WHY WE DON’T HAVE TO SPECIFICALLY ASK GOD FOR EVERYTHING WE NEED ‘EVERY TIME’ WE PRAY…

Pray is such as special gift from the God of our creation.

We may not have instant and direct access to the President, the governor, the mayor, the CEO, the Athletic Director, your pastor or even one another sometimes…

But, we always have direct access to God through our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).

the Bible teaches us through prayers and supplications to make our requests made known to God…

Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

There have been times that after I have finished praying, I have wondered…did I miss something?

I thanked God.

I asked for forgiveness of my sins.

I prayed for provision, protection and other things.

I prayed for others…

Did I forget something?

But, then I remembered that we are created in the image of God. That means that we can have His character…His essence.

We can love like Him. We can nurture like Him. We can take care of our children the way He takes care of His children.

So, our children don’t have to make a point to specifically ask every day for us to:

Feed them…

Protect them…

Provide the things they need.

The fact is that many times if they simply come to us, unsolicited…

If they approach us ‘out of the blue’ and with obvious sincerity expressing, I LOVE YOU…and we know that it’s real.

That sincere and unselfish expression of love provokes us to WANT to do something to show them how much we love them. Sometimes it makes us want to do something special for them.

I think we have that reaction because we are created in God’s image. Maybe He sometimes reacts the same way towards us when we bow heads prayer or lift our hands in praise and unselfishly, sincerely express I LOVE YOU! I TRUST YOU! I BLESS YOU! And, I JUST WANT YOU TO BE PLEASED WITH ME!

Remember, prayer isn’t only giving God a laundry list of our needs, but an opportunity to express our love for Him.

Every now and then, just thank God and tell Him that you love Him.

Psalm 103:1-2 (NKJV)

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY GOD MAY NOT GIVE US PERMISSION TO REMOVE THE ‘TOXIC’ PEOPLE FROM OUR LIVES…

Let me preface this piece by saying this piece is not addressing dangerous, abusive relationships.

We all encounter people who ‘get on our nerves’. We all have people in our families, workplaces, and even churches who love to cause trouble, drama and who cause us high levels of stress and anxiety.

Some people have a chronic propensity to bring negativity to every interaction.


One of the most common and seemingly practical pieces of advice is to remove the people toxic people from our lives…but does the Bible support that teaching?


It sounds good in blog posts, self help books, sermons, and motivational speeches, but how does God expect us to handle the situation?

Notice that God told Ezekiel that He was sending Him to…well a nation of ‘toxic people’.

Ezekiel 2:3-5 (NKJV)

And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are [a]impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.

God equipped Ezekiel for the challenge, and He is trying to equip us…

Ezekiel 3:7-9 (NKJV)

But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are [a]impudent and hard-hearted. Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.


Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, sent His disciples into ‘toxic situations’…

Matthew 10:16 (NKJV)

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless[a] as doves.

The fact is that Jesus gave us instructions for how to handle people who intentionally antagonize us…

Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)

44 [a]But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,


Notice that the Lord didn’t say avoid your enemies, block those who curse you, and remove those who spitefully use and persecute you from your life.


God expects us to strong enough to be light, and a positive spiritual influence to those who are ‘toxic’. The very person or persons that you have decided to eliminate from you life might have been specifically sent into your life to benefit from your light.

Let’s say you’re one of those people on social media who announce they are unfriending or blocking the ‘negative or messy’ people from their lives. These are people who haven’t unfriended or blocked you from their lives, even though they may be sometimes annoyed by your passion or love for God. You may be the only light they see in a sea of the craziness on social media.

God expects us to be strong and grow in wisdom, knowledge, understanding, love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, self-control and faithfulness enough so we can represent His glory and image in every relationship and interaction.

This is when what God told us through the apostle Paul is the most powerful…

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

13 I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me.


Before you get rid of someone toxic, why not pray for the strength, wisdom and patience to be a blessing to them?


What if Jesus had decided to reject the negative people in His earthly ministry?

Before you block their calls, what if blocked yours?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN HYPOCRITES CLAIMING TO BE HOLY BECOME DEADLY…

The statement, “This is good vs evil” has always been subjective.

It’s scary the way that people who claim to be holy feel as though God consents and supports their hatred that masquerades as passion for Him.

It was the religious leaders who provoked the Romans to crucify Jesus.

John 16:2 (NKJV)

2 (A)They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming (B)that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY ‘DUE’ SEASON COMES BEFORE ‘DO’ SEASON…

One of the most encouraging promises in the Bible was given to us by God through the Apostle Paul…

Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

However, we must recognize our responsibility in receiving this promise from God.

As some people may want to sit back and wait for God to ‘bless’ them, many if not most of the time, God gives us some work and responsibility in receiving many of the blessing in which we hope He will release into our lives.

Remember the man who was born blind?

John 9:6-7 (NKJV)

When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

That’s kinda nasty, isn’t it?

But, this man’s blessing was contingent on Him being obedient to Yeshua the Messiah. He had to do something that many people today would have refused to do.

Jesus, spat on the ground…

Made mud from His spit…

Spread it over the blind man’s eyes…

Then, the man had to go and wash it off in a particular pool, not just where he chose to wash it off.

This man had work to DO when his DUE season had arrived.

Some people simply had to touch the hem of the LORD’S garment, and others had to do something unconventional, but they ALL had to DO something.

This is why God teaches us that ‘faith without works is dead’…

James 2:18-24 (NKJV)

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without [a]your works, and I will show you my faith by [b]my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [c]dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made [d]perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was [e]accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

If you’re trusting God to move in your life.

If you’re waiting on God to answer your prayers, what are you doing while you’re waiting?

What is God expecting you to do to participate in your breakthrough?

Before DO season comes DUE season!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

PROOF THAT NO MATTER HOW LONG YOU’VE BEEN MARRIED, SIZE MATTERS!

We’ve all heard the old cliche that ‘size matters’.

Even after over 33 years of marriage, some things never change.

I hope the video above makes you smile as my wife and I explain how size matters no longer how long you’ve been married!

I promise it’s clean.

Proverbs 5:18-19 (NKJV)

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with (A)the wife of your youth.
19 (B)As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be [a]enraptured with her love.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOU CAN’T SMELL YOURSELF STINK ANYMORE ( IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)…

wp-1488387186094.jpgOne of the things that reminds me that our bodies and our flesh are temporary is when we stink. As good as you may smell right now, think of the effort we as humans have to put into avoiding smelling bad.

We have to bathe regularly…

Brush and floss our teeth…

Shampoo our hair…

Apply deodorants…

Perfumes…

Colognes…

We as humans have to work at smelling good. Whether we admit it or not, we all smell bad sometimes.

Sometimes if we have been working hard…been sick…or whatever, we can begin to smell unpleasant…YOU STINK.

Have you ever been in need of ‘freshening up’ and were actually able to smell yourself?

You may have raised up your arm, caught a whiff of your own breath…or whatever and said to yourself , “Wow! I stink!

What’s interesting is that if you don’t get an opportunity to bathe soon, you won’t notice the odor anymore…you’ve gotten used to your own stench.

BUT, even though you CAN’T smell it, everyone else still CAN.

Our sin STINKS to God.

Isaiah 65:5 (NLT)

Yet they say to each other,
    ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
    I am holier than you!’
These people are a stench in my nostrils,
    an acrid smell that never goes away.

Just as we all have to work to avoid smelling bad, we have to all work to avoid sinning.

Just as our bodies can smell bad, our spirits ‘smell bad’ when they are consumed with the works of the flesh, or sin…

Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV)

 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

If we aren’t careful, we can become complacent in sin…bad habits…bad attitudes…inappropriate lifestyles…behavior that’s displeasing to God.

We can become complacent and comfortable to the point that we begin excusing, justifying or ignoring where we are wrong…


WE CAN’T SMELL OURSELVES STINK ANYMORE…

But others can still smell us…

AND, God can still smell us!


Have you ever gotten caught up in sin to the point that you began to…

Accept it?

Become comfortable in it?

Tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter anymore”?

Feel you couldn’t come back from it?

Say to yourself, “Why try to do better?

YOU COULDN’T SMELL YOURSELF STINK ANYMORE!

The bible tells us to cleanse ourselves of what defiles our body and spirit…

2 Corinthians 7:1 (NKJV)

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

 We have to recognize what IS sin…by reading God’s word from His perspective.

We have to acknowledge our sin…admit to ourselves that we are hurting God.

We have to regret our sin…if we are still proud of what we’ve done there is no forgiveness.

We have to repent of our sin…we have to ‘turn around’ and not put ourselves in situations to be tempted by our weaknesses.

Even though sin stinks to God, He has made it clear to us what makes us ‘smell good’ to Him.


Accepting His Son

2 Corinthians 2:15 (NKJV)

 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.


 Wash yourself in the Word of God

 Ephesians 5:25-26

 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,


Walk in Love  (Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 to learn how love behaves)

Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.


Practice the Fruit of the Spirit 

 Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

 Remember…we have to work to avoid smelling bad…EVERY DAY!

Put effort into making sure your spirit smells good to God…EVERY DAY!

Don’t get to the point that you can’t smell yourself stink anymore.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT JESUS’ MOST SCATHING REBUKES WERE FOR RELIGIOUS PEOPLE RATHER THAN ‘SINNERS’…

This is word of admonition to those who call themselves to be believers.

The image of modern-day Christianity has been perverted by people who where pride as a necklace and their arrogance masquerades itself as confidence. Many of these people mean well, but they have been seduced by their passion against some obvious sins (namely abortion and homosexuality)…

1 Timothy 5:24-25 (NLT)

24 Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later. 25 In the same way, the good deeds of some people are obvious. And the good deeds done in secret will someday come to light.

…to excuse, justify and even indulge in the sins that aren’t as obvious or politicized such as pride, arrogance. They don’t share their faith in love. They are accused of hating those whose lifestyles they reject, while they themselves accuse others of hating the proud and arrogant personalities they support.

God used proud and arrogant nations ( namely Assyria and Babylon) to punish His people because of their idolatry, hypocrisy, assimilation, refusal of justice, violence and their arrogant leaders.

However, after using these clearly ungodly nations and ungodly rulers to punish His people, He later harshly punished Assyria and Babylon. Go back and read Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel through this context.


The problem with many people in America who call themselves Christians is that they never see America as Assyria or Babylon…only as either persecuted or victorious Israel.

God has made a promise to those who have succumbed to pride and arrogance…

Jeremiah 50:31-32 (NASB)

31 “Behold, I am against you, [a]arrogant one,”
Declares the Lord [b]God of armies,
“For your day has come,
The time [c]when I will punish you.
32 The [d]arrogant one will stumble and fall
With no one to raise him up;
And I will set fire to his cities,
And it will devour all his surroundings.”

Jeremiah 50:31-32 (NKJV)

31 “Behold, I am against you,
O most haughty one!” says the Lord God of hosts;
“For your day has come,
[a]The time that I will punish you.
32 The most proud shall stumble and fall,
And no one will raise him up;
I will kindle a fire in his cities,
And it will devour all around him.”


You can’t fight against one sin by accepting and engaging in another.

Remember, pride is the first mentioned among the seven deadly sins because it is the parent sin to countless offspring sins.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)

16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to [a]Him:
17 A[b] proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.

Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before [a]a fall.

James 4:6 (NKJV)

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Many of those who call themselves evangelicals do not represent the true image of Christ any more than the Scribes and Pharisees them. The fact is that Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ warned to beware of their hypocrisy and teaching…

Luke 12:1 (NKJV)

In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the [a]leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Remember that the LORD’S scathing rebukes WERE NOT FOR THE ‘SINNERS’ but those who called themselves to be religious leaders!

Think about Jesus’ response when the woman was caught in adultery. Think about how He dined with ‘sinners’. Then think about His responses to those who called themselves to be ‘religious’…

Matthew 23:13-36 (NKJV)

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 [a]Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of [b]hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that [c]sanctifies the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who [d]swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who [e]dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and [f]self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and [g]adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’

31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood[h] of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

BE BEBLESSIFIED!

A SOULFUL SONDAY MEMORY ON BEALE STREET IN MEMPHIS TN…

Enjoy this beautiful memory of my wife, Mechelle Johnson sharing a soulful memory of music on Beale Street in Memphis TN…

It’s original Gospel Jazz, “Walk with Me (Never Alone),” and a beautiful classic love song cover of Rene and Angela’s “Your Smile”.

Remember, “You minister to the soul with a Gospel song, but you minister to a marriage with a love song.”

&

“Life without music would be all talk.”

Jeremiah 31:3-4 (NKJV)

3 The Lord has appeared [a]of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
4 Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel!
You shall again be adorned with your tambourines,
And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.

https://music.apple.com/us/album/walk-with-me-never-alone-single/1129891006

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE ARROGANCE OF BEGINNING THE DAY WITHOUT PRAYER…

wp-1499365099901.

Consider this…

You wake up, reach over and kiss your spouse. You then you turn on the television to check the weather and traffic. You go into the kitchen and grab a bite to eat and promptly brush, floss and take a shower so you can get out the door and be on time for work.

What’s wrong with this morning scenario?

You acknowledged your spouse…

You acknowledged the weather…

You acknowledged the traffic…

You acknowledged your hunger…

You acknowledged your hygiene (even your ‘low’giene:-)…

You acknowledged your job…

But did you acknowledge the One who made everything else you acknowledged possible?

Did you acknowledge God? Did you tell Him good morning? Did you tell Him thanks for protecting you and your family, while you were unconscious all night? Did you thank Him for waking you up? Did you thank Him for brand new mercies..

Lamentations 3:22-23  (NKJV)

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

This world is far too dangerous. Too unpredictable… Too evil for us to begin our day without acknowledging the God of our salvation.

Too many people say they are believers, but when they are honest with themselves, they live as if God isn’t even there.


We acknowledge, relate to and take seriously what is real to us.


I believe that beginning the day without acknowledging God first thing each and every morning is the ultimate ‘intentional’ act of arrogance and pride.

We are saying, (without saying )… “I’ve got this.” “I don’t need your protection.” “I don’t need your provision.” “I don’t need your guidance.” “I don’t need your wisdom.” “I don’t need your help.”


In as sense we are saying, “I don’t need you today!”


When you love someone…when you’re in love someone, you act like it. In fact, not only do we expect the love we give be reciprocated, we demand it of one another.

We prove how real God is to us, and how much we love Him by how we relate to Him. How we talk to Him. How we fellowship with Him in His word and prayer.

Have you talked to God today? If not, why not stop right now and…Tell Him you’re sorry. Tell Him you love Him. Thank Him for His grace and mercy. And make a commitment that God is the first Person that you talk to each morning.

Psalm 63:1 (NKJV)

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.

Psalm 5:3 (NKJV)

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN THE ECONOMY HAS BECOME AN IDOL…

It’s important to notice the behaviors and attitudes that led to Israel and Judah being exiled and apply those same behaviors and attitudes to modern-day parallels.

The people, including the national and religious leaders did not listen to Jeremiah or the other prophets as they warned about the impending loss of their freedom because of their sins.

But, which sins?

Notice how they rejected Jeremiah’s warnings because they said, “They had plenty of food and were well off” when they served idols as their fathers did (Jeremiah 44:16-17).

Many Americans don’t think of pride as a sin.

Many Americans can’t see how prioritizing the economy over God’s standards can become a stumbling block.

Too many people can’t see how refusing to reject the sins and practices of ‘our fathers’ can lead to God’s wrath.

The excerpts above are from Jeremiah 43 and 44. Please go back and read them in context with the entire chapter.

Idols aren’t just made of wood and stone. Sometimes we live in them. Sometimes we drive them. Sometimes our practices have turned into a subtle worship of our institutions.

Pride, arrogance and traditions will destroy America before anything else does.

We must repent.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN ‘THE TONIGHT SHOW’ HAD A LITTLE FUN WITH OUR ORIGINAL MUSIC (A BEAUTIFUL MEMORY)…

The year was 2015 and we were in the car when I got an email from NBC UNIVERSAL asking permission to use our song “Urgent” for a year.

It’s amazing how God chooses to give increase to the ‘seeds’ we plant.

We love how The Roots cleverly covered “Urgent” to introduce the movie “Insurgent”.

To God be the glory!

1 Corinthians 3:6-7 (NKJV(

6 (A)I planted, (B)Apollos watered, (C)but God gave the increase. 7 So then (D)neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

BE BLESSTIFIED$

HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED WHAT PROVOKES GOD TO REJECT OUR PRAYERS…

God answers prayers! I’m a witness that He has answered countless specific prayers, intercessions and supplications for me. However, there are situations when God rejects our prayers. We can’t ignore this.

God has given us examples in the Old Testament of the behaviors that causes Him to reject the prayers of His people. However, rejection and punishment always came with a promise.

Please go back and do a dedicated bible study from the perspective of what provoked God to ‘hide His face’ and reject the prayers of His people.


Remember, idols aren’t just made of stone or wood. The devil knows he can’t convince you to ‘bow down’ to a statue. Stop and think about the ‘modern-day’ works of our hands. “…and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5).


Isaiah 2:7-8 (NKJV)

Their land is also full of silver and gold,
And there is no end to their treasures;
Their land is also full of horses,
And there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is also full of idols;
They worship the work of their own hands,
That which their own fingers have made.

Deuteronomy 32:20-22 (NKJV)

20 And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them,
I will see what their end will be,
For they are a perverse generation,
Children in whom is no faith.
21 They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God;
They have moved Me to anger by their [a]foolish idols.
But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation;
I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.
22 For a fire is kindled in My anger,
And shall burn to the [b]lowest [c]hell;
It shall consume the earth with her increase,
And set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

Jeremiah 32:28-32 (NKJV)

28 Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it. 29 And the Chaldeans who fight against this city shall come and set fire to this city and burn it, with the houses on whose roofs they have offered incense to Baal and poured out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke Me to anger; 30 because the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done only evil before Me from their youth. For the children of Israel have provoked Me only to anger with the work of their hands,’ says the Lord. 31 ‘For this city has been to Me a provocation of My anger and My fury from the day that they built it, even to this day; so I will remove it from before My face 32 because of all the evil of the children of Israel and the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke Me to anger—they, their kings, their princes, their priests, their prophets, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 8:3-18 (NKJV)

He stretched out the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my hair; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the image of jealousy was, which provokes[a] to jealousy. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the plain.

Then He said to me, “Son of man, lift your eyes now toward the north.” So I lifted my eyes toward the north, and there, north of the altar gate, was this image of jealousy in the entrance.

Furthermore He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, to make Me go far away from My sanctuary? Now turn again, you will see greater abominations.” So He brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, there was a hole in the wall. Then He said to me, “Son of man, dig into the wall”; and when I dug into the wall, there was a door.

And He said to me, “Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there.” 10 So I went in and saw, and there—every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, [b]portrayed all around on the walls. 11 And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up. 12 Then He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’ ”

13 And He said to me, “Turn again, and you will see greater abominations that they are doing.” 14 So He brought me to the door of the north gate of the Lord’s house; and to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for [c]Tammuz.

15 Then He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn again, you will see greater abominations than these.” 16 So He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house; and there, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east.

17 And He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence; then they have returned to provoke Me to anger. Indeed they put the branch to their nose. 18 Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”

Everything written in the Old Testament was for our example today…

1 Corinthians 10:6-11 (NKJV)

Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us [a]tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now [b]all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our [c]admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HERE’S A SIMPLE, SHORT, UNSELFISH PRAYER FOR ANYONE YOU VIEW AS AN ENEMY…

With a sincere heart, ask God to soften the hearts of your enemies and antagonists to submit to His word, will, love, truth, and salvation.

Then ask the same for yourself.

Remember, God doesn’t love them any less than He loves you.

Matthew 5:43-48 (NKJV)

43 “You have heard that it was said, (B)‘You shall love your neighbor (C)and hate your enemy.’44 [a]But I say to you, (D)love your enemies, bless those who curse you, (E)do good to those who hate you, and pray (F)for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for (G)He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 (H)For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your [b]brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the [c]tax collectors do so?48 (I)Therefore you shall be perfect, just (J)as your Father in heaven is perfect.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN PEOPLE WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO MERGE INTO TRAFFIC…

Sometimes they take the same route every day and are well aware of the construction ahead.

Most of the time they see the signs that say “Traffic merges in ______ feet”.

They see you are already in the line of cars slowly proceeding through , but as if their time is more important than anyone else in line, they go to the front of the line and force everyone to stop🛑.

It may be slow, but if everyone merges early, we all keep moving.

Sometimes truckers will block traffic to shut off the stream of selfish last-minute mergers.

I must admit this is my pet peeve.

So, what’s the godly thing to do in traffic, let them in? Or, make them wait?

Should we be considerate enough to let them in?

Or, should they be more considerate of those who arrived to the spot in traffic before them?

Of course, sometimes the merge catches you by surprise, but most of the time…we know.

What do you do?

One verse of scripture for both sides of the question…

Luke 6:31 (NKJV)

31 (A)And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

IF YOU CAN HOLD IN YOUR ‘ANAL’ OUTBURST YOU CAN HOLD IN YOUR VERBAL OUTBURST…

In our society today, many people consider blurting out exactly what’s on your mind equates to strength and assertiveness.

How many times have you wished that you could have some visceral response back and ‘unsay’ some words that you released?

Many people claim that…

“I couldn’t help it!

“I couldn’t hold it in!”

“I just had to say it!”

In doing so, many people have embarrassed themselves or ruined their name, reputation, career, relationships or sown discord and driven a wedge between close friends or relatives.

Or, worst of all we can ruin our testimony for Christ.

Sometimes it’s best to just HOLD IT IN!

The same people who say they can’t hold in their verbal response will hold in their flatulence.


No one is going to blurt out a loud, smelly fart that will embarrass them in public.


Holding in the hot air that comes from your mouth and behind both take the same level of restraint!


Even the word of God tells us that it’s best to sometimes ‘keep it to ourselves’…

Proverbs 13:3
The one who guards his mouth preserves his life;
The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin
.

Proverbs 21:23
He who guards his mouth and his tongue,
Guards his soul from troubles.

Proverbs 17:9

He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends.

James 3:1-12

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a [a]perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 [b]Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.

See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of [c]iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of [d]nature; and it is set on fire by [e]hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the [f]similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? [g]Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

We must always ask God to help us to guard our tongues.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

MANAGING INTERNAL CONFLICT OF BEING THANKFUL WHILE WANTING MORE…

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I know I’m not the only one who sometimes struggles with this. I’m sincerely grateful and thankful for the level of blessing and favor on my life. I’m not talking about riches. I’m talking about being thankful that I have food, clothes, shelter, good health and a sound mind…for what many people call ‘the little things’. I’m thankful that my family is doing well, thankful for freedom, peace, safety and yes, I’m thankful for salvation.


But, sometimes I want more.


I would love for God to bless me to be able to support my family well through my writing and leave behind a financial heritage for my children. Ohhhh…that would be so awesome!  I would love to be able to do some of the things for my family that I know would make them happy. Who doesn’t want financial stability, good health and peace in their life.

I can’t count the times I’ve been praying to God asking Him to bless my life and stopped and just had to stop and say, “Thank you!”


Because you see, so many times when I’m asking for more, I think about so many who have less.


So many times when I lain in my bed worrying about something, I think about the fact that it’s a blessing to have a bed in which to worry. Someone, somewhere at that very moment is trying to sleep under a bridge

God tells us to be content, and I truly am…

1 Timothy 6:6-8  (NKJV)

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, [a]and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

But, still I want more. Don’t you? I mean God also told us He would give us more, if we have our priorities straight…

Psalm 37:4-5  (NKJV)

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit[a] your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.

Do you ever feel conflict over being thankful and wanting more?


How do we manage being content with our lives without being covetous?


If you have this conflict too, tell God thank you for the conflict. It’s a sign that you aren’t greedy or covetous.

Here’s a few simple tips on managing that conflict.


Please be careful when you…


Feel God owes you better.

Feel what you have isn’t good enough.

Ask God for more, more often than you thank Him for what you have.

Never pray for those who have less than you.

Lose that internal conflict between being thankful and asking God for more.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY YOU SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR, BUT NEVER ‘PROUD’ OF AMERICA…

I love America and I think it is a great country in which to live. I am thankful to God for allowing me to be a citizen of this country. But, am I ‘proud’ of America? No! Why? Simply because God forbids any form of pride. We are not to be ‘proud’ of our country, family, accomplishments or anything…but rather be thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)

18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I know people ‘push back’ on that notion, but the fact is that:

GOD HATES PRIDE! GOD HATES PRIDE! GOD HATES PRIDE!

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)

16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to [a]Him:
17 A[b] proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.

James 4:6 (NKJV)

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.

Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before [a]a fall.

However, pride has become the accepted abomination in America. Those who claim to be Christians have subtly become infected with the plague of pride, arrogance, self-righteousness and hypocrisy…and the enemy has blinded them that they can’t see it.

People feel justified in rejecting the sins of abortion and homosexuality (and yes, they are sins) while accepting, excusing, justifying and possessing the pride that God hates.

Pride is the first mentioned among the seven deadly sins because it is the ‘parent’ sin to countless ‘offspring’ sins!

If you read the bible carefully, Israel and Judah weren’t rejected because of the heathens, prostitutes, and the ‘overt’ sinners in the land, but they rejected because of the PRIDE of those who called themselves to be the children of God…

Jeremiah 13:8-11 (NKJV)

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thus says the Lord: ‘In this manner I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who follow[a] the dictates of their hearts, and walk after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be just like this sash which is profitable for nothing. 11 For as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,’ says the Lord, ‘that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear.’

Too many people in America only see America as always the HERO or the ‘HOLY VICTIM’. I love America, but we have not ALWAYS been the hero.


Too many people only see America as:

Israel and never Egypt…

Joseph and never his brothers who sold him into slavery…

Esther & Mordecai and never Haman…

Israel/Judah and never Assyria…

Israel/Judah and never Babylon…

Jesus and never Judas…

Jesus and never the Pharisees…

Jesus and never Herod…

Jesus and never Pilate…

Israel and never the Romans…


And, even when America sees itself as Israel, too many in America never see themselves as REBUKED ISRAEL which God is holding accountable for their sins, but only heroic, victorious or restored Israel.

The bible is full of accounts of Israel being rebuked for not only their sins, but not rejecting the sins of their ‘fathers’. Instead, too many sins of America’s past are celebrated as ‘history’ and ‘heritage’. God has proven that everything about our past should not only go uncelebrated, but should be confessed and repented…

Leviticus 26:39-42 (NKJV)

39 And those of you who are left shall [a]waste away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; also in their fathers’ iniquities, which are with them, they shall waste away.

40 But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me,

41 and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—

42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember;

I will remember the land.

Remember this, for restoration, God called for those who call themselves to be His to repent, not the ‘overt’ sinners in the land…

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land

To many, so-called patriotism has become a form of idolatry. Pride will destroy American before anything else does.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HAVE YOU EVER KILLED SOMEONE? BEFORE YOU SAY NO, READ THIS…

Never take for granted that Jesus commuted our death sentence to eternal life.

Before you look down on someone serving a life sentence because they got caught in their sin, thank God for His grace and mercy.

We are ALL murders saved by grace. We are all guilty. Through the lens of God’s perspective, murder begins in the heart. And, our words are just as deadly as bullets.

Matthew 5:21-26 (NKJV)

21 “You have heard that it was said to those [a]of old, (B)‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that (C)whoever is angry with his brother[b]without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, (D)‘Raca!’[c] shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, [d]‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of[e]hell fire.

James 3:5-10 (ESV)

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

…BECAUSE YOU CAN’T GET ROMANTIC LISTENING TO “AMAZING GRACE”…

Marriage and music are both gifts from God. Both are to be enjoyed with balance…

Love songs, even suggestive love songs, are just as appropriate to ‘set the mood’ for romance and intimacy within marriage as songs of worship are appropriate to ‘set the mood’ for worship and intimacy with God…

…Because, you can’t get romantic while listening to “Amazing Grace”. And, if you can, I’m worried about you.

Proverbs 5:18-19 (NKJV)

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with (A)the wife of your youth.
19 (B)As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be [a]enraptured with her love.

Song of Solomon 1:1-3 (CJB)

2 Let him smother me with kisses from his mouth,
for your love is better than wine.

Enjoy the snippet above of my wife, Mechelle Johnson, performing Jill Scott’s “The Way”.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

A TIMELESS MESSAGE FROM A BEAUTIFUL VOICE…

Please listen carefully to the lyrics.

Isaiah 5:20 (NKJV)

20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)

19 (A)Go therefore and (B)make disciples of (C)all nations, (D)baptizing them (E)in[a] (F)the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them (G)to observe all that (H)I have commanded you. And behold, (I)I am with you always, to (J)the end of the age.”

Add “Urgent” to your playlist…

https://music.apple.com/us/album/urgent/976589931?i=976589935

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW PRAYER CAN IMMEDIATELY HELP YOU MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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If its something that you feel uncomfortable praying about first, you probably…

Don’t need to do it.

Don’t need to say it.

Don’t need to go.

Don’t need to buy it.

Psalm 32:8-9  (NKJV)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.


If it’s something you can’t ask God to bless or protect you need to leave it alone.

It it’s something you would be ashamed for your angel, the one that God has assigned to protect and minister to you, see you doing – you need to NOT DO IT.


Hebrews 1:13-14  (NKJV)

13 But to which of the angels has He ever said:

“Sit at My…

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WHEN YOUR SIN IS A GOOD MEMORY…

You stopped.

You don’t do it anymore.

You even asked God to forgive you.

But, when you think about it, the memory still makes you smile.

If you don’t really regret it.

If you had to do it all over…you would do it again.

If you aren’t truly sorry that it happened, then it’s a good chance that God hasn’t forgiven you.

Why?

Because you haven’t truly repented in your heart.

True repentance comes from godly sorrow…

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

10 For (A)godly sorrow produces repentance leadingto salvation, not to be regretted; (B)but the sorrow of the world produces death.

If you aren’t sorry, have you truly repented?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY MANY PEOPLE WOULD PROBABLY AGREE TO ‘A PURGE’…

‘The Purge’ is a movie series where the United States government has made all crime legal, including murder, for one night a year.

This absurdity was validated because crime and unemployment was at historical lows ‘because of the annual purge.

As far-fetched as this sounds, if 10 years ago someone predicted that there would be a worldwide pandemic forcing everyone to wear masks, and a reality show star would be President of The United States… that would sound far fetched too.

People have done some large-scale horrible things to one another throughout history.

Don’t be surprised at what people can be influenced to do by a charismatic leader for the ‘greater good’.

As absurd as a real PURGE may sound, where the hearts of many people are now…I wouldn’t be surprised.

That’s why the word of God warns us.

Galatians 5:15 (NKJV)

15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THANK GOD FOR BEBLESSTIFIED.COM’s TOP 10 COUNTRIES THIS WEEK…

Even if I don’t have the reach of some blogs, I’m thankful for everyone around the world who is blessed by what God places on my heart.

And, though each post is original, I still feel all of my posts are plagiarized…God is the author.

I couldn’t do this without His inspiration anf Holy Spirit.

Even though my posts aren’t scripture, I still feel they are God-breathed.

I pray that His gift of edification, exhortation, admonition, inspiration and salvation is perfected in each word to build the Body of Christ, convert sinners, turn backsliders back to God and encourage the discouraged .

Ephesians 4:11-13 (NKJV)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, (A)for the [a]edifying of (B)the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith (C)and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to (D)a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY MANY ‘MISJUDGE’ WHAT IT MEANS TO ‘JUDGE’ SOMEONE…

It’s one of the most abused and misused statements and deflections…

“You can’t judge me!”

“Judge much?”

“Only God can judge me!”

Identifying what the bible says is sin isn’t judging. To identify something is to recognize and name it.

Recognizing and naming sin is NOT judging. It’s our responsibility as disciples to hold one another accountable and to let ‘sinners’ (we are all sinners saved by grace) that they are falling short of God’s standards.

John 7:24 (NKJV)

24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Ephesians 5:11 (NKJV)

11 And have (A)no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather [a]expose them.

However, assuming that you know what is inside someone else’s heart…

Assuming that you know their motives…

Or pronouncing condemnation on them…

Are all examples of judging.

Saying that the cup in the picture above is green is not judging it. But, assuming there is coffee inside of it is. Assuming it can only be used for coffee is. The fact is that it may prefer being called a mug.

“YOU’RE JUDGING ME!”… is often the response to an assumption or a conclusion based on someone’s established behavior, character and that’s not judging, that’s their fruit.

Matthew 7:20 (NKJV)

20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHILE YOU’RE WAITING ON ‘SINNERS’ TO REPENT, MAYBE GOD IS WAITING ON YOU…

Many Americans are afraid of losing their freedoms, and point their fingers at the ‘blatant, overt sinners’ in the land.

However, if you study the bible carefully, Israel lost their freedom and were oppressed and exiled not because of the ‘non-believers’ or heathens, (we are all sinners saved by grace) but because of the idolatry, hypocrisy, compromise and pride of believers.

God rebuked them for refusing to reject the ‘sins of their fathers’.

Leviticus 26:40-42 (NKJV)

40 But (A)if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me,

41 and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies;

if their (B)uncircumcised hearts are (C)humbled, and they (D)accept their guilt—

42 then I will (E)remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember;

I will (F)remember the land.

Too many ‘Christians’ are pointing their fingers at unbelievers and those they consider to be ‘worse sinners than them’ instead of repenting of their pride, arrogance and self righteousness, much like the Pharisee in the parable of The Pharisee and The Publican …

Luke 18:9-14 (NIV)

To some who were confident of their own righteousness(A) and looked down on everyone else,(B) Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray,(C) one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself(D) and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast(E)twice a week and give a tenth(F) of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast(G) and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’(H)

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”(I)

Remember, God Himself said national restoration wouldn’t take place through the repentance of ‘sinners’, but the repentance of those who consider themselves to be His.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

14 if My people who are (A)called by My name will (B)humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, (C)then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Remember, PRIDE is the first mentioned among the 7 deadly sins and the ‘parent’ sin to countless others.

If you’re afraid of losing your freedom, maybe you should put your pride in check.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

5 REASONS THAT MANY (BUT NOT ALL) CHRISTIANS TODAY WOULD HAVE CRITICIZED YESHUA (JESUS)…

Many Christians don’t see the cultural and behavioral parallels between the religious leaders in the days of Yeshua’s (Jesus’s) earthly ministry and believers today. One of the reasons is that many believers today only see themselves as the biblical heroes, and never the Pharisees, Scribes, Pharaoh, Egypt, Haman, Babylon, Herod or the Romans.

The truth is that modern Christianity in many ways has submitted to pride (the first among the seven deadly sins and parent sin to countless others), arrogance, self-righteousness, selfishness, greed and covetousness.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)

16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to [a]Him:
17 A[b] proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.


If they are honest with themselves, many people who claim to love Jesus would have been among those who criticized Him.


Matthew 15:8-9 (NKJV)

‘These people [a]draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”


We prove where we would have stood in history by where we stand today.


It’s easy to point a self-righteous finger at those who antagonized the Lord in the Bible, but if we’re honest with ourselves many times our actions today prove we would have been among them in at least some instances.

Here are 5 ways that many (but not all) Christians would have criticized Jesus if they were living during His earthly ministry…

1.’HANGIN’ OUT WITH SINNERS AND PROSTITUES

Jesus had a reputation for keeping company with sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes. How would you have reacted to that? How would many ‘church people’ today react to a leader doing so today.

Matthew 9:10-17 (NIV)

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

2. DRINKING ALCOHOL

Yes the Lord turned water into wine, real wine, even though many today try to say it was unfermented to fit their narrative.

He was called a ‘winebibber’ because He drank wine, though He never got drunk. Even the apostle Paul instructed us to not always drink water but a little wine for our stomach’s sake (1 Timothy 5:23).

Matthew 11:19 (NKJV)

19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a [a]winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her [b]children.”

The fact is that many Christians today would have missed their an opportunity to meet Jesus and witness His first miracle at the wedding party where He changed water to wine because ‘they were drinking there’.

3. FEEDING & HEALING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE

There are many people today who would have criticized Jesus for feeding and healing thousands of people. All of the people among the 5000 and 4000 weren’t destitute, they just came to hear Him.

Matthew 14:13-21 (NKJV)

13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. 15 When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” 16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” 18 He said, “Bring them here to Me.” 19 Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. 20 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. 21 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

4. CRITICIZING & CORRECTING THE ‘LEADERS’

Jesus was constantly rebuking the religious leaders for their hypocrisy and self-righteousness. These were those who felt they controlled the interpretation and narrative of God’s word. This same spirit exists today among many who call themselves ‘evangelicals’. Go back and read Matthew Chapter 23 again from this perspective. How many Christians today accuse people of ‘judging’ when they hold leaders accountable? In fact, when one holds a leader whom they love accountable, many Christians respond the same way that ‘sinners’ do when they call out many of the ‘politicized sins’ (homosexuality and abortion)… as ‘sinners’ respond, “You can’t judge me!”

5. CHALLENGING THEIR TRADITIONS

There are many American traditions that directly contradict the word of God, such as swearing in elected officials through an oath of office. It is even in our Constitution. Jesus consistently challenged the religious leaders for ignoring God’s word to keep their traditions.

Mark 7:7-13 (NKJV)

And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—[a]the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you [b]reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

Many of our American traditions are considered holy. Everything we do must be measured agains the word of God.

Be honest with yourself. If you were living in the days of Jesus’s earthly ministry, how would you have received Him. You prove it by your attitudes, behaviors and values today.

BE BLESSTIFED!

DON’T RAISE A GENERATION OF FUTURE ‘GRANDMAS’ WHO CAN’T COOK…

Most of the time when many people think of this verse in the context of discipline…

Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)

6 (A)Train up a child in the way he should go,
[a]And when he is old he will not depart from it.


But, raising children in the Lord is more than discipline. Don’t raise a generation of grandparents who can’t cook for their grandkids!


Teach those girls and boys to cook!

Genesis 25:29-34 (NKJV)

29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew,for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called [a]Edom.

31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”

32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so (B)what is this birthright to me?”

33 Then Jacob said, [b]“Swear to me as of this day.”

So he swore to him, and (C)sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then (D)he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau (E)despised his birthright.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR & SEE YOUR PARENTS (OR GRANDPARENTS)…

So this is what it felt like to be this age.

When I heard you talk about growing up, your youth seemed so long ago, but now I realize how it seemed just like yesterday.

Your days and nights were just as long as mine are now.

Wow! I look like you looked.

I sound like you sounded.

I am you.

I was created in your image.

And, we were created in God’s.

Psalm 127:3 (NKJV)

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

BE BLESSTIFED!

THE ABILITY TO BATHE YOURSELF & 4 OTHER BLESSINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED…

There are many HUGE blessings that we can sometimes take for granted in our materialistic, self-centered society. And, I’m not necessarily talking about those things that we usually STOP and thank God for too.

I’m talking about those blessings that aren’t really even thought of as blessings, kinda like air conditioning in a new car or indoor plumbing…we see them as a ‘givens’.

THE ABILITY TO BATHE YOURSELF…

Ask anyone who has to endure depending on someone else to bathe them every day.

THE ABILITY TO WIPE YOURSELF

I’m going to push this point a little further… farther? You know what I mean:-) Imagine if you had to depend on someone to clean you every time you went to the bathroom. Never take the blessings of being able to do this for yourself for granted.

THE ABILITY TO HAVE COMPLETED BOWEL MOVEMENTS

While we are thanking God for the ability to walk, see, hear and even think for ourselves, let us not forget to thank God for a healthy digestive system. Have you ever felt the misery of constipation?

THE ABILITY FEEL PAIN…

As annoying as pain may be, God gave us pain for a reason. It often let’s us know that something is wrong with our bodies.

THE ABSENCE OF PAIN…

And, as much as pain can be a warning, there are those who live in constant pain daily. Never take for granted the blessing if ‘feeling good’.

This short list is by no means exhaustive. I just wanted to provoke us to thinking and thanking. What are some other things that we often forget to forget when giving thanks?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)

18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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