Against The Odds

I want you to imagine with me today. I want you to picture yourself, standing in a valley, and you are surrounded by fierce creatures. Each one has a sneer and gnarled up face. Not only are they staring at you, but they are pointing their crooked fingers at you, and shouting doubts, and fears at you.- Now, I know that illustration may seem odd, but it does have a point, I promise. When you are going through a trial, you can feel that it will never end, there is no hope, no deliverance,fear looms over you. In 1 Samuel, chapter 17, the Philistines had come against Israel. Verse, 16, ” And the Philistine drew near morning, and evening, and presented himself forty days.” Goliath was FEAR, and FEAR came in everyday. He came every day, and spewed fear at the children of Israel. He had these people so intimidated that they would not even pull all of their resources together to defeat him. They were frozen with fear. Are you facing a battle of fear too? Do you have a “Goliath”, saying that you cannot win, you will lose, you will be defeated? This is when we must summon the courage that David did. A young man, came into the camp, and was appalled at the situation. This was not acceptable and he was determined to do something about it. What you are going through is not acceptable, are you determined to do something about it? David went to Saul and said, Thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. Here David is ready and willing to fight, verse 33 says, “And Saul said to David, Thou art NOT able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art BUT a youth,  AND he a man of war from his youth.” Here we have DOUBT. Once you realize that you are being accosted by Satan with fear, and you are ready to fight him, then here comes doubt. The doubt then tells you, that you are not able to do this, and how do you know that God will be on your side, or how do you know that there is life after death, the doubt is endless. But, David remembered how God had delivered him in previous times, let us always remember what God has already done for us. Verse, 38, ” And Saul armed David with HIS armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head;also he armed him with a coat of mail.” In verse 39, David decided not to use these tools, he said, I have not proved them. You see we cannot fight spiritual battles with our own earthly tools. We cannot defeat our problems with tools made by hand, or by the “way” that we think we should. We must depend on Christ and let Him fight our battle, for He has been proved.  By FAITH, David in verse 40, does this,” And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.” By FAITH, David was not afraid, and went out right then to meet the giant. By FAITH, David said, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee IN THE NAME OF THE LORD OF HOSTS, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defiled.” You see we must give our battle to the Lord of Hosts, we must get to the point when we have prayed and prayed, and we see no results, that we must give God our battle to Him completely, letting go, just like David did when he slung the stone. What happens then when we have FEAR and the FAITH, we are VICTORIOUS! Verse 50, “So David PREVAILED over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.” David gave the battle to God, he knew that on his own, there was no way that he could defeat Goliath. We look at our circumstances, we have FEAR, there is no way that we can defeat it own our on, we then must rely on Christ and totally give Him our battle, we must lean 100% on Christ, we must have FAITH. Once you have the faith, and give it to Christ, you will be VICTORIOUS!! No matter what valley you are in, no matter what the battle, no matter the FEAR, have FAITH and be VICTORIOUS!

God Hears When We Pray

Have you ever prayed and prayed, and yet it seemed God did nothing? Perhaps, you wondered if He heard your prayer 🙏 at all. There is no one ☝️ person that can explain the workings of God. He does reveal Himself to us precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. We cannot contain His whole being, our minds cannot contain, or begin to fully comprehend His ways, therefore we have His Word (the Bible), and we have faith. Now in Mark chapter 14, verse 33, Jesus went to pray because the time was near for Him to die. He was terrified, and what do we do when we are scared, we go to one that can comfort us. So Jesus went to pray to His Father. Verse 35, “And He went forward a little, and FELL on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.” This part of scripture truly shows His human side, it shows His fear, it shows Him completely afraid as He fell to the ground, He was so afraid, His strength literally left Him and He fell. Sometimes life can leave us this way, it is our human nature to be scared of the unknown. He was scared because He DID know what was going to happen. We face our day-to-days, not knowing, which is a good thing. Verse 36, “And He said, Abba, Father, ALL things are possible unto Thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what Thou wilt.” Here Jesus said, I know you can do ALL things, and He asked that this cup pass from Him. If you notice, God did not answer Him back right here. Here is God’s own son, asking for relief, and God said nothing. Why? I don’t know, but Jesus did not throw a fit, He knew in His heart ❤️ that His Father heard Him and He knew what He had to do. For whatever reason God did not, at that moment, answer Jesus, but Jesus continued to pray 2 more times, and I do believe that God assured Him, because in verse 41 it says,”And He cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest; IT IS ENOUGH, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” Here you can tell that Jesus is certain of what will happen, and had excepted it, He had peace. That peace that He received was straight from God, because there was no way He could have faced the torment without it. God answered Jesus when it was time to, and gave Him the strength to go on victoriously! Jesus was and IS the bravest of the brave! This man which exuded fear in verse 35, shows nothing but courage from verse 41 and on.  This Man was more than just a man! He had leaned on God, His Father, and His Father was holding Him up. So what I want you to take away from this blog today is this, we have desperate times, and in these desperate times, we may fall on our knees and pray, seeking for an answer, the answer may not come in that instant. Does this mean that God did not hear or care? Absolutely not! As we noticed in the verses, God did not answer Jesus at first either. He is God, He does all things well, and when you have prayed, continue to pray, He will answer you when He should. When He does answer you, you will be renewed like Jesus, your strength will be kindled, and you will be able to face what it is that is in your way, because God will be with you, and He will hold you up, if you lean on Him.

Though Others Criticize

When doing the work of the Lord, it does not mean that everyone will like you or agree. In fact it seems that the more you try to obey His will, people will try to interfere. I myself have experienced this, but even though these people try to inhibit me, they have not prevailed and I continue on my way because, I know I am doing God’s will. When you know that you are doing His will, then let the tempest roll, it will not harm you, nor will it prosper. In Matthew chapter 26, he gives his account of the woman with the perfume. Verse 10 says this, ” When Jesus understood it, He said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.” This lady had Jesus’s approval, so what in the world did it matter if she had the disciples’ approval. Sometimes we seek or desire to have men’s accolades, we want that pat on the back, that good job, or that, I’m proud of you. But, often times this will not come from them. Just because someone may have “high” standings in a church or wherever, does not mean that you need their stamp of approval. This woman did what was right, she felt in her spirit that this was something she should do, so she did, she was then criticized out of fleshy reproach, but the One that mattered said, Why do you trouble this woman. I’m sure they hung their heads because they had been called out. We should continue to do what we KNOW we should, and let God handle those that criticize our work. The lady never said anything back, Jesus took care of it, in fact if you continue to read in verse 13, Jesus said this, ” Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” This has in fact been done. This woman has been talked about through the ages. Now, she did not do this for accolades, but she did it because she felt it was the right thing to do, but because she was obeidiant, she has been made an example to us all. Don’t let others discourage you from doing God’s will. Don’t seek or desire the approval from man, because more than likely, you won’t get it, seek God and His approval, let Him reprimand those that speak against you. Let your obeisance be your testimony for others to see. 

The I AM

Sometimes in our lives, people do not live up to our expectations. When this happens, it can leave you cold, and perhaps bitter. So the age old question then is, how should we respond? I feel some may tend to withdraw, while others tend to lash out. We know that Jesus said, “Love they neighbor as thyself.” We know how we are to treat acquaintances, but have you ever noticed, we tend to treat our friends and even strangers better than the ones that we are supposed to love. This can be the worst domino affect, in my opinion, because the ones you expect to treat you with love and kindness, are not. This can leave a huge hole in your heart ❤️. So what should we do? How then should we treat these people who have hurt us? This time of year can be so painful for many, it forces them to see how things should be, when in their reality, they are not. I do have some encouraging words for you though, actually 5 words. In Exodus the third chapter, Moses discovered the burning bush, it was here that God told him what He was going to do regarding the children of Israel. In verse 14, God Himself, says these things, ” And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” So there are your five words, when you feel down or forgotten, I AM THAT I AM! He is ALL you need.  Are you looking for unconditional love? I AM THAT I AM. Are you looking for hope? I AM THAT I AM. Are you looking for forgiveness? I AM THAT I AM. Are you looking for direction in your life? I AM THAT I AM. Do you feel alone and destitute? I AM THAT I AM. HE will be ALL that YOU need, when you need it. He will fill the hole that has been caused by others, He will heal the hurt and HE WILL LOVE YOU. Only God can do this.The I AM, can be your father, your mother, your best friend, your spouse, your whoever. He can be these things because He is ALL things. He can fill your longing and empty soul with gladness. He can wrap His arms around you, and hold you, and comfort you, the way your parents should have. He will be there to listen and encourage you, like your best friend should have. If you have lost a spouse by death or other means, He can be the one to hold you and comfort you, you are not alone.  We have hope because of these five words, I AM THAT I AM. This Christmas season, when all looks bright, and people appear to have it all together, don’t be faint in your heart my dear friends, Jesus came to earth, and died for us, and rose again, so He could be, THE I AM THAT I AM for you!!

Merry Christmas 🎄!!!

In These Times

There is an expression that goes like this, “But the times…they are a changing. ” This is true and not in a good way. We live in perilous times, I would say, especially those in foreign lands. It is hard to look upon the conditions and not get worried for our safety, or the safety of our loved ones. However, these conditions are no surprise to our Lord. He saw the hate that would come thousands of years ago. In Matthew 24:12, Jesus says this, “And because iniquity shall ABOUND, the love of many shall wax cold.” Because people have let sin abound in their lives, the love that they should have for their fellow brothers and sisters, diminishes. You see, without Christ, and the love of Christ in our lives, there is no good in us. Humans are not good, and there is nothing to make us good, we are only made good through Christ. Therefore, no man should boast of himself if he does happen to do good deeds. If you leave Christ out, there is nothing to make you good,  in these times that we are living in, people have chosen to exclude Christ. They do not want  Him talked about in schools, they do not want His commandments posted in public, they do not want to be reminded of Him. Because of this, iniquity abounds, and the love of many, waxes cold. Our society has created this viscous cycle, they want all people to get along, they want peace, but they have left out the ONLY ONE, who can provide this. He is the only one that can make a black heart ❤️ whiter than snow, only Him, and not we ourselves. Jesus knew what would happen, and yet He died for us all, to give us hope, to give life to those who want it. I want that life, I want the love of Christ to abound in me, don’t you?  All the despair and hate here on earth 🌏 is just temporary, terrible though it may be, we do have hope. In verse 13, Jesus says this, ” But He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. ” That is a promise my friends. We must stand fast in Christ, do not waiver, even though the love ❤️ of many waxes cold, even though iniquity abounds, stay the course, because those who endure, will be saved!! Amen 🙏!

Heart ❤️, Soul, and Mind

A lawyer in Matthew chapter 22, asked Jesus which was the great commandment in the law. He did this to try and snare Jesus but once again, Jesus answered with all the wisdom that one could ever hope to have. In verse 37, Jesus says this, ” Jesus said unto him, Thou  shalt love the Lord thy God with ALL thy heart, and with ALL thy soul, and with ALL thy mind. ” This one commandment makes it possible to obey all of the rest. In verse 39,  he included, love thy neighbor as thyself. We, on our own are not capable of doing this, but if we love God with ALL our heart, soul, and mind, then we can. When we love Him with ALL of our heart, we desire Him. We desire for our hearts to be tried by Him, and we desire Him to fill us with more of Him. This should be our daily prayer. When we love Him with ALL of our soul, that means completely and wholly. This means that with every fiber of your being, you know that without Him, you are nothing, you trust Him explicitly. You love Him with your soul, for it is His breath that gave you that soul, without Him, there would be no you. When you love Him with ALL of  your mind, you are saying that, your thoughts are upon Him. You live to satisfy Him. Your mind you want to keep clean and set on Him. When you love Christ with ALL of your heart ❤️, soul, and mind, you are allowing Him to work through you. You realize that it is He that has made us, and not we ourselves. To love Christ with ALL your heart, soul, and mind is to completely give yourself to Him, and to His will. One is never too old or too young to accomplish this. Jesus wants to use us all, no matter race, gender, or age. There is work that can be done. There are lost that can be saved and this can be accomplished if we love Him with ALL of our heart, soul, and mind. 

Our Only Hope

Despite how evil the world 🌎 gets, God’s truth will continue on! For thousands of years, people have tried to contain His Word. They have killed to prevent people from professing His name. They have jailed and beaten, His children. Christians have been scorned and mocked on television 📺 and yet, His Word still stands. Why? Because He is our only HOPE. He is the ONLY reason that we can put one foot in front  of the other and go on. He’s the ONLY reason that we can look upon those who have wronged us and see them with forgiveness. He is the ONLY reason there is any good in us at all! Anything good is from Him. The Pharisees tried to shut the people up about Jesus while he stilled walked the earth. They thought His death would discourage the people and they would forget about Him. But when He arose from the grave with healing and salvation, they praised Him ever the more, and still do!! For this reason the world 🌎 will try to put a lid on this, but it will not be contained. In John chapter 12:19,the Pharisees said these things,” The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye  how ye prevail NOTHING? behold, the world is gone after HIM.” Amen to that!! Despite the plans that Satan has, they will not prevail, the world is gone after HIM!! This is the gift from God, let us keep a joyful spirit this Christmas and rest in the fact, that because He came and was born of a virgin, walked among the people, died for our sins, rose again, and is ONE day, coming back for His children, we have hope and the world will not prevail! The Pharisees knew it, even then, and the devil knows it too. That’s why he tries to destroy those who he can now. Pray for the lost, that they too will follow Jesus! Merry Christmas 🎄 and amen 🙏! 

Jesus Knew

I have often in a way always pitied Judas. It always seem unfortunate and almost like, did he have a choice in the matter. But while reading my Bible, I realized that, he absolutely had a choice. He had chosen to never be right with God. While reading John chapter 12:5-6, it dawned on me that he was never sincere about Christ. Mary had just poured the ointment on Jesus’s feet and was washing them and this is what Judas said, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” That sounds legit, doesn’t it? It sounds like he makes a good point, and to the others they may have been fooled but we know that Christ was not. Verse 6,” This he said, NOT that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and BARE what was put therein.” I was telling my kids the other day about how if someone plays around with the devil, then it is easy for him to gain access to them. We see people all the time dressed in black, listening to hard hard music, they may consult psychics and other supernatural things, these people are lost and sad, we look at these people and half expect them to do something devious but, how about those in the church, who are not so easy to point out. On the outside they appear righteous but on the inside, they are not. Some people don’t want to go to church because of hypocrites but Jesus allowed one amongst them, and He taught him just like the rest. The fact that Judas never changed, shows that we are responsible for accepting Christ, and Jesus does not force Himself on anybody. In chapter 13:27 it says, “And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. ” What I want to emphasize here is, the devil did not make Judas do anything. It wasn’t like Judas was a zombie and had no control over his faculties, he had prepared his heart for the devil all along. This man had never changed, and he wanted to be around Jesus for the prestige and for his own selfish gain. There are people that serve in our churches that are this way. But fear not these people,  nor the problems that they may cause. God knows who His sheep are, He knows those who are truly His. These people may seem to prosper for a while, but they will not for long. None of the disciples had any clue who might betray Jesus. Judas had them all snowed, but Jesus knew. He knew. I’m glad that He knows, aren’t you?

Will You Work?

God loves honesty and obedience. When He has called you to do something, He wants you to be obedient and do it. Sometimes we get frightened or simply do not want to do it, for whatever reason. But, a true follower of Christ will do some soul searching and they will ultimately follow God’s plan. These people are not concerned with what others think, because if they were, they would do works to be seen. These faithful followers will seek God’s will and do what He has asked, no matter what. They ultimately want to please God. Then there are others who will say that they will, perhaps to make themselves look good, but secretly they have no intentions of following through. They want people to “think,” that they are loyal and obedient when they are not. I’m sure you are reading this, and thinking to yourself, I know some people like that. Well don’t be frustrated, because if God is not in what they are doing, it cannot prosper. In Matthew chapter 21, Jesus is giving a parable to the Pharisees, these people were all about doing so that others would see, and perceive that they were upright, when in fact they were sinful people. They thought by works, you were better than others, but it’s not through works that man is saved, it is through faith. ~Anyway, in Matthew chapter 21 starting in verse 28, Jesus says these things, “But what ye think? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. (29) He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he REPENTED, and went. ” I want to interject something here, this son was honest and didn’t want to go, but you can sense that he had a good heart, because after a while, he repented. He probably was mulling it over, trying to justify not doing it, but because his heart was in the right place, he knew that he must, and so he did, and was glad to do so. Now to verse 30, “And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. ” This man’s heart was not right. He had no desire to fulfill his father’s request. On a lighter note, he reminds me a little of Eddie Haskell, off of Leave it to Beaver. Eddie was always saying, yes ma’am, and no sir, and very polite, when in reality, he was quite mischievous 😏. The second son was all about what things appeared to be on the outside, the first son was all about pleasing his father, even though at first, he was reluctant. God understands that we may have doubts or questions about what He has asked us to do, but He wants us to trust Him, and obey.