Friday, September 9, 2011

An Anticipated Reward

Psalm 126:6
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.

The psalm was written for those who returned from exile in Babylon. There was a group that accompanied Ezra in rebuilding. The psalmist focuses on the joy that was felt. The group that rebuilt Jerusalem after the exile were indeed weeping when they left Babylon. They were weeping because they had endured trouble and their hearts were heavy seeing the destruction that was left behind. Yet, they moved forward in the work that God laid on their hearts. The seed they were sowing was one of restoration. And indeed the day came when they could rejoice. Even during the rebuilding, enemies tried to stop them but God allowed them to prevail. What trouble are you enduring? Are you allowing it to stop you or are you still sowing the seed God has laid on your heart in your weeping? The seed, whatever it is, must be for restoration or some positive contribution. If it is, and you are operating in God's will according to His timing, know that your harvest will come in a mighty way that you will indeed sing songs of joy to the Lord. Being able to sing songs of joy to the Lord instead of crying in sadness is definitely an anticipated reward. Having joy in your heart is more than enough. The harvest, well that's just the icing on the cake.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What is it About Your Name?

Ecclesiastes 7:1
A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.

The ever wise King Solomon wrote of the importance of a good name and it's relation to death. What does it mean to have a good name? A good name is your reputation, what you are known for. Just as the scent of perfume can stir up a memory, your reputation shall leave a scent in minds. And why does it relate to one's death versus the day of birth? Every person must be born and face physical death for it is indeed the cycle of life. However, when one is born, though it is a miracle, there is no real time to affect the lives of many. Essentially we are all here to affect the lives of others. Our God is relational. We learn through relationship both with Him and our neighbor. How we relate determines what name we will receive and what is said about us after we take our last breath. What is it about your name that people will remember? How have you affected the lives of others? What words will be used to characterize your life after you are gone?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do You Know Jesus Loves You Anyway?

John 8:11
11"No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

A woman was caught in the act of adultery and brought before Jesus. It was a test to see if Jesus would stone her as was the punishment for such crime. But Jesus did the opposite of what the Pharisees thought he would do. He didn't condemn her but he told her to walk away from the life she had been living. What does it mean to condemn?

According to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary condemn is defined as:

1: to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation condemned as racist>

2a : to pronounce guilty : convict b : sentence, doom <condemn a prisoner to die>
3: to adjudge unfit for use or consumption <condemn an old apartment building>
4: to declare convertible to public use under the right of eminent domain

So Jesus  wasn't going to humiliate the woman or declare her unfit because it wasn't necessary, though it would've been understandable based on the law. She knew she did wrong, Jesus knew and so did the Pharisees. What she needed to know from Jesus was she was still loved and just needed to learn from her mistakes. What about us? What in our lives have we messed up? Where did we make a wrong turn? Our God is a God of second chances, sometimes even a third, fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh. But we must learn from our mistakes and sincerely seek to turn away from them. We must be willing to admit to ourselves that we made a mistake, otherwise we won't learn and only continue to perpetuate the same behaviors which result in the same outcomes. The nasty cycle is what Jesus wants to break in us. He uses love to break it, sometimes tough love when necessary. Why not try His love? If it worked for a woman who would've been condemned to death, surely, it will work for you and me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Have You Dreamed a Dream?

Daniel 2:29
29"As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.

Daniel, also known as Belteshazzar, was called to interpret King Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The king was greatly disturbed because he could not understand what he saw. Daniel too did not know what the king saw but it was God who revealed the mystery. God speaks in many ways as was said by Job's friend, Elihu. God desires to reveal mysteries to us but unfortunately we don't pay attention and listen long enough to even hear or see the mysteries. If we do, because we do not have the knowledge necessary to unravel them, we wrongly interpret like the magicians and astrologers did. What about seeking the one who presented the dream in the first place? Whatever dream He has given you, why not ask Him how you are to proceed? The dream can be an idea or something you wanted to do since childhood or something He's recently laid on your heart. It's there for a purpose. But what good is it if you never seek instruction on what it means and what to do with it? It's as good as dead otherwise. Remember there is even a specific time associated with what He's given you. He allows everything to be in the right place at the right time so what He has for you can be carried out. Have you waited too long? Did the door close or is it just now opening for you? Understand that God works in order and with precision. We must keep up with Him not Him keeping up with us. Have you dreamed a dream? What is God telling you?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Avoidable Captivity

Jeremiah 25:3
3For twenty-three years-from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day-the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened.

The prophet Jeremiah had to deliver bad news to God's people because of their refusal to listen. Their actions brought upon them punishment that the Lord delayed as long as He could but how else were the people going to know that disobedience brings trouble? The punishment rendered was seventy years captivity in Babylon. Listening is a skill not often utilized because many of us think we know what we're doing. But our journey can be made a lot easier if we learn to listen to the one who created us. He's the one that knows why we are here. Jeremiah was distressed because he spent so many years telling God's people over and over that there would be consequences of not putting the Lord first. He said over and over that their would be turmoil for chasing after those countries that in the end would mean them harm. What in your life has God said over and over but you refuse to listen? No matter what it is, sooner or later, we all have to come to terms with it. Listening to the Lord and being obedient are skills that will take us farther in Him and to our destiny than anything else that exists. Captivity by the enemy is avoidable if we listen and obey.

P.S. A special THANK YOU to Stubbs of the Leap of Faith Show, V of the Artist to Artist Show, the Church Beat Radio family, Sharman J. Monroe, The James Allen Library, Willie Jolley, Lisa J. Monroe, Prophetess Melvinia Williams, Raiza Bonaparte and many others for your support!!! Thank you to each of you that read the messages. To see and/or hear about your closer walk with Jesus, the lover of our souls, is indeed the best gift!!!  GOD BLESS YOU!!