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Never Be Embarrassed or Afraid to Publicly Praise God

And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 2 Sam 6:14-17 KJV

 And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house. Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself! And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord. 2 Sam. 6:18-21 KJV

Psalm 149:3 KJV

Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

No one is greater to be praised than our Father in heaven who sits high and looks low and by his grace we are saved. He is our healer, provider, and strength. God is there with us during adversity, affliction, and persecution. We are surrounded by “Debbie Downers,” cynical people, pessimism, negativity, and doom and gloom, but don’t allow your spirit to be sucked in by any of it. Keep that joy that’s deep down on the inside of you, sing, dance, shout, and play instruments, what I’m telling you is this, praise the Lord!!

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Psalm 150: 3-6 KJV

Michal tried to ridicule David for praising the Lord his way… by leaping and dancing. David reminded Michal of what the Lord was doing in his life, making him ruler over Israel. We all know this is typical of some people today; they question how we praise the Lord and display our deepest gratitude and thankfulness of what God has done and is doing in our life. I’m not saying you owe anyone any kind of explanation, but tell them why you sing, dance, shout, play instruments or write about the Lord, because he is worthy to be praised. David knew the God he served, the God that delivered him and helped him defeat the enemy time and time again. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Psalm 150:2 KJV.

 Never be embarrassed or afraid to publicly praise God and do it with all of your heart. He is worthy of such praise.

Psalm 117.:1 KJV

O Praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.

Be Blessed

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Hannah’s Prayer is Answered

It wasn’t all sunshine and roses for Hannah, she was childless and not by choice. In the midst of that, her husband Elkanah’s other wife Peninnah had children 1Sam. 1:2 KJV, And he had two wives; the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Hannah was in pain and exasperated by Peninnah. 1Sam. 1:6-7 KJV, And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

Hannah prayed and petition the Lord. In 1Sam. 1:10-11 KJV  And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. Hannah was very specific in her request, she said a man child, this is a reminder of Phil 4:6-7 KJV Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. In God’s timing, Hannah did conceive, 1Sam. 1:20 KJV Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord. Hannah remembered her prayer, and kept her vow and reminded the Lord. 1Sam. 1:26-28 KJV, And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there.

Hannah was so thankful for what God had done she began to pray. Let’s look at Hannah’s Prayer in 1Sam. 2:1-10 KJV, she first reverences the Lord, then warned of the proud and arrogance, we can connect this to several people in the Bible, Eli’s sons, the Philistines, and David’s son Absalom. Her prayer includes how the Lord maketh poor and maketh rich, which is also mentioned in Proverbs 22:2 KJV, The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all. Hannah goes on further and tells how the Lord bringeth low the wicked and I think about Nebuchadnezzar, Saul, and Haman. And God lifteth up the righteous and of course we recall the stories of Job, David, and Mordecai and at the end of her prayer in verse 10 she let it be known by God alone actions are weighed.

Hannah conceived, remembering her vow to the Lord and kept the vow – the sacrifice of giving her son Samuel to serve the Lord. God ended up blessing Hannah with more children. 1Sam. 2:21KJV, And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the Lord. And Samuel became a prophet of the Lord 1Sam 19-20 KJV, And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.

God knows our heart and he wants us to bring our sorrows and troubles to him, or whatever it is you may be going through. No situation is too big for God. Amen. Trust in his timing and believe that he hears your prayers. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Ephesians 3:20 KJV.

Be Blessed

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Lean on God for Safety and Security

The pandemic is raging and everyone is in its path. Safety and security are fading depending on who you ask. There seems to be no answers in sight to end this pandemic and due to the unknowns of the virus, it would be ludicrous to claim that we have a whole lot of knowledge on the matter. We can all attest to the fact that this pandemic has taken lives and held our economy hostage. What we needed was someone to recognize the seriousness of it from the beginning and think and listen to the people with expertise in handling pandemics. Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors, there is safety Proverbs 11:14 KJV.

When leadership doesn’t want to take the advice of wise counsel we fall. A true leader will ask for advice from experts, from qualified individuals because no one person has all the answers. In addition to asking for advice, one must then adhere to what is being suggested for fixing the problem. If we have learned one thing in these current times, it’s to surround ourselves with wise counsel.

The nation was caught off guard and leaders immediately denied there was a problem. So, one of the biggest questions of 2020 is where do we go from here? Man can’t get a grip on this pandemic, but all I can say is Jesus. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 KJV. Jesus is a Counsellor; he counsels us from God’s perspective. Jesus doesn’t tell us what he thinks, it is the mind of God, his Father, that he uses to counsel us.

If Jesus is listening to his Father, it’s probably a good idea that we do the same. We should go to God with our cares and concerns and listen to his wise counsel to get us through things we don’t understand. Listening to the Holy Spirit, allowing it to guide us when we are unsure of our safety and security. Now that ignorance has come into play, and appears to be on repeat, another big question has to be answered, who will be safe? But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil Proverbs 1:33 KJV. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Be still and know that I am God Psalm 46:1 KJV. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10 KJV.

Pray. Hold onto your faith. Hold onto God and his word because he will never leave you or forsake you. He is omniscience an all-knowing God. Trust God’s process. Trust in him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Psalm 62:8 KJV

Be Blessed

Remember All That God has Done and Serve Him

 

Joshua 24 24

We have had great leaders over the centuries and not so great leaders. Leaders that can lead us in troubled times and at the same time remind us where our help comes from in times of despair. And Joshua falls in that category. I enjoy the book of Joshua because he was a great leader after Moses. He led the people in numerous battles, distributed their inheritance, and divided the land accordingly. Joshua 23:4 KJV, Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, form Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even into the great sea westward.

Joshua reminded the Israelites on several occasions what God had done for them. Joshua 23:3 And ye have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the Lord your God is he that hath fought for you. Joshua 23:9 For the Lord hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day.

Joshua then talks about the consequences of disobedience in Joshua 23:12-16, but immediately after in the Chapter 24: 3-13, Joshua reminds the Israelites again what the Lord had done for them:

And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out. And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen until the Red sea. And when they cried unto the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.

And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you. Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you: But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.  And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.

And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.

God was with Israel in their comings and goings. And this is the same God, who is for you and with you when you don’t know what is going on or what is going to happen next. Every day may seem unstable and disheartening but God is the Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end.  And whatever you experience God has not forgotten you. You are not alone. He is with you in your highs and lows. Remember when he brought you out of whatever you deemed an emergency, or vital to your own personal life. Even if you didn’t get the results you expected all things work together for your good. Amen. God is bigger than any of our circumstances, trust Him today and always. Take the time to remember what God has already done for you, obey, and serve the one who sits on the throne of grace with your whole heart.

And the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey Joshua 24:24 KJV.

Be Blessed

Aligning Our Behavior with Our Position In Christ

I don’t go to church because people in the church act worse than people who don’t go to church. I can’t believe they’re acting like that and they call themselves a Christian. We hear this a lot. What this all means is that our practice, our behavior, doesn’t match our position in Christ. We should become who we already are in Christ. So, what is our position? Our position, our legal status, is holy. That we are forever secured by our faith in Christ. 1Peter 1:5KJV, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. We are kept by God. We are kept by the power and faithfulness of God.

Let’s review our position in Christ. God calls us saints. I Cor. 1:2 NLT I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. We have a new life in Christ, 2Cor. 5:17 KJV Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. We have been predestined, Ephesians 1:5 KJV Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Christ Jesus to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, within he hath made us accepted in the beloved. So, the word confirms it, God had a purpose for us ahead of time that he would adopt us. Next, we are redeemed, Eph. 1:7 NIV, In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. We’re not done yet, he has sealed us, Eph. 1:13-14KJV, In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. In other words, you have heard and believed the gospel and are saved because of it and sealed with the Holy Spirit. This is our position as believers, we belong to God. Praise God for our position!!

You may be asking how do I get my behavior and position to align with one another? There must be spiritual growth in order to demonstrate a behavior that matches your position in Christ. Supporting other saints, encouraging them and feeding your Spirit the word of God. Therefore, your spiritual growth will be evident by your behavior. You will display the Fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. We will obey the word of God, Luke 11:28 KJV – But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it. And John 14:15 KJV, If you love me keep my commandments. And reading the word of God, as stated in 2Tim. 2:15 KJV, reads as this, Study to shew thyself approved by God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of God. We have also, 2Tim 3:16 KJV, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. We are to love others, 1John 4:11KJV, Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. Lastly, confessing your sins, 1John 1:9-10 KJV, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

We are part of the kingdom and our position in Christ is because of God’s grace. We can live our position, only if our behavior aligns with our position. Paul talks about our personal behavior in Ephesians 4-6 KJV. Take time to read all of Ephesians. Start today, aligning your behavior to match your position in Christ by leading with love, humility, and patience.

Be Blessed

Remembering Rahab

If you are in the word of God then you know about Rahab, she was known as a harlot. And if your reputation, like Rahab’s hasn’t been the best, don’t fret, because our God can turn it around for your good.

Let me set this up for you, Moses has died and Joshua is to lead the Israelites into the promise land. And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there. This is interesting in and of itself because Rahab is a Canaanite and the Canaanites are one of seven enemy nations of Israel. Joshua 2:1 KJV

Deut. 7:1-2 KJV When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them. So, you may be asking yourself why Rahab? But try asking yourself this instead, why not Rahab?

Word gets back to the king of Jericho about the spies and he sends for them. Rahab hides the men. Joshua 2:6 KJV But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof. The next words from Rahab will let you know her heart and her personal belief in God. Joshua 2: 9-11 KJV And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. Rahab said she knew and heard about the things the Lord had done believing and confessing it with her own mouth. SHE REVERENCE THE LORD!!

It gets better, Rehab asked that her family be saved when they conquer Jericho. She didn’t think only about herself, she said save her family. Joshua 2: 13 KJV And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. And this was their response, Joshua 2:14 KJV And the men answered her, Our life for yours, If ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the Lord hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee. Rahab thinking of others, again is all in to help these two spies, that she helps them hide for a second time. Joshua 2:16 KJV, And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.

We tend to talk about Rahab being a harlot, but she is much more that that she is strong, courageous, kind, and not scared to acknowledge who God is…for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above and in the earth beneath. That was worth repeating Amen.

In Joshua 6:20 KJV, After the trumpets blew and the people shouted the Jericho wall fell down and they destroyed the city. And the spies kept their word. Joshua 6: 25 KJV, And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. We also find out more about Rahab in the New Testament. She was a part of Jesus’ bloodline Matthew 1:5 KJV. She had faith as written in Hebrews 11:31 KJV and she was justified by works in James 2:25 KJV.

This is a little side note concerning Paul and James’ and their perception of faith and works. Paul believed salvation is by faith alone. James is saying that genuine faith in Christ will produce a changed life and good works. True faith produces good works, that is, acts of obedience and it is perfected by the grace of God working in the believer.

As you can see God doesn’t look at us the way we look at each other. Remembering Rahab and how God can use anyone he chooses and that includes you. We all have a past and have not made the wisest choices at some point or another, but God can change it ALL. He loves you and wants to use you.

God Is Intentional

God is intentional. His word is truth and throughout the Bible God has made clear what his plans are for us. How we should live and what will happen when we disobey him. God being intentional also reveals that he is an expert in details. Here are some of those times in the Bible when God’s intentions were explicit:

  1. Explaining to Noah how to build the ark – Genesis 6:13-16

  2. That Solomon would build the temple – 1 Kings 5:2-5

  3. How to build the temple – 1Kings 6:1-38

  4. Obeying his commandments – Exodus 20:1-17

  5. The Jericho wall, how many times to march around and sound the trumpets – Joshua 6:1-5

  6. The birth of Jesus – Luke 1:35, Matthew 1:18-23

  7. The plans he has for us – Jeremiah 29-11

These are just some of the extraordinary things that God was specific about in his intentions. God tells the who, when, where, and how things shall come to pass. And this should be our goal to be intentional about living a Christ centered life, allowing the spirit of God to always lead us. Remember his intentions are for us to live in eternity with him. Be intentional in your speech and actions. Be intentional with your worship and praise. Be intentional about your relationship with God. Be intentional about telling others about the goodness of the Lord. Be intentional about helping others. Be intentional in your marriage. Displaying the fruit of the spirit and being holy should forever be intentional. We should be intentional about all things concerning the Lord and reminding ourselves that it is not about us.

Think about Paul, who once persecuted believers and then became very intentional about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ after his conversion on the road to Damascus. And Jesus was also very intentional, he said he was about his Father’s business in Luke 2:49 and what I know for sure is that Jesus was very intentional in his actions when it came to his Father…it was all about obedience.

God was intentional about our identity, he said we are a chosen generation and a royal priesthood in 1Peter 2:9. You never have to doubt that God loves you and he doesn’t want you to fail. He gave us the word, His word, His son, and His grace. Go out each and every day and live intentionally as one that has been chosen by God.