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“Blow the trumpet…. Sound the alarm!” (Joel 2:1) The whole world is currently hearing a singular sound. When the unexpected happens and shakes the entire planet earth, fera, doubts and questions grip peoples’  hearts. The insecurities were not created by the crisis, but more people became aware of them when the unexpected happens. What about the future, if there is to be a future? How widespread is this dilemma and are there other occurring tragedies to follow after this one? This pandemic, the coronavirus, has required the entire population of the planet to be quarantined. It is as if all the world has been placed on house arrest. When motion is restricted the economy suffers loss. When the economy suffers loss, necessities that sustain life are in limited supply. Where there is limited supply the demand is greater, crime increases. Safety and security are compromised, leaving people vulnerable to every vice known to man.   The alarm has been sounded. The prophetic Word of God is being fulfilled. The prophet Joel further says, “Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand!”  The quality of character is being exposed…

“Do not be a terror to me; You are my hope in the day of doom” (Jeremiah 17:17).  Our confidence is secured only when we place it entirely in the Hands of the Lord. Life is too uncertain and sudden terror may appear at times when preparation for it is impossible. Many will wonder why we would place such confidence in a God that we cannot see. Scoffers will rise up thinking that our denial of self and worldly acclaim is but mere superstition. Yet we pray that we do not offend God through any self-defense attempts at preserving our own reputation. Even when we do not make sense to the world, we desire His wisdom to be our guide. All of the wisdom that comes from other sources is being judged. Only God’s wisdom will stand. He is our hope in the day of testing. He will take us through the storms of adversity victoriously! 

“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…

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1Corinthians 1:18).  The question is how can something be foolish to some but so necessary to others? There are some who believe more in their abilities and strength rather than the strength that is ours through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. We were once without strength, dead in trespasses and sins, but Christ died for us. Now as we believe on Him and in His Name, the power of God works within us to the saving of our souls. Both categories have to do with one’s future state of being. On one hand, there are those who are perishing, and on the other hand, there are those who are being saved. The seed of destruction is imbedded in the hearts of those who do not believe as it was in us all. Jesus died for sinners before they recognized their need for redemption. Those who reject His offer are perishing. But those who are being saved are in the process of living. The body of sin will perish, but just as…

“Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, ’Assuredly I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me” (Mark 14:18).  Before Jesus was crucified, He was identified through betrayal by one who sat at His table and ate with Him. One who loved so deeply would be exposed by a friend to His enemies. Jesus knew when it would happen and who it was who would be so used as a spy among them. Yet He did not make Him known among the brethren. There are times when sin must run its course. Any intervention on our part to defend ourselves or expose the adversary would be counterproductive. God will allow many to dwell among us who do not carry our heart or vision. Nevertheless, God uses all things for the fulfillment of His purpose. Jesus loved, provided for, and even dined with His betrayer. These events led to the cross, the inevitable end that marked a new beginning for all who would believe on Him. His will transcended the pain suffered by dishonest companions and even the pain of suffering and death on the cross. The glory that shall be revealed in us was…

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1Timothy 1:15).  What Christ did on the cross by dying in order that men may live is amplified through our witness. His voice is raised through the lives of us who understand that we brought nothing that would qualify us to do what is now being done. The worst of sinners now stand with a testimony of victory because the Lord alone has graced us to live on the other side of our prior sins. We should never forget from which we came. We can then appreciate the distance God’s mercy and grace needed to reach down and arrest our violent attempts at self-destruction. For it to be said that we were at our worst when we thought of ourselves as being at our best is an understatement. He shows us the worst in us that He might bring forth the best in us. Sinners at their worst may find in Jesus Christ a House of Refuge. If we, being in the state we were once in could be saved, then He is able to…

“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 working within us not only affects our future, but takes into account our past and our present state and weaves 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 to 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…

“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection” (Hebrews 6:1).  The elementary principles of Christ must be the primary discussion of the newly converted. To take on weightier matters concerning Him are destined to be misconstrued thus misapplied. There has to be a foundation of truth established within each life if we are ever to know how to live as we ought. But when individuals get stuck into the trap of discussions only and never do anything, the information puffs them up and becomes counterproductive to their spiritual growth and development. What they know causes harm for he knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. Many well learned individuals find themselves standing in the way of future converts because they reduce Jesus Christ to nitpicking arguments but no fruit is developed as a result of what they may know. This admonition is to leave discussions and look towards application. How can our faith come alive and make an impact upon the world around us. Yet our efforts must never be detached from the principle because the unprincipled actions misrepresent Christ. Build upon the principles, a…

“And He took bread, gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ’This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me’ “(Luke 22:19).  The typology of the Old Testament symbolized the sufferings and death of the Messiah. He kept the ceremonial laws in order to illustrate what He had come to fulfill. At the end of His earthly ministry, the Bread of Life took bread from the table from which He and His disciples were to dine. Before they ate their last meal together prior to His death, He broke the bread and fed it to them from His own hands. His sufferings would be a shared experience. His would be immediate and theirs would be ultimate. Yet they would have the same power to withstand the pressure and remain in faith because of the sameness of Spirit.  Your body can bear under any pressure as long as you remain in faith. It is His life residing in you as a believer in Christ Jesus. The sacraments of bread and wine represented His Body and Blood. We are corporately the Body of Christ on the earth. As we share with Him…

“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. 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. The…