Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

Proverbs 17:14

King James Version (KJV)

14 The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

When reading this scripture what sticks out greatly is… The beginning of strife is like a person who lets out water. When you let out water, it will go anywhere. When you let out strife it will go anywhere. Water can flood a house in a matter of minutes. Strife can flood a relationship in a matter of seconds. If someone were to open the Hoover Dam it would flood cities in a matter of minutes. It would cause immediate destruction and chaos. Water does not care where it goes and how it goes. Water moves quickly. Just like water strife does the same thing. Strife always leaves immediate destruction and utter chaos.

Strife is like water, it does not matter where it goes and how it gets there. Once strife gets in, it will flood every good thing with contention and division. Strife causes destruction and leaves major pain after it raises its ugly head. Strife is contentious and leaves a bitter mark on the lives it touches. Strife between a Husband and Wife will leave a mark on their children and those around them. Strife in a church will divide the sheep from the shepherd. Strife is a tactic of the enemy to seek and destroy. Strife is meant to divide and conquer. Where there is strife there is every evil work of the enemy. When there is strife and contention there is disunity.

The best way to keep strife out is to seek forgiveness, release forgiveness to others and guard against contention and division. Strife settles in to a person’s heart where there is unforgiveness and when the love of God is not present. In 1 Peter 4:8 Amplified Bible (AMP) Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and [a]disregards the offenses of others]. Love covers the multitude of sin. Love disallows the work of strife. To keep strife out, a person needs to have the Love of God at work in them.

To prevent strife, a person needs to practice the Love of God. The Love of God keeps unity and peace. Unity is good because it brings the brethren together. Peace keeps all situations under control. Remember, if you want to be at peace with those around you, then you should keep strife out of your conversations, feelings and life. Cast down strife and watch the chaos disappear.

 

Be Blessed!

Scripture Study: 1 Peter 4:1-10

Proverbs 16:7

King James Version (KJV)

When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

For a person to please the Lord they need to have faith. (Hebrews 11:6) Reverence pleases the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7) Living right before the Lord pleases Him. (Romans 6:13)

Staying obedient to the Lord and His calling on your life will please the Lord. I am talking about pleasing the Lord in everything you do. How many of you want to please the Lord? Is it your life mission to please the Lord? Do you want your enemies to be at peace with you? Pleasing the Lord is more than just obedience. God is wanting someone who desires to live to please Him. Most of us have a mission statement for our own life. We have places we want to visit and things we want to do. The only problem with our own mission statement is… It’s about ME, ME, ME. When the inward focus is moved to focus on God other than ourselves we will cause pleasure to come. The Lord is our Creator and our number one priority is to please Him. Why? Because He is the one who takes care of you. When you give Him your best He always blesses you. When you focus on Him you will please the Lord. Why? Because you will not have time to do your own thing.

When I was a young teenager all I wanted to do was please everyone else and be popular. So I went to great extremes to become popular. I never became popular, no matter what I did. It seemed like in all my trying all I received was more heartache and pain. As I became a young adult I continued to try to please everyone, only to keep failing. As I have gotten older I am at a place and saying it does not matter if I please anyone because I am not looking to fulfill me. As a Pastor today I am looking only to please one person in my life… God. I am not saying I don’t please my wife or children but they are not the first ones I want to please. My focus is about the Lord and His ways.

Dreams and goals are good and I believe the Lord wants you to fulfill them. However I know that the Lord wants you to make Him your first priority over everything else. Living righteous before the Lord will please Him. However to live righteous a person must have faith in the Lord and trust in His Word. Knowing what the Lord wants is the first step to pleasing Him. Trying to please man will only bring you heartache and pain. When you please the Lord you will also please those around you. Why? Because you’re making the Lord first.

What should a man’s ways be according to this scripture? Living faithfully, holy, righteous, sanctified, delivered and sold out to the Lord. These things please the Lord. So if you want to bring pleasure to someone live right before God and you will please Him. Make your life goal to please the Lord. Make your life mission to please the Lord. Pleasing the Lord is a choice we make. If you want to please someone without the headache and heartache please God because He always rewards. Diligently seek Him and your reward will be visible for everyone to see. Why? Because God rewards in the open.

Be Blessed!

Scripture Study: Proverbs 16:1-9

Philippians 3:14

Amplified Bible (AMP)

14 I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

I have been working with this theme called the “Past” for a about a week or so. The reason why I am discussing this issue is, I have heard many people talk about their past and find that they don’t just talk about it they live there. It’s impossible to move forward if the person keeps going backwards. My friend who is one of the Elders in our church said this statement to me on the golf course about 4 years ago… “If the golf ball goes forward it means that you have positive yardage which is forward progress, every inch counts.”  I laughed when I heard that statement because as simple as it is, most people make it difficult. It does not matter the distance, so long as it is moving forward. Forward progress is positive yardage and it is about moving to a desired destination.

A person like myself, who likes to play golf is always looking for distance and consistency. I really enjoy playing golf even when my forward progress ends up in the woods or a sand trap. Why? Because I know that I am moving ahead. The game of golf is meant to be relaxing but most who play golf get frustrated because they don’t hit the ball like some of the professionals. Let me say this to you… They are called professionals because they spend time on their sport. They practice long hours and spend a lot of time making adjustments. Why? So they can improve. This should be the action of the Christian Believer. They should continually practice on moving forward in the things of God instead of settling for last years miracles and anointing.

Let’s transfer this over to the Christian believers life. Just because you have a problem or something creeps up does not mean that you quit. I watch so-called Christians quit and give up when they get attacked in their health or finances or marriage..ETC. This is not forward progress. Paul talks about pressing toward the goal. Just like a golfer who is looking to get the golf ball into the cup (hole), he makes every stride to pick the right club for the distance that he is at. His desire is to get the golf ball into the hole without taking a bogey (penalty) on his scorecard. As a Christian you should be pressing toward the prize of the high calling of Jesus Christ. You should be looking on how to move forward and to make progress.

In my life as a Christian I have had ups and downs but I have not quit and I don’t plan on quitting ever. My plan is to have positive yardage in the Lord, in His Word, in prayer, in my marriage, in my parenting and in Pastoring. I sometimes look back but only to see where I came from. I am not the same as I was yesterday and I don’t have plans to try to make up for yesterday. I am pressing ahead! Do the same! You can move ahead and you will have positive yardage.
Stay constant and be consistent.

Scripture Study: Philippians 3:14-21

Be Blessed!

Ephesians 4:7

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Yet grace (God’s unmerited favor) was given to each of us individually [not indiscriminately, but in different ways] in proportion to the measure of Christ’s [rich and bounteous] gift.

Jesus’ grace was unmeasurable. Jesus had power without measure. This grace given to you and I is without measure. Grace is of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues. (BLB) Blue Letter Bible.

Because this grace is unmeasurable it means that it is extended to anyone. It is not restrictive. God’s grace for you came from His love for you. If God did not love you it would be impossible to give you unmeasurable grace. If God didn’t love you there would be no way for you to be saved. God loves you so much that He sent Jesus as the saving grace. The measure of Christ’s gift was His death on the cross. It was the greatest sacrifice. It was unmeasurable because it was meant for all humans. However we can’t use this grace to sin willfully. Grace is the gift of bountifulness, acceptance, unmerited favor, liberality, blessings bestowed upon. You can’t earn grace. Grace can not be worked for. Grace is an extension of God’s love for you and for the world. That is why accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior is your choice. Grace is given and it causes favor upon your life. Favor is opening of doors that man can not open and man can not close.

Jesus had favor everywhere He went. I literally started to tell everyone that I have favor. I announce the favor of God on my life. I proclaim God’s grace is sufficient for me and my family. I rejoice over the fact that I am blessed and highly favored. What this does for me is, it reminds me of who I am and whose I am. I am God’s child. I am a son of God. You’re a child of God! That means you are a carrier of grace, the unmerited favor. Because of this grace in your life you are also to extend this to everyone else. Regardless of what someone has said to you or done to you, you must extend grace. After all God extends grace to you when you act crazy or stupid. I am not calling anyone stupid but you can act that way.

Grace is given through the love of God. That is how grace operates. So should you extend grace to someone? Be sweet like Jesus and extend grace. Grace is what will win someone to the Lord. Favor is a by-product of grace. It opens doors, it brings blessings, it sets people free and it loves unconditionally. The grace factor is God’s heart for dying man.

Scripture Study: Ephesians 4:1-7

Be Blessed!

 

2 Corinthians 7:1

Amplified Bible (AMP)

7 Therefore, since these [great] promises are ours, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring [our] consecration to completeness in the [reverential] fear of God.

We have such great promises with God. He will meet our needs. Be available to us always. Hear our prayers. Comfort us always. Take care of our enemies…ETC. However it is vital to note that we need to cleanse ourselves daily.

You would make sure that you were clean before you left your house right? Well it’s more than just cleaning the outside of your body. This cleansing is from things that contaminate your body spiritually as well. How can your spirit be contaminated? By what you watch on T.V. or by what you hear on the radio. Let me give you an example… Don’t just listen to the beat of the music. Listen to the words that are sung. Some of these Christian songs are abominable. They don’t speak about God’s faithfulness or that He is great. Some songs are more or less sung about the songwriter and how they have gone through something. Our spirit is susceptible to music. Why? Because we were created as creatures of worship. What is sad that there are songs that are supposedly called Christian but are full of distrust and lack of relationship.

Do you understand that music is a way to the spirit of man because of our life being made for worship. Man desires to worship. Who we worship is very important. Your spirit can become corrupted by what you put into it. Just like you would examine a dirty area of your body and cleanse it with soap, the same is needed for your spirit. You can examine what you have put into it and cleanse it by repentance. Repentance is a spiritual cleansing car wash. It examines the dirty area and applies the blood of Jesus which makes us white as snow.

Pay attention to the songs that are sung. Be sensitive to the Spirit of God that you don’t grieve Him. So if there is something that you are watching that is causing a bad stirring in you, then you should turn it off or walk out. Why? Because this “something” is making your spirit dirty and grieving the Holy Spirit.

Keeping yourself clean is your part of being consecrated unto the Lord in reverence. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Would you offer God something dirty? I think not! You would provide the best. However looking good on the outside is not enough. It’s the inside God will examine. Examine yourself and keep yourself cleansed daily!  It is your reasonable service! Romans 12:1-2 King James Version (KJV) 12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Scripture Study: 2 Corinthians 7:10-12

2 Corinthians 2:10-11

Amplified Bible (AMP)

10 If you forgive anyone anything, I too forgive that one; and what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sakes in the presence [and with the approval] of Christ (the Messiah),

11 To keep Satan from getting the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions.

When you hear these scriptures you should be reminded about forgiveness. If you don’t forgive neither will the Lord forgive you. If you don’t forgive, your offerings will not be blessed and multiplied. Forgiveness unblocks the blessing blockers in your life. Releasing forgiveness opens a door for you but also for the recipient. Forgiveness is not for the other person, it’s for you. Remember, forgiveness is what Jesus did even after they crucified Him. Luke 23:34 (King James Version) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.Can you do the same thing? Will you do the same thing?

Too many times people get offended. Offense is what opens the door for satan to take advantage of the person who is offended. Offense keeps the blessing from manifesting. Offense is what divides churches. Some may say well I did not like the way the Pastor spoke today. Then you my friend are very offended. Offense is the key tactic for satan to come in and divide. Division is the name of the game for satan. If you don’t like something that the Pastor has said, pray for him or her. If all you do is get offended, then you have been hanging out with satan. If you’re not, then whatever the Pastor says will not bother you. Offense is the opening of your hedge of protection. If you open it up then you open yourself to a nasty attack from satan and his cohorts.

Choose to walk in forgiveness just like Jesus. Even after people stomp on you forgive them anyways. People will make mistakes and it’s your job to love them regardless of how many mistakes they make.

Peter asked Jesus a question… Matthew 18:21-22 King James Version (KJV) 21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.Jesus responded with a love answer! Love covers the multitude of sin and trespasses. Because we are called Christians we are to be Christ-like, always!

If you think your blessings have been blocked, then ask God to show you what is holding your blessings captive. If you find that you have been offended then you need to ask God to forgive you. You need to release forgiveness to whomever you have been offended with. Forgiveness will set you free and release your blessings.

Scripture Study: 2 Corinthians 2:10-17

Be Blessed!

 

1 Corinthians 4:2

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Moreover, it is [essentially] required of stewards that a man should be found faithful [proving himself worthy of trust].

In this verse we see it is a basic requirement for a person to be found faithful. What is faithful? Faithful is one who is loyal or constant. Christians today need to be loyal and constant. Quite often I find people who want to do something but never follow through. They are constant in their talk but not faithful in their actions. As a minister of the Gospel it is vitally important to read my Bible and pray everyday. It vitally important that I be constant and loyal to God. Why? Because it will help me to be constant and loyal to my family and ministry.

God has entrusted me with a powerful ministry. The first part of the ministry is to God, then my wife, then my children and then the church. If I am to be a blessing to others then I have to read and pray and have fellowship with God. Through the years I have found that the more time I spend with God the better my marriage becomes. The more time I spend with God, my relationship with my sons grows.

When life is not good you can count on God being faithful to help you. When life is going great can God count on you being faithful? Many times things will start to go right for a family and then they stop fellowshipping with God. This is not being faithful. Being faithful is staying constant with God and staying constant with your responsibilities.

The topic of this devotion is staying faithful even if…  Your dog dies, family problems, doesn’t feel like God is talking to you, have an argument with your spouse, children act up, finances are messed up, car problems…ETC. Will you stay faithful through it all? Will you be constant with God?

The proving ground of faithfulness is staying constant regardless of any situation, good or bad. Stay faithful because there is always a reward.

My dad has taught me to be faithful in everything I do. My dad has been an inspiration to me and shown me what it is like to stay faithful in the midst of adversity. He has shown me to stay strong and deliberate in my work. He taught me a core lesson on what it means to hold to your word. He taught me to give more than my best and not to require praise.

I dedicate this devotion to you dad. Thank you for staying constant and faithful. Thank you for not giving up or giving in. Thank you for staying by my side even when I disappointed you. Thank you for showing me the love of God by being a faithful steward. Thank you for showing me how to be a good husband and father, because you’re faithful to mom and to your children. You dad are reaping the fruits of your loins!

Be Blessed!