We can go boldly before the throne of Grace! If you have not already, start from this day forward living a life of worship. I assure you, you will not only feel better and become healthier, but you will see more clearly! “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God. On the contrary by setting forth the Truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the GOSPEL of the glory of Christ who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ, as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus; sake……….” II Corinthians 4:1-5
When you are faced with the cares, ills, grief’s, trials and concerns of life know that God sees you as a treasure. He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to redeem us from the power of sin. This is why we need Him as Lord and Savior! Allow Him His place in your life! God is the same God yesterday, today and for evermore through everlasting. Intimacy with Him will help you to know that whenever; “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed, we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body…”
You never have to loose heart with the Lord. Examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith? Ask Him to fill you with His presence each day and remain focused. God wants to perfect us! Simply meaning He wants to mature us and complete us! God wants you to experience His peace that surpasses the understanding of man. God is willing, ready and able to walk with you 24/7. Intimacy will help you to know that the Lord knows and can see the things you can’t see. To know He knows and will reveal all and everything you need to know in order to live and worship Him each and every day yields security. Intimacy with God should be your desired destination. Now step out on faith and really begin to put your hope and trust in Him! “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you…………” Everyday; To GOD be the GLORY!
God wants His Grace to be with us
Grace as an acronym which means; “God’s Riches at Christ Expense.” From the Word we learn that everything was spoken into existence through Jesus Christ. From the very beginning He was at one with God in Spirit! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God from the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men. The Light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not understood.” John 1
Darkness is where evil resides it cloaks itself in many ways. The devil is a fallen angel who disrespected God. He rebelled against God as the Most High God and was cast into outer darkness along with his imps who are fallen angels as well. He is now one with darkness and is that often unseen evil influence that lurks about and attempts to tempt us all, (both believers & non believers) away from the ways of God. Listen what the Word teaches us; “And there was a war in Heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in Heaven. The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled down to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice from Heaven say; “Now have come the SALVATION and the POWER and the KINGDOM of our GOD, and the authority of HIS CHRIST. For the accusers of the brothers, who accuses them before our GOD day and night, has been hurled down.” HALLLELLLUJAH AMEN!!!
God is able to keep us from evil. We must pray for spiritual discernment. God can keep any natural or unnatural spiritual or carnal thing from separating us from Him. Nothing can separate us from the Love of God unless we allow it. Everywhere we are GOD is there. His Word teaches us in Acts 17 this; “It is in HIM we move and live and have our being” His Word also teaches us; “But “the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3
In the Word we learn that the darkness was upon the earth yet it was unknown to Adam & Eve. It was the devil in the form of a serpent who represented darkness that convinced Eve to disobey God and eat the fruit from the tree of Good & evil. In turn she influenced Adam to eat the fruit as well. This then made them both subject to the darkness. Because of this original sin we all have inherited the proclivity to sin. Sin is what separates us from God. It is by God’s Grace we are able to overcome sin. This is why we all need Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. We can call upon Him 24/7. It is through His Holy Spirit we are able to overcome sin and walk in the Light! Adam and Eve were heirs together of the grace of life given by God. In any and every situation, God wants His grace to be with us.
Everyday on my way to the office I pass by this church building. Most days I don’t pay it much attention, except for Thursday. On Thursday, there is a long line of people made up of women, men, and children, pretty much all races of people. Some are able bodied, some are in wheel chairs. All are there to receive the food that is handed out by the church.
It is indeed a very good thing this church does. I can only imagine that for some in the line, its’ the best meal they get all week.
Each Thursday as I past the line, I say to myself, “If it wasn’t for the grace of God, there go I”, and immediately acknowledge,thank God, and whisper a prayer for those in the line. I often ask myself, why is this, then I’m reminded of the scripture “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Yes we will have trials and tribulations, but we must still be faithful during the trials & tribulations. We need to pray.
This scene at the church also reminds me of a song from years ago, which I use to play for one of the many choirs I directed. It escapes me who wrote it, however the lyrics causes one to reflect on some of the troubling times people experience in life, from which none of us are exempt. Some have greater needs than others, but we all have need to Pray.
“If God Gave Us Everything We Need, Then We Wouldn’t Have Need To Pray”
Somebody’s heart must be broken each day
Sorrow and sadness, must come somebody’s way
Somebody’s life, must be filled with despair
Nowhere to go, but to God in prayer
Someone must go hungry, and beg for bread
No shelter to cover, his poor weary head
No one to care, and no one to share
Another day’s burden, that seems so hard to bare
Oh, but there must be hills and mountains to climb
Roads that are rough, and troubling times
If God gave us everything we need
Then we wouldn’t have need to pray
We Need To Pray
Spending time with God is one of the most important things you can do. If you read the Scriptures you will find that even Jesus often took time alone to spend with the FATHER! Spending time with God will help you how to respond properly or not to respond at all to others. Spending time with Him yields patience and understanding. The wonderful thing about God is that He has provided so many ways to continually enhance our personal relationship with Him. He has given us His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us to all truth! He has given us His Holy Word to teach us and equip us to do whatever He has planned for our lives. He has even provided spiritual armor to protect us from evil. To even tell us when we are right or wrong! His Word also gives us directions as to what not to do! His Word teaches us how and when to stand in the midst of spiritual warfare! The scripture tell us “trust in the Lord will all thine heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths.” He has given us His precious Son Jesus, who will be your personal Savior once you truly invite Him into your heart. It is in Him you will always find victory!
The book of Galatians clearly tells us; “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 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.” Christ lived a sinless life! Christ became flesh! He conquered sin in the flesh so He could be our example! He died for us! He did not die for us to continue to make excuses for our shortcomings. When we accept Him as Lord and Savior we are able to rely on Him to “save us from the power of sin in our life”. A truly dedicated life to God will result in an increased ability to exercise self-control! Spending time with God will help you to discern between good and evil. To be as “wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove!” God is aware of everything. He is omniscient! It does not matter how things appear or seem. Neither does it matter when everyone else pretends everything is okay when something is terribly wrong! God knows how things really are! In the midst of a declining world you can still enjoy a wholesome clean life. Spending time with God will also teach and direct you how to be a good steward of the things and people He entrusts to your care! His Word also tells us “He will supply all of your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus! God is a Spirit of TRUTH!
Paul also warns us of false teachings. Spending time with God will help you recognize those who pervert the Gospel of Christ! He even goes so far to tell us that they use it for a license of licentiousness. Which merely means to excuse their loose behavior? He tells us to not receive the message regardless of the person or position. I encourage you to study God’s Word. Listen closely when some one says they have a message from God. Allow the Holy Spirit to sift its contents and validate its Truth. Just ask yourself how often did Jesus talk about how many horses or chariots someone had? How many suits of clothing did Joseph, Priscilla and Aquilla or anyone else for that matter possess? How much money it took to feed the multitudes? I don’t think that Jesus told the woman at the well that He “loved her and all of her faults”. He told her “TO GO AND SIN NO MORE!” Furthermore are you spiritually enriched by the message? Have you been provoked to good works or spiritual growth? Or do you just continue to feel content in disobedience?
Jesus said “If you abide in My Word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and truth shall make you free.” Jesus also tells us in His Word; “whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free you shall be free indeed.” The point that I am trying to make is Christ died to make us free! Spending time with God will give you freedom! We must commence embracing a Christ centered life! Christ took back the power the enemy stole! God’s Word really is “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto out path.” Paul goes further to say “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let Him be accursed.” There is much spiritual warfare about us! This is really not a game! We are living in the perilous times that the bible talks about! Please do not settle for a life that pleases man. Commence to really put God first in your life! Man’s approval is not necessary to accomplish God’s will in your life. He will and can make your path straight! God is the source of everything you possibly need to accomplish whatever He has for you to do.
Spending time with God will yield much peace. It will also consecrate your heart and your conscious! God will teach you how to guard your heart! You see God is a Spirit of Truth! I am thankful for His presence in my life! The devil is the father of lies! Deception and trickery are not a part of God’s fruit. Many are greatly deceived. I encourage you to spend some time reading Exodus. It is fear-provoking to know how much time they spent consecrating themselves for worship. They had reverence and deep respect for God. Worshipping God was sacred! Today it is not necessary for many. Many see worship as a time for them to “stand up for their gifts.” In times past God’s presence was earnestly welcomed. God is all knowing! God is truly Holy! God said that the true worshippers “worship Him in Spirit and in TRUTH!” I thank Him that I can freely lift my hands to thank and praise Him for the freedom He has given me.
Spending time with God will teach you how to properly navigate through this world of sin! Spending time with Jesus allows you to be calm in the midst of spiritual warfare. Jesus quite often did not respond to His accusers! You see many times just enough detail was omitted to prohibit the real truth from coming out. They sought to discredit His sincerity. More often than not a one sided story was and is embraced as truth! God is Light in Him is no darkness. “Perfect Love casts out all fear!” Just know it is more important what God knows rather than what others think! We must stand for the TRUTH! Jude tells us to contend for the faith! We must measure what is being taught against the Word of God. There are many false teachers who are misleading those who really need to hear the Gospel! He tells us “ these are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts, and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you beloved remember the words which were spoken before the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how they told you that their would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons who cause division, not having the Spirit.” Jude ends telling us “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding JOY!”
It is very easy to become attached to a spiritual leader. When one has helped you it is natural to feel loyalty. Especially when you have confided in them. Paul warns us against having such pride in our favorite leaders that causes divisions in the church. The Corinthian Church for an example was a very carnal church. It continually indulged in the immorality that was practiced culturally. The culture of that day embraced a temple of prostitution. The Corinthians needed specific instructions because of their immoral standards. Paul tells us “the body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” It was because of their carnality that Paul continuously warned them! It is spiritually dangerous to create an environment that embraces sin and labels it unconditional love. That really worships God in flesh and half truths!
Paul encourages us to imitate Christ because He himself spent time with God and walked closely with Him. I would like to encourage you to commit to spend at least 10 minutes of time alone with God each day! Just you and God with no distractions! Learn how to “ Be still and Know”. Start your personal devotion with prayer & Thanksgiving to give you the proper focus. Then just quietly discipline yourself to listen. To be still. Watch how someone or something tries to distract you. Please do not give up. (You see the enemy is so clever at distracting you.) Remember the idea is to exercise discipline. Increase your time gradually with God. This will also enhance your personal Bible Study time. I assure you any burden you might have will begin to lift. You see God really is a burden bearer. Honoring God by spending time with Him will give you direction. You cannot change anything that has happened but you can begin to really “walk in the light.” End your time Thanking Him for all He has done. Remember when you pray you must obey. To Love God is to obey Him! God’s Word is true!
We too must stand on the Word of God even when we are called anything but a child of God! Spending time with God and obeying His commandments will free you from sinful strongholds! I am thankful that God has provided us with many gifted men and women of God who are committed to spreading the true Gospel! They take seriously their responsibility to present Biblical Truth. A true spiritual leader is a representative of Christ. and has nothing to offer that God has not already given him or her! Loyalty should not cause strife, or slander. The truth can disable slander! God really is a Spirit of Truth! Our deepest loyalties should be to Christ and not to human agents! Those who spend more time debating the importance of church leadership than declaring Christ’s message don’t have Christ as their first priority. God’s Word clearly tells us “that we should not go beyond what is written. Spending time with God will cause you to attach yourself to God, rather than a spiritual leader. Commence to spend time with God “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding in all thy ways acknowledge HIM and HE shall direct your path”. When you spend time with God you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free!
I start each day with; “This is the Day that The LORD has made! Let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it! O LORD SAVE us; O LORD grant us success. BLESSED is he who comes in the Name of the LORD. From the House of the LORD we BLESS you.The LORD is GOD and HE has made HIS Light to shine upon us.” It is interesting how we can sometimes take it for granted that there will be another day after today! Think about it for a moment! Who but GOD can make a DAY?
As each new year draws near and end I am quite Thankful! There have been many things to take place this year throughout the world! Many who started the year out with us have passed on to the other side! There have been numerous earthquakes and natural disasters that have ravaged the land! The magnitude of the world’s overall dwindling economy has reached catastrophic proportions! Many countries are suffering… Yes some have begun to rebound but the aftermath is residual. The plethora of terrorists attacks are insane… For many things will never be quite the same. The ongoing cycle of wars ending and wars beginning seem endless…
I realize that the holiday season can be a time of great anxiety for many! Memories of loved ones that have passed on and distressing times seek to vigilantly rob you of your joy! But look you are still here! You still have more time! Time is priceless! Try to think about some of the happier moments and times that you shared with them and dwell upon the fond, humorous, tender and warmhearted memories! Build new and cherished memories to hold on to! Honor their memory now as you keep them close to heart! Live live to its fullest. Set new goals and forge ahead seeking ways to accomplish your goals! Look forward to an improving quality of life no matter how long or short… Change is always on the horizon! Anything that does not change is dead. Celebrate life itself as you continue to move forward!
I can personally think of some very unpleasant moments, times of grief, illnesses, deaths, distresses and calamitous disasters that have taken place but I do not want to dwell there! Nor do I desire to camp in denial! I pray that the Lord will continue to open my eyes to TRUTH! Knowing that He will lead you or I as we are willing to submit to His Will & Way! I so want to continuously “Abide in the Shadow of the Almighty…! ” Psalm 91. This verse assures us that His protection is always available… Time waits on no one! Well I must say that The Lord can and did allow time to be turned back for a moment… “
King Hezekiah was a great example! Here we learn that God keeps His promises! With Him even the impossible is possible! “Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go to the Temple of The Lord on the third day from now?” Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what He has promised; shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?” “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.” The prophet Isaiah called upon the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.” II Kings 20.
What are you saying; King Hezekiah was faithful to the Lord! He became sick and to the point of death. He turned his face to the wall and humbly and sincerely prayed to the Lord asking the Lord to heal him! As a sign he asked if the shadow could go back ten steps! The stairway of Ahaz is a sundial. The Egyptians made their sundials in the form of miniature staircase. Shadows moved up and down to tell the time! The Lord honored Hezekiah’s request! “On the third day from now you will go up to the Temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life…” II Kings 20. Here we can see that time belongs to GOD! Evidently Hezekiah had not yet fulfilled his purpose on this side of heaven and the Lord extended his time! He granted Hezekiah another fifteen years of life!
My point here is that time is so precious and sometimes we just never know from moment to moment what will be… Even in the face of death we can turn to the Lord! We can begin to relish each moment and seek to have happier moments! To sincerely make an attempt to deal with life responsively even when it becomes unpleasant despite what is going on about us! To live life to its fullest! I believe if you reach deep enough inside, and think broad enough anyone can find something to be thankful for no matter how infinitesimally small it might be! Life itself is a precious gift! Our good days can outweigh the rough times… You may have to take it moment by moment during the difficult days when you can’t see your way through… Just know someone somewhere has more or less yet, no matter how large or small or seemingly insignificant we can express thanks! Memories are priceless! God is bigger and beyond anyone, anything or any situation we may ever encounter! He will see you through!
If you have been depressed for a long time, it’s time for things to change! God really does the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT to flourish within all of our lives daily! Know that it is the devil who wants to keep you bogged down in regrets, fear, doubt, shame and hopelessness. To make you feel so bad that the pains of life have you down and overwhelmed! To separate you from the Lord and to get you to focus on your pain! Don’t let your emotions continue to get the best of you. Exercise some self-control! Reach out to the Lord! Cry out to Him He can meet you right where you are! There is light at the end of the tunnel you may feel lonely but you are not alone! God can reach over your abyss of torment and bring you through to start anew! Know that today is a gift from Him!
God sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us from sin. Sin is anything that separates us from GOD! Jesus came to earth to give us hope for a better life with the Lord! He never sinned and did many marvelous miraculous healings, signs and wonders! He even fed thousands of people with a small lunch of fish and bread shared by a generous young boy! The Book of John even tells us that the world could not contain the books of all the miraculous things that Jesus did WOW! Look at GOD! HE IS AMAZING! Although JESUS helped many, He was still horrendously mistreated! He was beaten, spit upon then nailed to the cross and placed in a borrowed tomb! It was borrowed because He did not plan to stay there! What happened to Him was a part of God’s plan for us! Jesus redeemed us and paid the price for the sins of the world with His life! He arose with all power from the grave declaring power over sin and death! GOD IS AWESOME!
“But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was IMPOSSIBLE for death the KEEP its hold on HIM. David said about Him:
“I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue REJOICES; my body also will live in HOPE, because you will not abandon Me to the grave. Nor will you let your HOLY ONE see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with JOY in Your presence!” Acts 2.
Today is a gift from God! Draw closer to the Lord and shift your focus to Him! He will and can make all the difference in the world in your life! Everyone who is willing to invite Him into their heart can receive His Holy Spirit! He is the Inner Teacher, Guide, Wonderful Counselor and Comforter! Do not let life just pass you by! Ask the Lord to fill your heart and lift you from despair and fill you with His JOY!
No one can be a better you than you! Don’t allow man to take you down the primrose path that leads to destruction… Don’t allow the devil to make you live in regrets… What has happened cannot be undone! But you can always choose to go forward from where you are with the hope of building a better tomorrow! You can live eternally with the Lord! Don’t let anyone or anything rob you of Hope! Seek God for yourself! We can always have Hope in the LORD! Faith is what inspires Hope! Trust GOD! This is why an ongoing intimate personal relationship with The Lord is so very important! God is Love! He is the Great Equalizer! This is why He gave us His Son JESUS CHRIST! To accept Him into our hearts and let Him become our personal SAVIOR & LORD! With Him your age, race, address, bank account, medical condition, state of mind, societal status, IQ, what you have or do not have, does not change His Love for You! In Him you can discover everything that you will ever need! He can help you be the best you! He can fill your inner void and give you His PEACE that surpasses the understanding of man! PRAISE GOD!!!
God has created each of us for a purpose! “And we KNOW that in ALL things GOD works together for the GOOD” Romans 8. In HIS time! Life is about living and discovering whatever that purpose may be. All the signs of the last days are all about us! “ “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:25-28. Knowing this we can be thankful as time draws near! Prepare today! JESUS IS COMING SOON!
In Him we can have blessed assurance! It is “in HIM we live and move and have our being!” Acts 17. Yes be Aware! Yes express your doubts and fears! However make Him your focus! Not in a legalistic religious way! God wants us to enjoy life on this side of heaven! Spend time in His presence, meditating upon His Word! Allow Him to write His Word upon the tables of your heart and trust Him to bring it to your memory when needed! His Word is precious Spiritual Food for our souls! You have as much time as you need with the Lord, because time belongs to Him! Draw closer to the Him regardless of what is happening or not happening about you! Despite what is happening in this world know that He is still in control! His Word is being fulfilled!
Make it a point to spend time in His presence today! Be Thankful today because tomorrow is not promised! We know from His Word that even when your days may be few if it is His will He can extend time! If your Faith is dwindling and your heart troubled ask the Lord to rekindle your FAITH! Surrender your anxiety, depression, sadness,doubt, regrets or sickness to Him and let Him restore your JOY! Recommit or commit to His will and His way! God is our Protector, Healer and Deliverer we must continuously learn to entrust our wellbeing to HIM! Allow Him to be your Refuge and Fortress! God has already given us the Greatest Gift ever which is JESUS CHRIST!! We can Celebrate Christmas, New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving , Anniversaries, Birthdays, Holidays and everyday knowing that “”The earth is the LORD’S and everything in it the world and them that dwell therein!” Psalm 24. Trust God for brighter moments, days and precious memories ahead! He CAN and will supply ALL of your needs in CHRIST JESUS! GOD TRULY IS ABLE!! Prayer and Faith go together! Each day is a day to be Thankful! “This is the Day that The LORD has MADE! Let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it!” GOD BLESS YOU!
“Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. Faith is so important that it is mentioned over three hundred times in the BIBLE. Faith means to have a firm persuasion. Having Faith means much more than just to say you believe. It goes much further! Faith is developed through Prayer, Devotion, Bible Study, and the actual application of God’s Word to your life. Faith is also part of the Lord’s spiritual armor. It is “By Faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.” Hebrews 11:3. Faith is NOW not after the fact has materialized! “For we walk by Faith not by sight.” II Corinthians 5:7
When you truly trust God your Faith will see you through any and all circumstances or situations. Abel, Deborah, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Rahab, are just a few examples of the many that trusted and had Faith in God. Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets beheld many miracles, faced jeers, were stoned, saw walls fall, were persecuted, misunderstood, and mistreated yet accomplished their life purpose by trusting the Lord. Notice how they all sincerely aspired to live in the presence of the Lord. They had a personal and deep intimate relationship with Him. Hebrews commends them all for their Faith; “yet none of them received what had been promised.” It is by Faith we are strengthened inwardly! Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts through Faith.
Faith is NOW!
Hebrew defines Faith as something you cannot see. Faith without works is dead. When your Faith is truly in GOD you trust that in His time He will fulfill whatever it is that He has said or promised. Take a moment to take an open and honest personal inventory of everything that is happening in your life. Guess what God already knows as well! Despite your circumstances; good, bad, or indifferent you can rest assured that your Faith makes all the difference in the world as to how you will now proceed. In order to successfully run the race of life we must keep our focus on the Lord. Laying aside any weight or sin helps us to run with endurance. When life hurdles appear God will impart to you His patience and direction. You can not change anything that has happened “it is what it is” As you fix your eyes on “Jesus, the Author and perfector of our Faith” He will help you arise to the challenges as well as the celebrations of life. Your daily trust and reliance on God is where your true security and significance should reside. This will give you sure footing and strong solid rock foundational spiritual roots to help you withstand the storms of life. Your Joy in the Lord is where you will find strength when you keep your eyes on Him. The joy of the Lord is not contingent on your circumstance. Faith is NOW!
The key to being a Christian is the Faith we have in Jesus Christ. Do you know the importance of His sacrificial death on the cross that atoned for our sins? It was so we could live life to please Him! Did you know our lives, our homes, our marriages, families and our worship should reflect we are His children? How do we do this? Titus tells us that “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self controlled, and sound in Faith, love and in endurance. To teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good…” The natural man or woman does not accept, value, nor understand the things of God. This is why the Word says to “let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” In order to understand the things of God it is crucial that you lay aside your way and your will and let His Word be a “lamp unto your feet and a Light to your path.” Having the proper perspective will teach you how very important it is to live life and study His Word for His approval and not the approval of man. This is why we are told to “Trust in the Lord will all of our hearts and lean not to our own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our path.” Proverbs 3: 5&6. Too often God is an after thought or optional choice when dealing with life. This compromise often has favorable results with man; yet results in moving you away from God. Learn to wait on God and patiently seek His way.
God’s way will give you peace and contentment that surpasses the understanding of man! God wants to be the Primary Force in your life. Being a Christian is really a chosen lifestyle. God does not force His way upon you. Faith produces commitment and faithfulness. It means to sincerely and earnestly attempt to live life to please God. Commence to truly Live, Sing, Worship and Praise Him. It really makes all the difference in the world! “LET the WORD of Christ dwell richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving THANKS to God the Father through Him” Colossians 3: 16&17.
God always has a better way. According to Ephesians He has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. As His child we have been sealed and promised the gift of His Holy Spirit. God truly is faithful you can always count on Him! Now you must trust Him and step out on Faith. Remember Faith is not something that you can see. Always remember, you must exercise patience and your Faith and trust must rely in Him. He tells us if our Faith is “as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17: 20. The key to this is you must desire His will to be done. It is with God we can do the impossible. This way He receives the credit. To GOD be the GLORY! God keeps His promises. You can fully trust God to work everything out for your good.
Always keep in mind that absolutely nothing gets by God. He knows all that is past, current and will be. Be encouraged knowing “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” It is by Faith and patience we inherit His promises. We can patiently endure whatever is necessary because we know that God in His time will work everything out for our good. It is by Faith we accept His precious gift of eternal life. One of the most important elements in life is having Faith in GOD. “Without Faith it is impossible to please Him, for he, who comes to GOD, must believe, that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Romans 1:16& 17.
GOD IS FAITHFUL in His time you will reap the promises and He will give back, restore, refuel and replenish you in His time. God knows when you are sincere. We are living in interesting times. Just keep your eyes fixed on the Author and finisher of your Faith. God is able to “keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great Joy!” You can say Hallelujah anyhow! God is awesome! As I mentioned before Hebrews records in its “Hall of Faith” many Old Testament heroes who trusted in God and displayed their Faith in unique ways. Lay aside every weight and anything that hinders you from going forth in the Lord! When you truly believe; it will be a priority to live your life to please GOD! Faith results in faithfulness! Who or what are you faithful to? “Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” FAITH IS NOW!
People in Japan are suffering. PRAY FOR AND SUPPORT JAPAN RELIEF EFFORTS
You can also support Japan relief efforts by purchasing the Superstar Benefit Album “Songs For Japan” from itunes. As Japan recovers from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck on March 11, the world’s top recording artists respond to the tragedy with this benefit album. The 38 tracks include some of their biggest hits, featuring an exclusive remix of Lady GaGa’s “Born This Way,” Katy Perry’s “Thinking of You,” Bruno Mars’ “Talking to the Moon,” Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love,” and more. All proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross.
Life is Not FAIR but GOD IS!
Habakkuk is a wonderful short, sweet, powerful Book in the Old Testament that is packed with wisdom. The prophet Habakkuk asks God, “Why are things not fair? And why does God not do something? He prophecies during the final reign of the Assyrian Empire and right when the Babylonians began to increasingly grow in power to control and dominate the world. The Chaldeans were being sent to judge Judah. The key scripture is: “Lord I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.”
This miniature book illustrates just how powerful God is, consisting of only three chapters! God can use any situation to demonstrate His mighty power! God eventually answers Habakkuk; this is why this book is so valuable. God tells him to “Look among the nations and watch~ Be utterly astounded!” For a season God allowed the cruel treatment to take place. It is here He uses the unbelieving decadent Babylonian pagan nation to reprimand His rebellious nation of people! The Babylonians in time would also suffer punishment for their wickedness…
The Book of Habakkuk boldly demonstrates that our complete Faith and Trust must be in God! We can have complete confidence in Him! When there is much pain, sickness, trouble and distress one must turn first to God and not man! Allow Him to direct you! Remember “Trust in the Lord with ALL thine heart and lean not to your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He WILL direct your path.” Proverbs 3 Although we can study and learn intellectually what actually opens the door to our spiritual wisdom and understanding is our relationship with the Lord. It is so important to know God’s Word! It is here through the Divine power of His Holy Spirit; The Comforter and Teacher where learning the essential keys of life resides! Despite everything that goes on in the world it is important to keep in mind “God is STILL in CONTROL!” God alone deserves to be worshipped, honored and PRAISED!
Habakkuk cries out to the Lord for help! There is very little known about Habakkuk, there is less personal information recorded on him than any other prophet. There was much going on about him. Just like it is in the 21st century today! Like Habakkuk we too can turn to the Lord in times of distress. He tells us “Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem the righteous, so that justice is perverted. Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed.” Look how applicable this is today! Remember, although “bad things are happening to good people” God has not forgotten us! When you know that things are not right, when you know that there have been injustices against you it is important to know God in His time will vindicate you! Sometimes you just have to be patient and humbly wait! Knowing that what is important is that “God Knows,” in the meantime draw close to the Lord! You must learn to put things in their proper perspective!
How often have you heard someone say; “That’s not fair!” What does it mean to be fair? According to Webster’s’; pleasing to the eye or mind a flawless quality; clear legible, unbiased or impartial. What makes anyone think that life is fair? Life is not fair, but God is! God is ALWAYS right! As Habakkuk says; “The righteous will live by Faith!” The Apostle Paul also says this in Romans and again in Galatians! It is also once again confirmed in Hebrews! The question is often asked; “Why does bad things happen to good people?” Really, in essence the TRUTH is only God is good!
Judah, God’s people had a series of wicked kings that did not subscribe to God’s way, they rejected Him and His principles they adopted the ways of the world. Judah had a young King Josiah, he believed and trusted in God but his successors did not. King Josiah tried to turn their hearts back to the Lord but it only lasted for a season. He had instituted significant spiritual reforms in Judah! Eventually they were finally invaded and taken into Babylonian captivity under King Nebuchadnezzar. During captivity they were oppressed, persecuted and their possessions were taken away. The Babylonians were a strong military force they were a nation that plundered the goods of many. Does any of this sound familiar? Habakkuk was aware that the Babylonians were being used to punish Judah. He realized that there were some things that they would experience that did not seem fair…
Habakkuk realized that the people were actually being disciplined. He prays to God on their behalf and asks for mercy. He did not quite understand why this was happening but He trusted God anyway! “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in your day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Regardless how things look or appear and no matter what happens God always does what is right! There are many things in our little finite minds that we will never quite understand. But we can surely always lean and Trust on an all knowing Infinite God who knows exactly what is going on! Habakkuk knew that God would triumph. We too can be reassured He will in His time vindicate us when we are sincere and faithful to Him! We must learn how to patiently wait for Him. We must focus on God and not the circumstance. Our strength and Joy comes from the Lord! Even though it may appear that the wicked prosper at your expense sometimes, in the long run they really don’t !
Today when many are turning away from God’s principles, When right is yoking up with what is wrong, When the world is saying this is right and the scriptures is saying that is wrong… When nothing seems to make sense; “wait on the Lord!” We never get to the point that we are not susceptible to spiritual attacks and oppression no matter how much we plan or grow spiritually. This is why we have to continuously pray and daily seek God’s face. This is why we need a Savior! Praise God! Hallelujah anyhow!!!
One can be encouraged as Habakkuk reminds us how “the sun and moon stood still in their habitation!” This happened when Israel gained victory over the Amorites at Gibeon the Lord made the sun stand still, during a battle for Joshua! (See Joshua 10) Although we cannot see what God is doing we have to learn to trust Him! We should always consult God and let Him know how we are feeling even though He already knows! God will take us through the test and trials designed by man and over the landmines put in our path. Look around today and see there are many economic difficulties, families in crisis, marriages resulting in divorces, sickness, diseases and natural disasters! Know God is Able! God is here to help us endure any hardships that may arise in life! It is to Him we must look to, He is Sovereign and greater than any situation! Habakkuk concludes with an illustration of a deer! Notice how a deer can manage to scale and climb up the rugged terrain of seemingly impossible mountain and doesn’t slip! As Habakkuk says: “Yet I will REJOICE in the Lord, I will be JOYFUL in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my STRENGTH; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.” Keep looking to the Lord! It is here in Habakkuk we find “The Lord is in His Holy Temple. Let all the earth keep silent before Him” Praise God!
JESUS CHRIST the HOPE of GLORY!
Father, we come in the name of Jesus to thank you for this glorious and wonderful day that you have made! We thank you Lord for your Word that you have given us as a guide as to how we should live! We Thank you Lord that the Word of the Old Testament was fulfilled through Jesus Christ our LORD! Father, Your Word is timeless it is alive and powerful! We thank you Lord for your Holy Spirit that you have given us to be with us and guide us to all TRUTH! Father we thank you that you allowed your Son Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect sinless life, to die on the cross for us in our place! He was your word wrapped in flesh! For this we THANK YOU! He conquered sin in the flesh so He could be the only perfect example to each and every one of us both saved as well as the unsaved! “To be born of the virgin Mary! To suffer under Pontius Pilate, who was then crucified died and was buried. On the third day He arose from the dead!He then arose with ALL POWER! Father for this we THANK YOU!
We realize Father it is because of your Love, Grace and Mercy we exist! That we as your children are supposed to be “in the world but not of the world!” Father, I/ we thank you for your word you have given us to govern our lives by! Not in a legalistic rigid manner, but in a way that pleases you! We Thank you Lord, that you have already blessed us with every spiritual blessing through CHRIST JESUS! We pray Lord that we continuously learn to live our lives in a way that your light is able to shine through us! Convict us and bring sincere repentance… Forgive us for any and all of our shortcomings, Lord! Thank you Lord for letting us know that we have a place in your body and you are not a respecter of persons! Help us to live before you in our homes, on the job, in the marketplace and where ever we are. Let us not pattern ourselves after the world. But let the world see you in us! We pray that your Universal Church seeks your will above all else for you are returning for a Church without spot or wrinkle! Father give us the sincere desire to seek wholeheartedly above all else your spiritual discernment and wisdom so we are not deceived by the many deceptions and manipulations of man to pull us away from our center. “Create in us clean hearts and renew the right spirit within us!” Keep us on the straight and Narrow!
Help us Lord to look to You from which our help comes from as we overcome evil with good! You are our light and our salvation, because of this we have no one to fear! We realize that you are ALWAYS with us to lead, guide and protect us from seen and unseen dangers! Father we need you in a world that continues to put your principles for daily living on the back burner! We realize Father that you can return at any moment! Help us to prepare for your return as though you were to come at anytime! Again Father we thank you for all your blessings, past present and future!
In the name of JESUS we ask that you fill us with the presence of Your precious HOLY SPIRT! Lead us in the path of your righteousness! For it is in you “We live and move and have our being” In the mighty Name of Jesus! Amen & AMEN!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!
God knows your thoughts, motives, desires and intentions. He even knows why and what you are praying for before you make your request known! God’s omniscience is often overlooked. Omniscience means God has universal awareness, understanding and insight. There is nothing that is said, thought about or done, anywhere or any place that He is not aware of. Omnipotent means God virtually has infinite unlimited authority or influence. Omnipresence is another attribute that solely belongs to God. God is everywhere at all times. How do I access the Father? Jesus is the door. Jesus is the way to the Father! It is through prayer we communicate with Him. Once you truly commit your life to Jesus Christ you are adopted into the family of God. He is the one and only Almighty Sovereign God!
Did you know that prayer is the key to your relationship with the Lord? Prayer is simply communication with God. Prayer is a supplication or expression that should be expressed earnestly and sincerely. Prayer is often sometimes inaudible. God tells us in His Word that we should pray without ceasing. Prayer in this circumstance is essentially a state of mind. God even tells us to go into your closet and close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. “Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” He can open doors no man can close. God is so GOOD! Prayer time with God will give you a healthy and clear conscience. Prayer is not always asking God for something. We should readily thank God for all He has done when we pray. It is in HIM we move and live and have our being! God is truly worthy of our thanks and praise!
If you are a child of GOD you should relish your personal prayer time with your Father. God is aware of what we need as well as what we do not need. This is why it is so important that we are honest and sincere when we call upon His name. Remember prayer is not always asking God for something! It is not something we just do in the presence of others to get their attention. But when others are in attendance you should include them in prayer. Prayer is not just mere words we utter repetitively. Prayer is not a time to just let those who are present know how you feel. The effectiveness is not determined by the cadence, tone or volume of your voice. It is not just a time to just emotionally charge others. It really is the content and posture of your heart that concerns God. To humbly and sincerely usher oneself into the presence of the Lord one must relinquish self. Any unconfessed sin hinders your prayer encounter. With God you must be real! When you truly enter into the presence of the Lord it can change the unchangeable. Prayer can heal a broken heart, life, home or relationship. The things that are impossible with man are possible with God! “Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is GOOD and His mercy endureth forever!” It is important when we pray, that we pray, God’s will be done in our lives.
The prophet Jeremiah kept in constant prayer with the Lord. Jeremiah was called to remind Israel of the consequences of disobedience. Jeremiah fervently reminded them of their immoral behavior. The religious establishment plotted to silence Jeremiah. Jeremiah was discouraged. to the point he began to wonder why he was not allowed to just die in his mother’s womb. In his despair Jeremiah cries out to the Lord. He tries to keep quiet since he is constantly mocked for proclaiming God’s Truth. The Word of the Lord is so vehement in his soul that he can not contain it. This is when he says “His Word is in my heart like fire. A fire shut up in my bones.” Jeremiah knew that they were waiting for him to slip. Jeremiah was maturing as a prophet. He knew that the Lord wanted him to continue. He even went so far to tell them if they put him to death that his innocent blood would be on their hands. When the Lord gives you an assignment it is very important that you keep in constant communication with Him. When pressured to conform it is important to be transformed by the renewing of your mind by the Word of God. God in His time will bring everything to the light. God will never lead you to do anything that goes against his principles. Jeremiah’s life demonstrates how important it is to remain faithful to God. Sometimes we must forego the support of others rather than disobey God. Prayer is the key to help you stay focused if you are ever faced with such a situation.
Did you know God can not be manipulated? There is a big difference between uniformity and unity! It is not necessary to manipulate situations or people to get your way. This is why it is important to pray and ask God if something is in His will for you. God allows many things. He did not create us to be robots. Proverbs tell us that there is a way that seems right to man? But the end will eventually lead to destruction. Did you know sometimes your way may be out of the will of God? You only hinder the ultimate plan that God has for your life. God wants us to be disciplined. Daily worship and prayer is crucial. This will strengthen your daily spiritual walk. It will also sharpen your ability to discern!
The Scriptures clearly tells us that the prayers of the righteous are powerful! Life is full of snares for the believer. Wide road travelers are plentiful. Fewer desire to travel the narrow way. When we lift Holy hands to Him we acknowledge and invite His presence! We serve an all knowing and wise God! Denial will keep you in the dark. Honesty really is the best policy! God’s angels encamp around those who have committed themselves to His will and His way. This is why His Word is so marvelous! God will direct you through His Word! He will even warn you. God is faithful! He is the ultimate Father He will provide a way out of no way. Personal as well as corporate “Prayer Time” are essential to the body of Christ. We must learn to relinquish our will and strive to choose God’s way.
Did you know that Jesus withstood great persecution and mistreatment? They even called Him a devil. The enemy is the father of lies. He always cloaks or distorts the truth! He always mixes Truth and error. That is when you know that something is not of God! But don’t be dismayed it will only last for a season. Oh! But remember “What a Friend we have in Jesus!” We are to carry everything to Him in prayer. Remember Jeremiah? Sometimes not responding at all is a good idea. Exercising your spiritual muscles will strengthen your walk. God never tempts us to do anything. As you take time daily for your personal worship you will begin to respond differently. Practice “praying without ceasing!” To be a disciple means you actually learn how to discipline yourself to respond in a way that pleases God. You embrace repentance in lieu of accepting denial.
You must begin to exercise self control! You cannot please God and man! God’s way is always the best way. God’s weapons are not carnal. God tells us to “pray for them that despitefully use you!” You see it is really not about how things appear to others. What is important is what God knows! He knows the posture of our hearts. Remember He knows the TRUTH! He also knows when something is not true! He knows everything!
The time we spend here on earth is relatively short in comparison to the time we spend in eternity with God! There is no need to be afraid. But you must be aware evil is about us. God can and will protect you from all evil. Remember the disciples sample prayer? God can and will deliver you from evil! You can genuinely smile or not respond improperly in the midst of trials and persecution. This does not mean that you are in a delusionary frame of mind. Quite the contrary. It just means your focus is on God rather than the situation. Your character will be strengthened and your Faith and Trust will be renewed. Remember with Jesus as the conductor life becomes a symphony! God will free you! Jesus really did die for us to live differently. This is why His Word tells us “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the SPIRIT! Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The majority of the work of God’s Church is “Beyond The Walls.” Yes, the work within the walls is important. Many work within the walls. Many live to please those within the walls rather than live to please God. I want to share something with you it is a lot easier to please God. God positions His children in different places. “The earth really is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world and them that dwell therein.” It is not necessary to jockey for a position when you know that God has a place in the body for you. We must continue to pray for those who are shackled by sin within and without the walls. Who really do not know that the gates of Hell will not prevail against God’s True Church. This scripture is not talking about the physical structure. There is not one iota of doubt in my mind that I am God’s child. If you really know Him you should feel the same way. It is an inexpressible comfort when you have a real personal encounter with the Lord. God is so great! Praise God for His Word.
Did you know that there is only one true Church? If He came to your home would He be welcomed? If He came to your job or your place of business would you acknowledge Him? Honestly ask yourself if Jesus came to your church service would He really be welcomed? Perhaps, only if He were to tithe? Perhaps if he dressed how you think he should? Are you sure of what kind of heart you have? Perhaps if he would conform to your order of service? Only if He sits where you think He should sit? Would you betray Him like Judas? Remember when he threw the money changers out? Jesus said that His Church should be a house of prayer! Did you know that Jesus can provide and will provide for everything you need without manipulating others to give out of guilt? I believe He did say that “HE WOULD SUPPLY ALL OF OUR NEEDS….” Not some but all!
God welcomes repentance! Repent means to change. To turn your mind, heart, body and soul in the direction God is leading. To abandon the prideful direction of having to do things your way and humbly move towards God. You must be willing to admit it when you are wrong. To embrace Truth pleases God! God really wants us to live victoriously. Remember He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. God is there for you. God has a plan for the lives of each of His children. So there is really no need to be jealous. Your position in the body is the capacity in which you function. Who you are is God’s child. By the way “He is not a respecter of persons”. God really does know and see what we do. It is much better to just want the things that God wants you to have, to desire to live out HIS WILL in your life!
There is much peace when you really know you are walking in the path of RIGHTEOUSNESS! How will you know when God is leading you? This is why it is so important to pray and obey! This will help you not get sidetracked by what others say or do! Know that God has power over darkness. Again it is during your prayer time you can be refueled and prepared for the fiery darts. God let’s nothing come our way that He is not aware of. It is our responsibility to respond in a manner that pleases Him! This will give you a clear conscious. Remember God’s weapons are not carnal. If you don’t stand for God you will fall for anything! When you are adorned with God’s full spiritual armor the shield of faith with extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one! Just exercise patience and pray. God is the author and finisher of our faith. He has given each of His children a measure of faith. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.