Saturday, March 29, 2014

God's Not Dead



                        



In case you were wondering... God is not dead. He's surely alive! The God that created the universe and place the stars in the sky is the very same God that created you and I. He created mankind in His likeness and declared that it was good (Genesis 1:26-31). He saw something great in the pre-existing you and I that in spite of all that is humanly possible for us to mess up, He had a plan. A plan that would reconcile us back to Himself  even when we go astray. A plan that is a covenant; a legal binding contract, that guarantees that which only He can give. Eternal life (John 3:16) that is an assured secured life with Him (Romans 8:38-39).

God is looking for a people that will declare His sovereignty and with boldness stand up "not ashamed of the gospel" (2Timothy2:15)

 Mark 8:38 NIV
[38] If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Romans 1:16 NIV
[16] For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
 
I don't find it coincidental that the theaters have had several faith based movies in the past few months. I say it's about time. It's time for believers to stand up, "Loud and Proud" to be in relationship with the one true God. I believe God would have us to proclaim " the Good News" of salvation to the world with the same passion and zeal as we share our views of politics, our philosophies, ideologies and Facebook status. As this world's system has for years attempted to silence the church, it is now time to stand up, speak up and no longer tolerate in silence the ungodly. I see these movies as an attempt to stir up those that are in the body of believers to Arise! 

So Arise and Proclaim the Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ. That it was for the world that he died and was buried, resurrected and seated in at the right hand of God the Father. So that all who would believe will be saved from the curse of sin and death (Acts 16:31).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's All Good

Romans 8:28 KJV
[28] And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

It is amazing to me how I waste time, energy and focus on  problem solving situations in my life. By design I am a problem solver, a detail oriented planner and organizer but God doesn't always need my help in strategizing problems I face. This scripture  gives me a clear and concise answer. It says, I am to KNOW that ALL things work together for the good of them that love God. Hmmm, so why am I stressing? I love God, therefore the promise is found in my relationship with Him not you, not my friends and family or strategies.  Not only do I love God but I know that I have been called according to His purpose. We all have been called by God  for the purpose of reconciling mankind back unto Him (2 Corinthians 5:17).  

So why do we get tripped up on the negative effects of situations in our lives? Could it be that our perspectives have become distorted by the cares and culture of the world? You know the statistical data that declares to you, how you are to respond with dysfunction. Knowing very well that it contraindicates the very Word of God, we buy into a "majority-has it" ideology.  Paul gives us an alternative plan for this in Romans 12:1-2. The Peterson's Message bible says it like this: 

Romans 12:1-2 MSG
[1-2] So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life---your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life---and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

I can't allow daytime, midday or nighttime television to dictates its "3 simple principles" ideology on me. Nor can I continue to allow what any and everyone else's perspective, speculation , and opinions distract me from the truth of God's word! If God said it then it is so! Period! And here the Lord is say that ALL things will work together for my good. 

When gardening there are different types of fertilizers  that may be used to encourage plant health and maximum growth and productivity. A common inexpensive fertilizer is manure. Now the manure alone in contact with the seed or seedling could kill it  but used properly it causes the plant to reach its full potential. You can have dirt, water and sunlight and never see your plant produce as much fruit as it was intended. It is the working together of the manure and soil, water and sunlight that causes the plant to be most productive.

When my perspective become readjusted, my vision becomes clearer and aligned with the vision God has for me. What is God vision for you and me? Glad you asked for a reminder. 
Jeremiah 29:11 Msg
"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."
See, my perspective gets off track as I try to figure it out with my finite human mind. God says that is not what he wants us to do.  He already has a plan.
Isaiah 55:8-9 Msg
"I don't think the way you think. The way you work isn't the way I work." God's Decree. "For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think."

A few weeks ago God reminded me. I arrived at an appointment upset, feeling nervous and alone. Wanting only to have someone there to hold my hand and say everything is going to be okay. So after being checked in and vitals completed, I was lead to an examining room. The nurse turned, looking at me with a smile and says, "Good Morning, how are you?"  I told her that I could be better. She said she understood and that many come in nervous. I told her that it wasn't the appointment necessarily but the sum of other things in life that were weighting heavy on my heart. The appointment was just an added stressor. She looked at me and placed her hands gently on my shoulders and said, "Forget about those things. I am here. I am here with you and for you. I don't know how but everything is going to work out. Then she hugged me, stepped back and said, "By the way my name is Faith." The tears rolled down my cheek.  In that moment I knew God was reminding me of this promise.

Many,  after reading this will still go on fretting. Truthfully I may be found on a given day frustrated in a problem solving mode trying to figure it out. The purpose of this writing is to remind myself and others that we don't have to. We have a choice. We can experience the peace of God through every situation because He already incorporated it into His plan that will cause it to work together for our good.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

When You Don't Know What to Say...

Romans 8:26-27 NIV
[26] In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. [27] And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

God is so awesome.
Life is a challenge but we have a comforter, an advocate and a friend that is like no other. Even as we face these most difficult times He is there.

Have you ever suffered a conflict so great that you couldn't figure out what to do? Let alone talk with someone about? You find yourself  becoming more and more withdrawn? You know deep within your heart that God alone is the answer but you don't know where to begin. You don't know what to say... You open your mouth to pray only to hear the sighs of your distress... You open your bible to pray the scriptures only to open it and find your tears staining the pages... You go to sing a song of praise but the words have been reduced to a humming... 

Take heart my friend, God knew that there would be days like this.
This scripture says, "...the Spirit helps in our weakness". When I am  physically unable to do for myself, the Holy Spirit is willing and able. Take courage and rest in understanding that the Holy Spirit is so God that He will communicate on our behalf. He will translate our "wordless groans" into the Word. The Word of God that has the power to change the most difficult into the most victorious times of our lives. 

As you church folks have heard once before, "There is power in the name of Jesus." So when you don't know what else to say, just say Jesus, and  allow the Holy Spirit to intercede on your behalf. Rely on His strength.

Thanks to youtube here is a song by 7eventh Time Down that I liked to share.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Diamond

    I am a diamond! Multifaceted; I do not speak of my many roles and titles that you use to define me but I speak of the authentic person God made me to be. I am multi-talented, multi gifted with the ability to see life from many perspectives. I am adaptable and I am versatile. However don't get it twisted, My Value has been set and can't be compromised! My worth is irrevocable! I am priceless. No dollar amount to match the value I add to any setting in which I am placed . I used to be considered as decaying waste, but the pressure of the world that was to aid in my decomposition, transformed me into something unbreakable, untamable. Something of beauty, adding value to your life.  Get it straight... I am to be handled with Care!! As a Dynamic woman once said, I am a vault diamond not to be shared. I was not designed for everyone. And definitely not designed for every suitor or suited for any ol' occasion! That’s what the imitations are for. But you can best believe that in the storm, in the rain, in mud or in fame I will shine as brightly as before. You see the Father created me for a specific purpose and with a specific plan. If you can't get with it then, in His vault I will stand, for my value is too costly for any lay-away plan!  So, you can ask and you can plead but unless the Father agrees, you can’t handle me. I am a diamond of the highest degree of purity because the Father reigns in me. So unless you've been approved by Him... back off because I’m only for the big time investor.  An Investor of my hopes and my dreams. Investing in the plans and purpose God has for me. Investing in all that it takes to reach my destiny…

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Daddy!

Romans 8:15-17 KJV
[15] For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. [16] The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: [17] And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him , that we may be also glorified together.

I am empowered by this passage. You see for many reasons I personally have struggled with fear. Some call it worry but the two are best friends, more like identical twins. Fear of rejection, disappointments, of the dark,  of being a disappointment, being left alone, being taken advantage of... Fear's greatest attempt is to keep me bound to the past and hold me hostage away from by destiny.

Some churches have a way of imposing a doctrine of suffering upon individuals. This doctrine says that unless you're suffering, your life is not as anointed or holy as the next person. These sufferings are designed by God to sanctify you. So you learn to testify your sufferings...while denying that God is willing and able to be God. Keeping your focus on the struggle a an ordain path for holiness as they continue to preach  their suffering theology. Before long you forfeit your God given authority to a double minded "signs seeking" individual who gives birth to fear..  You are succumb to timid victim living.  I'm so grateful that God in His mercy says not so. He never intended for you and I to live in bondage to anything including fear. 

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
[7] For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

It is Satan that is the master of fear. I'm not talking about the reverential fear of God. I'm addressing the fear that causes you to worry, doubt and hinder your faith. It it Satan's goal to devour you; to separate you from God. He is keenly aware that if he can cause you to fear, he is diverting you focus from God. There is a reason satan is referred to as a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). Looking at a lion is not as threatening as hearing his roar. You don't have to see him to be startled by his roar! A hungry lion's roar is even more furious. Satan is hungry for souls. If he can paralyze you with fear by a roar only then he has won half the battle. 

A few months ago I was dealing with somethings in my personal life . Decisions I needed to make to move my life forward in the things of God. As quickly as I had made a sound decision the "But, What ifs" began to speak. It caused me to become uneasy. Then the Holy Spirit spoke, "Do you trust me?"  It was then that I received this revelation:  in the presence of fear is the absences of trust. 

Our focus scriptures says we have been adopted. It says that I can cry out to him, "Daddy!" As I do, He will recognize that I am His child because the Holy Spirit (which is God) bear witness with the renewed spirit within me.  The challenges of life doesn't have to stop the progression towards my destiny unless I allow them. It is because Christ identifies with my human sufferings that He died. I am now guaranteed the same victory as Christ. We no longer have to be bound to fear or anything else.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Debt Free


Romans 8:12-14 KJV
[12] Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. [13] For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. [14] For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The proceeding scriptures spoke to us concerning the Spirit setting us free. Free for a lifestyle of sin. The  life in the spirit is a life free from condemnation and  the punishment we so deserve. It is because of the Holy Spirit we are drawn into the family of God and are adopted. It is the rejuvenation of our spirits by the Holy Spirit that transform us from children of darkness to children of light, owing nothing to the flesh. We have been made free from all the holds of bondage that it could possibly have on us.
 
I like the message version of this passage: 

Romans 8:12-14 MSG
[12-14] So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

So as you take your daily steps and face the days ahead, do so in your new life in your renewed identity. God's Spirit is inviting you to join Him. The great thing about walking with God's Spirit is that there's a fresh start everyday.

Lamentations 3:22-23 KJV
[22] It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. [23] They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Question to the Answer

Romans 8:9-11 KJV
[9] But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. [10] And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. [11] But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

We know that a life that is lived following the desires of our flesh is one that will not and cannot please God. Right? A life that is lived in the flesh looks like this according to Galatians 5:19-21. It has been spelled out and made plain to us in the Message Bible:

 Galatians 5:19-21 MSG
[19-21] It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.

These works of the flesh are the result of pursuing and satisfying the cravings; desires of the flesh.  God has given mankind a will, that allows you and I to make choices. As you know we don't always want to chose what is "best". We tend to struggle with what seems good, taste good, looks good feels good and what's best. Living a life in the flesh is to filter all our decisions through our five senses and judgement of our flesh which is presumed by our "feel goods".  Our key scripture passage however says that " I'm not in the flesh" ...
The readers of this letters were born again believers. The had receive The Lord as the messiah; the son of God, the resurrection and the life. Therefore this letter was written to the New Testament believers. What applies to them applies to you. The key scripture passage says that I am now "of the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in me"... Child of God, this scripture is speaking to you. Only the children of God can have His Spirit dwell within them. The day that you decided to receive the Lord Jesus Christ is the day that you received His Spirit, the Holy Spirit.  Jesus Christ is the bridge between man and God; flesh and spiritual; natural and supernatural. 
John 14:6 KJV
[6] Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Here is another passage that deserves your immediate attention:
Romans 10:9 KJV
[9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Our key passage also says "if you be in Christ your body is dead".  Again beloved child of God, this passage is speaking to you. Not an unbeliever. This is a profound "if then" statement.  Looking at the first part "if you be in Christ..." Is referring to salvation. It is at salvation that you make the decision to exchange your life for His which leads us right into the second part of our "if, then" combo. It says, "... Your body is dead because of sin". Remember when you came to know Christ there was that window of reflection? You know either when you independently realize that you were nothing without him. That the life you then lived was leading you straight to death. That enlightenment moment when you realized you were spiritual death. Whatever your experience, it was in the very next moment that you made a chose based off of your previous revelation, teachings or understanding that Christ bring us life. He makes us spiritually alive! So it is then you decided that without the gift of salvation you remain in bondage to the life sentence of the effects of sin and death.

1 Corinthians 1:30 NLT
[30] God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.

It is by the righteousness of Christ that brings us life. Which ironically was made available to you and I through death. We need to adjust our focus. Often we get caught up in works; what we can do for God. The real answer is found in the question, what has He done for you?