O Give Thanks!

“O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 107:1).

Looking around at the negative, tragic events that occur almost daily, one might think there is no reason to give thanks to God. But there is! In spite of all the devastation of property, loss of lives, and emotional despair, God is still good and if it was not for His mercy, I would not be writing this morning and no one would be reading this! Glory to God–Give Him praise!

I haven’t lost my mind, but I do realize there are some things we cannot control and rather than be resentful and bitter, I’ve decided to allow everything that happens to make me a better person and certainly a more studious, scholar of God’s Word and intent for our lives.

We all have a choice. We can allow the events of life to control us or we can control our reactions and responses to the events of life. It is our choice! I choose Jesus–through Him and His love, I can do all things well–even with my responses to life’s events.

While we pray for those who have been displaced because of the storms, heart-broken because of the loss of lives in a number of situations, let us pray they will allow God to comfort hearts and allow Him to give them insight to peace and forward movement. Let’s pray for more people using the events to get closer to God and come into a right relationship with Him instead of being bitter towards God. O give Thanks to the Lord!

O God, help us to be better and not bitter about those things we cannot control. Help us to see good in everything that happens because there is something good that can be found–to Your glory. Give us a heart of compassion to help those in need and to encourage them to keep going. This we ask in Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

Good To All!

‘The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psalm 145:9).

Sometimes, because of the things that occur in this world, we do not see The Lord being good to all, but we should.

Even in the darkest moments in some of our lives, we should be able to see The Lord’s goodness as a pinpoint of light–no matter what happens.

As tragic as it is to see lives lost–from missing airplanes, to sinking ferries, to raging storms and those dying from illness and violence–there is yet hope for those who remain–that pinpoint of light.

Sometimes, it is difficult to focus on a pinpoint of light when darkness surrounds us, but if we focus on how good He is and how He is always with us, we can overcome--the depths and ravages of the darkness and rise to see the light and make this world a better place. We must always be able to see the good and His mercies in all things–no matter how dark things appear, we have to know that there is a light that will outshine all the darkness, when we focus on Him.

We have to know–that He is not a respecter of persons and that His Word applies to all who receive Him and acknowledge Him for who He is–the Bright Morning Star, the Rose of Sharon, The Great I Am, The God who fulfills all His promises, Our Healer and Protector and there is nothing too hard for Him to accomplish through us, no matter what.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to focus on the Light and not the darkness. Help us to become the arms and hearts of compassion seeing need and fulfilling whatever needs to be done for those who are hurting and devastated by things out of their control. Help us to be selfless in this time of need and remain prayerful and diligent in accomplishing all You on our hearts to do, to Your glory.

 

Salt-Soddened Heart!

My heart is crying, overwhelmed with life

Watching the suffering of many, the constant strife

Between others–mothers, and children, husbands and wives

Nation against nation, no one carrying about the lives

Of people who feel–misery and pain,

Lost, with no more to lose and nothing else to gain,

The salt seeps into each muscle and tendon,

Navigating its way through each ventricle and back,

Saturating all the tissue which holds the emotions

In check, no longer able to reasonably resist

Giving in to those thoughts and feelings that created

The mess of lives and nations galore,

My heart is crying, deeply saddened and sodden

By all the salt–meant to preserve, but now burns

As I watch how one thing after the other turns,

Into chaos and confusion!

My heart is crying!

Blessed–Hearing and Obeying!

“He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28 NIV).

This is the response Jesus gave the crowd when a woman yelled, “Blessed is the woman who gave birth to you and nursed you” (paraphrased from vs. 27).

Here we see another attempt to venerate His mother by humans when God has already placed Mary in high esteem, but not higher than the Son. Before Jesus was born, Mary was chosen and the angel from the Lord told her she was blessed and highly favored. We must get our priorities straight because if we do not, we continue to glorify those who have not been chosen by God to receive such high esteem.

Rather than seeing “just” His mother as blessed, Jesus responded that the truly blessed are those who hear and obey God’s Word. Understanding this–how we are blessed–we can now eliminate the need “to pray or pay” for a blessing from God. We can ignore those who attempt to make us believe that God’s blessings come from how much money we give or how we pray (positionally). We are blessed when we “hear and obey” God’s Word!

When we hear and obey God’s Word, we hear the Word saying, “Whatever you put your hands to, when you keep my commandments, will be blessed and you will have good success.” We hear the Word saying, “Blessed is the peacemaker.” We hear the Word saying, “Whatever you ask for, when you ask in my name, shall be given–when you do not doubt!”  We hear the Word saying,” For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” We hear The Word saying, “We are healed by His stripes.” And the list could go on and on.

The point here is–when we hear and obey The Word–we are blessed and we are blessed to be a blessing to others. We shall have whatever we say (we hear ourselves talking) and stand on our faith to receive. Speak The Word over every situation in your life and Obey The Word and walk in the blessing and favor you have been given–doubting nothing God has said!

Healing Open Wounds!

Open wounds hurt

And take time to heal,

Allow Jesus to insert

His love, grace and mercy,

For which there is no appeal,

No need to apologize or regret

No need to rethink or contemplate

God from the beginning, knew our fate.

Knew when we would receive and believe,

How long it would take for us to realize

That there is only One who can take our hurts,

And heal our wounds, physically and spiritually,

Sealing them, not with stitches made by man,

But by His own hand, stitched mercy and grace

And no visible scar can be seen, by the enemy

Who thought he had us on the run, ready to laugh

And make fun of us when we slide and fall, but

Guess who gets the last laugh, now that we know

The truth and truth has set us free from all hurt

And though it may take awhile, we will heal and

Rise again to benefit all who are willing to hear

That Jesus saves and He’ll dry that tear that falls

Not from fear or hurt, but joy overflowing into

The lives of all to come to know Him through us.

Remember His open wounds and that precious flow,

Of blood and water streaming from His side

So we can abide with Him in heaven for all eternity.

Enjoy The Moment!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV).

We know how to recognize the enemy–it’s been told repeatedly, but know let’s take a look at the other side of the coin-having life to the full or as the KJV states, “abundant life.”

Unfortunately, so many Christians feel they have to be “somber and sour” (their version of holiness) and never enjoy life because if they did, they wouldn’t be “saved.” I have news for those who think that way. Once we are saved, born again, born anew–having become new creations in Christ, we should enjoy every moment we live–because we have access to eternity with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He intended for us to enjoy life!

We have been told to laugh–for laughter is like medicine and good for the soul. How can we laugh if we think we are too holy to laugh and enjoy life? Well, what we are waiting for today? Get up and out and find a reason to smile, laugh and enjoy life because we are expected to enjoy the abundant life He has given us.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to enjoy every moment of life on this side of heaven, no matter what the enemy does or attempts to do. I will not allow him to steal my joy and trust me, he tries, daily!

This is the day and this is the moment that I shall enjoy the joy of the Lord in everything I do and I will ignite the joy of the Lord in others so they will want to be in my presence! My proclamation for the day! Enjoy the moment--if we can’t find any other reason to laugh, laugh at the devil and remind him that he has no power over our lives because we have victory in Jesus!

For Long Life!

“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee” (Proverbs 3:1,2).

There is a reason why we should keep God’s commandments–long life, peace and prosperity (NIV).

Even though some will usually think of the “ten commandments” as given to Moses, Jesus summarized the ten into two. The first five address our relationship with God and authority and the other five address our relationships with each other. Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind; love our neighbors as ourselves (paraphrased).

What really brings this passage of scripture to life is remembering to “honor mother and father so our days will be long upon the earth” and looking at our society; we see what happens when parents/authority are not honored and respected–where there is no love, there is no respect.

Many people can enumerate the problems that plague our society with the attitudes of young people, but in our observations we are hesitant to place blame where it rightfully belongs–on the shoulders of parents who have not been responsible parents. Responsible parents teach children right from wrong and model that behavior in front of their children. If parents are not doing what they say, they are saying without power and certainly the children won’t obey. This is not to say that all the ills of society are the responsibility of parents because some children–when they reach a certain age–ignore all their training and do what they want to do, “when they reach that certain age.”

For any child (regardless of age) living under a roof with parents and their parents are their primary source of support, the rule of parents should reign (especially for Godly households). No child living with parents should ever be allowed to just do whatever they want whenever they want. When they do–we see the results of their lives on the news–“teenagers killed in the midst of a home invasion,” “drug wars claim the lives of teens over territory dispute,” “bodies of parents found in the home where teens lived and were angry at parents who wouldn’t let them use their credit cards,” and the list of insanity could go on and on.

The bottom line is this–when we love and respect authority and others–we are assured of long life, peace, and the opportunity to prosper while we live. Parents need to be parents, not friends and children need to respect and obey. Are we not children of the Most High? Then we should obey Our Father in all things and live long lives in peace and prosperity.

 

Seeking Hidden Treasure!

“indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:3-5 NIV).

More wisdom from Solomon!

If we sought insight and understanding with the same fervor and diligence that some seek silver and hidden treasures, we would understand what it means the fear of the Lord and find His knowledge.

Some seek means of obtaining wealth without regard to the means or how it affects others, but never seek knowledge of God.

Some seek hidden treasure beneath the seas, expending every resource they have and often the investment of others, never giving up, but the same people seldom seek God for direction.

Some seek immediate gratification and wealth in gambling–playing the lottery, in the casinos with such tenacity that it would be admirable if they sought God with the same tenacity.

There is a hidden treasure within each and every one of us that most miss because they overlook the map that God has prepared for us in His Word. We are His treasure, and when we seek Him, He gives us insight to things to come and brings back to our remembrance those things He has taught us and a world of wealth (not just money) is opened to us. We have a wealth of compassion and love, forgiveness and peace within, and an attitude of gratitude for all we have. We communicate with Him on a consistent basis because we know without Him, we are lost and we need Him to keep us on the path He has established for us.

The treasure we seek, when we seek Him for direction does not remain hidden for long because when we operate with His wisdom and knowledge, the results are available for all to see. We have been given gifts–both naturally and spiritually–that most have never discovered–their treasure. Seek Him now to reveal the gifts He has given and learn to use them to His glory! We are His treasure (2 Corinthians 4:7 and Exodus 19:5)!

If we are amazed with all that God has created considered the “natural wonders of the world” then operating in the gifts He has given, would truly be a source of amazement. We are His gifts to the world when we do what He has asked us to do so through us, the world might come to know Him and His love and peace would prevail in all the land.

Chosen, Not Rejected!

“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you” (Isaiah 41:9 NIV)

Spoken through the prophet, God reminded the descendants of Abraham they had no need to fear other nations because He had chosen them and not rejected them. That Word is still relevant to the spiritual descendants of Abraham, just as it was to the natural descendants of Abraham.

The Lord our God, has called us–from every corner of the earth, every nationality, every culture, every gender, the spiritual seed of Abraham–into a personal relationship with Him and to promote the glorious Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have no need to fear what the enemy does or plans to do. God is with us and with Him, He is more than enough to squash all the deeds of the enemy.

If we know that our God is with us–everywhere we go–we have to no need to fear–anything or anyone. If we are capable of loving, unconditionally, we cast fear aside and face all we need to do with determination and courage, knowing that we can do all things through Him who loves us. If we know that the enemy will rise up against–especially if we are living the life that God wants us to live–we should also know that he has already been defeated and we have the power to keep him under our feet.

The enemy that rages against God and all that God has planned has been defeated, but he loves to use people–vulnerable, arrogant, insensitive, those without a conscience to create havoc and chaos and stir up fear in the hearts of those who want to do what is right.  When those he uses are defeated and fade away, he goes after others who have lost sight of their faith in God and have become fearful.

The enemy’s influence is seen in all who defy God and choose to live however they want to live. His influence can be seen from the heights of authority of power to the depths of the gutters where those who lay, totally ignorant of the events around them, are only concerned with appeasing flesh. In America–from the White House–to the dope den and all places in between, we see the enemy’s influenceWe see how he turns the hearts of politicians from serving the needs of the poor. We see how caving to the pressure of political correctness attempt to change God’s Word. We see how maniacal attitudes–swing from end of the spectrum to the other–fight for the lives of unborn children, yet promote access to killing people with guns in the hands of every lunatic. We see–every day the plans of the enemy unfold as he attempts to quickly rid the world of all God has created because he hates all God has created.

But don’t fear what the enemy can do because his time is nearing an end. Be more concerned with severing a relationship with God that saves, cleanses, and makes whole. Don’t risk losing eternal life with the One who loves for the one who hates.  God is love and Satan is hate–and we recognize the influence of both in all we see people say and do. We have been chosen from the beginning to promote love, so let’s do that and reject hate!

How He Gets Things Done!

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty (Zechariah 4:6 NIV).

None of us are so great that we can accomplish everything we want to do. Wars are not won by the number of people in an army, the number of weapons one has, or even the intellect of those commanding the army. Of course we don’t want to admit this, but if we look at scripture, throughout the ages, God has determined the outcome of every situation before it began.

Perhaps the greatest illustration–from the scriptures–is the story of Gideon and the how God led him into reducing the number of men he had with him before he went into battle. God wanted Gideon and those around him to know that when God is the plan, He can take a little and do much.

From history–in America–a handful of people (figuratively speaking) won their freedom from an established country and began a new life–governing themselves.

In each of our lives, if we closely examine events and remember the odds against us at some point, we’d recognize that it was not us–by use of our intellect or ingenuity that helped us to achieve, but God in the midst of everything. We have battled illness, poverty, family chaos, addictions, and even doubt and unbelief–and we have been victorious! It was not our might or power but the Spirit of the living God that made it all possible! It is by His spirit that He accomplishes all for our benefit and if we listen to His spirit, we shall always be victorious! This is how He gets things done!

When He speaks, hear and obey. When He guides, let Him lead. When He opens doors, step through in faith and know all that He desires for us, will be accomplished, when we listen to Him.

Listening to naysayers who do not have the faith that we have will always lead–to nothing but frustration and doubt and unbelief. By faith–change the mind of the naysayers; by faith–do all that God has told us to do; by faith–move into the next level of victory so all may know we serve the Living God and He cannot fail. And since He cannot fail, we win in all we do with Him!

 

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us move self out of the way and know true victory in You by hearing and obeying Your Spirit who speaks to us, guiding us in all we need to do.