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“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…

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 The two most important truth contained within this Scripture is when Jesus is truly recognized, it is His influence and not our own that must take precedence. We are given influence in order to influence others to see and know Him. Some may not remember us, but that is not the most important thing. If they are enabled to see Him and be led by Him, the work of God is complete and the reward in heaven awaits us. Secondly, our moment in the sun is temporary. Ours is to prepare the way for those who will take our place. A good spiritual leader must maintain his sight on eternity yet recognize the continuing work in time. Who will be our successors, and will they exceed us in effectiveness? Fathers must pass the baton or torch to their sons to run the relay race excelling beyond the old record that was previously set. Records are set to be broken. As the knowledge of Jesus Christ increases, there will be a generation that will reach cultures and penetrate places beyond our abilities. But we must train them for the task that lie ahead….

“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…

“but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ. —“ Ephesians 4:15 The alternative to flowing with the wind and being influenced by the culture is hearing that we might do what the Word says. It was Paul’s passion to speak only what the Lord had to say. Even though the message is a challenge to current culture, it is the expression of a higher and deeper dimension of love. It is spoken in love when the desire of the heart of the messenger is to see those he has been called to address grow into developing the character of Christ. Often the growth of the hearers may excel beyond the level of the speaker, but he should not be jealous of his spiritual children. Instead, he should encourage them to take what they have received beyond his level of understanding for the Word alive within the hearer increases as seed to produce a great harvest. Ministers should not waste time addressing every other subject rather than God’s Truth. There is no growth is these side issues. Christ is the answer to every problem but He can only be known…

Col 2:2-4 “I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. (3) All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! (4) I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or “the Secret.” (MSG) The knowledge of God connects as a woven tapestry of love. Each part finds its significance in the whole thus touching every aspect of each life. The problem lies in one trying to understand and find answers to the influx of life’s questions apart from the Truth. It is there and has always existed, but that aspect of Christ yet to be known contains what is presently needed. Do not lose Christ yet to be known contains what is presently needed. Do not lose your focus on Him. When you do, you are out of focus. Other things may appear as more than they are. They are but smoking mirrors, tricks of the enemy to allure you away from your primary…

“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” Revelation 3:8 The faithfulness of the saints provides endless opportunities in the future. Our future is determined by the decisions we currently make. An open door is set before those who know the name of the Lord. When His character is known and given expression He can then work through that individual without the objections of the flesh. The Holy Spirit’s assignment is to make Christ known to us. He reveals Him in the midst of even the most trying of circumstances. When He is known in truth, He will not be denied. We must maintain a steadfast faith in Him even though doors may now be closed before us. He can open doors that no man open and He can shut doors that no man can close. Even the little strength that is maintained is enough when His strength is at work within us. He will do His work among the weakest for His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.

“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…

“And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Matthew 13:10 He spoke to them with simplicity, but with profundity. There were natural things that they were able to see and understand. Therefore the language of Jesus was overly simplistic. Often His message is ignored because those to whom it has not been given may easily dismiss truths with such depth that the sharpest of minds may spend a lifetime examining one sentence, yet not be able to scratch the surface of its meaning. God has “hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and have revealed them unto babes.” There is a language that is coded for those whose hearts are open to receive the message. One must have a heart of understanding in order to have a mind of understanding. When Jesus speaks, we must hear Him with our hearts and not just our ears. The parables separated the seekers from the groupies. There are crowds that gather for entertainment. There is another select few that want to know the Lord. They have blessed ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to understand.

“Then Zedekiah the king sent and took him out. The king asked him secretly in his house, and said, “Is there any word from the Lord?” Jeremiah 37:17 When it appears as if everything is well, any word will do. Extracurricular activities and entertainment may occupy one’s time and attention. There would be a generalized approach towards Church, leadership, and life. Convicting messages appear to be too harsh and insensitive. An approach to reach common ground among all men is then the agenda of those where a distinct sound of warning is not heard. Then trouble comes! New questions and concerns are raised when we hear from Him. There is a quest for real answers that can navigate the lost soul to a safe harbor. “Is there any word from the Lord?” We want to know if there is a true message to be relied upon. We need more than what would otherwise tickle our ears. That would be the same as taking a drug to desensitize oneself from the pain and somehow thinking that we have escaped the pressure. God is speaking today, but not what many wish to hear. His truth challenges the very core of our being….

“You’ll find wisdom on the lips of a person of insight, but the shortsighted needs a slap in the face.” Proverbs 10:13 We must see into a matter and not just casually view it. It is the gaze accompanied by a rash opinion that influences many today. Little wonder why it has become so difficult for sound reasoning to be the guiding principle for so many. There are precious hidden nuggets contained within many messages that are hurriedly scanned by the minds of those who are wise in their own eyes. It requires the Holy Spirit and meditation on what God has promised in order for His Word to be rightly interpreted. The heart must be prepared first. Then one can ponder in their hearts what they have heard before they speak. If the old references remain in place, the pollution within the mind will distort the truth rather than purifies the soul. The Holy Spirit must be our filter so that we are enabled to attain a heavenly perspective. Our vision then would not be shortsighted, but we are enabled to participate in God’s eternal plan.