I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. (Ps 34:1-3)~~ Why praise the Lord? We could just say “Why Not?” But seriously… what is the big thing about praise? When we bring our sacrifices of praise, thanksgiving and joy to God, we are telling Him that we wish to die to our own desires and knowledge, and we desire to love and trust Him completely. It is in the holy atmosphere of praise and worship that healing, miracles and transformation of the soul begin to manifest, and God’s glory starts cleansing and changing our carnal nature into the nature and character of Christ. We are literally praying with our heart, soul and spirit. The result is always an impartation of God’s infinite blessings, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. When you truly understand this truth you will begin to regain and restore all that Satan has stolen from you. Demons cannot resist the praise of the children of God. When you feel discouraged, and a spirit of confusion tries to invade your thinking, if you begin to offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving you will find that the peace of God will cover you as a shield of protection and the angel of the Lord will encamp all around you and deliver you (Ps 34:7). SO – – Let everything that has breath… praise the Lord!
Remember that back during the creation of man, the Bible says that “the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).” Man was not alive to God until he had the life of God breathed into Him. After the Fall, the life of God was removed from man and he died to God. Then over the span of the next four thousand years God patiently waited for the time He felt was right to complete His plan of redemption. God promised a child to Abraham and that child became Isaac who was the beginning of the line which led to Jesus Christ. He gave the Law to the Jews to separate them from the surrounding nations. The law was also given to show the Jews and all mankind their need for the grace and mercy of God. “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship (Galatians 4:4-5).” That set time was when Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died for our sins and rose from the grave to offer us the life of God. Now that the Holy Spirit is available for mankind to receive, God can now exhale and breathe His life back into whoever accepts Jesus Christ by faith. It is amazing to think that God loves us so much that it seems that He could hardly wait for the opportunity to indwell us again. When you think about it that is exactly the way He originally planned it. He made man so that His life in man is indispensible to man. In other words, we are not fully human without His life indwelling us. Yet, because of sin God waited four thousand years before He could live in us the way He originally intended. That should put things into perspective the next time you take a deep breath in anticipation of something you’ve been waiting for to finally happen. No matter how long that wait may be, it is no were near as long as the wait God had to endure: He held His breath….for You! .
Jesus saith unto her, “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” (John 11:40); Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us; (Eph 3:20) ~ Jesus expressed many times during His walk on the earth the power of faith; to act on what you believe in. Many of us seem to be scared to “believe” although we have no problem asking…in other words we pray but we still worry and still try to walk by sight…trying to figure it out. We are not letting faith guide us, we are trying to force it our way. Rather than acting on what we believe, we are trying to believe in our actions! We are not trusting Him! See when we really figure this all out and do as Jesus said… and trust the belief of what He can do, He will go beyond what we could possibly ask for or even think… before we ask for it or think it! When you have the faith in Him to just intend to go to Him because you know what He can do… by the time you get to prayer in His presence it will be ALREADY DONE! As we deal with unknown illnesses and they run tests and tell us worst case scenarios as doctors do, If we just focus on knowing that God has the diagnosis and treatment already worked out, Before we even get to pray the tests come back negative! The faith in us of His finished (already done) work is what makes us whole, in renewed minds, joyous spirit and even a healed body! When we trust what we believe in Him, the power of Faith works in us to make things whole; that we may experience His glory in us! With power like this we can praise Him in advance because in Him it’s already done! While we are waiting on the breakthrough we can walk in the victory of a race that’s already won! Whatever that situation is that you’re holding onto and you’re praying for in His name now, start thanking God like He’s already delivered you… Yes, WHILE you wait… Remember, they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. Start believing you’re coming on out of it! Sing His praises! Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen (Eph 3:21)
Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble (Ps 119:165 ESV)~ God promises us a giant helping of peace when we do what His Word says. Following God’s precepts helps us make fewer mistakes, and we no longer have to worry about “stumbling” or getting hurt because of bad decisions. It’s like the guidelines we establish for our children such as watching for cars in the street, not playing with fire and always walk when you have sharp objects; there are things we know in our wisdom as parents that are beneficial to pass on to our children for their protection and care. When they live according to the wisdom in which we raise them up they don’t depart from this wisdom and they live better lives. Contrarily we see those that live a life of defiance and end up living in tumultuous situations and disgrace. Living according to God’s Word allows His peace to rule our hearts. As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him (Ps 18:30); The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes (Ps 19:8).
Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”. So, “grown folk”, we have to ask ourselves, are we teaching our children the maturities they need to have or are we just letting them be who they are… children… while hoping they’ll grow into it on their own one day? Are we being the adults we want our children to be or are we acting like children ourselves and just trying to be their “friends”? Experience builds character, but what kinds of experiences are we CREATING for them in our own actions and ways? Boys and Girls, it’s time that WE …GROW UP and act like MEN and WOMEN!!! Be the example!
This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord ‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness (Lam 3:21-23)~ God gave you another day; another chance; another blessing. That in itself should outweigh any other depressive feeling you might have, whether you are guilty of something or the victim of another’s actions. We all have in our lives some source of distress or temptation but every day that God gives us is another day to rise above it. In fact, as bad as things are or may seem, we owe gratitude to God that it’s not worse. Truth be told, as you complain and lament on the things in your life that are so terrible and you long for a better scenario, there is a countless band of others out there that would gladly trade places with you! But while there is life there is hope; and instead of complaining about things that are bad, we should encourage ourselves about the things that are good with the hope and expectation in Him that they will be better. No matter what happened to you.. it “happened”- you got THROUGH it. You didn’t succumb to it or perish in it! No matter what you did, God didn’t strike you down for it but each day you come back to this life, He has again shown you an incomparable act of grace and mercy. Tribulation comes in all forms and ‘messes’ with us in so many ways and it causes us to pause in our lives; waiting on ‘something’ from the Lord’s hand. If tribulation works patience, that patience will work experience, and that experience a hope that makes one not ashamed. We are sinful people, and what we complain of, is far less than our sins deserve. We should in our tribulations therefore seek and inquire of God, and not falsely complain of Him or His justice toward us (that He’s not even imparting by the way). We are apt, in times of calamity, to reflect on other people’s ways, and blame them; but our duty is to search and try our own ways, that we may turn from evil to God. Our hearts must go with our prayers. Due thoughts of the evil of sin, and of our own sinfulness, will convince us that it is of the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed. God’s compassions fail not; of this we have fresh chances every morning. Every morning you wake up, God has given you another portion that far surpasses anything this world could give you; far more than any achievement could earn you; in excess and abundance of any earthly gift you could receive. Portions on earth are perishing things, but God is a portion forever. For this my friend, rejoice today and every day because every… day…. God loves you over and over and over again; UNCONDITIONALLY! Even when we are faithless, He is faithFUL! When we are without love, He loves! Yes, God just loves us…PERIOD (no ifs, ands, buts or becauses)… and NOTHING can separate us from that, no matter what the worldly circumstance! The Lord is my portion; I desire to have Him for my portion and salvation, and in His word do I hope. Be blessed!
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another (Rom 12:3-5)~~ Unfortunately, Racism will not go away anytime soon– despite all the efforts from people to proclaim our society as post-racial. A sad truth is that the more people start to realize the power of their ugly, bigoted words and actions… The more they keep USING them; No matter what the extreme, from laughing at or posting a stereotypical joke on social media to committing a hate crime because we have that nagging urge to dislike someone that’s not like us. Racism is more prevalent today than it ever was and if not for the laws protecting the human rights of the targets of this ugly cancer of society, things would be much worse. The only reason the crimes aren’t any worse is because the fear of retaliation or punitive recourse holds force. People of today need to go above our horrible base instincts of ignorance and lay off the acts steeped in belittling a culture other than our own. There is NOT ONE justifiable reason for racism to exist!!! There is NO EXCUSE for the ugliness that happens: If “whoever” is good enough for God then they have to be good enough for the “people” of God! Jesus is not looking at the color of someone’s skin but the condition of their heart. Why would God bring the nations together in Heaven but keep them separate on Earth? Being “unequally yoked” isn’t about race, it was about religion. Jesus has two interracial marriages in his lineage. Are you better than Him? It doesn’t matter that your ancestors have been this way for generations…. we love to bring up what happened hundreds of years ago as our reason for not liking someone. Half of us don’t understand or even TRY to understand why, we just do it because it’s the way our families or our communities have been all of our lives…no wonder things are so backwards!!! When your family values are rooted in sin, it’s time to change your family values. Nobody’s born a bigot; it’s a learned behavior. This behavior always leads to us treating people how Jesus would never treat people. Hatred, Unforgiveness, Anger, Arrogance, Racism… not liking the person because their skin is a different color, their beliefs and heritages are different, their likes and dislikes don’t match ours…these things are always rooted in ignorance. We need to Stop defending the ignorance…. we really aren’t any better than the next person! Just END IT NOW!!!
Now when He had left speaking, He said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake (Luke 5:4-6)~~ What an inspiration to obey The Lord! How often do we know what the word of the Lord says, but we tend to go our own way because we see differently? If we would just do what the Lord says, we would reap in much greater benefit that we could possibly imagine! Here was the example of what even Jesus did. While the fiber of His being wanted something different, He set aside His own will for the will of God…”Nevertheless, not my will but THY will”. The result of Simon dropping the nets at Jesus’ will was more fish than the nets could hold! The result of Jesus submitting to God’s will was the eternal salvation of all of mankind who believed in Him! A lot of us feel like if we follow the Word, we give up desires of our heart but the truth is: When we follow the Word of God, HE FULFILLS the desires of our heart and blesses us beyond our own ask or thought! No matter what it looks like to me, it’s so important to believe in and just do what God says!!!
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men (1 Thes 5:15); Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men (Rom 12:17-18); Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing (1 Pet 3:8-9)~~ People are going to be … people. They will sometimes disrespect you, mistreat you and will use you to obtain their own gain or make their own way. They will take out angers and frustration on you that you may not even deserve, just because you are there and the opportunity exists. Sometimes it’s a malicious act, sometimes they don’t even realize what they’ve inflicted on you. This can come from anyone; co-workers, classmates, perfect strangers, even those we know and love. But we have to keep within ourselves that fruit of the Spirit- self control, that we don’t make it our purpose to seek revenge or return the negative behavior that is done toward us. Not that we should allow ourselves to be abused, but justice for an act is the reserved responsibility of the Lord, for He says ‘Vengeance is mine”. As hard as it becomes for our “persona” to walk away, we must remember that the wrath of man does not bring about the righteousness of God (James 1:20)..or as we also hear, two wrongs don’t make a right. The greater blessing comes upon you when you learn to “be not weary in well doing” and you respond in blessing and grace to your offenders. Your “ego” gets bruised when you worry about what others think about you but your “spirit” is blessed when you realize and respond based on what God says about you. Want to see Him work in this situation? Watch what happens when you respond in kind grace; and keep the peace! You can’t control what people do to you but you can control how you respond. Do unto others not as they do unto you, but as you would HAVE them do unto you! Remember, God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6). Trust in the ways of God and be blessed!
A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends (Prov 16:28)~~There are those that would rather go through more pains to do mischief than would be needful to do good. They keep up conversations and activities that defame and destroy the character of others, separate friendships, and lower the reputation of others by any means possible; and they take pleasure and pride in doing so. Sadly, this hateful characteristic is becoming more and more common… almost daily! Where does it stop? When do we stop talking negatively about others. Whatever happened to “If you cannot say something good, then don’t say anything”? We hate and cringe at the thought of committing rape or murder – but all this slander and gossip is are bad as both. They violate and kill a person’s reputation instead of their body, and it ruins their joy, peace, and friendships/relationships. It’s really sad these days how people love to cause division by spreading rumors, innuendos, secrets, or lies about others. What’s worse is that the world PAYS people for the most outrageous information and will make those willing to participate rich for putting it on display – just look at how many reality TV and gossip shows are on…there are entire networks dedicated to this type of stuff…and the more brashly the hosts of this information come across, the more outrageous their gossip, the more they are respected in their ‘profession’. When does it stop?? You would use any means to prevent a terrible crime… what if we were to so respond forcibly to verbal wickedness as well? What if we didn’t entertain but instead actively rebuked and purposely avoided gossip, backbiting, slander and negative talk when we came across it…taking the same efforts to shut down all of the “wretchedness”? What if we refused to subscribe to divisive and perverse insinuations…turned away from the reality shows; refused to tune into the media or share the posts that promote negativity and and embrace ignorance? Slanders would not be so readily spoken, if they were not readily heard. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men (Rom 12:18) and seek not to harm others by divisive words. This is the most peaceful and successful way to be. By choosing to be a peacemaker, you are a true child of God (Mat 5:9). The peacemakers are happy. They love, and desire, and delight in peace; and study to be quiet. They don’t delight in spreading more ignorance and broadcasting the best gossip. They seek to keep the peace that it be not broken, and recover it when it is broken. Imagine what we could do, what a difference we could make by building up lives with our words rather than tearing them down; if we looked to bring out the good rather than expose the bad; if we would take joy in the positive rather than be entertained by the negative. Purify your heart, and let it produce gracious words at all times; Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man (Col 4:6).