God Disposes But Man Proposes!

OOPs! God Wants Us To Think Outside The Box.

And again I say…OOPs!  For this week’s blog title, I have used an antithesis form of speech. Why?  Because I thought the title above would infuse the curiosity of my readers more than the title: “God Uses Opposites To Express Himself On How To Obtain Righteousness”.

Now I ask you…did it work?  Are you still with me?  Have I piqued your interest enough for you to read this blog all the way through?

Well, if nothing else, you’ve learned the definition of a new word…Antithesis!  That word refers to the juxtaposition (two things with contracting views) of opposing or contrasting ideas.  And we all know that the Bible is full of opposites expressed not only by God in the creation story in Genesis, but also by Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, and many other New Testament writers.

Below I have listed a few examples found in Genesis Chapter One that depict an antithesis form of speech or writing:

  • Light and darkness
  • Day and night
  • Earth and Sky
  • Morning and evening
  • Land and sea
  • Sun and Moon
  • Male and female

Now let’s apply scripture to the proverb that God disposes but man proposes

  • “Many are the plans in a human heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
  • “To human beings belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.”  Proverbs 16:1
  • “The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster.”  Proverbs 16:4
  • “In their hearts human beings plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”  Proverbs 16:9

If you wanted to compose a sentence to share that will better explain the antitheses, you could say that even when man gives his very best to a project, in the end, it is up to fate whether man’s efforts will work out or not.  Thus, Man proposes, but God disposes (brings things to fruition or extinction).

So do not be discouraged when you read opposites in the bible.  Rather, get wisdom and in all thy getting, get an understanding about God’s word.  Study to show yourself approved and allow the Holy Spirit to show you how to rightly divide the word of truth.

The moral of the story:

Recently, I was invited to teach on several scriptures from the Book of Hebrews.  The assignment called for me to first read a short story found in Our Daily Bread magazine and use it as the basis for my scripture teaching.  Because the magazine story did not fully blend in with the overall theme of Hebrews, I had to pray hard for the Holy Spirit to help me connect the dots. This is the message the Holy Spirit communed with me:  Do not reduce holy mysteries to slogans and catchy stories, my sister.  In trying to be relevant, you are only being cute and in violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred.  Having a knack for generating ‘amens’ from your audience won’t get you anywhere with the Master.  In fact, you will reap what you sow.   You can imagine, I stuck with the overall theme of Hebrews…the Old Covenant vs the New Covenant.  I was careful not to propose anything in my teaching that the Lord would dispose.

My prayer for you:

Dear Heavenly Father, we give You all the glory, honor, and praise for loving us so much that You sent down the Holy Spirit to teach and instruct us in the way of righteousness.  For you used juxtaposition terminology to instruct us in how to recognize what is life-generating and what leads to death-infused conduct.  Basically, we must embrace faith, exhibit love and practice endurance as we live out our lives and administer hope to our fellowman.  It is our prayer that You will continue to shower us with Your wisdom so that we might become more like You.  We ask that all of these various teaching methods be a blessing to others…in the mighty Name of Jesus we ask it all.  Amen.

Scripture Lesson:  “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” Proverbs 21:21

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

God said: “Hold On To My Unchanging Hand”

The World Trade Center in the 1970s - The Bowery Boys: New York City History
“Twin Towers” New York Trade Center…BEFORE”

Did you know, my friends, that intended evil deeds can eventually become intended good deeds in God’s hands?

Who knew?

Certainly not the people in New York or any other American city on that horrific Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. For as you know, on an annually bases, every September 11, we commiserate this attack on the United States of America, which was carried out by a militant Islamist group known as al-Qaeda. A series of four coordinated attacks were planned, but one failed.

This particular year, 2021, should be especially notable for Christians who like to equate such memorial events to biblical prophesies and related scriptures. For we are reminded in Hebrews 13:14 (NIV) “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

New York Times Blames 'Airplanes' For Attack On Twin Towers On 9/11 - The  Police Tribune
“Twin Towers” New York Trade Center…AFTER”

Another biblical comparison to the timing of this event that we are celebrating during 2021 are the events that occurred in Genesis 37:1-36. There we find the tragic events around Joseph being sold into slavery by his own brothers. Just like the events of 9/11, this incident, too, was meant for evil, but God meant it for good.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

Joseph’s brothers thereafter had to live their lives in fear filled with lies and deceptions. However, Joseph’s life found fulfillment and rewards and eventually his life flourished in the midst of this tragedy with only a few exceptions. For 20 years later after being abandant by his brothers, they had to come to him in Egypt for judgement.

Just how did Joseph flourish in the midst of tragedy imposed by his brothers? We don’t have to speculate. Some 20 years later the roles were reversed. Joseph was now the overseer of Pharaoh’s Egypt. Joseph was the strong one and his brothers the weak ones. They came to him in dread for their survival. They feared he would settle the score and throw them into a pit of his own making. But Joseph didn’t. And in his explanation we find solace in his inspirational forgiveness statement quoted in Genesis 50:20.

This year, 2021, marks 20 years since that dreadful day when America lost so many lives and uprooted so many families and generations to come. Let us remember to keep the faith and to hold on to God’s unchanging hand and give place for the words in Hebrews 13:14. For every true Christian should be looking forward to that blessed city not made by hands.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20200130.jpg
Christians! If you are in a night of trial, think on these things; cheer up, nourish your heart with thoughts of the coming Savior. Be patient for ‘Lo, I am with you always,’ saith the Lord Almighty!


Scripture Lesson: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

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

 

God Got My Immediate Attention!

When God’s son, Jesus Christ, calls your name twice, He really gets your attention!

How many friends, family members and acquaintances do you know that addresses people not by their given names, but rather by using a euphemism (a mild or indirect word or expression) that in most cases depicts an endearing term that shows hospitality and love?

For example, I often greet family and friends by saying, “Hello Lovie. How are you?” If a conversation pursues, I’m guilty of peppering my sentences with “Lovie” a few more times to make a point. Now, I’m not saying that this is all bad. I’m just saying that this week my eyes were opened to the realization that perhaps I might want to just curtail using the expression of “Lovie” as a substitute for addressing a person by their legitimate name.

Here is why…

This week my bible prayer group started reading 1st Samuel, a book in the Bible. A very popular story in that book is the one about the young lad, Samuel, who had a dream while living in a priestly commune (temple) with the prophet Eli. Samuel was awakened from his dream twice by someone calling him. Samuel thought it was Eli so he got up and went to Eli. Since Eli had not been the one who called unto Samuel, Eli instructed Samuel what to say if he heard his named called a third time. Finally, the Lord did call his name again, but this time He called out, “Samuel! Samuel!” and He got Samuel’s attention. Samuel’s response was, “Here I am Lord. Speak, for your servant is listening” (1st Samuel 3:1-10).

I am very familiar with that story as I am sure you are too. But this time Samuel’s encounter with the Lord really got my attention and I wondered how many times was a double salutation used to call somebody in the Old and New Testaments. My research revealed that throughout all sixty-six books in the entire Bible, only nine people and one city were addressed by calling their names twice.

I immediately called upon the Holy Spirit and asked if we could have a little conversation…

In my spirit I began to realize that every time an individual was called by name twice, he or she was elevated to a greater and higher position of importance in the scheme of things in the Bible.

  1. Abraham! Abraham! He became the Father of Many Nations . (Genesis 22:11-13)
  2. Jacob! Jacob! He became a great nation siring 12 tribes. And his name was changed to Israel. (Genesis 46:1-4)
  3. Moses! Moses! He was assigned to become a deliverer of God’s people. (Exodus 3:1-10)
  4. Samuel! Samuel! He was young at the time, but God was grooming him to be a priest, prophet, and judge. (1 Samuel 3:1-10)
  5. Martha! Martha! She was the sister to Mary and Lazarus. Martha was taught from being anxious about many things in life. (Luke 10:38-42)
  6. Simon! Simon! Also known as Peter. He learned to rely on Jesus instead of his own self. (Luke 22:31-32)
  7. Saul! Saul! Also known later as Paul. He changed from persecuting Christians to teaching them. (Acts 9:4)
  8. Lord! Lord! This was the title people began to use with their lips but not with their hearts. (Matthew 7:21-22, 25:11: Luke 6:46; 13:25)
  9. Eloi! Eloi! Definition for “My God, My God” that people still call on today. (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34; Psalm 22:1)
  10. Jerusalem! Jerusalem! The name given to the only city in the Bible that was elevated to prominence. (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34)

This is the conclusion of the matter…

If and when God calls your name TWICE, will you recognize him and answer the call? Will Jesus get your attention? I truly believe that God has a place and an assignment for each and every one of us to perform. He is no respecter of person. What he has done for others, he will do for you! So, for goodness sake…don’t miss it when God calls your name…TWICE!

My prayer for you…

Dear Heavenly Father: First of all, I want to thank You for knowing our names and just where we are at any given moment. We also wish to thank You for Your divine organizational structure, for it is written in Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 that “There is timing and purpose for everything in God. There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…And a time to heal.” So, dear Jesus, please find all of us in good health, good spirits, good moral living conditions, and good hearts for service in Your vineyards. May we all use good common sense and good judgment and be submissive to the instructions of the Holy Spirit and to always remember that love never fails when carrying out Your decrees and directions for our lives. We humbly come laying these prayers at the feet of Jesus. Amen!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.jpeg
Click the song title below. (Skip the commercial.)

2:22I’ll Be Somewhere Listening For My Name

Scripture Lesson: He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, (2 Timothy 1:9 NIV)

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

God Played a Joke On Me…He Gave Me An iPhone 11 for Mother’s Day

White Egg With Painted Face And Crown Of egLeaves
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; those who seek find; and to those who knock, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 TNIV

It’s my fault.  I guess this time, I went too far.  Even in knowing that God is a God of his Word, I was still surprised and pleased when he allowed Jesus Christ to honor my latest prayer request.  And just as His promises are His bond, I put Him to the test…and asked for a brand-new Apple iPhone 11 for Mother’s Day!  And guess what, I received one!

My bio-logical son gifted me with this awesome piece of technology that can do everything, but bake a cake!

Also, while giving thanks for my marvelous gift that will soon have me stepping up to the plate as a ‘tech-key’, I ran across another one of Jesus’ parables in Matthew that will help me to witness to a dear friend who is experiencing some remorse as to the manner in which he spoke (or as he put it), berated one of his older sons for carelessly exposing other members of the family with Covid-19.  This friend spoke at length in a vehemently mannerism and indicated to me that he intends to continue the discussion with his son the next time he sees him.

Ouch!

At the time of this conversation with my friend, I was in no position to prayerfully witness to him, nor was he in any state of mind to receive any words from on High.  But after reading and meditating this week on the following Scripture passages, I will make a concerted effort to re-rehearse our earlier conversation and offer him, with the aide of the Holy Spirit, a more civil way to engage his son in conversation. For it is written in Matthew 7:1-6 TNIV:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eye.” 

Now, let’s get back to my new iPhone 11.

This week, I am prayerfully asking you guys out there to send up a special partition for me and any other persons who have just received some sort of communication device that they will be using to lead or draw someone closer to Christ.  First pray over the instrument and dedicate it for the use of the Kingdom.  Rebuke all wicked and evil spirits from flooding the atmosphere, highways and byways with disruptions, confusions, misspoken words and gossip.  Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you to make a concerted effort to be in contact with those persons whom He desires to communicate with.  Thank Him for loved ones, friends, family members and provisions that make it possible for everyone’s needs to be met while we are still here on earth, and our traveling days are not yet over.  Please pray to the Lord for us and ask Him to forgive us for at times, finding it hard to share our faith with others.  Help us to always be able to witness freely and in a godly manner about You and Your words of wisdom and understanding.  In the precious Name of our Lord and Savior…Jesus Christ.  Amen!

Scripture Lesson: “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me His prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. (2 Timothy 1:8)

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.wordpress.com every Friday for a new post from The Master’s servant manager and prisoner…Me!

   

God Is No Respecter of Person…He Has No Favorites!

Have you ever been elevated to a position of leadership when your audience or subjects were composed of persons older than yourself, who were far wealthier, accomplished, prestigious or deserving of that same position?  Were you made to feel intimidated because of this?  Did it effect your leadership ability and cause you to treat certain people differently than others?  Such as categorizing people into groups and effecting your judgement of others impartially?  Or being reluctant to institute certain directives that could further the positive accomplishments of your assigned duties?

Be honest!  Face the music!  Admit your frustrations!

Why? Because if you make a concerted effort to bring your burdens and cares to the Lord Jesus Christ and leave them there, He has the power to deliver comfort, wisdom, reassurance and peace to your soul.  There are so many biblical scriptures recorded on this subject in the New Testament that can be used as your guide, if you will just avail yourself to them.  Following is a verse that mostly reveals this truth:

1 Peter 1:17  “And remember that your heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites when he judges.  He will judge you with perfect justice for everything you do; so, act in reverent fear of him from now on until you get to heaven.”

Not everybody lives by that verse.

Let’s review the godly requirements listed above in order to receive this confidence.  First, you must be in active communication with the Father through practicing a regular prayer life.  Second, you must trust the Father’s judgement.  And third, you must carry out your acts of duty knowing that you, too, will be judged on how you impart them.

True story…

There was a time in my life when I found myself in a precarious position that fostered envy and strife.  Back in the day of deep segregation towards minorities, and when I had just graduated from high school and had finished an additional two-year secretarial course, I was hired as a clerk/typist at the General Motors car division headquarters building in Detroit, Michigan.  At that time, my typing skills were 90 wpm, and my Greg shorthand skills were 140 wpm.  My supervisors in the typing pool, acknowledged my sharp and fast skill abilities and often ‘loaned/assigned’ me out to other departments whenever they needed extra help; but never allowed me to be considered for promotion to a higher paying clerical position mainly because of my race.

Black Lives Matter Word Cloud on a white background.

Usually, a clerk/typist/stenographer with half of my skill abilities was promoted out of the typing pool in less than 24 months of being hired to a higher paying position in the company.  But my superiors detained me for more than six years in the typing pool for no other reason than the color of my skin. 

Finally, due to outside political pressures, and the good insight of a godly human relations department manager at GM, I was promoted out of the typing pool and assigned to work as secretary to a junior executive of General Motors.  As it turned out, I worked in an open office area with 3 other secretaries who clerked for their own executive.  However, the other secretaries disallowed me to interact with them and did not share the norms of their inner circle office environment with me.  Nevertheless, because the executive I clerked for was the senior executive among the other 3 executives, my boss set the standards for office protocol, assignments and office clerical duties.  Guess what…that made me the distributor of those duties.

Now, here is our assignment for this area.

You can imagine how my assignment responsibilities were received by the other 3 secretaries in the open office area.  When the secretaries did not perform their work that I re-assigned to them to do that would benefit their bosses, the girls lied and said I never gave them their assignments or that I was incompetent in my directions or even challenged my authority to engage them.  Eventually, I was called into my bosses’ office and reprimanded.  He told me if I could not perform my duties in supervising the other people, he would have to get somebody else to do my job who could.

Now, what my boss did not know about me was that I was a praying sistah!  My prayers had finally lifted me out of the original typing pool where I had languished for six years and elevated me to my current position as secretary to a junior executive.  And if he thought that I had lost trust in my Savior’s judgement and had become weak and timid in executing my authority, he was badly mistaken.  Before leaving his office, I had assured him I had a plan that would produce positive results in a matter of weeks as to how the otter offices would perform in a positive and productive manner that he would be proud of.

Well, for weeks thereafter, I emerged myself in reading 1st and 2nd Timothy and found encouragement in the words of wisdom Paul imparted to young Timothy.  I prayed and asked God to empower me like he did Timothy.  God reminded me that there is great gain in performing my duties with godliness and in contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.  So, you, young woman of God, just know that I am a lifter of heads, and just as I lifted you out of your earlier predicament six years ago, I can do it again.  Have faith, walk upright, and wait on the Lord.

Honestly, within one week after I continually prayed that prayer and waited on God, the Holy Spirit entered the work force and softened the hearts of those other people in the office and they overcame their opposition to me and in due time, all went well.  I never held their prior conducts against them nor showed impartiality.  When my boss and the other executives openly complimented me on my office skills and expertise, I received them gracefully and without braggadocio.  Those early employment years were rough, but with the Lord’s help and presence, I made it through. God reassured me that he was no respecter of persons, nor did he have favorites. Thank you God for being a heart fixer and a mind regulator!

My prayer for you: “Dear Lord, thank you for making us children of the light who will from this day forward do what is good and right and true: Help us to expose sin in the workplace and be willing to work on our own relationships with other people in an impartial mannerism. In the precious Name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Scripture Lesson: “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth). Ephesians 5:8-9

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.wordpress.com every Friday for a new post from The Master’s servant manger…Me!

God’s Laws Matter

Do you believe that prayer changes things? I do! That’s why, when consoling my family members, friends or acquaintances after learning about what ails them, I often ask them that same question. Most of the time their response is, ‘yes…but’. Next, I usually hear replies, or shall I say excuses, of why things just didn’t work out.

Now, about this time, I can see that my work is cut out for me. So, I must tread lightly. Generally, I pose questions that generate a response that the person really wants my help or opinion concerning the matter they are dealing with. I might throw in a joke or two, that signals to them that together, we can come up with a workable solution. But the biggest help I depend on are the lyrics to Nina Simone’s song. Just click the website below, close your eyes, pat your foot, and enjoy the beat:

Nina Simone The High Priestess of Soul 1980s US Mini Poster For Sale

50+NOW PLAYINGMix – Nina Simone – Cum By H’ Yere (Good Lord)YouTube

After hearing Nina’s message silently in my heart, and sending up my own quick prayer, I re-introduce my ‘charge‘ to the Master of all things that seem impossible. Gently, I began to explain the obstacles that arise in our daily lives that can so easily fracture our relationship with God. I remind them that sometimes our own unconfessed or deliberate sins can build up an unimpeachable wall that can prevent a prayer from getting through. For as you know, the society that we live in today can fool a person into thinking that what actually is wrong and not pleasing to God, is right in man’s eyes. While at the same time those things that are right is foolishness and non beneficial to you. Sadly, Christians have all too often become used to this way of living.

So, if the person you are consoling is honest and agrees with your message this far, you may want to encourage them to voice out loud any areas in their immediate life where unconfessed situations have not been brought to the throne of grace. Encourage them to deal with those things first. Ask them if you can help them to pray about these conditions prior to lifting up their most recent cares to the Lord. You will want to emphasize that God’s laws and precepts do matter and that they do play an important part when expecting new mercies and new blessings. God wants us to obey his word and commandments because this type of discipline keeps us close to him.

Offer yourself to others and let them know that you are available as a support friend that they can come to for encouragement and strength without fear of condemnation. Invite them to engage in a bible study group or offer them a devotional book for spiritual instructions. Let them know that staying connected to righteous living and unwavering faith is not easy. Share some of your own missteps that will foster hope and reassurance.

In conclusion, following is a suggested prayer model: “Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive your child for becoming so accustomed to this world that unconfessed sins and misdeeds no longer seemed offensive or disturbing to You. Please, Lord, show us through Your Word and the examples of Jesus Christ, Your will for our lives. More particularly, Dear Jesus, please lead and guild ________________ during these turbulent times. I ask all these blessings in the Precious Name of Christ Jesus. Amen!”

Scripture Lesson: “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18

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