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How is it that defenders of rights can readily turn a deaf ear to things that are obviously wrong? We live in a schizophrenic society where double standards are the order of the day, but all too often, they exist unquestioned even by those who have the responsibility to uphold God’s standard of righteousness. Our current dilemma places us between the tensions of cultural degeneration and a politicized veneer of righteousness. This is the result of when the heart is driven by a passion that did not generate from God, and then attempts to reconcile those passions with what ought to be their passions. People live between the two polarized positions of what is and what ought to be.  But if there is no struggle there, they try to make sense out of nonsense. As a child, we are taught the difference between right and wrong, where ethical choices must be made and a line is drawn between civility and the uncivilized. Civil Rights are determined on the basis of civility and the pursuit of its establishment. There is no such thing as half right and half wrong—rightness and wrongness are absolutes. A woman cannot be half pregnant. She might not…

“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. 

“As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near” (Matthew 24:32).  One major sign of the return of Christ will be the renewed courage and strength among those who carry the testimony of the Lord. As it was in the days of the prophets and later the apostles, so shall it be among individuals who will stand for truth without compromise. They will be among a people who have relented to casual Christianity, but will not allow the pressures brought to bear against them to discourage them nor diminish their faith. There will be new life within the Church as both young and old will boldly face persecution if required, for righteousness sake. The sign will be an awakening spreading to the ends of the earth. The Kingdom of God will be their message, the cross will be their standard, and the zeal of the Lord will totally consume them. Professor Martin Scharlemann of Concordia Seminary said, “As soon as the missionaries are no longer welcome to do their work and their host countries begin to expel them, look up.” 

“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! 

“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. B.C. means before the birth of Christ and A.D. (Anno Domini), the year of our Lord), begins with His birth (starting with 1 (not 0)). 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 universe and heaven are, 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 were 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! 

“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…

“After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberius, and in this way He showed Himself.” (John 21:1-2).  He makes Himself known in ways that are familiar to each person. He once came in human flesh and fully identified with the human experience, yet honoring the Father by not yielding to the temptation of sin. After He was raised from the dead, He continued to show Himself again to His disciples. In His resurrected state, He is still in touch with all things pertaining to us. They were fishermen before their encounter with Jesus. Now that He had been crucified, they returned to their former professions. Their lack of success was challenged by His question, “Children, have you any food?” They had toiled all night to no avail. Jesus then gave them instructions that they could either follow or ignore. But when they cast their nets on the other side of the boat, they could not contain all that was in their nets. The resurrected Christ makes His presence known again among His disciples. He is the same Jesus but now raised in newness of life as the first-born of many brethren. It is…

“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…

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1Corinthians 11:26).  A message is proclaimed at the Communion Table. Jesus invites us to His table in order for those who have been called as His followers to dine with Him. What other disciples had rejected when offered, they were now afforded the opportunity to participate. The criteria for having a part with Him was eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Their passion was for His life to become their very own. Theirs would be that of witnesses. They would ultimately be willing to follow Him to the grave. But now, they must take the cup thus symbolically identifying with His death. Symbolisms are meaningless if the life is not ingested. To feed on Jesus is to allow His flesh to become our body and His blood to be our life-blood. We need to be reminded often, thus we come again to the table of the Lord that we should never forget. He gave His life that we may live. Now the life that we live as His witnesses is to proclaim His death as being sufficient for the…

“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…