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The distinct cultures of the world are the current cause of much controversy. It is the cultural clashes that divide people into competing and warring factions. The exclusivity of a particular culture, in their eyes, becomes the standard and measure of right and wrong. We changed the name of our church to Cross Culture Church over five years ago realizing that there are distinctions among culture.   There are things to be celebrated within every culture, but there are things within every culture in need of change. It is easy to accentuate the positive attributes of a culture, but the majority of people are blinded to the defects. We need an established standard and objective criticism for those invisible defects to be seen. The first lesson to be learned is that no culture is to be deified. Christ did not come into the world to affirm culture but to transform culture. He introduced to humanity the culture of heaven. The established order of heaven came down to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ and lived among us! This invasion of spiritual reality into a sinful and wayward environment created turbulence rather than peace. The world’s reality was defined by…

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (Jn 12:32). Jesus spoke of the benefits and advantages of His being Lifted up. It was not the elevation that many seek. It was not a platform of prominence, or the glitter and glamour of celebrity. It was the execution of the intentions of His enemies against Him. If they carry out their agenda, God will use it as a means to draw every people-group to a life of surrender. They would come to the very cross and die with Him.  What the devil intended for evil, God meant for good. His death was His life’s purpose. The dynamics of the death of Jesus Christ is too complex to fully explain. He became sin as a sinless sacrifice for our sins. The message is foolishness to those who consider themselves to be too wise and prudent even to need it. But there are those who sense the weight of sin damning their souls to hell. They are appreciative that the consequences of their fallen nature destined to express itself will not be held to their charge.  The message of the cross causes an explosion…

“Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” Luke 17:37 The vultures gather together around dead bodies. Theirs is to devour the decaying flesh and ruin. They have a victory party before their feast with every intention to consume everything that is left unattended. Where Jesus died is the gathering place of demons and devils. Without His presence and power at work, each one can do as he pleases and have its way against the Way of God. A crowd alone is not the determinant of blessings and prosperity. Funerals draw larger crowds than prayer meetings. Some gather to devour the flesh of the dead and wounded on the battlefield of faith. Their stand, though unpopular, was consistent even to resist the temptations of compromise. While some may pursue optional methods of approaching God, they have stood with Him even to their own injury and ruin. His sufferings have become their own sufferings because His business was their business.  But Jesus arose from the dead and His Body did not see corruption. There was nothing for vultures to consume. He is the Living Bread freely given to all who will partake of Him. The vultures gather in…

 “for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” 1 John 4:20 There is that moment in the life of every Christian where love is indiscriminately distributed. This is the mark of true conversion that one has passed from death unto life. It does not mean that the person will remain there, but if he has never been there, he has never received conversion. All too often very little is required of the seeker that limits his expectations of God. If God does not require the whole heart of the individual, how can that individual expect to receive the fullness of Christ? The test is openness to others with a heart overflowing with love. We cannot contain the authentic love of God for its objective is to be given away. Our mission is to fully follow after Him allowing His love to be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. If we love Him we will love our brother, love, and keep His commandments.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3 In an age of diversity, tolerance, and political correctness, to speak exclusively that One would stand out among the crowd condemning all others beside as false, lifeless, and insignificant. So it is with God who has no respect for other gods. None other is to be worshiped and the exclusive course to the Father is through His Son, Jesus Christ.  What is most difficult to many is to understand the effect of original sin. None had access because of man’s nature as sinners. When sin is ignored then the need for a Savior is unnecessary. But thanks be to God, a provision was made through the death of His own Son that we might be redeemed! Idolatry is the pursuit of a god that is either after Him or in place of Him. He must stand alone. He is to be worshiped. Renounce any idols in your life that may be competing for your exclusive obedience to Him.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26 Our flesh is limited and strains to give expression of our gratitude towards God for what we have come to know of Him. The reality of the necessity of the death of Jesus Christ on our behalf can only gain in significance when we are enlightened to the sinfulness of our sin. The depravity of mind and conscience and the eternal damnation of the soul and spirit were real. We were doomed to forever be separated from God who is both life and love. Now that we are forgiven, our hearts are filled with more gratitude than our words are able to articulate. What frustration we would experience if our world feels such love but having no outlet to express it? The Holy Spirit Himself makes intercession for us, both in gratitude and in passion to further connect with God in deeper and more profound ways. Our sounds may be groans or babble, but there is a spiritual union of heart to heart…

“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (21) make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21 The restlessness of the soul was resulting from the waywardness of the heart. When you were determined to fix your own problems your own way, none of the benefits made available by God through our Lord Jesus Christ could be applied. Now that the struggle has ended as to whether the life of Christ was to be followed because His death was sufficient enough for His life to be our life, we are being made complete. What a difference now in comparison to then. All you need to do is remember how strained the struggle was and how difficult your life would be if His knowledge was absent. But now that you know Him, allow Him to complete the great work within you that He has begun. His objective is to complete you. When your ways please the Lord you…

“This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” Exodus 12:2 The Passover changed Israel’s calendar by orders from God. What God does affects the measure of everything. Our calendar reflects the birth of Jesus Christ and His death. B.C.  expressing before Christ and A.D., anno Domini, the year of our Lord signifying His death, burial, and resurrection. He made an indelible mark for all humanity. Even those who despise Him or deny Him cannot ignore Him. Eternity invaded time through the coming of our Lord and time would never be the same. God became one of us to completely identify with us, then to die for us. As vast as the universes are and heaven is, He chose this planet and chose us to be with Him forever! When we remember the day of our conversion, we recall our new birthday. Life began anew when we became a new species of humanity enabled to give expression to the love of God with a willingness to please Him. Life may be the same around us, but for us who are being saved, we have a new beginning!

“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matthew 28:6 He is absent from the place to which He had been carried. His lifeless body lay in a tomb without the strength to either participate or resist. There He was carried and placed by others. But on Resurrection Sunday, the grave was robbed of its victory. The empty tomb served as a witness that He was no longer there. His was not the result of being carried away, for many are absent because they have been carried away by something or someone. “He is risen, as He said.” His Word was confirmed by action. His promise was fulfilled thus giving even greater validity to all that He ever said. The evidence was presented, thus allowing every skeptic and naysayer to see with their own eyes His power to defy death, hell, and the grave. The angel invited them to come inside and see the very place that He once laid. Where a body once laid, and empty tomb reminds us of our own destinies. As we are in Christ Jesus, we too shall be made alive by the same Spirit…

“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” John 19:30 Jesus came into the world for this very moment. He was on a mission to die for the sins of humanity. It required a sinless death and now the moment had arrived. The sufferings would come to an end. At least the bodily sufferings, but there awaited Him a degree of suffering of the soul that only one who loves deeply are able to experience. The purchased price for our redemption was completely paid. But there would be many who He loves that will yet reject all that He came into the world to provide. “He came into the world and the world rejected Him.” Those who did not understand rejected Him then, but now that it is finished, will there remain those who refuse to believe that what He gave was sufficient enough for them? His Spirit returned to the Father and the Holy Spirit has now been sent forth to give life to all who would receive Him. From the fall of Adam, the promise was made for man’s reconciliation to God. The prophets…