Be #Humble or Be #Humbled – –

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Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean.’ But Naaman was furious and went away and said, ‘Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.’’(2 Kings 5:10-11)~~
 
God’s healing is not some magical incantation or illusionist trick and He doesn’t just go around changing us in a puff of smoke or catering to our whims because we call Him God! There must be an act of faith, often aside of our comfort zone and it may even put us in an out of character or undesirable condition. 
 
Looking for a quick cure, Naaman came to Elisha and was told to bathe in the Jordan, never a river known for its clear waters!  This command filled Naaman with rage, and he shared his desire that the prophet just speak an incantation, wave his hand over the leprosy, and provide instant healing. Not only did he demand his healing but he insisted it should be done with a specific pomp and circumstance. 
 
Instead here the rich man was told to enter into probably one of the dirtiest and most disgusting conditions he’d ever seen – a place he likely considered beneath him. Not only would he require faith but humility! Those who come to God must have faith in who He is and only when we are humbled in His presence, will God exalt us! Without faith we cannot please God but the smallest of such can move mountains. Without humility, we cannot see God for who He is because we are too busy seeing ourselves! 
 
How often do we want to tell God how to do His business?  The old saying, “beggars can’t be choosers” fits well here.  Naaman (like many of us) forgot that he was the beggar, at the mercy of God Almighty.  Until Naaman could humble himself to take a step in faith, he would not find healing. 
 
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble! 
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I’d rather be crazy and insane in #Faith than a fool who doesn’t #Believe that #GodIs –

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The fool has said in his heart “There is no God” (Ps 14:1); The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the Hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? (Ps 24:1-3)~~ In the beginning, God began the beginning. He did not begin WITH the beginning, He IS the beginning; He BEGAN the beginning; God existed before the beginning began and when the end is over, He will still be God! He is Alpha and Omega – He exists on both ends of eternity – everything starts with Him and nothing ends without Him; and everything in between, He did. He never had to consult with you or I in His creation or when He put the sun, moon and stars in the sky. He didn’t need our permission to determine where to put grass or water or mountains; yet they are all perfect! He didn’t need our advice on how to create our bodies and make us unique; yet we all function and contain more intelligence, greatness and un-duplicatable specialty than the greatest human mind could possibly imagine or understand. Yet in all these things we as His ‘creation’ have the audacity to question His authenticity as our creator! We look to things that man has ‘crafted’…from the creations of God (by the way)… and with our “God-given” talents we dishonor Him. We take a negative situation to use as ammunition to question the very presence of God and we seek answers to our curiosity as if looking to disprove His existence and we play around with intelligence and then credit ourselves with the creation of life itself. Our own efforts become our source and salvation. Ultimately, We as the ‘creation’ put more emphasis on serving the ‘created’ rather than the ‘creator’! We have elevated ourselves to be the gods of our own lives. Some of these ‘unbelievers’  even constantly ponder and challenge ‘us’ with the question: “Who is this God? What if you’re all wrong and after this life on Earth, that’s IT? What if all of this focus and attention on God is part of the longest running scam in history and that all of our focus and guiding our lives with this ‘faith’ and ‘integrity’ and ‘nature of goodness’ does nothing more than rob of us what could be while we have time? Why should I believe in Him?” Okay, so looking at that point, if God doesn’t exist; if living your life under guidelines and decent Godly principles means you’ve wasted your life because when it’s over, it’s over.. then the loss is yours. If that were the case, then your life is what you make it. But here is my question: what if the unbeliever is wrong? What if God’s promises “are” real, what if there “is” a beautiful eternity prepared for us but we decided not to believe? For the unbeliever, nothing changes…when life ends on Earth, it’s over and for eternity there will be nothing for them but separation from God…but for the believer, there is God and all He has promised…forever. Whether it’s true or not, we have not seen and could say we really don’t know, but my faith says yes and that’s what I believe! An unbeliever may think I’m “insane” but I’d rather risk being insane in faith and having my eternity than righteous as a self made god to myself that is counting down to my end. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve… as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

You STILL Mad? – How’s That Workin’ For You? – Time to #Forgive and #LetGoLetGod –

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Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. (Eph 4:26-27) Would you pick up a flaming hot coal in your hand to throw at someone else hoping to burn them? Better yet, would you drink poison with the expectation that someone else would get sick or die from it?? I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t. So WHY would you allow yourself to contain anger or a grudge against someone? Why do you choose to hang on to your wrath rather than letting it go so God can help you deal with and fix the problem? When you carry that anger because your pride and ego won’t let you put it down, you are essentially burning yourself, poisoning yourself and stressing yourself out. And guess what… that person you’re mad at…is moving on..just fine. Your grudge had ZERO impact on them. Tomorrow will have enough problems of its own (should you live to see it) without you bringing today’s bag of issues into it. It’s bad enough to go to bed angry… but why would we want to get up in that same old state? Think about this, to go to bed.. mad, the sleep you do get is not quality because you left your mind and heart to stress all that drama you had too much pride to let go of.. only to wake up…. still mad… keeps you from being truly and fully thankful to God for the day He has given you; cause you’re mad! I hear you saying “oh I’m thankful but I’m still mad!” I hear you saying “I’m not ready to forgive because I’m still mad…” or even worse, the great lie – Yes, YOUR great LIE: “I’ve forgiven but I’m still mad…” (True forgiveness lets go of anger).  You so mad you PROUD of YO mad! Really?? How’s that working for you? Who are you really hurting by staying mad??? Does your wrath and anger bring about God’s righteousness (the only TRUE righteousness)? Would God ever bless you and carry anger over you? What devil in hell told you its okay to stay in this angry phase? Well the devil IS a lie! He’s laughing at you because he’s tricked you into slowly stressing YOURSELF to death! Whatever it is… deal with it before the day ends! What if the chance to reconcile never comes (tomorrow)? You think being angry takes a toll on you, try not ever having the chance to forgive or apologize. Don’t let the devil have his day at your expense!  God keeps the one in perfect peace whose mind us stayed on HIM; so do whatever you have to do to drop that grudge, that anger, that attitude, into God’s hand!!! Refuse to be unhappy…trade that burden for His peace! And when you give it to Him, DON’T TRY TO TELL HIM HOW TO SOLVE IT… IT BELONGS TO HIM NOW!! When you make that first move, then your heart and spirit are relaxed where you can now rest on it! And do just that.. IN PEACE, sleep on it, You’ll sleep better and live to wake up feeling much better! And watch what GOD does when you are at peace, in Him!

I was MADE for This! YOU were MADE for This! #MoreThanConquerors

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Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us…
(Rom 8:37)~~
 
Ever been in the middle of something tough, prayed for rescue, and heard . . . nothing? Ever questioned God, in frustration, “Why won’t you answer?” – Do you suddenly feel God saying to you what he said to Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9)?
 
Could it be that God doesn’t always answer (like we’d like Him to) because, sometimes, He wants us to stay right where we are and learn, there, how to endure, how to persevere, how to fight? Could it be that God sometimes allows trouble and pain to train us, to build our maturity, to nurture in us the fruits of the Spirit and make us more reliable conduits of his love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? We often consider trouble and pain as unnecessary, to be avoided, hindrances to ease and happiness. Might it make more sense to consider trouble and pain as opposition, as a mountaineer views the pitch and the altitude, or as a linebacker views the block and the fake?
 
We aren’t meant to be people who avoid opposition, numb it or deny it. We aren’t meant to run from battles, to hide and to let others fight. We’re built for opposition. Truthfully, we’d probably wither without it. Think about how much stronger you are now than in times past… because of what you’ve been through! Yes, Trials come to make you strong! We must see it, though, for what it is: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). Our struggle is against being lured into selfishness, indifference, impatience, rage, resignation, or sin in the face of problems at work, or in our finances or relationships or families. These are epic struggles—battles worthy of any man. God made you for this!
 
God doesn’t always take opposition away, because He’s built you to conquer, not to cower. And He’s given you everything you’ll need. My friend, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! 
 
The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne—Revelation 3:21

Am I my #BrothersKeeper? Yes I am! It’s God’s #Purpose

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And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? (Gen 4:9)~~ What does it mean to be the keeper of my brother? Is it as simple as looking out for each other? The Lord commands us to be our brother’s keeper. This means, to me, that despite our own situations, despite our own feelings, despite how much we want to pour it all into ourselves, we are not the only ones here; we are not the only ones with something going on. It’s easy to look out from ourselves and see other things going on and say ‘Well, what about me? I’m dealing with this or with that!’ When we are in a position to do so, God wants us to take care of each other. Yes, we have to take care of ourselves – but WHEN WE ARE IN A POSITION TO DO SO, our love for one another has to run much deeper than it currently does. More often than not, we do a whole lot better for someone with intangible care than anything we can put in their hands. Helping someone is not always about giving money or something they can physically possess. It’s not always about taking them in or doing tasks for them. Sometimes it’s as simple as listening to a heart that hurts or offering encouragement and inspiration to someone that needs it. Sometimes it just means looking outside of yourself for a minute and just offering ‘care’ to another soul. If our brother stumbles, we must give him a hand. For to love one another, this is what God commands. One thing we must also remember is who we must love first. First being God, for it’s Him for whom we hunger and thirst; and it’s in Him that we live, move and have our being. Loving others seems simple, but it’s sometimes harder than it appears. To love one another we must step out from behind our fears. What do we have to fear is the question at hand? But, all we have to remember is that God first loved man in order that man would love one another. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another (Rom 12:10). A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:34-35). When we do this my friends, it all comes back – you have to learn to look aside of yourSELF. It can’t always be about you! These are things God has purposed us to do – being our brothers’ keepers! Watch out for each other; be good to each other; and as far as your own situation, God will watch out for you- He will be good to you! This is HIS purpose! And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God; for those who are called according to HIS purpose (Rom 8:28).

Hate – where is the good in it? #NoH8

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Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you
—Luke 6:27-28

Who are your enemies? Do you have any? Who hates you? Anyone? Most of us would probably answer, no. We might even conclude that these words, spoken so long ago, have become a little irrelevant in our present, everyday lives. And we might try to just move on to the next set of instructions. But, should we? Can we? The answer is, absolutely not. These particular instructions are as relevant to us, right now, as they are challenging—and as they are important. Our King, Jesus Christ, is simply calling on us to love even those who are hardest to love. And we all know people like that.

Who’s mistreated you? Who’s let you down? Who’s taken advantage of you? Maybe someone at work? A family member? A friend? A neighbor? Someone you barely know? “Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst” (Luke 6:27-30 MSG).

We must treat well those who’ve treated us badly (Luke 6:27-29). We must help those who will never help us back (Luke 6:31-34). We must be generous to those who are anything but (Luke 6:29-30). And we must be graceful and merciful to them all (Matthew 6:14-15). But, not only that, we must be merciful again and again and again (Matthew 18:21-22). You see, what Jesus is teaching us—what we must grasp and embrace—is that we don’t fight evil with yet more evil; we fight evil with good (Romans 12:20). Hate has caused a lot of problems in this world; and has yet to solve one!

The #Blessing of Abraham is on your #Family – –

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I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
—Genesis 12:3
 
These days, we have single–parent families, blended families, foster–care families, families who adopt, and even traditional, mother–father families. But think about this: none of us gets to choose which family we’re born into. The design of the family is God’s prerogative alone. He has reserved the right to conceive us and to give us to our families. Now, this may not always feel like good news; you may even question God’s family choice for you. Dysfunction, hurt, and confusion may be a major part of your family story. But be encouraged; you can trust God and have faith in His plan for your family. No matter what mother, father, or family you had or have, it has been God’s desire from the very beginning for all families to be blessed—that includes yours.
 
Each one of us has that story in our lives about the relative, the incident, the way of life that we’ve experienced all of our lives. If you don’t, just keep living! But the good news in all of this is that God delivers us as He delivers on His promise. In the Book of Genesis, God told Abraham, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Did you catch what God said? He said, “All families of the earth” will be blessed in Abraham! Abraham had plenty of dysfunction in his family. Remember Lot (Genesis 11—14, 19)? But Abraham’s family issues didn’t keep him from attaining the promise. That means there’s hope for us. As believers, God’s promise in Genesis means we can have faith that God wants our families to be blessed.
 
As hard as it may be, you can have faith in family because of faith in God. Trust and know God will bless you and your family because family is important to Him. In His promise He said He would bless those that blessed Abraham and curse those who cursed him! Imagine having that favor on your life!!! Well, you DO because the other part of the promise is that God said that in Abraham all the families of the earth would be blessed. That includes you and your family. Friend, the blessing of Abraham is on your life! It’s on your family! Live in this promise every day and watch God work in spite of the dysfunction, the hurt, and the confusion you may be experiencing. He will replace the pain with tremendous blessing. It’s His promise to you.
 
…that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith – Galatians 3:14