DON’T LET YOUR POLITICS ‘TRUMP’ YOUR FAITH (Reboot)…

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Do not put your trust in princes, Nor the son of man, in whom there is no help. Psalm 146:3

It’s interesting the many ways the enemy can provoke us to sin. Paul even reminds us to keep our eyes wide open to the many tricks of the devil….

 

2 Corinthians 2:11(NKJV)

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

Have you ever noticed how many times the Old Testament references “the sins of Jeroboam”? In 1 Kings Chapter 12 (please read the entire chapter for context), Jeroboam, King of the northern kingdom of Israel became fearful that the people’s loyalty would return to Rehoboam, King of the southern kingdom of Judah and son of Solomon. He thought the people would kill him, so in an effort to prevent this he…

  1. Sought and took bad advice (provoked by his fears).
  2. Built two golden calves (provoking and facilitating the people to worship idol Gods).
  3. Set them up in cities other than Jerusalem, provoking the people to travel to those cities to worship (one in Bethel and one in Dan).
  4. Made shrines on high places (provoking the people to idolatry).
  5. Set up his own priests who were not the sons of Levi (provoking the people and false priests to sin).
  6. Chose his own day to ordain a feast for the children of Israel (provoking the children of Israel to worship in a manner other than what God had commanded for them at this particular time in history).

In short, the decisions Jeroboam made for the nation of Israel provoked and facilitated a culture of sin that God just didn’t only hold Jeraboam accountable for, but the ENTIRE NATION.

Be careful who you choose to follow.

Be careful who you choose to lead.

And, watch very closely those leaders whom you did not choose.

When leaders make unrighteous decrees, God will hold the entire nation accountable for following them.

Isaiah 10:1-6 (NKJV)

 10 “Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees,
Who write misfortune,
Which they have prescribed
To rob the needy of justice,
And to take what is right from the poor of My people,
That widows may be their prey,
And that they may rob the fatherless.
What will you do in the day of punishment,
And in the desolation which will come from afar?
To whom will you flee for help?
And where will you leave your glory?
Without Me they shall bow down among the prisoners,
And they shall fall among the slain.”

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.

Arrogant Assyria Also Judged

“Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger
And the staff in whose hand is My indignation.
I will send him against an ungodly nation,
And against the people of My wrath
I will give him charge,
To seize the spoil, to take the prey,
And to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

Even though all leaders are ordained by God, that doesn’t mean that they always make Godly decisions. Sometimes nations are given ‘bad’ leaders because of their disobedience and sin.

Take the 44th and 45th presidential administrations for example.


Even though there are good aspects of both.The enemy cleverly found ways to provoke well-meaning Christians to compromise what God said in His word and their own personal Christian values to either support the man or satisfy their own flesh….


45th President of the United States has provoked people who call themselves Christians to promote a man who clearly has not and does not display ONE Fruit of the Spirit. Who is clearly unforgiving, unrepentant, unapologetic, proud, disrespectful, insulting with no filter. This is not judging him, it’s stating facts. But, they excuse this because they felt he would be good for the economy,  and national security.

His Press Secretary made this statement in defense of his ‘strong words’ in 2017, “They elected someone to be strong and when he get’s hit he’s going to hit back.” This statement is in direct conflict with God’s word…

Matthew 5:39  (NKJV)

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

He called NFL athletes SOB’s and consistently hurls out insults to his enemies and promotes and legitimizes a culture of doing so, in direct conflict with the word of God…

1 Peter 3:9  (NKJV)

not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

Those who claim to be religious leaders who support him have not spoken out against or rebuked his behavior just a the Prophet Nathan did David, but rather make excuses for it.

44th President of the United States championed rights for lifestyles (LBGT) that God clearly said are sinful. Yes, the decisions that people make are between themselves and God, but you can’t legitimize sin with legislation. Championing this cause promoted a culture that even uses the bible against itself. Many people now say, ‘That’s not what God really meant”. It also led to people attacking Christians for standing on the word of God.

When confronted with an issue, study everything the word of God says on the issue in context and proper perspective without ‘cherry picking’ the verses that best suit what you want.

Make your decision about what you support in your heart. God will honor and protect you and your family when you don’t consent to what is clearly displeasing to God.

Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)

 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Today, thousands of years later, leaders all over the world are still ‘committing the sins of Jeroboam’…provoking the nation to sin.

Body of Christ, no matter what your party may be, we must be very careful not to allow our politics TRUMP our faith.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

ALL SIN ISN’T MALICIOUS, ‘FREAKY’ OR CRIMINAL…

 

wp-1488801221842.jpgWe have a tendency to categorize sins based on our culture, experiences, perceptions and personal theology. We tend to have BIG sins and little sins.

And, there are even some people who actually even feel that they don’t sin because they feel they aren’t committing the BIG sins.

We have this idea of what’s ‘evil’. When think of ‘evil’ things like violence, illicit sex, porn, drug abuse, physical abuse, oppression, racism, profanity, etc., etc., etc., come to mind.


However evil is simply that what is contrary to God’s will and falls short of His expectations.


Think about when Jesus was telling His disciples about His coming death and resurrection what Peter blurted out…in so many words he said, “No way! I got your back!”

Matthew 16:21-23  (NKJV)

 21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, [a]“Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are [b]an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Notice how Jesus responded. Even though what Peter said sounded noble, it was contrary to God’s will. That’s was sin. It’s not malicious. It’s not sexual. It’s wasn’t criminal, but it is WAS evil.

Now consider this example I often use. Jesus clearly forbids taking oaths and swearing under any circumstances.

Matthew 5:33-37  (NKJV)

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

But, even the U.S. Constitution demands an oath or affirmation office (President, for example Article II, section 1, clause 8). Now it has become tradition to swear in elected officials, military, law enforcement and sometimes on the very bible that forbids it.

Our culture today values pride and arrogance that is disguised as confidence and sometimes patriotism.

How many times have we ignored a beggar or someone in need?

How many days have we gone without praying for someone else?

How many opportunities to share our faith have we squandered because we were afraid, ashamed. or it just wasn’t a priority. That is the sole reason for many of our interactions and relationships to be God’s representatives.

Remember what Jesus said…

James 4:17 (NKJV)

17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

 You don’t have to be ‘bad’ to be ‘evil’, and you don’t have break one of the Ten Commandments to sin.

Now is a great time to stop and thank God for His grace and mercy.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

5 REASONS WE SOMETIMES DON’T WANT TO FORGIVE OTHERS…

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Have you ever been so angry with someone that you didn’t want an apology from them?


“I don’t wanna hear it!” “I’m not ready for that right now!” “You don’t mean it!”


We must always be ready to forgive as God is always ready to forgive us.

Hear are 5 reasons why we sometimes don’t forgive…

FORGIVING THEM TAKES AWAY OUR EXCUSE TO BE ANGRY

Sometimes when we’re honest with ourselves, we want to remain angry about what they have done. True forgiveness takes away our excuse to be angry at them.

Ephesians 4:31 (NKJV)

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

REMAINING ANGRY CAN MAKE US FEEL POWERFUL

When we’ve been hurt, it can make us feel weak, vulnerable and foolish. However, our anger can give us a perverse feeling of power and strength over the person or persons who hurt us. Forgiveness can make us feel weak if we don’t remember that it is an act of mercy that makes us look more like God.

Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

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

FORGIVING THEM FORCES US TO MOVE ON

 If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves getting a sense of ‘enjoyment’ out of lingering in the past and constantly thinking about and dwelling on what was done to hurt us. Sometimes people just don’t want to move forward.

 Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have [a]apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

HOW TO MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT AN APOLOGY ( 8 TIPS)…

HOW TO FORGET A PAST THAT YOU CAN’T FORGET…

FORGIVING THEM ALLOWS THEM TO MOVE ON

Forgiveness is a selfless act that frees the offender from the offense, as it does when God forgives us. God gets nothing out of forgiving us for our sins. He does it to free us and allow us to move forward. Sometimes we can have been hurt so badly by someone, that don’t want them to be free of the offense and don’t want them to move on. We can want them to live in a state of perpetual regret for what they’ve done. Forgiving them frees them from owing us an apology. Remember what Yeshua, Christ Jesus said…

 Matthew 6:15  (NKJV)

15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

WHY WE SHOULD STOP SAYING, “FORGIVENESS ISN’T FOR THEM, IT’S FOR YOU…”

FORGIVING THEM ALLOWS THEM TO BE ‘GOOD’ AGAIN

When someone hurts us bad enough, we can find ourselves wanting them to be characterized as bad no matter what they do. Be careful when you feel someone isn’t sincere in their repentance or apology or not worthy of repentance.

Do any of these 5 reasons apply to you?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN GOD CAUSES DIVISION IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP (Yep, I said God)…

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What? What are you talking about Aldtric? When God causes division in your relationship?

Well check this out…

Matthew 10:34-36 (NKJV)

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’[a]

Wow! Why would Jesus say this? I thought Jesus was all about peace…harmony…agreement. I have to admit that years ago I used to let this scripture trouble me.

Let’s read one more verse that brings it all home…

Matthew 10:37 (NKJV)

37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

God demands that we love Him first and that we always put Him first, even when it comes to family. He knows how much we love our parents. He knows how much we love our spouses. He knows how much we love our children…especially our children.


God wants to make sure that we don’t allow our love for those closest to us to become worship…the idolatry of putting them first.


He knows that sometimes the love we have for those closest to us will cause a spiritual conflict and dilemma.

God knows sometimes we will have disagreements in our homes over spiritual things. Because of the verses above, I believe that sometimes God Himself presents these situations.

It could be over where to go to church, when to go to church, how much to give, what changes we will make in our household.

We all know that even when both people in the relationship are believers, they aren’t always on the same page. Couples don’t always mature spiritually in harmony. They don’t always  receive and respond to the word the same.


Have you ever had a disagreement in your family over something spiritual?


Sometimes, God will present to you an opportunity to choose between you and your loved one. He will give you the opportunity to assert to those closest to you that you will put Him first, and will not compromise…even then it comes to them. And, when you choose Him and His will, you then have to trust God to bring peace.

There are also some situations where there may be a married couple who does not believe in God. One of the two may come to believe before the other…here God did not bring peace, but division, just as the scripture said. This most likely happened very often in the early days of the church, and perfect provision was made for this situation in 1 Corinthians Chapter 7.

You may have a child who wants to participate in an activity that will prevent them from attending worship service. If do what we are supposed to do as parents and assert that nothing comes before worship, it will cause division.

How about this one, your child wants to listen to music that is inappropriate…this can cause division.

Sometimes the person who’s closest to you may want you to go somewhere, do something, read something or watch something that you feel may be displeasing to God… this will cause division.

But, when this takes place, God is still working it out for the good of everyone involved. When you find yourself being put in the position to put God’s desires before you loved one’s desires…

 

  1. Stand your ground based on the bible and not how you feel.
  2. Go and pray that God soften your loved one’s heart to submit to His will.
  3. This is a big one! Regularly pray for His spirit of agreement in your relationship, just as He is one with our Lord and Savior, Yeshua Christ Jesus. (Read John 17:20-23)
  4. Trust God to THEN bring peace into your relationship.

 

One more thing…

The next time you are frustrated with God, or feel He is being unfair to you. Be careful that you DO NOT share how you feel with your loved one. You don’t want their love your you to cause them to be upset with go too. Trust God! He will eventually resolve the situation that’s troubling you, and when He does, you don’t want to have been a stumbling block their relationship with Him.

Whether it’s a marriage, parent child relationship, close friends or whatever…

When God causes division in your relationship, it isn’t to tear you apart, it’s to bring both of you closer to Him.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

Hey! WHAT IS SECRET, CYBER MINISTRY…

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As I use this Christian blog as a platform for Christ, I sometimes get insulting, and demeaning responses and replies from either atheists, people of other faiths, or believers whose hearts have been hardened.

Before my blog, there was a time when I would engage in argumentative cyber dialogue on social media, Facebook in particular, with people who disagreed with me, thinking I was planting more good seed. This usually only drove them deeper into their resentment and unbelief.

The initial statement(s) that I made which provoked the negative response was the ‘good seed’.

I would also at times tell them, “I’m praying for you”, sometimes out of sincerity, but sometimes I admit I was being ‘spiritually shady, using the statement as a spiritual insult out of frustration and anger rather than love. Either way, it usually pissed them off even more.

As I prayed for God to increase my passion to reach out to those who don’t believe in Him, and give me strategies to effectively touch them…it hit me.

I call it SECRET CYBER MINISTRY.


People don’t have to know you are praying for them for God to hear it and respond.

Negative responses, as well as social pages and groups provide an abundant pool of names – real people to pray for God to touch.


You can stop right now, get on Facebook, search for pages dedicated to atheists. There you will find names (and faces) of people passionate about their unbelief. You can begin regularly calling out those names to God. You can present those names to your prayer groups and prayer partners. You can secretly make these specific people your focus in prayer. Lift these names up to God several times a day during your quiet time.

No matter how deep someone may be in his or her unbelief, God has given everyone a measure of faith and the ability to believe.

Romans 12:3 (NKJV)

3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

You can pick out certain individuals and make it a point to consistently pray that God will soften their hearts to believe in Him through our Lord and Savior, Yeshua, Christ Jesus. That, He rebuke the devil and spirits of unbelief out of them. That, they attribute their measure of faith to Him. That they be saved, their faith be established, that it increases and they can bring forth a bountiful harvest of good fruit for God.


Not only do they not have to know you are praying for them, in fact, it’s probably best they don’t.

Facebook, blogs, and other social media is a fertile field for ‘secret cyber ministry’.


You can look at the cyber environment like Jesus did when He saw the crowds…

Matthew 9:35-38 New (NKJV)

35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.[a] 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary[b] and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

This is a powerful way to use technology and be a Laborer for God’s Harvest.

Instead of arguing, avoiding or even resenting these people. Sincerely pray for them…BEFORE YOU UNFRIEND, BLOCK OR DELETE YOUR ‘MESSY’ FRIENDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA…

I you plant the seed, God will give the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:6 (NKJV)

6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

GOD DOESN’T CRAP!

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GOD’S CHARACTER IS HIS NAME

As much as we Christians proclaim our love for the LORD, sometimes some of us can be very casual and compromising in how we refer to God or His holiness.

God takes using His name in vain and blasphemy very seriously. Check out Exodus Chapter 20 verse 7 in these translations…

Exodus 20:7 (NKJV)

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Exodus 20:7 (NLT)

“You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

 Exodus 20:7  (MSG)

No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name.

 Now look at what Jesus says about blaspheming the Holy Spirit…

Mark 3:28-30  (NKJV)

28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”— 30 because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Mark 3:28-30  (MSG)

28-30 “Listen to this carefully. I’m warning you. There’s nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you persist in your slanders against God’s Holy Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives, sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.” He gave this warning because they were accusing him of being in league with Evil.


We must remember that God’s ‘name’ goes beyond a combination of vowels and consonants, but his very authority, nature, essence and character.


Being baptized “In the NAME of Jesus” is really being baptized in the AUTHORITY of Jesus…

Acts 2:38  (NKJV)

38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the [a]remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Notice that according to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word here (onoma) means AUTHORITY OR CHARACTER.

So, we must be very careful when not just referring to God, but also to His character, holiness and Son.

God is Holy and He requires that we strive to be holy…

1 Peter 1:16  (NKJV)

16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Remember this…


GOD DOESN NOT CRAP!


We must never take the ‘Name’, “Character” or “Holiness” of God casually or comically…never.

Not only should never say, write, type, sing, expressions and comical alternate spellings referring to God, but we should also never acknowledge or laugh when someone else does.

Here are a few I’ve seen or heard…

HOLY CRAP! ( We all know what crap is, and God doesn’t crap)

HOLY S**T! (Ditto)

HOLY ANYTHING!

OH LAWD!

OH LORT!

LAWD HAM MERCY! (Do you really talk like this?)

LORD HAVE MERCY! (When your aren’t sincerely asking for mercy)

GOOD GOD! (Said casually and not in reverence)

OH MY GOD!

HALLELUYER! (Jah is the part of this word that is actually God’s name)

HALLELUHAH (In songs or situations when you aren’t actually giving God praise, such as Bruno Mars hit “Uptown Funk” when they lyrics are “hallelujah” shortly after saying “hot damn” in the same song”

JEEZUZ! ( And we all know how disrespectful people get without me writing it)

GEEZ!

JESUS H. CHRIST! (Really?)

FOR CHRIST’S SAKES!

GD (You know what this is)

OMG (Even If claim to mean OH MY GOSH, Gosh is a euphemism for God.

How many of these irreverent phrases do you know?

Let’s us not decide for God what is a big deal and what’s not. Notice what God says through the prophet Ezekiel about matters the people considered trivial or small…

Ezekiel 8:17  (NKJV)

17 And He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence; then they have returned to provoke Me to anger. Indeed they put the branch to their nose.

 Ezekiel 8:17  (MEV)

17 Then He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence and have continually provoked Me to anger. And they put the branch to their nose.

 And, please remember what Jesus said about every idle word that we speak…

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.

For more on this click:

YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY “GD” TO TAKE GOD’S NAME IN VAIN…

IS ‘OMG’ TAKING GOD’S NAME IN VAIN?

 

BE BLESSTIFIED

 

 

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

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The Pharisees, scribes, and religious leaders were constantly trying to trap and accuse Jesus. Many times that was their sole reason for going to the synagogue when they knew He was there (Mark 3:1-6).

In Luke 14 Jesus was at the home of one of the rulers of the Pharisees. You didn’t get into the home of a ruler without an invitation. This was an invitation only ‘event’ which is confirmed in verse 7 of this chapter ( So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them…). There was also a man with extreme swelling of his arms and legs (dropsy) there, but why was he invited too? Why was this man who was looked down upon invited to the ruler’s home? My thought is they were using him just so see if Jesus would heal him on the Sabbath, just so they could accuse Him.

Luke 14 (NKJV)

14 Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. 2 And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy. 3 And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go. 5 Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” 6 And they could not answer Him regarding these things.

Wow!

Luke 5:17 records another occasion where Jesus was in a house, and the rulers had come from every town of Galilee for the sole purpose of accusing Him. But it goes on to let us know that the power of the LORD was present to heal them. But rather than get healing and deliverance, they chose to accuse. Their attitudes prevented them from the blessing of being in the Lord’s presence. Here a paralyzed man was brought to Jesus by His friends and healed. The same healing was available to them.

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.[a]

But, the blessing here is that even though the man with dropsy (Luke 14) was being used. He was in the right place to get healed by Jesus. Being used positioned him for his blessing. (Just as in Mark 3:1-6). They meant it for evil, but God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20). 


So, when it’s clear people are using you, don’t just ‘bail’. Don’t just leave. Don’t just let your pride get the best of you and say, “I’m not having this!” Don’t ‘cuss’ them out or ‘go off’.


Romans 8:28 reminds us that God is working all things TOGETHER for our good…even when we are being used.

If you know what they are up to, use it to your advantage. Stay strong in your faith in God. Don’t let the enemy poison your attitude. God promises that He will get glory out of your story.

Remember, people don’t use what has no value.

Is someone using you? Stay cool, and let God use them using you.

3 SIGNS YOUR HATERS REALLY SEE THE VALUE IN YOU…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

DON’T JUDGE BECAUSE YOU COULD BE A REFUGEE OR MIGRANT ONE DAY…

 

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I live in a suburb of Memphis. Many people don’t realize that Memphis, St. Louis and other nearby cities are located in an area vulnerable to earthquakes. The New Madrid fault earthquakes of 1811-1812 rank among the largest in North American history. Of course, these areas were much less populated back then, but today earthquakes in this zone measuring 8 on the Richter scale would be catastrophic. Very few people who live in these areas have earthquake insurance. Many major corporations have either headquarters or vital operations in these areas. To say life would be disrupted would be an understatement.

An event such as this would leave millions of people homeless and destitute (look at the afteenath of the incredible hurricanes that have hit in recent years), possibly overwhelming any aid the government could give. Especially if other events were taking place simultaneously.

Every part of our country is vulnerable to some type of natural disaster…tornados, tsunamis, hurricanes etc.

We live in an increasingly unstable political climate.

Many people have been so spoiled by our abundance, prosperity, freedom and ‘security’…

Proverbs 11:28 (NKJV)

28 He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like foliage.

God is not impressed by the ‘strength of man’…

Psalm 147:10 (NKJV)

10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.


Many look down on those who are forced to quickly flee for refuge…REFUGEES.


“They should have been prepared!”

“They aren’t our problem!”

“There’s not excuse”…many people harshly judge on those who have been visited by sudden calamity.

But let me remind you…

No matter where you live. No matter how much money you have. No matter how you’ve prepared. God can use…

The right storm…

The right natural disaster…

The right military conflict…

The right shock to our economy…

To remind us that He is in control.

People put their faith in our economic system, our political system, their savings, their own wisdom…

1 Timothy 6:17 (NKJV)

17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

Think about the fact that an event could happen so quickly and catastrophically, it can destroy everything that any ‘doomsday prepper’ has ‘prepared’ for instantly!

No matter how much power you have…

No matter who you may know…

No matter how detailed your plan may be…

No matter how wise you think you are…

No matter what resources may be available to you NOW…


One day you could be a refugee!


Be thankful. Be compassionate. Pray for those whose lives have been turned upside down. Be prepared as much as you can, but most of all…

Yes borders need to be secured, but watch your attitude and BE HUMBLE!

One day it could be you.

BE BLESSTIFIFED!

 

NO MATTER WHAT YOU’VE DONE, GOD IS READY TO FORGIVE YOU…

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We have all done things of which we are ashamed. Sometimes we feel we have done things that God will never forgive, especially when others won’t forgive or we are living out the consequences.

Sometimes we can commit sins after we’ve been ‘saved’ that make us question our salvation.


Especially when God has allowed YOUR SECRET(S) to remain secret.


But, let me give you a short encouraging reminder that not matter what you’ve done, God WILL forgive you. No matter how low you have gone, God can reach down and save you. He can even deliver you from the consequences of your sins, bad decisions and weaknesses.

Here is the one caveat. We must always come to Him in humility and never belittle or speak in disrespect or irreverently of His Holy Spirit…

Mark 3:28-30 (NKJV)

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And remember, you don’t have to ‘curse’ or ‘cuss’ to do this. Be careful that you’re never disrespectful to the authority, convicting power, intercession of or work His Holy Spirit in your life or the life of anyone else. But when we stop and think before we speak, this isn’t difficult to avoid.


Click this link…YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY “GD” TO TAKE GOD’S NAME IN VAIN…


So, be encouraged! The price Yeshua, Christ Jesus,  paid for us on the cross leaves no sin out of reach from His saving power.

Isaiah 59:1 (NKJV)

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Hebrews 7:24-25 (NKJV)

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BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

WHEN YOU FEEL YOU CAN’T TAKE THE PAIN…

When your pain intensifies…keep pushing!
John 16:21 (NKJV)

21 A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

All God-given purpose comes with pain.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WATCH OUT FOR ‘NICE’ PEOPLE…

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Galatians 5:22-23  (NKJV)

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

One of my favorite groups is The O’Jays! Their smooth soulful music is definitely a part of the soundtrack of my life. Their 1972 single, “Back Stabbers” written by Leon Huff, Gene McFadden and John Whitehead, (I was only 3-years old when it was released) is one of my all time favorites and just as most of their other songs – the lyrics are very profound…

“(They smile in your face) All the time they want to take your place (Back Stabbers)”


There’s a reason that KINDNESS (from Greek word Crestotes in Galatians 5:22) is a Fruit of the Spirit and not NICENESS.


According to Strong’s Concordance KINDNESS denotes ones disposition and doesn’t necessarily refer to acts of goodness. Strong’s Concordance goes on to say KINDNESS refers to meeting real needs. Being KIND is acting for the good of people no matter what they do, how they treat you or how they react. KINDNESS is uprightness and goodness in action. It’s goodness provoked by the spirit of God. KINDNESS is acting for the welfare of those who challenge your love and stretch your patience.

1 Corinthians 13:4  (NKJV)

Love suffers long and is KIND; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not [a]puffed up;

Acts of KINDNESS may not always feel good or be timely, but they are always best for the individual or group’s overall well being…thus goes the old saying, “God may not come when you want Him, but He’s always right on time!”

The enemy can use NICENESS as a tool to deceive and mask true motives and intentions. People can be nice to get in position to stab you in the back


“What they do? BACK STABBERS!” 


Have YOU ever been nice to someone just to get what you wanted out of them? 

We must always examine our motives to make sure we’re being KIND and NICE…and always watch out when people SMILE IN YOUR FACE.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

ARE YOU IN YOUR SPIRITUAL RED ZONE?

Remember, in sports, the defense always (or resistance) intensifies when the team is about to SCORE. So, the offense can’t get weaker…but STRONGER!


If the devil seems to be attacking you harder, you might be in your SPIRITUAL RED ZONE.


Stand firm!

Don’t back down!

Step up your game and…

SCORE!!!!

1 Peter 5:8-9 (NKJV)

Be [a]sober, be [b]vigilant; [c]because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE AN APOLOGY OR REPENTANCE?

 

If they haven’t apologized, but they have completely changed, you’ve gotten something better than an apology. This short :18 second video explains when you’ve gotten something better than an apology. Real spiritual maturity is learning to move forward WITHOUT an apology.

For more on this read…HOW TO MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT AN APOLOGY ( 8 TIPS)…

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!

 

 

OKAY, I’LL ‘TAKE A CHANCE’ ON DISCUSSING…IS ALL GAMBLING SIN?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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When Jesus began His earthly ministry. He challenged the theology of the establishment. He didn’t challenge their belief in God…He challenged their system and WHY they believed what they believed. Many Christians don’t know why they believe much of what they do.  He came to fulfill the letter of the law with love. In fact, when accused of eating and keeping company with sinners, Jesus told them they need to reevaluate how they interpreted the scriptures…

Matthew 9:13 (NKJV)

13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’[a] For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”[b]

In Matthew Chapter 23 Jesus sharply rebukes the religious leaders for their blatant legalism, and forcing people to observe statutes not necessarily given by God.

Even today, there are some things that the church really frowns upon…drinking alcohol…

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IT’S NOT SELFISH TO LOVE YOURSELF…

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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We hurt each other. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally.

Sometimes we hurt the ones we love the most.

Why?

God tells us that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Maybe that’s the problem sometimes. Do we know how to love ourselves?

Do we love ourselves as we should?

Think of all of the things you have done…

All of the places you have gone…

All of the things you have said that weren’t good for you.

Think of all the things that people eat, drink, consume that aren’t good for them.

Think of all the situations people subject themselves to, fully knowing it’s not good for them.

We put ourselves in unhealthy relationships.

We hurt ourselves for instant gratification.

We subject ourselves to harm physically, emotionally and spiritually…no one else has to do it, we do it to ourselves.


Maybe that’s the problem. We hurt each…

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THE THINGS GOD COULDN’T DO…

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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Jesus Christ came to die for our sins, but that’s not the ONLY reason He came. God wanted to show us that even though He is …

All powerful (Omnipotent),

All knowing (Omniscient), and 

Everywhere at the same time (Omnipresent)…

There were still some things that He COULD NOT DO.

I’m not talking about the old cliché, that God can do everything but fail…yes that’s very true.

God wanted us to know that with even through all His power and authority, He could still empathize with our fragile, weak flesh. 

Being a perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing Spirit, God could never…

Sweat

Bruise

Bleed

Get sick

Feel weak

Feel hungry

Get a stomach ache

Feel tempted sexually

But most importantly God could never

DIE. 

Jesus came to SUBMIT Himself to endure the weaknesses of a body so that He could feel what we feel…that He too could have the human experience.

Stop and GIVE GOD SOME PRAISE for loving…

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WHY WE SHOULD STOP SAYING IT ONLY TAKES A LITTLE FAITH…

My Senior Pastor, W. Michael Martin taught a profound series on this subject a few years ago…

We have all heard it or said it. “It only takes a little faith” based primarily on Matthew 17:20 when Jesus says that with the faith as a grain of mustard seeds we can move mountains. But, if you will notice, He didn’t say faith OF. Jesus said the faith AS a grain of mustard seed.


The implication here is that it takes great faith for a little grain of mustard seed to grow into something great…


Matthew 13:32  (NKJV)

32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”


 So, a mustard seed DOES NOT have LITTLE FAITH, but GREAT FAITH.

The truth be told, that Jesus was always annoyed and rebuked His disciples when they displayed ‘little faith’, such as in Matthew 17…


Matthew 17:14-20  (NKJV)

 14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is [a]an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”

17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O [b]faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”

20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your [c]unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

Here, Jesus rebuked the disciples for having ‘little faith’, just as He did during the storm in the sea…

Matthew 8:23-27 (NKJV)

 23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”

26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, [a]“Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”


However, Jesus was always impressed by great faith…


Matthew 15:28  (NKJV)

28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Luke 7:9  (NKJV)

When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”

 Quite frankly, this concept has been misunderstood and taught wrong by sincere people. The bible never says that it only takes a little faith.

But, as the old saying says, “When we know better, we should do better”.

Check out the video above of Pastor W. Michael Martin of Oak Spring Church Arlington TN teaching on faith from this perspective.

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BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE “4 P’s” TO CONQUERING MONDAY (OR ANY DAY)…

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TGIM!!!!

So many times as Christians we love to proclaim, “I’m more than a conqueror”, but we find ourselves dreading Monday.


It’s not danger…or nakedness…or famine…or nakedness…or the sword…but Monday morning, the 2nd Day of the week.


Sometimes we might not even sleep well on SONday night thinking about…

The trouble,

Hardships,

Projects,

Debts,

Dead-end jobs,

Supervisors,

Managers,

Subordinates,

Customers,

Exams, D

Doctors visits,

Test results, etc., waiting for us on Monday morning.

Whatever may make Mondays cloudy and dreadful in our minds doesn’t diminish the fact that every Monday is a blessing from God.

We are blessed to have a family, a job, a business, or however God is sustaining you, and that no matter what we are going through…God IS sustaining you, and has equipped you to conquer anything that you encounter on Monday to His glory.


Don’t let your Monday become MOURNDAY!


Let me encourage you with what I call the 4 P’s to start any day. PRAYER, PASSAGES, PRAISE, and a PROCLAMATION.

  • PRAY to God first thing every morning, then let Him speak to you by reading some.
  • PASSAGES of scripture from His Word.
  • PRAISE Him for a few moments with with the fruit of your lips.
  • PROCLAIM Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it”!

Beginning every day with this devotion of the “The 4 P’s” before you eat, or check social media can not only equip you to conquer Monday, but each day of the week. So don’t wait until Friday to thank God…TGIM! Enjoy your Monday!! #TGIM

Romans 8:35-37 (NKJV)

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Psalm 118:24  (NKJV)

24 This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T FALL APART WHEN THEY REFUSE TO INCLUDE YOU…

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

wp-1490714912754.jpg You wanted to be A PART, and they wanted you APART

Most of us have had those hurtful, disappointing, eye-opening moments….You know, that moment that you realize that ‘they’ don’t want to include you!

You ever thought…Hey! Wait a minute! What’s going on here???

They may have excluded you…shunned you…

Given you the cold shoulder…

Ingored, snubbed and left you out….wouldn’t let you ‘play in the reindeer games’.


You wanted to be A PART of them, and it’s clear they wanted you to be APART from them.


You know who ‘THEY’ are…

That group…

That team…

That job…

That family…

That industry…

That organization…

That ministry…

That church…

That fraternity…

That sorority…

Those friends…

That clique…

That relationship…

They don’t acknowledge you. They don’t acknowledge your accomplishments. They don’t acknowledge your value…

But, that doesn’t mean they don’t SEE your value.

That’s may be why won’t let you in. NOT, because you…

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

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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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…

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WHEN THE DEVIL GET’S ‘THE BEST OF YOU’…

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God has given us all talents, strengths and abilities to sustain our lives and build His kingdom.

How many times have you used your talents, strengths and abilities to ‘feed your flesh’?

How many time have you used all your energy for yourself or your career and have nothing left for God?

How many people have spent their entire youth partying, having fun, building their careers and then when they are older turn to God, but have spent their ‘best years’ on themselves?

How many times have your emotions led to moods, behavior, attitudes and character that you regret?


These are all examples of the enemy getting the ‘best of us’ in a sense. The best of our talents. The best of our energy. The best of our years…rather than giving it to God.


I love the parable of the barren fig tree…

Luke 13:6-9 (NKJV)

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it [a]use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 [b]And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ ”

This is a fruit tree that’s bearing no fruit. We all know that trees use fruit to reproduce. If a fruit tree is using all of its nourishment from the earth and light from the ‘SON’ for itself, then its ‘using up the ground’. It’s being selfish. And, the Lord commanded that if it continued to be cut down.

God also told us that if we go about our daily business knowing to do good and don’t, then it is sin…

James 4:14-17  (NKJV)

14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 

17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

So, don’t use all your energy, talents and time only on yourself.

And, don’t let your anger or emotions allow the devil to ‘get the best of you…

Ephesians 4:26-32  (NKJV)

26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give [a]place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary [b]edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, [c]clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Make sure it’s always God that gets the best of us’.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

WHEN PRAISE IS A SACRIFICE…

It’s not always easy to praise God. That’s the reason it’s sometimes called “the sacrifice of praise”. I pray this sermon excerpt blesses you:-)

 

Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)

15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, [a]giving thanks to His name.

Isaiah 61:3 New King James Version (NKJV)

To [a]console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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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…

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WHEN YOUR HOPE NEEDS HELP…

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Yes, you have faith in God. Not only do you believe in Him, but you also love Him and trust Him.

You’re not saying that because it’s the right thing to say. You really mean it from your heart. You even know, acknowledge and are thankful for what He’s already done in your life.

You know you are blessed, and that there is always someone in a ‘worse situation’ than you…But,

Some days you are STILL overwhelmed.

Some days you feel your current situation will never change for the better or fear it will change for the worse.

It’s not that you don’t believe God can change your situation. You just don’t know if He will.

You’re wondering what IS His will for you. So much so, that you are beginning to lose hope.

You know what Job said…

Job 13:15 (NKJV)

15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.

 

Yes, you surrender to God’s will, but of course you don’t want God to ‘slay you’.


So what do you do when your hope needs help?


There is help in the Psalms. The Psalms of lament are rich with guidance of how to approach God when you feel your faith is strong, but your hope is gone.

Personal Psalms of Lament: 3, 4, 5, 7, 9-10, 13, 14, 17, 22, 25,- 28, 31, 36, 39-43, 52-57, 59, 61, 64, 70, 71, 77, 86, 89, 120, 139, 141, 142.

Community Psalms of Lament: 12, 44, 60, 74, 79, 80, 85, 90, 94, 123, 126, 129

Here are two…

Psalm 13 (NKJV)

How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 142  (NKJV)

I cry out to the Lord with my voice;
With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.
I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble.

When my spirit [b]was overwhelmed within me,
Then You knew my path.
In the way in which I walk
They have secretly set a snare for me.
Look on my right hand and see,
For there is no one who acknowledges me;
Refuge has failed me;
No one cares for my soul.

I cried out to You, O Lord:
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
[c]Attend to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are stronger than I.
Bring my soul out of prison,
That I may praise Your name;
The righteous shall surround me,
For You shall deal bountifully with me.”

They usually begin with the psalmist expressing deep despair, feeling abandoned and being overwhelmed…

ACKNOWLEDGE & ADMIT

Sometimes we can feel we are letting God down when we admit how we feel. Some people will even tell you that your heavy heart means you don’t have faith. THAT’S NOT TRUE!

Jesus was deeply troubled the night He was betrayed.

Matthew 26:38  (NKJV)

38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

He expressed His agony on the cross…

Matthew 27:46 (NKJV)

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

Does this mean that Jesus didn’t have faith? Of course not. And, notice the fact that He told those closest to Him that His soul was sorrowful. He didn’t try to hide it. He didn’t try to be ‘macho’, and He wasn’t ashamed.

TURN YOUR PITY PARTY INTO A PRAISE PARTY

This isn’t always easy, but it’s so powerful. Every Psalm of lament ends in praise and thanksgiving to God as an example to us. There is power in sincerely praising God. Not as a gimmick or means of manipulating Him to move on our behalf, but sincerely letting Him know with the fruit of our lips that we love Him and trust Him…

Hebrews 13:15  (NKJV)

15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, [a]giving thanks to His name.

Hebrews 12:12-15  (NKJV)

12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

God has a way of allowing our hope to be renewed and peace to spring forth from nowhere in the midst of our despair and sorrow.

On the days that you feel your hope is low, or gone…go back and read through the book of Psalms. Stop in the midst of your sorrow and give praise and thanks to God. And remember His promises to His people…

Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope

 

HEY! WHERE’D THAT PEACE COME FROM?

HOW TO TURN YOUR PITY PARTY INTO A PRAISE PARTY…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO THEIR WRONG OPINION (BUT IT DOESN’T MAKE THEM RIGHT)…

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God has given us all free will, which means that we will all have our own opinion. We must be careful not to ‘paint ourselves into a corner’… with our own personal theology that’s based on our opinion.

Through thousands of years of interpretation, translation and opinion we have people who experience God many different ways. However, there remains only one truth….

2 Peter 1:20  (NKJV)

20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private [a]interpretation,

As we worship God through the perspective of our particular church culture, denomination or ‘non-denomination’, chosen doctrine, traditions, etc., we must be careful that we don’t ‘paint ourselves into a spiritual corner’ of thinking that everyone else is wrong, or separating us from God’s truth…trying to force triangles into square pegs.

How can two people basing their beliefs on the same bible verse believe two different things.? Because one person will always be putting how he or she wants to believe above God’s intended meaning.

For example, many people say it’s a sin to drink any type of alcoholic beverage, when the bible clearly does not say that…

1 Timothy 5:23  (NKJV)

23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent [a]infirmities.

So, in order to support their own theology they have to reason that the wine in the bible was not fermented, which is just plain silly. They have painted themselves into a corner to support their theology.

From “ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED”, to those who don’t believe there should NOT be instrumental music in church, to infant baptism, to whether you should be baptized in “The name of Jesus” or “The Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit…there are varying differences of opinion.

To think that one ‘group’, denomination or person has it ALL right is silly. 

The truth is that there’s only one truth…God’s truth. It’s not a matter of whether we’re right or wrong, it’s a matter of whether are not we are in harmony with God’s truth.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

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

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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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…

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CLIQUE-‘ISH’ IN THE CHURCH (YEP, ‘ISH’ IS A EUPHEMISM)…

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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

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.


Clique- ‘ISH’ 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 EVERYBODY IS SOMEBODY!

Even though we as people have a tendency to be CLIQUE-‘ISH’…. we need to keep that CLIQUE-‘ISH’ out of God’s church.!

FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW

ish

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!

A MEME TO REMEMBER…

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Yes, that’s my quote in the meme, but nothing says it more powerfully than the word of God…

Hebrews 11:1-3 (NKJV)

11 Now faith is the [a]substance of things hoped for, the [b]evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the [c]worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Romans 15:13  (NKJV)

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

Romans 5:1-4  (NKJV)

Therefore, having been justified by faith, [a]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces [b]perseverance; and perseverance, [c]character; and character, hope.

Romans 15:13  (NKJV)

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

1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 (NKJV)

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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