STAYING ENCOURAGED CAN BE HARD WORK…

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Have you ever been tired and didn’t know why?

You’re not sad. You’re not depressed. You trust God. You even laugh and smile though everything isn’t ideal in your life.

You’re tired, yet still lie awake at night.

Are you stressed? No, not really because you trust God.

When someone tells you, “Be encouraged!” You say, “You know what? When I think about it…I really am encouraged.”

So why are you tired? Why do you feel drained?

That’s why…because you ARE encouraged.

Sometimes, it takes great effort to stay encouraged.


Being encouraged in difficult circumstances takes more than just ‘mustard seed faith’.

Staying encouraged can be spiritual, mental and psychological HEAVY LIFTING.


Especially when you’re not only carrying the weight of your own burdens, but you’re also encouraging those around you.

How many times have you been down and either no one else knew, or you knew there was nothing that no one else could do? So, you encouraged yourself in the Lord.

If you’re both tired but encouraged today, I pray that God renews your strength and refreshes  your mind body and spirit in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)

31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

WHEN YOU AREN’T FRIENDS, BUT YOU AREN’T ENEMIES EITHER…

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This is where most people are in our lives…

We work with them…

They are our neighbors…

We like the same teams…

We have the same political opinions…

We even go to church with them.

You’re cordial. You’re polite. You can hold a conversation. You can work together towards a goal…but you definitely aren’t friends.

You don’t enjoy being together.

You don’t have any loyalty towards one another.

You don’t particularly care what they think about you.

BUT,

You don’t hate them.

You don’t work against one another.

You don’t have any ill will towards them, nor do they to you.

These are the people that we need to learn to disagree with without becoming enemies.

I pray you have at least a few good friends.

I hope you have even fewer enemies.

But, most people you know will be neither.

Proverbs 12:26 (NKJV)

The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

 

HOW 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 he (the enemy) manipulates situations and circumstances to provoke us to NOT LOVE someone who mistreats us, or someone we close to us.


The enemy 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  (NKJV)

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[a] he love God whom he has not seen?

Examine yourself, and be honest about your feelings. Give yourself what I like to call the TEST FOR LOVE. It’s easy to find in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7…

1 Corinthians 13:4-7  (NKJV)

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 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!!!

WHEN SOMEONE ASKS YOU TO EXPLAIN HOW GOD IS REAL…

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John 6:30  (NKJV)

30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?

The Pharisees, Scribes, and skeptics continually asked Jesus for a sign, while totally ignoring all of the miracles that He performed.

The fact is that they had signs all around them and refused to see them, in fact they couldn’t see them because their hearts were hard.

The story is the same today.

People say that they don’t believe in God because they can’t see Him. People want an EXPLANATION FOR GOD. They want physical evidence of God.

Jesus told Nicodemus…

John 3:8  (NKJV)

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

People feel they don’t need an explanation for the wind because even though they can’t see it, we see evidence of the world reacting to its presence (trees swaying etc.) and we can feel it.

No one has to explain the wind.

Wow, then why can’t they accept the same for God? Unbelievers want an explanation.

Well…

Romans 1:20  (NKJV)

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

God proves Himself not only through everything He created, but the remarkable order of His creation. Nature…life…the universe in all its splendor is evidence of God, but man wants to attribute it to some random act.

In fact, it takes the same amount of faith in the wisdom of man to believe that the sun is 93 million miles away, with no way to actually measure or prove it, as it does to believe that God is real based on the bible.

Just as the Pharisees, some people can’t believe because their hearts are hard, as implied by…

1 Corinthians 2:13-14  (NKJV)

13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy[a] Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


Think about this. The internet is ‘everywhere’, and transmits enormous amounts of information and knowledge. You can be on your laptop, smartphone, tablet, television and be ‘on’ the same internet. You can be at home, work, Tennessee, Europe or in orbit, and it’s the same internet. The internet is almost ‘everywhere at the same time’ and accessible when you’re connected. Sounds a lot like God doesn’t it? If people can believe in and accept an almost ‘omnipresent’, created by humans, they should be able to believe in and omnipresent, omniscient (all-knowing) who created us.


Can you see the internet? No.

Can you feel the internet? No.

Can you touch the internet? No.

Can you smell the internet? No.

Can you hear the internet? No.

Be bold in your belief in God the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because atheists and agnostics are bold in their stance.

So, when someone asks you to explain how God is real, simply respond…

“With all of the evidence around us, explain to me that He’s not”.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOU FEEL THREATENED, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DO NEXT…

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This happened time and time again…Jesus would heal and the religious leaders would seek to kill Him…

John 5:12-16  (NKJV)

12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” 15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him,[a] because He had done these things on the Sabbath.

The truth is that the religious leaders felt threatened by Jesus. They were threatened because they could not deny the authority with which He spoke and certainly could not deny the miracles that He did. They could see the peoples’ hearts turning to Jesus, and they did not like it.

They felt that Jesus threatened their authority…

They felt that Jesus threatened their influence…

They felt that Jesus threatened their affluence…

And, the enemy used that as an opportunity to influence them. Once threatened, they very well could have considered the scriptures, believed and been blessed just as those who submitted…

 Luke 5:17  (NKJV)

17 Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

However, rather than humble themselves and submit, they felt threatened. They let feeling threatened turn to anger. They let their anger turn to wrath. They let their wrath turn to action, and even though they unwittingly fulfilled the scriptures, unless they repented, they will receive the reward of their actions – that began with feeling threatened…

Romans 6:23 (NKJV)

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, please, please, please (in my James Brown voice) be very careful when you feel threatened. Yes, we have a natural and spiritual right to protect ourselves, but don’t let the enemy have a foothold through you feeling threatened.

When you feel someone is threatening…

Your family…

Your marriage…

Your job…

Your influence…

Your position…

Your reputation…

Your rights…

Your money…

Your ‘way of life’…

Even your life!

Be very careful how you react. Be careful how you respond. Be careful who you talk to. Be careful of with whom you align yourself.

Don’t let your emotions get the best of you and bring out the worst in you. Think about the times that Jesus, the Son of God, felt threatened before His time…

Luke 4:28-31  (NKJV)

28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.

John 10:38-39  (NKJV)

38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe[a] that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” 39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.


ALWAYS RESPOND IN WISDOM AND NOT WRATH


God has promised that maintaining your spiritual integrity, uprightness and waiting on God will protect you…

Psalm 25:21  (NKJV)

21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE WORST POISON ISN’T WHAT YOU DRINK, BUT WHAT YOU THINK…

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For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7a (NKJV)

What have you THOUGHT yourself out of?

What has God placed on your mind that you killed before it got started?

Whatever ministry, good works, kindness or purpose God gives to you, it begins with a simple thought that He places in your mind.

1 Corinthians 2:16b boldly informs us that “We have the mind of Christ”.

How awesome is that?

When we are led by God, and walking in His Spirit, He GIVES us HIS thoughts! How else could a preacher give a relevant word? How else can any child of God minister, unless he or she have the mind of Christ? Anytime you feel compelled to do good, to do the right thing…begins with a thought from God.

And, the enemy’s goal is to KILL those Godly thoughts.

Yes the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, but not necessarily kill your life…

He wants to kill your purpose…

Steal your vision and…

Destroy your witness and reputation…

Even ruin your family!


DON’T LET THE DEVIL POISON YOUR THOUGHT LIFE!


Don’t let evil thoughts turn into evil deeds. Every act of sin begins with a thought.

Remember…

 Philippians 4:8,

“8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Don’t poison your life with toxic thoughts!

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

HOW PRAYER CAN IMMEDIATELY HELP YOU MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION…

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

Don’t need to do it.

Don’t need to say it.

Don’t need to go.

Don’t need to buy it.

Psalm 32:8-9  (NKJV)

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


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

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


Hebrews 1:13-14  (NKJV)

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

“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?

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

If it’s something you feel you will need to ask God to forgive you afterward…let it go.

Proverbs 3:6  (NKJV)

In ALL your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.

 

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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

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Sex is a beautiful, rewarding blessing given to man and woman, but meant to be enjoyed responsibly within the bounds of marriage. His word makes that clear in both the Old and New Testaments…and it’s joys are evident throughout…

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 enraptured with her love

 Song of Solomon 1:2 (NKJV)

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
For your[b] love is better than wine.

 1 Corinthians 7:1-3 (NKJV)

7 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband

It is intended to be the highest level of human intimacy physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually.

It is a connection that makes two become one, and the only diversion that our God who made creation in consistent numerical order diverts from the norm. It’s when we multiply by adding, and the product/sum is unique in all mathematics (when 1 + 1 =3).

Genesis 1:28 (NKJV)

28 Then God BLESSED them, and God said to them, “Be FRUITFUL and MULTIPLY; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

His holy intent for this union is perverted when consummated outside the bond of marriage…

1 Corinthians 6:16 (NKJV)

16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”[a]

 Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV)

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

God created us physiologically and psychologically so that sex would be the perfection of the submission and honor that He commands from wives and husbands respectfully…


WIVES


 1 Peter 3:1a

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands…

Think of how God created woman so sexual intercourse can only take place through her perfect submission. Graphic but true: as the King James Version puts it, a man can only ‘know his wife’ (Genesis 4:1) unless he physically accesses her most intimate spot. Where is this located? Between her legs…not in the front…not in the back, but between her legs closer to the middle. The ONLY way he can get to that spot is if she allows him. This access is the ultimate act of submission, granted most often by her opening her legs to him. She must open herself to receive her husband into her. But, her psychological state of mind must be submitted also. Even if he is allowed physical access, she also has to submit psychologically to allow arousal. Her mind must be submitted to her husband, as well as attracted to him physically in order for her to most intimate spot to ‘react’ properly to accommodate him to both their enjoyment ( I think you know what I mean). God created woman, so that total physical and mental submission is required for sex.


HUSBANDS


 1 Peter 3:7a (NKJV)

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel…

God commanded that husband honor their wives. Of course, in most cases,  man is the stronger sex. As much as a woman was created for submission for sex to take place, a man is strong enough to force himself on her. When a man forces himself on a woman she’s not submitting and he’s not honoring, married or not, this is rape. God commands the husband to honor her as the weaker person in the relationship. When a man submits to his wife by restraining his strength and allowing her to submit, this is one way he honors her as the weaker vessel. Not by forcing her legs open. Not by forcing himself inside her. Only by allowing her to become aroused through physical and mental submission and physical attraction.

Submission and honor. Honor and submission. Without both, sex becomes something dreadful rather than something beautiful. It becomes a curse rather than a blessing. But, when it works perfectly, it’s not only how God’s wisdom provided for us to be fruitful and multiply, it’s also a wonderful gift to help keep couples close and marriages strong. For more on this please read….IF THE ‘BIG O’ WAS TOO BIG (GOD’S WISDOM)…

Submit to one another. Honor one another. And,

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

GNIDLIUB MAET: WHEN TEAM BUILDING IS BACKWARDS…

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Of course you aren’t going to ‘click’ with everyone with whom you work. Yes, you can meet some life-long friends at work, and sometimes even a spouse. But, many times we work with people who are so much unlike us that we will never be buddies or friends.

However, we do have to learn to work with everyone in a productive and hopefully cordial manner. Whether you work in an office, a school, a factory or a store, we all have to work in a team environment. That’s why so many organizations try to integrate ‘team building’ activities to encourage healthy, productive, efficient and effective interaction.

But,


WHEN DID FORCING PEOPLE TO ‘SOCIALIZE’ WITH THE CO-WORKERS THEY DON’T ‘LIKE’ BECOMING TEAM BUILDING?


Team building should take place during the workday. Team building should be integrated into the processes. It should be a part of the culture.

When you work on projects together…go to meetings together…have working lunches together…work on the line together…have in-service together…go on business trips together…when you WORK together, that’s team building.

It’s the organization’s responsibility to facilitate team building in or at the facility. Forcing people to ‘hang out’ together isn’t for everybody, and that should be respected.

In fact, after work is the time for FAMILY BUILDING.

After work is the time for SELF BUILDING.

After work is the time for BUILDING our RELATIONSHIPS with GOD.

I’m persuaded to believe that God intends for us to separate work from our personal lives. I think He wants us to have a healthy work-life balance.

Psalm 128:1-4  (NKJV)

Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.

When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.

 

Sometimes the best team building activity is time away from your co-workers.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

HOW WE PROVE THAT GOD LIVES…

We don’t PROVE Christ lives in us by:

How LOUD we are in worship…BUT how QUIET we are when we get bad service in a restaurant.

Not by how EXCITED we can get at church…BUT how CALM we remain when cut off in traffic  (ouch).

Not by how many scriptures we KNOW… BUT how many scriptures we LIVE.

Not by what we do when EVERYONE is looking…BUT what we do when NO ONE is looking.

Not by how many THINGS we’ve AQUIRED, BUT by how many HEARTS we’ve INSPIRED for God. 

WE are the greatest PROOF that God lives!

 Matthew 7:16 

You will know them by their fruits.

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

 

WOULD YOU RESPECT YOURSELF, IF YOU WERE SOMEONE ELSE?

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If you knew…

Some of the things your Pastor thought you wouldn’t want to hear another sermon…

Some of the things the politician you respect most did, you wouldn’t vote again…

Some of the nasty things your doctor has done, you wouldn’t want him or her touching you again…

Some of the things your spouse thought you wouldn’t trust them again…

No matter who we are or what we do, we are all FAR from perfect.

Before you judge someone unworthy of your respect and love…


How much would YOU respect YOU, if YOUR secrets EVERYONE knew?


Romans 3:22-25 (NKJV)

 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all[a] who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

THE HIDDEN POWER IN NOT LETTING THEM KNOW YOU’RE OFFENDED…

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What offends you? Disrespect? Seeing others hurt? Injustice? Intolerance? Insults? Sometimes when led by God we’re offended by evil. And sometimes, when being influenced by the enemy we’re offended by good – all of us.

We all get offended sometimes. And, many times we have a right to be offended – even justified in being offended.

But, we must use Godly wisdom in how we respond to being offended. We just first be honest with ourselves as to whether we are being offended by good or evil. The Pharisees were constantly offended by Jesus. They were offended by good…

Matthew 15:1-13  (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’; [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?”

13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.


One of the most powerful things you can do is exercise the emotional control of not letting someone know how they have offended you.


If you really want to know what someone is really like. If you really want to know what’s inside someone’s heart…let them think that ‘nothing really offends you’. That’s when they will feel comfortable to share what’s really inside them. That’s when they will reveal to you who they really are. That’s when you can with wisdom ‘meet them where they are’. That’s when you will know how to manage your relationship with them…whether it be family, co-worker, friend, associate or even an enemy.

One of the powerful attributes of being emotionally intelligent is the fact than when you learn to control your emotions, you can actually control the emotions of those around you.


Controlling your emotions is a powerful way to control your world.


Emotional Intelligence is behavioral science that aligns perfectly with scripture.

Even the bible teaches us to…

Ephesians 4:31  (NKJV)

31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

1 Peter 2:1  (NKJV)

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,

God teaches us to ‘put away’ our bitterness and anger. It teaches us to lay aside our malice.  Remember this that…


Controlled anger shouldn’t turn into wrath, but into action.


When you don’t let some offend you, or when you control your emotions when offended you gain the upper hand. Many the offender is speaking or acting out of emotion, which if not controlled puts them at a disadvantage. At the very least they are more transparent of their true heart, intentions, motives and self.

You aren’t showing weakness by not letting someone know just how much they have offended you. You are showing your true strength. You’re showing the same strength that our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus displayed each and every time He controlled His anger. You are displaying the same strength that our God displays when He withholds His wrath.

So, don’t shut them up. Let them run their mouth and continue to let you know what’s inside them, and be led by who is inside you.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

3 THINGS THAT WE SHOULD NEVER EXPECT GOD TO DO…

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The Lord gives us the awesome privilege asking Him what we need or desire in His name and, He will answer according to His will.

Sometimes He says YES, and sometimes He says NO. WHEN GOD USES THE ‘N-WORD’…

John 14:13-14 (NKJV)

13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask[a] anything in My name, I will do it.

Even though He said, “Whatever you ask”…there are SOME things that we should NEVER expect God to do. Sometimes we unintentionally ask God to contradict His holy word and His will.

That’s why the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1-13).

This is far from exhaustive, but here are 3 things that we should NEVER expect God to do…


1. FOR GOD TO MAKE YOU STOP DOING WRONG…


I talk about this often. How many times have you heard someone caught up in sin…caught up in a weakness, say…

“Lord, please make me stop doing this!”

or

“Lord, please remove this temptation!”

God never promised to MAKE us stop sinning. He never promised to REMOVE temptations out of our way. Can He do it? Yes, of course, but Jesus died on the cross to GIVE US the power over sin and death. He expects us to make a choice to choose Him over sin. He tells us to put to death (Colossians 3:5)…put off (Colossians 3:8)…put away (Ephesians 4:25, 31)…cleanse ourselves (2 Corinthians 2:7)… lay aside (Hebrews 12:1) those behaviors and sins that displease God. He told us to, STOP ON YOUR OWN!

And, think about it. No one wants to have to force someone they love to choose them over a rival. No one wants to have to force their spouse to be faithful. We want it to be a choice…a personal choice out of love and respect.

When we ask God to make us stop doing wrong, we are saying that we can’t help ourselves.

When we ask God to remove a temptation…there is no commitment, faithfulness or strength in that…it’s taking the easy way out. The desire is still there, the temptation has only been that’s been removed.

There’s no growth or maturity in that!

God wants us to love Him enough to overcome the desire.

We should never ask God to do what He expects us to do what He has empowered us to do for ourselves.

If God has to FORCE you stop sinning…you may not like the way that He does it.


2. FOR GOD TO GIVE YOUR ENEMIES WHAT YOU FEEL THEY DESERVE…


We all have people in our lives who don’t like us, hate us, and sometimes work or even plot against us.

It could be someone who hurt you personally, or it could be someone who hates you because of your family, race, socio-economic status, faith…

It could be someone who abused you, murdered one of your loved ones…who attempted to kill you.

They may have betrayed your love by cheating on you with your best friend…They may have cheated you out of  your life savings…

They may owe you money and act as though they never borrowed it…

There are innumerable ways that we hurt one another, and God knew this when He commanded us to love our enemies.

Matthew 5:43-48 (NKJV)

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

So, we must be very careful to NEVER pray that God gives our enemies what WE feel they deserve. They are God’s child just as you are. He doesn’t love them any less than He loves you. When we hurt one another, we are hurting God. He wants them to submit to His will and commandment to love just as He does you.

Plus, we must admit to ourselves that we have all hurt, betrayed and let down one another. We all have people in our lives that we have given a good reason to ‘not like’ us (DON’T BE TOO HARD ON SOME OF YOUR ‘HATERS’…). This is the main reason why we should NEVER pray for God to give our enemies what we feel they deserve…because we are actually placing that same judgement on ourselves.

When we decide someone doesn’t deserve God’s mercy..

When we decide someone is worthy of punishment…That’s condemnation and judgment.

Remember what the Lord said…

Matthew 7:1 (NKJV)

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

God told us to bear with one another…to have mercy on one another…to forgive one another and to have an attitude of forgiveness, just as He forgives us…

Colossians 3:13  (NKJV)

13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Be careful when you wish ill will on your enemies, and NEVER pray for it.


3. FOR GOD TO HELP PEOPLE YOU HAVE THE MEANS TO HELP YOURSELF…


How many times have you seen someone in need and prayed, “Lord, please help them”…and then went on about your business, while you had the means to help them?

Have you ever prayed or heard someone ask God bless the people in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons?

Have you ever told someone, ‘Just let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you, or if you need anything”, when you could clearly see they needed help?

Too many times we will pray for God to help people when we have the means to help them. Sometimes God put them in your path so you can be the answer to their prayer.

God expects us to give food, clothing and shelter to those in need. In fact, when we do so, He says we are doing it to Him (Matthew 25:31-45).

Look at what the book of James says about helping others when addressing faith without works…

James 2:14-17 (NKJV)

 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

There’s nothing I can say to make it anymore clear than that. Now, look at what 1 John says…

1 John 3:17(NKJV)

17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

We should NEVER pray expect God to miraculously help someone when we have the means to help them ourselves.

Yes, it’s good to pray, but we must always make sure that we are praying or, and not praying for the right things.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

JUST BECAUSE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WILL NEVER BE THE SAME, DOESN’T MEAN IT CAN’T BE BETTER…

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Life can take us down some different and difficult roads. Some roads we choose, and some we don’t. Sometimes CRAZY things is our lives, especially our relationships. We sometimes selfishly, sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally do things that hurt others who are in relationship with us…sometimes it’s something we feel we ‘can’t come from’ or ‘can’t get past’.

If this is you, I have good news today. God has given you the power to GET PAST ANYTHING. God has given you the power, that despite what happened, life can be EVEN BETTER.

Now, I don’t want to be insensitive to what you have gone through, I’m just sharing God’s truth. The key is really simple…it’s true forgiveness.


The key to forgiveness is the day we make up our mind, “I don’t WANT that to bother me anymore.”


We sometimes hold on to our pain, resentment, rage, grudge because it can make us feel stronger in regard to a situation that made us feel vulnerable and weak.


Some people don’t forgive because it takes away their excuse to be angry.


This may sound oversimplified, but the key is forgiving someone else is telling yourself, I’m tired of surrendering my peace to this, and I DON’T WANT TO BE ANGRY ABOUT THIS ANYMORE.

The power is changing how you think of the situation, renewing your mind as in Romans 12:2…

Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

2 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.

When this happens, something miraculous happens in your spirit…suddenly thinking of it doesn’t make you feel the same.

Ephesians 4:31.32 let’s us know it’s our responsibility to ” Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. He also told us to be willing to continue to forgive (Matthew 18:21-22).

Matthew 18:21-22

21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

God expects us to forgive as He forgives us (Ephesians 4:32)…

Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

That’s the awesome power of true forgiveness! Once you truly forgive, you have tapped into God’s power to free yourself from the pain of the situation. God is very clear here and throughout scripture that it’s our responsibility. If it’s our responsibility, then He has given us the power to do it.

I love 2 Peter 1:3 which proclaims…

2 Peter 1:3

3 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.

God has given us everything we need to accomplish what He requires of us. So, no matter what happens in your relationships, if you choose to continue those relationships (as God chooses to do when He forgives us), yes things may not ever be he same. Your relationship may not be innocent anymore (as yours with God isn’t), someone may have betrayed you in a way that some say is unforgivable (as we all done with God), someone may have put you to open shame (as we do God) and yes things won’t be THE SAME but when you make up your mind to forgive, and focus on the joy of the relationship and build new memories to replace the old ones, even though THINGS WON’T EVER BE THE SAME, THEY CAN STILL BE BETTER.

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

 

 

WHY SWEAR IN COURT WHEN GOD FORBIDS IT?

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Why do we as a nation ‘under God’, who acknowledges His the presence and sovereignty by asking people in court to back up their testimony by SWEARING on a bible in which He clearly forbids swearing and taking oaths? Jesus Himself said…

Matthew 5:33-37 (NKJV)

33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of 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 your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

And, this was reaffirmed in the book of James…

James 5:12 (NKJV)

12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.[a]

Why do we ask our leaders who are ordained by God..

Romans 13:1(NKJV)

13 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

…to take an oath of office on a bible the clearly forbids us to swear.

If someone doesn’t believe in God or acknowledge the bible to be His inspired word, then what do we accomplish by asking them to swear or take an oath on it? As a matter of fact, it’s silly if not foolish to trust that swearing on a bible reinforces anyone’s testimony, especially someone who is accused of a crime.

What greater weight or significance does ‘putting your hand on the bible’ or over your heart have to imply that one feels more compelled or bound to tell the truth?


The truth is…we are asking people to do is to SIN before you testify or begin your term in office.


When we act in direct opposition to what God has told us to do, that is rebellion and of the devil.

I recommend that you’re asked to testify in court, that you affirm to tell the truth without placing your hand on the bible. Let your “yes” be “yes”, and your “no” be “no”.

Don’t let the law provoke you to sin.

It seems to me that those who began the practice of swearing on the bible – didn’t read the bible.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN BEING ‘SINLESS’ DISTRACTS YOU FROM GOD…

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One thing we have to admit is that the enemy is clever. He’s knows how to quickly adjust to either provoke us to sin, or distract us from God. Remember, Peter wasn’t sinning when he stepped out of the boat and began to sink. He was just distracted with what was going on around Him and took His focus off of Jesus…
Matthew 14:29-30 (NKJV)
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,[a] he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”


But, storms and chaos are not the only distractions that we can allow to make us lose focus. Consider this verse…

Luke 21:34 (NKJV)

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.


It’s not just partying, drinking, carousing and ‘sinning’ that can allow Jesus’ return to sneak up on us…but life.

Not just sin…but everyday life.

The cares of this life, our everyday lives can become a stumbling block if we allow them – Our families…Our careers…Our hobbies…Our leisure can come between us and our calling.

How many days have you put Jesus on the back burner? How many days have you totally ignored your calling. Not in the casino or strip club. Not with someone else’s husband or wife. Not cursing, lying, cheating or stealing, but…

Taking the kids to school or ball games…

Working over time…

Furthering your career…

Doing your yard work…

Customizing your vehicle…

Worrying about your bills…

Campaigning for your favorite politician…

Protesting for your favorite cause…

Even your church culture.

None of these things are necessarily sinful or wrong. But if we aren’t careful, we can go through an entire day without praying, studying God’s word, or sharing His love. In fact, if we aren’t careful, we can allow everyday life to harden our hearts.


BUSINESS CAN BE THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP TOO!


God expects of to make the most of every opportunity for Him and be His representative everywhere we go…

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Colossians 4:5-6 (NKJV)

5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

I’m not saying your should be overbearing with your faith, and fill every conversation full of clichés and ‘praise the Lords’. That will only turn people away…CAN WE BE TOO RIGHTEOUS?

But, I am saying don’t allow an entire day go by without giving real quality time to God and your purpose.


I’m saying that sometimes there are opportunities to work your purpose into your daily routine.


But, I am saying don’t allow an entire day go by without giving real quality time to God and your purpose.

So many people are ready to claim that they would die for Christ, when they actually go day-in-and-day-out without living for Him.

Please don’t allow your life to get so busy that you leave God out.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

CAN YOU BE THANKFUL FOR A JOB YOU HATE?

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How well do you sleep on Sunday nights? Do you dread Monday morning…or whatever day may be your Monday?


Is it Monday or Mournday to you?


Yes you know that the bible tells us that we must do our jobs as if we are doing them for God Himself…

Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)

23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 

We all know that the bible tells us to be content no matter what our situation…

Philippians 4:11 (NKJV)

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:

There is only one problem though…

You hate your job!!!!

Yes you prayed for it…(Maybe, sometimes we take jobs without consulting God first)

Yes you were excited when you got it…

Yes you gave God praise for it…

But, you HATE going there now!

You didn’t know that the culture would be toxic…

You didn’t know that the boss would not like you…

You didn’t know the people would be so difficult…

You didn’t know they would have you doing stuff that’s ‘not in your job description’…

You didn’t know!!!!

BUT, for whatever reason, (and you know YOUR reason)…YOU HATE YOUR JOB.

However, you’re still thankful for your job…

You know that it’s God that gives us the power, ability…the sound mind to work to sustain our lives…

Deuteronomy 8:18 (NKJV)

 18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

You know in your heart that you’re thankful for your job, but you have cognitive dissonance…you have this internal conflict because you feel guilty that you hate it.

God knew that we would have to do things we don’t like, or even hate.

The inspired word of God was given to us through a culture in which indentured servitude (servants) was common. Many question slavery in the bible…for a good explanation on that topic check out my article “Let’s Talk About Slavery in the Bible”.

Think about this, God gave us the instruction to ‘work as if unto Him’ in the context of instruction for servants Colossians 3:22-25.

God knows that few people would enjoy being a servant, but still He said do it while maintaining His character and integrity.

Think of some of the ‘job assignments’ given to prophets in the Old Testament…do you think they loved and enjoyed every assignment?


Also think about this, during Jesus’ earthly ministry He said He was doing the works given to Him by the Father…

John 9:4 (NKJV)

I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

When Jesus was on earth in the flesh…He was WORKING. He was doing His job. Think about how many times that He seemed frustrated at work and with His co-workers…

Mark 9:19 (NKJV)

 19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? HOW LONG SHALL I BEAR WITH YOU? Bring him to Me.

 Luke 11:29New King James Version (NKJV)

 29 And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “THIS IS AN EVIL GENERATION”. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.

John 12:27 (NKJV)

 27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

It is clear that Jesus had some tough ‘work days’. It was clear there were aspects of His ‘job’ and ‘coworkers’ that He didn’t like.


God made us and He knows us. He knows we aren’t perfect, and when He does tell us to be perfect in the bible it means to be mature…not faultless.

One aspect of a mature Christian is the ability to be able to be thankful in the midst of uncomfortable situations.

God knows that conditions change on our jobs that make them more uncomfortable. The important thing to remember is that if you trust God, and if He is sovereign in your life that He is even in control of your work situation.

Don’t let the desire to be released from a job that you hate prevent you from being thankful for a means to provide for yourself and, or your family.

Don’t let it give you a contagious complaining spirit, which God hates (1 Corinthians 10:10).

Acknowledge that if God still has you there, then if must be for a reason. You’re still His representative on your job setting the standard of behavior in both good and bad circumstances. There is still someone there He’s assigned you to influence and bless.

Pray for discernment for God to let you know when you’ve stayed there too long. Do you like the money? Have you gotten comfortable? Are you compromising your standards to succeed?

Sometimes if things aren’t going right no matter how hard you try…if it’s a struggle in a place you used to thrive…

Maybe it’s God’s way of allowing things to ‘DRY UP’…trying to convince you to have the faith to move on to your next assignment…

Read 1 Kings Chapter 17 about how God sustained Elijah during a drought in the land by the Brook of Cherith and God had the ravens feed him. Eventually the brook dried up because God wanted Elijah to move on to the widow in Zarephath.

Sometimes God allows things to get difficult to get us to move on.

Be sensitive to the Spirit of God in your work life. Pray for discernment so you can be led by Him.


So……..let me encourage you that YES it’s possible to still be THANKFUL for your job and HATE IT TOO…that’s a sign of spiritual maturity.


If you hate your job, take a moment to thank God for it, and while you’re still there, make a commitment to do it well, as if for the Lord Himself.

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!

 

WHAT TO TELL PEOPLE WHO ACCUSE YOU OF BEING TOO SENSITIVE…

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Has anyone ever told you that you’re too sensitive? Do you sometimes feel that you’re too sensitive…especially when someone has hurt you? When someone didn’t live up to your expectations? When you were legitimately wronged?

The world we live in now is becoming more and more harsh…more and more hard. It’s becoming accepted to view sensitivity as a weakness.

But, we are made in our Father’s image. As I often say, that’s less about how we look and more about our character. We are capable of having the attributes…the essence…the character…the personality of our creator.

I think that sensitivity is a spiritual check and balance. Sensitivity, when controlled, helps prevents hardening of the heart. It both leads to remorse and prevents wrath. It takes sensitivity to cool the anger on both sides of a disagreement. Sensitivity leads to both forgiveness and repentance. Sensitivity leads to reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV)

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

The next time someone asks you, “Why are you so sensitive? The next time someone tells you that you need to toughen up!”

You tell them…


God was always HURT before He was angry…


Judges 2:1-3 (NKJV)

Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side,[a] and their gods shall be a snare to you.’”

Notice what God says at the end of verse 2… “Why have you done this?”

He sounds just like a hurt lover…because He is.

Sounds sensitive doesn’t it? Because our God is sensitive.

God sounds sensitive in Judges 6:7-10.

God sounds sensitive in Judges 10:10-15

God sounds sensitive when Israel rejects Him insisting on having an earthly king just as the nations around them…

1 Samuel 10:17-19 (NKJV)

17 Then Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah, 18 and said to the children of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all kingdoms and from those who oppressed you.’ 19 But you have today rejected your God, who Himself saved you from all your adversities and your tribulations; and you have said to Him, ‘No, set a king over us!’ Now therefore, present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.”[a]

Yes, our God is sensitive.

Denial hurts Him.

Betrayal hurts Him.

Sin hurts Him.

Disobedience hurts Him.

He is hurt when we don’t live up to His standard.

He is hurt when we choose the enemy before Him.

But there is one individual who is not sensitive. You know who I’m talking about. He is the accuser of the children of God…

Revelation 12:10 (NKJV)

10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

He is an insensitive liar whose goal is to darken and harden hearts against not only God, but God’s children…

John 8:44 (NKJV)

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

Doesn’t this sound sensitive to you…

Ephesians 4:2-3 (NKJV)

with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Doesn’t this sound sensitive to you…

Galatians 5:22-23  (NKJV)

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

 

So, the next time someone accuses you of being too sensitive…

Remind them of who’s the original accuser…

Remind them that our God is always hurt before He gets angry…

Remind them that sensitivity is not a sign of weakness…

Remind them that our God is a sensitive God,

Then ask them are they stronger than He is.

If this blessed you, then you may also enjoy…BRINGING UP THE PAST (IN LOVE )

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 REASONS WHY SINNING IN PRIVATE IS JUST AS BAD AS IN PUBLIC…

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Many times we hear people say, “What I do in my house is my business”. That’s true, but if it’s wrong…it’s wrong.

Think about the fact David committed his greatest sin while watching ‘soft porn’ at home (2 Samuel 11).

Notice how he affirms to behave at home in Psalm 101

Psalm 101:1-3 (KJV)

I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing. 2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

Yes, sinning ‘in the street’s’ affects others, but sinning at home alone can be more harmful than many may think.

How?

  1. SINNING CAN BECOME EASIER

When we become comfortable sinning alone, it makes committing that sin, and other sins easier.

  1. IT DEFILES OUR SPIRITS

God wants us to strive for holiness. That’s why He tells us to lay aside all filthiness and sin because it defiled our spirit.

2 Corinthians 7:1 (NKJV)

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

Remember, God’s Spirit wants to live in a clean ‘temple ( 1 Corinthians 6:19).

  1. IT MAKES OUR ‘HOUSE’ (BODIES) A COMFORTABLE PLACE FOR DEMONS

Piggybacking on #2, when our spirits are defiled, we make our bodies and spirits a comfortable place for demons to dwell. And, not just dwell, but thrive.Notice that Revelation 18:2 (KJV) called Babylon a ‘habitation’ for devils. Notice what Jesus said in Matthew 12…

Matthew 12:43-45 (KJV)

43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

We must make sure our spiritual and physical house comfortable for God and not the enemy. What we do or don’t do at home sets the atmosphere.

  1. EVEN THOUGH WE’RE ALONE, WE STILL HAVE AN AUDIENCE

Just because you’re in your house with the doors and blinds closed doesn’t mean you’re alone. You’re personal angel(s) watching…

Hebrews 1:14 (NKJV)

14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?


What has your angel(s) witnessed in your IN PRIVATE?


Be just as careful, if not more careful of your behavior at home. Watch what you watch, listen to, say and do. Watch who you allow inside your house.

Sin at home led David to greater sin, and it can do the same to us.

And, please…please…please don’t ask God to leave only to invite a demon inside…(please click to read) DON’T ASK GOD TO LEAVE FOR A DEMON TO COME IN…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

THE UNHEALTHY COMPETITION IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD…

 

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When everyone’s playing his or her own God-given role in God’s Kingdom…there’s NO competition!

Competition only arises when someone seeks or feels threatened by someone else’s assignment.

Matthew couldn’t do James’ assignment.

John couldn’t do Paul’s assignment.

Peter wasn’t sent to the Gentiles, Paul was. If Peter started trying to plant churches for the Gentiles, that would have caused competition for Paul’s assignment, and neglect to Peter’s. The Kingdom would have suffered.

Jesus can’t even do the Holy Spirit’s assignment.

The Holy Spirit didn’t save you…the Son did (Matthew 18:11). Jesus doesn’t convict you…the Holy Spirit does (John 16:8). One God, with three different ‘assignments’ or authorities.

You can’t do my assignment, nor can I do yours.

There are people who God has assigned for you to reach…and no one else.


No one else is equipped to complete your assignment but you.


Too many people in ministry, in music ministry, in churches, are competing because we aren’t focused enough, satisfied with or aware of our own assignment.

For example, I think that so much Gospel music within genres sounds the same because artists are pressured to do what sells, rather than what God places in them…in other words, to do what someone else is doing!

Notice what 1 Peter Chapter 4 says…

 1 Peter 4:9-10 (NIV)

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.10 Each of you SHOULD USE WHATEVER GIFT YOU HAVE RECEIVED to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its VARIOUS FORMS.

If you don’t like someone’s preaching style…maybe they weren’t assigned to you.

If you don’t like someone’s singing style…maybe they weren’t assigned to you.

If you don’t like Gospel hip hop…may be it’s not meant to reach you. The music is the medium, but the ministry is in the lyrics.

God knows what rhythms and melodies touches each person emotionally, just as a love song touches someone in love…so everything isn’t for everybody.

If you aren’t getting the response from your ministry that you hoped for…maybe you are trying to reach people who weren’t assigned to you.

Also remember this…

Some assignments will reach more people than others, and that’s okay. The pastor of a small congregation is just as important to his 50 members as the pastor of a large is to his 5000…the pastor of the smaller church shouldn’t question, judge or be jealous of the larger…just be true to his assignment.


We can’t let the enemy trick us into comparing ourselves to others.


Ministers,

Preachers,

Pastors,

Evangelists,

Musicians,

Artists,

Writers,

Authors,

and yes Bloggers!


You don’t have to be threatened by or jealous of others ministry, calling anointing or ‘following’. We’re all supposed to be on the same team.


Galatians 6:4-5 (NKJV)

 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

THE LIES WE DON’T INTEND TO TELL (in case you missed it)…

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SOME OF THE BIGGEST LIES WE TELL ARE…

Not intentionally (most of the time)…have any of these come from your mouth????

I love you…

I’ll pray for you…

I’ll call you back…

That’s okay…

I’m okay…

What’s wrong? “Nothing!”…

That’s hilarious…(and you don’t laugh)

Oh yeah, I remember that…

I don’t remember…

I don’t have it on me…(when asked for money)

That tastes great…

You look great…

I like that…

I’ve got your back…

I love everybody…

I don’t see color…

I’m doing this for you…

That didn’t bother me…

I don’t even care…

I’m over it…

It doesn’t matter…

Remember what Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 12…

 Matthew 12:36 (NKJV)

 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.

Take a moment and thank God for His grace and mercy for the lies we tell…intentional and unintentional.

 BE BLESSTIFIED!

JESUS ON GUN CONTROL (BOTH SIDES OF THIS ISSUE HAVE MERIT)…

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Luke 22:37-38  (NKJV)

37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’[a] For the things concerning Me have an end.”

38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.”

And He said to them, “It is enough.”

As Jesus faced betrayal He stood in the company of His disciples…His armed disciples. But, not all of them were armed. As the scripture states, there were two swords. He didn’t say get rid of the them, but He also let them know two swords were enough.

Jesus didn’t say, “We need more swords”, and when Peter used one of them to cut off the ear of one of the soldiers confronting them, not only did Jesus rebuke Peter, He also made a Holy and profound statement that also holds true for guns and all weapons (since of course they had no guns then)…

Matthew 26:47-52  (NKJV)

47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” 49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. 51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. 52 But Jesus said to him, “PUT YOUR SWORD IN IT’S PLACE, FOR ALL WHO TAKE THE SWORD WILL PERISH BY THE SWORD”.

Notice verse 52…all who take the sword will perish by it! Jesus warned of the consequence of putting too much faith and confidence in weapons. But, that’s not the only place the bible issues that warning. There’s no conjecture in saying that Jesus was exercising ‘sword control’.

Psalm 44:6  (NKJV)

For I will not trust in my bow,
Nor shall my sword save me.

Psalm 33:16-18  (NKJV)

16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army;
A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for safety;
Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,

2 Corinthians 10:4 (NKJV)

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV)

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

However, Jesus also uses the illustration of a man defending His home in a parable…

Luke 11:21-22 (NKJV)

21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. 22 But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.


So here’s the thing. Our Lord permits and expects us to defend ourselves, but He is very clear in the fact that we should never, ever, ever put OUR faith in our weapons.


People love saying that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Well, God addressed that too. He is the creator who created the person who makes the weapons as well as the heart that uses the weapons to kill, so what did He say about that?

Isaiah 54:16-17  (NKJV)

16 “Behold, I have created the blacksmith
Who blows the coals in the fire,
Who brings forth an instrument for his work;
And I have created the spoiler to destroy.
17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.

 I don’t care how big or powerful the weapon, God owns the fight based on what is in the heart of those involved. Who is your ultimate trust in…your God or your weapon.

Okay, for those who claim to be believers and live by the bible, go to 1 Samuel Chapter 17 and read how David, a young shepherd boy kills a trained, well-armed military giant named Goliath with a sling shot.

If you need more biblical evidence, go to 2 Chronicles Chapter 20 and read how Judah didn’t even have to fight even when they were out-numbered and ‘out-gunned’.

2 Chronicles 20:15-23  (NKJV)

15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”

18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high.

20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” 21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:

“Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever.”[a]

22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. 23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

So, even though the bible permits weapons, it is clear that God expects our ultimate trust to be in Him.

Either you believe Him or you don’t.

Either you trust Him or you don’t.

Either you believe His word or you don’t.

Again, Jesus told His disciples two swords were enough. He permit them to have them, but it was clear that He exercised ‘sword control’ as well.


The truth is both sides of the gun control argument have merit. The issues are not mutually exclusive.  One side says, yes civilians should own weapons, but there should be limits to the type. The other side says, guns don’t kill people, so civilians should be able to purchase what they want with few to no limits.


Based on what the bible says, moving your passions and feelings out of the way, and fully putting your faith in God…where do you think Jesus stands?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

4 WAYS TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PREACHING & A PERFORMANCE…

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NEVER CONFUSE CHARISMA WITH ANOINTING

Ephesians Chapter 5 is one of the most powerful scriptures that gives the true meaning for good preaching beyond salvation…

Ephesians 4:11-16 (NKJV)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

In short, good preaching not only saves the soul, but equips God’s people to be mature, productive, in agreement and not easily swayed.

The scripture above defines ‘good preaching’, but unfortunately the opinion of ‘good preaching’ depends on the church culture. And, unfortunately, good preaching to many isn’t defined by the content, but by the delivery.

Yes, a good preacher has to be able to engage the audience and keep their attention, but there is a thin line sometimes between PREACHING and PERFORMANCE.

I’m also a firm believer that charisma helps a preacher be effective in delivery…

BUT,

We must not confuse charisma with anointing. Some people can get up and recite “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with such passion and exuberance that they can have a room full of people shouting…at nothing.

Here are 4 quick ways to tell PREACHING from a PERFORMANCE


SCRIPTURE

Have you ever heard a sermon that didn’t have a scriptural foundation? A text? What was that? It was nothing more than a motivational speech or a pep talk.

Beware of sermons that either have…

No scripture…

Not enough scripture…

Or, twisted scripture…

Remember, a sermon without a strong scriptural foundation is nothing more than a motivational speech or a pep talk…which have their place. But real preaching…

Saves us…

Challenges us…

Corrects us…

Convicts us…

Sometimes upsets us…

Encourages us…

Inspires us…

Teaches us…

It doesn’t JUST make us feel good and entertain us…ALL the time.


CLICHES & CONJECTURE

As I said in a previous post, that a well-placed cliché can enhance a sermon and really help engage the listeners. However, be very careful when you’re listening to a sermon that is…

FULL of clichés…

Full of the popular religious catch phrases of the time…

Full of language that is only intended for emotionalism and not edification.

You have to read the bible for yourself so you can know what’s scripture and what’s a cliché. I once heard someone say, “Like the bible says, give them their flowers while they live”…uhhh, that’s NOT in the bible.

You have to study the word for yourself so you can watch out for putting too much of personal opinion into how the scriptures are interpreted.  To make sure the sermon is not full of conjecture and conclusions based on the preachers opinion rather than inspiration of the Holy Spirit.


DID IT APPEAL TO YOUR FLESH OR YOUR SPIRIT?

 Yes, God wants us to have a good life on this earth. Yes, God wants us to enjoy ourselves according to His will.

But, be careful about sermons that ONLY appeal to ‘the good life here’. Be careful of sermons that only appeal to please your flesh and not strengthen your spirit. Many prosperity preachers have congregations full of weak and ineffective believers because they never hear…

The consequences of sin…

The consequences of bad decisions…

The necessity of self-denial and denial of flesh…

The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross…


LEAVE OUT/ OR MISREPRESENT JESUS

Have you ever sat through an entire message only to not hear the mention of Jesus Christ once? That’s not preaching. In fact, the Apostle Paul warned the Galatians of those who come preaching “another gospel”…

Galatians 1:8-9  (NKJV)

 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

 Again, as sermon that leaves out Jesus Christ is nothing more than a motivational or inspirational speech…not preaching. Sometimes this is meant to entertain, or convey what the preacher wanted to say…rather than what God wanted the people to hear.

Listen carefully at how Jesus is presented. Jesus is the Living Word, the Son of the Living God…He and the Father are One.

Be very careful about those who present Him as a ‘genie in a bottle’ who is on standby waiting to do what you want. Again, those messages are meant to appeal to your flesh.

I AM NOT CONDEMNING CHARISMATIC PREACHERS…

There is nothing wrong with a preacher who can with great energy and charisma deliver a message in a matter that the congregation is entertained as well as edified is fine…but real preaching has substance.

Never confuse charisma with anointing.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY GOD ‘DOESN’T HAVE TIME’ TO WAIT FOR YOU…

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God exists outside of time. He is not bound by it. It is a continuum that He uses to measure our lives and fulfill His will…

However, because He is so gracious, God makes it clear in His word that He is willing to ‘wait on us’…

Isaiah 30:17-18 (NKJV)

17 One thousand shall flee at the threat of one,
At the threat of five you shall flee,
Till you are left as a pole on top of a mountain
And as a banner on a hill.

18 Therefore the LORD WILL WAIT, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)

9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[a] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

But, the bible is also clear that we don’t need to take advantage of His patience.
Hebrews 3:15 (NKJV)
15 while it is said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”[a]

The bible is clear that God has an appointed time for all things…

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:


A time for every purpose under heaven:

Galatians 4:4 (NKJV)

4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born[a] of a woman, born under the law,

John 2:4 (NKJV)

4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”

Esther 4:14 (NKJV)

14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

God had an appointed time for everyone He used in His word to fulfill His will and their purpose. God has an ordained time for things to take place, and we must be sensitive to His timing…

He told Noah to build an ark (Genesis 6:12-14).

He told Abraham to leave (Genesis 12:1-2).

He told Joseph to go to Egypt (Matthew 2:13).

He knocked Paul down on the road to Damascus (Acts Chapter 9).

He told Esther through her cousin to appeal for the lives of her people (Esther Chapters 5-10).

He allowed His Son, our Savior, to be sacrificed for our sins…

John 12:23 (NKJV)

23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.

And, it was crucial that everyone who God used be sensitive to God’s timing and obedient because their purpose, their assignment did not ONLY affect them…

The lives of Noah’s family depended on his timely obedience…

Israel’s existence depended on Abraham’s timely obedience.

Israel’s survival depended on Esther’s timely obedience.

Baby Jesus’ life depended on Joseph protecting Him by taking Him to safety in Egypt.

Both the early church and today’s church depended on Paul’s timely.

Our salvation depended on the timely obedience of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.


WHO BESIDES YOURSELF IS DEPENDING ON YOUR TIMELY OBEDIENCE?


Other people are connected to our mission, our anointing, our blessing, our purpose – our sensitivity to God’s timing and obedience.


THERE’S TOO MUCH AT STAKE FOR GOD TO BE WAITING ON US!


God’s will is going to be accomplished one way or another, even if He has to use someone else to do it. We have many single parents who are holding down the ‘role’ of mother and father because the other parent isn’t. But that’s NOT God’s will. There is always baggage that comes from doing things outside His will and His timing.


God has lives He has assigned you to touch…influence…protect…bless at each and every season and assignment of your life. In your family…on your job…in your community…in your church.


Too many times we are so focused on the tangible blessings, influence, recognition, and even vindication that we think and hope comes with our purpose… OUR TIME…OUR SEASON… that we forget our purpose is HIS purpose (Romans 8:28), and it’s connected to the GOOD FRUIT or others we influence for God…help or bless through our purpose.

When God told us to go forth and multiply physically through the fruit of our lions… could that not have been an allusion for us to multiply spiritually through the fruit of His Spirit.


God has an appointed time for you to begin your purpose. He has an appointed time for you to progress your purpose.


Is God waiting on you to do something? To begin something? To birth something? To take what you’ve already begun to the next level.

Stop making God wait on you.

More lives and souls are at stake than just your own.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WOULD YOU RATHER BE BIG MONEY OR SMALL CHANGE?

Too many people are allowing their focus on…


MAKING BIG DOLLAR$$$$$…


to distract them from being…


THE SMALL ¢¢¢HANGE…


that God created them to be. Don’t allow your pursuit of CASH allow you to abandon, ignore or neglect your CALLING!

1 Timothy 6:10 (NKJV)

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds ofevil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

JESUS THE LIBERAL CONSERVATIVE/ THE CONSERVATIVE LIBERAL…

After Jesus finished teaching He noticed that the multitude was tired and hungry. Rather than send them away He told His disciples to give them something to eat. The disciples said they didn’t have enough resources to feed everyone, so Jesus took what a young boy already had and used it, while teaching the young boy a lesson about the power of sharing. Jesus didn’t ask who had jobs, who needed it, who was wasteful…He fed everyone. This was a very liberal act. I’m not saying it’s an over arching example of what the government should do in all cases, but t’s definitely an example of what our churches should do. It is an example of what would be defined of social liberalism.

Jesus the CONSERVATIVE…

After everyone had eaten, Jesus made a point to make the most of all the resources they had left. He told His disciples to pick up the fragments so that none would be wasted. Not to say that liberals are wasteful, but conservatives define themselves as to being fiscally conservative.
Most people today act as though you have to be either or…

If Jesus can be balanced can’t we?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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

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You finally did it. You have begun fulfilling the purpose that God has for your life.

You’ve birthed your vision. You’ve pushed it out. You’ve planted the seeds and you’re anxious to see the results, to see the fruit and yes, to even reap some of the harvest.

But, you’re discouraged because it’s taking so long. You’re disappointed because the masses aren’t seeing what you see. People aren’t buying into your vision. In fact, some are rejecting it.

It begins to make you doubt…did I hear God right? Is this my purpose? Is this what He’s called me to do? If so…wouldn’t it be easier than this?


Let me give you a quick word of encouragement.


The fact that it’s taking so long. The fact that you’re being met with so much resistance could be your CONFIRMATION that it’s from God.

Think about it…anything that is BIRTHED has to first go through it’s infancy stage. Babies don’t walk or run when they’re first born. Toddlers aren’t able to take care of themselves. They have to be fed…nurtured. Yes, they’re full of potential but they really don’t even yet resemble what they will be when they mature.

Any seed that’s planted doesn’t sprout up immediately. It has to be fertilized and watered. It has to be nourished. It then breaks through the ground and grows ONLY by the light of the SUN. Neither the seed, nor the small plant resembles what it will one day be.

Look at our Lord Jesus Christ. He used twelve men to birth His church. It started small. It met great resistance. It took years and persecution for the church to become what it is today. And, even today, God’s church isn’t totally what He would have it to be.

Seedtime and Harvest…

Genesis 8:22 (KJV)

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Even though many have perverted this scripture to reduce the Gospel to prosperity…there is a time and a season for everything…

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)

 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven

God didn’t even send His Son until it was time…

Galatians 4:4-7 (KJV)

 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

When’s your time? Your time is now…it just hasn’t reached it’s fullness. What did Jesus tell Mary at the wedding…

John 2:4 (NKJV)

Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”

Now look at what He told His disciples…

John 7:6 (NKJV)

Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.

So, if you feel it’s taking too long for your vision to manifest…don’t give up. Keep nurturing it. Keep feeding it. Keep watering it. Even when no one else understands. Some days you will be the only one who can see it…that’s why God gave it to you.

Celebrate the small victories and confirmations that God gives you. You will need them to get through the difficult days…to keep you encouraged when confronted with doubters.

Of course as humans, there are moments when we want our doubters to see that God is the source of our vision…we want to share some of the Lord’s glory when it manifests.

So…


Be ready not to just wait ON the Lord, but wait LIKE the Lord.


Jesus went to the cross over 2,000 years ago, and some of those present that day left thinking they had won. He allowed them to go home thinking they had defeated Him.

If you think things are taking too long to take off for you, think about this…

If Jesus can wait for His glory, so can you.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN GOD USES THE ‘N-WORD’ (from my archives)…

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God has said it to me many times.


The ‘N-WORD’


And I must admit that it’s very rare that I like it.

It’s very hard for me to hear.

Sometimes, I think it’s not fair.

I will think to myself, “You didn’t say the ‘N-WORD’ to him…or to her!”

I know that God is sovereign, and He can say whatever He wants to say.

I know He loves me…knows what’s best for me…and everything He does is always working for my good.

I know He knows me better than I know myself.

Yes, I trust Him, and I submit to His perfect will for my life.

But, that doesn’t make it hurt any less when God decides to respond to me with…


The ‘N-WORD’


Sometimes I reason within myself, He really didn’t mean that.

Sometimes I will keep pushing, trying to force a different response…

But, still His answer remains to be…


The ‘N-WORD’


As much as He loves me and gives me all of what I need and some of what I want…

Sometimes God has to say…


The ‘N-WORD’ to me


As much as I don’t like it, I still love Him and trust Him.

I take peace in the fact that His grace is always sufficient for me.

How do you react…

When God tells you “NO”?

2 Corinthians 12: 8-9 (NKJV)

 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

CLIQUE-‘ISH’ IN THE CHURCH! YEP, THAT’S A EUPHEMISM (from my archives)…

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The enemy doesn’t mind you going to church as long as you take him with you. He wants to distract and infect your worship. One way he achieves this is through division in the local church. Division in the Body of Christ is strictly forbidden, and is sin…

Galations 5:19-20
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, FACTIONS

1 Corinthians 1:10-13
10 “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

We as people tend to want to be in groups of people with either common interests, or people who can benefit us. Sometimes these groups can form in the church with an unwillingness to let others in…that’s a CLIQUE (FACTION) .


Church can become like high school – The Cool Kids, The Jocks, The Nerds…

Church can become like the outside world – The Haves and The Have Nots…

Church can become like the secular (or Christian) music industry – Pastor, his Entourage, his Groupies and Fans…


Are you in one of these CLIQUES? These are all distractions from the enemy to make our churches carnal, unfruitful and unproductive. Don’t let your small group, your ministry group, your choir, your circle of friends be a CLIQUE in disguise. This mess even tried to creep into the early church…

1 Corinthians 11:18-22
18 “For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.”

The Body of Christ is one body with many members (1 Corinthians 12:12) and EVERBODY IS SOMEBODY! Even though we as people tend to be CLIQUE-ISH…. we need to keep that CLIQUE-ISH out of God’s church.

FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW

1. Slang term often used to replace “s**t.” Derived from the process of editing the vocals of rap-songs by revershing the curse words so said song could be played on radio or television.
“That’s the dope ish”

 

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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