How do feel when you give someone a gift from your heart with the intention for it to be a huge blessing to them…and they throw it away?
It hurts us that they thought so little of our gift and can make us angry when they disregard the love with which we gave it.
That’s how God feels when we forsake His Day of Rest. It makes Him so angry that He left behind the example of commanding a man be killed for picking up sticks on His Day of Rest…
Numbers 15:32-36 (NKJV)
32 Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. 34 They put him under guard, because it had not been explained what should be done to him.
35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 So, as the Lord commanded Moses, all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died.
Even though God doesn’t require we be stoned to death anymore in the fact that we aren’t under that law, He still expects us to honor His Day of Rest.
He expects us to continue to make The Lord’s Day holy. That means sanctify and separate it for God. It must be different…
Exodus 20:8 (NLT)
8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Yes, Yeshua said we are free to do good and to do what’s necessary on the Sabbath day…
Luke 14:4-6 (ESV)
4 But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. 5 And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son[a] or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” 6 And they could not reply to these things.
However, that doesn’t mean that God permits us to leave an ox in the ditch that fell in there earlier in the week to remove it on God’s Day of Rest.
He doesn’t intend for us to push the ox in the ditch just to remove it.
How many times have you SAVED WORK that could be done another day to do on The Lord’s Day?
How many times have you taken a job or promotion that required you to work on The Lord’s Day when you previous didn’t have to work.
As Disciples of Christ embrace the scripture that asserts we don’t FORSAKE THE ASSEMBLING OF OURSELVES together, let us be just as devout in making sure we DON’T FORSAKE HIS DAY OF REST.
It’s a gift. It’s a weekly holiday. Enjoy it…don’t forsake it.
Sometimes we have to forgive the same sin against us over and over not because they did it again…
But, because when we think about what they did we still feel angry over and over again.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. God made us and knows we are made of weak flesh…
Psalm 103:14 (ESV)
14 For he knows our frame;[a] he (A)remembers that we are dust.
But, He still expects us to continue to forgive again when the thought of what they did feels our hearts with pain, anger, shame and a desire for revenge…
Ephesians 4:31-32 (ESV)
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
It’s one thing to forgive someone ‘seven times seventy times’ when they do it again and again. But, it’s another to continue to forgive them in your heart when they have truly repented but the pain and anger comes and goes.
Don’t backslide in your forgiveness to them!
I know it’s hard, but you can do it.
1 John 4:4 (NKJV)
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than (A)he who is in the world.
Most of the time it’s because their perceived ‘values’ are totally opposite of yours.
It could be that they support a cause, sometimes passionately, a cause that you’re totally against.
They could have hurt, betrayed, abused, neglected, or mistreated you or someone you love.
It may be a world leader, an enemy or a relative.
There are countless ways that the devil can manipulate us into ‘strongly disliking’ someone. Their actions or words may make hatred almost seem justifiable…but God forbids that we hate anyone. He even insists that we pray for those who mistreat us and look for ways to bless them…
Matthew 5:43-48 (NKJV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 [a]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, 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 [b]brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the [c]tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
The fact is that when someone does something bad enough to convince us to hate them…that’s all the devil wanted.
One of the greatest lies that we tell ourselves is that we don’t hate anyone.
We must be very careful of the excuses we give why we aren’t doing what God has called us to do.
What do people say when confronted with doing what God expects of them or has called them to do?
Why don’t you go to church?
Let’s go feed the homeless.
Let’s go visit and minister people in prison and hospitals…
Why don’t you give the firstfruits of all your increase to
Usually before we make an excuse, we usually give a big BUT…
“I would, BUT the people in church aren’t right themselves…”
“I would, BUT those homeless people will just spend it on drugs,
cigarettes and alcohol…”
“I would, BUT I can’t afford to…”
“I would, BUT I don’t have time to visit…”
“I would, BUT my kids have sports…”
Yeshua, Christ Jesus, gave us a parable to illustrate how
much He hates our excuses. He let us know how much He hates our BIG BUTS…
Luke 14:18-24 (NKJV)
18 BUT they all with one accord began
to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I
must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I
have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have
me excused.’ 20 Still
another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and
reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry,
said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city,
and bring in here the poor and the[a]maimed and the lame
and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you
commanded, and still there is room.’ 23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into
the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my
house may be filled. 24 For
I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my
Notice that each of these excuses addressed the same excuses
we give today.
BUSINESS. WORK. CAREER
“I bought a piece of ground…”
“I bought a yoke of oxen…”
SPOUSE. CHILDREN. FAMILY
“I have married a wife…
These excuses made the master of the house (Jesus) angry.
So, He invited the very people who those who were initially invited were called
to serve instead.
He then said those who makes excuses and rejected His
invitation will not ‘taste His supper’ (will not enter His Kingdom).
Jesus hates our excuses! However, the enemy loves our BIG BUTS! He loves our excuses.
Don’t let your BIG BUT keep you out of the Kingdom of God!
Peter denied Christ (John 18:13-27), but that wasn’t the only sin he committed…God allowed them to remain hidden.
The Apostle Paul had a ‘thorn in the flesh’ (2 Corinthians 12), but the bible does not let us know what is was…God allowed it to remain hidden.
Mary the mother our our Lord and Savior Yeshua (Jesus) was blessed among women (Luke 1:28), but she wasn’t perfect. God allowed her sins to remain hidden.
Your testimony can be powerful in letting people know that they can overcome what you have overcome. But, sometimes knowing too much about you can be harmful.
Yes, we are supposed to confess our sins to one another, but you can confess your sins (James 5:16), you can share your testimony without telling ALL your business.
Sometimes when people are caught up in a sin, the only way He can get them to stop is allowing them to be exposed. That’s why it’s good to NEVER ask God to MAKE you stop doing anything. He has given us the power through His Holy Spirit to stop on our own.
So, if there are some things about you that God has allowed to remain secret, and you’ve truly repented…sometimes it’s best to not let the world know.
There is great power in maintaining an aura of mystery and wonder at some level.
You don’t need to let the world know everything that’s in your heart…
You can’t let everyone know your hopes, dreams or regrets…
You don’t have to always let people know how you feel…
You CAN’T tell everyone EVERYTHING that crosses your mind!
For example, if you knew everything that runs across your Pastor’s mind, it’s thought it’s a good chance you may never want to hear another sermon preach again…Pastors are human.
Some people aren’t strong enough to understand your weaknesses.
Pray for discernment at what to share and what to keep between you and God. If God allowed it to remain secret…
There are different levels of accountability—-personal, family, social, professional, spiritual etc., this piece is about inter-racial accountability.
If I’ve learned anything as a Black man living in the United States of America, it’s that people don’t discriminate at letting you down.
As much as I want equality for myself and my children, I have to also recognize that I have been hurt, betrayed, undermined, overlooked, ignored, mistreated, misjudged, misunderstood and taken advantage of EQUALLY by people of color (not only Black) just as much as white people.
There are times that people who look like me had an opportunity to help me and refused.
There are times people who look like me complained about the system only to BECOME the system when they became part of the system…or created their own ‘system’.
I’ve seen people who complained about those who abused their authority and influence do the same when it was placed in their hands.
Too many times people who complained about THE MAN became THE MAN.
Yes, some of ‘my people’ who were overlooked because of their skin color have overlooked a more qualified candidate of their own race for a less qualified ‘frat brother’ or ‘soror’. I’ve seen Black people (some very Pro-Black) represent their organizations with Greek letters for generations…when they could very well do it with letters of an African alphabet or the Hebrew alphabet if they call themselves disciples of Yeshua. Why isn’t this considered a remnant of White supremacy?
I’ve seen Black people ‘throw away’ Black people because they don’t do, say, or think as ‘a Black person should’. This happens in every race, but I’m addressing my own. It’s possible someone will ‘throw me away’ because of this truth. That’s fine as long as Yah, my God doesn’t throw me away.
I’ve seen discrimination, favoritism, nepotism, abuse of authority, hatred, and ‘shady’ behavior within my own race.
No matter what your race, everyone who looks like you doesn’t love you.
I love all people.
Yes, I want equality and equity for people who look like me…but there are those ‘who look like me’ who can’t expect any more of others than they do of themselves.
As we fight for equality and social justice, let us never forget that we have allies and enemies of every color.
John 2:24-25 (NLT)
24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. 25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.
John 1:11 (NKJV)
11 (A)He came to His [a]own, and His [b]own did not receive Him. 12 But (B)as many as received Him, to them He gave the [c]right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
To sum it up, White and Black people have both helped and hurt me on a personal level…equally.
Do you remember when Yeshua (Jesus) told His disciples that he would make them ‘fishers of men’?
Matthew 4:19 (NLT)
19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”
And, do you also remember that the Lord told us to pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send laborers into His harvest?
Matthew 9:38 (NKJV)
38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Also, do you recall how Yeshua met Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus to make Him an Apostle and a Laborer for His harvest?
Acts 9:1-6 (NKJV)
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. [a]It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
And finally, we all know the Great Commission that the Lord left for us to do…
Matthew 28:19 (NLT)
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Social media provides a vast pool of ‘fish’ to ‘cast our net’ for Christ. It provides innumerable amount of possible ‘Laborers for His harvest’. There are millions of atheists, skeptics, mockers, scoffers and backsliders and people of other religions social media every day.
There are many groups, on Facebook for example, dedicated to atheist or atheists vs believers groups who love to debate, debunk and belittle Christians about the One true and living God.
So here’s the strategy.
JOIN THESE GROUPS. MONITOR THESE DEBATES. NOTICE THE SPECIFIC NAMES.
THE RIVER…LAKE…OCEAN FULL OF FISH:
Don’t argue or debate, but watch the responses and comments. Occasionally make a post, ask a question or comment. persecuting the Body of Christ before he was converted, so they WILL comment, respond, mock, scoff, insult you and God. This is the bait, and they WILL bite! Atheists are just as passionate as Saul/Paul was in persecuting the Body of Christ before he was converted, so they WILL comment, respond, mock, scoff, insult you and God. They will go on your profile and check you out (even in cyberspace, you have to count the cost). But don’t argue, but notice their names.
Continually lift these names up to God in prayer. Pray for that God give increase to any good seed that’s been planted inside of them.
Seeds of faith..
Seeds of repentance…
Seeds of salvation…
Seeds of fellowship with God…
Seeds of a lifetime of much good fruit for Him…
Pray that God make them Laborers for His Harvest just as He did the Apostle Paul.
God can do it. This is one of the situations when “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” is most applicable (Philippians 4:13).
Remember, don’t be drawn into arguing or debating unless God truly gives you a seed of faith.
And, also remember that they don’t have to know that you are praying for them for God to respond. In fact, sometimes it’s best you don’t tell them because it will most likely harden their hearts even more.
Even those who don’t believe in God have heard of it. The mark of the beast. The ‘mark’ that many will submit to showing that they have rejected Christ and accepted the antichrist.
Revelation 13:16 (KJV)
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark IN their right hand, or IN their foreheads:
The purpose of this quick post isn’t to discuss whether or not the church will still be on earth when it takes place. But, what will it actually be. This could be a long post, but I’m going to keep it short so you can digest it…and pray about it.
There are those who talk about a chip being implanted, a bar code that will be required for buying, selling and living everyday life. There are others who speak of a literal mark or tattoo on the hand and forehead. How many warnings have you heard in sermons or seen posted on social media or in sermon?
I say neither. That’s too simple. That’s too literal. Check out this verse…
Jeremiah 31:33 (NKJV)
33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Notice that God says, “I will put My law IN their minds, and write it ON their hearts.”
If you take an x-ray, will you find actual words written on your brain or heart? Of course not.
When God places something in your mind, it affects your thinking. When He places something in your heart, it affects what’s most important to you.
It’s the same with Revelation 13:16…
“In their right hand…” In the way you do things.
“In their foreheads…” The way you think.
John told us that the spirit of the antichrist was already here way back then…
1 John 4:3 (NKJV)
3 and every spirit that does not confess that[a] Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
The spirit of the antichrist has been at work for years affecting how Christians ‘do things’ and ‘think’. Convincing us to compromise when it comes to our Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus Christ.
Here’s a quick example…think about Easter. What does the name ‘Easter’ have to do with Jesus? Nothing. What do bunnies and eggs have to do with celebrating His resurrection? Nothing. But, you can’t convince well-meaning Christians to celebrate without calling it Easter because it has been to deeply ingrained in the way they ‘do things’ and the way they ‘think’. Why not celebrate His resurrection without calling it by a pagan goddess’ name?
Think of all the ways that the enemy is convincing the people of God to compromise.
Think of how the thinking of this world is changing to accept what God has forbidden.
It’s not what you accept on your skin…it’s what you accept within.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Some people see, hear, taste, feel and smell better than others.
Some can’t at all.
Some animals’ senses are exponentially better than humans.
Just because we can’t sense something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Our senses help us experience our environment.
There are some people who are more gifted at sensing spiritual things just as some are more gifted in the physical world. The devil wants to pervert these gifts as psychics, fortune tellers etc., but that’s not of God, and even prophets in the bible never prophesied at will.
The atheist must understand that there is a spiritual world beyond our physical comprehension, which will make its physical ‘proof’ impossible…that’s why it’s called faith, the sense that gives us awareness to what we can’t see.
Faith is your spiritual antenna, microscope, telescope that is activated making you aware of what was always there. Even the Christian as he or she grows in faith is made more aware of what he has been ordained to see through his or her level of spiritual sensitivity…just as some people are blessed to see better than others (everyone with eyesight doesn’t have 20/20 vision).
The spiritual sensitivity that results from faith along with using God’s word as the measuring stick and God’s wisdom for proper understanding allows us to experience God at a greater level, making Him more real to us than ever before.
Just as we work to enhance our natural senses to better experience and understand the physical world (glasses, hearing aids etc.), let us work to master our spiritual senses as well.
Isn’t it interesting that people can tap into radio waves allowing us to receive radio, television, cell phones and GPS signals which we can’t see… but can receive once you have the proper receiver? And, that receiver won’t work unless it has the proper antenna. Faith is that antenna that taps into the world we can’t see, allowing us to receive messages from God.
Even though we can’t see Him, we know He is there and He is everywhere at the same time.
In fact, how is it people can accept an ‘omnipresent internet’, but not God. You can’t see the internet, however you know it’s there. Plus, you can be on the internet on your phone, your computer, at home, at work, in Spain, in outer space, and it’s all the same internet…and all connected.
How can people accept that truth, but can’t understand God can be everywhere at the same time and connected to everything?
How is it we can accept that a man can be a father, a son, a doctor, preacher or teacher, a husband, brother, coworker and friend and still be one man…different authorities and relationships in one man, but can’t accept that God can be Father, Son and Holy Spirit and still be one…different authorities and relationships in one God.
As we grow in faith, knowledge of the word of God and His wisdom, our understanding and perception of the world we can’t see, touch, taste, smell or feel will grow.
Having you ever noticed a child throwing a temper tantrum when he or she doesn’t get something that they want? This is a natural reaction that must be overcome as the child matures. The reaction is natural…innate…the child was born with it.
As you know, the debate continues as to whether people are born gay, or is it a choice. The purpose of this article isn’t to debate that question, but to address this fact…
The truth is that we are all born with innate desires, feelings and proclivities that we did not ask for.
Many Christians reason to excuse some behaviors by saying, “I or they was or were born this way”.
This doesn’t mean that God made a mistake because the scripture clearly reminds us that we were all born in sin…
Psalm 51:5 (NKJV)
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
We were all born with desires we didn’t ask for…that doesn’t make them ALL okay. Just because it comes naturally doesn’t make right. Some natural desires we must resist with the help of the Holy Spirit…
…ALL come from natural desires and they are ALL EQUALLY wrong.
Even David, a man after God’s own heart was born with an insatiable desire for women…but that did not make it right or acceptable to God. Those who read the bible know what that led to.
Some people are naturally more greedy, more lustful, more promiscuous, more selfish, more aggressive, more violent that others…does that make it okay? For those who wish to argue these are learned behaviors, some people have these behaviors modeled and ‘learn’ them, while others witnessed these behaviors and didn’t succumb to them.
Pedophiles don’t feel they ‘choose’ to be attracted to children…does that make it okay? No!
The desires of our flesh war against our spirit…and these vary from person to person.
Galatians 5:17 (NKJV)
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
It is only by walking in the Fruit of the Spirit can we overcome our fleshly desires that displease God.
Galatians 5:16 (NKJV)
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
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.
By the way, calling out something as sin is NOT judging. And, it’s not saying it’s any more wrong than another sin!
That’s why fasting is so powerful. It is a tool we can use to bring our flesh into subjection, overcome our weaknesses and prove to ourselves that our desires won’t rule us. It’s our tool to move those mountains in our lives.
Matthew 17: 20-21
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your 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. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting
Use this as post ammunition when someone presents to you the argument, “I was born this way, so it can’t be wrong”.
Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s okay.
I’ve found the most intimate refreshing place to pray at my home. I love sitting in my chair on my front porch and enjoying quality time with God in prayer. When I’m out there, it’s like it’s just Him and me. Yes I pray everywhere. But, that place is special.
And yes, I said sitting.
You see, it’s good to get on your knees in submission to God, but contrary to what many may have been taught it’s not mandatory. That is not the exclusively acceptable prayer posture.
Your proper prayer posture isn’t the position of your body, but of your heart and spirit…
To a humble spirit… it’s about humility.
Psalm 51:17 (NKJV)
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise
1- On Your Knees
Ephesians 3:14 (NKJV)
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,[a]
2 – In Your Bed
Psalm 4:4 (NKJV)
Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.
3 – Out Loud
Psalm 34:6 (NKJV)
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
4 – Silently
1 Samuel 1:13 (NKJV)
13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.
5 – Hands Lifted
1 Timothy 2:8 (NKJV)
I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;
6 – Eyes Open
John 17:1 (NKJV)
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,
7 – Head Bowed
Genesis 24:26 (NKJV)
26 Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord.
8 – Prostrate
Matthew 26:39 (NKJV)
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
9 – Standing
Mark 11:25 (NKJV)
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
God just wants you to be humble. Many have even misunderstood “come boldly” in the book of Hebrews…
Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
It’s not about ‘telling God what to do’, but direct access to Him. We don’t have to go through a priest, or a preacher to talk to Him…just submit to Him humbly in prayer through our Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus Christ.
So, bow your head, lie in your bed, fall on your knees, lift up your hands, as long as you’re sincere…God will hear.
God created the universe and the earth to be self-sustaining. There is evidence of His work that testifies of Him since He decided to create the continuum of time…
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 [a]Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
But there are some things that God creates new every day just as He did manna for the Children of Israel.
Exodus 16:17-21 (NKJV)
17 Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. 18 So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need. 19 And Moses said, “Let no one leave any of it till morning.” 20 Notwithstanding they did not [a]heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 So they gathered it every morning, every man according to his need. And when the sun became hot, it melted.
There are some things that can’t be carried over to the next day.
There are some things that can’t be carried over to the next moment.
There are some things that even though humans can make out of something that God continues to create out of nothing.
1. A DAY
Out of all of the accomplishments God has allowed humans to achieve through science, medicine and technology there is nothing humans can do to create A NEW DAY. There is nothing that we can do to prevent the next day from arriving. Only God can make a day. No matter what may keep you awake all night making you dread tomorrow…if Yeshua delays His return, the Lord will continue to do what no one else can…create a new day for you.
Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)
24 This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
2. A BREEZE
Have you ever wondered where a breeze comes from? Yes, science will tell you that a breeze is a product of the difference between the temperatures of the earth and land. As air rises and grows warmer over land and forms low pressure, it interacts with cool air in high pressure…then it travels accross water and land. As land heats up during the afternoon, air above it begins to rise forming a low pressure area near the land. Then cool air, situated in high pressure areas, spreads across the water and moves in over land. BUT WHO MAKES THIS HAPPEN EVERY DAY? God controls it.
Exodus 14:21 (NKJV)
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided.
Mark 4:39 (NKJV)
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace,[a] be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
3 & 4. A BREATH & HEARTBEAT
Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that every time you exhale, God has a new breath waiting for you? Anyone who suffers from asthma will remind you to never take that for granted. That’s why it’s a shame that some people who God gives breath, uses that breath to say He doesn’t exist. Yes, God has allowed humans to make respirators to breathe ‘for us’. But, there are many people who are on life support who are actually dead because they don’t have ‘the breath of life’ inside them. God gives us a new ‘breath of life’ every time we exhale.
And, even while we sleep, our hearts keep beating. After each beat God continues to give us another each and every day. Even an artificial heart is nothing without a power source. God is the power source of the heart he created.
Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
5. NEW MERCIES
Grace is God’s unmerited favor towards His people, but everyone benefits from His mercy, whether they acknowledge it or not. It’s God’s mercy that prevents Him from dealing with us as we deserve. We are created in sinful flesh, and even when we try to do our best, we still fall short of His expectations. However, each day God gives us brand new mercies for each new day.
Aren’t you thankful that God doesn’t deal with you as your deserve? Aren’t you thankful that when God watched you stop and consider committing sin, knowing fully that it was wrong but still chose to do it anyway…yet God did not strike you down?
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
Psalm 103:10 (NKJV)
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
This list is not exhaustive. There are many things that require to be created new every day. THINK ABOUT IT…(the ability to think for yourself is one of them).
One of the best ways for a teacher to establish his or her classroom culture and expectations is by modeling that behavior.
The tone of our culture troubles me.
Our society has legitimized a culture of insults, profanity and retaliation.
This behavior is being modeled by too many of our leaders, while being justified, excused, ignored and mimicked by their supporters.
People are so impressed by ‘keeping it real’, telling it like it is, and avoiding being Politically Correct that many have lost the value of exercising Emotional Intelligence, tact, kindness and restraint.
Too many people see being loud, proud, obnoxious and visceral as strength, while seeing meekness, humility and patience as weakness.
Our children are having this negative behavior modeled every day.
Even in our movies, we feel the ‘bullied nerd’ is weak until he or she stands up to the bully violently.
Remember, Yeshua Himself said don’t repay evil with evil, but turn the other cheek. He said don’t resist an evil person (unless of course your life is threatened). But of course, striking back if someone slaps you isn’t about self-defense, but pride. Returning an insult with an insult is about pride.
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.
Adults who call themselves disciples of Christ are going to have to do a better job of setting the example of walking in the Fruit of the Spirit, which the world sees as weakness.
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.
Our children are learning to fight instead of keep the peace…
They’re learning to argue instead of reason…
They are learning to place blame and accuse instead of looking for solutions…
They’re learning to hate instead of love…
They are learning to make excuses to satisfy their will instead of God’s will.
Could many of our childish adults be the children who were spoiled when they were growing up? It’s time to stop the erosion of decorum in leadership.
Many times those involved in ministry, creatives and extroverts will be told, “You just like attention!” “You want attention!”
YOU LOVE ATTENTION!
This short quick answer to those accusations is ammunition and encouragement for those of you who want attention for the right reasons…
To bring glory to God…
To help others…
To make the world a better place…
The next time time someone tells you that you love attention, you tell them…
“SO DOES LIGHT!“
Matthew 5:14-15 (NKJV)
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
John 8:12 (NKJV)
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 3:19-21 (NKJV)
19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
You are the object of someone’s fantasy. Someone’s watching you, and they want what you have. Yes, they want your body…
Your cancer-free body…
Your disease-free body…
Your two working legs and arms…
They want your ability to walk and run.
They want your ability to go to work every day.
They want your strength. Not you super strength, but your strength to take care of yourself.
They want ‘What you’ve got!’ Not the opportunity to fulfill their lust, but the opportunity to fulfill their life.
They want your freedom.
They want a family like yours.
They want to be just like you.
They want a roof over their heads…Food to eat…Clothes to wear.
They fantasize about going to the grocery store and filling a shopping cart rather than carrying everything they own in one.
They fantasize about buying a pair of shoes…About going where they want, when they want, in a car.
They fantasize about going to the doctor for check-ups and not treatments.
Someone would trade their good credit for your health…their riches for your peace. They’re watching you.
Please don’t allow our prosperous society to spoil you to the point of covetousness and being ungrateful.
Don’t allow the ‘blessings of abundance’ to become ‘burdens’ to make you feel God is mistreating you if you don’t have everything you want. If you don’ have perfect health. If you don’t have ideal circumstances.
The bible teaches us to be content with food and clothes…
1 Timothy 6:8 (NKJV)
8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
God teaches us to not worry about our needs…
Matthew 6:31-34 (NKJV)
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
And, He teaches us to be thankful in all things.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Don’t get your wants confused with your needs. And remember, there is always someone ‘less fortunate’ than you…fantasizing to have what you may be taking for granted.
Have you ever heard anyone say that you can’t love someone if you don’t understand them? NOT TRUE!
God has commanded that we love one another…
John 13:34-35 (NKJV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
There are on caveats or conditions with this command…we just gotta love one another y’all!
God loves us no matter what we do. And, He doesn’t love your worst enemy any less than He loves you.
So remember this.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND SOMEONE TO LOVE THEM!
If you’re married, there are some things about your spouse that you’ll never understand.
There will be things about your children or your siblings that will always bother you, and bother you a lot.
There will always be people who’s behavior will never make sense to you.
There will always be people whose behavior you will never condone.
There will always be people who will hate you for absolutely no reason…
And we still have to love all of them! We must still always pray for God to meet them at their every point of need.
We must always pray that they submit to Gods. WORD…WILL..LOVE and SALVATION.
We must always pray that they learn what pleases God…
Ephesians 5:10 (NIV)
10 and find out what pleases the Lord.
We must always pray that they grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God, so they can truly know Him better…
We must always pray that they get to truly KNOW GOD BETTER…
Ephesians 1:17 (NIV)
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
As a matter of fact, that’s what makes love REAL When we can truly want the best according to God’s will for someone in the most conditions that challenge love the most…because that’s how God continues to love us.
I admit this is not be easy, but it IS so necessary.
God made it very clear that the forgiveness we receive from Him depends directly on the forgiveness we extend to those who have hurt us…
Matthew 6:12 (NLT)
12 Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
And, after you have forgiven them, you must continue to forgive them OVER and OVER again when you think about what they did (or didn’t do) and it makes you feel angry, ashamed, stupid and hurt all over again. You must continue to forgive them in your heart to MAINTAIN your forgivenesss…
Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ FORGAVE you.
So, think about the 3 people in your life who have hurt you the most. it may be…
or they may have hurt someone you truly love…
…you know what they did, or failed to do. You know how they let you down. Think about those 3 people.
Now, if you haven’t already…forgive them.
Make up your mind to release them from the guilt of what they did to you…even if they don’t feel guilty.
Then, ask God to help relieve the anxiety and pain that you experience when you think of what they did, or see them…or see something that reminds you.
1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Psalm 94:19 (NKJV)
19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.
I’m not minimizing the severity what they did to you, but God didn’t make a stipulation for that. He just commanded that we forgive.
I know it’s not easy. It may even seem impossible. But, this is where Philippians 4:13 is most powerful…
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
13 I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me.
Now, think about those people that you have hurt as much as you’ve been hurt…do you need to ask for forgiveness?
This piece IS NOT FOR or AGAINST President Trump, but to make a point to those who do not accept or believe in the Lord God of Israel through Yeshua the Messiah.
This is for those who don’t accept the bible as the inspired word of God.
Everyone doesn’t accept President Donald Trump as their President.
Everyone did not accept President Barak Obama as their President.
However, denying the fact that Donald Trump is your President does not prevent him from having authority in your life as an American citizen.
Denying that President Obama was your President did not make the decisions he made not valid for you.
It’s the same for those who don’t believe in or accept God. The same is true for those who don’t believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Remember that God allows His sun to shine on believers and unbelievers.
Matthew 5:45 (NKJV)
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.
It’s a shame that some people will inhale God’s air and exhale and say He’s not real…mock Him…blaspheme Him.
People who say God is not real and has no authority in their lives still hide when storm winds blow, lightening flashes, flood waters rise, and when the ground shakes…therefore, acknowledging He DOES have authority in their lives.
When we interact with God’s creation, with what we call nature, we are acknowledging His authority in their lives…
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 [a]Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
Even those of us who call ourselves believers dishonor God’s authority by what we allow to come out of our mouths…
James 3:10 (NKJV)
10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
So, be careful not to let your mouth curse the President. Instead, pray for Him to submit to the word, will and love of God. If you feel that He is not in relationship with God, pray for His Salvation.
Your prayer could be the prayer that changes his heart. However, our curses are condemnations and judgments that always come back on us…
Matthew 7:1-2 (NKJV)
7 “Judge[a] not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what [b]judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
Ask yourself, how many times you have complained about Donald Trump and neglected to pray for him.
Ask yourself, how many times you complained about Barack Obama but did not pray for him.
How many times have you prayed for either of them, but it was a selfish prayer…not for them to please God, but for them to please you?
God has given EVERYONE a measure of faith…
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.
Let us make it our habit to pray that God touch the hearts of those who don’t acknowledge Him. Let us pray that they attribute their measure of faith to Him through Yeshua, The Messiah, Jesus Christ. The fact is, He doesn’t love those who reject Him any less than He loves us.
2 Corinthians 5:20 (KNJV)
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
God still has authority over every person who doesn’t acknowledge Him. It is our responsibility to compel those minds to submit to that authority.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NKJV)
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not [a]carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
It’s very easy to take our blessings for granted. Especially the blessings that some of us might call ‘the little things’…like water.
Plenty of water…
Anytime you want it.
There are many people in this world who consider clean water to be a luxury.
There are many people in this world who bathe and drink from the same water that animals drink from.
They just want clean, easily accessible water to drink and bathe in.
But, so many of us don’t only have plenty of water to drink, we can sometimes catch ourselves saying “There’s nothing here to drink if there is no juice, soda, wine, beer, or Kool-Aid in the house to drink because we don’t want to drink water.
So many of us have enough water to water our lawns.
So many of us have enough water to wash our cars.
So, the next time you get ready to wash your car or drive through a car wash, stop and thank God for enough water for this task that could be considered by those who don’t have enough as vain.
Then say a prayer for those who can’t go to the faucet and turn on the fresh, clean water.
Exodus 17 (NKJV)
17 Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, “Give us water, that we may drink.”
So Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the Lord?”
3 And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”
4So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone[a] me!”
5And the Lord said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with yousome of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”
And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 So he called the name of the place Massah[b] and [c]Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they [d]tempted the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
She wanted to drive today. That’s fine, I’ll play on my phone on the way to the grocery store.
As she turned while pulling out of the garage, I couldn’t help but notice as the wood-grained steering wheel slliiiiiiiiddd through her delicate, manicured hands. I smiled, but she didn’t notice.
Her voice, just as soft as her hands said, ‘Please turn on the air Boo (I love it when she calls me that). The cool rush of air mixed with her Paris Hilton perfume, which blends perfectly with the chemicals in her skin, for a fragrance so intoxicating that I’m glad I’m not driving.
As we walked into the store, I purposely allowed her to walk slightly ahead of me. She knew how much I love that dress. No shopping cart was needed. It’s was just a quick trip, so she took my hand and I was thankful she wanted the world to know I belong to her. I do.
We grabbed the almond milk and her sun dried tomato turkey, and as we headed to check out…I was subtly checking her out. I’m still just as attracted to this woman as I was 33 years ago.
From her curves…
To her smile…
Her airy voice…
From her feet…
To her hair…
To the fact I’m still her choice.
SONG OF SOLOMON CHAPTER 7(NKJV)
7 How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curves of your thighs are like jewels, The work of the hands of a skillful workman. 2 Your navel is a rounded goblet; It lacks no [a]blended beverage. Your waist is a heap of wheat Set about with lilies. 3 Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle. 4 Your neck is like an ivory tower, Your eyes like the pools in Heshbon By the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon Which looks toward Damascus. 5 Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel, And the hair of your head is like purple; A king is held captive by your tresses.
How fair and how pleasant you are, O love, with your delights! 7 This stature of yours is like a palm tree, And your breasts like its clusters. 8 I said, “I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of its branches.” Let now your breasts be like clusters of the vine, The fragrance of your [b]breath like apples, 9 And the roof of your mouth like the best wine.
The wine goes down smoothly for my beloved, [c]Moving gently the [d]lips of sleepers. 10 I am my beloved’s, And his desire is toward me.
11 Come, my beloved, Let us go forth to the field; Let us lodge in the villages.
2Let us get up early to the vineyards; Let us see if the vine has budded, Whether the grape blossoms are open, And the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. 13 The mandrakes give off a fragrance, And at our gates are pleasant fruits, All manner, new and old, Which I have laid up for you, my beloved.
I still LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY!
On the way home, I quickly refined a playlist curated from 33 years of songs that make up the soundtrack of our marriage…Songs that are suggestive, sensual, and maybe just a little graphic that together progress to a crescendo that provides the rhythmic score to an romantic afternoon…
For the two of us as we get home, and quickly close the door.
Once again, she’s subtly seduced me with a simple trip to the store.
It’s so wonderful when a woman of God knows how to effortlessly wear her sexiness, sensuality, and to make her husband fantasize about her without compromising her holiness.
Song of Solomon 1:13 (NKJV)
13 A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, That lies all night between my breasts.
Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV)
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
That’s why there will never be a better love than ours…
Because the entire time I was watching her…she was watching me too.
Marriage and the beauty of it’s God ordained intimacy is truly a gift from our Heavenly Father!
If you’re married…1, 5, 10, 20, 30 or 75 years, never forget to make one another feel sexy, desired and loved. It’s God’s will for your marriage.
If you’ve read several of my blog posts, you will find I’m intentionally redundant with this message…
I’m VERY concerned with not just the character of America, but also those who call themselves Christians.
I’m concerned with how much the sin of PRIDE has been validated, justified and excused.
PRIDE IS AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN CONSIDERED BY GOD AN ABOMINATION!
5 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join[a]forces, none will go unpunished.
Remember, that even though sin is sin, some sins make God more angry. That’s not hard to understand because some sins make us more angry. It would make you angry if someone mistreats you, but it make you more angry if they try to kill you.
So, PRIDE makes God more angry than some sins we may consider greater sins.
And, pride leads to the idolatry of worshipping (giving too much priority in our hearts) that which we are proud of…
God has not given us permission to be proud of any of these things.
If your mind is immediately trying to find reasons to justify it, then you may be trying to impose your will over God’s word. That’s dangerous.
So, how should you feel about what you are PROUD OF?
It’s simple. From now on, anytime when you want to say…
8 (A)For by grace you have been saved (B)through faith, and that not of yourselves; (C)it is the gift of God, 9 not of (D)works, lest anyone should (E)boast.
So, think for a moment…
Think about some of the sins that you’ve committed SINCE you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
The war of flesh and spirit doesn’t go away after you’re ‘saved’…
Galatians 5:16-18 (NKJV)
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
However, when we receive the gift of His Holy Spirit are equipped to fight. You will win some battles and lose some battles, but ultimately win the war.
Galatians 5:17-23 (NKJV)
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [d]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
So think for a moment of some of the sins you’ve committed SINCE you’ve accepted Yeshua as Lord and Savior…
If you’ve been ‘saved’ for several years, you may realize that you’ve committed more sins SINCE you’ve been saved…
You may even notice that some of the sins you committed after you were saved were GREATER than those before you were saved. Yes, sin is sin, but some sins simply make God more angry…they’re called abominations. And these sins aren’t necessarily the freaky sexual sins that may often first come to mind. For example, pride is one of them…
Proverbs 16:5 (NKJV)
5 Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join[a]forces, none will go unpunished.
This is why we should NEVER take the grace of God for granted.
This is a good time to stop right now and thank God for His grace and mercy, and for not dealing with any of us as we deserve.
Psalm 103:10 (NKJV)
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
And, be honest with yourself. Did you really accept the Lord Jesus as Savior, or were you just looking for Him to make things better in your life. Did you really accept Him because you believe or did you just think it was the right thing to do? Were you curious? Did you do it because your parents made you?
If you’ve sinned greater since you’ve been saved, ask yourself did you come to Yeshua for the right reasons.
If my blog blesses you, I gladly accept donations of $2 or less. 1 Corinthians 9:14 (CJB) 14 In the same way, the Lord directed that those who proclaim the Good News should get their living from the Good News.