To be sinless is impossible for us in this human form — but we can attain to godliness, moral purity and agape love. Our allegiance to the King of Kings demands utter devotion to Him and radical love toward people. He tells us to be perfect – not in vanity; not walking in our own righteousness. He tells us as children of God, who understand our complete reliance on Him, that we should endeavor to carry about His image in a worthy manner.
We have to keep our moral compass before us at all times; not straying to the right or left. We’ve got to keep Calvary before us to remind us of the extend of the love that has been shown toward us. Why? So that we will show others true love — the love of Christ.
The Savior is telling us once again to imitate Him — to be like Him — to conform to His likeness. We are admonished toward purity and love. What does it look like? Keeping our word; returning good for evil; praying for all people – especially for those who do not know Him; love those who are not like us – ethnicity, political party, denomination and more; extend to others grace and mercy – as it has been extended to us … and So Much More! Our lives should be such a reflection of Him that they can see Him in us everywhere we go!
I do pray that Our Father will show us the way to godliness. We strive to get there through rules; but the truth that we know is that this is a matter of the heart. If we ask Him sincerely, He will place within us a desire to love people as He has loved us. Sinless perfection is only found in Christ! God can help us to live in perfect love in this world. He can help us to choose to keep our hands cleand and our hearts pure …. just cry out to him and He can and will truly lead and guide you.
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.
As I have been on this journey with my King, I am continually learning what it means to lay my will down for His. I have learned that laying down my will does not always mean that I am choosing not to sin (though that is a choice I make daily) — but that I am choosing to do things His way; for His glory.
Sometimes it’s an issue of whether or not I answer my phone when I know someone needs me to do something I don’t want to do. Sometimes it’s having to leave me house in disarray because I need to get out of the house for ministry. Sometimes it is holding back from rescuing a person – so that they can learn from their issue. Living according to His will all the time is not easy to do, but it IS simple.
Each day I will make the choice to depend upon Him to guide my words, thoughts and actions; when I commit to do this I have found that my will and my way are the LAST things I think about. For me, it looks like waking up each day and going to the Word of God first (my Ghana pastor** used to say “No Bible, No Breakfast”)
This simple decision – reading the Word in the morning before I interact with any person or any situation; hearing what He has to say to me first will help me to be less frustrated during the day and help me stand firm against the temptations that I am sure to face throughout the day.
Simple– practice giving ourselves to Him each day; decide to rely totally on Him each day and we might just find that we are walking in His favor and we might just experience what it feels like for Him to take pleasure in our lives. Ask Him for direction in all things (thoughts, actions, words); I believe we will find that our lives are richer, fuller and less stressful. I’ve tried it – it really does work! **Thank you Pastor Steve Asante!
Do we ever think about what it means when we, who believe in Christ, just believe and do nothing to show the life of Christ to the world?!?! Christ tells us that this kind living is useless!
Unless we are living out our righteousness in the world by sharing the truth – by showing others the way to Christ … we may as well just STOP!!
We may be a preservative for some — keeping the hand of the Lord from the wicked because we are here keeping good alive and active. We are meant to cast out darkness so that people will know in Whose name we have come. In the words of Fred Hammond, “not called to sit upon a shelf”!
Our salt and light are meant to preserve goodness and illuminate this world with the light of Christ … Not Just To Sit Upon A Shelf! We are not keys hidden to ourselves.
Father, Help me to see the importance of giving my life to the people of this world. Use me to show many the way to Christ. Have mercy on the people who worship other gods, who worship the enemy. May an encounter with Your children be an encounter with You. May our lives be lived in such a way that people have no doubt Who we serve!
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