It is done, TODAY!

Good morning to each and every one of you. This morning is good, because our Father is good.

I woke up this morning, sluggish, thinking of all the things I had to do and how I have not effectively managed my tasks to make my days productive. With my shoulders drooping and my feet slowly sliding from the mattress to the floor, I got up and began to move around, so that I can take my son to his basketball canoe.

I read a bit, showered, grabbed my juice, got the children ready, and began my day.

I prayed and spoke my prayer that I pray over myself, daily –  my crafted for myself, through the word. Then, I asked the Spirit to direct me on what to read today.

The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Psalm 118:24 (NIV)

This is the day! This. IS. IT!!! THIS…is the day. Not tomorrow, not next week, not yesterday. This is not the year…this is the day! The Lord has done IT, today!!!!

  • This is the day, your strength is renewed.
  • This is the day, you refocus on what is important.
  • This is the day, you manage your task to accomplish all that you need.
  • THIS is the day, that you stop granting access to toxic thoughts and toxic conversations the ability to defile your spirit.
  • THIS is the day you put God first.
  • This is the day that you renew your mind.

THIS. IS. THE. DAY.

How is this the day? Well, why not today?

I do not care what others may have said about you, and what you have come to believe about yourself. God has spoken some GOOD things about you! This. IS. THE. DAY that you begin believing your Father!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You Shole Is Ugly

  • Manicures and pedicures so that our hands and fingers appear more groomed and cared for.
  • Polishing Techniques (press-ons, gel, acrylic, SNS, Shellac) to create a flash of flare, from the wave of a hand, through a glimpse of your finger tips.
  • Facial products that give the appearance of flawless skin, as smooth as a baby’s bottom.
  • Hair products that will shorten, lengthen, color, crinkle, or straighten our hair; creating the most unique and vivid depiction of ourselves as our minds can imagine.
  • Clothing and body shapers that would enhance our fearfully and wonderfully made physique.

The advances in technology and design that allow us to enjoy creating an outer beauty led me to many thoughts. I came across this scripture and it caught my attention.

I would be hypocritical not to admit that I enjoy all of the above. Especially the pedicure. It is a frequent routine of mine to visit the nail salon. In fact, my hubby and I often go together for our “date nights.”

Oh and my hair? Oh I bless God for the creation of relaxers! Then there is clothing and shoes. I have found some of the most unique designs in fashion on Instagram made with good quality and for a reasonable cost.

But I had this thought:

What if in our culture and country, we did not have access to these things? Would we still corporately confess in a Sunday church service that “God is good?”

Have we begun to focus so much on the personification of our physical makeup that our inner makeup is dull? Does the world see the good works of fashion design or the works of Christ in and through our lives? What attention are we drawing?

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NKJV

Perhaps if we did not have so much exposure to things that enhance the outer, we could focus more on the inner.

Please do not misinterpret what I am saying. I’m simply reflecting. I am not implying that we cannot or should not enjoy self-care practices. However, such practices should not take away from our inner beauty. On another note, we can be arrayed in fine clothing on the outer but our attitude is SO ugly, it covers every beautiful feature and characteristic we were blessed with.

This all led me to imagine the appearance of Jesus. He was unattractive- nothing about Him would make someone desire to be with Him.

That’s crazy!!!!!

Because He always referred to the glory He had outside of His earthen vessel.

Jesus was willing to take a 30 plus year hiatus from His Kingdom, economically poor according to worldly systems, unattractive, an outcast (unpopular with people), and untrained, according to man’s law, in the subject He was persuading people to believe.

Jesus became unattractive to attract us.

What area are you willing to be less attractive to gain the attractiveness of Christ?

“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2 NIV

Show Me Your I.D.

We must not allow our struggles to become our identity. If we can resist the urge to become bitter, negative and hopeless, the struggles we face today will create the strength that is needed for tomorrow.

  • Find hope, in a hopeless matter.
  • Find courage, in a discouraging moment.
  • Find endurance, in a weak moment.

When every obstacle that is thrown at us dares us to give up, throw faith back at it and handle it! Overcome it. Fight it. Get through it. Rise above it. Stand on it! Conquer it!

Show me your I.D. If you proclaim to be a child of God, or believers in Christ; identification is required. Proof in who you say you are plows through when faced with adversity.

Our eternal family is relentless in their pursuit of not only fighting but defeating the enemy. If we say that we are the heirs of this Kingdom, there ought to be some relational behaviors that we possess – PROOF!

Jesus proved His relation by conquering death. He didn’t leave us alone. He left us some weaponry to fight with. He gave us power to perform greater works than He did, with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the I. D. card.

You are MORE than a conquer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Show me your I.D. It is required to enter this battle and win!

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”Romans‬ ‭8:37‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The Gospel > The Struggle

It was this past Sunday morning; the day I look forward to, to refuel and regather my soul’s well-being. Out of all the days to wake up with a migraine, it would be Sunday. No, really; I mean, open my eyes and BAM!

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The easy thing to do would have been to lay down back down, text my husband (who had already left for service) and tell him that I would not make it; but sometimes, you have to talk to yourself and tell yourself who is in control! In biblical terms, Jesus stated it as such:

Luke 10:19 (NKJV)
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Ohh. Okay. You said you gave ME the power to trample on serpents, scorpions and over ALL the power of the enemy and NOTHING shall hurt me? Jesus, this head is hurting me. Since, you gave me the power, I may as well use it. “Migraine, I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. I am getting up out of this bed, getting myself dressed, getting these children clothed and fed and we are going to church.”

When I arrived to service, my head was hurting so bad, until I wondered if I had made the right decision. Then I took my mind off my situation, and I began to give God praise. I began to share how I was feeling and I rebuked my headache – got in the pulpit to welcome members, family, and friends to the church service. When I spoke how death could not hold Jesus down…honey – can I tell you that the pain left. That headache did not hold me down.

There is POWER in the name of Jesus!

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What we see manifested in our lives is a product of what we say. If we really could grasp this concept, we would see a positive shift in our lives. Some negative things that have transpired, would not have had to, if we had spoken life and not death; victory, and not defeat.

God’s word also says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. I need the word just as much as the next person and you must have that same mentality. I go to church to hear a word from the Lord, to equip and prepare me for what I may be faced with in the week to come. I go to church so I can get to the altar – the place where the Spirit flows, and where I can pour out my heart, without distractions, from a humble and pure place. Sure, I do this at home, but it is something about that altar.

I know sometimes your struggles may seem bigger than God; but the word of God is greater than your struggle. Your struggle is just like the enemy. He comes in AS a roaring lion, seeking to devour you. He is NOT a lion, but his bark is loud.

1 Peter 5:8  (NKJV)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

When I consider the affects of a migraine headache, it can be debilitating, making one nauseous, sensitive to light, short-tempered, and unwilling to be bothered by anyone. What struggles do you need to speak to that is behaving LIKE a roaring lion?

Life can be a struggle and leave us wondering where God is; but remember:

God > The Struggle

We must not allow our struggles to separate us from the love of Jesus.

Romans 8:35-39 (NKJV)
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Can I Get a Witness?

Do you have “yes” friends or will your friends keep you accountable? Do your friends help you stay saved or help you destroy your life? Do you seek for people who will help justify your decisions and not keep you accountable?

Who you are associated with paints the picture of who you are.

Your circle of friends does not have to be large. Your friends should motivate and inspire you to stay on the straight and narrow.

I believe this: Any friend that has become an enemy has been hating from day 1.

I’m Just Saying…

Look at this story of true friendship. In Mark the 2 chapter, there was a man who was paralyzed. Maybe he had heard of Jesus and the healing He was doing all over the land. Maybe he confided in his friends: “If I could only get to where Jesus is.” Maybe his friends had heard that Jesus would be near and wanted to give their friend a fighting chance. I do not know and for this devotion, it does not really matter. What matters is they wanted better for their friend.

  • They had seen his struggles.
  • They knew his life story.
  • They knew how challenging life had become for him.

What is so amazing is the desperate faith of the paralytic man’s friends.

  1. The 4 men carried their friend to where Jesus was.
  2. When they could not get close enough to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof to get to Jesus.
  3. Then the 4 of them let their friend down.

Because of the faith of his friends, Jesus heals the paralytic man and He receives salvation.

Mark 2:3-5
Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

When my faith is at a “quarter tank,” I need friends who will refuel me.

  1. What lengths have you gone through, to introduce Jesus to your closest friends?
  2. Are they convincing you to follow them or can you convince them to follow you?
  3. Do they even see your faith?
  4. Do they have a respect for your faith – not to approach you with anything contrary to the word of God?

If you don’t have that type of friend take a look in the mirror. It begins with you! What are you seeking after? Is your salvation so common that the power holds no value in your life? How desperate are you to see the salvation of Christ presented to all that you are connected with?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

My Hope

What if someone told you that all of your disappointments, heartbreaks, tragedies, traumas, losses…everything that we have every experienced would have an end result of happiness that we could not imagine? All of the crying, worrying, and anxiety would not compare – matter of fact, we when we look back and smile at how we were able to overcome so many burdens.

Someone did tell us that, but we do not believe it.

Romans 8:28  (NKJV)
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Maybe we do not understand what the word “all” means. All is: fully, all of, completely, entirely, thoroughly, through and through (Oh God), totally, utterly.

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If we did, as a follower of Jesus, we would not be so bipolar with our living sacrifice. We would stop living like it’s B.C. (before Christ).

One moment, we believe God for the impossible, the next, we are so fed up with God, that we are willing to drop everything connected to Him. I wonder if it were a real sacrifice to hear a word through God’s ordained minister, if we would be more intentional in our walk. I was reading this book entitled: “Chase the Lion.” The author was expressing how he had spoken at a Pastor’s conference and how humbling it was to be there in the midst of many prominent people. But what was more humbling was the fact that the author shared a stage with a Minister of God who oversees a church in Damascus, the capital city of Syria. His life is in danger everyday and the congregants walk down what they call “sniper alley” every day, just to worship together. People are killed daily, for going to church. The people of God believe, that God is their refuge – a very PRESENT help during this troubled time. So, they gird up their loins for the journey to be present with the Holy Spirit and to feel His presence, not knowing what awaits them on the otherside of that door, or while they are in the midst of worship.

Here in this country, we have been gifted the freedom to freely worship our Father, and we validate any excuse as legitimate to not assemble ourselves together.

We have been given hope. Do you realize there are people who have not been granted access to this hope, which is in Jesus? Having been given this hope, Christians should be the most relaxed, the most grateful, the most hopeful, the most confident and usually it is the opposite. Even on the worse of the worse days, the joy of the Lord should be enough strength to carry us through. What is the joy of the Lord? The very fact that someone believed in you, never turned their back on you, gave you a hope and a future, did not judge you, but rather welcomed you without a specific criteria – without having millions of followers on Instagram (You know that “group” of people you are trying to gain the attention of?) You have the attention of THE Creator – the one who created the one you want to notice you – and you overlook Him, to get to the creation.

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Faith an worry cannot coexist.
Hope and fear cannot coexist.

One has to go – and you have to decide which one will take up residence in your life. I have decided to place my hope in the word of God. It is quick and it is powerful. It is the only book that has transformed my life and given me substance. It is the only book where I can feel the presence of God and the Holy Spirit speaking to me, on how to please Him and to be purposeful in my life. It is because this book is not just a book; it is a navigation system that will guide me to my Savior. I have hope in His word.

Psalm 119:114  (NIV)
You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

A Miracle in the Mess

Jesus had a friend who died. His name was Lazarus. He loved Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary (John 11:5).

Now I don’t know if Jesus intentionally delayed returning to town, so the miracle could be performed on His dear friend, if He was grieving, or if it was a tad bit of both because the Bible says:

John 11:35 (NKJV)
Jesus wept.

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Not only did He weep, Jesus stated in John 11:15 that He was glad Lazarus had died to the intent that they (the disciples) would believe. So, Jesus had some issues with his followers believing the vision God had given them…mmmm hmmmm, see. There is NOTHING new under the sun.

Back to bewailing of Jesus – some people are just emotional and will “weep” with those who weep; but if there is no individual connection to the person who transitioned (died), we tend to have empathy towards the family, say a prayer and send condolences but not just ball out. Jesus was grieving – Honey, He was shedding some serious tears. In fact, when Jesus got to the grave in John 11:38, He was still groaning within Himself.

John 11:38 (NKJV)
Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.

Lazarus sister named Mary, met Jesus on the road, when she learned that Jesus was on His way back to town to come see Lazarus. She was distraught and frustrated. Mary, knowing the miraculous powers that Jesus had demonstrated throughout the neighborhoods, says in what seems to be a frustrating tone: “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

See, Mary wanted what SHE wanted. Well – Mary, that’s not entirely true.

Jesus always professed that His will was to do that of His Father in Heaven; so, if God’s will was for Lazarus to be at rest, Lazarus would have remained resting. But…as we know, this was not the case. Jesus asks Mary where Lazarus was laid, she takes Him there, and Lazarus comes forth out of the grave clothes, his burial site and there sat Lazarus as an example of the glory of God to be revealed and for the naysayers to believe that Jesus was who He said He was.

Before all this transpired, it was a mess:

  • The Jews in Judea were looking to kill (stone Jesus).
  • The disciples were clueless with understanding what Jesus was saying in the Spirit.
  • Thomas talking about let’s go die with Lazarus.
  • Another disciple was talking about if Lazarus is sleep, he should be fine.
  • Lazarus had already been dead 4 days and that process of decomposition had kicked in…

– Just a mess!

Had Jesus focused on the environment, what the people were saying, their unbelief, and not the instructions of His Father, they all would have missed the miracle.

Oh, but remember when sin had you bound, and your spiritual life was dead? Had the Holy Spirit not led someone to you, to redeem you from your mess, the miracle of salvation would have never been.

Don’t miss the miracle, focusing on the mess!