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“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!”  1 Corinthians 9:16 “I must” is to brave the storms of life in spite of the difficulties required of me to survive. I can only give light consideration to the cost attached to obedience. Obedience is often costly because there are so many options that could lead to paths of least resistance. Yet the call of God to obey rings strong within my heart and ears in spite of my mind fighting against it and telling me that there are other ways go and other things to be done. Some of them appear to be equally important, and at times, seem to outweigh the measure of this assignment because of greater gain and requiring less effort. But God speaks “woe” to the very thought of my disobedience to His command. Necessity is laid on me to speak the truth when the lie or even silence would be of greater benefit. “I must” do what God has called me to do. I must speak what He has given me to speak. Yet…

“Now the king was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month, with a fire burning on the hearth before him. And it happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Yet they were not afraid, nor did they tear their garments, the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words.” Jeremiah 36:22-25 When Josiah, Jehoiakim’s father read the scroll handed to him from the prophet Jeremiah, he tore his garment. But when Jehoiakim was given the scroll of prophetic writings, he took his penknife and tore the scroll. The scroll was divided into manageable pieces and instead of being used as a means of salvation as God intended it was reduced to a personal and practical use of firewood to warm the king. The arrogance of many has reduced the most sobering message ever delivered to humanity to a source of entertainment.  It has become a means to many others to warm themselves and producing some immediate profit to those who…

“You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” Job 42:3 We all have spoken before we had given thought to what we should say.  Those words were merely from the top of heads and not words from the depth of our hearts. These words we live to regret if we ever develop a humble and a tender heart. It is the wisdom of God that tames our words enabling us to speak wisdom. When we have taken the time to seek the Lord in prayer and meditate over who He is and what He has done, we are more careful to think before we speak. Many a people have been misled by counsel that generated from the resources of the hearts of unregenerate men. They have listened to the counsel of the ungodly, even among the religious, and have followed the course that leads to destruction of the character and souls. God’s counsel is shrouded by the careless opinions and faulty interpretations of men. The Word of Truth is very precious. When we realize its true value we will seek…

“Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”  Revelations 1:19 The revelation of Jesus Christ gave John the insight to write His testimony describing the past, the present, and the future. Time and space no longer exist as divided in His presence. He takes us beyond the moment and brings all things into an eternal perspective. When we are facing current challenges, it is impossible for us to see into the future. It appears as if the bulls of Bashan had encircles around us awaiting their moment to attack and destroy us. He tells us to write what we have seen. Those moments when viewed from eternity were not there for our defeat but rather for our deliverance and future victory. “God Provides” became our testimony. He showed up in the midst of our deepest woe in order to prove Himself strong on our behalf when were at our weakest point. It was His strength made perfect when all that we attempted had failed. He said to John, “Write it down!” In other words, He asked him to mark the spot where he is standing today and watch…

“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…

“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…

“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.” James 3:6-7 Words give expression to the disposition of the heart. Eventually, not always immediately, the mouth will be engaged in speaking the truest feelings that reside deep within the soul. It is never a matter of merely guarding your words in order to sound off appropriate expressions. The issue must be addressed at its root. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. When the heart is rightly governed, the tongue is sure to follow. But what comes out of a man defiles him for when he speaks he spreads the contagion to others. You are responsible for how you influence the people with whom you come in contact. Not just your body, but the whole body is defiled and set to follow the course of nature. It is what you have heard in the past that has influenced your future. Sweet water must flow from a pure fountain for no bitter water is contained there. God gave…

“Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Luke 24:5 The pronouncement of the two angels at the empty tomb is the challenge to this generation. We need answers. This is a desperate time for so many in searching for real answers. People are getting tired of pacifying words that merely delay the imminent failures that they have grown so accustomed to. Some are wishfully thinking that some semblance of life may yet remain among the tombs of yesterday’s shattered dreams. They have dug their stakes and set up their tents in graveyards rather than in the place where new life is blossoming. Jesus was once there but only for a little while. He was carried there because no life was within His body. Now it is as empty as those who attempt to live their lives without Him. But now as being resurrected, He has moved beyond where men were able to place Him. He is where He has decided to be. Now is the time to meet Him where He chooses to reside. He is among the living. Those who have spirit-life within them and a will to do His Father’s will, their life takes on its…

“To whom He said, “This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest,” Isaiah 28:12 God speaks to the weary. His words of encouragement are directed towards them as liberating words. It is a rest that continues in the midst of work. Too many busy themselves with efforts to achieve their dreams yet ruin the possibility of reaching the heights which lie beyond their own imaginations. What a high price many pay in order to become what they consider to be their best? Yet the best ever envisioned is like standing before an anthill in contrast to Mount Everest. God speaks to those who tire themselves in trying to do great things yet do not know Him or the power that He alone possesses. They flex their muscles as weak as they are, but cannot find the strength to even live long enough to participate in all they believe and is their dream. God’s objective is for each of us to become what He has in mind. Only when our Creator is pleased will we find true and lasting pleasure. All else will keep one in an endless pursuit of wanting more than he has, wanting…

A book, a letter, or a sermon is result of the deep meditation of the presenter. It is usually expressive of much of what has been read, prayed, and is birthed out of the relationship that person has with God and with others. Therefore, words may mean different things to different people. That is why I take pleasure in reading both the preface and the bibliography contained within books. I like to know what the person was thinking when he said what he was saying. Jesus spoke with the deepest of thought. Everything He said was expressive of the heart and mind of His Father. He was asked on one occasion a question. “Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22.35-40) Such a simple yet profound answer to…