2 Corinthians 1:3-4
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
BE VULNERABLE ENOUGH!
Being 'Vulnerable' is something we all try to avoid because it means that we may be open to criticism or attack, but there can be a positive side to being vulnerable.
The above verse tells us that the hardships and troubles God has showed up, and helped us, or delivered us from, should be shared with those who find themselves in similar situations.
To share openly and honestly with someone leaves you in a vulnerable position. Don't be afraid of putting yourself out there for another person. I'm not talking about foolishly putting your 'Pearls' out there for just anyone. God gives us wisdom and discernment to know who is worthy to hear our stories of great deliverance and power.
When God shows you the individual that you can and should minister to, do it! Don't allow insecurities to rule what could be a powerful moment of intervention for someone in need.
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what people think of you, what matters is being used of God to encourage and support others.
At one of my book signings, someone asked if I felt vulnerable now that the story of my past was out to the public, and known around the world. I responded by saying, "I have nothing to loose. I lost all that was precious to me in the past and I'm still alive and have been delivered by God. What's left for me to be concerned about? I have a testimony that I am proud of, and it's been custom made for me by God Himself."
When you reach that place of security and peace in your relationship with God, nothing else matters. You don't care about other people's opinions. You are now free to live and to be all that God intended you to be. You are unafraid and unashamed.
You and I may have had similar or different life experiences, and they were allowed by God for His purposes. He knew when He took you through them that you would be crucial to His ministry work on the earth.
The key is to get in tight with the Lord. Hash out any embarrassment or insecurities you may have about your past experiences, mistakes or short comings. God has people lined up to hear your stories and powerful manifestations of His work in your life. Someone can benefit from your trials and hardships.
May the Lord help you to 'Be Vulnerable Enough'!
"Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment."
It is so much more easier to lie than it is to tell the truth especially when there's a lot at stake.
People lie to cover up what they are either ashamed of, hate about themselves, avoid facing the truth about, or to hide pain and to get their own way. It's never the move to make.
Lies do great harm, especially to innocent people, like children. It actually is insane to lie to your kids or to kids in general. If parents really love their children, they will never be found lying to them. Many children learn to lie from a parent/s.
The Bible states that a lie doesn't last long at all. The truth always comes out in one way or the other.
I always loose respect for people who lie and deceive. I end up never trusting them again in this life. God killed Ananias and Saphira for lying (Acts 5). God was showing how much He hated lying and that it was worthy of death.
When you lie to others, you are lying to God, simple as that.
We all have told a lie at some point in our lives. The problem comes in when it becomes an act that we find ourselves doing more often than not. If telling the truth isn't your first response when a situation happens, then you have practiced lying.
There is always a price to pay for lying! Besides the shame when the truth comes to light, there's the issue of integrity. When people learn that you are a liar, you develop a reputation and it spreads like fire. You are never trusted again or taken seriously. You ruin opportunities for yourself and your blessings are cut off.
As Christians, it is expected that we speak the truth with one another. There is no such thing as 'Half Truths', 'White lies', or 'Partial Truth'. Either it's all the truth or it's a lie!
Most people know when they are being lied to.
As situations arise in our lives and we have the choice to either lie or speak the truth, let's choose the latter!
2 Timothy 3:1-5 New International Version (NIV)
3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
LAST DAYS OF THE LAST DAYS...
OUT OF CONTROL....OUT OF CONTROL....AND THINGS ARE GETTING PROGRESSIVELY WORST FAST!
God said there would be days like this. He warned us. We just didn't know what 'Perilous Times' would actually look like and guess what folks, there's more to come.
There isn't much one can say...really....sin rules and reigns on the earth...but there is hope! Hope and refuge can be found in Jesus!
People are dying all around us....dropping like flies...because of man's hatred against man.
In the midst of it all, God says, let not your heart be troubled. He sits high looking low and nothing catches Him by surprise. He sees all and knows all. What He allows, He allows for a reason. This is something man cannot and does not understand.
Everything must play out the way it's all been prophesied to. All of the players are lined up on the playing field according to God's command. Everything will culminate into what God has already said will be.
Let us do our part by letting our lights shine. Remove anything that may prevent your light from shinning. Pray for all who are in authority. Let us also ban together as believers and strengthen one another and remind each other of God's promises. He keeps His promises. He is faithful!
These are scary times and we must honestly feel what we feel about them, but let us rest in the Lord with the peace that only He can give. Let us comfort one another and in light of all these things, let us offer hope to those who are in need of peace.
Redeeming The Time!
"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." (Redeeming The Time)
What would you do if you only had 30 days left to use everything that God had given you? God has given:
1. Breath and Life
5. God's Holy Word
6. Sound Mind
8. Spiritual Gift/s
14. The Job
If in 30 days, these things were to expire, what would you and I find ourselves occupied with over the next 29 days?
Whatever you come up with, I guarantee you it wouldn't be what you are about to engage in right now. All of that would change. You and I would rearrange our schedules to accommodate what should be priority.
Would you be able to do justice to the 14 items on the above list in 30 days?
It would be impossible to live out those things in 30 days! Each item on that list would be time consuming. If we were to make the most of each and everyday incorporating each of those things within a 24 hour period, our lives would prove to be rewarding and well balanced.
Our problem is that we are oftentimes imbalanced. One's employment duties dictates the majority of his/her day, then what's left is distributed according to what we deem as priority. Sometimes we get our priorities mixed up and neglect the important things and before you know it 60 years of our lives has passed us by with little to show from it.
The things that are important to God has to be on our priority list daily. Barring the job, and it's obligations, God's interest must be attended to. Our spiritual lives matter! It matters more than we realize. Once we have that where it belongs, the rest of the things fall into their rightful place.
The scary part, so to speak, is that you and I could be gone from the planet this very day, hour or second. So, how should we order our lives from this day forward?
We are commanded to redeem the time. Live each day as if it were my last is what I tell myself.
Set realistic goals for each week with the things that are priority where God and your relationship is concerned. Be filled with the Holy Spirt and walk in the Spirit and see how God wisely orders your time each day. He just might free up a lot of time for you by changing your desire to match more of His desire.
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
What is the price of peace? The entire world has been on a chase for it and struggles to find that place of peace for their souls.
The constant quest to satisfy the void in one's life takes a lot of work and to keep hitting that brick wall of disappointment, with restlessness, is a revolving door of madness. Just look at Hollywood and any of their industries.
You can be the most talented, intelligent and wealthy person in the world and yet lack peace. That is vexation and madness according to Solomon.
Peace is something that can't be bought. It can't be exchanged between two persons. It must be gotten from God. Knowing about God doesn't give you peace. Attending church doesn't give you peace. Hanging around Christians won't bring you peace. You must place faith and trust in God, believing with all your heart that God's son, Jesus Christ, died for your sins. Placing your faith and trust in God will now provide that peace your soul has been longing for. The end result will be 'Salvation'.
Can you be a Christian and still have no peace? Absolutely. The peace has been provided from the moment of salvation, but in order for it to be activated (so to speak), one must make a decision to 'REST' in the peace that God has now given. Resting means that you have placed a measure of trust in the Lord God for any situation you might be facing that poses difficulty, or may feel threatening.
Resting in the Lord also means that you have chosen to let God have control over every area of your life with all of the events that occur in it daily. Even the things that are within your control must be given over to God so that He can do what He wants to with it. Resting means you have taken your hands off of the control buttons of your life and you've let go, and let God have his way.
People are selling their souls for what you and I have been given! They wake up each day with agenda after agenda and they toil with all of their might to fill the emptiness that they feel. Some fill it with relationships, possessions, fashion and reinventing themselves and still, no peace. While others reach the point of no return and commit suicide because they have become helpless and hopeless.
The lack of peace brings horror into one's life. I can remember a time when my life lacked peace, but thank God, when He passed by, where I was that day, I decided to place the microcosm of faith I had, in Him. I have been in peace ever since. I have faced crisis, pain, disappointment after disappointment, fears, dangerous situations, persecution, and in the midst of all of those experiences there was calm in my heart. That's a peace that is beyond all understanding. To know that you should have hit the floor and died, but instead you are tranquil and calm, is something only God can give.
May our lives speak 'PEACE' to all who cross our paths. May that peace cause them to seek us out to know what it is. May we value the peace that God has so graciously afforded us and may we live in the good of it!
1 Peter 3:8
HATE IN THE 'CHURCH'!
"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind."
Let it resignate with you! Yes, it is happening all over the place! It's appalling, shameful and the biggest stumbling block among, so called, Christians.
Much of our behavior, under the umbrella of Christianity, is so far from what God had in mind when He added members to the body of Christ. The local 'Church' use to be synonymous with love, a place of refuge, mercy, compassion, healing and restoration. Unfortunately, Satan has done a real good job at dividing, splitting, and hacking away at anything that spells U-N-I-T-Y and some of us have helped him do it!
Satan cannot read minds, but he is able to accomplish what he does by watching our individual behavior and responses to life, our personal interactions with one another, and our own personal feelings that we act out or verbalize daily. He knows exactly how to trip us up and cause negative and ungodly behavior to spill out into the local church, thus, hindering all that God is trying to do among His people.
Let's face it! Satan never invents anything new. He uses the same tactics as he did with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. He thwarted God's authority when he said to Eve, "Hath God Said"? she bought into the lie he presented and thrust the entire human race into sin! So...here we are folks! His focus is always to take away God's authority. Every time we sin, Satan has accomplished thwarting God's authority over us.
Satan is counting on Christians to fail God and fail Him miserably each and every day. God has warned us; we are not ignorant concerning his devices. So what has happen within our church walls???
We are constantly creating new programs, ministry, idea after idea and year after year, with no change among us or within us. This is a sad revolving door! Some tend to think that the bad aura among us or the deadness is associated with the lack of good music, antiquated practices, and a lack of vision. I have been in a few churches over the past 40 years of my Christian life and I can tell you that-that ain't the bulk of our problems!
The lack of 'Unity' and 'Obedience' to God is the bulk of the problem! I have no problem with 'Change', for we need to seek practical and relevant ways to reach people and we need to meet the needs of a generation who are being swallowed up by egregious sins. We must have wisdom and discernment from God on how to do that without compromising the Word of God.
There is an incredible amount of HATRED, LYING, JEALOUSY, ENVY AND CARNALITY in the church. We say we love God, yet hate our brother. There's nothing new under the sun. Joseph's brethren did it to him. They had in mind to kill him! We have examples all throughout Scripture concerning this. The Apostle Paul mentioned Alexander, the coppersmith, who did him much harm.
Hatred is born out in several ways; from executing ways to keep others in the local church from participating in ministry areas to sewing discord among the saints. The core issue that lies behind hatred, jealousy and envy is PRIDE! That's the sickness individuals are really suffering from. God hates this!!!
We attack one another, malign one another, lie on one another, and don't speak to one another and we sing like crazy on the Praise Team, Preach from the Pulpit, fight for Power and Position and Recognition and are in charge of all sorts of church leadership business. Not to mention, the ones who see the wrong and choose to look the other way because they don't want to be put out of the 'Click'. We curse one another under our breath and should a fellow believer come and try to inquire as to why they are being treated in such a manner, we avoid meeting with them, we act as though nothing is wrong, and we sweep it under the carpet. I had one saint say to me, when I asked to meet with them, "I don't have time for people who want special attention." How sad, How very sad.
In conclusion, there is one thing that I have learned about God and it is this, He rewards every man/woman for deeds done, whether they are good or bad.
I realize that everyone who sits on a church bench isn't saved! Let the wheat and the tares grow together, the Lord says. The Holy Spirit gives discernment when you see certain behaviors, although the Lord knows those who are His. He also says that by their fruits we shall know them.
Straighten out any offenses, wrong doings and evil treatment against your brother or sister while there is still time. Don't sweep sin under a rug by trying to smooth a matter over with a gift, a smile, or a dis-honest compliment. James 5:16 clearly says, "Confess your faults to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed." The health of our churches and assemblies won't survive if we continue the way we are behaving; from the leadership on down.
As a writer, I enjoy giving you the honest side of truth! As an artist, I create what doesn't exist. Each day I look for new and creative ways to use every ability God has so graciously given me.