Sunday, December 30, 2012

How Committed Are You?

It is the end of another year. So, what does that mean to you?
Is it the start of something new or the end of something old?
Does it mean a list of resolutions that you will more than likely not keep?
Or is is just a marker in time?

We live in a society that lacks the true understanding of commitment.
People are constantly changing their minds because they become a tad bit uncomfortable. They "jump ship" because things didn't go their way. We are in constant competition instead of learning from one another. Many reasons are centered around the lack of commitment but the common thread to consider would be the lack of self-sacrifice. We are a selfish society comprised of selfish individuals. We want what we want, period! The effect are profound for they are contagious. We've all been a witness of this epidemic.

"Well since no one is thinking about what I want then I will take care of myself!"
These words begin to tear down bridges and build walls. Isolation begins to breed the once selfless individual into a selfish individual. Selfishness seeks only to appease itself. It feels entitled to everything and that everyone owes them. Selfishness doesn't care what it has to do to get what it wants nor who it has to hurt in the process.

While many are going back and forth as to what they will and will not commit to this upcoming year (months), consider this...

God was so committed to humankind that he gave His only son, Jesus.
John 3:16 (AMP)
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He even gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

And then in turn Jesus' commitment to His father, God, that He laid down His life for us.

John 10:17-18 (AMP)
For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My own life--to take it back again. [18] No one takes it away from Me. On the contrary, I lay it down voluntarily. I put it from (willing offer it from) Myself. I am authorized and have power to lay it down (to resign it) and I am authorized and have power to take it back again. These are the instructions (orders) which I have received as My charge from My Father. (Emphasis added)

The commitment of the two are just as awesome:

Romans 5:8 (AMP)
But God shows and clearly proves His own love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.

How about you? What are you committed to? Who are you committed to?
May we at least start with a commitment or a re-commitment to the covenant (promise) keeping God?

A. Admit you are a sinner.
"There is no one righteous, not even one ... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 3:10, 23. (See Romans 5:8; 6:23.)

Ask God's forgiveness.
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13

B. Believe in Jesus
(Put your trust in Him) as your only hope of salvation.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Become a child of God by receiving Christ.
"To all who receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12 (See Revelation 3:20.)

C. Confess that Jesus is your Lord. "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9 (See verse 10.)

If you have taken these steps please send me a message.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trust Me???

Sometimes the hardest thing to do after we have been hurt or betrayed is to trust.

After forgiveness there is the matter of trust.

Who do I trust?
How can I trust?
Why should I trust?

The pain has lessened but not completely gone away.
Your healing has begun.

 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put your confidence in man-Psalm118:8-9

In life things are not always going to go our way. We will get offended and hurt. It isn't always intentional. But when it happens it causes us to question our ability to trust again.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.-Hebrews11:1

It is only by faith that I will be able to trust. My trust in the Lord means I must move it from being “man oriented” to trusting in the Lord. I can only trust that what is promised to me shall come to past no matter what they do or have done. I can even look for how God will use this situation to bring me that much closer to what He has for me.

How? Well as I see it God didn’t cause me any harm people did. So to blame God for something someone did as an act of anger, selfishness, greed, envy, bitterness, etc. would not be good a use of good judgment. When their poison has its root origin in the works of their own flesh and or the influence of the enemy(read Galatians 5:19-21, 1John3:8)

What is mind blowing is how people can be influenced by the devil and their flesh and cause you pain. God can use the same individual to bless you. One way is by changing the individual’s heart as we see with Paul. After his fall off his “high horse” he encounters Jesus the Risen Savior and has a change of heart. The same zeal he had in persecuting the believers of the early Christian church was turned into growing it. The other way is by receiving the promise of the Lord:

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.-Romans 8:28KJV

So although their intentions may be to harm me, God and his greatness can turn it around for my good. That’s why I cannot rely on my own understanding. But I have to put my confidence in and lean on (as if to rest in) the Lord (Proverbs 3:5). My understanding doesn’t allow me to trust anything. But my confidence in the Lord gives me assurance that “No weapon formed against me shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17) and that God will vindicate me.

If I can go to sleep and trust that God will awaken me than I can chose to trust  in and have even greater confidence that He has my best interest in His hands.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
 - Jeremiah 29:11NKJV

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Moving On

Life is full of surprises and experiences. They are all moments in a wrinkle of time. With each moment comes the passing of time. We can only participate as they come for when they are gone they are gone. We are then left with a mere memory of the experience.

As we have come to realize some are good and some are not. Some we willing participate others were an invasion of our lives. Either way your experiences have come you can believe that God witnessed it. God is omnipresent; being everywhere all the time. God is omnipotent; seeing and knowing all. God cheered and celebrated with you in the good and cried with you in the bad. You can be sure of one thing, God did not, does not condone that evil that was done against you nor that poor choice you made. I am, however grateful that he always has a sure-proof, no fail plan.

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.

Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord , thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

There are many incidents in the Bible of people making poor choices and or being the "victim of circumstances" but in each case we see God's ability to turn their lives around.
Look at Abraham in Genesis yet he is noted as the patriarch of Faith.
Ruth and Naomi were women that seemingly lost everything but God's plan for them prevailed.
Joseph was the "victim of many circumstances" however it did not stop God's plan. Oh, and what about King David? He was on both side of the spectrum.

"Yeah, Yeah but it doesn't excuse what they did or what I did." You are absolutely right! It doesn't but I am glad that I serve the God of Grace and Mercy (many chances). As with those that I pointed out earlier and it is so with us, God extended grace and mercy towards them because God is Love (1 John4:16). His Love covers a multitude of sins (John 3:16).

Ok so , where do we go from here. Some bad things may have happened to you. You may have participated willing in somethings that were not good but doesn't exclude you from the love of God. It doesn't exclude you from receiving the grace and mercy God has to offer. As a matter of fact it makes you a "primary candidate".

As we have gone on to express the need to forgive we have discovered that the forgiveness is not merely to excuse a behavior. It is more or less to experience the divine love of God that leads to complete healing, restoration and freedom. We also have discovered that the act of forgiveness can only come from God. We in our "humanity" are incapable of such act of love. The Holy Spirit empowers us to release forgiveness, extending the grace and mercy that is wrapped in God's love.

Philippians 4:13 (AMP)
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ''s sufficiency.

This is how we move forward. We must believe that in Christ "NO-THING" (nothing) is impossible for me. Because in Christ by way of the Holy Spirit, I am made ready to accomplish anything with equal results of success as Christ himself does. It is because I understand that I am relying on him that provides my "inner-strength". I have everything I need in him to accomplish all things!

We are moving Forward because God's Plan for us is greater than the right now. We have a destiny to fulfill. Okay so this moment has caused a bump in the road or better yet placed a toll booth in our route. The fee of the Toll is Forgiveness. Once it is paid there is full access to the next length of your journey.