God bless you! I'm a husband, father and ordained Minister since 1996. I serve as an Associate Minister at Oak Spring Church Arlington TN, a suburb of Memphis. I'm a professional Copywriter for a Fortune 500 company, published Gospel songwriter and owner of an independent label, Al-Go-Rhythm Music. My main spiritual gift is Exhortation...I'm a natural encourager. I love the word of God and sharing it from a "Wow, I never thought of it like that before" perspective. There's so much fresh revelation in God's word that is just as relevant today as it was as it unfolded. I hope my daily devotionals enhance your walk with God, taking you beyond BLESSED to BLESSTIFIED.
Do you know anyone who tries to get affirmation and
validation by claiming that they don’t need it? Have you ever heard anyone say
that? Have you said it yourself?
People usually say this because they are really ‘in their
feelings’ because they want affirmation, validation or appreciation and feel
they aren’t getting it.
Yes, it’s good to be confident in who you are and not need
anyone else to tell you, but the truth of the matter is that God created us for
relationship, and one aspect of relationship is affirmation from others.
Whether we admit or not, we all need validation and
affirmation sometimes. We give God affirmation and validation by praising Him.
GOD LOVES PRAISE!
Praise is affirmation of His greatness, holiness,
sovereignty, justice…His love for us and our love for Him.
GOD LOVES PRAISE and there’s nothing wrong with that.
So here’s the thing…
We all need a little praise sometimes too. We all need affirmation
sometimes. We all need validation sometimes…especially by those who are closest
Do you know why?
Because we were all created in God’s image, and it is our
duty to affirm Him with our praise.
Does God NEED our affirmation to be God? Absolutely not! He
has Holy angels to declare His greatness day and night…
8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were
full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:
“Holy,[a] holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!
God teaches us to honor our parents in the Lord…Affirmation.
Ephesians 6:1 (NKJV)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
The bible teaches us to esteem others better than ourselves….Affirmation.
Philippians 2:3 (NKJV)
3 Let nothing be done through selfish
ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others
better than himself.
We’re told ordain those set aside for the ministry by the
laying on of hands…Affirmation.
The key is to not feel disqualified by God when we don’t
receive affirmation, and certainly don’t let it go to our heads. Jesus taught
us this early in His ministry…
Now when He was in
Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when
they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because
He knew all men,25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man,
for He knew what was in man.
People are very fickle. Remember many people cried “Hosanna!”
to Jesus at the beginning of the week and ended the week crying “Crucify Him!”
So. don’t feel to guilty for feeling the need for
affirmation sometimes. Don’t let it go to your head when you get it. And, don’t
feel like God doesn’t value you when you don’t.
I know some of you are thinking, “What are you talking about preacher?”
Whether they admit it or not, everyone wants good sex. Well here’s the thing…God knows that.
He made us that way.
That’s why he created the desire. He created our bodies to attract one another, and most importantly, He created Godly marriage between a man and woman, so that we can enjoy good sex.
GODLY SEX IS SEX BETWEEN A MARRIED MAN AND WOMAN
Matthew 19:4-6 (NKJV)
4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made[a]them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’[b]5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?[c]6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
The fact that the enemy knows how much people crave good sex is why it has been such a powerful weapon for him throughout the ages. If the enemy can use it to be stumbling block to a man after God’s own heart like King David (2 Samuel Chapter 11), then we know it can be a stumbling block to any of us.
Sex is ordained by God, and the enemy has always manipulated situations to pervert what was meant to be Holy.
Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV)
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
He has perverted it through tempting God’s children through…
The Strip Club…
And the list can go on and on.
OUR SEXUAL DESIRE IS INNATE, BUT GOD ONLY PERMITS US TO FULFILL IT ONLY AS ORDAINED BY HIM.
Just because someone naturally has an unquenchable desire for the opposite sex does not mean it’s okay to fulfill it with as many people who will agree to sleep with them.
Just because someone naturally has a desire for his or her own sex does not mean that it’s okay for them to sleep with someone of their own sex.
Just because someone’s spouse is not fulfilling their marital ‘duty’ does not give them an excuse to step outside of their marriage.
I think any couple that engaged in premarital sex, but then married will agree that the best sex is when they have made it ‘legal in the eyes of God’.
There’s no greater satisfaction that when two married people are not just connected physically, but also connected mentally, emotionally and most of all spiritually.
Here are just a few verses stating what the bible has to say about good, godly sex…
18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love.
Song of Solomon 1:2(NKJV)
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—For your[b] love is better than wine.
Song of Solomon 4:9-11 (NKJV)
9 You have ravished my heart, My sister, my spouse; You have ravished my heart With one look of your eyes, With one link of your necklace. 10 How fair is your love, My sister, my spouse! How much better than wine is your love, And the scent of your perfumes Than all spices! 11 Your lips, O my spouse, Drip as the honeycomb; Honey and milk are under your tongue; And the fragrance of your garments Is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
Song of Solomon 5:16 (NKJV)
16 His mouth is most sweet, Yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, And this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!
Whew! That’s the Word!
Not only is there nothing WRONG with a little wine, music and romance between a husband and wife – it is absolutely RIGHT!
Yes, there are seasons when married people are not always on the same page sexually, but that’s why sex is spiritual and holy. Notice what God advises us through the apostle Paul…
1 Corinthians 7:4-5 (NKJV)
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.
So, if you are engaging in sex that is not ordained by God…
No matter how much they make your toes curl…
No matter how intense the climax…
No matter how much you look forward to seeing them again…
No matter how good they look, feel or smell…
No matter how you choose to excuse it…
It is unholy, ungodly, unethical, immoral, rejected by God and puts you at risk to go to Hell.
NO MATTER HOW GOOD IT FEELS, IF IT’S NOT GODLY IT’S NOT GOOD
But, when you know that both of you are enjoying one another within the will of God, your intimate time together can be good through 10 – 20 – 30 – 40 – 50 years of marriage and beyond.
Remember, even though his wife Sarah suggested it, Abraham’s sex with Hagar was not ordained by God, and it led to bitterness and trouble in his marriage. But, once He and Sarah believed God’s promise of a son in their old age, they saw pleasure again as they did in their youth…
Genesis 18:12-14 (NKJV)
12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”
13 And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
ENOUGH WATER to
wash your hair, car or water your lawn.
ENOUGH CLOTHES for two days.
ENOUGH SHELTER to cover yourself.
ENOUGH STRENGTH to bathe yourself.
ENOUGH SENSE to
know your name.
ENOUGH FAITH to
know God through Yeshua, Christ Jesus.
Remember that many of our worries spring from worrying about
tomorrow. If God has given you enough for today…
If you have something left over for tomorrow at the end of
Your abundantly blessed!
There are many in the world would LOVE THE LUXURY of a snack, clean water and a change of clothes for
Don’t let our society and culture of excess allow you to
become unthankful or think God is mistreating you because of what you don’t
have. Do most people you know have more than enough for one day?
I encourage you to stop and take a moment to thank God for
what you have TODAY, especially if you’ve been complaining or worrying about
what you don’t.
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
do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
1 Timothy 6:8-10 (NKJV)
8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to
be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many
foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is
a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from
the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows
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)
4 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)
6 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.
One of the first lessons that God teaches us in the bible was the responsibility that comes with knowledge…
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one
of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also
of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God
sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was
taken. 24 So He
drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden
of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the
tree of life.
God has blessed us to be created in His image. One aspect of that is the ability to acquire knowledge. He even told us that in the last days there would be a great increase in knowledge…
4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the
time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
God has allowed us to have incredible advances in science,
technology, medicine etc. Unfortunately much of the knowledge that we have acquired
has convinced many that the one source of all knowledge, Yahweh, The Lord God
of Israel from Everlasting to Everlasting does not exist. They have used that
knowledge to decide for themselves that Yeshua, Christ Jesus was not God’s Son.
There is only one God and one Savior, and the two are One.
Even on a personal level, there are things we want to know.
Always ask yourself are you ready for the knowledge that you are seeking.
“What have people been saying about me?”
“What are they whispering about?”
“Is my spouse being unfaithful?”
“Who are my real parents?”
“How many threats are there really to our national security
on a daily basis?”
When you find out someone needs help and you have the means
are you willing to help them?
When you find out what’s wrong with someone are you willing
to be there for them?
When you begin to realize what God’s purpose is for your life, are you ready for the responsibility that come with it? Learning God’s word comes with great responsibility.
If you already knew the day you would die, would you spend
your entire life obsessing over it?
“Have you ever gained some knowledge or information and then realized after you got it, “I’m not ready for this!”???
Approach all knowledge prayerfully and through the lens of
God’s word. God doesn’t intend for us to have knowledge until we are spiritually
mature enough to handle it.
1 Corinthians 3:2
2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now
you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still
40 years ago today, January 11, 1978, my uncle LARRY HENRY JOHNSON was killed over a case of mistaken identity.
He just turned 24 years old the month before. He had recently moved back home to Lexington TN with his new wife a little over a year earlier to be near his mother because his father died about a year and a half before ( July 4, 1976) as a result of injuries from an automobile accident.
I was excited to have my uncle back in town. He got blamed for someone else’s foolishness and became the target of a jealous husband. Larry was innocent. He asked for help from the local police and they gave him none. They only told him to get a gun. As I think back, I remember him telling his mother (my grandmother) in the kitchen, “Momma, I don’t even know the woman.” He was very upset. At 9 years old I didn’t understand it at the time.
If you are caught up in some foolishness…please stop it now! It always affects someone else.
By the way, Larry managed to get to his truck, get his gun, and get one shot off. The jealous husband died too. What a waste of life. Larry Henry Johnson. Husband of Jaqueline Gentry Johnson. Son of Charles H. Johnson, Dorothy M. Johnson, Brother of Diane Johnson, Charlene Johnson and Peggy Walker.
Aren’t you glad that Jesus died for our foolishness?
It’s natural for us to want the people in our lives to be loyal to us, but loyalty to God must always come first.
When we have grown to trust and support someone, we can find ourselves feeling obligated to make excuses for them when they are wrong…
Have you ever found yourself feeling compelled to justify, make excuses for or give reasons why someone you support was wrong?
This behavior sets us up for a particular sin…
Ephesians 5:5-7 (NKJV)
5 For [a]this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
This scripture makes it clear that when we excuse and justify the wrong of others, we become partakers in their sin.
Now many will say right and wrong are subjective, but the word of God should always be the measure.
Remember, you are never obligated to make excuses for the people you support. True loyalty and real support is letting them know they are wrong.
If you weren’t aware of the allegations against R&B singer/songwriter/musician R. Kelly, then you probably are now after the Lifetime Network documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly”. The show went into great detail through interviews to confirm that allegations of sexual abuse, predatory behavior and pedophilia are very serious.
There’s no question that R. Kelly had intimate relationships with many women. He admits that himself. And, it’s no question that his lust for women has gotten him in trouble. His problem is that many of these women have been underage. He’s accused of summoning women to his ‘palace’ and abusing his power to influence them and take advantage of them. Some of the women’s families have accused him of brainwashing their daughters. The women interviewed stated that R. Kelly abused his ‘power’ and influence to control them.
But, there is another man in history who had a love for and quite frankly, lust for many women. The bible lets us know that he was intimate with numerous women. This man was even identified as a man after God’s own heart…King David.
Acts 13:22 (NKJV)
22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’
But, even though he was a man after God’s own heart, he wasn’t perfect. None of us are.
King David was also a singer/songwriter/musician.
As he was relaxing on the roof of His palace he saw a woman bathing outside. This woman, Bathsheba, wasn’t only another man’s wife, but she was the wife of a man, Uriah, who was devoted and loyal to David. Uriah was one of the soldiers in his army. David was attracted to her and abused his power as king to summon her to his palace. In fact, David summoned many women to become his wives. I’m sure she felt pressured to please the king, just as many of the women said they felt pressured to please R. Kelly.
After King David was intimate with Bathsheba, she became pregnant and to make a long story short, after the scheming and manipulating to hide the pregnancy didn’t work, he had Uriah killed. He then he took Bathsheba to be his wife.
We see that David and R. Kelly had some things in common,
But there was one big difference in David and R. Kelly.
As of the time that the documentary aired, R. Kelly hadn’t acknowledged or repented of doing anything wrong.
After being confronted with his sin, David repented…
2 Samuel 12:13 (NKJV)
13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.
Psalm 51:4 (NKJV)
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just [a]when You speak, And blameless when You judge.
David’s repentance is what confirms he was a man after God’s own heart.
R. Kelly has a huge library of music and some of his songs are even spiritual and sung in churches. However, there are many people today who refuse to listen to R. Kelly’s music anymore. Radio stations all over the world are refusing to play his music. There are those who are demanding to ‘Mute R. Kelly’. Again, Mr. Kelly has not yet acknowledged or repented of any wrong doing.
We all know that David, under the inspiration of God, wrote most of the Psalms which of course are songs. They teach us how to worship, pray, praise, celebrate and even lament.
If David was living today, even though he repented, there would be many people who would refuse to listen to or sing many of the Psalms. There would be people wanting to ‘Mute David’ because of his serious sins. But, here’s the difference…again, David repented.
Both David and R. Kelly’s sins were revealed and made public.
We all have something in common with both of them…
Everyone of us has had dark moments. Moments of which we are very ashamed.
Our shameful moments maybe not to the extreme of David and R. Kelly, but nevertheless, moments that we don’t want anyone to know about. Take a moment to think about some of the most shameful things you have done (or are still doing) and thank God for allowing them to remain secret. https://beblesstified.com/2018/01/19/your-secrets-3/
If you haven’t already stopped that behavior, stop it now and repent, just like King David did.
And remember this, the same forgiveness that was available to King David is available to both R. Kelly and to all of us.
Because just like King David, you can be a man or woman after God’s own heart, too.
I know there will be some people who will be critical of me comparing R. Kelly to David. But, God let’s us know that everything in the bible, especially the Old Testament, was written for our example…
1 Corinthians 10:11 (NKJV)
11 Now [a]all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our [b]admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
It’s frustrating when we feel all of our hard work and accomplishments are being ignored.
I’m not talking about overlooked or not noticed.
I’m talking about…BEING IGNORED.
Think about the people and the things you yourself have ignored. You noticed them, but made a conscious choice to either try your best not to notice or try your best not to ACKNOWLEDGE that you noticed.
Why do we do that? Many times it’s because…
We feel it’s something BENEATH us.
We feel it’s something BETTER than us.
It’s presenting us with something essential to our growth
that we aren’t ready to accept yet.
God’s people read and hear His word then choose to ignore it every day…
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge…
Rejecting the knowledge that God presents to us is ignoring it.
But, just as I stated in the video above, sometimes the ultimate acknowledgment is being ignored.
Embrace it when you know that you are purposefully being ignored.
Let it be confirmation that you are doing exactly what God called you to do.
Let it inspire you to push further and dig deeper into your purpose.
Let it provoke the passion to give them more to ignore.
Remember, you can’t ignore something that you haven’t first noticed.
The fact that you can remember the things that you have ignored proves that a seed is always planted. And, if it’s His will, God will give increase in His timing.