Tuesday, June 30, 2009

For This Reason I Left You

Titus 1:5

For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you.

Have you ever wondered why you are still in Crete? Crete is a place where you thought you were just passing through but you are still there. Crete is not only training ground for you but also for the people around you but you wonder why you are still there. Crete is going to make you better when you learn how to make other people better. Many times we fall into self-pity because of our current assignment but we ought to rejoice that God would select us for such an important mission. If we are in a tough place it must mean that God trusts me with trouble because he said, “He would not put more on me than I could bear.”

Paul left Titus in Crete to do two things: organize the people and appoint a leader. The new converts in Crete had experienced the Power of God. Now they needed strong leadership to preserve what God had done.

God puts us in Crete to be a witness and make disciples. For this reason, you were left in Crete. For this reason, you haven’t been promoted yet. For this reason, you were left unmarried. For this reason, you were left in this city. God has more for you to do before you move to the next place.

John Maxwell says that there are six things that Paul left for Titus to do in this difficult city called Crete. Titus job remains the job of Leaders Today:

1. Choose the men/women
How creative am I at finding new people to invest in?

2. Cultivate the models.
How am I doing at turning my people into examples?

3. Create the ministries.
How am I at creating ministry opportunities for these leaders?

4. Construct the management.
How am I at maintaining them along the way?

5. Communicate the mindset.
How am I at constantly keeping the vision alive?

6. Celebrate the mentoring.
How do I encourage and celebrate the growth?

Dear God, thank you for trusting me with my assignment. I’ve got a lot to do in Crete before I move on. Give me the wisdom, anointing, creativity, and power to do what you called me to do. I am ready to make Crete better so I can be better. I’m no longer feeling sorry for myself because I realize why I was left in Crete.

In Jesus Name.


Monday, June 29, 2009


Titus 2:6-8

Titus 2:6-8 (New King James Version)
6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,[a] 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.[b]

“I want to Love you PYT! Pretty Young thing, I want to Love you TLC! With Tender Loving Care and I’ll take you there, take you there.”

God wants to take us there, he wants to love us in a way that nobody else can but we must be PYT’s—Positive Young Trainees. We need to have a teachable sprit and be ready to receive the Righteousness of God. If we are going to be the Leaders of tomorrow, we have to start following God today. We have to yield ourselves to his will and to his way. As MJ’s life has shown us what happens in our young life shows up later in our adult life. Michael was a PYT whose purity was tainted by the tragic excavation of his childhood. He persevered through the dysfunction to leave us some of the most beautiful music and magical moments in the history of pop culture. If he could tell us one more thing from a retrospective look from his journey, I believe he would tell us from heaven not to be content being PYT (pretty young Things) but to be PYT’s (Positive Young Trainees) of God.

Paul outlines for Titus a list similar to the one he gave Timothy. Note that the traits he mentions deal with personal character, not techniques, gifts or skills. The truth of the matter is there are a lot of talented and gifted young people but not a lot of leaders with character. If we are not careful our talents will take us where our character can’t keep us. Sometimes, we are more concerned with being PYT (Pretty young things) than we are in our inward development to becoming PYT (Positive Young Trainees). Often times than not we are pretty on the outside but underdeveloped on the inside.

In order for our character to keep up with our gifting we need to have some characteristics that go into making us PYT’s.

1. Verse six. Sober minded. When we self-medicate on Drugs, Alcohol, or Sex, we never are able to make clear decisions as to the direction of our lives. For some of us it’s easier to self-medicate the pain than it is to sober up and face reality. When we are sober we are better able to navigate the twists and turns of life to get to where we need to be. Like OutKast said, “we got to get up get out and get something don’t let all the days of your life pass you by, don’t spend all your time trying to get high, because you and I got to look out for you and I.”

2. Verse seven; we need a pattern of good works. When you go look for a job they are looking for a pattern of consistency. When you apply to college they are looking for a pattern of good grades. When People look at your life they need to see a pattern of good deeds. Faith without works is dead.

3. Integrity. Integrity is who you are when no one is looking. Integrity is doing what you say you are going to do. All a man or woman has is there reputation. A good name is worth more than gold.

4. Reverence to the word of God. When you revere the word of God, it will take you far. David said, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

5. Sound speech. Know what you are talking about. Do your research. So that when your critics try to attack you, they will not be able to refute your knowledge.
God is looking for PYT’s to give some TLC but you have to TCB…take Care of your Fathers Business.

Dear God, thank you for loving me when I didn’t love myself. Help me to be all that you want me to be so that I can lead others in the way of Jesus Christ. Make me, Mold me, Shape me, and feel me with your Spirit so I can be a PYT!

In Jesus Name.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

God Will Restore

Joel 2:25-26
So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts has eaten, the crawling locusts, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust...you shall eat plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the lord your God. Who has dealt wondrously with you; and my people shall never be put to shame.

Locusts are a group of insects that terrorize many a harvest. They can swoop in and devour whole crops in minutes. They have often been associated with God’s wrath for disobedience. One of the Plagues of Egypt in the Bible was a swarm of locusts, which ate all the crops of Egypt.

In her novel On the Banks of Plum Creek, Laura Ingalls Wilder writes of a "glittering cloud" of locusts so large it blocked out the sun as it approached. The swarm descended upon her family's farm near Walnut Grove, Minnesota, destroying a month's wheat crop and stripping the prairie bare of all vegetation. In this book of Joel, the prophet calls them God’s army. Joel was using this swarm of locusts that invaded Judah as a warning for the people of Israel to wake up from their spiritual apathy. If they would Repent, God would Relent and begin Restoration.

We can all think of ways that Locusts have eaten away at our harvest because of our own disobedience. Whether it is individual or collective disobedience, God has a way of getting our attention and sometimes the army of locusts have a way of eating our harvest.

1. We have had Swarming Locusts. This recession swept in like a cloud of Locusts and devoured jobs, finances, business in minutes.

2. What the swarming locusts didn’t eat the crawling locusts came in and ate. Bill collectors, Repo men, and banks came to eat up what the recession left behind.

3. Consuming locusts came after the crawling locusts, fear, anxiety, and depression tried to eat away at our peace.

4. Chewing locusts are the negative and toxic thoughts gnawing away at our sanity. The devil wants you to believe that this locusts attack is the end of your destiny. This bare eaten field, that empty bank account, your state of unemployment. This is not the end. God has the last say so.

When we turn our thoughts and our hearts back to God He said He would restore what the Locusts have eaten! How do we turn back to God to end this locusts attack?

1. Rend your heart not your clothes. It’s not enough to be outwardly sorrowful or religious but you must have a broken heart & a contrite sprit.

Psalm 51:
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 The sacrifices of God are a
broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

2. Return to the Lord. When we repent, we are making a legal U-Turn. We were headed in the wrong direction and God allows us to make a legal U-turn in the right direction. When we Repent, God will relent of his judgment. Because of his mercies we are not consumed.

3. Praise the Lord. David said I will bless the Lord at all times and his praise shall continuously be on my lips. We have got to praise God in good times and in bad times.

When we do this, Restoration will come. Everything that got ate up God will give it back and God’s people will never be put to shame. Restoration has finally come; I’m getting back to my place in God.

Dear God, thank you for relenting and not allowing me to be consumed by the locusts. There was some stuff eating at me that I had done and some stuff I had no control over, but because of your mercies, we are not consumed. I’m coming back to you, for you are my keeper and my sustainer. Thank you for restoration!

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Don't Get Caught Up

I Timothy 6:9

Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

This past year we have seen great institutions crash and burn because of greed. The original failures speaking historically were Bearings, Morgan Stanley, Lehmann brothers and Co., AIG, Washington Mutual. Individuals like Bernard Madoff who took the money of trusted clients to invest in bogus deals just to make himself rich. Madoff was the manifestation of American greed at its worst. This greed has led us into this financial tail spin we call a recession. Two contrasts of conspicuous consumption come to my mind which show the distance between contentment and greed. I saw a woman who appeared to be a professor at he University of Memphis driving a hybrid, it looked like one of those small battery operated two-seaters. I thought ‘she is content and contributing to the stewardship of the eco-system.’ Then I saw the young manager on the HBO series “Entourage” driving a Huge Hummer on the movie studio parking lot, and I thought, ‘that is played out and wasteful.’ Our greed and obsession with getting rich has gotten us into this recession and only our godliness is going to get us out.

How do we avoid getting caught up in our greed and having a balance toward healthy prosperity?

1. Be Content. Verse Six says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain. When we can wake up everyday and thank God for daily bread and share our bread with our neighbor then we have learned the secret of happiness. When God was bringing the children of Israel through the wilderness, he gave them enough food for the day. After that, it spoiled if they tried to keep extra. He covered them with fire by night and a cloud by day. He let them walk through the wilderness without their clothes or their shoes wearing out. While we are going through this wilderness called a recession, we must be content with food and covering until God gets us into the Promised Land, and even when we get there we can’t worship the gods of materialism when we get through.

2. Love God not your money. Verse 10 says, “Money is not evil but the Love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many arrows.” Money is not evil but when we fall in love with it that is when we get in trouble.

3. Don’t flaunt your wealth. Verse 17 says, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly in all things to enjoy.” God is the one who gives us the ability to get wealth. He is not opposed to us being rich, he just wants us to be responsible and charitable when and if we do become rich.

4. What will you do with your money when or if you become rich? Verse 18, says, “let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Dear God, you are the giver of all good things. You have given us the ability to get wealth. Help us as a country to turn back to you and away from our ‘Golden Calves or Bulls’ on Wall Street and turn back to you in true worship. We are blessed to be a blessing and as a result of forsaking the poor we have forsaken you. I thank you for my daily bread and for my prosperity, realizing that anything above food and covering is prosperity. I never want to be caught up in what I have but I do want to be caught up with you. Everything you bless me with help me in turn to bless others. Thank you, Lord, for taking care of us and bringing us through this wilderness called recession. When we get through help us to remember you and your poor.

In Jesus Name,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

God Has You Hidden

2 Chronicles 22:12

And he was hidden with them in the house of God for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

Sometimes it is in your best interest that you not be in the spotlight. With the anointing that God has on your life, it is better that he keeps you hidden in obscurity for this season. There is something great God wants to accomplish in your life but in order to fulfill it he has to take you away from the people who would mean you harm. Many times when we think of the people who would do us harm, we think of outsiders or “haters” but sometimes the people who should have been taking care of you are the same people who want to take you out!

When Athalia heard that her son King Ahaziah was dead she didn’t want to relinquish her power so she went and murdered all her grandsons who were heirs to the throne just so she could be Queen. She murdered all her grandsons accept one named Joash. Joash, who escaped her murderous rampage only when a godly young woman named Jehoshobeath hid him in the house of God for six years. I know this young man had to be traumatized to be whisked away from his family, hidden in the house of God. Can you imagine how lonely he must have been, so young only to be in isolation from his peers for six years? Many of us are in a season where we are hidden whether we are under the covers of books in institutions of higher learning away from family and friends, or in some strange city carving out a new path for our career. Or, maybe you are single held up in the house of God not understanding why you can't connect with someone in Holy Matrimony. It is because you are hidden.

There is a season where God will hide you for your own good. Sometimes he will hide you from your own relatives because they can’t handle where God is taking you, instead of nurturing you, they want to murder you. Don’t let anyone kill you or your dream. God says I got to hide you!

When God has a plan for your life he will:

1. Send someone to help hide you. Jehoshobeath hid the young man. God will send you a mentor, somebody that recognizes greatness in you and will begin to nurture you through the dysfunction in your family and/or your organization. Be on the look out for Jehoshobeath, she/he has been sent to help hide you during this season.

2. God will hide you in his house. It is important for you to find you a house of covering. You need a church home. You should go there consistently every week to get inspiration and instruction for your life. When Mary was looking for Jesus during his hidden years, she found him in the house of the Lord listening to the priests. He told his mother, “Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?”

3. Learn from his prophets. Joash became a righteous king because he was tutored by the prophets. When you find a church home make sure you get in a small group or bible study so you can receive instruction on how to be righteous. Seek first God’s kingdom and his Righteousness and all these things will be added to you.

4. God will protect you by his people. When you are out of God’s house, you are more exposed to predators. When you are in the house, you are apt to be protected. There are more witnesses in the house of God than there are predators. God’s people who have discernment will protect you. The Priests had swords and shields to protect Joash in the house of God. If there were no predators in church why did they need swords? Even in church God will protect you from Predators.

5. Anointed by the priests. When it came time for him to be king, the priests anointed him. You must be anointed by God’s anointed. Don’t expect to be anointed hanging with people who are ungodly or even religious. You need to be around people who are in relationship with the true and living God.

6. God will put you in power in his own time. After Six years, God put Joash in charge as king. When it was time. God is not going to release you until you are ready to come out of hiding.

7. God will let you lead his people. You who should have died. God will raise up in time. The first shall be last and the last shall be first.

Dear God, thank you for hiding me. When the enemy wanted me dead you covered me. Thank you for raising me up when my brothers died in the streets and my sisters were taken away, you had a plan for my life and I just want to say, thank you. May I be the leader you can trust and use to influence your people in righteousness.

In Jesus Name,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rightly Seasoned

Colossians 4:6 (New International Version)

6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

There was a commercial back in the 90’s that I heard when I first moved to Memphis that use to crack me up. It was “Penny” Hardaway talking about some bologna that he loved and he got it shipped to Orlando. Penny was a great basketball player but he sure did sound like he was reading those cue cards. LOL. Whenever he got to my favorite part he would always put emphasis on the bologna being “Rightly Seasoned!”

When you eat your favorite food you always want to make sure it is “Rightly seasoned.” Too much salt can ruin some good greens. Too much sugar can mess up a good dessert. It has to be “Rightly seasoned.” It is the same way with our words. We can’t be “too salty” tinged with bitterness, anger, or sarcasm. And we can’t be too sweet overly complimentary, evasive, and sugary with the truth.

Paul was warning the Colossian Christians on how to deal with people outside the faith. There were critics. There were people with questions. There were people with accusations against the church, but Paul said, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside.” Before we open our mouths to answer people on the outside, we have to make sure we taste our words to make certain that they are “Rightly Seasoned.”

Paul says,
1.) Let your speech always be with grace. Grace is sweet. It is kind. It is unmerited favor. It is the opposite of wrath. When some people open their mouths they don’t even know what they are talking about, they need enlightenment. This is when you respond with grace. “I can understand why you would think that way but let me tell you the truth.” Grace keeps you from calling the person ignorant or cursing them out but instead guiding them to the truth.

2.) Seasoned with Salt. Salt is the transformative element that gives food its taste and at the same time preserves. Jesus likens a well informed and bold disciple as salt. He said, “We are the salt of the earth but what good is salt if it’s lost its flavor.”

Our response to those on the outside ought to add flavor while preserving the truth. You have to be careful with salt because too much of it and you will not be able to taste the food. Seasoned with Salt, means you only give them enough to enhance what you are saying but not enough to raise yours or their blood pressure. Seasoned with Salt would sound something like this. “I can understand why you would think that but let me help you, never be down on what you are not up on.”

Grace is withholding wrath and salt is adding some truth. When your words are “rightly seasoned,” you will know how to answer those on the outside.

Dear God, give me the recipe for healthy dialogue with outsiders. Temper my tongue when I share the truth. Help me to win folks to Christ without cutting them with my words. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you my Lord.

In Jesus Name.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Don't Count Me Out

I Kings 20:11

So the king of Israel answered and said, “Tell him, “Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off.”

It’s amazing how your enemy can sense when you are vulnerable and chooses to attack. Oftentimes, it is the verbal threats which cause the most anxiety. Laying in the bed thinking about their threats and their schemes is enough to cause you to lose your peace. As a believer, you must know that the enemy’s bark is bigger than his bite. The devil will have you running from something that can’t even bother you.

The king of Syria besieged Samaria and threatened the King of Israel to hand over his wives and children. For a moment the King of Israel considered handing over his wives and children just to get the enemy away from his city. In this recession, we all feel like we are under siege with bill collectors, IRS representatives building ramps up to our homes. The King even considered giving in until the enemy went too far by saying he would walk through the homes of the King and take whatever pleased his eye. Through wise counsel with the Elders, the King said this was not going to happen on his watch. You can’t just sit back and let the devil come in your house and take what he wants. There comes a time where enough is enough and I can’t sit idly by while the enemy puts siege ramps up to my house and walks in like he owns the place. Don’t count me out!

When you take a stand the enemy will talk louder. The king of Syria was furious and said he was going to tear the whole city down and drag the people away with him. Then King Ahab said, “Don’t count me out! Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off.” You haven’t whooped me yet? The battle ain’t over! You have to beat me before you can brag. You’ve messed with the wrong person! When the enemy comes against your family there ought to be some Righteous indignation that causes you to say, “Don’t count me out!”

God told King Ahab to gather the young leaders of the province and draw up battle plans. If you are going to defeat the enemy, you need to:

1. Get your team together. Your team might be your immediate family. Make sure you are all on the same page. Your team might be your staff, start assembling your best and brightest and get their input on what it is you are up against. The ideas for your victory are already in your camp, you just have to empower them to get them out. Who is your book keeper? Who do you need to hire on staff?

2. Write your battle plans. Whatever obstacle you are up against right now, God is waiting on you to give leadership to your team. Sit down and put it on paper. Habakkuk 2:2 says write the vision and make it plain that the runners may run with it. What is your plan to get out of debt? What is your business plan to make a profit this year?

3. Fight with everything you got. This is not the time to punk out. Stand still and fight the fight God told you to fight. Now if God ain’t told you to fight don’t move. But if he told you to fight, you unload with everything you have knowing that the battle is not yours it’s the Lord’s. Don’t relent until you get out of debt. Don’t give up until you get the job.

4. Finish what you started. King Ahab messed up. When he defeated the Syrians, King Ben Hedad gave himself to the King and made a plea bargain. King Ahab accepted. As a result God told him that King Ben-Hedad would be back to bother him again because he didn’t finish him off. I know that sounds gangsta but you don’t need to let the enemy come back into your life when God told you to annihilate him. You don’t make friends with people who want to kill you. Whatever tried to kill you needs to be utterly destroyed. You only make friends when your enemy is converted not just defeated. Don’t stop until the addiction is defeated. Don’t stop until every toxic person is out of your life.

Dear God, help me to courageously face my enemies and not retreat in fear from those who would try to lay siege to what I care about the most. Give me the wisdom to know when to fight, when to forgive, and when to finish what they started. Jesus taught us to love our enemies but he also taught us to go get two swords. Show me when to strap up and when to take it off. I await your orders.

In Jesus Name.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Did You Look Hard?

2 Chronicles 15:15

Eagerly they sought after God, and they found him and the Lord gave them rest from their enemies on every side.

I remember my mother would send me into her closet looking for shoes or some item that I was not as passionate about finding as she was. Inevitably after digging through a pile of shoes, half-heartedly, I would give up my search only to come back empty handed, with the news, “I couldn’t find it.” She would look at me incredously and ask, “Did you look hard?”

When you want to find something bad enough you go to great lengths to seek it out in fact you will not rest until you find it. If only we would seek God like that. Oftentimes, we search for God like we do Mama's shoes. We look for him because someone sent us looking for something we are not passionate about. In a word, cluttered with religion we give up our half-hearted search for the true and living God.

King Asa came from a lineage of corrupt Kings who worshipped idol gods but when the prophet Azareal reminded the king in verse 2 that if they sought God they would find him: The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him, but if you abandon him, he will abandon you.” With that news, King Asa searched eagerly for the Lord by:

1. Removing all the idols from the land. Before you find God you have to remove all the substitute gods in your life. There are idols we have set up because we stopped short from finding the true and living God. Our jobs, our material possessions, and even our lovers have replaced our relationship with God. WE have to get rid of our idols.

2. Repairing the altar of the Lord. Repairing the altar means we have to go back to church or to the place of worship. It’s amazing what excuses we can come up with as to why we have not gone back to worship. The bible tells us not to forsake the assembly of ourselves in the house of the Lord.

3. Made sacrifices to God. When we get back into relationship with God, we should give him a sacrifice to show our appreciation. We should give him a sacrificial offering of our time, talent, and tithe. LL Cool J said, “ all that God gives me I give him 10% of that, I throw it up and he gives it right back.”

4. He deposed his grandmother as Queen mother because she had made an obscene Asherah pole. He cut down the pole, broke it up and burned it in the Kedron valley. What is the obscene thing your family has put up with that you need to now break up? It’s up to you to break generational curses and habits.

After King Asa did these things God gave them rest from all their enemies. When we are obedient in seeking God with everything we have that’s when God gives us rest from our enemies. Don’t stop looking until you find him.

Dear God, give us a renewed sense of urgency in finding you. My soul will not rest until it rests in thee. I will seek you lord while you may be found. Thank you for never leaving me or forsaking me.

In Jesus Name.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Speak the Truth Anyway

2 Chronicles 18:13

And Micaiah said, “As the Lord Lives, whatever my God says that I will speak.”

It is so tempting to be seduced into popular opinion, especially when the mainstream seems to be trending towards the majority. Today many prophets only seem to be concerned with a profit and being popular. To go against popular opinion seems to bring about scrutiny and ostratization. You should never think that being called by God will lead you to a place of popularity often times it is the exact opposite but if you are called you must speak the truth anyway.

Micaiah was a true prophet that could not be bought out, punked out, or sold out. When King Ahab decided he would go to war against Ramath Gilead, he asked King Jehosophat to go with him. 4400 prophets came to tell them they would succeed and to go forth. But King Jehoshaphat was leery of everyone prophesying prosperity and not one word of challenge. So he asked is there not a prophet of the Lord left?
Ahab said, “Yeah but I hate him! He never tells me anything good.” Isn’t it amazing that people can hate you just for telling the truth? Truth tellers have never really been popular. Dr. King was hated by his own people and denomination. Malcolm X was assassinated by his own people. Jesus was crucified for telling the truth. The truth sometimes is telling people what they are not ready to hear but it’s factual. Ahab said, “I hate him because he never prophecies anything good toward me.” Because he wanted Jehosophat to fight on his side against Ramath Gilead, he summoned Micaiah.

When they summoned Micaiah they told him to agree with the 400 after all they were the majority. He said, “Whatever God says that’s what I got to say.” He told the two Kings the truth; that they would be defeated and Israel scattered because they were deceived by 400 prophets who had a lying spirit on them. There is nothing more difficult than speaking truth in a culture that’s used to being lied to. We‘d rather be lied to than to face ourselves. If you are truly sent by God, you can’t lie no matter how profitable it is or how uncomfortable or unpopular you may become.

How do you speak truth in a culture that loves to be lied to?

1. You must know the truth for yourself. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” You must know Jesus for yourself in order to stay pure in a corrupt culture. You cannot be in relationship with Jesus and still let lies come out of your mouth.

2. Don’t use the media for your source of truth. They are all diluted with Spin. Whether it’s Fox News or CNN they have a little bit of Spin. There is always truth behind the truth and you must be wise and discerning as to what is the truth. Be intelligent enough to see beyond what men and women report as truth and seek the truth for yourself. Be an informed truth teller. Don’t tell pieces of the truth, tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

3. Test the Sprit by the Spirit. More than ever you have to be discerning of what is from God and what is not. Once you hear for yourself, you will know the truth by the Holy Spirit if you know Jesus. Jesus said my sheep know my voice, they will not hearken to the voice of a stranger. I love the discourse that Jesus has with Pilate about the truth. John 18:37-39 (New International Version)
37"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.

Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

38"What is truth?" Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, "I find no basis for a charge against him.

4. Do not fear man but fear God. Matthew 10:28
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Dear God, put truth in my mouth and never let a lying spirit get near me. Give me the boldness and truthfulness of Micaiah. I don’t want to be a part of the 400 lying prophets. If I have to walk alone so be it. But please let me stand for you. Let me be your vessel for truth and help me to know the truth and let the truth set me and those I speak to free.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Be Bold With It!

Ephesians 6:19

{Pray} for me, that utterance may be given to me that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.

One of my pet peeves is when people are talking and they mumble as if they are not confident about what they are saying. If you want to be heard you must speak with confidence and strength. I don’t know if it’s my influence from being a Broadcasting Major with a minor in Communications or the fact that my mama would say to me, “Quit all that mumbling and speak up.” Mama hated mumbling and looking down at the ground because black men during her time were taught through oppression to hide their voices; she taught me how to raise my voice and to have something to say. I told a young man the other day at Power Lunch that came up to me shaking my hand and looking at the floor, “Son always look someone in the eye when you are talking because to look down means you having something to hide.”

We must speak the truth boldly. God has given me a spirit of boldness. I can’t shut up even if I wanted to. I’ve discovered that the more I pray and the more my intercessors pray for me, the bolder I get.

Last night I preached a message entitled, “The Dangers of an Empty House.” I told the congregation that a vacant house brings down the value of the property around it. I told them boldly that some of them were empty houses that are bringing down the spiritual value on “the House” because they will not fill their house with anything of spiritual substance. God is not going to allow prosperity to move into your area if you house is vacant. No ministry. No obedience. No devotion. Faith without works is dead. Dead neighborhoods bring down the value of homes around them. Don’t be an empty house. My wife told me after the message, “baby I appreciate you breaking down the mystery of the gospel. We got the word because of your boldness.”

People sometimes don’t get what you are trying to say when you are mumbling or withholding the truth because you are afraid how they will receive it. Be bold with it. Don’t hold back out of insecurity be bold with it. The thing about last night is that what I said wasn’t even on paper. The Holy Spirit through Prayer gave me that to give to the congregation. Before you open your mouth make sure you pray. Jesus told his disciples when you go before authorities don’t worry about what you are going to say for I will give you the Holy Sprit and he will give you what to say. When you study, when you pray, when you open your mouth God will give you what to say. Be bold with it.

Sometimes when you are a vessel for truth, it can become disconcerting when you are antagonized for being bold. It can become burdensome and you just want to keep your thoughts to yourself. But I am like Jeremiah after he had been persecuted by the people he told God:

Jeremiah 20:7-8

7 O LORD, you deceived [a] me, and I was deceived [b] ;
you overpowered me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed all day long;
everyone mocks me.
8 Whenever I speak, I cry out
proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the LORD has brought me
insult and reproach all day long.
But then he comes back to say:
9 But if I say, "I will not mention him
or speak any more in his name,"
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.
Be Bold with it!

Dear God, help me to be bold with the truth. Give me the confidence to speak truth to power, to give sight to the blind; to set the captives free, to raise the dead. And proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. I want to be your vessel, help me to lift my eyes from the floor to the hills from where all my help comes from. Fill me with the substance of things hoped for and give me the evidence of things not seen. Use me as your mouthpiece; just give me the courage to be bold with it!

In Jesus Name.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Good Life

Ecclesiastes 7:15-18

In this meaningless life, I have seen everything, including the fact that some good people die young and some wicked people live on and on. So don’t be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself? On the other hand, don’t be too wicked either—don’t be a fool! Why should you die before your time? So try to walk a middle course—but those who fear God will succeed either way.

Ephesians 4:30

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

Kanye West makes mention of the Good Life complete with stories of women shaped like models, clothes, and money. It would appear that we are all in search of the “Good life.” One illusion to the “Good Life” is that if we are good, we can all experience the good life. But the reality is that Life is sometimes unpredictable but God is always good.

The writer of Eccliastes is somewhat cynical about life. He concludes that the fate of the Righteous and the wicked is the same so you should not wear yourself out trying to be “too good” but then you shouldn’t be “too wicked” and end your life short. His advice is to be somewhere in the middle, but to keep a healthy fear of God. Is advice to enjoy life, laugh and love, eat, drink with a healthy respect and reverence of God is good? WE are either too Self-Righteous or Too Wicked, rarely are we in the middle. Jesus said he came to give us life and Life more abundantly…the “good life”

Outside of Jesus, life has not meaning. Without Jesus we do suffer the same fate as the wicked but death is not the final answer. The wicked and the Righteous must stand judgment.

That is why Paul warns us to live Good as we pursue a good life. He tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit. When you love God, you know what makes him sad. Anything that grieves the Holy Spirit is not a good life no matter how good it feels for the moment. The Holy Sprit is the one who will identify you after this life is over.

We just came back from a wonderful cruise. Good food, dancing, sunbathing, shopping, Love and laughter, the “good life.” On the third day it was over and it was time to leave, I was somewhat sad because the fun was over. Before we could disembark and make our connection, we had to identify our bags in customs. My wife and I both had bags but I identified them both. I was the only one who knew our bags out of all the hundreds of bags down there. I identified our bags so we could disembark and make our connection.

The Holy Spirit will identify us when we stand before the God in Judgment as belonging to God because of our relationship with Jesus and how we lived a Good life. When we trust God and live in our new nature we will experience the Good Life eternally.

Dear God, I trust you with my life. Everyday you give me I’m going to work hard and play hard. I will be conscious not to grieve the Holy Spirit by following the leadership of the Spirit you have placed in me. Forgive me when I go too far to the left or to the right, keep me on the right path to enjoy this good life.

In Jesus Name.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's Time to Wake Up!

Romans 13:11

Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up; our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

Whenever we travel by airplane, my wife has a ritual. She carries her blanket and pillow and immediately goes to sleep before we get airborne. She says, “Me and God have a deal, he lets me sleep so I cannot think about flying.” She doesn’t like to wake up until we get to where we are going. Because I know how fast we have to scramble to make our connection, it is my responsibility as the alert one to wake her up once we near our arrival.

Many of us try to sleep through what we are most afraid of. We would rather go to sleep than to face our fears. It's time for us to wake up because our salvation is nearer than we first believed.

Sometimes we think if we just go to sleep then the wars and rumors of wars will go away, or that the recession will magically disappear. Now I am not saying that staying up, worrying about things, will make them any better but neither will ignoring them. As we get near God’s fulfillment of all things, it’s time to wake up and get our house in order.

It’s time for right living.

1. Wake up. WE have to be sober and alert to see the signs of Jesus' eminent return. All around us there are wars and rumors of wars. Young people are in danger of peril, Marriages are under attack, and this is no time for Christians to put their heads in the sands. We don’t want Jesus to come back and catch us with our work undone. It’s time to wake up and go into the marketplaces and streets and tell those who are lost that the banquet table is open and ready for them.

2. Get Rid of your evil deeds. There are some habits and hang ups that are holding us back from our destiny. It’s time to get rid of whatever is holding us back. The only way we can is to realize that we are new creations in Christ. We simply have to walk in what God has already made us. We can’t make the changes on our own but with the help of Jesus, he makes all things new.

3. Shed them like dirty clothes. We don’t throw away dirty clothes but we do wash them. Jesus’ blood is the only thing that can wash away our sins and make you whole. There is still power, wonder working power in the blood of the Lamb!

4. Clothe yourself with Right living as those who live in the light. We have to make sure we are covered. We need to put on the full armor of God. We need to live in such a way that it brings Glory to God and credibility to our faith.

5. We should be decent and true in everything we do. Everything we do as Christ follwers should be done in decency and in order. We should carry ourselves in a respectable way so no one can cast dispersion on our faith.

6. Don’t participate in wild parties and getting drunk, or in adultery and immoral living, or in fighting and jealousy. We are a chosen generation and a royal priesthood. We are the King’s kids, we can’t do what everybody else does.

7. But let the lord Jesus Christ take control of you. There can only be one captain of the ship and his name is Jesus. Let him have full control.

This is your “Captain Speaking” We are approaching our descent into your destination. Return your seats to their “upright” positions, cut off all devices claiming your attention, push your tray tables up for fasting and praying, store away any loose items. If you are not sure about your final destination, please consult your nearest servant and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

Dear God, thank you for waking me up and reminding me that we are near the time of salvation. This world is groaning in anticipation of the end. Help us to be sober and awake so this does not catch us by surprise. I want to be ready when you arrive.

In Jesus Name.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Don't Eat Too Much Honey

Proverbs 25:27

It is not good to eat much honey; So to seek one’s own glory is not Glory.

I just finished a series on “The Secret Life of Bees” and I likened the bees to the buzzing of your enemies who seem dangerous to you but in the end all their talk is responsible for making you honey. Honey is whatever you get as a result of your enemies working for your good out of what they meant for your bad.

Even with all the good that can be gotten from God advancing your cause there is a danger of eating too much Honey and having the wrong motive. As Christians we should always make sure we do two things in our pursuit of Honey and Glory:

1. Give God the Glory! John the Baptist when he was preaching and baptizing before Jesus began his public ministry realized he was just a fore-runner. He was not the main attraction; he was paving the way for Jesus. John said, “I must decrease so that he may increase.” When God allows you a platform to have the attention of many people, do not seek your own Glory and do not forget God’s words.

Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.

Proverbs 25:26 A righteous man who falters before the wicked, is like a murky spring and a polluted well.

Don’t forget what and who you stand for when God puts you in the spotlight. That’s why God has not promoted some of us because we have to get our hearts right. God will never promote you if you cannot fully and honestly represent him. When God gives you the stage make sure you say it right and for the right reasons.

Don’t eat too much Honey. God doesn’t mind you getting honey or money but keep it all in proper perspective. Proverbs 24:13 My son, eat honey because it is good, And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste. But be warned too much honey can make you sick. Even Grandmamma said, “too much of anything ain’t good for you.

Proverbs 25:16 Have you found Honey? eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and Vomit.

When God blesses you with Honey you must have the discipline not to eat too much but to learn how to store some up for later. Learn how to give some away to others who need it. You are blessed to be a blessing. What you do with your Honey determines whether or not God will give you any more.

Dear God, thank you for my bees. They have only produced more honey for me. Keep me humble and may you always get the Glory for all that I say and do. It’s my desire to see more and more people come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Keep me centered in your word and hidden in Christ. I give you praise for all the wonderful things you’ve done for me and for bringing me into a land flowing with Milk and Honey. Help me to go with the flow but not be swept away.

In Jesus Name.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

If You Don't Like It Don't Eat It

Romans 14:3

Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.

We all believe different things as it pertains to God. Within the protestant camp alone there are so many denominations and tribes who split off because of differing views about what is accepted. One believed in Music in worship and another did not. One believed in women in the pulpit another one did not. One believed in being baptized in the spirit as evidenced by speaking in tongues another one just believed that water baptism was sufficient. We all believe different things but one thing is central, we all believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that God raised him from the dead. Much of the time what we disagree about God could care less about. We spend too much time majoring in the minor.

The Apostle Paul recognized this with early believers who were having an issue with people eating meat sacrificed to idols. New Christians were going to meat markets purchasing meat that could have been sacrificed to idol gods. It would be like us going in buying groceries from a store owned by an Atheist. His beliefs don’t have anything to do with the food I’m going to take home and bless before I eat but some weaker in the faith may not be able to get past the fact that the owner is an atheist.

Food and sex are oftentimes closely related. What is appetizing to one person may not be appeasing to the next. When you are married the marriage bed is undefiled but many Christians still debate as to what is pagan and what is Christian. I don’t think God really cares what we do so long as it does not blatantly go against his Holy Standards.

We as Christians make a big deal out of the freedom of those who embrace their sexuality in the marriage bed. Everything God made on a man and a woman ought to be enjoyed by their spouse. The problem comes when the prudish judges the freedom of those who are comfortable in their sexuality, those who are naked and unashamed. But there is also a problem when the sexually enlightened judge those who are prudish. Whatever you do you must work out in your spirit whether God is pleased or not. Once you have confirmed in scripture and in prayer that you are not in open violation to God’s word then that is between you and God. If there is something on the menu that you don’t like, then don’t eat it. But just because someone else likes it don’t condemn them. You don’t have to beat people up for not believing as you do.

Whenever you go to the grocery store you don’t pick up every item in the store but only what fits your taste. You don’t avoid the whole store simply because they sell one item you don’t like. We spend too much time judging people for what they have in their cart instead of what they have in their heart.

Romans 14:13 therefore let us not judge one another anymore but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brothers way.

John Maxwell gives twelve steps from this chapter in Romans from his leadership bible on how to handle brothers/sisters who have differing values:

1. Be open, not condescending (vv. 1-3)
2. Remember that everyone answers to the Lord not to you (v4)
3. Cling to your own convictions (v.5).
4. Whatever your values, your motive should be to please God (vv.609).
5. You are ultimately accountable to the Lord (vv. 10-12)
6. Do not cause anyone to stumble (v13).
7. Don’t let others impose their values on you, and vice versa (v.14)
8. Make love your highest aim (v.15).
9. Major on the majors and minor on the minors (vv. 16-18)
10. Pursue peace and adding value to people (v. 19).
11. Don’t destroy anyone by imposing your values on them (vv. 20-22).
12. Anything is wrong that is not done out of personal faith (v. 23).

Dear God, help me to enlighten not to offend my brothers/sisters. I only want people to experience the abundance of life available to them not cause them to stumble. You know my heart. Help me to always represent you and not myself, not my will but your will be done in my life.

In Jesus Name.