Friday, May 6, 2011

Are You A Murderer?

Father God, Lord I come before your throne of grace, with head bowed, and heart humbled, first to say thank you.  Father, I thank you for being a God, who is merciful and forever showing grace when I fall.  I thank you for being a God, who gives me opportunity after opportunity to get it right.  I thank you for being a God, who is not like these idols, who are silent, but you use pastors, ministers, evangelists, books, t.v and a whole hosts of things, to bring conviction in my life.  I know you are the only, one and true living God, who created the heavens and earth, and all in it.  I thank you for being the God, who created us in your image, and love us so much, that you did not condemn us to eternal punishment, but sacrificed your Son to pay for our sins.  Oh God, I just thank you this morning.  Father, I am just a humble minister seeking to do your will, and I just thank you for allowing me to do so.  I pray this morning, that this message touches your children.  I pray Father, that you will ignite the spirit in them to exact change if need be.  I pray Father that you set the atmosphere for them to meditate on this message and on you without any interruptions or hindrances.  Father, I just pray that you have your way in our lives this morning.  We give you all honor, glory, and praise.  This I pray in Jesus name, Amen! Amen! Amen!

On T.V. the other day, I was scanning the channels and I happened to catch some older men talking to some teenagers.  I do not remember what channel it was on, but what caught my attention is when the man said “Thank God”.  Apparently he was recalling a memory when he was about the age of his audience and he was running with a bad crowd.  One day this crowd got into some beef with other kids and they were planning for some payback.  There was a neighbor who kept riding him on how he should stay away from that crowd.  He was recalling on how much he wished that man would just mind his business, and even thought about doing harm to him.  That day when the crowd rallied up their weapons and came to pick him up, his neighbor ran to the car and told him to get out or he would tell his parents.  When they were about to drive off, the neighbor said then he will call the police and tell them he was kidnapped.  Because the driver did not want any heat to come to him, he made the guy get out, but threatened the neighbor on what he is going to do to him when they return.  At this time the man began to cry.  He continued to tell how his friends never made it back.  They never even made it out of the car.  The turf that they rolled up on, may have expected them, and they began to fire into the car until all occupants were dead.  That neighbor’s persistence saved his life.
As I recall my teen years, I remember on many occasions I had to change the course of action because of what I called a nosey neighbor.  Although back then I still engaged in activities contrary to how I was brought up, those instances, where I had a change of heart could have determined whether I lived or died.  What about those neighbors or family member who say nothing?  The bible says “When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.” (Eze 3:18)  I have an aunt who is a mean, bitter, and wicked person.  The things she does, would give anyone with a conscience pause.  For years my family and I would just ignore it.  When I say my family, I mean my mom, other aunts and uncle, cousins, etc.  We would chalk it up to “oh that’s the way she is.”  We were killing her!!!  Every now and again, someone would express their disappointment and may not come around anymore, but what did that do?  No one gave her warning to explain that what she is doing is a matter of life and death.  It was only as recent, that I and others really got deep with her and told her about her ways.  As of now, she does not want anybody around her.  This is good.  She will have time to reflect and there is no one around her to be wicked to.  There is hope.
Some of us have neighbors, people who live next to us.  People who we see daily and they or their children may be engaging in things they shouldn’t.  What have you done?  Are we not commanded to love our neighbor like we love ourselves? (Matt 12:31)  Or are you Christian when it is convenient?  Mind whose business?  If you are sincerely concerned about the welfare of someone, then that is your business.  If you are unable to speak to them directly, then pray to God that he gives you an opportunity to say something.  But to sit by idly, and do nothing, you are helping in killing that person.
Family, being a child of God is not only about belief, but also of practice.  I will tell you that every time, I think I got it together, something always bring me down; in a way of saying I do not.  What I have learned to do is just study what God says in His word, practice it to the best of my ability in all sincerity and in truth, and the debatable stuff I leave to God.  I do not think this is one of those things that are debatable.  If we are commanded to love our neighbors like we love ourselves, then what does that mean?  I think if we try to answer that question, we will have an idea if we have been subtly killing the people we know.  Amen?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Don’t Do It Alone

Heavenly Father, I give thanks this morning for life, health, and strength.  I thank you Father for your mercy and grace.  I thank you Father, for being a God that we can make our requests known, and being assured that your will be done via our requests.  I pray Father that you continue to guide and protect us Father.  I pray a blessing on the readers and doers of your word.  I pray a special blessing on all who read your message today.  I pray that they are in the right mind to receive it, and will be in a better mind afterwards.  I pray a blessing on wherever they are, and you’re your Holy Spirit encamp around them.  I pray a blessing on their family and friends, and I pray for comfort in a time of hurt or distress.  We love and adore you, and pray that you forgive us of any sins committed whether, by thought, speech or deed.  Oh Father just have your way with us this morning.  We give you all the honor and glory and praise, and we pray in Jesus name.  Amen

In my early twenties, I worked for a moving company.   We were a team of about 16, and I and another fellow were the youngest.  They were in the business of moving celebrities.  We were hired to move Woody Allen.  This was a big job, and as being the youngest, my partner and I wanted to make an impression.  We were busting our behinds removing furniture quickly and with precision and each time we would glance at the owner and you can see a pleasing smile on his face.  We got to this huge couch, and by the look of it, you can tell it was expensive.  So we made sure we wrapped it carefully and began to remove it from the penthouse.  When we got to the opening of the door, we were unable to get it out.  The penthouse had at least 2 entrances so we were not holding up progress of the other movers.  As my partner and I was carefully fighting to get this couch out the door, the other movers would pass and sort of chuckle at us.  This of course made us angry, and made it out business to show them we are not the ones to laugh at.  We began to strategize and plan how we were going to remove, and every attempt we made, we failed.  The owner came by and began to sort of hover near us.  Every now and again, he would look over and also offer a chuckle.  This was not good.  I then made the decision to remove the door, and it was then that he came over.  He said “guys, removing the door is not necessary.  Just remove the legs.”  We were fighting with this couch for about 15 minutes, and once the legs were removed we went through the door in 2.  The owner said, “I know you guys want to impress me.  Ok, I am impressed, but what I also want to see are people who are willing to ask for help.”
When I look back at that story, I am reminded of the story regarding the disciples.  It was shortly after the Jesus fed 5000 people with 5 barley loaves and 2 fish.  The bible reads “ Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.  Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land.  Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.  And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled, for they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.” (Mark 6:45-52)
This is a story that should be looked at carefully.  Jesus just performed a miracle, which is probably one of the greatest miracles He performed.  He made something out of nothing.  His disciples were front row to this feat.  The scripture stated that after Jesus prayed, about the fourth watch he came to them.  A “watch” back then was intervals of 3 hours.  So for no more than 12 hours, his disciples were rowing against the sea.  Jesus was able to see all of this from the mountaintop.  This indicated that they did not get anywhere.  It is like taking hours to reach a destination which only takes 15 minutes.  The bible also said that he came to them walking on the sea and would have passed them by. Finally after thinking it was a ghost and after Jesus assured them it was Him, He went into the boat, the wind ceased and they were marveled.
What we need to gather from this, is that the disciples were so focused on their circumstance that they forgot the miracle that just took place hours before.  They forgot who their master was.  They were not compelled to call out to the Lord in a time of distress, and Jesus at one point was right before their eyes, and yet they did not see.  Family, some are you are the same.  You have experienced the wonders of Christ working miraculously in your life, and know it could have been no one but Him, yet you face another circumstance, and you try to get out of it on your own.  You try this or that, just as I did with the couch, instead of saying, “Lord, help me with this.”  We often soon forget the goodness of the Lord, and when we are struggling, and struggling, and struggling, we tell ourselves “the Lord is testing me.”  Not always!  Sometimes He is waiting for you to call on Him.  How many times, after the call is made, the issue is resolved just like that?  The question now is how much time could have been saved if you only call on him sooner?  Some may say, “Well, God did it that way specifically for me to go through it.” And here is my answer to that.  Rubbish!!!!  Practice becomes habit.  God does not want you to do it all alone.  If you do it one time, you will do it again, and then you may end up thinking that you have all the answers and that you are in control.  I beg to differ that God did it that way.
Family, God wants us to call on Him.  I am not speaking about the things that we can do and have the power to do.  I am talking about the things that no matter where we turn, there is an obstacle.  Now would be the time to find that quiet place and pray.  As I said, practice becomes habit.  When we make our requests known to God constantly, we are practicing good habits to be in constant communion with Him.  You do not have to do it alone.  God is there waiting.  Call on Him.  Amen!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Don’t Give Up

Gracious Father, I thank you this morning for the many blessings that you have bestowed upon me.  I thank you for your divine covering and anointing.  I pray Father, that I have walked, and continue to walk according to your word.  I pray Father that you bless the readers of this message.  I pray that your Holy Spirit rain down on wherever they are and give them evidence that you have not left them or forsake them.  I pray a blessing on them right now Father, in the name of Jesus.  I pray Father, that you move mightily in their lives.  I pray comfort for them when they are hurting, and a hedge of protection when they feel they are being attacked.  Oh Father, I just pray for your mercy on all your children.  Father, we cannot ask enough, that you forgive us for sins committed.  We give you all honor and glory, and we pray this prayer in Jesus ‘name, Amen.

To my brothers and sisters out there who are in constant struggle,
life, health, work, family, all these things that you seem to juggle,
I have one thing to say to you.  “Don’t give up”
To all of you out there, who are busting your behind only to be left behind,
while that wicked person over there is gloating while you are left behind,
I have one thing to say to you.  “Don’t give up”
To that beautiful woman who on her job displays proper work ethics,
only to see women promoted while on their backs, which is their work ethics,
I have one thing to say to you.  “Don’t give up”
To the pastor who shows so much compassion to his flock,
yet there is a handful of them who him they seem to mock,
I have one thing to say to you.  “Don’t give up”
To the wife whose husband seem to be out of touch,
yet she is dying to see him saved, because she loves him that much,
I have one thing to say to you.  “Don’t give up”
To my brothers who are incarcerated, and feel for them it is the end,
also realizing their mistakes, praying to God a blessing He would send,
I have one thing to say to you.  “Don’t give up”
To the saints who are unemployed, concerned about their family they have to feed,
wondering if God will bless them with this specific need,
I have one thing to say to you.  “Don’t give up”
To that person whose spouse is unfaithful while you remain faithful saying to yourself “what’s the sense”
pondering rendering evil for evil as recompense,
I have one thing to say to you.  “Don’t give up”
Finally to that person who is sick and tired of being sick and tired,
Yet not knowing what to do about being sick and tired,
I have one thing to say to you.  “Don’t give up”
Family, it is hard being a Christian sometimes.  At times we are faced with some unbearable circumstances and left to ask “why me Lord?”  Yet we look at others, who have no God in their life, and live continuously wicked and it appears as if they are blessed beyond measure.  It can be discouraging sometimes.  There can even be moments where you may even say “the hell with it.”  Know this family; that is exactly what the enemy wants you to do.  There is a reason why we have scriptures such as
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  (Jas 1:2-4)
“ In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,  that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  (1Pe 1:6-7)
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1Co 10:13)
These scriptures tell us that the things that were put in place to break us, will actually strengthen us.  No matter how bad it “appears”, we serve a God who is just who have said that he will never leave us nor forsake us.  With that promise we must not give in to these trials.  We must stand firm and face them in faith, knowing that we are a precious being in the eyes of the Lord and He loves us dearly.  So no matter what you face family, God is there.  Don’t give up!  Amen.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

God’s Way Is The Best Way

Heavenly Father, I thank you this morning for allowing me to see another day.  I thank you Father for health and strength.  I thank you Father, for your divine covering.  I pray Father that you bless the readers and doers of your word with the same blessing you have bestowed upon me.  I pray Father a blessing on the readers of this message.  I pray that you bless them with a special blessing for taking the time to read what you have ordained for them this morning.  I pray that you set the atmosphere for them to receive your word this morning.  I pray Father that they not only receive it Father, but share it that it may be a help to someone else.  I pray a blessing on all of your children who see it not robbery to share your word, whether via internet, or whether face to face.  I pray Father that you continue to use me and others as a vessel to further thy Kingdom.  And Father, I pray forgiveness for any sins committed whether by thought, speech, or deed, and I pray the same for your children.  We give you all honor, glory, and praise.  This I pray in Jesus name, Amen.

I remember when it was ok to talk about God in school.  We were told a tale on how God protects, and on how not all thing are what they appear to be.  The tale goes as follows:
There was an old lady who was a devout Christian all of her life.  The news forecast a perfect storm heading to the small town she lived in.  At Church, the Pastor made evacuations arrangements for all of the parishioners, but the old lady responded, “My Lord will provide.”  She went home that afternoon, and then the storm came.  As she was sitting in her living room, someone knocked on her door.  When she went to the door, it was a young man with a van who was a relative of one the church members.  He was sent to gather her.  She responded, “Go my son, my Lord will provide.”  The storm started to pick up and there were great winds and floods.  She began to move to an upper room, where a boat passed by, and the man in the boat saw movement in the house.  He navigated to the window and knocked saying “lady, are you nuts?  This town will be under water soon.  Come with me and I will get you to safety.”  She yelled back, “Go, my Lord will provide.”  The water was rising fast and it was too cold for her to bear, and she managed to climb out her window and make it to the roof.  At that time a rescue helicopter was flying by and seen her, and two men lowered themselves with a harness to grab her.  She refused and yelled, “It’s ok, my Lord will provide.”  Within an hour the old lady drowned.  When she came before the Lord in heaven, she said “Lord, I have been a faithful servant all of my life.  You said that you will never leave me or forsake me.  Why did you not provide for me in time of need?”  God answered, “You indeed have been a faithful servant, and when I knew the flood was coming to your area, I sent you a van, but you refused it.  A boat and you refused it, as well as a helicopter which you also refused.”
The bible states “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Php 4:6)  When we are in need, we make our requests known to God, but because He does not respond expeditiously, we tend to answer our own requests.  In doing so, you are telling God “thanks, but no thanks.”  You are expressing to God that your way is the better way.  You have put your concerns on the alter, only to pick it back up.  God’s way of thinking is not like our way, nor is how we do things the same way He does them (Isa 55:8).  When God puts His hand on something, it does not fail.  When God is involved, there is no confusion.  When God moves, there is indisputable evidence that it is Him, but you have to look carefully.  For example, if you are tired of living from paycheck to paycheck, or tired of robbing Peter to pay Paul, meaning to disregard one bill to pay another, this means you have a money management issue.  When you go before the Lord regarding your concern, be patient.  If a financial institution all of sudden is willing to give you a $5000 credit line, it is not from God.  Your affinity to spend is what got you in your mess, so giving you more money to spend, will increase your problem.  God will do it in a way, where you will become debt free once and for all.  If your husband is treating you bad, and shows no sign of changing, or is not willing to go with you to Church, God may not choose to change your husband if he is not willing.  God may remove him and send a man your way that will identify with who his head is and therefore will know how to love you as stated in Eph 5:25-33.  If you are tired of your job.  If you are tired of your sincere efforts being unappreciated, then make your request known to God.  If you were suddenly let go from that job, it is not for you to curse this person or that person, and try methods of getting back at your employer.  You may not realize that God removed the distraction from you so that you can see a better opportunity waiting for you to grab it.
We fail in these areas all the time.  God’s way of doing things are much better than ours.  We would want someone to give us a fish everyday, where God will send someone to teach us how to fish, so we can eat for a lifetime.  Not all things are what they appear to be.  If you love God, and trust Him, then show it by exercising patience when you make your requests known unto Him.   Do not attempt to usurp how you think you should be blessed over His will.  It was doing things your way in the first place which caused you to go before Him making your request known.  What makes you think you now have the answer since God in your eyes is taking too long?  The bible states “The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1Cor 1:25)  We know this to be a metaphor, because God is not a fool, nor is He weak, but if we wanted to fathom that He can be so, then even in this lower state, He exceeds us greatly.  With a God this powerful and mighty, why not let Him work and remove ourselves out of the way?  Amen!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sin Blinds Us

Gracious Father, I thank you once more for blessing me with life, health and strength.  I thank you Father, for blessing my household while we slumbered.  I thank you Father, for being a God who we can go to at any time expressing our gratitude and making our requests known.  I pray this morning that you will bless the readers and doers of your word with the same blessing bestowed upon me.  I pray Father that you bless the readers of this message.  I pray that you bless them and keep them, and anoint their coming and going.  I pray Father that you bless all that they do.  I pray a covering over them.  I pray Father that you continue to show evidence that you are with us and not have forsaken us.  We give you honor and glory Father.  And I pray always, that any sins committed, that you exercise forgiveness.  We lift your name in praise and we thank you and pray this prayer in Jesus name Amen.

I was approached by a woman yesterday when I was leaving Wal-Mart.  She asked me if I could spare any change.  I did a quick but effectual survey of her demeanor to see if she is a possible drug addict. When anyone asks me for money, I do not ask them what they are going to do with the money.  If I have it I will give it to them and let God do the rest.   Yesterday I was compelled to go a little bit further with this woman.  As I stated before, I gave a quick survey and I was able to see that her finger tips were dark in color.  When she speaks, she appears to be chewing, yet she has nothing in her mouth.  She also was scratching her forearm softly and often did not make eye contact.  This behavior is in fact the behavior of someone who is on drugs.  When she asked me if I could spare some change, I asked her if she was sure that was all she need.  She said yes, and then I asked her again is she sure.  She confirmed and added she has Jesus.  Bingo!  She opened the door and I was about to bum-rush my way in. 
So I asked what have Jesus done in her life.  She appeared to be searching for an answer.  Not an answer that she can genuinely give based off of person experience, but based off of a previous conversation.  It was most likely that she encountered another believer and that person told her what she did not want to hear.  That she needs Jesus.  The answer that she was able to produce was that she was blessed with 3 kids.  Amen.  I asked her where are they now, and she indicated they are with her mom.  Why?  The courts took them from her.  To sum up her story, her drug addiction caused her to make very bad choices, which landed her in prison.  After she was released, she went back to the same behavior.   I told her that I know someone has shared Christ with her before, and that she should not ignore it.  I said “just as how they shared Christ with you, I am going to do the same.  Christ is what you need sister.  Not for you to be asking for money to make up the purchasing price of whatever drugs you want to buy.”  Her head hung low.  Conviction took place, at least temporarily.  She seemed to be getting agitated so I gave her some spare change I had in my car, and told her that until she recognized that Christ is the only way for her to be free, she will remain in this bondage until it claims her life.  She nodded and walked away fast as though she was 10 minutes late to an appointment.
She was blind.  She was blind to what she really needs physically and mentally.  She was blind to how a stranger was willing to give her advice that is beneficial to her.  She was blind to what else this stranger was willing to do to get her help.  She was blind to freedom.  She was blind because she allowed sin to take hold of her.  The bible states “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." (Gen 4:7)  She allowed sin to take hold of her to where it has now put her in a state of illusion.  When anyone willfully engages in sin, they are allowing the enemy to be their god, and false pleasures and comforts will be the result.  He has blinded her to the point where she does not believe in the saving power of Christ, and was able to easily dismiss me or attempt to tell me what she think I wanted to hear (2 Cor 4:4).
Family the devil is real.  Sin is real.  We need to take as much precaution as we would any other thing that can bring about our demise.  Although blinding us from the truth is one aspect of sin, if left untreated, it can bring forth death.  Let’s not allow the enemy to dangle temporary pleasures before us.  Remain prayed up and not be ignorant to his devices.  Amen.