Hate has caused a lot of problems in this world; and has yet to solve one! #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 (Romans12:20). Hate has caused a lot of problems in this world; and has yet to solve one!

#ManUp & Own It, And You Can Turn & #MoveOn From It –

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For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin (Ps 38:18)~ Taking ownership of the truth of your guilt is the first step toward repentance. If you cannot be truthful because you’re trying to gloss over or diminish or hide facts of your guilt, you are not owning up to the truth of it. You can’t repent from a sin that you aren’t ‘man’ enough to truthfully admit you’ve committed. Confess it to GOD and HE is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us (1 John 1:9)~ Stand before GOD and declare your iniquity! No PERSON is in a moral position to condemn nor forgive you for your sin! Those are God’s exclusive privileges! And HE chose in Christ Jesus to forgive us! Now get ready – Owning up to your ‘self’ and being truly sorry will bring some pain to your heart.. you will even mourn over it! But Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted (Matt 5:4)~ That Godly sorrow brings true repentance, watchfulness, a humble mind and continual dependence on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus! Finally, the hardest part for many of us…turn away from it and move on from it!! Yes, you can do this because you are no longer bound by it! He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but he who confesses AND forsakes them shall have mercy (Prov 28:13) and There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom 8:1)~ We have to stop holding onto stuff that’s already been forgiven. Stop holding onto self-defeating grudges and stop standing on the shore fishing out what God has thrown into the sea of forgetfulness! God has forgiven it and you are FREE from it! Why keep going back to it? Don’t imprison yourself any more…Confess it, own it, and move on from it – Be blessed!

Sorry, Your Race Isn’t Supreme.. And Neither Is Mine! #StopRacism ~

Sadly we find ourselves back at these thoughts we’ve had SO many times – as the news of almost any given day seems to share in a deja-vu like fashion – Racism is still holding root in America!!!! It seems like every day now we are here again… frustrated again… sickened by the ugliness again…. totally (and maybe we shouldn’t be) surprised that this CANCER still has a hold on our society. So many of us wanted to believe that electing America’s first President of color signaled the end of a very bad era; even with the countless number of incidents where people of color continued to be victims to violence and hatred – we wanted to believe that things were actually getting better. Now as that President has come and done his tenure and is gone on to other things in life, we have seen fermenting and boiling up – and now boiling OVER of rebellion against every form of progression toward ending racist supremacism, bias and other forms of segregation that pit races against each other! That boiling over today is spilling into the streets of cities big and small, in our restaurants, stores, schools, places of business and even churches!!! Even more horrendous is that it’s going on with people claiming they want to “take their country back”! HOW CAN YOU TAKE BACK SOMETHING THAT WASN’T YOURS IN THE FIRST PLACE???? While the high politicians of this country seem to be gearing up for the next election they’re trying to win, securing their own position and power; risking battle with numerous other countries, America is a nation divided – our country is imploding from the inside – because this race wants to claim supremacy over that race and that race hates the other race and by the way, this race over here is divided against itself because half of it doesn’t want to see the other half succeed and they literally judge each other because of their level within the race!!!

But it’s still here… and despite all the efforts from people to proclaim our society as post-racial. We keep seeing examples Of racism and the more people speak against it the more supporters of racist views rear their heads …ugliness… in the national spotlight and right in our own neighborhoods… It shows you just how disrespectful people are today and how low a value is placed on human life just because the race is different!

A sad truth is that the more these people start to realize the impact of their ugly, bigoted words and actions… The more they just 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. We were so wrong to think it’s gotten better!!!! 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… for now!

People, we 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: These people call themselves Christians… “ people of God” – Well, 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. So let me ask you… people of God… who want to separate the races and culture and people.. Why would God bring the nations and races and souls together in Heaven but keep them separate on Earth? So you think mixed race societies are unequally yoked because your race is better than mine or his or hers??? Being “unequally yoked” isn’t about race, it’s about religion. Jesus has 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… and our excuse for staying that way is … HERITAGE!?!?!? 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!!! 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).

God’s Silence Isn’t Betrayal! He’s Working It Out! #Faith ~

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent (Ps 22:1-2)~ In times of “grief and tears” we all feel forgotten – even by God. The “fear” of being forgotten by Him brings with it frustrations: “I can’t figure out why this is happening to me – and why is it taking God so long to bring me out of it?”. We’re in a crazy place where nothing seems to be going right; everything’s falling apart, no one else understands or even cares. (Ps 22:12-18) – all of your strength is dried up and you’re ONE step away from losing your mind. And GOD is silent (?!?!??!???). When God seems silent; don’t let your faith get low because the enemy wants you to operate in fear. Fear is the darkroom where the devil will take you to develop your negatives! Look again at the frustrations that have started and where it takes you from there. You become cynical about how things go in your life, about how people are and how your life itself is. You become a negative person and you look for the negative in everything – and to your own detriment, you realize the truth in the phrase “Seek and ye shall find” because now everything around and about you is NEGATIVE. In the eyes of the enemy, you are “picture perfect”. But friend: BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. No matter how you feel; no matter how things look – you have to remember, God is right there. Resist the devil and he will flee from you! You have to fight those negatives with positives. Rather than complain, you have to praise the Lord for strengthening you through your trials. Say to the Lord “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee” (Ps 22:22). Wherever you find yourself, “life” will know God is there by your praise. You have to be at a point that your love for God is so strong it causes you to refuse to be afraid of the attacks of fear on your mind that the enemy throws in your life. All of this can be done JUST by your love for God! Because there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18). Don’t succumb to the fears and torment of the enemy….don’t allow yourself the suffering of negativity in your life! When God is silent, don’t assume He’s gone from you or that He’s betrayed you. Don’t let your heart fill with worry and your mind start conjuring thoughts of doubt and disbelief in the promises of His Word. Stand on what you know of Him, not what you think He might be doing. God is not ignoring you, He hasn’t forgotten you and He CERTAINLY will never leave or forsake you! The devil is a lie! God is always there, even in His silence. Be at peace… in Him!

The Best Is Yet To Come! #GodsPromise ~

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The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:9) ~

Have you ever heard the phrase, “leave it better than you found it?” Growing up my sister, my brothers and I took a fancy to all kinds of horseplay, dancing matches, and frequent chases around the house. As unflattering (although now humorous) as it is to share with the world, we left a major mess, including dings in the walls, broken items, and random stain spots around the house. My poor mother! We heard never ending stories of how hard it was for her as a single parent to work and provide for this house that we tore up and cared nothing about – yeah, we were pretty bad sometimes.

As we got a little older (and more mature, learning to appreciate what she was doing for us), my mother would go to work while we were at home during the summer, my sister, brothers and I concocted a brilliant plan to really clean the house and try to make it look brand new so that when she came home she wouldn’t see the mess we had made every day, but a house she would be happy to come home to. We cleaned everything we could touch. When the four of us got done, what once looked worn and old and messy now looked fresh and new, it was almost unrecognizable!

That’s what Jesus does with our lives. He takes a tattered, broken, marked person and makes them better than ever before. When Jesus gets to work on us we become unrecognizable to the people who knew us before. This is only because of God’s handiwork and grace!

God’s definition of restoration doesn’t just mean putting us back together, but it means to go above and beyond in making us better than before. We’re always in far better shape after Jesus has gone to work on us than before. It doesn’t mean we won’t suffer or feel the growing pains because we will. 1 Peter 5 shares that we will suffer a bit but that God will restore us. That’s not a “maybe” or “if He feels like it.” It’s a promise that God will restore His people to a better place. Remember, the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning (Job 42:12).

You might feel like your past has left you too broken, dirty or messy to be of any use. You might feel so used and ashamed that God could never use someone like you. You’re not the only one because I’ve felt that and often still do. But these are lies the enemy wants us to believe to keep us down so that we won’t fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. Rebuke these thoughts and remind yourself of the love of God and what a clean up job He does on us! You are His Masterpiece! Fearfully and wonderfully made!  He won’t leave you in that mess… in fact God will clean up your mess and you’ll be better than you were when you started out!!! God promises that! Be Blessed!!!

 

Fear Is Spreading Like Wildfire; Take a Dose of #Faith!

You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday (Ps 91:5-6); For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7).

Fear mongers, proponents of negativity, and preachers of doom and gloom would have us live in a very different world. There are those that want everyone to see only the bad in the world and scare people into a certain type of belief and mindset. They point out all of the dangers and problems and worries and would have us all afraid to even seek a peaceful life.

It’s all too easy to focus on the storms of life and worship at the altar of fear.  It’s easy to forget that storms come and go, but dreams can last forever… that peaceful life begins with our own actions and faith in rejoicing and praise!

See, Fear is a coward that flees in the face of positive action, and  it doesn’t take much action to make it happen. There’s no reason to ever allow fear to dominate your life because the smallest amount of positive action will send fear packing.

God gives each of us a certain measure of faith, just like He gives us everything else we have need of.  We must exercise our faith and put it into action if we are going to overcome fear in our life!! Power, Love and a Sound Renewed Mind are our weapons of Faith that Cast out fear!

Fear and the enemy are defeated – the enemy knows it and so must you!! His biggest goal is to get you believing in those fears that steal your faith, kill your joy and destroy your spirit! But we have been bought with a price, the price of being the Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! The Word of God says that we are healed, delivered and set free from the effects of fear! So in the face of fear, show some faith!!!

An ounce of action in Faith is more powerful that a megaton of fear.

 

We Are Imprisoned by Our #Freedom Because We Abuse Our #Grace –

All things are lawful; but not all things are expedient. All things are lawful; but not all things edify (1 Cor 10:23)~ just because it’s the thing that everybody is doing doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Just because there’s a law supporting it and it’s the ‘way the world is’ doesn’t mean it’s good for you or that you have to conform to it! Our ‘freedoms’ are often enjoyed beyond their intent because we see them as a limitless path to a desired activity. The constitution grants us freedom of speech – and we sure enjoy THAT freedom because there is NO FILTER these days on what people will say, post, tweet or blog! A law that allows for legalization of something doesn’t mean God is okay with it!  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it (Rom 6:1-2)? Our freedoms are not intended that we just go and do as we please; but they are set in place that there will be no laws or restrictions set in place that imprison us to the contrary or impose a specific movement or view. they liberate us from the oppression of unjust laws. When we go to these extremes ‘expressing our freedoms’ – we are in essence imprisoning ourselves. God’s grace gives us freedom from sin and life to the dead ‘in Him’, but when we continue in sin and lawlessness under the impression that God’s grace forgives us, we abuse what He has given us and we misconstrue its purpose – we allow ourselves then to be enslaved from that which we were already freed! So if you use grace to enslave or impoverish yourself by making dumb decisions, and indulging the flesh and doing and saying whatever “feels good”, then you are setting aside grace. You are not using it for its intended purpose. Grace and freedom liberate, but if you use this freedom to discard your freedom, then what was the point? You are no better off than when you started. Even with our freedoms, as children of God, we ARE the example of Christ! We are allowed broad freedoms to live as we choose, and God grants us the free will to make decisions for our lives. But we need to understand that everything we do is still accountable to the statute of God’s righteousness. Furthermore, all of our actions are an example to someone that is going a certain way. Each day, you are sending a message to the people around you and some of them are extremely impressionable. Is your message one you are proud to deliver? Do you have any behaviors that might have a negative influence on others? You are the only Bible some people will ever read, and your life is under scrutiny every day. Do they see an accurate picture of God in you? What example will you follow? What example will you set? Will they see you imprisoned by your freedoms or will they see you liberated in the truth and righteousness of God’s grace?
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (Gal 5:1)