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This year has numerous prophetic overtones. 400 years ago, Africans were brought to America as slaves and stayed in bondage for 250 years. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. Watchnight Services held in many African American churches originated to commemorate the time they spent awaiting the news that their freedom had come.   Yet it took two and one-half years before federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure the freedom of those who had been set free by proclamation. Finally, the Emancipation Proclamation was made real with the backing of military force. The information was withheld by many of the slaveholders until after harvest time, using their labor to harvest their crops. The news began to spread and over 250,000 enslaved were set free. The day marked for celebration was June 19th and became known as “Juneteenth.”  This year, 2020 connotes vision. 20/20 vision is  the ability to see correctly. Vision provides one the ability to see ahead; to envision things as they ought to be. Israel was enslaved by the Egyptians for 400 years. They were subjected to harsh punishments and forced servitude. It was…

“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…

“For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe” (1Timothy 4:10).  Those who trust in the living God labor with a goal in view that is different from the activities of others. There are luxuries not afforded the faithful for he must live his life with purpose. Every day must have a degree of significance that further sets him aside as God’s representative on the earth, maintaining the course leading to a destination. Kingdom business is his primary business. Now the world system will notice the difference but will not know how to interpret it. His strangeness will be repulsive to many who would much rather he be silent than speak. His activity appears to run counter to values of his contemporaries. Yet he has fully embraced his call and to suffer reproach because his life is not his own; he has been bought with a price. Therefore he trusts in the living God who is his constant companion to guide him through this maze of life to his eternal home. His life is a gift to the world so…

“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…

“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).  The language of the Spirit of God rings differently in the ears of unbelievers than it does in the ears of believers. Those who have rejected God have an affinity towards things pertaining to the flesh. Any other message seems not to have any relevancy to them for their hearts are drawn in an opposite direction. When the Holy Spirit enters into one’s heart, He makes room for the truth. Only then can it become sensible and for passions to rise within him to embrace a level of teaching beyond what is commonly understood. What God has to say to us is uncommon to mankind therefore it requires more than mere common sense. In his natural state it is foolishness. But when the spirit of truth replaces the spirit of error, he will seek out teachers that will teach him things that he did not see because they cannot be seen without divine assistance. 

“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! 

“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…

“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…

“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:6-7).  His promises would have been mere empty words without power if the tomb had contained His Body without interruption. His Words would have faded off the scene as snowflakes in the heat of a warming sun if they were only good for the moment in which they were spoken. He said many things and made so many promises that built the faith of His followers and raised their hopes and dreams. They lived by His Word, but if the most dramatic and complex were false, then the least and the simplest were merely impressive conversation. The test would be the place where He was buried on the day on which He said He would rise from the dead. They arrived there with trepidation. But the tomb was empty validating the promise He made. “He is not here.” If He is absent from this place, then where could He be? “As He said to us with words to confirm all others spoken; now all that He has said can be trusted.” What else did He say? “Whatever He said I…

“ For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (1Thessalonians 5:9-10).  The love of God has been directed towards all mankind, but not all know the depth of His love or the greatness of His power. He alone has the power to save us from the judgment that is measured against all ungodliness. He is angry at all things that may interfere with the peace of His beloved. We are saved from sin, but we are also saved from the wrath to come. God will eliminate all things that work against His divine plan, that is, the evil works of darkness. The penalty for sin is death. Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners to provide a way of escape from His wrath. Love cannot be expressed without hatred being measured against the enemy of love. It is the opposite side of the same. He will ultimately make all things new. Adversarial things and competing values will soon pass away for Jesus died to abolish sin. It has already been judged through His…