Light In Jars Of Clay!

Why do we need a savior! Well, before we answer that question, first let’s explore a few characteristically traits of a savior. A savior is someone that delivers, redeems, rescues, and of course, saves! According to Webster Dictionary, a savior is defined as one that saves from danger or destruction and one that brings salvation. Ah ha; whoop there it is!! We need a savior because without a Savior, sin would literally keep us physically and spiritually separated from God!

Unfortunately, the god of this age (devil) has duped so many into believing they don’t need a savior. According to 2 Corinthians 4:4, “The god of this age has literally blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that can’t see the light [treasure] of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

It’s incumbent upon everyone to recognize that only the Savior Jesus Christ can bridge that gap between God and man. We need a Savior because we are all sinners and all fall short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23). Every day, we need to repent of our sins that are laid bare, and even our secret sins of worry, unrighteous anger, gossip, closet drunkenness, lustful thoughts, and impurity. With that said, let’s scroll down to 2 Corinthians 4:7. Paul writes, “But we have this treasure [light] in jars of clay to to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

The treasure Paul is referring to is the Gospel because it contains rich truths, and an abundance of them; comparable to gold, silver, and precious stones! Metaphorically, the jars of clay represents man which was made out of dirt, dust, and sand. These are very common elements which have no significant value until it’s filled with the light of the Gospel!

In a nutshell, the new eternal life of the resurrected Jesus Christ was breathed into jars of clay, which were dead in trespasses and sins. And also, the Holy Spirit of God took up permanent residence within our weak, mortal frame, from the moment we trusted Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. The almighty Creator, who caused, light to shine out of darkness, is the One Who has shone in our hearts to give us the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ – so that His life may dwell in us, and His love may to shine in us and through us, so that we become messengers of His grace and show forth the excellency of His power to unbelievers that remain blinded and dead in their trespasses and sins.

Henceforth, the reason we need a Savior!!!!

#BeStrong

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Complete In Christ

People, money, and material things do not complete us! The absolute only thing that can complete us is Jesus Christ!

I know some of you may be thinking, well my husband and/or my wife completes me, right? Well, not so much! Colossians reminds us that, “So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”

You see, when we fully accept that we are only complete in Him as married and single people, then we will fully recognize our ability to do great, amazing and remarkable things.

According to the Bible, we should not have any problem with doing what God said we could do. It clearly says, in Philippians 4:13, “I can do EVERYTHING God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.” The key to unlocking this strength is our faith and trust in God’s word! We have to take a diligent stand through reminding ourselves, that we will no longer limit the abilities of Christ in us because we realize who we are, and who gives us the strength and power to #BESTRONG despite the climate and atmosphere of the world around us!

The challenge that some of you face in understanding and embracing this concept stems from guilt, shame, and sin!You may have said to yourself, “I am not good enough! How can I be in Christ and Christ in me?” Well, let me be clear, no one is good enough and no one truly deserves their position in Christ, but God’s grace and mercy has afforded all of us the opportunity to become adoptive sons, daughters,

and beneficiaries of Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death and victorious resurrection (Ephesians 2:8).

Brothers and sisters, we are not going to be complete in Christ some day—we are already complete in Christ! And what remains for us to do is to walk daily in that completeness by believing that it is true: JESUS COMPLETES YOU!! He is your complete forgiveness, complete righteousness, complete favor, complete protection and complete strength!

So please don’t focus on the lack you see in your life. Focus instead on how in Christ, you are COMPLETE in EVERYTHING at this very moment. And instead of weaknesses, lack and defects, you will see His strength, wholeness, soundness, goodness, and completeness manifesting in you for the rest of your life!

#BeStrong

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Keep Turning The Page!

Your story was incredibly written by an incredible God and much like the pattern to every story structure we will all experience twists, turns, ups, downs, highs, lows, joy, and pain! However, God is such a fantastic Author, He purposefully embedded in each of our story line an unlimited supply of His grace, mercy, and love!

David confirms in Psalm 139:13-16, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life [story] was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

We should all be grateful that God is not, the Author and punisher, rather He is the Author and finisher of our story. Hebrews 12:2 remind us, “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” In His book, ‘New Morning Mercies’ Pastor Paul Tripp, PhD wrote, “Thankfully I am not the author of my own personal story. Your story isn’t an autobiography either. Your story is a biography of wisdom and grace written by another. Every turn he writes into your story is right. Every twist of the plot is for the best. Every new character or unexpected event is a tool of his grace. Each new chapter advances his purpose.”

We are literally turning pre-written pages and I know it’s somewhat difficult to embrace the depth of this concept, but it’s true! Ephesians 2:10 aids in our understanding by reminding us that, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

When I read scriptures like that, I am in awe that God has a master plan for us. He has given us the privilege of living in close communion with Him to discover the many amazing facets of His character, and He has made us the conduit through which He can accomplish His will, plan and purpose here on earth.

It’s intrinsically clear; our life is not the small, insignificant story we often believe it to be. Nor is it the huge deal that is all about us that we sometimes make it into. Our life is a story amazingly written by and for our Maker, who wants to glory in His accomplishments and make us more like His Son. So, the drama that comes our way is designed to change us and transform us into the person He has made us to be, even before we came to be!

The letter of our story was pre-written by His hands and we don’t need to panic or fret or pull our hair out (those of you with hair) when we can’t control what’s happening in our world, more less, the world around us!

I don’t know about you, but as my story continues, I want to testify through to the very last chapter that, even though impatience tried its best to take a hand at re-writing my story, all of the in-between chapters of waiting developed me and deepened my love, assurance and reliance for Almighty God, my Author, finisher, and prefecter.

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Justice For Vanessa Guillen!

Father God, we believe that You know every fact and detail pertaining to all evidence involved in the heinous murder of Vanessa Guillen.

Father God, we also believe You are acutely aware of this family’s journey since they reported their loved one missing on April 23, 2020.

Father God, we equally believe that You know their struggles, the heartache and their difficulties and with that said O’God, please cover each of Vanessa’s family, friends, and every grieving heart with your love, comfort, peace, and strength! As Your timeless word says in Philippians 4:6-7, “That in every situation, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present our requests to You. And the peace of God that surpasses all human comprehension will guide and guard our hearts in Christ Jesus.”

Father a God, Remind this family that a sunset on earth is a sunrise in heaven and Vanessa is in the presence of the God that created her even before they knew her and that one day soon they will see her again!

Father God, we not only ask that You by Your immutable grace cover this family, we also ask that you cover the judicial side of their pain. We ask that Your voice be heard through the legal counselors in every aspect of the hearing; from both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House Armed Services Committee, the prosecution team, the grand jury, the civil jury, up to the presiding judge, and even down to the smallest infinitesimal detail surrounding this case.

Holy Spirit, help this family to recognize your presence and calm their troubled hearts and minds with your eternal peace and help them to remember that Your will — will be done!

Father God, we thank You for being the guiding light that will lead this family through this very difficult season and at the appointed time into a new season of hope and rest. Thank You that no matter what happens they are secure and safe within the arms of Your strength, love and grace.

Father God, we pray all this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord and King. Amen and amen and Glory to God!

Father God, we also believe You are acutely aware of this family’s journey since they reported their loved one missing on April 23, 2020.

Father God, we equally believe that You know their struggles, the heartache and their difficulties and with that said O’God, please cover each of Vanessa’s family, friends, and every grieving heart with your love, comfort, peace, and strength! As Your timeless word says in Philippians 4:6-7, “That in every situation, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present our requests to You. And the peace of God that surpasses all human comprehension will guide and guard our hearts in Christ Jesus.”

Father a God, Remind this family that a sunset on earth is a sunrise in heaven and Vanessa is in the presence of the God that created her even before they knew her and that one day soon they will see her again!

Father God, we not only ask that You by Your immutable grace cover this family, we also ask that you cover the judicial side of their pain. We ask that Your voice be heard through the legal counselors in every aspect of the hearing; from both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House Armed Services Committees, the prosecution team, the grand jury, the civil jury, up to the presiding judge, and even down to the smallest infinitesimal detail surrounding this case.

Holy Spirit, help this family to recognize your presence and calm their troubled hearts and minds with your eternal peace and help them to remember that Your will — will be done!

Father God, we thank You for being the guiding light that will lead this family through this very difficult season and at the appointed time into a new season of hope and rest. Thank You that no matter what happens they are secure and safe within the arms of Your strength, love and grace.

Father God, we pray all this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord and King. Amen and amen and Glory to God!

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You Find Rest In God!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to opine that we are living in a time where political, social, and civil unrest are at its highest in recent years! While we were celebrating the sunrise of a new year, CNBC published a revelatory article on January 16, 2020 citing; “Almost 40% of the world’s countries will witness civil unrest in 2020.”

So let me paraphrase and give you the reader’s digest version of this article: PEOPLE ARE FRUSTRATED, ANGRY, and TIRED!

In the natural we categorize unrest as stated above, but in the supernatural its consider spiritual unrest. In other words, the root of all unrest is found in the spirit in which we function, live and operate. I consider the fruits that are produced from unrest (root) are political, social, and civil disturbances!

I have never seen in my lifetime, the yearn for spiritual encouragement and enrichment!! People are thirsty for God’s word, comfort, and confirmation that we will one day soon wake up from all of this mess!

In order for our spirits to regain its lost equilibrium (spiritual rest) we must look to the source of our spiritual rest! Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Augustine wrote centuries ago in his Confessions: “Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.”

There are no shortcuts or magic potions to rest – because the psyche is much cleverer than we are. We might think we can feign (pretend) inner peace to others, presenting a restful attitude or displaying coolness to the world. Yet, we know who we are and people hear words and see faces, but they feel spirits.

LIFE, TRUTH, and LOVE are Bible talk for God, timeless words. In Psalm 36 we can get at a hint of the deep peace and contentment flowing from surrendering to something so wise and true. Verse 9 says, “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” And Psalm 91:2 says: “He is my place of safety [rest). He is like a fort to me. He is my God. I trust in him.”

So, if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, learn to rest in God’s Presence. You see, there is a quiet place in Him, a place of refreshment, where we will find comfort, peace, safety and protection. This is why Jesus said, “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Notice that Jesus doesn’t say He will come to you. He says that you must choose to go to Him! But if we all make the deliberate choice to wait upon the Lord, Jesus promises that we will find the promised rest we need to reignite, rejuvenate, rekindle, refresh, and revive our spirits!

#BeStrong

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God Cares!

Peter and the disciples experienced the catch of a lifetime in John 21:1-8. When Jesus told the disciples to cast their nets on the right side the Bible said in verse 6, they couldn’t haul in the net!

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about casting from a different perspective. In 1 Peter 5:7, we are commanded to “cast all our anxiety on him because He cares for us.” God does not want us to carry around the weight of problems and burdens. In this verse, God is telling us to give Him ALL of our worries and concerns; big or small.

God cares about us and our well being! Peter must have been familiar with Psalm 55:22 because he and David were casting from the same boat! David said, “Cast your cares upon the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”

I get it!!! Especially now more than ever, life is heavy. The incessant flow of negative or fearful thoughts are more inundating and it’s perfectly normal to get a little emotional! But I beseech you, to cast your net on the right side.

In the corporate world people don’t cast nets into bodies of water rather, they cast wider nets to promote and inspire change that generate greater results! In other words, they do something different!

In this season, we have to do something different! We have to be like net fishermen and/or baseball pitchers and cast/throw ALL of our cares: worries, frustrations, disappointments, anger, discouragement, anxieties, and depression over to the Lord!

Now, don’t get me wrong! If you’re dealing with something really heavy such as loss (death, job, etc), it is absolutely normal to cry, grieve, curl up in a ball for a moment, because when things like that happen, God knows exactly where you are in that moment. But I also want to encourage you to rest in the comfort of the Holy Spirit and in God’s supernatural peace (Philippians 4:6-7)!

CAST = Commit, Ask, Surrender, and Trust!!

COMMIT everything to Him. He is all we really need, and as Matthew 6:33 reminds us, as we seek Him, He will take care of everything else.

ASK in prayer for wisdom, strength, guidance, understanding, and vision. Ask for what you need, what you want, what you think you might need, and especially for whatever the Lord knows you need. Pray constantly.

SURRENDER your hopes, goals, dreams, desires, situations, relationships, career – surrender everything to Him. Give God permission to work in your life, in any and every aspect of your life in whatever way seems best to Him. Open the door to God’s best, then expect Him to show up.

TRUST Jesus. Remember, He wants nothing but the best for you. However, His best and our view of best often don’t match up. Accept that what you think is best might not be so, but what Jesus thinks is best, truly is. That may mean going through some painful times. We’ve all been there. Grow from these times. Grow closer to the Lord. Grow in faith. Grow in prayer. Grow in trust. And revel in the relationship we are building with Jesus, our Way-maker, Savior, and King.

Life is full of opportunities to worry, but we don’t have to take them. When we obey God’s Word and C.A.S.T. our cares on Jesus, we will begin to live in the supernatural peace that only Jesus can give us! This is part of the abundant life Jesus is referring to in John 10:10 and it belongs to all of us.

We are invited to give God our fears, worries, and stress. In response to our obedience, God will replenish, refresh, and restore!!

So, turn to God first and seek him especially in the storms of life. We were made for more than to worry and be anxious, more than to be afraid, more than to feel crushed by the weight of our trials. We were made to be strong and courageous!

#BeStrong

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God Knows!

We have a lot going on in our world and its incumbent for each and every one of us not to lose heart; we must be strong! To ‘lose heart’ simply means to believe you will not succeed or you become so discouraged you lose the desire to succeed.

Paul reminds us not to lose heart in 2 Corinthians 4:16 (MSG). He said; “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”

The opposite of losing heart is perseverance or endurance and the three scriptures written to encouraged all believers are found in 2 Thessalonians 1:4, Romans 5:3 and James 1:3.

When we persevere through difficulties or weariness, we refuse to give up on what God has called us to do. Galatians 6:9 encourages us to never give up: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” and in Joshua 1:9 we are commanded, “To be strong and of good courage….”

As you know a Joshua heeded God’s command and he successfully completed the task of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land and of taking possession of it!

Furthermore, Nehemiah never gave up the construction of Jerusalem’s walls, despite the fierce opposition he faced. Caleb never gave up on the promise of God, and he conquered a giant-infested, fortified hill country when he was 85 years old. Jesus persevered all the way to the cross. “Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3).

When we give up too early and lose heart too soon, we miss out on all God planned to do through and for us.

Our faith in Jesus must be bigger than fears. Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that faith is the substance of hope and the evidence of what has not been seen. Hope is the engineered rebar strategically placed in the foundation of Godly faith and it’s also the walls that shape the structure of our Godly lives!

We must continue to remind ourselves and believe that God is not dead! He knows what’s going on and He is working all things out for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28)! Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Our world may be falling but thank God, we serve a risen Savior!

#BeStrong

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#BeStrongTogether

Paul encouraged the Church at Ephesus to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power (Ephesians 6:10). The word translated “be strong” here actually means “be strengthened,” as rendered in the New English Translation: “Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power.”

Paul is reminding believers that the Christian life means participation in a spiritual battle. From his own experience, the apostle knew the opposition is real and the warfare intense: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:12–13).

You might be thinking this is not a spiritual battle we are fighting. However, let me remind you that there is spiritual battle raging in the spirit realm everyday and we can’t endure the power of darkness without the power of God being active in our everyday lives!! This is why it’s imperative for believers to ‘be strong’ in the Lord and the power of His might.

Let’s be clear, in the original Greek language, the passive verb, “be strong in the Lord “ means, “to be rendered (more) capable or able for some task.” In other words, to be strong in the Lord doesn’t mean building up our own strength rather, as believer we must be empowered or be strengthened in God’s strength!

When Paul encourages believers to “be strong in the Lord,” he is calling them to faithfulness—to abiding in Christ and trusting in the Lord’s power for everything in life. True Christian strength comes from recognizing our utter dependence on God. This is what Paul meant when he wrote, “I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, CSB).

Ironically speaking, we are truly at our strongest when we are at our weakest. Paul understood this concept very well, hence the reason he boasted more about his weaknesses rather than his strengths (2 Corinthians 12:9).

The power of Christ in the Christian’s life can be defined as “power in weakness,” for the Lord’s grace is apprehended only in recognition of our weakness.

Finally, to be strong in the Lord means to be in spiritual union with Christ and to be strong together means that we refused to give up on the Christ in humanity. When we truly stand in solidarity with Christ and man, we will experience both the weakness of the cross and the power of the resurrection (Romans 6:5)!

BeStrongTogether

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#BeStrong

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Get Ready For Spiritual Increase and Favor!!

God’s plan for our lives is to continually increase our influence in the world around us. He accomplishes this spiritual endeavor through His divine favor, purpose and our faithful obedience (response).

In Luke 2:52 we find that, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man,” then in I Chronicles 29:25, “The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel,” and the Apostle John wrote in 3 John 2, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

These three passage of text clearly encapsulate and capture the intent of God’s plan for every Christian believer. However, in order to become recipients and benefactors of spiritual increase, the first thing we have to remember is that God will increase our influence and favor even when no one thinks we deserve it. We must remember God looks at the heart, whereas man can on only see the surface (I Samuel 16:7).

Secondly, we have to respond faithfully in order to receive spiritual increase! Often times, our greatest blessings emerges from our greatest challenges so, the way in which we respond or react will determine the height of our trajectory.

Thirdly, we have to overcome appetizing lure of any victim-mindset triggers. These triggers include feeling under-appreciated, not feeling honored, feeling limited by the people in your life, feeling hopeless because of past experience, and being more devil-focused rather than belief-focused. When we believe we are a victim to our circumstances or our past, we hinder the opportunities of our future.

Lastly, we need to remember where there is no way; God will always make a way to propel us forward! Nehemiah would not meet with his enemies in the Valley of Ono. He said, “I am doing a great work. Why should I come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3). Those who believe they are doing a great work are doing a great work and will unwaveringly continue in that good work. You see, when we stop focusing on the doors that are not opening and faithfully focus instead on the doors that are open, we set ourselves up for spiritual increase, elevation, favor, and promotion.

No matter where we are in life, God will always promote us. Spiritual promotion comes from God and He has a change in store for all of us. The character of God is such that, He loves to promote His people over and over. All we have to do is realize every position we hold, whether high or low, is purposefully temporary. Unless we decide to make it permanent, which is never God’s plan nor ever His divine intention.

I don’t know who I am speaking to but, God is getting ready to elevate someone or some people higher than they ever thought possible! Therefore, don’t ever put limits on a limitless God, stay faithful, and continue moving forward on purpose!

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