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To believe in, or better stated; to place your confidence in a person or a thing is more than most have given full consideration to. It requires a level of trust with the willingness to submit your future to the object of your faith. The risk is higher and the effect is greater than what can be easily brushed off while the wound is healed by time. Time does not always heal the wounds of disappointments that reach deeply into the soul. I may believe you and hope that what you say and do is honest. However, if it is discovered that you were not completely honest, my loss was calculated by the amount of trust invested. But to believe in something or someone is placing the weight of my faith which governs my life determining decisions. I am the product of what I believe in. The measure by which I judge all things is determined by this. I make a distinction between what and who I believe on and who and what I believe in. To believe on a person is to trust them to do a particular thing or be a particular way. It places the burden upon…

Am I responsible for and accountable to my brother? If so, who is my brother? How far does this responsibility extend? There are so many questions revolving around the subject of mutual accountability placing added burdens to people who have a full plate just managing their own affairs. It is a stretch to believe that my concern for others could have an effect upon their behavior. The collective selfishness or individualism we see today has created an environment where it is much easier to take advantage of, or even harm each other than it once was. If no thought is given to the potential for both good and evil that we all possess, each act committed is isolated from the context of the whole. One lie contributes to a community of dishonest people. One item stolen from another person contributes to a security breach that may cost more than you are willing to pay to protect what is left of your goods. One adulterous act contributes to debauchery that is out of control. Yes, the Golden Rule is to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  However, when people do what  they ought not do, or…

“Gideon said to Him, ’O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, “Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?” ‘ “ (Judg 6:13). God called Gideon before there was any evidence of might and valor within him. God did not wait on the evidence in order to affirm the fact that he was called. His call provided the evidence necessary to face the challenges that awaited him. We have been called to greatness! His call is initially a call to Himself. It is His might and valor working through us when given permission, that will launch us into new challenges and trials leading to victories beyond measure. The question on Gideon’s heart was, “If the Lord is with us, why then have all these things happened to us?” Things happen that cause questions to be raised. Sometimes we may feel abandoned and all alone. These are times when God provides evidence that will take us beyond the level of our own strength. He was a mighty man of valor incognito. God does not merely choose those…

“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…

“And He said to them, ’It is not for you to know…’ ” (Acts 1:7). We must diligently pursue knowledge. There is so much to know and the subjects are so vast. With the invention of the Internet, information can be gathered in moments where in times past it may have taken weeks, months, and even years. It is not to our advantage to merely gather in facts, but getting wisdom to rightly apply knowledge is more important than the knowledge alone. The question asked by the disciple of Jesus was a legitimate question. “Will You at this time restore the kingdom again to Israel?” It had to do with the fulfillment of prophecies and the rightful place of Israel. Jesus’ answer did not resolve their challenges, but rather challenged them. He told them that they were not privy to the information, but were privy to what was required for them to fully participate in fulfilling the prophecies.  God does not always answer us as we would have Him to answer us, but further prepares us for participation in what He is doing. Knowledge becomes wisdom once one is totally involved in the process. And the only way to be…

“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…

Jesus spoke with the deepest of thought. Everything He said expressed the heart and mind of His Father. He was asked on one occasion—“Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ’Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets’ ” (Mt 22.35-40). Such a simple yet profound answer to a question would have baffled the most astute professor of religion. Yet His answer went far beyond the level of their understanding. All that Jesus was gave definition of the love that He addressed. Then to understand how love was to be applied to both God and to neighbor would send them back to their classrooms in pursuit of the elementary discussions of both categories.  In order to understand the statements of Jesus we need the mind of Christ. As His mind is developed within us, His Words will…

“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1Cor 2:2).  Once Jesus Christ is revealed to you, it is then necessary to measure all information by and through the knowledge of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Former experiences and former schools of thought may try to compete with this newly gained knowledge. The logical mind searches through former experiences seeking out ways to deny Christ or to diminish the impact of experiencing Him. Then Christ becomes subjective while other things become the objects of our faith. The intent is to get us to serve God for what we may gain personally rather than living for Him. To know Him as crucified is to live for Him alone. He gives us His resurrected life and we live in newness of life. No longer are we competing for the same prizes that the world is seeking after. Our goal is to know Him even as we are known. It takes determination for the message of Christ to remain relevant in an age of selfishness and self-centeredness. But when we are determined to know Him, He gives us the knowledge necessary to live the abundant life….

“Storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1Ti 6:19). The grace of God produces works of righteousness. It is from a heart of love that we do the will of God and not for the sake of earning His favor. If we love Jesus Christ, we will do His will and find pleasure in doing it. Those who are rich often think of themselves as having all that they need. Paul’s admonishment was not that they become impoverished, but rather to make sure that their hearts are not held captive by the things of this world. Those who find greater pleasure here and now, but lack a heavenly perspective will sacrifice eternal life for what their money is able to buy them. When Christ is our foundation we store up riches for the time to come. Every act is centered in our love for the Lord and given full expression through how we use our resources. We participate with the Lord in what He is doing on the earth as fellow laborers in His garden and in the construction of His house. After our work is complete,…