His Delight!

Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes the grass grow on the hills, He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him,, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:7-11 NIV

When we have “reverential” fear of The Lord–having a desire to please and trust in Him alone, He delights in us.

The “fear” referenced in this passage is not about being scared or afraid–but in acknowledging that without Him, we can do nothing and our hope and trust is in Him--not what we can do. This fear–is about pleasing Him and not causing Him to be ashamed of anything we do. And make no mistake about it–we can cause Him to be ashamed of us and He will turn His back on us when we willfully live in opposition to His Word.

Consider the parents of those who kill and maim others for no other reason than their boredom. The parents still love them, but they are ashamed of their children’s poor decision-making and behavior. How many parents have had to turn in their child for doing stupid or illegal things? Some parents will and some won’t.

We have recently seen a situation in which a young man was hiding out in his mother’s home and a child was killed by police when they were searching for him. To allow someone to hide out in our house when we know they have committed a crime is not good parenting–they need to pay for their crimes, otherwise, we invite more stupidity to arrive on our doorsteps–which is what happened to this child who was killed. If the father had never been in the home after committing a crime, the child would still be alive. When we do stupid, there is no need to look for fault in anyone other than ourselves.

God takes no delight in our foolishness, but He does delight in our willingness to obey and please Him. We demonstrate our willingness to obey and please Him by honoring His Word on a daily basis and not just on Sunday. For the Lord knows those who are His and though we may attempt to fool others or ourselves about a right relationship with Him, He is never fooled.

Instead of plotting to deceive Him or others, we should utilize the time in praising Him for His goodness and mercy. It is because of His love that we are yet able to do all the things we do. But we must remember that it is because of what He has poured into us that we are able to do anything, well.

Realizing His greatness and the place He has in our hearts and the role He plays in our lives--is cause to sing a new song of praise unto Him. When we know that everything we have or are capable of doing–the gifts He has given–deserve our praise to Him.

Some people think that blessings are only material possessions, but I declare the blessings of the Lord are His mercy, grace and love, and wisdom from above. I know I’m blessed because of His love and I will praise Him with every breath I take! For in my praise, He takes great delight!

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Give Thanks!

It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night,

On an instrument of ten strings,
On the lute,
And on the harp,
With harmonious sound.

For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of Your hands.

O LORD, how great are Your works!
Your thoughts are very deep. Psalm 92:1-5 NKJV

“O Give Thanks” appears 19 times in the King James Version and a reminder to us of thanksgiving–giving thanks 28 times.

If we are yet alive, breathing and able to see, hear, and move; have family that love us and friends who care, we have something we can give thanks to God for and if we have received His Son–the work on the cross–our means of salvation, then we can truly shout–Thank You, Lord!

Every day should be a day of giving thanks for if it had not been for The Lord on our side, where would we be?

I start each day, thanking God for life, health, strength, ability to move, see and talk. I thank Him for the wisdom He is constantly pouring into me and for loving me enough to use me to promote Him. It is His mercy and grace that have kept me thus far and it will be His mercy and grace that keeps me until He desires me to be with Him, for all eternity.

Thank You, Lord! If I had 10,000 tongues, I couldn’t praise You enough and there are no words to express my gratitude for all You’ve done for me. But when we all get together, seated at Your feet, my love for You will radiate through the heavens, just as my love for You is now demonstrated in my desire to please You and You alone. For You and You alone are worthy of all praise!

Those are my thoughts about giving thanks! I pray that everyone who reads this today or whenever, will have just as much or more to be thankful for. He deserves our praise and thanks giving just because of who He is!

Because of His Love!

Because of His Love!

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:22-26 NIV

The steadfast love of The Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, new every morning, great is thy faithfulness O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness.” The lyrics to this song–based on Jeremiah’s insight–are just as true today as they were when Jeremiah first thought them.

It is because of God’s love for us that we are not consumed by the fires: of envy, jealousy, hatred, disdain, rebelliousness, defiance, disrespect of others, and unruliness. It is because of His love that He places those whose hope is in Him in situations to warn, correct, guide and rebuke, others.

It is because of His love for us that we are still here, maintaining our hope in Him for peace in the land, joy in the hearts of all who proclaim His as Lord, and desire to live right before Him.

It is because of His love towards all who love Him that we are able to love the unlovable–those who refuse to heed instruction, are rebellious and defiant against authority, and are only concerned with what self wants. Yes, we love all, as we are commanded to love–doing what love does, but we do not have to like people who deliberately oppose themselves to God’s ways.

We are admonished to obey authority when we recognize the authority is of God. We are admonished to do all things, decently and in order. We are reminded that God is not the author of confusion, and that means that Satan is. Where there is no order or structure–there is chaos and rebellion.

I have determined to live my life pleasing God–obeying His Word and I know that He will honor my desire because He always speaks to me–keeping me from making a fool of myself, and I hear and obey. That’s Love!

I look forward to each and every day, waiting to see what The Lord has in store for me. With each challenge He allows to come my way, He has prepared me to respond in a manner that does not dishonor Him. That’s Love!

When I am wrong, He doesn’t hesitate to correct me and I receive the correction because I know that’s what Love does.

It is because of His great Love for me, that I have not allowed the issues of the world to overcome me and land me in the pits of destruction. He has given me strength and insight, courage and boldness to stand firm on His Word, rising above the drama that Satan attempts to use to ensnare and my response to Him–is obedience–I spread my wings and rise above the foolishness of this world and soar with the Eagles. That’s what Love does!

The Way We Were!

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:3-5 NIV)

Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
And if we had the chance to do it all again
Just tell me, tell me, would we, would we?
Could we, could we?

Memories may be beautiful and yet
So many memories too painful to remember
The way we were

When Barbara Streisand sang this song, it ignited thoughts of returning to a past time, understanding the good and the painful; however, when aligned with this passage of scripture, we are reminded that all of us indeed have a past, and some of it was not too pretty, and yet–we tend to criticize others for traveling the same path, we once took.
Why are we so critical of those who not have yet been introduced to Jesus Christ and certainly have not had time to develop a relationship with Him? It is easier to understand those living in sin who do not know Him more than it is acceptable for those who proclaim to know Him.  The saddest situation that one can see is for born-again Christians to support and promote a lifestyle contrary to God’s Word. It would appear that they are more interested in returning to “the way they were” before knowledge of Christ and in keeping others in a position to know God’s wrath, rather than His grace.
When Paul talks about our being dead in our transgressions–He references a point in our lives when we were spiritually dead before becoming spiritually alive--ready to receive what Holy Spirit has for us. Unfortunately, for some–being spiritually dead also lead to physical death caused by addictions and rebelliousness and a refusal to do what is right.
We see people on a daily basis whose countenances are bereft of hope and joy. They are simply going through the motions–not really enjoying life, and barely making it to see another day, with the same attitude. If we are truthful with ourselves, we recognize us–in some of those people we see–but thanks to someone who was praying for us or even noticing our bleakness–someone who cared enough to talk to us about Jesus, we are now living with hope and joy and we can smile for no reason, laugh out loud with a heartiness that is infectious and love people–no matter who they are. Thank God we are no longer the way we were, but we have been saturated with the grace of God, without regard to our former ways and we know who has redeemed us and saved us from ourselves.
Today, let’s take the time and remember the way we were–before grace--and determine within ourselves to share God’s love with others so they, too can know salvation through His Grace and have their spirits quickened through Holy Spirit. If we remember our journey to grace; our desire should be for everyone to make it to receive God’s grace for themselves before He returns. That’s love!

Defeating Grace!

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that ALL of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:1-4 NIV).

What shall we say–about sin and the grace given to us–when we didn’t deserve it–giving us another chance to get living right for God? What shall we say about God’s mercy–that kept us from receiving what we did deserve–when we knowingly opted to live in sin and yet, He loves us so much He was not willing to let us lay in the muck and mire we created for ourselves? Do we really understand that when we deliberately keep sinning–after all He’s done for us–we defeat the entire purpose of grace?

There are many–who profess to love The Lord–who have no idea of the purpose of grace–they tend to get grace mixed up with forgiveness and that God will forgive us for what we do–so they keep living in sin–attempting to justify it, by saying, “God forgives!”

Oh yes, He does forgive us when we repent–turn away from doing all things that dishonor Him. But if people are simply mouthing a request to Him to forgive their sin when there has been no change of heart or turning away from what brought them into position to seek forgiveness–they waste their time. God is not deceived and He knows when they open their mouths, hearts have not been renewed in Him.

And this is what we see in our society’s celebration of sin–against God–not man and the tragedy is that they refuse to see the sin; they justify it, and celebrate it, and see no need to repent. Without repentance–there is no forgiveness of sin. No court in the land on earth can ever determine what is sin and what is not. They may legalize  what God has called sin, but they can never redefine sin. And what mere mortals have forgotten is that no matter how many times they change what is legal or what is not–God never changes. Since He is the only person who can determine our place of eternity, I’d rather look to His instructions than man’s.

For by grace–God’s favor towards us–unmerited, unearned–have we been saved by the finished work on the cross. There is no more need for God to come down to offer Himself a sacrifice for us–that was completed over a long time ago–on the Old Rugged Cross, where He gave His life–took on sin so we would not have to suffer the consequence for sin–death. For the wages–the payment, final consequence of sin–is death. Accepting the finished work on the cross in the person of Jesus Christ, puts us into a position to develop a right relationship with Him and to know and understand more about how He wants us to live our lives–sin-free–honoring the grace He has given.

To continue to live in sin and celebrate it as a lifestyle defeats the grace given and we make a mockery of the finished work on the cross. Jesus sacrificed Himself in vain for some since they do not recognize the benefit of His sacrifice. For all who will not repent, they have only the lake of fire to expect as their eternal resting place. What a shame!

But for those of us who understand, let’s move forward, maintaining our faith in Him and living to please Him so He will give us the desires of our hearts and stamp our names on our mansions in heaven–the place prepared for those who obey God. We accept the grace given and will not allow its purpose to be defeated in our lives. Hallelujah!

Great Is Your Faithfulness!

“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:19-23 NIV)

This sounds like a passage of scripture we all could have written. Remembering those days when—we lived any way we wanted to live and reaped the consequences for our rebellion and opposition. When we caved to peer pressure and engaged in all sorts of illicit or immoral behavior. When we thought we were grown enough to do whatever we wanted to do. When our present was more important than our future because we gave no thought to our future. When people tried to tell us we were heading in the wrong direction and we would not listen and actually scorned those who tried to warn us.

And in spite of ourselves and our lack of wisdom and knowledge, God in His infinite mercy and love–showed us compassion when we were not able to show compassion to others and kept us for Himself and His purposes. Hallelujah for our compassionate and merciful and loving God. How great is He! Faithful to those who did not understand faithfulness. Loving those who did not understand how to love self and certainly no one else. Great is Your faithfulness, Lord to those of us who really didn’t deserve it.

Never would we have found the courage to live a life pleasing to Him unless someone had prayed for us, had us on their minds, and God responded as only He can–with outstretched arms, willing and ready to forgive us, putting us on the right path, introducing us to His Son and His purpose in our lives.

I know there may be some reading this who cannot relate because they have lived perfect lives all of their lives–well this isn’t for them. It’s for the rest of us who had to find our way, through the muck and pits–having reached the end of ourselves so we would understand that without God–we have no existence worth living! We rejoice in His love and saving grace, for He didn’t have to do it, but He did.

What He did for us–then and now–He’ll do for others. It is His faithfulness towards mankind that will save them, just like it saved us. He will wait–until those who choose to live in opposition to Him reach the end of themselves and understand there is no live worth having without God in it and leading it. Though it appears that the world is headed for the lake of fire, God has a plan and His plan will succeed for all who are willing to heed the warnings and know His love.

God’s faithfulness surpasses any human being’s faithfulness because He doesn’t keep a record of our wrongs, but keeps strengthening us to be strong in the Holy Spirit, who is always whispering in our ears and speaking to our hearts, God’s Word, spoken to the faithful men of old, so we have continue to have hope, even when it seems like there is no hope for the lost.

Thank You for the mercies that are new every morning! Thank You for the love You keep shedding abroad in our hearts! Thank for the grace we receive to keep hope alive in every situation. Great is Your faithfulness, Lord unto to us! Keep praying for those on the wrong path!

Saved and Knowledgeable of The Truth!

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:1-4 NIV)

Those of us who are saved–by the blood of The Lamb–and know Truth–as God said it–know what we are to do–in all situations.

We pray–not just for what we as individuals want, but for those in leadership at every level–heads of households, heads of local communities, heads of state governments and national governments, and world leaders–for all in authority–we pray that they will lead with Godly wisdom at all times–considering the needs of all people.

We intercede on behalf of those who do not know Truth that they will be brought into the marvelous light of Truth and know our Risen Savior as we do and will choose to live a life, pleasing to God. When we intercede for others–our focus is not on us, but them and while we’re interceding for them–there may be others who are interceding for us and God is glorified in our efforts to consider others.

We give thanks on a daily basis for all God has done for us, all He is doing for us and all He will do for us–not just for things, but knowledge, wisdom, grace, and mercy. We thank Him for healing broken bodies and spirits. We thank Him for peace–in our homes and all over the world. We thank Him for the use of our limbs, for pouring wisdom into the minds of scientists everywhere so they will find cures for all manner of illnesses so all can live–a quality life.

When we discover the benefit of prayer–expecting God’s response–believing He will answer–in His own timing–we can navigate life with the assurance that no matter what things look like, God will take of us. In the midst of the storms of life, when it seems like nothing is going right for us, we must remember that we are never alone–and God knows all about our trials and since He has purposed for us a life that will glorify Him, we can rest assured–His plans will come to pass.

No matter what our situations or how long it takes for our loved ones to accept the work on the Cross, if we continue to believe God for their salvation, He will do it and the experience with Him, will put them on the right path–where knowledge of God will become the focus of their attention and they will live a life, abundantly blessed.

Father, in the name of Jesus,

I thank You for us enough to come down to earth, experience life as we know it and not sin, and sacrifice Yourself for us.

I thank You for grace, mercy, and Truth so we might know how to live, pleasing You.

I pray that You will speak to the hearts of every person in leadership of any kind, all over the world–providing them Wisdom from above and direction and instructions so all may live a peaceful life.

I pray that every Believer will continue to seek You in all things, continually desiring more of You–wisdom, grace, and mercy so we may share the knowledge with others.

I pray that every preacher, teacher, evangelist, prophet, pastor–by whatever title they use–will seek You and what it is You desire for them to speak to Your people.

I pray that in every building or place of worship–enclosed or outdoors–that Your Spirit will fall fresh and Your anointing will enable all to do Your Will in all situations.

I stand against the works of the enemy who will influence hatred and violence and living in opposition to You.

I pray all Believers will become so full of You they will stand on Your Word, no matter what the enemy attempts to do to discourage them. I declare boldness and courage shall be their badges of honor wherever they go, exercising wisdom in all things, to Your glory.

All this I believe and praise You for doing, In Jesus’ name, I declare it is done.

Amen!

Worldly Wisdom is The World’s Way; Grace is God’s Gift!

“Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.” (2 Corinthians 1:12 NIV)

One of the problems we have in our society with boasting–being puffed up with pride–is that we tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We boast of our accomplishments as if we do everything on our own, never giving credit to the One who gives us the wisdom and the grace to accomplish–anything.

But there are some who when they are in the spotlight for winning an award who give thanks to God--I believe with the greatest hypocrisy–since God would not inspire them to sing songs with filthy, inflammatory lyrics, influence them to behave in unseemly conduct in movies and television, or in writing books that are total filth.

Then there are the few–who have accomplished much–who have no problem acknowledging God as the driving force behind their achievements.

I believe when we acknowledge our inability to think of doing anything worthwhile in and of ourselves and admit that it was the grace of God who kept us going–headed for the prize then we will have good success. Worldly wisdom–thinking about how we can impress the world or seeking the world’s way of doing things doesn’t amount to much to brag about. One of the reasons people claim they don’t believe in God is because of science.  Well, I believe in science, too, but God created the world before we had use of the term, science. It is His wisdom and grace that has given mankind insight to understanding anything they understand about how He created things. And yet, with all that scientists (those who study and analyze to explain) have accomplished, they have yet to accomplish–recreating anything from absolutely nothing. Everything man has “invented” was because of the things–God had already created.

So, if we’re going to brag about our accomplishments, let’s give the credit to God who gives wisdom to all when we seek Him for it.

At the age of 46, I completed a Bachelor’s degree; at 50 I went back to school to get teacher-certification, at 52 I completed my Master’s degree and kept going until at 58, I had completed the coursework for my Doctorates degree. I have written over 25 books, published a gospel quarterly, written several plays, conducted a community choir, served as a volunteer chaplain in prison ministry for over 5 years, as well as in VA hospital, and have been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ for over 30 years–because of Him and who He is in my life. Hallelujah! I am still going strong because of Him and everything I do, is to bring honor and glory to Him! He has blessed my coming and going and I know He will continue to do so as long as I focus on the things He has called me to do.

My boast is in The Lord and the grace He gives for me to accomplish all He has planned for me to do. Worldly wisdom–considering my age–would have kept me from doing anything, but God’s grace was sufficient and carried me through, reminding me that age is merely a number used by man to measure our time on earth. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me and gives me His wisdom to succeed. And the best thing is–He is not a respecter of persons; what He’s done for me, He’ll do for anyone who Believes and obeys Him.

Why All The Noise?

“Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” (Isaiah 43:13 NIV)

Once the Prophet Isaiah has assured the children of Israel will not allow them to go hungry or die of thirst or heat from the sun, he infers that even the heavens, all the earth, and the mountains should praise the Lord for His compassion and comfort of those who have been persecuted.

The same God, who would not leave His chosen people to their own devices, loved them in spite of them and after a time–giving them room to reflect upon their behavior–He still decided to make sure they had everything they needed and would be saved their persecutors. The same God–will do the same those of us who have chosen Him–and He has received us unto Himself. He will not allow us to suffer lack when we obey Him.

We can look around us and see those who have chosen to live in opposition to His Word and know that their end–will not the same as those who live according to His Word. God is not mocked and He will not bless mess, corruption, rebellion, and disobedience. People may think they’re getting away with something, but they are not. And when we understand this, we can keep our faith moving forward, not focused on the foolishness of man, but on the mercy, grace and love of God who will redeem us from the hands of the enemy.

Shout for joy all you people who love The Lord! Sing praises unto Him who loves us in spite of us and will not allow us to suffer lack. Dance in the victory of being an overcomer for we shall overcome all the enemy puts in our path to defeat us–we are more than conquerors. We have a right to make “some noise” over all He is doing for us and will do when we allow Him to guide us in all things! Hallelujah!

I don’t know about you, but when I think about Jesus and all He has done, I could dance, dance, dance, all day! Singing a new song, from the depths of my soul as my heart rejoices in His goodness and mercy that endures forever!

Are you ready? Shout in the name of Jesus! Hallelujah! Glory to Your Name, Lord!

This Present House!

‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” (Haggai 2:9 NIV)

Though the prophet was speaking to the priests who wanted to rebuild the temple, what He prophesied was not just about a physical building, but building the Body of Christ.

Are we not the temple where the Holy Spirit dwells? Are we not supposed to be consecrated and worthy of His presence in our lives?

For those who think that Old Testament scriptures are “literally” just for that era, I encourage you to look again and not just see what is said regarding the Law, but for those who are living according to the grace shown us so we might know how to honor our bodies in reverence of Him.

In previous versus of Scriptures, the prophet tells the priests that God owns all the silver and gold and He hears the cries of the nations and the nations will receive what they desire–peace in the land. But we cannot have peace in the land until we have peace in our spirits and peace overflows from within to without–into homes, communities, and then the nations.

What we must do now is clean house–clean our spiritual house and rid it of all debris–thoughts that grieve Holy Spirit and cause us not to hear Him. We must rid of ourselves of hatred and biases that do nothing to bring people into a right relationship with God. And being the catalyst–to steering people into receptivity of God’s mercy and grace, is what we’re really supposed to be building–not the physical edifices that bring glory to us–but the spiritual edifices that bring glory to God.

What about us–right now? Are we ready to see the glory of this present house–in our spiritual temples–be filled beyond our imaginations with God’s goodness and His peace?

As long as we harbor bitterness and resentment, unforgiveness and grudges against others, His peace cannot abide within and if there is no peace within, there will be no peace without. Let’s clean house–leaving only room for the glory of the Lord to fill it and then know peace!