God Specializes In Raising Up People

woman-wearing-red-hat-and-sunglasses-1729931

“Use me, oh, Lord, until you use me up!”

Isn’t it amazing how God raises up certain individuals to do his bidding?  I’m not just talking about imminent tasks, but events that will not happen for generations to come.

And what is more amazing is that when God sets his plans in motion, he rarely changes his mind.  In other words, in God’s sovereignty, we are to understand and believe that God can use anyone or anything to achieve his divine purpose.

I remember a time when I was much younger that I wrote a poem entitled “A World Of Make Believe”.  How unlike God I was when I wrote down my thoughts.  The poem went like this:

Oh, but to be free, oh, but to be unattached, what wondering I would do.  I would travel to far off places and visit cities anew.   I would live in a dream world and pretend to be a queen that ruled over all the lands, all the people and all the seas.

 Bah!  Tis nothing but fantasy with no depth neither reason nor cause; for truly I am satisfied just the way things are.  Nevertheless, something inside me is crying out aloud: “Seek love, adventure and excitement and you will thereby obtain power.”

“For then a swelling in your breast will come from joys you’ve never known, as you gaze out upon the world and turn its love to song.”  Yes, because life is not always a pleasure it causes many-a-woman to dream.  To manufacture make believe of which things she holds high in esteem.

Bah!  Tis nothing but fantasy with no depth neither reason nor cause;  for truly I am satisfied just the way things are. 

Well, obviously, I wasn’t satisfied just the way things were, and that line about ‘power’, strictly rubbish!  The only true thing in the poem to date is that I have traveled to far off places and visited cities anew.

My point is simply this:  When God decided to announce the future for his world, he was very specific as to who would deliver his people, Israel, out of bondage from Babylon.  God chose Cyrus.  God had already shown Isaiah (41:25) this man who would be from the northeast.  And Scripture says that God revealed this man’s name more than two centuries before he conquered Israel from Babylon and the Medes.

Cyrus was a pagan Gentile king who some say was a foreshadow or Jesus Christ.  God put into the mind of Cyrus, King of Persia, not only to deliver Israel from Babylonian captivity, but to also assist them in rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.

Oh, how I wish that my forethoughts could be so destine to impact the future.  How I wish I could hear more clearly from on high and be more of a true servant for our Lord and Savior.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  God has done marvelous things for me whereof I am mighty glad.  I just want to be used more and more by him.  My prayer is ‘order my steps in your word, King Jesus, order my steps in your word’.  For I am truly available to You.

Always remember, just as God used pagan kings to deliver his people from bondage, he can use you and me.  Amen!

Scripture Lesson: 

 I am the one he has stood by and loved for thirty years. A Prayer, Scriptures On Prayer, Prayer Times, Bible Prayers, Daily Prayer, Bible Verses For Encouragement, Power Of Prayer, Prayer Board, Bible Teachings

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God’s Response To My Question: “What’s Food Got To Do With It?”

What Would Jesus Eat?

(WWJE) What would Jesus eat?  Savor the flavors the Savior tasted!

Did you know that God has a sense of humor?  I found that out a long time ago and the Holy Spirit and I shared a lot of laughs.  But recently, I had been anxious about a lot of things and it made me kind of out of sorts with myself.  Let me share with you my predicament.

Within the past week, I had to endure an impending surgery.  The procedure had been scheduled to be performed after the 2019 year-end holidays and I was good with that.  I celebrated a milestone end of November 80th birthday party; entertained a host of out of town relatives; made lavished accommodations at a popular hotel; partied with a celebrity group of friends and loved ones; and received lots of gifts, cards and congratulations.

During the Christmas season, I received rave revues on a church Christmas play I directed and performed in, along with twelve other ladies from my Sunday School class.  I also gave and received a bundle of lovely Christmas gifts.  And finally, I brought in the New Year on my knees.  Life could not have been better…thank the Lord!

Now its January 2020, and since celebrations and holidays were over, I decided to dedicate some quality time to prepare myself for the scheduled surgery.  I had full confidence in the power of my Lord and Savior to pull me through the ordeal, so most of my meditation time was spent in communing  with God through A-C-T-S…adoration; confession; thanksgiving; and supplication.

I told very few people of my medical condition, but did assemble a group of 6 people (including my Assistant Pastor) to accompany me to the hospital for prayer on the morning of the surgery.

WITHOUT A HITCH, ALL WENT WELL WITH MY OPERATION IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THE NIGHT BEFORE, MY E-MAIL ACCOUNT WAS HACKED AND ALL OF MY SENT, STORED AND SAVED INFORMATION WAS PERMANENTLY DEPLETED BY THE CULPRITS.

That act alone, almost knocked me off my prayer mantra…”Be not dismayed what ere betide.  God will take care of you.”  Now here’s where the humor part comes in.

A few convalescing days after the surgery, I heard the Lord distinctly say, “My child, watch your diet.”  My response was quickened with a response of, “Oh, Lord, what’s food got to do with it?”  Later that evening I went out to a restaurant with a friend and had a delicious crab cake dinner.  Boy of boy, was it yummy!

THE NEXT DAY, I WAS SICKER THAN A DOG AND CONTEMPLATING RETURNING TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM OF THE HOSPITAL…IT WAS JUST THAT BAD!

No, I didn’t hear God say, I told you so.  He’s not that kind of God.  But I was led to research several books in the Bible that listed foods, because with some sicknesses, the body can heal itself when those foods are digested.

God was trying to tell me that everything I am eating is not good for my digestive system nor my health.  So, I am making an appointment with a dermatologist to have an allergy test.  I know that the Lord is looking out for my best interest and my only hope is that I am listening and will receive His instructions.  (All I can say is ‘make it plain, Lord, make it plain.)  The older I get, the thicker the wax gets in my ears.  And believe it or not, when I grabbed my herb book entitled Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss, it automatically opened to information on the herb Angelica.  It said, Tea made from this herb dropped into the eyes helps dimness of sight and into the ears helps deafness.” (P. 199)

     “God”, I said…”You’re funny!”  Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes on SoftBank 2014

Below are some Bible Scriptures I found that seemed as though God sent a message directly to me:

 Bible Verses about Food

Scripture Lesson:     Most Relevant Verses

Ecclesiastes 9:7

Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.

Psalm 107:9

For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.

Genesis 1:29-30                                                                                                                                        Verse Concepts

Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.

Genesis 18:6

So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it and make bread cakes.”

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GOD PROVIDES TEACHABLE MOMENTS TO HELP US

Blog - God provides teachable moments

Brown and White Eagle 

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:30-31

While serving the Lord, has there ever been a time that you needed to stop and rest; or to admonish someone for taking too long to grasp God’s principals; or you allowed your pride to do things that you knew were wrong?  I’m certain the answer to those questions are a “resounding yes”!  Nevertheless, I have another question for you.  Did you know that while in that state of rest, teaching, and self-promoting, you still have an obligation, per scripture, that you must be prepared to meet the needs of other people who may interrupt your schedules?  In fact, it is during those times of sabbatical and renewal that God uses as ‘teachable moments’ for his elect.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, SISTER TEACHER?

While re-reading a couple of biblical passages in the Old and New Testament, I saw something anew.  I saw in Numbers 20:1-11 where Moses struck the rock in order to bring forth water for the Israelites instead of speaking to the rock as he and his brother, Aaron, had been directed by God.  Moses missed an incredible teaching moment because of his short temper.  While Aaron watched silently, Moses did not give glory to God.  Sorrowfully, it was this incident that caused Moses and Aaron not to enter the Promise Land.  (Moses was frustrated with the people God had given him to lead, and Moses lashed out at them instead of showing compassion.)

A second example of God providing mankind a teachable moment is found in Mark 6:30-52.  Here we find the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish.  When the disciples complained to Jesus that there was no food to feed so many people, Jesus’ response was for the disciples to feed them.  The disciples actually felt like the crowd was intruding on their private time with Jesus.

The disciples had a smart-aleck response: “Should we go and buy 200 denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”  You see, the disciples were jealous because they wanted Jesus all to themselves in a quiet place.  They even asked Jesus to send the people away.  The disciples had not yet learned that even while in a state of rest, followers of Christ have an obligation to meet the needs of other people who may interrupt their schedule.

Jesus used His demonstration of walking on water to show his disciples that even while He was alone and resting on land, He looked out on the sea and saw that the boat that the disciples was in was being battered and tossed to and fro.  Jesus interrupted His rest, walked out on the sea, stepped into the boat and spoke peace to the waters.  Scripture says Jesus did this because the disciples had not understood about the loaves of bread because their hearts were hardened.

If Jesus’ Disciples needed a teachable moment…what about you?

Are you open to God’s correction?  Are you so proud that you believe that you do not make mistakes when it comes to serving God?  Do you allow pride to get in the way of serving God with a pure heart and an upright spirit?

While reading these passages, I was reminded that Saints of God must always remember to put others first.  Sometimes that is hard to do especially when we are tired and weary.  We feel that we deserve some quiet time.  Some time to refresh ourselves.  But be warned.  That may just be the time God wants to grow you and take you higher in His service.  Moses and Aaron failed the test.  Jesus’ disciples failed the test.  (But remember, in these times of teachable moments, no one’s salvation is forfeited.)

Pray and ask God to make you an instrument of His peace.  I’m guilty, too, and must examine myself.  We all fall short sometimes…but we all must get up, too.  Be blessed my child.

Although the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi is not Scripture, it is befitting for this blog.  Please read and apply the teaching therein.  Converse with God for a deeper understanding.

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GOD HAD A PLAN FOR AULD LANG SYNE

God Had A Plan For Old Lang Syne

Ringing In The New Year 2020 With Truth And Determination

Did you know that today, most families in the evangelical communities who have practiced the tradition of keeping and/or making New Year’s resolutions have done so since the early 1700s?  It all started with the ancient Babylonians more than 4,000 years ago, but not in the month of January, as practiced in today’s modern world.  For the Babylonians, the new year began in mid-March.  The timing for this nostalgia is believed to have been approximately 1,500 years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ.

During this festive time, the Babylonians would crown a new king or just reaffirm their loyalty to the reigning monarchy.  History records that they would also make promises to their gods to repay their debts and to return any objects they had borrowed.

Julius Caesar, the emperor of ancient Rome, also instituted a similar practice to honor the new year after he tinkered with the calendar and established January 1 as the beginning of the new year.  This happened about 50 years before the birth of Jesus Christ.  At that time, the new year’s celebration was based on the belief that since Janus, the two-faced god whose spirit inhabited the Roman constituents’ doorways and arches, looked backwards into the previous year and ahead into the future, they should offer sacrifices to that deity and make promises of their good intentions and conduct for the coming new year.

NOW YOU KNOW!

Fast forward to today’s early Christians.  Especially, in regards to John Wesley, the English clergyman who founded the Methodist religion in 1740.  He created a memorial called the Covenant Renewal Service, which was mostly held on New Year’s Eve or on New Year’s Day.  Now, this religious celebration has become very popular within the evangelical and Protestant churches.  Within the African-American churches it is better known as Watch Night.  The services are mostly spent offering up prayers, praises and hymns to the Most High King and just before mid-night, all in attendance fall down on their knees to bring in the new year while making prayers/resolutions of omission and co-mission for the coming year to the Heavenly God.

WHERE DO YOU FIT IN?

Did God actually have a plan for “old time since” or “times gone by”?  That’s what Auld Lang Syne literally means.

LET’S SEE WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TO SAY ABOUT ‘OLD TIME SINCE’ AND ‘TIMES GONE BY’

Philippians 3:12-14  The Apostle Paul’s ultimate aspirations are found not in this life but in heaven because Jesus Christ is there.  Paul writes:  “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 1 and 2  In these two chapters, the Apostle Paul sets forth principles that govern God’s judgment.  “You, (the Jewish Nation) therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”
Matthew 5:38-42   In the Beatitudes, Jesus taught this:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.   But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.  If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.  And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.  If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.  Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

I’m certain that you can find many more scriptures that instruct us as believers just how to conduct ourselves from day to day as well as from year to year.  But the question is…are we obedient and do we adhere to God’s holy word.  Did you make a New Year’s resolution for 2020?  Did you keep last year’s resolution?  Have you truly been born again?

Okay…those last 3 questions are really none of my business.  I apologize.  However, my last remarks are simply this:  Please do not make a New Year’s Resolution for 2020 if you have no intention on keeping it.  If you do make a resolution, immediately ask the Holy Spirit to help you keep it, in the Name of Jesus Christ.  God will not be mocked!  Have a private conversation with Him and perhaps pray this prayer…

Scripture Lesson:  “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.  Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat of their delicacies.”  Psalm 141:3-4

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!