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Consistent Confident Content

31 Aug

Earlier this year, my friend Louisa wrote a blog post encouraging readers to focus on one word for the year as opposed to an un-kept New Year’s Resolution. Instead of one, three words came to mind, all starting with the letters C – O. Consistent, confidence, and contentment.

I’m still on my journey to become 100% consistent, with perfected confidence and always content.

Maybe you’ve arrived. But for those of us who haven’t, there’s good news! The word of God states, we can “be confident of this that He who began a good work in you (and me) will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Did you get that? God, who began the good work in us will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. We can be confident in God, trusting that He’s perfecting those things that concern us as we yield to Him. (Psalm 138:8) Because of God’s faithfulness, we can also confidently do whatever He’s assigned us to do as we trust Him. That’s confidence!

Let’s talk about being consistent. Aware of my struggle to remain consistent when my labor appears to be in vain, the Lord blessed me to hear a scripture repeated 4 times within three weeks. “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary”. (Gal. 6:9 NASB)

In order to remain consistent as we wait for the promise to manifest “in due time”, we must first identify the promise. What promise did God make in the Bible concerning your labor for Him?

Use the promise (from the Bible/God), as a weapon of faith to fight weariness, thereby remaining consistent in faith, as you wait to see your work for the Lord grow into something glorious.

And finally, there’s the last c-o, contentment. As babies, we got our first messages across to our caregivers through crying. We cried when we were hungry, wet, and needed to be held. Some of us had tantrums when our desires weren’t fulfilled as children.

However, as an adult, I’m learning to be content. (Philippians 4:11) I find this phenomenal blessing occurs as I trust that my caregiver (The King of Heaven and earth) really is good no matter what I experience and that HE truly causes all things to work together for good to those who love God…(Romans 8:28 NASB) Contentment is gratitude that doesn’t faint. As we rest in the Lord and His promises, we learn to be content.

The summation of the three c-o’s is that our Lord is faithful. As we yield our hearts and every concern to Him in faith, we can be confident, consistent, and content. It’s just what we’ve been taught all along. Jesus is the way (and the truth and the life). (John 14:6) We find all we need in HIM!

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Victory through Your Wilderness

28 Jul

Wilderness-a tract or region uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings. (Merriam-Webster)

Growing up in the south left me with a passion for nature that causes me to look for plant life, even in the midst of New York City. And as much as I love nature, I’m not fond of the raw wilderness. Based on the definition above, humans weren’t meant to inhabit the wilderness anyway.

If I dared to brave the wilderness, I can imagine hearing the sound of snakes rustling through dry leaves, coyotes howling in the night, thirst with no sign of water, and an overwhelming sense of insecurity. Yet, wilderness experiences are sometimes a part of the journey of life.

Take Moses for example. You’re probably familiar with his great wilderness experience through which he miraculously led the children of Israel for 40 years. (Ex.14-Lev.) But Moses had a more personal wilderness experience that prepared him for the big adventure.

For 40 years, Moses lived in the wilderness, caring for his father in laws flock. By the time God captured his attention with the burning bush leading to the big adventure, Moses had forgotten who He was. (Ex. 2: 1, 11)

He forgot that he was well educated and spoke well as a result of growing up in the palace. He forgot that he was destined to deliver the children of Israel out of slavery and lead them into the promise land. God revealed these things to Moses years before, when he lived in the palace. (Acts 7:21-22) But during his 40 years in the wilderness Moses forgot.

When God told him to go and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses was dumfounded and required an assistant. (Ex. 6:28-7:7) Moses forgot who he was and temporarily forgot who God was as well – the One who created him for this very purpose. (Ex. 3:11, 13-15)

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Jesus also had a wilderness experience. He was there for 40 days and came face to face with Satan, the tempter and father of lies. Jesus overcame His wilderness experience by remembering who He was, His purpose, and the One who led him into the wilderness. Each time Satan tempted him saying “if You are the Son of God”, Jesus quoted God’s word and remembered that it is all about God. Jesus stood knowing who He was, whose He was, and what God said. (Math 4:1-11)

Whether we like it or not, the wilderness awaits us on the path of life. Let’s follow the life of Jesus and stand firm on who we are and whose we are, GOD’S chosen sons and daughters. Let’s come through standing on what God said. Even in the wilderness, let’s remember – it’s still all about GOD!

Imagining Good?

1 Jun

While speaking with a co-worker days after he had fallen at work, his imagined scenarios circled in my head. He said that if he had hit his head, an ambulance would’ve been called. He would have been out of work for a while. Someone would’ve needed to call his wife. And the “what if” scenes continued to flow until I thought it was time to just be thankful that none of those possibilities were his reality.

As annoyed as I was by what felt like a negative conversation, reflecting upon those words caused me to examine my own thought process. How much time have I spent imagining negative scenarios?

Now the question is, how much time do you waste visualizing undesirable outcomes as well?

First, scripture teaches us that as Christians, our thought life should differ from the worlds. “ Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Ro. 12:2)

A great test that helps determine if our thoughts are in line with God’s will is found in Philippians 4:8. Is the thought true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy? Is the thought in obedience to Christ? If it isn’t, we should take the thought captive, and not allow it to take us. (II Cor. 10:5).

Lastly, is the thought in line with something we’re praying and hoping for? Since “God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,” we shouldn’t waste our valuable moments of life imagining things that we don’t want to happen. (Ephesians 3:20)

Again, is the thought true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy? Can God bring it to pass? Yes He can, according to His will.

Not only imagine, but “know”, “and we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”.(Romans 8:28) God is causing all things to work together for your good (NOT BAD) according to His purpose. Start imagining that!

2 Timothy 1:7 God Did Not Give Us a Spirit of Fear - Bible Verses To Go

Pray For…

25 Dec

It’s so easy to get caught up in praying for myself, my family, my friends, and my church family.

 

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While it’s true, we should continuously pray for those closest to us, our prayers should extend outside of our family and friends. We should pray for our leaders, including pastors, supervisors, government officials, police officers, and oh yes, by the way – we should pray for everyone. Yes, you read correctly, the Lord expects us to pray for everyone.

The Lord recently convicted me, reminding me that my prayers have not been broad enough. What a wake up call. It’s a call that I answered and take seriously. He’s calling you too right now to extend your boarders.

Xiamen, Slum Dwellers

The problem with many of us is that we look around and complain about the happenings in the world. How quickly we forget that we know the answer to every injustice, crime, immorality, infirmity, mental illness and poverty.

Children Of War, Hungry, Sadness

 

There’s One answer. For there is ONE God, and ONE mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (2 Tim. 2:5)

Printable Cross PicturesGod wants us to have His heart for the world, not condemnation, but mercy, just as He has mercy on us. He desires that we pray for everyone!

Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty,  for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:1-4)

Its starts with us. Let us humble ourselves and pray and seek His face, turning from our sins. Then the Lord we hear us, forgive our sins and heal our land. Let us pray! II Chronicles 7:14.

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You Are Not Forgotten

11 Jun

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So much is happening today. Corruption within the political system, terror attacks, nuclear threats, global warming, and the list goes on. Yet, in the midst of it all, God sees you and cares about your circumstance. Yes, in spite of all that you see happening around you, God sees you.

Long ago, a barren woman named Hannah felt forgotten by God, as you might be feeling right now. She went before God and poured out her heart. Eli – the priest, who was nearby, thought Hannah was drunk. Once Hannah explained, Eli agreed with Hannah’s prayer.

Hannah prayed. “Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant,  but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”” ‭‭(l Samuel‬ ‭1:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬).

Although Hannah felt as though she was forgotten by God, she allowed her faith to rise above her circumstance and prayed. Not only did Hannah pray, she completely trusted the Lord to answer her prayer. She left the temple relieved of her burden, no longer feeling forgotten. Later Hannah gave birth to a son, and gave this son to back to God. Eventually she had more children.

Just as God saw Hannah, He sees you. God sees your hurt, senses your despair and hears your cry. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. You are inscribed in the palm of Gods’s hand. God saw you and knew you before you were born. And He cares about every aspect of your life. (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8,Isaiah 49:16 Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1:5)

What are you trying to give birth to? Do you feel forgotten by God? Know that this is just a feeling and not a fact. God sees and knows everything. Focus on God and pray. Don’t focus on what you see or feel.

Remember Hannah. She prayed and believed that her prayers were answered even before she gave birth to her first child, and later gave him back to God. It’s your turn now. Allow your faith to rise. Pray to God. Believe that He’s working it out together for your good. Thank Him because you believe that He will answer you. Take the limits off God and allow Him to be Lord of your circumstance as Hannah did. Give the situation totally to Him.( Psalm 78:41)

God sees you, and He cares. Look to Him and trust Him now more than ever. Yes God sees you. You are not forgotten. (Hebrews 4:13, Philippians 4:6, lPeter 5:7,

Defying Your Adversary

28 May

Image result for picture of someone falling downMost of us don’t wake up each day looking for opportunities to fall short. Yet, because we live in a fallen world, chances are, we too will fall from time to time, due to our Adamic nature. (Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:23)

However, the good news presented by the gospel tells us that as followers of Christ, we are not defined by our failures. As new creations who have trusted in Jesus, we are now defined by the word of God (II Corinthians 5:17)

What does the word say about our falls or sins, to be exact? “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” ‭‭(I John‬ ‭2:1‬). ‭How awesome it is to know that Jesus is our advocate with Father God. Even when we sin, Jesus does not leave us. Instead, He makes intercession for us. (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25)

However, Satan, the accuser of the brethren, attempts to keep us down when we’ve fallen. ( Revelation 12:10)). Our adversary uses the weights of guilt and condemnation in attempts to prevent us from getting up again. His goal is to kill, steal and to destroy us. (John 10:10)

God is so good that He desires that we have continual fellowship and communion with Him, despite our inability to be absolutely perfect. He beckons us to come boldly (not ashamed) before the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

The question is, whose report will you believe, the Advocates’s or the adversary’s? The adversary constantly says, you’re guilty, you’ll never get it right, you’ll never change, sin dominates your life. The Advocate says,  “But He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed”. (Isaiah 53:5)

Defy your adversary. Believe the report of your Advocate. Though you fall, you can and will get up. Keep pressing towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. You are more than a conqueror through Him that loved you. No matter what the day brings, believe the Advocates report! (Philippians 3:14, Romans 8:37)

Educate Yourself!

11 Apr

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A very wise woman told me about a conversation she had with someone from another country who constantly sought higher education. The woman asked the man about his ongoing pursuit of learning.

The man’s answer was profound. He said, “if I don’t continuously educate myself, someone else will tell me who I am.”

Like that man, we who follow Jesus are from another country (Philippians 3:20). We are citizens of the kingdom of God. If we don’t continuously educate ourselves ( Bible study, prayer, worship, fellowship/church attendance), someone else, Satan to be exact, will tell us who we are. (Hebrews 10:25). He even attempted to cause Jesus to doubt His deity (Matthew 4:3,6).

Satan will tell us that we have not been redeemed. He will tell us that we haven’t changed and change is impossible. He tells us that we will never get over our past failures. He tells us that surely God is not concerned with the minor details of our lives and there are things that we should try to fix ourselves. But there is one thing he will never say. Satan won’t tell you that he’s the father of lies, because that is the truth!

You have been redeemed (Galatians 3:13, Psalm 107:2). You are a new creation in Christ, old things are passed away, all things have become new (II Corinthians 5:17). Jesus has set you free (John 8:32,36). “Cast your cares upon the Lord, for He cares for you”. (I Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:22). “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”(‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭Message Bible)

Child of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, don’t allow Satan to tell you who you are. Believe God’s truth and reject Satan’s lies. Educate yourself. Do you know who you are?