Advancing

Advance: To accelerate the growth or progress of something; to move forward.

From the point of introducing who God is in the book of Genesis, to the revelation of Jesus and who Jesus is, in the book of Revelation, the entire focus or main theme of the Bible centers around the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

How do we advance God’s Kingdom? By revelation, inspiration and manifestation of His word through us. It is then our responsibility to demonstrate in love, how the word of God word is alive and how our lives were transformed by it.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)

God’s word is alive and active, but only if we activate it. Jesus is our example of advancement. He believed what His Father told Him about His future and Jesus acted upon it.

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Isaiah 11:1-4 (NKJV)

Jesus’ actions were depicted by first compelling 12 assistants, who also believed in what Jesus said His Father told him. Once He trained and empowered the 12, Jesus then told them to advance the Kingdom of God:

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16 (NIV)

Jesus believed in His future. If you do not believe in your future, you do not believe in advancement. So, what’s stopping you from advancing? I can tell you.

It’s not lack resources.

It’s not having the connections.

It’s not the lack of opportunities because of where you live.

It is you. You are stopping yourself from advancing. What you think of yourself prevents you from fulfilling your dream and purpose.

But even when we finally move ourselves out of the way, we can only go as far as our intelligence.

In Christ, you can go as far as God goes (ooh it’s too early to be this excited – Jeeesuusss). How far can God go? He told us right here:

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)

Isn’t that powerful?

God can go above and beyond what we can imagine – according to His power working in us. This means we are limitless. That is how we can be the lender and not the borrower, above and not beneath.

As children of the highest God, we should be:

  • Advancing in our spiritual live.
  • Advancing in our business.
  • Advancing in our relationships.
  • Advancing in our education.
  • Advancing in wisdom and knowledge.
  • Advancing in compelling souls to experience this limitless life that we now have access to.

So, tell me again, what is preventing you from advancing?

I Asked You for Some Stuff Too!

“You have been asking me for a few things; true indeed, I did tell you that you could do that (Matthew 7:7). But…I asked some things of you as well. Did you forget?

  • I asked you to love them that intentionally misuse you. (Matthew 5:44)
  • I asked you to show them who I am by how you live. (Matthew 5:16)
  • You can reward me by the fruit you produce (Psalms 127:3). I asked you to train and impart in them and you left them so you “could do you.” (Proverbs 22:6)
  • I asked you to be patient, and you are giving up. (Psalms 40:1)
  • I asked you to introduce others to me but how can you when you won’t spend time with me? (James 4:8)

I understand that when you were younger, you did not have someone physically present to demonstrate who I am; but those excuses are no more. Now that you are of age, I have introduced you to me. You know I have kept you. You know that I have loved you with an everlasting love. You know I have forgiven you. Stop placing the blame on others. Take back control of your life.

I gave you the power to get over anything or anyone who has come up against you. I asked you stop acting like the victim…I made you the victor. You are an over comer.

1 John 4:4 (NKJV)
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

You asked me for some things, and I have asked you for some things too. I always come through for you. You are the apple of my eye.

Zechariah 2:8 (NKJV)
For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.

When will you fulfill the requests I have of you?”

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– A conversation I envision God having with His children. There is no need to ask what our Father desires of us. He already told us. It is now up to us to show Him just how much we love Him.

Decisions, Decisions

Making decisions is probably the most crucial act of all in our lives. In fact, the Lord gave us the ability to even choose if we want to be with Him. Although He is loving and demonstrates it everyday, it’s almost as if God is saying: “Okay, if you think you will find something better, go right ahead.”

“But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But my family and I will serve the LORD.” Joshua‬ ‭24:15‬ ‭CEB‬‬

Doing and following through on your decisions is equally important. Your decisions have a major impact on your life.

Life basically boils down to this: Making the right decisions and the follow through. Making the right decision, however, depends on your emotional state. Having the wrong frame of mind will cause you to make the wrong decision, thinking that what you have decided upon is the best decision for your life. This produces what I’d like to call a “dysfunctional decision.”

A dysfunctional decision a condition of having poor, unhealthy behaviors and attitudes which can cause a person to function in an abnormal or unusual way.

The Bible shares with us a story two sons and their dad, in the book of Luke, the 15th chapter. For the purposes of this devotion, we focus on the younger son. The younger son asks his dad for his share of his inheritance because he was out- he was done!!! He was getting away from his father, his older brother and everything he knew. He was ready to “do him” and live it up, on his own and do his own thing.

Here is what I wonder: The young man had it made. What prompted him to even desire to leave? I have no idea but the audacity of him. First of all, inheritance was typically given to the older son and the older was in control- unless the dad had already communicated what was gone be when he passed on. Hence the second point: The dad was STILL living. I could imagine the dad thinking: “So you asking for rights to something while I’m still here?” 🤔

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Dad didn’t get an attitude. He granted his younger son’s request and the son went on his way. Pretty soon, after all the money is gone and the so called “best friends” have moved on, the younger son recognizes that he acted on emotion. He made a dysfunctional decision.

The prodigal (young) son made a dysfunctional decision that led him to hang out with the little piggies. However, hanging out with the little piggies actually worked on his behalf because the irrational and dysfunctional patterns disappeared- when the prodigal son was left with nothing but his thoughts; thoughts of who really loved him and not what he possessed. Thoughts of what really mattered in life.

Have you ever found yourself in a state of reality? After you had done all that you could think to do, deviating from the right thing, you were left alone to deal with the consequences of your behavior. And guess who was waiting? Your Father. He saw how the world was trying to beat you to a pulp. He could have intervened but he wanted you to want Him. When you came to your senses, your Father didn’t bring up your past. Although you had to suffer from choices you made, he welcomed you home with open arms. Just to have his son/daughter…safe in His arms, was all that mattered.

Do not allow yourself to have a “brain fart” as this young mad did. Sin is like a spiritual disease that corrupts our hearts and minds, causing dysfunctional behavior.

Let us not get entangled in the worldly behaviors. Truth be told, we aren’t from here. We need to begin conducting ourselves as visitors and not permanent residents.

I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” ‭‭John‬ ‭17:14-19‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

You Have Been Pre-Selected

The enemy always tries to make us feel unworthy but he has nothing to do with what I am about to share. Are you ready?

God, YOUR Father through Jesus. Has blessed you.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 1:3, KJV)

The only way someone can be a blessing TO you, is if they are ALREADY blessed.

The definition of bless means “to confer (bestow) prosperity or happiness upon.”

Ephesians 1:3 begins with saying our Father is blessed: “Blessed be…” What is God blessed with?

  • He is blessed with peace
  • He is blessed with power
  • He is blessed strength
  • He is blessed with healing
  • He is blessed with grace and mercy
  • He is blessed with forgiveness
  • He is blessed financially
  • He is blessed with stability (He is consistent)

God is saying: “I can bless you because I am blessed. And I gave you access to the blessings through Jesus Christ.”

In fact every good gift comes from God.

“Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all.” James 1:17 CEB

If your image of God is not right, you will exalt your problem. Your problem presents an image of being cursed and becomes so big that it becomes your God. Your problem is not your issue. Your eyes are.

YOU.

ARE.

BLESSED.

Your problem is a tool to grant you access to your blessing. How? Your problem is designed to make you refocus on the Lord and to remember where you help comes from.

God’s original plan was for His children to experience prosperity, peace, and fulfillment, but that design was interrupted when sin entered the world.

Statements of blessings are a wish for God to restore His favor on you. The ultimate blessing that God has given is new life and forgiveness that comes through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. The material blessings we enjoy from day to day are temporary, but the spiritual blessings are forever.

So go ahead. Be blessed…

because you were pre-selected (chosen) to be so.

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,” Ephesians 1:11 ESV

God is in Control

It’s the start of a new week and a new day. Things that can be easily done, are also easily taken for granted. For example, you wouldn’t think about not having the ability to breathe unless you were suddenly faced with wearing an oxygen mask or if you were involved in an accident involving partial removal of your lungs.

We simply cannot take life, breath and the act of moving for granted.

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As we head towards the closure of the day, consider this:

  • Someone is holding the hand of a loved one for the last time.
  • Someone is sacrificing their life to bring forth life through child birth.
  • Someone will close their eyes to lay themselves down to sleep, only to never open them.

Our life is not our own. It behooves us how we treat ourselves and others.

Romans 14:12
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

  • What are you doing when you leave the grounds of the sanctuary?
  • What are you saying when you get into your vehicle to yourself, your spouse, or whoever you carpooled with?
  • Are you doing what you do for the glory of God to be revealed through you or because you are gifted?
  • Do you talk to your children differently in church than at home? You know, more harshly? A non-loving tone? Less patient? Abrasive in your speech?
  • Are you wishing, pleading and praying that your co-worker loses the job, so the two of you have no more dealings (but wait! What if that’s the person you need to reach and to display the character of Jesus to)?

What are you thinking and saying in your mind, but have not verbally stated?

Psalm 139:2 (NKJV)
You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.

What are you doing and saying in the presence of God? We are not in control as we think we are. If we understood this, perhaps our daily activities, thoughts and calculated steps would be different.

Let us remember today: God is in control!

Proverbs 15:3
The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

Love Yourself

In the book of Matthew, Jesus was having a discussion with the Scribes about the greatest commandment. Well – Jesus was not actually having a conversation. The Scribes (who had authority to draft legal documents such as marriage agreements, sale of land, etc. and known to be well versed in the scripture) sought to test Jesus after he had put the Pharisees in their place regarding the subject of paying taxes and then the Sadducees about the resurrection (who say there is no resurrection). Jesus put all these social movements in place, according to the word , which they claimed to have a great comprehension.

The Scribes proposed the question about the greatest commandment. Jesus responded about how deep our love for God should be. Our Love for God should trump EVERYTHING!

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38 (NKJV)

The capacity to love others is based upon how much you love yourself. The Bible is all about self-care:

  • You repent.
  • You cleanse your hands
  • You draw near to God and then He will come to you.
  • You cast your cares on Him.
  • You separate yourself.
  • You forgive others so you can be forgiven.
  • You overcome evil with good.

The ability to see the love of God, through Jesus Christ, and all that has been sacrificed for us, is based upon our capacity to recognize our need and interdependence on God. Once we recognize that an abundant life filled with peace, deliverance, and love is an option, the question then becomes if we love ourselves enough to desire the best for ourselves and anything connected to us.

It is easy to say: “I love me.” If you love you, the opinions of others and their inability to love themselves will have less impact on you. You will love them through their faults because you understand what it means to say that you love you, but your behavior implies that you are unhappy with yourself.

Love yourself. Value yourself. Once you do that, you’ll be able to do the same for others – as God commands.

And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39 (NKJV)

Affirmation: “I will value myself to show value to myself as I value others.”

Great Expectations

Have you ever been let down by someone who promised to fulfill a request of yours? You just needed a foot in the door. They had the connection you needed. What you needed was not as important to them as it was you.

Maybe the completion of your job is contingent upon someone else completing their tasks and they did not come through which pushed the project schedule past the due date; however, the appearance of it looks as if you did not do what YOU needed to do.

Maybe you interviewed for a job and the feedback during the interview went SO well, that you were expecting to receive a call back with the next steps to confirm your start date.

  • Maybe you’re waiting for that man to propose to you.
  • Maybe you’re waiting to get the attention of that person…
  • Maybe you’re waiting for the doctor’s prognosis to change…
  • Maybe you were expecting the business you worked for to operate in integrity as you do 👀

Maybe…just maybe, you are expecting something from someone who can not do anything for your situation.

Bae baeeee you may have too much confidence in flesh (people). You better learn how to talk to yourself- yes YOU- talk to you.

Please talk to yourself- not yourself but to the CORE of who you are. Your soul better tell you fleshly self to shut up and sit down and where your expectation comes from.

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” Psalms 62:5 KJV

My soul…My soul…MY soul! You better wait on God. My expectation is from my Father.

Yeah-

  • I anticipate hearing from Him what my next move should be.
  • I anticipate Him touching the heart of that person to connect with me to do My Father’s will so He can get the glory out of my life, my job, my children, my marriage.
  • I contemplate hearing from my Father the specific instructions that will keep me on that path of my purpose- the reason why I even exist.

Listennnn! Stop placing your expectations in people. God is our rock. God is our strength. God is my refuge. God is my defense and I have GREAT expectations of Him as He does of me, as His child.

GLORY!!!!