Friday, March 24, 2017

Let God Deal with Him

Abishai said to David, "Today God has given your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of my spear; I won't strike him twice." But David said to Abishai, "Don't destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD's anointed and be guiltless? As surely as the LORD lives," he said, "the LORD himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish." (1 Samuel 26:8-10 NIV)

Let God Deal with Him
How would you treat your perceived enemy if you have the opportunity of dealing with him? Would you treat him as he has been treating you? Alternatively, would you let him go scot-free and allow God to deal with him in God's own way and time?

King Saul was a sworn enemy of David. He spent most of his time looking for a way to kill David. However, twice, David had opportunities of killing Saul, but he did not do so (see 1 Samuel 24, 26). David's followers could not understand why he would not take the golden opportunities to exterminate his arch enemy and become the king of Israel. David preferred to let God deal with Saul rather than avenging for himself. God did deal with Saul in His own time and His own way, and David eventually became the king of Israel in place of Saul.

Many people would not do such a thing – to let a perceived enemy continue to have his way, especially when they have the opportunity of getting even with such enemy. It is natural to get rid of one's perceived enemy, but, it is contrary to the New Testament teachings. Consider this: "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord. On the contrary: 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:17-21 NIV). See also Matthew 5:44; Luke 27-28; 23:34; Romans 12:14; 1 Corinthians 4:12-13; 1 Peter 3:9. It takes spiritual maturity to follow such teachings and really allow God to deal with one's perceived enemies in God's way and God's time.

Do not have it in mind to get even with your perceived enemy. Let God deal with him. God will do so in His own way and in His own time. He will indeed vindicate you. Like David, you will laugh last and testify to the goodness of God over your life. Bayo Afolaranmi

Friday, March 17, 2017

Let Go and Let's Go

Let Go and Let's Go
When we are use to someone being in our lives, it's hard to let them go even when we know they may be suffering for the sake of remaining.

Back in February, my father was nearing his last days of being with us. I wanted to find a way for my dad to stay. Even to the point of asking the doctor what could be done to prolong his life. But one day I had a very difficult conversation with my brother. He let me know it was time for us to let dad go. He helped me understand that it was not fair for us to continue to hold on, for the sake of us being able to say that dad was yet here. What really helped me come to grips with letting go during our conversation is when my brother said: "Keitha, dad is not living, he is merely existing and that's no way to live." Instantly, I felt peace.

Thoughts rushed to the surface of my mind and I began to think of who these words were coming from. Those simple words of truth were coming from the sibling who was closest to our father. His strength made me desire to have more strength in this dark time of our lives. I began to prepare myself mentally and this scripture came alive in me: "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness" 2 Corinthians 12:9a. I then realized even though my father taught us to be strong, my supreme Father was the strength I needed even when I felt weak.

In my mind I let him go as far as being on this earth with us. But in those last days before he left us, I studied my father. I chose to remember everything I could about how he looked from his feet to his fingers. Even from the twist in his mouth to the engraved scar on his upper cheek. That point of letting go put me in a place of peace knowing he was no longer suffering.

Death is not easy but it was a learning experience on how to properly let go and move forward. Even through the experience of pain, I choose to make this year everything God has promised me it can and will be. So let go and let's go make this year the beginning of the best years ahead! LaKeitha Givens

Friday, March 10, 2017

Let the Past Go

Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19 NAS)

Let the Past Go
No, that's not for you. Let it go. I know, you think it's was what you need. Let it go I have something better for you if you will let it go. Oh I know it may feel right, and things may seem to fall into place, Things aren't always what they seem, what you are feeling is not from Me. You're walking after the flesh and not in the Spirit. Let it go.

It will hurt you if you don't let it go. I understand you have needs, I understand what you are feeling, I don't want this to hurt you, and it will, if you don't let it go. Don't allow it to destroy all that you have suffered for, let it go.

I want you to release the pain of the past and move ahead with Me. You can't bring the past with you, you can't hold onto it while walking with Me. It has no place with Me, I am your future Forgive, you must forgive. Forgive all that have hurt you, You must turn lose that which is not of Me. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old You can't move forward with Me while holding onto your past That which is not of Me will lead to death, Let it go. Didn't I promise I would do a new thing in you? It will come forth, I will make a way in the wilderness for you, if you let it go.

Don't look at what they are doing, don't look at what they have. They are not with Me, you are. Is it worth your walk with Me? Is it worth the joy that I have given you? Is it worth your salvation, which I died for? It won't open the doors of Heaven, it will only hold you in bondage, Let it go.

I am all that you need. Haven't I always been right on time? Haven't I always made a way out of no way? Why do you doubt Me now? Stop listening to what they are saying. Why do you care what they say? I am greater than any circumstance you will ever face. Now, give it to Me, you can't handle it, it's too much for you to bear. Let it go, take your hands off of it, and give it to Me. Don't look back, take My hand, and walk with Me. My child, let it go. Shearon Hurst-Roach

Friday, March 3, 2017

Let It Go

Let It GoIs it hard to ignore a wrong done against you? Do you feel you have been treated unfairly? Are you tempted to retaliate? Let it go.

We all get our feelings hurt; but harboring that pain only leads to more. We cannot undo what was done; but we can choose to use it to build character and strength within. Yes, it hurts; but let it go.

Do you feel you are about to explode, ready to blow your top? Would that make things better? No, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, that would only harm you. Let it go.

The book of Proverbs is more beneficial than anger management. If tried and tested the counsel of Proverbs helps you to overcome frustration and anger. "A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression" (Proverbs 19:11 NAS).

Let Him take control; reject anger, let it go. PamFord Davis

Friday, February 24, 2017

Let the Water Flow

God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)

Let the Water Flow
Plumbing in our kitchens and bathrooms can experience build up until finally clogs develop, causing the pipes to back up and the water to flow in the wrong direction. Liquid Plumber is the solution. Just pour it in the drain, and let it soak—releasing the clogs so the water can flow.

Every day our lives can accumulate with all types of baggage—emotional, physical, and whatever the enemy decides to throw at us. Sometimes we can find ourselves going in the wrong direction.

Every few months, I spend twenty plus dollars and soak my household drains with Liquid Plumber so that the water can flow freely and never back up. What can we do to release the buildup in our own lives freeing the Spirit to flow within us?

Worship of the Father in genuine desire lets Him flow in His goodness and peace within us. Turn on your favorite Christian music, open your Bible and soak in His Word, talk to Him, and love Him back. Father God does not need our worship to let Him know how great He is. We need worship because He inhabits our praise, creating a two way street in our relationship that frees us from yesterday's mistakes and emotional build up. 

Our worship cannot be limited to Sundays, a mid week service, or an occasional Bible study. One cannot find it at the local grocery store, and the cost is expensive—our time. We must cultivate a personal worship with Jesus that soaks within and releases us; allowing the Spirit to flow freely. Sharon McDill

Thank you, Lord for partnering with us in worship and flowing in peace within us. Amen.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Let It Flow

... but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14 NIV)

Let It Flow
Picture a large meadow of yellow flowers bowing to a gentle breeze. This golden pond of beauty is densely populated on the outer edges by trees that stand stoic throughout the course of time. The summer sun hangs lazily alone in the afternoon sky against a canvass of aqua blue. The air is punctuated periodically by God’s curious creatures that fly about on cue — assuring the casual observer that life is more than worrying about the next event.

But that’s not all.

The sound of a rushing river nearby captures the essence of energy as it follows its familiar path toward the open sea. All marvel at its ability to remain constant. Nothing stops its flow. Its strength is undeniable. Its will, undeterred. The river beckons those who are thirsty to partake of its power to quench. For the filthy, it calls them to bathe in its capacity to cleanse. For everyone who seeks healing, it invites them to take a leap of faith and jump in. Robert Valleau

Father, thanks for being the ever-present river of life in our lives. May your rich presence flow from us so that others may see your mercy and grace. May those who feel discouraged or depressed find supernatural strength in your heavenly reservoir of love.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Let Brotherly Love Continue

Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them — those who are mistreated — since you yourselves are in the body also. (Hebrews 13:1-3 NKJ)

The book of Hebrews was mainly about the superiority of Jesus Christ over the Old Testament prophets and religious systems. In concluding his message, the writer of the book admonished his audience to let brotherly love continue. The Greek word (filadelfia) translated "brotherly love" in most English translations of the Bible can mean mutual love of brothers (and sisters) or "love for one's fellow believer, affection for a fellow believer." It is in contrast with another Greek word (agapee) also translated "love" which is the unconditional and unparallel love that God has for the mankind. The implication of the admonition was that brotherly love already existed among the Hebrews that the book was addressed to. So, it must continue and the continuation should have no end. The writer of the book went ahead to give two explanations on how to demonstrate brotherly love (Hebrews 13:2-3). One, by entertaining strangers: he inferred to Abraham who unknowingly entertained angels (see Genesis 19). Two, by caring for the less privileged: Jesus Christ alluded to this in one of His parables (see Matthew 25:34-46). There are other ways of making brotherly love continue among us.

It is evident from these two ways of demonstrating brotherly love that the "brother" that one is to love may not necessarily be a sibling or a fellow believer (as a commentator put it) or somebody of common interest, but anyone that one can help at a given time. The Samaritan in the popular parable of the Good Samaritan has been a classic example of demonstration of brotherly love (see Luke 10:25-37).

Many people would say that they love God, and they are ready to do anything for Him. However, do they love their fellow "brother"? Such people are hypocrites! Apostle John said, "If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen" (1 John 4:20 NIV).

A very important reason why one should let brotherly love continue is that one may on one occasion or the other be at the receiving end of such love. The "strange" stranger who leads the love or care may be YOU!

Do you have brotherly love? Be ready to demonstrate it to anyone that comes your way. Let brotherly love continue! Bayo Afolaranmi

Friday, January 27, 2017

Learning to Lean

Learning to Lean
Are you left alone to face the music? Have others deserted you, forcing you to stand on your own? It hurts deeply to feel like you have been abandoned, thoughtlessly cast aside. It cuts deep, possibly leaving lifetime scars. If not dealt with hurt often turns to bitterness and anger.

Even the apostle Paul dealt with the hardship of desertion. He did not rely on others, their faithfulness or approval. “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion,” (2 Timothy 4:16-17 NKJ)

Paul’s security and support came directly from the Lord. Jesus fully understood Paul’s feelings, when finding those trusted turning away, when most needed. “Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled” (Matthew 26: 56b NKJ). Lean on Jesus. It is a sign of true strength to admit our weakness and lean on the Rock! PamFord Davis

Friday, January 20, 2017

Learn to Know His Voice

... and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name ... and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. (John 10:3-4 NIV)

Learn to Know His Voice
How do we learn to 'know his voice'?

First we expect God has something to say to us. As parents we always have something to say to our children and the same is true of God. Often it may simply be the assurance of his love and care.

Not only is expectation necessary, but also a desire to hear from God. Jesus often said, 'whoever has ears, let them hear'. This phrase speaks of deliberately tuning in to what God is saying.

Sometimes I find myself reading the Bible, yet my mind is elsewhere. Even in church I can be singing and yet my mind is far away. Lately I have been challenged to pay attention and focus on God. It's not always easy. I may not want to listen to God for fear of what he might say. Yet I know, and remind myself, there is no need to fear him who loves me perfectly.

God speaks in many ways. Through reading the Bible, praying and other spiritual disciplines we prepare ourselves to listen. Sometimes words will grab our attention in a way they haven't done before, or an impression or a desire comes to us after prayer, or maybe an idea drops into our mind that we know is not our own, but is it from God?

It takes preparation and practice to 'know his voice' but it will happen as we make the effort to listen. Susan Barnes

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lean Not to Your Own Understanding

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV)

Lean Not to Your Own Understanding
We are born with an amazing ability to be deceived. Most of us adults remember our times of adolescence when we thought we knew everything. We didn't want to listen to our parents who had "been there and done that." They warned us about the consequences that would follow our actions, but we dismissed them as being old-fashioned and not understanding. Oftentimes, however, their words turned out to be prophetic.

As we have gotten older things have not changed much. I continue to be amazed at the con games grownups fall for. However far-fetched a scheme someone comes up with, it seems as though there are always many takers to be taken. Sometimes, the victim will appear on a news program such as 60 Minutes and tell his or her unbelievable story, and what really surprises me is that the person appears to be rather intelligent. You wonder, how could this have happened? One thing for sure, the victim didn't go looking to be deceived. What seemed so right turned out to be so wrong.

Christians are no exception. For example, some are taken by pyramid schemes, others are taken to the cleaners by insincere televangelists, and the statistics regarding our divorce rate suggest that many Christians make bad choices in selecting a mate for marriage.

Making the right choices in life is hard because people are seldom what they appear to be, neither are things in life as they often appear. These truths coupled with our innate ability to be deceived make for bad decision-making in life.

That's why we need God's help in making the right choices. We can only see people's outward appearance, but He sees their heart. And as for life, only He perfectly understands its complexities. The Bible is filled with the wisdom of His counsel. Our diligent study of the Scriptures enables us to tap into this wisdom for guidance. Also, as we pray in faith, He will direct our paths. Frank King

Dear Lord, thank You for the wisdom in Your word. You inspired holy men to write the Bible that we might have direction for life. Help me to acknowledge You in all my ways. Amen.

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