Posts tagged ‘Peace’

OVERCOMING SIN AND LIVING IN THE LORD’S PEACE

OVERCOMING SIN AND LIVING IN THE LORD’S PEACE

BLESS THE LORD AND LIVE IN HIS PEACE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

BLESS THE LORD AND LIVE IN HIS PEACE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Let me begin this discussion today by asking this simple question, “Why is there so much sin in the world today?”  The answer is simple, (choice) we choose our actions and the way we live out our lives.  Sin came into the world through Adam and Eve, and it has always remained with us until Jesus came and took our sins upon His shoulders and died on the cross in order that we may live a life FREE of SIN.

CHILDREN OF GOD, if you have allowed SIN to enter into your life, and take control of your brand new life, listen up, because I want you to know that every SIN can be overcome.  Your life, in its totality, has proceeded from your mind, and your mind is a combination of habits formed and accepted by your mind, which by patient effort, can be modified to any extent, and over which you can gain complete ascendancy and control.  When you come into the complete realization of this reality, you will have at once obtained possession of the key which shall open the door to your complete emancipation.

However, emancipation from the ills of life (which is the ills of your mind) is a matter of steady growth from within, and not a sudden acquisition from without.  Hourly and daily you must work to train your mind to think stainless thoughts, and to adopt the right dispassionate attitudes, until you have strained out of it the Ideal of your holiest dreams.

Know in your heart that you are truly a Child of God, you are the Sons and daughters of a King and you are Holy, so why are you living a life filled with sin?  You sought Jesus out and you found him, He gave you a brand new life, and He lifted you up from the evils of your old sinful life, and now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and you have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way!  Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. (Romans 6:22-23 MSG)

MY MAXIMIZED PRAYER FOR OVERCOMING SIN IN MY LIFE

Heavenly Father, I thank you for blessing me to be able to experience your love, mercy and grace this day.  Thank you for your Son Jesus that allowed me to accept your blessings of Salvation.  I pray for strength to overcome the sin that has gripped my life, and that is preventing me from enjoying the fruits of prosperity that has been set before me.  Heavenly Father I pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to lift my mind to a level of maturity that can think and speak with clarity your words of truth that will provide me with complete control over my mind.  Free my mind of the constraints that keeps me in bondage and away from the PROSPERITY that you have already provided for me that I have been unable to see.  In Jesus name, Amen!

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HOW WE AS A PEOPLE CAN PRAY AND HEAL A WONDED NATION

HOW WE AS A PEOPLE CAN PRAY AND HEAL A WONDED NATION

SANCTUARY OF PRAYER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

SANCTUARY OF PRAYER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

We are surrounded by terror on every street corner, the enemy of darkness is moving in the still of the night, shooting and killing, robbing, beating and raping innocent women and children.  No one knows who will be his next victim.  Our economy is on shaky grounds, our Nation’s leaders are not able to come together and sit together to solve some of the most simple problems to meet the basic needs of the citizen of one of the richest nations on the face of this earth.  Why are we faced with so many unresolved issues that are straining the basic fabric of our families and our entire nation?  As I sit and pondered this question, I turned to the Scriptures which are the true word of God and this is how it speaks to us this day:

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2Chronicles 7:14 ESV

We are God’s chosen people and He wants us to live in peace and security, He wants to get us on the right road to restoration and revival for all times.  But in order to do so He has set down His command for each one of us to live by, and those of us who believe must forsake our sins, turn from the life that is centered in self, and yield to God’s word and will, then and only then, will heaven send a revival.

In the mean time, God has set out a process in which we can begin to turn the situation that is gripping our Nation to our advantage, and here is the process which each one of us can begin with, the Bible says,  “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.”

He wants not only us but EVERYONE saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.

Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.

 I don’t let women take over and tell the men what to do. They should study to be quiet and obedient along with everyone else. Adam was made first, then Eve; woman was deceived first—our pioneer in sin!—with Adam right on her heels. On the other hand, her childbearing brought about salvation, reversing Eve. But this salvation only comes to those who continue in faith, love, and holiness, gathering it all into maturity. You can depend on this. 1 Timothy 2:1-15 MSG

Now as we close this lesson for this day, let us not forget, “HOW WE AS A PEOPLE CAN PRAY AND HEAL A WONDED NATION!”

May the grace and mercies of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, rest and abide in you now and forever, and may you also receive His PEACE, POWER, PURPOSE and the joy of HIS PROSPERITY. 

GOD IS THE MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE

GOD IS THE MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES

BIG AND SMALL THE LIVING UNIVERSE (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

BIG AND SMALL THE LIVING UNIVERSE (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

Today we live in a world that demands a great portion of our energy just to survive and many find it difficult to adapt. Gloom (darkness) of sin and impending judgment lingers within our thoughts, we must never forget, God is the Master of the Universe.  In spite of the tiredness we may feel as the world attempts to drain the very peace from our existence (being) we must journey above the physical and material aspects of this worldly life, determined to joyfully live in the spiritual realm where we learn the meaning of true fellowship with a God who is in control, because he is the Master of the Universe.

When we are able to wrap our minds around this simple fact that He is, “THE MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE” (entirety, all there is) it will truly offer hope for your soul, he is the one you seek for all things, he will take you, mold you and give you rest; then enfold you in grace, love and mercy in such a way you become secure in who you are. In the Master you find acceptance, he will not deny you because of your past, he erases our pains so that we may be able to help others by sharing the same love he gives us.

Our Dependence on him moves us to a place in life where we come to realize that all our needs are met.  What’s important is the manner in which we submit in obedience to his will for “our life” accept him into your heart and cast all your cares upon him because he is the one person in your life that will be there no matter the obstacles you encounter. It’s your life, your journey given to you by the Master of the Universe, so grab hold and embrace yourself, for you are abundantly blessed; don’t allow anyone or anything to cause you to think different.

When feelings of emptiness threaten to drain our lives, we attempt to make peace within ourselves only to find that our own efforts tend to add to the emptiness we already feel.  God is the Master of the Universe,  the greatest source of peace for those who know and place their trust completely in him; for those who do not know him,  it’s impossible to know the  kind of peace he gives; because  he is our peace (Ephesians 2:14).

Many who claim to know such freedom often find themselves struggling with questions about what’s unknown as they strive to live worthy of Gods’ love for them. That is why faith is so important, it is the driving force that bridge the depths between the known and unknown; therefore,  your mind must be open and on the receiving end of the greatest gift of all, God’s Love.

Finally: Oh come, let us worship and bow down:

Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker,

For he is God, and we are the people of his pasture,

And the sheep of His hand: (Psalm 95:6-7).

 

MY MAXAMIZED PRAYER FOR PEACE AND CONTENTMENT

MY MAXAMIZED PRAYER FOR PEACE AND CONTENTMENT

IN PRAYER BEFORE GOD (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

Heavenly Father, In the name of Jesus, I bow my head in your present this day in complete peace and contentment. I empty my soul unto you Heavenly Father; for I know that it is you, and you only that provide me with all peace and contentment.  My sins are before you this day Heavenly Father, you know my weakness, my strength and my heart desires.  I seek your forgiveness as well as your blessings over my life Heavenly Father, and the lives of all those who you have placed before me that my life will touch this day in some way. I seek healing for our NATION that you will bind up the wounds that so many have suffered during our Presidential election.  Renew their Spirits Heavenly Father, and teach them how to live in Peace and Contentment.  There are many lives that have been lost during Hurricane Sandy this past week.  Much destruction and devastation took place causing pain and suffering.  But you know the real needs of all your children and especially those who suffer the most.  My prayer this day for all of your children that are suffering the most Heavenly Father, is that you will rain down from Heaven your blessings that will relieve the pain and suffering, restore the power to the homes, business, shelters and hospitals that are in the greatest need, provide food and shelter for those who have lost so much and show them how they can still live in peace and contentment in the face of the enemy who has taken so much from them.  Teach us all as a Nation how to live in Peace, enjoy the fruits of all that you have provided and have complete Contentment in all that we do.  In Jesus name, I pray, AMEN!

BELIEVERS MUST PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR THE CALL OF GOD

BELIEVERS MUST PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR THE CALL OF GOD

THE CROSS IS THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL (Photo by Pastor Davis)

When it comes to serving in the ministry as one of God’s Disciples you are never to young, are too old because God prepares us all in his own way, but all of us will not accept the call to serve.    The one true important fact we all need to know is this, we are a chosen people, chosen by God to worship and serve him.  When God thinks we are ready he will call us to come unto him.  The first thing you will say when the call comes upon you is, “but God,” I am not ready.  I am just a little child or I am too old. I have a lot of living to do, and God will say to you, my son, I have heard those same words many times before, and when I heard them I told each person the same thing.  Listen to what happen when God called Jeremiah to be a prophet.  He was only thirteen at the time, but God knew he was ready when he sent out the call.  This is what God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in your Mother’s womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  “Ah, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, I am only a child.”  You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth.    See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”  (Jeremiah 1:5-10).

You see God never makes a mistake.  When God called Jeremiah, he commissioned him to be a prophet to a nation.  God knew Jeremiah would face many obstacles and would have to confront some powerful people along the way.  But God assured Jeremiah that he would be up to the task.  Don’t worry about small things, because I am here to fight your battles for you.  All I want you to do is to be ready to stand up and be a strong moral leader with an unshakable conviction to lead my people in the manner I have given you.

When you are young or old and you hear the voice of God calling you, don’t be afraid to follow God, because God will have your back.  When in the time of trouble, your best friend may desert you.  But you can rest assured that God will always be there for you.  Learn to depend on God, because he is someone you can trust in the heat of battle.  God wants you to walk with him and become a good role model and set examples for your peers to learn to live by, although you will face some tough going and be ridiculed by your peers.  God says not to worry because he will be with you even until the end of times.

God is saying to you right now, to understand his word and write them on your heart, because when trouble comes and you know it is going to come, the words of the Lord is like having a sword in your hand and it is guaranteed to cut both ways, to the right and to the left.  It is your shield of armor that will always protect you.

Therefore, I encourage each one of you, the young and the old to think on the things of God and not on the things of this world.  God is calling you now to be a soldier in his army.  Turn away from the evil of Satan, and prepare yourself to except the challenge of serving in the ministry of God.  Remember, it is never too late, and you must never, “say never,” or I can’t do this.  Just know that when God calls you, he knows you are ready, he knows you better than you know yourself.

Today, I encourage you to open your mind and think boldly on what God can do, and be ready to go onto the battlefield.  I have ministered to you this day from a position of PEACE, PURPOSE, POWER and PROSPERITY.  I remain your brother in JESUS CHRIST, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

FINDING CALMNESS IN OUR MINDS AND PEACE IN OUR SOULS

FINDING CALMNESS IN OUR MINDS AND PEACE IN OUR SOULS

SHANIA A. BYARS DISPLAYS CALMNESS OF MIND (Photo by Pastor Davis)

In the lessons we are presenting this week, they are all about discovering inner peace, what is inner peace, how do you achieve inner peace, what are the benefits of inner peace.  These are just a few of the questions that we wrestle with in our lives every day.  If you could just pause your many thoughts for just a moment and think about all the anger, resentment, unhappiness, physical and mental tension, nervousness, strife and the waste of time and energy that results from lack of inner peace, then you will start to appreciate the importance of discovering what real peace of mind is all about.

Now listen to what the bible tells us about finding inner peace, it says, “If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest.”  (Ecclesiastes 10:4 ESV)  In other words, we are to calm our thoughts from the tension that has come over us and allow real peace to surround us.  If someone are something else has angered us, do not leave that place of calmness that God has brought you to.  That statement of mind of calmness is your home.  Now remain at peace there.  The devil wants you to get angry, he wants you to yell and scream, throw  things, break things, curse others out and blame them for all the wrong that is taking place in your life.  When you lose control, you lose your self-respect and then you enter into the pits of hell.  That is where the devil resides and just where he wants you to be as well.  Stay calm, stay focus and stay in control.   The bible tells us that when we find ourselves in this position, this is what we should do, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV).

Let us understand this fact, when your mind is calm, it is at peace, and when it is at peace it is being strengthen in every direction.  When you are at peace, you are then put in a higher level of thought and when you are there you will soon discover you are finding deeper levels of peace and concentration unlike anything you have ever experienced before.

In addition, when you are at this level of concentration, it provides you with an increased level of energy, the power of your mental factors are greatly increased; you will begin to experience a greater memory level, and your ability to study and learn complicated topic’s will greatly be improved, and finally as you go about your daily affairs in life, you will soon discover that you are much more able to handle with greater efficiently the stressful and difficult situations that life throws at you.

Now is the time to make some changes in your life to have that peace and calmness that we all seek to enjoy.  You can do this by beginning daily to practice calming your mind.  When you begin to do so, the calmness that you experience will influence your inner being, your body, your circumstances and the people you meet.  You can now begin to live a fruitful life that will provide you with much joy.  Read and study the many lessons that we teach here daily on this subject and many others and your life will begin to change.

Now listen to God’s last word on this subject.  “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV)

Please return for our next lesson which is title, “CALMNESS OF MIND.”  This lesson is from the book of James Allen.

 

ENDING 2011 ON HIGH NOTE OF PRAISE AND REJOICING

ENDING 2011 ON HIGH NOTE OF PRAISE AND REJOICING

At midnight tonight, we will celebrate the closing of the old and bringing in the new.  I know most of you have thought about what this year has meant to you and have begun to make your  New Year’s resolutions and plans for the coming year.  We all have had to face many trials and tribulations during this past year.  However, when we really pause and think on the goodness of what God has done for us, we ought to shout praises from where ever we may be.  Knowing in our hearts that it was no body but God that brought us through all the difficult moments we experienced during the entire course of this past year.

Those of us who are believers and who have truly learned to trust lean and depend on God should exhibit for those who have not yet reached the level of maturity to understand how important it is to put all our trust in him, should be bringing in this New Year with absolute joy.  We should display a dramatically different responsive to all the events that will be unfolding all around us this New Year’s Eve.

This is a time to renew our faith in the hope that God will bring all things which we believe is good in mankind to its fruitful conclusion.  Bells will be ringing, horns will be blowing, lots of hugging, and kissing and good will wishes will be glowing in everyone’s heart.  Therefore, I say to each of you, “Rejoice and be happy.”  Don’t just pretend to be happy, allow your heart to feel what it has not felt in a very long time.  Unwind, and see the possibilities of a brand new you, exploring the possibilities of the greatness that lives within you.  Be encouraged, that in 2012 your DREAMS are going to come true.  Get up and get out of your comfort zone, put your shouting shoes on.  Look around you, see and experience all the joy and happiness that is going on.  Now get in the groove and experience your mo-jo working.  God is working in you and  through you, trying to bring you into the newness of your new life in 2012.  He wants you to experience the joy and beauty of your new life that he has blessed you to have in 2012.

NOW REJOICE, and be happy tonight, and throughout this NEW YEAR!  I leave you with my peace, it is yours to enjoy.  Thank each one of you for all your many prayers and blessing that you have shown this Pastor in 2011.  May God continue to bless and multiply each blessing for you and your families in 2012?  I remain your brother in CHRIST, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER! 

MY RELATIONSHIP STRATEGY PART 12

Couple 01

Image via Wikipedia

FORGIVENESS IS YOUR WAY TO PERSONAL PEACE

We all have experienced love and hate relationships at some point in our lives.  However, the most important thing for us is that we at some point are able to find ourselves, come to an understanding that in order for us to ever really be happy in our relationship, we must learn how to forgive.  Sometimes this can be the hardest part of a loving relationship.  Because when we don’t forgive, we lose the joy of that great romantic sexual experience that so excited us in the beginning of the relationship.

Remember this, “the art of a lover is to make the romance last as long as possible.”  How can we make the romance last when we want allow ourselves to forgive the other person for whatever they have done.  We say this time they have really done it and this is too big for me to ever consider forgiving them for what they have done to me.  When we don’t forgive others we are only hurting ourselves more.  The pain of hurt and angry, that we keep bottle up inside of us, only acts to destroy us from the inside.  It breaks down our immune system and makes us susceptible to all sorts of germs and diseases.  If we want peace, happiness, joy and love to really rule and command a present in our lives, we must consider forgiveness as a way to changing us from the inside out.

Forgiveness works two ways.  You must forgive to be forgiven.  For every person has the need to be forgiven.

Forgiveness should become a habit.  When Peter ask Jesus how often should I forgive a person for the crimes that they have committed again me, Jesus answered and said, “Until seventy times seven.”  He who forgives to infinity will never hate.

Forgiveness should start now.  Putting off forgiving only deepens the wound.  Clinging to bitterness postpones happiness.  Life is short, time is fleeting.  Today is the day to forgive.

Forgiveness is the way to personal peace.  It is performing mental surgery in you, probing deep within to remove hurts, grudges and resentments.  It is forgetting wrongs as though they had never been.  It is flooding your mind with the powerful medicine of forgiveness that cleanses and heals.  It is discovering a serenity you’ve never known before.

When you discover deep within your soul that you were created as a lover and you have the power to love and be loved, then the spirit of forgiveness is awaken and it becomes just a part of your daily score and love for you will never walk out the door.  You will become a mirror of peace, love, joy and happiness.  This will define who you are.

Now enjoy your new found freedom.  It was meant for you to have.  For what God has given to you, is for you and can’t anyone take it away from you.

THE LESSONS MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME

MOM AND DAD GOD'S SERVANTS

 My Mother played the most important role in shaping my life from the day I was born until the day God called her back home.  Today, I honor my Mother for who she was, for who I am and for who we both are in God, and I salute and honor all Mothers because God created you and gave you a special place of honor in this world to never be taken away by man.

God never meant that every woman should be a Mother, however, He did command that women should be fruitful and multiply.  The Bible tells us that whom the Lord blesses to be Mothers should take the responsibility seriously. Mothers have a unique and crucial role in the lives of their children. Motherhood is not a chore or unpleasant task. Just as a mother bears a child during pregnancy, and just as a mother feeds and cares for a child during infancy, so mothers also play an ongoing role in the lives of their children, whether they are adolescents, teenagers, young adults, or even adults with children of their own. While the role of motherhood must change and develop, the love, care, nurture, and encouragement a mother gives should never cease.

To me, the greatest thing we have is life.  In addition, where there is life as the old adage goes there is hope.  So maybe, if we can get into choosing life, it will not be as difficult as we might imagine.

One of the greatest lessons my Mother taught me was that I must take responsibility for choosing and defining my own life.  When I do, “she said, God will lift you up on the wings of an eagle and you can fly away to that place of peace and tranquility that nothing can stop you from living the life you desire.”  I took my Mother’s advice and it changed my entire life.

Today I believe most people are afraid of life.  I do not know why it is.  We are afraid to be what we are!  We get marvelous, insane feelings and we do not act on them.  As you see someone really attractive and you think, “I am going to tell her she’s really beautiful.”  Then you think, “Oh, I cannot do that.”  Then she goes all of her life not knowing she is beautiful!  It is a shame because if we really do not live fully we keep other people from living fully!

We are afraid of living life, therefore, we do not experience, we do not see.  We do not feel.  We do not risk!  We do not care!  Therefore we do not live, because life means being actively involved.  Life means getting your hands dirty.  Life means jumping in the middle of it all.  Life means falling flat on your face.  Life means going beyond yourself into the stars!

Nevertheless, you must decide yourself, for yourself.  “What does life mean to me?”  I am convinced if we spent as much time—no, one quarter as much time each day thinking about life, living, and loving as we do planning a meal, we will be incredible!

Nevertheless, life has a wonderful way of solving this problem.  It is always very fascinating to me because when life is not being lived, it explodes in us.  It is like trying to hold the lid on when the steam is ready to blow.  Something will happen I am convinced of it.  You will either turn to extremes of fear, pain, loneliness, paranoia, or apathy.  All signs that you are not alive, you are not living!  So if you are feeling any of these things, roll up your sleeves and say, “Let me live.”  The minute you start getting involved in life, the steam lets off, and you are safe.  It is easy, but life lets us know that it must be led.  How wonderful!

My Mother experienced this in her own way, and she used her knowledge of living and loving to teach me how to reach for the moon, and if for some reason I could not grab hold of it, I would truly be among the stars.  Because God provided all His children with the power to choose life and to live it to the fullness of all there is.

Now I truly know that there is a thing called joy, because I have felt it.  In addition, there is such a thing as marvelous madness because I have lived it.  Moreover, I know there is such a thing as loving because I have loved.  And I know there is such a thing as ecstasy because I have known ecstasy.  And I also know, because I have known people who have experienced it, and you can too.  Now think back about some of the lessons your Mother taught you, grab hold of them and begin to experience the joy of this life.  It is yours now enjoy it.

SALT AND LIGHT LEADERSHIP JESUS WAY (PART 3)

BELIEVERS MUST BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

In the last two lessons, we have learn the value of salt in our lives and the need for us to be used as that salt, to stir up our gifts, and preserve the best qualities of our lives.  God has equipped us in order that we may have a positive effect on others as the salt of the earth.

The Bible speaks of light as the symbol of God’s presence and righteous activity.  Light has been associated with the presence, truth, and redemptive activity of God since creation.  Before human beings were created, light was brought into being by the Creator: “Then God said, Let there be light; and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good’ (Gen. 1:3-4). Through-out the Bible, light represents truth, goodness, and God’s redemptive work.  Darkness, on the other hand, symbolizes error, evil, and the works of Satan.

Now listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 5:14, “14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” As salt makes a difference in people’s food, so light makes a difference in their surroundings.  Jesus told them that He was the light of the world, and if you follow me you will not stumble through darkness, but instead you will have the light of life.  He further said, “You as my disciples must live for Christ, shining like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see.  They are like light in a dark world, showing clearly, what Christ is like.  Because Jesus is the light of the world, his followers must reflect his light.

When Jesus was on earth, his divine life illuminated the inner lives of his followers.  Everywhere he was present he gave light.  This light penetrated people, exposing their sin and revealing divine truth.  No one could encounter Jesus without being enlightened.

Know in your heart that Jesus is light, and as light enables people to do their work, it produces growth in crops; it reveals beauty and provides safety.  Light represents what is good, pure, true, holy, and reliable.  Light reveals; light shines.  God is so completely “light” that there is no darkness in him at all.  “Darkness” represents what is sinful and evil.  God is untainted by any evil or sin.  Thus, “God is light,” means that God is perfectly holy and true and that he alone can guide people out of the darkness of sin.

Those of us who claim to follow Jesus must be living in the light of God’s presence.  They must be illumined by the truth of God’s character.  To “live in the light” requires constant contact with God and no tolerance for dishonesty, hypocrisy, or sin.  Living in the light comes from continuous effort to take on Christ’s qualities.  This involves complete transformation from within.

Living in the light leads to fellowship with each other.  This fellowship among believer’s results from each believer is having fellowship with God.  True spirituality manifests itself in community fellowship.  One cannot say that he or she communes with God and then refuse to commune with God’s people.  Such was the case with some of the false teachers of John’s day, and this situation exists among false cults today.  Often their followers and leaders claim to have special relationships with God, but they do not affiliate with other believers.  They stay isolated and withdraw from everyone else.  John’s point is that the natural result of living in the light (in fellowship with God) should be joyful relationships with other Christians.

1 John 1:5 (Amplified Bible) 5And this is the message [the message of [a]promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [[b]no, not in any way].

 

WHAT IS THE CHURCH?

WHAT IS THE CHURCH?

The church, under Christ’s control, is a living body, a dwelling, a family of believers in Christ.  As a believer we have a place where we are accepted and welcomed, where you belong and that is the church.  We also have the responsibility to accept and welcome other believers, regardless of race, sex, occupation, nationality, ability, physical characteristics, social status, or personality type. 

The church is Christ’s body to carry out the work he began on earth.  He is the head of his body, directing it and motivating it to complete his ministry on earth.  As such, the church is the continuation of Christ’s incarnation, in the sense that Christ, through another human body, still lives and works on earth among human beings in a tangible, palpable way.  But it takes all the members of the body working together in harmony to fulfill the designs and desires of the head.  The body must match the head so that Christ can be fully expressed!

We as believers are part of Christ’s body, which is the church.  As such, we must live in vital union with him.  Our conduct must be consistent with this living relationship.  People in the world should be able to see Christ by looking at Christians, seeing their values, lifestyle, and loving acts of service. 

Now I leave you with these questions; what do people know about Jesus by watching how you relate to other Christians?  In what ways can you use your God-given abilities to equip believers for service?  How can you fulfill your role in the living church of today?

TASTE THE SWEETNESS OF FORGIVENESS

TASTE THE SWEETNESS OF FORGIVENESS

BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, to be envied) is he who has forgiveness of his transgression continually exercised upon him, whose sin is covered.
Psalm 32:1-3

Happiness is to be forgiven! It is an emotion that defies description.  It is the relief of an enormous burden lifted, of a debt canceled, of a conscience at rest.  Guilt is gone, warfare is ended, peace is enjoyed.  Can you smell these beautiful aromas’; taste the sweetness of this exotic meal?  If you truly desire to feast on such a meal, the bible says, “ask and you shall have, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened.” 

Please allow me to give you the Dictionary meaning of this very important word.  First of all it is a  noun, and it means the act of forgiving; state of being forgiven.  Disposition or willingness to forgive.

Now listen further to what Jesus commands us to do, “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. (Mark 11:25) AMP

When we continue to harbor our un-forgiveness of another person in our spirit, we are truly living in spiritual darkness; having that unforgiving spirit and fostering of resentment is spiritual suicide.  So I ask you today, why do you want to commit spiritual suicide, why do you want to live in spiritual darkness?  Do you realize that there is no rest for you when you continue to brood over slights and injuries and wrongs; there is no quiet repose of the mind when you constantly feel that you have been unjustly treated, and you scheme how best to act for the discomfiture of your enemy?

Now I ask you, how can happiness dwell in your heart, if your heart is disturbed by ill-will towards your brother are your sister?  How do you expect to find wisdom and humility when your heart is filled with hate?  I say shame on you.  It is time to wise up and find that happiness that the bible speaks of.  You know you deserve it, you know you want it, and you are always seeking after it, but always in the wrong place. 

Revenge seems sweet only to the mind that is unacquainted with the spirit of forgiveness; but when the sweetness of forgiveness is tasted then the extreme bitterness of revenge is known.  Revenge seems to lead to happiness to those who are involved in the darkness of passion; but when the violence of passion is abandoned, and the mildness of forgiveness is resorted to, then it is seen that revenge leads to suffering.

Revenge is a virus which eats into the very vitals of the mind, and poisons the entire spiritual being.  Resentment is a mental fever which burns up the wholesome energies of the mind, and “taking offence” is a form of moral sickness which saps the healthy flow of kindliness and good-will, and from which men and women should seek to be delivered.  The unforgiving and resentful spirit is a source of great suffering and sorrow, and he who harbors and encourages it, who does not overcome and abandon it, forfeits much blessedness, and does not obtain any measure of true enlightenment.  To be hard-hearted is to suffer, is to be deprived of light and comfort; to be tender-hearted is to be serenely glad, is to receive light and be well comforted.  It will seem strange to many to be told that the hard-hearted and unforgiving suffer most; yet it is profoundly true, for not only do they, by the law of attraction, draw to themselves the revengeful passions in other people, but their hardness of heart itself is a continual source of suffering.  Every time a man hardens his heart against a fellow-being he inflicts upon himself five kinds of suffering-namely, the suffering of loss of love; the suffering of lost communion and fellowship; the suffering of a troubled and confused mind; the suffering of wounded passion or pride; and suffering of punishment inflicted by others.  Every act of unforgiveness entails upon the doer of that act these five sufferings; whereas every act of forgiveness brings to the doer five kinds of blessedness-the blessedness of love; the blessedness of increased communion and fellowship; the blessedness of a calm and peaceful mind; the blessedness of passion stilled and pride overcome; and the blessedness of kindness and good-will bestowed by others. 

Numbers of people are to-day suffering the fiery torments of an unforgiving spirit, and only when they make an effort to overcome that spirit can they know what a cruel and exacting taskmaster they are serving.  Only those who have abandoned the service of such a master for that of the nobler master of forgiveness can realize and know how grievous a service is the one, how sweet the other.

When a man abandons retaliation for forgiveness he passes from darkness to light.  So dark and ignorant is unforgiveness that no being who is at all wise or enlightened could descend to it; but its darkness is not understood and known until it is left behind, and the better and nobler course of conduct is sought and practiced.  Man is blinded and deluded only by his own dark and sinful tendencies; and the giving up of all unforgiveness means the giving up of pride and certain forms of passion, the abandonment of the deeply-rooted idea of the importance of oneself and of the necessity for protecting and defending that self; and when that is done the higher life, greater wisdom, and pure enlightenment, which pride and passion completely obscured, are revealed in all their light and beauty.

GOD’S SPIRIT IS THE POWER SOURCE BEHIND SELF-DISCIPLINE

Godly Leaders must train themselves in the art of Self-Discipline

 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.  Buy the truth and do not sell it— wisdom, instruction and insight as well. The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.  May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!  (Proverbs 23:22-25)

Let me begin by giving you a working definition of what Self-Discipline is.  Self Discipline may be defined simply as that quality that allows a person to do what needs to be done when he or she doesn’t feel like doing it. 

Now for all of us, our training in the art of self-discipline begin the very moment when we come into the knowledge of the truth of this proverb, “listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”  Self-Discipline means that you are wise enough to obey this proverb and have acquired enough wisdom, knowledge and understanding to begin the process of training your mind as well as your physical body in the art of self-discipline,  Being obedient to the word and able to climb that great mountain of obstacles, and manifest your dreams into reality. 

As a Godly leader, and a follower of Jesus, our spiritual lives should form the core of our character.  Our training should be a daily process in building up the spiritual mind in order that it will always prevail against the evil spirits of the devil.  Our training should be like that of a runner or a boxer.  During the course of a race, runners don’t stagger from one lane to another.  They rivet their attention on the finish line and run a disciplined race toward it.  So also boxers train with purpose so they can absorb powerful blows without falling down.  They build up their physical stamina so that their legs will hold out for the final rounds.

A wrestler once asked his coach, “can’t I smoke and drink and have a good time and still wrestle?”  The coach replied, “yes you can, but you can’t win!  We as Christians and godly leaders can’t win the race either, if we are unwilling to discipline ourselves to studying and obeying the word of God.

Now if you truly want to be a godly leader, you must cultivate your spiritual journey like a world-class athlete.  Why? In order for you to finish the race without being disqualified, you must develop the art of self-control.  By doing this you can and will affect other areas of your life-how we treat others, where we go for answers to major decisions, and the skills we use in accomplishing our daily tasks.

When we study (2 Timothy 1:7), we soon discover that Paul was prompted to encourage his fellow worker to maintain a holy boldness and assurance in his position of spiritual leadership.  Paul had commissioned Timothy to oversee many of the churches in the Roman province of Asia, and this task required “a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”  Self-discipline is needed to stretch us beyond our own comfort zones and areas of personal inertia.  For some, the needed discipline will be more in the realm of the emotions; for others the focus of self-control will be in the realm of the mind or of the will.

Writing to the Galatians, Paul said that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control(Galatians 5:22-23).  While people without Christ can exercise self-control, this quality in its fullest expression of character transformation is a part of the spiritual fruit that only the Holy Spirit can produce in us.

Self-discipline is seldom easy.  Paul’s words to Timothy revealed that this young man probably struggled with it in his ministry.  And most leaders who come across the need for more self-discipline in their lives struggle at times as well.  God’s Spirit is the power source behind self-discipline.

Now if you understand the truth that is revealed by Paul in his message to Timothy, and that the power source behind self-discipline is God, I say to you right here and now, if you want to be an effective leader, identify the habits you need to build into your life so you can lead with diligence, habits such as physical fitness, balance between work and home, financial and personal accountability, proactively in the workplace, and the like.  Strap on your shoes and get going.  Disciplined habits will give you the momentum you need to not only move forward, but also to run your earthly race with strength and purpose.

The need for self-discipline applies in a leader’s personal life as well as in the workplace.  Composure, presence of mind, cool headedness, patience, self-possession, restraints, only a few people display these qualities, and those who do usually make effective godly leaders.  People who demonstrate the fruit of self-control are productive, dependable and influential.

History has repeatedly witnessed the combination of great power without moral restraint, and the results have always been disastrous.  How reassuring to know that the ultimate power behind all things is also the supreme source of good who demonstrates patience and mercy toward humanity always with their minds focus on God and practicing the art of self-discipline. .

Now begin to make all the necessary changes in your life today to finish this journey, by self-disciplining yourself to be a godly leader and claim victory at every turn you make in the name of Jesus.

Having a Spirit of forgiveness

Luke 7:47-50

Therefore, I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.  But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.  “Then He said to her, your sins are forgiven.”  And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you.  Go in peace.”

The art of forgiveness begins when you forgive someone.

It is having a humble spirit and being done with pride and self-pity.  It is taking a step toward the practice of forgiveness.  Hate is death, forgiveness is life.

If the Lord can forgive us of our sins, why do we have such a difficult time of forgiving others when we perceive them to have done us wrong?  Getting rid of our heart aches and pains begins with us.  We must learn to free ourselves of all the negative baggage we carry around each and every day with our unforgiving spirit.

Forgiveness works the miracle of change.  When Lincoln was asked why he did not destroy his enemies, he replied:  “If I make my enemies my friends, don’t I then destroy them?”  When you forgive you change others and you change yourself.  You change discord to harmony.

Forgiveness should span the years.  You should first forgive yourself for the wrongs you’ve done to yourself and others, for the mistakes you’ve made.  Then you should forgive and bless all those who have wronged you during your lifetime.  Thus you release others and you release yourself.  You break the chains of regret and remorse that bind you.  You free your mind from the burdens of the past so you may walk victoriously into the future.

Forgiveness works two ways.  You must forgive to be forgiven.  “He who cannot forgive others,” wrote Edward Herbert, “breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass; for every man has the need to be forgiven.”

Forgiveness should become a habit.  When the Master was asked how often we should forgive, he answered: “Until seventy times seven.”  He who forgives to infinity will never hate.

Forgiveness should start now.  Putting off forgiving only deepens the wound.  Clinging to bitterness postpones happiness.  Life is short, time is fleeting.  Today is the day to forgive.

Forgiveness is the way to personal peace.  It is performing mental surgery in yourself, probing deep within to remove hurts, grudges and resentments.  It is forgetting wrongs as though they had never been.  It is flooding your mind with the powerful medicine of forgiveness that cleanses and heals.  It is discovering a serenity you’ve never known before.


 


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