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“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.

“And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.” Ezekiel 47:9 The waters of life will flow from the Temple thus producing life wherever it flows. The dry and brittle soil will receive the refreshing of revival when the Temple has enough water to flow from it to places beyond its doors. God has given us what the world so desperately needs. In a culture of death and spiritual stagnation, many are in pursuit of a truth that is able to reach the soul. The cosmetic treatments of fatal illnesses have not sufficed. There remains a wound deep within the soul that nothing external is able to satisfy. It requires the living water so that one would not have to continue coming to the well. God has given authority to the Church to be salt and light to the world. But His anointing will flow from His people touching the whole of His creation that now groans for redemption. God will pour out His Spirit upon…

“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” 1 John 5:16 The contrast between light and darkness is becoming more apparent and on different fronts. There are those who stand outside of what now is now considered to be the norm because they continue to uphold a standard that appears archaic. The tried and proven truths are constantly being challenged and tested. Yet they are able to withstand all the shifting currents of modernity. If we did not know that we were of God, even those who may be in places where worship is accepted would be in doubt. Those who know that they are of God have His Spirit as their guarantee and confirmation. He makes it known to them to whom they belong. We are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. He shakes all things that can be shaken in order for only the truth and children of wisdom to remain.  Doctrines that appeal to the vanity of the mind have become widespread and flourishing. When all who could be deceived would have gone their own way, the Son…

“If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.” Eccl 10:10 The energy and strength exerted by the man who tries to figure things out on his own is constantly exerted. Yet the results are minimal because it is only mind challenging matter. The mind cannot achieve all that is believed when the axe is dull. But when God sharpens the edge, His Spirit begins to work and the prayer on earth is answered from heaven. God sharpens our axe in order to allow us to work with wisdom guiding us along the way. The Eternal God uses His faculties seeing the end before the beginning. He knows what it takes beforehand for the children of God to accomplish His will. We have a sharper cutting edge when we pray continually and do not lean to our own understanding. Then when His Word is spoken, it is sensible because the heart has been prepared to make room for the truth. Each moment must count with eternity in view. The wise seeks after wisdom and more is given to him. But the fool thinks that he has already…

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15  A sanctified heart is directed towards God alone. There is no other direction to which it may be turned that can satisfy the believer for he knows that only God alone can meet the needs existing deep in the recesses of the soul. There are many things around to lure him away from the position in which he stands. But he does not see things as others who are blind to the devices of the devil. The enemy constantly works in attempting to raise doubt in his heart. He has heard the Lord speak concerning His own. He is affirmed as being God’s Son, and continually dwelling in the place of God’s pleasure. Since his heart overflows with love, he has an answer for everyone. Because he is able to see beyond the current crisis, his answer remains prophetic. The pure and heart is able to see God. God is with him; therefore his hope is to take on the character of God….

“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6 The language of the Spirit of God rings differently in the ears of unbelievers than it does in the ears of believers. Those who have rejected God have an affinity towards things pertaining to the flesh. Any other message seems not to have any relevancy to them for their hearts are drawn in an opposite direction. When the Holy Spirit enters into one’s heart, He makes room for the truth. Only then can it become sensible and for passions to rise within him to embrace a level of teaching beyond what is commonly understood. What God has to say to us is uncommon to mankind therefore it requires more than mere common sense. In his natural state it is foolishness. But when the spirit of truth replaces the spirit of error, he will seek out teachers that will teach him things that he did not see because they cannot be seen without divine assistance.

“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.”

“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” Matthew 16:13 What men say cannot change the nature of a person or a thing. It has to do with recognizing and agreeing with the truth. Those who know Him merely by reputation can only repeat what they have heard and never share their truest knowledge of Him. Those who see Him from afar and can only see His silhouette may describe it with accuracy without ever knowing those special features that give expression to His passion. Only those who have answered the call to come to Him; to come close enough to see His face will be able to share with others the intimate things that would ignite a fire within the hearts of others to know what they may otherwise would have never known. What they say is not as important as what you say. Jesus Christ came to be known, but not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. The resurrected Christ invites us to come closer and see the nail prints in His hands that His love may be known through…