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“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him.” 1 Peter 4:1 (MSG) The aim of Jesus is to teach us what it means to be fully human. There has been made for us a way to understand life from a perspective that is much greater than fallen man is able to see, understand, or express. Jesus Christ’s example demonstrates God’s intentions from the beginning for the whole of humanity. The image of God in man was ravaged and marred by sin leaving him disfigured with only a faint semblance of the original model. But where the first Adam became the personification of man’s rebellion and failures, the last Adam came to restore all that we lost. Every test and challenge was measured against Jesus, yet He did not succumb to the pressure. Jesus went through everything you are now going through and more. There is no way to measure the degree of suffering experienced by Him. Since He has gone through it all, His promise is to be with you while you are going through. He qualifies to lead you through whatever you may face in life. He’s been there. He is well…

“I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” Psalm 119:15 To give deep thought of what God requires is necessary if we are to align ourselves with His will. It is not a casual or passing thought that captures the truths contained in His Word, but rather to savor those morsels of insight until they become a part of our nature. God allows us to meditate on His precepts for our good. They will not become grievous requirements when His ways are better understood. He does not require more of us than He Himself is willing or has already done for us. When we are able to compare His requirements to His ways, we will rejoice because of the opportunity He has afforded us to more fully participate with Him in His work. His precepts prepare us for further participation in what He is doing. How glorious it is when we fit perfectly in His divine plans. That is why His Word must be hidden in our hearts that we would not sin against Him by omission or commission. We “will” where He stands, and receive the power to stand with Him for righteousness and against all things…

Three years ago, we changed our church’s name from Abundant Life Church to Cross Culture Church. Not that we do not believe in the abundant life, nor is it a matter of changing our assignment. There are times in life when the vision given by God is to be reinforced so that our understanding can be extended. When most think of abundance, their thinking is usually directed towards personal abundance alone. There is a sign in the center of our sanctuary with one word; “OTHERS.” It was placed there so that all who worship among us would focus their attention beyond themselves. We wish all to know that we are blessed in order to be a blessing. Not only that, but to know that our greatest blessing is being a blessing. When we are able to bless others, it is because we are graced by God for Him to serve others through us. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Serving others is giving your life through extending your redeemed soul to others. When your life becomes conduit in the Hands…

“For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37 Jesus gave us a clear picture of the Nativity. There is a purpose for every birth. But His birth was not like any other. He knew why He was born and why and when He was to die. Many live and die never knowing why they were permitted to occupy a particular space in a particular period of time. The Nativity has to do with the place, conditions, and the circumstances of the birth of Jesus. “For this cause…” A cause that would affect the whole of humanity would come to light as the result of a child that was born. He was the gift given to us by God to save the world from the consequences of sin which was resident within all. His life was the resounding amen to the Truth of God. Christmas is about mankind coming into agreement with God. As Jesus bore witness to the truth, we are to be made witnesses of Jesus Christ. The world will know the…

“But what did you go out to see?” Matthew 11:8 The search for significance will lead many out of their familiar environment. They believe that there has to be something out there that has a greater value and can add meaning to life. Many have abandoned family and home, while others have walked away from their employment because of this restlessness within themselves to see something or to experience something more than what had grown familiar. Jesus confronted the Pharisees and Priests who went into the wilderness in order to hear a message from a non-conformist who challenged the very core of their being. Even though they met a prophet with a prophetic word of preparation, their opinions of him did not lead them to the right action. Many are impressed but remain unchanged. Our pursuits in life must lead us to a wilderness journey of conviction and uncertainty, convicting us of sin and turn us to righteousness.  It is the uprooting of the old that will make room for the new. Without this radical change occurring, many will change the scenery of their lives but never the core of their being. Significance and true peace can only come from…

“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,” Ecclesiastes  9:11 The race may begin with speed and the warrior may show both courage and strength. But when the battle continues beyond the allotted time, the soldier grows weary.  Even when he is nearing the completion of the battle, it appears as if strength wanes and the possibility of surrender increases. It takes the second wind of the soldier to push beyond the discouragements that are sure to come. It requires that extra effort in remaining consistent regardless of fatigue. This where losers give in and are defeated.  What is most important is winning the race and finishing the course that is before us.  When our eyes are upon the right prize, we would settle for nothing less. What is before us is greater than anything left behind.  Therefore, we must keep moving forward, putting one foot before the other. This is the race of life to become like Jesus as we press into His Kingdom. We are laying aside every weight and the sin that would otherwise hold us back. It is because we are desperate to fully possess what we are coming to understand and…

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (12) teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” Titus 2:11-12 God has dispensed from Heaven an abundance of His grace. Where sin and spiritual blindness abounded, only what one had grown accustomed to was known. Grace came to teach us that our old nature must be denied. How could one ever be freed from what he once defended because it defined him? It is the grace that has appeared in order to show us that a new life was possible. When it came on the scene, it opened our eyes to know that heaven’s order should become earth’s greatest dream. The slave can at least see freedom in order for freedom to be desired. That desire for something beyond our current patterns of living is responded to and then we are empowered to aim higher above level of ungodly and worldly lusts. Each day we will embrace all the more God’s standard of righteousness thus rising above our own. It is because of the grace that has appeared that produces the salvation that we so…

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! Romans 11:33 There is an unfathomable degree of both wisdom and knowledge made available to any who would be willing to seek after it. Paul on other occasions spoke of height, depth, width, and breadth, indicating that there are degrees awaiting exploration by those who would remain discontent at any level. His love is the basis for all that He knows and provides. Simply speaking, Jesus Christ has an abundance of ways to express His love towards us. He clears the path of sin thus revealing His true nature by judging it. He allows the disobedient and misguided to mercifully remain for a while even though their works are counterproductive. His patience is expressed over and over again towards the worst of us. His exceeding goodness and glory extends beyond the limits of the best of us. We cannot explore all there is to understand in millions of lifetimes. Therefore throughout all eternity God will be revealing to us His wisdom and knowledge that we may know what is seen today through tinted mirrors. When…

“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26 It is too easy to feel that a particular thing is right and rely totally upon one’s feelings. Many place their confidence in the inclinations of the heart rather than the established truth of God’s word. Our hearts may guide us in the direction away from the things we despise, but will eventually crash against the jagged rocks of reality. The good is often despised if the heart remains unchanged. Nothing is within us to embrace the truth if all we have is an empty heart in search of significance. Nothing within fallen man is able to deliver him from perishing along with the weight of passions sinking him deeper into the quagmire of sin and rebellion. His feet are not established upon any solid substance enabling him to be upheld on shaky ground. He trusts in what is within him and around him. He foolishly stumbles along in life until he utterly falls. But the wise will walk wisely because he is steadied by the power that comes from on high. God is able to lift him above the traps set…

“But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27 The miracle of salvation is the greatest of all the miraculous wonders of God. None of our efforts are sufficient enough to reach the height of such a grand and glorious precipice. It is often cheapened in mind and thought as being attainable without any sacrifice of present goals and ambitions. Even some would think that it is unnecessary to be achieved because it to them is as much a part of every person as their body. But sin had dealt its deadly wound upon the soul. None are intrinsically righteous and all were at one time rebellious. And the consequence of the fallen soul is eternal death. The grace of God reaches down from heaven to touch the lifeless to revive him. None can be saved, yet what is impossible to man is made possible by God because of Jesus Christ. Each promised impossibility is fulfilled when we put of trust entirely in Him. He does what He alone is able to do when we realize how dependent we are in a world of challenges that require the One who majors in the…