JESUS IS CLOSE


Jesus is close and near to us and he’s closer than sometimes we think. We may not feel his presence because we’re so wrapped up in what we may be going through we fail to realize it. As we go through Jesus is watching us just like he was watching his disciples as they were struggling with the boat oars as they sat in the middle of the lake because of the force of the wind. As Jesus watched them struggle he was going to pass them by which is interesting.

Could it be because even though there was some struggle even in the midst of it they hadn’t panicked? Well out of fear they panicked and cried out and when they did Jesus responded. He responded by getting in the storm right along with them seeing them through their moment of fear, confusion, helplessness, and hopelessness and even though they panicked Jesus never did.

As we go through the many challenges in life sometimes we panic. We panic because what’s right before our eyes may be something we can’t see through or see the outcome. But even when we panic Jesus never does.

Mark 6:47-51(NIV)

47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land.

48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them,

49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed

JESUS NEVER PANICS IN ANY SITUATION WE’RE IN. WHY? BECAUSE HE KNOWS THERE’S POWER IN HIS NAME AND HE KNOWS IF THINGS DOESN’T TURN OUT THE WAY WE EXPECTED THEM TO. HE’S STILL SOVEREIGN AND WORTHY OF ALL OUR PRAISE AND IN THE END NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS IF WE BELIEVE IN HIM WE’LL BE WITH HIM FOREVER IN ETERNITY AND WHAT CAN COMPARE TO THAT…..NOTHING!!!

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HE MEETS THE NEED BUT ALLOWS US TO PARTICIPATE


Its one thing to be concerned about someone’s need and it’s another thing to do something about it. In the Gospel of Mark the disciples were concerned about the physical need in regards to food of those who had been following Jesus.

But it was Jesus who decided to do something about it. What’s cool about that though is that even though Jesus took care of the need he allowed them to be a part of it. After breaking the bread Jesus gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people.

Mark 6: 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. (Jesus provides/they participate in providing the physical need).

Not only did Jesus allow them to be a part of this physical need at this present time. He paralleled that right before his ascension but this time he allowed them to participate in something more important.

Jesus knowing we needed a savior (provided a spiritual need by dying on the cross) left his Holy Spirit to us after his death while leaving his words with his disciples allowing them to participate (by preaching the gospel he taught them) in the spiritual need of God’s people.

Matthew 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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YOU HAVE A VISION BUT WHOSE IS IT?


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Proverbs 29:18 King James Version (KJV)
18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

There’s something to be said about a vision. In the scripture the word vision represents several things.

1. It represents a direct connection and revelation from God. (His vision)

Genesis 15:1
15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward

2. It represents what’s in our hearts in essence our ( own vision).

Ezekiel 13:7
7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken?

3. Visions doesn’t always start easy and may come with struggles, pain, correction and discipline and even require us to step out of our comfort zone before we see the reward.

Acts 9:10-15
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.
12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.

4. Some visions are only to be proclaimed at a certain time. Meaning there’s a time a place and an order in which they are to be revealed.

Daniel 8:26
26 “The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.”

Matthew 17:9
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

You have a vision but whose is it?
In the end without God’s guidance and direction through prayer for his vision(not our own) the people will perish.

WHEN YOU LOOK INTO THE FACE OF YOUR ENEMY WHO DO YOU SEE


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As we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King today and what he stood for there couldn’t be a better song that symbolize what he stood for. In our current state of racial tension and divide and as we embark on a new journey with the inauguration let us remember that Martin Luther King might not have agreed on certain points with the President Elect but one thing we know based off his legacy despite how he may have felt he still would have consider the President Elect a brother and a son of the living God. #takealisten

HOW WE RESPOND TO CONFLICT SAYS A LOT


How we respond when someone insults us not only shows us who they are but more importantly show us who we really are and where our hearts truly stand. In the midst of being insulted Jesus did a couple of things that can only be done in the spirit but in our flesh we want to do the opposite. This is what he did.

1. He didn’t retaliate.
2. When he suffered he didn’t make threats.

The reason he didn’t make threats was because he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He totally trusted in God and not himself understanding that what he was going through was purposeful.

1 Peter 2:23 (NIV)
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

When we are insulted we want to retaliate and when we suffer we want to make threats instead and put our situations and trust into our own hands instead of putting them in the masters hand. We can truly trust that he has a purpose and plan far greater than our own and know that just like Jesus in difficult times we too can tap into the Holy Spirit allowing it to lead us.

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A LIFE LESSON FROM LES MISERABLES


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Forgiveness can really change someone’s life and draw them closer to Christ.

With that I’ve watched Les Miserables twice when it first came out after getting the DVD for my wife because she enjoyed it and I fell a sleep on it both times we watched it. I remember the first time watching it I asked my wife five minutes in will they be singing like this the whole time because I hope not it’s making my head hurt. She said yes and I was like oh no lol and I fell a sleep after 15 minutes in.

Well yesterday I actually watched it seriously with my bride without falling a sleep and just couldn’t stop thinking about the love of Christ and just how one-act of forgiveness can change the world and the story to someone’s life. When Jean Valjean was homeless needing someone to take him in it was the Bishop who took on that burden to cloth, house and feed him. Valjean out desperation took items of value from the Bishop and fled which would cause trust issues, bitterness and unforgiveness. But when Valjean was caught and brought back to the bishop by the police the bishop denied him taking the items even given him more than he had taken.

That one-act of forgiveness changed the course of Valjeans life drawing him closer to Christ and it changed the life of Fantine, Javert and Cosette to include the people Valjean was the Mayor of during his time and it all started with the Bishop displaying the love of Christ through his forgiveness.. I could write more about the love of a mother willing to do anything for their child displayed in Fantine. I could write more about the duty Javert felt like he had to do believing he was doing truly the right thing reminding me of Saul before he became Paul and I could write more about Cosette a girl in desperate need to be loved after losing her mother. I could write more about a group of people wanting and desiring fairness and a better way of life from those who oppressed them. I could write more about a group of wealthy young men who were willing to stand against oppression against the will of their wealthy family. But what speaks to me the most from a story with several stories. Is the Christ like act of forgiveness. Reminding me just how impact full forgiveness can be.

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#Lesmiserablesstorieswithinstories #forgivenesstrulycanbelifechangingfortheforgiverandforgiven

THE FAVOR OF GOD


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Only God can give the type of favor that would cause you to get promoted after refusing to bow down to a King even if it would’ve cost you your life.

Daniel 3:28 (NIV)
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.

Daniel 3:30 (NIV)
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Abraham in total trust put Issac on the alter and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in total trust went into the fire and God delivered them from death to life…

DID GOD REALLY SAY HE WOULDN’T GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN BEAR?


I’ve heard so many Pastor’s and brothers and sisters in Christ who have all the greatest intentions in the world to uplift their fellow brothers and sisters up when down by making this statement “God will never give you more than you can bear”. But is that true? Is that true scripture? I believe the reason behind that statement is to provide hope but that statement can’t be found anywhere in the Bible which if spoken to someone not of faith can be misleading. What does the scripture in relation to that statement really say?

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

The scripture says God will not let you be (tempted) behind you can bear. The scripture deals with temptation and within the temptation God will provide a way out but we have to accept his way and put it into practice in order to overcome the temptation.
Misquoting scripture can have a lasting impact on those not familiar with it if we just ignore the truth we know because it may sound good.

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ARE YOU READY TO THROW IN THE TOWEL?


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Are you inclined to through in the towel in a certain area of your life because it’s hard and tough and the season you’re in is just to difficult? Take a look.

Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest IF we do not give up.

Now the key word here in this verse for us all is IF. According to this verse the only way we will reap a harvest is IF we don’t give up. What happens IF we give up? We may missed the very thing we’re asking God for and in order for us to receive it we may have to go through the harvest and a pruning process but because it was to hard we threw in the towel right before the harvest.

Hebrews 10:35-38
35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”
38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”

Perseverance for the purpose of the Will of God opens the way for the reception of God’s promises.

Now there are times when God calls us to shift and transition in a season but we must go to him in prayer because if not we may miss something if we shriek back.

 

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IT’S ALL FOR HIS GLORY


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It has truly been sometime since I’ve sat down to write what God has spoken through scriptures because God has taken me on my own personnel journey of pain that has required me to totally depend on him and him only the last six months. Through the process I’ve learned there are moments when we unintentionally but selfishly believe our struggles are about us but they”re really about him and for him. Everything about our lives comes back to him and is about his glory not our own. He has blessed us not for us but for his glory, he chose us to be holy and blameless in his sight and he did it in his love with his pleasure and for his will for his glorious grace. We bring praise to him through all situations for his glory and his word provides that truth for us to see in Ephesians chapter one.

Ephesians 1:4-6
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Ephesians 1:11-12
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:14
14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Since every part of our life is all for his glory here’s something for us to all think about. How are we glorifying God in our, marriages, families, relationships, with our time, talents and gifts, money, platforms, careers, hobbies, with the words we speak, type, tweet and text and with the things we watch and hear. Going forward let’s make an effort with assistance from the Holy Spirit to glory him in all things not somethings. Lets stand clear of our self glory or self-focus but instead focus on HIS GLORY. WHY? BECAUSE THE BREATH WE BREATH, IS BREATH BREATHED, BECAUSE OF HIS GLORY!!

LASTLY REMEMBER!!!

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THAT INCLUDES SELF!!!