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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God – My Jehovah Jireh And Restorer

Bible Verses about Restoration

God’s New Normal and Re-birth

While sheltering in place at your residence during Covid-19, are you finding grace and wonderment wherever you can?  If you are still in the workforce, or child-bearing populace, or pursuing additional education, are you reassessing your future options with a wider microscopic lens?

A myriad of catchy slogans have been birthed during this pandemic such as:  “We’re all in this together”, “You’re not alone”, “Brace yourself for a ‘new normal’”.  Have you given any of this advice serious thought?

I am asking you these questions to provoke you to make a decision on what process you will use to re-evaluate future plans for yourself and those persons you are responsible for.  If you are not in a future thinking mode, those above slogans will mean nothing to you after this virus has passed.  You will discover that in its wake, the epidemic may have saddled you with a mountain of debt, under nourished children, an absentee spouse, or a deceased bread winner or a non-existent place of employment.  All because you did not take the time to consider what life could looked like once the pandemic was over.

So I will ask you again…While sheltering in place at your residence during Covid-19, are you finding grace and wonderment wherever you can?

YOU COULD POSSIBLY BE LEFT ALL ALONE UNLESS YOU HAVE STORED UP BIBLICAL SCRIPTURE-ARMOUR SUCH AS THE VERSES LISTED BELOW:

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Acts 3:19-21 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.  Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.

John 14:8

May I suggest a few words of wisdom on this subject that my Lord imparted to me during our conversation:

  • Evaluate your fortitude/stamina for working at home
  • Measure your tolerance aptitude for learning how to negotiate new digital communication platforms
  • What is your tolerance for networking with total strangers
  • If I were to read my current resume, would I hire myself
  • What is my tolerance level for interacting with younger ‘fly by the pants’ supervisors

If you are not sure about how truthfully you can answer those examination questions, may I also suggest that you personally have a private conversation with God.

I Did!!

Although I’m old, retired (have been for the past 40 years), and not thinking about re-entering the work force…this week, while sheltering in place and ponding grace and wonderment, I prayed and asked the Lord what can I learn from this current worldwide social upheaval that causes me to wear a face mask, practice social distancing and washing my hands 50/11 times a day.

This is what the Lord said:

My beloved, when you take your daily walk around the block where you live, count all those things that you see and feel that I created.  My awesomeness will teach you how to lovingly relate to your immediate family members and others, as a daughter, mother, grandmother, neighbor, confidant, servant, teacher, blogger and landlord and child of the King.  Your virtual teacher will be my creation and the Holy Spirit.  WOW!!!

This pandemic is more than just a destroyer of life, it is God’s means of speaking to the whole world at one time in order to free us from the judgment and condemnation of spending eternal life in the bowels of Hell.  But rather, He wants to forgive us with the same measure we use towards others.  God is messaging to the whole world regardless of blood-brother relationships:

Scripture Lesson:  Matthew 5:23-24  If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

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

 

 

GOD WANTS HIS PEOPLE TO CONNECT THE DOTS!

And like they say about an elephant…remember what you have learned!

My, my, my…what a Great God we serve! 

As I picked up my pen this week to begin writing my blog, I softly prayed, ‘Lord I’m available to you.  Speak to your servant’s mind concerning what I should blog about for my readers.’  The first sentence my pen wrote was this:  My child, tame your fears and your anxieties.

Next I wrote (under the influence of the Holy Spirit) the following bullet points:

  • Take up your bed and walk                             (Matthew 9:6b)
  • The centurion’s servant healed                      (Matthew 8:13)
  • Stretch out your hand                                       (Mark 3:5)
  • Restored the man’s ear                                     (Luke 22:53)
  • The healing of the womb with Mandrakes  (Genesis 30:17)
  • Jesus’ virtue heals a blood issue                     (Mark 5:34)

Oh, my Lord, this conversation is too lofty for me.  What are You trying to tell me? 

My beloved, this pandemic will pass.  You are anxious for nothing.  As for you and all the others around the world who are bombarding My throne with prayers for healing and relief of Covid-19, know this; just as I have brought relief and restoration to My people of old, I will do it again for this generation, too, at My appointed time.  Connect the dots!

I admonish all to do the following:  “…lift up the cup of salvation (repent) and (continue to) call on the Name of the Lord.  Let everyone fulfill his or her vows to the Lord in the presence of all the people.”  (A paraphrase from Psalm 116:3)

In conclusion with my time with the Father, I took renewed strength in remembering how precious in the sight of the Lord is all the deaths of those faithful saints who have now gone on to glory due to the coronavirus.  My conversation with God has truly loosened my bonds of afflictions, fears and anxieties and have given me renewed hope.  As a child I remembered how excited I was when after completing connecting the dots of my activity book, I shouted with unspeakable JOY!!!  Thank you Lord for such joy and understanding concerning the predicament the world is in today.  No matter what the outcome, those that mourn are all truly blessed knowing that you are in control.

Thank You Lord…You are surely my Comforter and Redeemer.

Scripture Lesson“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4

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

God Answers Prayer, Still!

Blog-photo-of-people-sitting-on-sofa-3890171

Covid-19 Message…”Stay Home; Stay Safe; Entertain Grandkids; Clean the House!”

Hello, my fellow bloggers, followers and new-comers…Have you instituted any ‘new normal’ habits since the restrictions issued by local and national government institutions have been in forced?

Well, I certainly have…

Notwithstanding, frequently washing my hands, wearing a face mask and staying hunkered down at home…in addition, I have joined a communicable early morning prayer group instituted by my church that meets by telephone at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.   Our instructions are to read 4 pre-assigned Holy Bible chapters (2 from the Old and 2 from the New Testaments) each day.  After reading each chapter someone from the group selects a verse and wraps a prayer around it.  After several prayers, we move to the next chapter and repeat the exercise until all 4 chapters have been expounded upon.

A ‘New Normal’ has manifested itself in the delivery of our prayers…

One of our assistant pastors is assigned to host the morning prayer group and he keeps us on point so that many participants can have an opportunity to pray as the spirit leads them.  But on some occasions God’s living word is so prevalent in today’s society that it  mimics the events that are resinating around the coronavirus, thus many participants are led to include a personal example that testifies to the fact that God answers prayer STILL!

Such was the case this morning…  

I personally have tasted the miracle of answered prayer, especially when you pray like the biblical saints of old, just as one of our bible verses proclaimed in our study time this morning:

Proverbs 77:10-11  “Then I thought, ‘To this I will appeal:  the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.  I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago’.”

Long ago, when I owned a laundromat, I had accumulated a mountain of debt: water bills, monthly rent, equipment machines monthly payments, salaries, supplies, etc, etc, etc.  I rested in the assurance that the Lord had opened many doors for me to establish this minority neighborhood business and I trusted that He would not allow my doors to be shut by creditors.  So, one night after closing shop, I gathered all of my monthly bills and spread them out on the floor of the laundromat and prayed the prayer of King Hezekiah found in 2 Kings 19:16.  I also reminded the Lord that His word says He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Then I added; ‘do me like you did Hezekiah.  Rescue me.  Please order my creditors to be merciful to me and be patient’.

The very next day, my prayers were answered along with a message from the Lord.

God reminded me that He had enlarged my territory and that I was to re-visit the Prayer of Jabez found in 1 Chronicles 4:10 and claim it:

 “And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘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!’  So God granted him what he requested.”

Conclusion…

The Prayer of Jabez gives God the credit and not man or personal effort.  This coronavirus epidemic has certainly launched a global movement that seems to be calling all of God’s people (and beside the fact that the cattle on a thousand hills are His, so also are all the people in all the world are His) to expect their ‘territory’ to be enlarged.

So, let’s define in what ways a person’s ‘territory’ might be enlarged:  their personal home life; extended family orientation; means of employment; circle of friends and acquaintances; position in leadership; opportunities to witness; local and world-wide connections; financial obligations; and re-visiting time management assignments, coupled with your sphere of influence…just to name a few.

And remember, it’s Okay to be on lockdown…However, may I remind you to allow this time (this Covid-19 time) to help you find your purpose and to catch hold of the divine vision that God wants to instill in your ‘new normal’ life.  Ask God to forgive your slowfootedness (repent).  Lose your mind for INCREASE!  But more importantly, as in the days of old, know this:

GOD (sure nuff) ANSWERS PRAYER, STILL!

Please click the picture and listen to the song, Bless Me (The Prayer Of Jabez).

Scripture Lesson:   [Therefore] “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.,  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8

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

 

God Speaks Not In The Rushing Wind, But In A Still Small Voice–Part 2

 

 

Surprise, surprise!

YES, God is still speaking to me in His “still small voice”…while at the same time in His loud voice He is conversing with me to be still…hush…and recognize that He is God all by Himself!

Most of my readers will recall that I posted Part 1 of “God Speaks Not In The Rushing Wind, But In A Still Small Voice” on April 2, 2020.  Since then, practically every prayer group that I have participated in and most of my conversations with others have been geared around the fact that God is trying to tell the world something through the coronavirus pandemic…words that more succinctly describe His audience: those in positions of authority and Christian Believers!

Listen While The Winds Whisper God’s Instructions Concerning The Conclusion Of The Matter…(ssshhh…Click the pexel video above, fixate on the clouds, feel the breeze and listen by letting go and letting God…)

What did you hear?  I heard; it’s decision time…it’s time to use extra precaution…it’s time to stay vigilant…it’s time to look to the hills from which cometh your help…it’s time to dedicate a more sincere effort to manufacturing a vaccine…it’s time to get down to business and ascertain what the ‘new normals’ for life existences will look like.  WHY?  Because the mortals are reopening the atmosphere.  And they didn’t ask Me (God).

To help us in this vein of thinking, let us look at a partial reprint of an article posted on http://www.crosswalk.com that was submitted by Liz Kanoy, Senior Editor.   You can read the entire article by clicking their website.

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What Is the Meaning of the Verse “Be Still and Know That I Am God”?

  • Liz KanoySenior Editor
  • 201813 Aug

What Is the Meaning of the Verse "Be Still and Know That I Am God"?

“Be still and know that I am God” 

Psalm 46:10, is a popular verse for comforting ourselves and others—many people tend to think this verse means to rest or relax in who God is. This verse does encourage believers to reflect on who God is, but there is more to this psalm than one verse—and verse 10 is actually more of a wake-up call to be in awe than a gentle call to rest. Taking time out of our day to meditate on Scripture and be silent with listening ears toward God is mentioned in other sections of Scripture (Psalm 119:15, Joshua 1:8, Luke 5:16, and others). But this command—“Be still…”—is written in the context of a time of trouble and war; therefore, we should consider the verse with that context in mind.

Instead of interpreting “be still” as a gentle suggestion, the meaning in this psalm lends itself more to: “cease striving” or “stop” and more specifically in this context “stop fighting,” which is directed toward the enemies of the people of God. The people of God should interpret the command for themselves to read more like: ‘snap out of it,’ ‘wake up,’ ‘stop fearing’—acknowledge who your God is—be in awe! However, it is good to note that there’s nothing wrong with the words in the translation “be still;” those words are not incorrect, it is simply helpful to note the context of the phrase. Verse 10 has something to say to both the enemies of God and the people of God, but it is the people of God the psalm is written to. Verse 1 starts, “God is our refuge and strength” (emphasis added). The Psalms are for God’s people.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This previously-written article has become a resource for many as we face growing fear and anxiety due to the Coronavirus pandemic. God is ALWAYS our source of protection, strength and peace during unknown times. In addition, the following articles may offer more encouragement for all to remember as we face the trials of COVID-19 together:

******************End of Partial Reprint******************

Yes, those in authority and all of God’s Believers are to continue praying and believing that God’s Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  We are to have faith that amicable minds will prevail and through the grace of God, brotherly love will co-exist between the scientific community, the political parties, the vast religious denominations, the hearts and dedication of all caregivers and that the stamina and endurance of the populace will prevail.  A tall order, you say.  But God says ‘all things are possible if we only believe.’  And again, like the Scripture above implies, we all need to be still and to stop fighting each other.  The enemy/battle in this pandemic is Covid-19, a disease; not a two-legged infidel.

Scripture Lesson: “But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.”  Habakkuk 2:20

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

GOD DESIRES THAT MANKIND BUILD ON GOD’S FIRST-FRUITS

Fruit Basket (painting by Balthasar van der Ast).

First Fruits is a religious offering of the first agricultural produce of the harvest. In classical GreekRoman, and Hebrew religions, the first fruits were given to priests as an offering to deity. In Christian faiths, the tithe is similarly given as a donation or offering serving as a primary source of income to maintain the religious leaders and facilities. In some Christian texts, Jesus Christ, through his resurrection, is referred to as the first fruits of the dead. Beginning in 1966 a unique “First Fruits” celebration brought the Ancient African harvest festivals that became the African American holiday, Kwanzaa.                                                 (An excerpt from Wikipedia)

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As promised, I am still using this blog space to publish encouraging words to the world during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.  It is my hope that each and every blog post will contribute to your well-being, and will strengthen your faith and hope in our Maker, Christ Jesus.

While conversing with God, I borrowed His term “First Fruits” because I wanted to relate to it as God’s divine offering to his people (rather than God’s people retuning their offering to him).  I envisioned God giving to us a recipe for wholesome and righteous living during these trying times.

The Holy Scriptures reminds us that we serve an all-sufficient, all-knowing, all righteous, all-loving, all-wise, all-existing, all-powerful and all-peaceable God…just to name a few of His attributes.

So, for this writing, please allow me to list some of God’s first-fruits that he bestowed on mankind from the beginning.  All of these truths we can rely upon and that will give us hope for years to come.

God will supply all of our food source needs, our material needs, our civic needs, and our physical needs during Covid-19.

  • Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. Genesis 1:29
  • The cattle on a thousand hills are mine. Psalms 50:10
  • The birds in the air are mine. Psalms 50:11
  • Unless the Lord builds the house, those that build it labor in vain. Psalms 127:1
  • The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper (wife) suitable for him.”  Genesis 1:18
  • Children are a heritage from the Lord…Psalms 127:3a
  • Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. Isaiah 26:3
  • “For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”  Romans 9:17
  • Jesus said to Pontius Pilate, “You could have no power at all against me unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11).

Don’t forget, there are things you as citizens and believers have to do in order to receive his bountiful blessings.

  • Ask and you shall receive.
  • Ask according to his will.
  • Seek and you shall find.
  • Knock and the door shall be opened.
  • Pray for those appointed by God in authority.
  • Be ye holy as I am holy.
  • Therefore, get wisdom, get understanding.
  • Love thy neighbor as thyself.

In summary…always remember to keep God’s commandments and live holy, both in this age and in the eternal age to come.  In a prayer-like posture…

  “Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
 Then call on me (God) when you are in trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give me glory.”  Psalms 50:14-15

Scripture Lesson:   “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”  Psalms 46:1-3

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