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We are live. A minister from another denomination has already been baptized! He and his wife came as another minister's visitors and they were inspired by the messages they have heard. Can't wait to hear what Brother Osbourne has to say, but God is already moving.
Rev. J. H. Osbourne
Talking from the Song of Solomon, he mentions a seemingly odd line about little foxes that spoil the vine. It doesn't seem to fit in this love poem. It's a proverb rather than a line of adoration. This verse has nothing to do with anything else going on around it.
However, we know that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. This song is from the heart. While written by Solomon to the Shulamite woman, it is representative of God and His adoration of His people. So this song is written from the heart of God. So, everything in it is coming from God's passion for us.
The Shulamite woman wasn't considered beautiful. She didn't even think she was worth his gaze. She's been burned out and overdone. Isn't that how so many of us see ourselves? We feel unworthy of the love of God. We feel burned out in this life and overworked, overdone and over stressed. Why should God care about such an imperfect individual? Yet God loves us. His passion for us is fierce and without reservation. He desires us and pursues us fervently.
We must get the same passion for God that He has for us. We need to get passionate about the Name of Jesus like when we first came into relationship with Him. We need to desire time with Him. Our prayers need to be intimate and full of adoration. We must renew our love for Him and continue to grow it.
God is calling us to love Him anew. He wants us to desire Him. He is looking for us to show up to meet with Him. He's jealous for time with us. Do I want to make my love for God new each day? Do I desire Him as He wishes? Do I run after my time with God? Can I wait to meet with God or is time with Him something I am impatient to pursue? God wants His love to be reciprocated. Do I want to reciprocate?
God is calling. Will we answer. Hearing the voice of God is one thing, but do we obey when He speaks? His call for relationship with us is one we must obey. Don't run and hide from the presence of God when He comes calling. He only wants to shower us with His love. We can't shun it because we feel unworthy, unwanted or unable to return that love. He wants us and that's what matters.
Back to the little foxes. He likens the relationship with God as tender grapes on the vine. Little foxes will eat those grapes. Little things can come between us and God and destroy the tenderness of our relationship. It might be a situation that pulls us away from time with God. It might be an idea or desire that is contrary to God's desires and ideas for us. It's not talking with God. It's refusing to meet with Him. It's little things that cause division and distance. He still loves us, but we have created a chasm between us because of little things that have spoiled our relationship.
God does love us. He has a covenant with us. God has always loved humanity, but He has not always been in covenant with them. Those God has not been in covenant with have been the object of His opposition. If we give ourselves to other things and break covenant with God, He will oppose us until we come back into covenant with Him. His opposition is out of love. Don't have other gods and pursuits above Him. Love God and commune with Him. Be covenanted with Him. The great thing about this jealous God we serve is that He will return us into covenant with Him if we will but desire Him anew, turn ourselves to Him again, and continue to pursue Him.
Rev. Danny Whitley
Starting out when Jesus walked through the walls to meed his disciples shortly after his resurrection. He showed them his wounds, spoke with them and then breathed on them and gave them peace. However, Thomas wasn't there. So, he came back and gave Thomas an opportunity to see for himself.
Thomas had declared and embraced his unbelief. Christ gave him every opportunity to turn his unbelief into belief. He let Thomas put his hand in his wound. God will go to any length to build our faith. He will reveal Himself to us in ways that are undeniable. That leave no doubt.
There are many things that Christ did that weren't recorded. Things that were seen and experienced-miracles, utterances, etc.-didn't make the pages of the gospel. However, what we have is more than enough to believe in God. Christ inspired the writers to record what they did because what is written leaves no doubt.
What we experience in our lives with God should leave no doubt either. If we follow God long enough, we will witness the miraculous and amazing power of God on display. We will feel the authority of Christ in our lives. We will receive the evidence necessary to believe and trust in God. The question is, what will we do with it?
Are we going to take the belief that God has thrust upon us and carry it to our communities? Will we take the real story of Jesus Christ as it has been manifest in our lives and share it with those around us? Will we encourage an increasingly unbelieving world with the undeniable belief we receive through relationship with God? God has done enough in each and everyone of our lives to make the difference in the lives of those we touch. We just need to affirm our purpose and go tell. Because when we talk about God, He shows up and reveals Himself in a real and undeniable way.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.