Lead Me, O Lord!

jeremiah 17 9 10Lately, many who have the life spotlight have been doing some wicked things.  It can make you embarrassed to be American, or even human!  When you look at the actions of some, it can really make you look down on them; and raise your own self up a bit. Yes, you have to be raising you up if they are suddenly beneath you.

It points out a truth about who we each are.  I’ll talk about me.  You see, I haven’t killed anyone; spoken with ill regard of anyone publicly; stolen anything; wished anyone dead; abused any child; mistreated anyone because of their ethnicity; etc. etc. etc.  So,  unlike those people I read about or see on the TV screen, I am righteous! Right?!?!  WRONG!

Truth is, only God knows why I refrain from what I refrain from and only God knows the things I do that none of you see.  My mind knows the blessing of trusting God completely and submitting to Him in all things; but my heart without the leading of the Lord is just self serving even when my desire is to be good!  My hope lies in the actions and love of my King.  He searches my heart and knows my true desires; He is faithful to see if there is any evil in my heart and His mercy and grace are powerful and can be counted upon to always lead me in the everlasting way.

I’m ever grateful that I have learned not to depend upon man – not even myself – to do the right thing.  I depend upon the Holy Spirit in me to bring about in my life what The Lord wills to be so.  Even when it seems that I’ve done a good thing, the truth is that it is only the work of the Holy Spirit in me.  Search me, O God! Lead me, O God! Omnipresent God – my soul hides in You!

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah‬ ‭17:10‬ 

I am a Citizen of Heaven!

Phil 3 20It makes my heart heavy to see believers separated over the world’s political stances.

We, who are Christ followers, have only one King and Ruler. He’s neither Democrat nor is He Republican – He is Holy, Righteous, Unchanging! He Is All!We have pledged allegiance to Him and everything that we need comes from His hand! We are His children and citizens of His kingdom!

If we believe that we are citizens of heaven, then we should carry ourselves in a way that reflects that high honor. What does that look like? Speaking and acting like sons and daughters of the most high!

  • It looks like exhibiting love and grace and speaking His Word in a way that reflect that we KNOW it. Living in a way that reflects our contentment in all things because we KNOW that He is in control of every situation or difficulty.
  • Being overjoyed when someone comes to know and except the truth of The Gospel.
  • Not fretting over whats happening in the world today or keeping our minds on the things of this world , but looking with hope toward His return.
  • Caring for others, especially those in the Body of Christ.
  • Extending love and grace that the world cannot understand.
  • Praying daily that His will be done AND when He carries out His will rejoicing in it whether it is what we desired or not!

We belong to Him! Let’s not let this world or the enemy make us believe something else!

 

Philippians 3:20  But our citizenship is in heaven…

 

acc58b69-f4c2-497e-b8c8-86a310dbc6bd-7037-00000835c83dded1-1Picture 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!

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)

Know The Gospel of Jesus Christ

1-john-4_1I grew up in the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church – 4th Ward, Houston, TX.  My pastor was Rev. C.W. Kimble Sr.  and my Sunday school teachers were some of the most knowledgable women about the Bible you could ever imagine! (my favorite was M. E. Prescott)  As I was growing up, I was taught that a preacher had “preached” when he had aroused our emotions AND said something that caused real life change/impact. We should not be bored to sleep, nor should we walk away without a changed hearts.  ‭‭Our Sunday school teachers told us that you could judge a sermon by whether or not a preacher made it plain to you that He knew that Jesus was The Christ; AND if he presented in a way that you could not help but confess it too.

Recently I was watching Christian television with my mother – now that she is older, she loves listening to church services.  I was amazed at the number of preachers & pastors &ministers on that television from around the world that preached a gospel of man. Do you know what I mean?

A gospel of man is one that says that God favors us in such a way that nothing will ever go wrong or be difficult in our lives. Really? I was called to missionary living – my colleagues and I cannot embrace that one. A gospel of man is one that says that if you don’t have an over abundance of cash, you just aren’t trusting God enough. Really? I served God in rural West Africa and some of the most devout and committed Christ followers I know have just a bit more than nothing!

These are just two – but there are many other crazy teachings out there that don’t highlight God’s desire that we be committed completely to Him; that our lives reflect His love for all people; that our hearts have concern and care for the poor. There are many who preach that the word prophet means future teller and not justice enforcer.

I’m grateful that I grew up with a Bible teaching pastor; am currently under the shepherding of a Bible teaching pastor, and that I’ve had Bible teachers all along the way!  Grateful!!

My friend, I want to assure you that the Almighty God did not create you for your own benefit and your own prosperity. I can assure you that He did not send His Holy Spirit to live in you in order for you to be able to see the future or in order that you will never ever have any difficulty in life. I can assure you that He did not send His only son in order that you could “have thine own way”!

Watch what you’re listening to. Every one that cries Lord, Lord – is not a mouthpiece of our Jehovah.

1 John‬ ‭4:1‬ My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.

Your Just Due

When you work to earn something; that “somethingis your reward.  Walking in the righteousness, blessing and favor of God requires our belief in and devotion to Him.  If by being righteous we hope to earn something (blessing/favor) from Him — then it is not the right motive.

If we are called to a particular task in the body, we must do it out of devotion to and love for Him in order that He might grant us favor and blessings.  Because if we do it for a certain blessing and then receive that thing — our wages have been paid.  How much more will we receive when we stop working for favor and start serving out of devotion to Him?!

Father, correct our motives.  Help our hearts to discern rightly what we are to do for You and for Your Kingdom.  Teach us to serve out of our gratitude for Calvary; and out of our gratefulness that You have dressed us in Your own righteousness; clothing of splendor and honor that we could NEVER purchase on our own!!

Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.  Romans 4:4