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“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.“ Psalm 119:105 In a dark place, all things seem to be the same. No distinction can be made between a man and a mannequin if both stand together. Things that are false and counterfeit appear to be more perfect than things that are real in dim light. They are painted with beauty and are a piece of art, but are lifeless idols. Without the light of the Word of God, we would naturally gravitate in the direction of that appear to be real, but is only real and beautiful to the spiritually blind. Our senses once ruled us and every decision was made on the basis of our perception of reality. The darkness was not just before us, but the darkness was in us as well. Then the light of the Word invaded our world, and all things changed!  We were able to see the nature of all things and the danger that lay ahead by following the path of the blind. The very Word that changed us was also there to guide us. We have been changed in order to discern the difference between the real…

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.” 2 Timothy 4:3 Teachers are instructors that mold the character of those who subject themselves as students to learn. The world is being fashioned by teachers. There are men and women who take what they have come to know and feed others who are eager to learn. There is not a shortage of teachers. But the problem Paul was addressing was that there would be a number of people whose hearts remain unchanged. They will seek to be instructed in matters of choice rather than in truth. Their level of toleration of God’s Word would be on the decline.  Yet their appetites for instructions in how to fend off any doctrine that would equip them in the ways of God would increase. They will gather to themselves instructors who would help them build up defenses against what God would have them to know. An intellectual argument and one’s ability to defend his position often can become the callous over the soul. It is when the heart is tender that God’s…

“…. they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10 The motive behind one’s action is either truth or pleasure. Throughout our lifetimes we have made decisions on the basis of either of these factors. Usually it is pleasure and if truth can be found in pursuit of it, there is an added bonus. It gives one the sense of being right. The path of least resistance in pursuit of wholeness is a pursuit of pleasure and often requires the compromise of truth. The quest for truth must be deliberate unless a compromised version of it surfaces as a substitute for the real thing. The reason truth alone appears to be so unattractive is because it prohibits the full expression of free will. To follow ones heart is to allow the dictates of the world, the flesh, and the devil to dominate the life of the person. The heart unchanged will by nature violate the laws of God because of the nature of sin dwelling within the heart. “They did not receive the love of the truth,” they had not allowed their hearts to be changed by the Word of Truth. They found…

“So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 God gives us the strength to love. The heart is guided in a direction and the soul agrees to give full expression to that particular emotion. To love is not a miracle. It is a part of man’s nature to love. Without guidance the heart gravitates by default away from God. Loving then is not deliberate, but the result of some forceful habit that captures the mind and heart in order to condemn the soul. The passions must be harnessed by an object that is capable of containing all that is offered and reciprocate by providing what is desperately needed in return. When love gives but does not provide the person with what is needed, he eventually becomes bankrupt and bitter having been taken advantage of. Then love is inverted and transforms into hatred that is primarily directed towards the true Lover of his soul.  They feel shortchanged having not received from Him what they needed, but refused to give Him what He commanded. When…

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 Time is different from seasons and seasons are not the same as time. Contained within each season is the designated time to accomplish all assignments, but when one is unaware of the season, they waste the opportunities granted. Each is gifts from God our Maker. There are low seasons when the ebb tide is low without sufficient refreshing rain to water the fields. The harvest passes without produce because of conditions which are beyond our control. Then there are times when the ebb tide is high. The waters are plentiful, the fields are watered, but there are no laborers to first plant and then gather in the harvest. Whether it be low season or high season, the preparation for participating in the work must be the same. Paul told his son Timothy to “preach the Word. Be ready in season and out of season.” There is time for every purpose under heaven and there is a purpose for every season which contains sufficient time to prepare for what God is about to do. It is our privilege and responsibility to redeem the time, to take full…

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.”Romans 5:3-4 (KJV) A price tag cannot be placed upon the lessons learned in and through troubled times.  We often know how we should feel and respond, but to be honest, the character of that response may not been developed within us yet. Many call this faith while it is actually dishonesty. David, the Psalmist gave expression to his heart, having various trials, set-backs and disappointments, but asked God to work the right response within him. Our mere words alone will not deliver us, but what we are becoming as result of God s; working on us and in us is the aim. “Tribulation worketh patience and patience worketh experience or character. Eugene Peterson in the Message paraphrase puts it this way; “and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary — we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! It is through our…

“And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers.  Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Isa 30:20-21 The departure from the Way is the root cause of the adversity that comes from the Lord. There are challenges that come as result of obedience and challenges that are rooted in rebellion. The difference between the two is the adherence on the part of the challenged to hear the instructions that come from the Lord. He is available to deliver us from all of our trouble, but do we listen to His voice before us to lead or have we left what He has to say to us behind? Their teachers were sidelined and replaced with guides who misguided them. They listened to falsehoods as blind guides led them into pits. But God did not abandon them even though they had abandoned Him. From behind His voice could still be heard. From the rear, the places inhabited and celebrated was the voice of God speaking to them in order for them to…

“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. (2) For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,(3) how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,” Heb 2:1-3  To “give the most earnest heed” is stretching in order to understand what has been spoken. It is to hasten and to fasten one’s eyes upon the truths revealed. To commit ones heart to them. The reason this is necessary is because our minds alone cannot contain all that is needed. Without a heart commitment, it will appear as if there had been no exposure to such life-transforming truths. God does not judge on the basis of what one avails oneself to hear. He judges on the basis of the availability of knowledge at that time. If one is privileged to know the truth but decides to opt out of being where truth is imparted, the neglect on his part would be the criteria on which he is judged. It is our responsibility…

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21 The attachment to God’s Word is the same as being attached to all of His promises. The heart must be made ready to contain the infusion of life that comes as result of God speaking into it. It is not just the mind even though the message must pass through the mind. The heart must agree wholly with the Spirit who causes the Word to come alive within the Christian. The result is a quality of love that surpasses any effort on the part of the person to love Jesus. It is His love deposited within the heart and directed towards Him without reservation. It is His power that preserves the believer through making the Person of Jesus Christ known in every situation. He is not absent when things are tough. He does not conceal His identity in the midst of one’s greatest trial. He is there causing all things to work together for the good of all who have His love within them….

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, (2) as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,  (3) if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Peter 2:1-3 The passions and desires of a converted saint are different from the cravings of the sinner. Even though there is still that memory of a life without power driven by the force of sin, he is now free to make better and wiser choices. One must be fully aware of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to save everyone who believes. The tensions that exist between the bondage of the past and the freedoms that lie ahead in the future will be ever present. Yet they are now expendable. These things may try to attach themselves to you, but they have been expelled from within you. This is what Peter was addressing when he instructed believers to lay all these other things aside. They do not give expression to the new nature within you.  You are now in control and responsible for how these things affect you. Allow your affections to be directed towards those things that add to your…