YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE SOLUTION TO SOMEONE ELSE’S PROBLEM…

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No matter how many problems you have. No matter how many issues you’re struggling with. No matter how little money, influence or resources you may have. God has still given you the solution to someone else’s problem.

Even if your meal is free, God has equipped you to bring something of value to the table.

It may not have a dollar $ign…

Encouragement…

Inspiration

Entertainment

Education

Strength

Support

A shoulder…

An ear…

A voice…

To the friendship…

To the marriage.

To the team.

To the organization.

To your church.

To a stranger.


Even if you’re broke, you can be the key to someone’s breakthrough.


Not only no matter your situation, but BECAUSE of your situation, God is strategically positioning you with the people and places where you can be a blessing.

Remember this…

James 2:5(NKJV)

5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

Now…Get out there and bless somebody today!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHAT IF THEY TOLD JESUS “I CAN’T”…

Have you ever stopped to think about how many blessings you may have missed out on because you said either out loud or in your heart, “I CAN’T”?

Many people comfort themselves when something doesn’t work out by saying, “Well, it was never meant to be.” That may be true sometimes, but definitely not always. Consider this…

What if the man who was waiting at the Pool of Bathesda told Yeshua, I CAN’T when he was told to take up his bed and walk…

John 5:8-9 (NKJV)

Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.

And that day was the Sabbath.

…He would not have been healed.


What if the man who had been born blind said I CAN’T when Yeshua put clay made from spit on his eyes and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam…

John 9:6-8 (NKJV)

When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was [a]blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”

…He would not have received his sight.


What if the woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years (had spent all her money on physicians who could not help her) had said to herself when she heard that Jesus was coming through the crowd, “I CAN’T! It’s too many people. I won’t be able to get to Him”…

Luke 8:43-47 (NKJV)

43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”

When all denied it, Peter [a]and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, [b]and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”

46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

…She would not have been healed.

The Lord may not be telling you to take up your bed and walk. He may not be telling you to wash in the pool of Siloam. You may not be trying to get to Him in a crowd.

But, how many blessings have you missed out on because you said I CAN’T when He told you to…

FORGIVE…“I can’t forgive that!”

TURN THE OTHER CHEEK… “I can’t let them get away with that!”

GIVE… “I can’t give that preacher my money!”

HELP… “I can’t help that homeless person!”

SERVE… “I can’t, I don’t have time!”

PRAY FOR YOUR ENEMY… “I can’t, they hate me.”

Remember, the word CAN’T is the word CAN with a ‘KNOT’ tied at the end.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY FORGIVENESS IS THE GREATEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE…

Gifts are given for many reasons…

For love…

Out of guilt…

To show off…

And, unfortunately some people judge the love of people in their lives based on the material things they give and the amount of money spent on those gifts.

But, the interesting thing about true forgiveness is that it can ONLY be given out of love.

The greatest gift ever given to us, Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, was given as a perpetual willingness of God to forgive us.

True love isn’t only proven by what you’re willing to give, but what you’re willing to forgive.

Colossians 3:13 (NKJV)

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T CELEBRATE YOUR ADVERSARY’S ADVERSITY…

“I wouldn’t piss on you if you were of fire!”

Have you ever heard anyone say anything similar to that? Many times when someone has hurt us, we want to see them hurt. We can find ourselves daydreaming comforting ourselves with the thought of getting even with or even hurting them, just as Easu did his brother Jacob for deceiving their father Isaac out of his blessing…

Genesis 27:42  (NLT)

42 But Rebekah heard about Esau’s plans. So she sent for Jacob and told him, “Listen, Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you.

Sometimes when we see misfortune come upon someone who had mistreated us, we may take pleasure in that misfortune. And, if given an opportunity we may even gloat to their face…

“That’s what you get!”

“See, you got what you deserved!”

Or even…

“God doesn’t like ugly!”

God warns us agains gloating in our enemies calamity, even if it came from Him, and even if we feel they deserve it. This is what God warned Edom when pronouncing their punishment for their violence against Israel.

Obadiah 12-13  (NLT)

12 “You should not have gloated
    when they exiled your relatives to distant lands.
You should not have rejoiced
    when the people of Judah suffered such misfortune.
You should not have spoken arrogantly

    in that terrible time of trouble.
13 You should not have plundered the land of Israel
    when they were suffering such calamity.
You should not have gloated over their destruction
    when they were suffering such calamity.
You should not have seized their wealth
    when they were suffering such calamity.

Why? Because when we arrogantly celebrate someone’s misfortune, we are in direct contradiction to the word of God…

Matthew 5:44-45 (NLT)

44 But I say, love your enemies![a] Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

Second, it’s judgement and condemnation, judging in your heart that they deserved what they got…

Matthew 7:1-2 (NLT)

7 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others.[a] The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.[b]

We have all hurt others and sometimes we did it without knowing. Can you think of someone who you have given a good reason to hate you? Have you ever hurt someone without intending to do so? The pain is still real. When you judge someone deserves what happened to them, according to Matthew Chapter 7 verses 1 and 2, you are pronouncing that same judgment on yourself.

Also, be careful when you lie by telling someone you’re sorry to hear about their trial or misfortune when you’re really glad in your heart. Be careful when your consolation is really a celebration.

The next time you see someone getting what you feel they deserve, stop and thank God for His grace and mercy for not giving you what you deserve. And pray that their calamity brings them closer to God.

BEFORE YOU CELEBRATE THEM ‘GETTING WHAT THEY DESERVE’…

WHEN YOU COMFORT YOURSELF DAYDREAMING OF SEEING SOMEONE HURT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY GOD MAY NOT GIVE US PERMISSION TO REMOVE THE ‘TOXIC’ PEOPLE FROM OUR LIVES…

Let me preface this piece by saying this piece is not addressing dangerous, abusive relationships.

We all encounter people who ‘get on our nerves’. We all have people in our families, workplaces, and even churches who love to cause trouble, drama and who cause us high levels of stress and anxiety.

Some people have a chronic propensity to bring negativity to every interaction.


One of the most common and seemingly practical pieces of advice is to remove the people toxic people from our lives…but does the Bible support that teaching?


It sounds good in blog posts, self help books, sermons, and motivational speeches, but how does God expect us to handle the situation?

Notice that God told Ezekiel that He was sending Him to…well a nation of ‘toxic people’.

Ezekiel 2:3-5 (NKJV)

And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are [a]impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.

God equipped Ezekiel for the challenge, and He is trying to equip us…

Ezekiel 3:7-9 (NKJV)

But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are [a]impudent and hard-hearted. Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.


Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, sent His disciples into ‘toxic situations’…

Matthew 10:16 (NKJV)

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless[a] as doves.

The fact is that Jesus gave us instructions for how to handle people who intentionally antagonize us…

Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)

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,


Notice that the Lord didn’t say avoid your enemies, block those who curse you, and remove those who spitefully use and persecute you from your life.


God expects us to strong enough to be light, and a positive spiritual influence to those who are ‘toxic’. The very person or persons that you have decided to eliminate from you life might have been specifically sent into your life to benefit from your light.

Let’s say you’re one of those people on social media who announce they are unfriending or blocking the ‘negative or messy’ people from their lives. These are people who haven’t unfriended or blocked you from their lives, even though they may be sometimes annoyed by your passion or love for God. You may be the only light they see in a sea of the craziness on social media.

God expects us to be strong and grow in wisdom, knowledge, understanding, love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, self-control and faithfulness enough so we can represent His glory and image in every relationship and interaction.

This is when what God told us through the apostle Paul is the most powerful…

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

13 I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me.


Before you get rid of someone toxic, why not pray for the strength, wisdom and patience to be a blessing to them?


What if Jesus had decided to reject the negative people in His earthly ministry?

Before you block their calls, what if blocked yours?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

TOO MANY CHRISTIANS REFUSE TO TURN THE OTHER CHEEK (AND HERE’S THE PROBLEM WITH THAT)…

It’s unfortunate that too many times, Christians totally disregard what God said. Christians will claim to live by God’s word where it’s convenient for their own personal theology, but in places where it challenges their beliefs or behavior, many totally disregard what the word says explicitly.

“You’ve got common sense.”

“God didn’t mean that”

“Times are different now!”

“They don’t know who they’re messing with!”

“Don’t make me revert back to my old self!”

“I haven’t always been saved!”

These are just a few of the statements made when people want to exercise their own authority over God’s word.

One such statement and commandment that Yeshua (Jesus) made was when He clearly told us to TURN THE OTHER CHEEK…

Matthew 5:38-39 (NKJV)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 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.

There’s no IFs, ANDs or BUTs about what Jesus said. We are not to resist an evil person, but we are to do exactly what He did before He was crucified…

Luke 22:64 (NKJV)

64 [a]And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?”

Many Christians are quick to teach their children that if someone hits you, that you are to hit them back. “Don’t let anyone think you’re afraid of them.”

Others will say that God allows you to defend yourself.

They are correct that God allows you to defend yourself WHEN YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER. But, someone trying to humiliate or intimidate you by slapping you or striking you is totally different from someone tackling you or trying to overcome you physically. It’s totally different that when someone is really threatening your life.

HERE’S THE PROBLEM WITH IGNORING TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK…

Yes, God give us permission to defend our lives, but when our lives aren’t in danger, its not about self defense…IT’S ABOUT PRIDE!

Pride and the sins that come from pride (arrogance, jealousy, envy, wrath, revenge, etc.) are the reasons that disagreements escalate…

families are dysfunctional…

friendships end…

crime is prevalent in so many cities…

and wars strike up around the world.

Too many Christians are ‘ready for a fight’!

Too many Christians are fantasizing about a situation where they have to ‘stand their ground’!

Too many Christians don’t trust God to fight their battles! (Read 2 Chronicles Chapter 20).

Too many Christians are ready for a physical fight because they don’t trust God to fight their spiritual battles.

We can’t cherry-pick our way through the bible asserting our own authority over God’s. That’s idolatry, and He’s not having it.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN PEOPLE STEAL FROM YOUR CREATIVITY…

Releasing your creativity leaves you vulnerable…

It is a window into what’s inside you…

It reveals how you hear God…

It opens you up to the criticism of those who don’t take the risk of being transparent…

And, one of the most frustrating vulnerabilities is when people STEAL from your creativity.

Yes, people can be inspired in a way to spark their own creativity, but I’m not talking about them.

I’m talking about those, some of whom are your peers, that will..

…read, watch, observe, listen, feel, groove…

…have their imagination, passion, curiosity, love, and FAITH defibrillated by your…

…words, music, voice, art, innovativeness, culinary skills…your creativity…

…but rather than quote, credit, or acknowledge that God used YOU to release it…

…they will repurpose or blatantly ‘carbon copy’ it as their own. (Yep, that was a purposely long run-on sentence and overworked ellipsis).

Some preachers who quote the great theologians, or famous preachers, speakers or authors feel free to use your creativity as their own.

Some writers and bloggers who are careful to cite other sources will feel it’s okay to assume ownership of what they read from your pen or keyboard.

Some musicians will use just enough of bars to make it their own.

Some artists will hope your obscurity remains obscure.

Some chefs put their name on your culinary genius.

Some inventors will tweak and turn your innovation into theirs. (Think about Apple and Android).

The truth is that one of the greatest forms of flattery is when someone steals from your creativity.

If God uses you to release something, His concern is that it’s released. There were countless people in the bible and beyond who were responsible for the word of God we all rely on today.

Think of the countless tunes that stick in your head and you don’t know who composed them.

Now think about this. Without researching it, do you know the name of the person responsible for putting chapters and verses in the bible?

And, it’s true that we can think something is original to us and someone else we know released the same creativity. Personally, I rely on someone else’s creativity and free images for every blog post (not this one though.)

Remember that you’re an expert at being you. The fingerprint of your voice and personality will be consistent in everything you do.

And really, all of us who share our gifts with the world without giving God the credit and glory is guilty of spiritual plagiarism because anything GOOD will originate from Him.

When I’m honest with myself, my creativity isn’t mine, it’s God’s…and there’s nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NKJV)

That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.

BE BLESSTIFED!

WHY SOME PRAYERS ARE BEST SAID SILENTLY (WHISPER IN GOD’S EAR)…

Do you remember in the first chapter of 1 Samuel when Hannah, Eli’s wife, prayed silently and he thought she was drunk because he only saw her lips moving?

God heard that prayer and granted her a son.

The more I learn about how things work in the spirit world and how they effect the physical world…

The more I learn about the spiritual battles that take place over our lives by angels and fallen angels…

The more I realize that some prayers need to remain silent. Some things, some plans, some goals, and especially some fears need to remain between you and God.

Notice what happened when Daniel prayed about one of his visions, the angel that God dispatched to give him revelation was detained 3 weeks by a high ranking fallen angel…

Daniel 10:10-14 (NKJV)

10 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. 11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.

12 Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.

Notice how Yeshua reminds us that we all have angels who minister to us daily…

Matthew 18:10 (NKJV)

10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.

You can’t believe in God without believing in angels and fallen angels (demons). These demons partner with the adversary (the devil) in being our aggressive antagonists.

Matthew 18:10 (NKJV)

10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.

The devil is our spiritual adversary, but he does not have the ability to know our thoughts. But, just like any physical human adversary, he can react to what you say to antagonize and hinder you. He and his fallen angel cohorts can react to what you say.

That’s why people can’t throw around the common Christian catch phrase, SPEAK IT INTO EXISTENCE too loosely. 2 REASONS WHY WE SHOULD BE CAREFUL BEFORE WE SAY ‘SPEAK IT INTO EXISTENCE’ or ‘NAME IT & CLAIM IT’…

Just as a physical enemy will react to your words, so will the devil and demons. So, be very mindful that some things DON’T need to be said out loud.

Some prayers need to be spoken in your heart as you pray silently, just as Hannah did.

God has knowledge of what you need even before you ask.

His Holy Spirit steps in when words can’t be expressed or don’t need to be expressed…

When you pray silently it’s just like whispering in God’s ear.

Romans 8:26 (NKJV)

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession [a]for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Be careful how and with whom you share your plans…

Be careful how and with whom you share your hopes…

Be careful how and with whom you share your fears…

Pray for wisdom on what should be spoken out loud and when you should whisper in God’s ear.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN RESPECTED PROFESSIONALS DRIVE HOME AFTER ‘HAPPY HOUR’…

Sometimes it seems that texting while driving has stolen the spotlight from drunk driving.

However, it’s still the same problem it was back in 1976 when my grandfather was killed by a drunk driver on his way TO work.

But, many drunk or buzzed drivers aren’t just the stereotypical, stumbling alcoholics.

How many well-respected, hard working professionals, both ‘blue and white collar’ share ‘a couple of drinks’ after work before going home FROM work?

Not only is it a part of day-to-day life in some work places, but in many work cultures it’s an expectation to network and ‘climb the ladder’.

It’s only by the grace of God that more of these happy hours don’t end in tragedy.

I’m not saying don’t go to happy hour, but be responsible. Many people leave one drink, and one blink from suddenly changing (or ending) their life…or someone else’s.

Ephesians 5:17-19 (NKJV)

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

BE BLESSTIFIED.

HOW PROVERBS 31 DESCRIBES A TWO-INCOME HOUSEHOLD…

In traditional American culture the husband was the bread winner and the wife always only took care of the house and children, if they had them. And yes, men are natural providers and women natural nurtures, but if you read the bible closely, the responsibility to bring income into the home wasn’t only on the ‘man of the house’.

In Proverbs 31, the virtuous wife wasn’t only a domestic professional, but she was also an entrepreneur who helped bring income into the house. Check out these verses from this famous chapter that describes a virtuous wife…

13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
From [e]her PROFITS she plants a vineyard
.

24 She makes linen garments and SELLS them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.

This chapter describes a woman who contributes to the income of the home. In those days, there were no offices and factories. That agrarian society meant many men and women worked the land at home, while working their ‘side hustle’ of producing garments and carpentry products to sell.

If you notice, even during the time of the New Testament church, both Aquila and Priscilla his wife were tentmakers. They shared in that trade to provide for their family…

Acts 18:2-4 (NKJV)

And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.

Yes, the bible states that part of a woman’s role is to be a domestic professional (Titus 2:5), but that doesn’t take place in a vacuum…(did you catch that?. That doesn’t mean that is their ONLY role.

While at the same time, men in the bible also shared in some so-called domestic tasks. Remember that Jacob (Israel) was known for cooking (and a really good cook) rather than hunting like his brother Easu…

Genesis 25:27-30 (NKJV)

27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a [a]mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob

29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary

In today’ society, many times the husband has lost his job, and his wife either may be the only one working or she may be making the most money. This can sometimes cause friction in a marriage.

Many men feel guilt because their wife is working…

Many wives feel unhappy because they feel they shouldn’t be working…

The bible clearly supports a two income household.

If this blessed you, please share it with someone you feel needs to hear it.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

5 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN YOU’RE FEELING DEPRESSED ABOUT THE BAD DECISIONS YOU’VE MADE…

We have all been there. Those moments when you aren’t angry at God. You aren’t angry at God. You aren’t angry at the world…you’re angry at yourself and the sins, bad decisions and mistakes you have made.

Most of the time we feel this way because we’re living out the consequences of those mistakes, or it’s because we are silently noticing how our decisions have had a negative affect on those we love.

Yes, there are things beyond our control. Yes, there are times the world hasn’t been fair to us. And, yes there are times that God could have moved on our behalf and He didn’t.

But when we’re honest with ourselves, much of the difficulty we face in life is a result of our own sins or bad decisions.

When we admit this to ourselves, it can lead to moments or seasons of depression. So, what do you do?

1. REMEMBER THOSE USED BY GOD IN THE BIBLE WERE FAR FROM PERFECT

Remember that everyone in the bible who was used by God was far from perfect. From Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to the patriarchs. From Noah to Moses to David to Peter to Paul. From Sarah to Rebecca to Miriam to Job’s wife…the men and women in the bible made horrible mistakes. However, they were still used by God.

2. YOU DIDN’T CATCH GOD BY SURPRISE WHEN YOU MESSED UP

God was not surprised when he sinned with Bathsheba. God knew that was going to happen when He anointed David king years before. Also know that YOU didn’t catch God by surprise when you messed up. Especially if it’s due to one of the weaknesses that He gave you. Many of our weaknesses are innate. Some people are naturally horrible with managing money. Others have an unquenchable appetite for sex that can only be controlled with the help of God’s Holy Spirit. While other people have a natural tendency to quickly get angry and act before thinking. These are all weakness that we need God’s help to overcome. This is His way of nurturing a relationship to keep us close to Him…but too many times we allow our weaknesses to overpower our strengths. Never forget that His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses…

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (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. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

3. GOD MADE YOU AND KNOWS THE CHALLENGES OF LIVING IN ‘FLESH’

God knows that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41)

He has compassion on us when we are repentant about our ‘human’ moments…

Psalm 103:10-14 (NKJV)

10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He [a]knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust
.

4. GOD CAN DELIVER US FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR SINS, BAD DECISIONS AND WEAKNESSES

God is a keeper ( Yehovah Raah, The Lord is our Shepherd) and is able to sustain us in spite of our mistakes. There are those who have made the same mistakes you have and have lost much more… have suffered much more… and some didn’t even survive. But, He kept you…sustained you… nurtured you… and had mercy on you through your weakest, darkest moments. David remained king after he repented and remained a man after God’s heart. God restored to Job twice as much as he had after he prayed for his friends who made his ordeal much worse (Job 42:10-17). After denying Christ, Peter went on to be one of the most influential Apostles. No matter what you’ve done, if you repent and it’s God’s will, He can deliver you from the consequences of your sins, bad decisions and weaknesses. Especially if it’s an innate weakness He gave you. Make this prayer a part of your regular prayer life:

“Heavenly father, I truly repent of how I have let you down. Please forgive me and if it’s your will deliver me from the consequences of my sins, bad decisions and weakness.”

5. REMEMBER THAT GOD ALLOWS US MOMENTS TO LAMENT AS LONG AS WE STILL PROCLAIM OUR TRUST IN HIM

One of the most beautiful things about the Psalms is that they teach us how to express our regret and even question Him in respect as long as we end those moments reaffirming our trust in Him.

Psalm 13 (NIV)

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

So, don’t be too hard on yourself wen you’re feeling down and depressed. God made you and He knows you. Just as parents don’t enjoy seeing their children cry when they are truly sorry of their mistakes, God is compassionate. Do just what David did as he lamented the kidnapping of their women and children and bore the blame of those closest to him. Encourage and strengthen yourself in the LORD and keep it moving! Remember, God gave him the victory then too.

1 Samuel 30 (NKJV)

Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was [a]grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

IF THE WORLD COULD SEE YOUR SOUL (A SHORT POEM)…

Just like God, your spirit is invisible. But, what if you could see it…

IF THE WORLD COULD SEE YOUR SOUL

If the world could see your soul

what would we see?

Would it be well-manicured, or

scarred horribly?

Would a lifetime of ‘walking in

the Spirit’ show?

Or would people stare and say,

“You sure let yourself go?”

Would your spiritual body look like

it’s been handled with care?

Or, would it be bruised and abused

with irreparable wear?

Would it always leave behind the

scent of aromatic flowers?

Or, would there linger the stench of sin

that lasts for hours and hours.

The good new is that anyone in Christ

is a new creation.

True repentance releases God’s spiritual healing

and your soul’s restoration.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THE DAY GOD DELIVERED MY FAMILY FROM DEATH…LITERALLY!

This is a picture of my family in a van traveling to Florida. Before we left home, we all held hands and asked God for His divine protection. We asked for each of our angels to be with us. We asked Him to put a hedge around us, just as He did Job (Job 1:10). We asked for a safe trip…a safe stay and a safe return home.

As we left Memphis at mid night we traveled safely through the night on schedule. I drove the entire time. Around midday we crossed over the Georgia/Florida county line and made a last stop for gas and get something to eat.

We were then on our last stretch of the trip.

As I drove down I-75 near Gainesville, I was in the fast lane of a three- lane stretch of highway. The interstate was extremely busy because this was the Friday before Christmas. Every lane was full of cars and trucks…BIG TRUCKS.

Suddenly, immediately in front of our van a huge cloud of smoke appeared. As I drive into it I discovered that not only could I NOT see the cars around me, I couldn’t see 1 inch in front of us. I couldn’t even see the windshield wipers!

I WAS DRIVING BLIND! We were definitely riding by faith and not sight.

I expected to hear vehicles crashing around me any moment. My wife told me to stop the van, and everyone was bracing themselves.

As she told me to stop the van, I calmly replied, “No”, but did stop accelerating as I eased over onto the shoulder of the road with only a small guard rail separating the oncoming traffic on the other side, hoping and praying not to slam into a wrecked or stopped car in front of me, while also praying that a car or truck didn’t slam into the back of us.

All I could think about is the multi-car pile-ups I have seen in white-out snow or blinding fog. Everyone in the car wondered if this was the day we were going to die or be severely injured.

I was driving, but I definitely was NOT in control! After driving several seconds in the smoke, we emerged and there was no accident. The man in the car next to us looked at my wife as if to say, “What was that?”

Here’s the thing. With dozens of cars enveloped in the smoke, how likely is it that abosolutley not one car, one truck, one SUV or crossover…not one 18-wheeler stopped? If only one vehicle stopped it would have been catastrophic.

ONLY GOD PREVENTED ANYONE FROM STOPPING!

We immediately began thanking and praising God.

God answered our prayer before our trip. Our families could have been receiving a horrible phone call later that day.

Two weeks later after returning home, I was watching the news and saw a report of a multi-car accident on the same interstate, in the same area and one of the vehicles involved was a van. Not only that, 7 people were killed and 7 people were injured.

It was 7 people in our van that day (one person can’t be seen in the picture above).

I pray God’s strength for the families involved in that accident, but God quickly reminded me that could have been us.

So many times after near death experiences or after living foolishly many times people say, “I shouldn’t be here” as a testimony of God’s grace and mercy.

But I have learned that those experiences are confirmation that, WE SHOULD BE HERE! It’s confirmation that God still has purpose for our lives.

That experience gave me brand new appreciation for…

Psalm 118:17-18 (NKJV)

17 I shall not die, but live,
And declare the works of the Lord.
18 The Lord has chastened[a] me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.

Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 20:6 (NKJV)

Now I know that the Lord saves His [a]anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.

Just as Psalm 118:17 say, “ I will declare the works of the Lord!”

When God delivers us, saves us, rescues, protects us from certain hurt, harm, danger or death it is our responsibility to let the world know.

God delivered my family from death that day December 21, 2018. We still don’t know where the smoke came from.

I do know that God proved to us that when trouble, pain or uncertainty, surrounds you like a cloud.

When you seem to be enveloped in darkness and you can’t see your way through.

When it seems you’re driving blind…

Your faith will see you through.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

GOOD NEWS: GOD’S ‘JUDGEMENT’ ISN’T ALWAYS PAINFUL…

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The judgement of God is often viewed as painful, uncomfortable or even negative.

But, sometimes His verdict is…

Innocent…

Righteous…

Aquitted…

Overturned…

Commuted…

Victorious…

Free…

Forgiven…

Saved!


Thank God that through Yeshua, Jesus Christ, our DEATH sentence has been COMMUTED to ETERNAL life…


1 John 5:11 (NIV)

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

BE  BLESSTIFIED!

 

WHEN WE MAKE THINGS TOO EASY FOR THE DEVIL…

All it takes is looking at the news or social media.

I’m gonna let the scripture speak for itself…

Galatians 5:15-16 NKJV

But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

We sometimes makes things too easy for the devil by how we treat each other.

Sometimes, it takes so little to bring out the worst in us, but so much to bring out the best.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

HOW HER DEMENTIA GAVE HER HOPE IN HER LAST DAYS…

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Let me first say that I in no way mean any disrespect to anyone dealing with the pain of a loved one suffering from any form of dementia. However, God does have a reason for everything He does. This true story showed me how what we sometimes think of as a ‘curse’ can be a blessing in disguise for some.

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

There were also varying levels of mental health. I would hear one lady in particular at one of the nursing homes say the same thing every time I visited. She would sit in her wheelchair in the entrance to her room as I walked by…she would smile and say,


“I’m going home today”.


No, she wasn’t going home. She was one of the residents who never had visitors, and her family had moved on with their lives. At first I felt sorry for her because her situation seemed so hopeless…but then God gave me an awesome revelation.


In her hopeless situation…her dementia was a blessing!


Blessing? How was her dementia a blessing?


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

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


God gave her a reason to smile EVERY DAY.

God gave her something to look forward to EVERY DAY.

God gave her HOPE in a HOPELESS situation.

She spent her last days with HOPE.

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

God’s wisdom is amazing!

He can can pull HOPE out of HOPEless…

FORTUNE our of unFORTUNATE…

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

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN PEOPLE SAY THEY WANT TO BE ‘JUST LIKE JESUS’…

Spiritual cliches are popular within the church community. Every church culture has their own.

They’re spoken in conversations, sermons and sung in songs.

They CAN be powerful affirmations of our faith and words of encouragement.

However, we need to always make sure we MEAN WHAT WE SAY and think of what the ‘cost’ may be.

One such phrase is when people say and sing…

I WANNA BE JUST LIKE JESUS!

Jesus made this clear on several occasions.

Mean what you say! Jesus made that very clear in the exact same context…

Matthew 8:19–20 (NKJV)

19 rThen a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”

20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son ofMan has nowhere to lay His head.”

Matthew 16:24-25 NKJV

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Matthew 20:22-24 (NKJV)

22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink (A)the cup that I am about to drink, [a]and be baptized with (B)the baptism that I am baptized with?”

They said to Him, “We are able.”

23 So He said to them, (C)“You will indeed drink My cup, [b]and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”

Many people claim they want to be like Jesus, but they complain when they are belittled, betrayed, beaten, dishonored, disrespected, disliked, threatened, harmed…when they are ‘given their cross’.

Be careful what you say because it WILL be required of you.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

THINK ABOUT THIS THE NEXT TIME YOU ASK, “WHAT ARE WE GOING TO EAT TONIGHT?”

It’s 2pm. You think about what’s in your refrigerator. You think about what’s in your pantry. So, you call your spouse or your mom, or whoever you share your meals with and ask…

“What are we going to eat tonight?” The burden of choices.

It’s 2pm. A man has been standing at an exit ramp with a cardboard sign that says, WILL WORK FOR FOOD since 6am. He’s tired and goes to the car that’s been home for his family since he lost his job. He collected judgmental looks, stares, disgust, pity, and $17. He looks at his wife and two kids and asks…

“What are we going to eat tonight?” The burden of no choices.

Same question, but two very different situations.

Never take for granted the blessing of having enough for today. Yeshua told us don’t worry about what we will eat tomorrow…

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 (A)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.

Never forget the parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus…

Luke 16:19-31 (NKJV)

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and [a]fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,21 desiring to be fed with [b]the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son,remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”

Notice there was no discussion about what Lazarus did to get in this desperate situation. God expected the rich man to help him.

Be careful that you aren’t turning away Lazarus when confronted with a ‘beggar’. If they are trying to scam you, that’s between them and God. But, if they are truly in need, one meal can make you their hero.
7 REASONS IT’S A BLESSING TO BE APPROACHED BY A BEGGAR…

HAVE YOU TURNED AWAY LAZARUS?

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN YOU WANT MORE RESPECT FROM OTHERS THAN YOU YOURSELF GIVE TO GOD…

Here’s a couple of yes or no questions to ask yourself.

Are you satisfied with the level of respect that you give to God?

Do you think that God is satisfied with the level of love and respect that you give to Him?

Husbands want their wives to respect them…

Wives want their husbands to respect them…

Parents want their children to respect them…

Children want their parents to respect them…

Employers want their employees to respect them…

Employees want their employers to respect them…

Leaders want their constituents to respect them…

Constituents want their leaders to respect them…

We want people to respect our race…

We want people to respect our heritage…

We want people to respect our rights.

But, how often do we stop and ask ourselves how much respect do we give to the God of our salvation?

You know what I believe? I honestly believe He sometimes allows…

Husbands to disrespect wives…

Wives to disrespect husbands…

Parents to disrespect children…

Employers to disrespect employees…

Employees to disrespect employers…

Leaders to disrespect their constituents…

Constituents to disrespect leaders…

He allows us to disrespect one another so we can see how HE feels when we…

Disrespect…

Disobey…

Dishonor…

Betray…

Ignore…

Him…

Or when we put Him to open shame.

Remember, if we aren’t careful we can be guilty of unintentionally trying to convince God to worship us and our will rather than us worshipping His will.

If we aren’t careful we can be guilty of the idolatry of worshipping ourselves. And, you know who got kicked out of Heaven for that…

Isaiah 14:12-14  (NKJV)

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
[a]Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,

You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’

WHEN YOUR MIRROR BECOMES YOUR PLACE OF WORSHIP…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY SINFUL RELATIONSHIPS DON’T NEED CLOSURE, JUST GET OUT…

Life can take people down many roads. As those roads are travelled sometimes people can find themselves in sinful or unhealthy relationships. It could be a spouse in an adulterous or a sinfully emotionally connected relationship. It could be a ‘boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. It could be a relationship with the ‘wrong crowd’ or with a person on your job. The bible tells us how we are to choose our relationships…

2 Corinthians 6:14  (NKJV)

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what [a]fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what [b]communion has light with darkness?

Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t interact with people who aren’t believers, but it does means we need to be very careful who we are in close relationship with. When two oxen are ‘yoked’ they are connected and one can’t move forward or turn without the other.

So many times people have tried to end an unholy relationship with a conversation, an explanation, a meeting, an encounter one last communication or connection for ‘closure’. But, what that actually does is draws them back in and keeps them connected.

Trying to end a wrong relationship or even help someone else when you aren’t strong enough can make you stumble…

Galatians 6:1 (NKJV)

6 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Sinful relationships do not need closure. They ALWAYS need an abrupt end, no communication, no explanation…just STOP, immediately.

WARNING! DON’T ASK GOD TO MAKE YOU STOP_________

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY WE DON’T HAVE TO SPECIFICALLY ASK GOD FOR EVERYTHING WE NEED ‘EVERY TIME’ WE PRAY…

Pray is such as special gift from the God of our creation.

We may not have instant and direct access to the President, the governor, the mayor, the CEO, the Athletic Director, your pastor or even one another sometimes…

But, we always have direct access to God through our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).

the Bible teaches us through prayers and supplications to make our requests made known to God…

Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

There have been times that after I have finished praying, I have wondered…did I miss something?

I thanked God.

I asked for forgiveness of my sins.

I prayed for provision, protection and other things.

I prayed for others…

Did I forget something?

But, then I remembered that we are created in the image of God. That means that we can have His character…His essence.

We can love like Him. We can nurture like Him. We can take care of our children the way He takes care of His children.

So, our children don’t have to make a point to specifically ask every day for us to:

Feed them…

Protect them…

Provide the things they need.

The fact is that many times if they simply come to us, unsolicited…

If they approach us ‘out of the blue’ and with obvious sincerity expressing, I LOVE YOU…and we know that it’s real.

That sincere and unselfish expression of love provokes us to WANT to do something to show them how much we love them. Sometimes it makes us want to do something special for them.

I think we have that reaction because we are created in God’s image. Maybe He sometimes reacts the same way towards us when we bow heads prayer or lift our hands in praise and unselfishly, sincerely express I LOVE YOU! I TRUST YOU! I BLESS YOU! And, I JUST WANT YOU TO BE PLEASED WITH ME!

Remember, prayer isn’t only giving God a laundry list of our needs, but an opportunity to express our love for Him.

Every now and then, just thank God and tell Him that you love Him.

Psalm 103:1-2 (NKJV)

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:

BE BLESSTIFIED!

2 REASONS WHY WE SHOULD BE CAREFUL BEFORE WE SAY ‘SPEAK IT INTO EXISTENCE’ or ‘NAME IT & CLAIM IT’…

There are many ‘cliche’s among believers that have become almost as revered as scripture. Some are more common in different Christian subcultures. From “LET GO AND LET GOD” to “GOD CAN DO ANYTHING BUT FAIL”, those who call themselves to be a part of the Body of Christ encourage, admonish and hold one another accountable with several spiritual cliches. For example, saying “PRAYER WORKS” can reduce prayer to a gimmick. However, we must be very careful with how we use these phrases.

Two of the most popular of these phrases among many Christians are the cliches…

“SPEAK IT INTO EXISTENCE!” or “NAME IT AND CLAIM IT!”

These are popular spiritual inferences that are drawn from several scriptures such as:

Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Matthew 21:21 (NKJV)

21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.

We must be very careful when we take scriptures and ‘turn them into what we want’. The fact is that when we ‘add to’ what the bible says, it can often do more harm than good.

There are no bible verses that explicitly say we can simply say things and they will happen. And, inferring that some verses mean that we can ‘name it and claim it’ is a dangerous conjecture.

Here are 2 quick reasons why we should be careful before we say, “Speak it into existence” or “Name it and claim it..

1. IT CAN CAUSE SOMEONE TO QUESTION THEIR FAITH

Yes, Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), told us that whatsoever we ask according to His will, shall be done for us, but, we all know that no matter how many times we pray for something that isn’t according to God’s will, it will not happen. And, having intimate conversation with God in prayer isn’t the spiritual equivalent to arbitrarily saying something out loud so that it will happen. The fact is that a prayer doesn’t even have to be ‘spoken’ or verbalized because God knows when we are speaking to Him in our thoughts without words. So, if someone ‘speaks it into existence’ through prayer, and God doesn’t do it…it can cause someone to question their faith in both God and prayer.

2. ‘SPEAKING IT INTO EXISTENCE’ CAN ACTUALLY ‘SPEAK IT INTO RESISTANCE’

Remember that Satan, his fallen angels and his emissaries on earth are not omniscient nor omnipresent. They aren’t all knowing and can’t be everywhere at the same time. The devil or demons CAN’T know your thoughts unless you make them known to them.

Notice how the bible reminds us that Mary didn’t share what God had told her verbally…

Luke 2:19 (NKJV)

19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Notice how the angel of the Lord acknowledged the spiritual resistance and battle taking place in the ‘spirit world’…

Daniel 10:12-14 (NKJV)

12 Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.

The angel of the Lord dispatched to Daniel met resistance from a high ranking, territorial fallen angel identified as the Prince of Persia. The angel was delayed three weeks!

When we verbalize…

Our intentions…

Our hopes…

Our dreams…

Our frustrations…

Our anger…

…God isn’t the only one who hears it. The enemy also hears it, and just the same as a human enemy can respond to undermine, frustrate or harm you based on what you make known with your mouth…so can the devil.

Many times when we arbitrarily SPEAK INTO EXISTSANCE, we’re inviting SPIRITUAL RESISTANCE.

Some things are meant to be between only you and God, spoken in the spiritual language of your heart. One of the beautiful benefits of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ is the fact that His Holy Spirit, (Ruach HaKadosh), speaks for us nonverbally when we don’t know what to say.

Remember, spiritual cliches are NOT scripture.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN GOD USES THE ‘N-WORD’…

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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!

5 REASONS WHY PEOPLE MAY NOT WANT TO TAKE ADVICE FROM YOU…

God teaches us in His word that wise counsel is priceless…

Proverbs 19:20-21  (NKJV)

20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.

21 There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

It’s good to get the benefit from the experience of others. But do you know anyone whose advice you really don’t want? Why? How do people feel about taking advice from you? Why?

Do people make any of these statements about you?

Is _____________ going to be there?

Is______________ going with us?

Are you inviting _________________?

Oh no! Here comes _______________?

HERE ARE 5 REASONS WHY PEOPLE MAY NOT WANT TO TAKE YOUR ADVICE…

1. YOU CAN’T HAVE A CONVERSATION WITHOUT GIVING ADVICE…

Some people don’t know how to have a conversation without giving advice. I know a young man who didn’t have his father around when he grew up. All the men in his life felt they had to mentor him. That’s fine, but not all the time.! They would never just laugh and talk. Never could just tell jokes. And, if jokes were told, it was about how the young man wasn’t doing something right. “If I were you I would…”, “When are you going to…”, “Ha, Ha, Ha, that’s not how you do that, here let me show you…” He got to the point that he dreaded when they came around. “Oh know, here comes Uncle ________” he thought. Remember this. Every moment doesn’t have to be a teaching moment. Every situation doesn’t have to be a lesson. And, people don’t learn by making fun of what they do wrong.

2. YOU AREN’T A GOOD EXAMPLE…

I had a barber once who loved to give advice about healthy eating. That was fine be he couldn’t cut my hair without his stomach rubbing against me. I also have an acquaintance who is always full of financial advice, but he is not doing very well financially himself. And, most parents get frustrated when people who have never had children try to advice them how to raise their children. I’m not saying people with children can’t give advice, or that you can’t learn from someone else’s financial mistakes, or that someone overweight can’t advice someone else on how to lose weight. But, I am saying that

3. YOU ARE ARROGANT & CONDESCENDING…

Yes, we see your level of success. Yes, we see that you’ve made great decisions. But, know we aren’t looking for advice every time you come around. Because when you give that advice you act as though everyone else is so stupid. When you give advice you belittle what they have done well. When you give advice, your tone is so mean that your advice goes unheard.

4. YOU USE IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BRAG ABOUT YOURSELF & FEED YOUR OWN EGO…

These people really aren’t concerned about helping you, they just want an opportunity to glorify themselves. No, we are not interested in how well you planned, how smart you were, or how hard you worked. Because guess what, we planned carefully too. We made intelligent decisions too. We worked very hard too, but sometimes things just don’t work out. Ask any entrepreneur who had a strong business plan, researched their market, sacrificed for their business, put in ‘blood, sweat, and tears’ and because of factors beyond their control, things didn’t work out.

BEFORE YOU SAY YOU DESERVE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE BECAUSE YOU WORKED HARD FOR IT…

5. NO ONE ASKED YOU…

I’m not saying that unsolicited isn’t good sometimes, but most of the time, if people want your advice, they will ask you. If you notice that someone needs some help and aren’t willing to ask, find a way to BE an example of the behavior that you feel could benefit from their experience. Be creative. Pray and ask God for wisdom, or even let the know you’re available if needed, but blurting out unsolicited advice can be so insulting that it goes unheard.

Remember, advice is only good if it received, so stop, think, and pray before you speak into someone’s life.

The next time you get some unwanted advice, come back to this list to see how many reasons apply.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN WE TELL ONE ANOTHER ‘I’VE BEEN TOO BUSY’…

How many times have you had an expectation of someone, and they told you they were too busy?

How many times have you given the same reason/excuse? We all say it sometimes because it’s true…most of us have VERY busy lifestyles.

Between work, family, this and that…that and this… and honoring our responsibilities to God we are being pulled on every side.

We all have different levels of responsibility and accountability.

Some of us even have public jobs and responsibilities that affect more people, and not doing the job well can have far reaching consequences.

But, the truth is that all of us are equally busy. Everyone’s BUSY is important to them and the people within their circle.

The problem is when some people act as though their busy is more busy their your busy.

I will never forget when I was in my corporate job, that many times those in executive leadership would walk up to people while in a conversation, or while you working, and either rudely interrupt or expect them to stop in the middle of what they were doing…even for something trivial. They had an over-inflated since of important and assumed their busy was more important than their ‘subordinates’. In reality, everyone in that organization was EQUALLY fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives…just people working for a living.

That’s why we should have realistic expectations in all of our relationships, and do the best we can to honor the expectations and responsibilities to those who are closest to us.

Because the truth is that…

Everyone is busy, so it’s not just about having the time, but it’s about making the time.

Philippians 2:3-4 (NKJV)

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

FOR THOSE WHO PERVERT WHAT GOD CALLS TRUE STRENGTH…

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It’s unfortunate that many who claim to be disciples in Christ are so easily impressed by so-called strong words, insults, profanity, threats, retaliation, aggression…what the world calls strength.

In today’s society people consider humility, meekness, and restraint are weakness, while they see arrogance and pride as strength. MEEKNESS ISN’T WEAKNESS…

Think about it. Even some women when asserting themselves claim they have ‘balls’. God never told us to have balls, but rather a tender heart.

The bible clearly, and explicitly lets us know the character He demands of those who claim to be His. He clearly gives us the true evidence, or “Fruit” that we possess His Spirit, character and attributes…

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.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

Matthew 5:5 (NKJV)

5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the [a]earth.

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.

Think about how many Christians are perfectly comfortable saying, “Hell yeah!” or “Hell no!” when Yeshua clearly said that ANYTHING above “YES” “NO” is from the devil and evil…

Matthew 5:37 (NKJV)

37 But let [a]your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

Almost 100 percent of the time, when I present the argument for quiet, Godly strength, the response is always the same...

“What about when Jesus was turning over the money changers in the temple or when He was rebuking the scribes and pharisees?”

Jesus was being no MORE strong when He got angry in the temple than when He was allowing them to insult Him…

Jesus was being no LESS strong when He allowed them to spit on Him, beat Him and insult Him than when He sharply rebuked His antagonists…

Jesus was being HIS STRONGEST when He endured the pain and shame of the cross.

Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)

looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Don’t let the devil pervert your idea of strength when God clearly told us how He expects us to behave. FOR THE TIMES YOU FEEL YOU JUST CAN’T HELP YOURSELF (RESTRAINT)…

BE BLESSTIFIED

THANK YOU FOR HELPING BE BELESSTIFIED.COM REACH 200,000 VIEWS!

This blog is my youngest child! It’s the only child I have that I’ve birthed instead of my wife.

It’s the platform God made available to me to share what He places inside me and holds me responsible to share with the generations.

I take it very seriously and pray that God’s gifts of exhortation, edification, admonition, inspiration, comfort, laughter, repentance and salvation are perfected in every word.

So, please accept my sincere thank you for helping me reach this milestone of 200,000 views.

It’s my prayer to reach beyond a billion and bring forth a harvest of God fruit through our Savior Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).

Matthew 6:16-18 (NKJV)

16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the [a]hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you [b]openly.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY THE TRADITIONAL NATIVITY SCENE IS NOT ‘SPIRIT & TRUTH’…

John 4:24 (NKJV)

24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The traditional ‘nativity scene’ depicting the night that Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) was born is a favorite Christmas decoration and reenactment.

Of course it features Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus, the shepherds, and the Magi or ‘wise men’ from the East.


There’s only one problem…

The Magi or ‘wise men’ were not there that night…not yet.


When you read the account closely, the location that the wise men found Jesus was not a stable, and He was not in a manger. He was no longer an infant, and Joseph was not present when the wise men visited.

Matthew 2:11 (NKJV)

11 And when they had come into the HOUSE, they saw the YOUNG CHILD with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Luke 2:15-16 (NKJV)

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

It says very clearly that they arrived at a house, that Jesus was a young child, and His father wasn’t there at the time. At the scene of the birth Jesus is called a Babe, while at the scene with the wise men He is called a small child.


Notice also that the events recorded in Matthew 2:1-12 took place AFTER Yeshua was born. And, one must consider the took some time…

Matthew 2:1-12 (NKJV)

Now AFTER Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, [a]wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the [b]wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

After the LORD was born, the wise men traveled to Jerusalem after seeing the star and inquired of where they could find Jesus…that took some time.

After hearing of this, Herod gathered the chief priests and scribes and asked them where Christ was born…that took some time.

Herod then secretly requested that the wise men come to him. After determining when the star appeared, he asked the wise men to CAREFULLY (take you time) search for the “young child”… that took some time.

After finding the LORD, the wise men didn’t return to Herod, but went straight to their own country, further implying a longer journey…that took some time.

Consider this from my post, “Accepting That Something You’ve Sincerely Believed Is Wrong”…

  1. According to verses 9-10, when they came to where the star stood over where the YOUNG CHILD was (not baby), they came into THE HOUSE (not stable) and found Jesus with His mother (Joseph wasn’t present at the time).
  2. According to verse 12, after being warned in a dream, they departed into their own country…you can’t do all of that in one night’s time.
  3. In verses 16 Herod ordered that all male children age 2 and under be killed…because that’s when the star first appeared.
  4. After the wise men leave, that’s when Joseph’s name reappears as he takes his family into Egypt.

Some people are so accustomed to believing the wise men were there in the stable, that rather than accept that may not be true and they came later, we start trying to find a way to prove what wish to believe is true…rather than seek the real truth.


The fact is that the shepherds and wise men visited Jesus on two different occasions, possibly separated by about two years.


Many of those who have the traditional nativity scene ingrained in their minds may ask, “What does it matter?”

Again, because God said that anything done to worship Him MUST be done in spirit and not truth. Unfortunately, Christians are notorious for twisting and compromising to fit traditions and their will instead of God’s.

If you’re going to celebrate the Son of God’s birth, do it in SPIRIT AND TRUTH!

The traditional nativity scene is not truth.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHY WE NEED TO REPLACE THE WORDS ‘BLAME’ & ‘FAULT’ WITH ‘RESPONSIBLE’…

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We need to learn to replace the words ‘blame’ and ‘fault’ with ‘responsible’.

Blame and fault are negative; Responsibility is positive.

Blame shifts responsibility or refuses to accept it.

Fault encourages one to pass the buck to protect themselves.

Have you ever blamed someone else when you were responsible?


Telling someone ‘I blame you’  or ‘it’s your fault will likely make them defensive.

But, telling them ‘It’s your responsibility’ or ‘we all make mistakes’ is more will likely make them be accountable.


The enemy is always looking for opportunities to provoke us to sin so he can blame and accuse us.

Revelation 12:10 (NKJV)

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

Romans 14:11-12  (NKJV)

11 For it is written:

As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

Galatians 6:5 (NKJV)

For each one shall bear his own load.

God expects us to hold one another responsible and accountable, sometimes with rebuke…

Proverbs 27:17  (NKJV)

17 As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

And, sometimes in gentleness…

Galatians 6:1-2  (NKJV)

Brethren, if a man is [a]overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

But always in wisdom. Remember, responsibility brings accountability and blame brings shame.

 

BE BLESSTIFIED!

WHEN CHRISTIANS PRACTICE ‘SPIRITUAL DISTANCING’ FROM GOD…

‘Social distancing has become the ‘buzzword’ of 2020 (or biblical year 5780). Everyone around the world knows that means keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from one another while in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. From COVID-19, to worldwide protests against racism and social injustice, to a layer of dust traveling across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa, now is not the time to practice ‘SPIRITUAL DISTANCING’ from God.

It’s amazing how many people who claim to be disciples of Yeshua the Messiah allow their pride (national, racial, family or personal), prejudice, arrogance, opinion, personal theology, dedication to traditions or flesh come between themselves and God.

Do we expect a faith of comfort and convenience or are we willing to ‘get our hands dirty’. Are we showing true love for Christ through our genuine concern and real effort to help those He called ‘the least of them’ (Matthew 25:31-45)?

Yes, they claim to know Him, but their actions prove that just like the Pharisees, they are putting their perspective, desires and expectations before God’s.

SOME ‘CHRISTIANS’ USE RELIGION AS A TOOL FOR THEIR OWN AGENDA

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for this behavior by quoting what God, our Elohim, told us through the prophet Isaiah…

Matthew 15:8-9 (NKJV)

‘These people [a]draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 

It’s easy to point a ‘self-righteous finger’ at Peter by following Yeshua from a distance, but if we aren’t careful we can find ourselves doing the same thing.

Matthew 26:58 (NKJV)

58 But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.

Too many Christians are unintentionally guilty of expecting God to worship their expectations, traditions, hopes, dreams, opinions and personal theology.

Look very closely at how Yeshua rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23.

Matthew 23  (NKJV)

23 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you [a]to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the [b]best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your [c]Teacher, [d]the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be [e]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be [f]exalted.

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 [g]Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of [h]hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that [i]sanctifies the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who [j]swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who [k]dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and [l]self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and [m]adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’

31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood[n] of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Notice how He harshly rebuked them for putting their traditions before God’s word.

And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

Mark 7:7-8 (NKJV)

For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—[a]the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”

Remember this is not Jesus rebuking ‘sinners’ but those who claim to be believers!

To the many Americans who are afraid of losing their ‘freedoms’ and blaming it on sinners, let me remind you that Jesus was holding the religious accountable for their ‘SPIRITUAL DISTANCING’ (dedication to traditions and hypocrisy) as He predicted the destruction of Jerusalem.

Not the Romans…

Not the ‘sinners’ in the land…

But, the people ‘of faith’.

To the many Americans who are afraid of ‘socialism’ let me remind you that God, Yah, Adonai, our Elohim, held Israel accountable throughout the Old Testament for their ‘SPIRITUAL DISTANCING’ (spiritual adultery, compromise and assimilation) as His prophets predicted Israel and Judah loosing their nation and being taken away to Babylon.

Not the pagans…

Not the heathen…

Not the ‘sinners’ in the land…

But, HIS people.

2 Chronicles 7:14  (NKJV)

14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

So, let us all examine ourselves…our motives…our reactions…our passions…our devotions and ask ourselves are they in line with the word of God. When something makes us angry, is it Godly anger for Godly change, or is it the enemy trying to manipulate us through our flesh?

Let us make sure that we in the Body of Christ, aren’t SPIRITUAL DISTANCING, by following Him from a distance.

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