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Don’t Let Them In!

22 Jan

Discouragement knocks on everyone’s door from time to time. The problem is, he’s usually accompanied by his best friend, Doubt.

Once Doubt is on the scene, he’s very likely to invite Defeat over. Doing your best not to be rude, you find yourself entertaining Discouragement, Doubt and Defeat. The party is on. But it’s a pity party!

It all began with Discouragement. You forgot that he’ s usually accompanied by Doubt who often invites Defeat.

The next time Discouragement knocks on your door, be rude. Tell him point blank that Faith and Victory have moved in and there’s no sitting room for him and his friends, not even for a quick visit. Don’t let them in!

The Bible cautions us to be alert because Satan goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). But sometimes he comes in subtly, gently as an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14). When he comes in the form of discouragement, he charms us into thinking that this feeling is normal. When we are discouraged, defeat and doubt can easily slither on in.

We would do well to remember who we are, and more importantly Whose we are (Galatians 3:26, Romans 8:31-39). We belong to the Creator who makes all things possible if we would by faith, believe (Mark 9:23). What does God say about our situation? Let’s connect our faith with the word of God in the Bible and experience certain victory.

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Today!

3 Jan

I live in an area that has alternate side parking. Vehicles are ticketed by the city when parked on the side designated for street cleaning on specific days of the week.

Since I was blessed to travel during this holiday season, alternate side parking was definitely on my mind. The week before I left, I constantly reminded myself that I had to leave the car parked on the Tuesday side of the street in order to avoid getting a parking ticket while I was away.

Ironically, I was so consumed with parking on the correct side of the street before going away, that I forgot to park on the correct side before my vacation started. I received a ticket the day before my vacation began.

Instead of being annoyed with the city, or myself, I grabbed hold of the lesson learned through this experience. Sometimes we can be so consumed with tomorrow until we actually miss the gift of today.

How can we apply this lesson within this New Year? It’s wise to begin by being thankful that God has blessed us and brought us through one year and into another. We do not, and can not give ourselves life, only God can (Genesis 2:7, Acts 17:25). Let’s be thankful for all of our yesterday’s (Psalm 107:1).

Secondly, may we become so conscious of now, of today, this gift of the present, that we thoroughly enjoy every moment of it. Of course we should always plan wisely for the future. But Lord help us not to be soooo consumed with the future, that we relinquish the the benefits the Lord loads us with each day (Psalm 68:19). Those benefits include family, friends, and even the responsibilities of TODAY!
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Destined for Hell!

20 Oct

Whenever anyone dies, time and time again you’ll hear the statement, “at least they’re in a better place.” This sounds good. We all want to believe this and soothe ourselves with the thought that people have gone on to a better place. The question is, does everyone really go to a better place?

While we are here on earth, let’s take a close look at what the Bible says to be sure we aren’t mistakenly destined for hell.

Jesus said “I am the WAY, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6, 1John 5:12-13, John 3:36). Jesus is THE WAY to get to Father God.
Fact # 1. Without Jesus, it’s impossible to get to heaven.

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
(‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ , NIV‬‬ l John 4:2-3)
Fact 2. One must believe that Jesus is Lord and say so.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”(Matthew‬ ‭7:21‬ ‭KJV‬‬)
Fact 3. Just saying that Jesus is Lord is not good enough, we must also do our Father God’s will.

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” (Hebrews‬ ‭10:26-27‬ ‭NIV‬‬)
Fact 5. If we continue to  deliberately sin after we have received the knowledge of the truth, we can expect judgement of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

These 4 scriptures help assure us that we are destined for heaven. We won’t automatically go to heaven just because we died. Our own righteousness/goodness is as filthy rags before our Holy God (Isaiah 64:6).The only way to get to God our Father who art in heaven, is through Jesus Christ His Son who died on the cross for our sins (1Peter 2:24). As we yield our hearts to Him, we are changed(2 Corinthians 5:17). We long to please God and our lives are committed to being His in every way. There’s no other way to heaven except through Jesus Christ. All other routes leave us destined for hell!

Which Voice?

24 Apr

Today, everyone has something to say. Whether the words are through pictures on Instagram, music on YouTube, rants on Facebook, or phone texts, people are speaking like never before.

Social media has opened a door of personal reveals that even provides the introvert with an opportunity to let it all out. Amidst all the messages coming your way, which voice are you listening to? Which voice captures your attention most?

There is another voice whispering in the midst of it all. This voice tells us which way to go, brings strength when we’re weak, and peace during the storms. (Isaiah 30:21, Isaiah 32:8, Isaiah 40:31, Mark 4:39). But can we hear it in the mix of all the noise? The main way God speaks is through His word, the Bible, although He does speak through people as well. ( II Timothy 3:16,17 II Samuel 23:2).

In 1 Kings 19:9, Elijah heard the voice of God while he was in a cave. God asked “what are you doing here Elijah?” In verse 13, God asked the same question, “What are you doing here Elijah?” In Genesis 3:9, God asked Adam a similar question, “Where are you?”

Both Elijah and Adam had listened to the wrong voice. Elijah falsely believed that Jezebel was more powerful than God, and Adam believed that it was okay to follow Eve’s directions instead of God’s.

If God were to ask today “Where are you”, what would your response be? Hopefully it would be, Im right here listening to You as I trust and obey Your word.

May we be captivated by Your word God, not by the world of busyness that surrounds us. It’s Your word that brings direction, strength, and hope. Other voices tend to lead us away from You. Speak Lord. Your servants are listening.

Do You Believe?

25 Mar

Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday, is just around the bend. Some are planning to serve special meals, while others are purchasing special clothes and baskets for children. But how do you really feel about Easter?

It’s ok to be honest with yourself. Do you believe that Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world, was buried, and rose again on the third day?

After Jesus rose from the grave, he appeared to the disciples. He showed them His hands and His sides. The disciples were glad that they were blessed to see Jesus alive again!

However, a disciple by the name of Thomas, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus’ visitation took place. When Thomas later arrived on the scene, the disciples told him about their time time with Jesus. Thomas said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”” John‬ ‭20:25‬ ‭NKJV‬

Imagine the shock the disciples felt. Here was their very own bother, doubting that what they said was true about Jesus. Thomas was courageous. Some of us might have doubted too and not spoken up, but Thomas was honest. Thomas was in need of a personal experience.

Eight days later Jesus appeared in the place where the disciples were assembled. It was as though He came just for Thomas. “Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ‭‭John‬ ‭20:26-29‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Just as Jesus reappeared for Thomas, He can do the same for you. You may not see Him physically walk through your door. He may even use another person to speak to you. While reading the Bible, you may sense His presence. Sometimes Jesus ministers to us through songs. He knows how to meet you where you are in a personal way.

This Easter, don’t let your doubt dissuade you from having a personal resurrection experience. Yes Jesus died for you. Yes Jesus wants you to know Him and experience abundant, eternal life. Yes Jesus loves you. Confess how you feel about Him, and ask Jesus to meet you where you are.

Thomas and the disciples believed because they saw Jesus and touched his hands and his side. Blessed are you and I, and we, who have not seen the physical manifestation of Jesus, and yet have believed!

What’s Your Story?

28 Jan

There are people today who believe that they are just too bad to be good.
The truth is, they are right. We are all too bad to be good.

We all have a story that includes sin.There is none righteous, no not one.
We have all sinned by saying and doing things that were not right; things
that we know were just wrong. This includes the most loving, gentle
person you know. (Romans 3:10)

Nevertheless, there’s a place for you and your story. It doesn’t matter how
bad your story is. Even those with the worst stories are welcome. Where
can you go and be forgiven, delivered, and restored?  It’s the place of
trusting  Jesus as the one who loves you more than anyone ever could.
He loves you so much that he died to take your sin away, giving
you an opportunity to change your story. (John 3:16, Romans 4:25)

Do you know that Jesus was accused of hanging out with sinners? He didn’t
shy away from those who accused Him. “Jesus answered and said to them,
Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
‭Luke‬ ‭5:31-32‬ ‭

Notice that Jesus didn’t leave people in the same condition as He found
them. As the physician, He healed the sin sick by calling them to repentance.
As you come to this new place of trusting Jesus, you are made anew.
II Corinthians 5:17

So what’s holding you back from coming to Jesus? What’s your story?
If being bad was your excuse, you just read that Jesus hung out with
sinners. Remember, He came to heal the sick. His healing replaces our sin
with His righteousness, and gives us beauty for ashes.
II Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 61:1-3

Invite Jesus to come into your heart today. You may not see tomorrow.
Trusting Jesus changes your today, as well as your eternal destination.
He longs to give you rest in His finished work on the cross for your sin.
He longs to give you freedom and rest, changing your story. “Today,
if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.”  ‭Hebrews‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Get Your Own Oil!

25 Aug

One of the catchy songs I used to sing as a kid in Sunday 
school was called "Give me Oil in My Lamp". As I grew older, 
I recognized the scripture which the song is based 
upon which is found in Matthew 25.

In this story ten virgins are waiting to escort a groom to 
his wedding. (Long ago, it was customary for ten virgins, 
or maids of honor to escort grooms to their wedding - Matthew 
Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible). Five of the 
virgins wisely had oil in their lamps, while the other five 
didn't. As the ladies waited for the groom to appear, they 
all became drowsy and fell asleep. 

At midnight, someone shouted that the groom was 
coming. As the virgins began to prepare their lamps, the
five foolish virgins who had no oil asked the five wise 
virgins to give them oil for their lamps, but the wise 
virgins refused.

While the foolish virgins were out shopping for oil, 
the groom appeared and left with the five wise virgins. 
After purchasing their oil, the foolish 
virgins went to the wedding, knocked on the door, 
and must have been dumbfounded when the
groom responded, "I don't know you".

How can we apply this story to our lives? The distractions
of the world can lull us into a spiritual sleep. 
The urgency of always being ready for Jesus to 
return can become the least important event on our minds. 
Yet, the Bible urges us to be alert and ready for the return 
of Christ (Matthew 24:44). Some of us will meet him sooner 
than we expect, as we do not know when our last hour may be.

How can we be ready? Each of us must have oil in our
own lamp. Not even the fact that your Momma knows 
Jesus will get you into heaven! You must accept 
Jesus as your very own personal Lord and Savior and 
cultivate your relationship with Him.

It's as simple as asking Jesus to forgive you of your
sins, beliveing that He died for you on the cross, 
and asking Him to be Lord of your life. And then, living
for Him.

I would love to give you oil for your lamp. But ensuring
that you're ready for Christ -The Groom to return is a
decision that only you can make for you! Please get
your oil!