Thursday, December 27, 2012

You're Not Finished!

You’re Not Finished!

Revelation 3:2
Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.

The thing that keeps me going; the motivation that reignites my passion for ministry at the beginning of a New Year is the fact that I’m not finished. God has more for me to do. The things that he spoke over my life have not been accomplished yet; I have to finish what he started in my life.

This morning you should awaken with a renewed determination to finish what God started in you. God is the author and the finisher of your story and you are not finished. You have more to do. There are people who might have thought you were finished but it ain’t over until God says it is over. It’s time for you to finish. This is how you do it:

  1. Wake Up! Sometimes, we can fall into a lull or go through the motions and not realize that we are sleepwalking through our best years. Every morning you ought to wake up earlier so you can spend time with God and get to working on your future. You still have time to do it but you have to wake up now.
  2. Strengthen what remains and is about to die. There’s something you were doing that was great but it’s in danger of dying because you’ve neglected it. You still have time to get it back because it’s not dead you just have to strengthen what remains.
  3. Jesus has not found your deeds complete. Have you done everything that God put in your heart and mind to do? If not, then you are not finished. You can’t move on to the next level until you’ve finished everything on the previous level. Finish what God told you to do so he can take you to the next level this coming year.

Dear God,

Please enable me to finish strong. Refresh my mind, my spirit, and my body so that I can strengthen what remains and was about to die in my life. Now, more than ever I am determined to finish. I know that the race is not given to the swift or to the strong but to those who finish.

In Jesus Name,


A Prayer for My Friend

3 John 1:2
I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul!

A Friend is somebody who wants to see you do well even if you are doing better than them. A friend is somebody who will walk with you when you're sick until you get better. A true friend encourages you to keep walking in Truth when you would rather settle down in falsehood. Needless to say, “Good friends are hard to find!” When you find a good friend make sure you pray for them.

The Apostle John was commending his friend Gaius for walking in the truth and for the love he had shown to everybody else. John opens his commendation by praying for his friend. This morning I want you to think about a friend that has helped you and pray this for them:

  1. Pray for good fortune in everything they do. Pray for them financially. A friend wants another friend to do better financially. Not only will you pray for them to be financially blessed but you will encourage them to that end.
  2. Pray for their good health. We should all be encouraging each other to live healthier. As we approach a new year pray for your friend to eat healthier, exercise for good health, and that God would heal any health issues.
  3. Pray that their everyday affairs would be successful. It always helps when you know that someone is praying for you when you are involved with daily endeavors that involve skill, strategy, and favor. When two or three touch and agree on anything Heaven pays attention and it is done in heaven as it is on earth.
  4. Pray that their soul prospers. This is really the most important part of this prayer because if their soul doesn’t prosper they will not be able to handle the other three. Pray that their soul is strengthened and that they are successful spiritually in walking in the truth. What does it prosper a man to gain the whole world and mess around and lose his soul?

Dear God,

I pray for my friend today that you would bless them in every way today, financially, physically, socially, and spiritually. Bring them out of depression, heal their body, and restore them financially. Father, they need a breakthrough now! Please put them in a place of prosperity in the New Year. They have been faithful in helping others now Father God please return the favor to them in this New Year. Thank you for blessing my friend and while on others thou art calling please don’t pass me by.

In Jesus Name,


It's All About Timimg

John 7:6
Therefore Jesus told them, “the right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right.”

There are two types of time in the New Testament, or in Koine Greek; Chairos and Chronos. Chronos was clock time, sequential time. Chairos was special; “the right time,” God’s time.

We are always somewhere between the two, waiting for God’s time to sync up with our time. For example, you think it’s time for promotion but God’s timing still has you in the same position because he’s still working on you. You want to share something with a friend that will help them to be a better person but if you don’t share it at the right time it can hurt them more than it can help them. For us anytime is good, but for God it has to be the “right time” when he has everything in place.

Jesus’ brothers wanted him to go up to Judea during the feast to promote himself as a public figure. Jesus knew that the religious leaders in Judea wanted to kill him and it wasn’t time for him to die, neither was it his purpose to be a public figure. His family wanted something for him that God had not ordained for him to accomplish. Jesus told them, “It’s not my time, any time is right for you.”

It’s all about time and if we are not careful we will either move ahead of God or miss God altogether if we are not aware of what time it really is. In order to keep up with God’s time you need to make sure you:

  1. Don’t let people push you into something God is not ready for. Be anxious for nothing. When God has something for you he usually accompanies the assignment with an overwhelming sense of peace that let’s you know it’s going to happen when it’s suppose to happen. When you have to campaign and push for something it could be that you are pushing yourself into something God has not sanctioned.
  2. You can’t hurry God; you just have to wait. Those that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength they will mount up on wings like eagles; they will run and not get faint, they will walk and not get weary.
  3. Make sure of your time while you wait. Waiting on God’s timing is not an idle waiting. God wants us to prepare ourselves and to serve him while we are waiting for his fullness of time. When God’s time comes to fruition you should be prepared because you were productive while you were waiting.
Dear God,

Today, let us use our time wisely. Help us to make the most of this day and to be keenly aware of what you are saying to us. We don’t want to move unless you say move. Order our steps today so that we will have an inner awareness of what time it really is.

In Jesus Name,


The Queen James Bible?

But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say? John 5:47

There was a news report last night on a new version of the Bible called the, “Queen James Version.” It is a version of the bible created by those who support the LGBT community. They have taken out references of homosexuality because they don’t believe that these verses were accurately translated.

Just imagine how many versions of the bible there would be if we all took out the parts that offended our particular preferences or proclivities. I do believe that there are some inaccurate translations in the King James Version because he had the bible translated into Old English from its original Hebrew and Greek, but there are some principles that cannot be omitted just because we don’t agree.

I do believe that we have to wrestle with the texts original language for an accurate read. I do believe that we must look at the historical context it was written in and compare it to now. I do believe that the bible is the inspired word of God who is perfect, written and transcribed by inspired men who were imperfect.

Moses was, an anointed imperfect man who God gave his holy commandments to. Jesus, who was without sin, the son of God, told the religious leaders of his day, “If you do not believe what he (Moses) wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

We have to believe both! God’s word does not change and if we discredit the written word how can we hear the revealed word through Jesus Christ?

Matthew 5:17-18 “Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures—either God’s Law or the Prophets. I’m not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama. God’s Law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet. Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working.
19-20 “Trivialize even the smallest item in God’s Law and you will only have trivialized yourself. But take it seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the kingdom. Unless you do far better than the Pharisees in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the kingdom.

We Have to Keep God’s Word
  1. Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commandments.” John 14:21 We can agree to disagree on how some of the bible is interpreted but there are two commandments that we must agree upon: Matthew 22: 34-36 When the Pharisees heard how he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”
37-40 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

2. Jesus said, “If you keep my commandments, you will never see death.” John 8:51 Jesus is speaking of eternal life. The bible is our Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth. If this life were all there was to living, we should all live as we would like but because there is a life after this one, it’s important to know the guidelines for Holy Living which is a prerequisite to entering the Kingdom of God after this life is over.

3. People now we belong to God when we keep his commandments. I John 2:5
If you believe in Jesus, you have to keep God’s word….all of it. Yes, we should reason together, led by the Spirit of God for the most accurate translations but we cannot delete what God said.

Dear God,

Help us to keep your word, all of it, not just the parts we want to hear. The grass withers and the flowers fade but your Word shall stand forever. Give us your Holy Word, if we can hear from you then we will know what to do. Speak Lord for your servants are listening.

In Jesus Name,


Turn on the Light

John 3:19
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil

One of the great traditions of Christmas is all of the beautiful lights that adorn the houses and trees. Although I love looking at them, I must admit I don’t enjoy the labor of putting them up. It seems that by the time you put them on your house it’s time to take them back down.

Jesus is the light of the word and he said, “If I be lifted up, I’ll draw all men unto me” It is our privilege in this season to lift up the light of all lights but don’t be surprised if some people don’t appreciate the light. Some people love darkness rather than the light. Some of the same people who love Christmas lights will despise Jesus’ light! Christmas lights are for decorations; Jesus light is for direction. Christmas lights accessorize; Jesus’ light exposes things hidden. Christmas lights are seasonal; Jesus’ light shines for all eternity. Christmas lights are for show; Jesus’ light allows him to show up.

When you are doing evil deeds you hate light. When you are doing right you welcome the light. When you are sleep you hate for the light to come on. When you are fully awake you welcome the light so that you can be productive. It’s time for some of us to turn on the light.
How do we turn on the light?
  1. Choose entertainment that brings light not darkness. In a world so decrepit and violent we need more light. I don’t like going to see a lot of movies involving violence, demons, witchcraft, murder, and mayhem. I want to see something that is going to make my soul feel better when I leave. The same with music, we need to hear something that is going to bring light into our souls. Whatever we put in is what is going to come out.
  2. We have to make sure our eyes are full of light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Luke 11:34
  3. Instead of cursing the darkness light a candle. When we intentionally do good in the world we are lighting candles. When we find the world devoid of light we must choose to do good and light candles through our good work. There are plenty of opportunities in the world for us to turn on the light by lighting candles of good works.
  4. Live a life that reflects God’s Glory. Just like the moon doesn’t have any light of it’s own neither do we. As Christians we are to reflect the Glory of Jesus Christ by letting his Spirit operate in us.
Dear God,

Help me to walk in the light, beautiful light of Jesus Christ. Purify my heart and clean up my life so that your light might shine through me. Thank you for illuminating my life.

In Jesus Name,

Let Me Refresh You

I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, (2 Peter 1:13 NIV)

When your computer has been left on a long time it becomes sluggish and ineffective. There are some updates you have missed that would cause it to perform better. The only way to get optimum performance out of it is that you must refresh it every now and then.

The Apostle Peter writes the early Christians in his epistles to refresh their memory on how they are to remain effective and productive. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, (2 Peter 1:8 NIV). For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we can also find ourselves sluggish and ineffective because we have not been refreshed. Our minds can easily become corrupted by the evil influences in the world. That's why it's important to be refreshed by the Word of God and update the software of our minds. Here are some of the programs you need to download today:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. (2 Peter 1:5-7 NIV)

1. Faith is the foundation. It is impossible to please God without faith. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
2. Goodness. Being good simply means doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason.
3. Knowledge. We should study to show ourselves approved.
4. Self-control we must be disciplined enough to restrain ourselves from things we want but don't necessarily need. All things are lawful but not all things are beneficial.
5. Perseverance. We need the ability to endure difficult times. Tough times don't last but tough people do.
6. Godliness. We need to always think as 'What would Jesus do' in any given situation then act it out.
7. Mutual Affection. Treat other people like you would want to be treated.
8. Love. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love the hell out of people today.

Dear God,

Refresh our minds, our hearts, and our Spirits today. Help us to be productive and effective. Thank you for not giving up on us. I appreciate the chance for a Fresh start today. Refresh us with your Holy Spirit I pray.

In Jesus Name,


Don't Give Up

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching.

Since I was a little boy, I can remember going to church. My mother took us to church every Sunday, it was as normal to my life as drinking water every day or breathing air. Church is what got us through rough times. It was our filling station. It was there by faith I received by sight and fell in love with Jesus Christ.

Today, it seems so many have given up on church or made it a last option on their weekly to do list when in actuality it should be first. Why?! “Why do we have to go to church?” It’s where God is. It’s where the people that Jesus died for gather together. It’s the bride of Christ. It’s the place where miracles still happen. It’s where we meet to encourage one another, It’s the Old Ship of Zion, and it has landed many of thousands.

When Jesus comes back, he’s coming back for his church. Will you be ready when Jesus comes back? This is not the time to give up on life or the church.

Here’s what we need to do if you feel like giving up:
  1. Spur one another on toward Love and good deeds. We have to give each other a little push towards Love and helping other people. What the world needs now is Love and the people who belong to God need to display it more and more.
  2. Keep meeting together. When we come together on Sunday Morning there is so much power in the place because something supernatural occurs when two or three believers come together to worship God and call on the name of Jesus. We’ve got to keep meeting together.
  3. Start good habits. It takes 21 days to start a new habit. For the next 21 days make up your mind to attend church without anything stopping you. For the next 21 days make your mind to meet with other believers to help strengthen your faith. Join a growth group on Tuesday nights at New Direction Christian Church or tune in online at 6:30pm CST on Tuesdays.
  4. Encourage one another to keep coming to church. If you know someone who has not been to church in a while, invite them to come to church with you this Sunday.
Dear God,

Thank you for the Body of Christ that we call the church. Strengthen us so that we do not give up meeting together. Help us to look eagerly toward the day when you shall return. I want to be in Church and the Church to be in me when you come back to get your bride.

In Jesus Name,

Got Milk?

Hebrews 5:12
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again, you need milk, not solid food!

Milk does the body good but not so much the soul. There was an ad campaign not long ago pushing the consumption of milk. Their tag line was, ‘Milk does the body good’ or simply “Got Milk?”

Milk is essential to a growing child because it aids in building strong bones. Babies start out on milk because they don’t have teeth to eat solid food but as they mature they move from milk to meat. They are weaned from their mother’s breast to being able to feed themselves. They move from dependence to interdependence.

As baby Christians, we start out on milk or the elementary teachings of Christ, what is salvation? Who is the Holy Spirit? What is sin? As we mature we should be able to discern good from evil by putting into practice what we have learned. By now, having been in church this long, we should be teaching others but we still require milk because we have not put God’s word into practice.

It’s time for us to move on to solid food!

1. Study to show yourselves approved. Attending worship on a weekly basis is necessary but it’s just the start. The second step is to become a student of God’s word. Every day you need to feed your soul the word of God by having daily devotional time. It’s also important to get into a Growth Group to study the bible with other Christians.

2. We have to be doers of the word not just hearers. When we put the word of God into practice it gets in our bones. Jeremiah said its like fire shut up in my bones. The more we actually live out God’s word the stronger we get.

3. We have to make disciples. After we have been students of the Word we then need to move on to teaching and sharing the Word. Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples of all people teaching them the things that he taught us.

4. Leave the elementary teachings about Christ by not returning to sin. When you continue to fail fundamental teachings in school they will hold you back. When we keep failing in the same areas in our lives it holds us back to moving onto spiritual maturity. Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin, each victory will help you to win.

Dear God,

I’m ready to move on to higher learnings. I’m ready to graduate from milk to meat. Help my mind to catch up with my body. Use me to teach others what you have taught me. Thank you for not leaving us behind but instead growing us up into the fullness of Jesus. We love you Lord.

In Jesus Name,


Got To Be More Careful

Hebrews 2:1
We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
My son, Jaden, came hopping down the stairs, grimacing in pain. I asked him what had happened. He said, “I hit my toe again. It’s the same toe I hit the other day. “I asked him jokingly, “Why did you do that?” He said, “I’m not looking where I’m stepping I guess.” I told him, “Son, you got to be more careful.”

How many of us keep stumbling over the same thing, and keep hurting ourselves in the same places over and over again? It would seem by now, after all the pain from previous encounters that we would have learned to watch where we are stepping. It would seem that we would pay more attention to where we are going but we keep stepping on the same stuff.

God gives us his word so we will not stumble while we are walking. In fact, the bible says, that a righteous man’s steps are ordered. David said, “God’s word is a light to my feet and a lamp to my pathway.” God gives us his word so that we will not stumble but it’s up to us to be more careful so that we will not stumble.

What we have to do is:
  1. Pay more careful attention…The bible tells us over and over to be sober and alert. When we pay more careful attention we can avoid potential danger if we are sober and alert. When we don’t pay attention is when we stumble into something that could cause us unnecessary pain.
  2. Pay more careful attention to what we have heard. We have all heard enough preaching and truth telling to save the whole world but the question is, ‘Have we applied what we have heard?’ Hebrews 4:2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.
  3. Do not drift away. Texting and driving are equivalent to drinking and driving because we do not have focus on the road. Many of us are in danger of crashing because something else has our focus.
It’s time for us to pay more careful attention to what God has already told us so that we will not drift away and stumble into something from which we cannot recover.

Dear God,

Please forgive me for losing my focus and stumbling in the wrong direction. Help me to regain my focus so that I can walk in the direction that you would have me to go. Today, I will pay more careful attention to where you are taking me.

In Jesus Name,

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Don't Worry About It

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Worry is advanced interest in things that may not even happen. We waste time and energy on too many things and people who are not worth our interest. We need to make up our minds today that I’m not going to worry about it!

Instead of putting advanced interest in things that may never occur I will invest my time and energy into:
  1. Praying. Jesus said we have not because we have not. When we ask God for what we need in Jesus name, he will provide and answer our concerns.
  2. Make Supplication. Supplication is when we make a humble and urgent request to God. When we have an urgent need we can go to God humbly and he will show up in our time of need.
  3. Give God Thanks. Before we ask God for anything else we need to go ahead and give him thanks for what he has already done. Often when we begin to thank God for what we have our anxiety dwindles because we reflect on God’s faithfulness.
  4. Accept God’s peace. When we do the above three things God will give us an overwhelming sense of peace that surpasses all human understanding.
Dear God,

Today, I choose to Worship and not worry. I’m turning all of my concerns over to you because I know that you can and will handle it.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stand Your Ground

Ephesians 6:13
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything to stand.

Stand your ground means to stand up for one’s rights; to resist an attack. To refuse to do what someone else wants.

Another black teenager was gunned down in Jacksonville, Florida under the “stand your ground” defense. Jordan Davis, age 17, was shot sitting in a SUV with his friends by 45 year old Michael Dunn who fired his gun nine times into a truck full of teenagers unarmed. He said they were playing their music too loud.

After this shooting there has been much momentum to repeal this dangerous law that has been abused by racially motivated attacks such as Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin. This law was never passed for racially aggressive men to chase down teenagers to murder them at whim. It was passed so that citizens might defend themselves against an attack not for them to become the attacker.

I believe that we should stand our ground in the case of an attack but not in a way that takes life but rather gives life. When the Apostle Paul told the Ephesians to stand their ground, it was a defensive posture that gave life even as you protected your own life. It was a defensive posture rather than an offensive posture.

In order to stand your ground the way that God wants you to you need to put on the full armor of God by putting on:

1. The Belt of Truth. Truth is what holds everything together. Truth is not our perception of what is taking place but rather a divine revelation of what is reality. Truth is not a fact but a person. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” We must be embraced by the love of Christ in order to know the truth.

2. Breastplate of Righteousness. Our hearts must be protected by Righteousness. The heart is one of the most deceitful things. Out of the heart the mouth speaks. We must protect our heart through righteous living.

3. Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Instead of running people down to kill them, our feet should be ready to run and make peace. George Zimmerman should have remained in his car instead of chasing Trayvon down to confront and kill him.

4. Shield of faith to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Our Shield of faith in God should help us when people try to attack us with their accusations and mean spirited attacks. We should have the ability to absorb attacks without being drawn into violent outcome.

5. Helmet of Salvation. We need to keep a cool head in confrontation because we know that this battle is not ours but the Lord.

6. Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 God’s word is more effective in arguments then pulling out destructive weapons that only take life but don’t give life.

7. Pray without ceasing. If we were to pray when we feel threatened God would reveal to us a better way to handle it other than reacting violently

Dear God,

Too many young people have died in the inner-cities of America due to gun violence. Father, help your followers to model a better way in handling conflict. Help us to put away our “swords” and our guns and pick up your word and walk in your way. Help us to “Stand our Ground” by standing on your word. Help us to spread peace and stop spraying bullets. Today, I will put on the full armor of you God and stand my ground. I will not go backwards but forward

in Jesus Name,

It's Time for an Upgrade

Ephesians 4:22-23
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds.

When I got up this morning my computer was flashing reminding me that an update was available for my computer. Some of my programs were not working efficiently so the programmer made some changes in the software that needed to be applied to my hardware. If I do not keep up with my upgrades then my device whether it’s my desktop, iPad, or iPhone will not work at optimal level.
You and I are supposed to be working at a higher level but we are behind on our upgrades. As a matter of fact some of your old files have become corrupt, and even though we are receiving new information we can’t use it because we have old files. It’s time for an upgrade.

Our old files represent our former way of life. There is a way we used to live before we were saved that doesn’t sync well with who we are now. It’s time for some of us to pay attention to the little icon jumping in the mainframe of our spirit reminding us that it’s time for an upgrade. Here’s what you need to do.
  1. Some files need to be deleted. When I try to upgrade my wife’s phone for her she often doesn’t have enough memory because other programs that she is no longer using are taking up too much memory. We have to go through her phone to discover which apps are no longer necessary because they are just taking up too much memory. What are some things that you need to delete from your memory because now they are just taking up space?
  2. Run a Virus Scan to see what files are corrupted. Sometimes, we are operating without realizing we have some corrupt files. The Apostle Paul says our old selves are being corrupted by its deceitful desires. We have some viruses that have been picked up from sites we’ve visited or bad messages we have received from other people. Those viruses are hiding out in our system undetected, slowing down our performance. That’s why David said to God, “Search me and see if you find anything in me that is not like you.”
  3. Refresh our attitude. Sometimes, when your computer has lain dormant for too long, it needs to be refreshed. Every day you should refresh your mind by shutting down and allowing God to speak to your mind, heart, and soul. Through daily meditations, which include prayer and reading you will refresh your spirit.
  4. Restart your computer. You have to restart so that all the new you have upgraded can be applied to your heart and mind. If you have been idle in some area of your life it’s not too late to start over.
Dear God,

Upgrade me today so that my mind can operate at a higher level in cooperation with your Holy Spirit. Let your Spirit guide me into wholeness today. Thank you for my Upgrade!

In Jesus Name,

Help Them Up!

Romans 15:1
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.

It’s just human nature to help people up when you see them fall down but as time goes by, it seems we get greater satisfaction seeing people fall than we do seeing them get back up. Think about all of the TV shows dedicated to seeing people fall on their faces, fall off skate boards, have biking accidents, all while we sit back, grimace and grin. We have created a culture that gets enjoyment from seeing people fail and fall.

As believers, it should be our desire to see people get back up instead of falling down. All our efforts should go into building people up and not tearing them down. There is no way in the world as a Disciple of Christ that anybody should fall around you and you not reach down to pick them up. In fact, the only time you should be looking down on somebody is when you are reaching down to help them back on their feet.

The writer of Romans tells us that we should do three things to help in the failings of others:
  1. We who are strong. We have to make sure we are strong ourselves so that we are in a position to help when people need our assistance. We need to keep up our spiritual disciplines of prayer, reading scripture, fasting and serving to make sure we are strong in the Lord.
  2. We ought to bear with the failings of the weak. Teammates don’t leave team members on the floor. Soldiers don’t leave wounded comrades on the battlefield. Church members don’t abandon struggling church members bleeding in the pews. Sometimes, “bearing” up for the failings for the weak means that we have to take some hits for our “failing” friends while they are being restored. We should never kick anybody while they are down.
  3. Don’t please yourself. Self preservation has become the rule of the day. We look out for number one, which turns out to be us. Jesus said the greatest commandment in the bible is “to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.” Two men were in the woods when they came upon a huge grizzly bear. One man bends down to tie his shoe. His friend said, “You can’t out run a bear, why are you tying your shoe?” The other man said, “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to out run you!” We have to learn how to survive together and in some cases, to die together.
We have to return to a paradigm of helping those who have fallen instead of celebrating their demise.

Dear God,

Help me to be the kind of person that stops to help people back up instead of kcking them while they are down.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mind Your Own Business

I Thessalonians 4:11-12
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds talk about people.

We would get so much more accomplished in life if we spent more time minding our own business instead of getting involved in everybody else’s business. It reminds me of a shop keeper in a busy mall worried about what other people are doing in other stores when you have people in your store who want to do business with you but you are so busy checking out the competition that you don’t even notice that you have people interested in your product. How much business do we miss worrying about other people’s business?

If we were to use that energy on our own business, we would be more successful and less bitter about other people who are doing better than we are. As a matter of fact, you could be doing far better than the people you envy if you would just settle down and mind your own business.

Paul tells us the secret to living a life that would help us win the respect of outsiders and make us successfully independent:
  1. Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. Ambition and quiet don’t seem like they go together but in actuality quietness is necessary for ambitious people. If you are a busy body, you never get anything done because you are in everybody’s business but haven’t settled down to give your life the attention it deserves.
  2. Mind your own business. Before you sweep around somebody else’s door make sure your house is clean. While you are guiding others, who is going to guide you? I’m quite serious. While preaching “Don’t steal!” Are you going to rob people blind? Who would suspect you? The same with adultery. The same with idolatry. You can get by with almost anything if you front it with eloquent talk about God and his law. (Romans 2:21 the Message)
  3. Work with your hands. Make something happen! It’s time for us to be proactive and make something that will benefit the world, bless other people, and build up our character. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Dear God,

Help me to spend time being productive today and doing what is required to make my business successful by being about my Father’s Business.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

You Can't Make Me Doubt Him

Matthew 28:17
When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted.

The other night on the Soul Train Awards, Jamie Fox came out to a fever pitched crowd and said, “It feels like Church in here, it feels like church in here? First giving Honor to God, I’d like to give praise and honor to my Lord and Savior…Barack Obama.” Some laughed and others looked stunned not knowing what to do. It was not cool! Barack Obama is our President; Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Jamie Foxx messed up a great moment by acknowledging God but disrespecting Jesus.

That crowd was a lot like church, it was a mixed group of people who authentically worship Jesus and another group who are confused about who their savior really is. That group was like church in the sense that we worship God but we also have some idolatry that causes us to doubt the sovereignty of God. We fail to give Jesus all that is due to him because we have given more praise to men than we have to him.

Jesus' disciples were a little confused as well. Jesus had risen from the dead and met them on the mountain to give them their last assignment which was the great commission. The Eleven disciples saw Jesus after he had been brutally beaten and crucified on that mountain top. When they be held him they worshipped him but some doubted. How in the world could they doubt Jesus when they were looking right at him?
  1. They didn’t know if what they were seeing was real or a figment of their imagination. Many times when we are in church the presence of God is so overwhelming while at the same time our flesh fights against our spirit to make us doubt if it is really God we are experiencing. That is why we must worship him in Spirit and in truth.
  2. They had not fully recovered from their trauma. It was a only few days since they saw Jesus horrifically murdered on the cross now he’s up talking to him. Sometimes, we are so fresh out of a painful experience that our minds find it hard to validate a God moment.
  3. They thought it was too good to be true. When God turns weeping into Joy, you are wondering when the next punch in the stomach is coming. Don’t allow your doubts to rob you of the authentic presence of Jesus.
But the rest of the disciples worshipped and believed that this was the risen savior. Why?
  1. They believed his word that he would be crucified but would get up again. Jesus had been teaching this for the last three years and these disciples believed him at his word. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:16
  2. They believed he was the Messiah. Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was and Peter said, “You are the Messiah.” Jesus said, “Jesus replied, "You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.”
  3. They followed him the whole time. Those that followed him from the beginning to the end of his life knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was the Son of God. As the old folk used to say, “I know too much about him for you to make me doubt him.
Dear God,

I will not allow anybody to make me doubt who you are and what you’ve done for me. You are my Lord and Savior and I will worship you only. I know too much about you for anybody to make me doubt you!

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Put Your Sword Away

Matthew 26:52
Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

There is a statement that says, “the pen is mightier than the sword.’ Meaning that what you write or communicate is more deadly than trying to use physical force against your adversary. What we write and communicate can be inspiring or it can be damaging. With the rise of social media the probability of damaging communication has escalated. A fifth of all divorces are now due in part to Facebook or obsessional gambling. Whenever we use Social Media as a tool to retaliate against someone we take a gamble that it will cause a fracture in relationships.

Cyber bullying is another epidemic that has impacted young people in a detrimental way. Cyber bullying is when someone repeatedly harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person online or using other electronic devices. What can be a good tool of communication can become a dangerous weapon in the hands of a fool.

Social Media is a way to communicate, inform, and inspire. You will occasionally run into people who are antagonistic but you must choose the high road in communicating with them. You cannot unsheathe your sword every time someone offends you.

Jesus was betrayed by one of his closest disciples, Judas. Judas bought soldiers and religious people with swords and clubs to arrest Jesus. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss and the soldiers seized Jesus. Peter pulled out his sword and cut off the ear of one of the servants. When we abuse social media in retaliation for betrayal we lose the ears of people who need to hear Jesus. Jesus put the ear back on the servant and told Peter to put his sword away, because people who live by the sword will die by the sword. We cannot fight against our antagonist with the weapons of this world, but the weapons of our warfare are spiritual not carnal.

Social Media as a sword should not be used for:
  1. Attacking people for everybody to see. This is where many young people have gotten into violent altercations over Facebook and Twitter beef. Social Media is not the place to call people out on the wall and attack their character.
  2. Spreading Gossip. Mike Murdock said, “Somebody you trust trusts somebody you don’t.” This is gossip. Gossip is betraying confidential information to people who have no business with the information you are sharing.
  3. Create a platform for indecency. Whatever you put out there speaks to your character. Whatever picture or post you put out there represents the quality of lack of quality pertaining to your character.
  4. Public disclosure of Private matters. Even when Judas betrayed Jesus, the savior never put Judas on blast. Instead, he told Judas to his face, “Friend what you do, do it quickly.” Nobody knew what Judas did to Jesus until he hung himself.
Social Media as a Pen:
  1. Answer people intelligently when you are in disagreement. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
  2. Ignore them if you can. Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool; you’ll only look foolish yourself. Proverbs 26:4-5
  3. Enlighten them if they have a teachable spirit. Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Amos 3:3
  4. Block them if they persist to be negative. Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives' tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. I Timothy 4:7
  5. Always take the high road. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:6
Dear God,

Today, I choose the high road and I will not draw my sword but instead use the power of my pen to bless those who are yet seeking your face and giving their ear for the voice of Jesus.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Am What I Am

1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the Grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them yet not I but the grace of God was with me.

One of the most powerful movies of the year is “Flight” starring Denzel Washington as an alcoholic pilot that heroically saves the passengers on his plane that has malfunctioned. It seems that the pilot is in control of the malfunctioning plane but not his own dysfunctional life. This movie is about this pilot coming to grips with who he really is and experiencing the grace of a second chance at life.

Have you come to grips with who you are? One of the hardest things to do is to look at ourselves soberly after we have covered up for so long. The Apostle Paul had to look at himself after he had an encounter with the risen Jesus on his way to persecute the church in Damascus. After Paul sobered up to the fact that he was not working for God but rather against him, he surrendered his life to serve Jesus. God changed his name from Saul to Paul and gave him a new lease on life. Paul should have died but God gave him grace.

Who are you really?
  1. By the Grace of God I am what I am. If it were not for the Grace of God I wouldn’t be where I am in life. God saw some good still in me and you and for that reason we are still alive. We are a mixture of potential and dysfunction that God decided to use for his purposes. God has given us victory over our dysfunction so that we can land the plane of souls that are depending on us to carry out our public trust.
  2. Grace has an effect. Because of the Grace God has extended us it changes our heart so that who we used to be no longer has control over us, instead we work harder to please God rather than ourselves.
  3. Grace transcends our personality so that we cannot take Glory for what God did. Had it not been for the Lord on our side we would have perished a long time ago.
Dear God,

Thank you for saving me and giving me another chance to live my life for you. By your grace I’m able to serve you and be fully alive to live out my purpose. Today, use me to save souls and land this plane.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Are You Building the Church or Tearing It Down?

I Corinthians 14:12
So it is with you. Since you are eager to have Spiritual Gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the Church.

The Church is a gathering of people who are seeking after God and have come to believe that Jesus Christ is their Savior. When we become a part of God’s Church by surrendering our lives to Jesus, God gives each of us Spiritual Gifts that he grants. Those Gifts are detailed in I Corinthians 12:28:
28 And God has placed in the church (A) first of all apostles, (B) second prophets, (C) third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, (D) of helping, of guidance, (E) and of different kinds of tongues.
The key to knowing if you have a Spiritual Gift is whether or not it builds up the Church. It’s easier to tear up a Church than it is to build up a Church. There are a lot of people who enjoy tearing up the Church by talking about what its doing or not doing. There are even people on the inside that tear it up by being negative or toxic. Bishop Noel Jones said, “Be careful of “Volun(tears).” Those are people who come to church to volunteer but end up tearing up the church.

We can go to any church in America to find something wrong with it. It’s full of imperfect people seeking perfection, so you are going to find something wrong but its your Spiritual Gift that builds that Church up. You can’t change anything from the outside looking in but you can affect change from the inside out. Either you are part of the solution or you are part of the problem.
How can I build up the Church?
  1. Follow the Way of Love. The most important ingredient in helping to build up the people in church is that Love must be at the root of what you do. You can be the most gifted person but if you don’t have Love you will be the most ineffective person. I Cor 13: 4 Love is patient, (I) love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (J) 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, (K) it is not easily angered, (L) it keeps no record of wrongs. (M) 6 Love does not delight in evil (N) but rejoices with the truth. (O) 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (P)
  2. Desire Spiritual Gifts. If you are not sure what your Spiritual Gift is you can always go to and take the Spiritual Gifts inventory. The way you discover your gift is to grow as you go. Get involved in serving and God will show you what you are to do. I didn’t know that I could work with teen-agers until I started working with Teen-agers.
  3. Excel in your Spiritual Gifts. Once God reveals what your gift is you have to nurture it. You have to study to show yourself approved and hone in on what would have you to be the best in what you do. You don’t have to be great in everything just your gift.
Dear God,

Use my Spiritual gift to make your church stronger. Help me to be an active part in a local church so that we can make our community better. I’m ready to build up and stop tearing down your church.

In Jesus Name,

Monday, November 12, 2012

God Only Cares About One Race of People

I Corinthians 12:25-26

25 so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it.

Red, Yellow, Black, and White they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.

There is only one race that God really cares about and that is the human race. He made us in his image. Within each race there are those who are strong and those that are weak, there are those who are leaders and those that are followers; there are those who are givers and those that are takers, but God loves them all and has given each of us a role in his world.

Out of all of those that are part of the human race there are some that belong to the body of Christ. Every race of people around the world has believers who follow Jesus Christ and they are members of the body of Christ, but lately the body has been divided over race, doctrine, and politics.

How can we be a part of the same body and hate each other? How can the body of Christ hate the head of the country just because he's black or doesn't line up doctrinally? Are we really Christian if we hate someone that’s a part of the body just because they are of a different color or disagree on matters of faith? If we are going to be a part of the same body we must learn how to love each other and work together in spite of our differences.

These are the things that hurt the body of Christ:
  1. Hatred/racism. Racism is the gangrene in the body of Christ. We cannot go forward until we acknowledge our inherited racism that must be expelled out of the body in order for us to heal. "the eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" and the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you! On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable." (ICor 12:21)
2. Division. We have to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable. In order to avoid this physical cliff we are going to have to work together as one body. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

3. Apathy for the least of these. We can no longer ignore those that we think that are less significant to the body. We must show equal concern for each member of the body. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it. (ICor 12:24)

Dear God,

Thank you for loving the human race and for caring for the Body of Christ. During the next four years help the body of Christ to recover. Remove Racism, Dismantle Division, and annihilate Apathy. Restore our hearts, Renew our minds, and Rejuvenate our Souls so that we might be ambassadors for Christ and not citizens of our own private fiefdoms. Please restore unity to your body.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Why Are You Still Mad?

I Corinthians 3:3

You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?

This election has a lot of people torn up. It seemed that the “Pink Elephant” in the living room of America was racism as it relates to the outrage over this election. One place where race played a factor is Oxford, Mississippi, where Ole Miss students "exchanged racial epithets and violent, politicized chants" after Obama's re-election was announced, according to the student-run Daily Mississippian. University police had to "forcibly disperse" a crowd from a popular gathering spot on campus, the paper said.

It's all part of the election season's bluster cycle, and while partisan hot air is typical this time of year. This year's squabbling has been "palpably ugly," even if most of it is just talk, said Jerrold Post, director of George Washington University's political psychology program and author of "Political Paranoia: The Psychopolitics of Hatred."

Asked if he thought Obama's race played a part in the vitriolic nature of the polemics around the country, Post said it "seems to be an issue that was played upon, but you can certainly have hatred and delegitimization with two white candidates as well."

Watching the students in Ole Miss revolt with racial epithets took me back to 1962 when James Meredith integrated the University of Mississippi and the citizens started shooting at the National Guard. Why is there so much racial tension after all these years of progress toward equality? Because we are still worldly. We get our information from the world but we are not tuned into God’s heart. Only Love can conquer hate.

When there is a lack of Spiritual connection with God, we cannot understand God’s agenda when the outcome doesn’t fit our cognitive understanding influenced by worldly propaganda and spin.

Paul said it best to the church in Corinth that was split and arguing who was the better Apostle. They were arguing over Paul verses Apollos. Paul had to remind them that they were from the same body but they had a lot of maturing to do in the things of God. Paul said, But people who are unspiritual don’t accept the things from God’s Spirit. They are foolishness to them and can’t be understood, because they can only be comprehended in a spiritual way. (I Cor. 2:14) Until we have the mind of Christ we will be stuck in jealousy, fits of rage, and quarreling. In order for us to move forward together we must:

  1. Boast about Jesus not men. I Corinthians 1:31 Neither candidate was Jesus. Jesus Christ was not on the ballot the best we can do is vote our conscience and trust Jesus for the outcome. Neither candidate is the Messiah but God is still in control.
  2. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 2:16 if we are going to discern God’s will through all of this and love each other in the process we must be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  3. Re-Build this country on the foundation of Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 3:10-11 Partisan politics cannot be our base. Racism and hatred cannot be our base. Jesus Christ must be the foundation in order for us to rebuild and everything we use to build will be tested by the fire.

Dear God,

Help us to rebuild this country together. Please take away the hurt and anger from the hearts of the people who are disappointed. Help those of us who support the President to be loving and patient with those who are not as supportive. We can get more accomplished together than we can apart. Unified we stand and divided we fall. Unite us by your Sprit that we may go Forward.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Don't Grow Weary

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

After the election half the country let out a sigh of relief while the other half just sighed. This has to be one of the most polarizing elections in history. I loved the way both candidates closed the elections in their speeches. There was a sense that it’s time to put our differences aside and go forward. This is not the time to grow weary in well doing. We have got to pull together and finish this race.

The Apostle Paul asked the new Christians in Galatia, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7) he was talking about the progress they were making as new believers before they were literally cut in on by Jewish believers who felt like they needed to be circumcised before they were truly accepted as Christians. Paul reminded them that this attempt to circumcise new Christians was a left over vestige from the old guard; the gospel was about Grace and not about the Law.

It’s a new day for America but we can’t let this election cut in on our progress. We’ve come a long way as a nation. It says a lot about us to re-elect President Obama. This time, we know for sure, it’s not about his color but the content of his Character. It’s sobering to know that he has his work cut out for him but if we do not grow weary I believe we can get this country to where it needs to be.

1. Don’t become weary in doing good. This is a good time for Christians to let their light shine. They will know we are Christians by our Love. There has been enough rhetoric in this election on both sides now it’s time for us to do some good. There has been enough Grid lock for the last four years between republicans and democrats, now it’s time to do some good.

2. At the Proper time…this re-election of President Obama will not transform a split country over night but if we as Christians work together God will see unity and move on our behalf in the Proper time. It’s time to go forward but it’s going to take some time, don’t grow weary.

3. We shall reap a harvest if we do not give up. Jobs are coming, wars are ending, debts will be erased, education reformed, healthcare provided…if we do not give up. It’s time to press Forward.

Dear God,

Thank you for not letting your people lose hope. WE have so much to live for; don’t let us grow weary in well doing. I believe change is coming and I will not give up until we see it together.

In Jesus Name,


Can I See Your Birth Certificate?

At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit.
Galatians 4:29

There’s been a lot of talk about President Obama’s birth certificate leading up to this election. People like Donald Trump wanted to prove that the President was born outside the United States. They wanted to prove that he was not worthy or eligible to be POTUS because he was not born in an ordinary way. Pres. Obama had a Kenyan Father and a mother who was born in Kansas; that was no ordinary birth. Raised by a single white female, living in Hawaii, Indonesia, and then back to the United States, Pres. Obama had no ordinary life. Everyone who perceived him as a threat to their American way wanted to see his birth certificate to prove that he wasn’t eligible to lead this country.
There are many people who want to see your birth certificate as well because according to their estimation you have no right to be where you are according to your birth records. Your pedigree should disqualify you from the position you currently hold, but the only problem is that God has pre-ordained for you to be where you are. While you were in your mothers’ womb God had plans for you to prosper and succeed.

Isaac wasn’t born ordinary. He was born to Sarah in her old age but he was persecuted by his older half brother who had an ordinary birth to a single black female who was a slave to Abraham and Sarah. Anytime God’s hand is on your life and you make it through extraordinary circumstances you will be persecuted by people who want what is rightfully yours. God uses people who are born into extra ordinary circumstances.

Other people may want to see your birth certificate:
  1. If in the natural it doesn’t look like you are supposed to be where you are. God’s ways are higher than man’s ways. God uses people that other people would have rejected.
  2. If you get in the way of their personal agenda. When Isaac was born it threatened the inheritance that Ishmael thought he was entitled to. When the one that is born extra-ordinary intercepts the agenda of those who have a sense of entitlement people will want proof that you are eligible to lead.
  3. If you’re getting closer to fulfilling the promise God has over your life. The closer you get to your promise the more persecution you will experience. If you are not experiencing persecution it probably means that you are not doing anything worth stopping.
  4. If you have favor from your Father people will want to see your birth certificate to see why you keep getting in places that you should not have.
Every believer has been born extraordinary. When you are born again some people will want to see your birth certificate but the only proof you need to show is a changed life.

Dear God,

Thank you for Life and Favor. Thank you for giving birth to my destiny. No matter how much they persecute us we will not stop until we reach the Promise you have for us. That Promise is a land where we will not be judged by the color of our skin but the content of our character, a land where every person is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Bless the Election process today that every natural and supernaturally born citizen of the United States might have the right to vote for the President that you have selected.

In Jesus Name,

The Drawbacks of Friendship

The Drawbacks of Friendship

Galatians 2:12
12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.

It’s hard to be friends with everybody when we all come with different beliefs, values, and agendas. It’s easier to be friendly than it is to be friends. One of the drawbacks of friendship is that some of your friends will draw back when fear overrides their friendship. A true friend sticks closer than a brother but an associate will draw back when your friendship is no longer convenient for their other alliances or political aspirations. It’s necessary to know where your friends stand with you so that you will not experience draw backs at a crucial time in your life. It’s better to know now where they stand with you.

Paul confronted his associate Peter to his face, because Peter associated with the gentile believers until his Jewish friends came around. Peter would eat with the Gentiles and fellowship but when his Jewish friends started putting pressure on him to compel the Gentiles to be circumcised Peter drew back. Paul reminded Peter that they were preaching a Gospel of Grace, not Law. Paul told Peter that he was being hypocritical. Friendship should never change because new people are in the room.

When your “friends” draw back from you this is what you should do:

1. Confront them to their face. Verse 11 When you see inconsistencies in friends you should have a face to face. Use this as a time to discern whether or not they need to be your friend or just an associate.

2. Believe who they are. Verse 13. Paul said they were two faced. They were one way with him and one way with others. It’s not that you can’t be friends with two faced people but just know who they are and watch what you say in front of them. You trust friends and you communicate with associates.

3. Focus on your mission. Verse 8. Paul knew that his mission was to the Gentiles and Peter’s mission was to the Jews. Once you determine what your mission is you focus all your energy on that mission and on people who have like missions. My associates are not my enemies. We just have different missions which means we won’t be spending a lot of time together. It is what it is.

4. Recognize who you are in Jesus. Verse 20. I have been crucified in Christ, I no longer live but he lives in me which means that my mission overrides my need to be accepted by everybody. I must be about my Father’s business and those who do the will of my Father are my brothers, sisters, and friends.

Dear God,

I’m not afraid to stand alone during this season with a few real friends. I’ve experienced setbacks and drawbacks but I also have experienced some comebacks! Help me to be a consistent friend and love no matter who is in the room. Help me to be a friend that sticks closer than a brother and to stick close in the time of adversity. Thank you Jesus for being that friend to me.

In your name,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Be Careful of What You Asked For

Mark 10:38

“You don’t know what you are asking.” Jesus said, “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

Everything looks easy to do until you have to do it. It’s a dangerous thing to want what somebody has without realizing what he or she had to do to get it. As humans, we have a propensity to want what other people have. That’s why God had to warn us in the ten commandments not to covet or lust for anything our Neighbor has. Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” [1]

We want what our neighbor has but we don’t know what our neighbor went through to get it and if we did we might not want it. You don’t know what you are asking for.

Michael Jackson lived a tortured existence; lamenting his childhood, imprisoned by his own success, every gold record that glittered wasn’t good. With all he accomplished, Michael didn’t seem to get to enjoy it much. He was the King of Pop but he died alone.

Jesus was the King of Kings, and his disciples wanted to share his Glory without knowing his story. James and John wanted to set on his right and left when he came into his Glory. They thought Jesus was going to rule an earthly King and be popular, they didn’t know his throne would be in Heaven and that he would have to go through hell to get there. Jesus asked them, “do you know what you are asking for?!” There are two things you should consider:

  1. Can you drink the cup I’m going to drink from? The cup Jesus was talking about was his cup of suffering which included betrayal, suffering, loneliness, persecution, abandonment, and death. Those who are most anointed by God are the ones who experience the most suffering. Suffering with Christ is an honor and we must all suffer with him but he’s the only one that can drink his cup; make sure you drink from your cup not somebody else’s.
  2. Can you be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with? Jesus would be baptized in the excruciating fire of crucifixion. The pain was unimaginable. We all have our baptism through fire. There are trials that we will experience on our way to our purpose but only Jesus can bear the cross of salvation. Carry your cross but not the one that Jesus alone could bear.
Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die.

Dear God,

Help me to live my life with my eyes on the plan you have for my life and not the script for someone else’s. I believe you will not put more on me than I can bear. I receive the plan you have for my life and I am ready to drink from my cup and carry my cross but I thank you for what you’ve already accomplished for me. You get all the Glory because you took my place on the cross and you drank my cup.

I love you Jesus!


[1] The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Ex 20:17

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Way or the Highway

Mark 8:34

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Have you ever met someone who always has to have his or her way? There is really no room for relationship because the person doesn’t care about the needs of the other. When this person does not get their way they tell you to hit the highway or like Martin Lawrence used to tell his friends when they had gotten on his nerves or in his way, “Get to stepping!”

Jesus is the opposite…he invites us to a higher way but we must:

  1. Deny yourself daily, in order to follow him. The reason we have to deny ourselves is because our thoughts are not his thoughts, neither are our ways his ways. (Isaiah 55:8) Just because something is permissible doesn’t mean that it is beneficial for our Spiritual growth. Sometimes, you have to say “no” to good things so that you can accomplish great things.
  2. Take up your cross. The cross is our burden of responsibility that is a Joy to carry. It’s what we’ve been called to do. Everyday we must carry something for Jesus. Only what you do for Christ will last.
  3. Follow Jesus. To follow Jesus means to emulate his lifestyle and to ultimately die for what you believe. We are all destined to die but only a few die with purpose living for Jesus.
Dear God,

Lead me to a higher way of living by denying anything that would drag me down. Help me to die to self that I might live for you.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, October 29, 2012

What Did You Do with It?

Mark 4:14-20

God gives me the opportunity to sow his word in his people every week. It is an opportunity that I don't take for granted. I fast, pray, study, write in order that the people might hear a word from The Lord. Preaching is like sowing seed in people just as the farmer sows seed into the soil. God's Word is a seed that is supposed to produce a harvest in the hearer. But oftentimes when I look out at the people and some are missing, some are disobedient, some are fruitful, it makes me wonder what are they doing with this seed that I have been sowing?

Sometimes, I beat myself up and think that maybe I could have done a better job at sowing but then the Holy Spirit reminded me that growing is not my job just sowing. It is the responsibility of the hearer to become a doer. There are four conditions of the hearer that determines what happens to the seed.

1. Hard hearted. These are people who come to church skeptical and hardened in their belief. They are already at odds with God and don't want to receive the word. As soon as the Word is preached it hits that hard heart and satan snatches it up. It's like they never even heard anything.

2. No Root. Others hear the word but since they don't have roots or connection in a local church they wither away. If a person doesn't get connected to a ministry or small group within 30 days of joining they wither away.

3. Worriers. People who are overly anxious with their finances and consumed with the desires for other things are choked out and their seeds can't grow.

4. Broken Heart and a contrite Spirit. These are people who are broken and come with a sense of expectancy. They come asking, is there a Word from The Lord? They have a teachable Spirit. They hear the Word, but most importantly, they do the Word. They become Disciples of Christ and then they go make Disciples. They take the Word of God and multiply what was sown in them 30, 60, 100 times!!

The next time you come to church to hear the Word of God search your heart to make sure you are ready to receive God's Word seed and then go do something with it.

Dear God,

Let the Words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to you.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Here We Grow Again!

Job 14:7 At least there is Hope for a tree; if it is cut down, it will sprout again.

The most dangerous thing that can happen is to lose Hope, to stop believing that your situation will ever change but you should never lose your ability to have Hope.

In the movie, Shawshank Redemption, an inmate named Red, played by Morgan Freeman, told his friend Andy to basically give up the hope of getting out of Prison. He told him, “Hope is a dangerous thing. It can drive a man insane, “but when Andy finally broke free he wrote a letter to Red and said, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

There are times when it looks like something has died or is dying around us but if there is good in it and more importantly, God in it, it will not die but it will grow again.

Job spoke this as it related to his life. He was in danger of giving up Hope but he messed around and talked about a tree, he didn’t know it would be an example of his comeback. After Job lost everything, God gave him back double for his trouble.

There is Hope for a tree if it is cut down.
  1. It will Sprout again. You need to know that whatever got cut down in your life, it has the ability to grow again. Every tree that bears fruit must be pruned so that it can bear more fruit. It’s time for you to sprout again.
  2. The new shoots will not fail. The new shoots, opportunities that God gives you, will not fail you like the old stuff God had to cut off. Some people and some things had to be cut off so God could give you new.
  3. The Roots may be old, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant. God is about to send some rain on your situation. The scent of water is whatever you’ve been waiting on from God. I smell Rain!
I’m going to share a prayer with you that my friend, Rev. Gary Matthews sent me while I was writing this devotional:

In the Name of Jesus Christ, I invoke the Spirit of Goshen over every territory that God has allowed you to be over, even land that has not been developed but is in transition for you and your people’s possession. I pray that GROWTH be multiplied immeasurably, as God enlarges your territory. Get ready, it’s harvest time! You’ve been faithful my friend, the fruit of your labor are already increasing! The Levy has been broken and the flood gates of heaven are releasing the blessings over territory’s you and your people have claimed and reside in!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Let Your Work Speak for You

Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

One of the most important things we can give our young people is a good work ethic. As a child, I was taught very early to work for what you needed and wanted. From having household chores to working in the tobacco fields of Kentucky, I worked. That work ethic carried over into ministry. I always wanted to be a blessing and not a burden.

The way that we are a blessing is through our work. It’s important that every one of us contribute through the work of our hands. We must find something for our hands to do and contribute in a way that leaves the world better than the way we found it.

The Apostle Paul was getting ready to leave his friends in Ephesus. He reminded them of how hard he had worked amongst them. There are a few things that Paul teaches us about Work:

  1. Hard work never hurt anybody. Work should be fulfilling. I think it was Paul when he said, “if a man doesn’t work a man doesn’t eat.”
  2. Work must be fulfilling. Paul said that we must help the weak. When our work helps somebody it is no longer just a job but it is ministry. Our work should help us reach a point of self-actualization where we have not just met our own personal needs but helped somebody in the process.
  3. Our Work should give back. Jesus said, “it is more blessed to give than receive.” When you find the work that you’ve been called to do, you know it because you would do it for free if you had to. When you work for God the compensation is knowing that you are fulfilling God’s will for your life.
Dear God,

Thank you for the work that you have called me to do. I hope that my work that I’ve done for you will speak for itself. I pray that my work has helped somebody to know you better and get closer to Jesus.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Here We Grow Again!

Job 14:7 
At least there is Hope for a tree; if it is cut down, it will sprout again.

The most dangerous thing that can happen is to lose Hope, to stop believing that your situation will ever change but you should never lose your ability to have Hope.

In the movie, Shawshank Redemption, an inmate named Red, played by Morgan Freeman, told his friend Andy to basically give up the hope of getting out of Prison. He told him, “Hope is a dangerous thing. It can drive a man insane" but when Andy finally broke free he wrote a letter to Red and said, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

There are times when it looks like something has died or is dying around us but if there is good in it, and more importantly, God in it, it will not die but it will grow again.

Job spoke this as it related to his life. He was in danger of giving up Hope but he messed around and talked about a tree, he didn’t know it would be an example of his comeback. After Job lost everything, God gave him back double for his trouble.

There is Hope for a tree if it cut down.
  1. It will Sprout again. You need to know that whatever got cut down in your life it has the ability to grow again. Every tree that bears fruit must be pruned so that it can bear more fruit. It’s time for you to sprout again.
  2. The new shoots will not fail. The new shoots, opportunities that God gives you, will not fail you like the old stuff God had to cut off. Some people and some things had to be cut off so God could give you new.
  3. The Roots may be old, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant. God is about to send some rain on your situation. The scent of water is whatever you’ve been waiting on from God. I smell Rain!
I’m going to share a prayer with you that my friend, Rev. Gary Matthews sent me while I was writing this devotional:

In the Name of Jesus Christ I invoke the Spirit of Goshen over every territory that God has allowed you to be over, even land that has not been developed but is in transition for you and your people’s possession. I pray that GROWTH be multiplied immeasurably, as God enlarges your territory. Get ready, it’s harvest time! You’ve been faithful my friend, the fruit of your labor are already increasing! The Levy has been broken and the flood gates of heaven are releasing the blessings over territory’s you and your people have claimed and reside in!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Is It Your Hedge or Your Heart?

Job 1:10-11
Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.

Why do we worship God? Why do we come to church? Why do we follow Jesus? Many would say, “Because I love the Lord…” Do you love him because of what he’s done or for who he is? We have to stop and ask ourselves, do we love God because of who he is to us or because of what he does for us?

Jesus told the crowd that followed him after the miracle of feeding five thousand with two fish and five loaves of bread, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you and you got full off of the bread, not because you understood the miraculous signs.” (John 6:26)
Do we Love God and follow Jesus because of our heart or do we follow Jesus because we love the Hedge of protection that God has put around us?

On one occasion satan came in the presence of God because he had been searching the earth to see whom he could mess with. He is an accuser of the brethren. His only job is to discount man’s allegiance to God. He told God that the only reason Job worshipped him was because the Lord had put a hedge around him and his household. God has blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds had spread through the land. Satan told God to strike everything he had and Job would curse God to his face.

God removed the hedge to prove to satan that Job had a heart for God. Job lost everything he had, his 10 children were killed in a storm, he lost his house, his live stock were stolen or killed by natural disasters, his employees were murdered and Job shaved his head, tore his clothes to mourn. Job said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken way, blessed be the name of the Lord!

Job’s heart did not change when he lost his hedge. Some of us have lost our heart for God because we loved the hedge more than we loved God. How do we avoid falling away from God when or if we lose our hedge?
  1. Find your Heart. Whatever we put our focus on that’s where we will find our hearts. Jesus told us not to put much stock on material things that could be stolen or lost. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
  2. Seek God first. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
  3. Choose God over money. No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
  4. Learn how to be content. 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.
  5. Make sure Jesus is the center of your Joy. All the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. Philippians 3:8 MSG
Dear God,

I love you because you first loved me. Before I had anything I knew you loved me. With all of my heart I love you and I will serve you 'til I die. Thank you for your hedge of protection but most of all thank you for your love.

In Jesus Name,

They Can't Stop You!

Acts 5:39
If it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.

It’s amazing how other people can allow jealousy to fill them to the point that they want to see you fail. The more you attempt for God, the more susceptible you are to jealousy. The craziest thing is that the people who are the most jealous are actually the people who should be the happiest for you. After all, you are fighting for the same thing but then at some point they turn and start fighting against you.

We cannot waste time on people who want us to fail. We have to concentrate on doing what God called us to do. We must preach the full gospel of what Jesus has proclaimed in our lives. We have to stand in the temples, churches, and marketplace to proclaim the good news to the poor. We have to fulfill the mission and assignment that God has given us. We have to carry out the plans that God had for us while we were in our Mother’s womb. If God is for you, they can’t stop you!

The Sanhedrin Council was a group of religious leaders that were jealous of the Apostles because the people were leaving tradition and following these fired up Apostles who were preaching Jesus. The Bible says that they were filled with Jealousy. People were coming back to God and they were filled with jealousy. People were putting sick people in the street to be healed, hoping Peter’s shadow would fall on them but the religious leaders were filled with Jealousy. The community was being changed and transformed but they were filled with Jealousy. SMH!

The Religious Council tried to stop the Apostles by:
  1. Arresting them and putting them in public jail. Sometimes, we experience “arrested development” because of jealous people who try to stop our momentum but God will send an angel to remind you, “Go stand and preach the full message!” They might arrest you but they can’t stop you!
  2. They tried to intimidate them and make them shut up. V.28 they said, “Didn’t we tell you not to teach about this ‘Jesus?!’ “You are making us look bad!” Peter replied, “We must obey God rather than men.” When you know God is with you, you can no longer go the route of pleasing men but you have to obey God. They can’t stop you!
  3. They tried to kill them! If God is with you nobody can stop you until his will is done in your life. If God is with you they will just be fighting against God and their arms are too short to box with God! They can’t stop you!
Dear God,

Help me to stay focused on what you’ve called me to do and not waste energy on my haters. Give me strength to finish what you started in me. I’m confident today, that they can’t stop me!

In Jesus Name,

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Can't Help It!

I Can’t Help It!

Acts 4:20
For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.

We live in a time where people don’t want to hear about God like they used to. If they had their way, some of the people in the world would issue you a gag order to shut you up. Here in Memphis, TN the city council is facing a possible lawsuit by an atheist organization for having prayer before the council meetings. On occasion, I have been invited to invoke God’s presence before the business of the City. The Freedom from Religion foundation threatened to sue the city council members if they continue to allow prayer at meetings. It seems to be in order that the city leaders would want God involved with the business of the city. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. Psalms 127:1

The Apostle Peter and John were thrown in jail after they healed a man that had been crippled for 40 years. They caused such a stir in the city that the city leaders and officials asked them to stop talking about Jesus. The Sanhedrin, a religious council, wanted the Apostles to shut up and stop talking about Jesus. Today, it’s the non-religious that want us to stop talking about Jesus but it was the religious in Peter’s day that wanted them to stop talking about Jesus. Peter responded to their demand by saying, “it’s better for them to obey God than men.” Peter said, “We can’t help but to talk about what we have seen and heard. We can’t help it!”

What is that you can’t help talking about?! If God has done anything for you, you can’t help it! If Jesus has healed your body, you can’t help it! If God has worked a miracle in your life, you can’t help it! This is why you can’t help it:

  1. When you’ve had a life changing experience from the inside out you can’t help it. Whenever Jesus would heal people he would tell them not to say anything but they couldn’t help it. Jesus didn’t want them to be ashamed of what he had done, he just knew people. He knew his time was not yet fulfilled to be crucified and all haters want to do is kill you when you no longer follow the status quo. But now that Jesus has fulfilled his mission, you got to tell it!
  2. When you’ve heard the word of God, you can’t help it! Jeremiah said, “When I said I would no longer speak of God, his word was like fire shut up in my bones.” You can’t hear the word of God and not want to say something. You can’t help it!
  3. When other people are in danger of losing their souls. Peter said, “It’s better for us to obey God than man.” When people are in need of salvation, you can’t help it!
Dear God,

I will not shut up. You’ve been too good and I can’t help but to talk about what I’ve seen and heard. Use me today to tell somebody about the goodness of Jesus. Somebody needs to hear this. I can’t help it!

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's Time to Get Back to Work!

It’s Time to Get Back to Work!

Nehemiah 4:15
When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work.

It’s amazing how the enemy will attempt to stop the progress in your life with a distraction. Whenever you get close to completing your assignment the enemy will crank up in your life in an effort to keep you from finishing. You cannot allow the enemies plots to knock you off your game, instead, you have to expose his plots and keep it moving. You’re halfway there and you can’t stop now, it’s time to get back to work and finish what you started.

Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls in Jerusalem. After the city had been decimated and devastated by the enemies of Israel, the surrounding Arab nations were coming in and taking what they wanted because the walls had been torn down. There are people in your life who for a season took advantage of you because you were in a vulnerable position. Your walls had been torn down, but when you began to rebuild your walls, the enemy tried to intimidate you from finishing what you started. The enemy threatened to kill them while they were working so some people got tired emotionally and physically. Some of them stopped working because they were too paranoid that someone was going to kill them while they were working.

Nehemiah in the middle of his building project had to stop and encourage the people to finish what they started. This is what he told them:
  1. Remember the Lord your God who is great and awesome. V.14 Sometimes when we focus to much on the antics of the enemy, we forget the Power of our God. God is more powerful than anything that the enemy could do. Greater is he that is with us than those that are against us.
  2. Remember your family and your homes, fight for them. V. 14 Every morning we have to remember who we are fighting for. The enemy can’t have our families. Giving up is not an option, my family is depending on me to finish! My son Jordan told me he looked up to me. I asked him why, he said, “Because you always know what to do in every situation.” Wow! I was humbled and honored that my son saw his dad as a leader fighting for the family.
  3. Place Strategic people in exposed places. V13. Once you examine your life and you find vulnerable spots, make sure you put people in your life that can help you guard where you are vulnerable. In short, put people in your life that truly have your back.
  4. Put a tool in one hand and a weapon in the other one. It’s not enough to be on the defense but you must also have an offensive strategy. You must be productive even as you are defending your territory.
When the enemy realized that their plot was foiled and exposed; when they realized that the Israelites couldn’t be punked, so they left. The Israelites returned back to work to finish what they started. So should you.

Dear God,

Help me to finish the work you gave me to do. Strengthen the work of my hands and block the plots of our enemies. Today, I am focused and determined to finish what you started in me.

In Jesus Name,