Tag Archives: Christianity

When Territory Expands


1 Peter 5:10 (NKJV):But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

As God continues to expand my territory  I invite you to come join me at www.rhemawordphotos.com/blog This blog is directly connected to and inspired by the Spirit of God even as He relates to the marketplace. Also visit Rhema Word Photography, LLC  for Christian prophetic art.

God has done a marvelous thing.

Praise the Lord with me saints! 



Uncomfortable For Christ

2 Corinthians 3:5 (KJV): “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”

While studying abroad I took a Biomedical Ethics course and I absolutely loved it! I was able to concentrate on medicine and philosophical ethics at the very same time. During the course we focused a lot on the physician/patient relationship and a very important aspect was the competency of the doctor. Even after medical school physicians have the duty to remain abreast on latest epidemics, resources, treatment etc. so that they may be able to provide the best care for their patients. I often think about the position I was in when the Lord began to draw me nigh and I remind myself that I need to have a growing passion and zeal for the Lord each day that I serve Him.

2 Peter 3:18 (KJV): 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

I don’t know any Christians who consciously agree to become slack in their walk with the Lord. However, I believe that we all have been guilty of at some point saying, “Oh, I’ll read the Bible later,” “I’ve prayed about that a long time ago,” or, “I already know that.” While we may have prayed about something many weeks, months, years ago; that doesn’t mean the Father doesn’t want us to remain fervent in prayer about it. When we first receive salvation we are usually in bad condition and we yearn for God to give us peace, to give us a breakthrough but once some of our strongholds are broken reading the Bible can “Come later.” There is always  something to be aware of as a vessel for the Lord. Especially in the last days we are always to be aware of the seducing spirits and the anti-Christ, which are trying to exalt itself against the knowledge of Christ. How can we be His soldiers if we don’t know the tactics and resources of the enemy? How can we remain competent and effective for the Father if we are still holding onto yesterday’s prayers and this morning’s Bible reading? We have busy schedules, sure we do but as soon as we put life before God, we become ineffective. God isn’t overbearing and He allows us to take care of business as long as we have everything in its proper place. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  (KJV): 16 Rejoice evermore.17 Pray without ceasing.18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

As humans we want to be comfortable. We love to be comfortable actually,which I know to be true for myself firsthand. I hate discomfort but I have learned from the 20 years that I have been alive that I have always performed best when I was uncomfortable. Moving to new locations and attending new schools usually produced some of the best aspects of my life. However, I also noticed that when I had done particularly well in a semester, the semester following became a “comfortable semester” and my grades showed. To anyone who watches the pattern of my grades will see that in the beginning I’m excited and do well then comfort sets in so I become LAZY, then I become anxious to do well again, then grades improve and the cycle continues. For many years I couldn’t understand why I would operate that way but I now understand that it is simply because I am human. Whether it be in the realm of academia or relationships, comfort is bad business. When entering a relationship individuals go the extra mile to woo the other individual but the moment they feel as if they are “accomplished” their comfort kicks in. This is when many individuals become upset with their spouses because they feel like they are no longer with the person that they married. Women sometimes marry a man who they believe will always send them flowers when appropriate and who will spend hours looking for the most extravagant restaurant to dine at. Men sometimes marry women believing that their wives will work effortlessly to surprise them with their favorite dish and who will spend hours in stores finding cute things to add to their well furnished homes. Certainly many things come with marriage and not all things will remain the same but I am simply mentioning how comfort and ultimately laziness can cause someone to quickly become disgusted. This goes way beyond spending money and eating but even concerning the small things, like saying I love you?

1 Peter 1:25 (KJV): “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

If a couple can become exasperated because of comfort how do you think God feels? When we tell Him we no longer have to bind and rebuke that demon because we are “Through with that?” The Bible tells us that Satan comes to tempt in seasons and while Christ has delivered many of us from many forms of bondage we should never stop praising Him nor should we believe that we are invincible. The moment we think we are humble it is then that we have lost it. We should be confident and rest assured in His deliverance but we also should never be comfortable and let down our guard. We should never be so holy that we cannot take constructive criticism or be open to hear a word from a brother or sister in the Lord. Scripture makes it clear that the journey with Christ requires us to be competent each day, each hour, each minute, each second.We need to grow in His glory daily and the only way we can do that is if we constantly thirst for His living water.

Luke 9:23 (KJV): 23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

Whenever I read a verse and I see something that mentions daily or every I try to make a mental note of it. When I received salvation I wasn’t sure how often I should pray a certain prayer or enter His gates with praise. How often should I thank Him for deliverance? How often do I need to read the Word? When someone asks me a question? How often should I pray and talk to the Lord? Every chance I get.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV): 22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

We are called to be the salt of the Earth but if our salt loses its savour, what can we preserve? Satan is always lurking and sin is always knocking at our doors. How can we stand it without constantly renewing our minds? The life of a Christian is dangerous because if it weren’t then we wouldn’t need the Father and His protection. How can we be vessels if we leave our crosses at home? God tells us to pick up our cross daily; it is no good in our attic. We are to be living testimonies. The Lord’s work in and through us doesn’t stop when we get saved, it is simply that it then becomes alive. I can tell all of you about the story of my salvation but I too have stories up to this day about the mighty works of God. The Father is always prompt and ready to do work. God always knows about our current situation and He is always a step ahead of us, why are we still trying to identify with yesterday? The same way we find refuge in the Lord’s competency, we too need to offer Him our lives as a living sacrifice so that we may be competent and faithful in Him. Not that we can do that on our own, as we already agreed that we are naturally lazy individuals. Too much danger to be comfortable. Too much work to be done to be comfortable. Too much praise to give to be comfortable. Too big of a God to serve to be comfortable. While I tend to lean toward comfort by nature, I am willing to be uncomfortable for Christ. God takes us from glory to glory but while that journey takes place we must earnestly pray that our competency in Christ doesn’t get lost in translation.

Romans 12:2 (KJV): And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Father, we thank You for our salvation. We come to You asking that You may keep us on our toes, always finding ways to better please You. We are naturally lazy beings, not wanting to remain uncomfortable. However, our walk with You is important and we are willing to be uncomfortable so that we can produce Your fruit. Salt without savour is good for nothing other than to be trampled underfoot. You have been too good to us and You never deserve lukewarm vessels. You were never lukewarm to us. When we need You, You’re there. When we call, You answer. Lord, please help us stop sending You to voicemail because we think we know “the message You’ll leave.” Please allow us to pray against all sins and all wickedness in high places because while You are constantly delivering us, Satan and his angels are always trying to find ways to bind us again. When one demon is gone another is waiting to be addressed. When one battle is won another is waiting to be fought. We are Your soldiers Lord, please train us to keep our boots on and our guns aimed while in war; even after a win. There is no place for feelings in the Kingdom and “feeling” strong in the Lord and “feeling” like we are past that point are not attitudes we should have. We should always look for ways to better go toward the mark for the prize of God that we have been called to in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Matthew 5:13 (KJV):1Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”

Hem of His Garment

Proverbs 4:20-22 (KJV): 20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”

Adversity with health is different from adversity with anything else. Health is directly connected with life and as humans, it is only a natural instinct to fear death. Anything that even makes us think that we could be approaching death either slowly or quickly, can be mind-boggling. For most of my life I have been a hypochondriac and after coming to know the Lord, my prayer has been that He take all fear from me. I no longer wanted to be crippled by merely the thought of being sick. It didn’t take me long to realize that worrying about my health was an avenue used by Satan to keep me bound. As soon as I even thought something was wrong with me, I went into panic mode acting on feelings and quickly dropping my faith. Of course this is unacceptable so my prayer became that He would purge this from me and guess what? Here I am writing this article.

Exodus 15:26 (KJV): 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”

As mentioned in Faithful Is He, after about a week in America I was diagnosed with an illness that I am slowly but surely recovering from. For those who know me personally, I am sure you know that I had a bit of a moment in the hospital where I had to gather myself and decide if I would allow my emotions to get the best of me OR if I would hold on to the fact that I serve a mighty God who says that He knows the plans He has for me. No one truly understands what it means to be sick until they are actually sick. This makes so much sense to me because while doctors are expecting full and a speedy recovery, my current circumstances require for me to do more than just imagine; they require for me to deal realistically. To help me understand it God has to help bring me through it.

Exodus 23:25 (KJV): 25 And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.”

I don’t really want to discuss death too much in this article because I want to save that topic for an article in the future but I do want to talk about how sickness can be spiritually and naturally inspired. We certainly shouldn’t give Satan too much credit, always blaming him for everything that goes wrong. While Satan does his job to the best of his ability, he has no authority over that of God’s and if God sees fit, He will bring it to pass.

John 4:47-52 (KJV): 47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.52 Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.”

We often associate unclean spirits coming in subjection unto the authority of the Father but I find it amazing that the flesh has to obey as well. Illness can be natural, no doubt about that. Natural sicknesses may require natural remedies but it definitely still needs the Lord’s divine intervention. We typically look for physicians to figure out problems with our bodies then we expect them to fix it but when every type of medication and/or treatment is unable to get things back in order, we tend to feel discouraged. We sometimes put too much into man and because of that we feel hopeless when the knowledge doctors gained in medical school runs dry. Hold tight to the fact that everything must come into subjection unto Him. As shared in another article, after being in the hospital I talked with a doctor and they had prescribed me medicine for nausea but since I hadn’t experienced any nausea and didn’t want to waste money, I did not fill the prescription. Of course it is the doctor’s duty to cover all bases and with nausea being a symptom, he wanted to offer me treatment for it. However, I wasn’t too worried since I hadn’t had any trouble with it up to that point. Then I went home and went to sleep but not for long. Maybe 2 or 3 in the morning I was awakened by the most painful and urgent feeling of nausea that I have ever experienced in my life. I said to myself, “Now you can cry and you can become angry or you can call on the name of Jesus and have faith that He will answer your call.” I decided that I would take that as an opportunity to exercise my faith so I closed my eyes and said, “Whether this illness be natural or spiritual, I demand you to come into submission unto the name of Jesus. I don’t know where you came from but I am telling you to leave. I have no power of my own but I am demanding you to bow down in the name of Jesus because I will have peace. My Savior died so that I may have peace,” and when I opened my eyes again it was later in the day and I had no discomfort whatsoever.

Luke 13: 11-13 (KJV): 11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.”

The passage above gives us a clear indication that the woman had an infirmity that was spiritually inspired. The passage does not specify which type of infirmity but knowing that there is a such thing as a spirit of infirmity is enough for me to know a spirit of infirmity is worth praying against. When we think of deliverance we often think of deliverance from sexual immorality, drugs, idolatry etc. but apparently Christ can deliver us from illnesses as well. Certainly every illness isn’t spiritually driven but that is a base that should be covered because we would be surprised about things that don’t have to be.

John 9:1-3 (KJV): “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

When someone becomes sick it is often that they question what they did wrong and how they can make it better. Being ill is typically viewed as being punishment, something that only falls upon the wicked and unrighteous. However, this passage above in John illustrates that sometimes what we view as being unfortunate can fall upon someone just so that God can manifest His mighty works in the situation. We can become so consumed with trying to blame someone or throwing a pity party for ourselves that we miss when God could very well be using us to show others (and ourselves) just how much of a loving, powerful, and righteous God He is.We always need to have a healthy perspective so we must pray and ask for His perspective. Psalm 119:71 (KJV): 71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Sometimes being sick or afflicted in any way can keep us humble, desperately seeking the Lord, and looking to Him for all things. In simple terms, the Lord can put us on our backs just so that we can look up to Him. Even if Satan afflicts a saint, it is still while the Lord’s will be done.

Psalm 30:2 (KJV):2 O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.”

It is no secret that in everything we do, we must have faith. Health issues will try our faith, especially if we become desperate for “wholeness” and we begin to believe that God has lost His efficiency. It can be a battle if you truly want to believe the report of God but the report of the doctor appears to be more promising but sides with the report of Satan. Living in a natural world we tend to look for natural and instant gratifying answers, especially when it comes to self. God has given us doctors on Earth but He is the top physician, He is our Healer. Setting an appointment with a doctor, getting blood work done, and have annual examinations may seem like exercising every possible avenue known in the medical world but when we get down at the feet of our Father and cry out to Him from the bottom of His throne, that’s when things begin to change. I am not taking away the skill of doctors, I actually admire it, but we must never forget that they only know what they know because of what God shared and that man will forever have limits. Walking in shattered faith will set one up for doom from the very beginning.

Mark 6:5-6 (KJV):5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”

Though Christ wanted to perform miracles and heal the sick (both physically and spiritually), He could only do but so much because of those who did not believe! We would be surprised to know how many blessings haven’t been released simply because we didn’t believe. God could be ready to give to us but when we reject the power thereof, we could remain without and as a result we can become angry and frustrated at Him. Matthew 15:28 (KJV):28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” Having faith in God and His mighty works is enough to even have someone else healed! The unyielding faith of this woman was sufficient enough that Jesus healed her daughter within the same hour. As the Body of Christ we need to make sure that we are playing our part in prayerfully assisting those who are afflicted. Our faith and our prayers extend way beyond ourselves and our family.

Psalm 41:3 (KJV): 3 The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.”

I am not saying that every affliction or health issue can be quenched by our doing. However, I am saying that we must stand strong believing the promises of God while also asking Him to guide our next move. We cannot run from death or disease because it will happen, it is life. One of the only things promised in life is death and for that very reason, we ought to have His perspective on it. But once knowing and accepting all of this we too must be aware and available to pray for ourselves and intercede for others in their time of need. Even if their situation is natural and taking place according to the plans of God, we can at the very least pray for peace. Pray for endurance. Pray for faith. I personally don’t know how someone can go through disparities without knowing God. Health issues can come accompanied with financial stress, infidelity in the home, unrighteous coping mechanisms etc. Life can be challenging for a believer, one with actual power and authority in the name of Jesus, so it is clear that a sinner doesn’t truly have any type of hope.

The last time I was in the hospital the doctor instructed that I receive an ultrasound. Originally I was fine, watching baseball without a worry in the world. But as soon as I saw the sonographer come in to get me, I panicked automatically. During the ultrasound I was tense, as I am sure anyone would have been able to notice. As an attempt to relax me the sonographer began to ask me what I wanted to be when I “grow up.” My only response was, “Okay, this may sound cliché but it is true. I don’t know what I want to do. I am still waiting for God to tell me.” The woman laughed and I said, “Wait, no really. I won’t know until He tells me. I am waiting for His leading.” I had no idea what was funny until this woman walked away from me to grab her Bible study book. In summary, my ultrasound took about 20 minutes longer than usual because we were in the room talking about the goodness of the Lord. Then as the sonographer began to take me out of the room I said, “Will you be honest with me? Does everything look okay?” The woman responded, “Everything looks fine to me but the doctor will take a look as well.” I am sure my face let the woman know that I was still very concerned. She looked at me again and said, “Everything will be fine but even if things appeared to be bad, you have to trust and have faith in God. You have to believe that He will take care of you and that nothing will happen to you that He hasn’t allowed.” I leaned back in the hospital bed and I closed my eyes, asking God to help me believe. Asking God to help me believe Him.

Isaiah 53:4-5 (KJV): 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Jealousy, Me?

Exodus 20:17 (KJV): “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

Jealousy has always been a difficult topic for me. I couldn’t seem to understand why anyone could or would want to be jealous. I didn’t think materialistic things were ever a good enough reason. Ecclesiastes 4:4 (KJV): “Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.” I wasn’t even too sure about characteristics being a reason either because I always thought everyone was special in their own way. As I would read verses and commandments about not being jealous or crippled with covetousness I would scan my mind thinking, “Whew, I am glad that I am not controlled by jealousy. Jealousy has to be a terrible thing. I don’t want anything like that eating me up.”

Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV): “19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

My rejoicing of not experiencing jealousy was short-lived because He revealed to me that I was. I remember it like yesterday. I sat on my bed in awe at the thought that I indeed was plagued by jealousy. But what made me jealous? Something that I thought shouldn’t even be qualified on the “to be jealous of” list. I was jealous of love. Well not love specifically, but of those who not only were offered love but simply of those who could receive it. Fighting with a spirit of rejection and losing the battle more times than I can count, I found myself jealous and crippled by the thought of someone having something that I thought was vital and deserving to every human walking on this Earth. Ouch. Not only was I jealous but I was jealous of something that didn’t seem to be optional, but something that truly made the world go ’round. I can go “buy” anything but I can’t buy love. What was I to do? Well since I was saved I knew to take that to the Lord but then what? I found myself upset when jealousy got hold of me and began to pick at the sores sealing wounds on my heart. Ouch again. My prayer was that I would no longer be jealous, simply because I am loved by Him unconditionally, before anyone and anything else. Has my revelation ended the jealousy? Not yet but it is a growing process. My heart was so calloused that I didn’t even realize that I was jealous. Then I became aware of my issue and felt pitiful for being jealous of something as simple as love. Then I found myself angry at myself and angry that I could not shake jealousy. I was right, jealousy is a terrible thing. Then I found myself during my moments of jealousy sending verbally silent prayers up to God asking Him to fulfill whatever made me jealous. I am not lying, I have experienced moments where jealousy was given the boot as our Father’s love rushed into my mind, body, and spirit. Yep, He is really that awesome.

James 3:14 (KJV): “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.”

Jealousy is messy and God knows that, which is why we are specifically instructed to not be consumed by envy.1 Corinthians 3:3 (KJV): “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”  Jealousy doesn’t help individuals get far. If anything, it keeps an individual bound by selfishness and greed. James 3:16 (KJV): “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) so there is no question about the wickedness of jealousy. James 3:14-15 (KJV):14But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.15This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” God takes covetousness and envy so seriously that He even filters such bugs in our prayer life, purging selfish motives in our supplications. James 4:2-3 (KJV): 2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” The consequences of jealousy are death (like any other sin), as it cuts so deep that it can cut through flesh. Proverbs 14:30 (KJV): “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.” I think at one point I even thought, “Can jealousy really bring forth death? I mean everyone gets jealous about something and at some point, right?  “Song of Solomon 8:6 (KJV): “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” While we all may have that one thing that makes us jealous, God outlines the importance of us not being devoured by jealousy as an umbrella covering many sins. If someone is willing to lie they are willing to steal and if someone is willing to steal then best believe that they are willing to kill. It begins with envy but it doesn’t stop there.

Proverbs 27:4 (KJV): “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?”
                            The Lost Son
Luke 15: 25-30 (KJV):25Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.26And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.27And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.28And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.29And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:30But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”

The first time I read this part of the story about the Prodigal Son the only thing I could think of was, “This guy’s brother was lost then decided to come home and live life differently and the only thing he could focus on was that he wanted a party as well? How could he allow jealousy to steal joy for his bother’s breakthrough?” I guess it is similar to my experience with jealousy. How could I be jealous watching someone else receive love and affection, even if it was the very thing I wanted more than anything in this world? Why couldn’t I just be happy that someone else didn’t feel as empty as me? I can only guess that the answer is flesh but the better answer is when I asked Him to be my Comforter. The only one qualified to be jealous is God. Deuteronomy 4:24 (KJV):“For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” The jealousy of God should even reinforce our reverence for Him, helping us avoid His wrath. Zechariah 8:2 (KJV): “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.”

But wait. There is something else interesting that the Lord revealed to me. There is something beneficial to jealousy. If presented and enforced by God, it can produce His fruit. God has used jealousy to bring sinners out of their wickedness as they began to want the light living inside of His redeemed. The first example of this is when God offers salvation to the Gentiles so that Israel may turn away from their wicked ways. Deuteronomy 32:21 (KJV): “They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.” I often associate jealousy with negativity (as we usually should) but I was amazed to know that jealousy could produce positivity. Romans 10:19 (KJV): “But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.” We ought to pray for Israel and that they come back to their first Love and reject all false doctrine. I am truly grateful that I have been offered salvation and that I am now in position to pray for Israel’s submission to the Father. John 1:11-12 (KJV): 11He came unto his own, and his own received him not.12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” In addition to Israel, anyone who isn’t a believer should be jealous of those who have the Holy Spirit dwelling within. It is troubling to think that Christians can have the Way, the Truth, and the Life without catching the attention of someone living in darkness. As God’s chosen people we have the Key, the answer, the perfect gift. We should question if sinners cannot see the fruit of God in the lives of Christians, let alone be jealous of it. This should be a reminder that we as Christians should allow Godly jealousy to prick the hearts of sinners, potentially leading them not to us but to Him who dwells within. Let your light shine from the tops of hills, not hiding the flicker under a bushel. 

Romans 11:11 (KJV): ” I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 

Excuse My Manners

For the times when we have selective perspectives, favoring the perspective that dwells on the negative.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV):“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Psalms 75:1 (KJV): “Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.”

This week has been a challenging one. I mean challenging in every way. From the numerous phone calls I have had to make to my home college to the many nights I spent trying to reach the ear of God—it has been challenging. Like in the video above, I found myself wondering what I had to be thankful for. As I was walking home a few days ago I began to have a battle in my mind. The anger and frustrations in my heart was trying to push out the Scripture vibrating through my headphones. My heart was a ball of fury but I knew the truth of His Spirit knocking on the door of my soul was much more important than my angry rant. I reluctantly gave in, rolling my eyes as I let go of how upset I was and tried to provide open access for the Holy Spirit. The interesting thing was that the battle did not stop there. For about two minutes my flesh was fighting with His Spirit but then free will came in. I had the will to welcome Him so that I could have the mind of Christ OR I could be disobedient and act as if the world owed me something. I thought of the joy I had that very morning as I smiled looking to the sky while I skipped to the bus,  30 minutes ahead of time. I missed my joy. So I said this very thing, “Okay. I am angry but I will let You in because You have been too good to me. Again I repeat, I am angry. But I will let it go. I can think on You instead and give thanks for all that You have done in, through, and for me.” Within seconds my anger was somewhere beneath me and I turned my music up as I began looking to the sky and smiling at God once again. Before I even consciously thought about it a simple, “Thank You God” flew out of my mouth. Wait. When was the last time I told God thank you? I don’t mean after He answered a desperate prayer but simply because of who He is?

Philippians 4:6 (KJV): “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Later that day my Mom called and before hanging up she said, “And cheer up. I hope next time we talk you are in better spirits.” I hadn’t thought to curb my attitude during our conversation. I wanted to hurry and hang up so that I could think more on my current unfortunate circumstances. I grudgingly said,” Well okay. I am just dealing with some things.” My Mother began to attempt to find out what was bothering me but my usual response to stress is to not share it unless it is necessary or if I become so weary that it runs out of my mouth before I catch it. While she was fishing for answers I put my iPad away from my face and thought: She is paying attention. 1 Chronicles 16:8 (KJV):“Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.” Am I going to give my joy away or am I going to give God thanks?

Ephesians 5:4 (KJV): “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”

How is that we have better manners when dealing with individuals on Earth than we do with our Heavenly Father? I often find myself showering people with thank yous and excuse mes. Why was it a conscious effort to say to God? It was new for me to praise my way out of my fury because when I am upset I tend to get tunnel vision, only focusing on what rubbed me the wrong way. What a new beginning that was for me because no one likes to be angry. The issues that I faced are still relevant but I pray that I praise my way through the rest as well. I know for sure that the good outweighs the bad, no doubt about that.

Ephesians 5:20 (KJV): “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Today I found myself frustrated and deciding that I would go home early from school right after my doctor’s appointment but while sitting in the doctor’s office I had time to reflect. There I was sitting in the office with full insurance, playing on my iPad, thinking about the many options I would have for dinner, and looking down at my shoes and thinking that I want new ones although the current pair aren’t ruined….in summary still being unsatisfied. It really hit me when I saw a sickly man come out of the doctor’s office with a bunch of band aids covering the places where he had to get blood drawn. Within 10 minutes my blood was drawn, tested, and I was released to go home with perfectly normal levels. At that moment I had to thank God. There I was with perfect health and with every thing I have practically ever wanted sitting in my lap and I was aimlessly walking with a frown on my face. That was something to be checked. Sure, things in my life aren’t perfect but I rest assured knowing that there is no such thing. But even above health, finance, and other miscellaneous blessings (though people with poor health, shaky finances, and who have close to nothing to call their own can still be rich in Spirit) I can give thanks because I have salvation. If I were hospitalized with an estimated 2 weeks to live and accustomed to moving from place to place like a nomad without anyone to call friend or family I would still have a reason to say thank You to the Father. He is just that much of an almighty God.

Psalms 79:13 (KJV): “So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.”

We must not forget the greatest gift of all; salvation. Not even the world can forcefully take that away from us. I talked with a dear Sister in the Lord today and though our flesh would rather complain and look for pity, we asked for God to allow us to sharpen each other during our trying time. Our only answer was to take matters to the Lord as we swallowed anger and sadness so that we could open our mouths to pour out love, blessings, and praise. We must forever sing His praise! It is always easier to give thanks when things seem favorable in our eyes but the true test is when we are able to give thanks in the midst of trouble. Even if the world were to shatter before my eyes I pray that I hold on to my salvation as the most valuable thing that I possess. It is nothing that I worked for. It is nothing that I could demand. It is simply a gift from a Father who loved me when I didn’t love myself. I can only humbly accept, offering my body as a living sacrifice.

Lord, please give me a mind to give thanks to You at all times. Praising You because You are worthy. Praising You because You are bigger than our problems. Simply praising You for who You are.

Psalm 100:4 (KJV): ” 4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

His Great Love

Ephesians 1:7 (KJV): In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

Today, as I listened to one stanza of the song posted below, God began to do a mighty work in me. Never lose sight of His promises:

He breaks the power of cancelled sin
He sets the prisoners free
His blood can make the foulest clean
His blood availed for me

Psalm 139: 23-24 (KJV): 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”