Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Love Left Overs!

I Love Left Overs!

2 Kings 4:43

How can I set this before a hundred men? His servant asked. But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says, “They will eat and have some left over.”

Sometimes, the best food is something you had left over from a previous meal. You may have been too full to really appreciate it the first time but now you are ready to enjoy what you have left over. Also, when your finances are limited, left overs are a welcome sight. Knowing you have left overs ensures that you will eat another day.

There are times in all of our lives when we wonder if we will have anything left over after we pay our bills, after we do ministry, or after we feed the people. Our resources are limited yet we have a daunting task in front of us that requires faith when it looks like we are not going to have enough to go around.

Elisha had 100 people to feed with only 20 loaves of bread. He asked his servant to feed the people. The servant did what many of us would have done. He looked at the people and what he had to work with and asked, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” How can I make this last until the end of the month? How can I do that on this budget?!

Elisha’s servant was faced with a dilemma we all can identify with. He had a great demand with little resources to respond. What did he do?

1. He did what his man of God told him to do. He followed the instructions of God’s representative. When God speaks to you through his messenger you have the choice to do what they say or ignore it. It is only in the doing of the word that we receive the blessing.

2. He fed the people. The limited resources were used to help hungry people. God shows up when we use our resources to help people in need. We run out faster when we are greedy and use it on ourselves.

3. God will give the increase. The miracle of multiplication only occurs after we do what God tells us to do. It would be great if he did it before but the test of our faith is that God doesn’t multiply until we use up what we didn’t think we had.

4. God will give you left overs! Not only will God feed 100 people off of 20 loaves of bread but he will give you left overs from limited resources. He will give you something to live on after the mission is complete.

Dear God,

Please give us increase as we feed your people. We need a miracle in our finances to do what you told us to do and we believe that when we do, we will have something left over!

In Jesus Name,


Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Time to Wrestle

It’s time to Wrestle

Colossians 4:12
Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

As a boy, I used to love to watch wrestling with all of its dramatics. I used to watch Jerry Lawler, The Moon Dogs, Coco Ware, Bill Dundee, Tojo Yomamoto, and the list goes on. I used to love wrestling to see who was going to come out on top. I was always pulling for the good guys, hoping that the bad guys would not come in and attack the good ones. Then sometimes the good ones would become bad. I never knew that the wrestling was fixed until I grew older. I had to wrestle with my own suspension of disbelief when I would noticed some of the blows missing their target but the wrestler would still “act” as though he had been hit. Wrestling is something we can all identify with especially as we all are characters in life trying to hold on to the good and not turn bad.

Every day we should be wrestling, not acting, when it comes to prayer. We have to lock into the Spirit and not let go until we get our answer. Jacob wrestled with God all night long and the Angel of God told Jacob, “let me go it’s almost sunrise.” Jacob said, “I’m not going to let you go until you bless me.” God touched his hip and knocked it out of socket, changed his name from Jacob to Israel, which means you have wrestled with God and have overcome.

We have to be like Jacob. We have to hold on to God in Prayer every week so God can change us from someone with bad character to someone with good character.

Paul talked about another prayer warrior named Epaphras. Paul described him as a servant of Christ Jesus who is always wrestling in prayer for the Colossians. That excites me because it makes me think of those on my intercessory team that are always wrestling for me. It’s good to know that there are some people standing in the gap and wrestling with God in prayer for me that I might stay in good character. It made me think of them but it also made me ask myself, “Am I really wrestling or acting?” Am I really striking a blow to the enemy or just going through the motions? Do I really operate in the power of God or just have a form of godliness without power?

The fervent and effective prayers of the righteous availeth much but we have to learn how to really wrestle and quit acting. When we wrestle in prayer and stay on our knees with God for ourselves and for others three things should happen:

1. Stand firm. We strengthen our ability to stand firm in situations where other people are shaky. There are so many people falling away in the faith but prayer strengthens us in our stance for what is right in the eyes of God.

2. Mature. When we wrestle in prayer it helps us in a maturity. We don’t let things get to us as easily as they did when we were younger because wresting in prayer grows us up in the faith. We become stronger in what we believe because there is transference of Power from us to God to us. God touches our “hip” and he breaks us so that he can use us.

3. Fully Assured. When we wrestle with God and don’t let go until he blesses us, we leave that encounter fully assured that God is with us. I can’t go until I know that God is with me and sometimes out of the wrestling I leave limping knowing I have wrestled with the best.

Dear God

Help me today to wrestle in prayer. Don’t let me go until you bless me. Teach me how to wrestle with my theology and my opinions so that they match your Holy will. I don’t want to be swayed by popular opinions or lying prophets. I want my walk to be real. Jesus don’t let go until you bless me and I walk away knowing that I have been with you.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Don't Be Anxious About Anything!

Don't Be Anxious about Anything!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6 NIV)
It's easy to get distracted by all the cares and concerns of life.  Sometimes, the negative events of your life can drain you so much that you forget about everything good that is going your way. Anxiety can take your focus off of being productive to being scared stiff. Someone said the other day that, "Fear is faith in the devil." If the devil can distract you from what God is doing then he can get you off track. His best way in doing so is to get you through your anxiety.

It's time to take back that wasted energy and apply it to what God wants you to accomplish. Don't be anxious about anything. While you are trying to figure it out God has already worked it out. In fact, God is working on your situation right now. Worrying is not going to make God move faster but when you have faith God will get you through it sooner than you think.

Don't be Anxious about anything but instead:

Rejoice in the Lord Always v. 1 Regardless of your situation if you can find something to praise God about it can take the focus off of your anxiety and shift it to what God has already done in your life.
In Every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God v. 6 Prayer takes us into the presence of God so that we can hand him all of our burdens. There is no reason why we should be walking around with burdens when God wants to take them.

Let God's peace guard your mind v. 7 After you pray God releases his peace into your life to be an invisible force field to keep back anything that would threaten your mind. The mind is the devil's playground if we allow anxiety in. God's peace will keep out demonic predators when your mind is stayed on Jesus.

Think about Good things. v. 8 Paul says, Whatever things are lovely, right, good, think on these things. If we get our thinking right then we can get our lives right. What we choose to focus on is usually where our energy goes. Focus on the good and not the bad.

Put into practice everything you've learned at church. v. 9 Whatever you have learned from your pastor or through sermons, bible study; you should put into practice.  Nothing is going to work until you work it. God's word will not come back void but you must put it into practice.

Dear God,

I thank you for not letting me be anxious over anything. Everything that is going on in my life is under your divine management. There is nothing too hard that you and I cannot handle together. I trust you that everything that happens today will work for my good at the end of the day.  Thank you for ordering my steps.

In Jesus Name,

Live Up To What You Have Already Obtained

Only let us live up to what we've already obtained

Jesus once said, "To whom much is given, much is required." When God gives us something he's expecting us to do something with it. It is our obligation to live up to what we have already obtained. When we graduate from school and obtain a degree we then have to walk in what we have obtained. We really don't actualize it until we live it out. All that information is meaningless until we live up to it.

I think we will forever be playing catch up in trying to live up to what we already have. I think the problem is chasing more stuff before we live up to what we already have. I was telling my wife the other day that we have not been able to really enjoy what God has done in our lives because we've been too busy going to the next thing. We were visiting Louisville, KY where we got married and shared our first one bedroom apartment. It dawned on me just how fast life was racing by and how we needed to slow down to catch up with what we already have.

How do you live up to what we've already obtained?

1. Make sure you are who you say you are
2. Make sure title fits your purpose
3. Make sure you are comfortable in your own skin
4. Make sure you reflect on what you've already learned
5. Make sure you take hold of that for which God took hold of you

Dear God,

Help me to live up to what I've already obtained. Help my proficiency in preaching to match the urgency of my calling. Help my integrity to match who I am in you. Help me to be the husband that my wife needs me to be. Help me to be the daddy my kids think I am. Help me to study to show myself approved. Help me to be true to myself.

In Jesus Name,


God's Not FInished!

Phillipians 1:6  Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It's always important to me that I finish what I started. Going all the way back to elementary, it was always important for me to finish what I started; whether it was putting together a puzzle or coloring a picture. It didn't rest well with me until it was finished. I believe God is the same way with us. He who has begun a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. It's not that God doesn't finish his work but it's that more times than not we don't allow God to finish his work.

God is the only artist that has to work on a project that keeps moving. As our creator God is challenged to work on us under our own volition. If we don't take the time to be still, how can God ever finish what he started?

1. We have to take the time to be still. The Psalmist said, "Be still and know that he is God." Too many times we are running around frantic without taking the time to be still and let God finish what he is doing in us.

2. We have to go to the Potter's house. Sometimes, we have to go back to God's house and allow the Holy Spirit to work on us from the inside out. That's why it's important to have regular attendance in Church so that God can regularly work on us.

3. We have to work out our own soul salvation according to God's plan. We must participate in God making us over.  We must make sure we are in bible study, going to counseling, participating in ministry, and working on God's master plan for our lives.

4. We have to follow the Blue Print. We must be obedient to God's word. Do not just be hearers of the word but also doers of the word.

5. We must keep building on a solid foundation. Each person will be tested by the fire to see what kind of materials they have been building with. Only what we do for Christ will last.

Dear God,

Please finish the work that you started in me.  I am willing to be still so you can complete your work in me. Put all the pieces to my puzzle in place and please help me to stay within the lines of your will as I live out my life in living color.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Better Off Poor?

Better off Poor?

Ecclesiastes 4:13

Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning.

I’ve heard many a “successful” person say, ‘I was better off when I didn’t have anything.’ My thought is, “Let me have what you’ve got and I can make it work. (smile)

What they mean is that they have not found contentment and fulfillment in money alone. As a matter of fact, many of them echo the sentiment of the Notorious BIG, “Mo' money, Mo' problems!” There is something that is often lost between the transition from not “having enough” to having “more than enough,” if we are not careful. There is something that many of us get growing up poor that many people who become rich leave behind. There is an appreciation, humility, and dependency towards God when you are poor that is abandoned when you become rich. Jay Z said, “I can’t help the poor if I’m one of them…but you can’t help the poor either if you are not ‘one with them.’

When we become our own gods we lose our awe of God. Often there is “no church in the west,’ because we have no allegiance to the sovereignty of God.  In the song, “No Church in the West,” the singer asks, “What’s a king to a god, what’s a God to an unbeliever who doesn’t believe in anything?”  There is not ‘Church in the West’ because we are like the Church in Laodicea whom Jesus chastises by saying, “You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” (Revelation 3:17-18)

It’s better to be a poor but wise youth. Wisdom is reverence for God. That wisdom is what brings you prosperity, but when you become successful the danger is you forget God. Jesus said, “it’s hard for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God, “because he is infatuated with his own little kingdom.

God gives warning before destruction but a foolish King doesn’t take heed to warning. It’s better to be poor and wise than it is to be rich and foolish.

1. Stay Humble. 5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

2. Stay Hungry. 6"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

3. Stay Holy. 8"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

Dear God,

Keep me grounded even as you take me higher. No matter how high I get, I will always be looking up to you. Thank you for taking me from just enough to more than enough.

In Jesus Name,


I'm Closer Now!

I’m Closer Now

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

Sin can cause a great divide between us and god. It can seem that we are a world away from God at times. Even looking at the world and how expansive the universe is, we have to stop and ask like the psalmist, “What is man that you (God) are mindful of him?” The writer of Ecclesiastes concluded that life was meaningless because the fate of the wise, the fool and the animal were the same; they all die.

If we were to stop with the conclusions of the writer of Ecclesiastes, we would leave depressed like him but we have knowledge of something he didn’t. We have the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The writer of Ecclesiastes was extremely wise but didn’t have the knowledge of who Jesus was and what he could do. Through Jesus, God reconciled the world back to himself. For those of us who were far away, Jesus drew us back to God by dying for our sins on the cross. He was the perfect sacrifice because he was without sin and his blood purified us of our separation from God’s Holiness.

How do we get closer to God?

1. Accept the gift of God’s salvation by receiving Jesus as your Lord and savior. Before Jesus we were foreigners and excluded from the promise of eternal life with God. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.

2. Confess your sins to Jesus. When we confess our sins to Jesus, God is faithful to forgive us of each and every sin.

3. Turn from your wicked ways. Grace makes us want to live right. When we experience the love of God we have the desire to turn away from what displeases him.

4. Walk in the newness of life. When we surrender our lives to Jesus the Holy Spirit begins to change us from the inside out so that we begin to live a new life in Jesus. As a result, we begin to walk closer to God because we have the mind of Christ.

Today, you have the opportunity to walk closer with God than you did yesterday. You are closer to your destiny than you think you are. It’s time to get back to where you are supposed to be in God. Don’t let anything separate you from the Love of God. It’s time to get back to God.

Dear God,

Thank you for drawing me closer. Draw me nearer to your precious bleeding side. Your blood cleanses me and refreshes me so that I can walk closer with you than I have in the past. Thank you for forgiving me and extending your Grace. Today, I desire a closer walk with you.

In Jesus Name,


You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet!

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

Ephesians 1:17

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious father, may give you the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

A young man asked his father for a dollar to go see the circus that was coming to town. He had worked hard outside and in the field trying to earn money to go to the circus. He had been waiting all year knowing that the circus was coming to town. His father gave him his hard earned allowance and the boy set off to see the circus. He stood on the side of the road to see the circus. He saw the elephants go by, the clowns juggling balls, the tumblers flipping, the tall man on stilts passed by, the lions roaring in their cages, and then the last act came through at the end. The little boy went back home excited but a little disappointed. His father asked him why he was back so soon. The son explained to the father what he had seen. The father smiled at the son and explained to him that he had only seen the parade but not the circus.

In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah said, “I saw the Lord, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” God is so big that Isaiah saw the train of God’s garment and thought he had seen all of God. Even though he only saw the train he still saw enough to get him started in his ministry. We’ve all seen a little bit of God but he haven’t seen anything yet, because God wants to reveal more to us than what we’ve already experienced.

We are satisfied with seeing the parade not knowing that there is a circus God wants to reveal. We’ve only seen a glimpse of God’s Glory.

Paul says, “I keep praying for God to show you more.” We are in danger of becoming “parade Christians.” We are content in just seeing and showing enough to be entertained but not enough to be changed. We’ve lost our hunger for knowing God. Proverbs says that the earth trembles under “a fool who is full of food.”

We are in danger of getting full and missing God’s fullness. Look at Proverbs 30:8-9

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

Cross references:

  1. Proverbs 30:8 : Mt 6:11
  2. Proverbs 30:9 : Jos 24:27; Isa 1:4; 59:13
  3. Proverbs 30:9 : Dt 6:12; 8:10-14; Hos 13:6
  4. Proverbs 30:9 : S Dt 8:12

We miss who God is when we get too full of food, fun, and foolishness. You haven’t even seen your best life because you’ve been content seeing the parade not realizing that the best is about to pass you by!

How do you get to know God better?

1. Keep praying for more of God. You’ve got to press beyond the superficial and the surface. There is more of God to know and you know more about God when you spend more time with him in prayer.

2. Get more wisdom. 2 For sure, I am more foolish than any man, and I do not have the understanding of a man. 3 I have not learned wisdom, and I do not know much about the Holy One.

3. Ask God for revelation. There is a reality behind the ordinary. There is something Super behind the Natural, but we have to be hungry to see it.

Dear God,

Get me back to the place of wonderment in you. I don’t want to miss what you are trying to show me because I’m too shallow and showy. I want to know you better. I’m ready to leave the parade so that I can experience the greater revelation behind the curtain where there is the fullness of your Glory. I want to know you better.

In Jesus Name,


Stay Hungry

Stay Hungry

Proverbs 16:26
The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on.

When we are hungry it makes us want to work so that we can earn some money to buy something to eat. It’s our hunger that drives us on toward our goal. When people start out on new jobs they are typically hungry to experience some success in their new career. When a young NBA player is drafted they are hungry to prove themselves and win a championship. When we have been afforded a new opportunity many of us are hungry to prove that we deserve the opportunity and want to prove ourselves worthy.

In Jay Z’s book “Decoded,” he talks about one of his young protégés, Memphis Bleek who was literally hungry when he first met him. Jay Z asked Memphis Bleek if he wanted something to eat. Memphis Bleek asked for like four or five Cheeseburgers. He ate all of them. Then he went into the studio and blazed on a new song with Jay Z. Jay was so impressed that he asked the young man to join him on tour. When they got back home to Brooklyn, Memphis Bleek wouldn’t return his calls. Jay Z showed up at Bleek’s mother’s house to discover he was laid up in the bed with a girl instead of coming to work. Jay Z did a new album and tour without Bleek. Jay said, “he was hungry but I guess he got full too fast.”

After some of us get a taste of success we have a tendency to lose our hunger. We become complacent and mediocre. We become prideful and less grateful. We are in danger of losing momentum, losing ground, and even losing our job when we get full too fast. Even in our spiritual development we can get full too fast. The bible says, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.” The problem is not that we get full off of God but we get full off of the things that God gives us and forget to stay hungry for him.

How do we stay hungry?
  1. Treat your first like your last and your last like your first. Every opportunity you get you should treat it like this is your first opportunity when you were hungry realizing that this might be your last time to do it.
  2. Don’t get comfortable with yesterdays press clippings. Take time to celebrate your accomplishments but realize they can’t pay tomorrow’s bills. You have to keep it moving.
  3. Keep reinventing yourself. It’s amazing to look back on some of my old pictures to see how I’ve changed, my appearance, clothes, etc. We can’t get stuck in an era whether it’s appearance or ideology. Keep growing.
  4. Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. To stay ahead of the pack you have to Zag while others are Zigging. Always think of new ways of doing old stuff.
  5. Discern the times. You need to be able to see the trends and move to where society is going grounded in where God is taking you.
  6. Take a break from the routine to grab a fresh perspective. In the movie MIB 3, Agent K suggests to Agent J (Will Smith) to go get a piece of pie while they are trying to catch a notorious alien. It seems stupid to Agent J but he acquiesces. In the stillness of doing nothing they get a revelation on how to catch the bad guy. Take a break and watch revelation come.
  7. Don’t be afraid to work with somebody smarter than you. Play up! When you play up to people more talented than you, it makes you better.
Dear God,

Don’t let me lose my hunger. There is more for me to do, I’m still hungry. There is another level for me, I’m still hungry! Bread from Heaven, Feed me till I want no more. Thank you God for giving me daily bread so that I want get too full too fast.

In Jesus Name,

I'm Back In!

I’m Back In!

Romans 11:23
And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

If you’ve ever been cut out or cut off from something that you use to be a part of, then you know how painful it can feel not to be able to access what used to be yours by privilege. Usually when something is cut off, it is because it is no longer necessary or has become detrimental to what it is connected to. We can talk all day about the things and people we need to cut off but it’s a different feeling when you’ve been the one cut out.

The electric company can cut you off if you don’t pay your bill. You can be in a relationship and your loved ones can cut you off if you have been unfaithful. Employers can cut you off for a bad decision or for being toxic, but the thing that scares me the most is that God can cut you off for being disobedient.

Paul said that God had cut off some “branches” of Israelites because of their unbelief and grafted in Gentile “branches” because of their faith. He uses the analogy of pruning cultivated trees and grafting in wild branches. He warns the gentiles that they have been grafted into a Holy root by grace and at any time god can take them out due to arrogance and graft back in those who repent.

For those of us who’ve been cut off, the good news is that God can put you back in. God can take those who’ve been cut off through disobedience back in once you learn from your lesson and repent. God can put you back in. Just like a player who made some bad plays and was taken out of the game, after sitting on the bench for a while the coach will give you another chance by putting you back in. It’s time for you to come off the bench and get back In!

If you were cut off, here’s how you get back in:

1. Ask God for forgiveness. God is a merciful God and he will forgive you if you earnestly ask him to forgive you of your mistakes.

2. Show fruit of repentance. Once God grafts you back in let the Holy Spirit produce fruit in you that shows the world that your back in with God.

3. Get back in church. You must be connected to a body of believers who can encourage you to stay connected. You are a branch and the church is the tree, God’s vital nutrients flow through that tree. Like a tree planted by the water you will bear fruit again in every season once God puts you back in.

4. Let nothing separate you from the love of God. God’s love will not let you be separated from him very long. God wants to graft you back in but you must respond to his loving call.

Dear God,

Thank you for letting me back in. I feel my strength coming back. Please keep me and don’t let anything or anybody cut me off again.

In Jesus Name,


Are God's Hands Tired?

Are God’s hands tired?

Romans 10:21
All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.

God is faithful to us. He is slow to wrath and full of grace. He gives us time to get ourselves together. He keeps waiting for us to catch up with who he created us to be. He stands with open arms waiting for us to come to him but I wonder are his hands getting tired. I’m sure God feels like Billy Dee Williams in that movie, “Lady Sings the Blues” when Billie Holiday played by Diana Ross is sitting down with her head held down after not being received by the crowd. Billy Dee extends his hand and the unaware Billie Holiday looks down, and Billy Dee asks, “So are you just going to let my hand fall off?”

God is standing each day with his hands out to humanity, hoping we will look up at him and live. Instead, we are walking with our heads down because the world has rejected us. When we depend on the world to lift us up, we will be let down every time.

Paul warns young Timothy that in the last days there will be a lot of believers that make God’s hands tired:

2 Timothy 3:1-5 There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

We’ve got to make sure we take heed to the grace that has been extended to us.

1. Heed correction. Proverbs 10:17 whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.

2. Walk in Integrity. Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

3. Become a generous giver. Proverbs 11:24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

4. Learn discipline Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.

5. Make good friends. Proverbs 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Dear God,

Please establish the works of my hands even as I reach out to your extended arms. There is more that you want out of my life and through my obedience today I will give your arms some much needed rest even as I rest in your arms.

In Jesus Name,


How to find Favor

How to find Favor

Proverbs 8:35 For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.

So many people are looking for a break; looking for someone to give them favor. I was watching Oprah interview Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, NJ. He is a rare kind of Mayor; a true servant leader. He moved into one of the worst housing projects in Newark to see how the people lived even though he had a law degree from Yale and as Oprah said, “could have made a Kazillion Dollars.” In one scene Mayor Booker pulls his car over and talks to a group of young black men and tells them, “I’ll make you a deal right here in front of the cameras, if you will come by my office today I will set you up with some job counselors to help you find work.” Here is Cory Booker, Yale graduate, living amongst the people for over 20 years, out in the streets, pleading with young men looking for Hope.

Proverbs 8 talks from the perspective of wisdom out in the streets crying out to whoever would listen. Wisdom says that if you find me you find favor. Favor is defined as friendly regard shown toward another especially by a superior; something done or granted out of goodwill, rather than from justice or remuneration; a kind act. Many of us are looking for favor when all we have to do is:

1. Choose instruction and knowledge over fast money. Verse 10. What I like about Cory Booker is that he took the time to get instruction and knowledge by getting a quality education. Everybody may not be able to go to Yale but we can go to a community college and get instruction. Knowledge can be gathered from books and reading articles on the internet. Knowledge is power.

2. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Verse 13. When we learn how to reverence the Lord and keep his word we become wiser through our obedience to him.

3. There is wisdom in wise counselors who help you make sound judgment. Verse 14. Cory Booker offered the young men access to job counselors. God puts people in place that can give us wise counsel if we would accept it.

4. Walk in Righteousness. Verse 20. God orders the steps of a righteous person. When we walk right before God he gives us favor.

5. Listen to Wisdom. Verses 32-34. Wisdom can cry out in the streets but you have to listen to what is being said. Listening is when we take what we hear and put it into action.

Dear God,

Fill me with wisdom today. I am hungry for your wisdom. I empty myself of my limited understanding and lean in your infinite wisdom. Lord give me favor today so that I can advance beyond the place where I am presently stuck. God I can’t advance if you don’t go with me. Thank you for giving my favor and making a banquet table in the presence of my enemies. Thank you for wise counselors, thank you for my education, thank you for keeping me through dangers seen and unseen. Your Grace and Mercy saw me through.

In Jesus Name,