Tag Archives: Christ

If God Gave Each of Us What We Truly Deserved, We Would Be In Big Trouble

wpid-img_20140621_215233.jpgOftentimes when we want answers right away it’s usually when we’re hurt, impatient, and angry. God will challenge us to see how we handle it. In order to get to where you’re going you have to go through places you will not want to. You’ll have to come out your comfort zone to get through.

If God can’t trust you with little things, how can he trust you with much? Don’t despise small beginnings. It can lead to great endings.

In everything that you are masters of and those things you cannot master, your desires, failures, mistakes, and circumstances, commit them to God the Master. Trust Him. Let him know, “I trust you Lord.” His grace is sufficient.

At times, when you’re going through and it seems God isn’t listening or he is not there. He’s listening. Are you listening for the still small voice? When it seems God is silent, it’s not that he is. It may be that we’ve stopped listening. God speaks to us through his word. Study the Word. Listen.

When we commit everything to the Lord, burdens of life cease to be ours and become His. He’s a problem solver. We’re free from life’s problems. Put faith in action. When you put it in God’s hands, take your hands off it and let him do his work as only he can. Trust Him. God can move mountains.

You are as good as can be expected but greater than can be expected, when you expect the unexpected from God. You have to think yourself happy in the midst of the storm. When you’re thinking, you should also be thanking God you’re able to stand strong.

People will disappoint you every day. They’ll try to frustrate God’s purpose and make you question your calling. Don’t let them. Walk in your destiny. Walk on purpose.

If God gave each of us what we truly deserved, we would be in big trouble. His grace and mercy saves us. It is a gift. Be grateful to Him. We’re all battling something that seems impossible to overcome. We get tired and want to give up. Stay the course. Persevere. You’ll be glorified in Christ Jesus.

Be blessed! -JD

Hebrews 12:1-31 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” (ESV)

 

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Don’t Rob God of His Honor by Worshiping Other Things

wpid-textgram_1392820009.pngDo you ever notice how people take for granted the life God has given? Some will idolize things and some will make the mistake of prioritizing their time with other things rather than spending time with the One who gives it.

It amazes me how we choose to worship God. Take for instance when going to church. We go about it as if it’s another day when preparing to worship. We get there late but can get to work on time, clubs before free entry ends, or a movie before the credits begin. But why is it some of us get to church late almost when it’s time to end.

I know you’re saying, “Praise God for being there no matter what time you get there.” And don’t get me wrong, I’m with you on that. However, when it’s a pattern that seems to become a part of the norm and you choose to idolize other things instead of giving honor to God. I don’t feel it’s a good thing in the eyes of God.

God is a jealous God. We mustn’t the mistake of putting our jobs and other things in this world before Him. He is not jealous of what you have or what you need. He doesn’t like when you give away what belongs to him; your faithfulness. God is to get all the worship. Worship him alone. It belongs to him and him alone.

We must be careful not to idolize or worship the wrong things. Your car, your house, your friends and family, and your job are amongst those things. When you bow down to and worship other gods you believe are essential for your life, you make the mistake of worshiping idols rather than worshiping God; the One that gives you life.

Every day there are some people who make sure they’re never late for work or even miss a day. Yet get to church late or don’t go at all or will miss a month of Sundays. But feel entitled to “me time” when making sure they are a part of family and friend events on the weekends or any time during the week. And fail to find time for God on any given Sunday or any day of the week.

God is worthy of our worship. Everything belongs to him. If it wasn’t for him, you wouldn’t have things such as a job, a house, or car that you feel is worthy of your worship. “For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens” (Psalm 96:5). Worship God instead of worldly possessions.

Make time for God. Stop prioritizing the wrong things. One day in the blink of an eye, you can lose everything. God must come first in every area of your life. Take a moment to take a serious look at your life. Evaluate the things that may be taking priority over God. Resolve it. Give him all the praise. Mediate daily on the word. Earnestly seek God.

Things, jobs, or people do not give you life. God does. Make Him the center of your life. Without him, you can do nothing. All that you have without him is worth nothing. You wouldn’t have a life.

Don’t rob God of his honor by worshiping other gods or idols in your life. Abandon anything in your life that is hindering you from being faithful to God. Don’t let idol worship keep you from giving praise, honor, and worship where it rightfully belongs; to God.

Be blessed! –JD

Matthew 4:8-10 “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, 9 “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”

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Will You Let A Thorn In Your Flesh Stop You?

2 Corinthians 12

In 2 Corinthians 12:7, 8 it tells us Paul had a thorn in his flesh but there is no specific answer to its source. There were several speculations surrounding the issue of uncertainty as to what was the thorn. The assumption was it could have been an illness such as malaria or epilepsy or a disease of the eyes (Gal 4:13-15). Some assumed it may have had to do with a spiritual, emotional affliction or problem. Whatever the case may be, the assumption is there was a debilitating condition that rendered Paul, at times, flawed in his weakness.

It was a chronic, debilitating problem that at times, got in the way of Paul being able to do his work. It was a hindrance to his ministry. Yet he sought God for healing. He prayed three times to God to remove it. God refused. Still Paul trusted God even though his problem had not been removed. God did not remove his physical affliction. Instead God healed Paul’s spiritual condition.

From what I learned in my Bible reading, Paul never received physical healing like he asked. But in the midst of his suffering what he did get from God was something far greater than that. He received “grace, a stronger character, humility, and an ability to empathize with others” (2 Co 12:7, 8). Even though the thorn seemed difficult for him, he continued in his ministry to reach others with the gospel. Paul didn’t let a thorn stop him. It benefited others around him. Others were able to see God at work. In his infirmities, Paul continued his work.

Paul was not prideful. He may have been weak physically, but he was able to build his character and rely on God’s strength. How awesome was it that God could take a person who couldn’t find physical healing and suffered in weakness and use him for his glory through his strength. Who could ask for much more than that? What a blessing!

Paul’s experience was a chronic problem from an unknown source that could have been emotional, physical, or spiritual. What if this was to happen to you? What if you were in Paul’s predicament? What if you couldn’t see your way through the pain or trouble, would a thorn in your flesh be difficult? How would you be deal with it? What if you suffered from a number of limitations or physical illnesses? Yet still desired to do the work of the Lord? And be a witness to the world in showing them through you, the power of Almighty God. Would you do the work you’re called to do? Or would you let a thorn in your flesh stop you?

For me, as a person who suffer from chronic pain, I find that a thorn in the flesh speaks emotionally, physically, and spiritually to my pain. Out of problems I encounter, not spiritually, but based on my physical and emotional suffering. At times I find it bothersome and troubling. Wishing somehow, like Paul that it be removed. Regardless, I still manage to give God glory no matter what I go through. I am called to do the work of the Lord. I will gladly serve God.

Healing may not come in the form we wish. Yet we must learn how to glorify God in spite of it. In our afflictions we must never fail to thank God even when there are times we may feel the same way as Paul. Especially when faced with problems that leave us confused, riddled with pain, or a lack of strength to go on. At that time, admit to God your weaknesses. It will affirm God’s strength even if he doesn’t heal your physical ailment. It will deepen your relationship with Him. You will develop character too. Paul was living proof.

Recognize through your limitations God can use you. Pray, believe, and trust God when you’re going through. Rely on God’s power for effectiveness and not on your own. Turn to God and seek help that you may be effective to do God’s work assured you are not alone. Remember Paul. Use his example for assurance. He showed us that holy living and courageous faith do not ensure instant physical healing. But what was most important is he received spiritual healing. It may not be physically. God will heal you spiritually.

Trouble, hardships, trials, and tribulations should never drive you away from God. Your spiritual condition is far more important than your physical condition to God. Just as God was able to demonstrate his power in Paul, he can do the same for you. Don’t quit. Even in your affliction, you can minister to others and comfort those who may suffer just as God comforts you.

What would you do, if A THORN IN YOUR FLESH was as difficult as Paul’s? Will a thorn in your flesh stop you from doing the work of the Lord? I’ve learned, “Nothing must separate you from God’s love. No matter what your thorn in the flesh may be, believe and trust God. For His power is made perfect in weakness. Trust in God. His grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:8).”

Be blessed! -JD

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you; my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest in me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

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Don’t Hide Behind the Veil. Be Changed Inside Out. Be the light!

Moses on Mount Sinai (1545-1555); Gemäldegaler...

Moses on Mount Sinai (1545-1555); Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To keep the people from being terrified by the brightness of his face, Moses put on a veil.

“Paul adds that this veil kept them from seeing the radiance fade away. Moses and his veil illustrate the fading of the old system and the veiling of the people’s minds and understanding their pride, hardness of heart, and refusal to repent. The veil kept them from understanding references to Christ in the Scriptures” (2 Co 3:13-18). When trying to be saved by keeping the law, they became bound by rules and ceremonies. They were bound by the law.

2 Corinthians 3:13-18 tells us “when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, his face glowed after spending time with God and being in His presence.” The glory of God was revealed on Moses’ face. But it was temporary and in time, faded away. It didn’t expose people to the unveiled glory that was to come. But prepared the people and gave them a glimpse of what was to come. The veil revealed the truth. The complete unveil of God’s glory was to come in the New Testament. Knowledge of Christ removed the veil from the Old Testament.

“Moses emphasized God’s law and justice, while Jesus Christ came to highlight God’s mercy, love, and forgiveness. Moses could only be the giver of the law while Christ came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17).” “Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. The law revealed God’s nature and will. Through Jesus Christ, God’s nature and will was revealed (John 1:17). Through the presence of the Holy Spirit, God offers us freedom from sin and condemnation. By God’s grace through faith, God offers the gift of salvation.

When we turn to the Lord, we are free to see the glory of God. We are being transformed, from glory to glory, into the image of the Lord. “Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Christ removes the veil, giving eternal life and freedom from trying to be saved by keeping laws. And without the veil, we can be like mirrors reflecting God’s glory” (2 Co 3:16).

Trust Christ to save you. Keep your focus on Him. We, unlike Moses whose glory faded away, have the glory of Jesus permanently. It’s not temporary. It won’t fade away. True meaning of Scripture is no longer hidden from us. The Holy Spirit dwells in us. Through Jesus, not through law, God’s truth is revealed. We don’t need to keep the law by rules, rituals, and ceremonies or use a veil in order to be saved. Jesus death on the cross gave us free access to God. Indwelling of the Holy Spirit has set us free forever.

When Jesus was nailed to the cross, whatever was nailed died on the cross with him. Christ nailed the Law of Moses on the cross. It ended with him. Christ is an end, not to the Ten Commandments, but to the sacrificial law. When he sacrificed his life for us and died on the cross, it ended the sacrificial law. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Co 3:17). Jesus shall make us free. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” (Jn 8:36) Glory!

Don’t hide behind the veil because of closed minds and hardening of the hearts and cause others to miss the glory of God. Remove the veil. Uncover your face and your minds. Reveal God’s glory. Let your face openly glow. Be the light. Lead others that they may come to the knowledge of Christ and no longer be in spiritual blindness. When others see you, they will know God is in your presence. Your heart, the veil, God’s glory have been uncovered. Let the light shine through you. Let others see Jesus’ light through you. Christ removed the veil. You are being transformed into the image and likeness of Christ. That’s good news!

When I look back over my life and all God has done for me. I shout Hallelujah! God rescued me. I’ve got a testimony. Free from chains that no longer bind me. I won’t wear a veil. My face will be uncovered. People will see God’s glory and my testimony will expose his goodness.

Don’t Hide Behind the Veil. Be Changed Inside Out. Be the light!

Be blessed! –JD

2 Corinthians 3:13-18 “We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (NIV)

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Have No Regrets. Don’t Look Back. Look At God. He Did That!

Isaiah 43When reflecting on your life, past circumstances will reveal what needed to change. God needed to get your attention, in order that some things change.

You may find yourself filled with regrets wishing you had done things differently. While never understanding why you regret things should have turned out differently.

There were times you should have lost your mind. Yet you made it through. God was there all the time. At times, your pride may have gotten in the way. At which time, you made the best decisions during that time on that day. Nonetheless, when you take a look in the mirror and it is yourself you see. Your past is only a reflection of what needed to happen that you may see. The place God needed to bring you to. The place where you are now, to bring him glory, assured it was God who brought you through.

God could have put you in somebody else place. You could have been in a worse situation where you may have found yourself in an uninviting, unstable place. You could’ve been in somebody else situation. It could not have turned out in your favor, creating a worse situation. God saved you. The blood covered you. Hallelu!

You may never understand why things in life happen the way they do. There’s a reason God does not need you to know all he do. If God showed you everything he planned for you. Or gave you everything he promised you. You would not be able to handle it all beforehand if you knew. Where you are now is where God needs you to be. Say to him, “Lord whatever you’re doing in this season, don’t do it without me.”

When things fall apart, all you’ll see is God. In your brokenness, you’ll see the Lord. All other ground is sinking sand. On Christ the solid rock, stand. You’ve been through the storm and through the rain. You made it. God reigns! “Paul reminds us that though we may think we are at the end of our rope, we are never at the end of our hope” (2 Co 4:8-12).

No matter what you’ve been through, God has been good to you. You made it to see another day, in spite of trials met yesterday. Take a step back. Envision where you were this time, long ago. You’ve come this far by faith. God was in control.

Have no regrets. Don’t look back. Say, “Look at God. He did that!”

Be blessed! –JD

Isaiah 43:1-3 “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (ESV)

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Satan’s in Opposition, You’ve Got the Victory; Shout Glory!

MP900201696As I sat in total darkness yesterday, I was in prayer and communion with God all day. Nothing was on, not the television or any other thing that could disturb me from hearing the voice of God. You see, I didn’t realize that there was something happening all week as I cried and poured my heart out to God. I cried and cried tears of confusion asking God to show me what it is I seem to be missing. I told him I felt as though my life is going nowhere and I felt helpless, worthless.

I told him how every day I must walk in humility. I have to humble myself before others even when I don’t feel like it, but must remind myself daily it is to bring Him glory. That in itself can be hard because humility will take you to a place you don’t want to go, but you will, and will cause you to insist on doing something you don’t want to do, but you will. It can be devastating when your mind is trying to convince you otherwise. Especially when you’re like me and are not used to the impact you encounter when things change. I don’t handle change well but know it is expected. However, when others have control and you only play a small role, it can be hard to humble yourself when you least expect it.

It was not until today I realized this month marked a significant turning point in my life. And for some reason the devil did all he could to remind me of it. I woke up from a dream that had me literally in tears. As I cried profusely, I told God, “I don’t know why I’m here  in tears. I had a long talk with you just last night and thought everything was going to be alright.” I rested well and felt I would wake knowing it would all be alright. This dream reminded me of a time when I lost everything. It was a time where my life drastically changed. I felt like Job, only I lost my faith. I felt alone, defeated. I lost trust in everyone and everything. I couldn’t make sense of anything.

I have been through some things in my life but this was by far nothing I had ever experienced in my life. And with Satan attacking me at that time and this week from every side, he did everything to bring this devastating remembrance of time back to mind. I couldn’t get a grip of myself and my thoughts. I became weak. My flesh started rising up over my spirit. I needed help. I couldn’t do nothing but cry out to God to keep my flesh from taking captive of my spirit. I told him, “I need you God now more than ever.”

This has been a long week filled with immense struggles, heartache, and tears. Lord, I don’t think I have ever cried as much as I’ve cried this week and today as I have in my entire life in years. I know there’s a purpose, promise, and potential You have designed specifically for me.

The devil keeps trying to condemn and convince me into believing You are not there for me. And tell lies to make me believe You cannot use a wretch like me. The devil is a liar and the truth is not in him! I rebuke that spirit. Every day is a struggle God but I’m glad I have you in my life. Without you, I never would have made it. You are the bread of life.

God, come into my situation. Cover me. Use me. Remove all fears, distress, worries, heartache, and pain. Restore me back to the place I need to be in order to live freely again. Break every chain! Deliver me God and make me whole again. I come against every lying tongue and every trick of the enemy. Satan you have no authority over me. You can’t ever take what God has promised me. What God has for me is for me.

Some believe as Christians, we are to never get depressed. I beg to differ. We do but we must learn to not become bound by it and do our best to rebuke that spirit. For some, this may not be that easy. It may take a while and for others, it may require professional treatment. Nevertheless, please know it can happen to any given person on any given day. Do your best, with God’s help, to not get stuck when you find yourself feeling this way.  Just because we are Christians we are not exempt. In fact, in many cases because we are Christians we aren’t exempt. Just one more trick of the adversary to cause destruction unnecessarily. No weapon formed against us shall prosper.

Satan will try and rob us of our joy, peace, and assurance in God. He comes to kill, steal, and destroy. We can’t give in to him. We are God’s property. The attack of the enemy starts in the mind. The devil will try to convince us that we are useless, unworthy to be used by God. He will condemn us, reinforcing feelings of fear, depression, guilt, and shame. The Holy Spirit will deliver us from these things.

When you’re stagnated, feel stuck, like nothing’s happening or going right in your life. God’s calling your attention to something. Move towards the light. Be assured of this; the Holy Spirit does not convict us, the believer, of sins or a multitude of sins. It convicts us the believer of righteousness in Christ. Take joy in knowing this.

Job was a perfect example. He lost everything in the first of Satan’s tests; his possessions, his family, his wife, his children. He passed the tests. He reacted rightly towards God. He acknowledged God’s sovereign authority over everything God had given him. He may have grieved but he never lost his faith in Him. He loved God for who he is and not what he gives (Book of Job). We are to do the same, just as Job did.

When you face the greatest opposition, you’re close to victory. The enemy fights the hardest to keep God from opening that door. You’ve got the victory. It is said when you face the toughest battles, the greatest breakthrough is on the way. The devil may try to stop it. Believe. It’s settled. It’s on the way!

Me: Shouting glory!!

Be blessed! –JD

Job 5:17-27 “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. 18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.19 From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will touch you.20 In famine he will deliver you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword.21 You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes.22 You will laugh at destruction and famine, and need not fear the wild animals.23 For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you.24 You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing.25 You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth.26 You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season.27 “We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself.”

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Lies and Rumors, Rumors and Lies; The Devil is a Liar!

Oftentimes our past will hinder our ability to receive the blessings God has stored up for us. We choose to become bound by things which we have no control but will give control when we fail to resist or release it, letting it control us.

When the devil tells you a lie you know is not the truth. Don’t believe him. He lies and doesn’t believe in the truth. God will place the enemy under your feet. The devil will flee!

The devil’s a LIAR. He’s weak. He’ll do anything to make you feel useless when you’re weak. If God be for you who can be against you? No one can be against you when God is for you. The devil can’t take from you what God already promised you. He may try to convince you it’s not yours. It’s yours. God promised it to you.

Confusion comes from the adversary that will leave you wondering where God is when you’re broken and can’t find healing. Rebuke that spirit! When you can’t see God in the midst of your trials, know that God is with you all the while. Don’t look to the right or the left. Look to God for help. He is a present help. When you’re at your lowest of lows and feel you can’t go on. Be strong. Man can do you no harm. God sits high on the throne. He’ll work it out. Hold on. Have faith. It’s done. God already worked it out.

Failure is expected when you stop trying. You ultimately will give up without trying. God won’t fail you. Great is his faithfulness. Don’t give up or think he’s not there for you. It’s just a test. God loves you. A double-minded person has a single thought mentality. They’re unstable in all they do and lack clarity. Live one life. Have the mind of Christ. Don’t think about it twice.

When others tell you you’ll never be anything. Don’t believe them. Misery loves company. In God’s eyes, you are more than a conqueror.

When others look down on you, don’t let it trouble you. Defeat is a symptom of a lack of faith. Look to God from whence cometh your help. When in doubt, have faith. When there’s fear, pray. God will make a way. When lost, seek God. He’s just a prayer away.

When in opposition with the enemy, disillusionment will make you think God is who you want him to be. God is God. He is and always will be.

KNOW THIS: “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19)

Lies and rumors, rumors and lies; the devil is a liar! Don’t believe anything he says. He’s the father of lies (Jn 8:44). Tell the truth. Shame the devil. Don’t be afraid of the truth. Trust God.  God does not lie. His Word is truth.

Be blessed! –JD

Lamentations 3:19-24 “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

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Don’t Move Too Fast; Let go. Let God.

The Temptation of Christ, 1854
The Temptation of Christ, 1854 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When God birth something in you, he’s faithful and will do just as he promised you. Birthing pains may be hard but the reward, “My God!”

When we are pregnant with possibilities, we can’t help but to give birth to the very thing God sent to us. There will be labor pains and when it’s close to delivery, the devil will do everything in his power to distract us.

Let no man distract and deter you from God’s plan. God got this. It’s all in his hands. You may go through trials. Tribulations will come. In the end, God will be glorified! It’s already done.

Upon reflecting on the greatness of God and what he is doing in my life, the past few months have been what I call heartbreaking, disappointing, surreal, emotional, different, yet fulfilling.

Filled with anxiety, fear (yes, fear), and a multitude of emotions I never thought would happen given my level of faith and trust in God. But as with all things that are new to us, I believe in some way it is to be expected. However it should not be a place you remain too long or where you too often find yourself stagnated.

You see, eleven years ago God gave me a vision. And before I became ill and limited with the use of my hands, I had an idea I felt would be of benefit to a target market I felt was not being tapped into. God had a plan.

Being the unique person I am because with most things I choose not to fall into the norm or fit in with what society deems as stereotypical, I love when a challenge presents itself and I work to solve it. I refuse to find myself defeated where others may find themselves in life, and couldn’t help but stand up to the challenge during one of the most tumultuous times of my life.

I delved into a project and took the liberty of using what most would not believe was the right program to create unique designs, from a flowchart program one fellow classmate blessed me with who worked for a reputable technology corporation when I could not afford it at a time.

I kept trying to figure out what to do with this thing only to lose hope and eventually gave up trying. I was impatient and disobedient. I kept trying to do it my way and couldn’t see my own fault in it. The devil had me spent. Then one day I stopped trying.

It was not until recently God set forth the plan and has been guiding my footsteps ever since. The transition has been smooth and seamless of which I can accredit to my being obedient in following his leading and not the leading of what I thought was best for me. God knew I needed every bit of more than eleven years to prepare me.

While there are still times I feel exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated, irritated, and can’t see the end result of what God has prepared for me. I am assured this is a task God has assigned specifically for me. I have the greatest joy because I know God is with me. He is in front, on side, behind and goes before me. And I know I am on the right path God is leading me.

Everything happens in God’s time. It doesn’t matter what you or others may have in mind. God’s agenda is never our agenda. We may have a different plan but our agenda is not his agenda. The devil will try to make everything you do look good to you, even when it’s bad for you. And will try to convince you it’s what you are supposed to do. He wants you to think you are to follow your own lead when in fact, if you make the choice to do so you’re setting yourself up to fail.

Whenever God is at work, the devil is unrelenting. He is mad and wants to get even. He won’t stop until he gets your attention. He comes to kill, steal, and destroy. The battle is not yours, it’s the Lord’s. Know this, when the enemy comes to fight, put on the full armor of God. Take a stand against him. Be strong in the Lord (Eph 6:10-11).

When you tell God your plans, he smiles at you. You may think because you say so, it’s already worked out for you. In reality, God knows how it will end for you. God is in control. He has control over everything. Your plans are never his plans. Your agenda is not his agenda. He is the Author and Finisher.

When you take one step, God takes two. Although you can’t see him, envision footprints in the sand that will show a set of two. This is what it tells you. God is carrying you. His plan is much greater for you than what you may think when you follow you.

God will order your steps. Don’t move too fast. Remember, what you do for Christ and not for yourself or others, will last. Walk in obedience. Wait on God.

Don’t move too fast; let go. Let God.

Be blessed! –JD

1 Corinthians 8:1-3 “… It is true, of course, that “all of us have knowledge”, as they say. Such knowledge, however, puffs a person up with pride; but love builds up. 2Those who think they know something really don’t know as they ought to know. 3But the person who loves God is known by him.”

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Cute, Comfortable, Convicted or Condemned?

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Would you rather be cute than comfortable; Convicted in the spirit or condemned? Or would you rather have Jesus, who died for our sins? Would you live for God and die to sin? I’d rather have Jesus. Amen.

As Christians, we can’t be judgmental, selfish or pick and choose when to be a Christian. We are called to be ambassadors for Christ and must be a representative of God in all situations. Our attitudes, the way we treat others, the way we treat our family and our hearts must be a reflection of who we are in Christ. Under all circumstances, we are to die of self; represent Christ in every aspect of our life.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean you should be someone other than the person you were created to be. However, as a believer it will change the person you once were into the transformed person you are called to be. Being a Christian shouldn’t be that hard. It shouldn’t be that hard to live as the person God designed you to be or to live for God.

If someone were to ask you about your faith, how would you respond? Would you tell them about your faith in God? Or would you remain silent? Not everyone will approve or understand your decision to follow Christ. However, you mustn’t make an excuse to not tell others about Christ.

As believers, God’s Spirit lives in us. Even when others don’t understand the concept that God lives in us. We must not use this as an excuse when someone rejects God. Nor are we to remain silent or fear sharing the Word of God. “We are still one of God’s communication channels (1Cor 2:14, 15).” Be alert. Seize every opportunity. Be a mouthpiece for God’s kingdom.

Your voice can be an inspiration. It can be the voice of reason in someone else decision. When someone asks you about your faith, don’t be afraid to answer as a Christian. Your response can help someone make a conscious decision. “Another person’s question may be evidence that God’s Spirit is drawing him or her to the point of decision” (1Cor 2:14, 15).

Think on these things. And the next time you find yourself faced with such a question, ask yourself, who am I representing? Remind yourself, “I am an ambassador for Christ. I am a Christian.”

Would you rather be cute than comfortable; Convicted in the spirit or condemned? Or would you rather have Jesus? I’d rather have Jesus. Amen.

Be blessed! -JD

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

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God Holds Your Future in His Hands

Let your service be to God, not man. Man does not hold your future in his hands. People may slander, tell lies, and show evil towards you. Pray for them. For they know not what they do. Remember God loves you.

When we serve God we are to display humility and God’s character. We are never to let our positions or titles become our character. Nor should we deny God’s love to those we encounter when we serve. We are to show love and who we are in God’s kingdom in our service. For, it is who we are to others in God’s eyes that he will see. Love all your sisters and brothers just as He. God loves you. He will reward you.

Titles are not what God will honor when judgment day comes. But he will judge you according to your works – how faithfully you served, when the day comes. Remember, you are a reflection of God when you serve his people. Attitudes and disposition that are not in alignment with his will can negatively affect other people. Do what pleases God, not people. God holds your future in his hands. Don’t let man deter God’s plan. Magnify the Lord. Serve and give honor to Him. You are an ambassador of Christ. Let your work for God speak for itself. Worship Him.

Don’t hate the sinner, hate the sin. Hate the evil that resides within. Work to overcome it. Love everyone in spite of it. God loves each and every one of us. Don’t let the evil intentions of others drive you away from what God has promised.

Acquaintances are people you meet and know of you. And just because they may have known you for a long time, they don’t know you. Don’t get it confused with who you are in Christ. Don’t let the attitudes and intentions of man towards you be your light. Don’t let it define who you are. You are a child of God. Do the work of God.

They lied on Jesus but it didn’t stop him from fulfilling the plan God designed for him. Nor should it let you be removed from God’s promises or Him. It doesn’t matter how people see you. Or the evil intentions or motives they may have towards you. See yourself as God sees you.

Be steadfast, diligent, and committed to the work God has called you to do. The only thing that matters is what God sees in that which he has placed inside you. Do your best to display the characteristics of God no matter how others may treat you. God is all knowing and sees everything. Put it in his hands. He will take care of everything.

God holds your future in his hands. Not man. Let God handle it. He has the final say. His judgment will stand.

Be blessed! -JD

Genesis 16:13 ” She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (NIV)

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Celebrate Your Freedom!

Photo credit:  Victorious By Design via @victoriousbydes

Photo credit:
Victorious By Design via @victoriousbydes

As we celebrate Independence Day, the 4th of July, remember what this day is truly all about. Remember the reason why we celebrate freedom.

God sent Jesus to bring us freedom. Jesus died for our sins and for our freedom.

We may come broken, guilty, and ashamed for the wrong we’ve done. By faith in Jesus we can overcome. We’re not perfect. We have flaws. Jesus came that we may have freedom; that we may have life. Surrender it all to God.

Today we have freedom to ask for forgiveness. We have freedom to be forgiven. God extends grace and mercy. Jesus paid the price so that our sins may be forgiven.

As we honor and remember those who gave their lives for this country, also give honor to Jesus who purchased our freedom by his death on the cross. Without him we would be lost.

The nation is in need of prayer not just today but every day. Pray for the nation, pray for those who lost their lives and those who lost loved ones. Pray for families and friends of the 19 firefighters that they find comfort, strength, and peace to overcome. Pray for everyone on this day. Keep them in your prayers today.

There’s restoration and freedom through Jesus Christ. For our sins, He made the ultimate sacrifice. Forgiveness is available through Him. Proclaim liberty and freedom.

Celebrate your freedom!

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!

Be blessed! -JD

Galatians 5:1 “It is freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” NIV

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Rejoice In Disappointments

Cape Disappointment State Park

Cape Disappointment State Park (Photo credit: dalem)

Every day we are faced with life’s disappointments. We can become disappointed by a number of things which can be hard to accept.

Sometimes jobs can be hard to find but disappointing when easy to lose. Relationships can be developed over time but disappointing when easily lost in a matter of seconds, days, weeks, months, less than years oftentimes over trivial matters.

True friendships can be hard to find but acquaintances can be easy to discover when in search of a life we choose to live in secret and undercover. One that may not be centered on Christ but exist clearly out of our need for a social life.

The unexpected loss of a loved one can bring disappointment as well as hurt beyond measure but hard to recover because a heart cannot be easily mended. We can encounter individuals who lack compassion, sensitivity, respect, or are just plain mean with hardened hearts but will easily offend us.

Disappointment can come in various forms, but basically it simply means we are disappointed by the world which oftentimes will bring a lack of trust, destruction, and warped perception.

But the one thing I find most disturbing is disappointment with self when we already know what is to be expected when we encounter certain situations in life, especially ones that are not in our control. And what can be even more frustrating is how we handle it. Because many times we want what we want, when we want it, how we want it. And will use any means necessary to see that we get it. Overlooking the fact that some things will not happen the way we want but instead will happen exactly the way God plans it.

As believers, we are given the astute advantage of knowing how to deal with disappointments in life because we have God’s Word as a resource that can bring clarity and wisdom. It will allow us to be conscious of the decisions we make when faced with it. We must be open to change. Face reality and know that disappointment cannot be avoided. However, we are to expect the unexpected but never forget God in the process.

When faced with problems that are beyond our control, we are to persevere and seek God. It is at this time we will seek to do and not seek to ask why. It is our opportunity to grow and mature in our relationship with God when we profess our troubles to him. And ask what is it he wants us to do with this and not what we are led to believe we are to do with it.

It is through our experiences that will help us learn to trust God. It’s a component of how we grow spiritually and mature in character. It helps us to grow in faith. Faith requires us to trust that God has a better plan even when we cannot see it or understand it. We learn to depend on God and not ourselves.

Disappointments are part of the norm. It’s to be expected. But even more so, sometimes God uses circumstances and allows disappointments to strengthen us and compel us to fully trust him. That we may avoid believing we can live life apart from Him. It is our opportunity to move closer to Him even in the midst of our deepest disappointments. Because God does not desire that we look to man or our circumstances but to Him.

If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it. He will show you what he needs you to do and will equip you to do it. Respond to life’s circumstances positively rather than negatively. Trust that God’s provision will give you the power to sustain and overcome no matter the result.  Choose to walk not by the flesh but in the way God has made available through the Holy Spirit.

God promises that nothing, I mean nothing will happen that he does not have control. He will work it out for our good and His glory. We may disappoint God many times, but he never gives up on us. Don’t give up on him. By his grace, move forward.

Rejoice in disappointments.

Be blessed! –JD

Habakkuk 3:17-19 NKJV “Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— 18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation 19 The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills…”

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Which Family Line Do You Belong To?

Today of all days I woke up with feelings of despair. I confess I am a Christian and oftentimes must look outside circumstances, assured God is there.

But I have days when I feel like life doesn’t seem fair. I am not one to hide my feelings. Nor am I one to sugar coat things. Don’t know if that’s a bad or a good thing. Especially if I’m trying to inspire, but there are times when I must be honest with myself because I too need to be inspired. I also feel we must be honest with God because he already knows what will transpire.

Thoughts began to fill my head. Found myself asking these questions, “What do you do when you feel like all is lost? Your body’s spent. Your mind’s confused. All hell breaks loose. You’re lost. Why life as a Christian can be so hard? What is it God expects from you when the perils of life bring suffering you cannot avoid?”

We may even ask, “What does it mean when we hear people say, ‘I gave my life to Christ and relinquished my old ways.’” I am a new creature in Christ. Christ is in me. I’ve changed my life. I know it will come with sacrifice. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” (Galatians 2:20). I am a child of God. It is the power of God that works within me.

What it tells us is that they are steadfast in their obedience and commitment to God, even in the battle of their life. They are repentant. They change and will not desire to do the wrong things but what is right. They are truly sorry for their sins. And will repent to God for past sins.

Yet, when we encounter attacks of the enemy, thoughts begin to occupy our mind. God has already set the blueprint since before the beginning of time. We are in a battle with Satan, who will do everything in his power to distract us from the plan. But our fate is all in God’s hands. Although it will seem like it’s the hardest battle fought. If we are serious about glorifying God, we must be conscious of the fact that it will come at a cost.

The enemy will take every chance he can get to redirect us to a path of destruction. We are to not heed to his instruction. He knows our weaknesses. God knows our strengths. God will give us endurance to overcome in victory, not matter how tired we are or spent.

We may feel like we’ve lost everything because of struggles, trials, and tribulations we’ve faced. Since oftentimes life does not come with specific directions or a DIY book to be manually used to make it through the day. We are to rely on the Word of God for instructions to do things he desires his way. His Word instructs and guides us for such a time as this. Don’t let the enemy take foothold. God’s Word will protect you. The enemy will flee and resist.

Life will cause us to lose many things. We may lose cars, houses, jobs, children, loved ones; simply anything or everything. The list can go on and on. If we are to look at our circumstances we will lose sight, because these things are temporary in the fight for our life. Christ offers the hope of eternal life if we are born into him. With him, we can overcome and can live above sin.

“Christ offers us an opportunity to be born into his spiritual family – the family life that begins with forgiveness and leads to eternal life. If we do nothing, we have death through Adam, but if we come to God by faith, we have life through Christ. Which family line do you now belong to?” (Romans 5:15-19).

We may have trials, tribulations, and struggles. We may suffer. But we mustn’t take our eyes off the prize; God. God knows our struggles. He will not give us more than we can bear. Cast your fears upon him. He will be there. You may be lost. God will heal you. He will never forsake you. The Lord is your strength and will guide you. The Lord is your shepherd, you are his sheep. His Divine Providence will keep you in perfect peace. Every trouble he will guide you. Every obstacle you face. God has an answer and a solution that your fears may be erased.

Yes, being a Christian may not be an easy way of life. Don’t be discouraged. Remember the promises of God and his Son Jesus’ sacrifice. It is not about us but is about our life in God. Eternal life is a gift. Jesus paid a high price to offer it.

No matter what you may be going through, know that God is there for you. Be obedient. Remain steadfast in your commitment as a Christian. We are in a spiritual battle with the enemy who’s trying to thwart God’s mission. Follow God’s calling in your life. Don’t give in to confusion or strife. The battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s. In your struggle, give it all to God.

Therefore, when I am troubled, I will remember this. It is the God to whom I belong, the God that will stand beside me. It is God I will serve. With God’s help, I am a born-again Christian, navigating my way through life. I’ve accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I am repentant. I come to God by faith. I am a part of God’s family. I am blessed and highly favored.

Which family line do you belong to?

Be blessed! –JD

John 1:12-13 ESV “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

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Life Is A Mystery

Scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, triptych...

Scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, triptych. Constantinople, late 10th c., crimson ivory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There will come a time in our life where we will sit and wonder had we done things differently? Would our life have turned out differently?

We will ponder on mistakes we made. That left us distraught and dismayed. We will think about decisions that changed our life. Where we may have made things worse, given we had not thought about God once or twice. Or we will dwell on things that turned out as well as can be expected. And thanked God regardless, for the blessing.

We will reflect on things that were done for better or for worse. Good and bad things that occurred we think were either a blessing or a curse. Events that may have lifted our spirits or gotten us down, successful or failed businesses or jobs lost or found. There may have been marriages that are still going strong or may have ended in divorce but as a result helped us grow only to be stronger.

What can be said about the life we lived? Will it be a life remembered filled with sadness and tears. To ponder decisions made without wisdom that led to foolish actions. Or decisions that helped us learn from our actions? When faced with adversity, trouble, or strife, is it then we wonder what we did with our life? And ask questions that easily can be answered, had we given God time to send the right answer.

If you were given the opportunity to live life over again, would you do it only to change some things? Would you jump at the chance to correct the things you’ve done? Or would you thank God for the life he has given you and for what he has done.

Oftentimes life doesn’t go as we planned. However, it may be because it was our plan. For at any given moment, for reasons we may never understand, everything happens according to God’s plan. We may not feel there is absolute provision. When looking at our circumstances and indecision. There may be a fear of failure or the ability to maintain. But ultimately things will work for the greater good according to God’s plan.

God has predetermined the plan for our lives. He designed the blueprint that we may have everlasting life. He specifically designed a future for us. He created us to walk in the plan he set before us.

If I were given the opportunity to live my life over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. Because it is by God’s grace I lived to witness how he brought me through. The storm and the rain and gave me life anew.

How can I re-live something I never knew would be? How could I possibly re-live the life I never knew that was set before me? Had I not gone through trials and tribulations, I would not be able to rejoice in the revelation. Of God’s wondrous love and how he carried me this far.

I wouldn’t change a thing. I live life with no resentment or regrets. There may be some things I may never forget. But I can’t be upset. I am thankful for every part of what I endured in my life. It was a blessing no matter the strife. I take the bitter with the sweet, the good with the bad. I rejoice knowing my future is not predicated by my past. It is God’s plan to give me hope and a future. Plans by the Creator to prune and nurture. To develop into the person he predestined I would be. To be all that he created me to be.

God knew us before he formed us in our mother’s womb. He set us apart for his purpose. He will groom us. To be used as the vessel to fulfill His preplanned purpose. All things happen in life for a reason. It is for a purpose. God may reveal. It is his divine will. Do the work he has called you to do, live life abundantly in spite of what you’ve been through. He assigned it to you before you were born. Accept the call. Love, obey, and serve God.

Believe that the person you turned out to be, is the person God created you to be. Everything that concerns you will fulfill his purpose for you. Circumstances or situations are designed to perfect you. God will do that for you. Through every experience you face in life. Count it all joy. Be thankful for your life.

Life is a mystery. We will never know all the answers. But if you were to ask yourself this question, what would be your answer. If you were given the opportunity to live life over again, would you change anything? Or would you surrender your will to God and give Him reign? To do what he knows is best. Would you pass the test? Would you change some things to avoid what you experienced? Or would you accept the things you went through as a blessed experience?

To wish you had another life may not mean a thing had you lived it any other way. Embrace where you are today. God has given you the gift of life to freely live. Live and embellish it with trembling and fear. Don’t let it be your desire to change a thing. Instead, accept it as a blessing; cherish it, whatever it will bring. Glorify God. Do well with what you have. Your future is waiting, let go of your past. Had it not been for the plans God had for your life, you may not be here today to witness the life of Christ. Rejoice. Appreciate it. Tell the world what God has done for you while living it.

Jesus’ life was a living example. God didn’t change a thing. Had anything changed, we wouldn’t be here to speak of how we have been changed. We wouldn’t be able to share the gospel of Christ. Had Jesus been sent here to live a different life. Thank God. Don’t regret a thing in your life.

Be blessed! -JD

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

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Say A Prayer

When I heard news of the death of Roger Ebert I couldn’t help but share a thought and my prayers with the world as I lay bewildered, surprised. I began to think how soon our lives can be taken as quickly as we are given life.

Roger Ebert was a favorite of mine. And my heart skipped a beat when I heard he was gone in just that short time. He had just announced yesterday he was taking a “leave of presence” after learning his cancer had returned. And today his presence is gone and he will never return.

We never know when our time will come. Death waits for no one. As quickly as we breathe, it can be our last breath. Even when we think God is not through with us yet. When he says it’s our time. It’s time. When he says it’s done. His Will will be done.

It’s no longer “here today, gone tomorrow.” It’s “here today, gone today.” We must be ready when the time comes when we are taken away. Prepare every day. Live as God desires, the way he has designed for you to live. Seek him, find him and know him before he takes the life he has given. Be ready.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may be recompensed for the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Say a prayer.

The world lost a legendary figure today. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers and pray.  I will lift up the family and friends of Roger Ebert as I pray.

“Father, I thank you for your Sovereignty. You are full of grace and mercy. God, guard and heal the hearts of the family. Give them strength and the peace that surpasses all understanding. Comfort them in their time of sorrow in the loss of their loved one. Watch over them. Keep them safe in your arms. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

Be blessed! -JD

John 14: 1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

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