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.