Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You Have the Last Word

Acts 7:59-60

While they were stoning him...Stephen cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

Whenever you stand for truth you will always have opposition. Jesus warned his disciples, “If they hated me they will hate you also…pray for those who hate you.” It was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “We will overcome their capacity to hate with our capacity to love.” It seems unnatural to show love or be forgiving to people who mean you harm. When you are caught up in an exchange of words and you believe you are standing on the side of right, you want the last word. In your last words will you pronounce blessings or curses?

Stephen was one of the first martyrs. He was one of the seven men chosen by the apostles to help serve the Grecian widows food. In Acts 6:8-10 it states, “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. Opposition arose, these men began to argue with Stephen but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Sprit by whom he spoke.

Whenever you have position you will have opposition. This is how you overcome opposition when you are in God’s will:

1. God’s grace and Power. Stephen had experienced the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So even under extreme opposition he was able to keep his composure because of Grace.

2. Wisdom. Wisdom is the correct application of knowledge. Stephen was a student of God’s word. That’s why he was able to convict those who opposed him because he used the word.

3. The Holy Spirit. God spoke through Stephen and pierced the hearts of those opposing Stephen and their only recourse was to get physical because they were defeated spiritually.

They couldn’t defeat him in arguments so they decided to retaliate by stoning him to death. Before they killed him, he had the last word, “Father do not hold their sins against them.” He was getting ready to die, getting hit upside the head with big rocks and his last words were like Jesus, “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” The very person that gave consent for Stephen to be stoned was a man named Saul who would later be converted to follow Christ and his name changed to Paul. Because Stephen had the last word Christianity grew and the chief oppose became the chief apostle.

Do you think Stephen’s death or his last words had anything to do with Paul’s conversion? When you have an argument this week or a point of disagreement, what will be your last words?

Dear God,

Fill me with your Grace so that I can face my opposition with your wisdom and be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Even when it appears that I’m losing the argument. Help me to realize that I’m really winning because as long as you get the Glory, I get the last word.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Be Still

Exodus 14:14

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still

Growing up in the country we had a saying for people who panicked in the face of adversity and began to move around spastically. We would say that person was running around like “a chicken with their head cut off.” Back in the day my grandmother would prepare her own chicken for dinner fresh from the back yard. She would select a hen from the backyard that was walking around, grab it by its head and give it a twist until its head came off. The chicken would run around a few minutes headless because the body was running off of muscle memory but without the use of the brain.

Sometimes, we find ourselves in a mindless panic or “mindless behavior” because life seems overwhelming. We are stuck in fight or flight mode because we have not learned inner peace. We are not sure that God can save us because where we are we have not been before.

The Israelites were fresh out of slavery and the Egyptians were trying to take their heads off. It looked like they were in a dead end with the red Sea in front of them and mountains on either side but God purposely brought them there so that he could show them who he was and what he was capable of. God made a highway through the sea allowing them to walk across on dry ground but drowned the Egyptian army.

Moses gave the people instructions prior to their deliverance:

1. Don’t be afraid. Sometimes fear will have us in fight or flight when it’s not even necessary. When God is with us we have no need to be afraid.

2. Stand Firm and you will see your deliverance today. We can’t waiver in the face of danger but instead we should stand firm in our faith and convictions.

3. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. There are some enemies that have been troubling us that if we give them over to God we will never see again. Let God handle them.

4. The Lord will fight your battle. There are some fights that are too big for us but nothing is too big for God. Instead of telling God how big your problem is tell your problem how big your God is.

5. You need only to be still. Your only need today is to be still. God’s got this and he will see you through.

Dear God,

I choose to be still today instead of being frantic. I will be anxious for nothing. I take comfort in knowing that you will fight my battles if I just keep still! I trust you Lord.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shortest, Fastest or Other!

Exodus 13:17

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

Whenever I travel to an unfamiliar place I like to use my GPS. After entering the address of my destination the GPS asks me if I would like to take the shortest distance, the fastest route, or “Other.” What I’ve discovered is that “short” is not always the most effective and ”fast” is not always cost efficient. Instead of going the shortest or fastest route, could it be that God wants to take you the other route? Could the “Other” option be God’s choice for us because he can see something that we can’t?

When God took the Children of Israel out of Egypt from slavery, 600,000 of them traveled the “Other” route. God could have taken them the “shortest” route through Philistine country but God knew they would have to fight going through there. If they had a battle now they would not be ready because they were fresh out of slavery. As a slave you are not taught to fight back. Not only did God have to get them out of Egypt but he needed time to get Egypt out of them. We may think that we are ready for something but God knowing best takes us another route. It might seem like he took the longest route but if you knew what he was protecting you from you would thank him even though it’s taking you longer to get there.

I want to give you some reasons why God chose the “Other” route for you:

1. God’s working old ways of thinking out of your spirit. God’s got to get this slave, renters, sharecropping mentality out of you before he releases you as owners in the Promised Land.

2. God’s taking you around something that may be too much for you right now. You don’t have the resources to take this on right now. It’s not a denial just a delay.

3. God's preparing you for something you can’t handle right now. The next time you face it you will be able to defeat it.

4. God's got to build relationship with you. The Israelites had to see Miracle after Miracle so they would know who God is and what he is capable of. This is the season where you get to Know God better.

5. God's got to build your confidence in yourself. God had to change the negative self perception of former slaves into warriors, owners, and Kings. It takes time for God to rebuild your self-esteem.

Dear God,

Thank you for taking me the other way. Thank you for keeping me from dangers seen and unseen. When I get to where I’m going I know I’ll be ready for whatever you bless me with.

In Jesus Name,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What Happened to Your Fire?

Luke 24:32

They said to each other “weren’t our hearts on fire when he spoke to us along the road and when he explained the scriptures for us?”

When we are motivated to do something and passionate about something we are fired up about it! It’s a drive inside our souls that propels us forward. A basketball player can be fired up about a game. A leader can be fired up about a cause. An activist can be fired up about a movement. There must be some kind of fire in our belly that motivates us to keep going in spite of the challenges we will run up against.

Every now and then we will run out of fire. Over time fires begin to dim if not stoked or fueled. Paul had to remind young Timothy when he was giving in to the negativity of others who said he was too young and to his own fear. Paul reminded Timothy of his faith that he saw in his grandmother, mother, and in him; with that in mind Paul told Timothy, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” When discouragement tries to snuff out your flame allow God to stir it back up.

Two of Jesus’ disciples had lost their fire when Jesus was crucified. He caught up with them on the road to Emmaus, seven miles outside of Jerusalem. It is often outside of the Holy City and after great distress that Jesus will walk with us to restore our fire. If you are walking in a place that seems to be outside of God and your fire is about to go out, here’s how you get it back:

Jesus walked with them. Even though they didn’t know it was Jesus they allowed Jesus to walk with them to discuss why they were sad. It’s when we open up about where we are that God can come in.
Jesus talked with them. It’s in prayer that we begin to reconnect to our power source. The old folks said in prayer, ‘I feel a little prayer wheel turning and I feel a little fire start burning.’
He explained the scriptures to them. When we continue to get understanding of the scriptures in bible study that’s when we get our fire back! We must get fired up about God’s word.
He ate with them. We must continue to fellowship with one another. Where two or three are gathered together there will Jesus be also. Keep coming to church and Bible study to get your fire back.
Dear God,

I will continue to walk with Jesus and open his word so that his word can get in my heart. Jeremiah reminds us that we can’t help but to be on fire when we allow your word to get in us. Jeremiah got discouraged because of persecution and said he wasn’t going to talk about you anymore but he said, “When I said I would not speak of God anymore, his Word was like Fire shut up in my bones!” God fill me with the Fire of your Word so that I can be fired up to do your will.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Coming Up Short!

Luke 19:3

He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd.

There are times in life when it seems that we keep coming up short. We try our best to reach expectations set by ourselves and others only to fail to reach our objectives for various reasons. In spite of our limitations, there is a way to get around our shortness. Whether it is being short physically, financially, emotionally, or spiritually, there is a way to come up short that actually works out for our good.

Zacchaeus was a little person who wanted to see Jesus as he was passing through his neighborhood. Zacchaeus was wealthy but short. Normally when you think of people coming up short you think of somebody poor but Zach was rich. He had tall money but he was short on admiration and spiritual consecration.

He wanted to see Jesus but could not because the crowd blocked his view due to the fact that he was short. So he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore fig tree. He came up short! He didn’t let his disability stop him from seeing Jesus. If we are going to come up in spite of our shortness, we have to do the same things that Zach did.

He ran ahead of the crowd. Verse 4 sometimes we have to pull away from the people blocking our view. If you can’t move the crowd then move away from the crowd.

1. He climbed up verse 4. You have to get higher than the people who are blocking you from Jesus. Always take the higher road in the way you respond to any given situation. That’s why it’s important to get a Higher Education and believe in a Higher power so that you can always take the High Road.

2. Go out on a limb. Zach climbed a Sycamore tree which meant he had to go out on a limb until Jesus got there. We must be willing to take a risk when it comes to pursuing Jesus. The greatest risk in life is to risk nothing.

3. He waited for Jesus to call him down. Verse 5 when you seek Jesus he will find you. When you hunger and thirst for righteousness you will be satisfied. Don’t move from where you are until Jesus calls you down.

4. Take Jesus to your house. Verse 6. Zach did something radical; he took Jesus to his house even though he had a bad reputation as a swindling tax collector. At some point we have to bring Jesus home in spite of lifestyles that are in conflict with who he is. Jesus isn’t offended or embarrassed to be with you and he’s willing to help you fix where you are coming up short.

5. Give back to the poor verse 8. When the crowd tried to put Zach on blast for his reputation, he said he would give half his possessions to the poor. When our hearts have been touched by Jesus we should give back to the poor. Use your success to bless others.

6. Restore broken relationships verse 8. Zach told Jesus if he had stolen from anybody he would pay back four times the amount. When we have broken relationships we should try to make amends for where we have come up short. Give back what you owe as best you can.

Dear God,

Thank you for seeing me when I came up short. You called me out and came to my house in spite of my mess. Thank you for restoring my dignity and my relationships. Most of all thank you for Salvation. Now I’m coming up but not short!

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

That's Why I'm Here!

Genesis 45:5

And now do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.

Sometimes when we are going through a series of unfortunate events we begin to wonder, ‘why in the world are we where we are?’ At the beginning of your life you felt favored by God but now you feel forgotten. Why am I here? It would be easy to give up where you are because of the struggle, the injustice, and the cruelty but then you would miss the ending of your own movie. Your latter is going to be greater but you have to make it through the middle to see the end.

Joseph lived through this kind of drama. Favored by his Father, his brothers sold him into slavery at 17 years of age. He went from slavery to prison to the palace. He was made second in charge of all of Egypt by age 30. You could say he graduated from the "school of hard knocks" with a Master’s in Management through crisis and a Doctorate in Divine Intervention. Everything Joseph went through, God used it to make Joseph into the leader he needed to be to save many lives.

He used the pit to separate him from his jealous brothers. Sometimes when we are persecuted by people who we thought had our backs is really an opportunity for us to distance ourselves from people who could block our destiny.

He used Potiphar’s house to teach him how to manage OPP(Other People’s Property). Joseph was put in charge of the entire estate. Mrs. Potiphar made sexual advances against Joseph but he refused and said, “With me in charge my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” If you can be trusted with little you can be trusted with much.

He used Prison to teach him perseverance. Potiphar’s wife lied on Joseph and he went to prison on trumped up charges but God still used him in prison. He interpreted the dream of the cupbearer and asked him to remember him when he got out and tell Pharaoh that he was innocent. He forgot Joseph for 2 more years.

He used the Palace to bring him into his purpose. The cupbearer finally remembered Joseph when Pharaoh had a dream no one could interpret. Joseph told the King the dream was a warning about a famine and what he should do about it. Pharaoh put him second in charge.

When Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for food during the famine, Joseph finally revealed himself to them. He told them, “God sent me here ahead of you to save many lives. What you meant for my evil God meant or used for my good. “That’s why I’m here. Instead of bemoaning the misfortunate events in your life trust that all things work for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.

Dear God,

Thank you for using my series of unfortunate events to shape me and put me in my purpose. I’m glad that all things are working for my good. I Love you Lord and I trust you during this process. God work it out for my good, so that I can tell my haters, “What you meant for my bad turned out for my good.”

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Don't Just Sit There!

Genesis 42:1-2

When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other? I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”

There is nothing more frustrating than being in a dilemma that is fixable but everyone is just standing around waiting on somebody else to do something about it. Oftentimes, we know that there is a solution but we don’t move to action.

I grew up in a family where you didn’t sit around when something needed to be done. It was all hands on deck when there was something that needed to be accomplished. You didn’t just sit around looking when there was a job to be done.

Jacob had 11 sons who were sitting around looking at each other during a famine. Ironically enough, their brother Joseph that they sold into slavery was in Egypt running the whole country. He had created a system that would ensure the survival of not just Egypt but surrounding countries. He saved up the grain from the seven years of plenty because God told him there would be seven years of famine to follow. His brothers back in Canaan didn’t even know if he was still alive much less responsible for creating a surplus to supplement the famine.

God will send people ahead of us to handle something that we don’t even know is being handled on our behalf. Many times we sit around stagnated because of some issue that God has already fixed. Their father Jacob had heard that there was grain in Egypt and he asked a good question of his sons, “Why do you keep looking at each other?” Why do we just sit around looking at each other when we are faced with a dilemma?

Intimidation. Maybe they were thinking about how far Egypt was or the fact that it was a foreign place with a different culture. Sometimes in order to overcome a famine we have to go to places we’ve never been before. We might have to move to another city, find work in another place, or associate with people we normally don’t associate with. We can’t afford to be intimidated.
Procrastination. They kept waiting for the inevitable. They hadn’t run out of food yet. We ought not wait around until there is nothing left before we decide to move. We should take a shortage as a signal that it’s time to move. Don’t wait until all the cheese is gone before you go get some more new cheese.
Trepidation- They had a fear of the Unknown. They didn’t know what was going to happen between here and there. Fear can be paralyzing. We have to walk by faith and not be paralyzed by fear.
Frustration. They kept waiting on somebody else to step up. Sometimes, when you have a lot of people around you, it’s easy to keep expecting somebody else to step up and do something. Sometimes when you want something done, you have to do it yourself.
Jacob’s solution: Go down to Egypt and buy some grain so that we may live and not die. What do you need to do today so that you and your family may live and not die?

Dear God,

Please remove the fear of the unknown so that I can go get what I need for my family to live and not die. Please make my journey successful and give me grain for my family and protection during my journey.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, January 12, 2012

More Than That

Luke 12:23; 31 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes...But seek first his kindom and these things will be given to you as well.


It seems that life is filled questions like:  'what are we going to wear and what are we going to eat?'  On TV it seems every five mintues there is a barrage of commercials filling our minds with questions we are not even asking.  We've become an overfed and underconcerned generation because our minds have become focused on what we eat and what we wear.  I think that's why this 21 Day fast is so important because we are trying to overthrow "King Stomach" and put King Jesus back on the throne.  


I was watching the King of the South, TI and Tiny on their reality show the other night.  Tiny took her beautician and friend to see a plastic surgeoun in Beverly Hills.  The friend wanted her acne cleared and her stomach flat.  The Doctor explained to her that caffiene was breaking her face out even as she drank coffee and stuffed her face listening to the doctor.  Then later in the show Tiny's friend was arguing with her about how much money she was being paid.  I thought to myself, "there's got to be more to life than this!"


Jesus said, "life is more than food and clothes."  Your Heavenly Father knows you need food and clothing.  God will porivide but what we need to do is seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness and all these things will be added to us.  We waste so much time on shallow pursuits that we miss what matters the most.  God's Kingdom transcends all of the trivial things we worry about on a day to day basis.  God's Kingdom consists of what we do that impacts eternity.  lIfe is more than what we see or what we consume, it's what we do.  This is how we get MORE out of life:

1.  Sell your possessions.  De-Clutter your life.  Instead of getting more this year we need to get rid of some of what we already have.  This is the year that we do more with less.  Look in your closet, you already have more than what you need.  

2. Give it to the Poor.  When we help those who are less fortunate, we are storing up treasure in heaven.  This heavenly account is what God uses to withdraw from when we need something from him.  What's in your heavenly bank account right now?  what's the balance?

3.  Strive for Righteousness.  We have to live according to God's word.  When your ways are pleasing to God, he will give you the desires of your heart.

Dear God,
Help me to live a life that is pleasing to you.  Don't let me get caught up in being shallow because hollow is not your name.  I know that if I live a righteous life that you will give me a fulfilling life.  Every good thing that you give me, I Pray I learn how to give it back.  It is more blessed to give than to receive.  You've done so much for me.  Thank you God for giving me life and life more abundantly.
In Jesus Name,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sit Down Somewhere!

Luke 10:41-42

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Have you ever seen someone who is just busy all the time? You can’t even enjoy your peace because of the anxiety that they are toting around and bringing in your space. When we were children and we were running around in the house disturbing the peace, my mother would get our attention and exclaim, “Get somewhere and sit down!” Order would be restored and my mother was able to go back to her peace and quiet, at least for a little while.

There are a lot of grown folks who need to get somewhere and sit down as well because they are disturbing the peace and don’t have any peace themselves. That’s why the bible tells us, to be still and know that He is God. A lot of times we are just busy bodies but we are not really being productive and we are making everybody else anxious in the meantime.

Many of us are ‘Mary’ living in a ‘Martha’ world. Mary is at peace while Martha is distracted/worried by many things. When Jesus visited the house of Mary and Martha, Martha was frantically preparing dinner for Jesus who made a surprise visit, while her sister Mary sat down at the feet of Jesus to listen to what he had to say. Martha got mad at Jesus and Mary. Martha asked Jesus, “Don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” some people are bothered when they see you at peace while they are panicking. Some people are aggravated when they are anxious and you are at peace.

Martha was anxious, upset, worried about many things. It just wasn’t that her sister was not helping her; it was that this had become her way of dealing with life, she stayed busy. Jesus said, “You are worried and distracted by “Many” things. This had become a lifestyle, being perpetually busy and distracted while Mary chose the good thing.

Jesus said, “Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away.” In a world that is chaotic and filled with many distractions we have to learn to get somewhere and sit down! Mary chose the good thing, this is what she did:

1. Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet. She had submitted to his leadership instead of just staying busy.
2. Mary was listening which meant she was learning from Jesus. We have to take time everyday to get still and listen to what Jesus is saying before we get busy.
3. Mary had peace which surpasses all human understanding. Her sister could not understand why Mary was not anxious with all that needed to be done. When you have a solid relationship with Jesus, life will not make you anxious.

Dear God,

Help me to be like Mary in a Martha world. There is so much to be done but I don’t want to do it until after I’ve received from you. Some thing’s have to wait. I’m going to sit down somewhere so I can hear from you today.

In Jesus Name,


Monday, January 9, 2012

Can You Follow @Jesus for 21 Days?!

Can You Follow @Jesus for 21 Days?!

Luke 9:23

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

As we begin our 21 day fast we do so in hopes of following Jesus closer. We are starting out on a spiritual quest for more power. This is day 2 of our fast and we are praying for Wisdom and Faith. If you would like to join us you can get more information at www.N2NewDirection.org/21DayFast2012.pdf. We are at the beginning of a New Year in search of a New Us! In order to get there we have got to Follow Jesus.

I think where we messed up in the past is that we wanted Jesus to follow us but we did not follow him back. In the Twitter world you follow people to see what they are doing, how they are living, and what they are thinking throughout the day. We want Jesus to hear our prayers, watch what we are doing, and bless where we are going but we don’t follow him back. If we are going to receive power and be better disciples we have to do three things:

1. Deny ourselves. Fasting is denying yourself of things you want and need but you 1can make it without. Denying ourselves, disciplines our body and mind to be in tune with the Holy Spirit. Every day we must deny ourselves from things that could take us away from Jesus.

2. Take up your cross. Your cross is your burden for ministry. What are you doing for Jesus that serves other people on a daily basis? Are you praying for people? Are you serving in a ministry? There ought to be something you do for others that reflects your love for Jesus. Jesus said, “as you do to the least of these you also do unto me.”

3. Follow Jesus daily. This means to go and do what Jesus would do. Follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. The old folks used to sing, “lead me, guide me, along the way, for if you lead me I will not stray.”

Dear God,

Today, I discipline my body, mind, and sprit so that I can follow you closer and experience the power that comes from denying myself, taking up my cross, and following you all day, every day. Today, I begin my journey to follow you every step of the way.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Need A Doctor!

I need a Doctor!

Luke 5:31

Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick...

I'm about to lose my mind

you've been gone for so long

I'm running out of time

I need a doctor

call me a doctor

I need a doctor, doctor

to bring me back to life


I told the world one day I would pay it back

say it on tape, and lay it, record it

so that one day I could play it back

but I don't even know if I believe it when I'm saying that

doubt starting to creep in, everyday it's just so grey and black

Hope - I just need a ray of that

'Cause no one sees my vision when I play it for 'em

They just say it's wack

they don't know what dope is

and I don't know if I was awake or asleep

when I wrote this,

all I know is you came to me when I was at my lowest

you picked me up, breathed new life in me I owe my life to you

In his song, I need a doctor, Eminem laments his friend Dr. Dre whose career has seemingly flatlined and all the people he had helped had turned their backs on him. As a friend, Eminem had come back to help the doctor come back to life. The doctor needed some healing.

This morning I got a call that a friend and colleague in ministry died of a massive heart attack at 3am. Joseph Taylor was just 39 years of age. He had helped me start New Direction, walked with me in ministry, and went on to start his own ministry. I hadn’t spoken with him in a while and I didn’t know his condition. The last time I saw him I congratulated him on losing weight and taking care of his health. He and I chatted on face book, comparing the growing pains of having three children and he ate with me on occasion at our Pastor 2 Pastor brunch but I didn’t know he needed a doctor.

We have got to take better care of ourselves physically and spiritually this year and we have to take care of each other. Like me, we all need to do a better job of knowing the condition of the people we eat with.

The Pharisees asked Jesus why he ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners. Why do you associate with people who are “sick?’ Jesus said, ‘because the sick are the ones who need a doctor.’ Jesus is the great physician and it’s our job to get those who are sick to him. If we are going to bring life back to our friends they need a doctor named Jesus and this is how we get them to the doctor:

1. Healthy Fellowship. Jesus ate and drink with people that were considered to be “sinners.” They were rejects from an established religion. Dr. Dre took a risk on a young white rapper Born Marshall Bruce Mathers III. Everyone in the Hip Hop world thought he was crazy but Eminem is unquestionably one of the greatest MC’s in Hip Hop today because he got help from the doctor. What person, who is on the outside of acceptance, could advance in life if we took the risk of healthy fellowship.
2. Share the good news with them. Jesus' prescription for a healthy life was the good news that the Kingdom of God was at hand, that he had come to give them life and life more abundantly. As Christians, we need to share the good news of the alternative of a healthy lifestyle, whether that’s information on physical health or spiritual health, there are sick people who need good news, information, and inspiration.
3. Help them turn their lives around. Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” The word repent means to make a U-turn. We ought to help our friends turn from destructive lifestyles to the healthy and prosperous life that Jesus has for us.

Dear God,

Use me to help bring life back to my friends. Don’t let me be so Holy that I can’t help those who are “sinners.” Thank you for being my doctor and healing all my souls’ diseases.

In Jesus Name,


RIP Apostle Joseph Taylor October 1972-January 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Don't Get High Off Your Own Supply!

Genesis 9:20-21

Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.

This is the year that God wants us to plant and be productive but the fruit we produce is not just for our own consumption. When a tree produces fruit it is not for the tree. In fact, Jesus said, that every tree that bears fruit must be pruned so that it can bear even more fruit.

The problem in the past is that we’ve gotten high off our own supply. One of the “Crack Commandments” from the Notorious BIG, who was a former crack dealer turned rapper, was that a dealer should never get high off of their own supply because you would cut into your profits and become addicted to your own drug. The crack epidemic was the worst thing that ever could have happened to black people in the inner city back in the 80’s and we are still recovering from it but Biggie’s point is profound in that we have gotten high off our own supply at the detriment to ourselves. Whatever your “supply’ is make sure it’s fruitful to others or it will kill them and you.

Noah was a man of the soil; he had the gift to grow stuff. He planted a vineyard and made wine from it. He got drunk off of the fruit of the vine that God supplied. He doesn’t share his fruit; he gets drunk off of his own supply. There is no one around him as he consumes his own supply. He’s probably tired of sharing his supplies and space after being on the Ark with his family 152 days. He over consumes his own supply and gets drunk, naked, and exposed.

Three things happen when you get drunk/high off your own supply instead of sharing your fruit with others:

Drunk. You are intoxicated with your own success and are not sober enough to know what’s going on around you. We become enamored with our own achievements and are not even cognizant of the needs of others when you are drunk you are numb to your surroundings.
Uncovered. Noah was drunk in his own tent but he was uncovered. It is symbolic that we can be successful but no longer be covered. It’s like driving a nice car with no insurance. If you have a wreck you are not covered. When you are drunk you leave yourself at risk for not being covered and vulnerable.
Exposed. The last stage is that people see you naked that were never supposed to see you like this. When we refuse to heed God’s warning his last resort is to expose you to an open shame.
Ham, the youngest son of Noah, saw his father naked and drunk. Instead of covering him he exposed his nakedness to his brothers. His brothers walked in backwards and covered their father with a blanket. The good news is that even though we’ve all gotten high off our own supply at some point in our lives, God sent Jesus to cover our nakedness and sober us from our drunkenness. Now we have to use our fruitfulness to bless others and not get high off our own supply. This year use your fruitfulness to bless others and not waste it on self-indulgence.

Dear God,

Make me productive this year but keep me sober and covered. Please don’t expose my foolishness but instead help me to bless other people with the fruit you bless me to produce. Help me to enjoy the fruit of my labor without getting high off my own supply. Help me not to over-consume but to live my life in moderation.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

This is Your Year to Produce!

This is Your Year to Produce!

Luke 3:9

The Ax is already at the root of the tree, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

It’s pretty clear on professional sports teams like the NFL and NBA that if you do not produce, you will be cut. If you do not bring anything to the team they will cut you from the roster. If you are not productive at work, there is a chance they will cut you. That’s why you should be so productive that it will be virtually impossible to let you go.

The Kingdom of God is no different. God is looking for fruit from us this year. When John the Baptist was baptizing people he told them to “Show fruits of repentance.” It’s not enough to give your life to God but you must produce Fruit. John said, “The Ax is at the root of the tree and every tree that does not produce Fruit will be cut down!” This lets me know that you can be rooted (be a member of a church) but not be fruitful (be productive). There is a difference from being an active productive disciple vs being an inactive unproductive member. If you are a follower of Christ and a member of a local church you should be worshipping, learning, serving, and giving. People may never kick you out of a church for being unproductive but God can cut you off. That’s scary! I don’t want to be in church but cut off because I refused to be productive.

When John told them that they were in danger of being cut off for being unproductive they asked him, “What should we do?!” John told them:

Share. The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one with food should do the same. Verse 11
Don’t be greedy. Don’t collect more than you are required to. Verse 13 The greed of wall street got us in this recession, the grace of giving will get us out.
Be Honest. Don’t cheat anyone, don’t accuse people falsely, and be content with your pay. Verse 14.
Dear God,

Thank you for not cutting me off. You gave me another year to be productive and this year we will be more productive than we were last year. We are ready to grow and bear fruit for you. Use us Lord but please don’t’ cut us off.

In Jesus Name,