It’s your call!! What are you going to do? We will you answer it or forward it? Oftentimes, it’s not that we are waiting on God…God is waiting on us to respond to His call!
If that’s you today, I want to humbly encourage you to answer the call because God’s best….His new grace and new mercy is calling out to you! I know life can get complicated, but never forget nothing is more important than your connection with God!
Hebrews 4:16 remind us that we can “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” because “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”(Lamentation 3:22-23).
In Genesis 32:24-32 a divine spiritual encounter took place between an ‘angelic stranger’ and Jacob. The tea that was spilled in these passages of text is mind blowing when you consider Jacob’s character and modus operandi.
For those of you who don’t know, Jacob was a determined man and some would even consider him to be ruthless. He was a con-artist, a liar, and a manipulator. In fact, the name Jacob not only means “deceiver,” but more literally it means “grabber.”
The night the angelic stranger visited Jacob they wrestled throughout the night until daybreak, at which point the angelic stranger crippled Jacob with a blow to his hip that disabled him with a limp for the rest of his life. It was then that Jacob realized what had happened: “I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared” (Genesis 32:30). In the process, Jacob the ‘deceiver’ received a new name, ‘Israel’, which likely means: “He struggles with God.” However, what is most important occurred at the conclusion of that struggle. We read that God “blessed him there” (Genesis 32:29).
I don’t know who I am preaching to today, but God has a blessing waiting for you! You may have to hold on to Him longer than you expected but don’t let go because even if you walk away from that spiritual encounter a little different, you too will be able to say like Jacob, “God blessed me!”
My beloved brothers and sisters, let me remind you that God shows no partiality (Acts 10:34-43) and what He does for one, He will also do the same for others! God is ready to bless you and all you have to do is faithfully hold on to His unchanging hands, trust, and believe that He who promised you an abundant life is equally faithful to physically manifest that promise in your life today (Hebrews 10:23 & John 10:10).
Storms don’t come to stay they come to pass and Maya Angelou said it this way, “Every storm runs out of rain.”
In 2008, I remember when my family and I tried to escape the grasps of Hurricane Ike. As soon as we made it to Cleveland, Texas it was a wrap! Traffic literally stood still and all that hustling and bustling was all for not! I will say, the ride back home was certainly a heck of a lot shorter. Needless to say my family and I, (like several others) had no other choice but to ride out this category 4 tropical cyclone.
Looking back to September 1, 2008, I am reminded of a powerful passage written in Isaiah 43:1-2, “When you pass through the deep, stormy sea, you can count on me to be there with you. When you pass through raging rivers, You will not drown. When you walk through persecution like fiery flames, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you.”
What a promise! What a comfort in the midst of challenges or storms to know that God calls us by name, declares that we are His own, and He protects us from all kinds of danger.
I don’t know the details of what kind of storm(s) you are facing right now, but I know that the Father promises to stay right by your side fighting your battles and making sure you remain waterproof and fireproof throughout it all.
I have learned, the more storms I live through, the less they scare me. Storms are just part of nature, part of life and part of us. Take it from me, even if we try to run away from storms, we can’t always escape them. All storms are sent from above for a reason and every storm leaves a story to tell. More importantly, every storm destroys something to rebuild something else and because God is good all the time (even when we’re not) blessings will always come in every storm that come to pass.
Paul said in Philippians, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
My beloved Brothers and Sisters, I have good news for you today. God is a eternally faithful and He will never start something He couldn’t finish!He calls each of us to consistently maintain our faith in believing that what He start in our lives, He will also bring to perfection completion.
According to scripture, God will never leave nor forsake us (Deut 31:6). God would never leave us halfway in His story (History); the story He authored before the foundations of the world!
Undoubtedly, the good work God is doing in us unequivocally line with God’s purpose for our lives.The Bible says, we are God’s Masterpiece. God created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do good works, He planned for us a long time ago (Ephesians 2:10).
God will go above and beyond what we can expect, fathom, or imagine (Eph 3:20-21). In order to help us move forward so that He can complete what He personally started in each us.
This includes moving those mountains we call obstacles, bottlenecks, and constraints out of your way. Bringing people into our life and removing people from our lives. Everything is connected to God’s plan, will and purpose for our lives. And the good news is God causes all things will work together for your good (Romans 8:28).
So, no matter what obstacles you face or how long you’ve waited, I encourage you to be humble and boldly confident that, ‘He who began a good work in you will bring it to perfect completion’.
Declare and sow this truth over your life and the lives of everyone connected to you that, “God in Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit who are unstoppable, unfathomable, and immutable will finish what they have started!!”
The tongue is a “small part of the body” (James 3:5), yet Proverbs 18:21 says it “has the power of life and death.” This holds true whether we’re speaking of spiritual, physical, or emotional “life and death.”
In order to take Proverbs 18:21 literally – that the tongue can cause spiritual, emotional and physical life and death – we do not need to repeatedly tax our imagination. Words create actions; both good and bad. A judge or jury, by simply saying a word, can sentenced a person to life or set them free. Words often save lives: a doctor advises surgery, a weatherman issues a tornado warning, a counselor gives hope to a suicidal person. Conversely, words can also kill: murders are often initiated because of arguments or verbalized hatred. In the sense of causing action, then, the tongue does indeed have the power of life and death.
On a side note my beloved brothers and sisters, please make note the enemy can’t curse you! But irregardless if you fully embrace the contextual admonition in Proverbs 18:21, the enemy clearly understands there is power of life and death in the tongue. So his entire strategy is to get you to curse yourself and others. He accomplishes this by planting negative thoughts in your mind; enticing you to say them out of your own mouth about yourself and others! Go figure…
Here’s the all inclusive bottom line; God made us expressive beings, so we are nearly lost without communication. That is why we have audio recordings and Braille for the blind, sign language for the deaf, and writing for anyone who has something to say from afar. Indeed, speech has enormous implications, especially as a vehicle for sharing the gospel (Romans 10:14). Therefore, we are commanded to control the tongue, to “keep [it] from evil and your lips from speaking lies” (Psalm 34:13). A Christian’s speech should consistently honor the Lord: with the tongue “we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be” (James 3:9-10).
We are the Product of Grace. It cannot be earned. It is a gift from God. We do not deserve it. God meets our indifference with forgiveness. He knows our sin well and it does not hinder His love for us. Grace gives us forgiveness for our sins, transgressions, iniquities, and yet it still enables us to live in such a way that pleases God.
Mercy, on the other hand, is the compassion and kindness shown to someone whom it is in One’s power to punish or render swift justice. How many times have God withheld judgement and punishment in your life?
Essentially, grace is a gift we don’t deserve, while mercy is not getting the punishment we deserve. Both of which are undoubtedly God’s ultimate expression of love for us and the bible teaches us to recognize, accept, and grow from God’s undeserved kindness!
To be able to respond to his grace and mercy fully, we must first recognize our need for such. We must humbly accept that we are all sinners and imperfect, and everything we have is thanks to Him. Let us shed our pride and shift our focus away from ourselves. Only by doing so can we acknowledge His presence in our lives and all the blessings we’ve received from Him.
He has given His grace and mercy for free, never asking anything in return. Thus, it’s only right to accept these acts of love with all our hearts. Wholehearted acceptance is the best way of showing our gratefulness for everything we’ve received.
When we accept His grace, we begin to grow in his love. In time, these seeds of love that He has planted in our hearts will take root and bear fruits. Through acts of kindness and compassion, we can then spread to the world the grace and mercy that He generously bestowed upon us.
God desires to have a personal relationship with us because He loves us and because it is the best thing for us. He created us, He loves us and He knows what we need and don’t need and the only way for Him to reveal that to us is through a right relationship with Him, through His Word, prayer, and praise!
Pope John Paul II beautifully expressed his insight in his apostolic letter on Preparation for the Jubilee Year 2000:
“Christianity has its starting-point in the Incarnation of the Word. Here, it is not simply a case of man seeking God, but of God who comes in Person to speak to man of himself and to show him the path by which he may be reached. . . . In Jesus Christ God not only speaks to man but also seeks Him out. The Incarnation of the Son of God attests that God goes in search of man. . . . It is a search which begins in the heart of God and culminates in the Incarnation of the Word. If God goes in search of man, created in His own image and likeness, He does so because He loves Him eternally in the Word, and wishes to raise Him in Christ to the dignity of an adopted Son.”
Your relationship with God in Christ is personal and intimate. Yes, God is impartial and He loves all the same, but He also loves us uniquely. He individually tailors His loves for us because we all have different needs. Hence, the reasons why our relationship with Him must be authentically personal. I love the way James 2:23 confirms of friendship with God. He said, “And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to Him as righteousness”—and He was called a friend of God.”