History!

Have you ever broken a school record or witnessed someone else breaking a record in an athletic event?

Do you remember when Brett Favre started 297 games straight? How about when Jerry Rice scored 22 touchdowns in 12 games? What about Usain Bolt and all of the records he broke in Track and Field?

Do you remember the first The first African American female Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 2005–2009 or the first African American female  television host- but of course, Oprah Winfrey? Where were you in 1986, when the space shuttle Challenger disaster occurred or September 11, 2001, when two planes were hijacked and flown into the Twin Towers in New York City? Hurricane Katrina, Harvey? President Barak Obama…need I say more?

Keep living and you will continue to witness history. At every stage of your life, you can recall a major event and remember where you were and what you were doing.

The story of Jesus tells like none other. Many Hollywood movies have been created to capture His time here on Earth, His message, His anguish, and His victory. He did not go through all of this for fame. In fact, this world’s system of fame and fortune would not have been an adequate reward. The recognition that Jesus sought was the glory of His Father, to be revealed through His legacy, life, and history. And Jesus did all of it for YOU!

From birth to death and beyond the grave, can you imagine what it felt like to be rejected of many and followed by most because of the things you could provide? Can you imagine the emotional hurt (you do know he was wrapped in flesh as we are which means Jesus had feelings too, right?) of people not following you to really understand who you are, what you like/dislike, what your passions are, what your goals are, where you come from, and your purpose?

Oh…but wait a minute.

This still happening today. Most people still reject who Jesus is but they desire to receive what the things that He can offer based on what they have heard or seen Him do for others.

Can you imagine the inward battles and thoughts of the 12 Disciples who followed Jesus? Think about the ridicule and rejection they received from their childhood friends and co-workers. What about the lack of support and understanding from their families who probably thought they were crazy to leave everything to follow this…MAN, who had no where to live, no possessions…and yet…He still had everything He needed because His Father supplied it. Everything they experienced became a part of History…His-story!

How about this one.

Do you remember how you felt when you completely surrendered to the will of our Heavenly Father? It was at that moment, You became a part of history…HIS-STORY.

Have you ever been rejected by family and loved ones because you didn’t do what “they” thought was best for you? You didn’t marry who they thought would be in your best interest. You did not place the children in the school “they” thought was better. You’re too good now, “they” say because you decided to give your life to Christ and that means separating yourself from anyone or anything that is not like Him. Well, now…You became a part of history…HIS-STORY!

Every moment of your life that led to total submission to the Lord is and was a part of history. You are a part of His-Story. Guess what? Your place in His-Story will be talked about forever. Yes your testimony will save the young lady’s life who does not want to live anymore because she feels no one will believe her story of abuse and molestation by a family member. Your story, which is now HIS-Story will help that young man who struggles with fitting in. So he associates with other young men who rob and steal or sell drugs. He does not want to but He sees no other way out…until he learns of your story which is HIS-Story! Your story will help that person struggling with depression and suicide; outwardly things seem okay but inwardly they struggle with loving themselves.

You have purpose and you have meaning in every breath that you take. While you may never stand behind a physical podium to share HIS-Story and what it means to you, everyday we awake, we arise to the podium of life. That podium and stage is set for you to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He made history. His-story was and is to make you better!

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

 

Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:1-11, 19 NLT)

An Opportune Offer

I am a firm believer that each encounter with someone happens for a reason. We cross paths with people for a purpose. For example:

  • Have you ever been in an aisle at the store, started a conversation with someone and then found yourself talking about the goodness of the Lord? Maybe on that day, you needed that extra boost to keep pressing forward. Or, maybe the person you spoke with struggled with their faith.
  • Have you ever been at a school function and someone made a comment to you about your child and his/her conduct? Your response led them to believe that you were a believer and you soon found yourself more in tune with the conversation than the event?
  • Have you been on your job and a co-worker passed by, noticing the inspirational messages you have posted on your wall about Jesus or your Bible sitting on the desk and they begin to open up to you and express areas of struggles in their lives?

Every day the Lord places people in our paths for us to allow His light to shine. It’s an opportunity for us to put Him on display.

Do people recognize a difference in you? If you would not verbally state that you are a believer of Jesus Christ and a doer of His word, would they believe you or be in total shock and disbelief because your actions show otherwise?

If you stepped outside of yourself and met YOU on the street, would you think that you were a Christian?

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”Matthew‬ ‭12:33‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Make the most of every opportunity to represent Jesus!

Dear Father, I thank you for another day. Allow me to recognize the opportunities you have placed before me to inspire and bring hope to others. When that Day of Judgment comes, I do not want to stand before you, with my life flashing before my eyes, as if a person is skimming through a magazine. You show me all of the people you placed before me. Then you ask: “Why didn’t you take the time to plant a seed of righteousness to share with these people who I am? Since you decided not to talk about me, they experienced more hardships than was necessary. Since you didn’t uplift my name, the cares of the world consumed them. Since you neglected the gift within you, the gift I placed in them was malnourished, mistreated and never opened. Since you conformed to the world, they didn’t transform. They never came to fullness of their purpose.” Oh my Father, you are my Father. I recognize that the light I have is only because of you. I do not want to be a stumbling block to anyone. I realize your words will reach all and give all an opportunity to choose you. I just don’t want to be the delay. I thank you for choosing me to change lives. That’s a big responsibility; but as long as you are covering me, speaking through me and leading me, I can do it and I will do it. I will not let you down. I look forward to the day, to hear you say: “I am proud of you my daughter.” I humbly ask that you accept this prayer in the name of Jesus, amen.

Desperately Seeking

Have you ever misplaced something? You were ready to leave home and suddenly, you realized that you forgot something. Your keys are not in your purse or pocket; but why would this be of any surprise? It’s Monday, right? Of course, the morning did not start as planned, you were rushing – and it’s time to get to work NOW or traffic on the freeway will be horrible. Your keys are not where you last remembered. You check under sofa pillows, on the floor, in the garbage, inside the dirty clothes hamper, your purse, you ask the children – all while racking your brain to recall the last jacket (or purse) you wore, so you can check those places as well. You were seeking, diligently (with intent and purpose).

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John 4:23-24 (NKJV)
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Imagine God searching for someone to worship Him.

 

He is diligently pursuing someone who desires to connect with Him, so that He can reveal His work through us. The key is that we desire Him.

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Luke 11:9 (NKJV)

If WE seek, we will find.
If We knock, the door will open.

These acts of faith require us to make the first move.

God is seeking for you today. He is searching diligently for someone to just worship Him. After all He does for us, the least we can do is offer Him a moment. Better yet I dare you to put on your headphones in the cubicle while at work and play your favorite worship song. Think about where you were this time last year in your life and where you are today. You gone mess around and forget your problem and focus on the problem solver. You may have to take a quick break to the bathroom, go into one of those stalls and get your praise on.

God has a reward for your diligent search of Him.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

Let’s pray: Lord, I just want to take this time to say thank you! I really can’t say it enough. How you care for us and love us so. Oftentimes that love is distorted by an illusion the enemy sends. He has us looking at the circumstances, questioning you as to why things have not changed. Then, you send someone, your messenger, to share with us that you see our afflictions and pain and you know what we are dealing with. You know what we are acquainted with. You always provide a message of hope just to let us know not to give up on you. To doubt who you are is complete foolery.
The sun has been shining for centuries – no man can do that!
The moon and stars have aligned in various formations from the beginning; no man can do that.

Forgive us for diligently seeking spouses, businesses, acceptance amongst our peers, more than your presence. For you can cause us to have favor with you and man. If we truly sought your presence and humbled ourselves, the changes and the impact we desire to see in our community would occur. You told us if we humbled ourselves, sought you, and prayed, you would heal the land (2 Chronicles 7:14). So, the question is if we haven not witnessed a change in the land, are we truly seeking you for guidance? There are no words to describe who you are and what you do. Lord, you leave me speechless. I cannot live without you and quite honestly, I do not want to try; I have been down that road already and it proved to be eternally destructive. Holy Spirit, I ask that would you make groanings on our behalf that cannot be uttered, to present to our Savior, Jesus, and that He would be willing to accept in honor and admiration of who He is and what He means to us. I humbly ask that you accept this moment of acknowledgement and prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Perfect Peace

As you become older and wiser, you begin to recognize that peace is invaluable. I have NO problem sitting in the house all day. There used to be a time where I would become antsy and had to do something- I’m so over those days, but I call this a variation of peace.

What are the attributes of peace?

  • Having peace on your job creates better productivity and focus.
  • Peace within your parental relationships creates trust, respect, and a listening ear from both children and the parents.
  • Peace within your marriage just makes everything BETTER!
  • Peace within yourself means that no matter the situation, you are confident that the resolution will work in your favor and that you’ll be better because of “it” (whatever “it may be).

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The Word of God talks about a perfect peace, but “perfect peace?” How so?

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

“So, God, you saying if I focus on you, I’ll experience PERFECT peace?” It seems next to impossible to keep your mind focused on God at all times while trying to balance life but here is the key:

  • Perfect peace is obtained by focusing on the peace maker and not the peace breaker. Okay, I’m about to run…i PROMISE you!
  • Perfect peace is the absence of any disturbance within your soul, although trouble surrounds you (come on here, Jesus)!

If we remain focused on the Lord, not the issues, we experience that peace which the Bible says (Philippians 4:7) surpasses all understanding. It’s that peace, where you begin to have conversations within yourself like: “okay…I KNOW I’m supposed to be upset, but I’m not even tripping.”

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“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 NKJV

Listen here. Can I tell you something? Perfect peace is not the absence of stress, bae bae, it is what you do in the mist of it (oh I almost jumped out of this chair).

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Perfect peace is experienced when we believe that Jesus both gave and left His peace for us. Perfect peace becomes possible when we understand His goodness and power, His mercy and love for His children, and we recognize that God. Is. In. Control.

In John 14:27, Jesus says he left and gave us His peace. We cannot fully accept something left for us if we do not know the person who left it. I can appreciate a wedding gift from an attendee who was invited by a member of the wedding party, but if I do not personally know the person, I do not appreciate the effort, the value, or the sacrifice (Jesus you talking TUHDAY, sir).

Only God can bring peace from affliction. I encourage you on today, to get to know Jesus, so that you may get to know perfect peace.

I Can

We are only limited by the restrictions that we place on ourselves – starting with the defeated thoughts from the mind.

If we realize just how powerful our thoughts are, we would never think negatively.

Let’s begin today with: “I can…”

  • I can build a successful business.
  • I can be happy.
  • I can make a difference.
  • I can forgive others who have wronged me.
  • I can believe in myself.
  • I can break the generational cursing.
  • I can begin the cycle of generational blessings.
  • I can influence my family through my faith in Jesus.
  • I can be content in my season of singleness.
  • I can be supportive of my spouse.
  • I can love my neighbor as myself.
  • I can control my eating habits.
  • I can control my spending habits.
  • I can refuse to allow others to unload garbage and gossip into my ears.
  • I can love those who reject me.
  • I can be who and what I was purposed to become.
  • I can stretch myself beyond my expectations.
  • I can be the lender and not the borrower.
  • I can be new in Jesus Christ.
  • I can be set free from all of my past mistakes.
  • I can be a beacon of light and a ray of hope for someone, even if it is myself.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

Your life is filled with choices. The choices either produce a harvest of good or a harvest of bad fruit in your life. You have the choice!

You become what you believe! If you change your mind, you can change your life.

Constancy

The morning makes way for the evening hours. The day brings forth the sun and clouds in the sky. Night gives way to the moon and stars; Infants become toddlers, teens and adults. The child becomes the parent. The student becomes the teacher.

Knowledge does not always produce wisdom, if the information is not applied.

God’s love is constant. If we confess to be in Him and He in us, so should our love be also.

There is a biblical principle which states to love our neighbors as ourselves. The ability to love others implies that you love yourself. Your level of love for others is contingent upon how much you love you. If you do not love you, it is an unfortunate truth that you will not love others, because you do not have the capacity to do that. So what do you do?

Take care of you first. Learn to love yourself as God loved us. How can we be believers of Christ and not believe in ourselves? How can we demonstrate the genuine love of God and not have love within ourselves?

“The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8 CEB

The greatest lesson in all that we go through, is that we must learn how love can be used to change the world.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 NKJV

Take life as it comes. Everything is a love learning experience. What will you do? Will you remain constantly stagnated, complaining about how others mistreat you?

The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love. If anyone says, I love God, and hates a brother or sister, he is a liar, because the person who doesn’t love a brother or sister who can be seen can’t love God, who can’t be seen.” 1 John 4:8, 20 CEB

The only constancy in life is change.

The only constancy beyond this life, is Jesus. Once you get Jesus, everything changes.

The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love.

We have known and have believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who remain in love remain in God and God remains in them. This is how love has been perfected in us, so that we can have confidence on the Judgment Day, because we are exactly the same as God is in this world.

We love because God first loved us.” 1 John 4:8, 16-17, 19 CEB

In Him We Live

Good Morning,

It has been an interesting week to say the very least. Families that are close to us loss a loved one. I actually should rephrase the statement.

A loss is understood to be an instance of losing. When you have served the Lord faithfully, and He has approved your service to Him, how can a transition to eternity, staring in the face of my Savior of whom I experienced a small portion of His power- now I get to witness Him in the fullness of His glory- how can this be attributed to a loss? In fact, the Apostle Paul calls it a gain.

For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. Philippians 1:21 (NLT)

If I live, I am living to allow the light of my Savior to shine through me so that I may be an example of His work, with the ultimate goal of saving someone from the pit of Hell, waddling in their mistakes and sorrow.

Which leads me to the point of today’s devotion. The young man that transitioned last week Friday had no health ailments. He was not on any medications; he was not found to have had a heart attack, stroke, or brain aneurysm or anything horrible. It was simply his time.

We are programmed to believe that something has to be wrong with someone for them to leave this Earth; but isn’t that the way to transition? Not to have any ailment, to work in full strength for the Lord, and for Him to be pleased and have us completely resting in His arms? I must confess, when I heard the news, once again, I had a mental list of people who I could potentially propose to the Lord. It is the same thing I did when my mother passed just 9 months ago. Not that my judgement was valid – not that I would be worthy of even presenting an option – no not like that. It was more of a question of: “why?” A sense of shock and confusion. During my thoughts, the scripture came to my mind:

for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Acts 17:28 (NKJV)

GOD IS IN CONTROL!

It is only in Him that we still have breath in our bodies. There is no healthy eating regimen, no vitamin, no fountain of youth that will extend your life. Taking care of your body prevents diseases and illnesses from coming upon us, but God is in control!

We live because of Him.

We have the capability to lift our arms, move our legs, sit down and stand up, blink our eyes, open our mouths to receive food and water for nourishment, because of Him.

We exist. BECAUSE. OF. GOD.

So the question remains, why are we still here? Well, there are a couple of reasons.

Either God’s purpose for your life – the reason why He created you in the first place, has not been fulfilled, or…

You are not ready to leave this place.

You see, the enemy has set out to make His kingdom greater than our Father’s through manipulation of God’s precious creation – YOU! You are the ONLY creature that God blessed, after He created (Genesis 1:28). You are the ONLY creature, God created in His image and like Him. You are the ONLY creature who God gave the ability to think and make your own choices (which sometimes is to a fault).

The enemy’s desire is to hurt God to the core – through what He loves the most – through His babies, who are the apple of His eye…that is YOU! Don’t you see it? Can you not perceive this? So – God will and did not allow the enemy to take our lives when or if it meant that we would burn in Hell and we would not be with Him. God continues to extend mercy and grace, so that no one is loss. That is the love of God.

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. Titus 3:3-7 (NLT)

God desires that none should perish.

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. 2 Peter 3:9-10 (NLT)

You may question or wonder about the person who died, who you knew did not live for the Lord, and whose life did not reflect any light of Christ. Well, I am reminded of a passage of scripture in the Bible. As Jesus was hanging on the cross, two other men were on each side of Him, both identified as criminals. The one questioned who Jesus was, but the other did not. He asked the Lord to remember Him, when Jesus entered into paradise. The one thief believed and at that moment, Jesus said to the thief that asked for remembrance that he would be with Jesus in paradise.

They both had a choice, in their dying situation, to accept God. The Bible does not suggest they were believers in any other scripture, yet the one, although he did his own thing, believed who Jesus was. Although his life did not glorify God, he understood the power of Jesus. We are only introduced to the criminals on the cross, as they had a 1-on-1 conversation with the Savior. In their dying hour- they had an opportunity to choose Jesus.

This here proves that we cannot judge anyone. In someone’s dying hour, before their last breath, we do not know what conversation they had with God. So it is our job to always be ready to give an answer about the hope that we have and the grace that has been extended to us by God, through Jesus Christ. It is our responsibility to talk about repentance and forgiveness of sins. One day, it may be our words thar ring in the ears of the very one you thought was not listening- to ask the Lord to remember them and forgive them.

Remember who you live for. Remember why you live and live on purpose. Stop living among dead things – dead relationships, dead works/old habits, dead beliefs that your dreams cannot be fulfilled. Jesus rose from the dead, so you could rise up for your death, into abundant life.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV)

It is in Him that we live, move, and have our being!