Spiritual Food For Thought & Spiritual Growth 10

~ Spiritual Food For Thought & Spiritual Growth! ~

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of The GOSPEL of CHRIST. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you STAND firm in one SPIRIT, contending as one man for the FAITH of The GOSPEL without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be SAVED! ~ and that by GOD! For it has been granted to you on behalf of CHRIST not only to BELIEVE on HIM, but also to suffer for HIM, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had and now hear that I still have.” Philippians 1 ~ WORD FOR TODAY ~

~ THOUGHT FOR TODAY ~

The Apostle Paul continues to encourage the believers to TRUST GOD and STAND upon HIS WORD! It was not his intent to allow them to become dependent upon him but to be ever mindful of the LORD’S presence in their daily  life wherever they were. Accepting JESUS CHRIST into your heart does not mean that life will be “A bed of roses without thorns.” It is clear that Paul’s goal was to strengthen them in their walk with the LORD and encourage ALL believers to STAND firm upon the WORD of GOD if alone or together wherever they were.

” Latter Day Spiritual Warfare”

There is much dissension within the CHURCH today in these “Latter days” over denominational differences and practices. The Spiritual Warfare has heightened.  Many embrace a liberal and somewhat lax approach to The WORD of GOD others are dogmatic, quite controlling and or legalistic. Some comical and saturated with worldliness, Some congregations have a somewhat cult like environment that encourages “group think” and exclusivity. Unconditional acceptance is given to those who comply… Some just want to impress others to join and increase membership, attendance, tithes & offerings. LORD HELP US!

The majority, however, are very inviting to all yet still STAND firm on THE WORD… Therefore, one must be discerning & prayerful whenever or wherever in attendance. Be cognizant of what is going on around you. Study fervently and daily apply and embrace the Truth of God’s Word. Be attentive whenever the Word is going forth. Yet, have an “exit ear” to the things that are contrary to sound doctrine. “PRAY without ceasing” ALL throughout worship and invite the presence of the LORD for ALL to benefit. KEEP YOUR FOCUS on the LORD!

“PREACH THE WORD; be prepared in every season and out of season; correct rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires, they will gather teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the TRUTH and turn aside to myths. But you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist …” II Tmothy 2

THE CHURCH BELONGS TO GOD. THE CHURCH IS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST. GOD IS PREPARING & CLEANSING HIS CHURCH TO PREPARE HER FOR THE COMING OF CHRIST JESUS!

CHRIST GAVE HIS LIFE FOR HIS CHURCH; “…THAT HE MIGHT PRESENT IT TO HIMSELF A GLORIOUS CHURCH, NOT HAVING SPOT OR WRINKLE, OR ANY SUCH THING; BUT THAT IT SHOULD BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH…”EPHESIANS 5

We serve and all knowing omniscient God!

GOD is absolutely and totally aware of everything that has happened within HIS CHURCH. He knows ALL that is happening and ALL that will happen within HIS CHURCH as well as within ALL of our everyone lives throughout this world. It is important to STAND upon the WORD of GOD. Yes, there are times when we will be misunderstood… But so was CHRIST JESUS! Suffering is part of being a Believer. When you STAND for what is RIGHT the LORD STANDS with You! “The gates of hell WILL NOT PREVAIL ” against the LORD’S CHURCH! Keep in mind that we the people are GOD’S TRUE CHURCH! True unity in The SPIRIT is based upon our desire to share and daily live out the infallible GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST! ~ LIVE EVERY DAY EVERYWHERE: “ TO GOD BE THE GLORY! ” ~

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Grief – (Grieving Is Emotionally Painful) Part 2

God’s joy is not contingent on the approval of others or upon our situation. God is omnipotent therefore He is more than able. Our Lord is available 24/7. Always remember; GOD IS THE “SPIRIT OF TRUTH!”

Joy runs deep when you know that God is your source of strength. Joy is a by product of focusing on God which will or can give you a wonderful peaceful sense of well-being. When you spend time daily in prayer, praising and studying God’s Word I guarantee you, you will experience great joy! It will give you a different perspective in your time of need.

The Apostle Paul endured many adversities. Yet he chose to use those adversities to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord. Paul did not seek to be elevated by a title although he had every right to pull rank on the religious hierarchy. God’s grace was fully sufficient for Paul. Paul grasped something that few people ever really understand or attain. Paul delighted and found joy in the Lord regardless of what was going on about him. From an outward appearance this was not always apparent to his onlookers. Paul and Silas together sang and prayed so fervently that even the doors to prison were opened for them. This is one of the many examples of the difference God makes when we invite HIM into our lives.

God’s presence and comfort is near and dear. Believing, knowing and applying God’s Word will transform your mind to think spiritually when faced with grief or any trial or situation that comes into your life. Now this does not mean being in denial; quite the contrary. Knowing the Truth is so very powerful. It increases your discernment!

Man looks on the outside. God looks at the heart. According to God’s Word spiritual things can not be understood by the natural or carnal man. There are those who think so carnally you have to proceed with caution. There is a reason why the Word says; “lay your hands on no man suddenly…” There is a spiritual transference when laying on hands. Be careful who you let lay hands on you. Anger begats anger & Peace begats peace. The Laying on of hands is NOT for show. The power of suggestion is real and some will respond simply because they are easily led. It is so very important to KNOW GOD & HIS WORD for yourself! Seeking the Truth brings Light into our lives. Quickly release the things that are not true. This also allows less room for any darkness to penetrate the Spiritual Armor. Allow God’s Light to shine in your heart, mind and soul in the midst of grief. Let Him direct and comfort you. His Holy Spirit is the Awesome Comforter. God’s Word will be a Light unto your path in every situation.

God’s Word says; “Now this I say, brethren that Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has out on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory…” Revelation 15: 50-55. When a believer dies he/she goes to heaven. As a believer death is not to be feared. Romans tell us there is absolutely nothing that can separate you from the love of God, not even death. God is awesome!

We will never fully understand many things. There are many world wide tragedies about us. God said that before the end of time many will be deceived and believe a lie. That many would take pleasure in unrighteousness.

In these “Latter Days” the Scriptures are being fulfilled. Many are grieving the loss of love ones daily due to death, suicide, violence, crime, terrorists, war, hurricanes, floods, fierce monsoon rains and furious Tsunamis. Thousands have died. Just imagine what the original flood was like. God is speaking. Keep in mind we know through God’s Word that the end of time as we know it will not be via water. It will be by fire!

God sets the rainbow in the sky as a reminder of His promise. He will not destroy the world again with a flood. We also know that God is fully aware of everything that happens. God has promised that He would always be with us. Knowing and focusing on God during your grief or any other difficult situation you may be going through will result favorably. This does not mean you will not be hurt, saddened or feel abandoned. It is how you feel that let’s you know you are alive.

God already knows our hearts. Begin to partake in His spiritual fruit. The fruit of God’s Spirit are accessible. Self control will help you not to be controlled by your thinking, despair or feelings. God’s Word tells us we can even be angry yet not sin. We must yearn to yield to God’s way of reacting and responding. One never knows what a day may bring. But we do know that GOD is OMNIPRESENT! We can always and forever reach out to HIM anywhere 24/7! It is in HIM lone can we always & forever find true “Security & Significance!”

Every Word of God is true. One must only learn how to use and properly apply it wisely. Wisdom comes from God. I thank & Praise the Lord that we have the victory even in death. How is that? Jesus has overcome death and the grave! Begin thinking and looking from a spiritual perspective. God’s children are the “apple of His eye.” God loved us so much that He allowed His only begotten Son to die for us. God is so much more than our little finite minds can imagine. God wants to walk with you through this valley of the shadow of death. He always wants us to be victorious when we are walking in TRUTH!

Nothing happens in any of our lives and in the world that gets by God. God our Father and Creator always has everything under His control! Carefully read the story of Job. This is why it is so very important to accept “Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!” Jesus is the only door to heaven. God’s Word tells us that there is no other name by which you can be saved. You must accept Jesus into your heart if you plan to spend eternity with God. Living out His Word daily will give you the strength to go through this valley of the shadow of death. It is the duty of man to “fear God and keep His commandments.”

Life here on earth is just a mere passage way to our soul’s eternal resting place. Grief is natural. You have a right to be sad. You have a right to cry. The Valley of the Shadow of death is real. But allow the Lord to take you through not stay there. When your heart is heavy cry and release your emotions. But, also try singing, praying, praising and or giving thanks to God. Try just being still. Invite the presence of the Lord around you. Meditate on the great moments and happy times you have shared with your love one. People do not belong to us they are not ours to keep. When the appointed time comes to transition this life we must release them back to the Lord. Remember how God has blessed you. Be Patient. Know with the Lord there will always be more time with them who believe in Him on the other side of Heaven. If your love one did not believe grieve and intercede for their soul perhaps in those lasts moments they accepted Christ Jesus. This will also help you to focus on Him instead of your grief or situation at hand as you place them in the Lord’s hand. Your security and significance must rely upon God who is the “Solid Rock Foundation!” For He is greater than anything that will ever happen within our lives.

We never know what each day may bring. We are living in perilous times and some of everything is happening and will happen. Living for God is not just a Sunday thing. It is a daily lifestyle. We the people are His Church. Our body is the Temple where HIS Holy Spirit resides. We are supposed to live each day as though we are expecting our Lord to return. Daily welcome His infilling presence within you and all around you!

Salvation is truly God’s wonderful plan for us. God extends salvation to all that sincerely accept Jesus Christ into their hearts as Savior and Lord. This secures our heavenly residence with the Lord. He can give us hope in the midst of grief, death, persecution and longsuffering. Truly deliverance from all evil is possible. THANK YOU LORD FOR YOUR HOLY SPIRIT!

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, but beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you to salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Thessalonians 2: 13-14.

This is why His Word says in everything give thanks! Regardless how things look; there is always & forever HOPE in the LORD! GOD is strong and mighty. GOD CAN bring you through this. Lean on the Lord and keep believing. HE WILL GET YOU THROUGH THIS. Invite the presence of the LORD all around you. ONLY GOD CAN GIVE YOU HIS PEACE THAT SURPASSES THE UNDERSTANDING OF MAN. GOD IS HOLY! HE IS A GREAT GOD. CALL UPON JESUS & EVERYDAY; PRAISE HIM & BLESS HIS HOLY NAME!


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Dressing up for Prom and dressing down for Worship Part 2

Success 4

Dressing Up for Prom and dressing down for worship!

Part 2

Today many feel it is better to dress down for worship so everyone will be comfortable. They think that this will put everyone at ease? But if you are attending a Sweetheart Dance, Prom or Fashion Show or celebrating Valentine’s Day it’s proper etiquette to dress up. When Christmas or Resurrection Day/Easter rolls around you can dress up if you like as well.  You want to look nice for those pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny. However you still might get a few stares if you come to worship looking like you are wearing your tithes and offerings!
A little humor is always good! But we need to seriously take a look at just how blurred the lines are. I see the trend. But what or who do we give more honor to. God wants to be a part of every area of our lives!

Worship adoration, devotion and praise are important. We ought to worship and praise our Lord daily. Imagine if every believer really did. What a grand marvelous time we would have whenever we all got together! Sunday is important! CHRISTmas is important. Resurrection Day is important! Each day is important because it may be your last. Honoring God is important. Worship is a time for reflecting upon all that the Lord has done for us. Jesus Christ’s sinless life, crucifixion, death & resurrection are all very important.

Every time we come to together it really is important to worship the Lord. You can do this sitting or standing. Quietly or in Forte` mode! There needs to be a balance. Sunday Worship really is the ultimate Red Carpet Affair! Jesus Christ shed HIS precious SINLESS BLOOD and atoned for the sins of the whole world. WOW! Without HIM becoming the Ultimate Holy Sacrifice; none of us would be able to enter into Heaven. There is cleansing POWER in the BLOOD! What is more important than that?

How important is it to dress for worship? Some are even subconsciously encouraged to dress down thinking this means that they will have more money to give for the offering? God can and will supply All that is needed. The CHURCH needs to trust GOD more…

Whatever happened to proper etiquette or being well groomed? Just because? We have thrown it out the window and replaced it with “dress down.” It is the new way to express you. To show that you are humble? Or is it just plain laziness? Or is it conforming to the world’s standards? Here is the dilemma it is hard to tell sometimes where am I?  Am I in worship or am I on a cruise or at the park? No I do not have Alzheimer’s; if I did it wouldn’t matter!

God truly is the Great “I AM!” God is The Most High God above Him is no other. Worship is about us recognizing Him as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! When you leave worship you should leave knowing more about HIM & HIS WORD!  The Word teaches us; “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what GOD’S WILL IS – HIS GOOD, pleasing and PERFECT WILL.” Romans 12. So why have we; God’s Church begun to conform to the dress standards of the world?

When we dress up we look like we are material right? Well clothes are made out of material. Just because you have on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt does not mean that you are any less material!  Have you seen the price of some of these jeans and tennis shoes & T shirts? It does not matter how much you did or did not pay for it. You can be quite material and have nothing…

You have the freedom to dress however it is you want, when and where you go. My question is what is your priority? We must really begin to think on a much deeper level.

Did you know that children behave better when they are dressed? Taking the time to dress them tells them you care. If it is just in a T shirt let it be neat and tidy.  At the park let them at least go in clean if they come out dirty fine… When my children were young I took them everywhere I went. I made sure that they were well fed, well dressed, loved and well attended. We as a family attended Worship during the week and on most Sunday’s all day long, all year long. They were well behaved, polite and respectful. They had plenty opportunity to run and play in the back yard  freely once they got home and put on their play clothes. Children actually feel better about themselves when they know you give them TLC as well!  Even they know innately that when you are in certain attire you need to stop fooling around and pay more attention. There is a time and place for everything.

I know when you are dressed up it means that you are too cute to worship? However that only applies to certain people. Lord Help us! Absolutely Not!

Notice how the Royal family in England is always fit for the occasion. Even when they dress down  they properly present themselves. Unless you catch them under the privacy of their own residences under a camera you will not see them dressed scantly or inappropriately. In their private residences they should have the freedom and privacy to walk around as they please even if it’s nude. How would anyone know unless they infringed upon their privacy rights. Remember Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. (Once they sinned God made them coats of fur skins…) The point is there is a proper time to dress or undress. Modesty is good. We can learn a thing or two from them. Well, guess what nothing or no one is more important than GOD! Through Jesus Christ we are a part of The Most High God’s Royal Family!

It is hard for me to believe that Solomon via God’s instructions built that first magnificent Temple for seven long years;  then said dress down or wear your sweats. Or your most comfortable clothes. Notice how detailed the temple and its contents are described in the Word. I do not think in its entire splendor that the people came dressed like “ragamuffins” when they came to worship!

We have missed the point!

When slavery was prominent in America the slaves even knew that on Sunday or during worship that they dressed up and presented themselves in proper attire. It was a time to leave the tasks and hardships of slavery, lay them aside momentarily and focus on worshipping the Lord! They honored the Lord above their slave master, pastor and everything else. Even if they did not have shoes they took the time to clean up well and present themselves in their best attire!

The African American/Colored worship services in general continues to encourage dressing up to a degree in your better attire. Some of the long standing traditional congregations throughout the world also elect to make a conscious effort to present themselves to the Lord in a certain manner. Some opt to dress down in the warmer months; however I believe that one should still dress no less than they do for any special occasion, work or school. Despite how others chose to present themselves my mother was keen on proper etiquette. As people of color I was taught to recognize that as a lady it’s important to present yourself in proper dress attire wherever you are!

I realize that we differ as to what is perceived as to what or whom is proper. For many this will change as to what is going on in or about worship on a particular day. Or until someone decides we need to do something different just because? Think about it? Was this true (200) two hundred years ago?

Always remember that God’s Church is the people not the building.  Sunday worship services are still somewhat segregated in some places. Closer to home there are some really large worship centers and you see blended services.  God’s Church is a collective body of all colors and cultures all over the world. We who have accepted Christ Jesus into our hearts as Savior & Lord are His True Church.  We are to daily seek His Will & His Way and embrace and live out the principles of His Word. What is most important that we represent Him in a way that is pleasing in his sight wherever we are.

Revelation gives us an excellent visual of the “New Jerusalem”   the Holy City in Heaven. It is fabulously splendid. It is absolutely Awesome, so much so that the streets are paved with translucent gold. The walls are made of fine gemstones of sapphire, emeralds, sardonyx, chalcedony, jasper and…   The twelve gates are made of a fine single humongous pearl! WOW!   Think about it! Hmm just does not seem to me that throwing on a wrinkled T shirt and a pair of old baggy jeans, skirt or leggings would be appropriate.   No wonder why the ambiance in worship has drastically changed right along with the dress code. However, there is an unspoken code. It means if you are in the in crowd you can pretty much  dress as you please and no one will take offense.   Many do not respect the sacredness of worship anymore.

They are now trying to pass laws so that it’s okay if you have a gun license you can come to worship packing a gun. This is what life has come to in these “Latter Days.”  This further shows that you can prepare to expect just about anything. Jut maybe this is also why we are having all these random shootings everywhere. Nothing is sacred to anyone!

Foreign countries uphold a better standard for worship than we do here in the United States. For example when we visited Vatican City in Rome we were told that in order to enter St. Peter’s Basilica the women needed to be covered properly and would not be able to enter unless they were properly attired! They maintain a standard that one must at least be presentable.  After all is not the Church the Bride of Christ! Ponder and think about that for a moment! Would you dress up if you were meeting the President?

Ponder this for a moment. You are welcome to disagree. I know it’s because I am a child of the 50’s! Everyone wore a tie and dressed up for most occasions way back when. No, it’s because there is nothing, no occasion, dance or prom or no one more important than God! Therefore we need to put our best self forward.   God knows us all from the inside out! We are not fooling Him. At least we can honor Him in how we present ourselves for worship!   There is always an exception to the rule.   If you are homeless that’s different,   if you are mentally ill that’s different, if you really do not have anything to wear that’s   different too.

“Come as you are!” Yes, but you will not “Stay as you are!”  The Word of God transforms us from the inside out. At some point you will begin to feel better about yourself and want to step it up a bit! Why is that? Believers are supposed to live each day as though the Lord was going to return. If Heaven is going to be your Eternal Home I suggest you begin here on earth getting prepared for Kingdom living!  Even if you still decide to wear jeans and a T shirt, let be done neatly! & Please no matter what size you are; No really tight dresses, No low cut dresses or blouses and sweaters. And please definitely NO sagging pants. These are not appropriate. Think for a moment; Above all make sure that you would be comfortable in whatever you decide to wear expecting that our Lord was going to be there. Or come at anytime!

“Your will be done Lord! Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.” Lord we are down here waiting on your return when everyone will see  you breaking through the sky!  Come Lord!

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