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Our First Love

Mark 1:29-2:12 "And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean" (Mark 1:40, KJV). The motivating force in Jesus was to do the will of the Father. His first love was the Father, and everything He did on earth was first to please His heavenly Father. In this passage we see Jesus' great love for the Father as He put the Father and His will first and obeyed the Father. Many people came to Jesus for healing and deliverance, and He healed all who came to Him, but He knew that His Father had called Him to preach. First He obeyed the Father in fulfilling His call, but He also was moved with love for the people. When the leper approached Him, he was moved with compassion.

Finishing Well

When we produce fruits of holiness through the power of God's grace, we have no reason to fall back into a life of sin and bondage. They are free, empowered and whole. However, this promise does not apply to believers who do not walk in true holiness. Hear what Peter says about this:

God's Occupation

Mark 1:1-28 In order to follow someone or something, one has to leave something or someone. When Jesus said to Simon and Andrew, "Come, and I will make you fishers of men," they did just that. They forsook their nets and followed Him.

The Greatest Love Story

Matthew 28:1-20 This is the day men give candy and roses to their wives or sweethearts. For me it usually means a dinner out or a weekend away. This day of celebration is in honor of the love between a man and a woman. It is interesting that the symbol of this day is a heart and the colors used to decorate are red and white. The greatest love story ever told also involves the heart and the colors red and white. On the cross Jesus died because the weight of our sin broke His heart, but because of His sacrifice, we now can have our broken hearts mended. The red blood of Jesus poured upon the ground and was offered as an atonement for all sins, which satisfied God's requirements for a penalty for sin. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Though our sins were as scarlet, they became white as snow. On that day over two thousand years ago, the greatest love story was revealed to mankind. This story continues to unfold as we look forward to the day that we will sit at the table of the lover of our souls. There will be a marriage of the Bridegroom (Jesus) with the bride (the church), and the celebration will continue for all eternity.

A Willing Heart

Exodus 35:10-36:38 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments" (Exod. 35:21, KJV). This is a beautiful story of how the people had a willing heart to give, to work and to serve. We learn in the next chapter how willing the people actually were. Exodus 36:5 says, "And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make" (KJV).

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Proverbs 9:1-6 I've always wondered what the seven pillars of wisdom were. After studying the sevenfold anointing spoken of in Isaiah 11:2, I concluded that the seven pillars of wisdom must be the seven aspects of the Holy Spirit of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2 says, "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord" (KJV).

His Word Is Steadfast

Psalm 33:1-11 God spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. God is not a man that He should lie. I've heard it said the only thing God cannot do is lie. His Word is truth, and this psalm says His Word is right and all His works are done in truth. His Word not only is right, but it also has creative power. God spoke into being all of creation.

Never Fall Short

God has freely given us the tools we need to live a holy life that pleases Him—that's fabulous news! There's no need to fall short. The writer of Hebrews tells us:

Peace in the Presence of the Lord

Psalm 32:1-11 David knew the secret of the quiet place, and he had to constantly focus to remain in this quiet place. He writes, "Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of mine enemies" (Ps. 23:5, KJV). David had many enemies. However, he knew he was not fighting against flesh and blood. He knew his true enemy was Satan. David knew the secret to overcoming Satan. When Saul chased after him to kill him, David wrote, "Where can I flee from Your presence?" (Ps. 139:7). The presence of the Lord was always much stronger than the presence of the enemy to David. No matter what difficult situation David encountered, he knew the Lord was ever before him. He wrote, "Your face is ever before me."

The Road of Holiness

God has given us the resources we need to live a holy life that pleases Him! There's no need to ever fall short. Consider what the writer of Hebrews tells us: Pursue…holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God. (12:14–15, NKJV)

The Quiet Place

Psalm 31:19-24 Imagine being in a pavilion set in a green meadow sprinkled with wild flowers. As you view the bright blue sky, the only sounds you hear are the birds singing, the quiet flow of the stream beside you and the Holy Spirit making melody in your heart. We can enter such a place daily as we walk in the Spirit. David knew this secret. "Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion far from the strife of tongues" (Ps. 31:20, KJV).

The Plan

??"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT).

The Book of Wisdom

Proverbs 8:11-13 Proverbs is called the Book of Wisdom. Solomon wrote Proverbs, and one can find the golden threads of wisdom woven throughout the thirty-one chapters. You have probably heard the expression, "Eat an apple a day and keep the doctor away." Reading a chapter of Proverbs every day will keep the devil away. We were inspired to begin this daily exercise of reading the proverb for the day to our three sons when we saw the great results this brought to a family down the street. This family had three boys and a girl, and the father read the proverb for the day aloud to his children as they gathered for breakfast every morning. All of these children never departed from the ways of the Lord because they learned much wisdom through the proverbs.

The Cleansing Process

There is a huge difference between justification and sanctification. Justification is salvation from eternal death, whereas sanctification is the process of holiness.

Being Ready for the Bridegroom

Matthew 25:1-30 We used to lead a "Lamp Lighters" group when my husband was in the army. The children in this group were junior high age, and I loved hearing them sing. "Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning till the break of day." This story of the ten virgins is about being ready for the Lord's return. One has to understand the Jewish betrothal customs to receive the full impact of what is being conveyed in this passage.

HOLY - Defined

The word holy is from the Greek word hagios. Some words used to define it are set apart, sanctified, and consecrated, along with pure and morally blameless. The fundamental qualities of holiness are separation, consecration and devotion to the service of God, sharing in His purity and abstaining from worldly defilement.

You Can't Take It With You!

Matthew 24:29-51 There is an expectancy of the Lord's soon return that only the Holy Spirit can give. Paul had this expectancy, and nearly two thousand years later men and women all over the world believe in Jesus and are anticipating His return.

A Sexual Nightmare

We are straying far from God's heart because we are so influenced by our society. In so many ways, the church has become a subculture rather than what we are called to be—a counterculture.

Like Lightning

Matthew 24:1-28 Suddenly without warning a flash of lightning bolts through the sky. The Second Coming of the Lord will be just that sudden. Does this strike fear in your heart?

You Would Not

Matthew 23:13-39 Jesus expresses the heartcry of the Father in this passage. He would that none perish, but that all should come to repentance. As Jesus looked from the temple mount upon Jerusalem, He cried out, "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not" (Matt. 23:37, KJV).

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Charisma — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit