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“For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12:48).  God expects a return on His investments. The gifts of God are given to each person in order for all to profit as the result of His distributions. It is not based on what most would consider as the criteria for God’s judgments. God is not equal in His judgments, but He is equitable. Grace is freely given, but God determines who will receive what is being distributed. Yet we may covet what we deem as necessary, but it must only be for the advancement of His kingdom and not our own. When our hearts yearn to do more for God and we feel powerless to fully participate with Him in what He wills to do, it is in order to seek Him for the empowering gifts that would further qualify us. Yet in our earnestness to receive, it does not obligate Him to any measure to give us what we consider to be necessary. He will give us what He knows is best for us as well as what’s best for others. But, the warning is not to frustrate the grace of God. What God…

“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…” (Philippians 3:10).  There are continuing aspects of Jesus Christ made available to us. Our spiritual hunger to fully identify with Him qualifies us to know what was unknown. We have come to know that He is our Savior and Lord through His Word. We believe in Him and apply faith in all of His promises. Yet the more we know of Him, a fire is ignited within our hearts to experience Him. To share with Him in His experience of life is the grandest endeavor one could ever attain. The evidence that we have is that we recognize that there is much more to be known than what we have come to know. The height and depth of His love is to be explored throughout our lifetime. Oh the joy of knowing that it is Christ working in us and the sufficiency is not of us! We have been raised in newness of life. Now each experience whether it be painful or pleasurable, is ordered by our Master for a purpose far greater than any at this moment…

“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…

“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 wounds in His hands that His love may be known through…

“Later a few religion scholars and Pharisees got on him. ’Teacher, we want to see your credentials. Give us some hard evidence that God is in this. How about a miracle?’ ” (Matthew 12:38).  Those who appear before men as authorities in relation to God’s order seldom recognize the fact that He refuses to restrict Himself to their expectations. Formulas and theorems of success do not work. He will withhold from them what they expected, but show forth the unexpected. These few that approached Him thought that He would be anxious to validate Himself before such an impressive crowd. But Jesus had nothing to prove. He was as sure of Himself then as He was when Satan tempted Him on the pinnacle of the Temple requesting Him to show off His divine powers. When we are asked to prove ourselves to be what we have been called by God to be, we must first recognize who it is that requires of us evidence. If not God by way of His Spirit, a prophetic word is sufficient. We live by what God has said and it serves as the basis for all He is now saying. If not by the Word…

“And you will find rest for your souls” (Jer 6:16; Mt 11:29). There is a place of soul rest established for those who wish to find it. Jeremiah speaks of “standing in the ways and seeing” then “asking for the old paths where the good way is and walking in it.” Trying to keep up with the new ways and expressions of faith produces frustrations even though many are attracted to these paths. They clamor for the latest song and cliché, thinking they have arrived, but as in the life of the prodigal son, they have distanced themselves from home. The “old paths” are tried, tested, and proven to be the route leading to soul rest. Jesus speaks of a yoke that must be borne. His yoke binds us to Him and not to other things or people. When we walk on the old paths, we walk with Jesus, bearing His yoke. They say, “We will not walk in it.” Those who say this never find rest for their souls because their stubborn hearts make them too resistant to learn from Him. But when we walk in His paths that are old, the good way which is His way is…

“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man” (Lk 21:36). The forewarnings of Jesus was to be alert and remain alert in times when temptations may catch you unaware. They come in many disguises and it is usually the self-confident that end up falling prey to the wiles of the devil. The observation must go beyond appearance, but the very nature of things must also be called to your attention. It should not merely be the intent to gain whatever benefit may be immediately gained, but paying attention as to where the engagement is headed. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death.” Watch how others have been allured and fell into the same trap that is being set for you. Look at the outcome of their lives. Would you be the exception or become a person with many regrets? Pray to God for wisdom. Do not trust your own judgments, but seek God for what He knows about all things pertaining to you. Then you will be saved from the…

“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…

“He answered and said to them, ’When it is evening you say, “It will be fair weather, for the sky is red”, and in the morning, “It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.”’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times” (Mt 16:2-4). The corporate decisions made by both our spiritual and civic leaders are the uneasy breathing of this generation gasping for lack of spiritual air. The deficiencies reflect a climate of desperation, but without the knowledge of the Savior. The world has resorted to measures which are appeasing to the fallen masses, pacifying their appeals for pleasure thus taking the path of least resistance. Many Church leaders have resorted to providing blind leadership by getting in front of the parade of fools. They hold the office and gain the attention, accolades, and allegiance of the people by giving them what they want and taking them where they desire to go.  Where discernment is lacking, all things appear to be right. Every person is right in his own eyes because the King is absent from the consciousness of those who decide…

“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…