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…

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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 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!

WHY EVERYONE’S NOT DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS (Some Pray it DOESN’T snow)…

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“YOUR WINTER FUN IS SOMEONE’S WINTER FEAR” maj

So many people love the cozy idea of sitting by a warm fire, and sipping egg nog or hot chocolate as they unwrap gifts with family or friends.

So many people get excited when they hear the weather forecaster announce snow is coming.

But, while some people rush the grocery stores for extra food in case they are snowed in…

While some people prepare to cook hot meals and watch the snow fall…

While so many children get excited over the thought of a snow day…

While some say, “Hmmm, what will we eat?”…

Others cringe at the thought of snow coming…

Others wait to see what the grocery stores will throw away…

Others wonder what cooked meals they can find in a dumpster…

Others wonder how they will keep their children warm on a snow day…

Others say, “what will we eat?”…wondering IF? rather than WHAT?!

wp-1481505705955.jpgAs we enjoy the blessings of warmth, food and shelter during the Holiday season, let us not forget those who have no place to lay their heads…no place for their children.

Let us remember those who have to struggle looking for someplace to use the bathroom with dignity after a night of sleeping on the street.

Beyond the holiday season, remember your WINTER FUN is someone’s WINTER FEAR.

And, take advantage of the opportunities that God gives you to be a blessing to someone in need. It’s good to PRAY for them, but it’s even better to be the answer to your own prayer for them.

1 John 3:17 (NKJV)

17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

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Please help me share this message…

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!!

 

 

X-TREME X-AMLES IN THE OLD TESTAMTENT…

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 1 Corinthians 10:1-11

10 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 NOW THESE THINGS BECAME OUR EXAMPLES, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all[b] these things HAPPENED TO THEM as examples, and they were WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

The Old Testament introduced us to God… through Israel. We learn who He is, and since we’re made in His image we learn who we are. We learn His expectations. We learn how He reacts when we sin. We learn through what I like to call EXTREME EXAMPLES what He loves and what He hates through His interactions with Isreal. We learn that when we sin, before He gets angry – He’s hurt….as implied in Judges 2:1-2…

“Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. 2 And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. WHY HAVE  YOU  DONE THIS?”

Here God asks, “Why have you done this?”

Have you ever asked that to a loved one that hurt you?

Have you ever said that to a child before you punished them?

We learn God’s heart through His interactions with Israel. Through EXTREME examples of judgement we learn how much He hates some behaviors. We also learn through EXTREME acts of mercy and miracles what behaviors He loves.

Those extreme judgements are much like a police officer pulling over ONE speeding driver, when many are speeding. Every now and then they will have to remind drivers of the law by making an example of some drivers and not all.

Some say we don’t have those EXTREME judgements as in the Old Testament anymore…but don’t be too quick to assume so. Many of the natural disasters and calamities of TODAY could be God getting our attention and reminding us of His expectations.

As you read the history of the Old Testament, from now on as you read an EXTREME judgement  (such as the earth opening up and swallowing people in Numbers 26:10, or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19) pay particular attention to the reasons God did it.

Pay attention to the behaviors that He was responding to.

Pay particular attention to what He calls abominations.

God doesn’t change, if He hated it then, He hates it now.

Let’s LEARN FROM OUR EXTREME EXAMPLES

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!

LEARNING TO LIVE & WORK WITH PEOPLE YOU DON’T TRUST…

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Your success, effectiveness and peace is not only determined by how well you relate with people you DO TRUST…but how well you are at relating with people that you DON’T TRUST.

Our ultimate trust is in God, but He didn’t put us on this earth alone.

God has also ordained it that there is little that we can accomplish alone.

Even God Himself uses His angels to relate to us…

Hebrews 11:14 (NKJV)

 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

God let the captives in Babylon know that though they trusted Him, they were to pray for the peace of the city in which they lived because their peace was dependent on the city’s peace…

Jeremiah 29:7(NKJV)

And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.

Jesus sent the first disciples out in pairs (Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1)

The apostles worked in pairs, teams and even depended heavily on the early church for help.

As much as we are interdependent on another in this life, God also warned us about putting our trust in people rather than Him…

Psalm 118:8 (NKJV)

It is better to trust in the Lord. Than to put confidence in man.

Of course we all want to be in relationships and situations with people we trust, but that’s not always possible…Sometimes we can’t even trust our own selves.

It seems it’s getting harder and harder to trust people these days.

We have families, jobs, churches, communities, organizations that we are all a part of in which to live, but the fact is that you KNOW you can’t trust everyone…

In your family…

On your job…

In your church…

In your community…

In our government…

Sometimes we go through seasons and situations when we can’t trust our spouse, children, parents or even friends…because we are human beings being human.

Do we abandon these relationships and resources because of the lack of trust or total trust?

Of course not!


Your ability to be successful, effective and have peace in your life is just as dependent upon your ability to work and relate with people you DON’T trust as well as those you DO trust.


How do you do it?

First of all trust God first. If He has you in a situation, or you have allowed yourself into a situation where trust is limited…you still have to lean on His word, truth, character and TRUST HIM.

Second pray for wisdom and discernment so you can know WHO to trust and WHO NOT to trust.

Third pray for those whom you don’t trust that they submit themselves to God through our Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus Christ. It’s bigger than just you or me…Ultimately it’s more about their relationship with God than ours with them.

Fourth, remain in God’s character so that you can set a standard and example of behavior and plant good seeds for God’s Kingdom. You do this by walking in the Spirit as defined in Galatians 5:22, 23.

Fifth, always make are always faithful and trustworthy in all your relationships.

And finally, remember that God had equipped you with everything you need for this LIFE and GODLINESS in this life, through His divine nature that is now inside you…

2 PETER 1:2-8 (NKJV)

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No you can’t trust everyone…

The fact that we aren’t always faithful means that God can’t always trust us. But, we can always trust Him.

So,

Trust God…

Trust Yourself…

Be Trustworthy…

And remember, GOD IS GREATER THAN THOSE WHOM YOU DON’T TRUST.

Add this to your prayer life…”Lord give me the ability to relate with those I don’t trust.”

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

HEY! WHERE’D THAT PEACE COME FROM?

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God always answers prayer…and usually it comes suddenly.

There have been times I was greatly troubled to the point that found it difficult to enjoy anything else.

Even in a happy moment, I might laugh… and then rushing to the front of my mind comes the thought..

“REMEMBER ME!!!” I’m your trouble and I haven’t gone ANYWHERE!!!

In the midst of this trouble I pray to God for peace, which doesn’t always come immediately. As I continue in prayer,

I consider my troubling situations.

I think of how good God is to me, EVEN with the trouble I’m experiencing.

I think of all of the things that COULD go wrong…that haven’t.

I think of ALL of the things God has ALREADY brought me through.

That’s when I stop and thank Him for just for being God…for His unfailing love, even when mine fails…for His faithfulness even when I’m unfaithful to Him. And, I realize, what does God get out of being faithful to me? Thank you Lord!

Then it happens…suddenly. Like the SON breaking through the cloud of my troubles!Yes, I’m sitting here thinking about my trouble…and I notice it. I find myself saying…


“Hey! Where did that peace come from?!”


God has poured His peace into my heart, and even though my trouble is still there. Even though I’m thinking about it…I feel at peace.

Peace is one of God’s awesome promises. He will give it to us.

If we PRAY…just ask Him.

If we’re PERSISTENT…continue to ask Him.

If we’re PATIENT…They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (another promise) Isaiah 40:31.

If we PRAISE…Continue to thank God and praise Him while you wait.

Then suddenly, out of  nowhere. When you least expect it, but most need it…He will give you His PEACE.

Philippians 4:7 (NKJV)

 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

So, to answer my own question…”Hey! Where’d that peace come from?!”

It came from PRAYER, PERSISTENCE, PATIENCE & PRAISE…

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)…

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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

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!

YES, YOU TRUST GOD…BUT DO YOU TRUST YOURSELF? (In Case You Missed It…)

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Sometimes the issue isn’t whether or not we trust God, but whether or not we trust ourselves…

We know He will lead and guide us, but are we making the right decisions?

We know He provides perfectly, but are we being the best stewards of what He provides?

When things don’t work out…

Is it punishment?

A lesson?

Or part of the process?

How do we know?

What should I do next?

Sometimes I need a victory to know I can trust myself AS I trust God.

I need a victory so OTHERS can trust me as I trust God and be encouraged.

I need confirmation that what I’ve done is right, rather than people telling me what I should have done.

I know my family loves me, but I want to know that they they’re of proud of me and respect me too.

I need to know that they feel they can depend on me…but can I depend on myself?

I need some victories before I give up, not on God, but…

On myself…

My dreams…

My vision…

My purpose…

I know God is able…but am I?

Can He depend on me?

But, THEN God reminds me of Abraham…

Genesis 15:6

6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

GOD HONORS OUR FAITH….God told Abram (Abraham) that his descendants would be as the sand of the sea. Abram couldn’t see how it would come to pass. Abram saw his physical limitations, but still believed God. The promise didn’t come over night…as a matter of fact it took many years. Abraham and Sarah HAD to many have human moments during that long wait where they questioned if they were doing the right things. This can be concluded by the fact that they got impatient… when Sarai thought she could bear no children and convinced Abram to lay with her handmaid Hagar…which led to the conception of Ishmael. Even though he wasn’t the son with the promise, when Abraham sent Ishmael away, God assured him  He would honor His promise through Ishmael too…

Genesis 21:12-13

“The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring[a] will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

After Isaac was born, God continued to fulfill His promise to Abraham.

God knows we’re flesh. He made us all and, He knows our weaknesses better than we do.

Psalm 103:13-14

13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

He knows we won’t always make the right decisions, even when we trust Him and are trying to be led by Him.

He honors our faith, that’s why He promises…

Romans 8:28

All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.

As we trust God, we can’t allow the enemy to undermine our purpose by convincing us to not trust ourselves.

Don’t listen to the enemies lies about yourself…

Be encouraged by Philippians 1:6…

Being CONFIDENT of this, that he who began a good work in YOU will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Trust yourself while you’re trusting God.

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…

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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!

HEY! WHERE’D THAT PEACE COME FROM?

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God always answers prayer…and usually it comes suddenly.

There have been times I was greatly troubled to the point that found it difficult to enjoy anything else.

Even in a happy moment, I might laugh… and then rushing to the front of my mind comes the thought, “REMEMBER ME!!!” I’m your trouble and I haven’t gone ANYWHERE!!!

In the midst of this trouble I pray to God for peace, which doesn’t always come immediately. As I continue in prayer, I consider my troubling situations. I think of how good God is to me, EVEN with the trouble I’m experiencing. I think of all of the things that COULD go wrong…that haven’t. I think of ALL of the things God has ALREADY brought me through.

That’s when I stop and thank Him for just for being God…for His unfailing love, even when mine fails…for His faithfulness even when I’m unfaithful to Him. And, I realize, why does God get out of being faithful to me? Thank you Lord!

Then it happens…suddenly. Like the SON breaking through the cloud of my troubles!Yes, I’m sitting here thinking about my trouble…and I notice it. I find myself saying…


“Hey! Where did that peace come from?!”


God has poured His peace into my heart, and even though my trouble is still there. Even though I’m thinking about it…I feel at peace.

Peace is one of God’s awesome promises. He will give it to us.

If we PRAY…just ask Him.

If we’re PERSISTENT…continue to ask Him.

If we’re PATIENT…They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (another promise) Isaiah 40:31.

If we PRAISE…Continue to thank God and praise Him while you wait.

Then suddenly, out of  nowhere. When you least expect it, but most need it…He will give you His PEACE.

Philippians 4:7 (NKJV)

 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

So, to answer my own question…”Hey! Where’d that peace come from?!”

It came from PRAYER, PERSISTENCE, PATIENCE & PRAISE…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

NEW DAY…NEW YOU!

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We all have made some bad choices and bad decisions in life. Sometimes those bad choices can define who we are to ourselves and others.

If you don’t like the person that you have been…

If you don’t like the person that are right now…

Please remember that each NEW day is a NEW opportunity to become the NEW YOU!

Once you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, your NEW nature begins to shape, refine and define the NEW you…

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

You begin a life long process of progress…you will no longer be the person you were as long as you walk in the Spirit of God and move away from gratifying the works of the flesh that can define us, our character, our personality and ruin our testimony. 

Galatians 5:17-21

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The NEW you in Christ Jesus is the ‘you’ that is led by and displays the Fruit of the Spirit…

Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.

Just think for a moment about the fact that there are scores of people who haven’t met yet, but will meet. There’s an innumerable number of people are destined to hear about you even though you may not know them.

These people will only know who are now…these people will only know THE NEW YOU. 

Even in Christ, we will continue to make mistakes, but remember to view each NEW day as a blessing and opportunity to ‘get it right’. 

Get it right with God…

Get it right with your ‘fellow man’…

Get it right with YOUrself…

Each day is a NEW opportunity to become the NEW you. 

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!

YES, YOU’VE GOT TO LEARN TO RELATE WITH PEOPLE YOU DON’T TRUST…

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Your success, effectiveness and peace is not only determined by how well you relate with people you DO TRUST…but how well you are at relating with people that you DON’T TRUST.

Our ultimate trust is in God, but He didn’t put us on this earth alone.

God has also ordained it that there is little that we can accomplish alone.

Even God Himself uses His angels to relate to us…

Hebrews 11:14 (NKJV)

 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

 God let the captives in Babylon know that though they trusted Him, they were to pray for the peace of the city in which they lived because their peace was dependent on the city’s peace…

Jeremiah 29:7(NKJV)

And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.

Jesus sent the first disciples out in pairs (Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1)

The apostles worked in pairs, teams and even depended heavily on the early church for help.

As much as we are interdependent on another in this life, God also warned us about putting our trust in people rather than Him…

Psalm 118:8 (NKJV)

It is better to trust in the Lord. Than to put confidence in man.

Of course we all want to be in relationships and situations with people we trust, but that’s not always possible…Sometimes we can’t even trust our own selves.

It seems it’s getting harder and harder to trust people these days.

We have families, jobs, churches, communities, organizations that we are all a part of in which to live, but the fact is that you KNOW you can’t trust everyone…

In your family…

On your job…

In your church…

In your community…

In our government…

Sometimes we go through seasons and situations when we can’t trust our spouse, children, parents or even friends…because we are human beings being human.

Do we abandon these relationships and resources because of the lack of trust or total trust?

Of course not!


Your ability to be successful, effective and have peace in your life is just as dependent upon your ability to work and relate with people you DON’T trust as well as those you DO trust.


How do you do it?

First of all trust God first. If He has you in a situation, or you have allowed yourself into a situation where trust is limited…you still have to lean on His word, truth, character and TRUST HIM.

Second pray for wisdom and discernment so you can know WHO to trust and WHO NOT to trust.

Third pray for those whom you don’t trust that they submit themselves to God through our Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus Christ. It’s bigger than just you or me…Ultimately it’s more about their relationship with God than ours with them.

Fourth, remain in God’s character so that you can set a standard and example of behavior and plant good seeds for God’s Kingdom. You do this by walking in the Spirit as defined in Galatians 5:22, 23.

Finally, remember that God had equipped you with everything you need for this LIFE and GODLINESS in this life, through His divine nature that is now inside you…

2 PETER 1:2-8 (NKJV)

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No you can’t trust everyone…

But,

Trust God…

Trust Yourself…

And remember, GOD IS GREATER THAN THOSE WHOM YOU DON’T TRUST.

Add this to your prayer life…”Lord give me the ability to relate with those I don’t trust.”

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!

 

YES, YOU TRUST GOD…BUT DO YOU TRUST YOURSELF?

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Sometimes the issue isn’t whether or not we trust God, but whether or not we trust ourselves…

Do you ever have this conversation with yourself in some form or another…

We know He will lead and guide us, but are we making the right decisions?

We know He provides perfectly, but are we being the best stewards of what He provides?

When things don’t work out…

Is it punishment?

A lesson?

Or part of the process?

How do we know?

What should I do next?

Sometimes I need a victory to know I can trust myself AS I trust God.

I need a victory so OTHERS can trust me as I trust God and be encouraged.

I need confirmation that what I’ve done is right, rather than people telling me what I should have done.

I know my family loves me, but I want to know that they they’re of proud of me and respect me too.

I need to know that they feel they can depend on me…but can I depend on myself?

I need some victories before I give up, not on God, but…

On myself…

My dreams…

My vision…

My purpose…

I know God is able…but am I?

Can He depend on me?

But, THEN God reminds me of Abraham…

Genesis 15:6

6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

GOD HONORS OUR FAITH….God told Abram (Abraham) that his descendants would be as the sand of the sea. Abram couldn’t see how it would come to pass. Abram saw his physical limitations, but still believed God. The promise didn’t come over night…as a matter of fact it took many years. Abraham and Sarah HAD to many have human moments during that long wait where they questioned if they were doing the right things. This can be concluded by the fact that they got impatient… when Sarai thought she could bear no children and convinced Abram to lay with her handmaid Hagar…which led to the conception of Ishmael. Even though he wasn’t the son with the promise, when Abraham sent Ishmael away, God assured him  He would honor His promise through Ishmael too…

Genesis 21:12-13

“The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring[a] will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

After Isaac was born, God continued to fulfill His promise to Abraham.

God knows we’re flesh. He made us all and, He knows our weaknesses better than we do.

Psalm 103:13-14

13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

He knows we won’t always make the right decisions, even when we trust Him and are trying to be led by Him.

He honors our faith, that’s why He promises…

Romans 8:28

All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.

As we trust God, we can’t allow the enemy to undermine our purpose by convincing us to not trust ourselves.

Don’t listen to the enemies lies about yourself…

Be encouraged by Philippians 1:6…

Being CONFIDENT of this, that he who began a good work in YOU will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Trust yourself while you’re trusting God.

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!

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!

SOME THINGS ARE BEST LEFT UNSAID…

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So many people today feel there is such strength in, TELLING IT LIKE IT IS…GIVING THEM A PIECE OF YOUR MIND…or, KEEPING IT REAL!

Yes, there are times when that has its place, but there’s also great strength, dignity and maturity in keeping some things to yourself.

When the angel appeared to Mary to let her know that she had conceived of the Holy Spirit, and what was going to come to pass…she kept it to herself. She knew some people wouldn’t believe her, she knew some people wouldn’t understand, she knew it wasn’t time.

Luke 2:19(NKJV)

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


You don’t have to tell them how pissed off you are…

You don’t have to be the first one to share bad news…

You don’t have to tell them how attracted you are to them (especially if you’re already married)…

You don’t have to tell them how wrong you think they are…

You don’t have to tell them what someone said about them…


We need to stop and think of the immediate and long-term results of sharing what we feel we must say…especially if we are ‘in our emotions’ (anger, lust, disgust, jealousy, fear, sadness, envy, shame, etc…)

Remember what Proverbs says…

Proverbs 17:9 (NKJV)

He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends.

Even God Himself doesn’t reveal some information to us until we’re ready for it, in other words…He leaves some things unsaid for a season.

1 Peter 1:10 (NKJV)

Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,

Right now, stop and ask God for wisdom and discernment of…

WHEN TO SPEAK AND WHEN TO BE SILENT, BECAUSE…

SOME THINGS ARE BEST LEFT UNSAID!

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.

REMEMBER…EVERYONE’S NOT DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS.

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“YOUR WINTER FUN IS SOMEONE’S WINTER FEAR” maj

So many people love the cozy idea of sitting by a warm fire, and sipping egg nog or hot chocolate as they unwrap gifts with family or friends.

So many people get excited when they hear the weather forecaster announce snow is coming.

But, while some people rush the grocery stores for extra food in case they are snowed in…

While some people prepare to cook hot meals and watch the snow fall…

While so many children get excited over the thought of a snow day…

While some say, “Hmmm, what will we eat?”…

Others cringe at the thought of snow coming…

Others wait to see what the grocery stores will throw away…

Others wonder what cooked meals they can find in a dumpster…

Others wonder how they will keep their children warm on a snow day…

Others say, “what will we eat?”…wondering IF? rather than WHAT?!

wp-1481505705955.jpgAs we enjoy the blessings of warmth, food and shelter during the Holiday season, let us not forget those who have no place to lay their heads…no place for their children.

Let us remember those who have to struggle looking for someplace to use the bathroom with dignity after a night of sleeping on the street.

Beyond the holiday season, remember your WINTER FUN is someone’s WINTER FEAR.

And, take advantage of the opportunities that God gives you to be a blessing to someone in need. It’s good to PRAY for them, but it’s even better to be the answer to your own prayer for them.

1 John 3:17 (NKJV)

17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

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Please help me share this message…

BE BLESSTIFIED!!!!

 

 

X-TREME X-AMLES IN THE OLD TESTAMTENT…

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 1 Corinthians 10:1-11

10 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 NOW THESE THINGS BECAME OUR EXAMPLES, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all[b] these things HAPPENED TO THEM as examples, and they were WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

The Old Testament introduced us to God… through Israel. We learn who He is, and since we’re made in His image we learn who we are. We learn His expectations. We learn how He reacts when we sin. We learn through what I like to call EXTREME EXAMPLES what He loves and what He hates through His interactions with Isreal. We learn that when we sin, before He gets angry – He’s hurt….as implied in Judges 2:1-2…

“Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: “I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. 2 And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. WHY HAVE  YOU  DONE THIS?”

Here God asks, “Why have you done this?”

Have you ever asked that to a loved one that hurt you?

Have you ever said that to a child before you punished them?

We learn God’s heart through His interactions with Israel. Through EXTREME examples of judgement we learn how much He hates some behaviors. We also learn through EXTREME acts of mercy and miracles what behaviors He loves.

Those extreme judgements are much like a police officer pulling over ONE speeding driver, when many are speeding. Every now and then they will have to remind drivers of the law by making an example of some drivers and not all.

Some say we don’t have those EXTREME judgements as in the Old Testament anymore…but don’t be too quick to assume so. Many of the natural disasters and calamities of TODAY could be God getting our attention and reminding us of His expectations.

As you read the history of the Old Testament, from now on as you read an EXTREME judgement  (such as the earth opening up and swallowing people in Numbers 26:10, or the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19) pay particular attention to the reasons God did it.

Pay attention to the behaviors that He was responding to.

Pay particular attention to what He calls abominations.

God doesn’t change, if He hated it then, He hates it now.

Let’s LEARN FROM OUR EXTREME EXAMPLES

BE BLESSTIFIED!

YES…SOME THINGS SHOULD BE DONE ‘JUST FOR SHOW’

THE SON IS THE STAR!

Have you ever heard someone say, “Awwe, they’re just doing that ‘for show’!” Or, “Awwe, they’re just doing that to be seen”? Jesus warned us about doing things only to be seen and to bring glory to ourselves…

Matthew 6: 1-3

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 

Jesus told us when we do things merely to be seen, whatever glory we receive from that act, we already have our reward.

However, that DOESN’T mean that some things should NEVER be done to be seen.

How else can God get glory?

How else can people witness His love?

How else can people witness His power?

How else can people be drawn to Him through us…unless they see Him through us?

Yes, it’s necessary that some things be done TO BE SEEN. It’s the intent of the heart as to whether or not God approves.

Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

It is true that Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus, but Jesus resurrecting Lazarus from the dead in John 11 was about more than giving the sisters back their brother. It was done so that others COULD SEE AND BELIEVE.

It was done FOR SHOW!

Jesus wept so others could see how much He loved Lazarus, Mary and Martha.

It was done FOR SHOW!

John 11:32 – 40 (NKJV)

32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?”

They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”

37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 

Be sure and check your motives when you do anything that could bring glory to yourself. God is willing to share His glory, but we must give Him priority in our hearts.

 Also, be very careful when you’re judging someone else’s intentions as to why they are doing what they do.

When you decide for them their motives, and what’s in their hearts you can be guilty of judging, and when we judge wrongly, we are inviting the same judgement on ourselves.

Matthew 7:1 (NKJV)

Judge not, that you be not judged.

Look upon every act you do in public as an opportunity to let your light shine. Pray that God allow others to be drawn to HIM THROUGH YOU and not YOU THROUGH HIM. Take advantage of the opportunities that God gives you to build His Kingdom through you and remember that…SOME THINGS SHOULD BE DONE FOR SHOW!

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!

IT TAKES THE SAME FAITH…

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“for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith AS a mustard seed…”

Have you ever been critical of those who opposed Jesus both during His earthly ministry and now?

Many saw Him perform miracles, but because Jesus challenged their theology, traditions and culture they rejected Him and those who supported Him.

In John Chapter 9 after they could clearly see he healed a man who had been blind since birth, rather than accepting the miracle, they sought to put the healed man and his family out of the synagogue and to destroy Jesus.

John 9: 28-29 (NKJV)

Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.”

They claimed to be disciples of Moses.

BUT….

It took THE SAME FAITH to believe in Jesus that it took to believe in Moses. The children of Israel saw the signs and miracles that Moses performed just as the Pharisees saw Jesus.

The children of Israel heard Moses proclaim God’s word just as the Pharisees heard Jesus.

So, if their hearts were hard enough to reject Jesus, it’s likely they would have rejected Moses had they lived in his day.

Why?

Because it took the SAME FAITH to believe in Moses who they claimed to follow as it took to believe in Jesus who they rejected.

It took the SAME FAITH to believe Noah….

It took the SAME FAITH to believe the apostles…

It takes the SAME FAITH to believe the preached word today.

God still performs miracles. 

God still gives confirmations

God still grants His mercy.

God still makes Himself known through His creation…but people don’t acknowledge Him.

Romans 1: 18- 20 (NKJV)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…

Those  who resist, oppose or reject Jesus today are without excuse. 

God has given everyone a measure of faith…and that’s all we need to believe.

Romans 12:3 (NKJV)

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

Matthew 17:20 (NKJV)

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.

It takes the SAME FAITH to…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

 

 

 

 

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