For All The Judges!

Who are you to judge me?

So what if I don’t know the songs you know.

Do you know the song that I sing continually in my heart in praise of Him?

So what if I don’t go to the church you attend.

Do you know what time the Holy Spirit and I meet every morning?

So what if I don’t shop where you shop.

Do you not see the righteousness that He has clothed me with?

So what if I don’t give as much as you do.

Did you not know that obedience is better than sacrifice?

Before you attempt to judge me—get to know me—and know, what I do—has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with Him.

Now, judge that!

Straight from the heart of this child of the Most High!

We Need Experience!

“Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19 NLT).

Peter acknowledges that having an experience with Jesus–gives one greater confidence in the proclamations of the prophets and encourages all to pay attention to what they wrote–as noted in The Word!

We can learn much–from reading–historical accounts of events, but the greatest lesson that leaves an imprint on our hearts is the personal hands-on experience with anything that gives us confidence and understanding.

So,while it is good to hear the testimonies of others–what The Lord has done for them–it is better to have a testimony of your own--an experience with Jesus that solidifies the confidence you have in Him and His Word.

While it is good to read The Word–it is better to experience The Word–for that lasting impression that no man can erase.

Having an experience with Jesus showing up and showing out is no different than learning a new skill–it is not really learned until one can do it–not just read about it, though reading about how to do something first–makes the “doing” easier.

Keep reading, keep listening, but pray for an opportunity to experience Him for yourself.

 

Father, in the name of Jesus, we look forward to having a life-changing experience with You that settles once and for all, all our hopes in You. Thank You for loving us enough to have inspired men to write Your Word, now move into our hearts and give us first-hand knowledge with the experience that only You can provide. Amen!

What Good Children Do!

“so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people” (Philippians 2:15 NLT).

What do good children do? They obey their parents!

When children obey parents, there are usually some benefits attached to their obedience. Children earn privileges–get rewarded for doing the right thing–and most of those children (not all) are able to navigate adulthood with success, never knowing or truly understanding the penalties that exist for non-compliance to rules and policies.

If we know this is what “good children” do, why can’t we as “good children of God” do what we’re supposed to do?

What I love most about being a child of God is the fact that I don’t have a lot of rules to remember and He doesn’t change His mind about them–love Him and love others. It’s just that simple.

Now, if all people (who don’t know Him) ever saw in us was our ability to love–what could they possibly say (and be truthful) against us?

The best thing we can do–is not to worry about what others say–but just do what good children do!

 

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to be good children–an example for the world as to Your goodness, mercy, and grace, loving all we meet and obeying You. Amen!

Nothing to Argue!

“Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly” (I Timothy 4:7 NLT).

One of the reasons that “people” have said why no one should discuss “religion and politics” is because there is so much that can be argued, but shouldn’t be.

What a person believes is what “they” believe. No one should attempt to superimpose their belief systems on anyone else because everyone is entitled to believe whatever they want to believe. Belief–in anything–is subjective–not necessarily objective and as such should be respected as an individual’s right.

Part of the problem with “denominationalism” is the fact that every denomination is a split from a foundational belief. This is why we have Catholicism, Baptist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, and a host of other denominations that “chose” to use specific segments of scripture as a foundation for their belief. What has happened is that it has all become “religious institutions” established that have little or nothing to do with Relationship with God.

So, if people want to believe there is “power in things or an object,” let them believe it. If the source of their belief system is contained or confined within man-made objects–that’s their business. However, I would point out that the prophets of Baal discovered there is no power in “the things made by man’s hands” or in “words used as chants or incantations” to evoke the Spirit of God.

If we truly want to see “the power of God operating” in our world, we simply need to develop a relationship with God, obey His voice, and see how loving others can change the environment. Now, that’s “Power” and it is not contained, but as infinite as our God is.

Go ahead–have your discussions about your beliefs, just respect the beliefs of others in the process. God responds to our faith in Him, not the things in which we have faith. Don’t argue–just love!

Once Upon A Time!

“Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” (Ephesians 2:1-5 NLT)

Once upon a time–before we came into the knowledge of truth–and shed the fables that religion promotes, we  followed the dictates of our flesh without regard to anyone’s needs, but our own. Once upon a time.

If we are truthful with ourselves (for we only fool ourselves, not God) and admit that we all “have sinned” at one time or another, then we could not be so quick to point fingers and condemn those who have yet to come into the knowledge of truth. For God, who sees and knows all–saw what we did and yet had mercy upon us and because He is Love, decided to spare us from spending eternity in the lake of fire–when we acknowledged Him and accepted His Son.

Now, true enough there are some who have accepted Christ as their personal Savior as a matter of “religious ritual” and have been baptized for the same reason. Then, there are some who “acknowledge” God simply because of family tradition and commitment to religion or religious institutions.These go through life still doing whatever they want, seeing no need to change or repent. And worst of all–the entice others to do as they do–living a life of sin and having no remorse.

However, when a person discovers for themselves the nature of God, experiences His mercy and grace (unmerited favor) for themselves, they open the door to Relationship with Him and whenever they fall short–they are quick to admit it and seek forgiveness.  As the relationship develops, the desire to please flesh lessens and the desire to please God increases to the point where even thinking about doing something opposed to God, brings guilt and self-condemnation.

But thank God for His enduring mercy, grace and love towards us. He knows our hearts and when our desire to please Him is real, He keeps us on the straight and narrow path and even when we stray, He is quick to draw us back to the path that leads to eternal life. We are also reminded in His Word that we cannot point fingers at others for those things which we have also done, but we can pull them along the path of righteousness, by showing them love and the redemptive plan of God.

Now, before a finger is ever pointed at another to judge or condemn them, remember that Once Upon a Time, that was you!

Who People Say You Are!

“Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” (Mark 8:27 NLT)

When Jesus asked this question, it was not randomly asked. He had been paying attention to the interactions between the people and His disciples and knew they had been discussing among themselves, who He was. And notice–He did not ask them “in front of the people” they were ministering to; He asked them while they were walking along by themselves–out of earshot of others.

After a bit of discussion and it was established what most thought, Jesus asked them another question, “Who do you say I am?” Granted those who did not know Him, intimately, might have various thoughts as to who He was, but surely those who walked with Him daily, ate with Him, and prayed with Him, would know this answer. The only record we have is Peter’s response, “You are the Messiah!” And Jesus warned them not to tell anyone else. In another passage of scripture, we are told that, “only the Spirit of God” could reveal His true identity.

The questions that rise in me from reading this passage are–who do people say you are and who do you say you are? Are we who people say we are and why do they say what they say?

Do they say we are someone or something that we’re not because of what they see us do? That was the reason why people thought Jesus was anyone, but who He was. Or have we reached--a place where the Spirit of God–acting in our lives–has caused some to see us for who we are-Children of the Most High God?

We can say a lot of things about who we want to be, but until we realize who we are–in Him–and others can see the evidence–do we really know who we are?

The only way we can establish ourselves as His–is by our conduct towards others, in front of others, and even when others don’t see us–we are still being His.

Now, who do people say you are? Are they right or wrong? Do you say  who you are? Or are you yet becoming? Think about it and ask God to show you and accept what He shows you and be willing to change–if He shows you–you–as you really are!

 

Any Way You Praise Him!

“Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp” (Psalm 149:3 NKJV).

There are so many protocols observed by so many people in how to praise God. When people understand that when you’re in a relationship with God, it does not matter how you praise Him, just as long as you praise Him!

Here the psalmist states to: praise His name with the dance–so this diffuses the thought that we should not dance in the churches. But let’s get real–a dance in praise of God should not look like the dance in the club or party. There is a difference–one is lead by Holy Spirit, the other by another spirit that is certainly not holy.

Sing His praises with timbrel and harp. There are a number of people who believe that any instrument used in a church is ungodly; some who believe that only the instruments mentioned in the Bible are allowed, and some who think only the songs in Psalms should be sung. Well, if that’s true–then why are we instructed to “sing a new song,” unto the Lord?

Here’s a tip–for all who know The Word and The Lord–praise Him any way you want to do it and He will receive the praise!

It is time for many to wake up and shed their religious, pious attitudes and get into relationship with God and seek Him in how to praise Him. As long as what we do is sincere acknowledgment and honoring to God–He is not going to dismiss our praise because we did not have the right instrumental accompaniment. He doesn’t even care whether we can sing or not (that’s people who care) when we lift our voices to magnify Him the sound becomes a sweet melody to Him.

As a lyricist, I’ve written many songs of praise to Him–to accompany sermons–out of daily experiences and a number of people have sang my songs–with the accompaniment of instruments and without the accompaniment of instruments. Children and adults sang from their hearts and I know that God was glorified in the midst of their singing.

Too often–we allow what others think, stop us from doing what God has put in our hearts to do. Don’t allow a religious spirit to keep you from praising God–any way you want to praise Him. If your church thinks instruments are the devil’s tool, you might want to re-think where you worship. Find a place of worship where God is glorified and magnified and it’s all about Him–not the people in the building.

And while you’re thinking about what I just said, give Him a praise–right where you are–and watch how He honors your sincere praise–any way you praise Him!

 

Tower Against The Storm!

“But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O LORD,
a tower of refuge to the needy in distress.
You are a refuge from the storm
and a shelter from the heat.
For the oppressive acts of ruthless people
are like a storm beating against a wall,” (Isaiah 25:4 NLT)

Well-built towers–whether to house a light-house or skyline a castle can weather the storms of nature or withstand the onslaught of rebellious people.

The Lord is a strong tower–One in which we can be assured of safety against all the elements and those who oppose and rebel against His Word.

We can expect–the needy to find help from those who know The Lord.

We can expect–those in need of shelter from the storms waged by the enemy to find safe haven.

We can expect–provision from being decimated by extreme seasons and political unrest.

We can expect–with certainty–for all those who create problems to suffer the consequences of their actions–whether they are on the right side of The Lord or the wrong side for His justice does not discriminate and He holds no bias based upon political affiliation or any other trait or entity (openly or behind closed doors) that defies Him.

He sees and knows all things and His Word–shall uphold all who obey it and for those who do not–that same Word will convict and bring about the consequences for going against Him.

It is not a mystery for it is written–for the benefit of all–whether it is believed or not–nothing changes it for the Lord is King of Kings and whatever the King has written–He will not change.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to understand with clarity who You are, how You want us to live and all that You have prepared for us when we obey and when we don’t. Create in us a heart of flesh that desires to please You and not self and a will to obey You, and not the dictates of men. Thank You for being The Strong Tower for all who will run to You!

It’s Between You and God!

“In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable” (Romans 14:5 NLT).

Everyone wants to be right and to tell everyone else–they are wrong–about everything Bible and religion.

The truth of the matter is–perception changes perspective–about anything and everything and our faith should be based upon our Relationship with God/not religious affiliation.

There are some who feel they should only eat vegetables–their prerogative–they should do it.

There are some who feel they can eat anything when they have asked God to bless the food–they should do it. If we ask God to bless anything and everything we do (not contrary to The Word) and have faith that He does–it’s okay.

There are some who would argue about which day is the Sabbath–let them–don’t get involved. If we choose to worship God every day (and many do), it’s between us and God! He won’t have a problem with it, but others might.

I’m taking a leap of perspective here–there are many things that people could argue about as to how Christians should do things–and we should not–argue the merits of Christianity with anyone. God will judge–not us. As long as we are not doing anything in opposition to The Word–it’s all good.

So, for those who will accept women in all roles of ministry–so be it and for those who won’t–oh well!

For those who have rigid dress policies while in the sanctuary of a building–so be it–for those who don’t–thank you for seeking God in all you do.

What we must do–in order to promote The Gospel effectively–is to seek God about everything and not argue about anything. The truth of the matter is that none of us are 100% right about anything, but we’re not 100% wrong about everything either. How we worship, when we worship, what we eat, who we allow to do what in the churches, and how we look while doing it–is between us and God–and no one should ever attempt to make someone feel like they are not worthy simply because they do not fit the mold others have created. Your relationship with God and how that manifests itself is between you and God. I would be more concerned with His thoughts than anyone who walks the earth–they have neither heaven nor hell as a eternal resting place to assign me.

Lord, help us to seek You and not people for all we do in honor of You!

Loving Him!

“Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;” (Deuteronomy 7:9 NKJV).

If we think about all the popular and contemporary songs and poetry about love–we might get a glimpse of what “love” means to some people, but unfortunately, those songs and poetry have inadvertently set a standard for many about the meaning of love that simply does not stand the test of time.

Love–in its most simplistic form–does! What does it do? Love serves the object of its affection without reservation, unconditionally.

Love seeks to bring others closer–to the one who loves and those around them.

Love takes a licking and keeps on ticking (excuse the analogy) from Timex. But then–love is timeless–it never tires of loving, no matter what happens.

Love overlooks the faults and shortcomings of those it loves and loves regardless of those faults. Love recognizes that there are no perfect people, and accepts their own imperfections, but strives for perfection. Love does not criticize but encourages others to always do what is right.

Love sets the example for others to follow. Rather than talk a good talk–love walks the love-walk–daily in all kinds of weather.

Love–what is it good for? Absolutely everything and for everyone.

Therefore–if we truly know Love (for He is love), we would have no problem loving Him or others–no matter their gender, ethnicity, age, or past. For God is without gender (as we know it–He is Spirit and Father), He has no ethnicity. He has no age and His past, present and future are interwoven in His being–Timeless. He simply–is!

So rather than concentrate our efforts on demeaning and criticizing others, let’s look at how God loves us and how He wants us to love others. We just might be surprised at the time we save–finding more to show those we love–just how much we love, them and Him!