Friday, September 27, 2013

A Confession of Faith

John 3:16

16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

When someone says they want to know more about who Jesus is and His life, recommending the book of John is an awesome place for them to start. Why? Because within it is a confession of faith that if they truly receive it, can save their life! John 3:16 is the confession of faith for which one who believes and confesses this scripture with their heart and mouth, is received into the family of Christ.

I believe transparency is a MUST when God gives anyone a task, not just to gain the trust of the people God called you to minister to but also so you can testify of how God can use anyone. You may not think this is relevant but oh it is. The readers of Get Your JOY In The Morning that attended the second night of revival will testify to what they saw. The word was transforming! During revival the Holy Spirit kept speaking to me about  giving my testimony of my confession of faith. So I am heeding. Someone needs to hear it.

Many preachers and teachers were raised up in the church at an early as they were dragged into church by their parents ALL the time. Well that was not me. I was not "raised" in the church as many would think. I would here about God here and there. And went to church here and there. I was about 5years old when I participated in a nativity seen for Christmas. But when I was 9 years old spending the summer with other family members, the neighbors were going to church at the nearby Methodist church on the corner. One morning, like a firecracker, I woke up and suddenly wanted to go to church. My family looked at me like I had two heads! Laugh! Most of the family I spent my summers with didn't set foot into a church unless it was a wedding or a funeral. I was serious about church. Anyone who really knows me knows that when I start saying I want to do something, it won't be long before I stop talking and start doing. So I got dressed and came downstairs. At that point, my great grandma knew I was for real. So she stood at the front door while I walked down to the corner into the church. I sat in service and tried greatly to understand the sermon. Was a little above my head. But I tell you what, the first time I went to Sunday school, I enjoyed myself soooo much!! I wanted to learn all I could about JESUS!! After a few Sundays, my Sunday school teacher paid a visit to my great grandparents and told them how much I loved to study about Jesus and how I participated. I was the same way in school during the year. I enjoy learning. I continued to go to church. Neighbors were amazed because they had never seen a child get up and go to church on her own. But then it was time to go back home. I didn't go to church when I went back home. I used to have to beg to go to the little Sunday school sessions when the neighborhood churches came around with buses. I was allowed to go from time to time. By the time I was 12years old, I wasn't spending as much time with other family because I was in other programs.  I had already suffered some traumatic situations with abuse. I was 16yrs old when I met a classmate who would call me every Saturday to ask if I was going to church. Church was not talked about. But God was from time to time. I knew how to pray at bedtime. My stepfather said grace over our food so then I began saying grace. Not to make this too much longer...but I am coming up on the day I truly confessed. See, Jesus had been seeking me all along. My friend at that time knew what would get me in church, singing! She was in the youth choir and encouraged me to come to rehearsal. Yeah, I was naively set up. :-) Anyway, that Sunday, forever changed my life. When the words we had practiced finally hit me like a ton of bricks I couldn't stop crying. When the alter call came, I stepped out of the choir loft and confessed that I believed Jesus to be the Son of God. It's not that I didn't know. I just finally confessed. Jesus had been waiting for 7years to get me to that place. Between that period of time, some major life altering events happened and I was really broken. When I came to Jesus, my family was not present. I didn't need to have the family at my side when I gave my life. That time was for me and Jesus alone. Just as I started out at age 9 with the desire, so it is still there. I minister to my own family even through these messages. Some have come to church. This walk for me was hand picked. So NEVER feel that what God told you to do you are incapable of just because you didn't "grow up" in the church. God can use anyone. Even someone like me who was broken by those I was supposed to trust and who didn't spend their entire childhood in the four walls of a sanctuary.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Due to an Act of God

Genesis 1:9
9Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so.
God showed me something yesterday that I had always overlooked but I THANK GOD for illuminating it! In many contracts, including those you overlook everyday whether it be for a plane ride, trip, performance, etc, there is a legal term that appears called, "Act of God". The clause basically eliminates said party from responsibility of enforcing the contractual agreement should something happen outside of their control. The circumstances that are eligible to make the contract null and void include a flood, tornado, or any other occurrence that man cannot cause to happen. So even companies are acknowledging that there is someone above who has control over what happens in the earth that they themselves cannot touch.

So what does this have to do with Genesis? EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Genesis is the first book of the Bible. It is in the Old Testament. It is where God begins to create the earth by speaking it into existence. God thinks it, says it and it is so. The scripture above where He creates water is relevant because flooding is considered an "Act of God". In accepting "Acts of God",  it is also being accepted that God created the earth!! So if God created the earth and "Acts of God" are happening regularly, why are so many taking God for a joke whether it be His Holy Word written, the preached Word, Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Why are so many attempting to control situations when simply put, only an "Act of God" can make it so or not so? If companies that provide us services everyday can admit there are situations outside of their control, why can't you?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

There's No More Time Left

Ecclesiastes 8:14

14There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just men to whom it happens according to work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

Ecclesiastes is known as wisdom literature. King Solomon wrote heavily on wisdom which is the gift God gave to him upon a prayer. King Solomon was referring to death as the punishment for the wicked as many righteous felt that it was the just punishment of God. But King Solomon noted many exceptions as the NKJ Study Bible notes. Bad things do happen to good people.

I had been a little troubled in my soul as two people I know passed in a matter of three days. One had been a business partner. The other my cousin who was the sibling of the cousin we buried just before Thanksgiving last year. i was troubled as the first death came without warning or previous sickness. The second death came after a long battle but is a pattern of deaths God has shown me that have occurred over a period of time. I honestly thought the family had escaped it because three of the four that were in and out of the hospital this time last year, on the same side of the family, came home. Alas, those family members had been spared while within the year one more has been taken.  The understanding that God has provided after burying several friends and family members over the years and having my own near death experience is that sometimes, not all the time, are deaths about what one has done wrong or right. Sometimes it's simply that person's time. But the lessons are for those left behind. What are the lessons? Glad you asked!!  The first lesson is that you do not have as long as your vanity, cockiness or your own imagination has dreamed up for you. In layman's terms, you will leave here when God says you will and there is nothing you can do about it. The second lesson is if you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing or what God has called you to do, you do not have forever to "get it together".  Procrastinating and fighting God can leave you on the short end of the stick when you find out there's no more time left. I know I felt like that when I was told there was no time left. But I received a second chance to get in line with what God has called me to do. Some won't and don't get a second chance. So my best advice, if you know God has spoken to you about something you must do and has already said to do it, do not assume you have 5, 10 or even 15 years to get it done.  You ought to move like your deadline is today Close of Business (COB). Yes, God has a sense of humor but one thing He does not play with is about why He put you here. He has given you a specific purpose and He does expect you to carry it out if He has already communicated it to you. Now, if you are part of the crowd that does not understand your purpose, the hope is that in seeing your loved ones pass away, you will reflect enough to begin the steps needed to get to your purpose. The only way to find your purpose is to grow in your faith with God. God knows why He put you here so if you want to understand it, you have to understand Him and how you relate to Him. Does the alter call or call to discipleship after a eulogy has been given make sense now?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wisdom is Greater

Proverbs 13:7

7There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing. And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.

I honestly wanted to avoid this scripture because I didn't want anyone to be offended as there are various people both rich and poor on this list. However, God reminded me that I cannot offend anyone as it is His word. So if anyone is offended, there offense is with Him not me. For this is not about soothing itching ears as the word says but about His truth so that you and I can be mature in Him and not tossed to and fro.

King Solomon, who himself was considered both the wisest and richest man of the Old Testament, received from the Lord himself that one can be rich but still have nothing. And one who is poor can have great riches. How can this be you ask? In the translation of the verse of the New King James Version it says in bold, "Money is only a small ingredient of both wealth and poverty. A person may be rich in material goods but have nothing of wisdom." And remember the beginning of Proverbs emphasizes heavily on wisdom. Solomon didn't pray for money when he inherited the his father David's kingdom. He prayed for wisdom and because he did, God gave him riches. Praying for wisdom means that God can give you the ability to get riches as the heavens and earth and everything in it belongs to Him. So He is the richest. Having wisdom is greater because one can have money yet be reckless with it and the decisions they make which can lead to a loss of material goods. Having God's wisdom will show you where to go and where not to go. Where to invest and where not to invest. You don't have to listen to what the world says if you are listening to God. So if you have been feeling down on yourself because you don't have, Remember, to pray for wisdom. For with it, you are rich. Within God's wisdom, He may well indeed give you an idea that can lead to great material wealth and more importantly, you may end up helping hundreds of thousands of people with His wisdom. God's wisdom is endless so don't be afraid to pray for it.