Friday, March 25, 2011

Somewhere In Between

Proverbs 18:17
17 The first to present his case seems right,
   till another comes forward and questions him.

Have you ever heard one person's side of a story and it made sense to you? If there was anyone else involved, did you hear their side? As King Solomon asked God for wisdom, God obliged him and provided him with wisdom to rule over what was once his father's land. As a king, many challenges and disputes were brought before Solomon. He needed God's wisdom in order to present a solution. One of the challenges was hearing versions of stories and determining not just right and wrong but how to rectify. The lesson God presented to Solomon we ought to take into account ourselves. Have you ever heard the saying,"there's her story, his story and the real story which lies somewhere in between"? A person's story is their historical account of what took place. But within that we must understand that each person's perception and filters will alter a story. According to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, perception is defined as:

1a : a result of perceiving : observation (see perceive) b : a mental image : concept
2obsolete : consciousness
3a : awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation perception> b : physical sensation interpreted in the light of experience
4a : quick, acute, and intuitive cognition : appreciation b : a capacity for comprehension

Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines filter as:

1a : a porous article or mass (as of paper or sand) through which a gas or liquid is passed to separate out matter in suspension b : an apparatus containing a filter medium
2a : a device or material for suppressing or minimizing waves or oscillations of certain frequencies (as of electricity, light, or sound) b : a transparent material (as colored glass) that absorbs light of certain wavelengths or colors selectively and is used for modifying light that reaches a sensitized photographic material —called also color filter
3: something that has the effect of a filter (as by holding back elements or modifying the appearance of something) filter of race — Brent Staples>
4: software for sorting or blocking access to certain online material

Ultimately, a person's experiences and views are used as filters to tell their story so often the story will seem exact and it may be exact in their mind. But one who gives another version of the story may also be telling the story as it seems exact to them. So a king or one that is asked to present a solution must sort through one's perception and actually determine that what happened, may be somewhere in between. The one with all the answers to the pertinent questions is God. For he is the one that knows the facts so seeking his wisdom on what questions to ask and what answers to look for is always best. He sees the real story.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Delayed by Distraction

1 Corinthians 6:7-8
7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters.

Have you been wronged by someone that claimed to have your best interest?  The apostle Paul addressed the church in Corinth because there had been continuous division. Those within that branch of Zion had resulted in bringing lawsuits against one another. But why? First and foremost, the enemy comes to kill, steel and destroy. Why is this important? Because the quickest way to keep God's people off task is to create distraction and division. It is important to be united. As long as the body of Christ is not united, then God's purpose is delayed. Notice, delayed not destroyed. So what does this have to with lawsuits? As long as there is a self-serving mentality, greed,envy then one will be willing to harm another. The words just described are all characteristics of the enemy. So giving way to self-serving, greed, envy, means that one needs to get their heart right with God. No it is not good to have lawsuits against another within the body of Christ because it becomes more along the lines of retaliation and not allowing God to handle it but it's also not good for one to do harm to their brother because they have ulterior motives. It is better to let the Lord into the situation that he was left out in the first place in order to settle the dispute. Keeping the Lord in the situation keeps the enemy at bay.

What disputes need to be settled among you? Was it started because one's heart was not right with God? In other words, be humble and admit and then repent not just to the Lord, but to the one grieved. And the one grieved, forgive your brother. Stop allowing the enemy to use you both to delay God's purpose.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Finding Light in Darkness

Psalm 112:4
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
   for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.

Ever tried to walk when it's pitch black dark? You can't see anything not even your hand in front of your face. When we are in the dark all we need is a small bit of light and our vision becomes ten times better. The psalmist emphasized that the Lord is still present with his people even when it seems like all hope is gone. At times, any situation can look impossible. With those that know God, the darkness doesn't last forever. That is the very moment that a glimmer of light so small can seem like the brightness of a full moon beaming right through a dark window. Knowing and loving God and desiring to grow close to him at all times is what keeps us from falling into a black hole. A black hole is defined by Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary as:

1: a celestial object that has a gravitational field so strong that light cannot escape it and that is believed to be created especially in the collapse of a very massive star
2: something resembling a black hole: as a : something that consumes a resource continually financial black hole> b : an empty space : void

Has your life ever felt like a black hole? So absent of light that there is no way out? The way to find the glimmer of light is by finding God in any situation. Take heart, he is there.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Where is the Love?

Matthew 23:23
 23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

Have you been seen as one who follows laws to a "T"? Jesus talked about the Pharisees following the mosaic laws with the utmost scrutiny yet in them their seemed to be no appearance of love. The Pharisees clearly did not practice true justice because they had Jesus crucified for no cause other than his popularity among the people. Following the law is great, that's what we're supposed to do but more importantly, Jesus had a ministry of love. Jesus had a heart that was merciful, forgiving a criminal who hung next to him. The Pharisees would race at the chance to make themselves look good but make others look unworthy per the woman caught in adultery. Jesus also rewarded for faithfulness such as the man who believed Jesus would heal his child. So much can be said about the ministry of Jesus but only one word is even remotely adequate, love. The Pharisees were more concerned with keeping the intricacies of the law and their place as "law enforcers". They took pride in the law. But they knew nothing about the greatest law, love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.

Does anyone see God's love in you?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lost and Found

2 Kings 4:28
28 “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”

Did you ever think you were okay with not having something until you have it and nearly lose it? Sometimes we don't express the things we want because we fear losing them. And so it was with the Shunammite woman. The prophet Elisha was passing through Shunem and a very well off woman and her husband showed kindness to Elisha. For the woman's kindness, Elisha wanted to bless her. Upon first glance it seemed that she had everything. But some things money can not buy. Back then, there were no such things as adoption agencies so if a couple couldn't naturally conceive a child, there were no alternatives. So Elisha  approached the woman about what she desired. She said she was fine and needed nothing. But Elisha didn't ask her what she needed, he asked what she wanted. And so God revealed what  the woman desired was a child. So he prophesied over her life and the next year she had a baby. But one day, the child became sick and died. So what was her response during her grief. That it would've been better if she would have never had it. Ultimately, God used Elisha to perform a miracle and of bringing the child back to life. But what about the woman's response to the loss of her son? How would we respond to something like that?

Sometimes we don't know how much we desire something until its lost. Is there anything that you have lost that you didn't know how much you wanted until the threat of losing it became real? Did you ever lose it? Did you ever try to hold on for dear life instead of just giving to God? What if God decided it was best that it be lost? How would you feel? Would you celebrate having the opportunity to be blessed for a time or would you be like the woman and say it was better that you never had it all?

P.S. Listen to my first internet radio interview today, March 21st at 8:30am promoting Get Your JOY In The Morning on V's Artist-2-Artist on and be encouraged!