the taste but does harm to the body. What Jesus taught His disciples required them to fully follow Him if they were to become disciples indeed….

“The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”  Isaiah 52:10 The Lord has crowned His kings and princes throughout the earth. His strength has gone out to both defy the power of the enemy and to undo the enemy’s work. There are those who bear the mark of royalty and are destined for the throne to rule and rein with Him. The Kingdom of God dwells among men! The question the world is asking is where is the mark or seal borne by those that belong to Christ? There appears to be no distinction between them and others; in fact, those who rebel appear to have the advantage over the faithful. The mark that they bear is within their hearts. Their passion for their King and the desire to see Him rule in righteousness separates them from others. They have an undying hope directed towards the future. Their faith is not wrapped up into small packages limiting them to temporary pleasures. They want the whole thing and will not settle for anything less. As Dr. James Stewart puts it speaking…