HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED THE ‘ONE’ THING JESUS PRAYED FOR US JUST BEFORE HE WAS BETRAYED…

John Chapter 17 records the real ‘Lord’s Prayer’, as Matthew 6 gives us the model prayer. In John, He prays for Himself, His disciples and finally those who believe in Him through the disciples words…us.

It’s interesting of all things He could pray about, in verses 20 through 24 He prayed for…

Unity… Agreement… ONENESS!

Why?


Because three of the most powerful forces on this earth are…

LOVE…

HATE…

and…

UNITY!


It would be impossible for the Gospel to spread, the church to grow and families to survive without unity.

Notice what the bible says about agreement…

Genesis 11:6 (NKJV)

And the Lord said, “Indeed the people ARE ONE and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.


Amos 3:3 (NKJV)

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?


1 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV)

10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all [a]speak the same thing, and that there be no [b]divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.


The fact is that unity is powerful that it works for both good and evil… THE POWER OF UNITY WORKS FOR BOTH GOOD AND EVIL…

It was through ‘agreement’ and ‘unity’ that the devil was able to provoke rebellion in heaven leading to him and those who united with him being kicked out…

Revelation 12:7-9 (NKJV)

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they [a]did not prevail, nor was a place found for [b]them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.


However, the ultimate agreement is in heaven…

1 John 5:7 (NKJV)

7 For there are three that bear witness [a]in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.


So, if our Savior was intentional enough to pray for agreement, I encourage you to be intentional to specifically pray for agreement EVER DAY in…

Your marriage…

Your family…

In your local church…

In the Body of Christ…

In your government…

On your job.

And especially pray for unity with God… That you are ONE with Him and He is ONE with you, just as He is ONE with our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah. Pray for this every day, and if possible every time you pray.

Notice how many times the Lord says or infers ONE in His prayer for us…

John 17:20-26 (NKJV)

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who [a]will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be ONE as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be ONE in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be ONE just as We are ONE23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in ONE, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.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. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Remember, this isn’t just a prayer, it’s the Lord’s passion. And, it should be ours too.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOU WONDER WHY GOD DOESN’T DO SOMETHING TO ‘MAKE’ MORE PEOPLE SUPPORT YOU…

When you’re passionately pursuing your God given purpose…

When you’ve invested your time, money and reputation into what you believe God has called you to do…

When you’ve ‘put in the work’ hoping for certain results…

When you have ‘put yourself out there’ and taken risks, even having some of your efforts fail so you can learn, grow, redefine, and define your work…

You can sometimes feel frustrated when you aren’t getting the support, encouragement, affirmation, and acknowledgment you may think you have earned.

Okay. I’ll put myself out there for in a transparent moment, and maybe some of you will admit this with me…

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY GOD DOESN’T ‘TOUCH MORE HEARTS’ TO ACCEPT, SUPPORT, RECEIVE OR SHARE YOUR EFFORTS?

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY GOD DOESN’T DO SOMETHING TO CONVINCE MORE PEOPLE TO HELP YOU OR JUMP ON BOARD WITH WHAT YOU ARE SAYING, SINGING, WRITING, OR DOING?

I have.

I’ve thought those thoughts.

This blog is my ‘youngest child’, and I passionately want it to be read by and a blessing to millions. I want the world to be inspired by my wife’s music.

I have many personal efforts in my life that I felt would have garnered more support. There are times I’ve felt overlooked, ignored, unappreciated, and abandoned by some of the people who I thought would support me the most outside of family.

Have you?


When we have low moments, we aren’t alone. Some of God’s most anointed prophets sometimes after great moments of victory were left feeling abandoned and all alone…

1 Kings 19:9-10 (NKJV)

And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?

10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”


Even after performing supernatural miracles, Yeshua the Messiah, had many to desert Him, as stated in John Chapter 6 verses 66 and 67...

66 From that time many of His disciples went [a]back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”


And don’t forget that one, final human moment when the Lord said…

Matthew 27:46 (NKJV)

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

So, as I was experiencing a personal moment of ‘why won’t God touch more hearts to help me’ in some of my kingdom and personal efforts, it occurred to me, and I sincerely believed He dropped this in my spirit…


IF GOD DOESN’T FORCE PEOPLE TO ACCEPT OR HONOR HIM OR HIS CAUSE…

HE’S NOT GOING TO FORCE PEOPLE TO ACCEPT OR HONOR ME OR MY CAUSE!


God allows people to chose for themselves.

Yes, we plant the seeds. Yes, we do the work. Yes, God can even manipulate situations around us trying to help us decide…but the decision is always ours.

Being rejected was a prophesied sign of the Messiah. It was a core part of His suffering…

Matthew 13:53-58 (NKJV)

53 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. 54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, [a]Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

And, a core but often ignored part of our purpose is to share in His suffering, sometimes by being rejected. After all, it’s only fair…

1 Peter 4:13 (NKJV)

13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Philippians 1:29 (NKJV)

29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

Remember, the people who contended against Yeshua went back to their homes on the day of the crucifixion thinking they had one…and the Lord ALLOWED IT.

The fact is that if Jesus can patiently wait for His glory, we can wait for ours.

FOR THOSE WHO FEEL IT’S TAKING TOO LONG FOR THINGS TO ‘TAKE OFF’ FOR THEM…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN THEY SAY ‘YOU GOTTA LOOK THE PART’…

I remember two different conversations with two different ‘professionals’ that said the same thing, and both made me stop and think.

Years ago there was a gentleman who was promoted to be one of the many Vice Presidents of a company at which I worked. He had previously been a director and he lived in the same subdivision as me. He was excited about his new position. A few months later, as we was settling into his role I asked him how were things going. He said, “They are going well. I’m looking for a new house that ‘fits the role'”. Hmmmmm. House that fits the role. The has he was living in was already very nice.

Fast forward to after I entered the profession of education. I was talking to a young man who had recently been promoted to the position of Assistant Principal. In a conversation about what he did over the weekend, he mentioned shopping for another car that ‘looked the part’ and ‘fit the role’.

WHAT DOES ‘LOOK THE PART’ and ‘FIT THE ROLE’ MEAN?

It’s amazing how much emphasis that people in our western culture places on appearances.

Where should an upper level executive live?

What should an administrator in education drive?

How should a preacher dress?

There are people who make a good living crafting the ‘images’ of public figures. However the people who really know them look on and think, ‘who is that’?

Should you be able to tell a person’s role on their job by their vehicles in the parking lot?

Are we that shallow?

Yes.

That’s why people will allow themselves into the slavery of enormous debt because they want to portray a certain image. An image. An image.

Hmmmmm. Portray an image.

If we find ourselves driven to pursue AN IMAGE, we are dangerously close to a subtle form of idolatry. Even if that image is ourselves. Remember, idols don’t all have to be GRAVEN images…

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.

The bible says that borrowers are slaves to those whom they owe…

Proverbs 22:7 (NKJV)

7 The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.

Both gentlemen mentioned above, even though they were both in nice cars and vehicles, were diving deeper in debt, not because it was something they needed or even wanted…but because of how it looked.

Have you ever made a decision because of how you felt you looked to others? In a sense, it’s chasing emptiness. If you drive past someone in a very expensive car, and they think, WOW! What value did that thought add to your life? If someone visits your huge, elaborately decorated home and tells you, WOW! You’ve done quite well for yourself. It is beautiful! What value did that add to your life?

If you get a promotion based on appearances, does that lead to more and more pressure to keep up this ‘image’ you’ve created for yourself?

When you think about it…it chasing emptiness. It’s chasing wind.

Ecclesiastes 1:14 (NKJV)

14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.

Be very careful of what image you are working to conform to…

Romans 8:29 (KNJV)

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

GOD WILL WALK WITH YOU IF YOU LET HIM…

God will walk with you if you let Him?

How?

Here you go…

Galatians 5:16-23 (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: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]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.

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

Artist: Mechelle Johnson

Snippet of RJGroove Kingdom Party Remix

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE BIBLE SAYS THAT BOOBS AREN’T JUST FOR THE BABIES…

Sex is a gift from God. Even though it’s the means He intended for us to be fruitful and multiply, it is also meant to be enjoyed within the bonds of holy matrimony between a man and a woman.

Our bodies with their various curves, shapes, textures, contrast of colors, smells etc., are meant to provoke sexual arousal. It’s up to us to control these urges so that they are only fulfilled within marriage.

One of those divine combinations of curves, shapes, textures, and contrast of colors is the female breast.

Yes, these were created for mothers to make sure their children are nourished, but that’s not all.

They were also created for the mutual pleasure of the husband and the wife. Breasts were created:

As a means of seducing her husband…

For her pleasure during times of intimacy…

To be aesthetically pleasing to entice her husband…

For his enjoyment during times of intimacy…

The fact is that even though God created female breasts to nurse their children, that boobs aren’t just for the babies. Check out these bible verses about female breasts and intimacy within marriage.

Proverbs 5:18-19  (NKJV)

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 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 1:12-13  (NKJV)

12 While the king is at his table,
My [a]spikenard sends forth its fragrance.
13 A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me,
That lies all night between my breasts.

Song of Solomon 4:4-5  (NKJV)

Your neck is like the tower of David,
Built for an armory,
On which hang a thousand [a]bucklers,
All shields of mighty men.
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
Twins of a gazelle,
Which feed among the lilies

Song of Solomon 7:2-3, 8(NKJV)

Your navel is a rounded goblet;
It lacks no [a]blended beverage.
Your waist is a heap of wheat
Set about with lilies.
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
Twins of a gazelle.

Song of Solomon 7:8  (NKJV)

I said, “I will go up to the palm tree,
I will take hold of its branches.”
Let now your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
The fragrance of your [a]breath like apples,

Song of Solomon 8:10  (NKJV)

10 am a wall,
And my breasts like towers;
Then I became in his eyes
As one who found peace.

Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV)

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

1 Corinthians 7:2-5 (NLT)

But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.

The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.

Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

So, couples enjoy one another, and may your marriages…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

You may also enjoy these BE BLESSTIFIED articles on Godly marriage…

GODLY MARRIAGE: WHAT IF THE ‘BIG O’ WAS TOO BIG (Adult but Holy)…

GODLY MARRIAGE: HOW SEX IS SUBMISSION AND HONOR PERFECTED (Graphic but Holy)…

4 SIMPLE THINGS THAT CAN MAKE YOUR MARRIAGE BETTER IMMEDIATELY…

GODLY MARRIAGE: YOU CAN’T GET ROMANTIC WITH A HYMNAL…

MARRIAGE ADVICE: IT’S YOUR DIFFERENCES THAT MAKE YOU A PERFECT FIT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

BLOGGERS & INDEPENDENT GOSPEL ARTISTS ARE ENTREPRENEURS TOO…

If anything is an exercise in faith…entrepreneurship is a prime example.

My wife and I opened a beauty supply store in the mid 90’s called Perms Plus. We were in our 20’s. We learned a lot and the business lasted about 3 years.

But, that wasn’t our last entrepreneurial endeavor. In 2015 we decide to invest in our anointing, talent and creativity. We researched how to turn songs I had written into radio-quality recordings and went to work.

We hired an entertainment attorney, producer, publicist, radio promoter, photographer, makeup artist, stylist, and started a publishing company called Al-Go-Rhythm Music to be the machine behind Mechelle Johnson Music. In short, an independent artist is a small business.

While working our music, I purchased my WordPress domain and launched this blog. Since then I’ve invested countless hours and dollars promoting my site hoping to establish BEBLESSTIFIED.COM as a trusted resource for inspiration, edification, exhortation, admonition, entertainment, and hopefully salvation from a fresh, ‘I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT LIKE THAT BEFORE’ perspective.

Both of these efforts are just as much entrepreneurial endeavors as our beauty supply store years ago.

So, when people share their financial resources in response to any independent artist’s or blogger’s work, they aren’t giving to charity, but have received and benefited from a product and service of great value. You are producing God’s intangible tangibles that touch the mind, heart, soul and body.

And, when the music and writing is Christ centered it qualities for the biblical command to support ministry…

1 Corinthians 9:14 (NKJV)

14 Even so (A)the Lord has commanded (B)that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.

Galatians 6:6 (NKJV)

6 (A)Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.

So, any bloggers or indie Gospel artists reading this piece, don’t forget that you are releasing perpetual seeds into the earth that can influence, entertain, encourage and bless people for generations to come. You are working hard and sacrificing your time and money just as any other entrepreneur does.

If someone blesses you financially…you’ve earned it. Just stay focused on the integrity of Gods word in everything you do, and keep working!

Proverbs 3:6 (NKJV)

6 (A)In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall [a]direct your paths.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE BLESSING IN LOSING HER MIND (FROM MY ARCHIVES)…

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WHAT’ IS THOUGHT TO BE A CURSE OF OLD AGE IS A BLESSING TO SOME…

Years ago I used to do nursing home ministry. I would visit two nursing homes, once each month. As I walked down through the halls I would see the same faces. There were some residents who had regular visits from family and friends, but unfortunately, there too many who never got a visitor…ever.

There were also varying levels of mental health. One lady in particular at one of the nursing homes would say the same thing during every visit. She would sit in her wheelchair in the entrance to her room as I walked by…smile and say, “I’m going home today”. No, she wasn’t going home. She was one of the residents who never had visitors, and her family had moved on with their lives. At first I felt sorry for her because her situation seemed so hopeless…but then God gave me an awesome revelation.

In her hopeless situation…her dementia was a blessing!

Blessing? How was her dementia a blessing?

In reality, she woke up every morning WITHOUT hope of going home.

But through her dementia, she woke up every morning WITH hope of going home.

God gave her a reason to smile EVERY DAY.

God gave her something to look forward to EVERY DAY.

God gave her HOPE in a HOPELESS situation.

She spent her last days with HOPE.

What many may think of as a CURSE, was actually a BLESSING to her.

God’s wisdom is amazing!

He can can pull HOPE out of HOPEless…

FORTUNE our of unFORTUNALTE…

Stop and give God praise for His unfathomable wisdom. Paul was right in Romans 11…

Romans 11: 33-36
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”
36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN ‘LOVE GIFT’ IS TRANSLATED ‘MINIMUM PRICE’…

As I was watching a TV preacher finish his sermon snippet (promo) it’s interesting how he told viewers they could receive the entire sermon series by sending a ‘love gift’. Hmmmm. Love gift? But, if you don’t send the amount requested you can’t get the sermon series. Sounds like a price to me.

I’m just gonna let the Word preach itself.

👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾

1 Timothy 6:5 (NKJV)

5 [a]useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. [b]From (A)such withdraw yourself.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN PEOPLE CLAIM THEY WOULD DIE FOR CHRIST BUT WON’T SPEAK UP FOR HIM FOR FEAR IF LOSING THEIR JOB…

Many Christians are quick to proclaim they will die for Christ, but when confronted with day-to-day situations they are silent for fear of losing their job, comfort, convenience or even reputation in ‘the church’.

And, many times, it’s people who call themselves believers who are responsible for firing someone for standing for the cause of Christ.

Think about this. Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, otherwise known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were exiles in Babylon, slaves, land who were in a sense chosen to serve the King…Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel Chapter 3). When confronted with a choice to go against God commandments or die, they chose what could have been certain death. They didn’t make excuses.

However, people today say…

“Well, God understands.”

“You have to have your your job.”

“God gives you common sense.”


If God expected Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael and Daniel to refuse to compromise at the risk of death, how do you think He feels about us in regard to remaining silent because we don’t want to lose our jobs?


Revelation 2:10 (NKJV)

10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

How many times do people compromise their values for an ungodly work culutre?

How many times have people been told don’t speak up or stand publicly for certain issues because or you will be terminated?

I once made a statement in defense of Godly marriage between a man and a woman. More than one person close to me said I should stop doing so because it might prevent my wife’s music, which I wrote, from being played on the radio because of those who live that lifestyle in the industry. When I had a job in corporate America, I was advised to remain silent on certain issues because it could prevent me from being promoted or cause me to be terminated.

If God expected our examples in the bible to be faithful unto death, then I’m quite sure He expects us to be faithful unto termination…and trust Him with what happens.

I’ve even been advised to be very careful about what I write in my blog because it could affect my position as a teacher.

People are quick to say I WILL DIE FOR CHRIST, but prove otherwise when they aren’t even willing to give up comfort and convenience for Him.

Remember what our Lord warned before He went to the cross…

John 16:2 (NKJV)

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY I DON’T WANT TO WIN BIG IN THE LOTTERY…


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I have bought a lottery ticket from time to time. I don’t even think it’s always wrong if you are responsible and faithful in your giving to God (for more on that, please read OKAY, I’LL ‘TAKE A CHANCE’ ON DISCUSSING…IS ALL GAMBLING SIN? ), but that’s not what this post is about.

Like most people, I would enjoy unlimited financial resources. And, it’s not unGodly to be financially established as long as it wasn’t gained in an unGodly manner. Even more so, I want anything that I do well, especially well enough to bless my bless my family financially, to bring honor and glory to His name…and not shame.

God even shows us through the Psalmist that He encourages us to ask Him to bless us with prosperity…

Psalm 118:25 (NKJV)

25 Save now, I pray, O Lord;
O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.

But, notice that the Psalmist asks that the LORD send that prosperity. Can the LORD bless someone through the chance of the lottery. Well, God can do anything He chooses. However, there many in the Body of Christ, as well as those who aren’t, who are convinced that He wouldn’t.

God told us through the Apostle Paul that even though some things aren’t necessarily wrong, there are some situations when they’re wrong for us…

1 Corinthians 10:23  (NKJV)

23 All things are lawful for me,[a] but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me,[b] but not all things edify.

He also let’s us know that we should be careful of our freedoms that can ‘offend’ someone weaker in the faith.

1 Corinthians 8:9-13  (NKJV)

9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? 11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

All that being said, that’s why the more I think about it, the more I don’t want to win BIG in the lottery.

I don’t want anything to steal God’s glory for what happens in my life.

If I’m blessed financially, I want it to be through the gifts He has placed inside me, and through what He releases from me…and I want Him to receive the glory.

God said let those who share the Gospel live of the Gospel. This isn’t a guarantee of riches, but it’s not a curse of poverty either…

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.

I have more confidence in the seeds I’ve sown the word and song than some lucky numbers that would steal God’s glory.

If I were to win millions in the lottery, it’s possible that too many would focus on where my money came from rather than my ministry.

If I were to win millions in the lottery, it could weaken the effectiveness of BEBLESSTIFIED.COM, every lesson, every sermon, every song I’ve written…it could weaken my ministry.

And, that’s simply not worth it.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

5 REASONS I DON’T WANT TO BE CALLED ‘REVEREND’…

I was ordained into the ministry back in 1996, and I take my assignment very seriously.

Even though I was ordained in a Baptist church I prefer to be simply referred to as a Disciple of Christ (Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus).

There are many titles by which people address ministers, one of which is Reverend. Personally, I prefer NOT to be called by that title. Here are 5 reasons why.

1. HOLY AND REVEREND IS ‘HIS’ NAME

Psalm 111:9 (KJV)

He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name

Psalm number 119 in the King James Version states that God’s name is holy and ‘reverend’. The word reverend in the passage comes from the Hebrew word ‘Yare’, which means to fear, revere, be afraid, to stand in awe of, be awed. Neither I nor my name are not to be feared, revered, afraid or in awe of…that is reserved for God. I also know that one definition of blasphemy is putting oneself equal to God, of which is what the Pharisees often falsely accused the Lord. I prefer not for my name nor myself to be made in anyway imply equality to God…especially as a religious title.


2. GOD WARNED US ABOUT RELIGIOUS TITLES

Yeshua hurled a long list of rebukes and woes at the religious leaders in Matthew 23, one of which directly addressed religious titles…

Matthew 23:6-11 (NKJV)

They love the [a]best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your [b]Teacher, [c]the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.

The Lord clearly rebukes the religious leaders concerning being called RABBI, FATHER, or even TEACHER (which could be equated to Dr. today) however we know that even though REVEREND wasn’t a religious title of that day, but originated in the Catholic church that it is still within the context of that rebuke. I have heard some people contend, we call our male parents father, but that’s not a religious title. No matter how we may try to excuse or justify it, it’s still easier to just leave it alone.


3. THE APOSTLES ONLY REFERRED TO ONE ANOTHER BY NAME

When you read the letters of the Apostles, you will notice how they referred to themselves, one another and other elders and church leaders only by name. They didn’t refer to each other as Apostle, Rabbi, Father, Pope or any other title, but simply by name…

2 Peter 3:15 (NKJV)

15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,

James 1:1 (NKJV)

James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad:

Greetings.

Timothy 1 (NKJV)

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,

To Timothy, a true son in the faith:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

Titus 1:4 (NKJV)

To Titus, a true son in our common faith:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and [a]the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

Revelation 1:9 (NKJV)

I, John, [a]both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

I could go on and on, but I invite you to please go back and read through the epistles and notice how the apostles referred to one another and other church leaders…by name only, or brother.


THE APOSTLES REFUSED TO BE ‘WORSHIPED’

Acts 14:11-15 (NKJV)

11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 And Barnabas they called [a]Zeus, and Paul, [b]Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.

14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them,

Acts 10:25-26 (NKJV)

25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.”

Even though the bible says that honor should be given to those who are ministers of the Gospel, there is still a thin line between honor and worship. It’s very easy to allow people to ‘feed our egos’ if we aren’t careful. It’s easy for honor and respect to morph into worship.


THE ANGELS DIDN’T ALLOW MEN TO WORSHIP THEM

When John received The Revelation of Yeshua he was in such great awe of the angle that he attempted to bow down to him, but the angel quickly told him NO…

Revelation 19:10 (NKJV)

10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Revelation 22:9 (NKJV)

9 Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. [a]For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

Yes, the bible says that elders are worthy of double honor, but that doesn’t mean that we should accept that what is reserved for God.

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.

As I said earlier, as much as some leaders can justify being called REVEREND or being put on a pedestal…I would rather just leave it alone.

When you put preachers, pastors, or any leader on a pedestal, you can be discouraged when we prove prove how human we are…when we prove we don’t have it all together. EVEN THE MOST EFFECTIVE LEADERS DON’T ‘HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER’…

What do you think?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN PEOPLE WANT TO PRESERVE THE HISTORY OF A HERITAGE THAT ERASED MY HISTORY…

As the heated debate over removing Confederate monuments and symbols from public entities in America continues, I find it amazing that people are passionate about preserving the history of a culture that mastered erasing the history of another…

Names…erased!

Language…erased!

Traditions…erased !

All connections to family, friends and past…ERASED!


PLUS, SLAVES WERE FORBIDDEN TO LEARN TO READ! WHY? TO CONTROL WHAT WAS LEARNED AND WHAT WASN’T LEARNED!


Even implying that slavery introduced all Africans to Christianity attempts to erase the fact that many Africans were already disciples. It portrayed slave masters as SAVIORS delivering all slaves from heathenism.

However, the bible records the fact that the Gospel reached Africa before it reached Europe, and there were Africans who practiced Judaism.

Acts 8:28-38 (NKJV)

26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is [a]desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”

30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:

“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is taken from the earth.”

34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”

37 [b]Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”

And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.


Acts 2:5-12 (NKJV)

And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own [a]language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and [b]Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”

WHY ETERNITY NEEDS NO ‘BEGINNING’…

I recently noticed a picture (meme) circulating on social media that shows the late Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist and well-known atheist, featuring one of his quotes, “There was nothing before the Big Bang.” Most people know that many scientists assert that the universe BEGAN with a BIG BANG.

For Mr. Hawking to say there was nothing before the Big Bang still leaves to question what was that NOTHING, and how could NOTHING CAUSE AN EXPLOSION?


This is why I define science as our attempt to give a physical, biological or chemical explanation to a spiritual world. It’s how God allows to spiritual to manifest itself so it can be perceived within the ‘physical’ world and the realm of ‘time’.


This is why I believe that to some, the intelligence that God gave man to dominate the earth has become a curse to some…WHEN INTELLIGENCE HAS BECOME A CURSE…

So, I respond to the statement that “Before the Big Bang there was nothing”, with, “Eternity and God need no beginning”.

“In the beginning…” was written as a point of reference for the benefit of those of us who exist within the continuum of time.

Genesis 1 (NKJV)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness [a]was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

God is exists outside of ‘time’ and needs no ‘beginning’. Notice how the Complete Jewish Bible refers to God…WHY GOD DOES NOT NEED AN ORIGIN STORY…

Psalm 90:2 (CJB)

Before the mountains were born,
before you had formed the earth and the world,
from eternity past to eternity future
you are God.

Notice how God described Himself to Moses as ‘I AM’…

Exodus 3:14-15 (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.’ ” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’


I AM! ‘I’ is a personal pronoun and ‘AM’ is a being verb. God is THE eternal BEING and defined Himself as a BEING verb. Wow! That is no coincidence.


I’ve stated in other articles that our ‘spirits’ temporarily’ exist outside of ‘time’ when we’re in a deep sleep or under anesthesia. We can doze off or be put to sleep and not notice the time that elapsed while we were ‘out’. Also notice the fact that even though we were all alive and aware, our minds can’t remember the day we were born or when we reacted to stimuli when we were in the womb.

God has promised us eternal life and most of the time we think of an eternal future. However, God IS! He stands outside of time experiencing the past and the future as if it were happening right now.

Isaiah 40:22 (NKJV)

22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

God is invisible, and it’s possible that the force and expanse that science wants to call ‘the universe’ is God. Even their ‘physical laws’ correspond with God’s spiritual essence…Energy can’t be created or destroyed, that’s God’s essence. If you believe energy can’t be created, then you can believe God didn’t have to be created. If you can see how the same internet can be ‘everywhere at the same time’, accessed in your bedroom, Texas, Aruba, or in space at the same time…then you can see how God can be everywhere at the same time.

May the Lord God of Israel from Eternity Past to Eternity Future bless you and keep you in the name and authority of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).

So, going back to the BIG BANG. When God created the universe and ‘said’ “Let there be…” I’m sure there was a physical manifestation of sound and an incredible release of energy in an explosion. To me, the BIG BAND only confirms God lives.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

A 40 SECOND WORD FOR THE HUMBLE (A BEBLESSTIFED BACKYARD BLESSING)…

This is another one of my earliest pieces,

A WORD TO THE HUMBLE

If they praise you now, if to you they bow,

you already have your reward.

But, every time you bring glory to the King,

in heaven yours is stored!

Don’t set your treasures on earthly pleasures,

they will only waste away.

The love of Jesus is enough to please us

if we just let Him have His way.

Aldtric Johnson Copyright 2001

Matthew 6:1-2 (NKJV)

6 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV)

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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