Saturday, August 25, 2012

"Let the boat sail"

2 Corinthians 5:20
We are blessed with the unique opportunity to act as an ambassador to entire world representing the God of Heaven and Earth. We don't merely represent a country like in the Olympics or a state like in Congress. No we speak on behalf of the Living God, that is why it is so important that we are mindful of our conduct and our actions because to we project to the World the charac
ter, values, and image of God.

So yes we represent Christ for the nations but what happens when it is time for us to move on to a new place with new people and be His Ambassador in a "strange land". What happens when God is trying to telling us "You have done well here but it is time for you to move on, I am calling to to be my ambassador somewhere else." I mean God is always shuffling His People to different locations look at Moses (Exodus 3:10), Abraham (Genesis 12:1), Joseph (Genesis 38:28, 39:1, 40:20, 41:45-46), Peter and Andrew (Matthew 4:19), and/or James and John (Matthew 4:21-22), etc. God called all of these people to leave their current situation, occupation, comfort zone, or home. He desired for them to represent Him to the world in a new location.

The message of the Gospel spreads not just through the internet or television. It spreads through one on one interaction. It spreads through relationship building. It spreads because people get an up close and personal experiences of who Jesus is by the way we conduct our lives. That's why the Paul refers to us as living letters that all can read (2 Corinthians 3:2). It is also why Jesus wants us to do good and be mindful of our conduct so the World can see and bring glory to God (Matthew 5:16, 1 Peter 2:12, Philippians 2:15).

So now the question is...are you willing to go. Are you willing to give up everything and go where God sends you. Now I am not saying just quit paying your bills, abandon your family, and go. No I am not talking about crazy fanatical stupidity. I am simple saying if you know God is telling you to move to a different state, part of town, or even a country because He has something new for you to do....stop rationalizing why you can't go and follow God.

There is only one person who was disappointed after He chose to follow God and that was Jonah. Jonah's disappointment was due to his lack of mercy for others (Jonah 4:1-3). But everyone else mentioned in the second paragraph above did not regret leaving their lives and following God's desire for them. I know leaving and moving to a new place seems daunting and scary (And I mean I really know because me and my family did it three years ago and we are about to do it I know it appears as if you will have to start over. But what JOY! I have for you because God is working in you His Will and His Good Pleasure (Philippians 2:13). So set sail to your boat friend and look forward to what lies ahead of you (Philippians 3:14). Stay focused, you can do this. "In His JOY!"

Just as guilty

Galatians 6:1-2

What do you do when you catch a fellow Christian buried deep in sin. Sometimes I have condemned them in my heart (I admit this not for gossips sake but to further the Gospel). Especially when they perform a sin that I secretly struggle with or one that particularly offends me. I have prayed some real vengeful prayers against them. Sometimes I have turned my back on them and put their "business out in the street".  Sometimes I have laughed at and mocked them in front of others. And I know you have to, we all are guilty. But thank you Lord for your grace.

We are to restore them and be mindful of ourselves lest we sin (Galatians 6:1). It becomes easy to focus on their failures and consider ourselves righteous. But God warns us to examine our own walk (Galatians 6:3-4).
So we practice the act of love by being patient and walking with them to the road of victory. We carry their burden (Galatians 6:2) through prayer, late night/early morning talks, defending them and not their sin, and extending them grace and forgiveness. We don't keep a record of their sins (1 Corinthians 13:5) to be brought up on a later date.

So for I pray you consider how you have treated or are treating that Brother or Sister in Christ who has fallen in sin. Consider how showing them ill treatment is just as much as of a sin as the sin you caught them in. We all need God's Grace and Mercy on a daily basis (Lamentations 3:22-23)! Stay focused, you can do this.

 "In His JOY!"

When God speaks, everyone listens

Hebrews 4:2, Isaiah 40: 25-31, 55:11
When God speaks things happen. Our God is so powerful that when he spoke (Genesis 1) a world was created. Funny how God speaks to us about a situation and yet we doubt His very Word. We become so consumed by what is around us that we forget His very Word gives life. Our situation may be speaking death and destruction but His Word promises us life. So why do we trust in death and pursue it more than we trust in God's Word that gives life. We must put God's Word before I eyes daily and remind ourselves of the promises God made for us (Habakkuk 2:2-3) and trust that He Will bring His Word to pass. 

Yes time, circumstances, and life does wear us down. We become exhausted, frustrated, and sometimes completely walk away form Jesus. But God promises u
s in Isaiah 40:29-31 "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." But this promise is for those who TRUST in the Lord. Who can we compare the Lord to? Can we compare Him a life coach? the latest "Christian" Fade? our pastor? No, there is no one whose very words give life and causes a storm to cease (Mark 4:39). Whose breath caused a molded piece of mud to become a living man (Genesis 2:7). 

His Word is true and always gets the job done (Isaiah 55:11). I encourage to pray God's Word instead of using latest "Christian Slang". I encourage you to speak God's Word for the edifying of others around you (Ephesians 4:29, 5:19). Husbands, wives, and children read Ephesians 5:22-33 together as a family and put it into practice. Make reading God's Word with your family more of a priority in your family. Don't just leave a legacy of education, wealth, and comfort. Leave a legacy of God's Word being taught in your family on a daily (Step to the plate Husbands and Fathers we can't argue because our wives won't submit to us if we don't submit to God, (Ouch that hurt me)). Make reading The Bible the number one priority and watch how it will bring life to a dead marriage, obedience to a stubborn child, change a poor self image to the view of God sees you. Stay focused, you can do this! 

"In His JOY!"

Diary of a weak person

Exodus 15:2

The Lord is your strength in the good times, bad times, and whatever else in between. So we celebrate our weakness because God's strength is made evident (2 Corinthians 12:9, Habakkuk 3:19) The Lord is your song of JOY!, hope, victory and peace (Isaiah 26:3, 1 Chronicles 29:11, Psalm 71:5, Habakkuk 3:18). He is your salvation (Isaiah 43:11, John 3:16, Luke 1:47). He is everything you will ever need and more. But don't praise Him for what He can do to you, praise Him because He is your God. You have a relationship with Him that is real and authentic. He is more than "The Man Up Stairs" or "The Big Guy". Rejoice in Him, humble yourself exalt His name not because He will lift you up in due time (1Peter 5:6) but because He is God! So friends magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together (Psalm 34:3). I implore you this week friends to give God the Glory He is due. Because with God there is always reason to give Him Glory. Stay focused, you can do this. 

"In His JOY!"

Walking blind folded by choice

Romans 1:16-17, Hebrews 10:38-39

Faith is how we choose to walk in Christ. We do not shrink back and cower when our faith is tested. Instead we strive towards the mark of the high call of Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). Because we know our life has a purpose, and our God has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11). We know that Jesus is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28) despite how they seem or appear. So our confidence in Christ is solid and firm because we put His Word into practice (Matthew 7:24-25). But more so our faith walk is leading to Heaven where we will rejoice and worship the Lord. So we walk by faith with the JOY! of knowing we will be with Jesus worshiping in Heaven. So we do not become discouraged nor or we ashamed of the Gospel. For we know our life of faith is not about longevity. It is not about keeping score of our failures. It is not about pleasing others. But our lives and our deaths are about Christ. We walk by faith eagerly awaiting to see Him face to face. So cancer has not won, death has no victory for the victory belongs to Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). Stay focused, you can do this!

"In His JOY!"

Trust in God, He knows what His Doing

Galatians 6:9-10, 1 Peter 5:6-7, Ephesians 4:26 You are human and have conflicts. You will have moments in life were people will stress you out and make things seem unbearable. At these moments you may want to retaliate and show them "Who they are missing with!" But this is not of God. The Word tells to continue to well towards others despite how we feel. We are not to give up in doing good to others, especially Christians (Galatians 6:9-10). So there are times when you will not feel like loving them but you must press on and trust God. The stress they are causing, the worry you feel because the situation remains the same, and the doubts you have just hand over to Christ (1 Peter 5:6-7). Humble yourself and stop trying to understand the situation and the person, just trust God! 

Don't let your anger get the best of you because you are a new creation and not the same (Ephesians 4:23-27). So don't let your anger guide you but be led by the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:25). Understand your feelings will not always match up with WHAT The Word tell you to do, but the Word is not based off our feelings (Thank God). The situation and the person may have worsened and your faith tested. But when you doubt just believe and ask the Lord to help you with your unbelief (Mark 9:24). God has a purpose and He has a plan. Stay focused, you can do this.
"In His JOY!"

Read the manual!

Psalm 119:9,11, Deuteronomy 30:14-20

Sin is a very real problem that we face on a daily basis. We can run form it, act like it is not there, or blame someone else for our struggle with sin. But the truth is, sin is a personal problem that we all have and need to take ownership of (Romans 3:23). BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS. We have the solution to sin and it is in Jesus (Romans 3:24, 7:24-25). Accepting Jesus frees us from the bondage of sin but we must physically walk out our faith with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). And this comes by actually living what the Bible teaches. We have to place a high value on God's Word in our lives and read it on a daily basis (Psalm 119:14-15). His Word must become our JOY and we have to make an effort to know and understand The WORD OF GOD (Psal
m 119:16-18). It must become a personal passion to live God's Word and not a chore. We make time to work, study for school, watch a movie, spend time with loved ones, etc., because it is our hear's desire. We have to make time for the Word in our personal lives and in our hearts. We must desire God's Will over our own will, goals, and selfish desires (Psalm 119:36-37,72). We cannot expect God to bless us if we live a life that contradicts His Word. There is no "but" in this previous statement nor is there an exception to it. God's Word is truth and it is absolute. It is a choice to obey His Word. Life and Death have clearly been set before us Life (His Word, His Way, Our Savior) and death (false religions, our way, the devil's lies), chose life (Deuteronomy 30:14-20) and it will go well with you, trust this statement because it will. Chose Him by accepting Him as Lord and doing what His Word teaches. Stay focused, you can do this. 

"In His JOY!"

Waiting for the Sun in the midst of the rain

Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 17:9

We are such a ball of emotions. At times we can be filled with anger, happiness, sadness, excitement, etc. We allow these emotions and feelings to grab hold of us and dictate what we should and should not do. But the Word makes it clear we are to trust and relay on God and God alone. Our emotions are dictated by the immediate moment and they can cause us to make decisions. The Lord tell us to trust Him and not to relay on our understanding of the situation because our heart lie to us and blind us from God's Truth and His Way. We have to seek the Lord's Path for our lives through prayer and reading His Word. Whether it is a problem, new job, new house, etc. we should always seek the Lord's Will. Sometimes the answer will be obvious and sometimes it will be unclear for the moment. But the Word promises us that He will direct our paths. So I implore not to focus on your emotions or your feelings of your current state in life. But trust in God and acknowledge Him and watch in awe and amazement how he directs your path. Stay focused, you can do this! 

"In His JOY!"

Super Dad!

Galatians 4:26, Romans 8:14

When we understand that we are God's we will not look to "fit in" with the latest fade. So many churches are willing to change, adjust, or conform in order to stay with what's current. Worship services become concerts and sermons become motivational speeches that lack truth. The church has lost it's way and has become consumed by entrepreneurship, politics, and/or making everyone feel comfortable with their choice of lifestyle instead of saving souls. We are who are God's Children are lead by His Spirit and not by fades or the "newest Spiritual Teaching". It is not our Church affiliation, our race, or past that defines who we are because God has defined who we are are and we are His. We must fight the conformity and live as children of God. Stay focused, you can do this!

 "In His JOY!"

"Fit Out"

Galatians 4:26, Romans 8:14

When we understand that we are God's we will not look to "fit in" with the latest fade. So many churches are willing to change, adjust, or conform in order to stay with what's current. Worship services become concerts and sermons become motivational speeches that lack truth. The church has lost it's way and has become consumed by entrepreneurship, politics, and/or making everyone feel comfortable with their choice of lifestyle instead of saving souls. We are who are God's Children are lead by His Spirit and not by fades or the "newest Spiritual Teaching". It is not our Church affiliation, our race, or past that defines who we are because God has defined who we are are and we are His. We must fight the conformity and live as children of God. Stay focused, you can do this! 

"In His JOY!"

"I owe you a whole bunch of love"

Romans 13:8-10

We are indebted to love one another. This is not an option. It is not based on our feelings, current situation, or past hurts. We are to be in a constant attitude of love. Love is the greatest witness of how Jesus changed our hearts and actions. Let us love the unlovable just as much as we love the lovable. Because if we say we love Christ than let it be made evident by the love we have those he created despite their short comings and personal failures. Stay focused, you can do this. 

"In His JOY!"

Correction = Love

Hebrews 12: 10-11

If God allowed you to freely sin without correction His death on the cross would be futile and it would disprove His Love for you. No one likes to be told they are wrong and no one ever likes to be disciplined. Because sin admits failure and error in our lives. Sins show our short comings, embarrasses us, shows our poor judgement, and reveals our sinful desires not matter how perverse they are. Our desire to sin overrides our desire to please God when we say "This is who I am", "This is how God made me", or "Only God can judge me." All these are lies and just excuses to live in sin. But God in His great love in His own way disciplines us and brings us back to Him (2 Corinthians 7:10), We must accept God's correction and take advantage of the opportunity and change. God is not anger with you when he corrects you, He is filled with compassion and love for you (Exodus 34:6) So let us not despise His correction but rather embrace it as a wake up call and an opportunity for growth in Jesus. Because all His correction truly is having God put His arms around you and remind you of His Unconditional Love. Stay focused, you can do this.

 "In His JOY!"

"You got a friend in me"

Galatians 6:1-2, James 5:16

Christian Friendship goes beyond having common values and goals. It is more than just seeing each other on Sundays and shaking hands. Our relationships with each other should not be superficial, it should be deeper and have more meaning. We should be able to confess sins to each other and inspire each other to change. There should be no such thing as a "Lonely Christian". You are not in this fight alone all by yourself. This world presents many challenges and everyone is impossible to overcome by yourself. You need good "Christian friends" to be a support system for you. You need them to correct you when you are wrong, uplift you when you are down, and encourage you to continue your Christian walk. Friendship is a gift from God that we to often reject. Don't isolate yourself and miss out on a great opportunity for growth. Stay focused, you can do this!

 "In His JOY!"

Speaking the truth in love

‎1 Thessalonians 1:4-5

Presenting The Gospel to others takes more than just a heartfelt conversation. Mere words about Jesus will convince no one of their need for God's Salvation. We first need the power of the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to hear from God and to teach us His way (1 Corinthians 2:11). Followed by a deep conviction that what God's Word says is true and anything that contradictory to it is a lie (despite how we feel about the issue) and that we transform our way of thinking to reflect His (Romans 12:2). Then we ensure our life and doctrine are identical as we walk in His Grace (James 1:22-25). Our Godly conviction should implore us to speak the truth to others but not force feed it down their throats. We have to stand firm in our faith and live our Christian Values out loud to the fullest. Now, May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His Grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17). Stay focused, you can do this!

 "In His JOY!"

It's my fault but His Grace

Luke 23:39-43

Hanging upon a cross two criminals meet Jesus and soon they discover who they really are. One cares only about his physical safety, not caring about the sins he has committed that lead to his punishment. His only concern was with having God get him out of the mess he had gotten himself into. The criminal who admitted his faults and understood his wrongs willing accepted the punishment that was to come. He was well aware of his sins and how his poor choices lead him to the position he was currently in. Jesus spoke and told the repentant criminal "Today you we will be with me in Paradise." Jesus only spoke to the criminal that had opened his heart to accept Him, while the other had his heart set only on his physical salvation. Theses two men meet Jesus at the same time a
nd each was able to see to the core of their hearts. One only wanted Jesus to be a "genie" in a bottle and give him what physically wanted. The other only wanted Jesus and nothing else. Both men prayed to Jesus for specific results but only one was saved. Your sins may have lead you to a uncomfortable situation and now you are crying out to Jesus to save you from the consequences of your actions. But I implore you to seek Jesus to show you your heart and to change your ways. Let us not mimic the self seeking criminal who only cared about what Jesus could do for him. But instead when we are faced with self inflicted adversity let us use it as an opportunity to seek the Lord and change our ways. Stay focused, you can do this! 

"In His JOY!"

My Daddy's Shadow

John 10: 10-15, Psalm 23

I know I am God's. I know that he knows me like no other. He understands me and He willing gave His life so that I could live. When I run and hide when there is trouble, He calls out to me to come back even though I have abandoned Him. His voice brings me back to a place of peace and calm, it reminds me that He is My Father, My God, My Rock, and My Salvation. All that I have need for is in Him. He takes care of me because I am His and He is mine. I am fully aware that trouble will come and that I have a very real enemy in the devil. But I am well aware that He is my protection and and my strength. As His Sheep I do not fight the wolf but instead I stand in the shadow of Good Sheppard and rest (Psalm 91:1) while as He defends me. My JOY is made complete because I have found life in abundance in Him. But if you want to know this since of security and hope, you must surrender your life to Jesus and read His Word. This JOY! is only for those who can confidentially say I am God's and God is mine. Stay focused, you can do this!

 "In His Joy"

"Why pray if you are going to worry, or why worry in are going to pray"

Psalm 94:19, 1 Peter 5:7, Isaiah 26:3-4

It is truly a blessing to know I have a God who is concerned about me and my problems. He tells me to give Him all my concerns and worries and rest in Him. How awesome is it to know that God desires me to be at peace and rest but He does not desire me to worry. Our God is never surprised by anything because He is all knowing. But we however are not omniscient so we tend to worry when we are startled by unforeseen events. Yet our God lets us know that He wants to exchange our stress of worry for His comfort and JOY! Friends I know for some us this will not easy but when you make giving God your worries a way of life, you will experience a peaceful rest like no other. Trust in Him to take care of you more than you trust your worry to destroy you. Stay focused, you can do this!

 "In His Joy"

"Slow down at the yield sign"

Galatians 5:16-26

The Fruit of the Spirit will become evident in our lives, when we live under the influence of God's Spirit. But if we neglect to follow after Jesus we will always gratify our desire to sin. God's influence should have a direct impact on every aspects our lives, i.e. how we vote, what we watch, and how we treat others. 

We cannot make exceptions to justify sin because it only promotes more sin and worsens our condition. We must yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit and The Lord's Way.  Sometimes we develop  political views, cultural practices, and family traditions that promote sin and as Christians we should not tolerate this in our lives. Our hearts deceive us (Jeremiah 17:9) and do not reveal the Heart of God but the heart of our selfish desires that lead us to sin (James 1:14-15).  However His Spirit, that lives inside of us, will always have the things of God in mind and not the things of man, (2 Corinthians 5:10-11). 

The world offers self-help guru's, motivational speakers, and life coaches but this wisdom is not Godly (James 3:15). Godly wisdom reflects the Heart of God and brings Him glory (James 3:17). Let us detach ourselves and truly seek Jesus and show the world the JOY and freedom Christ offers. 

The World is deceived and they believe their freedom to sin is liberating. But they are living in the same bondage that we once lived in (Galatians 5:1). Let us gracefully yield our thoughts, plans, beliefs and watch God work mightily in our lives. Stay focused, you can do this!

 "In His Joy"

Psalm 23

Psalm 23

When God is first and foremost in our life He is our care taker who ensures we are provided for (v1). He leads down the right paths that brings nourishment and rest (v2). Our strength is renewed in Him and honor is bought to His name (v3). We are not alone in our Christian walk because His Spirit is our comfort and His Son our Lord and Protector (v4). We are provided for and protected by God despite the wicked plans our enemies have for us (v5). We know that His plans for us are good and despite our shortcomings we are surrounded by the Grace of His Unconditional and Unfailing Love, our only desire is to dwell where the Lord dwells (v6). Stay focused, you can do this!

 "In His Joy"

"Humble Pie, I love it"

Psalm 25:9

Humility is admitting that you need help. It's accepting your weakness and asking God to exchange it for His strength. It is being fully aware that you are not good enough to be perfect but His Grace is sufficient enough to get you into Heaven. Humility will open the door for the Lord to teach you His Ways and to cause a change in your life you will not regret. But you have to open up your heart and lose your pride to allow Him to change your life. Stay focused, you can do this! 

"In His Joy"

"I need you like peanut butter needs jelly"

Hebrews 10:19-25

As Christians we work together and provide support to one another. We gather together because we NEED it! We need each other in order to survive in a world that does not want, desire, or love the True and Living God. There is no such thing as a lonely Christian, and if your are reach out to a Spiritually Sound Church and Friend. But I want to warn you not limit your fellowship with other believers to Sunday afternoon. Fellowship with other believers will only help you to grow stronger and do better. It will provide accountability that we so desperately need. You need someone to speak the Word of God in your life, pray for you, cry with you, and tell you to buck up when you need it. The truth is we really do need each other to survive. Don't limit your fellowship to the internet, make some face to face contact. Stay focused, you can do this!

"In His Joy"

Can you come out and play!

Hebrews 10:19-25

As Christians we work together and provide support to one another. We gather together because we NEED it! We need each other in order to survive in a world that does not want, desire, or love the True and Living God. There is no such thing as a lonely Christian, and if your are reach out to a Spiritually Sound Church and Friend. But I want to warn you not limit your fellowship with other believers to Sunday afternoon. Fellowship with other believers will only help you to grow stronger and do better. It will provide accountability that we so desperately need. You need someone to speak the Word of God in your life, pray for you, cry with you, and tell you to buck up when you need it. The truth is we really do need each other to survive. Don't limit your fellowship to the internet, make some face to face contact. Stay focused, you can do this!

 "In His Joy"

The Social Gospel

Galatians 1:6-9

The Social Gospel promotes equality and justice, which is wonderful but it does not promote Jesus, which is ungodly. When we preach a gospel that only teaches the values of Christ and His Morales we are denying the deity of Jesus. We are here to share Jesus and bring others to know Him that they may be saved. Social injustice is not the issue, sin is the issue. We have to give people Jesus not only social equality. It bothers me that we give the title "Reverend" to those who speak about equality and overcoming racism but, I have rarely seen where they speak of sharing the Gospel of Salvation when they are in a public forum. We have to remember salvation is the ultimate goal. If we have not brought people Jesus we have brought them nothing. Fight against inequality, fight against social injustice, fight against racism, but give them Jesus! Sharing God's love is sharing the Gospel. And it is Jesus that changes us to see sin for what it is and to stand against it. Stay focused, you can do this!

 "In His Joy"

Open Heart Surgery

Hebrews 4:12-13

I study the Bible because when I read it I realize I have issues that still need to be worked on. And the Word of God helps to clarify to me what pleases God and what displeases Him. The Word reveals to me the true nature of my heart and exposes things that I try to keep hidden from God even though nothing is hidden form God. It is impossible for a Christian to secretly live in sin and comfortably live. Because the Word living inside of you is actively working to show that God loves you but is displeased with your sin. He knows your heart and that is why He gave you His Word. He desires to "give you" the proper desires for your heart (Psalm 37:4) and not "give you" the selfish desires of your heart (James 4:3). But all this comes through reading the Word. I challenge you dive in God's Book and find him. Let the Living Word have free reign to perform open heart surgery and change your life forever. Stay focused, you can do this!

"In His Joy"

Visible Him in a invisible me.

Colossians 1:27-29, John 3:30

When I think about how others see me I often wonder do they really see Jesus living inside of me. I get curious how other people view Christ based off the way I live and conduct myself on a daily basis. Do they hear of His Love and Grace in my words. Do they see His Mercy, Compassion, and Forgiveness in my actions. But it does not stop there. What about other believers, when I teach or answer a question concerning God do I respond in a way that is clear and Godly or am I speaking heresy. Because in me lives the Hope of Glory and I must warn everyone, teach everyone with all wisdom, and and present them mature in Christ. So if I am to teach Christ it becomes increasingly hard when the focus is primarily on me. "Joseph May Ministries" sounds real nice but it does not really point in the direction of Jesus. I am not saying you can't name a ministry after you but I notice the Jesus was not the founder of "Jesus Christ Ministries", he just simply spread the message of salvation through His Word, Deed, Sacrifice, and Resurrection. When people see us they should see Jesus, when they hear us speak they should hear God's Wisdom coming out and not the latest trending tweet or favorite Facebook Post. This will take commitment to read the Word, pray, and change of sinful habits. We should be the backdrop of a painting while Christ is pushed in the forefront. We have to be willing to decrease so Christ may increase. It has never been and will never be just about us. Yes God does care about us but He cares more about others receiving the message of salvation that is made evident in our lives. May prayer is that we become like the moon and only reflect the "Son". Stay focused, you can do this!

 "In His JOY"

Light me up!

Matthew 5:14-16

We are here to be a light and not a shade of darkness. Jesus' ministry of Salvation did not end at the cross, it still continues today in us. We are to do good to others, live righteously, exercise our faith, and count it all JOY! And we do this not just before our brothers and sisters in Christ but before the unsaved world. God receives glory from the good we do whether public
 or private. Someone is always watching how you live your life even if you think they are not. The light of Christ does not just exposes sin it brings clarity to a chaotic and confused world. That is why the enemy tries so hard to suppress the message of Christ and that is why you will face hostility. But let your light shine and glorify Him with your actions and praise Him with your words. And watch how are others are drawn to the One who lives inside of you. Don't get it twisted it's not your dynamic personality or your winning smile that draws people to you. It is the hope of a JOY filled life, the fragrance of SALVATION, and the chance for TRUE PEACE! So let the Light of Jesus illuminate your light life so others may see and give Him the praise. Stay focused, you can do this! 

"In His Joy"

Church Folk

Hebrews 10:24

We fellowship together to inspire one another to love and do good deeds in the name of Christ. Church should be a place of hope, trust, accountability and love. It's not a fashion show, gossip center, or an undisciplined gathering of chaos. We have to come expecting to hear The Word correctly taught. We have to come wanting to help where needed. We have to come leaving our ego, status, and earned titles at the door. When must make a commitment to go to Church (not just Sunday), and live the life outside of it in a Christ like manner. The JOY of this all is that Christ will be glorified when we really start having Church! Stay focused, you can do this.

 "In His Joy"

No worries mate!

Jeremiah 29:11, Habakkuk 2:2-3,

Worry is nothing more than a struggle to believe that God will fulfill his promise. God's plan for you may not make sense right now. But rest assured He is fully aware of your current situation and your desired outcome. Regardless of the outcome you desire He promises us in His Word that the end He has purposed and planned is one filled with prosperity, hope, and a future. And the plan is meant to do you no harm! I sit back and think of this and how I worry that God will here my prayers for others but sometimes it felt like my personnel prayers were ignored. And this would cause a great heart ache for me but I trusted that His purpose for me exceeded my own desires. It is at times like this I have to settle myself down and remember that God is good a
nd great. And if I trust that He will fulfill His hopeful and prosperous plan in my life (that is not intended to harm me ) than regardless the outcome or what I currently see and feel He will take care of me. I had to trust in the Truth of His Word and not in the facts of others and my personal feelings. When I began to rest in God's Peace and truly trust Him I was at ease. And the outcome worked in my favor and presented me with a opportunity to glorify Jesus. As Christians we do not relay on facts and feelings we instead rely on God's Word. And this is where we build our confidence, this is how we grow, and this is how change. So I don't feel that God's Plan will work out in my life...I KNOW it will! Stay focused, you can do this. 

"In His Joy"

A Woman's Worth

Proverbs 18:22, 31:30-31

In the current state of society men are constantly bombarded with images of beautiful women. These images, when given a considerable amount of attention, can create a desire only for physical beauty. But The Lord does not want that for us. I have met many men who spent their lives chasing a physical attribute that fade away with the passing day. A woman who fears the Lord is the one we should desire. This kind of woman will always place God first. She will pray for her husband when he feels he cannot go on, she will take care of her children, and when she speaks only wisdom and kindness will flow from her tongue. This kind of woman is a JOY to have. They will inspire to be a better father, husband, and Christian. I am telling this from personal experience. My wife  is described in detail in in Proverbs 31. So men seek out the women who seek God and you will never regret it. Stay focused, you can do this!

 "In His Joy"

My Daddy

Proverbs 37:23

Sometimes we forget that the Father is carrying us through our victories and our failures. Whatever journey you are on life be sure to enjoy the view and the time you spend with the Father along the way. Your steps are ordered by Him when you make him your Joy and Focus. Though you you mess up, make mistakes, or purposely sin. Don't change the course and live in defeat. Because He is there every step of the way, trust in Him and let Him guide you. You are never more than a heart beat from returning to Jesus. I am so confident that that Lord is there with you. When you fall His right hand is already stretched out to pick you up and His left hand is there to comfort you. Stay focused, you can do this! 

"In His Joy"

Complete In Jesus

James 1:2-4, 2 Corinthians 4:7-16

Who I am is not defined by what I go through. Although God will use it to change me into what He created me to be. There is purpose in pain, there is a reason for suffering, and there is JOY of being complete in Christ. We are constantly being renewed in Jesus even though it does not feel like. You will have moments where you do not "feel" God is working in you, rest assured that He has never stopped. When He says that He will never leave you or forsake you He means it, trust in that promise and hold fast to it. Count it a joyous occasion to go through but know that you are only "Going Through" you are not living there, this to will pass. These events will never define who you are but they will cause you to grow, if you let them ( and I know you will). Be steadfast and don't give up. Christ is working in you and He loves you so much. Don't seek to understand just seek God. Don't look to know why but know that God is smiling on you and He is there. Stay focused, you can do this! 

"In His Joy" 

Flush your system

John 8:31-36, Romans 2:1-4, 12:1-3

It's time to eat some "Spiritual Activia Yogurt" and flush your system. We live in a world that is full of all kinds of wickedness and sin. Turn on the news and we get to see how people through out the world have sinned by committing murder, adultery, black mail, etc. The number one shows on television entertain us with these stories that were "ripped from the headlines". And it becomes increasingly easy to say to myself, "Such a sinful world! Thank God I'm don't act like that!" This is where I take my first helping of "Spiritual Activia Yogurt" and admit that I am sinner who has been save by grace...and GRACE ALONE! Friends we have to come to the realization that accepting Jesus is more than just a prayer and proclamation it is a lifestyle choice. 
Swallow your pride and REALLY deal with your sin. Rid yourself of the excuse that "Only God can judge me" or "He knows my heart". And accept that you have issues whether they are known externally by others or internally by you alone. Admit your sin to God and refuse yourself the opportunity to take pleasure in it. Pray for the strength to resist it and for the courage to follow through. This is not me condemning you but it is me saying WE ALL me must humble ourselves and recognize OUR SIN. See your sin and repent. Repent and walk in the liberty (freedom not to be a slave to sin) Jesus gave you. Walk in your liberty and but continue to run away from opportunistic moments to sin. Stay focused, you can do this!

"In His Joy"

Forward to the future

Isaiah 43:18-19, 55:11

You have to let go of the past in order grab hold of the future. When God calls us to start something new we must be willing to embrace it with a new hope. Don't be daunted by past failures, present circumstances, or future obstacles. Instead, look to Jesus and trust in His Word. The mission He has for you will be accomplished and His purpose will be fulfilled. Stay focused, you can do this!

"In His Joy"

Mercy, mercy me...

Colossians 3:10, 12-15

Lack of mercy shows lack of maturity. How can you speak of Jesus if you only extend hatred, malice, bitterness, and rage against others. Our lives should reflect a change in how we express mercy to those are in need of it. Mercy is not a reward we give when we are proven right, it is extended without merit or deed. It is a gift that is freely given but is bought at our own expense. To shower you with mercy I give up my right to hate, be bitter, hold a grudge, express my rage, do harm and to wish ill upon you. In return I grow in Christ Jesus and bring Him glory. Stay focused, you can do this! 

"In His Joy"