Friday, December 30, 2011

Confession vs. Deceit

Psalm 32:2
2Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.

David was grateful because God presents us with the His gift of forgiveness. The Lord has the ability to blot out our sins and give us a do over. The catch is we have to be honest with God and confess. Unfortunately, many of us lie to ourselves and others so it's no wonder that the same game is played with God. Yes, it is. We attempt to justify our wrongs with God. "I wouldn't have done this if xyz hadn't have happened or said person didn't do xyz. Here's the deal, two wrongs don't make a right. We can not control the thoughts and actions of others but we can control ourselves. Being honest with God is not because he doesn't know, he knows anyway but he just wants to hear it. Just like when we were children, our parents asked us a question about something we did wrong, not because they didn't know we did it but they wanted to hear our confession. Not giving the confession says one lacks humility and possesses a level of deceit. How can one deceive God when he already knows you say? Because it never came from the perpetrator. He had to use His own infinite wisdom and knowledge to know who did what. So if God didn't know, one would've lied about it. It's just that simple. So the next time we are presented with this situation, which is daily, think about the confession vs the deceit. And know that the Lord deserves our honest confession because he offers the priceless gift of forgiveness.

May you all have a wonderful and HAPPY NEW YEAR!! May God show you a "new" you in 2012!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Let it Happen

Matthew 26:54
54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?

Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane when he was approached by Judas and the guards of the high priests. He didn't want to have to go through His death on the cross. He prayed and asked God to take away the burden but He knew he couldn't escape His destiny, to die for the world. Peter, James and John still didn't quite understand. As a matter of fact, Peter was known to be quick tempered at that time. And immediately he drew his sword and struck one of the guards. Jesus was outraged because he never lifted a finger to harm anyone's body during his entire ministry. He never taught the disciples to practice the violence Peter displayed. He reminded Peter that if he continued to respond that way, it would bring him death in the same he administered it. He also reminded His inner circle that what was happening was supposed to happen. If Peter had defended Jesus the way he really wanted to, he would have delayed Jesus' destiny but it would've still happened. We can only delay what the Lord has destined for us with quick-tempered or hasty actions. It's best to let what has to happen, just happen. In other words, stop attempting to derail the inevitable. It only brings more pain when we do and it's actually a losing battle. No one can stop what the Lord has determined will happen. Quit attempting to stop what God wants. What He wants is always the best choice and action for our lives. Let it happen.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holding One Another Up or Down

Romans 12:15
15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those mourn.

How many of us really believe that we are to share in one others joys and sorrows as the apostle Paul wrote? More importantly, how many of us actually practice it? Simon of Cyrene had to help carry the cross when Jesus was too weak to carry his own to Golgotha in Matthew 27. It was actually a symbolism of how we must share in the burdens of others not just their joys. Truthfully, many revel in the mourning of others. They would rather see a person fall than succeed. Yet it is our duty as followers of Christ to hold one another up just as Simon assisted Jesus. As the apostle Paul said, we are one body with many parts and no one part can function on its own. But some mask themselves as having the quality of caring yet it's nothing more than to go behind your back. Some only care to know the details of your life as a way to sabotage you when you are unaware. Everyone who says claims to be for you is not actually for you. It's hard to believe that people would be this way but it goes back to a spirit of jealousy and envy. When you succeed or have something to rejoice about, it may remind others of the choices they have or have not made and therefore turning on you is the way to relinquish themselves of responsibility for the state their lives are in. Then there are others who are excited because you are excited and desire to assist in propelling you forward or are even inspired and encouraged because seeing how the Lord has blessed you reminds them that their blessing will arrive in due time. But when you are in despair, there are some who will earnestly mourn with you. They will cry and pray with you when you need it. While others are only taking pleasure in knowing that you're not at the mountain top. How will you know which is which? That's where the Lord comes in. We are to guard our hearts because it's the wellspring of life as King Solomon says in Proverbs 4:23. Share when the Lord says to share and be quiet when He says to be quiet. We must learn how to listen for the prompting of the Holy Spirit to reveal what He says to reveal. Those that are not who they say they are will tell on themselves sooner or later. It's unfortunate because the act committed against you is actually against God and it's God who one must contend with when any wrong is done to his child. Those that are, God will confirm.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stand or Else

Isaiah 7:9
9The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah's son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.

The prophet Isaiah had stern words to Ahaz king of Judah. The words were actually an encouragement though stern. It was a moment of God's tough love through the prophet. Ahaz was concerned because the country Aram had aligned itself with Ephraim (Israel). Ahaz had lost a battle to Aram in the past so Ahaz was afraid. But the alliance was one forged in human strength. What Ahaz or Judah had was divine strength. And it was the same divine strength that David fought with against Goliath. One can have an army of ten thousand and still can not stand against God and win. Isaiah had to remind Ahaz that it would be his faith that would get him through what looked to be impossible. If Ahaz wasn't willing to stand on faith, he would not stand period.God was even willing to give Ahaz a sign as confirmation that he would be victorious. And that it what we must take from this. There will be times when things look impossible, but it should never be about the way things look. Looks can be deceiving. And the enemy loves to use FEAR (false evidence appearing real) as the tactic to take us down. The fear takes hold when doubt creeps in. Doubt that we are worthy, capable, etc. Doubt is the seed and the fear is the tree that grows from it. Once the tree of fear is in place, one needs a saw, tornado or hurricane of events to knock it down. The seed has to be crushed before it can ever burst forth with roots for the mind. The crusher of negative seeds is faith that God will do the impossible if He's told you it will be done. He is even generous enough to show us signs as He was willing to do for Ahaz. Though Ahaz realized he didn't need to put the Lord to the test. He knew just as it is now, that God is not a man who lies. When He says it's yours, then trust, it's yours. We must wait patiently for the instructions on how to move just as the Lord gave to Ahaz. So stand firm in faith. If you're not willing, then you better just lay down right now.

Monday, December 26, 2011

No Respecter of Gender or Age

Joel 2:28-29
28And afterward I will pour out my Spirit on all people, Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

The minor prophet Joel spoke in the Old Testament and is referenced in the New Testament when the apostle Peter repeats the words given by the Lord to the prophet Joel. Peter recites him in Acts 2:17 to extend what the Lord said through the Prophet Joel to the Gentiles. How can this be that the Lord would not be a respecter of gender and age when we see so much detailed on it? First, the Lord was speaking of what would be once the Messianic period approached (meaning the time of Christ and afterward) according to Zondervan's NIV Study Bible. The Lord made it clear that He would give His Holy Spirit generously. In order to restore us as His people before the second coming, much work is needed. Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection is for this purpose but how will all know? Jesus said to the disciples himself that the harvest is plenty but the workers are few. Therefore, the Lord requires many in the field. Whomever is willing He will use. None of us can determine who receives what spiritual gifts and what assignments as the Lord is the creator, Elohim. He determines who does what and for us as His people to attempt to attach gender or age when the Lord has not implies that we know better Him. Hmmm.. Many have been tossed to and fro with misinterpretations. This is exactly what Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub (all names of the enemy of our souls) wants because confused people do nothing. Ephesians 4:11-16 in the New Testament details what is needed to bring the body of Christ on one accord. When we are all on one accord, the glory of the Lord will show up like never before and unbelievers will be in awe. Those with little faith will have greater faith and the numbers will increase greatly as it did in the Acts 2 church. To get to the increase means taking the limits off of God and just let Him do it regardless of how!! God is NEVER wrong!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Gift of the Greatest Love of All

Luke 2:10-11
10But the angel of the Lord said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

The angel of the Lord certainly gave good news. And it still is good news!!! We are in the season where everyone is focusing on purchasing the last minute gifts, cooking that tasty meal and getting ready to receive family. However, the greatest gift ever given to the world came to us through the most humble of women and in the most humble surroundings. His name is JESUS! The angel appeared to the shepherds who were in the fields watching over their flock. To be present for such an event that had been told hundreds of years prior had to be a complete honor. Many knew a Savior was coming but it was thought that he would deliver the people from Roman rule according to the NIV Study Bible. But Jesus, the greatest gift ever given to us, was for much more than banishing Roman rule, He has saved us from our sins and final death of our souls. Jesus was born as a gift for all us, but not everyone is ready to receive the gift of the greatest love of all; the gift of love and sacrifice that Jesus paid for us so that we can have life and life more abundantly. What's the greatest gift you've ever received? There's no way that any gift could compare with Jesus. No man is willing to lay down his life for an entire world the way Jesus has. He came so that two thousand years later, you, I and our future generations would be free. That's love and the true reason for this season.

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sometimes it's Gold Plated

Matthew 4:9
9"All this I will give you, "he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."

Jesus was in the desert fasting for forty days when the devil tempted Him. Yes, even Jesus was tempted. The difference is, he didn't yield to the temptation which would've been sin. It's during our time in the desert that the devil will do what he did with Jesus. The desert can be any area of our lives that appear to be void of fruitfulness or life. He will attempt to convince us that what he has is worth us going against God. The devil took Jesus to the top of a very high mountain and showed him kingdoms of the world and their riches. But the devil can't give what he doesn't own. For "every good and perfect gift is from God." So anything less than that isn't. What glitters isn't always pure gold, sometimes it's just gold-plated. According to the Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Gold-plated is:

a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver (to make silver-gilt), by chemical or electrochemical plating.

So in other words, only the first layer is real and it's paper thin. Beyond it, a lessor metal exists. So beyond what initially glitters, what the devil shows will always be less than what God can give. But we have to still be able to see our way in the desert to not fall for the scheme. Like Jesus, we have to wait patiently and eat upon the word of God which is the bread of life. Everything looks good to one who is hungry but everything that looks good to you isn't good for you. The spiritual eye has to be sharp enough to see through gold plated opportunities.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Peace or Feast

Proverbs 17:1
1Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.

King Solomon noted that a family can lack plenty of things but if it has peace and quiet, it's more than enough. A house filled with food and everything beyond the imagination still lacks everything if it's full of strife. There's nothing more relaxing than a home that is filled with peace when one enters. We often take it for granted until we no longer have it. Peace of mind is just as important as the air we breathe. Peace means that everyone is on one accord and understands their role. Peace means that Jesus can be the center instead everyone's personal agendas and everyone sleeps better at night. Peace is easy to feel when one opens a door to a home, even if the refrigerator is empty. A right atmosphere is essential for growth and love. Having stuff doesn't make a house better if there's constant bickering. Strife is an indication of a couple of things. 1. someone is not on one accord with the Holy Spirit (meaning disobedience ), and  2. selfishness is somewhere in the mix. Satan loves to enter through these areas to cause even greater division as they are very much characteristic of him and he thrives on discord in the home. A commitment to resolve the strife or come to an agreement is necessary. Who is being hurt by strife in the home? Everyone, even the pets can sense strife and run for cover. What is more important to you? A peaceful home or needless things?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Now or With Your Last Breath

John 6:44
44No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

The Jews were confused as Jesus called himself the bread of life. But the Jews couldn't get past the idea that he was the son of Joseph. Yes, Jesus was raised by Joseph but Joseph had nothing to do with his conception. For God sent the Holy Spirit to come upon the Virgin Mary to provide His seed. And that is why Jesus can say he came from heaven. Because he was not the seed of man but the seed of God. Jesus made a statement that it is God who draws men, women and children closer to Christ. In other words, no one can come to Christ without God seeking them. We believe that we are seeking God but it is God who sets the stage in our lives so that we will desire to draw closer to Him whether it is by our inept choices or the choices of others around us. He pursues us like a man who pursues a woman. He doesn't stop until He has succeeded in showing His love to us and us desiring to love Him in return. Jesus made it clear that anyone in Him would continue in Him and on the last day, He would raise them up and they shall enter heaven with Him. Maybe you didn't know that God has been chasing after you. And when you run from Him, He patiently waits until you come to the understanding that apart from Him, your life, our life, is meaningless. Have you been running from Him? Believe it or not, sooner or later, your life's circumstances will cause you to turn and run into His arms, whether it is now or with your last breath.

Monday, December 19, 2011

No Artificial Love

Song of Songs 2:7
7Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

Song of Songs also known as Song of Solomon depicts the courtship and  marriage of King Solomon to the Shulammite woman. Marriage is the imagery most often used in the Bible to depict the relationship between Christ and the church because it's the strongest human relationship that exists, yes even more than children and parents. For it is the first relationship that God created on earth between two humans, man and woman in Genesis 2. King Solomon wrote of his intimate time with the Shulammite woman but he notes something very important. Daughters of Jerusalem refers to the maidens of the land as said in the NIV Study Bible. The gazelles and does would be considered witnesses during his intimate time with the Shulammite woman since they're spending time together in the field. But he makes a bold statement, "Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires." It refers to the idea of love being artificially stimulated through sex. God originally planned for sex to be enjoyed to its fullest between husband and wife. But here, if one goes that route, it can cause feelings of love that are not real. The love will be about the euphoric feeling one has through the act of sex. Interesting. It creates a bond that may not be true and therefore becomes blinding. True love cannot be artificially created. What is artificial? According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, artificial means:

1: produced by art rather than nature; also made by humans to imitate nature
2: not genuine: feigned

WOW! So artificial means our attempt to imitate nature or rather to imitate God. It is not the real thing. The real thing can only be created by God. So having sex prior to marriage is quite frankly attempts to imitate the marriage covenant that can only be sanctioned by God. So we as a society have attempted over and over to recreate what God did in Genesis 2 between Adam and Eve. What King Solomon says is that it is not to be til God desires. God is love therefore when God places in Adam the longing of not being alone, he has Eve for him but Adam has to open eyes to receive who his Eve is. More importantly, don't be clouded by anything artificial. What has God sanctioned for you? Sade says "No Ordinary Love" but with God it's "No artificial love."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Confusing Behavior

Romans 13:13
13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.

The apostle Paul addressed the Roman church on the practical application of righteousness. The followers of Christ are called righteous because of the cleansing power of the blood of Christ. What God finds detestable is detestable indeed. But there are some who have different sides to them in daylight then at night. The 80s hip hop group known as Whodini had a song called "The Freaks Come Out at Night". The song emphasized many of the behaviors mentioned in Paul's letter to the Romans. In the daytime, many act with decency and order but when the sun goes down the evil twin comes out. Everything not done in the daytime is what's done at night. If one really knew that God sees everything, then doing something not of God would strike the conscience.  As a matter of fact, when one knows this, then it's a willful choice to sin, not because one can't help it but because one chooses to do so. For it is in darkness that sin hides. But as the apostle Paul said, let us behave decently, not just in the daytime but anytime. That means jealousy and dissension are to be cast down just as drunkenness and orgies. Sin is sin. For everywhere we go in the earth, we are considered ambassadors for Christ. But what is one to think who knows not of Christ accept what they see from you and me? If the behaviors differ, does that not cause confusion? We know that wherever there is confusion, God is not the author of it. Having fun doesn't have to cause confusion to those who need to see an example.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

You're Just Like...

Ezekiel 16:44
44"Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: "Like mother, like daughter.

We hear this saying all the time but what the Lord gave to the prophet Ezekiel was not to be meant as a compliment. Jerusalem was considered to be following in the footsteps of the countries before it. Just like children born to their natural parents, children easily take on characteristics of their parents outside of their facial and body features. Children can even take on the facial expressions or mannerisms of their parents without their parents being present. It's known as hereditary or "in the blood".  Jerusalem continued its pattern of following evil much like the countries it ran after. Jerusalem often made its bed with countries that were not pleasing to the Lord and whenever it did, it took the characteristics of that country. Whether it was worshipping the false gods of that country or even intermarriage, Jerusalem continued to corrupt itself by associating with those that the Lord deemed detestable. Taking on characteristics of those the Lord finds detestable makes us detestable in His sight as well. We become more and more like them with what we do and say. We morph into whatever it is we consume ourselves with. Anything not of the Lord isn't pleasing to Him. Next time someone says you're just like ______, ask God if it's compliment. If it's not, ask Him how you need to detach from that behavior or mannerism.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Before the Bell Tolls

Mark 5:19
19Jesus did not let him but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."

Jesus healed a man who was possessed by a legion of demons. The man had been considered uncontrollable and lived among the tombs. The man had been written off as unable to be helped. Oh but a word from Jesus changed it all! The man who was considered incurable was cured. He was so grateful that he wanted to go where Jesus was going. But instead, Jesus gave him another charge. The man was to go back to his family and tell of what the Lord had done for him. Now family can be those considered of blood lineage or those thought to be in close relation to. But in either case because the man was a Gentile he was urged to tell his story of healing. What has Jesus done for you and with whom have you shared it? If it was shared with strangers and passerbys, that's wonderful! But what about those that you consider to be blood related or ones you consider to be your family? Do they know what the Lord has done for you? Do you even know the spiritual state of those whom you consider to be your family? When the bell tolls for you and you have a face to face encounter with Jesus, will He ask you why you didn't share the good news with your family? We can easily take for granted or assume that everyone knows Jesus but there are people who sit on the pews Sunday after Sunday who still don't know Jesus. Jesus isn't real for them because they've never had an encounter. But sharing your own encounter with Jesus such as the one that the once demon possessed man had could easily bring an encounter to life. Do as Jesus commands before the bell tolls.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Don't Get Distracted

2Kings  19:10
10"Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, 'Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.'

Judah had been fighting Assyria for some time. Hezekiah had been told by the prophet Isaiah that the king of Assyria would be murdered for the blasphemy he committed against God. But the Assyrian king continued to threaten Judah that their god, our God, was not only wrong but a deceiver. The king of Assyria awoke some time later to see some hundred and eighty-five thousand men put to death by the angel of the Lord. The Assyrian king fled but couldn't flee death. Blasphemy against God's Holy Spirit is a serious offense. It's the offense that leads to death. God is not a man that he should lie. So to call Him a liar brings death to things. Maybe you've heard a false word before that out right contradicts God. What do you do? As Isaiah said to Hezekiah, do not be afraid. Never fear the enemy. Our God is greater than any weapon formed against us. Our God is the maker of heaven and earth and everything in it. Therefore, God has ALL power to destroy anything that comes against us. The Assyrian king attempted to escape a fate that God pronounced over him. One can run but there is no where to hide from God who sees all and knows all. He is omnipresent (always and ever present). But again, God made a promise to Hezekiah and though he was told to disregard that promise, God prevailed. The trick of the enemy is always to get us to believe a lie. If we believe the lie, then we are distracted from the truth. And we will begin to believe the lie as our actions will take on that outcome as well. The enemy is known for mind games or smoke and mirrors. And mind games do what? Mind games cause confusion. We know that God is not the author of confusion. Confusion is the trick of the enemy. Confusion keeps truth hidden from the very ones who seek it. Sorting through confusion is like digging through hay to find a needle. It's very difficult to do. So the best thing is to keep the eye of the mind focused on where it belongs- on God and His word alone.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Standing or Wavering

Luke 24:39
39Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.

Jesus had appeared to the disciples after he rose from the dead. The disciples were in a locked room and there was no way anyone could enter. Jesus did. The disciples were shocked. But Jesus told them not to be. He did exactly what He said He would do. And His proof were the scars left on His body from being nailed to the cross. The Lord is not a man that He should lie. He told them that in 3 days He would take the keys to the kingdom. He took the sting of death from sin away from Satan. Jesus also said they would see him again. We don't always believe the Lord when He tells us He will do something. Our problem is doubt. We are amazed when what He said comes to pass. But why? He can't lie so if He made us a promise, no matter what it is, He will make good on it. Our problem, sometimes we don't believe that it was the Lord that spoke to us. Our own faith is often in question. It just means we need to spend more time reading and studying His word daily not just on Saturday or Sunday so we can learn His promises and handiwork. What promise did the Lord make to you? Are you standing or wavering? Do you trust His way or your own?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

An Odd Selection

1Samuel 16:13
13So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on, the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.

The Lord sent the prophet Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint a new king because of King Saul's disobedience. The Lord told Samuel to fill his horn with oil to anoint the new king. The Lord instructed Samuel to visit Jesse who had many sons. Samuel was to look at each son but appoint only the one the Lord had instructed him to. Jesse didn't even present all of his sons. David was considered least because he was the smallest yet God had selected David for service. It seemed odd to the family that David would be selected. God's criteria is never the same as man's. David was the only one of his brothers who was out tending to the sheep. He kept watch and protected them. David was already in preparation for his appointed role yet didn't know. How many of us have had experiences in other environments yet didn't know God would use that experience to further His cause? There's a purpose in everything even if we don't perceive it. A shepherd must be patient with his sheep and has to protect them when they cannot see danger. Much like a leader would do. David was anointed in the presence of his brothers. They were to witness God's selection. And most importantly, the Spirit of the Lord came upon David when needed in order for David to carry out the work of the Lord. The Lord always has a witness to what He does. It's the eye witness testimony that confirms what God has done. How many of us have been a witness at the scene of something? Have you ever been called on to give the eye witness account? It's the testimony that provides confirmation of what took place whether good or bad. During the times of the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit could not rest on man for long because of the stench of sin but when it did come down, it made impact. It was for this reason that David was able to not just play the harp but to soothe the evil spirit that inhabited King Saul. It is by the Holy Spirit that we have strength and power to do anything. The events in Jesse's house that day were a turning point not just for David but for the entire family of what was to come to pass in David's future.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Separating Friend From Foe

Galatians 4:16
16Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

Christ is truth and the Holy Spirit is the revealer of ALL truth. The apostle Paul wrote letters to the churches in Galatia because the Gentiles were being influenced by the Jewish Christians who demanded they be circumcised in order to be accepted by God. But it is only through faith in Jesus Christ that Gentiles are accepted just as the Jewish Christians. When Paul began unraveling the arguments held by those that the Gentiles were being influenced by, the Gentiles who once loved Paul no longer saw him in the same light. As Paul employed the Holy Spirit to reveal truth, not only was it not accepted, but Paul himself was no longer accepted. It's even a Biblical fact that when a friend reveals truth, it is likely they become the foe of one that does not want to acknowledge truth. Not only have they turned away a friend, they have essentially turned away God as He is truth. If the truth is spoken in love yet not accepted, then what can be? Satan is the father of lies and if only lies are accepted, then people choose to remain in darkness and do not seek God. If one looses a friend because they have told the truth, then one must examine whether the person was truly a friend. Yes, friends support you but REAL friends tell you what you need to hear not just what you want to hear. When truth is what separates friend from foe, then it is certainly the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal the true nature of the friendship or the lack there of.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On the Surface

2 Corinthians 10:7a
7You are looking only on the surface of things.

The apostle Paul had a frank talk with the church in Corinth through his letter.  Paul was being accused of only being bold in letter yet lacking it in person. But he reminded them that he spoke as he did in the letter so that it wouldn't be necessary to do so when he arrived. He reminded them that the church is not to operate according to the standards of the world but to stand out from it.  The apostle Paul also reminded the church in Corinth that the weapons used by the church to battle strongholds are not that of world nor based upon its standards. His point was that in anything he said to them, they only looked at and received it solely based on the surface. The surface is defined by Merriam-Webster's Dictionary as 1) the outside of an object or body and 2) the outward aspect or appearance. As believers in Christ, it is for us to look beyond the surface of anything and everything. Just as the apostle Paul was disputing the false teachers that had infiltrated the church then, we deal with the same issue today. So when words are spoken we must look beyond what they appear to be on the surface and discern the true meaning and intent. We are to do this in everything. We must always look beyond the surface for there are many things that "appear" to be what they are not. But if we only see with our natural eyes and hear with our natural ears, then we will miss the ques and therefore we are subject to being led astray. The surface can be dug up and it's below the surface that we see all the cracks and crevices. Everything taught must be held according to the word of God. If it doesn't match the word of God, it must be counted as less than or substandard. Everything must be tested not according to what we think but according to the Holy Spirit. The word of God and the Holy Spirit will coincide not contradict. Do you look only at the surface? Have you taken a sledge hammer and cracked the surface to see what's underneath?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Praise HIM in ALL Circumstances!

Psalm 76:10
10Surely your wrath against men brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.

The psalmist wrote of God's great power in defending the Israelites against their enemies. We usually think of God's wrath as bringing damnation. But sometimes His wrath is meant to set people in the right direction. There are times when His wrath is the catalyst of change. A delivering change that will bring about the freedom from the bondage and strongholds that have gripped ones' neck like a noose. When this does occur, it is meant to show God's everlasting power and He is meant to be praised. And that's the point of the psalmist,  but even those who have not been delivered and have suffered at the hand of God for misdeeds, God still deserves the praise because the misdeeds are usually against others or more importantly against Him. We do not recognize that misdeeds done against one of His children is the same as doing it to God. So a lesson must be taught in either case. God sits on the throne and no matter what, He deserves the praise in any and all circumstances. JUST PRAISE GOD because He is worthy to be praised!

P.S. GOD is NEVER late! He's always on time!

Friday, December 2, 2011

No Where to Hide

Psalm 64:5

5They encourage each other in evil plans,

they talk about hiding their snares;

they say, "Who will see them?"

David prayed for protection from his enemies. He prayed with the confidence that the Lord would hear his plea. Those who plot, as David said, always perceive themselves as capable to not only carry out their plans but that they can be executed in secret. But where can one go that the eye of the Lord does not see? Where can one go that the Lord cannot search their heart? They believe for whatever reason that they will not be exposed but exposure by the Lord is inevitable. For we are in a time when men and women and the evil spirits that have taken root within them no longer fear the Lord. Yet when they are in need they call His name? Why should He answer when as David said, they encourage evil plans? God's wrath is not slow in coming but He gives evil doers the chance to reform their ways before he pronounces judgement. Once the judgement is rendered, it must be carried out. The Lord does not delight in harm to His children, the ones who bear His name. Do you bear His name or are you one that plots evil? If you bear His name and walk uprightly, just as David, you are protected. If you are one that plots evil, you can run from God but you cannot hide.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Never Trade Down

Hebrews 12:17
17Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.

The apostle Paul gave a stern warning against refusing God to the Jewish converts. He employed the story of Esau and Jacob from the point of view of Esau in the Old Testament. The Jewish converts were very familiar with the Old Testament and therefore would take the story to heart. In the Old Testament, Esau was born first but he sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for food.  He traded a life long blessing from God for something temporary and of lessor value. Basically, Esau did not value what the Lord had given him. And later, when he realized the value, he sought to reclaim his birthright but God would not answer his cry because he did not see the error in his mistake. He just longed to have it back. For God, motive is at the top of His list. Esau only cried because he wanted back what was lost, he did not see what he did as wrong and therefore was not truly sorry for his actions. Hmmm.....interesting. As children, when were caught doing something we had no business doing and we began to cry because we knew the punishment was coming, our parents saw right through our actions. They knew we were not crying because we were really sorry, we cried because we didn't want to be punished. But the only way we would really learn was to face the punishment. Trading a life long blessing for something as temporary as food is spitting in God's face. That's telling God that what He desires to bless us with isn't worth our time. But to later know the value of what we gave up doesn't change that we already made the decision to mishandle it. And if we didn't honor what God wanted to give us then, why would now if we never understood what we did wrong? The error would likely be repeated.  NOTHING is more valuable than our Lord and Savior himself!! And anything He decides to bless us with (including the Holy Spirit) we must count as grace to us, not because we deserve it, but because He decided to give it. Never trade down for fake pearls when He offers the real pearls from His own hand.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Swept Away

Isaiah 59:19
19From the west, men will fear the name of the Lord,
and from the rising of the sun,
they will revere his glory.
For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the Lord drives along.

It doesn't matter what part of the world we live in, everyone will come to fear the Lord. When the Lord returns in all His glory, we will all be in awe. Many of us have heard or seen pictures of re-enactments of what it will be like when the Lord returns, but honestly, outside of scripture, there is no depiction that can describe with accuracy what it will be like because it has not occurred yet. The images that we see or hear about are nothing more than one's interpretation or perception of what will be. The prophet Isaiah describes as God  gives him what He will do on behalf of His people. For the Lord will come like a pent-up flood. A flood comes quickly. It moves very fast knocking anything and everything loose or that "appears" to be rooted. And it continues to rise. For that is how the Lord works. Anything not rooted in Him will be swept away. We've all seen live pictures of floods after the water has hit. But a pent-up flood is one that can no longer be contained. Be rooted in Jesus for everything for that is how we His people are to be lest we be swept away.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Thin Veil of Cover Up

Mark 15:9-10
9"Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate, 10knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him.

Pilate knew that Jesus had not actually committed any crime. He did not plot against nor harm the chief priests. It was out of his popularity and the power of God in His grasp that sorely troubled the chief priests. Because Pilate knew that Jesus committed no crime he had to offer up Jesus for release. But the chief priests insisted on covering up their envy for seeking what they thought was Jesus' demise with a thin veil of stirring up the crowd. Now Pilate went along with it because he wanted to continue to have favor with the Jews but he knew it was wrong. The thin veil the chief priests chose involved getting what they wanted from Pilate by stirring up the crowd. They knew it was the only way their scheme would work. But all they did was play right into what God had determined ought to happen and in the end, they looked worse off then they had before Jesus had been arrested because what happened was recorded forever!! The chief priests allowed envy and deceit to be what they are remembered for. What is envy? According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, envy is a painful or resentful awareness of another's advantages. Yes, Jesus had an advantage over the chief priests, being the son of God trumps them all but Jesus has power that no one else possesses. And people were really hungry and still are for the word of God. As a kingdom kid, we will suffer persecutions maybe not to the extreme of Jesus but envy will be at the route in some cases. When we are children of light, we are subject to what Jesus was subject to. Whether it's because we smile, we interact well with others or whatever. Thankfully he still paid it all and in the end Jesus is triumphant and still sits on the throne. This makes us more than conquerors!! Bless the Lord!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

When Will You Start?

Ephesians 2:10
10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Back in Genesis 1:27 it says that man was made in God's image. And the apostle Paul notes that we are God's workmanship. We are His work of art. The animals were made but we are the only ones made in His image. He planted within us that which is in Him. He gave us not only His features, but the ability to experience emotions and most importantly, the ability to reason. We are the only mammals that have it. As a matter of fact, God created us to rule over all other creatures. Imagine that? He gave us power to rule within the earth. But what have we done with that power? Do you not know that if you are breathing, then you have a good work to complete? Sadly, many of us never accomplish the good work because we have no intentions to seek the Lord to find out what that good work is. The apostle Paul said God prepared it in advance. So each and every person on this earth has a purpose. But not being in Christ, delays the actualization of that purpose. In psychology, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs shows self-actualization (purpose) at the top once we have all the other needs met. But according to the word of God, seeking the Lord first satisfies those needs, including love, safety, etc. because He makes provision and He knows every need. The Lord downloads ideas, strategies, etc to not only have provision but to bring fulfillment. Why wouldn't He since He created the masterpiece of this world and everything in it? We can have all the other things and still have no sense of purpose. Our Lord is the great creator whom we call Elohim and He created all of us to complete something for Him that will give Him glory. When will you start?

P.S. Remember to check out my man V, Saturday on the Artist to Artist Show on and catch the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment at 8:30am CT, 2:30pm CT and 8:30pm CT! Also check out my girl Stubbs of the Leap of Faith Show on on Sun from 6am-10am ET and Mon-Wed from 6am-9am ET and catch the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Everyday is to be Thanksgiving

Psalm 75:1
1We give thanks to you, O God,
we give thanks, for your Name is near;
men tell of your wonderful deeds.

The psalmist focused on giving thanks to the Lord for protecting the Israelites even when their foes were emerging. The psalmist was intent to rest in the presence and safety of the Lord. People could give testimony to the deeds performed by the Lord and His omnipresence. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, many people will spend the day with family and friends and telling what they are thankful for. But what about the other 364 days of the year? Do we give thanks for each breath we take? For every second, minute, hour and day that we have someone didn't get. That's enough to say thank you everyday. Has the Lord blessed you with loved ones? Thank Him for sending them! When we need the Lord, all we have to do is call on Him. We don't have to worry about a blocked signal or voicemail. He'll listen and answer. Now the answer may not be what we want, but He will answer if we wait and listen. Hopefully, people around you give testimonies of just how awesome the Lord has been to them. Even if not, surely each of us can recount the times the Lord has been with us. Yes, it's wonderful that the U.S has designated a day to give thanks but the challenge is to recognize that everyday is to be thanksgiving. So as we spend time with our families, eating and being merry, start a new tradition. Let everyday be the day you and your family give thanks. And if you're already doing it, how many others have you shared your testimony with?


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Would You Know Who He Is?

John 8:25
25"Who are you?" they asked.
"Just what I have been claiming all along," Jesus replied.

The validity of Jesus was being tested by the Jews. When he told them of what was coming regarding his whereabouts and what their lives would end in, they were bewildered. They wanted to know  who exactly Jesus was. But just as He said then, He is who's He's always claimed to be, God's only begotten son. How are we to view Jesus? We are to view Him with reverence, awe and love. For Jesus came to fulfill the law. The Lord needed to fully identify with us and in order to do so, He needed to live among us. If Jesus walked up to you today, would you know who He is? Or would you ask, who are you? Have you even been able to recognize the handiwork of Jesus? Or are you attributing everything to luck or other external factors? Jesus is the miracle worker. But we have to know who He is to recognize His work.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Call on the Lord

Isaiah 40:29
29He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Are you tired? Call on the Lord! Do you feel weak? Call on the Lord! Are you feeling like you can't handle another curve ball of circumstances? Call on the Lord!  The Lord is the creator of heaven and earth. He gives us everything we need, sometimes even before we ask for it. The Lord used the prophet Isaiah to comfort His people, especially because of what was coming. Hezekiah was still king and Babylon had not yet captured the Israelites but God's people were battling the Assyrians. The Lord knew His people were tired. Hezekiah knew his kingdom was tired. They were tired of fighting. Hezekiah wanted to encourage his kingdom. But the Lord offered something that no one could. His strength and power. What can you do with the Lord's strength and power?  You can stand in the most challenging of circumstances with grace. You can have the power you need in order to make things happen that otherwise couldn't possibly be. The Lord can do everything but fail! But we have to learn to call on Him. We must know that without Him, nothing will be accomplished and long lasting. Call on the Lord!

P.S. A huge THANK YOU to all those that came out on Saturday, November 19th to the book signing at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Special Event TODAY, Saturday, November 19th

If you're in the MD/DC/VA area today, November 19th, join me at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, MD from 1-4pm ET for a book signing, hugs and pics courtesy of Photographic Expressions! Get Your JOY In The Morning is a wonderful Christmas gift for a friend or family member!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Turn It Over

Psalm 39:1
1I said, "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence."

David suffered for his sins but he also knew how to ask the Lord for forgiveness. When David backslid or was disobedient to the Lord, the Lord taught him through sickness and pain to reach out for Him. David was of course also before his enemies. His response to them was to keep quiet so they wouldn't catch wind of his tongue. There are times when we must be quiet. No matter how easy it may be to speak, if God has declared we must be quiet, then we must. David instead turned his attention to the Lord when he could no longer contain his anger. Only the Lord could fully address his pain and only the Lord could calm the anguish he felt for his enemies. Do we know when to keep quiet? Do we know when it doesn't pay to open our mouth in the presence of our enemies? When we are facing the level of anguish that David was feeling, we ought simply to turn it over to the one who can take it away. Lashing back would only cause more harm. David was already suffering and he needed to focus on being restored.

P.S. Join me this Saturday, November 19th at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Md from 1-4pm for their anniversary celebration as I will be signing books and hugging necks!! Photos will be taken by Lisa J. Monroe of Photographic Expressions. It's a great gift for friends and family!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Crumbling State

Revelation 18:4
4Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
"Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;

At the fall of the once mighty empire Babylon, the Israelites were not to be present. The Lord freed them from captivity before he brought judgement to Babylon. But if they chose to stay, then they would have suffered the same fate.  John did not encourage the worship of emperors. So to deter he reinforced the prophecy given by the Old Testament prophets on what would happen if idol worship continued. Walking as the world does gets one result, death. The death can be physical and spiritual . If we continue to live like the world then we reap the consequences of the world. If we live as the Lord calls us to live, then we reap abundant life. We always have a choice but the choice we make determines our outcome. If we want better outcomes, make better choices. There are things and people we must let be. If not, we go down with them just as the prophecy states. The idols can be anything but we are never to make them more important than our Lord. He is jealous and by right. He created us for His pleasure and anything that takes away from it He has a right to crumble it. He crumbled the great Babylon which was once considered the most powerful. He can bring anything to a crumbling state.

P.S. Join me this Saturday, November 19th at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Md from 1-4pm for their anniversary celebration as I will be signing books and hugging necks!! Photos will be taken by Lisa J. Monroe of Photographic Expressions. It's a great gift for friends and family!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's Official

3When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a compact with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the Lord had promised through Samuel.

Man had finally recognized publicly what God had done with David long before. Though David had fought many battles and led armies of men, he was only recognized as "one day" becoming king. That day had finally come. For David, the burial of Saul and his family line was the final confirmation that it was time for him to walk in his appointed role. It was bittersweet because he loved them all in spite of the death threats. The elders of Israel had no choice at that point but to recognize who the Lord called David to be and anoint him in agreement. This action made it official. What has God promised you? Has there been a "changing of the guard" in some area of your life? Is there a confirmation that God has provided to you as to what you are walking into? Are there people in your life like David, that now recognize what God has already said about you?

P.S. A huge THANK YOU to and the entire Church Beat Radio Family for their support of Get Your JOY In The Morning! DJ Ambermay gave away 2 copies of the book during the Top 10 Countdown! Tune into for Worry Free Wednesday with DJ Moonbaby at 2pm ET!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Who's Watching Over You?

Acts 12:11
11Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating."

The early church survived many persecutions from kings. Peter was to stand trial before his execution. But that night, the angel of the Lord came and walked Peter right past the guards and out of the prison. Peter honestly thought he was just seeing a vision but when he realized he was at the gate of the city, the angel was gone. Peter then came to acknowledge that the Lord sent an angel to rescue him from certain death. Do you know that God has assigned angels to each of His people? Yes, there are angels that watch over us and even fight on our behalf when we are near the enemy's snares. The Lord keeps watch over us and His assistants, the angels, tend to our needs as the Lord deems. How many times have you been in danger and when it seemed like you wouldn't get out, the Lord made a way? Like Peter, did it seem like the Lord walked you right past your enemies? The Lord and His angels always know our whereabouts. And when we are knee or even throat deep in sinking sand, He has the ability to pull us out. But remember, the angels watch over the Lord's people. Who's watching over you?

P.S. Please join me this Saturday, November 19th at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Md from 1-4pm for their anniversary celebration as I will be signing books and hugging necks!! Photos will be taken by Lisa J. Monroe of Photographic Expressions. It's a great gift for friends and family!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Good or Crafty

Proverbs 12:2
2A good man obtains favor from the Lord, but the Lord condemns a crafty man.

King Solomon noted a good man. Jesus even asked "why do you call me good"?  We hear this word used a lot but what is good? According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, good has many definitions but to name a few: sound, wholesome, kind, loyal, virtuous. One that seeks favor from the Lord is considered virtuous. In other words, one whose primary goal is to please the Lord is considered virtuous and wholesome. So just as there is a virtuous woman as referred to in Proverbs 31, so there is a virtuous man. One that seeks the Lord is looking for the best way to live and be guided. If the actions of a man are seen as favorable to God, not only will God bless them but it will be for all to see. But one who is crafty is deceitful and always scheming. One who is crafty is always looking for how they can "get over" or "have their way". The Lord detests such a characteristic. Quite frankly, so should we. If we do not, we are subject to be either a co-conspirator or the prey of such. To be condemned by God, the one who determines where our soul resides, the one who showers blessings, is like being locked away in prison. It's not only a physical prison but a prison for the mind and spirit. The prison is different for each depending on what one sowed but in essence craftiness or deceit is based on a serious degree of selfishness and greed that harms others. By the Lord condemning, he is allowing the crafty one to reap the consequences of their actions. Who would you rather be? Good or crafty?

P.S. Please join me this Saturday, November 19th at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Md from 1-4pm for their anniversary celebration as I will be signing books and hugging necks!! Photos will be taken by Lisa J. Monroe of Photographic Expressions. It's a great gift for friends and family!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Measure of Faith and Love

Matthew 8:13
13Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would."

The measure of faith goes a long way with Jesus. The centurion felt that nothing he obtained was good enough for Jesus. The centurion was a man of great stature who had servants, yet he felt nothing he owned was good enough for Jesus. But he came to Jesus in search of healing not for himself but for the one that had been devoted to him. And he believed that Jesus could do it with an utterance of a word. Jesus was so amazed at the man's level of faith that He decided to heal the servant. It was the measure of faith that brought restoration to one he loved. The centurion was humble though he was great in the sight of others. His concern was not in what he had, but help for one who spent their life serving him. The centurion went to Jesus with love for not only Jesus but with love for the one who served him. In other words, he interceded on his servant's behalf. And his measure of faith delivered the one he loved. How powerful is that? Not only was it a measure of faith but a measure of love. And that's what we need more of. What measure of faith and love are you willing to demonstrate? Do you know that with it, God can use you to increase the faith in another?

P.S. Remember to tune in on Saturday to my man V of the Artist to Artist Show on at 8:30am CT, 2:30pm CT and 8:30pm CT and check out the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment! And check out my girl Stubbs of the Leapoffaithshow on Sunday 6am-10am ET and Monday-Wednesday, 6am-9am ET and listen for the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reciprocal Love

Psalm 4:7
7You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.

King David was slandered a lot during his life, especially as king. David sought the Lord to hear his plea. He longed to be free from those who constantly spoke against him and blamed him for their troubles. David noted that though they were angry, to sin in anger and place blame where it didn't belong was detrimental. David may have been facing trouble but his heart was still fixed on the Lord. The heart is the place where emotions and thoughts dwell. David's joy was not focused on temporary circumstances, nor where they focused on the many material possessions he had. David's joy was of the Lord. In the center of controversy, David still had a guarantee that no one could take from him. And that was the reciprocal love relationship he had with the Lord. What circumstances are you in right now? Is it the wrath of someone else's tongue? Is it any other trouble? Make your request to the lover of your soul. The Lord will be your guide. Only He can replace any hurt or burden with love and joy. The more you love the Lord, the more He will love you.

P.S. Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 19th! I will be having a book signing event at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Md to celebrate the store's anniversary! I will be signing books, taking pictures and hugging necks so join me! You should've received your invitation.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Designated Role

1Samuel 22:2
22All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.

David, the servant of Saul, fled his home once Jonathan sent word via messenger that indeed Saul meant to kill him. Saul wanted to kill him because he knew David was going to succeed him as king. But Saul refused to understand that David was destined as God's choice. David didn't ask for the role but God chose to bless him. David ran to Philistine country thinking he could find shelter there. But alas, even the Philistines knew that David would be king and wanted to take him out. David was considered a threat no matter where he went because of God's anointing covering him. His reputation as a warrior traveled beyond him. David had to pretend to be crazy in order to escape the Philistine king. David fled once again to a cave/fortress filled with other outlaws. And David still could not run from the role God had designated for him. David was recognized as a leader wherever he went. So David finally stopped fighting it and accepted the role given to him by God. Can you imagine fleeing someone because they know who God has called you to be? Can you imagine being David, fleeing from place to place only to find that everyone knows who you are? What then? Like David, face the music and accept the role God has laid before you. When David realized that he must accept his role, the men were willing to rally with him. God will do that to us. Once we're willing to accept what God has for us, we may find support in unlikely places. And David was strengthened. Even if we attempt to hide, when God wants others to know who we are, there's nowhere to run. The best option is to accept the designated role God has laid before us and quickly adapt.

P.S. Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 19th! I will be having a book signing event at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Md to celebrate the store's anniversary! I will be signing books, taking pictures and hugging necks so join me! You should've received your invitation.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Right Foundation

Colossians 4:2
2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

The apostle Paul provided instructions for households under the Christian faith in the Roman Church. Paul gave each member of the household instructions on how to function so that the household runs like a well-oiled machine. Paul specifically provided three instructions in one verse as general instructions. The first is to pray. "A household that prays together stays together." Praying together puts everyone on one accord in Holy Spirit and allows God's purpose to flourish. Is your household on one accord? Praying together also keeps the enemy at bay. Be watchful. Our spiritual eyes are to always be open and alert. The greatest trick in the world that the enemy has ever played is always based on ignorance. He uses the ignorance of others to hide himself. Not that this will be a pleasant example but it's a great illustration. The reason black slaves were not allowed to be taught to read was because if they could read and gain knowledge, they could no longer be oppressed. It was even illegal for someone to teach a slave to read. The ignorance of the majority of black slaves kept the vicious cycle in rotation. As long as our spiritual eyes remain closed, vicious cycles of sin remain in place. And if we are watchful over each other in our households, what better way to avoid snares. Didn't you know that "four eyes are better than two"? Two eyes can miss something but if four eyes are working together, much can be accomplished.  And lastly but not least, be thankful. A grateful heart gives praise and honor to God. It's not only pleasing to Him, but it's what are created to do. Our purpose is always to glorify God.  It also places us in the right mindset to prepare for more blessings. Are you thankful? Does your household have the right foundation?

P.S. Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 19th! I will be having a book signing event at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Md to celebrate the store's anniversary! I will be signing books, taking pictures and hugging necks so join me! You should've received your invitation.

Monday, November 7, 2011

No Argument

Job 15:2
2Would he argue with useless words, with speeches that have no value?

Job's "friend" Eliphaz was more than upset with Job's response to him. Job was upset because he was suffering as though wasting away and wondering why God had not moved on delivering him from his situation. Eliphaz lost his patience with Job because Job didn't accept his argument for why God had not moved. Eliphaz determined that Job spoke with useless words and that his argument was not valid. In the end, it turned out that all of Job's friends were incorrect in their arguments toward Job's suffering. Have you been in a situation where your friend's arguments differ from yours regarding your situation? What does it mean to argue? Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines argue as:

1: to give reasons for or against something : reason <argue for a new policy>
2: to contend or disagree in words : dispute <argue about money>
transitive verb
1: to give evidence of : indicate argue his innocence>
2: to consider the pros and cons of : discuss <argue an issue>
3: to prove or try to prove by giving reasons : maintain argue his case>
4: to persuade by giving reasons : induce argue her out of going>

Lawyers argue their positions all the time based on evidence and ask that a decision be rendered by the people. Argue has its roots in Latin. It's from the verb argutare which means to make clear or prove. When one is discussing the circumstances of life, if God is not the source of wisdom and knowledge, then indeed whatever words are said are useless. There is wisdom and knowledge that is of God and then there is simply babble.  The ability to discern between the two has a clear line. God is never contrary to His word. He is a God of decency and order. He is never the author of confusion. If there is confusion, rest assured it's not God. God is clear. Since God is the creator of every life, He always knows what's best. There is no disputing God because He just is.

P.S. Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 19th! I will be having a book signing event at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Md to celebrate the store's anniversary! I will be signing books, taking pictures and hugging necks so join me! You should've received your invitation.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Which Life Would You Rather Have?

Psalm 73:21-22
21When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
22I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.

The psalmist describes the difference between one who lives in righteousness and one who lives in wickedness as said by the NIV Study Bible. The psalmist describes what their heart was like before God. The heart before God is one in a constant grief-stricken mode. One in this mode lives a life of blind ignorance and bitterness about life. The psalmist compares himself to a brute beast or an animal that has no conscience. Do we understand what it means to have a bitterness about life? What does it mean to be bitter? Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines bitter as:

1a : being or inducing the one of the four basic taste sensations that is peculiarly acrid, astringent, or disagreeable and suggestive of an infusion of hops — compare salt, sour, sweet b : distasteful or distressing to the mind : galling bitter sense of shame>

These definitions are pretty intense but to simplify, bitter means severe pain and regret that is marked with coldness and sometimes even a vengeful spirit. A life without God means a life of bitterness. A life not lived in God's direction for us means many regrets. But a life with God, is marked with guidance, strength, peace, joy, love and faithfulness from Him. God guides and sustains us so that circumstances will not turn us bitter. If we love Him, he makes everything turn out for our good as said in Romans 8:28. Which life would you rather have?

P.S. Remember to tune in on Saturday to my man V of the Artist to Artist Show on at 8:30am CT, 2:30pm CT and 8:30pm CT and check out the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment! And check out my girl Stubbs of the Leapoffaithshow on Sunday 6am-10am ET and Monday-Wednesday, 6am-9am ET and listen for the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blessings of Certain Peace

Luke 11:28
28He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

Jesus taught the crowd about the difference between the work He was doing and that of Satan. Jesus was accused of driving out demons by the power of Satan. When he finished giving a parable, a woman in the crowd told Jesus his mother was blessed for giving birth to him. Jesus took the focus off of Mary very quickly and put it back where it belonged, on God. Yes, Mary was blessed but just as Jesus said, those who hear and obey God are blessed. How so? No, life won't be all roses but life in obedience to the Lord brings a certain peace that no one can fully explain. But in order to live it out, one has to hear the word of God. Hearing the word of God taught in the guidance of the Holy Spirit brings clarity and understanding to life. Just like we remember the music we listen to, so to we remember the word of God when it's preached and taught if we're listening with our ears and our spirit. The downloading of understanding into the spirit takes places when one is open to receiving the word of God. But it's not enough just to hear. Practical application is necessary for the growth of anyone in any area. There is already a plan for your life and it's made visible with regular, re-enforced teaching.

P.S. Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 19th! I will be having a book signing event at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Md to celebrate the store's anniversary! I will be signing books, taking pictures and hugging necks so join me! You should've received your invitation.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Your Greatest Contribution

1Kings 10:1
1When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions.

The queen of Sheba paid a visit to the wise King Solomon. Queen Sheba reigned over southwest Arabia. Some believe Ethiopia and Yemen were in her territory. She did a lot of trade around Ethiopia. Sheba heard many stories of Solomon but her view was that she needed to see with her own eyes who the "so-called" great King Solomon was especially upon hearing his name in the same sentence with the Lord. There will always be those like Sheba who do not believe what God can do with a person unless they've seen it themselves. "Seeing is believing" is their motto. And that was quite alright with Solomon. He "entertained" her doubts even for a little while. And though she presented him with gifts after realizing that he was more than what her countrymen said of him but who God created him to be, Solomon blessed her more. People that will test who you are will sometimes want to see if you know who you are but also to see if you are who everyone else says you are. What's of greater importance is that you are who God says you are. Do you know who you are and what you possess in Him? Solomon knew who he was because he relied on God to show him. He sought God to become who he needed to be in order to reign over a kingdom. He submitted to being who God wanted him to be and in doing so, God revealed him to the world in order to display His glory. Your greatest asset and contribution to the world will begin when you know who you are in Christ and your worth to Him.

P.S. Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 19th! I will be having a book signing event at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Md to celebrate the store's anniversary! I will be signing books, taking pictures and hugging necks so join me! You should've received your invitation.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Blowing Out Trick Candles

Luke 4:23b
23b"Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum."

Jesus echoed the words that those in his hometown would speak to him just before his death on the cross. The people of Nazareth were very offended by Jesus because he accurately discerned their disbelief and just how great it would be up to his death. They were already jealous because they could not reason how Jesus, who they saw grow up in their town, be elevated with the knowledge that he possessed. When Jesus finished speaking, the people of Nazareth were so furious they attempted to kill him then but God allowed him to walk right through the crowd and on to his next destination. Just as the people of Nazareth were angry, so too are some in our midst when their actions are accurately discerned and exposed. King Solomon repeatedly spoke of fools who do no accept correction. Point out their errors and surely their anger will flourish. Showing a fool who does not desire to learn or grow is like blowing out trick candles. Just when you think you've blown the candles out, the lights flicker back on. The errors in judgement and action will continue to repeat themselves and just as Jesus left those in Nazareth were they stood, so we ought. Jesus knew that those in Nazareth would only believe when God's purpose was carried out. We must keep the same measure of persistence in what we must do. Leave the fools where they are and move to the next destination. Jesus knew where he had to go and instead of wasting time explaining, he simply left. Just as Jesus was vindicated, so will you when God's purpose is complete.

P.S. Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 19th! I will be having a book signing event at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Md to celebrate the store's anniversary! I will be signing books, taking pictures and hugging necks so join me! You should've received your invitation.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Give Him Respect

Psalm 103:11
11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

The Maryland Terrapins of the University of Maryland College Park have a slogan for their mascot, "Fear the Turtle". Now to some, that might not be saying much but between the hare and the turtle, the turtle will win the race because he is steady and strong. And yes, the diamondback terrapin is Maryland's official state reptile. God is steady and strong. He is constant and never changes. But many of us do not fear him. We fear him because we don't want to go to hell but we don't fear Him in the sense that we must answer to him for everything we think, say and do. First, yes, God loves everyone. But just as David the psalmist says, his love is "so great" for those who fear him. David means for those who have reverence for Him. What does it mean to reverence? According to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, reverence means to:

1: honor or respect felt or shown : deference; especially : profound adoring awed respect
2: a gesture of respect (as a bow)
3: the state of being revered
4: one held in reverence —used as a title for a clergyman

Many of us do not give God the respect He deserves. Why not give it? Why not give to God not just tithes and offerings but our time? Not in busyness but just spending time with Him and Him alone. When is the last time you showed God respect? Respect requires listening, obedience and follow through on what He asks of us. Many of us don't fear or reverence Him because we simply care not to know Him accept for when we want him to be our genie in a bottle. God's love for those who respect Him is deeper than the depths of the widest ocean. We haven't even begun to touch who He really is in our finite minds. Why not at least give Him respect?

P.S. Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 19th! I will be having a book signing event at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Md to celebrate the store's anniversary! I will be signing books, taking pictures and hugging necks so join me!

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Better Position

Psalm 3:6
6I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.

David's own son Absalom rose against him. Absalom was angry because his sister Tamar had been raped by their brother Amnon. Amnon claimed to be in love with Tamar and so he tricked Tamar to caring for him while he was sick. When she was close enough to him he forced himself upon her. All he had for her was sensual desire nothing more. And once he received what he wanted, he realized he didn't love her but he hated her. Absalom was angry and plotted to kill Amnon. But Absalom turned on King David when he felt David didn't do enough to punish him for Tamar's disgrace. And so Absalom made his own father his enemy and rose up amongst the people his own army. God told David that the sword would never leave his house. There would always be division because of his act against Bathsheba's husband. But David asked God for mercy in this psalm and for Him to step in and cancel his enemies. David never wanted to hurt his son. He loved him. And though so many in his own kingdom were against him, he still did not fear. He had faith that God's mercy was on him. And it was though David was paying a price for a mistake. Absalom was killed after being stuck in tree. It was not a sweet victory for David. He lost two sons whom he loved in the process. In the end, Absalom's own revenge was turned on him. He sought vengeance that was not his to take. It belonged to the Lord. And because he went about it the wrong way, he lost not only a battle but his life. Like David, some of us may have enemies closer than we think. But just as David sought the Lord, so we ought do the same. It is never for us to be an Absalom with an angry spirit, though he felt he was doing the right thing. His anger spilled over. We must inquire of the Lord through prayer as to how we must proceed but in the process do not sin. Lack of self-control in any area is dangerous. Surely, the Lord's victory puts our fate in a better position.

P.S. Remember to catch my man V of the Artist to Artist Show on Saturdays at 8:30am CT, 2:30pm CT and 8:30pm CT and catch the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment! Also listen to my girl Stubbs of the Leap of Faith Show on on Sundays 6am-10am ET as well as Monday- Wednesday 6am-9am ET and listen for the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Acknowledged as One of His

Luke 12:8
8"I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.

Jesus was frank when he said don't be afraid to claim Him. The Pharisees denied Jesus over and over. He warned what would happened. And He's the same today as yesterday. Don't be afraid to claim Jesus as your Savior!  Does this mean we have to beat people over the head with it? No. But it means if we know that Jesus is the reason for something happening in our lives, then let us not walk in fear of saying so. Yes, some of us are afraid because we don't know how people may respond. But when someone has a death in their family or something else tragic is happening, people latch on to something. So why not lift Jesus up if you're willing. How He's kept you in a rough time can show the person that they can make it through with His help. Some people may then hold you accountable when you claim Jesus as your Savior but is that a bad thing? No.  It ought not be as a way to shame you but your life being an example may open the door for someone to want to know who Christ is. Though we ought not do something just for acknowledgement's sake, people love public recognition more than anything. How great would it be to stand in front of Jesus and a host of angels and hear Jesus say, "You are one of my sheep."  Do your friends and family know you love Jesus? Or is He still the best kept secret? Do they see Jesus in you? Are you recognized here on earth as one of His sheep?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Fountain of Understanding

Proverbs 16:22
22Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly brings punishment to fools.

The ever wise King Solomon noted that "understanding" ought to be a fountain. A fountain is a source where water flows. And according to King Solomon, understanding ought to flow in one's life. But as he said, "to those who have it". Not everyone has understanding and quite frankly, not everyone seeks it. There are some of us in life who deny every bit of understanding because gaining it means we have to be held responsible for our actions, and the truth of knowing that ignorance is not bliss in the long run doesn't seem as exciting to some. God is the source of ALL understanding that is true, that is right, that is pure. So why then do we deny it and Him? As King Solomon said, lacking it not only makes us a fool but we bring about our own punishment. Are we really willing to pay the price that comes along with our foolish behavior? For most of us, that answer is no but hopefully we get it before it's too late.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Where Credit is Due

John 1:8-9
8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

John the brother of Jesus gave testimony of John the Baptist's purpose. He very eloquently dispelled the myth that John the Baptist was the Messiah. This belief ensued for quite some time. But John said that John the Baptist was a "witness". A witness is a person with a firsthand account, someone that was present. Many of us as believers have to learn how to give our "firsthand account of what Jesus has done in our lives. We never know who may need to hear our eyewitness account. If we do not speak when the Lord gives us an opportunity is it because we are afraid or because we do not see evidence of Him in our daily lives? If we do not see evidence is it not because we fail to perceive or we simply haven't come to know Him yet? John also said "the true light that gives light to every man". In other words, Jesus will operate through any one of us, if we are willing. We alone cannot take any credit for what God does. We can only submit to being an instrument or lamp that Jesus is allowing His light to shine through. If we are not clear on who is in control, it can be very easy to attempt to steal the limelight. And our God is a jealous God. He will indeed demonstrate who is REALLY running the show. It's okay to say, "it's not me, it's Jesus." At that point, credit is going to where credit is due.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Courage of Conviction

Daniel 1:8
8But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

Daniel had the courage to stand on his convictions though he was in a foreign land. It was customary for the food in Babylon to be offered to idols before being set at the king's table. Daniel who loved God and followed Jewish law would not participate in this ritual no matter who's table he entertained. Daniel had a strict regimen and stuck with it. Even at the risk of getting into trouble with others. But indeed he asked the official to test him and his friends first to prove his point. And so Daniel's point was proven. The way he and his friends lived left them in a better condition than the others being prepared for the king's service. As followers of Christ, we can take a lesson from Daniel. If we have convictions rooted in our faith about the way we live, we ought not abandon them just because we are in a new place. We must have the courage, like Daniel, to risk the "fitting in" or being liked factor because it's for God that we live. When we are at the judgement seat, the others can not give an account for us as to what we've done. It's human to want to be liked or to want to fit in with the crowd. But God has said that we must stand out from the crowd. How else can He use us as a light to bring others to Christ if we keep our light dim to please man. Our main purpose is to please God.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Let the Lord Finish It

Matthew 26:41
"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

Jesus was just moments away from being taken at the Garden of Gethsemane. The human side of him was filled with sorrow at the fate he had to face but he still kept it in perspective even as he gave Peter, John and James their final lesson before the guards arrived. Jesus knew why He came to live among us and so His purpose was being fully actualized or reaching it's pinnacle point. His lesson to them was to stay in prayer so they wouldn't fall into temptation. Yes, we are all tempted but to follow through on the temptation is when we lose. The war between flesh and spirit is a continuous battle. But as Jesus said, the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. The first part of this is that we have to have a willing spirit in order to conquer the temptation. In other words, we have to have at least a remote desire to want to do God's will. But we have to have a desire to spend time with God to learn what His will is. And the only way to overcome the weakness of the flesh is stay with the Holy Spirit which is why Jesus said we must pray. If we neglect having a consistent prayer life, then our spirit will not only lack the willingness but our flesh won't even begin to follow suit. How many of us really understand the Holy Spirit? How many of us have a regular prayer life and not just when storms rise? How many of us REALLY desire to do God's will? We are spiritual beings. The things of the world are spiritual in nature and then manifest in the natural. So the only way to battle the flesh is to start in the spirit and then God will manifest the change in us in the natural. But we have to want to start for the Lord to finish it.

P.S. Remember to tune into my man V of the Artist to Artist Show Saturdays on at 8:30am CT, 2:30pm CT and 8:30pm CT and listen for the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment. Also check out my girl Stubbs on the Leap of Faith show at Sundays 6am-10am ET and Monday-Wednesday 6am-9am ET and listen for the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Two Ps

Psalm 49:7
7No man can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for him-

The psalmist is giving wisdom on how fools think. We've seen movies in the 80s and 90s about people who would exchange their life for another for more time and/or a second chance at life. One such title was "Heaven Can Wait". But no one can exchange their life for someone else's. No one can buy their way or others out of death. Each person has a limited time here on earth and only God knows that length of time. Everyone born in this world must come to the end of life in a mortal body. The breath of life given to each person is not to be taken lightly. For it is a gift but God can redeem that breath at any time He chooses. Our duty, is to live life each day in praise and purpose. For one, we must praise the Lord because He is worthy. Second, living our God-given purpose is the way to show God gratitude. We must give an account of what we have done with our earthly lives when we come to the end of them. What will be said of you?  Are you living life by the two Ps?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Right Direction

Luke 1:66
66Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, "What then is this child going to be?" For the Lord's hand was with him."

Elizabeth had just given birth to John who would later become the one to prepare the way for the Lord. John the Baptist had a significant purpose and was raised according to what his purpose was. But the question comes how would Elizabeth and Zechariah have known John's purpose if they didn't seek God? How would they have raised him? In this case God sought them but they had reverence for God. Zechariah himself was a priest. His life was about seeking and serving God and His people.  Elizabeth and Zechariah received guidance from the Lord on who John would be. Granted, Zechariah had some doubt so God had to show him. No, they were not given all the specifics but they were given enough to know that he was special to God. All children are special to Him but each child has a unique purpose that God desires to bring out. If a parent is not open to God and ready to receive direction from Him, then children may stumble into their purpose or it may be delayed. If as a adults those once children don't seek God, their purpose may never be realized at all. Each person is given a choice in life. Finding purpose can become like traveling through a maze if not properly guided. It is only through faith in God that one will find true purpose. If children are taught young, the chances of finding their purpose early are much greater. Anyone walking in their purpose gives glory to God because God will work in ways that will display His awesomeness. When one walks in the direction that God has for them, doors and opportunities arise in a way that Everyone will know it could only be God. Are you living out your purpose? If not, is it because you made a choice not to after you had been guided properly? Even if you weren't, you have a choice now. The choice is to seek God not just for purpose but for love.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Doing it All in Love

1Corinthians 16:14
14Do everything in love.

The apostle Paul wrote letters to the church of Corinth. His declaration in this portion of the letter was based on a personal request. His request though personal, still emulated Christ. Its a simple request yet seems so difficult for many of us. Do everything in love. What does this mean? It means we are not to be mean-spirited in what we do or say but we are to be genuinely concerned for the welfare of others. We ought to speak lovingly, even if it's tough love, there must be visibility of love. We often forget how important love really is. God is love and has taught us very well on what love is. But unfortunately, love is not always used as a way of life. Speaking to someone who's face one looks into as they walk by. Holding the door open for others or even acknowledging someone that has let you over into their lane on the highway are simple acts representative of love. Love isn't just for those you know and trust. It's for everyone. We don't have to love the things one does if they are out of line with God but we can love them enough to pray for them. We can love them enough to speak up to help set them on the right path versus watching them sink to the depths of their own destruction. Isn't that what Jesus did? He came to show us all the right way but He went even further, he laid down his life. It wasn't the nails that held Him, it was love. How many us would put our lives on the line for not only those we knew but those we didn't? Love is meant to be an action not merely a word.

P.S. Remember to add to your schedule November 19th at John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, MD as I will have a book signing there from 1-4pm for the store's anniversary weekend. If you've already purchased your book and want it signed, feel free to come out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Willing Participant

Hosea 5:4
4"Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord.

Ouch! A harsh word given to the prophet Hosea from the Lord about the people of Israel. Israel was continually disobedient and turning their backs on God. Israel began worshiping the idols of their neighbors. But truthfully, when we are willfully doing something that we know is not of God but continue to do it, we refuse God. We refuse what He says as a child that doesn't heed a parent's warning. But a spirit of prostitution? A prostitute willingly gives their body over and over to be used in exchange for money usually for survival but some for recreation. If we are willfully committing sin, then we are giving ourselves over and over to be used and infiltrated. We come to a place that God's word and judgement no longer matter. All that matters is what we're doing at that moment. All that matters is that next hit, that next high, that next lay, that next taste, who do we have to sell down the river to get that paper, what we can get our hands on, etc. We no longer recognize the consequences as being relevant to our lives. At least not until it happens. The out of sight out of mind complex takes over. We're not living the consequence so "we'll just deal with it when it comes." Being a willing participant in sin is a recipe for disaster. Sooner or later, the consequences show themselves. Sooner or later, we have to face the Lord. Just because we refuse to the think about the consequences of our actions doesn't make them any less real. It just means the impact will be twice as great.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Making the Crooked Road Straight

Jeremiah 31:2
2This is what the Lord says:
"The people who survive the sword will find favor in the desert;
I will come to give rest to Israel."

Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord gave to the people of Israel hope when there could've been no hope. Israel had committed many sins as a country which landed them captive to Babylon for 70 years. They had been warned over and over with every sin, with every betrayal against God. However; God had already planned their deliverance! He had already planned to strike against those that treated Israel harshly during Israel's lesson. Israel's lesson was to TRUST in God and not the "so called" allies who did nothing but plot Israel's destruction. Israel was to appreciate the gifts God had given  them and what HE did for them not what they thought they could for themselves or at the hands of "so called" allies. The Lord gave hope to Israel in the sense that once they survived their judgement, He would come and rescue them. He would eventually restore them but even in the transition, the Lord would be present. When we have committed sins against our Lord, does He not seek to teach us as He did Israel? We have to go through the judgement period so we get the lesson, but THANK YOU JESUS for mercy! The Lord doesn't keep us there if we're willing to admit to our mistakes and SUBMIT TO HIS WILL. When we do, He begins to heal our wounds from the judgement and bring us back into right relationship with Him. What have we done, individually that we need to admit to and ask God to forgive? What is the lesson we need to get? Are we finally ready to submit to GOD'S WILL for our lives? This question is not just for a few areas, but to GIVE IT ALL TO HIM so HE can make every crooked road behind us straight when we look in front of us and take each step.  IN JESUS NAME!

P.S. Remember to check out my man V of the Artist to Artist Show on and listen for the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment at 8:30am CT, 2:30pm CT and 8:30pm CT! Be sure to catch my girl Stubbs of the Leap of Faith Show on and listen for the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment Sunday from 6am-10am ET and Monday-Wednesday 6am-9am ET!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

In An Instant

1Peter 5:8
8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

The apostle Peter addressed Christians in Asia Minor about ways of life. We now live in the "instant" society. We can get a meal and coffee/tea in an instant. Doctors' visits have been narrowed down to 15 minutes per patient and we have the "minute-clinic". Drive-thrus and pre-packaged products are the way of life. In an instant means we don't need to wait or don't have to if we decide not to. The more of an instant society we've become the less self-control we seem to have. When  we know we can get or have anything right now, we see nothing wrong with it. But what the apostle Peter has said is the in an instant and not having enough control to WAIT is an easy way for the enemy to take up residence in our lives. As long as we have no self-control we can become food addicts, alcohol addicts, etc. These addictions lead to problems in other areas of our lives. And remember, the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. What better way to destroy us then with our own addiction to having everything in an instant or right at our fingertips. Did you know that self-control is a fruit of the spirit that the apostle Paul mentioned? Exhibiting self-control whether in one's temperament, speech, eating, etc is all part of the way God imparts wisdom. Self-control allows one to be alert. As Peter said, lacking self-control puts us in danger of destruction. Lacking self-control allows us the continued justification for the "babe in Christ" stage when many of us have been sitting on the pews and fed the Word of God for years. And if we are so bound by our addictions, it's nothing that God can help us overcome through consistent prayer. He can do the impossible!! Next time any of us has an opportunity to have something in an instant, let's stop and think, "do I really need it?" Need and want are two different things. Instant isn't always better.

P.S. A special thank you to the Church Beat Radio family on for all you do!!