Picture it! (You who know me – know that I loved to hear Sophia on The Golden Girls start her stories with those words! ) OK …. so Picture It!! A world where every Christ follower acts in love in EVERY situation. I’m not talking about loving the ones who love us. I’m not even talking about loving those who are not so loving but are yet dear to us (you know, those crazy family members you don’t really like!). What I am talking about is loving those who mean us harm; those who commit wrongs against us intentionally; those who purpose to bring to ruin the plans that God has for us. I’m talking about going beyond forgiveness and showing them love.
When I look at my wedding ring, I see many facets – sometimes it glistens bright white; at another angle it is a colorful prism; sometimes it looks like clear glass. My point is – no matter how I look at it or how it looks to me – it looks beautiful. Love too – in all of its facets is a beautiful thing. So then, why don’t we just try to take every experience of this day and respond to it in love. My oldest son, Joseph, signs his notes “Live In Love”, a great reminder of what our Christ’s life was like and what His example was for us.
As for me I have to ask myself daily: Can I be love in every situation? Honestly – I don’t know! But I can certainly try. My prayer today is that each person that I have contact with on this day (whether in person or electronically) will know that they are loved!
“I am ready to go to heaven, but I’m not in a hurry.”
My mom said this often. In fact, very often. As I’ve told people of her death, that is the first thing they say, “Miss Mary said she wanted to get on up to heaven, but she wasn’t in a hurry.”
My mom never meant, I want to die, she was ministering to people that there was no such thing as a life that ended, not as a believer in Christ. Her meaning was that people of Christ needed to understand that their lives did not end on what is called a death bed … their lives just never ended at all, but rather entered into the eternal life in heaven. She wanted the lost to know that just having the word heaven in their vocabulary was not going to get them there … only Jesus!
She Loved The Lord!!! She Served Him Always!! She taught us to love and to serve. She taught us to take the hits. She showed us what a good wife was – adored our father and served & supported him deeply.
My mom married my father when she was 17 years old. When he passed away they had been together for 65 years! 65 years and they were still best friends. She gave birth to my sisters and I and she was a good mom who loved us well. Her dear love was for her grand children – she had longed for them and was delighted when she got them.
She gave herself away to many elderly people who had no family. She cooked for them; cleaned for them; took care of their medical needs; loved them and so much more. And doing all of this, she was not a housewife. She worked, she took care of her family & home, she served her local church, she served the national Baptist convention … and it did not stop her from serving anyone!
She lived 92 years and was healthy every single day. I mean my mother was still cutting her own lawn, trimming her shrubs, growing vegetables in her backyard, and so much more. Because of reasons we cannot yet understand, my mother had a brain bleeding stroke. It was Mother’s Day Weekend (Friday May 8, 2020). Completely unexpected. She stayed alive for 10 weeks – a beautiful gift to our family. Time to take care of her in complete love. Time for her to see her three girls together in unity. Time to show her that we were okay. Time to show us that we needed to believe all that we had been taught about eternal life. July 15th we saw a last breath and on July 16th the heart stopped … she left us and went to Him.
What we know as a family is that this date was written in the books of Our Heavenly Father. His Word tells us that everybody has to die once. (Hebrews 9:27). Another great truth for us is the truth about death – it doesn’t mean that our lives stop, it means that our flesh life is separated from our spirit life … soul separated from body. We know with no doubt at all that our soul is who we really are and that this physical body is just what holds us until we get home to Him.
For my mother, I am truly rejoicing that she’s escaped timing and entered into an eternal destiny with the God in whom she believed completely! One of the most wonderful things that night was that she was smiling … the word of God does tell us that God’s children have angels assigned to them; and one of the jobs of those angels is to escort our souls into the Kingdom of God – well, it surely looked to us like her angel was right there. She hadn’t been able to smile since the stroke, not even once! But at that moment, when she was entering into her new life – a smile came upon her face. That is just another beautiful vision for our minds and hearts.
Oh Bright Glory! If we miss my mom from smiling, serving, counseling, encouraging, loving down here … we need know that she is up in bright glory. Absent from the body, present with The Lord!
I’m truly going to miss my mama …
An Invitation to Believe in a Truth that is REAL
If you have never believed in Christ, let me just tell you for sure that there’s a beautiful life that you can have on this earth if you believe! Peace on the inside comes! Perseverance in difficulty comes! Freedom from any addiction comes! A true relationship with Almighty God comes! A life that never ends comes! If you want to receive Him, you’ve got to believe in Him.
We need salvation! We all have sinned and are not worthy of His presence and that sin will send us into true death, while belief in Christ will give us life that is eternal!
God gives us salvation! He sent the only son He has to a place of severe discipline, and this Son – whose name is Jesus – took the hit and paid to God what our sin caused us to owe.
Receive what He has given! Believe in Jesus Christ, believe in the truth that He took the hit for all of your wrongdoing to bring you into the right relationship with God. Call His name and tell Him that you believe.
If you truly believe I’m telling you that you will have peace in your heart that you cannot even explain. I’m telling you that you have now been reconciled to a good relationship with God – The Father, The Creator, The Almighty One.
If you’ve come to Christ as you read these words, connect with a group of people near you who are believers, profess your belief and be taught. Find a group near so that you can truly keep your connection real. Need help finding a place to know Him better? Email me, I’ll gladly help you.
There are nations and people that have been lulled into believing that they have some sort of magic formula that has rendered them successful and even untouchable. They walk among us as gods … believing that they have some control over the fates of all people. Wielding their power to make others bend to their will, in exchange for some favor.
God is watching.
When we ignore The One who has given us life — who has placed within us the gifts that have made room for us — we are assured that His wrath will come … and all of the money, connections and power will not be able to save us!
As we bask in the luxuries that we have desired more than God — we might be lulled into some idea that provision, protection, status and security will be ours forever — it is NOT the case! When we exalt ourselves — He is just and faithful to bring us back to our rightful place.
We cannot live in such a way that we believe we have a right to use or abuse others because w efeel we are more than them. We are NOT getting away with anything!
When on our own wiles we rely – tragedy is sure to befall us. When we ignore The One who has placed the good in our hands, it is sure to turn on us.
I give God glory for all that He is. I affirm from my own soul that He alone is God and there is NONE besides Him. I beg His mercy on on a nation that has believed their own power has made them equal to You! I beg His mercy on people whose status and money have made them believe that they have equal standing with Him. I am asking God to give His children wisdom to walk in The Truth and to give His children boldness to exhort and encourage righteousness!
In a time when ministries are suffering for money; I am praying that He will help the to stand firm for the truth and not be deceived into thinking that any person or authority is sustaining them.
I am praying that He will help His people to remember that we live our lives for an audience of One! Praying that He will help us to remember that we will have to answer to a righteous God some day. Praying that He will help us to remember that our help is in the name of The Lord – who is Strong and Mighty … The God of every nation!
That He desires to meet our needs is not in question – but the erroneous teaching that He desires all of us to be materially wealthy is hurtful to the heart of God! The big issue about wanting good to be spoken over your life by a man of God or woman of God is this — are you walking in holiness, righteousness, love????
If you know you are walking continually in sin and rebellion, yet you go to some church and a prophet/prophetess speaks blessing over your life with no mention of repentance – it should be clear to you that this person is not speaking to you a word from the Lord, but a word of their own imagination.
God’s requirement is always that our hearts be turned toward Him. When we commit adultery against our God and King, we do not have any right to perceive that He will bless our heresy, our sin, our stubbornness, our rebellion.
Woe to those who lure you with sweet words that come from the enemy about God blessing your life – a life that is against all that God requires! Woe to you who knowingly seek words from false teachers to make your self feel better! The answer – Be Thou Holy For He Is Holy! Turn your heart toward the Lord – He will not only forgive you but He will cleanse you. Once you are living right before Him, then go to Him and lay your heart out before Him and He will place within your heart all that He desires for you and He Will Bring It To Pass for your good and for His glory!
There is blessing in serving a true and living God – there is disaster in living a life contrary to His will and way.
“Resist the Devil and he will flee.” This excerpt from James 4 seems to say that our words have power.
I never really thought about it much, but in recent days, with all of the clearly God-less things that are happening all around us; I began to ponder why we, the Church – the Body of Christ, seems impotent to deal with evil. Not that we ARE impotent, NO! we are not – but we do seem to be.
Resist the Devil and he will flee is not a call for us to tell the Devil to sit down and shut up in our own authority, yet I fear this is exactly what we tend to do.
Our King – Jesus, who is the Christ – has all authority, and we walk in that authority.
We’ve gotta be careful not to fool ourselves into the false truth … that it is we who have the authority. The authority; The One who sets the standards; The One one who establishes the rules; The One who wields real power – is God. Power and Authority are His! As we attempt to stand against our enemy Satan – we have to remember always that we must ask the Lord Himself to come against the enemy; we must ask God Himself to stand in against the enemy. We have to ask the Lord Himself to work within us the resistance that will make the enemy flee. Much like the disciples who could not cast out the demons on their on – we will stand powerless if we try to do it on our own!
When we experience the enemy’s attacks in our own lives or when we see his movement in the world around us it is our role to speak to the evil one in the name of our Almighty and Faithful God saying ‘Satan, stand down for our Lord will thwart your evil plans‘. It is ours to remind the enemy of who is in charge: ‘Satan, you have no authority here for the Lord Himself will judge you‘. However, be aware that in order to speak to the enemy in God’s power – we have to be connected to Him. We have to know Him, know His word, and be yielded to His will.
Reflect on your own life — are you connected to the power source? If not, you can be assured that there is no way you can stand against the enemy.
With all of these hurtful, hate filled, sinful, wicked, arrogant, haughty things going all around us we’ve got to remember to live for Him daily – continually yielding to God’s will in our lives. He will grant us the wisdom to call upon Him! The witness of the lives of believers in Christ have got to illuminate the earth with the truth of the Gospel and dim the light of the enemy. His strength that never fails!! If Michael, the most powerful of the angels, knew that he should not take the enemy to task in his own name or in his own power – surely we understand that we too must be careful to recognize where the power lies.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.--Romans 8:38-39