THE ARROGANCE OF BEGINNING THE DAY WITHOUT PRAYER…

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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!

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LESSONS ABOUT THE DEVIL FROM JOB…

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“Have you not made a hedge around him, around his house, and all that he has on every side?” Job 1:10a

 

The devil is real, and an adversary that we can’t ignore. However, God has given us the power to resist him though our Lord and Savior, Yeshua, Jesus Christ.

We learn much about the devil when we read about his encounter with Job. I’m not going to tell the story of Job, but I want to call out some insights that can help us deal with and claim the power that God has given us over the enemy…

2 Corinthians 2:11 (NKJV)

11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices

Revelation 20:10(NKJV)

10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where[a] the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

THE DEVIL IS NOT OMNIPOTENT

The devil DOES NOT have all power, and the power that he does have, is only what God ALLOWS him for a season. When God pointed out one of his most devoted children, Job, the devil complained that he COULD NOT touch him because he enjoyed God’s protection and favor…

Job 1:10  (NKJV)

10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.

…The enemy COULD NOT touch Job or his family unless God allowed him access to them.

God allowed temporary access to Job for a purpose, but did not allow the enemy to take his life….

Job 1:12 (NKJV)

12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

The same holds true in our lives, the enemy has no power over our lives that hasn’t been allowed by God. He will allow temporary access for a purpose, but when we remain faithful, we are guaranteed power over the enemy…

The devil doesn’t even have power or authority over Hell, but he will share everlasting punishment and separation from God with all those who follow him. God will eventually strip the enemy of all power at the appointed time…

Revelation 20:10(NKJV)

10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where[a] the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

THE DEVIL IS NOT OMNIPRESENT

The devil CANNOT be everywhere at the same time. Only God is omnipresent…

1 Kings 8:27 (NKJV)

27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!

The enemy is a spiritual being with limitations. Even he responded when asked by God from where was he coming (for our benefit because God already knew)…

Job 1:7 (NKJV)

 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

You can’t physically go somewhere that you already are. God doesn’t have to go anywhere, because He is already there.

The devil has agents, those fallen angels that were cast out of heaven with him (demons) to assist him in interacting with our lives.

Only the Spirit of God is everywhere at the same time.

THE DEVIL IS NOT OMNISCIENT

 The devil does not know everything. The devil does not have all knowledge, but only that that God allows.

He doesn’t not know EVERYTHING about your life. He knows your family’s history…he knows your history…he observes your strengths and weaknesses and tries to manipulate both you and them. And most importantly…

He doesn’t know your future. The enemy did not know if Job could resist that terrible trial. One of the reasons that God allowed it is because He already knew and want to prove to Satan and leave an example for us of Job’s faithfulness.

He doesn’t even know when his end will be, that’s why he relentlessly goes to and fro seeking who he may devour…trying to steal, kill and destroy.

Go back and read the account of Job. Look closely at the fact that through it all, the enemy was still subject not only to God, but to Job’s faithfulness.

Be encouraged, we have power over the enemy if we remain aware of his limitations, how he works and most of all, remain faithful to God.

James 4:7 (NKJV)

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

BE BLESSIFIED!

WHY THE MARK OF THE BEAST WON’T BE A CHIP, BAR CODE OR TATTOO…

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Quick and to the point…

Even those who don’t believe in God have heard of it. The mark of the beast. The ‘mark’ that many will submit to showing that they have rejected Christ and accepted the antichrist.

Revelation 13:16 (KJV)

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark IN their right hand, or IN their foreheads:

The purpose of this quick post isn’t to discuss whether or not the church will still be on earth when it takes place. But, what will it actually be. This could be a long post, but I’m going to keep it short so you can digest it…and pray about it.

There are those who talk about a chip being implanted, a bar code that will be required for buying, selling and living everyday life. There are others who speak of a literal mark or tattoo on the hand and forehead. How many warnings have you heard in sermons or seen posted on social media or in sermon?

I say neither. That’s too simple. That’s too literal. Check out this verse…

Jeremiah 31:33 (NKJV)

33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Notice that God says, “I will put My law IN their minds, and write it ON their hearts.”

If you take an x-ray, will you find actual words written on your brain or heart? Of course not.

When God places something in your mind, it affects your thinking. When He places something in your heart, it affects what’s most important to you.


It’s the same with Revelation 13:16…

“In their right hand…” In the way you do things.

“In their foreheads…” The way you think.


John told us that the spirit of the antichrist was already here way back then…

1 John 4:3 (NKJV)

and every spirit that does not confess that[a] Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

The spirit of the antichrist has been at work for years affecting how Christians ‘do things’ and ‘think’. Convincing us to compromise when it comes to our Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus Christ.

Here’s a quick example…think about Easter. What does the name ‘Easter’ have to do with Jesus? Nothing. What do bunnies and eggs have to do with celebrating His resurrection? Nothing. But, you can’t convince well-meaning Christians to celebrate without calling it Easter because it has been to deeply ingrained in the way they ‘do things’ and the way they ‘think’. Why not celebrate His resurrection without calling it by a pagan goddess’ name?

Think of all the ways that the enemy is convincing the people of God to compromise.

Think of how the thinking of this world is changing to accept what God has forbidden.

It’s not what you accept on your skin…it’s what you accept within.

Think about it.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

BEFORE YOU CRITICIZE SIMONE BILES, THINK ABOUT THIS…

Simone Biles’s decision to withdraw from Olympic competition to protect her mental health was met with varied responses.

One can’t help but notice how many people who call themselves Christians were highly critical and down-right MEAN in their reaction.

Simone didn’t meet their expectations…

They feel Simone let her team and country down…

They feel she wasn’t tough enough.

Some of the same people who criticize her for ‘folding under pressure’ watch the world from their smart device or television while never stepping outside the safety of their own daily routines. Many of her critics are much older, yet they haven’t reached her level of accomplishment. And, many claim to be loving, kind-hearted, compassionate disciples of Christ.

We who call ourselves believers need to be careful as to how we define ‘TOUGH’.

If many Christians are honest with themselves, based on how they react to things that happen today…

Many Christians would have called Jesus a failure!

It has been speculated by many that one of the reasons Judas betrayed Jesus is because he didn’t meet his expectations of a deliverer.

Think of the behavior and accomplishments that so many people today consider to be STRENGTH and SUCCESS relative to the behavior that God says is evidence of His Spirit…

Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

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

James 3:17 (NKJV)

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

Matthew 5:39 (NKJV)

39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

Unfortunately, too many Christians today consider the above mentioned Godly attributes to be weakness.

Just as they say Simone Biles isn’t being tough enough…

Just as Judas turned on our Savior because he didn’t meet the expectations of a Messiah…

How many Christians, if they were living around 2,000 years ago would have concluded that Jesus…

Was a failure…

Let His followers down…

Wasn’t being tough enough…

Wasn’t what He claimed to be…

Our visceral reactions prove what is inside of us.

To be clear, I’m not judging you as a Christian. Examine your reactions. Examine yourself. Judge yourself.

2 Corinthians 13:5 (NKJV)

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you [a]are disqualified.

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

OH! NOW, I SEE HOW GOD FEELS…(HORIZONTAL EXAMPLES OF OUR VERTICAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD)

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When you think about it, our relationships here on earth horizontal examples of our vertical relationship with God.

Example: Parents, think about your relationship with your children. You brought them into the world. You love, provide for, and nurture them. You took care of them when they couldn’t take care of themselves.

How does it make you feel when your children don’t appreciate what you do or have done for them?

How much does it hurt you when your children only come to you when they want something?

But, how great does it make you feel when your children are truly grateful?

How does it make you feel when they tell you that they love you just because…

When they want your advice…

When they just want to talk to you…just want to be in your presence?

Think of how you feel when someone mistreats them. Sometimes you run to their rescue, but sometimes you teach them how to be strong for themselves.

When they’ve done wrong think of how after you punish them and correct them, you quickly remind them of your love.

In our earthly relationships (horizontal), sometimes we are selfish and hurt the ones we love the most.

Sometimes we take advantage of their love.

But, sometimes love is so rich and wonderful; we wish the moment could go on forever.

Genesis 1:27 tells us we were made in God’s image.

We look like Him. But, how can we look like an invisible God?

God created us with the capacity and ability to love like Him…

To feel like Him…

To hurt like Him…

To have His character…

When we display the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22 in our lives, (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) we are ‘looking like Him’.

The next time you get frustrated about the way that your children, husband, wife or those who are supposed to be closest to you treat you or make you feel(horizontal), be reminded of how God feels when we treat Him the same way (vertical).

WHY GOD DOESN’T ALLOW US TO ‘KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS’…

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Be careful of what’s in your heart when you decide to “KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS”.

That IS NOT what God told us to do. He told us to love our enemies.

Love’s intention is to give life, not kill.

Love’s intention is to build up, not tear down.

God says don’t seek revenge, that belongs to Him. God says don’t repay evil for evil, but instead to help your enemy.

The problem is, that many of us choose to ‘kill them with kindness’, ONLY to “heap coals of fire on their heads. Many of us are only being kind because we see heaping coals of fire on their head as just another way to get even.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we may just be showing kindness to show them up, to annoy them, to make them feel bad…if that’s the intention then we’ve totally missed God’s meaning.

Helping your enemy is an exercise in developing God’s character. It is planting seeds of  love for the enemy and those who witness. It’s allowing everyone to see the power of God. The goal is overcoming evil with good. Well, what about the coals of fire on their head? That’s just the end result of how acts of kindness affect an enemy…it’s a result, not an intent.

The goal is REPENTANCE AND RECONCILIATION. Remember, ‘kill them with kindness’ is catchy, but not of God.
Romans 12:19-21
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[a] says the Lord. 20 Therefore, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY BEHIND YOUR, “I AM…”(From My Archives)

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Exodus 3:14 (NKJV)

14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

When God tells Moses who to say sent him when he goes into Egypt, He says tell them, “I AM”.

I AM is less about his name and what He’s called and more about His nature. Every time God says I AM, He let’s us know more about who He is…what He is…what He does.

Look what God says behind, “I am”…

“I am your shield…”

“I am the Lord…”

“I am God…”

“I am the Lord your God…”

“I am the Lord who sanctifies you…”

“I am giving…”

“I am holy…”

“I am with you…”

“I am He who blots out…”

“I am the First and the Last…”

“I am He who comforts you…”

“I am merciful…”

“I am Holy…”

“I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…”

“I am the Christ…”

“I am able…”

“I am the Son of God…”

“I am One…

“I am from above…

“I am the bread of life…”

“I am the living bread…”

“I am from Him , and He sent Me…”

“I am the Light of the World…”

“Before Abraham Was, I AM…”

“I am the door…”

“I am the good shepherd…”

“I am the resurrection and he life…”

“I am the way, the truth and the life…”

“I am in My Father and the Father in Me…”

“I am the vine…”

“I am not of this world…”

“I am the King…”

“I am the Alpha and he Omega, the First and the Last…”

“I am He who lives…”

“I am alive forevermore…”

“I am He who searches the hearts and minds…

“I am coming quickly!”


BEHIND every  “I AM” from the Lord…there is meaning, purpose…action!

BEHIND every “I AM”…He defines himself.

AND SO DO WE…


Remember what Jesus said…

Luke 6:45(NKJV)

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. FOR OUT OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART HIS MOUTH SPEAKS.

SO, Be careful how you define yourself!

Be very careful what you say behind your “I am!”

I am defeated!

I am depressed!

I am weak!

I am ugly!

I am helpless!

I am hopeless!

I am lost!

I am cursed!

I am victorious!

I am joyous!

I am strong!

I am saved!

I am empowered

I am beautiful!

I am hopeful!

I am blessed!

I am a child of the King!

I am BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CHURCH IS ONLY A SELF-SERVING MINISTRY (ALL LEAVES & NO FRUIT)…

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This post is not meant to be negatively critical of the church, so I ask that all ‘church haters’ don’t use it as fuel for their “I told you so’s!”. God’s church is comprised of imperfect people, so just like anything else on this earth, it’s a work in progress. That’s what this article is about…progress.

This is for people in the Body of Christ who want to make the church what God would have it to be.

Now…

Do you have great worship? Great praise? Great Fellowship? If so, that’s great because you should. But, we all know that’s not the ONLY reason God has His church on the earth. It is an extension of His love reaching out not only to SAVE, but to SERVE.

Unfortunately, many churches, big and small,  have become social organizations that only serve the members or the other churches within their circle. Yes, God told us to do good, especially to the household of faith….

Galatians 6:10  (NKJV)

 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

But, it doesn’t and shouldn’t stop there.

Look at these often overlooked and rarely preached verses of scripture in Luke…

Luke 14:12-14 (NKJV)

 12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

How many churches have fellowship dinners and special days for themselves and invite the churches in their circles, and are subsequently invited back by those ‘sister’ churches, while totally ignoring the homeless, hungry and destitute in their communities? Does yours?

Now look at Luke (parable of unfruitful fig tree)…

A tree planted to bear fruit but only has leaves is using up the ground. Using all of its resources to sustain itself, but not reproduce…

Luke 13:6-9  (NKJV)

 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that[a] you can cut it down.’”

Most of us learned at least by middle school that leaves use sunlight (SONlight) to photosynthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Their purpose in a sense is to ‘feed’ the tree. We also learned that the function of fruit is reproduction. So, we can conclude that a fruit tree with all leaves and no fruit is only serving itself, because its not reproducing. Just as Jesus’ parable that tree is ‘using up the ground’.

That’s true for any church that uses its resources  and light from the SON only for and on itself. If it has no programs to aggressively pursue converting sinners, make disciples, reach out to those in need, and share God’s love, it’s just like that tree in Luke Chapter 13…using up the ground…self-serving…ALL LEAVES AND NO FRUIT.

Is this your church? I hope not. Here’s a quick assessment, self-check that you can do yourself to see if this is your church.


ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10, HOW DO YOU HONESTLY RANK YOUR CHURCH’S…


Worship 1-10?

Praise 1-10?

Fellowship 1-10?

Teaching 1-10?

Serving Members 1-10?

Serving Community 1-10?

Outreach to Community 1-10?

Outreach beyond Community 1-10?

Evangelism 1-10?

Missions or Supporting Missions?

If you scored high for worship, praise, fellowship, teaching and serving members, but low for what goes on outside the four walls, then there’s work to be done. Or, if you just don’t know whether or not your church goes beyond the four walls…that’s not good either because you should know.

Quite frankly, it’s inexcusable for some of our churches to be decades and over a hundred years old and have NO outreach, NO evangelism efforts or support, NO concern for the community.

We do what’s important to us, and don’t do what’s not.

How does your church rank?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

5 TIPS ON HOW TO WORK WITH PEOPLE YOU DON’T TRUST…

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Your success, effectiveness and peace is not only determined by how well you relate with people you DO TRUST…but how well you are at relating with people that you DON’T TRUST.

Our ultimate trust is in God, but He didn’t put us on this earth alone.

God has also ordained it that there is little that we can accomplish alone.

Even God Himself uses His angels to relate to us…

Hebrews 11:14 (NKJV)

 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

God let the captives in Babylon know that though they trusted Him, they were to pray for the peace of the city in which they lived because their peace was dependent on the city’s peace…

Jeremiah 29:7(NKJV)

And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.

Jesus sent the first disciples out in pairs (Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1)

The apostles worked in pairs, teams and even depended heavily on the early church for help.

As much as we are interdependent on another in this life, God also warned us about putting our trust in people rather than Him…

Psalm 118:8 (NKJV)

It is better to trust in the Lord. Than to put confidence in man.

Of course we all want to be in relationships and situations with people we trust, but that’s not always possible…Sometimes we can’t even trust our own selves.

It seems it’s getting harder and harder to trust people these days.

We have families, jobs, churches, communities, organizations that we are all a part of in which to live, but the fact is that you KNOW you can’t trust everyone…

In your family…

On your job…

In your church…

In your community…

In our government…

Sometimes we go through seasons and situations when we can’t trust our spouse, children, parents or even friends…because we are human beings being human.

Do we abandon these relationships and resources because of the lack of trust or total trust?

Of course not!


Your ability to be successful, effective and have peace in your life is just as dependent upon your ability to work and relate with people you DON’T trust as well as those you DO trust.


How do you do it?

First of all trust God first. If He has you in a situation, or you have allowed yourself into a situation where trust is limited…you still have to lean on His word, truth, character and TRUST HIM.

Second pray for wisdom and discernment so you can know WHO to trust and WHO NOT to trust.

Third pray for those whom you don’t trust that they submit themselves to God through our Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus Christ. It’s bigger than just you or me…Ultimately it’s more about their relationship with God than ours with them.

Fourth, remain in God’s character so that you can set a standard and example of behavior and plant good seeds for God’s Kingdom. You do this by walking in the Spirit as defined in Galatians 5:22, 23.

Fifth, always make are always faithful and trustworthy in all your relationships.

And finally, remember that God had equipped you with everything you need for this LIFE and GODLINESS in this life, through His divine nature that is now inside you…

2 PETER 1:2-8 (NKJV)

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No you can’t trust everyone…

The fact that we aren’t always faithful means that God can’t always trust us. But, we can always trust Him.

So,

Trust God…

Trust Yourself…

Be Trustworthy…

And remember, GOD IS GREATER THAN THOSE WHOM YOU DON’T TRUST.

Add this to your prayer life…”Lord give me the ability to relate with those I don’t trust.”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

HOW HAVING EVERYTHING YOU WANT MAKES YOU ‘HOPELESS’…

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What do you hope for? Think about it for a moment. Both big and small, what do you hope for in life? For yourself? For your family? For the world?

Please don’t ever take hope for granted. Hope gives us a reason to get up each morning. Hope gives us a reason to live. Hope gives us anticipation beyond this life.

Hope is a blessing from God…

Romans 15:13 (NKJV)

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:1-5 (NKJV)

Therefore, having been justified by faith, [a]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces [b]perseverance; and perseverance, [c]character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

As much as faith is evidence of what we can’t see, hope is the expectation and desire of what we can’t and can see. Faith is the belief that we can actually have what we hope for…that it can and will happen.


Faith is hope’s fruit…


Hebrews 11:1  (NKJV)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The reason so many rich people are unhappy is because their ability to hope has been challenged.


A life of having everything you want when you want it is a life with literally, no hope!


Those who can put their hands on everything they want can find themselves unhappy and unfulfilled because God wants our hope to be in Him…

Psalm 39:6-8  (NKJV)

Surely every man walks about like a shadow;
Surely they [a]busy themselves in vain;
He heaps up riches,
And does not know who will gather them.

“And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You.
Deliver me from all my transgressions;
Do not make me the reproach of the foolish.

Take a moment to thank God for the ability to hope, and ask Him that your hope always be in Him.

I ‘hope’ this message blesses you.

You may also enjoy this: CURSED WITH EVERYTHING THEY EVER WANTED…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

STOP WHINING & DO WHAT GOD CALLED YOU TO DO!

When God has given you a creative anointing, and you’re passionately sharing it with the world…

When you’re investing your time, your money, your heart, your reputation…

When your family even has to sacrifice along with you…

It can be very disappointing and discouraging when people don’t react the way you thought they would have, or thought they should have.

You know in your heart that you prayed about it, and you feel in your heart you’re doing what God called and equipped you to do…but it didn’t take off as you expected. And, sometimes it’s been years.

If you aren’t careful you can find yourself WHINING!

WHINING about the fact that you aren’t getting support…

WHINING about the fact that others’ are having the success that you would love to have, even if on the surface they don’t seem worthy…

WHINING that others’ may seem to be an over-night-success…

WHINING that others younger than you are doing so much more…

WHINING that others who haven’t worked as hard or sacrificed as much are doing so much better…

WHINING about the system that is holding you down…

WHINING about the corruption in the system and how you will make it different when you get the influence you hope to have.

WHINING! WHINING! WHINING!

I have to admit that when my wife, Gospel/Jazz recording artist Mechelle Johnson, and I first entered the Gospel music industry, I was very disappointed to have so much of what I heard confirmed. That it’s just another business. That it’s filled with people who are unholy. That it is extremely cliquish, and exclusionary…all true!

I was disappointed to see so many artist within our genre who seemed to be more concerned with begging for votes for awards than begging for souls.

And yes, I found myself complaining.

If this has ever been you too, I have a word of admonition and encouragement for US.

STOP WHINING AND DO WHAT GOD CALLED YOU TO DO!

PREACH!

TEACH!

SING!

PLAY YOUR INSTRUMENT!

WRITE!

BLOG!

PARENT!

MENTOR!

LEAD!


LEAD! Yes, it is not a good example when The President of the United States, leaders and Pastors are whining about how bad they are being mistreated. Just as the bible says “Endure hardship as a good soldier of Yeshua the Messiah 2 Timothy 2:3…SHUT UP AND LEAD!


WORK WITHOUT WHINING!

Notice in the bible when the leaders God called began to whine how He told them to get up, snap out of it, and get to work…

Joshua 7:6-10  (ESV)

Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face?

Notice how God doesn’t allow us to mope and whine after He as disciplined us…

Hebrews 12:10-12 (NKJV)

10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no [a]chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,

When you read your bible, the people complained against Moses for 40 years in the wilderness.

The apostles would have loved to have captive audiences rather than getting run out of town and beaten.

And, most of all, Yeshua our Messiah (Jesus Christ) went to the cross, and though He has already arisen from the dead, He is still waiting on His glory and giving more people time to come to God through Him.

The fact is, if our Savior can wait to receive His glory, so can we.

WHEN YOU FEEL YOUR MINISTRY ISN’T GETTING ENOUGH ATTENTION…

STOP WHINING AND WORK YOUR MINISTRY…

Remember this, If you truly believe that God is in control, and you truly trust Him, you will reach everyone He intends for you to reach in His timing.

Joshua 1:6-7  (NKJV)

Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall [a]divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may [b]prosper wherever you go.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

JESUS WAS NEVER NOMINATED FOR AN AWARD…

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There’s nothing wrong with being recognized and awarded, but it can be a problem when we come to expect it. I was recently watching a Gospel music industry award show. The glitz. The glamour. The red carpet. The speeches… It almost seems like sometimes we’re saying, “The world has a red carpet, and we want one too!”


Here again, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with it, but we must be careful that those of us in Gospel aren’t conforming, but reforming.


Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

And as I said, we also must be very careful that we don’t allow pride to slip in to the point that we EXPECT rewards, awards and recognition.

I wonder how many artists, songwriters, producers, etc., were actually disappointed or angry they didn’t win, or jealous of those who did? How many thought in their hearts, “They didn’t deserve it!”. Not to mention the thousands of people laboring for Christ, whose work is just as good, but are never recognized. In fact, in many cases, it tends to be the same group of people who continue to win or be honored.

We are human, and sometimes we can feel hurt when we see others getting all of the attention…especially when God’s anointing is working powerfully in your life.

On those days, remember this…

Remember that during His earthly ministry Jesus wasn’t:

Nominated for an award…

Accepted by the establishment…

Appreciated by those who needed Him most…

The ONE and ONLY time He was triumphantly celebrated (Matthew 21:1-11)…

Some of the same people shouted for, consented to, mocked at and celebrated His death (Matthew 27:16-26).

If you feel that you aren’t ‘getting what you deserve’…

If you feel that others are getting recognition while you’re being ignored…

Don’t get caught up complaining, whining, lashing out at the world for ignoring you.


Stay focused and work your ministry.


Our Lord has been waiting over 2000 years for His glory. If He can wait. So can we.

John 17:24 (NKJV)

24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY YOU HAVE TO CONTINUE TO FORGIVE EVEN WHEN THEY HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING ELSE TO HURT YOU (3-min. video)…

Sometimes you have forgive people over and over again NOT because they keep hurting you…

But, because they haven’t hurt you again…

They are truly sorry…

But you can’t get past it.

Sometimes 7 times 70 isn’t because of them, but because of you.

Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

BE CAREFUL HOW YOU SAY, “GOD IS NOT THROUGH WITH ME YET…”

There’s a very popular Comedian/Actor/Show Host who has an exceptionally successful career. One of the many hats he wears is that of a radio show host…the show is fast paced, fun and entertaining.

However, he begins his radio show each morning with a very emotional and impactful spiritual monologue. His statements are encouraging and inspirational, and he always gives God glory, BUT during the remainder of his show, he often uses strong language, frequently using profanity that the bible clearly tells us that we shouldn’t do…

Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)

29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

 Ephesians 5:3-4 (NKJV)

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

In reference to ‘cussing’, he will often assert, “God is not through with me yet.” Which is true, but we ALL need to be very careful about our attitude when it comes to this statement.

First of all, I’M NOT JUDGING THIS MAN because we have all (and still do) sin and fall short of the glory of God. We all have room to grow. I have respect both for him and his accomplishments, but I have to be responsible as a minister of God.

Calling out sin, correcting, encouraging, admonishing, instructing and warning one another is not judging…it’s our responsibility.

Romans 3:23 (NKJV)

 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

When you have a level of prominence that allows you to reach and influence millions, you bear a great level of responsibility when you are speaking on behalf of God in the name of Yeshua, Jesus Christ.


Here are two problems with sometimes FLIPPANTLY saying what we want…doing what we want…then stating… “God ain’t through with me yet!”

First of all, we must not be guilty of validating our sinful behavior and bad habits to those who may be weaker in the faith or unbelievers by ‘justifying’ our behavior at the time with, “God is not through with me yet”…

Second, we must not use “God is not through with me yet” to hold on to habits, behavior and attitudes that we simply aren’t trying hard enough to stop. Especially when we know better and can do better.


The word of God has commanded us throughout the New Testament to…

“Put off” Colossians 3: 8, Ephesians 4:22 (NKJV)

“Put away” Ephesians 4:25 (NKJV)

“Let all…be put away from you” Ephesians 4:31 (NKJV)

“Lay aside” Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

God has given us the power and responsibility to stop ourselves.

Many people pray that God will, “Take the sin out of me”…however, there’s no personal level of accountability, effort, commitment or love and dedication in being so weak that God has to make us stop.

We as believers must be very careful not to take for granted or take advantage of God’s abundant grace and mercy.

Remember what God told us through the Apostle Paul…

Romans 6:1-2 (NKJV)

 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

So many times we can find ourselves saying…

“God knows my heart.”

Or

“I’m taking baby steps”

We want to always make sure that we aren’t taking baby steps, when God is ready for us to walk.

You don’t want God to become ‘through with you’ before you put forth enough effort to change.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HERE’S THE REASON THEY WOULDN’T LET YOU IN ‘THEIR” CIRCLE…

It may be a group of friends, professionals, artists, singers, musicians or preachers.

It’s a circle that you wanted to be a part of…

That you tried or even prayed to get in…

And, they rejected you.

It may not have even necessarily been a ‘bad’ group, that’s why you wanted in.

Even if it’s a good group doesn’t mean that it’s the group God has ordained for you.


You have influence too!

You are anointed too!

You have purpose too!


God has purpose for you that’s beyond and sometimes greater than that group or circle you wanted to be a part of.

And, even that group had to start with somebody. Every industry had to start with a single idea.

So, here it is…


​The reason some people won’t accept you into THEIR circle is because God is trying to build HIS circle AROUND you.


Look at Yeshua, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Psalm 118:22 (NKJV)

The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

He was rejected by His own…By those He came to save…By the religious leaders who were supposed to represent Him.

John 1:11-12 (NKJV)

11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

Don’t try to force your way into a circle when God is trying to create one around you.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

9 BIBLICALLY PROPER PRAYER POSTURES/POSITIONS…

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I’ve found the most intimate refreshing place to pray at my home. I love sitting in my chair on my front porch and enjoying quality time with God in prayer. When I’m out there, it’s like it’s just Him and me. Yes I pray everywhere. But, that place is special.


And yes, I said sitting.


You see, it’s good to get on your knees in submission to God, but contrary to what many may have been taught it’s not mandatory. That is not the exclusively acceptable prayer posture.


Your proper prayer posture isn’t the position of your body, but of your heart and spirit…


To a humble spirit… it’s about humility.

Psalm 51:17 (NKJV)

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise

1- On Your Knees

Ephesians 3:14 (NKJV)

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,[a]

 2 – In Your Bed

Psalm 4:4 (NKJV)

Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.

3 – Out Loud

Psalm 34:6 (NKJV)

This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.

4 – Silently

1 Samuel 1:13 (NKJV)

13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.

5 – Hands Lifted

1 Timothy 2:8 (NKJV)

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

6 – Eyes Open

John 17:1 (NKJV)

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,

7 – Head Bowed

Genesis 24:26 (NKJV)

26 Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord.

8 – Prostrate

Matthew 26:39 (NKJV)

39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.

9 – Standing

Mark 11:25 (NKJV)

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

God just wants you to be humble. Many have even misunderstood “come boldly” in the book of Hebrews…

Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

It’s not about ‘telling God what to do’, but direct access to Him. We don’t have to go through a priest, or a preacher to talk to Him…just submit to Him humbly in prayer through our Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus Christ.

So, bow your head, lie in your bed, fall on your knees, lift up your hands, as long as you’re sincere…God will hear.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

WARNING! DON’T ASK GOD TO MAKE YOU STOP_________.

Have you ever been caught up in thoughts, behavior, habits, relationships, etc, that you wanted to STOP, but found STOPPING to be an enormous struggle?

Are struggling to STOP doing something right now? Are you fighting that battle between the flesh and the spirit?

The Apostle Paul even admitted to and described this struggle…

Romans 7:18-20  (NKJV)

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Galatians 5:16-17 (NKJV)

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Many times, in the heat of this struggle, one might ask God, “Lord, please MAKE me STOP!

Remember this, YOU MAY NOT LIKE THE WAY THAT GOD MAKES YOU STOP!

When you read God’s word, He doesn’t want us to ask Him to make us stop. When we choose sin, we are choosing sin over him. It’s a relationship decision, much like a spouse choosing a rival over his or her spouse. No one wants to make a husband or wife stop choosing someone else over them. A spouse would want their loved one to CHOOSE TO STOP seeing someone else.

God gives us the power, strength and responsibility to STOP ourselves.

Notice where God places the responsibility in these verses…

Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, LET US LAY ASIDE every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Ephesians 4:31  (NKJV)

31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking BE PUT AWAY from you, with all malice.

Colossians 3:8  (NKJV)

But now YOU YOURSELVES ARE TO PUT OFF ALL OF THESE: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

2 Corinthians 7:1  (NKJV)

7 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, LET US CLEANSE OURSELVES from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

It is clear that God does not want us asking Him to make us STOP doing anything that is displeasing to Him.

STOP on your own!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY YOU SHOULD BE THANKFUL THAT YOUR CARELESSNESS HASN’T MADE YOU A CRIMINAL…

Have you ever thought about how many well-respected coworkers leave work and go to ‘happy hour’ before going home? I’m not talking about sloppy drunk alcoholics, but those who finish their work-day with laughs and drinks with their coworkers… it happens every day. Sometimes it’s even expected in some work cultures.

Have ever noticed people swerving because they’re using their cell phones?

How many times have you adjusted the radio… checked your GPS… snacked on chips, fries, carrots or sipped on coffee while driving?

And, how many times have you noticed yourself MILES down the road after daydreaming or being DEEP in thought while driving?

In any of the situations mentioned above, any one of us could have innocently CAUSED an accident that resulted in a life-long injury or death of someone else.

That fly, mosquito or bee you swatted or that unexpected sneeze while driving in your neighborhood could have caused you hit a child on his or her bicycle.

In this day and time, when someone harms someone else through carelessness, the public is QUICK to immediately vilify and criminalize them.

Many people are quick to jump on the bandwagon about how it’s inexcusable as if they have never been careless.

Yes, we have all been disciplined by God for many of our sins, but the truth is that God has delivered us from the consequences of our carelessness more times than we can count.

One of the greatest weaknesses of our human flesh is CARELESSNESS.

And it’s only through God’s mercy and grace that our carelessnesses hasn’t caused us to become ‘criminals’ because we hurt or even killed someone.

Be careful before you jump on the bandwagon when someone’s carelessness becomes tragic…even when someone tragically leaves a child in the car.

Instead of criticizing them, stop and thank God for delivering you, time and time again, from your own carelessness. Stop and think about the times your mind being elsewhere, for what ever reason, could have changed your life forever.

When you’re thanking God for delivering you from your sins…from your darkest days…from your most shameful moments…from dangers seen and unseen — Don’t forget to thank Him for delivering you from your own carelessness.

Now is a great time to thank God for brand-new mercies EVERY MORNING and His faithfulness towards us…

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.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

QUICK ENCOURAGEMENT FOR WHEN PEOPLE IGNORE YOU…

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One of the most frustrating things I remember from childhood is being ignored. You know, when one child says something and the other pretends that they don’t hear them…. They may even say “La…La…La…La…La, I’m not listening to you!”

Have you ever done that?

Well the frustration of being ignored doesn’t stop with childhood. But, I have a quick word of encouragement.

When you can tell you’re being ignored. When it seems that what God places on your heart is going unnoticed by those whom you would like to notice it. Not, those who didn’t see it, but those who did…

They saw you. They saw what you said. They saw what you did. They heard you. They read it. They listened to it. They even liked it. It blessed them. They even used it…

Remember this…

You can’t ignore something that you haven’t noticed!

And, best of all…God always notices and never forgets…

Hebrews 6:10 (NKJV)

10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of[a] love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

‘WILL’ POWER VS. ‘WON’T’ POWER VS. ‘WANT’ POWER…

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I think I can… I think I will.. I think I want to… I think I don’t need to… I think I won’t.

I won’t!

Sometimes the ‘The Little Train that Could’, should be the ‘The Train that Didn’t’…

Discipline. Control of one’s self. This is something that many of us struggle with our entire lives…at least in particular areas of our lives.


It’s possible to very disciplined in some areas, while being out of control in others.

Disciplined in one’s finances, but not in one’s diet.

Disciplined with one’s credit, but not with one’s relationships.

Disciplined with exercise, but not with one’s prayer life.

Disciplined with work, but not with worship.


Most of the time we say we need more ‘will power’…meaning discipline over one’s own will.

But, maybe we need more power over our ‘won’t power’ or our ‘want power’.

Too many times our problem is the fact that…

We will do it. We will say it. We will eat it. We will drink it. We will smoke it. We will watch it. We will, because we are driven by our wants. We let the power of wants (fleshly, carnal desires) overpower the power of our wills.

Maybe instead of praying for more will power, we should pray for more won’t power!

We won’t do it. We won’t say it. We won’t eat it. We won’t drink it. We won’t smoke it. We won’t watch it. We won’t because we aren’t driven by our wants.

Galatians 5:16-21 (NKJV)

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[a] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[b]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

Did you know that God has provided a spiritual exercise to strengthen your ‘won’t power’? The problem is either we don’t take advantage of it enough, or we do it to manipulate blessings out of God to feed our ‘want power’.

The exercise is fasting.

Fasting is an exercise in putting our flesh and desires under subjection so we won’t be ruled by our carnal desires, or even needs.

Look at what the Apostle Paul said through the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit…

1 Corinthians 9:27 (NKJV)

27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

 Now, look what God says about fasting in the book of Isaiah…

Isaiah 58:5 (NKJV)

Is it a fast that I have chosen,
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the Lord?

And, don’t forget about how Jesus told us we can release the faith to move mountains…even the mountains of our desires (our ‘wills’ and our ‘wants’)…

Matthew 17:20-21 (NKJV)

20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;[a] for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”[b]

Every physical battle that you fight is a spiritual battle over your ‘will’, your ‘won’t and your ‘wants’.

I pray that God gives you the strength to overcome whatever seems impossible to you today in the name of Christ Jesus the Son of the Living God.

BE BLESSTIFIED.

REMEMBER THIS THE NEXT TIME SOMEONE ASKS YOU TO FORGIVE THEM…

When we’ve been hurt really bad, I mean REALLY BAD, forgiveness can be very difficult. Sometimes we don’t even want to see them.

When and if they feel godly sorrow for what they’ve done and want to ask us for forgiveness, we sometimes find ourselves not wanting to hear them out.


We have all been on both sides of this situation. We have both had to give and seek forgiveness.


When we are the one who has been wronged, it takes great humility and strength to put aside the pain of how we’ve been hurt to grant forgiveness to the one who has hurt us, but remember this…


IT TAKES JUST AS MUCH STRENGTH AND HUMILITY TO ASK FOR FORGIVENESS AS IT TAKES TO GIVE FORGIVENESS.


Asking forgiveness involves admitting we are wrong, swallowing our pride, and dealing with the pain that we have caused to the person we are asking forgiveness.

It’s easier to forgive, when we remember how it feels to be the one who needs forgiveness.

Colossians 3:13 (ESV)

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

ADMITTING TO YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE STILL BITTER, BUT BETTER…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN SOMEONE IS NAIVE ENOUGH TO THINK YOU’RE NAIVE…

Have you ever stopped and realized that someone was trying to…

Use you?

Manipulate you?

Take advantage of your kindness, your resources, your love?

Many times they will think that you are naive because you are allowing them to use you.

Many times others will think you’re weak because from the outside looking in, they think you’re allowing yourself to be taken advantage of.

But, if you are fully aware that someone is ‘using you’ but you’re using their manipulation for your purpose to help them, to help someone else, to give them time to grow, to exercise godly patience, kindness, love, or self control…then they really aren’t using you.


If someone thinks you’re naive when you’re aware of what’s going on, does that make them naive themselves?


Think about it. When God continues to lavish us with His love, provision, protection, grace, mercy and forgiveness when HE ALREADY KNOWS we will hurt Him again, is He allowing us to USE Him?

When Yeshua demanded that we continue to forgive someone 77 times if they continue to hurt you and ask for forgiveness…is that allowing yourself to be used? (Matthew 18:21-22).

When Yeshua taught us to turn your face to allow them to strike you on the other cheek…is that teaching us to be used? (Matthew 5:39)

When Yeshua teaches us to loan looking for nothing in return… is that exposing us to be used financially? (Luke 6:35)

Look at how God Himself used Assyria to punish His disobedient people and then dealt with them later. He used their arrogance, ambition and pride for His purpose…

Isaiah 10:5-7  (ERV)

The Lord says, “I will use Assyria like a stick. In my anger I will use Assyria to punish Israel. I will send Assyria to fight against the people who do evil. I am angry with them, and I will command Assyria to fight against them. Assyria will defeat them and take their wealth. Israel will be like dirt for Assyria to walk on in the streets.

“But Assyria does not understand that I will use him. He does not think of himself as my tool. He only wants to destroy other people. He only plans to destroy many nations.

Isaiah 10:5-7  (NKJV)

“Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger
And the staff in whose hand is My indignation.
I will send him against an ungodly nation,
And against the people of My wrath
I will give him charge,
To seize the spoil, to take the prey,
And to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
Yet he does not mean so,
Nor does his heart think so;
But it is in his heart to destroy,
And cut off not a few nations.

The fact is that life as a disciple of Christ will set you up ‘to be used’. Real, unconditional love sets you up to be ‘used’ sometimes.

But, an emotionally intelligent, godly minded person who is walking in the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22-23) know how to make the most of every opportunity to share God’s love and leave behind a testimony…

Ephesians 5:16 (NIV)

Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

THE BLESSING IN WHEN SOMEONE IS TRYING TO ‘USE YOU’…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW SOME PREACHERS WANT TO BE EVERYONE IN THE BIBLE BUT JESUS…

Let me preface this piece with the statement that if we as ministers of the Gospel don’t hold ourselves accountable, that we threaten our own credibility and are no different than the Pharisees, Scribes and leaders who were pissed off at Jesus for challenging their traditions.

Let me also say this doesn’t apply to ALL preachers, ministers and pastors.

Please read the following post from Facebook that was published by a preacher who happens to hold the office of Pastor.

“PREACHERS...I came up in the old way as an associate minister. We honored and respected our pastor/leader. We didn’t speak unless spoken to, we didn’t come into the office unless invited, we didn’t sit in the pulpit unless asked, we didn’t do anything on program unless we had permission, we didn’t preach anywhere out or in unless we had clearance, we didn’t teach outside unless it was permitted, we held bags, coats, hats, keys, we chauffeured, valeted, ran errands, and we were grateful to do it. We weren’t rogue preachers, but we tried to be respectful and respectable. I believe my preaching career has been further blessed because of it (18 years later and almost 9 years Pastoral). Preachers, if you came up like that drop your witness in the comments…”

This quote was made in the primary context of the historical culture of many Black churches.

It almost sounds like how ‘massa’ treated his ‘house n*****s. Some Pastors perverted ‘Pastor’ into ‘Master’.

Unfortunately, many old school preachers treated their ‘subordinates’ like children. It definitely wasn’t respecting their ‘associate ministers’ as fellow anointed MEN of God, husbands, fathers and fellow laborers with an equal calling and anointing , but different ‘office’.

I, as a young minister, years ago was taught protocol and respect. I had, and have much respect for the Senior Pastor who mentored me then, and for my current Senior Pastor…but I’m thankful to say neither of them EXPECTED me to hold their bag, coat, hat, or keys…they didn’t and don’t expect me to chauffeur them around, to be their valet, run their errands or to SERVE them to that level. In short, they didn’t treat me like a child.

I as a minister, I don’t have that expectation of anyone either.

That is not the servant leadership that Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus the Christ, demands. Remember what He said…

Matthew 20:25-27 (NKJV)

2But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—

Remember Jesus’s example of the humility He expects of leadership…

John 13:12-17 (NKJV)

1So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you [a]know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Yes, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had their riches and servants…

Yes, Joseph of Genesis brothers knelt before him in submission…

Yes, David had his amour bearers and mighty men of valor…

Yes, Elijah had Elisha to serve him…

And yes, I think we should give honor to those who labor in the Gospel. The bible demands that…

1 Timothy 5:17 (NKJV)

17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.

And, yes I think that Pastors should earn their living from the Gospel and be comfortable…

1 Corinthians 9:13-14 (NKJV)

13 Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? 14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.

However, God never intended for leaders to LORD over those whom He has given responsibility, but that we be their servants.

There are some preachers who want to be Abraham, Isaac and Jacob..

There are some preachers who want to be Joseph of Genesis…

There are some preachers who want to be David…

There are some preachers who want to be Elijah….

Some even want to be the temple-table-turning over Jesus…

But, many don’t want to be the ‘feet-washing Jesus’.

And, none of us want to be John the Baptist. I admit that I don’t.

Too many preachers expect to be put on a pedestal and served. They expect other adult men to be their flunkies. This is an example of a culture that’s been established that contradicts the word of God and His expectations. We must not pervert church culture to become little kingdoms where the focus is on the Pastor/Preachers rather than the God we serve.

I really feel that one of the reasons God allowed worship to be placed on PAUSE during the pandemic is so we can examine how we worship and the culture of our churches.

Just as some of our national traditions need to be reexamined, so do some traditions and cultures in our churches.

We can’t ignore God’s protocol to establish our own.

Ministers who aren’t Senior Pastors, remember that everyone isn’t meant to be an Under Shepherd. You may feel frustration sometimes because you don’t get the same level of respect. But, God expects you to be just as effective.

This article may also bless you..5 REASONS I DON’T WANT TO BE CALLED ‘REVEREND’…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

PATRIOTISM ISN’T DETERMINED BY POSTURE (REMEMBER JESUS’S ‘POSITION’ ON TRADITIONS)…

One of the reasons the establishment wanted to kill Yeshua (Jesus) was because He challenged their traditions…

Matthew 15:1-9 (NKJV)

Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”

He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his father [a]or mother.’ Thus you have made the [b]commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

8 ‘These people [c]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.’ 

Remember that the disciples ‘warned’ Jesus about how He pissed off the Pharisees and leaders by threatening their motivations and traditions…

Matthew:11-13 (NKJV)

11 It is not what enters the mouth that defiles the person, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles the person.” 12 Then the disciples came and *said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were [a]offended when they heard this statement?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted.

As disciples of Christ, it’s our responsibility to apply those biblical examples to contemporary life.

America has many traditions, that are good traditions, but still they are only traditions. Traditions become bad when people’s level of devotion to them go beyond respect to reverence.

Traditions become harmful when one person judges what’s in another person’s heart based on how loyal they are to the tradition rather than the country… the cause… the faith…

It’s then traditions morph into idolatry!

For example…

From Genesis to The Revelation kneeling is an act of humility, both to God and great men or women…

Genesis 42:6 (NLT)

Joseph was the ruler of the land. He was the one who sold grain to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed to the ground in front of him.

Philippians 2:10-11 (NKJV)

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Standing before the American flag is an honorable tradition, but it’s still a tradition. The fact is that there are some people in America that feel standing and placing one’s hand over their heart is an act of worship, and even though they LOVE THE COUNTRY, they would rather not follow the TRADITION… and that must be respected.

The fact is that kneeling before the flag DOES NOT DISRESPECT the flag…it’s an act of humility. It does however threaten a man-made tradition.

Remember this. The ‘fathers’ of this country were great, wise men, but they weren’t ‘holy’. The fact that swearing an oath on the same bible that explicitly forbids swearing oaths is an established tradition that is in direct conflict with the word of God…but instead of immediately stopping it, well-meaning Christians begin looking for reasons to justify the TRADITION.

Matthew 5:33-37 (NKJV)

3“Again you have heard that it was said to those of [a]old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let [b]your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

It proves that many people living today would have sided with the Pharisees.

I’m saying all that to say this…

Just as there more than one PRAYER POSTURE (9 BIBLICALLY PROPER PRAYER POSTURES/POSITIONS…) there’s more than one posture of respect and humility.

It’s arrogant for one to determine someone else’s patriotism or loyalty because they choose a posture other than the ‘tradition’, even if it’s to draw attention to a cause they feel is important.

Even the Boston Tea Party, which is revered as a heroic act of patriotism was really an act of vandalism that was meant to be blamed on Native Americans. It’s all about the narrative. One can’t celebrate that act while vilifying a contemporary apples-to-apples comparison.

Patriotism isn’t determined by POSTURE!

Watch the comments, someone is going to question my patriotism because I felt led to write this piece.

YAH bless America in the name of Yeshua the Messiah!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

BIBLE APPS: BOUND BIBLES WERE ONCE TECHNOLOGY TOO…

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I have to admit I love the convenience of bible apps. They offer quick access to various translations and study tools. It’s so easy to pull out my smartphone throughout the day and get encouragement, instruction, comfort, guidance and revelation throughout the day. Sometimes if I’m in a stressful or contentious meeting, I will open a bible app to help my mind stay focused and to help me remain in the integrity and character of God.

There are some pastors who don’t like that convenience and accessibility in worship service. They like the personal discipline of bringing a bound bible to church. Sometimes they feel having cell phones and tablets out during worship service is a distraction. Some feel that people are texting or surfing the web during service. Some pastors are concerned with what would we do if technology fails (in case they can’t get a signal). Some pastors have a personal preference to hear pages turning.

I by no means think that bible apps should replace bound bibles, however I do think they are an excellent use of technology, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with using them in worship service.

The words in an electronic medium are no different from the words on a paper medium. They are no different than the words were on a parchment or papyrus medium. God’s words on your smart phone or tablet are no different than they were on a scroll or carved in stone. Whether the words were carved, written with a quill or typed…it’s still the word of God.


The word is the word, no matter where it’s recorded or who it was written.


I just want to remind those pastors who forbid bible apps in the worship services they oversee that…


Bound bibles were once technology too.


I wonder how many religious leaders complained about the use of scrolls instead of stone tablets. I wonder if how many religious leaders complained about the use of bound bibles after years of using scrolls.

Tablets of stone, parchment scrolls and sheets of papyrus mediums were examples utilizing the latest technology to provide newer and better options to record, share, read and study God’s word.

As I said, I by no means think that electronic bibles should by no means replace bound bibles…I have several, and there is no guarantee that the technology we enjoy today will last until Jesus returns.

Yes I feel pastors have a valid concern that there may not be a data signal available and the bible app may not work. So, I encourage everyone to have a bound bible on hand in worship service. As far as the distraction of a wandering mind texting or surfing is no different from a wondering mind doodling on a piece of paper, or figuring their bills or planning their meal after church.

I do want to encourage all pastors to allow their members feel comfortable using their various bible apps in worship service. From electricity to climate control to computers to the transportation we use to get to worship…technology has its place in church. Many churches have even embraced streaming their services live to make their worship available to the word without the cost of being on television.

So, pastors, please let them pull out their phones. What really matters is that everyone has access to the same word of God.

Remember, that God has spoken to His people in VARIOUS WAYS, yet His word remains the same…

Hebrews 1:1 (NKJV)

God, who at various times and IN VARIOUS WAYS spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

HAVE YOU TURNED AWAY LAZARUS (BECAUSE BEGGING IS HARD WORK)…

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Standing in the hot sun or cold winter air with a sign in your hand isn’t easy. The fact is that it can be humiliating begging others for help — it’s hard work! If I learned one thing from my experience doing homeless ministry is that many of the people on the street never thought they wold be there.

Many of those people had careers and families…then life happened. Others are mentally ill. And the fact always remains that it could happen to any of us.

Remember this…

Luke 16:19-21

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.

The beggar Lazarus – He probably got on people’s nerves just as beggars do today. People probably questioned how he lived and his choices. People probably wondered why his family didn’t help him.  They most likely made excuses and justified ignoring him when Jesus clearly said, Give to them who ask and don’t turn them away… 

Matthew 5:42 (NKJV)

42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

Jesus also told us to give looking for nothing in return…

Luke 6:35New King James Version (NKJV)

35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.

We all run into Lazarus today…at the gas station…on the street…asking you for spare change…the crumbs that fall from your table. What is your reaction? Do you react as the rich man did and turn them ALL away? 

Jesus knows there are scammers and liars. He knows there are those who will use what you give them on things they don’t need. He knows there are  those who will try to take advantage of your kindness. Many people refuse to give money to people who beg because they’re afraid they will use it on alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or will waste it on something wicked. I feel that’s one application of the scripture…”And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold”(Matthew 24:12), because so many people can’t be trusted, the love that many people would ordinarily show has grown cold and withheld. We must therefore not withhold God’s love, but share it with wisdom.

If someone who’s begging is lying, that’s between them and God. God expects us to be obedient, compassionate, wise and plant seeds of His love. Purchase a meal for them. Buy them medicine. Pay for them to have shelter for a night or two, while letting them know that you are sharing the love of God. All it takes is the ‘crumbs that fall from your table’. Sacrifice the cost of a lunch, coffee for a week, sodas…whatever it is that you don’t necessarily need to help someone who begs from you.  I guarantee you won’t give away enough to break your, but you can hold on to enough to do so. Some times God places these people in our paths for a reason…so they can have an encounter with Him through us. So you can ask them if they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. So we can be the answer to their prayer to God for help. You can be someone’s confirmation that God hasn’t forgotten them. You could plant a seed in someone who witnesses your act of kindness….God always has a purpose for every encounter.

Remember that  God warned us about turning away those who ask of us….be careful when you do because many times, just as in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus…Christians and the church are the RICH MAN.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

7 ‘CHURCHY’ CLICHES THAT WE SHOULD BE CAREFUL OF HOW WE SAY…

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If you’ve been in church or been around church people any amount of time, you’ve heard them…

You hear them in church, in songs and in everyday language.

‘Churchy’ clichés.

Those familiar sayings, sometimes one liners, that may not be the same in every church culture, but every church culture has them.

Of course there are many ‘churchy’ sayings that are biblical and encourage us, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, some aren’t really biblical, and are even sometimes mistaken for scripture.

It’s those that we have to either avoid, or be VERY careful of how we say it, or of our attitude towards it.

Here are 7 ‘CHURCHY’ clichés that we need to be careful of how we say.

  1. GOD HAS NEVER FAILED ME YET (Avoid)…

This one is so NOT biblical, and it’s one word that messes it up…”YET”. It’s true that God has and will never fail us…but where did yet come from? “Yet” implies that God could possibly fail us in the future. It’s catchy, it helps make a song rhyme, but It’s not biblical.

Psalm 136:1 (NKJV)

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
    For His mercy endures forever.

The fact that God’s mercy endures forever means it can NEVER fail.

  1. PRAYER WORKS (BE CAREFUL)…

This one is true, but we’ve got to be careful of how we say it, or our attitude about it. God always answers prayer, and through prayer people are healed, restored, delivered, led to Christ…lives are changed. So what’s the problem? If we are careful, saying ‘prayer works’ in the wrong context or with the wrong frame of mind can reduce prayer to a gimmick…just something else you can try to make things right. This can lessen the true intimacy of conversation with God to be to mindless, superstitious, empty words that we hope changes things. It leads to an, “I’ve tried everything else, so now I’ll try this attitude”.

1 John 5:14(NKJV)

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

When we pray to God, not only are we talking to Him, but He actually hears and responds. When you start a car, turn on a television, install software or successfully repair something…it WORKS…God RESPONDS. Be careful how you say it.

  1. THIS IS MY SEASON (BE CAREFUL)…

This one is also true, but be careful when you say it. Most of the time we are implying it is our season for Good things. But, the bible teaches us there’s a time and season for EVERYTHING. We have seasons of rest and peace, but we also have stormy seasons and trials. We have seasons of progress and celebration, as well as seasons of consequences and struggle. As one the lyrics to one popular Gospel song says, “This is my season for grace and favor”. This is my season to reap what I have sown.” We must remember that sometimes our ‘grace and favor is NOT reaping what we’ve sown. We must be very careful when proclaim, or sometimes brag, “This is my season!”

  1. WHAT GOD HAS FOR ME IS FOR ME (BE CAREFUL)…

This is a very popular cliché, and is even in songs. We’ve got to be VERY careful about approaching God actually and selfishly. Too much “ME”, “MY”, and “I’s” can mean we are leaning too close to covetousness, which is idolatry.

Colossians 3:5(NKJV)

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Yes, what God has ordained for you is for you, but too many time this is said from a selfish, I want what’s mine point of view. Plus, everything that, “God has for you” isn’t necessarily pleasant. Some trials, tests, challenges and struggles God has ‘for you and no one else’, but you don’t hear many people singing about that. God had Joseph of Genesis struggle, ‘Just for him. God had Job’s struggle, ‘Just for him’. This isn’t necessarily based on any scripture, and I think it’s best to leave it alone.

  1. I’M BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED (BE CAREFUL)…

This one is true and based on scripture, but we must be careful of our attitude about the phrase and we say it around. Again, we must not say it with a covetous or arrogant attitude. God promised that all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). But, the contingency is, those who are called according to His purpose, but some boldly say this inferring their own purpose. The bible also tells us His favor is for life in the same context of His anger and weeping. And, don’t forget, God showed Joseph on Genesis favor while he was in prison for something he didn’t do…

Genesis 39:21(NKJV)

21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

God’s favor is sometimes working things out for our good in very difficult, undesirable circumstances.

Plus, saying ‘blessed and highly favored’ around the spiritually immature can not only make them think God has respect of persons, but make us sound spiritually arrogant, I’ve seen it happen. We need to be careful with this one.

  1. I HAVEN’T ALWAYS BEEN SAVED (BE CAREFUL)…

If this is said with a humble attitude in an effort to encourage someone who is unsaved or weaker to let them know the dramatic change God made in your life…then cool. But, most of the time I’ve heard this said in pride or arrogance, with a threatening tone after they’ve been made angry. I’ve most often heard it said implying they will revert back to the ‘old them’, if prompted. I have more often heard it said with an attitude of they are proud of what they used to be, rather than ashamed, and we all know what God said about that…

James 4:6(NKJV)

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

  1. IF I’VE EVER DONE ANYTHING TO OFFEND YOU, PLEASE FORGIVE ME (BE CAREFUL)…

This is often used as an easy ‘way out’ to ask for forgiveness. Too many times people say this either to a group or an individual…the problem is that if it’s a group they fully know EXACTLY WHO IN THE GROUP they hurt, and if it’s an individual, they know EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID. Simply saying, “If” is not good enough…

Matthew 5:23-24(NKJV)

23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

God expects us to go to the person and make things right…and remember, a public embarrassment deserves a public apology.

‘CHURCHY’ clichés sound good, and help define church culture, but we must be very careful how we use them…and know which ones to leave alone.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

KNOWING HOW TO RESPOND TO FOOLISHNESS…

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We live in a highly interactive world. Everyone has a platform, especially through social media, to express themselves. We interact with one another in our families. On your jobs. In our schools. As the bible says, “as we go out and as we come in”, we are almost always interacting with someone.

Whoever is reading this is interacting with me right now. What I’m writing right now may be foolishness to you. You may consider it stupid. You may consider it offensive. If so, after reading you have a choice. Do I respond? Or, do I just move on? And, thus to the crux of my short message here…

When you hear something. When you read something. When someone comes ‘head on’ to you with something that you consider FOOLISHNESS…what do you do?


SOME FOOLISHNESS DOES NOT DESERVE A RESPONSE, WHILE OTHER FOOLISHNESS DEMANDS ONE.


Some foolishness would die if we would just allow it. While other foolishness is like a spark ready to spread like wildfire.

How do you know?

Well, you have to pray for discernment. Discernment is an aspect of wisdom, and God will grant it in abundance if you ask Him.

James 1:5  (NKJV)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Notice how sometimes Jesus responded to those who opposed Him, and sometimes He was rather assertive.

Matthew 15:1-12  (NKJV)

15 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”

He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; [a] and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’[b] But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his father or mother.’[c] Thus you have made the commandment[d] of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And[e] 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.’ ”[f]

10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”

While other times, He didn’t say a word…

Matthew 27:12-14 (NKJV)

12 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.

13 Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” 14 But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.

 1 Peter 2:23  (NKJV)

23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;

 But, when you DO respond, remember this…

Respond in wisdom.

Respond with reason.

And, please don’t respond in your raw emotions.

We must realize when we are planting a seed of righteousness, and a seed of foolishness.

Proverbs 29:11  (NKJV)

11 A fool vents all his feelings,[a]
But a wise man holds them back.

 BE BLESSTIFIED!

FOR THE DAYS YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE BEING ENCOURAGED…

wp-1486753160891.jpgAs I ran an errand one day, the person working behind the counter was very rude to me. I tried to lighten the mood, but they weren’t having it. I told them I was just trying to make them smile, and they said, “I smile all the time!” ….Uhhhhh, but they weren’t smiling. I don’t know, maybe this person was going through something.


We all have those days…you know, days that we don’t even want to be bothered with encouraging words! Right?


Some days you don’t want to hear, “It’s going to get better!”

Some days you don’t want to hear, “It won’t always be like this!”

Some days you don’t want to hear, “This too will pass…”

Some days you don’t want to hear, “It’s gonna be alright!”

Some days, you just don’t want to hear it…even when you believe it…you just aren’t in the mood!

We all get frustrated and aggregated sometimes…

People will get on our nerves and try our patience…

People will be rude and disrespectful to us…

Sometimes we will have every right to be upset…

Our challenge as Christians is to respond in the SPIRIT OF LOVE. We can’t allow the worst in people, or situations to bring the worst out in us.

As Galatians 6:1 says we are to restore others in the spirit of meekness.

We are to be humble, long-suffering and patient. Yes, there will be times that we are to be assertive, but we are to remain in God’s character and love in that assertiveness.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 says it best…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs”.

Even if you don’t want to hear this today, put it in your pocket for later…

We must remember that even in our frustration, we always represent God, and it’s our responsibility to always operate in His love.

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

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