HOW GOD KEEPS ME HUMBLE AS A BLOGGER & MINISTER…

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When God gives you a gift for His glory, it’s not only good…it’s excellent!

James 1:17  (NKJV)

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

I enjoy writing and sharing what God has placed in my heart. I love teaching and preaching as I have opportunity. It makes me feel so alive! And, God gives me inspiration EVERYWHERE! In good and in evil. In joy and in pain. At work and at home. In the profound and profane. God has fresh revelation to His unchanging word everywhere…and I have to write and share.

I must admit that most of the time, when I finish writing or saying what God has placed in my heart in my own style, I sometimes say WOW! That’s pretty awesome, but not because of me, but because of my awesome God!


I guess we are all spiritual plagiarists, because nothing anyone writes or says is original, it all comes from God.


But, here’s my point. No matter how good I may feel about what I have shared. No matter how many ‘attaboys’ and pats-on-the-back I get…


I ALWAYS read, hear or watch something that someone else has shared that is even MORE awesome and powerful that what I have written.


Someone is always revealing something that I never knew. Someone is always, in their own style, sharing something that makes me stop and say WOW! Someone is always confirming something that God has placed in my heart.


It humbles me to see how powerfully God speaks through and uses others.


When I’m reminded daily of how God uses so many anointed, talented, gifted people, it keeps me humble, as I realize that even though He is using me in a powerful way…His Kingdom work can go on just fine without me.

Let me encourage you to never diminish the power of what God has placed inside you, but at the same time never let your gift, your talent, your ability, your education, your popularity, your accolades, or awards to allow you to become arrogant, proud or vain.


Unfortunately, there are too many spiritually arrogant preachers, teachers, ministers, pastors, authors, writers, bloggers, artists, singers, musicians…


Our challenge is to not allow the power of what God has placed in us to provoke us to glory in ourselves. Let us never forget that if anything good comes from us, all glory goes to God.

Here are just a few scriptural reminders…

1 Corinthians 1:30-31  (NKJV)

30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”[a]

2 Corinthians 10:17  (NKJV)

17 But “he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”[a]

 Psalm 115:1 (NKJV)

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.

 BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

WHY I WILL NEVER HAVE AN US AGAINST THEM ATTITUDE…

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I know there are other races and other racial issues, but in America, the biggest race conversation has always been Black and White. It’s a shame that racial division is still prevalent. The devil finds a way to raise up a whole new generation of racists of all races.  It’s a tool he uses that quite frankly will never go away.  I’m blessed to have friends in all races and cultures.

However, I’m a Black man, and naturally I have concerns specific to those a Black man. I would be foolish if I didn’t. However, that doesn’t mean that I will agree with ALL Black people on how to address all ‘Black’ issues. Some will even disagree with me on using the term ‘Black’ instead of ‘African American’. All Black people don’t have to and will not agree on everything. Black people should be able to feel the way they feel…to have their own opinion without being labeled a ‘sell out’ or not ‘woke’, ‘down’ or aware. All Black people didn’t agree during the Civil Rights Movement. There’s no race that agrees on everything. That’s a myth. Some cultures may facilitate collaboration differently, but NO race is totally united. Accomplishments and progression are achieved through unified groups within each race.

The truth is that in my life, I have been equally helped and hindered by both Blacks and Whites. There are times when both Black and White people could have acted in my behalf and chose not to do so…and so have I.


I will never have an us against them attitude!


It’s God’s will that we are all one in Christ…

Galatians 3:28 (NKJV)

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus

…which by the way wasn’t White or Black (that’s another conversation), Christ was born Jewish but existed before there were Jews or any other ‘race’ (John 1:1-14). And, the world was given the ‘oracles’ of God (Romans 3:2) through the Jewish culture and context.

But, even the Jews aren’t a race. Notice that through Abraham God didn’t raise up a race. He raised a faith. Read more about that in my article, FAITH, NOT RACE…


I will never have an us against them attitude.


I love people…all people! I love everyone, but my first allegiance is to God. Because of that…

Sometimes I may piss off Black people…

Sometimes I may piss off White people…

Sometimes I may piss off Asians, Latinos etc.

Sometimes I may piss off Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and, yes Christians.

But, that’s okay as long as I DON’T piss off the God of my salvation.

I’m a disciple of Christ first, then Black…but I love everyone.

I will stand for you equally as long as you are in harmony with God’s truth.

I will never have an us against them attitude!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

IF YOU EVER UNCONSCIOUSLY LICK YOUR LIPS, PLEASE READ THIS…

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You don’t have to humiliate yourself to be humble.

Remember this…


I respect you. But, I lick my lips too many times a day to kiss your behind.


You don’t have to surrender your self-respect to validate someone else’s.


It’s not a sin to assert yourself.


Job 12:3 (NKJV)

But I have understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Indeed, who does not know such things as these?

BE BLESSTIFED!

DO YOU REALLY LOVE GOD OR IS IT JUST THE RIGHT THING TO SAY?

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Most people who grew up in or around church, or were raised with a belief in God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, or those who have come from unbelief to belief will all quickly proclaim, “I love God!”


But, do you love Him? Or do just feel it’s the right to say? You may even be afraid not to say it. Which is a healthy fear and reverence of God, but still isn’t love.


When you love someone, you want to be in their presence as much as possible, in fact you look forward to it. When you love someone you want to know what’s important to them. When you love someone you don’t want to hurt them, intentionally or unintentionally.

When you love someone you want to grow closer to them. When you love someone, you enjoy talking about them. Many people when they are honest with themselves love their favorite team, their car, their guns, their _____________ more than they love God because that’s what they love talking about.

When you love someone you aren’t afraid to show affection for them in public. I’m not talking about kissing…I’m talking about holding their hand, hugging them…you aren’t ashamed to let the world know you love them. Some of the same people who get hoarse at a ball game are ashamed to praise God publicly even in worship. Too many Christians are too ashamed to even bless their food in public. Are you ashamed to lift up your hands in public and say ,“Hallelujah, I love you LORD!” Or, are you afraid people with think you’re crazy. Do you reason that, “It doesn’t take all of that to love God”.  But, when you love someone, you aren’t concerned with what is minimal or necessary. You’re more than happy to do what is ‘extra’ for them

When you love someone you aren’t just in relationship with them for what you can get out of them. You aren’t just in the relationship for the benefits. When you love someone you can talk to them for hours. How often do you talk to God and fellowship with Him prayer, just because it’s peaceful…not asking for anything, just spending quality time with Him?

When you love someone, you love listening to ‘mood’ music with them. You love listening to music that makes you feel closer to one another. You love sharing ‘your song’. I’m not saying you have to listen to Christian music all of the time, but I wonder how many Christians are perfectly comfortable never listening to some form of Gospel music…except when they are in church.

When you really love someone, what they think about you matters to you more than anyone else in the world. You want their love…their respect…their devotion…their affection.

How can one really love God and either never, seldom or randomly read His word? God knows we have the opportunity to fellowship with Him in His word whenever they please. Many claim they don’t have time, but that’s simply not true. Many people, when their honest with themselves, love social media, their favorite fiction or non fiction book, or whatever else they love to do in their spare time more than they love the word of God. What’s the first thing you check each morning? Your social media? The news? The weather? Your horoscope? Or, God’s ‘status’ and what He has ‘posted’ in His word.

It’s in His word we fellowship with Him. It’s in His word we find out what pleases Him. It’s in His word that we find out what He loves and what He hates. His word gives us both comfort and correction.


When you love someone, living to please them is not a burden, but a blessing…

1 John 5:3  (NKJV)

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.


I challenge you today to ask yourself, “Do I really love God, or is it just the right thing to say”. Yes, you believe in Him. Yes, you fear Him. Yes, you respect Him. Yes, you reverence Him. Yes, you pray. Yes, You, go to church…

But do you love Him?

And finally, think about this…

Most people quickly claim that want to go to heaven or live eternally in His presence, but I contend that if you don’t genuinely enjoy reading His word, fellowshipping with Him, worshiping Him, being in His presence, even going to church now, what makes you think you will want to do it forever?


Remember, real love isn’t just state, it’s demonstrated…

Romans 5:8  (NKJV)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

QUESTION: DOES GOD GIVE US THE AUTHORITY TO SAY, “THE DEVIL IS A LIAR”…

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I’m petitioning your thoughts based on scripture concerning something that quite honestly has me a little puzzled.

One of the greatest benefits that we have through our relationship with God through our Lord and Savior, Yeshua, Christ Jesus is power over the enemy. But, we must remember to stay in our ‘spiritual lane’. We only have that power through the authority of Jesus.


So here’s my question. Does God give us the authority to call the devil a liar?


I’ve said it. I’ve heard it preached. I’ve heard it proclaimed. I’ve heard it sung in songs, the popular phrase…

“The devil is a liar!”

But, does God give us the authority to say it on our own? In worship? When we feel confronted? When we preach? When we sing?

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Yes He is a liar. In fact, Jesus called Him the father of lies (John 8:44), but that was Jesus who said that and no one else, not even angels…

Jude 6-9 (NKJV)

6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

And, also consider this verse in 2 Peter…

2 Peter 2:4-11 (NKJV)

4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing theirlawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

Now, look at what happened to men who confronted demons without the authority of Christ…

Acts 19:13-16  (NKJV)

13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We[a] exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” 16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them,[c] so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.


Considering these scriptures, especially Jude 8-9. Even the powerful archangel Michael didn’t ‘accuse the devil but reserved that power for our Lord, by saying, “The Lord rebuke you!”


So, again that’s my question for you. Does God give us the authority to say, the popular phrase “The devil is a liar”, or are we overstepping our authority in the Lord by doing so? Should we only do as the angel Michael did and say, “The Lord rebuke you in the name of Jesus”.

I look forward to your thoughts.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

HOW I WENT FROM WORSHIPING MYSELF EACH MORNING BACK TO WORSHIPING GOD…

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Allow me to be a bit transparent in this one…

This can easily and subtly slip into the day-to-day life a mature disciple of Christ if we aren’t careful. Worshiping myself, a form of idolatry of which many of us may be guilty, but don’t realize it.

Yes, you can be saved, love God, not caught up in what we like to call the ‘big sins’ and still worship yourself either along with or instead of God. See, the enemy knows he isn’t going to convince you to erect a ‘golden calf’ in your home, so he cleverly manipulates us to commit idolatry in other ways.

Here is how it happened to me…

I’ve always enjoyed trying to eat well and exercising, you know – working out. I’ve enjoyed lifting weights and different forms of cardio for years. As I entered my early forties a few years ago, I was also more cognizant of my overall health. I wanted to be proactive about as many health issues as I could. I wanted my physical quality of life to remain high as long as possible. I wanted my wife to still find me attractive, and honestly, I wanted my size to be somewhat intimidating to anyone who may be looking for a ‘weak’ target.

Even though I have had a regular exercise regime off and on for years, I intensified my efforts to twice per day. I had a gym membership, so I would get up…pray and head to the gym before I went to work. We also have a gym at my office building, so I would also work out during my lunch break as well.

I was pleased to hear the compliments as my body changed more and more. Of course it was cool to have my wife notice, but it was also nice to have other people notice as my body changed. Come on now, I know you strive to be holy, but we we all like complements. Even the preacher loves it when the congregation says, “Great job!” It’s a part of being made in the image of our Heavenly Father, who loves our praise. We all love complements…but the enemy tries to leverage those complements to his advantage.

Here was my problem…some mornings I would wake up a ‘little’ later than others, and yes I would pray, but my prayer would be shorter, but my workouts would be just as long. I would work out anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour each morning.

I began to feel ‘guilty’ or uneasy if I woke and and didn’t work out, or if I missed my lunchtime workout. I think the word for that I was avoiding at the time is obsessed. This was moving beyond what was necessary for good health and into ritual…religion…self-worship. I remembered what the bible teaches…

1 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV)

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

Well, I was invited one day to be a part of a flag football league, at 43 years old. Most of the other players were either in their late teens, twenties and thirties. During our first practice I hung right in there with them playing wide receiver, and I was ‘proud’ of myself. We ere out there for about an hour and a half when I felt someone kick me on the back of my ankle and heard a loud pop and I fell down. It didn’t hurt, so as I tried to get up I fell right back down.

No one kicked me. I felt the back of my ankle where my Achilles tendon was supposed to be. It snapped! It was a complete rupture that of course required surgery.

I was in a cast for two months and a boot for two more months…required physical therapy and my recovery took about a year.

Afterward I adjusted my workout regime, bought a bike for my cardio so I wouldn’t stress my injury and even though I kept working out, it was nothing like before.

But, most importantly, instead of working out,  I began going out on my front porch each morning and spending quality time with God – looking at the stars and taking in the beauty of His creation. I began spending up to 30 minutes out there on the porch praying, reading His word and just fellowshipping with Him. I noticed how peaceful it was. I noticed how my morning didn’t feel complete if by chance I didn’t do it. I noticed I close it makes me feel to God and how in His presence is the fullness of joy and peace…

Psalm 16:11  (NKJV)

11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

I noticed that when I lay awake troubled about something, I couldn’t wait to get out on my porch to be ‘with God’. It is my personal alter. I absolutely love it.

It suddenly hit me….I went from getting up first thing in the morning and worshiping myself to getting up and worshiping God. Not just praying, but spending real quality time.

I still exercise, but I thank God for allowing me to ‘come to myself’ and put my priorities back in place as they were before this brief ‘midlife crisis’.

So, I encourage you to examine yourself. You may not be worshiping yourself through exercise, but if you aren’t careful your devotion to your appearance, your desires, your pleasures, your possessions, your job, your career, your home… can the enemy tricking you into worshiping yourself.

Don’t allow ‘you’ to become your own god.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

You may enjoy this article too…THERE’S A THIN LINE BETWEEN GOOD HEALTH AND NARCISSISM…

 

 

 

 

MONDAY ENCOURAGEMENT: DON’T LET YOUR MONDAY BE ‘MOURNDAY’…

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Okay, I admit that I have to remind myself of this quite often. If we aren’t careful, we can let Monday, or whatever day we return to work, to become oppressive. So, I just want to give you the short reminder that the 2nd day of the week is a blessing.

Remember to let the joy of the LORD be your strength, no matter what your Monday challenges may be.

Nehemiah 8:10  (NKJV)

10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Remember that we represent God’s image, His presence, His glory and His character in every environment we enter.

Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)

17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Remember that no matter how challenging or dysfunctional the culture, we have the power to make the ground on which we step…Holy Ground.

So, make sure you don’t allow your Monday to become Mournday!

Breathe life into every room, every interaction today. Just as complaining is contagious, so is joy.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP FOR GOD’S UNLIMITED PLAN? (In case you missed it)

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One buzz word in marketing these days is UNLIMITED.

In order to be competitive, more and more companies are offering ‘UNLIMITED’ to attract loyal customers.

Unlimited minutes…

Unlimited texts…

Unlimited data…

Unlimited miles…

Unlimited streaming…

Unlimited doctor’s visits…

Unlimited legal advice…

What’s interesting is that people get spoiled by ‘unlimited’ quickly and easily. When unlimited becomes the norm…it doesn’t seem special anymore, but expected.


Well, God has an UNLIMITED plan through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Unlimited forgiveness…

Unlimited peace…

Unlimited joy…

Unlimited grace…

Unlimited mercy…

Unlimited prayers…

Unlimited protection…

Unlimited access…

Unlimited comfort…

Unlimited love…

Unlimited salvation…


LIFE UNLIMITED…ETERNAL!


His plan was finalized on the cross of Calvary.

His plan is absolutely FREE…at least to us.

His plan was paid for with the blood of Jesus.

Unfortunately, too many of us have gotten spoiled by God’s UNLIMITED plan. They’ve enjoyed all of God’s UNLIMITED benefits so long, that they don’t seem special anymore.

Take a moment right now to thank God for all of His UNLIMITED benefits.

And, just as you would recommend unlimited data to someone who constantly going over their data plan…tell someone about the UNLIMITED life available to them through Jesus Christ!

Have you signed up?

Psalm 103:1-17 (NKJV)

Bless the Lord, O my soul;

And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

2

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits:

3

Who forgives all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases,

4

Who redeems your life from destruction,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

5

Who satisfies your mouth with goodthings,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6

The Lord executes righteousness

And justice for all who are oppressed.

7

He made known His ways to Moses,

His acts to the children of Israel.

8

The Lord is merciful and gracious,

Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

9

He will not always strive with us,

Nor will He keep His anger forever.

10

He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11

For as the heavens are high above the earth,

So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

12

As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13

As a father pities his children,

So the Lord pities those who fear Him.

14

For He knows our frame;

He remembers that we are dust.

15

As for man, his days are like grass;

As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

16

For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

And its place remembers it no more.[a]

17

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting

On those who fear Him,

And His righteousness to children’s children,

BE BLESSTIFIED!

YOU DON’T HAVE TO HATE SOMEONE TO NOT LOVE THEM…

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They say there’s a thin line between love and hate. It may not be that the line is so thin, but that people should be totally honest with themselves, because God knows the heart. The fact is…YOU DON’T HAVE TO HATE SOMEONE TO NOT LOVE THEM.

The enemy knows that God commanded us to love everyone….

EVERYONE means EVERYONE.

That’s why the enemy manipulates situations and circumstances to provoke us to NOT LOVE someone who mistreats us, or even someone is close to us. He convinces people to engage in behavior to where what we feel for them may not be HATE, but it’s definitely not LOVE.

He then he manipulates you to lie to yourself and say “I love everybody” because it’s the right thing to say, but your feelings and behavior don’t reflect love.

God didn’t tell us to LIKE everyone…but to LOVE everyone.

Just as Jesus says in Matthew 5:46, even evil people love those who love them.

So, we must be very careful to be honest with ourselves and WATCH THE LOVE LINE! Make sure that what you feel doesn’t CROSS the line from LOVE to NOT LOVE to HATE. The bible says it is impossible to truly love God who we can’t see and hate one another who we can see…

1 John 4:20

“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”

Examine yourself, and be honest about your feelings. Give yourself the TEST FOR LOVE. It’s easy to find in…

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

If what you feel and your behavior towards everyone doesn’t measure up to the criteria in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7…then it’s not love. And, if it’s not love, in God’s eyes, it’s not enough.

And, remember, if you have trouble loving those who may seem they don’t deserve our love, ask yourself, what have you done to deserve God’s love?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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