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“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (Jas 4:8). There is much about God that is attractive. His attributes will have an appeal to every part of our being if we are made aware of them. The Holy Spirit will provide the faith to see and understand what is missing. The necessary things are offered to us to fulfill us providing both life and godliness. Without this faith we are left empty, reaching out for things around us and slipping deeper into despair. It is the distractions that allure us away from being drawn near to God. To be drawn to God is: empowered to resist the devil in all of his deceptive ways. The world, the flesh, and the devil no longer will control you once the beauty of God’s holiness is realized. He is the Lover of your soul and your soul will know this perfectly well. He draws us with cords of love. We are drawn in response with the assurance of faith. He restores us with a confidence that all is well because we abide in the secret place of God. 

“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….

 “But He is unique, and who can make Him change?  And whatever His soul desires, that He does.”  Job 23:13 God is complete in and of Himself. He is not like us with needs that may cause our focus to shift from one thing to another. Those are the limits placed upon the human experience. We navigate through time not knowing the things that lie ahead of us. But God knows the end before the beginning. He is light and in Him are no shifting shadows. Why would He change His mind for such things that may be a fleeting thought within our minds? Instead of His mind being changed by us, our minds are to be renewed by Him.  True humility is exercised when we are willing to forgo our will what another wills. When we trust Him in areas not completely understood, He will give us the will and desire to please Him. We will experience His goodness and grow in our understanding of dimensions of His love. What a blessing it is to find pleasure in what pleases Him! His uniqueness can then be celebrated rather than loathed. Some may wish to wrestle out of His hands…

 “All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied.” Ecclesiastes 6:7 The work of man’s hands may satisfy his immediate but not his ultimate need. Hard work is required for one to eat his bread and provide for his family. Yet there are needs beyond the immediate but requiring immediate attention. The deep longing within the soul is the discontent appearing to have no solution. It drives many to activities in search of relieving the tension and the endless desire of the heart. The mind seeks new adventures but after the episode has ended, the soul is left wanting more than what it had just experienced. This is the Jesus shaped void within every man that only He is able to fill. The fulfilled person can find pleasure in life thus integrating all of his labor into worship. God provides for him the strength to work as well as rest. His rest is sweet because his thoughts are established and not left to wander in the direction of things that may bring pleasure for a moment but misery for a lifetime. 

“And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:10  The posture of the follower of Jesus Christ is anticipation for what lies ahead. The word of God received has lifted his sights above the persecution of trials and the tests that come against him. It has the ability to stabilize us even when the circumstances remain the same. It is word upon word that increases faith and raises the level of expectation for the return of our Lord. Nothing could be more valuable than this. Jesus, whom He raised from the dead provide for us a model of what awaits our future. He was delivered from death through death. The wrath of man measured against us in this world is nothing in comparison to the wrath of God. We must endure the intermediate in order to experience the ultimate. He has delivered us from the wrath to come against all unrighteousness and now we are a part of His kingdom where righteousness reigns. Our deliverance is as result of hearing and obeying the message delivered to us from heaven. It was delivered…

“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…

“The ordinary and disreputable people who heard John, by being baptized by him into the kingdom, are the clearest evidence.” Luke 7:29 (MSG) When ordinary and common people are awakened to the message, the clearest evidence is presented. It is not the theologians or religious experts who will readily embrace the truth. They have to work their way through too many intellectual arguments before their hearts are finally penetrated. Not that we should close our minds and blindly feel our way into faith. But there is a place deep within the soul that can identify with the Truth and serve as the cause for rejoicing. The void is filled there. What has been missing is finally placed in the deep hole that nothing else was able to fill. Ordinary people are more aware of their need than those who are self-confident, pious, and proud. They need everything while the proud need nothing. They seek out a better and more fulfilling life while most aristocrats only need an addendum to what they have already received. There will be a major movement among the ordinary people and those who were hopeless. They will see the Light sought after but never realized. Their response will…

“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…

“Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting — begging! — that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.” Jude 3 It is worth everything to guard and protect what has been entrusted to our stewardship. Out of all the subjects of interest and arguments to defend, our common faith must remain paramount. Jesus prayed that we may become one as He and the Father are one. The unity that He has ordained is the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace. This is only possible when we are able to see Him as He is. Oh how urgent this pursuit must be in these days of compromise and declension! We cannot afford to join the company of unbelieving who have failed by allowing distractions to capture their hearts and minds. There is a need for true conversions. Not merely a step in a supposedly positive direction but rather, transformation of the heart and soul. This is why Jesus died on the cross. Not for us to feel good about…

“It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:5 The course that many have chosen is one of sensationalism and entertainment. Their religious experience is none other than a palatable and rhythmic sound to lull their consciences to sleep while their hearts are further hardened against the truth. The rebuke of the wise is a wake up call to attention among the masses which are in a drunken stupor intoxicated by worldly passions. It is the awakening to God’s Truth convicting the soul in order for the Holy Spirit to turn them from darkness to light. It is the truest expression of God’s love dispelling ignorance to God’s ways thus leading towards an expected end. It is the rebuke, not merely the words of affirmation and consolation that redirects the course of the wayward traveler. We must know where we may have strayed if we are ever to return to the perfect path. Many would merely listen to the song, the lullaby of fools. When the music comes to an end, would our eyes be fixed on the prize of the high calling of God? Truth is often…