Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teach It 2 See It

Titus 2:1
As for you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine {the character and right living that identify true Christians}.

If there is ever any quality missing in someone, you care about and they are influenced by you, you must teach what you want to see in them. That’s why attending church is so important for believers because the teaching of what it means to be a Christian must be constantly ingrained upon our hearts. The gospel of Jesus Christ is counter-intuitive to what the world believes. If we are not careful we can become conformed to the pattern of this world because our minds are not being transformed through the teaching of God’s word. Our Wives start acting like Basketball wives, the husbands start acting like Charlie Sheen thinking they're winning when they are losing, our children start being disrespectful and the family as a whole disintegrates because there is no teaching.

It’s been said that once people know better they do better. People of every age must continue to be taught in order to continue to grow and evolve. Paul tells Titus that there are five groups of people he has to teach and what to teach them.

1. Older Men. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity and wisdom, into healthy faith, love and endurance.

2. Older women. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness.

3. Younger women. By looking at the older women younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous (Proverbs 31) and pure, keep a good house, be good wives.

4. Young men. Urge the younger men to be self-restrained and to behave prudently (taking life seriously).

5. The teacher or yourself. But mostly show them all this by doing it yourself, incorruptible in your teaching, your words solid and sane.

Dear God,

Help me to teach what I want to see but most of all let them see it in me.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Unfinished Business

Titus 1:5
The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

Have you ever wondered why you are still in a certain place? Other people have moved on but you are still here. There may be another place you desire to be but you are still in this place.

I’ve always had a sense of urgency in my life and I never wanted to be left behind. It would bother me as a child whenever I missed the school bus. Even now I have a reoccurring dream that I’m in college and there is a final exam I’m supposed to take but for whatever reason I forget to study and the dream ends with me not wanting to be left behind.

The reality is that some of us have been left behind but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Paul purposely left one of his protégés behind. Titus must have had some anxious feelings about being left behind because Paul opens this letter by saying, “the reason I left you behind in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished.”

Before you can move on to your next assignment you’ve got to finish the one where you are. Titus had to appoint elders in every town Paul had been. He had to finish what was unfinished; we have to do the same:

You can’t be a success without a successor. Where you are now you need to be pouring into someone else who can do what you do when God calls you to the next place. Jesus told his disciples to go make disciples. Every believer has the responsibility of making disciples before we can advance to the next level.
You have to teach what you want to see. Jesus told the disciples to teach them whatsoever you have seen and heard from me. There is the assumption here that we are disciples of Jesus ourselves. That may be the unfinished business that requires us to stay behind. After we receive it ourselves we then have to teach it.
You have to inspect what you expect. There were expectations for the elders that Titus would be putting in place. You can’t just assign people with inspecting what you expect. Are they living up to what you expect out of them?

You can’t leave until your people are in place. You never want to leave a place with your work undone. You always want to leave a place with solid infrastructure and solid people in place to carry on the vision.

Instead of feeling sorry for yourself for still being where you are, ask God what is it you want me to finish? Study to show yourself approved, so you can pass this final exam.

Dear God,

Help me to finish what I started. Give me discernment on how to select the right people and to make disciples by teaching them everything you taught me. Help me to stay ahead of the curve by finishing what is unfinished.

In Jesus Name,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I've Been Restored

Psalm 80:7
Restore us, O God Almighty; Make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.

One of the most frustrating things for me is when my iPhone will not function properly. Recently, I received notification that I was eligible for an upgrade on my phone. When I tried to sync it with my iMac it gave me an error message saying, “This device is not eligible for an upgrade”. To make matters worse it kicked my iphone and ipad into restore mode. I was hot! I felt so lost. I had to go back to the Genius bar at Apple to see why my devices wouldn’t work.

Do you know how it feels to have some equipment that you depend upon and they not be able to function. Nobody could call me. I couldn’t call anyone. I could see the light on but I wasn’t getting any power. They had a form of functioning but no power to go with it. I took them to Apple and the genius people told me the reason they weren’t working was:

1. Too many people were trying to access the server. When too many people have access to you it causes you to be overloaded and you miss upgrades from the Holy Spirit thus causing you to go into Restore mode.

2. My iTunes was not properly loaded. If you are not in Tune with the Holy Spirit you can’t receive new information. I have to be Tuned into God to receive new revelation.

3. I lost all of my functionality and needed to be restored back to factory setting. Every now and then we need to be restored back to our factory settings. When David messed up with Bathsheba and committed adultery and murder, he asked God to restore the joy of his salvation and to renew the right spirit within him. Even the best of us mess up and need to be restored.

4. After you’ve been restored you have to reload your Apps. Watching everything I was putting back on my phone made me question did I really need this App or was it just taking up space?

Today, go to the Genius Bar and ask God to search you and if he find any wicked way to take it out. Ask God to restore you back to the place where you were in him before your overload so he can download the new information he has for your life.

Dear God,

Restore us. Get us back to the place where we were before we gave away too much access and too much disk space. Shine on us again so that we can be saved and upgrade our lives to match your will.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, June 27, 2011

Don't Leave God in the Valley

2 Chronicles 25:15
The anger of the Lord burned against Amaziah, and he sent a prophet to him, who said, “why do you consult this people’s gods, which could not save their own people from your hand?”

Have you ever looked at someone else’s life and how they have failed in one area or another, saying to yourself, “I would never do that?” We have many examples of scandals, failures, and missteps that could last us a lifetime just this year. You would think that with all of the dramas unfolding around us and in the news that we would be wiser than to follow the footsteps of the foolish. The bible says that the steps of a righteous man are ordered but we have to choose to go where he guides us.

All throughout the old testament there is discussion of the Kings of Israel and the Kings of Judah how either they followed in the footsteps of David who was after God’s own heart or they followed the footsteps of Ahab who worshipped false gods. It was amazing how God kept intervening for both Judah and Israel even when they were not faithful to him. What’s even more amazing is that after God gives them the victory over their enemies they still go back to worship the gods of the people they defeated.

Amaziah, King of Judah was outnumbered by the Edomites but yet God still gives him the victory in the Valley of Salt. It’s ironic that God would give him the victory in the Valley of Salt because that’s exactly what we are supposed to be as Christians. Salt. Salt is supposed to transform not conform. Salt is supposed to preserve not spoil. Amazaiah, instead of giving God the glory for the victory, conforms by taking their gods and spoiling the favor on his life.

That doesn’t make sense to me, why would you take the gods of the people you just defeated? If they didn’t work for them why should they work for him?

1. Maybe he saw all of the previous victories that this army had and thought he could have their previous favor not realizing he had everything he needed to win.

2. Maybe he saw all of their riches but didn’t look at the fact that they a soulless people.

We have to be careful taking back to our homes the gods of defeated people. How do we do that?

1. Don’t take the values of people who are lost themselves. When you can’t see any spiritual fruit from “successful people” be careful living like they live.

2. Material wealthy does not equal abundant life. When God told Amaziah that he didn’t need the men he had paid to go to war, he asked him what about the money I paid them? The Prophet said, “God will give you more than that back.” Don’t worry about losing money when you’re doing God’s will, he will give it back.

3. If you listened to God for the victory, make sure you listen to him after you win. Amaziah listened to God in the Valley of the Salt but he refused to listen after he got the victory.

4. Don’t get cocky after your victory and fight an unnecessary war. Amaziah tried to fight Israel and was defeated because he was following the gods of the people he defeated. Defeated gods can’t help you after you abandon the true and living God.

Dear God,

Help me to hear your voice today and not my ego. Help me to hold true to your voice and not their values. Help me to be Salt in the Valley today by transforming my environment and not conforming to it. Save me from cultural corruption and instead preserve what is good. Thank you for the victory and not giving up on me.

In Jesus Name,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Clean Up Before They Catch Up!

I Timothy 5:24
The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them, the sins of others trail behind them.

It's human nature to give all of our attention is those who are exposed to misdeeds. We love public spectacles of important people whose sins are displayed in tragic details. It almost makes us feel better about ourselves because, ‘if they are that bad at least I’m not.’ It’s a false sense of temporary righteousness. It’s like the story Jesus told of the sinner and the Pharisee:

Luke 18: 9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”


In comparison to people whose sins are obvious we who have sins that trail behind us always look good in our own eyes.

Paul admonishes young Timothy that the sins of some men are obvious and reach the place of Judgment ahead of them but the sins of others trail behind them. Eventually, all sin leads to Judgment unless we take heed to warning that comes before destruction. God gives us time to get ourselves together.

We need to Clean up before our sins catch up:

1. Confess. If we confess our sins he’s faithful to forgive us of our sins.
2. Clean up your mess. Zacchaeus told Jesus that if he had wronged anybody or taken anything he would pay back four times the amount. We have to make amends for what we’ve done wrong.

3. Change your behavior. We must show fruits of repentance. It’s not enough to say I’m sorry you must show in your actions that your heart has been changed.

Dear God,

Thank you for giving me time to get myself together. Thank you for forgiveness of my sins through the sacrifice of Jesus. Help me to practice forgiveness and not join the “Peanut Gallery” in condemning those who are exposed. Instead of looking down on the condemned help me to lift someone up who’s fallen, knowing it could have been me. Thank you for Grace, its Amazing!

In Jesus Name,

a Or to

[1] The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Lk 18:9-14

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Look At Me Now!

I Timothy 4:12

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.

All eyes have been on R&B singer Chris Brown to see if he can recover from his disappointing domestic abuse charge against his former girlfriend Rihanna. Both of them are so young and gifted. I believe in redemption and I was glad to see Rihanna walking in forgiveness as she asked the judge to allow Chris to be in the same building with her so he could get back to work.

All Chris had to do was go to therapy, do some community service, and get back to work. Instead of getting his heart and mind healed he allowed the public scrutiny to make him bitter and dedicated his new album to all his “haters.” I could tell his heart was not healed when he had a blow up in the NBC studios when Robin asked him about Rihanna. I lift Chris up as an example of many young people who are thrust into the spotlight without the inner work necessary to survive the scrutiny of success. If I could have helped him I would have told him what Paul told young Timothy….”Don’t let anyone look down on you because of your youth but instead set an example for the believers.

People are always going to be skeptical of younger people in leadership, in the spotlight, because they think you don’t have the experience or maturity to be there. That’s why it’s important to work on your inner character just as much, if not more, than your outer appearance. Paul tells Timothy working out and going to the gym has some benefit but character development helps you in the present life and the life to come. Verse 8.

Before you tell people to “Look at me now” make sure you’ve done your inner work. Don’t’ let anyone look down on your youth but instead set an example for all believers:

1. In speech. Watch what comes out of your mouth. Out of the mouth the heart speaks. Make sure your heart is healed and filled with the Holy Spirit before you open your mouth. James 3:6

2. In life. Your lifestyle should mirror your values. Jesus said, “You shall know a tree by the fruit it bears. When your life is productive and you are helping other people it will shut your critics up real fast.

3. In Love. People will know we are Christians by our love. I Cor. 13: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

4. In Faith. Based upon how you react to any given situation you show people what kind of faith you have in God.

5. In Purity. God is Holy therefore we have to be Holy. Are your motives pure?
After you do your inner work then you can confidently tell all your critics, “look at me now!”

Dear God,

Work on me. Search me. If you find anything in me that is not like you take it out and recreate my image so that I reflect your image. Before you put me on stage, allow your Holy Spirit to be my PR coach and give me instructions on how to develop a positive public image by living in your image. You created me in your image and I want to be more like Jesus. Give me the mind of Christ so that I can live my life in a way that is pleasing and acceptable to you. I know if I please you then it doesn’t matter what men say. Give me a peace that surpasses all human understanding and when People look at me let them see you.

In Jesus Name!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This Ain't Your Fight!

2 Chronicles 20:17

New International Version (NIV)

17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’”

You ever get tired of fighting? Seems like every time you turn around, there is something else jumping off. It can be draining to always have to fight. You feel like Ms. Sophia, “I’ve had to fight my Uncles, my cousins, I will be doggone if I’m going to have to fight my husband to.” Sometimes, you get tired of fighting. Every time we turn on the TV we have battles waging. We have the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have the war between the democrats and the republicans. We have the war of unemployment and foreclosure. We have the war of poor education and lack of healthcare. It can be draining.

The good news this morning is that you don’t have to fight all of these battles. In fact, the battle you are up against right now is not your fight. You will not have to fight this one because this one is the Lords! God says, “I got this one!” You just show up and watch me do my thing! After all you’ve prayed for God is about to show up on your behalf.

King Jehoshaphat was surrounded by three enemies and he was outnumbered. He was so overwhelmed that he did the only thing he knew to do. He prayed. He called all the people together and asked them to pray and fast. Jesus told his disciples that there are some things so difficult that the only way to deal with them is through prayer and fasting. After they prayed and fasted the Holy Spirit fell on one of them and he prophesied that they would not have to fight they would just have to:

1. Take up their positions. You will not have to fight but you have to let the enemy know where you stand. What do you believe about the war in Afghanistan? What do you believe about education in America? What do you believe about Universal Healthcare? What’s your position?

2. Stand firm. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “If a man has not found something to stand for he will fall for anything.” You can’t be flimsy in your faith.

3. Go out and face your enemy. You can’t be afraid to face the people that are up against you. When David had to face Goliath he didn’t just face off with him, he took out running towards him.

When Jehoshaphat did what God told him to do, God showed up on his behalf. I like what he did before he went out to face the enemy. He put the praise team in front of the army. They began to sing, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever!” The more they praised him the more the enemy was defeated. God sent an ambush against the enemy so that when they got there the enemy was already defeated. You ought to give God praise in advance for the battle he’s fighting for you!

Dear God,

Thank you for fighting for me! I refuse to give into fear or anxiety. This is not my fight. This fight is not carnal but spiritual. I surrender my fear in exchange for my faith. I will take up my position, stand for what I believe, and go out to face what I need to face knowing that I already have the victory! I’m praising you right now for a victorious outcome! Thank you Lord, for fighting for me.

In Jesus Name,

Monday, June 20, 2011

You May Get Something!

2 Kings 5:20
Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.

I never understood why my Mother didn’t allow me to accept everything from everybody. As a child, whenever we went to visit other people and they offered us something to eat or if one of our cousin’s gave us a toy, Mama would sometimes say, “no they don’t need it! Thanks anyway.” I would be so angry because I was hungry or I was coveting that toy.” My mother knew how to discern what was needed and not needed. She was able to distinguish when people were offering something out of obligation or if there were strings attached. As a child, I had to learn how to respect her decisions even when I didn’t understand.

There are times when you are not supposed to take stuff from other people because of what comes with it. Everything that is offered, you are not supposed to take no matter how appealing it might look. I was watching a video with Marsha Ambrosius, entitled, “Late Nights & Early Mornings”. In the video, there are two couples who are getting ready to make love or have sex. Above their heads are + and – signs on one couple and two – signs on the other. The couple with the + and – signs have unprotected sex and then at the end of the video there is + and + over each heads. AIDS in the African-American community is an epidemic because many of us are pursuing accepting something we never should have chased down.

Elisha the prophet heals an enemy commander of Leprosy. The man is so grateful for his healing that he offers Elisha some silver and some clothing. Elisha has discernment that he doesn’t want anything from his enemy because God is his provider and he doesn’t want what was associated with this idol worshipper. Elisha’s servant couldn’t understand why Elisha didn’t take the silver and the clothes. He’s thinking, “I could use this money and some new outfits. “ So he decides to run after this man and ask him for what Elisha didn’t take.

When he gets back Elisha asks him where he’s been. He says, “Nowhere!” Elisha says, “My spirit was with you when you asked him for the silver and the clothes.” Wow! Did you know that God’s spirit is with you whenever you are accepting anything he told you not to get?!

The servant said, “I’m going to run after him and get something from him.” Be careful what you say because that’s exactly what he got…something. Elisha told him as a result of his disobedience he got the Leprosy that Naaman got cured of and it would stay with his family forever.

1. Never accept anything from somebody who’s infected. You need to know the background of the people you are dealing with before you have an intimate exchange that can stay with you forever. The safest sex is abstinence until you’re married.

2. Never chase anybody down that is already left to get something from them. When you catch up to them you may get what they got.

3. Listen to the man of God and obey even if at first you don’t agree. They see something you don’t.

Dear God,

Don’t let me chase down something I’m not supposed to have. I trust you that when you say no, you have something better for me. Give me discernment to know when to receive and when to let go. Thank you for not allowing me to be so desperate to chase down the wrong person. I’m listening to you Lord.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Don't Stop Praying!

Colossians 1:9-10

Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.[1]

As long as Moses lifted his hands (in prayer) the Israelites were winning but, when he let his hands down (stopped praying) they lost. Prayer is our direct link with God. It is the channel in which we connect with the power we need to win at life. Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray after he had performed great miracles. We are the exact opposite. We experience great miracles then we stop praying.

When we stop praying it’s like constructing a building but never completing it because the resources stopped coming in. We cut off our Spiritual resources when we stop praying. The Apostle Paul encouraged the church in Colossae that they would continue to be built up because:

1. From the time they heard about them they didn’t stop praying. What devastating news have you heard about that still needs prayer? Haiti, Tuscaloosa, Japan, the American economy; you ought to keep praying until it’s fixed and ask God how you can assist in fixing it.

2. Ask God to fill the people you are praying for with spiritual wisdom and the knowledge of his will. So many new Christians stop short of being filled because we stop praying for them. New believers need constant prayer so that they can be completely regenerated. Ask God to show you an individual in your church that you can partner with to pray for continually.

3. Pray so that they may live a life worthy of the Lord and bear fruit in every good work. It encourages my heart when I meet people that tell me that they are praying for me and my ministry because without it I can’t produce anything. I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.

Dear God,

We have a lot to pray for. We are confident that the work you began in us you will be faithful to complete it, we just have to keep the channel of communication open between you and us. Teach us how to pray without ceasing so we can keep on growing.

In Jesus Name,

[1]Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, 2002, S. Col 1:9-12

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Secret of your Insanity

Philippians 4:12

New International Version (NIV)

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Do you really need that or do you just want it? It’s amazing what we can make it without once we have to. These hard economic times have forced all of us to downsize in some shape or fashion. Whether we had to choose another home, a smaller car or no car, try to find another job we have had to make some kind of adjustments. I’ve relearned a secret from my childhood, that is, I’ve learned to be content with what I already have. When I was a child I had to finish what was on my plate before I could consume anything else. The secret to your sanity is to make full use of what you already have before you long for something more.

A brother in Christ helped me with this not long ago. He said, “Don’t take on any more debt during this recession! You don’t really need to buy anything else. How many shirts do you have? How many shoes do you have? How many of them can you wear at one time? Be thankful for what you have and spend your money wisely.”

We live in a culture that creates a false need through advertisement. The average American watches 3 hours of TV a day, spread out that’s 10 years of TV viewing in a lifetime. All the while advertisers are stealing your contentment by making you purchase stuff you don’t even need.

The secret to your sanity is to learn the secret of contentment.

1. Be happy with what you already have. Mix and match the clothing that is already in your closet. Repair that car that is already paid off before you go get a new one. All we have needed His hand has already provided.

2. Keep clean and take care of what you have. Growing up we may not have had the newest clothes but they were clean. We may not have had a mansion but our trailer was clean. We always took care of what we had and thanked God for it.

3. Get rid of clutter. When the widow woman was in debt the prophet told her to sell what was in her house. She found some empty jars and filled them oil to sell to her neighbors. Sell what you have to get what you need.

4. Don’t create any more debt. Pay off what you owe with what you save from not spending on false needs.

5. Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Dear God,

I’m good! You keep making a way for me over and over again. I have no complaints. I’m moving towards being D-Free! Debt Free! Distress free! Depression Free! I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. I have learned the secret of being content.

In Jesus Name,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Love & Respect!

Ephesians 5:33
Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself and the wife must respect her husband.

There is always this war of the sexes as to who will bow down to the other. Are the men supposed to be more loving or are the women supposed to be more submissive? A woman came up to me after church and said she had been in debate with a bunch of men at her job about women submitting to men. She said, “They were saying a woman’s role is to cook, clean, and take care of the children.” I told her, roles are flexible because we live in a time where both sexes are working outside the house but there are two things that are fixed, Love and Respect.”


Men are to love their wives in two ways:

1. As Christ loved the church. That Love was a sacrificial love, an Agape love. Jesus died for his bride, the church. Men ought to die to their selfish ways to do what’s best for their brides.

2. Love their wives as they love themselves. No man has abused his own body (that was in his right mind) or neglected to care for himself. We must take care of our wives as we take care of ourselves. Paul says in verse 29 None of us ever the our own bodies. Instead, we feed them, and take care of them, just as Christ does the church.


Women should respect their husbands. Paul says that the wives respect their husbands by submitting to them in everything. Respect and submission are important pieces of the same puzzle.

1. Respect means to hold in esteem or honor. When you respect your husband you don’t talk crazy to him or treat him with contempt.

2. Submit means to yield oneself to the power or authority of another. For a woman to submit is to respect the fact that her husband is the head of their family. For a man to love his wife, he sacrifices everything for what’s best for her.
It takes love and respect for a marriage to work. It’s a mutual love and respect. It takes two to make a thing go right. He who finds a wife, finds a good thing.

Dear God,

Thank you for modeling love and respect through Jesus. He died for us, the church, so that we could love and respect each other. Today, I submit my will to yours so that you get all the honor and Glory.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Don't Over Do It!

Ecclesiastes 9:17-18

Do not be over righteous…Do not be over wicked…It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes.

Have you ever met someone who was so heavenly minded they were no earthly good or so dark that you couldn’t see any light in them? Sometimes, you want to ask people why are you so serious and then other times, do you take anything serious?’ there has to be a balance.

The writer of Ecclesiastes says that the man who fears God avoids all extremes but has a good handle on both worlds. In this book, the Next Christian, Gabe Lyons talks about how this generation of Christians don’t overreact to the world but they actively engage the world. We are not to be ascetic Christians that remove ourselves from the world but we are to be Christ centered so that we go into the world to shine our lights. We don’t have to alleviate fun we elevate fun.

Jesus was the best example living a balanced life. He went to a wedding banquet and restocked the whine barrels. He attended a house party with Matthew and his friends. He talked to a sexually promiscuous woman at a well in broad day light. He touched a man who had leprosy and put himself at risk for infection. Jesus recognized the balance in life. He was serious about his work but he didn’t take himself so serious that he couldn’t enjoy life.

He told his disciples, I came to give you life and life more abundantly. He knew the hypocrisy of religious people and how you could never please them:

Matthew 11:18-19 GNT

When John the Baptist came, he fasted and drink no wine, and everyone said, “he has a demon in him! When Jesus came, he ate and drink with sinners and everyone said, “Look at this man! He is a glutton and wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and other outcasts! God’s wisdom, however, is shown to be true by its results.”

In other words Jesus said, “The proof is in the pudding.” are people being helped by how you live your life? Are you engaging people without losing your identity and godly influence?

Don’t overdo it!

1. Work hard and play hard. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy but all play and no work makes him a dumb boy.

2. Stay prayed up so you can stay effective as you engage. Engaging the world drains you, spending time with God fills you. Do both.

3. Have a mixture of friends saved and unsaved with the hopes of enriching their lives as they do yours.

4. Enjoy your life because when it’s over, it’s over.

Dear God,

Thank you for a balanced life. Continue to ground me in your goodness so that I can actively engage the world without being corrupted. Help me to love the world as Jesus did instead of running from it. Help me not to overdo it but to be true to it. Help me to live my life abundantly.

In Jesus Name,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Two Are Better Than One!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

New International Version (NIV)

9 Two are better than one,

because they have a good return for their labor:

10 If either of them falls down,

one can help the other up.

But pity anyone who falls

and has no one to help them up.

As successful as Adam was, God said, “It’s not good for a man to be alone.” God made Adam a suitable help mate. Each of us in order to be fulfilled, needs someone significant that can help us meet our full potential. I think it was Lil Wayne that said, “woman of my dreams, I’ll never find her, because I don’t sleep.” Ironically enough, Adam didn’t find Eve until he was asleep and God brought her out of Adam. It’s not until we rest in God’s presence after doing God’s will that God matched us up with a help mate.

It’s interesting that when people find their ideal job or business or team, they will use the analogy of a good marriage. Like Adam, we must also find good help mates at work and at home. It's not good for a man or a woman to work alone.

What are the benefits of two working together?

1. Together they have a good return on their work. You get more done when you are working together.

2. If you fall down the other will be there to help you up. If you fall down by yourself nobody will be there to help you get back to your feet. You don’t want to be like the elderly lady on the Life Alert commercial, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” We need a Mick from Rocky in our Corner to tell us to Get Up when we fall down.

3. Keep each other covered. Two people can keep each other from freezing to death when it’s cold.

4. More likely to defend yourselves. One person can be easily overwhelmed whereas two people can fight back to back to keep from being overwhelmed.

5. Not easily broken. A cord of three strands is not easily broken. When you are in good relationship with two or three good people that’s a strong bond.

Dear God,

Thank you for sending me a help mate at home and at work. I am surrounded by good people who make work more satisfying and make me better. Two are better than one.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, June 6, 2011

You're Closer Than You Think!

Ephesians 2:13
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

When I was riding in the passenger seat of my car the other day I noticed the writing on the side mirror, “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.” Sometimes, when you look in the mirror it may appear that the car is further back and you can have an accident trying to get over when in fact the car is closer than you thought it was. Sometimes, when we look in our mirror we are looking at what is coming up on us or what we left behind. Just be aware that what you see in the mirror is closer than it appears.

When we look in the mirror every morning we are looking at where we have come from and where we are going. Both of them are closer than they appear. Your past made you who you are but it doesn’t stop you from going forward. As you're merging into the next lane of your life just be sure you gauge the proximity of your past with the space allotted for your future. You are closer than you think.

The person that bridges you to your future is Jesus Christ. He is Alpha and Omega. He knows your beginning from your end. We used to be far away from God because of the sin in our past but now we are closer to salvation than ever before because of Jesus. Through his death on the cross Jesus closed the gap between us and God. We are closer than ever to our purpose when we acknowledge the sacrifice of Jesus in shedding his blood to cleanse us so we could come closer to the will of God in our lives. You are closer than you think.

How are we closer than ever before?

1. Jesus destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. When Jesus died the curtain separating the Holy of holies from the common people was torn into. Jesus death brought us closer to God by removing that which separated us. V. 14

2. Jesus abolished the Law and gave us grace. Grace is unmerited favor. God does things for us because of what Jesus did on the cross. He took our sins into himself and died so that we might live. V. 15

3. Jesus reconciled us to God through the cross. The love that Jesus expressed on the cross by dying for our sins drew us back to the heart of God. V. 16
Today, you need to realize that you are closer to your destiny than you have ever been. Look in the mirror and tell yourself I’m closer to God today because of Jesus. Your past is behind you and your future is brighter. Keep driving forward knowing that you are almost there. Don’t wreck looking at your past, go forward into your future. You are closer than ever.

Dear God,

Thank you for getting me closer to my destiny through the loving sacrifice of Jesus. I’m determined to get there and I will not stop until I get to where you want me to be. Today I’m putting one foot in front of the other as I make another step toward my purpose. Thanks for getting me closer than I’ve ever been before.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Finish Your Breakfast!

Proverbs 24:27
Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.

In his book, Decoded, Sean Carter said his friend Strict uses the phrase “finish your breakfast” as a way of saying that you need to finish your job up strong. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but how many of us skip breakfast? Breakfast gives us the energy we need for the morning so we can be productive. You don’t want to eat half of it and then be halfway productive. You want to finish your breakfast so you can have a powerful morning.

Finishing your breakfast means doing the things that are foundational and important so that you can go to the next level in your life. There are some things that you must do first before you can move onto loftier dreams. You don’t start something and not finish it. Whatever job it is you’ve been given to do, finish it strong before you move on to something else. You never want to be known as someone who never finishes something.

Even as a child I always wanted to finish what I started. If it was a puzzle I kept going until every piece of the puzzle fit. If it was a test I answered every question to the best of my ability. As a young man if I had a job to do I finished it no matter how unpleasant the task. In finishing my breakfast, I’ve learned how to enjoy dinner.

Solomon tells his son to finish his outdoor work and get his fields ready, after that build your house.

There is some preliminary work that needs to be done before you build a house.

1. Finish your outdoor work. There is trash that needs to be removed. Hedges that need to be cut down. Grounds that need to be leveled. This is the non-sexy part of the work. It’s the dirty work that must be done prior to putting up what’s attractive. This is where you are stuck in a musty library for three hours a day studying for college exams. This is where you are working two jobs trying to make ends meet. These are not permanent seasons but necessary.

2. Get your fields ready. You have to get your fields ready so that you can plant something that will sustain you once your house is built. Before you build or buy a house you need to make sure that you have some career that will sustain you through a recession. You don’t buy a house with a part-time job. You need to have cultivated your field. What field of study are you in? What field are you cultivating that is recession proof? Do you have more than one field in case one of them fails?

3. Build your house. After the foundation has been laid then build your house. Even with that make sure you count the cost so that you will not get in the middle of the building project and not be able to finish. Get a budget, plan for unexpected expenses, go slow, do some value engineering, get wise counsel, get the right contractors so that you can build a strong house that will withstand the storms of life.

Dear God,

Help me to finish my breakfast. There’s so much I want to accomplish for you in my lifetime. I want to work the works of him who sent me while it's day, for when night comes no man will be able to work. This morning I’m going to finish my breakfast so that when I sit at the dinner table I can hear you say, “well done, my good and faithful servant, you’ve been faithful over a few things, now come on up and I’ll make you ruler over many.” I’m going to finish my breakfast.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We Don't Have Time For That!

Romans 13:11
And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

When it’s time to wake up in the morning it’s hard to get out of that bed sometimes. You want to lay in there a few more minutes. You hit the snooze button repeatedly only to realize that you slept another hour. All that changes when you know you have to be somewhere. You don’t have time to sleep when you have somewhere to be. Oftentimes, when I’m traveling and have to catch a plane, I wake up two hours earlier than I have to so that I can make sure that don’t miss my plane.

We all have an appointment with our purpose that we are in danger of missing because we love sleep more than we love being about our Father’s business. Proverbs 20:13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare. Sleep is metaphoric for being idle and not active in the things that bring about self-fulfillment. We are at a crucial hour in this world where every believer needs to arise from their slumber because we don’t have time for that.

Paul says that the Law can be summarized in one sentence, Love your neighbor. You can’t love your neighbor and do evil. By this time in our spiritual journey we ought to be helping people instead of slumbering in sin. The time is approaching when God will judge each of us for what we were supposed to be doing for him. The older we get the nearer our appointment with God. We don’t have any more time to waste. All those youthful lusts we chased and wasted time with are no more. It’s time for us to rise from our sleep and be productive for God.

Paul says, “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” When you wake up there are some things you have to take off and some things you have to put on.

Take off the deeds of darkness:

Sexual lawlessness-- I Corinthians 6:18 Shun immorality and all sexual looseness (flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed). Any other sin which a man commits is one outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

Drunkenness-- I Thessalonians 5:6 Accordingly then, let us not sleep, as the rest do, but let us keep wide awake (alert, watchful, cautious, and on our guard) and let us be sober (calm, collected, and circumspect)

Conflict-- Romans 12:18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Jealousy-- Proverbs 14:30 A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.
When you wake up clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ by putting on the full armor of God

Helmet of Salvation
Breastplate of righteousness
Shield of faith
The belt of truth
Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God
The foolish things we did when we were younger we don’t have time to do anymore. It’s time to wake up, we’ve got work to do and somewhere to be. Like Mary Mary said, “I’ve got to get myself together because I got somewhere to go, And I’m praying when I get there, I see everyone I know. I wanna go to heaven, I wanna go to heaven.”

Dear God,

Help us to wake up this morning with a sense of urgency to Love our neighbors, to take care of the poor, to practice justice, do mercy, and walk humbly with you. The night time of our lives has passed and we are ready to wake up to a new day filled with opportunities to serve you and establish your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I’m awake now Lord and I’m ready to do what you want me to do. I refuse to go back to sleep.

In Jesus Name,