WHY IT’S STILL A SIN EVEN IF YOU WERE, “BORN THAT WAY”…

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Having you ever noticed a child throwing a temper tantrum when he or she doesn’t get something that they want? This is a natural reaction that must be overcome as the child matures. The reaction is natural…innate…the child was born with it.

As you know, the debate continues as to whether people are born gay, or is it a choice. The purpose of this article isn’t to debate that question, but to address this fact…


The truth is that we are all born with innate desires, feelings and proclivities that we did not ask for.


Many Christians reason to excuse some behaviors by saying, “I or they was or were born this way”.

This doesn’t mean that God made a mistake because the scripture clearly reminds us that we were all born in sin…

Psalm 51:5 (NKJV)

 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.


We were all born with desires we didn’t ask for…that doesn’t make them ALL okay. Just because it comes naturally doesn’t make right. Some natural desires we must resist with the help of the Holy Spirit…


Fornication…

Adultery…

Homosexuality…

Gluttony…

Greed…

Jealousy…

Envy…

Wrath …

…ALL come from natural desires and they are ALL EQUALLY wrong.

Even David, a man after God’s own heart was born with an insatiable desire for women…but that did not make it right or acceptable to God. Those who read the bible know what that led to.

Some people are naturally more greedy, more lustful, more promiscuous, more selfish, more aggressive, more violent that others…does that make it okay? For those who wish to argue these are learned behaviors, some people have these behaviors modeled and ‘learn’ them, while others witnessed these behaviors and didn’t succumb to them.

Pedophiles don’t feel they ‘choose’ to be attracted to children…does that make it okay? No!

The desires of our flesh war against our spirit…and these vary from person to person.

Galatians 5:17 (NKJV)

17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

It is only by walking in the Fruit of the Spirit can we overcome our fleshly desires that displease God.

Galatians 5:16 (NKJV)

 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 

 Galatians 5:22,23

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


By the way, calling out something as sin is NOT judging. And, it’s not saying it’s any more wrong than another sin!


 

That’s why fasting is so powerful. It is a tool we can use to bring our flesh into subjection, overcome our weaknesses and prove to ourselves that our desires won’t rule us. It’s our tool to move those mountains in our lives.

Matthew 17: 20-21

 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting

Use this as post ammunition when someone presents to you the argument, “I was born this way, so it can’t be wrong”.

Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s okay.

BE BLESSTIFIED.

BEFORE YOU UNFRIEND, BLOCK OR DELETE YOUR ‘MESSY’ FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK…

wp-1488518194108.jpg

Many Christians say they don’t do social media, or they are getting off of social media because it’s too messy.

But, you can misuse anything…

Phone…

Television…

A piece of paper…

Even God’s word.

In fact, many people misuse God’s word to fit their own agenda.

So, how do you tell who is in harmony with God’s word when all parties involved are using it?

You can tell by the person(s) most trying to view from God’s perspective…moving their own perspective and desired interpretation out of the way.

Use social media responsibly and, it can be a powerful tool.

And, to those who Christians that say they are unfriending, blocking and deleting so-and-so because they post too much foolishness…

Maybe he or she can benefit from your LIGHT.

Besides, if they haven’t unfriended, blocked or deleted you because of you spiritual posts, then why should you because of their ‘foolish’ posts?

After all, are you going to delete yourself from the world because of the foolishness in it?

2 Corinthians 2:4
2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully,

1 Corinthians 5:9-10
9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.

HOW PRINCE INSPIRES ME AS A CHRISTIAN (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)…

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Prince’s music is definitely a huge part of the soundtrack of my life, especially my younger days. I enjoy the genius of his artistry..He wasn’t just a singer, but a singer/performer/entertainer/entrepreneur/activist/philanthropist. His influence on music, fashion and culture is undeniable.

It’s also very evident that Prince, as we all do, had a strong spiritual side and a strong carnal side. He wrote songs that were sexually explicit as well as songs that were beautiful and spiritual, such as “God”, which was the B-Side to “Purple Rain” (for younger readers who may not know, a B-Side was another song on the opposite side of the single of a vinyl record). In fact, sometimes Prince was a spiritual paradox…again, as we all have been.

The purpose of this post isn’t to judge Prince’s spirituality or his carnality, but how both inspire me.

Many of you may be thinking, how can a man of God be inspired by carnality? Well, remember Luke 16: 1-12, “The Parable of the Unjust Steward”?

Luke 16 (NKJV)

He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Notice that the rich man (representing God in this parable) commended the unjust steward or manager. The steward acted very shrewdly in regard to the rich man’s money. Jesus proclaimed that “the children of this world are more shrewd (wiser in some translations) in THEIR GENERATION than the sons of light”. In other words, Jesus was saying that there are some lessons that Christians can learn from ‘the world’…that’s another post that’s coming soon.

When I look at the life of Prince and the way he pursued and released what was inside of him…the way he made the most of his talents and gifts… I’m inspired in my pursuit of ministry and releasing what God has placed inside of me.

Prince’s Gifts and Talents

Prince was one of the most gifted individuals of our time, THAT WE KNOW OF. I say “that we know of” because there are probably scores of other gifted individuals out there that will let their talents and abilities die with them. Gifts and talents are no good if we allow them to remain dormant…or keep them to ourselves. God gives us gifts and talents so we can use them to reveal His glory to the world, and as tools to build His Kingdom. Prince didn’t allow his gifts to remain dormant or to himself. He didn’t come from ‘money’. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He didn’t allow circumstances or excuses to negate his gifts. He FOUND WAYS to make it happen…

That inspires me to do the same for God.

Prince’s Vision

God drives home the importance of vision in Habakkuk 2:1-3…

 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Prince had vision of where he wanted to go. He had a clear picture of where, what and who he wanted to be. Vision is a snapshot of how you see yourself in the future, and it is what drives you to reach the smaller goals along the way to get to your destination. No one can move with the trajectory and momentum of Prince, even through setbacks, without vision…

That also inspires me in ministry.

Princes Dedication to Perfection

In the bible, perfection in regard to man, isn’t flawless, but mature (Teleios, Strong’s Concordance). It means being ‘perfect’ for each level as you progress, as a 4th grader who is ready to be promoted to 5th grade…not yet ready for high school, but perfect for the current level. Prince honed his talents and the talents of those around him. He consistently got better, and he made those around him better. As an instrumentalist, song writer, producer, performer, entertainer, he was never satisfied. He always strove for perfection. This is what we should do as Christians. We should always be growing, maturing and perfecting the gifts and talents that God gives us…

This inspires me as a minister, songwriter, writer, husband, father, man of God.

Prince’s Boldness

It was clear that Prince had the boldness to do what he felt he needed to do to be seen and promote who and how he wanted to be perceived. Of course coming on stage almost naked, and using profanity was not good or Godly. In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince stated that he did a lot of things early in his career to be as “flashy” and as”noisey” as he could be to deal with and compensate for getting teased in school. He focused on getting better at what he did to deal with the pain of his past. His boldness to write what he felt, perform as he felt, dress as he felt is what gave him his platform. After signing with Warner Brothers, after being offered one of the hottest producers in the industry at the time, Maurice White, he insisted on producing himself….now that’s bold for a teenager…

This inspires me as a minister to be bold for Christ.

Prince’s Influence

Prince will always be remembered as one of the greatest influences on music, culture, fashion, expression, etc., of our time, and possibly all time. Not only did he set the standard, but he raised the bar. You can hear Prince’s influence in various genres of music. His audience is one of the most diverse of any artist. His influence extends beyond race, gender, culture and ethnicity. He has inspired artistry, professionalism, excellence and greatness in countless others that will continue to shape our world…

This inspires me as a minister, writer and man of God.

Again, this post is not to judge any aspect of his life.

Am I a fan of Prince…Yes.

Do I agree with everything that he did or the way he did it…No.

However,  we have to learn to make the most of the good and bad in all of our lives…and Prince Rogers Nelson is and will remain to be the one of the greatest influences in the life of Minister Aldtric Johnson and my ministry.

Is there someone or something that inspires you in your walk with Christ, that may make others say….”REALLY? Tell me how!” If so, please leave a reply, and tell me how. It may inspire others too.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

BEFORE YOU UNFRIEND, BLOCK OR DELETE YOUR ‘MESSY’ FRIENDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA…

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Many Christians say they don’t do social media, or they are getting off of social media because it’s too messy.

But, you can misuse anything…

Phone…

Television…

A piece of paper…

Even God’s word.

In fact, many people misuse God’s word to fit their own agenda.

So, how do you tell who is in harmony with God’s word when all parties involved are using it?

You can tell by the person(s) most trying to view from God’s perspective…moving their own perspective and desired interpretation out of the way.

Use social media responsibly and, it can be a powerful tool.

And, to those Christians who say they are unfriending, blocking and deleting so-and-so because they post too much foolishness…

Maybe he or she can benefit from your LIGHT.

Besides, if they haven’t unfriended, blocked or deleted you because of you spiritual posts, then why should you because of their ‘foolish’ posts?

After all, are you going to delete yourself from the world because of the foolishness in it?

2 Corinthians 2:4
2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully,

1 Corinthians 5:9-10
9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.

ARE YOUR RESPONSIBLE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE?

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There are many celebrities, politicians, athletes and ministers who have huge audiences. They have great NAME RECOGNITION, people know them nearly everywhere they go, listen to what they have to say and even imitate their behavior. They have huge influence with their fans or followers. It’s disappointing to see what some people do with their voice and influence. Some are blessed with a social stage or public platform only to squander their voice and influence on foolishness or themselves.

We may not all be celebrities, but God has given all of us an audience and a voice. In your home, job, school, church, the park, the shopping center, in traffic, the restaurant people are watching you and listening to you. What are you doing with your audience? Many times we claim we want God to ‘enlarge our territory’ just as Jabez prayed in 1 Chronicles 4:10. We ask Him to give us more resources and influence, but are we being responsible with that we already have? Are we being responsible with those in our circle of influence, no matter how small?

How do you handle disappointment on the job?…in front of your children? 

How do you act when you get bad service in the restaurant?…or in a store?

How do you behave when frustrated in traffic?…(That one hit me!)

Do you speak up for the right things when it’s not popular to do so or remain silent? 

How do you represent yourself on social media? 

How do you dress? 

God tells us in 1 Peter 2:12 …

“Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 

Colossians 4:5 says… “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.” 

And of course In Matthew Jesus says…

Matthew 5:14-16… “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. God expects us to be His Light in the world. 

Too many people want God to move them to bigger and better when they aren’t even thriving where they’re planted. 

Are you thriving where you’re planted? 

What are you doing with your voice and influence? 

How are you perceived in your circles? 

Whether you have an audience of  one or one million, God expects you to honor Him and be light. Men, Women and Children of God…let’s be responsible with our audience.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

BEFORE YOU UNFRIEND, BLOCK OR DELETE YOUR ‘MESSY’ FRIENDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA…

wp-1488518194108.jpg

Many Christians say they don’t do social media, or they are getting off of social media because it’s too messy.

But, you can misuse anything…

Phone…

Television…

A piece of paper…

Even God’s word.

In fact, many people misuse God’s word to fit their own agenda.

So, how do you tell who is in harmony with God’s word when all parties involved are using it?

You can tell by the person(s) most trying to view from God’s perspective…moving their own perspective and desired interpretation out of the way.

Use social media responsibly and, it can be a powerful tool.

And, to those who Christians that say they are unfriending, blocking and deleting so-and-so because they post too much foolishness…

Maybe he or she can benefit from your LIGHT.

Besides, if they haven’t unfriended, blocked or deleted you because of you spiritual posts, then why should you because of their ‘foolish’ posts?

After all, are you going to delete yourself from the world because of the foolishness in it?

2 Corinthians 2:4
2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully,

1 Corinthians 5:9-10
9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.

HOW PRINCE INSPIRES ME AS A CHRISTIAN (In case you missed it)…

wp-1481159868248.jpg

Prince’s music is definitely a huge part of the soundtrack of my life, especially my younger days. I enjoy the genius of his artistry..He wasn’t just a singer, but a singer/performer/entertainer/entrepreneur/activist/philanthropist. His influence on music, fashion and culture is undeniable.

It’s also very evident that Prince, as we all do, had a strong spiritual side and a strong carnal side. He wrote songs that were sexually explicit as well as songs that were beautiful and spiritual, such as “God”, which was the B-Side to “Purple Rain” (for younger readers who may not know, a B-Side was another song on the opposite side of the single of a vinyl record). In fact, sometimes Prince was a spiritual paradox…again, as we all have been.

The purpose of this post isn’t to judge Prince’s spirituality or his carnality, but how both inspire me.

Many of you may be thinking, how can a man of God be inspired by carnality? Well, remember Luke 16: 1-12, “The Parable of the Unjust Steward”?

Luke 16 (NKJV)

He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Notice that the rich man (representing God in this parable) commended the unjust steward or manager. The steward acted very shrewdly in regard to the rich man’s money. Jesus proclaimed that “the children of this world are more shrewd (wiser in some translations) in THEIR GENERATION than the sons of light”. In other words, Jesus was saying that there are some lessons that Christians can learn from ‘the world’…that’s another post that’s coming soon.

When I look at the life of Prince and the way he pursued and released what was inside of him…the way he made the most of his talents and gifts… I’m inspired in my pursuit of ministry and releasing what God has placed inside of me.

Prince’s Gifts and Talents

Many people are talented, but few are ‘special’. Prince’s talents definitely took him from beyond talented to special. Prince was one of the most gifted individuals of our time, THAT WE KNOW OF. I say “that we know of” because there are probably scores of other gifted individuals out there that will let their talents and abilities die with them. Gifts and talents are no good if we allow them to remain dormant…or keep them to ourselves. God gives us gifts and talents so we can use them to reveal His glory to the world, and as tools to build His Kingdom. Prince didn’t allow his gifts to remain dormant or to himself. He didn’t come from ‘money’. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He didn’t allow circumstances or excuses to negate his gifts. He FOUND WAYS to make it happen…


That inspires me to do the same for God.


Prince’s Vision

God drives home the importance of vision in Habakkuk 2:1-3…

 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Prince had vision of where he wanted to go. He had a clear picture of where, what and who he wanted to be. Vision is a snapshot of how you see yourself in the future, and it is what drives you to reach the smaller goals along the way to get to your destination. No one can move with the trajectory and momentum of Prince, even through setbacks, without vision…


That also inspires me in ministry.


Princes Dedication to Perfection

In the bible, perfection in regard to man, isn’t flawless, but mature (Teleios, Strong’s Concordance). It means being ‘perfect’ for each level as you progress, as a 4th grader who is ready to be promoted to 5th grade…not yet ready for high school, but perfect for the current level. Prince honed his talents and the talents of those around him. He consistently got better, and he made those around him better. As an instrumentalist, song writer, producer, performer, entertainer, he was never satisfied. He always strove for perfection. This is what we should do as Christians. We should always be growing, maturing and perfecting the gifts and talents that God gives us…


This inspires me as a minister, songwriter, writer, husband, father, man of God.


Prince’s Boldness

It was clear that Prince had the boldness to do what he felt he needed to do to be seen and promote who and how he wanted to be perceived. Of course coming on stage almost naked, and using profanity was not good or Godly. In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince stated that he did a lot of things early in his career to be as “flashy” and as”noisey” as he could be to deal with and compensate for getting teased in school. He focused on getting better at what he did to deal with the pain of his past. His boldness to write what he felt, perform as he felt, dress as he felt is what gave him his platform. After signing with Warner Brothers, after being offered one of the hottest producers in the industry at the time, Maurice White, he insisted on producing himself….now that’s bold for a teenager…


This inspires me as a minister to be bold for Christ.


Prince’s Influence

Prince will always be remembered as one of the greatest influences on music, culture, fashion, expression, etc., of our time, and possibly all time. Not only did he set the standard, but he raised the bar. You can hear Prince’s influence in various genres of music. His audience is one of the most diverse of any artist. His influence extends beyond race, gender, culture and ethnicity. He has inspired artistry, professionalism, excellence and greatness in countless others that will continue to shape our world…

This inspires me as a minister, writer and man of God.

Again, this post is not to judge any aspect of his life.

Am I a fan of Prince…Yes.

Do I agree with everything that he did or the way he did it…No.

However,  we have to learn to make the most of the good and bad in all of our lives…and Prince Rogers Nelson is and will remain to be the one of the greatest influences in the life of Minister Aldtric Johnson and my ministry.

Is there someone or something that inspires you in your walk with Christ, that may make others say….”REALLY? Tell me how!” If so, please leave a reply, and tell me how. It may inspire others too.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE’S ‘BORN THAT WAY’ DOESN’T MAKE IT OKAY (In case you missed it)…

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From a Christian Perspective…

Having you ever noticed a child throwing a temper tantrum when he or she doesn’t get something that they want? This is a natural reaction that must be overcome as the child matures. The reaction is natural…innate…the child was born with it.

The truth is that we are all born with innate desires, feelings and proclivities that we did not ask for.

Many Christians reason to excuse some behavior and lifestyles by saying, “I or they was or were born this or that way”. This doesn’t meant that God made a mistake, but the scripture clearly reminds us that we were all born in sin…

Psalm 51:5 (NKJV)

 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

We were all born with desires we didn’t ask for…that doesn’t make them ALL okay. Just because it comes naturally doesn’t make right. Some natural desires we must resist with the help of the Holy Spirit…

Fornication…

Adultery…

Homosexuality…

Gluttony…

Greed…

Jealousy…

Envy…

Wrath …

…ALL come from natural desires and they are ALL equally wrong.

God loves the…

Fornicator…

Adulterer…

Homosexual…

…But His love does not make their sin okay.

Even David, a man after God’s own heart was born with an insatiable desire for women…but that did not make it right or acceptable to God. Those who read the bible know what that led to.

Some people are naturally more greedy, more lustful, more promiscuous, more selfish, more aggressive, more violent that others…does that make it okay? For those who wish to argue these are learned behaviors, some people have these behaviors modeled and ‘learn’ them, while others witnessed these behaviors and didn’t succumb to them.

Pedophiles don’t feel they ‘choose’ to be attracted to children…does that make it okay? No!

The desires of our flesh war against our spirit…and these vary from person to person.

Galatians 5:17 (NKJV)

17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

 It is only by walking in the Fruit of the Spirit can we overcome our fleshly desires that displease God.

Galatians 5:16 (NKJV)

 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 

 Galatians 5:22,23

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

That’s why fasting is so powerful. It is a tool we can use to bring our flesh into subjection, overcome our weaknesses and prove to ourselves that our desires won’t rule us. It’s our tool to move those mountains in our lives.

Matthew 17: 20-21

 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting

Use this as post ammunition when someone presents to you the argument, “I was born this way, so it can’t be wrong”.

Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s okay.

BE BLESSTIFIED.

HOW PRINCE INSPIRES ME AS A CHRISTIAN…

wp-1481159868248.jpg

Prince’s music is definitely a huge part of the soundtrack of my life, especially my younger days. I enjoy the genius of his artistry..He wasn’t just a singer, but a singer/performer/entertainer/entrepreneur/activist/philanthropist. His influence on music, fashion and culture is undeniable.

It’s also very evident that Prince, as we all do, had a strong spiritual side and a strong carnal side. He wrote songs that were sexually explicit as well as songs that were beautiful and spiritual, such as “God”, which was the B-Side to “Purple Rain” (for younger readers who may not know, a B-Side was another song on the opposite side of the single of a vinyl record). In fact, sometimes Prince was a spiritual paradox…again, as we all have been.

The purpose of this post isn’t to judge Prince’s spirituality or his carnality, but how both inspire me.

Many of you may be thinking, how can a man of God be inspired by carnality? Well, remember Luke 16: 1-12, “The Parable of the Unjust Steward”?

Luke 16 (NKJV)

He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Notice that the rich man (representing God in this parable) commended the unjust steward or manager. The steward acted very shrewdly in regard to the rich man’s money. Jesus proclaimed that “the children of this world are more shrewd (wiser in some translations) in THEIR GENERATION than the sons of light”. In other words, Jesus was saying that there are some lessons that Christians can learn from ‘the world’…that’s another post that’s coming soon.

When I look at the life of Prince and the way he pursued and released what was inside of him…the way he made the most of his talents and gifts… I’m inspired in my pursuit of ministry and releasing what God has placed inside of me.

Prince’s Gifts and Talents

Prince was one of the most gifted individuals of our time, THAT WE KNOW OF. I say “that we know of” because there are probably scores of other gifted individuals out there that will let their talents and abilities die with them. Gifts and talents are no good if we allow them to remain dormant…or keep them to ourselves. God gives us gifts and talents so we can use them to reveal His glory to the world, and as tools to build His Kingdom. Prince didn’t allow his gifts to remain dormant or to himself. He didn’t come from ‘money’. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He didn’t allow circumstances or excuses to negate his gifts. He FOUND WAYS to make it happen…

That inspires me to do the same for God.

Prince’s Vision

God drives home the importance of vision in Habakkuk 2:1-3…

 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Prince had vision of where he wanted to go. He had a clear picture of where, what and who he wanted to be. Vision is a snapshot of how you see yourself in the future, and it is what drives you to reach the smaller goals along the way to get to your destination. No one can move with the trajectory and momentum of Prince, even through setbacks, without vision…

That also inspires me in ministry.

Princes Dedication to Perfection

In the bible, perfection in regard to man, isn’t flawless, but mature (Teleios, Strong’s Concordance). It means being ‘perfect’ for each level as you progress, as a 4th grader who is ready to be promoted to 5th grade…not yet ready for high school, but perfect for the current level. Prince honed his talents and the talents of those around him. He consistently got better, and he made those around him better. As an instrumentalist, song writer, producer, performer, entertainer, he was never satisfied. He always strove for perfection. This is what we should do as Christians. We should always be growing, maturing and perfecting the gifts and talents that God gives us…

This inspires me as a minister, songwriter, writer, husband, father, man of God.

Prince’s Boldness

It was clear that Prince had the boldness to do what he felt he needed to do to be seen and promote who and how he wanted to be perceived. Of course coming on stage almost naked, and using profanity was not good or Godly. In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince stated that he did a lot of things early in his career to be as “flashy” and as”noisey” as he could be to deal with and compensate for getting teased in school. He focused on getting better at what he did to deal with the pain of his past. His boldness to write what he felt, perform as he felt, dress as he felt is what gave him his platform. After signing with Warner Brothers, after being offered one of the hottest producers in the industry at the time, Maurice White, he insisted on producing himself….now that’s bold for a teenager…

This inspires me as a minister to be bold for Christ.

Prince’s Influence

Prince will always be remembered as one of the greatest influences on music, culture, fashion, expression, etc., of our time, and possibly all time. Not only did he set the standard, but he raised the bar. You can hear Prince’s influence in various genres of music. His audience is one of the most diverse of any artist. His influence extends beyond race, gender, culture and ethnicity. He has inspired artistry, professionalism, excellence and greatness in countless others that will continue to shape our world…

This inspires me as a minister, writer and man of God.

Again, this post is not to judge any aspect of his life.

Am I a fan of Prince…Yes.

Do I agree with everything that he did or the way he did it…No.

However,  we have to learn to make the most of the good and bad in all of our lives…and Prince Rogers Nelson is and will remain to be the one of the greatest influences in the life of Minister Aldtric Johnson and my ministry.

Is there someone or something that inspires you in your walk with Christ, that may make others say….”REALLY? Tell me how!” If so, please leave a reply, and tell me how. It may inspire others too.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

YOU CAN FORGIVE ANYTHING…TODAY! #FORGIVENESS

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Ephesians 4:31-32 (NKJV)

31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you

 

MORE THAN CONQUERORS (Romans 8:37)

Isn’t it funny how some of us can claim to be more than conquerors…

Be filled with the Holy Spirit…

Blessed and highly favored…

Testifying every time we can get a chance…

Claim, “I love everybody!”…

…And REFUSE to forgive!

We can serve as a deacon, preach every weekend, sing in the choir, give to the poor…BUT WON’T FORGIVE.

There are preachers who get up and preach to some members whose souls they are responsible…and are withholding forgiveness from some of them.

Too many of us are holding on to…

Anger…

Animosity…

Hatred…

Resentment…

Bitterness…

Wrath…

PAIN…

What ever emotions, moods and attitudes that prevent us from FORGIVING.

Withholding forgiveness is one of the enemy’s most successful distractions.

We can’t love like God expects us to when we don’t forgive.

The enemy doesn’t mind you going to church or even serving in the Kingdom of God if you don’t forgive because it dims the light of God in you.


WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (Matthew 5:14)…We can’t be light if we are DISTRACTED! Being unforgiving is a distraction…

Think about this…

The SUN provides light & the MOON reflects…

Sometimes Moon blocks light from Sun…This is an eclipse.

Sometimes Man blocks light from Son…This is a spiritual eclipse.

Distractions block eclipse our light from the SON…

Anger is a spiritual eclipse…

Bitterness is a spiritual eclipse…

Being unforgiving is a spiritual eclipse!


Our marriages, families…relationships CAN NOT exist WITHOUT forgiveness, but sometimes it’s so hard because of the pain…Because we are flesh.

Matthew 26:41 (NKJV)

41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

God understands we are flesh, but he also expects more from us. It is not God’s will for us to go day in and day out holding on to STUFF!

Matthew 18:21-22 (KJV)

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.


FORGIVENESS CAN BE A STRUGGLE FOR MOST CHRISTIANS.

We can put effort into ‘conquering’ everything, but forginvenss….getting a house, car, job, promotion, man, woman, getting a closet full of shoes, purses, ties…our neighborhoods full of crime, immorality, poverty, while many Christians are worried about conquering the ‘good life’.

That’s why some of us give, just so we can get….to some giving is a BLE$$ING bill. That’s why sometimes cousins, sisters, brothers  and relatives keep coming asking for money cause that’s the only way God can get some people to spend money on someone besides themselves. Does anyone owe you money and you haven’t forgiven them?


The enemy knows God ONLY forgives us AS we forgive others…(Matthew 6:12)

That means if there is something that you haven’t forgiven someone for…your sin that you asked forgiveness for is still there.

Don’t let someone die before you let them know THEY ARE FORGIVEN!

Is anyone you refuse to forgive WORTH forfeiting your forgiveness over? Don’t let your feelings towards them come between you and God.

Remember, there’s someone out there that you have hurt too…

You may not know what you did, but most of the time you do!


THE ENEMY KNOWS WHAT’S HARDEST FOR YOU TO FORGIVE…

The enemy knows how to present the right situation to you…

The right person…

That one thing that he knows that’s most difficult for you to forgive…

That’s the thing that he will use.

It could be your wife, your husband, your sister or brother, mother or father, best friend…it could be a pastor, that job who fired you, that team that didn’t pick you….you know what it is.

Stop right now and think about that one thing you are still holding on to.


God WANTS…DESIRES…TO FORGIVE US!

Think about how much we hurt God and He forgives us…

Psalm 103:8-12 (NKJV)

8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
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.

 

We (his church) are the bride of Christ…we ‘cheat on God’ every time we sin/ That’s why I know we can even forgive infidelity.

Every shameful thing done in the presence of His angels supposed to be there to protect you

He is there when we are tempted

He is there when we think about the fact that this is wrong and we still decide to do it

He is there when we do it.

That same conversation that the enemy had with God about Job, he had about you…Consider my servant ____________ !

Job 1:8a (NKJV)

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job…”

God witnesses us every time we cheat on Him…Every time we put Him to open shame…

He is willing to forgive us…

How could He be so willing to forgive? Because He WANTS to forgive us!

Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool…

God is practically begging us to come to Him for forgiveness.

 God wants to forgive you! God gets angry, but He doesn’t stay angry!

Psalm 103:8-9 (KKJV)

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.

God can forgive us over and over because He DESIRES to do so! And He doesn’t WANT to stay angry.

God CHOOSES to forgive us!


Forgiveness is OUR CHOICE.

You can’t control how people treat you, but you can control how you react.

When we are honest with ourselves, we don’t forgive because WE DON’T WANT TO.. WE want to stay angry!

If we forgive…we take away our ‘excuse’ to be angry…

You can even hear the person who hurt you has made a change for the good, and it can make you angry…you don’t want them to do better. This can lead you to judge them saying, “They’re change isn’t sincere!” You can get to the point that you don’t even care about their salvation.

We don’t want to forgive due to our pain…

We don’t want to forgive because of our pride…

We don’t want to forgive because of our shame…

No matter how heavy it is, uncomfortable it is…we still hold on to it, because we want to do so! When our arms up…after a while we have to put it down, because they get too heavy

That’s what we have to do with our pain…put it down.

How?

Stop asking God to TAKE AWAY what He told you to PUT DOWN!

If your spouse is cheating, and you love them, do you want to make them stop, or for them to stop on their own?

Notice God Always tells you to put it down…

Colossians 3:8 (NKJV)

But now YOU YOURSELVES are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,


FORGIVENESS IS EASIER THAN YOU MAY THINK! AND WHEN IT HAPPENS…IT’S INSTANT!

No matter how slow or gradual any transition may seem…when you think about it, the change…the moment of change…the instant of change…no matter how minute the shift in thought or direction – THE CHANGE IS ALWAYS INSTANT!

MAKE UP YOUR MIND, AND IT WILL CHANGE!

This is simple but powerful…

TELL YOURSELF AND MAKE UP OUR MIND… “I DON’T WANT TO BE MAD ABOUT THAT ANYMORE!”

I’m tired of being angry…

I’m tired of being sad…

I’m tired of being bitter…

I’m tired of being resentful…

I’m tired of avoiding them…

I’m tired of wanting everybody else to be mad at them too…

I REFUSE TO FEEL THIS WAY ANYMORE!!!!!

Romans 12…Be transformed by the renewing of you MIND!

Refuse to let your emotions dictate how you feel and behave.

Controlling your EMOTIONS is the closest you can come to controlling your world.

Hebrews 12…How did Jesus react to Emotion? He “scorned” the shame of the cross for the “joy” thats set before him.

Once you make up your mind, and REFUSE to be angry….it will go away.

Once you make up your mind, and REFUSE to be angry….you can forgive.

Once you make up your mind, and REFUSE to be angry…you can forget.

Let me define forget…you will still think of it, but not the same way! You will forget that frame of mind…such as “What was I thinking when I dated him or her!”

Once you make up your mind, and REFUSE to be angry…you won’t even need an apology.

Why do you not need an apology? Because God still keeps showing you His love and kindness…even when you haven’t apologized or repented…

He keeps letting your heart beat…

He keeps feeding you and letting you live in the home He provided…

He keeps giving you strength to work…

He keeps on protecting you from harm…

He’s willing to forgive, even when He knows you will do it again.

One of the best exercises you can have in patience is to hold it together when you are being mistreated. Going on without an apology…showing character and patience of God will help you grow.

Once you make up your mind, and REFUSE to be angry…you can actually feel sorry for the one who hurt you. GUESS what? You are doing what God does! You are learning to love and learning to forgive like GOD!

That’s how you can even feel sorry for your enemies.

Jesus died on the cross to give the opportunity of salvation to those He knew would not only ask appreciate it, ask Him for forgiveness, or even believe in Him.


Exercise in forgiveness…Pray for God’s Spirit and Get a picture or go to a place, whatever reminds you of your pain. And practice looking at it and telling yourself..I don’t want to be mad at you…I don’t want to be bitter…sad and tell yourself that you won’t…

That’s what God does to us.

Sometimes people will try you back acting like they DON’T APPRECIATE YOUR FORGIVENESS…Be strong, cause that’s how we treat God sometimes.

Let your light shine…Get back your peace….Forgive as God is willing to forgive you!

YOU CAN GET OVER ANYTHING…TODAY!

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BE CAREFUL HOW YOU SAY, “GOD IS NOT THROUGH WITH ME YET…”

There’s a very popular Comedian/Actor/Show Host who has an exceptionally successful career. One of the many hats he wears is that of a radio show host…the show is fast paced, fun and entertaining.

However, he begins his radio show each morning with a very emotional and impactful spiritual monologue. His statements are encouraging and inspirational, and he always gives God glory, BUT during the remainder of his show, he often uses strong language, frequently using profanity that the bible clearly tells us that we shouldn’t do…

Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)

29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

 Ephesians 5:3-4 (NKJV)

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

In reference to ‘cussing’, he will often assert, “God is not through with me yet.” Which is true, but we ALL need to be very careful about our attitude when it comes to this statement.

First of all, I’M NOT JUDGING THIS MAN because we have all (and still do) sin and fall short of the glory of God. We all have room to grow. I have respect both for him and his accomplishments, but I have to be responsible as a minister of God.

Calling out sin, correcting, encouraging, admonishing, instructing and warning one another is not judging…it’s our responsibility.

Romans 3:23 (NKJV)

 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

When you have a level of prominence that allows you to reach and influence millions, you bear a great level of responsibility when you are speaking on behalf of God in the name of Yeshua, Jesus Christ.


Here are two problems with sometimes FLIPPANTLY saying what we want…doing what we want…then stating… “God ain’t through with me yet!”

First of all, we must not be guilty of validating our sinful behavior and bad habits to those who may be weaker in the faith or unbelievers by ‘justifying’ our behavior at the time with, “God is not through with me yet”…

Second, we must not use “God is not through with me yet” to hold on to habits, behavior and attitudes that we simply aren’t trying hard enough to stop. Especially when we know better and can do better.


The word of God has commanded us throughout the New Testament to…

“Put off” Colossians 3: 8, Ephesians 4:22 (NKJV)

“Put away” Ephesians 4:25 (NKJV)

“Let all…be put away from you” Ephesians 4:31 (NKJV)

“Lay aside” Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

God has given us the power and responsibility to stop ourselves.

Many people pray that God will, “Take the sin out of me”…however, there’s no personal level of accountability, effort, commitment or love and dedication in being so weak that God has to make us stop.

We as believers must be very careful not to take for granted or take advantage of God’s abundant grace and mercy.

Remember what God told us through the Apostle Paul…

Romans 6:1-2 (NKJV)

 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

So many times we can find ourselves saying…

“God knows my heart.”

Or

“I’m taking baby steps”

We want to always make sure that we aren’t taking baby steps, when God is ready for us to walk.

You don’t want God to become ‘through with you’ before you put forth enough effort to change.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH FAITH FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S STORM?

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Have you ever had someone come to you in need of help…support…or strength, while you’re overwhelmed with your own issues?

Your greatest challenge sometimes isn’t how you make it through your storm, but how you help someone else make through their storm while you’re going through yours.

God wants you to grow stronger not just for yourself…but for someone else too.


You’ve got to have enough faith for someone else when their’s is weak…

You’ve got to have enough hope for someone else when their’s is gone…


Romans 15:1 (NIV)

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.

Stop right now and thank God for those who HOPED YOU THROUGH when you had given up.

Remember, Jesus had to have enough faith for everyone on that boat!

Matthew 8:23-26  (NKJV)

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

26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 

BE BLESSTIFIED!

DON’T LET YOUR WEAKNESSES OVERPOWER YOUR STRENGTHS…

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We all have weaknesses, all of us. They may be different, but we all have them. Even that person that may seem to have it ‘all together’…who seems so strong, struggles with some weakness(es).

That’s why so many people seem so devastated when someone whom they looked up to had a weakness either become public, or diminish their effectiveness.

The difference in those individuals who seem to be…

So effective…

So confident…

So dependable…

So strong…

IS…

They don’t allow their weaknesses to overpower their strengths.

I live in a suburb of a city that is known for crime, Memphis TN… a huge weakness. Memphis also has several fun, interesting and historically significant attractions.

I’m aware of the national narrative about the Memphis area, and that’s why you don’t see trips to Memphis being given away on many game shows.

Now, there are other cities that have just as much, if not more crime, BUT they have other attractions and destinations that outweigh the crime when people are deciding whether or not visit their cities…these cities have not allowed their weaknesses overpower their strengths.

Actually, Memphis is a city that is enjoying a renaissance of development so that the weaknesses don’t overpower the strengths.

Sometimes as individuals, and particularly as Christians, we can allow our weaknesses to stifle us, or even make us feel that they disqualify us.

Let me quickly remind you of two of God’s greatest contributors to our faith…David and the Apostle Paul.

King David…

  • Was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14)
  • Contributed to scripture with dozens of God inspired Psalms
  • Had a more than healthy sex drive (weakness) (1 Chronicles 3:1-8)
  • Had a man loyal to him killed for his wife (2 Samuel Chapter 11)

David didn’t surprise God when He sinned…God new it would happen when He anointed David. And, David’s sin didn’t disqualify him from being king (2 Samuel Chapter 12)…because he had a truly repentant heart.

Apostle Paul…

  • Originally one of the greatest persecutors of the church (weakness) (Acts Chapter 8)
  • Was not one of the original apostles who walked with Jesus
  • Appeared ‘weak’ in person (2 Corinthians 11:30)
  • Had an admitted ‘thorn in the flesh’ weakness

However, God used Paul to take the Gospel message to the Gentiles. God knew this when Paul was persecuting the church. God uses Paul to confront the worlds most powerful leader at the time (Acts Chapter 25).

Yes, you have weaknesses…

Yes, sometimes you lose battles with your weaknesses…

But, God has made the same promise to you that he made to Paul when he asked to be delivered from his weakness…

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.

David repented…

Paul turned to God for help.

Control your weaknesses…

Strengthen them with God’s help…

But, most of all…

Capitalize on your strengths!

Make the most of THE MOST God gave you.

Don’t allow your weaknesses to overpower your strengths.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE’S ‘BORN THAT WAY’ DOESN’T MAKE IT OKAY…

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
BEING BORN IN SIN ISN’T AN EXCUSE FOR ANY OF OUR SINS…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

wp-1483461700459.jpg From a Christian Perspective…

Having you ever noticed a child throwing a temper tantrum when it doesn’t get something that it wants? This is a natural reaction that must be overcome as the child matures. The reaction is natural…innate…the child was born with it.

The truth is that we are all born with innate desires, feelings and proclivities that we did not ask for.

Many Christians reason to excuse some behavior by saying, “I or they was or were born this way”. This doesn’t meant that God made a mistake, but the scripture clearly reminds us that we were all born in sin…

Psalm 51:5 (NKJV)

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

We were all born with desires we didn’t ask for…that doesn’t make them ALL okay. Just because it comes naturally doesn’t make right. Some natural desires we must resist with…

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BE CAREFUL WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU GOD TOLD THEM TO TELL YOU…

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Has anyone ever come to you telling you that God told them to tell you something?

In 1st Kings the 13th Chapter, a man of God, was given a message to deliver to King Jeroboam and he was instructed by God that he was to NOT, eat bread, drink water, nor return by the same way he came. After delivering the bad news as instructed, the king invited the man of God to come home with him and refresh himself. The man of God obediently refused.

After leaving, the man of God encountered ANOTHER man of God, an old prophet, who invited him to come home with him and eat bread. Again, the first man of God told him that God had instructed him that he wasn’t to do so…But the old prophet said, “I too am a prophet, and an angel spoke to me and told me differently, but he was lying.

The first man of God, listened to the old prophet, went home with him and did just what God had told him NOT to do. To give us an example of His anger for his disobedience, God allowed the first man of God to be killed by a lion as he returned home.

1 KINGS 13:14-18

14 and went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak. Then he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”And he said, “I am.15 Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.”16 And he said, “I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place. 17 For I have been told by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came.’”18 He said to him, “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (He was lying to him.)

Many times, people will come to you claiming God told them to tell you something. Yes, God can use others for confirmation and revelation, but we must use discernment. God won’t use anyone else to tell you something contrary to what He has said in His word, or what He has already placed and confirmed in your heart.

Pray for discernment. Pray for wisdom. Because even people who mean well can sometimes tell you something contrary to God’s will is FOR YOU. Remember Peter…

Matthew 16:22-23 (NKJV)

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

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

Peter meant well, but Jesus knew His purpose and realized that any deviation or diversion from it was not of the Father, but of the enemy.

Sometimes family members, friends and even ministers can give you some well-intended advice, insight, or ‘revelation’ from God.

The enemy sometimes disguises himself as an angel of light in order to deceive us…2

Corinthians 11:14 (NKJV)

14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

God the Father sent His Spirit in the form of a dove to confirm who the Messiah was, partly so no one else could come along claiming it is someone else…

Luke 3:22 (NKJV)

22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

Please, pray for discernment, and don’t listen to a PIGEON sent by the enemy instead of a DOVE from God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE’S ‘BORN THAT WAY’ DOESN’T MAKE IT OKAY…

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From a Christian Perspective…

Having you ever noticed a child throwing a temper tantrum when it doesn’t get something that it wants? This is a natural reaction that must be overcome as the child matures. The reaction is natural…innate…the child was born with it.

The truth is that we are all born with innate desires, feelings and proclivities that we did not ask for.

Many Christians reason to excuse some behavior by saying, “I or they was or were born this way”. This doesn’t meant that God made a mistake, but the scripture clearly reminds us that we were all born in sin…

Psalm 51:5 (NKJV)

 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

We were all born with desires we didn’t ask for…that doesn’t make them ALL okay. Just because it comes naturally doesn’t make right. Some natural desires we must resist with the help of the Holy Spirit…

Fornication…

Adultery…

Homosexuality…

Gluttony…

Greed…

Jealousy…

Envy…

Wrath …

…ALL come from natural desires and they are ALL equally wrong.

Even David, a man after God’s own heart was born with an insatiable desire for women…but that did not make it right or acceptable to God. Those who read the bible know what that led to.

Some people are naturally more greedy, more lustful, more promiscuous, more selfish, more aggressive, more violent that others…does that make it okay? For those who wish to argue these are learned behaviors, some people have these behaviors modeled and ‘learn’ them, while others witnessed these behaviors and didn’t succumb to them.

Pedophiles don’t feel they ‘choose’ to be attracted to children…does that make it okay? No!

The desires of our flesh war against our spirit…and these vary from person to person.

Galatians 5:17 (NKJV)

17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

 It is only by walking in the Fruit of the Spirit can we overcome our fleshly desires that displease God.

Galatians 5:16 (NKJV)

 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 

 Galatians 5:22,23

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

That’s why fasting is so powerful. It is a tool we can use to bring our flesh into subjection, overcome our weaknesses and prove to ourselves that our desires won’t rule us. It’s our tool to move those mountains in our lives.

Matthew 17: 20-21

 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting

Use this as post ammunition when someone presents to you the argument, “I was born this way, so it can’t be wrong”.

Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s okay.

BE BLESSTIFIED.

HOW PRINCE INSPIRES ME AS A CHRISTIAN…

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Prince’s music is definitely a huge part of the soundtrack of my life, especially my younger days. I enjoy the genius of his artistry..He wasn’t just a singer, but a singer/performer/entertainer/entrepreneur/activist/philanthropist. His influence on music, fashion and culture is undeniable.

It’s also very evident that Prince, as we all do, had a strong spiritual side and a strong carnal side. He wrote songs that were sexually explicit as well as songs that were beautiful and spiritual, such as “God”, which was the B-Side to “Purple Rain” (for younger readers who may not know, a B-Side was another song on the opposite side of the single of a vinyl record). In fact, sometimes Prince was a spiritual paradox…again, as we all have been.

The purpose of this post isn’t to judge Prince’s spirituality or his carnality, but how both inspire me.

Many of you may be thinking, how can a man of God be inspired by carnality? Well, remember Luke 16: 1-12, “The Parable of the Unjust Steward”?

Luke 16 (NKJV)

He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Notice that the rich man (representing God in this parable) commended the unjust steward or manager. The steward acted very shrewdly in regard to the rich man’s money. Jesus proclaimed that “the children of this world are more shrewd (wiser in some translations) in THEIR GENERATION than the sons of light”. In other words, Jesus was saying that there are some lessons that Christians can learn from ‘the world’…that’s another post that’s coming soon.

When I look at the life of Prince and the way he pursued and released what was inside of him…the way he made the most of his talents and gifts… I’m inspired in my pursuit of ministry and releasing what God has placed inside of me.

Prince’s Gifts and Talents

Prince was one of the most gifted individuals of our time, THAT WE KNOW OF. I say “that we know of” because there are probably scores of other gifted individuals out there that will let their talents and abilities die with them. Gifts and talents are no good if we allow them to remain dormant…or keep them to ourselves. God gives us gifts and talents so we can use them to reveal His glory to the world, and as tools to build His Kingdom. Prince didn’t allow his gifts to remain dormant or to himself. He didn’t come from ‘money’. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He didn’t allow circumstances or excuses to negate his gifts. He FOUND WAYS to make it happen…

That inspires me to do the same for God.

Prince’s Vision

God drives home the importance of vision in Habakkuk 2:1-3…

 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Prince had vision of where he wanted to go. He had a clear picture of where, what and who he wanted to be. Vision is a snapshot of how you see yourself in the future, and it is what drives you to reach the smaller goals along the way to get to your destination. No one can move with the trajectory and momentum of Prince, even through setbacks, without vision…

That also inspires me in ministry.

Princes Dedication to Perfection

In the bible, perfection in regard to man, isn’t flawless, but mature (Teleios, Strong’s Concordance). It means being ‘perfect’ for each level as you progress, as a 4th grader who is ready to be promoted to 5th grade…not yet ready for high school, but perfect for the current level. Prince honed his talents and the talents of those around him. He consistently got better, and he made those around him better. As an instrumentalist, song writer, producer, performer, entertainer, he was never satisfied. He always strove for perfection. This is what we should do as Christians. We should always be growing, maturing and perfecting the gifts and talents that God gives us…

This inspires me as a minister, songwriter, writer, husband, father, man of God.

Prince’s Boldness

It was clear that Prince had the boldness to do what he felt he needed to do to be seen and promote who and how he wanted to be perceived. Of course coming on stage almost naked, and using profanity was not good or Godly. In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince stated that he did a lot of things early in his career to be as “flashy” and as”noisey” as he could be to deal with and compensate for getting teased in school. He focused on getting better at what he did to deal with the pain of his past. His boldness to write what he felt, perform as he felt, dress as he felt is what gave him his platform. After signing with Warner Brothers, after being offered one of the hottest producers in the industry at the time, Maurice White, he insisted on producing himself….now that’s bold for a teenager…

This inspires me as a minister to be bold for Christ.

Prince’s Influence

Prince will always be remembered as one of the greatest influences on music, culture, fashion, expression, etc., of our time, and possibly all time. Not only did he set the standard, but he raised the bar. You can hear Prince’s influence in various genres of music. His audience is one of the most diverse of any artist. His influence extends beyond race, gender, culture and ethnicity. He has inspired artistry, professionalism, excellence and greatness in countless others that will continue to shape our world…

This inspires me as a minister, writer and man of God.

Again, this post is not to judge any aspect of his life.

Am I a fan of Prince…Yes.

Do I agree with everything that he did or the way he did it…No.

However,  we have to learn to make the most of the good and bad in all of our lives…and Prince Rogers Nelson is and will remain to be the one of the greatest influences in the life of Minister Aldtric Johnson and my ministry.

Is there someone or something that inspires you in your walk with Christ, that may make others say….”REALLY? Tell me how!” If so, please leave a reply, and tell me how. It may inspire others too.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

ARE YOUR RESPONSIBLE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE?

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There are many celebrities, politicians, athletes and ministers who have huge audiences. They have great NAME RECOGNITION, people know them nearly everywhere they go, listen to what they have to say and even imitate their behavior. They have huge influence with their fans or followers. It’s disappointing to see what some people do with their voice and influence. Some are blessed with a social stage or public platform only to squander their voice and influence on foolishness or themselves.

We may not all be celebrities, but God has given all of us an audience and a voice. In your home, job, school, church, the park, the shopping center, in traffic, the restaurant people are watching you and listening to you. What are you doing with your audience? Many times we claim we want God to ‘enlarge our territory’ just as Jabez prayed in 1 Chronicles 4:10. We ask Him to give us more resources and influence, but are we being responsible with that we already have? Are we being responsible with those in our circle of influence, no matter how small?

How do you handle disappointment on the job?…in front of your children? 

How do you act when you get bad service in the restaurant?…or in a store?

How do you behave when frustrated in traffic?…(That one hit me!)

Do you speak up for the right things when it’s not popular to do so or remain silent? 

How do you represent yourself on social media? 

How do you dress? 

God tells us in 1 Peter 2:12 …

“Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 

Colossians 4:5 says… “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.” 

And of course In Matthew Jesus says…

Matthew 5:14-16… “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. God expects us to be His Light in the world. 

Too many people want God to move them to bigger and better when they aren’t even thriving where they’re planted. 

Are you thriving where you’re planted? 

What are you doing with your voice and influence? 

How are you perceived in your circles? 

Whether you have an audience of  one or one million, God expects you to honor Him and be light. Men, Women and Children of God…let’s be responsible with our audience.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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