Friday, November 30, 2012

Free-Friday Freedom


I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  Galatians 5:16 (NKJV)

 The view outside the slave castle in Cape Coast, Ghana. I'm sure no 
slave would  willingly ever return to the dark after being in this beautiful light!


Child of God, you have been set free! The past does not define you anymore. Jesus Christ has bestowed new life unto you. The prison of sin can no longer hold you captive. A fulfilling and abundant Spirit led life is yours for the taking. All you have to do is trust God. Let the past be just that. Look forward in Jesus’ name. Be free!



“I've been changed
Healed
Freed
Delivered
----
I’ve found joy
Peace
Grace
And favor
----
I won't go back, can't go back,
To the way it used to be
Before your presence came and changed me
I won't go back, I can't go back,
To the way it used to be
Before your presence came and changed me…”
~William McDowell

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Free-Thursday Thought


“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;"~  1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)


Do you know who you are in Christ? This is a picture of the ‘Door of No Return’ at the slave castle in Cape Coast Ghana. Countless African people marched through these doors after being sold. Separated from their family and loved ones forever. Slaves for the rest of their lives. They were stuck as long as they lived. Thank God that today Jesus Christ offers spiritual freedom to anyone who accepts it. And that freedom lasts forever!

There is a different ‘Door of No Return’ that you as a child of God should have walked through. You are dead to sin and alive in Christ. You no longer have to yield to those things that once had you bound. You are free! God has given you this opportunity for a new life and a fresh start. Are you taking advantage if it?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Free-Wednesday Word

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;"~ 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)


 The view outside the slave castle in Cape Coast, Ghana. I'm sure no 
slave would  willingly ever return to the dark after being in this beautiful light!


If you have been born again, then you are one of God’s chosen. God has called you to do great things. He has a plan for you and He has given you all that you need to fulfill it. Christ has delivered you from sin’s grip and made you new. You can live in abundance and receive more from God than you could ever imagine. But you have to stay out of the darkness. You have to live God’s way.

Jesus freed you from the prison of sin for a reason. Take advantage of that. Understand that every single thing that once had you bound is defeated. Not only does Jesus have plans for you. He also provides all you need to bring them to fruition. Let go of the past. Move forward. Fully enjoy all God has for you. Be free!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Free-Tuesday Truth


“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;"~ 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)

  Although it was bright outside this was all the light inside the 
male slave dungeon at the slave castle in Cape Coast Ghana.

After receiving Christ, you can not be a slave to sin; only a willing servant! While standing in the dungeon and listening to the tour guide describe I grew more and more sad and disgusted. Hundreds of men forced into this tiny room with little air, light, and human waste on the floor. Just imagining these horrific conditions was overwhelming for me. With absolute certainty of any of these men got the chance to be released from that dungeon they would run away and NEVER look back! Too many of us today have been freed, yet we choose to stay in the filthy dark dungeon of sin.

If you have accepted Christ as Savior, then whatever SEEMS to be binding you; Christ has already overcome. No matter what it is. The habits you have always had. The traits people always said you would have growing up. That thing that just seems to have a hold on your soul. Nothing can overtake you, child of God, unless you allow it to. Jesus Christ has loosed the chains of sin and open the front door wide open. Walk out and don’t look back!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Free-Monday Motivation


“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." ~ Romans 6:14



This is a picture from inside the slave castle in Cape Coast, Ghana. I was in the male slave dungeon. Although the weather outside was beautiful and bright, this room was dark and depressing.  This was all the light that came through. We all used to be in slavery. Sin had us bound and there was nothing we could do to get out. But thank God that the Atonement of Jesus Christ has made us free!

Never forget what God has done for you if you are one of His children. You used to be in spiritual slavery with no way of escape. Christ has freed you from that darkness, however, into His glorious light. This is the time of year where too many of us get extremely materialistic. If we’re not careful we can get focused on things and lose focus on God’s grace. Sometimes we may even question the Lord’s goodness because we may not have everything we want. But having God’s freedom in Christ is all that you want, need, and more!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanks-Wednesday Word


“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

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." ~ Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)

Worshipping God is a lifestyle, not an action. We can learn to be truly thankful to God when we truly worship Him. When all we focus is on anything but God; that becomes our drive and motivation. It can even happen without us realizing it. We can’t live however we want all through the week and ‘worship’ Jesus on Sundays. Anyone caught up in this rut with always be grasping for peace, love, and contentment, but will never reach it.
A member of the First Assembly of God Church in Salala


‘Reasonable service’ is sometime interpreted as ‘spiritual act of worship.’ When you live a lifestyle of worship, it will simply flow from your heart. God’s peace will be on your life and His love will be displayed through you.
I have seen people from the lowest condition in the world give God the highest praise! Why? Because they rest in His goodness. Worship God with your life and be thankful for all He has done for you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanks-Tuesday Truth


“Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness." ~ Psalm 150:1-2

God is to be recognized simply for who He is. Too often we take God for granted. He is our friend, but He is also the Lord. And although we can come to him openly, we should also approach Him reverently. The average prayer is a wish list to Jesus. And most times someone praises God it is only because He has done something for them. But aside from all of that God is still God. Before asking Him for this and that we need to remember to recognize His sovereignty.

Pastor Joe V. Kollie of the First Assembly of God Church in Salala

I attended the First Assembly of God Church in Salala, Liberia. After walking through the villages and seeing the grave poverty, I didn’t know what to expect in the service. What could they possibly praise God for? However the service was amazing! It was simply filled with praise and adoration for the Lord. It put any church in the U.S. I’ve ever been attended to shame. The Christians there aren’t concerned about what they have or don’t have because they are too wrapped up in who God is.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanks-Monday Motivation


“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."~ Psalm 107:1

You always have something to thank God for! Too often we get consumed in what we think life is about. When we don’t get what we want it can be easy to blame the Lord or ask why He isn’t doing what we think He should. There are too many Christians today who only praise God under certain conditions. When things are going their way, they can praise all day. When they’re getting all the things they want, God is great. However Jesus is always great and worthy to be praised.

Charles is on the right.


I met a young man named Charles in Ghana. Right now he runs a little store, but He is also an aspiring minister. While conversing with him last week he said something that will stick with me forever, “I may not eat everyday, but God is still good.” WOW. No matter what is going in your life, Christ is still worthy to be praised. He is still God and He is still good. Thank God no matter what because He is worthy! Thank Him simply for being God.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Comfort Zones-Friday Freedom




And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” –Matthew 14:32-33



The sixth chapter of Ephesians explains the spiritual armor we need for spiritual battle. In this chapter faith is represented as the shield. As a child, I often wondered why this was. Over the years I realized why faith is the shield. If we have weak faith, or a small shield, we lack the ability to trust God and are more susceptible to lies and attacks from the enemy. However, if we have strong faith, or a large shield, then we better understand our position in Christ and we are more able to go through situations/areas that may be dangerous. This is because with a large shield of faith we don’t let outside circumstances affect what we know about the Lord. We know that Jesus is omnipotent in the boat, out on the water, and absolutely everywhere. Come out of your comfort zone!!!

“I’m coming out of my comfort zone
Some of the places in my life that’s comfortable
God is challenging me
To trust and believe
For to go where I’ve not gone
I must do what I’ve not done!”
~Marvin Sapp

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Comfort Zones-Thursday Thought




And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” –Matthew 14:31 (NKJV)

Do you understand what you’re asking God for? God exists on a level much…MUCH higher than ours. We must understand that in exiting of our comfort zones and reaching for Him will be unlike any other experience. We are attempting to be more spiritual in a physical world. Notice in our scene here that Jesus is out walking on the water while Peter is in the boat at first. We need to understand that we are nowhere near God’s level.

Man’s most intricate and complex achievements are much less than simple to the Lord. Basically, it is like we are just sitting in a boat and God is out walking on water. The former being something very normal, the latter being something wildly extraordinary. When we get ready to get closer to God we need to know that we will be leaving our comfort zones. This will include dropping old habits, friends, places, thoughts, desires, motives, and much more. It is difficult, but necessary. The worth of it is greater than I could explain. Are you ready to go higher? At all costs?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Comfort Zones-Wednesday Word


And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” -Matthew 14:28 (NKJV)

Don’t be surprised when God actually gives you what you ask for. Oh, how we doubt the Lord sometimes. We ask Him for something and when the opportunity comes we shy away. This shows what we really think about Jesus. If we believe God is who He says He is, then we should be expecting Him to show up. Not be surprised. Peter asks the Lord to tell him to come out on the water.

Our Lord Jesus did His part by simply telling Peter to come and the rest was up to Peter. Often Christians ask the Lord for something, but do not want to do the necessary work to receive it. To get closer to God your faith must grow more in Him. When you ask God for a deeper relationship with Him and more faith, you must realize that uncomfortable situations will follow. Uncomfortable as they may be, however, we will be fine as long as we keep the faith in Jesus. We must be ready for what we ask God for.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Comfort Zones-Tuesday Truth



But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” -Matthew 14:30


God always gives us a reason to exercise faith in Him. Many people think of faith as blind trust. Making it seem as if the Christian’s faith is in nothing or just an empty hope. But that is the farthest thing from the truth. As the children of God we have countless testimonies of all the many times the Lord has performed miracles for us. The disciples were on this boat shortly after the miracle of Jesus feeding the five-thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:19). Even after this, Peter still doubted Jesus’ power while he was on the water. In situations where we must step out we must remember who God really is and what He can do.

Our God today is the same God who spoke the earth into being, parted the Red Sea, and rose from the dead; just to mention an extremely small amount of His works. On top of that, everyday God miraculously gives you life, activities of your body, and is always working out seemingly impossible situations. With all of this we still doubt. WHY??? Remember God is all powerful and through Him you can do anything. Peter got scared because of the winds blowing. You must be able to keep looking at Jesus and withstand the winds in your life.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Comfort Zones- Monday Motivation




“So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.”- Matthew 14:29 (NKJV)

Walking on water. Sounds tough at first, but with God all things are possible. Many times Christians miss out on peace and joy because we are afraid to act on faith. Other times we step out and then worry, which also leads to failure. As Christians we should understand that through Christ we can do anything. If the Lord is calling us to do something, then through faith we can accomplish the task, no matter how small or great.

You don’t have to worry or fear. God’s calling may be new to you, but He already has the plan. Right now you may be feeling like Peter. Wondering if taking that step out of the boat is even possible. Would God call you to do something that wouldn’t work? Of course not! Have faith in Christ. Trust Him and come out of your comfort zone. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

All In-Friday Freedom




“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
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.” Romans 12:1-2 (KJV) 

The more we continue to live life half in and half out the enemy will continue to wear us down When we seek Christ totally, He will give us life to the fullest! After spending some time thinking you may realize that there are some major changes that need to occur in your life. MAKE THEM! Give your whole life over to God and experience the greatness He has for you! Yield your whole self over to God and pray for His strength as you let go of sinful influences. Let it all go and live your best life!

“My heart, my mind
My soul belongs to You
You paid the price for me
Way back on Calvary
And yes I praise You
I life You up
I magnify Your name!

That’s why my heart is filled with praise…”

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Thought-All In



“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
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.” Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
Christians can get caught up in the world’s view of success. We can end up chasing and living for money, which really is living for evil (1 Timothy 6:10). In other cases we can have plans for our lives that are not necessarily wrong. We may have a certain profession, location, etc. that we want for ourselves. However it may conflict with the plans that God has for us. Then if we choose to do one thing knowing that God has something else for us, then that becomes sin as well. At the end of everything it comes down to one simple question; who do you think has better plans for you; you or God?

God has great plans for every one of you (Jeremiah 29:11). After we receive Jesus Christ as our personal savior, we must then continually yield ourselves over to the will of God. Through prayer and bible study we can continually know Jesus and let Him take more and more control of our lives. Therefore if we let God truly be our Lord (Master and Ruler of our ENTIRE lives), we can walk into the great plans that He has for us and be blessed immeasurably. In order to make this a reality there are two key factors that must be in play here; devotion and discipline. Are you a disciplined child of God? 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday Word-All In





“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
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.” Romans 12:1-2 (KJV) 

God wants the total person, including our time. Am I saying that we should spend every waking moment praying and in church? No. However, we should make time to spend with God every day. Reading His word, meditating on it, and praying to Him. We should pray all throughout the day. The Bible tells us to never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Even with other activities you should make sure that your time is going towards things that God approves of. Being idle, bored, having nothing to do gives way for the devil to attack your mind which leads to wrong. Make sure your time is spent engaged in productive activities that are productive and please God. More importantly, make sure you spend time with God especially early in the morning and before going to sleep.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday Truth-All In


“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
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.” Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)

All of our actions start in the mind. We think about doing something, then do it. Sin is conceived in the mind before it becomes action (James 1:15). So often as Christians we end up doing things we know are wrong repeatedly and then wonder why. This can come from us putting ourselves in situations and around people that breed an environment to do what is wrong. Even if we love Christ, if we are constantly listening to, watching, and reading things that glorify and uphold actions and mindsets contrary to God’s will, we will have these thoughts in our minds.

Obviously, these thoughts will sometimes become actions. Often times these things may not be as blatant as you would expect. For example, many sitcoms/movies show unmarried couples living together and having sex as ways to reach “new levels” in their relationship. While this is not necessarily “bad” (illegal) by worldly standards, we know this is wrong in God’s sight and is therefore sin. Another major theme presented all over is reaching Heaven or true happiness through one’s good actions or good works; which is blatantly contrary to true salvation which can only be attained through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Maybe you get confused and swayed in your relationship with God because too many things going into your mind are pulling you away… 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Motivation-All In



“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
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.” Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)

God is truly an awesome God. As we all know He has performed great wonders throughout time and still is today. From the creation of this world to parting the Red Sea to Jesus’ resurrection and even us just having life at this very moment; the list goes on and on. This is the God that we all want to know and have a relationship with. He is the blessing God, the merciful God, and the forgiving God. However this is just part of God’s nature toward us. God also wants to be our Lord; our Master, King, and Ruler.

God wants your entire life to be a sacrifice to Him. He wants your all to be an offering to Him and His will. As a Christians life can be much more tranquil if you would just give your all over to the Lord. And by all I mean EVERYTHING. This includes our thoughts, actions, desires, motives, attitudes, talents, resources, habits, problems, your body, and the list goes on. God wants all of you. Give yourself to Him.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Word-Friday Freedom



“Direct my steps by Your word,
And let no iniquity have dominion over me.”

-Psalm 119:133 (NKJV)

God has given you an instruction manual for this life and the next. Everything we need to know is in the Word of God. “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” (Psalm 119:9). Do you want to live a successful life and one that is pleasing to Jesus Christ? Then hide the Word in your heart. Meditate on it. Rest in it. Have confidence in its truth. There is no other way to God but Jesus Christ and He love you!

“I want to walk worthy
According to Your will
Please order my steps, Lord
And I’ll do your blessed will
The world is ever changing
But You are still the same
If you order my steps
I’ll praise your name!!!”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Word-Thursday Thought



“With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.”
- Psalm 119:10-11

How important is God’s Word to you? The issue that many Christians face is giving God a place in their lives that is anything but first. When this happens we tend to have tiny respect, or at least not enough, for the Word of God as well. As a whole, I believe that most of us love God’s Word, but not with our whole hearts. From this verse we can see that we are to love God’s commands in a mighty way.

Whom do you seek to please in life? What are your goals? Your ultimate goal should be to discern what Christ has ordained for you to do. When you seek His plans your success will be boundless beyond imagination. The only way to live a truly meaningful life is to seek God with all of you. How much do you seek God’s word? Is your zeal for anything else greater than your zeal for the Word?