Friday, June 3, 2011


Psalm 79:12
12 Pay back into the laps of our neighbors seven times
   the reproach they have hurled at you, O Lord.

No one outright plans to do anything against God. But unfortunately it's done more often than not. The countries surrounding the people of Israel were being used to teach God's people over and over lessons they refused to get when the Lord tried to warn them. Whenever Israel would finally get it and repent of their ways, those who committed acts against them were then punished. How so? Babylon once a great power was demolished. Jezebel once a powerful queen who attempted to kill a great prophet of the Lord was prophesied against and killed, etc.

As followers of Christ, we have what is known as the Holy Spirit within us to steer us in the correct direction, if we are willing to listen. When we aren't willing to listen, God can use circumstances and the people around us to teach us the hard way what we weren't willing to learn when the Holy Spirit wanted to direct. But what we don't see is that actions committed against followers of Christ, like Israel, are not just seen as acts committed against people but against the Lord himself. Yes, if you've lied on someone, you lied on God. If you've deceived someone, you've attempted to deceive God. If you've hurt someone, you've also hurt God. We never see what we do or don't do as actions against God but they are. God gives us an opportunity to repent or sincerely apologize for our actions but when we refuse, we again bring more harm to ourselves. Jesus gave the first commandment greater meaning.

Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

This is why treating others the way you want to be treated is important. Treating others with love and respect is treating God with love and respect. Not, is to do the same unto the Lord. Our relationship with God is also reflected in our relationship with others. When our relationship with God is off, so is our relationship with others.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sand vs. Living Water

John 7:37-38
37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

Have you repeatedly drank everything from soda, coffee, tea to milkshakes only to find you are still thirsty? Nothing can quench a thirst like pure water. And from Jesus' own lips, if one is thirsty, only water can quench the thirst. So many of us either are or have been searching for something or anything that can fill the void deep down inside. No matter what we try to quench the thirst of our souls with, be it alcohol, drugs, gossiping, sex, overworking or food, it's like drinking sand on a hot day. Nothing can soothe the soul like our Lord and Savior. Nothing can give us peace like having that relationship with God where we can go to him and talk openly to him and suddenly feel a peace like we've never felt before. The difference between Christ and everything else mentioned, they are all external but the Lord is within us via the Holy Spirit if we have accepted him. Never-ending peace, love and joy cannot be found externally. All the other things can dull pain for a moment but it's still there when it's all been consumed.

What have you been quenching your thirst with? Is it working? Try the living water. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Psalm 128:2
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;
   blessings and prosperity will be yours.

What good is it to have a blessing if you can't enjoy it? Per the NIV Study Bible, the psalmist was giving a word of instruction to those assembled from their homes to worship in Jerusalem. The psalmist noted that those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways would be blessed. A by product of being blessed is the ability to enjoy the blessings showered upon one by God. Do you know that you are blessed? If so, are you able to enjoy the blessings you have? Or are you zipping past them for something else? We don't always realize how blessed we really are until we no longer have something. Counting ones blessings go far beyond what's tangible. The intangibles are just as beautiful. Whatever you have put your hand to, if God is in it, you should be able to enjoy it. If you aren't, why? If you're so busy vying for everyone else's blessings then you never know what you have in front of you. What is that God wants to share with you?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Without Expectation

Luke 14:13-14
13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

There's nothing like blessing someone with an unexpected gift and watch them glow. Jesus had been invited to the house of one of the Pharisees and he noticed how everyone took their seats and expected to be honored. But Jesus noted that often when someone does something nice for their friends or family, the recipient does something nice in return often repaying the same gift. But it's better to invite someone who can't repay you because the blessing won't come from them but from the Lord.

We often do things for people with an expectation that they will return the favor. But what if they can't? Would you still bless them if you could? Some of us hate owing people in any way so we look for an opportunity to repay them the kindness. But then is it really from the heart? God loves a cheerful giver not just to him but at all times. So if it's just so you don't owe anyone is the gift really being given cheerfully? We ought not hold a gift over someone to expect something back in return. If the Lord wants you to have something, trust that he will provide it. You may have no knowledge of the giver before hand but it will come.

Give without expectation especially to someone who may not be able to pay you back. Not so you can be rewarded by men, but it will be between you and God.

P.S. I want to give a heart felt thank you to the women of Shechem Covenant Outreach Ministries for having me at their Women's Luncheon this past weekend! What an honor to speak before you. I also want to thank the Debs In Christ of Celebration Church for allowing me to sit with them in on-going workshops. Such wonderful young ladies who are coming into adulthood.