Houston Was a Wake-Up Call For Me

flood

W 1 Thessalonians 5:17 New International Version (NIV)

 pray continually

O Christians should pray continuously. The CEV Bible translates the scripture this way: “…never stop praying”, and the KJV tells us to “pray without ceasing.”

Two powerful words—pray continually—caused me to question my prayer life.

Do I pray continually? Yes.

Do I pray continuously for all situations? No

Could I make improvements in my prayer life? Yes. I tend to pray more intently for situations that directly affect me or people connected to me.

I feel convicted.

If I believe prayer changes things, why do I place limitations on what I pray about and for how long? I believe God is speaking to me about this area in my walk with Him.

R My son put the television remote in the toilet. It’s been two weeks since we’ve been able to access our cable. This was a blessing and a curse: I am working to limit distractions in my life so not accessing T.V. helps me to stay focused. On the other hand, I am a person who loves to watch the news, so not having the cable on set me back on being current with events happening around the world.

With that being said, my friend told me in passing that a hurricane was expected to hit the south, but she never specified the exact location. That was last week.

Fast forward to this past weekend, I opened my Instagram to find my feed flooded with images of how Hurricane Harvey slammed Texas. As I continued to scroll, my heart began to race as I read the words: HOUSTON!

I couldn’t believe it!

I immediately grabbed my cell phone and began to dial my cousin’s number. No answer! A dark cloud of fear hovered over me.

My family lives in Houston and I was worried about their safety. Were they okay? Did they have food? Water? Did they have a plan to evacuate? Where would they go? Did they have money? What about their personal belongings? Oh, my goodness! I was WORRIED!

After finally getting in contact with them, I learned my cousins were okay. I calmed down. Then it hit me.

What could I do to physically help them anyway? The whole city was underwater! I didn’t have access to a private plane to fly down and rescue them. I could send money, but how would they get it? Besides, what would money do to help them in rising waters anyway? Even if I wanted to send them food and water, I had no way of getting it to them.

I began to pray. I prayed, I prayed, and prayed some more. I needed God to really come through for my family—to cover and save them. I wish the hurricane never happened. Especially since my family was in harm’s way.

Thankfully, my family survived the storm. But then…

I thought about ALL THE OTHER people who lost their lives, were displaced, or injured. Dag! I prayed for them.

But to be honest, I started to feel guilty. I felt like my prayers were intensified for my family: I pleaded with God to watch over my loved ones. To protect them. To keep them safe. Why weren’t my prayers more continuous and urgent for the other people affected by the storm?

Come to think about it, I do this all the time. See or hear about something, send up a “popcorn” prayer to God for the situation…and that’s it. Never taking the time to pray again. Unless the situation impacts me or someone I care about. God, please forgive me.

So, I have a new perspective: I have to pray without ceasing for EVERYTHING! There is so much chaos and turmoil around the world. People are dying. People are starving. People are homeless. People are being persecuted. People are unemployed. People are depressed. People are sick. People are doing time in prison. People are affected by natural disasters…the list goes on and on.

We need God.

BUT God needs us, too.

He needs us to be in constant communion with Him. Praying and fasting. Continuously. Not just for a moment in time, but being faithful in prayer.

Hurricane Harvey changed me. It opened my eyes to see that I need to be on my A-game. I’m going to make a donation to help the citizens of Houston. I’m going to keep lifting Houston up in prayer. I don’t want to live like I have before—hear about a catastrophic event, pray, donate, forget about it, then something else happens and the cycle continues. I am going to be proactive in my prayer life. Not waiting for things to happen before I start praying. Praying without ceasing in All situations…all the time.

It’s time for me to take my prayer life to the next level.

Signed, MrsMKauthor

D Dear God, I repent for not praying like I should. Your Word says that I should pray without ceasing. Help me to pray continuously in all situations. I pray right now that you will restore Houston. I pray that the citizens and even the animals get the assistance to bounce back from the storm. I also pray blessings for people around the world who are going through trials and tribulations. Help us to run to You during these hard times. While we may not understand why these things are happening, I pray that You will strengthen our faith. We need You.

In Jesus name, Amen

God Can Do Anything

joy

W Acts 9:13-15 New International Version (NIV)

13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.

O Here we find the Lord speaking with Ananias. God wanted Ananias to minister to Saul, a notorious persecutor of the church. Ananias was reluctant to obey the Lord for he knew of all the terrible things that Saul did to God’s people. However, God instructed Ananias to GO! God CHOSE to use Saul to proclaim His name despite Saul’s past and all the evil things that he had done!  Verse 15 of the text confirms God can use anything and anybody for His glory!

This encounter was the beginning of Saul’s conversion from being a dishonorable persecutor of the gospel to a distinguished preacher of it. Be encouraged by Paul’s testimony (1 Timothy 1:12-17-NIV):

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

R God can do anything! I am super encouraged from reading about the transformation of Saul to Paul. If you have free time I highly recommend you to read more about Paul’s journey in the book of Acts (chapters 8-28). Sometimes I get discouraged thinking about the times when I let God down. I wish there was a way that I could erase some of the things from my past, but I can’t. Although I feel like I am getting better and better each day, I often feel sadden by the choices I have made. Paul’s story gives me the courage I need to keep moving forward in Christ. As I think back to how far I’ve come in my walk with God, I can let out a sigh of relief.

I have grown. Matured.

Thankful that I am far from who I used to be, even though I recognize I still have more growing to do.

I just ask God to give me the strength to keep going. The strength to forget about the past and the determination to stay strong as I continue to move forward in Him. I thank God for His unmerited favor in my life. I am grateful for God’s grace and mercy. I know that without Him I am nothing. I just want to finish the rest of my days on Earth making the Lord proud. Giving Him the praise, honor, and glory with every breath that I take and every move that I make. I know there is nothing I can do to earn His unfailing love. I just want to give Him back what He gave to me—my life! God has brought me a mighty long way. I am thankful. My desire is to run a strong race. When it’s all said and done, I want to be able to say like Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).”

As I continue my journey onward with the Lord, this passage of scripture (Philippians 3:12-14) remains in the forefront of my mind (IT’S MY MOTIVATION):

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

No more looking back…

Signed, MrsMKauthor

D Dear God, I thank You for my life. Thank you for choosing me. I thank You for always being there for me and never giving up on me. I thank You, Savior, for never turning Your back on me. I thank You for seeing the good in me even when I can’t see the good in myself or when others remind me of past sins. Thank you for always being there for me in my times of need…whenever I felt forgotten, alone, or when I didn’t feel good enough. Thank You for Your unconditional love. I appreciate You for reminding me of who I am and whose I am. Thank you for this unspeakable joy that I have and this unexplainable peace. You are the best! Continue to hold my hand and guide me. Show me how to truly live for You. Use me Father! May You get the glory out of my life. Keep working on my heart, Lord.  I love You!

In Jesus name, Amen

Her testimony is interesting. Check it out…

Yo! Are You Looking for Love?

flower

Or are you waiting on an answer from God? Then, you need to read about my story.

On December 3rd, my husband and I will be celebrating 7 years together. After 6 months of dating, we got married! Our testimony is real and unconventional. It tells about true love—God sent—Worlds collide. A love that transcends color… an answered prayer from a faithful God.

I invite you to read about Our Love Story (starting September 4th, 2017 and continued through December 3rd). Follow Faith MKnuggets so you don’t miss a beat!

Just in case you missed them!

  1. Sometimes You Gotta Lose To Win
  2. Wait…and You Will See the Goodness of the Lord
  3. Real Love Will Always Find You (Part 1)
  4. Real Love Will Always Find You (Part 2)
  5. Real Love Will Always Find You (Part 3)
  6. His Side of Our Story: A New City
  7. His Side of Our Story: A Chance Encounter
  8. His Side of Our Story: Making A Move
  9. Tom Brady Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Him…lol!

People Always Need Proof…smh

time

W Revelation 22:12 New International Version (NIV)

12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

O Jesus is coming back soon! The Bible tells us that no man knows the day or time (Matthew 24:36), but JESUS IS COMING BACK! According to the scripture, every man will be rewarded for what they have done with the time given to them here on Earth. God promises to bless those who keep His commandments. God’s children will reign with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever and forever! What a glorious day!

In turn, I believe these scriptures serve as a warning to people who have yet to except Christ as their Lord and personal Savior. Those who reject Christ will be subject to God’s righteous judgement. For God “will repay each person according to what they have done (Read Romans 2:5-9).”

R Man, I don’t know about y’all, but when that total solar eclipse happened Monday I was looking for Jesus! Honey, I was watching the sky like nobody’s business…literally ALL DAY! LOL! Anticipating something great to happen. I was excited about the solar eclipse, but I was more excited thinking of possibly seeing Jesus crack that sky! I figured this could be the perfect day for Jesus to come riding through the clouds to get His children. LOL! Wishful thinking, huh?

Kinda sounds like fiction or a fantasy. Considering many people liken Jesus to Santa Claus, anyhow.

Nah, not for me! I BELIEVE AND I AM WAITING!

Now, I know the Bible tells us “no one knows the day or hour—not even the angels, nor the Son of Man…only the Father (Matthew 24:36).” But I WAS STRONGLY hoping Jesus would’ve raptured His church Monday! I sure was looking for Him! And ain’t nothing wrong with that cause the Bible urges us to “keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come (Matthew 24:42).”

Just look around, all signs point to His return! Yet, people still don’t believe! They need proof! SMH!

When in fact, if the weather man tells them a snowstorm is on the way, they go crazy in Walmart & Target, in a frenzy trying to stock up on all the bread, milk, and water they can get their hands on! Frantically, filling their carts, racing through the aisles (going nuts) knocking people over to get to the checkout line!

Or tell ’em a solar eclipse is on its way, they take off of work, skip school, make time to drive 9 hours…all to look up at an eclipse that could possibly blind ’em! Smh… I get it, though.

My thing is: why don’t we get this anxious and excited about Jesus’ return? Why do we need so much proof when it comes to salvation?

It’s crazy to me. We will believe the weather man’s predictions, NASA’s analyses, but we refuse to heed the words of the One who can place our souls in heaven or hell. Crazy I tell ya!

It’s always been this way, though. Even up until Jesus’ death, people needed evidence to reveal Jesus as the Messiah. Just look:

1.)     Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:39-40)

2.)      In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.  He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” (Matthew 27:41-43)

3.)     One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” (Luke 23:39)

4.)     Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe…(Mark 15:32)”

And these are just a few of MANY examples throughout the Bible. People need proof in order to believe. Like I said before, I get it. It is human nature to want to see in order to believe. Notice what happened after Jesus died:

“The officer and the soldiers guarding Jesus felt the earthquake and saw everything else that happened. They were frightened and said, “This man really was God’s Son (Matthew 27:54-CEV)!”

Even they had to FEEL and SEE in order to believe.

However, blessed are we that haven’t seen yet, still believe (John 20:29)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Call me nuts and call me crazy (I repeat) call me nuts and call me crazy, but I AM WAITING ON HIM!

“Behold I come quickly…” I hear it in my mind all the time. I do believe Jesus is coming back. The Bible promises us “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye…the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” to meet our Savior in the air (1 Corinthians 15:52)!

Perhaps God is delaying the return of Christ to give us more time to “get it together” (to get our hearts right). For He desires that no man should perish—God desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4)!

And so, I ask God to give us the faith of the other criminal (Luke 23:40-43). His faith was simple. It didn’t take much for him to believe the MAN dying next to Him was INDEED THE SAVIOR of the world! And look, what Jesus said to him:

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Not tomorrow, or in the future, but Christ promised the man TODAY he would be with Him in paradise! WOW! Truly Amazing…

I don’t know about you, but I am waiting for my Savior…I’m lookin’ for Him. Cause the signs of the times are being revealed to us now. Don’t believe me? Read Matthew 24 and watch the news…BOOM! The signs outlined in the scriptures are happening before us!

I may not know when He will return, but I am watching. Preparing.

Ready.

In the meantime, being the overachiever that I am, I am working overtime to earn my rewards. This queen desires to wear the Crown of Life. Or the Imperishable Crown. Matter of fact, any and ALL of the crowns I can get to adorn this thick hair of mine. I am working every day to stack my rewards in heaven…storing up treasures where moths and rust cannot destroy them, and thieves cannot break and steal them (Matthew 6:20-CEV).

How about you?

Signed, MrsMKauthor

D Dear God, Thank You for dying on the cross for our sins. We recognize the high price You paid for our salvation. Help us to seek You with our whole heart and not be LUKEWARM in our faith. May we live according to Your word as we wait for Your return. I pray that we never stray from Your commands. Give us the strength to endure and remain faithful. Direct us in the path of Your commands to avoid distractions. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on You! We love You and look forward to the day we see You face-to-face!

In Jesus name, Amen

 

 

Focus on the Positives: God Loves You!

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W Psalm 118:24 King James Version (KJV)

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 New International Version (NIV)

The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.

Psalm 118:24 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

This day belongs to the Lord!
Let’s celebrate
and be glad today.

O This Psalm puts everything about living into perspective. It is so relevant that I decided to look at the same verse from 3 different Bible versions. I highlighted key words to stress the importance of actually living out Psalm 118:24. Not only for today, but EVERY DAY!

The King James Version tells us THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HATH MADE! We didn’t give the day to ourselves—God GAVE IT TO US! Since God gave us this day, it is a GIFT and we must treat it as such! Just the thought of receiving a gift, can brighten up anyone’s day! Knowing that today is a gift we must make a conscious choice to rejoice and be glad! Notice the verse says we will rejoice—we must decide to be joyful no matter what happens or comes our way!

The New International Version says the Lord HAS DONE IT! Which means that all of our needs for the day have already been met! The Lord has taken care of everything! There is no need to fret, worry, or be anxious about anything! God has already taken care of everything that concerns us! That is so encouraging!!!! And empowering! It is refreshing to know that God got us! Knowing this elicits praise and thanksgiving in my heart.

The Contemporary English Version makes a declarative statement: This day BELONGS TO THE LORD! If we know that the day is not our own, there is a way that we will conduct ourselves. There is an appropriate way to live this day— Maximizing our potential by taking EVERY opportunity to serve and live for God (I know this is very wordy…lol…but you get my point)! He desires for us to enjoy life! That’s why the scripture invites us to celebrate and be glad today!

 

R I woke up with this verse flowing through my spirit. It came to me after thoughts of this past weekend started to fill my mind. I always reflect on what went well and what could have gone better. If you are anything like me, you understand how hard it is to overlook the seven hundred things that were awesome by focusing on the three things that went horribly wrong.

But Jesus immediately started to deal with me about this negative way of thinking. He quietly whispered to me, “I took care of that. You keep dwelling on your faults when I took care of that for you. I was wounded for your transgressions, I was bruised for your iniquities: the chastisement of your peace was upon me; and by MY stripes YOU are healed (Isaiah 53:5)!”

Powerful, I tell you! Just powerful!

Then another scripture came to my mind, Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).”

I am motivated to take my mind off of me, off of my past, and I don’t even have to worry about tomorrow! God got me! I need to live in the now! I am going to give God my best in the present!

I know many of us will be watching the solar eclipse today (I am SUPER excited about that), but God wants us to KEEP our eyes on him (Psalm 16:8—yesterday’s BibleGateway.com verse of the day). He has already made our paths straight. Everything we need, He has already provided. It is time to embrace His promises and live our best life!

In a previous post, I wrote about keeping your focus and eliminating distractions. Boy, oh boy, was I tested in that area this past weekend. Nevertheless, I stumbled upon this motivating YouTube video that tells us HOW to focus—practical ways to maximize your time. I am not sure what his spiritual beliefs are (YIKES…), but this guy’s testimony and message is awesome. Check it out!

Signed, MrsMKauthor

D Dear God, Thank you for another beautiful day! Realizing that someone did not wake up and see this day, help me to enjoy every moment. I know today is a gift from you. May I treat it as such. Show me someone who I can help. Reveal ways that I can serve you and bring you glory!

In Jesus name, Amen

 

 

Keep Your Focus—Say No! To Distractions

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W John 18:10-11 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

10 Simon Peter had brought along a sword. He now pulled it out and struck at the servant of the high priest. The servant’s name was Malchus, and Peter cut off his right ear. 11 Jesus told Peter, “Put your sword away. I must drink from the cup that the Father has given me.”

O At the time of Jesus’ arrest, Peter pulled out a sword and cut off the right ear of the high priest’s servant. Throughout His journey, Jesus had been telling His disciples about this very hour, time and time again. Yet, when the hour had come, Peter was unprepared or caught up in his emotions, forgetting that the Savior had repeatedly told the disciples the Son of Man had come to die.

It was the Father’s will for Jesus to die so that through His death and resurrection the world would be saved (John 3:16-17). Was it something easy for Jesus to do? No, scripture tells us Jesus was very sad and troubled. In anguish Jesus said, “Father, if you will, please don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup. But do what you want, and not what I want (Luke 22:42 CEV).”

Look closely at the previous sentence. Jesus knew what He came to do. He knew what His mission was. Jesus was committed to His purpose. He was not going to let anything or anyone hinder Him from doing what God called Him to do.

It was difficult for Christ to accept the fact that He had to die a gruesome death. So, I can only imagine what Peter was feeling in that moment. He wanted to defend his Savior. Emotions were running high. Peter’s intervention almost delayed Jesus from going to the cross. However, Christ did not let Peter’s actions get in the way of what He needed to accomplish. Jesus devoted Himself to His purpose—Calvary. It was a painful and rough journey, but Christ endured everything that came His way in order to fulfill His destiny.

R In a previous post entitled Ride or Die, I wrote about Jesus’ arrest. Today, I want to explore what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane from another angle.

How many times do we find ourselves distracted by people and things that get in the way of us achieving our goals? Let’s take it a step further, how often do we allow ourselves to get caught up with people and things that keep us from fulfilling the calling on our lives? Pulling us away from our destiny. Preventing us from reaching our maximum potential. Causing us to stray away from the very thing that we were born to do.

Each and every one of us was born with a mission from God to complete. No one else can do it. So, if we don’t accomplish God’s will for our lives, who will? People are depending on our contributions to the world. Yet, we get entangled in people and things that waste our time—causing us to delay or even abort the mission before us.

I would like to share three lessons I learned from Peter and Jesus in Gethsemane:

1.)     Peter got in the way—Jesus did not need Peter to defend Him (Matthew 26:53). I make this point because people mean well, but just like Peter, they can get in the way of what we need to accomplish. We must focus on what God is calling us to do and commit to His will. Never letting people stand in the way of our destiny. Even Jesus had to overcome this dilemma. Jesus kept telling his disciples over and over what he came to do and why, but it still took them awhile to grasp His calling. Here is one of many examples throughout the Gospels—John 16:28-31 (CEV):

“I came from the Father into the world, but I am leaving the world and returning to the Father.” The disciples said, “Now you are speaking plainly to us! You are not using examples. At last we know that you understand everything, and we don’t have any more questions. Now we believe that you truly have come from God.” Jesus replied: “Do you really believe me?”

2.)     In life, there will be times when we will have to walk alone. We must stay focused though! If Jesus can do it, we can do it! In His time of need, Jesus asked his disciples to wake up and pray with Him, but they fell asleep (Luke 22:39-46). Jesus warned them, “The time will come and is already here when all of you will be scattered. Each of you will go back home and leave me by myself. But the Father will be with me, and I won’t be alone (John 16:32).” Read that last sentence again. That applies to us, too! Recognize that we WILL NEVER BE ALONE! God is and will always be with us! Take heart, my friend!

3.)     Realize who our real enemy is!!!!!! Fellow believers, we know that our struggles are not with people, but against Satan. Just like Satan deceived Adam and Eve with his wicked scheme, he desires to trap us as well. His mission is to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). He is our greatest adversary. Satan uses our circumstances and people to distract us from our real fight against him. Notice what Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 26:23, “Satan, get away from me! You’re in my way because you think like everyone else and not like God.” So, we must be careful how we think. Being conscious of who is behind the scenes tempting and distracting us from God’s will for our lives. NEVERTHELESS, greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

In closing, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power (You should read all of this: Ephesians 6:10-18)! Stay focused! Go after EVERYTHING God has for you and your beautiful life! Finish strong! Get rid of any and every distraction! As I am telling you, I am ministering to myself! To God be the Glory!

Signed, MrsMKauthor

D Dear God, Thank you for being the PERFECT example of how to run this race called life. Help us to walk in our purpose. Help us to reach our destiny. Show us how to get rid of everything that slows us down. Teach us how to run the race that is ahead of us. May we pray, stay in Your holy Word and seek you to find a clear understanding of what you would have us to do.

In Jesus name, Amen

NOTE: While I usually use the New International Version, I used the Contemporary English Version of the Bible to articulate some of my points in this post.

Ride or Die

sword

W Luke 22:49-51 New International Version (NIV)

49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

O Jesus knew His time had come. He had been praying and praying all night in a place called Gethsemane. He was very sad and troubled. Scripture (Luke 22:41-44) tells us Jesus begged the Father to remove the suffering he was about to endure. He was in such distress that an angel from heaven had to come help Him. Jesus was in great pain and prayed so sincerely that His sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood. Yet, when His time had come, He yielded to the Father’s will for His life.

When the crowd arrived to arrest Jesus, His disciples wanted to resist and fight. However, in this pivotal moment Jesus refused to retaliate. Instead, Jesus in His unconditional love for mankind, made time for another miracle. He touched and healed the ear of an enemy, one of the very men who came to escort Him to His death (Wow…that’s DEEP).

R Growing up, I always wanted to be surrounded by Ride or Die friends. It was the norm for the folk in my community. No one wanted to be associated with punks or people who didn’t have a spine. You wanted to be surrounded by people who would have your back no matter what. People who were strong and not afraid of anything. Like Peter.

Peter was actually the disciple who pulled out the sword and cut off the man’s right ear (John 18: 10-11). He was down for whatever or as we might say “Peter was about that life” LOL! We see in several scriptures that Peter was loyal to Jesus, even though we later find out Peter fell short of his promises (Matthew 26:69-74). Look at some of the things he said to Jesus:

1.       Peter spoke up, “Even if all the others reject you, I never will!” Matthew 26:33 (CEV)

2.       …Peter was so sure of himself that he said, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never say that I don’t know you!” All the others said the same thing. Mark 14:31 (CEV)

3.       Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to jail and even to die with you.” Luke 22:33 (CEV)

Peter kind of reminds me of myself. When opposition knocks, I like to answer the door! LOL! But how fruitful was Peter’s reaction to the arrest? He almost inhibited Jesus from going to the cross!

Rereading the passage made me reconsider my views of Peter. Was he a true Ride or Die friend?

After thinking things through, I had a new perspective: I would say that he was BUT NOT compared to Jesus. Peter was a Ride or Die friend, but when the time came to “be about that life” Peter fell short of his word. He talked a good game, but he didn’t back it up.

Jesus was the true RIDE OR DIE friend! Jesus was the One who was willing to lay down his life! Now that takes guts! And heart! There is NO WAY in the world I could have done it—or better yet, healed the ear of an enemy who came to escort me to my death! Naw sir! I would’ve been with Peter on that one! Let the slicing begin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!

BUT THANK GOD FOR JESUS!

The message in this passage of scripture is clear and I don’t need to belabor the point: Jesus is Love. Everything about this moment in time points to unconditional love:

1.       Jesus was at His weakest. He could have aborted His mission to die, BUT He didn’t.

2.       In the heat of the moment when He should have allowed His homeboys, oops I mean disciples, to ride for Him, Jesus stopped them and instead showed love to an enemy.

Jesus, my sweet Jesus, stayed true to His purpose and message:

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV)

I will be honest. It was tough for me to write this post. Especially with all that is going in our society. Chaos and trouble everywhere you look. It’s enough drama and nonsense going on that would make anyone pop off like Peter did. I can see a lot of us responding like Peter. Ready to draw the sword. But, what good can come of that?

I desire to love like Jesus. A love that supersedes hate.

It takes more courage to be like Christ than Peter. While Peter was ready to ride for his friends, Christ was ready to die for His. That’s deep. Real deep. I pray that God will give us His grace to carry us through…to help us to have a heart to love even when everything in us wants to hate or fight back.

Signed, MrsMKauthor

D Dear God, I come to right now thanking You for your love. Thank You for your Heart. Thank you for staying true to your purpose and mission. Thank you for enduring the cross. They lied on You, spit on You, Hit You, cursed You, and killed You. Yet, You endured. All because You loved me. Loved Us. That’s deep.

Teach me Your ways, Lord. I want to love like You. I must be honest, loving unlovable people is a challenge. Help me to respond less like Peter, but MORE like You. It is hard, but nothing is impossible with You.

In Jesus name, Amen

NOTE: I cross referenced four chapters from the Gospels (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, & John 18). I recommend that you explore them in context for yourself. Also, I used the Contemporary English Version of the Bible to articulate some of my points in this post.

 

 

So Much Temptation to Give Up

Yesterday, God showed me something. I took my son for a walk around the neighborhood. We do this daily. I use the time to get exercise as I teach him about his surroundings, pointing out people and things in nature. And he loves it! I enjoy watching him see things for the first time. It brings joy to my heart watching him point out things that I have taught him. As we were passing the trees this time, I felt something. I looked over and there was a HUGE dog staring at my son and me.  A big, black dog that was ready to pounce on us! Not so much us, he had his eyes on my baby!

INSTANTANEOUSLY, I got into mommy mode A.K.A. “Ready to throw down” mode. I felt my blood start to boil and my heart speed up. I was going to do whatever it took (even if I had to bite him…LOL! We have four canine teeth, right?) to defend my baby if or when the dog started to charge at us. As I picked my son up, I noticed the dog was on a leash. What I could not see was the little lady behind the dog. A sigh of relief came over me! Thank God!

As we continued to walk, I thought about what had just happened. I felt God nudge me. Painting the picture of how the devil waits to attack us. The devil is always lurking waiting to attack—waiting for the opportune time to trap us when we are not on point. BUT GOD sees! Just like I saw that dog watching my son! My baby did not notice the dog at all, BUT I did! And I was ready to defend my child. And that’s how God feels about his children.

The problem is we are too self-sufficient. Just like I said yesterday, I sometimes feel qualified to solve my problems. Focusing too much of my time trying to work out things in my own strength instead of relying on the One who has already paved the way for me to be successful in ALL situations. Life is hard and things happen. But it is our attitude and mindset that can make a bad situation worse. I find myself frustrated, angry, disappointed, unhappy, and tired because I don’t keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. Then, the temptation to give up sets in. I am left feeling defeated.

As I stated before, life is hard. Living the Christian life is even harder. People think that being a Christian means you don’t have problems or issues. In my opinion, the race to finish life is harder for those who are walking the narrow path. Besides the fact that Christians are being persecuted all over the world for their beliefs, just living out your faith day to day is challenging. For example, loving someone who has betrayed or mistreated you, trusting God when you cannot find a job, or forgiving an enemy who has killed your loved one. Trust me, I lived through all three of those examples, and then some. But the race is not giving to the swift, nor the strong, but to those who endure until the end!

I can rest assure that God has my back in ALL situations—good or bad! Even in the hard times, I still Win because my character is being developed and my faith in God increases. The challenge is keeping my eyes on Jesus—who is the author and finisher of my faith—at all times!

“The devil is out to kill, steal, and destroy, but we have the power through Jesus Christ to be more than conquerors! Stop despising the race set before you and start running the race before you. You will end up where God wants you to be! The devil wants to take us out of the race! BUT Run the race! Endure! BY FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS!

The race is a fight for our eyes! Everything is fighting for our eyeballs. Where you look, you will go!  What you behold, you will become! Stop comparing! Stop scrolling! Stop looking! It’s not easy, but Jesus gives us the power to finish strong. Jesus ran the ultimate race.”

 –Christine Caine (Check out her message in the video below! It is life changing!)

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

 

Wondering Why I Kept Feeling Defeated

Ever heard of the saying, “Everything that could go wrong, went wrong?” Well, that pretty much sums up my world the past few days. While I find my life moving in a positive direction, problems began to arise from everywhere!

I felt my joy depleting. I began to feel anxiety and stress as I thought about the many things that were going wrong. Even thoughts about what “could happen” began to cloud my mind. Too much of my time was spent worrying and trying to SOLVE THE PROBLEMS.

I kept working on solutions. Then, I would pray to God, asking him to bless the decision I MADE. Yet, I still felt defeated. The turmoil that I felt within was of my own doing—trying to do everything in my own strength.

I’ve been writing about God’s grace in my previous posts. However, I was not operating fully in God’s grace because of a lack of submission. I was not fully SURRENDING my heart, mind, and will to the Lord. This is why I did not have peace.

If you are feeling depressed, unhappy, mad all the time, stressed, and defeated (or know someone who is) watch the video below.

God gives us the Power that we need to MAKE IT! We can’t do it on our own! I had to pump my brakes and recognize that my type A/B+ personality is incapable of helping me to weather the daily storms of life! In order to get greater grace, I have to continue to be honest about my limitations. I can do NOTHING without the help of the Lord. It is a DAILY (not monthly or weekly) commitment to surrendering to the Lord.