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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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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Carry Less!!

I don’t now if you’ve noticed but, people are more bogged down with stress, disappointment and discouragement today than they have been in recent years. It’s unnerving to see our nation which was full vitality become lethargic, indifferent and numb.

God knew that in order for us to climb higher, we have to carry less and as such in both the Old and New Testaments, He teaches us how to overcome and release the burdens, problems, worries, and challenges we face everyday. God gave the answer in both Psalms and Peter’s letter. “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22), and “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Embedded within these two verses are several amazing truths and inspiring reminders: God knows, He will sustain us, He will never let us fall, and He cares for us. Taken one at a time, we see first that God declares both His ability and His willingness to be our strength and support—mentally, emotionally and spiritually. He is able (and best of all, willing!) to take everything that threatens to overwhelm us and use it for our benefit. He has promised to “work all things together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”(Romans 8:28). Even at times when we doubt Him, He is still working for our good and His glory. And He has also promised that He will allow no trial to be so great we cannot bear it and that He will provide a means of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). By this, He means that He will not let us fall, as He promised in Psalm 55:22.

God is bigger than all our stress, burdens, worries, problems, and all of our challenges put together, and we must realize He does if we are to consistently live victoriously. We are all in the same boat and we all suffer with these difficulties, because the Bible teaches that temptation is “common” to mankind (1 Corinthians 10:13). We must not let Satan deceive us into thinking that all our problems are our fault, all our worries will come true, all our anger condemns us, or that all our guilt is from God. If we do sin and confess, God forgives and cleanses.

It’s no secret; in order to climb high, you have to carry less!! God yearns for us to lay every concern at the foot of the Cross and at the the altar in His throne room of grace. He want us to turn everything over to Christ and all we have to do is simply ask Jesus to take our burden of “original sin” and be our Savior (John 3:16), as well as submitting to Jesus as our Lord in day-to-day living.

Therefore, follow the example written in Philippians 4:8 and think on things that are “true,” “noble,” “just,” “pure,” “lovely,” “of good report,” and “praiseworthy” and “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2) and then your feelings of defeat will most certainly diminish.

BeStrong

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I Am Becoming Jesus’ Twin!

I have an identical twin brother and we share a lot of of facial, emotional, and physical characteristics.

Although, we share a lot in common, we are different in a lot of ways. I will submit to you that even mirror-image twins are different in one way or the other and in most cases, from a personality standpoint, the young twin is more extroverted while,

the older twin is notably introverted.

So why am I talking abut twins today? Well, you might not have considered this but, God has an mirror image identical Twin! Yes, Jesus Christ is God’s twin in the flesh and He is the perfect expression of God’s perfect love for all of humanity and Jesus Christ is the perfect imprint of God’s nature. Hebrews 1:3 tells us, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven”

Now, I have heard it said, “Everyone has a twin” and I have seen some examples that certainly qualify this statement. However, the most awe-inspiring jaw-dropping thing I’ve ever seen is, the perfect imagine of Christ emerging and emitting from people!

Our call to Christlikeness (“Twiness”) is found in these three passages of text: Romans 8:29, 2 Corinthians 3:18 and 1 John 3:2.

In these passages we find three perspectives (past, present and future) we can glean from: God’s has an eternal purpose for us (we have been predestined), God’s prescribed a historical purpose for us (we are being changed, transformed by the Holy Spirit), and God defined His final eschatological purpose for us (we will be like Him). These all combine toward the same end—Christlikeness and Christlikeness is the ultimate purpose of God for the people of God.

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Trust God in the Midst of Pain

There is a myth in Christianity that I often hear people say:

“God will not put more on me than I can bear.”

Let me debunk that myth right now. In 2 Corinthians, Paul wrote that we are “burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life” (1:8).

If ever there was a painful situation, Paul was in it. Paul hadn’t done anything to cause it. In fact, he had followed God’s leading straight into a place of despair. If you share similar feelings today, you are in good company.

God sometimes allows situations to be painful for His greater purpose. He wants you to learn the power that comes from living a life that depends on Him. If you can learn and apply that truth throughout all of your life, you will be able to accomplish all that God has for you to do. 

In order to take Paul deeper in faith, God put him in a situation that his resume, abilities and connections could not change. Why? So that Paul would learn to trust God at a deeper level. No amount of money in your bank account can buy your way out of it. You can’t soothe your way out of it by drinking, eating or taking drugs. You can’t educate your way out of it, or adrenaline-rush your way out of it. Because when each of those momentary pleasures have subsided, you’ll still find it there gnawing at you like an unwelcome nudge in your back over and over again.

Keep in mind that it is not the trial, the offense nor the pain itself that takes you to your point of growth. The trial without the accompanying trust doesn’t take you to the point of spiritual maturity that God was trying to take you. It is only when you trust in God in the midst of the pain and align your heart, actions and thoughts under His Word and truths that you discover the deeper meaning behind it.

Just like a caterpillar must struggle to exit a cocoon once it has transformed into a butterfly, spiritual maturity and growth comes as a result of persevering within pain. It is there where our spiritual muscles become strong enough to live the life of faith that God has called each one of us to as believers in Jesus Christ.

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What The World Needs Now Is Love (GOD)!

In 1965 lyricist Hal David penned the words to the song, “What The World Needs Now Is Love” and although Liberty Records canceled it after its initial released, this inspiring single managed to peaked at #7 on the Billboard Charts July of that same year.

Now let’s fast forward 55 years to 2020 and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that our world today is still in desperate need of love, unity, and peace!

While Paul was in chains for Christ, he didn’t want the people in the churches he planted to loose focus of the Great Commission. Making Christ known to the world was and still is the main objective in living a true Christian life!

Therefore, to the church at Ephesus Paul penned these words in Ephesians 4:1-2 (MB), “In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.”

Beloved of God, let me lift it up for you; if the world needs love and according to I John 4:8 God is love, the answer to ALL of our PROBLEMS is God!

We have been and continue to be thriving nation under God! It’s incumbent upon ALL of us to M.ake G.od G.reat A.gain (MGGA)! Can I get an amen?!!

Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that we may have life, and have it abundantly.”

We need to stop falling for the enemy’s same ole deceptive tricks and malicious schemes. Make note, I didn’t say the devil because we don’t always wage war with our spiritual adversary—sometimes we wage war against each other and this is what dismantles our capacity to stand in solidarity!

Unity in design will occur when ALL people in our world choose to work together in such a way the resulting look is balanced, peaceful and harmonious. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 confirms; “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”

#BeStrong

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Which Road To Take?

How easy or difficult is it for you to “take the high road”? How far can you bend without breaking? Well, as you probably already know, to “take the high road” means you do the right thing, even if it may not be easy or popular with the mass majority. For example, if someone wrongs you—you can choose to “take the low road” and seek revenge or you can “take the high road”— forgive or ignore them and not let it worry you.

Proverbs 19:11 says, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” As mentioned above, it’s hard not to defend yourself when someone does spitefully and maliciously wrong you. It’s almost automatic to want to punish people who hurt you. Don Schlitz, penned these lyrics, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.” Kenny Rogers gave life to these words and quiet as it’s kept, we can all benefit from them if we truly embraced the wisdom embedded in them!

Inarguably, some things are worth standing up for, and there’s nothing wrong (given the ‘right spirit’) with standing up for truth and justice! But there are many gray areas in various situations when it can be hard to distinguish the right way to respond. When standing at this crossroad, it behooves us to ask God for His direction and He will always freely give us the wisdom to manufacture the appropriate response.

In Matthew 5:16 Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Yes, it’s time that we all see the LED light illuminating from the high road! We are living in world that’s consumed by darkness and it’s imperative for us not to allow our LED lights to vanish without having a positive influence for Christ. We are called to be light in a dark world and in today’s world – that light is needed now more than ever!

So, the real QOTD is how are you letting the light of Christ shine through your life? The low road is nothing more than, the path of least resistance and it’s time for us to reconsider the alternative! The narrative has changed and if God can love and then overlook the ugly in you, why is it so hard to pay it forward to others? Pride is the freeway to destruction and trust me you don’t want to get on it because it’s already heavily congested!

I’ve learned something over the years I’ve spent learning God. He knows when I’ve been wronged, hurt, and mistreated, and this only gives me hope!

Beloved of God, people may never realize, admit or apologize for what they do to you, but trust me, God knows and He will always be there to help heal the anger and hurt inside of you!

#BeStrong

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Great Question!

I know it looks like the enemy is winning but don’t get it twisted,he is indeed already defeated. As believers our confidence must be grounded in believing that even when things are bad, God is working them out for good (Gen. 50:20). God is sovereign and the devil has no free hand in this world. He is on a spiritual leash, and can do only what God allows. Having said that, some of you who are extremely frustrated with life might be thinking; if God is all good, why would He allow bad things to happen.

This is not an easy question to answer. However, solving this seeming contradiction between a loving God and the reality of evil may not be as difficult to differentiate as you think but, you must use the theodicy approach in order to solve the apparent tensions in what is often dubbed the problem of evil.

The problem of evil is really a series of problems. Like many large problems, sometimes it is helpful to break them down into their components. Evil in both the moral and natural worlds. For example, when people do bad things to one another, this is moral evil and so-called natural disasters are often considered evil as well because of all the suffering they cause. Earthquakes, tidal waves, floods, and so forth, are all examples of what might be termed natural evil.

Christian theologian Augustine helped to pin the tail on the donkey by using the same approach mentioned above. He essentially said, “Evil is as a parasite on good.” He clearly defines evil as a privation – a lack of something – rather than a thing or substance. (For example, cold is the privation of heat) With that said, if Augustine’s deduction is correct, evil is not an actual ‘thing’.

Therefore, God cannot be the author of evil. God is the author of good and unfortunately people make moral choices that result in evil. Hence my point, I know it looks bad but God is causing all things to work together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28)!!

At the end of the day, God is good even when we are not and yet He cared enough about us that despite what He knew about us, He sent His Son, Jesus, to suffer and die for our sins, transgressions, and iniquities! And because He left a borrowed tomb empty there will come a day when God “will wipe every tear from” our eyes and, “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things” will pass away (Revelation 21:4).

BeStrong

This is not an easy question to answer. However, solving this seeming contradiction between a loving God and the reality of evil may not be as difficult to differentiate as you think but, you must use the theodicy approach in order to solve the apparent tensions in what is often dubbed the problem of evil.

The problem of evil is really a series of problems. Like many large problems, sometimes it is helpful to break them down into their components. Evil in both the moral and natural worlds. For example, when people do bad things to one another, this is moral evil and so-called natural disasters are often considered evil as well because of all the suffering they cause. Earthquakes, tidal waves, floods, and so forth, are all examples of what might be termed natural evil.

Christian theologian Augustine helped to pin the tail on the donkey by using the same approach mentioned above. He essentially said, “Evil is as a parasite on good.” He clearly defines evil as a privation – a lack of something – rather than a thing or substance. (For example, cold is the privation of heat) With that said, if Augustine’s deduction is correct, evil is not an actual ‘thing’.

Therefore, God cannot be the author of evil. God is the author of good and unfortunately people make moral choices that result in evil. Hence my point, I know it looks bad but God is causing all things to work together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28)!!

At the end of the day, God is good even when we are not and yet He cared enough about us that despite what He knew about us, He sent His Son, Jesus, to suffer and die for our sins, transgressions, and iniquities! And because He left a borrowed tomb empty there will come a day when God “will wipe every tear from” our eyes and, “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things” will pass away (Revelation 21:4).

#BeStrong

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