Did you know that as long as you maintain a sincere relationship and stay connected with Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will equip you with life skills that will help you fulfill the greatest successes in your life.
Trust me! I speak from experience! And I invite you to eavesdrop on a recent conversation I had with the Master. Although I am a seasoned-born again Christian (and have been for several decades), I sometimes become agitated, discombobulated, and short tempered with friends, relatives, strangers, and even myself. These recurring attitudes sickens me and is not pleasing to my Lord and Savior.
During a recent prayer time, the Holy Spirit gently interceded and instructed me to search my data base of teaching materials that I had delivered to audiences over the years. He also said for me to be encouraged and to remember the words of James 1:2 where there I was reminded to consider my dilemma an opportunity awaiting great joy. And if I would do this, my ‘seemingly’ life troubles…basically, my communication skills, would eventually produce in me character qualities that are essential in staying the course and finishing well.
Take a look, at what catalogued material I found in my files that brought me great joy:
SUBJECT: “GREATEST VALUES IN LIFE”
THE GREATEST HANDICAP…………………FEAR
THE BEST DAY…………………………………..TODAY
HARDEST THING TO DO…………………….TO BEGIN
EASIEST THING TO DO……………………….FINDING FAULT
MOST USELESS ASSET……………………….PRIDE
MOST USEFUL ASSET…………………………HUMILITY
THE GREATEST MISTAKE…………………….GIVING UP
THE GREATEST STUMBLING BLOCK…….EGOTISM
THE GREATEST COMFORT…………………..WORK WELL DONE
MOST DISAGREEABLE PERSON…………. THE COMPLAINER
WORST BANKRUPTCY…………………………LOSS OF ENTHUSIASM
GREATEST NEED………………………………….COMMON SENSE
MEANEST FEELING…………..REGRET AT ANOTHER’S SUCCESS
THE HARDEST AND MOST PAINFUL TO ACCEPT……DEFEAT
THE GREATEST MOMENT………………………DEATH
THE GREATEST KNOWLEDGE…………………GOD
THE GREATEST THING…………………………..LOVE
My prayer is…
Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me for sometimes wondering if Your Word is still relevant in today’s world. I know fully well that Your Word remains steadfast eternally in the heavens and that I may not change nor substitute anything in it. Guard my tongue, Holy Spirit, in the precious Name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Scripture Lesson: “The testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:3–4).
I’m grateful that God sent me an invitation to his housewarming, but with all the airline plane delays, and cancellations,I wonder just how long it will take me to get there.I’m suppose to receive a crown.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me in an unusual way this week. At first I thought I was receiving messages to blog about the seventh day of creation called the Sabbath. For it is written, that was the day God “Rested” from all of his labors of creating the universe. But as I began to unpack this thesis, I soon realized that the Sabbath was not a day made for God to take his ease. But it was designed as an anointed time period (without end) for God’s people, who live in this world, to come to themselves and commence (on a daily basis) to live their lives as the following 3 bible scriptures proclaim and turn from their sins, so as not to be ruled by the snares of the evil one (Satan). In other words, the day that you repent and turn from your labor of sin and shame, that is your day of Sabbath. God’s ‘work’ was finished within 6 days and it was all good, so he took a day of rest (his Sabbath).
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Those persons who Romans 12:2 talk about, who are also in the world that God created but have not conformed to his will and to his ways and whose hearts and minds have not been renewed and therefore they are refusing to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, they remain under the influences of the prince of this world (Satan).
IT’S PARTY TIME…
My child, whenever you performed missionary duties that included talking about Jesus to someone who was not a Christian or who did not know Christ, your actions were often referred to as being a soul-winner. Did you know that there is a crown awaiting such servants in heaven known as The Crown of Rejoicing? (1 Thessalonians 2:19 KJV)
The Holy Spirit spoke again and reminded me of my recent doctor’s appointment I had earlier in the week. Do you recall the excitement your nurse attendant had as she related to you how obliging her patients had been all day as she shared her love for Christ. How she admitted that serving Jesus Christ was her true profession and how she longed to make heaven her eternal home. You see, my beloved, many people become so caught up in earthly activities that they forget that heaven is truly their home. The Crown of Righteousness is not for them. (2 Timothy 4:8 KJV)
Another category in which Jesus will award crowns is to all those believers who have kept the faith at the expense of loosing their own lives. It also includes those servants who suffered persecution and even temptation. They, most assuredly, will receive The Crown of Life. (James 1:12 and Revelations 2:10 KJV)
Sometimes even believers loose out on receiving their crown because of a lack of self-discipline. They don’t know when to say “No!” They get caught up in “the good things in life”, and forget about all God’s benefits. Only those who can exercise discipline will receive The Victor’s Crown. (1 Corinthians 9:25-27 KJV)
Finally, just to remind you of one of Jesus’ quotes in Matthew 9:37, where he said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Let us not forget the crown that will be awarded to the faithful leaders of the churches: pastor’s, elder’s, deacons, Sunday School teachers, and various other ministry leaders. This group of followers of Christ will receive The Crown of Glory. (1 Peter 5:4 KJV)
CHECK YOUR MAILBOX FOR YOUR INVITATION…
The Lord says, My prayer invitation for you has already been signed, sealed and delivered by St. Francis of Assisi. Bring a copy of it with you when you come to My housewarming. It reads; “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.“
Scripture Lesson:“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them” (Matthew 6:31-32).
For more than ten years, I was a sojourner in the army of God as a volunteer missionary with an international orphan organization that specialized in transforming volunerable children’s lives, building strong families and enriching the lies of senior adults based on incorporating the tenent principles associated with Christ-centered values.
In last week’s blog on this site, I mentioned that people often asked me how I could remember so much background information about lineages and genealogies in the Bible. Others also wanted to know my secret for ascertaining the direction a particular character in the Bible would pursue. Well, because of those statements, this week I received several requests for specific examples. I found two perfect New Testament parables in Luke to enlighten you guys from chapters 18 and 19, concerning the blind beggar and the story of Zacchaeus in the tree.
“Zacchaeus, come down from that tree. I want to go home with you”, Jesus said.
(Using a descriptive Legend Expressed by Jews in Jesus’ Day):
City of Jericho - A town occupied by citizens of mixed identity.
A Beggar - An Israelite belief that God would never allow his children to beg for bread.
The Beggar - He Recognized Jesus as being a Son (descendant) of King David.
The Beggar - Although despised by some, Jesus said he had more faith than others.
Blind Person - An informative (defect/illness) that plagues sinners.
Tax Collector - An occupation imposed by Rome and despised by Jews.
Tax Collector - Although ostracized by some, identified by Jesus as a son of Abraham.
The crowd - Disrespected Jesus. Identified Jesus as being from Nazareth, a city
where nothing good could come out of.
The crowd - Disrespected the blind man. Told him to shut up.
The crowd - Disapproved of Jesus going to dine at the home of a tax collector.
Following is a brief summation of both parables:
It is recorded in scripture that Jesus passed through the ancient city of Jericho on at least two occasions. Large crowds followed Him. Jesus never failed to take time to heal people that the crowds considered to be an outcast in their communities. In both stories, the two men involved with our Lord had isolated themselves from the crowd and they both had a need. The blind beggar who sat along the road side needed his sight to be restored (Luke 18:35-43). Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, short in stature and who had climbed a tree to see Jesus, he needed to be converted from his wicked ways. (Luke 19:1-10)
The crowds who followed Jesus had shown indignation towards these two men and expressed their distain and were non obliging towards Jesus’ reception of them. The crowd wanted and expected Jesus to only associate with ‘their‘ kind, and not to have anything to do with those who were considered to be an outcast.
Jesus turned the tables on the crowd by proclaiming that the blind man was deserving to receive his sight based on his level of faith he had demonstrated in Jesus. And on behalf of Zacchaeus, Jesus said to the crowd that in spite of this man’s occupation, he never the less still was a child of Abraham and that the Son of Man (Jesus) came to seek and to save what was lost.
My prayer for you…
Heavenly Father, I truly want to proclaim Your message and live in such a way that people will be able to see from my actions that I am serious about my faith. And I also pray for everyone who comes to this blog post and desires to follow in Your footsteps after reading conversational stories as to how You structured Your life’s journey while a sojourner on earth. How Your heart’s desire was to aide and abet Your fellowman. Please, Lord Jesus, help us all to get this attribute right. Amen.
Scripture Lesson: “You became imitators of us and of the Lord. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia–your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it. (1 Thessalonians 1:6, 8)
Most of us remember EF Hutton as a thriving commercial banking stock broker company that was the darling of Wall Street, back in the day. It went ‘belly up’, and since has reorganized, liquidated a majority of its assets, and rebranded themselves under a new name with new leadership. Evidently, not enough people listened, and EF Hutton bit the dust!
God speaks…But do people listen?
In the beginning, God made arrangements for his Son, Jesus Christ, to speak for him. Though Jesus physically walked on this earth approximately 32 years He is made alive by the Spirit and thus capable to speak to those persons who lived in the past, who lives in the present, and who will live in the future but are yet unborn. I am describing a miracle-working MAN Who is God-centered and spiritually blessed to speak not only to human beings, but is also empowered to speak to inanimate objects and they listen and obey, too. Who wouldn’t adhere to someone with so much power and authority. Yes, when Jesus Christ speaks, people listen. (So, eat your heart out, EF Hutton!!!)
Numerous circumstances abound in the Scriptures concerning our Lord’s oratorical engagements. In many of those incidents you find the persons querying Jesus while on their knees. The Syro-Phoenician woman of Mark 7:26 was in that posture when she approached Jesus. In spite of His disciples, she asked Him for a word that would cleanse her daughter’s body of the horrific demons that possessed her. In that same chapter, Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, another one who came on bended knee, begged Jesus to come to his home and speak a word over his daughter who lay at the point of death. Scripture also tells us that Jesus spoke to fig trees, raging storms, tidal waves, fish in the sea, issues of blood, mountains and lunch boxes!
It has been said that once you learn the lesson of EF Hutton, you will never have any trouble figuring out who the real Leader is…
I had my own experience once while on an international mission trip to an orphan home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, as I stood inside a classroom awaiting my students to teach a bible story to them. To my surprise, there were no student desks in the room, just stacked chairs. No black boards, no chalk, no writing paper for the students to take notes. I mused as to how to proceed. Then I asked the Lord. Immediately, my attention was directed to a lone chair in a corner with a large box on it. I went over to the chair to inquire of its contents. What I saw inside puzzled me. The box was full of small brown paper sandwich bags. What was I to do with these bags, I thought.
As the children marched into the room, each one grabbed a chair and immediately sat down on it and stared at me. I gave them a warm greeting and introduced myself and instructed them to come and take a bag out of the box and return to their seats. In my own supplies, I had brought several boxes of crayons and allowed each student to choose a color prior to returning to their seat. I surveyed the class and still realized that we had no desk to write on. My EF Hutton (..the Holy Spirit…), spoke to me and said to tell the students to get out of their chairs and kneel down in front of them and use the chair seat area to serve as their desks. WALLAH!! EUREKA!!…problem solved!
God was not through with me, yet!…
While the students were on their knees, I opened our time together in prayer. Next, I informed the class that I was going to tell them a story about Joseph and Mary and their trip to Bethlehem where Baby Jesus would be born in a stable because there was no more hotel rooms for His parents. As I relayed the significant parts of the story, the students began to draw their own concept of images on all four sides of their lunch bag. When I completed the story, I repeated the memory verse and the students wrote it in Spanish on the bottom of the bag. I instructed the children to make a fist and to place the opened bag over their fist and use their bag like a puppet and retell the story when they go back to their villages and share the Baby Jesus story. The children were ecstatic to visualize the recognition they would have when they returned home. I, personally, was humbled and blessed to realize just how much the Lord took an interest in my problem and came to my rescue. My ‘take-away’ is…when God speaks…I listen!!
What about You?…
Perhaps your prayer should be something like this: Dear All-knowing and All-caring Heavenly Father, I beseech you to make me whole heartedly prepared not only to ask of You things that I need, but also to have the right motives in my heart for doing so. For only in this manner will those sincere prayers be answered by You. I thank you once again for being my Help Mate during those ten years of my tour as an international missionary in Your service. May You and You alone be my strength and my redeemer. Amen.
Scripture Lesson:“What good is it, my brothers (and sisters), if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Asthe body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:14, 26)
Where Does the Phrase “Salt of the Earth” Come From?
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matthew 5:13).
I heard an imaginary knock at my front door. I sat up in bed and leaned my body towards the direction I thought I heard the sound. “Tap, tap, tap”, I heard it again. What is going on, I quizzically mumbled. It’s 1:00 a.m. in the morning? Immediately, I scooted out of bed and tip-toed toward my front door. “Who is it?” I quietly asked. No answer. I repeated the question. “Who is it?” Still no answer. Then, suddenly, without provocation, and in my minds eye, I saw a picture of my license plate on the back of my car. It reads: “MY JAH”. So instantly, because there was no answer at the door, but only in my heart, I made an assumption that MY Lord (My Jah) wanted to speak to me through the Holy Spirit.
True, I had fallen asleep while reading my Bible, but I was not in a quandary when that happened. Neither was I perplexed nor uncertain about anything (I thought). Nevertheless, I left the area of the front door and went straight into my office and sat down in front of my computer. I offered up a quick prayer and then said, “Speak Lord, thy servant is listening”. I was lead to brows through my file cabinet where I found an article on “Household Uses of Salt”. I was surprised to learn that all of the uses for salt in the article had to do with household cleaning and for medicinal purposes…and nothing about foods.
Then it hit me. The Holy Spirit spoke and whispered, My child, you are the salt of the earth. Do you know what that means?
I quickly grabbed my Bible and searched the scriptures for references to salt. The following facts below are what I learned that increased my understanding and worthiness in the Kingdom of God.
Three Scripture Examples:
Jesus is speaking to His disciples and uses a metaphor to describe them as salt. In ancient times salt was a valuable commodity and in some regions it was worth more
then its weight in gold. The expression "He's not worth his salt", was originated by the
Greeks during their slave trading sales. The Romans used salt to pay wages to their
soldiers. And from salt we get the Latin word salarium, which when translated into
English becomes "salary".
It also is very important to remember that during Jesus' times, there was no refrigeration,
and salt was used to preserve and to flavor food, especially fish.
Here we learn that salt was used to wash newborn babies and disinfect open wombs.
Jesus was actually describing in these scripture the preserving qualities of a true disciple.
Something else I saw in the “Sermon on the Mount” scriptures in Matthew 5 was the identity of the classes of people God would especially be talking about. For example, it is written that ‘Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth’. (Matthew 5:5) The actual meaning comes from what this verse is not saying. You will recall that one of the reasons why most of the ancient peoples did not receive Jesus was because He preached ‘meek and mild’ sermons, and ‘turn the other cheek’ reprimands. And the people wanted a Messiah that would demonstrate attributes of a soldier and go to war against Rome and bring freedom from oppression to the Jews and their converts. Not so according to Jesus. It would take a meek leader to do that.
So, in my conversation with God through the Holy Spirit, I believe I was awaken from my sleep to be reminded that I am (as well as all of God’s people), are the salt of the earth. We have been assigned by God to act like salt and be preservers of the land and extend our disinfectant qualities to the wounds of those inhabitants in our sphere of influence. But if God’s people looses their good spiritual salt qualities and become like rock salt that lies along the Dead Sea and is often impure and harsh, they become good for nothing. In fact, in ancient times, rock salt was used only to spread on the temple courtyards in wet weather to make them less slippery.
I smiled as I came to a close of writing this blog. I whimsically said to the Holy Spirit, now in addition to improving my sticky iron by sprinkling salt on a piece of waxed paper and running the hot iron over it a few times to clean it up, I can sprinkle a pinch of salt over my shoulder and implore the Holy Spirit to improve my approach to my fellowman and pray for strength to be more of a godly salt-servant in the household of our Lord and Savior. Amen!
Scripture Lesson:“For God speaks again and again, in dreams, in visions of the night when deep sleep falls on men as they lie on their beds. He opens their ears in times like that, and gives them wisdom and instruction, causing them to change their minds, and keeping them from pride, and warning them of the penalties of sin, and keeping them from falling into some trap.” Job 33:14-18
How about a little nostalgia? For this week’s blog, I would like for you to take a little stroll with me down memory lane. What prompted this sentimental journey, you might asked? Well, this week I received a facebook message from a long lost friend from my past. He and I were both young adults at the time, and members of the same church located in a small town in Maryland, USA. Since I was also a Sunday School teacher at that time, and assigned to teach a co-ed teenage class, the president of a young adult Bible Study group invited me to be a facilitator at a workshop for single folks during an upcoming weekend conference retreat.
What an amazing opportunity, I thought, to broaden and share my ever-expanding spiritual growth in the Lord. For He (the Holy Spirit) had certainly been taking me on mystical journeys, as He opened up the inner most meanings of God’s holy scriptures during my devotional study time. However, so far, I had not received any indication that I was to share or do anything corporately with this new in depth spiritual knowledge.
So, in early December, 1996, while preparing for that young adult workshop that I was to facilitate at that weekend retreat, I ran across a newly published book by Dr. Jeremiah Wright, entitled Good News For Single Folk. After praying over all the materials I had gathered, and after receiving spiritual confirmation that all was well, following is what happened.
At first, as I began developing an outline from the materials, I experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit, big time! It seemed as though I was being hindered from developing my outline because I was starting from the wrong premise. As I raised my pen to cross out yet another sentence for the umpteenth time, I paused. Something supernatural was happening. Someone was calling my name. In a whisper I said, “Speak Lord.” Immediately, I was led to turn in the scriptures to Luke 19:10b: “...for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
With trepidation, I softly inquired of the Holy Spirit what exactly was it that was lost and how does it apply to singles. Again, I was led to read several additional scriptures in Genesis 3:21-24. There, we find all of the provisions and disciplines God administered to ‘fallen’ mankind.
We were to be clothed in garments of skin because we had lost our glorified bodies.
We now knew good from evil, thus we lost our innocence. Therefore we have no excuse.
Our minds became befuddled and we didn’t know what was good for us. In other words, we lost our freedom of choice.
Physical Death was ushered in and we lost external life.
We were banished from the Garden of Eden and lost our eternal home and all the luxuries that went with it.
And finally, because of the Guardian Angels with the flaming swords, we lost easy access to the Way. God placed stumbling blocks in our paths.
Once again, I humbled myself and asked the Lord what does this have to do with singles? God said to me; Tell the class that because of the acts of the first couple, (Adam and Eve), the sanctity of marriage was also abridged. Divorce and unfaithfulness are imminent. But, the Good News is Jesus Christ! He is the Bridegroom Who would never be unfaithful to His God nor to His bride (us).
So, in His communion time with me, Jesus, in a still small voice, put forth this proposition…Since married couples are considered single in My Father’s eyes (and the two shall be one), and single people are already single, tell everybody in your Young Adult Sunday School Class to marry Me! Let’s elope before you have time to get lost again!
Dear Heavenly Father: Please protect the intimacy and oneness you have instituted in the relationships of courting young peoples and other couples in general. For it is only with Your protection can they guard their hearts against temptation and keep it from all hurt, harm and influences from outsiders. It is also my prayer that You keep their hearts focused on Your nuptial vows so that their spirits may become one in Your sight. Never allow the couples to ignore or turn from seeking solace from each other before they abandon all hope in You and in reconciliation. I pray this prayer in the Matchless Name of Christ Jesus, Amen!
Scripture Lesson:“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Mark 10:7-9.
This blog post will conclude our time together exploring nine of the colors that dominate the creation story in the Bible. The final three colors featured here in Part Three of “God’s Holy Word Has Something To Say About Colors” are: Purple, Green and Pink. Needless to say, this has been one of the most fascinating adventures that the Holy Spirit has taken me on. And for that I am truly grateful.
The Color Purple
Did you know that the KJV of the Bible refers to the color PURPLE 48 times! Most likely what contributed to its high demand was its popularity, absorbent expense to manufacture it and exclusivity to obtain the knowledge of how to convert this color into a dye. In ancient times, only society’s affluent, the higher echelon of the clergy, royal deity, and high government officials could afford to adorn themselves in purple attire.
The ingredients to produce purple comes from the stinky glands of snails (scientifically known as mollusks) which emerged themselves at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. The procedure to extract just one pound of retail dye from snails during the ancient Roman Empire days, was for sailors/fishermen to catch and extract the glands from more than four million mollusks. This procedure was because each snail gland only produced one drop of the fluid needed to make this precious dye.
I am quite sure you are all familiar with the famous bible story found in Acts 16 about a merchant seller of purple garments named Lydia. She was a very spiritual and wealthy Philippians female entrepreneur who, as a gentile, believed in God’s morality laws. She was later converted to Christianity by the Apostle Paul.
Purple has come to associate it self with royalty, wisdom, luxury, and to possess visionary acumen.
The Color Green
I find that GREEN is the strongest of all the colors we have been studying in this lesson. It is also more descriptive of man’s character than the other eight colors. Why? Because Green denotes strength, growth, health, money, and healing…just to name a few attributes.
Listed below are scriptures that bear this out:
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me besides the still waters.
For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dy:
All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.
For like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
The Color Pink
PINK is a universal color that is recognized as feminine, immature, romantic, beautiful and sensitive. As to how the color Pink relates to Scripture, pink is believed to represent the compassionatelove of God (for he gave his Only Begotten Son), and Jesus is also a friend to the friendless. And let us not forget the faithfulness of his Son who suffered, bled and died on the Cross for all mankind. (Words in italics are listed above in the color chart under the color Pink.)
In the Holy Scriptures, the color ‘PINK’ is believed to represent the Love of God. How? Because the color Red is Jesus’ blood and White is purity. Therefore, the combination of both colors turns out to be Pink!
My prayer for you…
Dear Sweet Jesus: You are so gracious, kind and understanding. I implore You to please forgive my slothfulness in not dedicating my new found life in You to serving you more earnestly. For truly, it is with sincere thanksgiving that I praise You for allowing me to stumble upon these truths concerning how Your assignment of various colors played an intrical part in helping mankind to understand the creation story. Who would have thought that by painting my bedroom a psychedelic red for all my teenage years could have contributed to my high blood pressure problems later in life. (If only I had known You then.)
Therefore, Heavenly Father, please continue to help me change my thoughts. Make me anew, Lord. For I not only want to be born again, but I want to be a new kind of thinker, too.
Help us, Lord…HELP!! In the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior I surrender all…Amen and Amen!!!
Scripture Lesson:“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.“ Colossians 3:2
As we continue to proceed with Part Two of “God’s Holy Word Has Something To Say About Colors”, I trust you have not only enjoyed Part One, but have learned something very interesting (based on their description) and gratifying concerning the election of various colors God chose to assign to his creation. And the beauty of God’s selection of colors is that he did not have to labor over nor give a great deal of thought to his assignments. That’s because God already knew what mental effects various colors would have on mankind’s physic and mental welfare.
So, let’s continue our study of colors by investigating ‘White’, ‘Back’ and ‘Gray’.
The Color White
In the Western cultures, especially in the Christian Holy Bible, the meaning for the color “WHITE” represents honesty, innocence, purity and cleanliness. But the one symbol that I find the most interesting is ‘hope’. Let’s review how in Genesis 30:25-43, Jacob (later called Israel) whose name means ‘supplanter‘, tricked his boss, Laban, into paying his wages in livestock.
Jacob proposed that Laban allow him to go through Laban’s flock and remove every spotted, blemished and speckled goat, lamb and sheep (livestock that was deemed unprofitable financially), and they be given to Jacob as his wages. By the way, Laban had changed Jacob’s wages ten times, but had never paid him a dime of it.
So, Jacob proposed to Laban that he separate his ‘worthless’ livestock and give them to him as his wages. Laban agreed. Unbeknownst to Laban, Jacob cut branches from poplar, almond and plane ole ordinary trees. He peeled the bark from the branches but allowed stripes of white inner bark to show through on the cut limbs. Next, Jacob, placed some of the branches in Laban’s watering troughs so that they would be directly in front of the livestock when they came to water and to mate.
The Holy Spirit did not communicate to me the meaning of Jacob’s actions, but suffice it to say that Jacob’s shenanigans worked out and flocks of little lambings and kiddings were born with streaks and speckles; enough to make Jacob a very rich herdsman. Those white streaks on the branches were the cause of it all. (And of course, God’s miraculous hand of intervention.)
The Color Black
“BLACK” is known as a sophisticated color. This hue is timeless and classic. It symbolizes strength and power. Black is also the most popular color in the advertising/signage world. There is also an air of mystery, disception and evil associated with this color. In scripture, God says that He formed the light (to depict righteousness) and he created the darkness (to be the consequence of disobedience, sin and trespasses. (Isaiah 45:7)
Black is also associated with our sins, moods of depression, loneliness and harboring pessimistic feelings of anger.
Question? So why do we say: “He/She told a little ‘white’ lie? Why isn’t the question; “He/she told a little ‘black’ lie?” Go figure!!!
The Color Gray
While the color black represents Good Friday in the Christian world, the color ‘GRAY’ represents the season of Lent and is closely associated with fasting and prayer. And naturally the color gray denotes repentance and maturity (Senior citizens).
In some circles, psychologists define gray as a color that fosters stability. It is preceived as being a neutral color and brings balance and harmony. At other times, gray adds sophistication to situations like being a go-between for the colors white and black.
Sometimes you hear people express a particular negative mood that they are in, such as: A gray mood or a melancholy mood. The root syllable for melancholy is ‘mel’ which denotes bad or evil and the ending is ‘holy’. Could this color silently signify that God is not pleased with our wishy-washy sacrifices of praise. (I’m just sayin’!!!)
PLEASE RETURN NEXT FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2022, FOR PART THREE OF THIS HIGHLY INTERESTING AND INFORMATIVE SUBJECT ON COLOR PSYCHOLOGY IN THE BIBLE. HOPEFULLY, MY RESEARCH ON THIS SUBJECT WILL HELP INCREASE YOUR BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE ON HOW GOD EMPOWERED ALL OF US TO SEEK AND LEARN MORE ABOUT HIS GOODNESS AND MERCIES CONCERNING THE SECRETS OF CREATION.
My prayer for you
My Dear Lord and Savior, please make me willing and unashamed to witness to others about my relationship with You. Help me to develop scriptures along with my own life experiences around colors that can represent You in a mighty and truthful way. Empower me to show them Your marvelous will and Your loving precepts. Guide my enthusiasm and direct my search for resource materials like children’s bibles that come with colorful felt swatches of materials that will help me use colors in my delivery of Your truths. And then use those whom I have witnessed to and whom You have empowered with the Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel to their families, friends and communities. I ask it all in the precious Name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Scripture Lesson:“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him. “We have found the Messiah” (that is the Christ). John 1:40-41
Who are you? How many “selves” do you recognize? Which of your “selves” is the most dominant? And finally, which one of your “multi-selves” is the least dominant?
Now, you might ask, ‘Where is she going with this?’
Well, the goal I am trying to accomplish is this. I believe if a person knows who they are when they wake up; who they are at noon; and who they are at bedtime; then they will be able to concentrate on their character “selves” that associate with positive emotions rather than counteracting on the “selves” that associate with negative emotions.
Are you following me? Let me explain…
God’s remedy for negativity is to count your blessings and name them one by one. So, the first thing I want you to do is physically count the number of “selves” you see in yourself as it relates to your health and well being. Don’t slight yourself. The more character roles you can identify–such as son or daughter, wife or husband, niece or nephew, aunt or uncle, student, artist, lawyer, doctor, friend, Indian chief–you get the message, etc., the less likely negative emotions such as depression will consume you and as a result, which could effect your overall health.
So, if any one of your “selves” is depressed during the day, you should immediately control your mind to think on that dynamic self that is a writer and start composing (in your mind or at the computer) the next electrifying blog that you will post. All those positive emotions that fill your heart about writing just could actually offset that negative disposition that is trying to flood your soul.
My prayer for you is that you memorize a few of the scriptures listed below and recite them when you are feeling low and despondent. Only believe and have the faith that everything will turn out all right.
1. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
2. Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2
3. My son do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:1-4
4. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing, and perfect will. Romans 12:2
5. Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2
6. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
7. My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:20-27
8. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18
9. A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
10. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Don’t forget…let’s remember that we are not a product of ‘one’. The Good Lord made us a composite of many dispositions. Let us engage with the ‘self’ that best represents the character of Jesus Christ in all of our dealings with life’s situations.
Do you realize just how important you are in the family of Christ once you have accepted His invitation? You have bonded with an exclusive group of believers who are on a pathway of growth, renewal, and maturity.
You might ask on what authority do I proclaim this?
Well, just so you know, I have aligned myself with the Apostle Paul’s encouraging letter to the Philippians in which he states: “I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6
As I read and reread those words during my study time this week, the Holy Spirit reassured me that I could claim them for myself. And He also encouraged me to impart those words to others. At first, I did not thoroughly understand the interpretation from my Spiritual Messenger. But the more I prayed about it, the clearer it became. Paul’s message to the Philippians was really his way of expressing his sentiments that the Lord would continuously equip them via the instructions outlined in His holy word… not only during their lifetime, but His guidance and presence would also be available to their generations to come, even up until the Second Coming of Christ Jesus.
That’s through Eternity…folks!!
Further more, the Holy Spirit encouraged me by imparting that if I keep my hand in God’s hand, my off springs would be privileged to receive the covering, too. Oh, how those words encouraged me to be all the more steadfast and unmovable and always abounding in the army of the Lord.
I’ll let you in on a little secret.
Like you, I have family members who waver from time to time in their walk with the Lord. Especially the younger ones. (Some of them remind me of my youthful days.) But now that I am older, I often find myself recalling the days of my deceased Grandmother who shared with me miraculous stories of how the Lord brought her out of sickness, toils, and snares. In other words, so many times, I find myself living vicariously off of my Grandmother’s prayers. Those are the times when I pray and ask the Lord to do me like You did my Grandmother. And guess what? God always honors that prayer.
Listed here is a reprint of a blog that I wrote on January 17, 2019, entitled “God Pitied Every Mourn Of Four Generations Of Prayers”. If you want to experience one of my Grandmother’s miracle testimonies, I humbly invite you to click the website (https://wordpress.com/post/tgifmasterminds.com/720) and experience how prayers of the saints bombarded heaven and brought about a healing. As a teenager I listened to her story and it so resonated in my spirit that I will never forget it.
ScriptureLesson:“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6