Thursday, April 30, 2009

God Ain't Home

2 Samuel 6:9

David was afraid of the lord that day; and he said, "How can the Ark of the Lord come to me?”

It is amazing how we can worship God in public, attend a religious gathering but fail to bring God home with us. Most of the time God doesn’t get past the church parking lot because we are too scared to bring him home with us. I’m not talking about the bible you have on your living room table or the crucifix hanging in the hallway, or your grandmother’s picture of the Last Supper next to the picture of President Obama. I’m talking about the presence of God and a life accountable to his authority. We are scared to bring God home.

King David wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to the city of David. Israel used to inquire of the Lord by going before the Ark to pray. They believed that the presence of God sat on top of the Ark between the two Cherubim. If you remember the movie, “Raiders of the Lost Ark" with Indiana Jones, you will know that the movie used a replica of the Ark. In the movie the enemy died when he looked inside the Ark because of how Holy God is. That was the movie, but in real life when David tried to bring the Lost Ark home his friend died trying to steady the Ark touching the outside. He was not a priest and he touched the Ark with his bare hands.

Prior to that David and his men were worshipping “with all their might” but in one instance of careless casualness with God, God got angry with the cavalier attitude of how they handled his presence and broke out against David’s friend and killed him. It can be traumatizing to worship God with all your might and something tragic still happen. You were only trying to bring the presence of God back with you and tragedy strikes. That’s enough to make you want to leave the Ark right where it is.

The bible says David became angry and fearful of God. He said, “How can I bring God home after he’s done something like this?” David had good intentions but he went about it the wrong way. He didn’t take God serious enough and God broke out. You can’t just keep treating God’s presence any old kind of way and not expect him to break out. God is Holy, therefore we must be Holy, maybe that’s why God ain’t home. Or more specifically, maybe that’s why we refuse to bring him home because we are scared he might break out.

If the truth be told David is not the only one who refuses to bring God home because we are afraid that if I bring God home he might break out against me. If he broke out against my friend for trying to get the ark steady what will he do to me if I take him home and he sees how cavalier I live. If God were to see some of the things I do at home, he might break out against me too. I’m scared of God.

How come God ain’t Home?

1. We are still angry at God because of the loss of some friend/family member. Many of us are traumatized over a loss that happened while we were believers and it didn’t make sense to us. Give yourself time to heal and even tell God how you really feel. He can handle it.

2. We are afraid God will hold us accountable for all the stuff that’s wrong. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but we must also know that God is gracious. Now that we have relationship with Jesus, we do not have to fear the wrath of God because now God sees us through the righteousness of his son. Jesus is our great high priest who intercedes for us so that God won’t have to strike us down because of our filthiness. God sees Jesus in us before he sees our dirt. WE don’t have to be afraid to bring God home because Jesus is already there.

3. We are scared we will die. Jesus said, he who tries to save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for God’s sake will find it. In order to live, we must die to our old ways.

After David got mad and left the ark at Obed Edom’s house, he heard that everything Obed had God blessed. Obed’s entire house was blessed because God was at his home! David went and brought the Ark back after he heard that Obed was blessed. But when he brought the ark back this time, he did it the right way. He had priests, not common men, carrying the Ark on poles. This time, every six steps he made a sacrifice to God. This time, he worshipped God so hard he came out of his clothes. This time, he blessed everybody at home with gifts after he brought God home. Don’t you think it’s time to bring God home?

Dear God, I want you to come all the way in my house. I don’t want there to be any difference between my public worship and my private devotion. I want my house to be a sanctuary, Lord, for you. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you. Lord let me be a living sanctuary for you, pure and Holy, tried and true. Take away my fear and heal my anger and please come back home with me. My house is your house. Stay with me Lord.

In Jesus Name.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Get Behind Me, Satan

Matthew 16:23

But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.

Some people thinking they are protecting you are really blocking you. There can be some well meaning people in your life who are being used by the enemy and they don’t even know it. It’s easy to spot the devil in hateful people and jealous people who try to block your advancement in life, work, and ministry, but it’s not always that easy to see the devil at work in some of your closest friends. We always think that those closest to us will always tell us what’s right but they too can be used by Satan if you are not careful.

Jesus had just commended Peter for allowing the Holy Sprit to use him to rightly reveal that Jesus was the Son of the living God. Jesus said to Peter, “On this Rock (Peter’s confession of faith), I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.“ Then, Jesus gave Peter the Keys of the Kingdom of heaven and the authority to bind and loose on earth.

But right after that Jesus tells the disciples they will be handed over to the chief priests to be killed and after three days be raised. Peter didn’t like that ending for Jesus’ life. Friends don’t let Friends die. So Peer took Jesus to the side. Peter said, “This ain’t going to happen to you.” Jesus turns and says to the man he just blessed and says, “Get Behind me Satan!” How does he bless him in one breath and call him Satan in the Next?!

It can happen that quickly. People who are used of the Holy Spirit can also be influenced by Satan if they let him. It happened to your Mother…Eve. She knew through direct revelation from God not to eat from the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. She had been given the keys to paradise, but she allowed Satan to influence her. In turn, she went and offered the devil’s advice to the one closest to her, Adam. Adam should have rebuked her, but instead, he ate it hook, line, and sin-ker.

When do you tell a friend to get back?

1. When you hear things contrary to what God has already told you. Jesus knew who he was and what his mission from God was. From Childhood he knew. He told his mother and father at age 12, "Did you not know that I would be in my Father’s house?” When you know who you are early people can’t change your mind later.

2. When you hear the enemies voice in the mouth of a friend. Jesus wasn’t calling Peter, Satan. He was speaking to the Spirit trying to influence his friend. Peter would become one of the greatest apostles after Jesus' death, but Satan tried to sift Peter, influence Peter, and Peter denied Jesus. But Jesus knowing the potential of Peter came back to restore him. It goes to show that you can be very anointed but still be at risk to be used by Satan. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

3. When they want the things of men and not the things of God. Man’s way is not God’s way, as high as the heaven is from the earth, so is God’s way from man’s way. Don’t let your friends talk you into what’s popular when God has called you to die to the way that men do things.

Dear God, help me to discern when you are talking and when Satan is talking through my friends. No matter how anointed they appear to be always allow me to know who I am and what you are saying before I bite into bad advice sent from the enemy. Put the devil behind me and Jesus in front of me. I always want to hear your voice above all.

In Jesus Name.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Crumb Snatcher

Matthew 15:27

And she said, “Yes Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters table.

Every little bit helps. I never will forget growing up, my mother said, "Never despise what people give you. Even if you don’t like it say thank you and be appreciative.” That has taken me a long way in life. You don’t always get what you want but thank God you have what you need.

There was a woman in Jesus' day who was an outsider, she was a Canaanite. Her daughter was possessed by demons and she was following after Jesus asking for help but he ignored her at first. Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt like God ignored you? This woman kept on asking until it got on the disciples nerves and they started asking Jesus to do something. Sometimes to get a prayer through, you need other people praying for you.

Jesus finally acknowledged the woman but it seemed like an insult. He said, “I have come for the lost sheep of Israel.” But then the woman started worshiping Jesus, and said, “Lord help me!” Sometimes when you don’t seem like you are getting what you need, you ought to go into worship because you know who he is and what he’s capable of.

Then Jesus said, “It’s not good to throw the children’s bread to the dogs.” Jesus referenced those not under the covenant with the God of Israel as “little dogs.” He called them house pets and said he can’t give the Children’s bread to the little dogs. But the woman was desperate and wanted to help her daughter and she said, “But even the little dogs get the crumbs from the table.”

I have a little dog named Coco who is like a family member. Whenever we eat, she sits under the table staring up at us patiently. I asked Rhonda, “Why is she staring at us?” She replied, “She’s waiting for the crumbs to fall." She’s a crumb snatcher! If you can get enough crumbs you can get a meal. Every now and then you ought to be so desperate for what you need that you start snatching crumbs!
Jesus said, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed that hour.

In order to be a crumb snatcher and get what you need you have to:

1. You have to be persistent.
2. You have to be Prayerful. Pray without ceasing.
3. You can’t be too prideful. Don’t be too proud to get crumbs, take what people give you and be appreciative.
4. You have to give him the Praise for the crumbs.

Dear God thank you for my crumbs. You have given me my hearts desire. You provided and healed my family for that I am grateful to be a crumb snatcher. Thank you for hearing my cry.

In Jesus Name.


Monday, April 27, 2009

I’m Sinking…Lord Save Me!

Matthew 14:30

But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, Save Me!”

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you walk by faith. During these turbulent times many of us are walking by faith, not sure how we are going to make it or where our next step is going to take us. Truth be told it gets a little scary every now and then. It’s hard not to notice the things that are happening around us: Layoffs, foreclosures, sickness, war, epidemics. It’s enough to make you lose focus and feel overwhelmed.

Peter found himself in the midst of a storm. He and the disciples were out in the middle of a storm in a boat. There was not much they could do in the middle of a storm, but take comfort that they were all in the same boat together. It’s amazing how there is more solidarity now with many Americans because we are in the same boat. The Disciples were in the middle of the storm in the same boat when something Supernatural happened. They saw something or somebody walking in the storm on the water towards them. “It’s a Ghost!” Jesus spoke through the storm, “No it’s just me.”
Peter said, “If it’s you tell me to come out there with you.” It’s alarming and comforting to see Jesus in a storm. You want to get closer to him but you are scared to step out of what is keeping you even though it’s unstable. Peter stepped out and miraculously walked on water. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus he stayed on top of the water; but when he started looking at the boisterous winds, he began to sink.

Like Peter many of us are barely staying afloat. In fact it’s miraculous, but when we pay more attention to what’s going on around us than we do looking at Jesus we begin to sink. How do we stay afloat during the storm of Recession?

1. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He is the author and the finisher of our faith. My faith is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ and his righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.

2. Don’t look at the waves. Stop watching so much TV and the news. Give yourself 30 minutes to catch up on the news and spend more time reading God’s word, books, and being productive.

3. Don’t listen to the wind. Don’t allow what you hear to make you lose focus. Don’t allow negative people to have your ear. Monitor what you listen to on the radio. Control what you hear.

4. Cry Out, Lord Save Me! When you feel overwhelmed by the storms of life don’t forget you have a life line and his name is Jesus!

Dear God, keep us afloat. This economy, these wars and rumors of wars, this recession has got us all shaky, but if we can stay focused on you, keep our eyes on the prize, I believe we can make it! Lord Save us from the storms! Lift us up out of his mess and quiet the storms that threaten our lives.

In Jesus Name.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Are You Ashamed of Me?

Matthew 10:33
Whoever is ashamed of me before men I will be ashamed of you before the Father.

I remember as a teenager reaching an age where I was embarrassed when my mother came to pick me up. I loved my Mama, but it just wasn’t cool to have your Mama pick you up from school especially when everybody else was driving cool cars and she picked me up in the ’78 Pontiac Lemans with the rust spots. I had a great mother, she worked hard as a nurse, raised 3 kids by herself, survived breast cancer, she was and is a beautiful woman. I felt bad for being ashamed of my mother as a teen-ager. She was never ashamed of me when I was smaller than everybody else. She told me that when I was born her friend said, “Your baby has a big ole head.” She said it hurt her feelings but she still loved me. I was shorter than everybody my age but she never once was embarrassed by me. She encouraged me. When I was dirty as a child she cleaned me up, or when I struck out in Little League Baseball she was always there after every strike out. She was never ashamed of me, how could I be ashamed of her?

We all reach an age where we get ashamed of the one who loved us the most, Jesus. When we become socially conscious that it’s not Politically Correct to bring him to work or it’s unsettling to bring him around your friends especially at parties. When you were struggling and dependent upon Jesus to survive, you loved him unashamedly and unapologetically but now that you are “mature” it’s just something embarrassing about seeing the carpenter pull up in his First Century garments, riding his donkey, nail scarred hands, and “out-dated” teachings. More and more post-modern Christians are becoming ashamed of Jesus.

There is so much talk about Miss California and Perez Hilton’s question to her: “What do you think about Same Sex Marriage?” She was very fair and diplomatic in her response, “It’s great that we have a choice in America as to who you want to marry, but I believe, according to my faith and how I was raised, that marriage is between a man and a woman.” Why is it an offense to believe what Jesus believed but not an offense to believe what Perez believes? Because it’s not cool, politically correct, scientifically accurate to believe what Jesus believed. Miss California should have answered the way Perez wanted it answered and she might have won Miss America.NOT!

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power unto salvation! Jesus said, “if you are ashamed of me before men than I will be ashamed of you before the Father.” The embarrassment and shame Miss California felt from taking her stand does not compare to the embarrassment we will feel when we try to get into heaven with the whole angelic host standing behind God and Jesus says, “Father I don’t know them.” We will say, but Jesus I went to church!” Jesus will say, "But when it really mattered you were ashamed of me, you would rather win a popularity contest than to be associated with me. Depart from me I don’t know you.”

How are we ashamed of Jesus?

1. When you conform to the world's values just to fit in. Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds.

2. When You Deny that you know him. Peter denied Jesus three times and on the third time the Cock crowed and Jesus caught eyes with Peter from the courthouse window. Peter felt so ashamed that he denied Jesus that he wept uncontrollably. Have you ever caught eyes with Jesus after you denied him? You will one day.

3. When you don’t stand up for what you believe.

4. When you remain silent in the face of Injustice.

Dear God, give me boldness to always give an account for what I believe no matter how unpopular it is. I am not ashamed of you thank you for not being ashamed of me. I love you Father.

In Jesus Name.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Leave that Fool Alone

I Samuel 25:17

Now therefore, know and consider what you will do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his household for he is such a scoundrel that one cannot speak to him.

There is one person you shouldn’t waste any time speaking to or trying to get revenge on and that is a fool. We’ve all run into him or her in our lifetime. It’s the person that doesn’t listen to wise council. They like hearing their own voice. You can’t get a word in edge wise because he/she is a fool. Leave that fool alone!

Fools come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. There are rich fools and poor fools, but the advice is the same leave those fools alone. David had been watching over the property of a very rich fool named Nabal, whose name means son of Belial or fool. Nabal was an insolent, rude, and contentious man. During the time of feasting when Nabal was celebrating his flocks going to market, David decided to send his men to get a return on his favor. David and his men had been doing makeshift security for Nabal’s shepherds while they were watching their 3,000 sheep in the desert. His men even said, “They were like a wall by day and night for us.” But when David’s men came to ask for some food this fool gets rude and sends them away empty handed, talking about “who is David and who is the son of Jesse that I should give him some bread and water?” He picked the wrong somebody to mess with. This is David and six hundred of the most feared warriors. They have been living in caves, fighting Philistines and running from Saul.

David is fed up. He tells everybody to strap up and roll out. His plan is to kill every male in Nabal’s family. Nabal was blessed to be married to Abigail who was a woman of good understanding and beautiful. One of the servants ran to tell her to do something because David was on his way. He said to Abigail, “you know that nobody can talk to your husband, he’s a scoundrel.”

Abigail goes out to save her family to meet David with a peace offering of food and wine. She saves her family by:

1. Recognizing God’s anointed. When she meets David, she immediately gets off her Donkey and bows down before David. Mind you he’s not even king yet. He doesn’t look like a king, but she is a woman of understanding and recognizes the anointing on his life.

2. She apologizes for her husband’s ignorance. She recognizes she’s married to a fool but tells David don’t you be a fool just because he is.

3. She offers gifts to David for the good he’s done for her family. She knows that there would be no feast or profit had it not been for David and his men protecting her husband’s herds. When people do us good we ought to do good back to them.

4. She speaks into the life of David. She somewhat prophesies into David’s life and tells him that when he become’s King he doesn’t want this to tarnish his reputation.

5. She speaks truth in love to her husband after he sobers up. She told him what could have happened had she not intervened. Even though she was married to a fool, she still stood up and covered him by doing what was right. She didn’t withhold the truth. She just shared it at a time when the fool could receive it.

In doing so, Abigail saves her family and David’s reputation. David would have tainted his anointing by messing with a fool. Nabal died of a heart attack some time later and David sent for Abigail to be his wife because he recognized a woman of God when he saw one. Both of them left that fool alone.

Dear God, don’t let me waste my time fighting fools. You are rewarded of them that do good. My gifts will make room for me and bring me in the presence of great men and keep me from the presence of fools. A fool and his money will soon depart and wise men will get what belongs to him one way or the other. Thank you for dealing with the fools so I can focus on what you have anointed me to do. Today, I’m leaving every fool that tries my patience alone.

In Jesus Name.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don't Listen to Them

I Samuel 24:10

Look this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today into my hands in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you and I said, “I will not stretch out my hand against my Lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.”

People around you can hype you up into situations that God never meant for you to be in. That is why it’s important to know who you are and whose you are before you get into leadership because if you don’t have strong values, you will be swayed by the opinions of others. David had been raised with the fear of the Lord and how to respect authority. David knew that the Lord had anointed him to be King and God would be the one to raise him up in God’s own time.

David was in a tight spot. I ain't even going to front, if it had been me, there might have been a different ending to this story. Saul had been chasing David and trying to kill him for no good reason other than he was jealous of David. One day King Saul happened to wander into the very cave David and his men were hiding in to relieve himself. David caught him with his pants down. David’s men, like our friends said, “Man here’s your chance, God has delivered Saul into your hands, it’s time for you to be king.” David is hungry, tired, hurt…he raises his knife and cuts off a piece of Saul’s Robe and retreats back into the dark like a ninja. His men are looking at him like, “that’s it!” David is conscience stricken because he even thought about killing Saul.

David comes out of the cave and told Saul as he was walking away, ”I could have killed you, but you are my father, my lord the king, more than that you are God’s anointed. I’m not your enemy.” Because of David’s goodness, in contrast to Saul’s evil. Saul finally saw himself and he wept. He told David he would be king because he was more righteous than he was. David was in a tight spot, but David did six things right according to John Maxwell:

1. Displayed God-confidence from the beginning.
2. Didn’t assume any right or privilege
3. Obeyed God in the little things
4. Maintained integrity by respecting Saul
5. Consistently submitted to Authority
6. Desired to increase God’s reputation
7. Listened to his inner conscience rather than the clatter of friends

Dear God, help me to hear you over the opinions and advice of others. Even in tight spots deliver me before I take matters into my own hands. Give me wisdom under pressure.

In Jesus name.


Monday, April 20, 2009

A Storm Proof House

Matthew 7:24,25

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock and the rain descended, the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall for it was founded on the rock.

There have been so many natural disasters as of late with tornadoes, flash floods, and thunderstorms sweeping through the nation. People have had to flee their homes only to return to devastation. There have been some instances where homes that have been through storms before have reinforced their homes to withstand hurricane force winds. Depending on where they live different people have tried to make preparation for the storms headed their way. Not long ago, I added earthquake coverage to my house because Memphis is on one of the greatest fault lines in the south. You can’t stop storms but you can be prepared for them.

Just as there are natural disasters, there are also supernatural disasters waiting to attack our homes. Financial crisis mixed with a couple that’s not praying can lead to a storm. An affair that hits a marriage with no prayer can lead to a storm. Children that have not been trained up in the scriptures left unsupervised can lead to a storm. A house that does not have Jesus’ commandments as the foundation will be devastated in the time of storm.

Jesus is clear. If we do not live out his “saying” our homes will not make it through the storms of life. HE gives the comparison between listening to his word and not living out his word as to building on rock and building on sand. When we live out Jesus’ teachings, it’s like building everything we use to cover us on the solidness of Rock. When the storms come, our house will survive.

There may be some shingles missing, some windows blown out, but we will recover if it’s built on Rock. We might have to go to marriage counseling, family counseling, ask for forgiveness or just rebuild, but we will made it because we built on Jesus Christ the Solid Rock. When there is no word of God and we live by our own rules, we put up all these pretty natural things on Sandy Superficial grounds we set ourselves up for natural and Supernatural disasters. When we build our homes on New Age and Spiritualism, it’s like building the house on the movie Poltergeist when they built their home on top of an Indian burial ground. There is nothing in place to hold you in the time of storm. So what should have shaken you devastates you. What should have blown over blows you down. Why? Because there is no foundation.

The first thing you lay when you build a house is the foundation. As Christians, our foundation consists of:

1. The Word of God. In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word became flesh and lived amongst us. Jesus is the word.

2. Obedience to the word. Jesus said, “if you love me than you will keep my commandments."

3. Praying the word. Jesus said, “Ask anything in my name and it shall be done.

4. Spreading the word. Jesus said, Go therefore into all the world and preach my gospel and make disciples of all nations.

Dear God,
Strengthen my foundation. Help me to pray with my family and be consistent in Bible study time with them. It makes no difference how many material things I have in my house if I have no foundation. Order my steps in your word, dear Lord. Lead me guide me everyday. Help me to be able to proclaim in the time of storm, On Jesus Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand! Strengthen my foundation and make my house storm proof.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Are you a Wise Guy?

I Samuel 18:15
Therefore, when Saul saw that he (David) behaved very wisely, he was afraid of him.

One of the most feared men in the streets of 1920’s was a group of men known as “Wise Guys.” By the 1920s, the United States and the provinces within Canada had adopted prohibition (a law forbidding the sale of alcohol[1]). It was during that era that North America gave birth to some of the largest crime syndicates, most vicious criminals, and mafia leaders. Al Capone, Bugs Moran, Johnny Torrio, The Purple Gang, and Peter Licavoli became household names[2]. “Wise Guy” was a slang word for a member of the mafia. You didn’t mess with a wise guy. They were dangerous and violent killers who would take down anybody in their way. People were afraid of wise guys. They were feared more than they were respected.

David was a “Wise Guy” in another sense of the word. He was a warrior for God who was Wise. The bible says whatever Saul sent him to do (kill the Philistines); David behaved “Wisely” so Saul gave him a high rank in the Army. David’s anointing made him a wise guy. “Behaved Wisely” is translated successful in the New International Version and in the original Hebrew it means to advance or prosper. Because God was with David, he allowed him to be very wise and prosper. In the secular sense David was a Wise Guy in Reverse.

Mafia Wise Guys would use deception and violence to become Boss. They would even plot to kill the boss to become boss. David used humility and faithfulness to become King. He was faithful to Saul the Boss but because of Jealousy of Saul he tried to set David up by “putting a hit” on David. When David was wise and successful the women made up a song, “Saul killed his thousands but David has killed his ten thousands.” This was more than Saul’s ego could handle and from that day on he had a jealous eye on David. Saul even tried to kill David by throwing a spear at him while David was ministering in music to Saul. It's funny how when you are Wise or successful that people will promote you, but when you are very successful those same people can become jealous of you. It’s dangerous being a Wise Guy.

Saul put David in charge of a thousand men and David “behaved very wisely” or he was very successful and Saul was afraid of him. Saul moved from being Pleased to Paranoid to Petrified because of David’s anointing for being Wise. In order to be a wise guy you don’t have to do harm to people that are jealous of you. You just have to be successful in what you do for God. God will make your enemies your footstools even if they happen to be the people you work for. Do good to those who despitefully use you. Do not return evil for evil, but overcome evil with good.

How do you become a wise guy so God can advance and prosper you?

1. Behave Wisely in all that you do. The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord.

2. Be respectful of those over you even when they don’t respect you. David never touched “God’s anointed” King even when he had the chance to kill him, he would not touch him.

3. Stay Humble. When Saul tried to make David his son-in-law deceitfully to try to kill him, David responded by saying, “Who am I to be the King’s son-in-law, I am a man of low stature.”

4. When they put you out to fail, the best revenge is to succeed.

Dear God, thank you for making me a wise guy. Your hand has given me success in the presence of those who were jealous and wanted me to fail. You get all the Glory and Honor. Thank you for having my back and for making me very successful. Sometimes, it hurts to know that the people you love and serve mean you the most harm but in the midst of that I get great comfort knowing that your will is being done. What God has for me,

it is for me and no one can put a stop to my destiny. If God be for me who can be against me? Thank you for making me a Wise Guy.

In Jesus Name.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Don't Put On Other People's Clothes

I Samuel 17:39

David fastened his sword to his (Saul’s) armor and tried to walk for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.

Authenticity and Uniqueness is vital to forming your own identity. Some people spend a lifetime trying to figure out who they are. There is a tendency for us to emulate others until we figure out who we are. Tonex has a powerful new song called “Blend,” where he says why do we try so hard to dress like them, why do we try so hard to blend because when they change we have to change again.

We have to learn how to be comfortable in our own skin. There is something God has given you that works for you and you need to stop apologizing for your style, your swagger, and your way of doing things. You can't be like everybody else and nobody can beat you being you.

David was just a young, ruddy, handsome shepherd boy when he ran into the Giant Goliath. This Giant had defied and terrorized the Israelite army for 40 days, until David showed up. Grown men refused to step up and fight with this Giant and here comes this young shepherd boy talking much noise. Saul tries to talk David out of it by saying, “You are just a youth. Goliath is a warrior whose been fighting since his youth.” David said parenthetically, “You must not know me, I’ve fought Lions and bears and I will bust the windows out of his car….no really…..I will defeat this Giant and give Glory to God!”

Saul then gave David his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head, he also clothed him with a coat of mail. David tried to walk around with this older, taller man’s clothes on but it was heavy and awkward. The bible says David tested them out.

Some of us are walking awkwardly because we are testing out other people’s expectations for our lives. We have allowed other people to dress us in what they would wear but not what we need on. Everything you need is what God has already given you.

David was a shepherd. His only defense was a sling shot. He had been successful with that. He had tested them and they worked. Why change up the game and put on something from somebody older and insecure who hadn’t used what they are trying to put on you? I can’t wear Daddy’s clothes in this era. The models of leadership from yesterday are different from today. You can’t wear somebody else’s clothes. Do you!

When I Preach, most of the time it’s in Jeans and a nice shirt. I’m ministering to another generation. I don’t do loud suits. I don’t do Robes. Nothing wrong with either one. It just ain’t me in this season. I was a youth pastor for 11 years in the field with sneakers and Timberlands, baggy Jeans and Jerseys. God allowed me to be successful. When it was my time to come up to fight Goliath, I tried to walk around in Robes and suits. It didn’t work for me. I had to do me. More than clothing my paradigm for ministry. My preaching style does not fit the “cookie cut” model for traditional ministry. My brothers on the battlefield often criticized my “steeze” or style as unorthodox, but it’s my anointing that Kills Goliath so what does it matter what I have on? Do you!

Don’t put on other people's clothes. Whatever you have tested and it works for you, walk in that and slay your Giant. Set your own trend. Blaze your own trail for the Glory of God. Wear your own clothes. “I can’t wear skinny Jeans because my knot, (money) won’t fit. {Jay Z} Don’t Blend {Tonex} Stand out!

Dear God, thank you for making me Authentic. I’m one of a kind and I love it. You have given me everything I need to be successful and I refuse to be limited by the expectations of others. I’m out of the box. I’m free and I won’t go back.

In Jesus Name!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Look at their Heart First

I Samuel 16:7
For the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

As Americans, we are so superficial at times with our over emphasis on outer beauty, our infatuation with beauty contests and modeling competitions where mobs of young women fight each other over the chance to be America’s Next Top Model. Isn’t a model supposed to be a replica of something ideal? Beauty is not some thin young lady with a horrible attitude belittling her competition to grace a cover with a smile that hides the superficiality of her heart. Beauty is not some man with a killer smile, killer abs, and murderous heart.

How many times does the scenario play itself out in the movies, when the woman goes to look for prince charming, falls for tall, dark and handsome passing up average height, not as good looking and obscure only to figure out in the end that the average guy has a wonderful heart? Why is that? We miss so many great people because of the Superficial emphasis on outer appearance.

There are some ‘beautiful” people who are absolutely horrific and shallow on the inside. Some of the people we idolize as Superstars we would never want to meet because we would be disillusioned once we saw their hearts.

When God sent the Prophet Samuel to look for Israel’s next top model or replica of divine leadership, he sent him to Jesse’s house. The first son came out and Samuel was impressed with appearance. He hadn’t said anything, didn’t take any tests, didn’t produce any diplomas, but Samuel was ready to make him King. Maybe it’s because God’s last choice, Saul, happened to be tall dark and handsome, but God told Samuel that’s where you are wrong. This is how we go wrong when picking a new King/leader/spouse/employee:

1. Looking at outward appearance. Never Judge a book by its cover make sure you look at its content. Now the cover should get you interested, but you better be a good reader.

2. Picking from the past. God is known for being a paradigm shifter. Just because he moved one way in the past doesn’t mean he will not change in the future. Israel’s first king was tall dark and handsome, their next one was average height and ruddy. Don’t miss your next because you looking for your Ex.

3. Picking from the pecking order. Jesus said the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Samuel started with the oldest and went through all eight of Jesse’s sons until he got to the youngest.

4. Looking for Age and Tenure over Ability. We almost missed out on Electing Barack Obama because of this issue. “He’s too young and doesn’t have enough experience.” Yet President Obama is gifted, educated, and able to lead on the world’s stage.

I’m so glad God looks past our outward appearance and sees our heart. If we could learn to look at people’s hearts first it could save us from a lot of heartache and heartbreak.

How do you see the heart first?

1. Listen. Out of the mouth the heart speaks.

2. Watch them. You shall know a tree by the fruit it bears.

3. Pray over them and leave them alone for a season. If they are the one, then their anointing will make them rise above the rest.

David was anointed as a shepherd, a blue collar worker. He got promoted to Armor bearer for the King. Then he went through a wilderness experience where he got fired (unjustifiably out of jealousy) and lived in a cave. Then he came back to be king. You don’t judge a man by what happens to him, but how he responds over time.

Dear God, thank you for seeing my heart when everybody else passed me up. I was the least likely to be picked but you made me a leader. I will not let you down. You have my heart and I want to be a man after your own heart. Make me right.

In Jesus Name.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Who Has Your Heart?

I Samuel 14:7
So his Armor bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Go then, here I am with you according to your heart.

Who do you have in your life that you know will ride and die with you? Who is it that you can depend on in thick and thin? Everybody ought to have someone in their life they can depend upon for tough situations at least one person who has your heart. The one person I know for sure that has my heart is my wife. God has blessed me with a partner who loves me unconditionally and will follow me into battle without second guessing because she has my heart. Whether you are in a marriage, on a team, or running a business you better have somebody beside you who has your heart.

Jonathan had his armor bearer. The armor bearer did just that, He carried the armor of the King or the King's son until it was time for battle. The Armor Bearer was right beside their captain every step of the way. Often times if the King died, they died right beside them. There was no halfway commitment.

On one occasion Jonathan decided that it was time to take a risk. His Father's army was dissipating; they had dwindled down to 600 tired and disheartened men. Jonathan told his armor bearer, “Let’s go over to the Garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.”

Just in case you don’t know what a Garrison is, that’s about 500 men vs. 2 men. Without flinching his armor bearer says, whatever is in your heart I’m with you.” He had his heart. What does it mean that someone has your heart?

1. They know you. Whatever they do on your behalf they don’t need much instruction or input because they have walked with you for so long that they know how you would think and they know what you would do. They are in relationship with you and will represent the best of your intentions.

2. They Trust you. You have consistently done what is beneficial for them so there is no reason for them that you would lead them into a dangerous place without being led by God. They don’t doubt you, but they touch and agree according to your faith.

3. They Love you. This doesn’t mean that they don’t get angry or disagree with you. It means they love you with that Agape love from God. They love the best of you and the worst of you, but see the best in you. It’s a I Corinthians 13 type of Love.

4. They are Loyal to you. They are not political. They aren’t on your side when it benefits them and on someone else’s side when it works in their favor. They don’t switch sides for any reason.

5. They support you. Carrying Armor is burdensome and tiring. They help you carry your armor so you won’t be too tired to fight when it’s time to fight. This means they have to be in shape because they will have to fight with you after helping you carry your stuff. This is a special person.

6. They would die for you and with you. They are not going to let anybody that is detrimental to your well being near you without you knowing about it.

7. They will fight with you not against you. They trust your leadership and love you too much to fight against you. You should never have to fight with an armor bearer. They are there to help you fight against the enemy.

God gave Jonathan the victory because of his faith and his armor bearer because of his heart. If you are going to win at life you better make sure the person closest to you really has your heart.

Dear God, thank you for sending me a true armor bearer. I am blessed to have a whole host of armor bearers. Give me good discernment to know who to keep close and who to let go. Show me how to be what I desire the most. Help me to be an Armor bearer so that I will know one when I see one because I have been one.

In Jesus Name.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hiding Behind Baggage

I Samuel 10:22
So they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?” And the Lord said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the baggage.”

God chooses the most unlikely of people to anoint and use to lead his people. He is not a respecter of persons. It makes no difference what your background is or how obscure your family lineage, if God wants to use you he will.

Who would have thought God would pick a son of a white woman and an African from Kenya, who was a “community organizer” to be our 44th President? Nobody but God. Just like Saul, Barack Obama stood out a head taller than the rest. “That One” seems to be divinely chosen by God to lead our country for such a time as this. Not because he is divine, but that God wants to do something redemptive through the least likely of people.

The Israelites had asked for a new king and God gave them their request. He was a man from the smallest tribe and the least significant clan, but he stood taller than anybody else. It goes to show that it doesn’t matter what your background is as long as you stand taller than the rest.

When the prophet saw him God confirmed that Saul would be the new King. Samuel anointed him and began to prophecy to him the signs of confirmation. He told Saul that the power of the Holy Spirit would come upon him and would be changed. That is really the differentiating factor that enabled this man of great potential to be king but even with all the signs and wonders this young man still doubted that he could be King. On the day of his coronation, he couldn’t be found. They asked, “Is he here?” God said, “Yes, he has hidden himself behind the baggage.” It’s almost like Adam when God came looking for him after his fall from dominion, he’s hiding because he was ashamed of his Nakedness. God asked him, “Who told you that you were Naked?” It wasn’t until Satan deceived Adam into thinking he could be equal to God that Adam or man had to start hiding himself. Because of our insecurities and inadequacies we hide from God even when we know he called us. We hide behind baggage when:

1. When we allow the past to hold us from our future. We have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God but we can’t allow our mistakes to hide from his presence.

2. When we allow habits to stop us from being our best. We can’t let our hang ups and habits hinder us from all that God would allow us to be.

3. When we allow insecurities form allowing us to lead. God does not call the equipped, but he equips the called. God will never call you where his grace cannot keep you.

4. When we allow other people’s opinions or thoughts about our capabilities to shape our confidence or lack thereof. We cannot allow the prejudices or ignorance of others to seep in on our self-awareness. Don’t measure yourselves amongst yourselves or you will always come up short even though in reality you stand amongst the rest.
Come out from the baggage and do what God has anointed you to do.

Dear God, please give me the confidence and power through your Spirit to come out of the baggage that could block my destiny. Bring out the fullness of my potential and don’t let me shrink back into the dysfunctions of my past and miss the wonderful opportunities in my future. Anoint me and call me out.

In Jesus Name.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

You Reap What You Sow

2 Corinthians 9:6
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

You get out of life what you put into it. The Buddhist calls it Karma, the idea that whatever you put out in life will return back to you. As Christians, we believe that when we are intentional about sowing that God is intentional about giving us back what we have sown. It is not by happenstance, but through the intention of faith that we sow seeds through our giving to help others that God in turn helps us.

The image that Paul uses is of a farmer sowing seed. When the farmer sows seed, he has to make sure that he:

1. Sows on good ground. The ground must be fertile and able to multiply the seed that was sown in it. Good ground is any church that is doing progressive ministry and missions locally and abroad. Be careful sowing seed in a church that hasn’t made an effort to make the community or other people better.

2. Sow plenty of seed knowing that some of it won’t work. When Jesus told the parable of the sower. He mentioned that some of the seed would fall on rocky ground, some on hard ground, and some would be choked out by weeds. The reality is that even when you do good by giving money to people or organizations sometimes that money might appear to get wasted. But what you do for Christ will still get multiplied no matter what they do with the money. God rewards your giving, not how well they manage what you give.

3. Be patient with the Seed that made it in to good ground. Once you plant seeds, it takes a while for them to grow. We can’t expect God to bless us over night with a harvest. Keep planting and be patient, your harvest is coming.

4. Reap the harvest. Once God gives you your harvest, it’s not just for you. We are blessed to keep on being a blessing to others.

You can’t reap a harvest eating your seed or being stingy with your seed. You have to make up your mind ahead of time where and how much you are going to sow. There is always something else that could get your seed, but it's only when you are intentional about sowing in God’s field by giving to the poor, paying your tithes, or helping a charity that God sees your faith and multiplies it.
As a result of swing, the seed here is God’s promise to you:

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Dear God, thank you for giving me seed to sow and bread to eat. Show me the right fields to sow into so that I may reap a harvest for my family and continue to be a blessing to others. You have been so faithful to me and I praise you for providing for me over and over again.

In Jesus Name.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

He Hasn't Failed Me Yet

2 Corinthians 8:15
As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.

It is amazing how God is sustaining us during the rough times. Ministry is continuing to go forth because of the faithfulness of God’s people. Although giving is down by 28% nationwide in Churches, there are many churches reporting an increase in giving because of the generosity of people knowing that others need their help.

It was in these same type of conditions that the Apostle Paul encouraged the church to finish what they started last year. Something happened that interrupted their intentions:

Verse 11: but now you also must complete the doing of it, that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also must be a completion out of what you have.
Paul reminded them of what a Sacrifice God made for us when he sent Jesus to die for our sins:

Verse 9: For you know the grace of our lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich yet for your sakes he became poor that you through his poverty might become rich.
When we are faithful in our giving, God is faithful in his supplying. Paul reminded them that God took care of them in the wilderness. When he sent them manna and quail, each house only took what they needed. Those who tried to hoard too much had nothing left over and those who gathered little had no lack. God did not fail them in their recession and neither will he fail us. While we are going through our wilderness experience God expects us to:

1. Give whatever you planned on giving to your church or your charity. Keep giving according to what you have. We all can’t give the same thing, but we all can give something.

2. Gather according to what you need and leave some for the poor. When the children of Israel tried to hoard extra for themselves, the next morning the food would have maggots in it and it would spoil. Take what you need and share the rest.

3. Remember that through Jesus you are rich. Our richness is not just monetarily but rich in friendship, health, peace of mind, and Joy.

Dear God, thank you for blessing us with provision through this time of recession. Bless those who had it to give and bless those who didn’t but had the desire to give. Help us all to give according to our ability so there will be no lack for the needy.

In Jesus Name.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Time To Clean House

2 Corinthians 7:1
Therefore having these promises beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Every year about this time, we would go through the house and really clean. My mother called it, “Spring Cleaning.” We would wash the windows with vinegar and water, take the mattress outside to beat the dust out of them, clean out the closets giving old stuff away, and shampoo the carpets. It was a thorough cleaning. We cleaned up the accumulated filth from the winter as a result of fresh air not being able to flow through the house.

The other day I cleaned out my ducts at my place of business that I started three years ago. Those ducts probably hadn’t been cleaned out in decades. I had made some major renovations, moved in new furniture, but I hadn’t cleaned the ducts. When that man put the blower in the ducts, dust flew everywhere. Dust over time becomes dirt and dirt can make your sick. It didn’t do any good to put new stuff in a building with dirty vents. The same is true for your life. What good does it do to add the trappings of success when your spiritual ventilation is filled with dust? It’s time to clean house.

There are some things in your house that you must clean up if you are not going to be spiritually and physically sick.

1. Divisions amongst family and staff. A house divided against itself cannot stand. There are a couple of teams that have gotten rid of some star players this year because they didn’t need the distraction. The Cowboys got rid of TO and New York got rid of Plaxico. Two great players but they were more of a distraction than a blessing. Who do you need to let go on your team or at least try to reconcile with? Either you train them to be a team player or you trade them somewhere else.

2. Unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is the dust in your heart that clogs up your ability to truly love God and others. The natural flow of love is when God forgives you, he expects for you to forgive others. When you don’t forgive others it causes a back up in heaven for grace because God says if you don’t forgive others, I will not forgive you.

3. Sexual immorality. Every other sin a man commits is outside his body, but when you commit sexual sin you sin against your own body. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. God cannot dwell in an unclean temple. Sexual immorality is any kind of sex you have outside the marriage bed. Take that mattress outside and clean it. When you are married the marriage bed is undefiled.

4. Pride. Over time we all get to the place where we begin to lose our humility. We start to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. Pride comes before the fall. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

5. Any contaminates of the flesh and the Sprit. We should do a sweep to make sure there is nothing inside of us that can jeopardize our holiness. Before Passover, a Jewish woman would sweep her house clean to make sure there was no yeast in the house that would defile the Passover bread. Yeast is an ingredient that makes bread rise. For Passover, they were supposed to have flat bread. What is it in your house that might cause sin to rise and mess up what you offer to God?

We should always be perfecting holiness. This is something we will be doing the rest of our lives. Every year, there is a need to clean our house of accumulated debris so small it could go unnoticed until, that is, your whole house gets sick. It's time to clean house.

Dear God, please clean up my house, my business, my life. If you find anything that’s not like you, take it out. My desire is to please you. Search me and know my thoughts. Purge me with hyssop and wash me whiter than snow. Forgive me of my sins then I will teach transgressors your ways.

In Jesus Name.


Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm Glad You're Sorry

I Corinthians 7:9

Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance.
One of the hardest things for me to do as a parent is to scold my kids when they are in error. When you have relationship with your children, it is a tear in your heart when you have to discipline them for their good. I understand now what mama meant when she said, ‘This is going to hurt me as much as it hurts you.” In the end, no pun intended, it helped me to become a better person.

Whenever you discipline anyone you care about somewhere inside it hurts, but if you really love them you do whatever it takes to redeem the persona and bring them back to wholeness even if it means writing a sorrowful letter.

The Apostle Paul wrote a sorrowful letter of chastisement to the church in Corinth. His tone was so emphatic that it convicted the church leaders and made them sorrowful. When you are a leader, parent, or boss, you owe it to the people you care about to speak truth in love. Sometimes we reach a point in a relationship where what we have tried to say has gone unheeded and its time to write a letter. When and how do you write a sorrowful letter?

1. When your heart is so full you need to put it all on paper. Either writing or emailing.

2. When there is too much distance between you. Sometimes there is a lapse in time and too much distance between you to have a face to face discussion so maybe the best thing to do is to write it down and send it.

3. You write a letter as a last resort because your previous conversations have gone unheeded.

4. After you write it sleep with it and read it again in the morning. Never write out of anger and put something in writing that you will regret later.

5. Pray that they will receive it in the same spirit it was written.

Paul was glad they were sorry after reading his letter because their sorrow led to repentance. Their sorrow led to corrective behavior. Godly sorrow leads to life while worldly sorrow leads to death.

A father chastises those he loves in hopes that their souls would be saved. If God never chastised us than we would be bastards and not his. Sometimes God sends leaders to chastise us with the letter of his word. The next time you hear a sermon or read devotion hear it as a letter from Jesus. I hope it gives you good sorrow.

Dear God, I appreciate your letter that helped me to correct my behavior. I was out of control and that letter woke me up. Your word is a light unto my feet and a lamp unto my pathway. Thank you for writing me everyday.

In Jesus Name.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Shake It Off

Judges 16:20
And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself, and he did not know the lord had left him.

There are so many things that God has let us get out of without bringing us to an open shame. Time after time, he has been gracious even though we have abused his grace. Can you think of the times where you bargained with God, “Lord if you just get me out of this one, I will serve you…” ? The scariest scripture in the bible is Judges 16:20 where it says “he thought he would shake himself free but he didn’t’ know God had departed.”

Samson was one of the most powerful heroes of scripture known for his Herculean strength. He performed feats like, ripping a lion apart with his bare hands, defeating a thousand men with a jaw bone of a donkey and tearing the Security gates of a city out of the ground only to relocate them to the top of a mountain. It is interesting to note that each time he did these things, he was shaking off his enemies attempt to capture him as a result of Samson being in the wrong place with the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

His last date with danger was with Delilah. She was a gold digger who was paid by the enemy to learn the secret of his strength. This woman set him up three times with men in her apartment to jump him and he kept going back for some more. What makes us go back to people or things that we know don’t mean us any good?

1. Lust intoxicates our ability to make good decisions. The more you feed your flesh, the less you use your mind. The bible tells us to be led by the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

2. Denial. We think it could never happen to us. I’ll never get pregnant, I’ll never get AIDS, I’ll be the first drug dealer to retire with all my assets without going to jail. Do not be deceived. Whatever a man sows is what he will also reap.

3. Taking God for granted. We just assume that because God forgave us and let us go without exposure to shame that he will continue to allow us to shake the system or avoid consequences. God wishes that none would perish, but that all would be saved. That’s why he’s giving us time to get it together. He’s not allowing you to escape so you can keep doing it. He allowed you to escape hoping you would finally surrender to him.

4. Relying on your gifts, but not God. We start leaning on our gifts without being in relationship with the gift giver. We must remember the one who anointed us to use our gifts and only what we do for Christ will last.

Samson told Delilah his strength was in his hair. She had sex with him, cut off his hair and called in the men. He tried to shake them off, but God was gone. They scooped out his eye balls with spoons and made him a spectacle. The enemy took his vision, but his hair began to grow back in prison. One day when they were gathered in a coliseum, Samson asked a young man to place him between two columns that held up the entire building. Samson then asked God to give him the strength to destroy his enemies and avenge his two eyes they took from him. That day he destroyed more enemies in his death than he did in his life.

Dear God, help me to die to my old ways of yielding to lust and taking you for granted. Help me to be responsible with the anointing you’ve placed on my life. Today I’m shaking everybody off of my list who doesn’t mean me any good. Please don’t take your Sprit away from me.

In Jesus Name.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Never Sacrifice Your Children For Your Success

Judges 11:31 Whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace form the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.

Many times we are so driven in being successful that we end up sacrificing what means the most to us. Ray Charles almost lost his family in exchange for his musical success and his addiction to heroin. Ray is not the only one blinded by success but post-modern parents are in danger of losing their children to the corporate climb and the daily grind, but sometimes we make bad decisions based upon our family blue print that we regret later on.

Jepthah was a mighty man of Valor but his mama was a harlot. His brothers drove him away and he kicked it with some thugs who went out on raiding parties. When he grew up he got a reputation of being a successful fighter. When his people the Giledites were attacked they came to him for help. I like what he said to them, “Did you not hate me, and expel me form my Father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?” Isn’t it amazing how people who hated you will turn to your strengths when they are in distress?
Even though Jepthah had skills and strength the wasn’t thinking when he made a vow that if the Lord gave him the victory he would sacrifice the firs thing out of his house. Often times we are so quick to impress people that hate us that we destroy the lives of the people who love us.

Since nobody ever really loved Jephtah he didn’t have a blueprint to Love and protect what might come out of his house. Eh was so busy fighting he didn’t give much thought to loving. When he got back from fighting his only daughter came out dancing to greet her daddy. He told her he was sad because he made a vow to God that he couldn’t take back and he had to sacrifice (kill) her. She said “let it be but give me two months to lament my virginity with my friends.” She had to mourn the fact she would never get married, never go to college, and never have a family because her daddy sacrificed her life for his success. What have your children given up for your to get what you got?
How do we protect our kids form our pursuit of success?
1. Make plans with them in Mind. Whatever your ambitions give thought to how it will affect the development of your kids.
2. Don’t sacrifice their future for your daily pursuits. Your schedule should ultimately reflect that your children are a priority.
3. Love them like you would have wanted your parents to love you.
4. Don’t be hasty in your promises to others; think about your house first.
Dear God thank you for my success but more than anything thank you for my wife and sons. They are my reason for fighting. Keep them as a priority and protect them from y pursuits of success. May I find them in peace and tear them to pieces with my ambition. Give me the love and grace to be a good parent and spouse. Thank you for the victory and for the people in my house.

In Jesus name.