TRUTH: We Have All Spiritual Blessings But One Is…

June 24, 2017

If you asked someone if they would like a blessing, how many people do you think would turn down a blessing they thought they could received. Let’s face it. Regardless of our religious affiliations or whom we call God, we all like blessings. For the Christians, we are even more pointed in that we love being blessed from God as that is for our benefit and good. The Apostle Paul shares with us the TRUTH: We Have All Spiritual Blessings But One Is…

Let’s go to the Word of God to see this fact.

Ephesians 1:3-4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

There are a number of hugely important doctrinal issues or blessings being addressed like the trinity and our union with Christ, heavenly places, election, predestination, redemption or eradication of sin, progression from death to life and the like. We should be sure to know and understand where the spiritual blessings but not just blessings originate – from the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ through or in Christ. TRUTH: We Have All Spiritual Blessings But One Is…

I am not trying to oversimplify spiritual blessings. They are too important for me to even think of doing that; however, I want you to see and know that without a relationship with Jesus Christ, it is impossible for you to have access to All Spiritual Blessings. You may be blessed with health, a great job, children, etc, but you will not have the top blessings, the blessings of all blessings that is to be united with God in relationship with Him through Jesus Christ who pronounces us holy and blameless in his sight. There is no way for God to see or deem man as blameless other than through Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” TRUTH: We Have All Spiritual Blessings But One Is…

Please take some time to read, research and pray for God’s revelation of understanding about this passage. If you want the blessing of all blessings, you will take steps to ensure that you were chosen before all creation to be holy and blameless in His sight. TRUTH: We Have All Spiritual Blessings But One Is… Jesus Christ.  Christ is the greatest blessing that we have been given. Without Him, nothing that is given could be given or received.

TRUTH: Know Jesus to Avoid Chaos

June 23, 2017

I just got off the phone with a person that I care about. The person’s life is in shambles because the marriage is falling apart. I a remember the person and I speaking in my office this year. Since I was a follower of Jesus, the person wanted to know my thoughts about getting married. I asked did the person being considered for matrimony Know Jesus. The person said, “Yes”. I asked if the person was sure as knowing Jesus was the most important matter to consider when looking to establish a relationship especially one where marriage is the end game. I essentially told the person the TRUTH: Know Jesus to Avoid Chaos.

While I am no marriage pundit, I have been married or relating to my wife for 27 years. There are some principles that are true in every relationship. I shared with the person that God told me the criteria for someone for me to marry – one who loves me more than she loves you. When I asked God why, I told the person that God said, “When she gets mad at you, her allegiance will be to me. As a result, I can’t get her to respond to me in truth rather than her allegiance being to you and responding to you out anger or any other sin.” I took God at His Word. We need to base all our decisions on the Word which is why I say TRUTH: Know Jesus to Avoid Chaos.

Let’s see an example in Mark 4. (crf Matthew 8)

30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”

33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

There are a number of perspectives/points included in those verses; however, I only want to point to the TRUTH: Know Jesus to Avoid Chaos.  They were on their way to take care of other business of Jesus when they encountered a storm. We all know how the storms of life interrupt us as we are on our way to another station in life. Like the disciples, if we are attending to God’s work and Jesus is with us through the indwelling Holy Spirit, we too can endure the chaos of the storms of life. Notice they were not immune or exempt from encountering the storm. Neither will we be exempt from chaos of life; however, the key is what is our relationship with Jesus. Remember John 16:33 where Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We will have trouble in this world, but with Jesus, we can have peace in the midst of our trouble or chaos.

37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

Where was Jesus? He was in the boat with them. What was Jesus doing? He was asleep. Why? He was tired from meeting the needs of the people He has provided for earlier in the text. Why did the disciples think Jesus did not care what happened to them? Jesus did not act or respond in the manner and time frame that they envisioned. I don’t blame them. If I had Jesus in the boat with me that was about to sink because it was filling up with water, I would wake Him up too, but it would be to say to save me not to blame me. That is where many of us struggle. We struggle over a truths, (1. Jesus being with us. 2. Jesus caring for us, 3. Jesus having the power or authority to do something about our situation.) that we should have settled in our hearts as believers and followers of Jesus. We struggle with the TRUTH: Know Jesus to Avoid Chaos.

Jesus calmed the storm and the disciples were truly amazed at that power, but Jesus wanted them to have the faith of the Centurion (Matthew 8) who believed at Jesus’ Word his servant would be healed and was. Jesus knew that they had not fully understood the TRUTH: Know Jesus to Avoid Chaos. This why He said, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” What storm are you facing now? What is about to take you under? God, through Jesus Christ, wants you to TRUST in Jesus. God wants us to believe the TRUTH: Know Jesus to Avoid Chaos. Psalms 9:10 says, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Like the Centurion who knew the power of Jesus and His name, God wants us to KNOW Jesus to Avoid Chaos of our lives. 

Below is a song by Trip Lee that resonates with me and reminds me that God is saying Know Me.

 

“Know Me”

I wanna intodruce y’all to a friend of mine
A lot of y’all don’t know him
But maybe you’ll understand if he talks to you

Good evening, it’s me, yeah it sounds so strange
May not know me but I’m in my house all day
Since I came I ain’t never been without no fame
Always grab attention, mayne without no strain
Yeah you heard of me, maybe I slipped out your brain
Some they really love me, no doubt, no vain
Others think I’m whack like “he sounds so lame”
Some are somewhere in the middle like when alto sing
But yup, you might find me fresh of the presses
Dressed in the best, love I can’t spare to reckon
Lives over lives, I’m direct with a message
Incapable of lies, come correct when I step in
Known to change lives, yeah my rep is impressive
Some don’t really get me, ’cause I am hard to see
I’ve split up some families, I’m known to cause wreckage
Some don’t really get me, they say I’m hard to read

Know me
Know me, Know
Know me
Know me, Know

Ey, I’m so old school but I’m relevant to new
In the league of my own, known for tellin’ them the Truth
I know fakes that oppose, but I’m tellin’ ’em to move
‘Cause they ain’t on my level like my elevator move
They try to hang it, compete it with out brain
But they just ain’t the same, they miss, they playin’ games
I got Truth that they missin’, ’bout what they can’t obtain
Thay facin’ that real, one day they will be ashamed
No challenges can harm me, I’m battlin’ the storm
I know folks that got my quotes tatted on they arms
But they missin’ the point, from Atlanta to the Bronx
If they lives don’t change then they battles ain’t in form
I get you gotta speak on matters that’ll form
The way you see the world from your calories to porn
If you hear me but never change, better be alarmed
I need do, it’s not hear, it’s just the norm, Let’s go

Know me
Know me, Know
Know me
Know me, Know

Hey throughout my lifetime, I done seen a lot of folks
Been around the world but ain’t seen a lot of hope
And I came to help if they believed in what I spoke
Most ain’t listen very well, they just read a lot of quotes
Been used and abused by most of families
Some dudes in them pews, please don’t remind me
The views that they choose, really don’t define me
Look, I just wanna be understood
Hey, I’m a great storyteller and a beast of a poet
A master historian, esteemed by the coldest
And all of this is centered around He’s who they notice
But didn’t recognize as the King who controls it
The most high up, and I’m so inspired
By you moved, created everything, done triumph
I take it, He’s a lover plus a known fighter
But I can’t take credit ’cause I got a ghost writer

You ain’t caught it yet?
I’m talkin’ ’bout the Word
Yeah, and if you don’t know Him you need to
Study His ways and they will keep you from evil
Word

TRUTH: It’s Not Where You Are From, but Where you At (are).

June 17, 2017

Eric B. & Rakim have a song titled In The Ghetto. The song basically talks about improving self through knowledge and one’s mindset. In the chorus, there are two phrases that became a part of the urban lexicon. Those phrases are expressed as ‘Cause it ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at or It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at which is where the the title of the post sprang – TRUTH: It’s Not Where You Are From, but Where you At (are).

Those phrases were interwoven in the conversations and minds of young men and women in 1990 and 1991. It almost became an anthem for those who wanted to escape the stereo-types branded on us by the popular culture. For my peer group, it symbolized that our destiny is not determined by our place of birth, race of birth, or economics of birth. It symbolizes hope to not be confined by life’s traps or humanly created ceilings. Now, I see a greater connection and the TRUTH: It’s Not Where You Are From, but Where you At (are) in Ephesians 1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I urge you to find the TRUTH: It’s Not Where You Are From, but Where You At (are) in Christ Jesus. Read and think through the verses that explain the significance of “in Christ” or “in Him” This is what the Apostle Paul is referencing here in Ephesians. Here, we see what Solomon said in Proverbs 20:6 Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find? Man fails to be faithful in his pursuit of God or anyone else. However, Deuteronomy 32:4  tells us that “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.”

Now, my anthem is the Word of God. The Apostle Paul tells us the TRUTH: It’s Not Where You Are From, but Where You At (are). In Ephesians 1, we see that the only place for us to be considered faithful is In Christ Jesus. In, at or are all describe man’s position. Spiritually, it describes whether one is included in the body or family of God or if one is outside of the body or family of God. Noted commentator, Matthew Henry says, “In Christ Jesus, from whom they derive all their grace and spiritual strength, and in whom their persons, and all that they perform, are made accepted.” Acceptance, value and meaning is what we all aspire.
It is only In Christ Jesus that we have godly acceptance, value and meaning. Now, you have a taste of the TRUTH: It’s Not Where You Are From, but Where You At (are). 

TRUTH: By the Will of God, We Are What We Are

June 16, 2017

No more lucid and poignant now than in recent history, I know the TRUTH: By the Will of God, We Are What We Are. We can seemingly make choices and decisions, but they all are subject to divine veto. This week, I finally began to solidify plans to take my family to Washington D.C. My family had been there years ago, but I felt it was time for my kids to revisit all the museums and other sites to crystalize them and their significance in their memories. Also, a friend’s daughter was supposed to give birth of their first grandchild. It was also to be there in support of their family.

Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Again, the Word of God is true. Tuesday, June 13, the dates for the trip were established. Other family members confirmed their attendance on those dates. A friend had begun laying the foundation to secure hotel rooms on those dates at a discounted rate under his business plan. I came home from work, ate, and went outside to play catch with my son. We also talked about and worked through some football drills. Then, I realized the TRUTH: By the Will of God, We Are What We Are. After being outside with him for almost an hour, it happened. An event beyond my control and certainly not by my choice. As I had done about 12 times before, I was finishing the “W” drill with my son. Then I heard a loud pop. Immediately, I fell to the ground. I looked at my leg and it was warped. I could not get up as my achilles tendon had ruptured. Proverbs 19:21 came to mind a little later. We all make plans that do not come to pass, but it is the will of God that always comes to pass. Isaiah 14:27 says, “For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?

The Apostle Paul recognized the TRUTH: By the Will of God, We Are What We Are. He said as much several times in many of his letters.

1 Corinthians 1:1

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,


2 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 
To the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia:


Ephesians 1:1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the…

Colossians 1:1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

2 Timothy 1:1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is…
God purposed for Paul, who originally opposed the church killing my followers of Christ, to preach the good news of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. Follow me to Acts 9

“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”…..

the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.””

Saul who later became Paul by the will of God, learned the TRUTH: By the Will of God, We Are What We Are. Saul’s temporary blindness was used for God to direct him to God’s Will. That blindness came as an opportunity to encounter God. My ruptured achilles with the accompanying costs for the surgery are a means for me to encounter God. It is an avenue for me to become what God has called me to be. It is me learning the TRUTH: By the Will of God, We Are What We Are.

TRUTH: By the Will of God, We Are What We Are. How has God altered or changed your plans? How have you responded? Were you angry and disappointed? Have you allowed your emotions to drive you away from God or to God? Look at Paul; look at me and decide to live by the TRUTH: By the Will of God, We Are What We Are. God has purpose and none of us can thwart what He has purposed. Surrender and walk with Him in peace to discover the Will of God for your life.

TRUTH: The Twilight Zone – 4 Dimensions of Sin

June 12, 2017

Little Girl Lost” is episode 91 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It is about a young girl who has accidentally passed through an opening into another dimension. Her parents and their friend attempt to locate and retrieve her.

In real spiritual life, there are dimensions that impact us. I see it as the TRUTH: The Twilight Zone – 4 Dimensions of Sin. Unlike the theorized 4 dimensions, we can see the 4 Dimension of Sin in everyday life. I want to present one to show what happens and how we, like the “Little Girl Lost”, get pulled into a dimension where we must be retrieved or should I say redeemed.

TRUTH: The Twilight Zone – 4 Dimensions of Sin as observed in Genesis 3

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked;so I hid.”

Genesis 2:15-16
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

In Christendom, Genesis 3 is known as the Fall of Man. Man fell from grace. Man’s original relationship and experience with God was changed until the establishment of the New Heaven and New Earth. Man’s relationship with God was severed because of sin. What did we lose?

  • freedom fear of God, of God’s judgement, of shame
  • fellowship with God
  • full peace
  • free and perfect living accommodations – their home in the garden
  • full life free from sin and death – now all creation is subject to death

How did that happen? For me, I see it as the TRUTH: The Twilight Zone – 4 Dimensions of Sin. 

  1. Doubt – satan got Eve to doubt what God said. In Genesis 2, it was clear what God told Adam. Based on Eve’s response to the satan, she was told by Adam what God said. Satan said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” When doubt about what God said comes, we begin to process for us to hear, accept and deny God said it. In Matthew 4, we are told “The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.””
  2. Denial – satan told Eve and tells us that God did not say thus and such. Denials to what God said gives rise to our own sinful and evil desires. He even came at Jesus Christ with mess as listed above. The difference between Eve, us and Jesus determines whether we enter into the spiritual Twilight Zone. Adam and Eve denied the truth that they knew in exchange for a lie. As a consequence, they disobeyed. See Romans 1:21-32 for a repeat of the matter.
  3. Disobedience – It is easy for us to disobey our parents, spouse, supervisor and God when we give ear to doubt and deny the reality of the truth and the related consequence. When Adam and Eve, along with us, chose to believe that we can do what we want without consequence, we disobey. We become the priority. We become idolators by assuming the lordship seat of our hearts and mind. Idolatry is sin.
  4. Death – sin brings death. James 1 tells us “13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” At death, we are separated from God. In that separation, we cannot fully enjoy the love of God and all associated benefits. We create rift between God and ourselves when we sin. In fact, the bible teaches that we are dead in your transgressions and sins. This happens when we follow the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Ephesians 2).

The episode of the Twilight Zone unwittingly shares with us the end result of our sin – we are lost. If one is lost, they must be found. That is why Jesus came. Luke 19:10 tells us “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Remember without Christ, we are separated from God and without hope and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:12).  Romans 6:23 tells us “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” With Christ, we have have hope; we have unity with God and God in the world. Why? “…he (God) has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— Colossians 1:22

Now, you know the TRUTH: The Twilight Zone – 4 Dimensions of Sin. 

TRUTH: Enter through the Narrow Gate

June 9, 2017

There are a myriad of circumstances that require entry. There are ways to enter university or college. There are ways to enter the global market.  Still, there are ways to enter a contest or the job market. For example, there are ways to properly enter a country as we know from the political tone in our country. That is termed a legal pathway. Most places we know of have some type of access apparatus. Whether a path, a door or gate, one has to enter through the identified portal. TRUTH: Enter through the Narrow Gate

I have repeatedly stated that the physical world mirrors or mimics the spiritual in a multitude of ways. Entering a desired destination is one of them. Long before many of the ways to enter mentioned above, God realized that man needed a means to re-enter into fellowship with Him. After the fall of man when Adam and Eve sinned, pure fellowship with God was severed. The sacrificial system was implemented as a means to cleanse man and make man acceptable to God. It was only a foreshadowing of the true and eternal sacrifice, Jesus Christ, who, as John the Baptist said when He saw Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

How then does one obtain access to having his/her sins taken away? Jesus tells us the TRUTH: Enter through the Narrow Gate. Jesus and the disciples answer that questions throughout the New Testament. Let’s look at one instance below.

Matthew 7:13-14 (NASB)

13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

For the believer in Christ as Lord and Savior, “We must go through many tribulations/hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” (Acts 14:22) That is contrary to what some teach and is a direct example of the false prophets/teachers mentioned the following verses in the chapter.

All of our parents have told us not to follow the crowd; yet, when it comes to faith, many tend to follow the crowd. What Jesus says is certainly not the wide gate and broad way or road. In John 10, Jesus said in verse 7 “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.” Again in verse 9, Jesus said, “ I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” TRUTH: Enter through the Narrow Gate.

Jesus proclaimed to be the door or gate. Without Him, He inferred that you cannot be saved in verse 9. However, in John 14:6, He definitely stated that one could not be saved without entering through Him. The verses say, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” TRUTH: Enter through the Narrow Gate.

TRUTH: Enter through the Narrow Gate. Jesus is the narrow Gate. You will not enter into fellowship and relationship with Jehovah, the one true God, without being reconciled to God through Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1 tells us

19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

TRUTH: Enter through the Narrow Gate. Jesus is the gate. TRUST Him and follow Him.

TRUTH: Why Call Upon God?

June 7, 2017

TRUTH: Why Call Upon God? The answer to that is eternal, but for those of us who lack that focus, the bible has more concrete and immediate answers. There are a multitude of reasons why one would call upon God such as the most obvious, we need Him. The list of reasons to call upon God could be discussed for weeks on this site. Similarly in our text today, Psalm 86, there are many reasons listed to call upon God but, I will just focus on three outlined in verse 5.

Psalm 86:1-7  (NKJV)

Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me;
For I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am holy;
You are my God;
Save Your servant who trusts in You!
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
For I cry to You all day long.
Rejoice the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
And attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the day of my trouble I will call upon You,
For You will answer me.

While my commentary about verse five will be brief, out thoughts or meditation about them should not be. God’s love, forgiveness and mercy should be ruminated in our hearts and minds today.  TRUTH: Why Call Upon God?

Who does not want someone to be good to them especially God? No one. Everyone desires to experience good in their lives. This is especially true since Romans 3:12 tells us that “All have turned aside, together they have become uselessThere is none who does goodThere is not even one.”” We tend to think that we are good. The bible clarifies that in the essence of our being we are not good. This is all the more why we need to reflect on the fact that God is good. TRUTH: Why Call Upon God?

In addition to God’s goodness, God is ready to forgive. Again, who does not want to be forgiven of our sins, our wrong doings. No one! All sin and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 6:23 tells us “ For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Death or forgiveness, which would you choose? Have you made that choice to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins as a function of you surrendering your life to Him as Lord and Savior? TRUTH: Why Call Upon God?

Lastly, God is  abundant in mercy to all who call upon Him. Hallelujah! I know that I need all the mercy I can get because I have asked God to forgive me of my responding to people in pride and anger way too many times; yet, I see here that God is abundant in mercy. Who does not need an abundance of mercy more than an abundance of money which we probably crave more than mercy. TRUTH: Why Call Upon God?

I am going to end, so I can call upon God for love, forgiveness and mercy. I pray you do the same today and hereafter. TRUTH: Why Call Upon God?

TRUTH: How majestic is Your name in all the Earth!

June 5, 2017

We typically do not think about what is in a name. While there are those whose names engenders thoughts related to some other human or human incident such as David, Maragaret, Michelangelo, RosaJoshua, Caleb, Muhammad, Harriet, Martin Luther, George, Amelia, etc. There is all kinds of research out there related to a person’s name and related outcomes. It was written that it makes sense if you think about how much a part of a person a name really is. “Our names really are wrapped up in our identity, and that might be why you get this somewhat surprising finding at least in some areas,” (ls)

“In the Old Testament times, a name was not only identification, but an identity as well. Many times a special meaning was attached to the name. Names had, among other purposes, an explanatory purpose (e.g., Nabal, whose name means “fool,” is the target of Abigail’s explanation to David: “For as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him:” – 1Sa 25:25). Throughout Scripture God reveals Himself to us through His names. When we study these names that He reveals to us in the Bible, we will better understand who God really is. The meanings behind God’s names reveal the central personality and nature of the One who bears them.” (blbTRUTH: How majestic is Your name in all the Earth! 

Let us go to Psalm 8 where we the importance of God’s name.

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8:1
O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!

O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!
How majestic refers to the sovereignty or regality of God’s name. God is supreme. TRUTH: How majestic is Your name in all the Earth! I know that God has been supreme, royal and sovereign in my life. In fact, I count on it especially in circumstances beyond my influence or control. We all have more of those moments in life than the latter.
What’s in a name? Everything. As such, I wanted to pass along an opportunity for you to investigate on your own about the names of God.
Explore the names of God used in the Old Testament. This endeavor will drive us to a deeper understanding of who God is and whom we should call in our time of need or praise.

Similarly, there are names, titles and characters of Christ (blb) that span both the Old and New Testament. Regardless, we should explore the names of God learning them because we are told the TRUTH: How majestic is Your name in all the Earth!

TRUTH: Where is Hope?

June 1, 2017

In my line of work, I deal with people on a daily basis. There is not one day where I do not interact with people. Thank God for that. As a part of that dynamic, I, along with many of them, often face situations or circumstances that requires an answer to the TRUTH: Where is Hope?

Hope is the last thing that many people experience at the inception and/or duration of a hardship or trial. What is hope? In the following verses, the Hebrew word for hope is yachal (yä·khal’ ). That particular word occurs 42 times in 41 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the KJV. For hope, it is used 22 times in the Old Testament. It means to wait; by implication, to be patient, hope:—(cause to, have, make to) hope. Generally, hope is defined as the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. That still leaves us wanting in terms of the object of our hope. To whom or what do we place our hope or our waiting? TRUTH: Where is Hope?

For me, I look no further than God’s Word to answer this question. After reading these verses, I trust that you will discover the TRUTH: Where is Hope?

All verses below are from the New King James Version

Psalm 31:24

24 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.

Psalm 33:18

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,

Psalm 33:22

22 Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.

Psalm 38:15

15 For in You, O Lord, I hope;
You will hear, O Lord my God.

Psalm 42:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.

Psalm 42:11

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

Psalm 43:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

Psalm 71:14

14 But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.

Psalm 119:43

43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I have hoped in Your ordinances.

Psalm 119:74

74 Those who fear You will be glad when they see me,
Because I have hoped in Your word.

Psalm 119:81

81 My soul faints for Your salvation,
But I hope in Your word.

Psalm 119:114

114 You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.

Psalm 119:147

147 I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.

Psalm 130:5

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.

Psalm 130:7

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption

Psalm 131:3

O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.

Psalm 147:11

11 The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy.

Lamentations 3:21 

21 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.

Lamentations 3:22-24 

22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

Ezekiel 13:6

They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord!’ But the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed.

Ezekiel 19:5

‘When she saw that she waited, that her hope was lost,
She took another of her cubs and made him a young lion.

We see that hope should be in God or His Word. We see that our hope or waiting should be rooted in God. Psalm 25:3 confirms this waiting. It says, “Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.

TRUTH: Where is Hope? In God and His Word which reveals His character and promises. My friends Hope in God alone!

TRUTH: God is Good, so why did He…

May 30, 2017

Let’s face it, we cannot fully comprehend God because He is incomprehensible. Furthermore, how could a finite being, man, confidently assess, value or judge an infinite being, God? We cannot fully make an assessment, value or judgement beyond our comprehension; however, we can make assessments, values or judgements on what we do comprehend. Where we get confused, off-base and in trouble is where we do know or comprehend one part of God’s character, but we cannot understand some other circumstance that seemingly competes with what we know. TRUTH: God is Good, so why did He… is what we typically hear in those situations.

For those who have any type of affirmation that God is, very few, if any, would contend with a statement that is ubiquitous in my network of people. The state goes like this – God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. Despite the essence of God’s character is good and in no need of a modifier, people use the phrase to further cement in people’s mind of the character of God – His goodness. What do we mean by good? Let’s see two verses that are widely used to convey God’s goodness.

Psalm 84:11
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
    from those whose walk is blameless.

Romans 8:28-32
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

In Psalm 84:11, the Hebrew word used for good is towb (tōve). In the Old Testament, towb is used in the following manner: good (361x), better (72x), well (20x), goodness (16x), goodly (9x), best (8x), merry (7x), fair (7x), prosperity (6x), precious (4x), fine (3x), wealth (3x), beautiful (2x), fairer (2x), favour (2x), glad (2x), miscellaneous (35x). Towb has been defined as good, pleasant, agreeable, a good thing, benefit, welfare. In the 361 instances where the towb was used, it was used as “good”. Which we all have no limitations on understanding.

In Romans 8:28, the Greek word used for good is agathos (ä-gä-tho’s). In the New Testament, agathos is used in the following manner: good (77x), good thing (14x), that which is good (with G3588) (8x), the thing which is good (with G3588) (1x), well (1x), benefit (1x). Agathos describes that which, being “good” in its character or constitution, is beneficial in its effect; it is used of physical things e.g. a tree, in a moral sense, frequently of persons and things. God is essentially, absolutely and consummately “good,” and of the neuter of the adjective with the definite article signifies that which is “good,” lit., “the good,” as being morally honorable, pleasing to God, and therefore beneficial.

I provided all of that background information to say the TRUTH: God is Good, so why did He… I cannot count the number of times people have asked me or I have heard If God is good, why did He….  The first mistake is that we take an absolute – God’s goodness and translates it into a conditional matter. By saying if God is good or by merely questioning the goodness of God, one is, in his mind, taking a sure thing and making it into a questionable one. In doing so, that person allows himself to consider false circumstances and conclusions. The premise that God is not good is false, so everything after that is false leading the person to wrong and improper conclusions about God. When one asks that question out of seeking to understand i.e. why, the person understands the conflict between what is – the essence of God’s character versus what he does not understand – seemingly an instance of God not demonstrating the essence of His character i.e. good in this sense.

In Psalm 84:11 and Romans 8:28, we are provided clarity. In Psalm, we are told that God does not withhold anything good from those whose walk is blameless. Our premise is that we are blameless which we are not. Nevertheless, it is used to describe the genuine follower of God whose intent is to pursue God. I will only mention that we do not deserve anything from God except the consequence of our sin. Romans provides a greater application and understanding of conflicting experiences in our lives with the goodness of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,

It presupposes and affirms that God is good, so any option to the contrary is taken off the table. Those verses give a context, the why if you will, for seemingly conflicting circumstances in our lives. All things happen for God’s purpose – to conform all whom He foreknew and predestined be be conformed to the image of his Son. All circumstances are designed to conform us to the image of His Son. Conform is having the same form as Jesus, similar, conformed to His form, nature or character. Dictionary.com defines conform as to act in accord with the prevailing standards, attitudes, practices,

TRUTH: God is Good, so why did He… The answer is that God desires us to respond like Jesus would in that situation – in complete TRUST and dependency on the Father which manifest itself in obedience to the TRUTH i.e. Jesus Contrary to popular belief, God is not primarily concerned with our pleasure, comfort and happiness. Philippians 1:29 tells us “29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,” God is primarily concerned with our godliness. God wants us to reflect the character of Christ in this world. 1 Peter 2:21 tells us “21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, ” TRUTH: God is Good, so why did He… to follow Christ