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.

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!

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!

 

 

 

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!

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!!

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!

 

 

 

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.

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!

NEW DAY…NEW YOU!

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THE PEOPLE WHO YOU HAVEN’T MET YET WILL ONLY KNOW THE NEW YOU!

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!!

ONLY GOOD NEWS?

As we come to the close of a CHALLENGING YEAR,
I’m REBLOGGING this important post IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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On Sunday, January 3, 2016, Pastor W. Michael Martin of Oak Spring Church in Arlington TN, stood boldly but lovingly before the congregation for which God holds him responsible and declared, “This year will be a year of challenges…” I remember getting a chill when that prophetic warning was declared. He didn’t promise…”This is your season!” “This is the year God is going to make it happen for you!” He declared challenges for our local body of Christ. That prophetic warning has proven to be true…

Deuteronomy 18:22 (NKJV)

22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

Watch out and beware of preachers and prophets who ONLY deliver good news! Who ONLY promise ‘breakthrough’!…

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ARE YOUR RESPONSIBLE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you represent yourself on social media? 

How do you dress? 

God tells us in 1 Peter 2:12 …

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

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

And of course In Matthew Jesus says…

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

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

Are you thriving where you’re planted? 

What are you doing with your voice and influence? 

How are you perceived in your circles? 

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

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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