Speak Up!

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Get Ready….

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He Got Your Back!

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There is Strength in Pain!

Great strength is found in unbearable pain! In fact, the pain you experience today will build the strength you need for tomorrow.

Paul learned a thing or two about pain. In 2 Corinthians 12:8, after praying (NLT says ‘begging’) three times for God to remove a metaphorical painful thorn from his side, God didn’t remove it. In fact, in verse 9 Paul changed his tune completely. He discovered after three failed attempts that God gives strength to endure pain, not escape it. He also learned that God’s power is perfected in his weakness!

The truth of the matter is that God doesn’t promise certain limits to suffering(s). He doesn’t guarantee personal happiness. He doesn’t ensure our escape from pain. His people are often crushed beyond measure and we know that scripture makes this abundantly clear.

However, we mustn’t forget that we serve a God that never ends on a negative. Here are some guarantees God’s word does give us:

*Suffering will come, but we will also share in Christ’s glory (1 Peter 4:12-13).

*All that happens will be for our good, to make us more like Jesus (Rom 8:28-30).

*Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love (Rom 8:38-39).

*He won’t let us be tempted – that is, tested – beyond what we can bear, but will provide a way for us to endure it (1 Cor 10:13).

*He will give us all we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3)

*In our weakness, he will give us strength (2 Cor 12:9-10 cf 2 Cor 4:7-12; Phil 4:11-13; Col 1:11-14).

Welp, that’s enough right here to chew on for the rest of our natural lives. But, I will close this message with repeating what Paul said to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 6:10, “Finally [my brothers and sisters], be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” To be strong doesn’t mean that you won’t experience any pain! However, it does mean that you refused to give up even when the pain becomes unbearable.

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#TGBTH

#TGBTP

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In The Presence of Your Enemies!

In this season stop praying for your enemies to die! David said in Psalm 23:5, “God prepares a table before you in the presence of your enemies….”

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#TGBTH

#TGBTP

#StrongMessage

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All Things Work Together!

Let’s face it, no one has nor will anyone ever catch God slipping! God knows the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning. This is why we can boldly and confidently say God already had a plan in place before the problem, plight and/or predicament ensued!

The problem many of us face embracing this proverb is that:

We want perfect health NOW!

We want perfect relationships NOW!

We want suffering to go away NOW!

We want control NOW!

We want pain to stop NOW!

We want all of our hopes to be realized NOW!

We want a perfect world – but it’s not!

Let me gently remind you this planet we are all living on is not heaven. We live in a fallen, troubled and broken world. We live in a world of toil and suffering and affliction. Unfortunately, we are forced to come to terms with the fact that we live in a world that is far from perfect.

With that said, there is still hope! Romans 8:28 confirms, “God causes EVERYthing to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

I recently read the phrase “What would Jesus do?”, often abbreviated to WWJD, became popular particularly in the United States in the late 1800s after the widely read book by Charles Sheldon entitled, “In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do.”

If I remember correctly, this acronym was trendy back in the early 2000’s but you rarely see it referenced on any of today’s social media platforms.

The reason I mentioned this is because ultimately God’s plan is for us to be more like Jesus and to respond to life’s many hurdles and obstacles like Jesus (WWJD).

Jesus is our future and He is our only hope in times of great tribulation. It is in these ominous times we are being made more like Him. It is there we are fulfilling His plan.

In the middle of our long-suffering – we become more like JESUS!

In the middle of our waiting – we become more like JESUS!

In the middle of our gasps of urgency for heaven to break open – we become more like JESUS!

More like JESUS!

That is at least God’s plan in all situations; good, bad, or indifferent!

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#TGBTH

#TGPTP

#GodsPlanWillAlwaysPrevail

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Our Most Powerful Weapon!

Think about for a moment….the most powerful offensive and defensive weapon known to man is not found in the launch codes to a nuclear warhead. The most powerful weapon is irrefutably, unequivocally and hands down, the word of God.

Hebrews 4:12 highlights and confirms my disposition, “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

God’s Word is so powerful when the devil showed up in the wilderness to tempt Jesus, it was the Word of God that Jesus used to overcome the attack. Jesus said to him, “It is written . . .It is written . . . .It is written!” (Matthew 4:1-11).

The word of God is not only useful in counterattacks protection and defense, it’s also beneficial to our spiritual/caramel nourishment ( Heb 5:12-14), cleansing (Rom 12:2; Eph 5:26), guidance (Ps 119:105), strength/courage ( Joshua 1:9), fruitfulness (John 15:1-27), and victory (1 John 5:4).

Is it soaking in yet?

The known and unknown galaxies were created by the Word of God. John 1:1 of the NLT nailed it, “In the beginning the Word already existed [JESUS]. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Furthermore, Jesus the efficacy of Gods word in Luke 6:47-48, “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them . . . is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built”

If a hundred billion galaxies are born in the vapor of God’s breath [word], what other evidence do you actually need to fully embrace the empirical truth that God’s word is the most powerful offensive and defensive weapon inventoried in our spiritual and carnal artillery??

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#TGBTP

#TGBTH

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Inevitably, at some point we all face circumstances that are unsettling and take us out of our comfort zones. Whether you’re facing a big life decision, a tough conversation with a good friend, or waiting on results from a COVID test, a peaceful mindset can help you find the strength, courage, and comfort you need to combat any and all uncertainty and restlessness.

When you’re ready to face these situations head on, it’s imperative to look to the Bible as a source for reserving peace. The Bible is stocked full of wise words and relative examples that can help ease anxiety—including Bible verses about healing, hope, and joy.

Jesus reminds us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Wow, Jesus made a clear distinction that His peace is not of this world, meaning it’s not a temporary fix. His peace is eternal and supernatural!

Paul’s insightful and often quoted passage found in Philippians 4:6-7 is our Rx to access this supernatural peace Jesus is referring to. Paul said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

When we live in reconciliation with God through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the peace of God will always calm our emotions, nerves and drive away worry, anxiety and confusion. God’s peace will undoubtedly and unwaveringly produce stability in both our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!

#BeStrong

#TGBTG

#TGBTH

#TGBTP

#TanscendingPeaceOfChrist

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I’m A Mess!

I think a little dose of reality helps to keep even the most pious person humble. Most people have the wrong perception of Christianity and church in general. Some believe both of which are made up of perfect people. Well, let me be the first to admit that’s not at all true. From the pastor to the janitor, everyone in the church is imperfect.

Let’s briefly examine the church experience:

You walk-in and you’re greeted with a smile (behind the mask) and then you’re offered to help yourself to some type of pleasantry. You began to look around and notice that everyone is happy and gleefully smiling (behind their masks). You then entered the sanctuary and are ushered to a seat where you wait until worship begins( that’s if you’re on time). The band sings harmoniously and the preacher delivers a eloquently and passionate message. On the ride home you start to think ain’t no way you could ever fit in……

Ok, let me be the second to tell you that it takes many hours of practice and preparation to successfully host one Sunday worship experience and all of that time and effort is intended to help folks like you and I understand that a perfect God loves imperfect people. Why else would God go to such great lengths??

Here’s another way to look at it, the church is a perfect institution made up of imperfect people. So if you’re the one I am writing to this morning and you think that your life isn’t perfect enough to fit into church more less Christianity than I got good news for you, neither am I!

I am far from perfect! I make mistakes, fall, stumble, and struggle. But, I’m God’s mess and the only cure for my mess is found in Jesus Christ. You see, the only cure for sin is Jesus and it doesn’t matter how big your mess is, the blood of Jesus covers it all!

Thankfully, God’s grace is bigger than my mess and through Jesus death, burial and resurrection I am free from any hint of condemnation (Romans 8:1).

With that said, the reason you see the happy, smiling (behind the mask) and chipper people at the church is because they know they’re God’s mess too!

The doors of the church are open…..is there at least one??

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MLK Day 2021🖤

“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

#BeStrong

#LightDrivesOutDarkness

#LoveDrivesOutHate

#MLKDay2021🖤

#TGBTG

#TGBTH

#TGBTP

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