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“God, my strength, my stronghold, my safe retreat when trouble descends.” Jeremiah 16:19 (MSG) God does more than provide strength thus leaving us with the responsibility of knowing how to apply the pressure where most needed. He is our strength, upholding us when we are in our most weakened state, and warding off the enemies lurking around to take advantage of our vulnerabilities. As long as we maintain our focus on Jesus, He will fight our battles. And He upholds us with the right hand of His righteousness. When we enter into battle alone, we are prey to be devoured by one more force and shrewdness with experience in deceiving the self-confident. But when we humbly submit to the Lord, we are in the safest place we could possibly be. Trouble may bear down upon us as a storm that is out of control. Yet our God is our refuge in the time of trouble. God is my strength and security, and my sanctuary. I praise Him as my weapon of war, and worship Him as my place of rest.

“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…

“Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:2 What the Lord offers the Church should be shared alike by every believer. The benefits of salvation and the joy that accompanies obedience should be experienced by all. It is not enough for merely some to know the grace of the Lord and peace that resides within their hearts. God’s desire is that all should know Him in intimate and endearing ways. The mind can either be one’s best friend or worst enemy. When our minds retain the information of past experiences and attempt to decipher it without the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, division is inevitable. How can our varying experiences and thoughts lead to a unified conclusion? Each would interpret life and God on the basis of his own conclusions. Like-mindedness can only be attained when we hear the same message having the same Spirit in common.  The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of unity. He will take us from where we were to a new place of worship. Then we see Christ together and love Him with the same love. He then takes what is within…

“God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.” Psalm 18:24 (MSG) An open heart to the Word of God gives Him permission to transform one’s life. The Holy Spirit works within us not only affects our future, but takes into account our past and our present state and weave all things into a beautiful tapestry fit to be presented to the King. He gives us a new beginning; the reorientation of those things that would otherwise condemn us. This does not happen in the life of the half-hearted. They can only be awakened to the reality that there is more to life than what is being lived. However, the open heart is giving God permission to search deeply into those secret compartments where none are allowed but maybe a select few. When we are under His scrutiny, those things that are contrary to His will are highlighted. He does this, not to be heavy handed in discipline but lovingly purge the heart of the residue of sin that may linger so that He may be worshiped in purity. Our lives then tell a different story. It expresses the message of…

 “Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. (13) And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves.’” Matthew 21:12-17 When Jesus arrived at the seat of both religious and political power, He confronted religious authorities as being “a den of thieves.” When Jerusalem was robbed of an environment conducive for spiritual renewal, their leaders were indicted by Jesus as thieves. Religious leaders were using their followers as merchandise to be traded for profit, and their souls were both hungry and lost. An atmosphere of greed reproduces after its own kind. It spreads like a contagious disease thus hindering those who would otherwise listen.  They would rather gravitate in the direction of their instructions. Jesus did not approach the civic leaders first. He confronted religious leaders for their perverse ways. The house erected with the intent of worship must first become a house of prayer. If the priorities are misaligned, the activities will be dishonorable….

“Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent”. Romans 14:22-23 (MSG) Every relationship worthy of preserving requires cultivation. Silence and inactivity signifies disinterest and unconcern. When one’s heart is aligned with God’s heart, we are blessed with the will to do things that would cultivate our relationship with Him. We cannot Impose on others what has become uniquely our own; it is personal and intimate between us and God alone. Our response to Him is our response to what we have come to know of Him. He loves each of us, but loves each of us differently. We are loved into the destinies to which we have been called as He empowers us with His own strength. Our uniqueness ought to translate into a unique expression of worship and praise that only we are capable of expressing. Whether one is poetic, artistic, or oratorical, it will be to the praise of the glory of His grace. The most important matter is that both belief and behavior are cohesive. With this, you are most fortunate as we give both head, heart, and hand to Him.

“I say to God, “Be my Lord!” Without you, nothing makes sense.”  Psalm. 16:2(MSG) To reason is a virtue. Through reasoning we embrace the truths applied to our hearts with a renewed mind and emblazoned hope. Those who have meditated upon the Word have arrived at conclusions that are vastly different from those who merely compare the spiritual to the natural. It is the reasoning that is limited to what is known, or merely natural that will lead to a great impasse. Our minds alone cannot grasp the origin of the creation of all things. Neither can we figure out their proper use and truest meaning. Only God is able to guide us into the deep mysteries that would raise even deeper questions than otherwise would be asked. However, the journey on which we are led will reveal to us His Majesty and Glory. We cannot help but worship the One who knows and reveals secret things to His children that the wise and prudent are not privy to. None of His wisdom is sensible void of knowing Him. As we pursue Him, the knowledge of His will for all things becomes sensible. Without Him, nothing makes sense.

“Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. (21) Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” John 12:20-21 Even though the pursuit of wisdom was common among the Greeks, the wisdom that they were attaining was not complete. The wisdom sought by the majority of them was from philosophers and Stoics who could bring them to a state of enlightenment in order for them to trust in what they had learned. This was the greatest level of achievement for them, that is, to attain wisdom. Yet there were certain Greeks that broke rank with the majority. There will always be some who will stand out among the crowd. They will not settle for what others have embraced as their utopian dream. These few came to worship at the feast. These are the ones with a special inquiry, Instead of the wisdom of the Greeks, they wished to see Jesus. They believed that He could offer them something that was more important and enlightening than all others combined would ever come to know. To be introduced to Jesus is the…

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2 The sign of His coming was evident among the shepherds and the Magi. There was an atmosphere of excitement and intrigue among them because what had been long anticipated had finally arrived. The birth of a new hope for all of Israel was indicated by His star shining in the night. This was not just any star, but a new star. It was especially there and shone brighter than any other. The signal from heaven prompted a deeper and more intense degree of worship. When Jesus is among His people, it is their responsibility to seek Him out. None are to remain where they were, but to follow the sign. In that direction they will find a living hope pointing towards the future of many generations to come. The Word made flesh dwelling among us is our only hope. It cannot be found in the dark solemn halls of institutions of learning. Nor is it available among the historical chambers of politicians. It is in the place of worship where Jesus is…

“The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.” Proverbs 20:27 Our spirits have full knowledge of our true selves. It is not what we project, but who we are that the light of the spirit searches out. Experiences of the past are registered in the heart thus carving out our personalities. Our spirits reveal many of them as places in need of healing once it is awakened by the Holy Spirit of God. It is made anew for the saving of the soul. No longer are wayward behavior justified, for the awakened spirit can receive the conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit  as necessary for completing the inward work that He has begun. What a blessing to have the searchlight of God turned our way! Not only does He convict, but His grace is dispensed everywhere the light shines. He delivers us from those vices that beforehand we were incapable of seeing. No longer blind but now we can praise and worship Him from the depths of a changed heart. We are no longer who we once were. We are now becoming who we were meant to be!