October 1st, 2018

Hurt But Not Held Back
 
Daniel 3
 
Hurt and pain. They are unwelcome passengers on our road trip of life. After all, when you follow God, you are supposed to have life and life more abundant, right? So, what happens when you find yourself in the midst of a situation you didn’t create and can’t control? A situation that hurts you deeply?
 
You might be able to relate to the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were happily going on about their lives serving God and landed smack dab in the middle of a fiery furnace as a result. Much to everyone’s surprise, they were not burned up by the flames. In fact, they walked out of the furnace without a hair on their heads signed and didn’t even smell like smoke. Unimaginable!
 
We may not have been thrown into an actual furnace, but we have certainly walked through the fire. Maybe people we thought were friends stabbed us in the back. Maybe our marriages have been in trouble. Maybe people we’ve trusted have talked about us badly. Maybe we’ve been disappointed when something didn’t go our way. Maybe we’ve been hurt by situations beyond our control. Maybe our lives are currently filled with pain. 
 
I wish I could say I have not smelled like smoke after walking through the fire. Instead, I’ve probably been pretty stinky. I smelled of smoke because I allowed the stink of situations, betrayal, or other people’s bad decisions to cling to me. I’ve allowed fear to overwhelm me, bitterness to overtake me, and hurt to hold me back. How about you?
 
Imagine coming home to a house filled with smoke. How would you begin to remove the smell of smoke from your home? According to the fabulous world of Google, there are five simple steps to follow. Surprisingly, we can adopt these same five steps to remove the smell of smoke from our lives. Over the next few days, we will examine how each smoke-removing step can help transform our lives. 
 
We may be hurt. But we don’t have to be held back. 


September 24th, 2018

God Comes Through In Love
 
Mark 4:35-41
Romans 8:28
Romans 8:31-39
 
In life we will all experience storms, but Praise be to God that he is right there with us. When storms appear in your life, don’t get sidetracked by the noisy crackling thunder and the whistling winds. Instead, aim to intentionally focus on Jesus Christ. Jesus is with you in the storms of life, and in His power and authority He is able to command peace in any storm that surrounds you today.
 
Although the storm rains seek to soak your strength and the whistling winds seek to shift your course, remember God’s love. He will never leave you nor forsake you and He is right there with you. God is guiding you in love and developing you into the dynamic person you were called to be. Have faith that God is coming through and don’t mistake that just because you are going through storms God’s love is absent. No! God is there and those who love Him, He is working everything out for their good according to His purpose! God love you in every season you experience in life, whether it is great or challenging. Remember that God love you! Don’t forget that He really loves each and every one of His children. 
 
Walk in God’s  love today because He always comes through in His love for you!
 
Prayer: God, I thank you for your love, kindness, grace and mercy. Although I experience storms in my life, I thank you that You are there with me. Sometimes it is a challenge to see how everything will work out for my good when I’am going through storms that seek to choke my praise and blind my focus on You. Our Heavenly Father, I praise you for being sovereign and that all my storms are subject to you! Thank you for peace, strength and growth as my faith increases in you. In Jesus’ name, AMEN. 


September 18th, 2018

Gods Comes Through With Love
 
Psalms 16:5-8
Joshua 1:8
 
 Boundaries are established by God to keep His children on the track He has planned and purposed. Obeying God’s commands serves beneficial to believers as we aim to stay within the established boundaries marked out for optimal spiritual and physical development. When one deliberately steps outside of God’s established boundaries and loving covering, consequences are sure to follow. Don’t misunderstand God’s boundaries in your life as punishment or isolation. Boundaries are not negative but positive reassurances that God wants the best for us as it relates to position, protection, favor and blessings.
 
Some believers at one time or another might have experienced someone or something intentionally seeking to distract and allure them to come up from underneath God’s loving covering and boundaries only to find disaster on the other side. God knows what you need before you ask Him and He has purposed you to fulfill His divine will. God’s love protects you and looks out for your best interest despite your feelings, emotions and circumstance. God’s love is perfecting all that which concerns you. 
 
God has established loving boundaries for us to follow as it relates to: friendships, business agreements, conversations, marriage, associations, relationship, work, teaching, discipline, when someone does you wrong, your actions, your thoughts and so much more. We as believers are to spend time in God’s word and prayer as the Holy Spirit reveals deep truths to us regarding God’s covering and loving boundaries. 
 
The loving boundaries God has established in  your life are not to limit or punish you but to bless and reward you. We are called to listen and obediently pay attention to God’s commands to love Him and serve Him with all of our heard, soul, choices, thoughts and our whole being. (Deuteronomy 11:13). There is blessing in obedience. When you obey God and respect His love for you, you are really showing and telling God that you love Him.
 
Don’t mistake God’s commandments, boundaries and covering as limitations in our life but receive them as His love for blessing and prospering you. 
 
God comes through in loving you. 
 
Prayer: God, I as for forgiveness in classifying your commandments, boundaries and covering as negative limitations in my life. I know now that our love forever encompasses me. Thank you for your commands that are established to protect me when I follow them. I choose to obey you, LORD. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 


September 10th 2018

God Comes Through In Love 
 
1 John 5:3
Psalms 94:12-14
Revelation 3:19
 
Gods loves you so  much that He corrects, disciplines and forgives you when you’ve gone contrary to His will, word and way. Many individuals have misconstrued God’s discipline as mistreatment, but God’s discipline is a sign of his positive love operating in our lives. It is our sin and disobedience that result in negative consequences for our actions. 
 
When God disciplines His children, it shouldn’t be viewed as an unloving act of mistreatment but a reminder that God loves us so much that He willingly corrects to get us back on the targeted plan He has for our lives. 
 
The purpose of discipline is to reinforce obedience and for one to stay on God’s track and not the world’s track. God’s disciplines because He loves. The world and those who intentionally live against God’s commands do not love you. In fact, some will encourage you to go to contrary to what God’s word specifically commands. Anyone or anything claiming to love you but does not encourage on hold you accountable in following God’s will, word and way does not know true love. 
 
Scripture reveals accounts where God gave specific directions and people knowingly or unknowingly disobeyed Him and discipline was enforced as a means to get them on the right track. The consequences individuals experienced were not appealing but necessary for obedience repentance and growth. 
 
When god disciplines it is out of love. When you are going down the wrong path about to make a decision that doesn’t line up with God’s word, Our Heavenly Father has the ability to correct; in His Word, parents, pastors, loves ones, circumstances and so much more. These enforcement are utilized to get us aligned with His plan. It is a blessing to know that God’s love will come in the very midst of our errors to serve as a warning of the danger zone ahead, if we don’t quickly repent and turn back to Him. 
 
Prayer: LORD, thank you for your loving discipline active in my life right now. I know that I am blessed because you discipline and teach me to follow your commands. I ask for forgiveness in misinterpreting your discipline as negative mistreatment when it is a positive attribute in my life and walk with you. I praise your name. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.


September 3rd, 2018

Gods Comes Through In Love
 
John 3:16
Isaiah 55:7
Jeremiah 29:11
1 Peter 2:9
 
You were created for a great purpose that God specifically designed for you to fulfill. God not only chose you but he loves you! A lot of people don’t really understand God’s love for them and this oftentimes is evident in one’s life decisions, interactions and thoughts. All throughout scripture God’s words clearly identify His abundant love for every one of his children. God’s love is exercised for each and and every one of us when He: forgives, covers, protects, provides, heals, restores, reveals, rewards establishes and demonstrates his continued grace, mercy and power in our lives. 
 
When you feel as though you are not loved, quickly demolish those lies with the truth of God’s word and declare out loud “God loves ME so much that he sent Jesus Christ to die for My sins, I believe in Jesus and I will not perish but have eternal live.”
 
When you feel as though your sins are to great and you are unworthy of God’s love, declare out loud “I forsake my old ways and unrighteous thoughts. I turn to you, LORD, thank you for Your mercy, love and for forgiving me generously.”
 
When you feel as if you are not valuable and unlovable, declare “God loves me and knows the plans he has for me, plans for welfare and not evil, to give me a future and a hope.”
 
Today choose to follow Jesus Crhist as you journey through life. Be mindful of God’s love foryou. You no longer need to seek love from the evil influences of this world. It’s all a mirage to block you and hinder your mind into believing that you are not lovable, worthy or valuable, but remember GOD LOVE YOU! God’s love is so powerful that His loving power can fill any void in your life. God loves you better than the world. Turn from the world’s way and receive God’s true, pure love. 
 
God will forever come through in His Love for you!
 
Prayer: God, I receive your pure, true, unconditional love for me. I praise Your wonderful name and thank you for your goodness, grace and mercy! Your love sustains me and I seek to be a reflection of your love in the lives of others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


August 27th, 2018

God Comes Through in Love 
 
Isaiah 46:16
John 3:16
Romans 8:38-39
 
God’s love for you is pure, trustworthy and constant. God is the love of your life; he breathed life into you and sent Jesus Christ to die for your sins. When you received Jesus as your Savior, God promised you eternal life with him.
 
Your name is engrafted in the palm of God’s hand. Despite any displeasing thing you’ve thought or action you’ve done, God Loves you. Nothing can separate you from the love of God. 
 
Praise God that he doesn’t love like the world loves on a conditional basis but God loves you unconditionally. You might have experiences some detrimental events throughout the course of live, but I want to encourage you today to receive God’s love because he really does love you. Turn in to your loving father’s arms and thank Him for His love that is active right now and forever. 
 
Although  you’ve experienced hurtful situations that God can use for your good, remember God loves you. God will never leave you nor forsake  you no matter what you are going through. If  you are living in disobedience, repent now and follow God’s will, word and way, because God sets parameters in your life because of His love for you. A repentant heart and lifestyle is necessary for a fruitful relationship with our Heavenly Father.
 
Family members, friends, colleagues or people you trusted and respected at one point and time probably hurt, misused and abused you in the most vile way: even after proclaiming their love for you, but remember today God loves you and will always love you. God’s love will contend with those who contend with you! (Psalm 135:1) God’s got you covered in His love. Even in the midst of challenging situations when you’re searching for answers on why a loving God would allow you to go through trials and tribulations, trust Him today. Nothing escapes God! Nothing! He knows hat is going on in you life, and when you begin to grow in relationship with Him you will realize the truth of His love and plan for your life. 
 
Walk confidently in God’s love today. Don’t harbor bitterness, hate, resentment, criticism, sarcasm, pride or arrogance. Receive God’s love and in doing so you will learn to reflect God’s love to others. 
 
Thank God that He comes through in loving you! Believe and receive it today. 


August 21st, 2018

Power When We Worship
 
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Proverbs 10:21
 
Does anyone else have friends who love to push them physically? I have a couple of guys in my life who truly enjoy getting me to the gym for a workout. As I am attempting to keep up with them, they use phrases like “Lifting weights is all mind over matter,” and “We do things today that others won’t do, so we can do tomorrow what others can’t do.” If you are anything like me, you want to sucker punch them in the throat, but by that time, your arms are like noodles and they would just stand there and mock you for hitting like a girl. While it feels like torture in the moment, the results of overcoming the current limitations of your physical condition can be incredibly satisfying. Our spiritual training needs to take on the same determination and the same amount of energy that we would apply to physical training.
 
The enemy has done everything he can to keep us from the understanding that we are to be overcomers. Unfortunately, he has made us believe that prayer and worship are just religious formalities and has effectively removed some of our most powerful weapons. We were not born into the Kingdom of God in order to live defeated lives. We were not meant to sit around and watch our families fall apart. As believers, we are called to be fighters. 
 
2 Corinthians 10:3-5: “For though we live int he world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
 
Scripture continually uses the analogies of fighting and warfare when telling us how we are to respond to spiritual battles. Once we understand this, then we can start to use our worship as a weapon instead of just a nice little comforting moment. The power to overcome any situation can be found in our own declarations.
 
Proverbs 18:21: “The tongue can bring death or life.” When you complain, you are agreeing that the situation s in control. Instead of being ruled by your situation, start to worship. Worship is an incredible reminder to the enemy of who is truly in control of the situation. It’s time to take a stand. It’s time to raise your voice. It’s time to let worship be your war cry, for we were born to be overcomers. There is power in our worship! There is power in the name of Jesus!


August 14th, 2018

God Would You Forgive Us
 
Amos 5:21-24
Mark 7:6-7
 
Over the years, many Scriptures have come alive to me as I sought out what it means to be a worshiper of God. Not all Scriptures that impacted me were nice little encouragements. One of the more straightforward Scriptures that molded my worship is found in Amos 5:21-24: “I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans, and goals. I’m sick of your fundraising schemes, your public relations, and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice–oceans of it. I want fairness–rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.” (MSG)
 
Yep. That definitely cuts to the chase. I think sometimes we have to take a step back from all of the activity and the noise and realize it is easy to lose focus of what and who really matters. We can sing our songs, say our prayers, say “Amen” through every sermon, but when it is all said and done, never really put into practice the things we just heard and declared. A.W. Tozer said it best when he said, “Christians don’t tell lies they just go to church and sing them.”
 
we speak of hope, but ignore the hopeless. We sing about healing, but never reach out our hands to the sick. We cry out for prosperity, but mostly for self-preservation. We ask God to give us the nations, but don’t speak out against racial injustice in our own communities. There is such a thing as worthless worship. It is worship that has words, but no action. It is worship that has sound, but not heart. Jesus defines it in Mark 7:6-7, when he quotes the prophet Isaiah saying, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.”
 
We in the church have sat around too long saying all the right things, but doing nothing. We have spoken powerful declarations, sung the songs, and prayed the prayers, but now we need to take action. I don’t want to hear us talk about love; I want to see it lived out. I don’t want to just sing about justice; I want to fight for it. I don’t want to dream of every nation, tribe and tongue worshiping; I want to facilitate it. May we be a people who turn back to God, let our actions line up with our words, and let justice flow like a river and mercy run like a stream!


August 6th, 2018

We’re Singing Holy
 
Revelation 4:8-11
John 7:38
 
In the book of Revelation, we get an incredible picture of what is happening in heaven 24/7.
 
Revelation 4:8-11 says, “Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they  never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”
 
“Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will, they were created and have their being.”
 
I am overwhelmed at this level of never-ending response. I think it’s funny that we pray the prayer, “Let earth look more like heaven,” but most churches you visit will look nothing like what is happening in heaven. Part of the issue stems from us teaching people how to sing, but not how to see. The response happening in heaven is not because they were taught a song, but it is a response of praise based on what they see. 
 
I grew up in church and for the first half of my life, I had almost no response for God. I remember going and just hoping the service would finish soon enough that I could get some other stuff done that day. Truthfully, I was showing up to church to fulfill my religious duty more than anything. If there was any response in the service, I was hoping it was God responding to me and my needs. I showed up to get something, not to give something. But Scripture says, “Worthy is the lamb to receive.”
 
When you walk into a church service that is singing a son about the greatness of God, please do not stand there with no response. John 7:38 says, “For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from the heart of anyone who believes in me.” If we want heaven on earth, then let’s do what we can to recreate the sound and atmosphere of heaven on earth! Let all the earth declare, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.”


July 30th, 2018

Uncontainable Wildfire 
 
Psalm 63:1 
 
Psalm 63:1 ” O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and wary and where there is no water.”
 
Have you ever gone for a long period of time without eating? I’m not talking about 30 minutes for those of you who are hungry all the time. I’m talking about days and not hours. I remember doing a 17-day fast with just water. My body was constantly cramping and almost doubled me over. I specifically remember walking into the kitchen on the 10th day ans smelling Oreos that were in the cabinet, locked in a Ziploc bag. My whole body started cramping and my stomach was crying out to be fed. 
 
It’s no surprise that our bodies go completely haywire when we do not eat. Food is meant to sustain us and if we don’t eat, then eventually we will die of hunger. Our spiritual life is no different. When the Oreo moment happened to me, I remember the Lord saying that He wanted me to feel that same longing for Him. The kind of longing that says I cannot survive without Him. Since that day, I made the decision that I will pursue Him with all that I have. 
 
We can no longer afford to be complacent in our pursuit. If we want to be used powerfully by God, then we first have to be consumed by God. This is something that should never go away. This is something that you don’t “mature” out of. God is infinite and those who seek Him will never come to the fullness of knowing Him. I long to be like those men in the Bible who gave their lives in this incredible pursuit. 
 
In this book “The Pursuit of God,”A.W. Tozer describes this longing pretty well when he says, “Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, they prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out, and when they had found Him, the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking…complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. 
 
I pray that this desire burns in you like fire shut up in your bones. I pray that you are awakened in the night with an aching to know Him more. I pray that He consumes you and that you never become complacent in your pursuit of Him.