Why Your Motive Matters

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notalonepicThe heart of God is always to bless His people.  He only wants to see us possess everything that He died for us to have that’s why anything that hinders us from receiving must be dealt with, even if it’s us.

It’s not so much the things on the outside that hinders us from receiving as it is what’s on the inside, namely our motives.  Not having the right motives will cause delays in our receiving from God.  If you’re asking yourself why do motives matter? Let me tell you why.  James 4:3 says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”  This is why motives matters, because without the proper motive you will ask but you won’t receive.   It’s not that God won’t give it to you (because He’s given us all things through Christ) it’s that you’re not able to handle it yet.  God being our Father doesn’t want us to be destroyed by our lust as it was when the children of Israel lusted after meat in the wilderness (Num. 11:32-33).  The meat itself wasn’t bad but their lust for it was.  It wasn’t about nourishment because God was giving them what they needed to be full and satisfied.  It was about them rejecting God’s plan, purpose, and timing.

When we’re operating out of selfish motives we are rejecting God’s plan, purpose and timing for our lives.  God has a plan and purpose for what He’s given us and He knows the time when we’re ready to receive it.  And He will not withhold any good thing from us.  A person operating from a selfish motive has a negative opinion of God.

Selfishness is ugly because it’s sinful.  Listen to what James says in the 1 and 2nd verses, “From whence comes wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?  Ye 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” (James 4:1-2).  Now that’s ugly.  Even if what you’re doing is right, if you’re doing it with selfish motives it’s ugly.  As believers the only right motive for us is to know Christ and to make Him known.  Is this your motive for what you say and do?  Are you seeking to know Christ and to make Him known?  Or are you seeking to know and be known?   For example, I enjoy social media.  I have Facebook and Twitter accounts that I use personally and professionally. However, before I post or tweet I ask myself this question, “Is this about me or Him?” Am I making Christ known or am I seeking to be known? It’s a good thing to examine yourself because so much of what we see on social media is self seeking.  So many want to show that they know or they want to be known.  They want their lives to appear better than everyone else.  They want people to look at them with envy and awe.  In other words, they want to be known.  It doesn’t have to be something from the outside that hinders us it could very well be something going on in the inside.  It could be we’re operating out of selfish motives.

When Jesus came to this earth His motive was to make the Father known.  And because we have Christ living in us, we have His motives.  His motive is our motive.  All we need to do is rest in what’s His.  Therefore, I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart because you don’t want the things you desire of God to be delayed.

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It’s Good To Give Thanks!

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dreamstimefree_250555Psalms 92:1-2

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most high; To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and they faithfulness every night.”

Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks.  As you gather with your family and friends to give thanks remember it’s all about God.  Don’t focus on the negative things of the past but on the wonderful blessings of God.

Psalm 103:2 says “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Well, what are those benefits?  The psalmist goes on to say, “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles” (Ps. 103:3-5).  Wow! When we consider all these blessings we can’t help but give thanks.

When you give thanks for what God has done for you, you are giving thanks for those things that you have yet to see.  Whatever God says is done in the now and He doesn’t alter the thing that is gone out of his mouth (Ps. 89:34).  While you are giving thanks give thanks for those things that are yet seen.   Being thankful releases more grace in your life.  Think about this, when you do something for someone and they show their appreciation by saying thank you, it causes you to want to bless them again.

Therefore, as you give thanks to God for His blessings this season don’t forget to say thank you to those that God has used to be a blessing in your life.  “Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is good and His mercy endureth forever” (Psalm 107:1).

Be Consistent

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dreamstimefree_238838To be consistent means to stand firm, endure, and persevere. It means to not move or change.  It is a key ingredient to receiving what you want out of life.

Be consistent in faith

Being consistent means we take our stand on the word of God and not waver.  It means that we lean on, rely on, and rest in the faith of Christ in us regardless of any and all adverse situations or circumstances.  It means not allowing ourselves to be swayed by opinions that are contrary to what we believe.  Paul told the church in Galatians 5:1 and 5:7, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled gain with the yoke of bondage” and in verse 7 “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”  Paul was telling them to be consistent in faith and not allow themselves to be swayed by the opinions of false teachers to go back to the old way of justification under the law.  Paul also said in Hebrews 10:38, “Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”  When we draw back we’re not being consistent, we’re not standing firm.  The only way for us to be victorious is for us to be consistent in faith. Therefore, take your stand in faith and don’t change.

Be consistent in what you say

James 1:8 says, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” If you’re not consistent in what you believe you won’t be consistent in what you say.  A double mind is a double tongue.  Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” You can’t eat life and speak death nor can you eat death and speak life.   Our tongues let us know where our heart is.  “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34). Remember being consistent is standing firm in what we believe regardless of any and all adverse situations or circumstances.  We can be consistent in what we say even in the midst of adversity because God is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;).”  We don’t speak the adverse things that we see, hear or feel, we speak what we believe.  Mark 11:22-23, “And Jesus answering saith unto them, have the faith of God.  For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” You will have whatsoever you say as you are consistent in what you believe and say.

Be consistent in what you do

Being consistent in what we believe not only makes us consistent in what we say, but also in what we do.  Consistency in what we do is an outcome of what we believe.  If you believe that you reap what you sow, it will cause you to be consistent in your giving.  In other words you could stand firm and not change in your giving regardless of the world’s economy.  Isaiah 34:20 says, “Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters¸ that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.” You could stand firm and not change in doing the will of God for your life and serving people because you believe your reward is from the Lord.  Even though Christ suffered persecution and adversity He continued to do the will of the Father because He believed.   When you are consistent in what you believe it will show up in what you say and do.  People that are consistent are the ones who reach their goals and fulfill their destinies.  Therefore, I encourage you to stand firm, be consistent in what you believe, in what you say and in what you do for it shall be rewarded.

Victory Isn’t Always Pretty But It’s Always Sweet

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Hockey Player In ActionWhat do you see when you think of victory?  Do you see flags flying, whistles blowing, people cheering? Do you see yourself well dressed, standing strong and tall?  That’s what we all want victory to look like but sometimes, most times victory isn’t pretty but it’s always sweet.

When Jesus went to the cross He didn’t look human.  Isaiah 53:2-3 says, “…He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.” Yet in the midst of all of this He cried out “It is finished.”  He proclaimed and declared victory.  He didn’t wait until He presented the blood to the Father when He would have been in his glorified body, but there while we turned our faces from the grotesqueness of His appearance, there while the enemy was rejoicing, while everything in the natural said defeat, He proclaimed victory.  It wasn’t pretty but it was sweet.  Victory is always sweet!

I Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   This means that regardless of where you are how good or bad you feel you are victorious.  You have the victory because you’ve been given the victory through Christ.  Even though things might look a little ugly right now it doesn’t change the truth of God’s word.  You just need to do what Jesus did and begin to proclaim and declare your victory.  Yes, the situation is ugly but you’re still living.  It was meant to destroy you but you’re still here.   Things the enemy did to cause you to stop didn’t work you’re still going.  You’re still pursuing your dreams, you’re still working your ministry, you’re still writing that book.  Regardless of the circumstances you’re still moving forward.  So I say to you that’s what victory looks like.  No, it’s not pretty.  I know you were expecting something different but right now right where you are you are victorious.  Now, as you do what Jesus did and proclaim and declare victory you will see your situation change.  God will give you beauty for ashes and joy for your pain.  He will cause all things to work in your favor right in the face of the enemy.  Now that’s sweet.  Sweet Victory!

Seated With Christ

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During difficult times when things seem a bit overwhelming it’s a good time to focus on where you are seated.

Ephesians 2:6 says that God “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”  This means we have the best seat in the house.  When all hell is breaking out around you remembering where you are will infuse your entire being with power and change the dynamics of your situation in your favor.

Just think if you are seated with Christ that means you are above every principality and power, every might and dominion and every human limitation.  So you don’t have to throw your hands up in surrender to the problem.  You can throw you hands up in praise to God because you are a winner in Christ!  No longer do you have to cry out “I’m not going to make it” because through Christ you’ve already made it.  I’ll say it again; you are a winner in Christ!

I Thessalonians 5:16-28 gives us some good instructions on how to remain strong during difficult times.  They simply say rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, quench not the spirit, don’t despise prophecies, prove all things and hold fast to what is good; abstain from all appearance of evil and the very God of peace will sanctify you wholly and preserve your spirit, soul and body blameless unto the coming of Christ.  Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.

I know you might be thinking rejoice evermore¸ pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks.  My marriage is not falling apart, my house is in foreclosure, and I’ve been unemployed for four years.  Well, let me tell you this, I’ve been there and like you I had a choice.  When my marriage fell apart, and my house was in foreclosure and I was out of work for four years I had a choice.  I could either throw my hands up in surrender to my problems or throw my hands up in praise.  I chose and I choose now to rejoice evermore.  I chose to pray without ceasing and in everything give God thanks.  But let me tell you it wasn’t always easy to do, but God is faithful.  I love the fact that the scripture says “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.  You see it’s not how faithful I am or you are to God, it’s that He is faithful to Christ and therefore faithful to us.  That’s the beauty of it all.  Nothing depends on us it’s all on Christ.  And we are seated in Christ.

Now being seated together with Christ comes with great privileges and one of those privileges is the fact that we are in the right position to ask our Father for anything and expect to receive what we ask.  Why you ask?  Because we not only have our Father’s heart but we’re so close to him that we have his attention.  In fact, His heart gives us His attention.  Mark 11:24 says “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  And that’s not all.  He has given us His Spirit. During those difficult times when things seem overwhelming we can pray in the Spirit and find rest and refreshing for our soul (Isaiah 28:11).    Because when we are rested and refreshed we are able to see all that God has accomplished for us through Christ.  We can give God thanks in the midst of it all because we know that He has already worked it out.  I’ll say it again; you are a winner in Christ!    Jesus told us in John 16:33 “…in this world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Now as you are rejoicing and praying and giving thanks to God, the Holy Spirit will speak to your spirit and release wisdom to you for your situation.  Don’t quench the Spirit.  In other words don’t suppress the promptings of the Spirit because God gives His wisdom liberally (James 1:5).  He delights in leading and guiding us.  This is why He has given us His good Spirit to instruct us, so don’t suppress Him.  Many times we cry “Lord show me a way out” and He does.  But we’re not heeding to what His Spirit is saying to us because oftentimes we think the thoughts are coming from our flesh or from the enemy.  We suppress what the Spirit is saying.  Listen, it’s going to take you using the God kind of faith in you to do what the Spirit is leading you to do.  And you have the faith of God because you have Christ.  You have His faith in you to be able to do what He is telling you to do.

The next thing is don’t despise prophesy.   Now I’m not talking about those times when you’re in a service and God uses a prophet to call you out and give you a word (although we don’t despise that either).  I’m talking about those times when God will use someone to tell you to “hold on everything is going to be alright.” It could be your neighbor or co-worker.  But instead of rejoicing that God sees you, you complain and said, “Yeah I heard that before.” Or “God didn’t say that.”  This is despising prophesying.  The gift of prophecy is to edify and build up so when someone speaks something to edify and build you up don’t despise it.  Finally, know that the very God of peace is in the midst of you. He is sanctifying you wholly, and preserving your spirit, soul and body blameless unto the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Through it all He is perfecting Himself in you.  Therefore, remember where you are you are in Christ and He is in you. You are a winner in Christ!

Missed Opportunities

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Old clockHave you ever missed an opportunity and felt like you’ll never get that chance again?  I know I have.  However, there’s one thing I’ve come to know and that is, it doesn’t matter how many times we fail or how many opportunities we miss, God will never abandon His plan for our lives.  He will always bring us back to His plan and purposes.  We only need to be ready to seize it.

I can remember a time in my life when I was standing right in front of the answer to my prayers and walked away not realizing that this was what I asked God to do.  The opportunity was right there but I missed it.  Of course, after the fact I realized what had happened and regret immediately followed.  Oh!, if I had only realized my opportunity.  But thanks be to God He didn’t let me stay in my regrets.

I began to pray for the Lord to do it again, to put in the right place at the right time but this time to give me the grace to do the right thing.  As I prayed and mediated the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “God will never abandon His plan for your life, if it is in His plan He will bring you to it again.” He reminded me of how Adam missed his opportunity in the Garden of Eden.  Adam was in the right place at the right time and could have taken of the tree of life but He missed that opportunity.  He missed the chance to live day in and day out in unbroken fellowship in the presence of God for eternity. Genesis 3:22 says, “And the Lord God said, behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” Adam could have lived forever in the Garden of Eden in the presence of God but he missed his opportunity.

As I thought about Adam, I wondered about his regret.  I wondered if he’d prayed to God to restore him back to the Garden.  I wondered how close he must have lived to the Garden.  I wondered if he tried to get back to the Garden on his own.  I wondered all these things because that’s what I did and Adam was human just like me. However, as I wondered I saw that God didn’t leave Adam in his regret just like He didn’t leave me in mine.  He spoke to Adam just as He had spoken to me.  He gave Adam a promise of a seed that would one day come and bruise the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15).  God said to Adam what He said to me.  He would not abandon His plan.  God would bring Adam back to Eden. And when Jesus came to this earth, died on the cross and rose again”, Adam regained that missed opportunity.

Therefore, I want to encourage you today if you’ve been feeling regret about opportunities you’ve missed in your life, don’t.  Because God will never abandon His plan for your life.  If it is in His plan for you He will bring you back to it again.  He is a God of restoration and He will restore all things back to you even missed opportunities.

 

 

Come Out Of The Pit Of Condemnation

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dreamstimefree_167222Are you living in a pit of condemnation? Are you condemning yourself because of something you should have done or need to do but haven’t done it?   I know how you feel because I’ve been there and sometimes I find myself there again.  However, when I do there is one word that helps me come out and that word is No! I simply say no to condemnation.  Because of Christ I don’t have to live in the pit of condemnation and neither do you.

When we condemn ourselves for things we need to do or should do but haven’t done, it sits inside of us and eats away at us like a disease.  We try to mask the feeling of condemnation by doing something that makes us feel good like shopping, eating, or watching TV.  But in reality it pushes us deeper into the pit of condemnation because we still haven’t done what we know we need to do.    It hinders us in worship because the enemy uses it like an iron wall that seems impossible to breakthrough.  Condemnation is heavy and we are powerless against it except we look to the cross.

Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.”  No condemnation means just that, no condemnation of any kind in anything.   I cannot be condemned if I don’t do my dishes, clean my house, pray, study, tithe, or anything else.  When we condemn ourselves for what we don’t do we’re not seeing the finish work of the cross and therefore not receiving the grace to do all the things we need and want to do like doing the dishes, cleaning the house, praying, studying and tithing.

We are perfectly complete in Jesus all the time.  We have been made righteous by His sacrifice and that righteousness can never be taken away regardless of what we do or don’t do.  Therefore, come out of the pit of condemnation it’s not real for you as a believer.  It’s simply false evidence appearing real.  Numbers 23:21 says, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel; the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.”  Shout my friend you’re free!

Upcoming Meeting

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Hey there!

wemar23I’m so excited to invite you to our upcoming meeting in College Park, Maryland on March 23rd. It’s going to be an awesome time in the presence of God. Psalmist Vonette Mewborn will be leading us in praise and worship and our topic will be “A Life Surrendered.” A delicious free breakfast will be served and so much more. If you live in the Washington, DC, Maryland or Virginia area, I hope to see you there.

Lean On Me

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Sunrise on Alaska MountainThe word that God gave me for this year is Trust.  Throughout this year God wants us to trust Him.  I know we say that we trust God but when the rubber meets the road do we really trust God to see us through?  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths.” God wants us to lean on Him. Think about that.  The Almighty God has invited us to lay back and rest in Him; to lay back and rest in His wisdom, His provision, and His protection.  He wants us to trust that He knows how to get us through the hard times and sustain us in the good times.

When you lean on something you’re releasing all your strength and efforts to what or who you are leaning on.  Think about that.  Why struggle using your own earthly wisdom when we have Christ who is the Wisdom of God (I Cor. 1:24)?  Trusting God means you allow Him to be who He is in your life.  You allow Him to be your wisdom, provision, protection and whatever else you need Him to be.  So to help you I’ve listed three good reasons why you can trust God:

1)      He’s God.  Numbers 22:23 says, “God is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent; hath He said, and shall he not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?”  Enough said.

2)      He’s trustworthy.  Joshua 23:14 says “And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth; and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord our God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.”

3)      He will never leave you.  Hebrews 13:5-6 says, “…for He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say, “the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

Even through the toughest times God will always remain faithful to His word.  He’s God, you can trust Him.  This year determine in your heart and mind that you’re going to lean on God with everything that concerns you life.