Famine Of Righteousness Part 1

 

Famine Of Righteousness

Worship goes far beyond, just having an emotional experience. It is during worship one can actually experience a closer spiritual encounter with the Lord. Worship includes adoration, exaltation, magnification, glorification and the giving of thanks to the Lord! Webster defines worship as; an extravagant respect admiration or devotion to an object of esteem; reverence paid to a divine being or supernatural power.

RESET!

Everyday is a precious gift from the Lord.  Your personal  daily devotion to the Lord  is important! God can meet you right where you are.  Regardless as to what is happening in this world or what is,  or is not going  in your life; GOD STILL  DESERVES  to be honored, praised, thanked & worshipped! He can help you meet the challenges that life presents. He can help you rise above them all.   Begin to live everyday starting now: ” TO GOD BE THE GLORY! ” 

 

God’s principles for life, living, His Church, marriage and the family as well as “True Worship” are continuously being abandoned.  God wants each of us to seek Him first. Everything that we will ever need we can discover in Him.  

 

GOD IS!

God is Omniscient therefore He knows all things spoken or unspoken. There is no fooling God.  If you think you can you are only fooling yourself. When you truly believe this you will begin to think and live differently. 

 

God is Omnipotent; meaning all power! God so deserves pure unadulterated worship & praise. God created us to worship Him. It is we who need Him. He did not program us like computers or make us to be robots.  He has made each of us uniquely different.  We have our very own temperament. It is out of His love and mercy that He allows us the freedom to choose to worship Him. This is not the same as being religious.  You can worship just about anything.  However, the true worshippers must worship God; “ In SPIRIT and in TRUTH.

 

God is and always will be eternally everlasting. He wants us to live a life of worship. We  are living in the midst of an invisible war zone.  The battle is not ours.  God is able to keep us in the midst of it. However, we must learn to seek Him daily and stay adorned in our spiritual armor. This is why each of us  need Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  Have a spiritual feast. Daily partake in His Word!  Begin to really;  “lean & depend on Jesus.” For He wants us to live our lives to please Him. “ For though we live in the world we do not engage in war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world…” II Corinthians 10.

 

Ezekiel is a great example of a man that chose to live a life of worship and obedience to God.  This is not always easy. He was  no doubt  a “peculiar” man.  It is a conscious choice to live apart from the world yet, remain within it. Despite what was going on about him, he lived what he preached, proclaimed and prophesied. Look about us and see all that is happening.  Today it is also so very important too that your main focus for life and living for the Lord become your main priority. Instead of just focusing only upon  the here and now begin to look deeper.

 

This is why worship is so very important. “Be still and know.” When your life is built upon the “Solid Rock” principles of the Lord’s Word you will be able to endure and press  onward.  Even in this day and time when much is going on, do not  compromise your godly principles and values. We must learn to TRUST GOD regardless of what happens. As children of God He still wants us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3.

 

Today we are currently experiencing a “famine of righteousness.”

 

One must only visit the corridors of scripture to see time and time again the consequences of what happens when the world, a nation, His Church, politicians, or a group of people ignores what God has to say. Ezekiel was willing to forego the praises and misunderstanding of God’s people. He did not receive a warm reception, nor was he welcomed or celebrated. Yet he moved all throughout the people serving the Lord.  They instead had chosen to accept and embrace the ways of the world.

 

Our devotion to the Lord must be more than talk. Sometimes it requires that we make grave spiritual  sacrifices.  Such as time in personal devotion and more  time with the Lord in His Word. We are to; ” Be in the world but not of the world…” We must at times forego the support of others. Less dependency upon being accepted by the masses and more focus on honoring God. Less time seeking to be understood  yet striving daily to understand the Lord and His  marvelous living Word. 

 

We should continually be drawing near to the Lord. 

 

Many are  pressured to think  in terms of giving  sacrifices of material goods or money.  Often  to the point some neglect to tend to their  own home life.  Their place of worship has actually become a place to escape? To some their little kingdoms?  This is due to many church assemblies have become very material in regards to their constant concern for things for the building.  There is nothing wrong to want a nice place of worship.  But consider the cost before you build. Is it or will it be a continual burden you must bear. Not everyone is spiritually mature… Please do not continue to fleece the sheep of God… Depending on the assembly, often tithes are used  to determine one’s worth or their level of  participation and influence…

 

Malachi is often used to enforce the Tithe.  It is important to study the Word to know what the Tithe was for and what it actually was…   Malachi  was the last Old Testament Prophet/Priest sent  to Israel by God.  He spoke strong rebukes to both the priests as well as to the people. They had faltered in their commitments to the Lord.  He called them to “REPENT!”  After Malachi there is a silence of 400  or more years.   God will make a way for us to do whatever He calls us to do.  “…Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not…  Malachi 3 

 

Things in themselves are not bad.  And it is good to give! But, In some cases money has become some congregations primary focus.  Keep in mind; “God loves a cheerful Giver!”  

 

Seek daily the KINGDOM of GOD an HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS

Does not the Lord say; “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be added…” Matthew 6   Well this is true for the assembly of the Church as well.  When the Tabernacle which was a grand tent  was assembled, they carried it  from place to place. Notice all the things that were in the Tabernacle?  What they did?  What they did not do? What was not allowed?   There are 50 chapters devoted in the Bible to the Tabernacle.  13 in Exodus,  18 in Leviticus  13 in  Numbers,  2 in Deuteronomy. It was known to be a place  to gather together to worship & praise God.   It was dedicated as a special place set apart to honor our Lord God;  Yahweh!   

 

The main focus and top priority  was always to worship GOD! Think about it  when Solomon built the Temple.  All that he needed to build the  place of worship was already provided…   For hundreds of years there were no places of worship built  for the Church of God to assemble.  The Disciples and the Apostles built no places of worship…  Jesus built no place of worship.  It is your choice to build a place of worship. Therefore trust God!

 

” Know ye not that; Our bodies are the Temples of GOD! “

 

There has been a priority shift.  Many other things are now included in worship? Some places of worship are more like community centers.  Some of everything goes on in the name of the Lord!   It is important to know GOD and HIS WORD for yourself.  Focus more on Him rather than your issues. Allow Him to strengthen your faith and trust in Him. Think deeper upon the spiritual disciplines.  Our future and eternal life rest in the Lord.  We are each accountable to God for what we do.  Know what God requires of you.

“THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!”  

 

God speaks to His people in many ways.  

 

God never forgets those who are faithful!

 

The name Ezekiel means; God is strong or God strengthens! True success in a spiritual sense is not how the people respond to us, but it is how we respond to God! Ezekiel was called to an “obstinate and stubborn” group of people. We too are often called to share our faith with unkind, ungrateful, disrespectful , rude, hard, harsh and spiritually abusive people… Yet, God Our Father has promised to; ” NEVER LEAVE NOR FORSAKE US!”   It is vitally important to develop an intimate personal relationship with Him. ALL of His promises are true! ” GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU/US! “ The Lord wants us to share the Gospel regardless as to how we might be perceived, even today when we are today in this world are experiencing a “famine of righteousness.”

 

When studying the book of Ezekiel if you look closely you will see just how closely it relates to what is going on in the world right now. Ezekiel genuinely wanted the people to understand who God is. He was sent to the children of Israel to remind them of God’s principles for life, living and worship. The children of Israel were not a nation who did not know God. They had just become “rebellious”. They had turned their back on God and instead embraced many of  the ways of the world. Ezekiel went to great lengths to get their attention. For over two decades he wrote, preached, warned and pleaded with God’s people to return to His principles.

 

In reading Ezekiel one must not be so removed from him that he is thought of as a fictional character with an irrelevant message. To embrace the overwhelming genuine concern he exudes one must put on  their spiritual ears and listen attentively. Ezekiel tremendously, ferociously and vehemently cries out as he prolifically expounds God’s Truth. Since he had been labeled as being “strange” the people were quite reluctant to listen.

Ezekiel wanted the people to return to God.  We too should want the people to return to God!

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SEXUAL Problems For Christians Part 3

 
Part 3

Pray for Discernment

When I went to seminary I was somewhat disappointed to a small degree, but not surprised that the same problems existed. We live in a spiritual war zone. So always seek the “Will & Way of the Lord.” I have learned that sexual misconduct is practiced on many levels. It did not matter that my views were misconstrued as prudish because I know better!  This is not at all about exposing anyone; nor would I. It is about stating the facts to circumvent others from going down this path or at least help them consider making better choices.

 

It is important to keep in mind that spiritual warfare persists everywhere. Always remember; “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18.   It is always good to have someone who you are on one accord.  Praise  & Thank God! Always keep in mind that God is omnipresent so therefore everywhere you are He is also there.  Like it or not. If you are “Called” to ministry your first commitment should always be to please the Lord. To freely share the Word of God and encourage  any and everyone to abide by His Word regardless of their title, or  whoever they are. Christianity is a daily lifestyle. God holds each of us  accountable for what we know.

 

 

In Seminary there was an interesting counseling therapy class on “Gethsemane Patterning.” I was asked to sign a waiver in this class because there was some hands on activity that could possibly be a tad interesting.  I prayed about it. Since I could see under the right conditions it could be in some cases helpful in ministry when used appropriately. I grasped all the marvelous insight as well as impertinent methodology. It is also important to know your rights.  I decided to opt out of certain aspects of the class. Therefore there was no need for me to sign a waiver. We are called to be observant. Thank God for Discernment. That particular class ended up with a huge lawsuit against the administrator. I learned early  it is important to never throw caution to the wind.

 

Many hours of intense personal study, quiet meditation and practical application yielded a deeper invaluable reverence for our Lord.  We must always consult the Lord to lead us.  It also freed me to be more spiritually conscious.  God does not want us to be “Cookie Cutter Christians.” There is no need to compete in ministry. The Lord will help us do whatever He has called us to do.  His confirmation exceeds anyone else’s,. This is not about ego for I have learned to be confident in the Lord. God  does want us to be “in the world but not of the world” John 8.  I am most thankful for the experience as well as an invaluable wealth of spiritual insight gained. There remain many many more  precious memories I have than not so good..

 

The Lord always wants to lead us on the Path of Righteousness.

 

To know GOD”S WORD is good. But it takes His Holy Spirit to open your understanding so you know how to apply and or receive it.  It was good that the Pharisees knew the Word.  The problem was that they were not able to recognize and discern Christ Jesus.  Strive to study like the Bereans.  They diligently studied to know and grow in the grace of our Lord & Savior through His Word. 

 

There are many different denominational and nondenominational beliefs. Therefore, it is always good to be cautious, prayerful and seek direction from the Lord. Especially when you lay hands on someone who does not really know you. Or when you know you are amidst others who have a wrong perception of your intent. I understand why the Word says: “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.”  I Timothy 5.  No need to fear. Truly the Lord will protect you. He also sharpens your discernment. Spiritual things easily get misunderstood when in  the midst of carnal thinkers.  For; “Man looks on the outside. But GOD looks at the heart.” This is why we always need to consult with the Lord and be led by HIS Holy Spirit! There are times when you may just have to stay put and pray from right where you are. You can always pray and sometimes not necessarily out loud. The Lord knows if we are sincere and HE is always absolutely Omniscient…

 

God Is Truly Amazing!

There is a tendency to sometime overlook sexual problems within the Church. This is not good since this conflicts with; “…But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and Truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him” (John 4:23).” Here Jesus is talking to the woman at the well. This in itself was unusual for Him to be alone in her presence. Notice; He first talked to her about her life and all of her husbands. Then He graciously shifts the subject to telling her about “true worship!” Jesus was always totally aware and connected to the LORD.  He was never not GOD! He simply told her something that no one was aware of to get her attention.  She left His presence preaching delivered  and: “Come see a man…”

 

 

We cannot confine our infinite Lord to just a geographical area, people or building. HE IS OMNIPRESENT I have not found anywhere in the WORD where any of  His disciples  themselves had sexual misconduct problems.  Know how to keep your Temple, for it is where GOD resides.  Think about it. Most importantly this sends the wrong message. There is a difference between the “Fruit of the Spirit and the “works of the flesh” See Galatians 5

 

Know and discern when a “seducing spirit” is in operation.  Seek the Lord’s direction and pray  whenever you are in an emotionally charged environment. God does not manifest His presence  to bring confusion…  Know that God wants to impart peace and bring deliverance.  You can even bring peace to a dog if necessary when led by the Lord.  His Holy Spirit is the Ultimate Comforter!

 

We are not to sanction any sin in anyone.  This only helps to keep them in bondage. Sin  is what separates us from GOD. We are to exercise and encourage others to embrace self-control as well. He has given us HIS HOLY SPIRIT HIS COMFORTER to HELP us. GOD CALLS us and asks us to travel upon “The Straight & Narrow Road!” This is the road that is less traveled by many.  The reason why there are so many carnal problems with God’s Church is because to many allowances and excuses are made quite often for those who are connected to what they perceive to be their hierarchy.  They will often have a cult like mentality.  They also tend to be very territorial. Absolutely NO one is higher than GOD! His Word says; ” Of a TRUTH, I perceive, God is not a respecter of persons.” James 2

 

 

We are ALL SAVED by the GRACE of GOD! It is not by any works…

 

 

It is so very important to know the WORD of GOD for yourself. Many teach the traditions of their particular denominations over the Word of God! We in ourselves have no power. But we can access HIS POWER as we stay connected to HIM as the SOURCE of ULTIMATE POWER.  Our bodies are His Temple.  He resides within us.  God knows when we are committed to Him. God can use whoever is willing to submit to His Will & His Way.

 

In some cases just as long as you pay your dues or tithes you can be excused from just about anything. You are given their unconditional love and support?  Know  God’s true Love is priceless… The focus upon giving money is the greatest priority for many.   The desire to take care of  and maintain the building and its auxiliaries  are usually a main priority. Not that this is bad but keep in mind that God is aware of those needs as well.  Many are manipulated to give money for various needs. There are even tithing messages given before  the offering.  They  often will give a binary message.  They will tell you how much you should give and then knowingly attempt to put a guilt trip on you to give  the 10% you know you owe?   Is that because you are not giving to them?  Giving is good.   But know God does not need our money. He does not need anything from anyone.  Malachi is mainly talking to the priests who were quite  corrupt.  This is the main scripture that is usually  used. However it is taken out of context by many. It was written to correct many poor  religious and social behaviors. Most always attribute Malachi to “robbing God!” Malachi 3 There are many ways to rob God.

 

GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER! 

Allow the Lord to direct you when, to whom and how much to give. If you study you will find that tithes and offerings were not necessarily monetary. They were staples and food  that were stored in the storehouse so there were provisions for  the  priest to have food to eat.  The priest were not land owners. They usually solely worked for the Lord with very few possessions. Malachi 3 also states; “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.”

 

GOD KNOWS WHEN WE TRULY SERVE HIM! 

 

Yes, The Lord wants us to give. “God loves a cheerful giver!” II Corinthians 9. The Corinthians were a very carnal Church. Here  in Corinthians you will see that the LORD gives a lot of instructions to His Church because of the mindset of the people. They got carried away in many areas. The main focus of worship should always be upon giving GLORY to the LORD. God wants to be a part of every area of our lives. He has promised “To supply ALL our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus!” Philippians 4. God will also supply the needs of HIS CHURCH which is HIS people. He will supply the needs in every aspect of our lives.  ALL with the LORD means ALL.

 

Tithing was never meant to be a “Cover Charge” to worship & praise GOD!

 

“For the Love of money is the root of ALL evil” Where you find evil when you peel it all back you will always find this is to be true! It is not the money but the fact that some will do just about anything to get it.  Know that God is aware of this as well. God does not begrudge us to have things. But it is how we relate to them that matters most. We all so daily need His Holy Spirit to continually grow in His grace.  Everything belongs to the Lord. God will not only supply our needs but He will also  give us some of our wants that are in HIS WILL for us…

 

GOD is The Giver and Sustainer of Life

God holds ALL of us accountable for our behavior as well as how we give or do not give. Think about it for a moment? God really does see and know everything about all of us. How many times does the Bible mention the disciples indulging in sexual sins? Quite often the faults of the disciples are mentioned to make a point of their flaws. It was Judas who was close to the Lord, who sold Him out for money? Go figure? People often relate to others  because they have the same experiences.  But in actuality we are to depend on the Holy Spirit to help us exercise self-control  in all areas of our life, not upon ourselves. Truly God is more than able. All His promises are true!

 

You should want to become perfect in the Lord.   When you really believe God is omniscient you will live differently. Because you realize;  HE KNOWS EVERYTHING.  The perfection that the Bible talks about is not flawlessness. It is about learning how to be complete in the Lord. We are to daily strive for perfection. There is always room for improvement in all of us.   We are to regularly take Spiritual Baths in HIS WORD! We should be forever growing in His grace, knowledge and wisdom as long as He has us on this side of Heaven. The LORD is able to deliver us from ALL evil! We CAN be “Strong in the LORD!” Or HE would not have told us to do so.

 

 

Good boundaries should be exercised when you know someone is weak in certain areas. This applies even more so when you know you are in a carnal environment. You should be able to greet with a hug and express godly love and not want to sleep with or have any sexual interest with them. I say this because I have known that there are a few who use this as an opportunity to meet possible conquests. I personally do not usually indulge in what I call the many “Simon Says” activities that are now prominent during worship. Turn to your neighbor, say this, turn around, jump up and down, clap your hands etc. Observe, how many respond just like robots without thinking. This is actually “Group Think” behavior. Also notice that this is a trend that has also been recently  adopted in these latter years. It is optional.  This can at times hinder the flow of the Spirit.  There are few moments of peaceful meditation. There needs to be a balance. GOD always know when we are real! We are not to just do everything that man says do… How did we get here? It is always important to remain prayerful during worship.

 

We are living in the “Lasts Days” and some of everything is going on everywhere. Not everyone regards worship or “The House of The Lord” as sacred. 

 

Many Christians have been side tracked by indulging in ongoing sexual sin. Think about it, when this is the case this is actually practicing sin. Regardless of who they are this is not good.  They do not realize just how much this impacts their Spiritual Gift(s). Or maybe they are just ignorant to GOD’S OMNIPRESENCE and believe He doesn’t really know what is happening? Never undermine who GOD IS! Its important to keep in mind during worship that not everyone is spiritual. Encouraging repentance is always good. “Prayer ye one for another!”  Few really understand what it means to; “BE STILL & KNOW” I believe that there is much spiritual tension in the Body of Christ  that can easily be alleviated.

 

The Spirit of God is quenched when you operate in a carnal mode.

 

 

Many operate by using a seducing spirit which is NOT of GOD!  Many simply respond to the beat of the music. Remember this is a Spiritual battle. Pray for discernment! & Keep your Spiritual Armor on!   Many honestly don’t realize how they water down the effectiveness of their testimony. They also hinder their spiritual gifts when they are indulging in sexual misconduct.

 

 

Sex is not something to play with.

This is not about being negative, I am better than you, nor being Miss Such a Much. This is about being real! We are living in some interesting times with some of everything going on everywhere.  Many come to worship empty and leave the same way. For many nothing is sacred.

 

 

There is a better way to begin to lessen the growing number of Christians as well as non Christians to have better control in the area of sex. Less STDS makes the world safer for all of us…  This is a major problem throughout the world. You will never  have to worry about these type of things when you honor God in your marriage, life and home. We must work on encouraging others to build healthier relationships inside and outside of marriage.  At the same time know that marriage is not all about sex… Just know that God only sanctions sex between a husband and a wife.   We must respect our marriages as well as the marriages of others. When we do so we honor GOD!

 

I have seen that people are a lot more interested in talking about people who have a problem with material possessions. Usually the one who really has the problem is fixated on what someone else has. How big their house is or what kind of vehicle they drive? Or how often they travel here or there?

 

It was not Solomon’s material possessions that got him in trouble. It was His sex life! How he ever managed 300 wives and 700 concubines is news to me. Well you see in actuality he didn’t do this  to well; it is what really eventually nearly destroyed him. We can learn much from his plethora of Wisdom he candidly shares.

 

I always say: “I DO NOT have to go to the bottom of the Creek to know that there is mud way down in the bottom of it.”

 

In Ecclesiastes 12:13 & 14 Solomon says “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

 

Sex is not something to play with, don’t be deceived by thinking otherwise. The employment of improper sex in your life will ultimately lead to some type of dysfunction or some other problem. Take a Spiritual Bath in HIS WORD repent and exercise self control. You will be more confident in who you are in the Lord when you are striving to live to please Him. 

 

Let the LORD minster to your Spirit! Spend some alone  quality time with the LORD in HIS WORD! 

The 1st chapter of Romans candidly teaches us that GOD is opposed to same sex relationships. It goes against His natural boundaries; “…They exchanged the TRUTH of GOD for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever praised. Amen! Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in them the due penalty for their perversion…” Acts 1 You cannot change the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD! If you disagree take it up with GOD!

Think long and hard before you have or continue to have sex outside of marriage!

SEXUAL Problems For the Christians Part 4

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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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God Loves A Cheerful Giver

Jesus Christ is the WORD in flesh. He has all power. There is no power principality or anything that is not subject to Him; yet He humbled himself to be the only flawless perfect example for us. He died on the cross for the sins of the world. He then arose from the dead with ALL POWER! His purpose was to make us aware of the importance of developing an intimate personal relationship with God through Him.

When you accept Christ Jesus into your heart, the Comforter; His Holy Spirit will direct you and teach you all things as you grow spiritually. Yet He always gives you the liberty and freedom to choose.

“GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER!”

Today there is much discussion as well as questions in regards to giving. How much, when to give and to who should it be given. Should you give to missions, church ministries, or charities? Is the money used to further the Gospel or to just maintain the building and activities? Should it matter to you how the monies are used? Is tithing commanded? Do we tithe our gross or our net?

When we give be it our money, material possessions or time it should be done responsibly. I believe in supporting ministries who focus upon spreading the “Gospel.” This actually equips others to live victoriously. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world them and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24 We are stewards of whatever God puts or allows in our possession. I also believe when you seek His direction, He will direct you how, when, who and who not to give to.

When I read the scriptures I see how Jesus saw that the needs of His disciples were met. The scripture even says they “lacked nothing.” You often hear; Well, Jesus was poor. Jesus didn’t even have a place to lay His head.” Did you forget when Jesus was a growing child He lived in a home with Joseph and Mary his earthly parents. When He became of age His mission was to further go forth fulfilling the Will of Our Heavenly Father. “He who was rich became poor so we might become rich”. I don’t think He pulled money out of His pocket to pay the little lad for his lunch he used to feed the great multitude. I think it was out of the mouth of a fish that His disciple found money? The point is giving is not just monetary. Money is the system that the world uses to exchange goods or services.

You should not manipulate people to give to God! The Lord does not need anything from us. We all need Him! God wants us to give our lives to HIM. To daily live to please HIM. There is nothing wrong with giving but it should not be under compulsion or out of guilt. When monetary giving is usually the primary focus of the Church it is usually because of something material man wants to do or accomplish. If or when there is a need simply say so and let those who are led to give accordingly. Have FAITH in GOD to supply “ALL your needs”

There is much division over the proper way of giving. There is also an often unspoken bias. I have seen many sides of this within the Church over the years. There are those who lean towards believing you are entitled in somewhat of a hierarchy of privileges based on tithing.

Tithes are often mandated from the clergy and widely encouraged. Chances are you will not be able to really participate unless you pay tithes. You are often considered to be robbing God.

In the Old Testament the priests did not receive an inheritance therefore they were taken care of by the tithe. They did not necessary give a tithe themselves. Does this mean that if tithes are received should a minister not then receive a salary? Biblically speaking the tithe was not always necessarily monetary; it was given from the yield of crops and animals etc…

“Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the reverence of the Lord in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. so that you may learn to revere the Lord God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry the tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his name is so far away, then exchange the tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like; cattle sheep….” Deuteronomy 6. The Bible is clear that the tithing is to actually remind us to always put GOD first.

Your giving is personally between You & God!

Were tithes collected when the children of Israel were in Babylonian captivity? To whom was it distributed? It is important in these “Last Days” we are certain of what we are preaching, proclaiming, saying or teaching is Biblical. For we will all have to answer to HIM.

To give or not give tithes as a tenth of your money is a bone of contention for some. Is this because there is an underlying fear that some will not give to the support of the local church ministry if not? Can you distribute your tithes among several ministries? Not everyone involved in the monies always keep this information private. I have seen resentment on both sides. Some who elect to tithe feel slighted when others don’t or entitled because they do? LORD HELP US!

“GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER!”

It is important to spend time with the Lord in His Word!

“Remember this; Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give and not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work..” 2 Corinthians 9.

God is more than able to meet your personal needs as well as the needs of His Church. Let the Lord lead you in your giving.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness and everything will be added unto you”. Matthew 6 If you put God first in you life He will provide whatever you need as well as some of your wants. The scripture says if you ask anything in His Will He will give it to you. You don’t have to beg, steal, manipulate, brow beat or coerce anyone. Don’t be envious of others. If you are not content with your blessings; take it up with God. “To whom much is given much is required.” Just remember persecutions come with blessings.

We often make decisions and don’t consult God. Or we consult Him and don’t listen. When we begin to feel the consequences of those decisions we want a fast relief. The problem is many don’t want to seek Him first! We often want something or want somebody to give us something that may not be in God’s will. This should not be…

Since God is omniscient (all knowing) He knows what we need before we even ask. Had you ever thought perhaps I’m not quite ready for what I’m asking for? Or perhaps my priorities aren’t right, or just maybe the time isn’t quite right? I believe when God puts something in your possession He will give you the wisdom how to handle it as well. So therefore, readily repent when the Lord shows you something. This is how you grow in His Grace.

Money comes and money goes even when you are very responsible. There are many variables that can come in to play beyond ones control. Therefore seek to be a prudent steward of whatever the Lord allows in your possession.

Is God your source? Well what’s the problem? The “love of money is the root of all evil which while some coveted after, have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Know that there are people who will do anything for money. Money in itself is not bad or evil. You see you can love money and not have any. You can also have a lot of money and not love it! Just to name a few of many in the Bible, remember Abraham, Solomon, Queen of Sheba, Joseph and Job to name a few? I think they had spiritual and material riches? But they also had the right priorities. It is God that gives the power to be rich.

I can never express enough the importance of having an consistent avid personal prayer, worship and bible study time. It will enhance your life tremendously. It will help you be a good steward. It will increase your spiritual discernment. It will also free you when others try to manipulate you to give or do anything out of guilt. When you grow spiritually your desire to give will as well. But you will receive much persecution when you don’t give your time and money when, how, and how much they think you should. This is why it is important to seek direction from the Lord.

Just know that God knows your heart and He will direct you. Be careful who and what you support. It is not necessary for others to understand or see what you do. God knows your heart and your intentions and He really does see everything. It is your obedience to Him that will cause you to reap bountifully.

God truly is a GOOD GOD. He has left no stone unturned to prepare us through His Word instructions for righteous living and giving. When you accept Him as Lord and Savior remember; “He WILL supply all of your needs according to HIS riches in Christ Jesus.” Begin to give as He instructs. Remember again what Paul tells us in Corinthians; “But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord and not man.

Please the Lord and be a cheerful giver whenever you give!

This is what the LORD teaches us that HE requires of each of us as believers;

“O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of Thee, but TO DO JUSTLY, and to LOVE MERCY, and to WALK HUBMBLY WITH THE LORD.” MICAH 6

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