GOD IS THE RULER OVER THE UNIVERSE

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GOD IS LIKE A SATELLITE, RULING AND RECORDING THE ENTIRE WORLD

I borrowed the above title of this blog from a sentence in Bruce Wilkinson’s book entitled Beyond Jabez.   You remember Mr. Wilkinson.  He is the famous author of the parent book, The Prayer of Jabez.  The message in both books clears up the misconceptions of whether or not it is all right for a person to pray and ask God to specifically bless them by enlarging their territory.  I invite you to explore Mr. Wilkinson’s bible-based responses in both books and be ready for a rude awakening that will truly knock your socks off!!

As we dissect the words that God is the Ruler over the universe, what does that really mean?  First, we are not just talking about God being a Ruler over heads of state or governments.  God’s authority, rulership and supremacy is also over every day life situations such as finances, relationships, health and wellness, educational pursuits, spiritual growth, and situations that weigh heavily on your moral responsibilities to God and your fellow man.

All of these decisions gives us challenges and invokes fears that depend on the measure of faith one has in the Living God and the examples set forth in the life of his Son, Christ Jesus.

A real life rude awakening in Kingdom authority:

I can remember a time in my life, while on a mission trip in Costa Rica.  I was riding in a jitney cab with other missionaries, when we saw several young children running along the street waving at passing buses and cabs.  They were trying to draw attention to us foreign visitor passengers coming into their village.  They wanted to show us some love.

Suddenly, a large suitcase tumbled off the top of one of the buses in front of us and fell to the street.  Two older children ran hurriedly into the street, scooped up the suitcase and fled down a narrow alleyway and out of sight.  Those in my cab gasped but said nothing, and our local cab driver did not stop.  Everyone acted as though nothing had happened.  (Hold on to this thought…there is more.)

Later that day, after settling into our rooms, I decided to wash and dry a load of clothes,  along with my newly soiled tennis shoes, in the laundry mat located in the hotel lobby.  After supper, I went to the laundry room to retrieve my clothing.  To my surprise, when I opened the dryer, there was nothing inside but a handful of tiny rubber balls.  No newly dried clothes, no newly washed white tennis shoes.  Just a handful of tiny rubber balls.  Basically, just crumbs of melted rubber.

My knees became weak, I placed my hand over my mouth to keep from crying out, I looked around the room at the attendant and other customers.  I didn’t know what to do or who to accuse of my loss, when all of a sudden, I heard a still small voice say; My child, sit down…relax…listen to me.  I obeyed and sat down.  I buried my face in my hands and I said softly; Speak, Lord, thy servant is listening.

My beloved, Greater is He that is within you then he that is in the world.  And as you know, I oppose the proud but give grace to the humble.  Your assumption that someone robbed you of your possessions and your earlier ill thoughts of young children as thieves are misplaced.  Honestly, your actions and those of your mission team were the cause of it all.

Oh, my Lord, speak on.  How have I offended You?

Why have you come to this desolate place where there is so much poverty and physical need, with all of these fancy new clothes and a prideful attitude of your status with Me, when you know that I require obedience rather than sacrifice?  At dinner time, when you were asked by your host church what church did you belonged to in the states, instead of just naming your church, you pridefully reach into your purse and displayed a picture of a brand new multimillion dollar building, which caused your host to sadly exclaim, ‘My God, what a waste!’

You still do not understand why he said that.  So let me explain.  Your host was thinking just how many mouths all that money could have fed and/or provided medical supplies and housing with indoor plumbing for his people.  Also those children were desperate to sell  on the black market those clothes in the suitcase, to help support their families.  And by the way, you put too much money in the dryer and I alone burned up your brand new tennis shoes and gave your clothes away to someone in need. 

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; but the glory of kings (queens) is to search out a matter.”  Proverbs 25:2

Oh, my God, say no more.   This conversation is too revealing for me.  I now see the error of my ways and understand Proverbs 25:2 more clearly.  For you have blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

I understand now that You, my Lord, have crowned all missionaries as your chosen students being taught to become kings and queens in your vineyard.  We are being trained to be loving and compassionate to all Your subjects without prejudice.  Therefore, I sorely repent of my insensitive actions and for my teams haughtiness.  I humbly pray for Your forgiveness and thank You for ordering my steps in the way your servants should act when on the battle field.  For not only are you the Ruler over established monarchs, but also over the common and lowly hearts of your people.

GOD IS ABLE TO PROVIDE DELIVERANCE!

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He’s got the whole world in His hand!

Did you know that both sinner and saint, believer and non-believer, male and female, and false prophets and men who prophesied truth have all confessed at one time or another that “God is able to provide deliverance”? And also, did you realize that when they do acknowledge that God is able to overcome any and all adversities, these witnesses give us an unforgettable lesson in faithfulness and God’s goodness and mercies.

Allow me to pose another question to you:

Has there ever been a time in your life when an enemy/foe has overpowered you and rendered all your efforts of survival helpless and you found that your only weapon against your foe was to face destruction with your convictions and faith in tack?  Always remember that no weapon formed against you shall prosper… (excerpt from Isaiah 54:17)

I, personally, am grateful for recorded events and heroic stories retold by sages, eyewitnesses, or old wives tales, for without a doubt, they have been the cornerstone, seed and foundation of the church.

As I write this week’s blog, I am reminded of a specific event that is happening in our Nation today.  With the spread and devastation of the Corona virus, whether you agree with the methods put forth to curtail it or not, most everyone agrees that our Nation’s fate is in God’s hands and he and he alone is able to provide the relief and instructions to deliver and bring us out.

The most revealing Bible story that bares me out is found in the Old Testament Book of Daniel, Chapter 3; the story of three young Hebrew boys whose Babylonian names were Sharach, Meshach and Abed-nego.  They refused to bow down in a worshiping posture to the Babylonian king’s golden statue.  In spite of the fact that if they did not obey the king, they faced certain death, they put their trust in God and chose to disobey the king’s orders.

This defiance infuriated the king and he commanded that the young men be put to death by fire.  So the king ordered the furnace to be preheated seven times hotter than its usual temperature.  But in spite of that, the faithful boys were not afraid to face death because they knew that God was able to provide a method of survival.  And if not, they would never the less, bow down.  Subsequently, they were joined in the furnace by a fourth ‘Mystery Person’ who fanned the flames and reduced its temperature.  When the king saw this miracle, and perceived that the fourth Person was an Angel, he immediately commanded that the boys exit the furnace alive, and was amazed to see that they were unscaled by the smell of burnt clothing and hair.  Consequently, the three Hebrew boys  found favor with the king for their tenacity and strong commitment.

The moral of the story:

Some people believe that no situation has yet arrived in our Nation that calls for believers to personally demonstrate the scripture recorded in John 15:13:  “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  Not even the nearly 144,000 Covid-19 deaths so far recorded in the USA, seems severe enough for someone to cry out in prayer, ‘Here am I, Lord, take me instead.’

Well, that prayer might seem a little extreme, but we can all certainly pray the prayer of Jabez, found in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10:  Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.’  

If the prayer of Jabez was our prayer, too, and the Lord granted it, we could oblige Him by extending our efforts to search out the needy, give comfort to the downhearted and encouragement to the down trodden.  I’m sure with God’s help and provisions, we all could make a difference during Covid-19.

Please allow these pictures to help me tell my story:

man-pushing-a-woman-sitting-on-wheelchair-3101214                                   RAE

     Sharing time with family.                                                   People volunteering. 

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     Protect yourself & others.                                                     Wash hands often.   

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           Why do these things?  To please our Provider!  And become an overcomer!

Scripture Lesson:   Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God.” Daniel 3:28

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

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GOD SPECIFIES IN INTRODUCING HIMSELF TO THE MASSES (Part 2)

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Is the man carrying the Cross a mystery to you?  Do you know him, really?

Yes, it has taken me 2 weeks to complete introducing you to the 12 Hebrew Names of God (*).  So, as promised, here is Part 2.  With the aid of the Holy Spirit, I will continue identifying the remaining 6 Jehovah Names of our Creator that are referenced in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.

As we acquire a deeper understanding of the Jehovah names for God, it is my sincere hope that you will be able to compare their characteristic performances to the life of God’s only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  For, as it is written in Colossians 1:15-16:

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.” (New Living Translation)

So, with that being said, let us continue in our pursuit to acquaint ourselves with the Jehovah Names of God, in order that we might find completeness in knowing that God’s Son demonstrated in His earthly personage and His works, the splendor and glory of our Great Creator.

(May I suggest that before embarking on what is to follow below, that you take the time to review last week’s blog as a refresher course to broaden your understanding of God as Jehovah El-Shaddai.  Send up a quick short prayer and thank El-Shaddai for keeping you and your family and loved ones safe during this past week from the coronavirus that is wreaking havoc across this entire world.) 

7.     Jehovah-Nissi – (My Banner)  In ancient times, a “banner” did not necessarily represent a cloth flag as it does in today’s world.  But rather, a banner was a bare wooden pole with a shining ornament attached. This banner (pole) was used as a walking stick by Israelite men and represented God’s ability to deliver one from danger.  “Moses reflected this sentiment after a victory over one of Israel’s enemies:  “Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.”  (Ex. 17:15)  So, whenever one of your enemies lift up their hands against a child of the King, (especially during a spiritual warfare) silently lift up your banner to Jehovah-Nissi, pray this Name and claim victory over your adversary.
8.     Jehovah-M’Kaddesh – This Name means the God who sanctifies, or the God who provides instructions to help you grow in him.  Since the people of God are called a royal priesthood, they are to take on the attributes and conduct of a priestly nation. We have been called out…set apart…hallowed…and made holy.  Just like God is set apart (Our Father which art in heaven, hollow be thy name…), you, too, are set apart in order to commune with Him.  Therefore, when you pray, ask the Holy Spirit (God’s teacher) to envelop your prayer requests, set yourself apart, select an appointed time, collect your sacred materials and get serious.  Pray God’s word back to him.  Ask Jehovah-M’Kaddesh to instruct, lead and guide you all the way.
9.     Jehovah-Shalom -The Lord is Peace.  If ever you needed to pray to God with this Name it is now during Covid-19.  Without a doubt, we are in a war with our governments (national and local) disputing each other as to how to approach this pandemic; how to relieve our first responders and medical staff; insensitive individuals not wearing their masks; thieves stealing life-saving medical supplies from warehouses and clinics, etc., etc., etc. In Judges 6:24 we read where the Lord of Peace used Gideon to rescue the Israelites from their overpowering enemies of war.  Gideon was victorious even though the Israelites’ sinful deeds brought this calamity upon themselves.  After Gideon’s victory, scripture says this is what he did.  “So, Gideon built an alter to the Lord there and called it The Lord is Peace.”  You should do likewise.  Sometimes children of God misstep and cause pain, destruction and suffering on themselves and others.  As we pray and repent, we can call upon the One who is peace…Jehovah-Shalom.  He alone can forgive us and bring peace and stability to every situation.
10.     Jehovah-tsidkenu – (The “t” is silent.)  The meaning is Jehovah our righteousness.  Scripture reveals in Isaiah 64:6 that all humanity has a sinful nature and our righteous acts are like filthy rags.  Therefore, in order to approach God’s throne of grace we must come to the Father by faith and in the Name of Jesus Christ.  For no man comes to the Father except by me. (John 6:44)  Because of this righteous Man, always end your prayers by saying, “In the Name of Jesus I pray, Amen.”  This is your confession that you believe in your heart in the Trinity.
11.     Jehovah-rohi – Perhaps you did not know that you can began reciting the 23rd Psalms in this manner.  Actually, rohi means Shepherd.  “The Lord is my Jehovah-rohi and I shall not want.”  May I suggest that you grab your Bible and turn to this scripture passage and begin using this Name right now.  Try it, you’ll love it!
12.     Jehovah-shammah – The meaning of this name is Jehovah is there.  Allow me to define ‘Jehovah’ for you.  God’s first name reveals Him as a God in special relationship with man; absolutely self-existence; and One who is infinite and eternal.  God is everywhere.  God’s moral and spiritual attributes are also revealed in His Creation.  After Joshua led his people into the Promise Land and allotted up the land to the 12 tribes of Israel, Ezekiel, the prophet, later wrote concerning the territory; “And the distance all around will be 18,000 cubits.  And the name of the city from that time on will be ‘The Lord is there.’ “  While traveling around the world on my many mission trips I could use this name in so many villages I visited…Surely, Jehovah-shammah was there.

(*) NOTE:  For an in-depth study of the Names of God I used a paperback book by the same title written by Nathan Stone.

I would like to share with you a personal experience I had with Jehovah-M’Kaddesh. The God who provides instructions to help you grow in him.

I am not a public-school teacher by trade but I have performed many years as a bible teacher. However, when I first became a volunteer missionary, we all had to wear many hats when out in the field.  One year while performing mission duties in the Bahamas, I was assigned to teach a small group of young children:  some could read, and some could not.  I instantly realized that the kids were not well disciplined and by reading a bible story to them, I would have a hard time holding their attention.   For it was my intent to read, explain and acquire feedback from the students.  And as you know, a missionary’s job is to plant seeds of Wisdom about our Lord and Savior, no matter if the pilgrim is young or old or even speaks your language.

So, while the children were giggling and playing tag with each other, I began looking around the room for some supplies to work with.  To my surprise, there were none to be found:  no desks, black boards, chaulk, writing paper, hand puppets, toys…nothing!  I began to panic.  The children were getting out of control.  Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I spied a stack of small brown sandwich bags over in a corner.  The children were to use these bags to carry home any small gifts the missionary team had brought to hand out to them at the end of our trip.

In my spirit, the Holy Spirit whispered…So you want to become a missionary, do you?  And your intent is to travel to far off places and visit cities anew.  I don’t remember hearing you praying and asking God to equip you with instructions on how to meet obstacles while on your journey that might prevent you from effectively sharing the gospel.  Now go get those lunch bags and I will show you what to do.

The second thing the Holy Spirit had me do was to ask the children to get out of their seats and onto their knees and to use their chair as a desk.

Immediately, I realized that the bags had four sides and a boxed bottom.  The Holy Spirit whispered for me to give a bag to each child and one crayon.  I was to tell the story of Mary and Joseph traveling on a donkey, arriving at a stable, surrounded by animals, and a baby being born and placed in a manger.  (I now had four scenes that the children could draw with stick figures and circles.) They loved it and were very excited about their finished project because the Spirit told me to have the children open their bags and put their small hand up into the sack and retell the story by turning the bag around and displaying their art work on all 4 sides.  At the top of the bag I had them print the title of the story:  “Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus”.

I had truly experienced Jehovah-M’Kaddesh.  And in the process, I learned never to doubt the Lord’s intervention capabilities again.  His instructions to me to forget about myself and to look to Him for guidance is a lesson I will never forget.

Scripture Lesson:

Bible Verse about Faith - Proverbs 3:5-6

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GOD SPECIFIES IN INTRODUCING HIMSELF TO THE MASSES (Part 1)

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Is the man carrying the Cross a mystery to you?  Do you know him, really?

Whether you realize it or not, Our God desires for us to get to know him most specifically by his many Hebrew Names(*) in scripture.  So, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, I decided to choose that subject…the Names of God…for this week’s blog.

After all, just last week my blog was about reassuring you that God certainly knows our names, therefore it is only befitting that we also know his Name(s) since it is a name above every name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  It is also a name where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

Ironically, in order to wholeheartedly commune with God, and to praise God, and to give him glory and thanksgiving for the gift of salvation, it is imperative that we know something about him and his wonderous works.  We find these instructive words in the New Testament and the Old Testament:

Now this is eternal life; that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3 TNIV

My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children. Hosea 4:6 NLT

You will notice that the second Bible quotation above is from the Old Testament and refers to us as ‘priests’.  In the New Testament, all those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ are called a royal priesthood.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  1 Peter 2:9 TNIV

Now that we have established that God truly desires that you get to know him intimately, let us proceed with identifying six out of 12 Hebrew Names ascribed to God.  (The remaining six names will be discussed in next week’s blog…God willing.)

1.     Elohim – Whenever you want to express the general idea of God’s greatness and his glory that is manifested in the world.  Your demeanor in prayer should be a serious one.
2.     Jehovah – Whenever you want to express that God possesses essential life and can sustain a permanent existence (eternity).   God is specifically concerned with his creation and the preservation of the entire world.  So please remember to refer to him with this name as you pray for all nations during the Covid-19 pandemic.
3.     El-Shaddai – Whenever you want to express gratitude for God’s provisions, nourishment and supplies.  Especially as he keeps you during this Covid-19 crises may I suggest that you add ‘Almighty’ in front of El-Shaddai when you pray.  Because that is Who he is.
4.     Adonai – Usually, in most cases, this name is used interchangeably with the title Lord.  It denotes ownership of something or someone.  In prayer, to acknowledge God as Adonai means you understand that your body, soul and mind (your total being) belong to God.  He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings over all nations all by himself.
5.     Jehovah-jireh –  This is considered as a mighty name reference to God.  You may consider using it when you are praying for a miracle to happen.  You are literally praying to asking God to use his miracle-working powers to manifest (show/reveal) his provision to you.  In other words, you are asking God to make sure you recognize that the answer to your prayer is being provided by him and not some doctor, lawyer or Indian chief.  You are begging to SEE God’s glory and to profusely give thanks to him alone.  Abraham and his offering of his son Isaac are your examples.
6.     Jehovah-rophe (pronounced rah-pha) – Whenever there is a need for healing of the body by a physician, you can refer to God as Jehovah-rophe.   But, when we consider that many of the body’s aches and pains are cause by spiritual and mental stresses, we can also reach out to God by this name for spiritual restoration as well.

(*) NOTE:  For an in-depth study of the Names of God I used a paperback book by the same title written by Nathan Stone.

On a personal note, I have experienced God in all of these name-situations above, especially when on international mission trips.  Please allow me to recall just two:

  1.                 While in Hanoi, Vietnam (a pagan nation) our mission team was only allowed by their government to distribute gifts, medicines and teach English as a second language.  But I witnessed a young girl in my class turn her paper over once she had finished her lesson and begin drawing a ‘man’ on the cross. (I had not mentioned anything about our Christian heritage and the profound surprise on my face when I saw it caused the Vietnam guard assigned to my class room to rush over to see what so surprised me.  His glaring stare on me caused me to tremble because I just knew he was blaming me and was deciding whether or not to dismiss the class and to report me.   At that moment all of the other children in the class left their seats and came over to see what all the excitement was about.  Everyone of them returned to their seats and begin to draw the same thing…Jesus on the Cross!  Oh, the power of Elohim…the greatness of his might!  Needless to say, that guard knew that his arms were too short to box with God. 
  2.                While in  Nicaragua, Central America I remember sitting at a large pot of hot rice my mission team had prepared for a community high in the mountains.  We instructed the children to line up first to receive the food and the adults to follow.  My team leader ordered me to serve everyone first, so I took a seat on the short stool.  I noticed that no one in line had a bowl to receive the hot rice in.  When the first child approach me with a great big smile, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small plastic bag similar to those in our grocery stores.  My eyes expanded to the size of half dollar coins.  My fear was that once I poured the hot rice into that plastic bag, the tremendous heat would cause the bag to burst.  (I surmised that no one had any bowls and I was right.)  So I sent up a quick prayer to my Jehovah-jireh.  Into the plastic bag went the hot rice.  And you guessed it…the plastic bag miraculously ‘solidified’ and held everyones’ portion of rice.  Hallelujah!

Scripture Lesson:

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20

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God Knows Your Name

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From the beginning, God knew your name!

Dear Readers.  Did you know that from the beginning of your existence, God had a calling on your life.  I know this because I had a conversation with him during my adult transformation from worldly desires to seeking wisdom and understanding through reading God’s word.  Let me share with you how this came about.

God’s call on my life.

As I became more and more familiar with the bible and Jesus’ teachings, I began to realize a change in my demeanor and life style.  For some reason I didn’t crave the entertainment and people I used to.  I stopped dressing as provocative as I used to.  My attitude and demeanor was more comforting and not as confrontational.  I began to feel and act more obliging towards others.  I found solace in reading my Sunday School lessons and searching commentaries for deeper explanations of Scripture.  Needless to say, something got a hold of me.  And that Something was Jesus!

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               Speak, Lord, Thy servant is listening.

He, at first, received a busy signal from me.

Although, God called me at a ripe-mature age, like most of you, at first, I turned a deaf ear to his voice.  I allowed the voices of Mr. and Mrs. Excuse, Aunt and Uncle Procrastination and my favorite cousin Self-willed Willie to have control over my life.  They took turns distorting my hearing, understanding, mind, heart, time, talents and my treasures.  But thanks be to God, one day I said, ‘Enough, already!’  I surrendered under the Cross.

My humble advice to you is simply this; no matter what your age, begin seeking the love of Jesus today.  Start recognizing the extraordinary methods of operation He is performing in your lives.  When I came to myself, I repented and prayerfully asked the Lord to forgive me for procrastinating in performing His bidding.  I have also thanked Him profusely for silencing every negative voice that previously had dominion over me.

He changed my name!

One day, I finally got up enough nerve to prayerfully ask God a question since I felt strongly that I was on his team.  I said, Lord, in the scriptures I notice that those whom You call and send out on Your behalf, You change their names.  Have You given me a new name?  Jesus answered me in my spirit…My child, have you not read Isaiah 62:12a?  Your name to Me has always been ‘Sought Out’.  I have been seeking you out since your birth, but you have been running from Me.

What a revelation!  What a blessed nomenclature!  What a divine calling from my Lord and Savior!

He is no respecter of person!

I challenge you out there…those who are sincerely seeking the Lord to confess that perhaps the reason why you have not totally committed yourself to His service is because He is calling you by another name that you do not recognize.  Pray and ask God to open your eyes and to remove the worldly scales that have formed over them and to make it plain.  For the scriptures say to ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be open unto you.  Begin to claim all that God has in store for you right now.  For Jesus alone can make your paths straight.

What He has done for others, He will do for you!

Always remember that God is calling you twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week.  It is your choice to mentally leave your domain, your comfort zone, your place of many voices and answer his call.  He is The One with the still small voice.  He is The Comforter.  When you are ready to obey and yield, just say, “Speak, Lord, thy servant is listening.”  Amen

Scripture Lesson: 
Jeremiah 29:11

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GOD SPEAKS THROUGH COVID-19 OF MISDEEDS PERFORMED IN THE PAST

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God Knows How To Break Every Chain

Nobody likes to relive actions that happened in the past, especially if future events have proven their misdeeds unethical, inhumane, illegal, prejudicial or callus.  I’m talking about the injustices of human slavery, human annihilation of the Jews and other minority groups world-wide and also the American Indians being confined by USA congressional edicts to life on reservations.

Without chronically rehearsing the historical histories of these atrocities, documented evidence has proven that these events were an abomination in the civilized world.  The truths that bind these events together are the facts that they all endured some sort of oppression on their fellowman.

Is not that same conclusion descriptive of the pandemic that has plagued nations world-wide since November 2019 to June 2020!  That is; a variety of socially oppressive activities against certain classes of people in our society, causing sufferings due to prejudices and perceived differences of political objectives.

The majority of persons who have contracted the virus or died from the virus were the elderly, the homeless, the disenfranchised or those considered to be minorities.  Lest we forget, these classes of society were also the victims of lawlessness and injustices in days gone by.  Notwithstanding, the enemies back then, may have been wars, renegades, pestilences, famines, or the judgement hand of God.

Is there a moral lesson God intends for us to learn through this pandemic called Covid-19?  I say, YES!  But this lesson does not come from a conversation I had with God.  But rather, I believe it is from a conversation God had with Dr. Sam Osherson, Ph.D.  I discovered this ‘conversation’ written by Dr. Osherson and published in a magazine article in Psychology Today, on April 26, 2020.  (I have received his permission to include the website below for you to access to read the article.)  Through out the message, Dr. Osherson ask himself the question of how to break the chains of complacency and indifferences in his life.   At the conclusion of his article you will read the following quotation:  How do I make room psychologically for the emptiness in my life that COVID-19 has created? How do I fill that emptiness?” 

I admit that Dr. Osherson’s article is a long read, but well worth perfusing his timely insights.  His soul-searching reflections truly blessed my soul and I feel confident they will shine a brighter spotlight on your understanding of Covid-19, and lift you to a new higher moral and spiritual awakening without subjecting you to a long and misguided religious sermon, inundated with misinterpretations of the biblical End Times.  Just click the web sight below to receive untold blessings!

Dr. Osherson writes in his article entitled:

“4 Life Lessons From COVID-19”
The pandemic has a lot to teach us about being human.

Scripture Lesson:  A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.  God setteth the solitary in families; he bringeth out those which are bound with chains; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.  Psalms 68:5-6 KLV

Tymberli Joye Performs “Break Every Chain” 3:27NOW PLAYING
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GOD PERSONIFIES HIS NAME: “I AM WHO I AM”

Why Does God Call Himself

  I have been meditating on the name God gave himself in Exodus 3:14:   “I Am Who I Am”

So, now you are curious as to what my search revealed!  My answer to you would be that God is extremely complex, all-encompassing and definitely self-sufficient.   And his own self-descriptive name proves it!

In prayer, I spoke this to my Teacher (the Holy Spirit) and He informed me to examine the word ‘personify’ for a more meaningful understanding.  Following is Google’s definition (revised for clarity by me ):

PERSONIFY (verb) – Represents in human form a quality or concept, that is: to ascribe virtues and vices to inanimate objects and also to grammar-specific various parts of speech.  To humanize or personalize a quality or concept in a physical form.  Synonyms include; To epitomize, embody, typify, exemplify, represent, symbolize.
31 Spiritual Warfare Scriptures: Help for Facing Life's Battles

Oh, Master Teacher, Make It Plain.  Please Lord, Make It Plain!

This ‘conversation with God’ came about one evening this week and literally leaped off the pages of my bible.   I was studying for my early morning prayer-line call with other saints, which begins at 5:30 a.m. on week days.  We read four chapters from various sections of the Bible and individuals wrap a prayer around a scripture that jumps out at them.  When the following scripture was read, a light bulb went off in my head:

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”  Proverbs 18:10 (TNIV)

Wait a minute!  That’s it!  My blood was rushing to my head.  That’s God’s name in this incident!  Fortified Tower!

Yes, you are right, the Holy Spirit whispered.  What ever situation you find yourself in and you get relief, that’s God making a way for you.  God IS your Fortified Tower!!!  But even if your help is delayed or never comes, Christians should have the faith that it could come (and/or) will come when God says so.  In that situation, in prayer, you could address God as your ‘Way Maker’, ‘Miracle Worker’, ‘Promise Keeper’, ‘Problem Solver’, ‘Light in the Darkness’.  (My God, that is Who you are!)

Allow me to give you another example that will draw you closer to connecting with our Savior.  In the above example we used an object (a fortified tower), know let’s use parts of speech.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”  Revelation 22:13 NKJV

God personifies each of those grammar words.  Yes, he puts human attributes to them.  And in the New King James Version they are capitalized as nomenclatures (Names).

**********************************************************************************

My experiences this week with the Heavenly Host, led by Christ Jesus (my Brother), has been awesome, all-inspiring, all-awakening, the epitome of ecstasy.  Therefore, I am led to proclaim:

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.  Psalm 133:1-4 KJV

Hopefully, you too,  have been blessed by this interpretation of God’s Name: I Am Who I Am.  God becomes whatever or whomever you need him to be.  This divine conversation with God has certainly elevated me a little higher in my understanding on how to pray more specifically to a living, caring and loving God, by my evoking His name-titles to my circumstances.  So why don’t you address God by praying in the personified Name(s) of God.  This allows God to see you as a child who is studying to show himself/herself approved, rightly dividing the Word.

Scripture Lesson:  “Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds ; rejoice before him—his name is the LORD.”  Psalm 68:4 NIV

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

 

 

 

GOD EXTENDS TO ALL A PERPETURAL INVITATION

Blog-God Extends and Invitation

 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

…and the invitation reads thusly;  To Whom It May Concern:

To the non-believers, to the half-stepping believers, the doubters, the infidels, the enemies of the faith, the blasphemers, the lost, the deceivers, those who worship idols, the liars, the devil worshippers…all who ask the question of the Saints, “Where was/is your God whenever a deadly disaster happens?”.   Through a weighty conversation with God, he allowed the Holy Spirit to give me the answer.

Thus said the Lord:  My child, I was on an errand.  I had to go to my Holy Locksmith.  It is extremely important that I pay a visit to Him from time to time.  I go there to order two kinds of keys for those who have met and fulfilled their ‘Today’.

For, do you not know, My beloved, that all those who are deceased and have met their ‘Today’ are in need of a key to unlock the gate in order to enter either my Eternal Rest or the Eternal abyss.

“Today, if you will hear his voice                                                                                                                do not harden your hearts,                                                                                                             as you did in the rebellion,                                                                                                       during the time of testing in the wilderness,                                                                           where your ancestors tested and tried me,                                                                        though for forty years they saw what I did.                                                                            That is why I was angry with that generation;                                                                                 I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,                                                                           and they have not known my ways.’                                                                                             So, I declared on oath in my anger,                                                                                          ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”  Hebrews 3:7-11

…and also, Jesus said:  “Do not be afraid.  I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!  And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”  Revelation 1:17b-18

…and again, Jesus said to Simon Peter:  “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven;…”  Matthew 19a

I am recording this ‘invitation’ message in this week’s blog because it has been reported that while hundreds of people were peaceably marching in a Minneapolis, Minnesota protest in memory of Mr. George Floyd’s untimely death; ministers, clergy and other Believers were audibly praying for the crowds to demonstrate in a peaceable manner, when suddenly non-believers and agitators began mocking and shouting:  “Where was your God when the policeman had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck?”

If you who believe in the Son of God and the above scriptures also have faith in their saving-grace-power, that nothing happens outside of God’s watchful eye, and his divine plans, then why not download and print this message, explaining where Christ was, and place it in an envelope and give it to someone who is searching for answers.

George Floyd, who died on May 25 after being pinned to the ground by an officer who pressed a knee into his neck.

In Tribute to the deceased…Mr. George Floyd(*)…May he rest in peace.

TAKE A STAND FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS!  TAKE A STAND FOR PEACE!  BECOME A SOLDIER IN THE ARMY FOR THE LORD!  EXTEND YOUR PERSONAL INVITATION TO THE LOST ON BEHALF OF THE LORD.  PROMOTE KINGDOM BUILDING.                                                                                                                                   AND THEN TAKE A KNEE!

Scripture Lesson:  “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.  There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also rest from their own work, just as God did.  [God’s rest is a life in Eternity.  Jesus holds the key to that Door.]    Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish  […and Jesus holds that key, too.]  by following their example of disobedience.”  Hebrews 4:12-11

(*) Note:  Click here to read more about Mr. Floyd:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/27/us/george-floyd-minneapolis-death.html

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

 

GOD DESIRES THAT WE BUILD LIVES BASED ON FAITH

Unless the Lord Builds the House...

“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”

Immediately and thankfully I must give all praise and honor to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for the divine caption printed under the picture above.  The Holy Spirit inspired King Solomon (the wise son of King David) to write it in Psalm 127:1a.

Not only is the theme expressed in these words timeless, but you can substitute the word “house” to represent any circumstance or situation that may present itself in your daily life, especially if that need requires scrutiny.  For if you don’t ‘count the cost’ prior to executing your plans, you might find out later (much too late) that you do not have all the resources, knowledge or fortitude to finish it.

In my early adolescence years, I was guilty of not stopping to consider all or most of all the ramifications of my (not-so-well-thought-out) decisions.  For example, just to list a few: my decision to pursue or not to pursue a higher education, my decision on matrimony, my decision to establish credit by purchasing a car, my decision to engage in meaningful employment without appropriate credentials, my rush to assimilate into society (deaf, dumb and blind) completely unshackled or unrestrained.

In my senior years of life, I can now look back over those years and see just how foolish, senseless, inconvenient and irresponsible many of my decisions were.  Not only for myself, but for all those people in my sphere of influence.  (OH, how often I have prayed for God’s forgiveness for my faithless years.)

I had put the cart before the horse!  During all those years, I had imagined the expression ‘count the cost’,  was an indictment that was proclaimed after the fact…’You should have counted the cost before you had gotten in so deep.” 

WHAT A TERRIBLE MISTAKE!

But not so with God.  His definition was right on target!  Actually, the true proverbial explanation for ‘count the cost’ means making plans prior to executing any life decisions; for planning is biblical in order to avoid dangers and snares cooked up by the devil.  For it is written in Proverbs that those who plan well will be able to foresee dangers in advance and will avoid them, but those who are foolish and doesn’t plan will rush ahead and do whatever is convenient, and end up paying the penalty.

THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER IS SIMPLY THIS:

Unless the Lord is your architect, actively engaged in orchestrating (drawing up the blueprints) the construction of the ‘House Plans’, you will be laboring in vain.  The Spirit of the Lord and the spirit of the laborer (you) must be in sync.  Which brings me to my last biblical scripture for this blog post:

Blog-Broken down shack

A House Divided Cannot Stand!

Scripture Lesson: “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand in guard in vain.”  Psalm 127:1  Amen and Amen!

My EpitaphMy prayer is simply this:   “Thank you Lord God for putting a ‘period’ on my life exploits without You and allowing me to enter into a new life relationship with You before it was everlasting too late.” Amen

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

 

 

 

God Gets All The Glory…and not you!

Spiritual Gifts List

There are a variety of spiritual gifts given by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit               

Most Christians, if not all, are familiar with the God-given spiritual gifts He has distributed among select Christian believers, that equips them to perform services in their own lives that will also help benefit the church-at-large, to execute its mission here on earth.  According to Christ Jesus, the divine purpose for distributing spiritual gifts is basically to build up, inspire, enlighten and support the church outreach mandates (both to members and future members) as He identifies the masses in the Beatitudes section of the Bible found in Matthew 5:3-10 (Abbreviated):

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit…
  • Blessed are those who mourn…
  • Blessed are the meek…
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst…
  • Blessed are the merciful…
  • Blessed are the pure in heart…
  • Blessed are the peacemakers…
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted…

Listed in the picture diagram above are some of the spiritual gifts God has distributed, but not all of them.  However, by now, I can imagine that all of God’s gifts have been exercised in some manner by people during this time of Covid-19, which is a deadly virus running amuck and manifesting itself throughout the whole wide world.

So, my question to you this week is; have you received your spiritual gift from the Lord and how are you exercising it?  Has the calling upon your life’s gift(s) by others (for strength, encouragement or reassurance, etc.) caused you to become ecstatic, exuberant, thankful or boastful in your service and spiritual support to them?

NO BLAME…NO SHAME…

I do not want you to feel guilty if you do not have any idea of how God wants you to respond to the hope of his ‘calling’ on your life during this pandemic.  This whole business about spiritual gifts might be a total surprise to you and furthermore, especially if you have neither received instructions on how to identify your gift(s) nor how to use them to glorify God.

I, personally, meet people everyday who express a desire to be gifted like someone else…to mimic their mannerisms or positive interactions with others.  That same person might have performed a good deed for someone, or helped to resolve a problem for another, or contributed financially for still another.  BUT, what if, when accolades were received, the obliging person (in this case a non-Christian) responded with a ‘thank you’ instead of giving God the glory.   Or, in another example, what if in return to a grateful response (a Christian in this case) said, “Don’t thank me, thank Jesus Christ!”  This expression, like the first, also draws attention to oneself, before deflecting to giving God the glory.

How to get started giving God the glory…

Once you have taken the time to identify your spiritual gift (and you do have at least one spiritual gift), pray how you can use it to the glory of God and also to the benefit of others.  The Holy Spirit will multiply its effectiveness as you grow in Him.  But most importantly, when you receive appreciative remarks and praises for sharing it, your response could be something like this; “You know, my faith and trust in God has helped me to respond in a more meaningful way to others.  And I just watched God answer your prayers.  You have a gift, too.  If you like, we can explore it together sometime.”

NOW, EVERYBODY’S FOCUS SHOULD BE ON GOD GETTING ALL THE GLORY…AND NOT YOU!

It may be that God used you to point someone to him, but all praise and honor goes to Jesus Christ.  The more you deflect praises to our Lord when helping the lost population and the saved children of the King, the more you will be used in His service.  Try it! You’ll like it!  And what is more important, you will begin to seek out God’s people who are poor in spirit, who mourn, who are meek, who hunger and thirst, who are pure in heart, who are peacemakers, and who are persecuted.  Just remember to always give God the glory!

Scripture Lesson:   “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching (teaching/explaining) to them? And how can they preach (teach or explain) unless they are sent (gifted and empowered)? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15) 

Identify Your Spiritual Gifts: Online Spiritual Gifts Test

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