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Embrace Integrity or Follow The Crowd

19 Jul
One of Merriam Webster’s definition of  “integrity” is the quality of being honest and fair. Take a look around you and you’ll notice that honest and fair are not what they once were. If we’re not more careful ” integrity” may easily become a thing of the past.
As integrity slips away in our ” If it feels good – do it” society, it’s becoming easier to call wrong right and right wrong. For example, I recently heard about a new phenomenon called “memory borrowing” . The act was described as borrowing other people’s stories and making them your own.  Long ago and far away, this was called LYING.
Another fine example of our society’s disdain for integrity, in my opinion, took place when we began to call rape “sexual assault”.  The taking of one’s self, I believe is a bit more devastating than an assault. It is RAPE!
Sadly, we are even going as far as calling men women and women men, despite the fact that no one can alter the biological functioning and make up of what God has created.
We want to cover things up and make everything and everyone feel good and look good, and even sound good.  Who cares about truth?  Jesus does.  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father unless He comes through Him – through truth (John 14:6).
If we know that TRUTH is right, why would we allow truth to become lies? The Bible says that men love lies rather than truth because our deeds are evil (John 3:19,20).
Each of us have a role to play in this life.  It’s not just about me and my little world. Let’s be alert about truth. As an old song that Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes sang with Teddy Pendagrass says “Wake up everybody no more sleeping in bed, no more empty thinking time for thinking ahead, the world has gone so very far from what it used to be….  The world won’t get much better if we just let it be. We’ve got to change this world, you and me”. 
How do we change the world? We create change, each moment, each day, with each truth all the time. We can either embrace integrity which is pleasing to God, or go along with the crowd, which is pleasing to man. 
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Use Your Words!

9 Aug

My daughter works with young children. She states that some 
of the young ones are comfortable using sounds instead of 
using words to communicate. Whenever this occurs, the staff 
redirects the little ones by gently saying "use your words".

As Christians, sometimes we are not seeing full victory over 
situations in or lives because, we too, are failing "to use 
our words". Yes, we, the Body of Christ should speak 
differently from others because of Who we believe, what we 
believe, and who we are. 

Just as little children's vocabularies are expanding 
constantly, so should ours. In fact, the Bible instructs us 
to desire the sincere milk of the word (The Bible is the 
word) so that we can grow (I Peter 2:2). As we read the Bible 
diligently, we become more familiar with the words that we 
should speak.

Our faith should cause us to say what the Bible says! 
With the Lord's help, I can do this as He strengthens me, 
by His stripes I am healed, my God shall supply all of my 
needs, I am blessed and I am a blessing, despite what it 
looks like, God is working everything together for my good, 
as for me and my house, we are going to serve The Lord, no 
weapon formed against me shall prosper, The Lord always 
causes me to triumph!

In Proverbs (12:14,13:2,18:20-21),The Bible states that we 
are satisfied by the fruit of our mouths. You may not see 
the manifestation of those positive things today, but keep 
believing, keep praying, keep using your words. 

Sure, it's a challenge to speak beyond what we see or feel.
Nevertheless,it's time for us to grow up and start using our 
words!

 

Still Believe!

26 May

Still Believe!

When we read the Old Testament, it’s hard to understand how the people back then lost faith when they had so many miracles take place right before their eyes. For example, the children of Israel actually walked across a sea that became dry land just for them (Exodus 14).Yet, as they journeyed through the wilderness, their hearts became hardened and they rebelled against God, and even formed a “let’s go back to slavery” posse (Numbers 14:3). How dumb was that?

Despite the many miracles of provision, deliverance, healing, and restoration in my own life, sometimes, honestly – more times that I would like to admit, I too have felt like giving up. Unlike the children of Israel, I don’t want to go back because I know that there is nothing to go back to. I’ve recognized that I was a real mess without Jesus and that it’s only because of His grace that I am saved today. Yet, I too have experienced doubt.

So, although I am aware of my desperate need and dependence on Jesus, how have I sometimes found myself thinking of quitting, of giving in to depression, oppression and every kind of pressure that comes my way instead of pressing on? During those times,
unfortunately, I have allowed my expectations and subsequent disappointment to take control. I pray and expect that things will go well. But sometimes they don’t. At least, not within the time frame and in the way that I think things should happen.

Because the Lord is in control and knows best, He allows dry seasons in our lives, just as He did with the children of Israel. We wonder if The Lord has forgotten us. Why did He allow this us to enter into this wilderness, this drought, this place where we feel forsaken? Why does He sometimes allow us to enter into a place where there seems to be no rest?

Are you ready for the answers? Let’s go directly to the word of God. Hebrews 3:8-11 specifically addresses our wilderness experiences this way: Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:” Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years.Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’So I swore in My wrath,’ They shall not enter My rest.’”Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said:” Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?
So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.

My brother, my sister, within the word of God we find that faith is the key to maintaining strength and hope during our wilderness journeys; that kind of faith that compels us to still believe in spite of our circumstances. As we believe, we enter into rest. No matter what comes our way, nor how dry our season may become, we must not harden our hearts. God is still God. He is still good. And He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). May we choose to remember The Lord’s faithfulness (II Timothy 2:13) and remind others to do the same. If we’ve allowed oppression, depression and life’s pressures to overtake us, let’s repent and move forward in faith. No matter how hopeless our wilderness may be, let’s choose to still believe!

Peace in the midst of War!

6 May

I recall that as a child, I hated, despised, and grossly detested movies about war. Even today, I am not enthused by the prospect of violence as a form of entertainment. Although I use the word “hate” sparingly, I simply hate violence. And I love peace!

 

Despite my disdain for violence, I am reminded of the fact that we who follow Christ are in a war every day of our lives. We may not see grenades and tankers or hear the explosions with our physical senses. Still, the battle goes on. Yet before leaving this earth, Jesus specifically told His disciples that he was leaving them with peace. This peace was not the peace that the world gives (John 14:27). The world’s peace is temporary and is based upon circumstances. The peace that Jesus left for us surpasses all understanding and it is perfect (Philippians 4:7, Isaiah 26:3). It’s the kind of peace that we can have even in the midst of war.

 

Before we go further, let’s learn more about the war that we’re in. The Bible provides vital details about this spiritual battle in Ephesians 6:12. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Sometimes we think that our enemy is the person who is trying to make life miserable for us. Since we fight against an enemy that we cannot see, we tend to forget that our real enemy even exists. Our enemy is Satan himself, who comes to steal, kill, and to destroy – yes to destroy us (John 10:10).

 

And though we are in a war, Jesus desires that we live in the peace that He purchased for us on the cross (Isaiah 53:5). How can we have peace while simultaneously fighting? We must put on the whole armor of God daily and stand (Ephesians 6: 10-18). Stand in truth, through every attack.  No matter how bad the situation looks, what does the word of God say about it? That’s our truth. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 5:21), despite how unworthy and weak we may feel at times. The truth is, that we can do nothing without the Lord, but we can do all things through Him who gives us strength (John 15:5, Philippians 4:13). The truth is that as we trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him in all of our ways, He will direct our path (Proverbs 3:45). The truth is that we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us (Romans 8:37). The truth is that God always causes us to triumph in Christ no matter what comes our way (II Corinthians 2:14). Living by these truths, produce peace in the midst of war.

 

Peace in the midst of our daily battles is not based upon our circumstances. It’s so easy for us to become wrapped up in what we see and what we feel although we really need to focus on the truth. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).  He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14, Isaiah 9:6).  As we focus daily upon this truth and all of the truths written in the Bible, we will live in peace, even in the midst of war!